So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

I am now officially unemployed.

The company I so recently worked for has now shut it's doors. We had an incredible product, but the money ran out and the VC wasn't willing to continue funding. There's various hypotheses why, but I don't want to air the dirty laundry here. Suffice it to say this is by far the best group of people I've ever worked with -- everyone there was simply stunningly talented, and fun to work with to boot.

If you know of any work in the Raleigh area (or telecommute), especially in the open-source and/or macintosh arena, drop me a line.

Oh, and my resume's here. =)


So let me ask you a hypothetical question. If I were to do what Yoram Snir suggested in the comments, would you pledge? Because there's nothing I'd love more than to be able to just work on Fink and KDE full time. Is it worth bothering some kind of pledge thing to gauge it? This would be a dream, but I don't know if I could pull enough to live off of.


A number of press sites picked up our press release about Oculan shutting down:

Someone from the N&O is supposed to call me today, they're going to be running a piece about how we all stay in touch after the company imploded. I set up a mailing list for our ex-employees to keep in touch, exchange resume help and job leads, and just goof around. Maybe the exposure will help me get something. =)

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34 comments to So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

  • Sorry to hear about the unemployment. I wish you luck in your job hunt.

  • Just state that you will work on KOffice for Mac OS X so we can have good and free native office solution (I’m myself waiting for good Hebrew support) and like Poul-Henning Kamp (see URL) I’m sure the community will support you for the coming year.

  • I would support you so that a native mac os x koffice app can born.

  • Personally, I’d love to help monetarily as much as I can, which may, rather pitifully, not be too much — however, anything that I could spare to give I would give to see a model like this fly.

  • I would pledge some. I’m not sure if would be enough, but I could probably spare $25 to fund a very worthwhile project for OS X. Any chance of you porting GNOME over in addition to KDE? 🙂

  • Justin McMurtry

    I’d chip in… and I think plenty of other people would, too. All it takes is getting the word out… and you know the power of “viral marketing”. It’s not like you’re just some random guy off the ‘Net; your ongoing hard work and great results on the project have already been widely documented, and that gives you solid credibility now. Whatever you decide, I wish you the best of luck! =)

  • I know i’d throw at least $25 bucks your way and if you packaged it on CD with an installer and sold it by mail in addition to making it freely available people on the web might toss $30 bucks your way for a copy just for conveinience.
    I honestly think if you keep working on it someone will pick you up or you’ll find a way to sustain yourself… I mean Daniel Glazman’s doing it with Mozilla Composer and he got picked up by Lindowsspire to do so and call it N|vu, so i think if you worked at it you might be able to find a niche.

  • John Morrison

    apparently the strike tag doesn’t work in the comments…

  • I’m really sorry to hear that. Is there any market in Raleigh for IT consultants, self-employed types? I figure there’s a pretty high concentration of opportunities in the Research Triangle, anyway. I’m self-employed now (publishing) and wouldn’t want to go back to corporate work, though it is tough going at first. Do you know Aaron Faby? (Developer of CompleteApache, CompleteMySQL, CompletePHP–real nice package installers of these apps for OS X, with preference panels, etc.) He’s worked for Tenon and other places, if I recall correctly, but after getting laid off somewhere a couple of years ago he started a company that does Mac-based web hosting and similar services–his website is I think he just started with an Xserve warehoused at a data center in LA, but he’s apparently grown into a pretty successful business. Just some food for thought. It would certainly be wonderful if the open-source community raised enough funds to help you work independently for a year on KDE/Mac stuff.

  • I’d pledge. I could even donate a bit on a monthly basis, not a whole lot at once though. Good Luck! 🙂

  • I’d pledge with the understanding that QT based KOFFICE for OS X was the main driving factor of my meager donations. I could probably throw 5 or 10 a month or so your way…

  • John Blase

    Heck, if you could finish this one with quality and in a good amount of time, Apple might hire you!
    I would more than willingly help out if you could crank out the wonderful Office alternative that Koffice is promising.
    Have you looked at working at OpenOSX? Something tells me that you two might get along splendidly.

  • John Blase

    Edit: if someone can get $20,000 to pay off her creditcard bills online (, then you can get some money to do something far more worthwhile, like make something we all can use.

  • it’s true… you got slashdotted once for KDE Qt/Mac you could certainly do it again i think, and i think really that’s what most of your random internet readers such as myself are really interested in.

  • Yeah, I’d pledge, for an OS X KDE, I’d be able to scrape something together.
    And I think it’d get you a lot of visibility – which is never bad when angling for that dream job…

  • zizban

    I’m in to support you 🙂

  • anon

    I don’t know, but perhaps it is worth a try.
    I can’t help but think alot of individuals and perhaps organisations would be interested in a good, free Mac office suite.

  • chris c

    If I were still working I could easily have shot a couple of hundred a month for awhile.

  • edd1e

    I suggest that in between job searches, make a site for distributing the ports of the KApplications. State your situation, state your need for funds, provide a way to donate online (Paypal?), and put together a few demo packages – a package with all the basics, a package with all the basics plus koffice, and a package with everything. Three major packages to keep things simple, and then of course, provide all the individual packages on a secondary page.
    Perhaps the idea isn’t totally feasible, but I’m sure that a lot of persons would support you for what you’ve done already, which would at least help to pay the bills before you get your next job.

  • Bernd

    People love results in the KDE/Mac stuff. I think if you get it to work on a stable basis there will be good chances for you to get the money in. I mean just make your site a base for KDE/mac and tell people you’re living from those results. I’d support your work!
    If you don’t like our ideas, I wish you well on finding something more reliable in terms of income 🙂

  • Kurt

    Sorry to hear about your job. That sucks to have to leave a good group of people 🙁
    Is 3.2.2 available for ssl? I only see 3.1.4. The non-crypto version seems to be up to 3.2.2, but not the ssl version. I’m not sure if I’m just not doing something correct in fink.

  • I would be prepared to put up to $50 for a good KDE system on the mac.
    Good luck

  • Holy crap! Sorry to hear it man.
    I’d toss a few buckaroonies out in your general direction to continue KDE work. Heck… that’s why I came to OpenDarwin to begin with but didn’t have the time to put in on it.
    I bet you could seriously outrun me if you were doing it full time 🙂

  • I’d spot ya say $25 or $30 if I knew that the KDE / KOffice port to Mac OS X was the main goal! I’ve been watching and waiting (rather impatiently I might add) as each new bug fix and release rolls out the door.
    The ability to ditch M$ Office on Mac OS X would probably sway alot of the Mac zealots too!
    I could personally name about a dozen people who would LOVE to drop M$ Office, or who don’t have an office suite due to the cost of such a purchase. I’d doubt any one of them would balk at the idea of paying a small fee to have such functionality!
    Personally, I’m looking forward to the day when I can load KDE or KOffice on all my macs, as well as those of the people I know and love!
    Bring on the PayPal link! I’ll be in line!
    Chris White

  • John Blase

    Heck, you’ve already got $140 pledged to you through these comments, just think of what you could do if you were slashdotted!

  • Sorry to hear about your job mon, but if you want some advice from me (and you have savings enough to last say 6 months without income), then go for it. I tried it and it’s working for me, tho not software yet, mine is all mac consulting, osx server installations etc.
    If you want to know some ways to make some money with your skills, email me or catch me online =)
    gl either way.

  • AQSalter

    I’d also be willing to purchase a yearly/6 monthly download coupon of a native KOffice suite and tell all my friends that they don’t need to buy MSOffice because they can purchase this one for $20-$30. As long as it was reliable and had a reasonable support infrastructure – forums and troubleshooting docs. A years worth of binaries for $30 to get a native build of KOffice? Sure.
    But one word of warning (better said than not, even though you probably are aware already) – Open source still requires a valid business model… Blender is an excellent example of a real, working non-profit business based on Open source (note:non-profit doesn’t mean we can’t all get paid to do what we love ;)… and I personally don’t like OpenOSX or MacGIMP much because they don’t offer any downloads… but that’s another business model I guess.
    What about a side project one or two days a week? Most employers will provide leeway in this direction.
    You seen “8 mile”?
    Good luck my friend 😉

  • jr

    What about to create a list of features/ short projects that you would like to work on with hourly estimates and budget.
    People than can cotribute directly to you for working on feature they want.
    “The Development a la carte”
    Those who don’t care about offered new features
    can pay for features already implemented.
    Hack on it! There can be even auction for the next available time slice (week / two weeks) to influence development to work on the selected item.

  • Me likes the “The Development a la carte” idea, why not give that a try? 🙂

  • Yoram Snir

    I can see that my first comment was good inspiration, so let me add that the initial compilation of KOffice for Mac OS X is surprisingly good (for such early build).
    In Israel, Apple’s reseller ( is selling CD of OpenOffice 1.1 with X11, HSpell and some other small open source tools (including all sources on the CD) for $50.
    “Yeda” made this step after spending huge amount of money on ThinkFree Office (Korean company) which failed to deliver Java based office solution for Mac OS X with Hebrew support.
    This is a small triumph for the open source community which enable such easy porting solutions for the benefit of the public.
    I’m encouraging you all to follow this URL:
    and then help Ben to decide to take this step and bring a better KOffice solution for all of us (not X11, but good native apps).
    Thanks, Yoram Snir 😉

  • Michael Flanagan

    I too am sorry to hear about your work situation.
    This funding idea is easily somthing I’d flip $50 at. I make it a point to buy the latest and greatest OpenBSD sets when they come out for exactly the same reason. This past time, i got 2 t-shirts and another poster.
    This is an idea w/ merrit IMO. Please give this idea a chance.
    Anyway, figured I should chime in here so you have an idea that there are lurkers who’d support this.
    Good luck w/ your decision!

  • Jeff

    I’d chip in $10… more if Mono turns out to work well.

  • Mike

    Add another $30 – you need a PayPal button mate!

  • Federico Garza

    Kirsten, please send me a mail message. I would like to talk with you.
    Send me your mail address and tel number.
    Federico Garza