Free as in beard

January 23, 2009 Technical, General

The LinuxConf Penguin Dinner was held the other night, and the key event for the night was a charity auction. The goal in this case was to raise money to help save the Tasmanian Devil. It’s a great cause and bidding was moving along nicely with the auction being run by Rusty Russell and Bdale Garbee. Things eventually reached a plateau, however, and someone really needed to up the stakes a bit. Which led to calls for Bdale to pledge his beard.

Beards are very Serious Business for hackers, and Bdale tells us he’s been growing his since 1982 when he was at college. It’s older than me! The bidding consortium that eventually won the auction also insisted that Linus Torvalds do the shaving.

Thus, it was no small event when the stage was prepared for Bdale to lose the beard.

Linux giving Bdale a shave

Linus giving Bdale a shave

After much ceremony, Linus took a bow and left Bdale to take care of things.

Bdale was onto his third razor by now

Bdale was onto his third razor by now

It’s a surreal experience to be sitting quietly in a room with 500 other people, watching a man shave himself. As we hear it, Bdale hasn’t told his wife about this yet. He’s just hoping she’ll let him into the house again.

Arjen Lentz also agreed to shave his head for the auction, and Jared Herbohn has given up his prized “GEEK” numberplates for a year. Everyone’s been a great sport, and word has it we’ve raised about $40,000 so far (still going).