Comments on: Palm Hires AMD/ATI Linux Core Engineer

Another day, another high-profile outside hire for Palm Inc. Phoronix reports today that Australian native Matthew Tippett, engineering manager for Linux Core Engineering at AMD/ATI, will be joining Palm as their new head of Linux kernel development. Matt's previous work on ATI's Linux graphics drivers is singled out for high praise by the Linux news site, who note that he has played a "critical role" in bringing the Catalyst drivers for Linux to near-parity with Windows, amongst other things.

With such an experienced hand at graphics on board, this hopefully means that Palm is finally going to get started on putting that painfully under-utilized Pre GPU to work. Right?

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Sure, why not?

DarthRepublican @ 10/30/2009 9:36:34 PM # Q
I think that it's important to point out at this point that Palm first started hiring Linux engineers something like two years ago if not earlier. And unless you count the Foleo, the fruit of their labor didn't show up until June of this year. Even with top Linux graphics guys, it could be quite a while before webOS turns into a graphical/gaming powerhouse.
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RE: Sure, why not?
CFreymarc @ 10/31/2009 1:42:55 AM # Q
Agree! I wonder what deal they came to terms on here. Is relocating to the south bay?
RE: Sure, why not?
SeldomVisitor @ 10/31/2009 4:55:35 AM # Q
This kinda throws a little more light on Palm's attempt to hire graphics API developers quite some time ago (this year). Making a Big Deal out of this one (since when do companies advertise having hired a programmer? Lol!) suggests those efforts didn't achieve whatever Palm wanted toachieve.

High-speed graphics/API coming to WebOS in a year or so?

RE: Sure, why not?
Tim Carroll @ 10/31/2009 6:19:02 AM # Q
^^ Palm didn't "advertise" or make a "big deal" out of this, SV. If you actually read the linked article, you'd see that Phoronix found out 'cause Matt is actually working with them on something totally unrelated:

Furthermore, he's not joining Palm specifically in a graphics role, but as the head of kernel development. Obviously graphics is going to fall under that to some degree, but trying to paint this as Palm not having gotten what they wanted out of their graphical/gaming engineer hires (for which positions are still open, if you check Palm's job's page) is just silly.

The ones making a "big deal" out of this are us in the blogosphere - me because Tippett is a talented guy who's well-respected by the community.

RE: Sure, why not?
Gekko @ 10/31/2009 6:26:32 AM # Q

does Australia have any native tech industry at all? if so, what has been the contribution?
RE: Sure, why not?
sungod @ 11/1/2009 3:29:48 AM # Q
"does Australia have any native tech industry at all? if so, what has been the contribution?"

I don't know about Hardware but software we do.
Atari for one has a team here, the transformers game was designed (in part I think) in OZ.
Red Hat's S.E.Asia office is in QLD.
Att Palm:
I am one of many T|X owners who would happily be Beta testers for Nova.
We could give you valuable feedback without ever having to go threw the networks for approval.

RE: Sure, why not?
SeldomVisitor @ 11/1/2009 3:55:40 AM # Q
The population of Australia is (much) less than 2/3rds the population of California.

I wouldn't be surprised if their "tech industry" is rather small.

RE: Sure, why not?
StrawMan @ 11/3/2009 8:57:51 PM # Q
"does Australia have any native tech industry at all? if so, what has been the contribution?"

I've heard they invented something called WiFi - but it's probably just a local little backwater technology and of little relevance to the 'real' hi-tech world.

If you're interested, here are some other things they lay claim to fame for:

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Gekko @ 10/31/2009 6:18:33 AM # Q

jumping from one sinking ship to another?
jca666us @ 10/31/2009 7:16:45 AM # Q
He'd best keep his resume up to date!
Gekko @ 10/31/2009 7:19:53 AM # Q

i hate AMD chips. they run super HOT and slow. i would never buy anything other than INTEL.
SeldomVisitor @ 10/31/2009 7:47:51 AM # Q
I wonder if his hiring "bonus" (*) was stock grants rather than stock option grants?

Should be.

[stock grants are awards of actual stock shares - maybe over a period of time. Because they are awards of STOCK they retain value as long as the stock price does not go to zero. You'll see upper management hires often getting stock grants as bonuses.

Stock OPTION grants are awards of the right to buy stock shares "as cheap as now" at some future date. The expectation is the price of the stock will rise partially due to the new hire's efforts so the eventual "exercise price" will be a lot higher than the current price, making the stock option grant a real nice bonus. Any new hires at Palm, of course, have seen the value of their stock OPTION grants fall 30% this month, probably NEW new hires have seen their options become worthless. Stock option grants can and often do end up being worthless since Exuberance rules tech stock prices more than fundamentals and fundamentals often, if not always, catch up with the price exuberance.]

(*) Nowadays everyone EXPECTS hiring bonuses so using that term is kinda...wrong.

SeldomVisitor @ 10/31/2009 8:02:02 AM # Q
"exercise price" above should be stated as "price at the time of exercise".

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