March 29, 2005


My son's remains were put to rest yesterday in the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery. It was military burial with full honors.

Just before we parted to the hollow ground we were given over medals by a Brigadier General. Among the military awards was the US Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, and the Bronze Star.

The greatest parting gift of all were delivered by both people in combat uniforms and folks in civilian cloths. These gifts included tears, hugs, smiles, prayers, flowers, blog comments, letters, post cards, food, videos, and even the promise of forgiveness and the setting aside of differences between old enemies.

Kevin Shockey flew from Puerto Rico to be by my side and that of my family. Major Prisco Hernandez drove his family many hours non stop from Kansas to share our grief, Healthvision excused their employees from work to assist the service and the entire executive team along with dozens of co-workers said present. ZedaSoft also halted operations to attend. Ten or more ex-coworkers of Paquito and I (from RIVA Technologies) came from all kinds of places. Eastern Hills High School's Principal and other faculty also came. A member of the House of Representative of the United States also sent his condolences.

Geoff Norton(Kangaroo), Miguel and Laura and Paul and Kathy, Mike Windham and his family, Jay and Kristina and so many, many more sent us beautiful flowers.

But in hind sight, three of the greatest gifts came from surprising sources.

Sergio Torres, the father of another North Texas Army Soldier who was killed in Iraq while in his second tour of duty, made a point of finding my house and meet with me to comfort me. This man is a humble Mejicano that lost his only boy and came with a big bag of Texas barbecue with all the fixings. That night we gave grace and I ate what will forever be the best meal of my life.

Sergeant First Class Kevin Kirchoffer, also drove long distance from Fort Hood Texas to shake my hand and embraced me. He began by introducing himself and telling me how much of a good friend he was of Paquito. What he did not know is how much of him I already knew and how much Paqui idolize him. I could have told him all kinds of stories and anecdotes of their adventures in "Manchu Hill" back in Korea. He mentioned in passing that he had a very humble gift for me in the car and that he would give it to me later. As I gather the beautiful wooden case that now hold the flag that the General gave me moments before we were to lower Paquito's casket to the ground, SFC Kirchoffer, rushed to me and said: Here, I prepared this. He handed me a picture frame that had over seven photographs of Paquito and his friends in Korea, Paquito and Monica, and the one Helmet over the Boots of a fallen comrade they knew while in Korea that was sent to Iraq to have his life cut short before his unit members from Korea could even realized that he was no longer a part of the 2nd ID. I don't know if it was the fact that I knew all of the stories that went with these pictures or the fact that Sgt Kirchoffer was crying in such a heart felt way, but I too cried as if I had finally realized that Paquito was not coming back.

Finally, Paquito's last work assignment gave me the third of the great presents. Gina Cavallaro, a reporter for the Army Times (a USA Today publication) was put under Paquito's personal security watch and care by his commanding officer. She actually spent the last few hours of Paquito's consciousness and help to render first aid in a frantic struggle to keep him alive after the sniper bullet ravaged his internals. Gina gave us all this account:

NPR had Gina reading some of the story. She also adds some observations from our phone conversation.

Posted by martinf at 07:31 PM | Comments (15)

March 24, 2005

The Final Good Bye

I must thank everyone for the overwhelming support that so many of my co-workers and friends have pledge to our family over this difficult time. It has been instrumental in helping us get through this.

We now have some information about the final good bye for Paquito.

Funeral Home: Jeter & Son
4830 West Illinois Ave.
Dallas, TX 75211
MapQuest directions

Visitation: Sunday 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Funeral Information: Monday
Open 8:30 am
Funeral 11:00 am
D/FW National Cemetery - Noon

Our gratitude to all of my Healthvision and Mono family as well as the countless friends and kind hearted people that expressed such beautiful sentiments.

Paco, Maria and Monica

Posted by martinf at 09:45 PM | Comments (20)

March 21, 2005

Cuando Un Amigo Se Va

My mobile phone rang as I was entering the lobby of the Embassy Suites at Salt Lake City Utah to meet with Erik Dasque for dinner. It was my wife Maria calling me from home in Texas to tell me that there was a man in US Army uniform ringing our door bell. I asked her if he was in Battle Dress Uniform (BDUs) or if he was wearing his 'Class A's (dress uniform).

She said he was in dress uniform.

Francisco Gregorio Martínez was killed in action in Iraq during a patrol operation around 2:00 PM Bagdad time (GMT +3) on March 20, 2005.

Paquito 1984-2005
Paquito 1984-2005

My favorite picture of "mis hijos". Big brother Paquito and his baby sister Monica.

Update for Memorial Day 2005

More than two months have passed since Paquito (a.k.a Frank) passed away. There has been commemorative events as well as extensive press coverage about his death but also about his life. Below are some links may help you form your own picture about him.

Article about military bloggers:

What would have looked like:

NPR coverage of Gina Cavallaro's report on Frank's death:

My favorite picture of him while in the military (Kuwait Aug 2004):

Example of his creative powers:

He turned this (a little view from his Humvee -- HMMWV -- in Korea):

Into this:

Finally, his longtime point of presence in the Internet

Posted by martinf at 05:25 AM | Comments (251)

March 19, 2005

Great Expectations

I am off to the DFW airport to catch the flight that will put me on Salt Lake City Utah for the next week or so. I will be attending Novell BrainShare 2005. My employer Healthvision has sent me and although I confess that I was the one that really pushed to get them to send me, I know that there will be plenty of things that will help us achieve the many objectives that Healthvision has set for themselves in 2005.

There are many things that the company I work for has in common with Novell. We are now trying to get into a role of integration and facilitators for all facets of the health care industry. Mission objectives that relate to Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) and Connected Communities are so akin to Standards based systems and Open Source Software community spirit. This from a company that like many other American companies have been for the most part in its history a closed source and product specific shop that has look at folks like Microsoft and Computer Associates for the bulk of its IT system software needs. We still do, and may continue to do so, but I have a felling that this coming week will prove very refreshing and full of new ideas and the revelation of exiting trends.

I am sure of this because the last time that I followed a hunch (ironically a year and 2 weeks ago), I met with my biggest infatuation since I learned about computers nineteen years ago. Project Mono! It has been a year now since I met Jackson Harper, Todd Berman, Paolo Molaro Sebastien Pouliot, Duncan Mak, Ben Maurer, Atsushi Enomoto, Massimiliano Mantione, Mike Kestner, Joseph Hill, Urs Muff, Gonzalo Paniagua, Lluis Sanchez, Martin Bauling, Erik Dasque and Peter Dennis Bartok.

If you have read this far and are semi interested, you will notice that I did not list a very special person. All of the folks that I mentioned above, met me and I met them face to face in the first Mono Developers Conference back in March 5, 2004. Some of them may not even remember me, and some have become very close friends with whom I speak almost on a daily basis for many months now.

Then there is Miguel de Icaza. I don't think that I have to convince anyone about the importance and impact that Miguel has had over the world of computing in the last decade. However, I feel that Miguel has influenced my thinking even beyond the matters of computer science. His sense of humor and his sharing of ideological topics as well as his take on global events have stimulated me and perhaps even made me a better person.

So maybe you get what all of my anticipation for this trip is all about. I don't know if after this trip the rest of my year will change as dramatically as the previous one did.

Somehow, I have the filling that it will...

Mensaje Para Paqui
Estamos tan orgullosos de ti y esperamos tu pronto regreso.

Posted by martinf at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2005

Mono/Cygwin CD ISO FIle Finally Available

It is with great pleasure that I announce the availability of the Mono/Cygwin CD that I have been talking about for the past 6 or so months. This CD is based on the disk that was distributed at the recent Mono presentation Plano Texas.

You can get the ISO image at:
Once you complete the download get the md5 checksum file for it so you can confirm that it made it safely to your hard drive.

As we stated before, please be kind and keep the seed uploading for a while so that every one can benefit.

This CD contains, multimedia tutorials tarballs with Mono source code, installers ready to use and most important, a very comprehensive Cygwin installation specially configured to work in tandem with the Mono 1.1.4 Win32 installer for building Mono, XSP, Gtk# and others from source code as described in the O’Reilly article (also included in the CD) here:
I can not express enough gratitude to the Mono heroes of collaboration:
Kangaroo, Gonzalo, TJ Fontaine and many others. God bless you all and may his divinity deliver you all a beautiful maiden to give you a huge and long wet kiss that you so well deserve.

Posted by martinf at 11:35 PM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2005

Video of the Mono Presentation at PDNUG Available(for a limited time)

Once more, I owe my great friends and collaborators Todd Berman, Geoff Norton and TJ Fontaine for helping me seed and make available the Video of the Plano .NET User Group meeting were the Mono team presented:

Mono Development for Windows .NET Programmers

I think that you should really consider getting a hold of this. We are making the downloads available during the next 48 hours or so. After that, we will likely pull the plug.

You will need a BitTorrent Client to get these files. There are two versions of the Video:

monovideo.torrent - is a 50 MB postage stamp size video of the complete 1 hour and 30 minutes available of footage. That file contains video of about 320x240.

pdnug-cdsize.wmv.torrent - is a 535 MB 640x480 that really shows as well as the MPEG files that make up my Pre-Master DVD.

Please, be a good citizen and after the download leave it up so that you can act as a seed to others interested in obtaining the files and to keep the generously donated bandwidth from our heroes above from total depletion.

The final word on this is that if we all do this right we may use this same methodology as early as next week to distribute the Mono/Cygwin CD that so many people have clamor for. This last disc is the one that I have handed out in conferences and that is periodically mailed to Ximian in Cambridge for the Core Team to use.


Posted by martinf at 06:12 PM | Comments (7)

March 04, 2005

Review of the Mono Presentation at PDNUG

The Mono presentation that we did for the Plano .NET User Group (PDNUG), was a smashing success.

While I am at it, let me give thanks and credit to the appropriate folks:

Jason Alexander, Wade Wright and the rest of the PDNUG directive for their hospitality and help during the event. My Healthvision co-workers and ex-co-workers like Kyle Davis, John Lightfoot, Geoffery Cruz and my new friend Paul Stephenson. Eric Sowell, and Corry Smith also brought friends and enthusiast a long with them and help me setup and take down my mini Data Center that I took to Plano Library. Then there was Scott Dockendorff that gets to be in two groups now (ex-co-worker/NDDNUG Officer :-D ).

Our on-site primate contingent consisted of Erik Dasque, Joseph Hill, Zac Bowling and myself. It is very important to note that Geoff Norton (Kangaroo), Paolo Molaro (Lupus), Todd Berman and Daniel Morgan were very significant in the preparations leading to the presentation.

To all of you thank you!

The audience was a very interested and smart group of .NET Developers that was never dull and asked very intelligent questions!

Maria and I had put together some 30 CDs (The Paco Special Mono for Windows and Cygwin disk) and when we were wrapping up the event and we rolled into the night's door prices the participants came to the table and in less than two minutes we had ran out of disks. (For all of you that did not get one I will create a mechanism in my MFConsulting site so that you can put in a mailing address and we later mail it to you). Erik also dispensed two copies of our Mono Developers Notebook without any problems!

A more detailed description of the presentation is available here.

I also figured that people may care to see the rest of the slides that we did not get around to show, so here is the OpenOffice version of the prestntation (I will converted into a PPT later).

Posted by martinf at 05:08 AM | Comments (2)