Posts tagged ‘RealLife’

It’s the time of the year again. LinuxTag is right up and, of course, Debian is part of it. But, it wouldn’t be us if we didn’t have any problems at all. Well, the situation isn’t real bad™ but could deserve some improvement. Improvement about what, you ask? Isn’t that obvious? It’s man power that we need (women shall feel included :)).

Now, LinuxTag 2011 is going to happen, with or without you, on May 11th to 14th. Needless to say that you’ll be missing quite a lot if you don’t attend. I mean, even Zack will be there. And so will I (most probably at least). And even more… Who’s willing to miss that, really? So, pack your stuff, get a train ticket or your car or your friend’s car or the car of a friend of your friend who knows a friend who doesn’t know you but still wants to give you his car which you don’t even need since you already have the car of that friend of your friend and now you have two cars and can even bring another bunch of fellas who probably own cars themselves and now you’re thinking about the environment because of all the cars that will come to Berlin and because of that you suddenly buy a train ticket and leave all three cars at home… and in the end only one thing counts: you’ll be there. Oh, and before you drive off to your local train station, please put your name into our neat little list so we can count on you as booth staff — that’s because we need man power in case you missed that section or somehow forgot it while thinking about that guy who is the friend of your friend that owns a car but rather comes by train as it saves the environment.

Dear lazyweb,

I’m using Gnome for quite some time now and I’m always satisfied with the interfaces I have to whatever I need. There is one thing, though, that I miss: a calendar. I don’t like evolution, I don’t need another mail client. What I want is a simple, yet sophisticated application that I can put appointments in and which reminds me of them (recurring issues should be possible, too). It may but doesn’t have to be somehow attached to the Gnome clock or whatever. Though I expect it to look “Gnome-like” and be accessible from the panel. Do you know such? And is there even a Debian package for it?

Thanks.

In einer Zeit, in der förmlich alles im Internet abgehandelt wird, in der die Sekunden schneller gehen als je zuvor, in der die Menschen keine Zeit mehr haben, auf ein persönliches Treffen zu warten oder kurz anzurufen; in einer Zeit, in der man nur schnell mal was fragen wollte, um dann schon zum nächsten Tagesordnungspunkt überzugehen; in einer solchen Zeit beschloss ich, eine Freundin nach der Telefonnummer von ihrem Frisör zu fragen, die ich von anderer Quelle nicht in Erfahrung bringen konnte, denn, wer mich kennt, weiß, dass ich das mal wieder nötig habe. Leider war meine Frage wohl zu lang, um über den Facebook-Chat zu wandern, also schrieb ich sie ihr in einer Facebook-Message. Dabei hab ich mich extra kurz gefasst:

Liebe Zeitgenossin, mir ist zuweilen vorgetragen worden, dass, und solches stelle man sich ersteinmal vor, obgleich doch es wenig überraschend ist, bedenkt man, um wen es sich handelt, du ganz im Gegensatz zu ihr im stolzen Besitze dessen bist, das mir zueigen gemacht sich gar lohnen würde, wenn auch der Ausgang des angestrebten Unterfangens noch umnachtet, will sagen: in greifbarer und dennoch unklarer Ferne zu liegen scheint. Aus diesem Grunde nun würde ich meine Verbundenheit zu deiner Person außerdordentlich zum Ausdruck bringen wollen, wenn nun du, so deine bezaubernde Güte es zulässt, mir unter die Arme greiftest, um mir zu geben, was sie mir nicht geben konnte angesichts ihrer erstaunlichen Besitzlosigkeit. Was dieses etwas, dessen ich mich ermächtigen will, nun ist, wird deinen Geiste wohl beschäftigen, und es liegt mir fern, mich der Werkzeuge verbaler Folter zu bedienen, um zu spannen, was zu spannen sich nun nicht mehr gehört. Es liegt mir nämlich zweierlei am Herzen: zum einen, deine unermässliche Güte und Zuneigung nicht zu strapazieren, zum anderen, mein Anliegen einer Endgültigkeit näher zu bringen. Daher möchte ich darum bitten, holde Maid, dass du mir an ihrer Stelle die Ehre erweisest und mir mitteiltest, wie die Nummer derjenigen, die deiner Kopfbedeckung ständig so zuträglich ist, lautet, sodass ich mit ihr eine Unterredung und mögliche Behandlung meines dir bekanntes Dilemmas vereinbaren kann. Ich hoffe, selbiges liegt so weit auch in deinem Interesse, dass du mir diesen Gefallen nicht abschlägst und mich so zu einem glücklichen Freund an deiner Seite machst, der, wie angedeutet, tief in deiner Schuld stünde.

Countless times already have I used Google’s amazing feature called maps. Admittedly, if you know me, you might wonder how I can be advertising Google. At least as often as I used google maps, I have told people about google’s evilness. They’re making their users transparent in ways most people can’t even imagine — transparent to other users (just like Facebook does) but, more importantly, transparent to themselves and their advertising customers. Technically skilled people reading my blog probably just nod and scoll down now… :) Well, there still is something about Google that makes me use their developments: they are good. I don’t know any other online service to create own maps, get directions etc. with as much detail and huge amount of data as google delivers. Thus, Google maps became my main source for locations and directions world wide. As such, I wanted to use it to get directions between places in Berlin, Germany. Apparently, Google’s software had some kind of hick up or whatever, though. They got the directions right but somehow I doubt the map is anyhow related to what I requested. See for yourself…Google maps irritatedYes, yes, no software is perfect… but still :)

It’s pretty off topic for my blog since I usually only blog about technical stuff. But this is just great. Real life people having a real look at concerts of prominent and not-so-prominent musicians. And it’s all in German which is a nice thing since most of such stuff I have to find on English web sites (except the obvious German big press influence). Made me notice I missed the concert of Jamie Cullum — of course. But the article is quite nice and I definitely enjoy reading more of those. Have a look if you’re as keen on music as I am, or not. :)

It seems I’ve missed quite a few weeks in my countdown to our Mini DebConf. Fortunately, it’s not too late for you to join — even if, right now, you don’t know why you should! So what’s the status?

Well, we’ve had out problems in the beginning to start the whole thing but we managed. There are a few minor issues left, I admit. If you happen to have a bit time on 10th or 11th to hold the camera for an hour or so, contact us! Or if there is *anything* you would wanna do to help us out a bit, don’t be shy. You don’t need to be a known Debian contributor, you don’t need to know us. Arguably, you should know Debian but then, if you’re able to spell the name correctly, you’re probably in. :-)

Apart from that, we really think it’s gonna be awesome. Not only will there be a few Debian Developers from outside Germany, like our project leader zack who we have the honor of listening to for he has the first talk on Thursday. There will also be quite a few German faces that some of us haven’t met yet — have you met Sebastian, the chief of our beloved debianforum.de, yet? We are going to have a great time and you’re a fool not to join.

Thus, a last time for all of you who still don’t know what I’m talking about: Next week there’ll be the famous LinuxTag in Berlin from Wednesday to Saturday. Right in the middle, on Thursday and Friday, we, the Debian community, will have a Mini DebConf right there. There will be talks about different Debian related things. And many active developers will be there happy to talk to you about whatever you always wanted to know or say about Debian. And then, not to forget, we’ll have a hacklab where you can easily plug in your notebook and start hacking with us. Have an idea to improve Debian? Always wanted to know how to fix a bug? You want to make Debian Squeeze the best Debian release ever? Join us — it seems we’re fighting on the same side.

See you there, guys!

PS: The latest and hottest news about it.

When I first started using Free Software — yes, that’s quite some time ago — I found it the right thing to do. It felt like I was first time ever really controlling what my computer does. Took just a bit of time to notice I really never knew anything about it. Well, almost at least. Then when I started contributing to Free Software this obviously changed. One of the freedoms is to learn from the code you’re running. And I did it… by reading, contributing, doing nonsense with it, reimplementing it… you know the deal.

Starting to work on Debian was something that just evolved out of it. Doing so gave me the opportunity to give back. I never achieved that actually, though. At least I don’t consider my contributions even remotely sufficient to make up for the great deal of software that I use — sometimes without noticing it. Still there’s lots of stuff that I don’t have a clue of and I rely on other developers to do their (volunteer) job. Otherwise my knowledge wouldn’t help much. I could never continue kernel development if those kernel hackers all stepped back for instance. I guess, it’s getting more and more difficult the closer the piece of code is to hardware.

Another thought I had was about Free Software in general. It’s more than just the code (although it might be the most important part), it’s also a concept that needs to be communicated. Firefox on Windows shows how Free Software can have a big market share in an otherwise closed source environment. Yet I’m not sure all users know about it being open source and what that means (hear them talk about Freeware instead). And who is dealing with this conceptual stuff?

I decided to do something about all that. Now I don’t really have money but a bit I thought I could share. And I could set yet another sign by publicly talking about it, or casually mentioning that I consider Free Software and Linux a good thing. So you will see a mail signature now below all my mails. I always wondered what one might gain with such and now I found a reason to include one. It reads:

Debian Developer                                 www.debian.org
Member of the Linux Foundation                    www.linux.com
Fellow of the Free Software Foundation Europe      www.fsfe.org

Hi everyone!Mini DebConf 2010 Berlin - I'm attending

I hope you all have already seen at least parts of our preparation for a Mini DebConf in Berlin this year. There are various posts on planet,  some mails on -project and -events-eu and — as I saw just today — even identi.ca is not spared. If you haven’t heard of it, this is your chance.

Every year the LinuxTag (Linux day) is a four-day event in Berlin, Germany, likely comparable to other OpenSource events. It provides talks, discussion and a lot of booths of various Free Software projects. This year’s LinuxTag will be on June 9th till 12th. Since it’s held on a

huge fairground, we were able to get quite some piece of it for our own use. We will have two areas, one for talks, the other as a hack lab and use right the middle of the LinuxTag for the Mini DebConf: June 10th and 11th — with the hack lab open all through the night of course.

Finding sponsors was the hardest deal in the beginning and we’re not done with it yet. We got enough money, though, to make the decision and we still hope to get everything covered. Luckily we also have hardware sponsors and help on various issues we would not be able to deal with on our own. What’s still missing, is you! :)

The schedule for the talks is almost full, yet the hack lab could need more man power. Our idea is — since we will be in freeze by then, right? — to do a BSP incl. help for newbies. That means we will not only try to help users, we also would like to teach how to squash bugs and thus attract possible maintainers and other contributors. All that of course only works if we are enough people there.

Now I understand this might seem to be only attractive to german developers as most of the talks will be held in german. But I strongly believe we can deal with it if you don’t speak german. :) And at least on the first day of the event, you can meet our new DPL zack who will have the pleasure to provide the opening talk. Yay!

Having said all this, you are more than invited to attend and help. Find more info (and a way to offer help) in the debconf wiki and enjoy more press announcements within the next few weeks.

http://wiki.debconf.org/wiki/Miniconf-LT-Berlin/2010

On OFTC:

/join #debian-miniconf-berlin

Dear lazyweb,

I’m using VoIP stuff of different kinds already and I actually enjoy it. Thing is, a friend of mine always complained about the quality of sound when speaking with me. He said I should switch the software but I never believed it would make a difference. Well, now I tried and it did. I used ekiga before and now switched to twinkle (which looks uuugly in Gnome at least). What can I say? It really is better. But why?

I tried to get more output from twinkle but didn’t quite manage. So what is so different? And don’t you dare answer “codecs” or something! I actually don’t need details. I just want ekiga to be as good as twinkle sound quality-wise. If you know a solution, tell me! :)

To give a short update on where we stand now with the amazing plan of having a Mini Debconf in Berlin this year. There are just 8 weeks left which means there is lots of stuff to do and it needs to be done soon. But luckily…

  • the schedule appears to be full soon; almost all talk and discussion slots are filled with interesting topics, like Debian Edu/Skolelinux, kFreeBSD, Getting Involved, QA and piuparts, and other technical stuff.
  • we discussed how to work with the debianforum.de people and I am very pleased to say that there will be no special treatment for them; they are committed to Make Things Happen just like we are, and we appreciate any help we can get (with the say-hello-and-come-in-booth in particular)
  • there will be a panel discussion about why Free Software isn’t in all schools yet; hopefully we get some politician to answer as well.

Of course, all this is written in the wiki and you can put yourself in it at any time to offer your help! And if you have questions or want to join more real time ;), point your IRC client to OFTC and

/join #debian-miniconf-berlin

Help is still needed with video and audio stuff. If you think you know how to move a camera, or you can even work a sound mixer, get in touch with us. We need a few volunteers to cover the whole two days. Also, more generally help is needed in order to have people to talk to at all times both for speakers and visitors. No special knowledge is necessary although it might prove handy to know what Debian actually is. :)

Interested? As a visitor or helper? Anyways, get in touch with us and it’s going to be awesome!

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