Archive for the ‘SCALE 8x’ Category

LXer Article

Some of the big stories this past week included Cisco creating their own tablet, SCALE moves to a larger venue, Bruce Byfield asks is KDE 3 Zombified or Resurrected?, Run Chrome the easy way and Carla Schroder sets off a nuclear weapon in the LXer forums. Ever drink a bottle of Rum all to yourself? I hope all our U.S. readers had as much fun July 4th as I apparently did. Enjoy!

Cisco To Have An Android Tablet Of Their Very Own: First came Android, the mobile OS. Then came the first Android phone, the G1. Then came the Nexus One, the first true gPhone — Google top to bottom. And it just kept going from there. Today, not yet three years into development, Android is available on dozens of devices, from phones to e-readers to netbooks and more. It’s taken the #2 spot in the mobile OS world — well ahead of the “unkillable” iPhone — and reportedly is slated to take on Apple’s other hot toy of the moment. Given the explosive growth and variety of devices sporting the OS, it comes as little surprise when a manufacturer announces they have a new Android offering in the works. Unless, that is, if the manufacturer is a networking giant and the announcement comes out of nowhere.

The Linux Chronicles, Part 1: Last Autumn I volunteered to review Windows 7. But in the following weeks, I found Linux to be preferable in many ways. This is pretty significant progress, and outside the ‘community’ has gone largely unnoticed, too – I haven’t seen all that many Ubuntu stories in the Wall Street Journal. But what comes next is going to be pretty challenging for everyone involved – and that’s what I’ll look at here. But first a bit of history, starting with a confession.

GNU HURD – Altered states and lost promise: The HURD was meant to be the true kernel at the heart of the GNU operating system. The promise behind the HURD was revolutionary – a set of daemons on top of a microkernel that was intended to surpass the performance of the monolithic kernels of traditional Unix systems and in doing so, give greater security, freedom and flexibility to the users – but it has yet to come down to earth.

Programming with Scratch: As a homeschooling parent, I’m a big fan of educational software and I’ve written quite about about various programs in the past. But, as a programmer, I’m also a big fan of any program that makes computer programming more approachable by younger children. So, when I heard about Scratch, I was pretty enthusiastic.

How to Run Chrome OS the Easy Way: A few of us here at MTE have a bit of a crush on Chrome OS. It’s not just the system itself, it’s the fact that someone is finally taking the concept of an operating system in a new direction. We wrote a brief synopsis of Chrome OS shortly after the first announcement that showed how things stood at the very beginning, then more recently did a manual build guide. Building Chrome OS from source code can take several hours, and can be a somewhat challenging process even for an experienced Linux user. To help solve that problem, some developers have begun releasing custom Chrome OS builds with included installers and software tweaks. This guide will show you where to find the images and how to get the latest Hexxeh release, Flow, on to your netbook or VM from a Linux host.

SCALE moves to larger venue starting in 2011: In order to accommodate its steady growth over the past few years, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) will move to its new home, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, starting with SCALE 9X in 2011. The new venue – larger than SCALE’s former home for the last four years at the Westin Los Angeles Airport – will allow SCALE to expand its offerings at SCALE 9X, slated for Feb. 18-20, 2011.

5 Little Linux Computers: This month we take a look at a number of small form factor PCs that either come with Linux or would make a perfect fit for your favorite Linux distro. Each of the computers mentioned takes up very little space, but all deliver plenty of computing performance to handle everything from basic web browsing to watching videos. They make nice little firewalls, basic file/web/print servers, and quiet, low-power media servers. All of these units typically consume a fraction of the power of a conventional desktop and less than many traditional laptops.

16 Gorgeous Linux Wallpapers From Pr09studio: Pr09studio guys are also actively contributing for bisigi themes project and they really do have some stunning wallpapers to showcase. Here, I have deliberately tried to avoid wallpapers with branding for most part, but some wallpapers with branding are worth mentioning. So here it goes, 16 beautiful Linux wallpapers for desktop.

Trinity KDE: KDE 3 Zombified or Resurrected?: Several weeks ago, I ended a comparison of the KDE 4 and 3 desktops by saying “Unless a project takes over KDE 3 development, sooner or later it may become unusable with the latest generation of computers.” What I had missed — free software being a large place where events move at near-light speeds — was that a project had already taken over KDE 3 development. It’s called Trinity KDE, and is organized by Timothy Pearson, who has been releasing Kubuntu releases that use KDE 3.5 for some time. According to Facebook rumor, he has been planning to revive KDE 3 for some time.

Copying is Stealing: Staying focused on one simple principle clears away any confusion: creative artists have a right to be paid. If we enjoy a piece of recorded music, a book, drawing, photo, movie, and the condition of owning a copy of that work is paying for it, then not paying for it is stealing. Legally it is copyright infringement, but I call it stealing, just like shoplifting or any petty theft.


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LXer Article

I was going to just cover the 2nd and 3rd days of SCALE 8x but after getting back home and sitting myself down in front of my favorite compy and started thinking about it, I figured I might as well go all out and give you a full recap of my road trip from Phoenix to Los Angeles for SCALE 8x and back.

So there I am on a beautiful Thursday late afternoon on my way up ‘the hill’ between Palm Springs and Indio on the I-10 west and what to my displeasure do I find? A tire, with the rim still on it, and air still in it lying in the middle of the lane in front of me..and my car at 75 miles an hour heading straight for it. BAM! I hit it and instantly it split my drivers side front tire from the center of the tread to the rim like a lemon.

Needless to say it wasn’t only my mouth that was puckered in the moments I hit the tire and made my way to the side of the freeway before dying a grizzly metal encrusted death. There is something to be said for having checked the air in the spare “doughnut” in the days before my trip and so after getting the car jacked up and the spare on I made my way into Los Angeles. In case you missed it, here is a link to my article of Day 1 – Friday at SCALE 8x.

Day 2 – Saturday

Coming from Phoenix any weather is a lot of weather and all weekend it was rainy and windy which of course made me want to stand outside the Westin in it..its a Phoenix thing.


So after the opening keynote speech by Red Hat’s Karsten Wade everyone started to hit the expo floor in waves. I sat in the corner and for once in my four times coming to SCALE, just took in the start of the Expo as the room filled with the sounds of people.



Along the walk in there was an OLPC booth amongst others and just inside the door I came across the Komputer 4 R Kids and Qimo booths. K4RK takes recycled computer parts and gets them to kids in the L.A. area who would otherwise not have one. I wish there was something like them in Phoenix. Qimo is a really cool version of Linux for kids of all ages. A good friend of mine’s daughter has been using it on her computer for a year now and she loves it.

One of my goals at this years conference was to get my lappy working again. I had a thoroughly botched Mandriva install that in my attempts to fix was not even letting me boot into it. It was sharing 80 gigs with XP and to make a long story short, I have a driver issue that is not easily fixed it seems and my now fairly old HP laptop will not read CD ISO disks, DVD ones are iffy too and I hoped to find a cool new version of Linux to install on it cleanly so I wouldn’t feel ‘dirty’ any more by having to boot into XP if I wanted to use my lappy.

After perusing the expo floor a while I came across Larry Cafiero, and his two young booth-mates Clint and Scott at the Fedora booth who happened to have new Fedora 12 disks and I figured why not give it a try and I grabbed a disk. Later in the afternoon in the e-mail garden I sat down and installed it..

Let me tell you a story about a Scottish guy named Neil Wallace (Not related) that I met last year at 7x. He is a Dentist who also happens to be a Linux geek. As the story goes, he was listening to a podcast and happened to hear Orv Beach and Ilan Rabinovitch in an interview talking about how the Expo was going to start that weekend and upon hearing this what does Neil do? He intermediately books a flight to L.A. and sits on a plane for 18 hours. Just to come and check it out, just to find some community, just to not be the only Linux geek in town. That’s the kind of dedication you get from a Scottish geek, and his very entertaining talk late Saturday afternoon entitled Get Developing – it’s easy. was to a standing room only crowd as well.

Day 3 – Sunday

Later Saturday night after I left the Expo I was trying to work some of the wrinkles out of my shiny new Fedora 12 install on my now ‘clean’ lappy. After trying to get codecs installed and such I quickly ran into a update problem I had no idea how to fix so when I got to the Expo Sunday I made my way over to the Fedora booth and begged for help. Clint, a Fedora Ambassador and organizer of the Utah Open Source Conference and Scott (guys named Scott have to be cool don’t they?) were happy to help and after getting them logged in as root I left them to their devices and disappeared onto the Expo floor.

I got a chance to talk to Mike Dexter of the Linux Fund and he told me about their expansion into the U.K., Patrice Albaret of Revolution Linux talked about their specialized large scale projects. I sat and talked about all things geek with some cool cats at the PostgreSQL booth for a while. Have I told you how much I love coming here? I went by the Arin booth and had my mind blown by how many IP addresses will be available once the change to IPv6 comes.

Upon my return to the Fedora booth Clint and Scott presented me with my now fully functioning and updated lappy and I will again say a hearty “Thank You” to both of them because in the days since I have used my laptop more than in the last 6-8 months. Last but not least I want to give a big shout out to Alex Colcernian and Erick Tyack of Diskless Workstations who sponsored the SCALE 8x E-mail Garden where I spent an inordinate amount of time and got to know them both. They put up with my banter and were still nice and talked to me even. 😉 It was a lot of fun hanging out with you guys and watching the Expo go by. I hope to see you two again next year.


Was SCALE 8x a success? Yes it was. Confirmed registrations at SCALE 8x were just over 1,500, that said the numbers for both 6x and 7x are flat at right around 1,300 registrations apiece. This statistic alone tells me everything I need to know about the health of Open Source. If for all intents and purposes the economy the last two years has tanked and SCALE has seen its numbers stay steady and now in 2010 actually grow then I know for a fact that things are on the up and up.

So I mentioned that all weekend it was rainy and windy and as I made my way home Monday afternoon I took a couple of pics out the window of my car of the snow the storm dumped on the San Jacinto Mountains outside of Palm Springs, right about where I blew my tire out too..



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LXer Article

My review of the first day of SCALE 8x and the WIOS talks I attended.

Ultimate Randomness – Girl voices in open source

The first talk I attended was a great presentation by three very knowledgeable girls Malakia and Saskia Wade and Mirano Cafiero (on the left) who explained how they had learned to use GIMP and Tux Paint along with some examples of what they have done using the programs as well. At the end of the the presentation they showed a short stop motion film they made with their Barbi Dolls using OpenShot which to say the least was very cute..and very good too.


A Year NTEU the Ubuntu Community and FLOSS World

The next one I got to was Amber Graner’s talk on her first year in the Non Technical End User (NTEU) for Ubuntu. It was a great review of what it is like to be a total newbie to FOSS getting all jazzed to jump in and get started in participating in the ‘process’ as it were. She gave a ton of great examples and funny stories of her experiences in the NTEU. One of her great points was If you can dream it you and think it, if you can think it you can suggest it and if you can suggest it you can do it. I like that a lot. there is something to be said for just doing it if it means that much to you that really hits home for me.


Moving The Needle

Sarah Mei presented a talk on how the Ruby Community in San Francisco experienced a growth from 2% to 18% in the number of women involved over the course of just one year. She spoke of her and others efforts, in spite of past gender diversity failures, to get more women interested and involved in the SF Ruby community. She explained in great detail how they went about it and why it actually worked when nothing had worked before along with some expected and not so expected side effects that came about as a result of the projects success.

The three things they focused on were:

1. Set specific goals that could actually be met. – It is nice to have lofty goals but if your chances of ever reaching them are minuscule to none, then what is the point of even having them right? Their main goal was to increase the number of women who came to the monthly meetings, period. Whatever that number was, as long as it was an increase in participation, then the goal had been met.

2. Workshops for women. – The big difference between every other workshop for women that had never worked before was that Sarah and her group targeted former female programmers that had gotten out of the business for one reason or another and women who work in and/or with technical companies. By focusing on those areas the actual number of women who showed up to the workshops was noticeable along the number who returned for the monthly meetings was well.

3. In-person outreach and followup – This I believe was the biggest factor in the success of the project. Speaking only for myself (as a man) I usually know when I leave a talk, meeting etc. whether I am going to ever return but I know that for a lot of others actually having someone call or e-mail you personally, thanking you for coming and asking what you thought about it would have a large and positive impact on their continued involvement.

Some of the unanticipated side effects were the serious uptick in the quality of posts to and the quantity of traffic on the SF Ruby mailing list and more talks were proposed for the monthly meetings by both men and women. Also, the perception that you had to know more than everybody else in the room in order to make a comment on or speak in front of the group without looking like a dork completely dissipated and it resulted in much more participation by both men and women.

Another one of the great forward thinking aspects of the project was that the men in the SF Ruby community were involved in the entire process and included in the meetings so that there was no ‘enclaving’ in that over the course of several months everyone got a chance to meet everyone so there was no “us over here” and “you over there”. I for one am very impressed and I commend Sarah and all those who worked on the project for there hard work and deserved success.

Presenting You: How to Give A Lightning Talk

Emma Hogbin gave a very animated talk on how to easily get started on giving a lightning talk. She got the entire audience involved by having us tell another audience member about one or two of our passions in life and then showed how you can break that subject down into little chunks of time so that all of a sudden your done, it was good and the audience is still awake.


Well its on to day two of the conference Saturday. Expect more pics (and maybe even one of me) and more stories from the expo floor.

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