Tonight I got some post from my old place (which mostly contained some old bank statements), but inbetween, there was a really cool surprise, my Ubuntu Certified Professional certificate and card!
Greetings, people of the Internet! Welcome to the personal website of Jonathan Carter!
Last night I went to the well attended Geekdinner, organised by Johann “Joe” Botha. I didn’t expect much from the geekdinner, the general perception was that there was going to be mostly ‘glamblogger/glamgeeks’ (we should get a proper name for those), who are basically people who dont do much more than blog about blogging and other bloggers (“Web 2.0″ might also just as well be their second name). Having said that, the dinner was great, there wasn’t really any sign of these glambloggers, instead, there were a good bunch of technical and skilled people present, and the venue worked very well.
We had to come up with creative nametags (although, I’ve only seen the Jonathans make an attempt), and I made a little nametag themed like my blog, with a small tag cloud so that people knew what to talk to me about. The idea was that someone could press the RSS button and I’d give them a business card. To bad I didn’t have any cards with me :)
Morgan presented the Ubuntu mini-talk, and handed out Edgy Ubuntu/Edubuntu/Kubuntu CD’s. If you were unsure about going to Geekdinner this time, I’d recommend that you come along next time, it’s definitely not a bunch of glamgeeks trying to network, but a range of hackers, geeks and nerds talking about all kinds of cool stuff. See you there next time!
Tomorrow is “Shut down day”, a day where you are encouraged to shut down your computer for one day.
When I initially heard about Shutdown day, I said I could do it, but I can’t. I just have too much stuff that I’d like like to do this weekend, and besides, the weather isn’t looking to good either:
Will you be able to shut down tomorrow? I think I’ll make up for it the next weekend by switching off the entire weekend. I’ll even switch off the TV and cellphone to make up for missing it tomorrow :)
Edubuntu is the official education-specific Ubuntu installation. Currently, Edubuntu gives you a classroom server with a pre-installed LTSP server, making it a turnkey solution and super cost effective. Edubuntu also features educational software, including the GCompris Suite, the KDE-edu Suite and some of the Tux4Kids programs.
The feature set of Edubuntu has been pretty much the same for the last few releases, and most of the work has gone into improving LTSP and related services and graphical managers. We’d like to expand the amount of improvements in Edubuntu for the following releases. Previously, we were heavily limited by the amount of software we can fit onto the Edubuntu disc, but from Feisty onward, there will be an add-on disc, where we can fit on all kinds of new goodies. Edubuntu is at a good stage now to accept many contributors, the technical side is getting together very nicely, and the focus on the educational part is becoming more and more important. Edubuntu currently runs best in primary school environments, but the goal is to work well in high school and university environments as well.
When you contribute to the Edubuntu project, all your contributions go into the Ubuntu archives, and is considered a direct Ubuntu contribution. When you have made significant and sustainable contribution, you will be eligible for Edubuntu membership, and Edubuntu membership automatically means that you’ll have Ubuntu membership, which serves as an official recognition of your work. You also get some benefits in the form of a “@edubuntu.org” and “@ubuntu.com” email address, for more information on membership, please refer to the membership page on the Ubuntu website.
Edubuntu needs artists, software testers, developers and writers (for Edubuntu documentation). We appreciate any contribution in any form. If you have children, they can also get involved and give feedback. If you’re an educator, or a student, you can provide feedback on how you’d like the system to work. You can also get involved in the Google Summer of Code, there’s some more information about it on the Edubuntu/Ubuntu wiki.
Please introduce yourself on the edubuntu-devel mailing list! Let us know where you’re from, what your interests are, and how you’d like to contribute to the project. You can also say come in and say hello on the Edubuntu IRC channel, which you can find at #edubuntu on the freenode network. Even if you don’t have any ideas, there’s plenty of work to hand out, so feel free to join anytime, do it today!
I often watch what I say when speaking about Linux and Windows, especially when comparing them, so that I don’t sound what’s termed as “anti-Microsoft” or “anti-Windows”. Experienced free software advocates will often tell you that sounding too aggressive against Microsoft will put people off, and they won’t always take you very seriously.
Even though I’ve always tried to be quite diplomatic towards Microsoft when dealing with their clients, some people still had the nerve to call me anti-Microsoft. I’ll go as far to admit that I am anti-Microsoft, but in the circumstances that I’ve been called anti-Microsoft, I’ve been more diplomatic than is even required.
A trend that I’ve observed is, free software developers and advocates tend to be much, much more mature and civil in the “Operating system wars” than the so-called “Microsoft fanboys”. This trend seems to have escalated all the way to Microsoft itself. A few years ago, they launched the Microsoft Get the facts campaign, where they often make outrageous and unfounded claims, backed by so-called proof that is clearly unfounded. Now, they’ve taken it one step further with the Linux Personas website, a site where they profile customers who are currently using GNU/Linux and other Unix or Open Source environments, and how to get them to buy Microsoft products replacing the non-Microsoft products. And check what it says on the front page of that site… “Winning against Linux the smart way”. Against Linux. Microsoft is against Linux.
Novell want us to believe that the Microsoft-Novell deal is good news for the free software world, but according to Microsoft’s clear anti-Linux stance, it’s clear that Microsoft has no good intentions toward the free software world with this deal. They don’t even mention Novell’s products as alternatives to similar, competitive environments that might be deployed by customers on the Personas site. Aaron Toponce blogs about Bruce Perens talking at Novell’s Brainshare, and how Microsoft and Novell will attempt to sue companies who have not purchased open source software from Novell or Microsoft. Not only are they anti-Linux, but they’re anti-free software, anti-open source. They want to control our levels of freedom, and add more restrictions to our software. How can anyone possibly consider the Microsoft-Novell deal to be a good idea?
And the plot thickens… previously I blogged about the Digital Freedom Expo, well, today I read Novell is canceling their stand at the expo. The reason? Budget constraints. Budget constraints? When you’ve just been paid millions and millions of US dollars by Microsoft? And you don’t have a few thousand dollars budget for what’s going to be the biggest Open Source event in Africa this year? Wow Novell, is that really what you mean by being committed to Open Source?
One of the keynote speakers include smooth talkin’ Stafford Masie. Initially I thought, “hopefully seeing him talk Novell out of the latest Novell scandals will be at least mildly entertaining”, but then I decided no, I’m not going to sit back en let him smooth talk himself out of this one! I’ll also ask him some questions that other people might be afraid to ask. Impilinux is attempting to get a slot as well, and we’ll be representing the local Ubuntu community.
I urge all Cluggers (and clug-park readers specifically (also JOCUAMAOE)) and the Ubuntu Loco team to attend and give Masie a run for his money. The last event I attended where he spoke, he just did his usual smooth-talking and people just stared at him, everyone thought he was talking nonsense, but didn’t think it was worth while even talking to him about it. I heard one media person say that his talk was well-received, afterwards. We shouldn’t give him a chance to get away with it again! What might also add some fuel to the fire, is that this is taking place at the University who vowed to phase out Novell completely shortly after the Microsoft/Novell agreement.
Impilinux is considering organising anti-patent t-shirts for the event, if you have any t-shirt ideas, or if you’d like to have one of those t-shirts (you’ll have to attend), then please leave a comment on this blog entry. We’d like to make sure there’s sufficient demand for the t-shirts before printing them :)
I hope to see you there, it’s going to be a blast!
I spent the last week in Johannesburg, at the Impi Linux offices, where I’ve been freshly employed. It’s quite exciting, our local government is making a strong move to open source and free software, and Impi Linux is already signed up to do big parts of the migration, and it seems that more and more government departments are switching fast in what seems to be a domino effect. What’s also interesting is to see how government is turning away from vendors who have dodgy policies on patents, although we have good local people to thank for increasing awareness on the patent issues.
Impi Linux have recently been working hard on recruiting good technical staff, and I’m glad to be in a team where I can learn from so much. They also have Thomas Black on board, who initiated the Open Source team at the Shuttleworth Foundation way before Ubuntu even existed, out of which tuXlabs, Freedom Toasters, the Go-Open Source campaign and other interesting projects emerged from. I enjoyed working with Thomas in the past, and I’m looking forward to working with him in the newly formed Cape Town office. They’re also hiring some cool people from all over to work on the new government implementations. If you’re good at what you do, and you want a decent free software job that pays good, consider sending your C.V. to my new boss.
Working with free software in your day job is challenging and rewarding, remember to tell your friends to learn and use GNU/Linux!