Archive for Jonathan

One Year in Canada, eh?

// July 1st, 2011 // No Comments » // Free Software, Jonathan

At 16:00 today it will be exactly one year since I first landed in Canada. It also happens to be Canada day (a national holiday) so at least my Canadian anniversary will be easy to remember!

It’s been an incredibly interesting year with lots of ups and downs, I’ll blog about it in time but if I try to put it all in here today this will end up being another draft that never gets finished.

Thanks to everyone who has given help, friendship and assistance of any kind over the last year. Especially my colleagues at Revolution Linux who I really consider to be my friends. It’s deeply appreciated!

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Snow

// November 27th, 2010 // No Comments » // Jonathan

Living in Cape Town for pretty much all my life, I saw snow for the first time a few weeks ago while traveling back to Canada from the US. People here in Sherbrooke told me it wasn’t real snow because it melted as soon as it hit the ground. A few minutes ago, my car was on a black tarred driveway, now you just see snow:

Outside from my home office:

Next month when it heaps up nicely I’ll build a snowman in the front and post some pics :)

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Re-focussing

// November 8th, 2010 // 1 Comment » // Free Software, Jonathan, Project Mayhem

Too Much Noise

I’ve taken a lot of time recently to think about my future and what I want to do with my life. Part of the process in refocusing and doing what I really want to do is cutting back on distractions and some things that just take up too much time.

I unsubscribed from a bunch of mailing lists (down from hundreds to dozens), quit from a lot of IRC channels (down from more than 50 to 16) and unsubscribed from a big bunch of blueprints, bug reports and other stuff that sends out email in Launchpad.net. The reason for all of this isn’t because I’ve lost interest in those things I unsubscribed from, but more a case of getting back to basics. So if anyone is wondering, it’s certainly not because I got angry or bored or anything like that, I just really needed to cut down!

More Work and More Fun

At my French classes on Mondays we usually spend some time speaking about what we did the last weekend. I usually get stuck there and can’t think of much that I did besides work. I’ve spent entire weekends before just thinking or worrying about stuff that I need to do. I’m going to change that. I put together a *really* big mindmap in freemind mapping out some ideas that I’ve had that spans career choices, hobbies, stuff just for fun, financial targets, training and education and more. It’s big and I’ll probably not be able to do everything on there in my lifetime (which is actually fucking scary), but I certainly want to make the most of it and prioritize my time better. I’m going to have to learn to rely on other people much more in the future and learn to let go a bit more, which is hard, but I think doable!

Specifics will follow in more blog entries… or if things go well you’ll read about it on digg/slashdot/etc ;)

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Jumping in on the deep side

// September 20th, 2010 // 6 Comments » // Free Software, Jonathan

Jumping In

I’ve had too much to blog about and not quite the time to do so! So I’ll just do a bunch of entries that combines a bunch of them.

When I was around 4 years old, I was at my cousins’ house and they were all swimming. I couldn’t swim yet but I thought something along the lines of “Hey! They’re all doing it, how hard can it be!” so I just jumped in at the deep side of the pool and tried to swim. I didn’t quite get a hang of it, and my cousins panicked and yelled that I was drowning, so my father ran to the pool and jumped in with all his clothes on to get me out of there. He said that I shouldn’t do that again. About 10 minutes later when I was dry again I did it again and managed to get it right. Since then I’ve always loved swimming. Jumping in on the deep side didn’t stop there either…

Moving to Canada

I’ve been meaning to blog about this properly for the last 3 months. A little more than 9 months ago I started working for Révolution Linux, a company that does large-scale Linux deployments around the world. I still do my work in South Africa (which has recently expanded to Uganda) and the combination of being almost-full time employed while also doing my own thing is working *great*.

Révolution Linux had a requirement that I go to Canada and work there for 2 months for integration and to get to know everyone properly. I was initially going to come over around the end of 2009, but my work permit took way longer than expected and I only ended up getting it in June. Initially, while deciding what I’ll need to take over for 2 months (that’s very long for me to be away from home), I wondered whether I shouldn’t perhaps go over for 6 months instead. Then I could sell my car, get something cheap and nasty on the other side, cancel a bunch of stuff that I wouldn’t need anymore like gym membership, etc. I started wondering what actually stops me from doing a complete move, and then I just decided on a whim to pack up everything and move.

Lots of people asked me why I’m gone, how long I’ll be gone, when I’ll be back (especially on Facebook) and I just haven’t had a time to answer everywhere properly. In short, I love Cape Town and I want to live there again. However, I’m not sure when that will be, I decided when I came over here to split my long-term future plans in 2 year periods (almost like the Ubuntu LTS releases), so I’ll be staying here in Sherbrooke for the next 2 years and decide somewhere in between what will happen next. Maybe I’ll move to Brazil then, maybe Spain, maybe back to Cape Town, we’ll see how it goes :)

So far Sherbrooke has been quite good. It’s certainly a mixed bag. It’s nice and small and quiet but it’s also very old fashioned and the food here is horrible, but I have uncapped Internet now which kind of makes up for it! The people at work though are awesome, there’s a real sense of community between a lot of people at work, we see each other a lot outside of work hours too which is quite nice, I haven’t had that much with other places I’ve worked. I also have a flatmate for the first time ever. I’ve known Stéphane for a while know since we worked together in the Ubuntu community before, and we both work for Révolution Linux so it turned out to be very convenient, so far it’s been working out great. There’s also a big bunch of other people from work living in a 2km radius around us, which is quite cool.

My New Gym Buddies

I’ve gone to gym before, but it was mostly cardio and even when I’ve done weights, I’ve done it completely wrong (or so I recently learned). Max and Simon from work signed up recently and it inspired me to do so too and go work out with them every day. It’s the first time I’ve ever had gym buddies. It helps a lot and Max is an awesome “coach” who does a good job of telling me what I do wrong and how I can improve. It’s not even been two weeks and I can already feel the results (yesterday I couldn’t even lift my arms!).

I initially thought that I’d be at least better than Simon with the weights since he’s deceptively thin, but I learned quickly that I completely suck when it comes to doing exercise properly! The great thing is that now that I can learn from their experiences I’m actually learning and improving my physical health much better and faster than before. It kind of feels dumb not always being able to keep up with them, but jumping in the deep side with this definitely helps!

French Lessons

About two weeks ago I started taking French lessons. In Québec, around 90% speak French as their first language, which means that it isn’t really optional!

Some people I’ve met there didn’t know that these classes existed and some of those people have been here for nearly two years already, so if you’re ever in Sherbrooke and need French Lessons, contact Denis Charest at 819-823-8853 for more information.

There were about 50 people there the day I signed up, we’re divided in to classes of around 6-8 people. All the other people in my class are from Columbia. Now and again when I get stuck with French I just blurt out one of the Spanish sentences I learned while in Spain and they think it’s really funny. They’ve been really nice and I already consider them my friends. Columbians are officially awesome. I think most of them did French as second language in school or something because their French is *way* better than mine. It’s kind of hard starting a class when you start being behind everyone else, but they’ve done a great job at helping me when I get stuck and it certainly helps that they have a sense of humour. It makes jumping in on the deep side just so much easier if you have a great support network, and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to gain that in the short time I’ve been here!

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If I were superstitious…

// July 28th, 2010 // 6 Comments » // Free Software, Jonathan

A few weeks ago I moved to Québec, Canada. Today I bought this car from a colleague at Révolution Linux, he doesn’t need it anymore since he’s moving to Montréal. He bough it just a few months ago from another colleague who moved to France.

It doesn’t have a CD player, instead, it has a tape deck, which plays analogue magnetic tapes. They’re horribly obsolete now but this was how I listened to music way back when I was a kid. Another college that lives down the street from me has a hi-fi with a CD player AND a tape deck. I was planning to go there to write the Offspring Smash album to tape, it’s one of my favourite driving albums and I never tire from it.

All the tapes from 2 owners back was still in the car. I decided to remove them when I got home this afternoon. The *first* tape I took out happened to be this one:

I was amazed and delighted! Then I removed the next tape:

It had “High voltage” written on it, which is very close to my IRC/Identica/Twitter nickname, “highvoltage”. If I were at all superstitious, I’d take it as a very good sign that this car will serve me very well!

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Canada!

// July 4th, 2010 // 5 Comments » // Free Software, Jonathan

After a long wait for my travel documents I finally arrived in Montréal, Canada on Friday afternoon!

Sherbrooke will be my new home from now on. I have lots to say but if I do that now this blog entry will never get finished, I’ll do some subsequent posts instead ;)

So far everyone I’ve met here have been super nice, I’ve met quite a few of my colleges at Revolution Linux over the weekend and tomorrow is my first day actually at the office (already had a tour yesterday :) ). It’s certainly taking some adjustment being here but I’ve already had Poutine and learned some important local words so I’m already on my way to becoming an official Québécois!

I’ve been more or less absent from everything the last two weeks, but that should also be better now. Have a good week!

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Then and Now Meme

// April 24th, 2010 // 9 Comments » // Free Software, Humour, Jonathan

Maybe it didn’t exactly start out as a meme, that doesn’t mean I can’t make it into one :)

My Very First Time

My first GNU/Linux desktop was installed in 1999 on a 486DX4-100 with 16MB RAM. It was Red Hat Linux 6 (Hedwig). I still have the CD, it has “Linux 6.0″ written on it which sounds extremely futuristic considering I’m on Linux 2.6.32 now in 2010. I don’t have any of my original screenshots, but I found this one which is a typical RHL 6.0 desktop:

Today I run Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on my desktop, laptop and netbook:

Not too much to see though since I generally keep my desktop clean. I usually use my desktop to store some files temporarily while I work on a task, afterwards they are stored somewhere safe just in case I need them again. I also keep my window list on the top panel, it saves some screen space especially since I only have 2-3 windows open on a desktop space. The space saving is also great on my netbook, since I don’t use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix on there.

Then and Now Edubuntu Edition

Earlier this week, I posted about new futures available in Edubuntu 10.04. This evening I put together a wiki page showing some of the artwork differences in Edubuntu between Karmic and Lucid. I also added some additional information that might be useful to the website and marketing teams similar to what the Ubuntu branding page has done. It’s still early work but I’ll copy and paste it in a page for Maverick and continue to improve on it there. For now I’m getting some sleep since I have a CTWUG meeting early in the morning, seems like blogging just before 2am is becoming a habit :)

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