Back on the 10th I hosted an Ubuntu Hour and Debian dinner. For the first time we had more people at the Debian dinner than at the Ubuntu hour, with 5 people coming out to the Ubuntu Hour and 8 to the dinner. It was nice to get to catch up with some people and always nice to meet new ones. I got talking to Michael Paoli about speaker coordination for Bay Area Linux Users Group (BALUG) and got myself added to the speaker coordinator list (I guess a year and a half away from PLUG was enough rest from speaker coordination!).
I’ve finalized details for my trip to Phoenix over Labor Day weekend. I’ll be staying with one of my aunts and they’ll be picking me up at the airport when I get in late Friday night. Saturday morning I’ll be visiting a friend (or two!) who I knew back in Philly but has since moved to Phoenix. The rest of the weekend? Pools! Food! Catching up!
I blogged about Boutique Academia now carrying silver-colored Ubuntu earrings back on the 4th and quickly ordered my pair. This time I couldn’t resist some more goodies from the shop, I also picked up the Binary SUDO and Android OS necklaces. They’re really nice, I should keep BA in mind for gifts.
I also picked up a blue (they don’t come in pink) Nintendo 3DS last week. A friend had recommended it but the high price ($250) was off-putting so I was waiting for the price drop, but it turns out a few stores where dropping their price early, nice! So far it’s pretty much been a drop in replacement for the DS Lite that I got in 2006, which can’t get on our wifi network (only does open and WEP, we use WPA of course) and the bottom right of the touchpad was going bad. The 3D stuff is pretty cool though and I’m delighted by the built in augmented reality (AR) games.
In other media news, ChromeOS now supports Netflix streaming! As soon as I heard the news I updated my CR-48 and sure enough it works fine. I’m hoping this change will make it to the Chrome browser some time soon so it works with traditional Linux distros, but at this point having it work on my tv (also linux), phone (linux!), chromebook (linux!) and even my new Nintendo 3DS is plenty for me to get my Netflix streaming fix.
On the projects side of things I’ve caught up with a lot of things and am now working to refine processes, both for new contributors and to make sure we have our resources under control. One of the problems I’ve seen with a few of the projects I work on is poor response time to emails that come in interested in the project. This is almost always due to multiple volunteers having access to a shared email account but no one making a commitment to regularly check it. I had a few ideas for handling this (forwarding everything to myself, loading up a separate browser where I keep all logged in with webmail, load up some mutt instances with different .muttrc files) and I settled upon an unusual solution for me: I’m using Thunderbird. A couple groups use gmail and multi-account login is a bit clunky, forwarding everything to myself means I still need to log in to reply so everyone else sees replies, and truth be told I wouldn’t actually be able to handle checking several mutt instances in a timely manner. Thunderbird has simple multi-account support, gives me notifications of incoming emails and with imap allows me to keep the webmail side of things synced up when I send replies. I still use gmail via the web and mutt for myself. Also on my home network we finally replaced the 40G drive in my second desktop with a 500G drive which I’ll finally be able to store some backups on. I also upgraded to Squeeze last night, which didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, synergyc keeps crashing, Nagios wants to break out of our old config management system, I’m having some weird network issues, and I need to look into the new Xen configuration for Squeeze. Fun times. At least xorg and fluxbox loaded up fine!
One of the projects I’m currently helping with is moving olpcsf.org over to Drupal, which I hope to mostly finish tomorrow. I’ve been involved with their website stuff since last year and while Drupal isn’t really my forte I’m quickly learning how to make my way around it and I have to say that while still confusing (options hidden in weird places, Drupal terminology to learn), Drupal 7′s UI improvements make the workflow considerably more tolerable than it was in the past.
I was tasked with completing the migration last Saturday when I attended the monthly OLPCSF meeting over at San Francisco State University on Market. It was a fun meeting, Sameer made lemon (and orange, and lime) batteries and showed some experiments that could be done with the OLPC’s Measure activity and then incorporated the programming activity Scratch into the battery fun. There was also a presentation from Aaron Strick about an OLPC deployment in Kenya that he spent his summer at, he maintained a blog about the experience here: http://olpcinbura.blogspot.com/. At the meeting a few of us Partimus folks also sat down with Sameer to discuss some opportunities for volunteers from SFSU to help out with the schools (Christian blogged about the opportunity on the Partimus blog: Possible collaboration with SFSU students).
After the OLPCSF meeting MJ and I spent the rest of the day running errands and other things. Since we were in the area we had lunch in Japantown and then drove past Golden Gate park and down to the ocean. Have I mentioned lately how much I love living near the ocean again? Sunday I made chili from a friend’s recipe in my brand new crock pot! Lack of a crock pot meant I hadn’t made it in a few years, the end result met expectations, yum.
On Monday evening I headed out to an Oakland A’s game, only to have my travel interrupted by protesters. The stations were closed for over an hour but it certainly was an eventful wait (protesters, cops, BART messing with commuters by only opening certain entrances and announcing to the world that the stations were fully open).
Fortunately the delay only caused me to miss half of the first inning.
In spite of another loss for the A’s, it was a fun night out with my friend Mark and it’s always nice to get out to a ball game.
The rest of the week was somewhat disappointing. I was bitten with an unproductivity bug which caused everything I touched to either be a dead end or failure, weeks like this are never fun. We finally had someone in to fix the ceiling fan in our bathroom, only to learn once the drywall had dried that part of the job needed to be redone. Had to deal with Shutterfly shipping incomplete orders of engagement photos to family without letting us know until the photos had already shipped (very sleazy) AND being unable to tell us which ones did ship (or even confirm that they shipped our photos at all). Their customer service was completely useless, refund policies ridiculous and we ended up having to contact our credit card companies to handle it, which they did. Not using Shutterfly again. Friday I learned that I should stop expecting my September issue of Linux Journal to arrive, because it never will. They’ve gone completely digital without warning their subscribers, and now their publication is pretty much useless to me (there are dozens of more timely, higher quality articles I can read online, I subscribe to magazines for the paper I can read on beaches, long flights and train rides without worrying about batteries). How disappointing. Last night to cheer myself up following the disappointing week I finally saw the last Harry Potter movie over at the Metreon in 3D and IMAX! On my way home I stopped by a new sushi place that ended up being really nice.