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Some *nix events and an evening at the SF Zoo

While Matti was in town we ended up at brunch one morning talking some about Tom Limoncelli’s excellent Time Management for System Administrators book, so I ended up rereading it last week. I’ve actually adopted a lot of the things discussed in the book, but I still have work to do when it comes to handling email efficiently. And as good as I am with time management at work, this week I’m also going to attempt to schedule some of my projects at home, errands and gym visits a bit better so I can get an idea of how much highly productive time I really have after work (I seem to be quite delusional about this).

On Wednesday morning I got up at 8AM for the latest Xubuntu project meeting (minutes here). It was a good meeting, we’ve actually got a marketing blueprint now and progress is finally being made on our documentation rewrite (Pasi Lallinaho writes about it here: Working on the Xubuntu documentation rewrite). I’m also in the process of planning an Ubuntu Global Jam here in San Francisco on Saturday, September 8th, where we’ll be doing QA ISO and application testing (and training for that testing) for Xubuntu.

Wednesday evening I headed out to Noisebridge for their weekly Linux night. Spent some time debugging some gremliny wifi issues and had some nice chats with a few of the regular attendees.

Thursday was BayLISA and for the first time it was up here in San Francisco rather down in Silicon Valley! It was hosted at Joyent, within easy walking distance from where I live. The topic as advertised was “Solaris Themes” and as the updates for the event came in it was clear that they were narrowing in on a specific variant of open source Solaris derivative, SmartOS. I knew nothing about SmartOS when I walked in, but when I walked out I wanted to go home and play with it. It’s a hypervisor that’s small enough to run in memory (after booting off a USB stick or PXE) and uses ZFS and Zones to house the VMs. Suddenly I felt embarrassed about running all my VMs on top of full Debian installs (even if they are pretty stripped down!). Slides and the full video of the talks on UStream are available over on the SmartOS blog: BayLISA Visits Joyent.

Friday night I headed to the San Francisco Zoo!

They were hosting their Noc’Tails event, the first public after-hours event. I’ve long wanted to see them open later, at least for special events, so I jumped at the opportunity to attend this even though I didn’t manage to find someone to bring along with me. The first interesting thing on the list for me was visiting the aye-ayes! In spite of my many trips to the zoo, I didn’t even realize they were there. Apparently during regular days they have scheduled times for tours. Being one of the earlier arrivals for the event, I ended up getting a private tour. It was quite dark, so you first sit for a few minutes to let your eyes adjust to the light, and then slowly you start seeing movement in the direction of where the aye-ayes live. Once adjusted it’s still a bit hard to see them, but there is no mistaking those eyes or the big tail.

Couldn’t take a picture of the aye-ayes, but here’s an aye-aye painted on the column outside their exhibit!

The only part of the zoo open for this event was the primate area, so I spent the rest of my stay there hanging out with the monkeys and lemurs.

I did have my headset for music, but I left before the actual dancing and “party” portion of the event. I really was there to see the critters and having gone on my own I didn’t feel very compelled to stay for more than a couple hours.

Before catching the MUNI Metro home, I walked up to the beach to enjoy some of the sunset.

More photos (more monkeys!) are up here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157631128784850/

Matti was in town through Saturday and I spent much of the weekend in project, study and research mode. I don’t know that I actually managed to make my todo list smaller but I did make progress on several things. I’m happy to say that all pending maintenance work on my servers (even the CentOS one) is now complete and I got a development version of the LoCo Team Portal with Django running on my desktop (which was no small feat since I’m running 12.04 and the production site is on 10.04, we had to s/python2.6/python2.7 everywhere and one of the devs had to put in a patch to fix the enviornment). I’m working to pin down a location for a San Francisco Ubuntu Global Jam which will focus on QA testing of ISOs and applications for Ubuntu 12.10 (which is amusing, since I’ve said in the past “I hate testing”). I also got a number of errands and house tasks done.

This week I’m planning on heading out to BALUG on Tuesday and down to Mountain View on Thursday for their Ubuntu Hour – which fortunately for once doesn’t conflict with BayLISA! It’ll be great to see all the Mt View Ubuntu folks again. I have a lot on my plate right now, but I’m making a serious effort to get out of the condo each day even if it’s just to go to the gym. As much as I love working from home and really want to use all the time I have project-wise, I’m much happier and have more energy if I break up the day by getting out for a couple hours each evening.

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