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Jono Bacon: Happy Birthday, Aq

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 30/01/2014 - 05:16

Today (well technically the 30th) Stuart ‘Aq’ Langridge enters yet another decrepit year on his prolonged marathon of bothering us all. Not long now and he will be fully fossilized. I am not sure what an angry ginger fossil looks like, but I am pretty sure it is hilarious.

I first met Aq in 1999 at the Linux User Group I formed in Wolverhampton. Since then we have been the best of friends. We have weathered changing companies, moving countries, setting up businesses, various relationships, trying to sell houses, and spent approximately a third of our lives trying to outfox each other in debates (of which many of you may have overheard on Bad Voltage, LugRadio, and Shot Of Jaq).

At every step of the way in my life Aq has been there. He has been a friend in the truest sense of the word; he has motivated me, inspired me, told me when I am being an idiot, and kept me focused on the most important things in life. When I moved to California I was really genuinely worried we would drift apart as friends, but I am delighted that we are as close as we have ever been.

As such, I for one am thankful that approximately 125 years ago he was born on this day.

Tonight I expect to read tweets as he celebrates, complaining about terrible music and the overly frothy head on his pint, while hypothesizing on yet another computer to buy that isn’t a Thinkpad. Oh, and liking ridiculous yellow sports cars. And thinking Fear Of The Dark is Iron Maiden’s best album. Irrespective, it is a worthy celebration.

Thanks, comrade, for everything.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: But these posts go to eleven

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 30/01/2014 - 01:29

To add to what I said last year, this post is actually the eleventh 1 time I’ve celebrated my continued survival for another year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born.

Choose for yourself which is the most auspicious.

Apparently the number of my years this year was sacred to the Norse; it shows up a lot in their mythology, and the Hardrada clan crest had this many ravens and arrows on it. Which is pretty cool. The Langridge crest only has six black rectangles on it, although I only know this from deeply suspect internet genealogy sites, all of whom seem to be working off the same deeply suspect database designed to sell PDFs to hopeful Americans. Still, the family motto is medio tutissimus ibis, which means “you will go most safely in a middle course”. Since the middle course is the main meal, rather than starter or dessert, I’m happy with that. I’ve safely consumed a large number of dinners; it’s nice to know that I’m endorsed in doing so in Latin.

This year’s number is also a pretty common gun calibre 2, which is ironic considering that today will also see the release of the next episode of Bad Voltage, a podcast containing more than your daily recommended dose of me, Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Bryan Lunduke, and which in this episode has a discussion about guns and whether they are a good idea. As a full-time professional resident of England, I think this: they are not a good idea. My co-presenters disagree, wrongly.

Still, it’s been an interesting year, this one. Left Canonical, gone into business for myself as Kryogenix Consulting 3 and thus far been reasonably successful, and I’ve just bought a new computer and am waiting impatiently for it to be delivered, about ten days from now. I think that’s an adequate birthday present to myself, yes it is, especially since I also threw in a monstrous 29″ 2560×1440 monitor. Ho, yus! I shall have more resolution than five New Year’s parties.

One for the maths junkies: take the sum of the squares of the first three primes. That’s how old I am in years. 4

Things seem to be hotting up here in 2014. I might even be moving house soon (what?!?). It’s still a fun time to be alive. Happy birthday to me.

Notes:

  1. I did <em><a>…</a></em> there. Should the <em> be inside the <a>? I am never sure
  2. not Dirty Harry’s one, though. I am not that old. Yet.
  3. Retain my services! For consultancy and custom development on Ubuntu and the web and mobile web. See kryogenix.org
  4. remember: 1 is not prime. This is by definition, in order that the decomposition of a number into prime factors is unique. Otherwise the prime decomposition of, say, 21 might be 7×3 or 7×3×1 or 7×3×1×1 and imagine what that would do to the RSA algorithm, eh?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: But these posts go to eleven

Planet WolvesLUG - Thu, 30/01/2014 - 01:29

To add to what I said last year, this post is actually the eleventh there. Should the be inside the ? I am never sure/ref[] year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born."> there. Should the be inside the ? I am never sure/ref[] year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born."> there. Should the be inside the ? I am never sure/ref[] year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born."> there. Should the be inside the ? I am never sure/ref[] year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born." href="#sf-but-these-posts-go-to-eleven-1" class="simple-footnote">1

Choose for yourself which is the most auspicious.

Apparently the number of my years this year was sacred to the Norse; it shows up a lot in their mythology, and the Hardrada clan crest had this many ravens and arrows on it. Which is pretty cool. The Langridge crest only has six black rectangles on it, although I only know this from deeply suspect internet genealogy sites, all of whom seem to be working off the same deeply suspect database designed to sell PDFs to hopeful Americans. Still, the family motto is medio tutissimus ibis, which means “you will go most safely in a middle course”. Since the middle course is the main meal, rather than starter or dessert, I’m happy with that. I’ve safely consumed a large number of dinners; it’s nice to know that I’m endorsed in doing so in Latin.

This year’s number is also a pretty common gun calibre2, which is ironic considering that today will also see the release of the next episode of Bad Voltage, a podcast containing more than your daily recommended dose of me, Jeremy Garcia, Jono Bacon, and Bryan Lunduke, and which in this episode has a discussion about guns and whether they are a good idea. As a full-time professional resident of England, I think this: they are not a good idea. My co-presenters disagree, wrongly.

Still, it’s been an interesting year, this one. Left Canonical, gone into business for myself as Kryogenix Consulting3 and thus far been reasonably successful, and I’ve just bought a new computer and am waiting impatiently for it to be delivered, about ten days from now. I think that’s an adequate birthday present to myself, yes it is, especially since I also threw in a monstrous 29” 2560x1440 monitor. Ho, yus! I shall have more resolution than five New Year’s parties.

One for the maths junkies: take the sum of the squares of the first three primes. That’s how old I am in years.4

Things seem to be hotting up here in 2014. I might even be moving house soon (what?!?). It’s still a fun time to be alive. Happy birthday to me.

  1. I did <em><a>…</a></em> there. Should the <em> be inside the <a>? I am never sure/ref[] year. Yep, it’s January 30th, the anniversary of the last Beatles gig, Hitler’s investiture as Chancellor of Germany, the naming of San Francisco, the involuntary decapitation of Charles the First, and… me being born.
  2. not Dirty Harry’s one, though. I am not that old. Yet.
  3. Retain my services! For consultancy and custom development on Ubuntu and the web and mobile web. See kryogenix.org
  4. remember: 1 is not prime. This is by definition, in order that the decomposition of a number into prime factors is unique. Otherwise the prime decomposition of, say, 21 might be 7×3 or 7×3×1 or 7×3×1×1 and imagine what that would do to the RSA algorithm, eh?
Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Linux equivalents to Windows

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:56

Linux equivalents to Windows One of the biggest difficulties in migrating from Windows to Linux is the lack of knowledge about comparable software. This is a list of Linux equivalents / replacements.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Linux Incompatibility List

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:55

Leenooks – Linux Incompatibility List A list of hardware that is Linux compatible.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Hot Scripts

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:52

Hot Scripts Hot Scripts is a comprehensive Web directory of more than 41,000 web development and programming-related resources.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Computer Stupidities

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:51

Computer Stupidities The following is a large collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless computer users.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Best Windows Software

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:48

Best Windows Software is a simple list of the best ‘Free’ applications available for Windows.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Peter Cannon: Firefox TV

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 16:25

“I see Firefox as a Media Presentation Company to be honest rather than just a browser developer.” EP67 Let me lick your custard. #tdtrs

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Four – Clock and Doc Viewer

Planet HantsLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 11:35

See also Hack Day One – Reminders and Music, Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader and Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator.

Day Four of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to Clock and Doc Viewer but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

The Doc Viewer app is currently not in the image, so no screenshots there.

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-clock-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-docviewer-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-clock-dev and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-docviewer-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Jono Bacon: On Planet Ubuntu

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 02:56

Recently Randall did some research into what people want to see on Planet Ubuntu. This has been followed up by Stuart with a set of concerns.

I agree with both of them.

I think the gist of Randall’s view is that he would like to encourage more fun, interesting, and diverse Ubuntu-related content. I think Randall wants to see fun stories of LoCo events, interesting Ubuntu work going on, cool Ubuntu apps, details of new features, and more. I agree with Randall here, and would love to see the same.

I think the gist of Stuart’s view is that the personal stories on Planet Ubuntu is a wonderful part of being in a community. Ubuntu is not just about Ubuntu, it is about the stories and the lives of the people who contribute to our community. I agree with Stuart here too.

I think we need a mix. Ideally we want to see interesting posts about people’s contributions to Ubuntu, but also about their non-Ubuntu lives too.

I would like to see Planet Ubuntu stick to its core goal: to be a place where you can look into the lives of Ubuntu members and explore their Ubuntu work as well as their non-Ubuntu thoughts and views.

The problem here is really with Ubuntu membership. Some people are still Ubuntu members who haven’t contributed to Ubuntu for a long time and thus we see lots of non-Ubuntu content, but rarely hear about their contributions. I would recommend we deactivate membership for those who are not actively contributing (active being significant and sustained contributions, as per our charter); this will then tighten up which feeds appear on planet and we will get a nice mix of both Ubuntu and person content.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Thoughts on Planet Ubuntu

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 01:43

Recently, Randall Ross has been laying out thoughts on Planet Ubuntu after analysing a survey he did. His conclusions are strong and wide-ranging: that Planet Ubuntu should be the place for authoritative goings-on from those who are passionate about making Ubuntu; that it’s currently full of random titbits of unrelated content; that staying “on topic” should be baked into the system.

I really, really do not agree.

You see, the thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our community. I read Planet Ubuntu because I care about us, the people who make this thing. Years ago, back when Planet Gnome was the place where all the innovation relevant to Ubuntu was happening, they used to have this argument: that Planet Gnome should only be about Gnome, not about Gnome people. To their credit, they always resisted this push.

The thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our community. I care about the people more than I care about the technology. I care that Tony from the Ubuntu UK podcast worked for someone who raised funds for the Philippines. I care that Sam took a break from the Moka icon project to make cheesecake from tofu. I care that Mako rides pink bikes and that Elizabeth likes pink keyboards as well as marketing Xubuntu. Because we’re a community. Because we’re more than just what we do for Ubuntu.

Your Ubuntu news does not come solely from Planet Ubuntu. If I want to see every detail of how the sausage is made, every aspect of how Ubuntu comes from the minds of our people to the disk on my laptop, I’ll read the ubuntu-phone and ubuntu-devel mailing lists. Mostly, I want curated news. I want someone else to choose what’s worthy of my attention and highlight it for me. And Joey does a fantastic job of that at OMG Ubuntu, followed up by ILU or Web Upd8 or Softpedia. I love reading the in-depth writeups that appear on Planet Ubuntu, whether it’s popey summarising the Ubuntu core apps hack days or Kees going into deep detail on gcc security, but there’s more to life, there’s more to our community, than just the techie details. When Ubuntu gets something large and new from Canonical it’ll be on The Verge and Engadget and Forbes; when there are important announcements they’ll be on the Fridge; when there’s a cool hack it’ll be on the mailing lists and IRC. What I want is a place where we are one. Where the Ubuntu community can come together to be one family. I am what I am because of what we all are. Not because of what we all do. Because of what we all are. That means that Lyz is more than just PLUG, that Sam is more than just an icon designer, that Joey is more than just a reporter. We’re together. Don’t let that go. Don’t let Planet Ubuntu, don’t let our thing, be changed to be a place where you have to be “authoritative”, where “random titbits” are forbidden, where being “on-topic” is more important than being friends. Let’s let other places do press releases, let other places enforce rules about being technical, let other places insist that you mustn’t talk “off-topic”. And keep Planet Ubuntu being a place where our community comes together.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Aq: Thoughts on Planet Ubuntu

Planet WolvesLUG - Wed, 29/01/2014 - 01:43

Recently, Randall Ross has been laying out thoughts on Planet Ubuntu after analysing a survey he did. His conclusions are strong and wide-ranging: that Planet Ubuntu should be the place for authoritative goings-on from those who are passionate about making Ubuntu; that it’s currently full of random titbits of unrelated content; that staying “on topic” should be baked into the system.

I really, really do not agree.

You see, the thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our community. I read Planet Ubuntu because I care about us, the people who make this thing. Years ago, back when Planet Gnome was the place where all the innovation relevant to Ubuntu was happening, they used to have this argument: that Planet Gnome should only be about Gnome, not about Gnome people. To their credit, they always resisted this push.

The thing that Ubuntu has that everything else does not is our *community*. I care about the people more than I care about the technology. I care that Tony from the Ubuntu UK podcast worked for someone who raised funds for the Philippines. I care that Sam took a break from the Moka icon project to make cheesecake from tofu. I care that Mako rides pink bikes and that Elizabeth likes pink keyboards as well as marketing Xubuntu. Because we’re a community. Because we’re more than just what we do for Ubuntu.

Your Ubuntu news does not come solely from Planet Ubuntu. If I want to see every detail of how the sausage is made, every aspect of how Ubuntu comes from the minds of our people to the disk on my laptop, I’ll read the ubuntu-phone and ubuntu-devel mailing lists. Mostly, I want curated news. I want someone else to choose what’s worthy of my attention and highlight it for me. And Joey does a fantastic job of that at OMG Ubuntu, followed up by ILU or Web Upd8 or Softpedia. I love reading the in-depth writeups that appear on Planet Ubuntu, whether it’s popey summarising the Ubuntu core apps hack days or Kees going into deep detail on gcc security, but there’s more to life, there’s more to our community, than just the techie details. When Ubuntu gets something large and new from Canonical it’ll be on The Verge and Engadget and Forbes; when there are important announcements they’ll be on the Fridge; when there’s a cool hack it’ll be on the mailing lists and IRC. What I want is a place where we are one. Where the Ubuntu community can come together to be one family. I am what I am because of what we all are. Not because of what we all do. Because of what we all are. That means that Lyz is more than just PLUG, that Sam is more than just an icon designer, that Joey is more than just a reporter. We’re together. Don’t let that go. Don’t let Planet Ubuntu, don’t let our thing, be changed to be a place where you have to be “authoritative”, where “random titbits” are forbidden, where being “on-topic” is more important than being friends. Let’s let other places do press releases, let other places enforce rules about being technical, let other places insist that you mustn’t talk “off-topic”. And keep Planet Ubuntu being a place where our community comes together.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Debian Bits: Debian.org enabled for SIP federation and WebRTC, XMPP/Jabber to follow

Planet HantsLUG - Tue, 28/01/2014 - 17:45

Debian System Administrators working in conjunction with pkg-voip team member Daniel Pocock have set up a SIP proxy and TURN server for debian.org.

Specifically, the SIP proxy provides a way for Debian Developers to use their Debian email ID as a SIP address for making calls to other project members and exchanging calls with any other domain that is enabled for SIP. The repro SIP proxy from reSIProcate has been chosen for this project.

The TURN server provides a mechanism for users of SIP or XMPP (Jabber) to relay audio and video streams through a public IP address when necessary, eliminating many of the quality issues that arise when NAT devices block the media streams in one or both directions.

The service allows the users to connect directly with the SIP device or softphone of their choosing, including many of those packaged in Debian such as Jitsi and Empathy or third party solutions like Lumicall or CSipSimple on Android. The SIP proxy also includes a WebRTC interface, allowing Debian Developers to immediately try WebRTC voice and video calls without installing or configuring any software of their own other than a web browser.

A second stage of the project involves providing an XMPP (Jabber) server with similar capabilities for federated communications between debian.org users and other domains. Further details will be announced in the weeks ahead.

It is a significant feature of the Debian Project philosophy that we can operate the entire project using free software, specifically, using software available in Debian packages running on our own infrastructure and without a dependency on third party cloud solutions.These new services for project members fulfill those expectations. It is particularly relevant for situations where real-time communication (voice or video) collaboration takes place with third parties such as applicants for Google Summer of Code, Outreach Program for Women, sponsors, media and other free software projects.

Project specific details and a user guide are available now on the Debian Wiki at http://wiki.debian.org/UnifiedCommunications/DebianDevelopers

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Alan Pope: January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Three – File Manager and Calculator

Planet HantsLUG - Tue, 28/01/2014 - 10:50

See also January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day One – Reminders and Music and January 2014 Core Apps Hack Day Two – Calendar and RSS Reader

Day three of the January 2014 Core Apps Hack Days brings focus to File Manager and Calculator but as I keep saying we welcome contributions to any app on any day of the week!

In order to get started we’ve come up with some suggestions for new developers.

First off get your development environment setup as documented at http://developer.ubuntu.com/apps/create/get-the-sdk/ which you can do either natively on Ubuntu 13.10 or 14.04 or in a Virtual Machine if you prefer.
If you have a Nexus device, you could either replace the legacy OS with Ubuntu using either of these guides – https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install or https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DualBootInstallation.

Next up take a look at some of these suggestions based on your area of interest and skill level.

We welcome translations for all our Core Apps. If that’s if interest you can find everything you need at https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app and https://translations.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app.

If you find bugs in the apps you can look for existing bugs to confirm or fix at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+bugs and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+bugs, or file new bugs at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+filebug and https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+filebug

You may find some bugs which have yet to be confirmed or triaged, we’d love your help there too.

You’ll find out-standing merge proposals on launchpad at https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-filemanager-app/+activereviews and https://code.launchpad.net/ubuntu-calculator-app/+activereviews.

If you’d like to take on a task then we have some work items in the blueprints which you can assign to yourself and get cracking on at https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-filemanager-dev and https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-commons/+spec/coreapps-1404-calculator-dev

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days at the links at the top, and you’ll find all of us hanging out on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode.

Categories: LUG Community Blogs

Steve Kemp: It is unfortunate that many companies need the same sysadmin jobs carried out

Planet HantsLUG - Tue, 28/01/2014 - 00:01

It is unfortunate that I've been exposed to several companies that all need the same kind of problems solving, again and again:

  • Imaging systems. Quickly.
  • Configuring MySQL & Postgres replication and fail-over.
  • Configuring local users.
  • Solving the problem of distributing usernames/passwords to 500+ client-systems within a team.

A lot of these are solved problems, yet they seem to keep cropping up. I guess the fact I've done some of these things more than once means I'm the local-expert, so that's why I get asked. But still..

There was a time when I thought my Debian Administration site would help solve these kind of problems; that writing documentation would encourage people to do things properly. Certainly it has helped me, and some other people are greatful, but it didn't do enough to help.

I'm not sure if the problem is that my documentation is a little ideosyncratic, isn't good enough, or isn't reaching the right kind of people. I suspect a combination of that and scale - You can't walk somebody though the idea of setting up a ten-node database-cluster, they need to suffer, they need to break things, they need to sweat on Christmas Day, at 5AM, as everything goes to hell. Then the next time they'll do it properly.

I'd love to take the time to write out recipes in Salt, Ansible, Puppet, Chef, CFengine, Slaughter, whatever, and support them.

Remote. Automated. System management.

Throw in monitoring of metrics, security fixes, and reporting and there's probably a valuable service there.

It probably can't happen though, for three main reasons:

  • The people that need it don't know they need it. They're fighting fires, they know it is important and they will fix things "soon", but other work takes priority.
  • The people that are tempted will baulk at the idea of unknown code from an external source running on their system(s).
  • Companies managed by one sysadmin will wonder why they need more help, because "everything is working, right?".

I did recently write some policies for setting up a two-node Master-Slave MySQL setup, with reporting, monitoring, and custom SMS-based alerts. I guess I'm wondering if I can be cheeky and sell the same work twice. ;)

Categories: LUG Community Blogs
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