Our community is at the heart of how we build Ubuntu. Recently there were some concerns expressed about some aspects of our community and I have been working with various community members and internally at Canonical to resolve some of these issues to make things smoother.
I just wanted to summarize some updates:
I want to get as much feedback on these steps moving forward as well as other ideas and areas in which we can focus. You can always grab me on IRC on freenode (my nick is jono) and I hang out in #ubuntu-community-team. Also feel free to drop me an email and join my regular Q+A session every week. Unfortunately, this week’s Q+A session is canceled as I need to be at an event, but I will be back in the regular slot next week on Wednesday at 7pm UTC on Ubuntu On Air.
Notes made on the 22:30 from Euston to Birmingham, whilst returning home to the provinces after treating myself to an evening of presentations and discussion with Dan Hill, Jeremy Till and Wouter Vanstiphout under the title Institutionalised…
Housed in the Black Maria installation at St Martin’s by Richard Wentworth/GRUPPE we were split into eager registrants who’d secured a ‘seat’ and lazy laggards who just turned up to freeload by taking a chair outside the installation and behind the projection screen. Proceedings get underway with the barrier between us raised and the talk show hosts/guests in the middle, then at the appointed moment when sufficient teasing has taken place, the screen falls (to the sound of a jet aircraft landing) and we become the privileged few allowed sole rights to the speaker’s attention and slides that are the right way round, whilst the rest get only sound piped through speakers and reversed images and text. It’s a privilege that is later slightly sullied by the numbness of our arses as they complain about the unforgiving plywood steps we’re sitting on. The fact that Richard Wentworth himself chose to sit on the chairs outside should have told us something perhaps.
It’s a beautiful thing though, and perhaps the very embodiment of what would during the evening be discussed as the conflict between the teaching of craft and ethics. Carefully crafted as it is to disrupt the usual ethics of oratory; thereby straddling both concepts perfectly.
The evening is introduced by Shumi Bose and the speakers are described as one qualified architect (Till) and two people who inhabit the ‘extended field of architecture’ (Hill and Vanstiphout). It’s this extended field that is of course the primary focus for the evening and a topic ripe for exploration in the UK at the moment given the widely discussed/lamented state of the profession and it’s utter lack of direction or worth. How does a mindful awareness of this extended field allow architecture to work within, against or for institutions?
Here are some (crudely paraphrased) sound bites and notes from each:
Jeremy Till – institutional irritant
1) provides a short intro and begins by reading the founding definition of the RIBA (quoted in his book Architecture Depends), part of which can be paraphrased thus: ‘architects are to be the arbiters of taste’ and he then states that this institute’s position is only legitimised by the support of other institutes i.e. universities.
2) he criticises architecture for becoming a spatial projection of imagination (or does he? see footnote)
3) acknowledging his position in the large institute of St Martin’s he describes himself as the institutional irritant that seeks to disrupts from within, but acknowledges that the more effective position may be on the outside
Wouter Vanstiphout – architect as figurehead
4) describing background and past work Wouter talks of his Design as Politics course
5) which leads to later studies on the politics of urban riots and the question of whether the fabric of the city itself is an accessory to the violence with the architect ultimately to blame
6) he proposes that the reason for this is in fact because architecture has merely become the visible garnish/figurehead/tip of the iceberg for the (massive) process of (brutal) urban renewal
beneath or behind it driven by institutions such as the state or the market.
7) underlining the power of the market he shows a picture of a city skyline filled with large buildings by internationally renowned architects, highlighting that their existence/creation is/was
dependent not on the people who inhabit them but the market that requires investment objects
Dan Hill – boundary operator
8) Dan starts by reflecting Wouter’s iceberg by showing Papenek’s triangular diagram with the designer’s share taking only a small proportion of the real problem beneath
9) he questions the ability of yesterday’s institutions to produce the necessary outcome for tomorrow
10) showing examples of projects from his time at Sitra and HDL he explores various examples of the networked city
11) suggesting that activity undertaken by a city’s inhabitants are less important for the actions themselves rather than the ability to make networked decisions about what to do
12) in turn suggesting that the culture of public decision making is the design challenge
13) and that in this networked city the government now has competition
14) thus returning to the question of whether 19th century institutions are capable of facing 21st century problems
15) Dan suggests that the experience he’s had in three different organisations of different roles and scales could be described as inside, outside and (during his time at Sitra) at the boundary of key institutions
16) in summary the goal should be to design the conditions that allow institutions to address meaningful public issues
Each had touched on a question of position relative to the institution or institutions that determine one’s role. Jeremy began by questioning whether it’s better to disrupt from within or beyond, Wouter described the dangers of unwittingly becoming a figurehead for the institution behind you and Dan demonstrated what might be possible at the boundary between the two. I think these positions were further contextualised by comments during the discussion at the end of the evening when Wouter (expanding on his comments about market driven investment objects) questioned the possible conflict of loyalties between the direct source of funding from a client vs. the city in which the work is carried out. How do you maintain the balance between civic responsibility and client loyalty? Following that a question from a planner in the audience about the panel’s view on how the UK’s NPPF and debate on localism might impact the institution brought an acknowledgement of the value of the neighbourhood forum. In there somewhere there were also comments about the market of supply and demand that suggested that the profession concerns itself too much with the supply side, when in fact it should work harder to raise and support the demand.
Neighbourhoods – the demand market – are the boundaries to institutions in which an architect’s loyalties must be invested.
It’s fitting then that the following 24 hours of media coverage in the UK built environment has provided much coverage of a growing interest in the power of self build and co-housing ideas and it’s certainly helping me form ideas about which direction I’d like to head in future with my practice.
Finally, I’d like to end by recording a wonderfully succinct and compelling description of the perils of what Wouter described as the neo-liberal myth of the benefits of rolling back the state. Rather than the space left over being filled by the common man, it’s simply claimed by the private market instead.
* Note: I appear to have heard Jeremy’s comment on the projection of spatial imagination entirely differently to the fellow on my left, Charles Holland off of FAT who wrote it down properly:
Last week we ran our very first virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit. The event lasted two days and gave us an opportunity to try out a new format and to see how well it worked. Generally it seems we got some pretty favorable feedback, but there are definitely some areas in which we want to sand off the rough edges and improve the structure of the event.
I would like us to get the Virtual UDS format so tight and refined that it could be used to organize any kind of ad-hoc online set of meetings. As an example, I can imagine a similar event but focused explicitly on LoCo teams, or documentation, or translations. We want to make the format reliable enough and repeatable enough that anyone in our (or any other community) can use it. This will help our community to plan more regularly and get together more to do cool and interesting things.
We have been keeping an eye on some of the feedback, a combination of observations from comments and feedback send directly to the organizers. We had an initial chat today to discuss this initial feedback and we have a few changes we want to make already:
Although some of these conclusions presented here are a great start, we want to make sure we don’t leave any stones unturned! As such, I would like to invite everyone who joined the event to take a few minutes to fill in this survey. This will help us get a better idea of your thoughts on the event, what worked well, and what we can improve. Can I encourage everyone to fill this survey in in the next week so we can start putting some solid plans in place for the next event.
I would also like to organize a community meeting on IRC and invite everyone to join and provide further feedback. I think it would be most beneficial to organize this meeting in a few weeks when folks have had a chance to fill in the survey.
You can also join the UDS IRC channel at #ubuntu-uds and discuss the event there; we all hang out in there.Want to Help Make Summit Rock?
Virtual UDS is a community event and we want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to contribute to making it as good as possible. One definitive area where folks can help is with our increasingly sophisticated summit.ubuntu.com.
You can get the code and look at bugs on Summit’s Launchpad page. The developers hang out in #ubuntu-website on Freenode IRC, and are available there to help you get a local development environment set up. If in doubt, go and poke mhall119.
This week’s live video Q&A is in a slightly later time slot this week on Wednesday at 8pm UTC (click here for the time in your location this week).
As usual everyone is welcome to bring any and all questions to the Q&A.
To join, head over to Ubuntu On Air at 8pm UTC on Wednesday and you can ask your questions in the embedded chat box.
Look forward to seeing you all there!
Recently there has been some fire flowing about Canonical in the community. These concerns started off as sporadic at first and then we saw a small blog avalanche (blogalanche, if you will) as a number of folks piled onto the ride.
I feel somewhat trapped in the middle of all of this. On one hand I work at Canonical and I believe Canonical are acting in the honorable interests of Ubuntu in helping to build a competitive and forward-looking Free Software platform, but I also feel a sense of personal responsibility when I see unhappy members of our community who are concerned with different aspects of how Canonical engages. Essentially, I sympathize with both sides of this debate; both have the best interests at heart for Ubuntu.
From my perspective there is a balance that needs to be struck. Our community needs to be transparent and open, but also nimble to react to opportunities (such as the convergence story), but also Canonical play an important role in helping us to drive Ubuntu to the masses. We need to be able to work in a way that maintains our Ubuntu values but also gives Canonical the opportunity to get our platform out to the market effectively to reach these users.
I believe one cannot exist without the other; Canonical cannot deliver this vision without our community and Ubuntu would be significantly debilitated if there was no Canonical providing staff, resources, and other investment into Ubuntu. Canonical is not evil, and the community is not entitled; we all just need to step back and find some common ground and remember that we are all in the circle of friends.
This symbol is as potent to me as it was back in 2004.
When I got interested in Linux back in 1998 and wanted to make it my career, my primary motivation was to bring freedom of technology to everyone. This is what attracted me to Ubuntu and ultimately working at Canonical. I don’t want to be rude to other distros who are quite happy within their remit of making a great OS for Linux enthusiasts, but I frankly don’t want to settle for that. I want Ubuntu to be the choice for Linux enthusiasts, but for us to not stop there and also bring Free Software to people who have not yet been blessed by it, and who may be new to technology and the opportunities it provides.
Achieving that goal is not just as simple as making the source code available for the platform and setting up a bunch of mailing lists. It means delivering simple and elegant user experiences built for the needs of our users, consistent and beautiful design, professional-grade quality, strong hardware and software partner relationships, certification across a range of hardware profiles, training, responsive security, diverse marketing and advocacy campaigns, and many other areas. Both Canonical and the community contribute extensively to provide these things that we need to get over that chasm, and importantly, each provides things that the other cannot.
It turns out that building this simple, ubiquitous Free Software experience for everyone is hard. We can’t just settle for the tried and tested approach of pulling the latest upstream software and integrating it into a single Operating System. That is tough, intensive and grueling work in itself, but to achieve the goals I mentioned above we need to be constantly challenging ourselves to innovate and go faster in how we deliver this innovation to our users. We need to always challenge the status quo…not for the sake of being different, but for the sake of not restricting ourselves to tradition and instead helping us to be better at what we do, and ultimately achieve our goals of getting Ubuntu into the hands of more people.
We saw this challenge with Unity: that was a tough, but necessary decision. While we suffered over the firestorm around Unity, I think it ultimately put us in a better position, and now we have a single convergent user interface that spans across multiple devices and we will soon have a single convergent Unity code-base across these devices too. In an era where desktop shipments are down due to the impact of phones and tablets, we are no longer trapped in a form factor that has had a decreasing scope of opportunity for us; the desktop is just one part of our wider convergence vision. This opens up the market for Ubuntu and the Free Software and Open Source values we encompass. While some people in some comment boxes will still bring the hate about Unity, I think that overall it has put us in a position to get Free Software in the hands of more people than if we didn’t make that difficult decision, and the sheer level of interest in Ubuntu for the phone, tablet, TV, and desktop is testament to that.
Put it in my pocket, on my lap, on my desktop, and hang it on my wall.
While making tough decisions is important, it is also important that we maintain our Ubuntu values too. One core value is that our platform and community are open for discussion and participation, so everyone is welcome to help put their brick in the wall. Our archive has long been open and there are many ways to contribute, and while some of these projects were secret before-hand, now everything is out in the open and available for participation. Some may disagree with the rationale of keeping things private, but particularly in the case of Phone and Tablet, the “big-reveal” helped us to have a big splash and generate more press interest and partner inquiries, and thus help us along to our vision.
Importantly though, we made the source and community on-ramp available as soon as we feasibly could. The code for Unity, Ubuntu Touch, and Mir is publicly available, and we are eager to invite people to join and shape those projects. This week we also ran our very first online UDS, with the goal of making the Ubuntu planning process as open and accessible to all as possible, not just those who could travel, and on a more regular cadence. All of the videos, notes and blueprints from that event are archived here. I am confident for the next event we will have an even smoother, better-run UDS, with even more participation.
We are now in a position with a clearly articulated vision around convergence and cloud orchestration, full source availability, daily builds of images, and public mailing lists and IRC channels to have those conversations. Everything is available in public blueprints and tracked at status.ubuntu.com, and we have many outreach campaigns to help our community participate in this vision, such as the core apps project, port-o-thon, regular cadance testing, charm quality improvements, SDK participation, and other areas. Our community should expect our projects to be open, accessible and collaborative, and if they are not, please raise your concerns with the Canonical engineering managers, or talk to me either publicly on my weekly Q&A video hangout at 7pm UTC every Wednesday on Ubuntu On Air, or privately at email@example.com, or by contacting me on Freenode IRC – my nick is jono. My door is always open.
Things are never perfect in a community, and I am not suggesting we are perfect either, but I believe we are at the cusp of an incredible opportunity to get Free Software and open technology into the hands of the masses, not just by wishing it to be true, but because there is genuine market opportunity for it to be true.
I just wanted to post a quick blog entry thanking everyone who joined the first day of our inaugural online Ubuntu Developer Summit today. Overall we didn’t see many glitches in our plan of how to run the event, and we also gathered some fantastic feedback for things we can improve and extend upon next time.
If you want to see what happened in the sessions today, you can view the schedule and view any of the recorded hangouts.
Before we get into the second day tomorrow, I just wanted to invite any comments and suggestions for what worked well, what worked less well etc, to see if we can make any adjustments for the second day. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
If I don’t see you until tomorrow, we look forward to beginning Day 2 at 2pm UTC tomorrow! Be sure to see the schedule and join us in the sessions!
Tomorrow we will be running our very first online Ubuntu Developer Summit. The event will take place over two days and span a range of different tracks: Community, Client, Cloud & Server, App Developers, and Foundations. We have never run an event like this before, but we have prepared extensively to deliver the best online UDS experience we can. When UDS is complete we will then review any rough edges and fix those up for the next event in May.
With this being a new event, I wanted to share some key tips about how to get participate.For Everyone
UDS takes place on Tues 5th – Wed 6th March 2013 from 2pm UTC. Please note: the original time was 4pm UTC, but we brought the event forward by two hours.
The full event is taking place online and everyone is welcome to join, irrespective of whether you are an active contributor to the community, a partner, a business, an enthusiast, or anyone else. We will be using Google+ Hangouts On Air to stream video from the active participants in the session, and we also provide quick embedded access to IRC, note-taking, and more.
The event will kick off on Tuesday at 2pm UTC with a keynote session. There will then be two hours of sessions, then an hour of plenaries, and then another two hours of sessions. On the Wednesday we will kick off into sessions at 2pm, and have lightning talks in the normal plenary slot. Jorge Castro is taking care of the plenary talks and lightning talks; reach out to him if you want to run a lightning talk.
There are five tracks, with each (apart from Foundations) having two video streams. Each track has two track leads:
You can find all sessions listed at summit.ubuntu.com. Just visit the session you are interested in at the time of the session to view it; everything is included on the session page. You don’t need anything other than a web browser to view sessions but you will need a Google+ account to actively participate in a hangout.For Track Leads
You should have all received an email from me about how to schedule sessions and how to start and stop the video streams.
Remember to ensure your Google+ is verified (Michael Hall should have checked this with you).
You and your co-track lead should pick one of the two tracks you have for your track and take care of setting up those streams.
Five minutes before a session (e.g. 1.55pm) is due to begin you should start the video stream and update the session in summit.ubuntu.com with the hangout and broadcast URLS. Likewise, 55 minutes into a session (e.g. 2.55pm), be sure to stop the hangout. We need to start and stop the video streams to ensure the recordings are broken up into the different hour long chunks. Required participants will automatically see a link on the session page to invite them to join a hangout – this page does not auto-reload though, so you may want to ask them to refresh the page to join.
Please keep an eye on the sessions on your track and interact with the session leaders to ensure that any required participants can be invited to the session as needed. There may be times as the session is running that people will need to be invited to join the hangout (e.g. IRC participants) – you need to be available to do this when the session leader needs you. If you are not actively participating in the session, feel free to just mute your mic and keep an eye on IRC or listen for when you are needed.
Instructions for starting and stopping the streams is at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UDS/Sessions.For Session Leaders
As a session leader your responsibility is to run a quality session, and to ensure that the topic gets a good level of discussion, work is planned and distributed, and the blueprint gets updated with the agreed work items.
Joining a session is easy – just look at the schedule and click on a session to view it. On each session page you can see the video stream, the embedded IRC channel, and the embedded etherpad collaborative note taking. You can also see links to the blueprint and other related content.
You don’t need anything other than a web browser to view sessions but you will need a Google+ account to actively participate in a hangout.
If you want to chat to others in general about UDS, you can also join #ubuntu-uds on freenode.
All sessions will be recorded and available on the schedule when they are completed.
I just want to echo Tony’s appeal to help three year-old Sam who was diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma, a particularly aggressive cancer. It has spread from the main tumor into his bones and bone marrow. That makes it a class 4 cancer, the most advanced on the scale. The long term survival rate for high risk neuroblastoma is 40%.
As Tony shares:
The good news is that Sam is responding well to chemotherapy. But Sam’s oncologist at Manchester Children’s Hospital has recommended that Sam receives immunotherapy treatment so that his own body can recognise and attack the neuroblastoma if it returns.
The most successful treatment is not available in the UK because some of the drugs are still being trialled. It costs over £250,000 in the US. Which is why Sam desperately needs your help. Carl and Christine are trying to raise the money to send Sam for treatment in the US.
If you would like to donate to help Sam, that would be brilliant. In the UK you can just text SAMS67 and the amount you’d like to donate (£1, £2 £3 £4 £5 or £10) to 70070. Alternatively you can donate on-line at the Sam Shaw Just Giving page. It’s Sam’s fourth birthday this week, so it would be a great birthday present to give him.
Also be sure to join the appeal’s Facebook page.
Your donation to Sam will have an incredible impact on his life as well as his parents, Christine and Carl, who must be having a hell of a time right now dealing with all of this. Let’s all show them that we care by helping them to cover their son’s treatment.
Arbitrary tweets made by TheGingerDog (i.e. David Goodwin) up to 01 March 2013
Big shout out to the awesome community over at XDA Developers who have been getting involved in the Ubuntu Touch Port-o-thon to bring the Ubuntu Touch images to more and more devices. Daniel Holbach kicked off the port-o-thon the day after we released the code and images last week, and we are already seeing fantastic work going on.
When the initial announcement hit their forum it generated over a 100 posts within a day and there is currently 101 pages of posts on that thread. There is also an Ubuntu Touch Subforum which has seen over 4000 posts already. We are just blown away by the level of interest.
As you can see on the devices wiki page we are already seeing some fantastic work going on to port Ubuntu Touch to additional devices. Here are some great examples of this work (click each link to see the XDA Developers thread):
I asked David Planella and Daniel Holbach on my team to kick off a regular engagement with XDA Developers to help us grow an great relationship together. The first call was today and we are kicking some ideas around of how to work more closely together. Stay tuned for more!
Some of you may have seen the news about us transitioning to an online Ubuntu Developer Summit and running the event every three months. If you didn’t see the news, you can read it here. I just wanted to share my personal perspective on this change.
For a long time now I have been attending Ubuntu Developer Summits as part of my work, but for the last event in Copenhagen my wife was about to give birth and so I attended the event remotely. As someone who has been heavily involved in the planning and execution of UDS for the last 10 or so events, I was intimately aware of the remote participation features of the event, but I had never actually utilized them myself. I was excited to dive into the sessions remotely and participate.
For the sessions I dialed into I found the remote participation worked well, but not as well as it could. Sometimes it was a little difficult to hear people (despite us alway encouraging speakers to sit near the middle of the fishbowl), and for the sessions I wasn’t able to actively participate in (due to the timezone differences), only some of those sessions had videos available that I could review after the session had ended. As such, this made it something of a challenge at times to get an overall view of the event; it depended on attendees taking good notes (which generally happens), but I missed the specifics of the discussions.
Remote participation has always been a critical part of UDS and I think it worked efficiently as it could, but these issues were primarily due to the challenge of delivering an in-person event to an online audience and the practicalities therein.
Of course, the real challenge is getting you people to eat these things.
The move to an online event effectively solves the majority of these issues: every single session will be recorded and available for viewing after the fact (which is awesome for not only attendees, but also for the press, partners and others), and with everyone in the hangout facing a webcam and a microphone, the quality of the content should be better too.
For those people who can’t join the session hangout video stream, IRC participation is available, and those IRC discussions will be logged too and provided in addition to the video of the session and the Etherpad notes. This provides a great overview of all the content and discussion in the session.
An online event is also going to open up the event to more potential participants. There are many folks who either can’t physically travel or justify the travel expenses or time away from their work and family commitments who can now participate in the event by simply opening their web browser. With the wide focus in Ubuntu across the desktop, devices and the cloud, we need more specialists rather than fewer to guide us on our mission, and the online event will make it easier for those folks to attend. I think that this will result in wider and more diverse discussion, ultimately helping us to do a better job planning UDS.
Some folks have expressed a concern about not having as much face-to-face time as in a physical event. Of course, video-conferencing will never ultimately replace being in the same room as someone, but I think much of that personal connection is still shared via hangouts. As an example, my team at Canonical used to have team meetings on Skype or a Conference Call and ever since we switched to Google+ Hangouts the sense of personal connection and team spirit has skyrocketed. Sure, it doesn’t replace being in the same room, but when we balance out the benefits of an online event for the reasons I mentioned earlier, it seems like a reasonable trade-off to me.Iterative Improvements
One thing that many folks don’t see from behind the scenes of planning the physical UDSs is that we have always taken an really rigorous approach to improving and refining the event. This not only includes the structure of the event, but we have iterated after every detail to improve room layouts, A/V needs, timing, remote participation requirements, scheduling patterns, and more. Every detail of UDS has been scrutinized after every event, and the survey we send out is reviewed with a fine tooth comb, all with the goal of squeezing out as much efficiency as possible so the time everyone commits to UDS is as worthwhile as possible.
We are still exploring the alleged productivity-enhancing benefits of light ping-pong.
With UDS previously happening every six months this has helped us to build a pretty bullet proof formula for the physical event, and many attendees comment at each UDS about just how efficient it is and how much gets done. This is largely due to this iterative refinement process.
The first online UDS takes place next week and I think we have a pretty good plan for it, but we are going to go through exactly the same process for reviewing how each event goes and buffing off the rough edges so that works better and more efficiently each time. With us now doing a UDS every three months it should not take too long to get us into a winning formula, and our community are an essential part of helping us to refine these different pieces. As I mentioned in the announcement blog, after the second event we are also going to take a general look to see if an online UDS is serving the needs of the project well in terms of how we plan Ubuntu development.Got Questions?
I am sure many of you will still have questions about the new format of UDS. Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7pm UTC. I will be doing my usual weekly Q+A videocast on Ubuntu On Air and will dedicate part of the session to covering how the online event will work and answering your questions. Feel free to bring your UDS and any other questions to the session!
A few days ago we announced Ubuntu for Tablets; the next piece on our wider Ubuntu convergence story. The tablet joins the Phone, TV, Ubuntu for Android, and the Desktop. See an excellent hands-on video review of the current developer build from Engadget.
Today the source and images for Ubuntu for Phones and Tablets (collectively known as Ubuntu Touch) was released.
I know there is some anticipation regarding this release and I just wanted to share a few facts to ensure we are all on the same page:
I am sure you are now chomping at the bit to grab the images, check out the code, and get the new SDK release! Go and find all the details here.
A few months ago, we (that is: Jono and I, the greatest sysadmin team the world have ever known) moved various things around on various servers. And in the course of this action, we completely forgot to put the Shot of Jaq website somewhere. So shotofjaq.org currently is down.
As I say, oops.
Anyway, we haven’t lost the audio (we’re not that bad), so I trawled archive.org for all the episode descriptions and threw them together into a brief listing of all the SoJ episodes with download links. You can therefore see Shot of Jaq again at http://www.kryogenix.org/shotofjaq.html.
Sorry about that, all. We’re rubbish. Let this be a lesson to you.
This tweet has to have been the most popular thing I have ever said. At time of posting it has gained 80 retweets, 25 favourites and many replies/questions.
Work recently bought me a new workstation, so the 1st thing I always do is to dual boot with Ubuntu.
Some might consider me an edge case user. Though as a developer, I like a rather particular set-up. That is, 3 wide screen monitors with the central one rotated 90 degrees for my IDE.
This is something that Windows gets right without having to dig about installing things. While Linux distros have always struggled (in my experience).
Because my tweet gained quite a few questions, I thought it best to reply to them here for everybody to see.
@ankitvad asks what specs. I use for Ubuntu.
Titanium Rimless Glasses from Spex4Less.com
Couldn’t resist, sorry
Dell Alienware X51
Graphics card: nVidia GeForce GTX 660
Storage: 1TB HDD (Windows) 120GB SSD (Linux)
Mouse: Logictech M570 trackball
OSs: Window 7 SP1, Ubuntu 12.10 64bit
Monitors: 2 x 22″ Dell, 1 x 22″ LG
All 3 monitors are connected to the one graphics card. Two by DVI and one by HDMI.
As I said, this is a working system from a fresh install without updates being applied or any 3rd party packages installed. So the default graphics driver is doing quite well these days
The only downside to this is that the default graphics driver is dog slow and won’t let me play games on Steam The next step will be to get the nVidia binary driver working.
I had this idea for a little fun literary project.
Tweet the first line of a story. Anyone can reply with what they want the second line to be. You choose the best one of those lines — the one which best fits your desire for how the story should go; this is what stops it descending into a big game of Consequences — and retweet it. It’s a collaborative literary thing. Then people reply with their choice of a third line; repeat until the story reaches a satisfactory conclusion.
Anyone can read the whole story by just reading the tweet stream of the story account. The first couple of tweets should explain the game.
I think this’d actually work, apart from a technical flaw: when the story account retweets a second line from someone, an @-reply to that goes to the someone, not the story account. (Well, it’ll probably go to both, but that’s still annoying and shortens the tweet too much. )
Nevertheless, if someone does this, I’d enjoy contributing a line now and then.