Geekdinner Cape Town: Quarrelsome Quince

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Last night I attended the Quarrelsome Quince Geekdinner (wow it’s the end of November already!?). It was ok. The talks were good, Adrianna Pinska (aka confluence) did very well on the kareoke slideshow which was titled something like “The Winners of Safety at Work” which was a bunch of funny slides of people improvising at work mostly doing dangerous things. She did a great job since the slides were almost too easy since they were funny on their own, but she managed to be really quick on her feet and make up some really good stuff.

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The food at Cafe Max were great and Delheim sponsored the wine. Even though the food and wine was good, I go to the geekdinners more for the geek part than the dinner part. I spent some time catching up with Andy about everything from off-line Wikipedia, tuXlabs, Ubuntu-NGO, Quebec, Canada and the French. I also got some mini-photography lessons from Joe and played with his nice Canon camera (which is why I haven’t took too many shots) but I’m sure he’ll have them up soon. After the geekdinner was officially finished I sat with Jeremy, Simon, Adrianna and Michael a bit, we looked through Jeremy’s xkcd book which was quite cool, besides having all the strips from the xkcd site, it also has lots of cool little puzzles that all fit together. Not sure what happens when you solve them all, but I want one of those books too now! They also talked about some of the problems in their Pyweek game called Rinkhals and somehow listening to them talking about problems in Python is always interesting even when I don’t completely understand. I have a lot going on this weekend but I’ll try to get to the CTPUG meeting tomorrow, I’ve only been to two of the CTPUG meetings before but I’ve always wanted to get more involved.

Oops, drifting a bit off-topic there, the next Geekdinner is at the end of January and if you’re interested you can subscribe to the announce mailing list where the details will be announced. Thanks to all the people who organised it!

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Ubuntu-ZA Karmic Release Parties

Free Software No Comments »

For the Karmic release, Ubuntu-ZA had 4 release parties that took place in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Pretoria and Brandford, that’s 4 release parties in the country for one release- a new record for our LoCo Team! I attended the Cape Town event at UCT yesterday which took place in the Shuttleworth Lab. Michael Gorven talked about netbooks and the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, I briefly went through the new features page on the Ubuntu website and did a little demo on gnome-shell. Lots of ISO images and repositories were copied around from external hard disks, the LEG mirror and from the Freedom Toaster (which didn’t work so well anymore later when one DVD writer was hot swapped :p).

There were some people who expected a bit more of a product-launch type event. I guess we need to get more markety type people involved so that we’ll have more fanfare next time, overall it was nice to see some familiar faces and finally meet some people that I’ve only known on the IRC channels and mailing lists before. David Rubin, our newest co-leader has already volunteered to organize the next release party for the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) release. We had some chat about Lucid and people are generally happy about a release that is more focused towards bug fixes rather then new features.

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Free Software, Jonathan 6 Comments »

One Year of Independence


A little more than a year ago I wasn’t very happy, I managed to get myself stuck in a job I didn’t like working for a company I didn’t like in a city I didn’t like. It had compound effects that caused me more problems, I decided to take the plunge and start my own company, giving me the freedom to work on the things that I want to work where I want to and when it makes sense to do so. Yesterday it was exactly a year since I’ve done that when I founded Zanix, and looking back it’s been the single best decision I’ve ever made so far. I won’t deny that it was incredibly risky, but I don’t have any dependents or very big responsibilities (well, beseides perhaps my homeloan) so it turned out a good time in my life to do so. There’s been some rough spots especially with the accounting side and in some cases payments taking long to get to me, but I’ve learned a lot and it’s been a great experience so far, so far 2009 has been one of the best years I’ve ever had.

Revolution Linux

Révolution Linux

Over the next year I think things will be even better, over the last few months I’ve been talking to the nice people at Revolution Linux, and we worked out something that will allow me to run my current business and work for them almost-full-time. From my perspective I think it’s a best-of-both-worlds scenario, I don’t have to drop any of my projects and have a steady job working on things I really enjoy at the same time. My job title is literally “Ubuntu Developer/Analyst”, and I’ll be working on all kinds of Ubuntu and LTSP related things. Their head office is in Sherbrooke, QC which is close to where the LTSP hackfests happen so I’ll be spending lots of time up there. You don’t have to live long in Canada to be able to apply for a residency, so I might even go live there for a while, it will certainly make traveling around easier than on a South African passport. Sherbrooke is also driving distance from NYC so perhaps I might even go to Debconf next year. I’m not sure exactly how much time I’ll be spending everywhere yet, but I’ll know more myself once I stay there a few weeks after my work visa is approved.

Changes in involvement in CLUG and Ubuntu-ZA

I’m stepping down from the CLUG committee and also as co-leader of the Ubuntu-ZA loco team, since I’ll be traveling a lot next year and probably won’t be around that much, I’ll still be around virtually on the lists and on IRC and contribute here and there, but I’d rather leave the leadership roles to people who are active locally. Ubuntu-ZA elections are currently taking place on Launchpad and the CLUG AGM is taking place later this month where a new committee will be elected.

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