Some Updates

Education, Free Software, Jonathan 3 Comments »
  • Had flu the last month or so, finally been getting over it this week, starting to feel human again. I thought I had H1N1, but I had it checked and it turns out it was just a nasty flu. My concentration was just gone the last month so I ended up watching a lot of old Star Trek Voyager and Third Rock From the Sun episodes.
  • Kind of bummed that the rest of the world gets to see District 9 already, and in South Africa, where the story actually plays off, we only get to see it in a week from now on the 28th of August.
  • Attended the Obstreperous Olive Geekdinner at the Pasta Factory. Staff was very friendly, food could have been better for the price. Talks were a bit too markety and “done”, as a result I’m volunteering for a more geeky talk next month. Overall it was very good and I got to catch up with a few people I haven’t seen in way too long.
  • I got my first few packages in Ubuntu, I’ve been working on LTSP cluster ( seems to have some trouble currently) packaging and 5 out of the 6 packages are currently in the archives. ltsp-cluster-pxeconfig is next, it’s in REVU at the moment, it should make it in before feature freeze next week. Thank you to St├ęphane Graber who has been mentoring me on this, he’s also the upstream for LTSP Cluster and sponsoring my packages. Also thanks to Jordan, Oliver and Anthony for reviewing my packages on REVU.
  • Ubuntu-ZA is having monthly meetings now, I was kind of dazed at the last one due to flu and medicine, but it’s refreshing to see the energy and enthusiasm, we’ll have the first of our monthly reports ready within the next week or so.
  • Edubuntu is in a bit of a squeeze. The good news is that a DVD install disc and enabling universe packages for the builds have been approved, unfortunately the Edubuntu seeds need work and need to be finalised within the next week or so, and our two core-devs have had other urgent issues to tend to. If there’s a core-dev available to give some guidance and sponsorship over the next week, it would be much appreciated.
  • Some other nice things in my feed reader from the Ubuntu world:
    • 100 Paper cuts is at round 7, I think David Siegel is really cool for taking it on and sticking in there with it.
    • Daniel Holbach blogged about the Ubuntu Global Jam, some of us in CLUG considered doing a package jam for a CLUG talk, but due to time limitations and the recent threads on the CLUG lists where users are requesting more intro-level talks, I’m wondering whether we should have a kind of tips-and-tricks jam, where a bunch of us show how we use Ubuntu to be more productive.
    • Ubuntu Developer Week is kicking off in a bit more than a week, be sure to be there if you’re interested in contributing to Ubuntu!
  • botonbrown
  • Free Ubuntu Books for approved loco teams, also a copy of Art of Community. Ubuntu-ZA applied for the first 2 books that will be hosted at AIMS in Cape Town and available for anyone who wants to drop by and read it. We’ll probably keep the Art of Community book in Johannesburg somewhere under a similar arrangement.
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Updates from the world of Jonathan

Free Software, Jonathan 3 Comments »

I just haven’t had enough time to blog recently, so here’s a bunch of (seemingly) random stuff all in one post.

Cool Christmas Gift

Johannes gave me a really cool Christmas gift. In an episode of the IT Crowd, the guys thought it would be really funny if they played a prank on their manager by giving her “The Internet” in a box that they borrowed from the Internet elders. We’ve been making lots of jokes about this (YouTube video here, but you should watch the full episode), and for Christmas I got a replica of The Internet in IT Crowd. Awesome! It looks very similar to the one in the story:



I attended the “Lucky Litchi” Geekdinner last month. I enjoyed catching up with people again and the food was good (although some of us felt that it was a bit too little). Mike Stopforth gave a talk about Jack’s and Aces which I quite enjoyed. Basically, Aces are typical geeks. They focus intensely and specialise and usually get the job done. Jacks are people who start lots of things but don’t necessarily finish them. They are don’t specialise so much and are more jack-of-all-trades kind of people. He also explained how both kind of people are important to make our world work. I think I used to think of myself as an Ace more before that talk, but afterwards I think I’m more of a Jack, and I feel better about it too. Jonathan Endersby did a kareoke talk (a talk on a subject and slides that he’s never seen before) on “The Joys of Scrapbooking” that was brilliantly prepared by Kerry-Anne.


Ikamva Youth Does It Again

Ikamva Youth did a great job again in 2008 with their Matric students. They maintained a high pass rate and 68% of them will be able to study further at university. They also recently started working in Gauteng in Midrand.

KDE4 Release Party

AJ Venter arranged the KDE4 release party in Cape Town. It was quite small, but it was interesting hearing people talk more about KDE for a change. I also got a free copy of AJ’s poetry book “Batteries not included“. I’ll give KDE a proper try again when Jaunty is released.

Unix & Car Epochs

Yesterday we hit 1234567890 in Unix time (seconds since 1970). I guess we should start planning 2038 parties like it’s 9999999999. The day before yesterday, my car reached 155555 km’s on the clock. I took a picture of it on my phone. It feels like just yesterday when it hit 123456, but I couldn’t take a picture of it since there was too much traffic and I couldn’t slow down in time before it ticked over to 123457 :(


Debian Lenny Released

Debian 5.0 (Lenny) is released. I bet R50 against Morgan that Lenny would be released before the end of 2008. Unfortunately I lost that one. I’m glad that it’s finally released though.


Bill Gates Coolness

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the reports of Bill Gates releasing the mosquitos during a TED talk. I didn’t know he had it in him. I wonder if he came up with the idea himself, or if it was just his PR department being clever. Either way, I think it was a brilliant awareness stunt for his new maliria campaign.

Unisa Information Overload

I received study material for 2 of my subjects. It’s a lot to work through. The documentation that I glanced over so far says that I’ll need 8 hours a week per subject *gasp*. I hope to make more time available for that later, although I still need to check when my first assignments is due and make sure that I’ll be able to cope with that. I’ll give a proper update on this once I’m more or less on track on this!

Zanix Doing Well

Last year in November I went to work full-time for Zanix Software Systems, a company that I have founded. I was a bit uncertain about doing it at the time, since the world economic status wasn’t looking quite good (not that it’s looking that much better now), but I’m very happy to report that it’s doing quite ok. I haven’t achieved everything I wanted to at this point yet, but Rome also wasn’t built in a day. I’ve been getting more help in to assist on our projects. 2008 wasn’t a wonderful year for me personally financially speaking, but I’ve already recovered my losses for 2008 so far in the first month and a half of 2009. I’m very grateful that I’m able to do what I’m doing and if things continue this way then 2009 will be my best financial year yet. I hope that it spreads into other parts of my life too :)

Me++ (My Birthday)

Exactly a week ago I turned 27. We had a nice little party at home. Thanks to everyone who bought me nice gifts. I received lots of gifts from people who I didn’t expect anything from, which makes me feel slightly guilty for not getting them anything for their birthdays, but at least I have the rest of the year to make up for it again. I usually like the even-numbered years more, but I have a really good feeling about 27.

There’s more stuff (like getting a collective 3rd place in a very fun trivia evening, my experience with registering as a voter or a strange talk that I attended on “Development is broken and mobiles broke it!” at UCT), but this entry has gotten too long already. I guess I should do more microblogging to keep things from heaping up.

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Things I’ve learned from Geekdinner

Project Mayhem 2 Comments »
  • Aparently I’m the only one who bothers with the “creative” nametag thing. I did a self-refering-faceboog-thingy for a nametag:
  • When you meet a geek, hold on to your glass tightly, someone might hit it and it will break into a million pieces, leaving the floor full of glass and beer
  • When this happens, the waiters have no idea what to do
  • When people know regexes, you should stand back
  • There are no examples of any software with good flow and usability
  • Radios with few buttons are cool (I think I made a good choice a few weeks ago)
  • The new generation of terrorism will attack infrastructure, like the breakage to the Internet cables to the far east recently
  • Tania is damn good with slideshow kareoke- and she has a surname
  • If you own four companies, you have to have more images of your logos in your presentation than content
  • I didn’t get a chance to walk to the guy who wore the “I’m a Mac” t-shirt and say “Hi! I’m Linux!”, maybe I should leave that to the nice-looking women
  • The Geekdinner team did a good job and pulled it off nicely. Kudos to them.
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Geekdinner last night

Project Mayhem No Comments »

Last night we had a very enjoyable Geek dinner. Not much left for me to say, I think nbm sums up everything quite nicely. What I will say, is that Antoinne has one of the best evil laughs I’ve ever heard. I grinned a few times today just thinking about it.

Inside Wild Fig PHP vs Python

More details available from the Geekdinner Wiki and Planet.


PS: Some people asked where I got my RMS Che t-shirt from, you can get it from the website, same site where you get your regular dose of ELER ;)

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Free Software, Project Mayhem 7 Comments »

Geeks inside (my blog on TV!)

Last night I went to the well attended Geekdinner, organised by Johann “Joe” Botha. I didn’t expect much from the geekdinner, the general perception was that there was going to be mostly ‘glamblogger/glamgeeks’ (we should get a proper name for those), who are basically people who dont do much more than blog about blogging and other bloggers (”Web 2.0″ might also just as well be their second name). Having said that, the dinner was great, there wasn’t really any sign of these glambloggers, instead, there were a good bunch of technical and skilled people present, and the venue worked very well.


We had to come up with creative nametags (although, I’ve only seen the Jonathans make an attempt), and I made a little nametag themed like my blog, with a small tag cloud so that people knew what to talk to me about. The idea was that someone could press the RSS button and I’d give them a business card. To bad I didn’t have any cards with me :)

There were a bunch of mini-talks, ranging from WAPA, OpenID, Erlang, the Ubuntu-ZA loco team and more.

Morgan Collet showing off his merchandise

Morgan presented the Ubuntu mini-talk, and handed out Edgy Ubuntu/Edubuntu/Kubuntu CD’s. If you were unsure about going to Geekdinner this time, I’d recommend that you come along next time, it’s definitely not a bunch of glamgeeks trying to network, but a range of hackers, geeks and nerds talking about all kinds of cool stuff. See you there next time!

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