MOTU Journey Update

Free Software, Jonathan 1 Comment »

A bit more than a week ago I learned how to generate debdiffs. I wish I knew how to do it earlier, since it’s incredibly easy, and very empowering.

Previously, when working on bugs on Launchpad, all I could really do is make comments on what causes the bug, and make suggestions on how to fix it. Now, I can actually fix it myself, and attach the debdiff that can be applied to the current package that will fix it. It’s awesome, all you really need to do is download a source package, make the required changes, bump up the version number, create a new source package and then create the debdiff between the original and modified source packages. And all it takes to create the debdiff is just one simple command.

I’ve learned parts of the above previously from the Ubuntu-MOTU classes, but what made it much easier for me is the MOTU Videos, which you can get on YouTube, or if you want to view it off-line (like I did), you can download it via http.

I won’t achieve my goal of becoming a MOTU by the end of this month, as I said I wanted to nearly three months ago, but I’ve learned a lot the last month or so, and I’m glad that I’ve actually made some progress. I’ll just have to work a bit harder and maintain/gain momentum. The MOTU’s have been great with helping out and giving advice. A big thank you to all of you, especially the friendly people of #ubuntu-motu.

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Personal Updates - 2008-06-22

Free Software, Jonathan, Project Mayhem 2 Comments »

Early last month, I blogged about changes that I’d like to see in my life. I received some questions via email from some people over the last week about them (and I appreciate that a lot), and thought I’d do an update, since it’s just a bit over half-way time-wise.

Current progress:

  • At work: Stress levels have been greatly reduced, and it is going better. This might be due to an increase in staff, or a new project where things are going quite well. Either way, I’m not as stressed as I was a month and a half a go, and it’s great.
  • MOTU membership: I’m continuing to learn at a steady but slow pace, not nearly fast enough to become a MOTU over the next 5 weeks though. I think this might be one goal that I’m going to miss, but the MOTU’s are really cool people. Several members have offered me assistance. I owe it to them to step up a bit, and I’ll have to make some further changes in order to do that (more about this a bit later in the post)
  • Getting in shape: I lost 3KG’s, and gained 2KG’s again when I visited my home town last week! I think I lost most of that again, but in totality, I think I’m pretty much on target, and I’m satisfied with my progress here.
  • Work through the Simply Guitar handbook/DVD: I’m just about on target here as well. I’ve actually done it, but I need to practise what I’ve learned so far a bit more and revise. I’m planning to go for guitar lessons in August. One of my previous colleges have also offered to give me lessons, I think I will take him up on that.
  • Be less miserable: Oddly enough, this has been the easiest on the list. I can’t quite explain how, but since last week or so, I’ve just been feeling much better, and this just after I had a terrible flue. I guess I had some time to think a bit and make sense of the universe. I’d even go as far to say that I am happy at this stage.

There’s more…

  • Change of Northern Base: For the last year or so, I’ve been staying on-and-off at a guest house in Jo’burg. It’s been good, but our offices have moved and driving out so far has become time consuming and a waste of money (considering our ever-rising fuel prices). Today, I moved closer to work, the guest house was about 33km from work, I’m now 7km from work. I’m actually staying on a cottage on a farm that feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere. There are actual sheep, bulls and cows walking around just behind my room here. If you told me a year ago that I would be living on a farm in Gauteng, I would have probably laughed at you :). This still doesn’t mean I’m staying here permanently. Home will always be in Cape Town. I can literally leave here any day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Going vegeterian: I’ve gone vegeterian a few times in the past, just for short bursts, typically for a few days to a week at a time, can’t really remember why. About two weeks ago I decided to go vegeterian, or at least try, and see how far I can get. So far it’s been quite easy, I’ve eaten fish one evening, and ate some beef on a sandwich that someone made me, but besides that I managed to stay clear (I did say that I will allow fish now and again, especially in the beginning). I’ve been told that most vegetarians are so either because of moral or health reasons. I guess I tend to lean to the moral side, but I really don’t want to make it a moral issue. I suppose that officially, I don’t really have a reason. Hopefully, living amongst all these animals will help me keep on track :)

Thanks for the motivation from everyone who commented on the last post (and who sent emails). I even got a comment from my dad, I didn’t even know that he read my blog! At least it proves that apostrophe abuse is heriditary ;)

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Time for changes

Free Software, Jonathan, Music 13 Comments »


The past few weeks, I have been very angry, frustrated and perhaps even depressed. I’ve been drained by all of the types of emotions that ultimitely leads to the Dark Side. I guess it all stems down to running out of time. Unfortunately, as humans, we only have a limited time in our life to do everything we want to, and I just haven’t been able to find the time to do the things I want to. Partially because of work, partially because of all the things you just have to do these days to keep going. Either way, I don’t like excuses. I recently read a blog entry from Jonathan Endersby where he explains how you shouldn’t let work take over your life, which has set some thoughts in motion for me. In the last few days, I decided that I’m not going to get angry anymore. Letting all the responsibilities of work, the situation in Zimbabwe, the environment, all the poor people in the world, etc get to you all the time gets too much, and it might sound terrible, but I think life is just too short to care about everyone and everything. I think it might just be better to help those around you- and yourself. If everybody could just sort themselves out, the world would already be a much better place. I don’t know, maybe I’ll change my mind, I’m in a bit of flux at the moment, I can hardly remember what I just typed.


I’ve come to the conclusion that to achieve goals, to make use of my time on this planet and to reach some sense of achievement, I’m going to have to make changes in my life. I might even have to start completely over, even if it means selling my house/car/etc, change carreer, whatever it takes. No excuses. Those are of course, extreme measures, but at this stage I’m willing to make whatever changes are required.


Usually I think about goals and where I am and where I’m going just about once a year, usually at the end of the year. Not because it’s close to new-years and almost time for new-years resolutions, but because I ususally have a bit of quiet time to think things through. I think my ‘goals-cycle’ is too long, and it makes it difficult to achieve them. From now on, I will work on a 3 month cycle, at the very longest. And I will work harder to push myself to get where I want to be, I will have to say no to people more often as well. My goals for the end of July (slightly less than 3 months from now) are:

  • Become an Ubuntu MOTU member. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do since 2004. I should’ve really done this by now, but I’ve been blaming a series of bad circumstances for not getting there (pressure at work, lack of Internet connectivity at times, etc)
  • Get in better shape. I’ve actually done quite well with this in the last 6 months, I’ve lost weight, I’m getting fitter every week, but now and again I have regressions, especially where alcohol is involved. It’s another case of having to say no more, but saying no to friends is often more difficult than saying no to someone you work for. I want to lose 5kg’s by the end of July.
  • Work through the Simply Guitar handbook/DVD. I want to learn how to play guitar. This manual and DVD only covers the extreme basics. Working through this should only take me an hour or two a week to finish by the end of July. I’ve had my guitar since 2004, and only went for two lessons in 2005.
  • Be less miserable. I used to focus on the positive, and used to see passed the problems that I encounter. These days all I seem to see everywhere is problems, with no obvious solutions. I want to be a positive person again, and be a good problem solver, like I used to be even when I’ve been in very bad situations in the past.

I’ll provide an update on how this is going when there’s anything to report back on. In the meantime, if I seem aloof or far away in the next few weeks, don’t take it personally, I have things that I need and want to sort out. I can’t even promise that I’ll be back to my ‘normal’ self again. Maybe I don’t want to be back to my normal self, maybe I should change. I definitely don’t want to become the person I’ve been the last few months, I guess time will provide some answers.

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Holiday time

Free Software, Jonathan, Music, Sport 1 Comment »

Whohoo! My first real holiday since… since… a very long time! Haven’t planned all my holiday time yet, but this is what I have so far…

Next week I’ll also try to catch up on a lot of Ubuntu stuff (more on that to follow) I’ve been meaning to do for a long long time now (some things even 2 years). After that I’ll just relax and have a good time, I want to get back in full force and really take 2008 by the horns!

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