• Sign in and stuff

Africa, Cincinnati, ConIFA, Snowdrift.coop, and Sponsorship

It was the most newsworthy of times. It was the least newsworthy of times. It’s probably a bunch of other conflicting things. There’s probably a revolution going on. Anyway, let me get the pertinent facts before writing A Tale of Two Neighborhoods or something of the nature.

0. Africa

The Romans didn’t have a zero. Shoot me. This will come back later, but Tom and I have been discussing the future of Music Manumit a lot lately. Sections I and III are a big reason why. As part of this discussion, I returned to the fact that Africa remains the one continent unrepresented on Music Manumit. Sure, plenty of countries and even regions of continents (for example, all of South America except Argentina) remain unrepresented and much of that has to do with language barriers. However, plenty of people in Africa speak English, so the lack of engagement from musicians there seems strange.

If you know of any African musicians (any genre) that are releasing under a remixable license, please be in touch.

I. Cincinnati

Unless you’ve been living under some sort of Doug-blocking rock, you know I’m headed to Cincinnati for the 2015-16 academic year (and who knows, maybe longer). I’m including this here mainly so that no one has any excuse for missing the announcement on social media. I don’t have a lot to say about the move right now, other than that I’m looking for jobs in the Cincinnati area or telecommuting jobs.


I’ve written a little about this over at Sportazine. That page will be updated as details get updated, so it’s best to just link, I think.

III. Snowdrift.coop

I’m pretty sure this is ok to say… I was asked to join the steering committee for snowdrift.coop. I really want to join, as I think the project is really important to the future of free culture. However, I’m already drowning in to-do list items. Realistically, I probably need to find some sort of revenue before taking on another project. I’m hoping Ryno will be about to re-up for year two at some point. That may be all I need. If Ryno decides to do a crowdfunding campaign or something, I’ll be sure to blog about it.

IV. Sponsorship

One of the things Tom and I have been discussing is some sort of sponsorship. If you’d be interested in sponsoring an episode, please let me know. We’ll evaluate each sponsor and see if it is a good fit for Music Manumit.

Baltimore (and debt), here I come.

The plan[1] is that I will be in Baltimore this summer (3 months) and need a summer job. As many of you know, am currently in school, but already have a master’s in information science. That said, being in Baltimore is more important to me at current than having a job for which I’m qualified. I was initially planning on working at a YMCA or something like that. I realize this is probably early for summer jobs, but the post is unlikely to go anywhere so perhaps people will find it closer to time. I can always give a reprise/update on the situation.Aside from the job thing, I’d be interested in getting to know the GNU/Linux community in the Baltimore if anyone stumbles across this.

As to the job situation, I was not that concerned about it until an auto-shop said I needed $810 work done on my car[2]. That spurred me to do some number crunching and I realize now that if I don’t work at all during school that I will end up ~$75000 in debt. This is projecting housing costs and (obviously) some other stuff over the next 2.5 years but at the very least it seems I’ll be $60,000 in debt. This not a number with which I am comfortable. After graduation I do not want to be a slave to some corporation doing things in which I don’t believe. My savings from my former Wisconsin job does not go nearly as far as it needs to in New England.

I have no idea what the job market is like in Maryland, but I’d like something that is more than $10/hour and around 20 hours a week. The hours are flexible. I’m working on an independent project for the summer, so I don’t want something full time, but for the right price/opportunity I would definitely consider it.

Obviously, I’m willing to send a resume but just to give some idea of the breadth of jobs I would consider:
I have experience in film, music, organization development, event planning, podcasting, biology (my undergrad degree), sports (was paid to coach), healthcare, Windows, Mac (though not recently) and GNU/Linux.
Additionally, I’m trying to shed a Teeter Hangup and some other stuff which can be found on flickr. For anyone that stumbles across this that is in Concord, let me know if you know of cheap housing options.
[1] I’m still considering whether I’d like to “work” as an intern for EFF, Creative Commons, SFLC, IBM, Google or Red Hat. It’s unlikely any of those will have me in Baltimore. That’s a decision I will have to weigh if an opportunity arises.
[2] I am going to get a 2nd opinion since I am not having any problems with the car and took it in just to get a flat tire repaired.


EDIT: I was substantially (factor of 2) off on my calculation for tuition, meaning the number is probably in the $50,000-$60,000 range, which is still not a number with which I’m comfortable. However, that keeps me in the Stafford loans rather than other loans, so I’m no longer freaking out about it, but I would still like a job. Something to keep my tech skills up or something where I am getting exercise would be ideal.

Midwest Going Ons, Sweden and Valentine’s Day

Alright, it’s Valentine’s Day, so I figure I should at least make mention of it. I don’t have a “special someone” but I’m optimistic about the woman I just met. However, she’s not in town today. I feel kinda bad about not seeing her on V-Day because I feel like she’s getting cheated. Then again, date two on V-Day might be a little much. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


Geek Dinner February 24th

This isn’t that big of a deal since we have one every month. But I thought I’d share. Event information, as every month, can be found on facebook.

OpenCamp: An Open Everything Event

Expect to hear a lot about this on the blog in the coming months. This event will build on the event we had on December 6th. We don’t have a venue yet for OpenCamp, but expect that to happen before the end of the month. Right now, it’s likely it’ll be on the UW-Madison camp. That’s all I’m going to say about this now. There’s a lot out there on the event in listserv archives and the website. I certainly encourage you to sign up for the list or contact me directly if you’re interested in a Open Everything event; either the one in Madison or help putting one on anywhere in the world.



I have a job, for one, but it’s also on a Thursday…so, I’ll be at said job until 7pm. This is a great thing for Todd and Bucketworks to be putting on, especially given the economy. To me, openness is all about sharing and working together. This is a prime example of


Not going to this, but it’s not often I have intelligent things to say about the queer community (or anything at all to say really) so maybe it’ll bring some new readers to my blog! I want to be supportive of educational and participatory events, even if they don’t interest me personally.


I will be attending this. I’m not really sure what else to say about it. For those familiar with *Camps, what this is should require no explanation. For those not familiar with *Camps, I think that’s a post in-and-of itself. If you don’t know what an un-conference is, just ask in the comments section and I’ll explain!


Not really interested in Fandom Camp, but I figured I’d make mention of it here.

What I’m more interested in is the Ubuntu Bug Jam. I think this would be a good opportunity to get people in Chicago interested in Open Everything. However, considering I still don’t know how expensive the Sweden trip is going to be and I potentially have some huge expenses coming up (it’s a secret!…yes, I know that’s not very open of me).

Twin Cities

I plan on going to MinneBar…whenever that is. Last yet it was in May.


There’s still no planned BarCamps in Sweden. I’m not talking just when I’ll be there. No at all. Finland at least has a placeholder (indicating they had one in the past?). Denmark has a couple coming up, but not while I’ll be there.

If someone from Sweden, Finland or Denmark would get in touch with me, I’d be happy to help a small BarCamp or OpenCamp happen there. I’ve started following a couple people from Sweden on identi.ca. Once we get OpenCampMadison and BarCampMadison3 stuff better figured out, I’ll search harder to make some FOSS acquaintances in Scandinavia. It’s less than 4 months and 5 days until we fly out!

Alright, tomorrow I’ll plan to blog about potential sessions at OpenCamp: An Open Everythign Event.

Sweden dates set, so bring me BarCamps

Ok, people, Sweden trip is more-or-less set.  This is a personal trip, but I’d love to turn it into some FOSS work.

So, if you’re planning a BarCamp, an Open Everything event or some or tech event, please drop me a line!  I’d love to get involved.

June 20 night in Stockholm
June 21 night in Stockholm
June 22 night in Gothenburg
June 23 night in Malmo (also hit up Copenhagen briefly)
June 24 night in Stockholm
June 25 night in Helsinki
June 26 night in Helsinki
June 27 night in Stockholm
June 28 back in Madison

This is if we get roundtrip tickets to/from Stockholm, which apparently saves money.  If the cost isn’t too different, it’ll be this:
June 20 night in Copenhagen
June 21 night in Malmo
June 22 night in Gothenburg
June 23 night in Stockholm
June 24 night in Stockholm
June 25 night in Stockholm
June 26 night in Stockholm (maybe Helsinki)
June 27 night in Helsinki
June 28 back in Madison

If you’ve got suggestions for places to visit, let me know.  Christiana in Copenhagen is a must as is the Swedish National Library, where The Devil’s Bible is kept.

What’s up next?

You’ll notice on my blog is that I ask a lot of questions. I’m looking for help to solve problems. I like to bounce ideas off of people. I stretch the rules and think outside the box, but it can be hard to know where the box is if you don’t get someone else’s opinion.

Without further ado, I’ve been thinking about this for a while.  What am I going to do with my life?  This does have to do with technology, as no matter what I do technology will be involved.

1. Option A: Law School

Interestingly enough, I just got a facebook notification about this.  Columbia, NYU, Cornell, Alabama, UNC and, alas, Duke are all in consideration here.  I’d be interested in Intellectual Property (IP) law and working with Software Freedom Law Center.  Columbia, Cornell, NYU and Duke (spelling it incorrectly like this is so difficult!) are in a different class than Bama and UNC and among those two Bama is ranked higher.  I’m sure Bama would be more conservative than UNC and I haven’t lived in Tuscaloosa in 17 years, but it’d certainly be more familiar than Cornell.  Cornell is where Greg Graffin, lead singer of Bad Religion got his PhD and don’t think that doesn’t have something to do with me considering them.  Living in NYC (Columbia or NYU) could be cool, but it also could be a nightmare.   While Raleigh and Madison are both of decent size, I lived downtown neither.  I’ve enjoyed Chicago the two times I’ve been since moving to Madison.  Those two times account for quite a bit more time in Chicago than I’ve spent in NYC.  I went once, but it was a whirlwind.  I had great company for the trip and a fantastic tour guide, but it just wasn’t Chicago.  Perhaps the beautiful weather in Chicago and the rainy weather in NYC had something to do with that.  But, I think if I got in to Columbia or NYU I’d be an idiot not to go…the question is do I want to work hard enough to be a serious contender for those schools?

Of course, it’s not all about overall rankings.

I enjoyed Boston more than NYC (I was there longer, so maybe that’s why) and Boston U is highly ranked in Intellectual Property Law.

And, there’s the dark horse, environmental law (this will come up again later).

I’d be happy to go to any school on those lists, but just based on those lists, that’s 18 schools, not including my two state schools, UNC and Bama.  Establishing state residency in NC again will be somewhat dependent upon how long I stay in Wisconsin, but I’ve graduated from the state university system three times (NCSSM and UNC twice), so it’s not like I’m not at home in NC. Both my parents are Bama alums and as I understand it (by way of my father) children of alums pay in state tuition.  Hey, maybe I can help turn Bama blue! …ha.

I’ve already cleared going to dook (ok, I had to do it) with some of my biggest Tar Heel fan friends.  Just as long as I don’t start cheering for them I’m fine…and my UK family would disown me if I did that anyway.  Speaking of the great state of Kentucky, there are a couple law schools there at UK and Louisville.  I like Louisville.  I haven’t spent any time in Lexington, but my blood still runs Wildcat blue.  But, I can’t apply everywhere and it’s just three years of my life.  I can always move back to Kentucky or NC after I finish law school…you know, if I do that.

2. Option B: Business School

UNC’s Kenan is definitely top choice for this, though I could be persauded differently.  If I fall in love with Madison, UW’s always right here (which is true for law school too).  I don’t like capitalism, but I recently read an article in Harvard Business Review that made me think about a kind of capitalism with which I can deal.  Kenan has a sustainability curriculum that I like.  And it’s not just about the environment, but also about society as they say the curriculum “helps executives and future business leaders understand how social and environmental considerations are changing the competitive landscape of business”.

3. Option C: PhD

UNC is the clear choice here. I’m familiar and it’s the #1 program in the country. Red Hat and IBM are close as well as of course ibiblio.  I don’t think this requires a lot of discussion.  My dad is a professor.  I like academia.  It’s been a part of my life almost since birth and since birth if you include HS education.  I also very much like The Triangle.  I’ve honestly not considered other programs but should I need to for whatever reason, UW does has a SLIS program.  I’d have to find out how much open information work they do here in Madison before knowing if I’m interested, butI don’t see that happening.  I think the biggest knock against the PhD is how long it takes to get.  I could add 6 letters after my name in the time I could add 3…but “Dr.” holds a lot of weight in a lot of circles.  Maybe the reign of anti-intellectualism terror is over in the US, and it’ll mean even more.

4. Option D: Åbo Akademi University

(or some other program abroad)

I don’t know much about the programs in Finland and with the potential of 8 years of less stupid politics in the US, now seems like the wrong time to leave the country…except that now perhaps our standing in the world will be restored.  Perhaps it’s a much better time to leave the country!  I’ve never been to Europe, but I’ll probably be going to Finland next summer…definitely Sweden.  So, perhaps this will rise on my list or perhaps it’ll drop off completely.

Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programme Environment and Sustainability

The programme will start in August 2009 provided that permission is granted by the ministry of education.

So, I’ve long been interested in saving the environment (this has already come up a couple times). This is one of the things that drew me to computers…saving paper and ink…as well as gas going to the library.  Computers of course take electricity but I think there’s a lot that can be done in the way of green power.  I think it’d be fun to be one of the first people in a program, defining the legacy.  I wouldn’t be in the first class, but within a few years of it. Looks like I’ll be able to do this one without learning Swedish (emphasis added):

“This interdisciplinary Master’s Degree Programme is given by the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. When graduating, the student receives a corresponding degree from the faculty of the student’s major subject…

Subjects marked * offers main subject studies taught in English, the remaining subjects are taught in Swedish:

  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences:
    Environmental Biology*,
    Environmental Geochemistry,
    Organic Chemistry*
  • Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences:
    Political Science*,
    Public Administration*,
    International Marketing,
    Management and Organization,
    Public Law
  • Faculty of Arts:
  • Faculty of Theology:
    Theological Ethics and Philosophy of Religion
  • Faculty of Education:
    Environmental Education*

Subsidiary subjects taught in English are:

  • Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences:
    Political Science
    Public Administration
  • Faculty of Arts:
  • Faculty of Theology:
    Theological Ethics and Philosophy of Religion”

It’s be interesting to take some Biology courses again…I know, I know, I’m a glutton for punishment.

Master’s Degree Programme in International Human Rights Law

One of the reasons I’m so interested in FOSS is because of human rights and equality.  Obviously I’m also interested in law (see option A).  If you are going to study international law, what better way than to spend a couple years in another country?  This is cause for concern though, “The programme is open to applicants holding a Bachelor’s degree in law or another Bachelor’s degree with at least 45 ECTS in law or other subjects relevant to the legal protection of human rights.”  I took an environmental advocacy course as an undergrad I think would count, but other than that I’m not sure.

Master’s Degree Programme in Electronic and Mobile Commerce

The fact that this is in the Department of Information Technology and Business is what makes this a viable option for me.  “The Department of Information Technology is situated in the Turku Science Park, in the ICT building, where research groups and academic programmes meet, interact and collaborate with ICT companies – many of which are multinational and well known (Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson, etc.).”

Also of note “The programme leads to a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration degree (Ekonomie magister).”

….OR….I could change career paths altogether and work in music or sports, but I’m not really considering that very seriously.  I do have Twitter feeds set up for both though at https://twitter.com/douglasawhsport and https://twitter.com/douglasawhmusic.  Working in technology in sports or music would be an ideal job.  ESPN need any system administrators?

change working title?

So, I am done with Vista for at least a month in between jobs.  I hadn’t been using Vista my last few days at work in favor of Ubuntu anyway.  I am planning on installing Fedora 9 on a virtual machine on my laptop. Here’s a run down of what I was running:

Office desktop: primarily ubuntu, SUSE in a virtual box and Vista dual boot

Office laptop: primarily XP, ubuntu dual boot

both of those boxes are gone.

Home desktop: ubuntu only

Home laptop: ubuntu only

test box: I haven’t used this in a while as I’ve been busy, but I think this is also ubuntu only.

Now, my brother just installed Vista to test and he had been an XP guy while testing ubuntu too, so next week after he moves home I might be seeing it more.  At home my dad has an OS X work laptop and they have a very slow XP Dell.  I think they might have a DOS box in the bedroom, but maybe Windows 3.1.  They had both for a while and I’m not sure if they still have either.  Oh, my brother has a desktop too, and I think it is ubuntu only also, but it gets little use.  Should I go to Wisconsin (likely), I’ll have to get MS certified.  I’ll probably soon be looking to get Red Hat certified too for job reasons (why I’m installing Fedora in virtual box).  The next few months of life should be exciting one way or another.

This brings me back to the main point.  While this blog has never been exclusively about Vista and more about my job related issues in general, since I am no longer a Vista user, it seems strange for the blog to be titled that.  Thoughts?

Vista SP1

So, I’ve been running Vista SP1 at work for a little while and I really haven’t noticed much difference.  SP1 has not been pushed to machines yet, it was distributed to OEMs and I got it through Software Acquisitions on campus.   My machine wasn’t really having too many slowness issues with Vista, which is what the SP was supposed to fix (and maybe some other things, I’m not sure).  I did recently have some performance issues while trying out andLinux.  Though the performance issue were with the Linux side and not the Windows side, I did also notice:

I also posted at http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=702357&page=3

Synergy and other things

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted here. There’s been a lot going on with SFD, me going Linux full time on my laptop, a break up and plenty of sickness in the family. During that time, I also got a new Blackberry at work and a new PC. This new PC is much more Vista friendly, but there are still some problems. Synergy gives an error saying “FATAL: cannot open primary screen: unable to open screen” and leaves up a notification you can’t make go ahead, but proceeds to work. Said message says “A program can’t display a message on your desktop” You caneither click “Show me the message,” which doesn’t work or “Remind me in a few minutes,” which should be obvious how that could be annoying.

Firefox 3b2 still has memory issues…hope that is just Vista related.

Right now my main gripe is with Outlook 2007 and how it deals with tasks. You can read about that at my post at ubuntu forums.

Does anyone want to help get Ruckus working on Linux? What about Evolution on Windows (specifically Vista)?

We also need more people in COSI’s Last.fm group.

One last thing. COSI has a big event coming up.

Xerox and Software Freedom Day

I couldn’t find this suggestion anywhere on the web, so I’ll put it here, even though it has nothing to do with Vista.  We had a problem with Xerox duplexing.  It seems that the drivers for the 6200N “work” for the 6200DP, but the N drivers don’t duplex…such an easy solution once you know that’s the problem.  I hope no one else spends much time on figuring that out!

Additionally, here’s a quote from the Software Freedom Day website:

“The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1] is a set of basic human rights that most people would agree would be a bare minimum. Not often are our basic rights thought of in the context of technology, but with more and more our lives are dependent on technology, it is a rapidly growing concern. Technologies that matter to our freedom are used in our voting systems, our leisure, our work, education, art and our communication. What does this mean to you? It means that the basic human freedoms you take for granted are only as free as the technology they are based on.

Transparent and sustainable technologies are vital to ensuring we can protect our freedoms. Think about e-Government systems such as electronic voting. When the systems running our voting is proprietary or closed, it means that we can’t be sure what the software actually does, so how can we trust the results? The issues with the Diebold [2] voting systems in the US is testament [3] to the need for transparent systems that are trustworthy. Think about other software you use everyday that is proprietary software and apply the fact that you can’t be sure what it is actually doing! Does your email system send copies of your mail to a third party? Is your web browser, logging and automatically sending your browse history to someone? The most interesting case recently was when Sony purposely added spyware [4] to their music CDs that silently and automatically installed itself onto Microsoft Windows systems to search for piracy breaches. This behaviour has spawned a whole new wave of viruses and is a gross breach of privacy.

So what do I mean by transparent? Well some software gives you access to the source code, such as Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) which ensures that you can know (or get checked) without any question what exactly a piece of software will do. It avoids nasty surprises, spyware, result rigging and all kinds of issues that we can’t be absolutely sure to avoid in proprietary software. Proprietary software keeps the source code locked away from public scrutiny which means that there is no way to know exactly what the software actually does, and no way to trust it to safeguard your human rights.

Sustainable technologies are also important, and the best example of the issue is proprietary data formats. Why should the generations of today not have access to the love letters, essays and poems of their youth? With many proprietary applications using proprietary data formats, we can’t access the information in other programmes or even future versions of the same programme. When data is stored in data formats based on open standards [5], there is the ability for people everywhere to easily use and implement the standard and have your data accessible by more applications well into the future.

Software Freedom Day is a global initiative with over 200 teams in 80 countries participating. Come along and meet a wide range of people, all working together to help ensure our freedoms are maintained by the technologies of tomorrow.