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1008 words as to why I should be the BCMKE4 Openness Czar.

Let’s start off with two things.

1) duh

2) Aren’t you from Madison?

Define “from” and define “Madison”.  I live in Dane County, not Madison (and none of that weird city vs. town of Madison stuff…I don’t live in Madison).  I’ve lived here for over a year.  Is that “from”?  Well, if it is, I’m “from” four different states.

2.1) Ok smart-ass, you’re still not from Milwaukee.

Which is why I’m a perfect figurehead for openness.  If I can do part of my job simply by existing, I think I’m the right man for the job.

Now, let’s get down to business.

I’m the president of the Madison Linux User Group, a lead on Open Everything Madison and previously president of the Carolina Open Source Initiative.  I’m also already the czar of Linux laptops where I work.  Before the FSF trolls start talking about how Linux isn’t libre, there certainly is a version of Linux that is libre and BSD folks, well, I’m well aware there are versions of freedom. I’m going into the lions den of Mac users here. Let’s not let our differences get in the way of the big picture.

Now I’ll pause for a few simple points.

identi.ca (and specifically statusnet) > twitter

android > iPhone

OOo (or NeoOffice, if you like) > MS Office

GIMP > Photoshop

Firefox (I’m not going to bother linking, you know what this is) > IE

Python > .NET (seriously, .NET?…get off my site)


Ok, I’ll stop, but I could go on.

Scandinavia is close to Russia and while I’m part Swedish and not part Finnish, Finland was once under Russian rule.  Actually, since Finland was once under Swedish rule, it’s possible my ancestors lived where Finland is now, but were Swedish.  Russia and Sweden have both also controlled parts of Poland in the past.  Going further back, before the Brett Favre controversy, the Vikings definitely went into Russia, at least as far as Holmgard (Veliky Novgorod for my Russian readers).  We’ll go with that.  I’m part Russian, sorta.  If you’re Serbian or Bulgarian, I don’t want to here it.  We all know *real* czars are Russian.  Plus I was in Malmö when the former lost in the UEFA U21 championships to the home team. That has to count for something, right? (yes, extra words)  Now, in Wisconsin it’s not that uncommon for people to have Scandinavian heritage, but how many of them have been there?  And of those with Scandinavian heritage (or Russian, because we’re talking czars) that have also been there, how many of those will be at BarCampMKE4? I’m guessing not many.  And look people, don’t question my Swedish heritage.  I have a freakin’ Swedish tattoo.  I was born and breed for this job.

Let’s go back to this “you’re from Madison” thing.  I was at last year’s BCMKE4, have been to a Web414 meeting and a MLUG (Milwaukee Linux User Group) as well as PhotoCampMKE and a DevHouse at Bucketworks.  I’ve also been to a Bucks game.

I’ve owned a Mac and run Windows at work, making me able to speak to FOSS apps on both platforms.  While Fink is a good package manager for Mac from what I’ve heard, I’ve yet to find a package manager I like for Windows.  I’ve dabbled in video both production and editing (and some film too) so I can speak to that side of things a bit.  I’ve also worked in science and my parents and an aunt are professional musicians, so I know a bit about that as well.  I am a jack of all trades.  I am, however, a master of ruthlessness, a needed mastery for a czarship.  I also have a sweet beard, like this guy (never mind that he was a crap tsar, I took his beard, not his strategies).

Since I posted about Creative Commons music, I’ve actually listened to more.  Severed Fifth is now 295 and all the others have gone up; Holy Pain and Predator (430), NIN (57), Gråsuggorna (248) and No Se (269).  As a new addition, Lorenzo’s Music is now 479.  Let’s not forget the local flavor either; Lorenzo’s Music and Misery Signals (415).  Remember, I’ve only been here a year, so that number is certain to go up.  And, just in case you are too lazy to check out my blog post, you can connect to me on Last.fm.


Shut your trap.  Did you honestly think I wasn’t going to mention Libre.fm?  Libre.fm has only been around a few months and since it doesn’t have historical data (chill, I know there is a merge, but I have over 191k listens. That’s going to take a while to import and it’s just not important to me) so discussing my open music there doesn’t really give a full picture.  But, since you brought it up, NIN is #2 and Lorenzo’s Music is #12.  After that Libre.fm doesn’t number them, just gives the amount of listens.  If you really want to know more about Libre.fm, put it on the BarCamp session board or comment here.

So, you just do open source?

Well, I like as much open source as possible (I prefer the term FOSS [Free and Open Source Software] to include the free software people…libre is a much better word enough though it’s not technically English…yet), but I already mentioned that in addition to experience with OpenSolaris, BSD and Linux I’ve used Macs and Windows.  Open standards are great.  In fact, I’d love to see Web414 or Web608 get behind One Web Day.

Not everything at BCMKE4 will be digital.

O RLLY?  While most things certainly will be, I see your point.  I know a bit about open hardware, though I’m no expert.  As a powerful czar however, I certainly have connections and Open Everything can deal with a lot of things that are not digital.

I just need to put out a few more words and I will be done.



Pyle out, probably, Grainger in, hopefully…and other things I shouldn’t be doing while I should be finishing my passport application

I’m submitting this for longest blog title ever. 🙂

One of the problems I have with blogging consistently is that I feel like I share a lot of my thoughts on Twitter (multiple personal accounts and organization accounts – ask if you want them), identi.ca or through Google Reader.

So, the title track, if you will, is about Open Everything planning.  The Pyle Center seems to book up quickly.  Chris wasn’t sure if it was both conference extensions (Pyle and Lowell) or just Pyle, but for the time being we’re planning on it being in Grainger, where we had the December 6th event.

Also today, I got in touch with one of the MinneBar planners.  They do not have a date yet.  I’ve decided to take a vacation day the Friday beforehand though and visit North Dakota, since it’s one of only three state to which I have not been.  Vermont and Louisiana being the other two (I’ve been to Texas a couple times, Arkansas a couple times and live in Alabama for 8 years, but no Louisiana).  While living in Wisconsin, I am definitely not missing the opportunity to go to North Dakota. New Orleans and skiing in Vermont and  can wait.

Tomorrow is my first meeting as president of the Madison Linux User Group.  I want to discuss not always meeting on Fridays (mixing it up and doing one Tuesday and one Friday a month).  I’m thinking of doing the Tuesday meeting with Web608 group.  I wonder how people will feel about not everyone being Linux users.  I guess I’ll see tomorrow night.  I can’t forget the penguin!  Also, I have a late (11:30pm) futbol match after the meeting, so I can’t stay at the meeting too long!

Anything you guys would like me to talk about in my next post?

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.

BarCampMilwaukee3 and some Vista issues

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this on here, but while I’m 100% Linux at home (not even in a virtual machine), my desktop at work is Vista.  I’m working on getting a tablet going with Ubuntu and I have an Ubuntu HP 6910p, but Vista is what I am using mostly.  At 4GB RAM, I don’t have much to complain about.  If I had this bad boy, I’d even have less to complain about.  It might work as a pretty good heater in the winter too.

So, I finally have a SATA hard drive.  This is going to be so sweet.  And, it’ll finally give me a chance to get rid of my last NTFS partition, which seems to be pretty flakey.

Ok, on to Vista issues.

1) Maybe this is an issue with XP too, but when I RDP to my machine the taskbar and my icons move to the other monitor.  It’s not that big of a deal, but it is annoying.  I use a VGA splitter and while the two splits are labeled 1 and 2, RDP defaults to 2.  I haven’t been able to find much online about it.  This guy fixed his problem, and it’s the closest I can find, but it’s not the problem I am having.

2) I have a Motion Computing tablet and this thing is a royal pain to upgrade to Vista.  It must be upgraded, not a fresh image.  The fresh image doesn’t have wireless drivers and the company doesn’t really support this model with Vista.  The only problem is our only employee with one of these has Vista (he has a 1700 rather than a 1600) and I can’t reproduce the problem in Vista or XP.  He is having delay issues on digitally signed e-mails in Outlook 2007.

Ok, since I tagged this mostly as variations of BarCampMilwaukee3, I should at least say a little something about it.  There’s a pre-party tomorrow night.  I won’t be there.  I will be there at 10am on Saturday morning and plan on staying until the end.  I’m sure there will be some down time for a blog post, if we don’t have wireless issues like we did at BarCampMadison2.  Also, at BCMad2, I went home since I basically live in Madison, meaning while I slept well, I missed out on some of the night craziness.  The Saturday of BCMad2, I went to the Dillinger Escape Plan show at The Loft on Washington with some friends.  Crazy show…even crazier than the last time I saw DEP, though that concert in Raleigh was a pretty crazy night, just not as much so during DEP’s set.  So, if you’re in Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago or the surrounding area, I highly encourage you to attend BarCampMilwaukee3.  I’ll be leading a discussion on pairing FOSS with proprietary, not because I like proprietary at all, but because that is the reality of the situation at current.

EDIT: I see that I mentioned the motion computing issue back in August.  Yep, still working on it.  I need a USB CD drive that gets along with motion computing.