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Help me help you.

Several things are coming up and I need to know how best to help you and the Madison community.
October 20th is the next MadLUG meeting.  We don’t yet have a topic.  We could do something on Python or have a bit of a state of the union and really figure out what we want to do with the LUG.  LUG attendance has really been pathetic.  Should we move to Saturday meetings like they have in Milwaukee?

November 1st is the next Open Everything event.  We do not have very many people signed up.  We want to have this event in Pewaukee at a fabulous location, but if people don’t sign up, it’s not going to happen.

November 13th-ish we are going to have Open Music Madison.  We don’t have a firm date, because our 1st choice of venues fell through.  It looks like we may have to charge $5 a head.  I don’t like it, but doing something is better than waiting to have the perfect event I say.

If you have ever been to an OE Madison or to a MadLUG meeting, please leave your thoughts or e-mail me directly at douglasawhREMOVEFORREALZ@gmail.com

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Libre.fm, netbooks and various android things

1) I’ve got Firefox on Linux and Windows, so I can get Libre.fm if I want it, though streaming integration for Songbird and rhythmbox would be ideal.  I don’t want to just gobble, I want to stream.  On either May 30th or 31st (stay tuned) a group of us in Madison will be getting together to work on some of Libre.fm problems (or, more likely, learn about libre.fm through our own implementation).  The group that is working on this is working as the technology group for Open Everything Madison.  The OE Madison group decided to have bi-monthly meetings and I am leading the May/June event we’ve decided to do something with the Libre.fm technologies.

2) It looks like at work we are not going to be going the route of the netbook.  For the price we wanted, the machines just weren’t good enough.  We might still test some out, but getting new hard drives for the newer machines seems like a more cost effective way to do things.  Sadly the machines we are looking at are not SATA, so buying SSDs also seems like a bad idea.  It’ll be a great day when SATA machines start going in the travel pool.

3) I’m having problems finding good information on webkit for Android.  I want the audio tag for Libre.fm!  The thought of getting ZOMG on Android so I could stream sound good, but ZOMG requires a lot of other things.  I tried to wget ZOMG but Android told me permission denied and then I tried to su and it says “su: uid 10039 not allowed to su”.  I have a developer phone, so I’m not sure what the deal is.  I’m using the Terminal Emulator app, but I guess it just isn’t able to be root.  I need to figure that out!  What would make my life easier is if I could get the Debian Sid repos on the Android.  If I had another Android I’d just install Debian on it and see what I could make happen.  Sadly, it’s not a cheap toy.

4) the other thing that has been on my mind is trying to get Game 3 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals while I’m on the train on Saturday night.  I’ve got an FM radio, but I’m not sure what radio stations will carry the game.  I’ve thought about getting some sort of 3G card for my laptop, but I’m scared as to how well they will work on Linux and I don’t want to pay that much for the game.  I mean, if I was here and the game was on pay-per-view, I wouldn’t probably buy it, so what sense does it make to pay for it to watch in while on a train where even 3G could be spotty?  It’s not like I’m going to be in the high population density East Coast.  I’ll be in NE Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.  To be fair, I’ve never been to North Dakota, and that’s why I’m going, but I don’t expect cell reception or FM radio to be fantastic.  I guess that’s all part of the adventure!

OpenCamp, Debian, Fedora and OpenSUSE

So, I gave Debian a shot this weekend.  It didn’t go well.  It seems that my Debian installation may have had some problems because from what I understand, I should have gotten Synaptic out of the box.  The biggest problem was no wireless though.  This isn’t exactly Debian’s fault.  It’s Acer’s fault for not using a wireless card with Linux drivers.  In their defence, Linux was not as big in 2004 when this was new (or, at least that’s when the Windows driver is from).  I tried using ndiswrapper, but while it picked up the ssids, it did not pick up an IP address.  These TravelMate machines don’t have a great resolution on Linux, so I just decided to give up.

Now, over on identica, I was discussing some issues I was having with burning an OpenSUSE disk.  I’m going to chalk that up to random, but I’m using the alpha (not sure if it’s updated to beta…I’ve got some updates to do) of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, so there could be some problems.  Anyway, just to try to get something usable (not having wireless is not an option) I installed Fedora.  However, the DPI on the fonts was all messed up (or, at least that’s what I’m guessing it was), so I scratched that and got out my “real” laptop with Ubuntu so I could get some work done.  In the meantime, the openSUSE disk finished and I started the install.  I didn’t have it plugged in, so it failed on something, but then went on through to check the hardware, such as the video card.  As per usual when I try to triple boot, I screwed it up some how and while GRUB still has an option for Fedora, it won’t actually boot.  My Windows installation (which I only use to make sure issues aren’t Linux issues) survived the install.  I’m disappointed that openSUSE doesn’t have Moonlight installed by default.  I’m not a Moonlight fan, but since CBS/NCAA decided to go with it, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure it out.

So even though I’ve been happier with PCBSD than Fedora or Debian on this particular hardware (Acer TravelMate c310) I have no intensions of moving to BSD.  I had Linux Mint on the Acer before and didn’t like it either, though typically I’m a big fan of Mint.  I have no idea how long it will be before I get a new desktop or laptop, but that will likely have Mint on it.  I don’t like it enough to switch to it while I’m using Ubuntu.

Moving away from operating systems, today was the first OpenCamp meeting.  We did a phone meeting, which was probably better than the IRC chat I had lined up.  We did not pick a time to discuss again, but we should have.  We came up with lots of good ideas, but there’s lots to do.  There were only three of us on the call (me, allgood2 and poseurtech) but we already got confirmation on a blog post from kaitfoley.  I’ve also heard from geekazine and raster about the meeting, but neither was able to attend. I’ve been tasked with cleaning up our section of http://openeverything.wik.is.  If not for getting sidetracked by green computing discussions on identica, UNC making it to the Final Four and packing for my trip to Kentucky this weekend, I’d have done it today.

Another weekend is coming to a close with me tired rather than refreshed.  I am, however, feel a bit better than I was about two hours ago. food, ftw.

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?

Open Everything Madison & Sweden news

My posts are often reflective and questioning, but nearly as often informative.  The “Where are we going?” question is much more interesting to me than the “Where have we been?” question.  I am, however, tasked with writing about Open Everything Madison on Saturday (as well as Berlin and Hong Kong), so I’ll try to post something substantial about that.  Of course, I’m already much more interested in the next Open Everything Madison.  You can see the planning for the next OEMad at http://openeverything.us

OEMad 2008

Aside from our poor job with documentation and the functional, but less than ideal, handoff from Berlin, I’d say the day was an overwhelming success.

Some of our documentation can be found at various twitter accounts.  Search for oemad and you should find them.  There’s also the Google search for oemadDebriefing notes are found on the main site as well as Articles and Resources.  Some pictures are at Flickr but as of posting Non-Profit Tech’s photos are not being indexed.

I’m both saddened and elated when I tell interested people about Creative Commons, Free Schools and Really, Really Free Markets.  Of course I’m saddened that these are more ubiquitous terms in our language, but mostly it’s a positive feeling.  I’m always scared that my political leanings (which I think free schools and RRFMs show) will feed the “open source is communism” argument.  As companies like OpenNMS, Red Hat and MindTouch clearly show, that’s a bunch of bunk.  As a technology person first, I fear that the benefits of open source code are lost to the politicized “freedom”.  Clearly I’m a fan of both.  At the moment I’m having trouble finding a succint list of the benefits of FOSS, so if you’re up for a longer read, check out Albion, one of the oldest sites on the Web.

It’s also incredibly disheartening to see people interested in free culture being down on Creative Commons liscensed music.  I listen to plenty of non-CC music, but I think at an event promoting openness, CC music should be played.  Or maybe other bands that promote openness that might not license CC.  I don’t know much about Radiohead, because that’s not the type of music to which I listen, but I think I’d be ok with their music playing.

We pretty much stuck to the schedule.  It wasn’t exact, but close.

We broke up into two groups for the 1:30pm-2:30pm Open Knowledge section and I (along with the other organizers) went with the Education and Libraries group.  Having a professor there was very beneficial.  As I mentioned above, I introduced a lot of people to the idea of free schools.  If you think free schools are weird, just remember that’s the only diploma former USC professor Cory Doctorow has.

The 2:30-3:30 Creativity, Innovation, and Economic Opportunity section was a lot of fun.  We had a small group to discuss Art, Content and Property and we mostly discussed music; Radiohead, Girl Talk, Creative Commons, Nine Inch Nails and Jamendo.

By the time we got to the technology part of the day (a little later than 3:30) everyone was starting to get tired.  But technology and openness are so easy, the discussion was still good.  One of my friends that attended most of the event said that keeping it a cohesive event and him not coming just for the technology portion certainly made it more interesting.

After the event and cleanup, four of us went out to get Sushi on State Street and of course the conversation continued.  After that, I headed to DevMadHouse at Extra Bold Portfolio Studio on Pickney St and 4 of the 6 people there had also been at OEMad, so the conversation continued and being a hack fest, centered more upon technology.  At DevMadHouse there was no schedule to adhere to and we had the venue all night so conversation was even more fluid.  There was some good conversation about FOSS in industry and whether Google is to be trusted with their Microsoft-like “embrace and extend” of OpenIDPhotis always makes sure I don’t live in a FOSS bubble, which I suppose is a good thing.  Also of note that weekend was MadXmasAbe and Jonathan went, leaving the rest of us behind at DevMadHouse and then returned. Photis came to DevMadHouse after MadXmas.

OEMad 2009

As mentioned above, there are complete and changing notes on OEMad09 on the wiki.  As much as I’d like to rehash all my ideas on that site so you have a single source of info, I don’t think that’s a good use of my time.  Please check out the site. However, here are some of my biggest ideas: open gaming (actually either playing games on Linux or FOSS games on other platforms), open food (we could make it!), open hardware (building!) and live music.  Getting a local documentary film maker to do a documentary on the process of making an open event happen would be totally cool too.  Please, please, please share your ideas for the next event either here or especially at http://openeverything.us.

Calling it OEMad first off might be a misnomer as I think there’s a good possibility it will be in Milwaukee.  Nothing is set in stone though.  Potential names would be Open Everything Wisconsin or Open Everything MidWest.  If there is any traction from Minneapolis or Chicago groups, we may not be able to claim OEMidWest.  Time will only tell.

Yesterday at work I asked a non-attendie what we would have to do to get him to come to the next one.  This is really the person in which I’m interested.  Linux needs a critical mass.  I’m ok admitting that part of why I support FOSS are selfish reasons.  I support universal healthcare for much of the same pseudo-altruistic reasons.  It’s not just for me, but also the institutions and people I care about. For instance, I hate to see my alma mater’s (NCSSM and UNC) throw money away at proprietary software.  Still, I’d say that’s a somewhat selfish motive.

Back to the point, he said “Open Strippers” half joking but we did have an interesting conversation then about Creative Commons and the idea of a performance.  A conversation that easily applies to live music performances and theatre.  I also mentioned the Girls and Geeks discussions at BarCampMilwaukee. Of course, there’s also open source sex.  So, I wonder what we could really make happen in this regard.  Not just the sex regard, but bringing people in the door who are lazy, unmotivated or simply uninterested in openness (or just don’t know it yet).  Of course, it’s the “just don’t know it yet” crowd in which I am really interested.

SWEDEN!

I bought a Flickr Pro account in anticipation of the Sweden trip this summer.  I figure this way I can post Christmas photos too.  I get a new camera for Christmas, so I suspect I’ll be taking a lot of pictures!  The Sweden trip will be 7-9 days.  My travel partner is wanting a shorter trip and I’m wanting a longer one, so I think keeping it at 9 days includes two weekends if you leave on the right days.  It will depend on what sort of deal AAA can help me with.  She is interested in dancing, the outdoors and visiting the cities.  I am interested in fotboll, ishockey and metall (probably any English speakers can make those out…especially if you know me).  So, I’m definitely looking for suggestions, both for her and for me.  We’ll also probably be visiting Helsinki, Finland.  I don’t know if we’ll have time to visit Copenhagen.  It’s so close, but we don’t want to feel rushed.  I’d kinda like to go north of the artic circle just for the experience.  That might make it so Siberia doesn’t interest me as much.

Well, typing all of that with a broken arm wasn’t entirely pleasant, but I’m glad I did it and I hope you enjoy.  If I had the time, I’d re-read for typoes, but whatever, release early, release often.  If you stop by, please leave a comment!

day of hard work, still much to do

1. fix wacom on Acer tablet.

2. read about hard drive encryption and enterprise TrueCrypt deployment

3. 54 tickets at work (nevermind the specifics – don’t forget that not everything comes in as a ticket)

4. Christmas shopping

5. email Google about working with OEM

6. 13 items in Google Reader (after some healthy “Mark all as read”)

7. set up MythTV system and figure out TV more generally (Slingbox?)

8. invite UW-MKE prof to OEM

9. write a blog post about my future (law school, PhD, etc?)

10. set up Drupal in IIS

11. set up next broken arm appointment

12. figure out when my new DJ shift at http://www.citywidelpfm.org starts.

13. Get stickers for car

14.Talk to parents about moving money

15. Clean spots on Fedora shirt

16. Email Max about event details

17. fingernails (which, I can’t really do with the broken arm)

18. send out e-mails to BarCamp, MadLUG and others about OEM

19. desktop monitor fix (now just compiz!)

20. send machines at work off to HP

21. check Micros servers for updates

22. MotionComputing Outlook issue

23. figure out best webcam for Linux

24. write post about broken arm since people keep asking

I got rid of some and added others but at the same total number I was yesterday.  Other than the Open Everything Madison meeting at 2pm in the Web608 IRC channel, there isn’t anything on the calendar for tomorrow and I should knock a few things off the to-do list.  Now, I think it’s time for bed.

nVidia, Open Everything Madison and what’s up next

Now, remember, I’m typing one-handed with my broken arm.

I fixed the other day my desktop uninstalling nvidia-kernel-common

Here’s my to-do list (in no particular order):

1. fix wacom on Acer tablet.

2. read about hard drive encryption and enterprise TrueCrypt deployment

3. 51 tickets at work (nevermind the specifics)

4. Christmas shopping

5. email Google about working with OEM

6. 86 items (and growing in Google Reader)

7. set up MythTV system and figure out TV more generally (Slingbox?)

8. invite UW-MKE prof to OEM

9. write a blog post about my future (law school, PhD, etc?)

10. vacuum apt (place is a mess with broken arm)

11. put up clean dishes

12. figure out when my new DJ shift at http://www.citywidelpfm.org starts.

13. Get stickers for car

14.Talk to parents about moving money

15. e-mail Annie about Google video chat

16. e-mail Abe/Jenny about Google video

17. Clean spots on Fedora shirt

18. Email Max about event details

19. fingernails (which, I can’t really do with the broken arm)

now, 15 and 16 might not need to happen since GoogleVideoChat is not available on Linux yet.

So, I wanted to say more about OEM, but doesn’t look like I’ll have time tonight.