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Quick Thoughts from Memphis, TN

I think if I traveled more, I’d get a lot more done.  The short time-frames force you to be productive quickly; to be decisive and succinct.  Sure, having more time can help you develop more complex ideas more fully, but often you don’t need that much time to get things done.

In my next post I want to discuss WIRED magazine as well as netbooks (which I promised raster I would do).
Oh yeah, don’t forget OpenCamp: An Open Everything Event on April 18th.

first post from BSD; thoughts on the world to come

So, I’m typically not a KDE user, but that’s the default on PC-BSD. So far, so good. I’ve checked out KDE before, so it’s not entirely foreign. One thing I immediately don’t like about Konquerer is my cursor does not show up in the WordPress menu. Since I’m president of the Madison Linux User Group, I have no intentions of switching full time, but if I was thinking about it, I don’t think this would be a deal-breaker.  For one thing, this isn’t an issue in the FreeBSD version of Firefox (thank God!).

Flash is working for some things and not others. Presumably this is because it’s using Flash 9 and not Flash 10. AIR says my platform is not supported. LAME! So, Linux compatibility isn’t as useful and easy as it might sound. Kopete looks like a resonable enough chat client. Like Konquerer, I think this is just a KDE thing and really has nothing to do with BSD.  One thing I should note.  Wireless works out of the box.

Alright, time to get serious about this presentation I have on Tuesday about OpenCamp.  GLUE had me thinking seriously about an “ideal world.”  I’ll post on that after Tuesday’s presentation.

OpenCamp, NowDoThis and other things

I started this on Saturday and somehow got distracted…

You may have noticed I’ve been blogging more lately.  I think I can attribute that to two things.

1) well, if you looked at more apartment, you’d understand.

2) NowDoThis.com.  There are tons of “To Do” lists and task managers on the web.  I’ve used a couple on the Google Customized Home Page (which I never use any more), but never got the focus NowDoThis gives me.  (mentioning NowDoThis on my blog was on my NowDoThis list 🙂

Also just wanted to mention that my brother is at the GT High School Math Competition this weekend.  Good thing for traffic that the UNC/GT game is in Chapel Hill.  GT and UNC are the most likely schools for my brother to attend…though he still hasn’t heard back from MIT.  I’m not sure how his recent knee injury will affect his futbol career.

But what I really want to talk about are two events (and then some).

1) Open Everything and FOSS: On March 17th at 7pm, I’ll be giving a presentation on how a non-tech conference can help techies and why it should stay a non-tech conference.

2) OpenCamp: April 18th at Grainger Hall on UW’s campus.  I plan on writing more about this, just not now.

And then some) no time now, but GLUE is coming up (March 14th for me), there’s a LOPSA meeting tomorrow (Thursday now) and there’s a MadLUG meeting on Friday (the 6th).
Next week are advisory cousils at work.  I am emphatically not looking forward to this.  This probably means I won’t get a chance to post again until after GLUE.  Who knows what the weekend will bring, but I am way, way behind on everything right now.  If anybody wants to help with LUG stuff or Open Everything stuff, I could certainly use it!

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?

OpenCamp, Skype and reading

I was reading an article on Google Chrome and it’s spell-checking and was reminded that I said I’d write more on OpenCamp: An Open Everything Event today.  As I went looking for that link it was 11:59…so, I sorta hit the deadline. Though it’s going to get published “tomorrow”.  Anyway, I wanted to spend a little time discussing why exactly I didn’t have a chance to write much about OpenCamp.

For one, UNC beat Miami 69-65 and it’s a treat when the games are actually on here in Wisconsin, so I watched.  I then watched a little of the NBA All-Star game.  I have no idea when the last time I did that was.  It was probably in high school, but maybe even further back than that.  Not having papers to right or things I’m being forced to read has opened up a lot of time. This is not the place for sports talk though.  If you’re interested, check out my sports Twitter account.

Aside from the fun, I slept late (which was needed because this new cardio routine is wearing me out) and worked on Skype.  This is what I want to spend just a little time discussing.  Skype in Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04 and Windows XP all either crashes or drops calls.  Note that I’ve tried 8.10 and 9.04 on the same hardware (an HP), but also 8.10 on a Dell and Windows XP on an Acer.  I know some people use Skype as their primary phone and with all the problems I’ve had, I don’t see how this is possible.  Now, I already had a post about how the audio won’t work in Ubuntu 9.04.  The audio works fine in 8.10, Skype just crashes.  Assuming all these people that use Skype aren’t nuts, there’s a few points of problem.  I’m on Charter in Verona, WI and my friend is on Time Warner in Raleigh, NC.  Either of those providers could be doing something weird.  It could be something networking on her end or on my end.  I tried moving the computer closer to the router.  I’ve tried ending other bandwidth usage on the home network.  Wireless in 9.04 seems to be a little sketchy, but dropping calls shouldn’t cause the program to crash!  Tomorrow I plan to test with my parents and if we continue to get dropped calls, I’ll plug in to the router.  If I still get dropped calls, it’s likely either Charter or Time Warner (my parents also have Time Warner, but not in Raleigh).

Also, I should say I spent a fair amount of time testing dimdim and then Camfrog.  Despite what the Wikipedia article says, Camfrog does not appear to work in WINE on 8.10 or 9.04.  I guess this doesn’t really refute what the article says since the article says 8.0x (a clear indication they don’t understand the Ubuntu naming scheme), but I did have high hopes.  I’d like to use dimdim, since it’s FOSS, but I could not get audio to work in Linux and in Windows I could not get video to work.  Neither of the two individuals on the conference call with me could figure it out either.  It certainly isn’t as easy to use as Skpe and I gain nothing from using it, so I won’t be using that.

In happier news, dual monitors on Linux seems to be going much smoother these days.  The way the monitors are initially on top of each other is a bit bizarre though.  Using the second monitor has also killed my desktop effects, but I prefer the screen real estate.

I’m also soon to finish a book on Marx, which is interesting both from a community and from a historical perspective.  It’s interesting to me how much you can see later world events in what Marx said (but then again, this book was written in 1975, so maybe it’s designed that way).  Whatever your political leanings, now is the time to figure out something about economics and Marx was certainly an influential thinker and as an international community leader, I think there are some lessons to be learned from that aspect too.  Once I finish with that book I’ll probably be reading on travel books…though I don’t think I’ll be traveling as much in the next few years as I had originally planned.

Tomorrow should be a hectic day at work. Staff Meeting days always are. Assuming I get home at a reasonable hour, I’ll try to sort out what’s been going on on the Open Everything Madison list and maybe talk a bit about some of my ideas for sessions.