Long time no blog.

Well it’s been forever since I’ve blogged anything. Been really busy with work and I hardly had time to do much with GNOME for the past couple of months. I hadn’t realized how stressed out I was until I finally took a vacation. I was having trouble sleeping and been feeling run down all the time. After the vacation I could finally get some sleep and finally start concentrating on work.

GNOME Journal stuff is actually doing pretty good even though we haven’t had much in the way of releases. Our group are really busy with our personal lives and also caught up in various other GNOME activities. (I’m looking at you Ken) So, this is a shout out for people who want to:

a) slowly get involved with GNOME but are the cautious type.

b) want to get involved but you feel you don’t have the technical background to help. Or maybe GNOME is just so big and complex but you want to help out in some way. GNOME Journal is a great way to start out. We have quite a diverse number of people here.

c) you’re interested in writing and want to try out your technical writing skills

All are valid reasons to join up and help us out. Mail me and I’ll get you started I have plenty of ideas/trends that you could follow up on or post on this blog.

Board? I have a better use for you..

Since we’re all talking about rockstars. I think we need to be talking about our rockstars who write articles to the journal. I will consider you a rockstar if you write articles for us. We have another issue coming up and I would like to see some more articles. No matter what kind of GNOME or even generic all purpose desktop architecture like for instance Galago or DBus; we’d be interested.

So help us come up with another great issue of GNOME Journal!

Long time no blog..

It’s been an eventful couple of months and I haven’t had time to really blog or even get too much involved in GNOME. Those of you who I have interviewed and are expecting that article, I beg patience as I try to work out my sudden busy home and work life.

Work has been pretty painful with a lot of changes. We had layoffs about 3 weeks ago and luckily I didn’t get voted off the island. But there is still a lot of upheaval. It’s also hard to watch people you’ve known over 10 years be let go.

My wife has been looking for work and in her free time has been working on organizing our house. Of course that frequently means that as her designated partner-in-crime that I have been given oversight powers regardless of whether I want them or not!

I’ve almost finished one article and have about 3 more to finish before my labours are complete. I encourage others to write for the journal. I have a number of articles that I think would be good to write. If you’re interested, please contact me.

The other day, we had someone running for the Oregon legislature going door to door. He looked pretty frazzled and he started going through his scripted introduction with my wife. Until of course I came to the door. Over the past couple of years I’ve become much more political active or more accurately, politically aware. Probably has a lot to do with the party in charge these days. I gave him an earful about what I felt was wrong with Oregon/Country/World. He perked up a bit after that. We had some discussions on open source/free software and he was a big proponent of it. I think it’s a good bet that he might win the seat. I have a unique opportunity to apply some influence in oregon politics and push for more free software/desktop whatever.

Guadec es muy bein!

That’s as good as my spanish gets. It’s my first (and of course best) GUADEC for me. I’ve been having a great time finally meeting the people I’ve been talking and emailing since the early days of GNOME. So it’s been a great treat for me to be able to come and meet everyone.

Special shout out to the Imendio guys for the many nights of awesome fun!


I’ll probably be coming back with some stuff to do it seems. But that’s alright.


I’m not ignoring you, you bastard! Martyn.. you must admit I make a great model. I’m happy to model other bling. 🙂

And away we go…

So once again it’s been forever since I’ve actually blogged something. We had some reorganization at work and it’s been kicking my ass in a majuor way. I’ve had no time to do anything useful other than to whine. My one claim is that I managed to write one article for GNOME Journal. The last release was somewhat disapointing as it didn’t seem to get as good a reception as the previous one. Maybe it’s just my perception I don’t know.

I’ve decided to give “gimmie” a try. Gimmie as people have noted before is sort of a replacement for your panel and consolidates common, repetitive tasks to a single location. I deleted my bottom panel and replaced it with Folgers crys.. er I mean gimmie. I’ve been doing this for like over a week now and I don’t miss my panel. I’ve also been able to delete the applications menu on top. My only complaint is the hideous pastel colors. I think Alex was in L.A. too long. 🙂 It would be interesting to turn this into a type of panel in GNOME.

Finally, I’ve decided to help out with GUADEC, in the Journal section since it seems that writing and marketing has been more my forte of late.

One final note on GUADEC, Quim Gil needs your help! It’s the last stretch and this is probably the hardest, most tension riddled time for Quim and I speak from someone who has been on a planning committee for a conference; this is the time for the GNOME community to help out!! Quim is probably too busy to actualy ask for help but please go to http://www.guadec.org/ and sign up to volunteer your time in helping GUADEC be an awesome event. Even if you’re not able to show up, I’m sure any time you could sink would be much appreciated.

I had my 37th birthday May 11th, and it was pretty pedestrian. Hard to believe you’re that old. I don’t feel that old, I feel the same as I did when I was 25. I guess you only feel as old as you think you are.

Anyways, the birthday was pretty pedestrian but I did manage to watch a hindi movie called Yaadon ki Bharaat . As with most bollywood movies there are a number of songs on it. This particular movie was made in 1973 and has a number of hippie references right down to the headbands. I’ve known the songs since I was little, but never watched the movie. Mostly because I’ve had situations where you really enjoy the songs and then when you watch the movie it’s this exceptionally painful, cheesy scene that you have to somehow erase from your mind in order to enjoy the song again. The songs, and the movie did not disapoint! What struck me though was the sophistication. The sets were way better than anything in the 80s, and the incredible wonderful wardrobe of Zeenat Aman ! The 70s were probably the best time period for Hindi movies. There was an avante garde attitude to the whole thing. Something happened around the late 70s, and I suspect that the “social police” decided that things were going out of control. I consider most of the movies made in the late 60s to the late 70s to be some of the best of indian cinema.

The story was okay, but not the best but it was an entertaining three hours and it’s worth it just watching Zeenat Aman and the funky dancing!

What if the last thing you hear was song?

Well another month has gone by. It’s been pretty busy for me. Been pushing on trying to get more articles for GJ this time around and it seems we got a better set of articles than before.

The deadline was supposed to be today, but we’ll probably extend it since we are expecting some articles. The article I was supposed to do has kind of sat by the wayside. I have no excuse. It was pure laziness. I also blame Ross, because he’s easy to blame.

Rhythmbox well probably be having another release here soon. Lots of bug fixes. I’m hoping the release name will be “Iain’s Pain” or “Et Tu, Iain?” due to the complete rejection of a certain Irishman of our software. May a thousand fleas molest him and his beer. That said, we’re close to a plugin system. Three cheers to kikidonk ! Of course I volunteered him by spreading a rumor that he was going to do it. 🙂

Started my next class which is actually an open source project called ‘xcb’. Some interesting with the composite stuff in Xorg. I’m hoping that it’ll be a great learning experince. The concept of my project is pretty exciting and it’s great to do some eye candy.

Listened to GWB’s SOTU; was underwhelmed.

Work’s been busy, finally started to finally do some development instead of my usual sysadmin duties. Been really ramping on python since most of it is in that. It’s a great language and it’s finally taken hold in our group. I’d like to think that I had something to do with that since I was doing most of the evangalism there. Of course other groups have already discovered python. We’re a bit late. 🙂

Joined the joint Freedesktop marketing team. Some nice discussions, and it’s nice to do something together insetad of having our users at loggerheads with each other because of their choice of desktops. But it’s always the case of human nature that we need to pick a side. I know I do that all the time, but then I like to argue. 🙂

What’s really been awesome has been the number of new volunteers working on GNOME documentation and the kind of stuff Shaun has been doing. Really good stuff. Nobody talks about documentation because it’s always a sidebar issue, but when it comes to selling to the masses or to the govt, good documentation is an important training issue.

I’ll participate later on the GNOME Sucks/Rocks. I do have some things I would like to weigh in on.

So thats the way it was, Wed Feb 1, 2006…

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Happy New Year..

It’s been forever since I’ve blogged about anything and I’m afraid I still have nothing to blog about. heh. First off:

A very happy new year to everyone!

I have a big feeling that 2006 is going to be a much better year in 2005. 2005 was a mostly good year personally but I’m hoping next year will be better.

Finally, I want to do a shout out to all my gnome journal peeps. We’ve have completed one year of GNOME Journal and I’m looking forward to some new stuff this year.

We are still looking for people who are interested in writing about GNOME. This could be anything like interesting tricks, trends, or spot light on interesting features.


GNOME Journal released!

Ladies and Gentleman, the new issue of GNOME Journal released and on time and on schedule. 🙂 Lots of nice stuff, so please read it and send feedback to the team. Browse to http://www.gnomejournal.org/

We are still looking for new columnists who have a passion for writing and are interested in helping out. We will work with anyone!


hail to the brits!

Just wanted to post and relay my sympathies to those who may have been affected by the London bombing. It’s clearly a crime to escalate tensions and force the country to do something stupid. But it’s just great how wonderful the Brits have weathered this. We all have to move on and we can’t worry about these sort of things. While I could go on a nice rant I’ve decided not to and spare everyone!

GNOME Journal has gotten itself some new editors to help out Jim out since he recently got hired after graduation and has been busy with life. John Williams and Laurie Vandine (Ken Vandine’s wife of Foresight Linux fame) are continuing to edit for us. We should get a better turn around time. Hopefully, we will also provide faster feedback to those who have turned in articles and were wondering what happened to them.

For those of you who are thinking of writing articles, we are more than willing to meet you half way when it comes to writing them. Especially authors who are interested in writing something they are enthusiastic about; we are happy to help write it for you! Provide us with an outline and make yourself available for questions and we can help.

If you are interested in writing or want to get familiar with what GNOME has to offer, GNOME Journal is a great way of getting your feet wet and meet people

Fourth of July was fun, but very busy. Spent most of my four day vacation painting our house. Our house is a beige colour with a green trim. The colour is more of a greenish gray with a white trim. Overall it looks pretty cool. I learned how to use a spray painter. The worst thing about these spray painters are the fact that it takes over an hour for me to clean them and it’s messy. We only have to finish the trim and then we’ll be done painting. Then we move on to doing a walkway in the backyard with pavers and sand. Not sure how thats going to work out since I”ve never done such a thing before.

Weather has turned to shit. I haven’t been able to cycle to work like I planned this summer. Neither have I’ve been able to go on hikes. It’s become too cold and rainy. Unusual for Portland weather in July. Today it was 59F!

We have about 6 weeks left before we go to India. That should be fun. I need to buy my tripod in order to get pictures. I also need to buy antoher 1 G flash card. Hopefully that will be soon. Finally, there is a party to plan as well.

With all my social and house plans I have been unable to actually concentrate on doing any coding or commit to anything significant.

First week of August is OSCON and I will be having a GNOME booth for the 3rd year in a row. I need to make sure all my materials show up so that we can have a kick ass booth this year. Specifically, getting t-shirts and live cds will be important. One idea is to have that included in the conference packet if possible. Something to follow up on. OSCON is a cool conference with lots of government and company participation. The difference is that technical folks come and not a slew of marketing types unlike other conferences. It’s a fun conference and I’ve enjoyed being there and schmoozing with everyone.

unhand me, ruffian, or face my boomstick

Well, wow. Two posts in one month! Thats gotta be a record. 🙂 I sometimes find it more fun to read the blogs than to actually post. Funky.

GNOME stuff has been an all time low as domestic chores and what not have gone up taking up my time. It’s worse in the summer since you want to hang out outside instead of stuck inside. Luckily, I finally got around to installing a hammock so that I can celebrate summer with some beer and a laptop and do both. That is if my wife doesn’t kick me out so that she can enjoy it!

People maybe (or maybe not) have been wondering whats going on with GNOME Journal. GNOME Journal was delayed due to time constraints and will be released real soon now. We’ve added one more editor to the mix so that it’ll take some load off of Jim. Ken Vandine’s wife will be helping out here. Claus has been doing an excellent job though of trying to keep the issue on track and my hats off to him for doing so! That said, it would be really help the journal out if more volunteers could step up to help. Specifically, we’d love to see some people who are more of the liberal arts minded and are interested in journalism and writing. It’s good practice to be able to write. The upside is that your work will be translated and probably will be published in several countries. Those of you who are in contact with people who know writing please approach them! We’d love to hear from you.

I have agreed to set up a booth at OSCON this year. So far things are looking pretty good in terms of volunteers with several people that I know of that will be helping to man the booth. I’m hoping I’m getting an ubuntu t-shirt out of it 😉 That said, having someone coming up with a demo video that does a guided tour of everything GNOME does would be really really cool. When I run the booth last two years most people aren’t curious enough to play around with the desktop but they do take well to demonstrations from what people give. So it would be really awesome to have someone come up with that. I know that Murray had also mentioned something similar. That would kick butt.

No comment on my progress on other things since they are all stalled waiting for me to get some time to work on it.

Was somewhat disapointed with GNOME playing it safe and going with a wierd combo of subversion as the main repository and anoncvs using bazaar. It makes the mix complicated since you can’t really commit things via arch but have to use a different system. We should take more chances. Bazaar just makes more sense for the way we do things. For instance, translators could have their own archive that are mirrors of gnome cvs and we dont’ have to have this requirement that projects like abiword have to move to the GNOME cvs server. There are definitely some benefits. In any case, I’m happy that we actually decided on a direction and I haven’t really made much noise because I fear it will only contribute to stop energy. Hopefuly we’ll move in the future because I think Bazaar is the right tool for the job. Waiting for the rest of the world to realize.

This past weekend was my seventh wedding anniversary. We spent it camping at Lake Quinault in Washington on the Olympic penninsula. It’s the U.S.’s only rainforest. Pretty nice. It didn’t even rain until two hours after we packed up the tent. Overall it was fun, we were steps away from the water’s edge and we had a great view of mountains surrounding a lake. I have pictures.

This weekend I also learned that I have been accepted as a part time grad student at Portland State Unversity as a master’s student in Computer Science. My employer will be footing the bill. I’m looking forward to it. I plan to take two classes at a time in order to speed up graduation. I’ve already got half the credits needed to graduate! Of course this means that my time for other stuff is going to further diminish. :/

Finally, a rant about the Indian Consulate. Now, I ask you. For a country full of engineers, you’d think that they would have a website that would reflect that. Instead, the Indian consulate has a website that looks like my grandmother must have done using html 1.0. Utter, utter crap. High school students could come up with better. They should try hiring them. I’ve been trying for weeks to get these guys to answer a simple question, but I have been unable to do so. I am just frustrated with the lack of attention.