Ahr, mateys! It be pirate talkin day and I be talkin like pirate, ahr!!

Back from vacation about a week ago or so. It was a great trip and I feel pretty relaxed. Some tension with relatives and trying to spend time with everyone but thats the way it goes when you visit there. The worst thing was that I forgot my charger for my Canon and ended up lugging all this equipment for nearly nothing. I managed to take a couple of photos which I will add later.

This week I start school, working on my Masters in C.S. I am taking a class in Computational Biology which is a class observing patterns in genomes. Apparently you can apply several algorithms related to pattern matching to genomes in order to figure out bad genes.

We are going through a massive reorg in our IT department and I’m waiting for the dust to settle. I think I’m going to see if there are other opportunites in other areas. I”ve been doing this job for nearly 9 years and maybe it’s time for change. Sysadmining can be fun especially here where there are new problems all the time.

No work on GNOME at all. Sad. I’m working on my guitar these days in order to actually accomplish something!

My vacation thus far

Well, it’s been over 10 days into my vacation in India and I’ve been having a grand time and I haven’ gotten sick yet.

My sister-in-law’s marriage went off pretty good and we had a great time with everyone there. I even did a little driving in Bombay which can be a little disconcerting. But as long as I believe I own the road, I was fine.

Man, I’ve been eating like a pig here too. 3 square meals plus in between snacks, and caffiene. All part of the fun.

I will be in Bangalore tommorow for those who are in Bangalore and want to meet up, let me know and mail my gmail account (sriram.ramkrishna@gmail.com) I’m leaving for Goa on the 30th afternoon. Unfortunately, I’m not able to IRC since I’ve been on dialup for the last couple of days and it’s really hard to get online and download stuff. I might try again from a cybercafe later.

Hope all you GNOMEies are keepin it real.

Last day of OSCON

So this is the last day of OSCON and it’s been a full (and fun) week doing stuff like the booth. While a lot more hectic than last year since I didn’t have as many volunteers to help was still enjoyable talking to various people who come to the booth.

One interesting tidbit was that the Mayor of Portland runs KDE. I do intend to send him a livecd so he can perhaps change his mind. 🙂 But still, he’s running a linux based laptop and thats pretty cool. I had it confirmed by a couple of state government employees. Unfortunately, none of the city govt folks showed up. There was even one guy from the General Accounting Office (GAO) as well. All took some live cds. 🙂

Big thanks to jeff and Dave Camp for helping me out and hanging out and talking. It was fun having them both there. When Dave wasn’t hanging out he was over at the Gibsun Guitar booth rocking out. 🙂 (btw dude, I got myself a gibsun guitar t-shirt thrown at me! 😉

The one observation I have while doing the booth was the complete lack of females approaching the booth. No matter how hard I tried to catch their eye they’d never look. The whole thing was so intriguing I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what they were interested in and what made them go there. It seems from observation that they like booths with a lot of colours, and marketing materials, and what not. Apparently, GNOME is not appealing to women or I’m not, or it’s not flashy enough..dunno. We need to be more women friendly. We need manly men, with chiseled chins, and long flowing hair. GNOME should be about sex..er sex appeal rather.

I’d like to also state that OSCON seems to be GNOME land. When people were not running OS-X or Windows it was GNOME. Whether it was redhat, suse, or ubuntu thats all I saw. So, that was really nice to see.

Had some good conversation with one of the mozilla guys about how to create a community especially around Q&A/bugzilla etc etc and also discussing the difficulties and risks of moving Firefox to timed releases ala GNOME and Ubuntu.

Next year, I’d like to see OSCON do more on linux desktops and also having things like flumotion streaming for the outside community.

Enough for now.


Well, it’s day one here in OSCON. I’m pretty much just going around by myself here. Had some interesting conversations with people about various topics. Mostly I’ve been looking to see who is running what on their laptops. By in large, I’ve seen GNOME/OSX/XP for desktops with powerbooks dominating. Every Unix desktop I’ve seen was running GNOME.

Overall it seems that OSX is the most popular. I”ve been thinking of asking people who are running GNOME what they think of it just to gauge people’s reactions. The one person I asked complained that we change things too much. He specifically mentioned the file dialog box where the text entry was removed and he couldn’t figure out quite how to type in a directory. There is some validity in that there is no visual cue on how to do so although once you try typing something a text entry widget does show up. He wanted some kind of on-line documentation thing that says “this was the old behavior, this is the new” and be able to select which behavior.

So his complaint is mostly about being forced to change a work model without any support of the previous model and not being able to go back to it. Unfortunately, usability is still work in progress for us IMHO and these changes will happen as we try to improve usability. But we need to tightly control these changes otherwise we will make people unhappy because we force them to change their ways. That’s not their idea of “user friendly”.

I also wandered around the bookstore and felt kind of depressed with the amount of books on UNIX desktops and how much space they don’t give to GNOME. The other desktop seems a lot more comfortable for them to use. Because of the coverage it also makes the other desktop a lot more exciting to use with all the coverage it gets. Consequently, the users we want to reach those non technical people end up reading more about KDE than GNOME when they do their research or talk to their local techie. How ironic.

BTW there was our GNOME Development book but unfortunately it’s already out of date. It needs updating. 🙂

I feel obligated now to talk people’s ear off about 2.14 at the booth starting Wednesday. Party on!

When you walk the line, don’t look down.


Well OSCON is almost upon us and I’ve been gearing up for it. At this point pretty much all the logistical stuff is done and I’m just trying to get something to show off. After many days of frustrated attempts to make little videos to show off features of GNOME I finally got vnc2swf to work on breezy. I just have to do the demos now.

My frustratino was only compounded by the fact that my internet access was very spotty but now I find that my upload speed is equal to my download speed! Woo!

I’ve been trying to recruit my brother into using GNOME or to use his skills as a professional designer at an auto firm somehow. He came through for me by helping with a poster. Getting some feedback on the poster would be great! Check them out:

GNOME Poster 2
GNOME Poster 6
GNOME Poster 7
GNOME Poster 11

Other than that been pretty busy with personal stuff. This weekend, we hope to complete the painting of the house. We only have to do the trim and do some touch up but getting an early start should help finish everything up.

The place I worked out, 24 hour fitness had a bunch of news people buzzing around there. Turns out that someone there got arrested for child molestation of some 8 year old in the day care center. Not sure who the hell would try (or even want to) in front of all those kids. No doubt, they are going to have to be more careful who they hire.

Some kid died in southern oregon somewhere on some camping trip. Strangel enough when I found out it was some Ukrainian youth trip I seemed to remember that the guy who did our wooden flooring was talking about setting up some camping trip down south and I thought it was in august but not sure.

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.

guadec and other stuff..

It’s been forever since I last wrote. Missed a whole month. May 11, was my birthday and I basically spent it walking around downtime Portland with a camera in hand. Picked up two CDs and pretty much spent half my day relaxing.

Been working on and off on my sprinkler system which seems never to be complete since I keep getting distracted by other things. Planning seems to be the biggest problem and the fact that my yard has a lot of roots that I have to plan around.

It’s great to see everyone so charged up after GUADEC! I haven’t heard all the talks but they all seemed really cool and I’m sorry I wasn’t able to go. Since I have to attend a wedding in August I wasn’t able to take the time off to go. Hope everyone is all motivated. 🙂

I haven’t been able to weigh in on the next gen VCS discussion, but I’m planning on writing an article on it. My focus is really about the social aspects of the change rather than technical merits. Especially how it relates to what discussions that have been going on at GUADEC. Some people want to start with subversion and then perhaps move to another one. Waste of time, you spend a lot of time setting up subversion only to throw it away in 6 months plus the work to convert things over? Not worth it and if I was the sysadmin I would not be happy.

Love the new planet stuff. Steve Gerrity’s work kicks ass. I hear he’s working on www.gnome.org. Which seriously needs work. If we want to look good we need to make our site be useful. But I’m repeating the obvious.

Put out some new pictures of spring that I took back in April. 🙂
look here

Thats it for now…

GNOME Journal: Weite your articles!

So, GNOME Journal is still looking for articles for their upcoming “pre-GUADEC” issue. This is your chance to talk about interesting bits of desktop technology that you’d like to share with the GNOME community and beyond. Why you would you want to do this?

* Gain the adoration of GNOME fans who want to see cool things
* Looks great on resumes
* Especially when they get translated and republished at other magazines.
* You might even get paid if it rocks!
* Pick up on your writing skills

More importantly, it shows what the Linux desktop and GNOME applications can do today.

If you’re interested in writing, please see:

GNOME Journal Wiki and check out what it takes to be a writer.

Feel free to visit us at: #gnome-journal on IRC as well.

The deadline for rough drafts is May 16th 2005. We plan on releasing the next issue May 23rd, 2005.

So please help us out and write for your favourite desktop.