Monthly Archives: October 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) is released

Judging from the few reviews I’ve already read, it seems that Ubuntu 9.10 is a “good” karma release.  In Hinduism, everything that we have ever thought, spoken, done or caused is Karma.   Karma is produced in four ways: through thoughts, words, actions that we perform ourselves, and actions others do under our instructions.  As humans, we have the opportunity to speed up our spiritual progress with practice of good Karma.  Conversely, we produce negative karma because we lack knowledge and clarity.[1]  We can directly map this concept to the goodness we are seeing in the 9.10 release:

  • Thoughts: We carefully planned what features we wanted and did not want to deliver in 9.10, considering what users needed, wanted, and wished for.
  • Words: We then proceeded to think about how our features would be designed aesthetically and technically, as well as how they would be implemented, putting these plans into words via blueprints.
  • Our Actions:  We put forward these ideas at UDS, taking in input from others in the community, decided on what we would deliver and went forward in our engineering and design endeavors.
  • Others Actions We’ve Inspired: Obviously, Canonical could never deliver a single release without the contributions from our community, Debian, upstream maintainers, and fans of opensource in general.  All of these contributions are inspired by the Ubuntu philosophy, of which we try to adhere to in everything we do.

I’m extremely proud of this complete body of work we call the Karmic Koala, and humbled to be part of the community that delivered it.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma

Back from holiday

Just finished a 5-day trip to Florida with Courtney. The location wasn’t “great”, but nice, and having time away from work and Kalen was good. Sucks that I have to turn around and leave for another week for the Ubuntu 9.10 release, but as The Don says, “This is the life we have chosen” :). Anyway, it’s clear that the blogging everyday experiment was a bust…but to be honest, if I did that my postings would be nothing but expanded twitter posts. So I think I’ll try to blog at least once a week. I figure if I can’t come up with something at least partially interesting to blog about…I need to make some life changes! 😛

Rich or Famous = Smart?

Don’t you hate it when you see some famous movie star, athlete, or singer being interviewed on something that’s NOT about movies, sports, or songs? I mean, why would I care anymore about your thoughts on politics, religion, business, science, or society than some random person on the street? So what you have money now, and can travel abroad, or meet an author of a book you read, or did in-depth character research before you PRETEND to be someone else. How does any of that qualify you to talk about relations with China or how to deal with the mentally ill?

Furthermore, why do we think EVERY wealthy business person made their money from hard, honest work? True, a lot have and I have nothing but respect for them…but a lot others were either lucky, had family money, or were screwing over others to get ahead. I don’t care about their opinion on economic growth or growing the middle class.

We need to stop equating money and fame with intelligence in this country…if we did that, maybe we’d see how stupid a lot of us are.

Columbus Day

Only in America would we celebrate a man who landed in the Caribbean, erroneously thought he was in India, and claimed to “discover” a land already inhabited. Add to that the disease and enslavement he brought, and it’s just damn embarassing.

Obama wins Nobel Peace prize

Ha! That’s it…no need to defend or justify it. But I will say this: isn’t it ironic that the same people who criticize Obama as hating America, were happy when we lost the Olympic bid and outraged when our president wins the Nobel Peace prize? Heh…idiots.

Celtx: An example of why Ubuntu is cool.

Do you know what Celtx is? I didn’t until one of my best friends was asking me about switching to Ubuntu. You see, he’s a screenwriter and was looking at getting a new computer. Like most artists, he has been using a Mac, but didn’t want to shell out the big bucks for a new one…and can’t stand Windows. He was thinking about getting an Acer netbook, but REALLY didn’t want to use Windows, and asked me about Ubuntu. I immediately told him about Ubuntu Netbook Remix and even showed him the latest 9.10 Beta running on a Dell Mini…he was hooked. He liked the “mac-ness” of it and the look-and-feel of netbook-launcher.

The deal was almost closed :P, however the ONLY concern was whether or not there was a good screenwriting application for Linux. I tried checking our software repository…no dice, damn! So I went to Google with “Linux screenwriting”, and Celtx popped up. “I’ve heard of that…it’s pretty good”, he said. Bingo! I checked out http://www.celtx.com and they had a Linux download (yay!), but it was in .tgz form (boo!). While I think he could handle this, I didn’t want to scare my friend away from using Linux by forcing him to install an app from a .tgz file.

This where the beauty of the Ubuntu community comes in. I went to Launchpad did a search for celtx…Kaching! It was already packaged and ready to go…even for 9.10 beta! I showed him how easy it was to add the PPA and install. A few minutes later, he was running celtx and checking out the features. Finally, I heard confirmation of the sale, “Yeah…this is gonna work nice.”

So he went from loathing the purchase of an overpriced Mac or underperforming Windows netbook, to being happy with the perfect solution…Ubuntu.

National Night Out

Tonight was the official NNO [1] date for Texas. Apparently, it was August 4th for the rest of the country, but either Texas moved it to spare folks from the intense heat wave we had…or it was moved because most Texans think the state is a nation unto itself. 😛

I’ve heard of this, but never participated in it…until tonight. A few neighbors put together a little block party in front of my house and the neighboring homes. I’m lucky enough to live where the street turns…creating a nice area to hang without worrying about traffic. There was hot dogs, sausages, drinks, fruit & vegetable platters, and desert.

I knew some of the neighbors already, from casual conversations in the yard and such. However, I have to admit that I was not looking forward to hanging out in the street for 3 hours, meeting all the neighbors, and trying to keep my 2yr old son from killing himself on the neighbor’s trampoline.

It’s not that I’m anti-social (far from it), but I don’t like being forced into social interaction…just feels damn awkward to me. But I have to say, it was really nice, and I am glad I participated. Besides meeting some good people and learning who had kids the same age as my son, it was nice to feel a real sense of community. It reminded me of when I grew up on Tanglewood Dr in a small neighborhood in a little town called Georgetown, Texas. Now it’s much bigger, but back then (early 80s) it was so small, that I could dial my friends house by hitting 3 and the last four digits of the number…crazy! We had block parties all the time, and parents never worried about their kids because they knew folks in the neighborhood always kept an eye out.

It’s refreshing that in this day of 1000+ TV channels, Xbox, PS3, Wii, and the internet, that I may be able to give my son the same comforts of real community that I grew up with.

[1] http://www.nationaltownwatch.org/nno/index.html

Is boot speed THAT important?

So there’s a lot of talk about boot speed in the operating system arena. Windows 7 is supposedly booting much faster, we (Ubuntu) are working tirelessly to improve boot speed, and Intel has Moblin and it’s 5sec** boot. Most of this push for fast boot is by OEMs who want netbooks and laptops booting fast “like a mobile phone”. And this is the problem: Mobile phones DON’T boot. Have you ever pulled the battery from your blackberry/google phone, or hard reset your iPhone? How long did it take to boot? I’m betting it took well over a minute. Hell, my Sony Bravia takes about 8 seconds to power on..and I don’t particularly care, as long as the screen stays on and the HD picture is crisp.

So is the push for fast boot even fair? Maybe we should push for fast resume…which is what your phone does. If we do, then we (Ubuntu) are done, as resume is practically instantaneous. I’m not saying users don’t appreciate a fast boot, but once it’s under a minute…your average user won’t care (at least my friends and family don’t). They actually notice an UGLY boot more, as it conveys a message of being unstable…and so I’m glad we (Ubuntu) have made a push for cleaning up boot.

Let me be clear, I support improving boot performance, but I’m also careful not to obsess about it. Perhaps, we should focus more on creating less needs to reboot in the first place.

**EXTREMELY machine dependent.

Happiness vs Pleasure

This is a short one…but good. I read something by the Dalai Lama years ago about happiness versus pleasure, and I’d like to share it: To attain true happiness, one must avoid giving into pleasure.

Obama Chia?!…Really?!?!

Now I’ve tried my best to understand why in the hell they would make and try to sell an Obama chia as “patriotic”…but I just can’t. It can only be one of two things:

1) They are simply trying to capitalize off the historical event…just like the idiots selling commemorative Obama coins or plates. If so, I can’t be mad at them…ashamed at how low Americans will go to make a buck, yes…but not mad. Hell, similar things happened after 9/11, with people selling flags on the street and tons of crap with the image of the towers…disgraceful in my opinion, but oh well.

2) The company is owned by some extreme right-wing nut or outright racist, who is actually mocking the first black president. I mean honestly…does Obama have a Buckwheat-style afro? Does the face even look like him? Or is it just an image of a stereotypical black guy.

I’m thinking #1 is the reason, but I can’t understand how no one in the Chia head office (if there is such a thing) thought that putting this out WOULDN’T offend people. So obviously they didn’t care. It’s not like tons of people are still buying Chia pets…maybe they were hoping they could make some quick cash. Cash from those who don’t like Obama…not his policies or ideas, but the man himself. So great move Chia! Way to market to the assholes, right-wing nuts, and racists.