I decided to start off this blog with one of the things that prompted me to start with. Once in a while I get some blogging material in my head and have no good place to post it. This is something I ended up posting on ubuntuforums a couple weeks ago. So, this is my summary of Ubucon NYC 2007, imported from ubuntuforums.
So after the easiest 7:30 in the morning wake-up ever (I was on a 15th story with big window with open shades) and much less adventures on the subway than the night before, I got to Google offices before 9am, though after the scheduled 8:30. There were about 40 people there, all awaiting food. Turned out breakfast was late because the truck broke down.
I sat down, opened up my laptop and hopped on google’s wireless. They have 4 guest ssid’s! I saw an awful lot of macs around so I mentioned it on IRC. Riddell said they were all weak minded :D. John Mark Walker (the orgranizer) started talking while we were waiting for food. Somewhat disorganized intro, but all turned out well.
Food got there. For some reason I always thought continental breakfast meant a continental amount of food. Now I know it means little pastries, but they were good! And good tea.
During and after the intro, some people introduced themselves, including our LoCo team members. At some point later one of the speakers poked fun of the large region we had made a LoCo team for, and there better be a NY team after the conference! I guess it’s time to chapterify.
mako did a presentation on contributing to ubuntu. He basically went over what’s on the wiki page, but it was interesting talk nonetheless. He explained that coding is the last thing on the page because they really need more help with all the non-coding stuff. In other words (well, in his words too) LoCo teams can do a lot!
He also talked about some great thing about ubuntu, like the philosphy. He talked about how he posted a bug on mozilla and was pretty much shut down by people looking at the bug, told to RTFM, etc, even though it was a “good bug.” In contrast, he’s seen bugs on Launchpad that say something like “My video card is broken” and have a core dev responding “What video card do you have?” (While that’s awesome, it would be great to have more people triaging so the devs can spend their time developing!)
Then I went over to the install fest and met macogw and some other people. Somebody fixed my beryl :). I gave out Jenda’s powered by Ubuntu stickers. People sure like stickers! There were ubuntu CD’s abound, but for some reason all the kubuntu cd’s were dapper 64-bit.
Somebody had the OLPC XO. That was really cool. Of course designed for tiny hands though. We were a bit confused how to use it. I know it’s designed for kids who haven’t been tarnished by any other computing environment, but I question the intuitiveness of it. We’ll see.
Lunch! mini sandwiches. Then an abundance of cookies.
(somebody still needs to tell me his name, or how to spell it) did a presentation on graphics with free software. He talked about Inkscape, the GIMP, and Blender. This talk was particularly interesting to me because I’ve been wanting to give one of these to the Digital Artists club at my school. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough members to be giving a talk to anybody. The talk leaned toward how to convert people to using these programs instead of proprietary alternatives. “Your friend asks you to help upgrade his computer. ‘Why?’ ‘For photoshop.’ ‘But it was working fine before?’ ‘There’s a new version and I need to upgrade’ ‘Why?’ ‘Cuz I gotta!’ Give him the GIMP”
He didn’t mention krita and karbon, and I’ve been wanting to know how those really compare to the more well known and widely used GIMP and Inkscape. I brought up krita and he didn’t know what it was, someone said “The KOffice thing?” The response was basically “It might be good, but it crashes when I try.” So I hope the KDE devs really improve stability as well as features so that the KDE applications are solid alternatives.
I talked to him about some issues I was having with Blender. I guess I need to recompile ffmpeg :(Next mako did a tutorial on .deb packaging. I attended a ubuntu classroom tutorial on irc this summer but for some reason didn’t get much out of it. mako’s tutorial seemed more straightforward, though learning something a second time helps. mako: “I better see packages from all of you next week!”
Fabian Rodriguez, an employee of Canonical, did an informative presentation on Canonical support. Jay Sulzberger did an anectotal talk on Free Software history.
I met LH, the coordinator of Summer of Code. I hope all of Google is as excited about SoC as she is! Summer of Code is on for 2007 so it’s time to think of ideas.
A funny moment near the beginning was when we were asking a Google intern questions. Apparently only the engineers all get Ubuntu on their machines, and other staff have windows because it’s “easier.” Somebody asked how they deal with interoperability between OO.o and MS Office, and he said “Well, you know we have this product called Google Docs…”
A few closing remarks, and back down into the caverns err i mean streets of NYC.
Overall, I really enjoyed the conference and would certainly go to another one.