Intrepid Release Party in Boston

October 29, 2008

With just one day to go until Ubuntu and Kubuntu 8.10 are released, we are ready to celebrate.

Mike Rushton writes about the Massachusetts LoCo Team’s Intrepid Ibex release party:

So just want to make an official/overdue announcement that we'll be
having our Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Release party this Thursday night,
October 30th at 7pm. We'll be having it at the Globe bar and grill in
Boston. Same place as the 2 previous parties.

Bring yourself, friends, family, someone passing on the street or
someone you shared a cab with. Laptops and netbooks are surely welcome
as well to show off the latest version or if you need help installing

We'll try to have some cd's available for people to take home. There
will be some snacks available and a decent menu to order other food and

Hope to see you all there!!

Ubuntu Bug Jam August 9th at SETC in Boston

August 7, 2008

You may have already read it in dholbach’s blog — yes, Massachusetts will be participating in the Ubuntu Global Bug Jam!

The Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community Team will be holding a Bug Jam this weekend at the South End Technical Center in Boston.  This is an opportunity to collaborate and contribute to Ubuntu by triaging bugs.

The event will be held on Saturday, August 9th, 12-5pm at the SETC.

All Linux users of all skill levels are invited to participate.  There’s work to be done from testing to commenting to fixing.  Have no idea what helping with bugs entails?  We’ll explain!  (But you can start reading at  A programmer and looking to fix some bugs and get those fixes into packages?  You’re welcome as well, and we can teach you a bit about the process of getting a fix into Ubuntu.  If there is some particular application you’d like to work on, please contact me.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get into contributing to Free Software because not only will there be a group of people right there to work with, but people around the world will be working on the same thing at the same time!  Online collaboration for the event will take place in #ubuntu-us-ma on and any questions we can’t field, we will forward to the appropriate channels.

Hope to see people there and excited!

Geeky milestones

July 14, 2008

Caught this coming home from work last week:


my car knows fibonacci 🙂

My 5 today: #208742 (kdebase), #195124 (kdebase-workspace), #190371 (kdelibs), #173146 (kdebase), #131606 (kdepim)
Do 5 a day – every day!

Kubuntu Bug Day on Tuesday!

July 14, 2008

This Tuesday we will be continuing last week’s work of transitioning KDE3 bug reports to KDE4. The Hug Day will be held all day Tuesday, July 15th 2008 in #ubuntu-bugs please join and help!

Last week we were able to close and otherwise triage dozens of bug reports, thanks to the work of JontheEchidna, txwikinger, apachelogger, and others. Here’s the progress in open bug reports in kdebase over the last week:

Open bugs in kdebase for the past week

Open bugs in kdebase for the past week

About a quarter of the remaining bugs are already triaged and/or reported upstream, or waiting on information from the reporter. It’ll be very important to get a good chunk of the remaining 300 reported upstream to

My 5 today: #243602 (kdebase-workspace),#243419 (kdebase-workspace), #243616 (meta-kde), #243416 (kdebase-workspace), #243421 (kdebase-workspace)
Do 5 a day – every day!

Kubuntu Bug Day Tomorrow!

July 7, 2008

Kubuntu Hug Days are back! Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 we will be holding a Hug for a Bug Day to work on transitioning old KDE3 bug reports to KDE4.

Kubuntu Intrepid will bring major changes with KDE 4.1, fixing a lot of bugs or making them irrelevant. We need help sorting out which bugs can now be closed, which still need to be fixed in Intrepid, and which bugs are really important and need to be fixed in Hardy/KDE3. Join us in #ubuntu-bugs to help out and ask questions!


June 28, 2008

Over the last 3 days I had the opportunity to attend the technical sessions at USENIX 08, thanks to my job at my CS department. Systems researchers from various universities and companies were in attendance and presenting their research. The companies that were there included Google, Microsoft Research, Sun, IBM Research, VMWare, and many more. There was somebody from Red Hat, but Canonical and Novell were not represented. There was also a representative from the Free Software Foundation with their usual assortment of neat stickers.

Topics concentrated primarily on virtualization and parallel programming, but other systems topics were covered as well. Peter Kronowitt from Intel talked about how Intel has leveraged open source and commented on some of the struggles they had in opening up drivers. Adrian Cockcroft talked about current and upcoming mobile gadgets and how the millicomputing technology can be used toward energy efficient datacenters. Jim Waldo from Sun reported on their project to create a distributed system for MMO game servers. When asked why they were working on the server when a major current issue is parallelizing game client programming, he ended the talk with this gem: “We’re sun. We know servers better than we do clients.” He later also did an interesting talk on why Java is useful as a system language despite not being “cool” like Python and JavaScript currently are, which I think answers Brandon’s question. I really liked those talks in part because of Jim’s very candid talking style.

Ajay Anand and Allen Wittenauer from Yahoo! talked about Hadoop, the open source implementation of the Map/Reduce distributed computation algorithm we used in class. The conference was closed out by Matthew Melis of NASA presenting on the space shuttle and the Columbia accident. Being fascinated with space exploration since I was a kid, this was a really great talk to go to.

Naturally, I looked around for who was running (K)Ubuntu. Despite being familiar with the phenomenon from the faculty and sysadmins at my university, it continues to surprise me how the people most of whose work depends on Linux, do not run it on their desktop/laptop. I’d say 60-70% were running Mac OS X, with most of the remaining on MS Windows. I saw a couple people with Ubuntu and one young Sun SysAdmin running Kubuntu.

It was a long three days, but the talks were great and I met many interesting people and had interesting conversations, so despite barely having time to check my email, I feel like it was very productive and time very well spent.

KDE 4.0.5 is out

June 9, 2008

Last week I was working with Riddell on my first somewhat big packaging project, packaging KDE 4.0.5. Packages are available for Kubuntu Hardy in the backports repository. Not quite as exciting as 4.1beta, but plenty of bugfixes in this release.

Exploration Ubuntu

May 23, 2008

LUGs and LoCos regularly hold InstallFests, events where for people can come and have Linux installed on their machine with the help of experienced Linux users.

For LoCo InstallFests, this is really a chance for people to see, try, and get Ubuntu (and Kubuntu and Xubuntu and Edubuntu) for themselves. Anyone is free to bring in their own computer or hard drive to have Ubuntu installed on it, or to just come and see Ubuntu on other machines and get a chance to experience it for themselves.*

Now, the second definition is a little different from the first one and the Wikipedia one, isn’t it? After having a couple of these “installfests”, we at the Massachusetts LoCo Team sat down at a meeting, put on our person-who-has-never-heard-of-Ubuntu shoes, and thought,

What the heck is an “InstallFest” and why would I want to go to it??

We decided we needed a name for these events that is attractive, non-threatening, and expresses that this is a fun event and an opportunity to see and experience Ubuntu. It is not a niche computer repair shop that is only open two days a year (though we will help you with your K/X/Ubuntu problems).

So, tommorrow, May 24, 2008 the Ubuntu Massachusetts team will be holding our first quarterly Exploration Ubuntu at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge from 10am to 5pm. If you’re new to Ubuntu, come check it out! Already an Ubuntu guru? Come help out, hang out, and present something neat to new users!

*Copied from the MA LoCo wiki.

What do you have open?

May 21, 2008

Alright, I’ll play along for this one too:

On my desktop I’ve got:

  • 2 Konsole windows with a total of 5 tabs
  • 16 Konqueror windows with a total of 40 tabs (all web)
  • 1 Firefox 3 window with 4 tabs (need it for gmail :-\ )
  • 2 Dolphin windows
  • 3 IM windows (Pidgin)
  • 1 Amarok 2 window, thanks to project neon. Using the built in Jamendo service.
  • 1 Kontact/KDE3 (Kmail, Akregator, Korganizer, Basket) window
  • 1 Digikam/KDE3 window
  • 1 Ktorrent window…err system tray icon

(KDE4 versions unless otherwise specified.)

KDE Konqueror Bug Day May 18

May 14, 2008

This coming Sunday, the 18th of May, there will be a KDE bug day held in #kde-bugs focusing on triaging Konqueror bugs. All Kubuntu and KDE users are invited to participate to help make the next release better. Information about triaging KDE bugs can be found here. From the announcement:

Bug Days are hosted by the KDE Bugsquad approximately once every two weeks. Their purpose is to check back through the large numbers of bugs stored in the KDE Bug Tracking System and investigate how to reproduce them. This means that when developers come to the bug reports to fix them, all the information they need is available on the report and they don’t have to spend huge amounts of their time investigating the bugs – they can just focus on fixing them. During each Bug Day, we will focus on one area of KDE in particular. For this Bug Day, we will be focusing on general bugs in Konqueror. More information can be found on the Bug Day 4 Techbase Page.

Helping sort through these bugs now will help greatly in having a polished KDE/konqueror for the Intrepid Ibex. In addition to the KDE triaging procedures, it will help to look through the Konqueror bugs on launchpad and cross link them with the KDE bug you are working on. This is especially helpful if you can find crash reports from apport since they provide all the debugging information the upstream developers will need to fix a crash.