Monday, August 24, 2009

Ubuntu Global Jam - October 2-4, 2009!

Ubuntu Global Jam is just around the corner and I for one can't wait to participate in this event. Ok so if you are near NC (we are looking into the Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem areas) then stop on in we are planning some events just gotta' nail down a few more details (more on this as the week progresses). If you want to see some of NC and meet new people who are luvin' all things Ubuntu, then keep your eyes and ears open for news on the the Ubuntu Global Jam in NC. :-)

OK,so if you are like me and have no clue about fixing bugs, triaging bugs, or anything else that a can of bug spray and an exterminator won't fix then this is the weekend for you. (though I'm hoping to learn a little about this at the Atlanta Linux Fest, so maybe I can participate in these events(bug jams).)

The Global Jam is in a sense a way for you and your LoCo team to have your very own LoCo UbuCon (ubuntu conference). You can fix bugs, work on documentation, give talks, tutorials, test applications, sift through the sandbox and comment on some brainstorm ideas. You name it if it relates to Ubuntu and you talk about, fix it, demonstrate it, refine it, then have at it. Set something great and wonderful up. Get all your friends to bring a friend roll your sleeves up and dive into the world of Jams Ubuntu LoCo style.

So what do you want to do and how can you participate. Take a look at the Ubuntu Global Jam Wiki. Locate your LoCo team on the LoCo Team wiki and enjoy participating in a weekend of all things Ubuntu!

I thought I would share some of the process that the NC LoCo team is taking to plan the events in the State, and if someone has some ways to improve this process please do. Better yet help us plan an event at one of the above locations. We would love the in put and of course the more the merrier. :-) Also these steps are not in any particular order.

1) We have a date the Weekend of October 2-4, 2009.

2) Decide what the team wants to accomplish.

Wanna Work on Bugs - Fixing, Triaging

Documentation - get the team together and update and fix wiki's. Maybe there are some people who would like to help but they need some hands on training so give a tutorial on your LoCo wiki pages and have them fix things as part of the training. Not only are they learning but you get the pages updated and fixed as well.

Give some talks on what ever area of Ubuntu you know about. Maybe you know about a specific application, teach people about it and how they can use it. Or maybe you know some nifty ways to customize your desktop give a talk about that. What ever you know about, and are excited to share your knowledge then teach someone.

Invite local people to see what they are missing. Show local town officials what using a distribution like Ubuntu can do for your town.
Go over the FAQ's of what it means to be a LoCo team. Maybe it's been a while you have new faces and more people joining. Give a pep talk about being a successful team.

(ok those are a few ideas but the possibilities are as great as the applications you use and your imagination, think about the things that you attend and why you attend them. Think about the experience you want those who will be attending to have. Take your excitement and passion about the Ubuntu project and find a way to encourage others in the project.)

3) Pick a venue/place to have the event. This could be someone's house, a conference room somewhere, a coffee shop, community club house anywhere there is sufficient room, power, Internet, etc. to gather and accomplish the goal of your event.

4) Create some buzz, blog about it, post to the forums and mailing lists, put stuff on your mailing lists etc. Anywhere you can gain support and drive attendance and show people it's going to be a fun time then create some noise (in a good way of course) about your event.

5) Decide who is going to be responsible for what - one person trying to plan and execute an event will tire anyone out. Share in the planning and execution of the event. There will be plenty to do and everyone wants to help out where they can so let them.

6) If you need to request items like CD's and Fliers or Conference Packs, books, or if you are having T-shirts or banners made make sure you allow for enough time to get everything approved and ordered in a timely manner otherwise you may have to pay more for things and your items may not arrive in time for your event.

7) Remember to have fun! Remember the LoCo teams are all volunteers and they are giving up their time to support and help with the Ubuntu Global Jam you want it to be fun for everyone whether they are helping with the event or attending it should be fun.

8) Thank those who help. More groups lose their volunteer force because they forget two words - Thank You. Give out those Motivational Paychecks.

So on October 2-4, 2009 join in the Ubuntu Global Jam Weekend. The Ubuntu Community comes together under all things Ubuntu and just gets things done. What are you waiting for find a LoCo team, let them know you want to help, and jump in. The more the merrier. Remember it can be two people in a coffee shop testing an application or triaging bugs, or 200 people doing all sorts of things in an UbuCon Unconference style event the choice is up to you. Have fun and Jam to the beat of all things Ubuntu on Oct. 2-4, 2009.

Atlanta Linux Fest, Driver Writing Session, and Wiki's

I was going to Blog about the driver writing session at the Atlanta Linux Fest. but Pete wrote about it on his blog. :-) Take a look at it and see if it is something you might enjoy participating in. If so hope to see you in Atlanta.

We had our weekly planning meeting yesterday about the Atlanta Linux Fest and the UbuCon and things are coming together nicely. We are really excited! Come join in the fun and register today :-)

Anyone wanna pop into the UbuCon and give a session on Wiki Markups. ARRRRR!!! I can't be the only one that could use a hand with some tips and tricks surrounding wiki's. :-) I edit and create new ones for our LoCo team and I think more people would get involved with wiki's if they felt confident about what they were doing. Sure everyone can figure it out.

I was worried I was going to screw a page up or something and because the whole world can see what you do well or what you screw up it was a bit intimidating to say the least. This is one thing I did ask Pete about, but not everyone has someone they can sit down at a computer and walk through some basics with. He said two things that made me relax and not worry about it. "Amber there is a preview button, and delete." :-) Ok I was feeling a little better.

So wiki people's where are you, head over to the UbuCon and dole out some wiki tips to make life easier. :-)

Gotta go enjoy the day before school starts. :-) More later. :-)

Back to School week....:-)

This weekend was spent with the family. Pete was getting ready for a Trip to China and the kids are gearing up for school on Tuesday.

It was time to set some goals for the school year, talk about the summer, and set expectations about organization, and time management skills. There will be band, track, chorus in addition at just the regular school requirements. (Lots of volunteer opportunities for mom. :-P )

Then it was time to figure out who is doing what chores around then house. Who is getting up and walking the Murph dawg. Who washes the breakfast dishes on what days and the supper dishes on others. Takes out the trash etc, etc. The kids are now at ages where they can wash, dry and fold their own clothes. Had to set the expectation for that. (oh they knew it was coming we do this every school year.)

Then I got asked the question, so what is our allowance going to be. There are some things you must do to contribute to the success of the household. I will not give you money for maintaining your room, washing your clothes, cleaning your bathroom. Taking care of the dog - nope, we all love him, therefore we all take care of him. I told them anything above and beyond the normal everyday household things like helping me iron, or changing all the sheets, mowing the grass, mopping all the floors etc then they would be compensated based on their level of enthusiasm, attitude, skill level (there are still a few things they need some help with) and completeness of the task. I am not asking them to do anything I didn't have to do growing up or that I don't do now. Heck I did I lot more (you know walking 5 miles up hill both ways to get to school...:-P, just kidding but I did work a lot as a kid and it didn't hurt me one bit).

Now I need to post the schedules, chore list and get the school/study area organized. I am not sure who likes school more?

Pete and I spent time just hanging out and syncing calendars and figuring out out plan of attack on what is left to do on the house. More than I thought but it is coming together. woo hoo. I miss going to daily Mass and since the only Catholic Churches are 30 to 40 minutes away I need to plan the days I will go to town for Mass and schedule other "in town" activities on those days as well. :-) What day is laundry day (everyday in my house). Plan the menus for the week on Saturday, Sunday paper check the coupons, then check online to see the sales for that week. This may take a week or so to get the details ironed out. The figure out what days to make the extra things to freeze in case we are busy and I don't have time to cook. I have a ready made meal to just pop in the oven. Stuff like that.

This week - kids in school on Tuesday. They will get the rest of the supply list and teachers wish lists on Tuesday, so Wednesday I will be running to the store to complete those lists. Wednesday eye doctor appointments for the kids and a trip to pick out new glass on Thursday. Oh the dog gets groomed on Thursday is needs a trim, and a pedicure something fierce. Oh Matt will pick out his instrument for band on Tuesday gotta see what that is going to be so we can set him up a practice area. (I cringe as I remember when I was in band and learning new instruments. My parents told me to practice outside. I was so bad when I started that the neighbors called to ask, what was all the racket at our house. I think they said it sounded like an animal dieing, but I got better so it was all cool.)

I hate Pete is missing back to school week. It's always an interesting time trying to get a teenager out of bed in the morning and motivating them to get up, get dressed clean their rooms, and pack their lunches in a timely manner without me raising my voice to decibels known only to opera singers. (Maybe he planned this trip on purpose to miss the forced routine fun).

I am going to go and enjoy the day before school starts. I am going to finish another quilt today. I only have one load of laundry to finish. I am going to finish ready a book I have been working on and I think I might even turn on the TV. Tonight though I have stuff for the Atlanta Linux Fest and the UbuCon I need to work on.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School Time Again, The House and Grandma

School starts here on the 25th. Where did the summer go?

We have orientation this week and I was thinking the kids are going to make friends this year, get to go all the way through High School with those same friends. No more moving.

I was also thinking some of their teachers are people I went to school with and some of the teachers are the same teachers I had in Middle and High School. Just like when I was in school here I had some of the same teachers my parents had. I think that is just too cool.

The kids can now have some roots in a community. They can become part of the community here for the long term. They can see the changes that happen and be part of the seasons that happen in a community. I can't wait to encourage them to be a part of the events that happen around here. Heck I can't wait to be part of them myself.

We are getting more and more work done on the house and every day it feels more and more like our home. This house is so special to me. It was my grandparents home. My grandparents taught me a lot here. Lessons I will never forget. My grandma was a quilter and she taught me how to quilt. One of the things she told me was "when you get mad at your husband, just go a quilt until the anger passes then go and talk to him about what ever it was that made you angry in the first place." I asked her, "Grandma did you get mad at grandpa a lot? You sure made a lot of quilts." She just smiled and kept on quilting.

Well I need to get back to organizing stuff, seeing what else the kids need for school and finish repacking all the material and quilting stuff. I have a full day planned and I can't wait to tell the kids just a little bit more about their great grandparents today. Life is made all the sweeter by the memories of home that I get to pass along to my kids. Life is good!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Atlanta Linux Fest

I drove down to Atlanta yesterday (3.5 hours) to meet with Nick, Josh, and Jim in finalizing the last minute details of the fest and those things that make a fest have some magic to them. It was a very productive meeting and I had a great time discussing it all in person instead of over IRC or conference calls.

IRC and conference calls work but when you put folks together face to face personalities shine, people are more relaxed and ideas seem to come together at a much faster rate. (I am such a people person) I don't mind driving to things when it's a great event like the Atlanta Linux Fest and when I get to work with great people like the folks working on the Atlanta Linux Fest. Just makes it all worth while. :-)

Now I can't wait to meet some of the speakers for the 1st time and others say "hi" to others again. It's a great line up. Take a look at the site more speaker bio's being added and some more abstracts of the talks going up.

We also discussed things like UbuCon space and topics (dang I need to add these to the wiki too :-) ) such as

* - will Karmic run on your computer stop by and find out (courtesy of the Canonical Kernel team)

* - Burnout (based on Jono Bacon's talk)

* - What makes a good Leader/Manager

* - How to triage bugs

* - What's new in Karmic

* - Cool desktop features

plus wondering what other topics people would add to the list when they get there. The ubucon will be run like an unconference and very much like BoF sessions. with the exception of the will Karmic Run on your computer. They will have an area all day for people to pop in and see. The idea is you will bring your computer to the tables and get it tested on the spot. I think that is going to be pretty cool.

Oh and the other thing. How to write drivers going to be a hands on 2 hour session about writing a driver. :-) More about that in another post I'll give you the details on that tomorrow.

Can you tell I am very excited about the Atlanta Linux Fest. I love these events. I get a chance to learn so much from all you who have been doing this a while and I love the fact that people don't mind sharing their experiences and skills and making the F/OSS community shine. Personalities Powering the Projects - Awesome Stuff! Don't you just love it when a plan comes together, I do!

Again, What are you waiting for register today, make your reservations and join in on all the fun.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web by Tamar Weinberg

While at the Community Leadership Summit I had a chance to snag one of the give-away-books that O'Reilly sent. It's called The New Community Rules: Marketing On The Social Web by Tamar Weinberg

According to the cover it is supposed to help with

*blogging and microblogging

*art of conversation marketing

*video and podcast marketing

*Learn about what others have tried

Those are just the highlights, gleaned from the back of the book..:-)

I am no expert on marketing (though I was in hotel Sales and Marketing for a few years) much less marketing on the "social web". I saw this and it sounded like a great fit since I enjoying helping with events. I am always trying to learn how to use tools more effectively and the web is a great tool! I wanted to see if there was some suggestions in there that the LoCo team could benefit from. Can't wait to get through a few chapters and see what I learn.

Here's a few links to the book so you can see what else is being said about it.

More later... :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

What a busy day!

So the kids and I hopped in the car and headed to the meet-n-greet in Charlotte, NC. It was great to show up and see 5 people already there note books on the table and ubuntu and open source conversation flowing. In total there were 8 folks (including myself and the kids) meeting and greeting under the common theme of Ubuntu. AWESOME!!

I thought it was well worth the 2 hour drive to meet more local community folks from the Tar Heel State.:-)

Thanks Jim for organizing the meeting and thanks to (let's see if I can get this right), Brian, Dennis (darn it I really should have written their names down, sorry guys :-( ) and the other two folks whose name I can't remember for showing up. I thought it was great to talk about Open Source and ubuntu in general. woo hoo! When is the next meeting??

Then I drove home, walked in the door, and sat back down to hop on a call with the other folks organizing the Atlanta Linux Fest. Looks like things are falling into place. There are a few last minute things we need to take care to include a walk-through on the 15th of August.

We discussed the mini ubucon and I think we are going to rock the unconference mojo and see what people want to talk about. I am hoping a few people will give a couple of talks I would like to hear and participate in such as "Karmic's Karma: What is new and exciting with this release", I'd also like to have someone (Cough Cough Jorge) give the "Burnout talk" that Jono did a while back. But heck that is just me. I'd also like something like "Bringin' Bling to the Desktop: how to customize your desktop." Ok so maybe I am just tired and a little punchy but I think you can see the things I am interested in. Please feel free to add your own topics to the list of things to be discussed and lets see what all we can get too. :-) We have such an awesome community with a combine wealth of information that is really priceless. Let's come together and see what we can get done.

Anyway now it's off to relax, watch a movie with the kids and get ready to drive to Raleigh and back tomorrow. I am a taxi service for my kids. I don't remember reading that in the job description 14 years ago but I am sure it was there somewhere. Well that's all for now. Catch everyone again tomorrow. Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel..:-) (well maybe not, but it sounded good).

So think about heading to Atlanta in September! Woo Hoo!

August 1st NC LoCo Team Meet-n-Greets

Dang I can't believe it is August already, where has the time gone!?

It completely slipped my mind until a reminder email appeared in inbox that the Ubuntu NC LoCo team has 2 meet-n-greets happening in North Carolina today. So if you are in and about the Charlotte or Winston-Salem NC areas drop by. Here are the details:

Charlotte Location

Place: Caribou Coffee
1909 Matthews Township Pkwy Ste 300
Matthews, NC 28105

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

10am until 11:30am or so

Winston-Salem Location

Place:Juicy Java
500 Pineview Dr # 113
Kernersville, NC 27284-3813

Day: Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Time: 10am until 11:30 am or so

Sorry for the last minute reminder grrr! Can't wait to meet some more Ubuntu LoCo members and see what all we can get planned for the October 2-4 Global Jam Day among other great topics surrounding Ubuntu. Atlanta Linux Fest and the mini Ubucon I am sure will be on the list of topics as well.

Gotta run it's about an hour and a half drive and I still need to get the kids in gear for our adventure today.