Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Atlanta Linux Fest and Ubuntu Global Jam...

The Atlanta Linux Fest is going to be held on September 19, 2009 in Atlanta, GA! I am so excited to be attending but more important to me is I get to be part of the planning. All the behind the scenes stuff is awesome, and the folks that I am getting to work with from the Ubuntu GA LoCo are amazing! Wanna be part of the fun, them Click here to contact the organizers and let them know what you are thinking. Thanks in Advance and can't wait to see you there.

I'm also part of the Ubuntu NC LoCo and we are in the planning stages of meet-n-greets in 4 areas of the State, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Asheville, and Raleigh prior to the Ubuntu Global Jam. The goal is to get people talking face to face, but some faces and names the the IRC nicks and mailing list address, and see who is excited about what areas of Ubuntu. As the weekend of October 2-4, 2009 will be all things Ubuntu.:-) So if you are in NC and want to join in on the fun take a look at the Ubuntu NC LoCo Wiki, join the mailing list, forum discussions, or pop in IRC and say, "hi!" The more the merrier. :-)

All our stuff is in the house, and all but about 50 boxes are unpacked. Still haven't found all my clothes or half my shoes but all my kitchen stuff is available so meals can be cooked. All the furniture is at least in all the right rooms and the computers and TV's are working. All a plus in my book. Now it's on to picking out and hanging the window treatments, figuring out what paintings and art work go on what walls, etc... However, being back at home is a great feeling.

Now if I could just get back into my routine it would be sweet..in time, I know all in good time! Hope you all are having a great day more later... :-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day, and I was thinking about my Dad and all the other men in my life who encouraged me to be the person I am today.

First, Daddy - Happy Father's Day. There are moments in my life where I can look back and know without doubt that my thought process about something or someone changed in the blink of an eye. Well a few months ago when mom called to say you were in the emergency room, in Boone, NC, and they thought you had a heart attack - that was just one of those moments. The fact that you did have a heart attack and had to have 3 cardiac stents really made me think. Since I was a little girl I have looked at my family as hero's in so many ways, more immortal than human. It was in that moment when talking to mom, you became so human that my heart had to grasp that to be human meant you could have died. (I know it wasn't your time but..) This was no easy thing to ponder. When you came home from the hospital I was/and still am thankful that you were home! When I think about what you mean to me several things come to mind - far to many to name, but there are a few.

*you never said I couldn't do something just because I was a girl - you always told me to do my best at whatever I wanted to do, and if you knew how to do it you showed me.

*you never limited my access to ideas, tools, etc...if there was a way we figured it out.

*even when you didn't agree with me, you always loved me...

*you encouraged me to learn everything I could possibly learn and not stop learning, that if I wanted I could learn something new everyday.

* showed me what hard work powered by sweat and determination will get you, and I will never be ashamed of a callous or a blister from working hard, as I am not afraid of it!

*and you have shown the power of conviction and personal growth, and not to be afraid to re-evaluate where you are in this life, and if necessary make changes, say your sorry, form new opinions.

Daddy, Thanks for those things and much, much, more...It hasn't always been sunshine and roses now has it, but I think because of the qualities you have helped instill in me, I am the women I am today. I can say with confidence, love, and a sense of pride, "I'll always be your little girl."

I have to pause here for a moment and mention other family members who reinforced/reinforces those same principals and qualities that my dad did/does to this day. Some are still with me others have passed away.

My grandpa (my mom's dad) - He was a saw miller by profession, but by the time I came along he had long since retired. He was in his late 60's before I was even in Kindergarten. However, if I wasn't with my parents, you could almost bet I was with my grandparents (after they moved back up to NC from FL). My grandpa even though he was from a different generation (ie women couldn't vote when he and my grandma got married). He never discouraged me in anything I want to try. He never said you can't do "X" because that's not for women. I never heard him say an unkind word, the worst thing I ever heard him say was, "Darn it, Ruth" one time to my grandma, and believe me, my grandma's words that day were a bit more colorful. Though I don't think he ever told me but once that I can remember, that he was proud of me, I always new he was, and I always knew he loved me. I miss him, and now that we just moved into their home place, I find myself missing him and appreciating all the stuff he taught me more and more!

My Uncle Doc - he is married to my dad's sister, and he is our family Dr. - He also mirrors the same qualities as my dad and my grandpa. He would write to me daily when I was deployed, he too had been in the Army. I remember when I got back from the 1st Gulf War in '91. My uncle knew I loved computers (as in 83' or so I could always be found on the TRS-80's at the school (8th grade), or in his office, or when his daughter would bring hers in. He knew I was getting to work with all this wonderful systems in the Army and wanted to encourage me to buy one. So the 1st thing we did was hop in his car and drive to the Sam's Club in Spartanburg, SC where I purchased my very own computer. There were 3 boxes, Monitor, CPU, and the printer and they were so big they took up the entire car! Far cry from the way they are today. Again, he never said I couldn't do anything I wanted to and he to this day still encourages me to learn and do anything I can!

My Uncle Lawrence, my grandpa's brother. - before my grandparents moved back home from FL, I would spend time with my grandpa's brother and his wife. Now there was a pair. They were cornerstones in our little community. My uncle was an educator/teacher. He was also Army veteran. He used to encouraged me to get involved in the community. They lived right across the street from the Volunteer Fire Station in our community and when there was a fire they walked across the street and unlocked the doors and helped have everything ready when the volunteers would show up to head to the fire, as every second counts. I remember a day when I got to carry the keys over and unlock the doors. I felt so empowered and strong! (to a kid under the age of 10 that was a huge responsibility) He would encourage me to take every opportunity and talk to the people of our community, and get to know them. He would encourage me to learn songs to sing in front of people, give me speeches to memorize and important historical figures to read about then have me present my findings to a group of people (early public speaking). He made sure if there was something that was happening in the community and I wanted to help, he would give the contacts my name and he even made me speak for myself; he never spoke for me. If I wanted to do something, I had to tell them what I wanted. He too, never said, what my place was in this world was but rather he encouraged me to find it for myself, and make it my own. All of these things he showed me before I was even 12 years old.

My husband - (I'll write more about him in the husband role on our anniversary :-) ) What an awesome dad he is to our two kids! He is great. He tries very hard to never travel on there birthdays. He shows them just a special they are and that they can accomplish anything. He encourages them both to try new things, and never separates what they can and can't do by gender, but by age appropriate and their personal abilities. He is fair, thought life is not. He does his best to prepare them for whatever life may throw at them, with honest life experiences. He acknowledges faults and is never afraid to say I'm sorry. Yet, most of all they know that no matter what they say or do, they are loved, unconditionally. (and when they are teenagers there are times when they (didn't we all) push those boundaries that sometimes you think how do I get through all this. Well I think it is with lots of humor and even more love. Thanks Pete for taking time always to show the kids just how important they are! You are an awesome dad too!

Thank you all for giving me the courage to just be me. Face things head on, not be fail sometimes and learn from it, get back up and try again and to never be afraid to say, "Let me do this" or "I can do that too."! Thank you for always encouraging me to seek goodness, truth, and to be a positive change wherever possible, but be open enough to realize I can learn from everyone. That is world is not fair and if I don't like something I have the power to change it. Thanks for loving me no matter what.

So, Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad's out there, and most especially to Daddy, Uncle Doc, and Peter - I hope your day today is as special as your are!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ubuntu Global Jam - October 2-4, 2009!

The Ubuntu Global Jam is scheduled for the weekend of Oct 2-4, 2009.

This Jam can be *anything* ubuntu you and/or your LoCo wish to make it.

* Bug Jam

* Install Fest

* Doc Day

* Testing

* Presentations

* Teaching

* Brainstorm about future LoCo events

* Other (just about anything else you can think of to get people together under the common theme of Ubuntu and Community)

Why is this a good thing? How is it different for a Global Bug Jam, Packaging Jams, Translation Jams or Docs Jams? What can I do? How can I help?

Great questions - Lets tackle them all. Bug Jams are where people get together identify, file, triage, or fix a bug. Packaging Jams are where people get together to work on the bundle of software, i.e. open office, and show those packages some love and attention or in other words maintenance. Translation Jams are where people get together to Translate many of the 1000's of applications that need to written in a language other than English. Documentation Jams are where the the people get together to update the documentation in the distro. (wiki's are a great example). (of note not everyone participates in person, some people just work on these items on a given day from home or other remote locations but the goal is a common theme on a common day, tackling a common objective)

How can I help, what can I do? If you even have a remote interest in Ubuntu there are things you can do. Find out when next ubuntu LoCo meeting in your area is and let them know you are interested. If there is not a LoCo in your area look for the LUG group and let them know about this day. If you can't find either of those then jump into the #ubuntu-locoteams channel or even leave a comment here. But there is much more that can be done when people get together on this Ubuntu Global Jam Day. Trade slide presentations, tutor someone, get permission from the businesses in your area to add Ubuntu CD's and on this day place them in those areas: Libraries, Book stores, Coffee shops, and Local Colleges, etc...but you get the idea. Let all these places know what you are doing, find out if different groups want to come in throughout the day and hear about and see Ubuntu in action. Since this is going to be a weekend of all things ubuntu let your imaginations run wild. Maybe someone can teach people how to make the ubuntu cookies. There are so many way to participate.

Anyway Mark your calenders so you can participate in the Ubuntu Global Jam on the weekend of October 2-4, 2009. Bring the community together under the Ubuntu theme and spread the Ubuntu Spirit! Most of all Have Fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Moving and My Newest Old Community - Rutherfordton, NC

The house we are moving into is really in a remote location in the Foothills of NC. The closet grocery stores are about 25-30 minutes away, there are no delivery services, no fast food places and such. I like it!

I fall asleep at night listening to the tree frogs, crickets, and whip-or-wills and I wake up to the sun in the windows and the birds singing. I have gotten up before 7am without the need for a startling alarm. It is peaceful and I feel at home.

As usual one of my first stops is the Library. The Librarian I grew up with is still the Librarian today. I got a new Library card and checked out some books, before they gave me the new one they even looked to see if my old one still existed - She remembered me, so cool!

So I checked out the following books and thought I would try to get back into the habit of a book a week. (Since February, and learning Ubuntu, I have sorta' let my other hobbies go by the wayside. Now I am trying to strike a balance of all things good.)

*Teaching Tolerance: Raising Open-Minded Empathetic Children by Sara Bullard
*Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D.
*Friendship Cake by Lynne Hinton

While I was checking out the books I was talking to the Librarian about Ubuntu. She said I could bring in the CD's and the Fliers and she would display them. I went back today and they are there on the counter and everyone checking out a book will see them. I had my niece with me and we got the paperwork for her to get her own Library card. I had a blast explaining how she could look up the books she wanted, where to go and find them and just how important reading is. My niece is awesome.

She also tagged along as I took my mom to the dentist, and while we were there I transferred all our dental information to the new dentist. However, there is a wait. The Dentist told me might be 3 months before we get in to see him. I love having my teeth cleaned. I also made arrangements to have my orthodontic stuff transferred there as well. I am so glad it's a one-stop place for all my dental work. :-)

I didn't have to find new doctors. The doctor who delivered me is still our family doctor today. No matter where we were and even when I was in the Army, all the records were always sent to his office so I have a complete history from the moment I was born. I think that is just too cool. Never know when you might need it.

Tomorrow, it's the post office, the power company, the phone company, the kid's school and the church. I am sure I will find a million other things to do before I leave the house tomorrow.

Can't wait til the rest of our stuff gets here next week. Then I can really get the house in order. I miss all our friends in Fuquay-Varina, NC and surrounding areas, Fayetteville, NC, Fort Bragg, NC, Tewksbury, MA, Lowell, MA, Charlottesville, VA, Lake Monticello, VA, Louisa VA, Herndon, VA, Falls Church, VA, Reston, VA, Brno, CZ and more... Hey ya'll but this should be the *last* change of address card I send, for those of you telling me you could paper a wall with all the ones I've sent in the last 18 years. :-D!

Murphy the Dawg, is settling in, and even got a chance to visit the neighbors puppies. They are as cute as they can be and I want one. I think I need to remember what puppies are like, I don't think I will be this excited if I actually have one. We'll see...

So now I am going to send out the last of my emails for today. Grab one of my library books and see about catching some zzzzz's...

More later...

My First Linux Fest: SELF (Southeast Linux Fest)

I spent the weeks before SELF making sure I had ordered the appropriate number of conference packs for the estimated 400+ people expected to attend. Then I made sure there were tables for both Southeast Ubuntu LoCo's and the Ubuntu Podcast guys (not sure they needed any assistance but I double checked on their space too. (it's my OCD I think :-D!)). Then I tried to touch base to see who was going to be there to help work the booth so I could at least see the kernel session and lead 2 BoF (Birds of a Feather) sessions. Needless to say I was a nervous wreck.

Pete was invited to the speaker's dinner the night before and he emailed the organizers to ask if I could come. I could and I was so excited! Of course in my nervous chatter what I wanted to say and what came out my mouth were two different things. I was welcomed by the SELF folks and they said jokingly that I could hang out with the geeks - and I was trying to express that I really didn't care about how the kernel works, I just like using it (which is really paraphrasing a quote by Linus Torvalds that states "There are lots of Linux users who don't care how the kernel works, but only want to use it. That is a tribute to how good Linux is." However, it came out more like "I don't care about the kernel", which isn't really true. I mean I understand the significance of it and the reason it is important and I am in awe of how the kernel and all the various, pieces, parts, and packages that go together in order to have the various Linux distros. So in short do I want to hack kernel code "nope", do I love using a Linux distro in the form of Ubuntu "Yes"!

So back to SELF, a week or so before the event there had been some healthy banter back and forth with Josh, one of the Ubuntu Podcast crew members, and a toast at the pre-party was in order. After a heartfelt thanks to Nick and Josh for being such great ambassadors to the Ubuntu community and being very helpful and welcoming to me, a shot a Patrón was imbibed upon. I think it went well. (I enjoy the Ubuntu Podcasts. If you haven't had a chance to take a few moments out of your day and listen or watch the casts, try and find a moment or two.:-D! )

I met so many people at the pre-party. Beth Lynn Eicher, from the Ohio Linux Fest was there, and she is great! Very informative, strong, helpful, and encouraging. The lessons I took away from her need their own Blog. Wow! Can't wait to hit OLF and see those folks again.

Mackenzie Morgan and Daniel Chen were there as well. It was great hearing Daniel speak just two days before about Audio in Linux at the TriLUG meeting in RDU. I thought it was awesome to meet the people I speak to in the #ubuntu channels and put faces, names, nicks, and locations together.

I am sure there are a few others I am leaving out from the pre-party like Jeremy Sands (thanks for not holding the nervous misstatement against me and Kevin Jones, who really encouraged my participation, and so many others. "If this was the pre-party what would the next day hold," I wondered?

I got up at 6am to be at the Hendrix Student Center in Clemson, SC, by 8am on Saturday, June 13, 2009 to attend, work, and present 2 BoF's at my very First Linux Fest *EVER*.

Got there and thanks to Zack Gibbens (TN LoCo), and Dewey Hylton, (NC LoCo) they helped me set up the table, and I got everything in place. I was happy and ready to go. Zach helped work the booth while I said hello to the other vendors, listened to the kernel talk and lead the two BoF sessions.

The Fedora Guys were a riot! I was trying on convince them to go sit at the Ubuntu Booth while I sat at theirs for one photo. They said I could sit at theirs...it was all in good fun (no pics were taken this time). Of course we talked a little about Fedora 11 and Ubuntu's Jaunty. Someone even made them cookies to give out that had little blue candy covered chocolate pieces in them. They also had Fedora tattoos to give out, that was cool too. I got some pointers from them as well.

Talked to the openSUSE folks as well. It was nice saying "hi" to Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, and discussed some of his articles, The Community Leadership Summit and Jono Bacon's new book, The Art of Community.

Also, Elizabeth Krumbach, with the Ubuntu PA LoCo and Ubuntu Women Teams were there as well. She continues to a source of help and encouragement as well. Mark Cox from the NC LoCo, like I said there were just so many wonderful people and so much to take in and learn that the the list goes on and on and on...:-)

The BoF sessions were "Why not You?" about encouraging others who say, "I can't do F/LOSS" How do you get them to ask "why not" instead of "why?". There really is a place for everyone who wants to be involved with the project. The second was going to be an FAQ about Ubuntu LoCo's but since it was all Ubuntu LoCo people there we really talked about extending the personal participation into the community realm. I didn't think about the two sessions flowing into one as well as they did. I guess I was just nervous. Both sessions need refinement but I didn't think it was so bad for my first fest and my first BoF's. I just want to try all these new and exciting things and get involved.

I am sure I am leaving people out and I am not meaning to. There are some other groups like click2try and The LinuxLink TechShow I will post under separate entries.

I hope that gives you an idea of how cool I thought my 1st Linux Fest ever was.
More to follow...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Ubuntu Women, Moving and SELF (Southeast Linux Fest)

Southeast Linux Fest is going to be held at Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday, June 13, 2009. If you can make it please do. http://www.southeastlinuxfest.org/ If you are planning on attending please take a few minutes to register. The event is free, but registration helps for planning purposes.

There was an Ubuntu-Women's meeting held on Thursday June 4, 2009. It was a great meeting. Minutes and logs can be found here. Goals, Goals, and more goals. :-) Forward motion...

Won't have time to write too much over the next few weeks. We are moving and I am having surgery on my elbow. As soon as we get settled and my arm heals I'll write more.

Have a great weekend and I hope to write more in a few days if not you know why. :-D!

Monday, June 1, 2009

REMOTE PARTICIPATION: The Conduit to The Ubuntu Developer Summit

REMOTE PARTICIPATION: The Conduit to The Ubuntu Developer Summit

The Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS), a Canonical sponsored event that took place in Barcelona, Spain from May 25-29, 2009, kicked off the planning of next Ubuntu Release, Ubuntu 9.10, Karmic Koala.

UDS has sessions which discuss every aspect of the release from the kernel to the community and everything in between. This is the week where the worldwide Ubuntu community comes together for 5 intense days of planning and preparation to improve the release, release process and much more.

Some would ask, "How can I attend? I can't fly halfway around the world? I don't have 5 days off work." You can attend, and you don't have to leave the comfort of your own home. Thanks to the folks at Canonical, remote participation is possible. The morning UDS begins you need to, click on the UDS wiki, grab the schedule, fire up IRC, plug in some headphones and crank up icecast, then sit back in the comfort of your own home and participate in the planning the next release. There is a place for you!

You will be able to pick the tracks that interest you, log into the Channel for those sessions and listen to the discussion. The folks in the session in person will decide who takes notes, who monitors the IRC channel and the leader for the sessions sets the topic for the session and away you go. The conversation gets underway and you use IRC as your voice. It can be as engaging as you want it to be. The sessions move quickly and seeing it all come together is awesome!

The UDS for Karmic+1 is scheduled for November 19, 2009. Mark your calendars and settle in for another great ubuntu release.

If you have a passion for all things Ubuntu, then join in on the next release! Hope you will assist in the planning and discussion. More information to follow throughout the upcoming months.