Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Geeknic at kirstenbosch

We had a relaxing ubuntu-za geeknic in kirstenbosch. People seem to prefer not being on photos. So here then a photo of the obnoxious, greedy guinea fowl that are prepared to steal chicken samosas off your lap.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ubuntu Hour in Pretoria

UbuntuHour Pretoria. Now everyone has cds and stickers.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ubuntu Hour in Pretoria Sunday

Impromptu Ubuntu Hour in Pretoria. At the Vida e Caffe in Veale Street. It's neer the Brooklyn mall. The Vida on street level next to the Simply Asia. 16h00 UTC+2 Sunday 21 Nov. I will bring Maverick CDs.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Geeknic 2010 new date

The ubuntu-za Geeknic is happening on 28 Nov 2010 (note the date change) at Kirstenbosch.
More info on loco.ubuntu.com
Meet at the main entrance at 10:00. Bring the kids. Bring what you want to eat and drink. Meet ubuntu people. Have fun.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Geeks love pizza part I: Oct Ubuntu Hour lunch at Ginos

Thanks for the pics, Dewald. I couldn't make this one, but there will be another Ubuntu Hour at Gino's this coming Saturday. We meet at 12:30. See the even at http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/team/520/detail/

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Geeknic 2010 flyer-poster

I am starting to get things together for the Geeknic in November. Here is the first second pass flyer/poster. The idea is ubuntu people connecting in a outdoor environment. Also it is spring start of summer here so green seemed appropriate. I may just add an explanation line from the website "a picnic for geeks". The geeknic idea comes from http://geeknic.org

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cards and stickers

The stickers from canonical are finally here. Also picked up ubuntu cards today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

More release 10.10.10 party pics

Spot the pic where everyone is staring at the projected IRC channel
edit - finally got a pic of the cake too. It doesn't look it but it is chocolate inside.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Will these be finished in time for the Release Party?

I hope so! They will be 5 cm in diameter and they will cost R8 or 2 for R15. If there are any left after the party, maybe I can mail some to the other areas if anybody is interested.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

second Stellenbosch Saturday Ubuntu Hour

Holiday for some but not others. again a good turn out especially since I could almost not make it. Not everyone is on the photos. It means there would have been an ubuntu hour even if I wasn't there. We had our laptops there but we ended up talking about release party possibilities and irc client preferences.

Monday, August 30, 2010

UGJ Aug 2010 part 2

hello -c "hello superfly"

Cape Town GlobalJam Aug 2010

There is more but one pic is a start. We jammed even though many of the regulars were running between the Jam and helping rooms full of kids to learn Python. Thanks to all who made it and helped out. The cooker of fly-lead spaghetti with socks proxy sauce especially.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

By popular demand, Ubuntu Hour on a Saturday

It looks like we will move the Stellenbosch Ubuntu Hour to a Saturday at eleven for the time being. This is due to the larger attendance we had today, 7 Aug, at the Java cafe. Maybe it's just left over excitement spilling over from the re-approval success of last Tuesday. We discussed T-shirts and things to do at the GlobalJam, how to get free CDs to distribute at the begining of student registration and a few other things (Hilton in a penguin suit? tin-foil hats?) while we waited and waited and waited for coffee. Yes another venue next time is a good idea. Watch the mailing list, irc or website for details.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time flies, another GlobalJam coming soon

The GlobalJam in Cape Town will be held 27 Aug 14:00 - 18:00 at the Shuttleworth Lab. More on what will be on the program as soon as I know. Hopefully there will be Jams elsewhere in the country.

Just some handy hints on how to find out what is happening in the ubuntu-za community:
You can go to the loco team page and find the handy links next to Upcoming events. There is an rss feed and an official ical feed which you can add to your favourite rss feed reader or calendar utility.
You can also subscribe to the mailing list or talk to us on IRC or ask in the forum. Then there is the ubuntu-za.org website which will have info on the home page. Then sometimes people twitter and identi.ca and there is another more detailed ical feed as well.

Almost any style of web communication is supported, so no more excuses. To paraphrase Dr Suess in his classic work, Marvin K. Mooney will you Please go now?
You can go on stilts.
You can go by fish.

You can go in a Crunk car if you wish.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ubuntu Hour Feedback

At the beginning of the year I decided to connect to more people and that it was ok to end up knowing more humans than computers. I wanted to do something about which I was passionate. I wanted to do something which I could sustain so that it wasn't just a transient blip. Ubuntu Hour was perfect.
Instructions from the website :

  • Head out to a public space like a coffee shop. (ok I already do that on some Fridays to hang out and read and surf)
  • Wear something with the Ubuntu logo or have a visible Ubuntu sticker on your laptop (if you bring one). (ok)
  • When/if you show up, you agree to the Ubuntu Code of Conduct. (ok already done that)
  • Anyone can start an Ubuntu Hour, anywhere, anytime. (ok that includes me, and you for that matter)
  • Remember this is a social event, be approachable! (Hmmm supress inner geek a bit, but being social was the point for starting this)

What has happened

Since the first event on 5 Feb there has been a total of 5 Ubuntu Hours. Only once did I not have company but that was good too because I had a long chat with the owner of the coffee shop. I have made great new friends in the Ubuntu Community and sortof got myself involved in a bit more than I thought I would be when I started.


My inner geek wants to take over and optimise the activity, asking questions like:

  1. How many people who didn't know about ubuntu before did I actually speak to? [insert pie chart here] 
  2. Wouldn't it be more efficient if I got a larger group at a time and more entertaining flashy activities? [insert a list of tasks with estimates here]

The short answer to this is it doesn't matter and no.

It's about doing something, anything, but committing to it and doing it regularly. If it were larger&/flashier, I'd have to carry around a projector an ask permission and become nervous about it and give up. That's not to say your Ubuntu Hour doesn't have to have projectors and permissions. For me though Ubuntu Hour isn't a substitute for having entertaining talks and get togethers, it has a different function. We can do all of that too, at a different forum eg Global Jam or Software Freedom day.

Notes to myself

  • There can definitely be, in fact should be, more than one. So if the time/place doesn't fit, make another one.
  • It was a good idea to pick something which I do already so it doesn't become a drag.
  • It is actually ok if no-one comes because perhaps I end up talking to a complete stranger about Ubuntu and if nothing else I can blog or update a page on Ubuntu-za.org or hang out in #ubuntu-za.
  • Since it's about talking to people, a laptop isn't essential.
  • Be flexible and keep it simple.

A big thank you to drubin who has been a consistent, albeit sometimes bleary-eyed, face so far.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Double Ubuntu Hour (4 June and 2 July)

On 4 June we met at Java Cafe. Best turnout ever, even though the breakfast and the coffee wasn't necessarily the best. Various discussion on the closed sourceness and general monopoly of Deep Net academic texts and the new home of the Freedom Toaster. You can guess who took the pic on his android phone (it's the one who isn't in the photo). Can you tell it was freezing in Stellenbosch.

On 2 July we tried Vida e Cafe. Better coffee but breakfast was uhm simple as in plain croissant and muffin. I managed to hook up to the free hipzone webaccess. This time Cheese took the pic so no-one could be shy. We discussed long plans on how to setup a repository cache system to optimise the bandwidth usage of all the pc's who get ubuntu installs. I now have a todo list of instructions and a cool script to try. More about this later, once I have got it going and it's all tested and working.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

pocket repo

After my bandwidth witch hunt I did a quick check and realised that all those Ubuntu updates from netbooks, laptops and more really is a waste since it is duplicate data. So with the help of a external usb disk and a obliging geek from SULUG  I now have a repo in my pocket. I changed all the ubuntu boxes in my immediate orbit to stop looking for updates on the internet so feverishly. I set the updates to manual and un-ticked all the other software sources. I added some lines to my software sources, see end of post.

Yes I know I won't get security updates so regularly, but my thinking is that if I get a refreshed mirror once a week or once every two weeks, I won't be all that much behind. More info on offline repos here.

Already a new install from CD and then some package updates from the disk was super quick/painless and non-bandwidth-intensive.

Nothing beats the feeling too, some-one asks me do you happen to have a nail file in your handbag to which I reply no but I have a complete Ubuntu repository. I am happy. Now how to stop my self from installing Ubuntu on those demo laptops in Hifi Corporation, aah the temptation ...

deb file:///media/SAMSUNG/mirror/ftp.sun.ac.za/ubuntu lucid main restricted universe multiverse
deb file:///media/SAMSUNG/mirror/ftp.sun.ac.za/ubuntu lucid-backports main restricted universe multiverse
deb file:///media/SAMSUNG/mirror/ftp.sun.ac.za/ubuntu lucid-security main restricted universe multiverse
deb file:///media/SAMSUNG/mirror/ftp.sun.ac.za/ubuntu lucid-updates main restricted universe multiverse
deb file:///media/SAMSUNG/mirror/ftp.sun.ac.za/ubuntu lucid-proposed main restricted universe multiverse

[edit added extra lines after reading website Hilton suggested in the comments]

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Who's eating my bandwidth?

No pictures, this is a low bandwidth post.

ecently my irc conversations were being minced up by lag. I ended up connecting with the 3G card and not the ADSL and then the little netbook sucked the 3G card dry. In this country where it is cheaper to buy a legitimate DVD rather than torrent a ripped copy I started to investigate.
All though the laptop didn't seem to be the hungry one, I started on the laptop, here are the tools I settled on.

First - find out how much I am using:
For the netbook and the laptop, a  command line bandwith watcher - vnstat
You can monitor multiple interfaces and it will tally over days, weeks and months.
sudo apt-get install vnstat
and then in my case
vnstat -u -i eth0
vnstat -u -i wlan1

to check do the following.

Daily bandwidth report.
vnstat -i eth01 -d

Hourly bandwidth report.
vnstat -i eth0 -h

Monthly bandwidth report.
vnstat -i eth0 -m

Real time speed report.
vnstat -i eth0 -l

Next I started playing with Conky

From an overwhelming variety of links here's the two I found most useful, a blog entry with example, and the color chart.

In my .conkyrc file I have this command:

${execi 30 netstat -ept | grep ESTAB | awk '{print $9}' | cut -d: -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr}
which just does a netstat -ept and finds established connections and then does some formating and sorting showing a process ID and name something like this:

4 1728/beam.smp
4 1626/python
3 13962/chromium-brow
1 21097/python
1 2010/weechat-curses
1 1452/python

From this I see that chromium-browser and weechat-curses has the internet but also 3 python scripts and beam.smp. Possibly others but the were not on the top list. So who are these pythons who are also eating the bandwidth.

ps -ef |grep 1626
says ...
xxxx 1626 1384 0 18:32 ? 00:00:01 /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/gwibber-service
repeat for 21097 and 1452
xxxx 21097 1 0 18:50 ? 00:00:07 /usr/bin/python /usr/lib/ubuntuone-client/ubuntuone-syncdaemon
xxxx 1452 1384 0 18:31 ? 00:00:08 /usr/bin/python /usr/bin/gm-notify.py

AHA! so its gwibber and ubuntuone and my gmail notify scripts. Weird thing is I thought I disabled UbuntuOne and Gwibber startup tasks.

Now who is beam.smp? The Internet says ... something to do with couchdb ... my ps search confirms this and shows it was startup up by somthing related to erlang. Now who is interpreting Erlang on my pc and using couchdb and accessing the internet all the time? The mystery continues. From this bug it seems to be related to Gwibber and UbuntuOne. Hmmm...

Moral of this story
Backup on Flash not Cloud.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Party

The promised little surprises ...

Thanks for all the good ideas, inspiration, repositories, switches, kettle cords and fly leads. A good time was had by all. Thanks to the braai-masters and the fire-makers and the cleaning-helpers, the fire-fighters, beer-sharers and conversation-makers, curry-makers the shoppers and the cash-donators.

Lucid Release Party Day

Today is the Lucid Release Party day for Stellenbosch and Cape Town. We will be installing and socialising from 10 till whenever. I have a few tiny surprises up my sleeve but you will have to wait and see.

This is what I want to do today:
* upgrade the Netbook to Lucid
* get the latest updates for the Laptop
* install Lucid on Kai's poxy windows box after I have backed up his Plants vs Zombie save states

but more important than this, hang out an have fun with other Ubuntu people.

Woohoo see you all soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

25mm pin mockups

In anticipation for the Lucid release for the end of the month, I made some pins. The svg can be found at spreadubuntu. The layout is to print on a A3 which is what my pin badge maker wants.
hopefully there is enough plain, enough aubergine, enough naartjie and enough furry for everyone.
The next version will be bigger badges with maybe some text, stay tuned. Of course if someone wants to remix these, be my guest.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday Ubuntu Hour in Stellenbosch

I am planning on having an Ubuntu Hour at the Mill Street Coffee House in Stellenbosch again. This Friday 16 April at 9am. Join me!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sunday is JamDay

GlobalJam at the UCT Shuttleworth Lab. We had a healthy turnout. I counted at least 15 people, probably more. Most people stayed for most of the day too. Highlights were a talk and demo on bug reporting and triaging, a talk on translating and a whirlwind tour of packaging using hello as an example. Some people were already running Lucid and some people tried Lucid from flash disk or tried the upgrade. A few bugs were raised and a few bugs were confirmed. Some strings were translated to North-Sotho. Stickers were traded. Easter-eggs were eaten.

Most importantly though, it was great to meet everybody face to face.

Here's what drubin had to say about the day.

I hate to single out anyone because there were so many helpful people but Tumbleweed helped everyone, efficiently and with a smile. He hooked us up to the mirror and assisted almost everywhere, set the projector up, organised the coffee machine, made fly-leads, jammed pizza boxes into the recycle bins. At one point I was sure he had cloned himself. Maybe he just flips forward and back in time with a secret gadget.

On a smaller scale ,I managed to upgrade a laptop that has had upgrades from Intrepid->Jaunty->Karmic and now Lucid. No small feat as it also had a Xubuntu install. Luckily there were enough experts to help me over the speed bumps. Thank you Hilton and others. I made a Lucid Live Flash disk Netbook Release and tested my Samsung NC10. I am happy to report that almost everything worked out of the box. The list includes: 
  • Wired Lan
  • Wireless Lan
  • Onboard 3G
  • Bluetooth file transfer
  • Bluetooth Device browse
  • Bluetooth PAN
  • speakers, mic, 
  • webcam
  • USB flash disks 
  • USB mouse
The brightness function keys don't work but this didn't surprise me, since they don't work on a vanilla Karmic install either and it is easy to fix with the excellent scripts from VoRia. I can't say I like the little battery icon on it's side on a netbook and I miss the volume scroll functionality but other than that it looks good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

GlobalJam Poster version 2_1 Afrikaans

and an Afrikaans version.

GlobalJam Poster version 2_1

Ok version 2.1 with icons, there is a penguin. My compromise since I'd rather code with pointers than collect soft toys. Hope it's more fun. I made the naartjie color match the icons.

GlobalJam Poster version 1

Just for interest sake, the first aubergine attempt which got canned due to the Canonical-ness associated with aubergine.

Poster Cape Town GlobalJam March 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cape Town Ubuntu GlobalJam venue and date decided

Sunday 28 March from 10am to 5pm at the UCT Shuttleworth Lab
More detail to be found at the CLUG Wiki

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Second Stellenbosch (unofficial) Ubuntu Hour

This one held on 12 Feb 2010. Ankia's netbook was installed with Ubuntu shortly after the third cup of coffee.

First Stellenbosch Ubuntu Hour

webcam pic of Ubuntu Hour 5 Feb 2010. David's netbook was converted.