New laptop finally here!!

So finally got my new laptop, thanks to my employer, I am the user of a more modern hardware with good speed both on the processor, ram and storage speed. There are still some customization to be done, since the original order was targeting a 1 TB IDE and a 250 GB SSD. After some options came around, I end up with a 250GB and a 250 IDE disk.

The laptop is a Dell Latitude E6410, with some average specs. The point wasn’t get a state of the art, but just a few months of productivity. Plus the performance goes way up when I am runningĀ ArchLinux. I installed Archbang, followed some Youtube videos with OpenBox, and then installed KDE 5.

The good thing of getting a not so cutting edge laptop is that most of the hardware worked. Even the special keys, wifi, and such. Still think it was a pleasant install, and the performance was great, even the keyboard felt nice.

The biggest To-Do right now is finding a harddisk caddy to enclose the original IDE disk and have the double disk on the laptop in spare of the DVD unit. For the moment I am using an external USB-enclosing disk.

External Caddy for the IDE disk.
External Caddy for the IDE disk.

I’ll write some update if I can get it finally done with the internal one:

Internal disk
Internal disk

Getting ready for the next big Open source event

So just a few weeks from the Latin American installfest called FLISOL.

Image

The event happens across all Latin American countries including Spain and Brazil. Is primarily in Spanish although most of the maintaining crew of the servers are Brazilians.

Originally the event happens on the same day however due to many schools having breaks they decided to push/advance the event from the target day.

In Cancun we are in charge of the local FLISOL. We will do it on the designed date and we are gearing up to have a great audience. Thanks to many of the contacts that have been giving us support we were able to promote it on many different ways from school to business, media types and word of mouth.

A funny picture of the GNU horns and beard as I pose after the interview from the local TV station.Image

We hope to generate the same traffic from the last time we went around with the event. For more information about the event go to http://flisol.info/FLISOL2014/Mexico/Cancun

Hopefully this time around we have more business and professional audience.Image

Liveblogging my arch installation

So my harddisk died a few days ago šŸ˜¦

I have been using a USB dongle to get online and try to get as much work done as possible, but the issue is that that having a laptop with a usb dongle hanging can lead to accidence that can ruin the performance of a ‘live system’. So instead I got the crazy idea of having my phone SD as the live system and enable it to run my laptop.

Since this is temporary and is a good excuse to learn more about linux, I finally made a transition to a more power user environment. So I am trying ArchLinux.

So far the IRC channel and Wiki have been pretty helpful but one issue I find, is that this is no regular installation but a more custom that I originally thought.

First surprise is that I was suggest against just making a live SD card, and instead do a traditional installation into the SD (no Live environment). The main reason because of the persistence issue. Persistence mode is a way to have the environment on read only. Which means that all the configuration will go away on reboot.

Another issue is because my setup is not that straightforward I need to guess which route should I go. So far I founded 3 different pages:

  • Installation Guide
  • Installing to a USB Key
  • Installing from another distro

So far it seems that each has their own method. I had to go with the third one, although I had my doubts regarding the way I was already advanced on the regular installation.

Thing that I find out is that this is very manual and rudimentary way to get a linux system up. Taken from a movie like inception I was told to use the chroot environment to emulate an arch system within the original host (Xubuntu). Since Xubuntu to a degree is emulated since is on a live environment, I was again asked to do a 2nd environment with mkinitcpio.

So the install was something like this:

  1. Boot from live USB
    1. Download ISO and mount -loop it into /mnt/
      1. chroot to the mounted environment
      2. install new stuff
      3. mount the target drives (SD card)
      4. mount it into the chroot enironment
        1. generate a new chroot with mkinitcpio to setup initial files such as:
          1. grub, keymaps, locale, hostname, etc.

Something to scratch your head, not to mentioned that I need to manually configure drivers for wifi and also drivers for display. Is time to boot, we’ll see how much we could interact.

Irssi, Yakuake and the end of productivity as we know it

Lately IRC has been coming back strong, not that it ever left. But I get more than the usual casual chat. And IRSSI has also made a big splash with my geek friends. We have the following irc todo’s like auto-join, auto-op and auto-connect.

Here is the simple command lines to perform all of the above.

For auto-connect to a network, you could edit a file on the ~/.irssi/ folder.

touch ~/.irssi/startup

This is a static file which you can add all type of commands at the start of the irssi client. So we can add things like server irc.freenode.net.

There are other ways to do thisĀ withinĀ the irssi console, and here is how:

/network add -user JZA -realname “JZA” -nick aaron -autosendcmd “/^msg nickserv identify password” freenode

Finally auto-op since you want to be op once you join your channel. So we do the following:

/Channel add -auto -botcmd “query Chanserv op #tqvcancun” #tqvcancun freenode

The next step is also to have yakuake starts automagically when you login to your laptop. Yakuake has a configuration for this on the lower right corner you have a display menu with the optionĀ Configure yakuakeĀ andĀ Configure Shortcuts.

The first one will allow us to set behaviours such as automatically show the terminal when the mouse touches the edge of the screen. The second one allow us to re-assign the key so that we can use the one we are more confortable

Happy Bday Linux

I'll be celebrating 20 years of Linux withThe Linux Foundation!

Just want to wish the Linux  kernel  a happy 20th anniversary

So I will talk a bit about my beginings with Linux, when I first knew about Linux and how I became to care for it.

I learned about Linux back in 97 where a computer magazine annouced their Red Hat version 3 in a magazine. This was the first Red Hat as opposed to RHEL.

However even thought I bought the magazine (or was it my brother) and actually got the CD in and start looking at what it had. I realize I need to errase all my data. Since I didnt had a CD burner it will take me a long time, which I wasn’t up to. So I left it alone and focus on watching and reading about it in the magazine.

In college my laptop got screwed and buying a new laptop I decided to give Linux a try. That’s when I start asking and talking about Linux to my internship mentors. They had Linux on their data center and want it to try it. Then like any other geek I did what most geeks do. Download every possible version of Linux and want it to emulate all the different distros and have an external Hard disk that will save a vm store of different distros.

Fast forward to my move to Boston and start attending the MIT BLU which gave me a great insight into what Linux really was and how hardcore the technology was. That turned me on and start selling me into Linux. I start listening to the linux show podcast (not the linux action show). Years passed and I was an avid fan and start digging around the groups and reading ebooks about linux. Even was so eager to get a Linux Red Hat certification video tutorial from IRC. But the 3.5 GB put me a bit off.

Eventually I move to New York and start going to all these different Linux groups and events including the NYPC, the NYLUG, the LinuxWorld Conference and so on. When I came back to Mexico I started my own Linux group called GULTab and from then on I started thinking into giving back to FLOSS. So I joined OpenOffice.org.

Eventually in 2004 I became the lead of the project, and launched Linux Xpo in Monterrey and had my little spot in the Linux ecosystem. Since then I have focus mostly in OpenOffice.org and leading other projects beside the spanish project like the Education and so on.

Also I have been using Linux exclusively for almost 10 years. Have worked as a System Administrator for large companies  and eventually came into pursuing other interests within the floss area as a way of living from.

FLOSS have made me for 10 years and I hope I could be here for the next 20 years.

Menos grupos de usuarios y mas grupos de desarrollo

Durante una conversacion en la lista de correo de LinuxCabal empezamos a hablar sobre el nivel de contribucion al software libre:

Sinceramente creo que hay un problema muy grande con la comunidad de software libre en general. Y en eventos como el FLISOL quizas sean un reflejo de esto. Y es que, solo se enfoca en crear usuarios. Realmente nunca se educa en la cultura de la contribucion. Interactuando con comunidades tecnologicas como la de web 2.0 esto se refleja en algo muy sencillo y curioso. Por una parte se consumen muchos Blogs, mucho del trafico de blogs en español vienen de Mexico.

Sin embargo nunca y ni por casualidad se generan comentarios en estos blogs. Esto realmente un fenomeno que tiene mucho que ver con el excelente consumismo que se orienta en Mexico, pero pocas veces se tiene el sentimiento de pertenencia y contribucion a lo que seria un blog, grupo o proyecto.

Llevo 10 años en el proyecto de OpenOffice.org Español y puedo hablar que en ese tiempo he recibido muchos correos que quieren participar en el proyecto de OpenOffice.org. La gran mayoria ha venido de Venezuela, España y Argentina y en menor grado de Chile y Perú, sin embargo de México ha ocurrido solo 3 veces en 10 años.

Cuando llevo este tópico a la discusión recibo las excusas que en México somos muy pobres para preocuparnos de contribuir, y que debemos primero sobrevivir y excusas muy atípicas y que realmente no tiene mucho que ver con la pregunta original. Cabe señalar que muchos de los voluntarios rara ves son informáticos, la mayoría son profesores de primaria, bibliotecarios, vendedores, y gente podríamos decir común y corriente que son tecnologos por aficion mas que por dedicación. Me pregunto si esto tiene que ver con la apreciación de que no se esta regalando su producto.

Son datos importantes que quizás den mucha perspectiva a cual es el estatus de Mexico en el contexto iberoamericano de uso y participación del software libre.

Que podemos hacer?

No tengo una respuesta definitiva, pero hay algunas cosas que se pueden tomar en cuenta. Una es cambiar el mensaje de solo usar Linux y SL a contribuir. hay mucha gente que ya son usuarios de anios, esa gente, hay que empezar a invitarla a contribuir. Lo otro es saber uno mismo como contribuir. Esto se hace acercandose a las comunidades y preguntarle como contribuir.

Hay muchas comunidades que tienen su paginas de “how to contribute”. Desde Mozilla, KDE, OpenOffice.org, Gnome, Drupal, Joomla, hasta comunidades mas pequeñas como los proyectos mas pequenios en Sourceforge, Google Code y FedoraHosted.

En OpenOffice.org (y otras) aparte de la participacion en el producto, se puede participar en cosas como extensiones que son micro proyectos dentro del proyecto de OOo. Ahi hay mucho para contribuir, tanto en funcionalidad como en desarrollo. En México por ejemplo el unico iberoamericano que he visto que ha contribuido otra cosa que no sea diccionarios, ha sido Eduardo Moreno el cual ha metido algunas extensiones de conversion de numero a  letra, mejoramiento de la paleta de colores, etc.
http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/en/search/node/Tokonhu

El es un amigo de muchos años en la comunidad, y empezo con una extension y ahora podras ver la cantidad de extensiones con las cuales a contribuido.

Una actividad que se le debe de dedicar tiempo sobretodo para programadores noveles, es a destripar programas y leer su codigo. Cuando un programa es orientado a objetos existen muchas clases y funciones que son como mini programas que se pueden replicar, entonces la construccion de software se vuelve 60% reutilizar clases y 40% escribir codigo. Lo de mas se puede copy-pastear…

Para eso necesitas entender que hace la funcion, y tener el criterio para sacarle el beneficio a esta. Una vez que entendiste que utiliza la funcion, y como lo hace, podras  aislarla e incorporarla a tu codigo. Viendo la gran cantidad de codigo que existe, se podria tener una conversacion mas especifica sobre como se pueden aportar codigos o librearias de codigo que automatizen el proceso.

En ese momento tu comunidad paso de de ser una comunidad de usuarios a una comunidad de desarrollo. Por que pasaste de preguntarse como usar linux, a como podemos resolver este problema en particular.

Eso si, hay un problema de fondo y de cultura y es que aun el programador tradicional no es muy colaborativo, la mayoria de gente que veo que desarrolla, casi no habla de su codigo ni de como resuelve procesos. De hecho el muestra el producto, pero casi nunca el proceso. Esto se debe cambiar.

Actualizacion: Este articulo causo reacciones en Facebook donde me apuntaron a este articulo donde habla de la contribución en general. (en ingles).

Mi respuesta es que simplemente son dos visiones completamente opuestas, el autor se enfoca que el crecimiento de usuarios dejara a los geeks en la minoria. Mi pensar no tiene que ver con la popularidad y el uso del software. Tiene que ver con la comunicacion que se esta dando en la actualidad, y cuantos de estos grupos estan llevando su mensaje “al siguiente nivel”. Esto me recuerda a una presentación que di en Valencia sobre el ciclo del usuario libre.

Certification revolution

So lately I have engage mostly on the certification aspect of the OpenOffice.org space civilization, or should I say cloud civilization? These past two weeks a lot of things have come through mainly on the OpenOffice.org end toward the stabilization of a certification and many meetings have been addressed on skype calls, IRC and other mediums. The work we have been doing has suddenly got attention from some of the OOo leads and their will to contribute has been sometimes more than needed. However this post is more about what open questions are still out there and how can the alternatives address such challenges.

  1. Quality of the syllabus and qualification standards
  2. Documentation such as study guides and trainer guides, and who should bare the responsibility for such.
  3. Testing skills vs. knowledge of the application
  4. Relationship with testing centres and entrepreneurial centres

The list could go on and on but these have been some of the topics that have been debated (once more) and some of the ideas have been solidify under better light. One of the biggest conclusion would be that we can finally decide on approving a ground level material for OpenOffice.org Certification so we can start doing the implementation from Core. Another is that we need to start extrapolating on the syllabus even if this doesn’t go as far as student guide, make it in a sense of action items so the contributors and publishers understand the points we need to achieve.Evan points out to the reference that LPI holds and notice some great ideas to adopt it into the syllabus. Other goals can be see on the Red Hat camp and this could add us into going to a different place. Solveig wrote about certification a while back and explains an interest model but don’t really touch these questions however she post new questions regarding the cicles which the certification should be produced and how indepth we could get it.Another dimension is going into where people are already implementing a large training program for their population in OpenOffice.org. These program includes OpenOffice.org training and a certification could pose a great tool for further developing their training and support. So the Spanish population into and trainers that fuel these deployments could be great resources to make the certification listen to their needs. Andalucia and Valencia each have programs to train their teachers that go into the regional schools to train them in OpenOffice.org and their view could be very valuable to qualify them as trainer. Getting all these points together and checking all the point of views would make it very hard to come to a consensus. But as opposed that in the past, this time there will be deadlines and timelines and will close upon a certain point of the discussion also modifications would be expected as any other certification and we hope tha we can get also a great certification revolution for OpenOffice.org finalize by the end of 2008.

Does Linux users come to be good internet citizens?

This week I have been with my ankle recovering from a nasty twist that I suffered while playing basketball. Nevertheless I think that some of the most important talks I have had has been when I went with my friend Luis to get away from the intense heat and have a frozen coffee and enjoy of the free wifi. We had a talk on the future of Tabasco as far as web 2.0 and technology is concern. he told me that through his brother he manage to met a bunch of kids that want to start a web 2.0 venture. However this fear doesn’t just go to the web but to technology as a whole. Unfortunately we see that there is not enoughknowledge from the kids coming out from school about the web, business and ho to structure their idea. At the same time I think that one of the people I wil have more hope will be ex/linux users or people tha participate with GULTab. So far I have one reference that has been pretty positive. Vkn a college student that has taken some how of leadership in his school and have been strong on pushing FLOSS in his univerisity. He had worked on the college radio on spreading the FLOSS knowledge. He also have managed the development of FLISOL. He definetly has been a kid that has dkept on with the information about what free software and technology can do for everyone. However my question comes with what about the rest of the ex-GULTAB people, have they kept with Linux and free sofwtare?Lately I found a blogpost from Darkness that talked about the good ol days where GULTab was forming and the fun time that wee shared. After that however I saw a lot of the ex people from GULTab jumping in a conversation about what we can do in the future and revive the organization. Sadly I dont see it likely but I wonder what have they been keep doing and if they finally succeed in their enviroment. El_Diablo dissapeared from the internet but you can still see his old blog from 2003. Kamelott seems to be blogging still, al3jandro (Darkness) still is an avid blogger; eMac also has a pownce account and twitter; OnlyAngel still tweets and finally alzate who I still don’t know what he do besides his 9 to 5. I also don’t know much about mittohuffman except he works like crazy and Dav_0r that also have very little internet life. PCero still online but do very little from what I have googled. Maybe they are doing stuff but I dont know much about it. Anyway I do hope at least their linux love still on and the internet still not a foreign land.