GNOME Rocks (too)!

Gnome Foundation SponsoredAn update from the GNOME Summit where we’re reaching the third and last day of this great event. Attending the summit has definitely given me a much better idea of who are the real people behind those chopped-off heads from the GNOME Planet and who does what. I’ve been impressed and inspired by some of the people contributing to GNOME as a hobby and not because they are being employed by a company investing in GNOME. There are way too many people to name them all, but Jason from the marketing team is one of them. It has been also very enlightening to see how some of the people having the luck of getting paid for their work on GNOME had GNOME flowing through their veins and caring so much about things such as branding and how we should all be involved in GNOME directions as community members. In fact the common denominator of all those people attending is the passion that fuels their interest and commitment to GNOME and all its related issues. I was also very happy to meet Xan again, who also attended the GNOME.Asia Summit in Taipei this summer, and Srini from India and many more guys (the list is way too long).

On the third day we are lucky enough to be hosted in the MIT Media Lab which is a beautiful building with a splendid view on the river. We have a huge 9 panels LCD screen for presentations and discussions, plenty of rooms and empty spaces to drill down on all the potential issues remaining before the GNOME 3 release.

I’ve taken on the initiative to put up a group of sales presentations for GNOME, highlighting both the benefits and the technology of GNOME geared towards decision makers and engineers (so it’ll probably be 2 different presentations) to entice them to use GNOME on whatever project they’re doing. I’m hoping to use those more specifically for all the device manufacturers I meet regularly in South China and would definitely be excited to see products coming out with GNOME (rather than anything else).
So quite a few challenges ahead and some work to do as the information related to GNOME and its technologies or applications in the real world is spread over several persons within the GNOME community. But that’ll be a great way to meet more GNOME developers and make plenty of new friends!

MIT Media Lab - GNOME Summit

The death of my LCD screen

And after leaving Beijing and being so quiet, my faithful Thinkpad has also decided to go quiet… well I can still work on about 3-400 pixel width (by 1050 high) one could argue. The problem is that I see no reason to upgrade, the machine runs fast enough and I doubt a new laptop will bring me anything better (than this 4 years old one).

So it’s getting fixed (580rmb, 3-4 days) and I shall soon rejoice 😀

Blogging on ZDNet Asia

Following the steps of Michael and Peter I’ve just started to blog on ZDNet Asia yesterday. My writings there will be a lot more “journalistic” than my random stories over here and covering Linux and Open Source in China, and not what I personally get involved with. Most likely I will also add the feed to the BLUG Planet but only once I’m done writing a feed filter that removes the add in the default feed. If there are any specific topic that you would like to be covered just leave a comment at either place.

New phone number

Some of you might have received a SMS from me this morning, I have switched mobile provider and therefore have a new number. I’ll keep the old one for another month during the transition period. Why did I switch? Well the main reason is that I am getting about 10 to 20 SMS and 1-3 MMS spam a day with China Mobile. Being a “Diamond member” (the highest membership level at China Mobile) I did call them a week ago to ask to solve the problem (there are many many technical solutions they could implement) but the only two things they could tell me is that they got an award for fighting spam (???) and that I should install a software on my phone to do that. Note that I started to get spam from day one with them. I suspect their staff are just selling customer data for a few bucks. I still told the customer representative I gave them a week to address the issue or else I would switch carrier. Nothing has happened, so here I come China Unicom. On top of not getting spam (at least at the beginning) I’ll get the pleasure to enjoy 3G on my phone (as China Mobile only supports the Chinese 3G standard on overpriced handsets made only for the Chinese market) and flat rate calling all over China.

I won’t post my new number here, but for those of you who know me, do not hesitate to either send me an sms or drop me an email to get the new number.

2010 starting full speed

Moonos - an Englightenment Ubuntu based distro!I hope everybody had a great time over Christmas and the new year festivities. It’s not really my preferred time of the year for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t enjoy ;-)! So I have been focusing my time and energy on Open Source stuff, namely RUR-PLE, some GNOME.Asia related stuff, Greenboard of course, our pilots in migrant schools and Software Freedom Day planning for 2010.
On top of those activities I will start blogging for ZDNet Asia about Linux and Open Source in China, most likely organize the Beijing chapter of the Global Ignite Week with O’Reilly and the cool guys from the Beijing LUG, while trying to get a Hackerspace started in Beijing with a few other enthusiasts from various communities (but mainly from the BLUG though for now).
And finally I am happily providing hosting space for two open source projects, the Phnom Penh LUG, a growing Linux community in Cambodia, and moonOS, a lightweight Ubuntu based distribution (using Enlightenment) started by a cool Cambodian guy with whom I chat almost daily nowadays as we’re working on other open source stuff together. I’ll probably come back to all of those but for sure it’s more than enough to keep me away from writing here…

I proposed today…

Pockeyand she said YESSSS. For those knowing us it won’t be a big surprise as we’ve been already over 6 years together. For those knowing me, it’s probably a surprise as you know what I think about “getting married” (I’ve just lost a few beers). Overall I believe it was the right thing to do and considering the YESSSS I got, definitely it did make Pockey happy!

First snow in Beijing

Just as a reminder to myself, this year is the first time since I live in Beijing (winter 2002-2003) that I witness heavy snow (30cm) so early. It actually snowed the whole day of November 1st 2009 and it was freezing cold (we just lost 20 degrees Celsius in 1-2 days!). Today is slightly warmer (4°C) and sunny so it’s slowly melting for now.

Had to share it…

Doing my usual slashdot reading and couldn’t help but laughing at a smart response to a rather pejorative comment. Doesn’t really matter which country the original commenter was referring to, but you’ve got to love that response!

The vast majority of their population still live like animals.

As opposed to some other country, where the majority of the population live like plants? I guess you’re right: too many USA residents have become couch potatoes.

Binary watch

Binary watch - 12:23Spent my (western) New Year visiting my family and shopping in Hong Kong – great sales by the way, even at normal price every branded stuff is way cheaper than China – and found something that can only please a geek: a binary watch. Didn’t know it existed and wanted it as soon as I saw it. The only draw back is that you need to push a button to be able to read the time (it switches on the LEDs), but the rest is really cool. And I guess only another geek would steal it from me, as anybody else will probably not be able to read the time (they still added the bits value on the PCB though, for non-geeks I suppose). The upper LED row shows the hour, coded on 4 bits, and the lower row the minutes, coded on 6 bits.

And in case you were wondering, it was 12:2312:27 (thanks Julien) when I took the picture! 😉