GNOME T-Shirt design contest!

GNOME T-shirt ContestFor the designers out there I’d like to mentioned that the GNOME Foundation is launching a T-shirt design competition to prepare for the launch of GNOME 3.0. So if you have a bit of designing skills and would like to see the millions of us, GNOME users, wearing your art, then give it a try. First prize also entitles you for U$100 and 2 T-shirts of your own design, though we all know no one does it for the money!

Now for those of you just curious to see what the latest GNOME Shell looks like I recommend trying out compiling from the GIT repository as explained here starting around the middle of the page. It’s definitely nice to see Free Software innovating and coming up with complete new ideas and interfaces in desktop computing. Note that this is still a work in progress (code freeze should happen around February-March) and might not work so well on your machine. Tip: ‘ALT+F2 – debugexit – ENTER’ gets you out!

Packing SFD 2009 schwags

sfdpacking09For the second consecutive year, BLUG is packing the schwags that pre-registered SFD teams are entitled to. We’re actually having 12% more pre-registered team this year with a very different country split (compared to 2008). The volunteer group just made it to BLUG office and are working diligently on each team pack. Our “movie maker”, author of the Beijing SFD ’07 video, also joined and is documenting the whole process. Thanks to everyone from BLUG and hopefully all the packs will make it on time for your SFD events!

Mplayer, a Webcam and ASCII Art

While discussing education and Open Source in Cambodia with a friend from the Phnom Penh LUG he gave me a little trick to play with mplayer if you have a webcam. Definitely something you can do with your Gdium and its built-in webcam, or any similar hardware. Open a terminal window and type:

mplayer tv:// -vo aa -monitorpixelaspect 0.5

Have fun!

Getting better gifts at SFD

sfdThanks to Freeflying, I have been involved with Software Freedom Day since August 2007. We, at the Beijing LUG organized the Beijing chapter that year, with the support of COPU, were one of the 2007 winners and I started to get involved with the great organization behind SFD. In 2008, I (and the Beijing LUG) took care and shipped all the goodies for the first 300 registered teams, and co-organized 3 events in China. This year I’ve been promoted Vice President of SFi and as such, can’t hide as being just another volunteer (though I am just ‘another volunteer’). So in order to give better support to all the teams out there making SFD happen every year, we’d like to know what kind of goodies we can send out that will help you to make a better event. Of course, we’re running on a limited budget (10,000 T-shirts won’t make it really) but it’d be really nice to get a global brainstorming going and see how SFI can provide better support. You can either get back to me by commenting on this blog or by emailing our mailing list. Looking forward to hear from everyone!

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! 😉

Starting to get SFD schwag samples

Thanks to our successful Software Freedom Day event last year I am now a Software Freedom International board member. SFI is the non-profit organization behind Software Freedom Day, the group of people helping each of the now 400+ teams worldwide making the event happening at the same date (3rd Saturday of September – 20th this year) every year since 2004!

And every year SFI, thanks to the help of its sponsors, sends schwags to each team for free. This year I was the lucky one picked to manage the making of those schwags. As you can see we are starting to receive samples, comparing them to last year schwag, making sure the balloons inflate well, that colors are right and printing is on par with our expectations. A big thank you to Pockey and Jennifer for their help on managing this, and Jason for helping out with artwork modifications.

In about a week time I hope we’ll be able to start shipping and I’ll ask for the generosity of my preferred community, the Beijing LUG, to give a helping hand to count and pack the almost 300 boxes we’ll be sending all over the world!