Lemote sponsorship of GNOME.Asia Summit 2009

lemoteAs some of you know, both Pockey and I were at the GNOME.Asia Summit in Ho Chi Minh City this month. A lot of things happened and I will have to get back to this later. I just wanted to thank Lemote and more specifically Zhang Fuxin for his continuous support to the Beijing LUG and Open Source. On top of taking part in Software Freedom Day this year and using this opportunity to announce their new all-in-one desktop computer they have also agreed to sponsor the GNOME.Asia Summit with two Yeeloong laptop that were used for short Linux courses during the conference and that will be then donated to the computer lab in Ho Chi Minh City to be used as hacking devices. We all hope to see a lot of Vietnamese Open Source Software be ported to MIPS and more participation to our growing Loongson communities. And for those who can read Chinese you’ll be happy to know that Lemote has just launched a new Chinese version of their website!

Loongson day in China

loongsonclub

Today Sunday April 12th, 2009, is a special day this year. Not only it’s Easter Day and also the Khmer and Thai New Year (hello my dear friends), but this year in China the Loongson Club is organizing the Loongson Day in 10 cities around the country. Kudos for their effort, doing the same event in many places at the same time is really a challenge.

Of course Dexxon will be in the Beijing (the whole Chinese team) and Shanghai chapter (Freeflying will represent us) as well as Chengdu, where we sent a Gdium to Shi Nan, the person putting all these efforts in building a Loongson community in China.

Other cities covered (without a Gdium though) are Shenzhen, Wuhan, Hefei, Chongqing, Changsha, Guangzhou and Nanjing. So I wish a very nice Loongson day full of chocolate eggs and parties to every one!

Gdium One Laptop Per Hacker Program

gdiumSeems like this Christmas will bring me a great gift: my time back! As you might have noticed I haven’t been able to write much, nor was I able to attend any of the last 6 months BLUG meetings or even spend time with my lovely girlfriend! All this time was not wasted, I have in fact joined a great new project managed by Dexxon, the company making the Gdium, which goal is to “provide access to information affordable to all, so that all can exercise their right to education”. So we’re building a 10″ MIPS based netbook (Loongson based to be precise – the Chinese CPU) running a customized version of Mandriva Linux (MS Windows won’t run on it) and developing an online platform to promote Open Education and provide the means to use Open Source Software and the community to build sufficient resources to make this dream come true. The “Gdium.com” foundation is being set up to manage the resources and ensure the durability and non-profit side of the project. 3% of all Gdium sales will go to finance that foundation. Of course we want to involve the community and developers straight from the beginning and as such are starting the “One Laptop Per Hacker” program where one can purchase an early release of the Gdium (with some known issues) at 250 €. So if you’re feeling like helping out and making this dream happen, please join us!

Switched to Mandriva…

Mandriva Linux

I finally did it! Been talking about ditching Ubuntu for ages and never found the time (you know… backup, new install, restore, get familiar, etc.). It turns out that last Thursday while extending my /home partition with a LiveCD, for some reasons something went wrong and I ended it with my bigger partition having the same remaining free space as before being extended (I had a 20GiB unused space on the disk initially). Thinking I had been lucky not to lose anything, I backed up and installed Mandriva One. It’s a bit like going back to my first love Mandrake (second actually, started Linux with Red Hat when it was free many years ago)! Of course I preferred the name back then, but for obvious reasons they couldn’t keep it.

So Mandriva has actually a specific ISO file for Asia which can be downloaded from a Chinese mirror maintained by our good friend Funda. It includes all the necessary files to support Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Malay and a few more languages I think. Installation was almost ok, couldn’t do it in 3D mode but hey, I can live with that (the install button just wouldn’t click).

The first 6 hours using Mandriva where a bit challenging in the sense that I had to get familiar with urpmi and how to do things. They do have a great Linux Control Center (mcc) where you can find all the things to be configured in one single location. Their network manager is also very powerful and has all the options one should expect from such a tool. Had a little rendering problem with my Chinese fonts (using English desktop with Chinese enabled) which was due to a conflict with the Japanese fonts. Well in short after two days of discussion with Patrick who visit us regularly, Funda and Freeflying on #mandrivacn I got everything fixed, missing applications from the repositories backported and a service that really impressed me: Kudos to Mandriva and its community.

Now an other reason for supporting Mandriva is that they’ve been trying to build a community here, have hired people to improve Chinese support and are even building the operating system that will run on the Gdium (the Loongson based general purpose Chinese CPU). So definitely an interesting distribution worth following and encouraging.

I again extend a big thank you to Funda, Freeflying and Patrick for their help, and recommend everyone to give it a try.