Precise: 2nd Update

•2012 February 2 • Leave a Comment

Chatting with friends and old colleagues I thought I would tell you more about my experience with precise. You can read more on that here and the first update here.

Mostly everything works as of today:

  • Skype, Spotify and Dropbox work without any issues
  • Flash and Sun Java still work
  • LibreOffice works after initial glitches. Tested Writer, Calc & Impress and they work quite good and are rather fast. Actually I am starting to like LO more and more for every new release 🙂
  • IBM Lotus Symphony still does not work under Precise. I am too lazy to file bugs on that…
  • Software Manager now works and is A LOT faster than it was on 11.10 (but stil kind of slow)
  • Almost everything on System Settings is now working. Great improvements in the usability section since my original testing in December
  • Multiscreen support is super robust. But I can only had two screens (connected to my dock) and cannot then use my laptop screen (which might be because of my chip or driver limitations.
  • Suspend and Hibernation just work®
There is just one thing that does not work for me this far:
  • PDF Chain is not helping me on my daily splitting/merging with PDFs. This seems to be an issue between PDFChain and PDFtk, but I have not tested since last week. For now I’ve moved to PDFsam which is not as pretty, but it works.
And I would like to give my thought on HUD:
  • Conceptually awesome! I use guake daily and having this for application menues is great
  • Quite useful when you already know what you want: Save for almost any application is a no brainer. But on XChat Save Text.. is the right answer, and that’s what HUD gives you. Neat? 😉
  • Voice recognition is something I would like to tes as I miss to be able to talk to it and make it do what I want.
  • A few times it is annoying when I press Alt unwillingly.

That’s all for now.

Update on Precise + Ubuntu Norge

•2012 January 6 • 3 Comments

Precise Report

As promised, hereby is my report on Precise Pangoline, due in April 2012 as Ubuntu LTS 12.04.

  • Working multi-screen setup (had problems with the right screen on 11.10)
  • System is stable (11.10 was really unbearable)
  • Fast (It feels a lot faster from cold start to desktop. Improvement also on Suspend/Hybernation)
  • Sometimes things break (skype & spotify mainly) but after a dist-upgrade  (yes, using the terminal for updates as the software center seems REALLY broken) it is all good again!

Ubuntu Norge Update

And, I am stepping down as Contact Member for the Nowegian LoCo team. So please welcome Jo-Erlend Schinstad as the new contact for the team. For me this means two things:

  • Peace of mind 🙂
  • Being able to contribute to Ubuntu Norge activities without the implicit overhead of being the main responsible person

Hopefully this will translate in more team activity. I am already planning a great release party for Precise in Oslo.

And cannot leave without my promised screenshot:

Up next week: Barcelona and Valencia

•2012 January 3 • Leave a Comment

Happy New Year everyone!

As I have done before both in Barcelona and Valencia, next week I will be visiting friends and family in both locations. If you have some spare time I would love to meet local FLOSS people to talk about business development, the present of Open Source, communities and what you think the future brings for us.

Preferred topics are Web Technology in general and specifically Drupal, Ubuntu and Varnish Cache; I am always up for a meetup with beer, wine and tapas!

A Christmas Gift For Yourself: Update to Precise Now!

•2011 December 22 • 2 Comments

As the UWN team, sabflother members of our community and even Chuck, I am now shutting down operations here until after Christmas and thus will be mostly away from the computer from tomorrow until next week. Christmas in Germany is up for me this year 🙂

Today I decided to follow the advice from Martin Albisetti (aka Beuno) calling on Ubuntu power users to upgrade to Precise Pangolin. So, please, do yourself a favor: I have used Ubuntu 11.10 (aka Oneiric Ocelot) and it has been painful. The experience so far with Precise has been precisely the opposite 🙂 Really:

  • My working laptop has had 64-Bit Oneiric installed since Beta1 was released. It has sluggish. It has managed my docking station and a two external monitor setup pretty bad. I did not feel I have a Lenovo X200, Dual Core with 4GB RAM anymore. So I decided to move to 12.04. The update itself was pretty quick and the experience right after has been smooth so far:
    • It feels that the overall boot and login experience is faster
    • Spotify does not randomly hang
    • Chromium, Firefox and Opera are now pretty stable
    • Usage of two external screens does not put the computer down for no special reason (kernel panic and reboot)
    • Unity 3D and 2D are more solid. And faster
    • Evince is not sluggish anymore. Yay!
    • The Software Center starts up faster. When it does not crash, of course, it is quite slow. I recommend to use the terminal and fall back in love with apt for the time being 🙂
    • Recommendation: Make Gedit rock with Seif’s Dashboard plugin!
  • Next up is my girlfriend’s Asus netbook, which has become close to unusable after putting 11.10 into it. And the mic still does not work with skype and gtalk (it never did), although it works when using gnome-sound-recorder. It works perfectly nuder Windows 7… Go figure.

I will keep you updated regarding the Precise update and will fill out bugs as I find them. Expect more feedback and one screenshot, or more, later.

Happy holiday everyone!

Empowerment, Meritocracy, Giving Credit – Now What?

•2011 October 7 • Leave a Comment

This one is hard, but neccessary. As I want to voice some concerns I have about the Ubuntu community and my take on the things we need to address. I tried voicing them earlier, but it was probably in the wrong forum. I think it is time to give it a go now and be constructive, rather than reactive. Thanks go to Alan Pope for raising these issues up at this week’s Community Council’s meeting and for other community members for voicing these concerns as well.


I am not sure how to define this, but I can think of basic principles in order to have individuals feeling empowered.

  • I do not believe in a top-to-bottom approach to solve problems. Solutions happen between equals.
  • The only thing theres is is people working with people. That is the only way things happen and the world changes because of that interaction.
  • Solutions originate among people. Between equals there is no top or bottom, there is only people with different degrees of responsibility and commitment to things, because of factors such as Real-Life®, work, kids, friends, etc…

Back in 2005 I felt empowered when I worked within the Ubuntu Community. Today I still feel empowered, but less so.

In my local community things are not happening. We recently lost our approved LoCo status and have an ambivalent approach to how we shall fix it. We want to, but we are not good at doing what it takes. So we are always pushing work towards an LTS cycle where we will find a silver bullet and get the wolf. And we never do… I for one do not have the drive to do it and rather find some other project to work with and have more fun. Sorry, but it is true.


This one is pretty simple: talk is cheap and everyone can do it, but in the end: The doers, decide. As they are the ones doing it.

So it is time to ask a question: Is Ubuntu still the most used distro because it is the best, or because we do not know where else to turn? Personally, the last three releases I have had a hard time recommending Ubuntu to people, because I am affraid regression will show up and things might change too much from release to release.

Do we earn the merit to still be the most used distro? Or as a friend of mine expressed: Are we building an Operative System or a group of friends? Because although they might be related, they are two totally different things (and remember, I am a marketing and sales guy saying this).

Giving Credit

Ubuntu is possible  because of the work of thousands who appreciate the work of our community, although they do not (always) participate in it directly.

We used to be good at highlighting the importance of the FLOSS ecosystem for our own existence. Nowadays people talk about Android = Linux Mobile and Ubuntu = Linux Desktop and forget about the contributions from others. And we all know there is more ot it. There GNU and a sea full of distros and conglomerations working to bring us a FLOSS ecosystem for all computing needs.

In the aim to make it simple for people to understand, we should not be reductive to the point where our principles and motivations are intangible. They must be part of the package: By heart I am as much a Debianista and Drupalista, as I am an Ubuntu member. As I am a Mandrake, Fedora, Varnish cheerleader. I care about Free and Open Source Software, because it truly shows the ability of human kind to cooperate in the most tangible way beyond borders and differences. And that is my drive, the cause if you will. My participation in Ubuntu, and other organizations, is the consequence.

So what do we do?

Nobody knows. And that is the fun part: We can be creative! 😀

One thing is certain, we will find a solution only by discussing these issues, achieving concensus and executing concrete action points.

Remember, I write this only because this is very important for me and I care. So keep that in mind if you want to comment on this post.

Thanks for reading!

Oslo explosion and shooting in Utøya – 2011-07-22

•2011 July 22 • 2 Comments

If you are reading this please, do not spread unconfirmed rumors and let the police finish the investigation before you do.

Thanks for condolences and messages that have been sent!

My family and friends are safe, and I wish I could say the same about everyone in Norway, but sadly this is not the case. There is little we know now about what has happened. What we know (as announced by the press conferences in Oslo police district being held every hour) this far is the following:

  • A guy has been arrested at Utøya. No details about him have been communicated. In case you were wondering: he had a blue sweater with a police logo and seems to be Nordic. He is not and has never a police officer.
  • The bomb has damaged the prime minister building and several other buildings around the area.
  • In Oslo we have confirmed 7 people that have passed away. In Utøya between 9 and 10.
  • Police has a hypothesis that the guy they arrested is related to the explosion in Oslo.

-The situation is chaotic in Oslo and its surroundings now. If you are in the city do not go to the center. If you live in the center (like I do) stay at home.  Do not use your mobile phone more than you have too and be there for your family, friends and fellow Oslo-borgere!

Nobody is going to bomb us away from the freedoms we enjoy in this country. No one will push us into fear.

The respect for the integrity of every single human being we have in this very city, in this country, in this continent and in this planet should be enough reason for us to remember that whomever did this cannot and will never take it away from us. Fear will not work with us.

My thoughts are with my fellow citizens, friends, people and those affected, directly and indirectly, by these horrible events in our city.

Varnish Cache 3.0, its community and (Ubuntu?) party site…

•2011 June 17 • 1 Comment

It’s been over a year since I joined Varnish Software. Time flies when you have fun… So straight to the point:

  • 18 Varnish 3 release parties worldwide! WOW!

    Varnish 3 Release Party Site

    Varnish 3 Release Party Site

    Inspired by the release party concept of Ubuntu, Drupal and  several other FLOSS projects I threw the ball at the Varnish Cache community and asked if there was interest on making a celebration… and many people answered, but specially one great guy. We ended up with a party site and 18 parties around the globe.

  • FLOSS Communities in Action – Varnish
    So at the end of the day it is all about people and their priorities, right? But stop there. Others and even I have already written about the Varnish story…
  • Ubuntu Community Release Party Site?
    Now I hope we can do some Ubuntu story: I hope we can try and make a Ubuntu Party Site that we can use for every release. Anyone willing to join me and make it a reality before the Oneiric launch in October? Because, let’s face it, the LoCo Directory is hard to use and too coupled with Launchpad. A neutral mash-up would make a lot more sense, specially for release party events as people can sign up easily and cool stuff like i.e. automatic and customized reminder messages can be sent one day before the event to everyone that has sogned up. The work is based and available thanks to the Drupal7 release party site team. Thanks!
Have a great weekend everyone. Party On! 😉

Meet up in Düsseldorf, Chicago, NYC, Paris

•2011 February 23 • 1 Comment

This time around work and/or pleasure (unbeatable combination) is taking me around. So if you are around one of these locations and want to talk about Ubuntu, Drupal and FLOSS Community development in general and share your experience I would love to meet up. Also if Varnish Cache is something that interests you, well I am sure we there are a thing or two we could discuss.

So to my schedule:

  • February 24th to 27th – Düsseldorf, Germany
  • March 7th to 10th – Chicago, USA (DrupalCon)
  • March 11th to 13th – New York City, USA (Varnish Breakfast Seminar)
  • March 23rd to 24th – Paris, France (Varnish Breakfast Seminar)
  • March 25th to 27th – Düsseldorf, Germany

Leave me a comment, send me an email or contact me through my Launchpad page.

Thank you very much for sharing knowledge about your local community and having some beer/wine with me 🙂

Unity: Makes me want to push the Ubuntu desktop. Once again!

•2011 February 3 • 15 Comments

Well, I will make this one short: I have promoted GNU/Linux since 1997. Since Ubuntu came in the picture I am more and more confident about introducing people to the free software world and offering them a nice experience. The last years I have really just been very satisfied with what I have and not been so keen on promoting it beyond the people that really want to try it. Unity is changing that!

Now I feel our desktop is a better desktop than the competition (***which is Mac OS X and Windows***). I can truly say that Ubuntu as a free software computing platform does everything most people I know need. And additional (proprietary or not) tools that run on Ubuntu as well do the rest.

Unity 3D on Ubuntu 10.10 running on Mutter is slow. It works and it’s ok, but it’s a pain (after a while) to run even in my PC (Lenovo X200).

Unity 3D on Ubuntu 10.10 (Mutter)

Unity 3D on Ubuntu 10.10 (Mutter)

Unity 2D is FAST! Really fast! I have not had this feeling about my desktop in at least 3 years. It just flies! And a constant development of the platform is getting me all excited!

Unity 2D on Ubuntu 10.10 (Qt) on Dual Screen

Unity 2D on Ubuntu 10.10 (Qt) on Dual Screen

Unity 2D Desktop on Ubuntu 10.10 (Qt)

As you see from the screenshots, there are some shortcoming in the real life use of the software itself (works like a charm with one screen) which I am sure will be resolved over time. Wayland may even play a role when thinking of these improvements.

I am looking forward to the Alpha 2 testing for Natty (Ubuntu 11.04) with the Unity 3D now being based in Compiz. These are truly exciting times!

With Unity I now *WANT* everyone using the Ubuntu desktop as I believe it brings the best of the free software stack for everyday computer users: Gtk and Qt, Ubuntu’s solid Hardware support, attention from ISVs and it Just works®!

Thank you to everyone for making this happen! 🙂

Testing software: Ubuntu 64-bit, Unity and PlayOnLinux, the new Wine-Doors?

•2011 January 22 • 13 Comments

I have an announcement to make: Today I made the switch to Ubuntu 64-bit.

This should have happened ages ago, I know. Well, to be honest I never had a compelling reason to do the switch until a month or so ago I got the incentive I needed: moving from 2GB to 4GB RAM.

There are lots of myths regarding the 64-bit architecture going around, so I went around asking Ubuntu 64-bit users about these. As things got cleared up (Multimedia codecs work, Java & Flash work, Wine works) I was feeling more and more certain I should switch. My boss entered my office today, helped me with a backup of my system and I threw away my 32-bit Lucid installation and moved to 64-bit Maverick. I can already feel that the system performs better! The only comparable improvement I have had was when I moved to a Flash memory SSD. Gnome and the whole desktop feels now like a breeze!

At the same time I decided to keep myself to the standard Ubuntu packages and try to avoid funky software (PPAs, external repositories, etc) as much as possible to have the most stable system I can have. I miss aptitude, but the Software Center seems to have improved a lot since the last time I tried to use it (Synaptic is just not my cup of tea) and I think i will be using that from now on as this will also allow me to give support to other fellow Ubuntu convertits. Another thing I miss is the Docky mode in Gnome-Do, but what can you do when David Siegel is part of the Unity team?

Which brings me to the next change I have made: Since it’s introduction I have always been a fan of the interface development effort Cannical has put over time in the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR), later called Ubuntu Netbook Edition (UNE) and now that Maverick (Ubuntu 10.10) was released, its new interface for the Ubuntu desktop: Unity.

In my home computer I have closely followed the evolution of the software and since Lucid (Ubuntu 10.04) I have tested Unity in my everyday computer (Lenovo X200 laptop I use at work). I am writing this now using Unity and it seems pretty decent. Some responsiveness lack here and there, but all in all it seems to be going in the right direction. I got the news that the Desktop team is even making a 2D Unity variant… That means bye bye to Metacity I guess (Gnome Shell never cut the butter in my breakfast table) and a consistent Desktop for all Ubuntu users, regardless of their graphic card and OpenGL support level.

Unity is a game changer in the Free Desktop world: Gnome and Qt applications in the same desktop, without the bloat the full blown Gnome and KDE desktops bring. I love Qt applications (VLC, Spotify, Skype, Google Earth, Opera, sorry no KDE apps in my little world) and I love Gnome applications (Pidgin, GIMP, Inkscape, Gnome-Do, Rhythmbox, Banshee, Gedit, Shotwell – Yeah Gtk+ and Mono, I know) so having a unified interface where all my applications run smoothly will be great! Adding the fact that my distro comes the underlying libraries the applications need will be awesome! – Ubuntu will be different now from all other distributions. For real! And that is only a good thing.

Unity will make you believe... Eventually.

Unity will make you believe... Eventually.

And lastly, in the spirit of other programming enviroments, toolkits, etc… I wanted to mention something surprising I found in Maverick while installing wine: PlayOnLinux. It has everything a wine user will ever dream of, specially if you are a gamer (I am not, but I still appreciate this fantastic piece of software)

This project reminded me of everything one of the most promising wine projects I know of, Wine-Doors, wanted, dreamed and aspired to be. And it is a reality today! I got up and running with Spotify in no time as I use the Linux Preview normally, but I do also fire up the wine-powered Spotify Free once or twice a week… It’s a long story. Don’t ask.

Play On Linux! Wine for human beings!

Play On Linux! Wine for human beings!

So as Wine-Doors took-off like a rocket that used up its fuel rather quickly, Play On Linux stands as the most compelling piece for Windows software management in the GNU/Linux landscape. I am really annoyed that I didn’t know about this project before today (I like to think that I oversaw it a while ago, because I am not a gamer. but I am not sure this is the case!!??)

Anyway… This week I will be installing Ubuntu in my mother’s (Sony Vaio) and my girlfriend’s (EeePC) Netbooks. Wish me luck and give me some tips if you have any.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend everyone!