Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Announcing The UbuCon NY!!!!

More details coming very, very soon. Rest assured, this will happen, and things are coming together rather quickly.

Live on the Edge! Install Edgy Beta!

You know you want to do it... Here's a page where you can start.

"Edgy Edge" will be the next version of Ubuntu, and it's scheduled to ship this month. Kudos to the Ubuntu folks for sticking with the original release schedule - as you may recall, 6.06 was orginally supposed to be 6.04, but then it was delayed for 2 months. Sticking to Ubuntu's mandated 6-month release cycle means that Edge will be 6.10, although I don't think anyone would give them too much grief if they had decided to make this one 6.12 instead. Confused? Meh, just download it and don't worry about it :@)

Relax... don't worry... have a homebrew install Ubuntu

:D :D :D

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ok, I'm an Idiot: Blogs of Note

Now I know why someone asked if I knew this was a Blog of Note. Hey, it was only on the right-hand side of under the big heading "Blogs of Note". Nope, don't know how I could have known that :(

Thanks to whoever put it there, and please forgive my ignorance.

The Ohio Linuxfest

The Ohio Linuxfest: Coming to an Ohio near you!

JM's Good Times: On Red Hat and Commercial Open Source

As a follow-up to my thoughts on Ubuntu, I posted my thoughts on Red Hat.

Basically, Red Hat is the standard-bearer for commercial open source, and they appear to be stumbling in that role, suffering from an acute case of myopia and fighting battles that never really existed.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Forbes: Ubuntu is More Free?

Forbes magazine online has been publishing a series of articles on open source. Most of them have been decent, but Daniel Lyons continues, annoyingly, to persistently get certain things wrong. Today's article is on Shuttleworth and our favorite Linux distro, Ubuntu. I must say that it strikes me as odd that the same type of FUD used by RedHat and others against Ubuntu seems eerily similar to Microsoft's FUD against Linux in general circa 1998 - 1999. Back then, it was all the rage for folks who didn't think Linux would survive to talk about how the enterprise would never buy into something with no guaranteed viability. Of course, we see how that changed over time. In fairness to Ubuntu critics, things will certainly have to change in the future. After all, losing money can only be fashionable for a limited time. However, it would seem to me that Mark is looking at this as a long-term gig and understands what needs to happen.

To me, it would seem that Ubuntu is in what I consider the pyramid-building phase - building a solid user base, some percentage of which will eventually represent annualized revenue as a result of upselling. The idea is that if your base is large enough (or wide enough, continuing with the pyramid analogy), the top of the pyramid will provide the revenue needed for future growth. This, of course, carries with it a certain amount of risk, the largest being that the height of your pyramid will be too small as the result of too few users converting to paying customers. In any case, I would estimate that Ubuntu is at least a full year away from really needing to convert users en masse to paid customers. Right now, they just want the largest base possible to build on. The larger the base, the more leverage you have.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Notes from LaserJock (Jordan)

Jordan Mantha, aka LaserJock, gave 2 great talks at The UbuCon, both on how to contribute to the Ubuntu project. One was more technical going into detail regarding the various aspects of Launchpad, and the other was targeted to a beginner audience, who wanted to learn what this Ubuntu thing is. He was kind enough to send his notes on the conference, so I'm posting them here:

from Jordan:
- Google rocked, it was awesome to see the place and see Google people
there. Plus the food and rooms were really good
- Great mix of attendees (beginners all the way to the CTO of
Canonical). The "What non-geeks want" session was really good because
lots of non-geeks showed up and in the end we were able to have some
things to take to the developers to get into Edgy
- Great talks. Mostly informal, quite a bit of discussion. I think the
Beginner Track was especially successful. People seemed excited and
wanted to make Ubuntu even better. However, it didn't seem like an
Ubuntu love-fest either. People had tough questions and discussion was
often about to current problems in Ubuntu (and Linux in general) and how
to overcome them
- T-shirts, CDs and books, way cool!

Overall, it was lots of fun and should definitely happen again. The only
thing I would like to see for the next one is earlier planning. There
were a few people I know who would have liked to have come (from all
over the US) but needed more notice to make arrangements. If it is going
to be after LWE again then it shouldn't be too hard get the date out
there for people. Thanks again for all the hard work, it's not easy at
all. Rock on!

The UbuCon Was a Blast!

What a weekend. The UbuCon turned out better than I could have possibly imagined. With little promotion, not to mention a minimum of planning, at least 60 and possibly up to 70 total showed up to discuss various topics, mostly specific to Ubuntu but also about Linux and free software in general. A huge huge show of gratitude goes out to Leslie Hawthorn, who spared no effort in making sure that things went swimmingly on the conference host side. Google was a splendid host (and many remarked how the food was top-notch), and Leslie put some great finishing touches at the site - handy signs directing people to the right place, food layout, and just being an all-around cool person.

I could write up a description of the conference, but someone already beat me to it, and I couldn't possibly do a better job than that. So, I'll just note that the speaker and session lists are now complete if you visit the UbuCon schedule. You can also find Corey Burger's UbuCon writeup here.

Oh, and look, Andrey posted pictures!

Group shot:

Thanks go out to all the speakers who pitched in, some of whom did so at the very last minute.

Also, a special thanks goes out to whiprush, binbrain, and Chris D. who all stepped in and saved the conference when it was in danger of dying.

And finally, here are the companies who contributed time, money, and/or people:

1. Google - Absolutely fantastic hosts. Thank you, Chris and Leslie. Donated food, rooms, and people time. In addition to Leslie, there were two other Googlers who showed up at 8am on Friday to help out. (when I get their names, I'll add it here)

2. Canonical - It was great to see them at LinuxWorld and The UbuCon. Didn't get to meet the crazy spaceman (har har) but I got to meet Jane, Matt, Malcolm, and another gentleman whose name I cannot recall. They donated a bunch of CD's and on Friday afternoon came in with boatloads of t-shirts for everyone.

And in alpha order:

No Starch Press - donated 5 copies of Ubuntu for Non-geeks
Open Country - donated some snazzy screwdriver kits. At least 3 of them attended, and Christian H. spoke on Saturday.
O'Reilly Media - donated 10 copies of Ubuntu Hacks

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Arr! Some Loot for Ye!

Here's a list of the fine companies that are supporting this event:

Google - They're hosting the event. 'nuff said. Kudos to Chris and Leslie for being the champions there.
Canonical - aka the Ubuntu company. They're supplying CD's to hand out for the install fest.
No Starch Press - They're giving away hot-off-the-press copies of Ubuntu Linux for Non-geeks
O'Reilly - the standard bearer for geek tech books. They have generously decided to donate copies of Ubuntu Hacks.

The UbuCon RSVP Page

Hello all, if you're going to The UbuCon please visit the RSVP page.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The UbuCon: It's Going to Happen! Woo!

So after being too drunk/stoned/busy/tired/out-of-town, I let this project lie fallow for a bit too long. But now that I've come back to my senses and started working on this again, I'm very very happy to report that some very cool people will drop by the UbuCon the day after LinuxWorld.

So right now, The UbuCon schedule is for Friday and Saturday August 18 and 19. And if you visit the wiki, you'll see some ideas for talks posted.

I think this will be quite a bit of fun, and I hope you can make it. If you intend to drop by, please do edit the RSVP page.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Announcing New Ubuntu Conference: The Ubucon

The Ubucon (rhymes with Rubicon) is a free conference for Ubuntuusers, developers and admins. Many many thanks to Google for hosting this.

The Ubucon will be held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, CA, August 18 and 19, the days immediately following LinuxWorld San Francisco.

The conference wiki is the center of all the action. I also put up a pointer on the Ubuntu wiki.

As you can see, the schedule's not filled in yet, but that will change as speakers are rounded up.

There is a mailing list -, and you can subscribe at or go to

Look forward to seeing you there!