Monday, August 13, 2007

Announcing: Ubucon Germany

Ich liebe Deutschland... and I'm very excited to pass on some news regarding the latest announced Ubucon, which will take place in Germany. Specifically, it will be at the Hochschule Niederrhein in Krefeld, Germany, and it takes place on October 20 and 21.

For further info, see these links:

Ubucon Germany Home - register here wiki page - includes links to brainstorming sessions
Blog post (in English) on the Ubucon Germany
Announcement on the Ubuntu Fridge

And of course, what would a Ubucon be without...
#ubucon-de - IRC channel on

Edit: Oops - I corrected the IRC channel. I had erroneously listed it as #ubucon

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Ubucon is Covered in eWeek

I was pleasantly surprised to find this writeup that appeared in eWeek last Friday.

It focused on Jay Sulzberger and Steve George, which covered the last 1.5 hours of the event. I wonder how much of the event the author had a chance to see?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Great Ubucon Write-up

After the fond greetings and farewells, and after everything has been said and done, another Ubucon has gone down in the history books. About 100 people, much more than assembled for the 1st Ubucon in California, came together to learn more about Ubuntu Linux, community-building, and free software. The more I do these events, the more I'm always intrigued by the spirit of those who are present and the positive feelings such events engender. Somehow, folks were kind enough to forgive my inability to remember names and faces.

I started things off with my usual "tell us your Ubuntu story, because I don't have enough things to say to make this interesting." I try to get people to speak up, because really, the success of the event depends on people sharing their stories for everyone else. For those who were present, we were privileged to have Mako Hill, who brought the latest prototype from the OLPC and gave the audience an overview of the Ubuntu community. Gerals Carter, SAMBA man extraordinaire, presented on interoperability with SAMBA. Rocky had a nice session going in the breakout room on command-line tools and debuggers. Mako had a breakout session on Debian packaging, which I'm sad to have missed, as I could use some pointers! Selso had a great session on Linux graphics tools - Gimp, Inkscape and Blender. Bradley Kuhn was kind enough to come by and talk about the Software Freedom Law Center. Fabian Rodriguez led a question and answer session on Ubuntu support. At some point, we had a bit of controlled chaos called a key-signing party... speaking of which, I need to sign my keys and send them out! Somewhere in the breakout room, Joey Stanford led a small group of brave people in a breakout session on Launchpad. And while that was still going on, Jay Sulzberger decided he had waited long enough and started in on his talk - on free software history and how it came to be. It was a perfect way to end the day.

Actually, the perfect way to end the day would have been over drinks with the others, but alas, I was unable to follow directions and I'll have to take a rain check for next time.

It turns out that some folks are interested in creating an Ubuntu LoCo team for New York, and I hope that comes to pass. Another good thing is that one individual managed to make good use of the event to become a card-carrying certified member of the Ubuntu community. And that, my friends, is what it's all about.

I'm happy to tell you that there will be more and more Ubucons in the future, with one in Sevilla currently in the works.

For now, you can still take a look at the wiki pages for the Ubucon New York. It won't be there forever, so visit it while you still can. There will be videos posted in the very near future, and I'll update this blog once those are online. If you're interested in putting on your own Ubucon, there are folks willing to help out. Come on down...

-John Mark

Monday, February 05, 2007

Be an UbuCon Evangelist!

I've posted a list of organizations and media that we should target to attend. If you contact anyone there, please indicate you have done so on the wiki.

UbuCon Speakers: Bradley Kuhn, Jay Sulzburger, Mako Hill, and more

It's a pleasure to announce that Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center, Jay Sulzberger, a long-time free software advocate and general troublemaker (in a good way), and Benjamin "Mako" Hill of the MIT Media Lab (and longtime Debian and Ubuntu leader) have all agreed to speak at The UbuCon. There are more on the way. Make sure to visit the schedule wiki to see who else will show up.

Update: Google Logistics

It's been a busy time here at UbuCon central. First the venue - Leslie kindly updated the wiki to include the latest:
Google's NYC office is located at 76 9th Avenue in Chelsea, Manhattan, between 8th and 9th Avenue and 15th and 16th Street. Please enter the building on the northwest side (16th Street & 9th Avenue). A Google representative will be on hand to greet you, provide you with a building badge, and direct you to the 8th floor.

To get to Google New York, take the A/C/E or L subway to 14th Street, and exit onto 8th Avenue. Alternatively, the 1/2/3 subway lines and M11, M14, and M20 buses service the surrounding area. If you are driving, the closest parking lot is located in the building, accessible from 15th or 16th Street.

Note that we will have to supply video cameras if we want to record any sessions. Please let us know if you would like to volunteer for this - we will set you up with the Google AV staff to discuss logistics.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Registration and More

The building where Google NYC is located requires all visitors to be pre-registered with security, so make sure to register on the RSVP page. Registration is free of charge and all are welcome to attend, but we'll need you to register by 5 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 to get you on the guest list. If you've already registered, take another look at the page, as a great deal of additional detail has been added.

We've also added a section for proposed session topics to the conference schedule page, including hours for the Ubucon NY. If you'd so like to give a talk at the Ubucon NY, add your thoughts to this page. In true unconference style, we'll finalize the agenda following the opening remarks.

For folks hoping to share a ride from the airport, find housing or organize another activity around the Ubucon, we've added a meetups page. Subscribe to this page for updates and use this page to organize anything you want before or after the conference; we'll use the mailing list for planning any activities during the day.

See you tomorrow at 6 PM Eastern for the first Ubucon NY IRC planning meeting - #ubucon on

Leslie Hawthorn, wearing both my Ubuntu and Google hat

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The UbuCon New York Wiki

The wiki is coming along. There is now the beginnings of an RSVP list. If you'd like to attend, please add your name to the RSVP.

Moving Ahead With the UbuCon New York - February 16

I'm happy to say that things are moving forward on the ubucon planned for February 16 at Google's offices in Manhattan. It will be a mixture of un-conference, installfest and user group meeting for Ubuntu users, developers and the simply curious.

Visit the wiki
Join the mailing list

And stop by #ubucon on We will have the first IRC get-together for anyone interested on Friday, January 26 at 6pm ET.

Misunderstandings of Mark Shuttleworth

Matt Asay had a mild critique of Mark Shuttleworth to which I responded in the comments. Read Matt's critique first, and then I'll repost below what I wrote there:

I think his [Mark's] main point is that it's difficult to get a polished, end-user friendly product out of the other guys. I agree that the "going from shrink-wrap to shrink-wrap" is a bogus comment, but I don't think that was the real point. The real point is that he's slamming other community editions and stating that Ubuntu is a better supported and more polished community distro.

I happen to agree - not because Ubuntu is perfect, which it certainly is not, but because I'm a former Fedora user who was ultimately frustrated by the lack of devotion to something that actually worked for end-users.

I agree that Red Hat has every right to charge for services and must do that in order to survive. I think Mark is just trying to position Ubuntu favorably against the other guys. Whether he's successful at that is another question. IMHO, Linux supporters and distros will have to work very very hard to offer a compelling reason for Windows users and sysadmins to switch, and I don't feel that the current tactics of either Red Hat or Novell do that. In my mind, they have to have a compelling community edition in order to seed the earth in preparation for enterprise upselling.

I have long been a proponent of Ubuntu's community-based approach, mostly because I feel that the larger distributions get it wrong and aren't really helping win more market share for Linux.

Viva la Ubuntu!

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