A "Data Source" to cloud-init provides 2 essential bits of information that turn a generic cloud-image into a cloud instance that is actually usable to its creator. Those are:
- public ssh key
Very early on it felt like we should have a way to use these images outside of a cloud. They were essentially ready-to-use installations of Ubuntu Server that allow you to bypass installation. In 11.04 we added the OVF as a data source and a tool in cloud-init's source tree for creating a OVF ISO Transport that cloud-init would read data from. It wasn't until 12.04 that we improved the "NoCloud" data source to make this even easier.
Available in cloud-utils, and packaged in Ubuntu 12.10 is a utility named 'cloud-localds'. This makes it trivial to create a "local datasource" that the cloud-images will then use to get the ssh key and/or user-data described above.
After boot, you should see a login prompt that you can log into with 'ubuntu' and 'passw0rd' as specified by the user-data provided.
Some notes about the above:
- None of the commands other than 'apt-get install' require root.
- The 2 qemu-img commands are not strictly necessary.
- The 'convert' converts the compressed qcow2 disk image as downloaded to an uncompressed version. If you don't do this the image will still boot, but reads will go decompression.
- The 'create' creates a new qcow2 delta image backed by 'disk1.img.orig'. It is not necessary, but useful to keep the '.orig' file pristine. All writes in the kvm instance will go to the disk.img file.
- libvirt, different kvm networking or disk could have been used. The kvm command above is just the simplest for demonstration. (I'm a big fan of the '-curses' option to kvm.)
- In the kvm command above, you'll need to hit 'ctrl-alt-3' to see kernel boot messages and boot progress. That is because the cloud images by default send console output to the first serial device, that a cloud provider is likely to log.
- There is no default password in the Ubuntu images. The password was set by the user-data provided.
The Ubuntu Global Jam (Raring Ringtail edition) is coming! This event is an incredible opportunity for the Ubuntu community to unite together to improve Ubuntu.
Everyone is able to contribute to the Jam, and everyone is welcome and encouraged to get involved. Are you curious about how to make a real difference to Ubuntu? This is a great chance to make that difference.
I would like to encourage you to register an event for your team for the upcoming Ubuntu Global Jam occurring on these dates:
- Friday March 1, 2013
- Saturday March 2, 2013
- Sunday March 3, 2013
This part is important! Please add your event to the LoCo Team Portal http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/global/2221/detail/ so the world can start seeing all the amazing things that you're doing for Ubuntu.
Good documentation about how to create a successful Global Jam event is here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuGlobalJam
A short video explaining the most basic steps is here:
Gathering Ubuntu people together is always fun and I'm sure you are going to have a great time with your team! Thanks in advance for participating in this cycle's Global Jam event. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
I am feeling frustrated. After hours of being on the phone, I ended up angry and still can’t believe what happened.
A few months ago, I called Dell Latin America as I knew the warranty for my PC was going to expire, and exactly two days before it expired (Dec 6th), I confirmed with them. They offered to renew it by phone, but I said I would be renewing my warranty for another year online, as my dad didn’t want to give his credit card details to anyone via the phone for privacy and security matters, plus it was actually cheaper buying it online. We went online, and voilá, bought the extension for the warranty for 733.13 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN), which was cheaper than what the technician was offering (I do not actually have the price for it as I did not know this was going to happen, so I am sorry for not being able to list it here). My dad entered his credit card details online, and eventually we got an email saying ‘Congratulations on the purchase, we’ll email you back soon’. We did not get any emails at all, and assumed everything was going as expected.
But after about a month, I called them again. Everything started as a technical support call, where I was going to ask for my S/PDIF line out to be changed, as it was failing. This was supposed to be covered by their warranties, so I entered all the numbers and went through a lot of options, and just before communicating me with a real person, the machine told me ‘Your warranty has expired, if you want to renew it or update the details in case you’ve already bought it, please wait a couple seconds’, which I did. I did get in touch with the Tech Support Dept., and asked if they could please create a repair order to get my S/PDIF out changed. A man called Wilfredo was the one who took that call, and what was said was that my warranty was expired, that I didn’t buy anything at all, and that if I did have, I should forward the credit card statement or the email I got to their Customer Service Dept. While we were on the line I forwarded the email (as I didn’t have the credit card statement, it was arriving on the next couple days), and got the Case # 49952453 opened. He told me to call again in 24 hours to see if they’ve got any information on regards of that.
The next day, I called and gave my case number, which they did not seem to recognize, and after insisting to get it reviewed, they did, and linked it to my service tag. After talking and waiting on the phone, I said I would review the credit card statement to see if there was any charge for it, as they couldn’t see it on their system. I hanged up, and I checked after a couple days. Effectively, they did not charge it to my dad’s credit card for any weird reason.
So, after talking to my dad, he said to me ‘just tell Dell to charge it again, they do have the credit card details, and if it has not gone through, tell them to do it again’. I called on Friday, and spoke to someone called Karla, who asked the same details as usual, and said ‘your warranty has expired, and it has not been renewed, but if you give me a couple minutes I will confirm that’. I waited more than 20 minutes, and she apologized for the delay, and said it was actually expired, and that the payment did not go through. I asked what happened, and she said that after purchasing online I should have called by phone to confirm and that was the only way to process it. I was extremely surprised about that fact. If you are making a purchase online, it should be processed in that moment, without making any phone calls and losing your time on the line just for someone to say ‘give me your details again’. Plus, anywhere on the webpage or the email it said that we needed to call to get the transaction approved.
Anyways, I asked for it to be processed then, and got the credit card handy, but the agent told me that she could not do it as the part is already in a bad state before purchasing the warranty extension, and it would be too expensive for them as they have to change the motherboard (which I can confirm is false, as I have got my motherboard replaced because of a power problem, and they did not even touch the S/PDIF out at any time). I said her so, and also said that the part was not in a bad state when I first tried to purchase the warranty extension. It was not a problem on my side, it was on their side as they did not automate things as they should have. I asked to talk to her supervisor, and he denied the request and said ‘I will talk and see what we can do’. I spent 20 more minutes playing video games and listening to music, while suddenly her voice pops up on the phone and says ‘ok, we will process it, let me make the quote and give you the final price.
I waited like 5 minutes (which seemed like seconds after waiting lots), and this is the part where she started to get a bit rude. She said the final price would be a bit more than 910 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN), as I had a 50 USD penalty for not renewing it on time (which I actually did!). I went to their website, and checked she was not giving me a price higher than the actual one, just as happened with the other guy the last time. I checked and I was being charged the penalty, but the price still was not more than 900 PEN, it was actually 890 Peruvian Nuevos Soles (PEN). I told her what I was seeing on the webpage, and in a super rude tone she answered ‘well, then you can do it through the website, but it will not go through, want to give me your details so I can do it?’. They should already have my billing details on file, and in that moment I was not in a mood to do it, and I would need to ask my dad. Plus, I was in the phone with her so she could process it in case I needed it, right? So I just said I was not taking it, and asked what would be the price for a one-time support ticket, and she said ‘just buy a motherboard yourself and replace it’. I ended up saying I would call again if I decided to buy anything.
My dad got home later on, and we were frustrated on what happened at all. He tried to call Dell Latin America, but it was already too late, and the person who answered the phone said the people in charge for that are the Sales Dept., and they had already closed. So, I am calling later today to see what we can do (If you got to this point, please remind all happened with Dell’s Latin America Call Center). I hope we do not have to wait lots again, to end up in the same situation. I just wanted to write this to make sure at least someone knew what was happening, which is not mentioned many times. I will make sure to keep you guys updated on what is my progress on this, if there is any.
[Prerequisite: You should first read Casey's introduction to HKP and Hockeypuck on his blog here.]
Anyone who has ever used Ubuntu, Debian, Launchpad, or apt-get has implicitly trusted a sophisticated public key distribution protocol called "HKP" or, HTTP Keyserver Protocol. Originally designed for encrypting and signing email, asymmetric key pairs are used to sign, encrypt, decrypt and check signatures of thousands of packages on almost any Linux system.
Many (most?) public key servers today, such as keyserver.ubuntu.com, use an open source package called SKS (synchronizing key server) to distribute public keys.
Within Gazzang's zTrustee product, we rely on HKP to exchange public keys between client's and server. In our first implementation, we simply used SKS as installed from the Ubuntu repositories. SKS worked well in some environments, but it didn't scale well to larger environments, where hundreds of thousands of clients running on cloud servers were exchanging public keys in an automated fashion.
Moreover, we envisioned a system where user and host public SSH keys and server public SSL certificates might be exchanged in the same fashion, using the same protocol. We considered trying to extend SKS to improve the scalability and feature set.
In the end, we decided a new HKP implementation, leveraging a modern, high performance NoSQL key-value store -- MongoDB -- and written in modern language -- The Go Programming Language -- would enable us to build a more efficient, type-safe, memory-safe, concurrent, garbage-collected, fast implementation of HKP. We could also extend the feature set with a nice user interface and natively support other public keys.
With the general ideas fleshed out, my esteemed colleague, Casey Marshall, got to work on Hockeypuck -- his implementation of HKP in Golang and MongoDB -- freely available under the AGPL. All credit for the development of Hockeypuck up to this point goes entirely to Casey :-) That said, he's really quite interested in outside contributions and help at this point, so if you're proficient in Golang and looking to contribute to an awesome security project, here's your bogey!
We at Gazzang are hosting a reference Hockeypuck server at:
accepted into Ubuntu's 13.04 (raring) distribution in Universe. It's as easy as:
$ sudo apt-get install hockeypuck
in Ubuntu 13.04 to get your Hockeypuck server up and running. For other Ubuntu releases, Casey is publishing backports to a stable and an unstable PPA.
This server has successfully imported the world's current public key ring -- that's 4GB of OpenPGP public key information! Casey's still working on the synchronization, which is based on SKS's "recon protocol". Again, if you're into hard core polynomial math, can read and understand OCaml, and are interested in re-working that algorithm in Golang, get in touch with us :-)
We're really, really interested in your feedback at this point! You can file bugs against the project and packages here. We're also looking for your feature requests... How would you like to use a public key server? Would you find it useful to import your SSH server or host public keys from a key server? Would you find it useful to see "badges" by keys, indicating that key's level or trust? Or perhaps that a key has been "verified"? What about linking public keys to OpenID or OAuth logins? Or what about [insert your idea here!]...
Comments? Bring 'em on!
David Cheney passes along that Juju core 1.9.8 has now been released.
For those not familiar with Juju core, it is the rewrite branch of Juju in golang. The team is now close to feature parity with the Python version, we expect to have something real nice for you by 13.04. :)
My favorite feature here is a real small one, an idea passed along to the team by Rick Spencer. juju generate-config -w will now spit out a configuration file for you. We’ve documented a bunch of providers in there, so out of the box you’ll get AWS, OpenStack, HP Cloud, and the local provider in the config file all commented out, you’ll be able to just paste in your creds and go. This is much nicer than trading snippets with friends.
Here’s the changelog, make sure you check it out, there are still some limitations, like lack of constraints, so be aware. Expect a summarized report on the Go version soon, we’ve inherited some great new features, including better multiplatform support, you’ll find 1.9.8 is working for OSX now.
Nine years ago I bought Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 as my first Linux PDA. And due to this I am where I am.
I could say that it started two years earlier when I saw PalmOS devices at local geek meetings. But it took me over year before Palm m105… Then was Sony Clie SJ30 — gorgeous device. High resolution, memory card, 16bit colour. Too bad that applications did not make use of it.
So I went for Linux. There were two options: Zaurus or iPaq. Went for former one as it had keyboard. It was good choice.
Quickly started development of packages and joined OpenEmbedded team. Then became one of OpenZaurus developers. After year or something took over release maintenance and released few last versions. 3.5.4(.1) were the best tested releases of OZ ever — I had over hundred testers for each RC image and they provided installation reports, bug reports and fixes. And it had unified installer for whole range of devices (took me several months to get it polished and few guys added own tweaks). When Ångström distribution started I was the one who officially ended OpenZaurus development.
And all that was in free time. But in mean time I created my consulting company. CELF was my first customer ;)
One nice evening I got question on irc and due to that I left dark side of IT and went from PHP programming to embedded Linux full-time. OpenedHand had interesting projects and clients with many devices. Imagine operating system + kernel + Python + GStreamer in 16 megabytes of flash… And I managed to get it done. While working for them I used proper developer boards (not only customer devices) and there were funny moments…
When we worked with ST Microelectronics on NDK-15 (later replaced by NHK-15 from ST Ericsson) I had to merge two kernel trees from two separate teams. Took me 2 days of mangling 20-30MB diffs but got it done. There are people at ST-E which reminded me this during one of Linaro Connects ;D
Also on GUADEC 2007 when we presented new interface for Openmoko phones NDK-15 had to wait for me as no one at stand was able to get it running (U-Boot config needed changes).
But then Intel acquired OpenedHand… The craziest trip of my life was return from London to my parents place. For three months I even had @linux.intel.com email but never used it due to problems with Intel corporate network and Linux (do not ask).
Next was Bug Labs and their BUG device. I cleaned their Poky trees, migrated to latest version and later to use OpenEmbedded directly. Less challenges but I also had few other customers at that time to keep me busy. Some of them were OH customers before and went to me for help.
Time passed, 2010 came. One day Canonical made another attempt to seduce me and this time I decided that it looks like good opportunity so I accepted. Sent BUG 2.0 prototype back to NYC and few weeks later I made crazy train trip to small nowhere near Brussels to meet my new coworkers from NewCore. 1-2 weeks later we got our current name: Linaro.
Total change… From embedded devices to ‘Yes, it is ARM. So what?’ kind as we support(ed) devices powerful enough to run normal desktop software. Many changes for me — from OpenEmbedded where you can (cross) build everything in few hours to Ubuntu packaging where sending package for inclusion into archive meant few hours of buildd queue and then few of build. But I learnt a lot here and met another set of hackers including grey beards ones ;)
And all that because I bought Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 nine years ago…
- Five years with OpenEmbedded
- Another job change
- OpenZaurus 3.5.4 released
- My palmtops story
- OpenZaurus time is over – long live Ångström
This week's episode is about dates as we note that the Debian Import Freeze for Raring Ringtail is coming up on 14 February 2013, that the Feature Freeze is set for 7 March 2013, and that President Obama will be delivering a State of the Union address on 12 February 2013. Contributions from across the state for the February 2013 team report were also solicited in-episode.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/.
I recently migrated my blog from Octopress to WordPress, and since the opposite seems much more common, I figured I’d document why I went the other way:
- The Octopress environment is a pain to set up. On OSX 10.8 it required jumping through a lot of hoops including installing rvm and compiling gcc from homebrew because XCode’s gcc can’t compile the ruby that Octopress needs. This shouldn’t be necessary to generate HTML.
- I don’t really like Markdown. You have to handle “uploading”/cropping/resizing images yourself, and Markdown doesn’t provide good ways to lay them out.
- There’s no concept of drafts/previews/publishing. When you deploy, you deploy everything, and the publication date is the date it was started, not finished. This also means that there’s no way to easily have a preview for editing or review.
- There’s no concept of scheduling. This makes sense due to the static design, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a limitation that I don’t have with WordPress.
- You can’t edit online from anywhere. It has to be your computer or one with your private key that is set up, which brings us back to #1. With WordPress I can easily log in from other computer (I’m on a relative’s laptop right now), and write in a nice fullscreen editor.
It took me a bit to figure out how to import my Octopress posts into WordPress, so for anyone looking to do the same, I found FeedWordPress to be quite helpful.
Feel free to let me know why you love Octopress or hate WordPress; perhaps I’m missing something!
I fortunately don’t have enough time to properly finish my review of the other music players out there (I may elaborate about why in a different post). So this post will be more of a brain dump about the remaining music players. You’ll have to go to their websites for pretty screenshots.Audacious – rocking originality
I could keep using Audacious, in fact, I stopped reviewing for a bit and just kept using it. It actually has two interfaces, a more traditional (or more modern?) windowed interface and the Winamp like interface (you can just use one). It is the most minimalistic in some ways, while at the same time is still quite configurable, with just enough graphics touches to not be dull.
It uses the least memory, and it was in the good tier of CPU usage as well. In fact, the one area that it didn’t score great on so far was power usage. The developer contacted me about this and is looking into it. It’s the default music player on Lubuntu (generally considered the lightest Ubuntu derivative) and it is what I would pick given Lubuntu’s requirements.
While it has many plugins to extend it, the plugin interface could use some redesigning with regard to what is presented to the user (at least). It shows the path of the plugins instead of a description by default, which doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s best used by people who like managing their music via playlists, but it does have library functionality.
It is one of the best players for learning more about the artist you are listening to. Of course the usual artist info and lyrics, but also song information from last.fm and more.
Amazing depth of options when it comes to playing music from online sources. A bunch of preloaded stations.
It is one of the best music players available and (in true KDE style) is insanely feature-full. I would actually turn off features before using it, sometimes they can clutter the interface. The search feature absolutely rocks.
Has many, many, many different layout options, I think it has the most of any player I’m going to review. You can customize it to look like you want it to. It has many options for sound output, including streaming. It also has a “Reorganize files and folders button” which I did NOT try, but I know some people want this feature.
It is designed to handle big libraries and it shows. Again, it has a great search experience. It can load from multiple folders into one library.
It has all the features you would expect, with one exception – not all of the layouts have volume control, which actually makes a little bit of sense for some of them.
Oh right, and it has this warning on the website;
warning : I use my own mp3/ogg/flac/mpc/ape tag library for reading/writing tags … use at your own risk.
The “random” play is an automatically generated playlist. So you can skip through the upcoming random songs if you want. It also has the ability to blacklist songs from being played.
It has good radio and other online music support. It also has fade in and out of songs. Fully configurable, the default is a bit odd for most tastes.
I just don’t like the icons they use, which is my oddest complaint ever. Sorry.
I also had some crashes with it and it scored quite badly on powertop.
The website is a bit odd as well, but it does have screenshots. This doesn’t make my cut of players to recommend trying, but take a look at the screenshots to see if you might find it to be worth trying.
It just works, as is, and you have pretty much no options. The benefit of that is it looks really good.
One annoyance is that it informs you when an update is available instead of updating through Ubuntu’s mechanisms (I installed it from Ubuntu’s packages).
A great music player that won one of my previous music player reviews. It offers many different views that make it quite powerful. It really hasn’t changed much since then, it’s still a great player.
Although, gmusicbrowser now has more layouts than Quod Libet. They are definitely competing with each other. Quod Libet is also designed for big libraries and has good support for tagging music.
It’s the default for a reason. It just works. In fact, my wife uses my machine with Rhythmbox to manage her music on her iPod because it works quite well (and Apple iTunes is a hilariously buggy and bloated).
If you haven’t tried Rhythmbox (maybe not using stock Ubuntu), then it definitely is worth a try.
Linux has a lot of great music players available.
So what should you try if you are looking for a new music player? The defaults are always good choices: Rhythmbox, gmusicbrowser, and audacious. Clementine and Quod Libet are my other go to music players. Musique was the most interesting newcomer to me.
Well then install Ubuntu! Or… Clementine, Quod Libet, Audacious, and Musique (paid on Windows) all have Windows versions, which are great for transitioning someone from Windows to Linux. Transition their programs on Windows first so that when they make the switch they have some familiar programs to use.So what reviews are next?
I feel like my reviewing of programs in this way is getting a bit outdated, seeing that the Ubuntu Software Center gets you reviews in a much easier format. I prefer doing powertop/memory/performance reviews more anyway… so next time (Ubuntu 14.04 era), I’ll do the top players and look at just those metrics instead.Again, sorry for the brain dump nature of this post. I hope it was useful and didn’t have many errors. Please comment and add corrections below.
Didn’t I mention for the last 2 months I have been working on a synthesizer application?
I am pleased to announce that vModSynth 1.0 is now publicly released and available to download.
What is vModSynth? It’s a modular software synthesizer for Linux. It is not intended to be as convenient as possible, but to resemble the look & feel of a real, analog, modular software synthesizer. See for yourself:
vModSynth allows you to play with a modular synth on your computer. You are free to choose any modules you wish, you can connect them however you want, and you will hear the result immediately. The synthesizer intentionally resembles the look of a modular synthesizer (I was inspired by modules manufactured by synthesizers.com), and it imitates behavior of one.
vModSynth integrates perfectly with external MIDI devices – you can play it with an external keyboard, and you can bind any knob to a knob/slider on your physical device, so that you can actually feel the synthesizer, and modify it’s parameters just as on a real one! You can also connect any external sequencing application, like Rosegarden or harmonySEQ.
There is a number of modules you can add to your setup. A all-in-one oscillator, some effects, some processing modules, whatever you like. If I continue to develop this project, the number of modules will certainly grow, as creating new ones is very easy.
No limits to the number of modules, the number of connections, loops in connections, you are absolutely free. Just build your own synthesizing path and hear it in action.
The source file can be downloaded here. Compilation is as simple as ./configure && make && make install . A detailed user manual is available in the ./doc directory. I may consider creating a PPA if there will be a sufficient interest in such.
Questions, ideas, bugs? Please contact me directly, or leave a comment here. I have not yet recognized the level of interest others may have in this piece of software, and I need to investigate whether it makes sense to setup a bug tracker etc. However, if you are interested in contributing to this project, writing new awesome modules or generally helping me make vModSynth a awesome synthesizer, you will be welcome with my arms wide open!
Filed under: Ubuntu
On February 9-10th we hosted our 7th Ubuntu User Days!
Logs from all sessions are now available:
- Introduction to User Days by JoseeAntonioR
- Introduction to Ubuntu by JoseeAntonioR
- Unity and the Dash by LionThinker
- Introduction to Firefox by JoseeAntonioR
- Equivalent Programs by holstein
- Multimedia and Multimedia Centers (video) by bobweaver
- Installing Software in Ubuntu by epikvision
- Accessibility Applications by AlanBell
- Ubuntu Flavors: Xubuntu and Lubuntu by amjjawad and pleia2
- Ubuntu Community Roundtable by pleia2 and JoseeAntonioR
- Using Launchpad by JoseeAntonioR
- How to get help in Ubuntu by philipballew
- How to solve a problem – Ask Ubuntu! through Launchpad by cprofitt
We are very thankful to our instructors and attendees who made the work of this last weeks worthwhile, we feel very proud of all of them. Congratulations!
The Spanish Classroom team also hosted a User Day on February 9th, el Día del Usuario Ubuntu.
Logs for the 6 sessions they hosted can be found in their wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DiaDelUsuarioUbuntu
¡Felicitaciones por el buen trabajo, muchachos!
I really hope you enjoyed this User Days, and that all the shared knowledge is useful to you. Again, a huge thanks from all the Classroom team, and stay tuned so you make sure you learn something new every day!
Nowadays, most of the KDE events happening in France are organized in Toulouse, thanks to the awesome work done by the KDE people from the Toulibre association.
Not much has happened in Paris, which I find a bit sad. In an effort to get KDE users and contributors in Paris to get to know each others I thought about organizing KDE Dinners in Paris on an hopefully regular basis.
Our first dinner is expected to happen this month and will also be the occasion to celebrate the release of KDE SC 4.10.
I don't want to commit to something too constraining for now. I would be happy if we get a small dozen people to meet every three months. This frequency means one dinner out of two will also double as a small KDE SC release party.
We are still bootstrapping this idea so it needs a bit of promotion, hence this short article. If you are around Paris at the end of the month and want to spend a nice evening with friendly KDE users and contributors, you are welcome to join us!
I set up a Doodle to organize this event, with many possible dates. You can use this link to subscribe: http://www.doodle.com/6uwauc5eyp3sbfen.
We’re happy to announce that next week, on Wednesday, February 13th at 13:00 UTC, in #ubuntu-classroom on irc.freenode.net (#ubuntu-classroom-chat for questions). Howard Chan (smartboyhw) will be hosting the final scheduled session by the Quality team, Your first ISO test. Phill Whiteside (phillw) and Nicholas Skaggs (balloons) will also be available during this session to assist with questions. Please visit the Section 3 requirements wiki page if you wish to actively follow the exercises in this class.
In other Quality news, the logs for our most recent sessions with the team are available. The first is their series on bugs by Phill Whiteside (phillw) and Gema Gomez-Solano (gema):
We then had a series of laptop testing sessions presented by Sergio Zanchetta (primes2h) Carla Sella (Letozaf) and Sergio Meneses (SergioMeneses):
Today Phill Whiteside (phillw) and Jackson Doak (Noskcaj) of the Quality team hosted a series of sessions in #ubuntu-quality about the QA tools available for ISO testing:
Thanks to everyone who participated and the effort put into making the schedules work!
Sometime ago I purchased an M-Audio KeysStudio Keyboard to play with on my mac. Well after recording some songs, and after some talk with Cieślak I have decided to invest in a sustain pedal. I have bought a Bespeco NT13. Everything seems to work fine and I am happy with my purchase. Next task – make sure it works with Ubuntu
The last day of August, 2012, I got a box in the mail. The contents? A 16GB Nexus 7. My first android device.
Since then, its been a fun ride, and I've learned the various cool tools out there for a IT person.
I do contract work with a nameless startup incubator in the area, and as part of that, I'm partially responsible for printers, user-facing documentation, etc.
As such, I was constantly plugging and unplugging my laptop to show people this, that or the other. however, the tablet has replaced my laptop for a lot of those duties. Let me explain more.Documentation.
Like it or not, we all have to document things. And we have to do it well, for our intended audience. Now, we have two main pieces of user-facing documentation - the WiFi setup, and the printer setup. Two documents,one of which changes as we fix things (printers).
The Nexus 7 is just the right for me to pull of the document and refer to it as I'm working on someone's machine. The apps I use for that are:
- Dropbox. We use a shared dropbox folder to share the documents.
Now, to view them, I need a office type tool. While I could (and have) use Google drive, it doesn't lend itself to the situation well.
I've looked at the softmaker line of products, but I haven't been impressed with their linux offerings, so I'm not sure if I should risk the price for the full amount.
However, I am very happy with Kingston Office Writer.
It's free, and available for Android here.SSH.
The ConnectBot family is well-known and very well featured for being able to do SSH.
However, I've discovered that stock ConnectBot doesn't play nice with function keys on bluetooth keyboards, so I am using a fork of ConnectBot called VX ConnectBot that properly supports external keyboards.
ConnectBot supports SSH keys, although I don't make use of them - I don't do enough SSH on my tablet to worry about that.Notes.
Evernote. While I used to be a fan of Tomboy/Tomdroid/Ubuntu One, recent events have pushed me into the Evernote fold. And I must say, it's nice. I'm using it to write this blog post right now.
I shell out the cash each month for Evernote Premium, and while I'm enjoying it so far, there are a few "problems" I have with it, but I also had them with Tomboy.
- No Markdown support. Really, everything should support markdown.
- Search sucks. Always has, always will. Someday someone will make search that doesn't suck, but that day has not yet come.
- inline image embedding. For this, that'd be really nice. But oh well.
Amazon Kindle or the built-in PDF reader are my go-to PDF readers. They aren't terrific, but they are ok.Email.
Ahg. Email, the bane of every IT persons existence. Email is something I detest. People need to understand that when they email me, I will see it, and then prioritize it. I'm sad that people think that emailing me = instant response and I go and fix their problem. If you email someone, you should expect up to a 72 hour wait period before you get a response. If it's that important, call me. The important people have my number, and the smart ones who might need to call me know where and how to find it.
Anyway, I use the excellent gmail app for my email. I have gmail filters setup server side that filter out mailing lists and similar things into gmail tags, so they never hit my inbox. I then have gmail setup to only send me a push notification if it's in the priority inbox.
So, lets bits and pieces that don't really fall into any category are:
More communication tools: Skype , Google Talk (no link that I could find in the Play Store) and for IRC, I'm a fan of [AndChat(https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.andchat). Google Voice is another good one, if you're a Google Voice user, I highly recommend installing the application - while I still haven't figured out how to make calls from my Nexus 7, for text messages, it works fine. Lastly, for those times that Skype is just being a pain in the rear, there is Google + Hangouts, which are pretty useful.Web Browser
For choice of Browser, I have two installed. I have Chrome Beta, and I have Firefox. My main browser is Chrome, and I have Firefox for accessing all the internal sites that require self-signed SSL certificates. I much prefer Chromes tab setup, but Firefox is pretty fast.Password management:
I'm cheap, remember? So I am a fan of keepass and Dropbox.
So I store my passwords in a Keepass2 (or KeepassX) database, synced to my Dropbox folder. On my Tablet, I use keepassdroid to access it, and it's all hunky dory.
Other tools I've tried are:
Universal Password Manager. I can't explain why, but something about it not being in the archive for Ubuntu just made me not want to deal with it.
LastPass. Only way to get the mobile apps is the give them money, and I'm not a fan of proprietary applications storing something like my passwords. At least in dropbox, everything is a file.
So, that's my list of tools. What is in your toolbox?
I had this idea for a little fun literary project.
Tweet the first line of a story. Anyone can reply with what they want the second line to be. You choose the best one of those lines — the one which best fits your desire for how the story should go; this is what stops it descending into a big game of Consequences — and retweet it. It’s a collaborative literary thing. Then people reply with their choice of a third line; repeat until the story reaches a satisfactory conclusion.
Anyone can read the whole story by just reading the tweet stream of the story account. The first couple of tweets should explain the game.
I think this’d actually work, apart from a technical flaw: when the story account retweets a second line from someone, an @-reply to that goes to the someone, not the story account. (Well, it’ll probably go to both, but that’s still annoying and shortens the tweet too much. )
Nevertheless, if someone does this, I’d enjoy contributing a line now and then.
It will be a lovely week next week!
Valentines Day is next Thursday, February 14th, of course. Make sure you have chocolate and beautiful flowers for your sweetheart. And remember, that nothing says, "Was just thinking of you" like finding something cute on Pinterest and pinning it on their wall. (I need to go figure out how to do that, actually). And, for extra bonus points, call Mom too! She'll just love that you thought of her, too, on V-day ;-)
Near and dear to my heart, I'm personally excited that Gazzang will be introduced as one of the newest card-carrying members of the Linux Foundation! I've been an individual member of the Foundation for years, and have attended nearly a dozen LF events. We're extremely, extremely proud to add Gazzang to its very impressive list of active corporate members. What excellent company! I feel that we at Gazzang are differentiating ourselves from our competitors with comprehensive offerings around big data security, enterprise class encryption, and innovative key management -- all built exclusively in and on top of Linux.
And in celebration of all this love, Gazzang's fabulous marketing department has created a special Valentine's Day card for Linux, speaking on behalf of enterprises and big businesses far and wide that are just head over heels in love with the Penguin :-) Enjoy!
So what does this mean for you, dear reader? Well, we as a team would like you to be involved in helping us test! Everyone has unique ways of interacting with software, and naturally no two computer setups are exactly the same between us. Now, I know what your thinking -- how can I help? I'm no tester, and I don't run development versions of ubuntu!
That's ok! You can still help test without needing to compromise your system. If you don't want to install the development version on your machine, you can use a virtual machine installation instead. If you are unable to run virtual machines, or are confused at the idea, you can still help test by simply running a live session and executing tests there. It's not too hard for you! Check out this walk-through for participating using only an image of the development version of ubuntu and your computer.
To help demonstrate how you can participate, I'll be hosting two live events this next week where I'll be on-hand running through the cadence week tests along with others from the quality team. There will even be a livestream, so if your a visual person (like me!), you can see for yourself how you might be able to contribute. Here's the dates you need to know:
Monday Feb 11th, 1800-1900 UTC in #ubuntu-quality. I'll also be streaming live my participation in executing the tests .
Thursday Feb 14th, 1400-1500 UTC in #ubuntu-quality. No stream, but we'll be hanging out answering questions, and working on submitting test results.
Please consider attending a session or watching the video of the stream afterwards. If you can download an image and boot your computer, you can help test. You want to be a part of ubuntu; let us help you contribute!