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Notable notables.

Fedora’s very own John Rose is among the winners of the 2009 RHCE of the Year award bestowed by Red Hat. I wanted to extend a very hearty congratulations to John and the rest of the winners, and thank him for all the fine work he does in the Fedora Project.

Is it too early in the morning to raise a toast? Well, let’s stick with coffee or tea for now, Monday’s just begun!

LinuxTag starts tomorrow!

Sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a bit. Open Source Bridge was totally hectic and I failed to get a report out in time. I’ll try to remedy that later this week with a summary of what happened there, because it really was a great conference for practitioners in open source, and very different from the equally successful Southeast Linux Fest which I attended the weekend before.

But on to the present — I’m here in Berlin and tomorrow LinuxTag begins, bringing with it thousands of free software fans, advocates, developers, and contributors. Max has already written about the magnificent booth being set up by Fedora Ambassadors for the festivities, and I plan to be there as much as possible myself. From what I understand, some space was made in our booth schedule where a willing volunteer could help out — this is me raising my hand! :-)

On Friday we start the big FUDCon event which should be fantastic. There will be a huge assemblage of Fedora contributors, mostly from the EU but from a few other places as well. I am very much looking forward to hearing the talks, and reporting on the many cool hackfests that will happen at this event. I believe we will have session tracks in both German and English and I hope many of the LinuxTag visitors will attend to assuage their curiosity about how the Fedora community works, and how our work might be important or compelling to them as FOSS participants.

Today, Jesse Keating and I fought off our jet lag by exercising — essentially walking as much of Berlin as we could manage before our feet cried for mercy. Before the day was up we visited Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, and the Brandenburger Tor, among others. Thanks to my failed sense of direction, we missed out on seeing the Schloss Charlottenburg, a beautiful palace designed after that at Versailles, but thanks to all the other cool stuff we saw I think he forgave me. :-) Lest anyone thinnk we just goofed off all day, when we got back to the hotel I caught up on a bunch of email; had a three-hour meeting with Max, Gerold, Fabian, and Jeroen; had another hour or so meeting with Max; and proceeded to work on even more email and other tasks for the next several hours, on top of this post.

Yikes! Conferences are busy. But they are absolutely fantastic because I get to catch up with good friends from around the globe who are doing awesome work as contributors in Fedora and to free software in general. You guys are inspiring and I look forward to seeing you at LinuxTag and FUDCon, and having a beverage with you at the FUDPub event.

Get your goggles on.

Tomorrow is the day — Fedora 11 roars into action! Make sure that you fire up your BitTorrent client and seed for others; help to spread the love!

I want to take a moment to thank each and every person who supported this release — whether it was by writing code, filing a bug, triaging said bug, translating text, working with press, writing or editing the wiki and other docs, testing packages or releases, spreading media and message, organizing events or release parties, helping users, or any of the other activities that make Fedora an incredible and vibrant community.

Thank you for everything you do to make Fedora wonderful. We’re happy and lucky to have you with us on this journey. If you enjoy the release only a tenth as much as I enjoy working with all of you, I have no doubt this will be our most popular release yet.

See you on the tubez tomorrow!

Wishing I were more of a foodie.

I thought it would be nice just to talk about some delightful things we consumed over the holidays. Most of them were made by my wife because I suck at kitchen management. I just stay out of her way, or if she needs help, she’s learned to give me exact orders and I just obey. I do get credit for taking care of the Thanksgiving Day turkey — my one skill is in cooking large quantities of dead animal flesh, so as long as I take care of that part, she’s happy doing the rest. And then I clean the dishes.

Eleya made a wonderful rack of lamb, roasted with peppercorns, for Christmas Eve dinner. For some reason our oven ran strangely and forced her to serve the lamb a bit at a time, moving in form the edges as they reached the perfect stage of rare to medium rare that good lamb demands. All ended well and people were happy to come back for seconds (or thirds). She also made some fantastic green beans sauteed with shallots and vermouth, and the best garlic mashed potatoes I think I’ve ever had. Ever. Did I mention I made the salad? Yeah baby, stand back.

We had a really tasty champagne for New Year’s Eve, a de Margerie Grand Cru Brut. I think I might slightly prefer the Montaudon Classe ‘M’ that we had last year, but the de Margerie was quite good. It was very crisp with some apple notes, and probably lots of other stuff a better wine or champagne taster would be able to pinpoint.

We’d also decided, since we were spending NYE at home, to enjoy grown-up food after the kids were in bed. We ate sparingly at dinner so we could enjoy a nice basket of treats that were sent by an out-of-town friend — gourmet crackers, cheese, salami, mustard, and some nice chocolates. I think next year I may go out and hand-select these sorts of treats and pair them with the champagne we choose to ring in 2010, because it was really lovely.

Today she made some crystallized ginger which I’m really looking forward to trying when it’s fully done. It’s currently drying, after which it will be coated lightly with confectioner’s sugar. If you haven’t tried crystallized ginger, it’s wonderful — sweet and tangy but with a nice touch of spicy hotness. Despite what you might expect from the spicy heat, ginger is also quite exceptional for curing an acid stomach or heartburn — no kidding! Try it next time you have a sour tummy; you can find it at most grocers.

I also watched too many episodes of Iron Chef with my daughter on our one “couch potato” day. Her favorite subjects are science and cooking (go figure). I saw some really amazing ways to prepare buffalo and venison, and thankfully none of them involved ice cream.

Drawing to a close.

The blog’s been pretty quiet for the last week because I took some time to just relax, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy the company’s holiday shutdown period.

This has been a very eventful year for me and my family, including my moving from the public to the private sector to take a job with Red Hat, many travels (including my first trip to Germany!), family events including death and birth, and helping my mom through some tough times recuperating from her back surgery, not to mention the financial and political tumult that affected everyone over the course of the year, two big releases for the Fedora Project, and all the work that went thereto. But all in all, 2008 has actually been quite a memorable year for me, and I’m looking forward to what 2009 will bring.

Right off the bat, I’ll get to see old and new Fedora friends at our FUDCon in Boston in about a week or so. It will be a fantastic event and I’m very much looking forward to participating in it, after all the planning! There’s something very fulfilling about seeing people come together at these events to renew bonds, to create new and exciting features, and to further break down barriers to free software contribution.

There’s no doubt in my mind that, now more than ever, Fedora is the epicenter of progress in FOSS, and that progress is powered by our entire community working together with our multitudinous upstream partners. Software freedom and community don’t come free of cost; they’re endeavors built on the hard work and tenacity of hundreds of thousands of FOSS contributors. The work of those contributors calls for gratitude and respect, and they continue to be my focus in Fedora.

When I get together with contributors at FUDCon, it’s always a good reminder to me that words must be backed up by deeds. Pledges to community and freedom too easily ring hollow without the accompanying march of progress through contribution. I’m constantly heartened by the enthusiasm shown by our community members at these events for making real progress in FOSS, with constant dedication to the spirit of openness that free software provides and demands. I’ll do my best this year to meet that enthusiasm with my own, to respect your hard work with more of the same, and to help you keep creating and promoting “freedom, friends, features, first.”

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing as you ring in the New Year, I hope 2009 brings you and your loved ones success, fulfillment, and happiness. Now let’s break out the good bubbly!

Christmas wishes.

Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

CC-BY-NC 2.0, courtesy ‘laihiu’ on Flickr

Back in play.

The Red Hat corporate help desk kindly sent me a new laptop for temporary use until I get the replacement for my XPS M1330 from Dell. The loaner was a 32-bit machine, and my old drive was 64-bit, so rather than bother with a hard disk transplant, which would mean reinstalling the system, I decided to move my data from my old laptop hard disk (which survived just fine) to the new system, and figured I might as well document it for newer folks who might not know how to do it cleanly.

Keep reading “below the fold” to find out what I did and why.

Read the rest of this entry »

In slumber, the sound of distant crowing.

There are a lot of heartbreaks you set yourself up for as a parent. Perhaps you have a while before you need to deal with some of them — the first date, going off to college and moving out, the eventual wedding — but no dagger strikes so deep yet as the odd and unforeseeable moments when you look at your young one, and realize they will never again be as young as they are right now, and comprehend the two or the ten or the twenty-nine months you’ve lost forever since the last time your heart broke when you realized this.

And if you happen to be mercifully oblivious in your distance from that place on some particular evening, there is nothing that snaps you, like an elastic band, back into that wistful reverie faster than coming in your nightly story time to the last chapter of Peter Pan, wherein the eternally young and impish boy returns after many years to the home of one Wendy Moira Angela Darling, now grown up and with a daughter of her own:

Read the rest of this entry »

In case there was still a doubt.

Yes, Fredericksburg, Virginia, has more than its share of nerds. Go FredLUG!

Notes from a Monday.

Personal tidbits from today…

Mom is back in the hospital again. She’s suddenly got a lot of pain again and can’t bear to walk or be upright. The orthopedic surgeon is not sure what the problem is, but thinks it might be a nerve pinched in the new hardware in her back. She was supposed to get an MRI today, but it’s looking like it won’t happen until the wee hours at this point. They’ll be keeping her for another day or two after that, we’re pretty certain.

I went to the dentist and got a tiny filling in a molar. The dentist was in a bit of a hurry I think, because he didn’t let the topical anaesthetic set in as much as usual, and the novocaine injection was less than pleasant. Soon enough though, the lower left quadrant of my mouth went totally numb, and the filling went on without a problem. I was finally back to normal a little before 8:00 and had some (soft!) dinner.

Everything electronic in the house seems to be taking a beating recently. My beloved iPod — the one I recently hacked to put in a 32 GB CompactFlash card to replace the busted hard disk — stopped working suddenly. Everything I was reading pointed to the battery being the culprit, and I knew the 5th gen models were known to have this sort of problem.

I found a great deal at ipodjuice.com and ordered a replacement kit, including a new and superior opener tool, because the ones I had were close to useless after being used once. (Ugh.) When it arrived, I opened the iPod — which, like an imbecile, mind you, I hadn’t bothered to do previously — and found the problem — the CF card had come loose. At that point I remembered dropping it while returning home, which probably knocked it loose. So now I have a spare battery which I’ll just hold on to for a while.

Not so easily fixed is the “kick drum” foot pedal for our Wii Rock Star game, which snapped in two the other day. And I swear I’m not a leadfoot, really! I found a nice replacement which SupaWife is trying to talk me into getting, since she’s observed drums are my favorite instrument to not-quite-play. (I’ve always wanted to learn drums so I could be a one-man band like Jon Brion.) There are cheaper alternatives but they all have substantial downsides or suffer from equally ugly problems. The Rock Pedal is apparently the pro model of choice these days, so bully! Guess I’ll order one so I can play again this weekend once I’m done catching up with work.

The kids are off school tomorrow, but I’ll be on duty per normal. Thursday and Friday I’ll be in Raleigh, getting back late Friday night.

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