Samstag, 21. Juni 2008

Bringing M&Ms back to Germany

Okay, some weeks I asked for it, now on FUDCon F10 I got what I (or to be precise: my girlfriend) wanted:

Many many thanks to Southern_Gentlem (James "Ben" Williams ) and daMaestro (Jonathan Steffan) who bought them for me and brought them to FUDCon today. You rock guys; my girlfriend will be very very happy.

Freitag, 20. Juni 2008

thl left Red Hat Summit 2008, knurd now at FUDCon ;-)

FYI, if you are attending Red Hat Summit or FUDCon: I mostly finished my work as member of the press now and thus I have a bit more time to talk to all of you that are around. Sorry, my work kept me a bit busy over the past few days so I didn't find enough time to talk to all of you I meet :-/

While at it a small disclaimer (added later: and a bit of advertising): A few people asked what kind of stuff I'm actually writing about. That's easier to answer these days as some of the stuff I'm writing is translated into English for our UK online publication. You there for example find some of the things I wrote from the summit (like these two). There is more to come; due to timezone differences and a bit of time to translate things to English it sometimes takes a while to get published.

But reporting from event like the Summit is a special thing. I normally test hardware (mainly motherboards and their chipsets, sometimes CPUs). I'm also kind of the main "linux hardware guy" for our magazine (where I'm still known as thl like I used to be in Fedora until a year or two ago). To do the latter properly I'm following quite a lot of linux projects to know what's up in linux-hardware-land -- for example by reading LKML. I not only use those information's in my day work -- I also write about the most important things that happened in a column that's called "kernel-log" (which not only reports about the linux kernel; there are often information on X or other things that are important for linux hardware support). You can find kernel-log examples (1, 2) in the UK publication as well (but not all of them get translated). In addition I write quite long "what's new in Linux 2.6.x" articles when new kernels come out. Examples (warning, they are quite long thus you need a bit of time to read them): 2.6.24, 2.6.25.

Dienstag, 3. Juni 2008

Knurd's chocolate im- and export ;-)

As I mentioned in in my previous blog post: I'm going to Boston for the Red Hat Summit 2008. That means (the long story short):

  • I can buy Peanut Butter M&Ms -- my girlfriend really likes them, but they are not available in Germany :-((
  • I can bring some European/German chocolate or other sweets to the US for folks that visit the Summit or FUDCon

The verbose story:

  • Import: My girlfriend likes sweets (well, I do as well ;-) ) and some years ago she got some Peanut Butter M&Ms from a friend of her, who hat ordered them via Ebay earlier. My girlfriend really enjoyed them, but getting them via Ebay in Germany is hard and costly (and in fact: we don't like Ebay much and thus never sold or bought anything via Ebay ourselves...). I tried to get them elsewhere, but could not find them anywhere in Germany -- even shops like AmericanCandy don't offer them (if anyone knows a shop that sells them please drop me a note).

    So when I visited FUDCon Boston in February 2007 I brought some Peanut Butter M&Ms home -- many thanks again to Southern_Gentlem from #fedora-unity, who bought them and sent them to the hotel for me. Sebastian Dziallas (the guy who formed the Education SIG and works on a Fedora Education Spin) was in the US earlier this year and brought some to Germany for me and my girlfriend as well (thx Sebastian!). Not sure how it happened, but they somehow vanished within a day... He also brought some Dark Chocolate Peanut M&Ms; those were tasty as well, but not as good as the peanut butter ones, so they did not evaporate as quickly ;-)

    Thus when I'm visiting the Summit I'll bring some new Peanut Butter M&Ms home to Germany. In fact I really have to, as my girlfriend will kill me otherwise. She also ordered some Mint Crips M&Ms to check their smell -- they just like those with Peanut Butter are not available in Germany. :-/ Ohh, and I think I want to give Dark Chocolate M&Ms a try. I'm not yet sure if I'll buy them myself during the days in Boston or if I ask someone to bring them to Boston for me. Are they hard to get?

  • Export:When I visited FUDCon Boston 2007 I brought some German chocolate to the US with me, as Bob Jensen (*Bob* in #fedora-unity) asked me for it -- he told me it was for his kids, but I suppose he tried a piece of chocolate himself as well ;-)

    Of course I can put some German sweets into my luggage when I'm traveling to the US this time. If I know you and if you're attending the Summit or FUDCon drop me a mail if you want some sweets and I'll try to bring it over the ocean (I for example could recommend a nice Bitterschokolade from Rausch called Tembadoro -- it contains 80 percent cocoa and smells great!) Of course space and weight is limited (carrying lots of sweets might look odd at customs as well -- does anyone have experience if that really is a problem?) Ohh, and I can't promise how the stuff looks when it gets into your hands -- I'll do my best to bring them intact, but traveling with chocolate or other sweets is a bit complicated during summertime...

Going to Red Hat Summit 2008 / FUDConF10 Boston

A lot of you will have noticed: Apart from

  • a (hopefully helpful) mail here and there
  • a bit of work on the packages I maintain
  • the testing -> stable moves for EPEL4 and EPEL5
I'm making myself quite rare in the Fedora Project, as I'm quite unhappy about a whole lot of things in Fedora the Project (or mainly its organization with all those committees and all the bureaucracy; not about the contributors to Fedora or Fedora the distribution -- the latter of course like every other Linux Distribution had and has some things I dislike, but in the end it's not that bad). That's likely nothing new to most of you, as I mentioned that now and then already here in my blog or via mail on the lists. It would be a whole lot better to try to work towards improving the things I'm unhappy with, but I don't have the energy at the moment to do that. I tried a bit over the past 14 months, but it feels like it were hard and time-consuming discussions that didn't change much in the end -- so I suppose Fedora isn't the right place anymore for me to invest a great deal of my spare time (like I did in the past four years); thus I reduced my involvement and stopped trying to fix the things I dislike.

But life is funny game sometimes and it seems I at least for a few days get closer to Fedora and it's contributors again. Why you ask? Well, I'll visit the Red Hat Summit 2008. My travel back to Germany is scheduled for Sunday afternoon after the Summit ended -- thus I'll have enough time to join the FUDConF10 Boston Hackfest sessions on Saturday after the Summit. Note that I'm not going "just for fun" to the Summit -- Wednesday to Friday is a business trip for me and I have to do some work there. I was just the lucky one at work that was chosen for the trip, as it didn't really fit into my colleagues schedule... Well, it was not only luck -- I suppose it helped a bit that I'm quite familiar with what's Red Hat doing anyway ;-)

And yeah, I'm quite happy to go to the Summit and FUDCon -- especially as this gives me the opportunity to see a lot of Fedora people in real life that I normally got in contact only with via IRC or mail in the past years. Maybe I should feel a bit worried, as I suppose I didn't make much friends over the past year in Fedora... I suppose I'm the "always complaining and bad-painting everything 'old men' that might have been a bit important in the old Fedora days but now just disturbs the work" for some people.

But well, should I use the opportunity and try to work towards changing some of the "things I really dislike in Fedora" at FUDCon? There are a whole lot of Fedora people there in one spot, so it might be a bit easier to get complicated things discussed and maybe even improved/realized. Maybe I should try, but I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble. I'm also unsure if it's only me that feels that a lot of things are far from good and really need improvements; I only know from some discussions in real life or via mail that there are at least some people that just like I think "from the spare time contributors standpoint a whole lot of things got worse in Fedora the project (not the distribution!) since the Core and Extras merge".

So what should I do? Just try to be a ordinary visitor at FUDCon? Or try to do a small survey among Fedora contributors in preparation for FUDCon to get a impression how people feel and where they think Fedora needs to improve? I suppose I could be the right one for such a small survey, as I disliked a whole lot of things ;-)