Archive for December, 2006

Joey Stanford

Pete Wright: “… the PC under my desk is, for the last time ever, removing Windows and all the trappings that go with it to install Ubuntu Linux. My Microsoft career is now officially over.” ” Vista looks like a pile of crap compared to Mac OS X and Ubuntu with GLX.” Click Read More for the full article.

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Joey Stanford

Updated Ubuntu Presentation Ready for Review/Use

I’ve gotten around to updating my Ubuntu Presentation for my talk in two weeks. I made changes to almost every page, deleted a few, added a few more, but kept the same style and message. You can download it off my presentations page.

Joey Stanford

Feisty Release Parties Page is Live

The Feisty Release Party Page is live. CoLoCo has announced their party information as well. :-)

Joey Stanford

Q: What should end user graphics in Fiesty look like? A: Fedora

At the moment it appears that we (Ubuntu) are trying to be all things: server, embedded, workstation, desktop, etc.. If Bug #1 is about taking away Microsoft’s user share we’re not going to do it without a concerted effort on the desktop. Fedora seems to get this. I have had a number of folks here in town leave Ubuntu for Fedora because of the desktop love. Click on read more for an example video of the love.
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Joey Stanford

My wife, in an uncharacteristic move, bought me the wildly cool Sansa e280 to replace my aging iPod. The Sansa is a neat unit basically developed by Portal Player, the company behind those colourful secondary displays on laptops. The Sansa is flash based and supports mounting like a flash card or using Micro$oft’s Media Transfer Protocol (MTP). The good news it that Linux supports both. MTP support is courtesy of libmtp. Interestingly, the only full featured Linux media player to support MTP is Amarok. So, this dedicated Gnome user took the plunge and installed it. I was very surprised to see how many new features it has in it since the last time I looked: Good job Amarok team! It does not seem to support the Sansa e280 even though libmtp does. Hence a bug report I’m hoping someone at KDE might eventually look at: Bug 139247 – Amarok MTP discovery of Sansa e280 fails yet mtp-detect sees player

Joey Stanford

LinuxTLE 8.0 Beta Screenshot Walkthrough

LinuxTLE is a community distribution developed in Thailand and targeting the Thai speaking audience. The project’s latest release is a beta build of LinuxTLE 8.0 (code name “Patong”), a distribution now based on Ubuntu instead of Red Hat and Fedora Core as was the case with the previous versions. The release is a re-mastered edition of the Ubuntu.

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Joey Stanford

Startegy Part Two: Pre and Post

In a follow-up comment to my post on my strategy secrets, I thought I’d mention two more related items.

  1. Occam’s Razor – applied to my strategy yields Keep It Simple Stupid (aka KISS). This is the overarching governance method I use. It avoids complexity and keeps things easier to manage. Should something not work in it’s simplest form then one can add additional complexity.
  2. Integration – When my three items from the previous post are applied, it sets you up well for integration. One might argue, quite successfully I might add, that you should treat integration as really a 4th item or perhaps combine it with consolidation. I’ve found this leads to additional complexity so I concentrate on the three areas and then, almost as a by-product, integration becomes the next logical thing to pursue.

So, the expanded picture looks like this: KISS everything, execute strategy, consolidation, and automation plans, then realize the opportunity of integration and execute on it.

Joey Stanford

Strategy: My Three Secrets

The beginning of December had some good news for my day job. I had a job post out for some help and I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine beat out the competition for the role. I’ve begun his training and a big part of it is teaching him my personal strategy for our client that we’ve been marching towards. I somewhat surprised myself at how I could boil 17 years of accumulated strategy experience down to three items. In retrospect, I think I learned these right out of college when I was a software developer. They are so simple but have worked exceedingly well for me. I thought that I should share these with everyone.

  1. Standardize – Agree on the standard, upgrade non-standard material, do not allow exceptions but always look for new ways to keep it best of breed. This has so many benefits unto itself that one could write a book on it.
  2. Consolidate – Use a repository (doc, code, etc.), shutting down rouge or excess locations allows folks to locate and interact with the material better. It also saves a ton of money and drastically reduces confusion. I have found that it is always better to harden the central area than distribute it. This doesn’t work for everything (e.g. peer to peer, bazaar coding model (e.g. DARCS/BZR)) but it does for most things.
  3. Automate – Queue up some simple tooling and automate as much as possible. Aside from saving money it allows you to focus your employees on things worthy of their attention instead of the mundane. It does wonders for productivity and can have a positive impact on communications.

So, my secret is to use the above three when determining strategy for a new project, department, or organization. Once these are accomplished then you can move into more interesting and directed areas. The mistake I see many people making is that they don’t do these three things up front, and it costs then dearly on the backend. These are really akin to planning on a project. If you take the time to plan it right, you’ll save money on rework, meet the actual requirements better, and typically have higher quality deliverables.

In the Open Source world, we’re all about standards. We often get the low hanging fruit when it comes to consolidation although we could stand do to better in this area. Automation, aside from the build, bug, and install/upgrade processes is just about non-existent. This is why I happen to be a fan of Launchpad. It combines bug, translation, feature specifications and blueprints, releases/distro planning, support requests, meetings, and other material into one central area. Having chatted with the Launchpad devs at UDS-MTV, I know there are some new features on the horizon and I’m excited.

Joey Stanford

Chicago Gunman Angry Over Patent

And people say I’m off base for supporting No Software Patents. I’m begining to think patents are like drugs. They seem to effect people the same way.

Police: Chicago Gunman Angry Over Patent