Canonical Voices

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

UDS-R (Raring Ringtail) Group Photo

UDS-R (Raring Ringtail) Group Photo

Those of you in the UDS-R (Raring Ringtail) group photo must have been quite disappointed this time around! Instead of having to climb precarious ladders or hang out of third-story windows to get the shot I had a nice stable balcony to stand on! Truth be told, while taping the boundaries, my cohort Brian and I were trying to figure out how to get me up into the tree for sheer comedy value. No luck. Maybe next time.

Ubuntu Developer Summit Raring Ringtail (UDS-R) at Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, EU – 29th Oct – 1st Nov 2012 [cc by-sa 2012 Sean Sosik-Hamor]. High-resolution originals can be downloaded in the SmugMug galleries:

About the shot…

Since my shiny new EOS M was still preordered and didn’t arrive in time the setup was the same as Budapest, Orlando, and Oakland; shot with my workhorse EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM mounted to the  EOS-1D Mark IV on 10 FPS burst to increase the chances of getting a usable shot with all the movement in the crowd. Unfortunately the poor lighting meant I was shooting relatively high ISOs so there’s quite a bit of noise on the originals. Flash photography in the rest of the gallery was lit by a Speedlite 580EX II with a few shots here and there taken with the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM.

Sean Sosik-Hamor taking the UDS-R (Raring Ringtail) group photo

Sean Sosik-Hamor taking the UDS-R (Raring Ringtail) Group Photo (Photo by Jeff Lane)

 

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

Another UDS, another chance for me to risk life and limb by climbing dangerously high objects to get a good vantage point to take the group photo! Setup was the same as Orlando; shot with my workhorse EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM mounted to the usual EOS-1D Mark IV on 10 FPS burst to increase the chances of getting a usable shot with all the movement in the crowd. Unfortunately the poor lighting meant I was shooting insanely high ISOs so there’s quite a bit of noise on the originals.

UDS-Q photos cc by-sa 2012 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button in the gallery):

Photo by Bilal Akhtar showing the secret behind the UDS-Q Group Photo!

 

Another behind the scenes shot showing what went into the UDS-Q Group Photo. cc by-sa Howard Dyckoff.

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Sean Sosik-Hamor (Sciri)

Wi-Fi regulatory domains are a pain

Managing multiple facilities across multiple continents can be a pain especially when Wi-Fi is involved. Different regions use different frequencies depending on regulatory domain. And, depending on your hardware vendor, compliant hardware could be backordered.

In my case, the Cisco Aironet 1140 Series Access Point (AIR-AP1142N-T-K9 802.11a/g/n Standalone AP; Int Ant; Taiwan C) is backordered by 4-6 weeks. I guess our Taipei 101 office is out of luck for a while unless I can find a different piece of compliant hardware.

Here are some miscellaneous regulatory notes for when I need to revisit this in the future:

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

It’s déjà vu all over again! It looks just like last year, only a bit more organized! Since getting everyone balanced in a group photo the size of this is akin to herding cats I decided to lay down boundaries with gaffer tape like at UDS-O in Budapest. It worked out extremely well; it’s much easier to say “stay inside the pink tape” than to bark orders over the crowd to get individual people to move and fill in the gaps. And remember, if you can’t see my lens, I can’t see you!

UDS-P photos cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button in the gallery):

Shot with my workhorse EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM mounted to the usual EOS-1D Mark IV on 10 FPS burst to increase the chances of getting a usable shot with all the movement in the crowd. Apologies for taking a while to get these posted; it’s been a hectic four weeks of travel, event support, and sprinting.

The making of the group photo

Following what appears to be a new UDS tradition Randall managed to capture me herding everyone into the photo box made out of pink tape! (cc by-sa 2.0 rrnwexec)

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

After 8544 miles traveled, 16 days on the road, 40 GB of RAW photos, and two days of post-travel coma, I’ve posted the official group photos and my personal photo set from Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric Ocelot (UDS-O) which took place at the opulent Corinthia Hotel Budapest (formerly Grand Hotel Royal), Budapest, Hungary, EU (9th – 13th May 2011). UDS was insanely hectic as usual trying to keep everything running smoothly behind the scenes. Luckily there were enough lulls to give me a chance to meet a bunch of new faces and catch up on some of my favorite projects.

UDS-O photos cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button in the gallery):

In addition to the above SmugMug gallery I’ve added the group photos to Facebook for tagging! And if you’ve ever wanted to see what goes on behind the scenes and what gets packed for UDS, check out the UDS-O Logistics gallery.

Unlike UDS-N in Orlando where I found out on short notice that I would be the official photographer I came a bit more prepared this time toting my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM on top of the usual EOS-1D Mark IVEF 50mm f/1.2L USM, and pair of 580EX II Speedlites that permanently live in the Fastpack 350 that always accompanies me everywhere. Immediately upon arriving at the hotel and checking in I scouted locations and found a gorgeous spot to take the group photo shooting down from the fifth floor catwalk into the Southeast atrium bathed natural light from the skylights and six-story street-facing glass wall.

Unfortunately the hotel staff disagreed with my selection and pushed us into the lobby spilling up the main staircase when it came time to actually shoot the group photo. This location was less than ideal forcing me to shoot at a strange angle from an offset second floor guest room window overlooking the lobby with mixed tungsten, CFL, sunlight, and shadow.

This required a bit of pre-planning and creativity to make sure everyone would be in the photo and wouldn’t be blocked by pedestals or balconies. Liberal use of pink highvis gaffer tape on the floor to mark the boundaries of the frame and verbal instruction (if you can’t see my lens then I can’t see you) seems to have ensured that everyone actually got into the photo…including some creative trolls folks who made their way up to the first floor balconies!

The rest of the photos shot throughout the week were dead-simple and accomplished by utilizing natural light or by dragging the shutter with on-camera bounce flash with catchlight panel. While the more difficult nighttime outdoor bar and cafe photos had the Speedlite pointing straight up into the air with only the catchlight panel bathing the subject with fill flash, the indoor Orfeum Club photos also utilized a strategically-placed remote Speedlite and glass ceiling to create some interesting effects.

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Sean

Ubuntu Developer Summit Oneiric Ocelot (UDS-O) Logistics at Canonical Group Limited, London, England, UK – 11th – 15th April 2011

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Sean

Canonical Platform Sprint and Launchpad Epic at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, USA – 10th – 21st January 2011 [cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Sean Sosik-Hamor

UDS-N Group Photo

I’ve posted the official group photo and my personal photo set from Ubuntu Developer Summit Natty Narwhal (UDS-N) which took place at The Caribe Royal, Orlando, Florida, USA – 25th – 29th October 2010. Overall it was quite a productive trip and, in addition to working event support, running video cameras, photographing the event, and attending sessions, I got to hang out with the usual gang of Open Source superstars and meet plenty of new faces!

UDS-N photos cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor (prints can be ordered by clicking the Buy button after clicking through to the below galleries):

I was a little caught out by volunteering to do the UDS-N group photo since Ken Wimer, the usual photographer, wasn’t in attendance and the photoshoot had already been scheduled. I knew it would be a bit of a scramble to get everything squared away because I was traveling light and the only lens in my bag was an EF 50mm f/1.2L USM (my standard shoot-anywhere workhorse).

The first task was to source a lens since a 50mm just wasn’t going to cut it. Many thanks to Ted Gould for letting me borrow his EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens as well as the Novacut guys for offering up their EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM on standby. It just goes to show how great the Ubuntu community is and how the Open Source sharing mentality even carries over to physical (and quite expensive) gear.

Once the lens was sourced a location had to be scouted so I contacted Yvonne from hotel services to arrange a quick tour of the grounds. We explored the various courtyards and ponds but the prime location was right in front of us the whole time: the West entrance to the convention center closest to the UDS session rooms. The West entrance loop was blocked off with traffic cones to keep cars out of the shoot and I scheduled hotel engineering to set up a ladder for Friday afternoon before lunch so I could get some test shots.

Once everyone was lined up outside and herded into the frame I fired a few bursts at 10 FPS (which made everyone giggle) to make sure I had plenty of posed, waving, and jumping shots to choose from. The photoshoot itself ran smoothly and only took a few minutes leaving plenty of time for coffee before heading back into sessions.

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Sean

Canonical IS Sprint at Hotel Auditórium, Madrid, Spain, EU – 9th – 13th August 2010 [cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Sean

Ubuntu Developer Summit Maverick Meerkat (UDS-M) at Dolce La Hulpe Hotel and Resort, Brussels, Belgium, EU – 10th – 14th May 2010 [cc by-sa 2010 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Sean Sosik-Hamor (Sciri)

For you mobile geeks out there HP Home currently has 3-cell batteries for the HP Mini 1000 and 110 on sale for 60% off as well as a $15-off coupon you can use (ACY93421). No idea how long this is going to last.

The 6-cell batteries are regular price but the coupon should also work.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/minami/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Sean

Ubuntu Developer Summit Lucid Lynx (UDS-L) at The Renaissance Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas, USA – 16th – 20th November 2009 [cc by-sa 2009 Sean Sosik-Hamor]

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Sean Sosik-Hamor (Sciri)

Upgrading Polycom firmware

If you have a mixed bag of Polycom kit in your office, be sure to check out the VoIP SIP Software Release Matrix to check on compatible versions. In our case, I chose SIP version 3.1.3RevC since it’s compatible with both the IP 430 and the IP 4000. I’ll probably bump up to SIP version 3.2.0 for the IP 430; just not today.

Also pay special attention to the release notes. Just because a Firmware version is on the download page for a particular model doesn’t mean it will work. We had to mix and match with Firmware version 4.1.3 for the IP 4000 and 4.2.0 for the IP 430. This is difficult (but not impossible) since pre-4.0 Firmware versions look for bootrom.ld instead of modelnumber.bootrom.ld in 4.0 and higher versions.

The solution was simple; I dropped the following files into place:

  • IP 430 4.2.0 Bootrom (Split) 2345-11402-001.bootrom.ld
  • IP 430 3.1.3RevC SIP (Split) 2345-11402-001.sip.ld
  • IP 4000 4.1.3 Bootrom (Split) 2201-06642-001.bootrom.ld
  • IP 4000 3.1.3RevC SIP (Split) 2201-06642-001.sip.ld
  • Generic 4.1.3 Bootrom (Combined) bootrom.ld

This way both the IP 430 and the IP 4000 will properly flash themselves with the 4.1.3 Combined image, then the IP 430 will step up to the 4.2.0 Split image on its next reboot.

For even more fun, the new macaddress.cfg files support per-model config files, so I also created phone1-3.1.3C.cfg and sip-3.1.3C.cfg to selectively upgrade a few phones for testing.

Oh, and remember to move bootrom.ld out of the way if you only want to test upgrade a few phones you’ve pre-modified config files for. You really don’t want to brick your whole office, do you?

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Sean Sosik-Hamor (Sciri)

The aging Red Hat Enterprise ES4 server I have colocated at ServerBeach was starting to get a bit crufty and I felt kind of dirty running RHEL instead of Ubuntu now that I’m working for Canonical. It was finally time to bring up a shiny new Dell PowerEdge 440 running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron however ServerBeach does not yet officially support Ubuntu and will not do custom OS loads.

No problem. ServerBeach provides a brilliant tool called RapidRescue that allows you to reboot your server into a Linux recovery session and gives remote console access to the disks and hardware. I whipped together an awful hack to take advantage of this tool and automate the process of formatting the hard drives and debootstrapping an Ubuntu install. Not exactly elegant, but it gets the job done. :D

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Sean Sosik-Hamor (Sciri)

MS-DOS or another DOS derivative is still required for flashing the BIOS on some desktops, servers, notebooks, and mobile devices. These tools automate the creation of boot floppies and USB thumbdrives instead of fighting with tools like MKBT (Make Bootable).

Required Tools

Caveats

  • Windows is required to run both installers. I have not tested under Wine or emulation.
  • The unofficial MS-DOS 6.22 boot floppy comes from BootDisk.com and not from Microsoft.
  • The official Dell 32 Bit Diagnostics utility comes directly from Dell but AUTOEXEC.BAT must be modified for use on a non-Dell system. The info page for version CW1337A0 is available from Dell Support and additional versions are available directly from the Dell Diagnostics Repository.
  • Some prototype netbooks and MID devices refuse to boot MS-DOS. You’re on your own.
  • These tools are not licensed for redistribution.
  • These tools will erase the destination floppy disk or USB thumbdrive before creating bootable media.

MS-DOS 6.22 boot floppy

  1. Attach a USB floppy drive and execute BOOT622.EXE.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to write image to the floppy disk.
  3. Remove unneeded files to free up space and copy your custom BIOS image and BIOS flash utilities to the floppy disk.
  4. Upon booting, the floppy disk will be drive A:.

Dell 32 Bit Diagnostics

  1. Execute CW1337A0.EXE to extract archive contents to a folder.
  2. Execute DDDP.EXE and insert a USB thumbdrive.
  3. Select Install to a USB Flash Drive.
  4. Select the USB Flash Drive to use and click OK.
  5. If the USB thumbdrive is too large then a warning will be displayed regarding the maximum size of FAT 16 partitions; click Yes to continue.
  6. Click OK when complete then select Finished Creating Diagnostic Media.
  7. Modify AUTOEXEC.BAT on the newly-created USB thumbdrive and REM out or delete the DELLDIAG.COM and REBOOT.COM lines at the end of the script. DELLDIAG.COM will only run on approved Dell systems so by default the tool will give an error, exit, and reboot non-Dell systems.
  8. Copy your custom BIOS image and BIOS flash utilities to the USB thumbdrive.
  9. Upon booting, the USB thumbdrive will be drive C: and the Dell 32 Bit Diagnostics RAMDISK will be drive D:.

Booting Devices

Booting your device should be as simple as simple as Plug and Play; make sure the boot order is configured to see the USB thumbdrive, USB floppy disk, or internal floppy disk before the hard drive. Once MS-DOS loads follow the instructions that came with your BIOS image or BIOS flash utility.

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