Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'personal'


I have used LaTeX and latex-beamer for pretty much my entire life of document and presentation production, i. e. since about my 9th school grade. I’ve always found the LaTeX syntax a bit clumsy, but with good enough editor shortcuts to insert e. g. \begin{itemize} \item...\end{itemize} with just two keystrokes, it has been good enough for me.

A few months ago a friend of mine pointed out pandoc to me, which is just simply awesome. It can convert between a million document formats, but most importantly take Markdown and spit out LaTeX, or directly PDF (through an intermediate step of building a LaTeX document and calling pdftex). It also has a template for beamer. Documents now look soo much more readable and are easier to write! And you can always directly write LaTeX commands without any fuss, so that you can use markdown for the structure/headings/enumerations/etc., and LaTeX for formulax, XYTex and the other goodies. That’s how it should always should have been! ☺

So last night I finally sat down and created a vim config for it:

"-- pandoc Markdown+LaTeX -------------------------------------------

function s:MDSettings()
    inoremap <buffer> <Leader>n \note[item]{}<Esc>i
    noremap <buffer> <Leader>b :! pandoc -t beamer % -o %<.pdf<CR><CR>
    noremap <buffer> <Leader>l :! pandoc -t latex % -o %<.pdf<CR>
    noremap <buffer> <Leader>v :! evince %<.pdf 2>&1 >/dev/null &<CR><CR>

    " adjust syntax highlighting for LaTeX parts
    "   inline formulas:
    syntax region Statement oneline matchgroup=Delimiter start="\$" end="\$"
    "   environments:
    syntax region Statement matchgroup=Delimiter start="\\begin{.*}" end="\\end{.*}" contains=Statement
    "   commands:
    syntax region Statement matchgroup=Delimiter start="{" end="}" contains=Statement

autocmd BufRead,BufNewFile *.md setfiletype markdown
autocmd FileType markdown :call <SID>MDSettings()

That gives me “good enough” (with some quirks) highlighting without trying to interpret TeX stuff as Markdown, and shortcuts for calling pandoc and evince. Improvements appreciated!

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Relapsed again

It seemed too good to be true after my last post, and it was.  Within days I had relapsed after finishing the last course of Bactrim my symptoms were back, worse than ever.  So bad, that I had a trip to hospital courtesy of an ambulance which had to be called because I was in so much pain.  Oh sweet, sweet morphine, you are a cruel mistress.

The Bactrim was only holding the Bartonella at bay, it seems. My LLMD has now put me on a month’s worth of Ciprofloxacin, after verifying that a sore tendon was not too damaged.  Why do that?  Well, Cipro screws up tendons and ligaments if you take it too long so I had to verify that things were OK to start with.  I also have to take it easy and not exert myself too much in case I damage weakened tendons.

The one piece of good news is that a recent endoscopy showed no fungal infection from all the antibiotics I’ve been taking.  Unfortunately an echo test on my heart still shows a lot of fluid in the pericardial sac and I still have a huge amount of pain there which keeps me awake at night.

Because of all this, I am sad to be missing a work function in Austin this week, but it would have been foolish to travel with the tendon risk (moving my luggage would be a problem), my high levels of fatigue, and not to mention the pericardial fluid can become life-threatening at any time.

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My Road Through Hell



I’ve now been on treatment for Lyme disease for a little over twelve months.  Without a doubt, this has been the worst twelve months of my entire life.  It’s almost impossible to convey the range of pain that I have endured, the mental anguish, and the struggle to find the will to live.

Six months ago I was about at rock bottom.  I was going trough herxes from hell, suffering from heart complications including cardiac pauses (my heart would stop for several seconds at a time), and headaches that felt like someone was driving a pick axe into my skull. Then there was the brain fog; the confusion and memory loss that left me feeling stupid and helpless in front of people who just didn’t understand how I could not remember simple things I had talked about with them only a few hours ago.

On top of that, I had extreme fatigue that left me unable to climb the stairs at home without stopping every few steps to get my strength back in my legs.  Many of my days have been spent as a quivering mess on the floor, unable to speak, move or do anything because I was in so much pain and close to passing out.

In short, I was pretty fucked and thought I was about to die at any time.

Then I discovered an antibiotic that was actually making a difference to my heart symptoms—it’s called Bactrim (or Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole to give it its full name).  I started taking it in late December and two weeks later I was heart symptom free!  The course of drugs then ran out (I had 4 weeks’ worth) and ten days later I had relapsed and was getting chest pains and palpitations again.  I started another month’s course and felt better again after a couple of weeks, so it was clear that this drug was doing something to help me with my Bartonella infection.

It struck me that I have been so ill for a long time that I hadn’t really noticed that I was slowly getting better lately.  At least I hope I am getting better — I’m now at a “wait and see” stage after having stopped the Bactrim for a second time and hoping to hell that I don’t have another relapse.  I’m probably about 50% better than I was a year ago, I now have to wait for the last remnants of the Lyme and Bartonella bacteria to be driven out of my system.

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David Murphy (schwuk)

Although I still use my desktop replacement (i.e., little-to-no battery life) for a good chunk of my work, recent additions to my setup have resulted in some improvements that I thought others might be interested in.

For Christmas just gone my wonderful wife Suzanne – and my equally wonderful children, but let’s face it was her money not theirs! – bought me a HP Chromebook 14. Since the Chromebooks were first announced, I was dismissive of them, thinking that at best they would be a cheap laptop to install Ubuntu on. However over the last year my attitudes had changed, and I came to realise that at least 70% of my time is spent in some browser or other, and of the other 30% most is spent in a terminal or Sublime Text. This realisation, combined with the improvements Intel Haswell brought to battery life made me reconsider my position and start seriously looking at a Chromebook as a 2nd machine for the couch/coffee shop/travel.

I initially focussed on the HP Chromebook 11 and while the ARM architecture didn’t put me off, the 2GB RAM did. When I found the Chromebook 14 with a larger screen, 4GB RAM and Haswell chipset, I dropped enough subtle hints and Suzanne got the message. :-)

So Christmas Day came and I finally got my hands on it! First impressions were very favourable: this neither looks nor feels like a £249 device. ChromeOS was exactly what I was expecting, and generally gets out of my way. The keyboard is superb, and I would compare it in quality to that of my late MacBook Pro. Battery life is equally superb, and I’m easily getting 8+ hours at a time.

Chrome – and ChromeOS – is not without limitations though, and although a new breed of in-browser environments such as Codebox, Koding,, and Cloud9 are giving more options for developers, what I really want is a terminal. Enter Secure Shell from Google – SSH in your browser (with public key authentication). This lets me connect to any box of my choosing, and although I could have just connected back to my desk-bound laptop, I would still be limited to my barely-deserves-the-name-broadband ADSL connection.

So, with my Chromebook and SSH client in place, DigitalOcean was my next port of call, using their painless web interface to create an Ubuntu-based droplet. Command Line Interfaces are incredibly powerful, and despite claims to the contrary most developers spending most of their time with them1. There are a plethora of tools to improve your productivity, and my three must-haves are:

With this droplet I can do pretty much anything I need that ChromeOS doesn’t provide, and connect through to the many other droplets, linodes, EC2 nodes, OpenStack nodes and other servers I use personally and professionally.

In some other posts I’ll expand on how I use (and – equally importantly – how I secure) my DigitalOcean droplets, and which “apps” I use with Chrome.

  1. The fact that I now spend most of my time in the browser and not on the command-line shows you that I’ve settled into my role as an engineering manager! :-) 

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Just started a new antibiotic called rifampicin. Getting an immediate and very powerful herx from it. Looking forward to another two week headache… :-/

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Just started a new antibiotic called rifampicin. Getting an immediate and very powerful herx from it. Looking forward to another two week headache… :-/

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The daily grind


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I’ve been experiencing bad headaches all week and today’s is awful.  I don’t know if it’s the drugs starting to work and causing a herx or if I just have a headache from the disease. 400mg of Ibuprofen 2.5 hours ago hasn’t helped much :(

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Living with Lyme

Slow killer.

Slow killer.

I am writing this blog post because I want to raise awareness of an increasingly common condition across the world.  This is my history leading up to my recent discovery.

After many years of thinking something was wrong with me and not knowing whether I was crazy or just imagining things, I was recently diagnosed with Lyme Disease.  It is a horrible disease with myriad symptoms (I have about 90% of those listed) that are easily misdiagnosed by doctors.  The disease is caused by a bacteria called Borrelia and is transmitted through tick bites.  Not everyone realises that they’ve had a tick bite and certainly I don’t remember one.

It started with chest pains

I originally visited a doctor a couple of years ago because I was getting a lot of chest pain.  After a short time using a portable ECG monitor he diagnosed me with Atrial Ectopic Beats, a supposedly harmless but sometimes debilitating condition, and I certainly felt debilitated every time my heart started palpitating.  His diagnosis led him to prescribe beta-blockers to help prevent the extra beats that were occurring in my heart.  Needless to say, it didn’t really help me and left me feeling generally worse as my heart was now unable to pump blood at any rate required above doing minimal exercise.  I took myself off these because I felt that I’d rather deal with the occasional chest pain than feel awful 24 hours a day.

The first discovery – pericarditis

Over the next year the condition sporadically got worse and I started getting really sharp pains in my chest.  After a few trips to hospital in the back of an ambulance I was fortunate enough to find a cardiologist who was prepared to do some more investigations rather than brushing things under the rug.  He scheduled me for a Stress Echocardiogram which basically entails ultrasound imaging of your heart before and after running on a treadmill while hooked up to an ECG print.  The upshot of this exam was that my heart was fine, but I was now diagnosed with a new condition called pericarditis.

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium – the sac that surrounds your heart – and is responsible for causing the palpitations.  I had about 7mm of fluid trapped between my heart and my pericardium.  My initial reaction to this was one of relief.  ”Great!” I thought, now we can treat it.  I was prescribed a course of a medicine called colchicine.  It is usually used to treat gout, but is also known to specifically treat pericarditis quite effectively.

Treatment, but still getting worse

One month after starting to take the colchicine I felt no difference in my symptoms at all.  This left me feeling a little depressed, especially since I’ve been experiencing increasing symptoms and took myself to hospital yet again as I was worried about having a cardiac tamponade, which is fatal if not treated quickly.  I went back to the cardiologist to see what else I could do.  He prescribed me some powerful steroids – immuno-suppressants – the intention being to stop my body from reacting to whatever it disliked that was causing the inflammation around my heart.

At this point I was at rock bottom – the idea of being on steroids to control the condition filled me with dread.  I have previously taken topical steroids for skin conditions and I am all too aware of their nasty side effects.  So, I made a decision to start being more proactive in helping myself and set out to learn more about this condition called pericarditis.

The second discovery

After a bit of Googling I found this pericarditis support group. It was quite reassuring to find a bunch of other people who were going through the same thing as me, although still fairly depressing that many people were either stuck on steroids or just learning to live with the pain.  Eventually I came across this post entitled “Lyme Disease Checklist” – I had never heard of this Lyme thing before so I clicked through and started reading.

What I read in that post has been life-changing.

It was immediately apparent to me that I ticked nearly all of the boxes on the checklist.  It made me realise that things that had been niggling me in the back of my head were actually real and that this could finally be an underlying cause for all of my symptoms.  These are symptoms that are going back for some years now – I had thought that perhaps I was just getting old and some mental faculties were waning as my short-term memory and concentration levels had been bad and getting worse, and suffering from severe fatigue and getting joint pains.  It turns out I can blame it all on Lyme Disease.

Finding a doctor

At this point I realised that my cardiologist was not going to be able to help with this, so I set out to find someone who could.  The support group postings had been very clear about one thing: finding a doctor is not easy.  It seems as though there ‘s a lot of controversy about Lyme and finding a Lyme literate doctor is essential.  This appears to be particularly hard here in Australia as there’s severe resistance to belief that it can be caught here (I caught mine elsewhere though) as it is seen as a northern hemisphere problem.  I discovered the Lyme Disease Association of Australia who put me on to a doctor 2 hours north of Brisbane called Andrew Ladhams.  I drove up to see him for an initial consultation and he recommended that I send some blood to a lab in California that specialises in diagnosing Lyme disease.  I got the results 3 weeks later and they were inconclusive, showing some positive and some indicative test bands.  However since the test is notoriously unreliable the recommendation is that the test is used in conjunction with a medical diagnosis.  Dr Ladhams decided that I should begin a course of treatment of antimalarial and antibiotics.

He also said that based on the test results, it’s possible that the strain of Borrelia I have could be from South East Asia.  I have not been there since the year 2002.  That means I’ve had this disease for over 10 years.

Antibiotics work by attacking bacteria when they are weakest – at the point they divide.  Most bacteria divides every few minutes, but the Borrelia bacteria divides every 12-24 hours.  This means that treatment has to take much longer than a regular course, probably 6-12 months.

I am now two weeks into my treatment.  I am ramping up the antimalarial before starting on the antibiotics.  I am hopeful that I’ll start feeling better in a few weeks, however it remains to be seen whether I will regain all my faculties as permanent damage could have occurred, particularly in my joints.

I will keep blogging about this disease as my treatment progresses, and if anyone reading this has any doubts about their own symptoms I urge you to visit a Lyme literate doctor.  If I make even one person aware and help them out as a result of this blog, I’ll be happy.

Wish me luck!

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Ich habe gerade Gestatten, Elite zu Ende gelesen (ging schnell, hab erst gestern angefangen). War im Grunde genommen nichts wirklich Neues, was man nicht irgendwie schon gewusst oder geahnt hätte. Aber die gut recherchierte und bewiesene Vehemenz, mit der sich die Oberschicht abschottet und sich selbst als eine Art neuer Adel erhält und das vielbeschworene Leistungsprinzip untergräbt war dann doch schon recht schockierend für mich.

Eine der “Elite”-Schulen die dort unter die Lupe genommen wird — Schloss Neubeuern — haben wir auf unserer Sommerradtour gesehen. Ich war schon beeindruckt von dem Haus, und damals habe ich auch gedacht “Mensch, auf so einer Schule hätte ich mich vielleicht wohlgefühlt”. Aber nach dieser Lektüre bin ich heilfroh dass es mich da nicht hinverschlagen hat.

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A little more than a year ago I started working for Canonical full time on the Windows port of Ubuntu One. One of the great things of working for Canonical is that you work at home, that is, you do not have to move to the USA or the UK to do the job you love, but don’t get confused, working at home does has its downs and here are a list of some them.

Social interaction

Most of us, geeks, most of the time we do not require as much social interaction as the ‘normal’ people. This does not mean we are less social, but due to the nature of our work we need to concentrate for long periods of time to be able to solve complicated problem which might involve thousands of lines of code, in this situation having a colleague popping in your cubicle asking if you wanna have a coffee is less than ideal. When working at home you do not have this type of social interactions which at the very begging seems to be a very convenient thing, unfortunately it is not like that.

As Aristotle said:

He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.

The above is something certainly important to remember. No matter how much we believe that we do not need social contact, at the end of the day, it is needed because it is an intrinsic part of our being. We need human contact and no type of online interaction will be ever be able to replace a face to face interaction between two people.

I you do work at home make sure you get such interaction, and not only with your wife or girlfriend. I have learned this the hard way, I believe that this happened because during a period or time I became a monster that did not need any type of social interaction which is something I terribly regret and I have strongly tried to solve. The following are somethings I have decided to do:

  • I’m not literally working at home anymore. I’m looking for a shared office space so that I have to leave the house. As soon as I have found a place I will only be using the IPad at home, any other machine will be forbidden.
  • For a time I was going less and less to the rugby trainings, this will change as soon as the season starts.
  • As with rugby, I stopped going to the gym, this will stop.
  • I’ll force myself to go out at least once a week (although I have to admit that after this I have been going out a lot more)

Working hours

Before I started working for Canonical I worked at GDF (Electrabel to be more precise) dealing with issues between the interaction of an ASP.Net front end and a Java backend. There is no need to say that I hated the job. While I worked there I would never to an extra hour, I’d arrive at 9 and will leave at 6 without giving a damm if anyone needed me to stay an extra hour. I did this because during my free hours I wanted to work on applicatios to be used on Ubuntu and I had no passion for my everyday job.

Now this has changed, and my everyday job is my passion. This is great but it has become a small problem regarding the working hours, I do to many. I seem not to be able to stop and that is no good. I have started to be more strict with the working hours so that I do not work more than 9/10 hours (I don’t like to count reading emails and bug reports as work).


This are the problems that trouble me, which are yours? Nevertheless the oatmeal is bloody right.

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Wir sind wieder da, und diesmal sogar völlig ohne menschliche oder radtechnische Schäden! Im letzten Jahr ging unsere Radtour an der Donau entlang von Passau nach Wien, was eher gemütlich war. Diesmal hat es uns an den Inn verschlagen, wo wir die Kultur vom letzten Jahr eingetauscht haben gegen das Hochkeuchen und Runterrasen eines alpin geprägten Berg-Wegprofils.

Das war unsere erste Radtour mit “richtigen” Bergen, wo man auch schon mal 200 Höhenmeter in der Stunde hoch und wieder runter schafft. Mit unseren Tourenrädern und viel Gepäck (Zeltausruestung) mussten wir auch stellenweise schieben, aber so oder so fand ich es eine gute sportliche Herausforderung. Und der fantastische Blick ins Tal mit den Bergen drumherum entschädigt auf jeden Fall für die Mühe!

Der Inn fliesst aus dem Lej da San Murezzan

Blick hinauf nach Guarda

Blick hinauf nach Guarda

Der alpine Teil startete in St. Moritz in der Schweiz, wo der Inn aus dem See “Lej da San Murezzan” quasi entspringt (die eigentliche Quelle ist noch höher in Majola, aber da mit dem Zug/Bus hinzukommen war dann zu anstrengend). Der Inn führte uns dann über Zernez, Scuol, Pfunds (dann schon in Österreich), Landeck, Imst, Innsbruck zunächst bis Kufstein.

Dort, an der österreich-deutschen Grenze, hörten dann auch die Alpen fast schlagartig auf, und von da an ging es dann eher gemächlich fast ohne größere Steigungen weiter über Rosenheim, Altötting, Braunau, und Bad Füssing bis nach Passau, wo der Inn dann in die Donau fließt. Wir sind bis zum “bitteren Ende” gefahren zum Dreiflüsse-Eck:

Inn-Brücke in Passau

Dreiflüsse-Eck in Passau

Zwischendurch gab es auch noch ein paar Höhepunkte:

In Imst sind wir mit dem “Alpine Coaster” 3,5 km den Berg heruntergedonnert, eine Art Sommerrodelbahn im Achterbahnformat. Den wollten wir ja schon vor ein paar Wochen bei unserer Klettersteig-Tour ausprobieren, aber leider brauchte der Auf- und Abstieg viel mehr Zeit als geplant, so dass Bergbahn und Coaster schon geschlossen hatten. Auch diesmal taten Wetter und nicht fahrende Busse ihr möglichstes, uns davon abzuhalten, aber diesmal haben wir gewonnen! Hat sich auch wirklich gelohnt.

Kristall-Modell des Lenin-Mausoleums

In Wattens haben wir uns die Glitzerwelt der Swarovski-Kristallwelten angeschaut. Es war im großen und ganzen eher eine Kunst-Ausstellung, ich hatte etwas anderes erwartet, aber der riesige Kristall-Dom (kuriose Akustik da drin!) und die Kristallmodelle berühmter Gebäude waren schon faszinierend.

Auf dem Weg gab es auch noch viele andere Eindrücke, wie das sehr schöne Dorf Neubeuren, das Geburtshaus von Papst Benedikt in Marktl oder das Vogelschutzgebiet Europareservat unterer Inn. Aber die meiste Zeit haben wir dann doch mit Radeln, und nachmittags mit faulenzen und lesen verbracht, so dass es ein wirklich entspannender Urlaub wurde.

Alle Fotos der Tour

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Hardik Dalwadi

First i would like to thanks all UDD attendees & Canonical, Ubuntu Community for making UDD successful event. we had around 350 attendees @ Hotel Leela, Grand Ball Room.

So, let me  share some behind the scene pictures.


This is how we started @ 1:30 PM, 26th Jnauary, 2011


Time to make seprate Ubuntu Cotton bags with T-shirts.

Final Goodies: Notepad, Pens, sticker, Products Sheets, Mavercik T-Shirts and Ubuntu Cotton Bags


Finally three containers with all goodies, according to their t-shirts size @ 2:30 PM, 26th January, 2011

Registration Counter @ 7:00 PM, 26th January, 2011

Agenda @ 9:10 PM, 26th January, 2011

UDD Presentation Hall @ 11:00 PM, 26th January, 2011

UDD Demonstration Room @ 3:00 AM 27 January, 2011

It was very interesting and busy day for all, packing bags to preparing demo room, shaping final presentations. We were very excited to see all Ubuntuers on UDD. And, OMG!!! that dream came true. Here is a picture taken 15 minutes before the UDD started. And, I believe Picture Speaks Louder Then The Words, OMG!!! It is!


Fronte-Right-Corner: A picture taken 15 minutes before the UDD started.


REAR-Right-Corner: A picture taken 15 minutes before the UDD started.


Though,  i was busy @ UDD Demonstration Counter, organized by Canonical and OEMs and LOEMs, showing their devices with Ubuntu, so i would not write much about UDD Presentation, later in this blog i will cover UDD Presentation source and community blog, covering whole UDD Presentation  part.  Again coming back to demo part, We demoed Wipro Machines (Netbook, Notebook, Tablet, Desktops), Lenovo All-In-One M90Z with Ubuntu 10.10, Dell Zino and Dell Latitude Netbook with Ubuntu Light. Most of the attendees were interested in getting list of Machine pre-installed with Ubuntu and available in Indian market. And that was one of the common need of all. And we surprised by seeing huge demand for that. In past, i have covered in my blog with picture of some LOEM brand with Ubuntu showcasing in CROMA. I got huge demand from attendees to generate and promote list of LOEMs and OEMs shipping machines with Pre-installed Ubuntu in Indian Consumer / Retail Market. We are already doing this for enterprise and corporates. I am sure i will cover that list in future blog. We had given 1 hour for UDD Demonstration Counter,  combined with UDD Break in UDD Agenda.  But personally,  i was much more  busy during the day  for demonstration ;) Here are few pictures from Demonstration Counter.

UDD Demonstartion Room @ 1:00 PM, 27th January, 2011

UDD Demonstration Counter @ 3:00 PM, 27th January, 2011

Overall it was amazing event. During the day, i had great meeting with Nigel Babu and Sreekanth. Nigel also covered detailed report of UDD. Sreekanth had given nice demo on preparing and running customized Ubuntu AMI on Amazon EC2 Cloud Services. We had given separate counter for community. Thanks a lot Sreekanth.

Finally, Closing keynote  by Prakash thanking  all UDD attendees and Canonical Employee for making UDD successful. Here is a snip from Nigel’s Blog Post.

Closing keynote by Prakash and Thanks to all UDD attendees and Canonical Employee for making UDD successful.

Though, We have finished the UDD, but still we are hearing from attendees. Personally, i got lot of e-Mails from attendees.  There was common request to do it again. And, of-course i will update you more in future. Here few words from one of e-Mail, i received. Personal thanks to Mr. Girish

Dear Hardik,
It was a great experience at Leela palace in Bangalore on Ubuntu Developer Day.
I had very good opportunity to meet many people to from open source.
Please keep on organising such events in India.

My Canonical colleagues also got the similar kind of e-Mails after UDD. It was great satisfaction for us. Here is few links around the web covering UDD, bit commercially, but that is not offensive :).

To going at more commercial part, there was very nice coverage by Beyond Beat, Evening new paper.

I like the title most, i will close this blog with that one | UBUNTU STORY: STAFF OF TWO, LAKHS OF USERS | Big thanks to strong Ubuntu Community and Canonical. Now? Let’s make it billion….

UDD Coverage by Beyond Beat, Evening New Paper of Bangalore

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Some of you might know that I’m a rugby nutter. I love watching it, playing it, training… this has had the following consequence:


Unfortunately this will slow me down the following 4 weeks which will affect those people that wanted to see the new code coming to Ubuntu One on Windows. Sorry for that, I hope you can understand :)

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Hardik Dalwadi

I have seen lot of buzz around that, registration has been closed for Ubuntu Developer Day, Bangalore, Jan 27, 2011! Yes it’s very true. We are very sorry to say that we have closed registration for Ubuntu Developer Day, Bangalore, Jan 27, 2011, due to being hugely oversubscribed. We did this two days ago, when we were 10 days away from event. It gives me two kind of feeling (:) – :(). But, i believe it has created huge hope and fundamentals for Ubuntu and proved it’s position before the event. This is just beginning….

I am personally sorry for those, who have missed the registration. See you all, who have registered and planned to attend UDD :).

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Dresden hat Netti und mich wieder! Gestern hat der IC uns und unsere Fahrräder komfortabel wieder von Wien nach Dresden gebracht, nach nur etwas mehr als einer Urlaubswoche.

Wir sind am Freitag den 3. September in Passau gestartet, und dann bis Mittwoch entlang der Donau geradelt. Die Nächte haben wir meistens im Zelt verbracht; der schönste Campingplatz war in Sommerau, quasi bei einer Familie im riesigen Garten:

Schlögener Schlinge Campingplatz Sommerau

Am Mittwoch Mittag sind wir nach 340 Fahrradkilometern dann in der Stadt der k.u.k.-Monarchie, Mozart und Sachertorte angekommen, wo wir fortan in einer Pension im Stadtteil Fünfhaus übernachteten. So haben wir dann den Rest der Zeit bis Freitag abend mit viel Kultur verbracht.

Am Mittwoch nachmittag besuchten wir das Hundertwasserhaus und die dazugehörige Ausstellung. An seinen Bildern haben mich vor allem die fantastisch strahlenden und leuchtenden Farben beeindruckt, dafür hatte Hundertwasser ein göttliches Talent. Sein oft naiver und verspielter, manchmal auch sehr verworrener Malstil ist für mich als Kunstbanausen nicht immer einfach zu interpretieren oder auch nur zu erkennen, aber beeindruckt haben sie mich allemal. Dafür waren die Gaumenfreuden in dem Cafe-Haus am Abend dann umso konkreter – die Wiener Küche und vor allem die süßen und leckeren Nachtische sind einfach Weltklasse!

Der Hofburg und der Innenstadt haben wir den Donnerstag gewidmet, wir haben an diesem Tag die Vorführung der Spanischen Reitschule und dann noch eine Menge Museen geschafft: Schatzkammer, Schmetterlingshaus, Nationalbibliothek, Esperanto- und Globen-Museum, und zu guter Letzt noch den Stephansdom.

Hofburg Schmetterlinge

Nationalbibliothek Stephansdom

Nach einem reichhaltigen Dinner im Restaurant Gutenberg hatten sich unsere Füße erstmal genug erholt, und wir haben uns für die Nacht in Richtung Prater aufgemacht, Wien’s riesigem Vergnügungspark. Auf dem berühmten Riesenrad hat man eine fantastische Sicht über das nächtliche Wien, und konnte sich auch schon mal die teils lustigen, teils wirklich haarsträubenden Attraktionen des Praters anschauen. Wir haben uns auf die beiden Rafting-Bahnen und eine Achterbahn gewagt, und sind zwischendurch noch in ein lustiges Spiegel/Wackelraum/Labyrinth-Kabinett gegangen und haben uns im Bogen- und Luftgewehrschießen geübt.

Prater Prater

Am Donnerstag war dann das Schloss Schönbrunn an der Reihe, der Sitz der k.u.k-Monarchen. Das Schloß selbst ist natürlich schon sehr beeindruckend, bei dem Rundgang haben wir sehr viel über die Geschichte von Franz Josef, Maria Theresia, und der anderen Habsburger erfahren, und einen Eindruck von deren Lebensstil bekommen. Aber auch drumherum gab es viel zu entdecken, im Schloßgelände gibt es einen Irrgarten, einen Zoo, und natürlich auch die Hofbäckerei, wo wir in die Geheimnisse des Wiener Apfelstrudels eingeweiht wurden.


Für Interessierte habe ich die komplette Foto-Galerie hochgeladen.

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Vor etwa einem Jahr war ich auf meiner ersten Klettersteigtour auf dem Innsbrucker Klettersteig, was mich damals schon recht beeindruckt hat. Dieses Jahr haben wir, d. h. mein Vater, mein Schwager, und ich, die Schwierigkeit um ein oder zwei Stufen erhöht, und sind letzten Samstag auf den Elferkofel geklettert.

Die Tour begann an der Seilbahn-Bergstation in Neustift, wo wir zunächst ein mal eine Handvoll Paraglider-Fans beim konzentrierten Entfitzen und Sortieren der Schnüre und Planen beobachteten. Diesen bunten Schirmen sahen wir tagsüber so ziemlich überall, es muss dort eine prima Thermik herrschen.

Am Anfang stand erst einmal ein etwa 80minütiger strammer Aufstieg, so dass wir beim Beginn der Kletterfelsen schon ganz gut durchgewärmt waren. Wir begannen schon so zeitig wie möglich – die Seilbahn öffnet um 8:30 Uhr – aber die Vorhersagen für den bisher wärmsten Tag des Jahres (bis 38 Grad in München) waren nicht übertrieben, und selbst in so großer Höhe war es noch sehr gut warm.

Dann standen wir vor einer fast senkrechten Wand, wo der Kletterspaß begann. Nun standen etwa vier Stunden Felsen, Seile, Haken, und Ösen vor uns, mit einigen Schwierigkeiten meisterten wir sie alle. Zum Glück waren nicht allzu viele Leute unterwegs, so dass wir uns Zeit lassen konnten. Insbesondere manche Abstiege hatten es ganz schön in sich, ich sympathisiere mit jeder Katze im Baum! Die Aussicht dabei war wieder mal gigantisch: Bizarre Felsen, die manchmal wie willkürlich übereinandergestapelt aussahen und manchmal durch Abstürze in tiefere Felsspalten eingeklemmt waren, und dazwischen vertikale Steilwände. All das umgeben von einem herrlichen Alpen-Gebirgspanorama. Siehe Fotos, Bilder sagen mehr als tausend Worte.

Am Schluss der Elferspitze und des Elferkofels liefen wir dann wieder per pedes den Abstieg zurück zur Seilbahn, wo wir dann gut durchgeschwitzt und fußmüde ankamen. Ach ja, ein Eis und einen kühlen Saft gab es zwischendurch noch auf der Hütte. :-)

Ich freue mich schon auf nächstes Jahr!

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Viva Bavaria!

Netti WG-Zimmer

“Grüß Gott!” zusammen aus dem Land südlich des Weißwurstäquators! Auch wenn ich selbige Würste bisher noch nicht verkosten konnte, steht dies ganz oben auf dem Programm!

Ich bin am Samstag gut in München angekommen, wo mich Netti gleich am Hauptbahnhof abgeholt hat. Da wir nun schon mal im Zentrum waren, haben wir die Zeit auch gleich für einen Spaziergang über den Viktualienmarkt und dann für eine Stunde Stadtrundfahrt genutzt, um schon mal einen Überblick zu bekommen. Das richtige bajuvarische Lebensgefühl stellte sich dann im Englischen Garten ein, der bei diesem tollen Sommerwetter natürlich gut gefüllt war. Insbesondere natürlich der Biergarten, mit stimmungsvoller Musik, vielen “Moaß”, und Brezeln die gefühlte 10 Kilo schwer sind (wir haben uns allerdings mit einem Krautsalat und Eis begnügt :-) ).

Nettis WG-Zimmer ist klein aber fein; meine Luftmatratze passt auch perfekt zwischen Bett und Kommode, und sonst ist mittlerweile auch alles drin was rein soll. Dafür ist bei 8 Frauen im Haus auch immer was los! Und es ist richtig schön gelegen, viel Grün in der Nähe in dem man herrlich spazieren und auch laufen gehen kann (Das hab ich heute morgen gleich mal ausprobiert. Wenn man schon mal auf Taekwondo verzichten muss..)

Gestern am Sonntag war es dann so richtig tolles Sommerwetter. Der erste Tag im T-Shirt und Sandalen, juchuu! Wir haben den Zoo besucht, und danach die Auer Dult, ein süßer und gut besuchter Markt mit Volksfest (siehe Fotos).

Zoo Muenchen - Elefant

Ab heute geht es dann wieder etwas mehr seinen gewohnten Gang. Ich habe mir in Nettis Zimmer mein Büro eingerichtet (aka den Laptop aufgeklappt) und bin fleissig dabei, Ubuntu 10.04 den letzten Schliff zu verleihen, bevor es dann am Donnerstag vom Stapel läuft.

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Es ist mal wieder diese Zeit im Jahr – und diesmal ist es gleich die Grosse Drei-Null, die mich gestern heimsuchte!

Netti hat mir einen gaaanz tollen und leckeren Schokokuchen gebacken, mit weissen Schokoladenplätzchen mit einem Kinderfoto von mir drauf. Über die philosophischen Konsequenzen, seine eigene Jugend aufzuessen, muss ich mir noch tiefere Gedanken machen, zunächst hab ich mir es erstmal schmecken lassen.

Der gestrige Tag ist auch eine gute Gelegenheit für einen Rückblick. In den vergangenen zehn Jahren ist ja doch einiges passiert, einige Höhepunkte die mir einfallen:

  • 2001 hab ich die Frau meines Lebens getroffen. Danke Netti! Ich liebe Dich!
  • 2004 schloss ich mein Informatikstudium mit einem tollen Diplom ab. Ich lernte viele interessante Leute, neue Tätigkeiten, und neues Wissen kennen.
  • Ebenfalls 2004 bekam ich meinen ersten “richtigen” (Vollzeit-)Job bei Canonical, um aus meinem langjährigen Hobby einen Beruf zu machen. Go, Ubuntu, go!
  • 2005 war ich das erste (und bisher einzige) Mal in meinem Leben auf der anderen Seite des Planeten in Sydney, Australien.
  • 2006 habe ich meine erste Taekwondo-Gürtelprüfung bestanden (8. Kup, gelb)
  • 2007 schließlich heiratete ich meine Traumfrau. Danke, Netti!
  • 2009 meine erste Klettersteig-Tour.

Mal sehen, was das nächste Jahrzehnt so bringt. Kinder? Umzug in eine andere Stadt wenn Netti nächstes Jahr mit dem Studium fertig wird? Reicht es noch zum Taekwondo-Meister? Die Zukunft bleibt spannend, und ich freue mich darauf!

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Ich wünsche allen ein gutes, gesundes und erfolgreiches Jahr 2010!

Wir haben gestern mit ein paar Freunden gefeiert. Das neue Jahr haben wir gleich angemessen mit Wunderkerzen begrüßt:


(Klick auf Bild für größeres Format)

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