Video: Nicholas Negroponte on The Colbert Report

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I've been watching The Colbert Report since episode one from five years ago... and I see sites like crooksandliars posting videos from TCR and The Daily Show all the time... so I assume it is ok to post... but if someone from Viacom says otherwise, I'll gladly take it down.

Anyway, Nicholas Negroponte was a guest and although there isn't much real content for us Linux / OLPC knowledgeable folks, it is still fun to watch. Embedded is the webm version.

If inline playback isn't available, feel free to download the Ogg Theora flavor.

New Tee-Shirts for LUG Members?

Design 1Design 1It has been a while since we released any new "Cool Gear". I decided to work with some images from one of my favorite Flash animation videos. If you have ever been to a BozemanLUG or a BillingsLUG meeting in the past 5 years, you'll probably be familiar with it since we often play it at meetings: Switch to Linux.

A Little History

I'm not exactly sure when Chris Hill first created ubergeek.tv but he posted the "Switch to Linux" video in 2003. What is this switch to Linux stuff? Well, at the time Apple was running a bunch of "Switcher" ads. Of course Apple was doing back then what they do today with iPhone and iPod ads... they spend tens of millions of dollars for media buys and run their ads over and over until you just want to scream. Thank goodness for TiVo and other DVRs that let you skip the commercials! I believe if we did the same with Linux oriented stuff, we'd get just as much market saturation as Apple is, but that's another topic.

Anyway, Chris created the "Switch to Linux" video as a sort of parody of the Apple Switcher ads. Of course, since that was 7 or more years ago, the young folks of today have no idea what it's about. Chris has a number of entertaining creations at his website so be sure to check them out if you haven't already.

Design 2Design 2Chris Said Yes

I emailed Chris Hill and asked him if he would consider allowing me to use images from his flash animation for some tee-shirts for our LUGs. He agreed and said I didn't even need to include a blurb giving him credit... although now that I think about it, I should add it anyway. I'm attaching the images to this post for anyone who wants to alter them.

How They Were Made

Basically, I was on a computer with a fairly high resolution (1680x1050) and I had my browser window maximized. Then I used ksnapshot to take some screenshots while the video was playing. Then I cropped the images and did some cleanup and combining of multiple images (for those images that pan across the screen during the video) with GIMP. Then I imported the images into Inkscape (v 0.48 which includes the ability to embed the bitmaps) and did some additional editing until I had the final result... which I saved as both an .svg file and a .png file.

I tried using the "Path -> Trace Bitmap..." feature in Inkscape but decided that I liked the bitmaps better than the vector traces. One thing I don't like about bitmap traces in Inkscape is that they end up being a group of layered objects, each a different color. They look fairly good but I have yet to figure out a way to merge the layers together and sometimes I accidentally ungroup the object which tends to make a mess.

Get Some!

Anyone who has the desire can take the images that are attached and use them, or capture their own... and then make their own tee-shirts, etc. Or if you don't want to put in any effort and just want to order a tee-shirt, you can do so here:
http://www.cafepress.com/kidtrans/2122498.

MontanaLinux Remix Update

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Since the Fedora Remix build process on Fedora 13 broke some time ago after some package upgrades and they were dragging their feet about fixing it, I switched to Fedora 14 devel for my MontanaLinux Remix effort. It sure is fun. Luckily the RPM Fusion folks have devel packages for Fedora 14 so I'm not missing anything.

The only problem I've run into is with adding the Google Chrome Browser to my package set. For some reason, if I install Google Chrome as part of the build, I run into a issue with a failure to umount a loopback interface that causes the building of the iso to fail. Removing Google Chrome from the package list makes the issue go away. I guess that's actually a good thing because I'm not sure how Google would feel with me pre-installing their browser and distributing it. If I had picked Chromium, I'm sure there wouldn't be a distribution issue.

Anyway, the switch to Fedora 14 devel seems to have worked out quite well and it is actually in pretty good shape. There is one minor bug that I find annoying and hope they get fixed before the final release. Also the devel kernel has a lot of debugging options turned on that makes it a bit slower than usual, and I do have an occasional issue with sound after resuming from sleep on my Acer netbook... but I'm guessing that will get fixed in the release kernel. The switch has gotten me more involved with testing and reporting bugs and that is good.

If anyone wants to give it a try, email me and I'll give you a URL to download the .iso. 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available.


BozemanLUG: Looking to the Future

So many situations theses days remind me of a passage from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.

It was the best of times,
it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom,
it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief,
it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of Light,
it was the season of Darkness,
it was the spring of hope,
it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way— in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Such is it with Linux and the BozemanLUG.


Why is Red Hat promoting Flash video content?

One thing I find annoying is that all of the videos from the KVM Forum 2010 event have been posted to Vimeo... and seem only available in streaming Flash format.

This leads me to wonder if they are intentionally keeping people from downloading these videos and remixing them? If so, that is really strange because they typically use a Creative Commons license for most of their media. Why don't they use archive.org or some other service that offers in multiple formats with download capabilities? Why are they promoting Flash?

I assume it is someone from Red Hat on behalf of the company because the name of the account posting the videos is Red Hat Video and they are using the Red Hat logo.

I do want to thank the person(s) who took the time to record the videos and processed them so that they could be shared online... I'd just like to see them more freely available.


Video: A Digital Media Primer for Geeks

I'm not going to say I understood everything in this video the first time through but it did explain a lot of the terms I've run across so for that I'm thankful. I'm embedding the WebM video which can only be played inline by newer releases of Google Chrome and Opera. Firefox adds WebM support in the upcoming Firefox 4 release.

If inline playback isn't available, feel free to download the webm file or visit the video's home for more sizes and formats.

Video: Jon Corbet - The Kernel Report

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You should know Jon Corbet from Linux Weekly News but he is also well known for his periodic Kernel Report presentations. Here is the most recent one from LinuxCon 2010.

If your browser can't play Ogg Theora video, here's a download link:
http://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/linuxfoundation/linuxcon2010/d3/ogg/p5_corbet.ogg

For some reason the extension given is .ogg when .ogv would be better. Need a player? Try VLC.

Video: Your Desktop is Free but Where's Your Data?

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This is from LinuxCon 2010 from August 10-12, in Boston. Stormy Peters from the GNOME Foundation talks about the various non-free web services so many of us use and how that might be a bad thing. This seems to be a reoccurring theme lately eh? That's because there is something to it.

If your browser can't play Ogg Theora video, here's a download link:
http://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/linuxfoundation/linuxcon2010/d3/ogg/p1_peters.ogg

For some reason the extension given is .ogg when .ogv would be better. Need a player? Try VLC.

MontanaLinux Remix: The Bug Fairy Pays a Visit

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I've been building a Fedora Remix for some time now. If I remember correctly I started around Fedora 9 and have continued to build them with each new release. I'm on Fedora 13 now. I usually rebuild the remix every time a new set of updates comes out. So far I had rebuilt the i686 and the x86_64 remix 46 times each... and then someone reported some problems with the last couple of builds. I didn't notice because I had been on vacation and was doing the rebuilds remotely without testing the final product. I figured if it built ok, it was probably ok... because I hadn't previously had any problems with any builds.


My Linux Experience

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In the vein of recent posts, I thought I might take a second to explain how I came to use Ubuntu. My first Linux experience was with Red Hat 5 or 6 I believe. I got CD out of the back of one of those Teach your Linux books. I was probably 16 at the time, and I knew a fair bit about computers but nothing serious. But I could whip up a little Turbo Pascal and QBasic :) Anyhow, I was of the mindset that "Hacking" was cool, and Linux popped up a lot in 2600 and Phrack magazines. I remember it took me the better part of a whole weekend to install it to the point where I could finally bring up an X server with the tiled background and big black X. Getting it to use the dial up modem and connect to my ISP took several more hours. I played around with it for about a week I think, concluding "this is neat, but I'm not really sure what to do with it."