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An open source conference where almost no one knows Ubuntu

Must admit it's kind of a refreshing change. I'm attending the Austin Moodle Moot right next door to Dell's headquarters this week. I signed up on my own but at the last minute got approval to take conference leave. I would have taken the time off and attended anyways as it's that important an opportunity for me. It's been way too long since I've been able to interact with real learning folks and even longer since I've been able to think about solving these very real problems in education. It feels good, very good to see a vibrant open source solution meeting the needs of end users.

Too bad there is no official Ubuntu presence here. You see I've long felt that open source enthusiasts have spent far too much time 'talking to themselves' instead of reaching out to audiences like this one. Ubuntu is well known by the Sys Admins and solution provider companies here but not so much by teachers, educators, even Dell who is here preaching that "Dell is fully committed to open source solutions." Wow, great to hear but when asked if that extended to the desktop and end users not just the server room, well, not so much.

To be honest, the end users here are less concerned about the solution being 'open source' but that they have found a better solution to solve their problems. This is a great opportunity for Ubuntu. The sys admins here already know that open source is better. The ones I've met are already using Debian and some RHEL under an academic license; they are ready to move to Ubuntu. I asked them what would it take for them to migrate. Some, not much; their RHEL licenses are expiring soon, others just some training wheels, a chance to play with Ubuntu - Show me the way they tell me. We need to be talking to them more.

Tomorrow Martin Dougiamas, the project founder gives us a preview of future of Moodle. And Dell will demo its full Cloud solution stack for education; built on Ubuntu!!! Dell promises more big announcements in the next day or two for education; should be interesting.
ubu eye

recent ubuntu encounters. . .

Past month or so has been ripe with various ubuntu encounters. The first in Cancun while making reservations for the Mayan Adventure zip lining, rapelling jungle tour thing. The guy say my Ubuntu backpack and started telling me how his brother uses Ubuntu. schweet.

Then last week one of the contractors I had out to give me some estimates on hurricane damage repairs (yes, it's still going on!) started asking what I did and when I told him I worked for an Open Source company he said, "yeah, like Ubuntu - I use that on my computers!" He got the job.

Then a few days ago at lunch a guy came up to us and commented on my Ubuntu shirt. Turns out he's a big open source fan and the perfect target for what we are trying to do get out the message that "UBUNTU SERVER IS ENTERPRISE READY!" Yeah, he loved Ubuntu on the desktop but at work he used "other" OSes to run his servers. Since we were right in the middle of our new server course pilot, we had to figure out what we could tell him to change his mind.

So, if you have it, show off your Ubuntu gear and get folks talking! or go to the Shop and buy you some new swag. . .or come help out the community and you just might be rewarded with some Ubuntu goodies along the way.
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Ubuntu Desktop Course Materials Updated!

We quietly released the updated Ubuntu Desktop Course materials a few weeks ago. But now we're ready to publicly announce the materials are ready for your use and translations!

The Romanian team already has a translated version and I know the Russians are right behind them. There have been inquiries from several Spanish speakers, an educator in Sweden and others wanting to work on translation efforts. I invite you all to gather in #ubuntu-training to try to coordinate your efforts.

Here's the branch where the source files can be found:


Happy learning!
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major dell fail. . .

I just found out the order I placed for the Dell mini 9s on Dec. 4 was inexplicably cancelled by Dell and then re-ordered by Dell today with a new ship date of Jan. 7. Well, that's too late, way too late. So now I'm canceling all my Dell orders - I had 4 minis in total on order- and going with some of the Acer Aspire Ones from my Holiday Store:

There a Sylvania Ubuntu netbook on amazon but I've never heard of it so I'm passing on those. It's all probably for the best as the first Dell Mini 9 I have in hand has a dead screen after only two weeks. Plus, the Acers have better specs and overall prices but alas only available with XP. Two ordered, two to go. I may go to Frys in the morning to see what they have in stock or maybe even Best Buy. I really hate shopping, shopping during the holidays is even worse -r.

If you have any other recommendations on last minute Netbook options, send em my way.
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ubu eye

Dell Mini 9 Fail

The less than two week old Dell Mini 9 has failed. Power button lights up but a completely dark screen. This is a bad sign. I just ordered 4 more of these things for gifts. So tomorrow morning, I start the wonderful world of Dell tech support calls - oh joy. Will report back on that process as it proceeds.
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I like it! I really like it!

Disclaimer: I work for Canonical. This post reflects only my personal opinion, not my employers, friends anyone who ever knew/knows me.

When I started my new job with the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu Linux project I forced myself to pretty much go cold turkey on my other OS. I mean after using primarily one OS since 1985 (yeah, the one that appeared in 1984) I knew the day had finally come to embrace all things Open Source and especially Ubuntu.

And so almost exactly one month ago (Sept. 8) I went cold turkey over to Ubuntu only. And guess what? I like it, I REALLY like it! Now you skeptics are saying, well yeah, that's just b/c you've been involved in the project 4evar and now your hobby is helping to pay the bills but you have no idea how hard this was for me to make the final (well almost) break. I hate change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it and I've been getting along pretty well with my triple boot machine but ever since 9/8 I find I'm cranking up Ubuntu and don't 'need' to crank up the other OSes at all. And yeah, working for an Open Source company certainly helps but then that has also been one of my goals - to work for a company that support FOSS.

But then all of you already knew how great Ubuntu was/is and how easy it is to switch but see, some of us are stubborn. And Thanks to all the Community members who answered my ever growing number of questions as I continue my journey.
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Training Team Meeting

The next Ubuntu Training Team meeting will be held on Wednesday, 8 October at 20:00 UTC. The place is: irc.freenode.net in channel #ubuntu-training. Hosting will by by yours truly, Dinda, and the meeting details and agenda can be found at:


Invite your friends, family and countrypersons. If you're looking for a way to help contribute back to the fabulous Ubuntu Community or are just interested in learning more about Ubuntu Training offerings, then stop by and chat with us in #ubuntu-training.