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2013 – A good year

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I thought I’d finish off the year with a bit of reflection, overall it’s been a pretty good year in both camps of my life – the geek/tech and the family side. Obvious highs of the year include:

  • Birth of my second child, Alfie.
  • OggCamp 13
  • LinuxCon Europe
  • Barcamp Blackpool
  • RossLUGs 3rd year – some fantastic meetings this year.

It certainly has been a full on year.

It’s been a really tech filled year, as since moving house last September I’ve had my own space for all my tech which is a real bonus. It’s allowed me to really get back into electronics with Arduino building the home automation system, the electric meter monitor (still to be finished) and more recently bringing a snowman christmas decoration back to life:

As part of my job heavily entails virtualisation and storage I’ve been getting heavily into oVirt, GlusterFS and Openstack (more specifically RDO). Making commits upstream too, to both code and documentation.

One of my other highs of this year tech wise was establishing a presence on GitHub I’ve uploaded most, if not all, the code I’ve worked on this year and licensed it with GPL with great reward of folks actually looking at my code. I feel like I’ve really given something back there.

On the topic of giving back, I finally became a Fedora ambassador this year. I’ve thought about it in previous years as I’ve always used the distro and given back where I can. After an experiment of using Ubuntu solely for a while I reverted back to my much cherished comfort zone, but decided to go the whole hog and really get involved in what has turned out to be a great community. Attending the events I regularly and ones I don’t, on behalf of the project has been a rewarding experience so far.

So whats in store for 2014? Well hopefully I’ll continue on this track, more open virtualisation, more Arduino, Raspberry Pi, more Fedora. But also coming in 2014 will be another track, STEM. I recently became a STEM ambassador which will allow me to impart some of my knowlege and skills and help bring a better quality of education in the tech sector to children. I’m hoping to get involved with, and also run, Arduino, Raspberry Pi coding sessions throughout 2014 so watch this space.

All in all 2013 has been an excellent year, lets hope 2014 is as good, if not better. All the very best to you all.

 

OggCamp and LinuxCon Europe: Part 2 LinuxCon Europe 2013

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Whoa I’m getting a bit slow here!

After the full on weekend of OggCamp my marathon continued up in Edinburgh for LinuxCon Europe 2013. Unfortunately my plan of heading up straight from OggCamp was scuppered, but I set off first thing on Monday morning. I decided to stick with driving after toying with the idea of getting the train. Glad I did, the Edinburgh park and ride system is brilliant! Parked up at Sheriffhall which allowed me to stay up to 7 days, perfect.

Managed to make it to the exhibition centre at around 2pm that afternoon, which I didn’t think was bad going. After meeting the team of Jiri, Keiran and Tony I quickly got the banner I had made erected. The booth was looking good already but I think that just added the finishing touch.

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I spent most of the rest of Monday chatting to the other team members and the various folks that passed by. It was interesting to see the other guys on the team interacting with attendees as this was the first event I have been to where the booth had more than just myself  running it. Having a bit of a wander around the exhibition floor reveals an interesting point around the Linux Foundation, with the likes of Intel, HP, Samsung and other massive names in the technology game being not only present but promoting open source just proves how prevalent Linux and the Open Source movement are.

Being the Cloud Open Expo as well as LinuxCon there was a massive cloud based presence in the exhibition hall and on the talk roster. Interestingly (or embarrasingly) Oracle also had a presence touting their wares(z) with their RHEL clone Unbreakable Linux – but we don’t need to say any more about them. One surprising thing that occurred to me was there wasn’t a booth from Canonical or Ubuntu, Kubuntu were there in all their glory. Nice to see a SUSE booth also, its always nice to see the cuddly chamaeleon.

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Next I headed over to grab my complementary swag bag (more t-shirts to show off my allegiance!) while there I was swayed into purchasing a baby vest for the up and coming arrival of mini-geek number 2.

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Over the course of the event I got to know my fellow ambassadors quite well, enjoying a few beers in the evening was great although, thankfully, not as heavy as the OggCamp session. I spent a lot of time having some really interesting conversations with the likes of (name dropping time) Richard Morell of Red Hat, John Mark Walker also of Red Hat and the GlusterFS project, Dave Neary of Red Hat. Also recruiting a new ambassador to the project Elidh McAddam who was really keen to get on board.

Our booth was in a really cool position, right next to a sister project GlusterFS and oVirt both of which I am a really big fan of.

Over the course of the exhibition we were asked several times about the up coming Fedora 20, so I decided to completely rape the wifi and run an inplace upgrade on my laptop. Amazingly everything just worked, if there was a time or place where an upgrade failed it was bound to be there, but no all was good! Shame the same couldn’t be said for our attempts at running Wayland – No trackpad support caused a fail at the first hurdle.

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I only attended 2 talks during the week, one being Linux Torvalds keynote and the follow up talk from Mikko Hypponen entitled “Living in a surveillance state”. I hadn’t intending going to the second talk, but it kind of followed on. I’m so glad I stayed as it was one of the most thought provoking talks I have seen. You can watch the full talk on Youtube as he repeated it as a TED talk:

After these talks I managed to bump into the man himself (photo credit Keiran Smith) notice also behind Linus is Greg Kroa-Hartman.

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All in all it was a fantastic week, plenty of Linuxy swag gained and experiences had. I was really proud to represent and be a part of the Fedora project, its a really good place to be with a lot of good work going on. Interestingly on the drive home a BMW X5 passed me with the registration 9TUX – wonder if they had been at the conference, and who it was.

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Highlights of the conference:

Being part of the Fedora Project.

Seeing Linus in the flesh (starstuck much).

Lennart Poettering reconfiguring Keirans Gnome desktop back to default “as that is how it should be”.

Amazing curry at the Bombay Bicycle Club.

Meeting fellow ambassadors and members of the community.

Mikko Hypponens talk.

Seeing a picture tweeted by Mikko and me being in it. (2 rows behind)

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Lowlights:

Being late.

The drive home.

 

Virtualisation talk

So this coming Monday will be the 2 year anniversary of the Rossendale Linux User Group, not too shabby really. Not marking the occasion or anything but I’m going to be running a talk/demo on virtualisation under Linux. Seems to be the pet project I’ve worked on the most so have a fairly polished setup to talk about.
But why make it easy on myself? I normally use CentOS for server builds but just for a change, as it seems to be the way I’m heading, I decided to give Ubuntu a shot.

Turned out quite well and seem to have the same polished end product.

Monday will be the part one of the talk, as i’m sure to come up with a part 3 – I’ve already decided that part 2 will be on openstack, but may change that to part 3 as the natural progression of virtualisation would have something in between. Such as heartbeat monitoring for high availability or better clustering techniques etc etc.

I guess its to see how well part 1 goes first!

Oh and if you are wondering, part 1 contains, building a server, creating vm’s, bringing online a second server, using shared storage, migrating vm’s between hosts, clustering the storage.

I guess another element to the middle part would be to automate the migrations etc…

see here http://rosslug.org.uk/doku.php?id=meetings:12_november_2012 for a fairly comprehensive run through of the talk.

If anyone reading this is from the Rossendale or East Lancs area and fancies coming along to said talk, then please do all are welcome!!!
You can find details of the location of the meetings here: http://rosslug.org.uk/doku.php?id=meetings:venue