Sunday, June 29, 2014

Final 10 days of the Randa fundraiser - Please help!

Hi folks, we're heading to the deadline. Please help put us over the top!

If you've already given money, please help by spreading the word. Small contributions not only count up quickly, they demonstrate that the free community stands behind our work. Mario gives a nice wrap-up here: blogs.fsfe.org/mario/?p=234. Show us you care.

Personally, I'm scared and excited by the prospect of writing another book, again with people who over-the-top smart, creative and knowledgeable. I will personally appreciate widespread support of the work we'll be doing.

If you already know about the Randa Meetings, and what our confederated sprints can produce, just proceed directly to http://www.kde.org/fundraisers/randameetings2014/index.php and kick in some shekels!

And then please pass along the word.

Thanks!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Metalinks, an excellent fast way to download KDE files

My G+ repost of Harald's announcement of the Plasma Next ISOs got some complaints about slow downloads. When I checked the with KDE sysadmins, I got some great information.

First, torrents aren't available, since 1. that requires dedicated tracker software, which isn't needed since 2. KDE doesn't distribute many large files.

However, files available at http://files.kde.org/snapshots/ and http://download.kde.org have a Details tab, where metalinks and mirrors are listed. I knew nothing about metalinks, but we could all benefit from them when downloading large files.

PovAddict (Nicolas Alvarez) told me that he uses the commandline for them: `aria2c http://files.kde.org/snapshots/neon5-201406200837.iso.metalink` for instance. I had to install aria2c for this to work; and the file took less than 15 minutes to download.

I read man wget and it seems not to support metalinks; at least I didn't find a reference.

Bshah (Bushan Shah) tried with kget and says it works very well. He said, New Download > Paste metalink > it will ask which files to download.

He also found the nice Wikipedia page for me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metalink

Thanks to bcooksley, PovAddict and bshaw for their help.

PS: Bcooksley adds, the .mirrorlist url is generally what we recommend for people to use anyway. So even if you don't point to the metalink, please use the .mirrorlist URL when posting a file hosted at download.kde.org or files.kde.org. If people forget to do that, click that Details link to get there for the hashes, lists of mirrors, and metalink files.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Primes, and products of primes

I was finding it difficult to stop thinking and fall asleep last night, so I decided to count as far as I could, in primes or products of primes. I'm not sure why, but it did stop the thoughts whirling around like a hamster on a wheel.

Note on superscripts: HTML only allows me to show squares and cubes. Do the addition.

1
2
3

5
2×3
7


2×5
11
2×3²
13
2x7
3x5
2²×2²
17
2×3²
19
2²×5
3×7
2×11
23
2³×3

2×13

2²×7
29
2×3×5
31
2²×2³
3×11
2×17
5×7
2²×3²
37
2×19
3×13
2³×5
41
2×3×7
43
2²×11
3²×5
2×23
47
2²×2²×3

2×5²
3×17
2²×13
53
2×3³
5×11
2³×7
3×19
2×29
59
2²×3×5
61
2×31
2×3×11
2³×2³
5×13
2×3×11
67
2²×17
3×23
2×5×7
71
2³×3² 
73
2×37
3×5²
2²×19
7×11
2×3×13
79
2²×2²×5
3²×3²
2×41
83
2²×3×7
5×17
2×43
3×29
2³×11
89
2×3³×5
7×13
2²×23
3×31
2×47
5×19
2²×2³×3
97
2×7²
3²×11
2²×5²
101

Please comment if I got the coding or arithmetic wrong! It's been fun to figure all this out -- in my head if I could, on paper if I had to.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Emotional Maturity and Free / Open Source communities

12 Signs of emotional maturity has an excellent list of the characteristics we look for in FOSS team members -- and traits I want to strengthen in my Self.

1. Flexibility - So necessary. The only constant is change, so survival dictates flexibility.

 2. Responsibility - Carthage Buckley, the author of 12 Signs of emotional maturity says:
You take responsibility for your own life. You understand that your current circumstances are a result of the decisions you have taken up to now. When something goes wrong, you do not rush to blame others. You identify what you can do differently the next time and develop a plan to implement these changes.
The world is a mirror. Sometimes when things go wrong, I mistake what I see as caused by some malevolent force, or even someone being stupid. The human brain is designed to keep us from recognizing our own errors and mistakes, unfortunately. So I need to remember to take responsibility, and seek out evidence of personal shortcomings, in order to improve.

I want my team members to do the same! When someone has caused a mess, I want them to take responsibility, and clean up. I want to learn to more often do the same.

 3. Vision trumps knowledge - If I have a dream and desire, I can get the knowledge I need. Whereas a body of knowledge, by itself, doesn't make anything happen.

Good marketing sells the sizzle, not the steak. In other words, make people hungry, and they will buy your steak. Tell them how great it is, and they'll go somewhere they can smell steak! When working in my team, I need to remember this.

4. Personal growth - A priority every day. Who wants to be around stagnant people?

5. Seek alternative views - This one is so difficult, and so important. The hugely expanded media choices available to people now leads to many of us never interacting with people who disagree with us, or have a different perspective. This leads to groupthink, and even disaster. One way to prevent this in teams is to value diversity, and recruit with diversity as a goal. 

 6. Non-judgmental - Another hard one. Those who seek out alternative views, will more easily recognize how different we all can be, while all being of worth. And when we focus on shared goals rather than positions, we can continue to make shared progress towards those goals.

 7. Resilience - Stuff happens. When it does, we all can learn to pick up, dust off, and get going again. This doesn't mean denying that stuff happens; rather it means accepting that and continuing on anyway.

8. A calm demeanor - I think this results from resilience. Freaking out just wastes time and energy, and gets me further off-balance. Better to breathe a bit, and continue on my way.

 9. Realistic optimism - I love this word pair. Seeing that a glass is half-full, rather than half-empty is a habit, and habits can be created. Bad habits can be changed. Buckley says that success requires effort and patience. Your goals are worth effort and patience, creativity, and perseverance.

10. Approachable - Again, a choice. If I'm open to others, they will feel free to offer their help, encouragement or even warnings. If seeking alternative views is a value, then being approachable is one way to get those views.

11. Self-belief - I think this can be carried too far, but if we've looked for alternative views and perspectives, and created a plan with those views in mind, then criticism will not stop progress. When our goals are deeply desired, we can be flexible in details, and yet continue progress towards the ultimate destination.

12. Humor - Laughter and joy are signs that you are healthy and on your right path. The teams I want to work with are those full of humor, laughter and joy.

PS: I was unable to work the wonderful new word bafulates into this blog post, to my regret. Please accept my apologies.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Advice

I try never to give advice unless I'm asked. However, tonight I thought I would offer the world the advice I give myself. This is probably not what I would have advised when I was younger, but I wish I had, every day.

Find joy and beauty everywhere, every day, every moment. It is around you; learn to see it.

Love yourself, and treat yourself with kindness.

Breathe deeply, and drink lots of water.

Love with an open heart, and care for those who love you back.

Spend no time and energy on those who pull you down, even family and "friends."

Value your opponents; they keep you honest, and learning. Collaborate with them if possible.

Make your bed every morning. Excuses are boring!

Brush and floss every tooth you want to keep. Get regular checkups, and follow the expert's advice.

Listen twice as much as you talk. That's why you have two ears, and only one mouth.

If you mess it up, clean up the mess. NOW.

Stay active, and keep challenging yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially.

Do something scary as often as you dare. Travel! Make friends with strangers!

Spend your time and energy on the important, rather than being distracted by the urgent.

If you are unhappy, do something kind for someone else, secretly if possible.

Laugh, sing and dance as often as you can. Celebrate!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Exciting! Writing another KDE book: Frameworks in Randa


Returning to Randa is always tremendous, no matter what the work is. The house in Randa, Switzerland is so welcoming, so solid, yet modern and comfortable too.

KDE is in the building mode this year. If you think of the software like a house, Frameworks is the foundation and framing. Of course it isn't like a house, since the dwelling we are constructing is made from familiar materials, but remade in a interactive, modular fashion. I'd better stop with the house metaphor before I take it too far, because the rooms (applications) will be familiar, yet updated. And we can't call the Plasma Next "paint", yet the face KDE will be showing the world in our software will be familiar yet completely updated as well.

However, this year will see the foundation for KDE's newest surge ahead in software, from the foundation to the roof, to use the house metaphor one more time. I really cannot wait to get there and start work on our next book, the Framework Recipe book (working title). Of course, travel is expensive, and most of us will come from all over the world. So once again, we're raising funds for the Randa Meetings, which will be the largest so far. The e.V. is a major sponsor, but this is one big gathering. We need community support. Please give generously here:

www.kde.org/fundraisers/randameetings2014/index.php

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thank you, Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld has a stand-up routine about how your party self wants to be wild and crazy, because the person who will suffer the hangover is "Morning Guy." This was how I thought and why I procrastinated for most of my life. Eventually I figured out that my Self today and my Self tomorrow -- same Self.

I value kindness, and try to be kind and thoughtful to others. So why not be kind to my Self too? In my effort to make life more peaceful and happy, I've gradually started to be kinder to my future self, and have reduced procrastination quite a bit. Along the way, I've discovered how much easier it is to just do a small task when I notice it needs doing, rather than putting it off. My attitude about those little tasks has changed too, and they hardly seem like work. Instead, they feel like being kind to my Self.

This all seems like a virtuous circle, since doing small tasks immediately keeps life simple and clean, and living in a clean, calm environment makes it easier to do the work to keep things up. This seems to be valuable everywhere; in the daily schedule, around the house, at work, in relationships.

Perhaps it was easier to fall into this way of working since I've been started some practices like making cold-brew coffee and fermented foods, both of which need to be started hours or days before they are ready to consume. Every time I finish preparing a new batch, I feel like I'm 'paying it forward' to my future self. The work we've been doing on our house also helps in a major way.

For those who call this kindness "selfishness," consider the so-called Golden Rule, restated by Jesus as love your neighbor as you love yourself. That final phrase says it all; self-care is at the core of love.

And it all counts.

  • Making your bed when you get up, counts.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth, counts.
  • Eating breakfast, counts.
  • Washing up, counts.
  • Making a meeting on time, counts.
  • Writing a thoughtful email, counts.
  • Helping someone in IRC, counts.
  • Eating vegetables or fruit instead of junk food, counts.
  • Drinking water instead of a sugary beverage, counts.
  • Walking up a flight of stairs instead of taking the elevator, counts.
  • Picking up a bit of trash, counts.
  • Getting to bed in time to have a full night's sleep, counts.
  • Writing a blog post, counts!

Anyone who has flown in a jetliner, has heard the advice: If you are traveling with someone, and the oxygen masks drop, do not help them put on their masks first. Put on your own mask, then help others!

Many of the ideas that have helped me get to this place come from unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com which is invaluable. It is one thing to give yourself credit for the progress you make, but it is amazing to have a team of people cheering you on!