Beer is not free

Technology is expensive.  It is easy today to download an operating system and supporting software that is free (as in price and liberties) if you have the means to connect to the internet, as well as the hardware on which the OS will eventually be used.

I was fortunate enough to be able to back the recent Ubuntu Edge crowd funding campaign (which at the time of writing has already broken just about all crowd funding records, but will still not meet the required amount to get funding).  Yes, I would much appreciate it if you are reading this and somehow missed what this campaign is to go check it out and perhaps make a pledge but before you rush off to do so, there is another cause I would like to make you aware off (one that is also coming to a close in a few days), one to not put the latest or greatest smartphone in the world ever (period) in your pocked, but give someone in the world the ability to do things on a computer and the internet that most of us take for granted; Reglue – Helping those on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.


From the Indiegogo page:

My name is Ken Starks and I am the Executive Director of Reglue.  We refurbish donated computers and place them in the homes of financially disadvantaged kids in Central Texas.  With funding running out, we need your help.

For those unfamiliar with Ken Start I would suggest you check out the Blog of Helios.  I became aware of this campaign from a challenge posted by Larry the Free Software Guy to the backers of the Ubuntu Edge campaign to make a donation to Reglue, a challenge I accepted and I hope that some of you reading this blog will now also except before it is too late…

So far they have gotten just over $5000 of the target of $32 000 with just about 3 days to go… surely this is an achievable target for the awesome Ubuntu community?!



Ubuntu Forums

It was with great anguish that we became aware that the Ubuntu Forums where compromised and taken down for maintenance.  At time of writing this blog post any new information about the breach as well as when the forum will be back online can be found here.

Until then all I can suggest is:



(Oh and please change your passwords if you are re-using the forum password on other sites.  And then never re-use passwords ever again! Ever!)


Ubuntu Quantal Launch Party for Johannesburg and Pretoria

On the 27th of October some peeps in the Johannesburg and Pretoria area in South Africa got together to celebrate the release of Ubuntu 12.10, the Quantal Quetzal.

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A great time was had by all :)


Rainbow Nation

We live in a colourful world. So much variety, and now I am not talking of all the various distro’s out there, no. I am referring to people. Different shapes, sizes, languages, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, expectations, <insert adjective here>.

Now people tend to find common ground in things, this draws them together. A major power to do this can be culture. Something that most people in a certain country have in common is their shared history and a kinship. This can make interactions around other topics smoother, more productive… we are all speaking the “same language” so to speak.

What happens when you are in a country where the native population makes out only about 13% of the population, and the rest are made out of ex-patriots of just about every country under the sun? Get ready for some spicy and varied interactions because this is a melting pot of flavour.

The country I am referring to is the UAE, and the reason I write this is to give some thanks to some great Ubuntu and FLOSS enthusiasts that are slowly building up an Ubuntu LoCo right here. Passionate individuals from all walks of life originally coming from all over the world working together with a shared focus. It isn’t always easy, but the will is strong.

Party Time

Here is to the future and the continued growth of our Ubuntu-ae LoCo.


PS – Working on the chocolate cake for the release party guys, so don’t miss out the 7th of November or you will be sorry :)
PPS – I haven’t attached more recent photo’s as these seemed like the more interesting of the ones available…

Hello Planet Ubuntu

print(“Hello Planet Ubuntu”)

This is my first (test) post to the planet and if I copied and pasted successfully from the wiki this should work :) . If not then my embarrassment will be own as nobody else will be aware of it.



Good bad news

Have you ever gotten news that initial had you angry, upset perhaps even a little despondent? Just to realise after some thought that it actually was very good news…  No?

Well this happened to me less than a day ago, good bad news.


For the last couple of weeks myself and various other members of the Ubuntu LoCo here in the UAE have been in contact with people from the Abu Dhabi University as we would like to hold an Installfest there. I am actually in Abu Dhabi right now as up to last night I was having a meeting today with a staff member at the Uni because I wanted to start fleshing out a plan and strategy that would suit the Uni and make the second ever Installfest here a sucess.

Everything seemed on course until I received the email stating that the students / staff at the Uni know all about Ubuntu and that the Uni assists if there are any problems installing it… What?! Installfest, denied! That sucks, right? Right?

Maybe not as much as I initial thought. Perhaps the mail I received wasn’t just a brush off and maybe, just maybe the Abu Dhabi Uni is the exception and Linux is alive and doing well there. I have to hope so, because nobody likes bad news that is bad.