The other day I got interested in ownCloud. Long story short, it is quite wonderful. Files, calendars, contacts synchronized. Standard open protocols so that you can sync pretty much any device that you would care to buy anyway. It was easy to set up and satisfying to tinker with.

ownCloud logo

Playing with ownCloud made me think, hey, this is most of what I currently do with Google’s services! Why not replace them with ownCloud and be a bit more free? My current policy is to use “just free software plus Google’s stuff”. It requires me to trust Google enough to use their services. The upside of Google is that they provide most of the stuff I need, and they’re actually good. The downside is, of course, that I need to trust them. With ownCloud, I would not have to trust anyone but myself – and whoever maintains my server if that’s not me, and my ISP, and… oh I don’t even know. Not Google though!

I’m a member of the Kapsi.fi community, which gives me access to some servers I can use. Currently I use them just for this blog and a ZNC instance (or irssi if i feel like irssying), but I’m also entitled to a rather generous amount of disk space there. So why not get rid of Google and use ownCloud for everything?

This is not an ownCloud review, but rather a note for Google users: Google makes it really easy to get out, and that’s what eventually kept me in. I tried life outside Google for about a week, and it is possible. This is very comforting to know.

Despite of ownCloud’s greatness, Google’s services are still a little bit more convenient to use, and the possibility of escape makes it less frustrating to stay in. They’re still not evil enough for me to go.

The only thing worse than being defeated in a game is being refused a game. Except maybe when someone else is not interested in the game. Or something. We will let Nitto, SonikkuAmerica and topyli try and demonstrate how tragic this can be.

ttoft36-sad saga

From the recent minor Ubuntu “crisis”, I have managed to distill some good bits too. Here’s one from Mark: “If you’ve done what you want for Ubuntu, then move on.”[1] I think this is great advice. Why loiter around making useless noise when a community and its project change in ways you’re not comfortable with?

To add balance, I myself have received from Ubuntu what I came for in 2004, and much, much more. I’m not very interested in any of the Special Ubuntu Stuff that we’ve been receiving in the last couple of years. I came for an easy Debian-like system with a reliable release cycle (and latest GNOME!), but Debian itself is much better with this stuff now, so there’s no reason really to keep using Ubuntu (and to keep stripping all the Ubuntu niceties and adding GNOME goodies).

Not sure what I should do, this is just a point that stood out. It’s even in our Code of Conduct. “Step down considerately.”[2]

In any case, there are a couple of things I’ve actually committed myself to doing this year, so that’s what I’m going to do first – with minimal whineage, I promise! Who knows what I’ll be thinking this December, we’re just getting warm for this year!

[1] http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/1228
[2] http://www.ubuntu.com/project/about-ubuntu/conduct

#ubuntu-offtopic is often quite funny, but we’re really all just accidental and often oblivious comedians. This is why levo decided to bite the bullet and simply ask if anyone might be aware of something more professional. Turns out this valuable piece of information is the sole property of IdleOne, and it ain’t cheap. For shame!

tftot #35: premium content

15 years of GNOME

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I can’t believe it’s been five years since I wrote my “10 years of GNOME” post, but it seems to be true! Actually, the anniversary was yesterday already, but I didn’t get the chance to write about it then. So, I’m doing that now.

I’m not going to spend too much of your time reminiscing the past. I’ll leave it to Havoc’s excellent comment on LWN’s 15th anniversary article, firstly because he actually knows what he’s talking about, and secondly because he does it so eloquently.  From GNOME 1 through GNOME 2 to GNOME 3, we’ve come a long way in usability, elegance, and community building.

GNOME is people

GNOME is people! Image from Luis Villa’s gallery.

May there be many more years of success for my favorite free desktop!

Today, the Ubuntu community is observing the first Community Appreciation Day, for good reason. I have never worked with a stronger community. Ever since Ubuntu was born in 2004, I have argued so much with people who disagree with me, in such a civilised manner, having a great time and eventually coming up with consensus. There are other free software communities who create wonderful stuff, but Ubuntu is unique because of its ethos or respect and mutual help. I wish to be able to serve this community for a long time still.

Thank you for these years, and may there be many more.

The Finnish Linux User Group FLUG has awarded Jukka Ehto, the IT chief of the city of Kankaanpää with the Linux Contributor of the Year Prize. Lehto managed a large virtualization and desktop project(1) in the city, using Red Hat’s virtualization technology. In the process, he shaved off about 50% of his budget and 10% of the average time to deploy a new workstation. The prize includes a 2000 euro award.

Jukka’s example is a great reminder for all of us that using your brain is allowed even in the public sector. :)

The committee also decided to give two honorary mentions. These go to Jarkko Moilanen for his great work in the Meego Network Finland community, and Hannu Martikka who has done wonderful work in advancing Linux awareness in Nokia.

Congratulations to all!

(1) I know I know, the story smells like Red Hat marketing, but I couldn’t find a better one in English quickly.

For some time already, it has been evident that #ubuntu-server needs more operators. If you are interested in joining our great team of operators, please see this wiki page for instructions and apply no later than August 5th.

Also have a look at this old post which I wrote a while ago but still has some relevant advice.

Thanks for your sacrifice :)

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