11 Jul

The Ubuntu Community Wants YOU to Join the Membership Board!

NOTE: I know that “join” isn’t the correct word in this sense but it makes sense for the title.  And I also know that I should of posted this when the first call was made but I was just burnt out at that time and I was get ready for a trip to Sydney, NSW.

From the call:

As you may know, Ubuntu Membership is a recognition of significant and sustained contribution to Ubuntu and the Ubuntu community. To this end, the Community Council recruits members of our current membership community for the valuable role of reviewing and evaluating the contributions of potential members to bring them on board or assist with having them achieve this goal.

We have seven members of our boards expiring from their 2 year terms within the next couple months, which means we need to do some restaffing of this Membership Board.

We’re looking for Ubuntu Members who can participate either in the 20:00 UTC meetings or 22:00 UTC (if you can make both, even better).

Both the 20:00 UTC and the 22:00 UTC meetings happen once a month, specific day may be discussed by the board upon addition of new members.

Currently we have seven (7) nominees and we would like to have at least two (2) more.  Because of this, the deadline is extended to July 25th, 2016.

We have the following requirements for nominees:

  • be an Ubuntu member (preferably for some time)
  • be confident that you can evaluate contributions to various parts of our community
  • be committed to attending the membership meetings
  • broad insight into the Ubuntu community at large is a plus


As a Board member this is why I think it’s worth it to be apart of the Board:

  • It’s a good step for higher level leadership
  • Can help on Community Council elections because you showed that you have/had a position in a  Board
  • It allows you to see the weak points of the applicants and possibly help them on strengthening them
  • It allows you to see what is happening the Community


To nominate yourself or somebody else (please confirm they wish to accept the nomination and state you have done so), please send a mail to the membership boards mailing list (ubuntu-membership-boards at lists.ubuntu.com). You will want to include some information about the nominee, a launchpad profile link and which time slot (20:00 or 22:00) the nominee will be able to participate in.

I wish good luck on those who nominate themselves or others!

Thank you.

07 Jul

What Programs Do I Use: Thunderbird Mail

As I said before, I like to use and support FOSS and one of the other programs that I use is Thunderbird Mail for my e-mails, calendar, and task list.  I tried other e-mail clients, but Thunderbird always stuck with me.  Why?  Because it has good support for multiple e-mail accounts and the addons make it easier to consolidate programs

Like Firefox, I have a two addons to make it more useful in my workflow:

  • Lighting: My calendar and task list.  Because I don’t use G-mail, I don’t need the addon that makes Lighting work with G-mail- I use Fastmail.fm for my e-mail.  Yes!  I pay for my e-mail, but it’s better than trusting Google.
  • Bamboo: A RSS reader.  I’m not sure if I will move on to something where I can sync since I have two devices but this one will do for now.

Thunderbird is a wonderful preinstalled program for users that want an e-mail client.  Try it out!

19 Jun

What Programs Do I Use: Firefox

We all browse the web and we all use different browsers.  But the main two are used is Chrome and Firefox.  I use Firefox because I like to support FOSS and to be away from Google as far away as possible.

Like Chrome, Firefox has add-ons to make it more custom and usable.  I use a few:

  • Adblock Plus- Who likes ads?
  • Ubuntu Modifications- built-in when you install Ubuntu
  • Xmarks- to keep my bookmarks safe and synced, dunno if I will switch to Firefox sync
  • YouTube Video and Audio Downloader- When I need something to watch when I don’t have internet

That’s pretty much Firefox for me, just a (basic) program to surf the web.  I really don’t know why I blogged about it.

14 Jun

Seeking: Ubuntu Membership Workshop Outline Review

Please note that I’m pull this away from the Ubuntu community team’s mailing list as I need a bigger group in order to give a heads up on what is happening soon.

I’m planning to run a workshop over the Ubuntu Membership progress with other members of the Membership on Ubuntu On Air around the time of the Ubuntu Global Jam.  It will be a presentation with places where people can ask questions and in the end, there will be a session where feedback on applicant’s wiki pages.

I created an outline and I seek feedback on it before I create the presentation.  You are all welcome to comment here, e-mail me at belkinsa@ubuntu.com, or even do a pull request!

Thank you.

13 Jun

Volunteering at Grailville For SCIENCE!!!

A week ago, I started to volunteer in real life. Something that I haven’t done in years. The place that I volunteer at is called Grailville, the home of The Grail  of US which is a quasi-religious women’s group. The aim of the group is to bring education, environment, and spiritual transformation.

Before this place, at the other places, I only helped with prep work or to pass things around. This time it’s different. This time I’m working on a project.

Grailville has two ponds on their land. One big pond for cows that are rented and a small pond that is infested with Duckweed and muck. The main project is to measure the pH, ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate in order to figure out how to get those ponds healthy again. Making the small pond healthy is my project.


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The reason I chose to volunteer at Grailville because I was allowed to (kind of) work on my own project, blog about it, and even share the data with others.  While the data isn’t as useful to Grailville, I plan to use it to learn to work with data with R and also as example data for my ELN that I’m planning to code.

I will use my blog to write updates, research thoughts, and other things on this project.

EDIT TO ADD: Here is the GitHub repo.

12 Jun

No More Ugly Rat’s Nest of Wires!

Owning a desktop computer sucks because of the massive amount of wires that comes with it.  Wires for power for the computer and monitor, ethernet, webcam, ect.  Oh my!

At one time, I just had them on the floor but that made it impossible to vacuum  the floor.  At another time (below), I used a plastic storage bin that I used some empty Naked juice cases from work to hold it off the floor.  That was too ugly for me and still hard to vacuum and it required me to tape the wires to my desk.

But now (after), I’m using my file cabinet that I hardly use (just basic storage) and it’s much cleaner.  I took this idea from Lifehacker where someone used a nightstand for this.

Doesn’t remind anyone of those storage bins for video game platforms?  It’s the basic idea behind my new system.


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12 Jun

What Programs Do I Use: Xournal

I stated that I own a drawing tablet where I try to draw/paint, but I also use it to write notes and/or brainstorm. Roughly two years ago I started to think about using Xournal in my workflow as this quote states (taken from here):

It’s only going from analogue to digital. But it’s something that I wanted to do for maybe two years. I was able to finally use my Wacom tablet in November of 2013 when my trackpad (read: laptop’s mouse) stopped working and I had some weird issue with anything that mouse-like on Ubuntu. Luckily, I had my Wacom tablet that was meant for me to do digital artwork, but I never found that I liked my style and gave up for a while. Also, a bit before, one of my Twitter pals, AJ Linux, posted a blog post about note-taking software for Linux and that post introduced me to Xournal. From then (November 2013) to now, I rarely use a mouse with my laptop (the netbook that I have, the 2005 one is a desktop for me), I just use my Wacom tablet. This allows me to hand-write all of my notes for my classes that I take (and amaze everyone around me).

Why Xournal? Because it has more features/tools than the others.  On the screenshot to the right, you can see that I can add photos to the page, add writing to them, use different colors, export to PDF (which the image is from a PDF of the file), a way to draw straight lines, ect.  Simply an amazing program for those who like to handwrite notes on their computers.

This page is from my personal notebook that is five plus pages of notes/brainstorms.  This page details the pros and cons of digital versus analogue.  The photo on the top of the page is from my personal analogue notebook (dated on November 1, 2013) that I rarely use.  I think I only filled up maybe ten pages out of 500 (it’s a FiveStar three subject notebook).   The last time I wrote in it was in September of 2015.  On my digital notebook, I started to write in it in January of this year and my last was written on May 1st of 2016.  I think I will be using the digital notebook more.

I’m also not sure if I will use my phone for notetaking as I have Note Edge.

Here are my other workflow posts containing many redesigns on which programs to use. In fact, the only thing that is changing is the programs that I use to take notes with.  And I feel that GitHub’s Atom will be the new one since I use it for code, but lately for more note taking than coding.  Someday, I will blog about that….

05 Jun

What Programs Do I Use: myPaint

While I’m on the topic of hobbies, another of mine is drawing and painting.  Or attempts to do so.  I can both do it on paper or on the computer- I own a Wacom Intuos4 and the program that I mainly use with it is myPaint:

Screenshot from 2016-06-05 18-24-01

It’s a open canvas program meaning that you have unlimited canvas space to draw/paint on.  Plus it has different brushes, some are purely digital-based and some are based from brushes and mediums from real life.

Yesterday,  I used the program for the first time in an year because I wanted to draw something and to try to get back into drawing/painting.  As in the screenshot above, the UX of the program has changed and it looks cleaner and fits in with the Ubuntu default theme.  One feature that saw that they added (that I suggested a few years ago) is the palette.  I’m happy for this because before I had to paint the color that I needed on the canvas, now I can save the color and select it.

My current project is this which is a mix of (delayed) ink (brush) and colored pencil (brush) and a textured background.  The full version is below:


I plan to finish this but I’m also known to not finish any of my works.

03 Jun

Review of System 76 Lemur

As promised, although a week late, I will be talking about my thoughts on the System 76 Lemur that I brought two weeks ago.

The first thing that I will talk about is the power button is a bit too hard to press to get the laptop to start.  It requires a bit more pressure than my last laptop.  The boot-up itself is very smooth and very fast like it should on a new system.  The only problem is that somehow the System 76 splashsreen doesn’t show before Ubuntu starts up.  It’s a minor issue though.

Edit to Add: Here is the reason why there is no splashscreen:

The battery does last a few hours on the brightest screen setting but I haven’t tired to see how long it lasts on other settings.  All of the times that I used the laptop was outside on my deck or on the pouch as you can see below:

2016-05-27 13.18.38

Most of the time, I only used 25% to 30% of the battery, but twice, I drained it down to 50% because I was using Google Hangouts.  But that is normal, because video and voice uses battery.

I have no other comment on the body, fans, keyboard, and trackpad.  It is still a solid powerful laptop.

The only big problem (the other problems are small not important problems) that I faced is Bluethooth connectivity after connecting my Bluethooth device (headphones) to my phone and back to the laptop.  But that is really a Linux problem not a System 76 problem.  Perhaps, I need to buy headphones that I will only use with the laptop.

As for the wireless Internet, I have no comment, yet.

I like said, it’s one sold, awesome laptop built by Linux users for Linux users.  If you have the money and the desire to support a company like System 76, I would suggest that you buy something from them.

29 May

What Programs Do I Use: Mudlet

Like many people, I have different hobbies and also like many, I play computer/video games. But not the extreme, as some though. I do have Steam and my username is senseopennes if you want to add me. I played many graphical games but I tend to get bored of them fast.  I mean it.  I think the longest time that I stuck to a game was one year off and on and that was a MMOPRG (RO or AO, I think).

The only game that I played and still playing is a text-based multi-user dungeon (MUD) called  Armageddon MUD.  It’s a 20 plus year old game that is roleplay enforced, meaning that while you have coded actions, you need to also roleplay out them.  In short, it’s collaborative storytelling.  I think I have played it for 7 years but off and on and my longest live character (it’s perma-death one) lived for close two real life years before I had to store them.  One day, I will write a post dedicated for  Armageddon MUD, something that I said that I was going to do ages ago…

Anyhow, the MUD doesn’t have a client that I can play on, but I use a client called Mudlet:

Screenshot from 2016-05-29 10-44-13

Main screen with Armageddon MUD main screen.

I used three other clients before Mudlet, two for windows back in 2008 – 2009 (MUSH and something else) and one on Ubuntu, which was KClient.  KClient stopped working with  Armageddon MUD after the staff of the MUD moved the server to the cloud.  I did my research from what other players of the MUD were using and found that Mudlet was the most used.  Like most Open Source and Free programs, Mudlet is very customizable but I just use it out-of-the-box.  I have no triggers or keystrokes set up, I don’t need them.  I type out everything.  Someday, I might work on customizing it.

It’s a great program out of the box and you can have multiple profiles and games running at the same time and they can be all saved.  What is great about Mudlet that I like is the fact there is a built-in notepad for notes.  I use it a lot to keep track of things.

I plan to write about MyPaint next week. See you then!