16 Oct

Goals for Z Cycle And Reflection on Goals from Y Cycle

It’s hard to believe that Ubuntu 16.10 is already released (I think I may of lost track of time this cycle) and it seems that it’s time for the next cycle’s goals.  But first, I wish to reflect on the goals from the last cycle.  I found out that I’m (somehow) no mood for coding and/or hacking, but I was able to do something for Linux Padawn, which was Buddy Press, but it needs tweaking to get it to work right.

As for this cycle’s goals, they will be centered around the Grailville Pond project, Ubuntu (Touch), and Linux Padawan:

Grailville Pond Project

Work on the Raspberry Pi as I stated here and also work on a temperature inversion catching script for R.

Ubuntu (Touch)

Work on a demo because I’m planning to go Ohio Linux Fest next year and I want to bring something cool.

Linux Padawan

Work on community building in order to increase the growth and also try to get Buddy Press to work.

Hopefully this time I can complete them.

12 Oct

Ohio Linux Fest 2016


For the last few years, I always wanted to go Ohio Linux Fest (OLF), partly because it’s only two (2) hours away from where I live and one way to meet my fellow Ubuntu Ohio Team members. But what kept me from not coming is my old job before my new one (that I started the week of October 3rd, 2016. So, this year, I finally was able to go!

First Day

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it because I had to work ten hours at my work plus the two(2) hour drive from Blue Ash, Ohio to Columbus where I arrived at eight (8) to my hotel room. I was very tired and ended up taking a small walk, a bath, and went to sleep for the night.

Second Day

I woke up and took a small walk around the Arena District of Columbus an hour before the second (and final) day of OLF. I didn’t go to the keynote, but I meet up with José Antonio Rey and helped set up the Ubuntu booth. I was lucky enough to man the booth and I enjoyed it! I also brought my Nexus 7 2013 tablet with Ubuntu and allowed people to try it with the two Nexus 4’s that we had.



People love the #Ubuntu devices #ohiolinux

CC Elizabeth K. Joseph

Most of the day was manning the booth but I also went to Elizabeth K. Joseph’s, Nathan Handler’s, Stephen McLaughlin’s talks, and the final keynote by Joe and Lily Born. The first two talks I went was mostly for support for my fellow Ubuntu Community Members, as I’m just a basic end user with some Linux command line skills. Plus, I don’t really know what do with Linux as a hobby, but that is slowly changing.

But Stephen McLaughlin’s talk on how (Raspberry) Pi’s are the future sparked my interest very well. As some of you know that I collect data on two ponds at Grailville in order to find out how to organically maintain it. One of the problems is layer temperature inversion in the small pond which means that if fish are placed in, they could die. While I was collecting data, I noticed that the values for pH, ammonia, and phosphate were high. High values equals layer temperature inversion.

I got the idea for using a Pi during Stephen’s talk and I told him it. He liked it and give me a free Pi Zero! Because of this gift, I gave myself a project and a next step for the pond project. I will using the Pi along with a solar panel as the power supply, a waterproof temperature sensor, and maybe a rain sensor to see when it rains and/or tell the Pi to record a few weeks after it rains. I plan to float it in the middle of the pond and data collect during the spring into the fall of next year. Before the spring, I will build and test this before trying to collect data. I will have another post as an update.

I also meet three(3) Ohio Team members including the everyone-thinks-that-he-is-a-robot Unit193. Ohio Team members! Please tell who you are, because I forgot, thanks!!!!

Yay the #Ubuntu crew :D #ohiolinux

The Ubuntu Booth crew CC Elizabeth K. Joseph

At the end of day, I went to the after party where I played Cards Against Humanity for the first time and had cake with gummy Tux’s:

Third Day

On the last day, I went to the Columbus Zoo* with Elizabeth and David. It was a nice and fun zoo. I also had bison for lunch for the first time. After I dropped of the two off back to their hotel, I drove back home.

*CC to Elizabeth K. Joseph

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.

01 May

Goals for Y Cycle

It’s that time again when I write up goals for the next Ubuntu release cycle!  But as a side thought, I noticed that I started to think in Ubuntu release cycles when planning my goals for the next six months.  I guess it’s my new measure of time since I’m out of school…  Anyhow, these are my goals for the Y (16.10) cycle:

  • See the Tweets below:

I don’t know yet if I will remix Red Notebook because at the moment, it’s the closest thing that I see to a electronic lab notebook. I will have post when I start this project (Week of May 1st to Week of May 8th)

EDIT TO ADD: I’m also thinking of writing one in Qt and calling it Qt ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook).

  • Hack around my favorite, net hack game, Stone Soup’s Dungeon Crawl! My main idea/hack is to add zealots of every god instead of just a select few.  But I may expend on that…  Again, I will have a post when I start this project.
  • Do more with Linux Padawan’s community.  I don’t know what yet though…

Hopefully, I can complete these projects or at least learn from working on them.  I will work on updating you all at least once a month.

Wish me luck!

18 Apr

Job Seeking: Lab Assistant Position

As promised from these two Tweets:

— Svetlana Belkin (@senseopenness) April 14, 2016

I posted the thread both on OKFN Open Science’s mailing-list and Mozilla Science Lab’s mailing list:


Sorry for cross-posting.

I’m job seeking for a lab assistant position within someone’s lab that practices Open Science with in the USA. I have a BS in biology with the focus of cellular and molecular biology. I wish to get hired by one of these labs because I wish to learn more about the practices of Open Science in order to understand how to help our Communities.

Please feel free to reply to this thread or send me an off-list reply.

Thank you.

Svetlana Belkin
A.K.A: belkinsa
User Wiki page: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/belkinsa
Anyone is welcome to post here or e-mail me at belkinsa@ubuntu.com.  Thank you!
08 Dec

Open * Communities Foundation/Network Idea

NOTE: I know this is offtopic for the Planets that my blog is linked to, but I wanted to get the idea cross to a larger audience.

This idea for a foundation/network/or whatever that focus on the Open * community movement. I don’t know if there is a such a movement or how strong the movement if it exists. What I only know is that Linux Foundation does focus on building Open Source communities.  Or from what I heard from Jono Bacon…

The idea is to create a foundation/network that can focus on the core values as below:

The Core Values of an Open * Community

    • collaboration NOT competition
    • commitment
    • sense of community
    • empowerment
    • And more…

I also intend to include projects (within the foundation/network) such as mentoring, collection of material, advocacy, ect.  Open Badges is another project/idea that I want to try.

My plan to start this is to use Kickstarter or Indiegogo for the startup and maybe Patreon to keep the funds going (I feel like something with be created).  I also know that I will work on networking with other organizations within the Open * world for funding and also members and advisors for the board that will make up the governance.  The plan for the board is to have one (or maybe two) community leaders from each Open * movement/group.

I’m planning to start working on the details and getting them out by the end of this month/year via my blog.  The crowdfunding campaign will most likely start next year.

I hope I can get this idea started or if there is such a group/org, I can get myself working with them to create better Open * Communities.

19 Nov

Rebooting Three OSF Projects


I’m working on rebooting three Center for Open Science’s Open Science Framework since I still think that these can help the community:

If anyone is willing to help me please reply to the respective topic that you want to help for or e-mail me at belkinsa@ubuntu.com.

Thank you!

17 Nov

Where’s Me Support?!

Over the two (2+) plus years, I started many projects within the Open * communities that I’m apart of. Most of these projects I started were meant to be worked on with two or more people (including me, of course) but I never had luck in getting anyone to work together with me. Okay, once it has succeeded and two (2) or three (3) times, it was close but still failed. That one time when it succeeded happened because I was on the Membership Board where the members had to be committed.

Because many projects meant for collaboration failed that means either that the communities don’t have enough people willing to work with me (or on anything!) (or a time commitment) or I have networking issues. The latter is within my control and the earlier is one of the problems that most of the Open * communities face.

Lacking support and the feeling of not getting things done over these two plus years is making me to lose motivation to volunteer within these communities. In fact, some of this has already affected four teams within the Ubuntu Community: Ubuntu Women, Ubuntu Ohio, Ubuntu Leadership Team, and Ubuntu Scientists and no news or any activity is shown. As for others, I’m close in removing myself from the communities, something that I don’t want to do and this is why I wrote this. It’s to answer my question of: Where’s my support?! (“me” in the title, but it’s for the lightheartedness that this post needs) I know of a few that maybe feeling this also.

As a thought, as I wrote this post, is what if I worked on a site that could serve as a volunteer board for projects within the Open * communities. Something like “Find a Task” started by Mozilla (I think) and brought over to the Ubuntu Community by Ian W, but maybe as a Discourse forum or Stack Exchange. The only problem that I will face is, again, support for people who want to post and to read. I had issues getting Open Science groups/bloggers/people to add their blog’s feed to Planet Open Science hosted by OKFN’s Open Science But that might be different if it will have almost all types of Open * movements will be represented. Who knows.

Readers, please don’t worry, as this post is written during the CC election in the Ubuntu Community, it will not affect my will to run for a chair. In fact, I think, being in the CC could help me to learn to deal with this issue if others are facing this but they are afraid to talk about in public.

I really, really don’t want to leave any of the Open Communities because of lack of support and I hope some of you can understand and help me. I would like your feedback/comments/advice on this one.

Thank you.

P.S. If this sounded like a rant, sorry, I had to get it out.

20 Oct

Open * Communities Mindmap

As a brainstorm today (and also for my research), I created an insanely large, almost impossible to read/follow mindmap mapping what is there in the Open * communities and hopefully what should/could be focused on when developing communities:


I broke up the sub-items with each major item by Open Source and Non-Open Source.  To me, I think there is some difference in those two communities in how are things are done and what is the focus.

There are two things that I forgot on this map:

  • Meta Documentation (under tools for both Open Source and Non-Open Source)
  • Barrier to Entry (under problems for both)
14 Sep

Starting Research: Looking at Building A Successful Non-Technical Open * Community

After a bunch of unsuccessful attempts of trying to get some sort of project going within a Open Science community, I decided to start research on how to build a successful non-technical Open * community.  I’m aware that could be just be a matter of time commitment but I still think it be worth it to learn how to build one.

I started a public project on the Open Science Framework.  Most of my work done (so far) is in the wiki of the Project.  Right now, this plan is the one that I will follow.   At the moment, it looks like that I will be focusing on the things that I learned/used/experienced from the Ubuntu Community, but it may expend into other topics.

I’m also planning to use Open Undergrad Research Foundation (OpenURF) to set up a experiment to see which tools are needed and how to use them.  But that will be later as the sever guy haven’t e-mail me back.

I will be using my blog for updates.

Afterthought: I really think it may be just be a matter of time commitment or not enough drivers.  If that is the case, then I will start new research on how to fix that, if possible.