12 Oct

Ohio Linux Fest 2016

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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.

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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 Feb

Back to Android (Again!)

A few months ago, my dad wanted me to switch to the next gen phones. I didn’t want to do this because I was using and testing the Ubuntu (Touch). But with some though on what features that my Nexus 4 was missing,  those features” forced” me into switching. These were:

  • Expandable memory
  • A real GPS
  • A good cam
  • A good ROM that allows handwriting
  • Being able to read an e-book (from the browser)

I remember that one at my classmates owned a Samsung Galaxy Note a few years ago. It has all at the features that I want out of my next phone.  A few weeks ago, I brought a international version of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.  I already had it for two weeks, and I love it.  The edge screen is like the closest thing to Unity on the Ubuntu (Touch).

But there are a couple of things that I dislike about Android and the stock ROM of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge:

  • Not being able to open a notification without unlocking the screen
  • Not being able to root the phone with command-line and adb tools

I gave up on going all the way Google-free, there are many apps that F-droid does not have.  One example is Firefox- it’s being removed from the F-droid’s repos.  I also made VLC my media player for both audio and videos because it just rocks on Android.

I still have my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 and I will still try to test/play around with Ubuntu (Touch).

I am also re-working my workflow and I will have a post about this soon…

07 Sep

Review: First Month of Ubuntu (Touch)

About a month ago, I “vowed” to use Ubuntu on all my devices.  To me, not that many changes (A.K.A updates) have effected what I said in my week one review.  The system is still 99% stable, battery is holding well even with WiFi on for eight hours, no comment on Bluethooth as I haven’t really been using it, and the sound is still load and clear.  As for the system apps, they are stable so far, but that’s another blog post.

The only new thing that I have seen in the recent stable images is the über cool system loading screen.  Finally, it’s like the desktop version and to me, it’s a good move.

Based on these two reviews, I think there is no point of switching back.  It’s only a matter of changing my workflow and my way of life to have Ubuntu fit.

14 Aug

Ubuntu (Touch) Week One Review

Last week, I installed Ubuntu on my Nexus 4 and also “vowed” to use my Nexus 7 more. A week passed and I have a review of it:

Battery: Compared to my old phone, during my eight hour shift, the charge level falls at the same rate. On average, it only falls ten (10) percent. Usually, I have Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and all apps closed but the brightness level is at automatic.

Sound: Compared to my old phone, the notification sound level, at its highest, is much louder. There was times, on my old phone, that I was not able to hear notification for a text message. But now I can. I do not know if this is a feature of Ubuntu or the phone itself.

BlueTooth: No issues on the phone and the tablet. I bought a mini keyboard to use with my tablet and it works great with the tablet.  Thought BlueThooth and my desktop, that’s a different story.

System: It’s 99% stable, but the other 1% of the time, one of the system apps (like Notes or the Messaging app) will freeze.  Sometimes, it will unfreeze on its own but sometimes, I have to restart the phone.

Hopefully, I will have more thoughts as time goes by but sofar, I’m liking it and I would never switch back.

10 Aug

Workflow Redesign (Again!)

Since I have fully made the commitment for using Ubuntu as my only OS for all of my devices, it’s time for me to rethink of my workflow.  Before I was using Zim Wiki as my primary note-taking program along with some hand-written notes using Xournal (I have a drawing tablet) or pen and paper.  Now, I have switched back to Evernote through the Notes app.  I’m modifying my original Evernote workflow  because there are some features that the Notes app doesn’t have as of now.

The new plan:

  • Use the same notebooks as the old plan (including the ones from this plan)
  • Because Notes doesn’t support stacking of notes, I will use tags to keep related notes together and those tags will act like sub-categories/pages
  • I’m moving my task list from Thunderbird/Lighting to Notes, but keeping each sub-category and titling those notes “To Do List”.
  • As for projects, the task lists will be those notes.
  • I will use reminders for tasks with due dates and a tag called “Reminder” to find them quickly.

Hopefully, this will work out as I want to try to whole covertance (SP) story for myself.

NOTE: You need to add the PPA, ppa:ubuntu-touch-coreapps-drivers/daily,  to your system’s Software Sources and than updating your software to get the app to work after installing the Notes app (search “Reminders”).  The package in the software center is outdated and doesn’t work.

07 Aug

Going All The Way (With Ubuntu)!

A few months back, I brought a Nexus 4 and put Ubuntu Touch on it.  Shortly after, my life got hectic for me and I haven’t had to chance to find another carrier, since I had PagePlus, a CDMA carrier and the Nexus 4 is a  GSM phone (opps, I didn’t do my homework before buying the Nexus 4!!!).  A week ago, me and my dad looked at the various GSM carriers and found a off-the-beaten-road carrier called Ultra.me.  For $19, I can get unlimited minutes and text, and 100 MB of  4G data (and 1500 international minutes).  I know the data is barely anything, but for me, I’m always around WiFi and not really on the go, it’s perfect for me.  Plus, with Ultra.me I can buy more data- 500MB for $5, 1GB for $10, and 2GB for $20.

Anyways, enough with tech part of this post.  I wanted to say that I have fully switched over to Ubuntu as my primary OS for all of my devices.  I’m used to having Ubuntu on my computer but as a phone and tablet, it will be a experience that I will report on on my blog.  I’m looking for the coolness factor from everyone that sees me use it but I’m also ready to face problems.

I’m ready for this.

P.S. Oh, if you want to know what I was paying for PagePlus, it was $12 for 250 minutes and texts and 10 MB of data.  Again, I was okay with that.

30 Aug

Why do I Use Open Source?

I decided to respond to Michael Hall’s post, “Why do you contribute to open source?“, but first I will explain why I use open source and in the next post, I will explain why I contribute to it.  I don’t only use it because it’s almost free to use but for the intuitive sense of things that I see in all of the programs that I use.  This intuitive sense matches up with the way that I think and how I do things.

I have three examples why I use Open Source:

Example One: Evernote Ink Notes vs. Xournal- A Shift in My Workflow

This example is a recent thing that happened to me.  On Monday, August, 25, 2014 (first day of my last school year of my undergrad years), I was able to restore my Nexus 7 2013 back to Android from Ubuntu Touch since Ubuntu Touch wasn’t worth while to use (for now) as a working tablet.  For those who want to know, you need at least 2 GB of RAM to use the ./flash-all.sh command.  I only restored my tablet- meaning that I didn’t brother to install a custom ROM on it (don’t ask me why).  After I restored, I installed the Evernote app and signed in to it.  The hour before I restored my tablet, I was in my eight A.M. class and I took hand-written notes on my netbook, Evernote Ink Notes, and my Wacom Intous 4 pen and tablet.  When I opened the notes on my tablet and they looked horrible!  Not because I have chicken scratch for my handwriting (it does get bad at times) but because it was zoomed in and I had to finger scroll.  I had no way to zoom out.  And the UX of the app is just not fun to use.

After that first use of the Evernote, I decided to go back and use my favorite handwritten note-taking program, Xournal, but with some tweaks.  One of them being all of my notes for one class is be one file, when possible, which is for my eight A.M. class.  The other one is be convert the presentation slides for my second and also last class (I have two this term) into PDF and annotate that PDF.

The only problem with this workflow is that Xournal is X based not Qt based.  That means when Mir and Unity 8 comes out, I won’t be able to use my favorite program!  But maybe I could work with some developers and get some of the features of Xournal into the Reminders app.

Example Two: Open Source has More Intuitive Minds

I have noticed that many of the programs that I use have features that are latter used in non-open source programs.  Who had tabs first in Internet browsers?  Firefox.  Conversion from a word/spreadsheet/presentation to PDF?  OpenOffice.  This goes to show that who are more daring to be more intuitive.

When Unity first introduced back in Ubuntu 11.04, it was hard for me to get used to it at first.  I think it took me maybe two months to tell myself to that is the change can be good.  After I installed 11.04, I saw that Unity increased my productivity.  I found that searching in the Dash of Unity was faster than scrolling and clicking through folders on the menu.  Unity is quiet intuitive to my mind and it was here before Windows 8.  Another example of open source having more intuitive minds.

Example three will be in my next post when I will talk about why I contribute to Open Source.  Most likely, I will have a series of posts about why I’m in the FOSS community and other subjects such as why I blog.

 

15 May

Stuck With Ubuntu Touch!

As I said in this post, I installed Ubuntu Touch 14.04 on my Nexus 7 and today I tried to restore my tablet back to Google Nexus 7 stock (factory) image but it failed on me.  I asked a question on AskUbuntu and now I’m waiting for an answer.  But another thought came to me and it’s the thought of if I keep on playing around/testing it, it would be better for everyone.  Then I can submit feedback to the developers and help to improve Ubuntu Touch!

Anyhow, I have Ubuntu Touch on the dev channel so I will have more of an up to date version of Ubuntu Touch.  There is already some features fixed, such as a way to uninstall click apps and it doesn’t crash as often.  But still some of the important basic features are missing, such as an notice that the user is shutting down the ptablet and a way to close/kill an app.  Maybe I need to write an e-mail with the feedback to the developers.

25 Dec

Christmas 2013

Marry Christmas everyone!  Hope yours is going well.  😉

This year, my dad got me a Nexus 7 2013.  He knew that I wanted to test out Ubuntu Touch and he did his homework (read: research) but he missed the part that says that Ubuntu Touch is not developed for this version of the Nexus 7.  But I know that it will be developed again when Ubuntu 14.04 will be released.

In the meanwhile, I will place the CyanogenMod ROM on the tablet in order for me to get far as possible a way from Google.