Ubuntu Berlin @ LinuxTag 2010 – pickings

Saturday evening this years LinuxTag, Europes largest open source fair, closed its doors. As LinuxTag is presented at Berlin, the „Ubuntu Berlin“ was happy to support it in different activities. Let me sum up some of them:

1) Ubuntu Community booth

The „ubuntu Deutschland e.V.“, Ubuntu and Kubuntu community presented their work at a community hosted booth. A bunch of Ubuntu Berlin members supported the booth, answered hundreds of questions and helped with the proceedings.

2) Talks

Saturday Featured a lot of Ubuntu focussed talks. For the first time „Ubuntu Berlin“ and its members hosted a remarkable amount of them, e.g.:

  • Anselm Helbig – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (tmux)
  • Benjamin Drung – Ubuntu in 50 minutes, Packaging for Debian and Ubuntu
  • Caspar Clemens Mierau – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (Vimperator), Gnome-Do, Ubuntu in 50 minutes
  • Daniel Holbach – Fixing Bugs in Ubuntu (see slides), Ubuntu in 50 minutes, Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (liblaunchpad)
  • Marcel Eichner – Ubuntu Berlin Lightning Talks (Franklin)
  • Torsten Franz – Supporting Ubuntu

Ubuntu in 50 minutes talk at LinuxTag 2010
minutes before the „Ubuntu in 50 minutes“ talk

3) Interviews for Radio Tux

Several members of Ubuntu Berlin gave interviews to the well known German Podcast „Radio Tux„. Daniel’s talk on bugjamming has been released already. Be sure to check the archive for other releases within the next days.

4) LinuxTag BBQ

Last but not least: The  „End of LinuxTag BBQ“ at c-base, sponsored by Canonical, has been a great success again. Three barbacues and about ten „Grillmeister“ (you cannot translate this) provided more than hundred visitors with tasty food. Members of various types of open source communities had interesting chats while relaxing at the banks of the Spree.

As Ubuntu Berlin’s support for the LinuxTag continuously increased within the last years, I am sure next year will even better. We’ll see.

Ubuntu Berlin LinuxTag BBQ today

For those of you currently staying in Berlin for the LinuxTag 2010: I know where you are going today evening after the fair closes. For the third time Ubuntu Berlin hosts a LinuxTag BBQ at c-base, the sunken starbase in the heart of Berlin. Be sure to grab free food there – friendly sponsored by Canonical (thank you!) and a refreshing botte of beer or the beloved Club Mate at the bar for reasonable prices.

The BBQ opens around 6pm. If you don’t know how to get to c-base from the LinuxTag area, a friendly team will guide you – just have a look at the official announcement. The last two your showed, the LinuxTag BBQ is a perfect ending as a large crowd of open source developers and community members of all free project types take the possibility to chat and relax directly at the riverside of the Spree. Don’t miss that :) See you there.

Ada Lovelace Day on 24nd of March

Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace

On the 24nd of March – next Wednesday – the „Ada Lovelace Day“ is taking place. If you don’t know Ada Lovelace so far – you should: She lived in the early 19th century, and is known today especially for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the analytical engine. Ada is regarded not only as the first female programmer, she is actually regarded as the world’s first computer programmer.

The „Ada Lovelace Day“ celebrates the achievements of women in technology and science and pledges for blog posts about this topic. As the Ubuntu community tries to emphasize the involvement of women in the contribution to the project (e.g. see Ubuntu Women), there might interesting stories about an Ubuntu specific focus on this day’s topic.

I am looking forward the 24nd, there are over 1000 blog post pledges so far. In case you use twitter, have a look at the hash marks #AdaLovelace and #ald10.

Ubuntu developers visiting Ubuntu Berlin and c-base – plus interview with Mark Shuttleworth

A couple of months ago I started annoying people by telling them, I’d like to show the Ubuntu Berlin community and c-base to Mark Shuttleworth as he is interested in community personally on one side and Ubuntu Berlin is a great example on the other. So this’s rather inviting an important member of the community than celebrating a „meet and greet“. Of course telling people plans like this makes them smile, but when you raise your finger and say „It will happen“ with certainty, they’ll get uncertain. So the plan was actually to invite Mark to one of our great traditional release parties which you shouldn’t miss when you are around Berlin at release time.

By chance the Ubuntu Developer Sprint happened to be in Berlin for the next Jaunty release this week. If I got it right, the Canonical Ubuntu developers meet five days around two weeks before a release feature freeze and work in groups and issues that need to be decided/designed or just fixed immediatly. The incredible Daniel Holbach had the idea of inviting the bunch of developers right into the c-base after their work. So he did and we scheduled it for an evening when the Ubuntu Berlin crew also meets at c-base for their monthly jour fix.

We did not announce this meeting externally as we tried to make the whole evening as comfortable as possible for everyone. And we did, I think. Right in time at 19:30 this Wednesday evening about thirty Ubuntu developers entered the c-base. Just among them Mark who seemed to like the whole c-base hackerspace, Ubuntu Berlin, community, space and future thing a lot. The Canonical crowd got several guided tours through the whole base by __t, while housetier provided the others with „German beer“ and Club Mate. We had a lot of chats in smaller groups, things, you always wanted to ask the developer of your choice and just relaxed smalltalks about space, canooeing the c-base project „OpenMoon“ (trying to send a rocket to the moon), and more. Mark seemed to be amazed about asking people why they joined to Ubuntu Berlin team, what they were currently doing and so on – so, what the community thing is about right here and right now.

We had no schedule for the evening. Therefore we spent about two and a half hour at c-base without any official part and a cosy diner in smaller groups afterwards. We only asked some people for an interview for the c-base statement studio channel where already people like Nokias Peter Schneider and Mozillas CEO John Lilly showed up. Mark took the time for an interview by jocognito. The results of this short talks are already online on Youtube:

Interview #1: (when the inbound video doesn’t show up, click here)

Interview #2: (when the inbound video doesn’t show up, click here)

Another interview with Jorge Castro and James Westby has also been taped and will be published soon. Funny guys talking about Ubuntu on the moon. I’ll post the Youtube links, when the edited version is online.
So what’s next? I hope everybody liked (Ubuntu) Berlin and c-base and we got a good start for possible events in the future.
Thanks again to Daniel who initiated the visit!

From workshops over Jour Fix to free network games – one week in Berlin

This week seems to be a new hilight in the „Ubuntu Berlin“ history. I already mentioned that we are really busy with event organisation, but we continue to outperform ourself: In the last weeks we noticed that we reached a point where it is impossible to plan events so that a majority of is can participate, as we are just running so many of them which has positive and negative side effects.

So how is this weeks schedule?

  • Monday: workshop with the incredible Sven Guckes about screen and irssi part one,
  • Tuesday: workshop with Sven Guckes part two,
  • Wednesday: Monthly Jour Fix at c-base with some very special guests – I’ll report back with interesting material,
  • Saturday: free game afternoon/evening/night – our first try for a free lan party with free games like „Battle for Wesnoth“, „Sauerbraten“, „Tetrinet“ – at least one game for every taste.

This feels really great on one side as you can participate at Ubuntu events on four of seven evenings within this week. And it seems we wont run out of content for the next months as we still have a lot of ideas and volunteers for workshops, release parties, events, jams and technical projects.

On the other side most members of our user group face the new situation of not being able to participate in all events. While a year ago the core team showed up at nearly every event, nearly nobody is able to participate in an Ubuntu event every second day a week.

We discussed a lot about this issue: Is it possible to offer too many events? The main argument for this is the possibility of shooting one’s wad within a short time. I, personally, don’t agree with this right now. When your possible audience is large enough – Berlin has round about 3.5 million residents – you actually can not run out of visitors. Of course millions of them aren’t interested in Ubuntu at all right now (are they?), but you have to decide whether you want to build a community for the sake of a community – which is okay, meaning meetings, chats and similar in and for a closer core group. Or you decide that you use the community as a kind of incubator trying to reach out for all the different people out there. Not to include them all into the community but to spread knowledge, free software and yes, fun.

So I guess, we’ll continue to fire off events as they come in. Actually we came to the comfortable problem of having „too many“ events by doing so for the last months, even years and we’ll see what this means for 2009. Think a lot of fun and a growing amount of happy Ubuntu users. Promised.

Ubuntu Berlin raising money for a video projector – want to support?


I already mentioned that one goal of Ubuntu Berlin for this year is raising enough money for a new video projector. The „Ubuntu Berlin“ team is quite active with its release parties, bug jams, lectures and workshops and most of these events require us to present software to an audience (surprise!). We are really happy about having the possibility to use the infrastructure of the well known c-base, but the video projector there is really close to its end of life-cycle and more or less unusable (too dark, unsharp, etc.).

Therefore we decided to buy a new video projector funded by the community. The „ubuntu Deutschland e.V.„, the main German LoCo team, if you can say so, and legal association behind major parts of the German community, is able to collect the money and can even issue an official contribution receipt as this is tax deductable in Germany.

So if you have some money left and want to support one of the most active teams in the Ubuntu community, feel free to donate some money to:

account holder: ubuntu Deutschland e.V.
bank: HVB Nürnberg
account number: 382916859
bank code: 76020070
IBAN: DE44760200700382916859

Swift (BIC)
purpose of transfer: „Ubuntu Berlin“ (important!)

Of course you can also donate money from another country than Germany, just use the IBAN/Swift :)

For your information:

We intend to buy a projector for about EUR 500 to 700, depending on the amount of money we collect. The beamer will be a permanent loan to the c-base, located in their workshop room – therefore used for hundreds of lectures and workshops around free software. If we collect more than we actually need for the projector, we’ll spend the remaining money for other expenses connected to Ubuntu Berlin (e.g. further reconstruction of the workshop room at c-base, funding of our bigger events like LinuxTag BBQ, release parties, etc.).

Thanks for reading, and: Donating makes you really sexy :)


You can also donate money over the wire: Just send the amount of money you like to spend via PayPal to: [email protected]