Landing on the GeekDeck

As Og has already pointed out, our good friend Pete has managed to rope us into another one of his crazy projects, GeekDeck. It’s basically getting together a group of computer geeks who like to write and putting together an eclectic “zine/blog thingy … to expand peoples geek palettes”. It’s going to have monthly issues covering a large range of topics and will hopefully have a nice looking PDF version as well soonish.

This month I talked about a couple personal examples of how I’m using open source software in undergraduate and graduate science (specifically physical chemistry) education. Og’s “Cherry Picks of the Month” is fantastic, a great read, as was Pete’s interview of our very own Alan Pope. GeekDeck Issue 1 has a total of eleven articles so go check it out!


Who’s in your Ubuntu fav 5?

So Jorge just posted about nominating people to the Ubuntu Hall-of-Fame. He also hit on something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. While the HOF is a cool place to so who’s rockin’ the distro, for me it’s still a little impersonal. Maybe it’s just me, but I love to share why the people who rock have made such a huge impact for me. I also like talking about the “unsung heroes”. So here’s a meme for you all:

  1. Think of 5 people in the Ubuntu community who have influenced you the most, or helped you the most, or who you most idolize.
  2. For each person write a couple sentence summary of why they are in your Ubuntu Fav 5 and post somewhere.
  3. Nominate at least 1 person from your Fav 5 for the Ubuntu Hall-of-Fame.

Here are my Ubuntu Fav 5:

  • Oliver Grawert (ogra) – One of the first developers I talked to back in 2005 when I first got involved with Ubuntu. A great motivator for wanting to make MOTU. We worked together quite a bit on Edubuntu and he’s a great mentor and reminds me that open source is FUN. He also loves cats, ’nuff said.
  • Colin Watson (cjwatson) – Colin is like the epitome of an Ubuntu Developer, he’s smart, efficient, and helpful. He’s the force behind Ubiquity and much of what makes Ubuntu, Ubuntu. He’s been on both the Community Council and Technical Board and I trust him eminently to guide Ubuntu into the future.
  • Barry deFreese (bddebian) – Barry is the guy that got me involved with Ubuntu development back during Breezy Badger. He was a fun part of the MOTU community, and even though he’s come and gone over the years as life dictates, he’s always just quietly done what he could to make Debian and Ubuntu a better place, with his typically self-deprecating and humble attitude.
  • Martin Pitt (pitti) – Martin is pure awesome and is one of the most upbeat guys I know. What I like about Martin is that he’s very cheerful and friendly, even in the mist of imminent freezes and deadlines. And whenever I’ve had to ask him for help on something he’s always thanked me for my work, when he’s often the one that makes it really work.
  • Steve Langasek (slangasek) – Steve is the Ubuntu Release Manager, a long time Debian Developer, and a really cool dude. What impresses me the most about Steve is that even though he’s like THE MAN and works for Canonical,  he participates in the, mostly volunteer, MOTU community.