30 November 2009

F13: I voted

Much to my disappointment, among for the naming criteria for Fedora 13, we did NOT have "it must not be a ruler or religious figure" so a lot of obscure kings or emperors were advanced, but a queen is much better than that, more so when we are talking about a queen of the fairies. So my vote for the F13 codename was Gloriana.

vote gloriana

Have you voted yet? If not, then go now and obey your queen!
f13 name

25 November 2009

Cooking with Nicu: Boiled (mulled) wine

A lot of people in the community are blogging about food making, Mo has a dedicated blog for that, but she's a slacker and don't keep it updated, tatica is a wimp, she tag the tasty stuff out of Planet, Charlie do awesome stuff but only on special occasions and so on. I guess is the time for me to join and since the winter is less than one week away, this is a season recipe: boiled wine (this is how we call it in Romania, you may call it mulled wine), something what will make a cold winter day pass easier. But I don't guarantee your programming skills will remain the same...

The pretty picture must say it all:

boiled (mulled) wine

More in-depth:
  1. First you need wine, preferably red. Obviously, the better the wine is, the final product will be. But don't overspend, we will add a lot of spices as the original purpose of this recipe was to make bad wine drinkable. The half-full empty mug in the picture is for illustrative purposes, use at least a full mug;
  2. It must be sweetened, with either sugar or honey. I think honey is tastier. The quantity depends on your taste and how sweet the wine is;
  3. Add cinnamon, preferably whole but if all you have is powder, that is good too. The cinnamon is the most important spice, you can make the recipe with only wine, sugar and cinnamon and it is still good;
  4. An awesome touch is to add a quince fruit, sliced. It add some flavor to the drink, but most important, the taste of the fruit will be awesome. If you don't have quinces, apples will also work instead, they are related fruits (for exaple if you put quinces instead of apples in a pie, it will be equally good);
  5. More spices, for better flavor: add a few clovers. I didn't have some in the house, but a few pieces of dried orange peel are also good;
  6. Make the drink richer by adding some (more than in the photo above) raisins and walnuts;
  7. Put everything in a kettle and let it over fire until it boils;
  8. Stop the fire, let everything sit for a couple of minutes for the flavors to mix, but not longer so it is still hot and pour the result, wine and fruits, in a mug (ceramic, to keep the drink warm or glass like here to see the awesome colors);
  9. Enjoy it while still hot.

Inkscape 0.47

Even if this is pretty much a non-event for us, Fedora users who can make use of the development builds since before F11 (half a year ago), it is still a milestone and the developers deserve congratulation for releasing at last the new and feature packed Inkscape 0.47 (could you endure the wait?).


I for one can't endure such waiting, so I am glad I use Fedora and be on the bleeding edge.

24 November 2009

fp.ro online again

Yesterday due to some problems with the hosting provider, our local Fedora website went down completely. With a new hosting provided by RLUG/ProLinux and after some good late night hours spent by rpetre and ajoian, the website is up again and working better than ever.

Thanks guys, you absolutely rock!

20 November 2009

Digital painting

When Mo was enthusiastic about tablet improvements in Fedora 12, this made me dust-off my own device, but only a few days later when Kaio pointed to the small and awesome MyPaint I got hooked, liking a lot how it feels like real drawing/painting.

And my first drawing with it, my first digital painting ever, is something I think is not entirely bad:

Speaking about graphic applications, I found somewhat funny (and somewhat sad) to see how Ubuntu is again following Fedora's footsteps, this time by removing GIMP, with a similar line of reasoning ("we" wanted to free space on the Desktop Spin for more apps and ended with a 650MB .iso and 50MB is unused space). At least they got Slashdot headlines with this move and somewhat compensated our own negative PackageKit headlines (wait a bit to see the headlines when they will follow with the PackageKit thing too).

PS: thumbs-up for doing at last (post-release) the right thing with PackageKit in F12.

19 November 2009

Is there such thing as bad publicity?

I know there is a famous quote saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity and one day after the release the news about PackageKit allowing unprivileged users to install packages without root permission made a larger number of [negative] comments than the release announcement itself on such sites as LWN or Slashdot, which I am not convinced is a good thing for publicity.

But surely I am glad I got to keep my public presentations about F12 in advance last week, so I didn't get laughed-out of the presentation for such a "feature", for which I wouldn't know how or care to defend.

Now I promise, my next post will be on a more positive note about the release!

18 November 2009


Among the large number of new features in Fedora 12 there is Thusnelda, the new and improved version of the Theora encoder, which is supposed to bring either better-looking videos or smaller files at the same quality.

As the Theora videos I create are mostly screencasts made with gtk-RecordMyDesktop (image quality from Istanbul is unacceptably low), I have no idea how I can take advantage of any of those optimizations (probably one of them is active by default, without any control from me).

But what I can tell, is a decrease in quality: screencasts recorded now are jumpy, the image freezes for a bit, then jump forward, skipping some important frames. No ideea if this is caused by the aplication, libtheora, X.org, video drivers or something else.


17 November 2009

Beer 12

Fedora 12, Beer, Today, 18:30, La Berbecu, Bucharest, reservation for "Adrian"... 'nuff said

16 November 2009

Enough with the previews, let's get to the real thing

Even if the release counter still says "Fedora 12 Constantine arriving in 2 days" (one day and a couple of hours by now), we already launched F12 in Romania, taking advantage by the invitations to speak at a couple of local events.

Now the photos are up in the gallery: those from the RLUG meet are a few and more serious, I was speaking and ave played more conservatively with my camera:

rlug rlug rlug rlug

Then it was more relaxed to the Firefox anniversary, where the audience was formed mostly by students and we had Mozilla sponsored pizzas, beers and cake:
firefox firefox firefox firefox

The slides are available for download in PDF.

13 November 2009

Kindergarden drawing

It started today when Kushal told us in #fedora-art about his brand new Wacom tabled and how he want to learn to use it. Obviously, his first drawing was a simple house, drawn in the most traditional kindergarden style. Fun!

Not being able to resist, I cleaned the dust on my old tablet, plugged it in, and drawn my own naive house:

house drawing

Then, we took the challenge to tatica, who was also on the channel, so she made one too - they should put they drawings online any time now...

Now here is the thing: we know Fedora 12 rocks on tablets, so we have a meme for harmless Friday fun, all of you in the community having a tablet, plug it in, start GIMP and draw a kindergarden style house and post it (at least Mo and Kaio are tablet owners, so I count os some follow-ups).

10 November 2009

This time for sure, we are going on air

A couple of weeks ago I made noise about our series about Linux/FLOSS airing on the national television, but to much disappointment it was unintentional false news. Today I received apologies (which in turn I return to my mislead readers) and a confirmation: it will be diffused this week, Thursday 12 November 2009 at 17:00, in fact they will have two segments about us.

Too bad the date and time is totally inconvenient for me, struggling between day job and a Fedora 12 presentation. After the first failure I am ashamed to ask people to record the show again...

Fedora 12 previews

I know the parties are supposed to take place after the event, but this time we got the opportunity to talk about Fedora in general and the goodies in Fedora 12 in particular at a couple of events taking place a few days in advance of the general availability, but the distro is "gold", we are close enough, so will go for it, together with Adrian.

First, Thursday 12 November 2009 at 19:00 we are invited to keep a short (less than 30 minutes) presentation at the first RLUG meeting (this is supposed to become a tradition and I am glad we are one of the openers). Here the audience will be comprised of a highly experienced crowd, so I look forward to a challenging experience.

Then Saturday 14 November 2009 at 14:00, together with friends from the local openSUSE community, who also have a launch, we are guests at a larger Firefox 5 years anniversary, event sponsored by Mozilla. Here we will also have a short presentation and will take advantage of Alex's presence, who is a key contributors in both Fedora and Mozilla local communities.

Is still early for this, so this is not decided yet, but we may also have a beer meeting in the very release day (we geeks are immune to the AH1-N1 hysteria which conquered the city :D). More details about that to be announced at a later date.

09 November 2009

Brown explosion

I didn't turn Ubuntu overnight, I am the same blue zealot at the core, but I find nothing short of amazing those earthly warm tones of the autumn[*].

[autumn tones]

[*] I know some people not happy with their distro being brown and prefer Fedora only for its color (yeah, really!), but this is wrong, there are not "good" or "bad" colors, its about how are you using them, you can make bland or beautiful images with any color.

Get to know a Fedora Ambassador or User

The running joke in our local community is that not officially being an Ambassador but doing a lot of Ambassador work I should become one, but I refuse to apply for the title - I guess this makes me a half-Ambassador :p Still, the meme is not limited to that, working also for users, so I can join in:

name: Nicu Buculei
nick: nicubunu
IRC channels: #fedora-art, #fedora-design, #fedora-ro
location: Bucharest, Romania


And trying to add to the meme, the most awesome thing I learned today about our community: one of the members of our local (Romanian) community as a day job as a violin player in the Bucharest Philharmonic. How cool is that? I love this diversity and looking forward at chatting and drinking beers.

03 November 2009

This is a small world

This morning when going to work I somehow noticed (I usually don't look for such things) this small poster glued on the wall of a building close to my office (less than 50 meters away):


Noting out of the extraordinary, some small firm advertising for pet services, but what drew my attention was the drawing in the top-right corner with a dog head. It was looking familiar, as it is one of my drawings published at the Open Clip Art Library and it made my day!

I made it years ago, exercising original drawing made with the mouse, so the result is not great, but I submitted it to the library anyway, as I do with all my drawings which are not made for a specific project. And I found awesome how a little graphic contributed to an international project found its way back to a few meters away of me. Either the world is very small or what we are doing is really useful for the people.

Now to be honest, I can't say for sure if the image is taken from openclipart.org, from my own website, where the images are also available, or from one of the many other websites redistributing, grace to the PD dedication, the openclipart.org content. But this is irrelevant, the goal was achieved.

PS: is not wise to base your company logo on Public Domain clipart, but for very small companies this is not a real problem, they don't have real branding.

02 November 2009

Autumn bokeh

If there is one word to describe the Fedora 12 wallpaper is "bokeh", the miriad of circles of light (and it was even stronger in early iterations), so with this in mind, no wonder I remembered the wallpaper when shooting a beautiful autumn bokeh, even if the composition and tones were entirely different.

autumn leaves and bokeh