Monday, July 28, 2008

What have I been doing lately.

A little more than four monthes has gone since I left Tenerife, Canary Islands, to work in La Axarquía, Málaga, in a migration to software libre project. Working with public administrations is different than working for private companies. Usually you have more time for finishing the projects but the administrative and management issues are more complex. Get away from problems and keeping focused on the job to do is the key for not getting frustated. The impact though will be enormous so it is worth it.

After surveying and interviewing hundreds of people, trying to figure out how they use computers and apps, we have almost done an inventory system we have made for this project (based on ltsp). Since it will be GPL, I hope more people use it, specially in migration to software libre projects, like the one I'm working on.

Since in summertime most of the public workers are on vacation in Spain, we will be able to check their computers easily. I hope we can make a good report with the data extracted. Then the technicians will concentrate efforts on testing how key private apps work when virtualiced (with XEN, VMWare, Virtual Box and Wine basically). This is important to define the migration project of the 31 municipalities involved (in fact it won't be that many since some of them do not want to migrate).

Between managing this project and the Gran Canaria Desktop Meeting, I have no time for almost anything else. By the way, the Cabildo of Gran Canaria (Gran Canaria's Gov.) have put me in charge of the relation with both, KDE and GNOME projects for the GUADEC+Akademy 2009 event. This was going to be my first Akademy with no specific job to do but, obviously, it won't. It will be another busy event for me. Maybe is better this way.


Last week it was announced that we will participate in the migration project of the Economics and Technological Innovation Department of Junta of Extremadura (Extremadura's regional Gov.). We are going to make the initial report of the current situation. That is, interviewing pubic workers, making an inventory of equipments and apps, defining by groups the knowledge of users related with software libre, etc. That is the milestone before the development of the migration project itself.

We are the only small company that will be working on this migration project so it has been a nice surprise for us. I'm travelling tomorrow to Extremadura for the very first meeting.

Can anybody give me the clue to work 25 out of 24 hours?

Windsurfers say.... No fun.

I migration to soft. libre fun

Thursday, July 17, 2008

GUADEC + Akademy in Gran Canaria...thanks

Thanks for choosing Gran Canaria to host GUADEC + Akademy 2009. You have made us really happy.

We have a lot of work to do now. Since it is the first time both events takes place at the same time and place, we will face many issues for the very first time. It is going to be tough sometimes but we have the determination for solving them with the help from both, GNOME and KDE, staffs. All I can say is that we will try to integrate efforts and people following the spirit that have made possible this adventure (GUADEC+KDE). It is an example that should guide us during the following year.

I want to make a call to every KDE and GNOME community member for thinking about how can we use this conference to spread free software in Africa and to support african developers. Maybe it is not a major goal for most of us, but a little effort can have a huge impact in the area close to the Canary Islands, and even in other African countries. The Canaries are a piece of Europe in Africa. We have a chance to do something special, not just for ourselves and our communities, but for those countries who have in their people, its first and only valuable resource. Free software change things everywhere, but specially in those places.

Once again, thank you.

Monday, July 07, 2008

GUADEC + Akademy in Gran Canaria...why?

Why do we think GUADEC + Akademy 2009 should come to Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain? Well, here you have some ideas.

We have a compromise from the Gran Canaria island Gov and the Gran Canaria's college for spending a total of 250 thousand euros in this event. We will spend all the sponsorship we can get in other stuff because many of the things we offer will be already paid. Please visit this page to see the budget. It is well determined which concepts will be paid by the local organization:

But if money is not important for you, maybe the time you spend travelling is. There are a lot of companies that flies to Gran Canaria directly. When you get to Gran Canaria's airport, there is a bus that takes you to Las Palmas every 30 minutes. The trip takes 20 - 25 minutes and it leaves you at 10 - 15 minutes walking to any of the hotels we included in the wiki. All of them are close to the beach. So getting from the airport to any of the hotels is fast, cheap and easy:

The Auditorium is in the city, not uotside of it, so there are plenty of places to go to eat or having a beer. That is really cool for going out at night so you don't need to pick up a car. If you prefer staying at the hotel hacking at night, the local organization will pay a room for hacking in two different hotels so everybody can choose what to do. There will be internet connection in those rooms, of course.

We have planned the visit to two different places of Gran Canaria for 1000 people, 500 hundred to each place. Enough buses will be rented with a guide that speaks english. Both visits are really cool so you all will have fun. We will also have tipycal Canarian food during the trip:

In order to ensure that the event will be more publicited than ever, the local organization will invite journalists from general international press and media (5 people). We want to make sure that the event has impact not just in technical media but in more general ones. We also will invite 5 representatives from oocidental african countries related with technology so they can get in touch with the free software community and begin to promote it in those countries. Our islands have a great relations in the area so this event can be used as a plattform to spread technology and free software among those countries:

Initially we have offered to celebrate the event from July 3 to July 11, but we can delay the event a week if it is neccesary. Gran Canaria is not too hot at that time since we have a subtropical weather so it is never too hot or too cold, but most of the year is sunny. That's why we are one of the most important touristic places in the world. In addition to that, we have a mature free software community. Both Canary Islands colleges have a Free Software Office that are part of the local staff, one of the oldest LUGs in Spain and the first spanish regional free software companies association are also a key part of it.

There is a lot of job behind this offer. We have been working for monthes to define every detail yo can see on proposal. Please, get into it and take time to read before voting. Even if you do not support us, you'll find out good ideas and interesting things you can suggest to other candidates now or in the future.

This is not a just a matter of where you want to go, is a matter of where would be better for both projects to celebrate the event.

I want to thank all the people that has collaborated with us in this project and also the people that supports us. This is beeing a great experience so far.