FOSDEM 2010

After long times I finally have time to publish my impressions about FOSDEM 2010.

In advance I can say it was a beautiful experience.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and I met the other fedora ambassadors for the EMEA Ambassador meeting, let me say meeting face to face is worthy more thatn 1000 characters typed on IRC. It Was a pleasure to see a lot of  new faces and meet again all the veterans after long time. A lot of Greeks and a lot of people coming from The Netherlands.

On Saturday afternoon I gave a speech on Groovy. It was a really base introduction starting from a Java code. The room was completely full of people, and let me say the java room were only from  people really interested to, it was far from the whole event, so every person there was more interesting. At the end the talk went pretty well. I was so nervous and I made a lot of mistakes while typed my code live, I also broke it swapping missingMethodException and methodMissing().
Anyway the good news for me is that globally groovy is a technology that still gain a lot of people, considering is not anymore the hottest one (I mean the one under the reflectors, like Scala is right now).

I didn’t follow any talk, I spent all my time talking with a lot of  people in particular Fedora ambassadors, to have improve my network with them. This time my english was much better and I could contribute more with my thoughts.

I stayed almost all Sunday at Fedora booth. I left it just to have help from sspeitzer to flash it with cynogemod. We dumped it and we were close to start the flash, but I needed to backup my data before so we didn’t go further. I still trying to syncronize my calendar but seems no calendar alternative applications are available on Android (and this sucks).

The social events were really amazing, we went twice to Delirium Cafe and I can say Belgian beers are amazing! I Love them!

What it will remains impress in my mind, from this FOSDEM, it will be the friendly spirit and the coperation we had. It was impressing how we managed the booth and the organization, in particular was terrific the cooperations cross-distribution we have with other guys from Debian, Centos… I believe the decision of the FOSDEM organization to mix the distributions rooms was a good choice.

It was worthy for my coming to this event, I went home with a lot of new ideas and  motivations.

And I discovered that I love Brussels!

Other photos here.

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Cerea Fair Report – Jan 2010

Cerea is a small town, near Verona, characterized by a really huge exposition area, called AreaExpo, which counts a long series of events and expositions every year.

Before talking about the conference, I would like to talk a bit about the story of this event. Since I had the first contact and we got introduced to the possibility to have an active participation there, I was convinced on the importance of it. As Italian ambassadors we had to consider it as a key event.

Everything was possible thanks to Emanuele, friend and university mate, involved in some NPO of the area: LUGMan, Protezione civile, ARCO, etc. During MemoByte 2009, he introduced us to this fair and propose a huge Fedora participation.
I attended the Summer edition on August with Davide to have a look at the area and a better idea of the place. I was really impressed about it. Basically, the exposition area is divided into two parts: the exposition and the conference room with spots for 250 people.

The initial proposal and idea was to fill the conference room with talks during all the fair; I could say my best wish was to have Chitlesh Goorah speaking about Fedora FEL.

Unfortunately (and sadly) the Italian community didn’t answer very well (when I proposed it I got as answer only complains about the distance, the place, this and that…and so on…), so we (me and Emanuele) decided to do something lighter, less heavy (even for who organized) and with less resources required: a booth in the exposition area.

The (dream) team was composed by 5 people: Me, Alexjan, Marina, Davide and Lorenzo. The plans was to get there on Friday evening (I arrived on Saturday morning), stay there until Sunday evening. Due the impossibility to came back every night I arranged to sleep in an hostel near Cerea.

The exposition was really good, basically full of electronic, used stuff, radio amateurs, and various mixed booths. Indeed it was full of people; the organizations estimate around 10000 ~25000 people attended the event. We got also a really nice position, we were placed near the entrance, where all the people passed by after entering in the area.
A lot of people stop by and try the computers, ask questions and talk with us; statistically speaking most of them were above 40 years old, but I saw also some young people (not so many anyway).
The most common question people asked us were: “why not Ubuntu?” and “what are the differences?”; someone asked also “What is Linux?”. Next time I’ll bring a “fedora starter kit” with the most Frequently Asked Questions. :)

I really like the way we handle this event. My organization was a bit confused at the beginning because 1000Km distance are not handy but the team did and excellent job. In fact I cannot to say thanks to Stefano, who didn’t join us but did a fundamental job by helping me, like my right hand.
On my side, there are a lot of stuff that have to be improved, we manage successfully to get some CDs and DVDs (thanks to fedora) but due to some problems I couldn’t print the latest 4 foundation banner, we used the old Freedom, Voice and Infinity one.
Next time I want to design and try a new gadget concept. Instead of having CDs and DVDs I want to prepare and give a transparent plastic CD cover without a CD/DVD inside, but just information about:
• what is fedora
• how download and burn it
• how to join

Why this? Because, in Italy at least, most of the people who ask for CD/DVD don’t really need it, they need only the cover and the information printed on it.

Last but not least, this, for now, will be the last even I’ll organize in Italy. I’m now busy on FAmSCo stuffs and I still have to getting in and being more productive. Moreover the distance doesn’t help me, and I would like to see if the Italian community can walk without me.

I also decided to give my Ambassador polo, which is really big for me (I’ll get a new one two size less) to Alexjan. Like Max give to me for my involvement in Fedora, I’ll give to him because he is really doing good stuff for Fedora.
I have to congratulate with him and with all of the team, for the passion, the care and the effort they put on this event: I have to give my welcome to Marina, who will join our ambassador community.

In conclusion, this event was double worthy. Looking the relation with the outside world, we spot in a prolific (linux speaking) area and will give us opportunities to have at least two/three events per year. Looking internally we enhance our team, our relations, I believe having a face-to-face speaking was 10000 better than talking only via email and fortified your relation for present and future.

You can find additional photos from the event here.

Elected for FAmSCo!

Yesterday I got the good news about fedora FAmSCo (Fedora Ambassador Sterling Committee) elections, I was running for: I got elected in the board!

I finally want to do something different for Fedora, writing less code and start getting some responsibility, in order to grow in some aspects I’ve seen before.

Many many compliments to who have been elected and also for who haven’t, I’m sure next time will go better ;-)

My nomination for FAmSCo

Yeah. I finally decided, after long guessing, pondering and evaluating, to add myself to the Fedora Ambassador Sterling Committee election nomination list. I really appreciated that Francesco Ugolini asked me to nominate myself for FAmSCo elections, that means the job I’m hardly doing for the Italian Community is good.

My long-terms goals are really simple (and you can find it in the link above) and world wide:

  • Keep FAmSCo up to date on Local groups activities/problems/improvements;
  • Improve communication within and outside the FAmSCo and the fedora ambassadors project
  • Help Ambassadors with events organization, supporting Ambassadors ideas and initiatives.

Vote vote vote (for me of course) :)

Linux TAG – FUDCon – Berlin 2009

Linux TAG: when .org meet .com., the most important opensource event in Europe.

Linux TAG is the first event I attended with Fedora project. My participation, this year was short, just the weekend, for the FUDCon.

As usually FUDCon was interesting and funny I met a lot of new people (the world is small but the people are many) and of course I don’t remember all their names :)

I arrived Friday night to – I discover the day after – Tegel Airport (instead of Schoenefeld) and I reach the other guys that were exactly in the same place of one year ago “en passant”, and of course Italian Restaurant.

The FUDCon was introduced by an interesting, as usually, keynote of Paul Frields then Barcamp sessions started. I wanted to present something but the schedule was decided the day before when I wasn’t yet arrived. Too bad. :)

I attended QA and git for hackers, fedoracommunity, Design for F12, Symboli 2.0 and Simon sessions talks.

I have to say thanks to Mairin to change the abits of people and bring us far from “en passant” (of course we need more woman). Sorry guys but I like to change restaurant sometimes :)

I also discovered why is not a good idea to say “I have a flickr account” to dutch people. :P

You can get some photos from my “yahoo photo” account.

MemoByte 2009 – Mantova

MemoByte 2009 is an event organized by ARCO no profit organization and is focuses on both Computer and Electronic technologies. Basically is divided into two areas: an area like a market of old and new electronic devices (Radio, old computers, transistors, and so on) and an area dedicated to Computer groups and organizations like LUGMan (Mantova’s LUG), Fedoraproject, LUG Parma, and so on.

I brought with me two good ambassadors: Gianluca Varisco and Alexjan Carraturo. Really good choice! We had to travel a lot of kilometres from Milan to Verona and then down to Mantova but thanks to them, the travel was funniest and interesting (particularly funny when Gianluca and Alex discussed about ADSL vs Optical fiber).

The worthy part was our ability and opportunity to plan a lot of things about Fedora-it and fedora ambassador groups.

We brought some Fedora 10 CDs, some Fedora FEL ISOs and a lot of stickers left from FOSDEM (Thanks to Gerold who gave me) and two OLPC (which is always a star).

We met a lot of people that needs information about Linux, Fedora and Opensource software. And we come back with the opportunity of organize a big and (maybe) international event in January 2010 (stay tuned).

Mantova is a good place for fedora to grown, organizators asked me about Linux Day (in october) and the possibility to have gadgets: they are fantastic supporters and we must to invest in that area as much as we can.

Moving Fedora-it on rails

I’m 2 month late to write this post, but on the other hand, I adjusted my thought with last three months experience and give you a better perspective.

When I think about Fedora-IT community origin, I start smiling. I remember clearly when on #fedora-it IRC channel were only two (me and Matteo), and two Fedora Ambassador (Francesco & Francesco). Today we are officially a community. We are about 10/15 people on IRC and 5/7 active Fedora Ambassadors. This is nothing respect to French and German communities but for now is enough.

Since 2009 I have been decided to enhance the community by add short regular activities:

  • We have to do at least one meeting for month (no matter who is the owner or who ask for it, it’s important to keep in touch regularly, have brainstorming, discussions and involving all interested people.
  • We have few localized pages on fedora wiki to keep and track internal informations:
    1. Event page with a list of Italian events where we my participate (for example LinuxDay, Document Freedom Day, Software Freedom Day ,etc). This page has multiple goals: track every event may be interesting for us, give to Ambassador people the possibility to choose which event they want to attend,  Today this page is incomplete but next year we will have a really valuable event list.
    2. Inventory page collects gadget location and owner, this page exist because gadget are distributed all around Italy. This list give you the possibility to know what is available and who ask to.
    3. Meeting page with transcript and summary meeting.

I think we are on the right way.Stay tuned!

Italian ambassadors kick-off

I wrote this post a week ago, but wordpress ate it while publishing and I published only the title..

By the way, I decide to organize meeting on 2009 planning activities, opened to all Italian fedora contributors. We discusses (and discussion is still in progress) about:

Sponsorship: find guidelines to define fair and clear get-give process
Fedora release parties: how to improve it, how to make it more interesting?
Fedora lab: It was on agenda but who had to speak about it (I prefer to maintain secret his identity), felt asleep during the meeting :)

This meeting was more a brainstorming, to have a starting point.
Stay tuned :)

Linux Day 2008 report

wow, Linux day 2008 has finished and I’m still alive.

Linux day 2008, this is the first time Fedora is sponsorized as much as possible to all around Italy, and maybe we got a new ambassador.

This year I lived Linux Day in a different way, I was present (not at the same time) in two city: my day started in Lodi with LOLUG and terminated in Mantova (a not-so-near-Lodi city) with LUGman.

In Lodi I spent most of the morning to finish the opened tasks: made LTSP working, deployed Fedora USB station and prepared myself for wireless (in)security talk I did with Stefano (to be honest, he did the presentation and I only help him with demo).

The fedora KIT worked well and I finally saw it after planning, organizing for months. We can tune and improve it, but we started and now is more simple to manage. ;-)

After midday I went in Mantova, and I realized how bad connected to Lodi is. ~150 Km. No Highways. The fastest path found suggested by GPS navigator was this: Lodi -> Piacenza -> Brescia -> Verona -> Mantova, completely pointless.
I decided to travel with my own route and I take more than 1,5 hours to go and about 2 hours to return (No way to reduce the travel time), fortunately my car is gas methane powered.

After arrived in Mantova I knew Pietro Calzoni and Fausto Picchi who were my fedora contacts in LUGMan. LUGMan’s Linux Day was organized in a quite different way, there wasn’t speech but only workshops. I had a table with a computer and the possibility to mix practice and theory.

My initial plan was to use the kick-ass-wonderful Lorenzo Villani’s Fedora presentation (we will provide the english version soon), but I preferred to spoke directly with interested people (a lot of people, 20-25 more or less), helped and showed them whatever they wanted.

I’d got a lot of questions: “What is the difference from Fedora and Ubuntu?”, “How is the Fedora community?”, “How I can have a polo like you?”, and so on.

I made 7/8 USB keys, I gave away all CDs. I spoke about many arguments: revisor, yum, packagekit, bodhi and koji, about the community (and the possibility to contribute without be a computer skilled person), the importance of being upstream (this was and always is the main point to explain why Fedora is better than Ubuntu).

I think our message “There is an awesome alternative to Ubuntu” was taken. We (fedora Italian Ambassador) are growing and we can reply to “$$ spent to burn CDs” with a lot of alternatives: Fedora USB kit is one of them.