Inkscape Contest and Spreadshirt

For the past few weeks we’ve been running a contest to pick the next about screen. It’s a regular contest that we run and this one is special for me because it’s the first time we’ve managed to run the contest on instead of the deviantArt page. Because of this, we’ve had really good response this time around and the voting process is now ongoing:

The other good news is that the Free Software Conservancy has set up a spreadshirts account for inkscape, so the plan is to try and produce some physical goods. At first we’ll just inkscape logo items, but we’ll try and move to getting other items too. Maybe even incorporating artworks. Although that’ll bring up a good discussion we’ll have to have with the artists to make sure they’re happy with the idea, even if they’ve licensed things under CC.

What New for Artists in 12.10?

This blog post is posted to deviantArt, reposted here.

The new release of Ubuntu is out, this is a non-long term support version. If you’re using the previous version 12.04 and you’re not too bothered about any of the functionality listed below. Then you should stick to 12.04 since it’s supported for 5 years. Otherwise, get to your upgrade manager and get your Ubuntu upgraded!

Now what interesting things are in this Ubuntu version which is interesting to artists?

Gimp 2.8 is now in the archives by default, so no extra steps required to get all the extra options and single window mode. Just install from the software center as normal.

There’s a new version of the Wacom driver for graphics tablets with 8 new tablets supported. If you have one of these tablets you SHOULD upgrade:

  • Cintiq 22HD Tablet
  • Bamboo Wireless Kit ACK-40401
  • Intuos5 S/M
  • Intuos5 touch L/M/S

There is better online integration for accounts with a new online accounts configuration panel. My plan is to build a plugin for deviantArt’s so you can submit art from nautilus, shotwell, gimp and inkscape but have the account managed for you by the operating system.

A minor new version of Krita from 2.4 to 2.5, same versions of inkscape (0.48.3) and MyPaint (1.0.1) as before.

Test Article

I’ve decided to move away from working on and advocating for the Canonical’s Ubuntu release for this cycle. Instead I will be working more with Debian, Ubuntu Studio, Edubuntu and perhaps Xubuntu instead.

But wait Martin, I hear you ask, why would you be working on Ubuntu spins? Well the Ubuntu platform is a fairly strong bases to build good distros, the various distros just need more love. And who doesn’t like Debian with a better installer?

So what am I really quitting? The version of Ubuntu that is focused on customers, the Canonical mainline which most people know as “Ubuntu Desktop Edition”. This version of Ubuntu is no longer an attractive to work on for me.

Basically I’ve run out of patience with the Ubuntu direction as moves away from creative people and more and more towards consumerism. In Oneiric, as far as I can make out, there will be no creative tools installed by default. To me this is an indication that the mainline distro is not in accord with my own wish to promote independent creativity and sharing.

Perhaps we’ve accepted that anyone can install anything and there for there isn’t a need for anything to be installed, perhaps we should remove everything but the installer and package manager? Or maybe we’ve grown beyond an ability to look at the desktop through fresh ideas and imagine the excitement and possibilities offered by the default tools on offer and make the leap that there might be more on offer.

The lack of support for Free Software philosophies, it’s gone from the website and is talked about with affection in decreasing frequency. Possibly in error, but the promotion of open source as interchangeable language isn’t good.

So why will I quit advocating for Ubuntu to normal users? This latest release has been problematic for my users; they’ve been complaining about doing the upgrades themselves and them having a desktop that either doesn’t work or is annoying to use. If Canonical can make 11.10 _much_ better for non-technical users, then I might revisit advocacy.

So there you have it, my general directional change for Oneiric. I’ll reassess what I want to do after this cycle, but I have work to do…

Samsung/tmobile Android Phone

I just got myself a new phone to replace my lost blackberry pearl. I never had a data plan for my pearl so it was _just_ a phone, and a rather pathetic one at that. But now thanks to my carelessness weeks ago I could give in to presure and replace the phone with something better.

Now I have an Android based Samsung Vibrant. So far I’ve rooted it (took a bit of time to do), got a terminal installed and have barnacle wifi tether installed. As well as downloading the Ubunchu Android apps 🙂

Maybe I can test a bunch of things now.

Posted in UncategorizedTagged android, phone, 3 Comments on Samsung/tmobile Android Phone

ClassBot gets Translations

All hail the awesome work of Nathan Handler (nhandler) who has spent quite a bit of time trying to get the classbot we all use in the classroom irc channels to be able to be translated.

The code is now finally packaged into a nice deb with a lovely pot file for launchpad translations.

Check it out here: ClassBot


I really liked this image and I wanted to share it with you all:

It’s published on deviantArt and it’s by Animtim.

Off to UDS

So my trip to UDS in Brussels this weekend was a little troubling, my flight with American Air was cancelled. I managed to book another flight though and got here safely.

I’m looking forward to a week of interesting discussions.

Flight Canceled

I was due to get a flight for UDS but it was cancelled. Thanks American Air.

I’m re-scheduling now and hopefully I’ll make it on time.