Category Archives: Ubuntu


Touch Demo Preparation

Earlier today I prepared to demo the latest daily build of Ubuntu Touch for the San Francisco Ubuntu Hour on a Nexus 7 device. I needed to do a few things. Continue reading


OLPC SF Community Summit


The olpc community is gathering this weekend, Oct 19-21, for the annual summit at San Francisco State University sponsored by By proclamation it’s OLPC day in San Francisco again! Our Sat & Sun schedule from 10AM-4:30PM looks good. Confirmed attendees include Mary Lou Jepsen, Brian Behlendorf, Daniel Drake, Matt Keller, Richard Smith, C Scott Ananian, Bernie Innocenti, Sameer Verma, about 150 people in all.

Many people that put GNU/Linux laptops (over 2.5 million and counting) in kids hands all over the world are flying here to collaborate and discuss their successes and challenges. Some members like David Farning and I from our Ubuntu Sugar Team will be participating with Fedora Ambassadors, Sugar Labs and others. Stay for the Sugar Camp immediately following the summit at SFSU in the same location next week.

UDS Lightning Talk – Local Schools

CACS Partimus LabHere is the text of my lightning talk.

Good afternoon! My name is Grant Bowman.

First, I want to thank Ubuntu for choosing this UDS location. It’s very exciting to have you all here. I’m a local. I would like to plug all the hard working San Francisco Bay Area groups I am privileged to be involved with but I need to highlight just one right now.

I would like to pause for a moment with you to zoom out quite a bit just for a second. Schools around the world are literally the place where the minds of our next generation are shaped. As social networking and new research confirms, the human condition is predicated on what Edward O Wilson calls eusociality or, more simply, “fitting in.” My colleagues and I have seen the need to “fit in” manifest itself time and again here in California and through travels to places like August Town, Jamaica and Nairobi, Kenya. Highly social school administrators are not immune. Luckily this eusociality is a double edged sword. It can work in both directions. Let me “take you to school.”

Even in these times of financial challenges, school district administrators, principals, teachers, parents and students still clamour to allocate a very significant amount of their overall resources to the purchase of poorly made computing products. This is directly due to public misconceptions. With a foundation of education these misconceptions can be changed.

As far as design & usability, Ubuntu is now leading the state of the art rather than following. We are experiencing a innovative, disruptive computing transition as described by Clayton Christianson in his book The Innovator’s Dilemma.

Poorly made computing products guarantee vendors upgrade sales. This contrasts with how we do things. As Eric Raymond describes, we are able to scratch our own itches and share our improvements for mutual benefit. We operate in the open in a bazaar style.

Closed source vendor lock-in creates a cycle of dependency in hearts and minds of all ages just at a time when students are looking to authority figures to show them how best to move forward. *We* know that free and open source specifically and Creative Commons more generally are game changers. Tim O’Reilly calls us alpha geeks. The public is slowly becoming more aware.

The significant resources closed source vendors direct at our common future are shaping the computing platform choices we and our neighbors use both publicly and privately. The longer we wait the worse this problem becomes. As we know, now is always the best time for engaging.

We would like to contribute back our hard won lessons, build our capacity and replicate our best practices in similar environments. In the 1970s Dr. Douglas C Engelbart called this structure a set of improvement communities. His papers are well worth reading to this day.

Partimus means “we share” in Latin. For those that haven’t heard yet, we are a locally operating 501(c)(3). We bring repurposed hardware, our favorite GNU/Linux distribution, free and open source applications and free culture content to San Francisco and Oakland schools. We are deeply involved in community building efforts. We need your support to continue to provide and grow our program as we have done for the past eight years. If you are able to help us, please contact me, Elizabeth Krumbach or the email address Lyz and I are happy to speak with you. Lyz also has Ubuntu earrings for sale, a fundraiser we are conducting on our website,

Oh, wear sunscreen. Thank you very, very much. 12.04 LTS Presentation Tues, April 17th

pangolin imageTomorrow at 8pm the unstoppable Elizabeth Krumbach and I will be presenting on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin. Please arrive at 6:30pm to eat dinner with us before the presentation. 12.04 is scheduled for release into the wild April 26th joining the existing eight mammal pangolin species in Africa and Asia. We are presenting in San Francisco’s Chinatown at the Four Seas Restaurant at the monthly Bay Area Linux User’s Group meeting. The website has more details. The Four Seas is located at 732 Grant Ave @ Clay a few blocks from the Montgomery St BART station. A handout will be provided highlighting changes such as default DNS handling with resolvconf and dnsmasq, RC6, Ubuntu Core and OpenStack.

We are excited to host this meeting just 20 days in advance of UDS just across the bay in Oakland, CA May 7-11.

Kenya Ubuntu Hour

Jambo wote, (hello everyone) iHub entrance and coffee bar

I am working with the Kenyan Team to host an Ubuntu Hour in Nairobi, Kenya this Thursday from 17:00-18:00 EAT at iHub. iHub is an Open Space for hackers, technologists, investors, and tech companies in Nairobi. The iHub’s location is on the 4th floor of the Bishop Magua Centre on Ngong Road (directly opposite the Uchumi Hyper). The location is quite inviting, with quick access to public transportation, food and the City Centre.

I will also have my IRC client turned on for discussion in #ubuntu-ke if you would like to join us virtually via that web IRC client or use your own IRC client. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone! I hope this will be the first of many related events.

The Ubuntu Hour was proposed by myself and made possible with the help of the iHub staff, iHub Member and Dreamfish Member Bernard Owuor and iHub Member, Dreamfish founder and CEO Tiffany von Emmel.

According to the website the space was made possible by funding to Ushahidi by the Omidyar Network and Hivos. Ushahidi covers the lease, electricity and data connections.

Jambo Kenya

In a few short days I am headed to Nairobi, Kenya for three months to work with Dreamfish and recent graduates of Nairobits. While in Nairobi I look forward to to meeting with the Ubuntu Kenyan Team and other open source related groups such as iHub, mFarm and Ushahidi.

Before I leave I am hosting several send-off parties in the San Francisco bay area next week. Please join us if you can.

I will have an Internet connection while staying at Dreamfish Place Nairobi and hope to participate remotely in various Ubuntu events during my trip.

Ubuntu Membership

While I have been contributing to Ubuntu for over a year, I am pleased that my application was accepted and I am now an Ubuntu Member. What does this mean?  In the Ubuntu community special recognition is given to Ubuntu contributors who have demonstrated significant and sustained effort in one or more ways. While many California Team members have made contributions, Ubuntu Members have also documented these efforts in an application and appeared via IRC before a governing board for approval. Ubuntu Members (519 world wide at present) play a role in the governance of Ubuntu by voting to confirm new appointments to the Ubuntu Community Council.

I would like to thank everyone for the testimonials they provided and for their support during the IRC meeting.  It was quite a validation of my efforts that I will not soon forget.