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Interviews

Dedoimedo interviews: KDE's pointiest stick, Nate Graham

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KDE
Interviews

Today, I have something new and fresh for you. Back in 2016-2017, I conducted a number of interviews with interesting people in the tech world (Linux and the Internets), shedding light on their endeavors, projects and passions. Then, there's been a quiet period, interviews wise, and now, it is time to do so again. Today's voluntary scapegoat is Nate Graham.

If you're a Linux person, and you happen to be using KDE, then you must have come across Nate, most likely on his personal blog, Pointiest Stick, where he shares big weekly updates on all the good, cool, new, fun, and adventurous stuff going on in the KDE world. I have had brief online encounters with Nate here and there, and I have always liked his cheerful yet punctual approach to software. So I thought, why not interview Nate, and have him share his views, ideas and some of that sweet insider knowledge from behind the Plasma curtain. You should find this article doubly interesting, as I've already had an interview session with KDE's Seb and Bhushan five years back. Perhaps Nate can give us a perspective of what happening in the past few years, and what's coming. Commence to start.

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Jim Hall: How Do You Fedora?

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Red Hat
Interviews

Jim Hall served as Chief Information Officer in higher education and government for over eight years and has recently started the consulting company Hallmentum. Most of his work includes training, workshops, and coaching to help new IT leaders develop leadership skills, also to help current IT leaders get better at leadership. Apart from consulting, Jim also serves as adjunct faculty at the university level, currently teaching courses in Management Information Systems (MIS) and Technical & Professional Writing.

How did Jim grow up? Jim’s childhood heroes were from TV and movies, including Batman and Han Solo. Jim’s long-time favorite go-to movie is Star Wars: A New Hope. Jim says, “I am a big Star Wars nerd.” Jim’s favorite meals are Italian. “I love Italian food! Probably my favorite Italian dish is chicken cacciatore.” Jim’s opinion is that Honesty, Creativity, Imagination, Curiosity, and Openness are the five greatest qualities someone can possess.

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How Linux made a school pandemic-ready

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

More than 20 years ago, when Robert Maynord started teaching at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Monona, Wisconsin, the school had only eight functioning computers, all running Windows 95. Through his expertise in and enthusiasm for Linux and open source software, Robert has transformed the school community, its faculty, and its students, who are in kindergarten to eighth grade.

"In those early years, it quickly became apparent that paying license fees to Microsoft for each computer, in addition to purchasing all the software to install, was absurd when the computer itself was only worth $20," says Robert. So he began installing Linux on the school's computers.

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LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Hüseyin GÜÇ

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LibO
Interviews

I want the OpenDocument Format and LibreOffice application to be used in my institutions and city. For this reason, I wanted to support The Documentation Foundation individually.

Also, I am here because I think the LibreOffice community has a differentiation from other open source communities. You can install and use open source applications, but there is a need for the OpenDocument Format to become widespread in order to use the produced output.

Here, I want to be a part of this dissemination and I believe that there will be an opportunity for this. Open source usage in Turkey is not at the desired level yet. In addition, it is very sad that many individuals and institutions are unaware of the OpenDocument Format and LibreOffice. I want to strive to eliminate this problem.

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An Interview with the Developer of GamerOS

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Interviews
Gaming

We got a chance to sit down with alkazar79, the main developer behind the beloved console-like distribution GamerOS. Just a tad less than a year ago, we had reviewed this distro, and we liked it so much we wanted to get in touch with the developer and get a behind-the-scenes look as to why GamerOS was made, what sets it apart from other distributions, what the dev’s plans are for the future, among many other questions that we had asked him. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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Also: Free first-person strategy shooter 'Unvanquished' releases version 0.52 Beta

Inside the mind of Jim Whitehurst: Former Red Hat CEO talks tech, social innovation, IBM

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Red Hat
Interviews

Former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst—now a number 2 as president at IBM—opened up about the past, present, and future of IBM in a two-part profile of Whitehurst written by Robert Brennan Hart for C-Suite Quarterly (CSQ).

According to Hart’s reporting, Whitehurst is—possibly—the most influential proponent of open-source computing in history, and an incredibly qualified person to speak to the prescience of this moment in the relationship between humanity and computing. In the second part of the series and in a podcast conversation held between Whitehurst and reporter Michelle Dennedy, Whitehurst indicated that he’s still trying to advance open-source principles, including leading discussions with general counsels to argue that giving away intellectual property can be a good thing and isn’t inherently a bad thing to consider or to do.

That’s because, according to Whitehurst, technology can be brought to bear to address many of the world’s most pressing challenges, referencing how the use of technology is playing a central role in IBM’s commitment to carbon neutrality by the year 2030 as one example.

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Also: Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-18

Behind the Scenes of System76: Industrial Design

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Hardware
Interviews

The way my brain works lends itself well to engineering, for better or for worse. There’s a lot of really solid engineers who don’t have much creativity, and then there are a lot of people who have great creative ability, but can’t do math. I kind of fluctuate in the middle; I wouldn’t say I’m the best at math or the most creative person in the entire world, but I have enough of each that the combination pushed me towards mechanical engineering. I like working with my hands, and it’s more of a study of how things work in the real world versus computer science, which is a purely digital and nontangible practice.

During school I worked mainly as a bike mechanic, and that helped me to think about how to build things better. That led me to my first internship at a bike company working in a wind tunnel, which was really fun. Realizing that I could probably never get a job there—or at least one that would pay me enough to live—I started working at an environmental engineering company, where I prototyped scientific sampling systems for R&D that would process materials with all these gasses at really high heat and tried not to die. It was kind of fun making these large-scale systems that were basically just gigantic science experiments, but I didn’t really have the creative outlet I wanted in terms of making something that looks good.

One of the main things that drew me to System76 was being able to have a solid influence on what tools we were able to use and how we were going to push the design. In the past three years, it’s pretty wild to see what we’ve been able to accomplish coming from a completely empty warehouse to being able to crank out parts.

I had also previously, while working at these scientific instrument companies, been working with a local company to design and develop a cargo bicycle, so I had that experience as well in terms of consumer product development with overseas manufacturing. I think that helped get me in the door here.

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An Interview With Linus Torvalds: Linux and Git

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Linux
Interviews

Thirty years ago, Linus Torvalds was a 21 year old student at the University of Helsinki when he first released the Linux Kernel. His announcement started, “I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional…)”. Three decades later, the top 500 supercomputers are all running Linux, as are over 70% of all smartphones. Linux is clearly both big and professional.

For three decades, Linus Torvalds has led Linux Kernel development, inspiring countless other developers and open source projects. In 2005, Linus also created Git to help manage the kernel development process, and it has since become the most popular version control system, trusted by countless open source and proprietary projects.

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The Mosquito and the Hurricane: Jim Whitehurst on the Past, Present, and Future of IBM

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Red Hat
Interviews

The modern consumer has taken a much more active role in corporate policy development and direction than in decades past. “Vote with your dollar” campaigns and boycott movements have gone from mosquitoes to hurricanes, forcing dramatic shifts in how investors and corporate executives navigate change and interact with their customers. While social and environmental issues were once considered both opaque and risky, they are now front and center in every conversation about our new digital economy’s future. Though many activist discussions used to be reserved for the camps of Occupy Wall Street, it is clear that a monumental shift has occurred. Impact investing has manifested itself as the logical market response to a rapidly growing cohort of consumers that expect higher ethical standards from the businesses and institutions they support.

After almost two decades of innovation, seemingly for innovation’s sake, the digitally transformed economy so many yearned for seems to be within reach. Activated like a bolt of lightning by the global pandemic, this transformation reaches further into citizens’ daily lives than anyone, save maybe Orwell, could have ever imagined. Whether or not this new digital economy will serve the best interests of humanity will be a question answered by the actions of citizens and corporations alike. It is no longer a debate; we are living through an era of enlightenment many futurists and forward-looking evangelists have spent decades preparing us for. It is essential to take a moment to recognize this prescience, take a step back, and examine how we got here.

There aren’t many people more qualified to help the world understand this historical trajectory than Jim Whitehurst, president of IBM, former CEO of Red Hat, and possibly most influential proponent of open-source computing in history. Whitehurst led Red Hat to become the first $1B open-source software company, seven years before being acquired by IBM in 2019 for $34B the single largest acquisition in IBM’s 110-year history.

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LibreOffice Community Member Monday: Necdet Yücel

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LibO
Interviews

I’m one of the old translators of LibreOffice. I have translated hundreds of thousands of words, but I have no motivation to work on translations for a while.

Since 2015, the year Gülşah Köse become a LibreOffice developer, more than 15 of my students made contributions to LibreOffice. One of them is Mert Tümer’s, who is an active LibreOffice developer. Gülşah’s work was a major influence for LibreOffice developments in Turkey. I am very proud of my students, who started with her and continued until Gökçe Küler.

[...]

I think we have no choice but to direct students to free software in universities. Because it’s the only chance to to study how the programs work. Reading well-written code, changing it, compiling and redistributing it are the main requirements for being good developers. If we can explain them to students, they will become free software developers.

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More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware and GNU/Linux Devices

  • ESP32 Clock Pushes Outrun Graphics Over Composite | Hackaday

    We’ve covered plenty of clocks powered by the ESP32, but this one from [Marcio Teixeira] is really something special. Rather than driving a traditional physical display, the microcontroller is instead generating a composite video signal of an animated digital clock. This could be fed into whatever device you wish, but given the 80’s synthwave style it’s pumping out, you’ll probably want to find a suitably retro CRT to do it justice.

  • The Quadrivium EnsembleBot Is A Labour Of Love

    The Quadrivium EnsembleBot project is a mashup between old school musical instruments and the modern MIDI controlled world. Built by a small team over several years, these hand crafted instruments look and sound really nice. [...] This project is by no means unique, lately we’ve covered controlling a church organ with MIDI, as well as a neat Arduino Orchestra, but the EnsembleBot is just so much more.

  • Common Sense – using the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT on Ubuntu Impish Indri | Ubuntu

    Dave Jones from the Canonical Raspberry Pi team has put together a helpful guide for those getting started with the Raspberry Pi Sense HAT on Ubuntu Impish Indri. We’ve reproduced an edited version below, or you can read the full post on his blog along with other great Raspberry Pi tips!

  • Wheeled payload robot can control elevators

    SLAMTEC’s wheeled “Hermes” robot runs Android on an RK3399 and can carry up to 16 kg payloads. The autonomous bot includes 360° Lidar, depth cameras, WiFi and 4G links, a 7.5-hour battery, and an elevator controller.

  • RK3399-based programmable wheeled robot works across multiple floors

    Powered by a Rockchip RK3399 mainboard, the Hermes robot platform supports autonomous path-finding, robot collaboration, cross-floor delivery, smart obstacle avoidance, safety features, and autonomous Recharging. It can be controlled with a REST API, programmed with C++ SDK, or a program called RoboStudio available for Windows and Android.

Kernel and Graphics: Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA

  • Intel teases 'software-defined silicon' with Linux kernel contribution – and won't say why

    Intel has teased a new tech it calls "Software Defined Silicon" (SDSi) but is saying almost nothing about it – and has told The Register it could amount to nothing. SDSi popped up around three weeks ago in a post to the Linux Kernel mailing list, in which an Intel Linux software engineer named David Box described it as "a post-manufacturing mechanism for activating additional silicon features".

  • RadeonSI Lands Another "Very Large" Optimization To Further Boost SPECViewPerf - Phoronix

    In recent months we have seen a lot of RadeonSI optimizations focused on SPECViewPerf with AMD seemingly trying to get this open-source OpenGL driver into very capable shape moving forward for workstation GL workloads. Hitting Mesa 22.0-devel today is yet another round of patches for tuning SPECViewPerf.

  • Vendors Including NVIDIA Talk Up New OpenCL Extensions For Vulkan Interop, NN Inference - Phoronix

    Last Friday night we spotted OpenCL 3.0.9 with several new extensions included. Today The Khronos Group is formally announcing these latest OpenCL additions focused on Vulkan interoperability as well as neural network inferencing. These new extensions for OpenCL 3.0 include an integer dot product extension for neural network inferencing (cl_khr_integer_dot_product) with a focus on 8-bit integer support.

  • RadeonSI Enables NGG Shader Culling For Navi 1x Consumer GPUs - Phoronix

    As another possible performance win for RadeonSI Gallium3D as AMD's open-source Radeon OpenGL driver on Linux systems is enabling of NGG culling for Navi 1x consumer graphics processors rather than limiting it only to newer Navi 2x (RDNA2) GPUs. Merged on Monday was a patch to enable shader culling for Navi 1x consumer SKUs with no longer limiting it to Navi 2x / GFX10.3 or when using various debug options. This culling was also enabled for Navi 1x GPUs but only for the "Pro" graphics SKUs.

Databases: Managing Database Migrations, PostgreSQL-Related Releases

KDE Plasma 5.18.8, Bugfix Release for October

Plasma 5.18 was released in February 2020 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience. Read more