Life OpenSource People Ubuntu

Vienna, Follow-Up

Of course I meant: Friday, Dec 29th at 21:00.

Life OpenSource People Ubuntu


Tomorrow early in the morning my brother, my sister, my dog and I will leave towards Vienna. I’m really looking forward to see the city I last visited some twelve years ago, also to see where my sister worked, partied, lived and loved for more than a year now.

I thought it’d be nice to meet some Ubuntu and OpenSource folks down there, so my sister suggested to go out on Friday, Dec 30th at 21:00 and meet in “Kantine (Museumsquartier)”. If you plan to come, please add a comment to this entry, so we can book a table.

I look forward to see you there.

Drum'n'Bass Life

My first time

Last night I played (as a DJ) in a club for the first time in my life. It was bloody brilliant.

L.U.X., the venue is a cozy place with a nice atmosphere. Some weeks ago I asked the owner if I could play there and he pointed me to the organizer of Drum’n’Bass parties at his place. Michal, a friendly, dreadlocked Drum’n’Bass fanatic didn’t ask many questions but said “Sure, how about in two weeks?”, unfortunately that was the time, when I had to leave to UDS Mountain View and to Canonical‘s Allhands conference. During a presentation at Allhands, Michal called me on my mobile and was was surprised to reach me on the other end of the world. He asked me if I’d like to play on Dec 1st. What I liked very much about him is that he didn’t ask much about me, what I was going to play or where I played before. He just trusted me to do the right thing. Of course I said “Yes.”

Around two weeks later, I was a bit nervous throughout the day and wondered what I was going to play. I arrived at 22:00 at L.U.X. and brought around 30 kilos of records with me (at least that how it felt to me). At around 12 I started to play and was bloody nervous. Hands trembling, I played “Losing Ground” by St. Cal (Soul:R 018), a smooth and mellow tune with a nice bassline. My nervousness wasn’t helped by the fact that the headphones didn’t work, I could only hear a faint clicking sound, which vaguely resembled the drum loop of second track (“Prophecy” by SKC & Bratwa (Soul:R 012)) I was going to play. Knowing that I had to do something, I did something I tried before: mixing without headphones. The nice thing about vinyl records is, that once you put a needle on the record, you can even without loudspeakers hear the sound of the track. Clicking and smashing sounds are accentuated, so hihats and snares are easy to hear out. The crossover between the two songs worked nicely and midway through the second tune I finally had working headphones. I was still bloody nervous but played my way through more Soul:R and Revolve:R records (mostly Calibre and Marcus Intalex tunes). People were nodding their heads to the music and started to move! YAY! Next up was “Just a little Herb” by Mist:ical (Soul:R 020) – that’s where I started to play more of the dubby tunes: Lion Dubs, Visionary tunes, and so on. Finally people freaked out, when I played “Lightning” by Visionary feat. Jenna Anderson (Hustling Beats 004) – it was only topped by “Soul Patrol (Sunny Side Up Mix)” by Total Science & MC Conrad (CIA 033).

Seeing people dance to the music I played was a great experience. I had an erection over one and a half hours, I’m glad nobody could see it when I was behind the decks. Ok, you’re right. I’m lying, but during all the time I realized for how long I had wanted to do this and how good it felt.

I very much appreciated how many friends showed up there: Thomas, my brother and his friend Jan, Nina Feyh, Ellen Reitmayr, Daniel Elstner bringing Fuchs and Klaus and Scott Wheeler who brought half his company along.

My brother made a bunch of pictures, which he’ll hopefully have online soon (once he’s awake again). There are some new events coming on, I’ll let you know where I’ll play next time. 🙂

Only downside to this evening was I somehow managed to come home with a headache from hell (and I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol), which is the reason why I’m awake now.

Anyways, I’m quite sure now I found the right hobby.

(Update: All in all, I played for around two hours and I managed to screw only two crossovers between tracks, but only in very subtle ways, I doubt it disturbed anybody. It probably should have recorded it.)



OpenSource People Ubuntu

Ubuntu Teams

It feels like years ago, when I started this page on the Ubuntu wiki – still I think that most of it is still valid and a good start to gather people around an idea and to get going.

I didn’t think much about it, when I started the Telepathy team some days ago. For me it was more of a try to get as many people involved as possible and get Telepathy packages for Edgy. It didn’t take long for the first people to join the team, since lots were interested in shiny new technology. Soon we had some nice wiki pages, with all the source of tarballs, VCSes, where to talk to people, etc.

I’m happy to say that Launchpad made our job very very easy: once team members were approved and Upstream products created, we could use bzr branches together, hack on each other’s package, identify problems and fix them within minutes. It was quite common to say “I checked the copyright, but somebody else could have another look.” – it sometimes took only minutes to get it done and be finished with it.

If you look at the amount of work the team achieved in little time, I’m very much impressed and would like to thank each and everyone of them.

The quick and seemless working was an amazing experience for everybody and other parts of Launchpad will make our work in maintaing the packages even easier: The list of bugs is only one example for it.

I’m quite sure that with these tools around, the ‘Team Howto’ will need to change, but expect other teams to emerge quite soon (if not, start your own!) and it’ll be a pleasure to see them all do good work.

Smaller teams are what we need in several ways:

  • It’s easier to have an overview over packages, bugs, …,
  • new team members are less scared to join and ask questions,

Don’t forget to announce your team, your ideas and add it here.



My laptop, a second-hand X40 has had a tough time until now. I take it with me a lot, use it everywhere and I’m not the kind of user taking it out of a fancy bag and putting it only on a specially covered kind of table. I loved the laptop for bearing with me and being just as robust and forgiving as I expected it to be.

I replaced some parts of it already and when I called the IBM support guy the third time, he wondered if I took good care of my laptop. I was too taken aback to think of a good reply, but the buzzing power supply and the broken harddisk which was the first owner’s fault, had nothing to do with me.

When I knocked over a full glass of water yesterday, had emptied its contents into the laptop and the first shock had worn off, I silently agreed with the support guy. The screen and the power LED went black at once, I jumped up, pulled out the battery and power supply and poured water out of it: there was water in the PCMCIA slot, in the keyboard, running out of the fan, everywhere. After leaving three hours in the sun, with Michael Vogt‘s instructions, I managed to open up the keyboard and saw still water on the processor.

Matthias Klose stopped me from trying out the laptop yesterday and told me to wait at least 24h – so I resisted the urge to look for a replacement throughout the day, woke up early today and worked the laptop with the hairdryer. After some minutes, I put back the power supply and keeping some distance between me and the laptop (I still had those pictures in mind), I pressed the power button and it booted!

I’m writing this blog entry from the laptop that was drenched in water… I guess I got quite lucky. (The thing that worried me most of yesterday’s evening was that it would have been harder for me to “record mix” tapes.)



I had the big pleasure to visit Lithuania (and some parts of Latvia) with my family last week. My brother seems to have had the time already to write a few things done about the trip and post some photos. After the conference in Paris and GUADEC, I’m going to sort all the pictures I have and upload them as well.


The Amen Break

I just found an incredible documentation about the “Amen Break” – a nearly 40 year old sample almost everybody knows and recognizes. For me as somebody who’s crazy about Drum’n’Bass it was most interesting to hear about the history of 6 seconds of music that changed today’s Pop music.

It’s not only about the sample, but also about intellectual property as it’s seen and legally enforced today without caring about stifling creativity and enrichment of culture.

Found here (via berlin Blogs).


Dapper Release Party in Berlin

I’m delighted to see that Chris Wilson stepped up to write about the Release Party we had last week. I only have to add, that I very much enjoyed having ~30 Ubuntu lovers here and partying and chatting about this and that until 6 in the morning. My brother surprised me with his visit as well as Stefan Himpich, an old friend of mine from Frankfurt.

I’m glad to see the Ubuntu Berlin team in action and look forward to be part of more events in the near future.

GNOME OpenSource Ubuntu

g-s-t in Ubuntu

I never wanted to be part of a blog debate, especially if it contains ranting. I would have very much preferred to see some action on the spec, which is nothing more than a spec skeleton – it doesn’t mean anything at all at the moment.

I proposed this spec because in the months of GNOME maintenance in Ubuntu I noticed that:

  • normal users really do need the system tools,
  • we faced a lot of bugs,
  • I personally had problems trying to fix them, the reasons for this seemed to be to me:
    • the code has grown a lot over time,
    • Perl (for the backends) and C (for the frontends) seemed to be not to be the easiest solution for the problems g-s-t is trying to address.

I hope you don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for all the love and work that Carlos Garnacho and everybody else put into g-s-t. It’s just that users faced more problems than we are able to fix currently.

My gut feeling was that some PyGTK scripts

  • re-using the glade files of g-s-t,
  • talking to the existing backends or using tools we use anyway

would be easier to debug and easier to maintain. Maybe I’m driven by sheer ‘start of release cycle actionism’ and wanted to be part of a nice Ubuntu Desktop Team hacking project that could gradually try to improve the situation. ‘Umbrella’ was the name for the ‘do something about the g-s-t situation’ project, Michael Vogt and I chose in a fun telephone call.

At the conference in Paris we’ll talk about the spec and our options. Please don’t make more of the spec as there currently is.