For the past few years the Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community team has been asked to present Ubuntu at the LPANE / Intel Nor’Easter Lanfest and this year was no exception. In the previous years we brought laptops and some low end desktops with wine barely running some low end games and showing off some of the open source games available at the time. We just didn’t have the proper equipment to demo. We did get some interest from people wanting to run Ubuntu dual boot for when they’re not gaming. But most people were really itching to bring their gaming experience to the Ubuntu desktop and until recently that wasn’t really an option (without a lot of work).
This year I was able to acquire a decent desktop and a 32″ LCD TV which I brought from home. This coupled with the latest innovation from the wine project enabled us to demo games from the Steam platform like Half-Life:2 and Team Fortress 2. We also had Starcraft playing perfectly. A lot of people were surprised on how well the games ran and excited about the progress Ubuntu and the wine project has made. We ended up doing 2 installs during the event and gave out a bunch of CD’s and what little swag we had.
The plan for next year is to have another decent gaming rig, possibly 2 or 3 so we can demo the recently announced Steam linux client, possibly even compete in some tournaments with an Ubuntu sponsored team.
All in all, it was a very fun event. Thanks to Martin for coming with me at the last minute and manning the table while I took off for a couple hours to geocache with Tom, the event organizer. Thanks to Justin who helped man the table the entire weekend and demo games. Thanks to Tom for having us at the event again and thanks to my fiance Sara who baked 4 batches cookies for everyone and packed me enough food and caffeine to last the 2 days and for supporting me in these projects.
P.S. we tried to get our table right next to the Microsoft Windows 7 tent which had one guy and a couple laptops and had a minesweeper tournament but another vendor got there before us. Take that any way you like and feel free to leave comments.
Here are some blurry pictures taken with my iPhone and old camera
WARNING: I am NOT a developer
One of the first applications I like to install on a fresh build of ubuntu is called gSTM or “Gnome SSH Tunnel Manager”. This allows me to setup and enable multiple ssh tunnels to/from different places with the click of a button. It provides a nice notification area icon which I can click and see at a glance all the tunnels I have preconfigured. In this same dialog box it shows the connection status of each tunnel indicated by a red(off) green(on) or yellow(?) icon to the left on the tunnel name.
Since Ubuntu 9.10, these status indicator icons are broken by default and need to be turned on by enabling “show menu icons” in the interfaces tab in the appearance preferences. Now with Ubuntu 10.04, this option has been removed from the preferences completely breaking the icons with little to no recourse(yes we can use gconf, I shouldn’t have to!).
Upon discussing (read: complaining) this problem with some of the Gnome community, I have been told that the use of these menu icons in this manner is incorrect and show be done by other means.
I plan to figure out the correct way to show these icons and resume functionality to this application and try to document my journey on here.
- Step #1 Try to contact original developer: – fail. The contact the developer link on sourceforge gave me a bounceback email.
- Step #3 Download the source code. – I originally downloaded the tarball from sourceforge. The problem with this is, there’s no debian directory and other magic bits to allow for easy packaging for debian/ubuntu which I would like to do in the end. I then downloaded the source in ubuntu using “sudo apt-get source gstm” which downloads all the source files to /usr/src/gstm1.2 including the packaging bits. And then I remembered about this whole Opportunistic developers thing and more specifically Ground Control by Martin Owens. I already had this installed so I just searched for “gstm” and downloaded the project and what I THINK is the correct branch to work from (gstm 1.2).
I’ve briefly looked at the icons it uses (green.xpm red.xpm yellow.xpm) and grepped for mentions of them in the code. So far i’ve come up with main.c and fniface.c.
Tonight I might try my hand at using one of the other applications mentioned in Jono’s Opportunistic Developer post called Quickly to see if I can import this project and see how it interacts with this developer environment.
continue on to part 2
I was going to write up a post complaining about the new version of Ubuntu moving the close, maximize and minimize buttons from the right-hand corner to the left along with instructions for changing it back but Daviey has already done that for me.
I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again; They can set whatever they want as default. Just give the average end user an EASY and intuitive way to change it to their liking.
gconf-editor is not average user friendly and this type of this is most certainly something the average user is going to want to change back. No matter how much the design team wants everyone to “just get used to it”. I’m getting real tired of designers telling me how I should use my computer.
Other than this major problem, I think the new theme and colors look great. I never disliked the orange and brown theme, but a lot of people did. This should make the OS more appealing to a larger audience.