Following up on my previous post where I detailed the work I’ve been doing mostly on Purism’s website, today’s post post will cover some video work. Near the beginning of October, I received a Librem 15 v2 unit for testing and reviewing purposes. I have been using it as my main laptop since then, as I don’t believe in reviewing something without using it daily for a couple weeks at least. And so on nights and week-ends, I wrote down testing results, rough impressions and recommendations, then wrote a detailed plan and script to make the first in depth video review of this laptop. Here’s the result—not your typical 2-minutes superficial tour:
I meant to finish writing and posting this a month or two ago, but urgent tasks and life kept getting in the way. I don’t often talk about client work here, but since this is public-facing ongoing work for a company that is insanely pro-Free-Software (not just “open source”), a company that ships GNOME3 by default on their laptops (something I have awaited for years), I guess it makes sense to talk about what I’ve been up to recently.
a few weeks three months now, I have been helping Purism structure its messaging and get its business in a better shape. Purism is, in itself, a hugely interesting endeavour. Heck, I could go out on a limb and say this venture, alongside the work Endless is doing, is quite possibly one of the most exciting things that has happened to the Free desktop for the past decade—and yet almost nobody heard of it.
While the latest GNOME annual reports sold like hotcakes at GUADEC, there is still a need to send some of them by snailmail, like I did last year. I was under a pretty big rush from July to mid-October, and since nobody was available to help me determine the list of recipients, I had to wait for the end of the rush to allow myself to spend time devising that list. And so I did, this month.
In my previous blog post, where I was providing an update on the 2016 GNOME Summit I was organizing in Montréal, I wrote,
With a change of attendees comes a change of the nature of the event: instead of being an extremely technical, “deep end of the pool” event as it has been in the past, this edition will be focused on newcomers and potential contributors, with presentations and workshops targetted for this purpose.
Cleaning up my apartment today, hoping to get rid of a pile of draft papers that has been cluttering my space for six months, I’m taking the opportunity to write about what this particular pile of paper means (yes, my blogging backlog goes that far—I am draining the swamp one post at a time!)
I went there for the 2016 edition of GUADEC:
I arrived a couple of days early to attend my last GNOME Foundation board meeting, in one of the KIT’s libraries. The building’s uncanny brutalist architecture only added to the nostalgia of a two years adventure coming to an end:
Hi! Long time no see. My blog has been pretty quiet in recent months, in the big part due to my extended commitment on the GNOME Foundation‘s Board of Directors (for a second year without an executive director present to take some of the load) and the various business engagements I’ve had.
Generally speaking, this year was a bit less intense than the one before it (we didn’t have to worry about a legal battle with a giant corporation this time around!) although we did end up touching a fair amount of legal matters, such as trademark agreements. One big item we got cleared was the Ubuntu GNOME trademark agreement. We also welcomed businesses that wanted to sell GNOME-related merchandise, you can find them listed here—supporting them by purchasing GNOME-related items also supports the Foundation with a small percentage shared as royalties.
Here are some findings I’ve been meaning to post for a while.
A bit over a year ago, I fulfilled a decade-long dream of owning a good projector for movies, instead of some silly monitor with a diagonal measured in “inches”. My lifestyle very rarely allows me to watch movies (or series*), so when I decide to watch something, it needs to have a rating over 90% on RottenTomatoes, it has to be watched with a bunch of friends, and it needs to be a top-notch audio-visual experience. I already had a surround sound system for over a decade, so the projector was the only missing part of the puzzle.
After about six months of research and agonizing over projector choices, I narrowed it down to the infamous BenQ W1070, which uses conventional projection lamps (Aaxa’s LED projectors were not competitively priced at that time, costing more for a lower resolution and less connectivity):
One of my best remedies against gloominess is sunlight.
I have a fairly luminous apartment in theory: a big window, lightly-colored floors and white walls. Therefore, when strong direct sunlight hits the floor, the difference is striking: the whole place glows up. The tricky part, however, is making the most of the sun’s presence. Continue reading “Nostalgia for the sunlight”
Other than for self-improvement, I’m not a big fan of books (nor podcasts) in general, because of the big time investment required. THIS, however, is such an amazing masterpiece of a radio adaptation that I can heartily recommend it to anyone who has a good grasp of spoken British English (it was produced over fourty years ago by the BBC, after all). After the first episode, I was hooked, and ate through the entire série in a week or two. I found it best listened to while relaxing, with eyes closed to immerse yourself in the intergalactic drama at play.
When I was young, I read a lot of comic books. One of my favorite séries was Cubitus:
Over fifteen years ago, Michel Grant, a local comic book artist passionate about teaching, made a quick sketch of Cubitus & Sénéchal for me, on a big sheet of paper. I liked it enough to have it laminated and kept in my room for nearly two decades. I don’t think Mr. Grant would have expected me to keep it so long and so preciously. It was drawn with a big, unrefined permanent marker (certainly not a Sakura micron or something of the sort), and here came the problem: after so many years, even if it was laminated and not put in direct sunlight, the ink had faded out significantly:
Hey everyone! It’s time for a new Pitivi release, 0.95. This one packs a lot of bugfixes and architectural work to further stabilize the GES backend. In this blog post, I’ll give you an overview of the new and interesting stuff this release brings, coming out from a year of hard work. It’s pretty epic and you’re in for a few surprises, so I suggest listening to this song while you’re reading this blog post.
Engine rework: completed.
In months prior to the GUADEC 2015 conference, both the board of directors and engagement team were kept busy with an above-average workload, so the GNOME Foundation‘s Annual Report had to wait until things settled a bit. After the core days of GUADEC, we held an all-day meeting among members of the Engagement team (and whoever was interested in joining the fun, really):
Heads up, citizens of the video editing world! Our war correspondent Alexandru has taken some of my battered notes, done some more research and published a fine report on the second part of Pitivi‘s War Against Deadlocks. Go read it now! 😃
- An update from the 2014 summer battlefront
- The 0.94 release
- The War Against Deadlocks, part 1: The story of our new thread-safe mixing elements reimplementation
- The War Against Deadlocks, part 2: GNonLin's reincarnation
- The 0.95 release, the GTK+ timeline and sink
- Measuring quality/reliability through time (clarifying what gst-validate is)
- Our all-in-one binaries building infrastructure, and why it matters
- Samples, “scenario” files and you: how you can help us reproduce (almost) any bug very easily
- The 1.0 release and closure of the fundraiser
One of the things I do as part of my varied service offering at idéemarque is filmmaking, sound and video editing—as some of you must have realized by now, I have this undying passion for storytelling and the making of motion picture.
So when a symphonic orchestra requests my help to make a promotional video for them, and gives me carte blanche when it comes to creative freedom, you can imagine I’m pretty thrilled!
The Internet being what it is today, being a public figure can be a very dangerous role. For those unaware, Karen Sandler has been under vigorous attacks—hate mail, public slandering, and more—for having been the GNOME Foundation‘s Executive Director from 2011 to 2014. Contrary to what I had hoped, even many months after, the hate has not died down. You still see wretched hives of scum and villainy like this blog post on a regular basis (warning: the comments over there are depressing). Enough is enough, time to set the record straight.
For those who could not attend GUADEC 2015, video recordings have been processed and published here. You might wonder, then, what happened to the GUADEC 2014 videos. The talks in Strasbourg were recorded indeed, but the audio came from the camera’s built-in microphones (so no truly directional mic and no line-in feed). This is problematic for a number of reasons:
- We were in the city center of Strasbourg with no air conditioning, which means that the windows were open so we heard all sorts of noises (including cars passing on the stone pavement, construction work, etc.) in addition to background noise.
- One of the rooms did not have a speaker microphone/amplified sound system
- The camera microphones being far from the speaker means that you hear noises from the audience (such as chairs moving)
Let me tell you of a story that was lost and forgotten amidst Pitivi’s development battlegrounds last fall, a manuscript that I recovered from a Moldy Tome in a stony field. According to my historical data, the original author was a certain “Dorian Leger”, a French messenger that went missing from the vicinity of Paris.
When I offered my candidacy for the GNOME Foundation‘s Board of Directors in May last year, I knew that there would be plenty of issues to tackle if elected. As I was elected president afterwards, I was aware that I was getting into a demanding role that would not only test my resolve but also make use of my ability to set a clear direction and keep us moving forward through tough times. But even if someone tries to describe what’s involved in all this, it remains difficult to truly grasp the amount of work involved before you’ve experienced it yourself.