Reviewing the Librem 15

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:

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Helping Purism structure its messaging

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.

So, for 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.

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2015 Annual Reports mailed out

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.

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Packaged reports just before I shipped them out.

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Back from the GNOME Summit

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.

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Taking down my online portfolio

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!)

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Pictured: my floor, littered with intermediate drafts of my new portfolio, along with a few printer calibration photos (upper-left) and a copy of the new Annual Report sitting around

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Vice-President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation

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.

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Inking an old friend

When I was young, I read a lot of comic books. One of my favorite séries was Cubitus:cubitus, chien sans accroc

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:

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In which I turn into an international shipping operation

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):

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Capturing the essence of a cool symphonic orchestra through video

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!

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President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation

As I hinted in my retrospective in February, 2014 has been crazy busy on a personal level. Let’s now take a look at 2014-2015 from a GNOME perspective.

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.

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Tricks or Tracebacks? Pitivi 0.94 is here

Dear werepenguins, we’re thrilled to announce the immediate availability of Pitivi 0.94! This is the fourth release for the new version of our video editor based on GES, the GStreamer Editing Services library. Take a look at my previous blog post to understand in what context 0.94 has been brewing. This is mainly a maintenance release, but it does pack a few interesting improvements & features in addition to the bug fixes.

The first thing you will notice is that the main toolbar, menubar and titlebar have been replaced by a unified GTK HeaderBar, saving a ton of precious vertical space and making better use of the horizontal space. Once you try it, you can’t go back. There is beauty in the equilibrium it has now, compared to the previously clunky and unbalanced layout:

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Se libérer de Bell et Vidéotron: passez Go et réclamez 1000$ par année

Ceci est un guide, basé sur mon expérience, pour vous libérer de l’hégémonie de fournisseurs tels que Bell et Vidéotron tout en augmentant votre connaissance de la technologie. Notons que ce guide est hautement contextuel à la quasi absence de compétition que l’on retrouve au Québec. Les Français, eux, ont Free (entre autres).

D’entrée de jeu, je me fiche de tout ce que les vendeurs de Bell et Vidéotron pourront vous dégotter comme offres promotionelles pour vous séduire: Continue reading “Se libérer de Bell et Vidéotron: passez Go et réclamez 1000$ par année”

Pitivi 0.93 released

Last week, a flash snowstorm brought me around 2ft of snow overnight. I thought, “If I’m going to clear that much snow, might as well have some fun and make a timelapse out of it”, and so I did. While watching it, I realized, “Hmm… that’s an interesting metaphor for the huge amount of preparatory and cleanup work we’ve been doing in the past few years”:

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Pitivi status update for Q1 2014, fundraiser launch

Since my previous technical update in January, I haven’t had time to touch Pitivi’s code. Thankfully though, Alexandru Băluț has been filling the gap with a ton of refactoring work: around 150 commits! That took a fair amount of time to review and merge, believe me. Besides code cleanup, he also finished the port of the viewer to a cluttersink, fixed fonts and theme colors detection for the timeline (so it looks fine even if you’re not using the Adwaita GNOME theme).

Alexandru took the opportunity to not only fix some bugs, but also do some visual refinements on the timeline ruler: it now shows hours and miliseconds only when needed (depending on the zoom level) and subtly grays out units that did not change from one “tick” to another, so your eyes can focus on what actually changed:

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Pitivi 0.92 and the wandering opensourcerer

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy.

At the last minute, I ended up going to the GStreamer Conference in Edinburgh, thanks to the GStreamer project sponsoring my attendance. As always, it was a fantastic event and it was great to meet up with old friends and see great topics being discussed. I was pretty impressed by the amount of attendees too. I’m feeling guilty for having missed good talks while being dragged into hallway discussions or being hammered by jetlag, but our pals at Ubicast recorded everything so I should be able to catch up later. My good friend Luis summarized the event much better than I could, so I won’t go into detail here. Except that Thibault won a bottle of whiskey and was unable to claim it, so I picked it up and brought it back for him (I don’t hack on GStreamer itself, so I don’t need the whiskey):

2013-10-25

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Pitivi 0.91 “Charming Defects”

And so it has come to this.

2013-10-05

A few days ago, we stealthily published the tarball of the first Pitivi video editor release based on the GES engine. Incredible but true! 0.91 is finally out! In case you were living under a rock for the past two years, this release is the result of a major rework of the entire Pitivi architecture, and as such it is considered an “alpha” release. From a very (VERY) high level, it includes: Continue reading “Pitivi 0.91 “Charming Defects””