Tuesday, July 31, 2007

ChiCon 07

Hey All,

A group of us Chicago Free and Open Source software enthusiasts are planning on setting up conference in Chicago to showcase Free and Open Source software. This conference is different from flourish as this is not to showcase it in business but instead on the desktop and for fellow enthusiast.

If this sound like fun to you or you have some great ideas that you would like to share with us, join us in #chicon on irc.freenode.net.

The first date thrown around is sometime in November.

UPDATE: Fixed my grammer, I really should wait 5 minutes before I proofread my post.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Time Has Come For Me To Go Job Hunting

So I am currently looking for a job. I just graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology this past spring with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. The main experience I have is as a System Administrator, I have been doing this for the past 2 years. I have setup and maintained both Windows and Linux servers. I also have programming experience in Python, Java and C# this is mainly from academic and personal projects. Along with Python I also have some experience with TurboGears from academic and personal projects. Besides work and academic experience, I have gained a great amount of knowledge about packaging and building software from working with the Foresight Linux project. For this project I help out with packaging and maintaining software along with quality assurance testing. So if anybody reading this post has an opening for a job please contact me via email at kharriss_at_gmail.com and my resume can be found here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I may be more evolved, but I am still a klutz.

So on Sunday morning I was going to take my brother and his friend to the dinner right around the corner and right as I hit my front stairs, BOOM. I slipped and fell down 5 stairs and did a face plant, aka hit my face on the concrete, on the sidewalk. Here is a picture of the results.


Friday, July 06, 2007

I am more evolved than you!!

On Sunday night I had gallbladder pain so I went to the emergency room, it turn out that my gallstones had moved and decided to demand that my gallbladder be removed now. We were planning on doing this next week but my body decided to jump the gun. So now I am out of the hospital with one less unneeded body part, my gallbladder, hence more evolved. The stent they put in before to keep the ducts from being blocked by stones got lost in my bile duct so I still have to have surgery to get that removed. The can be done as an outpatient so its not a huge deal.

I really want to thank everybody for their concerns and messages via SMS and Twitter. Luckily twitter gave me something to do while I was in the hospital waiting on doctors. If you want to be my friend on twitter here is my page.

UPDATE: Fixed typos, I blame those on the pain meds.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

BARcamp Chicago Recap

This post is a little late, but as I like to say 'Better late than never' and I have multiple blogs post that have fallen off into the never category. Also this post is a little lenghty sorry. Well enough with my rambling and onto the good stuff the BARcamp Chicago recap.

A great accomplishment was that we were larger than BARcamp New York, we had 250 people over the weekend. Some other stats: 100 pizzas, 3 kegs of beer = 52.5 gallons of beer, ~120 bottles of microbrew beer and a couple bottles of liquor. We did pretty good, we finished all but one keg which we didn't tap. So it just shows everybody that chicago techies know how to drink. Not only did we have a great supply of food and drink, we also had a great supply of good talks. So many good talks that I couldn't catch them all. The talks that I did catch were really good.

I saw An Introduction to Linux Photography by Jordan Wilberding. In this presentation Jordan describe some initial steps like selecting a camera and calibrating your monitor but also talked about tools to use to work with photos in Linux. This talk had a good turn out probably about 15-20 people or so.

After this Tim gave a talk/discussion on Old Tech. This talk was about old technology like steam power and such and showing off his homemade ballista. This was a really cool session and I think we need to have more of these at next years BARcamp.

I also got to catch Tristan's talk on Home brewing, I have already since this presentation and had the presenter as my mentor to help me get into home brewing so this presentation was mostly just a reinforcement. It appeared that a lot of people were interested in this talk as I saw a couple people taking notes during the talk.

On Sunday was the day for Gnome and rPath. The first talk was an introduction to rPath appliances by showing off the MythTV appliance. This talk by Ken had a few hiccups first the myth box wouldn't connect to the projector and neither would Ken's laptop so he just talked people through an install on the LCD monitor I brought. People really seemed to like the idea that it boot straight into MythTV and took care of the setup for you. You don't have to worry about starting up mythTV yourself or any of that fuss.

Later Ken gave his talk on Foresight Linux. This talk had a good crowd, the main room was full about 50 people. People asked a lot of really good questions and the comments I heard were people amazed at how much easier rPath appliances are and the selection we have. For instance, Nate was amazed by the wordpress-mu appliance we had and told me that is exactly what they are looking for at his company.

Right after Ken's talk I held the first ever Chicago Gnome User Group meeting. We had about 10 people there and the main point of this talk was to express my ideas for what this group should do and how we should help out upstream Gnome. We had some good discussion about what can be done with the group. Paul suggested that we have a Gnome 2.20 release party and I think this is a great idea, so look forward to that. I will give a full wrap of this meeting in another post.

The beer and food was good and the talks were great but the best part about BARcamp was the networking that I did with people there. Mainly I got to meet two great guys that I work with on Foresight and have talked with online but this was the first time meeting in person. I also got to meet some new faces to the Foresight community, Ryan that is you. But I also meet fellow chicago gnomeers and look forward to future collaboration. The ChiGLUG took up around the installfest and kegs and helped people with any Linux questions they may have had and even installed Foresight on a couple peoples laptops.

I have a couple pictures from BARcamp which can be found here. Also here is a short video of BARcamp provide by BusinessPOV.

Overall BARcamp was amazing and I would like to thanks all of the sponsors, presenters and attendees for making it so great. I am already looking forward to next years and wondering what we can do to make it even better. I know one thing we could do is get more Foresight devs there and have a mini Foresight hack session ;) but that is just wishful thinking.

If you have any suggestions for next years BARcamp or comments about this years just leave me a comment and I will respond. Also if I have mentioned your talk and you have a link to your slides online just post the link in the comment and I will add it to the post.

See you all at BARcamp2008.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Call Me Brewmaster specialKevin

So on Saturday Tristan and I brewed my first batch of beer. I brewed an Extra Pale Ale also called an American Pale Ale. It is like a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I was supposed to get a 6.5 gallon glass carboy with my brew kit, but I was sent a 5 gallon glass carboy. I had to cut down the batch size to four gallons instead of five gallons. This might cause an increase in the abv of the brew but since we forgot to take the initial gravity we can't be sure if there is an actual increase. If this brew turns out good I plan to brew it again just so we can see how strong of an increase we get by cutting the batch down to four gallons. Pictures from my first adventure in brewing can be seen here.

Back to the Future

On Saturday while I was at Target picking up supplies for my first batch of home brew. I saw what is going to be my future car.

The only thing that could have made this better was if Michael J. Fox himself came out of Target and drove off in it. I really want this care, and of course I would put a flux capacitor in it and it would generate 1.21 Gigawatts.

Monday, June 11, 2007

All Your Base Belong To Gnome

The Chicago Gnome User Group will be having our first meeting on June
24th at 3:00 pm. The meeting will be taking place at BARcamp Chicago located at 1464 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL. This is one block from the Damen stop on the Blue Line CTA train. The meeting agenda is going to include a What is Gnome, Why to use Gnome and Plans for the Chicago Gnome User Group. We also have a mailing list which can be found here. Thanks to
Chicago GNU/Linux User Group for hosting our mailing list.

Chicago Gnome User Group Meeting

When: June 24, 2007
Time: 3:00 pm
Where: BARcamp Chicago, 1464 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL

However, not only is the first Chicago Gnome User Group meeting occurring at BARcamp but there is a Foresight presentation along with an introduction to packaging with conary. I look forward to meeting Ken and Paul from the great foresight team. Some other interesting presentations are Introduction to Linux Photography by Jordan Wilberding and Introduction to Home Brewing by Tristan Sloughter. All in all BARcamp Chicago looks to be one great weekend.