Weekly Rewind #52

Welcome to an incredibly late Weekly Rewind. I was hoping to get this out on Sunday but with all the preparation for Rathole Radio and that fact is was my good mate Will’s 30th birthday, things got away from me. It’s number 52, a whole year’s worth of rewinds. Although actually we passed the first anniversary a couple of weeks ago and I missed it, doh! People asked me what “special stuff” I was going to do for this fifty second edition but to be honest I can’t think of anything that special to do. I could look back at some highlights of the previous editions, but then I did that only recently in my review of 2009. So I’m just going to stick with the usual format in the arrogant belief that this is “special” enough. We’ll see if you agree by the end ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m very busy with event planning at the moment and sponsorship stuff, a lot of which I’m not really at liberty to talk about yet. So if this update seems brief rest assured there has been plenty of OggCamp business and you’ll hear about it soon. It all began last Monday with another recording of Linux Outlaws, a recording which would become episode 136ย  “Make Love, Not Proprietary Software”. Following this blog announcement by Fab earlier in the day, we were experimenting with a new slightly leaner format. I think it worked well and the show was still 75mins long, hardly too short by any means. A lot of people told me they preferred it and we’ll keep trying to do that in future. Having said this on the last recording for episode 137 this Monday we went well over time. So I guess it’s a learning process. Personally I’ve long said that 60-80mins is the ideal length of show for me. That’s not to say I haven’t played my part in derailing shows and making them longer; I’m as guilty of that as anyone, but I do try to push us on and keep to some semblance of schedule. Some people completely disagree with my view and think the show should be 15 million hours long every week, which is cool, it’s nice that they feel they enjoy it that much. The amount of work this entails for us is what causes the problem though. Beyond about an hour show time the editing gets very time consuming and tiring. It’s a weekly show after all, so it’s not as if people don’t hear plenty of us anyway. Listenership has shot up lately which is fantastic, but I’m convinced keeping the show closer to an hour each week would make it much more accessible to a wider audience. I’ve now spent ages discussing not going on too long, oh the irony. Anyway, let’s move on (my catchphrase).

In the last 10 days or so I haven’t gotten any real distro hopping or writing done. Other things have overtaken that and I’m still trying to get back on track. Hopefully you’ll see a substantial article in the next 2 days. My February blog stats could certainly use it, there hasn’t been much to draw people to the site this month. I’ve also been a bit ill the last week and that’s slowed me down, I’m still trying to get back on a more even keel. Other things I’ve been up to in the last 10 days include: hacking Drupal sites, recording a new Rathole Radio, doing gig preparation and trying to sort out tickets for sale, constantly emailing and phoning people with OggCamp business and much more.

One particular highlight was last night, I attended my first Wirral Tweet Up event. I’ve been to many in Liverpool but missed the first Wirral one. I caught up with some good friends from the Scribblepool writing group and also met some interesting new people. It was an informal event held at Cromwell’s restaurant in Irby. Lot’s of hard work was put into making food and also making everyone feel welcome by proprietors Kay and Kate. I’d like to thank them for their work and also everyone else involved in setting up the event. It was a lot of fun. Many of my freedom crusading friends wonder why I go to these Twitter events and don’t just stick to Identi.ca only. I can see their point of view but the vast majority of the general geek community, not even the general public just techy types, use things like Facebook and Twitter heavily. I like to engage with them and help spread the word about Open Source, Linux and other things in a friendly sociable manner. The FOSS world can be incredibly insular and while I love my friends within it, there’s just no sense in preaching to the converted all the time. You have to get out and engage with others, get other points of view and expand your horizons, rather than just have your old views reinforced by a group of friends who agree. A good example is the fact that I was surrounded by iPhones last night and I casually worked the conversation onto the sat on the table N900 between them; what’s cool about it, Android, Linux and other mobile things. Not in a preachy way but just in general conversation. A lot of people had never heard of these things and took a genuine interest. I don’t expect all of them, if any actually, to run home and install a Linux distribution on their computer, but it’s a start. I’ve noticed the tendency within Open Source to think we are a bigger part of the tech crowd and society in general than we actually are. It’s good to get some perspective from people outside and bring that back to the group. It gives ideas for how we can engage with more people and improve what we do. It reinforces my beliefs in the principals of FOSS rather than weakening them. Enough rambling about that though.

I released a couple of albums on Jamendo last week. One of Kagnee, my old ska punk band, and another from an even older project called The Shed Collective. You can download, share and copy the music under the CC BY-SA license. It also prompted me to sort out my main site a little. If you look at danlynch.org/music you can see this starting to take shape. The list of tracks is easier to read and more compact but the RSS feed still works like a proper blog with full posts. My mastery of Drupal Views knows no bounds… ok, maybe a few. I’m going to keep working on that and making the content more useful as and when I get time. Eventually I’ll redirect shedmusic.net to it, as the old music blog is largely dead right now. Stay tuned for more on that.


So in the next few days I should be off to Chester LUG tomorrow night with any luck. I have an interview booked with former OpenSUSE community manager Zonker for Linux Outlaws tomorrow, there’ll be another Software Freedom Law Show, more celebration of Will’s 30th (mine is looming in May) and a whole lot more OggCamp business. I hope I won’t be so late with updates next time but please bear with me, things are hectic. I’ll be in touch again very soon. Until then take care of yourselves and stay lucky,

See ya,



  1. Interview with Zonker? Sounds like awesome Novell bashing! ;D
    No seriously, it’s cool you have him on the show, but don’t forget to ask the important questions ๐Ÿ™‚

    Can’t wait for it!

  2. @Julian – He was on the show last year at Linux Tag. I interviewed him in person. We’ll ask any questions that we feel need to be asked. He’s not with Novell any more though after all.

  3. @Dan – Yeah I remember that episode (wow, time is flying. Has it been one year? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ )

    It was more a kind of ironical statement, hence the Novell bashing comment.
    Regarding the questions I was more referring to the reasons he left Novell, and especially what he’s planning to do next. He just mentioned “moving on” as far as I know.
    He left quite a big hole at Novell, and I wonder where “The Zonker” will go next, he’s one of the more famous persons in open source after all, even outside the openSUSE community.

    Well, just do what you always do with show guests, and I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. @Julian – Oh yes the idea of getting him on originally was to ask why he left Novell, what he’s going to do now and all of that. We also want to know what it was like working for the company and what he has learnt from being a “community manager”, what really is a community manager and what do they do. The interview was scheduled for 2 or 3 weeks ago, but we had to push it back with Fab’s loss of voice. I think the questions are still relevant. It’s not quite a year since Zonker was last on. It was July 2009 but time does fly you’re right.

  5. I’d vote with you for a concise show length – though I’ve really enjoyed long shows, I’d say that there are times when I just did’t want to commit that time and did something else instead. As for the impact of Linux – you’re quite right, and we still are a rather marginal group in many respects. Even people faced with bleeping computers often just shudder at the thought of trying or even looking at something that doesn’t show XP at boot time.

    • @Ben – Thanks for the comment. We went a bit over on time this week but I’m sure we’ll be bringing that down again. I think we have to be more realistic about how many topics and features we can fit into the show. It’ll take some experimentation to work that out. Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

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