Notes by Stephen Michael Kellat


2014-08-19 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as miscellany, roughcuts, thoughts

Eventually even a blog can be brought back to life. A simple list may be best in order, for now, at the very least:

New GnuPG key

2014-05-18 by Stephen Michael Kellat
9C4B2D87 is the new small-c canonical GnuPG key for me.

Blog Resumption

2014-03-22 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as silenced

For the time being the blog remains on ice. Resumption will occur at such time as it may be best appropriate. Currently that seems to be when I am no longer on active, paid status as a federal civil servant.

Temporary Shift for Ubuntu Ohio

2013-12-19 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as announcements

Delegation of Authority

  1. This delegation is made in recognition of changing circumstances for the Point of Contact/Leader. This is an attempt to adapt to those changes.

  2. Nothing in this delegation prevents the Point of Contact/Leader from taking action in any area delegated, if necessary, prior to this instrument's expiration.

  3. The following members of Ubuntu Ohio listed by Launchpad username are designated as deputies to act in place of the Point of Contact/Leader during the period this delegation is in effect: unit193, jamesgifford, belkinsa. Upon the promulgation of this instrument, deputies shall introduce themselves to the LoCo Council via e-mail and send introduction e-mails to the loco-contacts e-mail list.

  4. While the delegation of authority is in force, the deputies may engage in the following functions: Conduct meetings on IRC, Maintain the Ubuntu Ohio web site, Update the monthly Team Report, Represent the needs of the community to governance bodies as appropriate, Bring the future planning discussion to a conclusion. With the consent of the Point of Contact/Leader, the deputies may make requests upon the Community Budget administered by the Canonical Community Team and propose changes to the online resources of the community that may change their character from their current standing.

  5. The delegation provided for in this instrument may not be re-delegated.

  6. Unless sooner revoked, this delegation remains in effect until 0501 UTC on Sunday, February 2, 2014.

Done at Ashtabula Township this 18th day of December 2013.

Point of Contact/Leader, Ubuntu Ohio

Post-Meeting Announcement

2013-11-24 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as announcements, bolo-rising, leadernotes

Due to low attendance at the 2013-11-23 meeting, the following issues remain for discussion in a thread on by the Ubuntu Ohio community:

The original meeting agenda remains posted on the wiki. The log is posted here.

Quick Stock Take

2013-11-22 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as announcements, bolo-rising, leadernotes

In no particular order:

Ubuntu Ohio To Hold November Meeting

2013-10-24 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as announcements

The following e-mail was sent to the Ubuntu Ohio community on Wednesday:

Ubuntu Ohio will have a meeting on Saturday, November 9th, at 8 PM. The agenda can be found at and additional items can be added below "Any Other Business".

Stephen Michael Kellat
Point of Contact/Leader, Ubuntu Ohio

A primary matter for discussion will be the pending draft Verification Application to be placed before the LoCo Council soon for consideration. Other matters will also arise.

Value of Offline Documentation

2013-09-22 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as bolo-rising

Documentation Freeze has come and gone. From what can be seen Xubuntu made it in with a new version of its offline documentation. A quick check of does not show updates for the other flavors and for mainline Ubuntu itself. After plenty of work it is perhaps appropriate to talk about why having offline documentation is valuable for the many flavors of Ubuntu. Baskin-Robbins ice cream in the United States has as part of their slogan their 31 flavors of ice cream and while we are not there yet...who can truly predict the future?

We had yet another power outage in Ashtabula County where I am based. This one was brutally obvious, unlike what the linked article states, where traffic lights were not working and the Ashtabula County Medical Center had its generator roaring to keep the hospital's equipment running. Six thousand residential customers were likely affected but that does not count businesses that were impacted. The thunderstorm did not trigger any severity warnings from the National Weather Service forecast office in Cleveland but still did damage.

It is not like I live in the back of beyond as I live outside the Cleveland metro area. We have freshwater ports in the area with ore boat trade via the Great Lakes network and the St. Lawrence Seaway as well as pleasure boat traffic. As the Point of Contact/Leader for Ubuntu Ohio, I end up doing things you would not consider "First World Problems" such as maintaining emergency power gear, having hurricane lamps at the ready, and knowing how to use manual tools for clearing obstructions.

Offline documentation serves a useful purpose with all of our flavors. The so-called "digital divide" has shifted from being a matter of lacking discrete points of access to the Internet to a marked divergence in the degrees of quality among those access points. When the lights go out for me or my broadband provider has a line cut, having offline documentation is better than having access to nothing at all. I remember living in the Territory of American Samoa, the furthest south on the planet a US civilian outside the bases in Antarctica can live under the flag, and contending with Internet access being limited to tens of kilobits per second via dial-up on a good day in 2006/2007. My Internet access in northeast Ohio is hardly perfect either. We do not live in a world of perfect, ubiquitous online access that is spread evenly across this planet we share. We must not assume that having documentation online is good enough as that ignores that realities of Internet access for much of humanity.

Next month we will be making another semi-annual release. Next April we are looking at a Long-Term Support release across all participating flavors. A challenge for all flavors is to have offline documentation that can ship on the disc. Xubuntu has a basic preparation system where we write in DocBook, keep it in a branch on Launchpad that we are always ready to build as a test package, and update through Merge Proposals considered by our documentation leader Jack Fromm and the Xubuntu Project Leader Pasi Lallinaho. Each flavor handles things differently.

Can we ship a Long-Term Support release where we ship enough offline documentation so that when we hand out discs we can feel assured that there is enough for most of humanity to get started with? We have made incredible strides towards bringing a different style of computing to humanity. In a world where the digital divide remains, there are still some steps we can take.

Where do you stand today?

Mid-September Leader Notes

2013-09-18 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as leadernotes

Ubuntu Global Jam "S" in Ubuntu Ohio

The Ubuntu Global Jam event for Ubuntu Ohio was UbuCon at Ohio Linux Fest 2013. I had a bit of trepidation about scheduling this and there were all sorts of bumps in the road. The event happened and was attended well. Sadly I wasn't able to have any of it recorded for release as part of the Burning Circle but notes were taken.

Our presenters were:

This won't necessarily be possible to replicate for the "T" cycle but planning that far ahead yet has not happened.

Exhibition Floor on Saturday at Ohio Linux Fest 2013

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Snowy Penguin Solutions helped us get a table secured in time on the exhibition floor. They helped us bust through a communications barrier to get things cleared. As Leader I express thanks to them for their gracious support.

Canonical provided financial support from the community budget to help us secure a table. This was not initially expected to be necessary. Support from Jono Bacon and the community team made it possible for us to speak to so many people at Ohio Linux Fest.

Many business cards were handed out. According to the contract terms, unless Ubuntu Ohio manufactured the discs itself it could not distribute them. Questions were fielded about Xubuntu, the status of Mir, what is going on with Ubuntu Touch, are there many users in Ohio utilizing Xubuntu, where are you physically based, and when do you hold in-person meetings.

I was actually surprised at the number of Xubuntu questions and the interest in Xfce. Ubuntu Ohio is fairly agnostic as to desktop environment. Mir was an interesting discussion but nobody was too worried. Folks did enjoy ogling Jono's phone when they had chance while I kept saying it was the first "sane" phone I've seen in a while. Then again, I used to sell cell phones for a living and sold all four major US carriers for an indirect retailer.

As to a physical base, we don't have that. We have no cathedral or front office. Many people assumed we were based in the capital Columbus where the event was being held but I live in Ashtabula County in the far northeastern corner. We currently lack the population clumping to allow for in-person meetings at the sub-state level and the previous sub-state groups no longer really exist. I'm still unsure where the Cleveland one disappeared to, for example.

Two other things should be noted. We always mentioned "Ubuntu Ohio". The words "LoCo" and "team" really weren't uttered. When people asked what we are, my explanation was that we are a social community for fellowship where we support each other and build each other up. We're listed in the LoCo Portal as not providing tech support at the moment as we frankly do not have the numbers of members. Our goal for now is to build each other up, learn more about the many flavors of Ubuntu, and try to grow. Recognizing the state of Ohio's economy, we also realize that people will need to move on as time goes by and that that is okay.

Unlike the US ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins with its 31 flavors slogan, the Ubuntu realm only has 8 so far...

Software Freedom Day

Ubuntu Ohio has no scheduled activities for Software Freedom Day in 2013. This is in line with the outright suspension of all sub-state groups as of Friday, September 13, 2013. Once we are better organized to know where everybody is and find population clumping we can reorganize our ground game. Until then, we remain an online society community focused on fellowship and supporting each other as best we can.

Next Meeting

Not yet scheduled. We need to focus on helping with Saucy Salamander's completion if we are part of those areas of effort.

Yes Virginia, There Will Be An UbuCon

2013-08-02 by Stephen Michael Kellat, tagged as leadernotes

It appears that Ubuntu Ohio was able to secure sufficient commitments from presenters. This means we will have potentially enough content to put on a good UbuCon. Ohio Linux Fest 2013 is set for September 13-15 in Columbus, Ohio. UbuCon will fall on Friday, September 13th.

Further details will be released as they become available. If necessary, an audio advertisement may be released to outlets such as Ubuntu (UK) Podcast, Linux Outlaws, Rathole Radio, and The Dick Turpin Road Show.