Lococast.net Tech With Loco Flavor


Episode 25: The Return of Chris McDonough, bootstrapping pip, projects and playgrounds, and the death of Open Source consulting


Watch us record the podcast, warts and all

Episode 25: The Return of Chris McDonough, bootstrapping pip, projects and playgrounds, and the death of Open Source consulting

The problem with having an awesome guest like Chris McDonough on the podcast is you have a really hard time topping that. So what better way to kick off the cobwebs of the podcast than to invite Chris back. Well, add to that three provocative topics (one of which was penned my Chris himself) and you have as good an excuse as any to bring back Lococast from the podcast brink.  We also took the opportunity to record it as a Google Hangout so if you want to see our unvarnished smiling faces you can. If you'd rather let your imagination run wild (and your psyche unharmed) you also have the option of listening to our regularly generated audio file.





Lococast Ohio Linuxfest 2011 Interview: Michael Fischer

Lococast Ohio Linuxfest 2011 Inteview: Michael Fischer

New Computer Lab

photo credit: Terry McCombs

We have one last interview in the can from Ohio Linuxfest, and it's appropriate that we release this canned interview, since it's with Michael "Call me Fish" Fischer (get it? Canned? Fish? OK, I'll stop now). Fish presented a talk at Ohio Linuxfest entitled: "Managing a Computer Lab in a High School Environment". After the talk, Rick and Fish sat down to talk a bit about computers and education, and why Fish brought some of his students to Ohio Linuxfest.

Special thanks to Michael "Call me Fish" Fischer for taking the time to talk with us at Lococast.net.



Lococast Ohio Linuxfest 2011 Interview: Aaron Toponce

Lococast Ohio Linuxfest 2011 Inteview: Aaron Toponce

Password speaking server, guarded by lasers and spiders

Password speaking server, guarded by lasers and spiders (photo credit: Nadya Peek)

"Sherman, set the way-back machine for two months ago, when the fall colors weren't sitting upon our lawn. September should be good, right around the time when Ohio Linuxfest was occurring. Yep, that should be good. Now, be a good boy and open the doors and watch the way-back machine while I listen to these interviews."

So, insert the standard disclaimer about not getting these up in time because [life got busy | things came up | cat ate my hard drive] and accept our humble apologies for not getting these interviews up sooner.

The next interview from our adventures at Ohio Linuxfest features Aaron Toponce. Aaron sat down to talk with Rick about Aaron's presentation at Ohio Linuxfest about Password Theory and Breaking Encrypted Filesystems. Suffice to say, you might not want to leave your machine unattended near any maids anytime soon.

Special thanks to Aaron Toponce for sitting down and talking with us at Ohio Linuxfest.



Lococast.net Episode 21: OLF recap and there will be rants!

Episode 21: OLF recap and there will be


Lococast.net Episode 20: Power is good….

Power Outage


Lococast.net Episode 20 - Power is good...


Lococast Episode 16: Interview with Greg Grossmeier on Locos, Copyright, and Open Data


Lococast Episode 16: Interview with Greg Grossmeier on Locos, Copyright, and Open Data

Craig and Rick take a trip out to Ann Arbor Michigan to chat with the Michigan Loco leader Greg Grossmeier. We chat about how starting up a loco has been.

We also get into his current work for the University of Michigan. Lots of information about their http://open.umich.edu program.

Next we chat about his internship and work at Creative Commons along with some great info on Open Data.

Finally, we wrap up with some talk of govenance, and what he meant in his blog post about the Banshee/Canonical kerfuffle

Other Links

Music: Ac33d by Micronaut from Transformer


Lococast Episode 15: Interview with Jason Smith about Unity

Lococast.net Episode 15 - Interview Jason Smith about Unity


Lococast: Submit your Unity questions here!

We need your help. Craig and I have spoken our concerns about what Unity means to the future of Ubuntu. Thursday March 24th, we'll be interviewing Jason Smith of Canonical who works on the Unity team. We'd like to know what you'd ask him if you got a chance.

  • How close are things to planned functionality for Natty?
  • What kind of testing is going on behind the scenes?
  • What types of users is Canonical targeting as the average Unity user?

Let us know what you'd like us to ask. Submit your question here in the comments or email the question to feedback@lococast.net


Thanks for your help!


Pycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Michael Foord, Canonical, IronPython, and Python Mocking



Pycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Michael Foord, Canonical, OS Split Personality, and Mocking

In our last in the series of interview from PyCon 2011, Lococast sits down with Michael Foord and talk about some of the cool things he's working on at Canonical, how the new version of his Python mocking library Mock is doing, and a little bit about what's going on with IronPython in a post-Microsoft sanctioned project era.



Pycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Mark Ramm from Sourceforge and Allura, the new forge

Allura Software ForgePycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Mark Ramm from Sourceforge and Allura, the new forge

Lococast got a chance to sit down and ask Mark Ramm about the new open source project forge, Allura. They managed to get it out to the public right before PyCon and were working hard on it during the sprints at PyCon 2011. Find out what makes it unique and what they're up to.


Pycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Chris McDonough from Pyramid Web Framework

Pyramid: Not build by aliens

Pyramid: Not build by aliens

Pycon 2011 Sprints Interview: Chris McDonough from Pyramid Web Framework

Lococast sits down with Chris McDonough from Pyramid Web Framework at the Pycon 2011 sprints. We talk about what's brought around Pyramid 1.0, how the reception has been to the great work, and where Pyramid is looking to go from here.

Get a t-shirt from the online store.



PyCon 2011: Mike Pirnat Interviews John DeRosa – Busing USA



PyCon 2011: Mike Pirnat Interviews John DeRosa - Busing USA


Rick joins Mike Pirnat from the From Python Import Podcast to interview John DeRosa as he discusses his adventure tweeting his bus ride from Seattle to PyCon 2011 in Atlanta. What makes a crazy man do such a thing? What could possibly go wrong? Find out!


Music in this episode:


Episode 11: ’cause you can’t build Ubuntu without some Python

Python Article Logo


Lococast.net Episode 11 - 'cause you can't build Ubuntu without some Python


Lococast Interview: Jim Barber

Lococast Interview with Jim Barber

Sailing the Seas of Free

Recently we received a note from a listener, Jim Barber. He sent us one of the most interesting stories of his usage of Ubuntu. Rather than read the note on the air, we decided to do an interview with Jim. Unfortunately, Rick was "on assignment", so Craig and Jim sat and talked. Hear about Jim's computer experiences from the past, and how he uses Ubuntu in one of the most unique settings we've come across. (Let's just say I won't be bitching about bandwidth anymore at the coffee shop).

If you've got an interesting story about Ubuntu that you'd like to share, or have any questions or comments about the show, send them our way at lococast.net.

Show Music:


Episode 6: Ohio Linuxfest Recap/Interviews

Lococast.net Episode 6 - Ohio Linuxfest Recap/Interviews


Lococast Interview – Amber Graner

With Amber visiting us for the last episode she was beyond awesome and filled out the questions I warned her to be ready for with full replies. So if you're into visual over audio, here's a more fleshed out version of our discussion with Amber.

Oh, while we have it, here's her book information from the podcast
Social Media

Question: Who are you, and what do you do?

Amber Graner: I'm an active Ubuntu community member and organizer who encourages everyone around her to participate, support, and learn about Ubuntu and Open Source. With a smile and a sense of humor, Amber reminds people that there is a place for everyone in the Ubuntu community – regardless of technical skill level (or lack thereof). She is constantly looking for people, places, and events within the Ubuntu community that help inspire Ubuntu users to participate actively within the Ubuntu community.

Question: How did you get into Ubuntu?

Amber Graner: Funny how this happened. My husband gave me an intrepid CD and a t-shirt that said “Linux for Human Beings” and I laughed and said yeah right. Here is my very 1st Blog post about how I got involved. http://akgraner.com/?p=70

Question: What are you up to in the Ubuntu world now?

Amber Graner: Currently I am the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Editor in Chief and current leader of the Ubuntu News Team as well as the North Carolina LoCo Team. I also help organize various UbuCons and help organize the various Ubuntu Weeks (Open Week, App Week, App Dev Week). I also freelance for Ubuntu User Magazine by doing the interviews each week, and I have a blog on Ubuntu User Online - You in Ubuntu. http://www.ubuntu-user.com/Online/Blogs/Amber-Graner-You-in-Ubuntu

Question: How's your LoCo, how are you guys/gals active and types of recent activities?

Amber Graner: We have some great NC LoCo Team members in the Winston-Salem area who have started and kept up an Ubuntu Hour https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Hour at one of their local coffee shops. I drove there and joined in the fun for once for one of the “hours” but it's 2.5 hour drive for me to get there so it's not always possible but I think it's awesome they are doing this. Still other talented team members in the Western North Carolina in the Asheville area have helped get the WNGLUG going again. I try to go as often as I can but it's about an hour from me as well. Even more motivated team members in the Triangle Area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill) are great about hosting release parties, and participating in TriLUG activities. That's a little over 4 hours away from me so I haven't been there in about a year. We have people (not including me who) participate many areas of the Ubuntu Community - Ubuntu News Team, Ubuntu User Days, Ubuntu Studio, as well as helping with various LinuxFests. While we aren't as active as other LoCo Teams we are getting there and I think the team rocks!

Question: What have you found are the positives since the Locos forming (why you like your LoCo)

Amber Graner: The NC LoCo Team was formed in 2007 so I wasn't involved in it then. I only got involved in 2009. However, in the time that I have been involved I have seen more people getting involved across the state and our LoCo was approved earlier this year. I personally haven't meet the mailing list only or forums only folks on the team that I know of but I have meet many of the team members who frequent the NC LoCo team IRC channel (#ubuntu-us-nc) and I have to say I think we have an awesome team there (but I am a little bias). It's a great group and I can't wait to see what the next release cycle brings.

Question: How do you deal with people across large state? What are some of the LoCo challenges?

Amber Graner: I think for me it's just trying to connect personally with people across the state. To put a voice and or face with an IRC nick or email address. It's also making sure people anywhere in the state know they are empowered to do their own thing and making sure team members know where to find resources to support their efforts. WIkis are flat and often don't answer all of someones questions. Having a person they can call, email, or ping in IRC to ask for clarification, direction, or just a sanity check goes a long way.

I think one of the biggest challenges we face at the moment is explaining why Canonical does't just write a blank check to the LoCo and supply endless amounts of CDs. Explaining that we are marketing, supporting and advocating on behalf of Ubuntu not Canonical is tricky sometimes. Often I hear “Why doesn't Canonical (insert whatever thing someone thinks Canonical should be doing)?” Like who is going to pay postage to ship Cd's to LoCo members once they reach the contact, or I want to give out 500 CDs at the mall why won't they just give them to us? Why don't they give us money for X event we are marketing them. So that is one Challenge.

The other is making sure people understand a meritocracy and while some bureaucracy is needed if it gets too heavy or cumbersome it limits participation and often becomes exclusive rather than inclusive so finding that balance is important. It's not a balance you find once then forget about it, it's often adjusted daily.

Question: What are some of Tips or Tricks for LoCos?

Amber Graner: Remember to always have fun! Working on something especially when everyone is volunteering their time, talent and treasures - should be fun for those in all areas of participation. There should be something people get from their efforts. Some “motivational paycheck” that is gained. It could be in the form of learning something new other times it can be a heartfelt thank you from someone they admire. It could be the opportunity to go somewhere or do something they have always wanted to do like speak at an event or represent the LoCo team at an event. Try to match people up with something they would like to do or something that they have the skills to do or pair them with a mentor who is willing to teach them something they want to learn. Remember every user is someones guru - regardless of skill level everyone can teach someone something.

How do you do that? Learn who your members get to know them. This is what things like Ubuntu Hours, release parties, or just conversation in email, IRC or phone call can do. Be Social! Let them know why you are asking them though not that you are just being noisy and creepy but that you are trying to help them (if they want it) to find an area of the LoCo Team and greater Ubuntu Community they might enjoy. Some questions that help with this could be - What do they currently do for work? What do they do for their hobbies? What is it about Ubuntu that they like? What is an area they would like to know more about. What's an area they would like to see improve? Are they new to FOSS and Ubuntu or just Ubuntu? etc. However, make sure members and those interested in volunteering know that just lurking on a mailing list or in an IRC channel is cool as well and that just being an Ubuntu end user is perfectly fine and that every user doesn't need to become a super contributor or developer for the Ubuntu Project.

Question: Are their future plans or advice for other LoCos looking to be more active?

  • Ubuntu Global Jam is around the corner and there is still time to plan
    to get together and discuss Ubuntu. Or plan a virtual meeting in your IRC
    Channel if your team can't physically get together.
  • Ohio LinuxFest (http://ohiolinux.org/) if you are in or near Columbus Ohio on September 10-12, 2010 then stop by the UbuCon on Friday, September 10, 2010 and Ubuntu Booth on Saturday, September 12, 2010. The more the merrier!
  • Ubuntu App Dev Week (Formally Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week) is
    coming up as well September 20-24th - Got an itch you want to scratch then
    this is the week to learn how to write that application you’ve always
    wanted. -
  • Ubuntu 10.10.10 Maverick Meerkat - Release Parties - time to plan now
  • Ubuntu Open Week will be the week of October 11, 2010.
  • Ubuntu Developer Summit is scheduled for the last week of October 2010,
    even if you can't attend in person but want to see or hear what is going to
    be occurring in the -N cycle so you can see what members of the team might
    be interested in helping with there is always remote participation. -
  • Regular and Sustained Movement: Also making sure people who come to your
    team see you are doing things that there is movement. Regular meetings,
    active mailing list with worthwhile and informative information, and make
    sure there are several people who can and are comfortable with answering
    LoCo questions and know where to find some FAQ links. This way there is a
    wiki or someone people can go to to ask the question “what can I do?” and be
    given something within a couple hours or a day of asking for example. The
    NC team is currently working on getting this type of wiki together.

Question: What is your history with OLF, how long have you been going, observations of change over time? What you like about it, what are you looking forward to?

Amber Graner: Ohio LinuxFest 2009 was my 1st time attending this event. I helped a little at the LinuxPro Booth, got a chance to be on my very 1st podcast as well. :-) I also got a chance to talk to more people and get to know them a little better as new friends in the FOSS and Ubuntu communities had begun to form. I can't speak to changes but I can tell you I like the atmosphere and the event. The speakers the Ohio Linux Fest people pick seem to be able to speak to all levels of FOSS users and developers -- from the curious, to the new and novice as well as those seasoned developers who are looking their next project. The speakers, vendors, and other participants create a very inclusive and inviting event. I really enjoy attending and would encourage anyone to go especially if they are new to FOSS.

Question: What an Ubucon, give us the low down, why should we be getting down there a day early?

Amber Graner: In a nutshell this UbuCon is a one day Ubuntu Conference. This is an opportunity to spend the day in 45 minute sessions from 10am to 5pm learning more about Ubuntu and how you can participate and contribute to the project. This also gives you the opportunity to talk to some of the Ubuntu Community without the distraction of all the other awesome events that will be happening on Saturday. You can find the UbuCon schedule here http://ohiolinux.org/ubucon

Question: Anything you want to plug while we've got you answering questions for us?

Amber Graner: Yes! :-) Myself and a friend of mine, Jeremy Foshee, have started a new podcast "Failure to Communicate". We just want to remember to laugh. In this podcast we are Southern and Irreverent and occasionally we throw in pinches and dashes of Ubuntu here and there. However, it is not meant to be an Ubuntu podcast, but the fact is I can't have a conversation with anyone without working FOSS or Ubuntu into it. We are working on a site for it, but for now it can be found on my personal blog akgraner.com. If you want to hear Episode 1 and all the mistakes we made in it got to: http://akgraner.com/?p=704

Amber Graner: Thanks guys for inviting me to do the interview both on the cast and here in the show notes. I can't wait to share your cast with other people in the community!