Monthly Archives: September 2008

Changing the World an Idea at a Time

Just bumped into this Google page soliciting ideas on how to “change the world by helping as many people as possible”. Project 10^100 (that’s the name of the project) will select five (5) finalists and will bankroll their implementations with a $10M fund.

Now I’m trying to squeeze my brain for some really pretty cool ideas but all I’m getting is a pretty vague one involving GIS/Geohazard mapping. Anyway, the deadline is still on October 10 so there’s still time to refine things.

Changing of the Keys

While checking http://pgp.mit.edu/ for my keys, I found out that I already have five keys in total on their servers. Two of them were already revoked while three remain valid. Of these three, two are for the same email address (F53365DF and 72F7709B) while the other one, though unique, (0DC971F3) is for an email address I’m no longer using.

This is therefore an announcement that from now on, I’ll exclusively use F53365DF as my PGP KeyID for my fedoraproject email.

Software Freedom Day 2008 (Philippines)

Updated (Oct.2, 2008): [updated] Software Freedom Day 2008 (Philippines)

I was waiting for Ma’am Magie to post the pics of our recently concluded SFD celebration but since she’s still probably recuperating from the event, let me, in her stead, report what happened last Saturday at the National Computer Center here in Quezon City.

Official registration was supposed to start 8:30 AM but when I passed by the venue around 7:30AM on my way to my office, students were already milling around the complex and a provincial bus was already parked beside the venue. Talk about being early! When I returned around 8:45AM, the place was already packed and Ma’am Magie was already going on circles 🙂

I was designated as the booth man by virtue of seniority 😀 (Truth be told, Ma’am Magie was busy organizing the whole event while Sir Engels was giving speeches). The Fedora booth consisted of a tarpaulin, flyers, two LiveUSB Station posters and my office laptop featuring Fedora 9. I originally planned to bring my Asus eee loaded with eeedora to the event but I was locked out of our office with no keys — stupid me. A friend later took pity on me and sent for his two laptops (both of which are Windows) and together we burned away those USB sticks.

Apart from burning LiveUSBs, I gave away flyers, cajoled SFD-goers to try Fedora 9 using my laptop, gave impromptu talks about the merit of Fedora and its difference with other Linux distributions (most of the time – Ubuntu), met students, teachers and other professionals and had a blast the whole time. Talking particularly with the kids made me feel like a rock star 🙂

The major drawer of our booth was certainly the LiveUSB creation. It would have been FreeMedia but early on, we have decided to do away with the distribution of DVDs and LiveCDs because that would entail spending money we don’t really have much of. What meager funds we have scrapped together were funneled into the whole event. I think our FreeMedia program could expect a lot more requests coming from the Philippines – I just gave away its URL.

Either way, we had registered around 50 individuals who wanted to hear more about the Fedora Project and possibly contribute themselves. These included teachers who want their students contribute as ambassadors and/or developers, students who wanted to make a case study in the use of Fedora and professionals who are interested in holding seminars/trainings in deploying Fedora in their line of work.

I’m now helping these guys get onboard the project. This is just my first event – it goes without saying that future events would be better.

ACKnowledge*

For the past few days, I have found myself surfing wordpress.com’s blogs searching for something that will hopefully provide some writing inspiration. For today, I’m discussing pseudoperl’s post regarding knowledge management and IT.

What struck me most on pseudopearl’s post is its conviction that “technology will have no role in Knowledge Management if we do not have any knowledge to manage and (to) store(d)”. If you do not have any knowledge, you won’t have any use for knowledge management to begin with. I’m an IT practitioner by profession and though I recognize that IT is just a tool, an “enabler” if you may; disregarding IT is very shortsighted and dangerous IMHO.

Regarding knowledge bases, we’re actually starting off a wiki to document our current business processes and to try to codify both tacit and explicit knowledge that our staff may have. While it’s true that IT is just a part and not the whole of KM, discounting IT is like throwing away a very clear competitive advantage. If done properly, IT can bring your KM practice to heights you can only dream off without IT.

Backing Up Data

Corinne’s post made me remember when my server died on me early this year – it was hell! My system disk has been corrupted and our most recent backup was from 2 months back. The server holds the ONLY complete copy of our company files then and we stand to lose a lot of work. Fortunately for us, we were able to rebuild the disk array (yup, we we’re on RAID) and that probably just saved my job.

If your going for RAID, don’t go for RAID 0. Go for RAID 1 or RAID 5 or RAID 10 but don’t use RAID 0. RAID 0 is great for expanding storage space but for making your files redundant, the best is RAID 1 (but it has serious costs – read/write penalties, disk costs). In my opinion, if you want to strike a balance on cost versus redundancy, go for RAID 5 with one or two spare disks.

Our current setup right now is this – RAID 5 disks on server host + rsync on cron at our backup server (both of which are running Fedora).