Saturday, August 16, 2008

Global Bug Jam

Last Saturday was the when the Ubuntu California LoCo team hosted their Bug Jam at Chapman University. And I, being the new-found environmentalist decided to carpool with someone also going (thanks Dennis). And I have to say, like most Ubuntu things, it was awesome. We arrived a little late and missed some of Nathan's talk on GPG keys, but afterward, we just bugged him to repeat the information. I've already signed the Ubuntu Code of Conduct, so it wasn't all that critical to me, but now I know what you can do with GPG keys. And it's pretty cool.

And Joe taught us a little big about filing bugs. Apparently you can start out with low bugs that don't need too much expertise and work your way up. I, for one, started out confirming bugs in XChat. A nice little thing to do. However, I may try to deal with crashes when I feel confident enough. The thing about bugs is that when you first try to triage, you can get VERY intimidated. The experienced triagers REALLY know their stuff, and you wonder how you'll ever get to be as useful as they are. But, every long journey begins with a small step... and that step was in this Bug Jam. Hopefully, as we have more bug jams we'll get more comfortable getting to the expert point. And as more people become experts, it's easier to teach others. So... we're working on that.

But, in my opinion, the coolest part was what Dennis gave to me. He was leaving to go back to Germany, so he left Neal a bunch of electronics, but left me his 12-year-old laptop. It runs Windows 98, and is totally alien in its configuration. It has no ethernet, USB, or CD drives. It has 2 PCMCIA slots (but wireless cards don't work). It has some huge port that I have no idea what it is. A parallel port, a VGA port, and a serial port. And it also has a floppy drive. It also has 16 MB of RAM, which I find to be the most hilarious aspect of it. I recently found a good use for it. Whenever I need to do work without being distracted, I use WordPerfect to type it up, and print it out through the parallel port. It's actually pretty efficient, and I could get used to it. And plus, what's cooler than running Windows 98 on your laptop (other than running Windows 95, but that'll just be a pain). Though, I'm wondering how I can upgrade the RAM on this thing. The memory extension is a large rectangular box. I'm not even entirely sure how to remove it, and if there are any other extensions of its type beyond 8MB. Anyway, that's the cool stuff that I got out of the Bug Jam, in addition to meeting the people in IRC. Hopefully, we'll be hosting more of this kind of stuff later on.

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