Why I enjoy writing user help for GNOME

It’s been almost ten years since I started contributing to open source projects. One of the big ways I’ve contributed in the past is writing user help . Not knowing how to code then (and still really don’t know now, as hard as I try to learn Python), writing is something I enjoy and an area where I think I can make a difference. There are a number of different places to apply a writing skill in open source.

The macOS apps I’ll miss the most

I have been considering switching back to GNOME full-time and finally pulled the trigger last week and did, installing Fedora 25 on both my iMac and MacBook Pro . I installed GNOME on my iMac a couple months ago, but didn’t do the installation correctly and screwed up my MBR, resulting in only GNOME being an option. I’ve fixed that this time and have kept dual boot (for just in case and for iTunes on my iPhone and iPad).

Why I’m going back to Linux after five years of using macOS

I’ve been a supporter of the Electronic Frontier Foundation since 2004. Their work on privacy, free expression and technology are all things I am passionate about. For the last year or so, I have become more concerned with privacy issues in technology. The rise in big data and how everything is tracking everything we do has given me significant concerns. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to which ecosystems I want to stay in.

Fork the FSF

Larry Cafiero writes that it is time the FSF should be forked . I couldn’t agree more.

My new favorite GNOME Patch

For those of us without a disability, understanding the challenge users may experience when trying to use a computer can be a foreign concept. (Or at least it is for me.) Browsing Reddit, of all places, this weekend I came across this story of a user with ALS who created a patch for Eye of GNOME. The patch contributor’s son added a comment to the bug report ( and a link to a picture ) that is a must read.

Taking Snowy for a Walk – Issue 3: What users want

We launched the sign-ups for the upcoming Tomboy Online alpha last week. As part of the sign-up process we included a brief survey asking what features those signing up were interested in and to rate them on a scale of 1 – 5, which 5 being very interested. We asked them to rate the following features: Free note synchronization for Tomboy Sharing my notes so other users can read them Editing my notes from my desktop web browser Native Android app (Tomdroid) Native iOS app HTML5 offline client (for all mobile desktop browsers) Editing my notes from my mobile device (browser, native app, whatever) Here are the results:

Collaboration Across Borders

I’ve been a bit of a distro-hopper over the last year, but as I started interviewing at Novell earlier this year I started using openSUSE so I could pretend to know what I was talking about if it came up during the interview process. I’ve been really happy with openSUSE – each distro has their quirks but there’s a number of things (especially the openSUSE Build Service !) it does well.

Hobbyists & Hackers

Dave Neary wrote an interesting blog post yesterday commenting that the recruitment of new developers appears to be slowing. I’ve had similar a similar thought on my mind for a while but coming from a different angle. First though, revisiting Dave’s thought, he writes: But it was a learning experience. Installing Linux was the period in my life where I learned the most about how computers worked, hardware and software.

Cutting the Cable, Part 2

A few weeks ago I blogged about buying the hardware to set up a MythTV PC to record off air high def TV and integrate it with Boxee . The hardware arrived and I’ve been working on on the setup off and on over the last few weeks. Some random thoughts: The HD Homerun tuner is pretty cool. Fedora has the HD Homerun configuration tool in their repos. Installing that through PackageKit and yum made it easy to test out that it was working and had a good signal.

Mallard Documentation

Did anyone watch The Office last Thursday night? Early in the episode, Dwight gives Jim a wood duck with a walkie-talkie built-in so Dwight can spy on Jim. Jim: Thanks for the duck Dwight: It’s not a duck, it’s a mallard! This had me chuckling thinking about Mallard documentation. For the record, mallards are a much more beautiful duck than wood ducks. There’s been a lot going on in the world of GNOME documentation.