Review of Mozilla Balkans meeting @ Sofia

If you follow my identi.ca or twitter account, you might had noticed that Pierros , Freddy and myself wore our Mozilla hats and went to Sofia for the Mozilla Balkans meeting. An easy trip since Bulgaria is very close to Greece.

On overall : it was a great experience! How could be otherwise? I met new people (including Chris Hofmann, William Quiviger and others), got in touch again with cool people I’ve already met (in Ljubljana, Slovenia) and had the chance to discuss the hot topics that concern the Mozilla Balkans community.

I shouldn’t whine at all, but there was no wifi at the meeting area. But! We got through it using Fedora (actually the Network Manager internet/wifi sharing coolness) and one Ethernet port available on the room.

By the way, sticking post-it notes with what’s good, bad, giving a thank you and expressing ideas on the wall (each category was a part of the wall) was beyond cool, making it even more interesting than using our laptops.

What I suggested was to run a DemoParty[1] covering the Balkans area (Matjaž Horvat-approved suggestion 😉 ): each one of our communities (if possible of course) will run a DemoParty on its own, locally. I think this is a good chance to attract creative people as our goal is also to make the web better, not only the browser (we wouldn’t want the best browser for a web that sucks anyway). What is needed is the participation of the members of each community, an announcement on each Mozilla community website with the rules etc, judges, support from others in Mozilla that have already run a DemoParty and if possible a place (hackerspace or whatever) to announce the winners etc.

I also suggested aborting the  Skype calls. It’s simple, imagine all the people in the room in Sofia participating via Skype. Suicide is next! I mentioned four other reasons as well. IRC meetings are much more productive since we can log our conversation and plan our discussion beforehand.

Furthermore, Athens was proposed to be the next city to run the next Mozilla Balkans meeting (we compete Belgrade!)

Not to forget the newly created ReMo project! hooray!!! [2]

What’s more? The Greek Mozilla community website is under construction. We will mainly post our news there to let you know what’s going on. I need to mention our new mailing list as well! You can join us  here [3].

Anyway you can learn more (also see photos) for what happened in Sofia here at our aftermath page [4]. Once more a thank you to the organizers (yeah to Bogo too!).

<off-topic> This week has been very busy, since I am finishing my studies this semester. I am also looking for a postgraduate program in embedded systems/HCI/electronic automation (so far the universities of Athens, Leiden and Delft have what I want :) ) . If you know something about that matter and want to share it with me, please do :) </off-topic>

[1] http://mozillalabs.com/demoparty/

[2] https://wiki.mozilla.org/ReMo

[3] http://lists.mozilla.org/listinfo/community-greece

[4] http://wiki.mozilla.org/Balkans/Events:2011/Sofia/Aftermath

FossComm 2011 and OpenFest 2011 review

This is my review from 2 events I attended and participated in. I will just report with few words what happened and what I did there. Of course I wasn’t alone. As always Fedora rocked with his presence (I will explain later). But! I didn’t only participate with Fedora. You know, I am basically a hardware guy, I study electronics (currently at my last semester, yeah!)

====OpenFest 2011===

OK! Since OpenFest 2011 was first I will start with this event! It was organized by students of the department of Computer Systems at the TEI of Pireaus. I think the Fedora booth was exemplar and with a lot of people helping! We had one bad comment though…few people really wanted the Fedora cheat cubes again on our booth table. I also believe it’s a very cool swag and it’s just a piece of paper! So, people should just wait for our next event :)

At OpenFest I made a presentation on Fedora 15 (mentioning and showing a bit of Gnome 3 magic). Pierros and Nikos did a very cool workshop on how to survive with Gnome 3 too!

I also co-presented a workshop with Pierros and Konstantinos concerning Arduino. While it was introductory, we had to repeat it for 2 times more! The room had about 35 seats I think, but at the first 2 presentations people were even standing outside the windows to watch (not to mention that the door was open and people were trying to listen from outside. The 3rd presentation was made in a bigger room the next day.

Photos (thanks to Thalia and Dimitris):



===FossComm 2011===

Last but not least, the major open source event in Greece. This time at the Univercity of Patras, organized by the Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics. What I really need to mention is that the schedule of FossComm 2011 tried to cover the needs of everyone and I think it did. We enjoyed a lot of good presentations and workshops!

I need to mention that while the Fedora booth was represented well by all the Ambassadors who came to support, Fedora made the difference in the event’s schedule. We had good and many presentations. Not any community can do that :)

Of course the swag was there on both booths (Fedora and Mozilla).  But not always there. Visitors, hosts, everyone took everything :)

Together with Pierros Papadeas (also made presentations on Fedora and Mozilla at FossComm 2011 ) we did again, as in OpenFest 2011, an introductory Arduino presentation. If I could only have the time to show more code! People were starving for code! Something that we kind of did at OpenFest 2011 :) I wanted to talk to people about how useful a library and how Arduino is part of the “Internet of things” nowadays, showing Pachube and the completely opensource Thingspeak.

Presentations I attended:

  • Melissi project by Giorgos Logiotatidis (If you are looking for cloud/python stuff please please check it out and ask)
  • Building a platform-agnostic wireless network of interconnected smart objects using open source tools
    by Anastasia Protopapa and Basilios Georgitzikis (who I thank for his hospitality!). Interconnecting different Zigbee nodes? Sounds like the future to me!
  • hackerspace.gr – hackerspace αλα ελληνικά (I will post more details when hackerspace.gr will be completely ready, but you can follow us on the wiki, the mailing list, identi.ca , twitter or even facebook. We want to share the news everywhere.)

I think I didn’t fully attend something else, but I watch the work of many of the people that presented and I am fully aware of what they do and still wish the best for them. One example is the work of the foss.ntua team Consuela a very handy arduino project for controlling lights with a simple web client setup.

Photos (thanks to Thalia, and Dimitris) :



Once again, a big thank you to the hosts and organizers of the events. Another thank you to those who helped!

Mozilla Balkans meeting 2010 : Ljubljana

Hello everyone!

It’s been a week since I returned from the Mozilla Balkans meeting in Ljubljana. An event that was quite different from those I usually attend as it was more…private, for the organizing purposes of our community at the Balkans area! A great chance to meet a lot of interesting people (of all ages).  I had a very pleasant stay, and I should really thank all the people who organized the event.

The great thing is that, a huge surprise happened. We had the honour to meet the new CEO of Mozilla Gary Kovacs, the President of Mozilla Europe Tristan Nitot, the Chief Marketing Officer of Mozilla Chris Beard and last but not least the head of community marketing Mary Colvig !

Saturday and Sunday were planed according to this schedule. We were accurate and productive and the space Kiberpipa provided to us was wonderful. During the work sprint, together with the other Mozilla participants I put my hands into code (eg. the Jetpack session) and I also translated stuff as requested from Kadir Topal the head of our super SUMO development team. Axel Hekt helped me a lot too. Well, the thing is that Pierros, Axel and myself spent quite a lot of time during our common flights and at the airport. It was fun and interesting! Learned a lot of stuff and grasped some new ideas.

On Sunday we had Mary with us! We used our organization skills and did some brainstorming for the benefit of the Balkans community. We split in 4 teams and afterwards presented our ideas.

On Sunday night Pierros and I (the only Balkans team left in Ljubljana) had dinner with Mary, Chris and Axel. Since I had already seen Mary and Axel in action, discussing with Chris proved to me once more how cool everyone in Mozilla is and how unique Mozilla is among all free and open source foundations/projects/etc today because of these people.

Photos : http://bit.ly/mozbalkansLJU

Athens Digital Week 2010 recap

One of the major events here in Athens (and Greece), that allows us to inform people about FLOSS, lets us give a great deal of swag and meet interesting people is called Athens Digital Week (ADW). This year ADW 2010 had once again an Open source section and (once again) the Greek Fedora team couldn’t miss the chance and make the best of it! So, the set up of the first day had to be done by me, Nikos, Thalia, Anastasis and Christos! Pierros was at POSSE in South Africa that day but he joined us on Friday. Many other Fedora members joined as well! Thanks to everyone!

In overall, the event was quite good. Not like last year as I was told (last year I was living in Barcelona :) ) and even in 2008 I remember even famous bands playing at the stage of ADW. Budget problems maybe. Anyway, in 2008 I had the chance to meet Max Spevack just for a little bit. This year, I met Jon “maddog” Hall. And he is one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met, due to his work and ideas around FLOSS, plus his amount of experience that makes him a perfect advice-giver. I learnt a lot (eg. Project Cauã) and had fun (ouzo and mezes FTW). And that’s what matters. Not to mention that after he concluded his talk he thanked Pierros Papadeas (who invited him), the Greek Fedora team 😀  and ADW.

Concerning the Fedora presence. As usual we informed people for our latest news and technologies, how we practice freedom through software and how we work as a community. At our booth, we also presented to people many of our Spins like Fedora Security Lab, Fedora Electronic Lab (I didn’t try much, it is an awesome spin), and Greek Fedora EDU remix. Well, of course we had balloons and a pop corn machine because in Fedora contribution is a party!.  Plus, chats with Maddog every now and then. ‘Nough said.

Anastasis Stasinopoulos talked on Saturday for Fedora Security Spin. Christos Bacharakis made a talk for Fedora on Education, followed by my talk on Fedora 14! I also co-presented the same morning a workshop on Arduino (together with Pierros, tzikis and Konstantinos).

In overall, it was a successful event, as for  next year I hope it will get even better 😀

Some photos here (most of the pictures were taken from Thalia)

=== In Greek / Ελληνικά ===

Μία από τις μεγαλύτερες τεχνολογικές εκδηλώσεις στην Αθήνα (και στην Ελλάδα), στην οποία ενημερώνουμε σχετικά με το ΕΛΑΚ λογισμικό και υλισμικό, να μοιράσουμε υλικό και να συναντήσουμε ενδιαφέροντα άτομα, ονομάζεται Athens Digital Week (ADW). Φέτος το ADW 2010 είχε και πάλι Open source τμήμα και (πάλι) η ελληνική ομάδα του Fedora με χαρά της το εκμεταλλεύτηκε στο βέλτιστο βαθμό! Την 1η μέρα στήσαμε με Νίκος, Θάλεια, Αναστάση και Χρήστο. Ο Πιέρρος βρισκόταν στην Νότια Αφρική για το POSSE αλλά την Παρασκευή κλασσικά συμμετείχε και εκείνος. Δεν ξεχνάω και τα υπόλοιπα μέλη της ελληνικής ομάδας Fedora που ήρθαν και βοήθησαν! Ευχαριστώ!

Σε γενικές γραμμές η εκδήλωση ήταν καλή. Από οτι μου είπαν όχι σαν πέρσυ (έλειπα στην Barcelona), και σίγουρα όχι όπως το 2008 που ήμουν παρών. Οικονομικής φύσης προβλήματα μάλλον. Πάντως, το 2008 είχα την ευκαιρία να συναντήσω τον Max Spevack για λίγο ( ήταν οι πρώτοι μου μήνες ως μέλος του Fedora). Φέτος, γνώρισα τον Jon “maddog” Hall. Είναι σίγουρα από τις πιο εντυπωσιακές προσωπικότητες που έχω γνωρίσει, λόγω της δουλειάς που έχει κάνει αλλά και των ιδεών του στο ελεύθερο και ανοιχτό λογισμικό και λόγω της εμπειρίας του που φάνηκε στις συμβουλές που μου έδωσε. Έμαθα πολλά (πχ. Project Cauã) και διασκέδασα. Και αυτό μετράει. Στο τέλος της ομιλίας του ευχαρίστησε τον Πιέρρο Παπαδέα (που τον προσκάλεσε) την ελληνική ομάδα του Fedora 😀 και το ADW.

Για την παρουσία του Fedora. Ως συνήθως ενήμερώσαμε τον κόσμο για τα νέα και τις καινούριες τεχνολογίες στο Fedora, το πόσο χρήσιμη είναι η ελευθερία στο λογισμικό, πως την ασκούμε και πως δουλεύουμε ως κοινότητα. Στο booth δείξαμε και τα Spins του Fedora. To Fedora Security Lab, Fedora Electronic Lab ( εντυπωσίασε αρκετό κόσμο που ασχολείται με τον τομέα) και το Ελληνικό Fedora EDU remix. Φυσικά είχαμε μπαλόνια και μια μηχανή pop corn γιατί στο Fedora συμμετέχουμε γιορτάζοντας.

O Αναστάσης Στασινόπουλος μίλησε το Σάββατο για το Fedora Security Spin. Ο Χρήστος Μπαχαράκης παρουσίασε το “Fedora στην εκπαίδευση” και ακολούθησε η ομιλία μου για το Fedora 14! Επίσης, συμπαρουσίασα (μαζί με Πιέρρο, tzikis και Κωνσταντίνο) ένα workshop για το Arduino.

Γενικά ήταν μια επιτυχημένη εκδήλωση και ελπίζω να πάει ακόμη καλύτερα του χρόνου 😀

Μερικές φωτογραφίες εδώ (σχεδόν όλες έχουν τραβηχθεί από την Θάλεια)

GFOSS Conference 2010

Yesterday ended the GFOSS Conference 2010 that took place in Athens at NTUA (National Technical University of Athens). It was an event that started on Friday, but yesterday was special because of the workshop I was organising this week together with Anastasis (anast)! The subject was (in translation) “Fedora Project : Remix and Spin it! The Fedora operating system you own (and not only that)”. Furthermore, we also had booth presence on both days with the usual swag :)

The workshop lasted 1 hour ( the schedule said 2 hours) but I think something more than that would be boring. Some setbacks occurred previously that day and affected the workshop a little bit. First, I tried to create an iso image using a kicksart file I made that unfortunately needed a bit of time to be created due to yesterday’s bad signal of the wifi where the booth of Fedora was (damn near fields), so I didn’t make it in time for the “Takis OS” Live CD I wanted to create. Second, I didn’t expect my laptop to fail me when I tried to plug in the dvi cable. I count it as a setback but, ok I overcame it thanks to the laptop of Anastasis :)

I think it was around 15 people that joined the workshop (thanks to everybody). I tried to pass the knowledge of what is a remix, a spin, their differences (and similarities), guidelines, processes, kickstart files, livecd-tools, cobbler…but not to the extent of getting down with too much coding, configurations and setting many arameters. In a few words I tried to show the way for a simple creation of a Remix from the kickstart file until the creation of a LiveCD and told a few words about the magic things cobbler can do. Anastasis talked about Geo Spin and Security Lab spin. I couldn’t miss the chance to talk about Fedora Electronic Lab too. Also, I am happy that Nikos (comzeradd) and Pantelis (pant) joined us as well!

click for more photos

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