Stormy’s Update: Week of March 22nd

  • Friends of GNOME ruler launched. The campaign has been a great success so far – thanks, everyone!
  • Jeremy Allison joined the GNOME Advisory Board representing Google.
  • Worked with a potential sponsor.
  • Met with Rosanna to discuss the things she’s got going on (invoices, reimbursements, bank stuff, etc) and the Friends of GNOME gifts. Proposed that maybe we could send gifts via a supplier like Amazon. Having too many gifts to send out is a good problem to have!
  • Met with Brian Cameron to discuss my work. It’s about time for a midyear review.
  • Sent lots of thank you’s to Friends of GNOME who donated. Thanks, everyone!
  • Discussed a couple of GUADEC things like press. Need to wrap up the sponsors.
  • Attended GNOME Foundation IRC meeting.
  • Discussed who could attend FOSS Nigeria as the person who was going to attend on GNOME’s behalf had to cancel for work.
  • Organized a Women in Technology happy hour with Julie Bort in Fort Collins. Not GNOME related all though all GNOME women are welcome!
  • Reviewed GNOME 2.30 release notes and Project Accessibility & GNOME press release.
  • Wrapped up an advisory board interview for GNOME Journal.
  • Decided to move the Meet the Funders event to the fall. That will avoid conflict with lots of summer conferences and enable us to plan in person at OSCON.
  • Interviewed with a Northern California radio show on women and Unix and Linux.
  • Met with an analyst trying to figure out how many Linux mobile devices there will be.
  • Attended FSF Women’s IRC meeting. Sounds like the women’s track at Libre Planet was a great success!
  • Attended Open World Forum committee meeting. Haven’t yet committed to helping any particular track.

For this week:

  • Review my very long todo list and make sure I’m working on the most important stuff.
  • Start a conversation on GNOME Mobile about what to do with the Nokia funding.
  • Try to close with all GUADEC sponsors.
  • Work out a schedule for the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit desktop track.
  • Annual report letter.

Best hotel in San Francisco … not yet

I’m not looking for the best hotel as in the fanciest hotel. I’m looking for the cheapest hotel that is still good. Or at least clean, safe and convenient.

I travel to San Francisco a lot and I’ve been looking for the best and most economical option for quite a while. I’ve stayed at a lot of San Francisco hotels during my quest. This last time I stayed at the Best Western Americicania. I’m still looking. Next time I’ll be staying some where else.

The Best Western wasn’t the perfect hotel for me because:

  • It was loud. I was woken up at 4:30am by traffic noise. I should have asked for an inside room. If you stay there, be sure to ask for an inside room.
  • The internet was down. While on business trips, I usually use my down time to get work done. What else are you going to do in a hotel room by yourself? Especially at 4:30 in the morning …

My criteria for the perfect hotel in San Francisco is:

  • Cheap. I try to travel cheaply when on the GNOME Foundation’s dime. It feels ridiculous to spend several hundred dollars a night for a bed for a night but in San Francisco that’s what most of the hotels are asking. (The Best Western was $100/night, not bad for the location. And it was clean.)
  • Private room. I need my down time and alone time. I usually use it to work but I need it to recuperate. Especially at a conference where I’m meeting with tons of people every day.
  • Safe. As in the room is safe, not it has a safe. Goes without saying. Plus if I don’t feel safe, I don’t sleep well.
  • Clean. The Best Western was very clean, I was impressed there.
  • Internet. I work in my room. What do you do in your room at 4:30 am with no internet? I ended up heading out to a coffee shop.
  • Treadmill. I like to run everyday – it makes up for all the junk you eat on the road. It’s often not daylight when I run so I’m not going to run outside.
  • Quiet. I added this requirement during my last trip. Some sleep is important. Especially when you don’t have any internet. I have friends that always travel with ear plugs but I can’t sleep in them.
  • Private toilet. (The last time I stayed in a dorm and ran into someone in the hall at 3am while half asleep and just about screamed, I decided I wanted my own toilet in my room. 🙂
  • Within walking distance of the venue I’m going to. The closer the better. That way I can use breaks to get some alone time and get some work done. Or fit a run in. If it’s not close, I consider the walk my exercise. But that means I can’t run back to my room for a quiet place for phone calls or conference calls.

What I definitely do not need is:

  • Fancy anything.
  • A big room.
  • Desk.
  • Room service.
  • Restaurant.
  • Fridge/minibar.
  • Concierge.
  • TV.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Ice machine or vending machines.
  • Well equiped gym. (I just want a treadmill.)
  • Parking.
  • Phone.
  • Bathtub. (Just a shower.)

I would think I’m not alone here, surely they could make a more economical business hotel option than the $200-500 that the standard business hotels charge?

How do you find the perfect hotel for you when you’re on a business trip?

One humongous snowman

The kids had a snow day so Frank stayed home to watch them.

Here’s what Dads and kids can do with 10 inches of spring snow!

Biggest snowman ever

One step closer to a sys admin …

We’ve been raising funds for a system administrator for GNOME. Yesterday we added a ruler to the top of various GNOME websites to show people our progress and it’s been a tremendous success.

Since yesterday we’ve gotten almost $1,000 in donations from individuals and another $5,000 match from a company!

That’s in addition to the money we’d already raised and all the company matches we’ve received so far.

We’ve only got $5,843 to go before we hire a system administrator. (And put up a new goal!)

Why are we hiring a system administrator?

To help GNOME developers be able to write more code, documentation, etc. There’s a lot of system administration work involved in keeping a project like GNOME and an organization like the GNOME Foundation running. We have an awesome team of volunteers that keep it running day to day but it would help to have someone dedicated to the system administration team, able to manage projects, tackle some of the bigger projects and to stay on top of the day to day requests.

Why are we raising money for this?

We’re a nonprofit and all of our budget comes from donations from individuals and companies and any profit we run from events.

What are you going to do when the money runs out?

Hopefully we’ll continue to be successful with our fundraising efforts so that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of having a system administrator. The money we raise should cover at least a year of a part time system administrator.

How do I apply?

Stay tuned. We will be announcing the application process soon. You can check out the job page for more information.

How can I help?

Spread the word! You can promote Friends of GNOME on your website or by blogging about it or by mentioning it during your talks.

What’s your fundraising tip 101?

Well, right now, it’s let people know what the progress is. Put up a ruler! Thanks to everyone who worked on the ruler … Lucas Rocha, Vinicius Depizzol, Andreas Nilsson, Paul Cutler, Shaun McCance and many more.

Thanks to everyone who has helped so far! GNOME rocks!
Become a Friend of GNOME

Stormy’s Update: Weeks of March 8th & 15th

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

Attended Open Mobility. Was on a panel about the desktop and the cloud. There was lots of audience participation and the conversation took a couple of strange turns with Google and Google apps being a good piece of the conversation.

While I was there I met with Gabi Schindler from Azingo and Morgan Gillis and Andrew Shikiar from the LiMo Foundation. Plus quite a few other people.

While in San Francisco I also met with Adam Dingle and Jim Nelson from Yorba and had lunch with the whole crew.  I was really impressed with their mission to create easy to use multimedia software (for GNOME!) for artists. Check out Shotwell.

Blogged about Friends of GNOME results.

Simon Phipps left  the GNOME advisory board as he left Sun. Thanks to Simon for all the help over the years. Good luck to him in his future endeavors!

Got access to our Google Checkout account and added Jaap so we can add it to Friends of GNOME. We can receive donations without fees through Google Checkout thanks to our Google Grant.

Blogged about GNOME and Project:Possibility – students are working on GNOME accessibility!

Attended Board meeting. (Didn’t attend the advisory board meeting as I was on a plane.)

Thanked new subscribers and one time donators to Friends of GNOME.

Talked to InitMarketing about GNOME and marketing and how they might be able to help.

Reviewed Juanjo Marin’s GNOME SWOT Analysis which should be published wider soon. Please comment on it when it is.

Worried about GNOME representation at Texas Linux Fest and  Idlelo – looks like all will be good! (Backup plan would be for me to go to Ghana.)

Announced dates for marketing hackfest.

Attended marketing IRC meeting.

Did some paperwork – some to officially get on GNOME’s bank account, expense reports, etc.

Reviewed several press releases. Very glad we have Zonker on board!

Was on multiple threads about the event box – glad we have Larry Cafeiro on board!

Met with Fluendo and Flumotion to talk about GUADEC.

Met with Bharat Kapoor and Paul Cutler to talk about the mobile texting donations campaign, reviewed agreement from company, got legal review on it, setting up a meeting to discuss concerns.

Met every week with Rosanna.

Met with several board members individually. Some to discuss my goals, others finance, and some other topics.

Experimented with Inbox 0. Usually I use my inbox as a todo list, even emailing myself action items. The last two weeks I’ve played with keeping my inbox at 0 at keeping my todo list more uptodate. I think it’s resulted in a different set of things getting done. Things that are more of a pain to add to the todo list than they are todo get done quickly. Those that are a little more involved get moved to my todo list where they are less visible in some way. Maybe I need to spend more time studying and rearranging my todo list! I’m going to continue the experiment for a bit.

Took an extra long weekend to hang out with family from out of town.

Zuca, a suitcase designed for travel

I got a Zuca Pro for Christmas and I love it. I think Zuca should be paying me sales commissions because every where I go, I get asked about it. At a recent conference, one colleague, after hearing me explain at least 10 times what my suitcase was, suggested that I just ask for the stage to give a 10 minute demo to everyone! (And I got emails afterwards asking where to buy one!)

You should get a Zuca if:

  • You love having a suitcase with just the right place or pocket for everything.
  • You like having a conversation piece.

The Zuca was designed for travel. It comes with:

  • 5 color coded pack-its in different sizes,
  • a clear bag for cosmetics for Zuca-insidegoing through airport security
  • lots of pockets, including one waterproof one big enough for several swimsuits or workout clothes and outside ones that can hold keys or laptops.
  • a built-in seat for airport waits
  • very stable wheels and handle
  • the right size to roll down the airplane aisle without hitting everyone
  • handles on the top and bottom for easy picking up
  • an extra long towing handle

Pros, the things I like about my Zuca:

  • Organization. The built-in packets make it easy to pack and to find whatever you are looking for. With 5 packits, there’s enough for all my clothes. The extra pockets are also very convenient. I use the waterproof one for workout clothes, the outside one for my laptop, the mesh one for my shoes, …
  • Seat. I thought the seat on top was kind of funny but I’ve used it quite a bit. When there’s a wait at my airport gate, I just wheel my suitcase over to the wall and sit down and lean against the wall.
  • Stable. It rolls much better than my old Dakota suitcase.
  • Capacity. It looks smaller than my Dakota – it is smaller – but it holds all the same stuff!

Cons, things I don’t like so much:

  • Overhead bin. It doesn’t fit handle out in the overhead bin of all airplanes. However, it still looks small and compact and I haven’t had anyone complain about it.
  • Overstuffed. While it hold all the same stuff as my Dakota, it is not as easy to get to everything. Zuca-stuff-outside The door that the packits go in through is narrower than a stuffed packit. You have to pull the top one out before you can get to the others. If you are using all the packits, you can’t just open up your suitcase and shove your coat in on top, you have to organize and arrange. (Note that on short two day trips I don’t use all the packits and my coat fits fine.) At the hotel, you aren’t going to want to leave all the packits in the suitcase, you’ll need to put them in a drawer or spread them out so you can get to them easily.

The Zuca makes it really easy to organize and pack. It’s also very comfortable to roll through the airport. And it’s a conversation starter where ever you go! I’m very glad I have one.

(This suitcase is the Zuca Pro which is not the same as the Zuca Sport which is more of a bookbag.)

Yet another feature request for the Kindle (or any eReader)

Dear Kindle developers,

Please make it easy for me to buy the next book in a series.

When I finish a book, if there’s a sequel or another book in the series, please say “Click here to purchase the next book in this series.” I would click here.

Now I have to make sure I know how to spell the author’s name, go to the Kindle store, search for the author and then figure out which book is the next one in the series I’m reading.

Thanks very much.


P.S. If your software was open source, someone would have done this for you and Amazon Kindle users would be happier. Amazon might even make more sales.

Stormy’s Update: Week of March 1st

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

Followed up on several sponsors for GUADEC. It is looking good from a sponsorship perspective! (Don’t forget to submit your talk proposal!)

Michael Meeks joined the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board representing Novell, replacing Gary Ekker.

Set up some surveys for the board directors to give feedback on each others’ performance.

Way too much time and energy on Foundation List threads. Really liked Dave’s post about consensus driven conversations. Hopefully everyone follows Vincent’s advice and refocuses on making GNOME rock and making the GNOME project a fun place to work.

Short meeting with Jorge Castro who’s been really busy in his new board role!

Board meeting.

Meeting with Rosanna. She’s adding info to the CRM system. I’m trying to help her with Friends of GNOME. Planning a trip to Boston to get on the GNOME Foundation’s bank account.

Looking for someone to help out with the GNOME booth at Texas Linux Fest.

Meeting with Jeffrey Altman about the Meet the Funders event in New York.

Set up some meetings for my trip to San Francisco and Open Mobility next week.

Helped/asked/pushed for some press releases. Hopefully you’ll see some of them soon. (Thanks to Zonker for leading the GNOME press team!)

Wrote thank you emails to people that donated to GNOME.

Generated Google Adwords Campaign Tracking code. Gave it to Jaap and Claus to add to our Friends of GNOME pages.

Sent questions to advisor interviewee for Board of Advisors GNOME Journal interview.

Generated Friends of GNOME February data. Need to blog about it on Foundation blog.

Tried to take a day off to deal with doctors’ appointments and dentist appointments and accountants among other things.

Next week:

  • Trip to San Francisco. Speaking on a panel at Open Mobility.
  • Get the Meet the Funders event planning moving. We’ve scheduled them for May.
  • Continue to work on GUADEC sponsorships.
  • Try to touch base with a few GNOME Board of Advisors folks.
  • Write letter for annual report.
  • Blog about February Friends of GNOME data.

Stormy’s Update: Weeks of February 15th and 22nd

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation? or my earlier updates.

I think the number of different projects and conversations I am having has maxed out my multiprocessing capabilities. This week I am going to spend more time logged out of email and working on one project at a time.

Last week I:

  • Presented at IASA. Great conversation. Very interactive group. Made a couple of local government contacts – people involved in promoting open source in government IT infrastructure.
  • Attended OSS Watch phone Advisory Board
  • Worked on GUADEC sponsorship. It’s coming along well. Still waiting for a lot of people to finalize plans through.
  • Advisory board meetings. Met with several more adboard members – still haven’t met with everyone though!
  • Board meeting.
  • GNOME Foundation IRC meeting.
  • Several good meetings with Rosanna.
  • Updating the Friends of GNOME gifts spreadsheet for Rosanna (ping her a lot with questions.) I sent her the list of Friends of GNOME Adopt a Hacker folks who have earned their tshirt!
  • Sent new Adopt a Hacker folks contact info to people that will send them post cards.
  • Settled on date and location for Meet the Funders in California. Need to finalize date for New York.
  • Looked into adding conversion tracking to our GNOME ads on Google Adwords.
  • Attended Women’s Caucus meeting. They will have an all day track Sunday at Libre Planet.
  • Attended the Grace Hopper Open Source track committee meeting.
  • Didn’t attend the OpenWorld Forum meeting as they only dial in number was an international number.
  • Agreed to give GNOME keynote at LinuxTag. Johannes Schmid agreed to put together the GNOME track. Please contact him if you are interested in speaking about GNOME at LinuxTag.
  • Sent out thank you email to Friends of GNOME.
  • Worried about all the GNOME folks in Chile.
  • I think we are almost ready to launch the Friends of GNOME ruler. At least it looks very good and I wrote an intro email for the launch!
  • Students on Project Possibility picked several GNOME projects – work on Caribou and Orca.
  • Worked on GNOME’s participation at Idlelo 4. Vincent is also working on this.
  • Had a gazillion email conversations on a trillion different topics.

This week:

  • Letter for annual report.
  • Friends of
    & Google ads: conversion tracking codes and landing pages.
  • Finish Friends of GNOME gift spreadsheet update.
  • Make sure all GNOME events are on track and well represented by speakers. Help if I can. (Finding people, not attending them all!)
  • Catch up on all my email conversations and make sure nobody is waiting on me …

I get very little feedback to these updates. Feel free to leave feedback, ideas or comments!