Archive for September 2009

A Tale Of Two Hobbies

In addition to my martial art and programming hobbies, I like to do a little woodworking. I first started when I was 12 and I’m 100% self-taught (my earliest works were horrendous pieces). This summer I started doing some designing to mix the Arch Linux logo into this hobby. I’ve come up with two designs that I think are elegant and saleable. So, natural born salesman that I am (caution: irony at work), I decided to add them to the Arch Linux Schwag Shop:

Arch Linux Wooden Coasters
Arch Linux Wooden Sculptures

In addition, by request, I’m in the process of designing a wood keychain.

Along with backpacks and jewellery, I think its safe to say Arch Linux has one of the most novel merchandise shops around.

Introducing Arch Bounty

For several years, I’ve had a project bouncing around in the back of my mind that would allow users to donate money to have specific Arch Linux related tasks accomplished. Other users could accept these ‘bounties,’ do the work, and receive the donations.

I decided this fall that it was time to implement it. I’ve been working on it (a few minutes at a time) for a month or more. The current site is very basic, but I wanted to put it up for code review:

http://bounty.archlinux.ca/.

It is not currently active; no donatons are processed (even if you go through the entire payment procedure). Any projects created will be deleted when the system goes live, so feel free to add whatever you like. I’d appreciate feedback (patches best) on the code and styling, as well as new feature ideas. Donations are now processed and test projects were deleted. Arch Bounty is Live!

Use github for feature requests and issue reporting.

If you don’t like the idea, that’s fine, you don’t have to use it. I’m perfectly aware that introducing money to an open source can cause a dangerous change in the dynamics. But I want to give it a shot and see what explodes. If it works as well as I would like, it could be a very good thing for the Arch Linux community. If it works as poorly as it could, we shall simply not speak of it again.

Arch Linux Handbook

There have been a few calls for print versions of the Arch Linux Beginner’s guide. If all goes well, there should be one available in October.

I’m exploring various self-publishing options, and have been working with Amazon CreateSpace to publish a couple of my father’s novels. Its easy to work with, so I converted the guide to book form, renamed it as the “Arch Linux Handbook”, created a cover, and submitted it to CreateSpace. They’ve authorized it for printing, so now I’m waiting for a proof to arrive. Once I’ve verified the look of it, it’ll be available on its own CreateSpace website or directly through Amazon.com. I’ll link to it on Arch Schwag when its available.

I have to confess that I didn’t put a lot off effort into this project, its basically the most direct translation of web-to-print that I can manage. I’m sure it won’t make complete sense (eg: links that say “click here”), but it’ll be a handy thing to have on your desk… or give to all your friends that think Arch Linux is Too Hard. There may be a typo on the cover (I recently discovered that CreateSpace won’t let me edit the “A Simple Lightweight Linuk Handbook tagline I wrote on the amazon page… oops), or pagination errors. Oh well, there’s always the option of doing a second edition!Arch Linux Handbook Cover