open source projects
over the past few weeks i've gotten a few requests for an updated list of my gadgets. for the seven months that i was on the road, i ended up ditching one wardrobe and most of my socks. now i'm down to two pairs of the following - pants, long sleeve undershirts, underwear - three t-shirts, button up shirts - six pairs of socks - one beanie - one dinner coat (spray painted) and a hoodie. as for my computer gear, it really didn't change until the fifth month when i was in ohio at my parents place and conveniently ran out of hard drive space.
over all, there is one gadget that ruled the school more than any other.... my urban assault two liter camelpak. while they no longer manufacture the two models i took with me, i wish camelpak would focus on the "urban warrior" (aka the geek who carries a laptop, camera, paper notebooks, batteries, compact still camera, pens, tripod, voice recorded, etc.). according to their website, the closest thing to what i have is "the wingman." it can cary a laptop, and a paltry half liter of water. camelpak also happens to have a wide array of "tactical" backpacks that seem to have a few more of the bennies (ie features) on my ruck (ie backpacks).
now onto the geeky gear that require electricity.
- Sony HVR-A1U, it's an hdv camcorder with two XLR inputs.
- Sony 37mm Wide angle lens which was on the camera 95% of the time.
- Sony DVCAM DigitalMaster tapes (10 Qty), Sony HDV tapes (30 Qty) & MiniDV tapes (15 Qty) - while i started out with the super expensive DVCAM tapes, i quickly moved HDV tapes with 85 mins. when they ran out, so did my money. then, i was forced to purchase MiniDV tapes (or have people buy them for me - thanks roland!)... while, the quality is subjective. i haven't had a problem YET!!! we'll see what happens in a few months.
- Sony NP-QM71D (high capacity battery, 1 Qty)
- Leica D-Lux 3 w/ 2 gig SD card, digital still camera and emergency/backup video snaggle-toother.
- Shure SM58 wired microphone and 10 foot XLR cable. serriously, i had no clue why in the hell i purchased this mic, but it was a totally clutch machine in loud environments (aka airplanes, bars - ie thailand).
- Audio-Technica Pro70 wired lapel mike w/ a 15 foot XLR cable. this was loaned to me from patrick from microcinema. for interviews, i found it better than the shotgun mic on the a A1U.
- a 4 foot tripod - $20 bucks, it's still broken, and i still use it.
- a mini tripod - awesome for night photography and/or desktop videography.
- Apple MacBook named tyrone. he was pimped out with 2 gigs of memory and 150gb hard drive - Mailplane, iLife 07 and then 08 in Nov, iPhoto Buddy (to help people transfer photos to CD or DVD) NeoOffice, Pathfinder, ChronoSync, TextWrangler, Adium, Skype, Quicksilver, Pando, Audio Hijack Pro, Colloquy, iPhoto Export for Flickr, Final Cut HD Express (upgraded to Express 4 in Nov), OmniFocus, Ecto, 10.5 in November and a much of other apps...
- Incase laptop case
- LaCie hard drive, 7200rpm 200gb (F.A. Porsche model) - this hard drive was a pain to carry. combined weight and bulk (with extra power brick) made it a shear pain in the ass to work.
- OWC Mercury On-The-Go FireWire 800/400 + USB 2.0 2.5' (qty 2) - in november, these drives replaced the LaCie hard drive. without a doubt, the smaller size and bus power proved to be worth their weight in gold!
- 60 Gig - 4th gen iPod Photo - a back up of my iTunes music and podcasts.
- 8 Gig - 2nd gen iPod Nano - Audio Entertainment - i wanted something that i could always keep me company...
- pepto-bismol tablets so you don't get pepto-bismal! seriously, it's a gadget of modern medicine. take it with you!!! you can thank me later.
- two universal power prong adapters from kensington - this is another one of those musts... it had adapters for every country but india's funky UK, but not styled prongs. too boot, it came with a USB adapter that allowed me to charge my cellphone or ipod. totally clutch!
- one US 8 outlet power strip from staples - yeah, they tell you not to use an american power strip, but it worked for me. i've been told from people who bring 220 volt power strips to countries with 110 volts that they don't work so well.
- cell phone - Treo 650 Unlocked - without a doubt, this was an absolute life saver. if you're traveling and find yourself meeting up with people,
- Zoom H4 audio recorder w/ 1gig SD card - to be honest, i really didn't use this all that much. while there are many things i could have done with it... it traveled the world with a bunch of dead AA batteries.
- AA rechargeable batteries and adapter that shane (beachwalks with rox's partner) gave me while i was in hawaii. i used them a few times, but the charger died a month later.
- an 18 month moleskin planner. paper is so much better than plastic.
- three moleskin notebooks. see above, paper is better than plastic.
- extra macbook battery and power supply - around november my laptop could no longer hold a charge. since my macbook was 16 months out of warrantee and i didn't have apple care, my father was gracious enough to lay down $200 bucks and bail my ass out.
- apple's in the ear headphones, sony's cheap ass ear buds, and apple's white ipod headphones.
- a woman's sleeping bag.
- pack lock. it's one of those wire netting things that enable to lock your ruck. i only used it once... then again i spent as much time in hostels/hotels as i did in people's homes. i could have used it more, but found the world to be more trusting than most. i was lucky!
in the grand scheme of things i've realized that no longer am i working on just a series of integrated topics, but an eco-system of systems and values. before i start tripping over myself in post-calvinesque arguments (i am in geneva till saturday), i'm struggling to iron out the complete landscape that sits beneath (or behind) the past seven months. for now let's call this an re-introduction to the luck of seven.
not only have i decided that i'll parlay the past seven months into a new media experience (children's book, a vlog reboot and movie), but i now understand the seven topics to be the basis of a strategic framework. when i first wrote down the seven topic, i had this notion that i was setting out to document the best of the best of our new world. if there was ever a cataclysm, we could use this framework to rebuild society. now more than ever, i see that this notion is not too far fetched from those ideals, but need to be crystalized into a yummy chocolate bunny for the masses.
first you'll need to understand that this is an eco-system. as established from the Wealth of Networks, this network has revolutionized all methods of production. we are sitting within the new age of mechanization. the highly organized world of central nodes are struggling to keep up with the ever adaptable biological structure called humanity. last year at this time, my brain imploded when i heard ben cerveny give a presentation on metaphors. at last year's LIFT 07, he linked technological metaphors to biological systems. one year later with several more books in my head and thousands of kilometers beneath my feet, i have a hard time seeing metaphors. i see we create networked systems in attempt to mimic the biological systems we are... granted this is a viewpoint from a high vantage point, this is the beginning of it all.
welcome to my / our new world.
as i've tried to explain countless times this is not just a basic networked system but a system of systems of systems upon systems. i know a few people are trying to ground this system in trust, kharma, love, lust, id, etc... and i have yet to discover the core of why people self subscribe to this society. maybe it is the fact that in this age you can be whom ever you want. not in the simple context that we can change our bodies, but in the fact we can adapt our brain to systems that are expressive to our own identities.
wither it's drupal or joomla, or myspace or facebook, we cling to the notion of brands because they are labels of culture we know. as far as i know brands will always exist... brands extrude reputation. how is this central to my argument? well in this world we can create any brand we want. if we know how to have a conversation, phrase an argument and use the digital / social tools; we can build anything we want... the idealist world we dream is at our finger tips.
how do these networks operate in the real space? are online values and systems transferable to the physical world?
the past seven months have not only been a journey around the world, but a journey into the internet. a journey i thought one could ever take. from one email to another, i came to the realization that my conversations things connected me through the internet. they connected me to the medium of the world.
now there are many more questions than i have answers. i can only proclaim what i've seen. i can only tell you what has happened to me and what i've touched with my own two hands...
what i have seen is a system built on the idea that the world is a free place. the world is not to be abused, robbed, raped, or pillaged... granted these things happen but in the end that is not the central activity of the world. there is giving, there is taking. there is a free and open exchange of knowledge. not everyone is willing to give up the same information that someone else has, but in the general context of things, most individuals will offer assistance when asked. sometimes, they'll give more assistance than nesscary.
when connected to an information network, the cost of entry to a global conversation diminishes. yet these acts of selflessness, greed or pride amass an unprecedented amount of knowledge and participation... this is the world we are in now. you can easily find the world's knowledge at the click of a button. wether it is right or wrong is a whole nother question, but it's there.
the more that we toyed with these spaces the more we found out that we can bring these ideas "offline" and into the physical space. egalitarian notions of software was just the beginning. from email to blogs the democratizing of information drove us to the point where we no longer needed someone to tell us how we can participate in the conversation.
if you look at the explosive growth of freelancers (some can be considered outsourcers, or out-sorcerers), you will see nothing more than an the democratizing of work. this work has always existed, this has always been the central tenet of industrialization. yet in the 21st century, this has spread forth across the globe and evolved into a multitude of ideas unheard of several years ago, BUT that doesn't mean that these elements of culture didn't exist before hand... they have always existed. some were too expensive (multimedia production); others were too obscure to discover (couchsurfing.com / global freeloaders).
when it comes to information, the merchants who raised great sums to bring us the best of the silk road no longer are needed. as the past ten years have taught us, the networks between us all shrink infinitely when we reach out. albeit it is still a costly investment, the new silk road is assessable to more. from electricity, to hardware, to communications infrastructure, to education... we are slowly whittling down the cost of access. once on the road, or as it was one called "the information super highway" we are privy to the world's infinite connections of enlightenment.
when it comes to the physical, many have realized we are no longer are we willing to deal with the limitations of a world dictated to us. if we can freely converse online, who is to limit our ability to organize physically? if we have the ability to build online, we are freely able to build upon other's words for the betterment of our collective knowledge, goods and services. for the past seven months i've been blessed to freely exchange ideas, content and build physical structures were the net benefit is the sum of all of its parts.
the world online is no more online than it is an offline activity. for the past five years i've been privy to a front seat exploration of politics, policy and products are free to change and grow as we see fit. incredibly we've openly recognized that we can not exist in an online only environment. some of us call it jelly, coworking, foocamp, unconfrences, barcamp, mashpits, meetups, devhouses, saturday houses, workshops, clubs, etc...
more and more we are coming together to physically represent the world we see online. if there isn't a physical representation, we dust off obscure solutions or build replacements for a world once dominated by a heroical structure dominated by others.
we have the power. we are the future. without a doubt, the world today is dominated by freedom. freedom to move from one system or another... from one workshop to another... from one conversation to another... from online to offline... it is now up to us to perpetuate the love of knowledge into an eternity of wisdom.
this is the wealth of networks. this is the luck of seven. we are the starfish generation!
Recoded: Early October
Locations: Phnom phen, Cambodia
Tags: travel, bloggers, cloggers, cambodia, localization programs, open source, khmer os, adventure, couchsurfing
Music: .75 Adore .25 Odium by sippy cup
About: on the opposite side of new york city, phnom phen sits as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. through years of bloodletting and on the verge of oil and natural gas mining, the government has stabilized into a proto-democracy promoting the use of applications in their own language. behind the software, behind the translation, behind the revolution sits one man. this is his story.
(click on your favorite unfocused smile to see more photos from my time in houston. the back story to this photo is fairly remarkable. i walked into the Brazilian consulate and discovered that i had forgotten my headshots. with a point to the closest CVS over a mile and a half away, i knew that i'd never make it there and back before the visa window would close. as a buckeye, i knew microcenter as one of the first computer super stores to have fully functional products on display. located two blocks from the consulate, it was serendipity. with a quick "hello, i'm a geek traveling around the world..." mike from the printer section "demonstrated" the printer's ability to print out photos. in less than 15 mins, i was back at the console. THANK YOU MY GEEK BUDDY! YOUR RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS SAVED MY ASS!)
today marks my fourth day in houston, tx and i already feel at home. i must thank erica o'grady, matthew wettergreen, michelle calabretta, patrick and christina kwiatkowski and the mike from microcenter. like a long distance runner, i can feel the weight of every step. i know that this run, no matter how long i'd like to extend it, must end; ever step brings me closer to the finish line. yet, somewhere over the oceans of humanity, i know what i've set out to accomplish will never end. the final jaunt between houston and new york lies the sprint of a lifetime.
while my houston adventure is shaping to involve debauchery, religious, intellectual, artistic, spiritual, social and technological adventures... my psychosis is carefully balanced between the fine line of editing 15 hours of footage and planning out the last two exploratory months.
it's important to note that the next few steps are extremely important. while my travel funds are running on fumes, i still need to balance the acquisition of tickets with the need of cash to pay for these tickets. after much research and soul searching, there are two goals i must achieve
- visit antarctica
- interview the largest open source community in south america (aka brazil)
i'm tossing in argentina for a bunch of historical, logistical, political, and coworking reasons. if you're in buenos aries, you now have a coworking facility to visit - check out Cowork Central. i know i'll be looking forward to my time.
the following is a sampling of events and/or interviews i'm looking to achieve.
Dec 15th - Jan 11, Ushwaia, Argentina
- start my hitch hike to antarctica
- christmas and new years at the bottom of the world
- interview couchsurfers
Jan 12, Buenos Aries, Argentina
- back for a night / layover
Jan 13 - 27, Sao Paulo, Brazil
- Andre Avorio, barcamp & open source evangelist.
- citizen journalists
- potentially mozy on over to brazilla or Rio to interview a bunch of government officials / business owners who use open source. (i still need contacts!!!)
Jan 28, Buenos Aries, Argentina
- one last night in Buenos Aries / layover
Jan 29, New York City, USA
- arrive in my home city and couch surf for a week before traveling to an undisclosed location to present my findings.
if you know of someone who has a couch to spare, shoot me a line...
if you're in any one of these areas and would like to meet up. please, contact me...
if you know of any cool organizations that would augment this global documentary, shoot me a line...
if you have access to a government official or educators who promote open source, hook me up...
Recorded: 7 - 13 Sept 2007
Locations: india - mumbai, delhi, noida, gurgaon
Tags: barcamp, bloggers, interviews, heart capital, civicrm, open source projects, india, delhi, prashant singh, ideafarms, delhi bloggers
Music: April (don't care at all mix) by prashant singh, Abhishek Baxi, amit gupta (the one in nyc and the one in delhi), kurund jalmi, kaustubh srikanth, Kanika Anand, daksh sharma, neha viswanathan, gogesh dobriyal, priyanka sachar, ashish chopra, Kinshuk Sunil, Vineet Agrawal
day 80. current travel plans for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia & hawaii (working on new zealand & US west coast
while a detailed set of interviewees are forth coming, i have planned the following flights for india, bangkok, cambodia, singapore, australia and hawaii. all travel times are local. if you know of anyone who's up for a road trip in Austrailia or when I'm back in the USA, hook a brother up! over the next week, i'm going to detail my heart's desire for my great American journey. like tommy, you're all welcome to join me!
depart mumbai, india on 25 sept at 7.30
arrive bangalore, india on 25 sept at 9.00
note, geek dinner on the 26 sept
depart bangalore, india on 28 sept at 3.35
arrive bangkok, thailand on 28 sept at 9.10
my home slices in thailand are hooking me up with some crazy plans. while i don't know exactly what they have in store, it looks fantastic! apparently, i'll be flying to Price of Songkla University and might have a TV interview lined up.
depart bangkok, thailand on 1 oct at 14.50
arrive phnom penh, cambodia on 1 oct at 16.00
interview KhmerOS guys and explore.
depart back to bangkok, thailand on 4 oct at 16.30; arrive at 17.40
since i'll depart the following day at 14h, i'll need a place to stay close to the airport.
depart for darwin on 5 oct at 14.05. depart singapore at 20.20 and arrive in darwin, australia at 2.35 (in the ass crack of morning)
i'll need a place to crash and then i'd like to start a road trip from darwin to sidney. who's game? i want to see the inner part of australia, rural communities and their internet/mobile access. in sidney, i'm still looking for subjects to interview, and hopefully drop by one of the friday night blogger dinners (thanks Emily Reed).
if time allots, i hope to make new zealand to interview some e-gov folks and donald lobo from CiviCRM. in the meantime, hook me up with geek dinners, NGOs and couchsurfers!
depart for hawaii on 20 oct at 18.00 and arrive on the 20 oct at 7.45.
it will be weird traveling through time! sometime on the 25 - 27th i'll depart back to the mainland. it is so weird to think that i'll be back in the US before the end of october, but(instructions on turning your university degree into a paper airplane and photo by flickr user davekellam.)
Recoded: 28 july 2007
Locations: amsterdam, netherlands
Tags: documentary, barcamp, devhouse, roomware, amsterdam, andy smith, james burke, geekout, rober gaal, luck of seven
Music: i want you back - the jackson 5
About: imagine you're an artist and you're trying to integrate technology into spacial art. now imagine having to assimilate drivers and code for a million and one system variants. like spiderman, a group a geeks have heard your distress calls and are working on an open-source platform for you to geek out and not freak out. check out the roomwareproject.org for more information!
gwendolyn & joshua kauffman
and roomware devhouse crew
Recoded: 26 July 2007
Locations: Antwerp, Belgium
Tags: drupal, open source, linus torvalds, angela byron, history of drupal, kernel trap, inspiration, empowerment
Music: ana (captain planet remix), vieux farka touré and captainplanet
About: after much wrangling and rescheduling, dries and i finally caught up to talk about the history of drupal, his inspiration, and most importantly the empowerment of community.
on a side note, thank you OpenCraft for giving me a home to edit this video!
also, i'd like to thank dries and karlijn on their new boy and omar for his hospitality in cairo.
with a dirty collar, slight taint of unshoweredness, and a backlog of stories to tell, photos to upload and episodes to publish, i've arrived at opencraft with omar. regardless of the outstanding bills of the day, today will be MAGICAL. here in cairo we will talk about drupal tuning, LAMP stack, linux, apache, MySQL, PHP, and most importantly the Drupal API.
quick question, does your ISP/hosting provider have a blog? while you might wonder why it's important, check out network redux's rationale for starting up a blog...
This weblog serves several purposes for our community; an inside perspective into the operations underlying common dicussions and issues on our NOC List, behind the scenes discussion on the fundamentals of managing a web hosting company, and most importantly an open door of communication to our user base.
Founded in November, 2004 — we have noted substantial improvements in our service levels as a result of multi-channeled communication with our customer base. This has taken fold via our Network Operations List, our Community driven forums, and our Wiki style FAQ.
...and here's my advice...
i'm really glad to see that you guys are starting a blog. i hope that you take the time not just to discuss the technical operation, but i also hope that you talk about the grander issues that face small businesses, the environmental impact of running a server farm, and the government regulation impacting small business/ISP/hosting companies.
i look forward to hearing more from you guys and look forward to hearing the brain dribble.
network redux should also set up a twitter account to send out updates about server status, notes to this blog, and events/things you guys like!
many thanks for being so awesome!
ps - network redux is contributing their services and host luckofseven.com
Recoded: 24 July 2007
Locations: Paris, France
Tags: documentary, coworking, barcamp, activist, paris, france, technology, luck of seven
Music: On the Carousel - The Hollies
About: Christophe Aguiton, Orange / France Telecom labs, lays out the plans for future coworking software. he also articulates why coworking and barcamps are so important to the nature of production and the protection of society.
last night, i had the wonderful opportunity to dine with Dries Buytaert, founder of the drupal project. after a brief introduction to antwerp, we headed to his house where i had the lovely opportunity to meet and chat with Karlijn, Dries' lovely wife and a very expecting mother.
as we talked about life and our history growing up in rural communities, we delved deep into the concept of a world that can never forget. more frightening, we discussed society as producers of content and waxed about no longer having the ability to protect our intellectual property and privacy.
divided by corporations and government, the world that surrounds us is no longer free. monitored by corporation through our consumption, capitalized by our social networks, analyzed though our credit cards and buying clubs, and tracked by CCTV cameras, the modern world is facing a fundamental battle for freedom.
while one my say that google's "do no evil" policy is great, but it also brings back the concept of benevolent dictators. with no opportunity to click "remove" and with less opportunities for successful alternatives, we blindly produce content for corporations to thrive. from flickr, myspace, and google (just to name a few)... none of these companies would exist without our explicit consent.
as users, we also live in a world that can never forget. from the way-back-machine to search engine algorithms, our online identity is forever locked in locations we can not access. traded as a commodity, our identity is no longer human.
what are our options? ultimate transparency or fascism?
regardless, we are looking at world without privacy, and at worse a world with fractured identities.
as we move forward, how do we tell corporations that we want them to respect us as equals?
despite the fact i left berlin 45 mins late i was still abel to catch a train that seemed to be on the right time table to brussles. exhausted from sleeping on a hard bench, i geefully boarded what appeared to be my first class train.
little did i know that the wonderfully plush seats, smell of fresh coffee and abundant power outlets would not be my train. in a vain attempt to save 15 euro, i gladly said i would take local trains from klone to brussels... i should have known better. i really should have known better.
after pay 60 euro for a meal i didn't want to regurgitate, an electrical outlet i couldn't part with and a train i couldn't disembark, i tag, flagged and prepared for the next few days in the United Kingdom.
on my last journey, i was heading home from a salzburg seminar and had just paid 250 euro for a stupid belt knife to be confiscated in munich. before that, august of 2002. the US had just invaded Afghanistan, and the world was ripe in solidarity. young and inexperienced, i traveled to from boston to the Isle of Wight for a "little" scooter rally, spent a new days in london and also visited amsterdam.
five years later things are significantly different. now there is no home. now there is no warm bed waiting for me on the other side of the pond. now my world blessed a few days jammed packed with interviews, workshops, meetups and naps.
i'm really looking forward to being back in london to kick out the jams with...
- Joey Baxter, fellow coworking enthusiast.
- Alex Deschamps-Sonsino, fellow Lift 06 attendant and one of the organizers of Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend.
somewhere with in that mix, i need to edit some video and desperately need to wash three pairs of socks. while in berlin, i was going to purchase flip-flops, but with my extra special train ticket behind me... i think i'll pass... that's unless i find a shoe store that's willing sponsor my feet! ;)