Shoveling snow

The snow-shoveling I’ve been taking part in over the last couple of weeks is best described with a set of graphs:

openSUSE boot time improvements on netbook

So far, we’ve been able to lop about 23 seconds – or 48% – off the time it takes to boot openSUSE 11.1 on this particular netbook, without sacrificing much in the way of functionality. It boots straight into GNOME and its usual trappings, including the panel, Nautilus, “slab” main menu, nm-applet, PackageKit updater, printing applet (written in Python…), CUPS, etc.

It’s important to note that this time is measured from the moment bootchart starts until everything settles and is ready to use, easily identified in the chart as the moment where CPU activity falls to the baseline of noise from bootchartd itself.

It’s also important to note that this is on a netbook with a slow CPU, slow-to-init X driver/graphics hardware and fast SSD I/O. I’m hearing a lot of numbers being bandied about these days, e.g. “distribution Foo boots in 10 seconds”, and these numbers are meaningless without hardware specifications and a list of features you get. GNOME delivers a different feature set from Xfce, and netbooks and workstations usually perform very differently. Then there are questions of flexibility; is the system open-ended? Can you get server features by just installing packages and configuring them?

IMO, openSUSE has had unacceptable boot times on workstations for a long time now. Hopefully these changes will make it into future releases, upstream where possible.

For more details, see the wiki page. Note that for various reasons I haven’t been able to keep the text up to date. The graphs are representative, though.

ENLi 2008

My talk, La comunidad GNOME para principiantes (The GNOME community for beginners), seems to have gone over well here at ENLi 2008 (the 2008 National Linux Meeting in Puebla, Mexico), with a big audience and interesting followup questions. The slides are available as a collection of plain PNG and JPEG images in a zip archive (use the link above).

I’m having an excellent time. Will post some pictures from the conference later.

Update: Pictures.

Audience

My wonderful audience

openSUSE discs

I clearly didn’t bring enough openSUSE discs

Swinging by Europe: The Story Thus Far

Late last month, I strapped on my backpack and went across the ocean to FOSDEM in Brussels. It was good to see some of the openSUSE and old Ximian guys again, but I was feeling kind of drained the whole time. Had Belgian waffles w/everything, which is a lot more “everything” than it is “waffle” (i.e. ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate shavings, strawberry jam, strawberries and banana).

Old Building in Brussels
Some old building in Brussels

After FOSDEM, I spent close to two weeks in Norway, visiting family and friends in between work. I even went skiing one weekend, an experience I’ve been idealizing in my mind since I moved to Mexico. Even so, it lived up to expectations.

Ski Tracks
Ski tracks

Me and Mom Skiing
Me and my Mom skiing

My friends at Copyleft Software A/S were kind enough to lend me office space in Oslo. I must say they have an awesome work environment thing going.

Outside Copyleft’s Offices
Outside Copyleft’s offices

Lunch at Copyleft
Lunch at Copyleft

Leo is Donald Duck
Leo making his famous Donald Duck impression

After Norway, I left for Berlin where I’m currently taking up space at the GTK+ Hackfest.