Pondering personal outcomes from FUDCon Cordoba 2015

Traveling to the other side of the world is a basket of surprises. I can’t help to be amazed by tiny details. Having furnaces for heating, gas boilers for heating water and keys that look from a fantasy world; changed a lot my first contact with Argentina. I was no longer bothered by funny power sockets or the toilet water sniping in the wrong direction.

In some graffiti I read something like, there is no worst nostalgia like the one that come form things that didn’t happened. I longer for walking the city. At Managua is not possible, people usually think about the temperature. Managua is aggressive toward the pedestrian which has no side walk and can not expect priority crossing at an intersection. Pedestrian also have to endure this over long distances as the city is disperse. So been loose in Cordoba with so many pedestrian pass on the center was a bless. I was amazed that the city has critical mass to sustain business like bookstores, electronic stores, photo processing among others. I was jealous. Wantend to walk in every direction and see every corner. Walking 15 or 20 blocks was such an opportunity to see the architecture. Tall buildings, side to side. Managua grew flat scared from the mayor earthquake on 1972, you have few buildings to look up. My leg ached every night and woke up with cramps every morning, but I was happy.

Food took time to become something. Minimalist breakfast is not for me. Get to eat at a shopping center didn’t spark it either. But as FUDCOn satarted and I move into the hotel, they did a great job giving us different samples of Argentinian food: pizza (Argentina has a strong Italian culture due several waves on immigration), choripan (real sausage with bread) and Argentinian grill. Beto’s gave us the taste of popular food with its lomitos (big sandwiches) and french fries with egg on the side. There is also the sweet side Argentina savoring ‘dulce de leche’ and alfajores. I still do not know what to make of Fermet, a digestive drink. People suppose to love it or hate it, I am still puzzled. Street bakery giving us cheeses mandioca bread, ending up with a big bag, more that I should ate. Luckily was easy to share. Sorry Argentina, but the top prize for food was for Jared’s pancakes. He messed with me, I am now spoil. From that moment on, every single pancake will be compared to Jared’s pancakes and will fail miserable. For the rest of my life I will think of Jared when I ate pancakes.

I always saw Fedora people as special, Laura gave me a better word, they are magical. Getting to see old friends, attach a face to a email or irc nick name, get to know the people when is happy, sleep deprived, thoughtful, or silly make understand better what drives them. Beyond that as part of the project you understand better at what they are the best so you can point them as a valuable source of knowledge that I don’t have.

Energy is the most key element of the event. People recharge at FUDCon. They get recharged to keep doing the marvelous thing that they do for our beloved project. This alone I think is the most valuable gain for Fedora Project, get people ready to keep collaborating. Even better is contagious, because this people are overcharged, so when the get home the pass energy and excitement to other people.

I have to said that the recharging issue has changed for me. Either I am getting older or I am maturing as a collaborator after 8 years on the Project. Maybe is both and maybe is a good thing. Previous years I got over excited wanting to do everything. Now I got plenty on energy, but I get exited about certain stuff and not about other. Hopefully this means that I get to do fewer stuff but better, sustained, with deeper impact.

I wanted to do a lot regarding Icaro an educational robotics project. I did just a little bit. More of my attention went to 3D printing, which I hope will bring a boost to Icaro when I became proficient in printing robot parts. Again time is scarce. We did a lot of shopping for nuts and bolts, testing, and assembling for the 3D printer that it shattered my heart to dismantle it to be able to put it on the suit case. At least the care of packing paid off and everything seems fine.

Another topic that I wanted to engage was documentation. Some people struggle to write, I have to see how I keep things short. But for me, I needed better grasp of the tooling around Fedora Documentation. I have to deeply thanks to William Moreno who gave me a big push into practicing the basic of publican. During FUDCon that paid off as I have time with Jared Smith (the before mentioned pancake wizard) who help me understand some working of publican with the current version of Fedora. Some tweaks and some advises. Short time but highly valuable.

I pushed as hard as i could before the FUDCon to make space for a meeting about the future of LATAM and FUDCon. It worked out, we got the meeting, there were several ideas, some concerns were aired and some actions proposed. Not sure how this will evolve, but at least is moving. This lead to a very interesting session one on one with Remy Decausemaker. I am on board of Comm-Ops, I see that as the place that I should be helping the project. Just as now we have a partial translation of the web site What can I do for Fedora to Spanish. We should work with website team to make it fully translatable. Get a new domain in Spanish, maybe?

From the bottom of my hear I want to thanks the event owners, FUDCon game me so much. Laura who was watching over us, making sure that we were fine. Shared a systematic way of thinking that is unique to me, hope the hints that I got help me to be better at deconstructing problems. She also gave the map to the hidden paradise in Cordoba, a candy supermarket. Matias who orchestrated the event and opened his house, pick most of us at the airport and shared his quick and sharp sense of humor. Valentin gave a place to stay in Cordoba and he organized the sessions. I owe him big time for all the time, effort and money that he put into making my 3D printer a reality. I tried to repaid as much as I could his expenses, but he keep bringing more and more stuff.

There are maore people to thanks but the list of names is mixed up with nicknames and is becoming increasingly confusing who gave that special idea, that profound thought or even just sharing the highs and lows of live.

What FUDCon is really about?

The most common assumption is that FUDCon is about create user base, recruit collaborators and strength the community. But if you think about it, it is difficult to achieve all of them at the same time with high degree of success on all of them. On top of that you have great people that undertake the task of logistics, promotion and obtain sponsorship. FUDCon needs more budget to do so all that. People doing this job are subject to regular scrutiny by the community. Sometimes people ask about how preparation are going with good intention of helping, sometimes they are just curious and sometime just to complain. The local team most likely has no experience and no expertise on this kind of undertake. Also local team has no idea of how budget has to be handled, as nobody has explained to them. On top of that there is a overhead cost for event owners for running the event: crossing the city to meet potential sponsors, paying gas, taking time off from work. Most likely all those expenses are not reported and not reimbursed. So, obviously, high performance on three different areas becomes more challenging when you take into account the context like people demanding information, radinness, and your own hability to pay your share for the event.

But really, What FUDCon is really about?
There is no common agreement on this at the region level, just a fussy idea. There is no clear direction from any stakeholder higher up on the Project. Maybe, will be better to say stakeholders with a more community wide role. This is kind of crazy, because it is impossible to give an idea of success if there is no clear direction.

Create user base.
From my stand point, creating user base is a long process that requires long time effort of guidance and nurturing. It can be boosted by a spectacular conference, but will require follow up anyway. Having said that, I think that every FUDCon is an amazing collection of stars. As a new friend said, Fedora people is magical. But I will not said they are all rock stars, as we have a very rich collection of bachata, nueva trova, cumbia, reggae, bossa nova and so other marvelous musics talents. Well not me, because I suck at music.

Seriously, we have the best talents of the region in one place, but we are talking about virtualization and robotics, graphical design and network monitoring, software translation and 3D printing. If we fall asleep on conferences, is not only about jet lag and after hours hacking, it is also that none of us can really follow all those diverse topics. We should think how to better organize and categorize topics, so we can reach niches where we could boost user base that has been seed before the event.

Recruit Collaborators
From my stand point, the way to recruit collaborator is to push into the water people that is looking into the pond. You can get people in the water to make more laps, true. You can get people on the water to try a different styles, also true. But we need new people, to have a healthy communnity means people comes and goes. Definitely will be bad if you drag someone from far away into the water. Trying to get people from zero to collaborator in three days is non sense.

The key point is to identify those people that are proficient on Linux using git, ssh, rsa, ftp, vim and all the rest of letter soup and show them things that they can and may like to do for Fedora. Maybe you can find people creating amazing software and invite them to package their software to be part of Fedora repos. This is a task for the local team, and they need time to focus on find them. What local team from the rest of the Project is the people that can teach the ropes, can provide credentials and even have a showcase of a example to fast forward the entire process, so people that will become collaborators have a wide view of the task, while they engage in small steps.

Let me spell it out clearly how I see it. We should sponsor people that have the talents and credentials to guide people into collaborating to the project if we are going to recruit collaborators. We should provide time, space and resources to deploy this guidance. Bad internet at small hotel is not good for this. A noisy corner at the back of the conference room is not good either. We need hacking space.

Strength the community.
Community is the key word. We get together, we do stuff, we share and we recharge energies to keep doing more stuff. The problem with this is how to measure success on recharging people’s energies? Preaching to the choir it is not the best way to do it, although some times may be good for sharing. We need to hack the community. We need to plan how to conquer the world and then eat cookies (or alfajores). This activity need time to debate and discuss, write proposals. Probably we need to select people with certain skills related to community building to be there.

Energy is contagious, one people traveling will share experience when returns to his or her local community and pass on the good vibe. Swag is a way of making this more tangible, but it is not required.

The silver-lining.
You can not engage in any of these activities without having certain impact on the other categories. If you make an event for recruiting collaborators, you will get some spill out on creating user base and most likely you will help to strength the community. So picking which you will focus does not entirely cancel positive effects on the other areas. Focusing on one or two, creating a new style of running the event, will always have good effects on those areas that we choose not to engage directly. Simplifying the event, will make life easier for local team and improve performance.

The horrible true.
I may be wrong. I am operating on the general paradigm of FUDCon which lacks direction. So, if we start asking about what FUDCon should be about, we can end with other expectations from the event. Hopefully with clear objectives. Hopefully with a better way to reward people that made FUDCon possible.

Our debt to FUDCon event Owners
All people attending to FUDCon gave a lot of hugs and thanks to organizers. Would be nice a pat on the back form major stake holders of Fedora Project thanking them for their effort and commitment. So, if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend to FUDCon Cordoba 2015, please drop a line and say thanks, they deserve it.

Media production for Bolivia

Our fellow collaborator Gonzalo Nina requested funds for producing media. This media were supposed to be used at FLISOL (Festival Latinoamericano de Instalación de Software Libre). This long name means Latin American Free Software Installation Festival. Don’t take my translation as official, it is hard to put three adjectives to one name in the correct order, specially considering that two of those adjectives are composed of two words each.


I am side tracking, I said “were supposed”. Sure that raise questions. Unfortunately for Fedora our Bolivian Ambassador has plenty of work. I guess having plenty of work is fortunately for him. The issue is that nowadays his work require him traveling to Panama. His has been traveling to Panama several time in the past few months. Which means that he got funds from Fedora to produce media, but he didn’t have time for placing the order.

This was good and bad, as you may get the feeling of this post, plenty of looking at two faces of a coin. It was bad because the media was not ready for FLISOL. There was other issues with funds and dead lines that were bad. But FLISOL was too close to Fedora 22 release. So any left overs were surely be a waste of resources. The good side is that he placed an order for media of Fedora 22 which is quite on time for the Fedora Release party he is planning and also the rest of activities from now to Fedora 23 release, close to the end of this year.


Bottom line, Bolivia community now have 200 disk to raise interest about fedora and spread all the blue uber-force. There is already part of that material going to Cochabamba.

Sensores Analógicos y Digitales con la placa Icaro

Los sensores digitales son los más simples. Un interruptor es un sensor digtal. Simple: Apagado o encendido. Un interruptor de paro o un botón de pulso es lo mismo.

Tomamos un interruptor y conectamos sus extremos a la bornera sn_d1 justo al lado del boton de reset en la placa NP-06.
interuptor de paro
Hacemos unos bloques simples a como se muestra a continuacion:
El resultado será que cuando se cierra el circuito, es decir el interruptor esta encendido el led primero se encenderá. Cuando el interruptor se apague, el led hara lo mismo.

Los sensores analógicos son un poco más complicados. Su respuesta es un valor que varia segund determinadas condiciones. Para ilustrar esto usaremos un potenciometro. La forma más simple de potenciometros son los controles de volumen. Es bien fácil comprar uno o rescatar uno de un aparato que ya no sirve.
Vamos a encontrar clasicamente tres patitas. La primera es tierra (GND) , la segunda es la salida del sensor (sens_analog) y la tercera es voltaje (VCC). Realmente es una resistencia variable. Si invertimos el orden, no será un problema. Siempre tendremos un voltaje que varia en el centro en relación al voltaje existente entre la alimentación y tierra.

Lo que hay que hacer es conectar los cables en los puertos que se encuentran al lado del led rojo en la placa NP-06. Los tres primeros pines, los mas cerca al extremo de la barra de leds corresponden al primer sensor analógico. En la placa NP-06 estan claramente identificados.
sensor analogico
Ahora hacemos unos bloques a como se muestran a continuación.
El resultado es que al mover el valor del control de volumen, la barra de led incrementara o reducirá el valor binario representado por los leds.

Conexión serial a la placa Icaro

La placa Icaro nos ofrece una gran cantidad de beneficios como una placa autónoma. Pero también podemos sacar provecho de su conexión serial. Tortucaro es la herramienta que nos permite esto.

Para ello debemos ubicar el icono de tortucaro en la ventana de icaro y hacer click en él. Luego hacemos click en compilar. Finalmente hacemos click en Cargar. Oprimimos el botón de reset en la placa y nos debe decir que la carga fue exitosa. En la versión de desarrollo, todo esto es más breve, varios pasos redundante se eliminan, pero la lógica es la misma.
Si este es el primer intento usando tortucaro, podemos querer hacer algunas pruebas. El primer paso es confirmar que existe la conexión con la placa. Desde la terminal usamos el comando ls /dev/ttyA* nosotros esperamos que la respuesta incluya que dentro de los dispositivos existe /dev/ttyACM0

Posiblemente el programa de comunicación serial más simple de usar es cutecom. Lo mas seguro es que no lo tengan instalado, asi que pueden usar la interfaz gráfica o un comando como
su -c “yum install cutecom”

Al iniciar cutecom enviará un aviso que no logro conectar con el puerto /dev/ttyS0, lo cual es lógico porque seguramente no tienen nada conectado a un puerto serial o incluso no tiene puerto seriales en la computadora. Asi que en la parte superior debemos configurar dispositivo o device a /dev/ttyACM0 y luego hacer click en el botón abrir dispositivo o open device. Si no hay malas noticias, son buenas noticias.
El programa tiene tres áreas de texto, de arriba hacia abajo, respuesta del dispositivo, historico de comandos enviados al dispositivo y entrada o input. Nos colocamos en input y escribimos “b” y damos enter. En la ventana de respuesta dirá “icaro USB 02”

Si tenemos un servo podemos usar comando como m1! (mover servo del puerto uno al valor ascii 33) o bien puede escribir m1Ñ (mover servo del puerto uno al valor ascii 126) Puede buscar una guia de valores ascii

Ahora que ya saben como es el asunto de la comunicación serial y han comprobado que funciona, pueden hacer algunas cosas más intersantes. Por ejemplo les comparto un pequeño programa de python escrito por Valentin Basel

#!/usr/bin/env python
# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
# servo.py
# Copyright 2014 valentin basel
# This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
# it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
# the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or
# (at your option) any later version.
# This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
# but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
# GNU General Public License for more details.
# You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
# along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software
# Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston,
# MA 02110-1301, USA.

import apicaro
import time

for a in range(3):

Icaro y la version devel

Cuando estamos probando las ultimas cosas de un programa puede ser que tengamos deseo de ir al paso del desarrollo de ese programa. La versión en desarrollo o devel es un espacio para experimentar, encontrar que cosas no están funcionando y hacer sugerencias. Icaro tiene esta versión y quiero compartir como echarla a andar. No estoy siendo muy explicito, porque si están buscando la versión de desarrollo, supongo que ya tienen alguna experiencia en Fedora

Lo primero a saber, es que el repositorio nos va a presentar la versión estable. Nosotros tenemos que navegar en busca de la versión de desarrollo.

La pueden encontrar aqui: https://github.com/valentinbasel/icaro/tree/devel

Eso les dará acceso a hacer una descarga de un archivo zip. Deben descomprimirlo manteniendo la estructura interna de directorios. Usualmente yo descomprimo en la misma carpeta de Descargas y obtengo una carpeta llamada icaro-devel. Luego muevo esta carpeta hacia mi directorio Home. Lo hago así porque un error de descomprimir cosas en Home, puede ser algo tedioso de limpiar, mientras que si ocurre en Descargas no será la gran cosa.

Voy a usar la palabra USUARIO que ustedes deberan cambiar por el nombre de su propio usuario. Hasta el momento tenemos /home/USUARIO/icaro-devel/ y posiblemente han usado los beneficios de las herramientas gráficas.

Si no han instalado la version estable, ustedes deben hacer algunas configuraciones, las cuales las realicé desde la terminal

su -c “group add microchip”
su -c “usermod -a -G microchip USUARIO”
su -c “usermod -a -G dialout USUARIO”

Lo siguiente es poner algunos archivos en su sitio, lo mismo esto lo hago desde la terminal

mkdir ~/.icaro
cp -r ~/icaro-devel/hardware/icaro/micro/firmware ~/.icaro/
cp -r ~/icaro-devel/hardware/icaro/micro/conf ~/.icaro/
su -c “mkdir /usr/share/icaro”
su -c “cp -r ~/icarodevel/hardware /usr/share/icaro/”

Para correr la version de desarrollo la ejecutan desde la terminal ubicandose en el directorio de desarrollo:

cd ~/icaro-devel
python lanzador.py

Correr el programa desde la terminal nos permite ver los comentarios que va generando y en caso de error nos puede dar idea de que se trata ese error.

HPLIP configurar impresoras HP en fedora 21

Tengo una impresora o printer multifuncional HP LaserJet 1536 dnf MFP conectada en red a mi nueva instalación de Fedora 21 Work Station.

Esto siempre es un dilema, puesto que añadir impresora desde el panel de administración de impresoras no siempre me deja los resultados deseados. Por ejemplo no tengo acceso al scaner de la impresora multifuncional. Por otra parte desinstalar hplip de fedora e instalarlo desde el sitio del fabricante es una opción válida pero bastante lenta. Inicia por borrar la cache de yum, luego instala paquete por paquete, lo que incluye los paquetes de compilación gcc entre otros. Además incluye la herramienta de scaner xsane, muy poderosa pero mucha gente prefiere la herramienta simple scan. Luego pasa a compilar y finalmente uno debe ejecutar hp-setup.

Para evitarse tanto complicación, la forma fácil de instalar una impresora multifuncional HP en fedora es irse a la terminal y ejecutar de una vez como administrador (root o superusuario) el comando :


Bueno no es tan fácil, eso les va a dar un error porque hay un paquete que no esta instalado. Si leen con atención les va a decir cual es el problema. Pero nadie lee la salida del sistema para encontrar la solución. La computadora no te odia, solo no sabe que hacer y te dice que no te entiende. Muchas veces al decir que no entiende te das cuenta que te falto. Asi que de nuevo como administrador:

yum install hplip-gui

Luego de instalar ese paquete y sus dependencias, entonces si estamos listos para la mágia. Intentamos de nuevo como administrador


Eso les llevara a un panel de configuración que es bien sencillo de seguir. Como resultado tendrán su impresora HP multifuncional instalada en Fedora 21 en el panel de impresoras y además el scaner funcionando. Yo desactive la opción de fax, pero tendrían esa opción también si lo desean.

En fin, normalmente las impresoras o printers se configuran automaticamente en Fedora, pero algunos modelos necesitan un pequeño paso adicional.

UPDATE he tenido problemas en Fedora 22 con el instalador gráfico. Una opción alternativa es usar como administrador el comando:

hp-setup -i

Esto hace la secuencia de instalación en la terminal.

I have found my place within Fedora Project

As a Fedora Ambassador I should help people find a place to collaborate with the Fedora Project. I have been around for long time doing different things in Fedora Project. I feel that I have failed myself because I did find my place before. I have been doing for so long events, recruiting collaborators and helping people. I failed my self to help me doing things that I really enjoy doing for the project.

FUDCon Managua 2014 was a major challenge and at some points I was considering quit. People like Lila, Cristhian, Samuel and Fernando keep me going. At the same time, Fedora Council was taking shape and FamSCo was starting to change. Probably I was involved in to many things.

Some time ago I was asked if I will keep up with marketing activities. I accepted to be dismiss from Marketing Team. I am not doing anything, it is fair to step aside. It felt right, I can be back any time when I want. Later on I unsubscribe myself from the marketing mailing list as it was no longer related to marketing, but to Fedora Magazine.

I quit to freemedia, I was dealing with membership management which I stepped aside long ago, and recently I quit completely as I haven’t sent media in months. Again, it felt right as I can came back anytime.

The transition from Fedora Board to Fedora Council made me take a choice. Did I wanted to keep in that level of commitment? I honestly I was not following the mailing list and not following the trac. Much of this was because of FUDCon, but also I lack energy.

I really wanted to FAmSCo to change, when that become a reality, then I felt that I did not need to keep involved. Againg I lack energy, motivation or both. So I quit.

Even I have organize 9 Fedora Release Parties in a row. I got a hotdog cart to release Beefy Miracle. I also helped to organize release party in El Salvador, Guatemala and Costa Rica. I am not doing it now. Lila has said to do it, and I am glad to someone else take charge of that.

I came to Fedora because I wanted to have a stable platform for Amateur Radio. I like electronics and experimenting. I needed to ask help and end up helping people. It was a great ride, but it was a side track.

So what I am going to do? I want to thanks Valentin and Icaro Project for helping me find my place in Fedora. I love the electronic experimenting. It is a wonderful project aiming to education, but you can get on board and keep growing and learning with it.

This is what I was looking for. A place to collaborate with something that challenge me to learn things that I want. A thing to talk about and do presentation about things that I am passionate about.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Fedora Project. But I am not passionate about talking about features that I am not using and most of the time I am not fully understand. I did it because I fell it was something to be done.

Since I get in touch with Icaro I am thinking how I going to use Icaro boards with Amateur Radio. Switching equipment, satellite tracking, too many possibilities.

Since FUDCon Managua 2014 I was been asked about robotics. From the science committee of the vice presidency office, from RUPAP degree in system, there is a department of research and development of RUPAP that also asked about, the ministry of education also asked about. I event got a request for a pilot experience with a school. My answer has been, Icaro project will happen in Nicaragua, you can be part of it or just watch it happen.

I have found my place within Fedora.

FUDCon Managua 2014 Numbers and Lessons

I would like to ponder some questions. To do so, there are some background to cover. You can spare with me in all the details or you can go straight to the bottom.

We spent $8,373.38 in air fares for 9 collaborators. Air travel is expensive, and it is more expensive in Latin America. There was the agreement to pay for the visa for the only persona that needed it, it was $50.  We are glad that we have 4 people traveling on their own budget. We end up we a team of 14 including the holder of the fedora scholarship. The expenses of the fedora scholarship are not taken into account, as that comes from another budget.

We spent $912 in food during the event and $ 772 in FUDPub. There was $77 in water and sodas for the team. The FUDPub was over the initial budget because there were more people that were supposed to attend than we estimated for this closure night of FUDCon.

We paid to the university $549.95 that consisted mostly in posters and booklets. The remainder were some minor charges for audio and projectors.

There were some expenses in promotion, like roller up banners and horizontal banners. This added up to $ 342. Part of this was to reciprocate our sponsors.

Lodging was $1895.40 not including those that were paid by the collaborators and also not including the room share of the fedora scholarship holder. This sum was at the discounted price offered for the convention. There was also the use of the meeting room for hacking during the nights that was $130. Transportation was $255 that were accounted for moving people to the university and back to the hotel. There were also some trips to the airport in this sum. Mostly all airport pick up was done personally, so it is not included. Driving people in my car from the hotel to the university was not included. This amount related to transportation does not include two tour trips organized before the event and after the event.

T-shirts cost $ 750. There were some minor cost for a web cam, security cords for laptops, toner for printing schedules that add up to $ 209.45

If you add up all this, you will get the amount of $14,266.18 That’s is what FUDCon Managua 2014 actually cost, at least to what is accountable.

The other part is were the money come from. For start we had the Fedora Premier event budget of $10,000. Then we had Bluehost collaboration of $1,000. Güegüe Comunicaciones paid all t-shirts, $750. Dotora Barreto’s dental clinic, paid part of the FUDPub $315. Monchito.net gave $300 and Sen Comunicaciones helped with other $300. Computer.net gave $160.

We have other sponsorship like Movistar that provided internet bandwidth at the university and Comtech that supplied one web cam and color ink printers used for badgeds, food tickets and other minors colorful printing needs. Those are non quantificable.

In the end we raised the amount of $12,825.00. So, there is a difference of $1,441.18

Mansión Teodolinda gave an extra discount of $229.73 over the lodging invoice, which already had a discount. There was also items that were not charged, like transport for $255 and meeting room use for $130. $77 related to water and sodas that were available at the university was also not charged. There were items that were paid for like banners $342. This makes a contribution of $1033.73. Again, this was an extra help, as the lodging already has a discount price.

We end short by $407.45 that I paid from my pocket. This is quantifiable, but there are non quantifiable expenses about doing errands, calling people, meeting people, and so on. This non quantifiable cost also is shared with the rest of the local team. Lot of time invested. I will not call on the fuel I expend going to the airport, as that was a personal choice as a host. I don’t think the local team will charge for transport fares going and coming for all the errands needed to organize the event.

Having the numbers in black and white, if not meant to show how much I invest in the project. It is not to claim for reimburse. I was absolutely clear during the planning and the execution of the event that my business and I will cover the difference.

My point is to raise the awareness of what doing FUDCon really means. There has been a lot of talks about this, but throw some fact and figures makes clear.

The  budget of $10K is short. We have been talking long about this issue. The reply is that extra money will be given if it is justify. There is no clear definition of how to justify extra budget. Historically, FUDCon LATAM has cost about $15K.

We expect from the local team organize an event and at the same time raise  about $5K in sponsorship? Raise sponsorship is not something expected as expertise of the local team. This is a learning experience that is not transferable as it depends on the local context. Most likely all this work will not generate further benefits for the Project.

After doing all, the local team end being so busy hosting the event that they can not attend the talks and hacks. I am so glad that we agreed to have some of the key people organizing the event lodged in the hotel. At least they get some hacking time at night. Not much, as there was things to get ready for the next day. But it was some time for learning and sharing with the LATAM collaborators.

I have a income from a job, a car and contacts, and I struggled leading the organization of the event. So why doing it? Why a collaborator should want to organize FUDCon? You may get the sense of accomplishment, but where is the fun in it? I will not recommend to any friend to engage in organizing FUDCon in the current terms. There are some concern about loosing collaborators that undergo this challenge.

People worked hard to host the events. For most of them was their first Fedora Premier Event. Yet, they didn’t fully participate of it. They were hosting. They were taking care that things were running smoothly.

What do I think we should do? I do think that we need to clear what the Fedora Project expect as outcome and to provide budget according to objectives. It also means that can be evaluated if it was a success or not. It is need to clarify which may be justified for extra funds. Both side are busy, so a clear guide will help. I do think that people that gave so much time and effort organizing one Fedora Premier Event should be rewarded. Those that had not the opportunity to attend a Fedora Premier Event should be considered to be sponsored for the next event.

FUDCon Managua 2014 Clousure

Last day of FUDCon I tries to approach as many contributors to ask: What do you think was accomplished in this FUDCon? I used their input as part of the closure speech at the end of the convention. I improvised with a hand write notes. Here you have a more digested summary.

The most important thing was first hand experience, that was mention also as learning with practical examples.

The second most relevant issue was Networking. Not in the wires and OSI layers. Get in touch with people, to get acquaintance, to know what they do. That king of bonding tie together the community. It was also view as scouting. People see who is doing what and how they may engage in a team in the short future.

The view was that there was low attendance, but people there were really engaged. There were package reviewed. This is the first FUDCon that we have computer labs for practical sessions. There were restrictions, but we have it. All this activity lead to people sponsored in packaging and ambassadors. It also lead to candidates for packaging, web sites, ambassadors and documentation teams.

Electronics got a fair share of fans. People looking at Icaro Project become aware that it is possible to make from scratch robotics. People looking at Arduino view that Fedora (or Linux) is the way to get real into the edge of programming and electronics. By the way, Icaro package was migrated from Gtk2 to Gtk3 during this event.

Some people were more into the opportunity of give back part of all that we have gotten from Fedora and show the open source way. More concrete though were on looking as an opportunity to focus on what it is important.

From here the speech went to thanks the University and its staff, sponsors that contribute to the event, and specially the local team that made possible organize the event.

I save for last a brief comment with Robert Mayr about the potential that is hold back by the language barrier. This talk become a exchange of email. I often took for granted that if you are technology you better get into English. I have solve problems beyond my skills by just been able to read what the screen said. But Robert validate those people that claim to have technical skills and that have problems to engage with Fedora Project because of a language barrier. I felt dumb. I myself were talking a few months back in FLOCK about helping girls to apply to Woman Outreach Program, as a proof reader and translator if were needed. So, that is a real problem. We need to start looking to ways to mitigate this barrier.

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