All clear

Looks like we’re out of the woods.

CrunchBang lead developer Philip Newborough (corenominal) posted this message several minutes ago on the CrunchBang Forums:

“Happy to report that the repo server is back online. Here is the update from the team at Linode:

“> The null route on your Linode’s IP address has been removed at this time and we have set this ticket to automatically close in 48 hours while we monitor for any additional issues.

“Once again, apologies for the inconvenience and thank you all for your patience, understanding and kind words of support.”

So now you can go back to your usual CrunchBanging, whether it’s downloading the distro, updating or running the cb-welcome script.

It’s good to be back and I’d like to echo corenominal’s apology for the incovenience.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Seriously?

You would think people would have better, more postive things to do than this. Yet some malcontent, or possibly more than one, has set upon the CrunchBang servers at Linode a Denial of Service attack.

Seriously? And you gain what, exactly, by denying a small community access to its data and repositories?

There is the possibility that CrunchBang is not the target of the attack, yet the fact remains that we are affected by it, regardless of at whom or what the DoS is aimed.

Philip Newborough (corenominal), the lead developer for CrunchBang, posted a message on the CrunchBang forums: “The #! repo server and torrent tracker are currently the targets of a DoS attack and are offline. The attack is being monitored and I hope to have normal service restored soon. Apologies for the inconvenience.”

I’ll post again on this blog when CrunchBang is back on the air, so to speak. I’m sure corenominal will do the same on the forums.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Larry l’uomo CrunchBang in italiano

Last week, I was honored by the team at the new Italian FOSS blog Magliettabianca with an interview — a two-part interview, no less! — of my blogging personas, Larry the CrunchBang Guy and Larry the Free Software Guy.

The first part of the two-part interview has to do with CrunchBang and why I use it. Part one was posted last week and hopefully the second part will be posted this week. There’s no secret why I use it — CrunchBang is a fantastic distro and it works for me — and it also talks about how I came to CrunchBang after liking it so much after I reviewed it.

OK, let’s say you can’t read Italian. No worries: Here’s the original interview in English which was translated into Italian by Edoardo Maria Elidoro (the questions are also Edoardo’s). Yes, I meant “wide range,” not “ride range,” and to Edoardo’s credit, he caught that mistake and fixed it in the Italian version.

I’d like to take a moment to say “grazie mille a tutti” to Edoardo and to the entire Magliettabianca team: Marco “Milozzy” Milone (who some of you may know from the CrunchBang forums), Alessio “Alfierenero” Perona, Davide Cipolla, Diego Pi, Elisa Peroni, Enrico “Magliettabianca” Bastelli, Fanfurlio Farolfi, Federico Di Pierro, Gaetano Di Bari, Mario Calabrese, Massimiliano Donini, and Stefano Bergamini.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Crunchtoberfest

Sometimes I have ideas. Not all of them are good ones, I will certainly admit, but at least none of them have started off with me loudly stating, “Here, hold my beer and watch this” (ending with me in the hospital, or worse).

This morning, over coffee and a bagel at The Firefly Coffeehouse (best bagels in Santa Cruz, bar none), it occurred to me that next month is October, which is the month of Oktoberfest in Bavaria, at least, as well as faux Oktoberfests in non-German locations worldwide (not a knock — you like drinking beer in big steins and want an excuse to drink it that way? Cool with me).

So here’s the idea: Crunchtoberfest.

It might not involve large steins of beer (thought that’s clearly an option, if you want it to be), but it would be a month where we — CrunchBang users, CrunchBang advocates, the CrunchBang faithful, the CrunchBang nation, CrunchBangeros, CrunchBangistas, whatever you choose to call this tribe we’re in — can take the month of October and make it our own.

TL;DR? Crunchtoberfest can be a month-long celebration of our distro.

To celebrate the month, you can:

Introduce/Talk to your Linux-using friends about CrunchBang: Many of us hang with other Linux users. Many of them may not be using CrunchBang — their choice, and that’s cool — but if they’re not, you can offer to introduce them to the goodness that is CrunchBang and why you choose to use it.

Introduce/Talk to your friends who don’t use Linux about CrunchBang: You may know people who don’t use Linux (horrors!) and they might want to know what that mystical operating system you’re using with which you have such a good time constantly. So tell them about it — enlighten them to the wonders of Debian under the hood with Openbox atop it. Don’t think they can handle CrunchBang? Not to worry — Debian will be there in a pinch, or any other distro that gets their foot in the door. Sooner or later, they’ll be back.

Help out around the house: The CrunchBang Forums are a great place to find information and to talk about Linux and non-Linux issues (in Off-Topic, of course) — also it’s a good place to help out wherever and whenever you can, as is the IRC channel on Freenode (but let’s just talk about the forums for the moment). Many of you already do, and it’s deeply appreciated. We’ve made the forums a pretty safe and friendly place to ask questions and find answers, but it only works when folks are helpful and friendly (and that applies to nearly all of you). Up with the positive, down with the negative.

Help out with the new official #! wiki
: In a conversation with corenominal yesterday, we agreed that I would take the reins on something that has been sort of proposed on multiple occasions but never followed through upon: resurrecting the official CrunchBang wiki. What would really make my Halloween at the end of October is if I can dress up for All Hallow’s Eve as the completed CrunchBang wiki — now that would be something. Up for this, or if you’ve already started something in this regard? Comment below or e-mail me at lcafiero-at-gmx-dot-com

Be excellent to each other and to others outside #!
: You can do this for the other 11 months out of the year as well, but whenever you feel that someone’s being a jerk on the forums or on IRC, don’t try to out-jerk them on either the forums or on IRC. Trust me — if I had a dollar for every time I myself should have followed this advice, I’d be rich. In other words, be helpful on the forums and on IRC — most of you are, of course — but some may need this reminder, and that goes to the guy who looks back at me in the mirror, too.

Got any ideas? Clearly, I don’t have the monopoly on good ideas, so if you think of something that might be a good Crunchtoberfest activity, let us know.

We have 31 days — or more — to take our already great distro to a higher level.

Are you in?

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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#! in Seattle and Los Angeles

In a few weeks, the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference — SeaGL (which, I assume, is pronounced “seagull”) — will take place at Seattle Central Community College. I have a talk to give at SeaGL, which is the standard CrunchBang talk about “the best distro you’ve never heard of,” and while I’ve asked for table space for a booth, I haven’t heard back on that one.

But never mind — with or without a booth, CrunchBang will be in the house on Oct. 11-12 at Seattle Central Community College. Perhaps other CrunchBang users and I can get together in Seattle to talk about our great distro? Let me know if you’re going and we’ll set it up.

But wait, there’s more: In February, the Southern California Linux Expo — SCALE 12X — is held at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel. SCALE is the largest, community-run Linux/FOSS expo in North America, with over 100 exhibitors, about 95 sessions and about 2,500 attendees, according to last year’s numbers.

CrunchBang has held a Birds of a Feather event in the last two SCALEs and we will again at the next one, but because I work for the show I can’t staff a booth (I’m the SCALE publicity chair, which means that I’m so busy before and during the show that I rarely leave the press room). CrunchBang does have a table available for it for SCALE 12X, and if the expo floor geography gods smile down on us (and I ask the right person), we could be neighbors with Debian, which I think would be appropriate.

I’ll have the DVDs burned, stickers printed, and I’ll have a #! laptop where we can make bootable USB sticks for people who have one on which to put Waldorf. What I’m hoping for is for some CrunchBang users who are attending SCALE who might want to take shifts at the booth. Does that interest anyone out there who might be attending?

Needless to say, I’ll be talking about this a lot in the days to come. Meanwhile, hope your CrunchBang experience is a good one.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Starting off on the right foot

There’s no denying that CrunchBang is gaining popularity, and with it a wave of new CrunchBang users come to the forums. The new users are encouraged to introduce themselves in the CrunchBang forums, and many do every day.

If you don’t do so already, it’s a good idea to say “hello” to the newcomers when they introduce themselves to make them feel more at home. Also, don’t forget that when you start using CrunchBang and start participating in the forums, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself as well, if you haven’t done so already.

As a moderator, I plan to include two things in my introductions from now on, just to make sure the new folks have this info only because a.) I think it will be helpful, and b.) I wish I had it when I started. These two items are:

The ** Please read before posting ** thread, which deals with how to find answers about CrunchBang before you ask, and of course how to ask most efficently if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, and

Forum etiquette, which despite some discussion regarding amending it, still serves as the “law of the land” in the forums.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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Concession speech

We ran hard, and we ran long. We ran a campaign of which everyone should be proud. I salute my opponent on his well-deserved victory, and . . . .

37vjkPfffffft. Forget all that nonsense. The FOSS Force Best Personal FOSS or Linux Blog Contest is over for 2013, and Alien Pastures has won. Good call, voters, and congratulations, Eric Hameleers. Honestly, it was an honor to make the finals — twice in my case, with this blog and Larry the Free Software Guy — and we’ll see if either (or both) of us can do better in 2014.

What’s more important is I had a blast “campaigning” to try to win the poll. I’m sorry if some of you were put off by my asking for you to vote for me, but it was a lot of fun, and it was a pleasure introducing folks to FOSS Force, if they weren’t already aware of it.

Yet what’s most important, when all is said and done, is that FOSS Force did all of us on the poll, starting from the beginning and through two rounds to the finals, a monumental favor in giving us a lot more exposure than we would normally get.

So thanks for that, FOSS Force. Also, thanks for the FOSS news coverage and commentary you provide on your site.

Like the rest of the group on the ballot, I don’t get paid to do this. This commentary is part of my personal commitment to promoting both Free/Open Source Software in general, as I do in the Larry the Free Software Guy blog, and promoting my distro of choice in the Larry the CrunchBang Guy blog. Sure, I’d like to be able to make a living writing this type of commentary for an on-line publication, but I don’t (actually, for those of you who don’t already know. I’m a “print guy” — a wire news editor at the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper in Santa Cruz, California).

None of us you voted for on this poll earn their keep writing about FOSS. Yet it doesn’t make our blogs any less important than those who do. My hope, as I am sure is one I share with the rest of the candidates, is that you were able to get a new perspective and, heck, find a new source or two (or three) of news and commentary going forward.

Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and has just started developing software at Redwood Digital Research (RDR), a consultancy that provides FOSS solutions in the small business and home office environment. RDR is based in Felton, California, USA.

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