[blag-whereto] Introduction

Homer blag at slated.org
Tue Feb 24 01:39:34 GMT 2009

Hash: SHA1

Greetings BLAG users and developers.

As promised, here is my introduction:

My real name is Keith G. Robertson-Turner, although no one has addressed
me by my real Christian name in years - even my own mother used to call
me Homer, which is my real-life nickname, not just an online handle.

I've been a Red Hat user and contributor since RH 5.1 (Manhattan), in
1997, and was educated on UNIX (Ultrix) systems from the mid-eighties to
the early nineties. In fact I have never used Windows, nor any other
Microsoft product, in either a work or education environment, and even
my recreational experience of Windows is rather limited. Before that, my
exposure was to the multitudinous systems of the so-called Golden Age of
Computing, which includes such legends as the Sinclair Spectrum and the
Commodore Amiga. I still have that hardware, BTW :)

After completing my education, I moved on to work in many other areas,
including consultancy, and so let my programming skills slide. These
days, I am neither competent nor enthusiastic about software
engineering, but instead concentrate on Free Software advocacy and activism.

I do still possess some rather useful skills, however, including a
penchant for organisation and implementation (a throwback to my
consultancy days). Think of me as a kind of operations manager. I have
the necessary skill to implement and maintain a buildsystem for BLAG,
and the remaining infrastructure necessary to publish continued releases
for the foreseeable future. This is what I offer you now.

Having then implemented this system, I will of course also use it, so I
will also be doing some grunt work WRT package building and QA, etc.,
but if BLAG is to move forward at a reasonable pace, then it will take
more than just me to do this, since the process of rebuilding some 10 -
15 thousand packages is no small undertaking.

My primary contributions to Free Software so far, have been in advocacy
[1], package building [2], scripting [3], and QA. WRT QA, I have a
pretty good instinct for finding and resolving elusive bugs [4]. I've
previously worked on Tripwire (GPL) [5], ffmpeg [8], x264 [10], mplayer
[8], Amarok [6], ClamAV [7], and various others [8] on both Red Hat,
Fedora and Livna [9].









http://bugzilla.livna.org/show_bug.cgi?id=79 (introduced Mcrypt)
http://bugzilla.livna.org/show_bug.cgi?id=80 (introduced TooLame)

I also did some work packaging the proprietary nVidia driver for Livna,
but subsequently dropped it for the obvious ideological reasons, once
the nouveau project reached maturity. These days I refuse to touch
nVidia hardware at all, and Intel hardware likewise (after they
sabotaged the OLPC charity, because of their rivalry with AMD).

My introduction to packaging was prompted by Tripwire being missing in
Fedora, after Red Hat abandoned their Desktop line, along with various
packages, and I was forced to switch. This left a huge number of people
in a fairly serious predicament, especially companies which implemented
Tripwire as a matter of policy. Without my intervention, it's likely
Tripwire might have been depreciated from Fedora for good.

[10] A similar situation happened recently with x264, since the
developers decided to "depreciate" support for older hardware, despite
the fact that they could have easily implemented multi-arch discreet
optimisations, like every other media transcoder. Instead they chose to
arbitrarily cull an entire generation of hardware, thus trying to force
people to spend money to upgrade that hardware, and for no other reason
than mindless elitism:

http://bugzilla.livna.org/show_bug.cgi?id=2066 (currently down)

The end result (since Livna is down, perhaps for good) is this message:


dominik[AT]greysector.net changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
             Status|RESOLVED                    |REOPENED
         Resolution|WONTFIX                     |

- ------- Additional Comments From dominik[AT]greysector.net  2008-12-15
05:58 -------
Well, guess what, I've found a way to satisfy even you. The issue should
be fixed in RPMFusion development branch, so either please wait until
the fix is propagated to F-10 (and probably F-9) or grab the src.rpm
yourself and rebuild. Note that as F-8 is nearing EOL, I won't be fixing
this there.

- ------- You are receiving this mail because: -------
You reported the bug, or are watching the reporter.

I did a fairly well known guide to building a custom Linux kernel RPM:


Which was subsequently used by Tim Larson, the Support Manager for the
commercial SmoothWall distro, in their KB support section:


I was involved in a project called Mapivi - Martin's Picture Viewer, had
some productive discussions with the author, and ended up producing RPMs
for Fedora:


My primary technical interests are in automation and security,
especially WRT data protection and personal privacy. For a general
overview of my opinions in this field, please read the following discussion:


I'm an enthusiastic system builder, modder, overclocker and all-round
hardware fanatic, but my passion tends to revolve around saving older
hardware from the landfill (go green) rather than filling the OEM's
pockets with yet more of my hard-earned money. I did used to be active
on the [H]ardOCP forums (this is why I used to spell my nick as
"[H]omer"), but the crowd was far too Windows-centric for my tastes, so
I drifted away.

That's it for the technical background.

Other interests include cycling, music composition (mod-tracking), fine
cuisine, whisky (drinking and collecting), blogging about everything I
don't like, and sleeping all day if I can get away with it. Mostly
though, I live and breath Free Software.

Thanks for reading.

- --

| "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It
|  is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves." ~ William
|  Pitt the Younger

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