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Debian GSoC 2018 report

One of my major contributions to Debian in 2018 has been participation as a mentor and admin for Debian in Google Summer of Code (GSoC).

Here are a few observations about what happened this year, from my personal perspective in those roles.

Stelvio, Mortirolo, Simplon and hacking Tiramisu

On Friday the adventure continued. A pit stop for fresh tyres and then north to the renowned Stelvio Pass, 2757m a.s.l., 75 challenging hairpin corners. There are plenty of helmet-cam videos of this ride online.

Crossing the Great St Bernard Pass

It's a great day for the scenic route to Italy, home of Beethoven's Swiss cousins.

What goes up, must come down...

Descent into the Aosta valley

Free software, GSoC and ham radio in Kosovo

After the excitement of OSCAL in Tirana, I travelled up to Prishtina, Kosovo, with some of Debian's new GSoC students. We don't always have so many students participating in the same location. Being able to meet with all of them for a coffee each morning gave some interesting insights into the challenges people face in these projects and things that communities can do to help new contributors.

OSCAL'18 Debian, Ham, SDR and GSoC activities

Over the weekend I've been in Tirana, Albania for OSCAL 2018.

A closer look at power and PowerPole

The crowdfunding campaign has so far raised enough money to buy a small lead-acid battery but hopefully with another four days to go before OSCAL we can reach the target of an AGM battery. In the interest of transparency, I will shortly publish a summary of the donations.

Powering a ham radio transmitter

Last week I announced the crowdfunding campaign to help run a ham radio station at OSCAL. Thanks to all those people who already donated or expressed interest in volunteering.

Modern electronics are very compact and most of what I need to run the station can be transported in my hand luggage. The two big challenges are power supplies and antenna masts. In this blog post there are more details about the former.

Here is a picture of all the equipment I hope to use:

Turning a dictator's pyramid into a ham radio station

(Update: due to concerns about the crowdsourcing service, I changed the links in this blog post so people can donate directly through PayPal.)

Can a GSoC project beat Cambridge Analytica at their own game?

A few weeks ago, I proposed a GSoC project on the topic of Firefox and Thunderbird plugins for Free Software Habits.

At first glance, this topic may seem innocent and mundane. After all, we all know what habits are, don't we? There are already plugins that help people avoid visiting Facebook too many times in one day, what difference will another one make?

GSoC and Outreachy: Mentors don't need to be Debian Developers

A frequent response I receive when talking to prospective mentors: "I'm not a Debian Developer yet".

As student applications have started coming in, now is the time for any prospective mentors to introduce yourself on the debian-outreach list if you would like to help with any of the listed projects or any topics that have been proposed spontaneously by students without any mentor.

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