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Let’s Code-In!

A while ago I got an email saying that organization registration is now open for the Google Code-In contest. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it consists on a list of tasks provided by different open source organizations, from which high school students can pick any and help the organization. The students whose work outstands, they will be taken to the Googleplex for a tour and some more neat stuff. Why am I telling you all of this, you ask? Because I would like Ubuntu to be a part of the contest this year!

In order to participate as an organization, we need to register by Wednesday (already tomorrow in some parts of the world!) and make sure we can provide between 150 and 500 tasks. However, I can not do this on my own. We need a team of people willing to provide tasks for the students.

Now, think of it this way. We are going to be able to harvest new contributors, help them get involved with open source, and build a new generation of Ubuntu contributors, even Ubuntu Members.

If your team or project inside Ubuntu could use a hand, please do not hesitate on contacting me for more information on how to become a mentor. Or even better, if you want to help organize things for GCI, drop me a line! My email address is jose ubuntu com, or you can find me as jose on freenode. Ah, and if you want to take a look at the discussion we’ve been having, you can check the ubuntu-community-team mailing list thread. Oh, and if you have any questions at all, I’ll be more than happy to answer those too :)

I definitely hope to count with you all in this upcoming project, and that we get accepted as an organization. Can’t see anything but great things coming from the project!

Android Wear: A 10 Months Retrospective

It was the early morning of a November day. My dad got here from the US, and he was carrying a small squared box for me. It was my brand new LG G Watch. A solid 10 months have passed since I turned it on for the first time, and I have seen Android Wear evolve so much, I feel it is now the time to do a slight review on how the device has made a difference in my lifestyle.

I guess the first thing to start with is the hardware, so…


Going to the basics, you can see a square watch. It has a little hole in the side that faces you, which is the microphone. It has a touch screen that lets you interact with the watch. It has a rubber adjustable band, just as you would expect from the watch. At the back, you will be able to find 4 charging pins, that will get in contact with the dock’s pins and make the watch charge. It has Bluetooth, but does not have Wi-Fi. It also has a bunch of sensors, but it lacks from a light sensor, so there’s no automatic brightness settings. Pretty simple so far, huh? But it’s changed, and you can see some wear (pun intended) on the watch.

If you take a really close look into the screen, you will be able to see that there’s a small scratch on the screen. Also, there’s a little dent on one of the borders. However, all of this was caused because I excessively use my watch, and I tend to move my arm a lot, no matter whether I am in an open or closed space. So, yes, I’ve bumped my watch several times, and the screen is almost intact, the borders look really nice and, watch-wise, all parts are working almost-perfectly. I’ve been having some problems with my dock lately, where it just disconnects and reconnects randomly, but changing cables seems to solve the problem (or at least does not wake me up anymore!).

The band is a different story. The little strap that makes sure you don’t have a piece of rubber hanging on your wrist (I don’t know the name, sorry!) seems like it’s not as thick as it was when it got here. Also, the band has been losing it’s matte appearance and become a bit more glossy on the outside on the parts where the metal saves it from moving. This is not much of a problem for me, since I have been looking into replacing the band with a custom band in the near future. I haven’t found any options that I like so far, though.

This brings us to another point. You can change the watch’s band so easily that you can even do it on your own. As a real-life example, I took out my watch’s band inside a moving airplane, just because I was bored and it was fun. I don’t recommend it, though – if there’s turbulence you may lose the little pieces! There are several 18mm watch bands around the interwebz, that you can just buy one you like and put it on your watch. Make sure it fits with both your style and your watch! With that, I believe I have covered most (if not all) the physical aspects of the watch, so let’s move on to the software.


This aspect from the watch is the one I love the most. When I bought it, it was just a ‘get your notifications without taking your phone off your pocket’ device. However, it has evolved into something else much more than that.

Again, the initial main purpose of getting the G Watch was, for me, getting my notifications while I was in class, without bothering teachers. And if it was something important I could switch to it. The first big change I saw was the addition of Wrist Gestures. It meant I could now eat an ice cream cone and check/reply to my notifications, but AT THE SAME TIME! How amazing could that be?

Applications were there since the beginning. As an example, there was a calculator application, as well as tic-tac-toe and some other games and utilities. When Wear 5.0 was released applications had a complete makeover, and several started appearing. There’s now fully-working Hangouts on mobile, and the most exciting for me was Ingress. Replying from within any of these apps or the cards shown up on the main screen now lets you draw an emoji, and even though your drawing skills may not be that good, it recognizes what you’re trying to draw. I also found out about Together, a Wear app that lets you send messages to another friend’s watch face directly! I haven’t had the change to try this one out since I’m the only one of my local friends with a Wear device, so we’ll have to see how it works. If you want to test it out with me, let me know in the comments and I’ll update the review with this app!

Theater mode is also one of my favorite features on the watch. There are times, like when you go to the cinema, when you don’t want any light coming out from your watch, even if the watch face is set to always on. Or you don’t want any vibrations to interrupt that movie. So you set up theater mode, and, with a touch, you get both. And until you disable it, it won’t have the watch (or your phone!) with the screen always on, and notifications will not go through.

Screen lock arrived in 5.0, and it lets you auto-lock your watch as soon as it detects it’s no longer on your wrist or when it disconnects from your phone. You can set up a pattern lock that’s at least four dots ‘long’, and it will automatically apply. However, I had to disable this because I had a problem: I have been travelling a bit more than usual in the last couple months, which meant I had to put my watch in Airplane Mode. This meant my watch would be disconnected from my phone, and every time I wanted to take a look at the time, I would not be able to since the screen would be locked. When I arrived to my destination I set it back to on. This is one small thing I’d like to customize, but it’s definitely a security risk if you think about it. We’ll see how it develops, or if it stays this way.

The G Watch is lacking something, though. It does not have Wi-Fi available, which means you are not able to leave your phone behind and just use your watch. To be honest, I don’t know where this would be useful for me, but it’s something that’s not on the G Watch.

Finally, watch faces! This is the most amazing part of the watch, because you can download as many watch faces as you want (or as your watches storage lets you) and change them as frequently as you wish. For me, that meant that I had a watch face for formal wear / university, and one for the rest. And since there are several in the Google Play Store, you can either download one that has already been created and that you like, or create a new one from scratch. The two I commonly use are both downloaded from the Play Store, but I love them. The first one is called SkyMaster, and it is inspired behind the pilot’s concept of a watch: whenever you took a look at it you should be able to get the basic information, all at a glimpse. I have it set to show the time, the date, a second time (UTC), both my watch and phone’s battery, and the outside temperature. This it the one I use the most, because it has all the information ready for me when I look at my wrist. I don’t even have to take my phone out to get an estimate of the battery and to decide whether I need to plug it to my power bank or not. Of course, since watch faces are in the Play Store, that means that there are both free and paid watch faces. I have been able to get a couple great free ones, as well as some cool paid ones. I even catched a deal once.


The LG G Watch is definitely a great device. And not only because of the device itself, but because Android Wear powers it in a way that the device enables you to do whatever you may think in your wrist. Of course, it is not designed to replace your phone at all, but as an extender.

To me, it did turn out to be as useful as I could’ve thought, and I don’t have any regrets on buying it. Definitely a must if you are a busy person, moving around, or just someone who wants to extend their phone. If you see a deal for a G Watch and don’t care much about the Wi-Fi functionality, I would say take it.

The reason why I got the device was because it had a square look itself. Just as people want a Moto360 because it’s round, I wanted a G Watch because it was square. And it is a device that has, certainly, not let me down. I do believe that this is just the start for Android Wear and that a lot of new things are going to pop up in 2016. But until then, I’m happy with it, and I would say that you would be too.

UbuConLA 2015: The other side of things. Day 2.

“We’ll be back in just a few moments.”

I’m now back home from UbuConLA 2015. I am not sure of how much you enjoyed it, but for me it was such a great time. I still think it was so unreal, having people visit where I usually study and work a bit, to talk about different stuff Ubuntu.

At 10am walkie talkies fired off again, and with the AV team (ran by the ITLab at University of Lima, thanks! <3) we started the livestreams at Ubuntu on Air!. First we had Sergio Schvezov, who came directly from Argentina to talk about Snappy. He did some live demos! After that, we had Luis Michael Ibarra, who talked about a bit about LXC and LXD. Since they are a bit complicated, it takes some time to explain and he missed a bit. But I'm sure he can do a blog post (maybe guest here!) explaining some more about it. Then, Sebastián Ferrari, a fellow who talked about Juju, also did some live demos, and got everyone ready for the group photo!

We took a group picture (yes, it's going to be uploaded soon). I was following Sciri's role and actually taking it, but someone offered to take it and everyone insisted, so I joined the pic. I believe it's really nice, and I hope it goes around the world! After the pic we headed right to the cafeteria, where we had some salad, ají de gallina and gelatin. I think they really enjoyed it, since some people had asked for extra!

Then, we moved to the evening talks. Since we started late in the morning we had to cancel the Lightning Talks. Logistic reasons, things you have to decide on the act when you're organizing this kind of things. I had been really excited to see those, but well. All happens for a reason. So, Neyder Achahuanco, who came directly from Puno, where Lake Titicaca is located, gave a great talk about education and how you can teach computer science on schools. He also demoed some tools. Then came Pedro Muñoz, who arrived in time just for his talk. He had been running around city all day, but he managed to speak at UbuConLA! He talked about data analysis and tools he uses in his day to day. Finally, Alex Aragón closed the conference with a talk about getting started with Blender and 3D animations and models. Interesting, right? He showed some cool videos too.

Was that it? Nopes! We had a small raffle, with tshirts, baseball caps, beanies and two copies of the Official Ubuntu Book, 8e, which I helped in writing! It took some time, but people really enjoyed some relaxing bit after the conference. Oh! And I was missing the break. We had a small break between Pedro and Alex, and I unloaded everything I had (CDs, DVDs, stickers, pens, pins, moar stickers! We also have free bottled water, want some?). I had been arranging that while Pedro was talking since we had a small table on the outside. I announced the small break, and opened the doors. Checked the next speaker was in line, and all of that should've taken around 1 or 1.5 minutes. I left the auditorium to check the table, all stickers, pens and pins were gone, just a few DVDs were left. I have absolutely no idea what happened there! Anyways, looks like people loved the swagz.

After the conference, the crew helped me to quickly tear down everything, and off we went to eat/drink something. We went to Jockey Plaza, and had decided to go to Chili's. However, the place was kinda full, there was no host. And then, a huge group of children arrived. What to do? Go to TGI Fridays, which also had a huge group of kids, but managed to accommodate the 18 people request with no problem. We had a couple drinks, chatted a bit, Sergio got picked up to go to the airport (he should be about to fly!), and then everyone went their way. I'm now back home, resting a bit. You should see me now, I'm extremely happy of how things went and that we had no major problems.

Fun fact. In the morning, JuanJo Ciarlante helped me fix a local mirror (yep, we had a mirror for the archive and releases). We found a bug! I'm gonna report it as soon as I can, for sure. Oh, and I figured out I had been working with Pablo Rubianes for around 5 years, even before the LoCo Council (at the now deprecated Ubuntu Beginners Team!).

You may have noticed I opened both of my blog posts about the conference with a little quote. If you had been watching the livestream or were at the conference, you may also have noticed these are little queues or phrases I used to open/close a session/livestream. So, yes. We will be back in just a little while. I hope to see everyone again soon. I definitely won't be able to wait another 5 years to meet someone.

Thanks. Thanks to everyone who helped organize the event. I couldn't have done it without you. Thanks to everyone who attended and/or watched the livestream. You all, the Ubuntu community, are the reason why I organized the event, as well as the reason why I'm still around. Since I joined you've been like a second family, welcomed me with open arms, and now here we are. Please, keep being awesome.

UbuConLA 2015: The other side of things. Day 1.

“Welcome back, everyone, to UbuConLA 2015”.

In the past months I have been organizing UbuConLA. And today, it started. I had always seen conference organizers running around crazy, talking with people over walkie talkies, and trying to make everything perfect. It basically summed up to that today.

Yesterday (or, well, today), I stayed up until 2:30am checking on some conference stuff. Tickets, schedules, slides. I went to bed thinking on how things would develop, the registration flow we had, if my opening talk was good, and more. Woke up at 6:30 in the morning to keep on checking for logistics, and at 7:00 am, off we went.

I arrived to University of Lima at 8am. Crew and university staff were waiting for me. Yeah, I got stressed. Still, I had a big smile on my face. UDS Oakland (May 2012) was my first conference ever, and I had always wanted to have a conference in my own city. I guess this finally happened today!

Over 100 people showed up to Day 1. I started with my introductory plenary, and then we started handing off credentials. Pablo Rubianes and Elizabeth K. Joseph gave some great keynotes in LoCos and building a career on FOSS. After that, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch. And there it was. Papa a la huancaína, arroz con pollo, mazamorra morada, all waiting for us. One hour it took to be done, and head back to the conference auditorium. I hope people enjoyed their lunch!

Suddenly, a little problem arose. One of our speakers was not there. Buy Naudy Villarroel was quick enough to swap slots with Yannick Warnier! Everything ran as expected, and JuanJo Ciarlante continued with two hours of cloud talks.

After we were done with the conference, the crew earned some pizza for their hard work. Then, I went with 7 of the speakers to have dinner at La Bistecca, a restaurant that serves an all-you-can-eat buffet with all food you could imagine. We all tried different things. I, personally, tried a bit of everything, got to taste different dishes, and see how they prepared them for you, live! And now I’m back home, writing this blog post.

So, that was my day in a few lines. However, I’m missing something here. You know what’s the most amazing part of any conference? Meeting other people. I got to meet Sebastián Ferrari, a fellow Juju charm contributor for a long time, as well as JuanJo Ciarlante, who has solved some of my RT tickets, and Sergio Schvezov, who I hosted at Ubuntu on Air! a couple times. Also, I saw Lyz again, it had been almost 6 months since I last saw her! I always say it, but feel the need to say it again: I love the Ubuntu community. You’re all so amazing, and your stories are wonderful.

Working at the conference as an organizer has definitely been as expected. Yes, I did run around like crazy (ask these guys!), I did talk to people over a walkie talkie. Mission accomplished! And the best part is when you see everything finally being put together and working as or better than you expected. I am happy, tired but happy.

I’m going to check on a couple more things and go to bed. I really need some rest from today. However, I can’t wait for Day 2. If Day 1 was amazing, then Day 2 is going to be even more awesome. If you are not in Lima but still want to watch, you can find a livestream for each session on, and see past sessions at If you are around, hope to see you tomorrow, and come and say hi! As you see, I love meeting people, so if you see I’m a bit relaxed it’s always nice to meet new faces :)

See you in a couple hours!

Charms as Babies, Chapter 1: The Cloud, Juju and Charms

Welcome to the first chapter of the Charms as Babies series. This chapter is dedicated to explain what are the Cloud, Juju and Juju Charms.

Have you heard about the Cloud? No, not the ones in the sky. THE Cloud. Let’s insert an XKCD comic for reference.

Interesting, huh? Yes, the Cloud is a huge group of servers. Anyone can rent part of a server for a period of time. Usually these are hours.

So, let’s put an example. I am Mr. VP from Blogs Company. I host… well, a blog. Instead of renting hosting like I would usually do, I decide to host my blog on the Cloud. So I go ahead, let’s say to Amazon Web Services. I tell Amazon I want an Ubuntu 14.04 server, with this amount of RAM and this amount of disk space. Amazon provides it to me for a price, and bills me per hour. It’s not renting me a username inside the entire server, but instead is launching a virtual machine (or VM) with the specs I requested, and giving the entire VM to me (including root access).

How is this different to common hosting, you ask? Sure, hosting is a practical solution when you just want things done, maybe FTP access to upload your site and that’s it. However, you can use the Cloud for whatever you want (within what’s legally accepted, of course). I may host my blog, but someone else on the other side of the world may host complicated data analysis applications, or maybe a bug tracker. Also, the Cloud gives you the possibility to rent a VM per hours. If I want to launch a server to try how to install MyProgram, then I launch a VM, install MyProgram, have fun with it, and destroy it right ahead. That way someone else can rent it after you’re done with it, and then you’re billed for the number of hours you used it. Everyone ends up being happy! There are several other benefits that come with the Cloud, but we will get to them later.

As I mentioned, you can do a lot of stuff with the Cloud. However, for most things, you need to know how to use a server, install stuff, compile code and more. Why don’t we simplify stuff and make it a lot easier? Why not run a couple commands and have whatever you want in a matter of minutes, without all the hassle? Well, that’s the basic idea behind Juju. With Juju you can execute simple commands such as `juju deploy wordpress` and you will have a WordPress instance set up for you, in the cloud of your choice (some restrictions apply), within minutes. Isn’t that amazing? However, all of this work is contained in what we call a Juju Charm. Charms are a set of scripts that help us automate the orchestration we see in the cloud. When I execute that command above, there are some scripts that are ran in the machine to install and configure. And someone else has written that charm to make your life easier.

I’m not going to dig deeper on how to use Juju, but want to highlight that even though things seem to be automated, there is a hero behind that automation, who helped you out doing the hardest part, so you can execute a command and get what you want.

What? YOU want to become the hero now?! Sure! In the next chapters we’ll see how can you become one the heroes in the Juju ecosystem. That’s all I have for this chapter, but if you have any questions about Juju and Charms, make sure to leave a comment below. Or drop by our IRC channel, #juju on Look, there’s even a link that will take you to the channel on your web browser!

Charms as Babies: Introduction

Hello everyone, and welcome to my new blog post series: Charms as Babies. It’s been a long time since I’ve written something about charms.

My purpose with this series is to introduce you to Juju, Juju Charms, and it’s development and maintenance flow. At the end of the series you should be able to develop your own Juju Charm, and know how to take care of it. You may even become a Juju Charmer!

In the next couple days I’m gonna be posting little pieces on how to develop and take care of your own charm, or maybe even adopt a charm. Later today I will be posting an introduction to Juju and Charms. Make sure to keep an eye on my blog and Planet Ubuntu for the upcoming posts!

Oh! We are also having a “What is Juju?” session at UbuConLA, this time given by my fellow charm contributor Sebastián Ferrari. If you are not coming to the conference make sure to tune in to the livestream, at

This post is going to be used as an archive. Each chapter will be linked here. You can see all the chapters posted so far below.

How UbuConLA 2015 evolved in the past months

Wow, what can I say. To be honest, I am really impressed on how UbuConLA is shaping. So far there’s been a lot of stuff going through my head since I just finished finals, but now that I have a clear view of the entire panorama I really like how this conference is turning out to be.

In the past I’ve staffed booths and given talks in conferences, as well as organized small-ish events. However, this is my first big conference, and you can’t just imagine the excitement smile I have on my face when I see things are running as expected. It’s been some rough past months trying to balance conference planning with booth planning at TXLF, as well as studies and some other communities I contribute to. However, it’s been such an amazing experience.

Several months ago I was in the middle of a dillema, since the venue we were thinking of changed some requirements. Fortunately, my university, University of Lima, has been extremely helpful. I cannot thank enough all the people I have met on the way and who have given me such a big help whenever things were starting to turn in the wrong direction, and all we have accomplished so far.

In the past couple days I have received the name badges and banners we will be using for the conference, and even though there’s still some stuff in the way I can’t be more excited about how things are starting to look. Last week everything was just in ideas, and we’re starting to see the digital come into a physical object. That, for me, is one of the most exciting parts.

Luckily (and at the same time unfortunately) we had to close the registration form yesterday. The auditorium that was given to us has a capacity of 233 people, and counting volunteers, speakers, staff and more reduces that a bit. How many people have registered so far, you ask? Three. Hundred. That means we’re gonna fill that auditorium! A full room, what more can we ask for. If you haven’t registered for the conference, do not fear. The registration is just a fast track and it’s first-come, first-served. So make sure to keep an eye on all the social media pages for information on how to attend.

The next couple weeks are going to be the most difficult ones. We have a public holiday coming up until Thursday here in Peru, and from then on we need to start the final preparations. This is looking so good, I hope you all are surprised when you come to the conference.

After going through some of the process of organizing a medium-sized conference I can now really appreciate all the effort it takes to organize a big, and even a medium-sized conference. If you go to a conference and see the chairs or organizers, make sure to give them a pat on the back and thank them for all the efforts. They’re the people we need to thank for keeping the human touch and interaction alive!

And I think that’s all. Hope to see you in August, can’t wait for UbuConLA to happen!

UbuConLA 2015: Call for Papers // UbuConLA 2015: Llamado a Charlas


¡Y llega la hora del año en la que abrimos el llamado a charlas para la UbuConLA 2015!

La conferencia se va a realizar en Lima, Perú el 7 y 8 de agosto. Tendremos slots para ponentes en Inglés y Español, con charlas en formato Plenario y Workshop.

El día miércoles se va a abrir el registro de asistentes, donde se publicará más información sobre la conferencia.

Si deseas proponer una charla, por favor rellena el siguiente formulario.


And it’s this time of the year when we open the UbuConLA 2015 CFP!

The conference will take place in Lima, Peru, the 7th and 8th of August. We’ll have slots for speakers in both English and Spanish, with Plenary and Workshop talks.

The attendee registration will open on Wednesday, where more information about the conference will be published.

If you want to propose a talk, please fill out the following form.

Community Appreciation Day

And again, I don’t know how to start a blog post. I believe that one of my weak points is that I don’t know how to start redacting stuff. But meh, we’re here because it’s the Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day. And here am I, part of this huge community for more than three years. It’s been an awesome experience ever since I joined. And I am grateful to a whole bunch of people.

I know it may sound like a cliché, but seriously, listing all the people who I have met and contributed with in the community would be basically impossible for me. It would be a never-ending list! All I can say right now is that I am so, so thankful for crossing paths with so many of them. From developers, translators, designers and more, the Ubuntu community is such a diverse one, with people united by one thing: Ubuntu.

When I joined the community I was a kind-of disoriented 14-year old guy. As time passed, the community has helped me develop skills from improving my English (Spanish is my native language for those who didn’t know) to starting me in programming (thing that I didn’t know about a couple years ago!). And I’ve formed great friendships around.

Again, all I can say is I am forever grateful to all those people who I have worked with, and to those who I haven’t too. We are working on what’s the future of open computing, and all of this wouldn’t be possible without you. Whether you have contributed in the past are or still contributing to the community, rest assured that you have helped build this huge community.

Thank you. Sincerely, thank you.

3 years and counting…

On a 15th September, 3 years ago, I got my Ubuntu Membership.

There’s only thing I can say about it: it’s been the most wonderful and awesome 3 years I could have. I would’ve never thought that I would find such welcoming and amazing community.

Even though I may have not worked with you directly, thank you. You all are what makes the community awesome – I wouldn’t imagine it without one of you. We are all building the future, so let’s continue!

As I said on the title, I hope that it’s not only 3 years. I’ll keep on counting!


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