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Giving people Ubuntu envy

While preparing for my presentation to the staff of the Sun.Star website last week, I was a bit worried whether Ubuntu Feisty Fawn would detect and work with the office’s LCD projector.

I’m a stickler for backups. I finished my OpenOffice Impress presentation in the laptop and then converted it into a PowerPoint file. I then saved the file in my USB stick and phone’s memory card.

ubuntu presentation PRESENTING WITH UBUNTU. Demonstrating installation, maintenance, and upgrading of WordPress to Sun.Star website staff. Click on photo to enlarge.

My Ubuntu laptop runs an Apache, PHP, MySQL server for local web development and demonstration. I recreated an Apache server on my USB stick using UniformServer in case (dear God no!) I would be forced to use any of the Windows XP units of Sunnex, the department that runs the Sun.Star website.

Just in case I encountered problems, I did a web search for issues with Ubuntu and LCD projectors and then copied possible solutions for different problems. I assumed, correctly it turned out, I wouldn’t be able to access the Internet in the remote Camotes Island resort we were billeted in.

Come presentation time, I was crossing my fingers when I plugged the LCD projector cable into my laptop. I need not have worried. It worked flawlessly.

In doing the presentation, I was–as Cebuanos would put it–“igat.” I don’t know the precise English translation for “igat” but it carries shades of meaning of the words “flirt” and “showoff.” I think I caught a “wow” when I rotated the desktop to shift from my Impress slide to my demo workspace, which had Firefox opening my local server.

I was unrelenting in the seduction, burn effects in minimizing windows (darn, I discovered shading windows late), making windows wobble, using the Mac-like function to expose all open windows (as if I didn’t know where the other windows were) and the full Beryl arsenal.

I also used to good effect that nifty zoom function in Beryl. You press the Windows key in your keyboard and use the mouse scroll button to zoom into the screen and magnify elements. While in this mode, you can move around and magnify other parts of the screen by moving your mouse cursor. This is particularly useful in drawing attention to parts of the screen.

The department’s manager said she wants to shift to Ubuntu after seeing how I did things in my laptop.

At the office yesterday, I was working on the newsroom’s conference table, which is near the stacks of network hubs, when mass communications interns assigned to Sun.Star asked about their assignments for my page. We needed to open websites to discuss the assignments and I grabbed the chance to show off Ubuntu. Boy were they impressed.

I am scheduled to lead a round-table discussion later this month for reporters and editors. “Igat” will not begin to describe how I intend to approach it. I’m confident of gaining Ubuntu converts from the lot.

Ubuntu, by the way, will release its latest version tomorrow. I don’t know if there are release parties in Cebu (if you know of one being organized, send me a note) but if there’s one I will do my darnedest best to attend. I regularly skip invitations to press conferences (especially those scheduled in the morning or evening and partly because of this) but I will plead with newsroom colleagues to swap tasks just to attend an Ubuntu release party.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.