Install Party Anybody?

I’m thinking of holding an install party the first last weekend in July. Anybody game? I would propose a few different agenda items:
1. Install GNU/Linux of your desired flavor (bring your own ISO, I’ll bring Ubuntu and Kubuntu 13.04 images to share)
2. Intro to contributing to Free Software, and what it takes to contribute
3. Hackathon
Denny’s will have their full menu available to us the whole time, and they do have free wifi and a community space for us.
Please use the comments section to RSVP.
When: July 27th @ 12:30pm – 4:30pm
Where: In the Community Room of Denny’s at 702 W Town Center Blvd, Champaign, IL 61822 (Map:

A Very Delicious Thing: Petha

Petha pieces
Petha pieces

One of the nice things about working where I work is that I am in an environment which is very different culturally from the culture in which I grew up. My favorite aspect of this is the food and the holidays… but mostly the food. In all of my ethnic experiences I’ve only found a small handful of ethnic foods I didn’t like, but I have found many I do like, and that’s what I’m writing about now.
When people come back from vacation it is somewhat customary for them to bring sweets to share with people around the office, and my buddy Pavan did that today. Today he brought Petha, which is now my new favorite thing. It’s crunchy, it’s gooey inside, and it is just a tiny bit savory. This is everything that all good sweets should aspire to be. I’m having a hard time accurately describing it, so I’m going to fall back to bullet points:

  • The pieces are white, semi-opaque, somewhat smaller than 1″ cube-like shapes.
  • It looks and feels – at first – like the dehydrated candied pineapple that I grew up with (and love).
  • Inside it’s got a goo which at first reminds me of “Gushers” fruit snacks as far as consistency, and it’s very sweet and complex in flavor.
  • The goo is kinda savory, but also kinda reminds me of bean paste that you see in a lot of Chinese sweets, and honey
  • They’re crunchy, kinda like baklava

According to Wikipedia, the candy is made of ash gourd, which makes it count as a vegetable serving, right? I encourage you to find and eat this, a very delicious thing.
Image credit:

It's Good to Be Back

Well, I’ve been working on my first contribution to Kubuntu since 2007 and it feels good. I haven’t done a whole bunch yet, but I’ve gotten my feet wet. While I understand the C++ much better than I used to – having worked on it during my 9-to-5 – I’ve still got a lot to learn in C++. I really like the features in Launchpad that are new (to me, since 2007) for reviewing commits. This is a great idea, it makes the whole process of contributing much easier. Before I’d just send a patch to a mailing list, and if there were revisions then people would have to send a new diff, and then you may end up with some changes getting lost if there was a large discussion.
I’ll try to blog about my Free Software work again, no promises.