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Displaying recent entries tagged with "Star Trek". Back to all recent entries

Popular tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, L10n, Status, Firefox

Used languages: English, German

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August 22nd, 2014

Mirror, Mirror: Trek Convention and FLOSS Conferences

It's been a while since I did any blogging, but that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything - on the contrary, I have been too busy to blog, basically. We had a few Firefox releases where I scrambled until the last day of the beta phase to make sure we keep our crash rates as low as our users probably expect by now, I did some prototyping work on QA dashboards (with already-helpful results and more to come) and helped in other process improvements on the Firefox Quality team, worked with different teams to improve stability of our blocklist ping "ADI" data, and finally even was at a QA work week and a vacation in the US. So plenty of stuff done, and I hope to get to blog about at least some pieces of that in the next weeks and months.

That said, one major part of my recent vacation was the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention, which I attended the second time after last year. Since back then, I wanted to blog about some interesting parallels I found between that event (I can't compare to other conventions, as I've never been to any of those) and some Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) conferences I've been to, most notably FOSDEM, but also the larger Mozilla events.
Of course, there's the big events in the big rooms and the official schedule - on the conferences it's the keynotes and presentations of developers about what's new in their software, what they learned or where we should go, on the convention it's actors and other guests talking about their experiences, what's new in their lives, and entertaining the crowd - both with questions from the audience. Of course, the topics are wildly different. And there's booths at both, also quite a bit different, as it's autograph and sales booths on one side, and mainly info booths on the other, though there are geeky T-shirts sold at both types of events. ;-)

The largest parallels I found, though, are about the mass of people that are there:
For one thing, the "hallway track" of talking to and meeting other attendees is definitely a main attraction and big piece of the life of the events on both "sides" there. Old friendships are being revived, new found, and the somewhat geeky commonalities are being celebrated and lead to tons of fun and involved conversations - not just the old fun bickering between vi and emacs or Kirk and Picard fans (or different desktop environments / different series and movies). :)
For the other, I learned that both types of events are in the end more about the "regular" attendees than the speakers, even if the latter end up being featured at both. Especially the recurring attendees go there because they want to meet and interact with all the other people going there, with the official schedule being the icing on the cake, really. Not that it would be unimportant or unneeded, but it's not as much the main attraction as people on the outside, and possibly even the organizers, might think. Also, going there means you do for a few days not have to hide your "geekiness" from your surroundings and can actively show and celebrate it. There's also some amount of a "do good" atmosphere in both those communities.
And both events, esp. the Trek and Mozilla ones, tend to have a very inclusive atmosphere of embracing everyone else, no matter what their physical appearance, gender or other social components. And actually, given how deeply that inclusive spirit has been anchored into the Star Trek productions by Gene Roddenberry himself, this might even run deeper in the fans there than it is in the FLOSS world. Notably, I saw a much larger amount of women and of colored people on the Star Trek Conventions than I see on FLOSS conferences - my guess is that at least a third of the Trek fans in Las Vegas were female, for example. I guess we need some more role models in they style of Nichelle Nichols and others in the FLOSS scene.

All in all, there's a lot of similarities and still quite some differences, but quite a twist on an alternate universe like it's depicted in Mirror, Mirror and other episodes - here it's a different crowd with a similar spirit and not the same people with different mindsets and behaviors.
As a very social person, I love attending and immersing myself in both types of events, and I somewhat wonder if and how we should have some more cross-pollination between those communities.
I for sure will be seen on more FLOSS and Mozilla events as well as more Star Trek conventions! :)

By KaiRo, at 17:09 | Tags: community, FOSDEM, Las Vegas, Mozilla, Star Trek | no comments | TrackBack: 0

June 27th, 2011

New Firefox Process In The Enterprise

Inspired by dolske's great post on Enterprise integration for Firefox (thanks for mentioning my work!) I have been thinking and found that I have all the means to present just how well the new Firefox release process fits into the Enterprise:

Image No. 22587

That said, I really think it fits even into other enterprises and we should help them come along on that great ride into the future and our ongoing voyage on the Mozilla mission.

(P.S.: Thanks to dolske for the great train of thought and to Paramount for the great DVD set of the recent Star Trek movie that I could use for the picture.)

By KaiRo, at 21:44 | Tags: Firefox, Mozilla, Star Trek | 6 comments | TrackBack: 1

May 8th, 2009

Excellent Movie, Trouble For Canon

If you want to know absolutely nothing about the new Star Trek movie, stop reading now!

For everyone who can stand a few pointers but don't want to know the real story, you probably can safely read this article though - I just watched this new motion picture and am just conserving rough thoughts here without story details, probably not telling more on those than things I already knew before - at least when it comes to the real story trail.

For one thing, it's a great Science Fiction movie, with lots of action and special effect but a reasonable story, it pictures the characters well, in the style they are known, it ties in with lots of classic Star Trek mottos and themes as well as with the humor it always had - but it's re-inventing the whole story of how the famous crew of the NCC-1701 ("no damn A, B, C, or D") came together. It's not even trying to depict the events that led to the classic series and movies, as the villain travels back from post-Nemesis time to arrive right at the day of James Tiberius Kirk's birth, changing under what circumstances that happened and therefore everything happening beyond that point, creating its own parallel universe, basically.
Only "the old Spock", who has also traveled back (as we knew due to Nimoy being in the movie), remains with the knowledge of everything we know about what was canon up to now. Oh, and the Enterprise series remains canon due to happening before that point in time.

So, here are my surprises - without giving away actual story trails:
  • "The only thing I got left is my bones" - this is, if I remember it phrased correctly, the best sentence in the movie IMHO.
  • The Vulcan thing is going to be somewhat troublesome for this new Star Trek universe, I guess - but it makes the storyline told here believable. IMHO, it's OK, but still troublesome.
  • The Uhura-Spock stuff is so unnecessary and completely unneeded for the story. If I were the producer, I would have cut it out just because it doesn't make any real sense for what's being told here.
  • An Orion girl apparently being in Starfleet Academy doesn't make much sense for the part of the canon we still need to assume.
  • Basing on the same lines, the parts of the canon we still need to assume to be true, it doesn't make sense for the Spock of that time (and apparently not only him) to know about the common ancestry of Vulcans and Romulans.
  • A lot of really good comments and tie-ins to the original Trek are in the movie, so it's visible that those who made this production really liked the old stuff, even if they did put in some glitches.
  • Pine is an excellent Kirk, Quinto's Spock has many strong performances but some weak spots - especially where he meets his older self, Nimoy - of course - really is Spock, nobody can doubt that, though his performance starts off slightly weak.
  • Saldana's Uhura is really, really great, and towards the end feels much more like a bridge officer than that character ever did. Urban's McCoy is somewhat different than we remember that guy, but not untrue to what we know, I couldn't say one's the real McCoy and the other wouldn't be. Bones even has one of his "I'm a doctor, not a ..." sentences. He fits well and is good and still feels somewhat different.
  • Yelchin's Chekov is very humorous with his somewhat-hard-to-understand accent and his incomparable pronunciation of the name "Kirk". Cho is a believable Sulu, but I always found that character somewhat hard to reach. He even keeps up with that and doesn't feel wrong in any way, so he can't be bad, right? Pegg's Scotty somehow comes into everything in a strange way and only starts to feel in with his job, and somehow that's also the impression he leaves for me. He can make it, but he probably still needs another movie to really settle in. Probably that's what the storyline sees the character itself in, so actually Pegg is bringing that across exactly as it should be, I guess.
  • The "red matter" is even bad in terms of usual Science Fiction. Come on, something without scientific background and with an unimaginative name as well? At least Spock should have a technobabble name for it, even if Nero might not.
  • And the whole thing of fleeing from a black hole is scientifically weak, as well as not explaining why suddenly a mere black hole is a space/time portal.
  • The tie-in with happenings in the real world that Trek had in the beginning has been lots already in previous movies and mostly even series, but at least this movie has a message of "don't throw away your life, take what you have, use it to your best abilities and you can achieve great things" - and that, I have to say, is truly Star Trek.
  • I wouldn't have expected that old Spock survives in this time period in the end. I wonder if they will try to get him into a sequel.
  • The ending sequence of the movie is really good. Every Star Trek fan will completely love it ;-)

So, all in all, go and watch the movie, it's worth it. If you liked Star Trek previously, you will like the movie. If you don't take all consistency in the canon too seriously, you will even love it. If you like Science Fiction and action tied in with non-parody humor, you will like it. If you like stories of how people who haven't found the right balance in their lives can grow their personalities and become successful, you also will like this motion picture.
I see chances for improvements, but I have seen some worse things than this production in Star Trek. In fact, I enjoyed it and I conclude that I can like it.

Oh, and I want to see another movie based on this one and wish the whole team "Good luck!" with this and hopefully following productions.

By KaiRo, at 01:49 | Tags: Star Trek | 6 comments | TrackBack: 0

December 19th, 2008

Farewell, Majel

Computer - start personal log, star... er, earth date December 18, 2008.

The Roddenberry website of her son's company reports that Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the often so-called "first lady of Star Trek", has passed away last morning.

As many other fans of the great Star Trek franchise, I connect many great memories to that woman. She wasn't just the wife of the man who invented this great and unprecedented Science Fiction "universe", she also was (so far) the first known first officer of the original Enterprise as "Number One", she was nurse Christine Chapel on the same Enterprise later on, she is THE computer voice of federation ships in the 24th and 25th century, and she also was Lwaxana Troi, mother of the Enterprise-D counselor and attracting disturbance of many male's lives in the universe (or so).

Majel was the only actor who appeared in some form on all five Star Trek series so far, as well as in a number of movies. We apparently will hear her voice one last time in the upcoming movie Star Trek.

I'm just one of a huge number of humble fans, but I believe to speak on behalf of the whole community of Star Trek fans when I say we'll miss Majel. She surely has made an impact, and for that, we all will remember her.

Computer - end log.

By KaiRo, at 03:03 | Tags: Star Trek | 1 comment | TrackBack: 0

May 4th, 2007

Mini Beauty

As I've just been reading about what you can do with a Mac mini, I can't resist to show you people this one...

What do the two pictures below have in common?

Image No. 15489 Image No. 4422

You might not have guessed it, but both show Phlox. While the one on the right is a Star Trek: Enterprise character, the one on the left is my Mac mini, which I actually named after the former.
Oh, well, and both are somewhat alien to me, though in the meantime, also somewhat familiar.

OK, right, that picture with the Mac mini sitting on the floor surrounded by that "apple family" does not show what I'm actually doing with that box. Well, unfortunately I have no picture of that. It's sitting in some youth center in my home town of Steyr - and it's compiling SeaMonkey continuously. Working 24/7 as a so-called "tinderbox", it's pulling and compiling 1.8.0, 1.8 and trunk trees and building nightlies for the former two and suiterunner builds for the latter (and reporting to the Mozilla1.8.0-SeaMonkey, Mozilla1.8-SeaMonkey and SeaMonkey-Ports tree pages). Oh, and it's been doing all the MacOSX release builds (and candidates) for SeaMonkey releases so far.

Another Mini going strong :)

Given that Apple box does "nightly" builds every day and is named after a (virtual) doctor, I just wonder what people mean with "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" ;-)

By KaiRo, at 22:39 | Tags: Mozilla, SeaMonkey, Star Trek | no comments | TrackBack: 0

March 22nd, 2007

Shatner is just fun...

I rarely come around to look up news about my favorite TV series movie series TV shows TV/movie universe, Star Trek - though in my heart I'll always be a big fan and also a proud supporter of TrekUnited. Today, I just remembered to check the Star Trek website once again - and stumbled over the fact (and an article) that Bill Shatner has his 76th birthday today.

I confess that I like the later Trek series (and the movies) better than the original ones because they were better thought through, with more love to details - but then the original series are just classics. Jim Kirk, Spock and Bones are fun, and those original stories of Gene Roddenberry founded it all. Gene had a great vision, good ideas, just much too little money, technology of the 1960s and no too big care for the small details. Anyways, to a big extent, it was Shatner, always portraying himself in some way, who made lots of those stories work, who gave Kirk his personality, and who brought lots of fun into those Science Fiction series.

And that's one characteristic of almost everything I ever saw or heard about Shatner: fun. No matter if he joked on fandom telling some Trekkies to "get a life", if he made the serious Starfleet captain still look like a human who can have fun (which was seemingly much harder for his successors), if he does projects like Invasion Iowa, or in any other appearances.
I found two clips recently that are worth viewing - and worth a laugh: a DIRECTV HD ad which is a Star Trek VI parody (and Shatner was hired specially to star on it) and Shatner's appearance to honor George Lucas, which is truly Shatner. Really crazy ;-)
Nowadays even Kirk advertising a 1980s Commodore computer is fun :-)

Oh, and even J.J. Abrams has been talking to Shatner and Nimoy (who turns 76 himself in four days, btw) because of Star Trek XI (which will be about young Kirk and Spock) - if it was just to get info about the characters or about possible appearances? Even Shatner doesn't clearly tell...

Happy birthday, Bill Shatner - hope to see more fun stuff of you for some years to come!

By KaiRo, at 14:40 | Tags: Star Trek | no comments | TrackBack: 0

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