This Week Twitter Taught Me about Preferences, Pop OS & Raspberry Pi Penguins

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Tweet, tweet

Twitter is the social network that I use the most often so it’s only natural that, in the space of any given week, I scroll past a heap of interesting (and admittedly not so interesting) Linux-y stuff.

Inspired (somewhat) by a recent blog post from GNOME dev Sam Thursfield (who describes Twitter as a place where “interesting people write things there which they don’t write anywhere else”) I figured: why not scrapbook some of the neat tweets I see?

After all, most of you do not use Twitter.

“This is the first in a new (likely one-shot) series where I share some of things I learned on Twitter this week (so that you don’t miss out)”

You probably have valid reasons, such as: you’re sane; introverted; privacy conscious; allergic to the toxic cloud of outrage, Trump tweets and automated bot militias that dominates the bite-sized micro-blogging landscape…

So cue this, a (likely one-shot) series where I share a few of the things I learned through Twitter this week so that you don’t miss out on the banality.

Is this effort me sloshing a glass half-full of irony in the air, or a shallow attempt at producing some low-effort content?

Whichever it is: unroll the embeds, WordPress…

This Week Twitter Taught Me:

1. Moths Live Among Us

I like to run Twitter polls on @omgubuntu from time to time because, well, I’m nosey.

Our latest poll queried followers’ screen brightness preferences, revealing — holy proboscis! — that lepidopterans are living among us!

On a serious note, I found these results super interesting. I genuinely anticipated there being a far higher percentage of Lux lovers than the final score shows.

I’ve precisely zero data on whether I’d be more productive with a legible LCD rather than a lick more lithium, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Long live the dimpsey crew!

2. Pop OS Fans are Passionate

Nice weather, huh? Love a bit of rain. Christmas is coming. Oh, and did you notice that my post on the Pop OS 19.04 release landed like an axe in the nervous system of the internet?!!

“Guy can’t see a reason to use a distro, cue outrage and wailing from those who can”

I may personally be somewhat unconvinced by the necessity of System76’s Ubuntu fork — guy doesn’t find use for distro: hardly a shocking option — but a febrile flock of fans over on the bird site flooded my notification stream to try and convince me otherwise anyway.

A flurry of responses quickly flew in from fans of both Pop OS and System76, fans whose feathers had been well and truly ruffled!

Clearly motivated by passion, people put their 280 character allotment to use to call me out for having a different opinion to share why they love the distro:

You need to realize that the Pop!_OS marketing isn’t primarily aimed toward advanced Linux users. A lot of the features they advertise are general Ubuntu or GNOME features, because their potential users may be considering options that arent even Linux.

— William (@01110111_illiam) April 25, 2019

Now, I can appreciate the advantage of having things work “out of the box” of Linux but — glance to camera — this is ‘a thing’ I take for granted since, y’know, it’s not 2009 and most Linux distros do this…

Among some of the more civil replies was one from fantasy novelist Jack Wallen, who cites the company’s customer support as another reason why folks dig the distro and the company who create it:

If you’ve ever experienced System76 support, you’d understand why they are developing such a following. I’ve used support from many companies and no one does it like @System76 And Pop!_OS running on their new Thelio is absolute magic.

— Jack Wallen (@jlwallen) April 25, 2019

Support was an area I touched on in my critique — but perhaps I was too subtle. I said that i’d likely be more receptive to the relative merits of this Ubuntu fork if I was running it on a System76 laptops (which I don’t because, alas, I’m not rich).

Either that or it’s because — clearly — I’m a “hater” and a “terrible” writer who “lacks the technical knowledge” to be anything other than “negative“. Just check out this site’s archives for proof — you’ll find more than 10 years of unbridled hate!!1one!!

“I simply don’t get Pop OS, in the same way that I don’t get Snapchat. Not sure it warranted the hate”

Or, alternatively, on the other side of the fence where the grass is greener and shade and nuance exist, I’m simply a person with an opinion based on my own experiences.

Don’t forget (as this is an Ubuntu centric site, not a hardware vendor one) I am viewing Pop OS as its own, distinct thing; an Ubuntu competitor, if you will.

I’m sure Pop OS does run “exceptionally” on the laptops System76 flog — it’d be weird if it didn’t, right? But that’s not what I was commenting on.

I guess what i was trying to say was that I simply don’t get Pop OS.

And I mean that in a semi-positive way, i.e. the same way that I don’t get Snapchat or country music or crocs, either. They all exist, they are all popular, and folks get a whole lot of enjoyment from them — but for me it’s a case of a blank stare and a head scratch.

Back on topic and there were a bunch of less aggressive and — shock — more persuasive comments in favour of Pop OS posted in the comments section to my Pop OS news post. If you, like me, don’t quite get what makes the distro worth denigrating me for, do check them out (alas I can’t embed Disqus replies).

if, after all this, anyone is still upset with the fact that I don’t use Pop OS and can be bothered stretching my fingers to rarely touched parts of my keyboard to stay the name correct, I offer this:

3. There’s a World Penguin Day!

Finally, this week I learned that there is such a thing as a World Penguin Day! Twitter even busted out one of its cute custom emoji for the occasion!

“Intended as a day to highlight conversation efforts, #WorldPenginDay was naturally hijacked by Linux fans (us included)”

Side point: anyone else feel like there needs to be a ‘World Day Day’, during which we can learn when all these specific niche ‘Day’ days are? No? Just me? Fine…

Although the day is intended to highlight and celebrate Penguin conversation (the day picked because it’s when the annual northern migration of Adelie penguins begins) it was naturally hijacked by Linux users, projects and companies (yes, us included).

Among them Microsoft’s open-source Twitter account. They used #WorldPenguinDay as a (worthy) excuse to encourage their followers to shout-out n’ share their favourite open-source projects.

They even had a super cute gif:

Naturally an AVALANCHE of ace projects we all know/love/use/don’t get/etc got shoutouts from their fans, including GNOME, Mozilla, LibreOffice, SuperTuxKart, and the KDE project (the latter courtesy of GNOME, no less).

Admittedly not everyone was convinced by Microsoft’s open source outreach…

More proof we live in an absolute dystopia.

— Rob Muhlestein (@robmuh) April 25, 2019

😆

But whilst those are fun asides, they aren’t “what I learnt”. My lesson came courtesy of the following genuinely interesting tweet, which combines the point of World Penguin Day with Linux and open-source software being used in an awesome way:

Actual penguins (Gentoo penguins, no less) in the actual antarctic being photographed on a RaspberryPi running a FOSS stack, as part of a project funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation (yes, set up by SABDFL) — how flippin’ brilliant is that?!

Not a fan of this style of post?

I appreciate this this post style is a little “out of the norm” for this site — I don’t often share my opinion here, on a blog I own, that’s wholly mine, and is written by me — so I also appreciate that not everyone will be a fan.

“I appreciate not everyone will be a fan of this style of post, and that’s okay”

But I have a plan.

I’m trialling a new feature here on OMG! Ubuntu. I call it “the headline”.

Posts (such as this one) that are primarily based around tweets will henceforth reference that fact in “The headline” area. This way, you can glean whether an article is jam-packed full of testy tweets before you waste your time clicking through to find out.

Call it a hunch, but I’ve big hopes for “the headline”. I’m thinking it might catch on… 😉


See you all next week for another intrepid dose of (hopefully more interesting) Tweet-sired trivia!

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