CrowdTrust - My New Job

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2009-05-24 23:06

Moving Forward with CrowdTrustMy new job is at a Vancouver-based startup, CrowdTrust, a company that is aiming to get people to "network what you know" something that I have informally called "more than twitter and delicious, easier than blogging and public and private and everything in-between".

My job title is "Chief Products Officer" which is a grandiose title for person in charge of all things product related (except of course the developers). 

CrowdTrust is a Ruby on Rails based web application with a Firefox only  toolbar and there is a "pre-Roland" public  PROTOTYPE that you can check out.

It doesn't show you the true power and promise of what CrowdTrust can do so I won't be pushing the prototype hard, but it's a fine starting point.

I am (obviously) responsible for all product releases going forward and therefore would love your feedback, ideas, and constructive criticism to make the future releases of CrowdTrust the best they can be. In the words of Dave Winer, "Let's have fun!".

Oh and one more thing :-) ! We are hiring Rails developers (email if interested)!

End of my Bryght Era

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-05-20 20:59

May 15, 2009 was my last day of work for Raincity Studios and with it of course my involvement with Bryght ended as well. It's been a great ride! Thanks to all the Bryght Gals, Guys, customers, investors, friends and of course the folks at Raincity Studios. I am certain that the "Bryght Children" will in their own way (in a small "Fairchild children" way, haha!)  continue to make their mark  (e.g. Rilli, Bootup Labs, and I predict many many more). My next post will be about my new job but for now a few random thoughts and reflections (apologies to the great people I have omitted!):

  • I'll never forget moving day into the first Bryght offices at 525 Seymour with the folks at EQO (also gone).
  • Bryght Light developed by Adrian and the rest of the Bryght team was and is a Drupal milestone. I can't to see what the fine folks at Lullabot and Acquia  and WorkHabit and the other fine folks doing Drupal hosting come up with. Not to mention what happens with Development Seed, Adrian and  the other folks developing Aegir. Aegir definitely ups the proverbial Drupal hosting 'ante'.
  • Speaking of WorkHabit, I will always be impressed by their VPS hosting partnership with Bryght. As far as I know Bryght VPS was the only Drupal-centric VPS hosting from a Canadian company, one of the few in the world and probably the first. Nobody did it better. Thanks to Richard, Gary of WorkHabit, incredible system engineers and sysadmins: Narayan Newton and Ben Holt. Learned some great lessons:i.e. always iterate, automate and listen to the market!

Herewith some random Bryght photos to end it off in a visual style! Ciao Tschüß!

Fri19Nov2004 Dinner with Dave Winer at Phnom Penh - Boris, KrisWalking to New Town Bakery - N95-1 image - 035Buying a Europe to North American adapter - 07/12/2006Bryght walk - Downtown to Strathcona 05June06 - 7Loyalty Fidelity Broccoli digitally cross processedDrupal - OSCON 2005 T shirt sneak peekPre Gnomedex - 22June2005 - 12New Raincity Studios Offices - Album Cover Pose IIPhones for Fearless-20081223-129Adrian arrives in Vancouver - 2Walkah plays with N91 - 17112006096Puregin aka Djun at OSCMS

Gravity S60 Twitter client is the exception that proves the rule

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2009-04-06 02:57

Gravity s60 twitter client Screenshot0069

Gravity, the fantastic S60 Twitter client proves that German S60 developers continue to rule the moribund S60 apps ecosystem (unfortunately the S60 app industry is a cottage industry compared to the iPhone app industry). First, profimail ruled the world (back in 2004 when I bought my first S60 phone and thought the mobile email was relevant, just say no to mobile email, just say yes to short form customized mobile two way communication like Twitter) and now gravity rules. And if you don't believe me that the iPhone app industry is clearly dominant over the S60 app industry than that's your prerogative and I'd have to wish you the best of luck making money with your S60 apps!

Behold the awesomeness of Gravity in my Gravity Screenshot set on flickr!

DRAFT Nokia Sports Tracker Tutorial in pictures

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2009-04-06 02:44

Sports Tracker Screenshot0047

Here's my very rough draft Nokia Sports Tracker Tutorial for the recently released version 2.06. It still is too complicated and harder to use than Nokia viNe but appears to be regularly updated unlike viNe. And it still doesn't remember my Live Sharing Pref which I think is a bug and is annoying because I want my maps to be always shared ]!

BUG Adventures - GPS still not getting a fix, need another antenna perhaps or is GPSConfig not working?

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2009-04-06 01:58

Well it's been 2 weeks and I've been too busy to do much with my BUG Labs BUG but here's the current state of affairs:

  1. fixed my compiler in Eclipse to be R1.4 compliant by setting Preferences->Compiler->Compiler compliance level to 1.4
  2. Started my Bug and the following log is displayed in /var/log/concierge:
    1. [Sun Apr 05 21:32:13 GMT 2009] [INFO] GPSModlet defaulting to passive (external) antenna
    2. [Sun Apr 05 21:32:13 GMT 2009] [INFO] Started modlet from factory com.buglabs.bug.module.gps...
  3. I take it this means that the antenna is set to use the external antenna
  4. Wait 7 minutes and I still see the BUG with no fix
  5. Then I download the GPSConfig app as recommended by the BUG Labs folks and I see:
    1. GPSConfigServiceTracker: start
    2. status=3939
    3. [Sun Apr 05 21:40:31 GMT 2009] [INFO] AppManager started /usr/share/java/apps/GPSConfig.jar
  6. Then I tried using the joystick controller and the select button to configure the GPSConfig app to use the external antenna (and see this log:
    1. status=4003
    2. Switching to external (passive) antenna
    3. ret=0
  7. But the GPS Module display on the 2 line LCS still shows Passive which means it's NOT using the external antenna
  8. Help!
    1. Do I have a defective antenna?
    2. Am I doing something wrong with the GPSConfig app?
    3. Or is the GPS Module incorrect when it states that the antenna is Active i.e. internal antenna instead of Passive i.e. external antenna?


Upgraded Kernel and then Root FS of my BUG from R1.3 to R1.4, GPS still doesn't get a FIX

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2009-03-17 01:12


Successfully updated my kernel on my BUG and then the ROOT FS (order is important, you must upgrade the kernel FIRST and then shutdown and then update the Root FS). However GPS is still not getting a fix!

Typos and minor bugs in the R1.44 Kernel upgrade procedure:

  • bug_kflash was in /usr/bin NOT /sbin
  • version is: 
    • Linux version (buildbot@darner) (gcc version 4.1.2) #104 PREEMPT Thu Mar 12 11:32:33 EDT 2009
  • which is slightly older than the version in the instructions (probably because the person who wrote the instructions has an experimental, newer version)

Typos and minor bugs in the R1.4 Root FS upgrade procedure:

  • on the Mac, e2fsck and resize2fs are in /usr/local/sbin

Here's what the GPS is showing

command is:

cat /dev/ttymxc/1

(since GPS is in slot 1)

("V" on the GPGLL lines mans "void" i.e no GPS FIX AFAIK!) - Antenna is pointing out the window which means it should get a fix since my other GPSes i.e. E71 and LD-4W have no problem getting a fix there!)















Tried to upgrade Bug Labs Bug Root FS to R1.4 but now my BUG is borked

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2009-03-15 22:44

On Wednesday, the official release of Bug Labs R1.4 came out. Summary: I tried to upgrade my Bug Root File System, and my Bug no longer works and I am not sure where to document my problem (should I put it on the wiki or the forums?). I guess I will get on good 'ole IRC to get this fixed on Monday (I really dislike IRC, it reminds of the 1990s, full of people trying to help you but no RSS feed, no archives without bots that require Kevin Marks level knowledge to keep them up and running, and no distillation of knowledge so you are doomed to explain the same things over and over again!). Help! If you can help, twitter me @rtanglao or email me roland AT rolandtanglao or I'll try to get help on IRC as well as post on the Bug Labs R1.4 thread on Anybody who helps me, gets a free beer the next time they are in Vancouver (how about a Bug Labs meetup at Open Web 2009 in June 11-12 in Vancouver?) Read on for all details.


R1.4 = Bug Labs SDK 1.81 + Root FS 1.4 + Kernal 1.4 (Suggestion to Bug Labs: bundle these together or tag future releases so that tag 1.5 for example is the same release tag for SDK, FS and Kernal)

The Bug Labs documentation and web presence is confusing even for somebody like me who has been developing software for 20 years and uses confusing open source software like git and Drupal so that's saying something! And Bug Labs seems to admit it in this blog post from December, "Finding BUG Tutorials and Documentation". My off-the-cuff recommendation given my developer relations experience at Nortel  would be to create a single wiki page "Busy Developer's Guide to writing software for the BUG" (BDGB) with the bare minimum of info that is always up to date and to have the dev relations person (Alicia?) post a blog post on whenever the BDGG is updated! Anyways...

Here's what I did:

Tried to upgrade my Root FS to R1.4 using the Mac instructions from HOW to upgrade ROOT FS aka "Update your BUG memory card" (see "Yak Shaving" section below for full details)

Here's what happened:

The Root FS upgrade appeared to work but when I boot the Bug it doesn't come up and doesn't activate the Ethernet over USB so I can't ssh in to check things out.

Here's what I expected:

I expected it to "just work" and then I could proceed to upgrading the kernal to R 1.4

Guesses as to what went wrong

  1. A bug in the Root FS image?
  2. A bug in the ext2fsx software that I used namely 1.4d4
  3. Something else?

Yak Shaving (or what I did in exquisite detail)

(raw gist is here)

dd if=/dev/disk1s1 of=BUG_backup.ext3.bin 
tar xvfjv bug-image-production-bug-R1.4-rootfs.ext3.bz2
dd if=bug-image-production-bug-R1.4-rootfs.ext3.bz2  of=/dev/disk1s1
95105+1 records in
95105+1 records out
sudo /usr/local/sbin/fsck.ext3  /dev/disk1s1
e2fsck 1.39 (29-May-2006)
Couldn't find ext2 superblock, trying backup blocks...
/usr/local/sbin/fsck.ext3: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/disk1s1
The superblock could not be read or does not describe a correct ext2
filesystem.  If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2
filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
    e2fsck -b 8193 <device>
sudo /usr/local/sbin/resize2fs  /dev/disk1s1
resize2fs 1.39 (29-May-2006)
/usr/local/sbin/resize2fs: Bad magic number in super-block while trying to open /dev/disk1s1
Couldn't find valid filesystem superblock.

Mobile Open Lab 2009 - A proposal

Submitted by Roland on Fri, 2009-03-13 18:02

It's been 6 months since a few mobile folks met in Helsinki for Nokia Open Lab 2008 as Mike Maddaloni and CT Moore have pointed out and my mind is still reeling. It's time to start thinking about a Mobile Open Lab 2009. I say worldwide, done via our mobiles, self organized and distributed! What say you? [the following is in the order it was on the 2008 wiki, forgive me for omissions and typos!] Mike, Steve Dembo, Rebecca, Whatleydude, Gwapz, Eddie, Nick, Solobasssteve, Philip, CT, Glenn, Mickipedia, Rahul, Steve Rumsby, Chletten, Apocalypso, Jussi, Jason, Rafe, Jen, Thej, cybette, tnkgrl, Matti, Mikko, Nate, Antti, Nick, Vinnie, Kristine, Yuhui, Anne, Janne, Anssi, Brian, Luis, and Stefan please update the Mobile Open Lab 2009 wiki page with your ideas or leave a comment here! And let's get the ball rolling!

Ideas from Roland Tanglao (Vancouver, Canada)

flickr: roland, twitter:rtanglao, nokia chat:rtanglao, jaiku:roland, qik:roland

(NB these are just brainstorming ideas!!!!!! No commitment implied :-) ! )

  1. the "original 50" are all co-organizers and responsible for organizing in their home town
  2. the original 50 must present a mobile 10 minute or less "1 year later" status/way forward/whatever and must recruit at least 1 participant in their home town to present as well!
  3. done via mobile video streaming e.g.ustream, qik, kyte, mogulus, etc. for 2 days world wide & archived
  4. the 2008 workshop presenters will reprise their workshops in a 2009 stylee
  5. Outcomes:

    1. a user vision of the way forward for nokia and the mobile industry
    2. "raise a barn " i.e. create a mobile app / site / something that we all agree on beforehand for a cause that we all believe in
  6. Things I can help with: Drupal, Bug Labs Bug, S60 Python, "dis-coordination" :-), blogging, wiki gardening
  7. Things I am not so good at: getting sponsors (do we need any?), politics, web design
  8. Looking forward to the cool ideas from others!

Git for Drupalers in 2 Minutes

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2009-03-12 00:14

[Cross posted from my Raincity Blog. In Vancouver and want to discuss this? Then come to to the Tweet Meat at Burrard and Pender at Japadog, Thu 12 March at noon.]

Git for Drupalers in 2 Minutes - 280 Slides

[See previous git blog post for more background on how this procedure isn't supported and other blah blah!]

In my never ending quest to make things simpler, I have distilled the process of using git with Acquia Drupal 6 (version 1.2.4 currently) down to 5 points:

  1. Install git and create your RSA SSH key
  2. cd /var/www/html
  3. git clone
  4. edit settings.php, apache config, etc.
  5. install.php (i.e. install Drupal as normal!)

And it's even simpler for upgrading:

  1. On staging or dev server, backup your database and take site offline
  2. git pull
  3. update.php (i.e. upgrade Drupal following the normal Drupal installation process)
  4. repeat on live server

After the jump, more git and Drupal geekery and the way forward with git submodules (tutorial)

I can hear the questions in your minds. Herewith a mini-faq!

  1. Q: How do I install git on my dev and live and staging servers? A: Can't help you there since this varies from OS to OS and server to server. Google is your friend. We do plan on making git available on our Bryght Hosting products but unfortunately I can't give you an ETA.
  2. Q: But what about Drupal 5? A: Sorry don't have time for Drupal 5, this is a side project after all! However my previous git blog post should give you enough info to figure this out.
  3. Q: Why doesn't Acquia do this? A: Don't know. I am guessing they have other priorities and Acquia will come up with something that rocks harder eventually!
  4. Q: I love Drupal 6 and Acquia Drupal 6 but I need contrib modules that aren't in your git repo. What do I do? A: Wait until I come up with a git submodule solution (a git repo where Acquia Drupal 6 is a sub repo, hopefully that will be the next blog post) or develop it yourself and let us know or fork the repo on github and I'll find out through the magic of!
  5. Q: Your repo s*cks! The CVS history from is gone! How do I get it back? A: Use Mikl's Git repo which is a mirror of the CVS. Good luck! This is only for version control geeks and those who care about upcoming releases like Drupal 7 and require that version control history to be in git.
  6. Q: What happens with the next release of Drupal Acquia comes out i.e. post 1.2.4? How fast will you update your Acquia Drupal repository? A: Again, no guarantees since this is a side project, but hopefully a week or less after Acquia updates and of course if you can't wait, fork the repo, let us know and if it looks good, we'll pull your commits from your forked repo.
  7. Q: You are a johnny-come-lately, surely others have done this right? A: Of course, yes I am a dilettante, who's been working at a Drupal company since 2004 :-) Some interesting git and drupal links: Drupal installation profile for indy media sites in git, Maintaining/upgrading drupal installations with git (Chris Searle)

Upgraded my Bryght VPS to Acquia 1.2.4, Drupal 6.10, tinymce 3.2.2 and WYSIWYG 6.x-1.1

Submitted by Roland on Mon, 2009-03-09 00:41

It's as easy as "git pull". Check out my commits on my public rt-d6 repository if you want to see what's up on my server (which admittedly is of limited interest). If you just want to use Acquia 1.2.4, then check out:

my acquia drupal 6 repository.

Nokia Beautiful Connections Text Art - what if it were GPS based?

Submitted by Roland on Sat, 2009-03-07 18:13


Text art is part of the Nokia Beautiful Connections (this URL does not rock, IMHO it should be something like project. It draws your text onto a algorithmically generated graphic (see above pic for an example). It's cool but wouldn't it be cooler if the art that was generated was rooted in the GPS coordinates and the place, e.g. if you were in Stanley Park, it drew art based on algorithms written by Salish aboriginals?

From Nokia E71: Beautiful Connections:


I recently had the privilege of being commissioned by Wieden + Kennedy to creating an artwork for Nokia’s new smartphone E71. It’s a new model featuring a full QWERTY keyboard, and is intended to function as a complete communication platform for people on the move. As a response to this purpose, W+K’s campaign focused on the idea of “Beautiful Connections”.

My contribution was a mobile app that allows the user to type in a short SMS-style message, which is then used as the basis for a generative animation that results in a visual compositions of curling forms. The final image can then be sent to other users as a MMS or saved to the phone memory for use as a wallpaper.



On: Dancing, Northern Voice and Federico's & 10000 hours

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2009-03-01 20:25

We are happy that people enjoyed watching Barb and I dance (our dance is the Lindy Hop but we love and admire all social dancing and dance in general) at the Northern Voice 2009 opening party at Federico's. It's always for us been about having fun with whoever we are dancing with and the music; not the steps.  People ask us how we did it or they wistfully say, I'd love to do it but can't because I don't have a partner or my partner won't dance with me or I don't have time or ...

Well this blog post is to say "YES YOU CAN"!

You don't have to be musical and you don't have to be a natural born dancer. You just have to practise practise practise practise.

The Lindy hop basic step ("the swingout") is difficult. It took us two series of dance lessons and social dancing with each other and lots of other people for six months two to three times a week to "get it". Which is to say 75-100 hours.

Then before the kid was born we danced twice a week, took more dance classes went to two Lindy Hop week long dance Camps (Swingout northwest 2000 and 2002) and so after about 1000 hours we are where we are at today. Able to dance with any Lindy Hop Dancer socially. Aware of the imperfections in our technique but having fun with the music and the dance on the rare occasions when we do get out. And all of this without either of us being dancers or having been dancers in our youth (which would obviously accelerate the process a wee bit although I think Barb's musicality and my obsession with swing music and Duke Ellington's music helped a bit).

So what are you waiting for? Find the time, and get out there and dance :-) ! Or develop software or fix bicycle flats or whatever you REALLY want to do that you have been puting off! Just make the time and do it! (And thanks to our awesome swing and Lindy Hop teachers: Graeme and Lisa and Elizabeth,  Tyler and Viva, JoJo, Toby and Tanya, and so many others! And thanks to those who we've had the pleasure of dancing with over the years!)

Identicons, Yarn Bombing and Mobile - Possible Northern Voice 2009 Moosecamp Session

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-02-18 23:17

Again, I don't have the time but here's a fun game design session for MooseCamp 2009. If you are interested, edit the wiki page and come to the session if approved!

The following ideas are DRAFT (and i bet others have already thought of similar things). Please ADD YOUR OWN and let's discuss at MooseCamp 2009!

Hope to run this game as part of BarCamp Vancouver 2009 or earlier!


Identicon = unique graphic generated from a number (originally used by WordPress and other blogging systems to identify people based on their IP address for comments) in this case the number would be latitude and longitude, i.e. GPS coordinates

Yarn Bombing = grafitti with yarn in the real world aka 'knit grafitti'

Identicons, Yarn bombing and Mobile - An eternal golden braid

The idea is a unique mobile tech twist on a scavenger hunt and yarn bombing.

  1. the organizers of the game put up a bunch of identicons on a map to identify locations that have been 'yarn bombed'
  2. goal: find all the yarn bombs ('ybs') before the other players do
  3. mobile twist: you have to prove  you found the yarn bomb by using your mobile phone in one of the following ways
    1. post a picture of the yb to flickr, picasa, twitpic, etc or somewhere on the web and tag it and text the url to the organizers or in some way the organizers can get it electronically
    2. send a text to the organizers proving you found the yb
    3. send an MMS to the organizers proving you found the yb
    4. do a Bright Kite Checkin proving you found the yb
    5. basically anything that you can do from a mobile phone to prove you found the yb without  phoning the organizers or leaving them voicemail!


  1. don't put the identicons on a regular map i.e. make the locations part of the hunt or hint at them e.g. all skytrain stations in Yaletown
  2. business model: do this for events as an ice breaking thing
  3. don't use the identicon algorithm to generate the graphic, create an algorithm so that the graphic  hints at the location
  4. generate the identicons on the fly by putting the ybs on a bicycle or something moving using a mobile app that updates a map on the web or some sort of web based hint!

VIDEO CONTEST - What is one way that the Internet has changed my life? Possible Northern Voice 2009 Moosecamp Session

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-02-18 21:12

It's hard to believe how time flies, but the 5th Northern Voice (for the 5th time I am one of the organizers) starts tomorrow with the Federico's dining and dancing opening party,(Scott Nelson with a bit of assistance from myself are providing the WiFi, thanks Scott!), Friday begins the conference proper with a fab social media 101 track organized by Rahel Anne Bailie and Anita Webster, a fantastic mobile track, the MooseCamp unconference and a Stewart Butterfield keynote and Saturday is the more traditional conference day.

So, I don't really have the time but since I love Mozilla, here's one of my Mossecamp ideas for Friday (if you like it, see you on Friday assuming it's accepted!):

In a nutshell:

  1. 10 people will signup up to have Roland tape 1-12 second videos of them live (i.e. no editing) on "One way the internet has changed their life."
  2. Roland will post them to flickr with a Creative Commons Attribution License to the Mozilla Net Effects Flickr Group
  3. The people in the session will watch them and vote on the "best" one (majority rules, my "best" definition: bonus points for fun, other languages, cool things but of course your definition is up to you!)
  4. Winner gets a prize. Prize will be a free 1:30 second video taped by Roland on his Nokia N82 on Friday at Moosecamp and edited on iMovie by Roland and submitted to flickr and possibly some Mozilla swag from Zak

More background from Zak:

  1. flickr group -
  2. Mozilla Net Effects page -
  3. Zak's blog post: explaining why videos and the idea behind this! -

Disclaimers and other Blah Blah

  1. Zak is an employee of the Mozilla Foundation
  2. Roland is Zak's friend, doesn't work for Mozilla but loves Firefox

Convinced? Sign up today only 10 spots available

Updated to Drupal 6 using Acquia Drupal 1.2.1 that I checked into

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-02-11 00:08

I have updated this site from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 using Acquia Drupal that on github I checked into github earlier this week (comment on Acquia's forum). No glitches except an Drupal contrib image module update problem (which I fixed by ignoring since I only had 4 images)

Free Nokia viNe and Sports Tracker tutorials for Vancouverites in exchange for coffee

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-02-04 22:16

It appears nobody in Vancouver uses Nokia phones and ShoZu even though it's FANTASTIC because nobody has taken me up on my free ShoZu help in exchange for coffee offer. Bloodied :-) (ok, not really!)  I am but undaunted as well, here's another offer: Free photo GPS tagging tutorials using Nokia ViNe and Nokia Sports Tracker and Nokia phones in exchange for coffee. Interested? Email roland AT or text me: 604 729 7924 or twitter rtanglao

From Geotags help locate photos by Jeffrey Simpson in the Georgia Straight


An avid cyclist, Tanglao takes photos during his rides and has more
than 44,000 photos on Flickr, a great many of them geotagged. Recently,
he’s been taking pictures with a Nokia N95, a smartphone with a
five-megapixel camera whose image quality rivals that of some basic
stand-alone digital cameras. With a built-in global-positioning-system
receiver, the N95 automatically tags photos with geographic data


Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with Fido SIM installed

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2009-01-28 14:37

The Nokia Software Updater won't let me update my European N95-1 and N82-1 to the latest firmware even with my valid Fido SIM installed and even though the Nokia Canada site says there are updates for these two phones. This used to work with my Fido SIM with prior versions of the Nokia Software update and prior N95-1 and N82-1 updates. I also tried using my Belgian, Finnish and AT&T SIMs and that didn't work either. Any ideas? Is this Canada specific? I can't believe NSU would be updated to block these firmware updates but anything's possible with Rogers and Fido I suppose !


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