Ukuu Goes Closed Source

Some of you noticed in my My KDE-Centric Linux Laptop Setup – Part 1 post that I used Ukuu to get the latest mainline Linux kernel. Well, things have changed lately with Ukuu…

As explained by Tony in the Ukuu v19.01 release post:

gothicVI: So ukuu now completely turned into a closed source project?

Tony George: Yes.
Older versions are still open-source. Somebody can develop that version further if they have the time and interest. I may open the source again if I stop working on it (it won’t happen anytime soon).

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So, unfortunately Ukuu has gone closed source, and now requires a paid license. If you check my laptop setup post now, I have removed reference to Ukuu due to this, as I just cannot support that. I understand that Tony wants to sustain himself, but there are ways to do that without closing the source and forcing payment:

  • Make the donate button more prominent.
  • Make a donation pop-up to remind people.
  • Set up a Patreon and direct people there to support you (which he had last year, but now seems gone).
  • Move your app to a storefront such as elementary’s AppCenter where you can add a price to your app.
  • Lock certain features behind a “premium” version of the app, but leave the core open source.

Moving to closed source is the wort of the options, and it is a shame to see that happen.

This is a good time to mention to my readers, if you enjoy an app or distro, please donate. Over the years I’ve done exactly that over the years for dozens of projects, even if it is just a few bucks. Especially try to donate using recurring methods such as Patreon if you can. Any little bit helps, and ensures we continue to have a rich open source ecosystem.

New Weather Station

Not long ago, my old weather station died. My wife really enjoys walking downstairs and seeing the current weather on a display in the kitchen. So, I began shopping for a new one. Having experienced our last one, we knew there were some new features we wanted, such as the ability to see and track weather data remotely. I’ve always enjoyed using Weather Underground, and wanted to run my own station that uploads data to them, now was my chance.

After a bunch of research, I settled on an Ambient Weather WS-2902A. This thing is super cool for the price. Great color wireless display, with nearly every sensor you could think of. The sensor stack also runs primarily off of solar, with battery as a backup.

It also reports data to a handful of websites, including their own, which has a pretty nice interface. My primary concern was Weather Underground, which works great. I can also view my weather information on my phone, or via Alexa, which is great for an Amazon house like mine.

One note, make sure to check any network-level ad-blocking system you may have, such as Pi-hole. I noticed by default I was blocking, which is the data upload URL for Weather Underground.

It’s interesting to see the data now. You start to you realize how alive the earth is. For example, during the first night my station was running, my area had a small bit of wind in the middle of the night, like a breath.