About me

I live just outside of Boston, MA USA. I'm currently Minister of Geekery (~= CTO) for Libboo, a startup in the ebook/publishing space.

I previously worked for Canonical as a technical account manager, which meant I talk business to techies and tech to business people. So basically I just leave everyone confused. I split my time between explaining the inner workings of Ubuntu and Unity to interested companies and working with Lenovo on their factory preinstall process for Thinkpads shipping in China. (Hopefully this will bring more Ubuntu preinstalls to the US, because I'd really like to buy one! *hint hint*)

Previously I was on the Platform QA team doing hardware certification. What this means is I tested builds on a large number of systems, reported bugs, tested to make sure the bugs get fixed, and issued certificates that hardware vendors can use to show the world that their systems work with Ubuntu.

I discovered Linux somewhere around 1995 or so in the form of a mountain of 3.5" floppy disks containing Slackware. (Ah, the joys of writing your own X modelines.) I picked up Ubuntu toward the tail end of the Hoary days just to see what the fuss was about, and the rest is history.

Skunkworks Application


Summary of contributions to Ubuntu

  • customizing install processes for OEMs
  • smoothing the sometimes rocky path between business needs and technical needs Smile :)

  • daily testing on lots of hardware (results posted on my webpage)

  • testing and bug reporting, bug triage, bug salad, bug gumbo, etc.
  • ISO testing at milestones and releases
  • user support on Craigslist
  • occasional Checkbox tests and a few Esperanto translations here and there

Contributions to Ubuntu

I performed daily tests of Ubuntu (in various flavors) on a variety of laptops, desktops, and servers. I report bugs and make sure that they're genuinely fixed when marked as such. I try to keep a summary of the tests reasonably up to date here: http://people.canonical.com/~fader/hw-testing/current.html This testing includes the current development release as well as point releases for previous releases.

I worked closely with hardware vendors to ensure that they are aware of issues that crop up during tests, making sure that they get the support they need to get their hardware working with Ubuntu.

I perform as much ISO testing as I can manage at milestones and releases. Usually I run ~30-50 ISO tests during the week leading up to the milestone or release.

My Python-fu is weak, but I've still managed to contribute a couple of tests to Checkbox, as well as some translations to Esperanto.

Finally, I hang out in #ubuntu-testing, #ubuntu-quality, and the Ubuntu QA mailing list where I try to help people get into testing and QA. Additionally, I monitor the linux forum on Craigslist and answer questions and help people with their problems.

Plans and ideas

I want to continue making Ubuntu the best possible OS. In order to do this, we need to perform more and more tests on a wider variety of hardware. Toward this end, I want to keep extending the coverage of Checkbox, automate more testing, and help spread the word and get people involved in testing.

I'm currently working on extending our automated test coverage, especially toward ensuring that we are testing on the most popular hardware platforms.

Ideally I'd like to put some more effort into improving Mythbuntu, which is my favorite Ubuntu project! If only I could stop eating and sleeping, I'd have the time Smile :)


email: ronald.mccollam@ubuntu.com

launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~fader

blog: http://voices.canonical.com/ronald.mccollam/

People Sponsoring Fader

Fader has often been there to confirm issue for me and visa versa.
He will gladly help out in the testing of Mythbuntu which takes some of the pressure off as I don't have the correct equipment to test this fully. He has filed many bugs to improve Ubuntu and the other various desktops.

As part of the checkbox team he has created testcases, helped users and developer understand how to use it and improve it.

Finally I consider it a great honour to class him amongst my friends, he has been there numerous time to some flack when my day hasn't gone so well, this helps puts a smile on my face and enables me to carry with the laborious tasks ahead.
Feel free to call on me if I'm online to vouch for his work.


I have worked with Ronald as part of the Canonical Platform QA Team for over a year now, and he has made significant and sustained contributions to the quality of Ubuntu through his extensive testing and helping drive improvements in our testing frameworks, procedures and practices.

fader (last edited 2012-11-07 20:32:30 by fader)