About Me

Benjamin Humphrey My name is Benjamin Humphrey and i'm a kiwi design student, web and graphic designer, pilot, blogger, musician and photographer, studying in Dunedin, New Zealand.

I listen to the Dave Matthews Band, I run Ubuntu on my laptop and my server, and I'm the founder and leader of the Ubuntu Manual Project. I've got my Private Pilots Licence, play the drums, trumpet and guitar and I take photographs of people and things.

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand and went to St Andrew's College for thirteen years from 1995 to 2008. During my time at high school I won the computer web design prize two years in a row and played the trumpet and drums for the school big band and concert band. In 2006 I was awarded the Ross Macpherson young eagles flying scholarship, and consequently gained my private pilots licence in July of 2007 at the Canterbury Aero Club.

In 2009 I moved to Dunedin and started a degree in design at Otago University and recently I co-founded a software and news company called Ohso.

Nowadays I spend my time studying for university, taking photographs, playing guitar and contributing to Ubuntu.

Profile Name

Benjamin Humphrey

location.png Location

Dunedin, New Zealand

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UTC +12

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Ubuntu Manual Project (UMP)

I'm the founder and main driver behind the Ubuntu Manual Project. I started this project at the end of 2009 with the vision of this manual becoming the first point of reference for Ubuntu newcomers. The project now has 250 contributors that are writing a 200 page manual for Ubuntu, translated in over 40 languages with 2000 localized screenshots.

Stuff I've done for the project:

Leading the project: planning and chairing weekly meetings with the team, writing blueprints and setting project milestones and ensuring they're met, triaging bugs and answering questions, and promoting the project.

Contributing to the project: writing the prologue and installation chapter, editing several other chapters, designing project websites and USLC stuff, artwork and banners, and also planning and developing Quickshot.

Communicating with Canonical and other community teams and community members to discuss collaboration and the future of the project in Ubuntu.


In the Ubuntu Manual Project we need to capture a lot of screenshots in lots of different languages. All of these need to be taken with the default Lucid install. To save a lot of time and improve consistency, I came up with the idea of creating an application built on Python using Quickly, and Glade for UI design. Quickshot was born. I have drafted up specifications, drawn ideas for the UI design and the workflow process and am currently working on it with Tommy Brunn to get the program ready for use with the Ubuntu Manual.

Ubuntu Support and Learning Center

The Ubuntu Support and Learning Center will be an online portal for documentation, tutorials and information for new Ubuntu users. It will be clean, user friendly, modern and consistent while maintaining a high standard of quality. I originally wrote up the specification and designed the site to give an impression of what it will look like. It's an undertaking to be achieved by UMP, the Ubuntu Documentation Team and the Learning project.

LoCo Community

I'm a current member of the New Zealand LoCo team and NZ Python user group.

I'm also a member of the New Zealand Open Source Society and my Linux feed from my blog gets aggregated to the NZOSS Planet.

Ubuntu Forums

I have over 600 posts on Ubuntu Forums, ranging from me writing complete guides (this one has over 4000 views, and this thread I started about security in Ubuntu sparked a lot of discussion - 40 pages in fact!) and HowTos for new users, to troubleshooting problems and helping out newcomers to Ubuntu.

My Blog

I've got my own blog that I share my thoughts on and write articles for which gets aggregated to Planet NZOSS and Planet Ubuntu Manual.

On OMG! Ubuntu! I write articles about the community and Canonical, conduct interviews with members of the community and review software/devices. Recently I covered UDS-M in Belgium when I was sponsored to attend. I also co-host the podcast with Joe Sneddon.

Advocating Ubuntu

I've installed Ubuntu on 7 peoples computers since I've been using it myself, and I've given burnt CDs to another 10 or so people to install themselves. I've also provided free help and support for the people who I gave Ubuntu to.

I created a couple of Ubuntu video showcases that show off some of the things you can do with Ubuntu. I put them on You Tube, here, here and here.

Ubuntu Developer Summit

Canonical was kind enough to sponsor me to attend UDS-M in Brussels, Belgium. While I was there, I covered it for OMG! Ubuntu, attended countless sessions, ran three sessions of my own, and filmed the event.

My Future

  • Continue leading the Ubuntu Manual Project, writing for OMG! Ubuntu!
  • Use my skills learnt in University design/programming classes to help out with software projects
  • Alpha and Beta test upcoming releases, report and triage bugs
  • Make Ubuntu ROCK!

Aside from Ubuntu

When I'm not helping the community, I'm usually playing the drums or guitar, listening to music, designing something, taking photographs or flying!


I met Benjamin Humphrey when I started working with him in the Ubuntu Manual Project. Since day 1, I have noticed his devotion towards the project. He is writing a huge part of the manual and spends another great deal of time organizing the working forces and the structure of the manual. He recently did a major rearrangement and, thanks to his effort, we have all had an easy time getting back to work. Besides that, Benjamin is great to work with thanks to his constructive feedback and intelligent suggestions. Moreover, his young age tells me that he is a capable of a lot more, and that all that he is doing right now is just the beginning of his journey through the roads of Ubuntu. Needless to say, Benjamin seems like a pretty balanced person in his personal life; he is actually studying in the university and dedicates time to his hobbies as well.

By Wolter Hellmund.

I've worked with Benjamin Humphrey and I have found him to be a very capable project manager and very focused on getting things done. His ability to manage meetings effectively, accept criticisms without hurt feelings and an open mind in working with other makes him easy to work with and a very productive contributor. I wish we had more people with Ben's skills in the areas of project management and team management.

By Josh Holland.

Although I fairly recently joined the Ubuntu Manual Project, I have been following Benjamin Humphrey's work for quite some time. The sheer effort and dedication that he has towards this project truly amazes me. Despite the fact that he is pursuing a degree in computer science, he somehow manages to find time to not only be the best project leader you could ask for, but to also be a friend. If I had to describe what kind of person he is, in just once sentence, it would be "a person who gets things done" - and we can never have too many of those.

By Tommy Brunn.

As the Lead TeXnician of the Ubuntu Manual Project, I have had the pleasure of working with Benjamin Humphrey as he performed a number of roles under the project. He is an outstanding worker and an asset to the project. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend Benjamin as a member of the Ubuntu Members group.

Benjamin founded the Ubuntu Manual Project in late 2009, and I joined in mid-January. By the time I joined the project, he had already gathered a large number of volunteers and was orchestrating their work in writing content, designing the manual, creating artwork, and promoting the project. As new members join the team, Benjamin quickly assesses them and assigns tasks that best align with their abilities and desires.

Throughout my time on the project, I've found Benjamin to be an excellent project leader: he's considerate of everyone's opinions, always open to discussion, brings an enthusiasm and passion to the project that invigorates the team, and selflessly promotes the team members and the project.

It is for these reasons that I offer recommendations for Benjamin without reservation. With his drive and passion, I have no doubt that he will make a fantastic addition to the Ubuntu members.

Kevin Godby

Benjamin has the demeanor of a great open source leader. He is versatile, drives projects forward, keeps people organized and working towards the common goal, and knows when to intervene to help make something decent into something great. He is an able consensus-maker, and respects diverse skillsets and perspectives common in the open source world.

In addition to managing the core project that he's imagined and helped implement, Benjamin also strives to make things better through technology. Whether it's GroundControl or Quickshot, Benjamin finds ways to bring in some software development that will help make non-technical folks' lives easier. I think these problem solving skills are a wonderful indication of Benjamin's versatility.

Ilya Haykinson

Benjamin is one the few people in the open source community that really understands what making a great user experience is all about. His amazing success with the Ubuntu Manual Project only marks the beginning. Benjamin has shown an aptitude for creating simple yet powerful designs and has gone the extra mile to make sure that those designs are properly implemented. His ideas for the future of open source are very promising and he is definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Daniel Fore

Benjamin is what people in accounting would refer to as an ‘asset’: I’m in no doubt that he has added, and will continue to add, immense value to the Open Source community and the Ubuntu project itself. The Ubuntu Manual Project is a sterling example of Benjamin's vision, leadership, resourcefulness, eye for design & people skills combining to create a product that flawlessly serves the needs of end users everywhere - and this is just the beginning!

With his passion, clear and user-orientated vision I’ve no doubt that Benjamin is going to make a massive contribution to the Ubuntu Project.


I got to work with Benjamin at his first UDS. Many people have great ideas but not many see it through to fruition and on top of that build a community around a project in such a short period of time. I think now is the time for Benjamin to be able to represent the project as a member.

Recommendation areas to develop in:

  • Remember it's a marathon not a sprint and that Ubuntu is complicated -- there are times when you will get frustrated because you like to move quickly on things, don't let this discourage you and learn to dodge around obstacles.
  • People who can "translate" what goes on in Ubuntu Development to normal people are rare but you're good at it. I'd like to see you more involved in other communication mediums for the project (UWN, do an occasional article for Ubuntu User, etc.)
  • Your "Just Freaking Do It" attitude can be applied to many parts of the project, it's a good quality, take care to not overburden yourself by taking on too much.

Jorge Castro

I have Ben to be a wonderful contributor to Ubuntu and his achievements with the Ubuntu Manual easily provide enough merit for his +1 as an Ubuntu Member.

-- JonoBacon

humphreybc (last edited 2015-11-24 05:39:22 by joey-elijah)