softkid is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Ludovic Hirlimann
Member since: 2002-01-07 18:00:09
Last Login: 2014-05-10 10:57:34

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I've been using computer for more than 15 years

Started with an Apple II, on which I learned assembly
and basic. Then we trade up the Apple II for a Macintosh LC
with 2mb Ram and 40 Mb HD - I upgraded the ram to 6MB,
bought Think Pascal (should have bought Think C) and filled
the disk :-).I then got an Atari Falcon030 and started C,
but did mostly assembly. Followed a bebox, I did some BeOS
development for some time in C++, and felt betrayed by Be
Inc. when they shifted to x86. I've used Linux and OS/2 too,
I don't use OS/2 nor linux, I prefer the BSD philosophy.
Now I play with href="">MacOS X.

work for
title="Rediscover Email">Mozilla as the QA
lead for Thunderbird.

GnuPG public
key is available href="">here

I'ma available on those Instant messaging networks:
  • Jabber :
  • AIM, Yahoo : lhirlimann


Recent blog entries by softkid

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Fosdem 2016 day 2

Day 2 was a bit different than day 1, has I was less tired. It started by me visiting a few booths in order to decorate my bag and get a few more T-shirts, thanks to wiki-mania, Apache, Open Stack. I got the mini-port to VGA cable I had left in the conference room and then  headed for the conferences.

The first one was “Active supervision and monitoring with Salt, Graphite and Grafana“ was interesting because I knew nothing about any of these, except for graphite, but I knew so little that I learned a lot.

The second one titled “War Story: Puppet in a Traditional Enterprise” was someone implementing puppet at an enterprise scale in a big company. It reminded me all the big company I had consulted to a few years back - nothing surprising. It was quiet interesting anyway.

The Third talk I attend was about hardening and securing configuration management software. It was more about general principle than an howto. Quite interesting specially the link given at the end of the documentation and the idea to remove ssh if possible on all servers and enable it thru conf. management to investigate issues. I didn’t learn much but it was a good refresher.

I then attend a talk in a very small room that was packed packed packed , about mapping with your phone. As I’ve started contributing to OSM, it was nice to listen and discover all the other apps that I can run on my droid phone in order to add data to the maps. I’ll probably share that next month at the local OSM meeting that got announced this week-end.

Last but not least I attended the key signing party. According to my paperwork, I’ll have sot sign twice 98 keys (twice because I’m creating a new key).

I’ve of course added a few pictures to my Fosdem set.

Syndicated 2016-01-31 22:22:05 from NaN

Fosdem 2016 day 1

This year I’m attending fosdem, after skipping it last year. It’s good to be back even if I was very tired when I arrived yesterday night and managed to visit three of Brussels train station. I was up early and the indications in bus 71 where fucked up so it took me a short walk under some rain to get to the campus - but I made it early and was able to take interesting empty pictures.

The first talk I attended was about MIPS for the embedded world. It was interesting for some tidbids, but felt more like a marketing speech to use MIPS on future embedding project.

After that I wanders and found a bunch of ex-joosters and had very interesting conversation with all of them.

I delivered my talk in 10 minutes and then answered question for the next 20 minutes.

The http2 talk was interesting and the room was packed. But probably not deep enough for me. Still I think we should think about enabling http/2 on

I left to get some rest after talking to otto about block chain and bitcoins.

Syndicated 2016-01-30 15:58:51 from NaN

Tips on organizing a pgp key signing party

Over the years I’ve organized or tried to organize pgp key signing parties every time I go somewhere. I the last year I’ve organized 3 that were successful (eg with more then 10 attendees).

1. Have a venue

I’ve tried a bunch of times to have people show up at the hotel I was staying in the morning - that doesn’t work. Having catering at the venues is even better, it will encourage people to come from far away (or long distance commute). Try to show the path in the venues with signs (paper with PGP key signing party and arrows help).

2. Date and time

Meeting in the evening after work works better ( after 18 or 18:30 works better).

Let people know how long it will take (count 1 hour/per 30 participants).

3. Make people sign up

That makes people think twice before saying they will attend. It’s also an easy way for you to know how much beer/cola/ etc.. you’ll need to provide if you cater food.

I’ve been using eventbrite to manage attendance at my last three meeting it let’s me :

  • know who is coming
  • Mass mail participants
  • have them have a calendar reminder

4 Reach out

For such a party you need people to attend so you need to reach out.

I always start by a search on to find who are the people using gpg registered on that site for the area I’m visiting (see below on what I send).

Then I look for local linux users groups / *BSD groups  and send an announcement to them with :

  • date
  • venue
  • link to eventbrite and why I use it
  • ask them to forward (they know the area better than you)
  • I also use lanyrd and twitter but I’m not convinced that it works.

for my last announcement it looked like this :

Subject: GnuPG / PGP key signing party September 26 2014
Content-Type: multipart/signed; micalg=pgp-sha256;

This is an OpenPGP/MIME signed message (RFC 4880 and 3156)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hello my name is ludovic,

I'm a sysadmins at mozilla working remote from europe. I've been
involved with Thunderbird a lot (and still am). I'm organizing a pgp Key
signing party in the Mozilla san francisco office on September the 26th
2014 from 6PM to 8PM.

For security and assurances reasons I need to count how many people will
attend. I'v setup a eventbrite for that at
(please take one ticket if you think about attending - If you change you
mind cancel so more people can come).

I will use the eventbrite tool to send reminders and I will try to make
a list with keys and fingerprint before the event to make things more
manageable (but I don't promise).

for those using lanyrd you will be able to use

ps sent to, end - please feel free to post
where appropriate ( the more the meerier, the stronger the web of trust).=

ps2 I have contacted people listed on biglumber to have more gpg related
people show up.

[:Usul] MOC Team at Mozilla
QA Lead fof Thunderbird -

5. Make it easy to attend

As noted above making a list of participants to hand out helps a lot (I’ve used and my own stuff to make a list). It make it easier for you, for attendees. Tell people what they need to bring (IDs, pen, printed fingerprints if you don’t provide a list).

6. Send reminders

Send people reminder and let them know how many people intend to show up. It boosts audience.

Syndicated 2014-09-29 11:03:47 from NaN

The next major release of Thunderbird is around the corner and needs some love

We just released the first beta of Thunderbird 30. There will be two betas for 30 and probably 2 or more for 31. We need to start uncovering bugs nows so that developers have time to fix things.

Now is the time to get the betas and use them as you do with the current release  and file bugs. Makes these bugs block our tracking bug : 1008543.

For the next beta we will need more people to do formal testing - we will use moztrap and eventbrite to track this. The more participants to this (and other during the 31 beta period), the higher the quality. Follow this blog or subscribe to the Thunderbird-tester mailing list if you wish to make 31 a great release.

Ludo for the QA team

Syndicated 2014-05-10 10:16:39 from NaN

For those of you attending FOSDEM

In a a few weeks it will be Fosdem week-end. Something I’ve been attending since 2004.

This year I’d like to tell people that care about email privacy that fosdem has the biggest pgp key signing party in Europe. If you use pgp, or gnupg you might want to join the party.

To do so you’ll need to register before the 30th of January and follow the detailed instructions at .

update: People are sending plenty of keys it’s going to be a great event.

Syndicated 2014-01-15 10:42:40 from NaN

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