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about:alecu

Hi, I'm Alejandro J. Cura, aka "alecu". I was born in 1975 in Argentina, and I've lived all of my life in Buenos Aires. Together with my life partner Lucila, we are the proud parents of a baby girl named Amelia that was born in December'08. I'm building this page in order to put together more info on the talks and work on Free Software that I've been doing during the past couple of years. If you are interested you can also browse  my business-oriented Résumé.

Python Argentina

I'm a member of PyAr, the very active  Python Argentina users group. I'm currently the sysadmin of our website and mailing lists, and I was second in command in the organization of  PyCon 2009 in Argentina. I collaborate in PyAr mostly thru the mailing list, where I'm I used to be! one of the top 10 posters, and also attending almost every meeting and sprint.

PyWeek

 PyWeek is a bi-yearly, international competition that encourages participants to make a game in a week, from scratch and using Python. I'm very interested in the educational side of this competition, which I believe is very healthy for the Python Community, since it helps young programmers get up to speed with Python, while making fun (and complex) programs, and learning how to work as a team with more experienced programmers.

Games made for Pyweek

With my team in Buenos Aires we made a few games, competing against teams from all around the world:

a Talk on Pyweek

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I've been presenting a talk on pyweek several times in various Free Software and Python Conferences in Argentina:

And also I've been invited to give this talk several times through the world (twice thanks to  the PSF's sponsorship):

This talk turned up to be very successful since it encouraged more new teams to take part in pyweek: a few from Cordoba and Santa Fe, Argentina and a lot more teams from all over the world. Being a community oriented talk, I've been giving the latests talks together with some members of the other teams of Argentina, in order to show a more varied point of view on the fun and creative experience of taking part of this competition.

a talk on optimization

My latest talk was on Byte Twiddling with Python, introducing a few ways to use common Python extension modules that allow you to reach C like speeds while manipulating raw bytes, without resorting to spend the time to make your own C module. This is a brand new talk, so I've just presented it at:

OLPC and Sugar

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Since mid-2007 I'm working on spreading interest on the OLPC and the Sugar user interface among the Free Software users and developers in Argentina. I'm doing it mainly by giving a talk on the OLPC and on how to make programs for the Sugar using Python, and also by coordinating a few sprints. I've given this talk the following times:

After the CafeConf 2007 talk we were  interviewed by The Inquirer. I look a lot better in the second picture!

I'm currently working with some members of the free software in education movement to jumpstart a local SugarLabs here in Argentina.

Falabracman

I was the leader of the team that won the first place in the  OLPC Game Jam Brasil 2008. This was a competition to make an educational game for elementary schools in just 30 hours. All entries were  judged by two schoolgirls aged 9 and 11, that choose to award us first place for a game called  Falabracman.

You can see a mention we got in the  Crítica newspaper from Buenos Aires, (Page 23 in the pdf edition).

Falabracman is currently the  MOST DOWNLOADED game in the SugarLabs activities page, and it's been installed by over 65000 children in their OLPC laptops. That makes me really proud!

Mnemonic Browser Project

Back in 1997, when I was just learning about Linux and Free Software, I joined what was briefly called the "Linux Browser Project", a project to make an extensible browser for Linux. It soon changed its name to "Mnemonic". Some other students across the world worked on the network engine, the extensible object plugin model, the HTML parser, and I was the one that worked on the first alpha version of an HTML renderer, using C++ and gtk 0.ninetysomething.

We appeared quite a bit in the media at the time:  Slashdot, CNet, Wired, LinuxJournal. But the project suffered from feature bloat, and it really lost momentum when Netscape announced in '98 that it was releasing Mozilla as Open Source.

Anyway, working on it really helped me learn a lot about free software and distributed development. A 486, ssh, CVS, irc, 28k modems, those were the cutting edge tools at that moment. I feel so old! :-)

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alecu