Thu, 1970-01-01 00:00

well, that was unexpected

Katie - Wed, 2014-07-23 02:49
So I did the Day 2 workout from Couch-to-5K this evening. And it went so much better than Day 1, which is an identical workout. I mean, it wasn't enjoyable by any stretch of the imagination, but I never felt on the verge of collapsing or unable to speak. When the app told me it was time for the cool-down, I said, "Wait—what? Really?" Who knows what it was that made the difference. Given that the conditions I'll usually be jogging in will be these rather than my Day 1 conditions, this gives me some hope.

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Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Surgery coming up, Pride, Tiburon and a painting

Elizabeth Krumbach - Tue, 2014-07-22 16:05

This year has been super packed with conferences and travel. I’ve done 13 talks across 3 continents and have several more coming up in the next few months. I’ve also been squeezing in the hosting of Ubuntu Hours each month.

Buttercup at his first Utopic Unicorn cycle Ubuntu Hour

Aside from all this, life-wise things have been pretty mellow due to my abdominal pain (sick of hearing about it yet?). I’ve been watching a lot of TV because of how exhausted the pain is making me. Exercise has totally taken a back seat, this compounds the tiredness and means I’ve put on some weight that I’m not at all happy about. Once I’m better I plan on starting Couch to 5K again and may also join a new gym to get back into shape.

The gallbladder removal surgery itself is on Thursday and I’m terribly nervous about it. Jet lag combined with surgery nervousness means I haven’t been sleeping exceptionally well either. I’m not looking forward to the recovery, it should be relatively fast (a couple of weeks), but I’m a terrible patient and get bored easily when I’m not doing things. It will take a lot of effort to not put too much stress on my system too quickly. I’ll be so happy when this is all over.

I did take some time to do a few things though. On June 29th our friend Danita was still in town and we got to check out the Pride parade, which is always a lot of fun, even if I did get a bit too much sun.

Lots more photos from the parade here:

MJ and I also took a Sunday to drive north a couple weeks ago to visit Tiburon for some brunch. It was a beautiful day for it, and always nice to further explore the beautiful places around where we live, I hope we can make more time for it.

Sunny day in Tiburon!

Finally, I’m happy to report that after a couple months, I’ve gotten a painting back from Chandler Fine Art who was working with a restoration artist to clean it up and to have it framed. Not much can be done about the cracks without a significant amount of work (the nature of oil paintings!) but they were able to fix a dent in the canvas and clean up some stains, I can’t even tell where the defects were now.

It may not strictly match the decor of our home, but it was a favorite of my father’s growing up and it’s nice to have such a nice memory from my childhood hanging here now.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

stepping out of Facebook

Katie - Mon, 2014-07-21 18:10
Heya world, I'm going to try avoiding browsing my Facebook news feed for the near future, so here's some warning for you—and a commitment device for me. Note that my public blog posts (like this one), Flickr uploads, and some tweets automatically get posted to my Facebook wall, so you'll probably continue to see some activity from me, and if you comment on it I'll engage with you. Likewise, I'll respond to Facebook messages, event invitations, and mentions. Theoretically you'll see more status updates from me on Twitter and Dreamwidth/Livejournal, where I'm bokunenjin.

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Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

The Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Edition now available!

Elizabeth Krumbach - Mon, 2014-07-21 16:21

This past spring I had the great opportunity to work with Matthew Helmke, José Antonio Rey and Debra Williams of Pearson on the 8th edition of The Official Ubuntu Book.

Official Ubuntu Book, 8th Edition

In addition to the obvious task of updating content, one of our most important tasks was working to “future proof” the book more by doing rewrites in a way that would make sure the content of the book was going to be useful until the next Long Term Support release, in 2016. This meant a fair amount of content refactoring, less specifics when it came to members of teams and lots of goodies for folks looking to become power users of Unity.

Quoting the product page from Pearson:

The Official Ubuntu Book, Eighth Edition, has been extensively updated with a single goal: to make running today’s Ubuntu even more pleasant and productive for you. It’s the ideal one-stop knowledge source for Ubuntu novices, those upgrading from older versions or other Linux distributions, and anyone moving toward power-user status.

Its expert authors focus on what you need to know most about installation, applications, media, administration, software applications, and much more. You’ll discover powerful Unity desktop improvements that make Ubuntu even friendlier and more convenient. You’ll also connect with the amazing Ubuntu community and the incredible resources it offers you.

Huge thanks to all my collaborators on this project. It was a lot of fun to work them and I already have plans to work with all three of them on other projects in the future.

So go pick up a copy! As my first published book, I’d be thrilled to sign it for you if you bring it to an event I’m at, upcoming events include:

And of course, monthly Ubuntu Hours and Debian Dinners in San Francisco.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Tourist in Darmstadt

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sun, 2014-07-20 15:58

This past week I was in Germany! I’ve gone through Frankfurt many times over the years, but this was the first time I actually left the airport via ground transportation.

Trip began with a flight on a Lufthansa 380

Upon arrival I found the bus stop for the shuttle to Darmstadt and after a 20 minute ride was at Hauptbahnhof (main transit station) in Darmstadt and a very short walk took me to the Maritim Konferenzhotel Darmstadt where I’d be staying for the week.

The hotel was great, particularly for a European hotel. The rooms were roomy, the shower was amazing, and all the food I had was good.

Our timing on the sprint was pretty exceptional, with most of us arriving on Sunday just in time to spend the evening watching the World Cup final, which Germany was in! Unfortunately for us the beer gardens in the city required reservations and we didn’t have any, so we ended up camping out in the hotel bar and enjoying the game there, along with some beers and good conversations. In spite of my current gallbladder situation, I made an exception to my abstinence from alcohol that night and had a couple of beers to commemorate the World Cup and my first proper time in Germany.

Beer, World Cup

Unfortunately I wasn’t so lucky gallbladder-wise the rest of the week. I’m not sure if I was having some psychosomatic reaction to knowing the removal surgery is so close, but it definitely felt like I was in more pain this week. This kept me pretty close to the hotel and I sadly had to skip most of the evenings out with my co-workers at beer gardens because I was too tired, in pain and couldn’t have beer anyway.

I did make it out on Wednesday night, since I couldn’t resist a visit to Darmstädter Ratskeller, even if I did only have apple juice. This evening brought me into Darmstadt center where I got to take all my tourist photos, and also gave me an opportunity to visit the beer garden and chat with everyone.

Darmstädter Ratskeller

Plus, I managed to avoid pork by ordering Goulash – a dish I hadn’t had the opportunity to enjoy since my childhood.

Goulash! Accompanied by apple juice

I wish I had felt up to more adventuring. Had I felt better I probably would have spent a few extra days in Frankfurt proper giving myself a mini-vacation to explore. Next time.

All photos from my adventure that night in Darmstadt center (and planes and food and things!) here:

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

OpenStack QA/Infrastructure Meetup in Darmstadt

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sat, 2014-07-19 11:07

I spent this week at the QA/Infrastructure Meetup in Darmstadt, Germany.

Our host was Marc Koderer of Deutsche Telekom who sorted out all logistics for having our event at their office in Darmstadt. Aside from the summer heat (the conference room lacked air conditioning) it all worked out very well, we had a lot of space to work, the food was great, we had plenty of water. It was also nice that the hotel most of us stayed at was an easy walk away.

The first day kicked off with an introduction by Deutsche Telekom that covered what they’re using OpenStack for in their company. Since they’re a network provider, networking support was a huge component, but they use other components as well to build an infrastructure as they plan to have a quicker software development cycle that’s less tied to the hardware lifetime. We also got a quick tour of one of their data centers and a demo of some of the running prototypes for quicker provisioning and changing of service levels for their customers.

Monday afternoon was spent with an on-boarding tutorial for newcomers to OpenStack when it comes to contributing, and on Tuesday we transitioned into an overview of the OpenStack Infrastructure and QA systems that we’d be working on for the rest of the week. Beyond the overview of the infrastructure presented by James E. Blair, key topics included in the infrastructure included jeepyb presented by Jeremy Stanley, devstack-gate and Grenade presented by Sean Dague, Tempest presented by Matthew Treinish (including the very useful Tempest Field Guide) and our Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana (ELK) stack presented by Clark Boylan.

Wednesday we began the hacking/sprint portion of the event, where we moved to another conference room and moved tables around so we could get into our respective working groups. Anita Kuno presented the Infrastructure User Manual which we’re looking to flesh out, and gave attendees a task of helping to write a section to help guide users of our CI system. This ended up being a great thing for newcomers to get their feet wet with, and I hope to have a kind of entry level task at every infrastructure sprint moving forward. Some folks worked on getting support for uploading log files to Swift, some on getting multinode testing architected, and others worked on Tempest. In the early afternoon we had some discussions covering recheck language, next steps I’d be taking when it comes to the evaluation of translations tools, a “Gerrit wishlist” for items that developers are looking for as Khai Do prepares to attend a Gerrit hack event and more. I also took time on Wednesday to dive into some documentation I noticed needed some updating after the tutorial day the day before.

Thursday the work continued, I did some reviews, helped out a couple of new contributors and wrote my own patch for the Infra Manual. It was also great to learn and collaborate on some of the aspects of the systems we use that I’m less familiar with and explain portions to others that I was familiar with.

Zuul supervised my work

Friday was a full day of discussions, which were great but a bit overwhelming (might have been nice to have had more on Thursday). Discussions kicked off with strategies for handling the continued publishing of OpenStack Documentation, which is currently just being published to a proprietary web platform donated by one of the project sponsors.

A very long discussion was then had about managing the gate runtime growth. Managing developer and user expectations for our gating system (thorough, accurate testing) while balancing the human and compute resources that we have available on the project is a tough thing to do. Some technical solutions to ease the pain on some failures were floated and may end up being used, but the key takeaway I had from this discussion was that we’d really like the community to be more engaged with us and each other (particularly when patches impact projects or functionality that you might not feel is central to your patch). We also want to stress that the infrastructure is a living entity that evolves and we accept input as to ideas and solutions to problems that we’re encountering, since right now the team is quite small for what we’re doing. Finally, there were some comments about how we run tests in the process of reviewing, and how scalable the growth of tests is over time and how we might lighten that load (start doing some “traditional CI” post merge jobs? having some periodic jobs? leverage experimental jobs more?).

The discussion I was most keen on was around the refactoring of our infrastructure to make it more easily consumable by 3rd parties. Our vision early on was that we were an open source project ourselves, but that all of our customizations were a kind of example for others to use, not that they’d want to use them directly, so we hard coded a lot into our special openstack_projects module. As the project has grown and more organizations are starting to use the infrastructure, we’ve discovered that many want to use one largely identical to ours and that making this easier is important to them. To this end, we’re developing a Specification to outline the key steps we need to go through to achieve this goal, including splitting out our puppet modules, developing a separate infra system repo (what you need to run an infrastructure) and project stuff repo (data we load into our infrastructure) and then finally looking toward a way to “productize” the infrastructure to make it as easily consumable by others as possible.

The afternoon finished up with discussions about vetting and signing of release artifacts, ideas for possible adjustment of the job definition language and how teams can effectively manage their current patch queues now that the auto-abandon feature has been turned off.

And with that – our sprint concluded! And given the rise in temperature on Friday and how worn out we all were from discussions and work, it was well-timed.

Huge thanks to Deutsche Telekom for hosting this event, being able to meet like this is really valuable to the work we’re all doing in the infrastructure and QA for OpenStack.

Full (read-only) notes from our time spent throughout the week available here:

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

6 Excellent Lightweight Linux Distros for x86 and ARM

Carla Schroder (O'Reilly articles) - Sat, 2014-07-19 02:15
Presenting a nice assortment of lightweight yet fully-functional Linux distros for all occasions. All of these are full distros that do not depend on cloud services; four for x86 and two, count 'em, two for ARM hardware.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

25 Best Open Source Android Apps for Small Business

Carla Schroder (O'Reilly articles) - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:15
Google's Android is a great little operating system for mobile and low-powered devices, but even though it has open source roots, most Android apps are not open source.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Time-lapse photography: a simple Arduino-driven camera intervalometer

Akkana Peck - Thu, 2014-07-17 00:31

[Arduino intervalometer] While testing my automated critter camera, I was getting lots of false positives caused by clouds gathering and growing and then evaporating away. False positives are annoying, but I discovered that it's fun watching the clouds grow and change in all those photos ... which got me thinking about time-lapse photography.

First, a disclaimer: it's easy and cheap to just buy an intervalometer. Search for timer remote control or intervalometer and you'll find plenty of options for around $20-30. In fact, I ordered one. But, hey, it's not here yet, and I'm impatient. And I've always wanted to try controlling a camera from an Arduino. This seemed like the perfect excuse.

Why an Arduino rather than a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone? Just because it's simpler and cheaper, and this project doesn't need much compute power. But everything here should be applicable to any microcontroller.

My Canon Rebel Xsi has a fairly simple wired remote control plug: a standard 2.5mm stereo phone plug. I say "standard" as though you can just walk into Radio Shack and buy one, but in fact it turned out to be surprisingly difficult, even when I was in Silicon Valley, to find them. Fortunately, I had found some, several years ago, and had cables already wired up waiting for an experiment.

The outside connector ("sleeve") of the plug is ground. Connecting ground to the middle ("ring") conductor makes the camera focus, like pressing the shutter button halfway; connecting ground to the center ("tip") conductor makes it take a picture. I have a wired cable release that I use for astronomy and spent a few minutes with an ohmmeter verifying what did what, but if you don't happen to have a cable release and a multimeter there are plenty of Canon remote control pinout diagrams on the web.

Now we need a way for the controller to connect one pin of the remote to another on command. There are ways to simulate that with transistors -- my Arduino-controlled robotic shark project did that. However, the shark was about a $40 toy, while my DSLR cost quite a bit more than that. While I did find several people on the web saying they'd used transistors with a DSLR with no ill effects, I found a lot more who were nervous about trying it. I decided I was one of the nervous ones.

The alternative to transistors is to use something like a relay. In a relay, voltage applied across one pair of contacts -- the signal from the controller -- creates a magnetic field that closes a switch and joins another pair of contacts -- the wires going to the camera's remote.

But there's a problem with relays: that magnetic field, when it collapses, can send a pulse of current back up the wire to the controller, possibly damaging it.

There's another alternative, though. An opto-isolator works like a relay but without the magnetic pulse problem. Instead of a magnetic field, it uses an LED (internally, inside the chip where you can't see it) and a photo sensor. I bought some opto-isolators a while back and had been looking for an excuse to try one. Actually two: I needed one for the focus pin and one for the shutter pin.

How do you choose which opto-isolator to use out of the gazillion options available in a components catalog? I don't know, but when I bought a selection of them a few years ago, it included a 4N25, 4N26 and 4N27, which seem to be popular and well documented, as well as a few other models that are so unpopular I couldn't even find a datasheet for them. So I went with the 4N25.

Wiring an opto-isolator is easy. You do need a resistor across the inputs (presumably because it's an LED). 380Ω is apparently a good value for the 4N25, but it's not critical. I didn't have any 380Ω but I had a bunch of 330Ω so that's what I used. The inputs (the signals from the Arduino) go between pins 1 and 2, with a resistor; the outputs (the wires to the camera remote plug) go between pins 4 and 5, as shown in the diagram on this Arduino and Opto-isolators discussion, except that I didn't use any pull-up resistor on the output.

Then you just need a simple Arduino program to drive the inputs. Apparently the camera wants to see a focus half-press before it gets the input to trigger the shutter, so I put in a slight delay there, and another delay while I "hold the shutter button down" before releasing both of them.

Here's some Arduino code to shoot a photo every ten seconds: int focusPin = 6; int shutterPin = 7; int focusDelay = 50; int shutterOpen = 100; int betweenPictures = 10000; void setup() { pinMode(focusPin, OUTPUT); pinMode(shutterPin, OUTPUT); } void snapPhoto() { digitalWrite(focusPin, HIGH); delay(focusDelay); digitalWrite(shutterPin, HIGH); delay(shutterOpen); digitalWrite(shutterPin, LOW); digitalWrite(focusPin, LOW); } void loop() { delay(betweenPictures); snapPhoto(); }

Naturally, since then we haven't had any dramatic clouds, and the lightning storms have all been late at night after I went to bed. (I don't want to leave my nice camera out unattended in a rainstorm.) But my intervalometer seemed to work fine in short tests. Eventually I'll make some actual time-lapse movies ... but that will be a separate article.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

How I Helped Ramit Sethi Break Through Barriers and Earn Millions of Dollars

Erica Douglass - Tue, 2014-07-15 22:55

This post could potentially help you create the next huge online business. I’ll get into that more below, but first, since you’ve been asking, here’s what happened in the aftermath of my last blog post!

It’s been 2 1/2 months since I shared the story of my startup failing here on my blog. And I’m happy to announce I can now share the epilogue to that story: After I wrote the post, Whoosh Traffic was acquired by another local Austin company, OwnLocal.

OwnLocal, as our largest customer, had significant interest in the technology behind what we’d built, and also acquired our customers. In addition, they hired Paul, our CTO. It was a huge win-win for all, and I’d like to personally thank Lloyd Armbrust, OwnLocal’s CEO, and their entire executive team for helping make the acquisition a quick and relatively pain-free process for all involved!

After wrapping up all the details related to the acquisition, I was able to take most of the past 2 1/2 months off (sans three consulting gigs–all of which I greatly enjoyed.)

Finding Out What I Really Wanted

In mid-May, I went to a leadership retreat outside of Boulder, CO. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time in Boulder lately, and this was a natural extension of that. During the retreat, Shane Rasnak led a session where we dove deep into what we really wanted to do. I found myself aligning with two goals, both of which surprised me: I wanted to do more blogging, especially video blogging, and I wanted to do more coaching.

Coaching was the one that surprised me the most, perhaps because I’ve always seen myself as a founder, even though I’ve had hundreds of people ask me to coach them, and have even had paid coaching clients in the past. I’ve struggled with saying “yes” to requests from others to be coached, often because those requests come from people who are just getting started with their online businesses.

Honestly, I’m better at coaching folks who are farther along. I can make a bigger difference in someone’s life when that person already has a 6-figure business and needs help transforming it into a 7-figure, and potentially even, 8-figure a year business than I can with someone who’s just starting out.

That realization took me a long time to come to grips with. Offering coaching but turning many people away who wanted it was hard for me to reconcile. But I realized I owed it to myself and to others who wanted to work with me to open the door for a few people who really wanted to make a huge difference in their lives.

The Huge Leap I Helped Ramit Make

One of my first truly transformative experiences as a coach happened back in 2008, when I had dinner with a then virtually-unknown blogger named Ramit Sethi. His blog,, had an audience of Stanford students and people who knew him in Silicon Valley, but didn’t have the huge reach it has today.

Back then, Ramit was better known as one of the co-founders of PBWiki, which is today known as PBWorks. I remember the dinner so clearly. He slid across the table a piece of 8.5″x11″ copy paper. On it, neatly written, was a list. At first glance it looked like a shopping list. There must have been at least 40 items on it.

I started reading. “Write a book”, read one item. (Actually, I think it might have even been “Write a best-selling book.” That’s Ramit for you–and indeed, he did write that book!) Other items included product ideas for his burgeoning blogging audience, blog post ideas, and ideas on what to write that would get syndicated by other media companies.

Noticing some writing on the back, I flipped the piece of paper over…only to find 40 more items on it. “Ramit, what is this?” I finally asked him.

Ramit replied with a grin, “It’s what I want to accomplish in the next year.”

I looked at him, shocked. “Eight people working full-time could not accomplish all of that in one year, Ramit. At the very least, you’re going to have to quit your job.”

“Oh no,” he said. “I can’t quit.”

“Why not?” I asked him. (I had also observed that none of the items on the list included anything to do with PBWiki–clearly showing where his focus was.)

“Well…” he said, thinking for a minute. “People know me as the co-founder of PBWiki.” And certainly, back then they did.

“I understand,” I said. “Hundreds of people knew me as the founder of my hosting company, back when I ran that. But today, because of my blog, thousands more know me. Most of my blog audience doesn’t know me from when I ran my hosting company. They just know me from my blog.”

“Hmm,” said Ramit. And I saw the shift in his face–the emotional shift. It was the permission he needed to set himself free from his job.

He quit his job soon thereafter. And he credited our dinner for changing his perspective. He had been so stuck on the identity he had as “co-founder of PBWiki” that he was scared to step into what would become a much larger identity for him as a best-selling author, blogger, and (now) someone who makes millions of dollars a year running a blog-based business.

Ramit had a few things that made him special. He was driven, motivated, and focused. Even back then, I could see he would be hugely successful. But, like many of us, he had a belief that held him back. I was able to see that belief and help Ramit smash it.

These coaching experiences continued to happen with me over the past few years. I have helped numerous business owners smash barriers, break through their beliefs, and transform their businesses. In several cases, business owners have made millions of dollars from the changes I’ve suggested or the re-alignment of beliefs they’ve had after talking to me.

Today, I get to step into my courage and say: I’m going to do breakthrough coaching full-time for at least the rest of this year. I’m looking for just 4 people to work with. Like what I saw with Ramit, you must be driven, motivated, and focused. You likely won’t be just starting out (Ramit already had a great job, as well as a blog that was growing.) You’re probably already making 6 figures–after all, all that determination and focus hasn’t been wasted on you! But you know you can take it to a huge next level. And that’s what I’m here to help you do.

Does this sound like I’m describing you? Apply here. I’m going through each application individually. If you are a fit, I’ll reach out and we’ll do a complimentary 1-2 hour 1:1 initial coaching session (through Skype or Google Hangouts.) We’ll go deep. I’ll question the beliefs you have, and make you think deeply about why you’re doing what you’re doing.

My goal with our initial coaching session is simple: I want to get you to a breakthrough about your life or your business, and smash a belief that is holding you back. I won’t hold back–I’m here to be your coach, not your friend, and big breakthoughs often require someone who isn’t afraid to show you exactly what’s holding you back. That’s what I’m here to do for you.

At the end of the session, if we both think it’s a fit, we’ll work together for a minimum of 3 months, and we’ll do a 1:1 call every week. I’ll help you set the right goals, sort through the stress, and hold you accountable to make the big changes you need to make.

In addition, I’ll open my Rolodex to you and help you get connected to whoever and whatever you need to take your business to the next level. I’ve helped business owners raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors, change pricing and make millions, and even completely “pivot” their businesses into something they’re more passionate and less stressed about–that makes them an exponentially larger amount of money. It is all possible.

It’s a huge opportunity for the right 4 people–and that’s why I will only do this with people for whom it’s a 100% total fit in both directions. I’m looking for the next Ramit, the next hugely successful startup founder, business owner, or blogger.

Here’s what Ramit had to say about working with me:

“Erica helped me launch a program with hundreds of paying customers over one hour that’s generating thousands of dollars per month.

In the midst of running a 30 day challenge, I couldn’t figure out how to turn this into sustainable revenue. Ebook? Webcast? Erica asked me about my goals, thought about it for 30 seconds, and told me exactly how to create a program that would serve my customers and keep them engaged, all while minimizing my time. Yes, it helped that I already had an existing community. Yes, it still takes time each month. But without Erica’s advice, I would have just continued churning out blog post after blog post, without looking at the big (business) picture. She helped me with my sales page, business model, and even the user flows.

There’s one other key: Erica’s suggestion was great, but without action, it would have just been another grand idea. She urged me to forget about all my mental barriers and launch it. With a few hours of execution, I was able to launch and sell 100+ customers in the first 48 hours.”

Think you’re the next Ramit (or the female/black/gay/etc. version)? If you’re looking for a way to transition from 6 figures to 7 figures, from 7 figures to 8 figures, or from a hugely successful day job into a hugely successful business, please do apply. I’ll be in touch with each applicant individually starting this week, so the sooner you apply, the better.

If You’re Just Getting Started…

So…what about those of you who are just getting started? I’m really excited to announce that Ramit is finally releasing a dream program for those of you who are ready to build a huge business…the program I’ve been bugging him to release for the past 6 years!

Ramit doesn’t release programs until they are amazing, and that’s why I unabashedly recommend you check it out. He’s running a free webinar tonight, July 15, at 6PM Pacific/9PM Eastern where you can get a sneak peek of how he’s built a multi-million dollar business.

Sign up for Ramit’s free webinar here!

As a special bonus, just for signing up for Ramit’s free webinar, I’ll send you a copy of an interview Ramit and I did back in 2009 when Ramit was just getting started with his business. It’s a great look at how Ramit built his business–back when he was earning a few thousand dollars a month, so it will help you if you’re just getting started.

We cover:

  • How to get “super affiliates” to promote your product
  • Want to build a membership site? Learn how Ramit built one that earned thousands of dollars a month in income without having to do a lot of work.
  • How Ramit got other people to write the content for a product that he then sold (not what you think

…and more! Sign up for Ramit’s free webinar here, and I’ll send you the recording and transcript of my interview with Ramit next week. (You don’t have to buy anything to receive the recording–just sign up and attend his webinar!)

Podcasting, videos, and more…

You may have heard me talk recently about how I’m working on a podcast, some videos, and an information product about how to start your business when you feel too “busy” to do so. I’ve decided to honor my most-fulfilling path and go into coaching full-time for at least the rest of this year–so 4 up-and-coming “Ramits” will receive my full attention. However, as time permits, I may also work on the podcast and information product!

I will definitely commit to at least 1 blog post per week for the rest of this year, as well. I have an accountability partner who is holding me to that. I’ve got a ton of posts queued up, with topics ranging from more details on my foray into the funded startup world, to how to be more productive, to how to hire the best people. Stay tuned!

If You’re Just Getting Started: Check out Ramit’s free webinar here.

If you think you may be the “next Ramit”: Apply for my exclusive 3-month coaching program here. You can be anywhere in the world. It’s a unique opportunity to work with a successful entrepreneur who has generated millions of dollars in online business sales–who has gotten her clients where you’re looking to go.

See you next week!

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The post How I Helped Ramit Sethi Break Through Barriers and Earn Millions of Dollars appeared first on Starting Your Own Business with Erica Douglass.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Ditch Agile, Go With Common Sense

L J Laubenheimer (Iconoclast Blast) - Tue, 2014-07-15 17:40
I am so sick of Agile I could puke. Agile "methods" and "processes" are often used as a bludgeon to enforce the great speedup, doing more, faster, with fewer resources. I see estimations forced into the PM or manager's demanded hard deadline, hours getting longer because of wasted time in meetings, and "rapid" deployment of garbage code that needs to be rolled back because no integration testing was done (eliminating QA does that to you.)
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

How To ***REALLY*** Advocate for the Customer

L J Laubenheimer (Iconoclast Blast) - Tue, 2014-07-15 17:32
I occasionally see job ads for "customer advocates" or "customer evangelists". They all turn out to be sales and marketing, that is, advocating or evangelizing stuff to the would-be user. That is so ass-backwards that it makes me foam at the mouth.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Trapped our first pack rat

Akkana Peck - Sat, 2014-07-12 18:05

[White throated woodrat in a trap] One great thing about living in the country: the wildlife. I love watching animals and trying to photograph them.

One down side of living in the country: the wildlife.

Mice in the house! Pack rats in the shed and the crawlspace! We found out pretty quickly that we needed to learn about traps.

We looked at traps at the local hardware store. Dave assumed we'd get simple snap-traps, but I wanted to try other options first. I'd prefer to avoid killing if I don't have to, especially killing in what sounds like a painful way.

They only had one live mousetrap. It was a flimsy plastic thing, and we were both skeptical that it would work. We made a deal: we'd try two of them for a week or two, and when (not if) they didn't work, then we'd get some snap-traps.

We baited the traps with peanut butter and left them in the areas where we'd seen mice. On the second morning, one of the traps had been sprung, and sure enough, there was a mouse inside! Or at least a bit of fur, bunched up at the far inside end of the trap.

We drove it out to open country across the highway, away from houses. I opened the trap, and ... nothing. I looked in -- yep, there was still a furball in there. Had we somehow killed it, even in this seemingly humane trap?

I pointed the open end down and shook the trap. Nothing came out. I shook harder, looked again, shook some more. And suddenly the mouse burst out of the plastic box and went HOP-HOP-HOPping across the grass away from us, bounding like a tiny kangaroo over tufts of grass, leaving us both giggling madly. The entertainment alone was worth the price of the traps.

Since then we've seen no evidence of mice inside, and neither of the traps has been sprung again. So our upstairs and downstairs mice must have been the same mouse.

But meanwhile, we still had a pack rat problem (actually, probably, white-throated woodrats, the creature that's called a pack rat locally). Finding no traps for sale at the hardware store, we went to Craigslist, where we found a retired wildlife biologist just down the road selling three live Havahart rat traps. (They also had some raccoon-sized traps, but the only raccoon we've seen has stayed out in the yard.)

We bought the traps, adjusted one a bit where its trigger mechanism was bent, baited them with peanut butter and set them in likely locations. About four days later, we had our first captive little brown furball. Much smaller than some of the woodrats we've seen; probably just a youngster.

[White throated woodrat bounding away] We drove quite a bit farther than we had for the mouse. Woodrats can apparently range over a fairly wide area, and we didn't want to let it go near houses. We hiked a little way out on a trail, put the trap down and opened both doors. The woodrat looked up, walked to one open end of the trap, decided that looked too scary; walked to the other open end, decided that looked too scary too; and retreated back to the middle of the trap.

We had to tilt and shake the trap a bit, but eventually the woodrat gathered up its courage, chose a side, darted out and HOP-HOP-HOPped away into the bunchgrass, just like the mouse had.

No reference I've found says anything about woodrats hopping, but the mouse did that too. I guess hopping is just what you do when you're a rodent suddenly set free.

I was only able to snap one picture before it disappeared. It's not in focus, but at least I managed to catch it with both hind legs off the ground.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

temporary tea spaces

Katie - Fri, 2014-07-11 17:42
I'm planning on doing a public chado event or two this year at Burning Man, tentatively in the base of Cosmic Praise, a climbable 50-foot tower with a spark chamber in the cupola that will be located at the 6-o'clock keyhole overlooking center camp. It won't be in the printed program—which filled up faster than I could find a venue—but I'll add it to the online event directory once I figure out when it'll be. The bottom of the tower will have a 12-foot diameter open space with a single doorway and 14-foot tall cloth walls, for reference. xuth, who will be part of the build team, points out that I may get too many people if I do this in such a central location, so I'm thinking about how to delineate the space so it isn't too inviting to casual passersby.

This challenge has me reviewing temporary tea spaces that others have built, and I'm so impressed by their creativity and beauty that I wanted to share:


Incidentally, I'm trying to think of a name for my tea event. It should distinguish this from other on-playa tea events by referencing chado / chanoyu / Way of Tea. It isn't going to be ceremonial, so I think "tea ceremony" would be inaccurate. And ideally it would tie into cosmic rays. Any ideas?

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Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

OpenStack Infrastructure July 2014 Bug Day

Elizabeth Krumbach - Tue, 2014-07-08 22:43

Today the OpenStack Infrastructure team hosted our first bug day of the cycle.

The Killing Jar; the last moments of a Parage aegeria

The steps we have for running a bug day can be a bit tedious, but it’s not hard, here’s the rundown:

  1. I create our etherpad: cibugreview-july2014 (see etherpad from past bug days on the wiki at: InfraTeam#Bugs)
  2. I run my simple script and populate the etherpad.
  3. Grab the bug stats from launchpad and copy them into the pad so we (hopefully) have inspiring statistics at the end of the day.
  4. Then comes the real work. I open up the old etherpad and go through all the bugs, copying over comments from the old etherpad where applicable and making my own comments as necessary about obvious updates I see (and updating my own bugs).
  5. Let the rest of the team dive in on the etherpad and bugs!

Throughout the day we chat in #openstack-infra about bug statuses, whether we should continue pursuing certain strategies outlined in bugs, reaching out to folks who have outstanding bugs in the tracker that we’d like to see movement on but haven’t in a while. Plus, we get to triage a whole pile of New bugs and close others we may have lost track of.

As we wrap up, here are the stats from today:

Bug day start total open bugs: 281

  • 64 New bugs
  • 41 In-progress bugs
  • 5 Critical bugs
  • 22 High importance bugs
  • 2 Incomplete bugs

Bug day end total open bugs: 231

  • 0 New bugs
  • 33 In-progress bugs
  • 4 Critical bugs
  • 16 High importance bugs
  • 10 Incomplete bugs

Thanks again everyone!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers
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