Thu, 1970-01-01 00:00

Tourist in Montreal

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sun, 2014-04-20 17:11

A couple weeks ago I was in Montreal for PyCon 2014. It was an amazing conference, but I was also glad to have some time to explore the beautiful city that is Montreal.

On Thursday (2nd day of tutorials) I didn’t have anything scheduled conference-wise, so I met up with my friend and long time Ubuntu contributor John Chiazzese (IdleOne). We’ve worked together online on Ubuntu for several years, and even both lived in the same area at the same time at one point, but we never managed to meet. My love of zoos landed us at the Montreal Biodome, housed in a former Olympic building.

The Biodome takes you through 4 different environments where they have mini-ecosystems for each and animals that populate the zones. The lynx were a big draw for me:

The river otter was also quite adorable and looking for attention. I also quite enjoyed the monkeys! And the penguins!

One of the evenings after the conference I joined a few of my colleagues to see And Then There Was Light sound and like show at the Notre Dame Basilica, not far from the convention center.

As a fan of historical religious buildings, I was eager for my chance to walk around the basilica as a tourist. The “sound and light show” portion of the show was a bit cheesy, giving folks a history of the French colonists and the basilica itself, but we had fun. Afterwards, we had 15 minutes to walk around and take photos, hooray!

Once they had pulled up the curtains used during the show, the interior did not disappoint. The alter in particular was spectacular:

I was also exposed to a lot of great food in Montreal, only a fraction of which I could eat. I had unfortunately fallen ill just before my trip and was on a strict bland diet – no red meat, no alcohol, no fatty foods. In a city full of steakhouses, wine and cheese this was a special kind of torture, but it did allow me to explore the menus beyond what I might typically order (and I did cheat a bit with the cheese). I ate a lot of chicken, fish and vegetables.

I was fortunate to have decent walking weather during most of the trip, but as the event wound down I found the chilly weather coming back, I even hear that there were some flurries the day after I left. Montreal is great, but was nice to be on my way back to California when the snow returned!

More photos from my tourist adventures in Montreal here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157643982902633/

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Weeeee, Kubuntu 14.04 is out! and already looking to the future

Valorie Zimmerman 2 - Sat, 2014-04-19 22:35
The past week has been exhilarating and exhausting for our Kubuntu crew. I'm sure the other *buntu teams were working just as hard. Not just packaging, because that goes on all the time, though not at this intense pace. But the attention to detail, the testing, polishing, patching, discussion with developers to get those patches upstream, coordination with Debian, cleaning up copyright files, man pages and other documentation, making screen shots, our user docs and new website, more testing, more polish.... it was truly an amazing effort.

I used `ubuntu-bug` from the cli more than I ever have before, testing out the betas. It was an amazing experience to file the bug, and then see it fixed within the day! This happened again and again. The entire Ubuntu ecosystem really works well together. My thanks to those developers who read and respond to those bug reports.

What I love about Kubuntu is how everyone pitches in. All of us try to maintain balance in our lives, so that there is time for leisure and enrichment, along with work. Also, the work is fun, because the team enjoys one another, posting fun links, joking around, but continuing to work away on our todo lists. Even those who didn't have time for packaging, often stopped by the devel channel to find out what needed testing. It all helped!

Since I'm not a devel, all this was inspiring rather than exhausting. So I had the time and energy to spend time helping out folks with questions and trouble in #kubuntu and #kde. That felt great! We were able to answer most of the questions, and overcome most of the difficulties.

One issue that came up quite a few times in the last couple of days, was PPAs. On a clean install, of course all old PPAs are blown away. On an upgrade, however, they can linger and cause lots of perplexing problems. Official PPAs like backports are fine, but specialty ones should be removed before upgrading. If you need them, you can always re-add after the upgrade. For the same reason, unpin any packages you have pinned.

It is really fabulous to be able to present the latest KDE software into our Kubuntu LTS. This will give us the freedom to try out the newest stuff from KDE based on the sparkly new Frameworks, Plasma Next and so forth, in our next release. So, our users will be able to use software supported for five years if they want, while also having the option to install 14.10 (if all goes well) and check out the newest.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Back from PyCon

Akkana Peck - Thu, 2014-04-17 16:20

I'm back from Montreal, settling back in.

The PiDoorbell tutorial went well, in the end. Of course just about everything that could go wrong, did. The hard-wired ethernet connection we'd been promised didn't materialize, and there was no way to get the Raspberry Pis onto the conference wi-fi because it used browser authentication (it still baffles me why anyone still uses that! Browser authentication made sense in 2007 when lots of people only had 801.11g and couldn't do WPA; it makes absolutely zero sense now).

Anyway, lacking a sensible way to get everyone's Pis on the net, Deepa stepped as network engineer for the tutorial and hooked up the router she had brought to her laptop's wi-fi connection so the Pis could route through that.

Then we found we had too few SD cards. We didn't realize why until afterward: when we compared the attendee count to the sign-up list we'd gotten, we had quite a few more attendees than we'd planned for. We had a few extra SD cards, but not enough, so I and a couple of the other instructors/TAs had to loan out SD cards we'd brought for our own Pis. ("Now edit /etc/network/interfaces ... okay, pretend you didn't see that, that's the password for my home router, now delete that and change it to ...")

Then some of the SD cards turned out not to have been updated with the latest packages, Mac users couldn't find the drivers to run the serial cable, Windows users (or was it Macs?) had trouble setting static ethernet addresses so they could ssh to the Pi, all the problems we'd expected and a few we hadn't.

But despite all the problems, the TAs: Deepa (who was more like a co-presenter than a TA), Serpil, Lyz and Stuart, plus Rupa and I, were able to get everyone working. All the attendees got their LEDs blinking, their sonar rangefinders rangefinding, and the PiDoorbell script running. Many people brought cameras and got their Pis snapping pictures when the sensor registered someone in front of it. Time restrictions and network problems meant that most people didn't get the Dropbox and Twilio registration finished to get notifications sent to their phones, but that's okay -- we knew that was a long shot, and everybody got far enough that they can add the network notifications later if they want.

And the most important thing is that everybody looked like they were having a good time. We haven't seen the reviews (I'm not sure if PyCon shares reviews with the tutorial instructors; I hope so, but a lot of conferences don't) but I hope everybody had fun and felt like they got something out of it.

The rest of PyCon was excellent, too. I went to some great talks, got lots of ideas for new projects and packages I want to try, had fun meeting new people, and got to see a little of Montreal. And ate a lot of good food.

Now I'm back in the land of enchantment, with its crazy weather -- we've gone from snow to sun to cold breezes to HOT to threatening thunderstorm in the couple of days I've been back. Never a dull moment! I confess I'm missing those chocolate croissants for breakfast just a little bit. We still don't have internet: it's nearly 9 weeks since Comcast's first visit, and their latest prediction (which changes every time I talk to them) is a week from today.

But it's warm and sunny this morning, there's a white-crowned sparrow singing outside the window, and I've just seen our first hummingbird (a male -- I think it's a broad-tailed, but it'll take a while to be confident of IDs on all these new-to-me birds). PyCon was fun -- but it's nice to be home.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Finding a Tahr (or two!)

Elizabeth Krumbach - Wed, 2014-04-16 22:16

Tomorrow the next Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release comes out, 14.04, development code name Trusty Tahr. In preparation, I was putting together some materials for our release event next week and found myself looking for the Tahr artwork when I remembered that it was included in the installer. So now I’ll share it with you as well!

If you go to this source page you will see a “download file” link which will allow you to download a .png of the tahr artwork.

Trusty Tahr

I haven’t found an svg version of this logo, but I’ll be sure to update this post if I do.

Thanks to Tom Macfarlane of Canonical for emailing me a copy of the svg version! You can get a copy here.

Looking for something slightly different? The Xubuntu team also included a tahr in our installer, created by Simon Steinbeiß:


This png has transparency, which make it show grey on white, but you can flavor it with any color you wish!

You can grab it at this source page where you will see the “download file” link. I’ve also uploaded the svg: art_tahr.svg

Enjoy! And happy release everyone!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

PyCon 2014 wrap-up

Elizabeth Krumbach - Mon, 2014-04-14 00:48

As I mentioned in my post about the PiDoorbell workshop, this past week I attended my first PyCon in beautiful (if chilly) Montreal, QC. I did some touristing, but I’ll write about that once I have all my photos up…

But now, the conference!

It was the first conference I’ve attended where I volunteered to help out with the HP booth. I was worried that my role as an engineer on the OpenStack project would leave me completely unprepared to answer questions about HP specifically, but I was instead greeted with kinship among most folks who I spoke with as they could appreciate HP’s investment in open source (and Python). I was also pleased to learn that the guys from the local HP office who came to help out with the booth were also all engineers, focused on either network or printing. Having the actual engineers to helped design the hardware we had on display at the booth was really cool.

Plus, I’m sure it helped that we have a bunch of open Python, OpenStack and other cloud jobs, so plenty of folks were eager to hear about those.

I wasn’t at the booth all weekend, I attended all the keynotes and several talks throughout the event. I think my favorite talks ended up being Track memory leaks in Python by Victor Stinner, Subprocess to FFI: Memory, Performance, and Why You Shouldn’t Shell Out by Christine Spang and In Depth PDB by Nathan Yergler. Upon reflection this makes sense given my work in ops, I’m much more likely to be debugging Python code in my typical day than writing something, so the talks about tracking down problems and performance issues are right up my alley.

The keynotes all three days were great. On Sunday I was particularly struck by the conference gender diversity. In addition to having a reported 1/3 female speakers and attendees, all the leadership in the Python community seem genuinely dedicated to the issue. I’m so used to projects that are still arguing over whether a problem exists let alone taking solid, unapologetic steps to correct the cultural bias. So thank you Python community, for giving us an opportunity to catch up, it’s working!

And finally, since I can’t go anywhere anymore without getting pulled into an OpenStack event, I finally met Dana Bauer from Rackspace this week and she invited me to come help out with a short OpenStack workshop for women on Sunday morning from 10 until noon. The lab they had set up didn’t quite work out, but it gave attendees the opportunity to go in the direction they wanted to. I was able to help a bit here and there, and James E. Blair gave a mini-presentation to a few folks on how to get going with DevStack.

At lunch I was able to meet up with Tatiana Al-Chueyr to chat some about the contribution workflow for OpenStack, which is always a lot of fun for me.

I’m pretty much exhausted from all the socializing, but as always with these conferences it was great to meet up with and chat with friends I haven’t seen in a long time. Thanks to everyone for such a fun week!

Tonight the weather started to turn chilly again, time to head home.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

San Francisco 14.04 Release Party on April 24th

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sun, 2014-04-13 21:25

The release of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) LTS is coming up on Thursday, April 17th!

To celebrate, the Ubuntu California team in San Francisco will be hosting an Ubuntu release party at AdRoll! Huge thanks to them for offering us space for this event.

AdRoll

AdRoll is located at 972 Mission Street in San Francisco. It’s within easy walking distance of the Powell Street BART and MUNI stations, which we recommend since parking can be expensive downtown.

Our party will be very casual with free pizza and drinks for attendees. But we do have planned…

  • Mini presentation highlighting Ubuntu 14.04 features
  • Laptops running various flavors of 14.04
  • Tablets and phones running the latest Ubuntu build
  • Ubuntu quiz, with prizes!

So if you’re in the area and would like to join us, please RSVP here:

San Francisco Trusty Release Party

Alternatively you can email me directly at lyz@ubuntu.com and I’ll get you added to the attendee list.

I'm going to the Ubuntu Release Party

San Francisco isn’t the only active part of the state this release, San Diego is also hosting an event, on April 17th, details here. If you’re near Los Angeles, Nathan Haines is collaborating with the Orange County Linux Users Group (OCLUG) to do an installfest on Saturday May 24th, learn more here.

Not in California? Events are coming together all around the world, check out the LoCo Team Portal to see if there is an event being planned in your area: 14.04 Release Parties.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

PiDoorbell workshop at PyCon 2014 was a success!

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sun, 2014-04-13 12:16

This week I had the opportunity to attend PyCon for the first time. Since beginning to use Python in my systems work so much last year, I’ve had increasing interest in participating in this conference in some capacity, so when the opportunity came around at work to staff the HP booth here in Montreal I was happy to volunteer.

I was also brought to PyCon to be a Teaching Assistant for the Build your own PiDoorbell ! – Learn Home Automation with Python with fellow CodeChix members Rupa Dachere, Akkana Peck, Deepa Karnad Dhurka, Serpil Bayraktar and Stuart Easson.

We spent several weeks preparing for this tutorial. I made the trek down to Palo Alto twice to attend mini-sprints so we could test out the instructions in person prior to the event. We were able to add a number of improvements to both the code and documentation through these events and worked out some of the logistical issues of doing such a hardware event at a conference venue.


Workshop leads and TAs

The actual tutorial was held on Wednesday afternoon. Attendees quickly piled in and we were able to distribute our kits. Somehow we ended up with a few too many registrants but were able to scramble together a few extra pieces to make it work for everyone.

The tutorial was split into several sections, with the tutorial leads (Rupa and Akkana) giving presentations and us TAs going around and helping everyone with their setups when they got stuck. The biggest challenge for most was getting their system to talk to the Raspberry Pi, as we had folks on various operating systems with all kinds of network and USB setups.

Once we got everyone talking to the Pis, it was time for the fun stuff! Akkana gave a great presentation that was a tour of the hardware of the Raspberry Pi, including the setup of the GPIO pins configuration. For more about some cool hardware stuff she’s been doing with the Pi, I highly recommend her blog posts on the topic.

Then we had an led.py script to allow folks to make an LED blink:

As you can see, we’re using solderless breadboards so we didn’t have the complexity of soldering, thank goodness.

Then came the meat of the tutorial, wiring up the distance sensor (and camera if they had one) to actually detect when objects passed and take a photo. I brought along both my Raspberry Pi NoIR Camera Board – Infrared-sensitive Camera and my webcam from my desk at home so attendees could play around with them if they didn’t have ones of their own.

The last step was using Dropbox and Twilio to have a space to upload the photo to and then send out a notification.

Surprisingly for a hardware tutorial with such a diversity of host systems, I’m happy to report that most of the students were able to get the tutorial fully completed – at least to the point of taking pictures, if not the upload and notification portion. It was a lot of work for us TAs as we ran around helping everyone and debugging serial and networking issues, but it was worth it to see how much fun everyone had when they finally got an LED to blink or took their first picture.

All of the slides and source code is freely licensed, but the repository hasn’t been made available yet as Rupa wanted to fix some important bugs first (can’t have people frying their Pis!). But never fear, I’ll be following up to make sure it’s made available as soon as possible so others can do this too!

I’ve uploaded more photos from the event here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157643750475463/

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

May 3rd keynote and talk at LOPSA East

Elizabeth Krumbach - Sat, 2014-04-12 15:56

I’ve had a very busy year so far talk-wise. Back in January I gave a handful of sysadmin focused talks at Linux.conf.au in Perth, Western Australia. In February I did similar at the Southern California Linux Expo. In May I’ll be drifting slightly away from a Linux-only crowd to present at LOPSA-East in New Brunswick, New Jersey on May 3rd.

LOSPA-East 2014

First up on the schedule I’ll be doing my Code Review for Sys Admins talk:

I’m a member of the OpenStack Infrastructure team which is a geographically distributed team of systems administrators from several different companies who work together in public to maintain the infrastructure described at http://ci.openstack.org.

To achieve this, we use a code review system that leverages Gerrit as the interface for peer review and Jenkins to run some basic configuration and code syntax checking against our submissions. This allows us to maintain for code and config file integrity and gives us a nice platform so that our fellow systems administrators can comment on and improve solutions we come up with. We also use IRC, Etherpad and more for collaboration, which I will discuss.

I love giving this talk and I’m excited to be giving it at a conference focused at sysadmin-type folks in the industry.

But it gets better, they’ve also asked me to keynote on Saturday evening!

I’ve titled my talk Universal Design for Tech: Improving Gender Diversity in our Industry (thanks to Leigh Honeywell for the title idea):

Universal Design is a principle in accessibility that accessible design makes things better for everyone. A key example of which are curb cuts and door openers which help those who are disabled but also folks with luggage and parents with strollers.

Elizabeth will discuss ideas on how to improve gender diversity in our industry, but many of the tips will help everyone beyond improvements that come through diversity. From offering formal education for systems administration to offering flexible schedules and work arrangements, there are many things that can be done to attract much-needed talent.

As someone who has made it in the industry I’m keen on preserving the environment that I’ve grown and thrived in, but also in making small changes that I know would have helped me along the way and will help others, including women.

I also took some time to chat with Tom Limoncelli about my talk, which he’s posted on the Everything Sysadmin blog: Interview with LOPSA-East Keynote: Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph

Registration is still open for the conference and I hear there might even be some space at the hotel left (but it’s filling up fast!). Hope to see you there!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Test Sites for Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability

Carla Schroder (O'Reilly articles) - Wed, 2014-04-09 19:15
[url=http://lxer.com/team.php][img]http://lxer.com/content/carla_schroder.jpg[/img][/url] [b]LXer Feature: 09-April-2014[/b]Cryptography and security expert Filippo Valsorda created a Web-based Heartbleed tester. He released the code and now multiple sites have posted the tester. I do not know how reliable it is. To us lusers out here in the real world, the Internet and the sites we visit are black boxes. We have no way to know how safely they are handling our data. The sky is always falling.
Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Snow-Hail while preparing for Montreal

Akkana Peck - Mon, 2014-04-07 00:55

Things have been hectic in the last few days before I leave for Montreal with last-minute preparation for our PyCon tutorial, Build your own PiDoorbell - Learn Home Automation with Python next Wednesday.

[Snow-hail coming down on the Piñons] But New Mexico came through on my next-to-last full day with some pretty interesting weather. A windstorm in the afternoon gave way to thunder (but almost no lightning -- I saw maybe one indistinct flash) which gave way to a strange fluffy hail that got gradually bigger until it eventually grew to pea-sized snowballs, big enough and snow enough to capture well in photographs as they came down on the junipers and in the garden.

Then after about twenty minutes the storm stopped the sun came out. And now I'm back to tweaking tutorial slides and thinking about packing while watching the sunset light on the Rio Grande gorge.

But tomorrow I leave it behind and fly to Montreal. See you at PyCon!

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

SCaLE 12x Pics From Around the Web!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Los Angeles Chapter - Fri, 2014-03-14 23:14
The Tres Chix rocked it @ SCaLE 12x!!!!

The Tres Chix rocked it @ SCaLE 12x!!!!
Picture From the SCALE 12x Official Pics Site
https://www.flickr.com/search/?q=scale12x&s=rec

We won!!!! by Phillip Banks!

We won “Biggest SCaLE Spirit” and “Best Crowd Pleaser” Awards @ SCaLE 12x!  We won!  We won!!  We won!!!
Picture by Phillip Banks

And we got our own hashtag on Instagram thanks to TrueAbility!

Thomas Stocking ‏@ThomasStocking Feb 22 Expo has plenty of life for open source software geeks like me at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/3pXObnsF6p

Thomas Stocking ‏@ThomasStocking Feb 22
Expo has plenty of life for open source software geeks like me at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/3pXObnsF6p

 

A penguin on the loose at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/1Djo0ckPy3

A penguin on the loose at #scale12x pic.twitter.com/1Djo0ckPy3

 

randalschwartz 3 weeks ago · SCaLE 12x Audience for my talk at #scale12x

Audience for my talk at #scale12x
randal-schwartz

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

#New project problems

Brianna Laugher - Sat, 2014-02-22 23:21

I-know-how-to-program wankery (get to the content already)

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

New project: Crowdfunded Free Software (CFFSW)

Brianna Laugher - Wed, 2014-02-19 12:27

The launch of a new blog, which aims to chronicle crowdfunding campaigns for free software and related endeavours.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers

Some Newsblur fangirling

Brianna Laugher - Tue, 2014-02-11 06:19

Notes on customising your Newsblur shared items page, intelligence training and the Android app.

Categories: LinuxChix bloggers
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