I'm making my radio debut tomorrow! Technogaze is the technology program on JOY 94.9, Melbourne's GLBTIQ community radio station. For International Women's Day (noon tomorrow, Saturday 8 March), I will joining the regular panel and talking about women in technology and whatever else might come up in the program.
On Monday, March 3rd, we kicked off the TripleO (“OpenStack on OpenStack” ) mid-cycle meetup at the HP offices in Sunnyvale, California.
The day began by splitting up into groups with our specific focuses, including Ironic (bare metal) and Continuous Integration, where I ended up.
I was able to spend the day following up on a couple patches I had outstanding for the work I’ve been doing with Fedora on the infrastructure side and get some work done on another patch.
After lunch, Derek Higgins of Red Hat gave participants a walk through of how we’re doing testing, with a tour of the setup for our testing environments and the “TripleO cloud” itself that’s currently being used for testing, running on a rack of servers provided by HP.
After the tour, he made the diagram he used available to get a better picture of everything:
My day wrapped up by having a chat with some folks from Mirantis about some of their multi-node testing plans and how that may tie in to the work we’re doing in TripleO and the rest of infra.
The rest of the week so far has been spent over at the Yahoo! offices in Sunnyvale. Most noteworthy to what I’m working on, the Red Hat folks were able to make progress on getting their own rack up to supplement the current testing rack from HP in order to have redundancy in testing. I was also able to make progress in getting Fedora into the testing pool and had the opportunity to use the high bandwidth time with colleagues to work on some SELinux issues I’ve been running into and do some in person debugging.
Last night HP sponsored a fun dinner for all sprint attendees down at Gordon Biersch in San Jose. Today, Thursday we’re continuing our work which will wrap up tomorrow.
Celebrate Yourself - A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform!
I absolutely love that there is a day dedicated to women, and I couldn't help but write a post. As women, we can make a world of difference by inspiring change for more women in science, engineering, and technology. Every time, I hear girls afraid to embrace STEM careers because they might not be good at it [See myths about girls and science], or because it’s a man’s world [but again as the song says “it would be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl”], my heart breaks a little. It’s important to close the STEM gender gap [Check out why here]. Here are few 'natural' reasons that show that women have what it takes:
- Diane MarieChild once said that “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform”. This is not only valid in the “Carrying babies” context. It also applies to a plethora of domains. Engineering is about creating, designing, transforming what was before into greater things for the humanity welfare. So, ladies … Engineering might turn out to be more natural to us than we think.
- Engineering is about using scientific knowledge to solve problems. I find it fantastic to solve problems on a regular basis in a way that might change people's lives [It’s almost like being a superhero]. Again, women also have problem solving skills and love to help others.
- Women’s brains do not freeze when they encounter equations or complex mathematical tables and formulas. Here are graphs that refute the idea that women are bad at Math.
- I could go on and on with arguments but today is about celebrating Women in Science and Engineering!
|CU-WISE is celebrating you!|
Being present, leaning in and talking about our experiences as Women in STEM are ways to change these biases and have more girls embrace STEM! We are creating, nurturing and transforming the image of Women in STEM.
So Celebrate Yourself!!! You are inspiring change and making a world of difference!
On Sunday, March 2nd MJ and I headed over to Sherith Israel to attend a class by Ian Berke to learn about the stained glass throughout the historic building.
I didn’t know anything about stained glass, so the first thing we got to learn was the two main types of glass that are featured throughout the building: opalescent glass and painted glass. The painted glass was often in the 20th century Gothic revival style, with more stiff looking characters and simple colors and styles. The glass is stained in the traditional “pot metal” method where different types of metal are added to create different colors, copper for green, gold for red, cobalt for blue. I’m a fan.
The majority of the windows were of opalescent glass, an American innovation from the late 1800s pioneered by Tiffany and others. It requires multiple layers of glass that are colored with bone ash and other materials to make them a bit more flowing and dynamic than the flat colored painted windows. On these windows enamel was then used to paint features like faces, which allows for precise details but fades more quickly.
I have never gotten really close to stained glass windows before, so this was an opportunity to do so and see how thick and layered they tend to be, with intentional textures that you can feel on some of the windows, particularly the opalescent ones, to lend to the design. We also learned the basics of how a window is made, starting with either a pre-designed pattern or a design created for the window by the artist (both types are in the building) and then following the pattern in a full size printout/drawing that they cut and match the glass to match.
We also learned how expensive these windows were, and still are. Restoration for the massive Moses window on the west side of the building will cost almost $400,000 and has to be done every 100 years or so as the lead in the window starts to become brittle, risking the structural integrity of the window.
This was one of my favorite classes so far. I’m really looking forward to the class about the organ with Jonathan Dimmock coming up on March 23rd.
I have uploaded photos I took during the class here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157641770774454/
In an attempt to cut down on the student questions that go directly to me, I made a flow chart of "what to do next" :
(there's also a more accessible version posted at the bottom of our ideas page)
I am amused to tell you all that it's already cut down significantly on the amount of "what do I do next?" emails I've gotten as an org admin compared to this time last year. I'm not sure if it's because it's more eye-catching or better placed or what makes it more effective, since those instructions could be found in the section for students before. We'll see its magical powers hold once the student application period opens, though!
The Dagny main protagonist sleepless supersmart good at everything thin pretty blonde woman exective lawyer is an adherent of that philosopher. And she has a non-engineered twin sister who is not tall, thin, blonde, pretty, or sleepless. Their relationship where the Dagny is perfect at everything (by the standards of mainstream society) and her sister is a fuckup is one of the points of narrative tension. I recommended the book to ilcylic because I want to discuss the ending with him; I'm still chewing on it. I didn't like it -- I would really like it to be more common but that hasn't been how that's gone in my life and so it was hard for that to ring true to me. But I identified much more with the Dagny than any other character despite our obvious points of non-resemblance, and that's pretty uncomfortable. (This was not the case for me with "Atlas Shrugged"; I would have made very different choices than the Dagny there, but I could easily see myself making pretty similar choices to the Dagny here, though I would hope I would be a far more compassionate and understanding sister.) I suspect that the Dagny's final realization illustrates some of the social problems I have had with friends who thought I was perfect and good at everything and they don't feel that way. I certainly do not feel that I am perfect and good at everything, but that's a difficult navigation when you get into disproportionate social privilege and I haven't always handled that as adeptly as I would like. And I don't like that answer, but that doesn't mean that's not what's going on. Four out of five navel-gazes; I would particularly recommend it to/welcome the opinions of X-Men fans and anyone who's read "Atlas Shrugged".
I also read one of the starker history books I've ever read... when prepping for a potential Latvian trip later this year, I came across "Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War II". I wanted an introduction to recent Latvian history, and I got one, but oof. I liked* it so much that I got Mayhem a copy too, but oof. Essentially, imagine this: it is early 1940. You are stuck between Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany. They are about to have a fight in your yard. You cannot hope to match the military power of either side. No one wants to help you diplomatically; they don't want that fight either. What do you do? (Here is what happened.) So it's a thoroughly difficult read about hard choices and terrible fallout. If you're a fan of alternative history, it's rich fodder for trying to imagine ways out of that Scylla-and-Charybdis... but the people who were highly vested in the best possible outcome there paid a terrible price for essentially being there at all. Worth reading, absolutely, and I'll be thinking about it for a long time wishing I had better answers. Five o.O moments of sheer horror and furious thinking out of five.
This entry was originally posted at http://ivy.dreamwidth.org/369141.html and has comments there. Please feel free to comment on either site; comments rock.
We're nestled in the piñon-juniper woodlands of northern
It's a big jump from living in Silicon Valley.
Coyotes roam the property, though we don't catch a glimpse that often, and I think I saw a grey fox the first morning we were here. These past few weeks, Sandhill cranes have been migrating far overhead, calling their wild cries; sometimes they catch a thermal (once right over our house) and circle for a while, gaining altitude for their trip north.
And lightning -- summer thunderstorms were something I very much looked forward to (back in San Jose we got a thunderstorm maybe once every couple of years) but I didn't expect to see one so early. (I'm hoping the rain and wind will blow all the pollen off the junipers, so I can stop sneezing some time soon. Who knew juniper was such a potent allergen?)
And the night sky -- for amateur astronomers it looks like heaven.
We haven't had a telescope set up yet (we're still unpacking and sorting)
but the Milky Way is unbelievable.
We're in love with the house, too, though it's been neglected and will need a lot of work. It's by architect Bart Prince and it's all about big windows and open spaces. Here's me looking up at the office window from the garden down below.
Of course, not everything is perfect. To start with, in case anyone's been wondering why I haven't been around online much lately, we have no internet to the house until the cable company gets a permit to dig a trench under the street. So we're doing light networking by mi-fi and making trips to the library to use their internet connection, and it may be a few more weeks yet before we have a connection of our own.
I'm sure I'll miss the Bay Area's diversity of restaurants, though at the moment I'm stuffed with lamb, green chile and sopaipillas (a New Mexican specialty you can't really get anywhere else).
And of course I'll miss some of the people and the geeky gatherings, living in a small town that isn't packed with Linux and Python and tech women's user groups like the Bay Area. Still, I'm looking forward to the adventure.
And now, I'm off to the library to post this ...
Controlling Spycams with ZoneMinder on Linux (part 2)-- Creating Surveillance Zones, Multiple Spycams
In my previous post I talked about my Ubucon presentation at the Southern California Linux Expo this year and the Ubuntu booth that was busy throughout the weekend. There was much more to SCaLE12x than Ubuntu though!
On Friday I also had the opportunity to participate in the Infrastructure.Next event on Friday with a presentation on Open Source Systems Administration. This was a late addition to the schedule, and the session was only 30 minutes long so it wasn’t too much work to me to put it together quickly. As with the rest of SCaLE12x, I was happy to have a friendly, engaging audience which made for a comfortable presentation.
Slides from that talk are available here: scale_infra_opensource_sysadmin.pdf.
Friday night I enjoyed the series of UpSCALE talks, followed by the evening keyntoe by Lawrence Lessig. I saw Lessig speak over a year ago on the topic of campaign finance and government reform. I remember leaving that talk feeling a bit sad and hopeless about the situation with our government here in the US. This talk was in the same vein, but he had more positive news for actionable things that people (particularly tech people) could do to help. He also was able to showcase NHRebellion.org and the walk they did in January to gain support for their campaign finance reform efforts. The talk still made me a bit sad, because things are such a mess, but it is an important topic and I am inspired by seeing him to come the conference to speak about it.
Other highlights of the conference included a talk by Dmitri Zimine on OpenStack vs. VMWare. Predictably, as we were at an open source conference, OpenStack tended to come out on top for a long term investment of a large deployment. Of particular focus was the open source nature of OpenStack, allowing fixes to be deployed as quickly as you can patch them. The case was made for admin UIs that were easy to use in VMWare, but his message tended to be that for large deployments the administrators really should be leveraging APIs and mechanisms of automation through scripts rather than relying upon APIs. Expectedly, he urged technologists to embrace this and improve their skill set in this direction in order to remain successful and competitive in this growing market.
It was also interesting to hear from Jason Hibbets in his talk Open Source ALL the cities where he recounted his significant experience with government in Raleigh, North Carolina and the book he wrote to help other communities, with resources at theopensourcecity.com. A copy of his book now resides on my Nook (which I did buy from bn.com to support it) and I’m looking forward to learning more, it was inspiring to hear of such grassroots efforts in the technology sphere make a serious difference in local policy and quality of life.
I had a third talk at the conference that landed on Saturday evening on Code Review for Systems Administrators. The time slot was pretty packed with cool talks, so as I saw people trickle in to fill the room I was really pleased. The audience was engaging and I was able to answer some really interesting questions, which spilled over into discussions on Sunday as well. I really love the work I do so it was exciting to talk with others who share my unusual passion for process in this sphere.
Slides available here: http://docs.openstack.org/infra/publications/2014-scale12x-sysadmin-codereview/
On Sunday I was able to attend my colleague Clint Byrum’s talk OpenStack, Deploy thyself – TripleO. I’m already quite familiar with the project, but stepping back and getting a higher level view of it, along with a clearer picture of ideas moving forward is always a fun experience.
From there I headed over to the CentOS Project Q&A Forum. Given the recent rumblings in the Ubuntu community about licensing and trademarks around derivatives such as Linux Mint (which doesn’t go the extra step that CentOS does with the recompiling of binaries and avoiding trademark issues), I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn more about the direction Red Hat is taking. It was interesting to learn that this new collaboration that CentOS will begin to develop communities focused on different respins of the OS, which reminded me of the community-maintained flavors that have always been a part of the Ubuntu family. It seems that Red Hat and CentOS are moving closer to what Ubuntu has traditionally done and Ubuntu and Canonical are finally picking up some of the licensing and trademark slack that they’ve allowed with derivatives. I hope both companies and communities find a happy balance here, and as a Xubuntu contributor am certainly a big fan of flavors and respins that operate within the same community as their parent or source distribution. I find it strengthens the trust community-wide from users to developers, leads to higher quality products and makes for a healthy working relationship.
At the end of the day I had the opportunity to meet with Goran Hainer, a volunteer from the Brooks & Brooks Foundation about his work putting Linux-based desktops into disadvantaged spaces in Los Angeles. He had heard of my work with Partimus and was keen to learn from our experience in schools in the San Francisco bay area. Fortuitously, we also happened to be sitting next to someone else who was active in the space, but with a focus on providing high speed internet access to those in need. There was much swapping of success stories, challenges and business cards. I tend to be pretty shy at conferences, but when I’m able, this kind of amazing discussion is what makes an experience at SCaLE complete.
More photos from the event are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157641493306483/
Let's start with the boring and work our way up:
Wantable Socks - Color: Black
Wantable, your system isn't so good with colour, is it? Pretty sure that's not black.
These are a cheaped out part of the box, for me. I could buy these at the drug store for probably $3.99 or less, so the claimed $6 by stamping a wantable brand on the tag is pushing it.
That said, they're kind of cute neon socks. I'm not a huge fan of short socks since I've moved out of the desert and have discovered that short socks often result in damp ankles, and I hate damp ankles, but I'll enjoy these when I'm not leaving the house, anyhow.
( Hiding the more intimate parts for those who might not want panties showing up on their feeds... )
PACT Navy Bandana Camisole
I love love love this piece. It fits me perfectly, has a bit of runching in the front so it sits properly on my boobs, goes down to my hips, it's soft, and it even claims that profits of the sale went towards urban garden projects. How cool is that?
My only complaint is their flavour text about the organic cotton, which I'm too lazy to look up right now but it included something like "it's certified organic, which means no harsh pesticides" FAIL. Certified organic means a restricted set of organic pesticides, not no pesticides, and many of those organic pesticides are plenty harsh and dangerous.
Mis-information aside, PACT seems like a pretty cool company. They're a bit hippy-dippy, but they claim to be sweatshop-free and their prices are reasonable, so I'm willing to give them a bunch of money. The hard part is in deciding what I want and how many tank tops I can justify buying at once...
Claimed value: $28 (Actual value: Originally $30 on PACT's website, but currently marked down to $12)
Lots of winners in this box, and only one pair of panties that was annoying. I discovered a new brand which I like, even if they don't understand what certified organic means. I am pleased!
... which is just as well, because February's box is so underwhelming that I may return it entirely. Stay tuned for pictures!
On Friday, February 21st I gave my talk on 5 ways to get involved with Ubuntu today at the Southern California Linux Expo’s Ubucon.
I had a great audience who I was able to have some wonderful and inspiring chats with following my talk. There’s clearly a lot of interest in further involvement by user-level contributors, so I’m happy that the work I’ve been doing to improve on-boarding for projects I participate in will be valuable.
I’ve uploaded slides from the talk here: 5WaysToGetInvolvedWithUbuntuToday.pdf
You can also browse the companion blog posts I’ve been writing these past couple weeks leading up to the conference:
I really enjoyed the experience, huge thanks to Richard Gaskin for delivering another great Ubucon.
Finally, the Ubuntu booth put on by members of Ubuntu California has really been doing well this weekend, so thanks and congratulations to everyone who has been participating.
I-know-how-to-program wankery (get to the content already)
The launch of a new blog, which aims to chronicle crowdfunding campaigns for free software and related endeavours.
Cress (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
This is book 3 of the Lunar Chronicles, which started with Cinder and continued with Scarlet.
This is a sci-fi series with characters inspired from fairy tales. Some of the big moments are there, and the motivations (Scarlet, for example, is looking for her missing grandmother), but for the most part the characters are their own. If you like princesses who also fix androids and get covered in grease, this is a series you should be reading.
Cress is a Rapunzel who's trapped in a communications satellite being forced to hack spaceships and newsfeeds as a spy for the evil queen. I was horribly disappointed, given her repeatedly demonstrated computer skills, that unlike the other girls, she had to be the one who's sitting around dreaming of a dashing hero to rescue her from her "tower" in space. But in many ways, having her start there is giving Cress (and even the man she casts as her hero, much to his disbelief) a fair bit of room to grow. I quickly got so caught up in the adventure story that it didn't seem to matter so much that I thought she was a bit too traditional a princess.
It's hard to tell you much about the book without spoilers, but there's adventure and politics and daring rescues (more than one!) and spaceships and hacking and opera. (There's also violence, mind control, and torture. The latter is definitely not described in great detail, but it's definitely worth warning about.) If you liked the Vorkosigan series but wanted it to be mostly about women and less about women-that-Miles-totally-has-a-crush-on, this might tickle your fancy. If you like fairy tale retellings and also space ships, ditto. If you're looking for a book for your kids that isn't too heavy handed about feminism and social justice but it's still there *and* with romantic subplots, this is not the best in the series, but it's still there.
I continue to love the series, and despite my initial misgivings about Cress, I found myself caring about her along with the motley crew that's being assembled here. I am eagerly awaiting the next book!
A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
When I heard about this retelling of Hamlet set in a semi-modern private high school and told from the point of view of Ophelia, I was worried that it would be like the dubious graphic novel retellings I've seen of other classic literature.
This, however, is different. It's more like a fairy tale retelling, haunting and odd, where the fairies are as terrifying as they are magical. It's a picture of madness and depression told with a modern psychology eye but in almost classical prose.
I though the audiobook narrator did an excellent job of rendering Ophelia, mad and sane at once, filled with the passions of a teenager who you know is never going to see the end of the story.
It's a beautiful rendering of the classical tale from another perspective, shining light into different smaller tragedies within the whole. It's not an easy thing to read, watching the characters spiral into oblivion, but it's definitely a unique take on the tragedy.
Note: this book is likely very triggering for depression, self-harm, suicide -- some of it is as one might expect from the source, some goes beyond.
Edit: Those local to me, feel free to ask to borrow this!
So, here's a graphic novel I finished yesterday:
Mara TP by Brian Wood, Ming Doyle (Illustrator)
A quick flip through the book told me that it was dystopian sci-fi volleyball, and that was enough reason to take it home from the library. I recognized Brian Wood's name, because I've liked him on some things, but not so much on others.
The story starts by grounding title character Mara into a world of expensively-sponsored high-stakes sports in a world that drafts children for sports and war, but Mara herself seems to care more about her brother and her friend and teammate than she cares about the politics of sponsorship. I guess it's because of this solid grounding that I found the second half of the book was a bit too emotionally adrift. It's a great concept, and I can see the bones of a story in there that I would have loved, but it didn't quite come together for me.
Would I recommend it despite the ending? Yes. But I still mourn for the story it maybe could have been.
The LinuxChix LA will be @ booth #56!
Please come by and visit us!
We will have a fun free gift for the kids of SCaLE
to celebrate SCaLE: The Next Generation,
as well as a few goodies for adults for a small donation!
And several raffles for the kids, and Linux kids at heart
This mailbox has a little spotlight above it (presumably so people don't drive into it or so that the mail carrier can find it), which always amuses me. I personally refer to it as "photogenic mailbox" because of the spotlight. Photogenic mailbox is apparently also photogenic in the snow, not just the dark.
I imagine I'll use photogenic mailbox in a presentation about GNU Mailman, someday!
Note: you can actually see the spotlight, or evidence of it, if you look at the photo carefully. I should have photoshopped that out, but it turns out photoshop was installed on the hard drive that died, so I haven't sorted that out and gotten it re-installed yet.
Notes on customising your Newsblur shared items page, intelligence training and the Android app.