Search Results: "mones"

8 October 2017

Ricardo Mones: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?

One of the reasons which made me switch my old 17" BenQ monitor for a Dell U2413 three years ago was it had an integrated SD card reader. I find very convenient to take camera's card out, plug the card into the monitor and click on KDE device monitor's option Open with digiKam to download the photos or videos.

But last week, when trying to reconnect the USB cable to the new board just didn't work and the kernel log messages were not very hopeful:

[190231.770349] usb 2-2.3.3: new SuperSpeed USB device number 15 using xhci_hcd
[190231.890439] usb 2-2.3.3: New USB device found, idVendor=0bda, idProduct=0307
[190231.890444] usb 2-2.3.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=3
[190231.890446] usb 2-2.3.3: Product: USB3.0 Card Reader
[190231.890449] usb 2-2.3.3: Manufacturer: Realtek
[190231.890451] usb 2-2.3.3: SerialNumber: F141000037E1
[190231.896592] usb-storage 2-2.3.3:1.0: USB Mass Storage device detected
[190231.896764] scsi host8: usb-storage 2-2.3.3:1.0
[190232.931861] scsi 8:0:0:0: Direct-Access     Generic- SD/MMC/MS/MSPRO  1.00 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6
[190232.933902] sd 8:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg5 type 0
[190232.937989] sd 8:0:0:0: [sde] Attached SCSI removable disk
[190243.069680] hub 2-2.3:1.0: hub_ext_port_status failed (err = -71)
[190243.070037] usb 2-2.3-port3: cannot reset (err = -71)
[190243.070410] usb 2-2.3-port3: cannot reset (err = -71)
[190243.070660] usb 2-2.3-port3: cannot reset (err = -71)
[190243.071035] usb 2-2.3-port3: cannot reset (err = -71)
[190243.071409] usb 2-2.3-port3: cannot reset (err = -71)
[190243.071413] usb 2-2.3-port3: Cannot enable. Maybe the USB cable is bad?

I was sure USB 3.0 ports were working, because I've already used them with a USB 3.0 drive, so first thought was the monitor USB hub had failed. It seemed unlikely that a cable which has not been moved in 3 years was suddenly failing, is that even possible?

But a few moments later the same cable plugged into a USB 2.0 worked flawlessly and all photos could be downloaded, just noticeably slower.

A bit confused, and thinking that, since everything else was working maybe the cable had to be replaced, it happened I upgraded the system in the meantime. And luck came into rescue, because now it works again in 4.9.30-2+deb9u5 kernel. Looking at the package changelog it seems the fix was this usb:xhci:Fix regression when ATI chipsets detected . So, not a bad cable but a little kernel bug ;-)

Thanks to all involved, specially Ben for the package update!

28 September 2017

Ricardo Mones: Long time no post

Seems the breakage of my desktop computer more than 3 months ago did also caused also a hiatus on my online publishing activities... it was not really intended, it happened I was just busy with other things _ .

With a broken computer being able to build software on the laptop became a priority. Around September 2016 or so the good'n'old black MacBook decided to stop working. I didn't really need a replacement by that time, but never liked to have just a single working system, and in October just found an offer which I could not resist and bought a ThinkPad X260. It helped to build my final project (it was faster than the desktop), but lacking time for FOSS hadn't used it for much more.

Setting up the laptop for software (Debian packages and Claws Mail, mainly) was somewhat easy. Finding a replacement for the broken desktop was a bit more difficult. I considered a lot of configurations and prices, from those new Ryzen to just buying the same components (pretty difficult now because they're discontinued). In the end, I decided to spend the minimum and make good use of everything else still working (memory, discs and wireless card), so I finally got an AMD A10-7860K on top of an Asus A88M-PLUS. This board has more SATA ports, so I added an unused SSD, remains of a broken laptop, to install the new system Debian Stretch, of course while keeping the existing software RAID partitions of the spinning drives.

The last thing distracting from the usual routine was replacing the car. Our child is growing as expected and the Fiesta was starting to appear small and uncomfortable, specially for long distance travel. We went for an hybrid model, with a high capacity boot. Given our budget, we only found 3 models below the limit: Kia Niro, Hyundai Ioniq and Toyota Auris TS. The color was decided by the kid (after forbidding black), and this was the winner...

In the middle of all of this we also took some vacation to travel to the south of Galicia, mostly around Vigo area, but also visiting Oporto and other nice places.

22 May 2016

Reproducible builds folks: Reproducible builds: week 56 in Stretch cycle

What happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between May 15th and May 21st 2016: Media coverage Blog posts from our GSoC and Outreachy contributors: Documentation update Ximin Luo clarified instructions on how to set SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH. Toolchain fixes Other upstream fixes Packages fixed The following 18 packages have become reproducible due to changes in their build dependencies: abiword angband apt-listbugs asn1c bacula-doc bittornado cdbackup fenix gap-autpgrp gerbv jboss-logging-tools invokebinder modplugtools objenesis pmw r-cran-rniftilib x-loader zsnes The following packages have become reproducible after being fixed: Some uploads have fixed some reproducibility issues, but not all of them: Patches submitted that have not made their way to the archive yet: Reproducibility-related bugs filed: Package reviews 51 reviews have been added, 19 have been updated and 15 have been removed in this week. 22 FTBFS bugs have been reported by Chris Lamb, Santiago Vila, Niko Tyni and Daniel Schepler. Misc. This week's edition was written by Reiner Herrmann and Holger Levsen and reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible builds folks on IRC.

25 April 2016

Ricardo Mones: Maximum number of clients reached Error: Can't open display: :0

Today it happened again: you try to open some program and nothing happens. Go to an open terminal, try again and it answers with the above message. Other days I used to reboot the session, but that's something I don't really think should be necessary.

First thought about X gone mad, but this one seems pretty well behaved:

$ lsof -p  pidof Xorg    wc -l

Then noticed I had a long running chromium process (a jQuery page monitoring a remote service) so tried this one as well:

$ for a in  pidof chromium ; do echo "$a " lsof -p $a   wc -l ; done
27914 5
26462 5
25350 5
24693 5
23378 5
22723 5
22165 5
21476 222
21474 1176
21443 5
21441 204
21435 546
11644 5
11626 5
11587 5
11461 5
11361 5
9833 5
9726 5

Wow, I'd bet you can guess next command ;-)

$ kill -9 21435 21441 21474 21476

This of course wiped out all chromium processes, but also fixed the problem. Suggestions for selective chromium killing welcome! But I'd better like to know why those files are not properly closed. Just relaunching chromium to write this post yields:

$ for a in  pidof chromium ; do echo "$a " lsof -p $a   wc -l ; done
11919 5
11848 222
11841 432
11815 5
11813 204
11807 398

Which looks a bit exaggerated to me :-(

26 May 2015

Ricardo Mones: Downgrading to stable

This weekend I had to downgrade my home desktop to stable thanks to a strange Xorg bug which I've been unable to identify among the current ones. Both testing and sid versions seem affected and all you can see after booting is this:

The system works fine otherwise and can be accessed via ssh, but restarting kdm doesn't help to fix it, it just changes the pattern. Anyway, as explaining a toddler he cannot watch his favourite youtube cartoons because suddenly the computer screen has become an abstract art work is not easy I quickly decided to downgrade.

Downgrading went fine, using APT pinning to fix stable and apt-get update/upgrade/dist-upgrade after that, but today I noticed libreoffice stopped working with this message:

Warning: failed to launch javaldx - java may not function correctly
/usr/lib/libreoffice/program/soffice.bin: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

All I found related to that is a post on forums, which didn't help much (neither the original poster nor me). But just found the library was not missing, it was installed:

# locate

But that was not part of any ldconfig conf file, hence the fix was easy:

# echo '/usr/lib/ure/lib' > /etc/
# ldconfig

And presto! libreoffice is working again :-)

4 May 2015

Ricardo Mones: Bye bye DebConf15

Yep, I had planned to go, but given the last mail from registration seems there's a overwhelming number of sponsorship requests, so I've dediced to withdraw my request. There's lots of people doing much more important things for Debian than me which deserve that help. Having to complete my MSc project does also help to take this decision, of course.

I guess the Debian MIA meeting will have to wait for next planetary alignment ;-) well, not really, any other member of the team can set up it, hint! hint!

See you in DebConf17 or a nearby local event!

29 July 2014

Ricardo Mones: Switching PGP keys

Finally I find the mood to do this, a process which started 5 years ago in DebConf 9 at C ceres by following Ana's post, of course with my preferred options and my name, not like some other ;-).

Said that, dear reader, if you have signed my old key:

1024D/C9B55DAC 2005-01-19 [expires: 2015-10-01]
Key fingerprint = CFB7 C779 6BAE E81C 3E05  7172 2C04 5542 C9B5 5DAC

And want to sign my "new" and stronger key:

4096R/DE5BCCA6 2009-07-29
Key fingerprint = 43BC 364B 16DF 0C20 5EBD  7592 1F0F 0A88 DE5B CCA6

You're welcome to do so :-)

The new key is signed with the old, and the old key is still valid, and will probably be until expiration date next year. Don't forget to gpg --recv-keys DE5BCCA6 to get the new key and gpg --refresh-keys C9B55DAC to refresh the old (otherwise it may look expired).

Debian's Keyring Team has already processed my request to add the new key, so all should keep working smoothly. Kudos to them!

25 June 2014

Russ Allbery: Review: Face of the Enemy

Review: Face of the Enemy, by Sandra Barret
Series: Terran-Novan #1
Publisher: Digital Mindancer
Copyright: 2007
Printing: 2009
ISBN: 1-934452-36-X
Format: Kindle
Pages: 216
Set in a future SF world of an alliance of breakaway human colonies and a smoldering war between the Terrans (who focus on technology and implants) and the Novans (who have embraced genetic engineering), Face of the Enemy is military SF with a side of lesbian romance. Or vice versa. It was mentioned in a roundup of SFF lesbian romance, and since I'd had good luck with lesbian romance and was looking for more light SF, I picked it up and read it between other things. Flaws first for this review: Face of the Enemy is not going to impress anyone with its originality. Technology versus bioengineering is an old, old bit of world-building. Barret doesn't bring much new to it other than enhanced pheromones, which provoked a bit of an eye roll. One protagonist is from a military family and is passionate about joining the family tradition, particularly since her mother is frequently blamed for the loss of a major battle. The other protagonist is the beautiful daughter of a diplomat but is half-Novan and hiding it, since the bioengineered Novans are second-class citizens viewed with suspicion and repulsion by the Terrans. You can doubtless make some good guesses about where the rest of the story goes. It's also the sort of story in which the protagonists are always the people you want to know: talented, eager, better than other cadets, but usually modest and loyal friends. Obviously, in a romance I want to like the protagonists and root for them. But the complex friendships of military cadets at the top of their class is another story that I've read many times before. That said, while it might sound like you could write the rest of the story from the setup, I was surprised several times. Barret throws in some twists and behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the complications generated by the backgrounds of both protagonists don't always follow expected patterns, and I was impressed by the degree to which the story manages to avoid clear-cut villains. I don't think it fully engages with the underclass on which both sides have built their societies, but there's at least some movement in that direction. The opening had set my expectations low, but there's more to this world than it first appears. I thought Barret did a reasonably good job staying consistent with the backgrounds of her characters: they have some connections, and those are somewhat helpful, but they're still trainees and never get unrealistic amounts of real responsibility. And I did like these people and enjoyed reading about them. The romance itself has significant love-at-first-sight elements and lots of missed communication and unspoken uncertainty, which aren't my favorite plot elements. As you might imagine, the dark secret aspect of hidden genetic engineering angle is played to the hilt, with lots of failed communication and jumping to incorrect conclusions on both sides. It's the kind of story where people have to knock the heads of the protagonists together to get them to open up to each other, but at least that does happen, and is rewarding when it does. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this book. It has significant flaws, some paint-by-numbers world-building, and some romantic stupidity. It's a minor work. But it did satisfy the reason I picked it up: light and unchallenging reading when I wanted something quick, optimistic, and with a happy ending. And although the romance isn't very original, it has the constant plus of lesbian romance: a refreshing deficit of standard sexist stereotypes. Rating: 5 out of 10

5 February 2014

Ricardo Mones: Fixing partridge eggs with industrial duct tape

Human nature is hard to change. Very hard. We can talk about it for ages, but mistakes repeat again and again. In the end it's mostly by mistakes how we learn, so I doubt this could ever be changed without losing our own nature. One of these is trying to fix some social issue with a technical measure. Unfortunately, given the technical orientation of most of the developers, this appears from time to time in our Debian private mailing list, and yesterday I realized it's our own version of Godwin's law:

As a social problem discussion grows longer in debian-private the probability of some developer proposing a technical solution aproaches one.

Not discussing about this problems in debian-private would be a good start, but of course that would only change the name of the list in the above sentence ;-).

26 November 2013

Ricardo Mones: Shared memory crazyness

The output of some commands explains it all.

These are the default values in a Wheezy system:

$ ipcs -l
------ Shared Memory Limits --------
max number of segments = 4096
max seg size (kbytes) = 32768
max total shared memory (kbytes) = 8388608
min seg size (bytes) = 1

That's not enough for all the data I want to load in a single segment, so let's start with 1Gb of shared memory:

# sysctl kernel.shmmax=1073741824 kernel.shmall=1073741824
kernel.shmmax = 1073741824
kernel.shmall = 1073741824

So now, both should be equal, isn't it?

$ ipcs -l
------ Shared Memory Limits --------
max number of segments = 4096
max seg size (kbytes) = 1048576
max total shared memory (kbytes) = 4294967296
min seg size (bytes) = 1


A free $BEVERAGE when we met for the one which tells me what's happening here ;-)

9 November 2013

Ricardo Mones: The Debian Project... reading my mind!

I didn't tell anybody, but a couple of months ago, when I finally had time at work to upgrade my work computer desktop from Squeeze to Wheezy I also switched from GNOME to XFCE. Now I read via LWN that Debian is doing the same, at least for a while :)

BTW, I knew newer GNOME was different (had seen it in Fedora 18 for example), anyway I installed it (because I was lazy enough just to apt-get dist-upgrade the box) and tried it.

Maybe it's me, becoming an old dog which doesn't want to learn new tricks, but in order to get my work done as fast as usually I had to install something usable, hence went back to XFCE. I had to manually convert GNOME panel launchers to XFCE launchers but, besides that and some missing applet I'm pretty happy with the switch.

20 October 2013

Ricardo Mones: Forced to 3.11

No, not to this 3.11, but to Linux kernel 3.11.

I was aware of the #718533 bug, which happens when you have a software RAID with anything higher than 3.2.0 (mine is RAID 1 with 2 disks). At least that has been my case since I tried to upgrade, hence I was delaying upgrades again and again.

Unfortunately today things went worse when I tried to plug my USB 3.0 device on the system:
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20799.672127] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: Timeout while waiting for address device command
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20799.876136] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERROR no room on ep ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20799.876148] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERR: No room for command on command ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080148] usb 2-2: device not accepting address 2, error -12
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080202] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERROR no room on ep ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080209] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERR: No room for command on command ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080221] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERROR no room on ep ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080227] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERR: No room for command on command ring
Oct 20 17:52:51 busgosu kernel: [20800.080235] hub 2-0:1.0: couldn't allocate port 2 usb_device
Oct 20 17:52:53 busgosu kernel: [20801.568169] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERROR no room on ep ring
Oct 20 17:52:53 busgosu kernel: [20801.568181] xhci_hcd 0000:02:00.0: ERR: No room for command on command ring
Oct 20 17:52:53 busgosu kernel: [20801.568190] hub 2-0:1.0: couldn't allocate port 2 usb_device

And of course the device didn't show up. As there's not much relevant stuff about this issue on the googlesphere, thought it may have been solved. And turned out that I was right: upgrading fixes this, and now the device works again.

But, hit by the above bug now I have to add a rootdelay=1 to my kernel boot parameters (started testing with 5 but finally seems one second is enough). Fortunately the Ubuntu folks have detailed how to do it ;-)

7 October 2011

Matt Zimmerman: Ada Lovelace Day 2011: Dr. Marian C. Diamond

For Ada Lovelace Day this year, I want to share my appreciation for Dr. Marian C. Diamond. In years past, I ve saluted women in the field of computing, which is my field as well. Dr. Diamond, however, is a biologist. Her research includes neuroanatomy, environment, immune functions, and hormones. In particular, she is interested in studying the effects of the external environment, aging, and immune responses on the cerebral neocortex. She has, in her words, had a love affair with the brain for about 70 years. I know very little about biology. The content and methods of her research are, frankly, beyond me, though some of her results have garnered popular attention. She has inspired me by demonstrating that rare combination of gifts: a deep understanding of a technical subject, and the ability to explain it to other people in an accessible way. In her interviews, articles and lectures, many of which are available online, Dr. Diamond displays these gifts in abundance. Her skill and enthusiasm for both learning and teaching is unmistakable. After applying her gifts in the classroom for many years, digital distribution has now enabled many more people to see and hear her, through millions of YouTube views. In 1960, she became the first female graduate student in UC Berkeley s anatomy department, and was apparently given the job of sewing a cover for a magnifying machine. I can only imagine the persistence required to continue from there to become a recognized leader in her field. She has gone on to help many other students along their way, and was named an unsung, everyday hero for the support she provided to students outside of the classroom or lab. As if that weren t enough, she has also traveled to Cambodia to apply her expertise in helping children injured by land mines. She still teaches today, just across the bay from where I write this, and will turn 85 next month.

23 February 2010

Russell Coker: Divisive Behavior

Past Sins Sam Varghese wrote an article about Matthew Garrett s LCA talk The Linux community: what is it and how to be a part of it [1]. In page 2 Sam quotes Martin Krafft as asking about how Matthew s behavior had changed between 2004 and the present, Sam cites some references for Matthew s actions in 2005 to demonstrate. I think that this raises the issue of how far back it is reasonable to go in search of evidence of past behavior, something that I think is far more important than the specific details of what Matthew said on mailing lists many years ago and whether he now regrets such email. If someone did something that you consider to be wrong yesterday and did the same thing five years ago you might consider it to be evidence of a pattern of behavior. If someone s statements today don t match their actions yesterday then you should consider it to be evidence of hypocrisy. But if someone did something five years ago which doesn t match their current statements then in many situations it seems more reasonable to consider it as evidence that they have changed their mind. Then of course there is the significance of what was done. Flaming some people excessively on some mailing lists is something that can be easily forgiven and forgotten if Google doesn t keep bringing it up. But as a counter-example I don t think that Hans Reiser will be welcome in any part of the Linux community when he gets out of jail. For the development of the Linux community (and society in general) I think it s best to not tie people to their past minor mistakes. While it is nice when someone apologises for their past actions, the practical benefits of someone just quietly improving their behavior are almost identical. A particular corner case in this regard is the actions of young people, anyone who was born after about 1980 will have had great access to electronic media for their entire life and will have left a trail. Most people do a variety of silly things when they were young, the older members of the Linux community were fortunate enough not to have electronic records remaining where Google could find them. Back to Matthew, I think that if he is to be criticised about such things then evidence that is much more recent than 2005 needs to be used. Cultural Differences Sam quotes Matthew as claiming that the Linux community was largely a Western, English-speaking one, those who participated in it necessarily had to adapt to the norms of this group . I don t believe that there is a single Linux community. There are a number of different communities that are formed around free software, which have significant amounts of overlap. I don t believe that there s any reason why a Chinese or Indian Linux mailing list should conform to the same standards as those of an American list. But there will be a trend towards meme propagation through people who are associated with the Linux communities in multiple countries every time you meet Linux people in another country you are helping to reduce the cultural differences in the Linux community. Someone from China or India who joins a LUG in Australia will have to adapt to some of the norms of Australian behavior in the same way as an Australian who migrates to China or India would have to adapt to some local norms. On page 4 of the discussion Matthew disagrees with Sam s interpretation [2], maybe Matthew s opinions on this matter are closer to mine than the way Sam describes them. Is Division Inherently Bad? I believe that the word divisive is overused. The only way to avoid division is to have everyone agree with the majority, but sometimes the minority will be right. Note that I am using the word minority to refer to any group of people who happen to disagree with the majority, among other things that includes people who vote for a political party that isn t one of the two biggest ones. An entirely separate issue is that of the treatment of minority groups , one of the most divisive events in history was the US civil war it s good that slavery is outlawed but unfortunate that a war was required to gain that result. On page 4 of the discussion Matthew says to Sam Your writing is influenced by members of the Linux community, and in turn it influences the Linux community. The tone of it is entirely relevant to the behavioural standards of the community [2]. If a community can be easily divided then the real problem probably isn t the person who triggered a particular division. Also there is the issue that even if you could get a general agreement that certain issues shouldn t be discussed in certain ways then with the wide range of cultural attitudes and ages of participants you have to expect someone to raise the issue you don t want raised. Of course it s impossible to objectively determine whether a division is productive or not, so it doesn t seem at all viable to have any expectations regarding outsiders not being divisive. Sometimes you just have to deal with the fact that the Internet contains people who disagree with you. It seems to me that the most divisive issues we face involve people who mostly agree on contentious issues. If someone entirely disagrees with you then it s easy to ignore them (if you even have a conversation with them), but if they are someone that you communicate with and they are almost right in your opinion then there s the potential for a big argument. Probably the best way to minimise division in the community is to have the first people who get involved in a dispute take a Rogerian approach [3]. Failing that a good approach is to respond by writing an essay. When an issue is made popular by services such as Twitter that give little explanation then everyone rushes to the barricades. It seems to me that the unreliability of some blogging platforms is part of the cause of the problem in this regard. I ve just given up on writing comments on Blogger, I m not going to write a good comment only to have it eaten by blogger. There are lots of blogs that have problems which discourage the population from writing anything other than a one-sentence response. The Good that can come from Disputes On page 5 of the discussion there is a comment from Anirudh the Indian student who was criticised by Sam (which ended up inspiring part of Matthew s talk and leading to more disputes) [4]. Here is the start: I am the person who wrote the ill thought-out post that drew criticism eight months ago. There has been some discussion about that, so I wish to say something.

I am very grateful to Sam Varghese. I say this with utmost sincerity. Read the rest, it s educational. I m sure that there are others who have had similar learning experiences but who don t want to write about them. I m sure that there have been many disputes which would appear to the casual observer to have resulted in no good at all, but which would actually have resulted in people learning things and amending their behavior. The issue of Age Car rental companies generally don t do business with men who are less than 25 years old. Life insurance policies don t offer reasonable rates to males between the ages of about 16 and 25. This is because the insurance companies have good statistical data on the results of the typical actions of people at various ages and know that young men tend to be at a high risk of earning a Darwin Award. The same combination of hormones and life experience that makes a young man a danger on the road will also tend to make him get involved in flame-wars on the net. If we could figure out how to influence teenagers into being less anti-social then it would be a great achievement. The current young people will become older and more sensible soon enough but will be replaced by a larger number of young people who will do the same things. As things stand I don t expect the next cohort of young people to learn from Anirudh.

6 August 2008

Kartik Mistry: I AM DD now!

* I think it will take time to have updated status on my NM status page but I can’t resist myself because, - works - I updated - Added uid in my GPG key and synchronized it with Debian Keyserver - Updated Developers location So, in short, all these things means: I AM DD NOW! Many thanks to My family (Koki, Mom, Papa, brother Rinit and Little Kavin for supporting and encouraging me during this long journey), Jaldhar Vyas for advocating my application, my AM Mohammed Adn ne Trojette (adn), all kind and helpful sponsors of my n number of packages (jaldhar, mones, adn, daniel (special thanks for number of uploads), pabs, joeyh for Festival upload, rkrishnan, acid, tolimar, twerner, bubulle, nijel, bernat, marillat, akumar, hertzog and finally gwolf). Special mention and thanks to bubulle and sam - for coming down and having nice meet at BLR during, that gave my power back to continue my work when I was frustrated with certain situations. Another special thanks to dear friends - nirav, pradeepto, tuxmaniac and atul chitnis for always encouraging me for my Debian work. In short, you all people rocks! Now, what next? I will keep continue doing my packging work as it is, I have plan to get involve more in near future, but as of now - I first need give time and focus RC bugs for Lenny :P

7 February 2008

Biella Coleman: On Confidence, Geekdom, and Desire

So a few folks left some interesting comments in response to my link to the article on the rise of the alpha-girl based on the research of Harvard psychologist, Dan Kindlon. My response to both Joe and Karl is that it is worthy to lower the barriers to entry not because girls will change the cultural ecology of geekdom in positive ways (though they may) or because geekdom is inherently “omg totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” but for a much more mundane reason: it may allow girls to follow interests and eventually discover a passion. I think it is a great idea if more women were involved in geekdom and open source development not because it is inherently great but because I am sure there a lot of women out there who would enjoy it (and by extension, I am sure a lot who would not). By highlighting this article I am not advocating some forced hacker-female-labor-migration-policy but pointing to the fact that social conditions outside of geekdom play a role in ensuring more participation among women. But let me explain a few things before I argue my position a little further. First a little clarification, especially now that I have read the article. By alpha the author does not mean dominant, aggressive, and totally jerky, which is what might immediately come to mind when you read/hear alpha (especially if one knows any alpha-geeks or alpha-lawyers for that matter, who are much worse, imho). And I certainly don’t want any more alpha-anything (alpha-women, alpha-dogs, alpha-cats, alpha-hamsters ) given our world is already chock-full of alpha-jerks. By using the term, the author basically means confidence, which apparently is on the rise among girls, leaving them much more likely to be go-getters, undaunted by explicit and implicit barriers and obstacles and thus more likely then ever to enter arenas that have been thought of as traditionally male or in fact totally dominated by males. If this trend is indeed in place, I think it is great and I hope that this eventually translates into more girls/women populating traditionally male areas whether it is neurology, movie directing, hacking, or surfing. What I appreciate about the article is that his research can help us question the idea that women are naturally averse to competition due to their estrogenic hormones while boys, brimming with testosterone, just love it and exude it. I never identified with that conventional well-worn script, in part because I guess I am fairly confident and somewhat competitive. Being in academia for the last 10 years, I have witnessed a lot of really confident women that have helped inspire me and keep me going, especially when times got rough. What is fascinating about the article (and by extension probably his book) is that gender parity and equity and changes in the psychological makeup of women have not changed overnight but have taken a much longer time to settle in place. We are only now bearing the fruits of structural and educational changes first instituted decades ago and that tackled some serious forms of discrimination. As a result, we are seeing girls and women donning a deeper confidence that may help them participate with more success in the arenas they want to whether it be sports or in the workplaces (though there are certainly still major barriers and issues, which are addressed in the article). So why would someone want to participate in the world of free software and hacking in particular? My first answer is there may be any number of reasons why anyone, female or male or transgender or whatever, may want to do so for the love of technology, to feel an intense belonging to a community who share your passions and who work together to create something with a lot of value, to enjoy the challenge of learning, to spread freedom to every corner of the earth, etc… It is not that geekdom is inherently fun and exciting but that it will be interesting to some slice of the population men or women (or other) and what is the harm in lowering the barriers to entry, especially if it brings enjoyment and frankly a lot of economic security too? There are a number of girls/women who already find it worthwhile and I am sure many more who would. And the point is not to create some policy to make sure that we shuttle women into hackerdom but as a society we should equip them with the necessary psychological tools so that if they think this is worthwhile, and discover that they love it, etc, they will dare to venture in there and more importantly, stay if they want to. In terms of Karls point that a lot of people are professional geeks in part because they d have trouble being anything else; like being gay, it s not a choice, I think that is far too narrow of an assessment, not to mention an outdated caricature of geeks. While there is certainly a class of socially awkward geeks (if that is what you mean??), I would say they are in the minority though they may certainly stand out precisely because they are the odd ducks and because the stereotype is so entrenched. Many geeks I have met, while they may pretty darn focused on geekdom, also have full and rich lives/personalities that cannot be easily collapsed into one immutable personality type. Yes they may be obsessed with tech but aren’t doctors, academics, musicians, lawyers sort of fanatical too? I spend like my whole week working on academic stuff (part of necessity, part out of love). And at least hacking has way better conferences and economic perks, which may help explain why people stay :-) Finally, I think you assume a little to strongly that we do what we do because we have a pre-formed existing desired to do so. While I think this is the case for many things (and I knew the minute I learned about anthropology, I wanted to be one, which was odd but it proved to be correct), I think desire is also formed as much through experience and hence the importance of exposure to different worlds and experiences. I know that there are many things I could have never imagined I would have loved–karoake and sailing are two things that come to mind—until I tried them about both took some degree of courage. In the later case, it took a lot of guts to move onto some ship at the age of 18 instead of going to college and I am so glad I did. This is an instance where confidence and an initial curiosity led to discovering a love and passion I never knew I had. So if desire can be formed and not just expressed, I think it is key to make sure people have all sorts of opportunities to cultivate the passions they never knew they had.

31 August 2007

Kartik Mistry: ldtp 0.9.0, ayttm 0.5.0+10

* LDTP (aka Linux Desktop Testing Project) has released 0.9.0. Download it. Debian packages will be there soon (temporary at mentors). * Ayttm 0.5.0+10 is in Debian too! I have changed upstream minor version from -10 to +10 to avoid confusion with Debian revision number. Thanks to mones for upload and tips. * Late but, we submitted joint proposal for Project Days at for ‘Debian and Ubuntu‘. I hope that it will be accepted and we will have great time/fun. Thanks to Teknofreak, Soumyadip and others for help in drafting proposal.

24 April 2007

Nacho Barrientos Arias: DudesConf

Dear Lazyweb, I’m sorry, I know I’m late but here it is my promised report about DudesConf. It was simply cool, even though it was my first Debian-related real [0] event everything was in a good, familiar and friendly shape. I’m really happy to had met all the Debian developers who attended, GPUL people and others, pleased to meet you guys! Talks, BOFs, meals, accommodation, everything was impressive, so my gratitude goes to everyone who helped made DudesConf possible :). If you feel curious, you should be able to watch some pictures in the gallery or read the live (I know, it’s not really live at the moment, my fault) event coverage. Of course, Ricardo, thank you for take me to A coru a, it was a pleasure for me to share some kilometers (some? all of them!) with you ;) [0] Real comes from real life, Daniel pointed me out days ago to the actual difference between real an virtual life.

14 March 2007

Nacho Barrientos Arias: Debian developer

Yes, that’s it, I’m finally Debian developer. I would like to use this post to say thanks to everyone who helped me to achieve this goal since I applied in 2005-10-05, here we go! Thanks to… I hope to write an small report about the NM process with my impressions and opinions soon, so stay tuned. By the way, if you are planning to join Debian and you’re able to meet me, I’m offering GPG key signing since today :) Finally, thanks to all my #dudes!

15 April 2006

Martin F. Krafft: Booking the remainder of my trip

This third day of the Songkhran festival in Chiang Mai, we again failed to stay dry, but escaped the fury a bit with a two hour river cruise, including a visit to an herb garden, and an expedition to the zoo. The zoo was unlike anything I would have expected, but showed how lazy the Asian people really are: most animal cages were accessible by car, and it was somewhat foolish of us to try to reach the aquarium by foot, but we were lucky to have a friendly Tai give us a lift with his pickup. We also witnessed the feeding of a panda bear, which is apparently a rather rare animal, or at least that's the way it was hyped to be. My favourite was the black panther in a cage with a leopard, in between the tiger and one of the very rare white Bengalese tigers. This tiger's skin is white and thus makes it rather difficult for it to attack in the wild. I described it as a evolutionary permutation with low fitness. Aline claims that these tigers are artificially bread these days, which makes it all the more peculiar. We returned to the city for another round of splashing bveefore stopping over at Julie's Guesthouse, the place where I was to meet a lady running clothing and other support items to refugee camps. It turns out that this is a programme by D.A.R.E., in which her guesthouse participates, running the goods to the Burmese refugees living in Thailand. The clothing I had brought along are destined for people in Burma though (there is surely an equal need), so I guess my options are down to a single one: take them with me, skip the monestary, and travel the country myself. So today I went ahead to buy my next two air tickets: I am flying out of Chiang Mai to Mandalay on the 20th, and I return to Bangkok from Yangon on the 4th of May. That will give me more or less 13 days in Burma (I am calling it Burma now, not Myanmar, since that is what the Burmese and the Thai people use) to get from Mandalay to Yangon, and having heard a bunch of times now that travel within Burma isn't all that easy, I figured out a way to do it: I shall spend a few days in Mandalay and meet some people, then hopefully find a student with good English skills to embark with me on the journey, meaning I will pay travel and hotel expenses for him/her, in addition to a flat, daily "wage". Until then, Aline and I have 4 full days left in Chiang Mai, so the 1-2 day trek has once again risen high in my list of priorities. Tomorrow, we are going to cooking school, and there is also rock climbing, a go-cart track, and various other things to keep us occupied. Thanks for reading along.