26 March 2009

Ada Lovelace Day Addition

So on actual Ada Lovelace Day, I was a little :( at being the only person on Planet Ubuntu that blogged for it. Plenty on Planet Ubuntu Women, but Planet Ubuntu was empty. And none of the guys involved posted anything.

But yay! They were just a little late. James Westby and Matt Zimmerman both joined in. Matt wrote about his mom, which I thought was pretty cool. And Miia Ranta joined in as well.

I did just realize that there are two women I should have given a little shout-out.

One is Cathy Malmrose, the CEO of ZaReason, the company that made my computer. She's a hardware geek, so it's only natural, right? She said they're considering expanding into the "make their own components" direction so they won't be constrained by what barebones brands offer. Neat! They sell t-shirts too. There used to be Little LinuxChick shirts, but now there's this cute one that says "friends help friends use Linux" with a silhouette of two teenage girls on laptops. Also, she's raising a few FOSS munchkins. Her 5 year old installed Ubuntu (the 7 year old helped by reading the words for her) to prove the neighbor wrong about Linux being hard to install. And the 7 year old is already programming. I think the fact that there's a photo of him on Flickr using 3 laptops titled "Mom, what's the kernel? Where is it? Can I mess with it? Why not? Just tell me where it is so I can play?" is hilarious and wonderful. She's obviously a great influence on her kids.

The other is Amber Graner, the "average user mom" who's been blogging her adventures learning to use Ubuntu (and trying Fedora and OpenSUSE), and making everyone go "oh…oh yeah…I guess we could make that easier…that's a good point…." She's providing great constructive feedback, and she's just so excited to learn. I ♥ people that love to learn. I hope her love of learning is something her kids pick up. In my mind, she's the perfect person to have promoting Ubuntu (which she does!) because she proves that anyone that's willing to give learning an honest try can use it—it's not a geek OS.


Just Me, Amber! said...


WOW! I am speechless! Thank you so much for the complements - I feel so undeserving.

I am however learning that there is so much more to learn, and women like you make me want to do more. All the women that are in the #ubuntu-women, and the Linuxchix, and Linux Pro Magazine, (Rikki Kite), all make me want to pursue and learn more.

You are in you own right - a woman who leads through example. Keep it up.

I will do my best to continue to be worthy of your praise. I am just me trying to be the best Linux (Ubuntu) user I can be. I fall short some days but I get back up and try it again.

Thank You! :)

Victoria Wang said...

Thanks for writing these great Ada Lovelace Day articles. Very inspiring.

PragmaTechie said...

Amber, it's really great that women like you are getting into Linux. Keep it up!

And Mackenzie, great post. If it weren't for women like you, it would be harder to get more women on board this great platform.

KhaaL said...

MacKenzie, I just discovered your comments and posts regarding linux and women in the linux world. It's great to see you working proactively for this cause :-) keep it up!

(and thanks for making me aware of ada lovelace day)


Anonymous said...

Hey Mackenzie,

Well guess what! I decided I couldnt wait and took that huge leap and installed 8.10 :D :D :D :D

YAY GO ME! My friend talked me into it and I did it!

Well we have problems... Lol.... For some reason I keep loosing sound... I was using the INSTALL INSIDE WINDOWS and I lost sound and the only way I could get it was to totally shut ubuntu down and REBOOT the whole thing.. After I did a reboot it came back

I am wondering WHY am I loosing sound? I have my SOUND PROPERTIES on ALSA AUDIO.

I noticed that I lost sound after I did the 286 updates also when I installed the codec's for MP3's I lost sound again....

Just wondering if you might have an idea!

SO FAR I LIKE IT..... I installed my programs I needed SO EASILY I am quite happy and Its NOTHING like I thought it was in my mind!!

Thanks for the Encouragement!

-- Christopher


Mackenzie said...

Hi Christopher,
There is hardware in existence that is known to not reset its state on warm reboots from Windows (mute in Windows, won't un-mute in Linux), only on cold boots. So, that's a possibility and a hardware bug that we just can't fix. Otherwise, can you download the script at http://alsa-project.org/alsa-info.sh and run it with "bash alsa-info.sh" and let me see the link it gives you?

Anonymous said...


Ahhhhhhh.. So thats whats going on...

Ok I will try that.. Being a LINUX NOOB right now..

I clicked the link and the website opened with a webpage full of Text... So What do I do to save it to the desktop

File Save as ??????

Or is there a different way?

Thanks for working with this Noob you just DONT KNOW how much I appreciate it!

Thats the funny thing, when I installed the WUBI version my sound was turned up all the way and all that.. I am just baffled by this issue.. Wonder if 9.04 will fix it?

-- Christopher


Anonymous said...

Oh, I also have another question... After I find out how to download this script and run it and give you the link, if it happens again is there something I can do to bring back my sound without rebooting?

As in go to TASK MANAGER and end task on a sound driver or something to make it come back, SO I dont have to reboot?

-- Thanks,


Mackenzie said...

I'm not saying that you're *for sure* hitting that hardware bug (it's common enough that I know it exists, but it's certainly not the most common reason for sound to intermittently get stupid). *If* you're hitting the hardware issue where it stores Windows' setting, the only workaround is to shut down fully when switching from Windows to Ubuntu rather than rebooting. It's a problem only dual-boots have, and it's fully in hardware.

It's more likely that ...actually, you said you're using ALSA instead of PulseAudio setting. I suspect you've got one application using sound (paused, maybe?) and so others can't access the sound device. Using PulseAudio should clear up locking issues like that.

And yes, file -> save as, then "bash ~/Desktop/alsa-info.sh" if you save it on your desktop.

Anonymous said...

WELL..... What happened was I plugged my headphones into the front of my Dell Dimension E521 and thats when BOOM I lost sound.

before that all I did was install the MP3 codecs so I could play music and for some reason I couldn't get any sound out of Rythembox or the SOUND TESTER, under sounds

So Put everything under SOUND OPTIONS on PULSE then instead of Alsa? for PLAYBACK? I will try that.

-- Christopher


Anonymous said...

Hey I am back sorry it too me so long I had to reinstall Ubuntu hehe

Here is what you asked for:

christopher@Christopher-Ubuntu:~$ bash alsa-info.sh

bash: alsa-info.sh: No such file or directory

christopher@Christopher-Ubuntu:~$ bash ~/Desktop/alsa-info.sh

ALSA Information Script v 0.4.56

This script will collect information about your ALSA installation and sound related hardware, to help diagnose your problem.

By default, the collected information will be AUTOMATICALLY uploaded to a www.alsa-project.org site.
If you do not wish for this to occur, run the script with the --no-upload argument

Do you want to run this script? [y/n] : y
Uploading information to www.alsa-project.org ... Done!

Your ALSA information is located at http://www.alsa-project.org/db/?f=e28f1213c3b0d47ed842b3b621e3f752b0e42ee4

Please inform the person helping you.