Outreach

2014-Oct-31, Friday 04:00 pm
chebe: (DarkStare)
Let's talk about why I'm a keen believer (and participant) in tech outreach. It has nothing to do with pipelines of any kind. I resent accusations to the contrary. I'm a believer in education for educations sake, in not altering college courses based on current employers expectations. I'm not that practical. Tech is all around people nowadays, and it will benefit them to understand how it works.

I'm not trying to induct people into a career where there are lots of empty vacancies. I'm trying to show them that they don't need to be afraid of technology, that computers are tools you can master, and to demystify the process of creating software. I simply want people to feel comfortable using technology.

As a bonus, I particularly want to show young women that tech is an option, if they are at all inclined in that direction. That they're not weird/strange to have such interests, that women do work (and play) in this area, and enjoy it. There's a huge difference between saying "hey, this can be fun!" and saying "you will become a programmer/techie, start now". Just because you learn to read, doesn't mean you'll pursue a career as a novelist.

I don't operate under the banner of any of my employers, and being at events sponsored by companies makes me uncomfortable. It means we can have bigger, and better events. But don't mistake that as being a shill for anyone.

In the end I don't (can't) teach, I just try and share my interests. And hope that that's enough.
chebe: (DarkStare)
"Why do you still care about dual booting? Why don't you just run everything in a VM?"

I gave it a go, I really did. Created a Ubuntu 1110 vm in VirtualBox. Fixed storage size, everything was going well enough. (Ubuntu has a problem with my wireless card, but that's almost traditional at this point.) I was using it for college work so I needed stability and didn't upgrade for a while. Too long it seems. When I went to upgrade the repos had vanished, and for added benefit, the vm lost the ability to use any network connection.

I noticed VirtualBox had an update, and thought, maybe they'll have better drivers. But instead the vm wouldn't even start. I attempted to mount the .vdi filesystem. Discovered the way I knew only worked with Windows vms, but found another method using guestmount. So I mount with guestmount, but seemingly my /home no longer exists!

Frustrated I try running the vm again, and for some unknown reason it actually starts, but the graphics crash and die leaving me with a text-only terminal. Grand, as soon as I remembered my password. I log in, and right there is my /home! I quickly copy everything to a previously set-up shared folder in the host, and exit.

VirtualBox says there's another update available. So I update, and now the vm won't run again, giving me error messages about something disabled in the BIOS. I should have known better.

And this is just another reason why I dislike virtual machines. (And before you start, it's not just VirtualBox, I've had even more problems with VMWare.)
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