Ada Lovelace Day – Alice Taylor

I’ve been a gamer for a long time but some of my fellow players have a reputation for being less than friendly towards female players. So its great to see someone high profile both as a player (including some time spent as a member of the UK Quake team) and on the development side who is female.

Her Wonderland blog is on lots of people list of gaming blogs worth reading. Her work at the BBC and Channel 4 showing how gaming can be used by a traditional broadcaster both for entertainment and education, all long before the current gamification buzz.

In between all this she also created the avatar service stortroopers, which is still online. Her current project MakieLab, a startup developing customisable, 3D-printed, game-enabled toys, sounds very interesting so far. I can’t wait to see the results.

Skud also deserve a special mention for her tireless work and thoughtful comments in the nymwars.

Previously 2009 and 2010.

Three MiFi Version Two (Huawei E585)

I’ve been thinking about getting some sort of mobile broadband for a while now. Both as a backup for my home connection and to use out and about. My orginal plan was to upgrading my d420 to a netbook with builtin 3G, particularly the samsung n230 but since it does not look like the 3G version will be out in the Uk anytime soon I’ve just went for a MiFi instead on pay as you go.

So the orginal Three MiFi did sound quite useful but the lack of display and being a little fiddlyly to use put me off. So when I heard about the new version having seemed to address most of these problems, that reingnited my interest with two very positive reviews from Hayles and Ian Betteridge.
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A Postscript to Ada Lovelace Day

Mostly for me, I thought it would be useful to list who else blogged about Limor Fried for Ada Lovelace Day this year:

Ada Lovelace Day – Limor “Ladyada” Fried

Continuing the hardware theme of last years post. This years is about Limor “Ladyada” Fried and not just because of her nickname.

Limor has made some great contributions to Open source hardware and has a good set of tutorials for the Ardunio, which were useful when I was first looking at playing with them.

Formerly she was at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center but now is a successful entrepreneur at Adafruit Industries which has been profiled on make, lifehacker and interviewed by Streampunk Workshop for last years Ada Lovelace Day.

Electronics like VLSI is one of those area that is seen as the dirtier end of technology all workbenches and soldering iron but women are making contribution and running successful businesses in these areas, so don’t be put off, get involved.

Honourable Mentions: Jane McGonigal for her great TED talk on why we need gamers, Gina Trapani for lots of cool productivity tips, Pippa Buchanan for the great DIY Masters.

Ada Lovelace Day – Lynn Conway

So I first learnt about Ada Lovelace day on and signed the pledge, and then spent a long time thinking about who I should write about, Ada Lovelace seems a little like the safe option. Being a hardware architect in a former life and still working on embedded platforms, Lynn Conway seem to be the perfect choice to for me to write about.

I’m guessing many people will not have heard of her, but nearly everyone will have benefited from her work. She worked on out of order execution at IBM, is used in most CPU today. Not to get too technical but exploiting the parallelism of the units inside a CPU, you can get a much greater throughput, so programs run faster and you do more ‘stuff’ done.

Another large contribution was her work in VLSI design, taking the technology from a handful of companies and giving smaller companies and universities access to the toolbox and a structured method to use them, giving much cheaper and faster prototype, leading to an explosion of companies producing ASICs which powers many consumer electronics products.

She was also at Xerox PARC when the foundations of current personal computers were being developed and was part of that hive of creativity.

Part of reason for picking Lynn was that people who work in the more ‘hardcore’ side of technology, tend be less visible than people working in the web,games or the more user facing part of technology. Not to take anything away from people who work in those areas (I’ve also worked on web projects and games in the past), partly I guess this is because these deeply technical subjects are harder to explain, less visual and well less interesting to most people (or perhaps were telling the stories wrong). So all of this is to say don’t feel limited to ‘acceptable’ career options, if your interested in an area go for it.

So finish off here’s a few other people I could have written about: Wendy Carlos, Delia Derbyshire, Grace Hopper , Aleks Krotoski, Kathy Sierra, Alice Taylor , Sophie Wilson

pop3d: authentication error: Input/output error

I was getting this on my server, so I did what anyone would do and googled it.

So to hopefully stop other searching for a solution, when moving from one authentication module to another they changed how spaces in passwords were handled, whatever the new modules is does not like them, so you may find you just need to change your password.

Server Project

As twittered back in December, I got a new PC, so my mother got my old system, which left her old system spare.

It seems so simple, get a big hard drive and rip all my CDs, at last, I mean its not like its was a 286. Its a 900MHz AMD Athlon with a 120Gb ATA100 drive, 512Mb RAM, two extra ATA133 ports, 1 ethernet port, so more than fine for a bit of file server.

I now got around to getting the drives and ripping out the modem, floppy drive, CDR and slapped Ubuntu server on the main drive. Which was super minimal, even the ssh server is an extra package.

Its still very much up in the air what I’m going to use it for, but so far I have Music server (no idea which one but maybe SqueezeCenter), so form of IMAP email to get all that data off my desktop, a bit torrent client so I can just leave them running and I’ve really wanted to play with Asterisk for a while now.

I can see this taking lots of time and having a learning curve but I’ve been admining my Ubuntu laptop for a few years now and a few of the servers at work, so I should be fine and anyway not knowing what I’m doing has never stopped me in the past.

I wonder how many time I end up reinstalling stuff?