TweetFollow Us on Twitter

"Why Am I The Only Woman At This Table?"

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 12
Column Tag: Interview

In The Trenches

"Why Am I The Only Woman At This Table?"

by Schoun P. Regan

For this month's installment of Schoun Regan's new monthly column, "In The Trenches", Schoun took some time out of his busy schedule at this year's WWDC to have a chat with Andrina Kelly, a Senior IT staff member at C.O.R.E Feature Animation in Toronto. We're sure you'll enjoy their discussion!

Schoun Regan: How long have you been working with Macs?

Andrina Kelly: Since my first 512k when I was very young.

SR: Does your networking background comes from those early years too?

AK: No, I was working in the UK at a classical CD production company full of Macs and someone had to take on the responsibility and that was me.

SR: Do you think a lot of people start that way?

AK: Probably. I think there are a lot of self taught learners who came on the same way.

SR: Did you pick up your programming at the same time?

AK: Probably over the past two years. It's something I always avoided because it was something my mother did it. It's something I should have taken more seriously when I was younger.

SR: Do you allow scripts to interoperate between each other?

AK: Our rendering department needed a pop up messaging system so they could alert the floor when there were issues or they needed them to know something quickly. All of our rendering pods use LINUX, so the best way for them was to send out a shell script but that also incorporated into an AppleScript on the user machines so it would pop up a message. I don't know of any commercial product that would have covered it, because this covers both LINUX and Mac OS X.

SR: So CORE benefits from this. Tell me more about CORE.

AK: CORE is quite a diverse company. Recently they worked with a San Francisco company and put together a proposal for Disney to put out a feature animation film. We've been working on it for about 2 _ -3 years now and it is just coming up to completion and should be released in April 2006 called The Wild.

SR: Your role at CORE is?

AK: I'm one of the System Administrators with main focus on the Macs.

SR: What's your biggest day-to-day struggle? Your biggest headache?

AK: Interoperability. Allowing someone who's used to working on LINUX, used to working in a terminal environment, going over to a Mac, opening up the Terminal and going, "I'm going to go into this directory and open up this file" and having it work exactly the same for them.

SR: That said, how easy did the LINUX users take to the Mac?

AK: From what I've heard, they LOVE it! (Laughs) I can name several people that I've been working with in the last couple of years who've gone out and got a Mac.

SR: If you could take one thing from the LINUX environment and move it over to Mac OS X to convert those die hards, what would that one thing be?

AK: (Silence.....laughter and a long pause) I think the X windows to Finder transition is a little awkward for some people.

SR: It is easy being female in a male dominated industry?

AK: I was just talking about this with one of my colleagues today. It's a question I love to ask whenever I'm in a large environment of men, "Why am I the only woman at this table?" I find that women are a lot more patient and a lot more programmatic about things. I know for troubleshooting especially the number of women I've seen troubleshooting tend get to the answer a lot quicker than men. I find men get frustrated more quickly.

SR: Any advice?

AK: Don't get discouraged and don't be put off.

SR: Your OS X Servers, specifically render farms?

AK: Web Services, LDAP Masters and Replicas, My SQL, PHP, and failover setup All authentication is done with the OS X servers.

SR: Using Kerberos?

AK: Not at the moment. The infrastructure is all there though.

SR: How do the Xserve RAIDs perform?

AK: I have not had a failed drive in over two years. I couldn't be more pleased with the hardware from Apple. We had the first G5 cluster nodes in Canada. Since we've turned them on, I have not had a hardware failure.

SR: Being in the center of the IT industry in Canada in Toronto, what trends do you see?

AK: Anything media based is going to be strongly Mac. I've recently seen a few places like lawyers offices and psychiatry offices using Macs, which is nice to see and it shows a lot of faith that there's going to be a lot more progression towards the Mac. And in these smaller offices they don't have a full time tech staff and the fact that they can manage their own systems and their own server I bodes well for Apple I think.

SR: I have a couple sentences that I want you to finish, ready?

AK: Ready.

SR: I wish Mac OS X Server had...

AK: A better interaction between the configuration files and the GUI. I'd really love to see it's configuration file and what the GUI is changing and where the file is located.

SR: So almost if you had Server Admin open that had a drawer, would show you the configuration file and path, and highlight the section of the configuration file when you would make adjustments in the GUI. This of course for most services to start.

AK: Right.

SR: I wish Mac OS X had...

AK: Hmmmm. I find that moving between networks and environments is not as seamless as I'd like it to be. A better awareness of its location. Something like Location Manager. NFS performance is something else that I am crying out for. The performance from NFS is-I'd love to see it so much better than it is. A straight copy is so significantly slower on OS X than on other platforms.

AK: Last question. And you will be starting our database here as I this is a question that I will ask all our guests in the future, what are your top five favorite movies? Movies that you could watch over and over and over again. No order is necessary, just the top five.

AK: (Laughs) ok, let me think....(long pause)...they would be: The Red Violin, The English Patient, Sideways, The Italian Job (1969 version), The Wild (Released April 2006!).

SR: Andrina, thanks very much for speaking with me today.

AK: Thank you.

Vital Stats

Years in IT industry : 5

Place of Employment: C.O.R.E. Feature Animation/C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures 450-500 people. Toronto, Canada

Computers: Approximately 1 per user. 1/3 Macs 2/3 LINUX 500 Blade Dual Processor IBM Render Farm 32 Dual 2G Xserve Cluster nodes for Shake rendering and Final Cut Pro rendering BlueArc, NetApp appliances, and Xserve RAIDs totaling about 100TB.

Main Applications: Houdini, Final Cut Pro, Shake

Programming Languages: Shell Scripting, AppleScript, PYTHON


Schoun P. Regan is CEO of ITInstruction.com, which specializes in Mac OS X training and consulting. He speaks regularly to CEOs and CFOs on how to control IT department spending, the myths surrounding cross-platform integration, and the lunacy of expected lost revenue stemming from a culture bred to tolerate IT staff and operating system inadequacies as "normal". He seeks to change self-fulfilling IT departments that breed complacency for their jobs and contempt for the end user, neither of which are conducive to business.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LooperSonic (Music)
LooperSonic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LooperSonic is a multi-track audio looper and recorder that will take your loops to the next level. Use it like a loop pedal to... | Read more »
Space Grunts guide - How to survive
Space Grunts is a fast-paced roguelike from popular iOS developer, Orange Pixel. While it taps into many of the typical roguelike sensibilities, you might still find yourself caught out by a few things. We delved further to find you some helpful... | Read more »
Dreii guide - How to play well with othe...
Dreii is a rather stylish and wonderful puzzle game that’s reminiscent of cooperative games like Journey. If that sounds immensely appealing, then you should immediately get cracking and give it a whirl. We can offer you some tips and tricks on... | Read more »
Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
You already know how to hop around like Mario, but do you know how to defeat him? Those are your marching orders in Kill the Plumber, and it's not always as easy as it looks. Here are some tips to get you started. This is not a seasoned platform... | Read more »
Planar Conquest (Games)
Planar Conquest 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $12.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: IMPORTANT: Planar Conquest is compatible only with iPad 3 & newer devices, iPhone 5 & newer. It’s NOT compatible with... | Read more »
We talk to Cheetah Mobile about its plan...
Piano Tiles 2 is a fast-paced rhythm action high score chaser out now on iOS and Android. You have to tap a series of black tiles that appear on the screen in time to the music, being careful not to accidentally hit anywhere else. Do that and it's... | Read more »
Ultimate Briefcase guide - How to dodge...
Ultimate Briefcase is a simple but tricky game that’s highly dependent on how fast you can react. We can still offer you a few tips and tricks on how to survive though. Guess what? That’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Take it easy [Read more... | Read more »
SoundPrism Link Edition (Music)
SoundPrism Link Edition 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ***Introductory price for a the first few days after launch - if you're reading this, get it while it's fresh out of... | Read more »
Pre-register now for hack and slasher An...
Fincon, which won Facebook's Studio to Watch award in 2015, has announced that pre-registration is now open for the massive 3.0 update for its award-winning hack and slasher Angel Stone. Angel Stone is a post-apocalyptic action RPG in which the... | Read more »
Google has named Piano Tiles 2 as its Be...
Google has named Piano Tiles 2, which launched back in August last year, as its Best Game of 2015. If you're yet to play it, now's a good time to do so. It's a sequel to the hugely successful viral hit Piano Tiles (Don't Tap the White Tile) but... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Macs available for up to $300 off MSRP, $20 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Watch Super Bowl 50 Live On Your iPad For Fre...
Watch Super Bowl 50 LIVE on the CBS Sports app for iPad and Apple TV. Get the app and then tune in Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 6:30 PM ET to catch every moment of the big game. The CBS Sports app is... Read more
Two-thirds Of All Smart Watches Shipped In 20...
Apple dominated the smart watch market in 2015, accounting for over 12 million units and two-thirds of all shipments according to Canalys market research analysts’ estimates. Samsung returned to... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H Photo has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $180 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Gray Retina MacBook: $1499 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.2GHz Silver... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale fo...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $1199 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model... Read more
Apple now offering full line of Certified Ref...
Apple now has a full line of Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are... Read more
Free GUI Speedometer – The Ultimate Digital D...
Miami, Florida based RMKapps has announced the official release of GUI Speedometer 1.0, their digital dashboard display developed for iOS devices. GUI Speedometer allows users to track their precise... Read more
FutureCalc: Ergonomic iOS Calculator App For...
London, United Kingdom based Independent software developer and entrepreneur, Hovik Melikyan has announced the release and immediate availability of FutureCalc 1.0, his new ergonomic calculator app... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Subject Matter Expert - Experis (Uni...
This position is for an Apple Subject Matter Expert to assist in developing the architecture, support and services for integration of Apple devices into the domain. Read more
*Apple* Macintosh OSX - Net2Source Inc. (Uni...
…: * Work Authorization : * Contact Number(Best time to reach you) : Skills : Apple Macintosh OSX Location : New York, New York. Duartion : 6+ Months The associate would Read more
Computer Operations Technician ll - *Apple*...
# Web Announcement** Apple Technical Liaison**The George Mason University, Information Technology Services (ITS), Technology Support Services, Desktop Support Read more
Restaurant Manager - Apple Gilroy Inc./Apple...
…in every aspect of daily operation. WHY YOU'LL LIKE IT: You'll be the Big Apple . You'll solve problems. You'll get to show your ability to handle the stress and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the largest premier retailer of Apple products in the nation. In order to support our growing customer base, we are currently looking for a driven Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.