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

Airmail 3.3.2 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Numi 3.15.1 - Menu-bar calculator suppor...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
Airmail 3.3.2 - Powerful, minimal email...
Airmail is an mail client with fast performance and intuitive interaction. Support for iCloud, MS Exchange, Gmail, Google Apps, IMAP, POP3, Yahoo!, AOL, Outlook.com, Live.com. Airmail was designed... Read more
Numi 3.15.1 - Menu-bar calculator suppor...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
TextSoap 8.4.1 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Backblaze 4.3.0.44 - Online backup servi...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
Numi 3.15 - Menu-bar calculator supports...
Numi is a calculator that magically combines calculations with text, and allows you to freely share your computations. Numi combines text editor and calculator Support plain English. For example, '5... Read more
EtreCheck 3.3.3 - For troubleshooting yo...
EtreCheck is an app that displays the important details of your system configuration and allow you to copy that information to the Clipboard. It is meant to be used with Apple Support Communities to... Read more
BusyContacts 1.1.8 - Fast, efficient con...
BusyContacts is a contact manager for OS X that makes creating, finding, and managing contacts faster and more efficient. It brings to contact management the same power, flexibility, and sharing... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The best new games we played this week
We were quite busy this week. A bunch of big mobile games launched over the past few days, alongside a few teeny surprises. There're lots of quality games to load your phone with. We've gone and picked out five of our favorites for the week. [... | Read more »
Magikarp Jump beginner's guide
Magikarp Jump is a mystifying little game. Part Tamagotchi, part idle clicker, there's not a whole lot of video game there, per se, but for some reason we can't help coming back to it again and again. Your goal is to train up a little Magikarp to... | Read more »
Goat Simulator PAYDAY (Games)
Goat Simulator PAYDAY 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICES **iPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better Goat Simulator: Payday is the most... | Read more »
GRID Autosport delayed until autumn
Sorry mobile racing fans -- GRID Autosport has been delayed a few months. The game is now expected to launch this fall on iOS. Feral Interactive announced that they wanted more time to work on the game's UI and overall performance before launching... | Read more »
Zombie Gunship Survival Beginner's...
The much anticipated Zombie Gunship Survival is here. In this latest entry in the Zombie Gunship franchise, you're tasked with supporting ground troops and protecting your base from the zombie horde. There's a lot of rich base building fun, and... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish (Games)
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish 1.2.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.2.2 (iTunes) Description: Explore the ruins of the City of Mordheim, clash with other scavenging warbands and collect Wyrdstone -... | Read more »
Mordheim: Warband Skirmish brings tablet...
Legendary Games has just launched Mordheim: Warband Skirmish, a new turn-based action game for iOS and Android. | Read more »
Magikarp Jump splashes onto Android worl...
If you're tired ofPokémon GObut still want something to satisfy your mobilePokémon fix,Magikarp Jumpmay just do the trick. It's out now on Android devices the world over. While it looks like a simple arcade jumper, there's quite a bit more to it... | Read more »
Purrfectly charming open-world RPG Cat Q...
Cat Quest, an expansive open-world RPG from former Koei-Tecmo developers, got a new gameplay trailer today. The video showcases the combat and exploration features of this feline-themed RPG. Cat puns abound as you travel across a large map in a... | Read more »
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels (Games)
Jaipur: A Card Game of Duels 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** WARNING: iPad 2, iPad Mini 1 & iPhone 4S are NOT compatible. ** *** Special Launch Price for a limited... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Memorial Day savings: 13-inch Touch Bar MacBo...
B&H Photo has the 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 11-inch MacBook Ai...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models recently discontinued by Apple), available for up to $170 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
B&H has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1449.99 $150 off... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro o...
MacMall has the 15-inch 2.7GHz Silver Touch Bar MacBook Pro (MLW82LL/A) on sale for $2569 as part of their Memorial Day sale. Shipping is free. Their price is $230 off MSRP. Read more
Free Tread Wisely Mobile App Endorsed By Fath...
Just in time for the summer driving season, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company has announced the launch of a new Tread Wisely mobile app. Designed to promote tire and vehicle safety among teens and... Read more
Commercial Notebooks And Detachable Tablets W...
Worldwide shipments of personal computing devices (PCDs), comprised of traditional PCs (a combination of desktop, notebook, and workstations) and tablets (slates and detachables), are forecast to... Read more
Best value this Memorial Day weekend: Touch B...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available for $230 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973 with free...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $973, $16 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
*Apple* Media Products - Commerce Engineerin...
Apple Media Products - Commerce Engineering Manager Job Number: 57037480 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.