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

Tinderbox 7.0.0 - Store and organize you...
Tinderbox is a personal content management assistant. It stores your notes, ideas, and plans. It can help you organize and understand them. And Tinderbox helps you share ideas through Web journals... Read more
1Password 6.5.5 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9 - Client...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Art Text 3.2.2 - $49.99
Art Text is graphic design software specifically tuned for lettering, typography, text mockups and various artistic text effects. Supplied with a great variety of ready to use styles and materials,... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.15 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Sparkle 2.1.1 - $79.99
Sparkle will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
Dash 4.0.1 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.2 - 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
Apple Remote Desktop 3.9 - Remotely cont...
Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and... Read more
Paragraphs 1.1.4 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Features... Read more

Blasty Bubs is a colorful Pinball and Br...
QuickByte Games has another arcade treat in the works -- this time it's a mishmash of brick breaking and Pinball mechanics. It's called Blasty Bubs, and it's a top down brickbreaker that has you slinging balls around a board. [Read more] | Read more »
Corsola and Heracross are the new region...
Generation 2 finally launched in Pokémon GO, unleashing a brand new batch of Pokémon into the wild. Even before the update went live people were speculating on how to catch elusive Pokémon like the legendary "dogs", Unknown, and whether or not... | Read more »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Games)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic adventure through a mysterious mountain filled with monsters, magic and mayhem! “...it looks downright... | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin’s receives a hu...
Developer Webzen are looking to take their highly popular fantasy battler MU Origin to the next level this month, with its most ambitious overhaul yet. The latest update introduces the long sought after Server Arena, new treasure dungeons, and much... | Read more »
RPG Djinn Caster (Games)
RPG Djinn Caster 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE 38% OFF(USD 7.99 -> USD 4.99)!!!A Fantasy Action RPG of far foreign lands! Summon the Djinns and rise to... | Read more »
Alto's Odyssey gets its first trail...
There's finally video evidence of Alto's Odyssey, the follow up to the 2015 App Store hit, Alto's Adventure. It looks just as soothing and atmospheric as Alto's last outing, but this time players will be journeying to the desert. Whereas Alto's... | Read more »
Last week on Pocket Gamer
What’s going on in the wider world of portable gaming? Each week we ask that question of our sister website Pocket Gamer. The PG team covers iOS gaming, just like 148Apps, but it also strays into the world of Android games and handheld consoles... | Read more »
Pokémon GO Generation 2 evolution guide
At long last, Niantic Labs finally unleashed the Generation 2 Pokémon into the wild. Pokémon GO trainers are scrambling to grab up this new set of 80 Pokémon. There are some special new tricks required to catch all of these new beasties, though.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It feels as though the New Year got off to a creaking start as far as mobile games go, but that's changed over the past few weeks. The last few days alone have seen the debut of a number of wonderful games, so we thought we'd take the time to... | Read more »
Recruit more scallywags and discover new...
Get ready to show off your sea legs all over again in Oceans & Empires’ new grand update, which aims to make the act of rising to the role of seven seas ruler even more fresh and appealing, thanks to a richness of new content on both iOS and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more
27-inch Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 of...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1849.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $150 savings. Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 WiFis available for starting at $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $319 $60 off original... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Pros available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 2015 and 2016 13-i...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 and 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (MD101LL/A) available for $829, or $270 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook... Read more
QuickerTek Announces 5TB Apple AC AirPort Tim...
QuickerTek Inc. has announced their new 5TB hard drive upgrade for Apple’s AC AirPort Time Capsule. By customer request, this upgrade also features six external antennas and offers the highest... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has 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 available: - 21″ 3.... 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
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and 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
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.