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.

 
AAPL
$98.38
Apple Inc.
-0.64
MSFT
$43.89
Microsoft Corpora
-0.09
GOOG
$585.61
Google Inc.
-4.99

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Drive Genius 3.2.4 - Powerful system uti...
Drive Genius is an OS X utility designed to provide unsurpassed storage management. Featuring an easy-to-use interface, Drive Genius is packed with powerful tools such as a drive optimizer, a... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.15 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Toast Titanium 12.0 - The ultimate media...
Toast Titanium goes way beyond the very basic burning in the Mac OS and iLife software, and sets the standard for burning CDs, DVDs, and now Blu-ray discs on the Mac. Create superior sounding audio... Read more
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper 1.0 - Desktop im...
OS X Yosemite Wallpaper is the gorgeous new background image for Apple's upcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite. This wallpaper is available for all screen resolutions with a source file that measures 5,418... Read more
Acorn 4.4 - Bitmap image editor. (Demo)
Acorn is a new image editor built with one goal in mind - simplicity. Fast, easy, and fluid, Acorn provides the options you'll need without any overhead. Acorn feels right, and won't drain your bank... Read more
Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
Vienna 3.0.0 RC 2 :be5265e: - RSS and At...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.1.5 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Note Review
Note Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: TOO SIMPLEiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Note is a note taking app that’s a little too short on features to be worth its asking price... | Read more »
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & Ther...
Chainsaw Warrior Goes on Sale & There’s a Chance to Win a Copy of the Original Board Game Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Tiny Tower Vegas
If you go to a casino, you might make a lot of money. If you run a casino, you’re guaranteed to make a lot of money. The choice seems pretty obvious. So while waiting for your shady real estate deals to move forward, get prepared with Tiny Tower... | Read more »
Z Hunter Review
Z Hunter Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RIGHT ON TARGETUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad While it might not necessarily break new ground, Z Hunter has enough tricks up its sleeve to ensure that... | Read more »
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New...
Huge Update Comes To Duet, Adding 48 New Stages Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now....
Sharknado: The Video Game Available Now. Seriously. Posted by Rob Rich on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Frog Orbs 2 Review
Frog Orbs 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: THIS MAGIC IS A TAD MONOTONOUS Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Frog Orbs 2 is repetitive, but younger players should enjoy it nonetheless.   | Read more »
Puzzix Review
Puzzix Review By Jennifer Allen on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NICE IDEAUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A little like Tetris, Puzzix is all about piecing together blocks and watching them vanish. It could do with... | Read more »
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works Wit...
Cannonball eMail is Now Live – Works With Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Hotmail, and AOL Posted by Jessica Fisher on July 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
To The End Review
To The End Review By Lee Hamlet on July 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A VICIOUS CYCLEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad To The End will test players’ patience, timing, and dedication as they try to navigate all 13 levels in... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

WaterField Unveils 15″ Outback Solo & 13″...
Hard on the heels of Apple’s refreshed MacBook Pro Retina laptops announcement, WaterField Designs has unveiled a 15-inch version of the waxed-canvas and leather Outback Solo and a 13-inch version of... Read more
New Roxio Toast 12 Delivers Digital Media Pow...
Roxio Toast 12 is a hub for sharing digital media to virtually any platform or device. has introduced two new additions to its Roxio Toast product family – Roxio Toast 12 Titanium and Roxio Toast 12... Read more
The lowest prices on leftover Retina MacBook...
Best Buy has dropped prices on leftover 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by up to $300 off original MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free local store pickup (if available) or free... Read more
Apple Updates MacBook Pro with Retina Display...
Apple today updated its MacBook Pro with Retina display with faster processors and double the amount of memory in both entry-level configurations. MacBook Pro with Retina display features a Retina... Read more
Up to $250 price drop on leftover 15-inch Mac...
B&H Photo has dropped prices on 2013 15″ Retina MacBook Pros by as much as $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.3GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2349... Read more
Updated MacBook Pro Price Trackers
We’ve updated our MacBook Pro Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on the new 2014 models from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers as well as... Read more
Apple updates MacBook Pros with slightly fast...
Apple updated 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros today with slightly faster Haswell processors. 13″ models now ship with 8GB of RAM standard, while 15″ MacBook Pros ship with 16GB across the board. Most... Read more
Apple drops price on 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro b...
The Apple Store has dropped their price for the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro by $100 to $1099 including free shipping. Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 MacBoo...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ 2013 MacBook Pros, with model now available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free... Read more
iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 To Support DuckDuckGo As...
Writing for Quartz, Dan Frommer reports that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 operating systems version updates will allow users to select DuckDuckGo as their default search engine. He notes... Read more

Jobs Board

Sr Software Lead Engineer, *Apple* Online S...
Sr Software Lead Engineer, Apple Online Store Publishing Systems Keywords: Company: Apple Job Code: E3PCAK8MgYYkw Location (City or ZIP): Santa Clara Status: Full Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.