Sphinx and Restructured TeXt

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to work with Open Solutions on some sys admin documentation.

The documentation was done using Sphinx and Restructured text. I don’t know that I have ever had so much fun from a project as I had with this. First, I could work from home on my Debian.

Sphinx is awesome. I enjoyed the output and the themes. If I didn’t have this day job, I would convert everything I could using Sphinx. I would like to add some modifications to include some things I found missing.

So, from here on in, we will be converting documentation to Sphinx format. As long as we have the time and the volunteers!

Linux Installfest HOWTO

This information is an update and in addition to the Linux Installfest HowTo found on tldp.

Questions to the attendee:

Do you want to keep your files that are on this machine now?

You might think this is a given. However, a few weeks ago, at the hands of the Ubuntu LoCo team lead, an attendee lost all her files.

Something you never want to hear at the installfest – Oops!


Embedded Linux:

Today, many people are using Raspberry Pi. Some may want Raspbian or another Linux flavor for the pi. With qualified installers, you may offer installs for the following:

  • Raspberry Pi installs
  • Banana Pi installs
  • TP-Link or other routers with OpenWRT
  • Library Box

Computer Installs:

There may be some requests for Android installs on a computer

  • Android installs
  • GNU Linux distros
  • Instructions for responsible computing – informing attendees and installers about Spyware from popular distros and ensuring installers know how to remove the opt in feature

Current Media:

  • USB
  • DVD
  • CD
  • Netboot server

Demo Machine with multiple distro options:
Make demos available to attendees so they can make their own choice of distro

Ensure there is no obvious bias infecting the installfests

  1. Remove bias individual(s) from pushing any one distro by ensuring attendees have a choice. Demo machines can be provided for attendees to select the distro of his/her choice!
  2. Do not let anyone representing a distro run an installfest alone.  For example, it is fine for an Ubuntu or Red Hat employee to attend and assist but not influence the distro decision making process.
  3. If an installfest is a LUG event, this should not be infected by one particular distro. For example, the Ubuntu LoCo team has attempted to infect several installfest events that were started as PLUG events.
  4.  No one should be making a profit from botched installs that happened at the installfest. We hope there will be no botched installs!
  5. An installer who makes consistent errors and is not competent should be mentored.
  6. A new installer should be mentored.
  7. Any installer rude, disrespectful or condescending to other installers will be asked to play nice. The second offense will be a warning. On the third offense, the offending party will require mediation. Rude installers cannot be allowed to attend events such as an installfest. 
  8. Installers rude, disrespectful or offensive to attendees will be asked to leave, even if that is a temporary solution. A more permanent request to restrict the offender should be done through mediation.
  9.  Cameras and video equipment should not be running during the event. Video cameras should not be streaming an event unless these are in the location permanently and you are unable to disable these.

Furthermore, attendees may not be comfortable with being filmed.
Video equipment should not be filming attendees at any entrance.

We want the installfests to be a welcome and warm environment without any politics, bias or fear. We would like attendees to get a positive experience of our community and open choices.

Phone Installs

We do not recommend the install of Debian or Ubuntu on cell phones at this time. There is a high liability. Additional forms must be signed to ensure no liability is enjoined.


The instructions for OpenWRT coming.
In preparation, get your vi commands ready. No emacs at first.

Don’t forget wlan, dhcp…. then you can opkg.

Tina and the Coffee Can Antenna

So, last night, Tina came to visit. I wanted to show her the pi. She was having fun. I always thought maybe the boys would be more interested. Turns out she was!

She started asking all kinds of questions. I was amazed. Not amazed that she was interested. Who wouldn’t be interested in the Pi! I was amazed at how she wanted to know the specs, how it worked, etc. The boys didn’t really care as much.

It’s a girl’s toy in this house! 🙂

Tina and her brother – 5 years ago.

So, Tina and I were talking. She does have an AA with Linux Certificate. She was always good at Linux. Then, we sat around the table and she told us the tale of her digital antenna. Coffee can, Nail, Coax and electrical tape. She told us the nail was too long but worked. Then, I realized, she sent her husband to go get that nail from Home Depot. That is why it was the wrong size. She is amazing. I encouraged her to go into Electronic or Electrical Engineering at the college. Then Zack, asked her about math. So, Zack took Calc 1 in high school. Tina was never interested in math. She could do it if she wanted. She was always kick ass in Science and Math. English… not so much.

I was thinking one of the boys would do some Pi stuff with me. I’m going to get Tina one when I get a chance. I hope she will do something with it. Not sure. Maybe I’ll start her with a cheap Raspberry.

The Banana and I are off to the Installfest at UAT

So, every couple of weeks I head out to the Installfest. At least, lately because they ROCK!

I started going again because one time, someone needed Moodle. No one knew how. I did, so I showed up. It was fun. I went again months later. It rocked!

So, this week, I’m working on a few projects:

1. Integrate recording with Big Blue Button.
I am the one in the group who may actually get this working.
If not.. it’s fun.

2. Play around with my Banana pi.

3. Help people get their stuff done. One lady needs some software set up on her recently installed GNU.


The Pi and I roll in style!


Banana Pi + USB needs

This weekend, I found myself in a very unique situation with the Banana pi. I ran out of USB ports.. 2 just wouldn’t do. I was switching back and forth with the keyboard/mouse.

I needed at least 3:

1 Wireless WiFi
1 Keyboard
1 Mouse

So, what to do??

Well, I try not to get too personal with blogs but here it is. I have had trouble in the past with relationships. It’s true. 1/2 Asian straight female programmer – lots of dating opportunity, nothing real.
So, basically what happened was my 30 year old boyfriend went to the store and he brought home a man – the perfect man. Things with my boyfriend – not so great even before I fell for this man!

My friends say it’s not right the way I talk about this man. He is the love of my life.
I have finally found true love.
It came out of nowhere.
This man:

Does whatever I ask
Doesn’t complain
Doesn’t cost me any money
Works hard
Is not interested in anything physical
Constantly Smiles
He is totally cute too!

Of course, he’s a little codependent, but I forgive him that.
He never gets angry. He has no hate in him. His heart is pure.


He is…. USB MAN!!!!
I finally found true love!