Recent blog entries for aicra

I was so freaked out when I saw advogato was not loading today!

Have I ever mentioned I had to work with open source people recently who didn't want to keep the source open. This basically pissed off me and pissed off another member of the team. The team member told me his story and I told him mine. Apparently, we did not realize we had the same run in... individually with the project manager and developer.


So, basically, here I was - free software, working with open source. I thought it might be ok. I mean, they didn't have the same ethics but in the end... ultimately, they wanted to keep the source closed (albeit the source was GPL and distributed app) and the one developer didn't want to release the version as his "Ughbuntu" side was not done. Well, obviously, Debian waits for no Ubuntu...


Yes, I made the executive decision to release the Debian Version.
Then, I ported it to Mint. That was kind of like Ughbuntu...

Anyway, I managed to piss off Ubuntu people. Nothing new today!

So, I've been in between contracts these past 2 months. Interestingly enough, my last contract netted me more money than I have made to date - only 6 figs but good for me - the non materialistic hippie cypherpunk - now with a camaro... Not the smoggy kind, mind you... the low on ponies type -

Well, it was quite amusing when someone asked me if I could write for Drupal at the uni. I am always amused when people ask me questions like - Have you heard of Drupal? It's a CMS.

Are you kidding me?

This is like 2016. Dude. Really?
I often wonder if these same questions would be asked of my male counterparts.

Sigh. Can I document Drupal...

Ubuntu Misbehavior.

As of late, I have been in open discussion regarding the misbehavior by Ubuntu.
There is a long list.

More recently, I noticed a seemingly strong arm effect happening at the Linux User Group where Ubuntu Loco is taking over. This is a great concern to me and I will tell you why in the next few words.

Community, Responsibility, Freedom.

How can I teach my children about freedom over convenience when the groupthink at the LUG is ... it's ok, even if Ubuntu is spying, trying to maintain their lame trademark rights, and are basically bullying others.

This is my opinion based on fact.

1. These Ubuntu groups are popping up all over the place. The members must do multiple tasks including one important ritual - Drinking the Canonical Kool Aid.

2. The Ubuntu groups are supposed to work with other distros but really have a way of pushing out others and forcing Ubuntu during installfests.

3. The Ubuntu groups are a smoke and mirrors tactic to make people believe these people are larger in number and more important than they are. By strategically hiring less than 10 people per state as low level tech support (but making these people believe they are important), Canonical gives an illusion of being a strong and large corporation.

4. Ubuntu is in bed with Microsoft.
The Nokia Here phone GPS will give data to Canonical unless a user is aware of and opts out of the data and advertisement scheme.

As a free software advocate, I am absolutely disgusted with Canonical. The actions are far from community minded. Their actions are tantamount to manipulation, maneuvering and the evil empire.

I would like to advocate the boycott and banning of Ubuntu and Ubuntu products including the phone.

If you value your freedom. If you value privacy, If you have any values at all, avoid Ubuntu at all costs. There are still proprietary companies that are going to be involved with Ubuntu, sure.

I might be fine with Ubuntu had I not noticed a few key things...

1. At installfests, Ubuntu Loco tried to take over what was initially a Phoenix LUG event. I know because I started the Installfest. However, it was kept going in my absence. However, it was NEVER an Ubuntu event.

In my absence, I suppose they were used to installing Ubuntu only. Several people have been installing other distros (thank you Mike and Sergio).

In the past 3 installfests, I have attended, Ubuntu has been shoved down the throats of attendees. I even had one lady who wanted MINT. She WANTED Mint.

Why you ask? There was a video error on her monitor with Ubuntu. Funny... she did not have the error with Mint...

2. Then, a woman wanted her printer working. A Canonical "employee" and I use the term loosely because of the smoke and mirrors was "helping". Of course, I use the term "helping" loosely also.

Now, here's the thing - the Canonical guy - Mark Thomas, decided because she no longer had internal wireless card working, he would install 14.04... over 14.04.
He didn't bother to say... find out what module was needed.
He didn't bother to say... install the module for the nic...

No... he reinstalled 14.04. This is a guy who works at Canonical for a living. This begs the question, "Why is a Canonical employee at an installfest". To possibly push SpyBuntu? The reinstall threw errors. Mark Thomas LEFT! Then, the woman said she would NEVER return!

How horrible is that for our community?!

Canonical and their flagship product is sinking fast. They are using our community minded people to push their fallen product.

There are so many flaws with Ubuntu.
Let's think about the virtual memory issue.
They don't know how to use swap.

Ever have the system freeze up on you?
Well, guess what!

3. Ubuntu "reps" will not argue. They just blindly follow and believe that Ubuntu is correct all the time, even when it is obvious to everyone else how corrupt and broken Ubuntu is.

4. These Ubuntu people are not exactly the most socially acceptable people in the world. Many of them are rude.

The fact is that one guy who even wanted to be a loco member just found out today about the cookies and data being sent to Amazon. If you can imagine the shock of hearing such news after installing Ubuntu for years at installfests.

The truth comes out, SPYBUNTU! As Alex states - Until you change your spying ways... we will boycott and ban you.

After some discussion with some of my community friends, I have decided to keep the gig with the state and use the money to go to Law School.

Thanks to Paradox, curmudgeon and the crew. I did not realize Timothy Lord had his JD.

Basically, there was a lot of encouragement to pursue this direction.


If this happens, it is like a dream come true.
September is the LSAT. I'll sit for that one.

8 Jun 2014 (updated 8 Jun 2014 at 06:45 UTC) »

I did a terrible thing.
I am doing a terrible thing.

I didn't realize it until this weekend and that is more terrible.

They needed someone who knew Moodle. They needed someone to convert Moodle files to Common Cartridge using MoodleRooms. Easy enough. It was Moodle. I wasn't thinking about the big picture.

For the past month, I have been working in implementing a proprietary Learning Management Solution.

On the one hand, it brings technology in the classroom to students across the state. That is the good thing. On the other hand, not only am I implementing a LMS that is proprietary... but I am converting this from non proprietary.

I think the one benefit here is that I can reverse the process and know what is necessary in conversions from proprietary platforms to non proprietary and thus create documentation regarding this and move our effort forward.

I feel terrible. I was sucked into this in the first place. OMG. What have I done. What am I doing. Please don't judge me. I'm not a terrible person.

No wonder I feel so isolated in the job. I'm not doing the right thing...

It was that friendly manager. I couldn't help it. I wasn't thinking straight. I had a moment. I lost myself for a moment, literally. All I wanted was to go there again. I ... I...

If I can turn this thing around I will. I swear I will. I will have to make this right.

My goals were the opposite of what I'm doing. Intention doesn't mean shit. It's my actions. What have I done. What have I done!

17 May 2014 (updated 17 May 2014 at 04:49 UTC) »

Sometimes, life is so weird.

So, now I am implementing a solution that could actually have over a million users. I love it because it leverages educational opportunities for all students.

I dislike Google. They contacted me about a tech writing job. They apparently give programmers a tech test... about simple things like binary trees and data structures.
They wanted a tech writer who could code. The recruiter wouldn't listen to me.

Here's my question - If you want a tech writer who can program... give me the damn tech test you stupid mother f**kers.

Next time, I'll just send my Sourceforge and Github info. No more freshmeat....

WTF! I don't want to do tech writing anymore at this point in my life. I don't want to be someone's code monkey either.

I don't want to be a server babysitter but it's the best opportunity I've had in awhile. When I started with GNU, I couldn't even get an admin job. In fact, a recruiter told me he didn't believe I wrote the Linux Essentials. I said, ????
He said, "well I can't use linux." I said, "I have a degree in computer science. You don't" He said, "clients aren't going to believe you, even if it is true. I'm just letting you know."

I don't have to prove I can code. Check out my code bitches.
I LOVE to code. I LOVE to find solutions and tweek my code. I love being the only one who can get a robot to work in a contest because I rock C++ and assembly.

I LOVE solving customer coding issues when the electronics engineer who worked on the touch technology cannot figure it out.

Sad... really. No one believes in me.

I have to say the one thing that really has kept me positive is that my current manager has absolute faith in my abilities. That is the only thing that really helps me out. I mean, First Wikipedia, then Google. I don't care if they don't think I can code. I don't care to work for them. It just really hurts because I got the degree because... I thought that would prove it.

Silly girl.
Don't you know that they just give away those Comp Sci degrees to anyone...

When I was in the computer science program in college, there was a job fair. I applied by adding my name to a list with my phone and email.

I received a call from the girl in the college careers office. The call went like this:

Her: Hi, I'm calling from college careers. I noticed you put your name on the list for the Coops and positions at Computer Sciences Corporation. I wanted to let you know that was a mistake.

Me: What was a mistake? Are they not interviewing?

Her: No, I mean, this is for people who are into computers a lot and have a lot of computer skills.

Me: Like people in the computer science program?

Her: Yes, so I'll just take your name off the list.

Me: No. No you won't. I'm in the computer science program.

Her: Oh, but this is for people who do like coding and stuff.

Me: I do coding... and STUFF.

Her: Yeah, but this is for, you know.... guys who are really good with coding and computers.

Me: Yeah, I code, I do web design, I can do database.

Her: Oh, you can do web design.

Me: Yes, and code.

Her: Ok, well I guess we can leave your name on the list.

I went further in the interview process than anyone at that college ever did.

They wined and dined me. I received like Airborne Express invitation for a formal meet and greet. .

Screw you little girl in the Career Services, Qim Gil at Wikipedia and Jeremiah Anderson who wouldn't even let me finish listing my skills. Screw. You.

Sexism: Wikimedia Foundation – We will keep you in mind for “LESS CODE RELATED TASKS”

As a woman in the FOSS communities for over 15 years, I know the issues and have experienced sexism within and from without the community.

Some are ridiculous to me. Some are serious offenses. This time, I was offended.

In fact, one of my best friendships was forged in IRC in 2000 with someone who had no idea I was not male and made the statement that “women belong in the kitchen”. Of course, I demanded an apology, thus exposing myself as female.

You see, that is the great thing about IRC. That 1337 programmer giving assistance with C++ or Java, that could actually be a female and you had no idea!

I saw there was an opening for a Technical Writer at Wikimedia Foundation. You know… the Wikipedia people.
I had all the qualifications. So, I applied. Sounded righteous. It was remote with a few days in San Fran. I met all the requirements. On the first interview, I was asked if I used IRC. IRC! Of course. I was using IRC when lilo was running freenode. Tragic.

So, imagine my surprise when I received a reject notice from Wikimedia Foundation.

I was surprised. I had the experience and skills.

What happened here?!

Keep in mind, I have worked as a programmer, have a degree in computer science and a Masters in IT from ASU. I have written more programs than I can ever count in C, Java, C++. I have written a few database driven apps for work, using PHP and SQL. I have several Droid Apps I created on Google and I also have written Linux installers and ported software to GNU/Linux distros. In fact, I am working on a mobile Moodle app right now and have a distro PicLE (Pic learning environment) I am working on. I have embedded (mostly microcontrollers from Microchip) and know 8086 assembly. I could go on and on, but I won’t. All of this is on my resume and was emphasized in the interview.

Yet, I received a rejection letter. A nice one… So I found Quim Gil, the Lead who was available in IRC, and asked him what happened.

Around 2:13pm MST 12/17/2013

I hoped, maybe they didn’t go with the project. So, I decided to find the lead, Quim Gil (qgil) on IRC and ask him.

aicra: Hi Qim. I was wondering. Did your team decide not to go with a technical writer at all for the 3+ month contract or was there some reason I was not selected

qgil: we haven’t selected a candidate yet, and I can’t comment anything to anybody at this point

qgil: or.] wait

qgil: did you receive a notifcation?

aicra: yea

aicra: I was surprised

qgil: what is your real name?

aicra: and disappointed but from your response, I see that there are possible candidates so it was probably me

aicra: Marcia Wilbur

aicra: worked at the FSF

aicra: Community minded

aicra: Free speech advocate

aicra: :)

qgil: I remember, not all the details but I remember

aicra: I was hoping it was that your team decided not to select a tech writer. But I see. It was something I lacked, something about my qualifications that did not fit

aicra: Appreciate your time

qgil: you can send me an email asking for details, I would need the time that I don’t have now to reply properly

qgil: I think your qualifications are good, but this 3 month contract has a very precise goal where developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge

aicra: No, Funny thing was I was trying to reach out to you on irc earlier but never saw you on until today. Maybe we have different IRC hours

aicra: Appreciate it.

aicra: Good luck. If it doesn’t work out, please keep me in mind

qgil: I actually marked your application as someone to keep in mind for more community and less code related tasks. True it is! :)

qgil: tech community, I mean

aicra: Great! Thanks!

aicra: :)

qgil: thank you for your interest in contributing to Wikimedia

aicra: hold on a second

aicra: Sorry but did you write less code related?

aicra: I see

aicra: Can I ask what language?

I did not receive a response. I waited several minutes. Had to run anyway.

So, I did email him as a follow up before running out the door. Here is my response.

Hi Quim,

I just wanted to follow up on the comment made about “less code related tasks”.

In fact, that is more disappointing than if the reason had been something else.

I have a 2 yr. degree in computer science with data structures, assembly and database which means I am very knowledgeable and experienced with:



I also worked on the Gentoo fork. I have created database driven applications and Linux installers as well as Android applications.

I have not worked as a programmer, except at Aries and my resume does not reflect a lot of programming but unless it is Python (which I haven’t touched since 2005)...

However, I would think that with a degree in Computer Science one might know that I have coding skills.

Very disappointing.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email that my reject letter was a mistake. Actually, I received an email that the reject letter was an “ACCIDENT”.

Hi Marcia,

I am so sorry – I rejected you by accident! We actually want you to have a conversation with Quim this week if you are available?
Akshata will get you scheduled once you send us your availability.

Sorry again for the error.

Was it really? Or was it to cover themselves so people wouldn’t learn about what transpired?

Seriously, though. I started to wonder about how many female developers are at the Wikimedia Foundation? What was the attitude toward female developers in our community?

I kept thinking about those words:

…developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge.



So, before committing to an interview, I asked about diversity. The response was as professional as any corporation or organization.

They do seem to have somewhat of a diverse workforce.

All the while, all I could think of was…


I believe that Quim’s first response when he saw my name was female was to let me know I didn’t have the coding ability they wanted. Really?

Great assumption! Am I to give him the benefit of the doubt?

…developer experience is appreciated beyond technical knowledge.

I don’t think my developer experience is appreciated or could be appreciated!!!

No. I’ve been a female developer within this community for well over a decade. There were no females at Slashdot, Tina was the lone female at NewsForge and the only reason I got as far as I did was because in the beginning, these guys had no idea I was female in IRC, I was a computer science major at Arizona State and I love to code.

So, thanks Wikimedia, but no THANKS!

Side note: I believe Wikipedia has lost it’s connection to our community and the support. The point is, “Why are they paying someone to do this gig if they had community support!” Forking has already been suggested and as I write this, Wikipedia is being decentralized and will soon be available P2P as a community effort, not managed by Wikimedia Foundation.

As for me, I’ll keep focusing on Free Speech, censorship and maybe scandalous behavior (cough – Wikimedia)!

P.S. Not to be crude, but really, just because I have the ability to Quim, doesn’t mean I can’t code… Quim!

Well, I did get my git going. I like to work locally. However, I realized that should something happen to me or my machine, those files and apps might be lost.

So, it is a great way to get organized. I like subversion but I'm enjoying git.

For now, I'm working on a mobile app for elearning. Let's see how it works with my current LMS on Faqlinux. No learning up there just yet.

Ultimately, I would love to see shared learning. However, I don't know if that can happen yet.

There are so many other outlets for people who are creative.
I had efront set up on FAQLinux but something happened and I decided to go with Moodle. I had a few honest users on there .

Now, with Moodle, I have trolls.
That reminds me, I have to clean up dmcasucks.

This has been a crazy week with the Zimmerman thing, Farm Bill, and such. I don't know what to think. Violence is not the answer.

Last night I was able to reclaim

We are far past the times when the site was used to inform people that a DMCA existed.

We are far past the times when the site was used to inform people about the potential dangers to the DMCA.

We are past the times when the site was used to invoke people into irl protest action against the DMCA and censorship (unfortunately).

The new focus must be:

Impact of the DMCA on others - even though there is plenty of information about it out there

- Collaboration of individuals to speak up against the DMCA via video to be used in the Documentary Project to create a DMCA documentary

- Written/summary of personal DMCA stories from individuals impacted

- Interviews via webcam with individuals adversely affected by the DMCA

So many DMCA Notifications are looked over for the basic requirements and then that information is used to take down a website or blog. Other items need to be taken into consideration. One particular case in point is where a false DMCA notification is sent against someone. In one case a false notification was sent with the sender being the same person as the receiver. Yes! This was not caught. The blog was taken down and the content not recovered. When content is not recovered, Limitations on Liability are revoked.
- Training center for DMCA Agents
- Free Copyright training (Moodle)
- Training about the DMCA

All training will be delivered electronically

- Any DMCA related protests that might come about

News Blog
I will blog about current and relevant DMCA related "situations". RMS said to me over 10 years ago, just keep writing...

Links - Similar relevant links: EFF, DRM info, Chilling, FSF - GFDL, Public domain sites

No ADS! :)

Again, it has been awhile.

Today, I had an interview with a company that needed a technical writer who knew Unix. While I could go into the differences between UNIX and GNU/Linux, I would rather focus on what is happening within our community.

We used to be a community. We worked together on projects and we lifted each other up. What happened today was a complete shock to my system.

I have never been a system administrator. It would be a lie to say I had not thought about it. Instead, I spent my time advocating for freedom and coding. Why? I love it. Why else would you do anything? Oh... yeah. For $$

Well, since I had been using Debian all these years, I had a chance today to look back on some of my work. I have created installers and programs, I have ported applications that were only ported for Red Hat to Debian and got these to work. Upon contacting the companies, they told me... we don't care if it works on Debian, only Red Hat.

Before it was commonplace, I was making isos and using cdrecord to burn CDs, showing anyone who would listen how. In fact, I was instrumental in the first installfest in Phoenix. Yes, I have been a part of the community both online and in real life.

Yet today, I felt like a luser, a newb and why?

Because I am not a sys admin and I was applying for a job where I would work with server babysitters.

I believe my expertise is in the mid to high level. However, I was asked questions about things I never use, like /op. (Don't use it because really... it's all about me.)

I have tinkered with SaaS, worked on embedded applications and hardware and the list goes on and on... boring, I know.

The point is that I *thought* we were a community. I *thought* it didn't matter whether one was a programmer or a sys admin or even a n00b.

Haven't these people read Emmett's Welcome Wagon?

Now, I see that there are many opportunists just using Linux for profit.

I have actually de-constructed several programs that use ffmpeg but do not include the GPL. A lot of companies are using our work and not including the GPL. One company that makes a good profit using FFMPEG and does not include the GPL is Articulate. Another is Adaptive.

There are companies that offer a "free" compiler. They do offer the code, but it is so obfuscated, it would be challenging compiling this mess. The product manager laughed as he told me this.

There are so many positives that have come from our community. Unfortunately, I am seeing a lot of negatives. Not anything we have done, but the unintended consequences of our pure vision.

Today is a sad day for me.

Perhaps tomorrow will bring more hope for community. At least I can say that we did have good intentions and made some positive changes. Unfortunately, the businesses and opportunists are dividing our efforts and our community with their labels as:
Power user
Super user

Any insinuation that a programmer is less valuable than a system administrator hurts our community.

Working together is what we did. It's how we succeeded and to see that change, even on a small level is devastating!

Let's get together and work together. That's how we are going to make things happen.

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