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I had an Epic LinuxFest Northwest 2019

I know at least a dozen people who are clenching their sides as they laugh today (including me) after falling to the ground laughing at least once this weekend during LinuxFest Northwest. And it wasn't because of some comedy show! Yes, it is possible for your body and your face to hurt from too much happiness. Trust me. I know this. I hope this encourages you to make it a point to head out to LinuxFest Northwest next year!
I'm writing this blog post at SEATAC while I wait for my flight to Denver after the best LinuxFest I've ever been to. LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington celebrated its 20th year in 2019, making for an epic reason to celebrate. The highlight of the conference was the annual System76/Jupiter Broadcasting BBQ in the parking lot. It's amazing to think there were only a dozen or two of us enjoying some post LFNW BBQ a few years ago, and now it's grown into hundreds!

System76 graciously covered the cost of the BBQ, Jupiter Broadcasting and L…
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I'm a Woman in Tech. Please Hit on Me. Said No Woman, Ever.

Oh no, you got stuck? Linux drama got you down? You actually don't know everything? What if you have to pick up the phone and call tech support and someone like me answers? A WOMAN.

Let me enlighten you on some proper etiquette for speaking with a female tech support rep.

My open source career began working customer service for Ubuntu/Linux users in early 2012. Like many open source enthusiasts, I was immediately drawn to the community. Over the years, the community has been welcoming, friendly and helpful for the most part. Eventually, I transitioned into a technical support role, and I started to experience unnecessary negativity as a woman and I believe I'm not alone.

During my very technical, non-exotic dancer workday, I do not expect to deal with disgusting pick-up lines and filthy language. I can't stand when people use sexually suggestive statements in a support interaction. As a baseline, most women prefer if you didn't hit on us at all during a support call or in…

Happy Things From SCaLE17x

SCaLE17x in Pasadena, California was a blast, as always. This year I ran the System76 booth with Aaron, Mitch and Louisa and wow, it was busy!  The SCaLE organizers do such an excellent job making sure vendors have everything they need for a successful conference. The highlight of the show was of course, the people! This is one of the largest conferences I go to each year that never fails to bring all the best of the Linux community together.


System76 won 'Most Interactive Booth,' which we were all very proud of since there are ~150 vendors according to the SCaLE Website. We did raffles every hour, got hands on with Thelio, and had Rocket League running on the Oryx Pro with Steam Controllers for anyone to play. Aaron, in all his glory, wandered around the expo hall in the famous Tux costume and took pictures with people. Nathan Handler snapped this photo-shoot-worthy pic that I want to frame and put on a wall at System76.



Dinners are where all the stories come from, and we did…

Tackling Tech Support Bullies

We're all familiar with internet Trolls, right? Of course. Otherwise Reddit wouldn't exist. Well, there's this new type of Troll and it's called a Tech Support Bully, or TSB. Similar to a Troll, but not so much under the bridge type or on Reddit type. It's more like IN YOUR FACE type.

Sometimes I wonder how it's possible to forget that the person you just called for help is actually a person too. A human. You contacted a HUMAN for help?!? OMG. Yes, I want to help you, even if you're a TSB. The quicker you come out from under the bridge, the quicker we can get the problem solved. Tech Support Bullies spend more time being mean to me on the call than they do trying to solve the problem. How in the world does that help?

(Clarification: When I say US and WE, I mean me and my team. Or I could mean Linux support pros in general... Apply it where you want, but I'm just telling you how it is.)

How it Affects Us - Emotionally and Physically

TSBs are exhausting. W…

Upcoming Events

SCaLE 17X- Pasadena, California
I'll be in the System76 booth showing off our Thelio Desktop and Darter Pro laptop... and we'll have some video games running on the Oryx Pro. Stop by and check us out! March 7-10 in the main Expo Hall. We'll have giveaways all expo long!

LinuxFestNorthwest- Bellingham, Washington
April 26-28 I'll be in the System76 booth showing off our laptops and Thelio. The whole tech support team is coming! I have a talk accepted called 'sudo apt install Happiness' which isn't on any schedule yet, but once it is, I'll post it!

I've been doing customer support with Linux users for more than 7 years now. As a woman, I've had my share of the good, the bad and the ugly. I'd like to provide tips on how to turn our support interactions with each other into happier experiences. In this talk, you'll learn some best practices when interacting with a support human so that you can reach a solution faster.  In the Linux community, …

Galago Pro on the Go: Emma's System76 Laptop Review

I'm so excited to talk about this little precious Galago Pro! I like to name my laptops, and nothing is more fitting for this machine (in my use case) than the name ‘Princess’ because my experience with the Galago so far has been royally spectacular. After more than a month of frequent use, I’ve found the Galago to be an excellent choice for the mobile worker. I’m frequently on a train, plane or bus, so portability is an absolute must-have for me. Although the portability is my favorite feature, I’m fond of a few other things the Galago Pro has to offer.
Look and Feel
She’s so pretty and shiny with her smooth aluminum body. She sports a touch of class with the metallic accents bordering the touchpad adding the perfect amount of elegance to remind you what you’re working on just before you start typing. I feel 'elite' just working on the Galago Pro, knowing that whoever is on the other side of the display is envious of my prized gem of a laptop.
Keyboard
Princess caters to …

Ready for LinuxFest Northwest and Linux Laptop Orchestra

I’m sitting here at the airport waiting for my connecting flight to Virginia to meet the Linux Laptop Orchestra at Virginia Tech, kicking off a busy next couple of months.
LinuxFest Northwest is coming up in a few weeks. Last year I did the Linux Switch Competition with Noah and Chris from Linux Action Show. I wonder what’s in store for this year’s event?!? Can we top last year’s switch competition? If you haven't seen the competition, it's pretty entertaining :) 

We probably can’t top that since we don’t have any specific competition planned this time around, but LFNW should be eventful enough with our System76 Booth and Ryan doing his talk about 11 Years Making Machines Born to Run Linux.
I’ll be travelling to LFNW with my wonderful support technician partner, April and our Community Manager, Ryan Sipes. We are certainly a combo to be reckoned with. We are all loud and passionate, especially in regards to Linux and even more so after a few drinks, when it comes to our favor…