Valorie Zimmerman

Rest in peace, Ted Cowan 1926-2016

I've been a bit quiet online lately. A few weeks back, my father had a stroke, from which he seemed to at least partly recover. However, last week we found that he could not recover, and was in fact dying.

He died 12 May 2016. I wrote about that a bit here: http://genweblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/rest-in-peace-ted-cowan-1926-2016.html . I was holding his hand as he passed, as was my sister. We're both happy that he is free of his pain, but are both grieving that both our parents are now dead.

Grieving is strange. Sometimes life seems normal, but sometimes not. So I will help out when I have the energy and interest, and at other times, withdraw and recharge. Talking about this is fine in open channels or privately, if you want. This is not a sensitive subject; we'll all die in the end after all.

24 May 2016 17:19:36

Svetlana Belkin

System 76 Lemur Unboxing and Initial Use Review

Like many Ubuntu users, I drooled all over getting a System 76 laptop or desktop.  They are built by Ubuntu users for Ubuntu users.  I finally decided to buy one a few weeks ago.


Two Fridays ago, I ordered a System 76 Lemur and it finally came yesterday just 15 minutes before I had to go to work.  I only had time to photograph the unboxing and put it to charge.

The specs on this Lemur are:

Screenshot from 2016-05-21 16-36-24A few upgrades from the base.

The unopened box. I love the fact that it says, “Unleash your potential”. And about the sharp objects to open the packaging is true, you only need to use a sharp object to get the box itself open.

2016-05-23 12.42.21

The packaging See I mean?

The box I simply love how they designed in the inside. It makes me want to create!

Below are some of the images from the unboxing and all the images are here:

Initial Use Review

Just before I went to sleep,  I started it up.  The first time installation is simpler because Ubuntu is already installed and the laptop only needs to know what you need to have it they way you want.  I also ran my  restore script from the backup that I created from my desktop. I allowed it to run when I was sleeping.

Today when I logged in, I found an error in my script, fixed it, committed it, and pushed it on GitHub.  Because of this error, I had to install the needed programs, but that was no biggie.  I haven’t used so much yet (I’m writing this on my desktop) but it runs very smoothly and quietly.

Keyboard and Trackpad

I like the keyboard, it’s sized perfectly for the laptop and my hands.  Typing on it is very smooth.  The only bad thing is that it is not backlit.

Using the trackpad is also smooth and it’s prefect fit.  I also like that there is buttons for left and right click.


The fans are very, very quiet.  No other comment needed.


It’s weight is 3 pounds, but I have no comment.  I love the finish on the laptop.  It’s a gray finish and I thought it was brighter.  I also love how the System 76 logo is raised a bit and centered.  The only problem that I have is that (to me) there is a bit too much flex on the top.

Hopefully in a week, I will have a post after one week of usage in order for me to talk about how the laptop runs.

24 May 2016 15:19:51


Svetlana Belkin

What Programs Do I Use: GitHub’s Atom

As I said in this post, I’m doing a series of blog posts about the programs that I use on Ubuntu.

My first program that I want to talk about is GitHub’s Atom code editor.  I tired a few code editors (mostly with working with Markdown) and none of them is as awesome as Atom.  Why?  See below:

Screenshot from 2016-05-21 17-45-46 Screenshot from 2016-05-21 17-48-01

In the first screenshot  on the left, you can see that I’m working on Ubuntu Membership workshop (that I plan to do a bit before the global jam or after it). The first panel on the left is the file manger for that specific project.  The middle is the editor where there is syntax highlighting happening for Markdown.  And on the last panel on the right, is the Markdown preview for that file.

In the next and final screenshot on the right, you can see the same file being worked on but in the middle panel shows what I have added (in green), deleted (in red), and changed (dark yellow) after the last commit.  It’s a handy feature.

I only have used Atom for a week now, and I don’t have much to say since I only work with Markdown files at the moment.  But that will change as I start to work on my coding projects, as stated here.  I know that Jono Bacon wrote an amazing post on Atom where I know that I will check out those other features and maybe report on them here.  Most likely, I will have a follow up post once I start to code more.

As for this series, I will post one post every Sunday until I run out of programs to talk about.  The next one that I will talk about is Mudlet, a M* client that I use to play my favorite text-based online roleplay.

See you next week!

22 May 2016 16:18:53