Meet Sienna, she is my 3 year old daughter who loves to make things  (and break things). Sienna loves ‘computer science time’ the time when  her and I both have daddy and daughter time connecting things up to the  Raspberry Pi and making it do fun stuff, like making lights flash,  motors spin and playing sounds.

Sienna wiring up LED's on a breadboard
Sienna wiring up LED’s on a breadboard

In our house, we think there needs to be more women in tech

Sienna is a maker,  she likes to customise, tinker and learn about how things work. We  usually use a Google Chromebook for our experiments but recently she  outgrew Chrome OS and needed something more powerful so we can track our  source code in git and such things, we decided we needed Ubuntu on the  Toshiba Chromebook 2 which is a staggeringly nice device for the money.  We looked at Crouton which is kind of awesome and we had it running fairly quickly. But it  wasn’t enough, we needed the machine to boot directly into Ubuntu with  no warning screens about developer mode and such things, also an  accidental button press would restore the machine back to its original  state with our customised environment lost.

So we decided to be more adventurous, after talking with Marcus Baw who runs Leigh Hackspace he told us about a hardware hack of sorts that would allow us to  install a custom bios and therefore install full Ubuntu on the machine. I  talked it through with Sienna, it would need precision engineering  skills and total concentration, she said she was up for the task so we  went about prepping and reading up from the excellent tutorial over at Fascinating Captain that details how to do this in 5 easy steps.

Show the thing daddy don’t tell

Here she is, tackling this project with nothing but a bit of guidance  from her daddy and a rice cake to provide fuel for the job.

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Carefully removing the screws
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Then the heatsink protector
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Little fingers mean great precision
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Locate the conductive sticker to be removed
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Carefully peel it off to enable writing a custom BIOS
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Now we finalise putting it back together
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Run the script to install a custom BIOS
Post Ubuntu install, all good, super snappy
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Super proud daddy loves his little Maker

So there you have it, another women in tech, showing how it is done. A job well done I think.

P.S Yes that is static whiteboard on the windows, my wife really appreciates us doing that.