Girls CAN Do Anything


Mattel has angered a large segment of the Girl Geek world with a book with a decidedly sexist slant that portrays Barbie as needing help from boys to successfully complete a coding project. While Mattel has apologized and “pulled” the publication and has promised a better attitude going forward, the important concept that girls can be what they dream to be and should reach for the stars is what really matters. Women in tech have been successful for years. I’m not just talking about the Marissa Mayer’s of this world. There are thousand’s (and hopefully tens of thousands) of us who have built successful tech careers, many of them, like myself, going back 20 or 30 years.

There’s been lots of activity on Barbie’s Facebook page where posts are being deleted by Barbie’s social media staff (see Posts to Page) and some still are up at

One of my peers has started a #realgirlgeek campaign to highlight the fact that women and girls CAN be anything they want to be, including computer programmers and IT professionals.

The White House also has recently stepped up a campaign to highlight and help and equalize the pay gap in ALL professions.


white house equality

Let’s encourage our girls to pursue and excel in technical careers.

Oh yeah, for what it’s worth, here’s my remix of the horrendous Barbie, I can be a Computer Engineer.

Trying the Barley WordPress Plugin


I love my Surface 2 and my Nokia Lumia 2520, but until today, they were not a good blogging platform. I’ve been holding my breath waiting for a Modern UI/Start screen App version of Windows Live Writer, but I fear that day will never come. I read about the Barley WordPress plugin with great excitement, but it didn’t work with my self-designed theme here on The folks at Barley were hugely supported and nice. I learned I needed to change my theme which apparently had some CSS issues. This morning I decided I wanted to change my theme from fixed to fluid and hoped that I’d end up with a more compatible theme that would support Barley. I emailed support who got back to me withint minutes and asked for a zipped copy of my new theme. Shortly after receiving this, I received a reply that it worked.

So, with my revised theme, Barley works exactly as advertised. It works on Modern IE, but you’ll need a keyboard and mouse/trackpad as several functions are not touch enabled. Barley is an online editor that works inside WordPress (and let’s you switch back and forth to the native WordPress editor if needed). Barley is completely WYSIWYG. You can see a demo of how the editor works on their website.

Screenshots below were made while I was preparing this post.

I’m typing this on a regular desktop. Next step is to try on my Surface 2.

I’m a very happy camper. More to follow!

Release 4 Windows and Surface Community Reader New Features


On July 18, I released an update which adds preliminary support for Discussions for Windows and Surface and the Windows Wiki. Indexing has changed, and unfortunately you will need to re-subscribe if you are  upgrading from a previous release. Indexing is now QA for Questions and Answers, Discuss for Discussions, and Wikis.

Windows Wiki: Currently, you can subscribe to a single Wiki Category which includes All Versions of Microsoft Windows. As content increases, I will add subscriptions for specific Windows Versions.


The best way to read Windows Wiki articles is to snap the app to the left, with Modern IE open on the right.



Discussions work in exactly the same manner as Questions and Answers:



DIY Home Security Part 4 – View Cameras From Anywhere

In Part 3, I wrote about setting up dynamic DNS and port forwarding for my cameras and desktop controller as well as authentication for all exposed web servers. Once this is set up properly, camera output can be viewed in real time, any time I want to check in on what’s happening chez moi. If I were to get a motion detection email alert, I could immediately recheck camera output from all my cameras.


The Blue Iris web controller Windows software that I selected is viewable from any web browser. It detects mobile use and presents an iPxxx interface when I access it from my iPhone or iPad. I’ve added the URL to my bookmarks and to my Home screen on my iPxxx devices. Here is what I see from my iPad after I enter the proper credentials (since authentication was set up):

 I can select an individual camera from the drop down menu or just tap a camera to see a larger view.

I added a bookmark for the Blue Iris web server and also added it to my iPad and iPhone Home Screens for easy and fast access.

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DIY Home Security Part 3 – DYNDNS, Port Forwarding

As I mentioned in Part 1, setting up the D-Link IP cameras (and IP camera in general most likely) is easy if you have a simple network. This means you


1. Only have 1 camera

2. Don’t need to access the camera either directly or through any software from outside your own home network

3. Don’t already have a web server running on the default port 80 (if your provider does not block this port)


If you are serious about DIY Home Security/Surveillance, you will need to configure multiple cameras on multiple ports, set up dynamic DNS (if you don’t have his setup already) and forward ports on your router. On your router, you should set up DNS reservations for your cameras, and if using a desktop software controller, a reservation for that computer and port forwarding for the port you are using for the desktop controller software web server. You can get free dynamic DNS from the folks at and if you have a decent router, there should be a place to enter your dyndns host name and password and the router will do the work of ensuring that if your Internet DHCP IP changes, updates are made seamlessly. D-Link actually offers a private branded dynamic DNS set up service from inside their admin interface. It should be ok to use this (last time I checked they were using the services of

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