Wednesday, May 3, 2017

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.


Princess caters to what I need in a keyboard. I can type 80 wpm which is my normal average, with few mistakes- if any. I love that there’s no numpad on the right because I’m not trying to use this for massive spreadsheets or calculations, so that space isn’t filled with unnecessary keys. Instead, it makes my little Precious even more portable. Love the Home and End keys on the side of the Enter key. Just a pinky distance away. Fabulous!

Size and Portability

The size is perfect. This is my second trip with the Galago Pro. I couldn’t pick a better travelling partner! She’s .56” thick with a 13” display and 2.87 lbs. On the flight, the Galago positions perfectly on the tray table. Since it’s so thin and light, I didn’t have to bring anything but my laptop bag for this trip. I had plenty of room for clothes, my curling iron, makeup bag and hygeine bag. I’m pretty psyched to slim my trips down to one laptop bag! I’m used to carrying my 17” laptop which I thought was pretty portable for a 17”, but I don’t think I’ll even be taking the bigger one out of the house anymore since the Galago is much more portable. Another great feature- the power adapter is tiny! It’s .2 lbs and 3.5”x 1” x.75”. Slimming down to the more portable Galago Pro for my trips leaves room for an entire other outfit!
System76 Galago Pro on airplane tray table


Guess what? If you have your own hard drive or RAM, or just can’t afford to max out your Galago Pro when you purchase, you can add your components down the road. I took Princess apart to show you how wonderfully easy and quick the Galago Pro is to service. Check out below.

Battery Life

My workload while travelling consists of writing with Libre Office, web browsing (lots of Tweeting!) in Firefox with multiple tabs and responding to System76 customers in Chrome. I also enjoy some video action on Netflix and YouTube. I got a solid 4 hours of battery life consistently off a full charge, with multiple suspend sessions in between. My first flight was 3.5 hours. I was able to comfortably work on the Airplane tray table the entire flight, minus the mandatory tray tables up and airplane mode sessions. For me, the battery life is perfect as frequent flyer. It’s rare that I even work on the laptop for an entire flight, so the battery life is actually more than enough for a trip, especially when you factor in the usual in-flight beverage, snack and bathroom break. Being able to suspend properly by just closing the lid is extremely convenient. With as many times as I have to stop doing what I’m doing quickly, I love to be able to just pick up right where I left off just as quick as it was to close the lid. With that said, you’ll likely get 3.5-4 hours with the 36 Wh battery on the System76 Galago Pro.

The first set of pre-orders start shipping this week. I’m anxious to hear everyone’s feedback and see their reviews online. If you are one of those lucky customers, feel free to share your review with me by email or in the comments! I'm

Have a fab day in the freedom land of open-source!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

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 favorite geeky topics. And that’s just absolutely fabulous. April and I will be manning the booth and Ryan will be doing a talk and will likely swing by the booth to confess his undying love for the new Galago Pro. That dude loves this laptop- A LOT. Make sure you ask him about it at LFNW if you get a chance to chat with him. Hope to see you there!

Before LFNW, I have the Linux Laptop Orchestra performance in West Virigina. The only fully loaded Linux Laptop Orchestra in the world powered by Ubuntu and System76 will be putting on an epic display of magical sound at Virginia Tech College. I’ll be front and center, seeing our Lemurs resonate beautiful sound through an auditorium of Windows and Mac users. I could’ve said people, but they are likely Windows and Mac users who will see System76 displayed across the stage, so that sounds more awesome. You can do a lot of things with System76 laptops- but the group at Virginia Tech under Dr. Ivica Bukvic's leadership decided to create a whole orchestra. Check out how awesome this project is!

Now off to the plane to see the Linux Laptop Orchestra at Virginia Tech!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let's Talk about Love. COMPUTER LOVE

I want to talk about computer love. You may have seen pictures of me in the new System76 shirt, but if not, you'll see one here and find out how to get one for yourself. We started calling it the 'Computer Love' shirt.

I designed the shirt to sum up who we are as a company with simple icons so that any human could understand what we're about or at least become curious. The logo on the front is my loud display of pride to support System76. The message on the back is simple. Ubuntu plus System76 equals Computer Love.
Jason, Kate and Emma in Burbank showing some Computer Love

Love is a human emotion- a connection - a special bond. Have you ever thought about how much you love your computer? Do you love the company that made it? Do you have a human connection to the company? I can't say that I've ever thought to myself, 'man, I just love this Toshiba laptop' or 'I can't live without this HP notebook.' For as long as I've been using computers, I've never had a human interaction with anyone at the company that manufactures it. System76 is as human as a company can get.

At System76, you'll remember the name of who you talk to. We also invite you to come to our corporate headquarters for Ubuntu release parties or to look at our computers if you're local. We add a human touch to our computers everywhere possible, from the initial design to the performance and the service you receive. System76 is so different than any other computer company. If you can't master the human connection, how can you expect a customer to love your product? I want every customer to have an emotional attachment (LOVE!) to their computer. It's such an important device. You should love your computer.

The majority of System76 customers LOVE their computers. When we receive feedback, it isn't 'I really like this machine.' It's more like 'I LOVE my new laptop! I'm going to tell everyone to go to System76.' The more I heard that, the more I started to understand that we should spread the love anywhere and everywhere. If you know me well, you'll know that I believe the best way to do that is with a T-shirt (You'll understand my reasoning in a future post :)). That's how the Computer Love T-shirt was born.

My goal with this shirt is to encourage people to search online about System76 and discover what they're missing on their computer. Also, I wear it to encourage conversation. Since I ride public transit and work in the heart of Downtown Denver, the back of the shirt has served as a topic of conversation on multiple occasions. When a stranger asks me what the logos mean, I get as excited as a kitten with a cardboard box. Why? Because I love System76.

In my 6th year at System76, I surprise myself every day with the fact that I love my job even more. Switching people to Ubuntu/Linux is so fulfilling. But it's not all I do. I have the opportunity to do more than one job at System76 with every task revolving around customers. Doing sales, customer service and tech support allows me to develop a human connection with my customers that extends throughout the lifetime of their product. It even spreads to my social networks to the point where I consider all my customers friends. That's the type of experience we aim for at System76. That human connection means everything to me- to all of us here at System76. When that human connection stems from love, it is bound to last and create happiness on all sides. And, if you know me, you'd know that nothing makes me more happy than spreading love and happiness. I want my efforts to extend outside the office even more, and if a T-shirt can assist with that, I'm going to everything I can to encourage people to wear it.
Sporting the Computer Love shirt while I do some weekend bedazzling

Strength in Numbers

Hopefully this shirt eventually spreads the love to enough people who support us, that you won't be able to go a day without seeing System76 in the wild. So, I wear this shirt every day with pride and with a smile. Why? Because I love System76. I can't say it enough.

How to get a Free Computer Love System76 T-shirt

Do you want to help with my mission? You can get a free 'Computer Love' System76 shirt by posting with #ILOVESYSTEM76BECAUSE and your reason to any of our social networks and tagging @System76. I will send it to you personally, folded with love and happiness.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

All The Things!

Time for some catch-up!

The Colorado Loco Ubuntu Team Release Party for Ubuntu 16.10 was larger than any release we've had in history! I had 50+ on the signup sheet and 60+ at the peak. I met dozens of new people and at least a dozen new-to-Ubuntu users! The Ubuntu Beginners pamphlet was a hit, proving there were people who wanted to know more and willing to take it home and give Ubuntu a try. A lot of people look at how many people attended, but the most important stat to me is how many people took the new user materials and found it useful. That's how you know it was successful.

Instead of a meetup at a local restaurant or bar, I decided to leverage our excellent corporate sponsorship by my fabulous employer, System76 and host an event. We set up stations to keep visitors engaged, had fancy catering to fill the tummies, activities for the kids, and kegs of beer to stir the conversation :)

All Things Open in Raleigh was a blast. Our booth was busy as can be, and the conference had 1,000 more attendees than last year, according to event organizers. It's starting to have that OSCON type feel for a conference. It was unbelievable how many more booths, sessions and people there were this year compared to last. For an open source conference, it's definitely one of the best ones we attend outside of Linux Fests. I met tons of customers and fans, and hopefully influenced a few hundred people to consider our products next time they need a computer!

The networking at All Things Open is one of the best features of the conference. The social events are comfortable, fun and full of smiling faces. There is nothing better than a sea of geeks in a barcade after a long day manning the booth at a conference.

Ryan Sipes first time doing a
booth with System76! Sam rocking it as always :)
Jason stood ready for his talk about
imaging System76 computers the night before

We have more events to come in 2017. It's going to be an epic year!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I swear I go to bed one day and wake up and all of a sudden, it's 3 months later. So crazy how life goes by so fast in the tech world...

I have some exciting and important announcements to make. Ubuntu 16.10 is coming out this week and that calls for a release party for the Colorado Ubuntu Group. Guess who sponsors the local Ubuntu group... SYSTEM76. So, you know we're going to have an awesome set-up. Mostly because I'M planning it :) J/K (sort of). There were so MANY people at the April release and I anticipate at least 20 more for this one. Our parties aren't like other Loco Ubuntu parties... I try to make them as exciting, entertaining and as geeky as possible. But, I also love food, drinks and free stuff. So, someone like me organizing a party can- and has always- resulted in a GOOD TIME. If you're in Colorado, you're invited!

We have a ridiculous amount of product updates. Most deal with nVidia 10-series GPUs, but the most highly-anticipated release for my personal customers is the RAM upgrade. You get up to 32 GB RAM @ 2400 Mhz on our mainstream System76 Laptops. Are you serious? Yes. We are serious at System76. I dare you to find something comparable to our laptops with Linux working out of the box at the same price. It's just too hard. So, I'll be happy to make it easy for you because I can tell you what you need if you just talk to me. Phone, chat or e-mail, just get in touch with me. It sounds cheesy, but I don't work on commission, so I'm definitely here to provide the RIGHT solution for you or your family. If you can't convince them to switch to Linux-Ubuntu... I will.

I'm on a switching frenzy when it comes to Ubuntu, so, I'm sorry if I rant. I can't stop switching people from Windows to Ubuntu and it's kind of a big deal. To me.

Actually, I'm probably not sorry for ranting...

Because it might just work...

I wanted to describe all the things coming up for what I'm doing in the community lately, so here's the info :)

I have the All Things Open Conference in Raleigh at the end of the month. It's going to be such an amazing time with the amazing presentations and our epic booth setup for System76. I only get to run the booth, but we have our lead RockStar, Jason DeRose, heading up a talk on how we image our Ubuntu systems. It's fast, it's innovative, it's geeky and it's admirable. I would love to hear what other adjectives we can come up with about it. Please let me know in the thoughts below after you hear Mr. DeRose speak :)

We always have tons of pics and experiences from conferences, but this time, with Ryan as our lead, we'll have more than just pics. It's exciting. It's going to be a completely different social experience and work enviornment with someone new, but the only thing it can be is EXCITING. So, I can't imagine anything that can go wrong. Feel free to ping me @socialhappiness on Twitter bc I'll chat with you any hour that I'm awake- no matter the subject.

Love you all and can't wait to chat with you. Please find me on Twitter @socialhappiness because that's my fav place to converse besides in person. XOXOXOXO

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Southeast LinuxFest 2016

I know I've been dormant for over a year on my blog, but that's about to change :) I'm still working at System76 and still loving it, of course. One of my favorite parts about my job is travelling to open source tradeshows. This past weekend was Southeast LinuxFest in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was absolutely fantastic!

This was System76's first time sponsoring SELF, and it was everything we hoped for. The conference was well-organized, accommodating and full of quality attendees that were generally interested in our products. It also helped that we gave away a 14" Lemur Laptop. The laptop giveaway caused a brief Twitter Storm, showing off the many faces of me, along with the many anxious laptop seekers.
Sake Bombs and Booth Buddies!

Do you ever make 'Booth Buddies' when you go to conferences? Or do you prefer working across and next to the same people for a whole weekend without saying a word? I'm not a fan of awkward, so I make sure to establish booth buddies as soon as possible. At #SELF2016, we were closest to Linode and Ubuntu. Booth buddies are not only great for jokes between heavy traffic periods, but for hanging out prior to the tradeshow sponsored social events. We decided to head to Fuji for some Hibachi and Sake Bombs. If you want to laugh, here's a brief recap of the Booth Buddy Dinner in a slideshow :)

Overall, #SELF2016 was a tradeshow to remember and definitely requires my attendance next year. I definitely want to sponsor, host or organize one of the nightly parties next year.

When it's all said and done, a heavy meal and a ridiculous alcoholic beverage are usually in order. We picked Midwood Smokehouse for our pre-airport rendezvous conference-closer. Bacon-infused vodka Bloody Mary (AKA Hangry Mary) is pretty much all I need to say... or remember :)

"Hangry Mary" from Midwood Smokehouse in Charlotte, NC

That's a #Self2016 Wrap! Linode and System76 Cheers to a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Quickly Add New Font Styles to Ubuntu

Do you like to spruce up your documents with different fonts? Do you print a monthly newsletter for the office? You’re in luck! The Ubuntu Software Center is home to hundreds of fonts available for installation in just a few clicks. When a font package is installed through Ubuntu Software Center, any application that uses fonts will contain the new fonts the next time you open the app. Start by opening the Ubuntu Software Center. There’s a section called ‘Fonts’ on the left side of the window. After clicking ‘Fonts,’ the window will display a long list of options for installation. The best package if you’re looking for hundreds of decorative, creative fonts is the ‘465 free TrueType fonts by Brian Kent.’

If you click ‘Install,’ you’ll be prompted to enter your password and the installation will finish within a few seconds. If you have LibreOffice or Gimp etc. open, you’ll need to close the application and re-open it for the newly installed fonts to show up in the font list.

Installing Individual Fonts Without Ubuntu Software Center
Although there are hundreds of available fonts in the Ubuntu Software Center, if you’re looking for something specific, you can find open source fonts on Open Font Library. First, visit the Open Font Library and choose a font. There’s a large download button next to the font example. Click to download once you’ve chosen your desired font. Pay attention to where you save the file because you’ll need to access it next.


After downloading the file, you’ll need to open and unzip it. When you open the file, there will be an option in the file window menu called ‘Extract’ which you can go ahead and click. A new window will pop up asking you which folder you want to store your extracted files in. Some people find it helpful to create a new folder called ‘Fonts’ for easy access later. After you’ve determined where to extract the files, click the option to ‘Show the Files.’ Now, the .ttf files will be available for a quick install. Click on the .ttf file of your desired font. A new window will open up with an alphabet of the font. In the top of the window, you’ll see a button to ‘install font.’ You may need to install more than one .ttf file because the bold and italic options are separate from the normal font option.

Once your fonts are installed, you can close all the file windows you had open. Next time you open an application that has font options, the font you just installed will be available for use. To confirm the font installed, simply open Libre Office and find your font in the drop down. It’s in alphabetical order, so you can find it quickly.

Now you have plenty of creative choices to decorate your documents!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Colorado Ubuntu Team: Operation 'Spread Ubuntu' is Underway!

After another successful Colorado Ubuntu Team meeting this week, it's clear that our LoCo team is gaining momentum for a busy summer of spreading Ubuntu. The purpose of this week's Ubuntu Hour was to finalize a welcome handout with ways to get started with Ubuntu and reasons to use the best operating system in the world. The goal is to provide the handout with Ubuntu CD's, a sticker sheet and Ubuntu key stickers to cover up those Windows keys. The document was completed with final edits Wednesday and the CoLoCo CD kits were prepared to send to local volunteers yesterday.

On top of the incredible response from the team to complete the handout, I received a handful of volunteers for CD distribution throughout Colorado. The volunteers below will be available with install CD's in the following Colorado cities:
  • Neal McBurnett: Boulder
  • Chris Yoder: Longmont
  • Ryan Nicholson: Fort Collins
  • Emma Marshall: Denver & Aurora
Volunteer emails will be included in the Monday announcement to the Colorado Team mailing list. I'm very happy with all the support and teamwork going on within the Colorado Ubuntu Team and can't wait for our upcoming events. In addition to more Ubuntu Hours, we're planning an epic InstallFest this Summer.

Here's a close look at our 2-sided handout:

Thank you to the Colorado Ubuntu Team for helping spread Ubuntu! We are on an excellent path to a successful summer!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Colorado Ubuntu Team and System76 Chick April Update!

I’m so happy to experience another amazing quarter at System76! I’m finding a reason to celebrate every single day, and Ubuntu is the common factor in all this happiness. In March, I was nominated as the Colorado Ubuntu Users Team lead and became an official Ubuntu member, which are two things I’ve been working at for the last few years.

I’ve been planning and attending events and release parties for a few years, but now I’m ready to lead the Colorado Ubuntu Team on an exciting mission to spread Ubuntu. I’m hopeful that the team is going to be completely supportive and on board with the plan since it requires little effort but loads of fun. My first initiative was to regain our title as an official Ubuntu LoCo Team. I had tons of questions but was very thankful to have the support of Jose Antonio Reye and Stephen Michael Kellat because they encouraged me to drop what I was doing and focus on the LoCo team as my main priority. David Overcash and Cheri Francis offered awesome advice to get things going. They are seasoned Ubuntu Loco team leaders and know the ins and outs of a successful LoCo team. Everyone was so patient and supportive, constantly answering questions that I probably asked more than once. I went from learning launchpad, then Ubuntu wiki, mailing list administration, to Roadmap and collaboration- then ending at submitting our Colorado Ubuntu Loco Team Verification Application within a few days. I submitted our application and the vote was swift and unanimous. The Colorado Ubuntu Users Group is an Official Ubuntu LoCo Team!

We had our team roadmap meeting in April and I was happy with the turnout of 21 participants and a handful of volunteers. We have a great year ahead of us and I can’t wait to get even closer to the team so we can spread Ubuntu with excitement and enthusiasm. I hosted a meetup event on April 1 at the local bowling alley/pub for the “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night. We didn’t win, but we didn’t lose :) It was a fun night full of laughs.

Our next event is April 27th for the Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr release party in Downtown Denver. It should be our largest event ever! I created a 12 days of Trusty Tahr feature campaign for the System76 social networks. That was Carl’s idea and I’m happy that he let me embrace the project and run with it. It’s been fun getting to know the new Ubuntu version. It’s by far the greatest release yet. I look forward to this quarter and this year and will definitely keep you updated as I celebrate Ubuntu and dive deeper into the community.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Weekend in Denver with Project: Community Computers

I spent last weekend working with Project: Community Computers finalizing our upcoming project. It's great to see the passion these guys have in our face to face meetings. I had the pleasure of meeting another member of the group during his recent trip to Denver. Kiefer hung out at System76 all day Friday and shared videos of communities they've donated computers to. We had a nice trip to the Denver Zoo on Saturday and a passion-packed work session afterward. 

P:CC sets up computer labs around the world, creating communities of Ubuntu users with recycled hardware and laptop donations. With a strong focus on providing laptops to nonprofit organizations in Milwaukee and the various Ubuntu labs deployed in other countries, Project: Community Computers has successfully launched more than 17 Ubuntu computer labs worldwide and various individual donations. Every lab or donation from P:CC has in some way, helped an individual or community embrace the benefits of technology. After watching the video interviews of people they've given computers to, it's clear that they are truly making a change. I am blown away by the impact they are having on a local and global scale.

It just doesn't get any more Ubuntu than this.

Most labs set up by Project: Community Computers contain 15-20 computers that were donated by a corporation or school district. Every system is installed with the Ubuntu operating system and the Edubuntu educational application bundle. They partner with local non-profits in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to deploy computer labs locally and abroad. Their next lab deployment will be in Sierra Leone in late November. In 2014, they plan to shift focus locally with a goal of donating Ubuntu laptops to every nonprofit organization in Milwaukee. They believe the nonprofit groups can help more people faster if they had the technology to work faster and more efficiently. I believe it too :)

The Indiegogo campaign to fund their 2014 goal is kicking off November 1st. I've personally put a lot of work into the campaign and can't wait to get started! I truly believe in what Project: CC is doing and I'm excited to see the results of the campaign so they can achieve their goal in 2014.