Free Software and Multimedia
Each presentation was scheduled for 30 minutes, with a five to ten minute space between each presentation reserved for questions from the audience. It is a great credit to the speakers that they were all well prepared and kept their presentations within the allotted time. I should also note that all the presentations were well received by the audience.
The conference started promptly at 9:30 Saturday morning with Marco Trevisani's introduction to the Demudi project. The project name is an acronym for the Debian Multimedia Distribution, a Linux distribution built upon an existing Debian system and optimized for multimedia performance. The distribution will include a collection of multimedia applications and a Linux kernel optimized for low audio and video latency times.
An FTP site will be established for on-line access, and the Debian apt-get tool will be employed for package updates over the Internet. An alpha version of the distribution is planned for the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC2001 will be held this September in Havana, Cuba).
(Note: A private meeting focused on Demudi was held the day before the workshop, attended by only the workshop participants. Material regarding that meeting is presented in an addendum to this article.)
As the President of FSF Europe, the official European sister to Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation, Georg Greve was eminently suited to present the definition and history of the free software movement. Mr. Greve clarified and discussed the content and purport of various open-source licenses (e.g., GPL, FreeBSD, MIT) in the context of the FSF's Four Freedoms, defined by Richard Stallman as:
The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
The freedom to redistribute copies.
The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
This part of Mr. Greve's presentation was perhaps the most interesting. Licensing issues are a concern to many developers, as was evidenced in the lively question and answer period that followed. Mr. Greve's detailed knowledge of the various open-source licenses certainly clarified a number of questions regarding the legal issues surrounding the protection of free software.
Mr. Greve summarized the current activities of FSF Europe (suffice to say he is a busy man these days) and finished with an overview of the FSF's plans to expand into other areas of the world, particularly India and China.
XDV (Verein für experimentelle Datenverarbeitung) is a group of audio and visual artists working together in Vienna. Their activities include live internet radio streams, web art, and the development and use of the Pd sound synthesis/processing and composition environment.
Pd is a graphic "patching" environment for the creation of audio/visual instruments. The user selects various kinds of objects (DSP modules, synthesis methods, soundfile record/playback controls, video and 3-D graphics, etc.) and connects them together to create a signal and control path known as a patch. Patches can be nested within patches, making it possible to create complex instruments with relatively simple control interfaces.
Günter Geiger demonstrated the Linux port of Pd along with GEM, an OpenGL graphics library. He began with a simple FFT display of a real-time input signal, quickly evolving the display into a complex and fascinating "waterfall" graphics display of the input's frequency content. Günter also showed how Pd coordinates audio and MIDI I/O with the display and manipulation of 3-D graphics in real time, and his final flourish was a tantalizing demonstration of Pd's recently-added video capabilities.
Open-source development is certainly not restricted to any particular platform. Gabriel Maldonado has developed a variety of useful opcodes and extensions for the Csound audio synthesis/processing environment. His DirectCsound is a greatly enhanced version of Csound for Windows, and many of his opcodes have been added to the canonical Csound source distribution at Bath UK. Gabriel has placed his extensions for DirectCsound under the GPL, and he has worked closely with Nicola Bernardini on integrating his opcodes into the unofficial Linux Csound.
Mr. Maldonado demonstrated his recent Csound opcodes that utilize the FLTK graphics library to provide an intrinsic set of widgets for Csound. These widgets include knobs and sliders for the construction of synthesizer interfaces, effectively giving the user the means to create a "softsynth" from Csound's powerful audio processing toolkit and its own set of graphic control elements.
The VMCI (Virtual MIDI Control Interface) was also presented. This software provides a set of virtual MIDI controllers (sliders, knobs, etc.) for use in adjusting Csound opcode parameters in real time. The VMCI software is free and licensed under the GPL, but it is written in Visual Basic, thus restricting its portability.
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide