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Rumblings From Studio Dave

Audio And 64-bit Linux, Part 1

Sorry for the delay, it's been hectic here.

As I mentioned at the end of my last entry I'm preparing myself for my first excursion into the world of 64-bit Linux. After trading some lessons for a motherboard I started collecting parts for a new desktop machine for the studio. 64-bit considerations were new to me so I asked for help on the Linux Audio Users mail list. Some LAU members run 64-bit systems, and I did indeed get the information I needed. I won't detail the engaging traffic that resulted from that thread, you can read it yourself in the LAU list archives (it's titled AMD64 question). more>>

System Administration: Another Step toward the BIND - II

Yesterday, we looked at a named.conf file for a single domain we called Rather than send you back to the earlier article, we'll reproduce the file contents below: more>>

System Administration: Another Step toward the BIND

How important are Domain Name Services? Consider this, suppose you want to set up your own web site, you go to a commercial registrar and attempt to acquire a domain name. The purchasing process won't proceed unless you can enter the IP addresses or Internet names of two existing, registered DNS servers for your domain. more>>

Markets without Marketing

Next Tuesday at OSCON in Portland, I'll be giving a 3.5 hour tutorial titled Open Source Clue Training: How to Market to People Who Hate Marketing.

As I prepare for that, I thought I'd share some of the curriculum I've come up with. I'm looking for constructive feedback, suggestions and Stories From the Real World that might be useful to the tutorial. Here we go... more>>

Fair use or lack of fair play?

I have a column (/var/opinion) in an upcoming issue that deals with my struggles to get a MythTV system working. The column ends with a tease about yet another column on Linux standards. I don't want to spoil either, so I'll leave it at that. However, I have another beef about the way my MythTV system is shaping up, or more accurately, falling apart. I suspect the problem is that our fair use rights are being denied and we are deliberately prevented from capturing high quality content. more>>

Interview: JRuby Development Team

Alternative Ruby implementations seem to be on the move throughout the Ruby community. JRuby is the furthest along at this point, so I decided to talk to Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo, two of the principal programmers on the project. Read on to hear what they have to say about Ruby, JRuby, and the art of re-implementing Ruby. more>> Extensions extensions are a quick way to add functionality. Writable in a variety of languages, including Java, JavaScript, Basic, Python, and C++, they allow developers to contribute features without having to master much of's notoriously cryptic source code. For users, they provide quick fixes for commonly requested features. more>>


Doc Searls wrote a magnificant column for an upcoming issue of LJ. He uses the movie "Matrix" to raise issues similar to the one I'm about to raise. His upcoming column should be considered a must-read for anyone who cares about free software and free speech.

The world depicted in a different movie, "Brazil", is similar to that of Matrix in that it is governed by controlling self-interest. Freedom, as in free speech, is a partial cure for controlling self-interest, which is what makes the concept of free software superior to any other type of software. But there's more to free software than concept. There's implementation. And that's where free software sometimes gets into trouble with self-interest. more>>

Musings From Studio Dave

So now I'm a blogger. Well, this column has been a kind of journal anyway, a chronicle of my life and times in the world of Linux sound and music software, and hopefully it's as enjoyable for you to read as it is for me to write. You can expect little change from the style and content of my previous articles, despite my imminent bloggification, but in accord with the popular definitions of a blog I'll be a little less formal and sometimes a lot more personal. Not that there's much fuel for acrid controversy in the world of Linux sound and music software, but there are issues occasionally and I'd like to speak plainly regarding them. more>>

From 0 to 1 in 100 years

Net Neutrality is a snowball.

That is, it's an idea that started small but grew steadily as it rolled forward, gaining mass and speed as it accreted the passions and opinions of many -- on all sides of the issue. Today the topic is so large and complex that it's hard to find where it began. It has also become so highly politicized that it may sink the telecom reform legislation that carriers have been working on since the last round of reform, in 1996. more>>

The transition away from Microsoftness

It has been months now and I'm still receiving letters about my first rant. The basic thrust of the rant is that Linux developers should be focusing more on innovation than on mimicking what is already on Windows. I stated what I thought were good arguments, and I had many more that wouldn't fit into the space available for my column.

Most readers applauded that column. Some disagreed, and they had some pretty good arguments, too. The best argument revolved around desktop productivity software. They argue that Linux office suites must mimic Microsoft Office to some degree, but mostly with respect to document format. It is undeniable that most business desktop users are running Microsoft Office. It will be impossible to woo these people away from Windows and Microsoft Office unless a Linux suite can make the transition away from Microsoft Office an easy one. You can't do that unless the Linux office suite can read and write all those legacy documents seamlessly.

Put another way, the only way a Linux office suite can beat Microsoft Office is to (essentially) be Microsoft Office, at least until the the Linux office suite has gained enough market share and momentum to unseat Microsoft Office. This is an excellent argument, though not a perfect one. more>>

A chip off the old (RubyConf) block.

A couple of days ago, I posted an antry on my private blog about the size and success of RailsConf, and wondered how it would impact RubyConf. I was pretty sure that Ruby Central was going to keep it small (based on chat's with Chad and an email from David Black. more>>

Time for Coders to Get Political?

When I interviewed Richard Stallman back in 1999, he had some interesting thoughts on the subject of freedom: more>>

I'm going to keep working on the free software movement, because I don't see who's going to replace me, and I don't see how I could do something more important in some other area. The issues of freedom that everybody's heard of are much more important than this - freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free assembly. The reason I'm not more involved with them is that I don't know what to do about them very effectively.

Taking Tabs to the Limit with Tabbrowser Extensions

When you're hardcore about tabbed browsing, Tabbrowser Extensions is the way to go. more>>

System Administration: One Step toward the BIND

DNS is mostly a directory service. Millions of people and computers use one or more directories every day. Currently, so many directories exist in our world that they have become almost transparent to casual observers. You could say it's a directory kind of world out there and DNS remains a big part of it for people who use the Internet regardless of the device. more>>

RailsConf 2006 is done, next up is the RailsConf Europe 2006

Well, the biggest news in the Ruby world this last week has been RailsConf (and of course, all the news that broke there). I didn't get to go, so I've been trying to follow the various blogs about how it went. You know things were good when you see comment's like this one (by Curt Hibbs), "My notes for this talk are completely blank because it was so engrossing that I forgot to write anything down!". more>>

Ruby and .NET - how will they taste together?

Wow, big news to start off my new blog. The Gardens Point GP Ruby .NET development team has announced an initial beta version of their system.

At this point, they claim that it can compile Ruby source into verifiable .Net v2.0 assembly, or it can run Ruby code directly in a compile, load and execute cycle. They do warn that their implementation is not yet complete, although it does pass everything in samples/test.rb (I wonder if they're using the Rubicon/Rubytests stuff for further testing?). more>>

DNS: The Bind Leading the Bind

Hiding beneath the surface of your web browser, email and instant messaging lies a phone book for computers on the Internet. We call it Domain Name System or DNS. It looks up the names of other computers and calls them to chat, shake hands or whatever PCs do with their own kind. more>>

Mashing Up a Commons

Is it possible that, for all our talk about The Commons, the Net doesn't have one yet? Or at least not a complete one? more>>

The choice between bad and worse might get bigger

In the last several days a flurry of postings about a new company called piled up in my email box. Technorati finds 163 new posts on the subject. Google's Blogsearch finds 329. (As of 4:30am Friday morning, which is when I'm writing this.) The pile will get a lot higher before M2Z gets off the ground. Or buried under it. more>>