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linux.conf.au News: Traditional LCA events, with some important changes...

Sat, 2014-12-27 07:28
Speakers' dinner at the Floating Pavilion, Tuesday, 13 January from 6.30pm.

The speakers' dinner is our opportunity to thank all of our wonderful speakers for their part in making this such a wonderful conference. The Floating Pavillion, sitting right on Auckland's world-famous Viaduct Harbour has a wrap-around covered deck from which you can view our beautiful Auckland sunset while listening to a young local band and mingling with your fellow speakers.



Penguin Dinner at MOTAT, Wednesday, 14th January from 6pm.

This year the steam-punk themed Penguin dinner will be held at Auckland’s MOTAT (Auckland's Museum Of Transport And Technology). With its traction engines, Victorian village, trams and trains makes it so easy to imagine Jules Verne or HG Wells wandering around creating their stories of futuristic wonder!

If getting dressed up in Victoriana or Steapmunk is your thing then this is the place! We’d love it if you’d like to dress in costume and show off your gadgets for the occasion, the more quirky and fantastical the better! It adds a certain air to the evening, however it is not mandatory.

MOTAT is a local favourite equipped with great facilities in a unique location, so we can be sure of a night to remember!

Professional Delegates Networking Session (PDNS) at Sweat Shop, Thursday, 15 January from 6.30pm.

The PDNS is being held at the newly-renovated Sweat Shop - a micro brewery with a philosophy around championing its staff - claiming to be Auckland’s hardest working bar. This destination mega-venue boasts one of Auckland’s largest outdoor decks and garden bar that really sings in the summer.

For the PDNS LCA 2015 will be taking over the venue for the whole night, so we will open the bar to all of our delegates after 8.30pm. UPDNS welcome!



Please see our Events Page for more information.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 330: Christmas

Fri, 2014-12-26 22:25

Zoe slept all night, which was nice. She woke up at like twenty to five, needing to go to the toilet, and afterwards claimed that she'd checked for Santa and he hadn't come yet. I thought the jig was going to be up for sure, given that the presents were all out.

I managed to get her back to bed and she slept until 6:30am, which was a much more civilised time to be opening presents.

After opening presents, and breakfast, Anshu prepped the dish she was taking for Christmas Day lunch at my parents, and we headed over there.

My sister called and asked me to get some ice along the way. 7 Eleven were obviously anticipating a run on ice, because they had multiple insulated pallets of party ice bags. It was slightly crazy.

We had a nice Christmas Day lunch with my entire immediate family, which was a bit of a first since I've been back in Australia. Zoe got along really well with one of my brother's step sons, and generally had a good time.

After lunch, we headed down to Palm Beach for a quick catch up with some more family. Zoe had a nap along the way, and then we headed back to drop Zoe off at Sarah's place.

Anshu and I went back to my place, and we went for a nice evening stroll to walk off the Christmas lunch.

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 329: Christmas Eve

Fri, 2014-12-26 19:25

I didn't have an awful lot planned for the day. Zoe finished watching the Nightmare Before Christmas, after she was dropped off, an then we made a bunch of dips for Christmas Day lunch.

Zoe really enjoys helping me in the kitchen, and today was no exception. She also has taken to helping with the washing up, and loves putting on my washing up gloves, so we made all of our dips together, and then she lost interest when it came time to make the plum pudding, so I did that myself.

Kelley had told me about a Christmas pantomime called Spaced Out Santa, on at the Studio Theatre and Cafe over at Morningside. I didn't’t even realise there was a theatre over there. They had tickets, so I thought that’d be something different to do.

We biked over there, via the post office, so I could deposit an offline donation I'd received for Decembeard.

We got to the theatre pretty early, and the "cafe" part of it was rather tiny, but we managed to snag a table. We had a drink and a snack while we were waiting for the theatre to open.

The theatre itself turned out to be not a lot bigger than the cafe. It was probably about 10 seats wide. We managed to get into the second row from the front. The play itself was nothing spectacular, but Zoe seemed to enjoy it. Most of the actors were children, and I thought they did quite a good job. It was hard to tell if the singing was lip synced or not.

Zoe was hungry by the time we got out, so after some photos with the actors, we grabbed some lunch nearby and then biked home.

I can't remember what we got up to in the afternoon, but Anshu came over, and we had some dinner, and then Zoe got all ready for bed, and we went for a drive around the neighbourhood to check out the Christmas lights. It was really nice driving around with some Christmas music playing on Pandora. I really like the Bing Crosby channel. It really helped set the mood.

Zoe has been super excited about Christmas this year. She's been counting down the sleeps until Christmas, and was very excited to leave out some egg nog, a mince pie and a cookie for Santa, as well as some water and carrots for the reindeer. I had just as much fun making them all look eaten. It really is a lot of fun looking at Christmas through the eyes of a child.

Francois Marier: Making Firefox Hello work with NoScript and RequestPolicy

Fri, 2014-12-26 15:37

Firefox Hello is a new beta feature in Firefox 34 which give users the ability to do plugin-free video-conferencing without leaving the browser (using WebRTC technology).

If you cannot get it to work after adding the Hello button to the toolbar, this post may help.

Preferences to check

There are a few preferences to check in about:config:

  • media.peerconnection.enabled should be true
  • network.websocket.enabled should be true
  • loop.enabled should be true
  • loop.throttled should be false
NoScript

If you use the popular NoScript add-on, you will need to whitelist the following hosts:

  • about:loopconversation
  • hello.firefox.com
  • loop.services.mozilla.com
  • opentok.com
  • tokbox.com
RequestPolicy

If you use the less popular but equally annoying RequestPolicy add-on, then you will need to whitelist the following destination host:

  • tokbox.com

as well as the following origin to destination mappings:

  • about:loopconversation -> firefox.com
  • about:loopconversation -> mozilla.com
  • about:loopconversation -> opentok.com
  • firefox.com -> mozilla.com
  • firefox.com -> mozilla.org
  • firefox.com -> opentok.com
  • mozilla.org -> firefox.com

I have unfortunately not been able to find a way to restrict tokbox.com to a set of (source, destination) pairs. I suspect that the use of websockets confuses RequestPolicy.

If you find a more restrictive policy that works, please leave a comment!

Binh Nguyen: Music Players, Production, and Experimentation - Part 5

Thu, 2014-12-25 20:56
Updated and added a few more playlists to my YouTube account.
  • Alternative-Hip-Hop-23-Dec-14
  • Classic-Disco-24-Dec-14
  • Classical-19-Dec-14
  • Foreign-Hip-Hop-and-R&B-19-Dec-14
  • Lounge-24-Dec-14 overlaps Chillout-4-Dec-14 because style is very similar at times
  • Latin-and-Tango-4-Dec-14 has become Latin-Chillout-and-Tango-4-Dec-14 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwVJG67iHHPbmBxuHVbyOlw/playlists

    After the recent end of production of the Apple iPod Classic it's become clear that the total number of options available in the high capacity digital music department have dwindled drastically (everyone is basically going to Flash or SSD based storage). There are some options from Fiio, an extremely option from Sony, plus using smartphones with support for high capacity flash based storage. If you're willing to buy used products other options may be the Tonium Pacemaker or old iPod Classics (they're selling for multiples of what they were selling last at retail now on eBay and Gumtree).http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/where-can-you-buy-a-high-capacity-mp3-player-now-the-ipod-classic-is-dead/http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/fiio-x1-digital-audio-player

    http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/fiio-x3-portable-music-player

    http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/fiio-x5-portable-high-resolution-lossless-music-playerhttp://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au/product/sony-nwz-zx1-walkman-digital-portable-player

    http://pacemakerdevice.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=68

    http://pacemakerdevice.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=76

    Another option are high storage wireless based devices.http://www.cnet.com/au/products/seagate-wireless-plus-1tb/

    http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/005087en?language=en_US

    Been struggling with sound engineering of late. Have wondered whether or not it's simply easier to go for transiest shaper VST's across the board.

    http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2012/01/05/bpb-freeware-studio-best-free-transient-shaper-vstau-plugins/http://www.airmusictech.com/product/the-riser

    https://www.youtube.com/user/AIRmusictech

    Someone questioned why it seemed easy for me to improvise. I was curious about this as well. I think for the most part it's been about listening to heaps of music since I was young.http://www.perfectpitch.com/perfectrelative.htm

    http://www.pianonoise.com/Article.Simple_gifts.htmBeen having major struggles of late how to relate percussion to melody. The best music I've come across seems to have tracks and sections which blend perfectly  into one another and where the relative complexity and tempo remains roughtly the same. A bigger toolkit (software or hardware) also helps. Look at work of 'Groove Armada', 'Artful Dodger', and 'Kaskade' and you'll understand what I mean.



    A lot of software allows for automated scale selection (useful for me because I tend to select notes based on ear rather than selecting a key first). For those who don't who just prefer the old fashioned mechanism please consider the, 'circle of fifths'.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths



    Think about use of Melodyne and Antares Auto-Tune for easier composition if you're lazy. Record whistling or singing as a 'WAV'. Import it into Melodyne and then convert the notes into MIDI for import into Ableton or other DAW software.

    Some interesting stuff I've come across recently. Possibly worth reworking/remixing them (looking around for good stems for remixing but am willing to work with existing songs if necessary).
    • Nice track but could have really done something with some note changes here and there. Strange use of panning at times, bit muddy, could have been clarified a bit in multiple frequency ranges. Could have done with master bus (or simply another layer) over the top to add some common effects to the overall track that are common to Latin and Tango tracks (Vinyl distortion, bitcrushing, equalisation, compression, etc...). Some sections don't blend into one another as a stronger song should, could be interesting for samples. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edHXUHTCvBI 
    • Great overall. Some beautiful sections but a little bit disjointed. Bridges (personally, currently struggling with this) into breakdowns use heavy delay, reverb. Breakdowns similarly awkward at times (feel and emotion is just way off). More active strings/harmonica in parts, realy bring out the best in the musician/clip/instrument in question. Rain effect possibly replaced with heavy vinyl distortion effect? Just strange with that muddied sound. Bring up velocity or mixing volume of the piano in some parts? Better use of velocity/dynamics in some parts. Could have used some light scratching in some sections and some glitching if you going for an Alternative Hip Hop and Latin feel to it, made more use of panning and other effects to create better atmosphere. The best tracks that I've come across you can often close you're eyes and you're sitting right in front of the ochestra or band itself. You can't do that here. Ripe for sampling or remixing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOYb9CV2qoQ
    • Ripe for sampling/remix... Heavier percussion in sections. Overlay scratching in parts. Some glitching. Perhaps electrical guitar over top. Vinyl distortion, bitchrushing for greater character. Really bring out some instruments and dynamics of them... Aware that lazy feel is common to this particular style/genre of music though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2dFLlaEaIU
    • Overall nice, downtempo track. Slow down vibrato/tremolo rate on some synthesiser sections. Suffering from distortion in the mix in the lower end bass and percussion area. Could have done with some extra complexity/variation in the percussion/synthesiser pad area. Am using monitor style headphones (Audio Technica ATH-M50X) so believe it may be the mix rather than equipment. Deals with high frequency harshness nicely. Feels like, low pass (or multi-band) filter, EQ, compressed, etc... Extra reverb plus some delay across the board on the bus to emphasise atmosphere? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhskiBuoIiY
    • Lacks oomph, character. A bit lost at times but that is particular to this genre. Greater dynamics across the board. Extra complexity on percussion, staccato shorter, more sincupated rim. Violin string section slightly more active at times. Clarify sound, enhance detail or is that just this particular copy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c1ngk41fm0
    Looking to try some remix competitions. Looking for stems...http://www.remixcomps.com/http://www.rudimental.co.uk/remixes/https://soundcloud.com/groups/free-stems-project-remixs-show-off-your-skillshttps://soundcloud.com/tags/stemsNote that there may be a lot of restrictions depending on where you get the stems from. Also that many competitions force you to forfeit right to royalties. You may get prizes/recognition though.https://realworldrecords.com/remixed/get-stems/84776/

    Interesting stuff from these guys (from a song that I found elsewhere). http://www.chilloutmusic.yolasite.com

    linux.conf.au News: Merry Christmas from the LCA 2015 team

    Thu, 2014-12-25 07:28
    The team at LCA 2015 would like to wish all of our friends in the FOSS community a safe Christmas and happy Holidays

    (Tickets for LCA 2015 are still available - we can't wait to see you!)



    Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 328: Park fun

    Wed, 2014-12-24 15:26

    I didn't have a lot planned today, except for showing my first customer my favourite food wholesaler at around lunch time, so after Sarah dropped Zoe off, we gave her free reign over what we did.

    She said she wanted to go to the same park we went to last time, which I misinterpreted as Love Street park in Bulimba. So we set off on foot for the park.

    It turned out she really wanted to go to the West End park again, which was fine, because we could go there in the afternoon after lunch. At the Love Street park, we ran into one of the boys who will be going to her school next year, who went to her day care last year, and one of the boys from her Kindergarten, so that was nice to run into some familiar faces. It was while we were at this park that I received the sad news that Bryce had passed away.

    After a bit of a play in the park, we walked back home again, and drove over to West End, picked up my customer, showed her the food wholesaler, dropped her back at work and then returned to the food wholesaler to grab a few bits and pieces and have some lunch.

    After lunch, we went to the park at West End, and then we went back home again.

    Anshu went home, and then I put the Nightmare Before Christmas on for Zoe, which she watched until Sarah came to pick her up.

    Since I've been failing miserably to go for runs in the morning, I thought I'd try going for an evening run, so I did an atrocious 5 km run.

    Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: Annual Penguin Picnic, January 17, 2015

    Wed, 2014-12-24 14:29
    Start: Jan 17 2015 12:00 End: Jan 17 2015 18:00 Start: Jan 17 2015 12:00 End: Jan 17 2015 18:00 Location: 

    Yarra Bank Reserve, Hawthorn.

    The Linux Users of Victoria Annual Penguin Picnic will be held on Saturday, January 17, starting at 12 noon at the Yarra Bank Reserve, Hawthorn.

    LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Buzzard Lecture Theatre venue and VPAC for hosting

    Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

    January 17, 2015 - 12:00

    read more

    linux.conf.au News: Speaker Feature: Martin Schwenke and Amitay Isaacs, Bradley Kuhn, Ben Kero

    Wed, 2014-12-24 07:28
    Martin Schwenke and Amitay Isaacs A methodical makeover for CTDB

    1:20 pm Thursday 15 January 2015

    Martin Schwenke

    Martin Schwenke has been developing Open Source software for about 15 years. Before that he did research into functional programming, lectured in computer science and did system administration. His early hacks mostly relate to Emacs. In recent years he has been hacking on CTDB, the Clustered Trivial DataBase used for clustering Samba.

    Amitay Isaacs

    Amitay Isaacs has been a Linux hacker for the last 20 years and he has been using Linux in Engineering and Scientific Computing. His interests are distributed systems, high performance computing and optimization algorithms. In recent years he has been working on Samba and is the current maintainer of CTDB.

    For more information on Martin or Amitay and their presentation, see here.

    You can followMartin as @MartinSchwenke and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.

    Bradley Kuhn Considering the Future of Copyleft: How Will The Next Generation Perceive GPL?

    4:35 pm Thursday 15 January 2015

    Bradley M. Kuhn is President and Distinguished Technologist at Software Freedom Conservancy and on the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Kuhn began his work in the software freedom movement as a volunteer in 1992, when he became an early adopter of the GNU/Linux operating system, and began contributing to various Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, and taught AP Computer Science at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. Kuhn's nonprofit career began in 2000, when he was hired by the FSF. As FSF's Executive Director from 20012005, Kuhn led FSF's GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL. From 20052010, Kuhn worked as the Policy Analyst and Technology Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. His Master's thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of Free Software languages. Kuhn has a blog at http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/, a microblog at http://identi.ca/bkuhn/, and cohosts the audcast, Free as in Freedom at http://faif.us/.

    For more information on Bradley and his presentation, see here.



    Ben Kero When Everything Falls Apart: Stories of Version Control System Scaling

    1:20 pm Friday 16 January 2015

    Ben has been a community systems administrator at the OSU Open Source Lab, where he helped and administered dozens of highprofile open source projects. He also has ample experience participating in the OSU Linux User’s Group as their official Safety Officer, and as part of the Open Source Education Lab which aims to integrate Open Source software and ideologies into the university curriculum. Ben also played a role in the inception and coordination of the local Beaver Bar Camp.

    After graduating with a degree in Computer Science and Business Administration, he joined Mozilla as a systems administrator. Mozilla gave him the opportunity to diversify his skillset to operate on the scale of hundreds of millions of users.

    In his spare time Ben is an avid embedded computer enthusiast and has spent countless nights toiling over tiny computers while cursing at them to work correctly. He enjoys the intersection of lifestyle and computers constructing things like homemade electric bicycles, restoring vintage hardware, electronics repurposing, wearable computers, and novel home automation.

    For more information on Ben and his presentation, see here.

    You can follow him as @bkero and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.

    Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 327: A trip to the Museum and Science Centre

    Tue, 2014-12-23 17:26

    Zoe slept all night (for a change), which was nice.

    We hadn't caught up with Chloe for a while, so I'd made plans with Kelley to spend the day at the Science Centre. Anshu was on Christmas holidays from work, so she tagged along with us as well.

    We all caught the bus in, along with Chloe's older sister.

    Before lunch, we all went to the Science Centre, and after lunch, we did the rest of the museum. The girls had a good time together, and Zoe seems to get along well with Chloe's older sister, Emma too, which is nice.

    Kelley had to go to the Valley to get some stuff, so we parted company at the bus stop and took the bus home.

    Laura dropped by with Megan and her little sister, not long after we got home, to drop off a Christmas present for Zoe from Megan, so the girls did a gift exchange and had a little play date.

    They left just before Sarah arrived to pick up Zoe, and Anshu and I took a walk down to Bulimba to check my post office box, and we discovered a new watering hole on Oxford Street, so we had a drink on the way back home.

    Andrew Pollock: [life] RIP Bryce Harper

    Tue, 2014-12-23 17:26

    I received a sad phone call this morning, while we were at the park.

    It was from Bryce's son, Russell, and he informed me that Bryce had had a fall and hit his head yesterday morning, and not regained consciousness before passing away today.

    It was a bit of a shock for me, given I'd only seen him on Monday of the previous week, and I'm so grateful that I did, because it had been several months since I'd last seen him.

    He was particularly weak and wobbly on his legs, so the fact that he had a fall wasn't particularly surprising, and in a lot of ways, it was a small mercy that he had a quick and presumably painless demise.

    He made it to 91, so that was a pretty good innings.

    I know he was looking forward to spending a few days with his family over Christmas, so it's a shame that he didn't get to have one more with them.

    Russell Coker: wp-spamshield

    Tue, 2014-12-23 13:27

    Yesterday I installed the wp-spamshield plugin for WordPress [1]. It blocks automated comment spam systems by using JavaScript and cookies, apparently most spammers can’t handle that. Before I installed it I was getting hundreds of spam comments per day even with the block spam by math plugin enabled. Now I’ve had it running for 24 hours without any spam. The real advantage of this is that now when a legitimate comment gets flagged as spam I’ll notice it, previously I was deleting hundreds or thousands of comments at a time without reading them.

    deb http://www.coker.com.au wheezy wordpress

    The above repository has the wordpress-wp-spamshield package for Debian/Wheezy. I have no immediate plans for uploading it to Debian because the security support for WordPress plugins doesn’t fit in with the Debian model. I am prepared to negotiate about this if someone has good reasons for including it or any of the other WordPress plugins I’ve packages.

    My packaging work is under the GPL (of course) so any DD who disagrees with me could just rebuild the package and upload it. Within Debian there is no rule taking another DD’s GPL’d code that they decided not to upload and then uploading it. There is a consensus that such things are not appropriate without permission, but anyone who wishes can take this blog post as permission.

    Related posts:

    1. WordPress Plugins I’ve just added the WordPress Minify [1] plugin to my...
    2. Creating WordPress Packages deb http://www.coker.com.au wheezy wordpress I maintain Debian packages of a...
    3. WordPress Maintainability For a while I’ve been maintaining my own WordPress packages....

    Stewart Smith: More OpenPower Firmware code released: OCC

    Tue, 2014-12-23 12:27

    Inside the IBM POWER8 chip there’s another processor! That’s right folks, you get another CPU for no extra cost (It’s a lot funnier if you say these previous two sentences as if you were presenting an informercial for a special TV offer).

    It is, however, not what you’d consider a general purpose processor. It is, in fact, a PowerPC 405 – so your POWER8 processor also has another PowerPC chip in it. What’s the purpose of this chip? It’s named the On Chip Controller and it has the job of helping make the main processor (the POWER8) work.

    It has two jobs:

    • Monitor temperature and keep the system thermally safe
    • Monitor power usage and keep the system power safe

    It runs a hard Real Time OS which has just been released up on github.com/open-power/occ

    There’s more complete documentation on OCC here.

    It’s fairly exciting to see more of the software that runs on every POWER8 system make it out into the world.

    Lev Lafayette: Fixing The Time on Slackware

    Tue, 2014-12-23 10:30

    For those who love their system's uptime it is a sad moment when a power outage causes your system to go down after months or years. Worse still, on a reboot, you discover that your time is out by a hour, courtesy of daylight's saving time. Which is fine in itself, but it would be a better world if we all just used UTC. But that's another argument.

    read more

    linux.conf.au News: Speaker Feature: James Blair, Steve Baker, Deepa Dhurka

    Tue, 2014-12-23 07:28
    James Blair REST APIs and the Return of the Console App

    2:15 pm Wednesday 14 January 2015

    James is a founding member of the OpenStack Project Infrastructure team. He has been instrumental in creating OpenStack's development process and now works for HewlettPackard continuing to develop the infrastructure needed for a growing project. He has been active in free software for quite some time, and has previously worked for UC Berkeley and the Free Software Foundation.

    For more information on James and his presentation, see here.



    Steve Baker Deploying to the cloud with golden images, Heat and Docker

    11:35 am Thursday 15 January 2015

    Steve is a Red Hat engineer who has been developing Heat within the OpenStack project for 2 years. When he is not coding or brewing in his shed, he is often mountain biking or chasing his dog through the Wellington hills.

    For more information on Steve and his presentation, see here.



    Deepa Dhurka OFconnect: An OpenFlow Software Defined Networking Library For Everyone

    10:40 am Thursday 15 January 2015

    Deepa is a Sr. Software Engineer at Ericsson with over 10 years of experience in network technologies spanning L2/L3, VRRP, VoIP and infra. She is the technical lead and project coordinator for CodeChix OFconnect, an open source library that manages OpenFlow Channels.

    In addition to her passion in networking technologies, Deepa enjoys creating embedded projects, now fashionably termed IoT. You can follow her projects at http://deepadhurka.blogspot.com.

    Deepa is an active member of CodeChix and has a deep commitment to supporting women in programming and technology. She has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.

    Learn more about Deepa at www.linkedin.com/in/deepakarnad, and github.com/deepadhurka

    For more information on Deepa and her presentation, see here.

    You can follow her as @DeepaDhurka and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.

    Peter Lieverdink: C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

    Mon, 2014-12-22 17:27

    I trek out to a fairly dark sky site on the odd Friday evening to partake of some amateur astronomy at an observatory in the Dandenong ranges.

    A few weeks ago, we decided to have a go at locating what was then a fairly dim object, C/2014 Q2. We found it with binoculars and in a relatively small (10") telescope. I'd just gotten a tripod-mounted motor drive for my DSLR, so of course we decided to have a go at imaging the comet.

    I don't really have a great zoom lens (although), so instead I decided on the 50mm f/1.8 lens. That lets in a lot of light, which is handy when you try to photograph dim objects in a dark night sky and you need to find them in the viewfinder :-)  Even with its wide angle though, you still need a motor drive to avoid stars turning unto lines ony any exposure longer than about 10 seconds.

    This past weekend it was nice and clear and so I went back to the observatory, where I was able to take another photo of the comet.

    And with two photos of an objects that moves across the sky fairly fast, it's of course time for an animation! I've annotated the brightest stars and a few open clusters down the bottom of the image.

     

     

    I used GIMP to process the levels and colour balance for both images, so they approximately matched (the moon was out when the first image was taken on Dec 12) and then to rotate and stretch the second image to align with the first one. It's not perfect, but it'll do I think.

    In fact, there are a few multi-pixel size blotches that seem to be present in one image and not the other, as well as some that move by more than the half-pixel or so that image alignment is out by.

    Some are likely artefacts and noise, but I can't help but wonder if some are asteroids. I've checked against the ten or so thousand largest and/or most visible asteroids, but none of them are anywhere near.

    I suppose I should get a third image in another week or two... to be continued?

    Tags: cometastronomyphotographyprocessing

    linux.conf.au News: Speaker Feature: Aimee Maree Forsstrom, Martin Kealey, Matthew Garrett

    Mon, 2014-12-22 07:28
    Aimee Maree Forsstrom FireFoxOS and the Linux Kernel

    1:20pm Thursday 15th January 2015

    Aimee has been working in IT since 2000, and has a focus on mobile and web technologies. She has contributed and worked on the OLPC project, Meego, FireFoxOS and on the webside of things Drupal, Joomla, PHPBB, WordPress. Recently she has started playing with Yocto and rolling your own embedded Linux Distros. Her work in Open Source mobile devices saw her join the FireFoxOS Mobile Support team in Mozilla Portland office to assist with reporting technologies.

    A world wide public speaker having presented in England, Scotland and Australia this year she added America onto her list with LinuxCon America in Chicago. She regularly helps mentor kids in programming in Australia, England and recently at OSCON in Portland training kids in Python.

    An all over uber geek with a deep love of Open Source technologies and how companies and individuals can benefit from not reinventing the wheel.

    Loves having long deep discussions about anything Linux and the history of Open Source and how it will eventually save us from the old paradigms of legacy code and forced silos... Will speak 733t for beers...

    For more information on Aimee Maree and her presentation, see here.

    You can follow her as @aimee_maree and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.



    Martin Kealey Bashing the shell: Advanced Scripting

    10:40am Wednesday 14th January 2015

    Martin Kealey has been hacking Unixlike systems since the mid 80's, and by now has forgotten how many programming languages he's forgotten. A program is never finished, but it can be elegant, it ought to be useful, and it must be bulletproof.

    For more information on Martin and his presentation, see here.



    Matthew Garrett IPMI because ACPI and UEFI weren't terrifying enough

    4:35pm Thursday 15th January 2015

    Matthew Garrett is a security developer at Nebula and an expert in the field of fourletter specifications (including ACPI, UEFI and IPMI) and the field of four letter words (the use of which would likely be a violation of the LCA code of conduct). These facts are probably not unrelated.

    For more information on Matthew and his presentation, see here.

    You can follow him as @mjg59 and don’t forget to mention #lca2015.

    Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2014-12-15 to 2014-12-21

    Mon, 2014-12-22 01:27
    • I never thought I’d be feeling safer here in Cambodia than back home in Sydney 21:10:44, 2014-12-15

    Francois Marier: Mercurial and Bitbucket workflow for Gecko development

    Sun, 2014-12-21 19:25

    While it sounds like I should really switch to a bookmark-based Mercurial workflow for my Gecko development, I figured that before I do that, I should document how I currently use patch queues and Bitbucket.

    Starting work on a new bug

    After creating a new bug in Bugzilla, I do the following:

    1. Create a new mozilla-central-mq-BUGNUMBER repo on Bitbucket using the web interface and put https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=BUGNUMBER as the Website in the repository settings.
    2. Create a new patch queue: hg qqueue -c BUGNUMBER
    3. Initialize the patch queue: hg init --mq
    4. Make some changes.
    5. Create a new patch: hg qnew -Ue bugBUGNUMBER.patch
    6. Commit the patch to the mq repo: hg commit --mq -m "Initial version"
    7. Push the mq repo to Bitbucket: hg push ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/fmarier/mozilla-central-mq-BUGNUMBER
    8. Make the above URL the default for pull/push by putting this in .hg/patches-BUGNUMBER/.hg/hgrc:

      [paths] default = https://bitbucket.org/fmarier/mozilla-central-mq-BUGNUMBER default-push = ssh://hg@bitbucket.org/fmarier/mozilla-central-mq-BUGNUMBER
    Working on a bug

    I like to preserve the history of the work I did on a patch. So once I've got some meaningful changes to commit to my patch queue repo, I do the following:

    1. Add the changes to the current patch: hg qref
    2. Check that everything looks fine: hg diff --mq
    3. Commit the changes to the mq repo: hg commit --mq
    4. Push the changes to Bitbucket: hg push --mq
    Switching between bugs

    Since I have one patch queue per bug, I can easily work on more than one bug at a time without having to clone the repository again and work from a different directory.

    Here's how I switch between patch queues:

    1. Unapply the current queue's patches: hg qpop -a
    2. Switch to the new queue: hg qqueue BUGNUMBER
    3. Apply all of the new queue's patches: hg qpush -a
    Rebasing a patch queue

    To rebase my patch onto the latest mozilla-central tip, I do the following:

    1. Unapply patches using hg qpop -a
    2. Update the branch: hg pull -u
    3. Reapply the first patch: hg qpush and resolve any conflicts
    4. Update the patch file in the queue: hg qref
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each patch.
    6. Commit the changes: hg commit --mq -m "Rebase patch"
    Credits

    Thanks to Thinker Lee for telling me about qqueue and Chris Pearce for explaining to me how he uses mq repos on Bitbucket.

    Of course, feel free to leave a comment if I missed anything useful or if there's a easier way to do any of the above.

    OpenStack miniconf: Schedule for the lca2015 OpenStack miniconf

    Sun, 2014-12-21 12:26

    I am pleased to announce the linux.conf.au 2015 OpenStack miniconf programme. This will appear on the main conference schedule as well, but I am posting it here so I can provide the talk abstracts as well.

    09:00 – 10:00 Main conference keynote by Eben Moglen 10:00 – 10:40 …morning tea… 10:40 – 11:00 Welcome by Michael Still



    Welcome to the OpenStack miniconf. This talk will outline the plan for the day, and then briefly introduce the various components of OpenStack to be covered for those who haven’t seen them before. 11:00 – 11:30 Deploying OpenStack Using Containers by Angus Lees



    Traditional OpenStack deployments typically use dedicated and static “controller nodes” and “network nodes” deployed onto bare metal servers. This talks discusses some of the limitations with this approach and describes more flexible alternatives using containers, LXC, docker, and kubernetes. No prior knowledge of containers is assumed. Note this is *not* a talk about exposing containers-as-a-service to users via OpenStack. 11:30 – 11:35 …five minute break… 11:35 – 12:00 Introducing OpenStack Swift by John Dickinson



    Swift is the OpenStack object storage system. It’s perfect for unstructured data like backups, server images, documents, and media. Swift is built for scale (including global deployments!) and handles all the placement, durability, and failure conditions so applications don’t have to worry about it. This talk will introduce Swift, as well as covering all the things the Swift PTL wished people knew before they deploy Swift for the first time. 12:00 – 12:20 Juju Deployments at Canonical by Brad Marshall



    This talk with cover a brief history of Openstack deployments at Canonical and show how it has changed over time. It will focus on our current deployment methodology using Juju and MaaS, and the HA features we are taking advantage of. 12:20 – 13:20 …lunch… 13:20 – 13:45 Deploying Nova by Michael Still



    Nova is one of the most commonly deployed components of OpenStack, as most installs want to provide access to compute resources. This talk by the Nova PTL will cover the various hypervisor options, what instance storage backend might meet your needs, and all those other decisions you need to work through when deploying nova. 13:45 – 14:10 Introducing OpenStack Neutron by Mark McClain



    Neutron is the OpenStack networking component. It is responsible for creating tenant networks that separate traffic between tenants, as well as advanced features like load balancing and VPN as a service. Neutron is incredibly flexible, which comes at the cost of some complexity. Join Mark the former Neutron PTL as he walks through the

    deployment options available to OpenStack users.
    14:10 – 14:15 …five minute break… 14:15 – 14:40 Extending Horizon to work in your Deployment by David Lyle



    Horizon out of the box doesn’t fully meet the needs of a running cloud and looks rather generic. Product managers complain that Horizon’s base theme does not meet corporate guidelines and administrators complain that they need more tools to manage the cloud. How does Horizon help solve this?

    One of the main tenants of the Horizon program is extensibility. There are several established ways to get custom content into Horizon depending on your goals. External extensions, template customization and custom stylesheets can meet most customization needs.

    The talk will present these methods for adding custom content and updating the style, point out the potential pitfalls, and share knowledge as a Horizon developer and a Horizon deployer.

    14:40 – 15:00 Handling RabbitMQ Failures Gracefully with HAProxy : Sachi King



    Almost all communication between services in OpenStack transverse though a message queue. The current default is RabbitMQ.

    The RabbitMQ implementation in OpenStack currently lacks support for both Heartbeats and TCP Keepalive. Without these features, the RabbitMQ clients do not reconnect on failure, thus resulting in a complete API outage.

    This talk will cover how we worked around this limitation to allow for graceful recovery on failure with HAProxy. While there are many ways to architect HAProxy in the RabbitMQ path, we’ll touch on what worked, and what did not.

    15:00 – 15:40 …afternoon tea… 15:40 – 16:30 Selling Mist: Better Metering Through Ceilometer by Sharif Olorin



    Recording usage measurements with high resolution and granularity provides many advantages for both public and private OpenStack deployments. External customers are happier because they know what they’re being billed for. Internal customers are happier because they can receive immediate feedback on efficiency improvements. System

    operators are happier because they can diagnose problems more effectively, get woken up less frequently and be more confident about who to cluebat when they do.

    Achieving this at scale with Ceilometer is nontrivial without sacrificing either data longevity or resolution. This talk presents one solution to the problem of storing high-resolution metrics from OpenStack over the long term using the Vaultaire time-series datastore. I’ll talk about the architecture of our metering system, a few of the challenges we faced getting this system into production, and what we learned from doing so.

    Finally, I’ll talk briefly about the Gnocchi time-series-database-as-a-service project, why I think it’s awesome,

    and how we at Anchor intend to integrate it into our OpenStack architecture.

    16:30 – 16:35 …five minute break… 16:35 – 17:20 OpenStack Operations for Engineers by Alex Tesch, Daniel Martushev, and Anthony Rees



    We will discuss the most popular installation tools for OpenStack based on Puppet and Ansible and the key advantages for each of them, as well as give a quick demo of a PackStack installation in 5 minutes. We will also delve into HEAT and run through a HOT example that will orchestrate a full two tier architecture in 5 minutes. The session will close with a tech preview talk of Sahara and a quick demo to provision a Hadoop cluster in OpenStack.