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linux.conf.au News: Thursday Plenary: What the Foo?

Fri, 2015-01-09 06:28

On Thursday, as part of our taking a different approach to keynote sessions for linux.conf.au 2015, we’re offering representatives from 3 leaders in open source to give us their “15 minutes of foo” to start our day. We expect this will be interesting, enlightening and entertaining.

Cooper Lees - Facebook

Representing Facebook we’ve got Cooper Lees providing an insight into the numerous open source projects they leverage every day, how they are working upstream, and innovations like the Open Compute Projects and FBOSS (their linux switch/router project).

Cooper is a Production Engineer in the Network PE team at Facebook in Menlo Park, CA, originally hailing from Wollongong, NSW, Australia. Network PE help the ‘true’ Network Engineers automate the network, not re-invent the wheel and take on existing Facebook technologies that solve their problem. Outside of being a nerd, Cooper enjoys playing Cricket, AFL (yes, in the Bay area) and Snowboarding in Tahoe as much as possible.

Carol Smith - Google

Google Summer of code is now 10 years old, and Carol Smith from Google will be provide an update on the project and how this is benefiting the open source community in our part of the world.

Carol Smith is an Open Source Programs Manager at Google. She has managed the Google Summer of Code program for 5 years. She has a degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

Mark McLoughlin - Red Hat

Then from Red Hat we’ve Mark McLoughlin with some insight on some of the innovation we should see in 2015. Mark will give a whirlwind tour of recent technology shifts - covering everything from virtualization, containers, IaaS, PaaS, SDN, scale-out storage, Big Data, DevOps and more - and how they are all coming together to form the basis of today's agile data center.

Mark McLoughlin is a consulting engineer at Red Hat and has spent over a decade contributing to and leading open source projects like GNOME, Fedora, KVM, qemu, libvirt, oVirt and, of course, OpenStack. Mark is a member of OpenStack’s technical committee and the OpenStack Foundation board of directors. He contributes mostly to Oslo, Nova and TripleO but will happily dive in to any project.

Russell Coker: Conference Suggestions

Thu, 2015-01-08 22:26

LCA 2015 is next week so it seems like a good time to offer some suggestions for other delegates based on observations of past LCAs. There’s nothing LCA specific about the advice, but everything is based on events that happened at past LCAs.

Don’t Oppose a Lecture

Question time at the end of a lecture isn’t the time to demonstrate that you oppose everything about the lecture. Discussion time between talks at a mini-conf isn’t a time to demonstrate that you oppose the entire mini-conf. If you think a lecture or mini-conf is entirely wrong then you shouldn’t attend.

The conference organisers decide which lectures and mini-confs are worthy of inclusion and the large number of people who attend the conference are signalling their support for the judgement of the conference organisers. The people who attend the lectures and mini-confs in question want to learn about the topics in question and people who object should be silent. If someone gives a lecture about technology which appears to have a flaw then it might be OK to ask one single question about how that issue is resolved, apart from that the lecture hall is for the lecturer to describe their vision.

The worst example of this was between talks at the Haecksen mini-conf last year when an elderly man tried at great length to convince me that everything about feminism is wrong. I’m not sure to what degree the Haecksen mini-conf is supposed to be a feminist event, but I think it’s quite obviously connected to feminism – which is of course was why he wanted to pull that stunt. After he discovered that I was not going to be convinced and that I wasn’t at all interested in the discussion he went to the front of the room to make a sexist joke and left.

Consider Your Share of Conference Resources

I’ve previously written about the length of conference questions [1]. Question time after a lecture is a resource that is shared among all delegates. Consider whether you are asking more questions than the other delegates and whether the questions are adding benefit to other people. If not then send email to the speaker or talk to them after their lecture.

Note that good questions can add significant value to the experience of most delegates. For example when a lecturer appears to be having difficulty in describing their ideas to the audience then good questions can make a real difference, but it takes significant skill to ask such questions.

Dorm Walls Are Thin

LCA is one of many conferences that is typically held at a university with dorm rooms offered for delegates. Dorm rooms tend to have thinner walls than hotel rooms so it’s good to avoid needless noise at night. If one of your devices is going to make sounds at night please check the volume settings before you start it. At one LCA I was startled at about 2AM but the sound of a very loud porn video from a nearby dorm room, the volume was reduced within a few seconds, but it’s difficult to get to sleep quickly after that sort of surprise.

If you set an alarm then try to avoid waking other people. If you set an early alarm and then just get up then other people will get back to sleep, but pressing “snooze” repeatedly for several hours (as has been done in the past) is anti-social. Generally I think that an alarm should be at a low volume unless it is set for less than an hour before the first lecture – in which case waking people in other dorm rooms might be doing them a favor.

Phones in Lectures

Do I need to write about this? Apparently I do because people keep doing it!

Phones can be easily turned to vibrate mode, most people who I’ve observed taking calls in LCA lectures have managed this but it’s worth noting for those who don’t.

There are very few good reasons for actually taking a call when in a lecture. If the hospital calls to tell you that they have found a matching organ donor then it’s a good reason to take the call, but I can’t think of any other good example.

Many LCA delegates do system administration work and get calls at all times of the day and night when servers have problems. But that isn’t an excuse for having a conversation in the middle of the lecture hall while the lecture is in progress (as has been done). If you press the green button on a phone you can then walk out of the lecture hall before talking, it’s expected that mobile phone calls sometimes have signal problems at the start of the call so no-one is going to be particularly surprised if it takes 10 seconds before you say hello.

As an aside, I think that the requirement for not disturbing other people depends on the number of people who are there to be disturbed. In tutorials there are fewer people and the requirements for avoiding phone calls are less strict. In BoFs the requirements are less strict again. But the above is based on behaviour I’ve witnessed in mini-confs and main lectures.

Smoking

It is the responsibility of people who consume substances to ensure that their actions don’t affect others. For smokers that means smoking far enough away from lecture halls that it’s possible for other delegates to attend the lecture without breathing in smoke. Don’t smoke in the lecture halls or near the doorways.

Also using an e-cigarette is still smoking, don’t do it in a lecture hall.

Photography

Unwanted photography can be harassment. I don’t think there’s a need to ask for permission to photograp people who harass others or break the law. But photographing people who break the social agreement as to what should be done in a lecture probably isn’t. At a previous LCA a man wanted to ask so many questions at a keynote lecture that he had a page of written notes (seriously), that was obviously outside the expected range of behaviour – but probably didn’t justify the many people who photographed him.

A Final Note

I don’t think that LCA is in any way different from other conferences in this regard. Also I don’t think that there’s much that conference organisers can or should do about such things.

Related posts:

  1. A Linux Conference as a Ritual Sociological Images has an interesting post by Jay Livingston PhD...
  2. Suggestions and Thanks One problem with the blog space is that there is...
  3. Length of Conference Questions After LCA last year I wrote about “speaking stacks” and...

Chris Samuel: ARM v8 (64-bit) developer boxes

Thu, 2015-01-08 22:26

Looks like things are moving along in the world of 64-bit ARM, systems aimed at early adopting developers are now around. For instance APM have their X-C1 Development Kit Plus which has 8 x 2.4GHz ARMv8 cores, 16GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 1x10gigE, 3x1gigE for ~US$2,500 (or a steep discount if you qualify as a developer). Oh, and it ships with Linux by default of course.

Found via a blog post by Steve McIntyre about bringing up Debian Jessie on ARMv8 (it’ll be a release architecture for it) which has the interesting titbit that (before ARM had their Juno developer boxes):

Then Chen Baozi and the folks running the Tianhe-2 supercomputer project in Guangzhou, China contacted us to offer access to some arm64 hardware

So it looks like (I presume) NUDT are paying it some attention & building/acquiring their own ARMv8 systems.

This item originally posted here:



ARM v8 (64-bit) developer boxes

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 344: Lego Discovery Centre, shopping in the city

Thu, 2015-01-08 21:26

We had a really nice, busy today, much more so than I'd envisaged when we set off in the morning.

Zoe woke up at 2am and ended up in bed with me. I forgot to open her bedroom door when I went to bed, so I have no idea if that was a contributing factor or not. Her room was 26°C, so she may have been too hot. She then proceeded to have a pretty decent sleep in in my bed and not wake up until around 7am.

The plan today had been to check out the Lego Discovery Centre. It's been something I've wanted to take Zoe to for some time now, and I finally got around to booking in for a 45 minute session at 10am.

We made a pretty quick departure after breakfast, and caught the bus in, and arrived with plenty of time up our sleeves. Zoe didn't have a particularly good breakfast, and was hungry, so we hunted around for a croissant nearby.

Zoe was initially apprehensive about me leaving her there (it was a parent-less activity), but once we browsed the store before it started, she quickly became excited.

I went for a bit of a wander through Southbank and ended up in a deck chair by the river watching the world go by for half an hour. It was nice.

I went back to collect Zoe, and found her playing with a little Duplo-style remote controlled car that she'd built, and having a ball. It turned out that there were three different 45 minute sessions, all back to back. They had capacity in the next two sessions, and Zoe was keen, so I figured she could do all three. I just wish I'd remembered to bring a book. I ended up wandering over to the art gallery to amuse myself.

I came back a bit before 12:45pm to pick her up. I managed to stay out of sight for a while and observe her without her seeing me. All the kids were playing happily with a massive amount of Lego. She definitely looked like she had a good time. For a total of $36, it definitely seemed worth it. Apparently they run the sessions every school holidays, and change the theme every time. The >10 year olds were doing full on robotics with Mindstorms, which seemed very cool. I'm really excited that Zoe seems into Lego. I'm looking forward to doing lots of it with her as she gets older.

We grabbed some lunch from a convenience store next door, and then walked over to Southbank. I wanted to do a spot of shopping in the city, and for something different, I thought we could take one of the bicycle taxis over to the city. Zoe thought that was pretty cool, and it was nice to not be the one pedalling her around for a change.

We did a spot of shopping in the Myer Centre, before heading back to the bus and going home.

By the time we got home, it was time for me start dinner. Zoe watched a bit of TV, and then it was bed time. And I'd been thinking we'd be scrounging for something to do by 11:45am.

Donna Benjamin: The Great D8 Chook Raffle

Thu, 2015-01-08 20:26
Thursday, January 8, 2015 - 21:06The Drupal Association board approved a new initiative to help get Drupal 8 done.  It's called the D8 Accelerate fund. We also agreed to personally help do fundraising to support the program.  So I'm running a chook raffle.  For those of you who don't know what that is, Wikipedia gives a decent introduction.   https://www.drupal.org/governance/d8accelerate   The Drupal Association is working with the Drupal 8 branch maintainers to provide Drupal 8 Acceleration Grants. The goal is to fund work that will positively impact the release date. Drupal 8 has had over 2,400 contributors to date, which is more than any release so far. We hope that this initiative will encourage even more people to join the effort to get D8 done.   Please check out our Pozible campaign and make a pledge       

Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 343: Yet another doctor visit and The Workshops Rail Museum

Wed, 2015-01-07 22:25

I started the day with a 7.5 km run, the longest distance I've managed to run lately. I'm slowly clawing my way back to 10 km.

After Sarah dropped Zoe off, I prepared a take away lunch, and we headed over to the doctor for another round of freezing the wart on her hand. She's getting really good about it now. This is one persistent wart though.

I'd made plans with Mel to go to The Workshops Rail Museum with Matthew and his brother and sister. Matthew had wanted to ride in our car, so after the doctor, I swung by Mel's place to pick him up.

We had an uneventful drive out there, and it was lunchtime by the time we arrived, so we had lunch first.

Matthew's older brother brought a friend with him, so we had five kids in total, in three different age brackets, so it was somewhat challenging keeping them all together and interested. Zoe was used to getting to go where she wanted, when she wanted, so had to learn to compromise a bit.

She was dying to get to the Nipper's Railway section and also the dining car play area and do a heap of role playing, so once we finally made it over there, she was in her element. Matthew played well with her as well.

It turned out to be a great day for going, because it was grey and drizzly outside all day.

Matthew wanted to come back to our place for a bit of a play afterwards, so we drove directly home. Both kids fell asleep on the way home, so to stretch their naps out a bit, I swung by the Valley to clear my PO box.

By the time we got home, there was less than an hour before Mel was going to pick up Matthew, and they mostly just watched a bit of TV. I used the down time to prep dinner.

After Matthew left and we had dinner, we went for a walk around the block to pick up some fruit from the Hawthorne Garage and kill some time before bedtime.

It was a nice, if somewhat tiring, day.

Michael Still: A quick walk to William Farrer's grave

Wed, 2015-01-07 20:28
This was a Canberra Bushwalking Club walk lead by John Evans. Not very long, but I would never have found this site without John's leadership, so much appreciated.



           



Interactive map for this route.



Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150107-william_farrers_grave photo canberra tuggeranong bushwalk historical grave

Related posts: A walk around Mount Stranger; Another lunch time walk; Taylor Trig; Lunchtime geocaching; Urambi Trig; Walk up Tuggeranong Hill



Comment

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-01-07 19:28

Walked to work.

Managed to finally start the Learning to Learn course! I’ve now done all the week one videos and quizzes, which I’m quite happy with. Unfortunately the first piece of assessment is due half way through LCA which is going to be..difficult.



Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-01-07 11:28

Work.

Finally Mitre Ten was open when I was going past, picked up some lumber so I had something to mount the tool rack to.

Caught up with a friend who had spent Christmas and new years down in Melbourne.

Spent most of the night mounting the took rack, it took much longer than it should have. I need to reorganise one of the bookshelves, and start using it as a storage rack I think.



Filed under: diary