LUV May Meeting

May 4 2010 19:00

The Buzzard Lecture Theatre. Evan Burge Building, Trinity College, Melbourne University Main Campus, Parkville.

  • Geoff Beasley - Linux Audio Studio
  • Tennessee Leeuwenburg - The Culture of Open Source in Government

Linux Audio Studio by Geoff Beasley

In 2004, after suffering intolerable inconsistencies with commercial software and OS's since the late 80's, Geoff determined that the fledgling world of Linux Pro Audio could be no worse than the state of play experienced by him within his existing system. It was a leap of faith but he had been following Linux Pro Audio from a 'safe distance' since he fist stumbled (unfortunately!) on Mandrake 6 in the late 90's. Thanks in large part to Dave Philips' fantastic web resource, the applications that were available, their state of development and their feature sets were known to him. So it was time to roll up the sleeves and get dirty.

Starting out with Ardour-.99-beta-12 and a non RT kernel (2.4.xx) he began.Over the intervening years there were hundreds of hours of testing,co-developing and learning that has led to the current system which he believes is the most stable and musical studio environment he's ever experienced.

In December of 2004, with a Planet-CCRMA on Red Hat 9, he built the forerunner of the modular system he has created today. It really has come of age. The current batch of kernels offer flexibility, stability and speed which cannot be matched by any other system. The level of consistent performance is particularly advantageous for use within such time critical environments as is required for successful Pro Audio production. But the story doesn't end there; Linux software and the FOSS model offer the modern composer/engineer features and opportunities simply not available anywhere else. Whilst he's a self confessed Linux zealot,he believes Linux Pro Audio has the runs on the board.

The talk will attempt to demonstrate a simple kernel howto for RT patching, describe the custom desktop environment used and the essential configurations needed to achieve a stable and truly powerful Pro Audio environment.

Geoff Beasley is a Melbourne based composer, arranger and performer. Starting out in the early seventies as a keyboard player, guitarist and singer he moved into studio engineering in 1990. From the mid nineties onwards he composed and produced numerous works for use in video products for Westpac, ANZ, Telecom, BHP, Electrolux, Mercury Marine and many others. He has composed jingles for radio and TV and has written and composed works for the stage. Geoff made the change from a Microsoft environment to an entirely Linux one in late 2004. At the 2006 LAC in Karlsruhe it was described as the first full time Linux studio in the world. The current configuration makes it still unique as far as he is aware.

The Culture of Open Source in Government by Tennessee Leeuwenburg

The use of open source tools, and contribution to open source projects, is alive and well within many government organisations. Discussion on the relationship between open source development and the objectives of government entities is always going on, just as this debate continues in a commercial environment with respect to commercial objectives.

A few common issues may be picked out, although these are unlikely to be the central point in any particular issue. In general, "the commercial world" is surprised by, and generally unaware of, the burden of documentation and due process which is present in government bodies. In software development, especially with the current focus on agility of development, government change can seem truly glacial and out of touch. On the other hand, these issues are often at the heart of proper bureaucratic functioning. Those people involved in government software development are invariably concerned with the public good and pursuing best practise in all regards. Government has to deal with objectives which are not generally present in commercial software development, such as maintaining a high standard of record-keeping, potential exposure to freedom of information requests and of course often the organisation is very large.

This presentation will involve a high level of audience participation. The main benefit from this is really the opportunity to discuss the the role of open source in government, facilitated by the presenter. It is the presenter's experience that there is little agreement on what 'the central issues are' in this regard. Government bodies are themselves very heterogenous, making it impossible to give any all-encompassing statements regarding the activities or responsibilities of "government" when it comes to open source development practises.

Tennessee Leeuwenburg is a Python software developer employed at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. He has worked with Python for six years and is Co-Chief Editor of "The Python Papers". He is currently working in the area of natural language generation for weather forecasts. Tennessee is also nearing the completion of a Masters of Business Administration.

The views and statements made in this presentation are the views of the author and are not an official organisational statement.

The Buzzard Lecture Theatre, Evan Burge Building, Trinity College Main Campus Parkville Melways Map: 2B C5

Notes: Trinity College's Main Campus is located off Royal Parade. The Evan Burge Building is located near the Tennis Courts. See our Map of Trinity College. Additional maps of Trinity and the surrounding area (including its relation to the city) can be found at

Parking can be found along or near Royal Parade, Grattan Street, Swanston Street and College Crescent. Parking within Trinity College is unfortunately only available to staff.

For those coming via Public Transport, the number 19 tram (North Coburg - City) passes by the main entrance of Trinity College (Get off at Morrah St, Stop 12). This tram departs from the Elizabeth Street tram terminus (Flinders Street end) and goes past Melbourne Central Timetables can be found on-line at:

Before and/or after each meeting those who are interested are welcome to join other members for dinner. We are open to suggestions for a good place to eat near our venue. Maria's on Peel Street in North Melbourne is currently the most popular place to eat after meetings.

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


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