Linux Conf Au 2009 Hobart – Day 3

January 30, 2009 Technical, General

Just a quick writeup for day 3, as I know you are still reeling from reading all about the first two action-packed days! We were lucky enough to have Tom Limoncelli give the keynote speech on Wednesday morning. He is the revered Systems Administrator who penned Time Management for System Administrators and The Practice of System and Network Administration, both of which are compulsory reading for every sysadmin at Anchor (we each have a copy of both books!), and he works for Google (no surprises there).

Tom gave a fairly moving and unconventional speech about how we think we are living in an environment of scarcity, but we are actually living in an environment of plenty. We can give so much more to other people that costs us nothing, and open source software is a great example of this (and is something Anchor is proud to support).

I enjoy creating music so the presentation on FFADO – Firewire audio for Linux by Jonathon Woithe was a nice break from the strictly sysadmin-oriented stuff I’d been attending on the first two days. Linux audio has progressed a lot recently and it is now possible to see sub 10ms latencies when using well-supported Firewire audio devices and the Realtime kernel options. We should see Linux penetrate the studio audio market increasingly as FFADO matures.

Subversion Scaling at Google by the always interesting Marc Merlin was a lot more applicable to us, as we use Subversion extensively for internal code and configuration repositories. Some of the smart fellows at Google have contributed a large number of improvements to Subversion that allow it to scale out a lot better, and add helpful collaborative tools (for example, commit hooks that force changes into a separate branch for review; reviewed changes are then merged from the branch into trunk). We’ll be looking into how we can integrate GVN into our workflow.

Asterisk, for those who don’t know already, is an open-source phone system application. Anchor made the transition to Asterisk a couple of years ago from a proprietary system and has never looked back thanks to the unprecedented flexibility, configurability and open-sourcey goodness. Using Asterisk for Fun and Profit by Avi Miller was a tutorial into using the Elastix distribution. If you haven’t checked out Asterisk, I highly suggest you download the Elastix LiveCD and give it a try.

See you at LCA2009 Day 4!