Monthly Archives: July 2006

Someone to watch over me

One year ago, I attended a grand showcase concert in a posh London hotel, where my aunt’s string quartet – The Pavao Quartet – performed well enough to win a recording contract with a brand new record label. Their music comprises mostly of unique arrangements of classic tracks: pop, jazz, classical, and more.

Earlier this month, I attended the release party for their debut album, in a swanky London private nightclub. The group have already enjoyed 2 weeks at the top of the Amazon UK Hot 20 Pre-release Classical Albums chart, and have seen plenty of press attention (BBC Radio interviews, local news coverage, etc).

Their debut album titled Someone to watch over me is released today and is available in the usual large music stores. Some info and samples can be found here.

Track list

  1. Fascinating rhythm
  2. Can’t help lovin’ dat man
  3. Slap that bass
  4. What a wonderful world
  5. Let’s call the whole thing off
  6. A nightingale sang in Berkeley Square
  7. The way you look tonight
  8. Embracable you
  9. They all laughed (at Christopher Columbus)
  10. They can’t take that away from me
  11. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing
  12. Singin’ in the rain
  13. There’s no business like show business
  14. Someone to watch over me
  15. Cheek to cheek
  16. That’s entertainment

ZD1211 support in Linux 2.6.18

Our driver for USB-WLAN devices based on the ZD1211 chip has progressed through the chain of Linux networking development trees and is now included in the mainline kernel, as of 2.6.18-rc1. I have added the accompanying firmware package to Portage as net-wireless/zd1211-firmware.

We are still developing in out-of-tree git repositories, but I am feeding patches to the in-kernel version which will be sent to Linus during the appropriate merge windows.

Ulrich is AWOL at the moment, probably due to post-World-Cup-depression, but I’m getting back towards actual driver development after some surgery on the softmac layer. Hopefully the minor instability issues will be fixed soon.

Gentoo UK 2006: success

The Gentoo UK 2006 conference is over, after a lot of fun (and a lot of hard work!).

The event was a huge success and I don’t really know how to summarize it. Attendance was great considering that we only gave short notice, about 65 people. There were several people I’d have liked to chat to but didn’t have time, I hope the opportunities will arrive again in the future.

We needed to raise some money on the door to cover our costs (alongside the donations from Grant Slater, Nick Boughton, and the Gentoo Foundation). I’d like to thank everyone for their generosity, especially as many people donated more than the £2 entrance fee — after covering the event costs, we will be sending the rest of the money to the Gentoo Foundation.

The day opened with Hanni Ali, of Kaboot and Ainkaboot. Hanni explained some of his motivations behind Kaboot, a Gentoo-based live distribution, and then moved onto the real meat: the high performance Gentoo-based clustering solutions provided by his company, Ainkaboot. Hanni only recently graduated from university recently, it is very cool that Gentoo has helped him to kick-start his career. I hope we can further involve Hanni in the community in the future.

Next up we had Tim Yamin (plasmaroo), who gave a nice talk about Gentoo’s release process and the tools involved with it. Perhaps through his youth, Tim has an interesting speaking style which keeps the audience entertained and gives something which isn’t usually found during technical presentations.

Andrew Cowie finished the morning by presenting a mixture of slides from a few of his previous talks. Andrew runs a crisis management company called Operational Dynamics. Through his experience with deploying computer systems in the enterprise plus an extensive amount of public speaking experience, Andrew gave a very entertaining and enthralling presentation about how Gentoo rocks in the enterprise and the problems faced in such environments.

We went for lunch in a nice Irish pub called The Quays. I had organised the meal with them a few days before the event (finding a restaurant to cater for 50+ people is hard, it’s really lucky that I found this place). They very kindly provided us with whole of the upstairs section and did not charge us for room hire.

After lunch, I presented a few ideas about problems with contribution flow through the Gentoo community, and started a discussion about potential improvements and solutions. This was beneficial for me at least, I’m more confident about these ideas now and I hope that we can see some more action being taken in this area.

We wrapped the day up with a few shorter sessions: Bryan Østergaard (kloeri) talked about developer relations and the recruitment/retirement process, George Prowse (cokehabit) started a discussion about the Gentoo Women ideas, and I finished off with some slides about the organisation of the event (I’m not going to be in the UK to organise next year’s event, so my aim was to pass on some knowledge and seek help).

I’m going to post a bit more about the event after I have collected some photo’s and the presentation slides and published them on the event website. In the mean time, please send any photo’s of the event in my direction.

Professors Prize

After a fantastic weekend at the Gentoo UK 2006 conference (which I’ll write about later) I arrived home to a nice surprise: a letter from the university including my exam results, and another letter informing me that I’ve won the Professors Prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the course this year.

A very pleasant surprise given how much time some of the people on the course spend on their studies, not forgetting the amount of potential study time I replace with various open source hacking!

Back from GUADEC

I’m back from a fun week in sunny Vilanova. Highlights include the food, the Nit de Sant Joan firework night on the beach, the Fluendo and Nokia parties, meeting with too many interesting people to list, and seeing an OLPC prototype (those things are tiny!).

The Gentoo dev-lunch: foser, Andreas (suka), myself, Zaheer

Joe Shaw and myself at the open-bar Fluendo party

Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be attending the 2007 event (to be held in Birmingham, UK) as I’ll be working out in Boston. I will probably be at the GNOME Summit later this year.