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Late spring cleaning interruptus for some ramblings and babbling about my trip to the International Linux Audio Conference, LAC2010@HKU-Utrecht, which took place at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, May 1st to 4th.. Time is failing on me, or wasn't that the top excuse from this one self-called über-procrastinator. Better late than never.

Once again, five times now, I came to attend the annual international Linux Audio developers meeting, as it is on my call, being my main motivation the same as it has been since always: to meet and find together all the guys and gals that make up the scene. And so there we were. I am sorry to tell that this blog entry won't be in any way a chronicle of the conference but more like something else. Just a messy collection of thoughts that were haunting this vacant mind during those days.

Given that this is also my special time of year that I take vacation from everything else, I took the chance to make some hacking, what else? And there it goes, in a hurry QmidiNet has been given JACK MIDI support in the very same transparent way as the already existing ALSA MIDI sequencer interface. Queen's day indulgence that is and speaking of which that was the awesome party that I was presented right after landing in Holland. A huge people's party was going on and up, like a rave in every corner and place. Happiness spreading like fire, on land and water. One just could not stop sharing joy. Me included.

First day came and with the providential help of Pieter Palmers, who bumped on me just around the corner when I was failing to find the conference location -- funny enough, I was just standing in wrong sidewalk as advised by the GPS navigation on my N900, but the HKU is in fact located in a building which shares the entrance with a local mall (bling-bling). Who would tell? Never mind, got there just in time to miss the overture session. But then acquaintance with the lads (pun intended) just made that initial failure buried into oblivion, at least until now that had to write that. Oh my, oh my...

All in all for the great presentations though, there were two talks that really made the top interest among the lads (pun intended, again), or at least it should have: Lennart Poettering's Pro Audio is Easy, Consumer Audio is Hard and John Kacur's How the Real-Time Kernel Helps Audio and Video Applications. I must reckon to be deeply grateful that these two luminaries had taken the time and courage to do their preaching at the LAC arena. Very good sermons, indeed ;)

Back on hacking. While having the time again, got myself fixing the extremely bleeding-edge JACK session management right in QjackCtl, yet again. JACK shutdown code path was also addressed, more or less. Also, during this highly privileged spare time, I could get one humble feature request from Yann Orlarey finally done in the QjackCtl Connections widget behavioral code. Shame on me as it took 5 years to give it a try -- anyhow, it's already on SVN trunk.

Ah, the Linux Sound Night, or the Night of the Penguins as it's been told, the always highly expected Linux club night arrived. Sure enough, this kind of venue is getting better and better, year after year. This time it took place at the SJU Jazzpodium club. Malte Steiner, who already impressed me years before, made it again. A live coding competition made the stage and video wall as well. Live acts or performances as one might perfectly say, were awesome, having special note to a young (!) couple from Slovenia, Wanda & Nova deViator which, besides using Linux live of course, made an astonishing or, to say the least, competent statement on every axis of evaluation. Whatever, but I really liked them.

A kind of silent war was set out, as some of the conference presenters were using the bitten fruit laptops, phones and/or operating systems on a, uh, Linux oriented venue? It was during the "Future of the LAC" round table where the knights spoken their worries. Sir Malte Steiner made a point, quite firmly in fact, that he doesn't want to see something like that happening ever again. I and several others nodded in immediate agreement. As a matter of recent fact, the fruit company, the one which I refrain to say the name just because it doesn't deserve any kind of publicity anymore, has turned out offensive to the open source community when in the letter from its black dressed CEO is gearing up a patent pool against Ogg Theora in particular and open video codecs in general. History's repeating? Probably, yes and hopefully it will just die in agony of irrelevance boredom hell pits (UNISYS, GIF case, anyone?). The least we (the knights:) can do is take a stance, like having a bit of lesser tolerance or even ban the rotten fruit from the stash. It's just evil now.

An immense feeling of gratitude goes to the organizers team, headed by Marc Groenewegen and Robin Gareus and to all others who made the LAC2010@HKU-Utrecht such a great event and surely one of the best of its kind, ever. Until next year, wherever it be, some offers have been put on the table but are still open. LAC forever!

My lousy photo gallery can be found right here. I'm sure this year's collection is even lousier than last one, just because my über-procrastination syndrome is not getting any cure at all and I'm not taking any medication to fix that ;)

[UPDATE: There's also this rncbchannel on YouTube that collects all even lousier and unedited videos, captured with my N900, during the Queen's Day outdoors and specially the Linux Sound Night@SJU indoors, Utrecht. Take care, some might be, uh, a bit graphic:]



thanks for the heads-up Rui.. wish I'd been there :(



rncbc's picture

hi Geoff.

I'm always glad to hear from you.

As matter of fact your name was in the buzz at some time, like when wondering whether the (future) LAC could change continents, going out of Europe that is... oh my. Guess DU makes a whole world of a difference, if you know what I mean ;)


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