Tagged: ubuntu

Happy Holidays!

Thank You Cards from the Gilbert Linkous ElementaryGiven the lack of fresh blogging on our front page, one might have begun to wonder if L2Ork had filed for whatever is the academic equivalent of Chapter 11. In part to dispel such unfounded concerns, it is my hope the following post is going to assure you L2Ork is not only still here, it is stronger than ever. It is simply that we’ve all been tremendously busy this past semester and as such our blogging activities have taken a back seat until things settled down a bit. So, what have we been up to?

Our membership has been on a steady rise and our infrastructure keeps improving on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, apart from upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 (a.k.a. Long Term Support release), we’ve had a slew of pd-l2ork updates to the point we now maintain our own Git hub. Most recently, pd-l2ork has introduced infinite undo and a number of graphically-friendly editing options that should make creating pieces for the ensemble a breeze¬†(belated warning: non-geek readers may want to simply skip the previous two sentences altogether :-).

Technical matters aside (as exciting as they may be), the fall has proven an intense semester, indeed. Apart from the Virginia State Fair which has also spawned flattering media coverage, L2Ork has also had shows at Ferrum College as well as Blacksburg’s Gilbert Linkous Elementary, where we’ve received standing ovations for performances of pieces I honestly worried would be too long and slow-paced for kindergarten, elementary and middle school children. With such thankful audience I must say that performance is definitely among my favorites. And as if that weren’t enough, kids from the entire school have drawn and mailed us literally dozens upon dozens of thank you cards featuring scenes and student impressions from our performance! Finally, in early November, I took a trip down to Texas A&M for an invited lecture and performance as part of the award L2Ork received this past February.

All in all, it’s been a busy semester and with the newfound Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts & Technology (ICAT)¬†now in full swing, it appears the next semester will be even more intense (more on that soon…). So, while we are all trying to catch our collective breaths, spend some quality time with our families, and indulge in eggnog, I invite you to check out latest version of pd-l2ork, visit our YouTube page, join our Facebook page, or follow us via our new Twitter account (many thanks to L2Orkists for their initiative on this one!). I wish you all very best for the Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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It has begun. The excitement, patching, updating, coding, composing, fixing, soldering,… well, you get the point. L2Ork is back and is now bigger than ever. On the first day of classes we had students literally in the hallway as we could not fit everyone in the classroom, and DISIS is by no means a small space. So, now we are facing a problem: we have more students than stations. Our current infrastructure can support up to 16 l2orkists which leaves us with one dev notebook. In such a setup, however, we won’t have backup speakers left which is probably not a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is a good problem to have, yet on a flip side, given the nosedive our University’s budget has taken, it may be a while before we can support additional musicians, which is a shame as the very last thing I would want to do right now is to lose momentum because of such a problem.

Even though the ensemble has effectively doubled in size, we also lost in the process one of our last semester’s members. Jen is getting ready to graduate and that has made it difficult for her to stay with us, particularly as we look forward to hopefully touring later this year. On behalf of entire L2Ork I would like to hereby thank Jen for being a l2orkist when no one yet knew what being one even meant (needless to mention what it required), for believing in L2Ork and for being a part of the great success we’ve enjoyed in our debut performance last December.

One of the top priority tasks awaiting us this week is upgrading of our machines. After some testing we’ve decided to upgrade our setup to Ubuntu 9.10 (up from 9.04) which brings about a number of enhancements we like, including a prebuilt real-time kernel. So far the only regression we’ve identified is apparently buggy webcam driver. Given that currently we are not using camera for any of our L2Ork needs, it appears that benefits of upgrading to 9.10 far outweigh potential shortcomings. The word is also that a fix is in the works and that it has been already included in the upcoming 10.04 LTS (Long-Term-Support) release which is our ultimate near-term target upgrade currently scheduled for the summer of 2010.

There are a lot of other things and exciting news I wanted to share with you today but perhaps I should leave them for another time–in a sea of looming deadlines, time is truly a rare commodity we all are acutely low on, so I should probably get back to work and hope to get some decent sleep tonight…

Speaking of work, in the coming weeks, as we hopefully find time to catch our collective breaths, we will be posting additional content, including Linux resources, a new mailing list, detailed how-to documentation, and other goodies.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact us–we would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and ideas!

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