ShefLUG Meeting: Alan Cox and Megan Larko Talks

Got back from the a full day of Linux discussion which started at around 10am this morning, and carried on until about 7:30pm. Saw an really interesting talk given by Alan Cox on software engineering and how the theory compares to how it is done in both open source projects and the proprietary commercial sector. It was a very interesting talk that really got you thinking. This was followed by a talk from Megan Larko about their use of Linux at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Land Information Systems group where they really have pushed Linux to some extreme limits. Utilising multiterabyte RAID arrays and very demanding simulations on large datasets and hitting the 2GB per PID limit on 32 bit systems. It was really interesting to hear someone talking about real issues pushing Linux to the extremes and how they were able to overcome these problems. As well as a very honest description of a few of the failures made along the way. I only just upgraded my main development system to 2GB of RAM, and so it is hard to believe that there are real reasons to use all of this space for one process! The talks were followed by more informal followup talk given by Megan at the LUG meeting, and then informal chats and a nice meal at a local restaurant. I am now working on my 64 bit Gentoo MythTV box, not wanting to move away from the Linux theme. LUG meetings can be a great chance to meet some very interesting people and always give different insights to reading about this stuff in books and on the web.

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