Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS

Current home page of Ubuntu Studio

Yesterday I’ve tried and downloaded Ubuntu Studio 20.04 LTS “Focal Fossa” (with its standard XFCE desktop), wrote the Live image to a USB stick, and booted my work notebook from it after work.

That’s quite a nice release, and everything I tried worked right out of the proverbial box, even from that “Live” USB stick. There were some packages I’ve never even seen before, like for instance OBS Studio with which you could make training videos or even live stream some computer games to Youtube if you’re into that kind of thing.

Ardour is still in version 5 on it, and the reasons for that are explained in their news section.

Otherwise, it’s what the home page says: a free and open operating system for creative people, very nice, and everything which is difficult when using ‘normal’ distributions like my Debian (on which Ubuntu is based of course), or which would require some extra work like the audio and/or realtime stuff is preconfigured already, so you can simply start making music, or developing your photographs, make movies or drawings, whatever creative people might want to do.

Documentation including some really nice books is/are here.

Very nice, and highly recommended – that one costs nothing, makes things really easy, and brings the fun back into computing.

As always, thanks for reading.

My first day of the second week of homeoffice

I made photos, one shortly after I began to work at home, the other shortly after finishing work. Looks like this:

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Homeoffice week two, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Tuna the cat at closing time (Feierabend), Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

Thanks for viewing.

What to do in times of a pandemia

Well I can hardly give any tips of what best to do in a “lockdown” kind of situation, when you can’t or at least shouldn’t really leave the house. I can only tell you what we’re doing:

  • we went shopping of Friday after my work already, so we were through with that early on. It also helps if you enter the supermarkets as a single person, not with a whole family. Better for the distances we should keep…
  • reading is always good – my current favourite fiction author is Haruki Murakami as you might know if you’re reading this blog once in a while
  • listening to music and/or watching TV is what I’ll guess what most people would do, and of course we’re also doing that. Long running series like “Doctor Who” are good tips if you like that
  • If you’re a computer geek, get involved into some free and open source project – write some code or documentation, or share some tips via an own blog or Youtube or whatever
  • We’re the lucky ones, at least Zuleikha and me – we play instruments. Plus we are both members of Wikiloops where you can play with other musicians from all around the globe for free if you like. All you need is some way to get your instrument or voice into a computer, which is usually done with some kind of audio interface – see here for some examples. And Wikiloops just lifted its time restrictions, so even as a new user you can now start down- and uploading at once, without having to wait (or to pay).
  • If you are creative in another field – I consider myself a portrait photographer for instance – then do this at home as well. Take photos of your family, or in case you’re alone, take self portraits. There’s always something new to learn, and if it’s only about lighting.

Other than that I haven’t done much this weekend, in fact I wasn’t even out of the house except to feed the birds:

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Bird food, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2020

As I’ve read, the rate of new infections with SARS-CV2 aka the Corona virus is slowing down here in Germany. So maybe (and hopefully) it helps if everyone is staying at home or at least keeping a safe distance. And while it’s still way too early to speak of or to hope for a trend, we can still carry on and wait this out, shall we?

Be safe. Stay healthy. And thank you for reading.

Working from home

I’m sitting at our dining room table with my notebook from work, preparing for the last day of the first week of working at home. Still a bit early (as usual), so I’ve turned on the Wikiloops One World Radio, which looks like this:

Screenshot from 2020-03-20 07-56-42

As you can probably see you don’t have to have an account or being logged in to listen to this, so go and have a listen if you like – it’s nice and it’s free.

I was productive this week, without having all of the colleagues around me, so as I thought (or knew) I can concentrate on work much better in silence and in solitude – but it’s still something else, this. Unreal somehow, the thought that this might go on for weeks or even months.

And holidays? Hm. Strange thought.

Ok, off to work right now. Take care, be safe, and stay healthy everyone. Thanks for reading.

Almost spring

Coronavirus this, quarantine that, I’m just back from another short Sunday walk, and here are some photos I took on my way:

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Right in front of our door, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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At the neighbours’ house, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Look up!, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Our area – not yours, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Bird Island, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Photo session of the collie owners’ club?, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Bird Island, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Aschaffenburger Strasse, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020
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Laubwald, Moerfelden-Walldorf 2020

That was a nice walk, and as you can see the weather was also pretty good. As always you can click the images to see larger versions on Flickr where they are hosted – in fact there’s always the full resolution for printing postcards and so on.

Thanks for reading, and for viewing.

R.I.P. Lyle Mays (1953-2020)

Read it from some of my friends and fellow musicians at Wikiloops first, then in other media: Lyle Mays, genius keyboarder and musician as well as a genius in maths and other sciences died two days ago. See the German and English Wikipedia pages about him, and the sad news also from Pat Metheny’s site.

It’s quasi impossible to give you a short overview over his works, but this for example is from him:

Lyle Mays & Bonnie Herman – Moses The Lawgiver

Awesome, isn’t it? And what’s less well known is that he and Pat also wrote a hit like this one:

David Bowie & Pat Metheny Group – This Is Not America (official video reworked)

So rest in peace, Lyle, and thanks for everything.

As always, thanks to you for reading, watching, and listening.

In German / Auf Deutsch: Ah, jetzt ja!

Wurde auch Zeit daß diese Diskussion einmal öffentlich wird. Und solche Berichte sollten nicht nur gelesen, sondern auch ernst genommen werden. Genau wie das Zitat einer der Kommentatoren des o.g. Zeit-Artikels:

E-Autos wie sie heute angeboten werden, sind Mist. Ihre Reichweite ist zu gering, ihre Umweltkosten zu hoch, ihre Nutzung asozial, weil der Niedriglöhner dem Reichen sein E-Auto mitsubventioniert und die Ausbeutung in den Rohstoffländern evident.

(Zeit Online Leser und Kommentator “PerkyCornflakes”)

Wie immer danke für’s Lesen.

Slowly making that machine mine again

I’ve written about the “new” operating system I had to install at work. And this morning I was talking to my wife about it, saying that even with the so-called “EPEL” repositories (from the Fedora project), these “Enterprise” decision-making guys still don’t include anything like Ardour. So I guess that these decision-makers don’t have kids or even nieces or nephews, or how would they explain that companies like Disney who would likely use anything like Ardour are not “Enterprises”? What a strange world…

But at least with these additional “EPEL” repos, I’ve got things and smaller niceties like Conky back – so at least the looks of my Gnome3 desktop at work and at home aren’t that different anymore. See here (again, I try to keep most business-related stuff out here):

My desktop at work, showing a browser and Conky plus the Gnome menu on the left

Hm. I still couldn’t record any pro sound and videos with it like I could with my old OS and its real-time kernel and Ardour and such. Not for work and not for pleasure – which seem to be different things for these “Enterprises”.

But ok – I’m not working at Disney, or at Pixar, so I guess the fun part is elsewhere indeed. Still I sometimes wonder if they even consider all the talent and creativity they’re wasting (or trying to kill)? What a strange world indeed. Maybe they’ll fit in somewhere in the vicinity of “hedgefond managers” in the groups divided by Toby? See here for a funny start into your week and month:

Rowan Atkinson: Toby the Devil – We Are Most Amused and Amazed

And as a small contrast program to it, here are some awesome fellow musicians:

Opera performed by animals | Maestro – CG short film by Illogic collective

As always, thanks for reading & viewing, and have a very nice start into your week & month. 🙂