Free Radio Linux Launches Audio Distribution of Linux Kernel
Feb 02, 2002, 23:00 (20 Talkback[s])
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The time is GMT 23:00, 02.02.02.
In one hour's time it will be February 3, and the fourth anniversary of the day
the Open Source Initiative http://www.opensource.org/"
coined the term 'open source' as a label for freely published
source code http://www.opensource.org/docs/history.html.
To mark this occasion, r a d i o q u a l i a are launching
the first net.radio distribution of the world's most
popular open source software - the operating system, Linux.
Free Radio Linux is an online and on-air radio station.
The sound transmission is a computerised reading of the
entire source code used to create the Linux Kernel, the
basis of all distributions of Linux.
Each line of code is read by an automated computer voice -
a speech.bot utility built by r a d i o q u a l i a. The
speech.bot's output is encoded into an audio stream, using
the open source codec, Ogg Vorbis http://www.vorbis.com, and
sent out live on the Internet. FM, AM and Shortwave radio
stations from around the world will also relay the audio
stream on various occasions.
The Linux kernel contains 4,141,432 millions lines of
code. Reading the entire kernel will take an estimated
14253.43 hours, or 593.89 days. Listeners can track the
progress of Free Radio Linux by listening to the audio
stream, or checking the text-based progress field in
the ./listen section of the
./ BACKGROUND : LINUX AND OPEN SOURCE
Since Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds
http://www.cs.Helsinki.FI/u/torvalds/ started development of the
operating system, Linux in 1991, the collaborative model
of software development has reached profound new heights.
Consisting of millions of lines of source code, Linux has
been mutated, improved and sent spiraling off into new
directions by literally thousands of programmers from all
around the world. This is because Torvalds promoted a
simple approach to the development of Linux: he made the
code available for users of the operating system to read,
view and alter. Sharing their ideas on the software and
potential improvements was a core part of Torvalds' ethic.
Due to the extraordinary success of Linux, the ethic of
code sharing has reached new heights of popularity. Code
sharing is no longer a process specific to computer
science, rather it has become an ideology embraced by
business, the computer using public, and a multitude of
cultural, artistic and academic sectors. When Linux won
one of electronic art's most prestigious prizes, the Prix
Ars Electronica http://prixars.aec.at/history/net/1999/E99net_01.htm
for .net excellence in 1999, Open Source completed its
journey from a prosaic functional process to a phenomenon
verging on art.
./ FREE RADIO MEETS FREE SOFTWARE
In the hierarchy of media, radio reigns. There are more
computers than modems, more phones than computers, and
more radios than phones. Radio is the closest we have to
an egalitarian method of information distribution. Free
Radio Linux advocates that radio is the best method for
distributing the world's most popular free software.
Free Radio Linux is therefore be a networked broadcast
system, transmitting on ether-net via open source audio
codec, Ogg Vorbis and relayed on AM, Shortwave and FM
frequencies, by a collection of ham radio amateurs and
Free Radio Linux also continues the tradition of FM 'code
stations' of the early-mid eighties. These stations were
pirate broadcasters who distributed bootleg software
programmes via radio transmitters, allowing early hackers
with home computers, such as Sinclair ZX80-81s, Commodore
64s, and Acorns, to demodulate the signal through a modem
and run the code. The modern day equivalent, Free Radio
Linux, similarly enables anyone with notepad to transcribe
the code and utilise it at his or her convenience.
./ TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
To listen to Free Radio Linux online, users must have:
- a computer
- an internet connection
- an MP3 Player
- the Ogg Vorbis codec
MP3 players and the Ogg Vorbis codec can be downloaded
from the ./listen section of the Free Radio Linux website:
Ogg Vorbis is compatible with Linux, Windows and Mac OSX
--------------> Ogg Vorbis + Icecast
Free Radio Linux utilises Ogg Vorbis because it is one of
the only open source streaming audio codecs available.
Whereas, MP3 is a patented technology (owned by Fraunhofer
IIS-A http://www.iis.fhg.de/, Thomson, and others ) Ogg Vorbis
is a free, open, and unpatented.
Encoding is enabled using the free Oddsock DSP plugin for
Winamp. This encoder converts the live audio input from
the speech.bot into a streaming Ogg Vorbis file. This file
is then sent as a 'continuous stream' to the server. Free
Radio Linux is served via a Icecast2 http://www.icecast.org/
server for Unix, located at Montevideo http://www.montevideo.nl/
in Amsterdam. This server is part of the Open Source
Streaming Alliance http://www.location1.org/ossa/ossa.html.
Free Radio Linux is enabled by a speech.bot, which opens
each individual page of the Linux kernel and converts the
text to speech. Punctuation and special characters are
read as Latin Unicode . For example '=' is read as 'equals
Free Radio Linux is commissioned by Gallery 9/Walker Art
Center http://www.walkerart.org with the support of the
Jerome Foundation, USA.
- Streaming server provided by Montevideo Time Based Arts,
- website design by Vedran Gulin, mi2lab, Croatia.
- r a d i o q u a l i a would also like to thank :
Robert Geus, Virtual Artists, Elizabeth Zimmerman/Kunstradio,
oddsock.org, Rene Leithof, Michael Jordan/Linux.org,
Matthew Leonard/Radio NZ, XS4ALL, Dave Mandl/WMFU, Micz
Flor, Ted Byfield, Susan Kennard/Radio 90, Georgie Knight,
Chris Barker, Nik Gaffney, Mr.Snow, Jenny Marketou, and
ph: +44 20 76841859