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About Lev Lafayette

Crocodile Logo

Lev Lafayette is a doctoral candidate at the Ashworth Centre for Social Theory. He has an MBA (Technology Management) from the Chifley Business School, where he was on the Dean's List, a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from the same institution, and an honours degree from Murdoch University in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology which is commented upon by the Vice-Chancellor of the time. Many years later he completed a Graduate Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Education at the same institution.

He is a certified PRINCE2 Practioner, and an Adult and Workplace Trainer (clearly not satisfied with one masters degree, he's started another). With a interdisciplinary approach, Lev's interests include the political implementation of universal pragmatics, the relationship between communications technology and society, and comparative economic systems.

Professionally however, Lev is an experienced systems administrator, specialising in the Linux operating system and scientific applications, a project manager, systems engineer, and quality managements systems coordinator. Previous employment and clients include several years working as a computer systems trainer and database management for the Parliamentary Labor Party in Victoria. Following this he worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Timor Leste (East Timor) managing their computer network and providing training and technical expertise to that Ministry in their first year of self-governance. Dr. Ramos-Horta provided the following comments on his work.

Lev works for the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing as a systems administrator for Linux clusters. As per that organisation, this site is mostly dedicated to issues concerning High Performance Computing, Scientific Computing and Supercomputing. Lev is involved in Linux Users of Victoria, currently as President, but previously as Public Officer, Vice-President, Treasurer and Committee Member.

The crocodile logo was designed by Victoria Jankowski. It was first used on the cover of Neon-komputadór, the first IT training manual for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in East Timor which was printed and translated by the United Nations Development Programme. The crocodile represents the Timorese people and is the emblem of their land. The integrated circuit represents their independent connectivity to the wider world.

You can also find a political site that Lev subscribes to, The Isocracy Network, a synthesis of several progressive political orientations, and RPG Review which covers his interests in roleplaying and simulation games. As a secular humanist with an interfaith perspective, he manages and contributes to the Lightbringers website. He also has a livejoural, which will probably be quite boring to anyone who doesn't know him personally.

That's enough of me talking about myself in the third person like Cerebus The Aardvark.

A Source Installation of gzip

GNU zip is a compression utility free from patented algorithms. Software patents are stupid, and patented compression algorithms are especially stupid.

Why Linux is the Future of Computing

Presentation to the La Trobe Valley Linux Miniconference, Saturday July 19, 2014

The Innovation Patent Review and Free Software

Presentation to Linux Users of Victoria, 1st July, 2014

1. About Patents

A definition from the World Intellectual Property Organisation "A patent is an exclusive right granted for an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem. To get a patent, technical information about the invention must be disclosed to the public in a patent application." [1]

ACIP Review of Innovation Patent System: No Software Patents!

The final report of the ACIP (Australian government Advisory Panel on Intellectual Property) review of the Innovation Patent System came out today.

The good news is that ACIP have recommended that "no method, process or system shall be patentable".


Selections from the Report follow. I note that they referred to several of the examples were included in the LUV submission.

Critical Issues in the Teaching of High Performance Computing to Postgraduate Scientists

Presentation to ICCS 2014 International Conference on Computational Science, Cairns, June 10, 2014


High performance computing is in increasing demand, especially with the need to conduct parallel processing on very large datasets, whether evaluated by volume, velocity and variety. Unfortunately the necessary skills - from familiarity with the command line interface, job submission, scripting, through to parallel programming - is not commonly taught at the level required for most researchers. As a result the uptake of HPC usage remains disproportionately low, with emphasis on system metrics taking priority, leading to a situation described as 'high performance computing considered harmful'. Changing this is not of a problem of computational science but rather a problem for computational science which can only be resolved from an multi-disciplinary approach. The following example addresses the main issues in such teaching and thus makes an appeal to some universality in application which may be useful for other institutions.

For the past several years the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC) has conducted a range of training courses designed to bring the capabilities of postgraduate researchers to a level of competence useful for their research. These courses have developed in this time, in part through providing a significantly wider range of content for varying skillsets, but more importantly by introducing some of the key insights from the discipline of adult and tertiary education in the context of the increasing trend towards lifelong learning. This includes an andragagical orientation, providing integrated structural knowledge, encouraging learner autonomy, self-efficacy, and self-determination, utilising appropriate learning styles for the discipline, utilising modelling and scaffolding for example problems (as a contemporary version of proximal learning), and following up with a connectivist mentoring and outreach program in the context of a culturally diverse audience.

Keywords adult and tertiary education, high performance and scientific computing

Refactoring Fortran Code for Abaqus Finite Element Analysis with the Portable Batch System

Some MS-Windows Win-32 Intel Fortran code was produced with Visual Studio. The user, working on a 3D optimization of bone structure, wanted the code refactored to 64-bit Linux GNU Fortran 90 to be suitable for the Abaqus Finite Element Analysis software, and to be able to run on a cluster. This was in many ways a "first draft" modification of the code and further development is planned. It illustrates a basic introduction to some relatively interesting differences within Fortran and (yet another) practical use of job arrays.

Slackware Install and Use of gcalcli

In the organisation of one's life it's a good idea to make use of a scheduler - that is, a diary, a calender, etc - as distinct from a to-do list which will be visited at another time. This is the place for appointments etc that should not be changed; not tasks or projects. One particularly popular implementation, given that it can be accessed anywhere where one has Internet access, is Google Calendar.

Cluster Installation of Schrödinger with OpenMPI and Linux

Schrodinger is one of the more popular licensed computational chemistry suites, offering a range of associated products. Installation is relatively easy, but does require that the sysop pays some attention to the process and makes a handful of modifications as needed for their particular environment, in this case, MPI, PBS, and CentOS Linux.

Firstly, being licensed software, installation requires logon, which will provide access to a tarball of the suite of applications availabile.

Installation and Testing of OpenMPI 1.7.5 (MPI-3 compliant) with GCC, Intel, and PGI compilers

For a very long time, OpenMPI has described itself as "an open source, freely available implementation of both the MPI-1 and MPI-2 documents", which allows for parallel programming. The team has just released version 1.7.5, and they can proudly announce Open MPI is now fully MPI-3.0 compliant. This is a "feature release" will be part of the 1.8 series.

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