Friday 26 December 2008

I pay my TV license

Therefore, I'll want to listen to 5 Live tomorrow lunch time, when I'm in France, but United play Stoke.

This is more a little for me, but could be useful for other expats :)

1. Create a Socks5 proxy:
ssh -D 9999

2. Build the tsocks library

3. Create a tsocks.conf file:
server =
server_port = 9999
server_type = 5

4. Launch a (simple) player with proxy support:
TSOCKS_CONF_FILE=`pwd`/tsocks.conf LD_PRELOAD=`pwd`/ mplayer -playlist

Voila. See also Bug 505456.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Serves you right

On Friday evening, for the GNOME London beer do (version 2.0 apparently), we went past the offices for the Express, a paper as high as the Daily Mail on the puke-tastic scale of yobbish prejudice.

A couple of weeks ago (seems like months now), Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand played a prank on someone in a BBC Radio 2 show that very few people listen to in the first place: 2 complaints. In comes media circus, the Fleet St. buddies in pole, and there the number of complaints rises. My despair rises.

Grauniad blogger and journalist Charlie Brooker vents his screenburn frustration at that lot, and I shake my head every day at their covers. You'll soon know about the dead girl corner, and the «free shit» banner. Just don't read their website, an immigrant plumber might get onto your computer.

Thursday 27 November 2008

Momentous moment

Tonight, 3 months after ordering it, I finished watching the complete West Wing. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in politics, especially when put into context with the Clinton, Bush and upcoming Obama administrations, as well as the Gore, Kerry and McCain presidential races. Now maybe I should watch some episodes of the New Statesman again, to flush that too-political feeling.

Monday 24 November 2008

You got me

Spam knows me best, starting messages with:
Hello, caffeine.

And I was waiting for this "F.C.U. Doc 2" for so long, I hope it's not a virus or something.

Saturday 22 November 2008

A bit of visibility

fprintd (the D-Bus libfprint front-end with PolicyKit goodness) now has something visible for people to see: Documentation!

Still a bunch more TODOs on the list, but work on the front-end for enrollment should start soon.

Monday 27 October 2008

Re: The anti-schwag movement

I'm glad people like the idea we had for GUADEC 2007, and to see it reused for other confs.

Wednesday 22 October 2008

Multimedia Remotes support

After the Fedora QA day, working on gnome-lirc-properties and LIRC itself for the new Fedora 10 feature, fixing bugs with Sir Jarod Wilson at the testing, I did a release of gnome-lirc-properties.

The great thing to come out of it was a troubleshooting guide.

So if you had any problems using LIRC, or gnome-lirc-properties in the past, I would advise you to get the latest Fedora Rawhide (an updated Fedora 10 beta will do), and go through the guide!

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Fast YouTube Fast

Thanks to Edward and Tim, who fixed a few locking and threading problems in the Python support for Totem, the YouTube plugin is now faster and doesn't lock up the UI when receiving results.

Fetch it in Totem 2.24.2.

Saturday 4 October 2008

FIFA '09 clubbing

If you're playing FIFA '09 on the PS3, join the club! It's called "FreeFA", the shortname is "FFA".

Sunday 21 September 2008

Pants on fire!

Whoever told me that I could probably find dsd at Plumbers was awfully wrong.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

Flying in the mofo all over this b*tch

Landed in Portland for Plumbers.

Why on earth does Delta give personal video systems for internal flights, when the 9-hour translatlantic flight I was on only had the communal screen? And why would one want to pay $6 to watch a single film when a personal screen is available. It's like an American Ryanair.

Where's the mofo?

Monday 15 September 2008

Living on the edge

If you want to try out the new BlueZ 4 code, and D-Bus API, come to try the upcoming Fedora 10 Beta (coming Tuesday a week). We have BlueZ 4.x and updated obex-data-server, and gvfs working with the new APIs.

gnome-user-share and nautilus-sendto are upcoming as well.

It also allows you to test the PulseAudio Bluetooth integration, if you're feeling particularly adventurous.

Sunday 7 September 2008

Friday 8 August 2008


Today, I saw Girnomous being used on TV. I felt dirty.

Thursday 31 July 2008

About wasting time

Make sure your application's setup uses GNOME_COMPILE_WARNINGS in configure, and has WARN_CFLAGS in the CFLAGS... I just wasted too much time doing fixing a bug that wasn't.

Monday 28 July 2008

GIMP on the Beeb

The GIMP was featured in Click, a tech show on the BBC. They got the license wrong though.

Seems Jakub already spotted it.

Freedesktop sound theme support: done!

Details in bugzilla. Bugs go to bugzilla as well. Death to esound!

PS: robster is a sucka, fixing bugs in dead code.

Thursday 24 July 2008

Totem article: "Movie Magic"

Philip will be happy. The author of this article for Linux Magazine UK is full of praise for the YouTube plugin. Good work Philip!

Wednesday 23 July 2008

Better late than never

Back in the day, I used my paycheck to buy the top-notch MP3 player that was the Rio500. Unfortunately, I forgot it in the back pocket on my plane seat when flying over to Raleigh for my Red Hat induction. And then I used one of my first new job paycheck to buy a second generation (and very very expensive) iPod.

You could say that hacking on Walk500, a front-end to that great player is the reason why I'm hacking on GNOME these days.

I couldn't bear the thought anymore, and bought a Rio500 on eBay for $5. Hacking on it half-an-hour at a time, I cleaned up the code. The latest release of the modern era is available on SourceForge.

Saturday 12 July 2008

Put your hands up for the tripes!

I love this city! (Tu-de-de-de-tu-tu-tuTu-de-de-de-tu-tu-tu)

Awesome (fist pump!) picture of Aya Sophia and the Blue Mosque at sunset coming soon. Tourists haven't had their breakfasts yet, so they're not in any piccies.

Monday 7 July 2008

Stormy for GNOME!

As Luis mentioned, congrats to Stormy for getting the GNOME Foundation gig, and well done to the Foundation for hiring such a great person.

What Luis didn't mention is that we know for a fact that a few people have a crush on Stormy. You know where to send the hush-money.

LIRC setup! (now in Fedora)

If you have an infra-red remote control, you can now use gnome-lirc-properties, available in Fedora Rawhide. There were quite a few changes and upstream fixes required to make it work, which makes this change blog-worthy.

Thanks to Murray and Mathias for the help getting the changes in upstream.

Attention FreeFA Players!

Tomorrow, outside the Uni main entrance, at 4 o'clock. A bus will be waiting, don't forget to bring your stuff!

PS: I bribed Dieguito, and Micke is on my team. We're gonna rock!

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Finally recognised!

People still don't understand that I never show up in Red Hat's new UK offices, which is why that little piece of plastic was left for a long while on a desk that I don't occupy: I got my nice little 5-year award today! And I won't have to wait for 5 years for the 10-year on as it will actually be 6 years in September. Wicked!

Monday 23 June 2008

More than a game: GUADEC FreeFA tourney!

The FreeFA tournament will take place again this year, on Tuesday 8th July. We still have room for a couple of people. Seems like keeping it low-key wasn't enough to get it under-subscribed.

Diego will soon be taking care of setting up the teams. There might be some room left for a couple of people to join, in case we get late cancellations, so please add your name and contacts to the wiki page if you're interested.

Tuesday 17 June 2008

Everything sucks

Anyone that says it's just a game is a cunt. Excuse my French.

Link for the uninformed.

PS: I'm so miserable that an Irishman bought me a drink without expecting anything in return, and a Turk gave me back my change for a kebab despite me offering it to him. And the Turk agrees with me on the above.

Monday 16 June 2008

He does it again!

Frank Scholz is the hero again. The Coherence UPNP framework developer, after bravely fixing many bugs in Rhythmbox' UPNP plugin, added UPNP support to Totem.

Will get integrated in Totem itself in due time.

And after people whinged a lot in my previous post's comments, Carlo filed a lot of bugs, and while some of them are already fixed with newer kernels, others are getting fixed by our very own mjg59 (I know he doesn't like me being so possessive).

And as a proof that filing bugs helps other people, one user added himself to the CC: for all the opened EeePC bugs. Now he can monitor progress, help with testing, and disable his work-arounds when the time comes. Yiipee!

Thursday 12 June 2008

How not to do a laptop support page

While the goal is laudable, pages like this one to support the Eee PC on Fedora 9 are what's broken about hardware support in Linux.

Grant X access to local user root: That's horrendous. Never ever do that.

Now we must [...] modprobe the eeepc module: File a bug against the kernel, with the output of "dmidecode", the module should load automatically on those machines.

Now let's handle some FN keys and events create these files: File a bug against the kernel, the eeepc module should be sending out its events through the input layer, so there's no need to install acpid, or tweak any of its config files.

I'll pass on the gruesomeness of the scripts that call into X from a daemon, remove modules by hand (why would anyone need to remove the PCI Express driver?), and the usefulness of having the camera disabled in hardware (it could also be on all the time, and only turn on the feature when the device is opened).

All in all, people writing those web pages had better spend their time filing bugs against the right components in Bugzilla. That also goes for most of the pages on sites like Tuxmobile. File bugs!

Monday 9 June 2008

Crunch time!

If Makelele isn't available, I can fill in, next to Toulalan.

Saturday 7 June 2008

Best meme ever

pjones says:
You are in a mall when zombies attack. You have:
1. One weapon
2. One song blasting on the speakers
3. One famous person to fight along side you.
Pretty straight forward:
  1. Pump-action shotgun, plenty of ammo
  2. Could have been Rob Zombie, or Zombie by the Cranberries, but it's White Zombie's The One (from the Escape from L.A. soundtrack)
  3. Seth Gecko, Clooney's character in From Dusk Till Dawn (even though he killed vampires then, he looks like he could handle it)
Update: Planets seem to be removing the nice little video. So here goes the direct link to enjoy White Zombie's fury.

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Whaaaaaappaaawooo! Shoof shoof!

My good friend told me two years ago that I should “check out the cast and
director it's a forgotten gem”. His words.

I rented the DVD, and here's my checklist:
  • Badly dubbed, check.
  • Grainy picture, worse than a VHS, check.
  • Bad translations (they call each sister and brother, when they're married, or cousins...), check.[1]
  • Incomprehensible story line, check.
  • Powerful enemies bringing you to a netherworld like in X-Or, check.
  • Dodgy sound effects, and badly timed ones, check.
The film is called “Deadly Snail vs. Kung Fu Killers” in one version, and “Deadly Snake Versus Kung Fu Killers” in other one. Confusing as hell. I still don't know who's supposed to be the snake/snail or the kung-fu killers.

I hate you Rog.

[1]: See also, John Woo's The Killer, french DVD version, where the translations and the dubbing don't match.

Monday 2 June 2008

More chpe rocking!

GNOME hero Christian Persch did it again. He removed all the Mozilla-specific code from Totem's web browser plugin, meaning it should now work with WebKit. All the code's in totem trunk.

Thursday 29 May 2008

The movie trail

3 evenings, 3 films, and all connected.

Day 1, Inside Man: When there's blood on the streets, buy property.
Day 2, The Corporation: The corporation of that sort is the proto-typical of a psychopath.
Day 2, Twelve Monkeys: But if you don't buy a lot of stuff, if you don't, what are you then, I ask you? What? Mentally *ill*. Fact, Jim, fact.

All three come highly recommended.

Thursday 22 May 2008

Wheepee! Yay! Whoohoo!

Update: Found in the comments of this story on OSNews (the title certainly caught my eye), this image:

Saturday 17 May 2008

Thanks kernel people

Whoever is responsible for making the rt73usb driver work great out of the box: THANK YOU. I tried it without success when I installed Fedora 8 gold, and now it works brilliantly (and out-of-the-box) on Fedora 9.

Current hacking includes: GPRS/3G support via Bluetooth in NetworkManager, fprintd hacking, and gnome-lirc-properties integration into Fedora (Debian and Ubuntu people, upstream your bleeding patches, kthx).

And for nanobob and Borkis on FIFA: you really didn't need to quit the game when I scored those 2nd goals. Losing against a guy full of margaritas must hurt.

Friday 9 May 2008

Crack, and uncrocked

I was amazed by FunPidgin. Whilst some of the features aren't actually crack, making things like these options is:
An option to use stock GTK+ close buttons on tabs.
An option?!

Anyway, Totem's playlist parser is now ported to GIO. I'll make a release soon, but I'd like to ask people to please test the hell out of it. If opening or saving a particular playlist produces warnings, errors, or crashes, please file a bug.

You can test easily by recompiling and using as normal: Rhythmbox (Podcast and playlist parsing, playlist saving), and Totem and its web browser plugin.

Wednesday 9 April 2008

Unbreaking the broken easily: fuse and gvfs

xine-lib lives in the early noughts. Text subtitles need to be local files, and because of libdvdread, DVD images and directories need to be on the local filesystem as well.

Well, Totem now has support for both of those on remote locations, thanks to the fuse support in gvfs. All the code's in trunk, although you probably want to wait for me to unbreak totem-pl-parser's port to GIO first ;)

Wednesday 19 March 2008

Bit jammy

Yesterday, I was trying to fix getting the phone's own number on that Sony Ericsson phone using gnokii. It didn't work, and created a new bug in the Sony Ericsson AT variant.

Turns out the responses returned from the phone are encoded using whatever is the current encoding on the phone. So 004D0045 instead of ME, if UCS2 was selected.
Making sure we use the right encoding all along the AT driver means we could remove some Sony Ericsson specific code, and fix in one fell swoop: Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Sagem phones.

Yay! gnokii 0.6.24 should be out tomorrow.

There's also a stupid fix in gnome-phone-manager if you tried to use IrDa or a cable. Expect release soon.

Wednesday 5 March 2008

Gadgets and gifts

The great sport that is Vincent sent me a copy of Hacking vim for my troubles. Hopefully, I'll be able to get more code written, as requested.

In the free stuff department, last week, a kind soul at Ericsson sent me 2 Sony Ericsson mobile phones, one being the pretty new Sony Ericsson k850i. The other (less interesting) phone is already on its way to one of the gnokii developers without such a device.

I've started playing around with it. It has a good bunch of interesting modes when plugged in via USB, or over Bluetooth, which beg to be (better) supported including:
  • MTP device (Rhythmbox and gvfs)
  • Mass Storage media player (Rhythmbox)
  • ObexFTP over USB and Bluetooth (gvfs, obex-data-server)
  • Serial port (NetworkManager, gnome-phone-manager, gnokii)
Funnily enough, poking people at Nokia didn't get me a test phone in the ~2 years I tried. My wishlist is online :)

Saturday 1 March 2008

Knock knock. Who's there? Stripes, again! Got booze?

Googling for phone stuff today, I found this great phone. Just for you Ezio!

Ezio provided material of his own. The bestest pasta ever!

And to cap it all off, via sebzen, and "Tendance High-tech" (lamest name ever):

Friday 29 February 2008

More suckage

Lovefilm ties up with Amazon DVD

Sigh. I actually chose to use Amazon rather than Lovefilm because it was integrated with the rest of the Amazon shopping, including wishlists, and IMDB (look up a film on IMDB, click on the Amazon link, add to rental list).

Lovefilm is also more expensive (I pay £9.99 a month for 3 DVDs at a time, 6 per month), which would now be £9.99/month for 1 DVD at a time, with unlimited rentals, or £7.99 for 2 DVDs at a time, and 4/month. No word about Blu-ray discs counting as DVDs either (as is currently the case with Amazon).

I also wonder about Amazon cannibalising themselves, as Lovefilm also sells DVDs and offers some for download.Bah!

Thursday 28 February 2008


I committed my work on the ObexFTP backend for gvfs yesterday, and fixed a good number of bugs in it today (one deadlock, missing icons, etc.). And it's looking quite neat.

After selecting the device in the Bluetooth applet's "Browse Device..." menu, the device shows up on the desktop with a nice name and a window pops up.

Nice icon!

Photos I need to upload somewhere!

The nice thing is that it'll automatically unmount when the phone is out of range, or the Bluetooth adapter is removed/disabled (such as when suspending).

Monday 25 February 2008

Saturday 23 February 2008

gnome-bluetooth nearly dead

After the fun time debugging, I started implementing ObexPush in gnome-user-share, pretty much as planned. Code's in SVN. Next up are notifications, and asking whether to accept transfers for each session.

My little transfer just got started

I also committed the new goom visuals to gst-plugins-good. Better visuals, MMX, SSE2 and Altivec optimisations (I think). Get it from CVS while it's hot!

Hot chips, yummy

Saturday 16 February 2008

Much more TLA!

I'm on holidays ATM, but at a friend's place, and he's got a Freebox with TV-over-ADSL. That allowed me to test and fix the Cone (see where the name comes from?) plugin of Totem to have a good enough VLC-compatibility to handle the page. Details over in Bugzilla.

Late night French TV using Totem

PS: Vuntz owes me.

Monday 11 February 2008

New TLA features!

Totem GStreamer in SVN got 2 new acronym-laden features.

First is DVD playback. Unfortunately, we still don't do menus, but now you'll be able to play the films on your DVD. The support is on-par with the old GStreamer 0.8 code. Thanks to Tim for the guidance in writing this code.

Second one is DVB support. Zaheer did all the heavy lifting getting the code into GStreamer. Now you should be able to watch TV on your computer using Totem, given a channels.conf file was created. More info in the DVB section the Totem website.

Screenshot courtesy of Zaheer

Tuesday 22 January 2008

2 down, 3 to go

gnome-obex-send is dead, long live bluetooth-sendto.

Tadas' Google Summer Of Code, mentored by Marcel Holtmann, got us a D-Bus service that does ObexPush and ObexFTP server and client. Last week, I cleaned up Tadas' patch, and sent a big patch to allow bluetooth-sendto feature-parity with the old gnome-obex-send.

nautilus-sendto already got tweaked to use the new program when sending over Bluetooth, and all that code lies in bluez-gnome in rawhide.

This morning, I added ObexFTP support to gnome-user-share. It seems like the right place to allow people to share pictures or music. Already in the newly released gnome-user-share 0.20 and in rawhide.

Next jobs on the line are getting rid of gnome-obex-server, finishing the widgets in bluez-gnome, and porting gnome-vfs-obexftp to gio (although that will probably mean a rewrite using obex-data-server again).

Wednesday 9 January 2008

Some work updates

Got back to work on Monday, and got a few things done.

I uploaded the videos Thos made available back in December. They're all easily findable.

In December as well, we (Red Hat) provided Matt Davey with a Bluetooth-enabled Palm. And he committed the patches to gnome-pilot SVN trunk a few days later, getting Bluetooth sync support to the Palm (with a UI, I wrote the pilot-sync code ;). Yay!

Instructions for Fedora here.