Calentando motores para la GUADEC-ES

Published / by mario / 1 Comment on Calentando motores para la GUADEC-ES

Con motivo de la celebración de la VII GUADEC Hispana (o GUADEC-ES) una invasión de GNOME hackers y allegados invadirán tierras coruñesas durante toda la semana que viene, y esta vez no estará María Pita para defender la ciudad, por lo que si todo transcurre como debería, y no hay nubes de ceniza ni cosas por el estilo, la Facultad de Informática de la Universidad de A Coruña acogerá durante dos días 19 ponencias/talleres sobre temas diversos relacionados con GNOME, como comentó Chema en su blog recientemente.

La conferencia será un evento “de amplio espectro”, donde tienen cabida tanto aquellas personas ya involucradas en la comunidad GNOME desde hace tiempo, como aquellos otros perfiles menos iniciados que quieran iniciarse o simplemente conocer más acerca de esta comunidad, tanto a nivel de usuario como de desarrollador, ya que habrá ponencias de todos los gustos, niveles y formas.

Por mi parte, y por lo que parece leyendo el programa de la conferencia, me tocará dar dos charlas en las mañana del Jueves y el Viernes acerca de dos temas que ocupan desde hace unos meses mi día a día en Igalia:

  • WebKit (desde el punto de vista de GNOME), proyecto en el cual trabajo actualmente intentando mejorar el estado de la accesibilidad en su port para GTK+ (WebKitGTK+), aunque el ámbito de la charla no será restringido a ese aspecto exclusivamente, sino a dar una visión global del estado del arte, últimas mejoras realizadas y una perspectiva del futuro de la plataforma
  • git, el sistema de control de versiones distribuido que uso actualmente y que, al menos en mi opinion (y diría que no estoy sólo), es uno de los mejores DVCS hoy en día. La charla-taller estará enfocada a aquellas personas interesadas en empezar a usar git o, al menos, en conocer en que consiste y que se puede hacer con este sistema. No será una charla avanzada pero se asumirán conocimientos básicos de otros VCS no distribuidos, como CVS o Subversion.

Y nada más creo… simplemente decir que nos vemos la semana que viene y que estoy deseando que empiece ya la conferencia, a pesar de que no voy a poder asistir a todas las ponencias (al menos a las de la tarde) por tener que atender mis nuevas obligaciones… aunque “sarna con gusto no pica”, no?

Aunque quien sabe… quizás aún así me pasaré por la tarde de visita con un GNOME hacker muy especial :-)

Nos vemos!

Trying latest epiphany/WebKit in Ubuntu

Published / by mario / 16 Comments on Trying latest epiphany/WebKit in Ubuntu

Even though I’ll be stating the obvious for so many ubuntu users/developers reading this post, I’d like to post a quick recipe for those who don’t know how to easily install the latest version of epiphany with the WebKit backend, as well as all the needed dependencies, without having to mess with compiling the source code (which is not always an easy nor a quick task, by the way).

So here we go

  1. First of all, this only works for Ubuntu Jaunty or Karmic, since there are no PPAs available for previous distros to install Epiphany (WebKit PPAs provided since Hardy).
  2. Add the PPA’s from the WebKit Team both for installing latest version of WebKit and Epiphany. So, that is, add the following lines to your /etc/apt/sources.listfile (replace ‘karmic’ with ‘jaunty’ if needed):
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
    deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/ppa/ubuntu karmic main 
    
    deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/epiphany/ubuntu karmic main
    deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webkit-team/epiphany/ubuntu karmic main
  3. Import the GPG key of the repo in APT:
    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 2D9A3C5B
  4. Update APT packages cache:
    sudo apt-get update
  5. Install the needed packages:
    sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser epiphany-browser-dataepiphany-extensions
  6. Just wait and let APT to do its magic :-)

And that’s all. After those simple steps you should be enjoying the last version of  this great and amazingly fast browser (2.29.6 at the time of writing this post), which is nowadays under heavy development, continuously getting better, better and even better on its roadmap towards GNOME 2.30.

So, what are you waiting for? Just go ahead and give it a try if you haven’t done it yet and make it your default browser ;-). Now you don’t have to manually compile all the needed stuff you just don’t have any good excuse not to do it.

And don’t forget to report any issue you find in the bugzilla. Remember feedback (and patches, of course) is the best way to help with improving it even more!

Ah! by the way, almost forgot to say that…

I’m attending FOSDEM

…as another member of the Igalia gang hanging around there this weekend.

See you there guys!

[Update 2010/01/04] As commented by zerwas, there’s an even easier way from Karmic on:

  1. Add the PPA’s from the WebKit Team both for installing latest version of WebKit and Epiphany:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webkit-team/ppa
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webkit-team/epiphany
  2. Update APT packages cache:
    sudo apt-get update
  3. Install the needed packages:
    sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser epiphany-browser-dataepiphany-extensions

Porting Frogr 0.2 to Maemo 5

Published / by mario / 5 Comments on Porting Frogr 0.2 to Maemo 5

During the last days (well, actually during the last nights [*]), I’ve been spending some time in adapting frogr 0.2 to also compile and work on my brand new N900 (thanks Igalia!), and this is the humble result up to date:

Frogr 0.2 for Fremantle

Perhaps you’re thinking why the hell I needed frogr to upload pictures when the N900 already comes with a nice and handy sharing application to upload pictures directly from the camera app or the image viewer, so here you have some use cases where I found the  sharing app not enough for my needs:

  • To upload several pictures in a row to flickr, instead of having to do it one by one (tipical use case after taking several pictures that I’d like to share/backup in flickr).
  • To set same name, description and/or tags to a bunch of pictures instead of doing it one by one (related to previous use case).
  • To be able to upload pictures as “private” instead of “public”.

Update: I’m correcting this post here since it seems the sharing application already was capable of doing some of those things I mentioned above (ups!). Anyway, as I commented there, this does not discourage me even a little bit of keeping porting my little frogr to Fremantle, but just encourage me to try to make a difference and because… why not to tell it? I’d just love to bring frogr with me wherever I go :-). Thanks Daniel for your comment!

Current status of this port to Fremantle is still work in progress so don’t expect to find anything working out-of-the-box if you download the source code at this moment, but the idea is to get it into a stable state soon to upload it to maemo-extras, along with a packaged version for Fremantle of the great flickcurl library, which is a requirement for frogr to work (and at this moment I’m jsut packaging and using it on my own for development purposes).

[*] I think the screenshot explains pretty well the main reason why I work so slowly and at late hours in frogr :-)

WebKitGTK+ Hackfest is over

Published / by mario / 8 Comments on WebKitGTK+ Hackfest is over

I’m writing this post from the Igalia office on Sunday at 23:00 pm and no… I’m not crazy nor I was expulsed from home or something like that. It’s just that today is the last day of the WebKitGTK+ hackfest and, although  was not officially an attendant to the hackfest (see http://live.gnome.org/WebKitGtk/Hackfest2009), I don’t regret to have joined yesterday, since it was a quite productive and interesting experience, and hopefully quite productive as well for the projects that most of the people here were working on during the whole week.

To be honest, in my case there’s not much stuff to to talk about but just a couple of patches for libsoup, epiphany and WebKit that I was working on (some of them already got in), but I can assure you guys that the rest of the people (I mean, the “official” attendants) didn’t stop working even for a second during these days, getting awesome results, if you ask me (although of course they also found some time for relaxing going out for a walk, or even playing the Wii here in the office):

Martin and Xan

Martin and Xan, with the blackboard behind (and some results already visible)

And that’s all folks, now I’d better go home to have a (deserved) rest since tomorrow I’ll still have to wake up early in the morning and to make the most of my first day of holidays (yes!!!).

See you guys and hope next year we can repeat this experience (and I hope next time I’ll be able to join full time, also). Just a last picture to finish this post…

WebKitGTK+ Hackfest 2009

WebKitGTK+ Hackfest 2009

Frogr 0.2 released!

Published / by mario / 3 Comments on Frogr 0.2 released!

After coming back from an awesome week of holidays in Paris (lovely city, btw!), today I finally managed to get some time for making up what it became the second upstream release of frogr: frogr 0.2

Just trying to give a brief update on “what is new”, here you have an excerpt from the NEWS file:

  • Generate ChangeLog from git log with ‘make dist’
  • Added .spec file for fedora 11 packaging system (thanks Adrián Pérez)
  • Added drag’n’drop support for loading pictures in frogr
  • Added support to add tags to pictures (instead of just replacing)
  • Fixed (legacy) support for libgnome2 to compile in debian lenny
  • Use accesor functions instead direct access and removed some deprecated GTK+ symbols (thanks Javier Jardón)
  • Added i18n support and a es_ES lang file (thanks Alejandro Piñeiro, aka API)
  • Support silent build rules with automake 1.11 (thanks Javier Jardón)
  • Bugfixes and several minor improvements

Entering in more detail, and as you can easily extract from the list above, the main improvements from the user’s point of view are:

  • Drag’n’drop now supported, so having to add pictures through the filechooser is no longer the only method to load pictures in frogr.
  • New “add tags” dialog, very handy to add tags to some specific pictures before uploading them.
  • i18n support, which should make easier to get more contributions for frogr in further releases, in the form of new translations to make it even more accessible for people all over the world (did I say we’re eager for new language files?)

At last, just to mention that you already can find pre-compiled packages for some distros at the web of the project, as well as the source code tarballs in gzip and bzip2 formats. And of course, get the source code from the git repository at gitorius, in case you prefer to directly clone the source tree to make up wonderful and nice patches to contribute with, or just to provide new pre-compiled packages for your favourite distro ;-)

So… what else could I say? Just go and get it… Hope you enjoy it as much as I do :-)

Update [2009/10/14]: It seems the other day my mind was still a bit “on holidays” :-) and I screwed it up when creating both the pre-compiled packages and the source tarballs uploaded to the web of the project, so they would just not  work as they should when installing frogr (basically, they would not install files under the proper path so frogr just would not work).

I realized of this yesterday and now everything should be fixed in packages (and tarballs) uploaded in the “Downloads” section of such a web, so if you experienced any problems two days ago just try now again and everything should be fine.

Frogr 0.1 released!

Published / by mario / 5 Comments on Frogr 0.1 released!

After perhaps quite a long time since I announced the “pre-release” of frogr, back in June, I’m now happy to tell the world that the 0.1 release is finally here, providing the user a very basic but still useful set of features to upload his/her pictures to flickr. Basically, as it’s told in the NEWS file, most important changes in this first release regarding to the code from almost 2 montsh ago are:

  • A better UI. Faster and better user experience.
  • Basic configuration management to store account details (auth token).
  • Support for editing details of multiple pictures at the same time.
  • Added status and improved the progress bar usage to show the status of async operations, giving a much better feedback to the end user.
  • A better (and more easily hackable) code and design.
  • No more .glade files, no more gtk-builder-convert.
  • Avoid libgnome dependency if gtk+ >= 2.14 is present
  • Still implemented some parts of the UI (menubar) without GtkBuilder to keep compatibility with Gtk+ 2.12 (least version supported)
  • Bugfixes and several (minor and major) improvements

As usual you can get the source code at http://gitorious.org/frogr, where development for version 0.2 has already started, btw. And if you visit the project’s web at http://code.google.com/p/frogr you could even find some packages for you favourite distro there as well (currently only i386 packages for Ubuntu hardy, intrepid and jaunty are available, but more flavours and platforms are coming soon: debian, fedora, x86_64…).

For the special case of hardy you’ll need to install a newer version of libflickcurl0 than the bundled in hardy repositories (0.12), which you can get from here: http://packages.ubuntu.com/intrepid/libflickcurl0 (yes, intrepid package will work fine on hardy).

At last, knowing that people use to love screenshots, here you have three of them showing the current status and UI for frogr 0.1. Yes I know, still not too ‘eye-candy’ but hey!… it’s the 0.1 release! what did you expect? We’ll have time enough to improve the UI in the future as long as frogr gets more mature and complete. And in the meanwhile I honestly think current UI is not a complete disaster either :-)

Frogr 0.1 screenshots

Hope you find this interesting.

Have fun!

GNOME Party at GCDS 09

Published / by mario / 2 Comments on GNOME Party at GCDS 09

Yesterday the GNOME Party took place and we all had a lot of fun there. There was food, drinks, live music performed by a bunch of “gnomies” and even the Ice Cream Deatchmatch took place there as well, and all this stuff “dressed” with a wonderful warm night to enjoy in a nice terrace here in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria… so looking backwards I think we can feel very satisfied of how things finally gone.

By the way, and talking about the Ice Cream Deathmatch, I have to say this was my first time taking part of such a contest and now I understand why it is a DEATH-match… as today I woke up with a “sugar-overflow failure” which will probably keep me away from more ice creams for some days :-)… you know, I need to survive yet another year to take part in the next edition of the contest :-)

At last I’d like to share with you a nice picture of the Jam session performed by some GNOME musicians:

Jam session at the Igalia Party

Jam session at the Igalia Party

Keep on rockin’ me baby…

Counting down for Guadec!

Published / by mario

As many of you know only two days are left now for Guadec and Guadec-es 2009, which will be located this year in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and which will be a “little bit” special this year because it will took place along with Akademy and Akademy-es. Actually, that’s why this year it’s named “Gran Canaria Desktop Summit”.

Thus, even though I had a great time last year in Madrid and Istanbul, I’m sure this time we’re going to have fun as never before and that it will be a perfect environment for sharing ideas, thoughts, knowledge… and perhaps even some beer at the wild parties social events both with the GNOME and KDE guys ;-).

I’m really really looking forward to being there with the rest of Igalia gang to start enjoying “the Guadec experience“… can’t actually believe I’ll be there just in three days! :-)

See you there guys!

frogr: flickr remote organizer for GNOME

Published / by mario / 9 Comments on frogr: flickr remote organizer for GNOME

Right some days before than my son was born I started to hack a bit on a new and small project to develop a C-based flickr manager for GNOME, as current alternatives out there (which I were extensively using for more than a year), even thought being great applications, were not by all means what I was looking for or, in other words, what I would expect from a GNOME application which would not only allow me to upload pictures, but also to do a couple more of things like re-tagging pictures or managing albums for instance.

Therefore, bearing in mind how my new responsibilities as a father would add an extra level of challenge to the idea of developing an application when having even less time, I decided to go ahead with it and try to write some basic lines of code to see how feasible this could be. And after two months since I came up with this idea, although I could not of course code everyday (not even every week), I decided some days ago to push this forward and to really acquire the commitment of going ahead with the project in my spare time, even thought there’s not too much nowadays ;-)

So here I am, introducing this new project, so hopefully someone else could like to join this quest and help me to build a full featured flickr manager for our beloved favourite desktop environment. Have to say, of course, that the project is now at a very early stage (no debian package, only basic features, horrible UI…) but please don’t be scared of it just because of that :-). Moreover, in the other hand I have to say as well that at least it already performs the most basic features I thought of for this stage, which are:

  • Asking for authorization inside the user’s flickr account, requesting read/write permissions.
  • Loading several pictures to be uploaded at the same time, showing all of then inside a convenient GtkIconView widget.
  • Upload all the loaded pictures with just one click, opening a specific flickr URL at the end of the process, to allow specifying some properties for the pictures uploaded: name, description and tags.

As you can see this is not too much, but the plan is follow the “release early release often” approach, so that’s why I’m doing this right now. Later on (hopefully soon) many other features will be implemented, which should make of this app a great tool for flickr fans like me… and I guess the code base to make this a reality is already written so now it’s a matter of implementing one feature after another.

Please take a look to the TODO file in case you’re interested in participate, and if you want a more comprehensive list of tasks I think should be the next ones. And obviously I’m open to suggestions so don’t hesitate to comment, propose or criticism anything you want.

To finish with this, I’d like to leave here some pointers, in case you were somehow interested on this project:

So that’s all I guess. Now it’s time for me to continue the development… and for you to start getting involved ;-).

C’mon, flickr maniac, what are you waiting for?

PS: Thanks Adrian for providing a logo for the project. Quite a nice way to get a first contribution with the project ;-)

Introducing Sergio and our brand new office at the same time

Published / by mario / 3 Comments on Introducing Sergio and our brand new office at the same time

As it was announced a long time ago, I was about to be a father soon… and look at me, the time has already come some weeks ago, and now I am actually a father since April the 15th. So, after one prudent month to better get in touch with him and get used not to sleep too much, the day before yesterday seemed to be like the perfect day to introduce him to a lot of people, friends and workmates, making the most of the Igalia’s new office opening party :-).

And there we were: Isa, Sergio and me in the middle of a party with a lot of people enjoying a very good time and having a lot of fun talking and having some beers (not the baby, though) both with people I use to see often and with people who I did not know of since several months (even years) ago… and among that personal satisfaction and fun, it was also great to hear a lot of comments like “what a awesome office dude” or “this is a really nice party, thanks for inviting me” all around the office. Some people inside Igalia pushed and worked really hard for this “working paradise” to be a reality and it finally even exceeded all the expectations, so this kind of comments are always welcome and very appreciated. So thanks!

In the other hand, and as it’s obvious (read this with a “tipical proud father voice”), people made a lot of (very nice) comments to me about my son who, by the way, behave incredibly well (very quiet all the time, even being in the middle of ~150  people talking (or shouting, remember we’re Spaniards ;-)) all the time. I only hope he keeps being so good as he’s now in the future, but that’s kind of question impossible to be answered right now. Only time will tell but in the meanwhile I can say he’s just great and that is the best thing which happened to me EVER :-)

Well, and that’s all. Today it was a long day of work and now I need to go to bed to sleep t least, say, 3-4 hours depending on “you know what” ;-)

If you wish, and of some other mates already told in their blogs, you can see some pictures in my flickr profile, both just about the new office or about the opening party. More pictures also available in Igalia’s flickr album and Enrique’s picasa gallery.

See you guys!

Screen redrawing problems with the “nvidia” driver and Compiz

Published / by mario / 10 Comments on Screen redrawing problems with the “nvidia” driver and Compiz

Just in case you were experiencing, like me, some very annoying problems with your NVIDIA graphic card while using Compiz, here you have a very useful option to put inside the “Device” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.org file:

Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"

After activating this option (available for nvidia drivers >= 169.xx) I found that the problems redrawing windows I was suffering, specially when scrolling (very annoying, for instance, when chatting through pidging), just dissapeared. And it was indeed a very annoying problem, since it used to happen very often and in almost any window (although not in Emacs ;-)) in my system, in a way so any information on it just got screwed up so it was completely unreadable… and the only “manual” workaround I had found so far was just to re-scroll the window or select the text I was trying to read, which seemed not to be a very good idea.

Needed to say that I started to see this odd behavior since I “downgraded” my Ubuntu 8.10 down to 8.04 last week (because of some very specific needs), and this strange problem never happened when using Intrepid, so if you’re now using that version perhaps you can just throw this post away to the trash, because then it would not useful at all for you.

But just in case, here you are my two cents, and to make them even more useful, here you are the full configuration of my “Device” section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which allows me to use a fully accelerated desktop with no problems at all:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Videocard0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "Quadro NVS 140M"
    Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
    Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"
    Option         "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
    Option         "NoLogo" "true"
    Option         "backingstore" "true"
    Option         "TripleBuffer" "true"
    Option         "AddARGBGLXVisuals"  "true"
EndSection

Hope this will be useful for you as well :-).

Update: If you’re still suffering these problems even after adding these lines to xorg.conf, you could try to install the nvidia driver through Envy. These steps worked for me (at the end, the annoying problem appeared again, although not so often than before):

  1. Uninstall any other driver you had installed before (through the ubuntu “restricted drivers” manager, or the .run script downloaded from nvidia.com).
  2. Install Envy: apt-get install envyng-core
  3. Shutdown X and install the nvidia driver from a tty terminal: envyng -t

After following these steps, and the simple instructions on screen, by ubuntu hardy perfectly booted up with the nvidia driver v173.14, which seems not to present the same problem.

Let’s see if these new advice helps you too :-)

Love and Hate

Published / by mario / 1 Comment on Love and Hate

Seen in FOSDEM, in front of the GNOME stand:
Gnome love and hate

It looks like a original and very visual idea to put many ideas and visions all together, doesn’t it? Pointless to say I agree more with the “love” side, of course :-)

By the way, I took this picture today, the second and last day of the conference… so now I’m ready to give a full and complete opinion about it, which is that it just was great: I had a very  good time and a lot of fun being there, and not only because of the talks, which were amazing in most of the cases, but also because of meeting people and sharing visions and comments with all of them.

So, it seems now it’s time to get back home, so now I’m going to bed, since I’m very tired and tomorrow I’ll have to wake up early to take the plane.

First day at FOSDEM, first impressions

Published / by mario

As planned, I attended today to my first day at FOSDEM ’09, and I have to say my impressions are even better than what I would expected: lots of talks, lots of volunteers, lots of resources to get into (I’d like to congratulate the organization for all the amazing work they have done), and lots of hackers all over the place. In fact, it was sometimes very hard to manage to select and attend to some talks (at least for me, perhaps because I’m a “newbie” here as this is my first year here), since parallelization is very high (and needed, if you think on more than 260 talks taking place in just two days) and timetables are sometimes too tight if you want to move around between different rooms.

But… what the hell? That insane amount of talks and hackers hanging around is exactly which makes FOSDEM great, isn’t it? So, no complaints, only good words for FOSDEM! :-)

As I side note about conferences, I’d like to state I liked a lot the talks I attended, specially those ones in the “GNOME developers room”, which were all great. In a more specific way, I specially liked the talk about the People Framework, which is IMO such an interesting project, which could become a very helpful tool for those kind of people that, like me, suffer the typical problems of having several devices or applications with independent (but related) contact list. Keep going on with that awesome work, guys!

Regarding to the Fosdem Beer Event, needed to say it was just great to be there, talking to so many people (some new people to me, and some already “old friends”) and trying so many different beers, which were very tasty indeed, like the “Delirium Tremens” and “Kasteel”, for instance, which I just loved. The only slightly negative point on this was that trying so many beers didn’t help me to wake up in my best shape precisely, but nothing that a good breakfast and some hours of good talks could not fix :-).

At last, as a picture is usually better than too much text, here you are one: me in the main entrance.
Me at FOSDEM main entrance

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Just a few hours left for Brussels

Published / by mario

As some of my mates here in Igalia, I’m arriving tomorrow at Brussels, in order to attend to FOSDEM ’09. This is my first visit both to Brussels and FOSDEM and I’m very excited and looking forward to arriving there and meeting all the people attending and giving talks in this great event, which I’m sure I’m goint to love.

So now it’s time to get everything ready in my backpack and going to bed soon, since my plane leaves Coruña early in the morning and I’ll need to rest properly to reach Brussels in my best shape. And let’s hope I don’t find any problems in Madrid, where news said they’re in “orange alert” because of the snow (I wouldn’t like to miss my connection or, even worse, to miss Friday in Brussels and therefore the FOSDEM Beer Event ;-)).

See you there  guys!

Personal web page removed

Published / by mario

Just in case you wonder why my personal webpage (formerly at http://people.igalia.com/msanchez) is no longer available, here you are some brief explanations:

  • I don’t see the point of having a so simple webpage when the same thing could be easily got by setting up a WordPress page.
  • I don’t like having two different places to make all the stuff I want available for everybody: a blog for posts, and the personal web for the remaining stuff. Two different places also mean, by the way, two different “things” to maintain and keep up-to-date.
  • I’m not a graphical designer and, no matter what I do, a webpage made and designed by me (I’m talking about the CSS on here, mainly) never will look as good as many WordPress themes out there, like this one I’m currently using, for instance.

So, I just decided today to remove my personal webpage from the internet and set up a redirection to this blog (I don’t like broken links either). But first, instead of just throwing away all the stuff I had in my old web, I’ve merged and moved them into the (already existing) About me and the (newly created) Stuff pages in this blog, respectively, whose hyperlinks you can find in the sidebar.

I hope this change made sense for you too :-)

My Slug, my PS3 and me

Published / by mario / 6 Comments on My Slug, my PS3 and me

As Juan, I’m one of the proud owners of a Linksys NSLU2 (aka Slug) perfectly (and continuously) running the Debian/NSLU2 distribution for more than 6 months, currently featuring the following configuration (both sw and hw), after some slightly changes:

  1. Attached 500Gb 2,5″ HD (powered through its USB2.0 connector).
  2. MediaTomb uPnP media server, to keep a nice “media center” running always available.
  3. Samba filesharing server (to easily share files with any device connected to the LAN)
  4. rtorrent bitTorrent client, to use the Slug as a dedicated machine always up and ready to download whatever you want.
  5. The ‘screen’ command line utility (useful to easily keep the rtorrent app always running and “detachable” ;-)).
  6. OpenSSH server (ssh port forwarded in the router to access the Slug from the Internet), to easily manage my Slug from anywhere in the world.

With the exception of the HD (which used to be a 3,5″ 120Gb HD since June to December, when I replaced with the 500Gb one), the rest of the configuration was amazingly working with no problems at all for more than 6 months, as I previously stated. This, along with the fact that this  device is quite small, noise-and-heat-free (no fans) and only needs 8W (it’s the 266Mhz, ‘underclocked’ version) to work, makes it one of my favourite devices I ever had :-).

But all this was kind of “incomplete” stuff until I got a PS3, as a present from my girlfriend during last Christmas holidays, which gave it a new dimension to the Slug, since the PS3 bundles a nice uPnP client for pictures, audio and video which works perfectly with the MediaTomb server installed in this cute device.

The point now is that I no more need to copy the video files I download with my Slug to another device (a desktop PC, a laptop…) to watch them, either in such a device or in the TV (with the help of a multimedia HD)… all I need to do is just:

  1. Have the MediaTomb server continuously running in the Slug, watching (through its inotify feature) to the /storage/videos directory for new videos (I want it to index them whenever I copy new downloaded videos under that path).
  2. Have the PS3 connected to the local network, either through it’s wired or wireless interface.
  3. Move the video files, as soon as they get fully downloaded, from my /storage/downloads path into /storage/videos

This way, just by the moving the downloaded media files as explained in (3), and waiting a couple of minutes for the MediaTomb to index them, I have that media content available to be directly watched in the TV, which is really cool and very handy, by the way :-)

Of course, you can also do the same with regular pictures or audio files (which is very nice also if you have, like me, the PS3 audio output also plugged into a Hi-Fi), but I think you’ll agree with me that watching video files seems to be the best way to make the most of the Slug+Ps3+TV combo :-).

And that’s all, I think… just to mention I’ve written this post while I was listening to a nice Thin Lizzy album (“Dedication“) stored in the Slug, through the PS3 and my Hi-Fi equipment. It sounds good, doesn’t it? :-)

PS: One of these days I’ll post more in detail how to set up the configuration for all the components I’m currently using in my Slug (rtorrent, Samba, MediaTomb…), just in case someone found it useful.

I told you so

Published / by mario / 18 Comments on I told you so

As you might know, two weeks ago I told in this blog that “big news were about to come”… and the time to say what it was about has come, so get ready… steady… go!

I’m going to become a father

I doubt I could express my feelings right now well enough in a blog, so I won’t write a long post about this topic. Just keep in mind that I’m happy as I never was before, and I’m glad to be now ready to tell the world about it :-)

So.. now it’s time to wait. Let’s see what happens in 8 monts time!

Vagalume: D-Bus support for its desktop version

Published / by mario / 3 Comments on Vagalume: D-Bus support for its desktop version

As you can check out in the vagalume-devel@garage.maemo.org mailing list archives:

https://garage.maemo.org/pipermail/vagalume-devel/2008-June/000151.html

…today I’ve finished the implementation of a new patch for Vagalume which will enable D-Bus support in the desktop version of this nice player, since so far D-Bus interaction was only allowed in the maemo platform (due to using functions from libosso for RPC methods, instead of dbus-glib).

So, this is how the vagalumectl script (formerly known as vagalume-dbus) would work from now on in a “regular” GNU/Linux machine:

mario@bender:~$ vagalumectl
Usage:
vagalumectl
(Vagalume will be automatically started if not already running)

COMMAND:
play:              start playing the current radio
skip:              skip to the nex song in the current radio
stop:              stop playing the current radio
love:              mark the current song as ‘loved’
ban:               mark the current song as ‘banned’
tag :         change to a ‘global tag’ radio.
artist :   change to a ‘similar artists’ radio
group :     change to a ‘last.fm group’ radio
loved :      change to a ‘loved’ radio for a specific user
neighbours : change to a ‘neighbours’ radio for a specific user
personal :   change to a ‘personal’ radio for a specific user
playlist :   change to a ‘playlist’ radio for a specific user
playurl :     just play the specified URL on Vagalume
volumeup [INC]:    increase playback volume
volumedown [INC]:  decrease playback volume
volume :    set the playback volume to a specific value
start:             start Vagalume (if not already running)
close:             close Vagalume (if not already closed)
help:              print this information

Double quotes are REQUIRED when specifying parameters to some commands,
such as TAG or ARTIST, because of the white spaces they might contain, e.g:

$ vagalumectl tag “hard rock”
$ vagalumectl artist “Led Zeppelin”

mario@bender:~$ vagalumectl loved homemaxico
Command ‘loved’ successfully executed
mario@bender:~$

Well… perhaps not a too much useful ‘screenshot’ after all… but believe me, that’s the proof that D-Bus is working fine on my GNOME desktop from now on.

I hope you can enjoy the patch soon (as soon as Berto applies it to the SVN trunk)… perhaps in Vagalume 0.7 ;-), who knows…