The real meaning of ‘Ubuntu’

30 06 2006

Heard on IRC today:

<dirac> I was amused earlier today when I read someones translation of Ubuntu: “African word meaning “Can’t install Debian””

Geek humor at its finest, I suppose.

Firefox, ALSA, Flash, YouTube, Google Video and SOUND!

29 06 2006

This one’s been bugging me for a while. I run Firefox on yawl and hunter pretty constantly, and occasionally would like to view some of the videos posted on YouTube or While the videos have been playing just fine, sound has never worked.
Sound is always a tricky thing on Linux machines. Although ALSA has solved many of the audio problems that have traditionally plagued Linux boxes, many applications have not ported to the new interface, and therefore won’t work on modern systems.
After finally getting frustrated enough to take the time to do some research, I found a post that described how to do it.
First, for all Debian based distributions, there’s a very handy ‘interface’ package called alsa-oss, which, according to the description:

…contains a program loader, aoss, which wraps applications written for OSS in a compatibility library, thus allowing them to work with ALSA.

Sounds good to me! First, I had to install the package:

apt-get install alsa-oss

Next, a change to Firefox’s configuration to tell it to use said interface:

cd /etc/firefox
edit ‘firefoxrc’ and change

Stop and restart Firefox.
That’s it! Enjoy videos in full sound and motion like sharks being attacked and eaten by octupi.

Cmon LJ, what’s your problem?

28 06 2006

Folks who read PG via Livejournal may notice that the time it takes a post to show up there has gone from a tolerable 1 hour up to 6 hours. I really don’t like having to post something at 3 am so the morning reading crowd picks it up the next day.
I’ve opened a ticket with the LJ support group asking for the problem to be looked into, but so far no response.
If anyone has LJ RSS fu and wants to look at it, all the salient details are in the request.

Giving a bit back.

27 06 2006

Back when I first started doing conventions, I wrote up a series of pages on how to convert iOpeners into X-Terminals. The idea was “this is a great way to get low cost terminals for your computer network”. I know the page gets a reasonable amount of traffic, but I rarely notice except for seeing it in the traffic reports.
This morning I got mail from a fellow in Malawi saying he was in the process of collecitng iOpeners and using them for low cost terminals in hospitals there, and had some questions about the setup. He was very appreciative of what I had published and said it was instrumental in getting them up and running. He was even using the boot image I had generated.
I happily helped him out with an install problem. Reminded me a lot of the old Usenet days “Hey, I know of a guy who did that. Drop him some mail, he’ll help ya out!”

And now for something REALLY offensive.

26 06 2006

Welcome to Massachusetts

Originally uploaded by eidolon.

Caught sight of this particular bit of lovely political expression on the way to the supermarket this evening. It’s somewhat hard to read, but the bumper sticker says “Marriage: One Man, One Woman” with a url to A charming site, really. Probably the most amusing bit of all of the drivel on it is any occurance of ‘liberal” can easily be replaced by “conservative” and it would reflect how I personally see the current judicial makeup. Perspective is a wonderful thing, ain’t it? 🙂

Just a note – the tagline on that site proclaims: is a ministry of the American Family Association, a leading conservative, pro-family organization
committed to motivating and equipping citizens to change the culture to reflect Biblical truth in today’s culture war.

Deep thoughts from Dunkin Donuts

26 06 2006

Overheard this morning whilst picking up supplies for the trek to connecticut. A very
large woman was in line ahead of me, putting in a rather large order. Now, granted she
could have been ordering for friends / coworkers / family / dogs / whatever. But she was
taking an inordinate interest in choosing boston creme over chocolate iced over jelly
doughnuts. With nothing else to focus on, I engaged in the age old practice of
evesdropping and listened in on the order…
2 dozen donuts
such and such boston cremes, glazed, iced – the whole litany of insulin shock inducing
But that apparently wasn’t enough cholestrol and salt, so she added on…
1 Sausage egg and cheese croissant
1 Bacon egg and cheese bagel
I guess somewhere along here she decided it would be nice to have something to drink.
But folks have to be careful of their weight remember! So she ordered…
A large french vanilla with 4 equals.
Words fail me.
[Written on Friday morning on the Treo]

Stuff Done RIght

21 06 2006

Found purely by accident. I’ve been using x2vnc to let me share a single keyboard and mouse between yawl and the winxp box. I’ve been needing to support my Eclipse project stuff on both Windows and Linux, and being able to slide the mouse from one machine to another across a pair of monitors is just the ticket for this.
I had forgotten to turn off winxp after work, and so had moved into my normal evening relaxation of playing Eve. I casually bumped the mouse on yawl by mistake, and noted that the cursor in Eve moved.
Apparently the Eve client is written ‘smart’ enough to not override keyboard and mouse drivers, so remote mouse / keyboard controls work fine. I can now happily roll my mouse from my work on yawl over to the eve screen, do some fiddling there, and roll back. This is something that DID NOT work for a number of other games I’ve run.
Ain’t technology grand?