PRS-505: Got my new toy!
30 December 2008

Yay, I finally got my PRS-505 e-Book reader! I fed it with a couple of e-books from the Gutenberg project and its German affiliate, and I’m very pleased with the display and reading quality. Now I can finally take something to read with me again on conference travels and other occasions when I don’t want to have lots of luggage. Now that I can actually try it, I found that my initial packaging of calibre was pretty incomplete, it didn’t detect the reader at all. ... Read More

Intrepid vs. XP — 2:0
29 December 2008

Oh the joys of Christmas presents… I gave a shiny new 24″ widescreen TFT to my wife, to replace that shabby and flickering 15″ CRT that drove me mad after working on it for ten minutes. That entailed some other hardware upgrades: a new graphics card (the old GeForce FX 5200 did not even do 1600×1200, let alone the 1920×1200 that the monitor supports), and thus while I was at it, I plugged that into my AMD64 box and put that under her desk instead of the Celeron 1. ... Read More
I could not resist and ordered myself a Christmas present, a Sony PRS-505 e-Book reader (it’s all Martin Pool’s fault! 😛 ) To use that with your own content, you need a software to convert existing e-book, HTML, PDF, and other formats to the formats that the PRS505 can understand. So I stumbled over calibre, which seems to be an awesome and complete solution for managing e-books. Of course I immediately went to package it. ... Read More

Linux Plumbers Conference
25 September 2008

I spent the last week in Portland, Oregon, at the Linux Plumbers Conference. Since several people asked, here is my travel report: Tuesday This was not an official conference day yet, I just arrived early due to flights being cheaper. I spent the entire day with the LinuxFoundation driver backports work group, with Ram Pai (IBM), Jon Masters (Red Hat), and Andreas Gruenberger (Novell). Novell’s orginal member (Susanne Oberhauser) works on other projects now, so we gave a quick summary of the status quo, and the results from Austin to Andreas. ... Read More

New Jockey 0.5 Beta 1 release
25 September 2008

I just released the first beta release of Jockey 0.5, which fixes a ton of bugs compared to the first Alpha from two weeks ago. Compared to 0.4, it grew quite a lot of new features: Split program into a privileged system D-BUS backend (access controlled by PolicyKit), and unprivileged frontend. This provides a cleaner design, gets rid of ugly distribution specific hacks and makes the program more portable. Add support for detecting printers. ... Read More
I’m quite a heavy user of chroots, since I work with many different releases, and Debian, too. That usually means I have to clean them up at some point, too. It happened at least twice now: I deleted an old chroot without unmounting all those bind mounts I have in them (/proc, /sys, /tmp, and most importantly, /home). Thus an rm -rf /chroots/edgy will remove my entire Home-partition, too! Fortunately I Control-C’ed early enough the second time to not cause any real damage except for killing my X socket in /tmp. ... Read More

Argh dbus-python
10 July 2008

I have banged my head around integrating PackageKit into Jockey for several days now, and it’s driving me up the wall. While a standalone PackageKit client works very well, it completely breaks when I integrate the PackageKit client into my Jockey D-BUS backend. At first I assumed I just made something wrong, so I tried a dozen different approaches, read the libpackagekit source, added a ton of debugging statements, but nothing helps, I never get back D-BUS signals from PackageKit while being in an inner gobject. ... Read More
In order to provide a sensible upstream implementation for package query/install/remove methods in Jockey, I started playing with PackageKit and recently packaged and fixed the latest upstream version 0.2.2 work reasonably well on Intrepid. Unfortunately there are no official Python bindings yet. The raw D-BUS interface is slightly inconvenient to use, since it is fully asynchronous. This seems to be pretty redundant to me, since D-BUS already provides asynchronous method calls (if you need them) and makes writing code painful in synchronous programs. ... Read More
A while ago I blogged about my participation in the c’t programming contest to write a bot that plays against the 1979 Atari console. Submission deadline was June 30th, and the results are trickling in now. I am on rank 104, which I’m more than satisfied with. Unsurprisingly I didn’t make the top 50, I spent way too little time on it. But I had lots of fun with it, I have something that works, and at least outperforms my own Asteroids skills 🙂 ... Read More
Wow, thanks to all for all the good feedback and suggestions I got about the v4l-dvb driver package. If you are still looking for a nice and feature-rich frontend, you can take a look at the newer vdr packages for Ubuntu. Hanno, maybe you are interested in maintaining these packages directly in Ubuntu, together with the MOTUs? Then intrepid will always have up to date packages, and it is no problem to backport them to stable releases, 8. ... Read More