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August 30, 2006

Debian's kamera

Filed under: — Sven @ 02:43 GMT

I’m happy to say that the Debian kamera package for KDE is able to extract photos and movies from my Canon PowerShot A75, as does the command line interface to the same library, gphoto2. With kamera it’s drag, drop, and wait, with gphoto2 it’s type a magic phrase, and wait. There is one show stopper that made me uninstall kamer to go back to the command line. The timestamp of the files created with gphoto2 is the time the camera thinks they where shot, with kamera it was the date they where extracted from the camera.

Because of the above problem I lost the date of my child’s first hair cut. Not that I would remember it if I didn’t loose it, but I know it’s gone. I’m trying to use user friendly GUI interfaces, while easy to use they just don’t seem friendly to the user.

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August 28, 2006

Debian Forever

Filed under: — Sven @ 16:18 GMT

Last week sometime I was trying to fix my monitor issue with Kubuntu, and X11 stopped working. This was not too big of a surprise as that is what I was hacking on, but from that point on I was unable to get X to start. #^$% it, thought I, and install Debian Sarge:

Downsides include:

  • No cute KDE GUI for Bluetooth.
  • Needed to boot Debians kernel with acpi=off, thought apm seems to work.

I’m just wonder if my Kubunu problem will return when Debian Etch gets released.

Today, I read that the issues that put me over the top might of not been my fault. I always did upgrades as soon as I noticed them, and I remember playing with the packages before I started playing with the X11 settings. While the upgrade issue has been fixed this problem happened just about at the peek of my frustration. A few years ago Debian has a similar issue that made the system unbootable, so I can’t single out Ubuntu for this mistake.

So much for my soirée with Kubuntu.

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August 23, 2006

Kubuntu's Kamera

Filed under: — Sven @ 18:32 GMT

Apart from my monitor issue with Ubuntu I’ve also had Camera issues. With Debian GNU/Linux I install the gphoto2 package and I can extract the photos from my Canon Power Shot A75 on the command line, no problem. Kubuntu comes with KDE’s kamera package, but when that opens up my digital camer is a window it says:

An error occurred while loading system:/media/camera/camera/camera:
Unknown error
Bad parameters

with no hint where to adjust the parameters, I tweaked things for a couple of hours, nothing. I was happy with this, I was just going to uninstall kamera and install gphoto2 and use the command line. However, even though kamera uses the libgphoto2-2, the gphoto command line package was not included in the default repository, just the library.  Reading the Ubuntu forums implied it stould be there, but using apt-cache found nothing.

This just might be the red card for Kubuntu.

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August 22, 2006

Martha Stuff(tm)

Filed under: — brendan @ 23:51 GMT

Patrick (age 4-1/2) and I were on a guys-only stretch for a couple of days. This morning we played football—er, soccer—out on the front lawn, and finished building a wooden train we’d glued together yesterday. Then I said, “Ok, we need to go in and make some bread since we’ve run out.”

“No way, Dad, I don’t want to do any of that Martha Stuff.”

I convinced him to go upstairs and transfer some laundry into the dryer. He turned the knob to make the dryer start, then looked me square in the eye. “Ok, Dad, we can go down and do Martha Stuff. Let’s go.”

Next scene, he’s standing on a chair in front of the kitchen counter where the flour, sugar, and other elements were waiting.

Please tell me this is the positive side of television…

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August 16, 2006

Stupid Perl Trick

Filed under: — Sven @ 14:57 GMT

Ofter, I remember a stupid little thing I did in Perl once that I can’t find again. The problem is I can’t remember where I put it. So I’m putting this here with hopes to remember to look next time I need it.

Usually when I wish to print the progress of something that takes a long time I use CPAN‘s Term::ProgressBar, but you need to know how many elements you have to do this. Instead I thought it would be cool to keep track of time, but printing time - $^T gets sort of meaningless after a few hours of running. So, the quicky, super-duper, way to print out h:mm:ss seems to be, where $t holds the number of seconds so far: printf STDERR "$0: %d:%02d:%02d\n", $t/(60*60), $t/60 % 60, $t % 60;

And this prints it out with little fuss. A little stupid to make public, but nobody reads my logs anyway.

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August 9, 2006

Kubuntu 6.06 and Bluetooth

Filed under: — Sven @ 18:59 GMT

Rather then getting a new computer 余艾蕾 told me I get to use her old one. After some arm twisting, I convinced her that we don’t need it to duel boot, but she gave some conditions:

  1. We have to be able to upload photos from the camera phone.
  2. The Videos we have have to be able to play on the Linux box.
  3. Using the printer should be easy.

Requirment two is easy, the video’s are from the Canon PowerShot A75, no problem there. They have been burnt to a CD and all is swell. Requirment one was the issue of last night.

The Nokia has two methods to upload files, IR and Bluetooth. I booted Kubuntu’s desktop CD and it was running BlueZ, and KDE comes with a cute bluetooth tool, so I started working on that solution. I had never really done anything with bluetooth before, and was not really sure what it was, but I thought I’d try anyway.

I plugged in the the USB bluetooth adaptor we had and, blåt, error message. I don’t quite remember what the error was exactly, but it was something like “Nah! Nah! Nah! You need to keep a copy of Windows around. Dweeb! Get a life.” Well, it all worked out in the end, skipping the:

  • Cussing.
  • Cat abusing (filling Marvin’s water bowl up with ice).
  • Anger because the KDE keyboard switcher has the same icon for the US keyboard as it has for Dvorak.
  • Disdain of stupid user friendly KDE things (which are most like configurable, unlike Mac OS X).
  • Wondering if there is a GUI way to use the IR port.

On an Ubuntu form some place I was pointed to http://www.bluez.org/download.html
and the bluez-firmware-1.2.tar.gz file and installed it. After restarting the BlueZ stuff, I plugged in the bluetooth adaptor and, bing, no error message.  A little mucking around on the phone, and up came an image.

What is really cool, is that with the Kubuntu desktop CD I can do this without uninstalling the hard drive first.  The bad part is I have to redo it after I figure out everything.

Tonight, the printer.

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August 3, 2006

Now in 1080i

Filed under: — Sven @ 13:22 GMT

Back in November 2004 I got an HDTV signal from comcast, but 1080i never worked on my Zenith television even though it said it should. The solution was to lower it to 480i. The Comcast guy said I should complain to Zenith that that there 1080i was broken, but 480i is much better then 480p and I was happy.

Last night I wanted to watch a novelas on Telemundo, and checked to see if it had English subtitles. The first problem is that I had to turn off the Comcast box to change the caption settings, so there is no surfing through the CC* settings. You have to turn off the cable box, go into the menu, change the Closed Caption channel, turn back on the box which always puts you at CN8, and then switch back to Telemundo. No English subtitles for the novelas ☹. Rather then manually set the settings, I just set the settings to default.

Last May the cable box had a major upgrade, I had not played with these settings since before then. The default button also reset the resolution, and I could not see a thing on the television. As the HD signal didn’t seem to work I had to dig out a cable to plug in the 480p connector. I got the menu back, but trying to set it to 480i didn’t work. Flickering screen, I think the box crashed a couple of times, when it stablized 480i it still didn’t work. So I set it to 1080i and was going to work the resolution down, but then it worked at 1080i! It was kind of late, and the novelas was over, so I just went to bed. So tonight I should be able to watch Hip Hop from the Hamptons Featuring Fabolus on INHD2 in full 1080i.

It was the fault of Comcast the entire time, not Zenith.

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