Archive for May, 2005

0.18 – Usable!

May 30, 2005

So I spent a little bit of time playing with myth last night.

I’m now using Matt Zimmerman’s debs to get around compiling things.

I used Debian’s module-assistant to compile the nVidia kernel modules that I need for TV-out, a wonderful tool that does all the tricky stuff for you.

There’s even a recent enough release of lirc in Debian now that supports kernel events interface; although, setting it up was a nightmare, much harder than last time. The configuration file format seems to have changed, but there were no parsing errors, just silent failure. And the walk-through setup wizard output incorrect configuration information…

The web interface needed a tiny patch to work, a call to intval() around the port parameter passed to the fsockconnect call that connects to the backend, no idea what’s going on there.

I also had to hack the database a fair bit, it had metadata about hundreds of recordings made last year that had long been deleted from the filesystem, listing the recorded programs was taking an age as it attempts to get a keyframe of each and every missing recording.

The new version has much better DVB support than previous versions, though the channel input dialog is a big finicky (add a transport for each station frequency, then do a scan on all existing transports). Channel Seven doesn’t seem to play ball here, but I haven’t tried recording anything yet.

As for playback, colours look off, I’m not sure why yet. Panning and scrolling look horrible, not enough grunt maybe, I’m yet to look at the load of the box during playback. The speedup on playback option rocks, Kevin Rudd almost speaks as quickly as a normal person using it.

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Nifty Corners

May 15, 2005

I’m trying to jazz up the humbug website a bit with Nifty Corners – I’ve long had a thing for rounded corners, but balked when I found out it was done with images, Nifty Corners solves that problem.

I’m starting with the planet website, I’d appreciate any feedback on the new look baring in mind that I haven’t spent any time on the usability side of things yet.

The Gap series, by Stephen Donaldson.

May 12, 2005

I’ve never been able to finish any Thomas Covenent books, they’re too angsty for me. The Gap series is just as full of pain and angst, but instead of being focused on one person, all the major players have problems, and separate motivations. I love the second guessing that everyone does about other peoples motivations.

As far as tech goes, it’s quite reasonable and interesting. Angus the cyborg is just plain cool.

There were times where I put the book down in disgust at the prattling on, but the underlying plot was more than enough to keep me coming back for more.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

May 12, 2005

I can’t really remember much of the book myself, it was read to me too many years ago. But the movie is fun and quirky.

It was a little soppy for my liking.

I am Marvin.

Victoria Barracks

May 9, 2005

dotProject

May 8, 2005

So I’m having a look at dotProject to organise, um, everything, work, hobbies, birthdays, physio appointments; the works.

It’s a web app (php) sitting on top of a db (mysql), fairly standard stuff. Although PhP is one of the most broken languages in use today, the authors of dotProject have at first glance done a credible job of using it sensibly. I’m hosting it at work, and with a little VPN trickery can access it from home.

Overall it seems very heavyweight for what I want to do with it, which is really to jot down every silly think I think I have to do. On the other hand, it should handle the work side of things very nicely indeed.

There’s a couple of niggles that I came across fairly quickly. It’s not enough just to enter a task for it to become visible on the ToDo list, you’ve got to set a finishing date, no matter how dodgy. There’s no capacity to send out reminder emails of appointments, which is really rather a gaping hole. Still, I think I should be able to hack something up fairly quickly to do that..

Hiking Checklist

May 7, 2005

I’ve finally gotten around to transfering the list of things I like to take on my walks from the whiteboard. You’ve now got proof of how paranoid I am. In my defence, I mostly walk on my own, so I can’t rely on someone else being properly prepared.

Checklist.

Akira

May 5, 2005

Showing as part of the Madman Anime Film Festival at the Schonell.

I haven’t seen this film for a long time, it was great to see on the big screen. How do you describe a film like this? It’s big and small at the same time, dealing with small things like teenage angst, but ramping up to deal with questions of identity and being like Ghost in the Shell.

Some of the anime feels dated now, but some of it (I’m thinking of the building shots) is still startlingly modern.