Illegitimi non carborundum


Dances with Laps

I've been searching for a new laptop for a very long time. My old Dell Inspiron 6400 has served me very well for over four years, but about a year ago I decided I needed a refresh. I finally decided upon the Dell XPS but it was a hard journey coming to that decision! Read on for a little bit more background about why I picked this laptop on how Mageia runs on it!


NFS Root Media Centre v2.0

So I've been running my home media centre on Mageia for the last year or so and Mandriva before that. Rather than just a simple setup with a normal disk, I like to try and make things complicated for myself. I don't necessarily do this because it's the best and most efficient setup (it's very likely NOT!), but I do it for the sake of learning how things work and glue together, maintainability and, in theory at least, replication to more hardware as I expand my house and the media player "outlets".

So a little over a year ago I wrote about how to setup Mageia 1 with network booting and an NFS root, so with all the changes in Mageia 2's init system (switch to systemd and dracut), and because I wanted to switch the architecture to x86_64, I figured a re-image was called for and of course I tried to take appropriate notes so others can learn from this experience - perhaps putting it to more practical use than just a single home media centre!!


The missing link

So I've just pushed a large update to Mageia Cauldron that implements everything needed to merge the / and /usr file systems for certain key folders.


Up up [upgrade] and away

So, as with any distro release, the recent Mageia 2 announcement means that I have a few boxes to upgrade. With one of my boxes however, the upgrade is somewhat more complicated as I wanted to switch from 32-bit to 64 bit. Now, with the benefit of hindsight (or with a bit of basic thought before hand) I can say that a re-install of the box would have likely been several orders of magnitude easier, but I like to push boundaries so I opted to do an in-place urpmi upgrade while switching architectures. Read on if you'd like to bask in the glow of this experience!


The Magic Continues

Hot on the heals of the awesome PulseAudio 2.0 release, I am very please to announce Mageia 2! It's been a lot of very hard work and I inadvertently ended up doing a lot more than I had originally intended but I can't complain - while it was a lot of hard work and a massive time sink for the last few months, I certainly learned a great deal and feel I've contributed to a great user experience.


What sound does a wiki make?

So as many followers may know already, most of the technical infrastructure we use for PulseAudio has been moved over to We already moved the mailing lists and git hosting some time ago, and one of the main bits left was the wiki.


Microphone Czech One Two

What is this? Well, I'm off to Prague tomorrow morning. I'm very much looking forward to this trip as there are a whole bunch of interesting talks going on over the three conferences I'll be visiting, plus I get to go to Prague, which has been on my "cities to visit" list for quite some time. Tick and tick.

Arun will be giving a PulseAudio talk and Lennart will be rambling on about init systems as is customary these days. Very much looking forward to both.

We've also had an IRC meeting about bluetooth support and policy stuff for in-car usage with some big car manufacturers which we'll follow up next week in person and there are also a lot of other audio folk in town so we'll hopefully kickstart the UCM discussions again with a view to merging into PA 2.0. Looking forward to catch up with Mark and Liam again on that front.

So with pretty much all the people invloved in the Linux audio field, this is a really good opportunity to make some good progress!

Here's to a successful trip!

Many thanks to Collabora who have helped me organise funding and also to Yocto Project (via Texas Instruments) who have very kindly sponsored my attendance of the LinuxCon/ELC-E part of the event. I look forward to finding out more about their project when I help out at their booth!

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One and One Makes Two…. or 1.1

Just a quick note to say that I've just pushed PulseAudio 1.1 out the door. Get it while it's hot!

This release fixes a couple issues people had with our two-point version number change and several other bits and bobs.

On it's way to Mageia Cauldron now and I should get around to backporting this sometime very soon for mga1 now that backports are open :)


One Point Oh!

It is with great pride that I announce PulseAudio 1.0!

It's been a long time coming and I'm very glad this is finally out of the door and I look forward to a much more streamlined release process in the future.

There are too many people to thank but in particular I'd like to thank Arun Raghavan, Tanu Kaskinen, David Henningsson, Maarten Bosmans, Daniel Mack, Jason Newton, Jyri Sarha, Lu Guanqun, Luiz Augusto von Dentz, Marc-André Lureau, Pierre-Louis Bossart, Siarhei Siamashka and of course Lennart Poettering.

There is more info over on the announce mail, so give it a read and also see our release notes.

Obviously there is still a huge amount to be done, both in the daemon itself, improving documentation and improving integration into the desktop environment itself. Any help is gratefully received!

So stay tuned for future improvements! And speaking of staying tuned, I'd also like to announce Planet PulseAudio. This is an aggregated feed of posts about PulseAudio. If you have a blog and write about PA, please get in touch and we can add your feed. The design is heavily borrowed from Planet GNOME so it should be familiar for some readers.

Packages are already available for Mageia Cauldron and backports for Mageia 1 will be available sometime soon. Hopefully someone will update the packages in Mandriva as I'm not actively doing stuff over there these days.

Happy listening!

PS I'm sure there will be a brown bag moment to come with a 1.0 release, but fingers crossed.... :p


Thunderavian: Renaming Thunderbird Newsgroups

Like a lot of open source developers in the KDE and GNOME communities, I use Thunderbird as my primary email client (I generally sit on the fence between KDE and GNOME anyway so not using KMail or Evolution is in fitting with that!). I have a few other clients for accessing my mail (e.g. Roundcube and on various phones and tablets via IMAP too). But when I use Thunderbird, I also use the awesome Gmane service. This free service allows you to access many of the mailing lists of the Open Source community via an NNTP interface (which Thunderbird supports well). Rather than clogging up your mail server with subscriptions to lots of messages of numerous projects (even if something like GMail would do a good job of organising this), using NNTP gives you control over when to "pull" the messages in. In most cases you can even post to the mailing list via Gmane too without having to subscribe to the list (you just have to go through a one time verification process).

Sadly one things that has always bugged me: the fact I cannot rename the newsgroups to suit my taste. I already use the Extra Folder Columns addon that lets me see additional columns in the folder listings so I had a little go at tweaking it to allow me to assign nicer names for the numerous newsgroups (well mailing lists) I follow. It turned out not to be too hard (tho' it took me a while due to not knowing anything about modding Mozilla apps!).

The result:

Screenshot showing the effect of renamed newsgroups in Thunderbird

Thunderbird Newsgroups Renamed!

My patch can be found here. I'll be submitting it upstream to the guys who developed the addon and they'll hopefully incorporate it (even if it does not fit in perfectly with the name of the addon, it wouldn't really be possible to do this separately without tweaking the existing addon in some capacity).

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