Illegitimi non carborundum


Configuring card profiles in PulseAudio

The upcoming 0.9.15 release of PulseAudio will support "card profiles". What in the name of Almighty Bob (where Bob is a deity of questionable existence) is a card profile I hear you all cry. Well in our world of cost savings the majority of sound cards can operating in different but mutually exclusive configurations. For example some devices are capable of outputting 5.1 surround sound, but to do this they use the same jacks as are normally used for sound input, so you cannot record sound from the device when it is playing 5.1 sound.

As expected, information concerning what these capabilities are and under what situation they can be used simultaneously is not supplied to us by the ALSA layer. So to get around this problem,PulseAudio will probe for various configurations for you and provide a handy list which will allow for easy configuration. Sadly there is no GUI to control this. Or rather there was no GUI....


Migrating your old IMAP to Google Mail

Some years ago, my mum needed email access from several locations but didn't wand to use a webmail system as her primary interface. Well using an IMAP system made sense. It could provide a webmail frontend when it was needed, but use a proper email client when at her workstation. At the time her ISP didn't offer an IMAP account, so I setup a simple box at her house to handle her incoming mail and give her a Horde IMP webmail interface. Her broadband connection was fast enough that she could connect to it when she was away from home and do the essential tasks.

Over the years, maintaining this box has become more and more hassle, not to mention that the box is an ugly biege thing that makes a lot of noise!

Thankfully, Google now offer IMAP access to their email system and also allow you to register with your own domain name. Perfect!! But with over 2.5gigs worth of data in several hundred thousand emails, migrating to the new system and still keeping the messages looked like it could be a challenge. Well it was! But it wasn't all that bad thanks to imapsync, although there were still some problems I encountered that I'm documenting here so that others will hopefully benefit!


Desktop Notifications and User Interaction

For many years now I've been following the work done over at Galago Project with regards to the Desktop Notifications Specification.

I've never been a massive fan of the design of these popups and have followed work done in AWN and other systems to produce more attractive alternatives, but these always turned out to be a little less than satisfactory. I have toyed with the idea of writing my own implementation (or just a style for notification-daemon itself as it is pluggable), but never really had time to focus on this.

So it was with considerable delight that I noticed MacSlow's latest blog post about the work he was doing on notify-osd. Once I remembered that he's now working for Canonical and I recalled an article on Mark Shuttleworth's blog a while back on which I commented, I realised that I actually had a bit of beef with the approach being taken by Ubuntu...