Older blog entries for Marcus (starting at number 109)

Back from FOSDEM with an uneventful flight.

It was a action filled and tiring weekend. Saw Richard Stallmanns Keynote on Software Patents, but no other talk in the main tracks. Helped staffing the openSUSE booth, handing out free T-Shirts and pins. Not much Internet over the days.

Only old non-Novell friend met was Heike, who is writing her second Linux book (on Debian).

My lecture on SUSE Security work went well, but only around 20 people saw it. You can catch it on Video later I hope.

Hotel was okay, except that I had a smokers room with old smoke still hanging very strong in the air, even on the second day. And the window in the main room would not open. *sigh*

Oh and on the second day we found out that we do not need to change tramlines/metro to go between Hotel and FOSDEM, but could just take the bus on the backside of the hotel that goes there directly.

Images and Slides later.

Busy week again. Holding presentation in front of potential customer on thursday, holding presentation in front of FOSDEM crowd on Sunday. Lots of slide preparations and review necessary. All this while juggling kernel updates, gpg updates, etc etc etc.

This also means if you go to FOSDEM, you can meet me and other SUSE developers there. Just ask at the openSUSE table / devroom.

My current PTP/IP work for libgphoto2 is now in the CVS tree. The part of the camera driver is still disabled (it needs a bit more work), the port handling is however in there and enabled. Its shaping up well.

The next major step will be reverse engineering the WLAN profile setup for the Nikons, so you do not need Windows the configure the WLAN of the camera.

No time for WINE work, except build RPMs for the 0.9.8 release.

Lots of work in the last 2 weeks, did not really come around to hack on opensource stuff.

I figured out zeroconf support for the P2 ... And my code now detects it... Needs mDNSresponder running and firewall open to port 5353. Needs some work to not hang too long if there is no camera online.

Spent time preparing kernel security updates, and pushed out 10.0 kernel update in front with a remote issue. The rest of the updates will follow in the next days.

Spent the nice and sunny weekend ... sick in bed.

Some gphoto work done in the last days ... I implemented the Nikon SDRAM capture mode. Capturing to SDRAM of the camera instead to the card has the obvious advantage that you safe the save-to-card / reload-from-card cycle if you just use the camera in a webcam like mode.

The capture-download-delete mode of gphoto2 now can capture and download around one 5megapixel image every 5 seconds from the P2.

I have ported my previous Canon SDRAM capture integration to use the same methods. Since my IXUS 2 uses USB 1, it is a bit slower in turning around images, but at least it does now in a consistent way.

On the PTP/IP front ... I can now download images over WLAN. Things missing are: Eventhandling, Data write, and lots of cleanups. Also zeroconf discovery is still missing.

I spent quite some time over the weekend on getting PTP/IP to work... Some restructuring of code, some writing and I now can list files over the air. Then the battery was empty and I noticed that I forgot my charger at home. Well.

Lots of MTP and PTP fixes in libgphoto2 done nevertheless. There are still some hickups in the MTP devices, regarding the 512 byte border problem, filenames longer than 64 characters and some more. But most of the pressing issues have been fixed.

Check out the new and improved gphoto2 --summary for PTP devices. It now shows:

  • Storage information (internal and card memory)
  • PTP dynamic abilities (like if the camera can capture or not, if it can delete files, etc.)
  • Capture / Play formats
  • Available Object Properties for MTP.

On t he SUSE side I am currently trying to get all the correct permission handling into our hal / resmgr / libgphoto2 setup. This is difficult, because the usb device abstractions are not really fitting the unix device model (1 device - 1 node), but you have interfaces, now raw devices et.al.

Mood: Tired.

One of those days (or better weeks) where I think whether I shouldn't be working somewhere else.

Spent quite some time on the weekend enhancing the PTP driver. It has better --summary output now, MTP devices work way better, and a user supplied a patch that adds progress support for downloads and uploads.

Next plans: PTP/IP enablement, and more MTP hacks/fixes.

Miguel writes about the speed of Mono, citing the ease of P/Invoke (calling native C libraries from C# managed code via bindings) and its use for speedup as advantage.

In my opinion this loses the advantage of the managed code platform, since from a security standpoint its a nightmare.

Security problems are not in the nice and fancy GUI logic, but happen in lower level routines, like for instance graphic rendering. So programming in C# to be more secure ... and then calling native libs... Does not make it secure.

And rapid prototyping? Why not use a XML based approach like glade or QT Designer does and just write the wrapper calls? *sigh*

Spent Christmas quite relaxing at my parents. Church visit on christmas eve, in the new churchbuilding (that obsoleted a 60 year old church barrack ... which admittedly had more flair). Lots of christmas "Stollen", the traditional goose on the 25th and rabbit on the 26th. Lots of family in between.

Hacking only done on the train traveling between N├╝rnberg and there. More done in the last days back here.

I found a fast directory retrieval mechanism on the Nikon P2. A camera with 100 files now starts up in 1.5 seconds, not in 12 seconds. No longer O(n), but more O(log n). Need to do this for the Canons too.

Some investigations on the Kodak CX6230. I now have a handle on all the undocumented commands, but so far the only funny thing is that I found out how to display text on the TFT of the camera. Not very useful.

All in all a lot of hacking done, more to come next week.

13 Dec 2005 (updated 13 Dec 2005 at 23:04 UTC) »

A week full of work, a weekend of not doing much computer stuff, but more of the non computer one, and now a new week full of work.

Nuernberg has its yearly "Christkindlesmarkt". Even though it is visited by mostly tourists, the locals take a look at it too, drinking the mulled wine and so on :) I just have to be there once a year at least. In this regard, I am trying this year to invite the christmas spirit I remember from my childhood. SO I bought an "Adventskranz" with candles, and some christmas lights for the window. However I am failing to capture it... *sigh*

At work ... lots of kernel update shepherding currently. And I am cursing php4 and repeated test failures.

Went out to indian restaurant tonight with the documentation team and visitors from Dublin (including Antje), who usually writes funnier blog entries than I do.

Oh ... and Amazon finally shipped the P2. :)

3 Dec 2005 (updated 3 Dec 2005 at 11:53 UTC) »

Just took the time to try out banshee.

Installing it in SUSE Linux 10.0 with KDE desktop was challenging since it was apparently missing a dependency, but it was not clear which. (AudioCdPlayerEngine not found). I tried some things, but in the end installed the 300MB of GNOME Selection.

It is disappointing in regards to features when one compares it to amarok.

Amarok has (what I did not see in banshee):

  • Multiple views of the collection. (filesystem, album view
  • Last played songs, newest songs, favorite songs views.
  • view of varying playlists
  • premade playlist of good webradios
  • webradio (mp3 streaming, podcast)
  • playlist import from bmp and xmms.
  • Look up album cover on amazon.
  • Lyrics download.
  • Wikipedia references in embedded pages for band and titles.
  • visualization plugins using libvisual.
  • duplicate detection
All in all ... banshee is a year behind amarok.

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