Older blog entries for dgh (starting at number 19)


The fact that you can use Control-click to open URLs in Gnome Terminal is not very discoverable. (Just clicking doesn't do anything; perhaps this is to avoid breaking text selection?) I can't remember how I found out about it myself, but somebody I pointed it out to recently was delighted that they didn't have to use the context menu to open URLs, so I think it deserves wider publicity.

Syndicated 2008-03-25 16:59:29 (Updated 2008-03-25 17:01:04) from Dafydd

Internet cloud

This is my new favourite depiction of the Internet, courtesy of RFC 908:

An ASCII art diagram that uses a cloud of assorted non-letter characters to represent the Internet

Given that the Internet is a bit like a game of Robot Finds Kitten, it only makes sense that it look like one. Alternatively, it's reminiscent of the swearing in Asterix, which is also appropriate.

Syndicated 2008-01-06 23:44:29 from Dafydd

do not confuse

stationary stationery shop
mobile stationery shop
stationary mobile shop
mobile mobile shop

Syndicated 2007-12-24 02:15:16 (Updated 2007-12-24 02:34:09) from Dafydd

identity management

Crypto-Gram recently recommended a study by Utica College's Centre for Identity Management & Information Protection. They do not limit their interest in personal information to the abstract: indeed they require your name, job title, company and email address if you would like to read the study.

Syndicated 2007-11-25 21:54:16 from Dafydd

Loudmouth 1.3.2 released

I just released Loudmouth 1.3.2. This has been some time in the making: the goal has been to provide new features and keep compatibility with the stable 1.2 branch while Loudmouth 2.0 matures. We managed to add support for STARTTLS encryption, SASL authentication and DNS SRV lookups with minimal additions to the API. Together, these changes mean that Loudmouth will Just Work with your Jabber account in more cases, and that Loudmouth complies better with the XMPP 1.0 standard.

Users of Gossip and Telepathy will benefit from these improvements, and they should land in Maemo in the Diablo timeframe. We anticipate some stabilisation work on the 1.3 branch followed by a stable 1.4 release.

Senko deserves much of the credit for this release; he worked hard to make this happen. Thanks to Micke for supporting me in getting my first Loudmouth release out. Thanks also to Nokia, who supported Collabora's work.

Syndicated 2007-10-31 16:54:47 (Updated 2007-10-31 17:34:17) from Dafydd


Turns out turning a bicycle into a chopper is not so complicated.

chop up forks weld finished chopper

Syndicated 2007-09-23 02:35:56 (Updated 2007-09-23 02:36:12) from Dafydd

D-Bus API in DevHelp

The Telepathy API has until recently only been available as a single large HTML document. The HTML is generated from D-Bus introspection XML with extensions for stuff like enums. I hacked up a conversion to DevHelp's index format, meaning you can use DevHelp to browse the documentation.

To set it up:

  • check out the telepathy-spec repository
  • run make
  • copy doc/spec.html and doc/telepathy-spec.devhelp2 to a directory /usr/share/doc/gtk-doc/html/telepathy-spec/

This might also work for other D-Bus APIs; I haven't tried.

(If you're developing using Gtk/GLib/Cairo/Pango/GStreamer/etc. and not tried DevHelp, I heartily recommend it. It's really handy, especially with the Ctrl-S shortcut.)

Syndicated 2007-09-22 15:16:28 (Updated 2007-09-22 15:16:56) from Dafydd

Bike power

Recently I got involved with a local group, the Magnificent Revolutionary Cycling Cinema. The idea is to use bikes to generate electricity, and to use that as an instrument for education, in particular about sustainability. We just had our first outing at The Big Chill, a three-day music festival.

Eight of us cycled from Cambridge to the Big Chill site in Herefordshire, a journey of roughly 130 miles. Many others arrived by other means to take part. Once we got there, we set up a tent with a platform for the bikes, a central console for managing the power generation, a projector and a pair of speakers. This took the best part of a week.

By some amazing coincidences, many people with ties to the project happened to be at the festival:

  • David Butcher, the godfather of pedal power; who was doing his own bike-powered project at the festival
  • members of the Chicago and local Ross-on-Wye chapters of the Rat Patrol, who brought along some brilliant mutant bikes and home brew cider
  • Fredric King, producer of B.I.K.E., a film we were showing about the Black Label Bicycle Club
  • Run Wrake, creator of amazing short film Rabbit that we were also showing; though Run was VJing at the Big Chill, we sadly didn't get to meet him

As for the cinema: in general, reception was very positive. Many festivalgoers made the trek up the hill from the festival to visit us, and people were generally keen to get on a bike for a bit and feed our machine. We were very happy that it all actually worked; as it turns out the power we generated was pretty close to what we needed to keep running. (Odd, and somewhat disquieting, to think that the tent housing our roughly 330 Watt show was shone upon by a number of 1000 Watt lights.)

By the end, we were all exhausted from the 10pm-3am shifts, and somewhat sad at having to take it all apart. Nevertheless, I had a wonderful time. We learned a lot from our first excursion, and got lots of ideas for future improvements. Everyone involved seems eager to take the project forward to further success.

Syndicated 2007-08-12 03:34:57 (Updated 2007-08-12 03:42:19) from Dafydd

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