Sunday, January 23, 2005

Blizzard Warning

It’s been snowing and then some

Right now there’s a pause but it ain’t over till the fat lady sings

Check also the blog entries from Nat and Joe for more action packed pictures.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Re: Applications instead of Commands

Fernando writes about improving the gnome-volume-manager capplet interface and I think everyone agrees that it’s needed - the current behaviour with asking for a command line is a bug. A severe one indeed. What I don’t like, however, is the suggestion of mixing MIME types into the picture.

When you look at it, what g-v-m provides is really a way to configure what your desktop does when certain system-wide events happen, while a MIME type is used to describe content, be that a message, file or whatever (sure, some of the heads on xdg@fd.o will disagree and say that MIME can used for anything). Whatever.

In the future I’m pretty sure we want to expand on what actions to take when system-wide events happen; for instance there should be some way of saying “Start Rhythmbox” or “Start JuK” when a music player is attached and I’m pretty sure we don’t want to invent a MIME type device/audio-player.

There’s also the “action” aspect involved; you want to do different things when a device is attached versus removed.

It looks to me like the best solution for this involves extending the fd.o desktop entry specification. One way of doing this would be to add appropriate sections

[System Action MediaAudioDiscInserted]
Exec=gnome-cd %f

[System Action MediaDVDDiscInserted]
Exec=totem %f

[System Action MediaPhotoMediaInserted]
Exec=nautilus %f

[System Action DeviceCameraInserted]
Exec=gthumb %h

Note that the %h parameter is the HAL UDI which is a unique ID representing the device; this is not needed for the Media* system actions. To get rid of the HAL dependency and provide interoperability with software not ported to HAL, this could be extended to

[System Action DeviceFooInserted]
ExecHAL=my-app --hal-udi %h
ExecDeviceFile=my-app --device-file %d
ExecPath=my-app --fs-path %f

and the launcher (e.g. g-v-m) would select the appropriate one. The order of the Exec lines would matter if more than one parameter is available.

KDE 3.4 with HAL backend

I might have been the last person to notice this, but it seems that KDE 3.4 will have a HAL backend for discovery of storage device much like the patch I got into GNOME VFS last year. Rock on.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Shameless Plug + Happy Bday

If you’re wondering what I’m working on, here is an article I wrote for Red Hat Magazine. Also check out the other goodies in that issue.

On another note: Happy Birthday, mom!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

64-bit Living Room

Got my furniture today!


Check out the foot rest - that’s also on the Love Seat

The glass table I blogged about earlier

On Sunday, I also picked up a new 64-bit system. It’s a HP Media Center Photosmart PC.


It came with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 which is kind of cute (spiffy and smooth animations) and a boatload of OEM software. If people think that most usable Linux distros are like Frankenstein, e.g. various different UI pieces thrown together in a hurry, try this - it’s so craptastic; will post a screenshot later. Ended up installed the x86_64 version of Fedora Core 3 to have a real 64-bit operating system.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Snow and Furniture

Went up to Nashua, NH today. Just after I left it started snowing which meant that it took 80 minutes rather than 45 minutes to get there. Driving conditions were terrible, I saw at least four cars parked on the shoulder, all out of commision.

Went to Furniture World and spent around $1700 on a Love Seat and a matching Recliner. Both in a contemporary green/grey colour (or at least that what’s the nice girl in the store said). Man, a European has to get to used to the American language. Also picked up a cocktail table in glass with a fossil stone base (sic) - the table is a bit “I don’t know”, not sure yet it that was a good purchase though I’m sure Pat Bateman would approve :-) . We’ll see.

The Goods are being delivered on Wednesday, I can’t wait, it’s beginning to get kind of creepy not having any furniture (except for the telly and the slim PS2 that I got within a week of moving in - good for a man to have his priorities straight). That brings my short list of furniture yet to acquire down to: Futon, Desk, Bed, Dining table, AMD64 Shuttle, Misc Items. Oh well, the AMD64 Shuttle isn’t exactly furniture but, hey, it’s all the same budget :-)

Off to dinner at the Middle East (very good food, been there once before) and then some Karaoke later on.

Saturday, January 1, 2005

Back in Beantown

After 8 days of vacation in the old country, I’m now safely back in lovely Somerville. Refreshed and ready for a smashing 2005, hope it will be less disruptive than 2004.

Happy new year to everyone!