September 02, 2004
September 03, 2004
Back from 3 days of hospital, including 2 in the Intensive Care Unit. No worries, it was not
THAT serious, but it needed special surveillance as I could stop breathing. I myself haven't
had any problem of that kind, even with the asthma I usually suffer from (but not since I'm
in Canada, yay !). The first day I read 3 books in a row (fortunately Mich could bring me some).
One of these is Dave Gorman's googlewhack adventure,
that explains how google can change your life
(or at least the author's) :-) Unlike the title says, it
is not a computer nerd book, but rather a funny chronicle. Funnier that the book I read just before,
Bridget Jones Diary (still haven't
seen the movie) that did not really make me laugh.
More.... I just wanted to thanks all those people that gave me their support
during this trouble. Thank you friends.
September 08, 2004
Life is back to normal. Back at work, no diet (in fact I have been eating normally since Tuesday's
lunch), but no booze as this does not mix up with anti-biotic. Not a big deal anyway.
Travel is health
Fun thing: I had to pay hospital, and for me, the only solution available
was to use my French Amex card (good idea I had to not cancel it yet). So
I'll get Air France miles with that :-/. As we say in French: "Les voyages c'est
I hate Outlook. I know why I never use it, it is übercrap. But sometime I just have to make some
test for our ExchangeIt groupware server,
because I'm currently assigned to the
Evolution client plugin that is
I should really get Internet access at home and eventually get a real PC to work
on AbiWord. My RTF work in progress is being
annoyed by the recent contribtuion from other folks. Not that I mind, au contraire, but
I really should commit my stuff for the benefit of all.
Currently I don't feel motivated by resuming MacOS X work. I don't know why. Just that I don't
feel like. Perhaps getting a nifty Mac would help, but surely the perspective of using my
PowerBook G3/400 to do heavy duty software development (AbiWord ain't a small project) does
not enjoy me at all. In the worst case, it'll wait 'til January 2005 when Stephanie
iMac gets shipped with the rest of the stuff. I need more thinking about that, as I myself
committed into providing this version, and nobody seems to be willing to take over. It is
sort of a personal challenge, and I'm close to the end... Ah. If only a company like Apple
would be willing to offer hardware for that... but I doubt they do even care.
pphaneuf has lent me his EPSON Perfection 1650
so that I'll be able to technically provide galleries of my latest work. I just need to find
the time to spend at the office to actually do it. Why at the office ? Because I'll use
EPSON-Kowa semi-opensource ImageScan!
that still only run on Linux Intel. One of the reason to use it over
SANE (that has good support
for the EPSON Perfection 1650) is that it has good front-end for negative film scanning.
The grand scheme is to modify it enough to:
- Make ImageScan! a real SANE frontend as it currently rely on internals of the EPSON
- Make it independent of these proprietary imaging libraries that apparently contains only
standard image processing stuff that we already have somewhere
- Port it to Gtk+2
- Re-release it as GPL since current code is dual-licensed with GPL license (need to really
check, but that is the idea
Possibly merging with what is done in XSane could be an idea,
but I haven't used ImageScan! yet to tell. As for the driver, either they are open source and already
merged into SANE, or they are proprietary 100% and SANE probably already has a replace more or
less as good.
September 14, 2004
Today error message du jour is:
The recipient could not be processed due to congestion in the message
And the message is bounced back. Guess what MTA is that ? Better not tell
to protect the innocent, but I must tell that either the message is not well
phrased or the server software is pretty crappy.
Received today Réponse Photo in my mailbox. Not that it is exceptional
because I'm currently subscribe to it, but it is the first magazine I transferred the subscription
here, and probably one of my preferred monthly reading.
I met Tester this evening for dinner. He
left France a few days before me, going back home here in Montréal.
September 16, 2004
I "discovered" instant messenging while working at Apple because they just did
release MacOS X 10.2 (aka Jaguar) that came with iChat.
iChat is an AIM client, and also include its own peer-to-peer local network RendezVous based
chat procotol that allow people on the local network to see and talk to each other.
Today, an AppleInsider article
mentions that Apple upcoming version MacOS X 10.4 (aka Tiger) will come with a Jabber compatible
iChat. That is a great news and this is a smart move towards open IM Protocol, which Jabber is
probably the most popular, but still needs adoption from the general public, that seems to be
only using MSN Messenger which just happen to be the only one I don't have an account for,
for several OBVIOUS reasons:
- I couldn't find a way to get an account (either because I'm stupid or because you need
the Microsoft client)
- And even if I did, I'd rather not help Microsoft world domination. They already
have enough cash
For those who wonder, today I only use GAIM on Linux
a IM client, and if I have to be on a MacOS X machine, I'd pick up
Fire. IM contact info on my homepage.
Slashdot has a story too.
September 21, 2004
Yay ! I upgraded my work machine to GNOME 2.8, at least partially, because everything
is not yet in Debian/experimental. I'm waiting more for the laptop, because powerpc is
still lagging behind. And better not break 2 machines...
Hint and tips:
- when upgrading epiphany-browser make sure /usr/bin/epiphany is executable.
I had to chmod it. Thanks to seb128 for the
- don't forget to kill gnome-vfs-daemon, otherwise it will screw up Nautilus that
will crash on startup. Thanks to teuf for the tip.
And I must keep Evolution 1.4.6 because of the plugin development.
September 22, 2004
I got back my Pilot 5000 from France, as I forgot it on my desk.
The batteries had died, but that is not a big deal. The biggest problem
is that apparently there is some internal problem making the screen
not work. Looks like I'll have to buy a new one.
So I have two options. Buying another Palm (like a Tungsten or a Zire) or
buying a Sharp Zaurus. The later has the advantage of having an Open Source
system, and a few alternatives, so I can hack it down. The problem is that
neither CompuSmart nor MicroBytes in Montreal seems to carry it. Any idea for a
supplier in Canada to purchase a Zaurus ? It might not be compatible with the expense
I plan to do for an EOS 20D....
September 27, 2004
Sometime people find that I'm an Apple zealot, which is no longer true. In fact I often
really get annoyed at what Apple does. For example was the iPod, the lack of .ogg play
back. I followed hadess advice and decided
to badge Apple to support it.
I took the money argument as let them know that this is the only thing that prevents
me from buying one, which is almost true.... the other considerations are about
buying a "MP3 player" at all. Not talking about the lack of help to support
iPod under Linux making developer waste time reverse-engineering.
API wise on MacOS X, one of the main issue is that there are to much private and
undocumented functions that are really useful. So useful that they use them inside
Apple for their own applications but do not want other developers to do so. Looks like
a past story about Microsoft and the hidden APIs for Office to run better than the
competitors. Apple is just doing the same. Seriously. They also tend to smash third-party
developers for some unknown reason by shutting them
down telling they violate some license.
Apparently someone is working on to make AbiWord MacOS X run better. That's cool. I still
don't have a system to work on.
September 28, 2004
Adobe released DNG, a new
file format for RAW picture format for digital camera. I seriously hope that an
initiative like this would be adopted by most manufacturer. One of the main reason
is the perinity of the storage. Currently RAW files are proprietary, even if
dcraw is doing a great job
unlocking people from proprietary software by providing an open source solution
that does a really good job.
For those who seems a little bit upset, Adobe has a past track of publicizing
important file specifications like they did for PostScript and PDF, making their
use widespread. And their use is royalty free.
This week-end I went shutter-bugging with Stéphanie, dcoombs, nancy, deniz, mich
and _sps_ at the Botanical Garden. I really wished I could have bought that EOS 20D that
I tried on Thursday. Instead I burnt film. Almost 3 rolls for myself.
Totally unrelated to my last blog,
Stéphanie ended up buying an iPod.
Since she uses MacOS X on her iMac, it is not a problem. I tried it quickly on Linux,
and couldn't make gtkpod to work correctly, because
of a case sensitivity problem. It even screwed up the iPod
filesystem. Never mind, we did reset it correctly, thanks to the
Kowledge Base. Apparently I did some
stuff wrong and possibly hit a hfsplus filesystem bug. Not sure about that, and I can't
test it again since the iPod is now in France because it is not mine.
Apparently there is still a lot of work in progress to support the
iPod on Linux. I seriously hoped I could help. And
it still lack .ogg support.
Is there a way to convert OGG files to MP3 without decompressing - recompressing ?
September 29, 2004
Went for the 4th time get a cell-phone, and I'm still wondering
how that credit history thingy works, and if they really are doing their
job, as apparently, even if I have a canadian credit card, I still don't
have any history, and Equifax still fail
to reply to my credit history request.... At least, this time, the Fido
representative told me that I could ask someone else to warrant me with his
credit history so that I can get my line. Off-course I'd be the person
billed, and after 6 month they may clear my record... But I don't really like
Fun du jour
you hate hardware. Not related with crazy Luke
rant about hardware.
pphaneuf: I do understand
Currently anti-spam is either for people that really control their server or
people that don't bother uploading it via POP and filter out.
And I also convinced someone to use our Retchmail
to replace fetchmail. Apparently one more happy user.
Actually trying to finish that RTF importer rework. It has been waiting to for too long and
2.2 release of AbiWord is getting closer.
I don't post enough pictures. Here is one I like and that I took after some
Through the window
Slashdot sucks. Here is what I get in
my RSS reader:
Your RSS reader is abusing the Slashdot server.
You are requesting pages more often than our terms of service allow.
What the hell ?
Airlines sucks and reservation system even more. Trying to find good deal to fly
to France on Travelocity and I get
an error each time:
Incorrect sequence of Flights
Your itinerary includes flights that are not in sequential order.
Your itinerary has been cancelled. Please begin your request again.
WTF ? I have only one flight each way ! Whatever I choose I get that. OK they looks
cheaper that Expedia, but at least the later works.
And I still don't really understand their pricing.
Fido: sent an e-mail to the customer service. I'll see what they reply. I plan
to escalade the problem if required.