Hubert Figuiere
September 02, 2004 (link)

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 03, 2004 (link)

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 la santé"


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 under GPL.


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 Scanner 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! driver 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 backends
  • 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 08, 2004 (link)

Today error message du jour is:

The recipient could not be processed due to congestion in the message
transfer service.

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 14, 2004 (link)

Instant Messenging

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:

  1. I couldn't find a way to get an account (either because I'm stupid or because you need the Microsoft client)
  2. 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 16, 2004 (link)


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 tip.
  • 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 21, 2004 (link)


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 22, 2004 (link)


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 27, 2004 (link)


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 28, 2004 (link)

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 that solution.

September 29, 2004 (link)

Fun du jour

If you hate hardware. Not related with crazy Luke rant about hardware.


pphaneuf: I do understand your rant. 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 "shutter-bugging(tm)" (for Joe:

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.

Back: August 2004 Next: October 2004


Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS! [Valid RSS]