Hubert Figuiere
October 27, 2004 (link)

Blog News

Various bits from various RSS feeds or blog I read:

  • Looks like flash cards die hard. Definitely I'll get flash, not microdrives. (source: Garrett LeSage).
  • Blogging can be dangerous for your job. Queen of Sky a flight attendant has been suspended by her employer because of her blog (source: The Register). Fortunately the company I work seems to like blogs. We even have our own planet. We always must be careful about what we write.
  • Can we consider electronic Encyclopedias as a good investment ? I'd say no.

Hick !!!

You are .swf	 You are flashy, but lack substance.  
You like playing, but often you are annoying. Grow up.
Which File Extension are You?

Given that I hate flash....

Free the drivers

OSNews as an interesting note on the strategy to get TI releasing redistributable firmware for their WiFi chipset. Shouldn't we do something similar for scanners, printers and digital cameras ? What already have a wide range of devices supported, but far from all. And sometime it just takes time to support newer hardware because of reverse engineer involved, and lack of hardware in the hand of the right developers.

October 26, 2004 (link)


Back in April, I have been wondering about RendezVous/ZeroConf support on Linux, and I ended up installing tmdns because I found Apple mDNSResponder a little bit overkill. Recently I discovered howl it is indeed based on Apple mDNSResponder, but it provide an API library to make registration and browsing easy. It is what GNOME use, and apparently KDE.

Spam filtering

Anyone knows if there is a spamc client for bogofilter so that I can ditch SpamAssassin that bog down my CPU on incoming mail with Evolution ? Or shall I patch Evolution to use bogofilter instead ?

iPod Photo...

...or the useless geek gadget. Take an iPod, a still retarded music player because it still does not read the open Ogg/Vorbis format and still require specific sofware to add music to the device, add to it a useless feature like a color screen and a photo viewer and you'll get a reason to sell a new version for more. Seriously I don't see any benefit. It does not even come with a flash card reader to use it as an "image tank" (a device that empty you digicam flash card to a hard drive)... DPReview has the same opinion. And for the hardware design, they still don't provide a removable battery, so when your batterie dies, you have to pay Apple to have it changed instead of just buying a new one.

October 20, 2004 (link)

Ross, that sucks that your company goes under. Good luck finding a job.


10 days to 2.2 release. "Closed" a couple of 2.0 bugs that were no longer in 2.2. Fixed the "char eating" bug in text boxes import. That was trivial.


A long time since I hadn't hacked on gPhoto. I'm working on adding official support for Canon EOS 20D. It works either as a PTP camera or using the Canon proprietary protocol that we support too. In CVS we already have the PTP driver updated to recognize it explicitly (otherwise it is recognized as a generic USB Still Image camera), but the canon driver needs update. It should be trivial as I only need to add the camera type and its USB IDs. But it looks like there is a bug in USB support either on our side or on kernel side. And for PTP, Canon firmware is buggy, it breaks.


For the first time I used Nautilus to burn CDs. Convenient I must say but needs some polishing. Filed one bug and commented another.


Did put online a few galleries from this summer:

October 18, 2004 (link)

Mandatory pictures taken with that new camera. I love it. Now I need to buy new lenses for wide-angle.

Leaves in Parc du Mont Saint Bruno

Leaf, alone, Parc du Mont Saint Bruno

On Sunday morning while hunting for Montréal bagels, we found a good place where they have IMHO the best croissants and pains au chocolat (but called croissants au chocolat) in town. I still have to find better. But it is far away from home.

Croissant et pain au chocolat.


I tried to look at filters to archive mail in my IMAP folders to local archive like I do in Evolution. Apparently you can't apply filters to selected mails, but only to current folder; and there is no "filter mailing list" critera, I have to set it manually. That is plain annoying and that disqualifies it. But I really like the anti-spam speed (bayesian), compared to what Evolution does.

Portable MP3 player

Wow. Thanks to all the GNOMErs that pointed out iAudio from their blog, mostly jimmac. It is not the moment to buy one, because I already spend a lot of money for this Canon EOS 20D, but at least I know it exists.

October 15, 2004 (link)

If you want to propagate rumors, write in your blog. That is funny how personnal opinions gets spread and transformed. See this article in Spanish (sorry).

Lexmark printer

If you have been told that Lexmark supports Linux, then you might have been misinformed. They support Linux on Intel platform. Period. They don't provide source code for their library to support Lexmark printer and all-in-one printer-scanners. And nowhere on their website they mention that their stuff do not run on non Intel Linux, unless you look at the RPMs file names. I hope I'm wrong this and that I just didn't find the source code.

It is terrible to see that manufacturers still close their drivers for Linux, but still borrow from other open-source project, because in that case, the scanner driver works with SANE (the sample code show that) and the printer driver works with CUPS. The only bit is that scanner USB kernel driver this is GPL licensed, but because it is in kernel land and only provide a way to use the scanner with the higher level proprietary code. Shame on them. This does not really help the Linux community. And Lexmark being (unless I'm mistaken) and IBM company, I wonder if they follow the "we support Linux" that IBM claims loudly. They don't even allow to run their drivers on IBM's own architecture: PowerPC. Come on Mr. Lexmark, EPSON and HP do release them as open-source, or support the developers. Do the same. It will not eat your market share, au contraire. I requested support for other platforms.


One of my favorite slide film, Fujichrome Velvia 100F, now cost 5 $ (CDN) more than it used to a couple of weeks ago. That is all bad. Back to Provia 100F. But not for long: I got my EOS 20D today. Yay !...

...but Canon are morons. They ship the firmware in a Windows or MacOS only readable form. What is wrong with .zip, even auto-extractible ? Since the Firmware requires using the flash card, why the hell do we need to have it in a proprietary format. I'll stick with version 1.0.2 for some time.

October 14, 2004 (link)

Apparently working at Apple means no more free software development according to lrz diary. Employees are strongly discouraged discouraged to do work on free software on their own time. Note that a clause in the work contract in France would be void (this guy will be working in France, exactly were I did). Stupid Apple. The worm is in you already.

What is worse than discovering a worm in an Apple ? Discovering half of one. We found a half worm. From the outside, Apple pretend to be open-source friend, take lot of open-source software for their own use, but apparently do not want people to contribute. Are they stupid or what ?

Apple has a 92% market share on hard drive based portable music players with the iPod. Source: Then two questions comes to mind:

  1. What will be Microsoft answer to this market share. Xpod ? Reading exclusively WMA proprietary format ? Remember why they did release the Xbox game console: to kick Sony out of the market. It still has yet to succeed.
  2. What about .ogg support ? If the leader in portable music player do not support Ogg, then who is likely to be. Come on Steve, don't be stupid and stubborn.


Finally found the time to fix my patch to import textboxes from RTF. Still one issue: all the text span gets the first letter truncated. At least I know which function is guilty, just need to have some time to figure out why. On the other side, FJF is making a huge progress with the MacOS X build. For those who want daiily builds, see

Release 2.2 is close. Really close. I should push for more testing and show write about my idea on sanitizing the release process.


Continuing to use Thunderbird. It is a good news. I still don't hate it. Convenient feature are the global SMTP setting where you can actually use authenticated SMTP over TLS, which is really convenient when you connect to moronic ISP like that filter out SMTP (not an option for residential) and that have non working SMTP relays. At least Wiznet unfilter upon request. Yay ! (I have them at home for DSL service).

Thanks to all the people that provided me with way to enable checking all the IMAP folders. I should find some time to provide a patch of that.


Hacking the Canon 300D (aka Rebel Digital). Or how marketing cripple cameras using software. Use at you own risk !

We went to Montréal Botanical Garden on Monday and took pictures of the chinese lanterns at night. This time I brought a Powershot A70, courtesy of dcoombs.

Mandatory pictures:

Big Chinese lantern

Floating lanterns

I really need to get that Canon EOS 20D.

All your files are belong to us

Google Desktop search tool make me ask some questions about privacy and Google search control attempt. However they clearly state:

9. What about my privacy? Does Google Desktop Search share my content with anyone?
We treat your privacy with the utmost respect. The Google Desktop Search program does not make your computer's content accessible to Google or anyone else. You can learn more by reading the Desktop Search privacy policy.

It requires Windows so I won't try it. And even worse: it require Internet Explorer... and all its security holes.

Go Beagle !

October 07, 2004 (link)

Why you shouldn't use Windows for critical systems. A Microsoft server crash at air traffic control. This could have been more serious.


I have been using Evolution, and I have been somewhat satisfied with it, beside crashes, even in the 2.0 release. What annoys me the most is the resource hogging (my laptop is a G3/400 PowerBook), and ever more the resource hogging of spam filtering (using SpamAssassin daemon). So I decided to give a try at Thunderbird. Here is a short list of what annoys me in Thunderbird:

  • Default to posting HTML (this is all bad !)
  • No shortcut for "Compact folder"
  • No way to specify default sorting, threading is disabled by default
  • By default it does not check IMAP subfolders for new mail, and I don't see how to set them all at once. I have almost 25 of them.
  • It does not expend threads by default

Otherwise it is definitely a good software, still in development. More on that later as I need to use it more to have a real opinion. But at least I didn't kick it out as usual, that means it is not bad.

Happy Birthday Dave !

The picture says it all:

Dave's birthday cake

Back to work.

October 05, 2004 (link)

I have always been scared by the amount of electronics and computers they put in today cars. I'm scared, because as a software engineer, I know how imperfect is software. I'm even more scared because I suspect they even use software they have no control over, like Windows, and embed them to cars. Now, my fear have come true as a aparently an owner of a Renault Vel Satis got prisonner of his own car at 200km/h because of a problem with the embedded computer system, controlling the engine, the transmission (one more reason to prefer manual transmissions), etc. Liberation has an article (in French). Funny thing, the driver is now under NDA with Renault, and the company declined to comment. Le Nouvel Observateur also an article

DRM is a bad thing. Cory Doctorow talks about it. Even more fun. Steve Ballmer (from Microsoft) explains that "iPod users are music thieves" because iPod do not support Microsoft DRM. He also explains that he has hard time with his 12-years old son that do not want to hear that he can't put his favourite music wherever he wants to, which is exactly with Microsoft DRM prevents you to do. Thank you mister Ballmer for the good laugh.

Don't be confused. I'm not making an apology of massive copying or copyright infrigement. But it appears that in both France (the country I'm citizen of and where I was living) and Canada, private copy is part of copyright law. This private copy include copying music for it own use like transferring it to another media (you computer, you portable music player, etc.), and this is exactly that kind of use that this DRM and other protection scheme try to prevent, removing you a right that laws did grant you. As a consequence, and since the beginning, I'm boycotting copy protected CDs.


Not much new. I've got a cell-phone now, not from Fido. We bottled mead at ppatters and cprime place last Saturday, and help pphaneuf to move.


FJF took over AbiWord for MacOS X and started fixing bugs. Refresh and scrolling seems to be better, support for right-click and mouse wheel is in there, etc. Sweet. I think I found a maintainer now. Shht. Don't tell him, he doesn't know yet. Get you own build for MacOS X.

GNOME Summit

I won't be at GNOME Summit: I'm not allowed to enter USA with my current passport. In France when I asked about passport renewal, they told me it took 2 month (and that I have to give my old passport at the same time). It took me less time to get my Canadian temporary worker permit.

October 01, 2004 (link)

It is October ! This is really autumn.

Thanks to Tristant Nitot I discovered this Montreal blog by Lucas Janin. I'm jaelous in regards to the pictures he took in the Botanic Garden. Awesome they are.

iPod, a follow up

Why the iPod do not support Ogg files ? Simply because they use a chip that do not have Ogg codec, at least according to the very few documentation available, for the stock version. I suspect that you can reprogram the chip firmware to provide the codec you want and use the facilities offered by the embedded hardware. But it might not be THAT easy, unlike for iTunes, where there is already an Ogg/Vorbis decoder for QuickTime, written by a third-party.


Fido are definitely a bunch of morons. I went to Rogers today, and despite being more expensive, I can get a line, unlike with the other. I just enlarged my critera of selection. Looks like Fido really lost a customer. And I e-mailed their customer service to let them know about that.


Oh, and I got caught napping at the office.

Back: September 2004


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