October 27, 2004
October 26, 2004
Various bits from various RSS feeds or blog I read:
- Looks like flash cards die hard.
Definitely I'll get flash, not microdrives. (source:
- Blogging can be dangerous for your job.
Queen of Sky a flight attendant has been
suspended by her employer because of her blog (source:
Fortunately the company I work seems to like blogs. We even have our own
planet. We always must be careful about what we
- Can we consider electronic Encyclopedias as a good investment ?
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 20, 2004
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.
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 ?
...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
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 18, 2004
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 15, 2004
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,
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 14, 2004
If you want to propagate rumors, write in your blog. That is funny how personnal opinions
gets spread and transformed. See
in Spanish (sorry).
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
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
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 07, 2004
Apparently working at Apple means no more free
software development according to
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.
Then two questions comes to mind:
- 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.
- 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
Sympatico.ca 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.
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
Big Chinese lantern
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
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
It requires Windows so I won't try it. And even worse: it require Internet Explorer... and all
its security holes.
Go Beagle !
October 05, 2004
Why you shouldn't use Windows for critical systems.
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
- 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
- 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 01, 2004
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
(in French). Funny thing, the driver is now under NDA with Renault,
and the company declined to comment.
Le Nouvel Observateur also an
DRM is a bad thing. Cory Doctorow
about it. Even more fun. Steve Ballmer (from Microsoft)
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.
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.
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
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.