Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ubuntu and Blueray

Well, I have been boycotting BlueRay discs for some time now, however, I do get them as gifts from time-to-time and need to play them.  Nowadays I will purchase HD movies streamed online from Amazon using their media library and my Roku, but I received a few more physical BD discs that I need to decrypt this Christmas...

At this point though it is more economicalfor me to re-purchase the titles on Amazon then to spend the time getting the discs decrypted, but for those looking for a challenge:

Here are a few links of interest in playing blue-ray discs from Ubuntu 9.10

The Main Ubuntu Blueray guide:

BDRom decryption keys by Movie title:

DumpHD ( Open source ripping program )

MakeMKV ( Closed Source ripping program )

MPX (Multipointer) works in Ubuntu Lynx!

Finally, the MPX subsystem is included in the alpha version of Ubuntu 10.04.   I was able to create three separate mouse pointers on my TabletPC as a test following this guide:

Why? Because I can ;) and because this is hopefully the beginning of multi-touch support throughout the Gnome Desktop environment.

Last night my wife and I shared the laptop for a while using both the bluetooth mouse and the internal trackpoint.


Friday, December 11, 2009

My Arcade Machine

Someone asked me for pictures of my arcade machine and here are a few.

- MAME 1.31
- 4 sets of controls (8 way joystick + 7 buttons)
- Trackball
- Light Gun
- Spinner
- 4 way joystick





Saturday, November 28, 2009

TV Calibration

Found a link to a free Calibration tool for any TV.

Color filters are available here:
Tokyo Blue = #071 (same as the Kodak Deep Blue Tricolor #47B = AVIA = THX Glasses)
Primary Red = #106 (same as the Kodak Deep Red Tricolor #29 = AVIA = DVE)
Primary Green = #139 (same as the Kodak Deep Green Tricolor #61 = AVIA = DVE)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Making Websites Fullscreen on WebOS / iPhone / Android browsers

Was wondering how to make web pages that go full screen  in WebKit based browsers (WebOS / iPhone / Android) .  Turns out it is as simple as adding a meta tag:

Example (Look at these links on your WebKit browser):

No meta tag:

With meta tag:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10GUI - Multi-Touch UI

Appears to be an interesting perspective on Multi-Touch User Interfaces (appears to be based on a Unix system)

Get started with this:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Defragmenting an Ubuntu File System / Ext3fs?

Not sure what I find more interesting. New York Times being queried and answering an issue involving Linux or that someone would feel compelled to ask about defragmenting a Flash disk.

Bi-Pedal Robot from Boston Dynamics

From the same folks who brought us "BigDog" comes a two legged variety:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Problems with Ubuntu sound? - Try this

Having issues with sound in Ubuntu (Pulse Audio), try this well written guide. Fortunately, most of this guide has been implemented in the latest version of Ubuntu 9.10, so wait it out until then or give this link a read.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

MAME for Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope 9.04

100_4032Just thought I would jot down the steps needed to get Mame up and running on my newly upgraded arcade cabinet.

Get SDLMame Source Code (skip the bin package as that wont be compiled for your specific CPU unless you are running Amd64):

Untar the source into a tmp folder:
tar zxvf sdlmame-source.tar.gz /usr/local/src

Install the following packages for ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install libsdl-dev
sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-dev
sudo apt-get install libgconf2-dev

cd /usr/local/src/sdlmame-1xx
Go watch a movie it will take quite a bit of time before it is finished

sudo make install

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Imogen Heap shown on Letterman playing Monome

Imogen Heap shown on Letterman playing with a Monome. Letterman tries to play it at the end of the performance ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Google Reader (clean interface) hack

If your RSS needs are fulfilled by using Google Reader, you may be interested in this little tip I have learned. After using reader on my Palm Pre for many months I found that I liked reading it more on the phone than on my desktop. Apparently the less cluttered interface designed for the phone was more conducive to reading faster.

I figured out how to get the same (iPhone ish) experience on my desktop browser. Use the following link to login to reader:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Emergency charging device, with Radio, Solar Panel, Dynamo, and Flashlight

Emergency cellphone / battery charging device, with Radio, Solar Panel, Dynamo, and Flashlight. If you power goes out for a couple of days due to a Hurricane / Ice Storm and have a hard time calling relatives or 911, you may be thanking yourself for having one.

Browser for the Better - Microsoft will donate up to $2.30 to starving Americans

Microsoft will donate up to $2.30 to help starving Americans for every browser upgrade to IE 8.0. Glad to see marketing campaigns like this whereupon someone else can benefit.

Tired of dealing with traffic in Charlotte? Get Involved at the MUMPO

Do you have ideas on which roads should be built / expanded next? Let your voice be heard and participate in the Meck / Uniion Municipality Planning Organization (MUMPO) meetings. Check their site for times and locations.

Greater Charlotte Area Photographer

In case you are in need of an excellent and very creative photographer in the Charlotte metro area, check out:

Heather Photos

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Work around the Pandora 40 hour limit

Essentially on Ubuntu:

rm ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/xxxxxx/*
*where xxxxx = some random foldername

Idea from:

Monday, August 24, 2009

How Infrared Motion Detectors Work

Use a lot of these in home automation and its nice to read up on just how they work.

Highly Dexterous Robotic Hand

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Apple rejects Google Voice app from App Store

Mysteriously Apple has rejected the Google Voice apps from their App Store.  Apple's newfound control over content and platform reminds me of a certain add campaign started by Apple in 1984.

[caption id="attachment_174" align="alignright" width="400" caption="Apple (2009) 1984 - Photo Orig: PodBrix"]Apple (2009) 1984[/caption]

Credit Crisis Explained for the masses

A really good five minute video explaining the credit cresis with easy to follow visuals.

Credit Crisis Explained

The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.

Smartphone wallpapers

A website devoted to wallpapers for smartphones.  The link is branded as a Palm Pre site, however, any phone supporting portrait 320x480 resolution can share.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Apple declares Jailbroken iPhone a threat to national security

While debating whether Jailbroken iPhones are legal, Apple has declared that a compromised iPhone could crash the cellular network.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Vaccine for Colon Cancer

Great news was released a few days ago that a drug in trial right now is showing promise as a vaccine for colon and a few other types of cancer.  Trials are being held right now with a hopeful closure in 2011.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Linus Torvalds asked about Microsoft's latest code for Linux

Great article / interview with Linus about his comments on Microsoft's latest release of Opensourced code for Linux. In this interview he touches on some great points about feelings towards Microsoft and why people write opensource to begin with.

Apples new interface: Macbook Wheel

I know its old, but just saw it for the first time ;)

"Ill buy almost anything if its shiny and made by Apple"

"The babbling baby asked the aardvark for some absinthe"

Sunday, July 19, 2009

SpaceX successfully launches satellite into space!

Not exactly sure why I didnt see any press coverage in mainstream media or blogs, however, upon checking their website I noticed that they had successfully launched a satellite into space on July 13th!  As far as I know this is the first private company to launch a satellite and is very exciting news.  Congrats SpaceX!!

Very cool pictures of the launch shown here:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cure for Radiation Sickness - Treatment for cancer?

Some researchers have conducted trials on monkeys demonstrating a drug that can be injected to counter-act radiation sickness.  Interestingly enough this may also lead to a very effective treatment for all types of cancer, by dosing a patient with lethal amounts of radiation to kill a tumor, then immediately administrating this drug.,7340,L-3748014,00.html

Monday, July 13, 2009

TDMA - Stop email spoofing

Was getting a bunch of spam emails being forged from valid accounts on my own domain.  This was obviously being whitelisted as they are trusted sender on my email account.   Heres how to block spammers from spoofing emails.


On Ubuntu 9.04, open the /etc/exim4/exim4.conf.template file as Superuser.  Find the "acl_check_rcpt:" string and add the following rule.
# ACL Section:


# Block spoofed addresses

deny condition = ${if eq {$sender_address_domain}{$domain}{yes}{no}}
hosts = !+relay_from_hosts
message = Spammers not welcome - go away.
log_message = Spam from sender $sender_address at $sender_fullhost

Save the file and run the following command: dpkg-reconfigure exim4-config

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Quest for Graphics within Palm Pre - WebOS

I started thinking about how to find a way to allow native linux application to display within WebOS.  Most of the graphic intensive applications on the Pre use a Webkit Netscape Plugin to get a native drawable on the phone (Camera, Media Player, Palm Emulator, etc).

So why not create yet another Webkit plugin to provide a FrameBuffer device on the os.  The challenge will be to determine what native drawable is presented to the plugin (doubt its going to be X11)

Here is some links of interest:

Pre Dev Wiki research:

Mozilla's documentation on drawing within a plugin:

Simply drawing example

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ubuntu Jaunty latest NVidia driver PPA

Just found out how to get the latest versions of the NVidia graphics driver on Jaunty.

Add the ppa to apt

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Import the public key

apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys AF1CDFA9

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The "Peter Principle"

I was talking with a few colleagues at a professional meeting and the term "Peter Principle" came up.   Its a simple principle that postulates an employee of a company will be promoted to their point of incompetency and there they will remain until let go.

Just thought I'd share this thought of the day :)

Compiling a custom kernel for Ubuntu

I found out during my 4th of July server upgrade that the Moxa serial driver is broken in the 9.04 distribution 2.6.28 kernel.    After several futile attempts to backport and downstream the newer / older version into the stock kernel, I am now just going to upgrade to the latest kernel version entirely to   If this still doesnt work at least I will be on the latest kernel version so I can begin working with the LKML on fixing it.

Found this resource for compiling a kernel

I found out there is currently a bug with the installation of the .deb process.  Do the following after the preceding instructions.

From Mike Stroyan:

This is not actually a defect in nvidia-common. It is a defect in dkms.
The /etc/kernel/postinst.d/dkms script is sending messages to stdout.
That script is run under /usr/share/debconf/frontend, which expects that stdout will only be used for messages to it.
The actual response to the output does not occur while /etc/kernel/postinst.d/dkms is running.
The error message is deferred until the /etc/kernel/postinst.d/nvidia-common script runs.
That second script tries to send debconf requests to stdout.
That triggers the debconf error message in response to the junk that dkms wrote earlier.

Patching /etc/kernel/postinst.d/dkms to redirect stdout fixes the problem.
Adding "1>&2" to the invocation of /etc/init.d/dkms_autoinstaller keeps stdout clean.

Friday, July 3, 2009

London Stock Exchange ditches Microsoft Trading platform

Microsoft has relied on the London Stock Exchange project as a key piece of their marketing for the "Get The Facts" campaign..

It was recently announced by the London Stock Exchange that this solution is a failure.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Amazing Space Station footage of volcano eruption on Russian Island

Amazingly co-incidental picture from the space station of a volcano eruption on a remote Russian Island.  The item that impresses me the most is the shockwave of the explosion is pushing the clouds away!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Palm stumbles onto the magic bullet?

Whether it was conceived in grand strategic plans or purely accidental, Palm's choice to build a phone upon Linux without hardware DRM is, in my opinion, the magic bullet to the Smartphone wars.

They havent pulled the trigger yet, however, when the GSM version of WebOS shows up on the scene, this may be the dawn of a new era of smartphones.   Given the momentum and activity of the "homebrew" community behind this already (and its only limited to Sprint customers in the US) I believe once this hits GSM, the homebrew community will explode.

It isnt necessarily the Phone hardware,  the WebOS UI, or the fact that it runs Linux.  Its the combination of those three elements coupled with the lack of the draconion DRM that is making this a slow hit.

Apple's on-stage joke this week about the 18 apps for the Palm may have been funny at the time, however, running a single slimed down OpenOffice app is worth thousands of "Fad Apps"

The destiny is not in the stars however as Palm has not officially come out with a policy regarding the homebrew efforts.  I would only hope they will take their time and make a wise decision.

Dynamic Multitouch Tactile Displays

Quite a title, eh?  Just a little glimpse of what CMU is up to with providing a tactile touchscreen display.  Very cool stuff that Im sure we will see "innovated" by a larger company in the near future.

Mars rover Opportunity experiencing drive problems

It would appear the end is somewhat closer for both Spirit and Opportunity mars rovers.  Spirit is still stuck in the sand and now Opportunity is experiencing problem with the right front wheel.   This is not the first time a rover has been stuck or had a wheel problem, however, the significance of these events seems to be far greater than the last time.  JPL is being very cautious with the simulation of extraction of Spirit and hopefully that effort will pay off.   Good luck!

Find a location on Google Maps by Lat and Long

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Palm Pre Tips


"You can take a screenshot of whatever is on screen by pressing orange key + shift + P all at the same time. It creates a screenshots folder in Photos and saves the image. Also you find the image in the USB partition when you hook up Pre as a USB drive."

Timed and Hard Pause in Dial String

t = 1 sec

p = hard pause (select next sequence to dial)

Call forwarding

Just dial *72NPANXXNNNN (Area Code, Exchange, Number) to start forwarding; *720 to stop.

ex. *727045551212

Palm Pre Accessories



Friday, June 5, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009

JPL's Mars Rover, Spirit, is stuck in the dirt

The JPL Mars Rover named "Spirit" has been stuck in the dirt for about a month now.   JPL is trying to determine the best way to drive the rover out of its rut by using a duplicate Rover here on Earth with a soil that is consistent with that of Mars.  Hopefully Spirit will be back on its way again some time soon!

Thru-You: Israeli DJ mixes up YouTube clips to your delight

Kutiel, an Isreali DJ, has taken various clips from YouTube and re-mixed them into a wonderful audio/visual delight.  Check out the various styles of music he has come up with at his site "Thru-You"

My personal favorite is "07 - Just a Lady".  The lead singer is 25-year-old World Bank administrative assistant, Leslie Harris of Washington, who taped herself singing in her apartment.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Backup / Restore Ubuntu System drives

From the files of "Not so obvious":  How do you backup / restore a Ubuntu system drive?

Well I found this handy article online that explains the procedure.  Essentially, use the Ubuntu LiveCD to use 'partimage'

Installing FreeNX Server on Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty)

Got around to finally installing the FreeNX server on my Ubuntu server.  Following this guide got me most of the way there with one caveat, Authentication.   In the last step of the guide where you run the nxsetup -install program, I got a problem where it claimed that the authentication wasnt working.  Upon closer examination I discovered that the key file produced by the NX installer is not configured in SSH.

To allow NX to autheticate do the following in addition to the aforementioned guide.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Man arrested for taking picture of ATM machine

As the title states, someone walks into an REI, takes a picture of two security officers servicing an ATM, and winds up being arrested.  Im interested to see how this turns up.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ATI RadeonHD Video drivers in Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04

Want XVideo support for playing movies on Ubuntu with a RadeonHD card?  Add the following repos for the latest GIT packages.

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

Add public key

Monday, April 20, 2009

Household Hacker

Speedfit - Mobile Treadmill

Love your treadmill, but wish you could get outside more?  Well, enjoy both with the Speedfit - mobile treadmill.   Probably from the makers of the 'Solar Powered Flashlight'  :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Runlevels in Ubuntu

Was looking for a way to control runlevels in Ubuntu as with a standard INIT SYSV based system.  I found this document that explains how to make this happen:

Seamless Windows RDP integration

Just ran across this today and didnt realize there was a way to have just an application appear in an RDP session.  Appears to use a client installed in windows to do this called appropriately, Seamless RDP.

Idea obtained from this handy article:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tesla Downunder

A 'geek out' website containing all sorts of experiments / pictures with High Voltage / Lasers / and other impressive physical properties.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cam mounted on RC car does an amazing backflip

Impressive little video clip of an RC car doing a backflip off of a jump and landing it perfectly (although a bit hard!)

Simulation of US 1549 landing in the Hudson river

Amazing to hear / see the take-off and subsequent crash landing of US 1549 into the Hudson.  The captain remains level headed with a scrambling tower crew.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Google Street view interesting pictures

Ran across this blog today that shows interesting pics available on Google Street View.   Good for a couple of moments of voyeuristic entertainment.

Google car racing!

Proof that ghosts exist?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Mini-ITX resources

Just gathered a few links on Mini-ITX motherboard and case related sites.  If anyone else has one that they would like to share I'd be interested.

Monday, February 23, 2009

HTC Touch Pro 2 coming out this summer

Just when I thought the Palm Pre was my next phone, HTC ups the stakes with the new HTC Touch Pro 2.    My wife and I desperately need a new phone, so it will probably come down to which phone is available first.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Amazing Guitar Hero Performance over 850K points

Over 850,000 points on Guitar Hero with a near perfect performance.   Personally, I dont play the game much but it is impressive to see someone crank out the patterns that quick.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Can the Palm Pre survive an Apple iPhone patent assault?

Can the Palm Pre survive an Apple iPhone patent assault? It would appear that both sides have the an equivalance of nukes in a cold war.   The following link contains some brief legal discussion of the details.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Antibiotics - General Listing of common problems and their effective antibiotic

Penicillin 500 mg Give 500 mg qid for Streptococcal, pneumococcal infections, anaerobic infections "above the diaphragm" such as abscessed teeth. Although its spectrum is limited, this drug is relatively cheap and causes fewer side effects such as diarrhea and vaginitis. Unfortunately, streptococci and pneumococci are increasingly resistant.

Amoxicillin / Ampicillin 250 mg Give 250 to 500 mg id for urinary, middle ear, and lower respiratory infection. This is a broader spectrum penicillin. Staphylococci are usually resistant.

Erythromycin 400 mg Give two tablets bid for pneumonia or Streptococcal sore throat. The drug is also of some benefit in Staphylococcal skin infections.

Tetracycline 250 mg Give 250-500 mg qid for plague and various other insect-born infections; urinary infections; bronchitis; infected animal bites; some venereal diseases; Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Avoid this class of drug in pregnant women and young children, if possible.

Doxycycline 100 mg, which is given once daily (twice for severe infections). Doxycycline has fewer gastrointestinal side effects and is better absorbed than tetracycline with food in the stomach, but is more likely to sensitize the skin to sunlight.

Metronidazole 250 mg The usual dose is 500 mg tid, higher for some infections (e.g. amebiasis). The drug is effective against certain protozoans including amoebae and Giardia, and for anaerobic bacteria such as those that normally inhabit the bowel and the female genital tract. It can be extremely useful in intraabdominal , pelvic, and wound infections caused by such bacteria.

Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole Give one double strength (DS) tablet bid for urinary infections and some types of bacterial diarrhea, or as a back-up drug for sinusitis, bronchitis, ear infections (for resistant organisms or allergic patients).

How to tell if Abios go bad?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Microsoft's Confidential Executive discussion on Intel's use of Linux

Here is a confidential email exchange between the executive team at Microsoft that occurred in 2002 and has recently been made publicly available due to another case (* Note Bill Gate's use of the term Jihad ).  I will try to keep my personal comments out of this one. :) YMMV

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Because we dont have a potato sack."

I had a good laugh today.  There are those few rare times when your children say something that is completely unexpected and oddly funny.

When I came downstairs I found my daughter was jumping around the kitchen inside of a garbage bag making all sorts of noise.  Slightly annoyed that she helped herself to a garbage bag, I sternley asked "Why are you destroying a garbage bag?"  She replied "Because we dont have a potato sack."

Cant argue with that... ;)

Did Apple iPhone invent the Multi-Touch UI? Think different!

We know who took the spotlight, but who envisioned this really? According to the 'pedia Bell Labs and documented further here.  However, these folks have a quite impressive display of it back in 2006.  Check the video to the right for a multimedia "experience" ;)

This site has some really neat projects on it, besides just multi-touch.  Worth a few minutes of life to explore it a bit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Bullet Proof Fasion

Miguel in Columbia creates bullet proof fashion clothing.   Supposedly Obama was sporting one of his creations during the inauguration.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

My next phone - Palm Pre

Finally a smartphone that focuses on Personal Information Management with the elegance of a touch based UI, Palm presents its new flagship product the Palm Pre.   Follow the video to get all of the details (an hour or so viewing).   Im guessing that the magnet / induction power will find more uses than just simple charging (think backpack powered accesories)

Best of all, it runs Linux ;)