Archive for June, 2007

MTP Blues

I’ve played off and on with my Zen Sleek Photo trying to find a decent transfer program, but unfortunatly I haven’t found one. I’ve tried the example apps that come with libmtp, but they aren’t really suited for batch processing (except deleting) and they strip the ID3 tags off. gphoto2 presented information better, but I couldn’t get anything to transfer. The last time I used Gnomad2 it was horribly unstable (plus it has GNOME dependancies πŸ˜› ) and I’ve never been able to get kzenexplorer to detect the jukebox. Amarok seems to work ok, but I really want a dedicated transfer/syncing program.


June 24, 2007 at 6:43 am Leave a comment

CLI for 30: Summary

Yeah, I know there hasn’t been anything new since day 21, but it’s time to call it quits.

I learned a lot from this experience, the most important being that I didn’t plan at all. I should have spent more time deciding what I was going to do each day, as well as picking a more convenient time to start.

I discovered that most of a normal desktop user’s tasks can be done without X running. You can type, listen to music, surf the Internet (even with graphics), watch videos (and not just the ASCII ones!), and even run multiple applications at the same time.

If you want to live at the command line many applications have steep learning curves to become a power user, so don’t expect to be instantly good with any program you use. Many CLI programs are also insanely configurable.

I think I may do something like this as an anual feature of this blog, so stick around for next year’s CLI for 30! I might even do some windows CLI only stuff πŸ˜€

June 24, 2007 at 6:38 am 1 comment

CLI for 30: Day 21

Most of today was spent reading about configuring mutt. My main concern is handling multiple email accounts and there SMTP servers. I know it’s done using hooks, but I’m not sure how I want to arrange my folders to begin with, so I’m not sure which hook I’ll want to use.

I also got an idea to use my email as my calendar. The basic concept is scheduling an echo command with cron for a specific day. Of course this only seems practical for reminders, not TODO lists and stuff.

I don’t think it would be too hard to write a calendaring app in bash. (Famous last words πŸ˜‰ ) I think it might make a fun summer project. (not that I don’t have enough on my plate already) I also found two console calendaring apps. The first is calconsole. It claims to be like cal with scheduling. The second is celebrat, which is a very simple, non-interactive, text-mode calendar application.

I haven’t tried either of them yet, but I fully intend to sometime this week.

June 17, 2007 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

CLI for 30: Day 15-20

Boy I picked a horrible time to do this. School’s over now, but there’s still lots of work to get done around the house. I’ll have to try this again when I have some more time. (maybe a annual thing?)

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 days.

I discovered fbxine comes with Slackware in the xine-ui package. This is great! I really didn’t want to resort to installing Mplayer. It’s always buggy when I use it (sometimes even enough to lock the computer) and it doesn’t handle some of the commentaries on my DVD’s correctly. It also doesn’t give track titles or show in the menu which is a pain to find the episode I want to watch. (maybe it’s missing a lib) I hate apps that use more than one window too.

fbxine isΒ  the framebuffer interface for the XINE engine. It’s the only XINE framebuffer front-end I could get to work. (Oxine is the only one I can remember off the top of my head, and it locked up the computer.)

When playing an audio file fbxine works just like any other audio player, except it doesn’t display tags and you get xine keyboard bindings. Video plays in full screen and doesn’t allow the use of other consoles (I think) The color was OK, and so was performance. It could probably be better with some tweaking, but I’m horrible with video stuff. fbxine looks really promising to make a “DVD player” Linux distribution sort of like HP’s quick play, but without X and (hopefully) more efficient battery usage.

I also learned that the internal playlist file format for gxine is the same as Window Media Player. (ASX).

Today I sent my first email with mutt. Sendmail is evil! Well, mainly it’s a pain to configure. πŸ˜‰ Thank goodness there’s something almost as easy to configure as getmail. Putmail complements getmail nicely. The config file syntax is similar, both are written in python, and putmail doesn’t need to be run as a daemon (or as root!) like sendmail does. To use it with mutt just add `set sendmail=”/path/to/”` to your ~/.muttrc.

June 16, 2007 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

CLI for 30: Day 14

I’m working on a rewrite of my 3d-desktop howto on the slackware blog for a new website I’m working on. (which will hopefully be ready to go public this summer)

I thought now would be a good time to try some of the many document markup languages that *nix is famous for. I’ve tried LaTeX in the past which was nice, but it seemed more suited for books than simple tutorials. I didn’t find groff very readable from my experience writing man pages, so I decided to give docbook a try.

I really liked it except for a few quirks. My first problem with it was that it was not a “pure” XML format. There looks like there is an attempt to “purify” it, but it is still more SGML than XML.

The standard also seems slapt together to me too. (on first impression) Still, it looks like it’s the closest to what I need, but it’s cetainly not the only option.

June 10, 2007 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

CLI for 30: Day 13

Today I thought I’d try a playing some games

For some reason I never install the ‘y’ package series in Slackware. This package contains the BSD games package, which is a collection of text based games.

I figure I’m not patient enough for nethack, so I’d give these a try. Robots is my favorite game in the collection. You play as an @ and you are being chased around by a bunch of +’s (robots). Each step you take the robots get closer and closer. The goal is to get the +’s to crash into each other or an * (junk pile)

It’s a whole lot of fun πŸ™‚

June 10, 2007 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

CLI for 30: Day 10-12

It’s been a while since my last post, mainly because of the lack of me doing anything new (I have some new stuff planned for tomorrow) and some work around the house that needed to get done.

After downloading the first couple of my starred albums on Jamendo I came across an album that has international characters in many of the file names. Ordinarily this isn’t much of a problem, but (to my knowlege) the console (not an *term) can’t display unicode.

Usually I change the international letters to their non-accented counter parts and be rid of them, but that’s difficult if you don’t know what the letter you need is.

Unicode letters are made up of two bytes and ASCII is one byte, so I figure I could convert the two ASCII letters (it’s obvious which two characters are out of place) to binary and then to unicode. This was not as easy as it sounds

Converting the ASCII to binary worked fine, but there are no binary to unicode charts. The only real conversion charts I found were for HTML escapes.

I tried writing the string using a hex editor, then forcing the encoding, which didn’t work.

It’s getting kind of late here and I’m out of ideas so I think I’ll finish trying to convert until tomorrow

June 8, 2007 at 8:23 pm Leave a comment

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