Unmatched search folder in Evolution

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, I’ve (finally!) installed Fedora 10 on my laptop, but it’s not been without its bumps.  I cannot blame this on Fedora 10 nor the anything else related to the release.  But, in the end, I don’t have a DVD to install from, only the LiveCD (which I booted from my SD card reader), and that left me without a lot of packages and also without Ext4!  And now, after having copied my Evolution profile directory over, I discovered that the new version does (2.24.1) does not supported the “unmatched” search folder feature which I had come to rely on in recent weeks.  This is a real bummer as it all but nullifies the advantage of using search folders (for me, at least) in Evolution.  Alhamdulillaah, at least there’s a bug report open with one developer sympathizing.  However, a fix for it may not be forthcoming until the next release.

I think the time has come to take a look at Thunderbird again…

Time-lapse photography with CHDK

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

As I’ve already alluded to in a previous post, I’ve been using the CHDK firmware supplement with my Canon PowerShot A550, which on it’s own is an outstanding camera, alhamdulillaah. This firmware add-on, though, really takes the cake!

One of the features made possible by CHDK is the ability to run scripts which take the enabled features of your camera and do interesting things with them. One such script enables one to take a sequence of images of a fixed interval over a period of time – i.e., time-lapse photography! So, over the past two days, I’ve gone-ahead and played with this feature a bit by just collecting images from my office window while I diligently “worked”.

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CHDK – Unleash the POWER in your PowerShot

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Alhamdulillaah, I’ve been playing around with CHDK, which is a free firmware add-on (note: it does not require flashing your camera’s firmware) that enables a multitude of features on your ordinary, run-of-the-mill Canon PowerShot digital camera. In short, it’s amazing. I haven’t had enough time to truly “unleash the POWER” yet, but I’m already amazingly pleased with what I can do so far that I was unable to do prior to this.

Amongst its amazing features includes the ability to save images to a RAW format, full control over shutter speed & exposure settings, fine-grained control over video quality settings, HDR photography, and an amazing BASIC-based scripting language that enables, among other things, time-lapse photography (examples in an upcoming post, in shaaʾ Allaah).

Expect myriad future posts relating to images & videos I’ve been able to capture with these new features, especially in combination with

Fedora 9 – Why it’s so awesome

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Okay, I know that title is a pretty pretentious statement by itself, as much of Fedora 9’s awesomeness isn’t unique to it. So, I’ll grant that much of the coming awesomeness is related to Gnome 2.22, which is not limited to Fedora 9, nor is Pulseaudio, Upstart (props to the Ubuntuees for that), or a plethora of other things. So, in reality, Fedora 9’s awesomeness is a celebration of Free & Open-Source software and its universal community.

The following is pretty-much ripped from the wiki. The witty banter is added by me. Also, I know I’m not the first (actually, I hope I’m quite close to the last) to have done one of these things. What follows are the features that I consider to be cool and important, but this list is obviously by no means exhaustive or even appropriately representative of Fedora 9. It’s simply a list of what I think will make Fedora 9 so awesome, in shaaʾ Allaah.

Okay, that should be enough flame retardant for now…onwards!

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Tapeless HD camcorders

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

I’ve been keeping my eye out for tapeless (e.g., hard drive or flash memory instead of tapes) HD camcorders for a while, because of the obvious flexibility of being able to transfer the recorded video directly rather than “recording” it via IEEE 1394 (i.e., “FireWwire”) – while an IEEE 1394 link is definitely fast, any tape-based camcorder usually only transfers the video at regular playing speeds by actually playing the video.

Having said that, here are a few that have caught my eye:

The important issue, of course, is how easy is it to work with the video once it’s recorded.  Most of the video formats are MPEG-4-based, usually the controversial AVCHD.  There are some advantages & disadvantages, of course, but ffmpeg really helps with most of the issues.  I’ve been playing a lot with it (ffmpeg) this past week, and the sheer flexibility of it is astounding.  I think the woes of multimedia flexibility under free operating systems is slowly going away, as even the GUI applications (avidemux, PiTiVi, Kino, etc.) are at a level of refinement I wouldn’t have expected.

Naturally, I am loath to use nonfree versus free solutions, so I am pleased to let you know that there are many free software codecs available through ffmpeg – that is the topic for another article, perhaps.

Obviously, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I’m really excited to dive into open-source content creation!

Updated with relevant linking and a few spelling fixes.

Texas Dawah Convention 2007 Audio Project – overview

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Introduction

Alhamdulillaah, a few months back, I successfully wrapped-up the audio recording & production project for the Texas Dawah Convention 2007. This was clearly one of the most ambitious projects in which I’ve been involved in my life, especially given the degree of responsibility I was given and the amount of work I had to do.

The project for me was a great learning experience on numerous fronts – management, business, technology, work ethic, and team work are amongst a few of them. If it weren’t for the great support I received from my partner & friend (I’ll only mention him if he wants me to – knowing him, he probably would prefer I don’t by default), then the work would have never happened and would have ended-up a terrible flop.

Please read on if you’re interested in knowing the history of how I became involved with this project, how it was executed, some of the challenges I faced during it, and finally, and a part of which I am very proud, how I completed almost exclusively using free (as in freedom) software, particular that which comes with Fedora.
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Shell History Meme

I got tired of seeing everyone on the planets (Fedora & Gnome) showing-up in Liferea doing this, and I was left out.  So here’s mine from work:

[basil.gohar@escapdv01 ~]$ history|awk '{a[$2]++ } END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}'|sort -rn|head
265 ll
210 cd
101 time
86 dbrestore
79 exit
28 su
24 vi
18 ssh
17 ping
16 less

“dbrestore” is an alias for a script I use to…well..restore DBs.  One that is not on here that was the first time I ran the script is my “search” alias, which is a wrapper for find & grep that searches the contents of PHP files (since that’s what I spend all day working on).

I’ve even added a GNOME category.  Maybe after this I’ll start posting more Fedora- & GNOME-related topics, and increase my chances of getting listed in the planets…

I’ll update with my home laptop & PC results after I get home tonight, in shaaʾ Allaah (notice I’m using “ʾ” to mark an Arabic hamzah in my transliteration…more on that later…in shaaʾ Allaah…;) )

Trying out blog applet in Fedora 8

Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

I’m trying out the gnome-blog utility again inside of Fedora 8. I had a bit of a challenge at first because when I tried to input my blog URL, it was trying to force the directory to be */wordpress/, which is not how my blog is setup. Alhamdulillaah, once I figured-out I had to append the xmlrpc.php (not xml-rpc.php, like I was trying at first), it stopped trying to force my hand.

Oh, and it seems the word “blog” is still not included in whatever dictionary gnome-blog uses for spell-checking (a nice feature, I might add).

If this works out, then it will be a lot easier to update my blog while I’m at work, where I get most of my bloggy thoughts, rather than waiting until I get home, when I am usually too tired or busy to do anything. This is aside from the fact that there are a lot few formatting options available, but we’ll survive.

As an important note, I tried Drivel after I didn’t succeed at first with gnome-blog, and it didn’t support spaces in usernames. It seems to be related to the fact that it uses the username as part of a key (I guess for GConf?). I guess that’s an example of a poor design choice…

Let’s see what happens…

fuse-sshfs – mounting a remote location using SSH with FUSE

SSH is a time-tested, powerful, and generally outstanding utility for connecting two systems in a secure and efficient manner. Enabling anything from simple command-line access to full X Window sessions, it would appear there is almost no limit to what SSH can do. Reading on will only affirm this assertion, as two open-source projects – OpenSSH & FUSE – combine to provide secure, efficient, and stable access to remote locations as though they were local filesystem objects. Continue reading “fuse-sshfs – mounting a remote location using SSH with FUSE”