jacob's blog

Restarting the sound system in Ubuntu

There is a really annoying bug that crops up sometimes in which you will get an error message similar to "xine was unable to initialize any audio drivers" or in KDE 4.2 "The audio playback device HDA Intel (AD198x Analog) does not work. Falling back to ."

To fix this, I would normally reboot, but I found a page that specified how to restart the sound system. The instructions, unfortunately did not work for me, and I could not post a follow up.

First run:

$ lsof | grep pcm

Quick access widget in KDE 4.2

I have to say that the quick access feature in KDE 4.2 is very, very nice. It really boosts my productivity by allowing me to traverse file structures very quickly and intuitively.

quick access

Akonadi server process not registered at D-Bus

If you're using Kubuntu with KDE 4.2 and keep getting an error when akonadi starts up, which lists "Akonadi server process not registered at D-Bus" as the first error, try the following:

$ sudo aa-complain mysqld-akonadi
$ sudo /etc/init.d/apparmor reload

Kubuntu uses apparmor to block certain actions on the system. The new akonadi system KDE uses attempts one of these actions. The commands above simply tells apparmor to log the action rather than block it.

Then, use:

$ akonadictl stop

to stop the service, then

$ akonadictl start

KDE 4.2 so far

KDE 4.2 was released for Kubuntu on the 27th of January, 2009. This was a big deal because the 4.0 release, typically the "ready" release, was not so ready, and a bunch of nerdy types were not very happy about it. Being a software developer, I understand that a complete re-write, as 4.0 was, will have it's problems.

I use Kubuntu at work 10 hours a day/ 4 days a week, as well as at home, and I took the brave step of upgrading in a production environment, after testing at home first on a similar configuration.

The importance of full duplex

I am not a network guru by any means, but I do troubleshoot well, or so I've been told.

A perplexing problem involving HP 3000 connectivity has, hopefully, come to a close today as a vendor recognized an unusual number of errors on a port on one of our switches. This port just happened to be where our netequalizer unit plugged into. Because the netequalizer unit uses a custom Debian variant (yay!) I was able to login and look at the interfaces.

Topics:

You can now watch the inauguration using Linux and Silverlight

You can now use the Firefox plugin at http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight and the link at http://www.pic2009.org/page/content/live to stream the inauguration. This plugin was created in part by Microsoft engineers volunteering for the mono project.

My thoughts on the T-Mobile G1

I have owned the T-Mobile G1 since October. I had been looking for a replacement for the T-Mobile Wing for some time, and being a fan of open source and Linux, I was very excited to read about Android (even exploring Android development using their SDK), and even more excited to learn T-Mobile had the initial offering of an Android based cell phone.

Clean Ubuntu and find large packages

While working on a wireless kiosk using Ubuntu, I had the need to shrink the Ubuntu installation. Part of creating a custom install, using remastersys, is creating a live CD iso image.

I did, of course, remove the unnecessary software and programs like the games and cd burning software (see http://www.staldal.nu/tech/2008/12/08/packages-you-might-want-to-remove-...) and I ran several commands including localpurge and deborphan (see http://strabes.wordpress.com/2006/10/16/clean-up-unnecessary-packages-on... ).

The Seattle P-I goes up for sale

Rumors are now circulating that Seattle's oldest newspaper, the Seattle P-I, may be going up for sale, and if no one buys, may close. Unfortunately, the progression of technology cannot be without some casualties.

Another local newspaper has been advertising for a ColdFusion programmer on and off. I have to wonder how long the newspaper can remain relevant. It will be a sad day when the last issue goes to print; Similar, I imagine, to the last buggy rolling off the assembly line.

The importance of complex passwords

An incident at the popular web service called Twitter has brought to light the importance of complex passwords. A hacker decided to try to break into a popular user's account at the service. He did so by writing an automated tool that used what's called a dictionary attack to try and guess the user's password. He went to bed and let the tool run all night. The next morning, he found he had broken into the user's account, finding the user's password was set to the word "happiness."

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