Older blog entries for Uraeus (starting at number 682)

GStreamer on Windows

While GStreamer has been working on Windows for a long time and one can compile GStreamer using Visual Studio, the lack of pre-made binaries for Windows developers has been a bit of an issue. Various groups and people have tried providing windows binaries for a while, but most efforts have stalled after a short while. The GStreamer winbuilds project however seems quite solid however and have now been doing good windows packages for quite a while. If you have been looking for Windows builds for GStreamer this is a good place to start. They already have a list of users on Windows and the reason I became aware is that the jokosher guys are using it for their windows porting effort.

Syndicated 2010-03-04 14:43:48 from Christian Schaller

Stepping into the future with GNOME Shell

Decided to join the early adopters crowd today and use the desktop of the future by switching to using GNOME Shell on my desktop. Luckily with Fedora its dead simple, you just yum install gnome-shell and then switch using the desktop effects widget under Preferences. Scarily simple.

So far GNOME shell has been very stable for me and the user experience has been mostly good. Still feels a little alien compared to what I was used to before, but nothing annoyingly alien. Only irritant so far is that the clock on the shell is using the luddite AM/PM time system instead of the proper 24H clock and I can’t figure out how/where to fix it. :)

Will report back next week if I decided GNOME shell is here to stay on my desktop or if its still needs some more love before I am ready to let it rule my life.

Syndicated 2010-03-03 17:19:50 from Christian Schaller

The not so wonderful world of Windows

So due to sometimes needing to run a few Windows applications I have a Windows Vista partition on my hard drive. Today I decided to upgrade it to Windows 7 using the upgrade media Lenovo had sent me. So one would assume that upgrading a Vista partition which was the original Vista installation my laptop came with and that I had almost nothing installed on would be simple and straight forward. Wrong. Very wrong. I ended up on a screen with a absolutely useless error message saying that the upgrade failed due to an error and I should try again later. Brilliant. What made it even more fun was that there was another field listing applications which might malfunction after the upgrade. Due to the useless language above I assumed those concrete applications was the actual problem so I started an effort to try to deinstall said applications. One would think that would be a simple process, but as it turned out, some of them I still got complaints about even after deinstalling them….brilliant. First batch of 3-4 wasted hours gone.

Finally I gave up on the upgrade and re-installed Windows 7 instead. Install went fine, but of course the Windows bootloader overwrote grub. Not a to big of a hassle as I was able to restore it quickly enough with the Fedora rescue disk. Or so I thought. It turns out there is some weird kind of installation activation checking in the Windows 7 bootloader, which means that when I tried to use grub it failed giving me a error about my installation probably having been attacked by malicious software and thus refusing to let me boot into windows.

So after 3-4 hours later again and after getting the beta version of a windows boot loader editing application I finally had my system working again, this time booting from the windows bootloader into grub for my linux partition.

Conclusion: Claims of Windows being an enterprise ready and user friendly commercial operating systems turns out to be highly overstated.

Syndicated 2010-02-25 21:17:56 from Christian Schaller

Jaime Olivers Italian is boring

We just went to lunch today and decided to try out the new Jamie Oliver restaurant in town. Think the general consensus was that is was a disappointment. Nothing inherently wrong with the food, just that it tasted a bit bland, and when you go to a restaurant where a famous chef has put his name on the door you do not expect bland.

Syndicated 2010-02-24 14:46:39 from Christian Schaller

Google and Open Video

Been following the news and discussion about Google and their recent acquisition of on2. For those who doesn’t know On2 is a codec company that created such codecs as VP3 (which become Theora) and VP6 which became Flash video. Their latest codec is VP8 which they claim is comparable to H264 in terms of quality.

The big question of course is what Google plans on doing with On2 and the codec acquired. I guess there are two likely routes Google could be going. One is to try to create some kind of vendor lock in with Youtube offering higher quality video using VP8 for Google clients like Android and Chrome. The other is that they want to remove the dependency on proprietary video formats on the web and will thus release VP8 as open source in a similar vein to Theora and Dirac. If they combine that with youtube offering high quality HTML5 videos in VP8 combined with ensuring that Firefox and Opera supporting the format in addition to Chrome then it could be a big move. Silvia Pfeiffer got some good thoughts and comments on the subject in her blog, including interesting comments from Monty and former On2 employee Dan.

From a Collabora Multimedia viewpoint we would of course love to add support for liberated On2 codecs in GStreamer, so if anyone from Google is reading this, just know that we would happily help you implement the needed GStreamer plugin code to get these codecs supported in GStreamer and the linux desktop.

Syndicated 2010-02-24 11:44:00 from Christian Schaller

The sinking ship that is Greece

I guess as a lot of people I been reading about the troubles of Greece over the last weeks. Have to say I did find it a bit funny though when I read that their prime minister George Papandreou claims that their budget plans are credible and good. Sorry, when you are up to the neck in debt and the cost of that debt is about to choke your nation then you need to present a budget plan that brings your budget into the black, you can’t promote a budget that only reduce your deficit and thus increase in debts as a solution. You are still drowning, just a little bit slower.

I sincerely hope the EU doesn’t try to bail out Greece as it would be a long term catastrophe, European governments need to learn that they need to balance their budgets instead of pushing their problems into the future and leaving a even heavier burden on the future generations to try to solve. If Greece gets bailed out then the only result will be that Spain, Portugal, Italy and eventually France will come knocking too, not to mention some of the former east block countries.

Syndicated 2010-02-11 12:01:15 from Christian Schaller

London and Scandinavian food

Went down to London yesterday for a meeting and I used the opportunity to visit the scandinavian deli and grocery store there. Turned out to be pretty nice, with a decent selection of food. I stocked up on Swedish liquorice, Norwegian lompe, Danish red hotdog sausages and a Norwegian brown cheese.

In other words I am well set for another week of scaring Abigail with Scandinavian food :)

Syndicated 2010-02-02 11:06:42 from Christian Schaller

Norwegian Fenalår

I always try to bring some Norwegian food back with me when I have visited Norway. This year I brought a leg of Fenalår which is a leg of cured mutton. So it is just like the cured ham people eat all over Europe, except from being made from sheep. Anyway I brought it to the Collabora office today to let people have a taste and Marco snapped this picture of me holding the leg.

Of course not all scandinavian food is equally appreciated by our southern neighbours.

Syndicated 2010-01-26 11:31:35 from Christian Schaller

Getting Chromium onto the GStreamer lovetrain

Bastien Nocera is known for a lot of things. Most people in Gnome probably knows him as the maintainer of the Totem media player. In the Fedora community he is known as one who deals with a lot of the challenges around multimedia. Here in the UK he is also known as the only frenchman to ever get fully naturalized.

Anyway his latest effort is to try to try and kickstart some work in Google Chromium to get it to use everyone favorite media framework GStreamer. Bastiens explains a lot of his rationale in the Chromium bug report, but I am hoping to get others in the community to chime in too, and even if you don’t have anything new to add, just let Google know you care by staring up this bug report.

Syndicated 2010-01-22 16:46:49 from Christian Schaller

Why is it impossible to not hate Ryanair?

When I went to Norway this year for Christmas I had the most convenient travel route ever. I had a direct flight from Stanstead Airport to Rygge in Norway. Rygge is a tiny airport, but when you visit people on the southeast side of Oslo like I did, its perfect.

The ticket was also quite reasonably priced even though it was the Christmas holiday.

Yet, despite offering me this ideally set up trip between the two airports on both side which fits me the best, I struggle to dig up any kind of positive feelings for Ryanair.

Was discussing it a bit with Wim and Tim and I think a big part of the reason for this is the constant feeling you get when booking a trip with them that they are trying to make you think their fares are cheaper than they actually are or the feeling that they attempt to ’sneak’ in extra options.

For instance how they charge you for the use of your credit/debit card, a fee that got nothing to do with the actual cost to them and the fact that it is practically impossible to avoid it. As Tim mentioned when we discussed it, if they just included that 5£ fee in the price you wouldn’t think about it and just be happy you got a cheap ticket, instead you feel they are trying to pull a fast one on you and make their prices look even better than they are by pretending mandatory expenses aren’t mandatory.

Maybe Ryanair doesn’t care if I or anyone else actually likes them, I mean I still booked my flight to Norway with them because they where the only ones flying from Stanstead. Yet on the other side I always tend to fly with Easyjet instead of Ryanair if I can, both due to usually flying to better airports and a general feeling that if I search for a flight the price they list for that flight is the price I am actually paying.

Maybe the problem is simply that Ryanair doesn’t understand that even when you are travelling I don’t like the feeling of being taken for a ride :)

Syndicated 2010-01-19 14:42:40 from Christian Schaller

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