mones is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Ricardo Mones
Member since: 2002-04-01 16:20:18
Last Login: 2008-02-15 07:51:00

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Recent blog entries by mones

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Disabling "flat-volumes" in pulseaudio

Today I've just faced another of those happy ideas some people implements in software, which can be useful for some cases, but can also also be bad as default behaviour.

The problems caused were already posted to Debian mailing lists, fortunately, as well as its solution, which basically in a default Debian configuration means to:

$ sudo echo "flat-volumes = no" >> /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
$ pulseaudio -k && pulseaudio

And I think the default for Stretch should be set as above: raising volume to 100% just because of a system notification, while useful for some, it's not what common users expect.

Syndicated 2017-05-13 15:12:48 from Ricardo Mones

Building on a RPi without disc

Nothing like a broken motherboard to experiment alternative ways of building software. This time I've tried to use a Raspberry Pi and, to avoid wearing out the SD card too much, a NFS mount on a Synology NAS. It happens both items were generously donated by two different Claws Mail users some years ago, thanks to them! ;-)

So, after installing all build dependencies and a build helper, how long it took?

configure-claws: Tue May 9 13:28:55 UTC 2017
cd b-claws && env PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/claws/lib/pkgconfig ./configure --enable-maintainer-mode --prefix=/opt/claws > /home/mones/nfs/claws/log-configure-claws.txt 2>&1 && cd ..
configure-claws: Tue May 9 13:34:09 UTC 2017
compile-claws: Tue May 9 13:34:09 UTC 2017
cd b-claws && make -j2 > /home/mones/nfs/claws/log-compile-claws.txt 2>&1 && cd ..
compile-claws: Tue May 9 15:44:28 UTC 2017

Yep, that is more than 5 minutes for configuring and more than 130 minutes for compiling. Not for being in a hurry, but I've built kernels which took more, some decades ago :-)

And if you want to know how to break a motherboard...

One day you're converting some raw photos to JPEG with RawTherapee and the computer shuts down. Then you try again and notice the temperature of the CPU is too high, and it shuts down again, of course. You boot into BIOS and then realize the thermal protection shutdown was enabled (and you thank your past self for having enabled it!). The next day is Sunday and you try to clean inside the case, but there's not much dirt to clean. Dismounting the CPU cooler reveals that the thermal compound has nearly gone though.

The following day you try to buy some thermal grease, but the corner store only has a "P.R.C." labeled syringe and some thermal pad from CoolBox. The thermal pad seems to work fine on first boot, until you try RawTherapee and it shuts down again. Crying doesn't help as you see the temperature monitor increase one degree per second while you're staring at the BIOS (and it shuts down again).

Another day passes and you go to another local store, a bit further than the first, and firmly determined to get a real thermal compound. Nevertheless the store only has two options: expensive one and a cheap one. Store employee says the cheaper works fine, and the label shows indeed better specs than the expensive one. So, not without some hesitation, you buy the cheaper one, which is made by (you figured it out) CoolBox.

Back at home you remove the thermal pad and try to clean the cooler and the processor and to apply not too much compound. Somehow here is where the things go wrong. Maybe while trying to put the cooler in place, maybe while applying compound a second time. The fact is that now there's no video output anymore, and no power is being delivered to USB ports. No video, no keyboard and no idea about what's next.

Anyway, there's not much alternatives, the problem is to know which is the damaged part: CPU, motherboard or both. Ideas welcome ;-)

Syndicated 2017-05-09 23:32:56 from Ricardo Mones

Nice surprise

Absorbed like I was with the task of finishing the university project (see previous post), I did not even realized a little patch I have done to fix an untranslated string in dblatex was finally accepted some months ago!

Since the parameter name is different (and admittedly a better name) from my proposal, to keep the project generating a proper document I will have to make some change, a thing I wasn't expecting to do after having presented it :-).

Syndicated 2017-03-25 13:08:32 from Ricardo Mones


Somewhat tired and, later, busy with work, I didn't find time to write about it, but for completing the previous post, I'm doing it now. So, let's go back to January 20th...

Past couple of weeks have been somewhat stressing, as expected: after printing the books, had to bind them, deposit the books in the alumni section and pay the corresponding tuition fee. Later had to remind them that this was a project under a confidentiality arrange and had to inform the review committee about that.

Finishing the slides was another stressing factor. Today I was still changing minor things. Of course I didn't even try to do some presentation test... no time for that. Lose some time setting up nodejs for playing the slides with work's laptop, because mine doesn't have VGA output and my suspects (later confirmed) were University projector was not going to have anything more modern.

Today I choose the wrong room, but later discovered that the room I was assigned was taken by some other group (!) so I've had little choice. Despite arriving earlier I spent most of the time fighting with the projector, which refused to detect my work laptop. After the committee arrival they talked to the other group and we swapped rooms. The projector worked fine in this one, and the presentation could be done. There was more questions than I was expecting, but after finishing and some minutes of waiting the desired result was announced.

Next week I requested the official title in the alumni section, though I could do this by email, but not without paying yet another fee, of course. In this country titles are taking 6 months to be delivered, as they come from the Ministry of Education┬╣, so no more news are expected until summer.

So, finally, I'm now a Computer Science Engineer ;-)

┬╣ Why printing a colour A3 sized title takes six months is still a mystery to me. Anyway by the time I got my BSc title (+20 years ago) they were taking years, so this is definitely an improvement.

Syndicated 2017-02-11 15:12:27 from Ricardo Mones

This is how 2 years of work look...

...after printing it for submission in triplicate:
Three copies of MSc project next to a x260 laptop

At least this was somewhat cheap (34.80 euros) because it's printed black and white. Printing in colour was prohibitive.

Next step: bind them in a dark blue hard-cover with golden letters :-)

Syndicated 2017-01-12 00:10:11 from Ricardo Mones

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