debian

For those who care about SN9C10x based webcams

Webcam
Sonic-snap screenshot
Sonic-snap-gui screenshot
Note: Yeah, I'm abusing the latest Debian flamewar meme for some attention mongering. Sue me.

A few days ago, I have tested my cheap, crappy webcam I bought more than a year ago for the first time. Using the latest SN9C10x driver (which is already included in recent 2.6.1x kernels) worked fine, i.e., the USB webcam was recognized.

I tried running sonic-snap (site is currently down, try the Google Cache) in order to get snapshot images and/or videos off the webcam, which initially didn't work. But I soon found out what the cause of the problem was and created a trivial patch which fixed the problem for me.

Then, after I made myself look like an idiot by reporting a bug against a non-existing sonic-snap Debian package, I finally sent the patch to the upstream author. I'll probably ITP the package, though, as I might be using the webcam more often...

I also tested the webcam with Gnomemeeting for some videoconferencing fun, which didn't work at first either. After some stupid guessing and googling, I finally found out that you need to apt-get install libpt-plugins-v4l2, which is not installed by default (why?). Other than that (and apart from the really, really crappy image quality of the webcam), it worked really nice...

Here's the exact lsusb output for Google to parse, other people might be searching for this info:

Bus 003 Device 003: ID 0c45:602a Microdia Meade ETX-105EC Camera

xbubble: xlibs-dev transition done

xbubble screenshot

Just a quick update on Amaya Rodrigo's recent post on Planet Debian about xbubble's upstream author sending a patch for the Debian xlibs-dev transition: I have uploaded a (hopefully) fixed version of the package yesterday => one step closer to the end of the transition.

Addicting game, btw., give it a try!

22C3: Impressions, lectures, hacking, bb ported to iPod

Train Station

It's day 2 of the 22C3 congress — time to post some stuff.

I've been travelling to Berlin by train with Daniel Reutter, taking a bunch of photos with my new PowerShot A610 (see photo on the right, for an example). You can browse the 22c3 flickr group for more photos.

We've listened to quite a lot of lectures already, and many more will follow. Especially the keynote by Joi Ito was really great, the network here works most of the time (wired net, as well as WLAN), so everything's fine for now...

As far as hacking is concerned, we played around with iPodLinux a bit. We managed to port aalib to the iPod an then (more interesting) we also ported bb, the portable text-mode demo. There are some issues on both the 4g iPod and the 5g iPod we tried this on, but we're working on it... We have documented the ports in the form of HOWTOs (currently Debian-specific) in the iPodLinux wiki (aalib, bb).

bb on a 4g iPod
bb on a 5g iPod photo 1
bb on a 5g iPod photo 2

Up next: porting Ruby to the iPod.

Update 2006-01-05: This post made it to Symlink a few days ago.

My new toy: the Canon PowerShot A610, and how to use it with Linux

My new Canon PowerShot A610

So, I finally got myself a new digital camera — the Canon PowerShot A610. Judging from some, good reviews I read, it looks like the best option for my purposes and for the price I'm willing to pay.

It's a 5 megapixel camera, it has a 4x optical zoom, it's pretty fast, can do videos (640x480 at 30 fps) etc. etc.

Of course, it only comes with a 16 MB SD-card which is a joke, so I'll need to get something like a 1 GB card soonish.

It seems to be pretty well-suited for macro photography (1cm minimum distance), see the samples on the right.

Scrissors
Pen

Linux usage:

Using this camera with Linux is not as simple as mounting it as an USB mass storage device. Instead, the camera uses the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) for file transfers.

Fortunately, the wonderful gphoto2 (apt-get install gphoto2) supports that, so I can easily get all images and videos off the camera with a simple

gphoto2 --get-all-files

(actually, the camera is only "supported" in the current gphoto2 CVS version, the latest stable release, 2.1.6, doesn't really recognize it — but it still works ;-)

As I now have a pretty solid digital camera (compared to my last one), and I've also been gifted a good book on digital photography, I hope to be able to improve the quality of the photos in my photoblog quite a lot in the nearer future.

In any case, I'll sure have some fun with this new toy...

Kitty - a podcast / video podcast / vlog client for KDE

I have ITP'd the podcast / vlog client Kitty, yesterday. I had a look at various vlog clients recently and Kitty seems to be really nice.

A Debian package should be available in a few days, I already have a test-version running on my local box...

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