Archive for the ‘Meerkat’ Category

DeVeDe, iso’s too small from m4v files

23, March 2011

I’m running Maverick Xubuntu on my Desktop Box and finding that if I burn m4v files created in Handbrake of about 1.4Gb using DeVeDe that the resulting iso image is 80Mb yes Meg. When I play them in VLC they are either chopped short or run too fast and short. If I convert them from m4v to avi then DeVeDe creates the correct sized working iso. It’s a solution but who wants to convert files twice when DeVeDe should just do it. All worked ok just a couple of weeks ago [March 2011]. I’ve tried reverting to previous versions of both handbrake and DeVeDe with no luck and am beginning to think it may be an ffmpeg problem. If I run DeVeDe from the command line I get the following output in the Terminal..

mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
/usr/lib/devede/ GtkWarning: GtkSpinButton: setting an adjustment with non-zero page size is deprecated
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
mplayer: could not connect to socket
mplayer: No such file or directory
Failed to open LIRC support. You will not be able to use your remote control.
Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

[pages worth of Skipping frame]

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!

Skipping frame!
Launching program: dvdauthor -x /home/bob/Videos/test.xml
elemento: /usr/bin

So apart from a missing mplayer socket problem, a deprecated python reference it’s skipping lots of frames no wonder the results are poor. I think I’ve now solved this after days of testing, the solution seems to be to not convert m4v’s in handbrake using the Framerate option [Same as Source].

Handbrake Video options

Handbrake Video options

So in the Video Tab you need to select an actual frame rate for the conversion. I’ve tested this with two different clips from DVD’s and this has now let DeVeDe create a correctly sized iso image which plays perfectly in VLC. I hope this helps out others with the same problem.

Transmission Remote GUI

15, March 2011

Transmission Remote GUI

Now I have my Transmission daemon up and running which I can access from a web browser [see here ]  I thought I would try out the Transmission Remote GUI as this give me a few more option on a per download basis. First I need to add the package with;

$ sudo apt-get install transgui

Once installed open tools options and add the details of your connection to your remote host

Remote Host: static ip address of Transmission Host

Port: 9091

User name & Password

Now you should be able to see your download queue and manage it from your remote client.

Edit: Just found out you can only sudo apt-get this app from Natty, Maverick and below do not have this in the repos. So visit Transmisson Remote gui Homepage and download the or, extract the files to a suitable folder on your system then create a shortcut to the transgui program file.


2, January 2011

Ok so I’ve had my Sheevaplug since January 2009 and have now bricked it at least 3 times trying to be too clever by half! As it’s getting to be a rugular thing and it always takes me hours to work out what to do, here are my instructions.

I have used the same info. from the page below and added/changed it to reflect my process, please read both to make sure you understand what you are doing! as I take no reponsibility for errors blah, blah etc.etc.

I found the “instructions”, script & packages on this site

SheevaPlug Installer Page;

but to be honest they are a bit difficult to follow for a bit of a noob so I’ve adapted them a bit.

The installer will reflash a bricked plug & can be used to install another distro [I’ve used Debian Squeeze this time] but if you just want it back to “factory settings” use the packages as they are.

My plug is the BFLS one supplied with Ubuntu Jaunty on the internal flash card and the PC I will use to reflash it has Ubuntu Jaunty on it so although the scipt includes Windows support I won’t mention it here, see the above page for details.

The runme.php would not run on Ubuntu 10.10 as the version of python on Ubuntu 10.10 has depreciated some terms. I got round this at the time by installing the old 32 bit Karmic Ubuntu and using that but since then I have found the possible answers in this post

but not tested the solution yet although I have saved copies of the files it talks about for future use, contact me if you need them.

If you can get onto the plug then backup your stuff as this script will delete the lot, be Warned

First Download the tarball from

This includes all the files you need to re flash your sheevaplug with the default install of Ubuntu Jaunty. Check out this post if you want to Install a Debian system, you can either download the pre-built Lenny or Squeeze rootfs.tar.gz files or use the script that mgillespie has created.

You now need to add the following packages to your host PC, cu, php5-cli, and libftdi1, so install with the following commands in a [Terminal];

$ sudo apt-get install cu

$ sudo apt-get install php5-cli


$ sudo apt-get install libftdi1

adding libftdi1 fixes the error message “openocd/openocd: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory” latter on.

You now connect the Sheevaplug to your PC with the USB lead [supplied] and issue this command in a [Terminal];

$ cu -s 115200 -l /dev/ttyUSB1

Note: [you may need to try cu -s 115200 -l /dev/ttyUSB0 my plug seemed to use either!]

If you get any sort of error message along the lines of

cu: open (/dev/ttyUSB1): No such file or directory
cu: /dev/ttyUSB1: Line in use

you need to issue the following commands in a [Terminal] to remove then add the driver support and re try.

$ sudo rmmod ftdi_sio

followed by

$ sudo modprobe ftdi_sio vendor=0x9e88 product=0x9e8f

If you now get on then you can proceed to the task at hand, if not it’s time to Google!. However I found that I could not get onto the plug sometimes and then realised that the plug end connection of the usb PC to plug cable was working itself out socket in the plug.


1. Prepare an empty USB stick that is FAT16/32 formatted. [Note: the 2 USB sticks I used were not detected by the plug even though I had used 1 of then before to unbrick my plug, be warned]. Re formatting and unplugging safely etc.etc did not help.

2. Extract the tarball you downloaded earlier into a folder on your PC (for example: ~/plug)

3. Edit the ~/plug/uboot/uboot-env/uboot-mmc-custom.txt or uboot-nand-custom.txt file to the correct MAC address according to the MAC address on the back of the Plug (default set to ethaddr 00:50:43:01:c1:e6). If your system is to boot from the internal flash then it’s the nand file you change, if it boots from a flash card in the side slot it’s the mmc file you change.

4. Copy all the files from ~/plug/installer to the USB stick.
NOTE: that the files should be written to the root directory of the USB stick. For example:

$ sudo cp -a ~/plug/installer/* /media/usb-pen/

5. You should now have a copy of the following;

  1. Init ramdisk (initrd)
  2. Kernel modules (modules.tar.gz)
  3. README.txt
  4. Root file-system (rootfs.tar.gz) Note if you are installing Debian, replace this file with the Debian version you have either downloaded or created with the mgillespie’s script.
  6. Kernel (uImage)

6. Copy the uboot image (named uboot.bin) to the ~/plug/uboot/ directory, if it’s not there, mine was.

7. Safely remove the USB stick from the host PC, power off the plug and plug the USB stick into the Plug’s USB host interface (not via a USB HUB I disconnected all other periferals also!)

8. Connect the Plug to your PC with it’s USB cable.

9. On your PC in a [Terminal] again change to the working directory

$ cd ~/plug

and run the runme.php file with the command;

sudo php runme.php and either nand or mmc, nand if your system is on the internal flash mmc if on an external card, in my case;

$ sudo php runme.php nand

If you get an error message along these lines of;

Error: unable to open ftdi device: device not found
Runtime error, file “command.c”, line 469:
****    openocd FAILED
****    Is the mini USB cable connected?
****    Try powering down, then replugging the Sheevaplug

then try issuing these commands in a [Terminal] to delete and reload the driver, then retry;

$ sudo rmmod ftdi_sio
$ sudo modprobe ftdi_sio vendor=0x9e88 product=0x9e8f

[and make sure the USB cable at the plug end is firmly in]

If all goes well the process should start and end a couple of minutes later with a “beep” to indicate that the uboot install process has finished with the following message. [no beep on my plug]

****   U-boot should be up and running now. Open your console …

Now, open another Terminal  and log with this command

$ cu -s 115200 -l /dev/ttyUSB1

if you get this message;

## Booting image at 00800000 …
Bad Magic Number

as I did when using the first USB stick, then the process probably has not found the USB Stick and not loaded the o/s. You could try running the command;

run recover1

but in my case it just did not like the USB stick and I had to use another

If all goes well you should now see the o/s being installed with the final lines being..

* Starting kernel log daemon…
Ubuntu 9.04 ubuntu ttyS0

ubuntu login:                                                          [ OK ]
* Starting OpenBSD Secure Shell server sshd         [ OK ]
* Starting periodic command scheduler crond        [ OK ]
* Restarting OpenBSD Secure Shell server sshd     [ OK ]

with just an unhelpful flashing curser, in the centre of the last line!

After pressing [Enter] you get:

Ubuntu 9.04 ubuntu ttyS0

ubuntu login:

Just login with the default user root and password nosoup4u


New Years Resolution 2011

31, December 2010

Why not consider donating some of your spare CPU cycles to the Folding@Home Project, Their goal is to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases and we can help by doing the calculations they need doing using our spare CPU cycles. You can join teams and are allocated points for the work units you fold to give you an incentive other than help out the search for cures for various diseases.

I started Folding at the beginning of 2010 for Team Ubuntu [id:45104]as a New Years Resolution hoping to get into the top 1000 Team Ubuntu user listing by the end of the year and have managed to get to 241 today having completed 420 Work Units gaining 143103 Points. Why not join the Team see the Recruiting notice here and help a good cause, my New Years Resolution for 2011?, to double my points, and as always loose weight, become rich and retire.

Happy New Year All

Apache Server [simple]

1, December 2010

So I wanted to have a web album of my photos on my local network so needed my server to be able to serve up the web pages.

install apache;

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

open your favorite web browser and type http://localhost into the address bar, if it work you should get a page saying so.

Now stop the service with;

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 stop

and edit to config file with;

$ sudo gedit /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

amend the directory path to your site from the default /var/www/localhost/htdocs to something like /home/bob/www/localhost/htdocs so that you can find and add docs without being root etc. Add your site index.html file to this folder and restart the service with;

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

and point your browser at the site again with http://localhost or http://my_servers_name if you have given your server a host name on your network.


1, December 2010

Using the gconf tool to make changes to your desktop from the command line. These allow you to script changes you make every time to upgrade.

These have been tested on the Gnome Desktop on Lynx & Maverick.

Copy and paste these commands into a Terminal [Applications], [Accessories], [Terminal]

## Add icons to the [System] menu. ##
gconftool-2 --type Boolean --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons True

## Remove shutdown “Do you really want to do this 60 second count down” question ##
gconftool-2 --type Boolean --set /apps/indicator-session/suppress_logout_restart_shutdown True

## Return to old Update notification icon in top menu ##
gconftool-2 --type Boolean --set /apps/update-notifier/auto_launch False

gconftool-2 --type int --set /apps/update-notifier/regular_auto_launch_interval 0

## Add Banner message to GDM ##
sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/banner_message_text “Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64 Bit”

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type string /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/banner_message_text_nochooser “Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 64 Bit”

sudo -u gdm gconftool-2 --set --type boolean /apps/gdm/simple-greeter/banner_message_enable true

## Set wallpaper ##
gconftool-2 --type string --set /desktop/gnome/background/picture_filename /home/Pictures/My_Wallpaper.jpg

Tomboy blogposter

20, October 2010

Post post to your WordPress blog from Tomboy.

Now available in Maverick repositories using:

$ sudo apt-get install tomboy-blogposter

In Tomboy Notes, go to [Edit], [Preferences], [Add-ins], expand [Tools] click on “Post note to your blog” click on [Preferences] click on [Add] and fill in details of your WordPress blog, the URL should be in the form You can now open upload a note as a blog post by clicking on the [Tools] option (cog wheels) and selecting the [Post note to your blog] option.



20, October 2010
Favourite Games.

From the Repositories;
Open Invaders

Machinarium:- Flash Adventure Game,
Samorost:– Flash Adventure Game,
World of Goo:– Puzzle Game,
Penumbra, Overture, Black Plague & Requiem:- First Person Survival Horror Games,
Caster:- 3rd Person Action Shooter,


20, October 2010

“Floola is a freeware application to efficiently manage your iPod or your Motorola mobile phone (any model supporting iTunes except iPhone, iPod touch.”

Floola was the application which finally allowed me to say goodbye to Windows/iTunes and go completely over to Ubuntu.

I have an 80GM black 6th generation video classic iPod which I can now manage with Floola. I can sync music, audiobooks, photos, podcasts & my gmail calendar. It can cope with Apple formats but I now use mp3 for music & audiobooks. You can also add Album Art and if your mp3 already have Art it usually adds it automatically.

I had already jail broken my iPod as follows;

In a terminal

$ sudo apt-get install libgpod4

Connect your iPod using the USB cable provided and it should auto mount, you now need to navigate to /media to determine the mount point of your iPod [mine show up as /media/MY_IPOD. The iPod needs a SysInfo file adding to it so that it is identified by your system, I found this option to created worked first time. Type or copy and paste the following into a Terminal after the prompt

$ sudo lsusb -v | grep -i Serial

this should give you a result similar to this;

iSerial 3 000D27002446H699
iSerial 1 0000:00:13.2
iSerial 0
iSerial 1 0000:00:13.1
iSerial 1 0000:00:13.0

The 16 digit number is the iPod’s FirewireID, now type or copy and paste the following into a Terminal after the prompt

$ sudo gedit /media/MY_IPOD/iPod_Control/Device/SysInfo

replacing /media/MY_iPOD with the path and name of your iPod. My iPod had one entry already of ModelNumStr: xB147 so I added a new line as follows;

ModelNumStr: xB147
FirewireGuid: 000D27002446H699

and re-saved it to the iPod. This allows it to be identified by Linux programs.

To Install Floola;

Download and extract Floola from the website to a suitable folder on your HD.

$ sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

For 64 bit systems, also install getlibs, see

then type getlibs in a Terminal to install 32 bit libs on a 64 bit system.

The Floola site has further FAQ and installation instructions and I’ve had the program working on both Ubuntu Lucid and Start-up sound fix for Maverick with no problems.

Start-up sound fix for Maverick

20, October 2010
Fix the glitchy start-up Sound: 

Open the file /etc/pulse/ by opening a Terminal and typing;

$ sudo gedit /etc/pulse/

Find the line that looks like this;

load-module module-udev-detect

and add “tsched=0” to the end so it looks like this;

load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0

Save and reboot your PC.