Friday, December 07, 2007

Thanks Comcast....

Well Comcast decided to block port 25 incoming into my server at my house, they think I am a spammer. I can understand blocking port 25 going out (which they did as well), but incoming? I guess they say I can't run a server and since a mail server falls into that, they can do that unless I get a commercial account or use a mail reflector both cost extra so I'm not going to do that. So now I can't receive any email coming into the mailing list that I was using for gnome-mplayer and gecko-mediaplayer. So I had to reconfigure all my email stuff yesterday. So now the mailing lists have moved to Google Groups

The group for gnome-mplayer is here:

and the one for gecko-mediaplayer is here:

You have to join the group to post, but I don't think that is a bad thing at all. The CVS mailing lists are all internal to the server and so posting to them is not blocked by Comcast, so those will remain where they are for now.

Anyway, thanks Comcast for killing several hours.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disney World

Jody had a conference in Orlando and so we got to take a couple of days at Disney World. We got to visit Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. Disney really knows how to move people around. The infrastructure is amazing that they have put together.

Pictures are in the usual spots... (Vacations/2007/DisneyWorld)

Grandr Applet 0.4

Grandr Applet 0.4 had been released. I've made some changes into it so that it compiles on GTK 2.12 systems. Also CVS is moving forward and I'm trying to work in some of the Xrandr 1.2 changes into it.

Friday, November 02, 2007


About two weeks ago Jody and I spent some time in Seattle. We had a great time there and got to see my Aunt Wanda and Uncle Steve and my Cousin April, her husband Gregg and their two boys. As usual when we go touring with April and Gregg we go nuts... one of these days we are gonna take things slow... but I don't know when.


Software Release Day

Well, I'm at it again. I've released the following versions.

gecko-mediaplayer 0.5.2
gnome-mplayer 0.5.2
nailer 0.4.2

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Lego Eiffel Tower

It is finally done....

Nadine (our summer exchange student) and I started it in July, and I finally got around to sticking all 3000+ pieces together.

More software releases

I finally decided the stuff was good enough for now, so I released the following items today

gecko-mediaplayer 0.5.1
gnome-mplayer 0.5.1
nailer 0.3

You can get them from

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MiniPC died...

Well my primary workstation (Aopen MiniPC) died today. The fan the cools the processor broke and now the machine won't run for more than about 30 mins. So I'm really looking for a replacement now.

Luckily, my Zonbu machine arrived yesterday and I put it into operation. So far it is a pretty decent machine, it is not as fast as I am used to and so it feels a little pokey. And it is definitely not a developers workstation. But the lack of noise from the machine is great. My biggest disappointment so far is the analog (VGA) only output to the display. I have a large (1600x1050) display that is very clear on a DVI connection with an analog connection it is just not as sharp.

Cachefs in it syncs to the servers at zonbu pretty constantly and so if you put a lot of data (my email is about 400MB) on the box you can actually saturate your own network outgoing. So I had to put in a throttle the cachefs settings. If you need these I would be glad to share them.

Also, I put thunderbird on mine because I like it better than evolution.

All in all the Zonbu is great for someone who does minimal document creation, email and lots of websurfing on a broadband connection. I have not hooked up a webcam or a scanner to it yet, but I also don't see any apps for those devices either.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New Machine ideas?

I have an Aopen MiniPC 915G that is starting to make some odd noises. I think it is just the fan, but I've also thought about replacing the machine with a dual core machine. So I'm starting to look around for a new machine. I'm looking for something that has a dual core, minimum of 2GB of RAM and preferably a small form factor case. I really like the size of the Aopen box, but the lack of slots is frustrating since I can't upgrade the video. I would like to have at least 1 PCIe 16x slot (low profile is ok). So far the compact machines from HP are looking interesting. Probably reliability and quiet are the most desired features. Does anyone have any suggestions.

GNOME MPlayer 0.5.0 and Gecko MediaPlayer 0.5.0

GNOME MPlayer 0.5.0 and Gecko MediaPlayer 0.5.0 have been released. You can get them at my website.

The biggest feature is the addition of playlist and a graphical playlist manager to GNOME MPlayer. Full drag and drop support to the playlist is included, so creating a playlist should be a snap.

I've found out recently that Zonbu and Zenwalk Linux are including GNOME MPlayer in their software as the default interface to MPlayer. So that is pretty cool. Zonbu is supposed to be sending me one of their machines, so I am looking forward to trying out one of those.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Exchange Student

My wife and I hosted a second exchange student from Germany last month. We had a great time with her and as always we learned a little more about the world and about ourselves. We still keep in touch with the student we hosted a year ago and we hope the same will happen with this recent one. It is fantastic to have friends all over the world.

If you have ever thought about hosting a student, try it, you might like it. I definitely had reservations with the first one but after having him, it was fun, so we decided to host another one this summer. So far we have only hosted students for a month during the summer. Maybe we'll host one for a year if we get up the nerve.

Sunflower Applet 0.7

I've been sitting on this code way to long. I actually thought I had released the updates in this, but now realize I hadn't. So here it is. It's main feature is the new location selection by map feature.

mplayerplug-in version 3.45 is out

mplayerplug-in v3.45 has been released. It should fix a problem with crashing on certain distributions of Linux. CVS did not crash on my Fedora installation, but it did crash on Myah OS running in VMWare. After a couple of patches I was able to correct the crashes and the fix was confirmed by the developer of Myah OS. This should fix problems with other distros as well. In addition there are a few other fixes in there as well.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Vacation... finally

Jody and I took a four day weekend and spent some time in SW Colorado. Highlights of the trip include visiting the Great Sand Dunes, the Durango & Silverton Railway, Mesa Verde and Four Corners Monument.

It was so nice to get away and relax if only for a few days. Photos from the trip are in the 2007 folder on my photos area of my website. Already, I thinking we need another vacation and I just got back yesterday. :)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Memorial Day

I know that the Memorial Day Holiday creates a short week, but I was messed up all week on this. I thought Thursday was Friday and just could not get motivated. Ugh, just should have worked it all, I guess. Maybe I need help, mentally that is.


Yesterday, I got an invitation to a wedding over 1000 miles away that is in two days... do they really think I am coming?

And a couple of days before that I got another invitation to a graduation that was over 1000 miles away as well, to something that was happening in 5 days.

I know that I never was planning on going to either, but I think that I should have been invited to these things just a little earlier.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quicktime Media Link format media

I was trying to check out the new trailer for Transformers and I found that gecko-mediaplayer would not handle it right. So I took a look at the file that was coming from Yahoo. It looked like a real simple XML file so I went ahead a made a parser for it using the XML parsing tools in GLIB and after about 20 mins of work I had the media playing in my browser. I'm not sure Transformers is gonna have all that great of a story, but the visuals are very impressive. So I'll have to see if I'm gonna wait until Netflix has it or not.

Sunflower Applet

Sunflower is starting to be a interesting app for me to be working on. In the last couple of days (in CVS as of today) I've edited the preferences dialog to include a world map and you can just click on your location to select where you are. The black dot is where I am.

Every time, I work with GTK I find out some more things that are really easy to do, once you do a little reading. Usually the tricky part is figuring out how to get something in the spot you expect it.

Am I nuts...

Whew.... Sunday morning was a big software release day for me. I released the following applications for GNOME

GNOME MPlayer 0.4.6
Gecko Media Player 0.0.6
Sunflower Applet 0.6
Grandr Applet 0.3

These can all be found at

Saturday, May 05, 2007


The grandr applet for GNOME had been unmaintained for awhile and I use it every now and then and there were a few problems with it. So I found those problems and fixed them and offered them as patches upstream. The author of grandr_applet said he really wasn't doing much with it these days, so I offered to take over maintenance of it. He said, "Go for it". So now I guess I am the maintainer of the app until someone else wants it. So far I have yet to do a release, but it is in my cvs with my patches. I'm waiting to see what breaks when the new xrandr 1.2 comes out.


I've been doing a lot of GUI work on the GNOME MPlayer. Some of the work I'm doing may not agree 100% with the GNOME HIG documents but, I think the end result will be pretty close. And the GUI I end up with is gonna be a lot less heinous than any of the gmplayer themes. Lots of discussion of how the GUI should meet the HIG but definitely no patches coming in to "correct" many of them. I think alot of the HIG complaints are just personal preferences masked as a "compliance issues". Personally, I have my own preferences and I think I'll choose mine over others unless there is a really good reason.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

mplayerplug-in being changed to gecko-mediaplayer

mplayerplug-in is a great plugin for Mozilla/Firefox it works for a lot of sites out there and gives generally good results. But I think the end is near for it. I will continue to maintain it over the the next year fixing anything that comes up with it but the future is definitely with gecko-mediaplayer. What is gecko-mediaplayer? Well what I have done is separated out the functionality of mplayerplug-in into two components. The first component is the part that is very tightly integrated with the browser. It handles the requesting of media and the javascript commands. The other component is the actual media player itself. I have implemented a wrapper called GNOME MPlayer that handles this. This component can be used as a standalone player or as an embedded component. The plugin and the player communicate with each other over DBus. DBus was choosen because it is well supported on Linux and is becoming a common component on Linux systems so I could depend on it being available.

So what does all this changing around give us.

1. It gives us the ability to have the GUI abstacted away from the plugin. This is good in that then the GUI will not conflict with the GUI of the browser. So now Opera and perhaps Konqueror can become fully supported again.

2. This also gives gecko-mediaplayer the ability to use different players as long as they emulate that gnome-mplayer dbus interface.

All in all I think it is a good change. I think the code will be easier to maintain and therefore should be more reliable.

Edit 2010/02/22: Updated Links