Monday, August 20, 2007

My code's compiling...

The biggest problems with Moore's law and the power of PC's these days is that compilation time is constantly decreasing.

xkcd knows what I'm talking about...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mac Mini upgrade...finally!

Amongst the fanfare of the Apple iMac range overhaul I didn't initially catch that the Mac Mini has also been upgraded! I've been waiting for this for a long time so I can use one as a front end for my MythTV system.

Not only have the processors and RAM been upgraded (Core 2 Duo 1.83 or 2.0 GHz, 1Gig RAM) but the price has come down too.

Now is the right time to buy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Firefly (aka mt-daapd)

Firefly is a wonderful implementation of a DAAP server. What is DAAP I hear you ask? It's an audio streaming protocol introduced by Apple to allow you to stream music from one PC to another over a network. In simpler terms it lets you host all your music on your server and play them through iTunes (or some other apps).

Unfortunately, the version of Firefly in the Ubuntu repositories is a little old and stopped working for me when I recently upgraded my iTunes. Upgrading it wasn't as easy as normal in Ubuntu so I thought I'd list the steps I took:

  • Uninstall the old version
    • sudo apt-get remove mt-daapd
  • Delete configuration files and the database as they appear to be incompatible (YMMV).
    • sudo rm /var/cache/mt-daapd/songs.db
    • sudo rm /etc/mt-daapd.conf
  • Download a recent build
    • wget
  • Install package
    • dpkg -i mt-daapd_0.9-svn-1586_feisty_i386.deb

Now reconfigure Firefly. There's probably a much better workaround than deleting the config files and the database but Firefly is so easy to set up that it's not worth figuring it out!

Thankfully, I can now, once again, play my music through iTunes from my Ubuntu server.

Mac Defect: Samba mounting

I've found a workaround to what appears to be a bug in the OSX Finder. When you mount a network drive (over samba) sometimes the drive appears, then promptly disappears. Attempting to mount the drive again results in the error "Volume already mounted". Dang.

The workaround is to "Go to Folder" (Shift-Apple-G) and enter "/Volumes". You should find your network drive there.

Chicken of the VNC - Slow connecting to Ubuntu

Chicken of the VNC is undoubtably one of the coolest-named apps around. And, in most situations, it's the best VNC client on the Mac. But it has some serious issues when connecting to my Ubuntu (Feisty Fawn) server - it's slow to the point that it's unusable.

Twiddling with the various options doesn't make a difference. No idea what's causing the issue; if anyone can enlighten me I'd appreciate it!

In the meantime I use the venerable VNCViewer. It hasn't been updated in years but it connects to my server just fine (although it does drive CPU usage high).