Friday, January 26, 2007

Linux Apple Airport Express Support

Well it's a little bit late, but this post is a reaction to three posts Stephan Kochen about streaming audio from the GStreamer framework tomade by an Apple Airport Express. (Post 1, Post 2, Post 3).

More than a month ago I was looking for a GStreamer sink that would stream audio player by the GStreamer framework to an Apple Airport Express.
I couldn't find anything, the only thing I found was JustePort by Jon Lech Johansen. And a certain Bash script.

I got it working more or less. What I did was create an ALSA sink, so it would write all data it received to a file (actually a FiFo). The Bash script I found would then be started and in a infinite loop keep reading data from the FiFo and pipe it to JustePort.
It worked, well I got sound on my speakers (which are connected to an amp. which is connected to the Apple Airport Express). The problems and/or limitations I experienced were:
  • A crash of the music player the first play you want to start playing a song with this construction. Restarting the music player and trying again always worked.
  • An irritating buzz when the FiFo was empty (the player was paused, or the gap in between songs).
  • The horrid construction and actions that need to be taken to get it working each time.
  • And of course the fact that all sound in Linux that was player over ALSA would be outputted to my speakers.
The best thing would indeed be a GStreamer sink plugin for this. So Stephan just to let you know, there are other people (even in your province) that are interested in this.
Now I am not a really great programmer on these kind of systems (too hardware oriented I'm afraid) but maybe I can help you in some way.

I think the best thing to do is to get something small to work first like detect if a Jack is plugged into the Airport's socket. And then from thereon continue implementing more complicated things.

Let me know if I can help you in any way, cause I have two of these babies at home, so I have a testbed.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

From Sysvinit to Upstart = -12 seconds

A few days ago I reinstalled my Ubuntu Linux PC. I was still using Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake but decided to install Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft since I had no problems with it on my laptop.

I am always a bit reluctant about upgrades so I decided to completely reinstall the system. But before I did I clocked my boot time under Dapper Drake (which uses Sysvinit), from pressing the power button on my PC till the GDM login screen took 67 seconds.

Then I installed Edgy Eft and installed all the applications I previously used and got the settings back (had some troubles with Evolution) and then clocked again. This time from pressing the power button till the GDM login screen took 55 seconds. Upstart gave an improvement of 12 seconds, that's pretty much I think.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Is it a birdie? Is it an Eagle? Is it an Albatros?

No! It's a hole in one!

Uh, well okay, let me explain that. Yesterday I went to Dennis together with Pascal and Ivo, cause Dennis and Pascal both had their birthdays somewhere in the Christmas-holiday and they decided to have a little party. Well actually they decided we all should come play with Dennis' new Nintendo Wii.
An absolutely fabulous idea if you ask me.

We played the games that come packed with the Wii, Bowling (in which I pretty sucked), Tennis, Boxing, Baseball and Golf. Dennis also downloaded (bought) Bomberman from the Wii online shop system, and we played it for some time, a lot of retro fun.

To get back to the title of this post, in the golf game I got a hole in one at Hole 4, the total par of the 9-hole was 36 and I got 36 ;).

And for the insiders something worth mentioning is that Dennis got beaten by Pascal.

Another post about the Nintendo Wii will follow soon.