Finishing Up the Emacs Video Player under Wayland?

(May 2, 2024)

This is the third part of a probably never-ending series of blog posts that started here and continued here. But! I think I’m getting pretty close to having everything working, so perhaps this is the final post? So I’ve got this Lenovo Yoga thing, and the point of it is that you can flip it … Continue reading Finishing Up the Emacs Video Player under Wayland?

Onscreen Keyboards and Emacs and Stuff

(May 1, 2024)

This is part two of a series of blog posts that I’m sure is going to go on forever: Wherein I Bitch About Wayland And Modern Life In General. So, last time, I finally bit the bullet and moved my travelling Yoga laptop to Wayland. This time around, I’m trying to get one more piece … Continue reading Onscreen Keyboards and Emacs and Stuff

The Simplest Thing In The World: Modifing Keymaps in Wayland

(April 28, 2024)

To remap the PrtSc key to the Hyper modifier key under Wayland with Gnome Shell on Ubuntu/Debian on the 28th of April 2024 (around noon) with a us keyboard mapping (I’m hedging my bets here), put the following in the ~/.config/xkb/symbol/us file: partial alphanumeric_keys modifier_keys xkb_symbols “hyper” { name[Group1]= “Hyper (US)”; include “us(basic)” key <PRSC> … Continue reading The Simplest Thing In The World: Modifing Keymaps in Wayland

RME Hammerfall Multiface II Firmware Files

(March 28, 2024)

This blog post might perhaps be useful to approx. four people over the next decade (but I’m probably exaggerating — more like two?), so if you don’t recognise all the words in the title here, you can skip this one. But if you’re googling and landed here: You’re welcome. OK, this is the deal: There’s … Continue reading RME Hammerfall Multiface II Firmware Files

Linux and Scanners and Stuff

(March 12, 2023)

Some years back, I had to scan a bunch of stuff for various projects. One of them was the Lanterne series thing — it’s totally frivolous, which is what makes it fun. But now I’ve managed to buy a whole bunch more books, so it was time to scan some more covers. (That’s the result … Continue reading Linux and Scanners and Stuff

Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

(March 13, 2021)

A couple years back I bought a Dasung Paperline HD to use as an alarm clock, and it’s worked perfectly. However, the little FitPC computer I was using died today. I was looking through the Cupboards of Mystery to see if I had anything here that I could replace it with, and I found a … Continue reading Oddball Raspberry Pi Screen Resolutions

Colon Files: rsync-tr

(April 24, 2019)

I was copying over some music to my phone (via jmtpfs and rsync), and I noticed that some of the files failed with “Input/output error”: After a while it dawned on me what all these files had in common was that there’s a colon in the file names. And presumably the MicroSD card in the … Continue reading Colon Files: rsync-tr


(April 20, 2019)

Hidden tracks on CDs used to be a pretty common thing. Not “real” hidden tracks: You could play tricks with the directory structure and put a track before the first one, so you have to skip back from 1 to get to 0. No, the common way to do this is to pad the final … Continue reading unsilence

Fun with DPMS; or, An Emacs-Based Screensaver

(February 28, 2019)

I’ve got a bunch of monitors, large and small, that (in general) are always on. Because I’m too lazy to switch stuff off and or. They display some useful information, but are largely decorative (i.e, some of them display temperature data, and some use xscreensaver to show what albums are playing). But I’ve got the … Continue reading Fun with DPMS; or, An Emacs-Based Screensaver

For Flacs Sake

(December 16, 2018)

Yesterday, I bought this Black Cab EP off of Bandcamp, but when I played it today, all I got was silence. A new form of Extreme Australian Minimalism or a bug? My music interface is Emacs, and it uses flac123 to play FLAC files. It’s not a very er supported program, but I find it … Continue reading For Flacs Sake

Useful Consumer Review

(October 28, 2018)

I needed a new scanner, and I wanted one that was significantly faster than the one I’ve been using until now. After some Googling, I landed on the Epson DS-50000, which is an A3+ scanner with a promise of being able to scan an A3 300DPI page in four seconds. The web site I bought … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Innovations in Emacs Touch Interfacing

(August 7, 2018)

I’ve long attempted to hack some touch interfaces for laptops in non-keyboard configurations. The sad thing is that there aren’t really any good solutions in GNU/Linux. If you want to be able to respond to more complex events like “two finger drag”, you have to hack GTK and use Touchégg, and then it turns out … Continue reading Innovations in Emacs Touch Interfacing

mpv Is Nice

(April 20, 2018)

I’ve been watching movies and TV using an Emacs interface since 2004, according to the movie.el file.  Under the hood, though, I’ve hacked away at mplayer to make it do what I want, which includes a convenient way to switch audio outputs and output progress info so that I can store that to restart the … Continue reading mpv Is Nice

So Much 4K

(March 10, 2018)

I got a 4K TV a while back, but I haven’t had any 4K media. Until yesterday! A couple of months ago, the encryption on 4K Bluray media was partially broken. It’s not just rip’n’go as it is with DVDs and 2K Bluerays, but, basically, you can anyway. You just download this file that has … Continue reading So Much 4K

Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

(March 7, 2018)

I have my music on an USB3 RAID5 consisting of three external disks connected to one of these, which isn’t a bad little computer: It’s has a 1.7GHz i7-3517UE (Ivy Bridge) CPU, so it’s small, but not horribly slow. But then one of the disks went AWOL and I thought that perhaps it was time … Continue reading Fast Music, or: USB Is Weird

The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

(February 25, 2018)

I use Telldus Tellstick to do home automation *cough* I mean control the lights: It’s an unassuming USB stick that implements a serial interface so that you can talk to it by just sending some strings to it and read the response. Ideal for Linux! Yes! But. You do want the device to show up … Continue reading The Ever-Shifting Sands of udev.rules

Fonts, Swashes, Linux, Problems

(November 1, 2017)

I recently bought a font called Jolie Romantique (for a future, er, project), and it worked without any problems: I plopped the .ttf file into ~/.fonts, created an SVG file with some text in it, ran it through ImageMagick “convert” and got this: Of special interest here is that end-of-word swash.  (That’s apparently the technical … Continue reading Fonts, Swashes, Linux, Problems

VHS, Linux, Problems

(October 29, 2017)

I’ve been trying to tidy up the storage locker in the loft this autumn, getting rid of old junk (so that I can put more, slightly newer junk up there). I happened unto this box: A nice stack of VHS tapes. If I remember correctly, the reason I kept these was that during the 80s … Continue reading VHS, Linux, Problems

Linux Can 4K @ 60 Haz

(July 4, 2017)

I tried getting 4K @ 60Hz using Intel built-in graphics, and I failed miserably. Rather than spend more days on that project (yes, this is the year of Linux on the TV, I Mean Desktop), I bought a low-profile Nvidia card, since there are several people on the interwebs that claim to have gotten that … Continue reading Linux Can 4K @ 60 Haz

Isn’t 4K@60Hz HDMI possible in Linux?

(July 1, 2017)

I bought a spiffy new 4K TV the other week, and I wanted to set up a complete 4K pipeline. Not that there’s that much 4K stuff available: For instance, Netflix has a pitiful 101 list of shows, most of them made by Netflix themselves. Anyhoo! I was thinking a bit about how to set … Continue reading Isn’t 4K@60Hz HDMI possible in Linux?

My New Fashion Designer Blog x Useful Consumer Review

(June 16, 2017)

I’ve been trying to use an Android device as my “lug around the apt. while doing stuff” device, but it’s just not good enough. None of the apps for sshfs file browsing or video watching are beyond the “well, it kinda works” level. The ssh times out and doesn’t come back again until you do … Continue reading My New Fashion Designer Blog x Useful Consumer Review

Ipad, Screenshots and Linux

(March 25, 2017)

It’s become increasingly clear over the past few months that many recent, fun-sounding films from countries with smaller film industries will never get a physical DVD release. The only way to see these films is via Amazon Prime, and since Amazon Prime isn’t conveniently available on Linux machines, I’m having to use an Ipad to … Continue reading Ipad, Screenshots and Linux

One Thing Leads To Another

(March 8, 2017)

In the previous installment, I got a new monitor for my stereo computer. I thought everything was fine, but then I started noticing stuttering on flac playback. After some investigation, it seems as if X is on (and displaying stuff on this new, bigger monitor), and there’s network traffic, then the flac123 process is starved … Continue reading One Thing Leads To Another


(February 25, 2017)

I’m extremely lazy, so using a remote control to switch the TV on or off is just out of the question. The remote is just languishing in a cupboard somewhere, and the TV is always on. Which seems like a waste, since I only use it (like) a couple of days a week or something. … Continue reading CEC HDMI ETLA

Obelisk: A Monitor Review

(January 30, 2017)

I’ve had the same monitor in my stereo control system for many years. It’s a 20″ Dell that’s OK. It’s got an appropriate size for the living room. But lately it’s started having a high-pitched whine. If I play only punk music I can’t hear it at all, but otherwise it’s slightly annoying. So I … Continue reading Obelisk: A Monitor Review

Automatically Mount exfat File Systems in Linux

(July 16, 2016)

I do quite a bit of video on my camera, and the easiest way to transfer these rather large files to my computer is to insert the SD card into an SD card connected to my computer. I wanted this to be as painless as possible, so I want the computer to auto mount anything … Continue reading Automatically Mount exfat File Systems in Linux

Down the Rabbit Hole

(March 24, 2016)

Aaargh! I was going to do a simple switcharoo.  The tiny firewall machine at home had shown itself to be slightly unstable.  Not egregiously, but it seems like it’ll die every four months or so.  That’s kinda annoying. So I got a new, spiffier tiny machine.  Copying over the setup from the old machine should … Continue reading Down the Rabbit Hole

Touchy Emacs

(February 5, 2016)

I use Emacs as a music playing interface, and I thought it would be nice try to create a pure touch screen interface, just … because. The only OS that would install on my old Surface Pro 2 was the prerelease version of Ubuntu 16.04, Xenial Xerus.  Apparently kernels between 2013 and a couple of … Continue reading Touchy Emacs

Useful Consumer Review

(December 20, 2015)

I’m travelling next month, so I thought it would be nice to have a really lightweight disk to carry movies around with. On. In. After. Under. <PREPOSITION>. So I got this rather spiffy-looking USB3 SSD: It shows up in Linux as [30759.597367] scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access Samsung Portable SSD T1 0 PQ: 0 ANSI: 6 but … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Useful Consumer Review

(December 18, 2015)

I have several small USB-powered monitors for various things. They’re all from Mimo Monitors, and they work very well. Haven’t had a problem with any of them over the years. The only problem is that the displays suck. The viewing angle is horrible on them, and the contrast is worse than you can imagine. That … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Linux, Wifi Hardware and Tethering

(October 11, 2015)

I thought it might be convenient to set up the laptop as a wifi access point sometimes (especially when copying images off of the Flashair SD card in the cameras, since they have very short range). There’s apparently no built-in method in any Linux distribution to have a wifi card be both an AP and … Continue reading Linux, Wifi Hardware and Tethering

Couture: Printer Complications

(August 8, 2015)

After finishing that Tilda Swinton Project yesterday, I didn’t have anything to do today, so I could either do something useful…  Or I could start screen-printing again. So I went out and bought some new photo-sensitive emulsion, and some new inks, and off we go. Just to get started, I printed this duo-tone George Herriman … Continue reading Couture: Printer Complications

Further Adventures in Storage

(June 22, 2015)

In the last installment in this series, I had made a 4x 8TB eSATA RAID5 set, and performance was slow, and it was unstable. The disks went AWOL all the time with messages like   May 14 20:52:25 big-tex kernel: [ 3189.112594] ata5.03: hard resetting link … May 14 20:53:32 big-tex kernel: [ 3255.728753] ata5.03: … Continue reading Further Adventures in Storage


(May 14, 2015)

As you will recall (I command you!), I hit on the (frankly indefensible) idea of not deleting ripped DVDs and Bluray disks after I’ve watched them.  Because reasons.  So I ended up with a 12TB disk system to store all that. And, surprise, half a year later that’s beginning to look too small: big-tex:~# df … Continue reading Storage’R’Us

Linux, X and Logitech

(April 27, 2015)

I’ve had a Logitech diNovo Mini as my TV computer keyboard for a few years.  It works as well as you’d suspect a wireless keyboard to work: It loses contact with the receiver a couple of times a month and needs to be switched off and then on again, but otherwise it’s OK.  Doesn’t lose … Continue reading Linux, X and Logitech

Youtube and “unsupported device” redux

(April 25, 2015)

I posted yesterday about my extremely useful Youtube-based weather monitor not working properly any more.  I thought Google had changed the video format or something — refusing to play videos when using mplayer. After adding more debugging to the script that runs the monitor, that turned out to be incorrect. Here’s the search result for … Continue reading Youtube and “unsupported device” redux

mplayer, Youtube and “unsupported device”

(April 24, 2015)

I’ve been using youtube for really useful things for a few years.  On April 20th, the following video started to appear instead of the ones I wanted: I get this for about one third of the videos — the rest play fine, as before. So it’s saying that I’m viewing Yotube with an unsupported device.  … Continue reading mplayer, Youtube and “unsupported device”

Perhaps I should reboot

(April 18, 2015)

Useful Consumer Review

(April 3, 2015)

I had to buy a new laptop.  I thought Lenovos were out of the question since they had eliminated the physical mouse buttons to become all modern and stuff.  But this year they’ve rolled back that horrible decision without announcing anything.  Perhaps it was too embarrassing? Anyway: Physical buttons!  That work!  Yay! Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Qnap HS-210

(October 27, 2014)

As you all remember (you do, Blanche!  You do!), I was fussing around with some RAID stuff over USB3.  I had found a solution that worked (a Silverstone cabinet), but then somebody told me about the Qnap HS-210 RAID thingie.  It takes two disks and is fanless.  It seemed perfect, so I bought one to … Continue reading Qnap HS-210

Small Change

(October 25, 2014)

After innumerable requests (when counting, it’s “zero, one, innumerable”, right?), here’s my new DVD storage setup. I got an allegedly 7W AMD computer from CompuLab, recklessly disregarding any current boycott of wares from the occupied country of Palestine. I got the bareback, I mean, barebones (funny how WordPress only thinks the latter word is misspelled) … Continue reading Small Change

The Pains of Storage

(October 24, 2014)

Oy vey. USB has always been “well, it kinda works”.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised at these pains. And I wasn’t. I decided to store my DVDs on disk for rapid access.  I bought USB3 devices.  This is my story. My first device was a single 6TB Western Digital Green disk in an Icy … Continue reading The Pains of Storage

Monitor losing HDMI connection whenever xscreensaver runs: It’s a thing

(May 29, 2014)

After upgrading my TV machine (the old one wasn’t powerful enough to play BluRay media), whenever xscreensaver runs, the TV would claim to have no inputs. I know. After trying various things, I started looking at the DPMS stuff, because that’s, like, power handling and seemed like something that might be relevant.  Perhaps Linux/xorg/whatever turns … Continue reading Monitor losing HDMI connection whenever xscreensaver runs: It’s a thing

Useful Consumer Review

(March 15, 2014)

My old tv machine worked ok, but it was too slow to play the files MakeMKV ripped from BluRay disks. So I bought a new one from QuietPC. I’ve bought a couple from them before, and they seem to make reliable, fanless machines. So here are the notes on problems getting the video working under … Continue reading Useful Consumer Review

Note To Self

(July 3, 2013)

This is how you set up the digitemp device the next time the SSD breaks down and you’ve forgotten to back up the /etc directory: [larsi@stories ~]$ cat /etc/udev/rules.d/20-digitemp.rulesATTRS{idVendor}==”0403″, ATTRS{idProduct}==”6001″, MODE=”0666″, NAME=”digitemp” It’s “ATTRS” now, not “ATTR”.  Or “SYSFS”.  Thanks a lot, udev people.  Changing the names to be used in the conf files all … Continue reading Note To Self

Books, Emacs, and ISBN APIs

(January 18, 2013)

I have the worst memory. But even so, I pretty much manage to remember what books I’ve read.  If I’ve read Anagrams by Lorrie Moore, I remember that. The problem is with the less (how to put it?) good books. I read a lot of crap.  Crap that I like, but it’s crap.  Book after … Continue reading Books, Emacs, and ISBN APIs

Input Device Routing

(January 12, 2013)

Lots of different (USB) devices come up as HID devices in Linux.  That is, they appear to the system as if they are keybords and mice.  You plug them in, and X deals with them the normal way. When they output stuff, X will receive the events and characters will appear in whatever program has … Continue reading Input Device Routing

Slightly More Useful Fluttering

(December 30, 2012)

Some weeks back I wondered whether I could use Youtube as a screen saver.  It turned out that I could. That wasn’t, strictly speaking, very useful, but now I had a small USB monitor sitting in the hall, so I might as well make it display something practical in addition to the music videos. Hence: … Continue reading Slightly More Useful Fluttering

Conspicuous Youtube Consumption

(December 17, 2012)

Stina Nordenstam rockin’ in the USB I’ve been sleeping in even odder patterns than usual lately (I suspect that I’m coming down with microencephaly, SAD and “the hypo”), so I found myself staring at the stereo computer thinking that there should be movement. I normally hate computer screens that have pulsing lights and stuff, but … Continue reading Conspicuous Youtube Consumption

There. I Fixed It.

(May 16, 2012)

I really like the fanless machines from Aleutia.  They have a nice form factor, they’re really silent, and they have kinda amusing web pages. I’ve got three of the Sandy Bridge machines now, and they just like work and stuff.  Nine thumbs up. However! These are Sandy Brigde machines.  That means built-in Intel graphics.  Built-in … Continue reading There. I Fixed It.


(April 8, 2012)

This seems to explain the weird tendency Linux has to swap out huge processes, even when there’s plenty of free memory.  I’ve always wondered why that happens. Short answer: ccNUMA.  Long answer here. And also this.

Stupid xorg.conf Tricks

(July 7, 2011)

Mimo Monitor I’m getting addicted to small USB monitors.  They’re so practical for displaying “extra” information that I don’t want to clutter up my main screen. These monitors just require one single cable to the computer, and they typically have a touch screen interface, too.  So you can pretty much use them for any small … Continue reading Stupid xorg.conf Tricks

RAID Fun Redux

(May 18, 2011)

Addonics Mini Storage Tower You will remember me getting a new eSATA box with the crappiest thermal design ever.  To recap, there’s a big fan situated a few millimeters from an almost totally non-holey wall, Batman.  When fans are that close to an obstruction, the air flow makes a lot of noise.  So I unplugged … Continue reading RAID Fun Redux

More Input Devices

(April 24, 2011)

Targus Wireless Presenter and Emacs Volume Control Finding wireless input devices (for controlling the stereo) that are 1) not too ugly and2) works reliably and3) has a range over a few meters isn’t trivial.  I’ve experimented with a few thingamabobs, and one device I’m pretty satisfied with is the Targus …  er…  I can’t find … Continue reading More Input Devices

Live TV!

(April 23, 2011)

Still can’t get my camera to focus on the TV I haven’t really missed having live TV for a decade, but it would be practical if guests wanted to watch the news or something.  So it just occurred to me that doing live TV would be trivial with the current infrastructure. I have an Emacs … Continue reading Live TV!

Tellstick Redux

(April 1, 2011)

I was whinging a lot about the terrible Tellstick range in my last post on the issue.  Deservedly so.  It’s terrible!  However, the Telldus people have released a new version of the device: The revolutionary new invention is the antenna!  Who would ever have thought that an antenna would give greater range?  Kids these days. … Continue reading Tellstick Redux

Emacs Home Automation

(January 9, 2011)

Nexa unit We all grow so very weary of having to switch lights on and off. Every day. On again and then off again. Will the madness never end? Technology comes to the rescue! There are companies that sell receivers (like the one pictured to the left, plugged into a wall outlet that I now … Continue reading Emacs Home Automation