pulsar's blog

Totem / GStreamer & AC3 Output

GStreamer Audio PreferencesGStreamer Audio PreferencesIf you run into a problem with Totem or any other GStreamer based application not being able to play ac3 audio via internal soundcard (no idea about passthrough) - check your sound settings. I've been pulling out my hair for about an hour before I figured out that GStreamer won't playback ac3 when it is set to use ALSA for audio output.

Switch  to Pulse or ESD under Preferences -> Sound -> Music And Movies to have a little bit less linux-oddities to worry about.

Oh, and no. I have no friggin' clue why GStreamer is behaving like this. I also don't really care.

Also getting slowly used to the eee pc 901 keyboard. Yay!

User Management with Active Directory

The last 2 days I've been working on a concept paper for a project. One aspect covers user management using an active directory.

At the first glance, everything looks easy. One would think AD is just another LDAP server - no worries here. It turns out, AD has a lot of hidden constraints and expect you do things a certain way. For instance, if you want to add a user to a specific group, you are not going to update the user's "memberOf" LDAP attribute. This is read only; you will need to add that user to the group LDAP node. This is just one and quite straight forward example how AD can be a pain in the arse if you have no idea about the internals.

Luckily the guys over at http://en.csharp-online.net/ have assembled a damn good article about all daily tasks you will encounter if you are going to automate some user administration tasks using the Active Directory as your backend. Head over here: http://en.csharp-online.net/User_Management_with_Active_Directory%E2%80%...

I have also stumbled across a wrapper library which abstracts all the LDAP / DirectoryEntry specific calls and focuses on user- and group-centric API: http://www.dotnetactivedirectory.com/ - I have no idea yet if this one is good or not, I guess I will find out soon since I plan to cut down the development times by 2 Days and use this API instead.

After looking into the free (lite) version of .NET Active Directory wrapper, I am not so sure about purchasing a license anymore. 400 or 1000 bucks a a pretty hefty price tag for a software not being in development anymore (as it seems, last update 2007) and consisting only from one pseudo class. It can hanlde only one AD connection due to static (!) fields for login and password. Furthermore it does not persist a connection to the AD but re-creates a new Directry Entry with each operation - now do some mass operations on say... 5k users by assigning them to a AD groups or something.  I suppose it will be still more expensive for the project for me to code the mini-api, but after considering those facts, I might be better off. Especially when it comes to multiple AD servers and support requests I might get for this particular module. Geez! Where do ppl learn coding!? I guess good marketing and price tags not reflecting the code quality can still compensate it

Unknown Device was installed successfully

This is what the screenshot says, and guess what device it was? Yeah, my shiny and oh so painful Sony Ericsson P1 Unknown DeviceUnknown Device  

Push To Sync updated to 1.2

Push To Sync 1.2Push To Sync 1.2I've just uploaded an new improved version of Push To Sync. Changelog:

  • [Feature] Time prediction based on average transfer speed 
  • [Feature] Shows the current transfer speed using a nice looking graph
  • [Bugfix] Fixed some issues with file timestamp handling when synchronizing to a linux samba share.
Download available here.

Optimizing for MySQL

Just stumbled over a very good speech about optimizing development for the MySQL (MyISAM & InnoDB) over at Hackzine. If you are developing application which are run on the MySQL Database this is a must-see for you. Despite the fact developing such stuff for more than 10 Years now I had one or two jaw-dropping moments.


Sharepoint STSADM Extensions which will save your life!

If you are into Sharepoint-Development you will appreciate the STSADM Custom Extensions made by Gary Lapointe: http://stsadm.blogspot.com/2007/08/stsadm-commands_09.html

In our case they saved us a lot of troubles we had when moving a Sharepoint Site Collection to a new server while preserving the Variations which have been created before.

One of the commands we have been toying with was "gl-fixvariationrelationships". Since the sources to all of these extensions are available to download for free, I could even get this one working for a Variation root other than "/" by modifying the sources a tiny bit. If you run into the same situation feel free to grab my Version of the FixVariationRelationships Class over here or here (can't get drupal to ignore HTML validation for Geshi-Nodes editing)


Sony Ericsson's Software Quality

Float's Mobile AgentFloat's Mobile AgentI'm sticking with Sony Ericsson Phones for a while now. The phones had some issues in the first 2 generations, but after that they worked smoothly. The other reason was Float’s Mobile Agent – a lightweight sync & management application for the Kxx series. Unfortunately the software does not work anymore with my new P1 and does not seem to be developed any further. So I had to go with the shipped software – here is where my journey begins. (more after the link)

Live Coding Session

I'll be doing some work in java for renoise.com today. If you would like to peek across my shoulder - http://live.yahoo.com/codewut

Debug, Log and Tail on Steroids

Sometimes I do really wonder why some great tools remain silent and hidden from the public for such a long time. The guys over at codeproject featured an article about the "TraceTool". Describing it with "yet another log viewer" won't do any justice. Just head over to the article and glance over it. It's able to interface with the most common logging frameworks such as .NET's native, log4net/log4j, NT System Evenlog and plain files.

I must admit I did not try it yet. Will do next week when I'm back in the office - I don't really feel like I want to be coding this weekend. But just reading the specs and howtos on the codeproject site blew my mind. Looks like a jewel, smells like a jewel... might be one!

Code Kata

Today I stumbled over an interesting article over at http://hackszine.com/ - It's about small exercises for developers – twentyone in total. The deal is to do each exercise multiple times , just like moves in Karate (hence the name “Kata”).

So, if you are looking for some practical coding experience – go for it: http://codekata.pragprog.com/2007/01/code_kata_backg.html

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