Sunday, September 6, 2009

Getting Things Gnome...

Lately, I've felt that my ToDo list is getting a bit too large to handle and that I keep forgetting important things to do and hence even though being skeptical of the utility of such tools, I decided to search for a good ToDo list manager.

Out of the many available tools, i gave Getting Things Gnome a try. (partly because the cool name ;) )

Getting Things Gnome (GTG) is an organizer for the GNOME Desktop Environment. It is a very clean and flexible tool.
You can organize your tasks as sub-tasks or as tags.
"Sub-tasking" is just like using Tomboy and hence very intuitive. If you like using Tomboy, you'll like GTG better, since you can organize the tasks according to priority, and add start and due dates, all with the help of simple syntaxes.
You can find about the task editor syntax here.
Another great feature in GTG is the Work view. This view displays only those tasks which can be performed now i.e. the ones which depend on no other task, which cannot start before a given date or the ones which haven't been given a start date but are simply categorized as todo someday.

Here's a screenshot of the main window:

To install GTG in Jaunty, a developer's PPA is available.
Add these lines to your sources.list
deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main
Then do,
$sudo apt-get update
$sudo apt-get install gtg
If you want to give other tools a try, there are a few available, such as good 'ol Evolution, Tasque, gtodo and Makagiga. While, Tasque and gtodo are simple tools, Makagiga turned out be an overkill for me :P, so I'm satisfied with GTG! :)

Till next time,
Happy organizing!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Install Pidgin 2.6.1 (Ubuntu 9.04) with XMPP Voice and Video support

Pidgin 2.6.1 was released recently and it boasts of support for XMPP voice and video chat features.
That means, finally GTalk like functionality in Pidgin (still not available for Windows though), long after Empathy had it implemented through use of Telepathy.
There are a few ways by which you can install 2.6.1. My post here, deals with installation in ubuntu 9.04

One way to install 2.6.1 is stated by Ubuntugeek. However, due to unmet version dependencies in Jaunty, it installs without the voice/video feature.
There is no PPA for 2.6.1 as of now and the daily builds ppa still has version 2.5.8
The PPA now has 2.6.1 available. :-)

So, I decided to install from source.
We, first, need to uninstall any previous versions of pidgin.
Open a terminal and,

$ sudo apt-get remove --purge pidgin libpurple

Next, we need to meet some version dependencies,

1). At the terminal,

$ sudo apt-get install python-gtk2 python-gtk2-dev

2). Download gst-python from here
I downloaded gst-python-0.10.16.tar.gz ( you can download the latest one)
Go to the directory where you downloaded the file and at the terminal,

$ tar xvf gst-python-0.10.16.tar.gz
$ cd gst-python-0.10.16
$ ./configure
$ make && make install

2). Next, we need to update gstreamer plugins to version 0.10.23>=
To do this, add the following two lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list file

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

At the terminal,

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -u upgrade

This upgrades all your current packages, including gstreamer ones.

3). Download the source for libnice, from here
I downloaded libnice-0.0.9.tar.gz ( you may download the latest one)
Go to the directory, you downloaded the file and at the terminal

$ tar xvf libnice-0.0.9.tar.gz
$ cd libnice-0.0.9
$ ./configure
$ make && make install

4). Next, we need to install farsight 2
Download source here
I downloaded farsight2-0.0.14.tar.gz ( you may download the latest one)
Go to the directory, you downloaded the file and at the terminal

$ tar xvf farsight2-0.0.14.tar.gz
$ cd farsight2-0.0.14
$ ./configure
$ make && make install

5). Now, download the Pidgin source
Go to the directory, you downloaded the file and at the terminal

$ tar xvf pidgin-2.6.1.tar.gz
$ cd pidgin-2.6.1

Next, we need to configure, however, i had to use to following options before configure happened.
--disable-screensaver --disable-startup-notification --disable-gtkspell --disable-meanwhile --disable-nm --disable-perl --disable-tcl

$ ./configure --disable-screensaver --disable-startup-notification --disable-gtkspell --disable-meanwhile --disable-nm --disable-perl --disable-tcl

$ make && make install
This, will install Pidgin 2.6.1. :-)
Now, for the actual Voice/Video feature. To be frank, I haven't got it to work as i would've liked it to. :-(
This works only if the person you are trying to reach is either using the official Google Talk client on a Windows OS, or someone using Pidgin 2.6.1, with Video/Voice enabled on a Linux OS.
Open an IM window,
Conversation --> Media
Here, you have option to either make an Audio, Video or Audio/Video Call.

However, to my disappointment, although I can start a call, the concerned person on the other side, doesn't receive a notification for the same.
So the call is just active locally, it never propagates to the concerned person.

Here's how it looks with a Audio/Video call.

and, with an Audio only call.

In anticipation of a solution, I have reported this as a bug here.

Next, I tried to see, if I could receive calls. And here, I was disappointed even more.
Pidgin crashes, when someone calls you.
What's worse, the person calling still is able to see an active call on his side, while your instance of Pidgin has crashed.
I have also reported this bug here.

So, in the end, I haven't been able to get the Voice/Video chat feature working properly, although, I seem to have come much close.
Oh! And as reported by my friends, you get the "camera"-like status-icon against your name in your friends' chat lists. :-)

Tracking the above two bugs now, seems the only solution :P

Till then,

EDIT:: The bug, wherein your pidgin client crashes has been patched and is committed to milestone 2.6.2 :-)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Very slow burning speeds with Brasero in Jaunty

It's been a while since I installed Jaunty Jackalope, and was really satisfied with everything except sound issues.
However, another issue came to light when i tried burning a DVD today.
It is a normal data DVD, 4.3 GB worth, which I'm burning with Brasero...
I started at 7.01 pm , its 8.23 pm as I am writing this and Brasero still hasn't finished burning :|

The process starts with a checksum image being generated which takes about 5 mins...
Then the actual burning process starts with burning speeds reported at 0.3x (OMFG!)...
The progress bar goes upto exactly 50% after which the progress bar returns to 0%...
Hereafter, you are left wondering when the process will end with the progress bar not progressing at all.
Then finally the finalizing process starts with another checksum being calculated.
Its been around 30 odd minutes and Brasero is still calculating the final checksum.

DMA!! ... Nope! DMA is enabled for my DVD drive (by default in Jaunty)... so this definitely seems a bug with Brasero...

It has been reported :

However, there seems to be no progress on this front watsoever. People have also reported that burning speeds are normal with K3b and Gnomebaker. So, I'm definitely switching to one of these...
I'll edit this post, once the burning process is done!

Till then, Cheers!

(101 mins):: Its 8.42pm, the final checksum process has still not finished...

(131 mins):: Its 9.12pm... I'm running out of patience!

(147 mins):: 9.28pm ... I'm out of patience... I hit 'Cancel'... Instantly, I get DVD successfully burnt, Total time : 02:27:18. Uncool... x-(

:: 3.2 GB with K3b in 00:09:29 ... \m/