-FiftyoneFifty talks about how he fixed his display manager issues after a recent Debian Sid dist-upgrade.

-chattr gives an update of his RockBox and some recent troubles. Plus, apt-get or aptitude: in debian, while the advice used to be ‘use aptitude or use apt-get but don’t switch back and forth’ that’s no longer the case: you can use both. apt-get-or-aptitude-pick-the-right-debian-package-manager-for-you. Hertzog is one of the maintainers of dpkg in debian: Packages overview for Raphaël Hertzog which lends his view great weight, imo.

Log files: aptitude writes /var/log/aptitude (yes, no filename extension) and /var/log/dpkg.log and /var/log/apt/term.log and /var/log/apt/history.log

apt-listchanges and apt-listbugs: these are scripts which run after apt-get install or aptitude install downloads the .deb files: apt-listchanges can compare a new version of a package with the one currently installed and show what has been changed, by extracting the relevant entries from the Debian changelog and NEWS files. apt-listbugs lists critical (chattr was mistaken when he said severe, grave and important) bug reports from the Debian Bug Tracking System. It runs after downloading the .deb files to see if an upgrade or installation is known to be unsafe

-Listener feedback gives us a good tip on how to fix clicking wheel troubles for Sansa e260 devices.



-Honkeymagoo gives us a quick look at fstab and how he mounted a USB drive to his server.


Use sox to adjust tempo and gain (volume)

sox is a command line tool to play, record, split, adjust effects and convert audio files. sox probably does other things, but those are the sox features I’ve used.

A simple command line invocation can adjust the tempo and gain of .mp3 or .ogg files in a particular directory. cd into the directory and do:

$ for i in *{ogg,mp3}; do sox "$i" "${i%.*}.new.ogg" tempo 1.48 gain 6; done

Tempo is the playback speed. Increasing tempo will play the file faster without making the speakers sound like Mickey Mouse.

That will loop through all the .ogg and .mp3 files in the directory and for each .ogg and each .mp3 file, use sox to increase the tempo 1.48 times (+48%) and increase the volume. Adjust to your needs. The sox‘ed files will be converted to .ogg files with the same filename but instead of having the old extension, the sox‘ed .mp3 and .ogg files will have the extension .new.ogg . The double quotes are to handle filenames with spaces or other special characters. I increase the volume since some podcasts’ volume levels are so low that on my drive to work, if I don’t increase the volume, I can’t make out the talk even with the volume turned all the way up

If you use bash, running the command should put the command in your ~/.bash_history, so recalling the command is a simple ctrl-r away.

sox‘s man page is helpful, not only in jogging your memory, but in explaining the command’s options. There aren’t any examples I could find in the man page, though, but your favorite search engine should help.



Sansa Clip Zip and Sansa Fuze running rockbox

I’ve been running rockbox on my Fuze since late 2010 (first time I /joined #rockbox on freenode was Fri Oct  1 2010.

Go to rockbox.org, locate your player make and model, download the rockbox manual for your player, read through the manual, download the install utility http://www.rockbox.org/download/ and you’ll get some basic themes. you can select other themes from rockbox.org.

Rockbox on my devices supports sdhc cards up to 32GB along with internal storage. I used fdisk to partition the card and mkfs to put a vfat filesystem on the card.

Boot into the stock firmware and put the Sansa device into usb|msc mode, mount the device and run the installer. The default mode is mtp, and I have never tried to access either device in mtp mode, only usb|msc mode. The installer is a graphical application. The installer handles everything, all you need to know is where the device is mounted. The installer puts a bootloader and the rockbox firmware on the device. When you power on the device, you always have the option to boot into rockbox or boot into the stock firmware.

I got a Clip Zip as an emergency backup player: sooner or later, I expect the Fuze to fail (nothing electronic lasts forever).

Many additional features are available in rockbox compared with the stock firmware: file manipulation and listing, a database is created of all the files, so you can select what file to listen to by selecting a file from the file listing or selecting using the database listing.

The Fuze Clip Zip with rockbox has fewer features than the Fuze. The Fuze uses a wheel with center button (select) while the Clip Zip used a north-south-east-west selector plus center button. My muscle memory for navigating and selecting files or features, is better with the Fuze.

The Fuze Clip Zip uses the center select button for a lot more than the Fuze, and different actions are triggered by short, medium and long select presses.

Both devices use proprietary cables for data transfer and battery recharging. Battery life seems about the same for both devices: I’ll start an eight hour work shift with 100% battery and by the end of the shift, having listened for 5 or 6 hours, I’ll be at maybe 40%.

The Fuze sometimes resets when copying a file and I have to wait for the process to stop, unmount and remount the device. Once a month (or less often) my machine crashes and I have to do a hard reboot: maybe a bad cable, wrapped|folded too many times?

I’ve only listened to .mp3 or .ogg files on both devices. There may be some way to watch videos, but I’ve never tried.

There may be a way rockbox can increase the audio playback tempo per file, but I’ve not looked into doing that. (Increasing the playback without altering the voices so they sound like Mickey Mouse.)

5150 Talks about creating an IRC Channel
Registering a Freenode.Net IRC channel and setting up operators

• Establish your new Freenode channel
• Freeenode was originally set up to support development projects and that is still reflected in their mission statement.
• To register a channel, you must have a registered nick
• Channel  naming official (primary) channels start with a single hash.   Secondary, unofficial channel names start with two hashes.  Say we  wanted to create a sub channel to discuss the design of the web page, we  might call it ##LinuxLUGCastWordpress
• Check the availabilty of the the channel you want to register.  Freenode says to use /msg ChanServ info #MyNewChannel , but  that command never returned anything for me, even with channels I knew  existed. Do worry, ChanServ won’t let you register a channel name (case  insensitive) that already exits.
• All you have to do to create a channel is to join it /join #MyNewChannel   Note, you re automatically set as admin for this channel.  Of course,  if you don’t register the channel (or hold it open with a bot), it will  disappear as soon as all users leave.
• Now register your channel /msg ChanServ register #MyNewChannel
• Set yourself up as administrator (Operator, or op) for your channel
• But  I’m already an op since I created the channel, you say.  Not so much  I’m afraid.  Leave the channel and come back, see, you are no longer OP.
• You are not an OP but you are the Founder, which gives you right to make people, including youself, OPs
/msg ChanServ OP #MyNewChannel MyNick
• If you want to set up your fellow OPs at this point use /msg ChanServ OP #MyNewChannel OtherOpNick
• Set operator defaults for yourself and your fellow operators
• But  wait a minute, I’m still not an OP!  If you are using a GUI IRCmanager,  like XChat, if you right click on your name you will find a menu item  like “Operator Actions”, and under that “Give Ops” and “Take Ops”.  You  can elevate yourself here, and you can do the same for the others you  made OPs (though they won’t be able to do it for themselves yet).
• You  set operator defaults with the FLAGS command.  The +O arguement means  the user will always join the channel as an OP, +o joins them as a  regular user with the option to elevate themselves, i.e:
• You always want to join the channel as an OP, issue: /msg ChanServ FLAGS #MyNewChannel MyNick +O
• If you want the other OP you created to join a a regular user with the power to make themselves an OP, issue:  /msg ChanServ FLAGS #MyNewChannel OtherOpNick +o