Thursday, 18 December 2008

Just released version 1.1 of MediaInfoFetcher

I've just released version 1.1 of MediaInfoFetcher. This is a application that can be used to find Film and TV Show meta data, and store it in various formats. It also can be used to rename media files using this data. The latest version can be found here.

Changes are as follows:

  • Able to rename Films with data fetched from the web.
  • Added new Film source for fetching film information from
  • Updated stores to store film information.
  • Added new MP4 store for storing metadata in mp4 files used in iTunes.
  • Added support for renaming .mp4 and .m4v files.
  • Film posters are fetched from the Internet and stored in .mp4 and .m4v files.
  • Updated to the latest format changes of site.
Happy Christmas! let me know if their are any bugs in this release.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Dell Studio 1535 Fan Speed problem and bios update

I've been away with work for a week and I left my laptop at home (used a work one instead :-( ). When I came back and turned my laptop, I discovered a problem. For some reason the fan speed was set to be full speed all the time. This seemed to happen strait from boot, no matter what I did to change it.

My first though was that the temperature was a problem, so I checked this and the laptop is running quite cool. The cores were running between 22 and 24 degrees C.

So after fiddling around for a while I though I'd update the bios to the latest version. To my surprise, this fixed it! I'd love to know what might have caused the problems, if anyone has any ideas. As of yet , I've not tracked down a change log for the BIOS update.

Updating the BIOS from Linux had it's own problems, so I though I'd detail what I did to fix it. First off make sure you have the dell Linux firmware tools and libsmbios installed.

These can be found in the OpenSUSE repos.

Next you need to download the bios update from the dell support website. This comes as a .exe file, so you will need to extract the .HDR file from the .exe. To do this I used the following command:

wine 1535_A05.EXE -writehdrfile -nopause

This uses wine to extract it to the current directory.

Next you need to update the bios, do so at your own risk. This worked for me, but you do so at your own risk. Use the following command:

modprobe dell_rbu
dellBiosUpdate -u --hdr 1535_A05.hdr

Now reboot your system. When it reboots, it will install the new bios. Then it reboots itself again.
You should be able to see the new version number of the bios on the boot screen.

It's worth noting that the most useful information on updating the dell BIOS from Linux, I found here

Now back to having a nice quite laptop!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Bluetooth on the Dell Studio 15 using Opensuse 11.0

So I've been wanting to get the bluetooth working under OpenSuSE 11.0 on my dell stuide 15. I've had it working on other computers, but it did not seem to work.

I've now managed to get it working by trying some of the ideas on this page. I had to adapt things to OpenSuSE a little, but basicly all that is needed is too edit the /etc/modprobe.conf.local and add the line "options hci_usb reset=1". Now make sure the bluetooth server is running at startup, and reboot.

If things are working, the command "hcitool scan" should list the bluetooth devices near by. I was then able to transfere files and pair my phone :-)

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bomber moves into KDE Games

Work on bomber as progresses well. It was moved playground to kdereview for a bit of peer review. This turned up a few things. Most of the issues I fixed were because I'm a Java coder writing C++ :-) So I learning quite a bit about the best practices, which is good. Bomber has now moved into kdegames!! So should be in the upcomming 4.2 release. Time to start thinking about my next project.

For people reading my blogg for the first time, here is a repost of some information about bomber:

The aim of the game is to destroy the buildings below you, before you crash into them. The space ship will fly over the buildings, getting lower each time. Once the level is cleared, you start of the next, which is harder with taller buildings and a faster plane.

The game is still in development at the moment and can be found in the playground section of the KDE repository. Big thanks to Eugene who worked on the theme.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Media Info Fetcher

I was face with a problem a while back, I had quite a few media files that and the wrong names. I wished to rename these too the correct names. I wished to be able to define what I though was a correct name. The main reason for this is that they show up in my media centre. A second thing I wanted, was meta data associated with each of the media files that could be displayed in the media centre.

It was for these reasons that I hacked together some Perl scripts that used the great Perl module. This allowed me to retrieve the meta data that I was after. However I prefer to work with Java over Perl and as my application was needing more and more features, I decided to rewrite it in Java.

So Media Info Fetcher was born. This is a java application that can retrieve Film and TV Show information, and rename it according too data it looks up off the Internet. This information is then cached using configurable stores so that hopefully it can be used by media centres.

I think I've achieved my first aim so far, but my second aim of getting a media centre too use the retrieved data has yet too happen. This is probably going to involve creating a plug-in for other media centres. Though I'm open too ideas about this.

Anyway I've just made the first release of the 1.0 version of Media Info Fetcher. So check it out here.

I've some plans for the next major version. These may change, but include:
  • Adding support for Films.
  • Adding more stores and sources.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Google Code

I've been working the last few days on a new project that I wish to open source (More on this in another post when the project is in a slightly better shape) and I've been looking for somewhere to host the project. My first though was too give sourceforge a go, however a friend suggest I take a look at google code.

I'm pleased I did, I have to say that it's exactly what I was after. I was able to create a new project very quickly and the web base tools they provide are very nice. The whole site feels a snappy, clean and a lot less fussy than source forge. It's probably unfair to compare it with sourceforge from a hosting point of view as I've never used sourceforge for hosting. Howerver from the point of view of a user looking for software, I find google code much better.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Progress on Bomber

Work progresses on bomber. I think the game is pretty much ready for a release now. It's been moved to KDE Review and I'm now in the progress of cleaning up the code a little. I just need to fix a few things that occurred since I'm a Java coder writing C++ :-) If all goes well, I hope to see it get moved to KDE Games in time for the 4.2 release.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Video on dell studio

I've been looking into getting the video up and running on the dell studio 15 I bought using Linux. The aim is to have it boot up with the panel active, then press the FN+F8 key and change the screen setup so that the external LCD and CRT I have connected become active instead.

So first I tried to use the properitery ATI drivers, and got a bit stuck. So I though I'd sawp to use the radeonhd drivers. I had even less look with these initialy. I did try lots of different version, untill I started useing the cutting edge ones in the git tree. All had the same problem. I'd boot up and get a black screen! I think what is happening is it's not activing the correct screen.

Anyway after the free drives did not work, I swaped back to the ATI fglrx divers. I've not figured out how too boot up with the laptop in a extranl dual screen (and both with different resolutions) mode. I've also wrote a script in ruby that will spawn the screens over to the intrenal panel. However I've yet to find a way of booting and using the panel, then sawping to the external screens.

The modes I need for the extrnal screen don't get added when booting up and using the panel. This is a real pain. I'm also begin to suppect that the ATI graphics drivers are not paying a lot of attention to the xorg.conf file. For instance aticonfig --enable-monitor lvds, will cause the laptop to boot up in internal panel mode. However aticonfig --enable-monitor crt1,tmds2 will cause it too boot up in dual screen mode. The command was not run as root, so this did not effect the xorg.conf. However it does effect the way the X server starts up.

This is quite anoying, I supect I need todo more googling on the issue.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Wireless on dell studio

So, just though I'd make a quick post. I've been having problems getting the wireless to stay connected on my new dell Studio laptop. I'm using the kde version of the network manager on OpenSUSE 11. Today I turned off the auto connect for the wireless........... and now it seems to stay connected all the time. Which is great!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Bomber for KDE

I've been working the last few months on a new game for the KDE Desktop. The main aim of this was to get back into kde development. It's been quite a while since my last app kmud. So I want to create something simple that would allow me to focus on the actual programming and getting used to the QT/KDE APIs.

The aim of the game is to destroy the buildings below you, before you crash into them. The space ship will fly over the buildings, getting lower each time. Once the level is cleared, you start of the next, which is harder with taller buildings and a faster plane.

The game is still in development at the moment and can be found in the playground section of the KDE repository. Big thanks to Eugene who worked on the theme.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Dell Studio Wireless

The Dell Studio laptop that I have is fitted with a "Dell Wireless 1510 Half Mini Card". This should allow a Wireless 802.11n connection. However this is were things get a little complicated......

I've got install a 64 Bit version of OpenSUSE on the laptop, so in the past I've used the ndiswrapper to use windows drives for wireless. The only drivers I could find on the dell website were for vista and these won't work with ndiswrapper to me knowledge.

After a little searching on the Internet I found some native drivers. These are from the manufacture of the card so are not open drivers, but mostly work.

These however are not perfect. I find that for some reason the connection to the wireless keeps dropping. I've yet to find a solution for this.

Linux on a dell studio 15 laptop

So one of the reasons to start blogging was that I bough a new Laptop. It's a Dell Studio 15, which I bough to run linux. I though it would be a good idea to share my experience of getting things up and running on it. I know it will be problematic, so it will give people a chance to share their ideas and suggestions.

So what am I trying to achive? Well I'm going to be running OpenSUSE and KDE on it as these are the distro and desktop I perfer, but other than that heres some of the things I want to get working:

  • Remote control.
  • 2 external monitors (1 VGA and the other HDMI) with different resolutions.
  • Been able too swap between the connected monitors via a key on the keyboard.
  • Sound working.
  • Both head phone jacks working.
  • Wireless working.
  • Laptop keys able to be used.
  • Webcam and mic need to work with messengers (skype, kopete)

  • I'm sure there will be other stuff I need too, but that should take a while anyhow....

    My first blogg entry

    Well this is the first time I've tried blogging. Going to see how it goes and if I actually managed to keep publishing things. Time will tell......