Saturday, September 02, 2006

Resolved audio problems whenn viewing flash sites through firefox

While using firefox to browse flash based sites like google videos, you tube no audio was available, though video was perfect. The reason is although firefox uses a daemon libesd, falsh programs directly use the device file /dev/dsp which can be opened only once. Whatever problems that existed with flash and sound was being taken care of by a wrapper script provided by esd. But this was a very inefficient method as outlined in the bug report.

The workout around or way to fix it, is to use alsa.
First remove esd from the system.
apt-get remove esound esound-clients

Restart firefox and audio should be available now.

If this doesnt fix it, then install also-oss
apt-get install alsa-oss

Ran across this solution here

Friday, September 01, 2006

Download files from google videos.

Check out this post on googlesystem blog . It links to a cool greasemonkey script, that allows you to download videos from popular video hosting sites like google, youtube, myspace, metacafe, clipfish...e.t.c.

Greasemonkey looks pretty cool. The basic concept with this extension to firefox is you can write user javascripts which you can customize to run whenever you hit a particular webpage or a group of webpages, choice is yours. Hmm..I had been thinking of learning javascript when I had heard about greasemonkey, but that like most of my endeavors sunk without a trace...sigh...!!!

pssst..don't let big brother hear ya, Iam going to learn javascript ;) !!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I have finally decided what my first project on Linux will be. I thnk i will create a GUI mounting utility. I haven yet put pen to paper yet. But I should have something in hand by the end of this week ;).

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Playing a DVD

A dvd cannot be played out of the box on a freshly installed system. The reason being that all DVD's are encrypted with CSS (Content Scrambling System). CSS uses a variety of keys (string of characters) that authenticate the dvd being read by the player. Now to be able to play the dvd, the player must be able to decrypt the data.

The reason that most free players dont come with this codec is because it is being contested in the couts that such plugins are illegal and inorder to use them a license must be bought. (Makes me grind my teeth) !!, and as far as i know, no decision has been arrived yet (atleast I think !).
Check this link for some additional information.

Well so now you know, why we need to go through all this additional hassles when we use free players on Linux. We dont see this problem in windows, coz windows media player comes bundled with these codecs and the cost is worked into the price of the windows operating system.

And as to how to play movies on dvd, check the following link:
The instructions are pretty comprehensive.

Had to install the win32 codecs too, so that I could play the movie. Hmm..wonder whether the reason I couldnt play the movie with totem initially was because I hadnt installed the totem-xine player :? !! Anyway dvds are rocking on my machine now :| !!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dapper Drake 6.06 installed

I was using the ubuntu breezy badger all this while, but after I shifted into my new rooms, I just couldnt connect to the internet. I was getting "NO DHCPOFFER OFFER" messages and short of trying a different modem, I just didnt know how to fix it :| !!

Meanwhile it was announced that Dapper Drake was getting released on June 1, and I thought I might as well reinstall the system. And that I was somewhat successfull, can be gauged from the fact that his post is from the very same system. Hmm....but I faced one problem though.

THe installation was a breeze, and the drake is dapper allright. But as soon I rebooted the system and tried to get in, I was met with a blank screen and the beating of a drum. The drum sound meant that the boot up process had reached the login screen, but me not being able to see that, implied that there was some problem with the display driver :< !!

Afer googling around I found that there was some problem with the native ATI drivers for Dapper Drake. The workaround was installing the fglrx drivers. Instructions are available at the

Hmm...well that takes care of the blank screen problem. But the problem from Breezy Badger (on my system) still persists. I havent investigated the problem as yet, but atleast Iam able to connect to another unsecured wireless connection. I guess its not a safe workaround and I should get around to finding a way to connect to my wireless router :? !!!