Category Archives: Computers

burn a recorded mpeg-ts file to dvd in linux

Our old dreambox 7000 records movies in the mpeg-ts format (file extension:.ts). I wrote a Makefile to burn recorded files to dvd.

Posted in Computers | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

readesm 2011 with Qt user interface

The old version of readesm was using a command-line interface to convert the tachograph data into html. If one wanted it shown in the browser, there was a script to convert the file, write it to a temporary directory, and then open that file in the browser. However, this approach turned out to be not portable at all.

There were other problems: readesm was using custom Makefiles, which apparently made compiling the source difficult. I was amazed to discover this wiki entry for fahrlinx, which contained information on how to install the windows version of readesm using wine. As the windows version at that time was cross-compiled in linux and lacked some features, readesm was clearly too difficult to compile.

Posted in Computers, Vehicles | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Serial download from a digital tachograph in python

Digital tachographs are a compulsory equipment for heavy trucks in the european union. The companies owning these trucks have to download the data at least once every 3 months.

Without dedicated hardware, this was so far not easily possible in linux, but my python script should make it possible to download the data with a serial cable with the right connector.

Posted in Computers, Vehicles | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Play or open newest file from the linux command line

In some cases it is convenient to have a shortcut to open the newest file in a directory. Maybe the last show your dvr recorded, or the last file you bought from amazon.

For these cases I found this little bash snippet useful:

ls -tr | tail -n 1 | xargs -I FILE kde-open "FILE"
Posted in Computers | Tagged , | 1 Comment

ytplay – wrapper for youtube-dl.py

Due to my slightly outdated computer flash is a huge problem. So, for viewing youtube videos, youtube-dl.py is a great solution. However, I wanted something more comfortable.

ytplay wraps around youtube-dl.py, it searches for a video, orders youtube-dl to get it, and starts playing it in vlc.

Usage is simple:
> ytplay foobar
will search youtube for videos about foobar and play the first one found.

The code is still quite dirty, especially the subprocess part. However, it should work, have fun!

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GPS plasmoid

Having recently acquired a bluetooth GPS receiver for as little as 20 €, and just having switched to KDE 4, i tried to combine those two, and write a little plasmoid to show the current position on the desktop.

And that is basically everything to say, enjoy the little applet.

Posted in Computers | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

readESM – Reading Digital Tachograph files

Update, November 2011: See the post about readesm 2011 and the sourceforge project page for newer descriptions of readesm.

Update, March 2011: There is a new release of readesm, The description provided here no longer applies, the new readesm uses Qt and cmake. You can get the new release at the sourceforge project page and read the documentation here.

For several years now, new trucks sold in the European union are equipped with digital tachographs, that record the driving times and replace the older chart-based mechanical tachographs.

Posted in Computers, Vehicles | Tagged , , | 61 Comments

GPS Mouse in Python

Some months ago I aquired a cheap gps mouse (Royaltek RGM-2000, really cheap, 2 € + shipping) at ebay. My plans to use it in combination with an microcontroller and a display haven’t worked out, it is a lot of work and the garmin units do that job fine.
However, playing around with it in python lead to better results. Getting the data to google earth works nicely, and at least qlandkarte can read the generated gpx tracks.

Posted in Computers | Tagged , | 2 Comments

kernel config based on lsmod output

Update (October 7th, 2011): Kernels from 2.6.32 onwards should have the option to “make localmodconfig” and “make localyesconfig”. This post describes a dirty hack to get a result similar to “make localyesconfig”. If possible, use the official way instead of my python script.

After reading about the amazing 5-seconds bootup I decided to once again compile a kernel myself. Compiling a kernel is almost trivial these days, but customizing the configuration can still be quite confusing. For example, the names of the modules in lsmod aren’t the ones you select as config options. To map them, I found some scripts in the LQWiki, but they weren’t that easily to use, and also programming in bash is just painful.

Posted in Computers | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Feeding a screensaver from the digikam database

After several months of living without any screensaver, I decided it just would be nice to once again have something nice to watch and show while idling. I really like the photo slideshow that ships with windows vista, but as my laptop runs linux only that was not possible. The next best thing i found was glslideshow from the xscreensaver compilation. Like most slideshow programs, glslideshow will look into a given directory, and show files out of it in random order. However, there are downsides to that simple approach: My photo folder contains some private pictures, and also some pictures that are just ugly. So i decided to connect it to my digikam database, which was surprisingly simple.

Posted in Computers, Photography | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments