Present Perfect


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Present Perfect

link for peter

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 21:40


link for peter. You can click her and drag her around. Who comes up with this stuff ?

Back in the USSB

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 09:39


Kristien and I landed in Brussels on Saturday. Wiebe proposed to pick us up and was there half an hour later. He drove us straight to the frietkot nearest to his new loft, where I pigged out on fries, a taco (unrelated to what other countries call 'taco'), kipcorn, spring rolls and garnaalkroket. Kristien tried to confuse the friestender by ordering a "curryworst" but quickly changed her order to "frikandel special" after seeing his questioning looks.

We saw Wiebe's excellent loft, good catch. We saw Wiebe's new girlfriend, another good catch. In the evening some friends came over for a snack, a drink, and a game of Werewolf. Sadly we only played two rounds because Michel's new girlfriend was new to the game and felt too much pressure to understand the game straight from the start - something you really don't want to do when playing this game. She didn't want to keep playing, and since without her we were only seven we could not continue. I should go buy the game and get people back in BCN to play it. It's amazing how a game with so few attributes (a set of picture cards) and so few rules can be one of the most engrossing I've ever played.

Sunday was spent in the Eastern part of the country for the birthday party of Kristien's grandmother, who turned 80. Good old-fashioned Flemish cosiness in an archery's club house with buffet and "vlaai", I loved it.

I had contacted my old dentist to tell her that I could be on stand-by if she found a hole in her schedule or someone decided to cancel an appointment. I got a call from her today to scheduler for Wednesday. I've never been so excited before to go to the dentist's. Correction, I've never been excited to go to the dentist before, ever, period.

Monday was boys' night out, I dragged them along to see Sin City. I definitely liked it, spectacular visuals. Peter was afraid to admit he had spent half the movie with his eyes closed. After that, drinks and chicken legs on the boat. I never realize this when I'm not here in OldCountry but damn, I like my friends. I could just sit around and say nothing for hours while they make fun of eachother. It's been a while since I laughed this much.

Tuesday evening I went for a quick bite with Ellen. Unfounded fears put to rest, good to see her again. And after that, a night out in the garden at Katemy, meeting Muis and playing badminton.

what happened to
the beauty I had
inside of me

I realized late last night that a) I'm happy and b) I've grown emotionally detached again. Also realized this is still a wrong combination. Not sure where to go from there though :)

giddy commits

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 11:38


svn commit -m "commit every sin" *.sin

I've been going over the Xiph.org projects' build setup again, in preparation for a buildbot that will be public soon. This commit was part of the vorbis-tools gettext fixing.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 19:37



The day we got back from GUADEC I was planning on going to see Nada Surf play at a small club in Barcelona. However, it seemed nobody felt like going with me that day, and I didn't feel like being alone and tired there for some two hours before the band actually started. But right before deciding to go to bed Andy called and said he was up for it, so we went, and it was great. I just don't get to enough shows round here, more bands need to come to our wonderful city.

At work, we've had our first "brainfarm" session. Ralph Giles (from Xiph/Theora) is here for a month, and Conrad Parker (from Annodex) dropped by our office as well. We've discussed some items that we want to see happening, like images in Ogg streams (so we can put slides of talks at a high resolution in the Ogg stream), how we could hook up to XDamage (for screen recording), how we can integrate Annodex stuff into GStreamer and Flumotion, ...

I packaged up the Annodex stack for Fedora Core, which I'll be putting into Extras soon. I poked at it a bit, made some patches for various small issues, until I had even the Apache module working correctly. I used Conrad's oggzdump tool to look at the stream archives and figure out where the problems were. One of the problems was a bug in theoraenc that was actually spotted by Tim before the last release, but I guess nobody really understood how that bug needed to be solved. Embarassing bug :) But now I understand the problem and we can fix the bug. What's more, a small tweak to one of Conrad's example programs allows me to fix the bug on the recorded streams.

We had a nice barbecue with everyone there, including Brian Cameron, who also dropped by, and Ralph's girlfriend and daughter.

During the week, as Christian reported, Conrad managed to lose Wim's only set of keys. Wim was at that time on holiday for a week in Portugal. Getting Conrad back into Wim's place to pick up his stuff so he could leave for Germany and Japan was something of a challenge. First of all, Conrad had to wander around aimlessly after losing the keys at 4 AM until the next morning. So he crashed in our office on the couch :) Second, we needed to get hold of Wim to get some info. You can't just change the lock on any random door. Third, Wim's agency suggested we change the lock since they didn't have a key themselves. They didn't seem to think it necessary however to make sure we weren't thieves :) Of course, lock services didn't want to change the lock without explicit consent from the owner. But hey - don't owners always have a spare set of keys to throw out malicious renters ?

So, fifth, contact the owner, after asking the agency. Answering machine. Callback next day, they are coming to the city. Send over Conrad and Andy to collect the keys because we have some conf call. Conrad back with keys, happy. This is Friday, Conrad wanted to leave Saturday. Finish at office, plan dinner. Before dinner, go to Wim's to get Conrad's stuff. Key doesn't work on the door. I try as well. Nope, neither key works on neither door. Panic. Call owner again. Leave message. Have dinner. Get callback. Owner says it's not possible, this is the right set of keys. Yes, he owns that particular place. Yes, he owns no other apartments. Yes, he has more keys, but they're all the same. Can we come over and compare keys ? Sure.

So, sixth. After dinner, Michael and Conrad hop in the car with me, we drive around for an hour trying to find the guy, knowing only roughly where he lives and that we're supposed to meet him by the mechanical stairs. It was around this time that Conrad started accepting his fate, speaking the immortal words "Losing the keys was my fault. I admit. But everything after that ...

Finally we find the stairs, call the guy (who sounds sleepy), climb the two hundred meters of mechanical stairs that aren't very mechanical at the moment, and end up in a seedy back area at the top. Some guy walks over to us and hands us some keys and a paper with a copy of his id (in color !), saying he needs to go back to bed because he needs to get up at 7 (and by this time it's 1 AM). Finally, the keys ! Back in the car, notice I have a message on my cell phone, listen to message - it's the guy saying that we shouldn't come by anymore because it's too late and he needs to get up at 7. Glad I didn't hear it before calling him.

Back to Wim's place, finally open the door, get Conrad's stuff, go back home, and have a few well-deserved cocktails. Mental note - copy Wim's keys for next time this happens...

GUADEC wrapup

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 15:46


First of all, for people who are wondering what's up with the archives of the streams: don't worry, we're working on them. The online copies have a few problems, most of them related to networking problems during the conference (ie. parts of the stream never reached our online platform). But don't worry, we have local copies that we are currently fixing up and cutting nicely, and we will put them up as soon as they are done.


plane hackin'

So, wrapping up GUADEC. Excellent conference, as usual. While GUADEC itself was great, I really need to do something next year so I get to enjoy more of the conference itself. Running the streams is a pleasing thing to do, but it makes you miss out on a bunch of the talks, and it doesn't give you as much time as usual to talk to a bunch of people you otherwise don't get the chance for. Which is, after all, the main reason we want to go to these conferences. Oh, and getting up at 7.30 is no joke either for someone like me.

There were a bunch of logistic issues to deal with as well that I really need to make sure are solved for next year. The volunteers did great work. But I feel there are some baseline issues that need to be guaranteed in some form so we can avoid the more silly problems like "no network" and "no power".

If your name is Karin, for the love of God don't go to Germany

Stuttgart itself was a nice surprise. I don't particularly like Germany much from past experience, but Stuttgart had plenty of green, nice buildings, a good looking city centre, and the GUADEC venue was a very nice building. Some of the rooms were a little on the small side though. But some of the stereotypes I had got reinforced as well. For example, there were five rooms available for GUADEC: one 500 people room, one 300 people room, and three 50 people rooms. We couldn't use the two big rooms at the same time on Sunday because there *always* needs to be a building technician in the room when it's in use, and only one of them was available on Sunday. So, no, he can't turn on the equipment in room A then do the same in room B - he is only allowed to open up either of the two rooms at any given time. This apparently also involves strict union labour law. I gave up understanding at that point.

bad usability is a good excuse for ending up in the "wrong" place

The parties were really my only opportunity to socialize a little with people. I discussed Anna's usability video recording setup (this would make an excellent GNOME bounty), and discussed various other technical and non-technical stuff with the people I knew there. The bar was called C64 and there were joysticks at the bar and you could play Frogger. Excellent. My plans for sleeping late and preparing my presentation were subtly thwarted by beer ending up in the belly of a beast that was hard to drag home.

sadly our new wireless router does not reach all the way to the pool
if you are a burglar, watch out for streams of zeroes and ones reflecting off walls at geometrically incorrect angles and hitting you in the eye

We were adequately prepared for this GUADEC in hindsight. We could have brought some install CD's to save some pain, and we ended up buying a wireless router we needed anyway for the office, and which proved to be a lifesaver during the setup. Once the basics like power and network worked (which happened the first time at 07.30 in the morning the first day of the conference ...), setting up Flumotion was pretty damn easy. We did run into a few things that we should definitely work on for next time to make it even easier to manage the streams while the conference is running. But overall stuff worked very well. People were commenting on IRC (how I wish we had an a CMML bot running so we could have annotated the streams), and everyone seemed to enjoy the chance of almost being there. At one point someone complained about the distortion in one of the rooms, and from some other room I could just bring up my admin client and turn down the volume on the firewire input. Sweet laziness.

The other Gergely Nagy

Flumotion has its second outside contributor, algernon. You can see his good twin (the exact same name, there at GUADEC, freaky) up above. Gergely posted an entry on his site a while back on why he still prefered icecast over Flumotion. I can't link to it because his site is currently down. I posted a reply to some of the points he made, since he had a bunch of constructive criticism that needed to be adressed. A few weeks later, he took a good look at Flumotion and saw a lot of stuff he liked that he didn't notice before. He got over his python "aversion" and started submitting patches for various bits. We're happy to have a new contributor to our growing project :)

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