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Thu, 26 Nov 2009

My favourite Ubuntu patch

I thought I should share my current favourite Ubuntu patch.

While hunting for easy RC bug fixes yesterday, I stumbled across mit-scheme_7.7.90+20090107-1ubuntu1.patch [roughly 9MB]. It contains a Debian .deb to bootstrap the Ubuntu mit-scheme package (bug filed). Nice.

Now, to be fair, Debian has a bootstrapping problem for mit-scheme as well - it requires itself to build, but is currently uninstallable in unstable (although zack's on the case). Having looked at the problem, I think the best thing to do in the long term would be to package mit-scheme-c (which appears to be a superset of the upstream tarball for mit-scheme?) and then use that to build the other package. This would also provide a version of mit-scheme for arches other than i386. If maintainer-built binary packages are going to get thrown away at upload time, that would have been the only way to solve the bug, I think.

(I don't mean to fuel the Debian vs. Ubuntu flames; it would have been nice if the MOTUs could have fixed this in less of a hacky, license-violating way, but they did at least get the package to build, which is more than Debian can do at the moment. I intend to keep a closer eye on Ubuntu bugs and patches for the various packages I work on, because keeping divergence to a minimum should benefit both distributions.)

Posted: 26 Nov 2009 21:31 | Tags: , , ,

Sat, 24 Jan 2009

Fixing Problems

My mum uses a Dell laptop running Ubuntu. Each time I visit I get to fix any problems that have cropped up. To be fair, there weren't that many so far.

  • libdvdcss2 was not installed. I explained why, and fixed it.
  • DVD menus were not being played in totem-gstreamer - the DVD would autorun, but you could not change to other titles. If you restarted totem with a different menu option you could at least set up a playlist with all the titles. It's a shame, because I like gstreamer, but as a quick fix I installed totem-xine and set it to autorun for DVDs instead.
  • Upgraded to Intrepid. Fairly uneventful.
  • Installed wine so that horrible non-free heart rate monitor software might possibly run.
  • Introduced mum to pidgin.
  • There seem to be some problems with sound recording - I started setting up Ekiga, but this is a blocker. Might not have time to fix this.

Posted: 24 Jan 2009 00:00 | Tags: , ,

Fri, 07 Dec 2007

Ubuntu for relatives

My mum will shortly receive a laptop with Ubuntu installed (from Dell). She will be the second of my relatives to start using Ubuntu, after my brother - the advantages are the lower initial price, no recurring anti-virus software costs, better interoperability out of the box with cameras and printers, and photo management software for no charge (again, out of the box).

I'm really hoping Dell don't mess this up.

Posted: 07 Dec 2007 00:00 | Tags: , ,

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