Thanks to a post on Frank Goosens’ blog I discovered FunPidgin! A fork of Pidgin, a multi-messenger client formerly known as Gaim.

My biggest (and actually, only) gripe with Pidgin is that they changed the way the contact list works/behaves – you no longer have a clear view of what protocol a user is added with, so you also don’t know what protocol to pick for someone to send him/her a message/file. Since they were obviously not going to listen to their users (although it has been requested a ton of times, search their Trac), it was only a matter of time before a fork was created: Funpidgin.

“What makes us different from the official client, is that we work for you. Unlike the Pidgin developers, we believe the user should have the final say in what goes into the program.”

I’m definitely gonna check it out!

Linux on my MacBook

I’m currently trying to get Linux (Debian Sid) working on my MacBook… it’s installed, but still needs lots of tweaking.

Most of the things work out of the box, except the things listed below:

Specific things that work (after tweaking):

  • Xorg with resolution at 1280×800
  • WiFi (atheros)
  • special buttons (volume/brightness/…)

Things that need to work still:

  • Touchpad (well, it works, but it needs to work better)
  • iSight

Sources I’m using at the moment:

I’ll write a detailed post on this later… when I’m not uberly lazy ;)

Fixing your VMWare’s guest clock

If you’re using VMWare on a variable-speed processor (like all most modern cpu’s these days) you might have noticed that sometimes the guest OS runs a lot faster (causing the guest clock to run faster and all kinds of weird effects).

The fix for that is easy, and specified in this knowledgebase article:

Add to /etc/vmware/config the following lines:

host.cpukHz = 1700000
host.noTSC = TRUE
ptsc.noTSC = TRUE

replacing 1700000 with the actual top speed of your processor. Et voila, runs better ;)

Vmware console on Debian Lenny

I just installed VMWare server on my gf’s linux-laptop, but the server console didn’t want to start for some reason… Just came back to the command line, nothing happening.

Running vmware as
LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/$LD_PRELOAD vmware made things work, strangely enough ;)

Guess it’s because she’s not running any dbus-aware windowmanager, and thus said library not being loaded before the start of the server console. Ah well, fixed now ;)

arm-linux crosscompiling on Debian Sid

Here’s a simple howto on how to install an ARM crosscompiling environment on your Debian Unstable:

  1. Install crosscompiler packages from
  2. Create a virtual deb package extraction directory:
    1. Create the directory /usr/arm-deb
    2. Create the directory /usr/arm-deb/usr
    3. Create the following symlinks in /usr/arm-deb/usr:
      1. ln -s /usr/arm/bin /usr/arm-deb/usr/bin
      2. ln -s /usr/arm/lib /usr/arm-deb/usr/lib
      3. ln -s /usr/arm/include /usr/arm-deb/usr/include
      4. ln -s /usr/arm/share /usr/arm-deb/usr/share

    This will allow easy package extraction.

Now, download the packages you need manually (from and extract them in the directory using dpkg -x <package file> /usr/arm-deb

To compile something, you first have to add /usr/arm/bin to your path (export PATH=/usr/arm/bin:$PATH), set include paths to those include files (export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/arm/include") and add
-host=arm-linux to your ./configure.

Happy compiling ;)


I was trying to get GalleryRemote installed today on my Linux installation (because for obscure reasons, using the java applet in gallery directly crashes my browsers), which wouldn’t run. Attempting to run the installer gave obscure errors like:

awk: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
dirname: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

A quick search led me to see that the problem was related to the variable LD_ASSUME_KERNEL being set, causing libc6 to fail loading its libraries.

So, the process to get it up and running is:

  1. download GalleryRemote (non-vm)
  2. run this in the directory where you downloaded it:
    $ cp GalleryRemote.1.5.Linux.NoVM.bin GalleryRemote.1.5.Linux.NoVM.bin.orig
    $ cat GalleryRemote.1.5.Linux.NoVM.bin.orig | sed "s/export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/#xport LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/" > GalleryRemote.1.5.Linux.NoVM.bin
  3. install GalleryRemote
  4. run this in the directory where you installed it:
    $ cp Gallery_Remote Gallery_Remote.orig
    $ cat Gallery_Remote.orig | sed "s/export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/#xport LD_ASSUME_KERNEL/" > Gallery_Remote

Now you should be all set to use GalleryRemote!

Linux, distcc and Mac OS X

If you’re like me, and have Fink installed on your Mac and compiling away all those wonderful unix applications, and you have a desktop nearby running linux (with more processor power being unused), you’ll want to setup distcc so you can harnass all that power.

I found a rather nice article that contains a walkthrough on how to get things done.

It works nicely. A few remarks:

  • Download the correct gcc version from Apple. You can check your Mac’s version by running gcc -v:
    $ gcc -v
    Using built-in specs.
    Target: i686-apple-darwin8
    Thread model: posix
    gcc version 4.0.1 (Apple Computer, Inc. build 5367)

    That build is important.
  • Don’t bother trying to build the odcctools on x86_64. It’s broken, kaput. Install yourself a 32bit chroot and build as from there. Don’t forget to switch back to the 64bit environment when building gcc!

Now, the other thing you need to do is convince fink to use distcc.

After compiling a while, you should have a working distcc setup. Unfortunately, for some reason my distcc’s keep segfaulting on my debian box, so that’s one issue I have to fix. If anyone can help, feel free ;)

Fight image spam with FuzzyOCR & Spamassassin

I guess you all know about Spam Assassin. It’s a wonderful tool that allows you to filter out tons of spam easily.

Unfortunately, spammers are using images more and more to circumvent the baysan (and other) filter methods spam filters use. So, we need to incorporate some OCR’ing into spamassassin to make it hit those ugly things too!

Useful article:

On Debian Sid, it’s as easy as
apt-get install fuzzyocr3 ocrad ;)

What I’ve been doing…

What have I been doing the last times… well…

1. I flashed my Moto phone with the latest stable firmware, and it still works, and I’ve got video recording and more speed and a searchable addressbook and .. and.. Well, you know – flashing it made me sweat beyond belief (like OMG is it going to work? or not? *panic*)

2. I bought some RedHat books for Enterprise Linux 3 and maybe getting the certificates for RHCT and RHCE.. and whatever. I’ll see – studying time.

3. I changed the blogging software we use on the website (which is the site of Diana and me) from sphpblog to WordPress, which seems to be a bit more maintained. We decided to move after Diana’s sphpblog got hacked, and well.. her new blog is now up at and her site is now at :P (and yes it looks great :)
I’ve also ‘modded’ an existing plugin for WordPress and made a sphpblog to WP convertor: you can find those below.

4. I’ve gone back to Spain on the meanwhile too, but for that you’d better see our blog. Not gonna repeat that here. I’m WAY too lazy :p

5. I’ve gotten my girl her birthday present, it looks nice :p and I’ll say later what it is because she also reads this blog *g* :P

6. I nearly finished painting my new livingroom! Just need to throw out a bunch of crap more and paint the place that’s used by that crap, but that’ll hopefully be done in two-three weeks.. I have 12h-shifts the whole week next week, and no time in the weekends, and then going back to spain for a week, and then… well… we’ll see :p

That’s about it! (125 downloads) (132 downloads) (116 downloads)

September in Spain

On tuestday, 20 september I took the plane (yes, I gave it back ;p) once again to spain, to visit Diana :) :)

After a pretty boring flight (but good inflight menu) landing there, taking the cab to the appartment and having a mjummy good home-made pizza (even home-made dough!!), I helped reinstalling Diana’s laptop – new, faster and bigger harddisk. The Windows installer was a bit of a bitch, so we continued on with linux, which was on pretty soon. Putting it to download all the packages for Debian and then to sleep… (bed waterbed-effect without water! :P)

The next day we packed up soonish and drove with Mum off to Rascafria, a little village to the north of Madrid, for the remainder of the week. It was a bit of a boring drive there, and then ofcourse finding the way in the village itself. It’s really a cute and pitoresque village, and it felt like going back a few deccenia in time :P
The house itself was a modern house, nicely built and roomy, with a nice bathroom and kitchen – which is important!
After unpacking all the stuff from the car we took a little stroll into the village, which has a has-been waterstream and so, did a little bit of necessary grocery shopping and then went back to the house, having dinner (pisto with eggs), watching some tv and bed!

On thursday we drove off to Segovia, further up north in Spain. It has a well-kept Roman Aquaduct, and lots of old beautiful buildings. We first got lost in the city centre with the car, finally got out (damn smalls streets!) and parked around 10-mins walk from the centre. Unfortunately it’s a pretty touristic city, but it’s nice nonetheless ;)
For lunch there we had the typical Segovian dish: Cochinillo Asado (Roast Pig), which is made in a coal oven until it’s so tender you can cut it with an eating plate! (which they did, and then trew the plate on the ground so you could see it was a stupid plain old porcelain plate). Verrrrrrry good. As soup we had Sopa Castellana (Castillian soup), which is a sort of broth, with lots of old bread, pieces of meat, olive oil, garlic and egg. Heavy, but good soup.

After lunch we walked around in the city more, looking at the Cathedral and the churches. After that we went back to the car, and drove home – happy and tired ;p Dinner that eve was home-made croquetas! Mjummy!

The next day was a quiet day at home, legs tired and all.. Just watched some tv, read some, overall restful day. We baked an orange cake too, which is like *droooooool* mjummmmmmmmmm….Dinner was stew with baked potatoes, good!

On saturday we went off to Buitrago, to see the Midieval Fair there. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling too well, and it was too crowded to find a place to eat, so we bought some stuff and went back home. Lunch consisted of meat with pan con aceite (olive-oil bread). Quiet day too, overal. In the eve we had more croquetas, cheese and the bread. After watching some tv we went to bed.

Sunday we had to go back to Madrid, pack up everything in my own suitcase and leave back for Belgium in the early eve. The stays are always too short… but I’m going back next month!


(ps: pics can be found here)