Saturday, October 29, 2011

sysctl parameter reset

Every wondered why does you custom kernel parameters in /etc/sysctl.conf doesn't get set on startup even after you add sysctl -p on boot scripts?

The reason might be kdm. It happens that when a user logs in using KDM, it resets the kernel parameters to default, making the init scripts's parameter settings to non existent.

I've reported a bug on this, as an alternative you can set the kernel parameters after you've logged in by setting a timer in the start up script - 

sleep 40; sysctl -p

A better idea will be automatic login; for security, you might configure kdm to lock screen after log in (this can be found in system settings > login screen).

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Linux and CD/DVD burning.

Well, I'm disappointed. Agreed that CD/DVDs or any kind of optical media is a dying game, but it's also critical for professional/home media production.

We do have a lot of multimedia tools which work well, but what we don't have is a good CD/DVD burner, when it co
mes to graphical burners, things boil down to - 
K3b -- the most preferred and the only one.
xfburn -- the second choice, if k3b doesn't work.
Brasero -- Most unreliable and most buggy.
xcdroast -- seriously, I never got this to work

The backends of all the apps except Nero boils down to - 


Everything else is deprecated.

I have someone who has the work of converting very old cassette and LPs to ACDs (i.e. he has to burn the recorded tracks to CDs).

A few months ago Nero stopped working after an upgrade, ironically it could not add audio files (wav) to make ACD, everything else worked fine. 
So it was rejected and the fallback was k3b, which a few months later (again after an upgrade) hit a bug where adding audio tracks randomly causes segmentation fault, this is a still a Debian bug.
Next fallback was xfburn -- but it didn't add any gap between tracks of the burnt disk.

Finally Brasero -- the most unreliable (don't ask why) came to the rescue, it did not segfault and was capable to adding gaps between tracks but I think this'll also end up in bugs some day or the other.

Not to mention, I had spend days to figure out the issue with CD/DVD burning on Linux a year ago and fixing strange problem with various hardware, specially pioneer drives and external devices (popular now). Things complicate more with fabulous cdrkit bugs and the dramatic cdrkit-cdrtools clash -- a licence issue, something which no one except Debian devs care about. The ultimate solution that I see is libburn and it's client cdrskin -- they never gave any problem on any hardware.

But cdrskin waits for k3b to add support, till this we only have xfburn. :(

Sunday, October 23, 2011

LP120 on Linux

Audio technica LP120's USB interface is basically a USB audio controller integrated inside the player and it's compatible with Linux, you need to do nothing specific in a Linux distro to configure the card, drivers are build into Linux.

Just configure it through pulseaudio GUI to make it work.