MKVToolNix 4.8.0 released
Tuesday 24 May 2011 @ 9:39 am

Hey,

I’ve released mkvtoolnix v4.8.0. It’s mostly a bug fix release with few new features.

Here are the usual links: the home page, the source code and the Windows installer and 7zip archive.

All binaries that I provide myself have already been uploaded.

Here’s the full ChangeLog since release 4.7.0:

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Managing tasks with Remember The Milk and Emacs
Sunday 22 May 2011 @ 10:30 am

These days I’ve got a lot of stuff to do. There are basics like cleaning the flat or fertilizing plants. There are things connected to my hobbies: remembering to fix a bug or implement a feature in my programs, answering forum posts and emails, practice my choir pieces. And then there’s everything going on at my job: do this for a customer, implement that in a program, and that other internal thing has to be remembered as well.

Too bad I’m forgetting more of those things than I’d like to admit. Fortunately someone invented TODO lists for people like myself.

I’m using the excellent Remember The Milk service (short: RTM) for this kind of thing. The one thing I find absolutely fascinating about RTM is its fast, single keystroke based web interface. Being an avid Emacs user as well I always wanted to be able to access RTM directly from Emacs in nearly the same way. Web searches only turned up an integration into Org mode, which I don’t use and don’t want to learn, I decided to write this myself: SimpleRTM – An Interactive Emacs mode for Remember The Milk. The code is over on github, and installation is trivial.

Have fun.

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Laptop keys not working on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal
Thursday 5 May 2011 @ 11:40 am

A couple of days ago I upgraded my laptop, an Asus UL30A, from Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick to 11.04 Natty. Everything went fine. Unfortunately pretty much all of my special keys (backlight, volume, suspend, WIFI) stopped working after the obligatory reboot.

Investigation showed the following lines in syslog:

May 5 11:26:56 kirana kernel: [ 30.900537] ACPI Exception: AE_AML_BUFFER_LIMIT, Index (0x0000000000000064) is beyond end of object (20110112/exoparg2-418)
May 5 11:26:56 kirana kernel: [ 30.900551] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed [\_SB_.PCI0.SBRG.EC0_.STBR] (Node ffff88013763f118), AE_AML_BUFFER_LIMIT (20110112/psparse-536)
May 5 11:26:56 kirana kernel: [ 30.900565] ACPI Error: Method parse/execution failed [\_SB_.PCI0.VGA_.LCDD._BCM] (Node ffff8801376382f8), AE_AML_BUFFER_LIMIT (20110112/psparse-536)
May 5 11:26:56 kirana kernel: [ 30.900580] ACPI Error: Evaluating _BCM failed (20110112/video-365)

Typical ACPI errors you encounter way too often on laptops. Ubuntu 11.04 comes with kernel 2.6.38. Instead of wasting countless hours tracking the actual issue down I decided to check with the latest and greatest vanilla kernel first. That was 2.6.38.5 at the time of writing. I compiled using Ubuntu’s configuration as a template. The required commands where the usual (more or less the following):

cd /usr/src/linux-2.6.38.5
cp /boot/config-2.6.38-generic .config
yes '' | make oldconfig
make prepare
make bzImage modules
make INSTALL_MOD_STRIP=1 modules_install install
update-initramfs -k 2.6.38.5 -c
update-grub

After a reboot everything was working fine again.

Of course you can use the Debian/Ubuntu way for building and installing the kernel. The point is: 2.6.38.5 just works.

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