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Using FlickR to exchange userinterface (UI) design ideas (phpbb+drupal forums)

Been working on a project recently, initially just looking at the differences between phpBB and drupal Forum for a possible migration into drupal.

essentially all i'm doing is posting some images under a certain tag name and then adding some notes to certain regions of those images, seem s to work pretty damn well, saves all that annoying point-at-smudgy-spot-onthe-screen kind of stuff.


New digicam - Canon IXUS Powershot SD430 (under linux!)

Bought a new digicam after being withone for a year or two now.

Which is the Canon Powershot SD430, No idea what "Digital elph" means but it's on the manual cover.
My previous camera was the canon powershot A10 (the very first of the powershot range).

Canon IXUS Wireless Powershot SD430 (hows that for a model number!), seems to work ok, will have a bit more of a play with it and see what i can discover, I've got no idea how to use the wireless interface for it, I plugged the USB adaptor into my laptop but i didnt register as much so who knows.

One thing that is immediately obvious with this camera is

  • It's size - small, very tidy

  • Good-enough lens quality

  • Some smarts about organising files on the SDCARD, such as creating sub-directories by date

  • Remarkably easy to navigate user interface

  • Very quick to fire off to the next shot

  • Very quick start-up time

under linux it shows up as

Bus 003 Device 002: ID 04a9:3131 Canon, Inc.

However the Canon IXUS does not register as a generic SCSI device which is a bit of a pain, BUT do not fear, theres always gphoto2.

seven:/home/dgtlmoon/cc# gphoto2 -P
Downloading 'theme.dat' from folder '/special'...

Saving file as P1000019.JPG

etc etc.
The Canon does movie mode, which saves as an .AVI file but there seems to be a little bit of background noise, will have a few more attempts at it, also you cant chang the zoom status while filming!

interestingly enough, theres a group of hackers working on somethis called the LIXUS project which is all about getting a running linux kernel on the canon ixus which sounds like a lot of fun, looks like they've got a command prompt so far, not sure if it still takes photos!

An annoyance abuot the SD430 is the USB wireless adapator needs its own powersource (whats the point!) but i guess this is all pretty new kinda tech so needs to be ironed out. Turns out the wireless is 802b11

Video output (in .AVI format) is converted to MPEG locally with ffmpeg, which is in debian apt sources (im on testing atm), the camera done 30FPS @ 640x480, reduced it to 15FPS @ 300x320 and the output was around 163MB for 54 seconds worth of video, mpeg'ed that was converted to 9MB

ffmpeg -i MVI_0184.AVI -target pal-vcd charger.mpeg

the output results

dgtlmoon@seven:~/digicam$ ls -al charger.mpeg MVI_0184.AVI
-rw-r--r--  1 dgtlmoon dgtlmoon  9993200 2006-10-20 22:17 charger.mpeg
-rw-r--r--  1 root     root     16312502 2006-10-20 22:10 MVI_0184.AVI

So i couldnt resist, I uploaded my dodge charger (remote control) doing circle work on the kitchen floor to youtube..

general stats


Listen to /dev/dsp and record to MP3 when there is some sound to record

Something I wrote for a small project, initially designed to listen my radio scanner via /dev/dsp and record when it hears something, this uses python and some threads to launch instances of 'lame' encoder and then insert them into MySQL.

The app has a threshold for incomming sound levels and starts recording when the threshold is reached, there is also a setting for time-distance between hearing things so you dont end up a billion little mp3s because the audio is dropping out, just a nice long mp3.

So i've been doing a bit-o-drupal lately

Some information about my involvement with drupal.

View my drupal user track for background


STK-500 general nerding report

After looking at the prices some companies like motec charge for their entry level EFI management systems i've decided to start learning to tools of the trade. MCU's.

A mate of mine managed to hook me up with an Atmel STK500, which is nice MCU development board for much of Atmel's Atmega* range.

So so far i've had to learn

  • Driving IO lines

  • Interrupt driven programming (think of hardware operations triggering your function calls)

Horde+IMP webmail on DreamHost (PHP5)

Recently I purchased a DreamHost account, seems to go pretty except for a few small things.

Bottom of this article is my full PHP5+IMP tar ball ready for download so you can get going with the good stuff.


    Annoyances with dreamhost..
  • Dreamhosts's default PHP5 does not have IMAP extention installed

  • You gotta pay extra per month for SSL portforwarding to your IP address (what a jib!)

  • It's a cheap hosting environment so no they dont let you just edit /etc/php.ini and add, as theres lots of nasty php scripts out there that will do all sorts of terrible things to their PHP 5 / IMAP servers. - so you gotta compile your own PHP..

Dreamhost have their own webmail, so this isnt about installing their existing webmail on dreamhost

Now not being scared of a bit of dirty work i googled for dreamhost compile php cgi-bin
and followed the following

One thing they dont tell you, is to 'strip' your compiled PHP5 binary, it will reduce it from 60mb (yes 60!) to 6


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