Fedora has Freemind

November 30, 2010 in fedora, packaging, software

During past few months I have been reviewing packages for Fedora with approximate speed of 1.53 package per week :-)

Most of packages I reviewed were libraries and other things that are not so interesting to users. But one of last packages I reviewed is different. It is one of the best mind-mappingsoftware in existence :-) Yes, it’s Freemind. If you’ve never tried mind-mapping before, let me quote first paragraph from wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.

So what are you waiting for? Try it out!/>/> There were attempts to package Freemind before, but all would-be maintainers gave up when they noticed how many dependencies are needed and how Java packaging actually works (I don’t really blame them). So everyone please. Let’s. Have. A. Staaaaanding. Ovaaation. Fooor. Johannes Lips. He made it! If you live close by, buy him a beer will you? :-)

Local DNS caching – just do it already!

November 11, 2010 in en, network, open source, problem, software

I recently encountered weird problems with my network connection at home. Everything worked, but was unbelievably slooooow. Ping showed times of ~30 ms, but I could easily see it took more time for those packets to go there and back.

I took me some time to figure out what was happening. Looking back, checking DNS server should have been one of the first things to do. Seems like first DNS server provided by my provider has been down. That meant that every DNS query timed out and then went to the second DNS which got me my response. For some reason ping did DNS query before every new package being sent. That explains its weird behaviour.

This problem got me to finally install local caching dns. I was thinking about doing it before, but I never got around to do it until now. I always thought it’s gonna be a few-hour nightmare. Now I blame my previous experience with bind 😀 For simple local caching bind would be overkill, so I chose dnsmasq. Using it was as simple as installing, running dnsmasq and executing

$ echo 'nameserver 127.0.0.1' > /etc/resolv.conf.head

From that point on every resolv.conf file generated by dhcpcd will have my local DNS as first DNS server to try. For this time you can add it there manually. Then you can verify your setup works by running following command twice in a row:

$ dig randomserver.com

First execution should have Query time: XX msec with XX being few tens of miliseconds. Query time for second run should be zero or very close to zero.

Congratulations. You have your very own caching server. Who knows…maybe you’ll even notice some improvements in your network connection :-)

PyQTrailer revisited

November 10, 2010 in en, fedora, open source, projects, pyqt, python, software

Some time ago, I wrote about my little project: apple.com trailer downloader. Apple is still not very open-source friendly as far as its trailer website is concerned. So all points I made in my original post still stand. To my surprise this little project is still alive and kicking, with new ideas for improvements coming and coming :-). What is even more important: it seems that so far no breakage happened due to apple changing something on the web.

Since the first version I released almost 6 months ago several new features appeared. Some of them include:

  • Parallel downloading of trailers
  • Ability to run movie player (mplayer, vlc, etc) without downloading file to HDD
  • Lot of customisation/performance options added
  • Working support for trailer search
  • Localisation support
  • Python 3 support

Latest version (0.5.2) is available in Gentoo repositories already, and should hit Fedora updates in next day or so (this will be delayed due to new package acceptance criteria though). Enjoy.