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This is the technical notebook of Sam. It includes a blog.

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Spent Grain Bread Machine Recipe

It's a recipe, and an update on brewing!

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2014/04/29 03:58 · Sam Mulvey · 0 Linkbacks

Adventures in Xen 4.3.1

So, if you want to compile XEN in KVM1), you'll want to define a CPU type. Without a specific CPU identified, gmp will assume a 32bit ABI and fail.

2013/12/10 13:14 · Sam Mulvey · 0 Linkbacks

Multihead GDM

This is another “GNOME3 doesn't really have everything working right yet” thing. If I were GNOME3 devs, I would probably leave it alone until Weston/Wayland matures and then switch to that. X going away would be a good thing.

Anyway, when I start up GDM, it misconfigures my monitors and instead of “1 2 3” it has them as “2 3 1”, which as you might imagine, is annoying. I tried fixing it in /etc/gdm/Init/Default, but apparently that script runs before the X server is fully ready.

But I found this way, and it works pretty good:

First, configure your monitors as your user in Mac OSGNOME System Settings.


# cp /home/<user>/.config/monitors.xml /var/lib/gdm/.config/
# chown gdm:gdm /var/lib/gdm/.config/monitors.xml
# systemctl restart gdm



2013/08/20 13:04 · Sam Mulvey · 0 Linkbacks

Google Hangouts and Jack Audio

Update 06/21/2014: This no longer works. Google made the talkplugin “more intelligent,” so if it can't fondle the card in certain ways (which the loopback card doesn't do) it won't select it. For now, I'm using the analog hole. If I find a better solution, I'll make a new post.

This is probably a rare occurrence, but documenting hacks and projects is what this blog is for, so here goes.

I have two sound cards. One of them is for GNOME and Pulse, and one of them is for JACK and my professional audio work. One just goes to some cheap 2.1 PC speakers with a bad volume pot that I haven't gotten around to fixing, the other goes to some Sennheiser headphones and has my DO56 via a 12AX7 preamp.

I was listening to the Atheist Nomads live Google Hangout today, and I was wondering if I were doing the same thing, if I could pipe my usual JACK production tools into it. Pretty straight forward, really: create a loopback soundcard and then run the alsa utilities to carry audio into and out of it. I seem to use Loopback audio cards a lot.

For some reason the google talkplugin saw the Loopback, but wasn't speaking to it in ways that made sense to me. I asked Dustin over at the podcast how he got JACK to work with the hangout, and he said he didn't use JACK, just pulse. Which got me thinking.

I jumped out of GNOME and into Window Maker, launched Chromium, and instead of a small list of hardware devices as in Pulse, I got an ALSA list of devices, and suddenly everything was working fine.

I don't want to have to jump out of GNOME just to do a hangout with the good tools. So I looked into having an application ignore Pulse. Tried a bunch of ways suggested by documentation and web pages, but none of them worked.

Finally, I remembered that Pulse paid attention to some environment variables for the purposes of remote sound. I tried a cheap hack, and lo, it worked:

$ PULSE_SERVER='' chromium

Assuming chromium wasn't already running, I was in business. Connecting to Pulse fails, it falls back to ALSA, and my JACK tools work. Good to go.

I get the reason for Pulse Audio. I'm transitioning back from Mac OS and CoreAudio was a really nice thing to have. Also, I'm not a member of that very strange tribe that hates Lennart Poettering beyond space and time. That said, Pulse makes some choices that feel kind of less than well engineered to me.


2013/04/06 23:13 · Sam Mulvey · 0 Linkbacks

Gun Control is Temporary

Things to understand:

  1. I am a gun owner. I own many guns. I support the second amendment.
  2. I'm also politically liberal, and to some extent that includes gun control.

My conceptualization of firearms and the second amendment are complex and evolving. Liberals dislike when I talk about the government explicitly honoring the rights clearly enshrined in the Constitution2) when their focus is on keeping children un-murdered. Conservatives, for the most part, won't talk to me about gun control because they just assume I hate guns with my communist ways.

So by all means, consider me a moderate or never talk to me about guns ever again, because you're clearly an extremist.

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2013/03/06 10:15 · Sam Mulvey · 0 Linkbacks

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start.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/14 00:10 by sam