Uncompressed PDFs in CUPS - A Problem to Go Crazy

I found no solution. I just wanted to air my frustration that CUPS completely ignores the settings I put into /etc/cups/cups-pdf.conf. Hence I can try making better settings all I want, they are completely ignored. If anyone knows a fix, please tell me. I just spend 45 mins on this in vain.

What can Governor Adjustments do for your Battery Mileage?

After my previous post about Android saving power with Linux governor tweaking, I did some governor tweak testing on my netbook with a tweaked phoronix test suide (pts) and came up with these results:

The first two show the power usage in Watts, the third shows the frequencies used during the test.


Power-Saving Summary

IBM has recently made a presentation about green data centers. Their slides sum up most things you can do on any computer to save energy: http://events.linuxfoundation.org/slides/lfcs09_srinivasan.pdf

Reduce Power Consumption Extend Battery Life of your Android with CPUfreq Governor Tweaks

CPUfreq is the part of the Linux kernel that changes your CPU's frequency to save power or increases it to make your system run faster. Obviously the settings you use there are essential for you performance and battery consumption. I read an extensive article by IBM some time ago analysing the different Linux cpu frequency governors. It makes lots of fancy tests and has great diagrams etc. What it boils down to is that these are the perfect setttings for low power at high performance in Linux. (Also check out this article where I tested these settings on my netbook.)

Android and Fritz Box VoIP

The only app that worked well in my experience was CSIPSimple. And it was easily configured and feature-laden yet small (1.3 MB) and low-resource at the same time. I couldn't get sipdroid or others to run properly.

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Understanding the Necessity of Wayland

Questioning the necessity for Wayland and the wiseness of the choice has become a phenomena, especially after Mark Shuttleworth annouced Ubuntu's plans to eventually switch to Wayland. Following I will provide a concise reasoning why we want Wayland. At the end there are some more links for further reading.

In 1984 the MIT started X11.
In 1991, XFree86 started out of the X386 server based on the X11 platform.
In 2003, Xorg took over from XFree86 after a license dispute.
In 2008, Wayland was started to overhaul the entire system and keep only what's necessary for the desktop today, using only today's modern infrastructure in a leightweight architecture.

"Unusual" Linux Games

Linuxaria has a great list of fun, "different" Linux games, can't wait to try out some of them.

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200 Best Android Apps List

If you've got a droid and some time on your hand you may want to check out this list created during the Android developer challenge.

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Learning with Android

Learning flash cards with your mobile phone would be great, especially when you're on your way e.g. to work or uni.  With OpenCards, there is a great application for that on your Computer. And it's already written in Java (though Openoffice, which it requires, isn't). But then there's already a basic Openoffice Document reader for Android. And they are both Java based and Open Source. Now if only someone would combine the two to have it both working together, that'd be really great...

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Using Bloggers More Tag to Split Large Posts

I've started using Bloggers tag to split up large posts. This means large posts will only show with a few introductionary lines on the front page, for the whole thing you need to click on it: "Read More". I think this makes the front page better suited for its purpose: Providing an overview of current topics. If you are hugely annoyed or positively crazed about this, let me know in the comments and I might reconsider.

Immediate Latency Improvement on Recent Linux Kernels

Check out this article on Webupd8. But I'm sure an easier version you can just install as a normal package will come out soon as well.

But it works excellently indeed. I can transcode now and I don't even notice any change in responsiveness.

What I like about Android - and what I don't -- My Android Review (including my Favorite Apps)


Find out what I like and dislike about the android system after a critical review on the Samsung Galaxy 3. And at the end there's a list of my favorite apps.

What to do if sshfs / fuse freezes your system?

Two things you can do. If it's generic fuse:
fusermount -u -z (mountpoint, don't tab to get the directory, you have to enter it exactly.)

If it's sshfs, you can reduce the timeout to have your system return from the ice age sooner and automatically next time:
echo ServerAliveInterval 15 >> ~/.ssh/config

And don't bother, this bug is know and has been reported before.

Which Software-Scaler Looks Best - Mencoder and FFmpeg settings

-There is an old but good test showing you all of mplayers software scalers and how they look in the same image, here. The numbers mean this, see the mplayer man page:
0 fast bilinear
1 bilinear
2 bicubic (gute Qualit├Ąt) (Standard)
3 experimentell
4 nearest neighbour (schlechte Qualit├Ąt)
5 area
6 luma bicubic / chroma bilinear
7 gauss
8 sincR
9 lanczos
10 natural bicubic spline

If you want to translate that into ffmpeg language, it looks like this:
fast_bilinear
bilinear
bicubic
experimental
neighbor
area
bicubic_bilinear
gauss
sinc
lanczos

Just add on of the above to -sws_flags in ffmpeg.

Happy transcoding!

Gutenberg.orgs New Mobile Page

If you like to download free books from Gutenberg, this has now become a whole lot easier. M.Gutenberg.org provides an interface with large, touchable links and direct downloads in various formats.

Fritz Box Power Usage

Out of some curiosity I recently measured the power usage of my Fritz Box 7570. It's an amazing Linux-powered all-in-one router device with VDSL, VoIP, DECT, USB (e.g. printer or stick) and LAN connectors and VPN and FTPD support. Using VDSL-50 (without its power saving mode), all but one LAN ports off and DECT and Wifi-N active, it uses 9.6 Watts. More than I had been hoping for considering its elaborate power saving modes. Disabling the DECT module takes about 0.05 Watts off of that. Putting the one LAN port into auto-off another 0.05 Watts.

Comparison: My phone's base station takes 1.7 Watts for only the DECT part. An energy saving bulb with 60 Watts brightness usually takes 11 Watts.

Compiling a new wpa_supplicant for Debian or Ubuntu and Network-Manager

There are a few changes to dbus files so you should best just replace the wpa_supplicant binary in /sbin with your version. Use this .config file to make a binary that works as plug-in replacement with network-manger in Ubuntu and probably Debian as well.

How to Fix Your Slow CPU ;)

I just read this funny entry in the LKML about how to enhance your performance on systems with slow CPUs.

Grepping for a list of processes and then e.g. killing them

If you e.g. want to kill a list of processes you can all grep but are too lazy to type all the pids. Or e.g. as part of a service script on a server:
ps -ef | grep something | awk '{print }' | xargs -i kill {}