Category Archives: software

Streaming Video Between QuickTime Broadcaster and VLC

In my attempt to stream live video to my iPhone I ran into an issue with the USB QuickCam I have. Instead of fighting the problem I decided to turn to the iSight camera on a macbook but I quickly found that there isn't a great way to get the video stream to another machine. The best way that I have found to stream from the iSight to a second machine is to use a combination of QuickTime Broadcaster and VLC. In this post I detail how I got it set up and working.

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Running Lotus Notes 8 on Linux with newer xulrunner

I recently got tired of running Lotus Notes under wine because I kept getting meeting invites that I couldn't accept. So I ventured out because I had heard that Notes now had a Linux client and sure enough it does. The install is huge but it went very smooth up until the point that I first launched to read my mail. At the point where it should have shown me the start screen I got an error dialog with the error "JVM terminated. Exit code=160" and a big stack trace.

Lotus Notes error message
(Click the image to see a larger version)

After digging around a little I found that the Eclipse framework/SWT expected an older version of xulrunner to be installed. The simple fix to get Notes running was to move the xulrunner libraries out of the way:

mv /usr/lib/xulrunner-1.9/ /tmp/
mv /tmp/xulrunner-1.9/ /usr/lib/

Now when I started Notes I was able to get all the way in and see the following error on the start page:

Lotus Notes start page error
(Click the image to see a larger version)

Now the key to getting Notes into a usable state is to close the "Getting Started" tab. If you don't do this you can never move xulrunner back into place. Once you have closed the tab exit out of Notes and then put the xulrunner libraries back where they belong.

Now you can start Notes without an issue, just make sure not to open anything that requires a web browser.

Lotus Notes home page
(Click the image to see a larger version)

After going through this someone pointed me towards the latest 8.5 beta 2 release of Lotus Notes for Linux and after installing that I can report that it actually has fixed the issue. So whenever 8.5 comes out this should be fixed until another incompatible version of xulrunner comes out.

PowerDNS Makes Custom DNS Backends Easy

I ran into PowerDNS recently when I needed to find a DNS server that would allow me to produce custom responses to domain queries. I needed to have a request for a DNS entry return a different IP depending on some factors in a database and I needed that data to always be accurate (not cached locally). I found that PowerDNS allows for a lot of customization and I ended up using its piped backend for dynamic queries feature.

With this level of customization you can do things like write your own DNS black list, track who is making DNS requests, give out IP addresses based on a servers availability or use geographic information to return a different IP.

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Acrobat Reader 7 and FC6

I broke down and wanted to install Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 on my FC6 box to replace xpdf. After installing it from the tar.gz version the acroread startup script bombed out with the error: expr substr 2400000000000 1

After a little searching I didn't find much help so I started looking at the script myself to see if I could track down the problem. It turns out that it wasn't that hard to fix. First off the script file was located at: /usr/bin/acroread

Open the script file and find the function named "check_gtk_ver_and_set_lib_path". This is the location of the first error you will hit. To fix the error you will need to change:

base_version=`expr substr "${base_version}0000000000" 1 $len_version`



You will find this two places and it needs to be changed in both. If you don't notice the 2nd place it is right after the first in a loop:

while [ $len_version -gt $len_base_version ]; do

The second problem you will have is located in the function "get_gtk_file_ver". Find this function and change the following line:

echo $mfile| sed 's/libgtk-x11-\([0-9]*\)\([0-9]\)00.\([0-9]*\)\|\(.*\)/\1\2\3/g'


echo $mfile| sed 's/libgtk-x11-\([0-9]*\)\([0-9]\)000.\([0-9]*\)\|\(.*\)/\1\2\3/g'

Now you should be able to run acroread without errors.

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Making screencasts with Linux

After my post about capturing full page screenshots with firefox I started wondering if there was a way to do screencasts using Linux. It just so happens that you can. There are a couple different options if you want a pure movie of your desktop but I was more interested in a flash version. I found what I was looking for with this tutorial on how to record videos of your desktop that uses vnc2swf.

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