AutoFS and LibreOffice

So I noticed LibreOffice had started to end up …crawling… to do anything

Looking at the wchan of the PID for libre – its autofs! – Just something to watch out for!

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Wildcard SSH Configuration

I’ve just discovered that you can use wildcards in the local ssh user configuration (~/.ssh/config)

host vm-*
   User virtual-machine-user
   ForwardX11 yes

host board*
   User root

This lets me configure all my ssh access in a very short configuration. My virtual machines have a common prefix, and a common user – so that can all be sorted in one hit.

My target development boards are all identified by a board number (which correlates to its IP address too) such as board2 board3 board240.
Now I no longer have to type ssh root@board2. (Every saving is a saving!)

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Ubuntu-14.04 and GnomeShell

If you’re a fan of Gnome Shell, and you use it in place of Unity on Ubuntu – you might find that when you update to the latest Ubuntu LTS, your control centre informs you that you are on the previous version.

This puzzled me – so I had a quick poke around to find out if my update had failed, and I really was still on the old version. – It turns out the upgrade worked fine

Ubuntu 13.10 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS - You decide

Ubuntu 13.10 or Ubuntu 14.04 LTS – You decide

There’s a bug open for this on Launch pad so I’m sure this will be looked into, but my analysis is that there are two clones of the control centre in Ubuntu 14.04 with Gnome Shell.

unity-control-center and gnome-control-center and of course its the gnome-control-center which hasn’t been updated. Of course they wouldn’t need to would they… because everyone runs Unity …. :(

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Moving Windows

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time…

Its funny how it takes just a few minutes to put some google-foo to the test, and come up with the answer – and yet I have probably spent years wanting to do this – and not quite getting round to it…

I often have many windows open, and multiple screens so that I can display as much information as I can. This means I like to have certain programs in certain places on the desktop, and generally position them after booting. (I don’t reboot much!)

This is of course tedious and should be scripted – and here steps in a couple of command line utilities:

With xwininfo, I can read the positions of windows that I place, and wmctrl can place them. So now its only a matter of time before I script the details to make launching and positioning my office-space automated.

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My HalfKeyboard implementation

xHK – An Xlib halfkeyboard implementation

Earlier this year, I had an operation on my right elbow to remove some bone fragments. These were remaining from an accident in my teenage years – but had started to cause me some pain and grief.

The operation went well – but has a 6 month full recovery time, and for the first 6 weeks my right arm was pretty much immobile. A serious blocker to my coding.

There are it would seem some solutions to this. A few companies sell physical keyboards which provide one-handed typing functionality – but these are expensive. Regardless of the price, I have a keyboard already attached to my Laptop – and plugging in an external keyboard isn’t really feasible when sat on the sofa; So I need a better solution – one which uses my existing keyboard.

Now – again – there are a few software implementations of half-keyboard / mirrors using different methods, but not one for linux:

Alternative Software Solutions

My Solution

I write C code. I use linux, it seemed only reasonable that as a version didn’t exist in this space I would create it and open-source it for all to use (and improve)

You can get the sources from GitHub and build it yourself by following the instructions at my xhk page

Once the application is running – it is processing all your keypresses and decides if it should mirror them.

‘Backspace’ is mirrored with the ‘Tab’ key, whilst ‘Enter’ is mirrored with ‘Caps-Lock’

If you use this – do drop me a mail to let me know how you get on, and if you find any problems I’ll look into them to fix them.

Perhaps in the future I’ll pull together a GTK frontend for it, but it depends on how much use it gets.

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Linux and Open Source Software Engineer

I’m (The) Kieran Bingham.

A software engineer with an interest (perhaps lets call this a bias) towards Linux and Open Source software, and I have been working on consumer grade products in the industry for more than 8 years professionally.

I like to think of myself as an “Embedded Software Engineer” as I really like to have my hands on a dev-board of some sort. ( That way you can see the lights flash :D )

I’ve worked on ARM, SH, and MIPS architectures, creating BSPs and device drivers for customers through the services company MPC-Data (since purchased by BSquare).

For the past 3 years, I have worked directly for ST Microelectronics in the R+D office here in Bristol.

I have in depth knowledge of the HAVANA and ST SDK2 development suites, and in particular the Streaming Engine, and Player2 framework. It was here that I wrote the Encoder framework inside the Streaming Engine to provide encode and transcode capabilities for our Set Top Box software stack.


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