Initial Linux support for the 5g video iPod - video sync using gtkpod / libgpod [Update]

My video iPod

TuxMobil - Linux on Laptops, Notebooks, PDAs and Mobile Phones

OK, so I spent some fun time playing around with my 5g video iPod — time for more serious action now.

I have created two patches today which add support for the video iPod to gtkpod, a GTK+ based, platform independent GUI for Apple's iPod.
These initial patches allow you to sync m4v video files to your iPod and watch them there. I will add support for all other video formats which work on the iPod, soon. The patches will be sent to the gtkpod maintainers, of course, in the hope that they can be included in the next release.

Note: This is pre-alpha, barely-tested code! Use at your own risk!

Installation instructions:

  • Get the current CVS version of libgpod. Apply the following patch: libgpod_5g_video_ipod_support.patch (Update: patch no longer needed). Compile and install libgpod.
  • Get the current CVS version of gtkpod. Apply the following patch: gtkpod_5g_video_ipod_support.patch (Update: patch no longer needed). Compile and install gtkpod.
  • Mount your iPod (USB cable): mount -t vfat /dev/sda2 /mnt/ipod
  • Start gtkpod (possibly as root, depending on your system) . Maybe you need to edit the settings and adjust the mount point for the iPod (/mnt/ipod is the default).
  • Click on the "Read" button to read in the iTunesDB from the iPod, click on "Files" to add a video file (e.g. this Apple commercial from 1977), click on "Sync" to upload the file to your iPod.
  • Quit gtkpod, unmount the iPod (umount /mnt/ipod), disconnect the USB cable.
  • Profit!!!1

I get a "Destroying mmap buffer" error every time I sync the iPod, but that's probably a gtkpod bug, and it's non-fatal anyways.

If you happen to own a video iPod, please test the patches and report whether they work! Thanks!

Update 2005-11-19: The libgpod patch is in CVS now (plus a bug which caused MP3s to appear in the "Movies" list is fixed now, too). So you don't need the libgpod patch anymore! I have updated the gtkpod patch (Update: patch no longer needed.), you should now be able to sync almost any video format (m4v, mp4, mpg, mpeg, avi, mov) to your video iPod.
Update 2005-11-24: The current libgpod/gtkpod CVS now contains all the features of my patches, so they are obsolete from now on.

Gobby - a collaborative text editor

Gobby screenshot

I have heard of Gobby many times now, but when Daniel Stone blogged about it today, I finally decided to give it a try.

For those who don't yet know what I'm talking about:

Gobby is a free collaborative editor based on libobby, a library which provides synced document buffers. It supports multiple documents in one session and a multi-user chat. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and other Unix-like platforms.

One apt-get install gobby later, I was astounded as to how mature it already feels. I think Gobby will be of great benefit when taking notes during conferences, talks and so on. It could also prove invaluable as a pair programming tool.

Anyways, I already hear you crying "but SubEthaEdit has been doing this for ages", which is true. But:

  • Gobby is GPL'd, SubEthaEdit is not.
  • Gobby is a cross-platform tool, SubEthaEdit is not (I don't own no Mac, you insensitive clod!).

There you have it.

(via Daniel Stone)

Watch the stars with Stellarium

Stellarium screenshot

It's late at night, so what else could I do than watch the stars? Of course, as I am such a moron geek, I don't just look out of the window — I use GPL'd software to watch the stars.

apt-get install stellarium

Debian updates

Just to prove the world I'm doing Debian work sometimes: I have recently updated the flobopuyo package (needed rebuild because of the C++ transition), the bfbtester package (hey, it took me only three attempts until I f*cking figured out why I couldn't change the section), and cccd (cosmetic stuff).

Nothing to see here, move on.

Resizing ext3 partitions with parted

A while ago I wanted to enlarge my /home partition (hda6), as it was getting full. After that partition I had another (unused) one, which I intended to merge with hda6 and thereby increase the amount of free disk space on /home.

Here's parts of the disk layout:

hda6 Logical Linux ext3 30848.00
hda7 Logical Linux ext3 8848.00

So, merging hda7 into hda6 should be as simple as removing hda7, and then resizing hda6 to swallow up the 8 gig from the former hda7. Basically, that's how it worked, but I had a few problems. First, at that time is seemed impossible to simply resize ext3 partitions. Neither ext2resize, nor QtParted, nor parted worked for me for some reasons (maybe that has changed recently).

After some googling I finally found a way to do it (which I'll document here, maybe it'll be helpful for others):

  1. Boot from Knoppix, not mounting any partition
  2. Run fsck on both, hda6 and hda7 (optional?)
  3. Remove hda7 (e.g. using cfdisk)
  4. Remove the ext3 journal from hda6 (effectively turning it into an ext2 partition):
    # tune2fs -O^has_journal /dev/hda6
  5. Resize hda6 using parted. The xxxx is the original start of hda6 (you may not change that) and yyyy is the end of the disk:
    # parted
    (parted) resize 6 xxxxx yyyyy
  6. Enable the ext3 journal again on the now enlarged hda6:
    tune2fs -j /dev/hda6
  7. Reboot

But this didn't work from the beginning either — for some strage reason parted didn't believe me that the space after hda6 was free. It did display it as free space, but the "resize" operation complained.

So what I did was this (instead af the above step 3):

  1. Re-add the hda7 partition using, e.g., cfdisk
  2. Start parted, and remove hda7 again from within parted(!):
    # parted
    (parted) rm 7

It seems parted didn't like the way cfdisk removed the hda7 partition... very strange...

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