September 2009


Double posts

Posted on Thursday, 24 September 2009

I've just chucked in a new wordpress plugin to syndicate my Launchpad project announcements (so Lifesaver and Terminator) as regular posts here so I don't need to keep writing release announcements in two places. This does mean that all the old Terminator announcements are doubled up here. I'm not sure if I'll leave it or go back and remove the dupes. Probably nobody cares anyway ;)


Thinkpad kernel module in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

Posted on Friday, 18 September 2009

The Ubuntu Kernel Team has decided to remove the tp_smapi module from our kernel for 9.10 (Karmic Koala) because the author chooses to remain anonymous and it is therefore impossible to be sure that the code is not based on incorrectly obtained information.

Slightly annoying perhaps, but ultimately a decision that's hard to argue with and fortunately one that's pretty easy to work around. I wish the author would clear things up once and for all because the tp_smapi module is desperately important for Thinkpad owners wishing to protect the life of their laptop battery. Given that my new X301 is tasked with a lifetime of 3 years, I am particularly keen to protect its battery!

The source for the module is still in the archive (and my understanding is that it will stay there, we just don't want to ship it by default) as tp-smapi-source, packaged by Evgeni Golov (a thoroughly decent chap who is the current owner of the Thinkpad X300 I've posted about previously). You can install it with the command:

sudo apt-get install tp-smapi-source

Then run:
sudo module-assistant

and select the tp-smapi module to build and install. You are now just a quick:
sudo modprobe tp_smapi

away from having battery charge control options in /sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT0/

Woo! If I get a chance I'll try and produce a version of the package which uses DKMS (Dell's Kernel Module management system which makes sure that additional modules like this are rebuilt automagically whenever you get a kernel update).


Brewing Lifesaver 1.1

Posted on Wednesday, 16 September 2009

If you're using the Livesaver PPA I mentioned in my previous post you should shortly get offered a package of 1.1 which I'm almost ready to release.

I want to push it into the PPA first to get a little testing before officially tagging the release. Please file bugs if you spot any!

There are a few little bug fixes, the first external code contribution, and configuration is now done via gconf so you can change the fonts/colours and search keywords. I did also add a source for FriendFeed, but it's currently disabled because I don't want to extend the amount of time it takes to collect data from the web too much.


New project released - Lifesaver

Posted on Tuesday, 15 September 2009

For a few days now I've been hacking away on a new project: Lifesaver.

The idea is really simple - it's a screensaver for GNOME that displays recent posts about Ubuntu from Twitter and That's it!

The code and bugs and downloads live on Launchpad, and packages for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) are in my PPA.

Please let me know what you think!

Obligatory screenshot:


Update: I had to remove the Jaunty package from the PPA because it turns out that I've been using GooCanvas features that aren't available in the Jaunty version of GooCanvas. Sorry Jaunty users, you'll have to wait until next month when Karmic is released and you upgrade!