Cynics Soapbox

Random thoughts...

Shapefiles

I recently had a request for a shapefile containing geographic informaton for some of the stations listed on Variable Pitch. I’d been meaning to create a simple export facility for a while, but had never really looked at shapefiles in any detail before. As it took me a few attempts to get them working correctly, the following may help others! I’m using the pyshp python module. import shapefile Essentially I’m creating a shapefile with a list of...

QGIS on Ubuntu 13.10

I’ve been asked about producing shapefiles from the geo data on Variable Pitch. This seems like a good idea, but having no experience with such files I thought maybe I should have an app to test them with. I was pointed at QGis but it needed to be added to the sources list for Ubuntu 13.10. This is how I did it. I created a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/qgis.list with the contents deb http:...

Android Development Environment on Ubuntu 12.10

As with many people I’m using the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 12.10. This means that when you install the various pieces you need for android development the tools found in the platform-tools directory won’t run. They give the simple error message bash: android-sdk/platform-tools/adb: No such file or directory The solution is simple enough, but it took me a few minutes to find, so maybe this post will save someone else that time. The issue was...

Mainstream Fail

Making changes to a large project isn’t an easy decision and for a company like Google I’d imagine that such decisions are debated extensively, so when such changes are made I assume they bring genuine benefit. Having recently started using a Nexus 10 with Android 4.2.1 I was stunned when connecting it to the computer not to be able to simply transfer documents to it. A little googling around soon showed that the USB connectivity I’...

The First Casualty

“In war, truth is the first casualty.” Aeschylus Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC – 456 BC) You don’t have to spend long looking at information about wind farm developments before the truth of the above statement becomes apparent. Whichever side of the argument people are on they make claims and counter claims that are difficult to verify. In such an atmosphere the smallest fact is repeated often enough that it attains religious status, resisting any attempt to validate it. Sadly...

Django Auth Templates

I’ve just spent 10 minutes trying to figure out why the logged_out.html template I added for a website wasn’t being used. It was in the correct place (templates/registration) and the login.html template alongside it was being used without any trouble, so it was a little perplexing. The solution was simple. I had the admin app listed prior to the app with the templates in the settings.py file. Changing the order got the template...

More Android Experiments

When I first looked at building for Android I followed the route that led me to install Eclipse and all the associated bits required. Having not done anything with Java for over 10 years it was a bit of a shock to the system and figuring out what went where and how it all hung together wasn’t easy. The version of Eclipse that apt-get install gave me was also not the current one and all the tutorials assumed I...

CouchDB & Media Metadata

I’ve been looking for a project that I could use to experiment with CouchDB for a while. I’ve found the concept of NoSQL interesting for a while and the way that CouchDB works seems like a sensible way to approach things (the fact it’s open source and part of the ASF are also important). I’ll be using Python so the existence of a good couchdb module is another important factor. Having been spending some time looking...

Media to my Ears

How many digital media files do you have? Hidden away in the darkest corners of the hard drive or on dusty external hard drives, there are probably more than you remember. All those CD rips, poor quality videos from the old camera with the 1M sensor and the pictures from all the mobile phones you’ve owned are likely hiding away. In an effort to remove this problem I spent some time a few years ago and dragged the files...

Concrete5

Over the past few days I’ve been looking at Concrete5 CMS. It’s an interesting system and appears to offer features that should make it far easier to use than other systems. The inline editing of content directly on the page is a real bonus and actually seems to work as easily as they claim. There are many tutorials and helpful posts out there about it, but so far I’ve failed to find any that address storing, managing...

One year on...

Just over a year ago I wrote This is not the Android you want and as I’ve been spending time with android again I find it a little depressing how little progress has been made. Google have made their publishing process for AOSP slicker and quicker, the interfaces have gotten better and generally Android is much improved, but still things feel closed. The recent release of the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) code has led to the usual raft of...

Android Kernel Debug

Recently I’ve been trying to trace some kernel debugging being generated on an android phone and the relative shortness of dmesg has been proving an issue. I figured there would be another way and of course there is… On a computer attached via a USB cable with USB debugging enabled, simply do adb shell cat /proc/kmsg<br></br> Simple when you know how 🙂...