OpenPHT 1.5.2 for Debian/sid

I have updated the openpht repository with builds of OpenPHT 1.5.2 for Debian/sid for both amd64 and i386 architecture. For those who have forgotten it, OpenPHT is the open source fork of Plex Home Theater that is used on RasPlex, see my last post concerning OpenPHT for details.

plex-debian-new

The repository also contains packages (source and amd64/i386) for shairplay which is necessary for building and running OpenPHT.

sid and testing

For sid use the following lines:

deb http://www.preining.info/debian/ openpht-sid main
deb-src http://www.preining.info/debian/ openpht-sid main

You can also grab the binary for amd64 directly here for amd64 and i386, you can get the source package with

dget http://www.preining.info/debian/pool/main/o/openpht/openpht_1.5.2.514-1.dsc

Note that if you only get the binary deps, you also need libshairplay0 from amd64 or i386.

jessie

Builds for Debian stable release jessie are not done by now.

The release file and changes file are signed with my official Debian key 0x860CDC13.

Now be ready for enjoying the next movie!

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Shotwell vs. digiKam

How to manage your photos? – That is probably the biggest question for anyone doing anything with a photo camera. As resolutions of cameras grow, the data we have to manage is ever growing. In my case I am talking about more than 50000 photos and videos measuring up to about 200Gb of disk space, constantly growing. There are several photo management softwares out there, I guess the most commonly used ones are Shotwell for the Gnome desktop, digiKam for the KDE world, and FotoXX. I have now used Shotwell and digiKam for quite some time, and collect here my experiences of strength and weaknesses of the two programs. FotoXX seems to be very powerful, too, but I haven’t tested it till now.
shotwell-digikam

There is no clear winner here, unfortunately. Both have their strength and their weaknesses. And as a consequence I am using both in parallel. Continue reading

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美味しいコーヒー豆

今日悲しい朝だった:うちの一番好きなコーヒー豆がなくなった。昔イタリアのトスカナのシエナ市に住んでいた時、できるだけ毎日このお店でコーヒーを飲んだ。コーヒーということは、日本で一番人気な「フィルターコーヒー」かアメリカン・コーヒーじゃなくて、ちゃんとしたエスプレッソ、カフェ・マキアート、朝食のためにカプチーノ。でも、やはり美味しいコーヒーの味を満々に楽しみたいとき、エスプレッソだった。
fiorella

享年の12月シエナにいる間に、3キロを買って帰国したけど、今朝最後の粉を使ってコーヒーを作った。悲しい!!!この様な深くて、濃い味をなかなか見つけにくい。イタリアンローストのLavazzaなどのコーヒー粉は悪くないけど、やっぱりFiorellina, tu mi manchi!

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Foreigners in Japan are evil …

…at least what Tokyo Shinjuku ward belives. They have put out a very nice brochure about how to behave as a foreigner in Japan: English (local copy) and Japanese (local copy). Nothing in there is really bad, but the tendency is so clear that it makes me think – what on earth do you believe we are doing in this country?
foreigners

Now what is so strange on that? And if you have never lived in Japan you will probably not understand. But reading through this pamphlet I felt like a criminal from the first page on. If you don’t want to read through it, here a short summary:

  • The first four pages (1-4) deal with manner, accompanying penal warnings for misbehavior.
  • Pages 5-16 deal with criminal records, stating the amount of imprisonment and fines for strange delicti.
  • Pages 17-19 deal with residence card, again paired with criminal activity listings and fines.
  • Pages 20-23 deal with reporting obligations, again ….
  • And finally page 24 gives you phone numbers for accidents, fires, injury, and general information.

So if you count up, we have 23 pages of warnings, and 1 (as in *one*) page of practical information. Do I need to add more about how we foreigners are considered in Japan?

Just a few points about details:

  • In the part on manner, not talking on the phone in public transport is mentioned – I have to say, after many years here I am still waiting to see the first foreigner talking on the phone loudly, while Japanese regularly chat away at high volume.
  • Again in the manner section, don’t make noise in your flat – well, I lived 3 years in an apartment where the one below me enjoyed playing loud music in the car till late in the night, as well as moving furniture at 3am.
  • Bicycle riding – ohhhh, bicycle riding – those 80+ people meandering around the street, and the school kids driving 4 next to each other. But hey, we foreigners are required to do differently. Not that any police officer ever stopped a Japanese school kid for that …
  • I just realized that I was doing illegal things for long time – withdrawing money using someone else’s cash card! Damned, it was my wife’s, but still, too bad 🙁

I accept the good intention of the Shinjuku ward to bring forth a bit of warnings and guidance. But the way it was done – it speaks volumes about how we foreigners are treated – second class.

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TeX Live 2016 (pretest) hits Debian/unstable

The sources of TeX Live binaries are now (hopefully) frozen, and barring unpleasant surprises, these will be code going into the final release (one fix for luatex is coming, though). Thus, I thought it is time to upload TeX Live 2016 packages to Debian/unstable to expose them to a wider testing area – packages in experimental receive hardly any testing.

texlive-2016-debian-pretest

The biggest changes are with Luatex, where APIs were changed fundamentally and practically each package using luatex specific code needs to be adjusted. Most of the package authors have already uploaded fixed versions to CTAN and thus to TeX Live, but some are surely still open. I have taken the step to provide driver files for pgf and pgfplots to support pgf with luatex (as I need it myself).

One more thing to be mentioned is that the binaries finally bring support for reproducible builds by supporting the SOURCE_DATE_EPOCH environment variable.

Please send bug reports, suggestions, and improvements (patches welcome!) to improve the quality of the packages. In particular, lintian complains a lot about various man page problems. If someone wants to go through all that it would help a lot. Details on request.

Other than that, many packages have been updated or added since the last Debian packages, here are the incomplete lists (I had accidentally deleted the tlmgr.log file at some point):

new: acmart, chivo, coloring, dvisvgm-def, langsci, makebase, pbibtex-base, platex, ptex-base, ptex-fonts, rosario, uplatex, uptex-base, uptex-fonts.

updated: achemso, acro, arabluatex, arydshln, asymptote, babel-french, biblatex-ieee, bidi, bookcover, booktabs, bxjscls, chemformula, chemmacros, cslatex, csplain, cstex, dtk, dvips, epspdf, fibeamer, footnotehyper, glossaries, glossaries-extra, gobble, graphics, gregoriotex, hyperref, hyperxmp, jadetex, jslectureplanner, koma-script, kpathsea, latex-bin, latexmk, lollipop, luaotfload, luatex, luatexja, luatexko, mathastext, mcf2graph, mex, microtype, msu-thesis, m-tx, oberdiek, pdftex, pdfx, pgf, pgfplots, platex, pmx, pst-cie, pst-func, pst-ovl, pst-plot, ptex, ptex-fonts, reledmac, shdoc, substances, tasks, tetex, tools, uantwerpendocs, ucharclasses, uplatex, uptex, uptex-fonts, velthuis, xassoccnt, xcolor, xepersian, xetex, xgreek, xmltex.

Enjoy.

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Gaming: The Room series

After having finished Monument Valley and some spin-offs, Google Play suggested me The Room series games (The Room, The Room II, Room III), classical puzzle games with a common theme – one needs to escape from some confinement.

room3

I have finished all the three games, game play was very nice and smooth on my phone (Nexus 6P). The graphics and detail level is often astonishing, and everything is well made.

But there is one drop of Vermouth: You need a strong finger tapping muscle! I really love solving the puzzles, but most of them were not really difficult. The real difficulty is finding everything by touching each and every knob, looking from all angles at all times. This later part, the tedious part to find things by often illogically tapping on strange places to realize “ahh, there is something that turns”, that is what I do not like.

I had the feeling that more than 60% of the game play is searching for things. Once you have found them, their use and the actual riddle is mostly straightforward, though.

The Room series somehow reminded me of the Myst series (Myst, Riven, Myst III etc), but afair the Myst series had more involved, more complicated riddles, and less searching. Also the recently reviewed Talos Principle and Portal series have clear set problems that challenge your brain, not your finger tapping muscle.

But all in all a very enjoyable series of games.

Final remark: I learned recently that there are real-world games like this, called “Escape Room“. Somehow tempting to try one out …

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ハリー・ポッターとアズカバンの囚人 (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Yeah, another book finished in Japanese, the third Harry Potter book, Prisoner of Azkaban. Took me quite some time, but thanks to a good Kobo ebook reader and my own enriched dictionary reading is getting more and more fun, even if the book is in Japanese.
Harry_Potter_Prisoner_Azkaban

I guess I don’t have to tell the story of the book, as it is sufficiently well known. Just a good recommendation to students k of Japanese (at a bit higher level) – get some books you like and start reading, the sooner the better. And read on an ebook reader with a good dictionary. This way your Japanese will improve quickly.

My next book will be よしもとばなな、デッドエンドの思い出, as I think I actually prefer the original (English) Harry Potter, and want to read Japanese authors in Japanese. Now if Murakami would only allow to have Japanese ebooks of his works …

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Yubikey NEO

Two Factor authentication and general improvement of my security infrastructure was long on my todo list. Some month ago I finally purchased a Yubikey NEO from Yubico and try to consistently use it as second factor, as well as gpg signing/encrypting device.

yubikey-neo

I am trying to get the best out of my Yubikey NEO by using as many of its functionality, in particular: Smartcard for my GNuPG keys, OTP similar to Google Authenticator and similar, as well as challenge-response for additional login security, as well as all that over NFC to not keep keys/passwords on my mobile phone.

While there are loads of guides (see the previous article on GnuPG for some of them), many of them are out-of-date for current distributions and GnuPG etc. So I tried to collect all I could find – not the least to have a place to look it up in case I forget it again. Continue reading

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