ALSA Support in Skype

Finally, Skype has released a beta version with alsa support: 1.3.0.30_API

Skype Beta with ALSA

Hopefully all the troubles with “Problem with Sound Device” will be history. However for users with very old kernels, and prefer to use OSS, the option is still there. The problem with Skype utilizing OSS on modern systems is that it keeps on failing to close /dev/dsp after using it. The only way to make it work again is to restart Skype. It’s a hassle and a headache. Believe me, I used to be a SysAdmin (until a week ago) for a 99.99% Linux desktop company – with Skype as one of the primary communication tools.

When Things Are So Easy… Cursed?

I just realized that when things get so easy, I get confused and lost. Last Saturday a friend asked me to help in installing one of these at his home:

Netgear Wireless Router

There was an installation CD with SmartWizard®, which Netgear said should be “effortless”. Sure, it should be, and yet I was thinking in low level networking way – the way wireless routers used to be where you need to hook the network card on your machine and access it via an internal IP address, with a web-based administration interface.

SmartWizard® is supposed to be convenient, it has all the instructions and steps (i.e. take cable off, switch that off, switch that on, enter the DSL login/password) but I can’t seem to find anyway where I can save the login/password to the damn thing.

DHCP seems to be working – it gives the PC an IP of 192.168.1.2; which logically means that the router have 192.168.1.1 but still TCP connections to port 80 are refused. All I can do was do a nslookup (the router has a built-in DNS where www.routerlogin.com or something like that points to its own internal IP).

Weird. The funny thing is that when my friend brought the unit along with his DSL modem to the shop, the guy over there installed it in minutes. Go figure.

I am starting to think that I am cursed or something like that, since last few weeks another friend had a trouble with her PC and I couldn’t find what the problem was. I disconnected all cables and hook only the monitor, and yet the thing doesn’t even give me a BIOS POST message. When my friend told me that she cleaned up the inside with a feather duster (which is dumb – static electricity) I made an assumption that the thing was broken – and was too busy to look at it the second time.

Just a few days ago she mentioned that the PC is working again – and that the problem was a wrongly connected cable. Which cable? I have no idea (she has no idea). The funny thing is that all cables in a computer system is designed in shapes that it is impossible to plug them the wrong way. Oh well, go figure. I am too tired to think about it.

I don’t think I will respond to any home computer related distress calls from friends anymore. I am too easily stressed out nowadays. Can anybody let me know of a nice and polite excuse to reject requests for help?

Student caught recording in cinema

PENANG: Ever wondered how the latest movie blockbusters make it into the pirated market within a day of its official cinema release?

A 21-year-old college student was caught using a video camera handphone to record Anjelica Lee Sinje’s latest horror flick Re-cycle at the Golden Screen Cinema (GSC) in Gurney Plaza on Thursday afternoon.

The movie, filmed in Bangkok on a US$5mil (RM18mil) budget, made its debut in Malaysian theatres on that day.

The student had recorded 45 minutes of the 109-minute movie when the cinemas assistant manager spotted him.

The manager apprehended the student and seized the handphone before handing him over to the police.

Had the student finished recording the movie, he would then have downloaded it into a computer and burnt it onto VCDs and DVDs.

Within an hour, hundreds of copies would find their way to night markets and eating stalls, just like the pirated copies of Superman Returns and the computer animated Cars.

Original news: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/7/8/nation/14777185&sec=nation

I’m just wondering what handphone the kid used, good enough to reproduce VCDs? Wow… I am not saying that the student did a right thing but it’s kinda funny. Maybe after this cinemas will check our mobile phones before entering.