Pascal's TechBlog

Thursday, February 23, 2006

GameCube RGB SCART Cable

Saitek's GameCube RGB SCART Cable really does improve picture quality when opposed to the default composite cable and SCART converter. The colors are more vibrant, especially. And now the great part, I purchased one for 0,99 EUR at MediaMarkt.

BenHeck: SEGA Exodus

A while back I purchased of the those Radica Genesis mini consoles, apparently these units are quite hackable, and someone managed to retrofit a SEGA Genesis Cartridge units on it:
BenHeck: SEGA Exodus

Rick Dangerous

Bringing back some childhood memories is what this game does, Rick Dangerous is a which I played a lot on my old Atari ST. It's a great platformer, sortof 'Indiana Jones'-ish...
xRick screenshots

Some bloke actually ported this to the GameCube:
xRick for the GameCube

This really makes me consider modding my GameCube...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I installed Dapper Flight 4 on my ASRock K7VM2 yesterday. It's a Micro-ATX board with a ProSavage8 IGP.

The ProSavage8 IGP wasn't properly detected and thus Xorg defaulted to the vesa driver. After loading the savage kernel module and changing the Xorg driver to savage I had working 3D acceleration!

After that I had a go with Xgl, it actually worked, it was slow as hell*, but it worked. Compiz wouldn't cooperate though, apparently the ProSavage8 hardware doesn't have support for textures which aren't a power of 2 in size.

* Xgl was actually slower than Xorg in 2D

Saturday, February 18, 2006

SoftMaker's MegaFont XXL

One of Ubuntu's shortcomings is that it has very few good fonts. Recently this situation has been improved by Bitstream, a major font foundry. Bitstream's Vera is nothing short of brilliant.

But having one great font isn't exactly ideal. A small compay in Germany offers a solution, it's called SoftMaker's MegaFont XXL. MegaFont is a font pack containing 10k fonts of good quality. Most fonts are proper serif or sans serif fonts, many cheaper font packs contain loads of symbol and shareware fonts. Please note I said good quality, not excellent quality, many fonts don't have excellent hinting which makes them less then perfect for onscreen display at smaller font sizes, but all the fonts are great on printed on paper.

SoftMaker has excellent academic licensing available which makes this fontpack a real boon for students using Linux.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Corbicula anti virus: Bug fixes

A couple of days ago I received my first bug report, from Dan Ballard, it had to do with my inefficient and buggy infinite recursion prevention algoritm. I fixed it today, more info here, but the general thought is to follow all directories, and count followed symlinks to prevent infinite recursion.

Meanwhile I've also taken the liberty of creating a GnomeFiles page for Corbicula. If you are a Corbicula user, please consider voting. Thankyou!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Merging PDFs

PDFs can be easily merged using GhostScript. The trick is to make GhostScript print a series of PDFs to it's own loopback and then have it write a new PDF, it work like this:

gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=a4 -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=full.pdf parts*.pdf

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bluetooth adventures with GNOME

My dad recently got a Bluetooth capable phone, so I went out and bought a Conceptronic Bluetooth 2.0 USB Adapter 200M. The device identified itself as follows:

Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ltd Bluetooth Dongle (HCI mode)

Setting up Bluetooth in Ubuntu Breezy was, well..., a Breeze... I just installed 'gnome-bluetooth' through Synaptic. I plugged in the dongle, and started Bluetooth File Sharing from the Systems Tools menu. Next, the file transfer was initiated from the phone, a popup appeared on my desktop asking whether I wanted to accept a picture from 'Nokia'. After accepting the transfer, the picture appeared in my Home Folder.

Kudos to Edd Dumbill, for making my life a little bit easier. Thanks!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Corbicula anti virus: Gna!

Growing ever more frustrated with CVS, I decided I would migrate away from SourceForge. Looking at the alternatives, I finally chose to go with Gna. Gna offers CVS, Subversion and Arch, I went with Subversion. Subversion has been a dream sofar...

Gna also uses rsync to manage it's download area, instead a clumsy web interface like SourceForge has. rsync combined with apt-ftparchive allowed me to quickly setup an apt repo, which is now available for Corbicula users:

deb breezy/

Saturday, February 04, 2006


For prolonged coding sessions I can highly recommend the following albums from Moby:
  • 18
  • Play
  • Play The B Sides
  • I Like To Score

Friday, February 03, 2006

Corbicula anti virus: An Ubuntu package!


I've been promising an Ubuntu "Breezy Badger" package for several weeks... erhm, months now. Well the time has come, at last, I present to you:

The package conforms to the Debian CLI Policy and it should properly install the Corbicula GConf schemas. The translations from Rosetta are also included and installed.

Please note that this is an alpha test version, so don't expect too much. I'd be happy to receive bugs reports, usability issues, etc.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Last night I finally finished playing Prince Of Persia: Sands of Time. I bought it a couple of weeks ago at a discount price. Not really expecting that much from the game, I was in for a surprise...

I really need to emphasize the fact that the Prince of Persia levels design is nothing short of brilliant! Most scenes are at the very least breath taking!

Another aspect of the game which is very good, was the voice acting. The voice actors playing Prince and Farah were properly selected to 'fit' the 3D characters.

The only major downside of PoP:SoT seems to be it's third person camera. Please don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with third person views, except that the camera code in PoP seems flip out sometimes. This behaviour seems to be exercerbated by small enclosures and heavy movements. This can really make combat a sour experience! But on the flip side, looking at other games, the camera issue seems omnipresent in 3D platform games. So this isn't really a downside since most games don't get this right...

One really cool feature is the possibility to unlock the original Prince of Persia game by Jordan Mechner halfway through the game. It seems the Ubisoft folks used the 'newer' Macintosh graphics, which looks great on a television.

It took me about 15 hours the complete the game, making PoP:SoT the first game I've completed on my GameCube. I can definately recommend it to anyone!