Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Why does Evince seem to lock the audio?

Well actually it doesn't! It would appear that the gnome PDF/PS document viewer on Ubuntu (Gutsy 7.10) opens and blocks the ALSA/OSS audio (so other apps like realplayer etc can't do audio) - its being tracked as a bug on ubuntu launchpad and gnome. You can see its attached to audio using: lsof or fuser /dev/snd/pcm*

Using another app (such as xpdf - to get it on Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install xpdf-reader) won't help - the same thing happens.

It turns out that this only happens when Evince/Xpdf is started from Firefox - which is probably how alot of people start evince. It seems that this only happens if Firefox has already opened the audio device (e.g. after playing some flash content). So it's actually an issue with Firefox..... Darn. I suspect this may happen with any app spawned by Firefox... Firefox isn't very good with letting go of audio devices once it's done with them - or maybe it's Flash being crap....

It's a particular bummer when you restart firefox whilst leaving evince running 'cos then you're stuck with evince attached to the audio and the pesky thing won't play anything anymore. You'll have to restart evince as well in that case.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Manage vmware services on osx

VMware fusion starts up stuff but you may not want it started at all. To control its startup you need to edit the file:

Using something like Launchd Editor or Apple's Property list editor (which comes with their dev package - (you'll need to run 'em using sudo) or just a text editor (e.g. sudo vim /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.vmware.launchd.vmware.plist). Basically if you want to disable the services then a add a new key:

Friday, 5 October 2007

0871/0870 call cost pricing

The cost depends on who your telephone provider is. To call 0871 on BT is around 8-10p per minute. For full details see BT's pricing and for more details their full price list.

Whilst 0870 is currently 6ppm before 6pm and 1.5ppm afterwards (weekends included!) - see here.