Sunday, October 17, 2010


I've recently been involved in something called the Manaiakalani project.

If I'm completely honest, I'm not entirely sure what the project is about. From my point of view, the point of view from someone who is all I.T., it's about a community wide wireless network, a bunch of netbooks and Linux.

Okay, so I'm not quite that blind to the other aspects. The problem is that all that's required of me is to build the base build of Ubuntu (netbook edition) without really having to worry about the rest.

And that's not quite right either. Building a base image is easy. Take a distribution, install it, configure it, test it, make an image. What happens at the next release of Ubuntu? We suddenly have to do it all over again? How can we be assured of consistency? And if I'm not around next time? Then what happens? So instead of building a base image, I've been making a script to do the configuration. Take the new release, go through the script, alter the script if anything needs updating and with any luck, things should just work.

Okay, so the road hasn't been as smooth as I'd like. It turns out that Cheese (the "photo booth" application) is broken for recording video and has been for a little while. If you know of any alternatives, let me know. I'm looking at either testing out old versions of Cheese to see if there's any improvement or porting over the Record activity from sugar (given it's written in Python and uses gstreamer I don't think it'll be too difficult).

For more details on the project, check out this link:

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