Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Fujitsu Siemens webcam on Linux

Today I got a webcam (loaned from work) working under CentOS. It's a nameless model from Fujitsu Siemens Computers (USB Vendor/Product 0c45:613b).

The sn9c102-driver

I have packaged the suitable driver from Luca Risolia. There also seems to be a binary-only driver which is only available for Ubuntu 7.04. This driver should be better, however it can't be used for free on other Linux distributions.

Downloaded the .src.rpm for the driver from my homepage (direct download).

GTK+ UVC Viewer

Having only a driver is of no use. There should also be a easy to use viewer software. I was unable to find a packaged version for guvcview, so created the RPM myself. The .src.rpm is also available from my site.

No Skype :(

Unfortunately Skype does not support the MJPEG-format delivered by this camera. Looking for possible solutions, I found the ov51x-jpeg-driver and gstfakevideo. Tried both and got the same unsuccessful result.

gstfakevideo seems most promising as it does everything in user-space. It is mainly a library which gets loaded before any others libraries (see LD_PRELOAD in man This makes it possible to change the behavior of any function-call. In this case Skype uses libgstreamer and the API can be changed on the fly. But as it doesn't work and the camera is not my personal posession, I won't look into this much more.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Developing with Google App Engine on CentOS-5

Unfortunately CentOS-5 does not have python-2.4 yet. When using wsgiref.handlers.CGIHandler for handling get() and/or post() requests the following ImportError occurs:

ImportError: No module named wsgiref.handlers

This can be solved by installing the Python Extension wsgiref. I've created an SRPM which can be rebuilt quite easily.

After the installation of WSGI, the google_appengine/ still does not find the library. This can be solved by configuring the wsgire as a third party module.

cd /path/to/my/google/app
ln -s /usr/lib/python-2.4/site-packages/wsgiref

Now it should be possible to run the Google App:

google_appengine/ /path/to/my/google/app

More links:
* Google App Engine
* Application Gallery

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Let Firefox add RSS-Feeds to Thunderbird

I'm using Thunderbird as mail client and RSS-reader. Firefox is the web browser of my choice. Now I would like Firefox to add links to RSS-feeds to Thunderbird. The next script makes that possible.

# Open an RSS-Feed with Thunderbird.
# Idea from:

exec thunderbird -mail "feed:${1}"

Unfortunately I was unable to make it work (using about:config) without a script.