May 2010

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Update 2010-10-14 – This problem has been resolved since pulseaudio 1:0.9.22~0.9.21+stable-queue-32-g8478-0ubuntu14. You can now play AC3 audio with the Lucid packages.

Since upgrading my media PC to Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”, pulseaudio can’t play files with AC3 audio. Unfortunately this includes all of my ripped DVDs, which were encoded with AC3 pass-through audio. If I play such a file in Miro, the video hangs after a few seconds. If I play it in Totem, the same happens but a pop-up is also displayed: “pa_stream_writable_size() failed: Connection terminated”.

I fixed it by downgrading Pulseaudio to the karmic version. Here is how.

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I recently discussed how to use LVM to make a live copy of a BackupPC pool. That guide covers how to set up LVM on a new server with no data. But what if you already have a working BackupPC install, and you want to move your existing pool to LVM?

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The new mouse

I’ve just bought a Logitech M205 wireless notebook mouse. Like my older MX650, this mouse uses the 27 MHz spectrum. The wheel doesn’t tilt, but it has a power switch and you can stow the receiver on the underside of the mouse. So far I’m very happy with it as a travel mouse. I’ll keep the MX650 for my regular work desk.

It seems Logitech is going entirely to 2.4 GHz for their mice. This is very disappointing, as the spectrum is so crowded. I’d love to switch, but the interference problems with wifi are horrible. The tiny “unifying receiver” used by their new devices is pretty slick too, but I doubt you could put an effective 27 MHz antenna in such a small dongle. Does anyone make a modern mouse which doesn’t use 2.4 GHz or bluetooth?

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