OpenWRT as sound server with PulseAudio

As I recently bough a soundsystem with a built-in USB Soundcard and I already had a Router running OpenWRT, I wanted to set this router up as a soundserver. I already knew OpenWRT has packages for usb sound support and pulseaudio a network sound server. So the idea was close to make the soundsystem availbable over the network through the Router running OpenWRT.

As there are not complete manuals on which steps to take I just want to note down the steps I took to save me the fiddling next time and also help other doing the same thing.

Preconditions: A router with an USB port running OpenWRT (tested on version 14.07 "Barrier Braker"). Preferably with USB essentials already installed. A USB soundcard (probably built into your sound system) you want to make available in the local network.

First of all of course I consulted the OpenWRT wiki which almost helped me all the way through.

Here is what needs to be done step by step:

1. Make sure you have all the necessary USB packages installed to support basic USB functionality as well as USB soundcards. See here what to install: OpenWRT Wiki USB-Audio
For easy debugging of USB devices detected I would also install usbutils, otherwise the required packages are enough.
So that would be an opkg install kmod-usb-audio kmod-sound-core usbutils


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Setting up Gedit >3.8 for (Ruby) development

There are already a couple of manuals out there that describe how to make Gedit fit for development in Ruby (or other languages). See here or here for example.

Unfortunately many plugins no longer work with newer Gedit versions, since 3.8 there were some fundamental changes.

So the recent Gedit were less useless and I already decided to move to vim due to all this shortcomings.
But after having a closer look at the plugin list at the Gnome wiki I came to quite good results with Gedit 3.10. It seems quite a few plugins have appeared that replace the old ones and also Gedit bugs have been fixed.

In order to help setting it up here a quick manual.

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Setting up Empathy for SIP usage (example: Sipgate)

I recently signed up for a sipgate base account. If you choose the basic tarif you can get a free landline number without paying anything, as long you don't use it to call out. This handy for people with have a phone flat to call landline phones.

Sipgate uses standard SIP technology to forward calls to VoIP clients. Hence you can actually use it with any client soft- and hardware supporting SIP (s.th. which wouldn't be possible with Skype). Sipgate has a own windows client you can use if you use windows, which is already pre-configured for the use with sipgate. If you use other plattforms you have to set it up yourself.
For Linux there are two major SIP apps. One is Ekiga* and one is Empathy (relying on the telepathy framework). If you want to use Empathy for SIP, you should first install the telepathy-sofiasip package from the repository. Otherwise nothing happens when you add a new SIP account.
In debian based Distros just use: apt-get install telepathy-sofiasip

After that you can just add a new SIP account with Empathy, using your details from the login area of sipgate.

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Show Facebook Calendar in your Favourite Calendar Software

I was not aware until yestereday is that it's possible to import your Facebook Calendar into any Calendar Software / PIM that supports iCal and Web calendars.
To make that possible you just have to open your Facebook Event overwiew:

Screenshot FB-Events

By clicking on that link you can open a pop-up that presents to you the link you will need to insert, when you create a new calendar in your favourite calendar client. Almost all PIM and calendar apps support iCal nowadays.

Screenshot Calendar Setup

27C3 Talk about ACTA & Co

In my opinion a very interesting and important talk about Internt Freedom:

Crisper Thunderbird Logo in GNOME-Do

If you are a GNOME-Do user, you may have noticed that the Mozilla Thunderbird® icon doesn't look nice when appearing in GNOME-Do. That's because the logo is upscaled to fit the size of the Do bar. That scaling is made necessary, because the icon-size of the icon that Thunderbird puts into /usr/share/pixmaps/ by default is too small. To get a crisp logo in Do the logo should be about 128x128px (like the firefox.png you might find in pixmaps). To replace the thunderbird.png with a larger icon you can take the 256x256px icon from /usr/lib/thunderbird-3.0.6/chrome/icons/default/default256.png. Copy that file into your home-directory (or somwhere where you have write permissions). Then use GIMP to scale it down to 128px. After saving and renaming the file to thunderbird.png you can then copy it as root to /user/share/pixmaps/ replacing the old icon.
Copy-command:
sudo cp thunderbird.png /usr/share/pixmaps/

After restarting GNOME-Do, you should see a nice crisp Thunderbird icon. Like that:
GNOME-Do Screenshot

Color Management coming to GNOME

Color Color Manager Icon management has finally arrived at the GNOME Desktop. The new piece of software is called gnome color manager and is still pretty young. I heard about it while ago, so after installing Ubuntu 10.04 I found it in the repos and gave it a shot. It looks quite simple and promising. Still a bit unstable (crashes on some clicks) though. Unfortunately I couldn't calibrate my screen, because the color profile (ICC) I had for my screen was not suitable for full color calibration and I don't have any equipment to mesure my screen. But it's a good thing GNOME is getting a color manager, which it opens up to the professional Designers and DTP uses.

I made some screenshot for those interested.

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