How-To: Build Pidgin on Ubuntu Feisty

May 26, 2007

Over the past few weeks, I have started to get more involved in the Ubuntu community. I have fielded several question in #ubuntu. I even have a goal of learning to package some applications, including Flock.

There has been quite a bit of activity in #ubuntu on Gaim/Pidgin. Since the package in the repository has not yet been updated from Gaim2.0 Beta6, I figured I would write up a quick post on how to build Pidgin 2.0 yourself. This guide assumes you are using Ubuntu Feisty, though it can probably work on older versions of Ubuntu and perhaps other Debian-based distros but no guarantees.

First, download the latest source from Here is a direct link to the latest source.

Now, extract the source to the folder where want Pidgin to reside. I keep applications I build myself in ~/apps/[Application]. So I open the terminal, and do ‘cd apps’, followed by ‘tar xvjf pidgin-X.X.X.tar.bz2’. Replace the X’s with the correct version number. Now you have Pidgin extracted into a folder.

Now, make sure you have all the dependencies required to build Pidgin by ‘sudo apt-get build-dep gaim’. Next do ‘cd pidgin-X.X.X’, ‘./configure’, ‘make’, ‘make install’.

And now you can run Pidgin by ‘pidgin’. I also added Pidgin to my Gnome Panel. The command to run is ‘/usr/local/bin/pidgin’.


World Domination 201

December 25, 2006

First of all, Merry Christmas everyone. Hope you all enjoy the holidays.

Secondly, I read through Eric S. Raymond’s essay titled World Domination 201. In this essay, ESR points out that the Linux community has until 2008 to get ready for the next shift in computer hardware. And because of this shift in hardware, a shift in software will also take place. In 2008, the low end PC’s will all have 64-bit CPU’s and the market will have to pick a new standard for the 64-bit architecture.

He listed several issues that are requirements for this new standard:

“The issues we believe to be requirements for the new 64-bitdesktop standard platform are, in order of increasing painfulness:

  • Drivers for all major existing hardware.
  • 32-bit legacy platform emulation.
  • Surviving the killer app.
  • Enabling preinstalls.
  • Support for all major multimedia formats.”

Point one and five stick out in my mind as quite important. As I have been following the Planet Ubuntu articles in my spare time, binary video card drivers and multimedia codecs have been a point of major discussion. Basically, Ubuntu might be enabling binary (non-free) video card drivers in its next release. This will allow users to enjoy the eye candy of transparency, rotating cubes, etc. Multimedia codecs allow users to listen to MP3’s and watch DVD’s, both are not free.

I have not finished the World Domination essay, so I am not exactly sure where ESR stands on this issue though I am assuming he is agruing for free alternatives to the binary drivers. I agree that to win the average computer user, Linux will need to work out of the box. But will that cause the Linux community to be just like Windows and Mac OS X? Should we be willing to go away from the roots that started this movement to win the desktop market?

Those are questions that I am unable and unwilling to answer myself. And I will probably still be loyal to the Linux community either way.

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Blogged with Flock


December 15, 2006

So my fifth semester of college is done. About frickin’ time too. I am looking forward to Christmas break, a lot. I don’t go back to school for a full month, which gives me plenty of time to work, relax, code, game, etc.

New Things:

  • My podcast downloader works. I need to think of a good way to check if the feed is updated or not. Right now, it always downloads the enclosure even if it was download during a previous run of the program. Anyone interested in trying the program out?
  • My roommate is playing Gears of War. He has been stuck on the last boss for at least an hour now. I am laughing inside.
  • My little bro got his first girlfriend. Dave, if you read this, congrats dude.
  • I am excited for the Spring semester.
  • Flock 1.0 has been pushed back to an early 2007 release. Pretty sure this hasn’t been stated officially, but Mike stated it in the forums.
  • Everyone Loves Raymond has turned into my favorite TV show. Ever since Lost has taken a break, ELR has taken a special place in heart. I also watch all the Heroes episodes online and am really looking forward for new episodes.
  • Looking forward to the Lamb of God/Trivium tour. Pissed that I am missing In Flames for basketball.

More on point #4. Why the heck would I be looking forward to school? Well, I am actually taking a programming class this semester, which is always a plus in my book. I also got to skip the first semester programming class so I don’t have to labor through too much old material. I am semi-scared about coding in Java. I didn’t have the greatest experience learning Java in high school so I am a little apprehensive about it. But I am sure pretty it won’t be that bad. Also, I am taking an Info Security class. This class should be pretty fun and interesting. Security is definitely one of my passions and the course follows the necessary items for CISSP certification so if I do well in the course, I may try to get my first cert.

Yay! I updated my blog again. Awhile ago, Lloyd pointed out that I don’t post often enough. Hopefully that will change. Probably not though.

Blogged with Flock

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Project Update

October 16, 2006

Well, in my last post, I wrote about my plans to write up a simple pod(net)cast client that ran in the terminal and could download whatever feed I wanted to subscribe to. Well, I have made a few steps forward an actual useable product.

Thanks to a few fellas in #python, I am making use of the feedparser module, which definitely is making this a lot easier for me. Instead of me trying to get the text of a unicode object into a list, the feedparser module parses whatever feed I throw at it into a dictionary. This makes retrieving various pieces of data really easy, for example, the enclosure href.

Right now, my program (temporarily named pyNetcast since pyPod is actually taken it seems and also because I don’t feel like risking a lawsuit from Apple) parses the SimplyTech feed, gives me the href for the first enclosure, and saves that href to an mp3 file.

On the to do list:

  • Figure out how to know when the feed has been updated and when an episode has already been downloaded
  • Download more than the first episode
  • I would like to see some sort of progress displayed when downloading the file. Right now, all the program displays is the blinking line
  • Subscribe to more than one feed, though this is easily accomplished
  • Be able to update and download silently
  • And some other stuff that I can’t remember

Hopefully I will find some time to keep plugging away at this program in the coming days. In the two nights I have worked on this I have made decent progress. I have to remember to make better use of Google.


October 14, 2006

Last spring I thought about coding a podcast downloader in Python. I figured I would find time during the summer. Well, that didn’t happen. I probably had the time, but I was too busy playing WoW. I am going to try my hand at this project again. Hopefully I get somewhere this time though.

I am planning to write a basic podcast client, which will probably be command line based. Basically what I want it to do is allow me to subscribe to some podcast feeds, check for updates in the background via a cron job, and then download new enclosures when the feed is updated. Pretty basic, but still the most involved project I have tried.

I was in class yesterday and started doing a little planning in my head, but I am still pretty unsure on quite a few of the details. I know what I want the program to do, but pretty unsure how io implement my idea. Dive into Python has some examples of HTML and XML processing in Python, so hopefully that will be a useful resource.

So, why the renewed interest in this project? Well, for one, my programming class this spring is using Python so I have been trying to get ahead of the game. For another, I decided to look into using SVN locally so I need a project to work on.

If you are familiar with Python and have any knowledge to pass onto me or tutorials to share, please do. I haven’t done much coding in Python so I might be a little behind the curve.

Podcasts now netcasts?

October 5, 2006

I had read that Apple might be trying to trademark “podcast” which would mean that my podcast, SimplyTech, could receive a letter from Apple if they decide to go after lowly podcasters.

Leo Laporte has weighed in on this controversy and has suggested changing from podcasts to netcasts. This is something I might consider doing, since as Leo pointed out, podcast is really a terrible name for the “industry”. Many people assume you need an iPod to listen to podcasts, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Also, I hate trademarks and trademark hungry companies.

MinneBar: May 6, 2006

May 3, 2006

Awhile back, Jake Dahn alerted me that BarCamp was coming to Minneapolis, about a 2 hour drive for me. So this Saturday, I will be waking up early, a cardinal sin for me on weekend, to take in several hours of tech discussion. I plan to borrow a laptop and a camera from a friend and blog directly from BarCamp.

For more information check out MinneBar’s offical site.

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