Quasar Media Player 0.96 beta 4 available

Quasar Media Player

I am pleased to announce beta 4 of Quasar Media Player.
This new version introduces some new features and big improvements in terms of performance and memory-usage.
The previously separate last.fm Audioscrobbler QScrobbler has been integrated into Quasar as add-on.
This release also marks the introduction of the Cover Art Downloader which uses the new open-source katastrophos.net Cover Art search engine to download cover art images for the new Cover Art Flow album browser.

Quasar Media Player on Windows 7Cover Art Downloader on OS X

Binaries for the previous platforms (Sharp Qtopia and pdaXrom) along with new binaries for Windows and OS X (universal) are available on the project’s homepage.

Nightly Builds of Quasar Media Player available

Quasar Media Player

It’s been some time since the last update. In my previous post I mentioned I was in the process of setting up a nightly build system. This system has been running silently since May.
I guess it is finally time for me to officially announce the nightly builds of Quasar Media Player:


Along with the most current sourcecode tarball, binaries are available for 4 platforms:
Windows (win32), OS X (universal binary), Sharp Qtopia and pdaXrom Linux (both for Zaurus PDA)
The Windows version comes in two styles: a generic setup (EXE) and a self-contained portable version (7z archive)

Enjoy and please leave a comment.

rdesktop: Connect to Windows 7 and Vista with ClearType font smoothing enabled

So Windows Vista finally allows to enable ClearType font smoothing for Remote Desktop / Terminal Services sessions. Update: Windows XP SP3 does too!
If you try to connect to a machine running Windows XP SP 3 or later using rdesktop, you won’t get smoothed font typing since at the time of this writing rdesktop does not officially offer an option to control this feature. However, here is a workaround:
Continue reading “rdesktop: Connect to Windows 7 and Vista with ClearType font smoothing enabled”

New Release: iTunes Alternative Encoders 1.5

Yet another minor release of my iTunes script-suite iTunes Alternative Encoders. This one fixes a character encoding issue in the Ogg Vorbis encoder script. I figured this one out while debugging my Quasar Media Player with files containing Umlauts and other non-latin characters. Ogg Vorbis files produced with the previous version of the script contained “#” in the tags instead of the correct characters.
Get the fixed version while it’s hot: Download here.

New Release: iTunes Alternative Encoders 1.4

I’ve updated the iTunes Alternative Encoders pack. The new version introduces a feature to split up the encoding process into simultaneously running parts, which essentially is a form of multithreading. This means you can now make perfect use of that multi-core/multi-CPU beast on or under your desk when encoding large amounts of files. ;)
Download here.

Installing OS X 10.4 Tiger (PowerPC) from a Firewire harddrive

Last weekend I had the pleasure (!) to install Tiger on an ancient PowerMac that doesn’t feature any DVD-ROM drive. I don’t happen to have the special CD-version of 10.4 and trying to boot from an external DVD drive somehow failed. However, this Mac already had Firewire, so here is a little hint on how to install Tiger using a spare Firewire drive:

First off, you’ll need psync. I’ve tried Carbon Copy Cloner, but for some reason that didn’t work.
So, if you have Fink installed, do this:

$ fink install psync

Format the Firewire drive with HFS Extended. You don’t need Journaling, so please disable it.
Now, assuming you’re Tiger Install DVD is mounted at /Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD and your formatted volume is mounted at /Volumes/OSX, type this into your Terminal to clone the content of the DVD over to the harddrive.

$ sudo psync -d "/Volumes/Mac OS X Install DVD/" /Volumes/OSX

Finally make the whole copy bootable by blessing it:

$ sudo bless --folder "/Volumes/OSX/System/Library/CoreServices" --bootinfo

Now, you may unmount and install. Fin .

Zaurus ARM Cross Compiler on OS X (Intel)

Andreas Junghans has an excellent tutorial on how to set up a Zaurus ARM cross compiler on OS X. However, there is one problem: It will only compile on PowerPC.
So, here is my patchset for compiling on Intel:


Use this file instead of the one offered on his page and just follow his instructions.
The fix is really simple in nature: I’ve just added one file, namely xm-openstep.h in gcc/config/i386. This does the trick.

BDS / Delphi alike key bindings for Xcode

Lately, I’ve been using Apple’s Xcode to work on some C++ and ObjC code. The default key bindings in Xcode are really annoying if you come from a Borland background.
Luckily, there is a way to adjust these directly in Xcode. So, here is my first version of the Borland Developer Studio / Delphi / JBuilder / C++ Builder alike key bindings:

Xcode – BDS Similar.pbxkeys.zip

Simply place the included file “BDS Similar.pbxkeys” into:
~/Library/Application Support/Xcode/Key Bindings/
and activate it in the Xcode preferences.

Not every shortcut is available, but at least the basics are there. I see if I can improve it over time.

The Mac Mini external SATA hack

So, finally as promised, here is my short picture walkthrough on how to do the Mac Mini external SATA hack.
I’ve added quite a few comments to the images.
And before you start complaining about the bad picture quality, I’ve shot the whole procedure with my non-HD DV cam, sorry. The pictures are from several takes, so they might differ at some stage.
Anyways, just click on the first image below to start the slide show – navigate by clicking the left or right side of the photo.
I hope you like it and please leave me a comment afterwards. Thanks!
Continue reading “The Mac Mini external SATA hack”