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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Update: wicd is not insane after all

Its de­pen­den­cies seem to have re­vert­ed to some­thing sane late­ly:

Package: wicd
Version: 1.4.2-1
Section: extras/web
Priority: optional
Architecture: all
Essential: no
Depends: python, python-gtk2, python-dbus | python2.4-dbus,
wpasupplicant, python-glade2, wireless-tools

I may still keep on work­ing on my Qt fron­tend but just be­cause I en­joy it. Good job wicd guys!

Open with: Google Docs

The eee is smal­l. It has very lit­tle stor­age. So, why should I use dozens of MB on a word pro­ces­sor? Be­cause I get word doc­u­ments in the mail ev­ery once in a while.

In fac­t, the on­ly word doc­u­ments I get are er­ror mes­sages from win­dows user­s. Here's the pro­ce­dure ev­ery one of them seems to have found to tell me what's in­side ex­plor­er's er­ror pages:

  1. Cap­­ture the screen

  2. Paste it in­­­to Word

  3. Mail it to me

I sup­pose copy­&­paste of the page con­tents was too hard. But any­way, I usu­al­ly man­age by hav­ing kword or abi­word handy, but I was think­ing...

I am reading my email. That means I am on the net. That means google docs is right there. And they have a python API! 15 minutes later...

#!/usr/bin/env python

# Create a client class which will make HTTP requests with Google Docs server.
client =
# Authenticate using your Google Docs email address and password.
client.ClientLogin('', 'whateveritis')

ms = gdata.MediaSource(file_path = sys.argv[1], content_type = "application/msword")
entry = client.UploadDocument(ms,"tmp_open_with_gdocs/%s"%sys.argv[1])
os.system("firefox '%s'"%entry.GetAlternateLink().href)

Try it, as long as you have fire­fox, a de­cent ver­sion of python and gda­ta it should open the doc you pass as first ar­gu­ment on google docs in fire­fox.

Re­mem­ber that you need to delete it lat­er if you don't want it, and re­name it if you want to keep it with a de­cent name.

I am not turn­ing it in­to a re­al ap­p, but it's good enough for me. Put it in your path and as­so­ciate it to your .doc files.

A sim­i­lar thing for .xls is triv­ial. A script that would han­dle both, al­so.

Could please some­one take this and make it a re­al ap­p?

Dial *pi for emergencies

If you are in the Buenos Aires sub­way, this is the num­ber you di­al if you have an emer­gen­cy:


Good thing they lim­it­ed it to 5 fig­ures and phones don't let you use punc­tu­a­tion. I re­al­ly, re­al­ly, re­al­ly would like to know why they de­cid­ed to use this num­ber. It's not easy to type, it's not par­tic­u­lar­ly easy to re­mem­ber, it's not used for emer­gen­cies any­where else, as far as I know. Is it a case of a math nerd with pow­er?

BTW: this is the first time I buy a cell­phone with a cam­er­a. It al­so hap­pens to have blue­tooth, and it works flaw­less­ly with Lin­ux.

rst2pdf: New and improved

My rst2pdf script has had sev­er­al things hap­pen to it.

  1. It got an­oth­er guy work­ing on it: Christoph Zw­er­schke

  2. It's on google­­code now: http://rst2pdf.­­google­­

  3. Christoph made a num­ber of im­prove­­ments:

    • bul­let­ed and enu­mer­at­ed list sim­­­pli­­­fied, use same font as text for bul­lets and num­bers

    • links in ta­ble of con­­­tents work

    • com­­­press lit­er­al sec­­­tions hor­i­­­zon­­­tal­­­ly so that they al­ways fit on the page

  4. I have in­­te­­grat­ed hy­phen­a­tion us­ing wor­­daxe (works on­­ly with re­­port­lab 2.1)

The out­put us­ing hy­phen­ation is re­al­ly ug­ly right now (for ex­am­ple, I get a black square in­stead of an hy­phen) but it's a small step for­ward.

Rebelling against insanity: Wicd requires half of GNOME

UP­DATE: you can get this pro­gram now at google code

I have been us­ing my eee for a while al­ready with a sort of Kubun­tu in it.

How­ev­er, my favourite wire­less/wired net­work man­age­ment app is wicd, which is a Python/GTK ap­pli­ca­tion. Or was, since ver­sion 1.4.1 re­quires python-g­nome2-ex­tras.

Which de­pends on ....

libart-2.0-2 (>= 2.3.18), libaspell15 (>= 0.60), libatk1.0-0 (>= 1.13.2), libbonobo2-0 (>= 2.15.0),
libbonoboui2-0 (>= 2.15.1), libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libcairo2 (>= 1.4.0),
libfontconfig1 (>= 2.4.0), libfreetype6 (>= 2.3.5), libgconf2-4 (>= 2.13.5),
libgda3-3, libgdl-1-0, libgdl-gnome-1-0, libgksu1.2-1 (>= 1.3.3), libgksu2-0 (>= 1.9.6),
libgksuui1.0-1, libglade2-0 (>= 1:2.6.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.14.0), libgnome-keyring0 (>= 2.19.6),
libgnome2-0 (>= 2.17.3), libgnomecanvas2-0 (>= 2.11.1), libgnomeui-0 (>= 2.19.1),
libgnomevfs2-0 (>= 1:2.17.90), libgtk2.0-0 (>= 2.12.0), libgtkspell0 (>= 2.0.2),
libice6 (>= 1:1.0.0), libnspr4-0d (>=, liborbit2 (>= 1:2.14.8),
libpango1.0-0 (>= 1.18.2), libpng12-0 (>= 1.2.13-4), libpopt0 (>= 1.10), libsm6,
libstartup-notification0 (>= 0.8-1), libx11-6, libxcomposite1 (>=1:0.3-1),
libxcursor1 (>> 1.1.2), libxdamage1 (>= 1:1.1), libxext6, libxfixes3 (>= 1:4.0.1), libxi6, libxinerama1,
libxml2 (>= 2.6.29), libxrandr2 (>= 2:1.2.0), libxrender1, zlib1g (>= 1:,
python-support (>= 0.3.4), python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-gtk2,
python-pyorbit, python-gnome2-desktop

In short: a 87MB down­load. That can't be good. In fac­t, there are al­most no changes from 1.3.1 which did­n't re­quire all that! Ex­cept for one change that makes all the dif­fer­ence on a eee PC: ver­ti­cal re­siz­ing to un­der 400px. :-(

So, be­cause I am who I am, I did this:


It's a re­place­ment for wicd's and On­ly needs PyQt4 which I al­ready had and de­pends on:

libc6 (>= 2.6-1), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.2.1), libqt4-core (>= 4.3.2),
libqt4-gui (>= 4.3.2), libstdc++6 (>= 4.2.1), python-central (>= 0.5.8),
python (<< 2.6), python (>= 2.4), python-sip4 (>= 4.7), python-sip4 (<< 4.8)

See a dif­fer­ence there?

Took me about 3 hours to hack to­geth­er, and works (ex­cept for wired con­fig, the prefs di­alog, stat­ic IP and script­s) but the hard work is done.

If any­one wants a copy, just ask. I ex­pect KUbun­tu could use some­thing like it?