Saturday, August 23, 2014

Csound and x86_64 machines

I could not understand why Sugar TamTam activities wouldn't play any sound on x86_64 even though the problem seemed resolved! It took a while to realize that the problem was with x86_64 architecture. I could get the sound to play on an i686 virtual machine.

Thanks to realtime Csound programming using Python, I could trace the fault. The issue is illustrated by the following code in

        if csnd.csoundGetSizeOfMYFLT() == 8:
            pfields = csnd.doubleArray(n)
            pfields = csnd.floatArray(n)
The csound client code in Python and C used by tamtam activities assumes a float array.

The following line in csound.spec from rpm source makes the issue pretty clear:

# Csound is really dumb about 64-bit
Rebuilding csound on x86_64 with "%define useDouble 0" even for x86_64 resolved the problem with TamTam activities.

However, it is entirely possible that this workaround may cause some other applications which use csound to fail on x86_64.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

OpenStack - Virtual Machine stuck in task state 'powering-on'

Today for the second time I had to search for the solution in Last time, I seemed to have selected the right keywords but it took much more effort today.

I just needed to reset task_state in instances table of the nova database:
mysql -e "update instances set task_state = NULL, \
           where deleted = 0 and hostname = 'master'" nova
The problem may be caused by error in nova compute starting up as I use virtual machine manager as well.

Virtual machine manager creates images in /var/lib/libvirt/images which are readable by root only.

For some reason, nova-compute looks in this directory as well and gets errors like:
Stderr: "qemu-img: Could not open '/var/lib/libvirt/images/fedora20.qcow2': Permission denied\n"
I manually change the permissions to readable by all to overcome the problem.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Running TamTam Activities on Fedora 20

While preparing an old machine to give to the children of our helper, I had to struggle a bit to get TamTam activities to run. I was using the Sugar environment on Fedora 20. The version of TamTam activities in the Fedora repository was old and did not work.

The solutions were as follows:
  • The file in tamtam/common/Resources/ needs an additional comma in line 62:

    $ diff tamtamorc.csd tamtamorc.csd.orig
    < aindex, atrans, ifreq, iphase, itable, itabdur xin
    > aindex, atrans, ifreq, iphase itable, itabdur xin
  • On the x86_64 systems, in common/Util/Clooper, I needed to run make to make sure that is built for the installed version of csound.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting started with Erlang Webmachine on Fedora 20

The problems I am encountering in learning erlang on Fedora 20 is helping me understand erlang better :)

I had to install erlang-ibrowse and erlang-meck even for starting the skeleton application. They should probably be included in the dependencies of erlang-webmachine rpm.

The template for creating the skeleton application is included in

To create a new skeleton app:
$ cd /usr/lib64/erlang/lib/webmachine-1.10.1/priv
$ rebar create template=wmskel prefix= appid=

$ cd
$ rebar compile

The wmskel.template needed to be modified to comment out the following lines related to rebar:
%{file, "{{webmachine}}/rebar", "{{prefix}}/rebar"}.
%{chmod, 8#744, "{{prefix}}/rebar"}.

The version number in rebar.config also needed to be changed from 1.9.* to 1.10.*

However, execution of fails with the error:
 init terminating in do_boot ()

The issue was that in .erl, the following statement fails:

It appears that some of the dependencies of mochiweb are not implicitly started. I am not sure if I am missing something, this is a fedora specific issue or a current mochiweb version issue. A work around was to modify the start function in src/.erl adding the lines in bold:

start() ->

    application:set_env(webmachine, webmachine_logger_module,

For diagnosing, modifying ensure_started function in the same file helped.

ensure_started(App) ->
    case application:start(App) of
        ok ->
        {error, {already_started, App}} ->
        X -> io:format("App failed ~w ~w~n",[App, X])

$ rebar compile
$ ./

http://localhost:8000  should show "Hello, new world".

It may be preferable to modify the start function in templates/src/wmskel.erl.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Getting started with Erlang Mochiweb on Fedora 20

It is simple to use this tutorial for creating a minimal Erlang Mochiweb application. Clone the git repository and run make twice.

However, trying to do the same on Fedora 20 using the packages erlang-mochiweb and erlang-rebar wasn't so simple.

While the templates are included in the /usr/lib64/erlang/lib/mochiweb-2.4.2/support directory, it is missing the Makefile. We need to execute the rebar commands instead.

Several lines need to be commented in support/templates/mochiwebapp.template. These correspond to files not included in the erlang-mochiweb rpm package -
%%{file, "../../.gitignore", "{{dest}}/.gitignore"}.
%%{file, "../../Makefile", "{{dest}}/Makefile"}.
%%{file, "../../rebar", "{{dest}}/rebar"}.
%%{chmod, 8#755, "{{dest}}/rebar"}.
The script fails. Solution is to replace '\\' by '\'. The script becomes:
exec erl -pa ebin edit deps/*/ebin -boot start_sasl \
    -sname {{appid}}_dev \
    -s {{appid}} \
    -s reloader
$ cd /usr/lib64/erlang/lib/mochiweb- 2.4.2/
$ rebar create template=mochiwebapp dest= appid=
$ cd
$ rebar compile
$ ./

If successful, browsing localhost:8080 shows the success page.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Relying more on Desktop Client for Emails

After switching to Akregator from Google Reader and learning to live with a little inconvenience, I was struck by a comment about the danger of email accounts being broken into by the criminal elements.

I now have setup an imap account and am using Kmail. Contents of any folder/label which need not available for easy access online, I plan to move to a local folder. I will miss out on the power of Google search, but I think, along with consuming less energy, learning to live with some technological inconveniences is the preferred/imperative option.

Update - Came across an interesting news of excessive reliance of technology -  When technology fails a news anchor, there are no words.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Life after Google Reader - Akregator

Web based services are convenient. It is far too easy to get used to them. I tend to look at my rss feeds from at least two systems. So, it seemed that I will use one of the online services which are trying to replace Google Reader and make the transition as painless as possible.

In view of the recent disclosures about Prism, opting for a little inconvenience is not a bad idea.

I am now quite comfortable with Akregator. One advantage is that I can see and access the entries I have already read as well. The responsiveness is very good.

To switch between machines, I take a tar backup of  .kde/share/apps/akregator from one machine and restore it on the other. Since it is a bit of a nuisance, I am organizing my net activities to normally use one system only for reading rss feeds and switch rarely.

It is not a very serious constraint and probable saves me distractions.

The mail services of our ISP are very unreliable otherwise I might have seriously considered at least partially moving from gmail.

As long as software read the content, I was unaffected; hence, no impact of Microsoft's criticisms of Google. This is probably more common  than just  for me as stories about Eliza illustrate -
Another story tells of the author's secretary using Eliza when he entered the room. The secretary asked her boss to leave until she had finished her conversation.
The author also considered putting in a module that recorded peoples conversations. This was greeted with accusations that Weizenbaum was spying on their secrets and innermost thoughts.
So, humans reading our content is another issue! 

Robots, however, guide and save humanity :)