I came across usplash recently as a solution to setting up a custom bootsplash screen. It installed and worked fine, but there didn’t seem to be any way to customise the splash screen. There are plenty of HowTo’s for how to customise it in Ubuntu (like this one) but they didn’t work for Debian.
The reason is that the Debian build doesn’t use a shared library for the bootsplash screen. Instead, it’s compiled in and so will always use the testcard theme.
Changing it is pretty simple though. Firstly,
apt-get install usplash libbogl0 libbogl-dev libgd2-noxpm libgd2-noxpm-dev
apt-get source usplash
I’m presuming you already have ~/bs.png that you want to use for the bootsplash. This should have a 16 colour palette and be of the required resolution.
Next, cd into the usplash source directory and copy your bootsplash image into it.
cp ~/bs.png usplash-artwork.png
For this example, I’m setting up a usplash-artwork theme.
Next, use pngtobogl to convert the png image to C code.
pngtobogl usplash-artwork.png >usplash-artwork.c
The easiest way to set up the theme is copy usplash-testcard-theme.c and edit it for your own theme. In this case, you’ll want to search for any occurances of testcard and change it to artwork. Do this with sed, awk or whatever editor you use (which, of course, should be ViM!!). The code you’ll want to change is pretty obvious in the file too. To change the colours, edit the hex values for the palette indexes. Your image should have 16 colours, and each hex value, 0×0 through 0xf, will represent one of those 16 colours. The rest are positions and sizes for the progress bar, text box and text.
Lastly, edit usplash.c and again search and replace testcard with artwork.
sed -e ‘s/testcard/artwork/g’ usplash-testcard-theme.c >usplash-artwork-theme.c
** Edit the palette, progress bar, text box and text details **
** Search and replace testcard for artwork **
Now, you’re ready to compile usplash again. Just run
make in the source directory. Shortly afterwards, the usplash binary is there. Next thing is to “install” it! As root do
cp usplash usplash.bak
cp ~/usplash-0.3e/usplash .
This backs up your previous usplash binary, copies in your newly compiled one and updates the kernel’s initrd to contain your newly created bootsplash image.
Lastly, reboot to see the bootsplash screen.
Tip: you can test the image without rebooting by just running your usplash binary as long as X isn’t running. It obviously won’t have any progress bar animation or text, but you’ll get a good idea of how it’ll look during boot.
Edit – 2007-08-13
Two minor updates to this. Firstly, if you run usplash just after compiling, and you get a
bogl_init failed message, it’s probably because you’re not using framebuffer support. You’ll need to edit /boot/grub/menu.1st as follows :
# defoptions=quiet splash vga=791
Leave the ‘#’ in place. It’s picked up when you run update-grub and added to the kernel line for each configured kernel. So, update it now with update-grub.
The different options for
vga= are :
- 785 – 640×480
- 788 – 800×600
- 791 – 1024×768
- 794 – 1280×1024
The second issue is that when you boot, the bootsplash screen is ended prematurely and a load of the usual boot-text is shown. To fix this, edit
/etc/init.d/console-screen.sh and find the text unicode_stop 2> /dev/null|| true and comment it out, so it looks like
#unicode_stop 2> /dev/null|| true
Now your bootsplash screen should run right to the end of boot.
The count is in, the seats are filled, and all that’s left is for the government to be formed. The official tally at the end was
- Fianna Fáil 78 seats
- Fine Gael 51 seats
- Labour 20 seats
- Progressive Democrats 2 seats
- Green Party 6 seats
- Sinn Féin 4 seats
- Independents 5 seats
So, once again, it looks like the majority of the country have turned to Fianna Fáil for government, though why I cannot fathom. What remains to be seen in the short term is who they will go into government with, and over their next five years in power, how they will deal with the increasing problems in the country, and the economic slow down which has started.
What is heartening though is that nearly half the country voted against the outgoing government and voted for the alliance of Fine Gael and Labour. If nothing else, it’s a positive indication for the next election, if they can hold that momentum.
The major questions I see for Ireland going forward are initially the health system and infrastructure, and longer term how to increase the knowledge base in the country and attract and fill high worth jobs.
The health system is currently under a lot of pressure. Ireland has seen a massive amount of immigration over the last number of years, and this has increased demand for hospital beds and for A&E services. Neither the nurses nor the consultants are happy with their lot, and both have undergone industrial action in the last couple of months. They aren’t happy with their work conditions or with facilities. The Progressive Democrats, whose previous leader, Mary Harney, was the Minister for Health, want to apply a quick fix and allow private hospitals to be set up on public land, co-located with public hospitals. They claim this will quickly free up 1,000 beds in public hospitals, and will essentially be the same situation as we have now, where a certain percentage of beds in public hospitals are given to private patients. However, this doesn’t take into account staffing of both hospitals side by side, and the increased distinction between those who can afford health care and those who rely on the public system. This division is already there, but private co-located hospitals would certainly increase the visibility of it, and I’d hazard a guess that working in the private hospitals would probably have better conditions and pay than the public ones, eventually leading to a more Americanised system where the wealthy get the best care and the underpriviledged fight for the scraps left over.
The infrastructure in the country is slowly improving, but is still (in my opinion) very Dublin focussed. Even the new motorways being built at the moment are between Dublin and somewhere else (eg. Galway – Dublin, Limerick – Dublin and Cork – Dublin). What we need is increased development of the infrastructure around the other cities, ports and airports in the country to entice a better spread of industry across the country. What would result from this is a slowdown, and possibly a reversal of the overpopulation of the Dublin area, and all the problems it has brought with it.
What also needs to be dealt with is the provision of local services in the areas where large housing estates have cropped up over the past number of years, but where services weren’t required alongside them. So, schools, recreational facilities and planning for retail outlets all needs to be looked at.
Lastly, since Ireland has become an increasingly expensive place to do business, the government needs to work on upskilling a large proportion of the workforce in order to attract the high worth jobs which our “knowledge based” economy will require to keep going. This means increased funding for FÁS and other such organisations, incentives to employees and employers to upskill themselves and their staff, increased funding for research in universities and companies and a concerted effort to attract research and development jobs into Ireland.
So, it remains to be seen what parties will make up our next government, but at least in five years time, we can look back on this post and decide if the government that was formed managed to keep the country going forward, or if we’re in the same state again!
I’ve disabled comments on all my pages and posts because all that’s been showing up is spam to buy drugs. If you’ve got anything interesting to say about any of the posts, email me and I’ll sum up the comments on the original post.
I’ve got a decent spam blocking setup for my email, and it’s easier to tackle the spam on one front rather than many!
The long anticipated concert in the Point by Dave Matthews Band was well worth the wait. They played a two and a half hour set to a packed house last Wednesday night.
The gig kicked off around 7pm with Delorentos, the support act, playing about a forty-five minute set. The Dave Matthews Band started at 8pm with the now common initial song “Don’t Drink the Water”. It’s a great crowd pleaser, and it immediately got the crowd going. There wasn’t the same conversation as at Dave’s previous acoustic gig in the National Stadium, so the two and a half hours were filled with music and the odd thank you!
During the second or third song, an Irish flag with “DMB” written across it made its way up onto the stage. Dave held this up on stage for all to see, and thanked the crowd for it! I’m not sure, but I think this may have come from the large Ballinasloe contingent present!
It seems my family may have a knack for predicting unsuspected guests, with my sister wondering aloud on the way in if Rashawn Ross, the incredibly talented trumpet player, would show up. (They also predicted the arrival of Tim Reynolds at the acoustic gig in February!). And sure enough, when the band made their way out on stage, he was there beside LeRoi! He stayed and played for the entire concert (well, except for the couple of solo songs Dave did). At one point, he had a trumpet in either hand and was swapping between them during a chorus. We were also treated to some solo tennis between himself and LeRoi at the end of “Jimi Thing”, which was followed by a violin solo, a keyboard solo and even a guitar solo by Dave himself! Unfortunately, the only time Carter got a drum solo chance was the transition between “So Much to Say” and “Too Much”. As a drummer myself, I really would’ve liked to have seen and heard something akin to the ending of “Crush” from “The Central Park Concert”.
Dave did a couple of solo numbers during the gig. Before starting into “Sister”, which we also heard at the acoustic concert, he told us that it hasn’t been released, but should be available on the internet and to get it there. This isn’t the usual line from artists, but in his own words – “I’ve already been paid”!! I haven’t managed to find a copy of it yet, but will continue looking!!
The set list was packed out with many other great tunes, like “Dancing Nancies”, “Grey Street” and “What Would You Say”. The encore kicked off with “Gravedigger”, the second solo number by Dave and ended with “Ants Marching”. At the end of both the main set and the encore Carter gave away his sticks. After the encore he even threw extra sticks out into the crowd, landing one up on the balcony!
The overall consensus was that it was a brilliant concert and a great night. I’m delighted it went so well, and I hope it’ll prompt a few more Irish gigs from Dave and the band!
I remember when I started using GNU/Linux, back around 2000, there wasn’t much choice in media players, and they weren’t exactly feature rich. Thankfully, that has changed quite significantly now. There’s not only a wide choice in players, but also in video creation software.
As part of my new job, I have to work with these players and develop add-ons for them. It’s within the source code that I’ve developed a preference for xine.
I started with mplayer, which is a fantastic player and very featureful. But it’s a pain to develop on. After that, I looked at VLC, which again, while featureful and extensive, just didn’t suit my needs.
In between the two was xine, which has the features and format support to do most of what I want, and has a very good API and good documentation, which when combined with the source, gives all the direction I need for writing new frontends and any plugins necessary.
In short, if you need to hack on any open source media players, do give xine a look!