Sunday 21 December 2008

Mandriva - Rhythmbox

Rhythmbox is the media player to use, however, out of the box, it does not support the BBC Radio stations (due to the RealAudio Codec).

Installing the RealAudio Codec

The RealAudio Codec is not part of the default Mandriva release, and so to install it, you must enable the PLF sources:
# urpmi.addmedia plff
# urpmi.addmedia plfnf
# urpmi real-codecs
# urpmi.removemedia plff && urpmi.removemedia plfnf
Once installed, Rhythmbox will be able to decode the real-audio.

Adding your Stations

In order to add stations, you must know the URLs of the streams. For the BBC, I used the Reciva website, clicked on the play now link for the station, and then look in the source of the pop-up window to find the URL of the stream.
<iframe src="" frameborder="0" height="0" width="0"></iframe>
BBC7 is currently:
Alouette is currently:

More Visualisations

If you want more visualisations, simply install the gstreamer0.10-visual and libvisual-plugins through the package manager.

Saturday 20 December 2008

Mandriva - Sound Juicer

Now the Mandrive One 2009 image does not recognise any MP3 encoder. A popular encoder is lame, so in order to include it, you need to use some other sources for your downloads. Adding the PLF sources does the trick.

Once the gstreamer plugin is included, you need to Activate the MP3 encoder in the Audio CD Extractor (SoundJuicer). Do not delete or deactivate ones you don't need - for some reason if only the MP3 one is activated, SoundJuicer produces oga files!
# urpmi.addmedia plff
# urpmi.addmedia plfnf
# urpmi gstreamer0.10-lame
# urpmi.removemedia plff && urpmi.removemedia plfnf
After shutting down / restarting SoundJuicer, you will be able to rip MP3 files.

Note, if you have deleted the profiles before reading this, simply follow these steps:
  • Open the Configuration Editor, which you will find under Configuration Preferences
  • Navigate down the tree on the left to get to: "/system/gstreamer/0.10/audio/global"
  • Right Click on the 'profile_list' entry
  • Select 'Unset Key'

Note that even thoughSoundJuicer has found an album art picture, it does not store this inside the MP3 file, along with its tags. If you want the pictures inserted, you need another application - I download the images from Amazon, and use easytag to embed them.

File Paths and Naming

I don't like the default file-naming, I prefer my files to be named aaa - nn_ttttt with album name, track number and track title. There is no option for this in SoundJuicer, however, if you run the ConfgurationEditor, you can change the file_pattern to:
%at - %tN_%tt
I also prefer my songs to be stored in Genre directories, i.e. genre/artist/aaa - nn_ttttt, but SoundJuicer does not have a variable for the Genre, so Ill have to live with manually moving these files about after the event!

Saturday 13 December 2008

Lexmark 7500 Series Printer - GPL?

I am yet another frustrated Linux user, frustrated at lack of support from peripheral suppliers (such as Lexmark, when it comes to the 7500 Series Printer).

Note that the X7500 appears to be an office printer, and the X7550 appears to be a home printer. Lexmark are inconsistent in their naming, for example, I don't believe that the X7500 firmware update mentioned on their webpage can be applied to the X7550 printer (which Lexmark says is in the X7500 series).

A quick look at the printer, however, suggests that it may not be as incompatible as you may first think ...

When scanning / printing, the port 9100 is used. Using Wireshark, it is clear that the sequence 'HBN3' is passed over this interface.

Reading a Lexmark White Paper on multi-function printers, it can be seen that there is, indeed, an 'HBN3' protocol, a quick check shows that there are other standard ports available and open too:
Default Print (TCP 9100)
HBN3 (TCP 9100)
FTP - File Transfer Protocol (TCP 21)
HTTP - Embedded Web Server (EWS) (TCP 80, 8000)
mDNS (Bonjour) - Auto Configuration and Discovery (UDP 5353)
SNMP V2c/V1 - Simple Network Messaging Protocol (UDP 161)
SNMP V1 Traps (UDP 162)
HBN3 HID - Human Interface Device (UDP 162)
HBN3 Scan (TCP 9100)
IPP (TCP 631) - Timed Out!
Telnet (TCP 10000) - Command Line Facility

Now, port 10000 looks extremely interesting. When you connect, you get the LXK: prompt, and the prompt has built-in help.
Connected to (
Escape character is '^]'.
LXK: enable
LXK: ls
LXK: netstat -a

Active Internet connections (servers and established)
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address Foreign Address State
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
tcp 0 0* LISTEN
udp 0 0*
udp 0 0*
udp 0 0*

LXK: ps

PID Uid VmSize Stat Command
1 root 512 S init
2 root SWN [ksoftirqd/0]
3 root SW [events/0]
4 root SW [khelper]
5 root SW [kthread]
8 root SW [kblockd/0]
11 root SW [khubd]
34 root SW [pdflush]
Now this looks like an embedded Linux release - I wonder where the GPL sources can be downloaded?

Update: Well, on the 30th April 2009, Lexmark uploaded their GPL code to It would be great if this happened before, and I'd have found a note in the user manual telling me where the sources could be found! But it's good to see that Lexmark have done the right thing in the end!

"Corresponding Source conveyed, and Installation Information provided, in accord with this section must be in a format that is publicly documented" - GPLv2.

I've recently bought the HP J4680 for £90, which works over a wireless network for printing, scanning and faxing, all with Linux.

  1. Lexmark 7500 Series User Manual
  2. IP Ports Utilized by 2007 and 2008 Inkjet Products ID: ENUS26689
  3. Lexmark Security White Paper
  4. Open Printing Database
  5. HP J4680 Printer