FossComm 2011 and OpenFest 2011 review

This is my review from 2 events I attended and participated in. I will just report with few words what happened and what I did there. Of course I wasn’t alone. As always Fedora rocked with his presence (I will explain later). But! I didn’t only participate with Fedora. You know, I am basically a hardware guy, I study electronics (currently at my last semester, yeah!)

====OpenFest 2011===

OK! Since OpenFest 2011 was first I will start with this event! It was organized by students of the department of Computer Systems at the TEI of Pireaus. I think the Fedora booth was exemplar and with a lot of people helping! We had one bad comment though…few people really wanted the Fedora cheat cubes again on our booth table. I also believe it’s a very cool swag and it’s just a piece of paper! So, people should just wait for our next event 🙂

At OpenFest I made a presentation on Fedora 15 (mentioning and showing a bit of Gnome 3 magic). Pierros and Nikos did a very cool workshop on how to survive with Gnome 3 too!

I also co-presented a workshop with Pierros and Konstantinos concerning Arduino. While it was introductory, we had to repeat it for 2 times more! The room had about 35 seats I think, but at the first 2 presentations people were even standing outside the windows to watch (not to mention that the door was open and people were trying to listen from outside. The 3rd presentation was made in a bigger room the next day.

Photos (thanks to Thalia and Dimitris):

===FossComm 2011===

Last but not least, the major open source event in Greece. This time at the Univercity of Patras, organized by the Department of Computer Engineering and Informatics. What I really need to mention is that the schedule of FossComm 2011 tried to cover the needs of everyone and I think it did. We enjoyed a lot of good presentations and workshops!

I need to mention that while the Fedora booth was represented well by all the Ambassadors who came to support, Fedora made the difference in the event’s schedule. We had good and many presentations. Not any community can do that 🙂

Of course the swag was there on both booths (Fedora and Mozilla).  But not always there. Visitors, hosts, everyone took everything 🙂

Together with Pierros Papadeas (also made presentations on Fedora and Mozilla at FossComm 2011 ) we did again, as in OpenFest 2011, an introductory Arduino presentation. If I could only have the time to show more code! People were starving for code! Something that we kind of did at OpenFest 2011 🙂 I wanted to talk to people about how useful a library and how Arduino is part of the “Internet of things” nowadays, showing Pachube and the completely opensource Thingspeak.

Presentations I attended:

  • Melissi project by Giorgos Logiotatidis (If you are looking for cloud/python stuff please please check it out and ask)
  • Building a platform-agnostic wireless network of interconnected smart objects using open source tools
    by Anastasia Protopapa and Basilios Georgitzikis (who I thank for his hospitality!). Interconnecting different Zigbee nodes? Sounds like the future to me!
  • – hackerspace αλα ελληνικά (I will post more details when will be completely ready, but you can follow us on the wiki, the mailing list, , twitter or even facebook. We want to share the news everywhere.)

I think I didn’t fully attend something else, but I watch the work of many of the people that presented and I am fully aware of what they do and still wish the best for them. One example is the work of the foss.ntua team Consuela a very handy arduino project for controlling lights with a simple web client setup.

Photos (thanks to Thalia, and Dimitris) :

Once again, a big thank you to the hosts and organizers of the events. Another thank you to those who helped!

Sound fix for Adobe Flash for Firefox 4 beta on Fedora

I am currently using Firefox Minefield 4.0b12pre but I have tried this fix also on Firefox 4 beta 11 on my 64 bit system (Fedora 14)! This problem has occured to me with the 64 bit Adobe Flash plugin 10.2.

Some of the code I will paste here (the code for creating the linusmemcpy.c file)  was found in this post at Ahmed Abdo’s blog!

I will give you the script code to paste it in the terminal as after doing some trivial staf f the bug will be exterminated! But I will pretty much explain what this script does.

In general, what we need to do is to create a C file (with a certain memcopy function that will solve our problem) , and the binary and then load the binary when we open Firefox.  The first line of the script creates our C file at the hidden folder .mozilla  (to unhide use Control+H) named linusmemcpy.c , then “cat” is waiting for us to write our text (this time the C code) until we write EOF (end of file). Then what we do is to enter the .mozilla folder and compile the c file. Our last step is to use the GNU Linker with ld on the binary files.

Just copy the whole text and paste it on your terminal as it is 🙂

cat > $HOME/.mozilla/linusmemcpy.c <<EOF
#include <sys/types.h>

void *memcpy(void *dst, const void *src, size_t size)
void *orig = dst;
asm volatile("rep ; movsq"
:"=D" (dst), "=S" (src)
:"0" (dst), "1" (src), "c" (size >> 3)
asm volatile("rep ; movsb"
:"=D" (dst), "=S" (src)
:"0" (dst), "1" (src), "c" (size & 7)
return orig;
cd $HOME/.mozilla/
gcc -O2 -c linusmemcpy.c
ld -G linusmemcpy.o -o

Now the next very small step is to automate the procedure of starting Firefox correctly with the shortcut on the desktop panel. We will create a small shell script the same way we did with our C file. If you are using beta that means somewhere in your system exists the “firefox” shell script that executes the firefox-bin. We need to know the path to it! If already have a shortcut, right click -> Properties and look at “Command” . This is it. Mine (for firefox 4 from spot’s repos) says firefox4. Don’t forget the & at the end 😉

cat > $HOME/.mozilla/ <<EOF
LD_PRELOAD=$HOME/.mozilla/ firefox4 &
chmod u+x $HOME/.mozilla/

So, now is our last step! Go to the icon of Firefox on the desktop panel , right click -> Properties , and at the command click “Browse” press control+H to unhide the folders, enter the .mozilla folder and select “”.

Now, close every instance of Firefox that is running right now (yes I ask too much, but you can leave my blog 🙂 ) and press the Firefox button 🙂

==== Ελληνικά/Greek ====

Σε αυτό το post δίνω οδηγίες για το πως να φτιάξετε το πρόβλημα που έχει παρουσιαστεί με τον ήχο στο Flash της Adobe (10.2) για τον Firefox 4 beta 11 (αυτό και το Minefield στην έκδοση 4.0b12pre δοκίμασα, λογικά τρέχει και σε άλλες beta). Χρησιμοποιό την 64bit εκδοση του Fedora 14.

Θα εξηγήσω λίγο τι γινεται με το script, όμως μπορείτε να το αντιγράψετε και να το επικολλήσετε στο terminal ολόκληρο χωρίς να γράψετε τίποτα εσείς! Απλά τα γράφω για να μη τα κάνετε απλά copy paste χωρίς να ξέρετε τί γίνεται περίπου.

Στη πρώτη εντολή δημιουργούμε ένα κενό αρχείο που θα είναι o C κώδικας με το fix μας (μια συνάρτηση που λέγεται memcpy) στο οποίο θα γράψουμε ότι χρειάζεται και θα περιμένει την λέξη EOF (που σημαίνει τέλος του αρχείου , end of file). Μετά δίνουμε την εντολή cd και μας κατευθήνει στον φάκελο .mozilla (η τελεία δίνει είναι κρυφός φάκελος που βρίσκεται στο home folder και για να τον δούμε πατάμε control+H). Εκεί βρίσκονται οι ρυθμίσεις του Firefox. Κάνουμε compile το C αρχείο και εκτελούμε και την εντολή ld για τον GNU Linker.

Στο επόμενο βήμα δημιουργούμε ένα μικρό shell script το οποίο απλά θα προφορτώσει τo binary αρχείο που φτιάξαμε προηγουμένως την ώρα που ανοίγει ο Firefox! Πάμε λοιπόν μετά στο εικονίδιο του Firefox στη μπάρα στην επιφάνεια εργασίας και κάνουμε δεξί click. Στην 3η σειρά με τη λέξη “Command” επιλέγουμε το Browse και από το Home folder πηγαίνουμε στο φάκελο “.mozilla” και επιλέγουμε το Κλείνουμε κάθε παράθυρο του Firefox που είναι ανοιχτό και ξανανοίγουμε. Έτοιμοι! 🙂

Mozilla Balkans meeting 2010 : Ljubljana

Hello everyone!

It’s been a week since I returned from the Mozilla Balkans meeting in Ljubljana. An event that was quite different from those I usually attend as it was more…private, for the organizing purposes of our community at the Balkans area! A great chance to meet a lot of interesting people (of all ages).  I had a very pleasant stay, and I should really thank all the people who organized the event.

The great thing is that, a huge surprise happened. We had the honour to meet the new CEO of Mozilla Gary Kovacs, the President of Mozilla Europe Tristan Nitot, the Chief Marketing Officer of Mozilla Chris Beard and last but not least the head of community marketing Mary Colvig !

Saturday and Sunday were planed according to this schedule. We were accurate and productive and the space Kiberpipa provided to us was wonderful. During the work sprint, together with the other Mozilla participants I put my hands into code (eg. the Jetpack session) and I also translated stuff as requested from Kadir Topal the head of our super SUMO development team. Axel Hekt helped me a lot too. Well, the thing is that Pierros, Axel and myself spent quite a lot of time during our common flights and at the airport. It was fun and interesting! Learned a lot of stuff and grasped some new ideas.

On Sunday we had Mary with us! We used our organization skills and did some brainstorming for the benefit of the Balkans community. We split in 4 teams and afterwards presented our ideas.

On Sunday night Pierros and I (the only Balkans team left in Ljubljana) had dinner with Mary, Chris and Axel. Since I had already seen Mary and Axel in action, discussing with Chris proved to me once more how cool everyone in Mozilla is and how unique Mozilla is among all free and open source foundations/projects/etc today because of these people.

Photos :