Introducing Sopler, a new open web application!

Here are some exciting news: The last two of months I’ve been part of a promising project. We made a web application that uses open standards (and it’s open source). It’s called Sopler and we are the Sopler project. I worked on the UI/UX design part  (meaning, HTML5, CSS3, JQuery etc) and oh boy…I’ve learned a lot of new stuff (like Bootstrap 3, FirefoxOS etc) and there are lot’s of things to post on this blog in the near future.

What can you do with Sopler? Make a list, add some items and share the link with your friends.They can add or check some items, make comments etc…

Sopler is still in Beta but you can check our code on Github. Enjoy our new video (with english & greek subtitles available):

What can’t you see in the video? Sopler can “remember” all previous lists of an authorized user (who signed in using a social account), plus, his privileges over any item are greater than those of a non-authorized user.

That’s because a social account profile makes a user unique and in this way it’s easy to map a user to his list.

Yes, Sopler is on many social networks too: Facebook, Twitter & Google+

So, see you soon with more news 🙂

MSP430 + Eclipse CDT on Fedora 19

Hello! This is a guide to install Eclipse and everything required to flash your project to a MSP430 board 🙂

First, you need to install Eclipse CDT (the Eclipse version using the C/C++ IDE) and there are three ways:

  1. Go the Eclipse’s website, download and install it yourself
  2. Use Fedora’s “Software” application (which is PackageKit, the GUI of yum) and search for “eclipse-cdt”
  3. Use your terminal, type su, press enter, give your root password and then type yum install eclipse-cdt. Type “y” to install all dependencies required for eclipse-cdt 🙂

After you have successfully installed Eclipse CDT you can continue to the main course. We need a plugin for MSP430 called msp430-eclipse by xPG. Don’t download anything yet. We’ll use Eclipse for that!

Now, open Eclipse go to Help->Install new software and add as a software source. Use it to install the msp430 plugin.

Next, we need a tool-chain that includes all files to compile, debug etc our code specifically for our MSP430 platform! Visit xPG’s website as mentioned previously. Scroll down and choose the version of the tool-chain for your system.

We will need to install a few packages more though as xPG’s tool-chain is not sufficient (If you try to compile without those packages it will fail to find, or something like that). I fixed it by installing five msp430-related packages: msp430-binutils, msp430-gcc, msp430-libc, msp430mcu, mspdebug. Maybe some of them are not really needed but ok it’s only a few Kbytes and in the end everything works well. You can use step 2 or step 3 from above!

If you are confident for your tool-chain and skipped my previous steps, you don’t need to download any package (the next step), you just need to configure Eclipse later on.

Download and extract the package in an appropriate location (like your home folder, or any other folder inside it). Go to Eclipse (with the plugin already installed, like I showed you before) and from Eclipse’s menu click on MSP430 -> Tool Manager. Press  “Add…”, find the tool-package folder, select it and click OK. On the Tool Manager, select the tool-chain and press “Activate”.

If you want to use your own tool-chain, all MSP430 compilation and debug tools can be configured at Window->Preferences->MSP430.

As normal users we don’t have permission to use the USB bus. To fix that, go to Fedora’s “Users and Groups” or system-config-users (if you don’t have that install it like all other packages). Create a group named eg. “usb” and add your user into it (“Users” tab -> select your user-> Properties). Log out and log in again for changes to take effect.

Next, go to a terminal, type “su -” and create a file with the command: gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/71-persistent-msp430.rules . Then, copy, paste and save this:

SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTRS{idVendor}==”0451″, ATTRS{idProduct}==”f432″, MODE=”0660″, GROUP=”usb”

The numbers “0451” and “f432” can be verified if you connect your board and use the command “lsusb”.  Now, go to a terminal for the last time and give these three commands:

systemctl restart systemd-udevd.service

systemctl restart systemd-udev-trigger.service

systemctl restart systemd-udev-settle.service

Now, let’s make a new project and test what we’ve done. This will require a MSP430 board, hopefully supported by the plugin (which is very probable as you will notice). Create a new C/C++ project and select the “Empty project” at the “MSP430 Cross Target Application” folder. Give it a name and then click Finish.

Right-click the project at the “Project Explorer” and choose Properties. Go to the “MSP430” section, select your MCU and debug settings. Next, go to the “C/C++ General” section -> Paths and Symbols, select GNU C at the “Includes” tab and include the path “/home/username/any_directory/msp430-toolchain-linux-amd64-3.0/msp430/include” (same for GNU C++)

Right-click the folder, create a src folder and place a source file into it preferably with a blink.c (a blinking LED example) file for your board such as this one in this blog. Don’t forget to include your board’s header file!

Build the project, then right-click the project and select MSP430->Upload to target (or use the icon for that job at the main bar).

The example should work and this brings us to the end of this tutorial 🙂

YouTube HTML5 Switch v0.1.7 & News


Long time no see! I’ve been busy outside the blog-sphere and I’ve got some news to share. First of all, I upgraded my Firefox Add-on to version 0.1.7. So here is the link:

All in all, the important addition is that you can now use the hotkey Control+Y instead of pushing the button on the toolbar. Plus, I think it now has no other issues for most new versions of Firefox. I need to point out that I get most of the help from the SDK’s documentation which is great, but, to anyone interested, don’t hesitate to contribute to its content! Restartless add-ons rule!

You may use it and see if it works on YouTube (yeah it works, at least for Firefox 21.0 w/ Fedora Linux) using this video:

Yes! It’s the first video of the band I play with, directed by Kostas Gounaris. Cool huh? 🙂

I hope you’ll like it as we put a lot of effort to complete it and guess what? There’s also going to be a short film based on the song. I’ll let you know!

Happy new year & YouTube HTML5 Switch v0.1.3

Happy new year everybody!!!

Here I am, once more, to announce the new version of my recent small project YouTube HTML5 Switch. I made quite a few additions to the previous version (for which I already made a post) and changes to it and it’s on its way to become a fully reviewed add-on for Firefox 🙂

So what the 0.1.3 version does and has right now is:

  • A navigation bar button using the toolbarbutton-jplib (and its depdencies) by erikvold
  • a new 16×16 icon for better cross-platform compatibility (I know, it used to be prettier but I will make it again soon)
  • It works only when “” has been opened
  • It doesn’t work if &html5=1 is already in the URL
  • A clickable widget icon at the add-on bar.

What really changed is that now the navigation bar button is movable and its position is maintained if you open a new window etc. More fixes soon 🙂

Once again, the code is on my github repo. Of course, for any major change I will keep you posted 🙂

For those and only those who already use YouTube HTML5 Switch and will upgrade to v0.1.3: Don’t worry if the old icon remains on the browser window. Just restart Firefox and everything will work fine!

————————- Ahem…ahem… Your attention please 🙂  ————————————–

Update: The campaign ended successfully 🙂

Another project I want to talk about is one that’s on Indiegogo, a crowdfunging website! It’s for my band, Wonky Doll and the Echo. If you dig cinema and like our music please, have a look on our Double project: a music video & a short movie. We will collaborate with a director, Costas Gounaris, for our first music video! Our page is here: Every cent counts and everyone wins gifts too!

By the way…this is the song of the music video:

YouTube HTML5 Switch (and other news)

Hello! Long time no see!

It’s been a busy period and I have lots of news to share. First of all, I decided to have a look on the Mozilla Add-on SDK . It has a very simple API to create Add-ons for Firefox.

Anyway, I tried to come up with an idea of what would be my first Add-on. Hmmm…An Add-on that can make my web experience less annoying. Considering that I spend half of my time on YouTube to listen to songs (mostly), view videos etc, as a Linux user, I get really annoyed when the Flash plug-in crashes and I have to restart Firefox.  You can always visit to change that but what if you delete your cookies? It’s a boring procedure.

YouTube HTML5 Switch logo

So, what I thought was to make an Add-on that would simply add the “html5=1” parameter on the URL. And I did it…well, kind of, it’s now an experimental Add-on for Firefox. I need to add some more features for it to be considered as a proper Add-on. It’s called “YouTube HTML5 Switch” and here it is at the Mozilla Add-ons website, and here is the source code on Github.

I currently develop the Add-on at the Add-on Builder (that means online). I will eventually download the SDK and try it on Fedora 🙂 It’s not the smartest Add-on in the world, but I think it’s a good start for a newbie. By the way I need to say that the SDK’s documentation is not very helpful and I needed to google a lot to write down a few lines of code. Anyway, in every “major” release I will be posting here any changes etc. You can also read the on Github.

What’s more? Wonky Doll and the Echo (the band where I play) are supporting I Like Trains here in Athens on December 15, 2012. You can check our Bandcamp page and listen to our songs. Now, if you have installed the Add-on you can test it with these video…if you go on YouTube of course 🙂

Some videos like this for instance don’t have an HTML5 player so the plugin will not be of any use here.

Other videos though, do have have an HTML5 version and the plugin will work!

Disable NVIDIA on Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E (Fedora 17) and more news

Hey! I know I haven’t posted anything these past few months but I would have no excuse if I didn’t post about that: I have disabled my NVIDIA card from the “Dynamic Hybrid Graphics System” of my Sony VAIO VPCZ11X9E.

A few more news: 2nd semester on my post-grad program was even better than the 1st one. Plus, the band I am participating in (both playing and composing), named Wonky Doll and the Echo, is about to release it’s debut album! Feel free to listen to four of our songs on SoundCloud (even more links there 🙂 )

Now, back to modifying our system, why would I want to disable my NVIDIA card? It’s because what I can only get out of this “hybrid system” is only the performance of my Intel card at the cost of Intel + NVIDIA working together! That means, more heat and faster battery discharges! Oh, by the way, I am now using Fedora 17 which is a lot more stable than Fedora 16 I must say (thanks GNOME!).

What I need to tell you is that: If you don’t know what you are doing, don’t trust any guide like this (…or do things at your own risk) 🙂 But you should know that in case of failure of this procedure, if you have at least once updated your kernel, you can just go back to the previous one and delete the files we will create. This will solve most of the crashes that might happen if you don’t follow the instructions correctly.

The Bumblebee project is for resolving the NVIDIA Optimus problem, not SONY’s hybrid system installed on some VAIO’s. So, I didn’t try that. What we are going to use is  acpi_call which is a kernel module (tip: that means it needs to be compiled again after a kernel update 🙂 )that will help us configure Fedora”s power management system in order to shut down the NVIDIA card.

My resources in order to learn how to shut down the card were mainly these:

We first need (as root) to download (lines 1-3), get inside the folder (line 4), compile (line 5, for that you need gcc, kernel-headers etc. if you don’t know what all that is…ask someone!), install the module on the current kernel  (lines 6-8) and test if it worked (that means the output of should get you one “works” next to a ACPI handle :

# yum -y update
# yum install git
# git clone
# cd acpi_call
# make
# cp acpi_call.ko /lib/modules/`uname -r`/kernel/drivers/acpi
# depmod -a
# modprobe acpi_call
# chmod +x ./

I got this one: Trying \_SB.PCI0.P0P2.DGPU._OFF: works! …which is great!

The result of the script will also be an increase of the battery duration (which I haven’t tested yet as my battery died a few months ago) and a decrease in the temperature of your system (you can see that in your terminal if you install the lm_sensors package on “Add/Remove Software” or “yum install lm_sensors”. The temprature of the NVIDIA card will drop to -1 degrees Celsious. The temprature of my CPU dropped approx. from 70 to 58 degrees!!!
Now you are able to shut down the NVIDIA card manually while you are using Fedora. Next, we have to make Fedora do this automatically in every boot.

As “su -” we will create a script named :

# gedit  /usr/local/bin/

and inside this script you will paste this:

echo “——————————-” >> /var/log/nvidia.log
echo `date` >> /var/log/nvidia.log
echo “Disabling Nvidia video adapter !! ” >> /var/log/nvidia.log
echo “——————————-” >> /var/log/nvidia.log
echo “\_SB.PCI0.P0P2.DGPU._OFF” > /proc/acpi/call

What’s important is the first and the last line only. The last line might need modification from your part as the ACPI handler might be different for your system (if you have a different laptop than mine). The other lines are not compulsory. Since I use an SSD disc and have moved my /var/log folder in RAM that means logging this info is not really of value. But for everyone else who hasn’t done this it’s cool for debugging.

Now we need to modify the priviledges of this script with:

# chmod 775 /usr/local/bin/

Next step is to configure our system to load the acpi_call module we installed in each boot. For that purpose we create a .conf file here (again with su -):

# gedit /etc/modules-load.d/acpi_call.conf

and just write or paste just this : acpi_call

Since we now know that our module will be loaded it is safe to execute our “” script.

To do that we need to create another script in /etc/rc.d/ named “rc.local” (it used to exist in previous releases, now it doesn’t):

# gedit /etc/rc.d/rc.local

and write down  or copy-paste this:

/usr/bin/sh /usr/local/bin/

The final step is to stop the nouveau driver get activated during startup, as it will crash your system. We need to edit grub2:

# gedit /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

in this file you must be able to recognise the kernel in which you have just installed acpi_call next to the word menuentry 🙂 if you are not sure what’s your current kernel just use the command “uname -r”.

Now, right before the word quiet (which is before the command “echo ‘Loading initial ramdisk …’ “) paste this:


Yes, it blacklists the nouveau driver so that it will not load. If you boot succesfuly you will notice that the temprature of the NVIDIA card will not be mentioned anymore but the significant temprature drop will still be there. 🙂

New Linux OS, New University, New Album!

Hello world 🙂

I am writing this post from my freshly installed Fedora 16 (If you still haven’t downloaded and installed yet I suggest you do it). I am really excited and proud I am using Gnome 3.2. It has achieved a tremendous change on how we must start to perceive our desktop environment. It also does this with style (with minimal touches that I really love). And so far is doing great in terms of stability. No freezes at all. OK, some small details on some drivers is my weak point but I have to blame the manufacturers for that. Well, something I always wanted to yell on the internet: WHY ON EARTH DON’T YOU RELEASE LINUX DRIVERS? …sigh. Anyway everything runs smoothly.

Moving on to our next subject. Well, it’s about my studies. I am doing my master’s degree at the University of Athens. It’s an interdepartmental master of the Physics Department and the IT Department focusing on Electronics Automation…hell yeah. It’s not easy, but I enjoy it so far 🙂

Now, to the last subject. I uploaded my new album on Jamendo!!! It’s called “The pursuit of happiness“.I think it’s my best work so far…I have until now a very productive year. I hope the following years will be the same as this one. I don’t want to say much, it would be better if you just listen 🙂

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you enjoy it ! 🙂

The pursuit of hapiness cover