That time I had to explain to the U.S. patent office that libre software != gratis

February 21st, 2024

Two years ago I applied for a U.S. trademark for LibreTranslate. To my surprise and probably to my own fault for not having declared the English translation of the word “libre” from French (more on that later), the application was initially rejected on the ground that the mark was deemed by the attourney examiner to be “merely descriptive”. A merely descriptive mark is a mark that only describes a product, without adding any significant insight, interpretation, or deeper meaning. For […]

Running multiple SSL web service containers on the same host using HAProxy

October 10th, 2019

Scenario: Multiple containers running a web service over SSL (with their own certificates) Different web domains for each service Single machine and single public IP How to make both services work on the same machine? I couldn’t find easy instructions on how to get this done, but a bit of research and trial and error led me to HAProxy. The setup is pretty simple: Setup DNS A records to point to the machine for both domains Start the containers using […]

Hacking Mapbox Unity SDK to Get Sub-Meter Coordinates Accuracy in iOS

May 11th, 2018

AR is a particularly interesting technology when combined with geospatial. AR provides an intuitive interface to navigate and understand the world in 3D. Some geospatial applications need precision. Consumer phones and tablets’ GPS units are not particularly accurate, so this is often not a concern. If we encode latitude and longitude data using single precision floats, we can expect to be off. How off? So if we need sub-meter accuracy, we need to exercise care. Mapbox Unity SDK makes it easy […]

Running ROS on Arch Linux (The Easy Way with Docker)

February 24th, 2018

Installing ROS on Arch is a pain in the rear. The fact that Arch is a rolling release distro makes it difficult to compile most of ROS dependencies. Even if you eventually manage to compile everything, you will find yourself running into all sorts of trouble compiling third party libraries, fixing problems between Python 3 and Python 2 and don’t even ask what happens when you do a system update. Save yourself the trouble and use docker. You will be up […]

Use Your Kindle as an External Monitor (well, almost)

April 21st, 2015

You can share a terminal session using your Kindle, which means you can use it as an external monitor for text-only applications. You won’t be able to do much web browsing or design work beside ASCII art, but if you’re a coder or a sysadmin, I’m sure this is not really going to bother you. Here’s a brief list of steps required to get this hack working. Jailbreak your Kindle. Install a Terminal application on it so that you can open […]

My hardest debugging session just ended today

November 28th, 2013

The hardest debug situation of my life just ended. Celebrate! I was trying to make a USB audio adapter to work on an embedded device running OpenWRT, but Linux wasn’t recognizing the USB device. The device turned on, but wasn’t getting mapped to /dev. So I think, ok, I probably forgot the modules. I Installed the modules. Still no luck. Maybe I chose the wrong modules? I started trying different permutations of modules (with each try taking half an hour […]

How To Print with Sublime Text 2

November 7th, 2012

A few days ago I found that there is no way to print on Sublime Text 2. I was a little disappointed with this discovery, printing is such a basic feature that even Notepad offers. Why doesn’t Sublime Text 2 include it? Ok, besides saving trees, I hate to print stuff on paper myself, but sometimes you will be asked to print your code, either by a professor or someone else wanting to review your code. In the meanwhile I […]

Envisioning an open source multi touch table top surface window manager

May 10th, 2012

Lately there’s been some some excitement about the new Samsung SUR40 table which ships with the latest version of Microsoft Surface. Cool piece of hardware indeed, if I could afford it I would put it into my wish list. Another device, another SDK, another user experience. Am I the only person who is getting sick of porting applications for different platforms? For the past 5 years the “apps” world has taken over. We have created sophisticated games and applications for […]