Robin's Latest Site

Robin's expertise is in A/V technology and related hardware/software research and development.

Currently Robin mainly works as contractor for Harrison, Manufacturer of the World's Finest Consoles. He develops the Digital Audio Workstation Ardour and produces a line of professional Audio Plugins.


rt2460 and linux 2.6.31

As of linux 2.6.31 there is no mainline support for the Ralink rt2680 Wifi chipset. While there is an official driver provided by Ralinktech, it is incompatible with 2.6.31 due to the fact that post 2.6.29 the kernel's net_device_ops API has changed and 2.6.31 also removed CONFIG_COMPAT_NET_DEV_OPS backwards compatibility.

So I came up with a small patch to the Ralink driver.

The solution is to get the module source from (tested with version from 05/21/2009) and apply the patch before compilation..

Ralinktech provides a README file how to do this, basically you'll need the kernel-source or kernel-headers, and then simply type make after unzipping and patching the module source.

· 18.09.2009 13:03 · Robin Gareus

FOMS 2009

foms3.jpg This years FOMS (Foundations of Open Media Software) Workshop took place in Hobart, Tasmania and has not only been fun but also a great success!

The focus was on video & film, development of multimedia and collaborative video editing software such a metavid, and videobin as well as free video codecs: dirac and ogg.

foms2.jpg Quite a few of the short-term Community Goals have been tackled, not only resulting in interesting discussion on ffmpeg-devel, but also yielding funding for open media now to publicly document codecs and prior art as an anti-patent strategy. started to index FLOSS authoring tools as a first step to indicate gaps for a professional workflow and and and..

FOMS was a very busy two days, extending into a multimedia mini-conf at LCA and quite a few days of hacking thereafter, not to mention the T42 bar evening excursions.

· 01.02.2009 06:25

wicked days

I spent the last days on the Wicked film set; driving the Chevrolet Impala set-car in gorgeous weather with an amazing team in the Amsterdamse Bos. Thanks everyone! Before post-production (and sodankyla development) begins I'm just about to release oauth-utils, preparing for the dokuwiki oAuth plug-in. Oh, a film-website is also on my ToDo list, besides ..well you don't wanna know. Stay tuned for more pictures!

Related to the movie-shooting I've been busy porting libltcsmpte to AVR-C and built myself a LTC SMPTE timecode reader. What else?

Arjan, Eelko and me are going to host the touch-screen workshop based on Frontera's justpoint at the DIY festival in Zuerich, CH. I'm looking forward to that, so I've updated the wordpress at, the content and a new release is due around end of November as is the sound-track for Wicked. I'm firing up compiling ardour. See Ya.

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· 17.12.2008 19:22 · Robin Gareus


I've just completed the first round of porting xjadeo to OSX.

On the way to learn about cross-OS video coding and prepare for sodankyla, I've added a native display (carbon/quicktime) and included a mac-style menu-bar to Jadeo instead of using remote-control and qjadeo. Far from perfect but usable, there's still performance improvements on the ToDo-list and surely a bug or two to fix ;)

  • see osxjadeo for download and built instructions.

expect a universal binary DMG and merge with sourceforge-SVN mid next week.
Amending: a DMG for testing is available from here; I've postponed further work until there's more feedback.

· 17.12.2008 19:22 · Robin Gareus

Unusual Workflow

It's been almost two months since the last post which I mostly spent pushing open-source tools to the limit with film-postproduction.

Looking at the rushed scans for the Wicked offline-edit, I noticed that some sound-clips have gone missing and only the 16 bit versions of the audio have been synced to the new-timecode. No EDL has been provided by Filmmore either. dang.

Before starting to count frames, slates and reels: The scanned pictures contains a printed version of the camera-timecode which was derived from the audio-recorder's SMPTE/LTC. So if one could parse the camera timecode one can relate the original-audio clock to the timecode of the offline-video..

Since the original EDL was no-where to be found and a second scan is not an option, I set out on this unusual workflow:

  1. dump timecode for each audio-file
  2. decode each video-frame, crop the timecode and OCR it to ASCII text. Then save the frame-number along with each detected timecode.
  3. assign audio-files for given timecode to the video-frame, reassign audio-timecode (drop gaps) and write EDL that matches the analyzed video.

'wicked' xjadeo & ardour session I'd estimated it to take 3-4 hours and ended up spending a day:

Already the first step introduced quite some delay: sfinfo does not inform one about extended WAV headers. libsndfile supports it and I was looking for sndfile-info -b but was more quick to write some c-code re-using xjadeo's SMPTE parser and moved on to step two, which surprisingly was much quicker: Using vextract from sodankylä, it took less than a minute until I started to pass frames to an OSC tool. The first test with gocr was a success. I tried with tesseract and ocrad, both of which have a higher setup-cost, require more tuning and even turned out to be less efficient (char-set configuration, processing time). So gocr it is, for good measure I've forked vannotate and in not time I had two text-files: One with audio-, one with video timecode at two AM in the morning.

Step (3) turned out to take most time: I implemented the offset calculation before taking a nap; and spend another two hours to write and debug a perl-script to generate - not an EDL - but an ardour session file. You won't believe how I high I jumped when it loaded the first session with 100 clips automatically arranged on four tracks!

I justed completed step (4): bounce the tracks and master a preview DVD; quite easy with mencoder, dvdauthor and mkisofs. I've used my trusted dvdmaker script.

The sources are available with the sodankylä project and may end up as Plugins or interoperability tools for open-movie-editor, Contact me if you want to push this project. For what it's worth: I've also prototyped an EDL editor using a AJAX/JSON interface to sodankylä and started to implement having learned from the prototype, but for now I'm back to sound-design. I also need to arrange travel to FOMS 2009, and I received an invitation to join the SLUG club. I'm really looking forward to escape this murky and damp Amsterdam.

· 17.12.2008 19:20 · Robin Gareus

DIY festival

I've been one of the lucky persons to have been at the last weekend. A festival for art and technology hosted at the Dynamo in Zürich. Apart from there amazing collection of Theremins, there were quite some impressive installations, performances and talks.

Under the motto do it yourself together; we've conducted a touch-screen workshop based on frontera and The standards were quite high: One team set up improvised screens using a beamer and two web-cams. While an other team worked with pure-data, MAX/MSP|| and|processing on interaction and design. Communication between the screen and visualization software was done with OSC. We ended up with a virtual Theremin, some touchable flame/interactive flare animations and even improved justpoint software tools with long awaited user-feedback. Really impressive for only an afternoon of work.

It's been one of the best hands-on workshops and even better you had an amazing taste for music and community. I had a great time. Many thanks to the organizers of the festival and anyone involved.

· 15.12.2008 00:26 · Robin Gareus

Wicked Game

I've been too busy the last weeks to keep up with blogging. So here's a few more updates before x-mas. I'm thinking of attending 25c3 and to check out the dokuwiki developer room there. After all kind of Audio/Video coding I think I need a break and write some different languages before heading to FOMS and LCA mid Jan 2009.

I'm following the discussion on oAuth-body signatures which won't be hard to add to liboauth and might also become a requirement for the dokuwiki PubSub plugin; but for the time being I am laying low, lurking on that end.

I've finally improved my knowledge of c-sound - something I've been wanting to do ever since I first heard and learned it at the LAC 2006. - With Wicked in need for a lot of atmospheric sounds I've fired up Algoscore to produce a score and had lots of fun spending hours tweaking csound instruments. For the title song I've used hydrogen and AMSynth; mixing and mastering is due next Tuesday. hang in there.

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· 14.12.2008 23:43 · Robin Gareus



Berlin is slow, very slow but steady… I had two great weeks of creative holiday, visiting friends & collaborative coders; been hanging out online in the Görlitzer park and read «Robinson Crusoe» during never-ending subway trips.

Most of the Prenzlauer Berg has been taken over by pay-wifi providers, not to mention the tourist commerce. Yet I found the Schleussenkrug in the Tiergarten to be a very comfy place for breakfast and reading email in the sun. Since I was mostly offline during my stay I've postponed the dokwiki pubsub and linux_sound_tags projects.

However I've updated liboauth which bumped into 0.3.3 and I'm making progress on the ardour image compositor software - currently patching ardour adding a video-route instead of re-using route-ui. I'm beginning to loosing track of all the projects but I've also added a jack-audio port to freeJ that I'm gonna link to the A/V decoder back-end during the next weeks.

Besides, the whole field-trip exercise was to gain energy for the Hacker Camp at the picnic-conference starting this Friday. Even though it may not sound very relaxing, it worked out very well. Breaking a few habits does magic from time to time as does Berlin.

I had an unforgettable weekend trip to Rostock - my first time at the ost-see, and I've re-visited the Beelitz Heilstädten where we shot marzipan movie three years ago. The place is still stunning: roof-top forests, gymnasium ruins and never ending tunnels. Arjan has taken a few pictures of me there featuring my new Berlin short-hair cut.

· 06.10.2008 13:38 · Robin Gareus
start.txt · Last modified: 13.11.2022 18:23 by rgareus