How to play your BlurayDisks on ubuntu

After several attempts and a few “ok I just go on using my PS3 to do it” I finally got the solution to play those BlurayDisk on linux (in my case on ubuntu 14.04). Got to thank my buddy negativo17 for the help!

The main trick is to use MakeMKV. The latest release at this moment is v1.9.5 and it’s available on forum. As a first step download both binary and source files from the forum page then run following command on a shell.

$ sudo apt-get remove libaacs0
$ sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config libc6-dev libssl-dev libexpat1-dev libavcodec-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libqt4-dev

In my case I found that the removal of libaacs0 was not enough (probably I messed around a bit in the previous attempts): in case the file /usr/lib/ is still present just delete it manually.

Extract makemkv-bin-1.9.5.tar.gz and makemkv-oss-1.9.5.tar.gz in a temporary directory.

Access makemkv-oss-1.9.5 directory and execute following commands:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

Then access makemkv-bin-1.9.5 and execute following commands:

$ make
$ sudo make install

Now execute following commands:

cd /usr/lib
sudo ln -s
sudo ln -s

Now your VLC can play BD disks (just the movie, not the menu)!!




Python project documentation with Sphinx

This post is an “open post” where I put useful tips & tricks about documentation in Python projects.

Most used inline formatting rules

  • **bold** which render bold
  • *italics* which render italic
  • “inline literal monospace“ which render inline literal monospace
  • `Python <>`_ which render Python



Mobile app development with PhoneGap

PhoneGap by Adobe lets you use HTML5 + CSS3 + JS to build apps once and distribute them over multiple platforms (Apple/iOS, Android, Blackberry, WebOS, Windows, Symbian, Bada). Phonegap supports following features in all major platforms:

  • accelerometer
  • camera
  • geolocation
  • network
  • contacts
  • notification
  • storage
  • media
  • file
  • compass (only on recent ones)

(take a look on their page for a full supported features table)

There are also a bunch of tools and plugins that may come in handy.

Integration with third party (facebook, twitter, outlook, calendars, paypal and so on) can be tricky but necessary to interface services that you need to integrate into your app.

Actual version is 3.3.0: its reference documentation is here while support sections helps you in basic operations.

With PhoneGap you’ll be developing html + css + js webapp using libraries like jQuery and jQuery Mobile or Intel’s AppFramework.

As backend you can use any language/framework to feed your application with fresh data. An example is Yii with a plugin (jAPI) that “convert APIs to JSON”.

PhoneGap seems to be ok for simple and line-straight applications. For more complex application it kinda gets in the way. You can overcome problems writing native code: to use it in your app you must write a PhoneGap plugin. Check out this article too. Couple of hints for iOS and Android.

PhoneGap gives you an handy web service to compile your app for all platforms. This service will ask for you digital certificates and passwords to sign apps… this is not very cool.

PhoneGap give you the “Hydration” option for your app: the binary wrapper will look for new versions of the software on startup letting you to push new builds to your users without going through the standard update mechanism! This is convenient!

You can try out PhoneGap for 1 private app for free: basic plan will cost you 10$/month or 50$/month if you subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloude service.

Useful links


In this post I merged things found in other articles: if you want to read all the original posts check these links:

Dealing with timezones

When your creating an application maybe you end up dealing with timezones… there’s a huge black hole waiting for you there! Just one advice: use an existing, consolidated, tested timezones library!

Check out this funny video from Computerphile with Tom Scott: The Problem with Time & Timezones!


Thanks to @castagna I found this interesting project: ElasticSearch.

It is an Open Source (Apache 2), Distributed, RESTful (alt), Search Engine built on top of Apache Lucene.

I like their motto: “This should be easier and cool, bonsai cool”.

I’ll cover it eventually.

Beginning Android development path

I’m starting to learnin’ about Android development.

….and I need a manual… a book… better if an ebook for my brand new PRS-T1. Not easy to pick one but eventually I choose a Wei-meng Lee manual: “Beginning Android 4 Application Development“. It seems to be one of the best (according to users review of I’ll let you know about it asap.

I found a simple guide in italian too: “Introduzione ad Android“.

Another important piece of my “learning puzzle” is the official android developers guide!!! It seems to be well done.

Then there are a couple of “everyone-can-develop-android-app-without-write-a-single-line-of-code” technique… I’m not completely sure about that but I really need to take a look into those two (livecode and appinventor).

A few other interesting readings: