Monday, May 08, 2006

Minding It - Part 2

I am determined to make this work. This meaning Zoneminder ( I had it working, sort of, on my VMWare Server-ed Mandriva 2006. But even though it ran, there were numerous errors about shmget and shared memory. Zoneminder consists of several applications, with some controlling others that do specific tasks and each of them exchanging information. My guess is that some information exchange is happening through shared memory: program A loads up stuff into memory and then passes a pointer to program B that does something to that stuff (although Inter-process communication could be involved too). I can see why the author does it. Multiple instances of program can load the same kind of stuff based on different configurations while program B doesn't care about where the stuff came from... it'll take it and process it. Sorta like program A makes batter and program B cut the batter into square shapes to be made into cookies.
Ok, off the food and onto business. My guess is that I am facing problem with shared memory because I am running it on a VM, VMWare Server Beta to be exact. So the next option would be to run on a real physical memory. (actually, the next option would be to it run on something similar like VMWare Workstation, which I-Will-Do-Soon(R)). After the couple of installs I've done, I think it is safe enough to try it on my main machine at home because I don't use apache or MySQL extensively there and the dependent libraries won't probably mess up my main apps there. I am severely tempted to use an older version of a Zoneminder (zm) rpm to weed out dependencies. This is faster than the 'configure-->find out missing lib file --> find rpm for lib file --> get and install lib file --> configure' treadmill. But I've decided to take the long way just in to find out what libraries are actually needed if I was any other person doing this on any other distribution. Experiencing this as any other guy is important for the overall user experience. I am not even going to install the rpm for the perl serial and x10 stuff which is not even on the usual Mandriva repositories to see whether zm really needs it.
I already know from previous experiences that the latest version 1.22.1 complies fast and less of a hassle from the previous version I was using. Somehow, the mysterious "unable to create executables" error had magically disappeared. And I found the correct manual this time for this version.
Apparently they had already fixed some of my previous rants.
My apologies to developers. No bizarre config program and defaults being set at compile. Thank you.

To cut a long story short, compile went ok and everything went exactly like it did previously.. that is it broke in the same place. Same shared memory problem. A glance through the sources did no good. The forum has someone one with the same problem and it was full of debug messages. Out of desperation, I started trying all sorts of things. Like I always tell people who have problems with computers and don't know what to do: "This is not a nuclear bomb. Push all the buttons." Changing the configuration somehow yielded a better error message. I told it to that the image fed to it were 8-bit grayscale (liar) instead of the other only option 24-bit color. I think the image I was sending was 8/16-bit color. But it had only two options. Now the error message was something like "Image captured was of wrong size, height, width or color". Image captured! It got something. Hey, it may be a Celocanth but it's still a fish. Maybe if I set the camera to 8-bit grayscale, it'll capture it correctly! Great! Problem is.. I can't remember the password for the camera. No time to do a reset and sacrifice a lamb or whatever it is I need to do to reset the password. Got to pay the bills. Later.

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