Taglinux

HP Printer in Ubuntu 14.04

I’ve installed HP printers on a laptop prior… though by “install”, I mean that I plugged a printer in and it just worked. Ubuntu uses the open source HPLIP drivers.

This wasn’t the case for my home computer.

I was recently gifted a HP LaserJet P1005 and although it popped up in the printer list, I was unable to print to it. Ubuntu told me the print jobs were sent, but nothing comes out. Some online searching revealed the solution(s).

First, I found this article, which has a commandline sample that ensures my hp-setup command would work.

sudo apt-get install hplip-dbg hplip-gui

Apparently, this is related to a broken printer driver, which can be fixed with the following command.

sudo hp-setup

This install didn’t initially work for me, as I was receiving the following error.

… hplip-3.15.2-plugin.run file does not match its checksum. File may have been corrupted or altered.

To fix this, I followed these instructions and went to the HPLIP website and grabbed the two corresponding files (.run and .asc). Now, when running the hp-setup wizard, it asks if I want to download drivers or use local files.  Go with the local option and browse to the path of the files you just downloaded.

That was it.  Internet saves the day yet again.

Recording w/ Sound Blaster Audigy in Ubuntu 15

soundblaster_Audigy2_ZS

These images might help you if you’re trying to get recording to work. The answers are out there, but this puts them together in a nice visual package.

Turn up the Mic AND Analog Mix!

soundblaster_Audigy_alsamixer_soundRecord_fix

Unity Game Editor on Linux

Experimental build of Unity game editor is available for Linux.  Just installed it and looks good, so far.

Grab the experimental build yourself and give it a whirl.

unityOnLinux

 

 

Razer DeathAdder

Configuring my mouse on Linux hasn’t been too important as I tend to be using my mouse on a desktop computer. More desk space means more elbowroom to move around, so I don’t do anything fancy with the mouse “acceleration”.

However, working on a laptop changes this because I’m typically working with limited space. To maximize efficiency, slow movements should be more accurate, easing (for example) the selection of text. Quick movements can jump the cursor to the other side of the screen without having to pull the mouse off the mousepad.

Another thing I had to accommodate for (while using a laptop) is that I usually have different devices plugged in, at different times. This means that the device ID changes, depending what is plugged in. This makes it a pain in the arse to automate.

This line lists the devices and then greps the lines to find the ID of the Razer Mouse.

razer_mouse_id=$(xinput | grep -m 1 "Razer Razer DeathAdder 2013" | awk {'print substr($7,4,2)'})

These lines then use the newly created $razer_mouse_id variable and sets up my deceleration settings. “Constant Deceleration” sets the overall speed (fastest speed), while “Velocity Scaling” sets the polling speed, how often we check (poll) the position of the mouse. The “Adaptive Deceleration” then determines just how much we effect the sensitivity of the mouse down when it’s moving… slowly (if I’m understanding this correctly).

In any case, these are the settings that are working for me… for now.

xinput set-button-map $razer_mouse_id 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 2

xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 1
xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Adaptive Deceleration" 2
xinput --set-prop $razer_mouse_id "Device Accel Velocity Scaling" .5

Blender – Day 6

Setting up a new Linux build w/ Ubuntu 14.04.

Have you tried it yet? Imagine booting from a USB stick and being able to test drive Linux. Without even having to install Ubuntu Linux, I was able to connect to my local library’s WiFi, read my Gmail and use my Wacom tablet. I then double-clicked the “Install Ubuntu” icon that was sitting on my desktop and let the installer run in the background…   as I continued to browse the internet.  If you haven’t yet, I recommend trying it.

I’m not a big fan of the Unity user interface, which is the default UI for recent versions of Ubuntu. However, installing Gnome Classic was stupid easy *clicks button*. This style of UI is more comfortable for most users.

Next, I’m testing out the graphics card using the Sintel character rig in Blender.  All looks good, and we’re mobile!

Oh yeah… isn’t this supposed to be about Blender?

To finish off the day, I felt I should actually create something…  anything. Why not follow a geeky trend on 3/14 and pay tribute to Pi?  I followed this tutorial and was able to being in an SVG file to extrude in to a 3D shape.  Not incredibly impressive, but for those that are spooked out about 3D softwares…   well, I say, “Ave no fear!  Iz EZ!

piBlender

Vim Colors

First thing to do if I’m going to use Vim as my default text editor, is to get the colors looking good.

First, I’ve downloaed a theme (for example distinguished.vim) and placed it in my newly created ~/.vim/colors folder.

Next, I created a ~/.vimrc file and entered the following contents:

syntax on
colorscheme distinguished
set t_Co=256

Finally, if I type in tput colors into a terminal window, it tells me I have 8 colors. Even though my themes still appear to work in Vim, an error gets reported upon opening Vim.

To fix this error, I’ve edited my ~/.bashrc file and entered the following line.

export TERM=xterm-256color

Now tput colors reports 256 colors and Vim no longer reports an error when automatically loading my distinguished.vim file.

For those looking for a new Vim color theme, here’s a good place to look and another list of 10 good ones via VimNinjas.

I must admit though… colors still seem to be a bit wacky for me, as they don’t match the theme examples listed on the web page.

Vim – lighting fast text editor

It sounds like “lightning fast” is just another typical headline for viral Facebook post, which automatically makes me feel as if I’m not giving Vim enough credit.

I typically use basic text when writing on my pc, and I sometimes create light code or html. Since I originally used a Windows machine, I have used Notepad, Context, Notepad++, etc. After moving to Linux, I was usually operating in gedit. It wasn’t until recently till I started shopping for another solution. Since we’re talking about BASIC TEXT, I felt it was pretty critical to choose an open source tool. I don’t like the idea of using a closed source tool in order to help me speak.

I have spent a bit of time looking, testing and reading comment and I think I’ve got a pretty good hold on the text editor options out there. The same names pop up pretty frequently… though one editor has always stood out as being a legend in this area, though it does not have a GUI. Vi or Vim.

I’m a big fan of not having to jump onto the mouse constantly, especially after realizing the RSI that the mouse was causing me.

What is Vim? Alan Thomas does a great job of introducing Vim and looks at it through the lens of “sentences”, comparing the keystrokes to nouns, verbs, etc. He also includes some great example uses.

So now the learning begins. This experience is much like when I had to force myself to touch type. I was slower at typing for a few days, but after 3 days of practice, I was almost twice as fast of a typist as I was before I touch-typed. Initial investment is pretty low compared to the benefits!

First step was to force myself to get comfortable in using hjkl in order to navigate around the page. The first 3 levels of VIM Adventure helped with that.

Other Vim Resources

Learn Vim Progressively

Cheat Sheets
Vim common actions in catagories
Vim Quck Reference Card (PDF)
Best of Vim Tips

Like a Pro
Vim teaser quickly demonstrating some editing magic.
Ben Orenstein’s expert level vim talk (40 minutes) shows how deep you can get.
vimcasts.org/episodes/archive

Why learn Vim?
Best way to master
Is it worth the effort?
7 reasons Vim is your text editor

More Interactive Ways To Learn
OpenVim’s tutorial
Sitting at a Linux computer and want muscle memory to assist your text editing? As Alan reminds us, just type this in a terminal window:
vimtutor

Connecting Ubuntu to Windows Network Share

Recently started sharing some files on a Windows 7 computer using Shares. Turned off the wizards and other dummified options and used an Administrator group in order to assign my local Windows account permissions to access the Share remotely. This wasn’t working, and it turns out, I needed to add the account name itself and could not use a permissions group. This worked… but, for some unknown reason, the share was no longer accessible after a reboot.

Next issue I had was producing a listing error when trying to use Nautilus to see the files on the share. I then tried using some terminal commands but was receiving a “Mount.cifs cannot allocate memory mounting Windows share” message. These Windows registry edits might have solved the issue I was having… or perhaps it was the samba updates that helped?

Spring Engine : Open Source RTS Game

Just played some Planetary Annihilation and it’s pretty…  but when it comes to an RTS, I’m looking for smart controls…   and that pretty game didn’t cut it.

If you haven’t heard of Spring Engine, I recommend watching this feature video and you’ll start to see what we’re talking about when we say “smart controls”.

 

 

Was inspired but some recorded matches of Spring RTS, an open source real-time strategy game, so I recorded a big match that I played versus an AI opponent.  Wanna play?  Well Spring is free, so go download it (or just grab it from the Ubuntu Software Centre).

I will be performing some screen captures on Linux in the future (video tutorials of a 3D animation package), so I wanted to find optimal methods for recording 3D at full HD (1080p).

Settings for recordMyDesktop on Ubuntu 12:10 using Gnome 3:
Video Quality 100
Frames Per Second 30
Encode on Fly: OFF
Zero Compression: ON
Quick Subsampling: OFF
Full shots at very frame: ON

Game was running at 10x speed, and I then doubled it again in my video editor, OpenShot (open source video editor).

DJ mix is by meshdiggity on SoundCloud.

*note:  Remember to switch to HD 1080p!  Make those little dots nice and crisp.

Midnight w/ Ubuntu


Setting up an old machine that I recently pulled out of storage (2 years in Vancouver!?  Poor little box).

Step one is to update the Ubuntu theme to Elegant…  or should I stick with Equinox w/ squared Dawn borders? Well, that’s your choice. Here’s some very simple instructions for both of them.  I’d recommend Equinox first, as Elegant has a one-button solution which can activate or restore previous settings.  Just tested it and it works just fine.

Elegant: http://www.techdrivein.com/2010/09/elegant-gnome-theme-pack-for-ubuntu-is.html

Equinox: http://www.webupd8.org/2010/06/equinox-gets-its-own-ubuntu-ppa-both.html

*note: I personally experienced some issues in Firefox, when using the dark themes (it was too bright!!), so I corrected this (for the most part), by installing the Stylish add-on and then customizing my own “Global Midnight Theme”. Mwuahahahaaa!

Oh yeah, and you might need to create a “Stylish” theme to correct the color of the now greyed font in input text boxes in Firefox.

Video Stabilization in Linux

The left is the unstabilized video.  Right right was stabilized using the vid.stab plug-ins in transcode.

I use a few different processes for getting ride of the camera jitter from when hand-held shots, but I needed quicker methods for when I have a ton of videos to process.

I found that vid.stab has some plug-ins for transcode that are working great for me.  I followed the instructions here and then used the commands below to encode my videos.  Other than some of the quick jumps in the stabilized videos, the results are great (and fast). I’m noticing the jumps occur when objects in the background are being revealed, so I’ll have to fiddle with this in the future to see how I can clean these up.
transcode -J stabilize=shakiness=8:show=1,preview -i mvi_3816.mov -y null,null -o dummy

transcode -J transform=smoothing=60 -i mvi_3816.mov -y xvid -o mvi_3816_stable.avi

MyPaint – Free and Under 10MB

Don’t be thinking that this application is a toy because… well.. it is a toy, but a very powerful one.
Download MyPaint (8.5MB) now, for Windows, Linux and Mac.

Linux Shell Prompt Customized

Yes, I know it is not the most exciting thing in the world, but the simplest things are often the most meaningful, and for those of us who grew up before windows, or for those n00bs who are brave enough to dare travel the land of the command line, here’s a tip for you.  (That was all in one sentence… and it felt good)

You can customize your prompt in order to make it more effective.  My default prompt was about half a line long and didn’t really contain much useful information to me, so I changed it, including added a little color. Me? I like to see the time and my current directory, so that’s what I added using the instructions here, and even fancier color management instructions here. Simply put, I edited my .bashrc file’s prompt entry to the following. If you haven’t done this kind of edit before, first make a backup copy file.

PS1="\e[0;35m[\t]\e[m\w$ "

*UPDATE*

Ok, the above line looks pretty, but the text wrapping gets funked up. You have to put escaped opening and closing square brackets around the color code chunks.  The following revised line works great.

PS1="\[\e[0;35m\][\t]\[\e[m\]\w$ "

And here’s the before and after.

Ahhh…   almost zen.

Jahshaka 3.0

*UPDATE Feb 8th * It seems that there’s more life on the website. They have stated that the product has been delayed to make sure everything is working properly.  Actually, they are calling it a “relaunch”. We shall see!

*UPDATE Feb 1st*  The counters on Jahshaka.com are all at 0 / 0 / 0, yet no software release is to be found. There are quite a few disappointed potential users in the Facebook community, as well as some angry voices in other forums. It has not even been 24 hours yet, and people are already screaming, “SCAM!“.  Well, I hope things change in the next few hours, otherwise there might be some people out there looking for their donations to be returned. Best case scenario is that this is just a PR fail.

——————————

Previously known as Cinefx (name change probably due to the effects magazine with the same name), Jahshaka 3.0 is expected out in less than 1 week. I’m truly excited to see what this looks like. A free professional level editor/compositor for Linux?

Take a look at these screenshots.

 

Detach Process from Terminal Window

Running Ubuntu Linux and am starting an application process from my terminal window. The problem is, that window is then basically locked, not allowing me to execute more commands while the spawned application is running. To fix this, I found this command, where I basically add a & to the end of the line.
i.e.

~/tools/shell/mycommand &

This allows me to execute the command and gives me back access to the command prompt to execute more commands.

So the next issue I have is, if I close that terminal window, all processes that were spawned from that window are instantly killed. No warnings, pleases or thank-yous. That’s scary for those of us that don’t save often. Ah, but there are more solutions. After executing the command, as shown above, simple execute the following command, and it will separate spawned processes from that terminal window.

disown

Or, simpler yet, why not just kick the application off from in an independent process, right from the beginning, with this util-linux command.

setsid ~/tools/shell/mycommand

Icons on Ubuntu Menus

I was wondering where the pretty little icons were for my menus while using Inkscape.

This shell command (from UbuntuForums.org)  brought them back.

gconftool-2 --type bool --set /desktop/gnome/interface/menus_have_icons true

From WordPress to Drupal?

WordPress WordPress WordPress…  is all I’ve been thinking about for a few years now. BUT, now I’m learning how much of a pain in the @ss it is (for me) to customize the look of my site. Last night I was up till 3am researching Drupal.  Looking at this list of site created on Drupal…  it sounds like a rabbit hole that I think I want to jump into, starting with setting up a LAMP server at home, then heading over to this tutorial, while keeping Acquia in mind for potential support.

Linux (Ubuntu) Notes

Houdini

Installing Houdini 10 on Ubuntu 9.04 was pretty simple. Extract the TAR file and run the installer with
sudo houdini.install
The options let you decide which license server to install, as well as whether or not to create the start menus for you.

Once Houdini is running have to remember to disable the Alt hotkey in the Window Manager control panel, otherwise your Alt+clicks will not work. This can also be completed with the Compiz Settings Manager in 12.10, but it needs to be installed first.

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Shake 4.1 (64 bit)

Here’s the stripped down simple instructions for installing Shake 4.1 on Linux, specifically, tried this on Ubuntu 10.10. More details can be found here.
mkdir -p /usr/nreal
cat shake-linux-v4.00.0607.tgz | (cd /usr/nreal; tar zxvf -)
ln -s /usr/nreal/shake-v4.00.0607 /usr/nreal/shake2

install getlibs from…
http://frozenfox.freehostia.com/cappy/

sudo getlibs -32 libXext.so.6
sudo apt-get install csh

Besides the libX11.so.6.2.0 => libX11.so.6, you will also need libXi.so.6 => libXi.so.6.0.0. You can get this from the libxi6_1.2.1-2ubuntu1_i386.deb package. Details here.
/usr/nreal/shake2/bin/shake

Keyboard & Mouse Setup

After a reboot and test of the new key, I remapped my mouse buttons with some help here.

I first use “xinput list” to get the name of the device.

I next use “xev” to find out what my mouses Middle and Thumb button positions were (2 & 9). In the command below, positions 2 & 9 have a value of 2, which is equal to my middle mouse button. Yup, I want two middle mouse buttons, so I can alternate when I feel like it.
xinput set-button-map "Evoluent Vertical Mouse 2" 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2

And for my IntelliMouse Optical (best mouse EVAH!!)
xinput set-button-map "Microsoft Microsoft 5-Button Mouse with IntelliEye(TM)" 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 2
To save my wrists from tension, I’m lowering the mouse speed.
xinput -set-prop "Microsoft Microsoft 5-Button Mouse with IntelliEye(TM)" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 1.5

Trackball settings for left and right-handed use. Hmmm… a shell script file for switching hands would be even better…
xinput -set-prop "Logitech USB Trackball" "Device Accel Constant Deceleration" 1.5
xinput set-button-map "Logitech USB Trackball" 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2 1

Joystick / Gamepad

Found this link which contains info on how to install Microsoft SideWinder digital joysticks and gamepads (along with many others.
sudo modprobe sidewinder

Microsoft xbox controller then the command is

sudo modprobe xpad
then
jscalibrator

Skype

Next step… getting Skype to work properly. I can use my microphone, but noticed that Skype isn’t receiving any input. I’m hearing that I should first install Pulse Audio.

Hmmm… so now I can still record (luckily) but not in Skype. Gah! K, now for Skype’s Linux sound FAQ.

More specifically, I”m going to try this thread that talks about Skype V2 and PulseAudio support (the solution seems to be downgrading..

Wacom Intuos4 drawing tablet

Lastly (I hope) I needed to get my new Wacom Intuos4 tablet working. The Wacom drivers built in to the 9.04 build work with all devices, prior to the Intuos4. Luckily, I didn’t have to run through the full install of the latest drivers supplied at the Linux Wacom Project. I only needed to compile some of the files and replace existing ones. This info was very helpful in getting everything working. Specifically I used the “animone” post to get the Wacom pen working. However, I have not yet setup the pad.

Running a dual monitor setup, I wanted to restrict the tablet stylus to the left screen. According to this thread (thx Ben Simmons), I had to do a matrix transform. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any math to get it to restrict it to the primary monitor.

xinput set-prop "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" --type=float "Coordinate Transformation Matrix" 0.5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1

or, if you want to use your Wacom on the right monitor:

xinput set-prop "Wacom Intuos4 6x9 stylus" --type=float "Coordinate Transformation Matrix" 0.5 0 0.5 0 1 0 0 0 1

You can even get a little creative by having the eraser control one monitor and the stylus controls the other. Just use “Wacom Intuos4 6×9 eraser” instead.

Firefox

First, gotta get the middle-mouse scroll enabled so I can casually slide down the pages. You might have to first disable the auto lookup URL thingy. While lookin around also found out about the middle-mouse paste. Nummy : middlemouse.paste

Synergy – Control the Desktop of Two Computers.

To install it I just ran apt-get synergy to install it. I then used these instructions to setup and run the server.

Simon – Simple Speech Recognition

Hmm, judging by this demo, it doesn’t look like it’s really “speech recognition”, but “voice commands”… ? Will have to look into further.

Plastic Animation Paper

Trying to get Plastic Animation Paper working on linux is going to be a bit tricky. I can see that already. There are minor issues with the Wacom tablet, but much larger issues with the sound drivers. Also, noted that with 9.04, PAP couldn’t find the libstdc++5 libraries, but I got the package here and all is good.

So, with the sound stuff, it appears that I’m not the only one having issues.

I think I’ll just stick with Pencil for now at is suits my animation needs… on Linux. Just came across this MyPaint app too.

USB Network Card (DLink DWA-130 v B1)

Used this link in order to download the necessary ndiswrapper packages from another computer that had internet.

DLink had the drivers on their website, including 64 bit versions.

Then made sure to blacklist the built-in drivers that might conflict, using this link, and this one.

echo -e "blacklist bcm43xx\nblacklist b43\nblacklist b43legacy\nblacklist ssb" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
blacklist rt2400
blacklist rt2570

Not sure if I needed this, but I put the below lines in, based on this thread.
sudo gedit /etc/NetworkManager/nm-system-settings.conf
under [ifupdown], change managed=true

Copy CD/DVD

Fire you must unmount the drive that you plan to copy, i.e. :

sudo umount /dev/sr0
next you can use readom to make an iso image of the drive.

readom dev=/dev/sr0 f=~/Desktop/myImage.iso

Shared Network Folders

When right-clicking a folder on the server machine and trying to share it, it will automatically ask you if you want to install the services for sharing. Do it!

Next, you will need to install smbfs on the client in order to mount to this new share.
sudo apt-get install smbfs
Finally, we will need to create a folder then mount to this newly created folder.
mkdir ~/othertunes

sudo smbmount //192.168.1.14/music ~/othertunes -o username=bill,password=nooneknows,uid=1000,mask=000
So that both machines have the same relative references, I can make a symbolic link. For example, on the server machine I would type the following command.
ln -s ~/music ~/othermusic
This thread seems to be a good location for tips on mounting shares and securities.

Zipped Files – Staying Compatible with Windows Systems

sudo apt-get install p7zip

Compiz

Compiz is installed by default in 10.10, but you have to activate the extra plugins in order to get the sphere of awesomeness.
sudo apt-get install compiz-fusion-plugins-extra
For Ubuntu 12.10 (specifically to disable the Alt-Click window movements) I installed the compiz settings manager.
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

terminal shell cheat sheets

http://www.pixelbeat.org/cmdline.html
http://files.fosswire.com/2007/08/fwunixref.pdf

Voice Recognition in Linux

I’ve been using voice recognition, on and off, for over a year now. It has advanced way beyond what I would have dreamed. I mentioned it to my mother and she said, “Yeah, that’s great to hear. It’ll put me out of a job.”

I was sorry to hear that, but it sounds like we ALL could save our typing fingers from overuse. It also helps me practice at speaking clearly, as it doesn’t like when you mumble.

VoxForge was set up to collect transcribed speech for use with Free and Open Source Speech Recognition Engines (on Linux, Windows and Mac).

We will make available all submitted audio files under the GPL license, and then ‘compile’ them into acoustic models for use with Open Source speech recognition engines such as Sphinx, ISIP, Julius and HTK (note: HTK has distribution restrictions).

I’d be very disappointed in myself if I didn’t donate my time to this.

Wikipedia has a nice list of other Voice Recognition projects for Linux.

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