Dec 012009
 

Als je alleen FTA zenders (Nederland 1, 2 en 3 en regionale zenders) via de ether (Digitenne) wilt ontvangen, is televisie kijken en opnemen met Ubuntu heel eenvoudig. Hiervoor heb je nodig:

Bijna overal in Nederland is er dekking. Afhankelijk van je woonplaats en -situatie kan het nodig zijn om een buitenantenne te gebruiken. Ik heb bijvoorbeeld op zolder net voldoende signaal, maar op andere plaatsen in mijn huis niet. Ik heb een USB-verlengkabel gebruikt om de antenne op een gunstige plaats te zetten.

Zelfs op mijn Asus Eee PC 701 werkt het goed. De beeldkwaliteit is aardig, maar niet zo goed als via de satelliet.

Digitenne

 Posted by at 18:56  Tagged with:
Nov 142009
 

I tried the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (Karmic Koala 9.10 version) on my desktop by installing the meta package ubuntu-netbook-remix and by adding the Go Home and Window Picker applets to the upper panel. Because the Desktop Switcher application has been dropped from the Karmic Koala release, I was searching for a documented way to remove the netbook remix. I couldn’t find one, so I determined on another desktop which packages are being installed and came up with the following:

  • Remove the Go Home and Window Picker applets
  • Using System | Preferences | Startup Applications disable and remove:
    • Maximus Windows Management
    • Netbook Launcher
  • Issue the following commands in the terminal:
    • sudo apt-get remove go-home-applet libclutk-0.2-0 libfakekey0 liblauncher-0.1-0 libnetbook-launcher-0 maximus netbook-launcher ubuntu-netbook-remix-default-settings webfav window-picker-applet ubuntu-netbook-remix
    • sudo apt-get remove cheese (if you hadn’t Cheese installed before)
    • sudo apt-get autoremove
  • Reboot

If you know a simpler way, please let me know.

 Posted by at 19:14  Tagged with:
Nov 102009
 

Based on the installation instructions of the previous version here a how-to guide to install the desktop version of Ubuntu Karmic Koala (version 9.10) on an Eee PC. This guide has been tested using an Eee PC 701 and will take one or two hours to execute (depending on your download speed and the hardware used).

Starting points

  1. The (smaller) SSD will be erased (backup important data!)
  2. Ubuntu will be installed without customizations (‘Vanilla’) and without swap space
  3. You have some experience using the CLI (Terminal)
  4. An USB flash memory stick of at least 1 GB is available

Instructions

The first four steps can be executed on a desktop PC running Microsoft Windows too. Instead of UNetbootin it is possible to use the new Ubuntu USB Startup Disk Creator too (System | Administration | USB Startup Disk Creator).

  1. Download the desktop version of Ubuntu here
  2. Download UNetbootin here
  3. Insert the USB flash memory stick into your desktop PC
  4. Start UNetbootin
    • Select ‘Disk Image’ and select the downloaded .iso file
    • Select the inserted USB flash memory stick and press ‘Ok’
  5. Remove all removable media from the Eee PC and insert the prepared USB flash memory stick
  6. Turn the Eee PC on
    • Press Esc soon after startup
    • Select USB Flash Memory or Disk and press enter
    • Select ‘Default’ (or wait a moment)
    • Ubuntu Live should startup
  7. Check if everything works (wireless, sound, etc)
  8. Select System | Preferences | Appearance, Visual Effects -> None
    • Press the ‘Close’ button below
    • By pressing Alt + left mouse you can drag larger windows using the mouse pad now
  9. Start the installation wizard by double clicking the install icon and follow its steps
    • I choose my own keyboard layout: ‘USA – International (AltGr dead keys)’
  10. At the step ‘Prepare disk space’:
    • Select ‘Specify partitions manually (advanced)’ and press ‘Forward’
    • Take a good look at what drive you want to install Ubuntu (all data will be erased!)
      • You probably want to install on the smaller SSD, because it is the fastest
    • Delete all partitions from the chosen drive (click on each partition and press ‘Delete’)
    • Select ‘free space’ and press ‘Add…’
    • Choose ‘Ext3 journaling file system’ as ‘Use as:’ (I don’t recommend using Ext4)
    • Choose ‘/’ as ‘Mount Point’
    • Check ‘Format?’
    • Press ‘Forward’
    • Confirm the message that no swap has been selected by pressing ‘Continue’
  11. Continue the wizard, the installation will take about 25 minutes
  12. Press ‘Reboot Now’ and remove the USB flash memory stick when asked

Karmic Koala is installed and should work now.

Tweaks

The following steps are to improve some things and to setup others. Skip what you don’t need/want.

  1. Open the terminal and run this command:
    • gconftool-2 –set /apps/compiz/plugins/move/allscreens/options/constrain_y –type bool false
    • By pressing Alt + left mouse you can drag larger windows using the mouse pad now
  2. Setup wireless internet:
    • Click the signal indicator in the upper task bar
    • Select your network of preference
    • Enter the network password if required
  3. Limit the number of writes to the SSD this way (sudo gedit /etc/fstab)
  4. Disable login sound:
    • Open the terminal and run this command:
    • gconftool-2 –set /desktop/gnome/sound/event_sounds –type bool false
  5. Select System | Administration | Synaptic Package Manager, then Settings | Preferences | Files
    • Select ‘Delete downloaded packages after installation’
    • Set ‘Delete History files older than 0 days’
    • Press ‘Ok’
  6. Select System | Administration | Time and Date
    • Press the keys symbol and enter your password if asked
    • Set ‘Configuration’ to ‘Keep Synchronized’
    • Press ‘Install NTP support’
    • Select one or more servers near your location
  7. Right click on the date/time in the upper task bar and select ‘Preferences’
    • General | 24 hour format
    • Location | Add, enter a location name near to you
    • Weather | C & km/h
  8. I installed the following applications:
  9. Localized spell-checker: sudo apt-get install aspell-<language> (thanks Satyamo)
  10. Localize OpenOffice (thanks Satyamo):
    • Go here
    • Search for your language
    • Press ‘Get it!’ and save the file
    • Right click on the saved file
    • Select ‘Open with Other Application’
    • Select ‘OpenOffice.org Word Processor’
    • Follow the dialog
  11. I changed the following Firefox settings:
    • View | Toolbars | Bookmarks Toolbar -> Uncheck
    • View | Status Bar -> Uncheck
    • Edit | Preferences | Advanced | Network | Offline Storage ->Use up to 0 MB
    • Type ‘about:config’ in the addres bar
      • Press ‘I’ll will be carefull, I promise!’
      • Set ‘browser.urlbar.clickSelectsAll’ to ‘true’ by double clicking
    • Tool | Add-ons, search ‘Firebug’, click ‘Add to Firefox…’, etc
  12. Start Pidgin automatically (or Empathy)
  13. Default detailed file lists: Open a file browser, Edit | Preferences, View new folders using -> List View
  14. Default subtitles: Move Player | Edit | Preferences, Text Subtitles | Automatically Load … -> Check

Performance

Startup until login prompt: about 35 seconds (Intrepid: 65 sec; Jaunty: 45 sec)
Login until desktop: about 25 seconds (Intrepid: 30 sec; Jaunty: 25 sec)
Shutdown: about 7 seconds (Intrepid: 15 sec; Jaunty: 15 sec)
Used space after all updates: about 2.2 GiB (df -h) (Intrepid: 2.6 GiB; Jaunty: 2.2 GiB)

Desktop

After some shuffling around, my desktop looks like this:
Asus Eee PC Ubuntu Karmic Koala desktop
Basically the bottom panel has been removed and most of its items have been moved to the top panel.

Function keys

F1 Zzz Works
F2 Wireless Works
F3 Contrast- Works
F4 Contrast+ Works
F5 Externe monitor ?
F6 Task manager ?
F7 Mute Works
F8 Volume- Works
F9 Volume+ Works

Other functions

Suspend on lid close Works
Video/sound Works
Microphone Works
Webcam Works
Bluetooth (Sitecom CN-516) Works

Comments, corrections and additions are as always very welcome!

 Posted by at 12:27  Tagged with:
Aug 282009
 

Recently I published the One-Time Password WordPress plugin to be able to login more safely into my weblog to write my travel stories in internet cafés. I wanted something similar to access my e-mail. I considered using my weblog URL as OpenID, but most e-mail providers support OpenID only as provider, not as consumer (meaning that you cannot login with an OpenID). But suddenly I thought why not access my e-mail directly from my WordPress dashboard using a pre-stored password? This is exactly what the Mini Mail Dashboard Widget plugin offers, with the option to receive SMS messages when new e-mail messages arrive (using the services of VoipBuster or one of its clones).

Install now

Mini Mail Dashboard Widget

 Posted by at 14:47  Tagged with:
Aug 092009
 

For various reasons it is sometimes handy to have short URLs to my posts. After reading this post and some surfing around I selected Cli.gs as short URL service.

I couldn’t find a simple WordPress plugin to create and display Cli.gs short URLs, so I wrote Cli.gs and Tweet. As the name suggests this plugin can send a customizable Twitter message containing the created short URL too. This plugin can also inserts code into the page header for short url auto-discovery.

There is no setup required if you only want to automatically create short URLs when saving posts and display them above your posts. If you want to send Twitter messages, you just have to enter your Twitter user name and password. The appearance can be modified by some settings and/or by modifying a style sheet.

cligs-tweet-screenshot-1

This plugin requires PHP 4.3.0 only.

 Posted by at 18:02  Tagged with:
Jul 242009
 

Omroep.nlVandaag wilde ik net als Satyamo een video van Uitzendinggemist.nl met Ubuntu Jaunty (versie 9.04) downloaden. Na even zoeken, blijkt het zo te kunnen:

  • Installeer via het menu Applications, Add/Remove… VLC media player
  • Ga naar de pagina met de video, bijvoorbeeld Holland Doc: My second Life
  • Klik rechts op de video en kies Copy om de link te kopiëren
  • Start VLC media player (via het menu Applications, Sound & Video)
  • Kies Media, Convert / Save…
  • Ga naar het tabblad Network
  • Plak de gekopieerde link in Address
  • Kies Convert / Save
  • Vink File aan en Browse naar een file, kies als extensie .mpeg
  • Kies Profile MPEG-4 / DivX
  • Kies Save en heb geduld …
 Posted by at 15:10  Tagged with:
Jul 222009
 

I my attempt to write my travel stories in internet cafés without worries I wrote the Login Virtual Keyboard plugin sometime ago. However, using a virtual keyboard to prevent keylogging is somewhat clumsy and is still not entirely safe.

To improve safety I recently wrote the One-Time Password plugin that enables me to login to my weblog using passwords which are valid for one session only, so my main WordPress password cannot be stolen. The plugin is simple to use, just install it, generate a password list and you can start logging-in using one-time passwords.

For even more safety, I added the possibility to protect administrative actions with one-time passwords in version 2.

Amit Banerjee wrote an excellent guide to setup the plugin.

Update: this plugin is one of the 11 12 13 Vital Tips and Hacks to Protect Your WordPress Admin Area.

Install now

Login

Login

List

List

Generator

Generator

The authorize window for an administrative action

Authorize

 Posted by at 14:29  Tagged with:
Jun 192009
 

I wanted to show the number of visits per post using the statistics recorded by the CyStat plugin. This appeared to be quite simple, because there exists a suitable template function. I just added the following line to my WordPress theme to make it working:

<div><span>< ?php cystats_getPostVisitsByID($post->ID, $showmode=TRUE); ?> Visits</span></div>
 Posted by at 20:28  Tagged with:
May 252009
 
Contour lines

Contour lines

I wanted to make my own contour maps for my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS using data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. I tried using dem2topo, but because I got an out of memory error, I searched an utility to split GeoTIFF files. I found one in the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library (GDAL). In this way I discovered that there is a GDAL utility to make contour maps too. This utility produces shapefiles, but fortunately GPSMapEdit can import shapefiles and export the Polish Map files that cGPSmapper requires.

To make things easier I wrote software to automate the complete process. The software takes a GeoTIFF file as input, splits it into smaller tiles, generates contours, simplifies contours, converts shapefiles into Polish Map files and calls cGPSmapper for the conversion to Garmin format. This makes it very easy to make contour maps, even for inexperienced users. I am sharing this software here under the GNU General Public License.

To make your own contour map, follow these steps:

  1. Download and unzip Tif2mp
  2. Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  3. Download and install FWTools
  4. Download and unzip cGPSmapper
  5. Download and unzip MapSetToolKit
  6. Download and unzip pre-processed data of your choice from CGIAR-CSI or ASTER
  7. Start Tiff2mp (double click the .exe file)
  8. Select the unzipped .tif file
  9. Select the cGPSmapper executable
  10. Select the ‘Convert!’ button and have patience
  11. Create a directory to install the map into (usually C:\Garmin\…)
  12. Start MapSetToolKit (double click the .exe file)
  13. Select ‘Select IMG’ and select the folder where you unzipped the GeoTIFF file
  14. Highlight the .img file and select the ‘Add –>’ button
  15. Select the ‘…’ button after ‘Mapset directory’ and select the install directory
  16. Type a ‘Mapset name’
  17. Type a ‘Family ID’
  18. Select ‘cgpsmapper/cpreview folder’ and select the correct directory
  19. Check ‘Install in MapSource’
  20. Select  the ‘START’ button
  21. Start MapSource, select the new map and transfer it like usual

The generated maps will have five levels, one for minor, intermediate and major contour lines, one with a single POI in the middle of the map with the id of the map and one empty level.

The default settings should be okay for most uses, but it is possible to alter the contour intervals and associated zoom levels. It is also possible to adjust in how many parts the GeoTIFF will be split. The default value is 5×5, which results in 25 tiles of 1° (about 100 km2). Furthermore it is possible to adjust the simplify accuracy of the Ramer-Douglas-Peucker algorithm. The default value will be set to half of the minor contour interval. You can easily check what the result of the simplification process is, by making a map again with the simplification accuracy set to zero and ‘Depth contours’ checked (this results in another colour contour lines). Open one of the maps in GPSMapEdit and add the other one to see the differences.

Tif2mp was written using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 in the C# language. You can download the entire project here.

Comments, corrections and remarks are very welcome, also if you just succeeded making your own map.

Change log

Version 1.6

  • Added multiple select for batch conversion
  • Changed way identifiers are generated

Version 1.5

  • Added option to override/specify tile size
  • Modified zoom levels

Version 1.4

  • Added support for ASTER data

Version 1.3

  • Changed ‘GDAL Tools’ into ‘FWTools’
  • Increased all zoom levels by one

Version 1.2

  • Workaround WPF scroll bug
  • Added ‘Current tile’

Version 1.1

Version 1.0

  • Initial version
 Posted by at 9:17  Tagged with:
May 172009
 
Geonames Turkey

Geonames Turkey

I have been figuring out how to make custom Garmin maps using the names from geonames.org for use on my Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS. This is useful for areas for which no Garmin maps exist.

I couldn’t find any software to convert the data, so I wrote my own software. I am sharing the software here under the GNU General Public License.

To make your own places map, follow these steps:

  1. Download and unzip Gn2mp
  2. Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  3. Download and unzip cGPSmapper (a version that supports indexing)
  4. Download and unzip MapSetToolKit
  5. Download and unzip names of your choice from geonames.org
  6. Start Gn2mp (double click the .exe file)
  7. Select the unzipped geonames text file
  8. Select the cGPSmapper executable
  9. Select the ‘Convert!’ button and have patience
  10. Create a directory to install the map into (usually C:\Garmin\…)
  11. Start MapSetToolKit (double click the .exe file)
  12. Select ‘Select IMG’ and select the folder where you unzipped the geonames text file
  13. Highlight the .img file and select the ‘Add –>’ button
  14. Select the ‘…’ button after ‘Mapset directory’ and select the install directory
  15. Type a ‘Mapset name’
  16. Type a ‘Family ID’ (don’t use product codes, else indexing want work!)
  17. Be sure ‘CodePage’ is 1252
  18. Select ‘cgpsmapper/cpreview folder’ and select the correct directory
  19. Check ‘Install in MapSource’
  20. Select  the ‘START’ button and have some more patience
  21. Start MapSource, select the new map and transfer it like usual

The generated map is a POI only map and has two levels. The bigger places (marked administrative or capital) are on the second level. The default zoom levels should be okay for most cases.

Even if you don’t select the cGPSmapper executable, Gn2mp generates an intermediate .mp file. This file can conveniently be edited by GPSMapEdit. In this way you can add more information to the map (for example VMap0 data) or edit the zoom levels.

The provided file geonames.map translates the feature codes of geonames.org to Garmin object types (see the user manual of cGPSmapper, section 12.3.1). Gn2mp will show unmapped features in the messages box. Unmapped features are by default mapped as miscellaneous points (0×0700) with the feature code appended to the name (separated by a dash). If you add to or correct geonames.map, please let me know, so I can update it. The feature map is originally based on the information here (link broken).

Indexing works, but ‘Find Address’ on my GPS does not (‘Find Cities’ and other functions do work). If you know how to make ‘Find Address’ working, please let me know. This seems to be called global indexing.

Gn2mp was written using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 in the C# language. You can download the project here.

Comments, corrections and remarks are very welcome, also if you just succeeded making your own map.

Change log

Version 1.2

  • Workaround WPF scroll bug

Version 1.1

  • DOS window removed
  • cGPSmapper runs at lower priority
  • GUI layout improved

Version 1.0

  • Initial version
 Posted by at 10:54  Tagged with: