Archive for the 'Linux' Category


[How-to] Draw arrows in GIMP? Yes!

Here is how you can easily draw an arrow using the GIMP software.

1) First install GIMP. (how? damm easy!)

Open Ubuntu Software Center, type “GIMP” and press install. or Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get install gimp

2) Download the arrow plug in (here)

Open a terminal and type

> gksudo nautilus (this opens a filesystem browser in administrator mode!)

Then copy that file (the plugin.scm) to the /usr/share/gimp/2.0/scripts folder.

3) Open GIMP

Draw a bezier curve (shortcut is “b”) and go to Tools and Click on Arrow. It will create an arrow with the bezier curve.


Cool. GIMP rocks.


Gnome and google calendar with notifications!

Mashing GNOME desktop and google calendar is possible, thus making your life easier and probably more organized.

Here’s the easiest method (no downloads)
There’s a software called evolution that is already bundled into Ubuntu, thus you have to simply follow this tutorial.

If your using Ubuntu 10.10 it’s even more clean, since the evolution-webcal application is in a newer location, just type this in the terminal:
> /usr/lib/evolution-webcal/evolution-webcal

This is what you get in the gnome calendar:
– My calendar on the desktop

There are also some other specific projects, that you might be interested in checking.
– (very complete version!)
– (just a prototype, although quite interesting)


Writing Latex with spell check? Go Tex Maker go! (Dictionary in Tex Maker on Ubuntu)

Installing Tex maker

Well, as everything else, installing Tex Maker in Ubuntu is plain easy:

1) Open Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager and type “Tex maker” in the search field.

2) Click on it to install it, and wait.

Now you can enjoy Latex in all its formatting-greatness and stiffness.

Adding Spell Checking to Text Maker

Google for “open office dictionaries” and download the one we want (English – UK).  Extract the zip and place it in a nice place. (Keep your computer organized!)


In Tex Maker: go to Options > Configure > Editor, and browse the file.



How to solve Sony Walkman mp3 player problem when copying files (Ubuntu and player NWZ-B142F)

If you have one of these players (for instance the NWZ-B142F model from sony) you can run into some strange looking problems in Ubuntu. Here’s how I fixed it.

Target problem: error in copying, deleting, renaming (modifying) files stored in the player

“Error splicing file: No space left on device”

What happens: when you move a file to the player (or any of the aforementioned operations) and error will appear saying that you do not have enough free space (insufficient space) left on the player. This is however false, the bug resides in the manner that your system is accessing the player, or what the player lets your system do and see.

A bit of explanation: There’s basically two modes for accessing the removable media (songs, videos) the first is the traditional one, called MSC (Media Storage Class) and the MTP  (Media Transport Protocol mode) which communicates with the device and allows loading and saving of songs. By using this tutorial you will enable yout Sony Walkman to use MSC and will be automatically mounted by your computer, thus allowing drag and drop of songs into the folder.

How to solve it:

A) Install a set of command-line programs called mtp-tools (use whatever program you like better for installing new packages, i.e.: synaptic or Ubuntu software center)

B) Open a terminal in Applications > Accessories > terminal and type the following:

> mtp-detect

It will tell you if the player is correctly detected. And show something like:

MTP-specific device properties:
Friendly name: WALKMAN NWZ-B142F
Synchronization partner: WALKMAN NWZ-B142F
Battery level 98 of 100 (98%)

C) Probably if your situation is like mine, you can copy the contents of the player to the local disk, this will be our backup.

D) Now, go to the terminal and type:

> mtp-format

It will prompt you if you want to continue, type “y” and hit enter.

E) Problem should be solved. Reconnect the device and enjoy copy-paste or drag-drop.

What I did not do (other tutorials that didn’t solve this case):

Many tutorials such as this do some tricks with the mounting procedure (this is what allows your computer to connect new storage devices such as removable USB media).

Others, such as this one, suggest a much more complex problem, that will need recompiling of a kernel module (a bit scary) and should REALLY be last resort.

Appendix) MSC and MTP, what are these things? (from Zolved)

The MSC mode of the USB stands for Media Storage Class mode and the MTP mode is Media Transport Protocol mode.

MSC mode will only work for MP3 files and WMA files without DRM (digital rights management). Essentially, MSC mode looks like a detachable hard drive to the computer. Many car audio players and home stereos that are compatible with MP3 players are expecting an MSC mode MP3 player for hooking up via USB. MSC mode may also support plain old data files.

MTP mode is for MP3 files and WMA files with DRM (digital rights management). These WMA music files with DRM including purchased downloads and (maybe) subscription music tracks require MTP to transfer and update the DRM licenses. MTP mode is required for use with subscription music services such as Yahoo Music Unlimited To Go, Rhapsody To Go, and Napster To Go.


Gmail Voice and Video Chat in Ubuntu

If you’re a huge fan of gmail you don’t even need skype (as long as you can convince people to use gmail as well!), gmail has release the Linux Support for Video Chat, here’s a really simple how-to:

1) Access the google video chat site.

2) Download the correct installer.

Remember to select the correct Operating System and Architecture: 32 or 64 bits (how to find out your architecture in this post)

3) Double Click the .deb file and it will install under Ubuntu Software Center (or package manager)

4) It’s done, login in Gmail. And have fun.

Notice: there’s an icon with a camera next to your gmail-chat user name!


How-to: Find out what is your Ubuntu Version!

Appendix II) Find out what is your Ubuntu Version

1) Choose one of the below methods

A) System > Administration > System Monitor

B) Open a terminal window > type  “more /etc/apt/sources.list | grep Ubuntu”

C) way cooler versions here.

2) Understanding the crazy names!

Sometimes people refer to Ubuntu (and other Linux distributions) by their number-code and other times by code-name, here’s a quick reference list:



How-to: Find out Ubuntu/Linux architecture, 32 or 64 bits?

Appendix I) Find out what is your Ubuntu Architecture (32 or 64 bits)

Open a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type  “uname -m”

This will give you a number, these codes are called CPU-architectures, and can be translated as follows:

i386 or i686 or X86 –  32 bit systems

x86_ 64 – 64 bit systems

(If you want to learn more, just google it)



After some inactive time!

Well everything is back again, a lot of inactivity time, but that’s for the best of reasons:

– finishing up Master thesis, and learning a hell lot about Linux!

Hopefully I’ll continue to post some interesting (and simple) Linux thingies (applications, tutorials, explanations, and so forth) here!

sudo service MovingTowardsLinux restart


Overheat issues on laptops / Measuring CPU temperature in Linux

Now that the Laptop internals are dust-free the core temperature droped about 5ºC~10ºC, which is A LOT. As i suspected to be because of dust inside.

On the cleaning process: I’ve completly cleaned the fan + heatsink. I’ve placed a vacum cleaner in reverse-flux near the heatsink and another small vacum in the other end of the sink (where the cooler is) and with this “trick” I’ve cleaned the majority of the dust inside.

Measuring CPU temperature in Linux:

1) lmSensors – is probably the best acknowledged one. (guides here and here)

(you can then set an applet for gnome called sensors, that will show the temperatures of your cores.)

2)  ACPI Lib is a possibility

3) Ksim – is another one

p.s.: For Windows users I recommend CoreTemp.


Hello (Linux) world!

This blog documents the change of Operating System (OS) from Windows to Linux.

It is not a reality-show but more like an open and honest documentation of the whole process. I’ve been a Windows user for whole my life, but of course I’ve used Linux every now and then (at college, sometimes at home, at the radio) but never regularly nor even kept a running version for more then a couple of months.

This marks my transition to Linux, the intentions of keeping Windows are very low, maybe just as operating-system.-for-my-darn-stupid-soundcard or if needed-to do-something-creepy-that-I-cannot-imagine-right-now.

[As you can see, at exactly the time of this post, I’m using my WinXp with the usual stuff]

Because these blog is all about honesty towards software, I must state imediatly that I’m a fan of Open-Source Software, even running windows I can show you that about 90% o what I use is open source or free and the remaining 10% is licensed through college (Windows, Visual Studio, Enterprise Architect) or bought by my own money (Ableton Live, MOTU’s software, Lite version of Cubase). I’m a programmer and not a huge fan of pirating… not a holy guy of course (theres a couple of stolen bytes here and there!)… just a regular person.

My current open source software list: Blender, LilyPond, Filezilla, Pidgin, GIMP, Inkscape, Open Office, ArgoUML, PotRace, UFRaw, VLC, Gantt Project, Ogre, Mogre, PureData, Open CV, Processing, Notepad++, QFSM, JabRef, Mozilla, Thunderbird, etc…

The free (not open sourced) list includes: Google Chrome, LEd, Cmap, Xvid, infinite numer of VSTs (like dbglitch).


To document the transition of Windows to Linux operating system.

To be honest and post instalation-difficulties, but also what good came out of this.

To show to regular people that there are different perspectives on software, and how they can use that.

Remember: although I am a programmer and I can use stuff a bit more easily, I’m a regular user very (very!) acommodated to Windows workings… I usually prefer non command-line instalations and ready-to-go stuff. I like clean interfaces (another reason to get out of Windows..) and productive software.

Also, because I’m a intense worker on the virtual world (programming, computer music, and so on…) I have very very high demands, if you’re just a regular user… then probably you can suit with just a third of the applications or so! This means I’ll be honest if anything is not up to my expectations

The process…

I’ll be documenting here every now and then. I’m currently developing my thesis proposal , so I cannot go into moving right now. Probably start in January 8… although untill then there’s a lot to post:

1) Analyse your current needs

2) Choose a Linux Distribution

3) Make a plan on how to change everything

Only then, format the actual computer!

The library

Moving Towards Linux…

The documentation of a change process: from Windows to Linux. Targeting daily usage and loads of application instalation.
The purpose is to honestly discuss the possibilities and dis/advantages of Open-Source Operating Systems.


The banner image is a Creative Commons Licensed photograph by izarbeltza. (

Twit away!