Category Archives: Free Software

Gnome Yelp is much too slow

If you start GNOME help the first time this takes a lot of time. On my system (1.4 Ghz) I am guessing it needs about 30 seconds (and therefore about 6 times slower than Epiphany) – and you do not get any hint if something is happening. I do not know what they are doing that makes it so damn slow, but my suggestion would be to dump Yelp alltogether and use Epiphany by default. With that decision you get a help faster and also have the full featured browser. Maybe give epiphany a start option like epiphany –help-browser to get in a special mode and thats it. The current status is just unbearable. A help must be available very quick – at best instantly. Everything else does not work at all.

Also I would suggest to minimize the offline help and rather link to the web for uptodate help. Maybe as an option allow people to download the online help as a package. Today it does not make much sense to reduce help to just some official offline help. Like in Ubuntu you get the most help that makes sense in wikis rather than the official documentation.

No offenense to the programmers of Yelp. I just dont know why things are that way – and also I am quicker making a google search and getting an answer than waiting till yelp has started.

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Filed under Browser, Free Software, Technology, Web

Presenting the Epson Perfection V300 PHOTO

I now am using the Epson Perfection V300 PHOTO since tuesday. And it looks and feels really good. Remember that I am using it with Ubuntu 9.10 and iScan application that I downloaded from AVASYS Japan (builds software for EPSON):

Epson Perfection V300 PHOTO Front

Here some more pics as a dia show. These are the first free pictures of this product in the internet!

I have used it mostly for scanning reversal films. You will have to first make a preview, then select one of the film images and then scan in high resolution. 4800 dpi is possible.

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Ordered Epson Perfection V300 Photo

So as I found out that the Epson Perfection V300 Photo who should be good for scanning films and film negatives under Linux it was my choice. And expecting it in the coming week.

I will keep the progress updated and plan to present the first free pictures of a V300 (as Google free license search didnt get me one).

My suggestion not only to Epson is to exlicitly publish free photos of you products under Creative Commons licenses, so that documentations, web sites etc. can work with them!

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Filed under Linux, Technology

Scanning b/w negatives on Linux?

I am in the search of a filmscanner which also works on Linux or at least can save images on a memory chip, so I can import them later.
So far I have seen that the support for Linux seems to be pretty bad. Maybe a normal scanner with transparency unit would be better?

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VirtualBox USB. Sometimes things can be simple.

First of all if you find this post because you want USB to get going on Linux, than you need to know that if you use the open source varian VirtualBox USB – that does not support USB on purpose. Only the closed source version lists USB as a feature. So you have to fetch the version from www.virtualbox.org.

Secondly, there are still issues with USB on VBox in general. But there is a trivial solution for many devices if you use the latest Vbox version >3.1.2:

  • You need to enable the devices by adding a filter in the USB configuration menu. No device without a filter will work and all devices will be grayed out! (And the is a  nice HOWTO and also)

Previously I tried all the funny tricks that you can find on the net. Nothing helped – but nowhere I found this. So I decided to write it down. I did not kow what a USB filter was and assumed that rather than enablig it was meant for disabling USB devices. Lesson learned.

Yet I was not able to enable a Canon PIXMA in that way. Not sure what the cause is. I also still have issues with DVD/CDROM (which I solve by typing “eject” in terminal). But what is nice that a Windows XP on a 64bit Ubuntu 9.10 starts in about 6 seconds inside VirtualBox (unfortunately not my system).

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Compiling Aegisub on Ubuntu 9.10

So thats a mess, ok. I found out that the stable versions require more modern FFMPEG as Ubuntu 9.10 provides. The solution is to use an older package then.

you need to download a version not younger than aegisub-2.1.6-dev-r2740.tar.gz (Revision 2740) from February 18th 2009 from http://www.mahou.org/~verm/aegisub/archives/ and can confirm that this can include newest FFMPEG. For those who still dont know: There is no ffmpeg-dev, but you have to install different libraries -dev packages(most start with libav, I think essential should be: libavformat-dev and libavcode-dev) and also libhunspell-dev (HUNSPELL) for spell checking.

So my recommendation for Ubuntu to date is NOT to use the SVN version. I dont know why the require such new version of FFMPEG. It makes building unnecessary hard in my opinion.

I also installed these packages: ruby1.8-dev (otherwise you get “auto4_ruby.h:48:18: error: ruby.h: No such file or directory“), libperl-dev,…

Then you can enter directory and type

./configure
./make

And if that works ok:

sudo make install

That worked for me. If I missed soemthing ot you have questions pleas comment. And sorry I am not up to package building, yet. If a newer version works I will update this page, also.

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Foresight Linux is dead?

The popularity of Foresight Linux has decreased in the last years, just as I had predicted. And the problems have not stopped. In October the next release was predicted by OgMaciel as being just around the corner. That would have been the end of October or start of November, but not January. The big problems had started when developers started not fixing current bugs of Foresight 1.x but instead focused on the new and great Foresight 2.x which was based on rPath 2.x. In fact it was a real mess. As I had tried it out, things were just worse than ever – and the reviews in the internet and user reaction also got worse. Instead of fixing the users problems one tried to fix this as a marketing problem. That dies not mean that those bunch of Foresight folks are not great people as humans or developers. But I dont look so much into what time they have spent and to how some things might be a cool solution – I just look at the state of Foresight – is it now more usable than some years before and did it gain more popularity. It didnt. Right now, this week it is on place 157 in DistroWatch or place 80 when you look at the last year. This had been very different. From my perspective a good distribution solves the users problem. This means things that dont work are fixed and sometimes new features are added. The goal has to be that users are satisfied and come back or continue using a distro. This is not always easy, but unfortunately many software projects take the route and try to make it all right and better. And the result is that the new status is not accomplished, timetables get delayed, users get more frustrated, people leave the distro, developers find new grounds, the support is shrinking and the software project or distro is dying. I fear Foresight will not continue to survive 2010. Not because the underlying technology is bad, but because a lot of bad decisions were made. I think this is sad, because I really liked it for a while. What would be needed is to reduce the overall work which needs to be done in order to be able to focus on the important things which are the users problems. Not even commenting on blocker issues isnt a good sign, really.

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Filed under Free Software, Linux, Technology