That snapping noise is Linux coming to my Chromebook

Back in July I read the announcement that Android was finally coming to Chromebooks and I was devastated that mine was not in the list. Not even a year and a half old and it is not supported with new features. (I blame Apple and Steve Jobs for setting this precedent of holding back features on older devices so you can $pend more money and buy a new device).

A picture of the KDE
KDE desktop residing on my Chromebook. (Kubuntu)

Well, I have been using my Chromebook and was happy using it, but there have been times when I just did not have internet or wanted to do something that I can do on a real desktop or laptop computer that just was not supported by the Chromebook.

Finally one day I snapped.
Continue reading “That snapping noise is Linux coming to my Chromebook”

Sir, Kernel Virtualbox, Yes Sir!

I am still using Korora Linux (and it is great) which is based on Fedora and as such I found the Linux Kernel is updated more frequently than on, say, Linux Mint.
After I upgraded to Korora 22 and I found that my Virtualbox would mysteriously stop working with this dreaded cryptic error being the reason. I could not understand why the kernel driver was suddenly not installed.

error message from VirtualBox

Kernel driver not installed

Continue reading “Sir, Kernel Virtualbox, Yes Sir!”

Setting up the Fabrikator Mini with Linux

When I ordered the Fabrikator-mini, I was not concerned too much because I had some experience with 3D printing, but of course getting things to work in Linux is always a challenge. Here are some of them.

The very nicely printed manual told me to install Repetier-host and Cura.
I added Mint 17.3 to an old laptop and installed the Linux versions of these programs only to find that Repetier-host uses Mono 4.3, but the default version of Mono with Mint 17.3 was v3.4 or something like that. I installed repository and the key to install the newer version. Then after adding the new version of Mono the computer became unstable.
After reinstalling Mint 17.3 and Repetier-host and Cura again. I tried the software without updating the version of Mono. It seemed fine.

Screw thread on circular tube
First print on Fabrikator Mini

Continue reading “Setting up the Fabrikator Mini with Linux”

How does your garden grow?

Back in July I created a post about testing out a stop motion camera and the steps needed to create a short video made up of individual photographs
http://www.geekwhitenorth.com/linux-stop-motion/

I outlined the steps because I knew that we were going to point it at our backyard vegetable patch to make a stop motion of the plants growing.
To make this video I followed steps 2 and 3. I skipped step 1 because I was not starting from a photo that started WSCT1248.JPG and not having an issue with a zero prefix like I had previously.


This year we grew spring onions, various peppers and tomatoes.

Linux stop motion

I was testing out a camera my wife had bought that is designed to take stop motion pictures. She wants to take pictures of her garden growing (if we get ever get warm weather).

Because I will have to do it again at some point in the future I thought I would document the steps I used.

The software that comes with the camera does not work with LinuxWine. So I started looking at how I could do this.

The pictures were in the format WSCT0000.JPG where 0000 was number counting up in my case from my pictures started from the number 0635.  WSCT is a name that is from the camera manufacturer.
1) I needed to rename the files to a common name,  to rename the files by going to the directory then going to the terminal and typing rename WSCT “”  *.JPG
This basically removes the WSCT prefix.

2) The next thing I realized was that the pictures were very large so I reduced them down to 800×600 using the Imagemagick command mogrify I typed the following.
mogrify -resize 800×600 *.JPG
This command overwrites the existing files, so make sure you have the originals.

3) Next was to join them all together using ffmpeg command this is where I had issues it did not like having zero as a prefix (0635.JPG) son I ran the command rename again to remove the prefix zero and add a letter p so my file names were now starting p635.JPG. This is because the next command would not run unless it had a prefix before the number (before %d).

4) Finally I completed the joining by running the following command
ffmpeg -f image2 -start_number 0635 -i p%d.JPG output1.mp4
This time, because I had changed the prefix, it worked.

5) Joining the pictures together, obviously there is no sound, so I used Kdenlive to transcode an audio file that I found in the Google free music collection.

Korora Linux vs Mageia for 3d printing

After playing around with some KDE distros recently, I came across an article saying that Fedora was going to incorporate 3d printing software. I then remembered that I had been using Korora Linux about a year and a half ago. I downloaded it to see what it offered and was pleasantly surprised.

Whilst there were some minor issues with updating using the Apper program, it was an upstream issue that has been reported and is being worked on I used YUMex instead.

I installed Pronterface and Slic3r and it was really easy. Simple as installing from YUM. In Pronterface I clicked connect but it did not connect. I realized it was a permissions issue. I did a quick check and found that to fix it I needed to add myself to the tty group. That was all the installation configuring needed.

As for other choices, the repositories have several other 3d printer utilities that can be downloaded: skeinforge, Cura, netfabb basic are a few that come to mind.

Overall, I really like Korora KDE edition. I had no issues setting up and running 2 monitors, and I have a spinning cube desktop. Considering the age of the computer it runs pretty well.

While Mageia5 has not quite been released, using Mageia 4 I did have to go and set up Slc3r and Pronterface from GitHub. It took quite a while and it was a lot of reading to figure out if I had all the dependencies. It is mentioned that it is proposed but I am not sure if the drivers will be added to Mageia 5.

I am pretty sure when I do my next full back up and reinstall of my main computer I will be moving from Kubuntu over to Korora.

The monitor also rises

Looking to solve my monitor issues,
I downloaded Kubuntu which I use on my main PC. At the same time I chose to download Manjaro Linux.
I added their ISOs on to DVDs and loaded the live view.
First up Manjaro KDE edition the screen settings gave me the option to have two screens and two separate resolutions.
Kubuntu the experience was he same as Manjaro.
Manjaro KDE 1
Kubuntu KDE 1
Linux Mint KDE 0
I installed Kubuntu to the hard drive. Configured the base software.
I was not informed that there was no desktop effects available like Mint Linux.
Kubuntu KDE 1
Linux Mint KDE 0
While doing this I thought I should install Manjaro on the second hard drive and give it a chance.

Installing Manjaro was OK the software told me it was beta but it worked OK.
I was informed that there were updates available (>100 packages). I checked what was available in the repository. I was surprised I searched for a number of items but was not really able to find anything. There were 3 search options one did not even change the output at all.
Then I chose to update and 90 minutes later it was still updating. Now slow internet was not the issue that bugged me it was the fact that only the current item update progress was given. I had no idea where I was in the whole chain of updating was I near the middle or the end. I could have gone through and tried to count them but why?
Finding packages and installing software.
Manjaro KDE 0
Kubuntu KDE 1
Kubuntu was the clear winner for me. But I was still sort of missing Mageia.
These were all first impressions.