Sunday, June 29, 2008

Triple boot pain

Today I went at a friend's place to help him set up a triple boot system. The PC is brand new and bleeding edge (it will be used primarily as a gaming device), but the guy was still curious about Linux. So I told him about Linux in general and offered to install Ubuntu. He agreed and we went on with the partitioning scheme.

The HDD had 500 GB and we agreed to set up the partitions as follows:
* primary partition - 50 GB - Vista Business x64
* primary partition - 50 GB - XP Professional x64
* primary partition - 25 GB - Kubuntu 8.04
* extended partition - ~375 GB
- 4 GB - Linux swap
- the rest - big storage partition
OK, so when all this was settled, I started the Vista install. It went OK, no troubles whatsoever. Then came Kubuntu - all went fine. I used GRUB in order to be able to choose between the two operation systems.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Manually modifying a .deb package

From time to time, you might be facing a binary .deb package that you have to tweak for suiting your own needs or for testing purposes. By "a binary .deb package" I mean the final .deb, with a few configuration files and pre/post-inst/rm scripts and not the source files for the .deb themselves.

So, what to do if you only want to change, say, the behavior of a postinst file and then have the .deb prepared for installation?

First of all, the .deb itself is a kind of an archive. This is why you can browse its contents while in mc, for instance ("Midnight Commander").

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ubuntu 8.04 Live CD and weird SATA HDD

Today I went at a friend's to help her set up a new PC in a dual boot configuration (Windows XP, which was already installed, and Kubuntu 8.04).

XP came preinstalled so I burned a CD with Kubuntu 8.04 and booted from it... just to find out that there was no normal way of detecting the HDD as device.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Compiling Pidgin MTN

This post explains how to compile Pidgin from source, but not the stable Pidgin releases available for download on the website; instead, I'm talking about the latest development Pidgin version (often called "Pidgin MTN"), available via Monotone (a distributed version control system). See this post regarding compiling Monotone from source.

Compile Monotone from source

The current version of Monotone, a distributed version control system, is 0.40. To compile it from source:

Monday, June 9, 2008

How to overlap two images using Gimp

Gimp - one of the greatest professional apps ever to be found out there... professional image manipulation software; and, of course, open source.

Too bad there are a lot of idiots in this world - starting with myself - who don't have the slightest clue on how to use it. I mean, I always loved photography and as a kid I used to play with my grandfather's "borrowed" old Zenit camera, but since photographic films were not cheap and I had no means of editing the photos, I quit. Since then, I've been planning... and planning to get a camera of my own, but since I don't want anything below a SLR - and a decent one is around 1,000 EUR - it'll have to wait. But that's another story...

Getting back to Gimp. My concrete problem was how to get two images of exact size (after adjusting their size such that they "fitted" the dimensions) overlap with an amount of transparency. I'm aware this must be an extremely easy task for anyone just a little bit more photo editing savvy than myself, but anyways - I had no clue what to do so after googling and reading a little bit, I found out.

I'm posting here the "short version", suitable for my concrete issue. (Such that I'll know next time where exactly to go to for instructions.)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pidgin bug

While I have to admit that Pidgin is generally speaking a great multi-protocol IM (instant messaging) client, it's got its flaws too... just like any software. And I'm not talking here about the notorious developers / users scandal, resulting in a Pidgin fork because users just wanted a resizable text input field, while the developers said they don't care. I'm not even talking about the lack of voice and web cam support (there's a ticket from the beginning of time there... prioritized as minor).