Tag Archives: ubuntu

Activating IRC on Empathy

As it turns out, Empathy doesn’t come with an IRC account support in Ubuntu 12.10. In other words, the new Online Accounts section in Quental lets you connect to Google, Twitter, Jabber and a few other accounts but not IRC. I have no clue what made the packagers take this decision, but it’s a poor move, considering that the plugin only weighs 11.6 kB. Anyway, you can simply install the IRC plugin with the command,

sudo apt-get install account-plugin-irc

There are a few other plugins that do not come pre-installed. You can view them using,

apt-cache search account-plugin

Creating booklets out of PDFs

This friend of mine wanted to print a PDF as a booklet, i.e. with two pages printed in each A4 page so that it can be folded to make an A5 sized booklet. It works as shown in this pic. This requires a software that can rearrange the pages accordingly. I had heard of this tool called Booklet Creator but, even though it’s advertised as free, the free version lets you convert only up to 6 pages. And the license is $20. Ridiculous.

What do you do when you need to find an alternative to a software? Check out AlternativeTo.net of course. It led me to this free and open-source tool called pdfbook that lets you do exactly the same. It works in Linux only though (it may work on Windows but will need some work). Also, the tool has some dependencies which need to be installed. In Linux this is usually not much of a problem thanks to package managers. If you’re on Ubuntu/Debian, the steps to install pdfbook is as follows:

  1. sudo apt-get install texlive-latex-base texlive-latex-recommended
  2. Download the pdfbook tarball from here and extract
  3. Go to the extracted directory and install using make install

Now pdfbook is ready to use. The following command will create a booklet:

./pdfbook -2 original.pdf destination.pdf

CrossOver for Linux is free for today only

CrossOver is a a wine-based platform that lets you install Windows software in Linux and OS X machines. According to OMG!Ubuntu, they are giving away the software for free for today only. Just go to this page, enter your name and email and grab the deb (or the relevant package for your distro). Only a few more hours left (coz today means October 31st in Central Daylight Time).

The Ubuntu Geek article on this reports,

Few days back, CodeWeavers started a campaign ‘Flock the Vote’ announcing that they will release CrossOver for free if 100,000 Americans pledge to vote in the 2012 Presidential elections.
CodeWeavers failed to reach stated goal of 100,000 pledges. However, CEO Jeremy White has now decided to give away CrossOver for free anyway.

This CrossOver package usually costs $59.95.

Faenza icons and porn lenses [Ubuntu]

I’ve been installing stuff and tinkering with the new Ubuntu install for the past three hours. There’s a good collection of Unity lenses listed here. Sadly, the porn lens doesn’t seem to work, at least in my country.

The Faenza icon set and the Faience theme are the shizz! Gives everything a decent look, much much better than the original Ambiance theme. Instructions can be found here. After installing, I set the themes using Unsettings, a new handy tool for messing with Unity settings.

Some other stuff installed today were nautilus-dropbox, preload (which speeds up the OS by pre-loading mostly used apps) and guake.

Notifications on active monitor [Ubuntu]

Since a few days back I started using a dual monitor system. The terminal stays in the laptop screen; browsing, reading and movies go in the big screen. One hitch was that the OSD notifications appear only in the external monitor. They may go unnoticed if I’m focused on the laptop screen. WebUpd8 has a tip on making this right. Fire up the dconf-editor, go to apps->notifyosd and set the value of multihead-mode to focus-follow.

Dual monitors on Ubuntu with Nvidia

UPDATE: With Ubuntu 12.10, you can just go to Displays and turn off Sticky Edges.

So I plugged in the VGA cable of my new hp monitor, and guess what, the system didn’t recognize the newcomer. In most cases it should just detect the display, but it didn’t work in this case. The solution was to go to the X Server Display Configuration in Nvidia X Server Settings and click Detect Displays.

The next problem was when moving the mouse from one display to another, the pointer would slow down and wait for a few moments at the Unity launcher. This seems to be by design, but it’s a nuisance. The fix is going to /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options in gconf-editor and changing the values of overcome_pressure and stop_velocity to 1 and 20 respectively. Later learned that you can edit these settings simply using the Ubuntu Unity plugin in CCSM.

Workspaces in Unity [Ubuntu]

Most Linux distros come with multiple workspaces built-in. Why do people need multiple workspaces? To organize your work of course! You may read a book and take notes in one workspace while browsing the web and chatting on another.

Unity has evolved from a nuisance to a really user-friendly and fun-to-use desktop environment. But, problem -> Unity uses a common launcher to all its workspaces: hence it displays the apps opened in all the workspaces. Where’s the organization here? There’s a bug filed in launchpad addressing this issue at length, but the developers doesn’t seem to find it a priority. If you think this is a concern, please answer ‘Yes’ to the question Does this bug affect you?

SCID in Ubuntu [Chess]

About one and half years back, I wrote about installing SCID in Ubuntu. (SCID is a free chess database application). For those who abhor building from source, Duncan Rosales has left a comment on that post saying that SCID is now available in the Ubuntu Software Center. Good news indeed! Just install by going to the Software Center and searching for SCID, or simply by typing in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install scid

Evernote on Linux

Evernote doesn’t have an official client for Linux. It isn’t likely Linux will get any in the near future either. NixNote (formerly NeverNote) is the popular alternative available. But I just don’t like the interface and all.

I installed Ubuntu 12.04 yesterday and found out about this Everpad which seems to be pretty neat. Not a feature-full client, but it has Unity integration, so you can search notes from the Unity dash etc. There’s an icon in the gnome panel which gives you the latest notes, lets you create new notes and such. At the moment I’m using Everpad and have an Evernote Web tab opened in Chrome as well. Sadly, this seems to be focused on Ubuntu only (at least that’s my guess, not likely it’d run on other distros without major changes).

Find reviews, screenshots and installation instructions in WebUpd8 and Omg!Ubuntu.