LaTex and Inkscape

In about a month and a half I’m going to be presenting a poster at the DCL/DE workshop in Oregon.  Since I don’t currently have a copy of Illustrator, I’m trying to decide what to use instead.  I downloaded Inkscape onto my imac, and started playing around.  The first thing I did was try to make a small annotated sketch.  It was all going fairly smoothly until I tried to add in symbols… and then I remembered how I ran into this problem last time I played with Inkscape.  So it was pretty much the same thing.

Here’s what I did:

1.  Install Inkscape from their website:  This part was straightforward.
2.  Download Textext, unzip the folder.  It’s found here:
3.  Copy the files and textext.inx to the inkscape extensions folder:

cp *text* ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/

4.  Then get Pstoedit:

fink install pstoedit

5.  In Inkscape, go to Extensions -> Render -> Textext,  and fill the Tex code into the GUI that pops up.


There is an error message that comes up saying: DeprecationWarning: the md5 module is deprecated; use hashlib instead
import os, sys, tempfile, traceback, glob, re, md5, copy

I recall getting a message something like this last time I installed Textext. It is annoying, but doesn’t seem to be a huge problem, and the extension still works.

53 New Posts

So, you might have noticed (okay, probably not) that I am now on post number 159.  Yup, that’s a big jump from the 100-post mark a few days ago.  How did I do that, you ask?  Well, for one, I finally realized that I could still import posts from my original blog (duh.  I’ve even done it before).  So I added those 53 posts from late 2009/early 2010 – sweet!  Now you can search back through the glorious dorkiness of my pre-grad school days.  Well, actually my between grad school days.  I used to be so into linux and python.  What happened?  I am going to make an effort to get back into it.  What better time then summer, during the few sunny days we get here in Seattle.

Kim was asking me lots of questions about Python and Linux this afternoon before she left.  It made me realize just how much I’ve forgotten (or how little I knew to begin with).  And it was a good kick in the butt to remind me to get back to learning about, and embracing, the world of Ubuntu and Numpy and Matplotlib…  Nerdy posts will resume!  But since a few people very dear to me enjoy my daily sketches, I will endeavor to continue those as well.  (I love you guys!)

Installing Emacs on Windows

I tend to do everything I possibly can on Linux, but once in a while, I need to figure it out on Windows (*cringe). For example, today I am going to install Emacs on Windows. I quite literally have no clue how to do this, but a quick Google search turned up this page, which describes it in painful detail.

Weak wireless

Grrr….I’m having all sorts of problems connecting to wireless in Fredericton.  I have my eee 1000HE netbook with me, and I am having a hard time connecting to wireless routers anywhere, even when sitting at my parents’ house, right beside their router!  It worked yesterday, and then got more and more flaky.  My iPhone can see wireless just fine.

I can see the wireless networks come up up in the taskbar at the top of the screen, and they are showing various levels connectivity, looking pretty normal, really.  But when I try to select on of them, it sits there and thinks about it forever with the spinner going, and then just tells me that the wireless network is disconnected.  Then if I actually do manage to connect, it’s just really really slooooowwww.

I wondered if I had done something wonky to my settings in Ubuntu, so I tried booting Moblin from my USB flash drive.  It did the same thing.  🙁  So is there something wrong with my hardware?  I don’t remember ever having so many problems with wireless.  I couldn’t even upload a single picture to Facebook because it would just times out!  It’s all very frustrating.  I should note that if I’m plugged into a wired network, it’s all fine.  Slow, but at least it works reliably.

I’m sitting at Read’s coffee shop/bookstore downtown, and I’m able to connect to the Fred e-zone, but it’s only showing between 2-15% at any point in time.

Well, there’s my rant for today.  I don’t rant very often, but I’m just not sure what else to try, and it’s very frustrating.   Maybe my netbook just doesn’t like Canadian wireless?

Maybe I just need to calm down, put my netbook away, drink a few glasses of mulled wine and enjoy the snowy beauty of my hometown 🙂

Jolicloud pre-beta release… is it worth a try?

Jolicloud pre-beta release came out a couple of days ago.  I am not sure whether I even want to bother with it.  It’s still built on Ubuntu Netbook Remix.  Apparently they’re not going to be releasing that for a little while yet.  I would give it a try – I’m curious about what the difference will be between alpha and beta.  Will there be support for the Atheros wireless driver in my Asus EEE1000HE?  Really, the main reason I didn’t stick with Jolicloud was because of the wireless issues.  But aside from that, it was pretty good.  Very easy to use, and, well, it looks nice.  Hmm.  Maybe curiosity is just going to get the better of me.  I might just have to try it out.  Boot it from USB at the very least.  One thing I’m happy about – no more invites!

After reading a few reviews, it doesn’t seem that a whole lot has changed.  They’re sort of making a big deal about the Windows installer.  I guess that’s cool, but it doesn’t apply to me.  My curiosity is definitely piqued now though.  Definitely going to give it a whirl.

Checking out Moblin

I can’t resist.  I am letting myself get completely sidetracked because I’m curious about a new operating system.  I will try to restrain myself and only run it from a USB stick.  I will resist the urge to (once again) completely wipe my hard drive with the belief that I will find the perfect OS.  I’m actually very happy with Ubuntu 9.10, and have no desire to switch.  Especially after I went through all the trouble of customizing Emacs for Python and downloading all the bits and pieces I think I’m going to need.

I’m going for it – creating bootable USB…

Based on the comments on the Moblin website, I have a feeling my wireless connectivity will be a problem.  Again.  It’s this weird wireless driver in the Eee 1000HE.  Problematic!

Hey hey – it’s a few minutes later.  Moblin is cute.  I think that I’d like it if I had a ‘normal’ desktop computer, and could just use the little netbook for playing around.  It’s certainly unique.  It seems like things are pretty intuitive.  But it seems more like a fun toy than a functional OS.  But I haven’t given up yet – if I can get Skype and flash plugins on there pretty easily, that will be a good sign.  One bad point – I dropped wireless once during he 20 minutes or so that I was running it.  Not a good sign.

Moblin OS

I was just sort of surfing around, and came across Moblin OS.  I had seen it in passing before, but I actually went to the site and had a look around.  It’s an OS that is built for mobile devices and netbooks.  I looked at some images of the desktop, and it looks really different from either Ubuntu or Ubuntu Netbook Remix / Jolicloud.  Moblin is NOT designed for desktops or even regular laptops.  It was designed to work with Netbooks, and primarily netbooks that are built on Intel Atom hardware.  Check out Netbook Screenshots – it looks really unique.  I wonder if I could run everything that I’m running on Ubuntu now…  it would be tough to switch away from Karmic since it has worked so well for me.

I think I might give it a try just booting from USB, and see how it goes.

Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) – so far so good

Just a quick update – I’ve been running Karmic for about a week now, and I am very happy with it.  It’s working great, running on my EEE 1000HE.  I’m excited to try it out on a ‘real’ computer (not just my wimpy – but awesome – little netbook).  I sort of got swept away by Jolicloud, and its pretty colors.  Oh yeah, and that invite thing always makes things seem that much more special.  Until that part wears off.  Jolicloud is made installing things really easy, but one thing that I started to realise after a while was that a lot of the ‘apps’ in the jolicloud ‘app store’ were actually just websites that were displayed on the desktop using Prism.

I’ve been able to get pretty much everything I want (so far) to run on Karmic, with pretty minimal effort – both Skype and the Flash plugin were really easy.  The Software Center makes installing standard software very straightforward too.

Jolicloud woes

I should probably start with the one main reason that made me want to start a blog.  It’s my Jolicloud experience.  Actually my linux experience.  I’ve been messing around with Linux, mainly Ubuntu, for about a year now.  And I’m sick of forgetting everything I learn, and then having to look it up again later.  TOTAL pain in the ass.

I used to have some older version of Ubuntu on my netbook.  I think it was 8.04, jaunty jackalope, or fiesty fawn, or something.  I was okay with it. But I started reading articles on the Google Chrome OS, just out of curiosity.  I soon discovered that this was not so interesting to me.  It’s not coming out for a year, it’s going to be built for very specific netbooks (I think they actually have hardware partnerships), and it seems like the OS is pretty much just Google Chrome browser.  ONLY google chrome browser.  I’m not saying I’ll never use it, just that as much as I love google stuff, I will need some more convincing on this one.

SO (it’s late.  I’m rambling) – I saw someone comment on Google Chrome OS that Jolicloud is better.  I looked up Jolicloud, and it  looked really cool.  Got myself an invite, and I was up and running.  Loved it.  I watched Hulu.  I watched YouTube.  I tweeted.  I skyped.  I was happy.  Then my wireless started dropping.  First just a bit.  Then it got so bad that I couldn’t even stay online for more than a couple of minutes.  Pathetic.  I even went out to Best Buy and bought a shiny new wireless router.  Which I will now have to return.  Because it was not the wireless router’s fault.  It was the driver for my laptop’s wireless adapter (Atheros something, I can’t remember right now).  After a few hours of searching, I finally realised that I was not going to get it working any time soon.  Or at least it would require that I spend a lot of time learning a lot of linuxy stuff.

See this:
Ubuntu wiki – Hardware issues

Bug discussion

After spending several hours on the suggested solution near the end of that second link (I did consider it a valiant effort), I gave up and reinstalled Ubuntu.  But not he same Ubuntu.  I installed the new 9.10.  It’s pretty similar from what I can tell, but the booting up screen shows a pretty Ubuntu symbol bathed in the soft glow of an imaginary spotlight somewhere above the screen…Oh right, and there is a new “software center”.  Which is pretty much like Synaptic.

But I’m happy for now.  I had Jolicloud for just long enough to see that for all it’s pretty colors and bright lights, it wasn’t necessarily the right OS for me.  Maybe in January when they release their own interface (down with UNR!).