Asus Bamboo disassembly

I don't want to try this until I absolutely have to, but I found a short disassembly guide for my Asus U43jc hidden in an insanely long forum thread (page 188, user tenchi71):


Kmail opens hyperlinks in two browser tabs

I found the solution on the KDE community forums: Go to System Settings->Default Applications->Web Browser (not KMail settings) and remove the '%U' argument.


batch convert svg->pdf with Inkscape

for file in *.svg; do inkscape -z -f=$file -A=${file/.svg/.pdf}; done
In other words, RTFM ;)


Corrupted directory on NTFS partition

...which I hadn't done for 6 weeks (expect snarky comments from daWuzzzz below). Imagine my joy when Kubuntu came up with I/O errors trying to open my research data directory. Of course, it had to be the single most important directory on my computer, everything else on my NTFS partition was fine. And of course it had to happen at 2am. Windows wasn't more helpful and just displayed a 'corrupted directory' message. In retrospect, I suspect a damaged master file table. A quick summary of last night:


enabling Nepomuk/Strigi search eats up home directory space

A few days ago I decided to enable Krunner's desktop search/strigi implementation - strigi indexing was not enabled before.
It might have slowed down Medusa a bit, but the most noticeable feature was my 30GB home partition running constantly out of disk space.
File/directory size analysis with du -h --max-depth=2 | grep '^[5-9][0-9]\{2\}M\|[0-9]G' > listfile.txt and ls -lha | grep 'G' ~  found the culprit: a whopping 13 GB .xsession-errors file. This is a well-known problem, apparently Nepomuk/Soprano is pretty garrulous. 
First aid: delete the file and reboot. For a more permanent workaround, a poster in this discussion suggests linking .xsession-errors to /dev/null via an autostart shell script. As an alternative, I'd suggest adding ln -sf /dev/null /home/<yourusername>/.xsession-errors to your ~/.bashrc.
As an aside: for anyone puzzled by the redland/sesame backend debate, the current backend is virtuoso and supposed to be faster than any of the above.


openSuSE 11.4 on VMware Player Win

Since my Samsung P35 already choked on 11.3 and runs Kubuntu very nicely without hassle, but I still was curious about 11.4, I decided to install it in VMPlayer on my Windows 7 office machine.


Windows 7 SP1 is out…

… and I should know by now my MBR wouldn't survive it. Well, what do we have SuperGrub for? Still, there was too much trial and error involved in restoring it, so, for next time, here's my log on how to restore openSuSE's MBR on the ASUS u43jc after Windows wiped it.


openSuSE 11.4 update notes

As Kubuntu copes better with Medusa's hardware, SuSE isn't my productivity distro right now, so I decided to risk an online upgrade. I mainly followed the SBD instructions on http://en.opensuse.org/SDB:System_upgrade.

Attempting to sync an iPod touch 4G

How to live with an iPod Touch 4G and not too much Windows involvement...


Kile, KDE 4.6 and autocompletion

After installing KDE 4.6 (from Kubuntu backports), LaTeX autocompletion was gone in Kile 2.1 β4. It worked on β5, which can be downloaded as a source tarball from the Kile homepage.
I followed the README instructions, but used sudo checkinstall instead of sudo make install to get a .deb package (source ubuntuforums). The kile executable didn't end up in a PATH directory, so I linked it into /usr/bin via cd /usr/bin; sudo ln -s ~/kile-install/bin/kile 
The package system tried to 'update' to β4, so I had to protect the newer version with e.g. sudo aptitude hold kile.

Note on a second install: with just cmake . / make / sudo checkinstall instead of the README approach I ended up with the kile executable in /usr/local/bin. I prefer that to the version in /home, as kile is integrated into the package system via checkinstall anyway.


Keynotifying PDF presentations

Update: (03/01/12) My version of pdf2odp.py now converts movies and Impress can actually play them. See this post for details.
Confession time: I did my defence on daWuzzzz's MacBook. The first reason was that I already had an Apple remote, the second was Keynote's excellent presenter console.
The downside was having to import my LaTeX/Beamer PDF presentation as images into Keynote and fiddling around with movie positioning afterwards.
You can do something like that purely on Linux - excluding the Apple remote :-) - so this post covers 3 topics:
  • the PDF presenter console
  • a harangue on crappy vector graphics import in OpenOffice and its presenter console
  • using python scripts to convert PDF into ODF with page images


New bitch on the blog

To be precise, a partially wooden contraption charmingly christened Medusa (Asus U43JC-X1). Goodies include nVidia Optimus hybrid graphics, USB3 and an i5-450M processor with multithreading support.


How to get ImageMagick to convert PDF to PNG with reasonable image quality

Without special effort, converting PDF to a series of PNG images produces images that look kind of corroded. The reason for this is related to ImageMagick's ghostscript backend, which sucks at antialiasing.
Thus, the only way to get better images would be to convert at an insanely high resolution (convert's density option) and resize afterwards. This can be done in one go by ImageMagick:
convert -density 1000x1000 <thepdf.pdf> -resize <xsize>x test%03d.png
However, I found that running ghostscript separately reduces the eventual image size by a factor of 2-3. I don't know why, it seems to be relatively device-independent (tested with both png16m and pngalpha).
gs -sDEVICE=png16m -sOutputFile=test%03d.png -r1000 -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH <mypdf.pdf>
for file in test???.png; do convert $file -resize <xsize>x $file; echo $file; done