All posts tagged software

Every stinkin’ time you have to update Java (which is every day it seems, since Java has more (security) holes than most Swiss cheese) it wants to install the stupid Ask Toolbar and take over your default search engine. Here’s a quick Windows registry fix that will apparently disable the installer from even asking you about the toolbar installation.

Another way, without having to download and rename or create a new .REG file, is to copy and paste the following two lines into an elevated CMD prompt:

reg add HKLM\software\javasoft /v "SPONSORS" /t REG_SZ /d "DISABLE" /f

reg add HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft /v "SPONSORS" /t REG_SZ /d "DISABLE" /f

via Superuser: How can I prevent Toolbar from being installed every time Java is updated?

One of my favorite pieces of open source software is the vector graphics editor called Inkscape. While traditional graphics editing programs such as Photoshop or The Gimp are merely manipulating a rectangular grid of colored pixels, vector graphics tools use complicated mathematical descriptions of the lines, points, and objects in an image, which allows for perfect scaling of the images to any zoom level (among other awesome features). Inkscape is pretty great, and is freely available for Windows, OSX, and Linux. I’ve given an “Introduction to Inkscape” presentation a few times, and thought I would post the “slides” here to the blog.

These aren’t like traditional powerpoint slides, be forewarned. Since the best way to learn how to use a program is, well, just to use it, I prepared a handful of Inkscape SVG documents, and just opened each one in Inkscape on the projector during the presentation. This allowed me to demonstrate each new feature introduced, which worked pretty well. The link below is a ZIP archive of 11 SVG files.

Download SVG slides (ZIP 118KB)


I used to have an ffmpeg command line that I used to video record a window on my linux desktop, but it stopped working a while ago and I didn’t want to dig into the man pages to figure it out all over again. So, I went looking online to try and see what other people had done.

The best solution I found is a little shell script with a tiny bit of GUI added via zenity. It is called Capture Me, and you can download it at that link. I haven’t ever tried it with capturing audio as well as video, but it will probably work too.

I have my server set up to server files using Samba (the windows filesharing protocol) now called CIFS. I wanted to use some authentication for the read/write share so here is how to do it.

Make a file called /etc/samba.credentials, owned by root:root, with permissions 0600, with these contents:

Then add a line like this to your /etc/fstab:
//server/sharename /mount/point cifs auto,credentials=/etc/samba.credentials,iocharset=utf8,file_mode=0777,dir_mode=0777,uid=youruser,gid=yourgroup,nounix 0 0

Then it should be automatically mounted when you login!

When reviewing and editing papers, my advisor likes to use his copy of Adobe Acrobat to mark-up the insertions, deletions, and add comments to the original PDF. This works nicely, but when overlapping comments are present, such as a block comment over an entire paragraph with sentence-specific edits “underneath” the block comment, none of the “standard” PDF viewers on Linux (including the official Adobe Reader for Linux) are able to access the buried mark-up. Fortunately, I have discovered that a freeware program called PDF XChange Viewer can be easily run using WINE, and allows you to view, edit, and create PDF annotations. I haven’t tried creating or editing annotations, but I certainly do use it to delete block annotations covering up the more specific edits.

via Finally, real PDF annotating under Linux! (with help from Wine)