First contact with the Cubieboard

I got myself a Cubieboard some months ago, not because I needed one by because I had the opportunity to join a group purchase organized by some friends back then. I wasn’t looking for a new board, however, the Cubieboard looked interesting because of the onboard SATA connector. Plus the analog audio input / output on the board may also prove useful for SDR and digital voice experiments.

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Daily Gpredict builds for Ubuntu

Daily Gpredict builds for UbuntuThanks to Jan Simon, DL2ZXA, we now have daily builds of Gpredict for Ubuntu 10.04 – 12.04, both 32 and 64 bit. Jan’s recipe fetches the code imported from SourceForge, merges it with the translations done in the Launchpad, then builds the packages and puts them in the Gpredict teams Daily builds PPA. You can use this PPA as you would use any other PPA; if you don’t know how check out the instructions on the PPA page. Obviously, this is only recommended for testing and not for production use.

Unity, Gnome 3 and my way out of this madness

I will remember 2011 as the year when the Linux desktop took a huge step backwards. After decades of evolution we finally had a nice Gnome 2 based desktop providing a clean and efficient environment where one could focus on getting the work done. Even the Ubuntu variant with their this-makes-me-wanna-puke-brown and purple theme was okay, because it took only a few mouse clicks to switch back to something more pleasant looking, e.g. the Clearlooks theme. All this is gone now as the majority of Linux desktops come with either Gnome 3 or Unity – two equally useless and pathetic attempts at making the Linux desktop look like a cellphone.

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Replace Shotwell with F-spot as default editor

As you may already know, Ubuntu 10.10 ditched F-spot as default photo organizer in favor of Shotwell. Now, Shotwell may be a better photo organizer than F-spot – I can’t comment on that since I do not use any of these apps for organizing – it does have at least one very significant flaw that made switch back to F-spot.

Why do I need any of these apps if don’t use them for organizing? Laziness, I guess. In Ubuntu 10.04 I found a very convenient way to do some very simple editing tasks such as cropping. If I opened a photo in Eog (Eye of Gnome – the default image viewer) there was a button on the right end of the toolbar called “Edit Image”, which opened the image in F-spot. In F-spot I could do the cropping then save the image with all original EXIF metadata preserved. In Ubuntu 10.10 this “Edit Image” button opens Shotwell and I can do the cropping here as well, unfortunately, when saving the image all original EXIF metadata will be lost forever! From a photographer’s point of view this is extremely bad and there should at least be a warning of some kind.

Fortunately I still had the original photo in my camera and no harm done.

Next I investigated how to replace Shotwell with F-spot as default editor for Eog. One would think that this would be configurable via the preferences. Well, yeah, sort of, if you call the gconf-editor a preferences dialog. I found a related post on the Ubuntu Launchpad where someone wanted to replace F-spot with Gimp. Basically the same problem and it also worked the other way around for replacing Shotwell with F-spot. After doing so I could safely uninstall Shotwell – No, it will not remove the “ubuntu-desktop” package 😉

Ubuntu 10.10 on the Acer Aspire 5745G Laptop

Now that Ubuntu 10.10 is out I am slowly upgrading my computers one by one. Today it was time to perform the upgrade on my newest (in terms of technology) and most bad ass computer, the Acer Aspire 5745G Laptop. I have previously written about running Ubuntu 10.04 on it, which was the first Linux OS I have installed. Already with Ubuntu 10.04 everything was working and only the Ethernet interface required manual installation of driver. Installing Ubuntu 10.10 was a simple matter of performing the upgrade from within the package manager.

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Gpredict on the Eee PC 701

Now that I have Ubuntu 9.04 runnign on my Asus Eee PC 701 it was very easy to get Gpredict up and running. After a few configuration tweaks related to the views it runs and looks very well even on this small 800×480 pixel display!

Watch in high resolution.

Thus, I have now following hamradio applications running on the Eee PC:

Adobe Flashplayer for Galeon on 64 bit Ubuntu 9.04

I was excited about the new Ubuntu 9.04 released just a few days ago. In fact, so excited that I installed the release candidate instead of waiting for the final release, knowing that it will be impossible to download during the first few days. Anyway, it’s cool, it’s slick and it boots in less than 15 seconds! Of course, one problem that you run into on 64 bit is the lack of Adobe Flash player – at least if you want to avoid installing 32 bit compatibility libraries. Here is how the problem is solved.

First, you need to download the Adobe Flashplayer 10 browser plugin from Adobe. You can get it here. It’s a .tar.gz file containing a single shared object (so file). Since my primary browser is firefox, I installed it into /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/

That makes flash work all right in firefox, but it still didn’t work in Galeon – another lightweight web browser that I like to use a lot. As it turns out, Galeon looks for plugins in the /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins directory, so the problem was solved by simply creating a symbolic link to the I just installed in /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/ – that’s it!


Grig Download Information

Currently, I can only guarantee installation support for source package, although binary packages may be available from third parties. Brief installation instructions and notes are given below. Please also study the documents available in the source package.

Source Packages

The latest source distribution can be downloaded from the SourceForge download area.

Unpack the source package with:

     tar -xvfz grig-x.y.z.tar.gz

Change to the grig-x.y.z directory and build grig:

make install

The last step usually requires you to become root, otherwise you may not have the required permissions to install grig. If you can not or do not want to install grig as root, you can install grig into a custom directory by adding –prefix=somedir to the ./configure step.

If the configure step fails with an error, examine the output. It will usually tell you which package or libraries you need in order to build grig. Please note, the you also need the so-called development packages. In many GNU/Linux systems you can just install the GNOME Development stuff, but I would recommend to just install everything if you can (except if you are running Debian ;-).

Of course, you will also need Hamlib installed and working properly on your system before you can install grig.

If you encounter any show-stoppers, feel free to ask for help, see User Support.

Debian Packages

Joop Stakenborg is kind enough to maintain debian packages for grig. The latest versions of Grig are usually available on testing and unstable. If not, you can check this page for status.


There are native Ubuntu packages for grig, but they may not be quite up to date. You may want to try the debian package instead.

Fedora Core

Grig is included in Fedora Core, see the status here.

Suse Linux

No recent info available. You can try the Fedora RPM.


No recent info available. You can try the Fedora RPM.


Grig is available from freshports.

Mac OS X

The source code can be built the same way as under Linux:

make install

This has been reported to work and, since I do not have any Mac, I can not provide any support beyond this. Sorry.


Well, it is possible, it works fine, but I don’t support it anymore. Try Linux instead 😉