Tag: how-to

💡Characters & Compose key: how to type unusual characters in Linux

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A devoted reader of my blog might have noticed that I care about typography. For instance, my use of em-dash — which I love — or ⌀, the diameter symbol. That involves the use of special techniques while typing.

It’s also worth noting that many people prefer to communicate with emojis over letters nowadays (which is even reflected in modern architecture).

While it’s quite trivial to enter such characters on a smartphone, it may get tricky when it comes to a Linux desktop. But fear not, for that is actually taken care of: there are even multiple ways of inserting your favourite 🐱.

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Save trees, use Xournal

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Joining the mass sustainability hysteria spree, I’d like to put my two cents into the future of my and others’ grandchildren.

Many interactions with Dutch institutions result in a filled-in and signed document that needs to be emailed or uploaded.

Or another example: you visit Russian Post where you’re requested to fill out 117 copies of a certain form. Do not give in to the provocation and do not fill it in by hand!

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Tuning Ubuntu for SSD

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In my last post I told you about upgrading an iMac with a solid-state drive (SSD). These drives are very fast (read throughput is usually ca. 500 MB/s if connected via a 6 Gbps SATA III) and completely silent.

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How-to: Multiplicity in Gimp

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My today’s story is about a well-known yet impressive graphic editing technique called multiplicity. It allows you to multiply objects on a photo—most commonly people, but it can be just as well kittens or lawn-mowers. Using this technique, you can make pictures like this:

I’m a Linux guy and hence my favourite graphic editing tool is Gimp, but the same can be done with any other editor that supports layers and masks.

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Ubuntu/GNOME 3 XML wallpaper creation

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I already published a script that sets a random image file as desktop wallpaper. It has only one downside: you have to run it every time you want to rotate your wallpaper.

However GNOME since 2.28 allows assigning a slide show as wallpaper by providing an image list in XML format. There you can specify the order and duration for each image. Moreover, you can even define a transition from one image to another.

So I decided to create a simple script that generates an XML file for a given set of images and, optionally, sets that as the current wallpaper. It requires GNOME 3+ or Ubuntu (11.10 or later).

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Ubuntu/GNOME 3 random wallpaper script

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This bash script picks up a random image file (.jpg, .jpeg or .png) from the predefined directory and sets it as wallpaper.

The previous version of the script worked fine with GNOME 2 and Ubuntu 11.04 (and earlier), but after GConf backend was changed to dconf in GNOME 3, it stopped working.

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Watermarking pictures for Picasa Web Albums

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Preface

Those of you who happen to author pictures and publish them on the Internet, must have thought about being able to claim your authorship for them.

One of the most obvious ways to do that is watermarking pictures by adding your URL, name, copyright and/or copyleft. An average Joe would open his favourite image editor, click the Text tool and write a magnificent message for the generations to come.

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