Category Archives: UbuntuLinux

MyScratchNotes: Screencasting Linux on #Chromebook

Next week, we’ll be giving out laptops–considered obsolete in school settings, but that work fine with a copy of LubuntuLinux running on them–to students. After giving a quick tour of Lubuntu on the laptops, I suddenly had 6 “how to” videos to create. Of course, I could have made the videos on a Lubuntu laptop but I wondered, What if you installed Lubuntu on your Chromebook, then made the videos there? Could I use something like Screencastify (which has “picture in a picture,” BTW) to get the job done?

Naturally, the question going around in my head required some fun experimentation. As you might guess from the picture below, yes, it worked.

Running LXDE on an Acer C720 Chromebook

Although I’ve loaded GNU/Linux on a Chromebook twice before, I have to admit that this was the easiest and most pain-free. That is due in large part to the instructions provided online here, and which I’ve customized below (these are my scratch notes)…the customization involves LXDE in lieu of KDE or XFCE (neither of which I like much) AND loading the right audio drivers to ensure I can record.

Read the OriginalHow to Easily Install Ubuntu on Chromebook with Crouton | Linux.com

As mentioned in the article above, one of the main benefits:

Some of the advantages of Crouton are that unlike other methods, you don’t have to reboot your machine to switch operating systems; you can switch between them using keyboard shortcuts as if you are switching between two apps.

Here are the relevant excerpts that I followed…again, you may want to read the whole thing. These are just my notes should I have to go through this again.

Part 1 – Install Ubuntu with LXDE GUI interface on Chromebook with Crouton

1. “Install Chromebook recovery utility from the Chrome web store. Open the app and follow the instructions to create a recovery drive.” This is an important step in case you mess it all up.

2. Enable the developer mode by holding Esc + Refresh keys and then push the ‘power’ button. The recovery screen will show a scary warning. Just ignore it and let Chrome OS wipe your data. The process can take up to 15 minutes, so don’t turn off your Chromebook.

3. Log into your Chromebook and open the GitHub page of Crouton and download the latest script.

Check the download folder to see if crouton is downloaded.

4- Open the terminal in Chromebook  by hitting Alt+Ctrl+t

5 -Type this command to open shell: shell

6 – Install Ubuntu with LXDE GUI (the -e option will encrypt your drive, which is good)

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t lxde

This process will take about 15-20 minutes depending on the speed of your Internet connection.

7 – Type sudo startlxde
This will start LXDE GUI interface to Linux.

8 – Update Your Linux installation. At the command line (Go to the START button in the bottom left-hand corner, then Accessories, then LXTerminal), type the following, pressing ENTER after each command:

(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get update

Then…

(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade

9 – Install your favorite apps…here are a few of my favorites:

(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get install shutter firefox keepassx mc 

Of course, you don’t have to install these programs at all. I usually also install Google Chrome browser, and Dropbox.

Part 2 – Setup Audio
One of the things I noticed when I installed Screencastify in GoogleChrome on Linux on Chromebook was that the microphone wasn’t detected. To get it working, I followed these steps at the Terminal (LXTerminal):

1 – Install pulseaudio

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio

2 – Install pavucontrol and pavumeter

sudo apt-get install pavucontrol pavumeter

Restart to get pulseaudio running

3 – Start pavucontrol, setting input/output is set to Audio Stereo Duplex

That’s pretty much it! Now I have a Chromebook that can switch to LXDE (LubuntuLinux) for audio editing when I need it using Audacity, as well as access my Keepass password file. And, I can record the video tutorials for getting around in LXDE! The video quality–and sound–is actually better than doing the recording on my Macbook Air…still haven’t figured that one out!


View my Flipboard Magazine.


Make Donations via PayPal below:


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Copy Files to Your iPad with UbuntuLinux

Looking for an easy way to copy files to your iPad running iOS 7?

This approach makes it very easy to copy files from your computer’s hard drive or an external USB drive to your iPad. I just start up UbuntuLinux off a USB flash drive when I want to copy lots of files–music, video, ebooks–to my iPad.

What iPad Documents area looks like on UbuntuLinux

Here’s one approach:
1) Save a copy of the UbuntuLinux install CD and put it on a USB flash drive with Unetbootin (works on Mac, Windows, or Linux)

  1. Get UNetbootin which will install the .iso file on the thumbdrive –
  2. Download UbuntuLinux ISO file (on newer computers, use 64-bit; older computers, 32-bit)
  3. Run UNetbootin
  4. Point the install at the Ubuntu .iso file

  5. Select the USB drive where you want to install.
  6. Start the process and wait a few minutes until it is complete.
  7. Reboot your computer and press the function key (F12 on Dells usually) so you can tell the computer to start from USB device.

2) Boot up off the USB flash drive into UbuntuLinux (not to install, only to run in “Live” mode where you are testing it out). Don’t worry, you can still boot back to Windows or Mac, whatever you want.

3) Plug in your iPad, making sure to type in your code (in case  you have that turned on your iPad) before plugging in. The file manager will pop up and you’ll be able to see your iPad as two drives in the FileManager. One of the drives will be called Documents and you can open that.

4) Once you open that, find your app that allows you to do stuff.
For me, that could be either Readdle Documents (free, awesome ebook, movie, file viewer) or iFiles (costs $3.99).

When you double-click on the Readdle Documents app, you’ll be able to drag-n-drop content into the space.

Isn’t this easier than using a Mac and/or trying to copy stuff over a WiFi network?

😉


View my Flipboard Magazine.


Make Donations via PayPal below:


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Image Converter – Converting CR2 to Anything

Who uses a dedicated camera anymore? Why not a smartphone or iPad? I asked myself this when a colleague put a Canon camera in my hands and requested I copy the images off of it. Of course, what do I know about cameras? Not much.

The problem? Someone had used a camera with the wrong settings and the images were in some weird format–not JPG or PNG–couldn’t be used easily, and worse, standard conversion with tools like THE GIMP (even after installing UFRaw plugin) yielded a JPG that was pink-purple all over…absolutely unusable. “Sure, why not,” I replied, as I thought to myself, I hope this isn’t too hard. I’ve never worked with one of these fancy cameras before!

The image format was Canon’s CR2 format. If you google how to convert this image format, you’ll find lots of web sites sharing about it. The fun part was that I was booted into #! Linux and really didn’t want to switch over to Mac OS X or, worse yet, start up the Windows 7 dinosaur desktop to my right. Using online converters would have been a pain, since there were more than 15 images (lazy, huh?).

The solution ended up being pretty simple…after time spent trying out different solutions. Amazing.  It was so much fun to learn something new.

I will save you the struggle, the drama…XnConvert did the job:

XnConvert is a powerful and free cross-platform batch image processor, allowing you to combine over 80 actions. Compatible with 500 formats.

It’s cross-platform, which means it runs on all major operating systems like Linux, Mac, Windows, 32-bit or 64-bit. And, if you don’t want a GUI, you can always get the command line version (NConvert) and use that instead.

Have lots of images to convert from CR2 (or anything) to something else? Give XnConvert a shot.

(BTW, ImageMagick’s convert command (for fellow GNU/Linux users) didn’t quite get the job done since it accomplished the conversion but didn’t deal with the pink-purple color tone).


View my Flipboard Magazine.


Make Donations via PayPal below:


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Database Magic on the GNU/Linux Desktop

Is your preferred desktop GNU/Linux? If it is, then you may be as excited as I to discover Kexi, a database program that works on GNU/Linux distributions (e.g. Ubuntu, Debian, etc.). I was thrilled to discover a program that would not only interface with local copies of data, but also with MySQL databases.

sudo apt-get install kexi – this command works on Debian/Ubuntu systems to install Kexi
Get Kexi Now!

I needed to be able to run SQL queries on 22K row CSV file, and, since I was on CrunchbangLinux, I didn’t see an easy way of accomplishing that. Kexi to the rescue! What I especially liked was the ability to run SQL queries:

SELECT submit_date, campus, technician, computer_type, request_type, requestor, room, request FROM report WHERE report.submit_date = ‘2013-08-01’

Watch these screencasts to get a feel for it, here are some screenshots,

It is not yet available for download on Mac and Windows…aww.

What features Kexi currently offers?
Read the Kexi Features page, look at the screenshots. Use the Kexi handbook.
Find an announcement for the newest release and look at the “Unsupported features” document added for this release.
How to use database servers with Kexi?
First, note that you do not need to use database servers at all – you can use file-based builtin database server built into Kexi (SQLite-based, very much like MS Access, but a bit more robust).
If you want database servers, PostgreSQL and MySQL are supported. Create a new blank database project on server using Kexi’s startup dialogs. Kexi will ask you to define connection data with connection dialog and select database name, so you will be able to just pick this predefined connection later. You can also use command line options to create and drop database projects. Also read here (October 2004).
Notes:
– Kexi assumes the account of the database server you use has enough permissions for creating a new database and use it. You may want alter the permissions (at least temporarily) using administration tools dedicated for your database server (Kexi itself does not contain such tools). If you’re unsure how to do this, ask your database administrator or support.

One thing I noticed I couldn’t do was delete via SQL command. I will have to investigate this further.


View my Flipboard Magazine.


Make Donations via PayPal below:


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Resurrecting Old Macs with GNU/Linux #txed #txeduchat

Wondering what to do in your school district with old Intel Macs that can’t be upgraded to Mac OS 10.9? I recently shared my thoughts on this in this email, but realize that older Intel Macs can be loaded with Linux and disposed of…more on that in a moment.

For now, here’s the email:

Thank you for your attention to this email.

This email reviews Mac OS 10.9 Maverick free upgrade for Macs and addresses which Macs are obsolete. As a result of Apple’s release of OS 10.9 Maverick, and testing conducted by EC Technology Operations since that release, please be aware that all white MacBooks—with the exception of the few in-district white 2009 Macbook Model #A1342—remain obsolete.  

WHAT DOES OBSOLETE MEAN?Obsolete means that these Mac computers, while being able to get on the Internet and network, will be unable to securely access Internet web sites and may increasingly have problems connecting. Most Macs will still be able to run software purchased for them but be aware that Internet Browsers should NOT be trusted for confidential internet transactions, mission-critical data, and hacking may result. This is because internet browsers on these obsolete Macintosh computers are no longer supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, and/or Mozilla Firefox browsers. 

Obsolete Macintosh computers can provisionally connect to wired network connections, but there may be issues with wireless connections at BYOT campuses. As such, if you must print or connect to the Internet with an obsolete MacIntosh, please be aware of this problem. Simply, it may work, or not, depending on the particular obsolete piece of equipment in question. 

ABOUT MAC OS 10.9 RELEASEAs you know, Apple released Macintosh OS 10.9 Maverick on October 22, 2013. As you may not know, OS 10.9 Maverick is a free operating system upgrade for Macintosh computers that are able to run it. Not all Macs are able to and the minimum requirements appear below:
To install Mavericks, you need one of these Macs:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), 
  • White Macbook (13-inch, Early 2009 or later) – Flip the Mac over and you can see the Model# A1342 in small print.
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later),
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or later)

Your Mac also needs:

  • OS X Mountain Lion, Lion, or Snow Leopard v10.6.8 already installed
  • 2 GB or more of memory (RAM)
  • 8 GB or more of available space (Hard Drive)


WHY MUST MACS BE UPGRADED TO OS 10.9 MAVERICK?The reason why is that Mac OS 10.9 is the latest supported operating system, features currently supported Internet browsers and the latest plug-ins, and eliminates problems that Mac OS 10.6-10.8 experienced. 

WHEN WILL MACS THAT CAN BE UPGRADED BE MOVED TO OS 10.9 MAVERICK?Macs that can be upgraded to OS 10.9 will be upgraded over the next 2 months (December, 2013-January, 2014). Please note that some programs (e.g. AppleWorks, which was discontinued in 2007) that worked on OS 10.6 will NOT work on OS10.9 

WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THE OTHER MACS?Please work with the Technology Office to evaluate what possible uses old Macs can be put to. 

SO WHAT WORKS?The general rule of thumb is that “white” Macs—with the exception of Model A1342–are obsolete, while “silver” Macs can usually be upgraded to Mac OS 10.9 Maverick. When considering Macs in classroom and carts, please be sensitive to these requirements. 
Thank you for your consideration of this information. 

REDISTRIBUTING SCHOOL TECH TO STUDENTS
So, now that you have a whole bunch of Intel Macs that can’t be upgraded to Mac OS 10.9, what to do? One possibility in Texas school districts is to load them up with GNU/Linux and then re-distribute them to students with an educational need

Several school districts already have existing programs in place that you can explore. William Mansfield (Overton ISD) has his own blend of Linux, as does Jim Klein’s Ubermix mentioned below.

Weslaco ISD’s Jeff Harris describes their program in this way:

In coordination with our Parental Involvement Office, we created a program called Computers4Kids.  Surplus computers are loaned to students for up to five years, or until they withdraw/graduate, whichever comes first.  The computers are cleaned up by Parental volunteers, imaged, provided with a new keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, USB Key, speakers and surge strip.  We load a software pack (about $20) that includes a version of Open Office, as well as some educational software.  Students submit applications for computers and are selected based on educational need and socio-economic status.

Before they get the computer, the student and a parent/guardian a have to attend a training session with the Parental staff where they go over how to set up the computer, the software being provided, and how to address problems.  When there is a problem with a computer, the parent brings the computer to the Parental Involvement Department and they re-image it.  If it can’t be re-imaged, they issue a replacement and put in a work order for the non-working one.  Our technicians assess to determine if it is worth fixing.

The program has been in place since 2005 and seems to work well.


LOADING LINUX ON OLD MACS
If you decide to load GNU/Linux on machines issued to students, you can avoid the $20 expense. Simply, you can take a Windows CPU and make it available to students. They can purchase a flat-screen monitor (about $69), keyboard/mouse quite inexpensively (approx ), or funding can be sought from PTAs to fund those.
For all-in-one Macintosh units, that’s even less of an issue. Simply load GNU/Linux distribution of choice and you’re ready to go!
ubermix.org


The ubermix is an all-free, specially built, Linux-based operating system designed from the ground up with the needs of education in mind. Built by educators with an eye towards student and teacher empowerment, ubermix takes all the complexity out of student devices by making them as reliable and easy-to-use as a cell phone, without sacrificing the power and capabilities of a full operating system. 

With a turn-key, 5 minute installation, 20 second quick recovery mechanism, and more than 60 free applications pre-installed, ubermix turns whatever hardware you have into a powerful device for learning.

The main benefits of running Linux on these Macs, as I have found from personal experience loading PeppermintOS.com Linux on my own 2007 Macbook, include the following:
  • Ability to run current web browsers that are compatible with GoogleApps
  • Revitalizing old machine, usually resulting in a noticeable speed boost since the old Mac OS is often sluggish by comparison
  • Latest and greatest security in the browser enable you to use this computer for safe computing
  • Compatibility with a wide range of peripherals (e.g. scanners, printers). In fact, one of my main reasons for loading Linux on a Mac was because I wanted to hook up an $60 HP scanner I picked up at Walmart years ago…no drivers available for Mac OS at the time, but it works flawlessly with SimpleScan (or XSANE back then), a program for scanning on GNU/Linux.
  • Linux runs 64-bit or 32-bit (your choice)
On my Macbook, I’m not even running Mac OS anymore…at all. I simply have loaded Linux on the whole hard drive and it works flawlessly.


Make Donations via PayPal below:



Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Downloading Flickr Sets on GNU/Linux

Looking to download your Flickr images on GNU/Linux? I was able to use this solution to download my images as sets (images were placed in folders). Per the blog author, Andrea Grandi:

I simply had no time to write an application by myself, so I started searching on Google to see if there was something available to do this simple task. At the beginning I only found abandoned tools (closed source, the API was expired ecc…), paid tools, Windows only tools ecc… but finally I found this post http://hivelogic.com/articles/backing-up-flickr/There is a Python script that automatically downloads all your Flickr pictures getting the highest resolution available, you can download the script from here https://github.com/dan/hivelogic-flickrtouchrThe usage is very simple?

1
2
mkdir FlickrBackupFolder
python flickrtouchr.py FlickrBackupFolder

A browser’s window will be opened and you’ll be prompted for authorization. After that, all you pictures will be downloaded.

Anyways, the next step is to setup a digital photo frame for family. Any recommendations?


Make Donations via PayPal below:


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

Quintet of Desktop Computer Tools

A truly amazing quintet of free, open source software tools that work on Linux, Mac and Windows:

With our software you can download from YouTube, convert YouTube or other Video to MP3, make slideshows, download Instagram images and much more! All our applications are cross-platform, open source and mostly free. Download and try out our apps on your PC, Mac or Linux machine, you won’t regret it!

Get these tools online at http://www.4kdownload.com/

The tool that catches my eye is the SlideShow Maker:

4K Slidshow Maker is a straightforward and easy-to-use app to create slideshows. Just add your favourite photos from Instagram or from your own computer, select the music and then apply gorgeous effects and transitions. . .Save your slideshow in the highest quality for your iPhone or share it on Facebook.

Great for special event slideshows, etc.
🙂


Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-3445626-5’]); _gaq.push([‘_setDomainName’, ‘mguhlin.org’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();