Full Circle – Dell E6510 Running Windows 7

This machine runs Xubuntu like you wouldn’t believe (well, you probably would). Still, college classes and reality seem to be demanding Windows 7 or 8 so I’m back to that for now.

Ditching the MacBook 2010 machine required something to move all of my files without doing it across WiFi, so I found that it is possible to download the Apple BootCamp drivers sans BootCamp. A registry file update and copying a couple of driver files to your Windows driver folder and you have the ability to mount an HFS+ drive (partition) to a drive letter – it’s read-only so YMMV. However, this worked like a charm to get all of the crap off the MacBook drive. If you search for HFS+ Windows driver you’ll probably find the file you need…

BTW, the E6510 with the Quad Core i7 is a damn responsive system with VirtualBox installed. 12 GB currently installed, waiting on the final 4 GB to bring this beast to 16 GB. With a 1 TB drive installed, it’s hard to beat for $200 (good luck finding that deal again).

While Windows is not my favorite operating system, it does have certain advantages such as common driver support.

A couple of drivers not yet found… not really a problem at this point as it’s probably equipment that I’m not using.

Oh, if you’re looking for a way to empty out that encrypted, EXT4 (btrfs) partition that you unwittingly created on your Xubuntu installation, take heed: Install VirtualBox (or similar) and install Xubuntu with the extensions. Use “Try Xubuntu” (don’t install) and then allow the USB driver to access your externally connected drive. You’ll get a prompt for the key to the encrypted partition. Enter it and then transfer the files to either the host or another USB device. It seems to be a real pain in the ass to do this any other way.

This machine also runs Windows 8 pretty well, but who would want to? Let’s strip everything that a power user might desire and make it into a touch screen based… oh, wait, it seems that some people, numbering in the millions, don’t like that. Hmmmm, maybe Marketing should have actually checked with real users before making a bunch of assumptions. Well, Windows 9 will fix the stuff that irritated everyone about Windows 8 (sort of reminds you of Windows 7 and Vista).

NaNoWriMo Begins on November 1st

NaNoWriMo (nanowrimo.org) begins on November 1st. For the uninitiated, this is the National Novel Writing Month, in which everyone participating tries to write at least 50,000 words towards a novel (or, perhaps, a tome of poetry or short stories). In any case, it’s an interesting challenge in which I hope to actually have better success this year; the last time I attempted to participate everything went straight to Hell and I accomplished about 5,000 words. Not much to brag about…

LibreOffice 4.x Crashes on Xubuntu 14.04

This information should apply to Ubuntu as well as Xubuntu and applies to all LibreOffice v 4.x that I tried. If LibreOffice 4.x is crashing after the document has been open a few seconds, try opening the document but do not try to navigate at all. Instead, pull down the Font box and see if any of the fonts are set with an italics appearance (other than italics-based fonts). For example, if you have Comic installed, it should appear as itself and not in an italic font. If it does, the font is most likely mising from your system.

OSXFuse stops working after Mavericks upgrade

I upgraded from Mountain Lion to Mavericks today and found that my external ext4 formatted drive would no longer connect; it’s out of my other laptop and was working fine under ML. I tried re-installing fuse-ext2 first but that didn’t work, kept receiving the message that the drive needed to be initialized. Finally, I did the tried-and-true: uninstall fuse-ext2 and osxfuse. I then rebooted and reinstalled both (after making sure the drive was unplugged). Everything works ago so there is some bit of code that Mavericks overwrites when installing.

LinApple Emulator on Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit (actually Xubuntu…)

While KEGS is nice for emulating an Apple IIGS on Linux, if you want to emulate an Apple //e (IIe) on Linux the choices seem to be narrower, at least for a version that will work on newer versions of Linux. LinApple is available here and is derived from AppleWin with libraries changed to SDL and POSIX from the Windows equivalents. Please note that this is not my project, but since I encountered a few issues during compilation I thought I’d share the experience. I have not yet thoroughly tested LinApple, only a few programs/disks, but it seems very promising. Note that sound worked immediately and doesn’t require a work-around due to old audio implementations.

You’ll need to make sure you have installed libsdl1.2-dev, libcurl4-gnutls-dev, g++, and libzip-dev, if not already installed. For those that are unfamiliar, I normally open a Terminal session and run each installation separately, just so I can see what’s happening. You can combine all the installations on one line, but then you probably don’t need this part of the discussion…

sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev

sudo apt-get install libcurl4-gnutls-dev

sudo apt-get install g++

sudo apt-get install libzip-dev

If you received any errors during any of these installations, Google will probably help. Normally, though, these are common libraries and shouldn’t cause a problem. Even if you already have libsdl2 or higher installed, go ahead and install libsdl1.2 as that’s the version LinApple is currently configured to utilize.

You’ll need to untar/unzip the LinApple source code into a working location in order to start compiling. Once extracted, change to the src subdirectory in the LinApple folder. Before you try “make” though, you’ll (probably) need to make the following changes:

– In Frame.cpp, scroll down to the last line that says #include and add a new line below that one:

#include <unistd.h>

– Do the same in SerialComms.cpp and Timer.cpp.

If you do not add this include line to each of those files, you’ll receive error 1 relating to either usleep() or close() not being a valid function within their scope.

Once you’ve completed these changes, stay in the src directory and type


at the command prompt. No parameters are required and, although you’ll see many warnings, you should not receive any errors. The last couple of lines should include the command mv AppleWin LinApple. If you perform an ls at this point, you should see an entry called linapple.

Before attempting to run the linapple command, you’ll need to copy it to the main LinApple folder; use the command

cp linapple ..

in order to copy it to the next higher folder. You can then cd to the main LinApple folder and execute the linapple command.

I have not attempted to use the make install command, nor have I deployed the program system-wide. I’m in the testing stages and welcome any feedback. At some point, I might contact the author and attempt to bring it up to SDL2.

Let me know if you find any steps I missed or any additional information that should be included.

KEGS 0.91 64-bit Xubuntu 14.04

So, I’m not as much in the habit of compiling my own versions from source as I once was, as Ubuntu and many other distros have eliminated the need in many cases. However, KEGS (an Apple IIGS Emulator) is an example where compilation from source is well worth the trouble.

I tend to do everything from the command line in such cases, including installation of missing packages.

From the command line, type

sudo apt-get install build-essentials

This installs many (but not all) of the items that you’ll need to install KEGS.

Now, open the KEGS source file and extract it (including directory structure) to a convenient location. From the terminal, cd into kegs-0.91/src. At this point, you’ll need to get rid of the link to the vars file as it is not for the correct architecture. Simply type:

rm vars

Now, you need to create a link to the correct vars file. Type

ln -s vars_x86linux vars

This creates a link to the correct vars file. This file is read-only, however, and there is a change that needs to be made, so type:

chmod u=rw vars

This sets the user bits to read and write. Go ahead and open the file in your favorite text edit (I use joe from the command line but Mousepad or others will work fine). For the line that starts with CCOPTS, change the -march=pentium parameter to read -march=native. Save and exit the text editor.

Before you can compile, however, there are several missing libraries from the standard 14.04 distro that are needed. Do the following:

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev

sudo apt-get install libxext-dev

At this point, make sure you’re still in the src directory and type:


This might be fairly quick or take several minutes. You’ll probably see a number of warnings and such as the system compiles, but when the normal prompt returns, you can change directory up one level to the kegs-91 folder. Listing the files should show an executable file called xkegs. A note here is that kegs utilizes the older audio system from Ubuntu so you’ll be running the program with an audio wrapper. To test your installation, type:

padsp ./xkegs

You should see the KEGS window with all @ characters and system summary at the bottom. If this is successful, you can move the xkegs executable wherever you’d like (no other files are required) and then create a script that will run the program with the audio wrapper, using your text editor. Place these two lines into a file then set the executable bit on the file. You can then run this script file which will run xkegs with its audio wrapper.


padsp /opt/kegs/xkegs

One other bit that I noted after typing this: make sure you copy the config.kegs file from the kegs-91 folder to your home folder; you can leave it named config.kegs or you can rename it to .config.kegs so it will stay hidden. As kegs will automatically manage this file for the most part, I’d rename it so it doesn’t clutter the system.

If you need disks, etc., to get you started, search for ftp asimov. Just about anything you need can be found on their site.

Hope this helps!

Acer C7 C710 with Xubuntu 13.10

Just a brief note that I did a fresh install with Ubuntu 13.10, allowing updates as I went. The Intel video driver now seems to be active as I can install and run glxgears with a reported frame rate of 304. Previously, since the driver wasn’t fully available I wasn’t able to do any GL stuff at all.

For anyone that might be interested, this is a fantastic little notebook that has sufficient power to run a Windows 7 virtual machine in VirtualBox and still maintain decent playback quality on video or YouTube. I use it for classes on a daily basis as well as my normal daily uses and haven’t experienced any problems.

Edit: One other issue that you might find is that the volume control applet doesn’t work. If so, try installing indicator-sound-gtk2. If that works, you’ll probably have to reinstall it occasionally until Xubuntu includes it.

Visual Paradigm for UML

For those that might be taking classes that require some Use-case Models or similar diagrams, UML systems can be tough to find that don’t require a $1,000+ license. I did find a program called Visual Paradigm for UML CE (Community Edition) that doesn’t require payment for some basic functionality. While it’s got some features locked out that would have been nice to generate some files for classes, the UML portion works pretty well and (on Mac, at least) allows output to PDF. There isn’t a cost, although you do have to register to get an activation code. It’s Java-based, so should work on Windows, Mac (that’s what I’m using) and Linux.

Classes Again

Getting closer to graduation although I still have about 1 year left at 2 classes per sessions (8 weeks). Finally getting into some classes where I’m learning tons of good information. Wish I’d had this 6 or 7 years ago when I started as a programmer, but then again I learned a lot of good hard lessons in the process. Either way, finally getting closer to the end.