Category Archives: software

Converting PDF to Text

So I have recently involved with a project to extract data from PDF. Which is actually evil, but that is not important now.

On linux there is a set of utilities comes with xpdf program. It should be part of the default package installation, if not, you just apt-get or yum it.

On windows you can go to the gunwin32 page, I just download the zip just so i would not have to remove it with a uninstaller.

I don’t really need the layout information, on it. so I just use pdftotext.

On windows

program_location/pdftotext.exe -layout pdf_file.pdf

On linux, just

pdftotext -layout pdf_file.pdf

The -layout would maintain the layout of the text as from the pdf. Otherwise, the positioning for certain text will be inconsistent.


Qemulator: a front end for qemu.

One of the most popular open source virtualization soft is qemu, arm with kqemu, it can be about as good as vmware. Most probably recognize that qemu don’t really have a front end. But it does, Qemulator is a front end for qemu.

Use an example from haiku.

just click on the + on the main menu, then fill in the name,
then open the image file. Then you done. You should have a virtual machine to run.

To install on ubuntu, it just a matter of:
sudo apt-get install qemulator

make sure you have qemu first. Which probably installed as a dependency anyway.

network diagnostic using mtr

There is a few ways to diagnose network problem, and tools like ping, and traceroute, are indispensable for the task.

Here’s another tools that, is useful. mtr. mtr can be seen as a combination of ping and traceroute. When started it runs as a ncurses program. And what make it interesting is that, it shows the result, live. To me it’s interesting. There is 2 version in the ubuntu repository, one is mtr, another is mtr-tiny. The version I use, is mtr-tiny, which do not have x11 support. to install it on ubuntu, is a matter of
sudo apt-get install mtr or sudo apt-get install mtr-tiny

To run in is a matter of

mtr destination(could be address or URL)

or to leave ncurses, useful if you want to redirect the output to a file.

mtr -r destination

or to run on certain cycle

mtr -c 10 destination

or you can combine it

mtr -c 10 -r destination

What interesting is that, when I run it, I noticed some interesting stuff, my route from my home to google always changing. Maybe it just me.

openkomodo: an open source, code editor

Open Komodo, is an initiatif, by active state, to open source some of their software. Open Komodo is essentially Komodo Edit. A shrink down version of their IDE. So what happens here is that, they open source thei Komodo Edit, which is cost free anyway. But not much of an ide, but good enough for most task.

The editor, support quite a number of language, such as python, ruby, java, and a few. One notable exception is PHP, which is not in the list. Been testing it with python, because been playing around with django.

The basics is there, such as organize as project, code completion, which is totally useful. But the code completion feature, is a bit not quite there yet. Some code in the directory cannot be imported, using import. don’t really work.

Compared to ide, it is a bit barebone, but by then it is a bit like GUI version of emacs, and vi. Probably the reason, why I think it is quite fine.

One thing is it is still alpha, but it quite usable to me now. Probably there is more to come in the future.

One cool thing is, to install open komodo, on linux, any linux, just run the shell script, in shell, chmod +x

It will copy to your home directory, and create a shortcut at the desktop. to remove it, just remove the Directory created and the shortcut. It’s in the README file,

You can get Open Komodo here

me and my realplayer adventure

I noticed that, there is version of real player on helix community site, for amd 64.

Which can be found here. Well it is a nightly build, but it is there for sometime, so it show how ignorant, I am.

One thing I tested is, the playback is not choppy anymore, and with sound too. Also with alsa support. What sucks, the sound, it so machine like. Need to figure out the right alsa configuration.

photo management (k)ubuntu

One of the thing in life, that we have a lot on our computer is Photo, (no) thanks to the invention of digital camera.

On windows, most of the solution revolve around Picasa. On linux, or most other open source os for that matter, there exist a few.

1) F-Spot

It’s a photo manager for gnome desktop. It have a few features, such as tagging, arrange the pictures based on the time, slideshow, a few photo touch up.

All is easy to use. But in term of features, it is a bit lagging. But for most of the task, it is good enough to use.

It is comes with ubuntu when you install ubuntu. But need to install if you use kubuntu, just type “sudo apt-get install f-spot” in terminal

2) DigiKam1. phto edit mode 2) gallery

This on the other hand, is an kde application. Have most of the features, as F-Spot. But it have more features.

Among of it are, import directly from camera, export slide as mpeg, export as remote gallery(which post a gallery online), geolocation, export to ipod etc.

In term of photo touch up, there is more than fspot. For one more effect. Such as decorate etc. But you need to select edit, by right click it.

Kinda reminds me of Picasa.
It comes with kubuntu, i think, if it doesn’t just type, “sudo apt-get install digikam” from terminal


1) photo edit 2) gallery

Picasa is a free (in cost) software from google, and have been runnning on linux for a year. What make it interesting is, it is a way to build the software with wine, so that you can run it on linux.
Yes, picasa is still windows app, but combine with wine to make it runs on linux.

Feature wise, it have all the feature of digikam, and fspot. Except on the latest beta, it integrates with picasa web album. Also the collage feature also a nice thing, and integrate with blog. But some of it didn’t really work yet.

One nice thing is that, it have a nice interface to manage and edit the photo. What sucks, it doesn’t work as well as the windows version. And not open source. Also the only 64bit version is the latest beta.

4) End notes
There is no verdict here, just to show the options available

For 64 bit ubuntu user, the only version of picasa that will run on 64bit machine is, the latest beta. So just download the AMD64 .deb file

playing with simh: aka fascinated with computer history

After reading “Fire In The Valley”. I wanted to see how an Altair work. Since I am not rich, so I can’t get my hand on an Altair. The next best thing is an emulator. Such an emulator exist for quite sometime, and more importantly it’s open source, and available on Ubuntu.

Simh is not just an emulator, it’s actually a set of emulator, that emulate a number of ancient machine, that I wanted to get a hand on. Such as a PDP-11, which is used to run the first UNIX.

And to install it on ubuntu is again a matter of

sudo apt-get install simh

What make it interesting is that, each machine emulated is represented as an executable, so calling an emulator, is a matter of calling the right program, for example, running an altair is a matter, of running the program, altair on linux, altair.exe on windows.

And there is a windows version too. One reminder, it only provide the emulator not the os and program.

The links provide the emulator, source code, and windows executable.

There is links to the program that are needed to make the emulator useful

Been playing around with mozilla prism

Been playing around with mozilla prism, an interesting project, by mozilla, where a webpage(webapps), is presented like an application on your computer.

The big idea is, once you click an icon, on your desktop you should be able to launch your webpage,but this time, with very minimal interface.

Which to me is an interesting concept, because imagine, a web application, like my google apps, really look like application on the desktop.

ruby on rails on netbeans 6

One reason why I get the latest netbeans is ruby support. Netbeans it self have a ruby version, jruby, but it support the native ruby installed.

The difference between the both is, if you download the full version of netbeans, you will get jruby, without needing to install ruby on your system. Which features gems, too. On the other hand, native ruby is supported as well, it just that, netbeans do not have the necessary permissions, to access gems. But syntax, highlighting, works quite well.

So using it is a matter of selecting ruby on rails project under ruby, when you start a new project

And also a generator, to generate stuff, like model, scaffold, controller, and other thing that you done, on the rails generate script

But really, it is not much, it is just a gui for process that is usually done, on shell, nothing ground breaking here, just that having a ide that do syntax highlighting on ruby is quite cool.

p.s able to run ruby on netbeans without ruby, rocks too

Interesting Browser: Flock

Not too long ago flock have reach 1.0. But not too long ago, it seems to be stagnant. It is one of the interesting browser I found online, which expose me to a number of service including

What flock boast is that, it is a social browser. Which make it easy to use many services, which include,, flickr, youtube, photobucket, even facebook.

It feature a few thing like, an uploader for flickr, a blog editor(which i use to write this blog), media bar, facebook integration, which shows friends updates. web clipboard. And that is quite nifty.

the bad thing is, the interface is strange, a bit cluttered actually.



you can get flock here:

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