Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Quote on the L^He^Hf^Ht^H R^H^i^Hg^Hh^Ht^H Top

Is courtesy of Blog U, though I didn't try to fix my template to make it appear above these posts, I just picked the topmost "Add a Page Element" that was already there.

That, and a search for pTerry quotes on the web.

Yeah, I got bored and changed the template.

If you move Blogger's "Page Elements" around enough, you eventually get them where you want them to go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ubuntizing Red Hat Liberation Fonts

You've probably heard that Red Hat has released a set of Liberation Fonts, which are metric equivalents of the Microsoft Arial, Courier New, and Times New Roman fonts; thus you can use, e.g., Liberation Serif and your document should be exactly the same size as a Word document with the Times New Roman font. Note that they don't look exactly like the Microsoft fonts, for that would be copyright infringement, and rightly so.

The fonts aren't available in Ubuntu at the moment, but following a Ubuntu Forums thread, I extracted the relevant part of the installation script. (The rest of the script is supposed to improve font rendering on your screen — my fonts render well enough for my needs, so I'm leaving that alone. YMMV.)

To install the Liberation fonts, save this script as red_hat_lib_install:

#! /bin/bash

## See

## Or

## We'll only add Red Hat Liberation Fonts, forget the sub-pixel stuff
##  for now.

## Download the fonts from Red Hat

## Extract the package
tar -xvf liberation-fonts-ttf-3.tar.gz

## Copy the fonts to the proper directory
cp -r liberation-fonts-0.2 /usr/share/fonts/truetype/

## Delete temporary files
rm -r liberation-fonts-0.2/ liberation-fonts-ttf-3.tar.gz

## Rebuilt the font cache

and then

sudo ./red_hat_lib_install

Open up an applications such as OpenOffice, and admire the fonts (or not, again, YMMV, but you don't have to use them if you don't like them).

And while you're at it, look at all of these already Debianed fonts. There may be something there you really like — just don't send me your resume in flatline regular.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blogger Play

This is probably a statement about how much privacy we're willing to surrender in exchange for free web presence.

Or, maybe, it's just interesting:

“Real Time” viewing of images uploaded to Blogger.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Welcoming Back an Old Friend

My favorite old calendaring software package is called ical, but it's got nothing to do with Apple. It's an old tcl/tk program, and I've discussed its installation many times before.

For whatever reason, I hadn't been able to run ical under Ubuntu Feisty. Today I decided to try, once again, to do something about it. A bit of Googling found that there's a bugfix version of ical, 2.3.2. I downloaded that, then followed the directions for creating a proper makefile:

$ tar xvf ical-2.3.2.tar.gz
$ cd ical-2.3.2
$ ./configure --with-tclconfig=/usr/lib/tcl8.4 \
--with-tkconfig=/usr/lib/tk8.4 \
--with-tclhdir=/usr/include/tcl8.4 \
$ make
$ sudo make install

Which puts the program in /usr/local/bin. Of course, you have to have the Tcl and Tk packages and -dev files (headers) installed:

$ dpkg -S /usr/lib/tcl8.4
tcl8.4, tcl8.4-dev: /usr/lib/tcl8.4

$ dpkg -S /usr/lib/tk8.4
tk8.4, tk8.4-dev: /usr/lib/tk8.4

$ dpkg -S /usr/include/tcl8.4
tcl8.4-dev, expect-dev, tk8.4-dev: /usr/include/tcl8.4

So at the very least you'll need tcl8.4, tk8.4, tcl8.4-dev and tk8.4-dev.

And so, once again, I have my favorite calendering program.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Corfu, Greece

For some reason, not all of the pictures are displayed in this entry. I've uploaded the whole post to my personal web pages at
note that the pictures are significantly bigger there, so it will take longer to download.

Given our switch from Comcast to Verizon, I don't expect that link to stay up very long, so I've tried replacing the pictures in this blog. If they vanish again, I'll put them on my new web page, wherever that may be.

I spent the last week of August on the island of Corfu (Kerkyra), Greece, attending ISMANAM 2007 (which highly amused the immigration lady in London). The meeting was quite good, I learned a fair amount and, as with all good meetings, made contacts with people I'd never met before.

But I don't want to talk about that. I want to show you some of Corfu:

  • My hotel, the Louis Corcyra Beach, is a “resort” hotel. The view is quite nice:

    but the rooms aren't what you'd think of as American quality: there's a window air conditioner, the beds are small, and the floor is tile. If you want a resort that has fancy American style hotel rooms, for about the same price (or cheaper), go to Cancun. They did have a reasonable American-style (eggs, ham, bacon, etc.) breakfast included in the price (110 €/night).
  • The Louis Corcyra is in Gouvia, which is sort of the Ocean City, Maryland, of the island. That is, lots of bars, lots of tourists running around. This time of year it was mostly Brits, and every bar had a giant TV showing Premier League Soccer. I wish I'd taken pictures of the night-life, but all I have are shots like Thursday Morning, 10 a.m.:

  • Some of the hotels (but not the Louis C) have internet access, at a rate of about 6 €/hour. (1 € ≈ $ 1.40, at least last week). A better deal, after 6 p.m., at least, is to go up to Dassia (about 3 km from Gouvia) and stop at Great Shakes, a British pub serving Indian food prepared by a Welsh chef. They have free Internet access. Well, not exactly free, you're expected to buy something, but for 5 € you can get:

    which you can nurse for an hour or more. Good curries, too.

    (Note the abomination on the glass, required by the EU's slavish adherence to the metric system. I love the metric system, but some things are sacred.)
  • More interesting was Corfu City itself. I got to spend most of last Friday there, waiting for my plane to take off. Here I stayed at the Cavalieri Hotel, a refurbished 17th century mansion. The room was nicer than the one at the Louis C, cheaper (75 $euro;, with a smaller breakfast buffet), and had a bed that was way too soft, and a really small, two-level, bathtub that almost killed me (and may still, my ribs still hurt from where I fell).

  • Corfu contains several museums. I spent a half-hour (that's all it takes, really) in the Archaeological Museum, which features exhibits from the last 2,600 years. I particularly liked the lion from the 7th century B.C. tomb of Menecrates (the poet, I think):

    and the Gorgon pediment from the temple to Artemis:
  • Corfu is dominated by two forts, the Old Fort and the New Fort (duh). The Cavalieri is near the Old Fort,

    which was originally built by the Venetians, who controlled the island in the 15-18th centuries, and modified by just about everyone who since. The fort is on an islet that was artificially separated from the mainland.

    It's a long way up. Take a look at the view coming into the fort,

    and then a view of the cross from the level of the clock tower (but off to one side),

    and then look at how tall the cross itself is:

    Finally, take a look back at the town, from the top of the fort. The Cavalieri is off to the left just behind the park:

  • For one last shot, let's see if Blogger really can upload movies now:

Galen Frysinger has much, much, much, more about Corfu, along with just about every other place in the world.

(Pictures taken with a Canon PowerShot A550, downloaded to this computer using gthumb, though digikam also works.)