Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Installing Google Earth in Ubuntu 9.04 with fix for libcrypto.so.0.9.8 error

I recently installed Google Earth in Ubuntu 9.04 from an online guide:
$ sudo apt-get install googleearth-package
$ make-googleearth-package --force
$ sudo dpkg -i googleearth*.deb

But unfortunately I ran into this error:
$ googleearth
/usr/lib/googleearth/googleearth-bin: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/googleearth/libssl.so.0.9.8: undefined symbol: EVP_idea_cbc
After some digging around I discovered some cryptic instructions to renaming libcrypto to fix the error. The following worked for me:
$ cd /usr/lib/googleearth
$ sudo cp libcrypto.so.0.9.8.removed-by-installer libcrypto.so.0.9.8

Its been awhile...

I've not posted here for some time. Lately I have been comparing Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04. I will create some content related to my setup to Ubuntu, bug fixes, etc. Expect more soon!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Esprit de l’escalier

ThursdayThirteen recently posted this fantastic list of unusual words. Reposted here for my friends to enjoy!

These words do not have direct equivalents in English. Some of them would definitely be useful for us English-speakers, what do you think?

1. Waldeinsamkeit (German): the feeling of being alone in the woods

2. Ilunga (Tshiluba, Congo): a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time

3. Taarradhin (Arabic): a way of resolving a problem without anyone losing face (not the same as our concept of a compromise - everyone wins)

4. Litost (Czech): a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery

5. Esprit de l’escalier (French): a witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs…

6. Meraki (Greek): doing something with soul, creativity, or love

7. Yoko meshi (Japanese): literally ‘a meal eaten sideways’, referring to the peculiar stress induced by speaking a foreign language:

8. Duende (Spanish): a climactic show of spirit in a performance or work of art, which might be fulfilled in flamenco dancing, or bull-fighting, etc.

9. Guanxi (Mandarin): in traditional Chinese society, you would build up good guanxi by giving gifts to people, taking them to dinner, or doing them a favour, but you can also use up your gianxi by asking for a favour to be repaid.

10. Pochemuchka (Russian): a person who asks a lot of questions

11. Tingo (Pascuense language of Easter Island): to borrow objects one by one from a neighbour’s house until there is nothing left

12. Radioukacz (Polish): a person who worked as a telegraphist for the resistance movements on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain

13. Selathirupavar (Tamil): a word used to define a certain type of absence without official leave in face of duty

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Still trying to fix Blogger

The problem is with the wysiwyg editor and some odd interaction between java and iceweasel (the standard port of firefox on Debian.)
I have confirmed the bug in Konqueror also.
Thus far, Firefox for linux, appears to be working.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Making Sense of SANE and the EPSON 3490 PHOTO Scanner

My scanner, the EPSON PERFECTION 3490 PHOTO is finally working with my Debian installation. The path to success was a circuitous one. Hopefully my notes will make your install a bit easier.

1. Install SANE
2. Download and move scanner firmware into /usr/share/iscan
3. Edit dll.conf to use snapscan
4. Edit snapscan.conf to point at the firmware from step 2
5. run xsane

Scanning in Linux is anything but SANE, but that is the first requirement. Make sure sane is installed and xsane using your favorite utility (I use aptitude.) While your at it, also grab some dev packages:


Although not strictly required I was unable to compile iscan (a front end variant) without them.
Iscan may not be necessary if you are happy with xsane, but most people who managed to get this scanner working in Linux appeared to have installed it along the way... so I did too.
Get iscan: http://www.avasys.jp/english/linux_e/dl_scan.html
You will have to answer a few questions before reaching a download page with a few rpms and one gzip file. Get them all. I also had to install some necessary libraries to get the software to ./configure ; make ; make install properly.

Iscan is a pain. Along the way I discovered it could not find all the libs it installs; so you must add them to the path environment variable:

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib"

This scanner requires firmware. I found it inside this rpm: ftp://fr.rpmfind.net/linux/SuSE-Linux/i386/10.1/SUSE-Linux10.1-GM-Extra/suse/i586/iscan-firmware-
Make sure you have rpm2cpio installed, then:

$ rpm2cpio <>/usr/share/iscan/* /usr/share/iscan

Edit /etc/sane.d/dll.conf and comment all lines except for the "snapscan"
Edit snapscan.conf and add a path to your firmware near the top (this file is well commented)
firmware /usr/share/iscan/esfw52.bin
Now your scanner should be accessible to xsane:
$ xsane &

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I feel that open source methods are the logical outcome of an educated society. The benefits of open source software are amazing. Recently I was was able to identify a new bug, chat with a developer on freenode and download a cvs copy complete with bug-fix in less than 30 minutes. Try that with any version of closed source software!
QUNU takes these ideas to a new level. QUNU links experts in subject areas to a database. Users of QUNU can search on a topic and initiate an online chat on that subject to solve routine problems. If you have expertise in a given area, please contribute to the community by registration and offer your help also. Even as a "user" you can help people in need by being available for a brief online chat when they have problems.
This community driven effort is exactly what works well online! Try it out today; http://www.qunu.com/ "live help when you need it most"

How to fix BZFlag sound in Debian Etch

The standard Alsa drivers for my sound hardware (Intel 845 motherboard) are very poor.
I did finally manage to get sound working properly by building bzflag without SDL:

(get a recent bzflag cvs)
./configure --without-SDL
sudo make install

You must remove the config.cfg file before the new non-sdl bzflag will work properly.
Confirm your version like so:

/usr/games$ ./bzflag -v
BZFlag client (protocol 0026) http://BZFlag.org/

This is the -SDL build.
Note that the installer does not put bzflag in this location. the /usr/games location is specific to Debian. Just copy your new build to this location and check again:

/usr/games$ bzflag -v
BZFlag client (protocol 0026) http://BZFlag.org/

The normal option tells bzflag to send sound request to SDL - which chooses the best option from available drivers. The --without-SDL avoids this ALSA issue and sound works properly.

Monday, October 30, 2006

How to install Firefox 2 in Debian Etch

My "standard" v1.5 install of Firefox began crashing without warning - so I installed Firefox 2 in the following manner:

Get Firefox

Untar the file in /opt

Copy your plugins:
$ cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
$ sudo cp * /opt/firefox/plugins/

Rename your old Firefox
$ cd /usr/bin/
:/usr/bin$ sudo cp firefox oldfirefox
:/usr/bin$ sudo rm firefox

Link your copy in /opt
:/usr/bin$ sudo ln -s /opt/firefox/firefox .


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Monday, October 02, 2006

Large Scale Quantization

Redshift differences of double galaxies show a peculiar "grouping" of values.
This large scale quantization has a few interpretations - including one that suggest the Earth must be the center of the universe.
This observation is important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is our presumption of a "big bang" theory. Sadly, these observations also show a misunderstanding of velocity and red shift observation (which also show a general trend for dim objects to be travelling faster than bright ones.)
My views on the subject are more pragmatic.
  1. Light from the universe observed on Earth has travelled through millions of miles of dust and debris. This material has an effect on our observation.
  2. Any theory that says the Earth is the center of the universe is wrong. We simply are not that important.
This banding must then be an artifact imposed upon otherwise more generally distributed data.
The implications of this observation are that everything we see in the universe is filtered through the rose colored glasses of material that lies between us and that object. This calls into question almost everything we hold has constant in astronomical observation.
So, if the universe is not really expanding - but only looks like it is - what impact does this have on our ability to make statements about the age of the universe, evolution and age of objects, and even localized regions of space?
My last statement is even more profound;
  1. Dim objects are farther away, or just obscured by dust
Notice I did not say "moving more quickly away from us" although dim objects most often have red shifts which suggest this. We need to find a way to compensate for such errors.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

My favorite visual demonstration

Do you ever wonder how people walk by problems every day without stopping? The human brain is organized in a way that eliminates the "common" and spends most of its time focusing on only the change in our visual input system.
Stare at the black cross for 15 seconds.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cool new template, Video and search bars added

Ok, I'm ready to declare that xml is dead. Unfortunately I'm the only one and this template proves it. The blogosphere has some cool hacks though, and I have manged to rework my template to include a few custom map elements and search items here.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Heidelberg Castle

Here are some photos from a recent trip to Heidelberg.

We only had a few days there - mostly filled with business activity but the weather was perfect.

The ruins in the background of this photo include a tower with 7m walls (wall thickness of about 21 feet). Half of this tower was destroyed by undermining the walls with packed gunpowder.

This castle also holds the largest wine barrel ever made (58,000 gallon capacity.)


Played a few matches today with Bernie (fellow team member of Bz Incorporated). We won both of them.

First Post

Here is a first post to get this blogger thing started. Actually, I kinda started it already many years ago so this is a "renewal" blog if you wish.