Posts tagged ‘Linux Mint’

About Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Skype and Webcams

Just recently, one of my kids asked for the installation of a webcam for creating image snapshots. He already had found a fine, very cheap Trust kit: a webcam, a microphone and a headset for less than 15 euro. I bought it for him, but I warned him on beforehand: since we are exclusively using Linux, installation of a webcam might be cumbersome. He didn’t mind, as long as, in the end, he would have a working webcam and microphone.

trust chat & voip pack deluxe

trust chat & voip pack deluxe

My first concern was to get the webcam to work. I connected it to one of the USB ports of his Linux Mint computer, and did a test with VLC media player: wow!!! I had nothing to configure. As soon as I selected, as output device: /dev/video0 ,we were able to see that basically, the webcam had already been recognized (media -> Open recording device, see printscreen). It just worked out of the box. Again, and as stated so often in this blog: no drivers to configure, nothing at all. Ubuntu (and Linux Mint) just work out of the box, also when adding extra peripherals like webcams.

vlc webcam

vlc webcam

Ok, so the webcam worked. My kid was now able to take snaphots with VLC media player. The VLC snapshots are stored on a hidden directory /home/username/.local/share/vlc. So I created a shortcut on his desktop for easy access; command line for the icon -> nautilus /home/username/.local/share/vlc

All right, so the first step worked. I wanted to take the configuration a bit further: I wanted my kid to have a Skype account, so he could contact me at no cost and with all available media options, when I would be at work. Guess what: installation of Skype on his Linux Mint computer was a matter of installing the software through the Ubuntu software Center (it’s available on Linux Mint too), creating the account, and testing the Skype configuration. I plugged in the audio and microphone jacks…and off we were!!

Oh and by the way: the Trust box mentioned:  “Windows 7 ready” . I guess the manufacturer should add… “and Linux Desktop”.

Happy Skyping!!

26/12/2010 at 4:16 pm 2 reacties

The GIMP: Content Aware Fill like in Adobe Photoshop CS5

This article applies to: Ubuntu 9.10, Ubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint Isadora, and maybe to the Windows version of GIMP. Ubuntu and most Linux Desktop distributions include a recent  version of GIMP. Both Ubuntu and the GIMP are available at no cost at all. The Windows version of GIMP is available at http://www.gimp.org/downloads/ .

I use the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) a lot for picture editing. Now sometimes, a picture has items that I do not want to appear on the picture. Think of, e.g., some text that I would like to wipe out of the picture, or whatever other element. With the to-date most recent, closed-source, commercial competitor of the GIMP, Photoshop CS5, you have an new option called Content-Aware Fill-in. Now the  big question is of course: do we have the same option in Ubuntu (or Linux Mint) with GIMP?

The answer is: no, it’s not there by default…and yes, for Ubuntu,  it’s available and installable in just a couple of clicks, and it has absolutely exactly the same effect. It’s a plugin for the GIMP that you install through System -> Administration -> Synaptic. In the search box, just search for Gimp Resynthesizer, by filling in “resynt” in the search box. Install the software.

synaptic install gimp resynthesizer

synaptic install gimp resynthesizer

Next, in GIMP, check that you have the following option: Filters -> Projections -> Resynthesize

Now to show that it has really absolutely  the same effect, I decided to do with GIMP  exactly what is shown as a feature on the Adobe site with the product information of Photoshop CS5:  a man, standing with his back to a wall, has to disappear in the  final picture. Just check out that the effect is really absolutely the same, by clicking on  gimp resynthesize (PDF file, created with OpenOffice.org). The only thing I had to do was tweak a bit one parameter, as shown in the demonstration.

For  tutorials, just Google with the keywords: gimp resynthesizer tutorial, there’s plenty of them out there.

An excellent tutorial can be found by clicking on this link.

Check out this Resynthesize feature, it’s truly amazing!!!

08/08/2010 at 10:58 am Plaats een reactie

Linux Mint Isadora

Problem with Brookdale chipset and Ubuntu?  Maybe it’s interesting to read this blog entry: https://janvandevoort.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/ubuntu-9-10-with-vga-intel-82845gglbrookdale-gge/

These last weeks, I had some crash problems on one of my Ubuntu computers, used by one of my children. It was installed with Ubuntu 9.04. The crashes would occur in Firefox (3.0): the system would freeze. Also, a game that worked just fine until recently under Wine, would  crash when using sound effects. Instead of trying to fix the problems individually, I decided to go for a full reinstallation of the computer, after having previously copied the /home/username/ data to a thumb drive, of course.

This PC is one of my PCs with an Intel Brookdale video chipset Intel Corporation 82845G/GL[Brookdale-G]/GE Chipset Integrated Graphics Device (rev 01)

Now since I had decided to do a full reinstallation, why not choose another distribution than Ubuntu 9.04? Why not try…Linux Mint, for example? If that wouldn’t work, I could always reinstall an older Ubuntu version. Linux Mint is a derivative from Ubuntu, with many additional packages and with some restricted extras, like Flash player,  already built in. I decided to go for the most recent version: Linux Mint Isadora. I knew the distribution already, and was pointed in that direction through a reaction to one of my posts: a reader mentioning the fact that some video problems occurring in Ubuntu did quite simply not exist in Linux Mint.

Linux Mint Isadora is based on Ubuntu Lucid Lynx, the most recent Ubuntu version. Like all Linux installation, installation of Linux Mint Isadora was a snap, and  the machine was ready after just two hours of work – or should I say a few clicks and some waiting time 🙂

Now about  the usage of the machine with Linux Mint Isadora: since this machine has this old Brookdale video chipset, and since I had some problems with it on another machine (with Ubuntu 9.10), I wanted to test pausing and hibernating the machine. I was prepared for some disappointment….but to my great surprise: it just worked flawlessly! Whether this is due to Lucid Lynx (the base system) or Isadora, I don’t know, but I know one thing for sure: this Linux Mint Isadora distribution is a very, very good one! And since it’s based on Ubuntu, all language packages are installed in the language of my choice.

Linux Mint Isadora

Linux Mint Isadora

There is one thing, however, one thing that doesn’t work any more: that’s the Windows game. When starting it, the screen just starts to flicker, and that’s the end of the story. I still have to find a solution for that problem. To be continued 😉 ( update november 7 2010 -> after installing the most recent Mint / Ubuntu patches…the game now just works 😉

11/07/2010 at 7:44 am 2 reacties


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