Posts Tagged ‘os platforms’

How to add support for DJVU file format on M$ Windows, Mac, GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Windjview Format paper Clipper logo / support DjView on Windows and Linux

By default there is no way to see what is inside a DJVU formatted document on both Windows and Linux OS platforms. It was just a few months ago I saw on one computer I had to fix up the DJVU format. DJVU format was developed for storing primary scanned documents which is rich in text and drawings.
Many old and ancient documents for example Church books in latin and some older stuff is only to be found online in DJVU format.
The main advantage of DJVU over lets say PDF which is also good for storing text and visual data is that DJVU's data encoding makes the files much more smaller in size, while still the quality of the scanned document is well readable for human eye.

DJVU is a file format alternative to PDF which we all know has been set itself to be one of the major standard formats for distributing electronic documents.

Besides old books there are plenty of old magazines, rare reports, tech reports newspapers from 1st and 2nd World War etc in DJVU.
A typical DJVU document takes a size of only lets say 50 to 100 KBytes of size just for comparison most a typical PDF encoded document is approximately sized 500 KiloBytes.

1.% Reading DJVU's on M$ Windoze and Mac-s (WinDjView)

The program reader for DJVU files in Windows is WinDjView WinDjView official download site is here

WinDjView is licensed under GPLv2 is a free software licensed under GPL2.

WinDjView works fine on all popular Windows versions (7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, ME, 98, NT4).

WinDjView with opened old document Sol manual ,,,,

I've made a mirror copy of WinDjView for download here (just in case something happens with the present release and someone needs it in future).

For Mac users there is also a port of WinDjView called MacDjView ;;;,

2.% Reading DJVU files on GNU / Linux

The library capable of rendering DJVUs in both Linux and Windows is djviewlibre again free software (A small note to make here is WinDjView also uses djviewlibre to render DJVU file content).

The program that is capable of viewing DJVU files in Linux is called djview4 I have so far tested it only with Debian GNU / Linux.

To add support to a desktop Debian GNU / Linux rel. (6.0.2) Squeeze, had to install following debs ;;;

debian:~# apt-get install --yes djview4 djvulibre-bin djviewlibre-desktop libdjviewlibre-text pdf2djvu
........
...

pdf2djvu is not really necessery to install but I installed it since I think it is a good idea to have a PDF to DJVU converter on the system in case I somedays need it ;;;

djview4 is based on KDE's QT library, so unfortunately users like me who use GNOME for a desktop environment will have the QT library installed as a requirement of above apt-get ;;;

Here is Djview4 screenshot with one opened old times Bulgarian magazine called Computer – for you

DJVU Pravetz Computer for you old school Bulgarian Pravetz magazine

Though the magazine opens fine, every now and then I got some spit errors whether scrolling the pages, but it could be due to improperly encoded DJVU file and not due to the reader. Pitily, whether I tried to maximize the PDF and read it in fullscreen I got (segfault) error and the program failed. Anyways at least I can read the magazine in non-fullscreen mode ;;; ,,,,

3.% Reading DJVU's on FreeBSD and (other BSDs)

Desktop FreeBSD users and other BSD OS enthusiasts could also use djview4 to view DJVUs as there is a BSD port in the ports tree.
To use it on BSD I had to install port /usr/ports/graphics/djview4:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/graphics/djview4
freebsd# make install clean
,,,,...

For G / Linux users who has to do stuff with DJVU files, there are two other programs which might be useful:
 

  • a) djvusmooth – graphical editor for DjVu
  • b) gscan2pdf – A GUI to produce PDFs or DjVus from scanned documents

DJVUSmooth Debian GNU / Linux opened prog

I tried djusmooth to edit the same PDF magazine which I prior opened but I got an Unhandled exception: IOError, as you can in below shot:

DJVUSmooth Unhandled Exception IOError

This is probably normal since djvusmooth is in its very early stage of development – current version is 0.2.7-1

Unfortunately I don't have a scanner at home so I can't test if gscan2pdf produces proper DJVUs from scans, anyways I installed it to at least check the program interface which on a first glimpse looks simplistic:

gscan2pdf 0.9.31 Debian Linux Squeeze screenshot
To sum it up obviously DJVU seems like a great alternative to PDF, however its support for Free Software OSes is still lacking behind.
The Current windows DJVU works way better, though hopefully this will change soon.

Text Monitoring of connection server (traffic RX / TX) business in ASCII graphs with speedometer / Easy Monitor network traffic performance

Friday, May 4th, 2012

While reading some posts online related to MS-Windows TcpViewnetwork traffic analyzing tool. I've came across very nice tool for tracking connection speed for Linux (Speedometer). If I have to compare it, speedometer is somehow similar to nethogs and iftop bandwidth network measuring utilities .

What differentiates speedometer from iftop / nethogs / iptraf is it is more suitable for visualizing a network file or data transfers.
The graphs speedometer draws are way easier to understand, than iftop graphs.

Even complete newbies can understand it with no need for extraordinary knowledge in networking. This makes Speedometer, a top tool to visually see the amount of traffic flowing through server network interface (eth0) … (eth1) etc.

What speedometer shows is similar to the Midnight Commander's (mc) file transfer status bar, except the statistics are not only for a certain file transfer but can show overall statistics over server passing network traffic amount (though according to its manual it can be used to also track individual file transfers).

The simplicity for basic use makes speedometer nice tool to track for network congestion issues on Linux. Therefore it is a  must have outfit for every server admin. Below you see a screenshot of my terminal running speedometer on a remote server.

Speedometer ascii traffic track server network business screenshot in byobu screen like virtual terminal emulator

1. Installing speedometer on Debian / Ubuntu and Debian derivatives

For Debian and Ubuntu server administrators speedometer is already packaged as a deb so its installation is as simple as:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install speedometer
....

2. Installing speedometer from source for other Linux distributions CentOS, Fedora, SuSE etc.

Speedometer is written in python programming language, so in order to install and use on other OS Linux platforms, it is necessery to have installed (preferably) an up2date python programming language interpreter (python ver. 2.6 or higher)..
Besides that it is necessary to have installed the urwid -( console user interface library for Python) available for download via excess.org/urwid/

Hence to install speedometer on RedHat based Linux distributions one has to follow these steps:

a) Download & Install python urwid library

[root@centos ~]# cd /usr/local/src
[root@centos src]# wget -q http://excess.org/urwid/urwid-1.0.1.tar.gz
[root@centos src]# tar -zxvvf urwid-1.0.1.tar.gz
....
[root@centos src]# cd urwid-1.0.1
[root@centos urwid-1.0.1]# python setup.py install
running install
running build
running build_py
creating build
creating build/lib.linux-i686-2.4
creating build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/tests.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/command_map.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/graphics.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/vterm_test.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/curses_display.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
copying urwid/display_common.py -> build/lib.linux-i686-2.4/urwid
....

b) Download and install python-setuptools

python-setuptools is one other requirement of speedometer, happily on CentOS and Fedora the rpm package is already there and installable with yum:

[root@centos ~]# yum -y install python-setuptools
....

c) Download and install Speedometer

[root@centos urwid-1.0.1]# cd /usr/local/src/
[root@centos src]# wget -q http://excess.org/speedometer/speedometer-2.8.tar.gz
[root@centos src]# tar -zxvvf speedometer-2.8.tar.gz
.....
[root@centos src]# cd speedometer-2.8
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python setup.py install
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "setup.py", line 26, in ?
import speedometer
File "/usr/local/src/speedometer-2.8/speedometer.py", line 112
n = n * granularity + (granularity if r else 0)
^

While running the CentOS 5.6 installation of speedometer-2.8, I hit the
"n = n * granularity + (granularity if r else 0)
error.

After consultation with some people in #python (irc.freenode.net), I've figured out this error is caused due the outdated version of python interpreter installed by default on CentOS Linux 5.6. On CentOS 5.6 the python version is:

[root@centos ~]# python -V
Python 2.4.3

As I priorly said speedometer 2.8's minimum requirement for a python to be at v. 2.6. Happily there is quick way to update python 2.4 to python 2.6 on CentOS 5.6, as there is an RPM repository maintained by Chris Lea which contains RPM binary of python 2.6.

To update python 2.4 to python 2.6:

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# rpm -Uvh http://yum.chrislea.com/centos/5/i386/chl-release-5-3.noarch.rpm[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-CHL[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# yum install python26

Now the newly installed python 2.6 is executable under the binary name python26, hence to install speedometer:

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python26 setup.py install
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# chown root:root /usr/local/bin/speedometer
[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# chmod +x /usr/local/bin/speedometer

[root@centos speedometer-2.8]# python26 speedometer -i 1 -tx eth0

The -i will instruct speedometer to refresh the screen graphs once a second.

3. Using speedometer to keep an eye on send / received traffic network congestion

To observe, the amount of only sent traffic via a network interface eth0 with speedometer use:

debian:~# speedometer -tx eth0

To only keep an eye on received traffic through eth0 use:

debian:~# speedometer -rx eth0

To watch over both TX and RX (Transmitted and Received) network traffic:

debian:~# speedometer -tx eth0 -rx eth0

If you want to watch in separate windows TX and RX traffic while  running speedometer you can run in separate xterm windows speedometer -tx eth0 and speedometer -rx eth0, like in below screenshot:

Monitor Received and Transmitted server Network traffic in two separate xterm windows with speedometer ascii graphs

4. Using speedometer to test network maximum possible transfer speed between server (host A) and server (host B)

The speedometer manual suggests few examples one of which is:

How fast is this LAN?

host-a$ cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345
host-b$ nc host-a 12345 > /dev/null
host-b$ speedometer -rx eth0

When I red this example in speedometer's manual, it wasn't completely clear to me what the author really meant, but a bit after when I thought over the example I got his point.

The idea behind this example is that a constant stream of zeros taken from /dev/zero will be streamed over via a pipe (|) to nc which will bind a port number 12345, anyone connecting from another host machine, lets say a server with host host-b to port 12345 on machine host-a will start receiving the /dev/zero streamed content.

Then to finally measure the streamed traffic between host-a and host-b machines a speedometer is started to visualize the received traffic on network interface eth0, thus measuring the amount of traffic flowing from host-a to host-b

I give a try to the exmpls, using for 2 test nodes my home Desktop PC, Linux running  arcane version of Ubuntu and my Debian Linux notebook.

First on the Ubuntu PC I issued
 

hipo@hip0-desktop:~$ cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345
 

Note that I have previously had installed the netcat, as nc is not installed by default on Ubuntu and Debian. If you, don't have nc installed yet, install it with:

apt-get –yes install netcat

"cat /dev/zero | nc -l -p 12345" will not produce any output, but will display just a blank line.

Then on my notebook I ran the second command example, given in the speedometer manual:
 

hipo@noah:~$ nc 192.168.0.2 12345 > /dev/null

Here the 192.168.0.2 is actually the local network IP address of my Desktop PC. My Desktop PC is connected via a normal 100Mbit switch to my routing machine and receives its internet via  NAT. The second test machine (my laptop), gets its internet through a WI-FI connection received by a Wireless Router connected via a UTP cable to the same switch to which my Desktop PC is connected.

Finally to test / get my network maximum thoroughput I had to use:

hipo@noah:~$ speedometer -rx wlan0

Here, I  monitor my wlan0 interface, as this is my (laptop) wireless card interface over which I have connectivity to my local network and via which through the the WI-FI router I get connected to the internet.

Below is a snapshot captured showing approximately what is the max network thoroughput from:

Desktop PC -> to my Thinkpad R61 laptop

Using Speedometer to test network thorougput between two network server hosts screenshot Debian Squeeze Linux

As you can see in the shot approximately the maximum network thoroughput is in between:
2.55MB/s min and 2.59MB/S max, the speed is quite low for a 100 MBit local network, but this is normal as most laptop wireless adapters hardly transfer traffic in more than 10 to 20 MBits per sec.

If the same nework thoroughput test is conducted between two machines both connected to a same 100 M/bit switch, the traffic should be at least a 8 MB/sec.

There is something, else to take in consideration that probably makes the provided example network thoroughput measuring a bit inaccurate. The fact that the /dev/zero content is stremed over is slowing down the zeroes sent over network because of the  pipe ( | ) use slows down the stream.

5. Using speedometer to visualize maximum writting speed to a local hard drive on Linux

In the speedometer manual, I've noticed another interesting application of this nifty tool.

speedometer can be used to track and visualize the maximum writing speed a hard disk drive or hard drive partition can support on Linux OS:

A copy paster from the manual text is as follows:

How fast can I write data to my filesystem? (with at least 1GB free)
dd bs=1000000 count=1000 if=/dev/zero of=bigfile &
speedometer bigfile

However, when I tried copy/pasting the example in terminal, to test the maximum writing speed to an external USB hard drive, only dd command was started and speedometer failed to initialize and display graphs of the file creation speed.

I've found a little "hack" that makes the man example work by adding a 3 secs sleep like so:

debian:/media/Expansion Drive# dd bs=1000000 count=1000 if=/dev/zero of=bigfile & sleep 3; speedometer bigfile

Here is a screenshot of the bigfile created by dd and tracked "in real time" by speedometer:

How fast is writting data to local USB expandable hard disk Debian Linux speedometer screenshot

Actually the returned results from this external USB drive are, quite high, the possible reason for that is it is connected to my laptop over an USB protocol verion 3.

6. Using Speedometer to keep an eye on file download in progress

This application of speedometer is mostly useless especially on Linux where it is used as a Desktop.

However in some occasions if files are transferred over ssh or in non interactive FTP / Samba file transfers between Linux servers it can come handy.

To visualize the download and writing speed of lets say FTP transferred .AVI movie (during the actual file transfer) on the download host issue:

# speedometer Download-Folder/What-goes-around-comes-around.avi

7. Estimating approximate time for file transfer

There is another section in the speedometer manual pointing of the program use to calculate the time remaining for a file transfer.

The (man speedometer) provided example text is:

How long it will take for my 38MB transfer to finish?
speedometer favorite_episode.rm $((38*1024*1024))

At first glimpse it hard to understand (like the other manual example). A bit of reasoning and I comprehend what the man author meant by the obscure calculation:

$((38*1024*1024))

This is a formula used in which 38 has to be substituted with the exact file size amount of the transferred file. The author manual used a 38MB file so this is why he put $((38* … in the formula.

I give it a try – (just for the sake to see how it works) with a file with a size of 2500MB, in below two screenshot pictures I show my preparation to copy the file and the actual copying / "real time" transfer tracking with speedometer's status percentage completion bar.

xterm terminal copy file and estimate file copying operation speed on linux with speedometer preparation

Two xterm terminals one is copying a file the other one uses speedometer to estimate the time remaining to complete the file transfer from expansion USB hard drive to my laptop harddrive

Geki2 and Geki3 a Xenon 2 Megablast like games for GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Do you remember the old arcade spaceship shooter Xenon 2 Megablast? I do 😉 For all those who are too young to remember, here are two screenshots:

Xenon2 Main game Screen PC DOS ver

Xenon 2 megablast PC DOS level screenshot

Even though Xenon 2 Megablast original can now be played using dosbox DOS emulator. Its interesting to mention I've found two Linux games that more or less can be qualitified to resemble Xenon 2.
The games are Native Free Software games and existing in package repositories of most Linux distributions and *BSD port trees.

Geki 2 and Geki 3 are of a less quality to Xenon but still, the game experience is nice and is among the Arcade shooter games to bring you fun in the boring days if you're on GNU / Linux or FreeBSD Free OS platforms.

Installing Geki2 and Geki3 on Debian and Ubuntu Linux is standard with apt:

debian:~# apt-get install geki2 geki3
...

On Debian GNU / Linux , after installed the games would not create GNOME Applications -> Games -> game startup shortcuts, however the game startups will get added in GNOME Applications Menu under:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 2
and
Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 3

The games can be launched also manually with commands:

geki2

Geki 2 Linux Xenon 2 like game Main Menu

or

geki3
Geki3 gameplay screenshot Debian Linux

Geki 2 is a way closer to Xenon 2 as it has similar look and feel and the same vertical direction the spaceship is navigated.
In Geki 3 still the shoot 'em' up spaceship like arcade is present, however instead of penguin you have to fly a flying penguin, as well as the spaceship move direction is horizontal.

 Both the games have the same sound and music effects. The game music and effects are not of top quality but are not bad. In general  the games surely gives some of the arcade atmosphere.

Geki 2 GNU Linux Xenon 2 like vertical shooter arcade
Geki 2 Xenon 2 Megablast like on Debian Linux

In the tradition of the arcade games at the end of each level in both games you face the Level Boss Enemy, you should destroy.

Geki3 Level boss Debian Linux Screenshot
As you can see in below's screenshot the overall graphics of GEKI 3 is poorer while compared to GEKI 2

still GEKI 2 gampley is fun and addictive and I would say not less enjoyable than GEKI 2.
 At times I even think that Geki 3 is more fun because it is more dynamic.

 Maybe other reason, why I enjoyed more Geki 3 is also the fact that Geki 2 is a way harder to play. Dying only 3 times in the game you get  GAME OVER  and the next game you're started from the beginning of the same level you died in …

Geki2 Linux different shooting Screenshot

 Something really annoying that affects both the games; there is no option to play them in Fullscreen mode! ARGH!

Game controls for Geki2 and Geki3 are identical as follows:

Up - Arrow up key
Down - Down arrow key
Right - Right arrow key
left - Left arrow key
Shoot - z or Space
Pause - s

Geki2 and Geki3 are fun and can kill some time, but definitely aren't that (professional) as other spaceship shoot'em'up arcades for Linux and BSD. Games like Starfighter , Critical Mass or  powermanga .
 Lest that they are two worthy to install and play on your Free Software OS.