Music practice

With the advent of YouTube , there is a plethora of music “lessons” available on the internet. When learning new riffs, however, it is helpful to be able to alter the speed of playback and play selective sections of the lesson.

For some time I have been using audacity, which has the advantage of cross platform availability. However, audacity is a bit of overkill and I find it a bit slow at times.

In addition, when selecting a particular segment within the lesson, skipping dialog or parts already mastered, audacity is a bit “clunky” and somewhat time consuming. Alternately one can splice the lessons with ffmpeg, again somewhat time consuming.

Recently I came across a simple, no frills, light weight solution, “Play it slowly”

Home page

Download (github)

Play it slowly screen shot

Play it slowly is a light weight application but has a simple , clean interface. It is simple to use and has basic features such as:

  1. Slow the speed on playback without altering pitch.
  2. Easily mark, move, and reset sections of a track for playback.
  3. Easy to start/stop/restart playback.

Play is slowly is in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories

sudo apt-get install playitslowly

For Fedora, first install the dependencies:

yum install gstreamer-python gstreamer-plugins-bad-extras

Download the source code from the above link (version 1.4.0 at the time of this writing)

Extract the tarball and install

tar xvzf playitslowly-1.4.0.tar.gz
cd playitslowly-1.4.0
sudo python setup.py install

For additional options see the README or run:

python setup.py --help

Posted in Linux | Leave a comment

Display-dhammapada version 1.1

display-dhammapada is a small package I have been maintaining for the last 2 years and I recently found the time to update. Verses from the English, German, or Polish translations of the
Dhammapada are displayed, either in a terminal or graphically.

With the update display-dhammapada to version 1.1 The German translation was added and titles are now displayed in the appropriate language.

The source code is located at my web site as well as a 64 bit .deb and .rpm (in the Debian and Fedora directories).

The program itself can be compiled as follows

mkdir ~/src
cd ~/src
wget http://bodhizazen.net/display-dhammapada/display-dhammapada-1.1.tar.gz

tar xzvf display-dhammapada-1.1.tar.gz

cd display-dhammapada-1.1
make
sudo make install

To remove the program:

cd ~/src/display-dhammapada-1.1
sudo make uninstall

Posted in Linux | 4 Comments

Installing ddate

ddate is a utility to display the Discordian date with a colorful history. It was removed from util-linux but the source code is still available on GitHub

source https://github.com/bo0ts/ddate

Click the “Download Zip” box on the left.

save / extract in ~/src

cd ~/src/ddate-master
cmake CMakeLists.txt
make
sudo make install

There is no uninstall script, so to remove,

sudo rm /usr/local/bin/ddate
sudo rm /usr/local/share/man/man1/ddate.1.gz

For additional information see

Posted in Linux | 3 Comments

Printing HP Deskjet 1000

I was having trouble printing to my HP Deskjet 1000. When printing a test page, the print job would appear to work, without any error message in /var/log/cups/error_log . however, nothing would print from the printer.

Turned out to be a simple solution, I had to install hplip and hpijs

yum install hplip hpijs

apt-get install hplip hpijs

With more recent versions of Ubuntu (and likely Debian), hpijs is now printer-driver-hpijs

apt-get install hplip printer-driver-hpijs

Odd that the (graphical) system configuration tool did not suggest installing those drivers.

Posted in Fedora, Linux | 4 Comments

Set a hostname in Fedora

I know I have not been very active lately, but I came across a convenient command line tool to set a host name in Fedora. While it is possible to set a host name by manually editing a few system files, I recently came across a command that makes it even easier.

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname $new_hostname

Just set “$new_hostname” to your desired host name.

Posted in Fedora, Linux | Leave a comment

Selinux and confined users

I admit to a paranoid streak and have been confining my users with selinux.

I confine almost all users as user_u

/usr/sbin/semanage login -a -s user_u $user

Users who need admin access I confine as staff_u

/usr/sbin/semanage login -a -s staff_u $user

There are 2 minor annoyances with this method.

First I like regular users to be able to ping. This is enabled as a boolean.

setsebool -P selinuxuser_ping on

And second, although staff_u can use sudo, they are still restricted by selinux. To allow unlimited access, add or edit /etc/sudoers.d/sudo to read

%user ALL=(ALL) TYPE=unconfined_t ROLE=unconfined_r ALL

Change “%user” to the user name you wish to allow unconfined root access.

Posted in Fedora, Linux | 4 Comments

Sound on Intel 811b

With recent kernels the sound on my netbook skips.

Sound card:

Intel Corporation System Controller Hub (SCH Poulsbo) HD Audio Controller [8086:811b] (rev 07)

After many attempts and much google searching, the solution has been to edit /etc/pulse/default.pa and add tsched=0 to the line load-module module-udev-detect

load-module module-udev-detect tsched=0
load-module module-detect tsched=0

Posted in Linux | 2 Comments

command line spell checking

I often edit files with command line tools such as vim and personally find spell checking invaluable.

Two high yield tips I have found:

VIM spell checking

vim has built-in spell checking functionality. I add this to ~/.vimrc

These options are a little more than just spell checking mind you:

" Show line numbers
set number

" Prevent vim from emulating vi
set nocompatible

" Syntax highlighting
syntax on

" Set automatic indentation
set autoindent
set smartindent

" Set tabs at 4 spaces
set tabstop=4
set shiftwidth=4

" Show matching [] and {}
set showmatch

" Spell check on
set spell spelllang=en_us
setlocal spell spelllang=en_us

" Toggle spelling with the F7 key
nn <F7> :setlocal spell! spelllang=en_us<CR>
imap <F7> <C-o>:setlocal spell! spelllang=en_us<CR>

" Spelling
highlight clear SpellBad
highlight SpellBad term=standout ctermfg=1 term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellCap
highlight SpellCap term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellRare
highlight SpellRare term=underline cterm=underline
highlight clear SpellLocal
highlight SpellLocal term=underline cterm=underline

" where it should get the dictionary files
let g:spellfile_URL = 'http://ftp.vim.org/vim/runtime/spell'

Those options highlight and underline misspelled or unrecognized words.
Some keyboard shortcuts to navigate and correct words

]s – move to next misppelled word
[s - move to previous misspelled word
z= - show list of correction options

4]s skip to 4th mispelled word, etc.

vim1
vim2

See vim spelling documentation for details.

Aspell

Aspell provides very similar functionality if you wish to spell check a document.

aspell check README

You then navigate with the keyboard

i – ignore
a – add to (user) dictionary
[0-9] – replace options
r- replace x1
R – replace all

In the event you need to revert changes, aspell saves a copy of the original document with a ~ at the end, in this example, README~

aspell

LanguageTool

Update: At the advice of dominiko (see comments) I took LanguageTool for a test drive. LanguageTool does both spelling (with either hunspell or the built in vim spell checker) and grammar checking. I had to use the snapshot of language tool.

This vim plugin works with java-1.7.0-openjdk and will integrate with libreoffice.

I found LanguageTool to be a very nice addition and would advise taking it for a test drive.

LanguageTool

Posted in Linux | 10 Comments

Fun with KDE

Children are so much fun. With the release of Ubuntu 12.04 and Fedora we took a look at Desktop Environments. This time KDE won out hands down, although XFCE was a close second

After they spent most of the weekend playing with the desktop effects you just have to laugh.

KDE desktop

I counted 12 bouncing balls, 6 sets of xeyes, “life”, a doodle, and there is even a note to anyone snooping in on the desktop.

Posted in Linux | 4 Comments

Kwrite spell check

As of Fedora 17 I am using KDE and so am somewhat new to some of the default applications. The default text editor seems to be kwrite and although there is an option for spell checking , there was no dictionary enabled by default.

I was able to enable spell checking by installing enchant-aspell =)

yum install enchant-aspell

Worked for kate as well.

Posted in Linux | Tagged | 3 Comments