Saturday, March 09, 2019

How to install Celestia in Ubuntu 18.04 or Debian 9

Latest Debian based distros don't include Celestia in their repositories and you need to compile the software to enjoy it.
Just need to type the following commands in your console (Ubuntu and derivates distros):
sudo apt-get install libglew-dev libjpeg-dev libpng-dev libtheora-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libeigen3-dev libfmt-dev qtbase5-dev qtbase5-dev-tools and libqt5opengl5-dev freeglut3-dev libgtkglext1-dev liblua5.2-dev git
git clone https://github.com/CelestiaProject/Celestia
cd Celestia/
mkdir build
cd build/
cmake .. -DENABLE_QT=ON
make
sudo make install
If you use Debian type first su - and then type the same commands as Ubuntu case but don't type sudo

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Load an run any Amstrad CPC game or other software

I start a load games manual series with my favourite 8 bit computer: my Amstrad CPC.


Disc

Type
Run"disc"
or
 |CPM
(if the floppy disk has another command do this command).

Tape

  1. I your CPC has any floppy disk unit type:
    |TAPE
  2. Press CTRL & INTRO (small) or type:
    RUN"
  3. Press INTRO, play in the cassette and then any key.

Cartridge

  1. Switch the computer off.
  2. Change the cartridge.
  3. Switch the computer on.
Never change the cartridge with the computer switched on.


Interest links or if you want to know more

Thursday, December 20, 2018

PCem, old PCs emulator for GNU/Linux

PCem, is an old PCs emulator than simulate certain old machines like los Amstrad PC for example, this is not emulate only DOS system like DosBOX do so good.


Let's go to install and configure it.

Download and instalation

  1. Install all the necessary libraries:
    sudo apt-get install libsdl2-dev libopenal-dev libwxbase3.0-dev libwxgtk3.0-dev automake
  2. Download  latest available version of code from bitbucket.
  3. Create a folder and uncompress in it:
    mkdir pcem
    cd pcem
    tar -zxvf ../PCemV14Linux.tar.gz
  4. Compile and install:
    sudo chmod +x ./configure
    ./configure --enable-release
    make
    sudo make install

Configuration

Run emulator a first time:
pcem
You get an error because you haven't any BIOS but .pcem folder will be created in your $HOME with all the folder structure to add all the files you need:

FolderContents
configsEach system configuration file.
logsemulator logs (errors and warnings).
nvrnvr
romsESSENTIAL: the roms you need for each system.
This folder contains a folder for each PC type to emulate.
screenshotsScreenshots.
Other foldersYou can create HD and DSK folders to add HD or floppy images for example.

If we have a configuración of a Windows pcemu for example, we need to copy configuration in .pcem folder.

We can change some things in emulation while machine is running clicking with right button into the emulation window.


Or we can use dialog boxes we can see when pcem start with any roms files included. This allow us add more configuration profiles or change the ones we have.


Important: check that all configuration files have the right path.

Monday, December 03, 2018

How to make a CP/M plus boot disk that start some commands at beginning (i.e.: Mallard Basic)

Vamos a preparar una cara de un disco de 3'' en un Amstrad CPC6128 para que al teclear |CPM arranque el sistema operativo y el comando que deseemos.

Lets make a CP/M plus boot disk in a side of a an Amstrad CPC6128 3'' disk, the goal is type |CPM an starts the operating system and the commands that we want.

Format as SYSTEM

IMPORTANT: You must use numerical keyboard in DISCKIT3 assistant, other numeric keys won't work.
  1. Insert CP/M plus disk #1 (better a copy) and type:
    |CPM
  2. Run the software:
    DISCKIT3
  3. Select these options:
    Format > System Format
  4. Keep system disk in A: drive until system tracks are copied, then press a key.
  5. Select unit drive where is the disk to format (if we have more than one).
  6. Confirm than this is the right drive and desired format, then press a key.
  7. DISCKIT ask us if we want to format another disk, in this case we say NO.
  8. Eject all the floppies and exit from DISCKIT3.
  9. Return to CP/M prompt

Copy system to our new floppy disk

  1. Insert again the new floppy but now in A: drive.
  2. Insert system disk in B: drive or switch when system ask you if you have only one.
  3. Copy these files to the new floppy:
    PIP B:=A:C10CPM3.EMS
    PIP B:=A:KEYS.*
    PIP B:=A:SUBMIT.COM
    PIP B:=A:SETKEYS.*
    PIP B:=A:SET24X80.COM
    PIP B:=A:AMSDOS.COM
    PIP B:=A:PIP.COM
  4. Eject both floppies, restart CPC and we insert only the new one in A drive. Check if all runs ok with the command:
    |CPM

Copy Mallard Basic and some example BAS files

In my case I got the executable file of Mallard Basic del PCW with some BAS files, so I need to copy them (now I insert old floppy in B:)
PIP B:=A:BASIC.COM
PIP B:=A:*.BAS 


 Hacer que arranque Basic Mallard al iniciar CP/M 

  1. Exit from CP/M typing AMSDOS
  2. Type this lines from Locomotive Basic IN AMSDOS:
    10 OPENOUT "PROFILE.SUB"
    20 PRINT #9, "BASIC"
    30 CLOSEOUT
  3. Save for future uses and changes:
    SAVE "GENPROF.BAS"
    (remember, this is a Locomotive Basic AMSDOS software, don't try to open with Mallard Basic in CP/M).
  4. Type RUN.
  5. Type |CPM again to check that new floppy works ok.

REMEMBER: Type SYSTEM to exit from Mallard Basic.

The big problem is you can't activate floppy write protection or autorun doesn't work. :(

Monday, November 26, 2018

Plug a stereo output to a mono input, the "mono emulator"

I want to plug my 8 bit computers tape port (input) to my new stereo cassette player another stereo set as my smartphone, a mp3 player, my raspberry pi in order to play games.
The idea is simple, plug all ground/mass conection together and stereo right and left signal to mono one.
To connect the stereo source to a computer with a homemade port, i.e. ZX Spectrum +2A or Commodore 64's tape unit, I make a cable with two male connectors, one stéreo and another mono, like this:
But If I want to make an adapter to an Amstrad CPC6128 or MSX tape cable the connections will be the same but mono connector will be female.
If I want to record in tape I need to this cable two times.
Also I can make a specific adapter for new smartphones (CTIA connection) or for my raspberry. At this cases we change the male stereo connector for an 4 contacts jack where most external connection will not be connecter (MIC or Video signal), ground will be the next connection.
If you use a very old mobile (OMTP connection), ground and MIC are swapped.

Monday, November 19, 2018

SuperTuxKart: unlock all tracks and karts

SuperTuxKart is a race karts game similar as Mario Kart and one of my favorite games because it's addictive and allow a lot of interesting things.



Now we see a tick to unlock all tracks and karts, we need edit a file with and editor than keep the original format of the file (I use jEdit).

This is the full path of the file:
$HOME/.config/supertuxkart/0.8.2/players.xml
we need change these strings:
true false
none hard
And that's it, you can already enjoy all the karts and tracks, including those that are blocked without needing to get the milestones.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Open alternatives to privative software (XII): GIMP, the graphics editor

You need GNU/Gimp if you need edit a photo or any image.
The GIMP is a very powerfull tool, at least as much as the most well known and you needn't pay a lot of money for a licence and you have the guarantee than it's open source.
Anyway, as any other software, you need a good manual or a course to learn of the possibility.

Some of its feautures:
  • Multisystem: there are Windows, Mac (now full native), GNU/Linux y much more other unixes versions.
  • Most GNU/Linux distros includes GIMP installed of included in their official repositories.
  • Can import from or export to almost all graphics format.
  • This is open source and also free software, you needn't pay expensive licences.
  • You can do a lot of things with layers, make an animated GIF, images for different scenarios, etc...
Sice 2.8.x version was launched you can work in an unique window or not.
This version requires a pentium 4 processor at least and Windows version must be runned al least in Windows XP with service pack 3.



If our computer hasn't the minimal requirements (our PC must be older than 15 years old) we can use the older versions. They have most of the feautures with less requirements.

You can see professional possibilities and works in youtube, these videos will surprise you.

Original article

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Open alternatives to propietary software (XI): double panel explorers (NC clones)

Double panel explorer, similars to old Norton Commander in DOS, are very easy to use and useful to navigate in different devices and paths (HDD, DVD-ROM, etc...).

There is a lot of clones of NC and a lot of them are open source, these are my recomendations:

mc (midnight commander)

The ideal solution for browsing the GNU/Linux paths from the console, it is one of the first programs I install in any distro.



You can install it from your distro software center or from console with these commands as root:
apt-get install mc # Debian, ubuntu or similar
yum install mc # Red hat, Centos, Fedora or similar

gnome-commander

Very useful in gnome or any other graphic enviroment.



You can install it from your distro software center or from console with these commands as root:
apt-get install gnome-commander mild # Debian, ubuntu or similar
yum install gnome-commander # Red hat, Centos, Fedora or similar

All these software can do, at least, these operations with files and folders: copy, move, delete, edit, search content, change permissions and ownership and much more.

But there is a lot of open source clones I still don't prove it.

Original article

Monday, July 23, 2018

Open alternatives to propietary software (X): web browsers

Any open web browser is the best option to surf in the web with security, especially since the vulnerabilities are discovered very soon and corrected right away, using a private one is like playing Russian roulette.
These are some of most well-know:
  • Mozilla Firefox, one of the more used web browsers in the World. It's a powerfull and secure web browser.
  • Google Chrome another open source web browser, but made by google and apparently it monitors us while we use. There are a lot of people, including myseft,  that doesn't like this circustance.
    But again the advantages of free software are evident in this case, doesn't like how this web browser works? No problem, we made a fork: Chromium... but in this case Chrome is the fork than add spy code.
  • Chromium this is handled the same as google chrome but without that disturbing monitoring and works with most chrome plugins, it is also very fast and secure.
  • Other less known web browsers are Midori, SeaMonkey, etc
All of them are available for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux, in the last case we do not even have to install Firefox because it usually comes standard on all distros, for something will be.

Artículo original en castellano

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Multi-construction LDraw configuration kit: install tools to make your TENTE and LEGO models in your computer with Ubuntu

Multi-construction LDraw configuration kit installs and configured these applications to create and see 3D models of several construction systems:
  • MLCad 3.40
  • BMP2LDraw
  • LDDesignPad
  • LD4DStudio
  • ldglite_1.3.1
  • ldraw_2017.01
  • ldview_4.3-ubuntu18.04
  • leocad_17.07
  • lpub_4.0
  • povray 3.7
  • Blender

Other resources:

Ubuntu Linux installation

  1. Download this kit in any folder.
  2. Open console and select this folder.
  3. Type: sudo ./install.sh

Windows installation

For now you need to install this set manually in Windows:
  1. Download LDView and install it.
  2. Make the folder C:\LDRAW and uncompress this kit in this folder.
  3. Uncompress these set of pieces in these folders:
  4. Uncompress these software in these folders:
  5. Copy in Desktop the files of this folder C:\ldraw\software\accesos-directos-Windows.
Artículo original en castellano

Monday, June 25, 2018

Linapple y The Octalyzer: Apple II emulators for GNU/Linux

Linapple

Linapple is an emulator of the mythical Apple II quite simple and intuitive to use:
  

Instalation

Follow these steps to install it in GNU/Linux (Debian, Raspbian or Ubuntu):
  • Download the source code from sourceforge.
  • Uncompress it.
  • Install all the necessary packages to compile it.
    sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev libcurl3 libzip-dev libsdl1.2-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev
  • Compile it:
    cd src
    make
    sudo make install

Use

To run the emulator just type 'linapple' in the linux console.
Press F1 and you get information about all the function keys:


The Octalyzer

Other amazing Apple ][ emulator is The Octalyzer:
  • Multisystem: available for GNU/Linux (32 & 64 bits), Windows (32 & 64 bits) and OSX.
  • It's a unique binary file, you only need copy it to /usr/local/lib and run octalizer to enjoy it.
  • Drag and drop disk images to the windows, to open them.
  • Can render the images to 3D

Enjoy both emulators :)
Artículo original en castellano

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Open alternative to propietary software (IX): ClamWin/ClamAV the open source antiviral software

Windows users need an antiviral software to get a minimal security, although given how vulnerable this system none of them is completely effective.
Privative antivirus usually eat a lot of resources of your computer, run for a short time because the licence expires and requires more money to update it (an non-update antivirus is useless), dirts your system, complete uninstall is very difficult, etc...
Clamwin is a different antiviral software: it can run on a pentium II without hang it, you can update the database viruses everyday and free and you can uninstall when you like as any other Windows software and it's open source.

The fact that it is a free program is a guarantee against suspicions, more judicious than paranoid, about the true intentions of most antiviruses and to what extent they protect or are part of the problem: a free antivirus does not benefit as much from the proliferation of viruses as the private ones that make their business go very well.
There is also a GNU/Linux version called Clamav.
I personally do not see any sense to have an antivirus in a system in which viruses do not pass theoretical experiments without practical danger.

You can keep safe your GNU/Linux updating the system and a bit of common sense.
Artículo original en castellano