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


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 ./

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


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
    sudo make install


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

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How to compile and install povray in Ubuntu, Debian and distro derivates

Povray is a ray tracer available for several systems, although on unix systems you need to compile it, but it's easy following these steps:

Compile and install

Install the libraries you need to compile:
sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev libpng12-dev libjpeg-dev libtiff5-dev libopenexr-dev libsdl1.2-dev libboost-system1.55-dev libboost1.55-dev git
Download the latest source code:
git clone povray
Compile and install:
cd povray/unix
cd ..
./configure COMPILED_BY="your name" LIBS="-lboost_system -lboost_thread"
sudo make install
Now, povray is installed in your computer.

Note: You needn't LIBS="-lboost_system -lboost_thread" in Debian.

How to use

You can generate a Full HD image with this command:
povray -W1920 -H1024 file.pov

Pov file is a text file with all the instructions in povray language to render a image (may be a very big file).

You can get amazing images like this:

Artículo original en castellano

Monday, April 30, 2018

Open alternatives to propietary software (VIII): Transmission, the bittorrent client

Transmission is the bittorrent client included in a lot of GNU/Linux distros.
You only need open a .torrent file and the software add the petition to the queue.
You can run Transmission and work with your computer as usual because this software doesn't cannibalize your computer resources like other bittorrent clients.


Are still anybody than says that GNU/Linux is not easy?
Artículo original en castellano

Sunday, April 15, 2018

How to install your favourite GNU/Linux distro on a USB stick as if were an internal hard disk

No, we are not going to make a live pendrive, but install a Linux distro on a pendrive as if installing it on the internal disk of the computer, this will give us mobility like a live usb and versatility like a complete installation.


We can do this in many ways but to make it easy and safe even for the most newbies users we will use Virtual Box.

Virtual machine setup

  1. Start assistant to create a new virtual machine (New button).
  2. Type: Linux.
  3. Version: Ubuntu 64 bits.
  4. Memory size: enought but not to much (select intro the green stripe).
    An example: my computer has 8Gb RAM, then select 3Gb.
  5. Hard drive: WE DO NOT ADD ANYONE (we see why later).
  6. Clic on Create.
After the virtual machine is created we ajust some parameters. We clic with right button over virtual machine and select Configuration:
  1. Storage: select CD and then CD with arrow icon to select the distro iso file like virtual CD.
  2. System: select Start order and move optical device as first one.
  3. USB: Enable USB controller (use 2.0).
    Add usb stick where we are goint to install the distro (it must be plug to the computer).
  4. Accept changes and double click on virtual machine to start instalation.

Installing OS

  • Follow the assistant instructions (very easy in any Ubuntu or derivatives).
  • Select delete all the drive and use all of it. So it will create all the partitions in the right way for most types of computers.
  • When installing ends it ask us to remove the CD and then play any key. We do it and switch the virtual machine off when we see BIOS screen.
    At this point following operations must make in a real computer due to VirtualBox can boot usb devices.
  • Close virtualbox and switch our computer off.


  • First configure computer BIOS to boot from USB devices (In most computers you can access to the BIOS pressing ESC or F2).
  • The computer will start like it was installed in internal disc, you can update the system, add software or files, configure whan you need... all will be there when you start this again in any computer.

Advantages and disadvantages

Como todo este procedimiento tiene muchas ventajas pero algunos inconvenientes:


  • This is a normal instalation and you can do all you can if you install it in the internal disc.
  • If you need a driver like wifi one, you can start from another computer, install it and then start in your computer and wifi works.
  • Your computer in your pocket, you can use it if there is a computer than you can boot from USB.
  • You can clone it to another USB or internal disc with dd or tools like etcher.


  • USB stick are usually smaller than internal disc, this limit you if you want to install a lot of software or add big files.
  • Remember than USB stick is a solid state device. Don't complete fill to avoid writing in the same sectors all the time.
  • USB ports are less faster than internal SATA ones, I recoment use USB 3.0 devices and ports.
  • Don't remove the USB until the system finish to switch off. USB stick are more delicate than internal disc in this case.
  • You can install the system in an internal disc with an easy assistant, you can use tools like systemback or clone it with clonezilla, for example.
Artículo original en castellano

Monday, March 26, 2018

Amstrad CPC Easi-amsword to HTML converter made with javascript, html and css

In 80's, early computers consumers use simple and primitive word proccesors like Easy-amsword, made in Basic, usually included as a gift when you buy an Amstrad CPC464.
Some users make several docs than only this software can read, so now you need an operative Amstrad CPC or an emulator to read them, there isn't a simple way to convert them to new formats... until now.
I make a simple software to convert these files to simple HTML, so you can edit with a new wordproccesor as writer or HTML editors like BlueGriffon.
 Easi-amsword to HTML (source code)

How to install and run

  1. Download from here.
  2. Uncompress this ZIP file in a folder.
  3. Open eamsword2html.en.html file in your favourite web browser.

How to use

To use this software follow these steps:
  1. Select an easi-amsword file.
  2. Click on Convert button.
  3. Click on Save as HTML code, Convert to HTML or See as HTML code.

This software can use original easi-amsword files or the unofficial fork that manages several special characters or some format as bold, italics, overwrite, etc...
This software is under GNU/GPL 2 license so you can get here the source code, you can change to fix to your needs.
I hope it is useful for you to recover your documents of that time stored in tapes and you can preserve them for the future.

Notice: this software may be buggy, if you detect a bug comment in issues section.

If you can't extract your easi-amsword docs from your tapes, look at this.Artículo original en castellano

Friday, March 16, 2018

Open alternatives to privative software (VII):, the office suite

There is a lot of user that needs a computer just for use a web browser and a simple office suite.

These use can work with GNU/Linux without a great effort, and they keep reading all the files the had in office formats using LibreOffice.
This office suite is included in most GNU/Linux distros and also can read visio and pdf files and much more formats.
Available for a lot of systems (i.e: Windows and OSX) and there isn't any real reasons that avoid change to

Artículo original en castellano

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Clone a microsd in another slightly smaller one

I clone a microsd in another slightly smaller one using gparted following these steps:
  1. After get the error in the destination microsd plugged in my Linux PC, start gparted as root.
  2. Unmount all the microsd partitions. We see some warning, ignore them.
  3. Reduce last partition and the extended where it is.
  4. After the operation is ended, run sync twice and then extract the microsd. Might be stopped warning messages.
If you haven't GNU/Linux in your PC you can use gparted-live.

Tip: if your graphic image burner tool can burn images bigger than your microsd try dd in GNU/Linux.
Artículo original en castellano