Change of address – from wordpress.com to lmpeiris.com

February 3, 2011 at 12:44 am (1, Linux News) (, , , , )

The site is in the process of moving to linux.lmpeiris.com in the hope to enable additional services than just wordpress.

All the new posts will be posted to the new blog address above; so it is recommended to visit the above site.

Possibility to redirect  lmpeiris.wordpress.com to linux.lmpeiris.com by automatic redirection is under consideration, but it comes at a financial charge. At the mean time, you may need to click the above hyperlink to visit the new site.

Cheers

Malshan Peiris (lmpeiris)

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The doomsday engine – doom reloaded!

October 30, 2009 at 7:44 pm (Games) (, , , , , , , , )

There was a time computers were a luxury ….. There was a time when a computer with a 100MHz processor speed was called a power horse… I bought my first PC in those times. I started computing when the games Doom and Heretic was on the rock.

Heretic running on DENG - extracted from dengine.net

Made by the ID software inc. these games became so immensely popular with the then younger generation, because they were the first, 3D first-person shooting games (like call of duty) ever to be on the market requiring just only a few hardware requirements, and first ones to exploit the power of creative sound-blaster sound cards. And the gaming experiences, still thrilling. The gaming innovation and logic behind doom and heretic keeps players playing it after 17 years.

Of course, I played these within MS-DOS at those times, but many people who are now using Linux likes to play the game. They can do so by choosing the dosbox emulator, and play the original game as in those times.

But many people thought of hacking (to improve) the game and came up with an open source emulator called doomsday engine (DENG) which uses the original id3 core files (.wad files); only to get the games strategic data (how the game goes, maps). The coolest thing is that every texture, unit, player, effect, weapon can be loaded from different ones from the original. Simply, people got together and re-designed textures etc.. to give superb 3D performance like in a new game! So you’ll be playing the same games (doom,heretic,hexen), with superb graphics! (and hacks) . Visit there homepage, for more information.

Doom running on DENG - extracted from dengine.net

Installation

Installation is some what tricky. I heavily recommend compiling from source. You can download from here.

Tar -xvf deng-1.9****tar.gz ‘unpacking the tar file

cd <source directory> ‘ go inside the source directory , from here on i will use deng-1.9*** for the source folder.

cd doomsday

mkdir mybuild ‘create this directory if doesn’t exist

cmake .

If dependency problems found, install them. See installing from source (in my blog) for more info.

make

make install ‘(for debian systems, sudo make install)

We still need some stuff. This is the downloading part. These are called resource packs which includes open-source textures,units for the games. Download below things and copy each to deng-1.9***/snowberry/addons folder, after unzipping them. (you can go and have a look at the addons folder, it includes examples how unzipped things should be there).

http://files.dengine.net/jdrp-packaged-20070404.zip

http://files.dengine.net/jhrp-20090703.zip

this is enough for now. When you start to get things correctly, go to http://files.dengine.net/index.php and download other stuff you want. Go to http://www.doomsdayhq.com/ if you don’t know what to download.

Now you need some .wad files from the original games. Download those from this torrent. http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/3555137/Doom_Heretic_Hexen_WADs.3555137.TPB.torrent Unzip and put those in somewhere you can find. (if the above link doesn’t work, try searching for “doom heretic hexen wads” in torrentz.Com.

Configuration

cd deng-1.9****/snowberry ‘Goto deng-1.9***/snowberry .

Snowberry is the graphical configuring tool for deng, which makes our life easy. Type,

python snowberry.py

If you have WxPython and pyGTK (i actually cannot remember) installed correctly, it will show a gui like below.

Snow berry GUI

Snowberry graphical deng configure running on my FC11

Configuring doom2

From the mini bar click profile and select new. A dialog box will appear, give it a name which you can identify, and select jdoom from the combo-box. You should see it on the left panel under shared settings.

Now it’s time to change some settings. Select the jdoom from panel, and click on the settings tab. Something like below should appear. For the game data file, browse the doom2.wad from the torrent download folder. Click on display and adjust resolution, and full screen view. Click on the addons tab and check jdoom-resource pack if it’s not checked.

Configuring doom1 and heretic

For the jheretic, choose heretic.wad and jheretic resource pack. (use your brain).

For doom1, choose doom.wad or ultimate.wad(something similar) and do as above.

The Playing part ….!

Just tell me whether you understand the stuff above and got it running …. then i will start telling you something about the games itself. Enjoy!

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Skychart (Cartes du Ciel) – explore and map the skies

July 8, 2009 at 2:35 pm (Maths and science) (, , , , , , , )

When I was little, I always happened to wonder about the millions of stars which light up the night sky. I needed to be a astronomer some day, and I wanted to buy a telescope. Anyway, I couldn’t have enough time to do it. Anyways, for the people who are armature astronomers, the skychart is an excellent program.

Skychart 3 alpha running on my fedora 11

Skychart 3 alpha running on my fedora 11

It renders sky of any time of the day, at any location of earth (or anywhere), at any angle using the supplied data with the program. As you can see in the screen shot above, you can rotate, select,zoom any star object in the map to gain information about it. The Field of Vision (FOV) can be changed, deciding the angle you want to look at (the pane to the right). The standard markers like equatorial coordinates, galactic coordinates etc… are on the left pane. Did I tell you that this program can show sky from 3000BC to 3000AD?

As you know, the galaxies contain huge amount of star objects so it’s not possible to render everything in the data files. Program settings allow to change what you want to see… it could be galaxies, nebula or even asteroids. Powerful search functions enable to find desired object in seconds. The core of the program is built with freepascal and the GUI is built with lazarus.

The professional approach

Without just looking at the map, skychart has the ability to edit them, label objects and build a map from the scratch. It can conect with SQL databases and standard astronomy catalogue sites like CDS or ADC. It uses catgen to convert these to a format which is readable by skychart. You can add a telescope (manual or automatic) to the program, and process the data directly from it. (These data can be sent to SQL databases too).

Additionally, program can predict a whole astronomical calendar.. eclipses, twilight, sun-rise, comets etc…

A fascinating feature is the night vision mode. This is heavily required when you looking at the stars from naked eye. (You loose sensitivity in dark if you see a bright light for some seconds). You can visit their homepage for more details from this link.

Skychart running on night vision mode

Skychart running on night vision mode

Installing

Binaries

For Fedora,suse, mandriva people type in terminal as root

yum install skychart

For ubuntu,mint,debian use

sudo apt-get skychart

Or you can go to sourforge download page to download what is best for you.

source

Anyways, the Version 3 was released late, so you may get beta versions with above method. The source code for the latest version can be downloaded from this link.

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Fedora 11 – The buggiest fedora ever

July 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm (1, Linux News) (, , , , , , , )

Fedora 11 is the buggiest of the Fedora clan but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. As my opinion it’s the best Linux Distro… Most of these bugs were due to the fact that I have out-dated hardware!

My fedora 11 Gnome desktop ... Nothing new fron FC9

My fedora 11 Gnome desktop ... Nothing new fron FC9

I have mentioned why I decided to upgrade from fedora 9 to 11 in my previous blog article. So here I’m almost after a week ……. wonder what happened? I was fighting the bugs which were found to be ultimate challenge and test of stamina after I started using Linux. For 3 days, I was hopeless as I was unable to see even the desktop! But problems did not end there for me… There are still some unsolved mysteries even with after upgrading bug-fixes. You should understand that I’m kind of addicted to Fedora, so whatever happens I would be using her just hoping that bug-fixes will arrive in time, and the next Fedora 12 would be somthing brilliant like Fedora 9. (Still, i think Fedora is the best as it comes with cutting-edge tech which is why actually these bugs come)

On last Saturday, after writing my previous blog, I first decided to upgrade from version 9 to 11. I saw the warnings on others who tried it, but as I have upgraded 7,8 to 9 it didn’t come new to me. So I upgraded which took 4 hours, and when restarted it shows GRUB all over the screen where GRUB should be loading. Like this:

GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB GRUB

So I boot Fedora11 with rescue mode and typed

chroot /mnt/sysimage ‘changing root path to FC11 root

and i opened grub.conf file in /etc and it appeared good, it shows that it had identified the windows OS, and had pointed to correct paths. No problem.

The /boot/grub/device.map file was correct, which says which hard drive is sda and sdb. The file looks like this:

(hd0) /dev/sda

(hd1) /dev/sdb

Hence, (hd0,0) refers to 1st partition on 1st hard drive (ex: sda1) on the grub.conf file, (hd1,1) refers to 2nd partition on the 2nd (ex: sdb2).

So i reinstalled grub with grub-install sdb (as my linux installation was in 2nd hard drive) but didn’t work, but doing

grub-install -–force-lba sdb

did work. Error found to be something to do with the AWARD bios and grub.

So I came to the fedora 11, but upgrade has been buggy. So buggy that it crashes every time. With no choice, I decided to back-up my data and do a fresh install.

So I did the fresh-install using “use entire drive” option, and without changing any details as a beginner would do. When installation was complete, I saw “Error 22” instead of grub upon rebooting. It means that system cannot find the bootloader, which is GRUB. I looked at the files and it seemed like system has detected the drives in wrong #’s. So I did grub-install again, with –recheck and -–force-lba which didn’t work.

So I decide to install again, this time using custom settings for partitions. I used Ext3 for / partition where Ext4 was the default. This did work, finally. Finally I was able to run fedora11. The problem was that the GRUB still cannot identify Ext4 file system, and it gives errors in some systems.

So here I see the desktop, but wrong resolution. So i typed system-config-display on the terminal… but there was no such command! You do have a “Display” applet on System>Prefrences but it couldn’t even get my monitor type. So I installed system-config-display by,

yum install system-config-display

I was soon to find out that i’m becoming a yum addict. This is because programs which used to compile well on FC9, ends up on errors (C syntax errors – you can’t solve those) particularly due to version incompitabilty of GCC and Cmake etc… So a person who haven’t used yum before (me) started doing everything by it!

Upon installing mplayer – my favourite player, I found out that it crashes everytime I open a video! Damn— It did superbly on FC9! Unable to figure out why, I was shocked that even the vlc played buggy and totem too did the same! By this time I knew something was wrong with multimedia drivers — but later found out that it’s a bug of PulseAudio — and again updating didn’t help. Changing to ALSA and OSS didn’t help as they seem “deactivated” although everything I could find on these have been installed.

Anyway, I could get mplayer to run by changing the video output driver from Xvideo to opengl. But it doesn’t give the previous quality. But still up to now, i can’t hear any sound at lmms,hydrogen, audacity and record-sound.

Finally trying to print by IT degree notes I plugged in my HP P1005 laserjet. I saw an improvement than in FC9, it automatically installed driver and software for the printer! But when I sent a document to print… nothing happened.. It says “your printer may not be connected” … what the HELL? I checked the installed drivers and they were 100% correct. I guess this is a bug in new hplip 3 or cups. Still not solved. Printer did well in FC9 where I manually installed hplip 2.8.

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Moonlight 3D – Linux can do 3D animation

June 24, 2009 at 8:39 pm (1, Graphics) (, , , , )

Some 2 weeks ago, I posted an article about Genious, an excellent Java program. When writing that blog I recalled another brilliant Java program I installed about an year ago. It’s a 3D animation program ! No one will think Java can do that.

It’s a simple program written using Swing, mostly like 3D studio max to design and animate 3D objects. A grid is there as usual with space vectors x,y,z. 3D view and xy,yz,xz plane views are shown simultaneously. A timeline is visible when you hit create animation button. Additionally, python scripts can be used to program the animation.  You can select one of many basic shapes under create object pane, and modify it from the modify menu bar. So my first drawing looked like this. (I’m not good at graphics). Anyway, you can have some fun with this program, whatever you know.

3D graphics I created - version 0.2.0 running on JRE 1.6

3D graphics I created - version 0.2.0 running on JRE 1.6 (@ FC9)

According to their homepage , these are the features of version 0.2.2

  • Modelling – Unique history-based approach ,Support for non-manifold meshes, including polygons with arbitrary vertex counts ,3D manipulators ,Object instancing ,Fully editable object history at any time
  • Materials, Lighting and Rendering-Fully integrated Sunflow, a renderer with support for modern lighting features like ambient occlusions, global illumination and caustics ,Omnidirectional, spherical and spot light sources ,HDR image output ,GLSL support including GLSL shader editor
  • Animation-Multiple animations of scenes ,Virtually all parameters in the construction history are animateable separately,Rendering of animations
  • Other-Flexible user interface that can be adapted to the user’s needs ,Flexible and extensible plugin based architecture ,Full Python scripting capability,Headless batch mode ,Integrated script editor
The operator graph of moonlight 0.2.0

The operator graph of moonlight 0.2.0

Installing
You can download the binary files version 0.2.2 for Linux from this link (14MB). Just make sure you have latest Java Runtime installed to run the program. Untar the downloaded file and double-click on moonlight.sh or at the terminal type,
./moonlight.sh
Moonlight Application Framework
Is the package for programming moonlight components, specially it’s plugins. My knowledge is limited on this subject, anyway you can download the source code from here.

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