Thursday, November 18, 2010

Merging / putting together pdf files using ghostscript / gs on linux

------------------------- update : 04/16/2011 --------------------
install the pdftk package and use the following command
pdftk *.pdf cat output onelargepdfile.pdf

------------------------------------ original -----------------------------

Have always needed to stitch pdf files one after the other to make a big pdf file.

Searched online and came up with this solution which uses ghostscript / gs

To use Ghostscript to combine PDF files, type something like the following:

gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=finished.pdf file1.pdf file2.pdf ...

Unless you're very familiar with Ghostscript, that string of commands won't mean much to you. Here's a quick breakdown:

    * gs -- starts the Ghostscript program
    * -dBATCH -- once Ghostscript processes the PDF files, it should exit. If you don't include this option, Ghostscript will just keep running
    * -dNOPAUSE -- forces Ghostscript to process each page without pausing for user interaction
    * -q -- stops Ghostscript from displaying messages while it works
    * -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -- tells Ghostscript to use its built-in PDF writer to process the files
    * -sOutputFile=finished.pdf -- tells Ghostscript to save the combined PDF file with the name that you specified


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Getting the best of Gnome and Ubuntu Netbook Edition !

Buying an Asus EeePC tablet has been on my head for a while. And just recently I ordered one on Amazon, the Asus Eee PC T101MT-EU17-BK 10.1-Inch Convertible Tablet. And then the big question arises, what software do I use on the tablet?

The tablet comes with Windows7, and I'm paying Microsoft tax, because there's no government to protect the mavericks and the geeks. But yet, I obviously don't intend to use the windows since it's a bloated piece of useless software. So then, what are my choices?

I have become an Ubuntu fan by now. But then, there again is the big question whether to use Gnome, or the new Ubuntu Netbook Edition. To answer this question, I did a considerable bit of fooling around with a virtual box vm running the UNE. And finally I decided, I like the netbook launcher which gives a desktop background from which to launch applications, and I also like the start-maximized feature for netbooks. However, the panel on the Netbook remix is substantially crap and I'd rather have my Gnome panels, one on top and one on the bottom so that I won't have accessibility issues with a close button at one of the extreme corners being touch-inaccessible with my finger.

So, my final verdict. Install the Ubuntu desktop edition. Especially if your netbook supports 64 bit, which I believe the Asus tablet does, then the UNE is a disadvantage because it doesn't yet have a 64bit edition. Once the Desktop edition is installed,
sudo apt-get install netbook-launcher
sudo apt-get install maximus
The former is the Netbook launcher program, and the latter is the maximus daemon which maximizes and undercorates the windows when opened.

Once these are installed, they can be added to the system startup via the panels
System->Preferences->Startup Applications

Also if maximus does not undecorate the window when maximising, run
and then uncheck and then check again, the "undecorate" option again (it should be checked for maximus to undecorate).

BUG Note: When the netbook-launcher is added to the system startup, it behaves strangely; sometimes it just disappears, and I don't know how to get it back, and also, it only appears on workspace1, and not on all workspaces. I don't know a fix to this. If you do, please let me know.
Given this bug, I right now have a toolbar button on my panel to start the netbook-launcher, and haven't added it to the system startup list.

With the steps above, the 64bit ubuntu desktop edition can be easily enhanced to incorporate all useful features I see from the Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

And yes, don't forget to check out my post on using Easystroke

installing all basic packages required for development on Ubuntu

It was always a pain figuring out how to install all the basic development packages required for simple stuff like compiling and installing something from source on Ubuntu. But now I realized after searching the web that there's a "build-essential" package (singular, not plural) which can be installed which will fetch and install all of these basic stuff like gcc, autoconfig etc.

sudo apt-get install build-essential


Easystroke Gesture Recognition

I just ordered an Asus EEEPC T101MT tablet last day from It hasn't arrived yet, but I was already looking at installing ubuntu on it, and since Apple apparently has patents on the Multitouch gestures, many of the multitouch features are not available on linux yet. I was looking at alternatives and came across Easystroke Gesture Recognition.

Project Page:

What's better than a couple of demo videos to show you what it's like? So here they are




Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Running Ubuntu/Linux on Asus Eee PC T101MT

Ok, this post is like a prologue since I plan to buy this but haven't bought it yet. So this blog post is my research notes on Linux support for the Eee PC T101MT's support with linux.

As has been my recent inclination, I go for Ubuntu. So this is the netbook version download link for the distro

The above page links to this page
for creating the usb disk. I will probably first try running off the USB before installing.

And here's a sourceforge page for a USB boot disk creator tool for many platforms including windows.

Here's a list of multitouch drivers available presently with linux.
Scroll down to EEFTI/eGlax, and there's the support for Eee PC T101MT mentioned on there.

Here's a couple of forum posts discussing the nuances of intalling ubuntu on the T101MT. Some of the info may be dated though.


2010 11 12
Subsequently, I found this page which gives all the details..


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Metronome for linux

Gtick is a simple metronome application for Linux. I was trying to learn to play the Djembe, and some friends suggested using a metronome. However, attempts to look online for one, gave me the impression they were either expensive or riddled with flaws. Heck ! my laptop is my metronome now !