Posts Tagged ‘text’

Word 2011 Check spelling for Mac OS X 2011 – Word check text in Mac OS X Office

Monday, February 29th, 2016

office-for-mac-2011-logo
 

If you happen to be running Mac OS X powered notebook and have recently installed Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac OS because you used to migrate from a Windows PC, you will probably suprrised that your Native Language Dictionary check you used heavily on Windows might be not performing on Mac.
This was exactly the case with my wife Svetlana and as she is not a computer expert and I'm the IT support at home I had to solve it somehow.

Luckily Office 2011 for Mac OS X which I have installed earlier comes with plenty of foreign-languages such as Russian, Bulgarian, Czech, French, German, UK English, US English etc.
Proofing tools is very handy especially for people like my wife who is natively Belarusian and is in process of learning Bulgarian, thus often in need to check Bulgarian words spelling.

By Default the Check spelling on Office package was set to English, there is a quick way to change this to a certain text without changing the check-spelling default from English, the key shortcut to use is:

I. Press Mac command (key) + A – To select All text in opened document (in our case text was in Bulgarian)

command-a-mac-os-x

Click Word window menu and:
 

Choose Tools→Language


and select Bulgarian (or whatever language you need check spelling for.

If you need to change the Language default for all time, again you can do it from Tools

 

 

 Tools→Language

 

language-menu-on-mac-os-x-microsoft-word-office-2011-package-screenshot

II. The Language dialog will appear and you'll see a list of languages to choose. 

select-language-menu-screenshot-ms-word-2011-on-mac-os-x

III. Next a Pop-up Dialog will ask you whether you're sure you want to change the default language to the language of choice in my case this was Russian.

language-default-dialog-mac-osx-word-2011-office-on-mac-change-default-spelling-language

That's it check spelling default will be aplpied now to Word normal template, so next time you open a document your default spelling choice will set

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Cookie Policy

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

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Joomla 1.5 fix news css problem partial text (article text not completely showing in Joomla – Category Blog Layout problem)

Monday, October 20th, 2014

joomla-fix-weird-news-blog-article-text-incompletely-shown-category-blog-website-layout-problem

I’m still administrating some old archaic Joomla website built on top of Joomla 1.5. Recently there were some security issues with the website so I first tried using jupgrade (Upgrade Joomla 1.5 to Joomla 2.5) plugin to try to resolve the issues. As there were issues with the upgrade, because of used template was not available for Joomla 2.5, I decided to continue using Joomla 1.5 and applied the Joomla 1.5 Security Patch. I also had to disable a couple of unused joomla components and the contact form in order to prevent spammers of randomly spamming through the joomla … the Joomla Security Scanner was mostly useful in order to fix the Joomla security holes ..

So far so good this Joomla solved security but just recently I was asked to add a new article the Joomla News section – (the news section is configure to serve as a mini site blog as there are only few articles added every few months). For my surprise all of a sudden the new joomla article text started displaying text and pictures partially. The weirdly looking newly added news looked very much like some kind of template or css problem. I tried debugging the html code but unfortunately my knowledge in CSS is not so much, so as a next step I tried to temper some settings from Joomla Administrator in hope that this would resolve the text which was appearing from article used to be cut even though the text I’ve placed in artcle seemed correctly formatted. I finally pissed off trying to solve the news section layout problem so looked online too see if anyone else didn’t stick out to same error and I stumbled on Joomla’s forum explaining the Category Blog Layout Problem

The solution to the Joomla incomplete text showing in article is – To go to Joomla administrator menus:

1. Menus -> Main Menu -> (Click on Menu Item(s) – Edit Menu Item(s)) button
2. Click on News (section)
In Parameters section (on the botton right) of screen you will see #Leading set to some low number for example it will be something like 8 or 9. The whole issue in my case was that I was trying to add more than 8 articles and I had a Leading set to 8 and in order to add more articles and keep proper leading I had to raise it to more. To prevent recent leading errors, I’ve raised the Leading to 100 like shown in below screenshot
joomla-blog-layout-basic-parameters-screenshot-fix-joomla-news-cut-text-problem-screenshot

After raising to some high number click Apply and you’re done your problem is solved 🙂
For those curious what the above settings from screenshot mean:

# Leading Articles -> This refers to the number of articles that are to be shown to the full width
# Intro Articles -> This refers to the number of articles that are not to be shown to full width
# Columns -> This refers to the number of columns in which the articles will be shown that are identified as #Intro. If #Intro is zero this setting has no effect
# Links -> Number of articles that are to be shown as links. The number of articles should exceed #leading + #Intro

N.B. Solving this issue took me quite a long time and it caused me a lot of attempts to resolve it. I tried creating the article from scratch, making copy from an old article etc. I even messed few of the news articles one time so badly that I had to recreate them from scratch, before doing any changes to obsolete joomlas always make database and file content backup otherwise you will end up like me in situation loosing 10 hours of your time ..

The bitter experiences once again with Joomla convinced me when I have time I have to migrate this Joomla CMS to WordPress. My so far experience with Joomla prooved to me just for one time the time and nerves spend to learn joomla and built a multi-lingual website with it as well as to administer it with joomla obscure and hard to cryptic interfaces and multiple security issues., makes this CMS completely unworthy to study or use, its hardness to upgrade from release to release, besides its much slow and its less plugins if compared to WordPress makes wordpress much better (and easier to build use platform than Joomla).
So if you happen to be in doubt where to use Joomla or a WordPress to build a new company / community website or a blog my humbe advise is – choose WordPress!

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How to check who is flooding your Apache, NGinx Webserver – Real time Monitor statistics about IPs doing most URL requests and Stopping DoS attacks with Fail2Ban

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

check-who-is-flooding-your-apache-nginx-webserver-real-time-monitoring-ips-doing-most-url-requests-to-webserver-and-protecting-your-webserver-with-fail2ban
If you're Linux ystem administrator in Webhosting company providing WordPress / Joomla / Drupal web-sites hosting and your UNIX servers suffer from periodic denial of service attacks, because some of the site customers business is a target of competitor company who is trying to ruin your client business sites through DoS or DDOS attacks, then the best thing you can do is to identify who and how is the Linux server being hammered. If you find out DoS is not on a network level but Apache gets crashing because of memory leaks and connections to Apache are so much that the CPU is being stoned, the best thing to do is to check which IP addresses are causing the excessive GET / POST / HEAD requests in logged.

There is the Apachetop tool that can give you the most accessed webserver URLs in a refreshed screen like UNIX top command, however Apachetop does not show which IP does most URL hits on Apache / Nginx webserver. 


1. Get basic information on which IPs accesses Apache / Nginx the most using shell cmds

There is a way using standard shell tools, to get some basic information on which IP accesses the webserver the most with:

tail -n 500 /var/log/apache2/access.log | cut -d' ' -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -gr

Or if you want to keep it refreshing periodically every few seconds run it through watch command:

watch "tail -n 500 /var/log/apache2/access.log | cut -d' ' -f1 | sort | uniq -c | sort -gr"

monioring-access-hits-to-webserver-by-ip-show-most-visiting-apache-nginx-ip-with-shell-tools-tail-cut-uniq-sort-tools-refreshed-with-watch-cmd

Another useful combination of shell commands is to Monitor POST / GET / HEAD requests number in access.log :

 awk '{print $6}' access.log | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

     1 "alihack<%eval
      1 "CONNECT
      1 "fhxeaxb0xeex97x0fxe2-x19Fx87xd1xa0x9axf5x^xd0x125x0fx88x19"x84xc1xb3^v2xe9xpx98`X'dxcd.7ix8fx8fxd6_xcd\x834x0c"
      1 "x16x03x01"
      1 "xe2
      2 "mgmanager&file=imgmanager&version=1576&cid=20
      6 "4–"
      7 "PUT
     22 "–"
     22 "OPTIONS
     38 "PROPFIND
   1476 "HEAD
   1539 "-"
  65113 "POST
 537122 "GET


However using shell commands combination is plenty of typing and hard to remember, plus above tools does not show you, approximately how frequenty IP hits the webserver

2. Real-time monitoring IP addresses with highest URL reqests with logtop

Real-time monitoring on IP addresses with highest URL requests is possible with no need of "console ninja skills"  through – logtop.

2.1 Install logtop on Debian / Ubuntu and deb derivatives Linux

a) Installing Logtop the debian way

LogTop is easily installable on Debian and Ubuntu in newer releases of Debian – Debian 7.0 and Ubuntu 13/14 Linux it is part of default package repositories and can be straightly apt-get-ed with:

apt-get install –yes logtop

b) Installing Logtop from source code (install on older deb based Linuxes)

On older Debian – Debian 6 and Ubuntu 7-12 servers to install logtop compile from source code – read the README installation instructions or if lazy copy / paste below:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://github.com/JulienPalard/logtop/tarball/master
mv master JulienPalard-logtop.tar.gz
tar -zxf JulienPalard-logtop.tar.gz

cd JulienPalard-logtop-*/
aptitude install libncurses5-dev uthash-dev

aptitude install python-dev swig

make python-module

python setup.py install

make

make install

 

mkdir -p /usr/bin/
cp logtop /usr/bin/

2.2 Install Logtop on CentOS 6.5 / 7.0 / Fedora / RHEL and rest of RPM based Linux-es

b) Install logtop on CentOS 6.5 and CentOS 7 Linux

– For CentOS 6.5 you need to rpm install epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
 

wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/x86_64/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
links http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/SRPMS/uthash-1.9.9-6.el6.src.rpm
rpmbuild –rebuild
uthash-1.9.9-6.el6.src.rpm
cd /root/rpmbuild/RPMS/noarch
rpm -ivh uthash-devel-1.9.9-6.el6.noarch.rpm


– For CentOS 7 you need to rpm install epel-release-7-0.2.noarch.rpm

 

links http://download.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/beta/7/x86_64/repoview/epel-release.html
 

Click on and download epel-release-7-0.2.noarch.rpm

rpm -ivh epel-release-7-0.2.noarch
rpm –import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-EPEL-7
yum -y install git ncurses-devel uthash-devel
git clone https://github.com/JulienPalard/logtop.git
cd logtop
make
make install

 

2.3 Some Logtop use examples and short explanation

logtop shows 4 columns as follows – Line number, Count, Frequency, and Actual line

The quickest way to visualize which IP is stoning your Apache / Nginx webserver on Debian?

tail -f access.log | awk {'print $1; fflush();'} | logtop

logtop-check-which-ip-is-making-most-requests-to-your-apache-nginx-webserver-linux-screenshot

On CentOS / RHEL

tail -f /var/log/httpd/access_log | awk {'print $1; fflush();'} | logtop

Using LogTop even Squid Proxy caching server access.log can be monitored.
To get squid Top users by IP listed:

 

tail -f /var/log/squid/access.log | awk {'print $1; fflush();'} | logtop


logtop-visualizing-top-users-using-squid-proxy-cache

Or you might visualize in real-time squid cache top requested URLs

tail -f /var/log/squid/access.log | awk {'print $7; fflush();'} | logtop

visualizing-top-requested-urls-in-squid-proxy-cache-howto-screenshot

3. Automatically Filter IP addresses causing Apache / Nginx Webservices Denial of Service with fail2ban
 

Once you identify the problem if the sites hosted on server are target of Distributed DoS, probably your best thing to do is to use fail2ban to automatically filter (ban) IP addresses doing excessive queries to system services. Assuming that you have already installed fail2ban as explained in above link (On Debian / Ubuntu Linux) with:

apt-get install –yes fail2ban

To make fail2ban start filtering DoS attack IP addresses, you will have to set the following configurations:

vim /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf

Paste in file:

[http-get-dos]
 
enabled = true
port = http,https
filter = http-get-dos
logpath = /var/log/apache2/WEB_SERVER-access.log
# maxretry is how many GETs we can have in the findtime period before getting narky
maxretry = 300
# findtime is the time period in seconds in which we're counting "retries" (300 seconds = 5 mins)
findtime = 300
# bantime is how long we should drop incoming GET requests for a given IP for, in this case it's 5 minutes
bantime = 300
action = iptables[name=HTTP, port=http, protocol=tcp]


Before you paste make sure you put the proper logpath = location of webserver (default one is /var/log/apache2/access.log), if you're using multiple logs for each and every of hosted websites, you will probably want to write a script to automatically loop through all logs directory get log file names and automatically add auto-modified version of above [http-get-dos] configuration. Also configure maxtretry per IP, findtime and bantime, in above example values are a bit low and for heavy loaded websites which has to serve thousands of simultaneous connections originating from office networks using Network address translation (NAT), this might be low and tuned to prevent situations, where even the customer of yours can't access there websites 🙂

To finalize fail2ban configuration, you have to create fail2ban filter file:

vim /etc/fail2ban/filters.d/http-get-dos.conf

Paste:

# Fail2Ban configuration file
#
# Author: http://www.go2linux.org
#
[Definition]
 
# Option: failregex
# Note: This regex will match any GET entry in your logs, so basically all valid and not valid entries are a match.
# You should set up in the jail.conf file, the maxretry and findtime carefully in order to avoid false positives.
 
failregex = ^<HOST> -.*"(GET|POST).*
 
# Option: ignoreregex
# Notes.: regex to ignore. If this regex matches, the line is ignored.
# Values: TEXT
#
ignoreregex =

To make fail2ban load new created configs restart it:
 

/etc/init.d/fail2ban restart

If you want to test whether it is working you can use Apache webserver Benchmark tools such as ab or siege.
The quickest way to test, whether excessive IP requests get filtered – and make your IP banned temporary:

ab -n 1000 -c 20 http://your-web-site-dot-com/

This will make 1000 page loads in 20 concurrent connections and will add your IP to temporary be banned for (300 seconds) = 5 minutes. The ban will be logged in /var/log/fail2ban.log, there you will get smth like:

2014-08-20 10:40:11,943 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [http-get-dos] Ban 192.168.100.5
2013-08-20 10:44:12,341 fail2ban.actions: WARNING [http-get-dos] Unban 192.168.100.5

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find text strings recursively in Linux and UNIX – find grep in sub-directories command examples

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

unix_Linux_recursive_file_search_string_grep
GNU Grep
is equipped with a special option "-r" to grep recursively. Looking for string in a file in a sub-directories tree with the -r option is a piece of cake. You just do:

grep -r 'string' /directory/

or if you want to search recursively non-case sensitive for text

grep -ri 'string' .
 

Another classic GNU grep use (I use almost daily) is whether you want to match all files containing (case insensitive) string  among all files:

grep -rli 'string' directory-name
 

Now if you want to grep whether a string is contained in a file or group of files in directory recursively on some other UNIX like HP-UX or Sun OS / Solaris where there is no GNU grep installed by default here is how to it:

find /directory -exec grep 'searched string' {} dev/null ;

Note that this approach to look for files containing string on UNIX is very slowThus on not too archaic UNIX systems for some better search performance it is better to use xargs;

find . | xargs grep searched-string


A small note to open here is by using xargs there might be weird results when run on filesystems with filenames starting with "-".

Thus comes the classical (ultimate) way to grep for files containing string with find + grep, e.g.

find / -exec grep grepped-string {} dev/null ;

Another way to search a string recursively in files is by using UNIX OS '*' (star) expression:

grep pattern * */* */*/* 2>/dev/null

Talking about recursive directory text search in UNIX, should mention  another good GNU GREP alternative ACK – check it on betterthangrep.com 🙂 . Ack is perfect for programmers who have to dig through large directory trees of code for certain variables, functions, objects etc.

 

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30 years anniversary of the first mass produced portable computer COMPAQ Grid Compass 1011

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Grid Notebook Big screen logo

Today it is considered the modern laptop (portable computers) are turning 30 years old. The notebook grandparent is a COMPAQGRiD Compass 1011 – a “mobile computer” with a electroluminescent display (ELD) screen supporting resolution of 320×240 pixels. The screen allowed the user to use the computer console in a text resolution of 80×24 chars. This portable high-tech gadget was equipped with magnesium alloy case, an Inten 8086 CPU (XT processor) at 8Mhz (like my old desktop pravetz pc 😉 ), 340 kilobyte (internal non-removable magnetic bubble memory and even a 1,200 bit/s modem!

COMPAQ Grid Compass considered first laptop / notebook on earthy 30 anniversary of the portable computer

The machine was uniquely compatible for its time as one could easily attach devices such as floppy 5.25 inch drives and external (10 Meg) hard disk via IEEE-488 I/O compatible protocol called GPiB (General Purpose instrumental Bus).

First mass prdocued portable computer laptop grid COMPAQ 11011 back side input peripherals

The laptop had also unique small weight of only 5 kg and a rechargable batteries with a power unit (like modern laptops) connectable to a normal (110/220 V) room plug.

First notebook in World ever the COMPAQ grid Compass 1101,br />
The machine was bundled with an own specificly written OS GRiD-OS. GRID-OS could only run a specialized software so this made the application available a bit limited.
Shortly after market introduction because of the incompitablity of GRID-OS, grid was shipped with MS-DOS v. 2.0.
This primitive laptop computer was developed for serve mainly the needs of business users and military purposes (NASA, U.S. military) etc.

GRID was even used on Space Shuttles during 1980 – 1990s.
The price of the machine in April 1982 when GriD Compass was introduced was the shockingly high – $8150 dollars.

The machine hardware design is quite elegant as you can see on below pic:

 COMPAQ grid laptop 1101 bubbles internal memory

As a computer history geek, I’ve researched further on GRID Compass and found a nice 1:30 hour video telling in detailed presentation retelling the history.

Shortly after COMPAQ’s Grid Compass 1011’s introduction, many other companies started producing similar sized computers; one example for this was the Epson HX-20 notebook. 30 years later, probably around 70% of citizens on the globe owns a laptop or some kind of portable computer device (smartphone, tablet, ultra-book etc.).

Most of computer users owning a desktop nowdays, owns a laptop too for mobility reasons. Interestengly even 30 years later the laptop as we know it is still in a shape (form) very similar to its original predecessor. Today the notebook sales are starting to be overshadowed by tablets and ultra-books (for second quarter laptop sales raised 5% but if compared with 2011, the sales rise is lesser 1.8% – according to data provided by Digital Research agency). There are estimations done by (Forrester Research) pointing until the end of year 2015, sales of notebook substitute portable devices will exceed the overall sales of notebooks. It is manifested today the market dynamics are changing in favour of tabets and the so called next generation laptopsULTRA-BOOKS. It is a mass hype and a marketing lie that Ultra-Books are somehow different from laptops. The difference between a classical laptop and Ultra-Books is the thinner size, less weight and often longer battery use time. Actually Ultra-Books are copying the design concept of Mac MacBook Air trying to resell under a lound name.
Even if in future Ipads, Android tablets, Ultra-Books or whatever kind of mambo-jambo portable devices flood the market, laptops will still be heavily used in future by programmers, office workers, company employees and any person who is in need to do a lot of regular text editting, email use and work with corporative apps. Hence we will see a COMPAC Grid Compass 1011 notebook likes to be dominant until end of the decade.

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How to add support for DJVU file format on M$ Windows, Mac, GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Windjview Format paper Clipper logo / support DjView on Windows and Linux

By default there is no way to see what is inside a DJVU formatted document on both Windows and Linux OS platforms. It was just a few months ago I saw on one computer I had to fix up the DJVU format. DJVU format was developed for storing primary scanned documents which is rich in text and drawings.
Many old and ancient documents for example Church books in latin and some older stuff is only to be found online in DJVU format.
The main advantage of DJVU over lets say PDF which is also good for storing text and visual data is that DJVU's data encoding makes the files much more smaller in size, while still the quality of the scanned document is well readable for human eye.

DJVU is a file format alternative to PDF which we all know has been set itself to be one of the major standard formats for distributing electronic documents.

Besides old books there are plenty of old magazines, rare reports, tech reports newspapers from 1st and 2nd World War etc in DJVU.
A typical DJVU document takes a size of only lets say 50 to 100 KBytes of size just for comparison most a typical PDF encoded document is approximately sized 500 KiloBytes.

1.% Reading DJVU's on M$ Windoze and Mac-s (WinDjView)

The program reader for DJVU files in Windows is WinDjView WinDjView official download site is here

WinDjView is licensed under GPLv2 is a free software licensed under GPL2.

WinDjView works fine on all popular Windows versions (7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, ME, 98, NT4).

WinDjView with opened old document Sol manual ,,,,

I've made a mirror copy of WinDjView for download here (just in case something happens with the present release and someone needs it in future).

For Mac users there is also a port of WinDjView called MacDjView ;;;,

2.% Reading DJVU files on GNU / Linux

The library capable of rendering DJVUs in both Linux and Windows is djviewlibre again free software (A small note to make here is WinDjView also uses djviewlibre to render DJVU file content).

The program that is capable of viewing DJVU files in Linux is called djview4 I have so far tested it only with Debian GNU / Linux.

To add support to a desktop Debian GNU / Linux rel. (6.0.2) Squeeze, had to install following debs ;;;

debian:~# apt-get install --yes djview4 djvulibre-bin djviewlibre-desktop libdjviewlibre-text pdf2djvu
........
...

pdf2djvu is not really necessery to install but I installed it since I think it is a good idea to have a PDF to DJVU converter on the system in case I somedays need it ;;;

djview4 is based on KDE's QT library, so unfortunately users like me who use GNOME for a desktop environment will have the QT library installed as a requirement of above apt-get ;;;

Here is Djview4 screenshot with one opened old times Bulgarian magazine called Computer – for you

DJVU Pravetz Computer for you old school Bulgarian Pravetz magazine

Though the magazine opens fine, every now and then I got some spit errors whether scrolling the pages, but it could be due to improperly encoded DJVU file and not due to the reader. Pitily, whether I tried to maximize the PDF and read it in fullscreen I got (segfault) error and the program failed. Anyways at least I can read the magazine in non-fullscreen mode ;;; ,,,,

3.% Reading DJVU's on FreeBSD and (other BSDs)

Desktop FreeBSD users and other BSD OS enthusiasts could also use djview4 to view DJVUs as there is a BSD port in the ports tree.
To use it on BSD I had to install port /usr/ports/graphics/djview4:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/graphics/djview4
freebsd# make install clean
,,,,...

For G / Linux users who has to do stuff with DJVU files, there are two other programs which might be useful:
 

  • a) djvusmooth – graphical editor for DjVu
  • b) gscan2pdf – A GUI to produce PDFs or DjVus from scanned documents

DJVUSmooth Debian GNU / Linux opened prog

I tried djusmooth to edit the same PDF magazine which I prior opened but I got an Unhandled exception: IOError, as you can in below shot:

DJVUSmooth Unhandled Exception IOError

This is probably normal since djvusmooth is in its very early stage of development – current version is 0.2.7-1

Unfortunately I don't have a scanner at home so I can't test if gscan2pdf produces proper DJVUs from scans, anyways I installed it to at least check the program interface which on a first glimpse looks simplistic:

gscan2pdf 0.9.31 Debian Linux Squeeze screenshot
To sum it up obviously DJVU seems like a great alternative to PDF, however its support for Free Software OSes is still lacking behind.
The Current windows DJVU works way better, though hopefully this will change soon.

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BB – A must see ASCII Art Audio / Video portable demo for Linux, FreeBSD, UNIX and DOS

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

bb Audio Visual ASCII art Linux FreeBSD demonstration old school demo logo

I know and I have enjoyed BB – Portable Demo for already a decade.
I'm sure many newbies to the Free And Open Source (FOSS) realm don't know or heard of bb's existence as nowdays ASCII art is not so well known among youngsters. Hence this short post aims to raise some awareness of the existence of this already OLD but GOLD – awesome! text console / terminal demonstation BB 🙂

bb is pretty much in the spirit of Oldschool Assembly DOS demo scene dominating the geeks dome in the late 80's and yearly 90's.

Historically bb used to be one of the main stunning things one could show to a fellow GNU / Linux new comer.

For the year 2000, seeing all this awesome ASCII video demo running on free Operating System like GNU / Linux was a big think.
The fact that such an advanced ASCII art was distributed freely for an OS which used to exist since only (6 / 7 years) was really outstanding of its time.

BB text ascii art Linux demo entry screen characters matrix

I still remember how much I was amazed seeing a plain ascii video stream was possible only Linux. Moreover the minimal requirements of bb were quite low for its time – it worked on mostly all PCs one can find at the time.

BB's minimum requirements to work with no chops is just an old 486/66 DX2 CPU Mhz with few megas of memory (32MB of memory was more than enough to run it)

BB text sacii art Linux demo entry screen char matrix

A very unique feature of bb was it was the first Linux demo that succesfully run simultaneously playing on two monitor screens as one can read on the project website.
Unfortunately I didn't owned two monitors back in the day so never ever had the opportunity to see it running on two screens.
Anyhow I've seen it runnign somewhere on some of the Linux install fests visited some years ago…

The demo was developed by 4 man group ppl – the AA group the same digital artists are also the guys behind the AA Project.

AA Lib mascot logo :)

The main aim of AA-lib was to make possible (Doom, Second Reality, X windows) to run rendered in plain ASCII art text.

The project succeeded in a lot of his goals already as there is already existent such an ascii art ports of large games like QUAKE! Be sure to check this awesome project too AAquake ascii quake page is here
, as well as video and pictures could be viewed under a plain console Linux tty or in terminal (via SSH 🙂 )

Thanks to AA-Lib even text mode doom exists.

bb as well as aa-lib has ports for most modern Linux distros in that number one can easily get rpm or deb packages for most of distros.
On Slackware Linux you should compile it from source. Though compilation should be a straightfoward process, not that i tried it myself but I remember a close friend of mine (a great Slackware devotee) who was the one to show me the demo for a first time on his Slackware box.

1. Installing bb on Debian Linux

Debian Linux users like me are privileged as for already many years a Debian package of bb is maintaned thanks to Uwe Herman

Hence for anyone willing to enjoy bb install it by running:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install bb
....
ho@debian:~$ bb

If you're running a X server the aa-lib will immediately run with its X server compiled support:

Running BB Music Screesnhot

2. Installing BB demo on FreeBSD

On FreeBSD, bb demo has a port to install it run:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/misc/bb freebsd# make install clean ...

Here is good time to say that even though in most of the machines, I've tested the demo I had on some of the hosts problems with sound due to buggy sound drivers.
As of time of writting hopefully on most machines there will be no troubles as most of the Linux sb drivers are better supported by ALSA.

Everyone interested in both Free Software and ASCII art knows well how big in significance is the AA-lib project for the historical development and attraction for new hackers to the Linux dome.
In that sense AAlib head developer Jan HubickaBy the way Jan Hubicka is also the author of another Linux tool called xaos. Xaos is a tool to deal with some kind of advanced higher mathematics stuff called fractals.

XAOS Screenshot Debian Squeeze Linux

Unfortunately I don't know a bit for fractal maths and what the purpose of the tool is but as you can see on the shot it looks nice running 🙂

Here are also, lot of the major BB parts in shots:

Running bb music screen screenshot Linux Debian 6 Squeeze

BB AScii fire Linux shot

bb demo ascii art fractals

BB demo ascii art back head and description of the dev

bb demo ascii zebra Linux screenshot

bb demo cannon gun shot

BB demo ring screenshot

BB demo spots Debian shot

BB developer head shot 2

BB developer profile shot

bb game ascii invaders demo

Linux extremist BB demo

BB demo zoomed text ascii art text

BB Demo thanks for watching screen

For those on MS-Windows OS platform, here is the demo 🙂

BB ASCII Demo standard size running in Linux (With sound)

Enjoy ! 🙂

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HasciiCAM supposed to stream ASCII video over the network on GNU / Linux

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Richard M. Stallman (RMS) Face portrait rendered in ASCII art from a video with hasciicam
To continue with my lately ASCII centered articles I found hasciicam
hasciicam is a program to stream ASCII video over the network on Linux and probably can be easily made working on FreeBSDtoo.

The project concept is interesting in a matter of fun (play) point of view, however not too usable as we all know ASCII character looking faces doesn't look too pretty.

Below is the Debian (Squeeze) package description:

noah:~# apt-cache show hasciicam|grep -i description -A 7
Description: (h)ascii for the masses: live video as text
Hasciicam makes it possible to have live ASCII video on the web. It
captures video from a tv card and renders it into ascii, formatting the
output into an html page with a refresh tag or in a live ASCII window or
in a simple text file as well, giving the possibility to anybody that has a
bttv card, a Linux box and a cheap modem line to show a live ASCII video
feed that can be browsable without any need for plugin, java etc.
Homepage: http://ascii.dyne.org/

On hasciicam Project webpage is it is stated as a hardware you need to have:
 

"As hardware you need to have a webcam or a videocard supported by "video 4 linux", most of the gear you can buy around should work well."

To install and test it I run:

noah:~# apt-get --yes install hasciicam

Though it is stated on the project website supposed to work display video fine with most 'linux ready' webcams, it didn't with this very standard one.

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

By the way, I use the very same CAM daily on for Skype video calls as well as the Camera is working with no problems to save video or pictures inside Cheese

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

The just installed deb has one binary file only /usr/bin/hasciicam. To test it with the camera I issued:

noah:~# hasciicam -d /dev/video0
HasciiCam 1.0 - (h)ascii 4 the masses! - http://ascii.dyne.org
(c)2000-2006 Denis Roio < jaromil @ dyne.org >
watch out for the (h)ASCII ROOTS

Device detected is /dev/video0
USB2.0 Camera
1 channels detected
max size w[640] h[480] - min size w[48] h[32]
Video capabilities:
VID_TYPE_CAPTURE can capture to memory
!! error in ioctl VIDIOCGMBUF: : Invalid argument

Unfortunately as you see from the output, it failed to detect the web camera model.
The exact camera besides its kernel detection naminf is a cheap external USB 2.0 (fake brand / nonanem) "universal" Web PC Camera (SUPER .3mega pixel)

For those who have a further interest in building and installing hasciicam on other Linux platforms than Debian and Ubuntu or whoever wants to look in the code check check Project webpage is. For those who are less of programmers (like me) the project is written in C programming language and uses aa-lib in order to render the video to ASCII.

On the site you will notice two totally schizophrenic looking pictures of presumably the project head developer …

hasciiart video streamed ASCII screenshot of some crazy looking guy smoking marijuanna or smth

As I read in man hasciicam manual page it's said to be able to generate ascii plain text and html files as well as directly to write the output to console, which later probably can be streamed via the network.
Pitily as it didn't detect my camera I couldn't make some testing of its network capabilities.

A Streaming of ASCII couuld be done through pushing the .html output to a webserver and setting a php or javascript to loop through and refresh the browser over the uploaded files every sec or so.

Also I assume the ASCII video output saved in plain console could be streamed via netcat or some tiny scripted perl or bash script and directly observed via a telnet or ssh connection.
One playful way I can think of checking a stored video without the use of FTP is to login via ssh and do:

$ ssh someuser@somehost
$ watch -n 1 "cat video-ascii.html"

🙂

Well something disturbing about hasciicam from a (purely Christian point of view) is it was developed by some kind of non profit organization called RastaSoft on the project website, some of its authors has written JAH BLESS.

As I didn't succeeded seeing it working, I'll be interested to hear if someone who red this article and give it a try can report the web camera model used.

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