Ubuntu 13.10

As usual, no problems to install the latest version of Ubuntu using the upgrade function of the software manager, worked seamlessly on the laptop and for Xubuntu on the EEEPC notebook.

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Geogebra

I recently came across this open source cross-platform application which is a dynamic maths software package. Absolutely magic! If only I’d had this when preparing for exams all those years ago.  It combines graphic ingenuity with  formulas and modelling.  If you are preparing for exams or even just curious about maths, algebra, geometry or basic calculus then do take a look at this.

The home page is here and there are loads of tutorials and examples to help get you started.

Libreoffice 4.0.3.3 Hyperlinks

If you have recently upgraded your Libreoffice to 4.0.3.3 and are having problems with your Hyperlinks not working as before then check the “Security” – Options -” and look for the box “Ctrl-click required to follow hyperlinks”. This seems to come on as default irrespective of the state of the security setting in the previous version you had installed. Just un-tick the box and your hyperlinks will work with a simple mouse click.

Plugins for GIMP

There are many plugins available for GIMP, the registry here being a good place to start. Two filter tools in particular caught my eye and I’ve been having fun playing with them both. Firstly FX_Foundry and secondly G’MIC. Both have a vast number of effects that you can apply to be tweak or completely re-model your images. I attach a twirl below which to me looks like a Fresnel lens effect.

twirl

Color and Light

I was given a copy of the book Color and Light by James Gurney for Xmas, if you are at all interested in painting, no matter what media you use, take time to have a look at this book. The explanations are enlightening (pardon the pun) and structured in bite sized chunks that makes learning easy.  The book is full of diagrams and illustrations and is a pleasure to browse. I’ve learnt things that I wished I’d known when I was much younger! You can find the book here and James Gurney’s blog here gurneyjourney.

Extended life for EeePC

I recently had an Asus Eee 901 PC passed on to me from someone who no longer needed it. I decided to replace the Windows XP with Xubuntu and have been getting up to speed on the Xfce interface which is easy to use and very slick. I have been using Calibre for my Ebook management but due to the screen size of the EeePc, I wanted a reader that could rotate the screen: FBReader is the solution and is full of features that allow almost all settings to be customised. I’m now able to use the EeePC as an Ebook reader, rotated through 90°, which compares to using a tablet! All Open Source!

Reading material

A while ago I posted about the number of books by Swedish authors that I had been reading, as an update I’d like to add Henning Mankell to the list, he’s written quite a number of books mostly police/crime stories it seems he’s best known for his series of mystery novels featuring  his most famous creation, Inspector Kurt Wallander. If you haven’t ever read anything I recommend you to give one of his books a try. I’m reading the French translation so can’t comment on the quality of the English translations.