Directions from Bristol to Timbuktu

If you plan to drive your car from Bristol to Timbuktu you will get the correct directions, according to this funny article published on ThisIsBristol (online edition of the Evening Post daily newspaper):


Install GCC 3.4 on Ubuntu 9.10 [UPDATED]

It seems that Karmic Koala, the last version of Ubuntu, has dropped support for versions of GCC/G++ prior to version 4.1.
Here is a quick script to add GCC and G++ 3.4 from the repository of the previous version:
mkdir DELEME
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/libstdc++6-dev_3.4.6-6ubuntu3_i386.deb
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/cpp-3.4_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/gcc-3.4_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/gcc-3.4-base_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/g++-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu3_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
cd ..
rm -rf DELEME
UPDATE: As of 2012-09-02, I have been warned that the previous installation process does not work any more; it appears that the repository does not contain all the required files, so it fails on the second one (cpp) producing error message 404 (Not Found).
I don't need this version of GCC right now so I am not going to try it myself, but a quick web search returned another alternative repository on Launchpad. But this new repository does not include the first and the last package (libstdc++ and g++), so only these will still have to be taken from the old location.
Then the installation process now becomes:

mkdir DELEME
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/libstdc++6-dev_3.4.6-6ubuntu3_i386.deb
wget https://launchpad.net/~yofel/+archive/off-ppa/+files/cpp-3.4_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget https://launchpad.net/~yofel/+archive/off-ppa/+files/gcc-3.4_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget https://launchpad.net/~yofel/+archive/off-ppa/+files/gcc-3.4-base_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/g++-3.4_3.4.6-6ubuntu3_i386.deb
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
cd ..
rm -rf DELEME


Beatles Apples & Flowchart

Today I found two interesting news about The Beatles.

First, EMI is going to release an apple-shaped USB memory stick containing the whole remastered Beatles catalog and some extras:

Second, thanks to Andrea Spadaccini, I found this great flowchart of "Hey Jude"...


Instruct Firefox to open mailto links using GMail

This is a useful hack if you don't use an email client anymore but just the web version.


Manage symlinks in Debian/Ubuntu using update-alternatives

In a previous post I explained how to build Google Gears under Debian/Ubuntu, and the process involved some hacks to use a version of GCC different from the most updated one.

Then my friend Davide sent me some suggestions explaining that I could have used the "update-alternatives" command to manage symbolic links to the desired version of a tool.

For instance:
update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.2 10

update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/g++ g++ /usr/bin/g++-4.3 20

update-alternatives --config g++


Convert POI from Google Maps to TomTom Navigator using Ubuntu

This has been tested with a PC running Ubuntu 9.04 and TomTom Navigator 6 installed on a HP iPAQ PDA running Windows Mobile 6:
  • on your PC display your customized map on Google Maps
  • click "Link" and copy-paste the URL on the address bar
  • append "&output=kml" to the URL and press return
  • save the downloaded file as "MyMap.kml"
  • edit the resulting file to remove every HTML formatting tags (e.g. DIV)
  • connect your WinCE/WinMobile/PocketPC PDA/Smartphone through USB
  • sudo apt-get gpsbabel synce-multisync-plugin
  • gpsbabel -i kml -o tomtom -f MyMap.kml -F MyMap.ov2
  • synce-pcp MyMap.ov2
  • on the PDA run TomTom Navigator
  • tap "Preferences|PDI|Add category" -> "MyMap"
  • run "File Explorer" and go to the "My Documents" folder
  • locate the file "MyMap" (the .ov2 extension will be hidden)
  • cut that file and paste it into your TomTom's map directory
  • you should be prompted to overwrite the existing file
  • run TomTom Navigator and you should find the new POI category!


Building Google Gears on Linux

  • sudo apt-get install build-essential g++-4.2
  • svn checkout http://gears.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ gears-read-only
  • cd gears-read-only/gears/
  • Edit "tools/config.mk" to replace the 9 occurrences of "g++" with "g++-4.2"
  • chmod +x ../third_party/gecko_1.9/linux/gecko_sdk/bin/*
  • make
  • Done! The Firefox installer is in bin-dbg/installers/gears-linux-dbg-


I support England 2018 !!!

This is the personalised widget I obtained after registering at England2018Bid.com:


Irish Id Card for St. Patrick's Day

I recently found a funny webapp on the Guinness website (yes, the ones of the black beer) that let me create a fake temporary Irish Identity Card to be used for Saint Patrick's Day (March 17).

Here is the result...


How to install latest Icarus Verilog

The latest stable version of Icarus Verilog (0.8.x) does not support the "generate" construct, while the development branch (0.9.x) does.

As a remainder, the quickest way to install it on Debian/Ubuntu is:

sudo su

apt-get purge verilog

apt-get install build-essential git-core autoconf gperf flex bison

git clone git://icarus.com/~steve-icarus/verilog

cd verilog

source autoconf.sh



make install

cd ..

rm -rf verilog


Dartboard unwrapping

In the process of becoming a perfect English gentleman and having to choose a sporting activity I decided to discard Badminton (the preferred sport of my former colleague Witek Konarski) and preferred Darts.

Yesterday I received a package of darts-related stuff ordered online from Darts Corner, and the following pictures show the unwrapping of the whole thing.

This will make happy some current colleagues who actually own some of the items in the box and want to see immediately how they look like.


Ubuntu vs. Vista vs. Seven

I'm enjoying a comparison of benchmarks on Ubuntu (both the stable and the beta versions) against Windows (again the stable [?] Vista and the forthcoming Seven): it's on Tux Radar and if you are short of time you can just look at the pictures.