Monthly Archives: November 2015

Ancient Warfare Game 0 A.D. Alpha 19 `Syllepsis` Released

0 A.D. game

Wildfire Games has released 0 A.D. alpha 19 “Syllepsis” yesterday. This alpha release includes new gameplay features, graphics and user interface changes as well as various under the hood improvements.
0 A.D. is a historical war and economy game that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, which features several ancient civilizations, from Greece and Rome to Carthage and Persia.

The game comes with both singleplayer and multiplayer modes, and while there’s no central server, players can use a lobby to discover other players and set up a game, or they can directly connect to each other using their IP addresses.

0 A.D. alpha 19

Changes in 0 A.D. alpha 19:
  • Gameplay:
    • non-siege units can now capture buildings and siege engines;
    • new victory modes: “Conquest Structures” (destroy or capture all enemy structures to win) and “Conquest Units” (destroy all enemy units to win);
    • ceasefire game mode: the game can be set so that all players are completely unable to attack their enemies for a predetermined time at the start of a game;
    • attack coordination: players can request allies (including bots) to attack a specific enemy by clicking a button next to the player name in the diplomacy window. Also, Petra AI now supports attack coordination;
    • Petra AI now warns its allies when it needs a tribute and lets them know when it advances to a new phase;
    • the Ptolemaic lighthouse now has its special feature implemented: it reveals the shore on the entire map;
    • new skirmish maps: Tuscan Acropolis (for 4 players; map preview), Northern Island (for 2 players; map preview), and Alpine Mountains (for 3 players; map preview);
  • Graphics and UI:
    • increased maximum map height: the engine now supports an eight times greater range of terrain heights, allowing for the creation of maps with more diverse and impressive landscapes;
    • visual replay: re-run a game and understand what took place in real time;
    • aura visualization: units affected by an aura are now marked with an icon when the aura giver is selected;
    • new animals: new mastiff and wolfhound units have been added as well as a new rhinoceros;
    • the Roman units now have voices in Latin;
  • Other changes:
    • new pathfinder: The pathfinder is the component of the game engine that picks a route for a unit to move along from its current location to its target location, so that it does not collide with other units or with structures or with impassable terrain. The new pathfinder improves performance, but at the same time, it also introduces some new bugs;
    • XML validation: In 0 A.D., the behavior of units, buildings and other world objects is defined by their components, such as cost, health and more. All of these are described in XML files. The “grammar” of the XML files is now checked for correctness before being used by the game engine, which helps prevent technical problems;
    • the generic Hellenic and Celtic factions have been removed;
    • SDL2 is now enabled by default on Linux.

Below you’ll find a video which presents some of these changes:

(direct video link)

0 A.D. has low system requirements – on Linux, you’ll need at least 512 MB of RAM, 1 GHz Intel or x86 compatible CPU and any graphics card that supports OpenGL 1.3 with 3D hardware accelerated drivers and at least 128 MB memory, e.g., Radeon 9000, GeForce 3, or similar.
If you can contribute to 0 A.D. (programming, art, sound, documentation and more), see the programmers getting started page and join #0ad-dev on QuakeNet on IRC.

Download 0 A.D.

Download 0 A.D. (Linux, Windows and Mac)

Ubuntu / Linux Mint users can install the latest 0 A.D. by using its official PPA. Add the PPA and install the game using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wfg/0ad
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install 0ad

from Web Upd8 – Ubuntu / Linux blog

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Wirelessly Transfer Photos From Nikon/Sony/Canon Cameras To Your Computer With Airnef

Airnef is a relatively new open source tool which can be used to wirelessly transfer photos and videos from WiFi-equipped Nikon, Sony and Canon cameras to a computer, available for Linux, Windows and Mac.


The application should work with all Nikon cameras that have built-in WiFi interfaces as well as external Nikon WiFi adapters WU-1a and WU-1b. Other external WiFi adapters, like WT-4A and WT-5A, may work, but were not tested. 
Canon cameras are also supported and with the latest version, the application got support for Sony cameras as well.
Besides downloading the photos and images you’ve already taken, the application also comes with a real-time download mode, which allows transferring images to your computer as you shoot them, as long as your camera supports this.
For cameras that don’t support real-time WiFi shooting, a staged-real-time feature can be used, which automatically transfers the photos as soon as you turn the WiFi off – a process which can be repeated (turn WiFi off, shoot some photos, then turn the WiFi off to get the photos transferred to your computer) without any user input on the computer.

Airnef feature:

  • one-button click to download all new images and video from the camera, selected on either the camera or computer;
  • fast downloads – Airnef uses optimized Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) parameters for sustained throughput around 2.5 MB/s (in my test under Ubuntu 15.10, the top transfer speed was 1.15 MB/s and I’m not sure why but I’ll look into it);
  • real-time download mode (and staged-real-time download mode – see above for explanations regarding this feature) – images are transferred to your computer as you shoot them;
  • transfer images and videos using an extensive criteria selection such as: file type, start/end capture date, specific folders, card slot and so on;
  • allows choosing the download order (oldest/newest first);
  • renaming engine allows you to customize the names of directories and files for images you download;
  • Airnef will continuously retry any failed communication/transfer, resuming the download exactly where it left off, even in the middle of a file;
  • various minor features such as automatically synchronizing the camera’s time to the system’s time each time airnefcmd is executed, and more.
Airnef comes with a GUI, which you can use to visually select the download folder, which files to transfer and so on, as well as a command line app which can be used in scripts, etc.
Using Airnef is pretty simple but just in case, here’s how to quickly start using it. Firstly, you’ll have to connect the camera to your computer’s WiFi. To do this, enable the WiFi on your camera and on your computer, connect to your camera’s WiFi.
Next, on your computer, launch Airnef and make sure that “Camera IP Address” is set to “”. At least for Nikon cameras, this should be the default IP address:


If you’re in a network where this IP is already assigned (to your router for example), you can either disconnect from the network or change the camera IP – according to Airnef’s website, for Nikon cameras this can be done via a one-time procedure using Nikon’s Wireless Mobile Utility app (iOS and Android). You can find exact instructions for this on Airnef’s homepage.
Next, click on “Select on Computer”, choose which files to transfer, the download location and so on and click the “Start Download” button:


For real-time download, select “only realtime download” (or “normal download then realtime” to firstly download all the images/videos from your camera and then start the real-time feature) option from the dropdown, as you can see in the screenshot below:


After you click “Start download”, a terminal window should pop up (if you’ve used the binary download; for the source, this is displayed in the terminal where you ran airnef), displaying the connection and transfer status:


To stop the transfer, press ctrl + c in this window.

For a lot more information and advanced usage, see Airnef’s homepage.

Download Airnef

Download Airnef (binaries available for Linux – 64bit only, Windows and Mac as well as source code)

To run it, simply extract the downloaded archive and double click the “airnef” executable.

For Linux 32bit (also works for 64bit obviously, if you prefer using the python source instead of the binary), firstly install python-tk. For Ubuntu, install it using the following command:
sudo apt-get install python-tk

Then download the source code, extract the downloaded archive and in the folder where you’ve extracted it, run the following command to start the application:
python airnef.pyw

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Evernote Linux Client `NixNote` 2 Beta 5 Available For Download

NixNote is an unofficial Evernote client for Linux which was initially called NeverNote. The application was written in Java until NixNote 2, which is a complete rewrite in C++ using the Qt framework, having better performance and a reduced memory footprint as main goals. The application continues to use Java for encrypting and decrypting text, but that’s optional.

Nixnote2 Linux

Evernote is a popular note-taking service that supports saving text, full webpages, voice memos, video notes and more with a lot of useful features. There are official Evernote clients available for Windows, OS X, web (but it lacks many features) and mobile platforms but not for Linux.

Nixnote 2 beta 5, released recently, brings numerous bug fixes as well as various enhancements:
  • added the ability to email notes;
  • searching will now highlight PDF results;
  • added Print Preview & the ability to only print selected text;
  • notes that are marked as shortcuts are now visible in the tray icon;
  • added the option to use notify-send instead of Qt’s popup notification;
  • a colors.txt file can now be added to customize note background color options;
  • various GUI enhancements.

The latest Nixnote 2 beta also brings basic support for the nixnote2-cmd utility however, I should mention that this command line tool is not bundled with the NixNote 2 binaries.

For those not familiar with NixNote 2, here’s a quick list of important Evernote features supported by this app:
  • full synchronization of all notes and attachments;
  • the ability to create, edit and delete notes, tags, notebooks and saved searches;
  • the ability yo search notes and index attachments;
  • allows using the image text recognition features provided by Evernote;
  • supports multiple Evernote accounts.

Also, there are some Evernote features that aren’t available or work differently in NixNote 2, including:
  • slightly different search syntax (NixNote allows any term to be negated, where Evernote does not);
  • no Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn sharing;
  • audio notes are not directly supported (you can’t record audio notes through NixNote but you can use a note recorded with a different app as an attachment);
  • Ink notes can’t be implemented in NixNote because Evernote doesn’t provide an API for it.

Note: To enable syncing with Evernote, from the NixNote 2 menu select Tools > Synchronize and authenticate NixNote 2 with Evernote.

Download NixNote 2 beta

Download NixNote 2 beta 5 (deb, rpm and ebuild packages available)

Arch Linux users can install NixNote 2 via AUR: beta | git

To download the NixNote 2 source, report bugs and so on, see its GitHub page.

For more information on using NixNote 2, see its user manual (PDF).

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Install GIMP 2.8.16 In Ubuntu Or Linux Mint Via PPA

On GIMP’s 20th birthday (Nov 22), a new version of the free and open source image editor was released: 2.8.16. This is a bugfix release from the 2.8 stable series and it includes the following changes:

  • Core:
    • seek much less when writing XCF;
    • don’t seek past the end of the file when writing XCF;
    • Windows: call SetDLLDirectory() for less DLL hell;
    • fix velocity parameter on .GIH brushes;
    • fix brokenness while transforming certain sets of linked layers;
  • GUI:
    • always show image tabs in single window mode;
    • fix switching of dock tabs by DND hovering;
    • don’t make the scroll area for tags too small;
    • fixed a crash in the save dialog;
    • fix issue where ruler updates made things very slow on Windows;
  • Plug-ins:
    • fix several issues in the BMP plug-in;
    • make Gfig work with the new brush size behavior again;
    • fix font export in the PDF plug-in;
    • support layer groups in OpenRaster files;
    • fix loading of PSD files with layer groups.

The GIMP 2.8.16 release announcement also mentions that the devs’ “immediate future plans are to release first public version in the unstable 2.9.x series that will feature fully functional GEGL port, 16/32bit per channel processing, basic OpenEXR support, vastly improved color management implementation, new tools, on-canvas preview for many filters, and more“, this being the first milestone towards GIMP 2.10.
If you want to try the latest unstable GIMP, you can already do so by using a PPA.

Install GIMP 2.8.16 in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

To install the latest stable GIMP in Ubuntu (Precise and newer) / Linux Mint and derivatives, you can use Thorsten Stettin’s PPA. Add the PPA and install GIMP using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gimp
It’s important to mention that besides GIMP, this PPA also includes various GIMP plugins, such as G’MIC, and GIMP PLugin Registry.
For other Linux distributions, Windows and Mac OS X, see the GIMP downloads page.

How to revert the changes

In case you don’t want to use GIMP 2.8.16 any more and you want to downgrade to the version available in the official Ubuntu repositories, you can purge the PPA using “ppa-purge”:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge
sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp

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Fix For Some Apps Starting Behind Focused Windows In Ubuntu (Compiz)

In Ubuntu (w/ Unity), some applications/windows open behind focused windows which can be annoying in some cases. Here are a few examples:
  • clicking the “open containing folder” in the Firefox downloads menu, the file manager pops up behind the focused window;
  • activating applications through indicators doesn’t always bring them to the foreground, for instance Pidgin chat windows, the file manager opened via the “Open Dropbox folder” Dropbox AppIndicator menu item, Rhythmbox from the Ubuntu Sound Menu, etc.;
  • if there’s already a fileroller window open (Archive Manager, a compress/extract job, etc.), the second window you open is not focused.

I tested the examples above under Ubuntu 15.10 with Unity.
Some focus-related issues were marked as fixed a while back, but some continue to occur and there are comments, as well as bug reports, which suggest a simple solution which should fix this issue: setting “Focus Prevention level” to “Off” in CompizConfig Settings Manager (obviously you need to be using Compiz for this to work).
In case you’re not aware, Ubuntu (with Unity) ships with “Focus Prevention level” set to “Low” by default. For instance, to work around this issue, Ubuntu MATE, which allows you to easily switch to Compiz via MATE Tweak, ships with this option set to “Off”.
To apply the fix/workaround I mentioned above, firstly install CompizConfig Settings Manager:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CompizConfig Settings Manager and under General Options > Focus & Raise Behaviour tab, set the “Focus Prevention Level” to “Off”:

Compiz focus prevention

That’s it! If later on you decide you want to switch back to the default behaviour, simply set the “Focus Prevention Level” back to “Low”.
As a bonus, this also fixes the issue with Nemo (with Unity patches) opening in the background when there’s a focused window (which I think is a bug in Nemo).

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