Category Archives: Software

The Sniping Tool in Gnome

For the uninitiated, it’s a nifty tool I’ve seen being used on Vista that lets you select an area of the screen to take a screenshot of, instead of the entire screen; and it’s been lying around on Gnome all this while! To try it out:

  1. System → Preferences → Keyboard Shortcuts → Add
    • Name: Snipe
    • Command: gnome-screenshot -ai
  2. Apply; then click on your new entry to configure a shortcut key

This binds your shortcut-key to the Gnome Screenshot tool, being started in the -a(rea) and -i(nteractive) mode. If you prefer seeing the sniping crosshairs directly instead of an interactive dialog, use gnome-screenshot -a as the command instead.

Verilog On Linux: Defenestrating Modelsim

This tutorial’s to the victims of the Modelsim user experience, forced to design hardware in chains and gracefully handle the precious rear end of the popular musty racehorse that’s Mentor Graphics’ stable-star. If you’re on Linux, freedom’s a nice option.

Defenestrate /diˈfɛnəˌstreɪt/ (verb) : to throw (a person or thing) out of a window. The word originated from a couple of incidents in Prague, back in the 14th century, when a bunch of guys stormed in and tossed seven town officials out the window (quite literally).

I’ll walk you through the steps to start coding in Verilog on your Linux box:

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apt-fast: Accelerate Apt-Get Downloads

apt-fast accelerates your apt-get downloads using axel as a download manager. Axel segments the downloads and fetches them from multiple servers; typical download manager stuff. The developer claims an increase in speed up to 26 times. To use this:

A. Install apt-fast

1. Add ppa:tldm217/ to your Software Repositories
2. sudo apt-get update
3. sudo apt-get install apt-fast

B. Configure Your Proxy

1. sudo gedit /etc/axelrc
2. Look for the line:

# http_proxy =

Change this to:

http_proxy =

Ensure you remove the leading “#” and replace “” with your own proxy address and port.

3. Save and close gedit

C. Try it out

sudo apt-fast update
sudo apt-fast upgrade
sudo apt-fast install <your package here>

Cell Phone + Bluetooth = Webcam!

wireless webcam

While I’m posting the instructions specifically for Linux boxes, a little perseverance should have you running it on any box that’s supported! What you’ll need is:

1. A Linux/Windows Box
2. A Symbian/Android/Windows Mobile 6 Phone
3. The Smartcam DEB
4. The Smartcam Source
5. The file for your cell phone, you can select the one you need from here
6. The Smartcam Kernel Module Patch

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Easter Eggs!

Here are some cool easter eggs you’ll probably find on your Linux box; I really don’t know whether they’re GNOME specific, but there’s a good chance none of them will wipe out your hard drive, so go ahead and try them out!

1. Type about:robots in the Firefox address bar.

2. Press ALT-F2, then type in “free the fish”. (I guess this is GNOME specific)

3. Press ALT-F2, then type in “gegls from outer space”.

4. Start your terminal, type in “vim” to start VI Improved. Then type in “:help 42”; try “:help!” too! (You’ll need VIM installed)

5. Start OpenOffice Spreadsheet, select a cell and type in “=GAME(“Star Wars”). Try it a number of times!

6. Start OpenOffice Calc, select a cell and type in “=STARCALCTEAM()”.

7. Right click on the GNOME Panel (basically the start bar equivalent of Windows, which has the main menu and stuff) and click on Properties. Right click thrice on any of the tabs in the Properties window.

8. If you’ve got Python 3 installed, run the interpreter and type in “import antigravity”.

This one’s the coolest!

9. Log Out; while logging in again, type in “Require Quarter” in the Username text box and press Enter. (I guess it’s Ubuntu specific)