Kuma's Lair

Making image contact sheets with ImageMagick’s montage & shell scripting

December 24th, 2013 by Scott Pettigrew

So, if you’re anything like me, you probably have a ton of digital photos laying around your hard drive. For my wife and I, the challenge was to be able to view all of these and figure out what to keep and what to discard. I organized the photos by year, and then by month…but then what to do?

I decided to make some photo contact sheets. I found an article at Pat David’s site on how to do this (thanks, by the way!), but didn’t want to go into multiple directories to do this…so I automated it!

Check out this script, which runs on linux machines.  From a directory of directories, it will switch into each directory (one level down only, my next step is to recurse!) and create a contact sheet for each.

Here is the script:

 for DIR in `ls`
  if test -d "$DIR"
   cd "$DIR"
    montage -verbose -label '%f' -font Helvetica -pointsize 10\
    -background\ '#000000' -fill 'gray' -define jpeg:size=200x200\
    -geometry 200x200+2+2 \ -auto-orient *.jpg\
    cd ..

Let me know what you think, or how this could be improved upon!

Tech Support (xkcd)

October 15th, 2010 by Scott Pettigrew

Anyone with tech skills will relate to this…  I think this is my new favorite xkcd comic!

Circuit Diagram

April 22nd, 2010 by Scott Pettigrew

Unfortunately, this is EXACTLY what most wiring diagrams in QST (ham radio magazine) look like to me:

Circuit Diagram

Ubuntu 10.10 is just around the corner!

April 9th, 2010 by Scott Pettigrew

So a buddy and I were chatting today about Ubuntu and their naming convention, and decided that we needed to come up with a bunch of possible names for the upcoming Ubuntu 10.10 release, which is due in October!  Sometimes we springboarded from one adjective/animal to the next, so you’ll see some closely-related names…

  • Maudlin Mantis
  • Morose Manatee
  • Mellow Manatee
  • Mossy Manatee
  • Marauding Mongoose
  • Marauding Mudskipper
  • Magnanimous Moose
  • Morose Moose
  • Maternal Macaque
  • Miffed Meerkat
  • Majestic Mammoth
  • Moody Martin

Also seen on the Ubuntu Blog: Masturbating Monkey!  🙂

Post your original creations (or links to your favorites found elsewhere) below!

Pan newsreader and multi-part images in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

January 2nd, 2010 by Scott Pettigrew

There is an updated version of this tutorial for Ubuntu 11.10!

For years, I have been a big fan of the usenet newsgroups. I think it’s one of the best little niches left on the internet, and it has one of the best ranges in content…  On usenet, you can have civilized, academic conversation, or unruly flame-wars between fanatics. You can also find some of the coolest binaries available on the net…hard-to-find music, out of print books in e-text, and pictures ranging from serene wallpapers to…well just about anything.

When Ubuntu’s newest version, Karmic Koala, came out, I was very dismayed to find that the distribution of the Pan newsreader available via the Synaptic package manager was broken.  Basically, any image that was posted as multi-part refused to load in the default window.

With some help from the folks on the pan-users mailing list, I was finally able to compile the code from a source repository being kept up by K.Haley, pan’s volunteer coder.  But I thought it might be nice to provide a step-by-step guide for newer linux users, as the whole process of downloading source from a github repository, the tracking down of the necessary development libraries, and the entire compilation process can be daunting.  Therefore, I came up with the following list of commands to run to get a patched version of Pan running from a normal install of Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala). Read the rest of this entry »

Omnitech 16878 GPS fix…

June 18th, 2009 by Scott Pettigrew

So I bought a very inexpensive GPS off the Woot! website late last year.  It’s worked very well for me, and I was quite happy with the purchase…until last Saturday.  On Saturday the 13th of June, the GPS just quit syncing with the GPS constellation!  At first, I wrote it off to a cheap device, and figured that I’d had my fun.  But then I started poking around…and what I saw didn’t make sense.

I looked at the GPS signal screen, trying to see if the internal antenna wire had somehow come undone.  Maybe this was something I could fix myself!  No, I was seeing good signals from 8 to 11 satellites…and still no location sync!

Ok, so that points to software.  I started poking around the web, and found that I wasn’t alone…and that Navsupport was already hard at work on a fix.

Here’s the link

You’ll need a blank SD card, an SD reader, and about 10 minutes to perform the fix.  I did it, and it works great!  So what are you waiting for?  More GPS adventures await!

Geeking out the Amateur Radio Way…

January 6th, 2009 by Scott Pettigrew

Ok, so I admit that last night wasn’t the kind of geeking out that most hams dream of. I didn’t contact a ham in a far-off-place, nor did I participate via HF in a search and rescue operation in the Grand Tetons.

It was fun, though!

N8MIQ (Karl) and I were playing around with the PSK31 digital mode on 2m SSB last night. He lives about 15 miles away. He had his rig set at ONE watt, and I had mine at it’s lowest setting of 5 watts.

We copied each other 100%, the signal floating in on the ether just fine.  Never mind that if we were working FM 2 meters, we likely wouldn’t have been able to hear each other.  I sent him a link to Ham Radio Deluxe and to the Feld Hell Club, and we’ll likely be exploring those (and other!) modes in the very near future.

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