Posts tagged: Tools

Tool of the week: k4dirstat

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By , December 10, 2011 04:01

HeyHo, the disc is full, the disc is full…, but i found a great help:

KDirStat – Directory statistics.

Shows where all your disk space has gone
and helps you clean it up

Installation in Debian and Ubuntu:

$  apt-get install k4dirstat

I think the screenshot says it all:

Every cube in the tree-map illustration represents a file or a directory. By their size its instantly visible where all the space is used up. You can click the big blocks to get a direct link to the file in the tree.

git – Version Control System – Workshop @Nerdcafe

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By , September 25, 2010 18:35


27.09. – 19:00

This lecture is an introduction to git, mainly from client-site,
but some tricks for servers to control access are also introduced (gitosis).
Furthermore, with git-svn you are able to reach a svn-repo via a git repo. Anti Surveilance Searchengine

By , August 28, 2010 22:35
Scroogle Cookie Killer

Scroogle Cookie Killer

I use this google (TM) frontend since long time.

By using this site (as a ~proxy), google (TM) does not receive your cookie and cannot track your behavoir, as they normally do over long time periods. Scroogle stores the logs 48hours, but without IP. I just don’t find the info!

Use this this link for your homepage and you will find a comic strip with info about Google (TM) every time you scroogle!

Amarok Remote for Android

By , August 28, 2010 22:08

What a great tool!

Amarok Remote Screenshot

Amarok Remote Screenshot

This amarok plugin + Android App lets you control Amarok Mediaplayer over WLAn / …

I just wanted to start to code, but typed amarok into the market and: somebody did it already

Android Amarok Remote Homepage

just follow the install instructions – its done in 5 minutes, enjoy!


rename the downloaded file to android.amarokscript.tar.gz or you cannot open it in amarok plugin manager!

Timetracking Linux and Web Tools

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By , August 15, 2010 04:04

Here’s a comparison of some programs in debian/ubuntu repositories, that help to keep track of your worktimes

This is in the Debian and Ubuntu repositories. it is programmed for the KDE window environment, but if you have all the KDE libraries already, just run this in a terminal:

wait! update first

it’s best practise to update the repositories before installing something, to get the latest versions:

sudo apt-get update

btw: sudo is only required in ubuntu, in debian type ‘su’ to get root access

sudo apt-get install ktimetracker

+ Nice and simple interface.
+ Timers
You can start and stop a timer when you begin and end a working session so you get the exact time.

+ It can even watch your desktops, including the virtual ones, so you can put all your work windows for example on desktop 2 and switching to 1 is enough to do something else and stop the counter. you will wonder about the short times it tracks (without mailchecks, etc.) !

must test the export..

For me this wins, because of the desktop tracking and  (sub) timers!

Gnome Time Tracker

Installation in Debian / Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install gnotime

Nice interface with description and “diary” textfields. Nice list of projects and timers to count worktime on a daily basis are integrated.

Some things in the interface are broken or not understandable: export does not allow to select a file, maybe something must be created first?

Subprojects? must test..

Tine2.0 Web Groupware

Nice webinterface. Besides Todolist, Calendar, CRM and few more modules, a Time-tracking tool is built into this web groupware.

+ So called “Time-accounts” represent the different projects. You can add “time-sheets” to these projects for every session or ideally the hours of every day. There are filters to show only one project or a relevant period or user. You can save these filter options as a favorite view. That’s really cool and flexible! One problem is, that you cannot redefine the default favorite, which it show at first.

+ Tine can store € per hour, “billable” and more billing infos, so you it automatically calculates the full time and price of a project.

There is no counter to start and stop the session times. You can only enter the periods, after you finished the day work. Its useful to keep track of the works of a team, but if you want to track the exact times, you need another timer-software and enter the periods from there to tine  :-/

Must test:  Exports!   It ~should~ export .ods, which would be reaaaaally helpful to present the time-sheet to clients directly or put it in a bill! But maybe i have to fill a bug report on that..


Is a good, old PHP web groupware with many, many modules. The project module interface is not easy to understand, but when you get it, you can even use time counters online.

Many functions in the projects module,…

EGroupware is a huge system, only for timetracking you do not want to install it. There are many options to setup, specially if there is more than one user, it gets really complicated to give correct permissions to everyone.

OpenOffice Table with Formulars

still the easiest and best solution?

+ Table calculation software offers a nice overview with dynamic calculations: Press [F2] in a table cell and you can enter formulars for calculation. This way, you can, for example, enter exact minutes and get hours by [cell] * 60.

+ In OpenOffice Writer you can keep track of times in a simple table inside a odt text-office document. No need to use Calc, the Table calculation

Also the other programs offer ways to enter billing info like € per hour.

– Teamwork? Its not easy to work together on stupid office documents. They are practically always locked by other users 😉

.odt file coming soon..

Arduino Talk & Workshop Berlin – Proposal / Info

By , April 28, 2010 17:15

Who is interested to join the next Arduino talk & workshop in Berlin F’Hain?- please comment or mail

Workshop Info

Sensor forest on a breadboard

Sensor forest on a breadboard

Hardware Hacking -DiY- Faderboxes & Robots — Introduction to Hardware <-> Software Interaction

This introduction is intended for anyone interested in (easy) electronics hardware and (mostly easy) software coding. Artists / *Designers & Hackers of all kinds are invited to join the FREE sessions in Berlin Friedrichshain.

We will introduce the Arduino plattform and show some practical examples. Basics of electronics and some interesting components will be explained shortly, but there are no tricky mechanical works and no soldering and not so complicated electro-technically theories involved.

We will focus on software programming inside the Arduino editor to show how to read analog values from various sensors and output to LEDs and servo motors.

Big breadboard, many sensors + Arduino

Big breadboard, many sensors + Arduino

To get some interesting visual results, we will use Processing to display incoming values from sensors in various,graphical ways.

After the lesson, you should have an idea how to design & build your own simple robots (servo motors…) or sensoric controllers (MIDI / OSC faderboxes,..). We can focus on special topics (maybe MIDI Controllers) in a follow up workshop.

Synoptx Crew organizes all material, tools and a nice location.

BYO laptop and Arduino or contact us to join a collective order of electronic parts!

MirrorBot V3.0 : Robot Autonomie!

By , February 13, 2010 01:23

MirrorBot GUI 3.0 on s65 shield

Finally there is no need for a computer control screen anymore: the S65-Shield rocks!  🙂

Display Code

This display is fast enough, graphical!!, colorful, just big enough and easy to program,for many tasks, where you normally would need a big (pc) screen and ‘real’ software.

Hotspots Setup Screen

Hotspots Setup Screen

So I started to code an Arduino patch for a mirror bot interface. After some nightly sessions it includes:

  • “projection display” – showing the current angle of 2 mirrors and the resulting projection (just some lines and rectangles
  • animated BPM  “beat-bar” showing current step
  • current BPM
  • current program name and description

At first, it was difficult to overwrite the previous drawings: if too many lines are drawn at once, it does not work. After some timing tests, I found a working code to redraw all elements without flickering.

Autonomous MirrorControl Box

Autonomous MirrorControl Box

One trick is to redraw as few pixels as necessary and another is to reduce the updates to only draw something (over) when its really necessary (something changed).

Servo Control Integration

Then I integrated this LCD animation code into the servo control loops and programs. One control loop runs every 200ms to check the input potis. The display animation update is also triggered in that loop.

Another loop runs according to the current BPM and triggers the selected servo move program which moves the servos on beat.

Open Case - Arduino + s65 shield + joystick board

Open Case - Arduino + s65 shield and joystick board

In manual mode the servos are directly moved in the control loop. Servos do not position soo fast and accurate, so it needs some ms to ‘drive’ there, but it is fast enough for most effects. 50-100ms refresh works good and gives a direct response feeling. Next I’m looking for joysticks, which keep the position, because these jump back to the middle and that’s  disturbing in manual mode…

Connections on the shields pins

Connections on the shields pins

Unfortunately the 4 Arduino analog input pins, which are left free by the S65 shield, are already used up by the four joystick axis.:

S65 Shield Pins Schematics Image

Hotspots Setup

The Duemillanove still had a lot of RAM -1500byte- and 1/2 code memory free, so I started to hack a setup screen for the hotspot variables of two ServoMirrors into it.

Now the box can be configured for each location live ‘on the fly’ without re-programming by a computer. With the joysticks you can select nice spots in the room and press the encoder to save the value. Currently the values are simply stored into global varaibles. Next step is to save these values to SD card or EEProm..

PS2 to servos and some work todo..

PS2 to servos and some work todo..

It was easy to write this interface with the S65 library. Simply loop over the variables and draw the text. Draw a box around the selected row and change the selected on encoder turn. Now the box needs some more buttons…


This case was a -fast & furious- test to create at alu-front at home office. Not only that many tools are required, you also need a stand for a drill and equimpment for fixiation to get the metal works really exact. Its not that bad, but it takes long to calculate, drill and saw all holes. You will not get it done without some scratches and unstraight edges, if you dont have a professional workplace.. We are looking for some CNC guys next .. 😉

Wiimote Control – Python Cwii Frontend

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By , July 12, 2008 17:10

Wiimote Control Frontend

This is a frontend to simplify the connection and configuration of a Wiimote and its bluetooth connection.

It is based on Cwii Library and can map axis and buttons of the wiimote to keyboard, mouse and joystick events

It has got different preconfigured modes for web-browsing, various games, TV remote control and presentations.

The config files define events like keyboard presses and map them to wiimote events, like button presses and controller values.

debian package coming soon..

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