Saturday, 19 November 2011

Microsoft fonts in LibreOffice

Another challenge during my studies was using ppt files from some professors instead of neutral pdf files. 

LibreOffice has not all necessary fonts to display ppt content properly. Therefore you need to do a workaround to get these fonts.

You need wine and the Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2007.

Beware that you enter a legal gray area. You should find in the statements before the installation following content. However an installation is not necessary.
You may use the fonts that accompany the PowerPoint Viewer only to display and print content from a device running a Microsoft Windows operating system.
After speaking with your conscience you can either continue with this article or find an alternative. oooninja.com mentioned a free-as-in-speech alternative, named font replacement. However I did not know if this is really a working option, too.

1. Download Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2007

2. Install cabextract
sudo apt-get install cabextract
3. Extract the *.exe
cabextract -F ppviewer.cab PowerPointViewer.exe
4. Create a new folder
sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/vista
5. Extract the fonts
sudo cabextract -F '*.TT?' -d /usr/share/fonts/vista ppviewer.cab
6. Update the cache
fc-cache -fv
 7. Now open your ppt file. You should see that the fonts have changed in a positive way.

Thanks to oooninja.com

Saturday, 12 November 2011

GIMP and transparent backgrounds

A nice feature, but a little bit tricky is to create a transparent background for a picture in GIMP.

You have to follow these steps to reach your goal:

1.) Use the duplicate layer function
2.) Add to the original background, NOT the copy, an alpha channel
3.) Use the "magic staff" and mark the area that should be transparent
4.) Cut the marked area
5.) Remove the eye from the background copy in the layer menu
6.) Save as *.png

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Running BPM software ARIS 7.1 under Linux

As an additional software for my master studies I need web access to a BPM software named ARIS IT Architect. Of course there is no official Linux support, but the whole web application runs with Java so there should be a possibility to run this program under a Linux system.

Starting a vpn session and going to this specific university website a Java downloader started to download some files. Under a Windows system the application starts automatically afterwards. Not so with my Xubuntu system. Nothing happened.

After some searching I found a comment in an ARIS forum. See here. Some hints, but no prober confirmed solution.

ARIS however was downloaded into my home folder. I found after several unsuccessful try&error's the arisloader.log file with this content:
Sat Nov 05 23:10:35 CET 2011: /opt/java/64/jre1.6.0_29/lib/amd64/java.exe -Xms64m -Xmx256m -XX:NewSize=32m -XX:MaxNewSize=64m -XX:MaxPermSize=156m -Daris.remote.dir=http://xxx/  -cp "/home/xxx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/xxx/lib/clientlib.jar;/home/xx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/xxx/lib/aris_loader.jar" -Dcom.idsscheer.aris.client.useProxy=false  com.idsscheer.aris.client.arisloader.AArisLoader "/home/xxx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/xxx" com.idsscheer.aris.client.container.common.AARISClientContainer 1358 569 "DBServer" "ARIS Server" "Database" "xxx" "Language" "de" "Country" "DE" "documenturl" "http://xxx" "appletmode" "javaapp" "guipattern" "ITArchitect" "oemp" "oem01" "appserver" "xxx" "iiopport" "16070" "sslport" "0" "usessl" "false" "ignoreproxy" "false" "codebase" "http://xxx/app/" "documentbase" "http://xxx/app/aris_database.html?Database=itm_13&guipattern=ITArchitect&oemp=oem01&language=de&country=DE"
There are two errors inside this statement why the application is not starting. The simple one is obviously /opt/java/64/jre1.6.0_29/lib/amd64/java.exe. In my case the correct path is /opt/java/64/jre1.6.0_29/bin/java.

The second one is more tricky. It is the separator between both jar files:
-cp "/home/xxx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/xxx/lib/clientlib.jar;/home/xx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/xxx/lib/aris_loader.jar"
It is here a semicolon (;), but it needs to be a colon (:). Doing this corrections the application works!
06.11.2011 14:28:21 com.idsscheer.aris.common.ADebug println
INFO: [config] creating plugin.cfg from jar file
06.11.2011 14:28:21 com.idsscheer.aris.common.ADebug println
INFO: [config] creating arisclient.cfg from jar file
2011-11-06T14:28:21,377 INFO - *---------------------------------
2011-11-06T14:28:21,378 INFO - *
2011-11-06T14:28:21,411 INFO - *   Starting Client 7.1.0.413937...
2011-11-06T14:28:21,415 INFO - *   Sun Nov 06 14:28:21 CET 2011
2011-11-06T14:28:21,415 INFO - *
2011-11-06T14:28:21,416 INFO - *---------------------------------
2011-11-06T14:28:21,416 INFO -
2011-11-06T14:28:21,416 INFO - Java version: 1.6.0_29
2011-11-06T14:28:21,416 INFO - Total available memory (MB): 234.6875
2011-11-06T14:28:21,416 INFO - Operating System: Linux
2011-11-06T14:28:21,417 INFO - Operating System Version: 3.0.0-12-generic
2011-11-06T14:28:21,417 INFO - Operating System Archtecture: amd64
2011-11-06T14:28:21,417 INFO - User configuration directory: /home/xxx/ARIS71
2011-11-06T14:28:21,417 INFO - Local directory: /home/xxx/ARIS71/DownloadClient/wa-as9.rz.fh-ingolstadt.de/lib
2011-11-06T14:28:21,417 INFO - Remote directory: http://xxx/
2011-11-06T14:28:21,418 INFO - [focus] starting manager...
2011-11-06T14:28:22,320 INFO - [container] initializing manager components ...
2011-11-06T14:28:22,403 INFO - No license key found, launching 'Enter License Key' dialog
Well, I need now a license key, but that should be the easiest part ;-). I will add some words to functions and stability after receiving the license key.

EDIT: After receiving the license key and putting it into the form I was able to start ARIS IT Architect. I can load my database and my projects. Great!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

VPN without Cisco vpn client

For my starting master studies In need to establish a regulary vpn connection to the university. Supporting just Windows systems with a Cisco vpn client I had to try some things by my own:
  1. Since kernel 2.6.24 Cisco vpn client is not more working. See here.
  2. Possible substitutions however are vpnc or shrewsoft
I chose vpnc in addition with network-manager-vpnc, because it is not an additional 3rd-party software.

Firstly I converted the pcf file from the university with
/usr/share/vpnc/pcf2vpnc your_pcf_file.pcf conffile.conf
Trying  
sudo vpnc conffile.conf
 I received this error message:
Error: either "to" is duplicate or "hoplimit" is garbage.
It seems that vpnc has still a bug. However there is a workaround. Update /usr/share/vpnc/vpnc-script with this sed command:
sed 's/cache//;s/metric \?[0-9]\+ [0-9]\+//g;s/hoplimit [0-9]\+//g;s/ipid 0x....//g'
Now a connection should work via console. The gui network-manager-vpnc will work now as well. Here you can also import the pcf file from your university directly. Maybe you want add a domain, username or password for more comfort.