installing wine on ubuntu 14.04 after upgrade from ubuntu 12.04

I had the issue a few others had where trying to install WINE on an Ubuntu 14.04 x64 system that had previously been upgraded from Ubuntu x64 wouldn’t work with a message about liblcms2-2 conflicting with liblcms2-2:i386. Even the Wine PPA wouldn’t help.

Then I ran across a fix where you type
sudo apt-get install liblcms2-2=2.5-0ubuntu4
and then you can install wine!

Ubuntu: setting Nautilus default view to detailed list-view

I always want to see the “Date Modified” etc. detailed list-view in Nautilus. You can make the list-view be default in Ubuntu 12.04 by typing in Terminal:

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer 'list-view'

If you wanted to check what your setting was first, you can read the current value by typing:
gsettings get org.gnome.nautilus.preferences default-folder-viewer

Octave 3.8 on Ubuntu 12.04

Here’s how to install GNU Octave 3.8 on Ubuntu 12.04 (also on Ubuntu 10.04):

Open Terminal and do:
1) sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/stable
2) sudo apt-get update
3) sudo apt-get install octave liboctave-dev

Note: if you have Octave 3.2 installed already, these commands will uninstall Octave 3.2 and install Octave 3.8.

To install packages, start Octave in sudo mode i.e. type in Terminal:
and then you can install packages by typing in Octave:
pkg -verbose install -forge specfun
to install the specfun package, and so on.

To use the Octave packages you must type pkg load image to load the “image” package and so on.

You can list the loaded packages by typing in octave pkg list. The loaded packages have an asterisk next to their name.

GDL PLOT: PLplot installation lacks the requested driver: xwin

In Ubuntu 12.04, you might get this error upon trying to use the “plot” command of GDL (the open-source alternative to IDL).

To resolve this, try in Terminal:
sudo apt-get install plplot11-driver-xwin

and restart GDL.

Note, the version number “11” may have changed by the time you read this–just watch for such a message when you try installing plplot.

Ubuntu 12.04 idle screen dim timer

Note, the following procedure no longer works in Ubuntu 14.04 and newer.


The idle screen timer in Ubuntu comes set to dim the laptop screen automatically. You can check your current idle timer by typing in Terminal:

Ubuntu 12.04

gsettings get org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim-time

To SET the idle screen dim timer in Ubuntu 12.04 to a longer time (e.g. 90 seconds) type

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power idle-dim-time 90

Making hdparm setting permanent in Ubuntu 12.04

Ubuntu 12.04 and 11.10 (perhaps other distros as well) set the APM default very aggressively, leading your hard drive to hundreds and thousands of load/unload cycles in too short period of time. Typically HDD are only rated for 600,000 load/unload cycles, so it is beneficial to reduce this cycling.

You can slow down the cycling manually, but the system will FORGET this setting upon reboot. Here is one method to make this setting semi-permanent.

Open a Terminal, and do:
1) type sudo gedit /etc/pm/power.d/90_hdparm
2) in gedit, type only this line: hdparm -B 250 /dev/sda, where /dev/sda is the HDD you’re wanting to stop cycling.
3) save and exit gedit.
4) type sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/power.d/90_hdparm
5) type sudo cp /etc/pm/power.d/90_hdparm /etc/pm/sleep.d

Reboot, and check that your setting “stayed” by typing at Terminal:
sudo hdparm -B /dev/sda

This setting allows the drive to unload after an extended period without use, perhaps helping the HDD run a bit cooler without excessive wear. Instead of 250 you could use 254, which is thought to disallow unloading altogether–I used 254 for several months and noticed my HDD stayed at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

To check how many load/unload cycles you’re using, go into Disk Utility, SMART data, and scroll down to Load/Unload cycle count.

After figuring this out on my own, I found much the similar procedure at:

MATLAB 2011a & MATLAB 2012a Student Version install problems on 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04

Upon downloading the MATLAB Student Version install package from the Mathworks website, you start the installer by navigating to:
or wherever you downloaded it to.

Then type
sudo ./install -v

You will probably see a variety of errors, if you’re running Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit (x64). The first thing to try is installing ia32-libs by typing:
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Note, MATLAB has its own JRE, so the version of Java or OpenJDK may not be as relevant.

Getting started with RTL2832 EZcap USB SDR receiver in Ubuntu

Note: If you have MATLAB, you can also check out the RTL-SDR support in Matlab:


You do NOT need the install CD that comes with your EZcap RTL2382 USB stick.

You do need to install libusb-1.0-0-dev, git and cmake as in Step 0.

Step 0.1: Open a Terminal window, and type:
sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev
Step 0.2: Type: sudo apt-get install git
Step 0.3: type: sudo apt-get install cmake

Now install the rtl-sdr software in Step 1.
Step 1.1: Open a Terminal window, and type:
cd ~
mkdir rtl-sdr

Step 1.2: Get the rtl-sdr software:
git clone git://
mkdir build
cd build

Step 1.3: Install the rtl-sdr software:
sudo cmake ../
sudo make
sudo make install

Before plugging in your EZcap receiver, checkout the USB devices installed by typing lsusb. Then plugin your RTL2832 into a USB port and type lsusb again. You should see it as “Realtek Semiconductor Corp.” or something like that. The USB ID may be listed as 0bda:2838.

Test your RTL2832 PLL range:

Step 2.1: type:
chmod +x rtl*
cd ~/rtl-sdr/build/src
sudo ./rtl_test -t

This test will take a few minutes. Output should be something like:
Found 1 device(s):
0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle

Using device 0: ezcap USB 2.0 DVB-T/DAB/FM dongle
Found Elonics E4000 tuner
Supported gain values (18): -1.0 1.5 4.0 6.5 9.0 11.5 14.0 16.5 19.0 21.5 24.0 29.0 34.0 42.0 43.0 45.0 47.0 49.0
Benchmarking E4000 PLL...
[E4K] PLL not locked for 53000000 Hz!
[E4K] PLL not locked for 2217000000 Hz!
[E4K] PLL not locked for 1109000000 Hz!
[E4K] PLL not locked for 1248000000 Hz!
E4K range: 54 to 2216 MHz
E4K L-band gap: 1109 to 1248 MHz

Now you’re ready to run the SDR!

Step 3.1) type:
cd ~/rtl-sdr/build/src
sudo ./rtl_sdr /tmp/cap.bin -s 1.8e6 -f 90.1e6

Note: replace the 90.1e6 with some frequency used locally by an FM radio station–90.1e6 corresponds to an FM broadcast station at 90.1MHz.

Press Ctrl+C to stop recording after several seconds so that your hard drive doesn’t fill up. Future article will discuss how to read this cap.bin file in MATLAB/Octave.