Browse Category: English/Angielski

Informations possibly useful for everyone – and written in English.
Informacje przydatne możliwie wszystkim – z tego powodu napisane po Angielsku.

Gimp 2.9 – development Debian package

Gimp 2.9.3Friend of mine, asked me to create Debian package of Gimp development branch – since I’ve already had it compiled (and I do it regularly). I’ve been using Gimp 2.9 (2.9 is a development release, stable one will be numbered 2.10) for more then a year now, and I must say it was a huge change for me when I switched from Gimp 2.8.  I use it mostly for photo processing and moving from 8 to 16 bit colour space was something I just had to have. Also all multi core optimization and OpenCl usage, speeds things up. Currently I work mostly with float 32bit colour space (I find if faster on GPU then 16it) and I almost can’t imagine working without it. It’s not that everything is completely fine in this development release, but weight of features long time ago outweighed some small disadvantages.

Anyway, since I compile it on daily basis, I thought I could do the package anyway. So here you have Debian Sid package (I use only sid – sorry 😉 ). It’s quite dirty release, but it’s working and it won’t change anything on your system, you can install it simultaneously with stable Gimp release. This package will put all required files, libraries and binaries (also files that are in separate packages for 2.8 release) in „/usr/local/gimp” folder, and create a link to „gimp-dev” startup script in /usr/local/bin/ – that’s it. It will also provide the most recent gmic plugin (I use it often).

Dependencies – since all gimp, babl, gegl files are in one package, there should be not many dependencies – currently present in package are mostly from 2.8 gimp release. If you find anything missing – please let me know.

To run gimp – use „gimp-dev” command (open terminal and write „gimp-dev” or if it’s not working write „/usr/local/bin/gimp-dev”).

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.5-6_amd64.deb

  • Source update, switch to GCC 6.2 (19 April of 2017)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.5-5_amd64.deb

  • Source update (some significant opencl changes), new GMIC pre 2.0 (12 March of 2017)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.5-3_amd64.deb

  • Source update (bug fixes, logo changes :)) (8 January of 2017)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.5-2_amd64.deb

  • Source update (quite many changes) (1 October of 2016)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.5-1_amd64.deb

  • New release 2.9.5 (17 July of 2016)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.3-6_amd64.deb

  • Source update (30 May of 2016)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.3-5_amd64.deb

  • Source update (7 April of 2016)

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.3-4_amd64.deb

  • Just updated source, from 31.01.2016 – fixes few errors I’ve reported (Thanks guys!), new icon set/interface changes

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.3-3_amd64.deb

  • Compiled with less optimization (more generic binary – should now work on most amd64 cpus)
  • Fixed post-removal script
  • Fixed installation dependencies

Package: gimp-dev_2.9.3-2_amd64.deb

Neje CNC Laser engraving machine

What is it?

IMG_0778Neje laser engraver is a CNC device which can burn some small patterns on wood, paper, cork, leather and other organic or temperature non resistant, flat materials. The rule of thumb is, if the material is capable of burning or melting with temperature under 300C – you can probably use it with laser engraver. One more thing, this material can’t reflect to much light (or pass it true) – so most of shiny or transparent materials won’t work.

Now about this, exact model. It’s hard to tell – since you can find many names and different images in Chinese shops and producer does not put any mark on device itself, but judging by the driver its „DK-5 pro DK-6 pro DK-8 pro” type. So it should be „DK-5 PRO”. Be aware, then it’s not the same as „DK-5 PRO-5”, which is probably newer device with full frame (and the software is not compatible).

How does it works?

It’s tiny CNC device with small laser capable of burning some types materials (look below). Like in every CNC, you can control movement of your printing head in both X and Y axis (just like in normal printer – but axis Y is moving a bit different). There is no Z axis movement (you cannot set up laser lower/upper from material).  You are able also to control burning time of a single point (let’s assume it’s a pixel on your drawing) but for entire image at once. So every pixel will be burned with the same time – it’s a big shame. Since If we could set burning time for every point separately, we could do „printing” in shades of grey.

What software do you need?

You need any Windows computer with USB port. Device has build in USB2Serial chip – so you will need proper driver and software provided by manufacturer. You should have some software on micro sdhc card provided with device. Since autumn of 2015 there is a manufacturer web page, where you should be able to get engraving tool and drivers: I said „you should”, since this page quite often is now working.

The last _working_ package (driver and tool) is called „DK-5 pro DK-6 pro DK-8 pro Software Update from 2015/9/22: (Laser Carve_EN).zip” – newer ones (as on the end of 2015) does not work whit this device.

Copy of the latest driver I have (in case, if manufacturer page does not work) – here.

What type of materials you can use?

So far I have testedCiastek Zombie:

  • Wood – works perfect all the time. I’ve tested dense exotic wood, soft local pines, light and dark – everything I could find in my shop. You just have to find proper burn time – somewhere between 60-90
  • Leather – also one of the best materials you can use. Proper burning time is somewhere between 40-60. The burning „stinks” stays for a while on leather – but it wear out 🙂
  • Cork – this is quite soft material, you have to burn it at max. 60
  • Plastic – well, this stuff is not burning, it’s melting. So you will see the pattern, but It will not look as attractive, as with other materials (unless you pour some contrasting paint in melted grooves).
  • Paper – you can burn every paper, you can even cut through it.
  • Food – Yeah! This is my idea – I haven’t seen anything about it before on any page. Anyway, you can do some nice patterns of waffles, cookies – just don’t burn to much black „color”, since it can smell like burned cake 🙂
  • Silicon powder – this is also, kind of, my invention. Since some type of laser 3d printers use silicon powder to create stuff – why can’t we? Anyway it’s not exactly 3d, but You can put some silicon powder in small container (1-2mm thick layer) and then melt the pattern with laser on it (see some pictures in gallery)

Anyway, rule of the thumb, materials darken and denser are better (more heat they can absorb). Everything what is light, transparent or sparse (like some cloths) you should check first.

What materials you can’t use:

  • of course, every kind of metal or every common alloy – there is not enough power in this laser
  • acrylic and every other transparent plastic
  • sparse wool or felt (even synthetic felt)
  • transparent foam, or sparse foam

Resolution and working area

Engraving template

The true (unless with my device) working area is 35,5mm (X axis) and 37mm (Y axis). Usable image resolution is 497x497px. Anything more then this will be resized (if bigger then 500x500px) or simply cut, if image is somewhere between 497 to 500px. Anyway, this can change with newer version of „Laser Carver” utility, since it looks like a bug.

To make things even more complicated, if you place on X axis anything over 473 pixel – the device will not engrave it (it’s exceeds X axis physical width) and there is a great chance it will loose a step and „jerk” the image. So you should (once again – it can be only characteristic of my device) put every image on white template 497×497 pixels, but do not go over 473 pixel in X axis. See the image/template on the right.

And small notice, why to use template and not just resize image just to 473 pixels? Well, Laser Carver (since image is smaller then 500 pixels) will centre it and you will still exceed physical capabilities of X axis on device.

Where to buy?

Mine came from but you can buy it probably in every China shop, on or ebay. You will find plenty of different types of Neje devices (and probably some other brands). I can’t tell which on is newer or older – mine was advertised as true 500mW purple laser, 10 times faster – then „older ones” 😉 .

How does it looks like?

You can see few pictures and one example video below, more of it you will find in my gallery.


Simple script to split wave or flac file using cue description

This is simple script, that will split on big FLAC or WAVE file (usually CD rip) into small OGG files. It will also normalize OGG files, TAG them (also with data from CUE file) and rename properly.

Script requires shnsplit (from shntool), lltag, cuetag (from cuetools), vorbisgain, oggenc (from vorbis-tools) and flac

In Debian (or Ubuntu) environment you can install all tools with:
aptitude install shntool lltag cuetools vorbisgain vorbis-tools flac
apt-get install shntool lltag cuetools vorbisgain vorbis-tools flac


IRiver H320 SSD – with 16GB CF card

If you don’t need fancy-touch-screen like players, that do everything but plays music – IRiver h3x0 is still the best what you can get (well it’s maybe little too big but.. 🙂 ). My H320 is now few years old, I’v changed battery twice already – now came a time to make it SSD. It should be lighter (my 20GB HD weights 50 grams and converter with CF card only 17 grams!), more quiet, I should be able to use buffers (now assigned, to read as much as it could, music files in to memory) for other things, more reliable (no moving parts) and last – battery should last longer.

What you need?

  • IRiver H320/H340
  • Toshiba IDE 1.8” drive (40pin) converter to CompactFlash
  • CompactFlash card itself (probably 4gig or bigger)
  • Preferably RockBox

Where to get those parts?

I guess the only problem can be with HD2CF converter. But you can easily order it on DX. World wide free shipping – and here is link for you: It’s called „CF to Toshiba 1.8-inch IDE Hard Drive Converter” and it’s price, is less then $5.

Compact Flash cards are common, there are „rumours” 🙂 on net, that it should be greater then 4GB CF card to be seen by IRiver – I’ve checked only 256MB – with no luck – and 16GB – with full success :D.

Let’s get to work!

When you put wrong, or not properly formatted CF card – RockBox will hang on booting (not letting even original IRiver firmware to boot in exchange) . My card was prepared under Linux, with fdisk. Just one primary partition, type C (W95 FAT32 (LBA)), formatted with mkfs.vfat and then filled up with whole stuff from old Hard Drive.

fdisk -l /dev/sdc

Disk /dev/sdc: 16.1 GB, 16139354112 bytes
64 heads, 32 sectors/track, 15391 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 2048 * 512 = 1048576 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

   Device Boot      Start         End      Blocks   Id  System
/dev/sdc1               1       15391    15760368    c  W95 FAT32 (LBA)

There is also a tiny problem with jumper on converter board (with it’s height) – you can simply bend it – and make it joined forever 🙂


What can I say – just do it – you certainly won’t regret it!


  • lighter (50 g. of disk weight, 17 g. od CF + converter) – total weight now 152g
  • totally quiet
  • battery will last longer (not checked yet)
  • reliable (no moving parts – you can shake it all night long 😀 )
  • no screen flickering (when drive was spinning – I could see screen getting brighter and darker – now it’s solid stable)
  • more RAM for fancy stuff (no need of buffering whole song, music database etc.)

Cons (yep there are some):

  • you need to pay for it… ($5 for converter $35+ for CF)
  • it’s slower when writing – my x133 CF is only x133 (150KB/s * 133) during reading – writing is much slower (<10MB/s) … but it’s completely acceptable since we mostly read from card in players.

And here is write test 🙂

sauron:~# lsusb | grep iRiver
Bus 001 Device 015: ID 1006:3003 iRiver, Ltd. H320/H340
sauron:~# df -h /mnt/usb
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/sdc1              16G  4.7G   11G  32% /mnt/usb
sauron:~# dd if=/dev/urandom of=test.file count=102400
102400+0 records in
102400+0 records out
52428800 bytes (52 MB) copied, 17.1483 s, 3.1 MB/s
sauron:~# ls -lh test.file
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 50M 04-08 21:13 test.file
sauron:~# cat
cp test.file /mnt/usb/
sauron:~# time ./
real    0m5.650s
user    0m0.018s
sys     0m0.479s
sauron:~# bc
bc 1.06.94
Copyright 1991-1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
For details type `warranty'.
8.85 MB/s


… from different places – made for my personal use.

And some polish stuff…