Saturday, February 20, 2016

Go/Weiqi/Baduk on openSUSE LEAP 42.1

Besides chess (or International Chess as the Chinese are prone to call it), I am also enamoured with the ancient mental game of Go (Weiqi in Chinese and Baduk in Korean).

I have both GNUGo and ElyGo Lite on my Android cell and on my openSUSE LEAP notebook I have qgo2 as my frontend powered by GNUGo.

GNUGo is packaged in the standard LEAP repo (# zypper in gnugo) and qgo2 can be easily installed using the 1-Click Install via OBS

I have never used a Go/Weiqi/Baduk application on Linux before and I seem to like what I am seeing. qgo2 also seems to have the ability to connect to Go servers on the Internet. Never tried playing online before - might just give it a shot one of these days. Back to my game now.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Installing ScidvsPC on Fedora 23

I am a huge fan of chess and have been so since I learned the rules at twelve. Growing up in a single parent family money was always tight and chess was way more affordable than football or tennis. I was a pretty good
player in my teenage years and chess was good to me - through it I met two of my exes (ahem!), got to travel to competitions and met some really interesting people and was always known as the chess dude in school - though the jocks would never fail to make fun of me and my team-mates achievements and the lack of our athleticism for "real" games.

Well, of late my passion for chess was once again ignited. As a Linux user, our choices of chess programs are actually quite poor compared to the likes of Fritz, ChessBase, Chess Assistant etc for the Microsoft Windows platform. Shredder Chess has a Linux version but it will not work on the latest distros due to a problem with the display managers and besides its creator seems keener on the mobile platform. Shredder Chess for Android is a good program for a modest fee and I highly recommend it. 

I discovered ScidVsPC after Googling around and found it to be an excellent suite for game manager and analysis. It doesn't come pre-build with any RPMs for Fedora Linux and CentOS/RHEL - installing it therefore will require the venerable 3-step to Nirvana - configure, make and make install. On my Fedora Linux 23 notebook, this is what I did to get it installed:

Install the dependencies and StockFish Engine
# dnf install tk-devel tcl-devel gcc-c++ tkimg zlib-devel stockfish

Download the tarball, extract it and compile:
$ tar -zxvf scid_vs_pc-4.16.tgz 
$ cd scid_vs_pc-4.16
$ ./configure
$ make
# make install
  
To launch it you will need to execute the following from CLI
$ scid 

Or create a launcher by creating a desktop file (save it into ~/.local/share/applications ):
$ vi ~/.local/share/applications/scid.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Scid vs. PC
Comment=Scid vs. PC Games Management
Exec=/usr/local/bin/scid
Icon=/home/eyeoh/Downloads/Scidlogo.png
Terminal=false


Adding the Stockfish Chess Engine - from within the ScidvsPC UI -> Tools -> Analysis Engines -> enter /usr/bin/stockfish20.bin in the Command field and the click on the ~/scidvspc button and finally click on OK.

And you are good to go! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Installing SCIDvsPC on openSUSE Leap 42.1

SCIDvsPC is a "fork" of the multi-platform SCID chess database and toolkit. As an unabashed openSUSE advocate and user, I was overjoyed when the long-term support openSUSE Leap was released but was disappointed with the relatively smaller selection of games and the exclusion of SCIDvsPC.

Ah well, to get it installed, you will still need to download the tarball from the SCIDvsPC site, extract it and compile it.

Firstly, install the necessary dependencies:

#zypper in kbproto-devel libX11-devel libXau-devel libxcb-damage0 libxcb-devel libxcb-dpms0 libxcb-record0 libxcb-res0 libxcb-screensaver0 libxcb-xevie0 libxcb-xinerama0 libxcb-xprint0 libxcb-xtest0 libxcb-xvmc0 pthread-stubs-devel tcl-devel tk-devel xproto-devel gcc gcc48 glibc-devel libasan0 libatomic1 libitm1 libtsan0 linux-glibc-devel gcc48-c++ gcc-c++ libstdc++48-devel snack tkimg tkimg-devel make    


Then extract the downloaded SCIDvsPC tarball:

$tar -zxvf  scid_vs_pc-4.15.tgz
$cd scid_vs_pc-4.15

After the extraction, then proceed compile it:


$./configure
$su 
#make
#make install

To execute the SCIDvsPC application, type scid on the CLI.

Stockfish is an excellent analysis engine that can be installed if you have the Packman repository enabled. You can get it from One-Click install from here

After installing Stockfish, you can add Stockfish to the list of analysis engines for SCIDvsPC. From the SCIDvsPC application, Tools -> Analysis Engines -> New;  enter /usr/bin/stockfish20.bin in the Command field and the click on the ~/scidvspc button and finally click on OK.

Enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Installing SCIDvsPC on openSUSE 13.2

I enjoy running openSUSE and play chess. However, I find it tough to get a chess program close to the quality of ChessBase and Fritz. Shredder Chess was the closest, but as of openSUSE 13x, Fedora 2x and Ubuntu 14x - a problem with the X makes it unusable.

Stockfish is a fine engine, but the chess UIs in Linux is sorely in need of overhaul.

Until I came across SCIDvsPC - seems to fulfill my needs - a DB with playing and analysis options. There are no binaries for openSUSE but you can download the tar ball and compile it. It sounds more horrible than it actually is. Firstly, install the depedencies:

#zypper in kbproto-devel libX11-devel libXau-devel libxcb-damage0 libxcb-devel libxcb-dpms0 libxcb-record0 libxcb-res0 libxcb-screensaver0 libxcb-xevie0 libxcb-xinerama0 libxcb-xprint0 libxcb-xtest0 libxcb-xvmc0 pthread-stubs-devel tcl-devel tk-devel xproto-devel gcc gcc48 glibc-devel libasan0 libatomic1-gcc49 libitm1-gcc49 libtsan0-gcc49 linux-glibc-devel gcc48-c++ gcc-c++ libstdc++48-devel snack tkimg tkimg-devel make 

Then extract the downloaded SCIDvsPC tarball:

$tar -zxvf  scid_vs_pc-4.14.tgz
$cd scid_vs_pc-4.14

After the extraction, the compile it:


$./configure
$su
#make
#make install

To execute the SCIDvsPC application, type scid on the CLI.

Stockfish is an excellent analysis engine that can be installed if you have the Packman repository enabled. You can get it from One-Click install from here 

After installing Stockfish, you can add Stockfish to the list of analysis engines for SCIDvsPC. From the SCIDvsPC application, Tools -> Analysis Engines -> New;  enter /usr/bin/stockfish20.bin in the Command field and the click on the ~/scidvspc button and finally click on OK.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When zypper throws a "Error message: Failed to connect to xxx.xxxxxx.xxx port 80: Network is unreachable"

I enjoy running my openSUSE 13.2 off a thumbdrive because it affords me the luxury of bringing my entire Linux desktop everywhere with me. Live USB created with the current openSUSE 13.2 GNOME Live CD  (instructions are here), has ensured stuff like themes, software removed/installed and other preferences are persistent! Awesomeness!!!

All went well and I only use it when and if I decided to travel. Come the long Chinese New Year holidays and I decided to dust off the long unused Live USB and plugged it into my workhorse, DELL E6330 and ran zypper up.

Suddenly I was bombarded with a bunch of   "Error message: Failed to connect to xxx.xxxxxx.xxx port 80: Network is unreachable" .

Scouring the web has yielded the following solution:

  1. Edit the /etc/sysctl.conf file and add the following:

    net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
    net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1
    net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1
  2. Then execute the following:

    echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6

 And my zypper works once again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Open Sans Pro and Source Sans Pro on CentOS/Fedora/RHEL

I generally find that the Open Sans family of fonts and the Adobe Source Sans Pro pleasing. And since I am the designated main typist in my office, creating eye-pleasing documents is part of the JD.

Download the Adobe Source Sans Pro here  and Open Sans here

Extract them and copy the extracted directories to /usr/share/fonts

E.g.

#cp -R Open_Sans/ /usr/share/fonts

Then run the refresh

#fc-cache

Or if you prefer reboot the computer to make use of the fonts.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Calibri and Cambria compatible fonts and Font Embedding in LibreOffice

LibreOffice being my primary productivity suite has never failed to amaze me with its usability and many features and updates from one version to the next.  I started using OpenOffice.org in 2000 and then move on to the go-oo fork and now the latest incarnation - LibreOffice suite.

For those of us who often exchange documents with people who uses MSO, a Calibri compatible but free to use font type would be Asap. Cambria would be the Droid Serif font.

Both fonts look gorgeous and if you are unsure that folks on the receiving end have your fonts - LibreOffice 4.1 (download here) now supports font embedding (Files -> Properties -> Fonts tab)  so that your document would not look weird when you use Font A to compose your docs but the receiver hasn't Font A but uses something else closest to replace the font - which in reality isn't really good enough.

Kudos to the devs and volunteers who contributed to LibreOffice and the equally impressive (and I would say, prettier) Apache OpenOffice.