Saturday, June 20, 2009

Customizing of environment - part 1

The name of this post is covering quite extensive part of NAPA and many issues. We can customize more less everything in NAPA. Sounds amazing?
So lets make a list from top of my head what you can customize :

  • resources of NAPA - it means, that you can change color, fonts, sizes of different "building blocks" of environment. e.g. color of text windows, hight of text in whole environment, the color of windows ....

  • additional buttons - you can add new buttons in all NAPA windows below main toolbars, but you can also add menu items in your current menu (I know how to do it at least in main window)

  • change default icons to something you like more or you can create your own

  • windows and tools as new widgets - this option is giving almost whatever possibilities and of course you can create your own NAPA tools

  • managers - this is the most common and official way of NAPA customization

In this post I'll start with adjusting of so called resources/resource files. Below is an example of two versions of resource files.

The first screenshot represents default theme and the second my own settings. I made 4 different settings.

  1. Background color

  2. Foreground color

  3. Text background color

  4. Size of the text

If you want to do the same you have to save a text file of this shape :

napa*background : Dimgray
napa*foreground: White
napa*XmText.background: Darkgray

And save this as either RES*your_user_ID or RES*SYSTEM into database SYSDB (DB2). The first form is for customizing of your own run of NAPA and the second is for all users.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

My current Linux distribution

Right now, I'm getting more and more experiences with my Mandriva 2009.1 Spring distribution. In this post I would like to point some advantages of this distribution.

I have to make a conclusion at the beginning of the post. :o)
I love it.
It is the best distribution I've ever tried. Anyway, I'm impressed by it's features and abilities. I'm not a typical Linux user - I don't want to set up/install everything by command row. I just like the clicking tools and to have all the options summarized in nice GUI (graphical user interface). This is what new Mandriva offered to me. Let's go through some steps I made on my installation.
  1. Installation itself was easy and intuitive. I was installing on external USB HDD. If you install also on a system with other OS or not to a primary hard drive you have to be careful with choosing proper partition for installation and also with writing of boot-loader. I made all settings by myself - it is not that difficult.
  2. The next step was fixing some hardware drivers. The first one was wireless. I have on my laptop Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG adapter. I opened Mandriva Control centre and choosed "Browse and configure hardware". After clicking on Ethernetcard->RO/Wireless 3945ABG->Run config tool system informed me that I need to download driver for Intel website. I was following the instructions and in a minute I got running wireless connection. I used similar procedure for setting up a drive for my NVidia G72GL (Quadro FX 350M) video adapter. After pressing "Rung config tool" on my video adapter I've choosed "GeForce FX series" instead of default "GeForce 6100 and later". Mandriva downloaded drivers and installed new drivers. After logging out and in I got support for desktop effects as well. Very important issue which I solved was to disable "Pulse audio". You can do it in Mandriva Control centre->Sound configuration by un-ticking "Enable PulseAudio". This made my Skype working 100% correct reg. sound input/output. I have Intel Corporation|82801G (ICH7 Family) High Definition Audio Controller.
  3. I had to set up also installation sources which I made following the guidelines from Mandriva website. It is important to set up "Non-free" and "PLF" sources. There you can find codecs and many other software/libraries/tools which can't be placed in Official Mandriva surces.
  4. Next step was of course installing of codecs, Mplayer,VLC player, Skype,unrar, pdf editor, StarDict, Adobe flash player (directly from their web page). I think, that very important step was to uninstall totem-plugin for Mozilla and instead install Mplayer-plugin for Mozilla, which much better. I've installed also JAVA under java-1.6.0-openjdk package name. I've played a lot with changing of colours/themes. The best docker (I think) is the kiba dock. It's easy to use and set up. It's small and it just works. You have to allow desktop effects to get a proper behaviour of Kiba dock - but this is common for most of the dockers I've tried.
  5. What I like very much on Mandriva?
  • really quick boot and turning of the computer
  • nice and stable KDE 4.2.2
  • I think it is one of the most user friendly GUI focused Linux distribution
  • large community and repositories
  • until now I didn't find any bug
  • it contain most of the newst software (Open Office, Mozilla and much much more)
  • you can change the icon on "Start" (menu) button by GUI tool. This is the first OS where I found this option!!!! I love it.....:o)
  • it works as you expect
So, I can only recommend to try Mandriva 2009.1 Spring Linux distribution as my best candidate.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

First steps with NAPA

My second post will be about basic NAPA initial environment/settings. And my personal opinion about GUI and software itself. I'll not describe the installation process - it is fully described in installation manual with screenshots on every steps. I was installing NAPA many times both stand alone and server version. It's no problem - like any other windows application, you don't have to be IT specialist to do it.

Before first run of NAPA is good to make settings of EXCEED. What is it? It's an UNIX system emulator, which means that you can run UNIX based software under Microsoft Windows. Exceed and Exceed 3D is recommanded to install befor installation of NAPA itself. I have to say, that for me is very supprising, that NAPA is right now supported only on MS Windows platform running under emulater - EXCEED. It is like running e.g. MS Office under Linux via Wine emulator (translation layer).

Back to Exceed setting. Start "Xconfig" from Start->Programs->Hummingbird Connectivity V8.0->Exceed.
Here is the list of settings I use to make after installation of Exceed + NAPA :
  1. Mouse, Keyboard and Other Input Devices - here you can choose which keyboard layout you use. More important is tab "Mouse Input". There you can set up the actions for mouse wheel movement. Choose "Wheel movement invokes macro" option. Than click on button "Macro Bindings". In next window click on button next to Wheel: and Up: items. Press Add, fill the name of macro e.g. UP and press "Start Record". After this step be care full, because whatever you press know will be recorded as "UP" macro. Know, press once up arrow on keyboard and immediately after that press "Stop Record". Than press OK. In "Macro selector window" assign just created macro to Wheel: Up: action. In "Mouse Wheel Macro Bindings" window you can set up together 4 options for mouse wheel in combination with some keys. Repeat the procedure mentioned above once again, but this time Wheel: Down: and during macro recording press down arrow. When you finished Mouse, Keyboard settings press OK and green tick for validation in main window.

  2. Display end Video - in this section just go to "Common Settings" tab and there put ticks for "Enable Server Reset" and "Exit Server Reset". Remove ticks from "Close Warning on Exit" and "Hide X Server Menu Items" if there are some. Again you have to validate the settings by clicking on green tick. This settings will cause, that you will not get disturbing messages when closing NAPA windows by clicking of "close" button on top of the window.

  3. Copy and Paste, and X Selection - very important is to set Copy/Paste. If you want to be able to use Copy/Paste between NAPA and all other windows applications you have to choose "CLIPBOARD" in selection window. Validate again the setting by green tick.

Now you can start NAPA. The first time you'll get login window, type "ADMI" as User Id without any password. ADMI user is the first initial and the only user just after installation. You can administrate your accounts, users and passwords later directly in NAPA. The basic NAPA window after start you can see on next screenshot :

Let's continue next time with some more interesting settings like customization of NAPA start and GUI. You will be maybe surprised how much you can do during the start process.

Let me know in comments abut which part of NAPA you would like to read next time.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My first blog

So, this is my first blog. My English is not the best, so please be patient when you're reading my blog. Maybe I can write something about my interests and that means what I'll write mostly about here.

I like Linux and open source idea. I'm currently running OpenSuse 11.1 with KDE 4.2 desktop environment. I've already tried few distros like famous Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS and Fedora. Every distro is unique and different in the same time. It's about personal opinion which one you like. I'm planning to try even more distros and maybe write something about my current and future experiences with it.

The second thing is the software which I work with in work - NAPA. It is actually a shortcut of "Naval Architectural PAckage". My intension is also to write some articles about this software, which I work with for 5 years. I write a macros and composing so-called manager applications within it. It is morels a programming but not the same as e.g. C++ or GUI programming. The main purpose of mentioned software is naval calculations and analysis like hydrostatics, stability, hull surface definition and its fairing, preparing of approval documentation and many more. NAPA contains many "tasks" - modules which has different purposes and are binded together. It is one of the leading software in ship design busssiness. If you want to know something more about it you can visit the web site .So, you can look forward to read something more about the topics mentioned above. I'll try to get back to writing as soon as possible. Hopefully you will like it :o)