Saturday, March 31, 2012

Working with Templates in LibreOffice

If you write reports or other documents that need a common style and format, the obvious thing to do is to use Templates.

LibreOffice allows you to save document as a Template:

Go to File > Templates > Save 

Click on My Templates and give it a name eg "Standard Report Template"

Then if you want you can set it as your default template:

Go to File > Templates > Organize, click into My Templates, and then on the saved Template, right clicl and select "Set As Default Template"

And all is good.


What if you have a bunch of documents and you need to change the template on already created docs?

Well first, you need to get the template changer from

When it downloads it doesn't have an extension, so you need to add ".oxt". Then goto Tools > Extension Manager

Click 'Add', select the .oxt file, and click Open.

You'll need to restart LibreOffice for the Extension to take effect.

Afterwards you'll notice two new options under Templates: Assign

This allows you to assign a template to an existing open doc, or to an entire folder.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Missing MacOS System 7 thro 9 fonts

After my previous adventures with OS9 fonts, I wanted to find the missing fonts from System 7.

Turns out that Apple keep all their old system software, and I found it via

Here's the link. Just download. Even though the files are of the format and file type xyz.smi.bin they still open, even on Snow Leopard.

Double click the .bin file and it decompresses to the .smi

Then double click the .smi and it loads just like a regular disk image

Inside the image is the system images that you needed to create to re-install OS7. Yep all five of them totalling about 5MB!
 And then, inside the fonts image are the System 7 fonts

I dragged them into the correct folder in the Classic System Folder, and here are all those fonts

BTW here's OS9 loading... such a blast from the past!

Astonishing to my 2012 mind that the entire OS (System 7) can fit into 5MB.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MacOS fonts on OSX

Finding out about Susan Kare and the fonts she designed and writing the very brief blog article on her, I wanted to do the text in one of her fonts, but OSX and the modern world doesn't seem to have them.

Where to get them?

Well MacOS 9 and prior had some of those fonts eg Chicago and Geneva, but most of the Macs I have are too new. Ahh but I do have an old iBook, and the original disks, which is old enough to be still shipping with Classic, according to everymac, and the disks say they shipped with OS9 and OSX 10.4.

Next problem: the iBook is currently running 10.5x Leopard, and I don't want to wipe that, so I need another drive to install 10 for it. PowerPc based Macs cannot boot from USB, so that means finding a FireWire drive.

Eventually I found an old LaCie firewire drive and got OSX 10.4 installed, and then installed OS9 / Classic. Time warp! Inside the Classic System Folder is the fonts folder.

As far as I can tell, of the default OS9 'city' fonts which Susan Kare did for Apple, only NewYork and Chicago are not present:

OS9 also had some other lovely fonts I'd forgotten about, such as Palatino

though some of them, although potentially not lost, were only ever bitmap fonts and so don't really work in the modern ie OSX world, eg Athens and Los Angeles. The Apple article has a great breakdown.

Here's a summary:

Friday, March 23, 2012

The designer of the first Mac OS icons also did Windows 3

A curious co-incidence that the designer of the first Mac OS icons, Susan Kare <>, also did Windows 3. She also did the first Mac fonts such as Chicago, Geneva and some others that most people have forgotten about, and now seem lost, unless you have an old copy of MacOS (ie non OSX) around.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

iTunes: where are my Music Videos?

You would think that iTunes would have a separate category for Music Video media, but no, Music Videos live with Music.

To make them a bit easier to find, Apple give you Music Videos Smart Playlist. For some reason mine got lost.

Here's how to re-create:

  1. Choose File > New Smart Playlist.
  2. Set rule to Video Kind is Music Video and click OK.

  3. A new Smart Playlist will appear in the source list.
  4. Rename the playlist to "Music Videos."

Sunday, March 18, 2012

avidemux: howto fix for OSX Lion and Mountain Lion

One of my favourite pieces of software fails to launch under OSX Lion and Mountain Lion.

Here's a 2 minute fix:

Right click or CTRL click on the application

and select "show package contents".

Then navigate to Contents > Resources > lib 

Deletes these two files: libxml.2.dylib and libiconv.2.dylib

OSX Lion ships with them, and deleting them from the application bundle makes avidemux use the system version instead of the non-working version bundled version.

Tip picked up from here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Curiously similar: Onyx and Deeper

I was looking for an App to tweak some settings in OSX Lion to do with autologin when FileVault 2 is enabled and the disk is encrypted.

While doing so I did as usual and googled and found myself at MacUpdate, where I downloaded Onyx and Deeper.

They are curiously similar: some screenshots to illustrate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

OSX Change which application launches when plugging in a camera

Previously, I battled with FinePix launching when I plugged in a camera.

Now, I've found an application for OSX that really helps.

Cameras from Flexibits, down here, allows you to have central control.

It runs as a Preference Pane, and re-directs Image Capture's device control, ie you do not use my previous hint at all.

From the description: 

"Do you have multiple cameras? Do you spend time quitting iPhoto every time you connect your iPhone? Wish you could have your DSLR open Aperture and have iPhoto launch when you connect your point-and-shoot camera? If so, Cameras is the solution you've been waiting for. With familiar System Preference functionality, Cameras allows you to manage what happens."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Accurately set the time of your camera using your Android phone

If you geo-tag your photos using an external GPS logger, like I do, then you need to make sure that the time on your camera is set accurately, else when the application matches photo time to GPS logged point, it'll place you somewhere you weren't. I previously discussed it here.

The thing is, is that the phone time isn't always accurate either. Some cell networks do not provide the NITZ time, and the phone's internal time can drift.

Starting with Android version 3.0 ie Honeycomb, there is a function which automatically updates the phones time using NTP. It checks in every 24 hours to NTP, and updates the phones time if the drift is more than 5 seconds.

But still your phone could be 5s out. What if you want better?

Handily there is an App for that: ClockSync <>

ClockSync shows system ie phone time and Atomic time ie NTP time, so you can set your camera to Atomic time and be super accurate with your GPS tagging.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time Lapse videos on Android with Ice Cream Sandwhich

Its not well known that ICS' camera function has a great time lapse feature.

Open the Camera app, set to video mode, and touch the Settings icon on the main video screen.

Then elect the time lapse option (the semicircle icon, looks a bit like a stop watch) and choose a time interval - for city shots with clouds, 3s or 5s works well for me. Place the phone in a stable place and touch the Record button.


Here's one I made myself

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Remove OpenOffice, install LibreOffice on Ubuntu

I wasn't liking OpenOffice anymore, and wanted to use LibreOffice.

On my OSX devices, no problem, drag OpenOffice to the bin / trash, download and copy over LibreOffice.

On my Ubuntu box not quite so easy. Uninstalling OpenOffice is easy enough:

    System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager > Quick Search
    type OpenOffice
    Mark for Complete Removal all the installed OpenOffice software
    apply your choice, then exit the program

Next you need to add the correct repository. In terminal you type

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa

Update the system:

    sudo apt-get update

Then, back in Synaptic Package Manager > Quick Search, should be able to find LibreOffice.

However I got some errors. Being the impatient type and keen to learn I decided to install manually, following these instructions.

1) After downloading the installer archive file, to decompress it in a directory of your choice (your Desktop directory, for example). After decompressing it, you will see that the contents have been unpacked into a directory called LibO_3.3.0rc1_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US or LibO_3.4.5rc2_Linux_x86_install-deb_en-US. Open a file manager window, and change directory to that directory.

2) The directory contains a subdirectory called DEBS. Change directory to the DEBS directory.

3) Right-click within the DEBS directory and choose "Open in Terminal". A terminal window will open. From the command line of the terminal window, enter the following command (you will be prompted to enter your root user's password before the command will execute):

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

4) The above dpkg command does the first part of the installation process. To complete the process, you also need to install the desktop integration packages. To do this, change directory to the desktop-integration directory that is within the DEBS directory, using the following command:

cd desktop-integration

Now run the dpkg command again:

sudo dpkg -i *.deb

The installation process is now completed, and you should have icons for all the LibreOffice applications in your desktop's Applications/Office menu.