Tuesday, February 24, 2015

setting up wifi on raspberry pi

Its fun to work on Linux but it would also be a frustrating experience if you make some wrong choices. Last time when am on Linux mint, I wanted to set-up wifi on my desktop. So, blindly went to a local store and got  netgear wna 2100 with out doing much research on the net about the driver compatibility and I paid the price. I had literally spent a week trying out different approaches to get it recognized, but in vain. I tried the last option of using the windows drivers for linux using ndiswrapper but couldn't.

So, this time I did a lot of search on the forums and found that  edimax EW-7811Un wifi dongle has the maximum support for rpi and Linux in general. The setup is straight forward... if you have updated your Linux recently you don't need to download or compile anything. Check this page for quick setup guide.

Here is the pi with WiFi dongle on my desk... :)

Ok, once you have configured wifi you need to know the ip to ssh into it.
On centos you can install a small nifty tool called nmap.

$  sudo yum install nmap.

then run

$  npm -sP

This will return a list of all the devices on the network.
Now you can test out a few of the ips by trying to ssh pi@ipaddress and find out the ip of pi. 

If you don't want to do the witch hunt every time you connect pi to the network you can setup a static ip and use that every time. Check this tutorial on how to set it up. Its pretty simple and straight forward.

Using the same process I have set up multiple networks for both the ones at office and home and just plug it into the power source and ssh from my pc.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mari Sublime

Sublime is my choice of IDE. Its a breeze to work with sublime. I have written a sublime plugin to easy out code execution for mari.

Get Sublime:

Though sublime is commercial you can grab an unlimited trial version from here.
It just requests you to buy license one in a while but not at the level to irritate you. The installation is straight forward.

Download Mari - Sublime:

You can download mari Sublime over here... mari-sublime

Install Mari-Sublime:

Extract the archive.
In sublime go to preferences > Browse packages.
Place the extracted folder in the sublime packages folder.

Enable command port in Mari:

To execute the scripts inside mari you need to enable the command port.
You can use this script to toggle command port.

mari.app.enableCommandPort( not ( mari.app.commandPortEnabled()) )

If you enable command port you will see a plug icon in the bottom right corner.


Select a code snippet and press ctrl + m. Only the selected code will be executed in mari. To execute the whole file deselect everything and simply press ctrl + m.

Happy coding !

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Hyderabad Blender User Group Meetup

I recently conducted the blender user group meet up in Hyderabad. This is the first of the sessions to happen in Hyderabad.

Hyderabad has a good blender user strength. I have lot of friends who are dedicated blender users and there are couple of friends who went ahead and made blender the main tool for their studio.

It's always difficult to conduct the first session. You don't know the kind of people who comes and their level of expertise. Roughly 25 people turned up out of the 60 registered. Most of them are new to blender and cg as well. l took this session as a chance to explain people what blender is and what kind of stuff it can do, its strengths and the feature set it got.

Sravan nunna explained how he made the intro video for the meetup.

I started teaching blender at our studio and he picked it up pretty quickly, in a matter of few days not only he did the complete animation in blender but also modeling, shading, lighting and layout. I helped him a bit with the modeling and shading bit i was truly amazed at the pace he picked up blender for a guy who is doing just animation that too in proprietary software like Maya and voodoo.

He really liked blender and was really impressed by the animation toolset it has got. I would say, its a huge thing to come from an animator who is used to voodoo which is said to be an animation production beast.

And he did an amazing logo for the group.

From the people I met over there I see most of them are interested in gaming and want to have a hands on experience of doing things instead of lectures.

Yeah, why would any one wants to go to a lecture session when they can log into YouTube and watch hours of video tutorials. So for the next meet up we are planning for a practical session on modeling a game character in blender.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mari Tools: send to mari

This is a small tool which will help you to send the selected images in you file explorer to the current opened projects in mari. Its the right click > "open with" tool which all the softwares have and is missing for mari.

Download the zip file and follow the steps for installing.

1. Install the send_to_mari.py:
Place the send_to_mari.py script in your Scripts directory, which will be in the same path as your mari logs directory. Make sure the file is executable.

1. Install toggle_command_port.py:

Copy the file to the Same Scripts director mentioned above. Restart mari. You can toggle command port through "Python > Toggle command port".
If the command port is enabled you will see a plug icon in the bottom left area.

3. Modify Right click menu:
Finally we are going to modifying the right click menu of the file explorer.

In Linux the file manager of choice is Konqueror. You can use the similar approach in other browser like dolphin. In kde you have to create a .desktop file. I won't go into explaining the whole procedure. You can refer the tutorial here... http://techbase.kde.org/Development/Tutorials/Creating_Konqueror_Service_Menus

In the .desktop file modify the last line Exec= with the path to the send_to_mari.py file and copy the .desktop file to '/usr/share/services/ServiceMenus/'. The path might not be exactly the same as it depends up on your Linux distribution.  

Now.... reopen konqueror.
Select a bunch of images and right click and choose Send to Mari. The selected images will be added to the image manager in current mari session.

Gotchas... make sure you have a project open before sending the image and command port is enabled in mari.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dusting off wacom

Dusting off the Wacom and kick starting some painting practice again.... Here are some random stuff am doing in mypaint

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Maya: Preserve shader name after changing the type

One of the stupid things maya does is, if you change the shader type, it will reset the shader name to a new default names. Its very annoying to work if you have a ton of shaders which you received from outside freelancers where they used lambert/blin instead of the intended arnold aiStandard.

Here is a neat way to overide the maya default way by Seith. Keep Maya from renaming your shaders. Autodesk please make this the default in future versions...

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mari Extension Pack 2.0

I have been hosting my mari scripts at github and sharing them on mari idea scale. Jens kafitz who is maintaining the ideascale has come up with Mari Extension Pack, a set of opensource tools and shaders. I am happy that some of my tools were included in the version 2.0 and used by the mari community. Looking forward to contributing more.

And the hardware hacking begins...

Well its been a month I got my hands on raspberry pi b+ model. I got it odered from amazon and along with it got a clearcase

I didn't got the time to do anything with it as I was crazy busy with production work at office. Finally managed to pull out some time this weekend to actually install raspbian and try out some stuff. The documentation on the site is good enough to start out with, I skipped "noobs" and directly went with "Raspbian".

Here is my pi sitting on top of the network switch at office powered by my 2amps one plus one mobile charger. I connected it to the network using the ethernet cable and sshed into it and accessed it from my workstation. I have to get a wifi dongle and set it up so that i can keep it at my desk instead of leaving it alone next to the server :P.

Here is a list of projects I want to do with it...

Study Linux:
I want to explore Linux more. Been using Linux for some time but haven't got the chance to do crazy experimentations with it. At office you wont' have accesses to lot of things and with my personal computer lts pain to mess with it as it will effect the regular work and am afraid to loose data. So, pi will be the best do some experimentations.

Retro Pi:
Wanna building a retro gaming console. I used to play ton of games in my childhood. My father had a gaming arcade, where you get 3 lives for one rupee coin. so you can imagine, unlimited Lives :D. Want to use pi to setup a retro gaming console.

Web Hosting:
Here is the plan: set up a static local ip for the pi. Setup dynamic dns and access it from outside the network. Later setup a node.js server and host my personal website on it.

Face Recognition:
A face recognition system for office attendance. This is a serious project am looking into as an alternative solution for the biometric swipe.

So, on to messing with Linux....