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Problem with running Logitech webcam working in Skype on Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx”

May 30, 2010 17 comments

Here is a pretty simple fix that I found when using the Logitech QuickCam Communicate STX under Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” that may also apply to older versions of Ubuntu.

If the webcam does not show your video, the trick is to force it to use an older V4l library

Under Lucid Lynx, right click on the menus in the top corner and choose “Edit Menus”

Then go to “Internet”, select “Skype” and then “Properties” button.

You have an option of using one of the following as the Command


or for a 32-bit system

bash -c ‘export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libv4l/v4l1compat.so; skype’

or for a 64-bit system

bash -c ‘export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib32/libv4l/v4l1compat.so; skype’

Then close Skype and restart with the shortcut under “Applications” menu, “Internet”, “Skype”.

To test if the change worked, choose “Options” from the menu in Skype, then “Video Devices”, and then the “Test” button. You should see yourself in the test window.

To find out what camera you are using, run the following command in a terminal window…

Go to the “Applications” Menu, “Accessories”, and “Terminal”.

Type the following command and then hit Enter to see all of the USB devices connected to your PC, one of which will be the USB webcam.


Mine shows

Bus 003 Device 004: ID 046d:08d7 Logitech, Inc. QuickCam Communicate STX

Installing Evolution 2.29.3 with mapi plugin under Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic

December 11, 2009 37 comments

UPDATE: 2.29.5 is available.

Just change the version number in the wget lines below in Step 2 and follow the remaining steps as below taking care to update the new version number where appropriate.

You should not need to uninstall anything in advance.

Download, compile and install the following 4 files…





ALERT: This posting relates to an “unstable release” of Evolution.  Although you may improve functionality against an Exchange 2007 server, you may also suffer from degraded performance. Install at your own risk.

These are the steps I followed to install the very latest unstable development version of Gnome Evolution.  It requires you to upgrade a few components over what is included in Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala by default.

1. Run Applications menu-> Accessories-> terminal

2. Get the latest code tarballs by typing the following commands into the terminal window (note that we get two versions of the evolution code as the newest one appears to be missing a required file)

mkdir ~/evolution

cd ~/evolution

wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/gtkhtml/3.29/gtkhtml-3.29.3.tar.bz2

wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/evolution-data-server/2.29/evolution-data-server-2.29.3.tar.bz2

wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/evolution/2.29/evolution-2.29.3.tar.bz2

wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/evolution/2.29/evolution-

wget http://ftp.gnome.org/pub/GNOME/sources/evolution-mapi/0.29/evolution-mapi-0.29.3.tar.bz2

3. Get prereqs for building each of the packages by typing the following commands into the terminal window

sudo apt-get install libdb-dev libnspr4-dev libnss3-dev libical-dev libsqlite3-dev

sudo apt-get install bison intltool gnome-core-devel evolution-data-server-dev libcanberra-gtk-dev

sudo apt-get install libgtkhtml3.8-dev network-manager-dev libunique-dev libhal-dev

sudo apt-get install libgtkimageview-dev libpst-dev libnotify-dev

sudo apt-get install libmapi-dev samba4-dev libglib2.0-dev

4. Extract the source code from the tarballs with the following commands

tar xjvf gtkhtml-3.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-data-server-2.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-2.29.3.tar.bz2

tar xjvf evolution-

tar xjvf evolution-mapi-0.29.3.tar.bz2

5. Now we should have a folder for each of the components under our ~/evolution folder, so we visit each folder in turn and build and install. Check for the screen for any errors, particularly after each install command, to see if the individual component built ok.  If you experience any errors, leave a comment here so that we can determine if a prerequisite is missing from your environment.

cd ~/evolution/gtkhtml-3.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/gtkhtml-3.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-data-server-2.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-2.29.3



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-



sudo make install

cd ~/evolution/evolution-mapi-0.29.3



sudo make install

6. If everything built alright, you should now be able to launch Evolution and check in the Help menu -> About to confirm that you are running now.  You should also have improved (but still buggy) calendar functionality if you have an Exchange 2007 email server  As stated at the top of this posting, this is an unstable release of code under very active development at the moment. Only try these steps if you can cope with Evolution not working or working intermittently.

If you are dependent on Evolution to work and it does not currently meet your requirements with the version you have already installed, then try the steps shown here.

Gnome Evolution Updates for Karmic

December 1, 2009 8 comments

The latest unstable release of Gnome Evolution 2.29.3 was released yesterday with an updated 0.29.3 mapi plugin and provides a marked improvement over the current stable release in Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 (i.e. Evolution 2.28.1 and evolution-mapi 0.28.0).

The roadmap for releases of the latest Gnome components is shown here

I have tested the 2.29.3 release for Evolution against the Exchange 2007 server and can report that the Global Address List is fully functional and the email part of Evolution works well with the mapi plugin.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the calendar functionality which had a caniption and froze on any attempt to access.

So the good news is, you can use Evolution cleanly to talk to an Exchange 2007 server now as long as you only want to use email.

I will document the steps required for anyone adventurous enough and prepared to deal with what is code under active development.

Creating Pareto Charts in OpenOffice – Ireland in a deep hole

November 14, 2009 2 comments

If you would like to create a Pareto chart with free software that looks something like the one below, then read on. If not, and you are only interested in the data, it can be found here

Final Pareto Chart

Creating a Pareto chart is simple in OpenOffice

This is a short tutorial on how to produce the chart in an OpenOffice 3.1.1 spreadsheet (using Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala).

Step 1. Select your data In the spreadsheet.

(I moved my columns beside each other first and only selected 40 rows to simplify this charting example – columns B, C and D of the .ods spreadsheet file)


External debt per capita data



Step 2. Click on the chart icon on the toolbar (small red pie chart icon) and choose “Column and Line” chart type from the window that pops up.  Click “Finish”.

Step 3. Now we want to add another axis for the accumulative percentage so make sure you are in Chart edit mode by right-clicking the chart and choose “Edit”, then right click the graphed line in the chart and choose “Object Properties”.

Select the “Options” tab from the window that pops up and select the radio button to align the data series to the “Secondary Y axis”. Click OK, to close that window.

Align line data to 2nd Y axis on right

We want the line data to be scaled with the Secondary Y axis

Step 4. Format the Y-axis that has just appeared on the right hand side of the chart.

(You may need to right-click the chart again to go into “Edit” mode)

Right click the new Y axis and choose “Object Properties”.

Under the “Scale” tab deselect the Automatic radio buttons and set values as shown here

Scaling 2nd Y axis

Scaling the new Secondary Y axis

Now place the line of the axis where you can see (from the data) that the 80% mark has been crossed

Positioning 2nd Y Axis

Positioning the Secondary Y Axis

Now a final formatting to display the secondary Y axis values as percentages

Format 2nd Y Axis

Format Secondary Y Axis

Then click OK for these changes to be reflected in the chart.

Step 5. Format the X-axis to rotate the labels by 90 degrees.

Right-click on the X-axis and choose “Object Properties”, then the “Label” tab and set the rotation to 90 degrees.

Rotate Label X Axis

Rotate the label of the X Axis for clarity

Step 6. Move the Legend (to make room for the graph data to the right, you may not need this)

While in edit mode (double-click the chart if required), then go to the menu “Insert” and “Legend”.

Place the legend at the bottom.

Move Legend dialog Screenshot

Moving the Legend to bottom of chart

Step 7. Finish off with labelling the title and axes

Double click the chart again to enter edit mode and from the menus, choose Insert, Title.

Complete the values for Title and the axes in the window that pops up and then close it to see the results.


Name the chart and its axes as appropriate

Voila! A neat looking Pareto chart with completely free (as in speech) software

Given that this data is prior to the Global Financial Crisis, it doesn’t look like the good times are coming back to Ireland any time soon.

Note the complete absence of Iceland from the data also.

GNU/Linux is the “fastest” OS

November 8, 2009 4 comments

Check out how many of the top 500 fastest machines in the world are running GNU/linux.


So is this because it is a leaner OS than the others or because Microsoft and Apple could not be bothered getting their offerings to work on the computing equivalent of a Formula1 car?

Here’s another interesting statistic which lists the market share of the top operating systems in use for browsing (server machines excluded).  Windows is winning this hands down with over 92% of the desktop market at time of writing.  GNU/Linux is currently sitting at under 1% with Apple’s OSX at around the 5% mark.

So we have a free operating system which is the preferred option for squeezing extra performance from the world’s fastest machines and it is still virtually unknown for most people.

You would expect that interest in linux is trending upwards but this simple search suggests not.

Until GNU/Linux manages to get some significant public airtime, not much is going to change despite it already being capable of delivering what the majority of people need.

Anyone got a friend who’s a media magnate?

Using Evolution with Exchange 2007

November 3, 2009 57 comments

Having just upgraded to Karmic Koala Ubuntu 9.10, I tried connecting to an MS Exchange 2007 Server in the office with the default email reader, Gnome Evolution (version 2.28.1), using its MAPI plugin (version 0.28.0).

Not sure if this worked with previous versions but it certainly doesn’t now.

There are two issues I noticed, one relates to a crash when trying to view certain emails (could not detect the pattern) and another crash after waiting for Evolution to retrieve the message-ids from my Inbox.

The good news is, there is a fix available.

You will need to download and manually install an updated MAPI plugin (version 0.28.1).

Here are the steps

1. Run Applications menu-> Accessories-> terminal

2. Uninstall the existing plugin if you have it installed by typing into the terminal window…

sudo apt-get remove evolution-mapi

3. Get some pre-requisite packages

sudo apt-get install evolution-data-server-dev libedataserverui1.2-dev libebackend1.2-dev libecal1.2-dev libedata-cal1.2-dev libedata-book1.2-dev libcamel1.2-dev

sudo apt-get install evolution-dev libmapi-dev samba4-dev intltool

4. Get the latest version of that MAPI plugin and build it

(UPDATED: 21st Dec 2009 There is now an updated version 0.28.2, so just substitute the version number in the instructions below)

cd ~

wget http://download.gnome.org/sources/evolution-mapi/0.28/evolution-mapi-0.28.1.tar.bz2

tar xvjf evolution-mapi-0.28.1.tar.bz2

cd evolution-mapi-0.28.1/



sudo make install

5. Bathe in the glory of Exchange 2007 connectivity 😀

NOTE: This circumvents the Ubuntu repositories for this particular plugin.  Once the updated version is available in the repositories, it would be prudent to revert to using the Ubuntu-provided version so you continue to get updates in future.

TODO: Our setup involves an Exchange Hub Transport which is what MS Outlook email client talks to, with separate server for Global Address List (GAL) and another server for the mailbox which I am using.  I assume this arrangement is what makes the GAL inaccessible as I have configured the settings for my mailbox server.  There does not appear to be anywhere I can set which server the GAL is on.