Installing Wings3D on Linuxmint 15


Recently I just upgraded my laptop with Linuxmint Mate 15 and found out the hard way that Wings3D is now broken and won’t install through the package manager due erlang-wx package is now no longer part of Ubuntu main due to the size foot print of wxWidgets library.

Anyway, here are the steps if you wanted to have the packe installed on your system.

1. Go to http://www.wings3d.com and follow the link to download wings-1.4.1-linux.bzip2.run.gz for Linux.
2. Unzip and run the installer

gunzip wings-1.4.1-linux.bzip2.run.gz

chmod +x wings-1.4.1-linux.bzip2.run

./wings-1.4.1-linux.bzip2.run

3. The installer will install wings3d under your home directory. Move the package to /opt

sudo mv ~/wings-1.4.1 /opt

4. Edit the bash script /opt/wings-1.4.1/wings so that ROOTDIR path is now /opt instead of your home directory and save the file.

#!/bin/sh
ROOTDIR=/opt/wings-1.4.1

5. Integrate it with desktop menu by right click on the menu and select Edit Menu.

  • In Main Menu dialog, select Graphics under Application. Click New Item to create a launcher.
  • Click on the icon and select /opt/wings-1.4.1/lib/wings-1.4.1/ebin/wings_icon_big.bmp
  • Enter Wings3D in name text box.
  • Enter /opt/wings-1.4.1/wings in Command text box.
  • Enter “Wings3D Modeling Program” in Comment Text box.
  • Click OK to save the launcher.

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Scheduling Linux laptop to suspend and re-animate at scheduled time.


I recently created an automate script which search the internet for certain items and email me the search results. It’s currently running on HP Probook and I don’t want to leave the laptop running indefinitely.

So, I created a cron job to run this script to automatically suspend the laptop when there are no interactive user using the system. The script use rtcwake command to suspend the system in memory and it seemed to work pretty nicely.

To use this script, login as root and saving the following to a file /root/scripts/hybernate

#!/bin/bash
SLEEP_DURATION=1800
if [ $# -gt 0 ]; then
SLEEP_DURATION=$1
fi

# Put the laptop to sleep, if no interactive login and wake up later
if [ `who | wc -l` -eq 0 ]; then
/usr/sbin/rtcwake -m mem -s $SLEEP_DURATION
fi

Change the script permissions:

chmod 755 /root/scripts/hybernate

Then add the following line to root crontabs:

# m h dom mon dow command
* * * * * /root/scripts/hybernate 1800 2>/dev/null

Making a simple crystal tester


Remember from my previous post in Restoring Heathkit IT-17 tube tester? Where I mentioned that I got a box of tubes for $20 buck!

Well, under this pile of tubes there are bunches these little crystal modules that was made for WWII radios communication equipment.

I wanted to get rid of them on ebay but I need some way of assuring that they are working and the frequency is still as accurate as marked before I list them.

After some research on Internet, I found couple of plans which can be build quite easily. I wanted to make some modification to the circuit to use 2N3904 since I have bunches of them on hand. After fiddling with it for a while in LTSpice, I got a working circuit.

I then use KiCAD to draw the circuit and create a PCB layout from it and here is the final circuit and PCB:

crystal_tester_plot PCB

Making the PCB

This time, I wanted to try the toner transfer method to create a polished and professionally looking PCB. However, my stupid Samsung laser printer keep on jamming and it is low in toner. The final laser printed PCB artwork has many flaws and some traces are spotty.

After transferring the toner to the copper clad, I have to manually use the permanent marker to cleanup these traces. After etching the PCB and installing the components, this is what I got.

IMG_9369 IMG_9367

Here the circuit is being used for the first time to test an unknown crystal, the green LED is lid to indicating that the crystal is working perfectly.

IMG_9372

One down, plenty more to go. 🙂

IMG_9365