Worship Software

I am working on coming up with an option for our church to run for their services.  We are currently using MediaShout on a Windows Laptop, but I want to try to migrate to Linux.

I thought about using Wine, but that idea doesn’t bode well with their Garbage Rating.  Another option is to run a Virtualized Machine.  VMWare has a converter that we could possibly use to move everything from the laptop to a virtual.  This post shows how to use that with Virtual Box too.  The only thing I am not sure of is about using multiple screens with it.

I found forum post with a list of other software.  AlternativeTo echos these suggestions:

I looked into OpenSong some.  One problem is that they don’t have a x64 version.  This post might have one.   Their page says it is written in RealBasic.

Lyricue was actually in the Ubuntu Repository, and I was able to install it easily.  I was able to install it, but I haven’t played with it at all.  From launchpad, it looks like it is written in C.  When I started it, it ask for a MySQL login, so it must use MySQL database.

The OpenLP looks pretty good, too.  They have a PPA archive that I could install.  I see it is written in Python and QT4.

Then, I found another option that isn’t as well publicised: ChangingSong.  It looks like it is written in Python.

Here is another called “Church Presentations“.  It is written in Java, which sounds cool to me.  They don’t have any released files though.

Here is the rest of my search on SourceForge:

Explorations in Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

I finally got my desktop in my living room working, and I thought I would try the Unity Desktop on it.  Here is a nice little article that gives you some information about it:

First Look at the Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

My computer is rather old, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good fit.  These descriptions threw me off: “Ubuntu Light”, “simpler Unity desktop”, and “stripped down Ubuntu”.  What I found instead is that the Light and simpler interface is designed to make it easier to work with in smaller screen environments, not necessarily light on the hardware.

Unity uses the Mutter Window Manager, which is a compositing Window Manager.  According to this article, the name comes from combining Metacity and Clutter together.  This article mentions the hardware issue: “Interesting as the new directions may be, some people fear that Mutter will not run on older hardware.”  I agree with the reasoning: “Almost any desktop or standard laptop built within the last 5 years has sufficiently good graphics.”, but that just means that it isn’t what I originally thought it was.

Now, Clutter caught my attention on a totally different angle.  “Creating fast, compelling, portable, and dynamic graphical user interfaces” sounds great to me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see Java bindings.  On the wiki page, I only see Python, Perl, C#, C++, Vala, and Ruby.  The javascript option looked pretty interesting also.  I may have to do some experimentation with Seed.  For Java support, I found some references to jClutter, and I found someone else working on something.

Concatenating PDFs

I found a great article to help me with creating the newsletter for our Sparks/AWANA club this month:

Easy way to concatenate PDF files in Ubuntu Linux

First, I had to trim off the last page of the newsletter.  I opened the PDF in Evince and printed it to a file, PDF format, pages 1-3 (not page 4).  That gave me a PDF with just the first 3 pages.

Next, I opened the orginal PDF with Gimp and imported only page 4.  That gave me a graphic of the last page, and I saved that as a PNG file.  Then, I created a new Open Office Drawing and inserted that PNG file as the background in the drawing.  (The last page of the newsletter is just an outline for you to add your own club-specific content.)  I added the news items for a our club and saved the last page as a PDF.

Finally, I used this command to build the final PDF:

gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=Oct-Complete.pdf Oct-Part.pdf Oct.pdf

That was it!  Please comment if you know better ways to do this sort of thing.

Bug: cdda2wav required by Brasero

I tried to copy a music CD this evening and got this error message:

Please install the following manually and try again:
cdda2wav (application)
cdda2wav (application)

I installed cdrao first, and it still gave me the same message.  Then, I installed icedax.  I restarted Brasero, and it worked fine.

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