What Fonts are you Using?

So you’ve just downloaded an awesome poster from Spread Ubuntu and now you’re trying to edit the svg so you can provide a localised version or mash it up for your own needs.

But there’s a problem… svg files don’t store the fonts used so you’re stuck looking at an ugly ill-fitting set of font defaults in inkscape and the dozy submitter didn’t specify what fonts he used. Good news! there is a command that can get for you a list of fonts used in any svg file:

`perl -lne “foreach(/font-family:(.+);/){print $1}” < foss+creative-commons3.svg | sort | uniq` Using foss+creative-commons3.svg you can see an output like this:

10.15 Saturday Night BRK
Automatica BRK
Bitstream Vera Sans
DejaVu Sans
Fatboy Slim BLTC 2 BRK

Not all of these fonts have been used, since it’s easy to save a file in inkscape without using the Vacuum Defs process to clear away cruft. But you do get a nice list of all the fonts you should have to see the poster the way it was intended.


Promote Free Culture

This poster has been in the works for a while, but I’m happy enough to finally publish it today:

It’s available in source form from Spread Ubuntu here and on the deviantArt page you can order a print if you can’t make your own prints.

If you think the work I do to make our cultural ideas more easily understood, consider dropping a few sheckles1:

What do you think?

Update: I put in fresher text which should help some of the older stale text be more understood.

Asking Smart Questions

I’ve you’ve ever struggled to get the support answers you need from the Ubuntu community, this guide may help you, it’s a pdf download, don’t forget to favourite if you can:

Revision 05, 2010-07-23: Download Directly, Sources

Free Culture Poster: Review

My dearest community, please consider spending a minute of your time reading this early draft of a poster I am constructing. It’s target audience is the general masses attending libraries, colleges and other public places and it’s attempting to genteelly introduce people to Free Culture concepts.

I need to make sure my working is good as well as my spelling, the blue boxes are for images which I’m getting a fellow artist to sketch up and should go in there soon. Do let me know if you want the svg before it’s complete, once out of draft I’ll add it to spread-ubuntu in A3 and Ledger sizes. Thank you everyone!

Inkscape Templates

This is a howto for all those making Ubuntu Day graphics and slide shows for how you can drag and drop your clipart from template sets into inkscape as you would in programs like Dia or Visio:

View Video on Blip


Ubuntu Manual – Time for Testing

According to OMG! Ubuntu the Ubuntu Manual project is looking for testers, people who can read the manual and find errors.

They’re going to freeze it at the end of the month so the community needs to get cracking in making sure it’s all good to go, I think everything should be able to give one chapter a brief read over and to report problems.

Report Problems here

Through the Polarising Looking Glass

This week Disney’s 2nd Alice in Wonderland in 3D came out and I had the chance to go see Avatar in 3D… ok that may not make sense to normal people, but the further towards the end of a films run you see it, the more money the cinema gets and the less money the studio gets. I only mention Alice because I wanted a cool blog title.

What I love about these 3DReal films is that they give you polarising glasses. And I wanted to know what kind of geeky fun could be had and I’ve hit upon a surprising use for them:

If you’re a designer or an artist you often have to change the mood of a picture or design, making things more blue, yellow or red to get the right setting. Well using these glasses you just have to tilt your head to the right to make an LCD look more blue and tilt to the left to get a more yellow image. It’s really very cool.

Compressing Sound for Videos

I got this very useful advice from Fredreyk today, he suggests that if I do videos that I should use a process that improves the sound quality so people can hear what I’m saying. It’s the same thing that adverts use to make themselves sound louder compared to the show your watching: compression.

To do this you need to take your recorded video (in my case an ogv) and using Avidemux-gtk you strip out the sound and save it in it’s own file by going in the Audio-Menu to save the audio-stream.

Now open the audio file in Audacity mark everythink(ctrl-a) and use compression in the effect-menu i took -44db in the first slider,
but it depends on your material. Just play around, so that you stop sounding like darth vader. Save the results.

If the file sounds fine then put it in avidemux together with the video-stream (open the first point (main…) in the audio-menu and use “external”). Double checking that the sound still syncs with the video.

Generating Calendars

I wrote this nifty script in python to take the output from the cal command and parse it, using an svg template it outputs an entire calendar in your own style, with your own pictures and everything.

It was a bit rushed because I was making a personal calendar for my wife with birthdays, anniversaries and our family pictures on it. And it came out really well too, she’s very happy with it! Here is a page from the calendar:

A big shout out to Inkscape, which again was flexible enough to allow me to create my calendar template without complaining about missing images or custom svg xml. If you want to have a go yourself at making a calendar then just download the following package:


Populate the flips directory with your own png files 01.png – 12.png and a title.png file for the front page, add any extra dates you want to the dates.lst, then run `./create-cal.py 2010` on the command line this will make a whole set of svg files for each page. You can then run `./make-book.sh` which will use inkscape (make sure it’s installed) to generate png files of each page.

Once you have your images, you can print them out in order or create a pdf of them using imagemagik’s convert command: `convert pngs/*.png full-calendar.pdf` but be aware this file might get big and generating these things takes time.

I will post a complete calendar tomorrow.