No, Google Now On Tap is not eliminating its quick screenshot feature

Seems to be some confusion about this, further promulgated here. I don’t know when this changed, but in recent Marshmallow gapps you need to set your default app for “Assist & Voice Input” to the Google app for this to work.

Settings>>Apps>>Gear icon>>Default Apps>>Assist & Voice Input

Select Google App, and all is well. Now in Google settings, Now On Tap toggle will be flippable. Turn it on and you’re good to go.

I think I had to reset this after upgrading my rom, or maybe just after clearing cache. Anyhow, it works again. It’s one of those things you don’t figure out until you need it in a pinch. Handy feature.


Run Chirp Radio Software on Linux

I hit a few minor annoyances getting chirp working to program my Baofeng UV-B5.

I installed from the repo on Dan Planet’s Linux page for chirp, but then noticed I can get a daily in zip form. These instructions are necessary to use either of these programs.

First, since I’m on Fedora 24, I added the yum repository and installed the program with dnf. I had to find and install the proper python package with gtk bindings to get the gui working. On Fedora this is the pygtk2 package. For Debian derivatives it should be called python-gtk.

Next, I want to run as regular user, so I created a file /etc/udev/rules.d/50-ttyusb.rules with contents:


Then just make sure your user is in the dialout group and reboot.

Download and Upload to radio works now.

Google Chromium builds for Linux

And they call it Chrome…

Just trying a post from within Google’s Linux Chromium. Installed it on a few machines running Ubuntu 9.04 so far. I’ll be trying out the I18n and M18n features and compatibility with various Linux distros as the alphas progress. I have the Chromium development repository in my sources.list and have been following updates. Fun to see how it goes.

I feel naked cruising the Yomiuri Shimbun without my rikaichan firefox extension. Gotta get back to my Heisig. New edition came out a while ago!!!

Pidgin meets Microsoft IME Japanese: a few tips

I’ll be doing some posts for those of you who haven’t moved over completely to Linux or BSD. Or for those who are used to the free software applications available on the typical Linux box, but find themselves stuck with Windows for some reason.

Just a quick walk-through setting up the Japanese environment on WinXP and friends, for a starting point. I’m using the standard install of WinXP Home that came with my laptop, which I’ve been playing with lately, having just restored the original o.s to a new drive. Nothing special, just a few clicks:

Control Panel >> Regional and Language Options >> Languages

And click the box for “Install files for Asian language support”.

Simple! I leave the various logout/login/reboot cycles up to the reader. To get Japanese input, go back to Languages and click the “details” button under “Text services and input languages”, to add the input methods you want for the various CJK languages. Then some more logout/login/reboot as necessary. It really does use the two-hundred-thirty megabytes of disk space, as promised.

Now I have the MS IME with “EN” (for English) showing in my taskbar. I click it to see my input options. When I need Japanese, I choose “show language bar”. I have my input mode set to hiragana, and I can flip between romaji and kana input with left-alt-shift on my US keyboard.

This setup can be used with firefox 3 and pidgin im, among others.

Now on to some Free and Open Source Software.

Pidgin im works fine with this system, with a few config setting changes. For input, right-click in the message area and select Windows IME under the ‘input methods’ menu. That allows you to write and see kanji. I don’t know if you need to change your default font to a Japanese one like MS Mincho or MS Gothic. It works for me with or without changing the font in Pidgin preferences.

There’s a slight glitch in displaying Japanese from others using legacy operating systems (like Windows 98 Japanese edition) and im clients. The easy way to deal with that is to go to:

Tools >> Preferences >> Conversations

and uncheck ‘show formatting on incoming messages’ to fix displaying kanji on incoming messages. You might need to also change your font for conversations in pidgin preferences. It depends how broken your buddy’s software is (does it use Unicode fonts and proper encoding?), and probably also on the chat protocol. I’ve been chatting on msn this way with friends on Win98 Japanese Edition and an ancient msn client.

This is just a rough run through, of course. Feel free to leave comments here relating your own experience with pidgin. I should mention I found  the ‘disable formating’ tip here and on another guy’s blog post about using Chinese with pidgin and MS IME, which I can’t seem to find at the moment.

Next Time:  Firefox with MS IME (Hint: it will be short, unless, perhaps we get into some mojibake issues with Web 2.0 type annoyances).

More Japanese on Linux: Anthy, uim, and Ubuntu (among others)

I still haven’t gotten around to updating the Ubuntu box running Gutsy Gibbon out in the den here in Sterling. It seems to be running just fine with Gnome 2.20.1 and I’m in no hurry to jump to Hardy Heron and mess with my users’ interface experience. So, I went about checking how a few things work in Gutsy, on the odd chance I might want to type something up while here, without firing up the laptop.

I’ve been running the new release of Opensuse on the Thinkpad (post on that to follow, after I spend a little time with it). For the most part, setting up uim for kanji input is about the same across distros (and BSD’s!). I noticed the Opensuse konqueror binary has uim suport built right in, obviating the need for uim-xim, and the concomitant config file hacks necessary to run a mixed gtk/qt environment. Just right click in a text input area in any QT app and select uim under input methods, if you haven’t already made it your system wide default.

I blogged on setting up Japanese in Gnome and KDE apps in each other’s environments a while back. Since then, I’ve figured out (stumbled upon) some things to make it easier and much less hacky, but haven’t properly documented my discoveries. Plus, I’ve been lax about going into much detail on uim-gtk-pref settings, since preferences do vary so much. I’ll remedy that with some basic screenshots of what works for me. Feel free to experiment to taste. By the way, I wouldn’t expect much difference in these settings for a given Debian release, or other Ubuntu version, but let me know of any gotchas that might come up.

First things first. I’ll assume you’ve got the requisite packages: uim-anthy, uim-applet-gnome, uim-gtk2.0, uim-xim, uim-utils. Installing these via apt-get, synaptic, what-have-you, should pull in all the dependencies you need. Now all that’s left is to add the uim-applet to the Gnome toolbar, right click on it. and select preferences. NOTE: the GTK applet will work exactly the same in a KDE panel, but there is also a KDE uim applet, if you’re into that.

uim-pref-gtk Global preferences, along with version window
uim-pref-gtk Global Settings

The Global Settings controls the input method framework, which would be uim in this case. The actual input method here is Anthy. So, this handles turning on any special input framework. Then you can choose to either use Anthy to input kanji immediately, or you can toggle between direct, kanji, or different kanas, or set one of those as the default. Confused? Just try my settings, play a little, and see what changes. Make sure to click apply.

My working anthy settings in uim-gtk-pref
My working Anthy settings in uim-gtk-pref

This menu controls how Anthy behaves once activated from the applet. I start with direct Roman character input, and I can toggle to kanji input via romaji transliteration with shift-space.

Advanced Anthy Setting in uim-pref-gtk
Advanced Anthy Setting in uim-pref-gtk

A few more preference settings for Anthy. I like predictive input. You may not.

Toolbar applet gimmicks and effective area in which to switch input
Area in which to activate an input method and various toolbar applet gimmicks

I usually have different applications open using different languages, so I like to just switch one at a time. One can change input for the whole desktop at once if preferred.

Those other programs: make it work with KDE, QT, X, GoogleEarth, etc.

Now how about those KDE apps like konqueror and k3b? And what about other non-GTK applications, such as xterm and GoogleEarth? In Ubuntu you just have to get uim-xim running and tell XIM (the old X input system) to use the uim settings you’ve been so carefully rigging up. I found an excellent how-to on this for Zenwalk Linux, which helped get me started. I put this script:

if [ "$DISPLAY" ]; then
uim-xim -engine=anthy & > /dev/null 2>&1
export XMODIFIERS=@im=uim > /dev/null 2>&1

in my .profile. In my case, I first backed up the default .profile and then added the uim-xim startup code to the original. We’re not done just yet.

We want to set the default input method for XIM to uim. This is accomplished by adding:

export XMODIFIERS=@im=uim

to .gnomerc in your home directory. If the file doesn’t exist, just create it. That worked for me.

Check it out

Now we just have to log out and log back in to make sure those configs take effect.
Open konqueror, Google Earth, any old program, and activate Japanese input from
the uim Applet and have at it.

Closing thoughts:
There’s a handy keystroke chart here, for those characters that might be less than intuitive to typists
who haven’t studied advanced linguistics. Who knew the katakana dot was called an interpunct? Makes
perfect sense though, doesn’t it?

Coming Soon:
How to do all this in KDE.
ヒント: It’s not that different. A few scripts in different places. Ho hum.

Keep those comments coming! Let me know if this helps, or doesn’t.