Update: I posted the scripts online. More information here.

As I need a sans serif font for my diploma thesis which offers math symbols and features like old-style numbers, I decided I need support for MyriadPro, the only sans serif font I own which fulfills my requirements. There already is a package, which AFAIK only supports the very basic fonts regular, bold, italic, bold italic and no math. However, there is a very feature-rich MinionPro support package for LaTeX so I tried to change its sources to work with MyriadPro. Here the result: testmath.tex using MyriadPro. It looks quite nice for a fast hack IMHO. In addition to change the converting scripts, I adjusted all functions in the .sty file so the MinionPro package can be loaded together with MyriadPro.

But there are still a lot of changes needed to have a really complete package. The math symbols of MnSymbol and the integral signs have to be adjusted, the .sty file has to be reduced and maybe some fonts added, … So it is still some work and these are things I mostly don’t know anything of and — this is probably more important — so far I have everything I really need. Additionally, a thesis does not write itself so my time is limited. It is ready when it is ready. If you do not want to redo the work I’ve done so far, just write a comment and I maybe send you the source files. ;)

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Some days ago the new version 2.3 of xindy was released. “xindy is an index processor that can be used to generate book-like indexes for arbitrary document-preparation systems. This includes systems such as TeX and LaTeX, the roff-family, SGML/XML-based systems (e.g., HTML) that process some kind of text and generate indexing information.” It has several advantages compare to MakeIndex like better internationalization and customizability. In the new version it is possible to use an external clisp compiler, although I was not able to do it successfully. There is an error in the configure script, one has to add enable to the clisp path and exectable changing options (eg --enable-clisp-dir=/usr/lib64/clisp).

I added an ebuild to Gentoo Bugzilla.

This time I write about my new keyboard: the cherry evolution stream. I primarily decided to buy a new one because I wanted to switch to the US layout, which has it’s advantages when coding or just because I am used to write with the US layout at university. I bought it at keybo.de where it is possible to get almost every possible layout, they sent it very fast and payment was possible via bill so I can recommend that shop.

So far I have no problems with the keyboard, I quite like it. I plugged it into the keyboard PS/2 port (is there an advantage of using an USB port?) and it worked out of the box under linux. I use just the standard xorg kdb driver for X:
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard0"
Driver "kbd"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

although even auto-detection in never xorg versions should work. Only the multimedia buttons do not work without additional configuration but I did not expect that, where would be the fun? ;) So it was a rather easy task to get all the keycodes using xev and combine them with the appropriate actions. Add
keycode 160 = XF86AudioMute
keycode 174 = XF86AudioLowerVolume
keycode 176 = XF86AudioRaiseVolume
keycode 144 = XF86AudioPrev
keycode 162 = XF86AudioPlay
keycode 153 = XF86AudioNext

to your .Xmodmap file (or wherever you thinks it’s best) and … run it through xmodmap:
xmodmap .Xmodmap .
To use the volume buttons you may want to install kmilo under kde.

My new mouse, the Logitech G5 refresh (edit: the one with 2 thumb buttons), works really nice under Linux. The only minor issue I had was that the direction of the horizontal scrolling was swapped. I solved this with the following code in my xorg.conf (xorg-server-1.3.0.0-r2, xf86-input-evdev-1.1.5-r2 as Gentoo packages, the appropriate evdev kernel modules have to be loaded):
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "evdev"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Name" "Logitech USB Gaming Mouse"
Option "HWHEELRelativeAxisButtons" "7 6"
EndSection

No further setup is needed, all buttons and scroll wheel direction work out of the box; especially no xmodmap is needed. The dpi setting buttons work too. However, at the moment, one can only set the mouse to 400, 800 or 2000dpi. A customization will hopefully be possible when lomoco supports the G5.

Using the settings above let you scroll horizontally eg in konqueror or OpenOffice. Firefox sets it to “go back/forward one page” by default. To scroll, set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action and mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.numlines (edited, thanks to Deth for pointing out a mistake) to 1 in the about:config dialogue. The default behaviour is reached with ALT+wheel.

Although xev prints the thumb buttons’ pressing correctly, there isn’t any function yet AFAICS. Unfortunatly (for me) KDE cannot assign actions to mouse buttons. This is possible with xbindkeys, which is configured via .xbindkeysrc. Here is mine (edit: which sets actions for both thumb buttons):
"xvkbd -text "\[F13]""
b:8
"xvkbd -text "\[Control]\[Prior]""
b:9
"xvkbd -text "\[Control]\[Next]""
Control + b:9

xbindkeys, however, cannot assign simple key combinations but only shell commands so — you guessed it — another tool is needed: xvkbd. Now button 8 simulates a F13 which is not on my keyboard but can be assigned by KDE and button 9 gives a CTRL+PageUp, which cycles through the tabs in firefox; CTRL+Button9 does the obvious thing. I guess I’m happy now but, nonetheless, I hope KDE 4 makes the use of extra mouse buttons a bit easier.

About a week ago octave 3.0.0 was released. It is one of my favourite tools to do a fast calculation but it is capable of doing a lot of different kinds of numerical tasks. One aim of the developers is to be compatible to Matlab — they ignore obvious stupid behaviour of Matlab, though — so one major change of this new version is the new plotting system. Read the news file. Just a little comment to a small new feature: after every exit octave now writes something like # Octave 3.0.0, Sat Dec 29 13:15:13 2007 CET into the history file. As mentioned I often start octave to enter only one or two lines so my file would include a lot of these lines. To deactivate this feature add history_timestamp_format_string(""); to your .octaverc.

Hallo and welcome to my blog. This is my first posting; so far I just played with the settings of the main site and added a bit about me on the about page. The search box on the right hand side still creates an validation error but I’ll keep the link to have a quick checking possibility. As far as I can see the error is not caused by me nor can I solve it but I try to get help. (changed the theme)