Dell Optiplex 980 SMP (Ubuntu 12.04 LTS)

My Dell Optiplex 980 at work doesn’t seem to play nice with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. It fails to detect hyper-treading support on the CPU and defaults back to a single core setup when effectively running a 8-core CPU. This is rather annoying.

It seems that acpi settings are to blame, adding:


to your grub config file mediates this issue and enables SMP support. Sadly, adding this parameter is undone by kernel updates.

Octave 3.6.x image processing on Ubuntu Legacy

If you want to install the most recent version of Octave, an open source MatLab clone, on your older Ubuntu box you are out of luck. Only the most recent repositories (> 13.x) carry the latest Octave releases.

I found this quick fix for the problem. It involves four steps on a terminal.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:octave/stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install octave
sudo apt-get install liboctave-dev

To get to a fully functioning image processing toolbox run the following commands:

sudo octave

on the octave prompt

pkg -verbose install -forge general
pkg -verbose install -forge control
pkg -verbose install -forge specfun
pkg -verbose install -forge signal
pkg -verbose install -forge image

The command ‘pkg list’ will return a list of installed packages

pkg list
Package Name  | Version | Installation directory
     control *|   2.6.0 | /usr/share/octave/packages/control-2.6.0
     general  |   1.3.2 | /usr/share/octave/packages/general-1.3.2
       image  |   2.0.0 | /usr/share/octave/packages/image-2.0.0
      signal  |   1.2.2 | /usr/share/octave/packages/signal-1.2.2
     specfun  |   1.1.0 | /usr/share/octave/packages/specfun-1.1.0

Finally, you load the image package using:

pkg load image


Mechanical engineering project, BULI

BULI enclosure[/caption]

This is a sneak preview of a project I’m working on with the acronym BULI. It’s the first part designed in FreeCAD and designed to hold some electronics. The resulting enclosure will be milled from Delrin, a plastic with good mechanical properties. I have access to a shop, so it shouldn’t take to transform this digital design in a real life piece. More pictures and sketches will follow.

Final cellulose extractions… batch 1

With the cellulose extraction setup workable I managed to do some runs within the context of a proposal I wrote. In total I extracted 1/5th (Scorodophleus zenkeri / Panda oleosa) of the total sampled wood core material and this across a one month period. Lots of thanks go out to the people of food safety who kindly borrowed me their hot water bath, increasing capacity to a workable level. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Kearsley (PhD student) and Pieter Reynaert (intern) who helped out on preparing the samples and running the extraction. Packing and measuring the samples depends on the schedule of the lab assistants and is probably due later this year or early 2014.

Ubuntu DNS issues (last kernel update)

I just had some trouble with my laptop not resolving http addresses after the last update of the Ubuntu kernel. Seems like there are issues with the DNS server settings. I resolved the issue by renaming / removing the deprecated old DNS server settings file resolve.conf (/etc/resolve.conf). Removing or renaming the file restored all DNS dependent services.


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