Monday, June 29, 2009

Easter egg in opensuse grub

Yesterday I booted my laptop while shaking it. First I saw some error messages saying something like "not enough memory". Then amazing things happened. A beautiful grub boot screen came into my eye. It's a snowy background with several penguins running around. I'm impressed! After booting into my system, I decided to find out what actually happened.

opensuse grub uses a gfxmenu option in menu.list to set the colorful boot menus. In my case,
gfxmenu (hd0,2)/message
So I need to open (hd0,2)/message to see what's inside.
$cp /boot/message ~/test/grub/
$cpio -i <>
Good, let's first see the about file
$cat pabout.txt
Penguin theme originally made by Raphael Quinet
Modernized for openSUSE by Steffen Winterfeldt.

Like it or hate it? Edit gfxboot.cfg in /boot/message
to have it always or to get rid of it.
So gfxboot.cfg next. I found an option setting penguin theme there.
; penguin theme likelihood (in percent, -1 = auto)
Wow, the likelihood is set 0, which explains why I didn't see the theme before. I must be so lucky that my shaking hands made grub to read the bit wrongly and presented the penguin theme to me. What a lucky dog I am!
I really like the penguin grub theme. So I decided to have it always by setting penguin likelihood to 100. and then reinstall the picture. Of course don't forget to delete the original message before archiving the new one.
$rm message
$find ./ -print | cpio -ov > message
835 blocks
$mv message /boot/

OK, let me reboot to see the new grub theme.

For those who want to try opensuse grub, please download from the official repository (look for grub here). To install grub in command line, see here. Of course root privilege is needed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

tesseract-ocr: jpeg support added

I just pushed some patches to the github host to add jpeg image support with libjpeg.

One drawback is that, because the image operation infrastructure in tesseract doesn't allow passing libjpeg private structures between open and read operations, I have to open the file stream twice in opening and reading jpeg images.

To test the patch, pull from git:// and build tesseract-ocr. Then run some tests, this time against jpeg images :)

github copy of tesseract-ocr

We need to modify tesseract-ocr to support more image formats. So I set up a project host at github and pulled the source code from tesseract-ocr's googlecode host.

So, to get the new code base, just type the following commands:
1. git clone git://
2. cd tesseract-ocr-copy
3. ./configure
4. make
5. make install

works perfect :)

Great news: we have passed 1st round evaluation

Just got a notification email saying that our online namecard ocr project has passed the first round of Nokia Innovation Contest.

Nokia is very generous to plan to sponsor us with a N95. Cool!