Linux — Dell laptop and Macbook air

in the last weeks to friends of mine did the switch to linux.

I promised to list the programs/extensions I use on my ubuntu laptop.

Here they are, in no specific order.

I switched to Kubuntu on the Dell laptop. 
The gnome desktop is not flexible enough for me.

KDE is nice, there is just one glitch I do not understand:
Only in Kubuntu installing .deb packages with apt or doubleklick I got frequently a "Not resolved dependencies" error.
I was in despair, but then I read this error is a fake, 
I should use dpkg -i to install.
And... that did it. Why???

And another problem I did not see in Ubuntu:
The NAS smb was shown in Nautilus, but not in Dolphin...

My Ubuntu and / (a few of them) Kubuntu mods:

gnome extensions

applications menue extension
alphabetical app grid extension

espanso / autokey
midnight commander  (mc)

super tux cart ;-)


Gnome gmail
Gnome Sushi

dock to panel
Tiling Assistant

Okular  Dokumentenviewer / Kate
XN View



network stats  extension
(executor extension)

google earth view wallpaper

Google earth 
get -O google-earth64.deb
sudo dpkg -i google-earth64.deb
sudo apt-get -f install; rm google-earth64.deb

nvidea  ubuntu-drivers autoinstall

Fingerprint reader Dell laptop:

echo "
deb focal-dell public
deb focal-oem public
deb focal-somerville public
deb focal-somerville-melisa public" | \
sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/focal-dell.list

# Add the Dmacbook airell repository key (F9FDA6BED73CDC22) to apt
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys F9FDA6BED73CDC22
sudo apt update

# Install fingerprint reader packages
sudo apt install -y \
    oem-somerville-melisa-meta \
    oem-somerville-meta \
    libfprint-2-tod1-goodix \

reboot, dann User, Authent… und Fingerprint

Macbook Air 

I tried Fedora:
Bad WiFi and difficult to install propietory drivers.

I tried Arch and Manjero:
Very flaky and slow WiFi with all tested drivers.

I tried Parrot OS:

Nice, but the touchpad was difficult to use, jumpy, and the fonts not so readable..

I tried Linux Mint:

Splendid WiFi but no smt devices detected, Network detection crashed. Reinstall...the same problem. No one could help me in the groups, even the specialist google had no solutions. 

Pop OS:

Worse. Programs got stuck alarmingly often, bad wifi and crashes of fontmanager every time..

I tried Ubuntu:
Everything worked out of the box. Bravo!

I switched to Kubuntu:
Everything working! Great. (Just the same apt dependencies error as described above)

BTW, I had to install the german gui for Libreoffice by myself, it defaulted to English.

sudo apt install libreoffice-help-de
sudo apt install libreoffice-l10n-de

Than I had to set the screen manually to 1600x900, using an entry in ~\.profiles.

It outputs current screen resolution as well as all available solutions. All I needed here is the display device name, in my case, it’s eDP-1. 

cvt 1600 900

Replace 1600 900 (1600X900 in my case) in the command to your desired screen resolution.

Copy the Modeline, and run command to add new mode:

sudo xrandr --newmode "1600x900_60.00"  118.25  1600 1696 1856 2112  900 903 908 934 -hsync +vsync

Now add the new created mode for your display device:

sudo xrandr --addmode eDP-1 "1600x900_60.00"

Finally Apply the new resolution in the Display settings 

To make Ubuntu remember the new created screen resolution at next start, you have to edit the .profile via command:

sudo nano) ~/.profile

And insert at the end:

xrandr --newmode "1600x900_60.00"  118.25  1600 1696 1856 2112  900 903 908 934 -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode eDP-1 "1600x900_60.00"

...more to come as the journey goes on...

Software: Darktable

With the midyear 2021 I ended my worklife.

Adobe cloud is a rather expensive abo for an amateur and hobbyist, so I switched to Darktable and gimp.

Gimp is miles behind photoshop, but for my seldom used meager skills it is just fine.

Darktable is brilliant.

Of course the organizer part is rudimentary, but the modules are absolutely great, there are lots of tutorials and if you like mathematical or technical background you get it if you want it.

In the new version I fell absolutely in love with the negadoctor module to work with my scanned negs (color or bw).

Bruce Williams did a fabulous job with his about 100 tutorial vieos „hands on“ and Alexanders vids in „a dabble with photography“ give you the theoretical background.

Tip in Darktable:

In Inkscape import a nice sky and save it as vektorfile .svg in Program files-darkatbale-share-darktable-watermarks.

Now you can mask a sky and insert a new one as watermark (module watermark).

Update 3.8: png is now supported

Infrared Photography – purists beware, here are some digital info´s

First you have to decide if you want to do colour or b/w.

If you want to get colour images , use a 630 up to 720 filter, the filters below this wavelenght (750…950) will give you nearly no colour information…

Different sensors or films give remarkable different results!

The Standard IR Filter (720nm) is the classic IR filter. It allows some visible light to pass for color processing and gives good contrast for black and white. E.A: the Hoya R72 and Wratten 89b.

The 550nm IR Filter lets in the lots of visible light creating blue skies and blood crimson reds. It has the look of old IR films. It’s also good for infrared portraits, it keeps rather neutral skin tones (the 590nm will expose veins) and still provides color information.

The 665nm filter is in between the 720nm and the 590nm, showing more vibrant colors than the 720nm. The 665 comes out more reliably between different cameras and lighting conditions.

The 850nm filter and 920nm are good for black and white IR and will show bright whites and pronounced darks. With a custom white balance in camera, the picture is close to pure B+W.  E.a. the Wratten 87c.

With film test your focus and your exposure time with bracketing, both can be rather difficult to find and change rapidly and sometimes unpredictable with light conditions (we cannot see infrared;-) ).

Try to have the sun in the back or at your side, pics toward the sun often have very low contrast and lots of flares.

Best are sunny days and the trees and grasses should be green to get the „wood“ effect.

The best light source is the sun, but moonlight works well, too.

Camera flashes emit infrared as well as visible light so they can be used for infrared flash photography. It is possible to cover the flash with an IR filter to get rid of the visible portion of the flash and have a dedicated IR flash.

If you go digital:

Use raw files!

Use a modded camera with no infrared filter (or give it a try with a tripod and take your (long) time)

Use „live view“ if possible, so you should be able to rely on the automatic metering and autofocus.

In your raw converter:

If you shoot b/w use the LAB modus and the L (red) channel.

For colour

Set your white balance on the (white) greens

Use the cannel mixer to switch the red and blue channel.

(This is the usual result:

Red Channel: Red=0, Green=0, Blue=100
Blue Channel: Red=100, Green=0, Blue=0
Green Channel: Red=0, Green=100, Blue=0

Sometimes this is giving a better result:

Red Channel: Red=0, Green=0, Blue=100
Blue Channel: Red=100, Green=100, Blue=-100
Green Channel: Red=0, Green=0, Blue=100

Add Hue/Saturation

Apply contrast / use curves / dynamic contrast…

Add structure/details/clarity or however your software names it

Play with blending modes (contrast etc, e.a. luminosity)

Small variations in my White Balance or Channel Mixer settings (the two most important settings for IR) as well as the sequencing of the processing steps have often led to very different results.

Your IR results will depend on several more factors:

  • Camera make/model and sensor
  • Infrared filter used (there may be even variations between vendors)
  • RAW or JPEG processing
  • Your Lens
  • Type of vegetation and its ability to reflect IR light

Still for me to try:

Vittorio Sergi : If you like the usual 720nm faux color conversion with a blue sky, just skip the channel swapping step altoghether, grab a hue and saturation Adj. layer and slam the hue slider one all the way left or right so that the value reads 180 or -180, there you have a nicely done blue hue as it should be, given that you nailed white balance

720nm Filter, May 2020:

Closed bridges


Reflecta MF 5000 / Prime Film 120 pro

There were problems with shear endless initializing sequenzes.

I tried another computer (my laptop) with fresh install of cyberview X5 and short, direct connected USB cable, no such luck.

Trying with holder in, holder out, sometimes got a connection, sometimes not.

The german software site

had older versions than the US site:

I made a firmware update to 1.37 – the scanner works again….

Humor me….

I had to give up my career as a photographer.  I kept losing focus.

Ever since buying a digital camera, I can only think of it’s positive points. There aren’t any negatives.

I bought a new camera. My wife asked if I will sell the old one.

Photography is a developing hobby.

How many hipsters you need to switch a light bulb? — Three. One switches the bulb, one makes photos with his phone and the third one blogs…

A penguin needs a passport photo. The photograph asks „Color or black & white?“ The penguin asks : „You´re looking for trouble?“

Cameras – diy pinholes.

I got lots of old dental x-ray film, so I made a pinhole cam out of an old

35mm film canister:

The camera
The dental film unpacked

The first film can x-ray pic 😉
You see the typical scratches from careless dev of the x-ray film!

A nice alu can is this:

Alu Can
Can in action

Loaded with very old and very expired (1967) ORWO paper:

UV Photography

This seems to be more in the digital realm, but we will see :