Daily Archives: September 14, 2007

Installing and using jUploadr to upload photos on Ubuntu Linux

In a prior post, Quicker Flickr Uploads, I reported on my experiences using a faster photo upload tool recommended by Flickr. This report is about my experiences with that tool, jUploadr, on Ubuntu Linux. I suggest you read that earlier post for some background before continuing.

jUploadr is not in the standard set of Ubuntu packages, so you need to install and configure it yourself. The project web site is juploadr.org. The Linux version is available as a compressed tar file available at jUploadr Downloads. I used the i386 form, currently version 1.1.2.

This version has a long name, so for this post I will refer to it as jUp.tgz. You can download and install it as follows:

$ cd
$ tar xfz jUp.tgz

You can then run it as follows:

$ cd ~/jUp
$ ./jUploadr

Jloader is written in Java, and odds are that when you try to run the program it will report that it needs a Sun JRE version 1.4.x or later to run.

In this case you need to remove any existing Java JRE’s (JRE stands for Java Runtime Environment) and install the Sun JRE. Instructions on how to do this can be found in my post How to install a specific version of Java on Ubuntu.

The first time you run the program it will ask you to “authorize” its use. This involves visiting a web page and taking the suggested action. Once you have done that exit the program and run it again.

Thereafter when you run jUploadr it will open a window on your desktop. You then find the appropriate directory in “Places,” and drag the desired photo files over to the jUploadr window. Once that is done you click on the “Upload” button and the photos will be uploaded, just as is the case with the Windows XP version described in that post.

I found jUploadr as easy to use in Ubuntu as in Windows, once you have the needed version of Java installed. The upload times were comparable, as one would expect, since that speed is governed more by the speed of your internet connection and the code on Flickr’s server.

However, given that you need to install Java just to run this application, the advantages of using jUploadr instead of the standard Flickr web-form update may not be worth the trouble.

You can try it own and make your own call, but I suggest you do so only if you upload ten or more photos at a time.

How to install a specific version of Java on Ubuntu

Ubuntu 7.04 supports Java and by default uses the free software “gj” compiler and runtimes.

However, some applications require other versions of Java. I recently wanted to run one such application, jUploadr, and I’m writing this note on how to install other Java implementations.

jUploadr requires “a version of Sun’s JRE version 1.4.x or later.”

I ran into a few problems before I finally got Sun’s JRE installed, enough so that I will describe that experience in a separate post.

For now I’ll just describe one approach that finally worked, the key idea being you don’t want to have two different Java’s on your system. One is enough, so if you have a version other than what you need on hand, you need to remove it before installing the one you want.

Is there a Java on my computer?

To see if you have Java at hand, open a terminal and run this command:

$ which java

If it prints out the name of a file then you have a Java installed. If it prints nothing then you can proceed directly to the install step.

If there is a Java on my computer, which version is it?

Run the command:

$ java -version

If it’s the stock Ubuntu version, the output will contain “GCJ” or such.

if it’s a version from Sun you will see “Java HotSpot (TM)” in the output.

If it’s something else, you’re on your own, but I hope this post provides some tips that will help you on your journey.

How do I remove gj Java?

You can use Synaptic or the command line. If you are running Ubuntu 7.04 the following commands should work; they also give the names of the packages you want to remove using Synaptic:

$ sudo apt-get remove gcj-4.1.-base gij gij-4.1

You know you’re done when you follow the instructions provided in Is there a Java on my computer? and confirm there is no longer a Java on your machine.

How do I install Sun’s Java JRE?

First confirm you have no Java on your machine, then run the command:

$ sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jre

The apt-get may fail, reporting that it can’t find this package, in which case you need to make available some additional repositories, as described in Unofficial Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Starter Guide (search for “java” on this page).

By the way during the install an editor window will pop up and you will have to arrange to find and click on the “OK” part to confirm you accept Sun’s license. (This is not the open-source version of Sun Java — more on that later in a separate post.)

Once the apt-get you should confirm that the command

$ java -version

describes a Sun JRE, as described above.

Quicker Flickr Uploads

Photos can spice up your blog. Some times they are essential. See for example Open Office 2007.

I use Flickr to manage my web photos. I started using it almost a year ago. Then a separate company, Flickr is now part of Yahoo, so I can access it with my Yahoo account.

I don’t have many photos on Flickr, and I’ve been comfortable using Flickr’s standard web-based upload form.

Recently, while putting together the “Office 2007” post I had to upload some pictures, and I saw mention of Improved Web Uploading. Tools available at Flickr: Help / Tools.

I tried the first one listed, “Flickr Uploadr for Windows Vista, XP, 2000, ME and 98.” When I used InstallShield to install it, it identified itself as “Flickr Uploader 2.5.”

I took a few shots of my back yard, using the Kodak camera that I recently wrote about, and then tried the new tool.

It’s easy to use Flickr Uploader 2.5 You just upload the photos from the camera your usual way. Once that is done you start Flickr Uploadr. It opens up a window and you can then drag pictures into the window. You need to do a simple web authorization the first time you run the tool. Once that’s done a single button suffices to upload the pictures. All in all it is more convenient and faster than the standard download form.

Notes:

By the way, I can *never* type “InstallShield correctly the first time — it always comes out “InstallShields.” Why is that?

Using the Kodak C300 Digital Camera on Ubuntu Linux

I take the pictures you see from time to time on this blog using a Kodak C300 Silver 3.2 MP Digital Camera that I bought from Newegg in February, 2006. I just wanted a cheap, simple digital camera. It cost about $90 and I’ve been quite pleased with it.

I decided today to see if it worked with Ubuntu. So I took a few pictures and plugged the camera’s USB cable into one of my Ubuntu 7.04 machines and then turned the camera on, just as I have done with Windows XP.

What happened?

  • Ubuntu instantly recognized that I had attached a camera and even knew the camera type and name.
  • Ubuntu then started a simple dialog to let me download the pictures from the camera.

That was it. No muss, no fuss.

Moreover, I found the Ubuntu viewer better than the Microsoft XP viewer. It has the same features — thumbnails, individual views, a slide show, and so on — but in general seems much friendlier as it goes about its business.

I was especially pleased that there was only *one* photo viewer in Ubuntu, or at least a default viewer. Whenever I use my wife’s Windows laptop, which has both the standard Microsoft viewer and one of the Adobe photoshop thingies, to upload pictures I have to suffer while Microsoft and Adobe fight it out to see who gets to take over managing the pictures, as they know the winner will have a better shot at taking some money out of my pocket.

It is just *so* refreshing to not have this kind of commercial clutter when you use Ubuntu.

Way to go, Ubuntu. Pretty as a picture!

First K-12 Open Minds Conference October 9-11 2007 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

FYI, Steve Hargadon just sent me the following note that I want to share with you. It looks to be a great conference. I will be there and am looking forward to personally meeting Steve, Mike Huffman and others whom I so far know only via phone calls and their writings:

K-12 Open Source Conference October 9 – 11, 2007

The first K-12 Open Minds conference is going to be held October 9 – 11, 2007, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The kick-off reception is Tuesday, the 9th, with the regular conference sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, the 10th & 11th.

For me, this is the must-attend event of the year relating to Free and Open Source Software in K-12 education. There are more tracks and topics that I already want to see than I will have time to attend. There are currently over 55 planned conference sessions, covering a the use of Linux and Open Source use in classroom, teaching, technical, and leadership aspects.

The individual registration fee is $100, or $89 each for groups of three or more. Register on the website or call Anthony Yanez, Registration Coordinator, at 800.940.6039, extension 1348.

Holding the conference in Indianapolis has two distinct advantages. The first is that nice hotel rooms are available for under $100/night at the conference location ( Sheraton) if you book before the 19th of September. Considering that the last conference I went to, the hotel cost for one night was more than this conference, and three days of hotel, all combined, makes this the bargain of the year.

The second benefit is that the conference is being organized by Mike Huffman and Laura Taylor, whose rich credentials in the area of actual implementation of Free and Open Source Software in K-12 education are really unparalleled in the United States. See my interview with them, and an audio recording of their session at NECC 2007, on my EdTechLive website. The site also contains interviews about open source and education with such luminaries as Tim O’Reilly, Marc Andreesen, Brian Behlendorf, Chris DiBona, Doc Searls, Larry Augustin and Richard Stallman.

Mike is also preparing blog tags for the sessions, and I’ll post on that as soon as we have that information. I hope to see a lot of you there. Wednesday night is free, and it would be fun to have dinner and socialize.

Added 09/16/2007: See also Educators, this is for you! The first K-12 Open Minds (open source software) conference is October 9-11, 2007 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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