06 February 2017

LibreOffice 1 -- 0 Microsoft Office

If you have a corrupted word doc on your mac and word just refuses to open it, the Internets of course have many helps for you, including but not limited to the great advice from Microsoft itself : how to troubleshoot damaged documents in word for mac (spoiler: the solution involves copy-pasting the word "test")

Actually, it's worse than that, the friendly dialog word offers says (more or less) "I can't open this file because it's corrupt. You should open this file and repair it". Duh ... the problem is I can't open it in the first place.

In any case, none of the many helps worked for me, so here's a hare-brained scheme I hatched all by myself : mail the file to yourself, open it on your ubuntu laptop using LibreOffice. Guess what ... it worked! "Save As" something sensible, mail it back to yourself on your mac, open again with Word. Word complained a little about unorthodox characters (specifically, the letter "V" ... who knows why...) but the opening was ultimately successful.

Anyway, this little post is another little piece of help on top of the great big pile of helps that make up the internets. I hope it helps you one day.

22 January 2017

gem install rmagick on ubuntu

Installing gem rmagick on ubuntu is almost worse than installing mysql gems used to be!

You will get a variety of errors depending on the version of ubuntu, the version of imagemagick, the various imagemagick libraries, and the version of rmagick you have installed or want to install. I mostly suffered from "checking for wand/MagickWand.h... no", "Can't install RMagick 0.0.0." (dunno where the version number went), "*** extconf.rb failed ***", among others.

This is what finally worked for me:
  • fresh install of Ubuntu 14.04
  • sudo apt-get -y install libmagickcore5 libmagickwand-dev libmagickwand5 ruby-rmagick graphicsmagick graphicsmagick-dbg  imagemagick imagemagick-common libmagick++-dev libmagick++5 libmagickcore-dev libmagickcore5 libmagickcore5-extra libmagickwand-dev libmagickwand5
  • gem install rmagick

(at time of writing, "gem install rmagick" installs 2.16.0 without complaint)

Ubuntu 14.04 supports imagemagick 6.7.7-10 and no later version. Ubuntu 16.04, on the other hand, doesn't offer anything earlier than 6.9.

According to tellnes, newer versions of imagemagick will not work with rmagick, although the rmagick page says: "Version 6.4.9 or later")

I didn't take the trouble to try the apt packages one-by-one to figure out the minimal set of packages rmagick needs to install successfully.

Note, "this works for me" ... it probably won't work for you. Google can point you to a large number of absolutely sure fixes for this problem, all of which worked for their authors, and none of which worked for me.