Monday, January 28, 2019

PySide2 on Raspberry Pi 3b+ with Raspbian Buster

PySide2, or Qt for Python, is becoming more usable: since it has landed on PyPi, it is easy to install on almost every PC. Unfortunately, this does not apply to the RaspberryPis. Actually, there are only wheels for 64 bit x86 (and 32bit on Windows), not ARM. And there's a reason for this: the actual Raspbian Stretch has way too old packages for PySide2 to work. To get PySide2 on a RaspberryPi, you'll need Rasbpian Buster, which has not been released (even though there are repositoryes for an upgrade). Then, you can use the packages already compiled for Debian armhf (which are not in the Raspbian repository, at this moment). This is not straightforward, expecially for beginners. So I made an image, ready to be written on a (at least 16GB) microSD card. This image has Raspbian Buster with the main Qt5 and PySide2 modules. I've also switched the desktop environment from LxDE to LxQt.
You can find the image here:
In that page you'll find also links to the Debian Qt5 and PySide2 packages for armhf, if you want to install them on another distro. This image works on a RaspberryPi 3B+, because that's the one I have, but should work also at least on version 3 and 2.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Kartesio 1.0: free best fitting for science labs is now stable

I'm finally able to release the first stable version of Kartesio, Kartesio 1.0. There are lots of new features, and I feel the program is now ready for everyday use.

Kartesio is a program I wrote in 2011 for calculating best fit curves from a set of points. Kartesio uses QCustomPlot widget to plot data, and Maxima to solve expressions. The icons used in Kartesio have been designed by KDE Oxygen team. Kartesio also uses ZorbaNeuralNetwork to recognize the best fit curve. ZorbaNeuralNetwork is a library for easy neural networks construction I started writing in 2006, and supports training with both Widrow-Hoff algoritm and genetic algorithm.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Microsoft's going to release source code of Windows Phone

As you all may know, Windows 8 Phone (codename Apollo) has not been the great "Android replacer" that Microsoft hoped. Developers do not like this OS, and neither users: too much complex, too slow. Given that it's not worth spending resources on Windows Phone 8, Redmond decided that the support for this system will end on July 2014.

So, trying to go for broke, Microsoft decided to publicly release the source code. The day of the public release is not yet decided: the code needs to be cleaned and organized first, so it will happen probably after July. Redmond hopes to attract, in particular, people who are disappointed by the NSA scandals.

Microsoft declared that all the source code of Windows Phone will be released, including the NT kernel.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

SteamOs: the good, the bad, or the ugly?

You may have heard that Valve, one of the major videogames companies, is going to release its own operating system: SteamOs. It is based on Debian: basically, it's just a Debian GNU/Linux distro with GNOME, that comes with Steam preinstalled and ready for use. If you want to try it, I have prepared a VDI image for Virtualbox (you will need to create a Debian VM, with 3D enabled):

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Kartesio: best fit curves with experimental points

I finally had the time to build a simple website for Kartesio. This is a program I wrote about two years ago for my phisycal chemistry laboratory: I needed to calculate best fit curves for some experimental points I got from the refractometer and the regression algorithms available in the common office suites were not so good. But I also wanted something really simple: why sould I use "R" if I just want to best fit some points? So I decided to create a program which does this operation and only this one, but does it well. Kartesio is able to best fit curves using a regression algorithm or a neural network.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free software at the CERN, or: how did FOSS help the discovery of Higgs boson

What are the main fields in which FOSS is really important, and had given big successes in these years? Research is, probably, one of the most important. And when you talk about research, scientific research, you must speak about the CERN.
In the GNU/Linux Magazine Italy number of January, you will find an interview I did to two researchers about this topic: Sebastien Ponce is the head of CASTOR, the CERN's data storage system (based on GNU/Linux) and Brian Bockelman is an american physicist that works with CERN software to analyse data from ATLAS and CMS experiments (those who found the existence of Higgs particle).
I think you will find their answers really interesting.

Se leggete GNU/Linux Magazine Italia troverete nel numero di gennaio 2013 (in edicola giĆ  la prossima settimana) la traduzione in italiano dell'intera intervista, con una breve introduzione.

I would like to thank both Brian and Sebastien, for the time they spent answering me, but also Melissa Gaillard from the CERN press office for all the work she did.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pengpod's GNU/Linux tablets are coming. Also in Italy.

I just read the news that Pengpod is going to release a couple of tablets with a GNU/Linux system (not with Android).
I got the news from ANSA, the main italian agency ( and the title of the article is "In January a Linux tablet will challenge Android and Apple".

The news is beautiful for two reasons. First: a new tablet with GNU/Linux, hurray. Second: an italian press agency (the most important, inter alia) mentioned Linux. Ok, I know it's GNU/Linux and not "Linux" but don't demand too much: it's incredible that someone in our press world recognized just the existence of GNU/Linux. In Italy, basically, it's unusual to read about GNU/Linux on a newspaper. At maximum you will hear about "Open Source" the word "free" is not even mentioned. And, "GNU/Linux" and "Linux" are often considered synonyms. The title itself of the the article recognizes GNU/Linux as a character of the mobile challenge.

Talking about the tablets, they seems to be good products, expecially for their price. Personally, I can't wait to see them running Plasma Active.

So it's a good period for Italy in freedom of software: today we hear this news, and some weeks ago our parliament has issued a law that forces public administration to choose Free Open Source Software every time it is possible (and buy proprietary programs only if there is no FOSS alternative). This is the base for a mentality change: if everything goes well, in less than ten years FOSS will not be just "an alternative", but it will be "the normality".