burgerspace: a free clone of the classic arcade game Burgertime

August 29th, 2007 edited by ana

Entry submitted by Alexey Beshenov. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute!

Burgertime (originally entitled バーガータイム, Hamburger) is a popular 1982 Japanese arcade game created by Data East Corporation. The game even has an interesting entry in Wikipedia. Among other ports and remakes, there are a free X11 clone called “BurgerSpace” written in C++ by Pierre Sarrazin.

The behavior of the original arcade was not replicated exactly in BurgerSpace, but clone has the same scenario. You play the part of a chef Peter Pepper who must create burgers by stepping repeatedly on the ingredients until they fall down onto trays. It’s not so easy since you also must avoid food characters who chase you around the maze.

Evil food enemies (namely Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle and Mr. Egg) could be temporarily killed by crushing them under falling burger slices or dropped with them. The dropped enemies are stunned for a few seconds. You can also shake pepper on nearby monsters to make them harmless for a few seconds.

The game could be started via the command burgerspace or from the entry in the GNOME Games menu.

Use the following keys:

↑ ↓ ← →
Throw pepper.
Pause / resume game.
Quit the game.

(Unfortunately, there are no complete keystroke configuration.)


You can rich extra scores / peppers by collecting appearing things. Level will be completed if you create all burgers and the next level will be based on more complex maze layout, increased number of burger pieces and elevated speed. Game records available from the official webpage and you can report your outstanding scores to maintainer.

Program requires the SDL multimedia library. Burgerspace could be used on GNU/Linux machines and there are even a port for some-proprietary-system. The burgerspace package is available in both Debian and Ubuntu. Have fun!

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 7 Comments »

IPTraf, a ncurses based LAN monitor

August 26th, 2007 edited by ana

Entry submitted by Bart Veraart. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute!

Sometimes you just want to see what connections your machine is making to the outside world and what ports it’s using. While wireshark and tcpdump are really nice for inspecting detailed package contents. IPTraf is really about connections and interface statistics. Because iptraf is based on ncurses the program can be run from a text-console and still have a (primitive) `gui`. Navigation through the menus can be done using your arrow keys. Most of the time all the available options and their keys are shown on the bottomline of the sreen.

Starting up

By default the program is not accessible by ‘normal’ users so you’ll need root access. Also iptraf can put your interfaces in promiscuous mode (this will probably show up in your logfiles as: ‘device eth0 entered promiscuous mode’). Promiscuous mode can be turned off and on in the configuration menu. If no options are given through the commandline iptraf starts up with a splashscreen and then a menu. Some of the menuitems can be reached directly from the commandline (try using ‘iptraf -i all’ if you want to startup in IP traffic monitoring mode).


There are some configuration options you might want to check. Turning on reverse DNS Lookups and service names comes in handy when using the IP traffic monitor. Iptraf comes with a separate reverse lookup server -rvnamed- wich is only started and used by iptraf to keep it from hanging on slow lookups. If there’s a lot of network traffic on your box try applying some filters.


Filters can be useful if you only want to see info about traffic on certain connections, ports and/or protocols. Filters can be saved, deleted and edited. Multiple rules can be defined.


(Click on the image to enlarge)

Connections Configuration Filters Interface statistics

More information

IPTraf has been available since ages ago in both Debian and Ubuntu.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 2 Comments »

ipcalc: network calculator on the command line

August 22nd, 2007 edited by lucas

Article submitted by Javier Barroso. We are running out of articles ! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like NOW !

Ipcalc is a command-line tool which allows the user to get useful data from a ip and a netmask.

Ipcalc returns the network address, netmask, network address in CIDR notation, min/max IP addresses, broadcast address and the number of hosts of network.

Ipcalc usage is:

Usage: ipcalc [options] <ADDRESS>[[/]<NETMASK>] [NETMASK]

A example could be:

$ ipcalc
Address:            00001010.00000000.00000000. 00011100
Netmask: = 24   11111111.11111111.11111111. 00000000
Wildcard:            00000000.00000000.00000000. 11111111
Network:          00001010.00000000.00000000. 00000000
HostMin:             00001010.00000000.00000000. 00000001
HostMax:           00001010.00000000.00000000. 11111110
Broadcast:           00001010.00000000.00000000. 11111111
Hosts/Net: 254                   Class A, Private Internet

Ipcalc has been available in Debian at least since v3.1 (’Sarge’) and in Ubuntu since Warty. apt-get install ipcalc will install it for you.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 8 Comments »

jed - Pocket sized emacs

August 19th, 2007 edited by Tincho

Article submitted by François-Denis Gonthier. We have run out of good articles! Please help DPOTD and submit good articles about software you like!

I’m a big fan of GNU Emacs, it’s a very powerful and ultra customisable editor. I have it setup just the way I want, with tons of packages. That means that although my Emacs setup suits me fine for long coding sessions, it takes several seconds to start, even on a moderately fast computer.

When you work in a console, and all you want is to edit some files, and edit them now, you gotta have something that starts in a snap. Jed is the editor I use for that.

Jed showing a bit of Emacs code.

The obvious advantages of Jed are that it starts much faster than Emacs, but still provides the basic key-mappings and features of the default Emacs setup. Out of the box, it supports syntax colouring for several programming languages: C/C++, S-Lang, FORTRAN, LaTeX, Java, Python, Perl, Bash and more. Since it’s an extensible editor, several add-ons (modes) have been written and are available in the Jed Modes Repository.

For people that are interested in having a full-featured editor, but aren’t crazy about the Emacs key bindings, Jed has a nice console menu interface. Menus can be activated with the F10 key, and then browsed with the arrows key, just like the ol’ DOS editors. Most menu items also have shortcuts, for quicker access the next use. For the less expert users, like myself, menus are very useful; but avoiding the F10 key at the corner of the keyboard is a time saver, as tiny as it may sound.

The Jed menus come with some nice touches that Emacs has acquired just recently. In the “Windows” menu, you can see that Jed offers 9 different colour themes for the terminal, a nice touch for people allergic to white-on-black text, or with difficult display devices.

I personally use Jed as a light editor, but Jed is a very customisable platform. It is linked with the S-Lang library, which can be used to heavily customise the editor. I know little of the S-Lang language, just what I need to set a few shortcuts, but the S-Lang functions provided by Jed are well documented on its home page:

It is also interesting to know that Jed has a native X11 interface, which is installed by the xjed package. Jed is not as well adapted to X11 than Emacs is, but XJed does bring some interesting improvements like mouse support, and of course key bindings which are not limited by any terminal protocol. Personally, I think that the XJed default configuration should be edited a bit (I use Ubuntu, but tend to suppose it’s not very different in Debian). When XJed starts on my computer, it looks like Jed was started in XTerm, with extremely tiny fonts, and an ugly font. I am sure XJed can be conveniently and easily configured but giving you a bad first impression of Jed is not something I want. I suggest you to try running the console version of Jed in your favourite terminal emulator, then play with it a bit.

The final proof that Jed is a mature and fully-featured editor is that it obeys Zawinski’s Law (Zawinski’s Law), which state that “a program attempts to expand until it can read mail”. Jed has a mail reader called rmail, it can be invoked by hitting M-x (Alt+x) then typing rmail.

Jed has been available in Debian and Ubuntu for ages.

Quick start shortcuts

Here is a few shortcuts you may find useful while playing with Jed for the first time. As usual, C = Ctrl, M = Meta (usually Alt).

Invoke the help system
C-x C-c
Quit jed
C-x C-f
Open a file
C-x C-k
Close a file
C-x 2
Split a window
C-x o
Move to the next window
Set the beginning of selection (C-SPACE cancels selection region)
Go to the beginning of line
Go to the end of line

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 12 Comments »

ttf-inconsolata: an open font for your terminal and for nice code printouts

August 15th, 2007 edited by ana

Article submitted by Nicolas Spalinger. We have run out of good articles! Please help DPOTD and submit articles about software you like!

You love the command-line interface but you also want things to look good and be free as in freedom? Maybe you’re looking for a good open font to use when you code? or something to make your code snippets look even better in a printed publication?

Then check out ttf-inconsolata!

What is it?

Inconsolata is a monospace font designed by Raph Levien of Advogato and Ghostscript fame (and quite a few other things).

It is a high-quality font released under the Open Font License (OFL), the community-approved free license specifically designed for fonts and collaborative font design. (See for all the details including a extensive FAQ).

Screenshots taken from inconsolata’s website:

How does it compare to other fonts?

This fonts really stands out compared to other fonts out there for the following reasons:

It’s an open font which comes with sources! The great thing about this font is that extended sources - not just the ttf - are made available by the designer: the Fontforge .sfd and the Spiro .plate sources are available on the upstream website and in the source package. A Type1 version of the font is also available.

It is a collaborative font project: you can freely use, study, modify, redistribute and/or sell the font under the terms of the OFL which means you are free to derive artwork from the font, to embed it in a pdf, to branch, extend and tweak the fonts to your liking. You can also send a patch to contribute to Raph’s project.

It is also the result of cutting-edge innovation. Raph has been using his own font design toolkit called spiro to design Inconsolata. Spiro is based on revolutionary curve technology implementing Euler spirals. The spiro toolkit also includes various optimisation scripts. See for all the details.

It is work in progress (the coverage is mainly Basic Latin, Latin Extended-A and Latin-1 Supplement at this stage) but it is already very useful as such and has great potential to grow to support more Unicode blocks as needed.

This open font project is being generously sponsored by the TeX Users Group Development Fund which you can contribute to.

You can also use Inconsolata directly from your TeX environment using newer implementations like XeTeX or pdfTeX.

Alright, how do I get it?

Thanks to work done by the Debian fonts task force (See the corresponding Alioth project), Inconsolata is now available in Debian unstable and Debian testing. It will soon be sync-ed to Ubuntu.

It is co-maintained by the pkg-fonts team and the mirror Ubuntu fonts team. These teams are part of the open font movement working on improving the availability of high-quality open fonts, packaging the existing ones, integrating them with the wider free desktop stack, getting a toolkit together to do open font design and of course engaging more designers to release fonts under the OFL.

You can find other open fonts designed by Raph on his OFL fonts page

And many other open fonts projects are listed at:, and

Free the glyphs :)

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu | 18 Comments »

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