New Maya 2010 Debian/Ubuntu based Install Guide?

I’ll try not to get to get off-beat or totally far-out, but I’m in the creative writer mode. You’re hereby WARNED.

I read a comment at my Madman blog today, that made me feel all warm and cozy on the inside.

That might be slight an exaggeration, but, anyway it was nice to get positive feedback. It went something like this:
(Hope you don’t sue me for quoting you, PaulN!)

“We really appreciate your helpful guides for getting Maya to work with Ubuntu around here – any chance you can document how you got 2010 working? We are quite stumped by this version. Specifically Autodesk seem to have invented the most ass-backwards license setup _ever_ for this release.”

Second, don’t expect this post to include a new guide for Maya 2010, this time + licensing tips for the Version 2010, that’s part of the Autodesk Entertainment Bundle 2010, I use This! that includes:

Maya 2010
Mudbox 2010 *MS/Mac OS 10
Softimage 2010 *MS
3DS Max 2010 *MS
MotionBuilder 2010 *MS

+ a bonus application. I got “Sketch book Pro 2010” without cost, that runs on my Mac Book Pro. No Linux guide on this one either, as it is a Intel Mac + OS 10 and MS  only app. I don’t care much about virtualization or emulation of operating systems, so for me it’s “native or I don’t”…

Moving on… The thing I was topic-flamer for, this post. I know there are many out there that would go far to get a real, no fuzz .pdf to print and follow with pictures and all, while GETTING MAYA TO RUN on their GNU/Linux machine calculating and crunching ones and zeros with a Q7 64-bits QuadCore CPU, mounted on a motherboard with 3K*Mhz FSB, dual CPU slots, so you’ve decided to buy two, giving you 8 Cores for lightening fast bit-crunching while rendering  the latest reel. Topped with the latest NVIDIA® Quadro® Plex 2200 S4 dedicated visual computing system (VCS) humming in the closet.

The thing is, Maya 2010 isn’t 1 application anymore, it’s three separate packages, semi-crossed and stress-developed (by underpaid programmers, working in polluted office environments) to work seamlessly.

So, naturally, the conversion from .rpm, involves some knowledge about how to read the package descriptors in the .rpm’s, and possibly creating a specialized script for creating the .deb installers using Alien as the back-end, so that they wil place and link the package correctly. Things might seem to work until you try rendering in MR with a new option, causing the application to SEGFAULT.

I think I know why Autodesk decided to merge Maya (Unlimited) Toxic, and Matchmover into one package:

It’s not the correct use of the words “Complete” or the word “Unlimited”, as a way to describe escalating possibilities between two products.

Here, it is used to “Identify feature levels” with words, cleverly hatched out from the sub-department in R&D, set out to form a naming convention for their flagship line of (hijacked) products…

If a thing is “complete”, it has (according to a trustworthy dictionary/thesaurus) the following qualities:

“A state of being, often used as descriptors of either a psychological achievement as in: “Fulfilled”, meaning there is nothing more to strive for. Products, where it’s meaning often is synonymous with “Accomplished” and indicating from the stem word “complete” that concludes something, there is nothing more to add.”

I suspect this naming convention to be the problem here.

Boss says: “Hey!, I’ve looked up the word “complete” and “unlimited” in a thesaurus this weekend. We need to re-brand, and we need to do it fast!!
The words actually summons the same in all but the slightest context digressions! The word “complete” means, like, “nothing more to add”, “finito”, nothing more to add.
But we’ve made an “Unlimited” version as well as “Complete”, and it adds stuff. A lot!
This is insane! I’ll fire the 200 people employed with marketing, and the rest of you: think fast! We need ONE version of Maya, and this time, we’ll prefer the safe way. Let’s just call it “Maya”, plus maybe, hey, 2010 is coming up right? Let’s call it Maya 2010, and release it in 2009! That’s more like it! Nobody is going to make us look like illiterate fools!

The thing is, there is actually, besides from some statically linked lib files that needs to be updated to newer versions, not much keeping you from installing the Binary, closed source software, using a package scheme converter like Alien.

These days, the developers of new software rides on the widespread wave that have done the switch to either a new version of the GNU C[your language here] Compiler suite, a different multi-threading framework, or they’ve jumped on the “Let’s do OpenCL and Cuda development” wagon. Possibly a “Nokia/QT path” for cross platform development as well…

This doesn’t directly touch the users of the software, because, as in the case with Autodesk, the software is delivered in installable packages, that places statically linked lib files along with the binary ones (so they know that the client will be using the right version when upgrading their operating systems, something that makes relying on native language and library support impossible.

But, these are just packed with different package format schemes, and those are not binary. The content is.

If you find a way to extract the files from a .rpm package and then into a .deb package that in turn does the same thing, placing files where they belong, and creating different links, etc (also known as “Installing”). I wouldn’t consider myself a deep level hacker to make use of tools that are readily available for these tasks. But, then there is a problem. You need to do all this “by hand”!
A roll-your-own-spliff software installation, and it needs to be punced in as “commands” in a shell environment!

Hmm… (scratches head). “Lets search Google!”

What I’m trying to say is that with a LPI level 1 GNU/Linux knowledge under your belt, you should be able to decipher this task at hand.
BUT.

If you try to follow exact step-by-step instructions, without having a clue what or why you’re issuing these cryptic looking commands, you’re most likely to fail. There is no such thing as an identical system. You might get a kernel panic, after you ruthlessly renamed or moved an actual system-file, (“Hey, the name was ALMOST the same!”) as in the guide! But the file wasn’t statically linked, but the actual code containing instructions for reading the instructions to operate your graphics card.

So, a Guide, could mean success or failure, or the difference between a stable system and a kernel panic…
I must say that most of the problems I’ve seen reported and tried to answer on this post, is a result from, and belongs to the mentioned kind of “misbehavior” against your darling computer.

So, if I’m going to write a complete hands-on guide for installing Maya 2010, it will take plenty of time and effort, not to mention installing the thing on different versions of GNU/Linux distributions.
So, I will not make a guide for free, covering the ins and outs of this process.

There are three applications involved, and a slight error in one install, might corrupt another.

BUT, If there are enough people out there willing to pay me $5 each for doing this, I’d consider doing it. Then it would be a labor, and the quality of the guide would be accordingly.

So. If that is something you would like to purchase, please send me a Gmail containing the words MAYA PDF as subject in the message. Then, I’ll get to it.

Madman

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Maya 2009 64bit Font install / missing fonts in Fedora et. al

Missing fonts in Maya on Fedora, and other Linux distros

A problem with missing font files in Fedora, prevents some text and labels from displaying
properly in the program windows. For example, texture names may
not appear as expected below the texture icons in the Hypershade window.
Also some other packages needs to be installed on some distributions, not on Ubuntu, as I know of, but I’ll writ it down anyway.
Download and install the following rpm or .deb files (names vary slightly so make a search for something similar:

1. xorg-x11-fonts-ISO8859-1-75dpi
2. xorg-x11-fonts-75dpi
3. Xinet.d
4. tcsh
5. libXp (for both .i386 .x86_64)
6. libXp-devel (for both .i386 .x86_64
7. mesa-libGLw mesa-libGLw-devel )
8. gamin-devel (for libfam.so)
9. Autofs

Problems with Nokia N Series Phones?

I’ve always been a fan of Nokia’s N series line of mobile phones.
Ever since my first Nokia N72, I’ve used N series, except for a short period where I recently tried the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music phone.
Now it’s back to N series. Anyway, I recently had a problem that I googled about and tried different approaches for solving for days, with no success. The phone would not install software, no matter what. No new Maps, no new apps, no new nothing! I was completely stuck. All the phone said was “Unable to Install”. Not very informative… 😦

This may bee common knowledge for the techno/gadget geeks out there, but I found that by using the command:
*#7370#

I was able to completely format the phone, and it worked again! This command removes EVERYTHING on your phone. Contacts, messages, the works, so be sure to do a backup first…

Just as a tip for those that experience strange problems on Nokia N-Series phones.
I don’t know if this works on other models…

Configuring a newsreader with Stunnel SSL

It seems that many folks out there are having hard times getting their non-ssl enabled newsreader to talk ssl with the nntp server.
The thing is that if you want to use SSL for encrypting your news reading habits (or any other ssl enabled habit) you can use Stunnel to work as a local SSL “proxy” to tunnel different protocols.

Read all about it at http://www.stunnel.org

So. I just wanted to post a recipe for making stuff work. This works for any newsreader, not just Pan. Knode and all the others also works through stunnel.

First of all you need to download and install stunnel. This can be done through your distribution’s package manager, or downloaded and built from http://www.stunnel.org

Depending on what version of stunnel you get or your distributions setup script, you may or may not have a stunnel.pem file lying around in your file system.
This is a SSL certificate file, that stunnel needs. You could use the default stunnel.pem, if you’re not going to use it for anything but getting stunnel up and running. That is you don’t want the certificate to represent any part of you or your organization.

I use an older version 3.x of stunnel, because that’s what my package manager gave me. I didn’t get no stunnel.pem file. If this is also your case, you have to make one of your own.

This is done with the openssl tools. The stunnel.pem needs to be in the right format to be parsed, and have the correct permissions to it, or else things won’t work.
I’m no wizard of SSL, so my guide may freak someone out, but at least I got it working…

I did the following:

openssl genrsa -out priv.pem
openssl req -new -x509 -key priv.pem -out stunnel.pem -days 1095

Now the format of the stunnel.pem needs to be like the following:

-----BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY-----
MIIBOQIBAAJBAKF94YxmWBxpQIl1OWAj0VqWSrYgh3LuNtWRN71g6lP4nSYLKqBD
iJemS7yXXxaOQSJzl/iTsnee6x5o0CVMc58CAwEAAQJANViQ9kEkoBYAtKedkW2j
.... (more blabla here)
-----END RSA PRIVATE KEY-----

-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----
MIICQDCCAeqgAwIBAgIJANiDZT8yJWiaMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBBQUAMEwxCzAJBgNV
BAYTAkdCMRIwEAYDVQQIEwlCZXJrc2hpcmUxEDAOBgNVBAcTB05ld2J1cnkxFzAV
... (more blabla here)
-----END CERTIFICATE-----

To make this file, I simply copied and pasted the privatekey from priv.pem into stunnel.pem.

Now you need to save your stunnel.pem anywhere you like. You’ll point to it in the stunnel.conf file.
Allso you need to have the correct permissions for the file, more accurately 600. Issue this command on the file:

chmod 600 stunnel.pem

Now it’s time for the config file stunnel.conf, located (on my system) in /etc/ssl/stunnel/stunnel.conf
If it isn’t there just create it with sudo vi /etc/ssl/stunnel/stunnel.conf
(You need to have root privileges, so use sudo or su before using your editor of choice. I chose vi.)
Then type in these silly lines:

client = yes
key = PATH TO YOUR STUNNEL.PEM FILE HERE

[nntp]
accept = localhost:119
connect = SERVER:PORT OF YOUR NEWS PROVIDER HERE
(mine is news-europe.giganews.com:563)

Now that is pretty much it. Type sudo stunnel, to start stunnel, or as root /usr/sbin/stunnel.
make sure it is running with

ps aux | grep stunnel

You should see a pid there.
Now configure your newsreader to use localhost as server address and 119 as port.
You should be able to connect, knowing that your traffic is now secured with SSL.

Hope this helps.

Baltazaar