Category Archives: Programming

Convert multiple lines into one tab-separated line using paste

I generally have a lot of text files with such content:

Play track
Turn Around
Unlove this track
Panic Attack
Avinash Meetoo
110 scrobbles
Play track
Playing the Angel
Unlove this track
Depeche Mode
Play track
The Singles 86>98
Unlove this track
Personal Jesus
Depeche Mode

These are the three tracks I have listened to most since I started using way back in 2005.

What I want to achieve is to easily convert these 21 lines (3 x 7) into 3 tab-separated lines which can then be easily imported into, say, Libreoffice Calc:

1<TAB>Play track<TAB>Turn Around<TAB>Unlove this track<TAB>Panic Attack<TAB>Avinash Meetoo<TAB>110 scrobbles
2<TAB>Play track<TAB>Playing the Angel<TAB>Unlove this track<TAB>Precious<TAB>Depeche Mode<TAB>101
3<TAB>Play track<TAB>The Singles 86>98<TAB>Unlove this track<TAB>Personal Jesus<TAB>Depeche Mode<TAB>98

For many years, each time I had to do that, I wrote a small Awk script. But, today, thanks to RudiC on the Unix Stack Exchange, I have the perfect recipe using paste:

paste -s -d "\t\t\t\t\t\t\n" file-containing-all-the-lines.txt

Naturally, you can adjust the number of “\t” if you have fewer or more fields.

Enjoy :-)

Running Puddletag on Linux distributions with limited Python 2 support

I am a big fan of Puddletag, an audio tag editor for Linux similar to the Mp3tag Windows program. As seen above, Puddletag uses a spreadsheet-like layout which makes it quite unique in the Linux world and matches 100% with how I like tagging to be. Puddletag and I are on the same wavelength and I have been using it for some years now to curate my extensive music collection.

Unfortunately, Puddletag was written in Python 2 and relies on a number of Python 2 libraries. When I upgraded to Fedora Linux 32 a few days ago, I lost a number of those libraries as well as Puddletag (as Python 2 reached its end of life (EOL) on 1st January 2020).

Fortunately, the Linux community came to the rescue and created a corresponding AppImage which works on all new Linux distributions like Fedora 32 or Ubuntu 20.04. Get the AppImage here courtesy of Patsim and have fun!

I’ve tested it in Fedora Linux 32 and it works great!

Playing Quake again after 23 years

Quake was born when Christina and I were studying in France in 1996.

Like most people we knew, we fell in love with the game: the graphics were amazing (and we even bought a 3dfx Voodoo 2 to run it), the audio was great and the atmosphere phenomenal. As a matter of fact, Quake is one of the few games I completed. I ran it on Windows 95.

Fast forward 23 years

Today, my laptop runs Fedora Linux 29 and I only use its integrated Intel graphics chipset (despite the laptop having an nVidia chipset as well). This morning, I stumbled upon Quaddicted:

From there, I quickly discovered that, since Quake was released as open source software in 2012, a number of people have embarked on correcting bugs and enhancing the Quake engine. According to Quaddicted (and who am I to disagree!), the best engine for Linux is Quakespasm.

I quickly downloaded it and found an executable called quakespasm-sdl2 which I quickly ran. I got an error message telling me that a folder id1 was not found.

I remembered having zipped my Quake installation years and years ago and, because I am a very methodical guy, took only 5 seconds to find the ZIP. It had the id1 folder in it which I quickly copied to the Quakespasm folder. I got the Quake music. I ran quakespasm-sdl2 again and, lo and behold, Quake started in all its glory. I quickly selected the full screen option and opened a save game from decades ago and it worked! This is what you can see in the top screenshot.

But quake is more than quake…

While reading Quaddicted, a stumbled upon Quake Injector, a tool written in Java which allows you to easily download and run 3rd party maps in Quake. Think maps as levels, distinct from the Quake default levels, but as great and sometimes greater to play.

[Caveat: Quake Injector did not run at first as I had Java 11 on my Linux laptop. I had to switch to Java 8 (which I also had but was inactive)]

As soon as Quake Injector started, I installed the very highly rated DaMaul6 map and this is where I am now. Wish me luck as DaMaul6 is known to be very difficult.