All posts in Linux

Opensource replacement for Visio

I’ve been looking actively for an open source replacement for Visio, the programs work but the main weakness is the lack of the “stencils” or figures to make the diagrams.  The artwork that I found is really lacking the help of a designer.

I checked out Dia 0.96.1 which I had used before and it works really good but as I stated before it lacks the artwork.  The good thing is that there is hope, as stated in it’s web site: “It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape.”

Open Office Draw 2.4.1 is also suitable for the job.  I personally it is a little more limited than Dia for the job, but maybe it’s just my impression.  As a drawing tool it is more complex and give you more for your Money effort like object rotation, and other effect.

Kvio 1.6.3 is also a nice tool.  I have to say that it works really well.  It’s light and has good handling of stencils, they get extra points because it automatically finds and uses the Dia stencils.  The only thing I really don’t handle well yet is that all objects when placed on the sheet a TOO BIG.

Is there a chance that someone with good graphic skills opens an Open Source project to make some standard shapes or stencils that can be used by all  3 tools or any other tools that wants to use them.  If a momentum is created it is also possible to make the Vendors want to publish their shapes in this standard format.

Howto: UMTS Card Fedora 9

After a lot of fighting I finally got my UMTS card working with Fedora 9.

I have a T-Mobile Web’n’Walk II card which turns out to be a Option GEO201 by Qualcomm.  The main problem with this card is that someone had the wonderful idea of integrating a usb flash drive (so you don’t ever loose the drivers) with a usb gsm modem.

The main trick is to use a small program called usb_modeswitch which disables the flash drive and loads the modem’s driver.  So lets cut the chat and get it done:

  1. Go to and download the latest version of the file.
  2. Make sure you have  libusb + libusb-devel + lsusb installed$ sudo yum install libusb libusb-devel usbutils
  3. Unpack, build and install the usb_modeswitch.

    $ mkdir ~/tmp
    $ cd ~/tmp
    $ tar jxvf ~/Download/usb_modeswitch-0.9.4.tar.bz2  # or a newer version
    $ cd ~/tmp/usb_modeswitch-0.9.4
    $ ./
    $ sudo install -m755 -o root usb_modeswitch /usr/sbin
    $ sudo install -m744 -o root usb_modeswitch.conf /etc/

  4. Now lets setup udev so it automagically runs usb_modeswitch when the card is inserted.  This gives us the plug ‘n play behaviour.  This we will do as root.

    $ /bin/su –
    # vi /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules
    ####  => Insert the following text:

    #Globetrotter HSDPA Modem T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Express II
    #Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0af0:6701 Option
    #idVendor=05c6, idProduct=1000 are the infos of the flash drive
    #idVendor=0af0, idProduct=6701 are the infos of the HSDPA Modem

    SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idProduct}==”1000″, ATTR{idVendor}==”05c6″, RUN+=”/usr/sbin/usb_modeswitch”

  5. Make sure that the ” are correct, and that the copy paste doesn’t screw them up (got reports that it does)
  6. Setup the card using the network manager.  Here is my setup for T-Mobile in Germany

Note: The values I used for the udev script I got from running: # lsusb -v

Well hope that sets you up to go.  This should work with other Linux distributions as well

Thanks Per Lasse for the comments and corrections 😀

11.12.2007: I upgraded my laptop to Fedora 10 and it works flawless
Tested it in Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and 8.10