Installing SCID in Ubuntu

SCID is a free, cross-platform chess database application. Can be used to edit PGN files and do loads of other stuff.

Unfortunately there is no PPA or deb files available to install the app in Ubuntu, so you have to get the tarball available at the site and install manually. If you try to configure the tarball you’ll get an error saying that it cannot find Tcl and Tk in the system, even though you have Tcl/Tk installed. The reason is you need to have the developer channels of Tcl/Tk installed for SCID.

Here’s how to install SCID in Ubuntu:

1. Install Tcl/Tk developer channels using the command:

sudo apt-get install tcl8.5-dev tk8.5-dev

(8.5 is the latest release)

2. Download the SCID tarball and extract in a temporary location

3. Go to the extracted location in a terminal and enter the following commands:

./configure BINDIR=/usr/local/bin

sudo make install

To run SCID, press Alt+F2, type scid and press enter.


Tip: Missing “Custom” option in Ubuntu Visual Effects?

In the Visual Effects tab in Ubuntu (System -> Preferences -> Appearance -> Visual Effects), there’s a neat little option called ‘Custom’ which can be used to tweak most compiz-related settings. It can be used to change the animations (eg: window closing animation),  configure the desktop wall/cube, assign commands to windows edges, and such.

This option doesn’t come pre-installed with Ubuntu, so if you’re missing it all you have to do is installing the Simple CompizConfig Settings Manager or simple-ccsm.

sudo apt-get install simple-ccsm

Now go to the Appearance settings dialog and you’ll find the new Custom option in the Visual Effects tab.

Exams and chess

In every exam season I find something to distract myself from studies. And this time it’s chess.

I had stopped playing in for several months and the rating had dipped to about 1250. Once I restarted playing it climbed back again, but not as high as it used to be. My skills have become blunt. Will need a lot of practice to reach a rating of about 1600.

And then I bought the diamond membership in for a month. Cost me 7 dollars, but hope it would be worth the cost. I can now play unlimited moves from the mobile app, has unlimited access to tactics trainer and computer workout and several other cool features. The important thing is to make proper use of each of these features before the month runs out. If the going gets good I would perhaps buy the diamond membership for a whole year. To get access to Chess Mentor you need a platinum account but that’s not within my budget’s reach.

And talking about the exams.. well, I’d better not talk about them.

I need a good sound system

I need a good sound system.
To get a good sound system I need money.
To get money I need a job.
To get a job I need to finish this degree.
To finish this degree I need to pass this exam.
To pass this exam I should study well.
To study well I need to concentrate.
To concentrate I need good music.
To have good music I need a good sound system.