Octave 4 upgrade via MacPorts fails after “port upgrade outdated”

To keep MacPorts and its ports up to date a frequently performed  sudo port selfupgrade and sudo port upgrade outdated do the job.

Unfortunately the update/grade of GNU Octave fails:

Error: org.macports.fetch for port octave returned: must set at least one Fortran variant (e.g. +gfortran, +gccX, +g95)

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Install Octave 3 on Mac OS X El Capitan

To install GNU Octave on a Mac is not as easy as on Microsoft Windows® or GNU/Linux.

Ready-to-use App bundles are outdated and/or do not run reliably. The installation with a package manager as MacPorts or Home Brew does not work out-of-the-box.

This How-To describes how to install Octave 3.8.2 with MacPorts (Version 2.3.4) on Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan). It shows how to avoid pitfalls and workaround bugs. Finally it gives some hints regarding configuration.

Currently MacPorts 2.3.4 supports GNU Octave 4.0.3. That make this how-to obsolete. Refer : Install Octave 4 on Mac OS X El Capitan

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Java-Update simple and automatic

For security reasons a lot of professional users work with standard user privileges. Nevertheless installations, updates, etc can be done by the administrator entering the administrator password without log out and log in as an dedicated administrator. There is one exception: Java.

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Other spell-checking language in MdCharm

To add another language in the spell checker of the markdown editor MdCharm in Windows or GNU/Linux, download the desired  dictionary (*.oxt) of OpenOffice. Unzip it with e.g. 7-Zip (Windows) or e.g. Roller (GNU/Linux) and copy the aff– and dict-files to the folder “spellcheckdict” of the MdCharm installation.

Display Java’s Swing menus correctly in Linux Mint’s GTK LaF

Since GTK 3 has been introduced Java Swing applications have a bug in displaying their menus when using the GTK Look and Feel (LaF).

At Linux Mint Cinnamon:

  • No border around dropdown and context menus
  • Wrong font color of activated checkbox and radiobutton menu items (the font has the same color as the background and appears unvisible)
  • No menu separators

In the web there are some fixes and workarounds but just one solves the problem on Linux Mint 17 completely (see section “Interesting Links” below).

This How-To shows how to fix the problem and offers a bash script to get rid of this problem on Mint 17.x automatically.

For Ubuntu find a small hint below.

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EXE-files accidentally associated with an application

It is nearly impossible to associate a Windows EXE file to a normal application. The context command “Open with …” is not available for this file type.

But broken EXE-files or wrong commands in desktop shortcuts can ask for a application to start with. When your fingers are faster than your brain you cannot start EXE files anymore because Windows try to open them with the application selected before.

Unfortunately you cannot start any repair tools or even the registry editor to fix the problem manually now.

This how-to describes in a few steps how to bring your computer back working correctly.

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How-To's, Field Reports and Position Papers