Python easy.install with Chocolatey

In my company I’ve basically completely moved to the Windows platform. My company is the typical Microsoft shop and since I’m doing more management stuff with slides and “official” documents Linux wasn’t simply an option any more. My company deploys a method to completely remotely install a PC/Laptop with all the required standard set of software. However there are those very nice to have programs like Notepad++, CCleaner or ConEmu, which make life under Windows bearable or if you want to add a programming language like Python or Ruby.

Anyway, for some time I’ve been using Ninite to install and keep my selection of add-ons up to date. Until I learned about Chocolatey from Scott Hanselmans Dev Tool List. As he says: once you start using it, you’ll be hooked. Here are some additional notes from him.

Worked without any major problems for me until I wanted to install Pip after already having install the Python programming language itself. Pip has a dependency on Easy.install, which is installed in the process. However the installation of Easy.install fails for me with this error message:

> cinst easy.install
Chocolatey (v0.9.8.27) is installing 'easy.install' and dependencies. By installing you accept the license for 'easy.install' and each dependency you are installing.

easy.install v0.6.11.4
Setting PYTHONHOME environment variable to 'C:\tools\python2'
PS: PYTHONHOME variable is not required to Python works, but it is a good practice to have it.
Using python home at 'C:\tools\python2'
Installing easy_install for Python(2.7.8)...
Installing setuptools from ...
Using this proxyserver: 172.25.xx.yyy:zz
Downloading easy.install/setuptools 32 bit
  from ''
Using this proxyserver: 172.25.xx.yyy:zz
Write-Error : easy.install/setuptools did not finish successfully. Boo to the chocolatey gods!
[ERROR] Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argument(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.ins tall\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe'."
At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\helpers\functions\Write-ChocolateyFailure.ps1:30 char:3
+   Write-Error $errorMessage
+   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error

Write-Error : easy.install did not finish successfully. Boo to the chocolatey gods!
[ERROR] Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argument(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.ins tall\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe'."
At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\helpers\functions\Write-ChocolateyFailure.ps1:30 char:3
+   Write-Error $errorMessage
+   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error

Write-Error : Package 'easy.install v0.6.11.4' did not install successfully: Exception calling ".ctor" with "2" argumen t(s): "Could not find a part of the path 'C:\TEMP\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools\easy.install\setuptoolsInstall.exe '."
At C:\ProgramData\chocolatey\chocolateyinstall\functions\Chocolatey-NuGet.ps1:90 char:17
+                 Write-Error "Package `'$installedPackageName v$installedPackageV ...
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (:) [Write-Error], WriteErrorException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.WriteErrorException,Write-Error

Finished installing 'easy.install' and dependencies - if errors not shown in console, none detected. Check log for error

Apparently there is something wrong with the path setup for download and installing the setuptoolsInstall.exe executable.

I circumvented the problem by executing the following steps. I installed wget via Chocolatey, simply for the fact, that I’m familiar with it. You’ll be able to achieve the same results by using other Windows native tools, you are familiar with.

 > cinst wget

Then I changed to the temporary installation location used by Chocolatey for easy.install and created another easy.install directory and changed into it.

> cd c:\temp\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools
> mkdir easy.install
> cd easy.install

Your working directory should now be


Notice the 2 easy.install directory components. Now download the setuptools package via wget into this directory under the name setuptoolsInstall.exe. Depending on your location within the larger network, you might additional need to configure the proxy server either in the environment or via additional command line options.

> wget --no-check-certificate -O setuptoolsInstall.exe
> dir

Directory: C:\temp\chocolatey\easy.install\setuptools\easy.install

Mode  LastWriteTime    Length Name
----  -------------    ------ ----
-a--- 27.08.2014 09:16 227956 setuptoolsInstall.exe

After these steps the installation of easy.install via Chocolatey should succeed normally.

> cinst easy.install

I did all the above steps within a PowerShell window. With cmd.exe you mileage may vary.

Emptying the Basement: My Computer History

I’ve started the process of emptying my basement. There is still stuff there, that I’ve build during my apprenticeship years with the company then called “Nixdorf Computers”, basically my computer roots from more than 30 years ago. To remember everything I photographed every note worthy item. Then I I will junk everything. My computer history started with a NASCOM 1 single board computer using the Z80 microprocessor. According to Internet wisdom, this board was designed in 1977 and then sold from 1978 onwards. The size was about a single A4 paper. I bought my system used from a friend of a friend in early 1981. There is a TheRegister article from 2013 “UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1” about the creator of the NASCOM. On the second page of the article there is a schematic how the individual components were connected, just as I remember it. Here are two more links of pictures of the NASCOM 1 (1 & 2). There is even a blog about “Working NASCOM Microcomputers in the UK”. I distinctly remember the static RAM chips 2102 with an organisation of 1024 x 1bit. Of these 1k roughly a little more than 800 bytes were left for user programs, which needed to be saved/restored to and from a cassette tape. A 2708 EPROM (1k x 8) contained the NASBUG monitor program. One of my first enhancements was the extensions of the RAM size by doubling it using the 2114 static RAM chips. These chips had a 1024 x 4bit organisation. The original NASCOM board is long gone, however this next enhancement still exists.

Z80 Buffercard
Z80 Buffercard

Z80 Buffercard (Backside)
Z80 Buffercard (Backside)

This contraption replaced the Z80 CPU on the main board and the Z80 CPU moved the 40 pin socket on this extension. The 74LS244 TTL chips are one directional bus driver chips mostly located in the address and other signal lines of the CPU. The 74LS245 TTL chip is a bi-directional bus driver, sitting in the data lines of the CPU. With this extension the CPU lines are low impedance enough that is allowed me to connect the following bus card to the NASCOM motherboard.

Bus backplane
Bus backplane With this bus card

I gradually moved the NASCOM to a number of boards consisting of cards in 100 x 160mm in size. I used a design from the electronics magazine Elektor, which I etched myself.

Darktable 1.4.x Shortcuts

Darktable allows the export of the complete keyboardrc, which would create a roughly 80k file containing tons of lines like the following:

; (gtk_accel_path "<Darktable>/global/map view" "m")

With this file you can basically create any key assignment, that you like. However the generated file is complete unsorted.

To make some sort of sense of the keyboardrc file I suggest to sort the file by invoking the sort command:

$ sort keyboardrc | less

or alternatively the command

$ sort keyboardrc | sed -e '/ "")$/d' | less

This will edit out all commands, which don’t have a key assigned. In general within the keyboardrc, after having it sorted, there are 4 regions overall: <Darktable>/global/*, <Darktable>/views/*, <Darktable>/modules/* and <Darktable>/image operations/*. I think, any configured shortcuts, are processed in that order. First check for global, than look at views and so on. In that file <Primary> is the Control key.

Since I’m very much at the beginning of my work with Darktable I’ve wanted the standard key bindings in a slightly better formatting than the Darktable manual. Therefore I created the following (this needs refinement in time to come).


Key Function
Control+h toggle header
Tab toggle side borders
Escape leave fullscreen
Control+q quit
period switch view
d darkroom view
l lighttable view
m map view
t capture view
F7 decrease contrast
F8 increase contrast
F9 decrease brightness
F10 increase brightness
F11 toggle fullscreen

Image Operations

Key Function
Return commit
Control+g toggle gamutcheck
Control+s toggle softproofing
[ rotate 90 degrees CCW
] rotate 90 degrees CW

Use the right mouse button in the Crop module to draw a line to correct the picture vertically or horizontally.

History (Module)

Key Function
Control+c copy all
Control+Shift+c copy
Control+v paste all
Control+Shift+v paste

Image (Module)

Key Function
Control+d duplicate
Control+g group
Control+Shift+g ungroup

Export/Import (Module)

Key Function
Control+e export
Control+Shift+i import folder

Film Strip (Module)

Key Function
Control+Shift+c copy history parts
Control+c copy history
Control+d duplicate image
Control+i invert selection
Control+Shift+v paste history parts
Control+v paste history
Control+a select all
Control+Shift+a select none
r rate reject
0 … 5 rate 0 – 5
F1 color red
F2 color yellow
F3 color green
F4 color blue
F5 color purple

Light Table (View)

Key Function
Control+i invert selection
Control+a select all
Control+Shift+a select none
Alt+1 zoom max
Alt+2 zoom in
Alt+3 zoom out
Alt+4 zoom min
Control+z preview with focus detection
z preview
0 … 5, r rate 0 – 5, reject (same as in Film Strip)
F1 … F5 color … (same as in Film Strip)
l realign images to grid
Shift+g navigate down
Page_Down navigate page down
Page_Up navigate page up
g navigate up
apostrophe scroll center
Down scroll down
Left scroll left
Right scroll right
Up scroll up

Darkroom (View)

Key Function
Control+e export
Control+f toggle film strip
BackSpace image back
space image forward
o overexposed
Alt+1 zoom close-up
Alt+2 zoom fill
Alt+3 zoom fit

Pressing Alt+1 repeatedly toggles between 100% and 200% view.

Map (View)

Key Function
Control-r redo
Control-f toggle film strip
Control-z undo

Misc (Various Modules)

Key Function
v toggle live view
Control+j jump to file roll
Control+k jump back to previous collection
Control+t tag

Multiple Sound Cards under Linux

End of last year, I decided it was time for a hardware update of my desktop computer. I exchanged the Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3 motherboard and the Core2 E6350 processor with an ASROCK Fatal1ty H87 motherboard and an Intel i5-4670 quad core processor.

The reason, why I choose this particular motherboard, are the on-board sound components. ASROCK put a little more effort into the design and the selection of the audio circuitry to achieve a better signal to noise ratio. I can’t compare with other H87 board designs, but compared to my old Gigabyte board this effort has definitely paid off. I’m hearing significantly less noise for instance when the mouse is moved. I guess that’s the best they can do considering that frequencies well into the giga hertz range are at work on a motherboard. The next step up is the use of an external USB sound card. My old Edirol UA1EX USB sound card is once again noticeably quieter than the motherboard sound.

Anyway, the hardware update went with minimal fuss and soon after installing everything the system was up and running again.

The only problem left was a reliable order of all available audio devices (two motherboard devices for standard and HDMI audio, a Webcam with microphone and the Edirol UA1EX). Searching on the internet didn’t supply an immediate solution applicable to my setup.

In the end this article provided the right hints in that the suggestions for the USB sound cards basically also need to be applied to the Intel HD audio driver.

This is my configuration for the ALSA sound system:

% cat /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.conf
options snd-hda-intel index=0,1 id=PCH,HDMI
alias snd-card-0 snd-hda-intel
alias snd-card-1 snd-hda-intel

options snd-usb-audio index=2,3 vid=0x0582,0x046d pid=0x0096,0x081d
alias snd-card-2 snd-usb-audio
alias snd-card-3 snd-usb-audio
alias sound-slot-0 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-slot-1 snd-hda-intel
alias sound-slot-2 snd-usb-audio
alias sound-slot-3 snd-usb-audio
# Set this to the correct number of cards.

options snd cards_limit=4

This leads to the following reliable order of sound devices:

% cat /proc/asound/cards                                                               
 0 [PCH            ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel HDMI
                      HDA Intel HDMI at 0xf0534000 irq 45
 1 [HDMI           ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                      HDA Intel PCH at 0xf0530000 irq 46
 2 [UA1EX          ]: USB-Audio - UA-1EX
                      EDIROL UA-1EX at usb-0000:00:14.0-8, full speed
 3 [U0x46d0x81d    ]: USB-Audio - USB Device 0x46d:0x81d
                      USB Device 0x46d:0x81d at usb-0000:00:1a.0-1.6.2, high speed

There is a Linux dependency with the above. Before Linux 3.11 or 3.12 the HDMI sound device was actually called MCH if I remember correctly.

From GoDaddy to other registrars

I’ve finally completed the move of my domains from GoDaddy to other registrars. Simply not to have to deal with their ugly administrative user interface any more was worth the effort. You never could be sure if you’re would be looking at an administrative function, an ad or if the next click put a new item into your shopping cart. Anyway, absolutely horrible.

I originally planed to move all my domains to However they don’t deal in *.eu and *.name domains. So, now I’ve split the domains between (my .net domain) and (my .eu and .name domains). Both registrars sport so much nicer administrative user interfaces. These user interfaces alone were completely worth the trouble of transfering the domains.

And while I was at it, I setup to point at my Google+ page.