In my last post I got my old MacBook Pro up and running with Linux and cobbled together a network connection so that I could install my camera control software of choice, Entangle. I chose Entangle because it would apparently work with my camera, and was included in the Debian repositories, so installation should be nice and easy. Of course, based on my previous luck with this computer there’s bound to be something odd that crops up.

That something odd cropped up straight away. I had assumed that because Entangle is included in the Debian repositories, and that because Ubuntu (and by extension Lubuntu, the distro I installed) is based on Debian I could do a simple install through apt or Synaptic (the command line and GUI software managers for Debian & Ubuntu). Apparently I was far too optimistic, and Entangle is not included in the Lubuntu repositories.

So, here I am again, trying to overcome another unexpected obstacle. Fortunately on the Entangle website there are two other installation options, using something called Flatpak, or building from source code. While building from source might be a fun exercise, I really just want to get this computer working with as little fuss as possible at this point. So, I looked at how to install Flatpak, and then install Entangle.

Turns out installing Flatpak is a pretty simple process:

sudo apt install flatpak

One quick entry of my password later I had Flatpak installed, and ready to go for installing Entangle.

The install process for Entangle using Flatpak wasn’t much harder:

flatpak install org.entangle_photo.Manager

Once it was installed I went to the Application menu, then Graphics, and there was Entangle, happily waiting for me to run it. I opened it up, connected my camera, and was disappointed when Entangle steadfastly refused to acknowledge that a camera was connected. I figured I was probably far too used to how the Mac handles such things, so tried things in a different order. I connected the camera, then opened Entangle, and sure enough, it recognised the camera.

Of course, there was yet another wrinkle to iron out, this being the fact that although Entangle could now see the camera, it was complaining it was in use by another application. As it happens when I connected the camera it mounted in the file system, and was thus not available to Entangle. I unmounted it, opened Entangle again, and was very happy to be able to control the camera successfully.

I played around with the camera for a few minutes to find out how everything worked, and found it all very easy. For the most part the icons in the application are pretty obvious, and the ones that aren’t have tool tips to explain their purpose. My plan is to jump straight in at the deep end tonight and try to capture photos of not one, but two meteor showers. It just so happens that tonight is possibly the best opportunity for me to catch the Alpha Capricornid and Piscis Austranid meteor showers.

The plan is simple, the meteors for both these showers will be traveling from the east, so I will set up my camera facing east, and take several (probably many, realistically) 15 second exposures so that any stars captured show as points of light, not star trails. I can then stack these photos and hopefully get one photo with all the meteors I captured shown.