Category: linux and unix

disappointing satnav

One of my hobbies is motorcycling. I have travelled extensively by bike in central and southern europe over many years, but oddly, I have never visited scotland before. I intend rectifying that shortly. When travelling in europe I have always made do with the excellent Michelin range of 1/1000000 (1 cm to 10 km) maps. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/05/13/disappointing-satnav/

rockbox rocks

Some time ago my wife bought me a Sansa Sandisk Clip+ music player. When she asked me “what kind of MP3 player” I would like, I specifically specified the Clip+ because it could handle ogg vorbis encoded audio files. All my audio disks are encoded in this format. Picky I know, but there you go. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/04/16/rockbox-rocks/

am I kidding myself

I have recently moved my bank current and short term savings accounts. Partly this is a political statement in support of the move your money campaign, and partly because I feel that my money might actually be a bit safer (if only slightly) in a small UK Mutual than with the UK arm of a …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/03/04/am-i-kidding-myself/

tomorrow the world

A slightly breathless new post over at omgubuntu proudly boasts that the market share of Linux on the desktop jumped “from 0.96% in January 2011 to 1.41% by the year’s end.” (That could equally be be written as a close to 50% rise in Linux’ popularity). No doubt this will scare the pants off Steve …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2012/01/30/tomorrow-the-world/

the amnesic incognito live system

Or “tails” if you prefer, is a live CD/USB distribution based on debian which aims to help you preserve your privacy and anonymity when out and about. As the home website says, tails helps you to: use the Internet anonymously almost anywhere you go and on any computer: all connections to the Internet are forced …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/12/20/the-amnesic-incognito-live-system/

tunnelling X over ssh

OK, yes, I know there are probably already a gazillion web pages on the ‘net explaining exactly how to do this, but I got caught out by a silly gotcha when I tried to do this a couple of days ago, so I thought I’d post a note. Firstly, X is not exactly a secure …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/12/19/tunnelling-x-over-ssh/

ubuntu de-throned

For the first time since early 2005, Ubuntu has fallen off the top spot on distrowatch. The new number one, by page hit ranking, is Linux Mint. I’m not at all surprised.

Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/09/ubuntu-de-throned/

dis-unity

The reaction to Ubuntu’s move to Unity seems to be getting wider coverage. Over at LWN, Bruce Byfield blogged recently about the rift between the Ubuntu developers and its users. In particular he highlights Tal Liron’s entry to the Ubuntu launchpad bug wiki under bug number 882274. In that entry, entitled “Community engagement is broken” …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/09/dis-unity/

fully minted

image of linux desktop on my netbook

After exploring the alternatives to Ubuntu, I finally settled on Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) running Xfce as the desktop. I am now Ubuntu free and have a desktop that looks the way /I/ want it to look rather than the way some design nut wants it to look. I am also hopeful that the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/11/06/fully-minted/

time to ditch ubuntu?

I’ve used Ubuntu on my desktops/laptops and netbook for some time now. I think my first installation was 6.06 (the version 6.04 which was late by two months) and my desktops currently all run 10.04 LTS. I got over the minor irritation of the move of the window control buttons from the top right to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/10/19/time-to-ditch-ubuntu/

webcam mark II

Upgrading the slugs to squeeze killed the webcam. At first I thought that squeeze was missing the necessary gspca drivers, but no, a quick look in /dev revealed an entry for video0 and “lsmod” reported “gspca_zc3xx” loaded correctly. This is a different driver to that which my camera loaded in lenny (spca5xx) but a quick …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/09/27/webcam-mark-ii/

squeezing the slugs

Debian 6 (squeeze) has been the current stable version since February 2011. The latest version (6.02) was released in late June. I have put off updating my slugs from lenny (old stable) for a while because I wanted to see how others faired before committing myself. Indeed, initial reports on the debian arm list indicated …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/09/26/squeezing-the-slugs/

one reason I don’t use apple

Being a linux and FLOSS fan has its advantages, not least the fact that most, if not all of the software I would want to use (and indeed, /all/ of the software that I actually do use) is free as in beer as well as free as in speech. And given the much smaller target …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/07/02/one-reason-i-dont-use-apple/

I guess they do it differently over there

nimbus 2000 sheeva plug

I came across a potential new entry to the “slug replacement” competition today in the shape of a 2GHz Sheeva Marvell based plug computer by Ionics called the Nimbus 2000 (all the company’s products seem to be named after cloud types – wonder why). In addition to that rather fast ARM CPU, this little beast …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2011/01/26/i-guess-they-do-it-differently-over-there/

phone home

image of etherape capture

Google’s chrome browser first appeared back in 2008, since when many commentators have sung its praises. Apparently it is “blindingly fast” (well, let’s face it firefox can be a tad slow, particularly if loaded down with a swathe of plugins) “clean”, and “simple”. Until recently I had not tried chrome (for some fairly obvious reasons) …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/08/29/phone-home/

email address images

Adding valid email addresses to web sites is almost always a bad idea these days. Automated ‘bots routinely scan web servers and harvest email addresses for sale to spammers and scammers. And in some cases, email addresses harvested from commercial web sites can be used in targetted social engineering attacks. So, posting your email address …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/03/email-address-images/

ubuntu 10.04 – minor, and some not so minor, irritations

If and when the teething problems in 10.04 are fixed and the distro looks stable enough to supplant my current preferred version, I will be faced with one or two usability issues. In this version, canonical have taken some design decisions which seem to have some of the fanbois frothing at the mouth. The most …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/02/ubuntu-10-04-minor-and-some-not-so-minor-irritations/

ubuntu 10.04 problems

UNR 10.04 desktop image

The lastest LTS version of ubuntu (10.04, or lucid lynx according to your naming preferences) was released to an eagerly waiting public on 29 April. Long term support (LTS) versions are supported for three years on the desktop and five years on the server instead of the usual 18 months for the normal releases. My …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/05/02/ubuntu-10-04-problems/

webDAV in lighttpd on debian

I back up all my critical files to one of my slugs using rsync over ssh (and just because I am really cautious I back that slug up to another NAS). Most of the files I care about are the obvious photos of friends and family. I guess that most people these days will have …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/31/webdav-in-lighttpd-on-debian/

unplugged

My earlier problems with the sheevaplug all seem to have stemmed from the fact that I had installed Lenny to SDHC cards. As I mentioned in my post of 7 March, I burned through two cards before eventually giving up and trying a new installation to USB disk. This seems to have fixed the problem …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/30/unplugged/

psp video revisited

image of handbrake gui

I last posted about ripping DVDs to PSP format back in November 2007. Since then I have used a variety of different mechanisms to transcode my DVDs to the MP4 format preferred by my PSP. A couple of years ago I experimented with both winff and a command line front end to ffmpeg called handbrake. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/21/psp-video-revisited/

plug instability

I’m still having a variety of problems with my sheevaplug. Not least of which is the fact that SDHC cards don’t seem to be the best choice of boot medium. I have had failures with two cards now and some searching of the various on-line fora suggests that I am not alone here. In particular, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/03/07/plug-instability/

from slug to plug

image of sheevaplug

Well this took rather longer than expected. I intended to write about my latest toy much earlier than this, but several things got in the way – more of which later. About three or four weeks ago I bought myself a new sheevaplug. The plug has been on sale in the US for some time, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/02/28/from-slug-to-plug/

life is too short to use horde

image of postfixadmin page

I own a bunch of different domains and run a mail service on all of them. In the past I have used a variety of different ways of providing mail, from simple pop/imap using dovecot and postfix, through to using the database driven mail service in egroupware. Recently I have consolidated mail for several of …

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Permanent link to this article: https://baldric.net/2010/01/23/life-is-too-short-to-use-horde/