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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.


Frank Bell

Host ID: 195

A Linux enthusiast who enjoys making stuff work.

episodes: 19

hpr1737 :: Five Steps to Vim

Released on 2015-03-31 under a CC-BY-SA license.

The vim editor is based on the venerable vi editor, which dates from the very early days of Unix. Many persons find it intimidating for the absence of a menu bar, a terse command set that is very much its own, and its "modal" design.

Nevertheless, under its plain surface is a powerful and versatile tool. Frank Bell describes his five steps to learning to use and love vim.

  1. Use a .vimrc file.
  2. Train yourself to change modes.
  3. Learn and use a few basic commands. These should be enough to get you going: x, dd, dw (to delete text); cw (change a work); yy ("yank" or copy a line); p and P (to paste text); u (undo); w ("write") or save text; q (quit vim).
  4. Don't force yourself to move the cursor with the h-j-k-l keys if that doesn't feel natural. Use the arrow keys.
  5. Use vim to write stuff.


hpr1727 :: Basic Mutt

Released on 2015-03-17 under a CC-BY-SA license.
Using a text email client such as Mutt is quite a learning experience. Here is some information to help you get started.
The programs that Frank used to set up Mutt:
Getting and Sorting Mail:
Procmail and Formail
Reading and Composing Mail: Mutt
Sending Mail: msmtp
These are the references that Frank found most helpful:
Configuring Mutt:
Quickstart Guide to Mutt:
Calmar on Mutt:
Feeding the Cloud: Handling multiple identities/accounts in mutt:
Procmail (the UMBC link is a great introduction to procmail and procmail's regex):
Mail Filtering with Procmail:
Some Text Browsers (for help in parsing HTML emails)

hpr1377 :: Zareason ZaTab 2 Android Tablet

Released on 2013-11-12 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell discusses the Zareason ZaTab ZT2 Tablet, an open, rooted Android tablet.

ZaTab 2 on the web:

TWUUG Handout about the ZaTab 2 (PDF):

hpr1327 :: Frank Bell Bakes Bread

Released on 2013-09-03 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell prattles on about baking bread while he bakes two loaves of honey wheat bread.


hpr1319 :: Frank Bell Presents HPR to His LUG

Released on 2013-08-22 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Links from the show:

Frank's LUG, the Tidewater Unix Users Group,

Podcast and sites mentioned in the show:

hpr1314 :: Impressions of Mageia

Released on 2013-08-15 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell describes his recent experiences with Mageia v. 2, including upgrading online to v. 3, as well as his overall impressions of Mageia.

Links from the show:

Mageia website:

Mageia Wiki:

About the online version upgrade (from the release notes):

About the Mageia Repositories, including "tainted" repos (from the release notes):

Mageia Forum thread on the "no MP4 audio" in VLC:

About Drak3D:


hpr1269 :: Frank Bell Achieves Enlightenment Adventures with E17 Pt Two

Released on 2013-06-13 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank concludes his two-part series on the E17 (Enlightenment 0.17.x) Desktop Environment with a look at some nuts-and-bolts configuration items.

He covers several configuration settings that illustrate how Enlightenment's various configuration dialogs work, including the

  • Shelf (Panel) and Gadgets (Widgets) in the Shelf.
  • Settings Panel, and, within the Settings Panel,
  • Key and Mouse Bindings.
  • Favorite Applications.
  • Startup Applications.
  • Themes and Wallpapers.
  • The Titlebar Menu, including "Window" settings, such as Maximize, Half-Maximize, Vertical Maximize; and "Remember" settings, such as Position and "Sticky" state.


ICCCM (Inter-Client Communications Conventions Manual):

NetWM (Extended Window Manager Hits):

For a list of links to E17 resources and to listen to the first episode, see Part One:

hpr1248 :: Frank Bell Achieves Enlightenment Adventures with E17 Pt One

Released on 2013-05-15 under a CC-BY-SA license.

There was great rejoicing in the Linux community when the Enlightenment Desktop, v. 0.17 (AKA E17), was released recently. It was the first major upgrade in well over a decade to a desktop environment that many remembered fondly for its commitment to a visually pleasing computing experience.

Frank Bell describes how he started using Enlightenment and what he has encountered so far. In this, the first of two parts, he addresses installing Enlightenment, Enlightenment's "first-run" dialog, the structure of the desktop, the menu, and the management applications and windows on the desktop.

Part Two will focus on the nitty-gritty of configuring the appearance and behavior of Enlightenment.


hpr1199 :: Old Time Radio on the web

Released on 2013-03-07 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell talks about Old Time Radio (OTR), his history as a radio listener, and his Old Time Radio websites.

The OTR Fans site defines OTR as "Old time radio often called "OTR" refers to radio shows from the early days of radio broadcasting. The term usually applies to dramas, comedies, mystery shows, westerns and variety shows that were acted out by professional actors and sent out over the airwaves. In the golden age of radio families would sit around their radio listening to the exciting shows the way we sit around our television sets watching them today."
OTR copyright information:

Old Time Radio streaming and download sites mentioned in the show:

Streamable shows mentioned in the podcast. Note that many of the OTR shows and episodes can be found at multiple sites and that some sites may have a larger number than and different episodes from other sites. I have restricted these links to ones I know will be playable in Linux (in other words, no links to real media format).

Radio personalities mentioned in the show:

hpr1179 :: Interview with Mark A Davis of TWUUG

Released on 2013-02-07 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell interviews Mark Davis, It Director for Lake Taylor Transistional Care Hospital and head of the Tidewater Unix Users Group (TWUUG), an organization which predates the creation of the Linux kernel.

Mark talks about how his early computer experience and he got started with computers and *nix, the history and development of TWUUG, and the history and architecture of Lake Taylor's Linux-based network. He also shares his thoughts about Ubuntu's Wayland project and distributed versus centralized computing, as well as a summary his reaction to his new Windows 8 computer.


hpr1123 :: Move! Bike Computer

Released on 2012-11-21 under a CC-BY-SA license.
Frank Bell describes his favorite Android app: Move! Bike Computer.

Move! Bike Computer use GPS to track your bicycle ride (or your hikes, walks, runs), then computes times and speeds and plots the course on Google Maps. Frank describes how he found it and uses it, then highlights the most important user settings.

The free version displays a small ad in the bottom 1/2 inch (1.2 cm) of the screen; the ad-free version costs $1.25.

Screen shots:

Track Display:
Track Display with Stats:
Settings Display:
Main Screen with Menu Open:

Related links:

Developer Site:
Move! Bike Computer FAQ:
Move! Bike Computer User Manual:
Franks Fuji Sports 10:

hpr1096 :: KeepassX

Released on 2012-10-15 under a CC-BY-SA license.
Frank Bell discusses KeepassX, a versatile cross platform password manager for Linux and other *nix operating systems, Windows, and MAC. He talks about how he learned about it and why he has become a user after years of resisting password vaults.

Related links:
Twofish encryption:
AES (Rijndael) encryption:
Gnome Keyring:
Linux Journal article on KeepassX:
KeepassX Slackbuild:
Keepass, the inspiration of KeepassX:

hpr1081 :: Preparing Pictures for Posting with the GIMP

Released on 2012-09-24 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell describes the process he uses to prepare photographs for posting pictures on his website. The goal of the process is not to transform the pictures, but to enhance them, and includes sharpening, adjusting the contrast and brightness, cropping, and resizing. Frank walks through applying the process to a snapshot from his deck garden.

The unedited original
The picture sharpened
The picture with brightness and contrast adjusted
The cropped picture
The resized picture
Blog post of the picture


The pictures from the podcast:

hpr1026 :: Setting up a WordPress blog part 4

Released on 2012-07-09 under a CC-BY-SA license.

This is the fourth and last of Frank's series on setting up a WordPress blog, now projected to be four episodes.

This episode discusses when and what to back up and maintaining a MySQL database using phpMyAdmin.


Wordpress article on backing up your database:

WordPress article on database maintenance:

hpr0993 :: Setting up a Wordpress blog - tweaking appearance

Released on 2012-05-23 under a CC-BY-SA license.
This is the third of Frank's series on setting up a WordPress blog, now projected to be four episodes.

This episode discusses tweaking appearance, particularly the theme. The next episode will be about maintenance.

Links:'s webdesign reference and tutorial.


WordPress themes and plugins

Connections Reloaded WordPress theme.

GGSimpleWhite WordPress theme.

Report of malware in WordPress themes from Geek News Central.

hpr0977 :: Setting Up a WordPress Blog 2

Released on 2012-04-30 under a CC-BY-SA license.
This is the second Frank's series on setting up a WordPress blog, now projected to be four episodes.
This episode discusses navigating the WordPress administrative interface and discusses important concepts, such as Posts and Post Categories, Pages, Links and Link Categories, and preventing comment spam.
The next episode will be about tweaking appearance.
Links from the show:
Wordpress Development blog:
Wordpress News blog:
WordPress Codex (documentation site):
Wordpress "Extend" site (plugins and themes):
Akismet comment spam plugin:
My Local Weather plugin:
Statpress plugin:
Download some screenshots (JPG) of WP administrative pages:
Contact Frank: frank at pineviewfarm dot net.

hpr0927 :: Setting up a WordPress blog: part 1

Released on 2012-02-21 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Frank Bell summarizes the steps involved in setting up a WordPress blog. This episode covers creating a database and database user, installing the WordPress software, and configuring basic WordPress settings.

Related links:

WordPress Software, including the codex, themes, and plugins. (
Wordpress blog hosting site (
Xampp LAMPP server stack. (
Some other blog hosting sites:
Blogger (
Blogspot (
Typepad (
Tumblr ()

hpr0918 :: How I Started with Linux Part 2

Released on 2012-02-07 under a CC-BY-SA license.
In his long waited second part Frank continues his Linux story, describing how he used Linux to self-host his website from his guest room and some of the things he learned along the way. Some links mentioned in the show:
Slackware (
Debian (
Samba by Example (
The Slackware Wiki (
Linux Questions Linux Forums (
no-ip dot com dynamic DNS service (

hpr0877 :: Welcome Frank Bell

Released on 2011-12-12 under a CC-BY-SA license.

Today our newest host, Frank Bell describes how he started on the road to Linux and some of the things he noticed along the way. In this episode, he goes from a empty computer to one running Slackware 10.0.

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