We started producing shows as Today with a Techie 9 years, 10 months, 1 days ago. Our shows are produced by listeners like you and can be on any topic that "are of interest to Hackers". If you listen to HPR then please consider contributing one show a year. If you record your show now it could be released in 7 days.
We are running very low on shows at the moment. Have a look at the hosts page and if you don't see "2015-??-??" next to your name, or if your name is not listed, you might consider sending us in something.
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NYbill talks about modifying his UNI-T UT61E multimeter to add two features he finds lacking.
In part one an LED back light gets installed for the LCD screen. Part two will cover the second mod, a auto-time out feature to save the units battery.
- The UNI-T UT61E: http://tinyurl.com/ofz8hrk
- Pictures for the episode: http://media.gunmonkeynet.net/u/nybill/collection/multimeter-mod-s-part-one/
Ken Fallon was asking for bread-making advice on a recent Community News recording. I've been making my own bread since the 1970's and I thought I'd share my methods in response. Frank Bell also did an excellent bread-making episode in 2013.
I have prepared a long description of my bread-making process, with photographs and a recipe, and this is all available here: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/full_shownotes.html
- Full notes: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/full_shownotes.html
- Frank Bell's HPR episode on bread making: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1327
- Kenwood Chef: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenwood_Chef
- Panasonic SD255: http://www.chrisrand.com/panasonic-SD255-breadmaker-bread-maker/
- Wholemeal bread recipe: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1827/Wholemeal_Bread_Recipe.pdf
There were no new hosts this month.
Last Month's Shows
Mailing List discussions
Policy decisions surrounding HPR are taken by the community as a whole. This discussion takes place on the Mail List which is open to all HPR listeners and contributors. The discussions are open and available on the Gmane archive.
The main threads this month were:
- From: Frank Bell <frankwbell@...>
Date: 2015-07-04 23:49:27 -0400
Subject: Pictures for uploads
- From: Ken Fallon <ken@...>
Date: 2015-07-11 18:21:44 +0200
Subject: Fwd: [FOSDEM] Next FOSDEM: 30 & 31 January 2016
- From: Ken Fallon <ken@...>
Date: 2015-07-25 15:33:26 +0200
Subject: The Admin email account
- From: Joshua Knapp <jknapp85@...>
Date: 2015-07-27 09:23:43 -0700
Subject: Enabled Outbound Spam filtering on Server
- From: Dave Morriss <perloid@...>
Date: 2015-07-30 11:29:54 +0100
Subject: HPR Community News - next Saturday on 2015-08-01T18:00:00Z
Comments this month
There are 19 comments:
(2015-06-04) "Intro to the Fugue and the Open Well-Tempered Clavier"
by Jon Kulp.
- Comment 1: FiftyOneFifty on 2015-07-07: "Thanks"
(2015-06-18) "12-Tone Music and My Random 12 Tone Row of the Day"
by Jon Kulp.
- Comment 1: FiftyOneFifty on 2015-07-07: "Forbidden Planet"
(2015-06-26) "YouTube Video Subscriptions"
- Comment 1: Kevin O'Brien on 2015-07-04: "Here you go!"
(2015-07-06) "HPR Community News for June 2015"
by HPR Volunteers.
- Comment 1: Kevin O'Brien on 2015-07-06: "Sorry I missed it"
(2015-07-08) "David Whitman reads 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' written by Robert W Service"
by David Whitman.
- Comment 1: Mike on 2015-07-08: "More, more"
(2015-07-13) "Life and Times of a Geek part 2"
by Dave Morriss.
- Comment 1: Charlie Ebert on 2015-07-12: "hpr 1811 Dave Morriss"
- Comment 2: Dave Morriss on 2015-07-13: "Control Data etc"
- Comment 3: Mike Ray on 2015-07-13: "Punched cards in a box"
- Comment 4: Dave Morriss on 2015-07-13: "Notched cards and COBOL"
(2015-07-14) "Headphones and a $2 Microphone"
by Jon Kulp.
- Comment 1: Dave Morriss on 2015-07-15: "Loved the ambient sounds"
- Comment 2: Jon Kulp on 2015-07-15: "Heavy Breathing "
- Comment 3: Dave Morriss on 2015-07-15: "Breathing"
- Comment 4: John Corless on 2015-07-17: "Great"
(2015-07-15) "Apt Spelunking: surf, lightyears, and fbterm"
(2015-07-21) "Gathering Parts"
- Comment 1: CPrompt^ on 2015-07-24: "Great show!"
- Comment 2: Ken Fallon on 2015-07-25: "A series on Electronic Components"
- Comment 3: NYbill on 2015-07-27: "Thanks guys"
(2015-07-29) "Kansas Linux Fest 2015, March 21-22, Lawrence KS, Interview 2 of 2"
- Comment 1: Anon on 2015-07-31:"[no title]"
The idea in this tutorial is to tie together some of the concepts developed in the previous tutorials to create a Master Page, or Template, or Slide Master. (They all mean the same thing, but within Impress they are shown on the Sidebar as Master Pages, so I will stick with that terminology here.) I say we will use some of these concepts because trying to put everything into one Master Page would create a hideous end result. And since it helps to have a definite objective in mind I have decided to create one for Hacker Public Radio, where I record these tutorials as podcasts for the Internet. For more go to http://www.ahuka.com/?page_id=1204
I'm Learning Some Python
Lately I'm finally getting around to learning some Python. I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm learning it properly—that's not really my way—I'm kind of poking around in the dark learning things on an "as-needed" basis, but I'm finding that it's incredibly powerful and making me much more efficient in my daily life. In this podcast I discuss some of my favorite ways of using it and some of the cool modules and libraries that I've found that make things surprisingly easy in Python that used to be difficult for me in
What I Use It For
- Website build scripts, both for the School of Music and for my personal website. Converted from bash, tested and working fine on Windows and Mac.
- Text manipulation scripts, used in conjuction with blather. These do things like change text case, remove spaces, and so forth.
- Text entry. Voice commands insert various kinds of text templates or canned email responses for my classes. Also used in conjunction with blather.
- Adding or stripping HTML tags to/from selected text.
- Getting current weather conditions and forecasts, having results spoken back to me using system text-to-speech engine.
- Fun blather commands where I interact with my computer and have it talk back to me.
Favorite Python Modules/Libraries
|A cross-platform clipboard module for Python. (only handles plain text for now) https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyperclip/1.5.11|
|A Python package supporting common text-to-speech engines on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyttsx|
|HTML parsing library. Beautiful Soup Documentation|
|A configurable HTML Minifier with safety features. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/htmlmin/|
|smartypants is a Python fork of SmartyPants, which easily translates "plain" ASCII punctuation characters into “smart” typographic punctuation HTML entities.|
|Changes all words to Title Caps, and attempts to be clever about SMALL words like a/an/the in the input. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/titlecase|
|A name generator that uses Star Wars characters, species and planets to create un fisique names. https://pypi.python.org/pypi/swnamer/0.1.0|
Ryan Sipes: KLF Organizer; Systems Administrator, Northeast Kansas Library System; Organizer of Lawrence (KS) Linux User Group; with Ikey Doherty, Ryan is a developer for Solus (formerly Evolve OS); a contributor to Vulcan text editor, written in Vala (Ryan's KLF talk, "How to Write a GTK/Gnome Application", was pretty much a tutorial in Vala)
Ryan's projects and employer
KLF related interviews with Ryan Sipes
Evolve OS related interviews
- Lawrence Center for Entrepeneurship http://www.Larryville.com
- Free/Libre Open Source and Open Knowledge Association of Kansas http://openkansas.us
- In an effort to reduce the inventory of loneley beers waiting in my refridgerator for review, I've decided to add beer reviews to each of my tech episodes (hey, nobody complained when Dmitri did it).
Some tips on using ImageMagick
I like to use images in HPR shows if I can. I have experimented with various ways of preparing them since I first started contributing, but I'm particularly impressed with what I am able to do using ImageMagick.
ImageMagick system contains an enormous range of capabilities, enough for a whole series of shows. I thought I would talk about some of the features I use when preparing episodes to give you a flavour of what can be done.
I'm the rawest amateur when it comes to this kind of image manipulation. Just reading some of the ImageMagick documentation (see links) will show you what an enormous number of possibilities there are. I am only using a few in this episode.
I have prepared longer show notes and demonstrated some scripts to explain how I process images. These can be found here.
- Full show notes: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1822_full_shownotes.html
- EXIF Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchangeable_image_file_format
- exiftool: http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool
- Krita: https://krita.org/
Frank describes James Beard's simple and almost infallible recipe for making Hollandaise sauce with a blender.
The recipe from the _Theory_and_Practice_of_Good_Cooking_, used copies of which can be readily found via a web search. According to Amazon.doc, new copies are also available. Frank's copy is a first edition dating from 1977, though it's been used too much to be a collector's item.
From the LAMP Stack break-fix competition, to the breakfast buffet they funded on Sunday, the Rackspace crew presented their organization as the managed hosting company that puts the customer first, by making sure no customer has to wait in a long queue before taking to a human, and to staying on the line as long as it takes to make sure all problems are solved and all questions are answered. This kind of commitment to service naturally requires are larger number of people working tech support, and by the end of the weekend I think it was clear to everyone Rackspace was in Kansas to recruit. I was impressed when one of the Rackspace representatives told me, "We can teach people tech. We can't teach people to want to help other people". Rackspace dedicates a significant part of employee time to training and improving the skills of their help desk staff. If there is a drawback it's that when one shift is training, the other two are expected to pull extra hours to cover the third shift.
LibreOffice Tips: Horizontal Lists
One of these things is how to create horizontal lists in LibreOffice. This is something that I wanted to do, I think it was maybe a year ago that I was really trying to find out how to do this. What I mean by that is I wanted to be able to do in LibreOffice the equivalent of an in-line list in HTML and CSS. There's a way in CSS to tell the browser to display a series of list items in-line rather than vertically—and this is used all the time for footers and headers and things of that sort—and I wanted to be able to do that in LibreOffice because it would ease the process of creating the exams that I make in my classes, where I have a numbered list for all of the questions, and the answers for each question are also done in a numbered list but at the 2nd level—usually done with a, b, c and d, whereas the numbers of the questions are 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. What I wanted to be able to do was have the ordered list a, b, c, d spread out horizontally across the page without having to do it manually. So in other words I wanted to be able to type a word for an answer and then press
enter, and instead of having it go into a new line, have it simply move over to the right a little bit with a new letter in place for the next item in the ordered list. I hope it's clear what I'm after here.
Anyway I never did find a way to do this. I searched online and there were a couple of other people who were interested in doing the same thing but they were all told this is impossible. Well, sort of. I found a workaround for this and it's not all that elegant but in a pinch it could work, and I don't think I would want to do it for an entire test but I thought it was kind of a cool way to do it.
So what you do his make up the ordered list just like usual. I have here on my computer right now opened a document with a single question, question no. 1. And then it has at the 2nd level of ordered list a series of 4 options: red, purple, green, and blue. And each one of these is in a font color of the same name, so that the word "Red" is red, the word "Purple" is in purple, "green" is in green. I do this because it makes it easier to see how these things move up and down. There are little buttons down at the bottom of the screen where if you click on the arrow up or the arrow down, it will move the list item up or down. So right now red is in the 1st position, but if I click the down arrow it will go down to the 2nd position and the one that was formally 2nd is now 1st. So purple and red have switched places.
I want to have this kind of flexibility going horizontally as well, and the way I found to do this was to use columns. I select the 4 items and then under the
Format menu choose
Columns and tell it I want 4 columns because I have 4 items, and I click
OK and suddenly these things are distributed across the screen horizontally. Now if I click the up arrow, the item moves left and right!
The bad thing about using columns is that the columns are of uniform width, so they do not dynamically change according to the number of characters that are in the word the way it would do in HTML with CSS.
To convert a Word
.docx file to
HTML, run the following command (LibreOffice must not be open in a graphical environment when you try to do this):
libreoffice --headless --convert-to html foobar.docx
To convert the same document to
.odt format, run this command.
libreoffice --headless --convert-to odt foobar.docx
- Convert Word documents to Clean HTML: http://word2cleanhtml.com/