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Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.

In-Depth Series


What Magazines I read Part 1 - Tony Hughes AKA TonyH1212 | 2016-07-18

Magazines I Read

Hi This is Tony Hughes for Hacker Public Radio, I'm trying to do a show once a month or so and I was thinking of ideas that might be of interest to the listeners out there.

While there are regular shows on 'What's on my pod-catcher' I've never heard one about what magazines that people in the HPR community like to read. With the advent of digital media and subscription services such as Issuu, Magzter, Google Play Newsstand and I'm sure many others which offer both Free and subscription content I'm sure many of you like me have quite a number of magazines you regularly read, and some you dip in to from time to time. So this show is about the Magazines I like to read.

First I'd like to say that to facilitate regularly reading of digital media I feel for me a 10" tablet is the smallest format for comfortable reading (although for those of you with young enough eyesight to be able to read small fonts with no difficulty you may feel different). However my Tablet of choice is the 12" Samsung SM-P900 which I purchased in February 2015. My only gripe with this tablet is I'll probably never get Android 6 on it as it's now over 2 years since original release. While I agree with Apple that the 4:3 screen configuration for reading on a tablet is more user friendly I can not bring myself to spend that kind of money or be tied to the Apple ecosystem.

So what Magazines do I actually read?

  • Linux Voice ( This is a Linux magazine that was set up a couple of years ago by some of the former editorial team from Linux Format after a successful Kick Starter Campaign. Good content for and about Linux and the Linux community and they support the community by distributing 50% of their annual profits back to the Open Source Community after a ballot of readers. They also release issues of the magazine with a creative commons licence 9 months after publication. This is the only magazine I currently have a Paper subscription to (it also comes with a free DRM free PDF copy for subscribers)

  • Linux Format ( Similar in content to Linux Voice but without quite the same community philosophy, but still a very good publication.

  • MicroMart ( This is a more general computer magazine that started in 1985, as a place you could buy and sell computers and components but is now more of a regular weekly magazine format with news, reviews and articles about all things computer and technology related. As I said in my Journey to Linux show this was the Magazine that introduced me to Linux in the late 90's early 00's. They still have a weekly Linux page and regular Raspberry Pi and other Linux related content.

  • MagpPi ( This is the official Monthly magazine of the Raspberry Pi Community and as you will have worked out is focused on all things Raspberry Pi. Lots of Good content including: News, tutorials, and reviews of new peripherals for the Pi, and since being brought in house by the foundation it has a very professional look and feel about it. All the content is provided by members of the Raspberry Pi Community both from inside, and outside the Foundation. You can get a free Creative commons PDF from the website or to support the foundation you can subscribe to both Print and digital copies if you wish to.

  • Full Circle Magazine ( This is a completely community driven magazine for all things related to Ubuntu Linux and its derivatives. They carry news of what is happening in the World of Ubuntu and articles and tutorials of how to use Linux software for both the beginner and more experienced users. This is a Creative Commons and can be downloaded free from the website in both PDF and e-book formats.

  • PCLinuxOS Magazine ( This is another community driven magazine from The PCLinuxOS community and is similar to Full Circle in its content, with the aim of helping users of this distro to get the most out of it they can. Also available as a free Creative Commons PDF download from their website.

GNU Nano Editor - JWP | 2016-06-17

I recently heard an HPR Podcast were it was mentioned that Nano was not a real text editor. That somehow VI or Emacs or Kate or Gedit were in some way better than Nano. I just wanted to set the record straight that Nano is a serious editor that has a huge following and a facebook page.

My 2nd HPR Beer Podcast - JustMe | 2016-06-15

Hi everyone,

It's MeToo here again recording for HPR with a follow on beer tasting podcast. Let me first apologize for the audio quality of this and the next eleven beer podcasts. They were all recorded live on my phone in the Nobody Knows Bar, so there is a bit of a background noise. I just hope it's not too distracting.

The following twelve beer podcasts were recorded over a period of several months. A couple of them, even though they were recorded at the same "sitting", I've chosen to break up into several podcasts, just so as to add more podcasts to HPR.

In a few cases, it's obvious that I get a little tongue tied. Please forgive me. I normally tend to just have one beer per sitting, but the beer is so good and I'm with friends, and as such have had more than one per sitting at those times.

But enough of the explanations and apologies. Let's get on to the heart of the podcast: my impressions of several beers.

One more thing before we start. The beer in this podcast is Old Foghorn. I mislabeled it in the recording as Old Fog.

hand holding beer

[Audio from pre-recorded report]

Well. there you have it. Not one or my better recordings. But I hope you liked it nonetheless.

So, this is MeToo here signing out until next time, wishing you happy trails and happy beers.

A Nerdy Conversation With Linden About Technology - sigflup | 2016-06-14

In this episode of HPR sigflup interviews Linden who specializes in databases. The subject of this interview varies wildly. All the way from databases to python and arch linux

You can contact Linden on twitter at @tesherista

Developing Black & White Film - handsome_pirate | 2016-06-10

  • Intro to the film and the chemicals used
  • Mixing chemicals with water
  • Load developing tank with film
  • Live recording of the developing process itself.

My Raspberry Pi Home Server - Knightwise | 2016-06-09

Knightwise talks about how he uses his Raspberry Pi to get things done, and keep his connection to the Internet secure and private when he's away from home. He also discusses a number of command line tools that he uses on the Pi which help to keep the workflow simple and clutter-free.

Neo Fetch 1.5 - JWP | 2016-06-07

I was reading Linux Voice I heard Dave Morriss talking about shows and made a sort one about Neofetch 1.5. Its a command that displays system information.

Bring on the Power! - NYbill | 2016-06-02

It this episode NYbill talks about power supplies used for electronics work.

My First Beer Podcast - JustMe | 2016-06-01

Hey. It's MeToo here again. On this episode, were diverging from my last podcast of coffee and switching topics to, wait for it. Wait for it. BEER.

Now, you might think to yourself, "What the heck! Beer?" I know. I know. It's so plebeian, right?

Well. I too, use to think like that. What with the shades of Budweiser, Michelob, Iron Horse, Iroquois, Genesee, etc... All squaw piss. Right?

I was raised on wines & cocktails. But, over recent years, especially after listening to many of you guys' podcast on beer-making and drinking, I became interested in wanting to try some of these artisan beers you all have spoken of. But, being overseas in a foreign country, my chances of such are like a snowball's chance in hell. Or so I thought.

Then came one night when I was on my way to teach a class at one of the local universities, and passed by a newly opened bar with the humorous name of "Nobody Knows Bar." Where, when I glanced in the window and to my amazement, were many of the very beers you all had been talking so much about. Wow! Here was my chance to partake. So, I went to class and afterwards stopped in to the bar.

So, I tried a beer. It just happened to be an IPA. Now, don't get me wrong. Many, many years ago I had tried an IPA and found it far from my liking. So, my first choice wouldn't have been an IPA normally. Again you ask, "Why did you choose an IPA this time?" Well, the reason was bartender recommended it.

And again to my amazement (to coin a phrase), it was great. I guess the reason for enjoying it over before is that, as like everyone, my taste buds had changed. And truthfully speaking, I've come to like IPAs over many others.

So, to no longer digress. Let me tell you what I chose and my opinions on the beer.

The beer? A 12oz. 8.2% Alc. by vol., glass bottled Lagunitas Brewery's Lagunitas Unlimited Release Maximus IPA Maximus Ale. I love the labeling. It reads: "Life is uncertain. Don't dip." Also, "If some is good, more is better." And one final one, "Instant gratification isn't fast enough." What a lark!

Enough diddle dallying. On to the tasting: The nose on this beer is crisp and light. The first mouthing brings a floral, fruity semi-sweet taste. The fruitiness continues into the aftertaste with an added semi-dryness. And yet, despite the alcohol content, doesn't ring your clock. The longer after flavor is strongest on the underside of the back of the tongue. Very pleasant.

So. There you have it. My first beer tasting. I hope you found it telling. And maybe you too will try a bottle. I highly recommend it. I will continue these tasting over the course of time. Now don't get me wrong. I'm no sot. And I still like my coffees, but I have now found a new "like" and it's artisan beers.

hand holding beer bottle

Until next time. This is MeToo signing out and wishing you happy trails and happy beers.

Router Antennas More = better ? - Lyle Lastinger | 2016-05-30

Really complicated phasing of radio signals.

Diagram of a router with 4 antennas

Alternative antenna

Lyle Lastinger

Attempting to fix a plastic boat - Jezra | 2016-05-25

I'm on a boat!

Alpha32's Pinhead Oats - Alpha32 | 2016-05-24

It's oatmeal, I don't know how much we need in terms of notes.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup steel cut/pinhead oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon total allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown/demerara/whatever sort of sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  1. boil water and salt
  2. heat on medium, add oats, spices, sugar
  3. stirring regularly, cook for 6 minutes, or until you get tired of stirring.
  4. remove from heat, add raisins.
  5. let sit for a few minutes to cool/finish absorbing water.
  6. enjoy!

Glasgow Podcrawl 2016 - Dave Morriss | 2016-05-23

Glasgow Podcrawl 2016

Kevie and Dave Morriss chat about the upcoming Glasgow Podcrawl. This year's event takes place on the 29th of July 2016 and kicks off at 6pm in the State Bar, Holland Street.

The event is open to anybody with an interest in podcasting, open source software or creative commons music. Whether you're an enthusiast or just interested in finding out more, also if you're a member of a band, then we would love to have you along for a yarn over a few pints.

Check out for more details and a map of how to get to the bar.

Music on this episode is "Beer" from Darkman Sounds

Building Community - droops | 2016-05-20

This is droops and this is also Hacker Public Radio.

I love HPR and noticing our current need for shows, I put it on my list that I needed to help out. But what to talk about?

Let’s talk about growing HPR. It is a cool show and project, but if the community does not grow the show will end. People run out of shows to host and others have to fill that space.

I think we do a great job doing outreach to the community by going to conventions, getting mentioned in articles and magazines, and being cool with everyone. But as a community we could do a little more to get to the 4000 show mark. Even my lazy butt can help with these things.

First, let’s bring more traffic to the site. To do this we need content, which is really all we have. But we need to be more clever with how we use it.

We need to transcribe all of our shows. This allows search engines to better index our content and bring more people to our site. Maybe they won’t subscribe or even listen to a show with the content being readable, but they were not going to listen anyway by not finding us. This is a big chore and we would need a team with leadership to do it.

We need more popular hosts (this sounds bad taken at face value) to guest host shows and mention HPR on their shows. We used to do this by sending in bumpers like “this is droops from Hacker Public Radio and we live whatever this show is. Hacker Public Radio is a daily show created by the community”. Let’s make a list of podcasters we want to guest host or mention our show and go after them.

Speaking of guest hosts, let’s work on interviewing more people who will put our show on their blog/social media. We did this in the early days of Twatech with Moka5 and we got a lot of traffic from this. I do know that we already do this, but not everyone who listens contributes a show and this is an easy way to do it.

What if we made it easier to record shows? Maybe have an Android/iOS app to record and submit shows from.

We could have a tool to submit show topics or do a survey to find out what people are interested in. This may prompt people to record shows by knowing that someone would be interested in it.

Someone could get some free stock photos (or better yet we could just take our own) and put show titles over the images to share on social media. People click on images. I will do this so that everyone can see my ugly face.

a photo of droops

On that note, how about a video that explains what HPR is. This may be a good droops project. That would be something awesome to share on social media.

The website, which is a lot of work, needs to have related shows listed on each individual shows page. This will take a tag system and someone to tag all of the almost uncountable previous episodes.

One of my favorite show formats is reviews of software/media. This is so much in our community to keep up with and HPR is perfect for this. Everyone should do a show about some unique software they use or a cool book they are reading or a cool documentary they watched. Five minutes about something cool would bring me into learning more about it.

Currently my classes are watching a documentary about the Silk Road called Deep Web ( I should do a show on it to talk about privacy, government, all the cool things it brings up. We have not gotten far into the documentary yet as we keep stopping it to have discussions.

Also I love stickers, we should set up a store to sell stickers and t-shirts. Heck this is HPR, we should have tote bags. We can either sell them at cost or make a profit to pay for hosting or swag to give away.

Hacker Public Radio is driven by the community and out community as a whole is much smarter than I am. Let’s put our minds together and grow our show.

Frank's Five Seed Bread - Frank Bell | 2016-05-19

Frank describes his recipe for Five Seed Bread, inspired by Kerry Greenwood's first Corinna Chapman mystery novel, "Earthly Delights."

List of Ingredients:

  • 1 cp. (237 ml.) warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) white flour, approx.
  • 1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) rye flour, approx.
  • 1 tbs. (14 grams) each dill seed, fennel seed, sesame seed, caraway seed, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml.) coriander (the reference in the story referred to coriander seed, but I didn’t have any of that, so I ad libbed)
  • 1/4 (1 ml.) tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 ml.) light brown sugar

Distro Review: Bodhi Linux - m1rr0r5h4d35 | 2016-05-18

As with my last episode, you may hear some sniffling or pauses as I catch my breath. It is springtime in Kentucky, and my allergies are full force right now.

In this episode, I take Bodhi Linux for a test drive. I'll tell you what I liked, what I didn't like, and how well or bad it performed on my test machine.

How I Came to Linux - Steve Saner | 2016-05-17

I tell the story of how I learned about computers and eventually came to be an avid Linux user.

I've been using Linux as my primary operating system for almost 20 years now. My primary distribution of choice has always been Slackware, but I have branched out to some more "modern" distributions as well, particularly for workstation environments.

I have been an HPR listener now for several months and this is my first show. I enjoy the podcast very much and hope to see it continue for many more years. Thank you to the administrators and leaders to make it all possible. And, of course, thank you to everyone that contributes shows.

A quick intro to OBD2 with Android - pope523 | 2016-05-16

Book Review: The Pocket Ref - m1rr0r5h4d35 | 2016-05-13

Recorded this episode while suffering from some severe seasonal allergies, so please disregard any sniffing, wheezing or coughing that may have crept in.

This is a brief introduction to the Pocket Ref by Thomas Glover. In this episode, I don't go into great depth of the books many topics, primarily due to the nature of the book itself. It is meant to be a reference book, and as such it contains a treasure trove of reference material from a very broad range of topics.

Also, I mention a few other titles in this series - links below.

The DSO138 Oscilloscope Kit - NYbill | 2016-05-12

In this episode NYbill talks about building a DSO138 Oscilloscope kit.

Some basic info on alarm systems - schism | 2016-05-11

A very basic bit of information on some alarm equipment.

Old Engineers and New Engineers - Gabriel Evenfire | 2016-05-10

This is a short episode about a puzzle that I got for my birthday from my in-laws. I gave the puzzle to two of my children to solve after I'd taken a crack at it. It was amusing to see see how and old engineer thought about the problem compared with young ones. Pictures of the puzzle are attached. The object is to get one ball in each notch at the end of the block at the same time.

half moon puzzle from side

top view showing bearings in the centre hollow

bearings are at the far rims of the cresent

Using a Smarphone as a microphone - njulian | 2016-05-06

Hello citizen of the Internet, my name is njulian, and in my first Episode for HPR I want to talk about an App called "Microphone". This App is available for Android in the F-Droid repository, link is in the Shownotes.

All it does is sending the audio input from the microphone directly into the audio output. This causes horrible feedback loops, if the output happens to be the Phone's speakers. But if you plug a Male-to-Male 3.5mm cable into your Phone and the other end into your Computer you can use your Smartphone as a Microphone. Actually I am using this right now to record this show with Audacity on my Laptop. The reasons for that are pretty simple: I don't have enough free space on my Phone to record a show with Urecord and the other is that I was curious if this app really works.

Well, actually there is not much more I could tell about the App. It has no menu, no way to customize it, and as you can hear no noise suppression.

That's about it, thanks for listening.

The App:

The Cable:

Remapping Keys with xmodmap - Jon Kulp | 2016-05-05

In this episode I talk about how I tried to implement an idea that my son had when we were talking one day. I was complaining about file names with spaces in them, and he asked what if the computer automatically changed the spacebar so that it made underscores whenever somebody was trying to save a file? I thought this was a great idea. I even thought of a way implement it, though not quite as magically as he had envisioned. My solution involves the use of the command-line tools xev and xmodmap, and one blather voice prompt to launch the xmodmap command that will remap the spacebar to make underscores instead. Maybe somebody a whole lot smarter than me can figure out how to make this happen automatically whenever a save dialog box is open.

First you need to find the keycode for your spacebar. Run the xev command and then press the spacebar to see which key code it is. Here's the output on my laptop:

KeyPress event, serial 48, synthetic NO, window 0x4e00001,
    root 0xc0, subw 0x0, time 116149126, (-739,-226), root:(448,358),
    state 0x0, keycode 65 (keysym 0x20, space), same_screen YES,
    XLookupString gives 1 bytes: (20) " "
    XmbLookupString gives 1 bytes: (20) " "
    XFilterEvent returns: False

As you can see, my spacebar has the keycode of "65." Now we use xmodmap to reassign keycode 65 to make underscores:

xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = underscore"

Now to test it out. While xev is running, press spacebar. Notice that now when the spacebar is pressed it makes an underscore:

KeyPress event, serial 57, synthetic NO, window 0x2600001,
    root 0xc0, subw 0x0, time 116190619, (-520,-247), root:(667,337),
    state 0x0, keycode 65 (keysym 0x5f, underscore), same_screen YES,
    XLookupString gives 1 bytes: (5f) "_"
    XmbLookupString gives 1 bytes: (5f) "_"
    XFilterEvent returns: False

And to change it back:

xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = space"

Now whenever I want to change the spacebar to make underscores or switch it back, I speak one of the following commands, which are in my blather configuration file.

MAKE UNDERSCORES: xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = underscore"
MAKE SPACES: xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = space"


  • xmodmap man page: xmodmap is a utility for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in X
  • xev man page: use xev print contents of X events

Video Demonstration

Setting up my Raspberry Pi 3 - Dave Morriss | 2016-05-04

Setting up my Raspberry Pi 3

I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 in March 2016, soon after it was released. I want to use it as a server since it's the fastest Pi that I own, so I have tried to set it up in the best way for that role.

In this episode I describe what I did in case you want to do something similar.

Refer to the full notes for the details:

Automotive Billing - brian | 2016-04-29

I get a call to look at my friend's broke down car.

a pi project and an owncloud project - Matt McGraw (g33kdad) | 2016-04-28

HPR - A couple of Projects I've been working on

  1. Intro

    • Please record a show!!!!!
    • Couple of Projects
  2. Pi Project

    • Love of Music
    • Digital, of course and webradio
    • Sonos, other proprietary solutions
    • Got a Pi2 for XMas
    • Pi Music Box
    • RuneAudio
    • Arch Based
    • underlying tech is MPD
    • flash SD Card
    • boot with network cable attached
    • add music and webradios to library
    • .pls and .m3u files
  3. PhotoFrame Project

    • proprietary items
    • tablet/smart phone lying around
    • ownCloud
    • update for my parents on the road

Links and other Goodies

Pi Project
Capital Public Radio
Samsung Shape
Rune Audio
Music Player Daemon
USB Audio Dongle (amazon link... NOT an affiliate link)

PicFrame Project
Kindle Fire HD 6
PicFrame Android App

Contact Info
Matt McGraw - matty at the strangeland dot net
Stay-At-Home G33k Dad ~ Fatherhood in the digital age

The following link includes a photo of the RPi in the bookshelf with the stereo as well as a screenshot of the Rune Audio app running on my Android phone.

Here are my thoughts on a 3D printer Kit. - cheeto4493 | 2016-04-26

I purchased a 3D printer kit from AliExpress.

Here are some after thoughts on how I liked it, a little overview of 3D printers and why I bought this one.

Pictures of the printer as assembled, and a few items I printed

I hope to make this into a series about software, tips and modifications, and other thoughts I have to share about it.

Echoprint - laindir | 2016-04-25

Ken's message asking about programmatically checking for the intro and outro:

The Echoprint website:

Codegen source code:

Echoprint - An Open Music Identification Service:

Server source code

Linux in the Church - Joe | 2016-04-22

Linux has been my exclusive OS for many years. When I became the tech director at my church I wanted to utilize the power and freedom of Open Source so I'm gradually implementing it on many of my projects.

Photo of the rig in the church

A first look at the Owon B35T Part 2 - NYbill | 2016-04-21

In this episode of HPR you get to hear more of the things on NYbill's electronics bench that make clicking noises.

The review of the Owon B35T's continues. Bluetooth is now working. And we get an inside look at the meter.

Understanding the GNU/Screen Hardstatus line - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2016-04-14

Links (CPrompt's .screenrc file) (GNU Man page on String Escapes)

HPR needs shows to survive. - Ken Fallon | 2016-04-13

You can help out the Hacker Public Radio project by recording a show today.
See for more information.

My new laptop - Dave Morriss | 2016-04-12

My new laptop

I attended OggCamp15 in Liverpool at the end of October 2015. As usual I bought some raffle tickets as a contribution to the expenses of the (un-)conference, not paying much attention to the prizes.

Actually, the star prize was a laptop donated by Entroware, a significant sponsor of the event, one of the most impressive prizes ever offered at OggCamp. There was quite a lot of excitement about this prize.

I attended the drawing of the raffle at the end of proceedings on the Sunday. Dan Lynch (of Linux Outlaws, and a frequent organiser of OggCamp) was in attendance overseeing the selection of the raffle tickets. Various smaller prizes were won and the tension built up as the final drawing approached.

Things got very tense when the first number drawn for the laptop was called and nobody responded. Then another draw was made.

Imagine my shock and surprise when I realised I had the winning ticket! I had won the star prize in the OggCamp raffle!

See the full show notes here for the details of the laptop.

How I prepare and record my HPR Kdenlive voiceover shows. - Geddes | 2016-04-08

Hi HPR listeners this is an episode on how I prepare and record the voice over narrations of the Kdenlive article series of which I’ve produced two so far. I run through how I prepare the text for spoken delivery, how I record the article and the hardware gear and software I use. Below are some shots of my recording gear mentioned in the show.











A First Look at the Owon B35T - NYbill | 2016-04-07

You are along for the ride as NYbill takes his first look at another inexpensive Multimeter.

This is part 1 of a quick look at the Owon B35T True RMS multimeter with Bluetooth.

Just got a Raspberry Pi Zero - swift110 | 2016-04-05

How to Point a Satellite Dish - Ken Fallon | 2016-04-01

This show is dedicated to Procrastination, the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.

I've been trying to record this particular show for ages but I can never seem to finish it. I find the topic just too interesting. When I start then I get distracted by some other aspect. Every time I try to record it Murphy gets in the way, with lost recordings and broken cards etc. This is the email that prompted this show.

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: TWAT - Satellite communications
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 12:00:54 +0100

Hi Droops,

I heard your call for content and I'd like to send you some shows. I
don't have a lot of spare time with work and a young family so I can't
do a regular show but I can send you a series on a topic. I was
thinking of doing a series on Satellite Communications.

So after eleven years, I set the deadline of episode 2000 to force myself to finish this show.

Let's start.

What are orbits ?

In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object about a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet about a star or a natural satellite around a planet. Orbits of planets are typically elliptical, and the central mass being orbited is at a focal point of the ellipse.

Newton's cannonball was a thought experiment Isaac Newton used to hypothesize that the force of gravity was universal, and it was the key force for planetary motion. It appeared in his book A Treatise of the System of the World.

  • No orbit
  • Suborbital trajectories, trajectory intersects the atmosphere so that it does not complete one orbital revolution.
  • Orbital trajectories (or simply "orbits")
  • Open (or escape) trajectories

It is worth noting that orbital rockets are launched vertically at first to lift the rocket above the atmosphere (which causes frictional drag), and then slowly pitch over and finish firing the rocket engine parallel to the atmosphere to achieve orbit speed.

Once in orbit, their speed keeps them in orbit above the atmosphere. If e.g., an elliptical orbit dips into dense air, the object will lose speed and re-enter (i.e. fall). Occasionally a space craft will intentionally intercept the atmosphere, in an act commonly referred to as an aerobraking maneuver.

Types of orbits

There are many ways to classify orbits

The choice of which orbit to use is based on the intended purpose of the satellite.

  • Centric classifications: Based on what they orbit
  • Altitude classifications: Based on how high they are
  • Inclination classifications: Based on the angle of rotation with respect to the Equator.
  • Eccentricity classifications: Based on their path
  • Synchronicity classifications: Based on how often they rotate

Low Earth orbit (LEO)

0 to 2,000 km (0–1,240 miles).

  • 0 km / mi - Sea Level.
  • 37.6 km / 23.4 mi - Self Propelled Jet Aircraft Flight Ceiling (Record Set in 1977).
  • 215 km / 133.6 mi - Sputnik-1 The first artificial satellite of earth.
  • 340 km / 211.3 mi - International Space Station.
  • 390 km / 242.3 mi - Former Russian Space Station MIR.
  • 595 km / 369.7 mi - Hubble Space Telescope.
  • 600 - 800 km / 372.8 - 497.1 mi - Sun-synchronous Satellites.

These satellites orbit the Earth in near exact polar orbits north to south. They cross the equator multiple times per day and each time they are at the same anglewith respect to the sun. Satellites on these types of orbits are particularly useful for capturing images of the Earth’s surface or images of the sun

Medium Earth orbit (MEO)

Geocentric orbits ranging in altitude from 2,000 km (1,240 miles) to just below geosynchronous orbit at 35,786 kilometers (22,236 mi).

GPS (Global Positioning System) Satellites reside here. These Satellites are on a Semi-synchronous Orbit (SSO) meaning that they orbit the earth in exactly 12 hours (twice per day)

Geosynchronous orbit (GSO) and Geostationary orbit (GEO)

Orbits around Earth matching Earth's sidereal rotation period. 42,164 km (26,199 mi). Sidereal time is a "time scale that is based on the Earth's rate of rotation measured relative to the fixed stars" rather than the Sun.

Geosynchronous satellites orbit the Earth at the same rate that the Earth rotates. Thus they remain stationary over a single line of longitude. A geostationary satellite will remain in a fixed location as observed from the surface of the earth, allowing a satellite dish to be alligned to it.


High Earth orbit

Geocentric orbits above the altitude of geosynchronous orbit 35,786 km (22,240 miles).

Polar orbits

They are often used for earth-mapping, earth observation, capturing the earth as time passes from one point, reconnaissance satellites, as well as for some weather satellites. The Iridium satellite constellation also uses a polar orbit to provide telecommunications services. The disadvantage to this orbit is that no one spot on the Earth's surface can be sensed continuously from a satellite in a polar orbit.

Molniya orbit

Orbita was a system that consisted of 3 highly elliptical Molniya satellites, Moscow-based ground uplink facilities and about 20 downlink stations, located in cities and towns of remote regions of Siberia and Far East. Each station had a 12-meter receiving parabolic antenna and transmitters for re-broadcasting TV signal to local householders.

A perfectly scaled diagram showing the orbital altitudes of several significant satellites of earth. all planets and orbital distances are drawn to scale and the altitude data was collected from many Wikipedia articles and various other sites.

Atmospheric electromagnetic opacity

Atmospheric electromagnetic opacity


Sputnik 1

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on October 4, 1957. It was a 58 cm (23 in) diameter polished metal sphere, with four external radio antennae to broadcast radio pulses. It was visible all around the Earth and its radio pulses were detectable. This surprise success precipitated the American Sputnik crisis and triggered the Space Race, a part of the larger Cold War. The launch ushered in new political, military, technological, and scientific developments.

ProtoStar II Mission Overview


ASTRA 2G is the third spacecraft of a three satellite investment programme (ASTRA 2E, 2F and 2G) that SES contracted with Airbus Defence and Space in order to provide replacement as well as incremental satellite capacity in the orbital arc of 28.2/28.5 degrees East.

ASTRA 2G carries 62 Ku-band transponders as well as 4 Ka-band transponders. The different beams provide coverage over the UK and Ireland, Europe and West Africa.

The footprint over Ireland and the UK

Components of a Communications Satelites

  • Rocket motors
  • Fuel tanks
  • Solar panels
  • Batteries
  • Computer
  • Antennas and transceivers/transponders

The word "transponder" is derived from the words "transmitter" and "responder."

A communications satellite's transponder is the series of interconnected units that form a communications channel between the receiving and the transmitting antennas. It is mainly used in satellite communication to transfer the received signals.

A transponder is typically composed of

  • An input band limiting device (a band pass filter)
  • An input low-noise amplifier (LNA), designed to amplify the (normally very weak, because of the large distances involved) signals received from the earth station
  • A frequency translator (normally composed of an oscillator and a frequency mixer) used to convert the frequency of the received signal to the frequency required for the transmitted signal
  • An output band pass filter
  • A power amplifier (this can be a traveling-wave tube or a solid state amplifier)

Boeing commercial communications satellites geosynchronous orbit

boeing commercial communications satellites geosynchronous orbit

Finding Astra 28.2E

This is one of the many sites that will give you a birds eye view of where you need to point your dish.

Terms needed when pointing a dish

The azimuth is the angle formed between a reference direction (North) and a line from the observer to a point of interest projected on the same plane as the reference direction orthogonal to the zenith

screen shot of the dispointer page

The Dish, on Kens Roof.

Ken Sat Dish

Reading the elevation from the dish assembley.


Freesat is broadcast from the same satellites (Astra 28.2E and Eurobird 1) as Sky Digital.

This is a list of all of the free-to-air channels that are currently available via satellite from SES Astra satellites (Astra 2E/2F/2G) located at 28.2 °E.

Here is a link to a page on how to get mythtv working with FreeSat.

How I record a full band under Linux - noplacelikeslashhome | 2016-03-31

How I use Ardour, Jack audio, and a Presonus interface to record an entire band practice under linux.

  • Tools:

    • Ardour
    • Calf studio gear
    • Invada Plugins
    • ArtyFX
    • Jack
    • Qjackctl
  • Hardware

    • Dell Latitude e6320
    • Presonus studiolive 16.4.2
    • various Microphones

Truck Repair: Serpentine Belt Replacement - Jon Kulp | 2016-03-24

Come along for the ride as I repair my pickup truck. The job is to replace the serpentine belt, idler pulley, and belt tensioner in the hope of getting rid of a very annoying loud chirping sound that was coming from my engine. Even after cutting out the long pauses where I was staring at my engine trying to imagine how I was going to get the belt to go in the indicated pattern, this episode still tops out at about one hour. Be warned. There are several sections where you're just kind of listening along to sounds of nature as I work.

Here's the instructional video I watched to learn how to do it:


Can your window manager do this? - Nacho Jordi | 2016-03-23

How I'm handling my podcast-subscriptions and -listening - folky | 2016-03-22

Adventures installing Linux on an Asus EeeBook X205A - b-yeezi | 2016-03-21

High-level steps to install Ubuntu Mate on the Asus Eeebook X205A

Information compiled from Here, Here, and Here

Download and create startup disk

Download the 64-bit version of the iso, then create a bootable USB. I recommend using dcfldd.

Getting grub 32-bit

Compile or download grubia32.efi (see links), then move it into the /EFI/BOOT directory on the USB.


Boot from the disk (assuming you already disabled secure boot from the BIOS). Install the system as you like.

First Boot

Reboot, but leave in USB. Type c when grub loads, then enter in:

linux (hd1,gpt2)/boot/vmlinuz.... root=/dev/mmcblk0p2
initrd (hd1,gpt2)/boot/initrd....


To get wi-fi working, put in terminal:

sudo cp /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/nvram-XXXXXX /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43340-sdio.txt

Then reload the brcmfmac driver:

sudo modprobe -r brcmfmac
sudo modprobe brcmfmac

Fix bootloader

Fix Bootloader with the following commands as root:

sudo apt-get install git bison libopts25 libselinux1-dev autogen m4 autoconf help2man libopts25-dev flex libfont-freetype-perl automake autotools-dev libfreetype6-dev texinfo

# from
git clone git://

cd grub


./configure --with-platform=efi --target=i386 --program-prefix=""


cd grub-core
sudo su
../grub-install -d . --efi-directory /boot/efi/ --target=i386
cd /boot/efi/EFI
cp grub/grubia32.efi ubuntu/

Then, we can just install grub-efi-ia32:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install grub-efi-ia32

Edit the grub configuration file:

sudo nano /etc/default/grub

Find the line starting GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT and add intel_idle.max_cstate=1 before quiet splash".

Then ctrl-o, ctrl-x to save & exit, and type: sudo update-grub to update Grub.

Remove the USB stick and reboot, and you should now have a self-sufficient booting system.

Conflict between sdhci-acpi and brcmfmac

Due to some conflict between sdhci-acpi and brcmfmac (, a parameter has to be changed for the sdhci-acpi driver. There are several ways to do this, but a quick fix is to add this line in /etc/sysfs.conf (make sure you have the package sysfsutils installed), this way the option is passed before the brcmfmac driver is loaded :

# Disable SDHCI-ACPI for Wireless, otherwise WLAN doesn't work
bus/platform/drivers/sdhci-acpi/INT33BB:00/power/control = on

microSD Card Reader

Create a file /etc/modprobe.d/sdhci.conf with the following content:

# Adjustment to make micro SD card reader work
options sdhci debug_quirks=0x8000

Then run

update-initramfs -u -k all

After a reboot the card reader should be working.


WDTV Makes Me Itch - Epicanis | 2016-03-17

This half-hour-long episode describes the complete process for turning an old, limited thin-client terminal (an HP T5740) - and incidentally just about any other kind of hardware - into a simple automatic media-playing kiosk-style device, running VLC on a hand-made minimalist Arch Linux installation. I've tried to describe the procedure I came up with in enough detail that anyone with a little bit of Linux experience can hopefully follow and potentially replicate the whole thing, but not so much detail that it gets horrifically tedious. Some of the extra details I glossed over in the audio are here in the show notes if you want them.

This episode will mostly be of interest to people with a little bit of Linux experience, but may hopefully be interesting to a few others. Mac and Windows partisans take note: before you start giggling about how "complicated" it is to set up Linux as you listen to what I describe here, I will reiterate that I chose to do the install "by hand" like this, and I assure you a more typical Linux install is quite a bit simpler (having just spent several months brutally installing Windows systems on innocent computers, getting and ordinary Linux installation finished is not only easier but faster. ("Windows is getting ready to start to prepare to configure updates. Please wait 5 hours and don't turn off your computer...") So there.

I'm also going to try posting an "enhanced" version of this episode in .opus format with chapter markings and so on at my site: Additional information may be found there as well, especially if anyone asks for it.

Some Linuxable Hardware I Mentioned:

Installing linux on old computers, laptops, etc. is such a well-established tradition that I don't see any reason to hunt down specific examples, but I also mentioned:

I assume I don't need to explain that the Dead Badgers thing isn't entirely serious... It's not entirely a joke, either:



Autostart X on tty1 only:

[[ -z $DISPLAY && $XDG_VTNR -eq 1 ]] && exec startx

I actually have also tried the "web browser kiosk" thing with the browser loading up a particular web page on start. It actually works just fine, except that the Windows DHCP server seems to be kind of slow, and if I just let the system start without checking the browser initially just shows an "internet no work" sort of message. I got around this nicely by adding a couple of steps to .xinitrc before starting the web browser. First, I created a graphic to use as an X background that just has text that indicates that it's waiting for the network to come up. Then, I put a loop in .xinitrc that checks for a hostname on the internet to see if it resolves to an IP yet, which would tell me the internet had come up. I didn't want to have to install any specific additional software utilities or, ideally, to have to do any special parsing. It turns out that you can just use "getent ahosts4" (or other internet hostname) as a test for this - it will return nothing if the name doesn't resolve, so you only need to test if the response is not a blank. I used "sleep 1" to pause one second between tries. Once the resolution returns something, I had xsetbg change the background graphic to a more appropriate default and continue starting the browser, the VNC server, etc.

The .xinitrc for that looks like this:

if [ -d /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d ] ; then
    for f in /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/?* ; do
        [ -x "$f" ] && . "$f"
    unset -f

xset s off
xset -dpms
xsetbg -fullscreen WaitingForNetwork.png
#vlc --extraintf=http --http-host --http-password 'PutPasswordHere' -L playlist.m3u &
#Not sure this is necessary - chromium seems to retry on its own
while [ `getent ahostsv4` -eq '']
##wait one second then check again to see if network is up
sleep 1
xsetbg NetworkNowUp.png
##The URL below is a "test to see if you can connect to a conference" link
chromium --incognito --app= &
x0vncserver -display :0 -passwordfile /home/tech/.vnc/passwd &
exec openbox-session

If you have any questions or comments, you can leave them at either

or on my own blog at

Linux from Scratch - Brian in Ohio | 2016-03-16

Fixing Bug 1092571 - Ken Fallon | 2016-03-11

After a windows server upgrade in work, I was no longer able to mount samba network drives from my laptop. Basically it boils down to not been able to mount drives on the console, but been able to browse them in the GUI. After investigating and trying all the options presented, I filed a bug with Fedora.

Despite filling in all the information, the bug remained untouched by human hands. Robots shut it, I reopened it. To be honest I thought it might be my set-up as nobody else was reporting it as an issue. Sure there were other people reporting problems but not attached to this bug.

Anyway I happened to be at FOSDEM ( and spotted Jeremy Allison from the SAMBA project who I had the pleasure of interviewing previously

Jeremy was immediately able to pinpoint the issue to the kernel probably only supporting SMB version 1, while user space uses libsmbclient that supports smb1/smb2.

A Love Letter to - Clinton Roy | 2016-03-10, is the name and website of my favourite conference. Known by insiders as simply lca, it is an annual technical conference, focusing on Linux and Open Source technologies. LCA is a roaming conference, going to a different city of Australia and New Zealand every year. I've helped organise the two lca's in my home town of Brisbane, Queensland, and it was in fact the first of these that introduced me to lca. This year lca was held in Geelong, down in the state of Victoria and it counts as my fifteenth Clearly this conference has become quite a big part of my life and it's probably a mature thing to stand back and have a look at why.

lca is a technical conference, it's not a sales oriented conference, as an engineer having non-salesy, technical content makes me feel at home. For the most part, the paper committee only accept talks from people directly working on a project, so the speakers we select know their topic. lca is explicitly an open source conference, and mostly a low level conference.

lca is a week long conference, so I often add some extra time on the end to make a holiday out of it. A fair percentage of our attendees are from overseas, and it makes sense for them to do the same. I have taken the train to a Perth (Western Australia) lca, that's the Indian Pacific train, a three day trip from one side of the country to the other. I've done a day trip on a train in New Zealand, from Auckland to Wellington. I've done a couple of motorcycle trips, down to Ballarat and Geelong (both cities in the state of Victoria). Those two tours are roughly a 3600km (or 2200 mile) round trips taking three to four days each way.

I've done a motorcycle tour of Tasmania (an island state of Australia) after a Tasmanian lca. Next year, the conference is back in Tasmania for the Hobart lca, I'm planning on doing a week long hike of about 85kms (50 odd miles) before the conference along the South Coast Track.

There are a bunch of people that I only get to see at lca, from year to year, sadly some of these come from my own home town. Keeping these connections strong is an important part of lca for me.

Every year, the parent organisation of lca, Linux Australia holds their Annual General Meeting during lca. I've been an Ordinary committee member on the Linux Australia council a couple of times now. This year I didn't get enough votes, which means I have more time to devote to other things, like HPR recordings :)

Registration for lca normally starts Sunday afternoon, there's often a beginners guide to the conference. After fifteen years, I don't think I've ever attended one, but I should probably help lead it next year..

It's very common for lca to choose a charity to raise money for. For many years this meant a loud, long, often raucous auction. In recent years we've had a raffle over the full length of the conference. We've helped many worthy charities over the years, the one that comes to mind was the 'Save the Tasmanian Devils' fund, for which we raised a substantial amount of money, something around forty thousand dollars, partly based on the auction prize of changing the linux's kernel logo from Tux to Tuz, the lca mascot for that year. Tuz is a Tasmanian devil wearing a costume Penguin beak to cover over his case of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease, a communicable cancer, that is threatening their existence. This was also the conference where Linus shaved bDale's beard off to raise money for the charity.

We often hold lca at a university, and we often use student dormitories as accommodation. If we're lucky, this means that a large percentage of attendees can meet up in common areas of the accommodation at the end of the day and continue the conference long into the night. A particularly memorable lca on this front, somewhere in New Zealand, I forget which city, had a whole level of a student accommodation centre set aside as a common area, so a large percentage of the conference were able to fit and continue the conference late into the evening.

The first two days of the conference are generally reserved for miniconferences, or miniconfs as we refer to them. These miniconfs go for one or two days and are organised around a particular topic, and separately to the main conference. The miniconfs change every year, but commonly include miniconfs focused on the kernel (this is primarily attended by kernel coders), hardware (based around ardunio, raspi, and this year espy), multimedia and music, sysadmin, OpenRadio, Open Source in Government. A highlight from the second Brisbane lca was the rocketry miniconf, where 25 odd rockets were put together and later launched. We've been blessed over the years to have miniconfs working to improve and enlarge our community, including LinuxChix, Haecksen and the Community Leadership Summits.

After the miniconf days are done, the conference proper begins. These days start off with a keynote, have four or more streams of talks during the day, with longer tutorials running for half the day.

My favourite keynote from this year was Genevieve Bell, from Intel. From previous years, Tim Berners Lee, Eben Moglen and Kathy Sierra have left long term marks. These are people who have fundamentally created the world I live and work in now, their contributions cannot be understated.

There are a bunch of talks from every year that change the way I think about something, or the way I work. This year, I reckon the Record/Replay talk will probably change the way I debug programs. RR is a Mozilla tool, you run the buggy program under rr, which records exactly what the system calls the program runs, what state effects the program has, then you run that recording under the standard debugger, gdb. Typically with gdb you can only step forwards into the program, but with rr you can actually step back in time as well!

A hardware talk that really caught my attention this year was the Linux Microwave, a regular microwave with a set of scales and a thermal imaging camera added, so that whenever you heat/warm/defrost something, the microwave will never ever burn/under/over cook the food!

The other bit of hardware that I feel warrants a mention was the large loom that one of our venues, the National Wool Museum was built around. It is programmed by a large bunch of punch cards! There's always local attractions that add something to the conference.

During the week, ad-hoc groups form around common interests, we call these Birds-of-feather sessions. I usually end up attending the Emacs BoF. A recurring BoF is the jobs BoF, where employers and hopeful employees come together.

I don't tend to attend too many tutorials myself. A number of years back I ran a tutorial on Antlr, a recursive descent parser toolkit.

There are a number of social events that happen most years, the conference dinner, the speakers dinner, and the professionals session. These events target the different audiences at the conference. A favourite spin on this was during a Melbourne lca where diners were given food and drink tokens to use around a market, rather than a traditional sit down dinner. The speakers dinner is a smaller, more private thank you to the speakers, many of whom have flown in from overseas. The professionals session tends to be the most varied, as it tends not be a full meal, but just a place where folks can meet, greet and swap business cards.

I can't say it's always been a bed of roses, I've had a couple of hospital trips over the years, one for myself where, along with almost half of the conference, I came down with the dreaded noro-virus, a gastro bug that is prevalent on cruise ships. During another lca when I was chaperoning another attendee to hospital I figured my lca was over, but then I struck up a conversation with our ambulance driver, and it turned out he'd been working on pdp-11s during his uni days!

The other awful lca experience I have to mention was the flooding that occurred just one week prior to our second Brisbane lca. All of our venues were affected, some were destroyed completely. We had to shift our main venue about 5kms up the road, hire buses, find new caterers at the last minute, a whole world of pain.

For many years now, most of our talks have been recorded, using our own recording system. All of these videos are up on the Linux Australia server and youtube. This means that weeks, months after the conference is finished, I find myself watching a recording that someone has recommended, and it takes me back to that one week in every year where the world makes sense to me.

As I mentioned previously, the next is in Hobart, January 2017, I hope to see some hpr listeners there.

Review of Sony Vaio VPC - swift110 | 2016-03-09

  • i3 cpu
  • 4 gb ram (can go up to 8 gb)
  • 5400 rpm hdd
  • linux mint 17.3

Fixing An Audio Problem while having a rant - MrX | 2016-03-04

This podcast details how I solved an audio problem I discovered while trying to record another episode for HPR. I'll hopefully get around to recording my original idea at a later date.

The recording was done in a bit of a hurry and I was a bit flustered so please excuse the fast talking and ranting.

Link to article that solved my problem

Command I used to install the app that solved my audio problem. App is from the standard Ubuntu 14.04 repo

sudo apt-get install alsa-tools-gui

Command to run from terminal to launch gui tool that solved the problem


How to Make Perfect Steel-Cut Oats - Jon Kulp | 2016-03-03

How to Make Perfect Steel-Cut Oats

Steel-Cut oats are amazingly good—delicious and nutritious—but they're kind of a pain to cook because they're so hard and require so much simmering. It can take up to 30 minutes to cook them on the stove top and you have to stir constantly to make sure they don't boil over or stick to the pan. I tried doing them in a rice maker and in the microwave, neither of which turned out well. Then I tried the slow cooker and found that this is the perfect way to make steel-cut oats exactly right every time with hardly any effort.


  • Steel-cut oats
  • Water (4-to-1 water-to-oats ratio)
  • Salt (¼ teaspoon for each ¼ c. oats)
  • Pure maple syrup to taste
  • Butter to taste


Just put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 hours. The water and oats should be combined in a 4 to 1 ratio. When I make this using American measurements, I used 1 Cup water for each ¼ cup of oats. In the metric system this is about 240 ml water for each 40 grams of oats.


Ultra High Vacuum: loading samples - Amunizp | 2016-03-02

I hope this is the correct version of my introduction to Ultra high vacuum systems and loading samples.

Please consult with a professional before using nitrogen and ultra high vacuum system.

Nitrogen is dangerous in close environments as it displaces oxygen so please consult the health and safety risks.

Ubuntu Community donations, Governance and Hardware - JWP | 2016-02-25

I went to -, and to see how donations with the linux vendors worked.

The only one that I found was non profit was debain. It a real nonprofit certification in the USA.

Free/Libre/Vrije Software: The Goal and the Path - Ken Fallon | 2016-02-24

NOTE for mp3 subscribers: On the request of RMS, we are not distributing this show in mp3 format.

This is a live recording of the presentation given by Richard Stallman as part of FOSDEM fringe. It was recorded at Auditorium D0.03, Campus Etterbeek, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium on Jan 29, 2016. You may remember that pokey interviewed Richard Stallman in episode hpr1116 (

The slides for the presentation are available at

Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often known by his initials, rms,[1] is a software freedom activist and computer programmer. He campaigns for software to be distributed in a manner such that its users receive the freedoms to use, study, distribute and modify that software. Software that ensures these freedoms is termed free software. Stallman launched the GNU Project, founded the Free Software Foundation, developed the GNU Compiler Collection and GNU Emacs, and wrote the GNU General Public License.
Stallman launched the GNU Project in September 1983 to create a Unix-like computer operating system composed entirely of free software. With this, he also launched the free software movement. He has been the GNU project's lead architect and organizer, and developed a number of pieces of widely used GNU software including, among others, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger and the GNU Emacs text editor. In October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation.
Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, which uses the principles of copyright law to preserve the right to use, modify and distribute free software, and is the main author of free software licenses which describe those terms, most notably the GNU General Public License (GPL), the most widely used free software license.
In 1989 he co-founded the League for Programming Freedom. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and other legal and technical systems which he sees as taking away users' freedoms, including software license agreements, non-disclosure agreements, activation keys, dongles, copy restriction, proprietary formats and binary executables without source code.
As of 2014, he has received fifteen honorary doctorates and professorships.

BlinkStick - Dave Morriss | 2016-02-22



In late 2013 I noticed the local Edinburgh Hacklab were offering soldering courses building a BlinkStick. I offered to sign my son Tim up to the next course since he wanted to learn to solder. He couldn't afford the time at that point, but we agreed to buy some BlinkSticks to build at home.

This episode describes some of our experiences with building and using the device.

The version we bought and built was the v1.0 release, since that and the BlinkStick Pro were all that was available. The base version now available is v1.1, and there are several other products available from the manufacturer in addition to these. The company is called Agile Innovative Ltd, based in the UK.

I have written out a moderately long set of notes about this subject and these are available here

Horrors of Spam (and the Greater Horror of filtering it) - Josh Knapp | 2016-02-18

Spam Filtering isn't magic. A lot of work goes into helping keep your inbox clean, but there is still more hosting providers could do.

Advanced Terminal Usage: byobu - Jon Doe | 2016-02-17

Long time listener, first time caller, here! My name is Jon Doe, but you can call me Jon.

Today, I am going to be talking about a more advanced usage of the terminal in linux. This basic tutorial assumes that you have a basic knowledge of getting to the terminal, and installing software, so we can skip that, and make my job easier.

First, you have software that you may want to run, and keep running, even if we disconnect, or even if we walk to another machine. Classically, there was 'screen' for this, but times change, and needs advance. My current favorite is byobu, a wrapper for the screen or tmux terminal multiplexers, tmux by default, now, which is a change since featured on episode 770 of HPR.

To run byobu, simply type it's name at the terminal, and watch it's magic. When we say it is a wrapper, this is in double context. It encapsulates the tmux or screen binary in script, and it provides some useful enhancements to the already awesome capabilities of a basic multiplexer, including a nice bar at the bottom, detailing the system stats, configurable to whatever stats you need to display.

A screen multiplexer is an application that allows the running of multiple terminals, and their applications, within a single remote or local window, allowing you to change tasks with relative ease, similar to a window manager in X, but with no mouse needed.

For a basic test, go ahead and hit F2, and you will get a second terminal, the textual task tray at the bottom indicating your current and available terminals. F3 and F4 allow you to cycle between tasks, and F2 spawns additional.

For those following along, go ahead and hit F6, you will drop back to a shell, with byobu running everything in the background, and you can exit the terminal, or run whatever else you need to, outside of byobu's control. Use the byobu command again to reconnect, note that your session has remained open, and all terminal sessions are available for you to peruse. Also note that you can open byobu again, as the same user, both remotely and locally, and keep all of your terminals going, even on multiple systems and screens, at the same time. You can even share the session with others, assuming their ability to login, and cross code, or monitor usage of their session, for educational purposes, or group coding.

A popular and useful feature of terminal windows is the ability to maintain a scroll back buffer, and using a multiplexer, ostensibly, destroys this ability on the graphical side, assuming you are using it in a graphical environment, keeping the text for itself. Fear not, good hacker, for the simple application of F7 will activate scroll back mode, and allow your cursor (or arrow) and page keys to scroll up and down the text buffer. Enter settles you back to the end, allowing quick access to whatever just happened in that specific task windows while you were away.

This has been an introduction to advanced terminal usage, brought to you by Jon Doe.

And for those NPR nerds out there, "This is HPR, Hacker Public Radio"

Adding SQLite as a datasource to SQLeo - Ken Fallon | 2016-02-12

I have been looking for a tool that will graphically and programmatically track identifiers as they pass through systems. I could have done this in Inkscape after following the excellent tutorials on, however I also wanted to be able to describe the relationships programmatically.

This got me to thinking about graphical query builders for databases. The idea is to show each system as a table block and then draw lines between them to show how "Field_X" in "System_A" will map to "Field_Y" in "System_B". Many of the proprietary and some free database solutions allow this type of view. However I also want to easily package the entire thing up, so that someone else could access it without needing to pay for or install any specialized software. That limited the choice of database to SQLite, which is small, supported on many platforms and is released into the Public Domain.

SQLite is an in-process library that implements a self-contained, serverless, zero-configuration, transactional SQL database engine. The code for SQLite is in the public domain and is thus free for use for any purpose, commercial or private. SQLite is the most widely deployed database in the world with more applications than we can count, including several high-profile projects.
Please follow the instructions on the SQLite site for information on how you can install it on your system. For me on Fedora it's simple to install via dnf/yum. You might also want to install some GUI managers if that's your thing.
dnf install sqlite sqlitebrowser sqliteman
I created a small database for demonstration purposes, consisting of two tables and one field in each.

Next step is to download SQLeo Visual Query Builder which has support for a graphical query builder.

A powerful SQL tool to transform or reverse complex queries (generated by OBIEE, Microstrategy, Cognos, Hyperion, Pentaho ...) into diagrams to ease visualization and analysis. A graphical query builder that permits to create complex SQL queries easily. The GUI with multi-connections supports virtually all JDBC drivers, including ODBC bridge, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Firebird, HSQLDB, H2, CsvJdbc, SQLite. And top of that, everything is open-source!
SQLeo is a Java Tool and there is a limited version available on the web site which is limited to 3 tables per graph and 100 rows. Now as the program is released under the GPLv2.0, you could download the code and remove the restrictions. You can also support the project to the tune of €10 and you will get the full version ready to rock.

Unzip the file and enter the newly created directory, and run the program as follows:

java -Dfile.encoding=UTF-8 -jar SQLeoVQB.jar
One slightly confusing thing, and the reason for this post, is that I could not find support for SQLite listed in the list of databases to connect to. A quick search on the support forum and I found the question "Connection to SQLite DB". I found the answer a bit cryptic until I read the manual related to JDBC Drivers, which told me how to add the sqlite library.

SQLeo uses a standard Java sqlite library that is released under the Apache Software License, Version 2.0. You can download it from the SQLite JDBC MVNRepository and save it into the same directory as SQLeo.

Right Click in the Metadata explorer window and select new driver.

For step by step instructions please see

HPR New Years Show Episode 4 - HPR Volunteers | 2016-02-11


  • Can you buy a NEW CHEAP computer that can run GNU Linux?

  • Is ARM the future

  • The HPR audio book club

  • After hours fun at Linux conferences

  • Christmas light displays

  • Southern living and booze

  • Visit Orlando

  • Fun with etching

  • Pronunciation of town names

  • Pranks

  • Naval warfare

  • Some of TwoD's background story

  • Scanning photos and kids' art

  • Strange Steam badge:'/comments/3yyju8/how_to_get_the_red_herring_steam_badge_holiday/

  • Happy 2016 to everyone

HPR New Years Show Episode 3 - HPR Volunteers | 2016-02-10


HPR New Years Show Episode 2 - HPR Volunteers | 2016-02-09


HPR New Years Show Episode 1 - HPR Volunteers | 2016-02-08

HPR NEW YEARS EVE SHOW EPISODE: 1 Standard gauge N scale: 3D printed N scale:

Install Open Street Map on a Garmin 60CX - David Whitman | 2016-01-29

  1. First go to this site:
  2. Then select your map type
  3. Select and download the predefined area or tiles you want. You can download it directly or have the web page build it for you by entering your email address and pushing the button BUILD MY MAP.
    a) If you choose the email option then you get an email that the map is being built and another (later on) that the map is ready.
  4. Unzip the file
  5. Rename the downloaded map to gmapsupp.img
  6. Save your old map (that's on your device) entitled to a different name and then backup
  7. Put the map you unzipped and renamed in its place and make sure it is renamed to 'gmapsupp.img' (omit the single quotes I have used in these show notes)
  8. Use your device and thank OSM

Reasons why I like OSM for use on my Garmin 60CX and Garmin E-trex Vista

OSM maps have more data for my area than the Garmin supplied map World Wide maps are available. See where Peter64, Ken Fallon or even 5150 lives. It's cheaper than buying a commercial map Trails, points and other improvements I put on OSM can be on my map I like the OSM concept and community.

These older GPS's can be purchased for bargain prices. Apparently the suction cup receiver - Garmin Windshield devices can also use OSM maps with other free software.

Grandpa Shows Us How to Turn Custom Pens - Jon Kulp | 2016-01-28

Grandpa Shows Us How to Turn Custom Pens on a Lathe

Warning: this show is kind of long, even though I cut out about half of the original raw audio. While my parents were visiting during the holidays, my dad taught me, the wife, and the kids how to turn pens on his mini lathe. We made a few mechanical pencils, a pen and I also made a giant workshop pencil. Click on the image below to look at the gallery of photos on Flickr.

Pen Turning

[my wife's lovely mechanical pencil]



An Interview with David Willson of the Software Freedom School - David Whitman | 2016-01-27

David Whitman interviews David Willson of Software Freedom School

Kdenlive Part 2: Advanced Editing Technique - Geddes | 2016-01-22

Hello again HPR listeners this is Geddes back with Part 2 in the series covering the video editing application KdenLive.

Last time in part one we looked at Installing, First launch, Your workspace, Importing footage, Three-point editing, and lastly The basic tools.

This time round we’ll be looking at advanced editing technique and Part 2 covers the following topics:

  • A Brief History of the Editing Workflow
  • Editing in the Timeline,
  • Audio Splits and Grouping Clips,
  • Basic Navigation in the Timeline,
  • Notes on Video Formats.

Here’s the link to the original article.

The Kindle/Kobo Open Reader (KOReader) - Jon Kulp | 2016-01-21

In this episode I talk about installing an alternate ebook reader app on your Kindle paperwhite. The one I'm using is called the Kindle/Kobo Open Reader (KOReader), and it has many features that the stock Kindle reader does not have:

  • Epub support
  • Word-breaking hyphenation
  • PDF reflow
  • Take screenshot with diagonal swipe
  • Export highlights to Evernote
  • Fills more screen space
  • User-installed fonts

How to get it running:

  • Jailbreak your Kindle, refer to this post. Jailbreaking doesn't give you any new programs. What it does is unlock the potential of the device and allows you to install different launchers and applications.
  • Install alternate launcher, such as KUAL, the Kindle Unified Application Launcher. This is a framework that allows developers to create menu items that will launch applications on a jailbroken Kindle.
  • Install KOreader. Instructions
  • Install Dictionary files for whatever languages you want to have (optional)
  • install Tesseract language data (optional)

You can allow KOreader to take over styling of whatever book you're reading. If you don't like the style rules it applies, you can hack the epub CSS file located here: /koreader/data/epub.css


ocenaudio - lostnbronx | 2016-01-19

ocenaudio is a cross-platform, easy to use, fast and functional audio editor. It is the ideal software for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without complications. ocenaudio also has powerful features that will please more advanced users.

ocenaudio supports VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins, giving its users access to numerous effects. Like the native effects, VST effects can use real-time preview to aide configuration.



There's not much documentation out there for Ocenaudio. Here are a couple links to articles that might help:

Wok Cookery - Dave Morriss | 2016-01-18

Wok Cookery

Not for the first time I'm following in the footsteps of Frank Bell. Frank did an HPR episode entitled "A Beginner with a Wok", episode number 1787, on 2015-06-09. On it he spoke about his experiences stir-fry cooking using a wok.

Frank got a lot of comments about his episode and there seemed to be an interest in the subject. I have been interested in Chinese, Indonesian and other Far Eastern cookery styles for some time, and do a lot of cooking, so I thought I'd record a show about one of the recipes I use.

My son visits around once a week and eats dinner with me. I offered to cook him my version of Chow Mein, which since he is vegetarian, needed to use no meat. This is my description of the recipe I used.

I loosely based this version of Chow Mein on Ken Hom's recipe in his book Chinese Cookery, page 226. This is from his 1984 BBC TV series, which I watched. I also learnt many of my preparation techniques from Ken Hom's books and TV shows.

I have written out a long set of notes to accompany this episode and these are available here


Apologies for the sounds of a mouse scroll wheel in the audio. I was trying a new microphone position and didn't realise how sensitive it was to these sounds.

The Quassel IRC System - FiftyOneFifty | 2016-01-15

Quassel is a centralized IRC hub that allows several client computers to appear as only one connection to the IRC server, i.e. Freenode. About the same time NYBill posted Episode 1869 "IRSSI Connectbot", I was wondering how to merge all my simultaneous IRC connections from multiple hosts to the same channel on the same server into one connection. I did a search on "GUI front end IRSSI" and came up with Quassel instead. I think NYBill and I are trying to solve pretty much the same problem. I'm not trying to say my solution is better than NYBill's, I'm just saying it's the one that appeals the most to me.

Problem: IRC servers (or at least Freenode) do not allow simultaneous connection from multiple hosts using the same user identifier. I.E., if I was logged in on the PC on my desk via XChat as FiftyOneFifty, if at the same time I was connected to IRC via a PC on the kitchen counter, I would have to use "Kitchen5150" as my identifier. If I was away from home, but left a computer connected to IRC back home, if I connected againover Android I'd have to be Andro5150. I could adopt all these other personas as aliases, which protected them from theft and allowed me to still have admin rights on channels where I was admin depite using a different login. These multiple versions of me running in IRC inevitably lead to confusion about which was the "real" FiftyOneFifty, a situation which MrJackson is all too familiar with, I'm sure.

IRSSI Solution: Connect to a server via ssh, then login into IRC using the IRSSI terminal client inside a GNU screen or TMUX session. When moving between local hosts, disconnect from the current screen or tmux session, ssh into the server from the new host, and reconnect to the session running irssi. The irssi ncurses interface may not be as pretty or easy for some users as a GUI, but I understand it is quite functional.

Quassel Solution: Connect to IRC server via a single host running quassel-core. Connect multiple simultaneous clients to the core via quassel-client. All clients share the same IRC display at the same time, all the while transparent to the server (i.e. Freenode), which only sees the one login from the host running quassel-core.

There are two components two this system, quassel-core and quassel-client. You want to install quassel-core on to a system with a persistent Internet connection, say a home or cloud server. I first used Arch on and RPI model 2, so quassle-core setup for Arch may be found here: .

A. Install the core

  1. Install quassel-core on the server [sudo pacman -S quassel-core]

  2. Generate a certificate

  3. Start core (i.e. sudo systemctl start quassel)

  4. Enable quassel on every startup (sudo systemctl enable quassel)

    • There is something in the wiki about a but preventing the enable fundction from working. "systemctl enable" just creates a sysmlink into the proper startup directory, so the wiki replaces it with a copy command "cp /usr/lib/systemd/system/quassel.service /etc/systemd/system/"
  5. Set up Port Forwarding on your router. I suggest you use an external port other than the default 4242 (Security Through Obscurity, see my Port Forwarding episode).

All the configuration is done by the client!

B. Install quassel-client

  1. All you need to connect is an IP address and the external port number. The first account you create will be master and the only account with the ability to create other users. In other words, if someone else had your server's IP address and the port Quassel-core is listening on, they could beat you to establishing a master account and controll Quassel on your server.

  2. Once you have established a connection to a core and set your password, you can set up the default IRC servers and channels. It's a GUI interface, so I'm not going to walk you through the menus and various inputs. I only had success setting up one IRC server (Freenode) in the initial setup on the first client (as you connect addition clients, you will find your channels are already configured), and then only if I avoided ssl connections. Channels are entered into a list in the normal way (#channel_1, #channel_2, etc), but once you connect to a server, /join commands become persistant. I added a second IRC server, tllts, once I finished the initial setup.

The user interface is similar to XChat,but not quite as polished.

  1. You get popup notifications when someone uses your handle in a chat, but scrolling back to find it, rather than being in a different color, it shows up in a garish reverse text. Easier to spot, but not as eligant.

  2. No way to search back posts for your handle or anything else.

  3. Links posted by others only have "copy this link function", not "open this link in default browser"

  4. I don't seem to have spellchecking enabled in my IRC client. I discovered spell checkwas central in Linux, rather than every app having it's own version (i.e. I assume FireFox under Windows has it's own spellcheck libraries as Office has it's own library). I wonder if I installed hunspell on the Quassel core server, if I would suddenly get spellcheck ( ).

There is a perfectly adequate Android client for Quassel. Like AndChat, YAAIC, and the others, it seems to drop the connection unless you actively participating, but since the server is persistent, you never miss out on what was said while your client was disconnected.

The last time I was awy for the weekend, I shut off all my PC's and network devices. One drawback of a local Quassel server would be my LAN and Quassel Core server would need to be up even when I was away from home.

Migrating Quassel from my local server to the cloud: About a week after I'd set up Quassel, a buddy anounced he had secured a Digital Ocean Droplet ($5 a month, limited storage, limited bandwidth). He was open to letting his friends use the service, as long as their requirements were low impact. I jumped on the oppurtunity to move my quassel-core over to the "cloud". Remember the five and a half steps to setting up quassel-core under Arch? According to my friend who manages the Digital Ocean Droplet running Ubuntu Server, it was pretty much "sudo aptitude install quassel-core". Once the core was running I then configured the new core from one of the clients (i.e., pointed quassel-client to a new IP and port number, then created an account and password). Since I was on a new server, I had to set up connections my IRC channels again. After that, every client I migrated to the new core inherited those channels from the server. A week or so after moving the core to the cloud, I came home to find my Internet had been down for a few hours. Cycling the power on the ISPs tranceiver and my router fixed my Internet connection, and since Digital Ocean had experienced no interruption, I was still able to scroll back to the five hours of IRC I missed.

sshfs - Secure SHell FileSystem - FiftyOneFifty | 2016-01-14

This is a topic Ken Fallon has been wanting someone to do for some time, but I didn't want to talk about sshfs until the groundwork for ssh in general was laid. Fortunately, other hosts have recently covered the basics of ssh, so I don't have to record a series of episodes just to get to sshfs.

From the sshfs man page: SSHFS (Secure SHell FileSystem) is a file system for Linux (and other operating systems with a FUSE implementation, such as Mac OS X or FreeBSD) capable of operating on files on a remote computer using just a secure shell login on the remote computer. On the local computer where the SSHFS is mounted, the implementation makes use of the FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) kernel module. The practical effect of this is that the end user can seamlessly interact with remote files being securely served over SSH just as if they were local files on his/her computer. On the remote computer the SFTP subsystem of SSH is used.

In short, sshfs offers a dead simple way of mounting remote network volumes from another system on at a specified mount point on your local host, with encrypted data communications. It's perfect for at hoc connections on mobile computers or more permanent links. This is tutorial is going to be about how I use sshfs, rather than covering every conceivable option. I really think my experience will cover the vast majority of use cases without making things complicated, besides, I don't like to discuss options I haven't used personally.

There are other ways to mount remote storage, most noteably SAMBA, but unless you are trying to connect to a Windows share, sshfs is far less trouble to set up, escpecially since most distros come with ssh-server already installed.

The first thing to do when preparing to use sshfs is to create a mountpoint on your local computer. For most purposes, you should create a folder inside your home folder. You should plan to leave this folder empty, because sshfs won't mount inside a folder that already has files in it. If I was configuring sshfs on a machine that had multiple users, I might set up a mount point under /media, then put symlinks in every user's home folder.

The sshfs command syntax reminds me of many of the other extended commands based ssh, like scp. The basic format is: sshfs username@<remote_host>: mountpoint

To put things in a better perspective, I'll use my situation as an example. My home server is on If you have a hostname set up,you can use that instead of an IP. For the sake of arguement, my mountpoint for network storage is /home/fifty/storage . So, I can mount the storage folder on my server using:

sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage

By default, your whole home directory on the remote system will be mounted at your mountpoint. You may have noticed the colon after the IP address, it is a necessary part of the syntax. Lets say you don't wish to mount your whole remote home folder, perhaps just the subdirectory containing shared storage. In my case, my server is an Raspberry Pi 2 with a 5Tb external USB drive which is mounted under /home/fifty/storage . Say, I only want to mount my shared storage, not everything in my home folder, I modify my command to be:

sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage .or. sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage

Except that generally doesn't work for me, and I'll come to that presently. The 5Tb USB drive on the server isn't actually mounted in my home folder, it automounts under /media. The directory /home/fifty/storage on the server is actually a symlink to the actual mountpoint under /media. To make sshfs follow symlinks, you need to add the option '-o follow_symlinks', so now my sshfs command looks like:

sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage -o follow_symlinks

You may have noticed, the "-o" switch comes at end the end of the command. Usually switches come right after the command, and before the arguements.

This will allow sshfs to navigate symlinks, but I've discovered not all distros are comfortable using a symlink as the top levelfolder in a sshfs connection. For example, in Debian Wheezy, I could do:

sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage -o follow_symlinks

Other distros, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora so far don't like to connect to a symlink at the top level. For those distros, I need to use:

sshfs fifty@ /home/fifty/storage -o follow_symlinks

and walk my way down to storage.

Other related options and commands I haven't used but you may be interested in include -p , for Port. Lets say the remote server you want to mount is not on your local network, but a server out on the Internet, it probably won't be on the default ssh port. Syntax in this case might look like:

sshfs -p 1022 fifty@ /home/fifty/storage -o follow_symlinks

Reading the man page, I also find "-o allow_root" which is described as "allow access to root" . I would expect, combined with a root login, this would mount all of the storage on the remote system, not just a user's home directory, but without direct expertience, Iwouldn't care to speculate further.

The mount can be broken with 'fusermount -u <mountpoint>'.

At this point, I could explain to you how to modify /etc/fstab to automatically mount a sshfs partition. The trouble is, /etc/fstab is processed for local storage before any network connections are made. Unless you want to modify the order in which services are enabled, no remote storage will ever be available when /etc/fstab is processed. It makes far more sense to encapsulate your sshfs command inside a script file and either have it autoloaded with your desktop manager or manually loaded when needed from a terminal.

One thing to watch out for, is saving files to the mountpoint when the remote storage is not actually mounted, i.e., you save to a default path under a mountpoint you expect to be mounted and is not, so all the sudden you have files in a folder that is supposed to be empty. To remount the remote storage, you have to delete/move the paths created at your designated mountpoint, to leave a pristeen, empty folder again.

Weihenstephaner Vitus - The label says it's a Weizenbock, so we know its a strong, wheat based lager

IBU 17 ABV 7.7%

Kobo Touch N-905 E-Reader - klaatu | 2016-01-12

Klaatu reviews the Kobo Touch N-905 e-reader.

Too Long; Didn't Listen: it's a positive review and the device mostly works well with Linux. There are some exceptions, such as the need to hack around the registration process; luckily, that's easy:

That being "the ugly", here are the Good and the Bad:


  • works with Linux, after one initial hack
  • uses file manager or calibre
  • great format support (EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR)
  • e-ink
  • great battery life (lasts a month on one charge, with every evening and weekend filled with reading)
  • a little more interactive and configurable than expected
  • one device, one app, one purpose
  • small, lightweight, convenient
  • cheap ($60 USD)
  • expansion up to 32gb


  • requires registration (or a rego hack)
  • rearranges your books by meta data; no override to respect your dirs
  • touch screen
  • slow (though not annoyingly slow)
  • long time to index books
  • hard to keep track of books you are currently reading
  • sleep/off screen should be more configurable

Collating Pages with pdftk - Jon Kulp | 2016-01-07

I'm moving into my new office at work, and among many things I had to move are file boxes full of old class notes from graduate school. The academic hoarder in me doesn't want to recycle them—I might need these things again! I'm scanning.

I've inherited an excellent scanner/copier with a feeder that lets you scan stacks of pages with one click. This works great for single-sided documents, but most of my handwritten notes are double-sided. I scan one side, then turn the stack over and scan the other side, and I end up with two PDFs for a single stack of pages—one with the front pages and the other with back pages in reverse order. The difficulty is to collate the pages of those two files so that the front and back sides appear in a single PDF in the correct order. Sounds like a job for a shell script!

The script takes two CLI arguments. The first argument is the PDF containing front pages, and the second is the PDF of the back pages.

The first job is take the backsides and reverse the page order, because they were scanned in last-page-to-first. This is very easy with pdftk:

pdftk back.pdf cat end-1 output backfix.pdf

Now that the pages are all in the correct order it's time to collate them. We're going to use the burst function of the PDF toolkit to explode each of the two PDFs into separate pages. After that, we recombine the separate pages in the correct order. The trick is finding a way to do this efficiently. In concept, it's not hard to collate pages in whatever order you want after they've been burst. You simply keep giving pdftk CLI arguments for all of the files you want to combine and then output them as a single file. However, if you have 40 or 50 pages, it's extremely tedious to provide that many CLI args one at a time. This must be automated!

The way I figured out how to do this was to ensure that the burst command would output files that would appear in the correct order automatically when using the ls command inside the working directory. The burst command automatically numbers the output files, but you can specify certain filename formatting parameters if you want to. I chose a format that would begin the filename with the numerical page count in at least three digits with leading zeros (001, 002, etc), followed by an underscore and either the word "front" for the front pages or "reverse" for the back pages.

So here are the burst commands:

pdftk front.pdf burst output %03d_front.pdf
pdftk backfix.pdf burst output %03d_reverse.pdf

At this point a bunch of new files appear, looking something like this:


Notice how the front and back pages all appear in the correct order? Now, instead of typing in the filename for every page, we can use the output of the ls command, filtering out any files not beginning with numbers.

pdftk $(ls |grep ^[0-9]) cat output collated.pdf

And it's done. The entire script loks like this:


# Requires: pdftk

front=$(readlink -f "$1")
back=$(readlink -f "$2")
basedir=$(dirname $front) 
stem=$(basename $back .pdf)
new=$(basename $front .pdf | sed -e 's/[Ff]ront/Combined/')

cd $basedir
pdftk $back cat end-1 output $backfix &> /dev/null
pdftk $front burst output %03d_front.pdf &> /dev/null
pdftk $backfix burst output %03d_reverse.pdf &> /dev/null
pdftk $(ls |grep ^[0-9]) cat output "$new".pdf


How I prepare HPR shows - Dave Morriss | 2016-01-06

How I prepare HPR shows


I have been contributing shows to Hacker Public Radio since 2012. In those far off days (!) we sent everything in via FTP, and had to name the files with a combination of our host id, our name, the slot number and the title. The show notes had to contain a chunk of metadata in a defined format to signal all of the various attributes of the show. I found myself making numerous mistakes with this naming and metadata formatting and so started designing and writing some tools to protect myself from my own errors.

I started developing a Bash script in mid-2013 which I called hpr_talk. I used Bash since I thought I might be able to make something with a small footprint that I could share, which might be useful to others. The script grew and grew and became increasingly complex and I found I needed to add other scripts to the toolkit and to resort to Perl and various Perl modules to perform some actions.

Then in 2014 Ken changed the upload procedure to what it is now. This is a much better design and does away with the need to name files in odd ways and add metadata to them. However, this left my toolkit a bit high and dry, so I shelved the plans to release it.

Since then I have been enhancing the hpr_talk toolkit, adding features that I found useful and removing bugs, until the present time. Now it is probably far too complex and idiosyncratic to be of direct use to others, and is rather too personalised to my needs to be easily shared. Nevertheless, it is available on GitLab and I am going to describe it here in case it (or the methods used) might be of interest to anyone.

I have written out a moderately long set of notes about this subject and these are available here

Audio Notes

I had to record this in two parts. In the second part there was a constant background hum which I tried to remove. My removal process was not particularly successful I'm afraid, so it cuts in and out. I'm still learning how to do this sort of thing in Audacity!

Quick Bashpodder Fix - Charles in NJ | 2016-01-01

Bashpodder is a great Bash script for downloading the latest episodes of podcasts and other media from their feeds.

There are a few feeds that are not handled properly by Bashpodder, namely, the TED Talks podcast feed and the NPR digest show called the TED Radio Hour.

The URLs for the audio files have a number of additional fields at the end of the string after the media file name, and Bashpodder picks up the last field as if it were the media file name for the show. So every TED Radio Hour episode is called "510298". If you download more than one episode at a time, only the last episode to be saved will survive. Each new file clobbers the last one, because they all get the same filename.

Charles in NJ made a simple fix to to correct this problem, and he shares it in this episode.


Additional Resources:

  1. Original version of
  2. Revised version with fixes to pick up TED-related podcast files
  3. Abbreviated example of bp.conf configuration file that tells Bashpodder what resources to fetch
  4. Abbreviated example of podcast.log that shows how Bashpodder stores its history, including some sample TED links.

Happy New Year from Charles in NJ.

Experiencing the Meegopad T-02 Part two - A Shadowy Figure | 2015-12-31

Part 2 of "Experiencing the Meegopad T-02.

Many thanks to all the HPR contributers that inspire such great stories.

Glossary of slang terms to be updated upon show release, along with the list of sound effects contributers.

Special thanks to the following individuals from for their sound effects used throughout this episode.
Higher quality stereo copies of this episode in .Flac, Ogg, and MP3 format can be found at the following link.
Glossary of slang terms used in this episode:
"Came unglued" = going berzerk
"Sang a little song" = provided information to law enforcement
"Still" = whiskey making apparatus
"Scoring Barbies" = Picking up women
"G-Men" = Government employees. (Federal agents)
"Makerspace" = 3-D Printing facility
"Johnny Law" = Law Enforcement
"C-Note" = $100.00 bill
"Speakeasy" = illegal drinking establishment in prohibition era United States
"68 Chevelle" = 1968 Chevrolet 2-door automobile
"Ratting me out" = informing on someone
"Frank Nitty" = 30's era Gangster, Al Capon's right hand man (Enforcer)
All characters are fictitious renditions of HPR contributers.
Nothing about any individuals character is based on anything other than my personal convenience of using their likenesses in fictitious storytelling.
No disrespect is intended in any way.
The genre that the character A Shadowy Figure lives in is hard boiled Noir.
Noir reflects a past history that had different standards than we do now.
I do not personally hold those antiquated world views. Nor do I promote them through this work of fiction. I would like to think this artistic creation does provide an opportunity to see how far we've come as a society.
But most of all, I'd like to think that you the listener, are entertained and/or inspired by this presentation.
Thank you all for your support.
A Shadowy Figure

Atomic force microscopy - Amunizp | 2015-12-28

I give a quick overview of what is nanotechnology. go over some of the tools used to view the small scale. I go a bit more in depth with atomic force microscopy.

I left many things out that I would like to have said but mostly you can get further information here:

A systemd primer - Clinton Roy | 2015-12-25

1 What is systemd?

A dependency system for unix services.
And, a set of basic unix services to make a unix system usable.
And, a growing list of not quite so basic services

  • NTP, networkd, timers (crond/atd)

From a programmers perspective, it’s the mainloop phenomenon.

2 Alternatives

Solaris: Service Management Facility
Mac OSX: launchd
Ubuntu: upstart (until recently)

3 Replaces

LSB (actually implements LSB deps)

4 Terminology


  • [auto]mount
  • swap
  • path (inotify triggers)
  • socket
  • timer (crond/atd)
  • service
  • slice (cgroup)
  • pseudo
    • device
    • snapshot
    • scope


  • replace run levels
  • default target at boot
  • can isolate to just one target

5 Advantages – Design

Proper, explicit dependencies between system compontents
Starts components in parallel
A proper separation of concerns, lots of situations covered.

  • configuration files are regular, simple to understand generally small
  • OTOH, there are LOTS of options

Configuration is not runnable shell.

Description=CUPS Scheduler

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/cupsd -l

Also=cups.socket cups.path

Separate system and user daemons.

6 Advantages – Sysadmins

Modify configuration without modifying upstream configuration
Service watching (startup, watchdog, failure modes)

[EXTENDED]   /lib/systemd/system/rc-local.service → /lib/systemd/system/rc-local.service.d/debian.conf
[EXTENDED]   /lib/systemd/system/systemd-timesyncd.service → /lib/systemd/system/systemd-timesyncd.service.d/disable-with-time-daemon.conf
[EQUIVALENT] /etc/systemd/system/ → /lib/systemd/system/

3 overridden configuration files found.

7 Advantages – Programming

Removal of some error and security prone code

  • socket activation (e.g. privileged ports)
  • user/group changing

8 Advantages – Provisioning

standardized cgroup controls
debootstrap ; systemd-spawn-boot * systemd takes care of all pseudo file systems for you

9 Advantages – Users

quick to boot
can reduce load later on (services start & stop as required)

10 Examples

Color legend:

  • black = Requires
  • dark blue = Requisite
  • dark grey = Wants
  • red = Conflicts
  • green = After

systemd-analyze blame

systemd-analyze plot

systemd-analyze plot gdm.service

11 Disadvantages


  • It’s really nice in theory, but in practice I’ve found it to be slow and buggy

It’s a little new, so LTS distros necessarily have older versions

  • el7 has something like 200 patches is a bit flakey

  • Unix is a graveyard of IPC, I don’t feel DBUS is much better
  • KDBUS means it will probably be around for ever.

12 Quandries

Deeply hooked into linux specific details, not portable

  • kernel api, cgroups, udev etc.

Some cool features relient on file system e.g. btrfs for snapshot

13 Future

I haven’t had a chance to play with networkd yet, but it sounds like it’s going to be very good.

14 Questions


  • It depends…
  • systemd only supports start/stop/reload
  • work with the daemon: oneshot/simple/forking/inetd
  • integrate with systemd: notify, watchdog


  • Every login, a separate systemd –user is spawned
  • Can override with .config/systemd files

I Found a Flashlight - Jon Kulp | 2015-12-24

I Found a Flashlight

A couple of weeks ago on the way to work I found a flashlight (or a "torch," for those folks across the pond). It was rolling around on the street getting run over by cars and seemingly not suffering any damage as result. As soon as it was safe, I walked out into the street and grabbed it and took it with me. A little poking around online showed me that this was no ordinary device, but a police-grade flashlight.

I contacted the Lafayette Police Department to find out what kind of flashlights they used and whether anyone had reported one missing. Ordinarily when I find something I don't worry about this, but I discovered that this thing cost quite a lot of money—around $125 on Amazon with a retail price of $225—and if a police officer had lost it I certainly didn't want him going into his own pocket to replace it if I could just give it back to him. The police department wrote back to me saying, yes, this was the kind of flashlight that they issued to their officers but no one was missing one. I also asked the University Police and they said they don't normally issue flashlights but that sometimes officers bought their own and no one had reported missing one.

After seeing the amazing build quality and absolutely unbelievable light quality this thing produced, I decided to keep it and so I had to buy a charger to recharge the battery. This cost about $28 and now I'm the proud owner of a Streamlight SL-20L flashlight. This is truly one of the greatest tools I've ever had. Listen to the show to hear me sing its praises!


National Measurements Institutes - Amunizp | 2015-12-21

I give a short personal view on what are National Measurements Institutes. More info can be found here:

One thing not mentioned but related is ISO:

Kdenlive Part 1: Introduction to Kdenlive - Geddes | 2015-12-18

This article has been written by Seth Kenlon and is narrated for you by Geddes. It was first published on 2011-11-16 and some of the commands may have changed slightly. Please see for the complete text.

Seth Kenlon is an independent multimedia artist, free culture advocate, and UNIX geek. He is one of the maintainers of the Slackware-based multimedia production project,

GNU/Linux has infamously been wanting for a good, solid, professional-level free video editor for years. There have been glimpses of hope here and there, but mostly the editors that have the look and feel of a professional application are prone to blockbuster-worthy crashes, and those that have been stable have mostly been stable because they don't actually do anything beyond very basic editing. Kdenlive changes all of that.

At the film production facility at which I work, Kdenlive is the Linux editor in production use, and it performs (and frequently out-performs) the Mac boxes in cost, upkeep, flexibility, speed, and stability. This article series seeks to illuminate for professional editors how Kdenlive can replace proprietary tools, nearly as a drop-in replacement.

A good video editor is one that is suitable for anyone wanting to edit video, with powerful features that enable the video professional to do any task required of the job, yet with the simplicity that allows a hobbyist to quickly cut together footage off of a phone or point-and-click camera. Kdenlive can be both of those things, but regardless of the scope of your video project, there are right and wrong ways of doing things. Over the course of five articles, we will review the practical usage and the common set of best practices that will ensure your projects are successful.

The case to backup Google email. - Archer72 | 2015-12-15

Google Takeout, good for backup of gmail, or anything else from the Google-verse.

Thunderbird email client

ImportExportTools for Thunderbird

How to run a conference - Clinton Roy | 2015-12-14

The slides that this podcast are based upon can be found here:

Waking up - Jezra | 2015-12-03

When I first heard Windigo's episode about waking up, I literally uttered "Windigo, yer fucking killing me, man".

The Linux Experiment - The Linux Experiment | 2015-12-02

Is free software ready for the mainstream? Has Linux progressed far enough in its evolution to be a practical desktop environment for those who dont have degrees in computer science? Can a user really just switch off Windows or Mac and be as productive on a completely open source operating system?

The Linux Experiment is relatively simple in its goals. Friends, all with varying degrees of experience with Linux in general (even some with zero experience and others who have experience with multiple distributions), will install some distribution or another of Linux on their home computers for four months.

Over the course of these four months, the users will administrate, tinker with, and use Linux as their primary home operating system, utilizing the power of open-source operating systems and applications to see just how productive they can be. Updates will be made on this very site along the way, providing an in-depth look into how each user is adapting to their new environment. The trials, tribulations, triumphs, and other nouns beginning with t will all be laid out here, bare for everyone to see.

By the end of the four month cycle, each user has imposed their own goals as to where they want to be with Linux; running a server environment? Comfortable to tinker with bash commands? Time will tell.

For now, sit back, relax, and enjoy this isnt your normal experiment. We are the guinea pigs.

Thoughts on GUI v CLI and the best distro - Ken Fallon | 2015-11-30

Promotion of GUI to new users

Deciding which GUI to present to a non techie, is simply a non issue as they can and do use different OS's all the time. We all have family and friends who have managed to operate phones, TV's and tablets as they iterate through their UI changes. Think about the changes in phones from Symbian to Android, iOS. The move from up and down channel tv's to DVR's, STB's and smart TV's. An then they all managed to get the hang of iPads and tablets without even calling you.

Promotion of GUI to tech savvy users.

Teach someone to use a GUI and they can use that computer.
Teach someone the command line and they can use any computer.

GUI's change and do so all the time. This happens across the board. On all OS's Windows, Mac, KDE, Android, Gnome, Nokia.

On the other hand, if you learn to computer via the command line ONCE, then you know how to operate computers from 46 years ago, and most likely in 46 years. If you plans involve a career in the tech industry, you need to be using the command line.

Most of the issues are the fear of not been the expert any more.

Is Linux is ready for the Desktop ?

Yes. Android

IS GNU/Linux is ready for the Desktop ?

But you cry "Android isn't Linux".

Yes. ChromeOS is now shipping more units to educational market than Apple.


Don't worry about it. Find what works for you and use it. Try and learn as much as you can. Learning stuff that will be around in 5 years is a good investment, but that is your choice.

QMMP--The Qt-based MultiMedia Player - Frank Bell | 2015-11-27

Qmmp is an audio and video player for Linux, BSD, and Windows that's similar in appearance and functionality to Wimamp and XMMS. The Linux and BSD version are capable of playing video as well, through an mplayer plugin.

If you like eye candy, it's skinnable; a library of skins is available from the maintainer. In addition, it works nicely with legacy XMMS and Winamp skins.


Qmmp interface.

Qmmp video play:

Qmmp settings dialog:



Slackbuilds links: Qmmp: Qmmp Plugins:

Wikipedia article:

Playlist (*.m3u) specification:



Creating an Open, Embedded-Media Music Textbook - Jon Kulp | 2015-11-26

Re-Invigorating the Wheel: Creating an Open, Embedded-Media Music Textbook for the Digital Age

This is a recording of a presentation I gave on November 7th, 2015, at the national joint meeting of the College Music Society (CMS) and the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) in Indianapolis, Indiana. I even have some action photos! Click on the first image below to visit the Flickr photo album, which also includes the slides from my presentation.

ATMI 2015 photo Album on Flickr


  • Percy Goetschius. Counterpoint Applied in the Invention, Fugue, Canon and Other Polyphonic Forms. New York: G. Schirmer, 1902. Download
  • ________. Exercises in Elementary Counterpoint. New York: G Schirmer, 1910. Download
  • Kent Kennan. Counterpoint, 4th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1999.
  • Jonathan Kulp, Gratis ad Parnassum: A Free Workbook for 18th-Century Counterpoint. Lafayette, LA: [no publisher] 2009. view pdf
  • Friedrich J. Lehmann. A Treatise on Simple Counterpoint in Forty Lessons. New York: G Schirmer, 1907. (This is the one I found on Project Gutenberg that I did not think was suitable as a textbook for my class)

Resources Mentioned

Watch My Workflow:

Serious Nerds Only

Many of the tedious repetitive processes I had to do on image files and audio files are done by bash scripts that are launched by voice commands, as demonstrated in the YouTube video above. The processes I'm talking about are things like renaming files according to my filenaming conventions, putting the files in the right place, resizing images, converting images to different formats, optimizing them for file size, converting audio from MIDI to ogg and mp3, and reducing audio from two channels to one in order to reduce file size. Below are the main tools I use for this, apart from the Linux bash shell itself. If you're interested in actually seeing the scripts I wrote to perform the magic, I am happy to share. Just drop me an email.

  • Calibre command-line tools: these were essential to automate the process of converting the source HTML file into the various versions and eBook formats of the book. Without this I might have thrown up my hands in defeat long ago.
  • ImageMagick: command-line image-manipulation tools
  • sox: command-line audio-manipulation tool, "the Swiss Army knife of sound processing programs."
  • optipng: command-line png optimizer. This is important to keep the book's file size as small as possible.
  • jpegoptim: command-line jpeg optimizer.
  • TiMidity++: an open-source, command-line MIDI-to-WAVE converter and player.
  • LAME: high quality MPEG Audio Layer III (MP3) encoder licensed under the LGPL.
  • oggenc (part of vorbis-tools): Several tools to use, manipulate and create Vorbis files (vorbis is a free audio codec).

Apt Spelunking 2: tvtime, phatch, and xstarfish - Windigo | 2015-11-23

Welcome to the another episode of apt spelunking! If you missed the first episode, I should explain. Apt spelunking is the act of aimlessly searching through your distribution's software repositories, and picking out the gems that you find. I call it apt spelunking because I use Debian, which uses the apt packaging format.

Let's jump into the first package: tvtime.


The package tvtime is a simple one, but it does what it does very well. tvtime interfaces with a TV tuner - specialized hardware that allows your computer to process analog television signals, via coaxial or RCA video cables. If you have this hardware, usually an expansion card or USB peripheral, tvtime allows you to use your computer as an analog television.

tvtime binds to the card of your choosing, allows you to switch between NTSC and PAL modes (NTSC is what I use, that being the American standard), and shows you a wonderfully grainy video. It has filters that can help smooth out the image a bit, but it's still an analog video.

tvtime is video only, so you need to use something else to handle the audio of whatever you are hooking up. Often this is done by the hardware tv tuner somehow; my PCI card tuner has a 3.5mm jack that offloads any sound received over the coaxial wire, and I patch that into my sound card. RCA cables have separate wires for audio, and I plug those into my sound card via a converter cable.

I have used tvtime to hook up videogame consoles, VCRs, and older computers like the TRS-80. It's helped me to defeat Eternal Darkness, an old GameCube game that is still worth a look, and it's allowed me to digitize old VHS tapes we have lying around. More on that in another episode.

It is a fantastic alternative to keeping an older analog TV around. If you have older equipment that needs to dump analog video somewhere, tvtime and a hardware tuner makes for a great setup.


This absurdly spelled program is incredibly good at what it does. Phatch, some sort of unholy combination of "photo" and "batch", is a GUI interface for assembling chains of actions to manipulate image files.

I use this program for web development to save time when creating static photo galleries or other types of images with similar constraints.

To use phatch, you assemble a set of operations (phatch refers to these as "actions") in an ordered "action list". I'll use my gallery thumbnail action list as an example.

There are only two actions in my thumbnail action list: "fit", and "save". Each action has a set of predefined parameters and options that let you tweak what happens to your files. The "fit" action resizes an image without goofing up the aspect ratio. You give it a box to fit the image in, and it fits it fully into that box and cuts off any extra edges. The most important parameters for this action are canvas width, and canvas height - which tells phatch how big the box is. The save action has parameters that let you set which image format to use, which folder to save to, and even what to name the file. For my thumbnails, I have it use the original filename, and append a "_t".

Once you have your action list together, you can tell phatch to run on an entire directory and include or exclude different file types.

There is much, much more to phatch than just resizing images. Sounds like another episode idea… anyhow, moving on!


I left xstarfish until the end, because it's so much fun and so very, very weird. xstarfish generates a random, tileable background that can be dumped to a file, or assigned directly to the X display of your choice.

It uses some sort of magic randomsauce to pick a color palette, some patterns, and some other distortions to that you get a brand-new, unique background every time you run it.

It can also be started in daemon mode, with a timer, to automatically change your wallpaper periodically.

There are at least two problems with this.

First of all, let's start with the practical. You can set the size of the image xstarfish generates, by either using the -g flag and manually setting the geometry with a pixel width and/or height, or you can use the -s flag and set a general size like "small", "large", or "full". If you use "full", xstarfish automatically generates a full wallpaper for your display.

Since xstarfish generates randomness (which is often CPU intensive) and uses that to generate random filters (which can be hard on your CPU) and can be set to do it periodically (which, depending on frequency, could keep your CPU busy), this utility can be a resource hog. I have two monitors, each running 1280x1024 resolution, and when I set it to generate a new background every 10 seconds... well, it didn't. It just maxed out one of my CPU cores, and spit out a background every once and a while. Cutting it down to only generate a single monitor-sized image every 60 seconds made things much more reasonable.

The second, more pertinent issue with xstarfish is that it randomly picks colors and patterns. It is exceptionally random about it. Imagine for a moment that you needed to paint a room, and you wanted to pick random colors and patterns for a room in your house. You would begin by blindfolding a friend and pushing them into the paint isle at your nearest hardware store. Whatever three buckets of paint they bump into first, well, that's your color palette. What do you mean you don't like orange, sea foam and gunmetal grey?

Then, you take those paint cans and proceed to tie one to your ceiling fan, one to your eight-year-old child and swing the third around your head at a 35 degree angle. Fairly quickly, you'll have your own xstarfish-inspired decor.

With all of the potentially awful things that can happen, I really do like xstarfish. It's not something I keep running all the time, and a lot of the options remind me of early 90s Encino Man fashion and school photo backdrops with lasers. But sometimes the patterns are actually quite pleasing, and if I keep the tile size small, it reminds me of 90s web design.

That concludes the second installment of apt spelunking. Please don't let me take all the glory; take a tour through your package manager, whatever distro you use, and tell us about some cool stuff you find!

Windows Command Line Tips and Tricks - OnlyHalfTheTime | 2015-11-19

Hello, HPR. I am OnlyHalfTheTime, the Reluctant Windows Admin. I am a Linux user at home and at heart. I run VPSs on Digital Ocean, host websites all in Linux, mostly Ubuntu. By day, however, I work for an Managed Services Provider which deals with all Windows boxes.

Today, I would like to talk about some tips and tricks I have come across while being forced to make the best out of a Windows environment. Being a Linux user, I find that many functions are more quickly completed if you drop to a Command Line Interface. This holds true for many Windows functions as well.

First, let's establish the kind of environment you will need.

Unfortunately, there is no sudo command built in to Windows. What we will need to do is run a command prompt as an administrator. On Windows 7, you can accomplish this by clicking the start menu, typing cmd, then rightclicking the command prompt program and choosing 'run as administrator'. In Windows 8 and 10, you can right click the start menu directly and click Command Prompt Admin.

This is almost the equivalent to running as root. You can affect almost anything except some system protected files. No rm -rf /* for you! The windows user most like root would be SYSTEM. Running a command prompt as SYSTEM is possible to accomplish a few ways, but is very very rarely needed. I can make another podcast about that later, but it is out-of-scope here.

Lets get into our first example: User creation is so much easier at the Windows command line. For example, I want to add a local user to a system with administrative rights. From an admin command prompt, I type:

net user john hunter2  /add

this creates the user john with the password hunter2. Then I type:

net localgroup administrators john /add

This adds john to the local group administrators. This group has admin rights on this local machine. Say john abuses this privilege and needs to have his permissions revoked.

net localgroup administrators john /delete

This is much easier than going to the control panel, searching for users, adding a user, defining a password, choosing to make it an admin user. For me at least.

Another thing the net command is used for is restarting services. Does that sounds silly to you? I agree! Regardless, let say you want to restart the print spooler on a troubled workstation. You could open a run prompt by hitting Windowskey+R and type "services.msc". This opens up the services window where you can find the service "print spooler" and right click it to restart. or you could just type:

net stop spooler
net start spooler

This is easier to script as well, in case a user is always having trouble printing. Provide a simple batch file (the equivalent of a shell script) to resolve and get on with your day.

Affecting files can be a pain in Windows as the paths tend to be esoteric and alien to a Linux user. For example. Let's say I want to copy file in the openVPN programs folder to my desktop. I could type:

copy "C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN Technologies\OpenVPN Client\etc\profile\" "C:\Users\john\desktop\"

Gotta remember those doublequotes since Windows has spaces AND parentheses in the full path. Wow. Even with tab completion, that's a lot of work. I have a better solution if you have access to the GUI. Find the file you wish to copy and drag and drop it into the command window. Windows will enter the full path into the prompt. If the files does not already exist where you want it you can't drag it into the prompt. There are variables that can speed up this process. It may not be as elegant and simple as ~, but Windows does have a variable for the local user's home directory. You can type:


But you are saying, wait OnlyHalfTheTime, this doesn't save me any time or keystrokes! This is true in this specific case, but in scripting, it becomes important to use variables instead of full paths. I may not have Windows installed in the "C" drive for example. Also, some are real time-savers. if you use %APPDATA% for example, it maps to C:{username}.

Now, let's say I am going to be doing a lot of work in a specific directory. I could keep entering the full path, but come on, no one likes that guy. I could open a command prompt and cd or change directory, just like in Linux. or I could find the directory in the file explorer and right click in the folder while holding down shift. This gives you and extra option in the context menu named 'open command windows here' which does exactly that. You will get a command window opened with the working directory set as the folder in which you right clicked.

Hopefully some of these methods will help folks like me: Windows admin by day, Linux enthusiast by night. This is OnlyHalfTheTime, the Reluctant Windows Admin, signing off.

Instaling Linux programs without internet - swift110 | 2015-11-16

http://www.supertuxkart,net/downloads to get your copy of the game

MyTinyTodo List - Jon Kulp | 2015-11-12

This show is about my favorite tool to keep track of stuff I have to do, stuff I want to do, gift ideas for my family, books I want to read, HPR topics to record, etc. It's called MyTinyTodo. It's a web app that you can host on your own server and access from any device that has a web browser.

The website claims that it is already mobile friendly, but I did not like the mobile interface they had, and also did not like the fact that I had to use a different URL to get the mobile interface, so I hacked the stylesheet and the index.html file in the code to make it a responsive design. Now it looks great on all of my devices.


  • Multiple lists
  • Task notes
  • Tags (and tag cloud)
  • Due dates (input format: y-m-d, m/d/y, d.m.y, m/d, d.m)
  • Priority (-1, 0, +1, +2)
  • Different sortings including sort by drag-and-drop
  • Search
  • Password protection

System requirements

  • PHP 5.2.0 or greater;
  • PHP extensions: php_mysql (MySQL version), php_pdo and php_pdo_sqlite (SQLite version).


Setup is very easy as these things go. Check out the installation instructions at their website.

Free my music! - Alpha32 | 2015-11-11

How I got my music library transferred from my Mac to my Linux box, thereby allowing me to fully switch to Linux. This is a problem I've been neglecting for a while that has been keeping me tethered to iTunes whenever I want to hear my music. This probably isn't the best or simplest solution, but it's how I felt comfortable doing it.

Installing Windows 7 Ultimate - swift110 | 2015-11-10 is my blog so feel free to check me out there.

User Local Software - Eric Duhamel | 2015-11-09

In this recording I describe how I decided where to store software that I downloaded manually, as opposed to software that is installed and organized automatically by GNU/Linux systems.

SPOILER: I settled on ~/local/src/ and ~/local/opt/

Happy Halloween.

This is my first time recording a podcast. I recorded this in an afternoon when no one else was around except the furry kids and the neighbors outside. I've had the idea for this episode for a while, but having never recorded before didn't really know when/where/how to do it until just now.

The perspective of this episode comes from a GNU/Linux user since Sept. 2012, and a little bit of experience from 2002-2004. I'm interested in easy, simple solutions that everyone can use to solve problems or use new things.

Special thanks to Clacke for recommending in his recent episode the free/open-source Android recording application uRecord available from F-Droid. The resulting audio sounds great and uRecord is very easy to use. I recorded several separate paragraphs and concatenated them with Audacity.

Interview with Davide Zilli and Dr Marianne Sinka of the HumBug Project - Ken Fallon | 2015-11-05

Back in 2012 I put up a blog post on my site related to the need for an Open Source Mosquito Locator. Mosquitoes are the greatest killer of humans per year.

Recently Alexandre Azzalini left a comment pointing me to the HumBug project which is dedicated to Mosquito Detection and Habitat Mapping for Improved Malaria Modelling. I got in touch, and so today I talk to Davide Zilli, and Dr. Marianne Sinka who were winners of the Google Impact Challenge UK 2014.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: Crowdsourcing data to help prevent mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of some of the most deadly and costly diseases, with more than half the world's population living in areas where they are routinely exposed to disease carrying mosquitoes. One of the most deadly diseases that they transmit is malaria, that kills over 600,000 people every year. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew will equip villagers in rural Indonesia with wearable acoustic sensors to detect the sound of mosquitoes. Each species has its own wing beat allowing the research team to record the occurrence of different species, as well as daily readings of critical environmental conditions. Combined with detailed vegetation maps, this will be able to track disease-bearing mosquitoes. Over the next three years, Kew Gardens will work with Oxford University to turn this project into a reality, creating a downloadable smartphone app and a range of wearable acoustic detectors. This novel technology will be trialled in 150 rural households in Indonesia with the aim of preventing and managing outbreaks of mosquito-borne disease. This prototype technology has the potential ultimately to be rolled out in every region of the world where mosquito-borne diseases pose a threat to life.

Their approach is to use a Goertzel algorithm running on either a dedicated device or on a smart phone to identify species. This data will then be used for Habitat Mapping and Vector modeling to try and target only species that are a danger to Humans.

Reach them on Twitter @humbugmozz


my chicken coop - Jezra | 2015-11-03

Door hardware build:

The twilight checker:

A short walk with my son - thelovebug | 2015-10-30

We start the show by saying ta-ra to the wife and daughters and starting on our walk.

Note to self: record an HPR episode about coffee

This episode inspired by jonkulp's emergency HPR episode entitled "biking2work", as mentioned on his GNUsocial post:

I give a brief introduction to who I am, and where I live.

Neewer Lapel Microphones from Amazon UK

The lapel mic issue at our church. £1.50 a piece, rather than £25+ for an official replacement.

Background to my 7½ year podcasting history:

Other music podcasts too

Note to self: record an HPR episode on my journey into podcasting
Note to self: record an HPR episode on my journey into Linux

Metric vs Imperial measurements

Note to self: record an HPR episode on variances between different measurement systems

A comparison between my Nexus 7 and my Olympus DM-3 recorder, both with and without the lapel mic.

Small glitch in the recording resulted in about 5 seconds being dropped, so it sounds a little disjointed at one point

Opinion around acceptable audio quality.
"If you can hear it, it's good enough."

Note to self: record an HPR episode on Auphonic and how to improve audio quality with very little effort

What would happen if Alex slipped and rolled down the hill.
Alex gives a quick introduction to himself.
He's also the slowest human in history.

I did run this episode through Auphonic, which didn't do a bad job in the slightest.
Settings used: Adaptive Leveler, Filtering, Noise and hum reduction set to Auto.
According to the processing results, hum reduction wasn't needed.

It would appear as though I've promised Ken 5 new shows - no pressure, eh.

Contact me:

experiencing the meegopad T-02 part one - A Shadowy Figure | 2015-10-29

This is HPR episode ${1889r) entitled "${experiencing the meegopad T-02 part one}". It is hosted by ${A Shadowy Figure} and is ${13} minutes long. The Summary: "${And now for something completely different}"

Apologies to speed listeners. I just couldn't make this episode speed-listener-friendly.

This episode was made out of respect and admiration for the HPR contributers mentioned throughout the show.


I barely have a clue of what I am doing. And there are mistakes all over the place in this episode. It's just something I wanted to through out there to change things up a little, and pay homage to those I admire, and with a little luck, inspire others to use their creativity to record an episode of their own.

You can do better. And I want to hear what you have to offer.

The meegopad T-02 turned out to be something I wouldn't recommend to others, and the follow-up episode to this one will be a walk through of what it takes to "hack" the T-02 into being something that is usable.

Depending on the feedback to this episode, I can either follow the theme I started with this show, or do a more traditional HPR episode with a no frills walk through of the process of hacking the T-02 to work as advertised. So let me know what you prefer.

Apologies to listeners from outside North America. The many slang terms used throughout the episode are representative of the hard boiled genre of noir to give this episode a certain "feel".

  • Dames = women
  • lucky strikes = cigarettes
  • Barbies = women
  • Kung fu grip = a GI jo action figure feature from the 70's
  • 70 Roadrunner = High performance American Muscle car by Plymouth
  • Posi traction = both rear wheels turn at the same rate at all times
  • Thermoquad = High performance carburetor
  • The elusive split tail blond fox = a pretty woman
  • Dough = money
  • Fence = seller of stolen goods
  • Capt'n Crunch = an American brand of breakfast cereal
  • Multimeter modifier = NYBill an HPR contributers
  • Rig = computer
  • Telnet = the way we used to communicate digitally before the world wide web was developed
  • TRS-80 = an early personal computer
  • clams = American dollars
  • Jacksons = $20 dollar bill
  • sega master system = the predecessor to the sega genesis gaming console (circa 1986)
  • Sony Trinitron = discontinued telivision set
  • Netgear 600= wifi router

Products mentioned in this episode

All music contained within, courtesy Kevin MacLeod of

Sound effects courtesy

  • Lonemonk
  • Rutgermuller
  • dhoy42
  • henaway
  • tuben
  • soundmary
  • knankbeeld
  • inchadney
  • kraftwerk2k1
  • elonen
  • gurdonark
  • cubic-archon
  • confusion music
  • zachfbstudios
  • husky70
  • solis2
  • magixmusic
  • dapperdaniel
  • robinhood76
  • djfroyd
  • boilingsand


Moral Volcano's Linux Tips & Tricks podcast for Hacker Public Radio - Moral Volcano | 2015-10-26

Welcome to my first podcast for Hacker Public Radio.

  1. Like Gnome 3? Good for you.
  2. Don't like Gnome 3 or like Gnome 2 more? Then, get a Linux distro with the Mate desktop. Mate desktop was forked from Gnome 2. Gnome 2 development was stopped by the Gnome 3 team.
  3. After installing the Mate desktop, install the Nimbus theme and Compiz desktop effects.
    I don't have the 32-bit edition.
  4. Have a USB wireless modem? Use wvdial or gnome-ppp with "stupid mode" enabled.
  5. Change gnome-terminal color scheme to Green-On-Black and the the following line to your .bashrc for a colorful and usable terminal window.
    PS1="\a\n\n\e[31;1m\u@\h on \d at \@\n\e[33;1m\w\e[0m\n$ "
  6. Install CMU fonts from
  7. Download Google fonts using this bash script
    wget -r -nc -nd -np -A.ttf
    This command takes a while to parse all the pages and find the fonts that need to be downloaded.
  8. Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal; Jonathan Schwartz; March 2010
  9. Undead Myths In The Wake Of iDead Steve Jobs; V. Subhash; November 2011
  10. Support free software
  11. Firestarter firewall - I think it needs only a little attention from Linux developers before it can be extremely useful again. Most of it still works.

Don't Get Locked In - Knightwise | 2015-10-21

In this episode Knightwise talks about the cross-platform tools he uses for his day job as a freelance IT consultant. All three of the major OS platforms (Linux, OS X and Windows) have their strengths, so by leveraging systems from across all ecosystems Knightwise can use what he feels is the best tool for any individual task.

Use the tool that's right for you without letting the fanboys or the zealots get in your way.

How I Compute Away From My Computer - Thaj Sara | 2015-10-20

Here is a list of the stuff I bought, as well as the apps I list in the episode:

Free/Open Source Android Apps:

  • AntennaPod
  • Atomic
  • ChatSecure
  • Connectbot (honorable mention to Irissi Connectbot)
  • FB Reader
  • F-Droid
  • HN
  • NewPipe
  • K9 Mail
  • Orbot
  • Orweb
  • Owncloud
  • OwnNote
  • Pixel Dungeon
  • Plumble
  • RedReader
  • Termux
  • Twidere
  • VLC

Not so Free/Open Source Android Apps:

  • LastPass
  • ezPDF Reader
  • News+

Hacking a Belt to Make it Fit - Jon Kulp | 2015-10-15

In this episode I talk while I'm performing a belt hack. I bought a belt at Goodwill that is in excellent condition but does not fit me. To make it fit I need to cut off 6.25 inches and then put it back together.

This is the belt as I got it. Notice the very small screws holding the buckle to the belt.

The Buckle

The screws are out, the belt removed from the buckle. You can see here the two holes that accommodate the screws as well as the rectangular notch.

Buckle detached from belt

I've cut off 6.25" from the belt, ready to make the holes and notch in the remaining part.

6.25" cut off

Here I've clamped the part of the belt that I cut off to the remaining part to use as a template for making the holes and the notch.

Hole-and-notch template clamped to the belt

Holes and notch cut in the remaining part of the belt. Doesn't look as nice as the original but it should work.

Holes and notch are cut

All done. Belt is reassembled and I'm wearing it, fits just right!

Perfect fit

Recording HPR on the fly on your Android phone - clacke | 2015-10-13

This episode was produced entirely on my phone, including upload.

Apologies for the atrocious sound quality and the low volume. Consider it performance art. I know I need to speak closer to the phone next time. There's DroidGain, but I guess it only accepts mp3.

TL;DL: Install Urecord from F-Droid, choose 44.1 kHz, RECORD!

I estimate the total amount of time spent on this episode at:

  • 20 mins – installing apps on two phones
  • 20 mins – evaluate apps on two phones (while cooking!)
  • 6 mins – record episode
  • 10 mins – update HPR user profile
  • 30 mins – write show notes (while having dinner!)
  • 15 mins – figure out how to upload this thing from a phone
  • ?? – upload episode

A large part of the typing time was angle brackets. HATE screen input. I want a modern phone with sliding QWERTY like the good old X10 Mini Pro, or maybe the slightly larger HTC Desire Z. Apparently the market doesn't. :-(

Wow, turns out the difficult part was to upload the file. Had to use a file manager as a "provider" for Firefox to get the "document" from.

MicrobeLog, or: On Shaving Yaks and Doing Things - clacke | 2015-10-12

The MicrobeLog overview:

hpr1726 :: 15 Excuses not to Record a show for HPR:

I think I've pretty much had to fight excuses 5, 7, 10 and 12. :-)

Interview with Droops - Ken Fallon | 2015-10-08

We started producing shows as Today with a Techie 10 years ago this weekend. To mark the project we track down droops one of the founders and ask him about the early days.

About HPR.

Hacker Public Radio (HPR) is an Internet Radio show (podcast) that releases shows every weekday Monday through Friday. HPR has a long lineage going back to Radio FreeK America, Binary Revolution Radio & Infonomicon, and it is a direct continuation of Twatech radio. Please listen to StankDawg's "Introduction to HPR" for more information.

What differentiates HPR from other podcasts is that the shows are produced by the community - fellow listeners like you. There is no restrictions on how long the show can be, nor on the topic you can cover as long as they "are of interest to Hackers". If you want to see what topics have been covered so far just have a look at our Archive. We also allow for a series of shows so that host(s) can go into more detail on a topic.

You can download/listen to the show here or you can subscribe to the show in your favorite podcatching client (like BashPodder) to automatically get our new shows as soon as they are available. You can copy and redistribute the shows for free provided you adhere to the Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 3.0 License.

We do not filter the shows in any way other than to check if they are audible and not blatant attempts at spam.

Hacker Public Radio is dedicated to sharing knowledge. We do not accept donations, but if you listen to HPR, then we would love you to contribute one show a year.

In the Press.


Sim City BuildIt September 2015 - swift110 | 2015-10-06

Definately focus on getting enough golden keys as it allows you to get some very good buildings

Irssi Connectbot - NYbill | 2015-10-01

NYbill talks about setting up Irssi Connectbot on a Android phone to access IRC.

I don't know him. But, thanks for this handy guide on setting up key pairs with Connectbot, Michael:

Glasgow Podcrawl review - Dave Morriss | 2015-09-30

Glasgow Podcrawl review

The second Glasgow Podcrawl took place on the 10th of July 2015. The participants were:

The event started at 6pm in the State Bar on Holland Street, moved on to the Bon Accord, the Inn Deep and finally to the Three Judges.

Dave Morriss departed after visiting the second bar to head back to Edinburgh, but everyone else lasted to the very end!

In this episode hear the details of this singular event, and a whole lot about many other things.

The Lafayette Public Library Maker Space - Jon Kulp | 2015-09-29

The Lafayette Public Library Maker Space

Exterior photograph of the downtown Lafayette Public Library

The Renovated Main Library

Large table with sewing machine

Sewing Area

Display case in maker area with laser etched rolling pin

Rolling pin with laser-etched π symbols

Array of comfy chairs in a circle with a basket of knitting materials nearby

Knitting Area

Triangular table with laptops and tubs of Lego robotics parts

Lego Robotics Space

One of the 3d printers in the maker space

The Ultimaker2

Close up image of the display panel on 3d printer

Trying to print my Kindle paperwhite stand.

The other 3d printer in the maker space

The Taz 3D printer by Lulzbot

The finished Kindle stand:

My new Kindle stand printed using blue filament

It worked! Bad part of this design is that it does not accommodate the case that I have on my Kindle, so to use the stand with the Kindle I'll have to remove the case. The next photo shows my son's nook color sitting sideways on it. I might try to modify the design so that it will accommodate the Kindle with its case and also prop it up a bit more vertically. Still, this was a really fun experiment with my first 3d printout.

Kindle stand holding a Nook Color in landscape position



An awkward talk with two young computer users - Quvmoh | 2015-09-28

Quvmoh speaks with Eric 15 and Emily 10 about their computer usage and implore others to contribute to HPR

Turning an old printer into a network printer - Dave Morriss | 2015-09-24


I have a USB printer I bought back in 2005 when I bought a Windows PC for the family. It's an HP PSC 2410 PhotoSmart All-in-One printer. This device is a colour inkjet printer, with a scanner, FAX and card-reading facilities. It has been left unused in a corner for many years, and I recently decided to to see if I could make use of it again, so I cleaned it up and bought some new ink cartridges for it.

It is possible to use this printer on Linux using CUPS for the printing and SANE for scanning. I connected it to my Linux desktop for a while to prove that it was usable. However, rather than leaving it connected in this way, I wanted to turn it into a network printer that could be used by the rest of the family. My kids are mostly away at university these days but invariably need to print stuff when they pass through. I searched the Internet and found an article in the Raspberry Pi Geek magazine which helped with this project.

Full Notes

Since the notes explaining this subject are long, they have been placed here:

  1. HP PSC 2410 PhotoSmart All-in-One printer:
  2. main web site:
  3. CUPS Wikipedia entry:
  4. HP Linux Imaging and Printing (HPLIP):
  5. Scanner Access Now Easy (SANE):
  6. "Converting the Raspberry Pi to a wireless print server" from the Raspberry Pi Geek magazine:
  7. Linux Foundation OpenPrinting work group:
  8. Arch Wiki on CUPS - Linux Server Windows Client:
  9. Internet Printing Protocol (IPP):

The Awesomely Epic Guide To KDE Part 2 - Geddes | 2015-09-23

Hello my name is Geddes and this is my second HPR Episode. Its part 2 of an audio voice recording of an article entitled THE AWESOMELY EPIC GUIDE TO KDE. This is a tutorial on the KDE Desktop, which I did for Linux Voice Magazine back at the start of 2015. In this half the topics I cover are - Upgrade Launch Menu, File Management, Window Management, and Visual Effects.

The Awesomely Epic Guide To KDE Part 1 - Geddes | 2015-09-22

Hello my name is Geddes and this is my first HPR Episode. Its part 1 of an audio voice recording of an article entitled THE AWESOMELY EPIC GUIDE TO KDE. This is a tutorial on the KDE Desktop, which I did for Linux Voice Magazine back at the start of 2015. Its primarily in response to the call from HPR for more shows, but in my introduction I've also mentioned a few other reasons which I hope listeners will find interesting, a couple are around the issues of diversity and accessibility.

Cool Stuff pt. 4 - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2015-09-21


A great command line music player

CMUS Home Page:

A good guide:

Song Exploder

Podcast where musicians take apart their songs bit by bit

Mr. Robot

"Follows a young computer programmer (Malek) who suffers from social anxiety disorder and forms connections through hacking. He's recruited by a mysterious anarchist, who calls himself Mr. Robot."

The pilot for Mr. Robot was directed by Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)

Directed by:

  • Sam Esmail


  • Rami Malek
  • Christian Slater
  • Carly Chaikin
  • Portia Doubleday
  • Martin Wallstrm

Multimeter Mod's Part 2 - NYbill | 2015-09-16

NYbill talks about the second modification to his UNI-T UT61E multimeter. In this episode the switch and auto-timeout circuitry is installed.

This is a follow up to Multimeter Mod's Part 1:

A video of Asphere's 3D printer in action:

Pictures for the episode:

ssh config - klaatu | 2015-09-14

Put a file called 'config' into ~/.ssh and you can define any option you would normally provide as part of the command as an automatically-detected configuration.

For example:

host foo
    identityfile /home/klaatu/.ssh/foo_rsa
    port 2740
    protocol 2

Makes the command 'ssh klaatu@foo' look like this to SSH:

ssh -p2740 -i ~/.ssh/foo_rsa

Installing Ubuntu on the Asus TP500L - Jon Kulp | 2015-09-10

  1. Getting to BIOS
    1. In Windows, go to Settings
    2. Search for advanced startup options
    3. Follow your nose to Boot to UEFI settings
    4. Can also get there by doing Shift+click on the Restart or Shutdown buttons then clicking through to advanced options until you find "enter setup." Pressing F2 never worked for me
  2. In the BIOS
    1. Security tab: disable "Secure Boot Control"
    2. Boot tab: disable "Fast Boot"
    3. Boot tab: Here Asus support says to enable "launch CSM" (Compatibility Support Mode) but it wouldn't boot from the Ubuntu USB image this way. It worked when I left CSM disabled. I bet CSM works with a Windows or DOS USB.
  3. Plug in USB with Ubuntu image on it
  4. Restart computer and hold ESC key down, forcing windows boot menu to appear
  5. Choose the USB drive to boot from, off you go!


I < 3 Vista - Alpha32 | 2015-09-09

I talk about how Vista got me into Linux, and my computing experience in general.

Operation Wallacea - Dave Morriss | 2015-09-08

Operation Wallacea

This summer my daughter Clara spent a month as a volunteer Research Assistant on Hoga Island in Indonesia learning to dive and helping to survey the coral reef and other habitats.

In this episode we talk about Clara's experiences with Operation Wallacea.


1 Welcome to Hoga Island
1 Welcome to Hoga Island
2 Relaxing near the Lodge
2 Relaxing near the Lodge
3 Beach
3 Beach
4 Soft and hard corals
4 Soft and hard corals
5 Divers and soft corals
5 Divers and soft corals
6 Upside-down jellyfish
6 Upside-down jellyfish
7 Mangroves
7 Mangroves
8 Humbug Damselfish
8 Humbug Damselfish
9 Blue Damselfish
9 Blue Damselfish
10 The hut from inside
10 The hut from inside
11 The hut's verandah
11 The hut's verandah
12 The Shop
12 The Shop


LinuxLugCast Episode-004 Outtakes - Kevin Wisher | 2015-09-03

Some good content that we do not publish to the show

Introduction to w3m, a Command Line Web Browser - Frank Bell | 2015-09-02

W3M is a text browser with image and tab support which supports both keyboard and mouse navigation. (Image support is not available in some terminals, but does work in Xterm and rxvt, but images may be opened in a external viewer)). Mouse and keyboard navigation are supported, but I recommend learning the keybindings. Keybindings are case sensitive.

The manual is 12 pages long and quite exhaustive. Here are some useful keybindings to get started with.

  • Open new tab: SHIFT-T
  • Close tab: CTRL-Q

  • Open URL: U (opens text dialog at bottom of window)
  • See URL of current page: u (displays current URL at bottom of window)
  • Close tab: CTRL Q

  • Go left one tab: {
  • Go right one tab: }

  • Back in the same page: b

  • Page Up: - (hyphen) or PG UP
  • Page Down: SPACE or PG DOWN

  • Previous page ("Buffer"): B
  • There is no "forward" button, but you can use view History: CTRL-h

  • Search in page: / (opens search dialog at bottom of window)

  • Help: H

  • Add bookmark: ESC-a
  • View bookmarks: ESC-v

  • Run shell command: # (Opens a dialog at the bottom of the window. Exit with B.)

  • Paste into dialogs (e. g., passwords): Middle mouse button.

  • Scroll left: . (period)
  • Scroll right: , (comma)

Client Side C- WTF Is Wrong With You? - sigflup | 2015-09-01

This is the link to the emulator:

emscripten's website is here

UNI-T UT61E Review - NYbill | 2015-08-31

NYbill does a quick review of his favourite multimeter for electronics, the UNI-T UT61E:

A photo of the inside and outside of the meter:
picture of the inside of the meter

I forgot to mention or show a picture of the data logging cable. I never use this feature so I tend to forget its there.

The Marantz PMD 660 Professional Solid State Recorder - Jon Kulp | 2015-08-27

The Marantz PMD 660 Professional Solid State Recorder

I inherited a really nice audio recorder and microphone from my mother-in-law recently and in this episode I talk all about it and use the new device to record the show.




Running external commands in Kate - Ken Fallon | 2015-08-21

Kate is an excellent text editor. The "Text Filter" - enables easy text filtering, which by pressing Alt + Backslash pops up a screen that allows you to enter commands.

popup window showing the command

Settings > Configure Kate > Plugins > Text Filter

Kate (short for KDE Advanced Text Editor) is a text editor developed by KDE. It has been a part of KDE Software Compilation since version 2.2, which was first released in 2001. Geared towards software developers, it features syntax highlighting, code folding, customizable layouts, regular expression support, and extensibility.


My "New" Used Pickup Truck - Jon Kulp | 2015-08-20

My "New" Used Pickup Truck

After 16 years my wife and I decided to become a 2-vehicle family, and as a result I got myself a 2004 Ford Ranger. In this episode I talk about the process of finding and purchasing the truck, and then about some repairs I did and some other stuff related to it.

The Statusnet Shuffle - NYbill | 2015-08-17

Theru and NYbill talk about moving a Statusnet instance to a new server. Also, upgrading an existing Statusnet instance to GNU-social.

Resurrecting an IBM T40 - swift110 | 2015-08-12

laptop image

Simplify writing using markdown and pandoc - b-yeezi | 2015-08-11

Show Notes

I write almost exclusively in Markdown when writing documents and taking notes. I use the program, Pandoc to convert markdown to different formats, including odt, docx, and pdf.

The original purpose of Markdown: 1 > Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. Markdown allows you to write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, then convert it to structurally valid XHTML (or HTML).

Markdown has since been extended to include more features and functionality. Extended versions include Github-flavored markdown and multi-markdown

Some of the basic syntax:

  • Headings - use one or more # to make headings
  • bold - use __ or ** for bold
  • italics - use _ or * for italics
  • hyperlinks - use [text](link) for hyperlinks
  • images - `alternative text for images
  • tables - Head1 | Head2 | Head3 ---- | ------ | ----- stuff | stuff | stuff
  • lists - use - or * or + at the beginning of a line
  • quotes and code - ` for single code item, > for block quote, tab for block code, ``` for fenced code. Highlighting is available

Pandoc: 2 Pandoc can convert documents in markdown, reStructuredText, textile, HTML, DocBook, LaTeX, MediaWiki markup, TWiki markup, OPML, Emacs Org-Mode, Txt2Tags, Microsoft Word docx, EPUB, or Haddock markup to

  • HTML formats: XHTML, HTML5, and HTML slide shows using Slidy, reveal.js, Slideous, S5, or DZSlides.
  • Word processor formats: Microsoft Word docx, OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT, OpenDocument XML
  • Ebooks: EPUB version 2 or 3, FictionBook2
  • Documentation formats: DocBook, GNU TexInfo, Groff man pages, Haddock markup
  • Page layout formats: InDesign ICML
  • Outline formats: OPML
  • TeX formats: LaTeX, ConTeXt, LaTeX Beamer slides
  • PDF via LaTeX
  • Lightweight markup formats: Markdown (including CommonMark), reStructuredText, AsciiDoc, MediaWiki markup, DokuWiki markup, Emacs Org-Mode, Textile
  • Custom formats: custom writers can be written in lua

I use Ubuntu because it is the only distro that does not bundle pandoc in the haskell libraries. With pandoc, you can specify the template that you are using, so that the same one document can be formatted quickly in many different ways and file formats.


  1. Write using vim or other text editor. When I was starting, I used a markdown previewer
  2. Create the template for the client
  3. Convert document appropriately

Use markdown for:

  • taking notes
  • creating SOPs
  • Creating User guides (Image Magick mogrify)
  • Creating things for my website

Other programs and tools:

  • Retext
  • Haroopad
  • discount
  • atom
  • texlive for going direct to pdf

Are speed listening and slow background music compatible? - A Shadowy Figure | 2015-08-10

This is A Shadowy Figure speaking to you from southwest Florida on Hacker Public Radio,

Brought to you by An Honest Host Dot Com where you can Get a 15% discount on all shared hosting with the offer code HPR15 thats H P R one five. Better webhosting that honest and fair at An Honest Host Dot Com.

Not only do I mention An Honest Host Dot Com out of commitment, but also out of respect. I've listened to the interview by Ken Fallon of the man behind An Honest Host Dot Com Josh Knapp not long ago, and came away with a certain amount of appreciation for what Josh does. Which is basically keeping Hacker Public radio alive, along with the many other things he does. Thanks Josh, your generosity does not go unnoticed.

I've been listening to HPR for about a year now and just recently purchased a Blue Yeti Microphone off of Ebay which turned out to be misrepresented and not in the condition it was claimed. As a side note, the day I received the Blue Yeti in the mail, I found the same microphone brand spanking new on for the same price as the used one I purchased on ebay. At one time I would have been disappointed by such a situation, but if theres anything I've learned from experience, no matter how hard you punch the wall, the train still left at 4 o'clock If I were to devote an emotion to every real or perceived injustice I come across, I wouldn't have time to devote any emotions to the things enjoy.

Anyway, My computing background goes all the way back to the original TRS-80. The experience of writing basic for 4 hours to create a pathetic facsimile of the game pong turned me away from computing until the graphical user interface of windows 3.11 came along. I was alright with the direction of where computing was moving along once windows matured, but I never had any love for microsoft products, Mac's were prettier, but a lot more expensive, and had great hardware to boot, but I never caught the mac addiction either.

Slackware caught my interest, but wasn't ready for prime time, and red hat was a bit more complicated than I was comfortable with in the mid 90's

since 2006 I've been using debian based operating systems exclusively, but still keep a macbook pro and a windows 8.1 laptop nearby for specific tasks I don't want to taint my linux box with.

KDE plasma has been my desktop of choice since 2010, and I don't use google, facebook, twitter, or any other corporate tracking devices. Including cell phones. Smoke signals and email are about the best way to get a hold of me, and smoke signals have been notoriously ineffective in the past.

Moving alone,

My day job includes leadership training, which was a big step up from my old job in one of the most reviled professions known to man, yes that's right, I used to be a used car salesman, (you thought I was going to say lawyer didn't ya?) no, but I date a lawyer, but I try to keep that a secret.

So now that I've tainted my reputation for good with the hacker public radio audience, I may as well plow forward and see what other damage to my reputation I can do. You can think of my handle A Shadowy Figure as damage control for all the stupid things I end up doing by mistake. (like buying things of ebay).

Anyway, I thought I'd share with the HPR audience my experience as a listener, and what I feel I can do to contribute. I love the mission statement behind HPR, and feel the need to do my part to see to it HPR continues to offer something of value to the hacker community.

Like many listeners and contributers to HPR, I listen to dozens of podcasts each week. Many of which belong in their spot of most downloaded podcasts, but I find a certain amount of charm in the grass roots nature of HPR.

Much like the Norwegian trend of engaging in slow media content. As mentioned in a recent hpr episode, I actually found myself hypnotically engaged in 5150's whats in my pickup toolbox episode. I found myelf cheering on 5150 to come up with a pair of lugnuts to an unknown vehicle.

I was looking for solidarity there, being as for some reason, my prior toolboxes always seemed to have a couple of unknown parts, or even broken tools that should have been thrown out years ago, like 5150's wire strippers.

I have to admit, Ken Fallons Amazing life hack episode of how to tell your left earbud from your right, lived up to its claim of setting a low bar. Ken has given some terrific episodes in the past, but this one fell a bit short of his standard of excellence. But I must admit, his goal was achieved. As I listened, I said to myself, even I can top that! And thus, Ken inspired me to step over that low bar of quality he set, and record my own episode.

After reading up on the procedures for contributing a show, I came across the advice to not use bedding or background music, due to the diverse listening style of many HPR listeners.

One of those listening styles Im vaguely familiar with was listening to podcasts speeded up. Somewhere I read about some people really really speeding up their recordings to the point most people can only hear a rapid fire series of blips and clicks. I don't know if that is typical, but I'm inclined to think that is something found on the fring, and that most speed listeners fall in the range of 2 to 3 times normal rate.

I'm also aware of a trend of some people to listen to music slowed down to the point of being one long drone that changes pitch every now and then.

Perhaps in the future, depending on what sort of feedback I receive, I'd like to experiment with combining the two.

Basically, recording Normally recorded vocal content, with an ultra slow music soundtrack that would balance out with speed listening. In essence, hacking the audio, to provide speed listeners with a soundtrack.

On the flip side, one could hack the audio to appeal to slow listeners, speeding up the soundtrack, and changing the pitch of the vocals to account for slow listening. But that would probably kill some speed listeners with weak hearts, so I'll steer away from that unless there is enough demand to justify that.

It seems like a concept that's destined to fail, but it's something I was pondering and would try if there were an audience for it.

If there were any interest, what I'd need to know is how fast do speed listeners listen to their audio. Which is probably all over the map, making any effort futile.

But it's just a thought I thought I'd throw out there, along with introducing myself to the HPR audience, and saying thanks to all the people who make HPR possible.

This is a Shadowy Figure signing out.

How Holland Works: GreenWheels - Ken Fallon | 2015-08-07

No longer owning a car of our own, we use the car-sharing service GreenWheels, which for a subscription of €5 per month, we are allowed to rent any of the hundreds of cars confidentiality parked all around the Netherlands.

How it works


Once you subscribe you get mailed a credit card sized RFID card and a PIN code.


Go to the website and enter in your location using ZIP/postcode or town name. You specify the times range you want to use it for and then press find to list the available options. A Google Map will appear with the availability of the cars displayed green for available and red for booked. Pick the one you want, login and confirm.

screen shot of website


Go to the car location and then open the car by placing the RFID card next to the RFID reader located just above the steering wheel. The central locking will open the doors allowing you to get in.

Take the controller out of the glove compartment and enter your pin code to unlock the ignition system.

You can confirm that there is no damage, or log any damage that has occurred. Take the regular key and use that to start the car.


If you need to refuel then go to any [gas|petrol] station and refuel. Make note of the current distance travelled on the Odometer, and take the fleet refuelling card from the glove compartment. Instead of paying yourself, the bill will be charged directly to GreenWheels. Return the refuelling card and receipt to the glove compartment.


Loads to see in the Netherlands.


When you are finished, return the car and after checking that you have all your stuff, answer yes to the question "Have you returned to the start point ?". Then leave and use the RFID card to lock the car.


My "New" Used Kindle DX - Jon Kulp | 2015-08-06

I talk about my latest gadget, a used Kindle DX, which is a discontinued model with a 9.7 inch epaper screen. I talk about its features, limitations, how to navigate it, and I demonstrate its text-to-speech capabilities. Incidentally I really low-balled the original price of the Kindle DX. Looking around a little bit, I find that the original retail price was $479, which was then reduced to just under $400. Mine now seems like a bargain at $128 used.

Kindle DX

Multimeter Mod's Part 1 - NYbill | 2015-08-05

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.


How I make bread - Dave Morriss | 2015-08-04

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:

I'm Learning Some Python - Jon Kulp | 2015-07-30

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 bash.

What I Use It For

  1. 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.
  2. Text manipulation scripts, used in conjuction with blather. These do things like change text case, remove spaces, and so forth.
  3. Text entry. Voice commands insert various kinds of text templates or canned email responses for my classes. Also used in conjunction with blather.
  4. Adding or stripping HTML tags to/from selected text.
  5. Getting current weather conditions and forecasts, having results spoken back to me using system text-to-speech engine.
  6. Fun blather commands where I interact with my computer and have it talk back to me.

Favorite Python Modules/Libraries

pyperclipA cross-platform clipboard module for Python. (only handles plain text for now)
pyttsxA Python package supporting common text-to-speech engines on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.
bs4HTML parsing library. Beautiful Soup Documentation
htmlminA configurable HTML Minifier with safety features.
smartypantssmartypants is a Python fork of SmartyPants, which easily translates "plain" ASCII punctuation characters into “smart” typographic punctuation HTML entities.
titlecaseChanges all words to Title Caps, and attempts to be clever about SMALL words like a/an/the in the input.
swnamerA name generator that uses Star Wars characters, species and planets to create un fisique names.

Demo Screencasts

Some tips on using ImageMagick - Dave Morriss | 2015-07-28

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.

The 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.

James Beard's Never-Fail Blender Hollandaise Sauce - Frank Bell | 2015-07-27

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.


Review of HPR's Interview Recorder: Zoom H1 - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-07-22

The Hacker Public Radio network owns a Zoom H1 digital voice recorder. If you are going to attend an open source event and think you would like to record interviews for Hacker Public Radio, make inquires to the mailing list and the correspondent with the recorder in their possession (currently FiftyOneFifty) will send it to you. This episode is a review of the devices features and how to use them.

Manufacturer page:

How to use the H1 as an USB Mic

Gathering Parts - NYbill | 2015-07-21

The web site that started this all:

Big Muff Pi:

Parts Distributors:

Hammond Box:

Joe Knows:

Picture of the gathered parts:

When I made the reference to "two red lips" regarding resistor colors I didn't quite explain what that meant. It was a way I learned, way back when, to remember which color was which number on a resistor. I hadn't thought about it in years. It used rhyming and references scheme to line the colors up with values.

0- Black - It's a "no" color, a zero
1- Brown - 'brow-one'
2- Red - Two red lips
3- Orange - Orange tree
4- Yellow - Yell for help
5- Green - a five dollar bill is green
6- Blue - Blue and sick
7- Violet - Violet heaven
8- Gray - Great
9- White - White wine

Visualising HPR tags - Dave Morriss | 2015-07-20

As you know, HPR asks for tags to be added to the episodes we contribute. These are intended to be used to produce some kind of improved topic search at some point in the future.

I find it difficult to decide what tags to add to my shows, and I expect many people feel the same way about it. Should I use common tags like Linux or does that not differentiate it enough? How many tags should I add, should the words be plural or singular?

We have recently been asked to contribute to the task of adding tags to previous shows, so it's very much a hot topic at the moment.

In thinking about this I wondered if there was a way in which existing tags could be represented in a visual way to help with the process of choosing and rationalising tags. It was the type of thought that occurs to you in the shower or while out for a walk.

In my last job I occasionally used a package called GraphViz to generate graphical representations. I used it to generate a chart showing how the organisation (a university) was divided up into schools, departments, sections and so on in a hierarchical manner. I wondered if it could be used for this task.

I decided to use my currently preferred scripting language, Perl, and found there was a module which let me access GraphViz. I started putting together a script.

The script was created in an evening and is still rather rough. It performs a very simple query on the database to obtain the show numbers of shows with tags, their titles and their tags. It then uses a CSV parser to parse the tag list and builds a hash table indexed by tags, where the contents per tag are the show numbers that use this tag.

Having built this hash table it is used to generate GraphViz data by making each tag and each show number a node and joining them together.

Finally the script processes the graph to produce output in SVG format which is available to view.

Bear in mind that this is not a finished project - it may never be finished! The script may not be ideal. My understanding of GraphViz may be insufficient, and the rendering of the SVG may not be good (I got various results on different browsers).

However, you might find it interesting or even useful. Feedback on the idea is welcome.

Custom Context Menus in GNU/Linux GUI File Managers - Jon Kulp | 2015-07-16

On Nautilus

On Nautilus you have to put your scripts into the Nautilus scripts folder, which on my system is located here:


You can either put copies of the scripts in there, or you can do like I did and make symlinks from the Nautilus scripts folder to your /home/bin folder. (I prefer to make symlinks instead of copying the files in there, just in case I make any changes to my scripts. If I have made a symlink instead of copying the file, then I only have to change original script and the symlink will automatically use the updated version.) Once you've done that, you right-click on a file and choose scripts then <yourscriptname> to run your script on the file.


On Thunar you don't have to put your scripts anywhere special. It actually handles custom actions much better than Nautilus, in my opinion. What you do is go to the Edit menu and choose Configure custom actions. Then you get a dialog box with two tabs. The first tab is where you can give your custom action a name and then tell it what command to run, and also tell it whether to apply the custom action only to the selected file, to all files in the directory, or to all selected files. On the other tab you choose the context in which this custom action will appear. You can select categories of files—like images, audio files, or text files, and so forth—or you can specify filetypes by extension, so that your custom action will only appear if you right click on a file that has the extension.


Apt Spelunking: surf, lightyears, and fbterm - Windigo | 2015-07-15

"Apt spelunking" is a silly term I made up for the act of searching through the Debian package repositories with vague terms, and trying out random applications therein.

Today, we will be covering three packages: surf, lightyears, fbterm


Surf is a lightweight, graphical browser. It uses the webkit rendering engine, and is a GTK-based application (not that you can tell). It is extremely spartan. Part of the suckless project, surf takes the Unix philosophy to it's extreme.

Essentially, you only get a single browser window. No tabs, bookmarks, or other interface to speak of. Any navigation is accomplished through links on the page, or some very rudimentary keyboard shortcuts. Ctrl+H goes forward in history, and Ctrl+L goes backwards. If you want to visit a URL, you can either send it as a command-line argument, or use Ctrl+G to bring up a drun-like text input. It is perfect for lightweight system configurations, surf does the bear minimum to qualify as a web browser.

If you're looking for zen simplicity, or want an easy way to embed a web app in its own window without a lot of overhead, surf is an excellent option.


20,000 light years into space bills itself as a "single player real-time strategy game with steampunk sci-fi". In it, you are given a square of alien landscape, dotted with steam vents, and a small settlement at the center. This settlement runs on the steam so abundant on this alien world, and it's your job to keep the steam flowing.

The game consists of building steam nodes, which capture steam from the vents, and connecting them back to your settlement. Of course, you can't simply build a straight pipe back to your settlement; the length of the pipe is taken into account, and the longer the pipe, the harder it is to get steam to travel through it. You can get around this by daisy chaining nodes together in a web, and providing multiple routes back to your settlement. Running a steam-powered base on this alien planet isn't without its share of dangers, however! There are aliens, inclement weather, and seismic instability that can all damage your network of steam pipes and nodes. If your steam pressure falls below a certain threshold, you lose.

This game has an eerie similarity to network engineering, and I've always enjoyed it a lot. It can get very frustrating, though, and the difficulty levels are steep steps. If you're interested in strategy games, I'd highly recommend giving this one a try.


Another in the lightweight category, fbterm is a terminal emulator that's designed to be run with a framebuffer. A framebuffer is a low-level method for displaying text and/or graphics on a monitor, and is often used to run GUI applications without the overhead of an X server.

You can use fbterm to get an antialiased terminal, with freetype font support. That means you can use bitmap and vector fonts, just like most full-featured terminal emulators, without the extra weight of running an X session and window manager.

If you like window managers, you could also use fbterm as a replacement for one of your consoles, using a program called "rungetty". Here's the instructions: I don't mind having fbterm as a backup terminal, in case I need to debug an X session or my window manager has locked up. Having an option that is more graphically pleasing than a bare getty TTY can be a lifesaver.

Headphones and a $2 Microphone - Jon Kulp | 2015-07-14

In this episode I use a $2 microphone to record as I walk from home to my office. The topic is the 5 pairs of headphones I have and their various features, qualities, drawbacks, etc.

Headphones Mentioned in Podcast

  • Neewer 3.5mm Hands Free Computer Clip on Mini Lapel Microphone
  • Bose Quiet Comfort 15
  • Sennheiser HD 550A
  • Aftershokz Sportz M2 Bone-Conduction Headphones
  • Sony MDR-J10 H ear headphones with non-slip design
  • Howard Leight 1030110 sync noise-blocking stereo earmuffs

My "New" Used Kindle Touch - Jon Kulp | 2015-07-09

In this show I talk about why I like to buy stuff used whenever possible, whether it be printers, routers, shirts, books, or my latest acquisition, a used Kindle Touch, which in many ways is much better than my (much newer) Kindle paperwhite. Just for fun, I allow the Kindle Touch itself (using its built-in text-to-speech capabilities) to tell me the ways in which it's better than the Kindle Paperwhite.

David Whitman reads 'The Shooting of Dan McGrew' written by Robert W Service - David Whitman | 2015-07-08

from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Songs of a Sourdough, by Robert Service

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at

The orginal work published 1907. Copyright expired in U.S. See the Project Gutenberg website for their copyright notices

Bibliographic Record
Author Service, Robert W. (Robert William), 1874-1958
Title Songs of a Sourdough
Language English
LoC Class PR: Language and Literatures: English literature
Subject Yukon River Valley (Yukon and Alaska) -- Poetry
Category Text
EBook-No. 25546
Release Date May 20, 2008
Copyright Status Public domain in the USA.
Downloads 55 downloads in the last 30 days.
Price $0.00

Title: The Spell of the Yukon

Author: Robert Service

Posting Date: July 11, 2008 EBook
Release Date: January, 1995

Interesting Info at

Arch Linux Development Environment: Ep1 - cjm | 2015-07-07

  • Checking the network
  • Partitioning
  • Making the filesystems
  • Mounting the filesystems
  • Installing the base packages
  • Generate the fstab
  • Chroot and Configuration
  • Boot Loading

Complete show notes:

How to tell your left earbud from your right - Ken Fallon | 2015-06-29


Tie a knot in your left ear bud lead, and you can feel which is which without looking.

YouTube Video Subscriptions - Ahuka | 2015-06-26

Although my wife and I have a Cable TV subscription, I have maintained I could give it up easily because so much of what I am interested in is online anyway. For many people that might mean Netflix or Hulu, but for me it means YouTube. This is the golden age of narrow-casting, as opposed to broadcasting, because YouTube gives so many creators the opportunity to find their own audience for things that dont appeal to the masses. For more go to




Posting From the Command Line on Open Social Networks - Jon Kulp | 2015-06-25

Posting From the Command Line on Open Social Networks

You can post to your open social media timelines from the command line using API access. Why would you want to do this?

  • Script automated postings.
  • Bots
  • Post from terminal environments.
  • Post from wherever else you are without having to go to the social media site or to the client that you use to access it.
  • Trigger postings via voice command (what I do).

On GNU Social

Here is the basic format for the command to post a message to a Statusnet / GNU Social timeline:

curl -s --basic --user <username:password> --data status="Hello World" --output /dev/null

And here is the script I use to post a message to my timeline, launched by a blather voice command:


# SN account info

# a place to store the text message 

# Virtual keystrokes to copy selected text to the clipboard
xdotool key Control+c

# pipe text out of clipboard into the text file
xclip -o > $text

# rest for half a sec
sleep .5

curl -s --basic \
--user $user:$pass \
--data status="$(cat "$text")" \
--output /dev/null \ 

rm $text

exit 0


On you have to install the software on your computer. You don't have to be running a server, you just have to have the binaries so that you can run the commands. I will not go into how this is done on this podcast, but there's a link to the website below and there should be installation instructions available there. Once you have the software installed, you also have to allow command-line access to your account and get the token for authentication, maybe authorize the user too:

pump-register-app -s -P 443 -t CLI
pump-authorize -s -P 443 -u username

Finally you can post to your timeline from the command line:

pump-post-note -s -P 443 -p -u username -n "Hello World."

My script to post a message to the timeline, launched by a blather voice command:


# a place to put the text. 

# --------------------------------
# Since markdown is possible, I run 
# the text through markdown to get
# a bit of formatting and save it
# as a separate file 
# --------------------------------

# Virtual keystrokes to copy selected text to the clipboard
xdotool key Control+c

# pipe text out of clipboard into the text file
xclip -o > $text

# run Markdown
markdown $text > $pump

# Post message
pump-post-note -s -P 443 -p -u username -n "$(cat $pump)"

sleep 1

rm $text
rm $pump

exit 0


12-Tone Music and My Random 12 Tone Row of the Day - Jon Kulp | 2015-06-18

12-Tone Music (Dodecaphony) and My Random 12 Tone Row of the Day

In this episode I cover a bit of music theory as well as some bash scripting. The topic is the Twelve-Tone System of music composition and the scripting of a random 12-tone row to be generated daily. For a full transcript of the show click here.

randomly generated 12-tone


Some thoughts about the Go language - Stilvoid | 2015-06-17


Here are some useful links when learning Go:

And here are some links to things I mentioned during the show:

An Interview with Andrea Frost - David Whitman | 2015-06-16

I interview Andrea Frost at LinuxFest Northwest.

Andrea Frost

Andrea Frost holds a B.A. in German language and a concentration in mathematics from Western Washington University. A passionate advocate of youth and education, Frost has a wide spectrum of volunteer experience with youth organizations.

She is currently an office assistant for Kids Council Northwest and finishing a post-graduate degree in computer science from Western. Western Washington University Association for Women in Computing

Penguicon 2015 Report - Ahuka | 2015-06-12

Penguicon 2015 is a combined technology and science fiction convention in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and presented over 500 hours of programming over the entire weekend. Of this, around 100 hours were open source, tech-related. In this episode I give you my personal diary of my experience at this great event.


The Ubuntu Quickly Ebook Template and Ebooks in General - Jon Kulp | 2015-06-11

Ubuntu Quickly Ebook Template

I recorded this conversation with Mike Hingley about a year ago (12 June 2014) but never released it because I thought the audio didn't sound very good and I didn't feel like editing it at the time. Honestly I forgot all about it until now when the HPR queue is low again. I apologize for the slightly clippy quality of my audio, I must have had my microphone too hot on the mumble. It's really interesting to listen to this conversation a year later because I have worked out so many of the problems that I was mentioning to Mike, including the automation of the entire build process using command-line tools from Calibre.



Podcrawl Glasgow 2015 - Kevie | 2015-06-10

Dave Morriss and Kevie have a yarn about the upcoming Glasgow Podcrawl. The event takes place on the 10th of July 2015 and kicks off at 6pm in the State Bar, Holland Street. The event is open to anybody with an interest in open source software or creative commons music. Whether you're an enthusiast or just interest in finding out more, also if you're a member of a band then we would love to have you along for a yarn over a few pints.
Check out for more details and a map of how to get to the bar.

A Beginner with a Wok - Frank Bell | 2015-06-09

Merriam-Websters defines "stir-fry" as "to fry quickly over high heat in a lightly oiled pan (as a wok) while stirring continuously." (Source:

Talk about stir-frying. Not an expert by any means, but think I've learned enough to share a bit.

Frank bought a wok, quite on impulse, and has been experimenting with stir-fry recipes and has found it surprisingly easy--much easier than, say, making a souffle or oysters Rockefeller. In this podcast, he discusses what he has learned and in the context of narrating the preparation of a meal.

Some Links:

Wok How-Tos:

Two Recipes:

What is MapReduce? - Charles in NJ | 2015-06-08

Shownotes in pdf format
Shownotes in docx format

What is MapReduce, Anyway?

MapReduce is inspired by three approaches from functional programming for applying a function to each item of a collection of data, namely, Map, Filter and Reduce. That is pretty abstract, so I will try to bring some of these ideas down to Earth. I'll use lists to represent the “data” in any examples, but the concepts in MapReduce can apply equally well to any data source: multiple streams from the Internet, a number of internal data stores from multiple sites, and even user keystrokes/mouse moves.

If a function (or operation) can be applied to each item in some kind of input data, you may be able to use map, filter and reduce.

Defining Terms


When we use the expression Map(function: f, data: [1,2,3,4,5,6]), we are declaring that we want to apply the function "f" to each element in the data. In this case, we have a list of numbers, but the data could be names, employee records, or URLs for Internet documents from the Internet that we would like to parse to extract useful information.

Example: function f is square(x) = x * x, and the data is our list [1..6].

Map( square(x), [1,2,3,4,5,6]) = [square(1),square(2), ..., square(6)], or [1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36]


Filtering data is essentially a variation of Map. You could think of it in two stages:

  1. Apply a "test" function to Map each item to either True or False ("In" or "Out")

  2. Use the results of that Map operation to drop any item that fails the test (False)

Having said this, a Filter does not have to be implemented in this way. By declaring that we want to use a Filter operation, we have specified WHAT we want to do. It really does not matter HOW it gets done.

Most functional programming tutorials would illustrate a Filter by selecting prime numbers from a list of integers, or to isolate numbers that are not multiples of 3. A more useful illustration of Filter is a search filter that reviews documents in a repository, or a set of search engine results, and returns only those that pass the "relevance test". The test itself could be defined using a "fuzzy" criterion for relevance (0-20% Not, 20-50% A Little, 50-75% Fairly, > 75% Very -- or what have you), but the end result is that you'll choose some documents to accept, and omit the rest.

In a filter operation on a large number of data items, you might want to drop the items as early as possible. There is no law that requires you to make these decisions in advance when you offer Map or Filter operations on a server.

In a MapReduce context, Map and Filter will often end up lumped together. This is fine, because you don't want to waste processing time to perform potentially expensive transformations on data or documents that you can rule out immediately with a less computationally expensive filter.


A Reduce operation on a collection of data is any kind of aggregate operation that boils down all of the detail items into one or more summary metrics computed on the (filtered) data. The canonical examples of a Reduce operation would be a Sum or a Count, but there are other possibilities.

Reduce is usually defined as an operation:

Reduce(function(accumulator, data item) -> new accumulator value; initial value; data).

Sometimes, you may see the Reduce operation defined recursively:

Reduce( function: f, initial_value, data = {first_item, all_other_items} ) is equal to 
Reduce ( function: f,  new_value = f(initial_value, first_item),  data: {all_other_items})

If you follow that script, you can just rinse-and-repeat until you've processed all of the items.

Why is this some kind of technological advance?

If you look at this characterization of Map and Reduce, you'll see that these operations are fairly abstract. The declarations typically state only what needs to be done, and the implementation steps that specify how it is to be done are left open.

For operations on data items that are fairly independent of each other, there are advantages in defining things in this way. If there are no dependencies between data items, in the sense of the two rules listed below, you can use distributed processing across several "servers" to get to the result for the entire data collection much faster.

Basic ground rules for the simplest case (Exceptions and additional constraints will apply in real projects):

  1. Computations for each data item do not depend on those for other data items, so no communication, coordination or shared memory is needed between "worker" machines.

  2. The order of the computations does not matter.

Under these conditions, Map and Reduce operations could be outsourced from a MapReduce server installation to a fleet of "worker" computers that can take on pieces of the overall computation, and send their results back to the Aggregation Server (or "Boss" machine). That could give you a tremendous speed-up over the alternative of running on a single computing cluster. So there can be speed advantages that come from MapReduce.

With the right infrastructure, you can relax these constraints and still get many of the same benefits on data that needs to be ordered or preprocessed into some kind of table structure.

Another advantage of the Boss/Workers paradigm for MapReduce operations, which may be less obvious, is fault tolerance. Computers sometimes fail to complete their assigned tasks. Network connections can be lost. In a Boss/Workers setup, a Worker could send a status report back to the Boss machine (or a Supervisor, since even the Boss role can be shared) that either contains a SUCCESS status flag and the results of its assignment, or a FAILED flag.

If a Boss receives a FAILED message, that piece of the overall computation could be re-assigned to other Worker(s). In the case of a network outage, the Boss could respond to a Timeout event for the Worker, flush that assignment to that Worker, and re-assign the unfinished task to other resources with a new unique ID. Any homework that is turned in after the Timeout event can then be ignored.

Note: This is just one way to build in parallelism and fault tolerance.

An additional advantage to this sort of vague definition of MapReduce tasks is the ability to work with distributed data in a way that allows greater use of local processing. A central server (Hub) processing model forces remote sites to transmit all the original data to the Hub, wait for the Hub to do the processing, and then possibly transfer the processed results back from the Hub to the remote data repository. That's a lot of network traffic, any part of which could be lost, corrupted or even intercepted by third parties.

In a Reduce operation, where everything is boiled down to some [set of] summary measures, the local site could do much of the processing work, and transmit only the needed intermediate results to the Boss back at the Hub for inclusion in the final totals over all Worker machines.

Summary: Leaving the implementation details out of the MapReduce specification allows for flexibility and some degree of optimization in getting these operations done in the most beneficial way.

  • You can optimize to save time, even if that means spending more on hardware and communications.

  • You can design to save money (local processing, servers that are easier to replace, etc.).

Whatever your objectives, you can adjust your implementation to get the best result for your application.

Enter Hadoop.

Hadoop is an open source project from the Apache Foundation that lets you set up massively parallel distributed processing schemes for computations that can be fit into the MapReduce paradigm. The best part is that you can make Hadoop work on varying types of hardware, so you don't need to run the pieces of computational work solely on high-end, expensive supercomputers or complex computing cluster installations.

Hadoop makes it possible to farm out the bits of computational "homework" to "commodity hardware" – whatever that may mean for your installation. Commodity hardware is also an abstract term. In practice, you can match the level of computing power for Workers to meet the requirements of the assigned work. The worker machines could be set up on computers that are easy to provision and replace, so you won't have to buy special-purpose servers that require extended periods for setup and configuration.

MapReduce does NOT refer to the process of splitting up a large data processing job into assignments. The concepts behind MapReduce help us to think about and plan classes of processing tasks that are frequently applied to large datasets, or to a lot of data streams that are coming in from many sources and locations.

So far, it sounds like MapReduce and Hadoop are a kind of silver bullet that can eliminate the time and expense required to solve “Big Data” problems. As helpful as these ideas and their supporting technologies may be, not every potential MapReduce job can be optimized as much as we might like. Hadoop will not offer a cure-all for every problem.

We still have to understand the problem, determine what is needed, and work hard to do the right thing.

But when there is a good fit between the problem and this approach toward providing a solution, Hadoop and MapReduce can be very helpful.

Intro to the Fugue and the Open Well-Tempered Clavier - Jon Kulp | 2015-06-04

Intro to the Fugue

This episode of HPR is inspired by the recent release of a new recording by Kimiko Ishizaka of J.S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I. This is a very special recording because it is free and open, licensed to be shared freely forever. The recording was crowdfunded and immediately released with a public license after editing. This allows for legal remixing and sharing, and also makes it perfect for stuff like I do in this episode—cutting the recordings up for inserting as musical examples and then presenting the whole thing for your listening enjoyment.

Full Show Notes

Please see the full show notes for detailed descriptions of the parts of a fugue and a few musical examples as well.


Windows To Linux - Better Late Than Never. - GNULinuxRTM | 2015-06-03

This is a story of my last days as a Windows Users at home and my eventual switch to Linux. My name is Kevin and my online name is GNULinuxRTM. The name GNULinuxRTM was recently created for a project I am working on. But maybe Ill talk about that another time.

Although I listened to every single episode of Linux Reality, many episodes of Linux Outlaws, Linux Link Tech Show, The Bad Apples aka GNU World Order, and other Podcast shows, I just recently listened to my first episode to Hacker Public Radio. What caught my attention was the plea for content to keep Hacker Public Radio going. So I have been HPR binging and I have to say that the fact that this kind of Podcast format exists, is amazing.

Yes, I had heard the words Hacker Public Radio before, but I just thought it meant that this was some kind of show for extreme Hacker types, which I didnt think described me.

Another confession, my day job is mostly in a Windows environment. And although I kept myself up to date on the progress of Linux, I had very few opportunities to use Linux at work. I had enough challenge keeping up to technology I had to know to do my job. Although I heard and understood the significance of making a commitment to use Linux, I never did make the switch. Sure I dabbled with Linux as a Server platform and maybe to get some use out of some old hardware. But not on my most powerful and most used home machine. The computer I use every day for my own personal projects was, until last Summer, a Windows PC.

You see I hate wasting effort and time, something we all have a limited amount of. I remember after a particularly frustrating bout with Linux I turned to a Co-Worker and said "Windows, because Lifes too short".

Also, I am one of those weirdos who loves the little red Trackpoint on IBM Thinkpads. Last Spring I traded in my old Thinkpad plus some cash for an off-lease Lenovo Thinkpad W510 Notebook. I got it cheaper because they didnt have the original power supply, instead it came with a 3rd party power supply. Eventually it got to me that it took more than twice as long to charge the notebook, so i spent the money to replace it with a higher wattage power supply. "In a for penny, in for a pound", why not upgrade to 8Gb of RAM too.

Shortly after the 90 day warranty I started having weird lockup issues. The hard drive light would go solid and the machine would just freeze. Ive seen this before. Suck it up and back to local computer store to replace the Hard Drive. But "In for a penny, in for a pound", why not get one of those slick new SSD drives. Got home, do a drive copy and I am back in business Or so I think. After a while I realize I am still suffering from intermittent Lockups. Time for a fresh install.

Install Windows 7, Windows Update, Reboot, Windows Update Reboot, Windows Update Reboot almost done. Blue-Screen-of-Death. Reboot, Blue Screen of Death. Start over, Re-install Windows 7, trickle install Updates, Save System State, Reboot, Repeat, Blue Screen, Ahhhhh!!@!!! System Restore, its that update, Blue Screen, not its that update, Blue Screen, Blue Screen, Blue Screen Ahhhhh!!##$

Is it my new RAM, switch that out. No difference. Power Supply? Nope. Go back to Non-SSD drive? Still No Change. Different Windows Install Disc? No, No and No.

Now Im really "In for a Pound" with this machine and I cant use it. Deflated, I put the computer down in the corner of the room and try to forget about it. The sleek black Thinkpad just sits there mocking me every time I walk by, but I am determined to ignore it. Weeks go by, now a month. Ive gone back to my desktop, but its no use, I miss having a notebook. Im an easy-chair Notebook guy now. I dont want to regress down the evolutionary scale and hunch over my desktop anymore. Im at home, I should be reclining!

Like a bad hangover, time has numbed the memory of the pain. I pick the Thinkpad, its time to drink again! Im back baby and Ive got that "You cant beat me" Techy Battle cry pumping through my veins. "LINUX! Ill try Linux!" At least that is the way I prefer to remember it. But really, I was thinking that Ive spent sooo much money on the piece of Crap, Ill use it even i have to switch to Linux.

Lets see Ive got to approach this logically. Uhhh, choose a Distro, Desktop, hmmmm. Video on Richard Stallman spanking Ubuntu on Amazon Deal, hmmm. Ok, Linux Mint 17 is based on the LTS release of Ubuntu, 5 years Support, Cool! Top of the Distrowatch charts. Looks like a good start.

I install Linux Mint 17 and it is up and running in no time. Run the Update Manager and hold my breath. Wow! It updated 100%, no Crash Screen of Doom!

Now what? What do i do now? Google "First things to do after install Linux Mint 17", wow Direct hit, Yeehaw! Oh cool, Steam Games, Yummy. PlayOnLinux, Bonus! What a blast. But the fun of discovery was better than any game I played.

Alas, my machine was running great but still had a locked up issue, just not as often. But it was a victory nonetheless. Besides, I had a mostly working machine and I would just ignore the problem. An infrequent lockup didnt seem to bother Linux Mint, it just boot back up fine.

After about a month on Linux Mint a little message popped up, I cant remember exactly what it said. But it was like machine was talking to me. "Hey Buddy, this battery in your notebook, uhh it kinda sucks. And you might want it replace because well I need steady power to you know, breath. And it sure would be a lot easier if I could Huh Huh Huh AHHHHH count on some steady air flow".

Yeah, you know I was elated, but even more so amazed! I had installed no diagnostic software, I had spent no additional time troubleshooting, I had just installed Linux and started using it. And my computer just told me what was wrong with it.

New battery arrived and now the machine is solid as rock. Did I go back to Windows 7, Hell No! I had kicked the habit once a for all and I was not missing Windows at all.

I distinctly remember a standout moment when I was working on my brother-in-law's wedding video. Circumstances were that the key family members could not be at the Wedding and the they were anxiously waiting for the Wedding Video. I didnt want to delay finishing the project and was reluctant to do anything else with the computer during the Render process. Rendering the Video took quite a bit of time and was very CPU intensive. But I had broken the Wedding into several segments and there was lots of Rendering and getting feedback.

Kdenlive lets you assign how many processors would be used during Rendering, and I had set that to four. There were processors to spare, maybe I can do something else while I am waiting for the Render.

Ill read a few emails. Hey, I dont notice any performance difference. Maybe Ill surf a bit. Still fine. Youtube Video, smooth, now in HD, wow! no problem or no slow down. Multi-tasking as it should be!

Next day at work, I cant help but talk about it with my Co-Workers. "Why not get a Mac?" they say. it wasnt a question, it was a strong suggestion. Most of them had written off Linux years ago. I start talking about how great my system is working for me and how I have been able to get so much done with 100% open source applications. "So what", they say. "You can install most of those applications on the Mac and Windows as well".

Its no use, I guess I am not much of an evangelist. Or maybe I just work with cynical people. But it does cause me to question. Why am I so excited about Open Source Software now? At this point in history. Really most of the fundamental building blocks of Open Source Software have already happened. It seems to me we are now in a fine tuning stage.

I think it is that maturity that appeals to me. No longer do you have to say, you can install Linux, BUT. And word "But" lands with a thud. There is very little creative work that you cannot do on Linux and Open Source software, right now.

I dont regret a single moment I have invested in switching to and learning Linux.

My story continues, but well save that for another time. I hope to tell you more about my project and the hurdles Ive gone through in a future HPR episode.

Bye for now, GNULinuxRTM signing off.

Cowsay and Figlet - Jon Kulp | 2015-05-28

Basic commands

Make default cow speak:

cowsay "Hacker Public Radio"


< Hacker Public Radio >
        \   ^__^
         \  (oo)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||


  • -b Borg mode;
  • -d dead;
  • -g greedy mode;
  • -p causes a state of paranoia to come over the cow;
  • -s makes the cow appear thoroughly stoned;
  • -t yields a tired cow;
  • -w is somewhat the opposite of -t, and initiates wired mode;
  • -y brings on the cow's youthful appearance.

Use "tired" cow mode:

cowsay -t "Ken is tired of begging for shows"


< Ken is tired of begging for shows >
        \   ^__^
         \  (--)\_______
            (__)\       )\/\
                ||----w |
                ||     ||

Specify different images with -f

Threaten someone with a dragon:

cowsay -f dragon 'record and upload a show OR ELSE!'


< record and upload a show OR ELSE! >
      \                    / \  //\
       \    |\___/|      /   \//  \\
            /0  0  \__  /    //  | \ \    
           /     /  \/_/    //   |  \  \  
           @_^_@'/   \/_   //    |   \   \ 
           //_^_/     \/_ //     |    \    \
        ( //) |        \///      |     \     \
      ( / /) _|_ /   )  //       |      \     _\
    ( // /) '/,_ _ _/  ( ; -.    |    _ _\.-~        .-~~~^-.
  (( / / )) ,-{        _      `-.|.-~-.           .~         `.
 (( // / ))  '/\      /                 ~-. _ .-~      .-~^-.  \
 (( /// ))      `.   {            }                   /      \  \
  (( / ))     .----~-.\        \-'                 .~         \  `. \^-.
             ///.----..>        \             _ -~             `.  ^-`  ^-_
               ///-._ _ _ _ _ _ _}^ - - - - ~                     ~-- ,.-~

On Linux, praise Ahuka with a Random Cow:

echo 'Ahuka Rocks!' | cowsay -f $(locate *.cow | shuf -n1)

One Result:

< Ahuka Rocks! >
        \    ,-^-.
         \   !oYo!
          \ /./=\.\______
               ##        )\/\
                ||      ||

               Cowth Vader


Make ASCII banner text with figlet. This one uses the default font and wraps the lines at 45 characters:

figlet -w 45 "Hacker Public Radio"


 _   _            _             
| | | | __ _  ___| | _____ _ __ 
| |_| |/ _` |/ __| |/ / _ \ '__|
|  _  | (_| | (__|   <  __/ |   
|_| |_|\__,_|\___|_|\_\___|_|   
 ____        _     _ _      
|  _ \ _   _| |__ | (_) ___ 
| |_) | | | | '_ \| | |/ __|
|  __/| |_| | |_) | | | (__ 
|_|    \__,_|_.__/|_|_|\___|
 ____           _ _       
|  _ \ __ _  __| (_) ___  
| |_) / _` |/ _` | |/ _ \ 
|  _ < (_| | (_| | | (_) |
|_| \_\__,_|\__,_|_|\___/ 

Use an alternate font with -f option:

figlet -f digital "Community News"
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+-+
|C|o|m|m|u|n|i|t|y| |N|e|w|s|
+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ +-+-+-+-+


Magnatune Favourites - Dave Morriss | 2015-05-26

Magnatune Favourites

Andrew Conway and Dave Morriss, who each have a lifetime membership with Magnatune, talk about the label and share some favourite tracks.

About Magnatune

Magnatune Logo
Magnatune Logo

Magnatune is an American independent record label based in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 2003 by John Buckman.

When first set up music could be bought from Magnatune through a download interface on the website with a "pay what you like" pricing model. Later it was possible to purchase physical CDs and in 2007 complete albums and individual tracks could be bought through

Magnatune moved to a membership plan in 2008 and in 2010 dropped the CD printing service. The subscription model offers monthly or lifetime membership. Members can download as much as they want, or with a streaming membership can stream as much as they want. Many download formats are available and all music is without DRM.

Magnatune encourages buyers to share up to three copies with friends. All of the tracks downloaded free of charge are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA) License.

It's legal to play Magnatune music on a non-commercial podcast without paying collecting society fees to organisations such as ASCAP, BMI or SoundExchange.

Music Choices

The picture we mentioned when discussing the artist Kalabi
Picture from Kalabi's page on Magnatune

See also if you want more.

  1. Wikipedia entry on Magnatune:
  2. Magnatune site:
  3. Wikipedia entry on Creative Commons:
  4. John Buckman's blog:
  5. Web-based Magnatune player:

Sonic Pi - Steve Bickle | 2015-05-22

In this review of the Sonic Pi software I have mentioned a couple of programs that I wrote the listings are here:

The Hippopotamus Song
use_bpm 180
# use_transpose -12
use_synth :fm
2.times do
play_pattern_timed [:D3,:G3,:G3,:G3], [1,1,1,1]      # 1 extra note from bar an bar 2
play_pattern_timed [:G3,:D3,:B2,:G2], [0.5,0.5,1,1]  # 3
play_pattern_timed [:a2,:b2,:c3], [1,1,1]            # 4
play_pattern_timed [:b2,:b2,:a2], [2,0.5,0.5]        # 5
play_pattern_timed [:g2,:g3,:g3], [1,1,1]            # 6
play_pattern_timed [:fs3,:g3,:e3], [1,1,1]           # 7
play_pattern_timed [:d3,:d3], [4,1]                  # 8 9
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:g3,:g3], [1,1,1]            # 10
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:d3,:b2,:g2], [0.5,0.5,1,1]  # 11
play_pattern_timed [:a2,:b2,:c3], [1,1,1]            # 12
play_pattern_timed [:b2,:b3,:a3], [2,0.5,0.5]        # 13
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:fs3,:e3], [1,1,1]           # 14
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:fs3,:e3], [1,1,1]           # 15
play_pattern_timed [:d3,:d3], [4,1]                  # 16 17
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:a3,:a3], [1,1,1]            # 18
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:e3,:e3], [1,1,1]            # 19
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:a3,:a3], [1,1,1]            # 20
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:a3], [2,1]                  # 21
play_pattern_timed [:c4,:b3,:a3], [1,1,1]            # 22
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:b3,:gs3], [1,1,1]           # 23
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:d3], [4,1]                  # 24 25
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:fs3,:g3], [1,1,1]           # 26
play_pattern_timed [:fs3,:d3,:d3], [1,1,1]           # 27
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:fs3,:g3], [1,1,1]           # 28
play_pattern_timed [:fs3,:d3,:d3], [1,1,1]           # 29
play_pattern_timed [:c4,:b3,:a3], [1,1,1]            # 30
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:fs3,:e3], [1,1,1]           # 31
play_pattern_timed [:fs3],[1], sustain_level: 0.6, sustain: 1, decay: 3   # 32 sustain note into next bar
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:fs3], [1,1]                 # 32
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:d3,:fs3], [1,1,1]           # 33
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:d3],[3,3]                   # 34 35
play_pattern_timed [:c3,:b2,:a2], [1,1,1]            # 36
play_pattern_timed [:d3],[3]                         # 37
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:fs3,:g3], [1,1,1]           # 38
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:a3,:g3], [1,1,1]            # 39
play_pattern_timed [:fs3,:e3,:fs3], [1,1,1]          # 40
play_pattern_timed [:d3,:d3],[2,1]                   # 41
play_pattern_timed [:b3,:b3,:a3], [0.5,1.5,1]        # 42
play_pattern_timed [:g3,:d3,:d3], [0.5,1.5,1]        # 43
play_pattern_timed [:c4,:c4,:b3], [1,1,1]            # 44
play_pattern_timed [:a3,:e3,:d3], [0.5,1.5,1]        # 45
play_pattern_timed [:e3,:fs3,:g3], [1,1,1]           # 46
play_pattern_timed [:d3,:b2,:g2], [1,1,1]            # 47
play_pattern_timed [:a2],[3], decay: 3               # 48
play_pattern_timed [:a2,:b2,:a2], [1,1,1]            # 49
play_pattern_timed [:g2],[3], decay: 3               # 50
play_pattern_timed [:g2],[1]                         # 51
sleep 2

The HPR Outro theme - hack on this improve it and make a show
in_thread do
  use_bpm 180
  use_transpose 24
  use_synth :beep
  19.times do
    play_pattern_timed [:a,:as,:a,:a], [0.5],release: 0.02, amp: 0.3 #
    play_pattern_timed [:as,:f,:as,:a], [0.5],release: 0.02, amp: 0.3  #
use_bpm 180
sample :elec_hi_snare
sleep 0.5
sample :elec_hi_snare
sleep 0.5
sample :drum_bass_hard
sleep 0.5

use_transpose -0
use_synth :saw
2.times do
  play_pattern_timed [:a,:a,:a,:a], [0.5,1,0.5,1] # 3
  play_pattern_timed [:a,:as,:a], [1,1,1]
  play_pattern_timed [:c5], [3], decay: 2   # 6
  play_pattern_timed [:a,:a,:a,:a], [0.5,1,0.5,1] # 3
  play_pattern_timed [:a,:as,:a], [1,1,1]    # 6
  play_pattern_timed [:f], [3], decay: 2   # 6
use_synth :dsaw
play_pattern_timed [:f],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:as,:a,:as],[1,1,1]
play_pattern_timed [:a],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:f],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:as,:a,:as,],[1,1,1]
play_pattern_timed [:a],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:f],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:f],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:as,:a,:as],[1,1,1]
play_pattern_timed [:a],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:f],[1]
play_pattern_timed [:c5],[2], decay: 1.5
play_pattern_timed [:as,:a,:as,:a],[1,1,1,1]
play_chord [:c4,:f], decay: 4

Router Hacking - Jon Kulp | 2015-05-21

Router Hacking


  • Flashing a router with alternate firmware


  • Provide additional features
  • Improve performance
  • Privacy (gets rid of unwanted spyware)
  • Fun


How: Steps for My Latest Hack

  1. Find used Netgear WNDR3400 router on shelf at local Goodwill store, priced at $3.99.
  2. Use my smartphone to check the dd-wrt database to see if this router is hackable.
  3. Grin broadly upon seeing the green "Yes" beside router WNDR3400.
  4. Double-check that power supply is included, find an AC outlet and plug in to be sure it powers on and my phone sees its ESSID. Yep and yep.
  5. Take router to cashier and purchase.
  6. Do hard reset of router to clear any previous configuration.
  7. Hook a laptop up to router using ethernet patch cable (turning off WiFi adapter on laptop).
  8. Access router's configuration in web browser at default router address of just to confirm that it works.
  9. Go back to the dd-wrt router database and find the router again, then download the corresponding "mini" and the "mega" versions of dd-wrt firmware (The mega version has the most features—including USB support, which I wanted—but on many routers, including this one, you have to install the mini version first or else you could brick the router)
  10. Read over the dd-wrt wiki page for this specific router just to see if there's anything unusual about the hack. There's not.
  11. Go to the router's stock configuration page again and find the "Firmware upgrade" button.
  12. Click the button and choose the "mini" version of the dd-wrt firmware, and click upgrade, then wait while crossing fingers until it says firmware successfully upgraded.
  13. Refresh the configuration page at and see the new dd-wrt configuration interface.
  14. Pat myself on the back because I have just hacked another router. Hray!
  15. Find the upgrade firmware area on the new dd-wrt interface, and this time choose the "mega" firmware file and submit, then wait and cross fingers as before. Celebrate when it works.
  16. Configure newly hacked router as wireless bridge (this is NOT going to be my main router), enable the USB and printer support, hook up our formerly-usb-only printer to the router, and configure household computers to be able to print wirelessly to the newly-networked printer.
  17. Enjoy kudos from appreciative family.

Random thoughts - swift110 | 2015-05-19

My blogsite as well as just one of the many posts on my site that deal with what I appreciate about my life in general

Sox of Silence - Ken Fallon | 2015-05-11

Many of you may be aware of the "truncate silence" filter in audacity. As I already use SOX to speed up my podcasts, I wanted to see if it could also remove silence as well. While the man page is detailed, it is difficult to follow.

Fortunately Jason Navarrete posted an excellent article on called The SoX of Silence which went through the process step by step

The Script

    # -S, --show-progress
    # -V verbose
    # tempo Change the audio playback speed but not its pitch. 
    # remix Select and mix input audio channels into output audio channels. 
    # remix - performs a mix-down of all input channels to mono.
    # silence Removes silence from the beginning, middle, or end of the audio.
    sox -S -v2 "${FILENAME}" "${FILENAME}-faster-${SPEED}.ogg" -V9 tempo ${SPEED} remix - silence 1 0.1 1% -1 0.1 1%

Introduction to Rogue Class Linux - Frank Bell | 2015-05-07

Rogue Class describes itself as "a toy Linux distribution for playing games and reading books. RCL favors turn-based games, such as puzzles and rogue-like games. "

What are Rogue Class games? According to a link at the Rogue Class website, Rogue Class games are characterized by

  • "Tactical play. The unit of action is based on the individual adventurer. The game is not twitch oriented (like Quake, rewarding reflexes & well trained actions) nor is it strategy oriented (like Civilizations or Warcraft, requiring working on the large picture)
  • "Based in Hack and Slash. A roguelike isn't primarily about plot development or telling a story. It is about killing things and acquiring treasure.
  • "Random games. A roguelike is a dungeon crawler where no two games are the same. The maps are different, the items are different, there are no guaranteed win paths.
  • "Permadeath. You die, that is it. No restoring a savegame. Good roguelikes delete your save game after loading them. This is compensated by the replayability of the game.
  • "Complex interactions of properties. While the commands for a roguelike are simple, the potential interactions are not. My favourite example is equipping a silver ring as a weapon in order to damage a creature vulnerable to silver, but not one's other weapons. [Editor: This matches the Hack branch of the roguelike tree, not the Angband branch]
  • "Steam rolling monsters. If a critter is in your way, and weak, you shouldn't even notice it is there."


Rogue Class contains four dozen or so games, two of which are actually categories which in turn contain additional games, as well as a number of utilities, including a network manager, an IRC client, and more. Some representative games include the following, picked quite at random: Angband, Fargoal, Magus, Moria, Nethack, and Tome.

If you liked the old games, give Rogue Class a spin.


The Rogue Class forum is located at Linux

You can see an interesting chart of Rogue Class's graphics subsystems at this link:

Intro to Homebrewing - Alpha32 | 2015-05-06

I talk a bit about homebrewing, how to do it, what it is, and how to get started. If there is interest, I will do more in-depth shows on the topic, otherwise I will let it stand alone.


I ramble on about brewing your own beer. Here are a few internet resources to help you along:

This is my first episode ever, so any advice is greatly appreciated. My email is

pdftk: the PDF Toolkit - Jon Kulp | 2015-05-01

Hacking Apart and Re-Assembling PDFs

Extract pages 3–5 from file foobar.pdf:

pdftk foobar.pdf cat 3-5 output excerpt.pdf

Same thing but also grab the cover page:

pdftk foobar.pdf cat 1 3-5 output excerpt.pdf

Combine multiple PDFs:

pdftk file1.pdf file2.pdf file3.pdf cat output combined.pdf

Reassemble a 50-page document with all of the pages in reverse order (I once actually did this for my wife and she was very grateful—she had scanned an article at the library and it ended up with all of the pages in the wrong order from last to first. This command solved her problem in about one second.):

pdftk wrongorder.pdf cat 50-1 output rightorder.pdf

Check the pdftk man page for all kinds of other manipulations you can do, including "bursting" a PDF into its component pages, rotating pages in any direction, applying password protection, etc.

Embedding “Bookmarks” as a Table of Contents

You can also use pdftk to embed a table of contents in a flat PDF file. This is incredibly useful, as it can make large, unwieldy files very easy to navigate. All you have to do is add some bookmark data in a fairly straightforward format as shown below. As a starting point you should that dump the current metadata content of the file with this command:

pdftk foobar.pdf dump_data_utf8

Save the contents of this data dump in a text file and then add bookmark information just below the NumberOfPages value. Here is an excerpt from the huge anthology of public-domain scores I assembled for my music history class:

InfoKey: ModDate
InfoValue: D:20150106100000-06'00'
InfoKey: CreationDate
InfoValue: D:20150106100000-06'00'
InfoKey: Creator
InfoValue: pdftk 2.02 -
InfoKey: Producer
InfoValue: itext-paulo-155 (
PdfID0: ece858bf9affbcad3b575cf3891a187f
PdfID1: 23f89459e103dd43c6e7bc92028245c0
NumberOfPages: 765
BookmarkTitle: Beethoven: Symphony no. 5 in C minor Op. 67
BookmarkLevel: 1
BookmarkPageNumber: 205
BookmarkTitle: Beethoven 5: I. Allegro con brio
BookmarkLevel: 2
BookmarkPageNumber: 205
BookmarkTitle: Beethoven 5: II. Andante con moto
BookmarkLevel: 2
BookmarkPageNumber: 235
BookmarkTitle: Beethoven 5: III. Allegro
BookmarkLevel: 2
BookmarkPageNumber: 256
BookmarkTitle: Beethoven 5: IV. Allegro
BookmarkLevel: 2
BookmarkPageNumber: 275

And here is the command to update the PDF with the table of contents embedded. This tells it to take the input file foobar.pdf and update its metadata using the file (with utf8 encoding) and output the results as foobar_with_toc.pdf.

pdftk foobar.pdf update_info_utf8 output foobar_with_toc.pdf



I made a screencast as a follow-up, showing the process of embedding bookmarks to make a table of contents:

A brief review of Firefox OS - Stilvoid | 2015-04-30

This is phone I'm using:

And here are some useful links about Firefox OS:

The marketplace (app store):

The marketing site:

Developer documentation:

Cool Stuff part 3 - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2015-04-29


A part of PRX (Public Radio Exchange), they are a collection of story-driven podcasts sponsored in part by the Knight Foundation.


Knight Foundation :

Headed up by their flagship podcast 99% Invisible which is based on architecture and design and hosted by Roman Mars


rxvt = Roberts XVT. X = X Window System, VT = VT102 terminal

VT Terminal :

rxvt started as a replacement for xterm. Written by Rob Nation

Forked by Marc Lehmann and called rxvt-unicode or urxvt. Gave features such as transparency, Perl extensions and better font support

Uses the .xdefaults configuration file in your home directory for customizations.

Phil Plait's Crash Course Astronomy

Also known as The Bad Astronomer

Wikipedia :

Blogs at Slate :

Ted Talks :

Crash Course on YouTube:

Ranger File Manager - b-yeezi | 2015-04-27

From Man Page:

ranger is a console file manager with VI key bindings. It provides a minimalistic and nice curses interface with a view on the directory hierarchy. The secondary task of ranger is to figure out which program you want to use to open your files with.

This manual mainly contains information on the usage of ranger. Refer to the README for install instructions and to doc/HACKING for development specific information. For configuration, see the files in ranger/config. They are usually installed to /etc/ranger/config and can be obtained with ranger's --copy-config option.

Inside ranger, you can press 1? for a list of key bindings, 2? for a list of commands and 3? for a list of settings.

  • Project page: Has pretty good documentation
  • Available on Debian, Arch, Probably others, git and mailing list available as well.



  • 3-pane view:
    • Previous -> current -> next
    • When current is a file, uses file magic and other programs to preview the file
    • optional dependencies for previews:
      • img2txt from caca-utils for ASCII-art
      • highlight for syntax highlights
      • atool for archives
      • lynx/w3m/elinks for html
      • pdftotext for pdfs
      • transmission-show for bittorrent information
      • mediainfo or exiftool for mediafile info
    • Color coded, with three themes to choose from
    • One more over to the right opens the file from other programs


  • located in ~/.config/ranger directory
  • rc.conf = keybindings and settings
  • = command-mode items
  • rifle.conf = file launcher options, which let you make custom file opener commands
  • = custom file preview scripts, like mdview
  • up, down, left, right, or h,j,k,l
  • gg top G Bottom
  • E edit
  • pageup/down

Command commands

  • spacebar to mark or :mark for pattern
  • dd, yy, pp
  • :touch, :mkdir, :grep
  • del
  • rename and bulkrename (change from ranger.container.file import File to .fsobject.)
  • zh - toggle hidden
  • gn - new tab, gt or gT to navigate tabs
  • / search vile
  • V visual mode
  • :open_with
  • 1? = list key bindings
  • 2? list commands
  • 3? list settings
  • ? main help

D7? Why Seven? - Jon Kulp | 2015-04-23

In this episode I respond to one of the community-requested topics ("Music Theory") and try to explain what seventh chords are and why they are used. Below are some of the terms that I use in the course of the discussion.

  • Interval: The distance between two pitches (sounded either consecutively or simultaneously)
  • Consonance: Relatively stable sound between two or more pitches
  • Dissonance: Relatively unstable sound between two or more pitches. Dissonance often needs a "resolution" to consonance
  • Chord: three or more notes sounded together
  • Chord progression: a succession of chords
  • Triad: a chord with 3 pitches, the adjacent pitches separated by the interval of the 3rd.
  • Seventh chord: a chord with 4 pitches, the adjacent pitches separated by the interval of the 3rd.
  • Tonality: harmonic system that governs the use of major and minor keys
  • Tonic: the central tone of a piece of music
  • Mode: major or minor [e.g. Symphony no. 5 in C minor]
  • Modulation: the process of changing keys within a piece of music
  • Scale: Ascending or descending series of notes that define a key or tonality, with a specific arrangements of half-steps and whole-steps. Major and Minor scales are most common in Western music

Free public-domain music reference book: Music Notation and Terminology by Karl Wilson Gehrkens: (see ch. 18)

Free Online Music Dictionary:

Introducing a 5 year old to Sugar on Toast - Amunizp | 2015-04-22

This was me introducing my 5 year old to her new laptop with Sugar on Toast.

A family member had no use for an old 7 year old netbook so I installed the trisquel version of Sugar, the one laptop per child operating system.

This is a response to this episode: I find it ticks all the boxes.

Recorded with a phone and spoken mainly in a different language. I did conversion to FLAC from a mono mp3 probably the same if I just uploaded the MP3 directly. No editing was done.

Penguicon 2015 Promo - Ahuka | 2015-04-21

Penguicon 2015 is a combined technology and sicence fiction convention in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, and will present over 350 hours of programming over the entire weekend. Of this, around 100 hours are open source, tech-related. In this episode I try to cover the coming attractions of the weekend and maybe entice some people to come join us. It will be a great weekend.


Scale 13x Part 6 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-16

I am 13 years old and live in Santa Barbara. I have participated in the Open Source community for several years. My dad has been on the SCALE leadership team for a long time, and he introduced me to programming. My favorite programming languages are HTML and Javascript with Enyo because I like creating websites and webOS apps. I also program in Shell and some Python, and like making short animations using Blender. I have recently made the world's first emulator for the WITCH, the first currently working fixed-point decimal computer. I recently earned my Technician Amateur Radio license and enjoy attending radio club meetings. Besides geeking, I like to swim, act, and do fun events with the Boy Scouts.

Scale 13x Part 5 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-15

Scale 13x Part 4 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-14

Scale 13x Part 3 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-13

Scale 13x Part 2 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-09

Josh Berkus Postgres SQL in Space



Josh Berkus has been a member of the PostgreSQL Core Team since 2003 and has been working as a database consultant since 1995. Josh's work experience includes 8 years of independant consulting on database applications, primarily building applications for the legal and HR industries. He was also head of Sun Microsystem's PosgtreSQL support staff for 2 years and helped launch BI startup Greenplum.

Bryan Lunduke



OpenSuSe Build Service with Markus Feilner and Lance Albertson


Markus Feilne



Open mind. Vigil. Proud citizen and honorable diplomat of the Conch republic. Minister of the Universal Life Church. Jedi knight. Owner of Lunar property. Linux and open source human, occasional and highly provocative Apple troll (#iTroll)

Lance Albertson



Director | Cat Herder
Lance became OSL director in early 2013. He has managed all of the hosting activities that the OSL provides for more than 160 high-profile open source projects since joining the lab as lead systems administrator and architect in 2007. Lance’s involvement in the open source community began in 2003, when he became a developer and package maintainer with Gentoo Linux. Prior to joining the OSL, Lance was a UNIX Administrator for the Enterprise Server Technologies group at Kansas State University. In his free time he helps organize Beaver BarCamp and plays trumpet in local jazz group The Infallible Collective.
Lance can be reached at lance-at-osuosl-dot-org

Scale 13x Part 1 of 6 - Lord Drachenblut | 2015-04-08



Lord Drachenblut introduces himself


Greetings everyone. I'm Matthew ”Lord Drachenblut" Williams. I'm currently working on gathering the fund to attend the Southern California Linux Expo aka SCALE. As many of you already know I have spent the last year struggling against esophageal cancer. I am nearing a point which I can start traveling and attending conferences again. My goal is to raise the funds so that in February of 2015 I can attend Scale. I am also working on a talk that I hope to give at SCALE. My sincerest thanks to the community that has been there for me during my recovery and to those that will help me in this endeavor. Should I raise more funds than needed to attend SCALE my goal will be to submit my talk to other conferences and to give my talk at those as well.



Listen to the interview with Jérôme Petazzoni.


Docker is an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications. Consisting of Docker Engine, a portable, lightweight runtime and packaging tool, and Docker Hub, a cloud service for sharing applications and automating workflows, Docker enables apps to be quickly assembled from components and eliminates the friction between development, QA, and production environments. As a result, IT can ship faster and run the same app, unchanged, on laptops, data center VMs, and any cloud.

Fedora Activity Day

The Fedora Activity Day (FAD) is a regional event (either one-day or a multi-day) that allows Fedora contributors to gather together in order to work on specific tasks related to the Fedora Project.

Fedora interview with Matthew Miller



The Fedora Project is a partnership of free software community members from around the globe. The Fedora Project builds open source software communities and produces a Linux distribution called "Fedora." The Fedora Project's mission is to lead the advancement of free and open source software and content as a collaborative community.

How to Get Yourself On an Open Source Podcast - Presentation for Kansas Linux Fest, 22 March 2015 - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-04-07

Howdy folks, this is 5150 for Hacker Public Radio. What you are about to hear is a presentation titled "How to Get Yourself on an Open Source Podcast" that I delivered at Kansas Linux Fest on 22 March 2015. Since it was not recorded (I was told the SD card was full), and there has been interest expressed by my fellow podcasters, I thought it might be worth re-recording. I am afraid Mike Dupont is not satisfied with any of the video from KLF 2015, this may be the only talk from that event you get to hear. However, show notes are extensive, All I can tell you is, three out of the four audience members seemed to enjoy my presentation. I shall deliver the rest of this podcast as if you gentile listeners were my live audience.

A. Howdy folks, my name is Don Grier. I'm an IT consultant and farmer from South Central Kansas. I am also a podcaster. You might recognize my voice from such podcasts as Hacker Public Radio, the Kernel Panic Oggcast, or Linux LUG Cast, where I use the handle, FiftyOneFifty.

I. When fellow Hacker Public Radio host Mike Dupont told me KLF would be a reality, I struggled to find a topic that I knew well enough to give a talk about. It was almost in jest that I said I could talk about "How to Get Yourself on an Open Source Podcast". Actually, since that was as far as my proposal went, I was shocked and honored to find myself on the same roster with so many other speakers with impressive credentials and technical topics.

II. This afternoon, I hope not only to chronicle my personal history with Linux and open source related podcasts, but to show you why I believe podcasting can be as an important part of giving back to the community as contributing code, or documentation, or cash. Linux podcasts bind the community by providing education, both as basic as Linux Reality or as specific as GNU World Order. Podcasts announce new innovations, and tell us of Free and Open Source software adoption and opposition in corporations and governments. Podcasts herald community events like this one, and provide a little humor at the end of a long day.

B. Some of you may wonder why I'm using old school technology to organize my notes at a high tech conference. At this point, 5150 holds up several stapled sheets of paper in large print. The plain and simple truth is that I can't read my phone or tablet with my glasses on; and I'm already using bifocals. It just seems every time I get new glasses, the lower lenses work for about two weeks, then I have to take then off to see the phone. But this last time I figured I'd outsmart my the system and just order a single focus lenses. I was still congratulating myself on my thriftiness when I put my new glasses on, sat down at the computer, and realized I couldn't read the keyboard.

C. Before I talk about my history as a podcaster, I think I should tell you my history with Linux.

I. My first experience with Linux was with a boxed set of Mandrake 7.2 around 2002. I always maintain at least a second running system in the house, in case the primary machine coughs up a hairball. I'd always been a geek alternative OS's, and I wanted a tertiary machine on my network that wouldn't be affected by the propagation of Windows viruses.

a. There wasn't much flash to Linux apps in those days, I recall I was not impressed by whichever browser shipped with Mandrake. I don't recall what I knew about installing additional applications from repositories, but in any case I was still on dialup.

b. The Pentium I that I installed Mandrake on had both a modem and an Ethernet card. The installer asked which one I used to reach the Internet, and only set up one of the two devices. This annoyed me as I'd planned to use the Linux box as a gateway to see if it would save a few CPU cycles on the P4 I used as a gaming machine back then. I really wouldn't have know where to go on the Internet for help, and I expect help would not be as forth coming 13 years ago.

II. My next experience with Linux came around 2007. The school I consulted for had several Windows 98 machines not compatible with the software they wanted to run. Even though the machines were P4's, we determined the cost of XP plus memory upgrades could better be applied to new machines. As a result, I was able to bring several of the machines home. Over time, I boosted their memory with used sticks from eBay, and even the odd faster processor. As a noob, I installed Feisty Fawn on a system out in the machine shed, and spent a lot of that winter hacking on that box when I should have been overhauling tractors. Just as I was delving into NDIS wrappers, Gusty brought support for my Gigabyte wireless card, which combined with a double fork isolating power box, gave me reasonable certainty that the box out in the shed was safe from lightning storms. About six months later, I rescued up a refugee from a major meteorological event and set it up in my house running Mint. For the first time I didn't have to leave the house to get my Linux on.

D. Just before I set up that first Linux box, we finally got broadband out to the farm, and I'd discovered podcasts. I figured there must be Linux podcasts to go along the general tech and computing podcasts I followed, as well as a fondly remembered weekly SciFi revue show that started out as a Sunday afternoon show on a Wichita radio station, was canceled twice, and re-emerged as a semi weekly podcast, only to disappear forever a couple months after I started listening again, but not before I download all the episodes I missed.

I. In my initial search for Linux related content, all I came up with were four drunk off their ass Scots discussing the minutia of Ruby on Rails. While I liked the format, I lacked the commitment to become a Ruby programmer so I could understand the show.

II. A few days later I came across "The Techie Geek". Russ Wenner mixed tutorials with reviews of new applications and upcoming events. Better yet, he introduced me to a world of other Linux podcasts. Through "The Techie Geek", I learned of the irreverent banter of the "Linux Outlaws", the subdued studiousness of what was then called "The Bad Apples", the contained chaos of the "Linux Cranks", the classroom like atmosphere of the "Linux Basement" during Chad's Drupal tutorial period, tech hints and movie reviews delivered at the speed of 75 miles per hour by Dave Yates of "Lotta Linux Links", the auditory dissonance of "The Linux Link Tech Show", and the constant daily variety of "Hacker Public Radio".

E. In 2010, I made my first contribution to Hacker Public Radio. The great thing about HPR is that there is no vetting process, we only ask your audio be intelligible (not polished, not even good, we just have to be able to understand you) and that the topic be of interest to geeks. If you consider yourself a geek, any topic that interests you is welcome. There is no maximum or minimum runtime, just get the show uploaded on-time. While topics tend concern open source, this is not a requirement. I believe my second HPR concerned how to migrate Windows wireless connection profiles between systems. I'd spent a few hours figuring it out one day for a customer and I thought I should consolidate what I learned in one place. HPR provides a podcasting platform at no cost to the podcaster. It serves as both a venue for broadcasters without the resources to host their own site or without the time to commit to a regular schedule. It can also serve as an incubator for hosts trying to find their own audience. It's never been easier to become a podcaster with HPR. I would start with an e-mail introduction (as a courtesy) to Next, record you audio. When you have a file ready to upload, select an open slot in the calendar page and follow the instructions, be prepared to paste in your shownotes.

F. I also credit HPR for getting me my first invite to participate in my first podcast with multiple hosts. Once a month, Hacker Public Radio records a Community News podcast, recorded on the first Saturday afternoon after the end of the previous month (exact times and server details are published in the newsletter). All HPR hosts, and indeed listeners are invited to participate, it is just asked that you have listened to most the the past month's shows so you can participate in the discussion.

I. Like most multi-host audio podcast's, HPR uses Mumble to record shows, including the annual New Year's Eve show, which has dozens of participants. There is a Mumble tutorial on to help you get started.

II. I started to take part in Hacker Public Radio's Community News a few months after recording my first podcast. I did it because I wanted to take a greater part in HPR, not because I considered it an audition, but it is a good way to show other people that you can politely and intelligently participate in a group discussion. (Actually, I have a tendency to wander off into tangents and unintentionally dominate the topic, something I struggle with to this day).

III. Another way to join in a round table discussion on HPR is to participate in the HPR Book Club. Once a month, we take an audio book that is freely available on the Internet and share our opinions. Recording schedules and the next book to be reviewed are available in the HPR newsletter.

G. I believe sharing one or more Community News with Patrick Dailey (aka pokey) influenced him to invite me into the cast of Dev Random. The semi weekly Dev Random recorded of the Saturdays Kernel Panic didn't. While we sometimes accidentally talked about tech and open source, we always saved the most disturbing things we'd seen on the Internet in the previous two weeks for discussion on the show, things that could not be discussed on other podcasts. Despite rumors to the contrary, dev random is not dead, only resting, and shall one day rise again to shock and disgust new generations of listeners.

H. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time. I won't insult the Kernel Panic Oggcast by calling it a sister show to Dev Random, it just recorded on opposite Saturdays and had some of the same cast members in common. Anyway, I'd been participating in the forum for a while, suggesting topics from FOSS stories I'd come across in social media during the week. I was idling in #oggcastplanet on Freenode when Peter Cross asked for people from the channel to participate in the show on a day only a couple of the regular cast showed up. Dev Random used the same Mumble server, so I used my existing credentials to take Peter up on his offer, and for better or worse I've been a KPO cast member ever since.

I. While we are on the topic, having a presence on Freenode IRC chat is a great way to get your name or handle known in the podcasting world. Many podcasts have their own channel set up that listeners participate in during live streaming podcasts. Saying something helpful, (or more likely smart alecky) might get you mentioned on the show and make you familiar to the shows audience. I've seen several individuals move from regular forum or chat participants to the hosts of their own show or contributors to HPR. From my own experience, after spending several weeks as silent participants in Podbrewers, listening to the stream and commenting in the chat, RedDwarf and myself were invited to bring our own beers and join the cast.

I. While many podcasts still have their own IRC channels, other than providing a conduit between the hosts, they are most active during live broadcasts. Between shows, many of the podcasters I listen to gravitate to hanging around in Freenode's #oggcastplanet , since podcasters typically have a chat client open during work and leisure hours. In fact, at KPO we use #oggcastplanet as our primary communications channel during live streaming.

II. I still recall the day monsterb and Peter64 asked me about the origin of my handle, given it's similarity to their colleague, threethirty. I'd heard both on podcasts I followed, and I felt like I was talking to rock stars.

III. Now that I am a podcaster in my own right, with a presence in #oggcastplanet, I try to make a point to say hello when I see an unfamiliar handle in the channel. I expect the spambots consider me the nicest guy in IRC.

IV. As it happens, IRC was also responsible for my involvement in the Linux LUG Cast. LLC was conceived after the re-imaginging and final demise of Steve McLaughlin's project, "Linux Basix". Kevin Wisher, chattr, and honkeymaggo wanted to do a show along the same lines while incorporating the spirit of the unrecorded online LUG that always preceded it on the mumble server. I was brought along by the simple expediency of never having closed the #LinuxBasix channel in my chat client. We have been going for a little more than a year and have attracted a following, but frankly we have not found the listener participation we were looking for. This was meant to be a true online Linux Users Group for people couldn't travel to a LUG. So far, it's usually been the same four of five guys talking about what Linux projects succeed, what failed, and what we we're going to try next. I've learned a lot in the past year, and I expect the listeners have as well, but we are always hoping to get more live participation. Rural areas like the midwest are our target audience. The details of the Mumble connection are posted at, we always monitor the IRC channel #linuxlugcast while recording, and the Feedback link is posted on the website.

Thank you for your time and attention this afternoon, especially considering the caliber of talks running in the other two channels. I can be contacted at . Are there any questions?

Mailing List Etiquette - Dave Morriss | 2015-04-03

Mailing List Etiquette


In February 2015 I created a script to add a section to the monthly Community News show notes. The added section summarises the discussions on the HPR mailing list over the previous month. My script processes the messages archived on the Gmane site and reports on the threads it finds there.

In writing this script I noticed the number of times people made errors in replying to existing message threads and initiating new threads on the list. I thought it might be helpful if I explained some of the do's and don'ts of mailing list use to help avoid these errors.

Full Notes

Since the notes explaining this subject are long (the size limit is 4000 characters), they have been placed here:

Experimental EPUB Notes

For this show I have tried generating an EPUB version of the full notes. This can be found here: Comments on this idea are welcome.

  1. Gmane archive of the Hacker Public Radio mailing list:
  2. Wikipedia article on message groupings referred to as conversations, topic threads, or threads:
  3. A brief note on how to punctuate the phrase "do's and don'ts":
  4. Wikipedia article on Usenet:
  5. Thunderbird add-on ThreadVis:
  6. Wikipedia article on the RFC document:
  7. Text of RFC5322:
  8. Wikipedia article on Email:
  9. Wikipedia article on MIME used in email:
  10. Description of a threading algorithm from Jamie Zawinski:
  11. Text of RFC1153:
  12. Wikipedia article on posting style:
  13. A recent large thread on the Mailman-Users mailing list discussing the subject of replying to lists:

How I run my small business using Linux - b-yeezi | 2015-03-30


  • System76 Galago Ultrapro - Ubuntu 14.04
  • Synology DiskStation DS213j
  • LG G2

Proprietary Applications

  • Synology Cloud Station
  • Wireframe Sketcher

Free Applications

  • pandoc
  • discount -firefox
  • chromium
  • gvim
  • libreoffice
  • planner
  • hamster
  • todo.txt
  • gnucash
  • virtualbox
  • thunderbird
    • enigmail
    • stationary
  • california
  • ranger
  • L2TP/IPSEC vpn client
  • meld
  • deja-dup -> Box
  • Systemback
  • rsync


LinuxLugCast Episode-003 Outtakes - Kevin Wisher | 2015-03-25

Some good content that we do not publish.

Renovating another Public-Domain Counterpoint Textbook - Jon Kulp | 2015-03-24

I mistakenly referred to episode 1516 while I was speaking. I meant to say 1512. The two musical bumpers I used in the show are by J.S. Bach, examples 90 and 91 in the textbook "Applied Counterpoint," by Percy Goetschius. These are my own MIDI renditions so they have no copyright burden upon them.

My html-to-epub conversion command (requires calibre):

ebook-convert foobar.html foobar.epub \
--output-profile=tablet \
--disable-font-rescaling \
--smarten-punctuation \
--change-justification=left \
--preserve-cover-aspect-ratio \
--cover=./pathto/cover.jpg \
--use-auto-toc \
--level1-toc "//h:h1" \
--level2-toc "//h:h3"


Upgrading an old laptop - swift110 | 2015-03-23

In July of 2010 I was given a laptop to repair by one of my friends, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it despite hours of trial and error so eventually I got so frustrated with it that I just set it aside and forgot about for a while. Meanwhile my friend got another laptop so he told me I could keep it.

For the rest of the post see:

Shield's Up - Wood Stove Heat Shield Project - David Whitman | 2015-03-19

The Problem: Wood stoves get really hot
The solution: metal heat shield and airspace
I describe how I used common materials and self designed a wood stove heat Shield.
Hopefully there are pictures attached to this episode show notes so you can see just how well I described my project

Basic Mutt - Frank Bell | 2015-03-17

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)

15 Excuses not to Record a show for HPR - Knightwise | 2015-03-16

Inspired by a recent meeting with Ken Fallon at Fossdem, Knightwise presents 15 excuses not to record for Hacker Public Radio.

  1. I don't have the right Gear
  2. It doesn't sound so polished
  3. I don't know how to upload
  4. I don't have a radio voice
  5. I don't have the time
  6. I'm shy
  7. I don't have anything to say
  8. The stuff I know about is realy niche and noone will be interested
  9. What if I get negative comments
  10. Who would listen to my show anyway
  11. I've never done this before
  12. I'll get around to it someday
  13. I recorded a show but I'm too afraid to submit it
  14. It takes me a long time to edit out the "um" and "er"
  15. I don't know enough about audio editing yet

Success With Students - Kevie | 2015-03-11

For his second attempt at a solo episode of HPR, Kevie talks about a very positive experience he had introducing school pupils to podcasting. From this he was able to discuss the benefits of Creative Commons music and using open source, cross platform software. The ultimate success came when three students took the plunge and installed Linux on their own computers.

Music included in this episode:

Kansas Linux Fest 2015, March 21-22, Lawrence KS - FiftyOneFifty | 2015-03-10

We are pleased to announce the first annual Kansas Linux Fest (, hashtag #KLF15. It will be hosted by the Lawrence Public Library, Lawrence Kansas, March 21-22, 2015. The Kansas Linux Fest is a project of the Free/Libre Open Source and Open Knowledge Association of Kansas ( and other organizations.

Special recognition needs to be paid to Hacker Public Radio contributor James Michael DuPont for taking point in making a community event in the central United States a reality. Speakers ( ) include Open Source Advocate Dave Lester, Hal Gottfried, cofounder of the Open Hardware Evangelist Kansas City Open Hardware Group, David Stokes, MySQL Community Manager at Oracle, Ben C. Roose, Technology Consultant for Live Performance, Kevin Lane, Technical Consultant IV at HP Enterprise Services, Jonathan George, CEO @boxcar, and podcaster and open source evangelist, FiftyOneFifty.

Registration for conference tickets can be found on the KLF website. Fan tickets are free, but supporter level tickets may be purchased with a free will donation which will go towards marketing and food.

You will find links on the homepage that will allow you to follow the conference on social and other media, as well as an RSS feed. There is also information on how to become involved with Free/Libre Open Source and Open Knowledge Association of Kansas.

Cross-compilers Part 2 - Mike Ray | 2015-03-09

In part 1 I described cross-compiling, what it means and why you might want to, or even need to use it.

I also described how to create a cross-compiler tool-chain using crosstool-ng.

In this show I will demonstrate using one of the cross-compilers which I created as described in the last show to compile a Raspberry Pi Linux kernel.

As usual with my shows the show-notes can't be squashed into 4k, so there is an HTML version at:

The Linux Tree Command - JWP | 2015-03-05

tree - list contents of directories in a tree-like format.


tree [-adfghilnopqrstuvxACDFNS] [-L level [-R]] [-H baseHREF] [-T title] [-o filename] [--nolinks] [-P pattern] [-I pattern] [--inodes] [--device] [--noreport] [--dirsfirst] [--version] [--help] [--filelimit #] [directory ...]


Tree is a recursive directory listing program that produces a depth indented listing of files. Color is supported ala dircolors if the LS_COLORS environment variable is set, output is to a tty, and the -C flag is used. With no arguments, tree lists the files in the current directory. When directory arguments are given, tree lists all the files and/or directories found in the given directories each in turn. Upon completion of listing all files/directories found, tree returns the total number of files and/or directories listed.

By default, when a symbolic link is encountered, the path that the symbolic link refers to is printed after the name of the link in the format:

name -> real-path

If the '-l' option is given and the symbolic link refers to an actual directory, then tree will follow the path of the symbolic link as if it were a real directory.

Visualizing electricity - tcuc | 2015-03-03


  • Amps (what it's measured in)
  • amount of water. (what i compare it to)


  • voltage (what its measured in)
  • pressure (what i compare it to)


  • Ohms (what it's measured in)
  • valve (what i compare it to)

Problems with video software in Linux - swift110 | 2015-02-23


Hacking Your Teeth - MrX | 2015-02-19

This podcast details my experiences with dentists along with a smattering of free advice.

Link to the commonly known sunscreen song

Wikipedia article about gum disease

Wikipedia page on Interdental tooth brushes

Teeth with gum disease, notice that the gum doesn't form a sharp point between the teeth

Healthy gums, gum forms a sharp point between teeth.

GNU/Nano Editor - JWP | 2015-02-18

JWP Editor GNU/Nano
                :::                         The                   
  iLE88Dj.  :jD88888Dj:                                           
.LGitE888D.f8GjjjL8888E;        .d8888b.  888b    888 888     888 
iE   :8888Et.     .G8888.      d88P  Y88b 8888b   888 888     888 
;i    E888,        ,8888,      888    888 88888b  888 888     888 
      D888,        :8888:      888        888Y88b 888 888     888 
      D888,        :8888:      888  88888 888 Y88b888 888     888 
      D888,        :8888:      888    888 888  Y88888 888     888 
      D888,        :8888:      Y88b  d88P 888   Y8888 Y88b. .d88P 
      888W,        :8888:       "Y8888P88 888    Y888  "Y88888P"  
      W88W,        :8888:                                         
      W88W:        :8888:      88888b.   8888b.  88888b.   .d88b. 
      DGGD:        :8888:      888 "88b     "88b 888 "88b d88""88b
                  :8888:      888  888 .d888888 888  888 888  888
                  :W888:      888  888 888  888 888  888 Y88..88P
                  :8888:      888  888 "Y888888 888  888  "Y88P" 
                    tW88D             Text Editor       


nano is a text editor for Unix-like computing systems or operating environments using a command line interface. It emulates the Pico text editor, part of the Pine email client, and also provides additional functionality. In contrast to Pico, nano is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Released as free software by Chris Allegretta in 1999, today nano is part of the GNU Project.

A tour round my desktop - Beeza | 2015-02-17

Cross-compilers part 1 - Mike Ray | 2015-02-16

Cross-compilers, Part 1

In this show I'll introduce the concept of cross-compiling software, explain what it is and why you might want/need to do it.

I'll also talk about a great piece of kit for creating cross-compiler tool-chains on Linux; crosstool-ng.

As with most of my shows, the show notes are far too long to fit into the restricted size, so there's an HTML version as well, at:

Here are some bullet-points:

  • cross-compilers, why and what?
  • crosstool-ng
  • Cross-compiler tool-chain generation gotchas
  • Raspberry Pi cross-compiling tool-chain generation with crosstool-ng
  • Compiling a kernel on a Pi takes 15 hours
  • On my not-so-screaming quad-core Debian machine it takes 15 minutes


There are a few files for this show, the ct-ng .config files downloaded from Arch Linux ARM and a about them. The original markdown source of the full show notes is in the tarball as well

Introducing Jeffrey Powers aka Geekazine - daw | 2015-02-12

I was asked to do a followup to my Introduction to the Netizen Empowerment Federation. Specifically, I was asked to talk a bit more about the goals of and how it fits into free culture. I thought the best way to do that was to introduce my co-founder, Jeffrey Powers.

A May 2011 estimate puts the sports industry at 350-450 billion ($480-$620 billion) -- it is inarguably foolish to ignore it. I don't think you are going to convince anyone to change their ways by shouting at them, or quietly being condescending.

Listen to find out Jeff's answers!

How has Sportazine changed from your initial vision when we created it almost 5 years ago?

What is JMP?

We're recording on Jan 16. What's the tech history bit people should check out on your site for today?

Do you do interviews for any of your sites?

How do you vet interviewees?

What is the best way for someone to get in touch with you if they'd like to be an interviewee?

Where are you speaking to you today from Jeff?

What are your favorite sports to watch or play?

How far do you think the Packers will go this year? We're recording on Jan 16, but there aren't open slots on HPR for a while, so people may get to see if you are right.

Professional video game players get athletic visas in the US, and are covered by ESPN ( so I suppose we might as well. How much do you cover video games on your various sites?

What is the name of your band, and where can people find the band?

Is there anything else you would like to tell the listeners?

Open Source CD Rippers - Kevie | 2015-02-11

For a first attempt at flying solo for an episode of HPR, Kevie takes a look at a variety of open source CD ripping software. Looking at graphical applications Sound Juicer and Asunder along with the command line tools Bashburn and Crip. Along with considering if it is worth having a dedicated ripping tool when a fully fledged audio suite Rhythmbox and VLC will also allow ripping. Regular listeners to the TuxJam podcast will know that Kevie is a big fan of creative commons music and this episode is no different with the tracks by 20lb Sounds and Blowing Up Bridges.

Music included in this episode:

Today with a Techie episode two thousand - Ken Fallon | 2015-02-06

Hacker Public Radio (HPR) is an Internet Radio show (podcast) that releases shows every weekday Monday through Friday. HPR has a long lineage going back to Radio FreeK America, Binary Revolution Radio & Infonomicon, and it is a direct continuation of Twatech radio. Please listen to StankDawg's "Introduction to HPR" for more information.

Knowing how much I hate editing, I hope everyone can get a sense for how much I appreciate all the people who took the time to contribute to the project.

If you haven't contributed a show yet, well today is a perfect day to get involved. Just click our contribute link:

My APOD downloader - Dave Morriss | 2015-01-29

My APOD Downloader

Astronomy Picture of the Day

You have probably heard of the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) site. It has existed since 1995, is provided by NASA and Michigan Technological University (MTU) and is created and managed by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell. The FAQ on the site says "The APOD archive contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the internet".

The Downloader

Being a KDE user I quite like a moderate amount of bling, and I particularly like to have a picture on my desktop. I like to rotate my wallpaper pictures every so often, so I want to have a collection of images. To this end I download the APOD on my server every day and make the images available through an NFS-mounted volume.

In 2012 I wrote a Perl script to perform the download, using a fairly primitive HTML parsing method. This script has been improved over the intervening years and now uses the Perl module HTML::TreeBuilder which I believe is much better at parsing HTML.

The version of the script I use myself also includes the Perl module Image::Magick which interfaces to the awesome ImageMagick image manipulation software suite. I use this to annotate the downloaded image with the title parsed from the HTML so I know what it is.

The script I am presenting here is called collect_apod_simple and does not use ImageMagick. I chose to omit it because the installation of this suite and the related Perl module can be difficult. Also, I do not feel that the annotation always works as well as it could, and I have not yet found the time to correct this shortcoming.

A version of the more advanced script (called collect_apod) is available in the same place as collect_apod_simple should you wish to give it a try. Both scripts are available on Gitorious under the link

The Code

The script itself is described in the full show notes, available here:

DD fun - Cibola Jerry | 2015-01-28

Storing info outside the file system with the DD command.

Some useful tools when compiling software - Rho`n | 2015-01-21


Hi this is Rho`n and welcome to my first submission to Hacker Public Radio. I have been working on an application using the Python programming language with the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) libraries for the GUI interface. After acquiring a new laptop and installing a fresh copy of Ubuntu on it, I decided to set up the build environment I needed to be able to work on my project. I have been building from source the EFL libraries along with the Python-EFL wrapper libraries. For the last couple machines on which I have built the software, I would use the standard configure, make, and make install procedure. This time around I decided to create a debian package to use for installing the libraries. It had been a few years since I had created a .deb, so I googled for some tutorials, and found mention of the checkinstall program. After reading a couple blog posts about it I decided to try it out. checkinstall is run instead of "make install" , and will create a .deb file, and then install the newly created package.

cut and tr commands

To help speed up the configure process, I had previously created a file from my other builds that is a grep of my history for all the various "apt get install" commands of the libraries the EFL software needs to compile. Since my current operating system was a freshly installed distribution of Ubuntu, I needed to install the build-essential package first. After looking through my install file, and I decided to create a single apt-get install line with all the packages listed, instead of running each of the installs seperately. I knew I could grep the file, and then pass that to awk or sed, but my skill with either isn't that great. I did a little searching to see what other tools were out there and found the cut command and the tr command. Cut lets you print part of a line. You can extract set a field delimeter with the -d option and then list a range of fields to be printed with the -f option. The tr command can replace a character. I used this to replace the new line character that was printed by the cut command to generate a single line of packages which I piped to a file. A quick edit of the file to add "sudo apt-get install" at the beginning, add execute permissions to the file, and now I have a nice, easy way to install all the needed libraries.

apt-file and checkinstall

At least that was the idea. After installing the libraries, and running configure, I still received errors that libraries were missing. The machines from which my list of libraries was generated, had all been used for various development purposes, so some needed libraries were already installed on them, and so their installation had passed out of my history. Besides echoing to standard out the file configure can't find, it also creates a log file: config.log. Between the two it is relatively easy to figure out what library is needed. Often the libraries needed included their name in the .deb which has to be installed, and finding them is easy with an apt-cache search and grep of the library name. The hardest ones to find were often the X11 based references. In this case, I needed the scrnsaver.h header file. After googling, I found a reference to the needed package (libxss-dev) on Stack Exchange. The answer also showed how to use the apt-file command to determine in which package a file is included. I wish I had run into this before, there a few times where it took a number of searches on the internet to figure out which package I needed to install, and "apt-file find" would have saved time and frustration. A very handy tool for anyone developing on a debian based distribution. As it turns out, that was the last dependency that needed resolved. After a successful configure, and successful compile using the make command, I was ready to try out checkinstall. Running sudo checkinstall, brings up a series of questions about your package, helping you fill out the needed .deb meta-data. I filled out my name and email, name for the package, short description of the package, and let everything else go to the suggested defaults. After, that hit enter and checkinstall will create a debian package and install it for you. If you run "apt-cache search <name of package>" you will see it listed, and "apt-cache show <name of package>" will give you the details you created for the package. There are warnings on the Ubuntu wiki not to use this method for packages to be included in an archive or in a ppa. It does work great for a local install, and would use it to install on machines on my local network.


After a short side trip into development setup, I'm back writing my application on my new laptop. While I am a big fan of binary packages, Debian being the first GNU/Linux distribution I ever used, sometimes you need to dive in and compile software from source. For me running configure, make, make install has been the easiest way to do this, and these days it usually isn't too difficult to get even moderately complex applications and libraries to build. The most tedious part can be resolving all the dependencies. Now, with apt-file in my tool belt, it will be even faster and easier. I will also be using checkinstall for future compiles. I do like being able to use package management tools to install, and un-install software.

I hope others find these tools useful. I have posted links in the show notes to the pages about cut, tr, apt-file and checkinstall that led me to these tools. If you've made it this far, thanks for listening to my first post to HPR. As Ken Fallon points out, it's not an HPR episode until you have uploaded it to the server. So let those episode ideas flow from your brain, into your favorite recording device, and up to the HPR server. Let's keep HPR active, vibrant, and a part of our lives for years to come.

Introduction to the Netizen Empowerment Federation - daw | 2015-01-13

This is my first HPR release and I'm going to keep it short. If anyone is intertested in hearing more about any of the projects I mention here, I'm happy to do another show.

First, I just want to say that everything on Netizen Empowerment Federation (NEF) is released under a free culture license, though not all of the music selected by our presenters is free culture. Right now we are blog and podcast focused, but we would like to add digital creators of all types.

  • I'm doing these sites in the order they were created, though I'm not sure if OSP or Sportazine was created first. Since OSP is the most closely related to HPR, I'm going to start with that. OSP started as a shared hosting gift for new developers. The idea was I could make people accounts on Dreamhost and they could test the latest free software. Since it wasn't a business, I didn't really promote it. It never took off. I had a few people in Wisconsin make accounts, but they barely used them. It's not really important why that idea failed, but eventually it just became a place for me to talk tech. lnxw48 aka lnxwalt is our current systems administrator and occasionally writes pieces for the site. Like all of our sites, we are always looking for contributors!
  • As far as I'm aware, Sportazine is the only site dedicated to sports and free culture. This means a lot of things. First it means, making sure online sports viewing works in free formats. It also means that there are free software fantasy sports implementations and that sports journalism happens under free culture licenses. Sportazine is a weird beast because we partnered with JMP Enterprise.
  • This is a collection of shows about remixable music. The main show features me and Tom of the band Lorenzo's Music. You can find his band on Jamendo, Spotify, Free Music Archive, and I'm sure plenty of other places.
  • The Lawcast is on hiatus and when it comes back will likely be less law focused and more just a catchall for more academic and policy-related stuff than we do on the main show. I'll probably talk a lot more about free software on the reboot, because it's not a topic Tom really cares much about. Tom is a GNU/Linux user, but he refuses to use anything but Skype or Hangout for recording the shows. I'll probably have on musicians that we wouldn't otherwise have on and thus a topic of conversation on those shows will be "Why won't you use Skype or Hangout?" I suspect most of the reasons will be free software focused, but they may also be privacy focused (not that they are unrelated).

  • The punkcast is pretty much what it sounds like it is. Eventually I want to bring it back. Right now though, I need to focus on finding funding, because if I don't, my wife is going to kick me out. I hope this is resolved by the time you hear this. I'm recording on December 19.
  • I think may have started before any of these, but I put it here due to the start of the Cyberunions podcast, which is currently on hiatus. Stephen now works for the FSF, so you know free software is important to him. I'm not going to say much about the show, because aside from being a one-time guest, I'm not involved in the project. If people want to know more about Cyberunions, I suggest you pester Stephen (aka mv) about doing a show.
  • RTB really refers to two music shows, one called OO (pronounced "oh-oh") and one called Unformatted. The site also has a stream that carriers a variety of shows, including Cerebral Mix, Rage and Frustration, and the last NEF show I am going to discuss.

New Year Show Part 8 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-12

  • Greetings to the western region of the United States, some regions of Canada and 2 more: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle.
  • pants.... really this is intelligent conversation
  • Pants are optional, I think. It's -20C.... pants are not optional
  • kilts are kreepy? or not. No they are not.
  • cobra2 thinks that ken should pay attention to show notes for editing lol. 
  • pokey thinks this may be the show that finally convinces Ken to edit.
  • 2nd there is a good hour that should not go onto the feed. it was rough on the stream
  • YAY TMI!!!
  • This is not the creamy part of the oreo. :(
  •  this is the creamy salty part... of the oreo. 
  • Sliders - tvshow added late by pegwole
  • dogs giving birth sounds better than singing over mumble


  • Greetings to Alaska and French Polynesia: Anchorage, Fairbanks, Unalaska, Juneau.
  • pokey  issues a challenge to the NYE participants: Judging by the show notes, we've spent the last 6 hours taking every joke to the lowest common denominator. I'd like to see an hour of greatest common factor.
  • Ken Talks about xmlstarlet and converting xml


  • Greetings to Marquesas Islands/France. Taiohae.

  • handsome_pirate talks about his model trains; he models the original Norfolk Southern in N scale
  • Some talks about about Scottish things, innacuracies in Braveheart, Gaidhligh has no 'W'


  • Greetings to small region of the United States and 2 more: Honolulu, Rarotonga, Adak, Papeete.
  • Youngins!
  • Kens Children talk about taking hard disks apart and put together an Ikea bookshelf.
  • Discussion on accessability in mumble Emil Ivov, the project lead of Jitsi. Jits


  • Greetings to American Samoa, Midway Atoll and 1 more: Alofi, Midway, Pago Pago.
  • Use of federated tools like gnusocial 
  • Tech in Hungary - Internet tax
  • Irish expats can't vote
  • Scottish independance
  • Ken shares his saga on getting a Linux Laptop
  • UK Support say "Lenovo UK does not restrict anything on the unit. You can install any  Operating system on the unit however we can only support the original  configuration of the unit. "
  • Ken Asked "Lenovo have shipped the IdeaPad Flex 10, without the ability to boot other operating systems, restricting the owner to running only the installed Windows 8.0 operating system."
  • Lenovo Replies: "The first wave of this CPU model from Intel can only support Windows, this is not Lenovo design, all product with this wave CPU were not able to support other OS except Windows. After this wave, the follow on Flex10 will support other operating systems."
  • Open phones.


Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind? 
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And days o’ lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear 
For auld lang syne, 
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet 
For auld lang syne!               
We twa hae run about the braes, 
And pu’d the gowans fine, 
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot 
Sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’t in the burn 
Frae morning sun till dine, 
But seas between us braid hae roar’d 
Sin’ auld lang syne.
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere, 
And gie’s a hand o’ thine, 
And we’ll tak a right guid willie-waught 
For auld lang syne!
And surely ye’ll be your pint’ stoup, 
And surely I’ll be mine! 
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet 
For auld lang syne!

Count down script
$ while [[ $(date +%Y) -ne 2015 ]];do figlet $(($(date -d 2015-01-01  +%s)-$(date +%s)));sleep 1;clear;done;figlet 'Happy New Year!'

Thanks To:
Mumble Server: John Neusteter
HPR Site/VPS: Joshua Knapp -
Streams: Kevin Wisher -
Admin Support: cobra2    
EtherPad: Russ Woodman - K5TUX

Peak Listeners on stream: 45
Mumble Participants: 74

Podcasts: (TechSNAPP - sysadmin techy stuff) (political media coverage) (politicial media) (hardcore history, for history buffs) Joe Rogan interviews all types of people

New Year Show Part 7 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-09


  • Greetings to the eastern region of the United States,regions of Canada and 12 more: New York, Boston, Rochester NY, Rochester NH, Millinocket, Maryland, Washington DC, Detroit, Havana, Atlanta.
  • fireworks and meth labs go up in celebration of the new year. Pgggy went to watch...
  • and we are really not family friendly now
  • Kerbal Space Platform is a game. People like it.
  • notKlaatu didn't get busted transproting lockpick tools from the US to New Zealand
  • OpenSource HTML5 IRC client:
  • Gnu Social servers: and


  • Greetings to the midwest region of the United States, some regions of Canada and 8 more  Mexico City, Chicago, Guatemala, Dallas.
  • Hillbilly Tracking of Low Earth Orbit [30c3]
  • Etherpad is the BOMB!
  • arrrr
  • No more possum drops in Brasstown, NC
  • fecal matter.... lots of it.... don't listen to this hour...
  • Threethirty's S2 has epic audio over 3G
  • Summer/Winter breaks
  • What we did when we were kids.
  • Best memories of 2014
  • 5150 fire
  • NSFW..... NSFAA
  • well cobra2 attempted to reign in the chaos.... bah... this is pointless. 
  • ehhh, warn them I hate being the judgemental type.
  • I'm not logged in as an admin. else I'd do it myself
  • pokey considers banishing people to the competitive drinking room...
  • if you can't beat em... join em? That was reeling it in.Might bring it  to stories
  • HPR NYE goes off the rails for a bit, and Cobra2 dropps the gentile hammer.
  • then we find out just how drunk 50 is.....


  • Greetings to the mountain region of the United States, some regions of Canada and 1 more: Calgary, Denver, Edmonton, Phoenix.
  • cobra2 injests first cup of coffee that is needed to stay awake
  • Weak
  • This hour is NSFW too.
  • More Copyright discussion.
  • finally coffee.......
  • Coffee in New Zealand is pretty darn good ~ Klaatu
  • OMG there was an alien in the Navy. robot.
  • and someone prods the bear

New Year Show Part 6 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-08


  • Greetings to regions of Brazil, Argentina and 7 more: Buenos Aires, Santiago, Asuncion, Paramaribo.
  • SoundChaser doesn't sound pasty white. 
  • Genetically modified discusion continues (not as good the second time)
  • Genetically modified discusion continues (time to fast forward)


  • Greetings to Newfoundland and Labrador/Canada  St. John's, Conception Bay South, Corner Brook,Gander.
  • Systemd discussion about server logs
  • we still don't understand why they do time on a 30 min break.... come on people just use UTC
  • Watch chat
  • Drink-o-meter chat this is a fabulous idea, 50 should do it. 
  • guns and good chinchillas


  • Greetings to Atlantic Canada and cobra2 and 26 more: Saint John, La Paz, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Halifax.
  • guns... again pokey talks about how he rebuilt an air gun to something special that ended in epic fail (bent barrel)
  • Pokey has a Bad Barrel
  • pokey has a new job!!!
  • pokey is building the internet at his new job. Trans-oceanic cables don't build themselves afterall.
  • books


  • Greetings to Venezuela Caracas, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Maracay.
  • retro games that are must plays
  • Metroid NES
  • Super Metroid SNES
  • Legend of Zelda NES
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Lolo Land NES
  • You Don't Know Jack PC
  • Delwin makes a cameo appearance


  • Greetings to the eastern region of the United States,regions of Canada and 12 more: New York, Boston, Rochester NY, Rochester NH, Millinocket, Maryland, Washington DC, Detroit, Havana, Atlanta.
  • fireworks and meth labs go up in celebration of the new year. Pgggy went to watch...
  • and we are really not family friendly now
  • Kerbal Space Platform is a game. People like it.
  • notKlaatu didn't get busted transproting lockpick tools from the US to New Zealand
  • OpenSource HTML5 IRC client:
  • Gnu Social servers: and

New Year Show Part 5 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-07


  • Greetings to United Kingdom and 24 more: London, Casablanca, Dublin, and Lisbon.
  • ...continuing the Dr. Who / media distribution discussion
  • ThistleWeb watches Dawson's Creek 
  • Bluetooth controllers, Bethoven and jousting
  • Lord Drakenblut Has a crowd funding campaign to get to SCALE. . Sadly, he is ill.
  • I (JonTheNiceGuy) joined the feed, and the podcast I produce ( *plug*) was mentioned ;)
  • now we are talking about things that he cannot speak about. 
  • reading the books is faster than watching the movies?
  • Book and movie spoiler time =D yolo
  • Books, Movies...
  • Bad cantina music



New Year Show Part 4 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-06


  • Greetings to Greece and 30 more: Cairo, Ankara, Athens, and Bucharest.

  • kinda quiet
  • camera buying with dann.... kinda
  • topic hopping
  • speculation on how windows will work without IE.
  • proprietary marketing skills
  • mass brainwashing of the world (Apple, anyone?)


  • Greetings to Germany and 43 more: Brussels, Madrid, Paris, and Rome.
  • Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, Coppies, coppyright, 
  • we are living the future, we are all our own gutenbergs
  • The wave is really the Mexican Wave!
  • George Orwell was an incredible human being
  • Was George Orwell a time traveler who invented the salng word "Pig" for police?
  • Star wars discussion
  • Dr. Who talk
  • Distribution of entertainment media around the world shouldn't be delayed
  • Best comic book remakes


  • Greetings to United Kingdom and 24 more: London, Casablanca, Dublin, and Lisbon.
  • ...continuing the Dr. Who / media distribution discussion
  • ThistleWeb watches Dawson's Creek 
  • Bluetooth controllers, Bethoven and jousting
  • Lord Drakenblut Has a crowd funding campaign to get to SCALE. . Sadly, he is ill.
  • I (JonTheNiceGuy) joined the feed, and the podcast I produce ( *plug*) was mentioned ;)
  • now we are talking about things that he cannot speak about. 
  • reading the books is faster than watching the movies?
  • Book and movie spoiler time =D yolo
  • Books, Movies...
  • Bad cantina music

New Year Show Part 2 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-02

hpr1675 :: New Year Show Part 2 of 8
  • Greetings to Queensland/Australia and 5 more Brisbane, Port Moresby, Guam, Cairns.


  • Greetings to Northern Territory/Australia, Darwin, Alice Springs, Uluru.
        Flying Rich arrives!




  • Greetings to much of Indonesia, Thailand and 7 more: Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Phnom Penh.
  • We're off by one!
  • Broam pokes Pegwole for some photography gear talk
  • Etymology of IRC handles / nicknames
  • RP -
  • Which shortcut key to use in mumble?
  • thistleweb sayings "


  • Greetings to Myanmar and Cocos Islands, Yangon, Naypyidaw, Mandalay, Bantam.
  • Dude man has us wondering what "1 inch below is worth 2 above" 
  • "its connected with cutting hay... when your using a scythe which is really advanced tech and basicly led to the masive dependance on grain consumption believe it or not. But when cutting grass for hay for winter feed... cutting lower at the bottom by 1 inch gave bigger return for your effort and quality than have the grass 2 inches tailer

New Year Show Part 1 of 8 - HPR Volunteers | 2015-01-01

hpr1674 :: New Year Show Part 1 of 8
Welcome to the 4th Annual Hacker Public Radio show. It is December the 31st 2014 and the time is 10 hundred hours UTC. We start the show by sending Greetings to Christmas Island/Kiribati and Samoa Kiritimati, Apia.
Announcements: Even with editors  volunteering, we need some folks to record as backup (Ken said ogg is  fine). Bruce Patterson is looking for a new host for the Distrowatch  Weekly Podcast fixing 5150s mike problems because he was half alseep.   Talking new PC and components prices and construction theory

It is December the 31st 2014 and the time is 10 15 hundred hours UTC 
  • Greetings to Chatham Islands/New Zealand Chatham Islands.
Marcus cobra2 and 5150 talk  movies, the ease of use of HPR, focusing on one topic when podcasting   We talk Canadian and New Zealand TV.  Steam on Linux. 


  • Greetings to New Zealand with exceptions and 5 more  Auckland, Suva, Wellington, Nukualofa.
FiftyOneFifty and Dudeman discuss single board computers, being on fire, and herding cattle.  The cameras dude-man uses with Zone-Minder  Various old man ailments, diet and exercise.


  • Greetings to small region of Russia, Marshall Islands and 5 more Anadyr, Funafuti, Yaren, Tarawa.
Time zones again tailoring your distro to get what you want


  • Greetings to Norfolk Island, Kingston.
Efficient Ubuntu spins to put on older hardware


  • Greetings to much of Australia and 5 more  Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Honiara.
Announcement: Bruce Patterson is looking for a new host for the Distrowatch Weekly Podcast  The N900, and mobile Linux computing


  • Greetings to small region of Australia Adelaide, Broken Hill.
Zoneminder and a Pi connected to a webcam

Systemd for Learner Drivers - Steve Smethurst | 2014-12-30

systemd For Learner Drivers

A graphic to help out:

This is a subject that attracts controversy, but I am not today going to be controversial, I hope. Many Linux systems are moving away from SysV Init and adopting systemd instead; both Linuxes that I use, Fedora and Mint have adopted systemd, and I understand that Debian has now forked to allow both sides of the argument to have their way. I am not going to get into the debate here. My personal stance is that I see both sides of the argument and I will continue to perch on top of the fence until systemd either proves itself or fails to do so.

In this HPR I am going to try to fill a gap that I have seen in the systemd discussion; that is - how to operate it. I am not an expert on systemd, I have just tried to work it, and in doing so I have fished around in my file system and in the documentation. If you want to know what I found, then keep on listening. By way of opening I will remind myself, and you also, what systemd is replacing.

SysV initd works with runlevels, the most common being

  • 5 for graphical multiuser networked
  • 3 for cli multiuser networked
  • 1 for single user
  • 6 for reboot
  • 0 for halt

In moving to a runlevel, unwanted services are shut down and wanted services are started up. For most users on most systems the most appropriate default runlevel is 5 giving multiuser, GUI & networking. Services can be started and stopped on demand by inetd.

systemd works differently. It has target units. For most users on most systems the most appropriate default target is the, which does a similar thing to runlevel 5 . Units are configured by unit configuration files. These files may start other units and stop other units. They can impose sequence and dependancies. There is a lot of cascading going on, with unit launching unit launching unit. Units also can be started and stopped on demand by systemd.


The term Unit refers to a resource that systemd is taking under its control. There are 12 different types of Unit.

that starts/stops daemons
activates network connections
activates kernel devices
controls mount points
provides on-demand mounting of file systems
does for swap what systemd.mount does for filesystems
starts/stops external processes
groups of services akin to init level 3, init level 5
saves/restores the momentary state of other units
triggers units based on date/time
trigger units based on changes in file system objects
organises units in a hierarchical tree of cgroups, for resource management purposes

Units files called by systemd live in /etc/systemd/system. But these are symbolic links to the real ones stored in /usr/lib/systemd/system

There is a parallel /etc/systemd/user structure which does not seem to do anything on my computers, so I work for now like its not there.

There is also a /run/systemd/system structure which appears to contain runtime configuration files with names like session-xxxx.scope. These are the unit type for external processes.

Table 1. Directory structure for systemd
Path Description
/etc/systemd/system Local configuration
/etc/systemd/user User configuration
/run/systemd/system Runtime units
/usr/lib/systemd/system Units of installed packages


The next thing we need is Directives.

The unit configuration files contain directives to start/stop a unit, and directives that cascade to other unit configuration files that start/stop dependant units. Directives may impose conditions on whether or when to call a unit. There are a whole bunch of different directives listed in man systemd.unit. These are a few.

  • Requires= list of units to start. If any required units fail then abort this one
  • Conflicts= list of units to stop
  • After= the order in which units will start
  • Before= the order in which units will start
  • Wants= list of units to start. If any fail just continue anyway

As well wanted units listed by the WANTS directive, there may also be a 'wants' directory below the unit directory. So the unit conf file /etc/systemd/system/ will cause two further unit conf files to be read in from the /etc/systemd/system/ directory.

Each required unit and wanted unit from the directives, as well as those in the wants directory are added to a job queue. If directives cascade to other unit files containing more directives then all of these dependences are also added to the job queue. A directive may start or stop another unit, or that change the detail of a job already in the queue. All directives ultimately cascade down to starting or stopping one of the base units in /usr/lib/systemd/system.

To get a feel for how this all pans out in practice I will walk us through the cascade of unit files from bootup.

From Bootup

First, the default.taget is activated, which on my system is just a link to

Description=Graphical Interface

Cascades to

  • start
  • start display-manager.service
  • stop

Also we have a wants directory /etc/systemd/system/ that

  • starts accounts-daemon.service (for logging)
  • starts rtkit-daemon.service (for realtime scheduling)

graphical target cascaded to

Description=Multi-User System
Conflicts=rescue.service rescue.service

Cascades to

  • start
  • stop rescue.service
  • stop (again)

Also we have a wants directory /etc/systemd/system/ that

- abrt-ccpp.service
- abrtd.service
- abrt-oops.service
- abrt-vmcore.service
- abrt-xorg.service
- atd.service
- auditd.service
- avahi-daemon.service
- chronyd.service
- crond.service
- cups.path
- irqbalance.service
- libvirtd.service
- mcelog.service
- mdmonitor.service
- NetworkManager.service
- rngd.service
- rpcbind.service
- rsyslog.service
- smartd.service
- vmtoolsd.service

display-manager.service also cascaded to display-manager.service which is not present on F20 so I guess we don't need it.

So cascaded to, which itself cascades to

- firewalld.service cascaded to which itself cascades to

- dmraid-activation.service
- iscsi.service
- lvm2-monitor.service
- multipathd.service ( which looks like all the file system daemons) also cascaded to which itself cascades to

- avahi-daemon.socket
- cups.socket
- dm-event.socket
- iscsid.socket
- iscsiuio.socket
- lvm2-lvmetad.socket
- rpcbind.socket

End point

Now we start reaching the end-points of this trail at

- systemd.sockets
- systemd.timer
- systemd.path
- systemd.slice
- systemd-fstab-generator

By the time all of that has finished, if I type the command

# systemctl list-units --type service

I see that 58 services are listed as running

Running and Configuring Services

If we are going to work with systemd we will have to give it instructions. In systemd parlance

  • active = running, currently in use
  • loaded = enabled, available for use

These terms crop up in the output from commands

Many instructions are given to systemd by the systemctl command.

Now to compare line up some common SysV init tasks with their systemd equivalent

Table 2. SysV init commands and their systemd equivalents
command SysV Init systemd
Check status # service bluetooth status # systemctl status bluetooth
Start # service bluetooth start # systemctl start bluetooth
Stop # service bluetooth stop # systemctl stop bluetooth
Enable # chkconfig --level 35 ntpd on # systemctl enable ntpd
Disable # chkconfig --level 35 ntpd off # systemctl disable ntpd

Journalctl Logging

Much has been said about the desirability or otherwise of binary logs, but systemd gives us these so we had better know what to do with them.

Journal instructions are given to systemd by the journalctl command

To view all log entries in one go. This is verbose, mine came out at ~9000 lines
# journalctl
To view from a specific date
# journalctl --since="2014-05-07"
To view kernel logs
# journalctl -k
To follow a log in realtime ... and then to close
# journalctl -f
# ctl-c
To view log entries associated with a given PID
# journalctl _PID=1
To view log entries associated with a given service
# journatlctl -u bluetooth

Interrogating the system

More systemd information

Get/Set system information. Works like uname, but is more verbose
# hostnamectl
Get/Set timezone & timedate info
# timedatectl
Table 3. SysV init information and their systemd equivalents
SysV Init Info SysV Init command systemd info systemd command
What services are available for init.d to manage # ls /etc/init.d What service units are available for systemd to run # systemctl list-units --type service --all
What services are configured to be run by init.d for each run level # chkconfig --list What service units are currently active # systemctl list-units --type service


LinuxLugCast Episode-002 Outtakes - Kevin Wisher | 2014-12-29

Preshow and aftershow banter that does not get published through our normal feeds.

New Retro Computing - NYbill | 2014-12-25

Sorry for the bad audio in places here. My mic was giving me troubles. Also, I know I called MythTV, Mythbox. (Mythbox was the name I gave the computer that ran MythTV here way back when.)


How to start a Blog - Rill | 2014-12-23

So you want to start a blog?

Here are some of the tings to think about:

  • Why do you want to do a blog?
  • What do you want to say?
  • Who are your audience?
  • Do you mean to promote the blog to a wider audience or do you just want to write?

There are a number of popular and well known blogging engines and services, these are just some of them:

Nikola is an excellent system for creating a web-site that includes both static pages and a blog. It has been covered before on HPR and it was that show that started me using it.


Here are links to a couple of my blogs:

LinuxLugCast Episode-001 Outtakes - Kevin Wisher | 2014-12-16

Some good content that we do not publish.

Trying out Slackware - beni | 2014-12-12

mcnalu wrote a article about Slackware in Linux Voice, Issue 6.

tux smokes a pipe with the hpr logo

Beni read this article which lead to him trying out Slackware and being very impressed by its simplicity.

That's why he asked mcnalu to do a HPR episode about Slackware, which is probably the oldest Linux Distro that's still around and whose developer follows a no-nonsense strategy and is very conservative when it comes switching to new stuff that comes up in the Linux world (like PAM or systemd)

The distro is one of the if not the most Unix-like Linux distro. It uses a BSD style init system instead of widely used sysvinit.

Beni and mcnalu talk about the installation process, finding dokumentation and why the website is outdated.

Further they discuss the package manager and what it means that it doesn't resolve dependencies. They also explain why this isn't necessariliy a bad thing and where to find binary packages.

In the end they talk about where the Slackware community meets and who is in charge of Slackware.

Slackware documentation isn't as good the BSDs dokumentation or the Arch Wiki. But it's definitely getting better

and there is also 'Slackware essentials', a book that's also available online:

The Slackware forum on Linux Questions is pretty much the official Slackware forum:

mcnalu announced his Article in the Linux Questions forum:

To support the development of Slackware you could buy yourself a Christmas present from the Slackware store:

Cool Stuff Part 2 - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2014-12-10

Today I Found Out:

Daily Knowledge Podcast:

Command Line Tips: using CTRL + Left / Right arrow will allow you to move through a long command word by word instead of moving through each letter. makes making adjustments to a long command much quicker use the "cd -" to move back and forth between previous directories. cd into a directory, then cd into a different on. Now do "cd -" and you will be back to the first directory.

XFCE : script that uses xdtool to move window from one monitor to the next

Hyperkin Pixel Art Controller: Use with the SNES9x emulator. Works very well

Hacking Gutenberg eBooks - Jon Kulp | 2014-12-09

Links to stuff I mentioned in the podcast:

My audio player collection - Dave Morriss | 2014-12-08

My Audio Player Collection

I got broadband installed in my house in 2005 after I'd bought my first PC. I'd owned a lot of PCs before that, but they had all been cast-offs from the university I was working at, and I accessed the Internet via dial-up to my work.

This was around the time I got sick of listening to the radio and first discovered podcasts, and so I decided I wanted a portable audio player (or MP3 Player as they tended to be called back then).

Since then I have been listening to podcasts pretty much all of the time and have worked my way through a number of players. I thought it might be interesting if I chronicled the devices I have owned in the past 9-10 years.

The full show notes for this episode are available at: hpr1656_full_shownotes.html

Using AS numbers to identify where you are on the Internet - Ken Fallon | 2014-12-04

I have a laptop and I want it to use different configurations depending on where I am. If I’m on wifi at home, I don’t want my NAS mounted, but if I’m on a wired connection I do. If I’m at work I want to connect to various servers there. If I’m in the train I want to setup a vpn tunnel. You get the idea.

My solution to this was to approach it from the laptop and go out. So to look around and see what network I was on. There are a few ways to approach this, you could look at your IP address, the arp tables, try and ping a known server in each location. The issue with looking at an IP address is that most networks use Private Networks. Very soon you will find that the wifi coffee shop happens to have picked the same range as you use at home and now your laptop is trying to backup to their cash register.

Then I was thinking that I’m approaching this problem from the wrong angle. Why not start with my public IP address range, which has to be unique, and work back from there to my laptop. From there I was planning on maintaining a look-up table of public IP addresses, along the lines of the GeoIP tools developed by MaxMind.

By Accident I found out that geoiplookup supports AS Number

From WikiPedia: Autonomous System (Internet)
ISP must have an officially registered autonomous system number (ASN). A unique ASN is allocated to each AS for use in BGP routing. AS numbers are important because the ASN uniquely identifies each network on the Internet.

So what that is saying is that every network in the Inter(connected)Net(work), must have it’s own unique AS Number. From there I was able to write a script to easily manage my laptops behaviour based on both location and connection type

See for the complete article and scripts.

Ruth Suehle at Ohio Linux Fest 2014 - Ahuka | 2014-12-03

Ruth Suehle gave the next-to-last keynote at Ohio LinuxFest 2014 on 2014-10-25. In this talk she discusses the significance of open hardware and maker culture, and how this is something we all should participate in. Maker culture is an essential part of the free and open culture we belive in when we talk about open source. And we need to be vigilant to protect our values in the hardware space. As an example she tells us about Bre Pettis and Makerbot, which at one time were very open, but have turned aginst this value as they became more successful. In the final analysis, it is up to us to protect open hardware by voting with our dollars/euros/whatever.

GeekSpeak 2013-06-01 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2014-12-02

As part of Hacker Public Radio's continuing effort to showcase Creative Commons Works, we are proud to present GeekSpeak. GeekSpeak is produced as a radio show for community based station KUSP in Monterey CA, and rebroadcast as podcast, available from It is a generally a lighthearted and humorous general technology news show, with topics including electronics, computing, robotics, and green tech. Often guest speakers and authors from the technology world will come on for interviews. The shows are just about an hour long.

The regular hosts are Bonnie Jean Primbsch, Lyle Troxell, Miles Elam, and Ben Jaffe (see the full roster). You can often hear them thanking the "Puppetmaster" for letting them continue to use the name GeekSpeak. After broadcasting for several years, it was discovered the term "GeekSpeak" had been registered as a service mark by David Lawrence for a podcast of his own. You might remember Lawrence as the actor who played the character on "Heroes" with the telekinetic ability to physically manipulate other characters against their will.

GeekSpeak has a long standing tradition of using Devo's "Through Bein' Cool" as intro music, so only those episodes that employ user contributed music instead are actually released Creative Commons. What you are about to hear, from the 1st of June of 2013, is just such an episode.


OCPLive2014 Night Life In Elysburg PA - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-28

A running commentary by FiftyOneFifty and Tankenator on the nightlife in Elysburg PA

Raspberry Pi Accessibility Breakthrough - Mike Ray | 2014-11-27

Since April last year the text-to-speech using eSpeak in the Raspberry Pi console has stuttered very badly and regularly crashes the kernel.

Here's how I fixed it.

Cloning my github repo:

git clone


cd ttsprojects/raspberry-pi/libilctts/build
sudo ./
cd ../../piespeakup
sudo ./

Bingo! Speech should work.

This has only just been released and there is still work to do on the documentation.

Note: I am not connected to the Raspberry Pi Foundation in any way and anything I say or do is not endorsed by them.

My email address is connected with a Freelists email list I set up and an accompanying web site:

The 'VI' is for 'Visually Impaired' and I DID check with the Foundation about the similarity of the web address before I created it.

To join our email list send an email to:

With 'subscribe' in the subject.


Oggcast Planet Live 2014: The Cooking Show - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-25

OggCast 2014. we cook dinner, I drink beer, a time is had by all. I'd like to amp this, but Audacity won't let me, so listen carefully.

Broam, Briptastic, and FiftyOneFifty talk about the meal they are making for Saturday Night at Oggcast Planet Live 2014 from when they thought about it until dinner was served, as well as that day's fun at Knoebels theme park at Elysburg PA and the plans to visit the ghost town of Centralia the following day.

Unison Syncing Utility - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-19

Unison is a file syncing/backup utility, similar to SyncBack on Windows, available in most repros.

  1. The graphical interface requires the installation of unison, and unison-gtk.. Unison may be installed w/o the graphical component, but all operations must be initiated from a system running the GUI.
    • Network backups require RSH or SSH to be installed on both machines
  2. The standard wisdom seems to be the rsync does not do a true 2 way sync, i.e., to sync to the newest file version going both ways you would have to do rsync ~/LocalFolder you@server:/home/you/RemoteFolder then turn around and do rsync you@server:/home/you/RemoteFolder ~/LocalFolder. Add that to the fact that like cp, or scp, rsync requires separate commands for files with extensions, files without, and hidden files, creating a bash script for syncing files is more complex than creating a Unison profile.
  3. Step One: If, like me you are syncing only Documents, make your subfolder structure the same on both machines, ergo, if one PC has /home/you/Documents/recipe and second PC has /home/you/Documents/Recipes, edit your folder structure to be the same on both PCs to avoid duplicate files and folders
  4. Launch Unison and create a backup profile First use, create a profile
    • Name of profile
    • Synchronization kind (Local, SSH, RSH, TCP)
    • "First" Directory (you can browse your mounted volumes)
    • "Second" Directory, if you chose Local
    • Host Machine Name (or IP Address)
    • User Name (If you haven't registered SSH keys, you will be prompted for a password on every synchronization.
    • Check whether you want to use compression, (on fast networks or slow processors, compression may create more overhead than it's worth).
    • Target directory (If it's on a remote server, you will need to type the full path, there is no browsing to the folder.)
    • Tell Unison if either folder uses FAT (say an un-reformatted USB stick)
    • If you are backing up to another system, Unison needs to be installed on both. If you are backing up to a server with no GUI desktop manager, you can install just the unison package without unison-gtk, but all the syncs will have to be initiated from the machine with a GUI. (Of course, if you back up to a remote volume that is mounted locally, it should be completely transparent to Unison). If you choose to sync via ssh (recommended), you will need ssh and ssh-server installed appropriately on each machine.
  5. Select and run your profile.
    • The first time, expect to get a warning that no archive files (index files that speed up the synchronization scan) were found. They will be created on the first sync.
    • Unison will look for differences between the files in the two selected directories. The differences will be displayed graphically, with arrows pointing left or right, indicating which directory contains the most current version of the file (by modification date). You can choose to merge files either left or right (a conventional backup), do a merge (i.e., Unison itself decides how to combine data from files with the same name (obviously, that could be messy), or to do a sync (ergo, the most current version of a file overwrites older version, regardless of location). Click "Go" to do a true sync.

The real reasons for using Linux - johanv | 2014-11-17

I am a Linux user since the end of 1999. Which is 15 years already. I've also been trying for almost 15 years to convince other people to try Linux. And I must confess that I very often used wrong arguments doing this. After 15 years it is time to ditch some fake arguments, and to tell you the real reasons why you should switch to Linux. :-)

I apology for the bad audio quality. A full transcript of this episode can be found on my blog.

Ken Starks at Ohio Linux Fest 2014 - Ahuka | 2014-11-13

Ken Starks gave the closing keynote at Ohio LinuxFest 2014 on 10/25/14. In this talk he discusses his work with the REGLUE project (formerly the Helios Project) which bulds computers to give to disadvantaged kids in Texas. And if you look there may be something like this in your town that you can help with. And if not, why not start one? This talk was recorded by Randy Noseworthy, and he asked me to post it to HPR.

Surviving A Roadtrip: Food - Windigo | 2014-11-12

As we are all human to some degree, we require sustenance. When on a roadtrip, this can prove to be challenging - but it is also an opportunity to save money and enjoy yourself!

Bringing Food

- Buying all your food on the road is a good way to empty your pockets
- Convenience stores do not have your health in mind; their food is generally
  over-salty or over-sugary
- Stopping for snacks can add lots of extra time to a trip
- A quick stop at the grocery store before your trip is not a bad idea
        - Stock up on non-perishable snacks
        - Nuts and trail mix are a classic for a reason. They're full of protein and
          fiber, and easy to munch on in a vehicle
        - Fruit are sweet, healthy, and also usually easy to eat in a vehicle.
          Apples and grapes are super easy, bananas less so, and oranges are tricky.
          You can pre-peel fruit to make it more accessible, but it won't last as long.
- Water is important. Make sure to have a gallon jug with you, and refill as
  necessary. I don't mind tap water, but if you're picky, there are water
  filters designed for camping that are compact and quick. Keep yourself
- Your options for variety of food increase a lot with a cooler
        - Things like cheese and sandwich meats should do fine
        - Make sure to fill it with ice or freezer packs when you set out in the
          morning, and maybe during the afternoon depending on weather
        - Check to see if your lodgings have refrigeration; your cooler will be
          useless if you don't have something more substantial to use in-between
          legs of your journey.

Stopping To Eat

- Saving money and being efficient is all well and good, but roadtrips are not
  all about getting from point A to point B.
- A great way to experience an area is by ingesting a small part of it
- Add an hour or two to your travel time for a meal stop
- Pick lunch or dinner
        - Lunch may suit your timetable better if you are an early riser
        - Lunch menus often offer slightly less food for a reduced price
        - Restaurants may be less crowded for lunches
        - Dinner might be a better choice if you like waking and driving late
        - Dinner menus are more comprehensive, but often more on the expensive side
- Avoid chain restaurants all the time, but especially on a roadtrip
- Local restaurants and eateries are usually found in downtown areas, away from
  highways. They are well worth the diversion.
- Different areas have vastly different cuisines, and trying new things can be
  very rewarding. Crawfish: who knew?
- Find something on the menu that you don't recognize, and eat it.
- If you are a picky eater, try not to let your preconceptions stop you from
  trying something. For instance, coconut soup is surprisingly unlike any other
  coconut dishes that I've had.
- Be polite, be patient. Many tourists are rude, and there is a chance that
  the person helping you gets to deal with those tourists frequently.
- Do not be afraid to ask questions. Figure out what you can, but ask for
  clarification if something on the menu is unusual.
- If you have food-based allergies or special dietary requirements, these might
  not be accommodated in all areas. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, or are 
  allergic to gluten, peanuts, or dairy, your options may change drastically
  depending on the region you are in.
  - A little research into local restaurants  could help you determine which
        places you can eat without stopping at each restaurant in town.
- Overall, try to enjoy yourself. Roadtrips can be high-stress affairs, and a
  meal break can do wonders to relieve some of the stress that's built up over
  the day. Relax, and give yourself plenty of time to eat

Communities Are Made of People - FiftyOneFifty | 2014-11-11

Banana Pi - First Impressions - Mike Ray | 2014-10-30

The Banana Pi - First Impressions

They say duplication is the sincerest form of flattery, substitute the word of your choice for 'duplication'.

The Banana Pi is made in China and bears an uncanny resemblance to the Raspberry Pi.

Not just the name, the board is fractionally larger, some of the features on the board are similarly placed:

  • 26-pin GPIO
  • 3.5mm analogue audio jack
  • RCA composite video jack
  • SD card slot

There are things the RPI does not have:

  • Power button
  • uBoot button
  • Microphone
  • USB-otg port (otg = on-the-go, a bi-directional USB port)
  • SATA connector

The processor is a dual-core running slightly faster than the Raspberry Pi, although to be fair, of course, the RPI can be over-clocked.

The Banana Pi has twice the RAM and a dual-core processor.

The SoC is the ARM Allwinner A20.

Getting my Hands on a Banana Pi

My first Banana dropped through the letterbox a couple of days ago.

Thanks to some kind soul on the Raspberry Pi Facebook group who described the connectors on the edges of the board I narrowly avoided plugging the power supply into the USB-otg port. The power micro-USB is on the underside of the board between the SATA power and data connectors which are on the upper side of the board.

Can't really say much about it because I can't actually see the build quality, but it feels nice. The PCB is fractionally thinner than the RPI.


I had an initial struggle to find a download link for any images.

The downloads page of has a two row table on it which appears to be upside-down and it has links to Google-drive, two different public DropBox links, a MS One-Drive link, and something I didn't initially find, an FTP link.

Both of the DB links are duff because they have suspended the account because of excessive traffic.

This is the FTP download link:

Available Images

When I found the FTP page I grabbed images for:

  • Arch Linux
  • Bananian-latest
  • Lubuntu
  • Raspbian

I downloaded and extracted all of these images to my Debian desktop machine and tried to write and boot them in succession.

The first I tried was Arch, on the assumption that would not have a desktop installed.

After writing the card I looked at it on my Debian machine with parted and it appeared to have two partitions. As with the Raspberry Pi there is a small FAT16 partition and a bigger ext4 partition.

The FAT partition contained the same files as the Raspberry Pi:

  • config.txt
  • cmdline.txt
  • kernel.img

And some others I can't remember.

In addition it contained:

  • uEnv.txt
  • uImage

It appears uEnv.txt is equivalent to the Raspberry Pi cmdline.txt file, and uImage is, of course, the kernel.

So oddly it has the files for the RPI and it's own in the FAT partition.

Then I tried Bananian, and this appears to be Debian Wheazy for ARM.

Similar story with the FAT partition.

It is a very minimal installation which has little more than the Linux Standard Base (LSB) packages. I like this because I like to have control.

Sound and Stuff

I found a review from April this year that said the sound driver snd-bcm2835 was not available. At the name snd-bcm2835 my heart sank because I expected the BPI to have the same stuttering text-to-speech problems as the RPI.

Not expecting much I did, as root:

apt-get install alsa-base alsa-utils

Looking through /lib/modules/... blah blah I found a driver called:


I did:

modprobe snd-aaci

And then:


And I got pink noise!

Next I did:

apt-get install espeakup
update-rc.d espeakup defaults
modprobe speakup_soft

And speakup burst into life with no stuttering!

Immediate Conclusions

The online community and code-base for the Banana Pi is not yet very mature, and because the origin of the beast is China, a lot of what's out there is in Chinese.

But it is growing. And after all, it took the RPI a while to take off and go ballistic.

At the moment I would say the Banana Pi is not for the faint-hearted or the total newbie, although, a lot of newbie questions are generic and don't have machine-specific answers.


LeMaker page:

Australian community page with forums:

The worst thing about the Banana Pi is, when writing emails about it, and these show-notes, typing the word 'banana' and knowing when to stop!

Penguicon 2015 Call for Talks - Ahuka | 2014-10-23

I am the coordinator for the Tech Track at Penguicon 2015, which is a combined FOSS/Science Fiction convention held every spring in the Metro-Detroit area. The 2015 event will happen April 24-26 at the Westin Hotel in Southfield, MI. The theme for the upcoming year's event is Biotechnology and medicine, looking at how technology is affecting our health and life. But we want a lot of different talks as well, so I will be happy to accept proposals that look at things like cloud computing, security, hardware hacks, and anything else that would be of interest to geeks and hackers.


Howto Use Webfonts - klaatu | 2014-10-13

Klaatu reveals the secret of webfonts WITHOUT using Google. How can this be? Listen and find out.

What's in a nickname? - Inscius | 2014-10-08

How I came to use Inscius as my Internet nickname.


Don't Forget the Referbs - NYbill | 2014-10-07

NYbill talks about getting a refurbished Lenovo X61 and making it more functional with a tool or two. There is also some talk of PLC's (Programmable Logic Controllers). A more in depth explanation of PLC's could be an episode in itself and might be some day. Stay tuned...

Pics for the episode:

Lenovo after market BIOS. Allows Ctrl-Fn swap in older systems. (Use at your own risk!):

Sigil And The Process Of The Epub In FOSS - lostnbronx | 2014-10-02

Here are some links to the software discussed in this episode

Migrating from Drupal 6 to Nikola - johanv | 2014-09-30

I talk about the migration of my blog from Drupal 6 to Nikola. I explain why I wanted to migrate, and I tell about the script I used.

Details and scripts can be found on my blog:

See also:

Howto VNC - klaatu | 2014-09-29

Klaatu talks about how to get to VNC up and running. It focuses on x11vnc but basically it applies to any variety.

Virtual Network Computing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In computing, Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a graphical desktop sharing system that uses the Remote Frame Buffer protocol (RFB) to remotely control another computer. It transmits the keyboard and mouse events from one computer to another, relaying the graphical screen updates back in the other direction, over a network.
VNC is platform-independent – There are clients and servers for many GUI-based operating systems and for Java. Multiple clients may connect to a VNC server at the same time. Popular uses for this technology include remote technical support and accessing files on one's work computer from one's home computer, or vice versa.
VNC was originally developed at the Olivetti & Oracle Research Lab in Cambridge, United Kingdom. The original VNC source code and many modern derivatives are open source under the GNU General Public License.
There are a number of variants of VNC which offer their own particular functionality; e.g., some optimised for Microsoft Windows, or offering file transfer (not part of VNC proper), etc. Many are compatible (without their added features) with VNC proper in the sense that a viewer of one flavour can connect with a server of another; others are based on VNC code but not compatible with standard VNC.
VNC and RFB are registered trademarks of RealVNC Ltd. in the U.S. and in other countries.

Howto Install LAMP - klaatu | 2014-09-22

If you're just starting out as a web developer or designer, you should know about LAMP and how to use it. This episode introduces you to the basics.

LAMP (software bundle)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
LAMP is an acronym for an archetypal model of web service solution stacks, originally consisting of largely interchangeable components: Linux, the Apache HTTP Server, the MySQL relational database management system, and the PHP programming language. As a solution stack, LAMP is suitable for building dynamic web sites and web applications.

Extravehicular Activity - Steve Smethurst | 2014-09-16

EVA - The Rules for Extravehicular Activity

Here I dip into the NASA experience of and rules for Extravehicular Activity, prompted at first by watching a film called The Europa Report, directed by Sebastian Cordero (2013).


While I have some gripes about the film, I was impressed by its general failfulness to the science

  • It thought to find life on Europa, a moon of Jupiter considered by real exobiologists and planetary scientists to be a good candidate
  • Neil deGrasse Tyson made a cameo appearance
  • The portrayal of Europa's geography and character
  • Having to drill through the ice to get at the sea below
  • The behaviour of the crew as scientists and engineers

Science consultant on the film was Kevin Hand, an astrobiologist and expert on Europa at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

To my mind, the scientists were behaving like scientists and the engineers behaved like engineers. To follow along it might help to recall their names

  • Captain - Willam Xu
  • Pilot - Rosa Dasque
  • Chief scientist - Daniel Luxembourg
  • Marine biologist - Katya Petrovna
  • Junior engineer - James Corrigan
  • Chief engineer - Andrei Blok

All was going scientifically until the director drove the plot forward with two EVA incidents

EVA-1 : Flash back episode, engineers James and Andre go out to fix a failed communications circuit

  • Andre rips his suit
  • James gets squirted with rocket fuel
  • Only one astronaut survives

I have problems with this because it's just too clumsy for trained professional astronauts. Where are the decontamination procedures, the tethers, the special tools?

EVA-2 : Down on the surface, Marine biologist Katya decides to walk out alone

  • Tourtured debate in the ship
  • Of four able and expendable crew members, none go with her
  • Katya does not come back alive

With this I am shouting at the screen "No Way! Where's the fracking operating manual? No one goes EVA on their own"

So, that is why I researched the NASA rules for Extravehicular Activity. And I found that none of these events would have happened the way they were shown, had the crew, who were so professional in every other way, followed the NASA procedures.

The two astronauts issue

  • The most recent occasion where an astronaut went solo EVA was in 1971, when David Scott stuck his head out of the airlock of Apollo 15.
  • Most recent before that was in 1966, when Buzz Aldrin went EVA from Gemini 12 (Gemini craft only had two crew).
  • Since 1971, there have been 358 space walks and every single one has had two crew.
  • I found no written regulation, but de-facto, nobody leaves the spacecraft alone.

NASA procedures

NASA documents on the internet discuss in exhaustive detail all considerations for EVA. What I present is a cherry-picked handful. I could not cover all of it

  • reasons for EVA
  • alternatives
  • planning
  • hazard mitigation
  • procedures for safe conduct
  • fall-back procedures
  • failure handling
  • accident control

International Space Station (ISS) EVA Procedures Checklists

  • Presuming that all the equipment maintenance checks, and readiness checks have alread been done
    • 30 minutes of Airlock preparation and testing
    • 30 minutes of changing components for the suit to fit the astronaut
    • 170 minutes of EVA-Prep
  • Then you are ready to depressurise and leave the airlock
  • EVA might last 2 - 8 hours
  • Post EVA
    • 30 minute procedure to take the suit off
    • 10 minute procedure to disconnect internal equipment
    • Recharge & maintain the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU)
    • Clean & maintain the Suit

Although this podcast is about EVA, it does reference the science in a film that I enjoyed and respect very much, so here is a gem that I only came across while researching the landing site. In the scientific journal Nature, Volume 479, 16 November 2011, Britney Schmidt et al, of University of Texas, Austin, published a paper titled "Active formation of 'chaos terrain' over shallow subsurface water on Europa." In the paper these authors suggest that in the Conemara zone of the Chaos Terrain, an area on the surface of Europa, the ice may be as little as 3 km thick. Then in the film the Conemara Chaos was the targetted landing zone and the drill broke through the ice at a depth of 2800m.

Well there is one more thing that the podcast says, but it is the ultimate spoiler. So if you have not already listened to the podcast, I highly recommend that you watch the film first.


About the Word "Hack" - klaatu | 2014-09-15

Klaatu muses about the word "hack" and what it means, what it should mean, and how we can keep it meaningful.

Steam and wine with linux - Andrew Conway | 2014-09-11

This isn't about my worshiping of Bacchus by playing games on linux in a sauna (that's for a future show) but instead about getting a Windows-only Steam game to work on a recent 64 bit linux distro. I'm using Slackware, but I suspect the pitfalls and solutions I encountered would be similar on other distros.

Links relevant to this adventure:

The Ultimate Cooking Device - PipeManMusic | 2014-09-08

Using a Weber grill to cook all your food.

KC MakerFair 2014 - MrGadgets | 2014-09-04

Mr. Gadgets calls in another show and this time he has been to Kansas City Maker Faire.

Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration.


Beginner's guide to the night sky 3 - A wee dot on a dark sky - Andrew Conway | 2014-09-02

A ramble about stars, by a geeky chap who resides on planet Earth. This episode is entitled a wee dot on a dark sky.

I comment briefly on why it's remarkable that the night sky is dark. I then go on to talk about the colour of stars, which we can just perceive with the naked eye. To learn more you need to use a prism, or, as professional astronomers prefer, a diffraction grating to obtain a spectrum of a star. I talk a little too much about the mathematics of diffraction gratings but eventually get back to talking about spectrum of the Sun which in overall shape is very close to what physicists call a black body spectrum ( the spectrum any object will have at a given temperature. Astronomers and physicists prefer to measure temperature in units of kelvin (, and to convert to it you only need to add 273 to the celsius temperature. Conversion from Fahrenheit is left as an exercise to the listener.

The Sun shows spectral lines, specifically dark lines on the broad spectrum called absorptions lines. This is caused by atoms in a cooler layer of gas (called the chromosphere) that's just above the bright surface of the Sun (called the photosphere). In fact, Helium is named as such because it was first discovered by its absorption lines in the solar spectrum (Helios is Greek for Sun). Many other elements can be found in the spectrum of the Sun and other stars, but most of the mass of all stars is made up of hydrogen and helium.

The temperature of a star is correlated with colour, with blue stars being hotter than red stars. This was originally measured by astronomers by something called colour or B-V (B minus V) index.

The luminosity of a star is the rate at which it emits energy as light, and can be measured in the same units as light bulbs, i.e. watts (W). But to estimate the luminosity we need to know the distance to a star which, for nearby stars, can be found by the parallax method. By plotting colour index (a proxy for temperature) against luminosity we can form a key piece of empirical evidence - the Hertzsprung Russell diagram:

It turns out that our nearest star - the Sun - is quite unremarkable. It is neither very hot or cool, nor very bright or dim - it's a fairly typical star.

Podcast Generator - AukonDK | 2014-08-27

Podcast Generator - Software which can host your podcast and generate all the RSS feeds.

Blue Drava Podcast - a little show I'm working on, hosted using the software.

An Open Source News Break from - semioticrobotic | 2014-08-26

In this episode: An analysis of Tesla's patent decision, the 12 most pressing challenges for open source projects, and an update on the GNU Health project.


Crowd Sourced Air Quality Monitoring - klaatu | 2014-08-21

Klaatu interviews a programmer about new crowd-sourced air quality detection systems. Big crowds at this Carnegie Melon event, so the sound quality is not great.



Introducing Nikola the Static Web Site and Blog Generator - guitarman | 2014-08-19

Nikola - The Static Web Site and Blog Generator -

Note: Please see developer notes below

What is it? A Static Website and Blog Generator based on Python.
What is a Static Website Generator? It generates posts and pages via commands. You edit those posts and pages in a text editor, then run a command to build the site, and finally, deploy/upload the generated html etc files to your webhost.
That sounds kinda old school are you sure thats web 3.0? Its old and new school. Nikola gives you CMS like features without the overhead of the database server and page rendering engine.
How can I install it? Use PIP and follow the handbook on the website. NOTE: Python 2.6 or newer or Python 3.3 or newer is required

sudo pip install nikola
sudo pip install nikola[extras]

You should be good to go if you can enter nikola help in a terminal and get a list of nikola commands.
Lets create our skeleton website:

nikola init mysite 

You will need to answer some questions now (NOTE a directory to cd into called mysite will be created if you issue mysite.. You should enter your domain name instead - mysite is just an example).
The questions it asks will help populate the file in the mysite directory.

Site Title: 
Site Author:
Site Author Email:
Site Description:
Site URL:
Languages to support: (default en)
Time zone: 
Which comments system to use:

Once complete your site will be created and in the directory you named the site as - in my case, mysite.
cd into that and take a look at the files with ls.
you will have:

  • - your configuration file
  • files - where you will place images etc and reference them in blog posts and pages
  • galleries - where you can serve up images in a gallery
  • posts - where your blog posts go
  • stories - where your pages go

Lets create a blog post.

nikola new_post

Type in the title of your blog post and hit enter. I will use foobar in this example
It will report the new post is in posts/foobar.rst
fire up your text editor and edit that file.

There is a header area at the top of the file - most of it is already filled in and you wont need to change it but you should add a Tag because you can see posts by Tag once the site is generated and it gives your readers a way to find all items on that subject. These are separated by commas so enter as many or few as you like. Enter a Description in the Description area.
Now move into the Write your post here area and go to town - erase that or it shows up in your post.
You should read the page on ReStructuredText here: but also just look at the source by clicking 'Source' on the getnikola website and you can see the markup they used. Some basics are

for italics,
for bold, a single * space item for bullet points and for hyperlinks
`Tree Brewing Co: <>`_.
a Tree Brewing Co hyperlink which will bring you when clicked to Lastly issue:
.. image:: /files/imagefilename.jpg
to point to an image file that you have placed into the files directory.
Ok lets say you are done your post, save it and exit. Lets now build your site and fire up the built in webserver to display it.
nikola build
nikola serve -b

Your default web browser will launch and you will see your site with blog post. Savour the moment - you have just created your first blog post. Note all the generated files you would upload to your webhost are in the output folder.
Ok so thats great but I want to add pages and have it in my navigation window Ok lets do that.

nikola new_post -p
Enter a name for it and press Enter. In my case I created MyPage

It tells you your page is in the stories directory and shows you how it named the file. In my case its mypage.rst
Open that in a text editor and compose the page - save it when complete.
So that would be great but its not showing up in your navigation yet. You need to put that in your file.
Open in a text editor, look for NAVIGATION_LINKS. Observe how the existing pages are linked and follow that format. Here is how I would add mypage: (/stories/mypage.html, MyPage), any page you create will show up in stories so dont forget to put that in the path.

        ("/archive.html", "Archive"),
        ("/categories/index.html", "Tags"),
        ("/rss.xml", "RSS feed"),
        ("/stories/mypage.html", "MyPage"),

Save that and rebuild your site.
NOTE:: As of Today Nikola v7.0.1 requires a special command to include the new pages in navigation. This has been fixed in git but currently you must issue:

nikola build -a
nikola serve -b 

Now you are viewing it - nice work - you have a page now.
This site seems a bit plain, how can I theme it? Glad that you asked - issue this command.

nikola bootswatch_theme -n custom_theme -s slate -p bootstrap3

Now you have set it to use the slate bootswatch theme. Review the bootswatch themes on:
In order to let Nikola know to use this new theme you need to edit the file and look for THEME and change the value from bootstrap3 to custom_theme.
Now issue these commands at the command line to view the changes:

nikola build
nikola serve -b 

You can modify the themes to your liking and there is guidance on changing the theme on the nikola website.
There are ways to depoly your site via rsync or ftp commands in the file. There are also other things you can set in the conf file such as google analytics, add an embeded duckduckgo or google search engine, specify options for the image galleries etc.
More things you can do to spify up your posts / pages are to do with using shortcode like sytax for ReStructuredText. You can embed soundcloud, youtube videos etc - here is a list of these:

I hope this helps you get started on using Nikola and hope you enjoy using it as much as I do. If you have questions or comments, find me in the irc chat room on freenode, or go to click Tags and click HPR and leave a comment on this episodes blog post. Until next time, Cheers!

Corrections to this episode provided by Chris Warrick

Some small corrections:

  1. it is recommended to use a virtualenv, `sudo pip` can be dangerous
  2. `pip install nikola[extras]` is enough, no need to do both steps
  3. new pages can be created with `nikola new_page`, too (both ways are equally supported)
  4. missing quotes around "MyPage" in example navbar codeFixed
  5. you can get rid of /stories/ if you change PAGES[*][1] from "stories" to an empty string.
  6. bootswatch themes are not everything, there is also install_theme that uses a more varied collection from

Arts and Bots - klaatu | 2014-08-14

Klaatu interviews a teacher about the use of robots and programming in liberal arts classes. Big crowds at this Carnegie Melon event, so the sound quality is not great.



Make your own t-shirt with bleach - Quvmoh | 2014-08-13

Making T-shirts with bleach and freezer paper


be sure to check out side bar at /r/bleachshirts for more tutorials

Yahoo Mail Forwarder - ToeJet | 2014-08-11

Build, configure and deploy a self maintaining Yahoo mail forwarding virtual client.

  • VirtualBox
  • Fedora 20 LXDE/32Bit iso file.
  • Virtual Hosting Server (currently using VirtualBox, phpVirtualBox with a Centos6 host).
  • Yahoo Account
  • IMAP capable email account for delivery.

Since it will be virtual, isolated, single purpose machine, Security is minimal.

Step by step instuctions at

  1. Build VM
  2. Configure Applications and AutoStart
  3. Configure Mail Forwarding
  4. Configure Automatic Maintenance
  5. Test
  6. Deploy to Virtual Server.

Known Issues:

Occasionally bulk forwards spam folder....

Let me know your thoughts and if you want to hear more about my home server configuration.

Blather Speech Recognition for Linux - Jon Kulp | 2014-08-06

Blather Speech Recognition for Linux: Jon has a conversation with his computer

In this episode I have a blather conversation with my computer. This is a sort of appendix to an episode I released earlier (hpr 1284 which was a conversation with Jezra, the lead developer of the blather speech recognition program for Linux. The current episode will make much more sense if you listen to the previous one first.

For the most part I use blather as an accessibility tool, to manipulate my desktop and generally to save myself hundreds of keystrokes a day. This is important because of my repetitive strain injuries. Blather allows me to do many “productivity” tasks using only my voice. I also like to have fun with it, though, and this “conversation” is an example of the sort of goofy stuff I like to do. When the computer hears me say certain predefined phrases, it runs commands. For example when I say “what’s for dinner,” it shuffles the contents of a plaintext file that has about 20 options for dinner, chooses the top option and pipes it through my default text-to-speech program, which is either espeak or festival, depending on what I set as the environment variable in my blather startup script. When it hears me ask for certain other information, such as “what day is it?” and “what’s today’s date?”, it runs the appropriate system command and pipes the output through the text-to-speech program. For information about blather, the various back-end things that make it work, examples of my blather scripts and configuration files, visit the links below.


Multiboot Partitioning with Linux - Matt McGraw (g33kdad) | 2014-08-05

I like to distro-hop some and try out new things. Sometimes, I want to have 2 or more Linux distros on my system at the same time so I can compare and contrast them. Initially I used a separate /home and mounted it to each distro on my system. This led to config file corruption and I needed a new approach. I hope this will help somebody! Thanks. ~Matt aka @sahg33kdad


Original guest blog post on which inspired this episode:

Image of filesystem tree:

Starting Programs at boot on the Raspberry Pi - MrX | 2014-07-30

How I start programs at boot on my Raspberry Pi. Below is a copy of the /etc/rc.local file I use on my raspberry pi.

#!/bin/sh -e
# rc.local
# This script is executed at the end of each multiuser runlevel.
# Make sure that the script will "exit 0" on success or any other
# value on error.
# In order to enable or disable this script just change the execution
# bits.
# By default this script does nothing.

# Print the IP address
_IP=$(hostname -I) || true
if [ "$_IP" ]; then
  printf "My IP address is %s\n" "$_IP"

################## Added by MrX 28/12/12, ############################################################
#  V1, 21/03/14, titied up script, added explination, run didiwiki and got detached screen working at boot

# items are run in a subshell enclosing command in ( and )
# the commands are terminted with a & to run as background task
# by default programs are run as root if this is not required "su" is used to switch user to pi
# becuse each program is run as a subsheel they all run in parallel this is why the sleep
# command is needed, each sleep command must be longer than the sum of the sleeps before
# which ensures the commands are run in sequence and not together
# exit 0 was from the original file to ensure the file exited with status 0
# if the script doesn't exit with status 0 then the pi will not fully boot

# At boot fources audio aoutput to headphones socket (Analogue output)
# from magpie magazine pdf, issue 3 page 4
(sleep 1; /usr/bin/amixer cset numid=3 1) &

# At boot run the command didiwiki as user pi, listening on IP port 8000
(sleep 3; su pi -c "/usr/bin/didiwiki -l -p 8000") &

# run a detached screen session at boot
(sleep 6; su pi -c "cd /home/pi ; /usr/bin/screen -dmS pi-debian -c /home/pi/.screenrc.multiwin") &

exit 0

Android For The cli/c Junkie - sigflup | 2014-07-29

These are the places your sdk/ndk/ant goes:


This is an archive of /usr/local/share/android-sdk-linux/bin, which is the directory you create.

This is what /etc/profile.d/ looks like:

export ANT_HOME=/usr/local/share/ant
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/share/android-sdk-linux/bin:$ANT_HOME/bin

here's the example app:
uncompress it and type "make", that produces app.apk to run on your device.

We don't always need new gear. - Knightwise | 2014-07-24

Knightwise gives some budget saving tips on why you don't always need to get new gear.

Lunch Breaks - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2014-07-23

Back after a year of HPR silence, I'll talk a little about how I like to spend my lunch breaks and how you can explore your workplace. Put down those tater tots, we're going on an adventure!

In this episode I'll give some information about my lunch history, ways you can maximise your time, gear you'll need to start short stealth/urban exploration, techniques for finding places to explore, and ways to handle being spotted.

If this goes well enough and the audio isn't too garbled, I'll record episodes for the "How I Got Into (GNU) Linux" series.

Here are a few links related to the episode. Note that I link to Amazon and Google. I don't necessarily condone or endorse either service, I just didn't know of any better sources for product information.


Sample sit pads:

Screenplay Writing On Linux and Chromebooks - Thistleweb | 2014-07-21

Writing screenplays for TV or movies is a very precise thing. The industry expects a standardised style and format. ThistleWeb explores a couple of dedicated screenplay writing solutions. Both are dedicated applications that do one job and do it very well. The first is Trelby. It's a GPL cross platform application. It has lots of additional features such as auto completion of character names, summaries and stats.

The second application is a cloud service called Raw Scripts. It's a Chrome extension although I think that's just a link to the site. You log in with a Google or Yahoo account. It's like a dedicated Google Docs web app. It does most of the things Trelby does. It also exports to Google if you want. You can share and collaborate with Raw Scripts. It's hosted on their server, although it's AGPL going forward, so it shouldn't be long before you can host it on your own server.

I've just started to explore screenplay writing as a writing skillset. Both of these applications make the styling and formating incredibly easy, allowing me to concentrate on the actual story.


Bitcoin Mining - Scyner | 2014-07-14

This is a short summary of what steps I took to get a set and forget bitcoin mining station going. Using a asicminer cube eruptor and an odriod u2.

Cool Stuff Pt.1 - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2014-07-10

In this episode CPrompt covers some pretty cool stuff that he has found over the last few days.

Links: Beyond Pod

You're Listening To

Wallet Ninja

Dream The Electric Sleep

Heyu and X10 - Peter64 | 2014-07-09

In today's backup show, Peter64 submits a devrandom segment about Heyu and X10 he did with Jonathan Nadeau.

A good place to look at modules ie the CM11 computer module, light modules, appliance modules etc


Domus Link

Android App

Door Locks/strikes

Agnes is an IT Lawyer - Seetee | 2014-07-01

Today on Hacker Public Radio, we will talk to an IT lawyer about the new EU regulations regarding personal data.

"One thing I think you should be aware of is a principle called 'Privacy by Design and Privacy by Default'!"
-- Agnes

IT Solutions Expo 2014

In April 2014 I visited the "IT Solutions Expo" at the conference centre known as "The Swedish Fair" in Gothenburg. The tagline of the IT Solutions Expo was "The fair that shows you how to make money on tomorrow's IT solutions".

So a lot of corporate propaganda and sales people. To be totally honest, I hesitated going there. But I am glad I did. There where some really interesting talks concerning privacy and technology that I would not have liked to miss.

Agnes Andersson Hammarstrand, IT Lawyer

The real highlight of the fair was the talk by Agnes Andersson Hammarstrand, a lawyer specialised in information technology. She covered the new laws that will come to pass in the European Union regarding how we are allowed to handle personal data.

I was very happy that she was willing to give a short interview for Hacker Public Radio.

It is interesting to see that it is not only consumers who are starting to think that information about us should be kept safe, it is also slowly becoming the law. If your work in or with companies in the European Union, this is definitely a heads-up, something to take notice of. In a couple of years time you must be ready to follow the new legislation.

In her talk Agnes also mentioned that companies should have someone who is responsible for privacy issues. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the HPR listeners? Most of you probably feel that this is an important topic already, so why not make it a part of your job description?

You find all the relevant links down below. If you want to send feedback or get in touch with either Agnes or me, please do not hesitate to do so. If you have any thoughts on the subject at hand or regarding the show, use any of the means below and speak your mind.

Stuff referenced in the episode

How to reach me

You should follow me and subscribe to All In IT Radio:

Overhauling the School of Music website - Jon Kulp | 2014-06-25

I discuss the process of overhauling a badly out-of-date website to make it conform to accessibility standards and give it a responsive design. I also discuss how I came up with my own content management system by Bash scripting.


The 150-in-1 Electronic Project Kit - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2014-06-23

In this episode CPrompt travels down a little memory lane and talks about a childhood favorite, the Science Fair 150-in-1 Electronic Project Kit.


My Introduction to HPR - semioticrobotic | 2014-06-19

In this episode, I introduce myself to the Hacker Public Radio community and discuss a website to which I contribute:


Beginner's guide to the night sky 2 - Andrew Conway | 2014-06-18

This is a review of some astronomy software, as used on the Earth in the early 21st Century, by a somewhat geeky chap. In this episode, I talk a little about two astronomy apps available for Android and another two available for GNU/Linux (and other) desktops.

Erratum: I referred to Star Map but I meant Star Chart. Doh!

In reverse order of how much I use and like them (most used/liked last): - Available for all major operating systems. This link shows you how to add your own comets: - KStars is part of the KDE SC Software Compilation) and so will be easy to install if you're a KDE user, or if you're not, "easy" after a few dependencies are installed.

Google Sky Map can be installed on your mobile device using either f-droid or Google Play:

If you like eye-candy, then Star Chart may be for you, get it on Google Play here:

Project Idea - White-Hat Spam Bot - Keith Murray | 2014-06-17

If you run a blog or a podcast, promoting your material can take as much time (or more) than content creation itself. Just like a small business marketing and promoting your efforts take time, effort and energy that can take you away from what you'd rather be doing: making great stuff.

This podcast discusses the germ of an idea, and its fledgling implementation, for creating an open-source tool for managing the distribution of posts to social media and doing it in as non-spammy a way as possible.

The premise is simple: take information from a number of disparate sources, and promote it to a number of disparate destinations. The challenge is doing it without violating the social norms of the destination networks, and without crossing the line between promotion and spaminess.

How I use Linux - Jezra | 2014-06-16

Here is a list of OSs, software, and hardware that was mention. If I missed anything, please let me know.

Wildswimming in France - Mark Waters | 2014-06-11

In this episode I take a swim along a section of the Charente river near Chatain in the Poitou-Charente region of France. I start upstream at the bridge and go down as far as the weir, then back. On the way I describe some of the things I am seeing, I pass some cows and a couple of French fishermen.

Apologies for the audio quality and panting, this was recorded by an old MP3 player cable-tied to a woolly hat.

A recliner bike and a wet suit parked by a bridge over a river

Mark Waters

Surviving A Roadtrip: GPS - Windigo | 2014-06-10

I have spent many, many hours in a vehicle driving around. While travelling, I've found a GPS to be one indispensable tool. These are some of the GPS-related tips that I have discovered:

  • Having a "navigator" - someone else to help operate the GPS - can be very helpful in stressful driving situations. If you have someone that can help, let them handle GPS programming.
  • Know how to operate your GPS. Planning routes are just the beginning; know how to get your GPS to find food and lodging nearby, and how to change a route to avoid trouble (road closures, traffic jams, detours).
  • Update your maps! Old map data can drive you into construction zones or route you into congested areas that new map data would have let you avoid.
  • Be aware of tolls! The Northeast loves road tolls, and they can quickly add up. My GPS has the option to route around toll roads; so you can use that, or make sure you are prepared for that expense.
  • You can also use your GPS as a normal map, except it's a map automatically centered on your exact position. In certain situations, this can be more useful than having your GPS provide you with directions.
  • My GPS tells me the local speed limit, in addition to how fast I'm going. This is an excellent way to avoid getting a ticket.
  • Mount your GPS somewhere. Looking down into your lap is a good way to find yourself in a gutter.
  • GPS are not 100% accurate! Don't believe their lies! If the directions they are giving you sound bogus, use your better judgement.
  • BONUS: Cameras! If you want to take pictures while on the road, try leaving your camera set to the "Landscape" macro if you have that option. It will prevent focus issues when taking quick shots. Also, keep your camera easily accessible to avoid extra distraction. If you have a navigator, they might be the best photographers.

Penguicon 2014 - Ahuka | 2014-06-09

Show notes: In late fall 2013 I became involved in the Penguicon convention, which combines Open Source technology with Science Fiction to create something that I believe to be unique. I ended up taking responsibility for organizing the Tech Track, and we ended up with around 70 hours of programming. I recap some of the highlights of my own personal experience of this event, both as a participant and as an organizer.


How to Use Docker and Linux Containers - klaatu | 2014-06-03

How to use Docker and Linux Containers

Cardboard Greeting Cards - Shane Shennan | 2014-06-02

Shane Shennan explains why he makes greeting cards out of pieces of cardbord boxes. He lists the supplies he uses and talks through his 3-step process.


The set of prime numbers is infinite - johanv | 2014-05-27

In this short article I want to talk about prime numbers. In particular: about the fact that there exist an infinite number of prime numbers. This has been proven more than 2000 years ago, but I noticed that a lot of my friends that don't have a mathematical background, aren't aware of this fact.

Yet it is rather easy to prove. So that is what I'll be doing in this article. If you are afraid of math, don't worry, it won't take more than 10 minutes.

A transcript of this show can be found on my blog:

Give The Small Guy A Try - Beeza | 2014-05-22

Beeza hates being told what to do. When he moved over to Linux he noticed how most users were barely scratching the surface of the huge choice of software offered by the repositories. Rather than just go with the flow and settle for what everybody else was using, it was in his nature to look for alternatives to the most popular applications.

He discovered some total rubbish, but also some real gems which deserve far greater exposure than they receive. Reviews of some of these excellent but relatively unknown packages will form the basis of future HPR episodes.

In this episode Beeza makes the case for investing a little time digging around in the repositories to see if there is software which may suit your requirements better than the mainstream applications.

Stir-Fried Stochasticity: Bio-Boogers - Epicanis | 2014-05-21

This is a show concept I came up with half a decade ago, as the show itself explains. The journal article may be found as PubMed ID#19323757 ( ) if you want to follow along.

Hopefully the updated time references below for the show-note comments are now correct for this version of it. They should be close, anyway.

Also, I'm oddly pleased at how inferior the "old" part of today's episode sounds: it means I've actually gotten a lot better at recording and editing. (It's quite listenable still, I think, it just doesn't sound as good as the newer stuff.)

  • 03:46 Ding WK,Shah NP:"Effect of Various Encapsulating Materials on the Stability of Probiotic Bacteria";2009;J. Food Sci.;vol.74 #2; pp M100-M107
  • 07:10 For your copy-and-paste pleasure: de Man JD,Rogosa M, Sharpe ME:"A Medium for the Cultivation of Lactobacilli";1960; J. Appl. Bact.;23; 130-135
  • 07:52 I'm pretty sure that the Hasbro corporation, owners of the "Play-Doh(tm)" trademark, don't actually make microfluidizers - it's just an analogy
  • 10:25 -=Executive Summary=-
  • 11:05 Yes, including you...
  • 11:47 Yes, "Fecal Transplants". Ewwww.
  • 11:53 You're welcome.
  • 12:30 If you're not familiar with this kitchen gadget, a "French Press" is a device for making coffee or tea. It's A glass cylinder with a fine wire-screen plunger. I suspect you could "plunge" the ingredients together repeatedly to get a sloppy substitute for the microfluidizer processing.
  • 12:28 Larger volume/surface-area ratio, you see... (The "Album Art" photo is "She Slimed Me", by "Jurveston" on Flickr: )
  • 03:46 Ding WK,Shah NP:"Effect of Various Encapsulating Materials on the Stability of Probiotic Bacteria";2009;J. Food Sci.;vol.74 #2; pp M100-M107
  • 06:14 (update the location of the "Executive Summary" from "the 8 minute mark" to "the 10 minute 20 second mark")
  • 07:10 For your copy-and-paste pleasure: de Man JD,Rogosa M, Sharpe ME:"A Medium for the Cultivation of Lactobacilli";1960; J. Appl. Bact.;23; 130-135
  • 07:52 I'm pretty sure that the Hasbro corporation, owners of the "Play-Doh(tm)" trademark, don't actually make microfluidizers - it's just an analogy
  • 10:25 -=Executive Summary=-
  • 11:05 Yes, including you...
  • 11:47 Yes, "Fecal Transplants". Ewwww.
  • 11:53 You're welcome.
  • 12:30 If you're not familiar with this kitchen gadget, a "French Press" is a device for making coffee or tea. It's A glass cylinder with a fine wire-screen plunger. I suspect you could "plunge" the ingredients together repeatedly to get a sloppy substitute for the microfluidizer processing.
  • 12:28 Larger volume/surface-area ratio, you see...

Adopting and Renovating a Public-Domain Counterpoint Textbook - Jon Kulp | 2014-05-20

In this episode I discuss the problem of increasingly expensive college textbooks, and share with you the solution I devised to combat the problem in my counterpoint class at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Part of the solution is to adopt a public-domain textbook that's more than 100 years old, and to give the text a 21st-century makeover that I believe will make it even better-suited for the digital age than any other comparable book in the market at any price. The counterpoint page on my website, with source files and information about my creative-commons counterpoint workbook, "Gratis ad Parnassum," as well as links to the 1910 counterpoint textbook by Percy Goetschius: entitled "Exercises in Elementary Counterpoint."

My html version of the Goetschius textbook (in progress):

How to skin a snake - Jezra | 2014-05-19

How to skin a snake, and cure the skin for later use

HPR Needs Shows - HPR Volunteers | 2014-05-15

HPR is short of shows and we need you to send in some today

In Defense of Play - Charles in NJ | 2014-05-14

This episode is a just-for-fun show in which I make a few observations in defense of just playing around. We need to stop worrying about work and to-do lists every once in a while in order to just get up off our chairs and do something that is fun. It doesn't have to have a structure at first, but it should involve a challenge or exposure to at least one new thing, or place, or person, or idea. I think it is the best way to learn, because the knowledge and acquisition of skills sneak up on you while you are having fun. It may be the only way to make learning really stick, and to stick with the learning process.


Dr. Peter Gray on the Play Deficit:

Articles from the Journal of Play:

HPR at NELF 2014 Afterparty - Various Hosts | 2014-05-08

In this episode, Members of the HPR community, and attendees of NELF share their thoughts about the 2014 Northeast GNU/Linux Fest. Sorry for the dynamic range of this one. I levelled it out the best I could. Also sorry for getting this out so late. RL has been kicking my ass lately.

Some interesting things that were mentioned that may be worth checking out: The NELF talks and website:

The Zoom H1 Recorders are fantastic devices, and we need to thank the HPR community for chipping in to buy one. They definitely pick up more sound than I did when the podcast was being recorded. I heard things in playback that I wish I had heard and addressed during the live recording.

Thanks to Richard Stallman for the lyrics to the Free Software Song

Thanks to The GNU/Stallmans for their performance of the Free Software Song on the RevolutionOS documentary.

We all had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. Please join us at the next Northeast Gnu/Linux Fest if you can. Thank you very much for listening.

Sincerely, The HPR conference crew

P.S. Some people enjoy finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we have included a few.

Making Waves-The DSO Pocket Oscilloscope - NYbill | 2014-05-07

NYbill discusses the DSO Pocket Oscilloscope v3. A few test circuits are set up to put the scope through its paces.

The DSO at Adafruit:

The 555 timer chip:

The script used to blink the Teensy:

Pictures for the episode:

wiki on the raspberry pi - MrX | 2014-04-28

My experience of playing with wiki software on the raspberry pi, I forgot to mention I run the standard rasbian distribution on my pi if you run something else your mileage may vary.

When I listened to the show I noticed a few mistakes, there may be others as the show was pulled together rather hastily

1. The raspberry pi has either 256 or 512 MB of memory Not KB's oops

2. You can automatically create pages using camel-case words they don't need to start with the word wiki so in my example the page WikiNotes could just as easily be called GuffNotes. This is because at first I didnt appreciate the meaning of the word camelcase, you learn something new every day!

3. Wikidot still provides a free account, oops again!




sed man page

some sed tutorial and examples

The Next Gen is You (2/2) - klaatu | 2014-04-24

Steam OS or Steam on Linux, anti-micro for game controller optimisation.
Part 2 of 2

The Next Gen is You (1/2) - klaatu | 2014-04-23

Steam OS or Steam on Linux, anti-micro for game controller optimisation.

HPR at NELF 2014 Part2 - NYbill | 2014-04-22

In this episode, nybill and pokey continue conducting interviews and having a good time at the 2014 Northeast GNU/Linux Fest.

Some links to follow for things that were discussed in this episode:

We all had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. Please join us at the next Northeast Gnu/Linux Fest if you can. Thank you very much for listening.

Photos from NELF 2014

Sincerely, The HPR conference crew

P.S. Some people enjoy finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we have included a few.

HPR at NELF 2014 Part1 - pokey | 2014-04-18

In this episode, nybill and pokey conduct interviews and generally have a good time at the 2014 Northeast GNU/Linux Fest.

Some links to follow for things that were discussed in this episode:

We all had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. Please join us at the next Northeast Gnu/Linux Fest if you can. Thank you very much for listening.

Photos from NELF 2014

Sincerely, The HPR conference crew

P.S. Some people enjoy finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we have included a few.

Setting up a Raspberry Pi and RaspBMC - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2014-04-17

In this episode CPrompt and his friend Matt go through their entire process of putting together a Raspberry Pi, installing the OS and setting up RaspBMC.


Linux Luddites Episode 11 - Interview with Rob Landley - Ken Fallon | 2014-04-14

This show is is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

As stated on the HPR Contribution page

We will continue to promote new podcasts and other creative commons material but due to a lack of slots, we are only releasing material created exclusively for HPR. If there is a piece of creative commons content that you would like to promote, then feel free to record a regular show where you introduce the content and explain why it is important, providing links to where we can get more information.

Today I am doing just that. As a member of the HPR community, I would like to bring the podcast LINUX LUDDITES with the tag line "Not all change is progress". Taking their name from "Linux" the an operating system kernel by Linus Torvalds, and "Luddites" from the 19th-century English textile artisans who protested against newly developed labour-saving machinery.

I am submitting Episode 11 as it includes a fascinating interview with Rob Landley, former maintainer of BusyBox and covers among other things his experiences of GPL enforcement. For complete episode show notes see

If this podcast is not in your feed, you would do very well to add it.

If there is a show is new to the scene, ie not on the, then contact us about it and also consider submitting an episode as a featured podcast.


TuxJam31 - Andrew Conway | 2014-04-10

TuxJam is a podcast that reviews lesser known Free and Open Source Software projects interspersed with Creative Commons licensed music. TuxJam 31 is a special for HPR.


Continuous Ink Supply System - Ken Fallon | 2014-04-04

The cost of printing

The reason that printers are so affordable is because like game consoles, they are not. They are sold at cost or below cost. The printer manufacturers make their money by selling you replacement ink cartridges that are very expensive. While you can use replacement cartridges, the manufactures will try and dissuade you from using them by displaying messages in the screens to "alert" you to the fact, or will include chips in their printers to prevent you from refilling or swapping their cartridges for cheaper alternatives. You should consider a laser printer option as while the toner cartridges are more expensive, even those supplied by the manufacturers work out cheaper over time. But if you wish to use a Ink Jet, then a serious alternative to lower the cost of printing is to use a CISS, Continuous ink supply system.

CISS, Continuous ink supply system

A CISS, Continuous ink supply system, is a system where you use cheaper non brand ink in your printer, just like you would with replacement no-name brand cartridges. Instead of having to refill the cartridges as they empty you supply them via a thin hose to an external reservoir. The advantage is that you can buy your ink in bulk and refill it without having to open the printer. This brings the cost of printing considerably.
link to picture of CISS printer

Now to pick a printer

  1. What Functions would you like ?
    In the Netherlands there is an excellent site called that allow you to select devices by their features without having to gather all the information from various review sites that may/may not be influenced by outside forces. Although the site is in Dutch it should be fairly obvious what's been asked. (Google Translate version)
  2. Will it work with Linux
    Once you short list the printer(s) you like, head over to to find out if it's supported by Linux and by extension Mac/iOS. Do this even if you plan to run Windows as it proves that the printer is popular and is likely to be supported.
  3. Will it really work with Linux
    Support is a big word and while it may be trivial for some to recompile a Kernel and X to get the thing working. It saves a lot of time and effort if you look around on the Linux Distributions forums to see if there are reported problems installing the printer. A good search is "${your printer model number} linux howto", check the dates on the posts as well paying more attention to the newer ones. Don't worry if you find a HowTo on another distribution than the one you are using as the chances are good that it will also apply to your install.
  4. Can you easily use replacement cartridges ?
    For to answer this, you will need to search in your local stores and on-line to see if there is a popular replacement option available. You should pay particular care to whither the cartridges require a chip or not.
  5. Is there a CISS option
    Now you need to check for a CISS supplier and to see whither they have a supported model for your printer and if there is instruction videos on how to install them
    For my purposes "City Ink Express" fitted the bill on both counts. They are a UK store and the only purchase I made arrived before the printer I ordered and the ink system seems to work fine.

Brother MFC-J5910DW

I ended up going with the "Brother MFC-J5910DW" as we were looking for a printer that could scan to the network, print A3, A4 duplex, as well as supporting Linux. At the time of writhing the Brother printers do not use any chips and allow you to replace the cartridges. One annoying thing was that when the ink in one of the supplied cartridges went empty (after printing 10 A3 pages), it no longer allowed me to scan to the network. Fortunately I had the CISS system ready to rock and to be honest I was dreading installing it.

Even if you don't want to purchase your CISS system from City Ink Express, you should have a look at their videos. For my printer there were three that were appropriate, namely how to Fill and prime it, how to install it and (for the future) how to refill it. I'm not going to waste time on my experiences as I have nothing to add to the videos other than to say, you may want to put on a pair of gloves and do your work over a news paper to capture any ink that spills.

How to fill and prime brother Ciss for LC980 -LC985 - LC1100 -LC1240 - LC1280

Ciss continuous ink system for Brother LC1220, LC1240, LC1280 Printers

how to top up a brother ciss


I'm not using the system or the printer long enough to give a full review but the CISS system has saved two birthday parties so not a bad start.

The Brother Printer

CISS Supply System


Batteries Part 2 - MrX | 2014-04-02

A show about batteries - Part 2

My Slow Battery Charger Hahnel Powerstation TC Max, provides gentle overnight trickle charging

Powerbase battery electric drill, had difficult finding a good link to an example of the drill. It came with a selection of drill bits, sockets and two double ended screwdriver bits.

Cannon A80 digital Camera

A picture of my trusty Philips 5890 Shaver

Garmin Streetpilot i3 GPS Navigation System

Sansa Clip+

Sega Genesis Music Driver - sigflup | 2014-03-31

sigflup and kubilus1 talk about kubilus1's vgm driver for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive.


A behind the Curtain Look at OsmAnd (OSM Automated Navigation Directions) with Pokey and David - David Whitman | 2014-03-27

Thanks to Pokey for being the expert in this oggcast. Note: The song 'Do The Hokey Pokey is copyrighted'


OsmAnd (OSM Automated Navigation Directions) is a map and navigation application with access to the free, worldwide, and high-quality OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. All map data can be stored on your device's memory card for offline use. Via your device's GPS, OsmAnd offers routing, with optical and voice guidance, for car, bike, and pedestrian. All the main functionalities work both online and offline (no internet needed). Some of the main features:


  • Works online (fast) or offline (no roaming charges when you are abroad)
  • Turn-by-turn voice guidance (recorded and synthesized voices)
  • Optional lane guidance, street name display, and estimated time of arrival
  • Supports intermediate points on your itinerary
  • Automatic re-routing whenever you deviate from the route
  • Search for places by address, by type (e.g.: restaurant, hotel, gas station, museum), or by geographical coordinates

Map Viewing

  • Display your position and orientation on the map
  • Optionally align the map according to compass or your direction of motion
  • Save your most important places as Favorites
  • Display POIs (point of interests) around you
  • Can display specialized online tile maps
  • Can display satellite view (from Bing)
  • Can display different overlays like touring/navigation GPX tracks and additional maps with customizable transparency
  • Optionally display place names in English, local, or phonetic spelling

Use OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia Data

  • High quality information from the best collaborative projects of the world
  • Global maps from OpenStreetMap, available per country or region
  • Wikipedia POIs, great for sightseeing (not available in free version)
  • Unlimited free download, directly from the app (download limit 16 map files in free version)
  • Always up-to-date maps (updated at least once a month)
  • Compact offline vector maps
  • Select between complete map data and just road network (Example: All of Japan is 700 MB, or 200 MB for the road network only)
  • Also supports online or cached tile maps

Safety Features

  • Optional automated day/night view switching
  • Optional speed limit display, with reminder if you exceed it
  • Optional speed-dependent map zooming
  • Share your location so that your friends can find you

Bicycle and Pedestrian Features

  • The maps include foot, hiking, and bike paths, great for outdoor activities
  • Special routing and display modes for bike and pedestrian
  • Optional public transport stops (bus, tram, train) including line names
  • Optional trip recording to local GPX file or online service
  • Optional speed and altitude display
  • Display of contour lines and hill-shading (via additional plugin)

Directly Contribute to OpenStreetMap

  • Report map bugs
  • Upload GPX tracks to OSM directly from the app
  • Add POIs and directly upload them to OSM (or later if offline)
  • Optional trip recording also in background mode (while device is in sleep mode)

OsmAnd is open source and actively being developed. Everyone can contribute to the application by reporting bugs, improving translations, or coding new features. The project is in a lively state of continuous improvement by all these forms of developer and user interaction. The project progress also relies on financial contributions to fund the development, coding, and testing of new functionalities. By buying OsmAnd+ you help the application to be even more awesome! It is also possible to fund specific new features, or to make a general donation on

OsmAnd (OSM Automated Navigation Directions)


FOSDEM Discussion - Dave Morriss | 2014-03-26

I decided to attend FOSDEM 2014 this year. I had thought about going to last year's conference but didn't get organised enough to make it. When I mentioned my plans to my friend Tom, he thought he'd attend too, and we agreed to meet up there.

When we got back from the conference I wanted to record a conversation with Tom about our impressions of the event. We tried to do this four times before we finally managed it. We struggled through one recorder battery failure and two Mumble failures before we achieved success. This is the result of our conversation.

Apologies for the phone interference in the background, I hadn't realised the recorder (a Tascam DR-07) would pick it up.


Learn to read time with ccClock - Ken Fallon | 2014-03-21

Over the years the image of the clock has been abstracted and stylized to a point where a long and a short line inside a circle, or even inside four dots on the ordinals, can be instantaneously recognized as a clock. This is perfectly fine if you already know how to read the analog clock but it makes no sense to use such a design as a teaching aid.

oval with two hands Creative Commons Clock

Editor's Note: original links have vanished; images obtained from copies saved at

As a teaching device, you need to make sure all the information that has been abstracted away has been put back.

That is the basic principle of the ccClock

  • The minute hand points at the minute dial
  • All the minutes are listed removing the need to know the 5 or 15 math table
  • The Clockwise direction is emphasized with arrows and text orientation.
  • The two per day rotation of the hour hand is described using a concentric spiral
  • The progression of day into night is indicated by recognizable icons of the rising and setting sun and moon
  • The written format is described in the traditional dial digits
  • The spoken form is described in speech balloons


A Whole Lot of Nothing: Chromebook EOL, CentOS WTF, Non Mainstream GNU/Linux Distros and more... - Beto | 2014-03-19

This episode covers a little bit of everything. The end of life for Chromebooks and how that hurts in some ways, hacker public radio topics, CentOS and Red Hat joining, participate with a non mainstream GNU/Linux Distros, and much more.

Here is a brief list of the topics and links covered in this episode:

How to win Find-The-Difference games - pokey | 2014-03-18

This is a neat little trick that I discovered that you can use to get really high scores on those "Find The Difference" games that they have at some bars (there's at least one in the Google Play store too). After I recorded this show I played to see just how high I could score, and I turned the score over.

Thoughts on GPS - pokey | 2014-03-17

I've always liked maps. Since getting a few GPS enabled devices maps have become even more useful to me, and I like them more and more all the time. Here is a brief episode on the GPS devices and map software that I use most often. I hope you enjoy my episode, and find something useful in it. The outro is a remix of Downright by Broam and Klaatu.

Code Is a Life Sucking Abyss, Also My Story - sigflup | 2014-03-12

In this episode of Hacker Public Radio @sigflup talks about some of the pitfalls of programming as well as her story as a programmer.

The road warrios command line combat life. - Knightwise | 2014-03-07

Podcasting from the car Knightwise shows us his favorite command line applications and how he connects to them from anywhere.


Xubuntu, Kali on EeePc, Markdown Stuff, Pogoplug 4, and more. - Beto | 2014-03-04

This episode is a review of several topics ranging from linux bug community participation, linux installation experiences, hosting services, and blogging using Markdown.

Here is a brief list of the topics covered in this episode:

  • Xubuntu: UEFI support, easy to use, and community driven.
  • Kali Linux on EeePc 1000H, old hardware revived.
  • Blogging in Markdown:,, Mou App, Redmine, Tumblr.
  • Hosting Services and low end VPSs: Arvixe and Prometeus.
  • PogoPlug v4 with Arch linux: simple, cheap and extensible.
  • Gmail webclips: sometimes pretty cool.
  • Check out some music, thanks to


Jeremy Allison ~ the SAMBA project - Ken Fallon | 2014-02-24

HPR Coverage at FOSDEM 2014

The following are a series of interviews recorded at FOSDEM 2014.

FOSDEM is a free event that offers open source communities a place to meet, share ideas and collaborate.

For more information see the website, where you can watch a recording of the many talks

Jeremy Allison ~ the SAMBA project

Ken Fallon interviews Jeremy Allison

For some reason my Zoom H2 failed to record this interview. Based on past experience I'm more inclined to blame the operator than the device so the audio is taken from the backup recording device, a Sansa Clip. As we say at HPR, any recording is better than no recording so any strange audio artefacts are a result of that.

From wikipedia:
Jeremy Allison is a computer programmer known for his contributions to the free software community, notably to Samba, a re-implementation of SMB/CIFS networking protocol, released under the GNU General Public License.

LNUX stock price (9 December 1999 through 9 December 2000)

Jeremy working the booth.

My Mobile digital life - Knightwise | 2014-02-21

Podcasting from the car Knightwise shows us what his morning routine looks like and how he uses technology during his daily 3 hour commute. With some clever tips on using audio and voice technology to stay in touch with tech, stay sane and more importantly, stay safe.

Shownotes My Mobile Life.

Timelapse Video - Peter64 | 2014-02-20

A quick introduction to timelapse video and some of the tools used in linux to help create them.

cd to dir that holds the images

Create a directory called resize and run

"mogrify -path resize -resize 1920x1080! *.JPG"

If you need to Deflicker your images place the script in your resize directory and run

"./ -v"

This will create a dir called deflickered

If you use mencoder to create your video you need to use ls and make a text file with the files listed in sequential order

"ls -1tr | grep -v files.txt > files.txt"


"mencoder -nosound -noskip -oac copy -ovc copy -o outputfile.avi -mf fps=25 'mf://@files.txt'

if you use ffmpeg something like this should get you out of trouble, though your files need to be named in sequential order starting with img(number 1 2 etc).jpg

"ffmpeg -f image2 -i img%d.jpg -vcodec libx264 outputfile.mp4"

Youtube links



Deflicker script

Intro to cable cutting - Tracy Holz_Holzster | 2014-02-19

My Antenna - LAVA HD2605 Motorized Outdoor HDTV Antenna

What is Firefox OS? - J. A. Mathis | 2014-02-13

A short introduction to Mozilla's Firefox OS mobile operating system and what it is. Discussed are what devices are available and what devices Firefox OS can run on.


Fahrenheit 0-100 - Bill_MI | 2014-02-12

The Fahrenheit scale DOES make sense! Just don't add water.

Comparing temperature points:
  ºC      ºF     ºK       ºR
-273    -460      0        0  Absolute zero
 -40     -40    233      420  C = F
 -18       0    255      460  Coldest of the year?
   0      32    273      492  Water freezes
  10      50    283      510  Spring or Fall day?
  23      73.4  296      533  Better room temp
  25      77    298      537  Room temp
  37      98.6  310      558  Human body temp
  38     100    311      580  Hottest of the year?
  85     185    358      645  This one sticks with me
 100     212    373      672  Water Boils
 125     257    398      717  Maximum silicon chip
 371     700    644     1160  Soldering iron tip

The scales and the people:

Google Summer of Code - Jonathan Nadeau | 2014-02-11

[GSoC 2014] Mentoring organization application deadline. Fri Feb 14, 2014 11am – 12pm Pacific Time

Google Summer of Code is a global program that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects. We have worked with the open source community to identify and fund exciting projects for the upcoming summer.

For more information see:

Jono Bacon and Stuart Langridge talk with pokey - pokey | 2014-02-10

Jono Bacon and Stuart Langridge were not entirely pleased with the things pokey had to say about them in the Hacker Public Radio New Years Eve Show episode 1418. They graciously contacted HPR and asked for a chance to clear the air. In this episode pokey has a chat with them about their views on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and advocacy.

Creating a Key Pair - GUI Client - Ahuka | 2014-02-07

In the previous program we explained how to use the command line tools to generate encryption keys. This time we look at the GUI clients that some people may prefer. Using KGpg as an example, we can see that it does all the things we did last time on the command line.

HPR New Year Show 2013-2014 After Show 4 of 4 - Various Hosts | 2014-02-06

Following on from the end of the "official" recorded session, the HPR community were not talked out and continued on for another 26 hours.

HPR New Year Show 2013-2014 After Show 3 of 4 - Various Hosts | 2014-02-05

Following on from the end of the "official" recorded session, the HPR community were not talked out and continued on for another 26 hours.

HPR New Year Show 2013-2014 After Show 2 of 4 - Various Hosts | 2014-02-04

Following on from the end of the "official" recorded session, the HPR community were not talked out and continued on for another 26 hours.

HPR New Year Show 2013-2014 After Show 1 of 4 - Various Hosts | 2014-02-03

Following on from the end of the "official" recorded session, the HPR community were not talked out and continued on for another 26 hours.

Why I made an account free android - ToeJet | 2014-01-30

Why I built an Account Free Google tablet. Including links of what was done. Some basic criteria. No accounts created for downloading, installing or configuring except for mail accounts. No rooting. No pirated apps. Something that can be easy for a user to do including installing and updating apps. One ad supported app installed, but hope to find an alternative.

Ubuntu Quickly Ebook Template - Mike Hingley | 2014-01-29

In this episode Mike Hingley talks about his Ubuntu Quickly Ebook Template project. Whilst it is still in development, it allows authors the ability to publish epub style books through the ubuntu packaging system.

Fahrenheit 212 - cyan | 2014-01-28

Please consider recording an episode for Hacker Public Radio. We are a you-contribute podcast. :)

Ken requests an episode on Fahrenheit, which really requires discussion of the two temperature systems, and how they are quantified.


Centigrade: old fashioned term for Celsius
Kelvin (K): less common measurement of temperature used for Science
Thermal Equilibrium:
Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics:
Absolute zero:

My personal preference is Celsius. Less numbers to deal with in everyday use.
Really Cold – Temperatures below 0°C
Really Hot – Temperatures above 30°C
The "American" thinking is temperatures go in 20's, 30's, 40's...etc. more work!
Obligatory gun discussion
Indirect conversation about PV = nRT formula
Correction: the absence of pressure (vacuum) causes water to boil.
Celsius and Fahrenheit are "measured" by the states of water boiling/freezing.

freezes at 0°
boils at 100°

freezes at 32
boils 212°

1 (K) Kelvin = -273.15°C

Talking Twenty Fourteen - NYbill | 2014-01-27

In what has become an annual thing, Jezra and NYbill talk about their New Years predictions past and future. Better late then never, I guess...

Debian sources.list - Honkeymagoo | 2014-01-23

Honkeymagoo and Kevin Wisher discuss the Debian GNU Linux sources.list file, and the many ways it can be used to personalize your Debian distro

The site that gives most of the information about the sources.list file:

Mirror sites list:

A site that can help you make a sources.list file:

2 good sites to learn about apt-pinning:

The Debian multimedia repository:

Default sources.list file for US:

deb wheezy main
deb-src wheezy main

deb wheezy/updates main
deb-src wheezy/updates main

deb wheezy-updates main
deb-src wheezy-updates main 

Coffee Stain Studios and the Sanctum games - Seetee | 2014-01-22

Do you know the Sanctum games? You should! Listen to Armin from Coffee Stain Studios on todays episode of Hacker Public Radio!

"We're actually working on Linux support. *pause* I don't know if I'm supposed to say that."
-- Armin

Coffee Stain Studios

In 2010 a few students from the University of Skövde created the Indie game developing company "Coffee Stain Studios". In 2011 they released the game "Sanctum" on Steam, and in May of 2013 they released "Sanctum 2". These games are most often described as a mix between First-person shooter and Tower defense. You find yourself in a futuristic setting, fighting aliens with a fair bit of humor. The player chooses how much resources to distribute on automatic towers or his or her own weapons. Both games featured the possibility to collaborate with your friends to beat the levels.

One of the founders, Armin Ibrisagic, was at DreamHack in November 2013, where I got a chance to talk to him.


"What is DreamHack?" you ask? Only the world's largest computer festival, held multiple times a year in Jönköping, Sweden. According to Wikipedia "It holds the world record (as recognized by the Guinness Book of Records and Twin Galaxies) for the world's largest LAN party and computer festival, and has held the record for the world's fastest Internet connection, and the record in most generated traffic."

I also got an interview with one of the organizers of DreamHack, but that you will hear another day. Today we focus on Sanctum, and how the market looks for smaller game developers.

Stuff referenced in the episode

How to reach me

You should follow me and subscribe to All In IT Radio:

Decoding HPR1216 the easy way and a bit more - mirwi | 2014-01-21

This Episode is kind of a direct response to HPR1343 by Laindir, where he explains his awesome way to decode the morse code in HPR1216. For the fun of it, I start right out by digressing into a memory of mine. It is about how I tried to decode morse code telemetry from the AO-21 amateur radio satellite some 20 years ago by using a CBM-8032 computer.

After that I reveal the easy way to decode HPR1216 by using the CW mode of the program FLDIGI. Along the way, I mention the use of "monitors" in pulse audio, which are selectable in pavucontrol as input sources for audio applications. This is an easy way to loop back sound output from other applications. This method also combines nicely with WEBSDR, web accessible software defined receivers, all over the world. These may be used if you want to throw some real world signals at FLDIGI to play with the different modes. For listening to amateur radio communication I recommend to start out with one of these modes: CW (morse telegraphy), PSK > BPSK31 (very common, narrow band tele type mode) and RTTY > RTTY-45 ("original" radio tele type). For the typing modes you might want to check also "View>Waterfall>Docked scope" or activate "View>View/Hide Channels".

Finally I add a tip about using OSS-wrappers like aoss, from alsa-oss, and padsp from the pulseaudio-utils package, to run old OSS applications. I use this primarily for siggen, a suit of command line / curses applications for generating audio signals like sine wave, rectangle and so on.

NOTE: There is one stumbling block with pavucontrol, which I forgot to mention in the recording. Applications will only show up as playback sources or recording sinks when they actively use the interface. That is, the alsa player source will only be visible while playing, in the same way as an audacity sink can only be seen while the recording is going on.


A Visit to Reglue - David Whitman | 2014-01-20

Recycled Electronics and Gnu/Linux Used for Education. Reglue, in a nutshell, gives free Linux computers to under privileged children and their families. From their website:

According to our estimates and those of the Austin Independent School District, there are over 5000 Austin students who cannot afford a computer or Internet access. Reglue wants to reduce that number by as much as we can. Since 2005 we have provided 1102 disadvantaged Austin-area kids and their families a computer. These kids cannot grow and compete with their peers unless they have a computer and Reglue focuses on giving these kids the tools they need.

To find out more about Ken Starks - Find him on Google+

Ken's Blog

ohmroep hpr live mini, 03-08-2013, Censorship and Hacking in the Netherlands - Nido Media | 2014-01-16

Nido Media invades the Early Morning Show hosted by colleague host Brenno de Winter to talk about his talk on Censorship and Hacking in the Netherlands.

We discuss the situation of Alberto Stegeman, who proved the lack of security on Schiphol by touching the plane of the Queen.

Brenno's own adventures with the Dutch transportation card.

Henk Krol showed a medical system's security, a system considered to be "Top Notch Security", hinged on a (shared) password consisting of 5 numbers.

He also talks about the Dutch Responsible Disclosure procedure and what is wrong with it, including examples such as Hans Scheuder who found a flaw in Habbo Hotel.

Ilyam saw his little brother and sister taken away by the Child Protection Services by accident and decided to film it and go public with it.

Indigo - system for registering people immigrating to the netherlands. Contains markers like "You are ready to be removed".

Russian Activist fled to the Netherlands after he was let out of jail. Here he got cought in a system named 'Indigo' which is used by the immigration service. One of the flags this system can set on people is 'you are ready to be removed'.

Monty - The man behind your databases - Seetee | 2014-01-15

Listen to the man who created the database YOU use every day, today on Hacker Public Radio.

"There's no reasons to use MySQL anymore."
-- Monty

Michael Widenius at FSCONS 2013

A couple of months ago I attended FSCONS 2013. There I met Michael "Monty" Widenius, the driving force behind both MySQL and MariaDB. This is a guy who loves being a developer and he loves Open Source software. He named MySQL after his daughter My, and the new fork MariaDB got its name from his other daughter Maria.

Monty was invited to FSCONS 2013 to give a speech entitled "The MySQL and MariaDB story", and the synopsis on says:

"The story of how MySQL was created, why it was successful and how it grew until it was sold to Sun, who was then overtaken by Oracle.
It will also cover how and why MariaDB was created and what we are doing to ensure that there will always be a free version of MySQL (under the name of MariaDB).
The talk will also explain the challenges we have had to do this fork, especially the merge with MySQL 5.5, and the various systems (like buildbot) that we used to build the binaries and how we are working with the MariaDB/MySQL community."

That presentation can be found on YouTube, and I encourage you all to have a look at it. "Michael Monty Widenius: The MySQL and MariaDB story":

If you have not yet made the switch to MariaDB, now is the time!

Monty also asks everyone who uses MariaDB to activate the anonymous plug-in, so that the developers might know what to focus their attention on.

If you wish to look Monty in the eyes, you have the opportunity to do so, as this interview was video recorded and will be released on YouTube or similar. Follow All In IT Radio on Google+, Twitter and for updates on when that will be released.

Stuff referenced in the episode

How to reach me

You should follow me and subscribe to All In IT Radio:

Setting up and using SSH and SOCKS - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2014-01-14

In this episode I go through how I set up SSH and SOCKS. This is very useful when you need to feel a bit more secure in your internet traffic and need to keep out of prying eyes. I also go over some tools used to access your home network from a Windows computer.


Statistics and Polling - Ahuka | 2014-01-13

We are given polling results constantly in news stories, and even more so when an election is near. But how accurate are these polls? What are the limitations? And what kinds of questions should you have when looking at these surveys? I will attempt to answer these questions in this podcast.

HPR New Year Show Part 5 2014-01-01T10:00:00Z to 2014-01-01T12:00:00Z - Various Hosts | 2014-01-10


  • Greetings to small region of U.S.A. and 2 more Honolulu, Rarotonga, Adak, Papeete, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Can a short url be thought of as time based
    • I maintain that in it's current likely implementations that it is not.  Especially since it is likely that the storage uses a 1 original URL to many shortened URLs.  However, I would think it would be possible to implement as a hashed function given the rights seeds.
  • KuraKura: questions about using mumble.
  • General conversation
  • Discussion about Orca and handling integration with various software packages.  Ken wants to motivate the HPR community to explore the issues that exist, and talk with developers from application projects about improving their orca integration.
    • JonDoe mentions that there might be dependencies and / or regressions that occur as changes are made due to hacks / workarounds that currently exist (both in orca and applications)



Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?


For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.


HPR New Year Show Part 4 2014-01-01T04:00:00Z to 2014-01-01T10:00:00Z - Various Hosts | 2014-01-09



  • Greetings to Venezuela Caracas, Barquisimeto, Maracaibo, Maracay, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • More gun talk: Broam, Pokey, FiftyOneFifty, Greybeard, FlyingRich...(yawn)
  • "Only Accurate Guns are Interesting" - Col. Townsend Whelen


  • Greetings to the eastern region of U.S.A., regions of Canada and 12 more  New York, Boston, Rochester, Marriland, Washington D.C., 20,000 feet over Florida, Washington DC, Detroit, Havana, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • 5150: OCPLive is probably going to happen this year.  No official location.  Sounds like plans are going to be hammered out in the near future.
  • 5150: Canonical to charge Mint for repository access?  Appears to originate from this:
  • Underrunner: Synchronized christmas lights
  • Peter64 regales us with his tale of how he electrocuted himself with christmas lights


  • Greetings to the midwest region of U.S.A., some regions of Canada and 8 more  Mexico City, Chicago, Guatemala, Dallas, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • General and random chaos conversation - this is turning into a jumbled, mixed up, and fun conversation
  • General pissing match about the Affordable Care Act / Obama Care.
  • Food conversation inlcuding the Aussie version of the Turducken
  • ..and back to gun talk & hunting
  • Peter64's gun: 
  • Talk about coyote




  • Greetings to Alaska/U.S.A. and French Polynesia  Anchorage, Fairbanks, Unalaska, Juneau, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • JonDoe Recipe: Equal parts Southern Comfort & Butter - add pork chops - caramel porkchops
  • Cobra2 Recipe: Fowl (chicker, turkey, etc) covered with real mayo, salt & pepper, sear, cook normally.


  • Greetings to Marquesas Islands/France  Taiohae, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • BitCoin and transaction validation
  • TorNetwork
  • HPR & BitTorrent / Magnet Links / - Contributor RSS feeds to allow grabbing all episodes from specific contributors

HPR New Year Show Part 3 2013-12-31T22:00:00Z to 2014-01-01T04:00:00Z - Various Hosts | 2014-01-08


  • Greetings to Greece and 30 more  Cairo, Ankara, Athens, and Bucharest, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Discussion of the new cast of TuxRadar
  • Got talking about Jupiter Broadcasting
  • Deep discussion on the world of Jono Bacon
  • The discussion of Jono / Aq on LugRadio evolves into a debate on the nature of debate
  • This conversation evolved into a question / debate about software morality, SndChaser suggested that maybe it is an ethical question instead of a moral question



  • Greetings to United Kingdom and 24 more  London, Casablanca, Dublin, and Lisbon, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • (0002Z) Pokey: Mac OS was moderne when it was created, but now it's looking old and tired
  • SndChaser thinks we are kind of spoiled with all the options - includnig things that don't exist elsewhere - like Awesome.  But lovest the ability we have to build our desktops to fit our workflows and optimize how we work.
  • (0020Z) K5Tux: Easy to learn (he's coming back to it...) -- "Going to change lanes: When discussing ease of use, what about "don't care to know" folks, gamers, etc -- those who don't worry about privacy and software freedom, I have my own thoughts on but I'd like to hear the consensus on the danger for those who just don't care."
  • (0045Z) How did you come to Linux?
  • (0048Z) Free Software's major achievements in 2014:
    • Watches or glasses (marcusbaird)
    • SteamBox (ThistleWeb)
    • ROMs for entry-level mobile phones (pokey)


  • Greetings to Cape Verde, some regions of Greenland and 1 more  Praia, Ponta Delgada (Azores), Ittoqqortoormiit, and Mindelo, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Is Windows made for the consumer or is it made just to look that way on the store shelves? (pokey)
  • Thistleweb expounds upon the evils of extended warranties
  • eBook discussion


  • Greetings to regions of Brazil, Uruguay and 1 more Rio de Janeiro, S??o Paulo, Brasilia, Montevideo, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Pokey mentions that he is furious that the authors guild forced the text-to-speech to be disabled on the Kindle... and names Roy Bloundt Jr.
  • Electronic versions of textbooks are not reducing the number of printed books.  Students have to buy / lease the paper books, then get the electronic version.  And, in many cases they cannot (easily) re-selly the paper copy for even half of what they paid.  In the case of grade school / highschool they cannot sell the books since they are just leased.
  • Pokey brought up OpenText Books:
  • JonKulp - textbooks
  • - Creative Commons Counterpoint Textbook
  • JonKulp - Blather
  • SndChaser asks Jon to comment on Musopen and the status of classical music publishing / performance
  • JonKulp mezmerizes the room with the contents of his cranium (this time it's with Blather).
  • Your're funny!!
  • LTM
  • JonKulp is an accomplished composer. Some of his works can be found at


  • Greetings to regions of Brazil, Argentina and 7 more Buenos Aires, Santiago, Asuncion, Paramaribo, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • JonKulp gets introduced to mate tea
  • Jonathan Nadeau ( talks about Orca & Festival speech synthesis
  • Jonathan Nadeau talks about moving to manjaro
  • It is determined that Perberos, Stefano Karapetsas (stefano-k), Steve Zesch (amanas) and Clement Lefebvre (clem) are the people responsible for removing all accessibility features from MATE, the Gnome2 fork. Gnome2 used to be the most accessible desktop.


  • Greetings to Newfoundland and Labrador/Canada  St. John's, Conception Bay South, Corner Brook, Gander, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Jon Kulp: Open Dyslexic Font
  • SndChaser installs Open Dyslexic extension in chromium
  • Pokey looks at the Open Dyslexic website and is able to read the page very quickly (quickly for pokey anyway), goes ahead and tries to install the font on Mint

HPR New Year Show Part 2 2013-12-31T16:00:00Z to 2013-12-31T21:00:00Z - Various Hosts | 2014-01-07


  • Greetings to China and 12 more Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Dave from The Bugcast podcast joins us.
  • Conversation about being able to identify different generations of devices. Comparison to cars.
  • Talks about batteries and the MrX HPR Episode regarding batteries (top 10 HPR ep.)
  • The eCig / Recharger SndChaser mentioned:
  • Ken discovers the un-mute button
  • Windows & Windows keys suck. Don't use it.
  • Mac vs Windows (We knew it had to come up eventually)
  • William says SndChaser sounds like RMS
  • Free Software licenses & compatible / non-compatible licenses:
  • How to understand the Creative Commons license
  • Usage Rights are available in Google Advanced Search Options:
  • pokey Godwins the license enforcement conversation


  • Greetings to much of Indonesia, Thailand and 7 more Jakarta, Bangkok, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • pokey spends 24 hours updating a Windoze computer. Popey updates a Linux netbook while we say "Happy New Year" to Hanoi
  • Running a LiveCD of Linux on a Chromebook
  • Write disable-able USB stick:
  • Talk about having an image that cannot be re-written for remote re-imaging of systems.
  • Q: Why do we have redundant recordings? A: For redundancy. (So if anyone that drops we have multiple copies to reconstruct from)
  • Ubuntu on tablets and phones
  • XBeamMC:
  • Talking about how to coordinate conversation on the chat
  • We all agree people with British (is that the right word) accents need to talk slowly to Americans
  • thFilemanagers - 2 & More paned


  • Greetings to Myanmar and Cocos Islands Yangon, Naypyidaw, Mandalay, Bantam, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • OwnCloud 6
  • Running ORCA on RaspberryPI?
  • Blather project by Jezra Lichter for speech input
  • Speakup: control over output
  • emacs-speak


  • Greetings to Bangladesh, some regions of Russia and 4 more Dhaka, Almaty, Bishkek, Thimphu, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.


  • Greetings to Nepal Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Pokhara, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • We notice we missed 2 time zones
  • Lunch talk


  • Greetings to India and Sri Lanka New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Ahuka switched from Mint to Ubuntu - he likes Unity. And discussion ensues.
  • pokey consistantly fails to use the etherpad doc correctly. (lol)
  • Dann doesn't use Linux


  • Greetings to Pakistan and 8 more Tashkent, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Dann talks about File Descriptors and File Handles



  • Greetings to much of Russia and 8 more Moscow, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Muscat, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • We want to get rid of daylight savings time
  • Ken: We need to get a calendar that works in linux.


  • Greetings to Iran Tehran, Rasht, Esfah??n, and Bandar-Abbas, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • NELF 2014 discussed by Jonathan Nadeau



A monthly look at what has been going on in the HPR community. This is on the Saturday before the first Monday of the month.

New hosts

Welcome to our new hosts: Honkeymagoo, and Thaj Sara.

Show Updates

id date title host
1391 2013-12-02 Google Play Music All Access Ahuka
1392 2013-12-03 Beginner's guide to the night sky Andrew Conway
1393 2013-12-04 Audio Metadata in Ogg, MP3, and others Epicanis
1394 2013-12-05 Setting Up Your Own Blog Keith Murray
1395 2013-12-06 17 - LibreOffice Writer Overview of Page Layout Options Ahuka
1396 2013-12-09 First Thoughts of the Google Chromecast Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^)
1397 2013-12-10 HPR Community News for November 2013 Various Hosts
1398 2013-12-11 Batteries Part 1 MrX
1399 2013-12-12 Interview with Ben Everard Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^)
1400 2013-12-13 How We Use Linux Honkeymagoo
1401 2013-12-16 Huawei Mate review Knightwise
1402 2013-12-17 How I Started Using Linux and Free and Open Source Software Thaj Sara
1403 2013-12-18 hiro from GamingGrannar at Retrospelsmässan Seetee
1404 2013-12-19 Editing pre-recorded audio in Audacity Ken Fallon
1405 2013-12-20 18 - LibreOffice Writer Page Styles Introduced Ahuka
1406 2013-12-23 ORCA fundraiser Ahuka
1407 2013-12-24 Mars Needs Women, and Hacker Public Radio Needs Shows Ahuka
1408 2013-12-25 Drupal in Gothenburg with Addison Berry and others Seetee
1409 2013-12-26 Xircom PE pocket ethernet adapter Ken Fallon
1410 2013-12-27 Generating Keys on the Command Line Ahuka
1411 2013-12-30 ohmroep live 1, 31-06-2013, pirate parties Nido Media
1412 2013-12-31 ohmroep hpr live 2, 31-06-2013, advancing local communities Nido Media

Other News

Downloads in 2013 = 1,134,478
Per episode download = 4,364

Other News

  • Discussion of the infrastructure for New Year's 24-hour show
  • Indiegogo campaign for Orca
  • Calls for more shows
  • Torrents
  • HPR new year show promo
  • Proposal to add show Reservations to HPR
    "This means that "Next Available Slot" skips reserved slots. If any host wants the same day then well they should try and make arrangements with the other host. If both hosts cannot reach a resolution, then the mailing list will decide for them."
  • Brochure for HPR?
  • Please Please use the TXT template
  • New HPR website design
  • New Year Show/ Orca
  • Shared pad for show notes for the New Years show

HPR New Year Show Part 1 2013-12-31T10:00:00Z to 2013-12-31T16:00:00Z - Various Hosts | 2014-01-06


  • Greetings to Christmas Island/Kiribati and Samoa Kiritimati, Apia, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
General links / references mentioned on the show for the show notes:



  • Greetings to New Zealand with exceptions and 5 more  Auckland, Suva, Wellington, Nukualofa, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • ken_fallon and SndChaser talk about ways 5150 could run external Ethernet to improve his connection.
  • marcusbaird, pokey, sndchaser, ken_fallon talked about current linux distros we are using
  • pokey brought up the Chromebook ad - the Pawn Stars advert
  • marcusbaird and pokey discuss hunting in New Zealand


  • Greetings to small region of Russia, Marshall Islands and 5 more Anadyr, Funafuti, Yaren, Tarawa, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.  
  • Ken talks about the RasberryPi
  • Pokey talks of how battery kept his kit charged when camping



  • Greetings to much of Australia and 5 more  Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Honiara, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Per pokey: Ken Fallon has a nerdgasm taking about html5
  • Pokey, Jonkulp: Talk about DD-WRT and Wireless Routers



  • Greetings to Queensland/Australia and 5 more Brisbane, Port Moresby, Guam (Hag??t??a), Cairns, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • Want to Join Google+ ? Ken_Fallon goes on a rant about Google. Pokey suggests that Google has changed their definition of "evil".
  • Jonathon Nadeau joined us.
  • SndChaser brought up YaCy as a way to get out of Google:
  • DuckDuckGo discussed and wether it personalizes searches
  • SndChaser wants an encrypted network file system. William suggested




  • Greetings to Western Australia/Australia Eucla, followed by a short reminder of the ORCA fundraiser.
  • SndChaser asked FlyingRich about FAA lifting the ban on devices on planes
  • Pokey asked about the concerns regarding interference on devices at altitude
  • William asked if standard ECC is good enough for this application
  • Somehow transitioned throught lighting to plants.
  • Popey joins us!
  • Hash LUGRadio gets a shout out
  • SoundChaser adds a bullet point <- HAHAHAHAHAHAH
  • Talk with popey about the codec repositories
  • Commercials are just terrible - not for the tech market that we are in

ohmroep hpr live 4, 31-06-2013, operating lights at Observe Hack Make - Nido Media | 2014-01-02

Doing the Lights on OHM2013. (shownotes donated by HobbyBob)

During the interview i mention the LOC controller. The LOC controller was designed by Bob from Bitlair Hackerspace in Amersfoort, The Netherlands.

Here you can find all the info on the controller:

My username is hobbybob there, so if you have any questions just ask me in a pm. It is good habit that you introduce yourself on the forum, this will get you more credits when you start asking questions. Just introduce yourself, what you want to built and what you already have done/tried in the past.

Ohh and BTW i sound a bit dull because i was very tired. As the Light team, we worked from 9AM to 3AM every day during OHM to make the experience a colorful one for everyone!

We hope you enjoy(ed) our effort and start building cool stuff yourself !

If you want to make your own LOC controllers, LED effects or Lasers i am very interested to know. You can mail me: hobbybob at bitlair dot nl

ohmroep hpr live 3, 01-08-2013, (Power)DNS - Nido Media | 2014-01-01

Today Nido Media is joined by Ken Fallon as cohost. Bert Hubert from PowerDNS joins us and talks with us about what DNS actually is. What it does, how it is used, how it is implemented. What information DNS holds and what it works. He also explains what PowerDNS and we go into DNSSec a bit. Our conversation is pre-empted right at the very end because the tent was about to collapse. No comments are made about the vicinity of Bind developers.

ohmroep hpr live 2, 31-06-2013, advancing local communities - Nido Media | 2013-12-31

Nido Media reporting Hacker Public Radio Live. Starring Cecile Langhorst as co-host who saves the show, and two guests. Civardi from Rhizomatica, who is active in installing GSM networks in rural areas in Mexico tells us of his experiences with GSM technologies and Mexican villagers. Bicycle Mark relates about his work training people from war or post-war countries to become reporters.

ohmroep live 1, 31-06-2013, pirate parties - Nido Media | 2013-12-30

Nido Media reporting Live from OHM2013 in the Netherlands. He is joined by a group of Pirate Party members including Fabricio Martins do Canto, Dirk Poot, Jonas Degrave, Thomas Gordon. They discuss how their pirate party chapters were started, how to start your own. What it means to be a pirate party, the goals of pirate parties. Later we are joined by Christopher Clay who tells us about the situation over there.

Xircom PE pocket ethernet adapter - Ken Fallon | 2013-12-26

Catalog photo of PE3-10BC

This is a submission for the GadgetWarehouse segment on TheGizWiz on the network. In it I describe how my Raspberry PI has caused me to clear out all my old gadgets. The two that remained is a SmartMedia Floppy disk adapter and the other is a Xircom PE pocket ethernet adapter. I also mention the Third Annual HackerPublicRadio NewYear 26 hour show.


Drupal in Gothenburg with Addison Berry and others - Seetee | 2013-12-25

In a sunny Gothenburg, the spring of 2012, we find a lot of happy web developers attending DrupalCamp. This is the second show with conversations from that event. This time you will hear Addison Berry from Lullabot, Henrik from All In IT Radio as well as Patrik and Cornelius.

If you want to hear what Henrik and I thought about this years DrupalCamp, then you should have a listen to the episode "Con of the Year" over on our podcast. There we talk about all the conferences we have attended in 2013, including DrupalCamp, FSCONS and Retrospelsmässan.

Participants in todays show


How to reach me

You should follow me and subscribe to All In IT Radio:

Mars Needs Women, and Hacker Public Radio Needs Shows - Ahuka | 2013-12-24

Hacker Public Radio welcomes everyone to record shows and contribute them to the network. In this show we discuss the many ways you can do that. It is very easy to contribute a show and get involved, so we encourage everyone to join in.

Editing pre-recorded audio in Audacity - Ken Fallon | 2013-12-19

In today's show I walk you through the very basics of "editing" a audio track that has been recorded outside Audacity. Audacity can be found at

Overview of Audacity

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use and multilingual audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and other operating systems..

Editing the audio

The steps in this video include.

  • File > Import > Your file
  • Tracks > Stereo Track to Mono
  • Effect > Amplify (Accept defaults)
  • Delete audio: Highlight (click and drag) press Delete
  • Undo: Ctrl + Z
  • Intro Clip
  • Outro Clip
  • Move Track: (F6 Multitool) Ctrl - Click and drag
  • Export the Track:
    • Confirm that the Project Rate is set to 44100 Hz (bottom left)
    • File -> Export and select FLAC File
    • Click Options... to reveal FLAC Export Setup
    • Set Level to 8 (best)
    • Set Bit depth to 24
    • Artist Name: Your name
    • Track Title: Your show title
    • Album Title: Hacker Public Radio
      Audacity Export Settings

When you are ready you can contact to get access to the FTP server. For more technical information see the README file and the Sample Show notes file.

hiro from GamingGrannar at Retrospelsmässan - Seetee | 2013-12-18

Today on Hacker Public Radio, we will talk about old games, and interview an expert from Sweden.

"GamingGrannar" and "Spelklassiker Musik"

In 2012, the Swedish gaming community "Level 7" voted for the blog Gaminggrannar to become "Gaming Blog of the year". Gaminggrannar (or "Gaming Neighbours") consists of David "Dave" Boström, Emelie "Ekken" Karlsson and Andreas "hiro" Karlsson.

Dave won the Swedish Championship in Nintendo, in 2003, and has a great Metroid collection. Ekken is an acomplished gamer, creates edible game cakes and also has a newly started collection of games with pink cartridges. hiro can be recognized by his retro game inspired tatoos, and is known for his love for series like Mega Man X and Castlevania.

Together the three neighbours release a video blog about everything and anything gaming related, but often with a focus on older games.

The podcast that hiro hosts together with Tobias Jensen, a NES and Amiga 500 gamer who wished he had more time for games, hit the 200th episode in november 2013.


hiro and I met at Retrospelsmässan 2013. This retro game convention is on its fourth year, and has grown considerably. Now in the second largest exhibition hall in Gothenburg, with roughly 2.000 visitors, and a three hour queue to get in. Competitions in old games, buy retrogames and consoles, cosplay competition, and so on. "Retrospelsmässan is a yearly event with focus on consoles and computers that was released before the year 2000." -- Markus Swerlander, one of the organisers.

The date for the 2014 edition of Retrospelsmässan is already set, saturday the 3rd of may in Eriksbergshallen, Gothenburg.

"Game and have fun!"
-- hiro

Stuff referenced in the episode

How to reach me

You should follow me and subscribe to All In IT Radio:

Huawei Mate review - Knightwise | 2013-12-16

In this episode of HPR Knightwise reviews the Huawei Mate Smartphone and answers the quesion if a 6.1 inch device is tablet a phone or both. We peek back into the late 80's and ask ourselves : What constitutes a phone and is the Huawei Mate something for you ?

The original article :

How We Use Linux - Honkeymagoo | 2013-12-13


Samba File Server

NFS File Server



murmur - server
mumble - client


BUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool)





Batteries Part 1 - MrX | 2013-12-11

A show about batteries - Part 1

I can't take the credit for all this detailed information in my podcast, I found this fantastic website many years ago while investigating why the battery in my expensive razor prematurely failed. I tried to hunt for the site but couldn't find it. I wrote up all my notes from memory and recorded the show. It wasn't until I started working on part 2 of my batteries show that I stumbled across this long forgotten site - at least I think it's the same one as it talks about the memory effect on satellites and doctor's pagers so I guess it must be the same one. I'm indeed delighted to find it still exists, and I may very well read it again from top to bottom. It looks like it's been updated a little too. Well done ka7oei a fantastic resource right enough.

Site title: "About NiMH and NiCd cells and batteries (And a little about LiIons, too...)"

A picture of my trusty Philips 5890 Shaver

Memory effect

Doctor's pager

Sansa Clip

Two Possible Chargers (For use in the UK)

I found it very difficult to find a slow trickle charger, here are two possibilities, you may need to settle for a fast charger as the slow ones now seem to be like hen's teeth, (VERY HARD TO GET).

This is perhaps a little slow with a charge current of only 150ma, would take about 17Hrs to charge 2100 mAh batteries.

The charger I use is made by the same company as this although mine is a different model. My model charges at 200ma, and takes about 13 Hrs to charge a 2100 mAh battery. I can't tell what charge current this charger deliveries, but suspect it's a simple slow charger, probably old stock, as I said slow chargers are getting like hen's teeth.

First Thoughts of the Google Chromecast - Curtis Adkins (CPrompt^) | 2013-12-09

I discuss my first experience with the Google Chromecast. I go through my process of setting up the device and start streaming Netflix, Music and Podcasts.

Setting Up Your Own Blog - Keith Murray | 2013-12-05

Keith Murray talks about the things you need to consider when setting up your own blog. Topics discussed include hosting options, software platforms and a brief discussion of some of the underlying technologies involved.

Links to many of the topics and projects discussed are included below.


Project Pages

Installation Guides

Wikipedia Links

Audio Metadata in Ogg, MP3, and others - Epicanis | 2013-12-04

Metadata in MP3, Opus/Ogg/FLAC/Speex, and other audio files.

Today's episode discusses (and encourages) the use of metadata tags in audio files. Most of the episode is spent on id3v2.3 (metadata for mp3 files) and vorbiscomments (metadata for opus, ogg vorbis, flac, and speex files), and how to mix them, though metadata in webm/matroska, windows media, and wav files is briefly discussed as well.

This episode's files have also been crafted with substantially more metadata than the ID3v1 set of tags that HPR normally limits itself to, to serve as examples.

Listeners to the opus, ogg (vorbis), or speex versions will also have access to chapter markings if your playback software recognizes standard vorbiscomment chapter metadata. (No chapter markings in the mp3, as support for it is extremely sparse, and I've not yet even managed to find a tool for making mp3 chapters that actually works - the java utility I mention in the episode crashes on me without starting...)

All metadata conforms to the published standards, so your playback software should at best fully use it all, or at worst simply ignore it. If your player software actually DOES have a real problem with this file, I would very much like to know!

If there's anything wrong with the metadata, blame Epicanis, not HPR (I did the metadata myself).

If you hear or see any errors in this episode, please tell me. I'll issue appropriate corrections in subsequent episodes. If I'm a big enough screwup with this episode, I could even do a small episode on "everything I got wrong in my metadata episode" if I did badly enough. I don't THINK there should be more than a few minor errors or omissions here, though.

ERRATA: In chapter 18 (at 34:53) there is one small error: oggenc does NOT transfer attached pictures from flac input (though it DOES transfer all vorbiscomment metadata. FLAC stores attached pictures in a separate metadata structure so oggenc misses it. opusenc - at least in recent beta versions - DOES appear to transfer the attached pictures as well as the vorbiscomments, though. Another reason to upgrade to opus, I suppose...)

Beginner's guide to the night sky - Andrew Conway | 2013-12-03

This is a personal view of the Universe, as viewed from the Earth in the early 21st Century, by a somewhat geeky chap. In this episode, I talk a little about my first memories of looking at the night sky and how the modern science of astronomy has its roots in ancient mythology, and how the sky provided a picture book for humanity before we even did our first cave painting.

Google Play Music All Access - Ahuka | 2013-12-02

This program is about the new online streaming music service from Google, called Google Play Music All Access.

Like many people I enjoy listening to music, and having my music with me everywhere is important. And I have a large music collection to draw on. Trying to have everything with me at all times is a bit of a problem, though, considering how much music I have. Right now I own a number of portable MP3 players, two of which are full of music that I carry with me. My pockets can get very full that way, though, and while I like listening to tracks I own, what about finding new stuff? My MP3 players have never suggested anything to me. This is where the cloud services come in.

You can find the rest of the show notes together with screen shots at

Javascript Corrections - sigflup | 2013-11-28

In this episode sigflup corrects a few errors made in her previous show about javascript

JavaScript - sigflup | 2013-11-27

Sigflup calls in a "off the cuff" episode about JavaScript from the Hospital.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

JavaScript (JS) is an interpreted computer programming language. As part of web browsers, implementations allow client-side scripts to interact with the user, control the browser, communicate asynchronously, and alter the document content that is displayed. It has also become common in server-side programming, game development and the creation of desktop applications.
JavaScript is a prototype-based scripting language with dynamic typing and has first-class functions. Its syntax was influenced by C. JavaScript copies many names and naming conventions from Java, but the two languages are otherwise unrelated and have very different semantics. The key design principles within JavaScript are taken from the Self and Scheme programming languages. It is a multi-paradigm language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
The application of JavaScript to uses outside of web pages—for example, in PDF documents, site-specific browsers, and desktop widgets—is also significant. Newer and faster JavaScript VMs and frameworks built upon them (notably Node.js) have also increased the popularity of JavaScript for server-side web applications.
JavaScript was formalized in the ECMAScript language standard and is primarily used as part of a web browser (client-side JavaScript). This enables programmatic access to computational objects within a host environment.

Christmas Light Synchronization - Underruner | 2013-11-26

Hello hacker public radio

I have wanted to contribute to HPR for several months now. I find it annoying and pointless to create a script to read off. But after several attempts of trying to recording my self blathering on with stuttering, cursing, air gaps, and humming I had to script my episode. In this episode I would like to talk about building a Christmas light synchronization system.

I had first seen someone's home brew system years ago synchronized to music by the trans-Siberian orchestra. I was immediately mesmerized and went to work on figuring out how it was done.

I have had a fair amount of experience with fabrication and electricity over the years. However I really only know how to maintain systems that have already been engineered and fully vetted by others. My exploration led me to first find all of the unreliable sources and then on to the sites that leave out the magic step into getting their system to work. Truly reliable sources were scarce.

Frustrated with what I was finding, I gave up and my time was consumed with remodelling our home and moving to a different state into our new house.

Last year I wanted to start another attempt at making a system but time was short and planning something like this during the holidays is extremely dumb.

After the last holiday season and while putting away the holiday lights all I could think about is getting these lights synchronized for the next season. So I went back to the disinformation highway continuing my research.

Although I was looking strictly for technical information personal information leaked through.

The common theme amongst other people is to start planning for the next season in July. Starting to plan in January is a bad idea and all you will have is anguish when it comes time to deploy your show.

Soon July came along and I argued with myself if I was really going to commit myself to doing this. From what I have read I can be reassured that there is no backing out once you start. Most people talk about what they are going to add to their system next year.

So lets talk about the first step.


This theme seems like a logical step, but I don't know what I'm doing!

I already have lots of lights, its not like I'm going to put up one hundred thousand lights this year. No my plans are to put up the same old lights I already have and incorporate them into the system and then grow from there.

So if I already have some lights I need a new step one.

Unfortunately most of the so called step by step lists don't agree on anything. So I chose what was most important just to get lights to work, even if I was never able to build my own synchronization system. The most important thing in any holiday lighting set-up is electricity. So that is the first thing I concentrated on. The front of my house has two outlets on two different circuits. One conveniently placed on the front porch, at the lowest spot on the porch with a plastic cover that is hinged to open upwards preventing direct line of sight when trying to plug an extension cord in. The second is behind a razor sharp ornamental grass bush. The two circuits are on 15 amp breakers and each outlet is installed with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). You make have seen these in your bathroom, they have a rest button and a test button. These circuits are not dedicated to these two outlets. They are connected to all of the rooms on the front side of the house. For me this simply will not do. Because when or if a breaker trips part of the house will go dark. Instead of fussing with these difficult circuits I decided to install two new circuits that would be exclusively dedicated for any out door lighting. My garage has a relatively empty breaker box so whatever I decide to do I'll have plenty of room to do it.

With my mind on future needs I made a check list of what I wanted

  • # One. Two separate circuits
  • # Two. 20 amps on each line
  • # Three. The circuits need to terminate in two separate two gang boxes somewhere out in the yard where all the lights would connect to them.
And thats just what I did. From the breaker box I ran 12 gauge 3 wire (12/3) over head and down the wall into two separate junction boxes.

A GFCI outlet is the first device connected from the home run between the breaker box and this junction box. So anything installed after this point will have GFCI protection. The second thing installed is a light switch that can create an open circuit to the power leaving the garage. I had thought about installing a digital timer instead of the light switches but the light switches are a cheap place holder until I make up my mind. the GFCI outlets and light switches are rated at 20 amps not 15. After the light switches, the circuits run out of the garage and are trenched about 30 inches below ground in PVC conduit. They reappear in a spot in the yard, terminated at the 2 gang outlets. This took quite sometime to do. All of my expenses are going into copper so the budget doesn't call for any machinery to help along the. So at this point regardless if I continue on with my adventures I should always have enough power just to run lights.

As the month went on I stumbled across and found a few people actually showing their secret sauce. I probably spent a whole month reading and then rereading what they were doing. There were only about six people that truly knew how to make a synchronization system and they all had one thing in common, Arduino. Without even really knowing what an Aduino is, I knew this was going to be the key to getting a system of my very own! Without hesitation I linked over to adafruit and bought an Arduino Uno. Everyone else had one, so why shouldnt I?

The Uno would only cost me $30 and I would be on my way to completing my goal. If you've never seen or heard of an Arduino they are credit card sized micro controllers that are made in Italy and are open sourced. The Arduino has one little hang up. Everything is programmed in C language. I know nothing of C or any real programming language. The only programing I have any experience with is HTML 1.0. These geriatric skills would not help me with the Arduino. Arduino helps you learn basic skills. You can read practice pages at or you can use the Arduino examples built into their IDE software. The first tutorial I explored was the Blink command. The blink command you assign a name to the pin you want to use and then create a loop of turning the pin on and off, or HIGH and LOW. For me this was fun and now I am the lord of the blinks. I've been told that music is math. So I chose to experiment with this idea as my first arduino sketch. Arduino calls your program a sketch. So I found some sheet music with around eight notes. I printed the sheet music and then translated all of the notes into integers. Then I mapped the numbers to coordinate with the pins on ardunio. Uploaded the sketch and nothing happened.

You cant see the electricity moving around on the Arduino, I need to do something to ensure the program is working. I run over to Radio Shack to try to remedy this hang up as soon as possible. Radio Shack carries Arduino parts, so I bought a prototyping board, resistors and LED's.

LED's are great for flash lights and such. But when it comes to prototyping and experimenting LEDs are great indicators that circuits are working correctly. So I soldered up 8 leds, resistors and wires to the prototyping shield and placed the shield onto the Arduino.

I plugged power into the Arduino in and the lights started blinking. I gave my self a mental high five and congratulated my brain on a job well done. This test was successful, it was time to move on to the next step. I had already been over on amazon browsing relays and found a company on there called SainSmart that has prebuilt relay modules. I picked out a module that had 8 relays on it. This module was about $9 and I didn't think that I would be able to build something as nice as this for the same price. What I did next is sloppy and dangerous. Don't do this, I did it because I was following other peoples' instructions. People think its OK to run 120v into shoe boxes or clear rubber made totes. I did mine in an $8 home depot tool box. I wired everything up correctly and tested the system. I was able to get 8 strings of light to blink but I wasn't very happy with what I had. My idea for making the sequence, looked nice when it was only 8 leds blinking in a two by two inch square. Translate that to strings with 100 bulbs and it doesn't look sequenced. In-fact it looks like a sloppy attempt at being random. Maybe even call it laggy. it was bad.

I left out everything I had to do to get the system working because I don't want anyone to do this. Seriously don't run push high voltage into cheap plastic products. It's dumb and dangerous, I did it for you, so you don't have to.

However this first experiment passed all of my tests and filled in all the gaps in my mind. I know exactly what to do now and I'll cover my new box in detail. I suppose I skipped over what a relay is. You can think of a relay as an electromechanical light switch. They use direct current to drive a magnet to mechanically move an internal switch to create an open or closed circuit. These are the the devices that make it physically possible to synchronize a light show. While running my first prototype system a blue genie escaped from the board so I only have seven of eight relays working. It didn't bother me too much that one of them was broken because my plans are to build a larger system. I went back to Amazon again and this time purchased another eight relay module and then two sixteen relay modules. When talking about syncro systems a relay is called a channel, so with all my new hardware I now have enough to do 47 channels. The ardunio UNO only has 17 usable pins. So I needed to build multiple system or get a new controller. So I got a new controller. My new controller is still an Arduino, but instead of being the UNO it is now the MEGA. The MEGA is advertised to have 54 input/output ports. This more than enough to drive the relays I have. The issues of a proper enclosure is not trivial. This system contains high voltage and direct current electronics. I chose a Cantex twelve by twelve by six inch PVC junction box. The lid has six screws and a gasket to make the enclosure water tight.

The box was fairly expensive at thirty dollars but made everything feel better. In my collection of spare parts and junk I found a fist full of stand-offs and screws that actually had the same thread spacing. I drilled holes in the box and screwed in the stand-offs once I had the relays and Arduino parts mounted the way I liked I removed the hardware only leaving the screws and stand-offs.

Around all of the mounting hardware I used a combination of hot glue, silicone caulk and PVC cement to insulate the metal screws and to make their connections water tight. With the lid open and looking into the box the entire back side of the box fits the MEGA and two 16 relay modules. On the six inch side walls I was able to mount the eight relay modules. Before I mounted the relays for the last time I wired them up for high voltage. The relays have three set screws. The center screw is the common hot wire. For example from relay one I have a short 14 gauge wire running out of this screw and into a four port wire nut. Ideal makes a Push-In Wire connector that has 4 ports. The ports are bussed together and make for a cleaner install when compared to a standard twist wire nut. One push in connector can connect two relays and then jumper on to the next wire nut with two more relays, so on and so on. So there are 4 total relay modules and I connected all the common hots among all of them this way. When it came to the 16 relay modules I used tall standoffs so I could hide all this wire under them. So these connections are a little bit longer. The set screws in these modules can only handle up to 14 gauge wire. So thats what I used throughout. Before placing the modules you need to look at the other two set screws and make a decision. to the right of the common hot is the open side and to the left of the common hot is the closed side. At this point you have to think about your Christmas lights. Do you want them to be off all the time and have the relays turn them on to create your sequence. Your default state will be to have a dark yard. I chose to have them on at all times and I was going to create sequences where I would be turning them off. So even if nothing is happening the default state will be that my yard will be bright with lights. I also chose this way because if something breaks along the way I don't have to run out and re plug everything just to have lights on. But be careful as this will become confusing as we go along, its inverted from tradition thinking. With the relays wired with common hots, I installed them into the box and screwed them in. After that I tied the modules hots together. But made it more complicated than it needed to be. For some dumb reason I decided to load balance my box. Two relays per circuit. Back to my power, I ran two lines A and B. In side my box I made it so there was an A and B side too. Honestly everything can be tied together and it won't stress the system out the slightest. All it does is makes things more complicated. The next thing I did was connect all of the DC cables in the system. I created connectors from bits and parts laying around. Old IDE cables are nice for this. I wanted a completely modular system in case anything failed. So nothing is hard-wired soldered. I started out on the MEGA with Pin 22 and wired one pin to one relay pin. over and over again 47 times.

Then I created a power distribution board that distributes 12 volts to all of the relays and Arduino. I fitted everything up and ensured that everything fit and I had good connections. Then pulled the MEGA back out. Even though I have the relays in a box and all the hardware is connected the Mega has never been powered on. Its still dumb and doesn't know what it's supposed to be doing. Earlier I was talking about using sheet music to make a sequence and how that's a bad idea. I needed a new way to make blinky blinky. I found some popular windows software called Vixen Lights. Vixen is extremely granular lighting synchronization software. To the best of my knowledge it only works under Windows, although I have been trying to get it to work in WINE. Someday I'll get this to work. When you get Vixen up and running the screen looks like a spreadsheet, full of cells. Each cell represents time on a channel, double click the cell to turn it on or off. Some estimate that it could take several hours to synchronize three minutes of music. I'm not really concerned about making a sequence at this time. I move on because its more important to get a completed box in my mind. So let me help you spend some more money. When using Vixen the Ardunio needs to be connected to your computer via a USB cable. You'll configure Vixen to send serial to the com port that Ardunio is connected to. I have spare computers. But installing windows xp on a box and getting it configured is extremely annoying in its self. Then figuring out how to put a desktop in the yard adds to pointlessness. Some people might jump on the wifi bandwagon. There are to many devices on my network and I really don't want a power system to be available to the Internet. Plus why would you want your lights to be remotely operated like this. If you're not home why do you care if your lights are on or off. I'm doing this for me. The challenge is to eliminate the USB cable and keep it off the Internet.

I found out about wireless radios called xbee's. They are expensive, but do exactly what I want. They create a wireless serial connection at 9600 baud. When you're out shopping for your own there are two different types of xbee's. S1 and S2. I believe the S2's are also called zigbees and you can make them more secure than the S1. I ordered the wrong ones, I ordered the S1's. The S1's are extremely easy to set up. But to set them up you need more hardware. I ordered a majority of my hardware from Adafruit. So along with two xbees, I also got two xbee adapter kits and one FTDI cable. After building the adapter kits and plugging in the xbees I wired one of them into the Ardunio. For the Arduino side all you need is four wires. Ground, five volt power, transmit, and receive. The Uno has one TX/RX connection while the Mega has four. This doesn't matter since all Ardunio needs to do is listen. On your computer all you need to do is plug in the xbee using the FTDI. It is recognized as serial I believe in both Windows and Linux no drivers were needed to make it work. The only computer configuration needed is changing in Vixen, you need to tell Vixen what port it needs to use to send serial commands. But before you test this, you need to give your Arduino instructions. Here is the sketch I created for my system:

int C1 = 2;
int C2 = 3;
int C3 = 4;
int C4 = 5;
int C5 = 6;
int C6 = 7;
int C7 = 8;
int C8 = 9;
int C9 = 10;
int C10 = 11;
int C11 = 12;
int C12 = 13;
int C13 = 22;
int C14 = 23;
int C15 = 24;
int C16 = 25;
int C17 = 26;
int C18 = 27;
int C19 = 28;
int C20 = 29;
int C21 = 30;
int C22 = 31;
int C23 = 32;
int C24 = 33;
int C25 = 34;
int C26 = 35;
int C27 = 36;
int C28 = 37;
int C29 = 38;
int C30 = 39;
int C31 = 40;
int C32 = 41;
int C33 = 42;
int C34 = 43;
int C35 = 44;
int C36 = 45;
int C37 = 46;
int C38 = 47;
int C39 = 48;
int C40 = 49;
int C41 = 50;
int C42 = 51;
int C43 = 52;
int C44 = 53;
int C45 = 54;
int C46 = 55;
int C47 = 56;
int i = 0;
int incomingByte[47];
void setup()
pinMode(C1, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C2, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C3, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C4, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C5, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C6, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C7, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C8, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C9, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C10, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C11, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C12, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C13, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C14, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C15, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C16, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C17, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C18, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C19, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C20, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C21, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C22, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C23, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C24, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C25, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C26, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C27, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C28, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C29, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C30, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C31, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C32, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C33, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C34, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C35, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C36, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C37, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C38, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C39, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C40, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C41, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C42, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C43, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C44, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C45, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C46, OUTPUT);
pinMode(C47, OUTPUT);
void loop()
if (Serial.available() >= 47) {
for (int i=0; i<=47; i++)
incomingByte[i] =;
digitalWrite(C1, incomingByte[0]);
digitalWrite(C2, incomingByte[1]);
digitalWrite(C3, incomingByte[2]);
digitalWrite(C4, incomingByte[3]);
digitalWrite(C5, incomingByte[4]);
digitalWrite(C6, incomingByte[5]);
digitalWrite(C7, incomingByte[6]);
digitalWrite(C8, incomingByte[7]);
digitalWrite(C9, incomingByte[8]);
digitalWrite(C10, incomingByte[9]);
digitalWrite(C11, incomingByte[10]);
digitalWrite(C12, incomingByte[11]);
digitalWrite(C13, incomingByte[12]);
digitalWrite(C14, incomingByte[13]);
digitalWrite(C15, incomingByte[14]);
digitalWrite(C16, incomingByte[15]);
digitalWrite(C17, incomingByte[16]);
digitalWrite(C18, incomingByte[17]);
digitalWrite(C19, incomingByte[18]);
digitalWrite(C20, incomingByte[19]);
digitalWrite(C21, incomingByte[20]);
digitalWrite(C22, incomingByte[21]);
digitalWrite(C23, incomingByte[22]);
digitalWrite(C24, incomingByte[23]);
digitalWrite(C25, incomingByte[24]);
digitalWrite(C26, incomingByte[25]);
digitalWrite(C27, incomingByte[26]);
digitalWrite(C28, incomingByte[27]);
digitalWrite(C29, incomingByte[28]);
digitalWrite(C30, incomingByte[29]);
digitalWrite(C31, incomingByte[30]);
digitalWrite(C32, incomingByte[31]);
digitalWrite(C33, incomingByte[32]);
digitalWrite(C34, incomingByte[33]);
digitalWrite(C35, incomingByte[34]);
digitalWrite(C36, incomingByte[35]);
digitalWrite(C37, incomingByte[36]);
digitalWrite(C38, incomingByte[37]);
digitalWrite(C39, incomingByte[38]);
digitalWrite(C40, incomingByte[39]);
digitalWrite(C41, incomingByte[40]);
digitalWrite(C42, incomingByte[41]);
digitalWrite(C43, incomingByte[42]);
digitalWrite(C44, incomingByte[43]);
digitalWrite(C45, incomingByte[44]);
digitalWrite(C46, incomingByte[45]);
digitalWrite(C47, incomingByte[46]);

All the sketch really says is, listen to serial, take that info and do this. Upload the sketch using the USB cable plugged into your computer. I don't believe you can upload the sketch or make any changes to the sketch using xbee. Once I had this all setup, I built a 47 led array connected to the pins I want to use, plus the xbee. With a 9 volt battery and the Arduino, I tested this setup. My I created a one at a time sequence on my desktop and hit play. Immediately the lights started flashing. I walked away from the desktop antenna and I was able to venture about 100 feet from the antenna and maintain the signal. Everything is looking great.

I didn't change a thing with the Arduio and placed it in the box and connected it to the relays. I connected up the DC system and then tested the relays one at a time. This part was fairly amusing, 47 relays clicking is funny for some reason. I also used this time to play with my multimeter, I tested every aspect of the system before moving on. Making sure the set screws worked as claimed and everything was connected correctly. This will be the last time you have easy access to all the hardware so it needs to be verified. The next step is wiring the relays to do work. So lets do some money math real quick. I have 47 channels. Outdoor outlet boxes are only two gang. If you break the tabs off your outlets you can put 4 channels in one outdoor PVC box. Lets say that since you didn't destroy one of your relays you would have 48. 48 divided by 4 is twelve. You need 12 outdoor PVC boxes. At roughly $7 per box at a minimum that cost $84. Then add onto that receptacle covers They generally cost about $14 each. 12 times 14 equals 168 dollars. 84 + 168 = 252 dollars! This doesn't cover the cost of wire, outlets, and PVC fittings. 250 dollars just for molded plastic seems wasteful.

Its best practice to go with that method. I simply can not spend the money for that. Instead I went to the dollar store and bought enough green extension cords to complete my task. The extension cords are about 6 foot long. I cut about one third of the cable off of the male side. Since these extension cords are not solid core copper I stripped off a bit of the ends and twisted them before tinning the tips with solder. The relays have set screws and stranded wire doesn't make as nice of a connection as solid wire so by tinning the tips you're giving the screws something to bite onto. In conjunction with the extension cords I used electric glands to pass the wires through the wall of the junction box. I bought 6 of them and randomly divided all 47 extension cords through only 5 of them. The 6th one will be used for main power later on. As I installed the extension cords I labelled and color coordinated the female parts. And also hit it with the multimeter to double check my work. Once all the extension cords have been connected and verified, it's time to install the main power. In my junk pile I had about eight feet of 14/3 outdoor romex. I color coordinated both of these to indicate which one is A and B. There's nowhere to tie in the ground in this system, so I clipped that end off and then moved on to the white wires. I tied all of the neutrals together and then tested that with a multimeter, testing across the two furthest points ensuring a sure path. I used the same push-in connectors and several hot glue sticks to create a solid brick of push in connectors. Finally I tied the hot black wires into their sides and the system is complete. I ran a live test of the system a few weeks ago. I pulled out a few strings of lights and played around experimenting with the Vixen environment. I have a few ideas on how I would like to change the system but I haven't incorporated these ideas yet. What I would like to do is bring a raspberry pi in to remove my desktop. I found a program on SourceForge called Lumos. The creator claims that his program can play Vixen sequences via the command line in Linux. I would like to give this a try, or just get Vixen to work under Linux. I don't want to dedicate my main computer to perform this yearly task. I hope I have explained this clear enough. I don't participate in all the social media sites, but I do wear tinfoil hats. If you would like to reach me I hangout in the Podnutz Chat on freenode, my user name is Underruner. Thank you for listening.

Hacking Public Policy: The Underground Press - Bob Tregilus | 2013-11-25

In this Hacker Public Radio episode Bob Tregilus continues an exploration on how to hack public policy. Because outreach and education is so critical to building a successful movement, Tregilus talks to Ken Wachsberger of Lansing, Michigan, about the underground press of the late '60s and early '70s. Wachsberger was involved with the "Joint Issue," an underground paper serving southeastern Michigan.

Questions addressed and answered include:

  1. The history of the underground press.
  2. Constraints on leisure time in the '60s vs. the 2000s.
  3. Differences between the underground press, the alternative press, and the corporate press.
  4. Community organizing in the '60s vs. the 2000s.
  5. Social issues of the '60s vs. the 2000s.
  6. And more!

Host: Bob Tregilus

Guest: Ken Wachsberger

Other resources mentioned are:

  • Independent Voices is a four-year project to digitize over 1 million pages from the magazines, journals and newspapers of the alternative press archives of participating libraries: <>.

How We Found Linux - Kevin Wisher | 2013-11-18

Zareason ZaTab 2 Android Tablet - Frank Bell | 2013-11-12

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):

How Should We Then Teach the Art of Computing? - klaatu | 2013-11-11

In this episode Klaatu discusses the Art of Computing.

Updating The 2009 LifeHacker QuadCore Hackintosh to Mavericks - Richard Hughes | 2013-11-07

There are more details here: and federal election commission data processing - James Michael DuPont (h4ck3rm1k3) | 2013-11-05

In the show I introduce rootstrikers and describe my current project to process the FEC data.

Different Rootstriker Projects that I worked on :

The Anti Corruption Pledge :

Congress Legislators

Rootstrikers Wikipedia Interface

Federal Election Commission aggregation

Fech, the ruby interface :

The documentation of the fields, with a generated python class interface

Starting point of the data repository in yaml format (v1)

The years are split into git submodules

Experimental C++ Reader(not finished)

twitter :

G+ :

The Lost Banner of HPR - pokey | 2013-11-04

Pokey - Patrick Dailey (pdailey03 @@ gmail-dot-com) David Whitman davidWHITMAN (davidglennwhitman @@ gmail-dot-com)

The HPR Booth Banner is LOST! Shipped to wrong address and 'POOF' its gone! What should we do in the future? Buy 2 replacement banners or extra frames What about something doing something else?

Pokey saw a really lightweight banner in a bank -

Equipment that is nice to have to do a Linux Fest (Pokey has done 3 HPR Tables at Linux Fests -David has done tables two years at Linux Fest Northwest)

  1. Backdrop
  2. Table Cloth
  3. Stickers and other swag to hand out
  4. A H1 Zoom or other recording device

David owes a Coffee Mug design to the HPR Community - Richard Q did some graphics and David is lazy or busy and has not got it done.

Stickers available at

Business Cards HPR Nosy Guy HPR Ovals Pictures from Picture Prints (easy to do and cheap!) Tee Shirts Green HPR Round Sticker HPR Mini Bumper Sticker Buttons (Old School and no longer available) Do Your Own art work

QRCode book of all episodes 23:50

HPR has had no table at SCALE

David wants to add Sonar to the table content

Banner Defined - The one Pokeys Mom made is still not lost

There should be a PDF with these show notes that has a shitty logo page so you can see some stickers that can be ordered. The stickers are very good quality as are the T-shirts. Richard Querin and others have done the artwork.

Blogging With Octopress - Tony Pelaez | 2013-11-01

Blogging with Octopress

Static html site generators automate many of the tedious steps that are necessary to create website. Octopress is a static html generator that automates many of the tedious tasks of static html site generators, and comes with a number of reasonable presets, configured right out of the box.

Static HTML Site Generators I looked at:

I settled on octopress for the following reasons:

Sass adds additional functionality to css such as variables, mixins, scopes, and was a tool that I had previously worked with.
Twitter Bootstrap
Twitter bootstrap is a set of templates that produce nice looking pages that are standards compliant, and adaptive so that they look good at any screen resolution.
HTML5 Video Plugin
I ended up creating my own, but Octopress has a HTML5 video plugin. Unfortunately this only supported H264 video, so I created my own to serve H264, Webm, and Ogv.
Deployment scripts
Octopress comes with rsync, and github pages support out of the box, so you can deploy your site with very little effort.


  • Ruby 1.9.3 or above
  • Git
  • HTML knowledge
  • Text Editor & Terminal

Install Requirements:

In Ubuntu 12.04 I did the following:

sudo apt-get install emacs git zlib1g-dev openssl libopenssl-ruby1.9.1 \
libssl-dev libruby1.9.1 libreadline-dev

Install ruby through rbenv

rbenv (

git clone ~/.rbenv
# set environment in ~/.bash_profile.  Change this to ~/.zshrc if using zshell
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bash_profile
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile # You can change to .zshrc or .bashrc

Install ruby-build to make installing ruby easy

git clone ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build

Install ruby

rbenv install 1.9.3-p194
rbenv rehash


Install Octopress

git clone git:// octopress
cd octopress
rbenv local 1.9.3-p194  

Install Ruby Requirements

gem install bundler
rbenv rehash
bundle install  

What is rake?

Rake is like make but for ruby.

Use rake scripts to setup and preview blog

rake -T # list all available rake tasks
rake install # install themes and default config
rake preview # generate and view site

Open localhost:4000 in your webbrowser

Setup Deployment

rake set_root_dir['blog-test']
rake setup_github_pages 
rake generate
# Change the following url to point to your repository
git remote add origin
git config branch.master.remote origin
git add .
git commit -m "initial commit"
git push origin master
rake deploy # this is where the magic happens

Configure Blog

emacs _config.yml
# Edit title, author, subtitle

Create First Post & Basic workflow:

rake new_post
emacs post
git add .
git commit -m "added new post"

Publish Blog

rake deploy

NaNoWriMo Prep - Heisenbug | 2013-10-31

I was prepping for National November Writing month (NaNoWriMo), and realized that I hadn't contributed a show in several years. I thought I would give a rundown on what NaNoWriMo is and what tools I use to write with. NaNoWriMo is where people get together to each write a 50,000 word novel rough draft in 30 days. It's not an easy task, and there are some tricks and tools that will help. My focus is on minimalism.

Focus Writer =
NaNoWriMo =

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet - Jon Kulp | 2013-10-30

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

In this episode I try to teach you how to fold a fitted sheet, something that could earn you sheet-folding duties for the rest of your life. See the photo gallery at

[Pictures recovered and uploaded to HPR 2015-06-19]

I'm Sorry Dan - Jezra | 2013-10-29

How many times has Dan asked me to run the spec test before pushing code to staging? probably 5. I'm sorry Dan.

The script I used as my pre-commit hook is available at

Oh, have I ever mentioned how much I dislike convoluted nomenclature? When I use 'git add', apparently I am adding a file or a change to the 'index', and it is the index that gets commited when I run 'git commit'

What I do with my Raspberry Pi - Neandergeek | 2013-10-28

Use case 1: Astronomy computer

Dobsonian telescope

Kstars desktop planetarium and star chart program (should be in most distributions repositories as one of the KDE education packages)

The Messier catalog The Messier marathon

Texas Star Party amateur telescope making page my entry is about 2/3s of the wat down the page and you can see the Motorola lapdock mounted on my 20 inch (50.8 cm) dobsonian telescope on the right of the photo (the Raspberry Pi is behind the screen of the lapdock). The whole telescope isn't shown, it's about 9 feet (2.75 meters) tall.

Use case 2: Home server

Mashpodder podcast catcher: Bashpodder:

Rsync programs I'm using on Android Botsync SSH SFTP simple to setup Rsync backup for Android full featured and uses dropbear ssh keys for authentication. Between recording the audio and writing the show notes, I switched completely to using Rsync backup to sync my podcasts to my Galaxy S4 phone

Not mentioned on the podcast but the audio player I'm using on Android is Music Folder Player

That gui admin tool for samba I couldn't remember while recording: gadmin-samba (useful tool despite my PEBCAK problem)

Calibre ebook management tool

Distributions discussed Raspbian Debian for the Raspberry Pi PiBang Raspbian derivative using openbox and conky setup from Crunchbang Crunchbang No cruft linux distribution based on debian with Openbox and a great conky configuration (audio and show notes for this podcast edited on laptop running Crunchbang).

Vintage Tech Iron Pay Phone Coin Box - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-10-24

A review of vintage tech, in the form of an iron pay phone coin box.

photo of Vintage_Tech_Iron_Pay_Phone_Coin_Box
photo of Vintage_Tech_Iron_Pay_Phone_Coin_Box
photo of Vintage_Tech_Iron_Pay_Phone_Coin_Box
photo of Vintage_Tech_Iron_Pay_Phone_Coin_Box
photo of Vintage_Tech_Iron_Pay_Phone_Coin_Box

Some pacman Tips By Way of Repacing NetworkManager With WICD - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-10-23

A while back, I used my Arch laptop to pre-configure a router for a customer, which of course required me set up a static IP on my eth0. I should have done this from the command line, instead I used the graphical Network Manager. I had a lot of trouble getting the graphical application to accept a change in IP, and in getting to go back to DHCP when I was done, and I wound up going back and forth between the Network Manager and terminal commands. I've mentioned before my ISP is behind two NATed networks, the router in the outbuilding where the uplink to the ISP is (this is also the network my server is on) and the router in my house. The static IP I used for the customer router configuration was in the same address range as my "outside" network Though I successfully got eth0 back on DHCP, there was a phantom adapter still out there on the same range as the network my server was on, preventing me from ssh'ing in. I did come across a hack, if I set eth0 to an IP and mask of all zeros, then stopped and started dhcpcd on eth0, I could connect. I had also used the laptop on a customer's WiFi recently, and the connection was horrible.

I decided to see if just installing the wicd network manager would clear everything up (and it did), but before installing Wicd, I had to update the system, so first a little bit about pacman

Arch's primary package manager is pacman. The -S operator is for sync operations, including package installation, for instance:

# sudo pacman -S <package_name>
..... installs a package from the standard repos and is more or less equivalent to the Debian instruction ....
# sudo apt-get install <package_name>
The option -y used with -S refreshes the master package list and -u updates all out of date packages, so the command

# sudo pacman -Syu .... is equivalent to the Debian instruction .... 
# sudo apt-get update .... followed by .... 
# sudo apt-get upgrade
# sudo pacman -Syu <package_name1> <package_name2>

would update the system, then install the selected packages
Perhaps because of my slow Internet, the first time through a few of the update packages timed out without downloading, so nothing installed. The second time through, even one of the repos didn't refresh. Thinking this was a connectivity problem, I kept trying the same update command over and over. Finally, I enlisted the help of Google.
'pacman -Syy' forces a refresh of all package lists "even if they appear to be up to date". This seems to automagically fix the timeout and connection problems, and the next time I ran the update, it completed without complaint. I was mad at myself when I found the solution, because I remember I'd had the exact same problem and the exact same solution before and had forgotten them. Podcasting your errors is a great way of setting them in your memory.
About the same time, I ran out of space on my 10Gb root partition. I remembered Peter64 had a similar problem, but I found a different solution than he did.
# sudo pacman -Sc
.... cleans packages that are no longer installed from the pacman cache as well as currently unused sync databases to free up disk space. I got 3Gb back! 'pacman -Scc' removes all files from the cache.
Use pacman to install the package 'wicd' and if you want a graphical front end, 'wicd-gtk' or 'wicd-kde' (in the AUR). For network notifications, install 'notification-daemon', or the smaller 'xfce4-notifyd' if you are NOT using Gnome.
None of this enables wicd or makes it your default network manager on reboot, that you must do manually. First, stop all previously running network daemons (like netctl, netcfg, dhcpcd, NetworkManager) you probably won't have them all. Lets assume for the rest of the terminal commands, you are root, then do:
# systemctl stop <package_name> i.e # systemctl stop NetworkManager

Then we have to disable the old network tools so they don't conflict with wicd on reboot.
# systemctl disable <package_name> i.e. # systemctl disable NetworkManager

Make sure your login is in the users group
# gpasswd -a USERNAME users

Now, we have to initialize wicd
# systemctl start wicd.service
# wicd-client

Finally, enable wicd.service to load on your next boot up
# systemctl enable wicd.service

Fixing a bad RSS feed - Dave Morriss | 2013-10-22

There have been problems with the podcast feed for "mintCast", apparently as a result of a bug in Wordpress. The feed contains multiple "enclosure" tags containing the same audio over and over again. While the mintCast hosts are looking for a fix I would like to find a local work-around.

I have also encountered a problem with the "Pod Delusion Extra" feed which contains multiple enclosures in some episodes. Unlike the "mintCast" example I don't want to lose these enclosures but want to find a way of repackaging them into individual episodes.

These problems affect some podcatchers, the modified Bashpodder I use being amongst them. To counteract this problem I have written two short Perl scripts to copy and clean each feed before submitting it to my podcatcher.

Detailed notes:

SFS and Linux Camp - David Willson | 2013-10-21

Hostname and email address: David Willson , Gary (Garheade) Romero, Troy Ridgley

The Software Freedom Society/School is a local movement to help anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of free software. Linux Camp, the latest success of SFS is discussed along with several of our other past and future projects.

We hope to do another show soon, a Linux Camp Radio Show. We said in this interview that Linux Camp was a series of "real world task" labs, and we think that with a little work, they would make a good radio show. A show that an aspiring Linux SysAdmin, especially one that is studying for the LPIC-1 exams, could use as a list of challenge tasks to reinforce their skills.

This is the book that we're using in our study groups:

  CompTIA Linux+ Study Guide
  Publication Date: January 14, 2013
  ISBN-10: 1118531744
  ISBN-13: 978-1118531747

The Linux Camp document is here for now:

Eventually, we'll clean it up and put it on our website.

Our goal is to build a fully free (libre) knowledge-sharing group with learning and payment options that work for everyone, from the penny-pinching enthusiast to the well-funded professional.

To that end, we want your suggestions and welcome your feedback!

To find out more about SFS and it's upcoming projects, go to:

To give feedback, leave a comment here or email any of the authors above. To join the conversation, send the word "subscribe" by email to

Pipes - Matt McGraw (g33kdad) | 2013-10-17

In this episode I take a look at a "low-tech" pasttime. In the spirit of the campfire episode and the bread baking episode, I give a simple episode about filling and smoking a pipe (tobacco, not 420!).


how to set up GnuPG, a PGP-compliant encryption - klaatu | 2013-10-16

Klaatu explains how to set up GnuPG, a PGP-compliant encryption system, and use it with both Thunderbird and Mutt mail clients.


Set up GnuPG:

Using Mutt:

Klaatu's humble dot-muttrc file: (there are better ones out there)

Klaatu's public key

So, you've just installed Arch Linux, now what? Arch Lessons from a Newbie, Ep. 01 - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-10-14

Manually installing packages from the AUR

Since completing my conversion from Cinnarch to Antergos, (, the published tutorial didn't work for me the first time, but the new Antergos forums were most helpful (, a few utilities I installed under Cinnarch seem to be unavailable, notably, 'yaourt' Yet An Other User Repository, the package manager for the AUR (Arch User Repositories).[The AUR are unofficial, "use at your own risk" repositories, roughly analogous to using a ppa in Ubuntu.] I tried 'sudo pacman -S yaourt' and learned it wasn't found it the repositories (I should note that when I removed the old Cinnarch repos from /etc/pacman.conf, I must have missed including the new Antergos repos somehow). I have since completed the transition.

Anyway, some experienced Arch users like Peter64 and Artv61 had asked me why I was using yaourt anyway instead of installing packages manually, which they considered to be more secure. I decided to take the opportunity to learn how to install packages manually, and to my surprise, it was not nearly as complex as I had feared. I had promised a series of podcasts along the theme, "So, you've just installed Arch Linux, now what?" This may seem like I've jumped ahead a couple steps, but I wanted to bring it to you while it was fresh in my mind.

Your first step may be to ensure you really have to resort to the Arch User Repositories to install the app you are looking for. I'd found Doc Viewer allowed me to access PDFs in Arch, but I really preferred Okular that I'd used in other distros. When 'sudo pacman -S okular' failed to find the package, I assumed it was only available from the AUR. However, a Google search on [ arch install okular ] revealed the package I needed was kdegraphics-okular, which I installed from the standard Arch repos.

Once you've determined the package you need exists in the AUR and not in the standard repos, you need to locate the appropriate package build, your Google search will probably take care of that. The URL should be in the form<package-name>. For the sake of example, lets go to Chromium is already in standard Arch repos, but if you want Chrome, you will have to find it in the AUR. Find the link labeled "Download the tarball", it will be a file ending ing .tar.gz Before downloading a file, the Arch Wiki instructions for manually installing packages from the AUR recommend creating a designated folder to put them in, they suggest creating a "builds" folder in your home directory.

If you have a multi-core machine, you may be able to take advantage of a slight compiler performance increase by making adjustments to your /etc/makepkg.conf . Look for "CFLAGS=", it should have a first parameter that looks like -march=x86_64 or -march=i686 . Which ever it is, change it to -march=native and eliminate the second parameter that reads -mtune=generic . This will cause gcc to autdetect your processor type. Edit the next line, which begins with "CXXFLAGS", to read CXXFLAGS="${CFLAGS}", the just causes the CXXFLAGS setting to echo CFLAGS. Details are located in

Before installing your first AUR package, you will have to install base-devel, [ pacman -S base-devel , {as root, so become root or use sudo}]. Look for that .tar.gz file you downloaded, still using Chrome as an example, it's google-chrome.tar.gz . Unravel the tarball with "tar -xvzf google-chrome.tar.gz". Now, in your ~/builds folder you should have a new directory named "google-chrome". Drop down into the new folder. Since user repos are not as trusted as the standard ones, it might be a good idea to open PKGBUILD and look for malicious Bash instructions. Do the same with the .install file. Build the new package with "make -s". The "-s" switch lets the compiler resolve any unmet dependencies by prompting you for the your sudo password.

You will have a new tarball in the format of <application name>-<application version number>-<package revision number>-<architecture>.pkg.tar.xz , in our google-chrome example, the file name was google-chrome-27.0.1453.110-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz . We install it with pacman's upgrade function "pacman -U google-chrome-27.0.1453.110-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz". This command will install the new package and create an RPM.

Before running Arch, I did not realize spell checking was centrally configured in Linux, I always assumed each application had it's own spell checker. After installing Arch, I noticed auto-correct wasn't working anywhere. At length, I looked for a solution. I found Libre Office and most browsers rely on hunspell for spell checking functions. To get it working, you just need to install hunspell and the hunspell library appropriate for you language, i.e. "pacman -S hunspell hunspell-en"

StraightTalk/Tracphone, a quick review.

Before leaving for Philadelphia last spring, I decided I needed a cheap smartphone on a prepaid plan. The only one with reliable service in my area is StraightTalk, or Tracphone, sold in Walmart. For $35 a month, they advertise unlimited data, talk, and text. The one drawback, any form of tethering, wired or wireless, violates StraightTalk's TOS (frankly I missed that condition before buying the phone). Hmm, would Chromecast count? Anyway, for some people, no tethering would be an immediate deal breaker. Frankly, I can see the advantages to tethering, but the one scenario I'm most interested in is isolating an infected system from a customer's network, and still be able to access anti malware resources. The budget phone I bought only supports 3G, and I'm not in the habit of streaming media to it, much less sharing it to another device.

That doesn't mean I don't use the bandwidth. I put a 16 gig SD card in my phone, and started using it as an additional pipeline to download Linux iso's. Anything I download, I can transfer to my network with ES File Explorer. I downloaded several Gigs in the first month to test the meaning of Unlimited. Towards the end of the month, and after I bought prepaid card for the next month, I had an off and on again data connection, I thought the provider was punishing me for being a hog, it turns out the phone was glitchy, and turning it off and back on again always re-establishes the data connection. Therefore, I am happy to report that StraightTalk actually seems to mean what they say when they advertise "Unlimited". Unfortunately, many of my direct downloads fail md5sum check. Direct downloads on 3G come down as fast as 75-100 MBps, but torrents seem to top out at 45MBps, the same as my home connection.

Wayne Green - MrGadgets | 2013-10-10

Wayne Green
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Wayne Sanger Green II, was an American publisher, writer, and consultant. He was formerly editor of CQ magazine before he went on to found 73, 80 Micro, Byte, CD Review, Cold Fusion, Kilobaud Microcomputing, RUN, InCider, and Pico, as well as publishing books and running a software company. In the early 1980s, he assisted in the creation of the groundbreaking Brazilian microcomputing magazine, Micro Sistemas (Portuguese).

Licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio Service with the callsign W2NSD, he was involved in a number of controversies and disputes in the Ham Radio world, notably with the ARRL and CQ magazines. As of 2011 he lived in a farmhouse in Hancock, New Hampshire and maintained a website with content from his on-line bookstore.

Wayne Green died September 13, 2013.

Stanford marshmallow experiment - Zachary De Santos | 2013-10-08

The Stanford marshmallow experiment (wiki) refers to a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward (sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel, etc.) provided immediately or two small rewards if he or she waited until the experimenter returned (after an absence of approximately 15 minutes). In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI) and other life measures. However, recent work calls into question whether self-control, as opposed to strategic reasoning, determines children's behaviour.

The Origin of ONICS (My Intro) - Gabriel Evenfire | 2013-10-04

This show is about the Open Network Inspection Command Suite (ONICS). It is a project I have been working on at home for a couple of years now. The idea is to create a set of command line tools that work like cat, sed, awk, grep, etc but for network packets instead of lines of text. This podcast is actually less about the tools and more about the process that I went through to build it. So its more a tale of the project that was never done than an explanation of how to use the tools.

Contact info:

Quick Start Guide for Building ONICS

  • git clone git:// catlib
  • git clone git:// onics
  • cd catlib/src
  • make
  • cd ../../onics
  • make
  • sudo make install # (optional)

The microphone I ended up jury rigging to record this:

back of mic

back of mic2

front of mic

Melissa Dupreast helps me with Audio Compression - Jon Kulp | 2013-10-03

I impose upon Melissa Dupreast to help me learn about audio compression and I make a recording of our session for HPR. Missy is a professional audio engineer, working locally for radio and live sound reinforcement. She is also a recent graduate of our masters program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is currently teaching 3 classes for us as an adjunct instructor.

Fuse - MrX | 2013-10-02

A show about a 2nd world war fuse that had been in the family for many years, it originally belonged to my grandfather

Here is a link to the British Ordnance Collectors Network forums, which has a picture of a collection of German bomb fuses, the one my grandfather had looked identical to the one on the extreme left hand side of the picture entitled "25A".

How to properly evangelize linux or why I use linux as my daily driver. - Riley Gelwicks (glwx) | 2013-09-30

Twitter/Identi.CA: @rileyinchina(Twitter)

How to properly evangelize technology or why I use linux as my daily driver.


I started linux in 2007 with ubuntu 7.04 because I bought a cheap laptop in china that only had the entry level windows vista in the belief that I could change the language. I use linux on both my work and home pc’s htpc and a server, it really is just amazing the different applications and things you can do with it.

Current PC is using: ubuntu 12.04

Some rules of the road:

Find the right time to broach the subject.Maybe when a person has to reinstall windows or they get a virus, or need to repurchase some piece of DRMed software.

Don’t talk down to anyone, laugh at them or be a jerk. The people we are trying to convert don’t use linux everyday or probably have a vague idea or understanding of what linux is, your mission is to be as patient as possible.

Don’t harp on how bad the system they are currently using is, find a situation in which they could benefit from the use of linux. The reason why fanboys exist is because we have this inherent need to not believe we are not wrong, if we are not wrong then surely the other guy is.

Don’t attempt to tell the person what free as free not free as in beer is. News alert, nobody cares, unfortunate as it may be nobody cares about these things.

Use practical examples as to why open source just works better: for me that’s wowing my coworkers by running a webserver on my desktop and having them test the various pieces of software before we settle on which one to put on our work server.

Show them how you use linux or other open source projects in your daily life, to me the best WOW factor comes from XBMC on a Home Theatre PC, add in a PVR and you’ll easily see people’s mouths drop.

Explain how open source is inherently more secure Linux has less exploited exploits

Use current events: NSA, Viruses the end of lifing of XP to show them why they should at least attempt it.

Ask them what they seriously use their computer for, my gut feeling is that about 75% of computer users don’t use anything on their computers that doesn’t already exist or have a worthy replacement in linux or an easy web application. And if worse comes to worse show them that they have the umbilical cord of WINE and or a virtual machine.

Appeal to their frugality:

Finally but probably most importantly put your money where your mouth is if you are taking the time to evangelize a product give a person some insurance:

  1. Give a guaranteed tech support certificate to anyone that is willing to try.
  2. Tell them to give linux a one day, one week and one month trial.
  3. Help them install it.
  4. Train them, most of us know that desktop linux is for all intents and purposes essentially the same as desktop Windows or Mac OSX

Filming a Dinosaur egg hatching - Ken Fallon | 2013-09-26

In this episode Ken and his Son hatch a plan to film a Dinosaur egg hatching using fswebcam.

Groeiend Dinosaurus Ei

We had to wait 8 days for a Dinosaur egg to hatch, so we rigged up a RasberryPi with a cheap usb cam to take pictures. This was just before the camera module was releases. However the principle was the same. We positioned the egg in a mixing bowl and placed it on some boxes to give it height. Then we used the handle of a camera stand as a place to clip on a cheap usb camera. We then connected the camera to a RasberryPi.

the camera rig

On the first day we let the light in and you see flickering as the lighting conditions change over the course of the day and the camera adjusts. Peter64 has promised a episode on how to fix this. So we closed the curtains and added an artificial light source as can be seen below.

While we could have used fswebcam to automatically take the pictures, there was a certain satisfaction in seeing the program run every minute. Other than the default rasbian install, we installed fswebcam and screen. The first to take the pictures and the other to allow the script to continue running after we disconnected.

$ cat egg.bash
while true
  nowdate=$(date -u +%Y-%m-%d_%H-%M-%SZ_%A)
  echo ${nowdate}
  fswebcam -r 640x480 \
           -S 15 \ 
           --flip h \
           --jpeg 95 \
           --shadow \
           --title "Dinosaur Hatching" \
           --subtitle "Pádraig Fallon" \
           --info "" \
           --save egg-${nowdate}.jpg
  sleep 1m

That produced a big long list of images, 10886 in total, and it was a "simple" matter to convert them to a mp4 file with ffmpeg. See for more information on encoding for the web in general

ffmpeg -y -r 120 -f image2 -pattern_type glob -i "*.jpg" -b:v 2000k -vcodec libvpx -quality best egg-libvpx.webm

Here's the finished product:

Hatched Dino

Too Clever For Your Own Good - laindir | 2013-09-25

Too Clever For Your Own Good

This is a story about being so lazy that I'd rather teach the computer to do something than learn how to do it myself. HPR episode 1216 ( piqued my curiosity, but rather than try to remember my Morse code, I decided I could teach the computer to translate it for me. This episode tells that story.


Uncompress the audio

sox hpr1216.ogg hpr1216.wav

Get the format data

soxi hpr1216.wav

Figure out how long the wav header is so we can skip it

sox -t raw -b 16 -r 44100 -c 1 -e signed-integer /dev/null empty.wav

Dump the audio data in a text format

hexdump -s 44 -v -e '220/2 "%04x"' -e '"\n"' hpr1216.wav > hpr1216.hex

Convert values near 0 to spaces so it's easier to parse (at least visually)

sed -e 's/000./    /g' -e 's/fff./    /g' hpr1216.hex >

Run it through the following awk script to make it readable by morse

awk -f morse.awk >

And the script

#every line
        last = this;
        this = $0 ~ /^ *$/; #220 samples near 0, roughly 20ms of silence

#consecutive lines of silence or sound
last == this {

#sound->silent state transition
!last && this {
        if(duration > 10 && duration < 20) #dit is roughly 18 lines or ~360ms
                printf ".";
        else if(duration > 30 && duration < 40) #dah is roughly 36 lines, 720ms
                printf "-";

        duration = 0;

#silent->sound state transition
last && !this {
        if(duration > 30 && duration < 40) #short gap (letter) is roughly 720ms
                printf "\n";
        else if(duration > 80) #medium gap (word) is anything over 1600ms
                printf "\n\n ";

        duration = 0;

Use morse to decode the translated output

morse -d < > hpr1216.txt

And this is what it looks like


A little googling will show that this text is the brief description of Morse code given at the top of its Wikipedia article ( Surprisingly, the only transcription error appears to be the first letter as it was slightly overlapped by the intro music. It's also interesting to note that, since music consists of almost no sounds this short, the script was able to extract the data and robustly ignored everything else. In light of this, I probably could have skipped removing the wav header. Additional time could be saved by changing the regex in the awk script to match the raw hex values and thereby eliminate the sed step.

Power Tool Drag Racing! - MrGadgets | 2013-09-24

Out and about at OHM 2013 - Ken Fallon | 2013-09-20


OHM2013. Observe, Hack, Make. A five day outdoor international camping festival for hackers and makers, and those with an inquisitive mind. On 31st July 2013, 3000 of those minds will descend upon on an unassuming patch of land, at the Geestmerambacht festival grounds, 30km north of Amsterdam.

It is a four year tradition in The Netherlands to hold such an event. In the spirit of WTH, HIP and HAR the latest edition, OHM2013, is a non-commercial community run event. The event happens thanks to the volunteers, all 3000 of them. They will run the network, help people around the site, give talks, hold workshops and be excellent to one another.

The target audience includes free-thinkers, philosophers, activists, geeks, scientists, artists, creative minds and a whole bunch of people interested in lots of interesting stuff.

Lock Picking

First port of call is a lock picking in a tent. Although lacking modern conveniences like, for example, doors, Nigel and the team has assembled a selection of locks for all levels. For more information contact Nigel Tolley from Discreet Security Solutions:
Follow @discreetsecure on Twitter

Rainbow Island

Next stop "Rainbow island" for a chat with Johan, Brenn, Stitch and Joob.

Rainbow Island is possibly the most modest project you’ll see at OHM2013. Obviously, in this context, possibly means absolutely, and modest means insane.

The 2,500 sqm island on field R will be adorned by an immense castle-like structure, with towers that reach five meters into the air. In daylight, you’ll see just a marble-white castle. But at night, it turns into an oasis, nay, orgasm of colours, video projections, smoke, and laser-beams.

Inside the castle, several tents will be raised, containing all kinds of art and entertainment.

The first tent will host vintage pinball and arcade machines. But these are not just for mindless consumerism! There will be a large pinball-repair station, where these old machines can get the TLC they so often need. Bring your multi-meter, spare parts, screwdrivers, and hack away! There will be a number of machines eligible for improvement.

The second pair of tents will contain the complete collection of Awesome Retro, a group of retro-gaming enthusiasts who collect everything regarding gaming, as long as it’s over a decade old. You’ll find classics like Super Mario Kart and Bomberman, the first editions of Pong and Pac-Man, and a lot of other blasts from the past, which will wrap you like the warm blankets that they are. Besides that, you’ll find a fine collection of ultra-high-end Personal Computers, but to year-2000 standards, of course. A game of Quake 1 multiplayer, anyone?

A small and informal stage surrounded by sofas will also be available for competitions and presentations. In the time in between events, this “living room” is free to use as a cosy lounge. Because what better way to enjoy gaming than from a sofa, with friends, whilst eating crisps?

Rainbow Island sketchup april

And that is all, you think? Think again, because this is Rainbow Island, where the word “boundary” got scratched from the dictionary!

First of all, numerous smaller tents will be put up within the walls of the castle, consisting of the essentials of multi-player retro-gaming: comfy four-seater sofa, game console, great 4-player game, four controllers, a TV… and projector! Yes, the games will be projected on the castle walls, which are semi-transparent, so even people on the outside will be able to enjoy the competitions.

Next, the interiors of the four castle towers are available for all kinds of arts and other projects. These towers are 4 by 4 meters wide, and can be entered at the ground level. You may claim these for your own projects!

Other highlights which are in the process of being perceived –or otherwise prepared– are a life-size model of a CRAY-1 supercomputer, Operation Oversight (a master-control room putting you in the driver’s seat of the world’s super powers), and of course the results of the Dance Dissect Repurpose competition.

Next we have a chat with Jeff POINCARE who was building a seat shaped like a Cray 1.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Cray-1 was a supercomputer designed, manufactured and marketed by Cray Research. The first Cray-1 system was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 and it went on to become one of the best known and most successful supercomputers in history. The Cray-1's architect was Seymour Cray, the chief engineer was Cray Research co-founder Lester Davis.

Picture of a Cray 1


BruCON is an annual security and hacker conference providing two days of an interesting atmosphere for open discussions of critical infosec issues, privacy, information technology and its cultural/technical implications on society. Organized in Belgium, BruCON offers a high quality line up of speakers, security challenges and interesting workshops. BruCON is a conference by and for the security and hacker community.

The conference tries to create bridges between the various actors active in computer security world, included but not limited to hackers, security professionals, security communities, non-profit organizations, CERTs, students, law enforcement agencies, etc.....

Hackers are "persons who delight in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular." People who engage in illegal activities like unauthorized entry into computer systems are called crackers and don't have anything to do with hacking. BruCON doesn't promote any illegal activities and behavior. Many hackers today are employed by the security industry and test security software and systems to improve the security of our networks and applications. In addition, for the younger generations, we want to create some awareness and interest in IT students to learn more about IT Security.

Trainings are planned for Sep 24-25, the conference for Sep 26-27. BruCON 2012 will be in the historic center of Ghent, Belgium.


Then off to the BlinkenArea to learn how to solder under the able eye of Arne Rossius.

Welcome in the BlinkenArea, the portal for "blinken" [=flashing/sparkling/blinking] projects. The BlinkenArea is a project group of people who are interested in computers and electronics and in a creative handling of both of it. They attend to the research and operation of flashing projects. In the meantime, more than 60 hard- and software projectes were developed. The group grows constantly and the number of small and big projects rises as well. The major projects have been the pixel room TROIA and the display building bluebox. Detailled information about all projects is available on the page Projects. News are always published in the BlinkenArea Blog.

Origin and motivation

The page BlinkenArea tells you more about history, background and motivation. Apart from realising projects, the BlinkenArea people set their sights on collecting money which is scheduled to flow into public welfare, e.g. by selling own developed assembly kits or campaigns within bigger projects. The attention is focussed on supporting children, fighting against poverty and spreading education. Information about the social engagement of the BlinkenArea people can be found on the page Campaign. The BlinkenArea set further objectives which are listed on the page Goals.


Everybody who is interested in our "blinken" projects and wants to contribute or support our honorary work is cordially welcomed. We are always looking for software engineers, tinkerer, translators, news editors, designer, musicians (set movies to music), and -- of course -- new projects. If you want to join the BlinkenArea, please visit the page Join. The BlinkenArea runs a Mailinglist and a discussion forum where you can ask questions, join in the conversation or just read along.


Information for journalists and editors is available on the page Press.

Sven Hageman

What do you do when the Broadcast tent is about to fall down ? Well you interview the evacuees ! And Sven works for who paid for him to attend.
He recommends this talk

Debian Maintainer - Tomasz Rybak

# aptitude show python-pytools
Package: python-pytools                  
State: not installed
Version: 2011.5-2
Priority: optional
Section: python
Maintainer: Tomasz Rybak <>
Architecture: all
Uncompressed Size: 183 k
Depends: python2.7 | python2.6, python (>= 2.6.6-7~), python (< 2.8), python-decorator, python-numpy
Description: big bag of things supplementing Python standard library


PyOpenCL lets you access the OpenCL parallel computation API from Python. Here's what sets PyOpenCL apart:

  • Object cleanup tied to lifetime of objects. This idiom, often called RAII in C++, makes it much easier to write correct, leak- and crash-free code.
  • Completeness. PyOpenCL puts the full power of OpenCL’s API at your disposal, if you wish.
  • Convenience. While PyOpenCL's primary focus is to make all of OpenCL accessible, it tries hard to make your life less complicated as it does so--without taking any shortcuts.
  • Automatic Error Checking. All OpenCL errors are automatically translated into Python exceptions.
  • Speed. PyOpenCL’s base layer is written in C++, so all the niceties above are virtually free.
  • Helpful, complete documentation and a wiki.
  • Liberal licensing (MIT).


PyCUDA lets you access Nvidia‘s CUDA parallel computation API from Python. Several wrappers of the CUDA API already exist–so what's so special about PyCUDA?

  • Object cleanup tied to lifetime of objects. This idiom, often called RAII in C++, makes it much easier to write correct, leak- and crash-free code. PyCUDA knows about dependencies, too, so (for example) it won’t detach from a context before all memory allocated in it is also freed.
  • Convenience. Abstractions like pycuda.driver.SourceModule and pycuda.gpuarray.GPUArray make CUDA programming even more convenient than with Nvidia’s C-based runtime.
  • Completeness. PyCUDA puts the full power of CUDA’s driver API at your disposal, if you wish.
  • Automatic Error Checking. All CUDA errors are automatically translated into Python exceptions.
  • Speed. PyCUDA’s base layer is written in C++, so all the niceties above are virtually free.
  • Helpful Documentation.

EMF Camp

Alec Wright ( and Chris Munroe (@chrismunro40x) make the mistake of giving me a leaflet.

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) is a non-profit UK camping festival for those with an inquisitive mind or an interest in making things: hackers, geeks, scientists, engineers, artists, and crafters.

In the summer of 2012 we gathered hundreds of people in a field outside Milton Keynes for three days of talks and workshops covering everything from genetic modification to electronics, blacksmithing to high-energy physics, reverse engineering to lock picking, computer security to crocheting, and quadcopters to beer brewing.

To help matters along, we arranged a 380-megabit internet connection, reliable WiFi, and a bar stocked with real ale.

@emfcamp | facebook:

Irish HackerSpaces

First we chat with BaconZombie and ?Procie? who are slacking off drinking beer in the tents

Meanwhile Robert Fitzsimons is slaving away in the hardware hacking tent and gives us a rundown of his projects on display.

Open Garage

The "Open Garage" is a double garage in Borsbeek, Belgium, some sort of hackerspace, where I host weekly workshops and many of my projects. The garage is open every Thursday evening to everyone who wants to join our community's numerous hacking projects.

Just be excellent to each other (principle #1 out of 1), bring a drink, a project and a friend and we're all set.

I have all the tools and basic stock for elementary wood and metal working. Electronics gear and misc materials are available to tackle various projects. I also run a nano brewery from my garage, try to convert a car to electric, have a printrbot/Wallace++ 3D printer and we are trying to get a professional CNC mill and CNC lathe to work and I want to build a toolset for some DIY biotech, among many other things.

Projects that have been successfully tackled or demoed at the garage are 3D printers and CNCs, a weather balloon, quadcopters, soldering and welding tutorials, a Tesla coil, beer brewing, a compost filtering machine, Arduino and Raspberry Pi projects, a windbelt, a Rubens' tube and many tens of other thingamajigs.

For those that may be new and interested: There's usually a few technology-minded people that drop by on random Thursday evenings with "goesting" to make. Some people bring a project and others bring their skills to collaborate on others' projects. (and there's a lot of nerd talk) If you're into that kind of stuff, feel free to drop by.

It is NOT required for your skills be on a high level, you are NOT required to contribute knowledge; instead, it is encouraged that everyone LEARNS stuff at our gatherings.

I'd like to push my regulars to RSVP to the events, there's a lot of useful features in Meetup to share all kinds of stuff if you become part of the game ...

Kerkrade Mini Maker Faire

Kerkrade Mini Maker Faire is a day of family friendly making, learning, crafting, inventing and tinkering in the Discovery Center Continium.

Be inspired by arts, crafts, engineering, science and technology from the Makers of the Euregion.

Best of all: there will be many opportunities to get hands on!

About Maker Faire:

Maker Faire ( is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Legacy Technology: My Victrola - Jon Kulp | 2013-09-19

I talk about and demonstrate my wonderful 1917 Victrola, purchased in Austin, Texas sometime around 1993 from a private individual.

Photo Gallery:

Pumped Pi's - NYbill | 2013-09-18

JRobb and NYbill talk about setting up a server on a Raspberry Pi.

overdrive - sigflup | 2013-09-17

In this HPR episode sigflup interviews oerg866, a sega genesis developer, about his participation in the creation of the ground-breaking demo, overdrive.



The Rosetta Dream - Julian Neuer | 2013-09-16

Julian Neuer ( tells his short SciFi story "The Rosetta Dream", inspired by the writings of Steven Pinker and Jared Diamond.

In the 21st century, the Rosetta Project produced a disk containing 13,000 pages of information about more than 1,500 languages spoken on Earth today and in the recent past.

But what happens if the disk is found by our descendants in a very distant future where information is not transmitted by verbal languages anymore?


Jingles - Stitch | 2013-09-10

During OHM2013, we met up with stich and the crew on rainbow island and they were gracious enough to let HPR have a booth in the shade there. He also found some time to send us in some soundbytes (words) to be used for jingles. He says "It's food for editors and are not production ready jingles (i don't have background sounds). If you need any other rendition, just drop me a line."

He releases them to us under a cc-by license (

The original can be found here

Rainbow Island at OHM2013:

A Tale of Chroot - NYbill | 2013-09-09

NYbill tells of a recent adventure and misadventure with Chroot.

Frank Bell Bakes Bread - Frank Bell | 2013-09-03

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


Porting Mega Happy Sprite To Windows - sigflup | 2013-08-29

In this episode of HPR sigflup talks about her experiences porting her favorite program to windows using the mingw32 cross-compiler

Kevin O'Brien - Ohio LinuxFest 2013 - Ken Fallon | 2013-08-27

About the Ohio LinuxFest

The Ohio LinuxFest is a grassroots conference for the GNU/Linux/Open Source Software/Free Software community that started in 2003 as a large inter-LUG meeting and has grown steadily since. It is a place for the community to gather and share information about Linux and Open Source Software.

A large expo area adjacent to the conference rooms will feature exhibits from our sponsors as well as a large .org section from non-profit Open Source/Free Software projects.

The Ohio LinuxFest welcomes people from all 50 states and international participants. We've had participants from Canada, England, Argentina, Brazil, and Australia in years past.


Last years audio:

Frank Bell Presents HPR to His LUG - Frank Bell | 2013-08-22

Links from the show:

Frank's LUG, the Tidewater Unix Users Group,

Podcast and sites mentioned in the show:

Impressions of Mageia - Frank Bell | 2013-08-15

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:


How I Manage Contacts - Jon Kulp | 2013-08-14

How I Manage Contacts

About a year ago I decided to try to clean up my contacts.

The problem: CRUFT!

  • Importing, exporting re-importing in different accounts and in different email clients and several computers etc over span of ~10 years.
  • 1200+ gmail contacts
  • Many duplicates

What I wanted:

  • 1 set of contacts across platforms with single source file from which all others are generated
  • plain-text format, easy to use w/scripting & text editor
  • No duplicates
  • no cruft
  • easy to maintain
  • easy to import/export in T-bird, ownCloud
  • sync with phone

Steps to Success:

  1. Turn off Gmail default setting that saves every incoming email address in your address book
  2. Deleted all extraneous contacts (went from ~1200 down to about 400)
  3. Tedious part here: compare duplicates, consolidate info
  4. Decide on source-file format
  5. T-bird = LDIF
  6. OwnCloud = vCard
  7. LDIF wins b/c found script to convert to vCard, but not good script for other direction
  8. Convert all disparate contacts lists to LDIF, begin consolidating into one file
  9. LDIF ready? Import to T-bird
  10. Perl script to convert LDIF to vCard –> import to ownCloud
  11. CardDAV-sync to sync from o.c. to phone
  12. Bash script to create new LDIF entries, convert to vcf, add to master file easily


  1. Make t-bird sync w/owncloud (t-bird SOGO extension broken)
  2. CLI API to update owncloud contacts via a script instead of having to use the web interface


Modern Inconveniences - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2013-08-12

A little discourse about manual work and money saving. Contact me at

Energy Democracy defined - Bob Tregilus | 2013-08-09

This program is a special panel discussion episode of, This Week in Energy (TWiE), where co-hosts Kirsten & Bob define the concept of Energy Democracy and hacking the traditional central-station monopoly electric utility business model.

There's an energy transition (or "energiewende" in German) underway in the energy space where the 19th and 20th century central-station monopoly utility business model is breaking down (or getting hacked) and ownership of electric generation capacity is transferring to individuals, co-ops, and so forth.

This is due in large part to an entropy effect because "the ubiquitous nature of renewable energy argues for a decentralist energy approach." But, also, public policy can either help the energy transition move faster, or it can slow it down.

Thus an emerging global battle is brewing and it's very similar to the disruptions that have been taking place in the telecom sector due to advancements in IT and the advent of the Internet over the past couple of decades.

Hosts: Kirsten Hasberg (Denmark & Germany) and Bob Tregilus (U.S.A.) <>.

Guest: Roger Willhite (South Korea), solar blogger at Second Silicon <>.

Other resources about this global movement can be found at:

Assisted Human Reproduction - Ken Fallon | 2013-08-08

This show contains content for Mature Audiences - listener discretion is advised.

In today's show Ken and his wife talk about their experiences with Assisted Human Reproduction.

Injecting Sperm into an Egg


Helping a New Computer User - Shane Shennan | 2013-08-07

Here is a list of the skills I teach new computer users:

A) Hardware:
1) Monitor and Tower
---Turning on the computer
2) Keyboard and Mouse
---Learning when to use the right mouse button, 
left button, and scroll wheel
---Seeing non-alphabetic keys
3) Printers and other Peripherals
---Understating the usefulness of printers, scanners, 
flash drives, etc.

B) Operating System:
1) Icons on the Desktop
---Moving, adding, and removing icons
2) Opening Applications
---Using the Start Menu to find applications
3) Managing and Resizing Windows
---Using the window controls to maximize, minimize, 
restore up, and close windows

C) File Management:
1) Creating a New Folder and Subfolders
2) Selecting Specific Files
---Single-click method
---Ctrl method
---Shift method
---Drawing-box-around-files method
---Ctrl + A method
3) Moving Files
---Drag & Drop
---Copy & Paste

D) Text Entry:
1) Using a simple notepad
---Entering and Saving Text
---Using the File Menu
2) Using a Word Processor
---Formatting text
---Using toolbars

Freedom Followup - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2013-08-05

After a deluge of e-mail asking me to follow up on the Week of Freedom podcast, I finally responded. Contact me at if you'd like to talk Libre Software!

Jon Kulp and His Son Talk Hacking - Jon Kulp | 2013-08-01

I chat with my son about the concept of hacking, Linux, Blacksmithing, and about some of the other stuff he does that smacks of hacking.

A Music Pairing Under Unlikely Circumstances - Dave Morriss | 2013-07-31

Today Dave interviews Tim, his son, and Tim's friend John, who is visiting from the USA.

Tim and John met on the Internet in 2006 as collaborating composers of electronic music. They have become good friends over the years; Tim has visited John in the States, in 2011 where they met for the first time in real life, for John's wedding. This also marks the first time that John and his wife Caitlin have travelled overseas, which they did to visit Tim in the UK.

In the podcast we discuss how they met, how their different world views affected each other, and how their relationship quickly transcended music.

Here's a picture of Tim and John visiting Edinburgh Castle in July 2013:

Tim and John visiting Edinburgh Castle in July

Contrary to what was said in the podcast, Tim prepared a mix of the various compositions he and John have made. Links to some of the full tracks are available below.

Here are Tim's notes for the music mix:


Some of Tim and John's work -
Their latest collaboration -

How I Got to Linux - Accipiter | 2013-07-30

In this show, I cover my early years learning code in the late 60s. I move on to my history with home computers, and finding out about Linux around 2007 or so. I comment on Ubuntu and Mint. I mention dual booting and my one episode of triple booting.

Listeners, this is my first attempt at a show. It's not that hard, and I would like to hear from others as to how they got to Linux.

Conversation with Nybill and Jon Kulp - Jon Kulp | 2013-07-29

While I am on vacation near New York City, fellow HPR host NYbill drives down from upstate and we meet for the first time face-to-face. Of course we have to record a conversation for posterity. Topics include activities at LUG meetings, Cory Doctorow, Neal Stephenson, blather speech recognition (a live demonstration!), guitars, and more. Outtakes after the outro.


Maker Faire: Kansas City - MrGadgets | 2013-07-26

Ever mobile MrGadgets phones in a show after visiting Maker Faire: Kansas

Maker Faire: Kansas City celebrates things people create themselves — from new technology and electronic gizmos to urban farming and “slow-made” foods to homemade clothes, quilts and sculptures. This family-friendly event demonstrates what and how people are inventing, making and creating. It brings together Makers, Crafters, Inventors, Hackers, Scientists and Artists for a faire full of fun and inspiration. Come see what others are making and be inspired to tap into your own creativity!

Photo of the event hall


Recording for HPR using Audacity - Nido Media | 2013-07-24

The almost failsafe short of it. Use "alsamixer" to boost all recording volumes on main pulse and all cards (e.g. "alsamixer -c 0"). Start Audacity, edit -> preferences, stay in the "device" submenu, don't bother with the "recording" submenu. For each of the "Hosts" (alsa/jack), try all "Device"s under the "Recording" tab, start speaking, notice volume (or not and try the next one)

see for more text on recording and suggested topics

See and for more (textual) information about the submission process and for sample shownotes.

Intro to camp fires - pokey | 2013-07-22

I've always felt a little awkward in social situations, and I'm always looking for ways to get over that feeling. One way I do that is to try and make myself useful, and one useful thing that I know is how to light and keep a small fire going. No one else ever seems to want to do it, and it's fun if you do it right. Admittedly there isn't much to it, but that just makes it all that much easier to learn. It isn't quite as intuitive as you might think if you've never done it, especially if it's a little damp out. Use tinder (paper, dried grass, cotton balls, etc...) to get the flame going, light your kindling (small twigs, pinecones, split sticks) over the tinder, and increase the size of your kindling until you have a good pile of coals that can sustain the burning of split logs. Keep your logs and sticks as parallel as you can, make sure air can flow freely through your burning pile of wood and don't let your coals spread too thin. If you're good, you should be able to get a fire going with just a single match and no accelerants (which are usually illegal anyway). If you're really good, you might even be able to do it with just a spark.

A Week of Freedom - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2013-07-17

A quick dialog about my week of using only FLOSS

Doomsday Remainders - Charles in NJ | 2013-07-16

Last Episode on Conway's Doomsday Rule ends with teaser on MOD(), a
"remainder" function defined for integer values (whole numbers):

   MOD(K, m) = remainder when K is divided by "modulus" m.
  a. MOD(207, 7) = MOD(207 - 140, 7) = MOD(67, 7) = 4
  b. MOD(1234567, 2) = 1 because the number is odd
MOD() function found in most spreadsheet programs, but it also shows up
as an operator in some programming languages: (a % b), or (a mod b).

Other functions referenced:
   DIV(K, m)    = quotient in integer division
      where K = m * quotient + remainder (not returned)
            0 <= remainder < m

   DIVMOD(K, m) = (quotient, remainder) when K is divided by m
      where remainder = MOD(K, m)
            quotient  = DIV(K, m)
            K = m * quotient + remainder

Full Show Notes


Parsing an ISO8601 formatted duration field with Perl - Dave Morriss | 2013-07-15

Ken recently asked Dave for help with a Perl regular expression for parsing ISO8601 time durations. As a consequence a Perl script was written, which is available at

In this show Ken and Dave discuss this script at some (considerable) length. Keen listeners might want to view the script as they listen. Detailed show notes describing how to put together a Perl regular expression are also available at

Unfortunately some of the line numbers in the script referred to in the show are now incorrect since Dave could not stop himself updating it.

For detailed show notes on how Dave created the script see:

MultiSystem: The Bootable Thumb Drive Creator - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-07-12

MultiSystem is a tool for creating bootable USB thumb drives that give you the option launching multiple ISO images and other built in diagnostic utilities. It can be an invaluable tool for system repair techs. Not to mention the many recovery and repair Live CDs that are available to fix Linux, most bootable Windows repair and anti-virus utilities run from a Linux based ISO. The tech can even create ISO images of Windows installation media and replace a stack of DVDs with one thumb drive. Besides the installable package, there is also a MultiSystem LiveCD that, if I understand correctly, contains some recomended ISOs to install on your thumb drive.

MultiSystem Icon

For complete episode show notes please see

Short Xen Update From JWP - JWP | 2013-07-11

Show Title - Short Xen Update From JWP

In the Tilts 507 Rus came on as the Xen project manager. Had a lot to say about Xen but not about how xen is funded in the linux foundation by who.

In the course of preparing for the podcast I learned that is not easy to see who gives money to the linux foundation. But Oracle is on the board directors along with all the major players in the IT space.

I also learned weather it is type 1 or type 2 hypervisor it is not clear as it used to be. At work I do not get very many requests for anything but ESX, HyperV or KVM in that order. Once in a while a Xen or Oracle VM comes up. This might change with the open stack a bit but I am not sure.

A good start to look at it is here:

A better view of the real state of type 1 vs type 2 is here

Nido Media gets Ken to go camping at OHM2013 - Ken Fallon | 2013-07-10

Slowly but surely over the almost 15 years of his stay in the Netherlands, Ken has been Dutchified. He's got a bakfiets, he learned the language(ish), he has a pair of wooden shoes, he even eats mayonnaise with his fries. But one thing he has rebelled against is camping (ok also Steak Tartare aka 'American Fillet' aka raw cow). That most Dutch of traditions, where the family head off to some deserted field, be it by the sea, in a forest, or on the polder, one thing is sure, it will be damp, wet, mosquito ridden, dark too late and bright too early, and wet - optionally cold and hot. In short hell. Of course that's his personal opinion.

Of course, Nido Media sees it as a relaxing vacation away from the hustle and bustle of a busy life, fortified with happy memories where he and his family enjoyed the long summer days when it never rained and they were allowed to stay up late.

So how can these two dividing opinions be bridged ?

In short: Fiber to the Tent.

iCalendar Hacking - Dave Morriss | 2013-07-08

Having failed to make repeating reminders in his calendar for the HPR Community News shows on the Saturday before the first Monday of every month, Dave resorts to writing raw iCalendar rules. This also proves to be quite difficult and a Perl script is resorted to, also with mixed success.

My Homemade Recumbent Bicycle - Jon Kulp | 2013-07-02

Jon's Recumbent Bicycle
The Green ♲ Machine

In this episode I discuss my experience building a Recumbent Bicycle from donor bikes. A couple of things I forgot to mention while recording the podcast. First of all I had to use tandem bicycle cables for the brakes and the rear derailleur because they had to be very long. I also forgot to talk about the time when I was in a panic that the rear triangle was a bit out of alignment with the front, such that it would make the bike turn a little bit to the left by default. I called Andrew Carson and asked him if there was anything I could do to fix it and his solution was just awesome. What he told me to do was to put a spare hub in the rear triangle to keep the seat- and chain stays from collapsing together, lay the frame on the ground with the front end propped up on a step or something, and then just stand on it, jumping up and down slightly on it if necessary until I could feel it bend back a little bit. This actually worked! It straightened the frame right out. :) Finally, the total cost for this project was under $300. The most expensive single part of it by far was the powder coat, which cost $120. Here are links to resources mentioned in the podcast or simply of general interest.

Samsung Ativ Premiere - Knightwise | 2013-07-01

Knightwise reports in after attending Samsungs 2013 premiere event in Kings Court london last thursday, where the company presented its upcoming line of smartphone camera and computer products. He takes a look on what was new and noticable and how the Hulk is probably doing most of Samsungs innovations these days.

Homemade Antennas for OTA Hi-Def TV - Jon Kulp | 2013-06-28

In this episode I discuss my experience building and using antennas for over-the-air hi-def TV.

Here are pictures of my two main antennas:

Bow-Tie style

Jon's bow-tie antenna

Gray-Hovermann style

Jon's gray-hoverman antenna

Russ Pavlicek on Xen Project - Alek Grigorian | 2013-06-27

This show was recorded on June 1st at Texas Linux fest I was lucky enough to hear Russ Pavlicek talk about his Xen project and open source.

Icecast 102 - klaatu | 2013-06-25

Klaatu talks about how to feed Icecast with different sources like MPD and BUTT, and how to use the front-ends ncmpcpp and gmpc.

Here are the simple and ugly shell scripts that Klaatu uses to manage his Icecast streaming station. They aren't quite finished products yet but they'll give you an idea of how one might realistically manage an internet radio station from the shell:

Klaatu is indebted to Delwin, The Last Known God, and Ruji for their help on this episode.

Two Hacker Public Radio hosts meet face-to-face for the first time - Jon Kulp | 2013-06-24

I have known windigo for more than 4 years as a virtual acquaintance, first on the Linux Outlaws forums, then on identica, and finally on the Federated Statusnet network. It was awesome when he and his girlfriend stopped by my house today to visit while on a massive road trip around the United States. We took advantage of the opportunity to record a brief conversation for Hacker Public Radio. Here's a photo of windigo, me, and Dingle the cat between us.

windigo, dingle, and Jon Kulp


Open Badges? - klaatu | 2013-06-18

Cyanide Cupcake and Klaatu ponder the new Open Badge spec, and whether badges are important, useful, or...a government conspiracy!


Out of style or retro chique. - Knightwise | 2013-06-17

Just how many devices do you still have lying around that have been discarded by the pace of progress. What if you would use them today ? Knightwise takes you with him on a garage sale bargain hunt and asks the question : Is it out of style or retro chique.

Frank Bell Achieves Enlightenment Adventures with E17 Pt Two - Frank Bell | 2013-06-13

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:

Mitigating SQL Injection And Other Message Protocol Attacks Through Compiler Signatures - sigflup | 2013-06-07

Sigflup talks about mitigating sql injection and other message protocol attacks through compiler signatures



3G Tunnels (Sshuttle) - NYbill | 2013-06-05

Timttmy and NYbill have a chat about 3G connectivity and Sshuttle. Sshuttle is app that blends VPN and SSH proxy like features. They also touch on AUR packaging and the recent Linode hacks. Then start to reminisce about OGGcamps past and the good'ol days of the Linux Outlaw forums. And what do most geeks do when they hang out? They finish up talking about their computer gear.

3g tethering




Cyanide Cupcake and Klaatu - klaatu | 2013-05-30

Cyanide Cupcake talks to Klaatu about the Scratch programming language.


How to Build a Desktop Computer - Toby Meehan | 2013-05-29

Show Notes for How to Build a Desktop

Build vs Buy

Do you have the interest and time to research and build a desktop computer?

You probably won't save a lot of money, but with all the research you may get better quality parts.

You will know exactly what's in your system should issues or questions ever arise.

Gather requirements

Define the purpose of the system

Use: gaming, video/photo processing, web browsing/documents

Applications should drive most of your hardware decisions.

Data protection: how much data, how resilient (on-site mirroring, RAID vs. off-site)

Power protection: surge suppression, UPS

Physical protection: keyed case lock (disassembly prevention), cable anchor

Define a budget

Decide what are you willing to spend (max, target, min)

  Check off-the-shelf models to get the going price points

Understand there are trade-offs and if everything is needed at once

Adding capabilities later can help with sticker shock

If you have time, buy components when prices dip

Be careful about return policies...some 30 or 90 days

Learn about current technology & prices

Core: CPU, memory, motherboard, graphics controller, power supply

Storage: solid state drives, rotating hard drives, removable media (DVD, USB)

Auxiliary: audio, monitor, power protection, web cam, printer/scanner, backup drive

Interfaces: SATA, IDE, DDR2, DDR3, PCI, PCI-e, USB, eSATA

Determine approximate price range

Where to research this stuff: Wikipedia, Tom's Hardware, Anandtech, Specs on vendor web sites

Where to shop:,,

Understand compatibility

Hardware-Hardware compatibility

Check qualified hardware list (QHL) on CPU/memory/motherboard

Also known as CPU support list, memory support list, qualified vendor list, etc.

If you can stick to the QHL parts, h/w compatibility is more assured

Hardware-Operating System compatibility

Drivers, either built into the OS or from vendor web site

Pay attention to 32-bit vs. 64-bit in both operating systems and drivers

Operating System-Application compatibility

I'm not going to address this, but it is something to research and understand.

Define what components you need

You will need the core and storage components.

If you have components (particularly auxiliary components) from a previous system, you may find you can use them with the new system. Speakers, printer, and monitors are all prime candidates.


  1. CPU
  • Decide on CPU brand (typically Intel or AMD)

  • Decide on CPU model, which is dictated by your needs and budget

  • CPU will dictate motherboard socket type

  • Be sure to buy CPU in box set so it includes CPU fan & heat-sink. Otherwise, you'll need to figure out the thermal dissipation needs and physical dimension limitations of the case in order to select an appropriate 3rd party CPU fan & heat-sink. This can involve liquid cooling solutions. I'm not covering thermal solutions in detail here.

  1. Motherboard
  • Narrow search to motherboards with socket type that matches CPU.

  • Decide on motherboard form factor (ATX, Mini-ATX, Micro-ATX, Mini-ITX, etc.). See Wikipedia.

  • Video on-board or discrete.

    • If on-board, check if it has dedicated memory or borrows memory from main system. If it borrows from the main system, you may want to increase your memory size. Recommend using discrete if 3-D requirements exist. You can go discrete later, but you'll have wasted money on the motherboard.

    • If discrete, ensure motherboard has enough high-end PCI-e slots for your needs.

  • Audio on-board, discrete or external.

    • If on-board, check motherboard has suitable output ports for your needs.

    • If discrete, ensure motherboard has a slot for the audio card.

    • If external audio system will be used, make sure motherboard has ports to support it.

    • WiFi / Blue Tooth

      While a few motherboards have these, they are generally considered inferior for connectivity and security on a non-mobile device like a desktop. It's also easy to add a card or USB device to obtain them. Also, when integrated on the motherboard, they are harder to upgrade later.

  • Outputs ports meet your needs (PS2, Parallel, Serial COM, USB, eSATA, S/PDIF, HDMI, Ethernet, etc.)

  • At this point, you search should be fairly narrow – compare prices, read reviews and compare ratings.

  • Decide on motherboard vendor and model

  1. Memory
  • Based on motherboard, find matching memory type. DDR2 and DDR3 are the common types.

    There are 5 memory properties:

    1. DDR revision (currently they include DDR, DDR2, and DDR3)

    2. Chip Classification (like DDR2-1333) where the number (1333) is the maximum clock speed (in MHz) the memory chips support, which is halved for real clock speed (666.5MHz).

    3. Module Classification (like PC3-10666) where the number (10666) is the maximum transfer rate (in MB/s). This is typically 8 times the first memory chip classification clock speed, so DDR400 transfers data at 3,200 MB/s.

    4. Timing (like 7-8-8-24) measures the time the memory chip delays doing something internally.

    5. Voltage (like 1.5v)

  • Note the memory properties are maximums. Actual rates will be lower based on the motherboard. Match the first 3 properties – DDR revision, chip classification and module classification. DDR revision must match. If you can't get an exact match on Chip and Module classifications, make sure the memory module is faster (higher numbers) than the motherboard.

  • If you plan to over-clock, you'll need to pay attention to all 5 properties, but I'm not going to cover over-clocking.

  • For more assurance, buy memory that's on the motherboard maker's certified list.

  • Recommend buying memory in higher capacities per module for future expansion. If you have 4 memory module slots which can accept 1G, 2G, and 4G modules, opt for the 4G modules.

  • Recommend that all memory modules be the same size, optimally the same brand/model if possible.

  1. Video Card
  • If using on-board video controller, you've already decided this.

  • If using discrete video card, narrow search to available motherboard slots.

    For example, if you only have one PCI-e 16x slot, narrow search to video cards that can use that slot. Don't worry about AMD's CrossfireX or NVIDIA's SLI card linking because you don't have two slots.

  • If you buy a high-end discrete card or cards, be sure to check the video card vendor's recommended power supply wattage and required power connector. These cards often require a separate power connector from the power supply.

  1. Internal Storage
  • By internal storage, I mean storage devices that will be housed inside the computer case.

  • Most motherboards come with an on-board storage controller, typically SATA 2. Some have an IDE controller for legacy support. Server motherboards may have some version of SCSI or SAS (serial attached storage) controllers.

  • These on-board controllers are configured from within the BIOS or UEFI. Depending on the motherboard's south bridge chipset, it may support a few RAID levels, usually levels 0 (striping) and 1 (mirroring).

  • Storage devices come in different physical sizes which require different sized bays - 5.25 inch, 3.5 inch, 2.5 inch, and 1.8 inch. These refer the size of the storage medium, not the actual bay size. The 5.25 inch bays come in half-height versions, which are the standard for CD and DVD drives in todays' computers. The 3.5 inch bays are usually used for floppy or Zip drives...more legacy equipment. See Wikipedia.

  • Storage devices can vary significantly in storage capacity. Often, the larger the storage capacity, the higher the latency in storing and retrieving data. Cache on-board the disk can mitigate this latency, so larger cache sizes are preferred particularly for large capacity drives. Cache sizes currently include 8MB, 16MB, 32MB and 64MB.

  • With rotating magnetic disks, the speed at which they rotate can also mitigate this latency. Rotation speeds include 5400 rpm, 7200 rpm, and 10000 rpm and 15000 rpm with each step in speed requiring more power and giving off more heat.

  • If you need more than 2 or 3 drives, you'll need to ensure your case has adequate physical space for them and that your power supply is sized appropriately.

  1. Case & Power Supply
  • Some cases are bundled with a power supply, which might work great for average to low-end system configurations.

  • Based on motherboard form factor and internal storage requirements, pick out a computer case.

  • Case features to consider:

    1. Power supply location is always in rear, but can be on top or bottom of a tower configuration. If the computer will sit on the floor, having the power supply on the bottom might turn it into a dust bunny haven.

    2. Number and type of storage drive bays.

    3. Removable and/or washable dust filters.

    4. Lighting kits

    5. Front panel ports and static suppression

  • The number and size of fans is limited by the case design. Typically a case will come with one rear fan, but most offer front, side, or top vents where fans can be mounted. Fan sizes range from 25mm to 250mm, with popular sizes at 80mm, 92mm, 120mm and 140mm.

  • Make sure power supply is sized correctly:

    1. Physical dimensions fits in case (beware “slim” power supplies for smaller form factor cases).

    2. Wattage output, which is driven by video cards and number of internal storage devices.

    3. Connectors required by the motherboard, CPU fan, case fans, video card and internal storage devices.

  • Without a discrete video card and 2-3 internal storage devices, 300-400 Watts power supplies are typical. If getting a discrete video card, check on its power requirements.

  • Power supplies also have efficiency ratings under the "80 PLUS" certifications, which span from vanilla 80 PLUS, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. See Wikipedia for more info.

Getting things done. - Knightwise | 2013-05-28

"When you need to get things done : Use a Mac" That used to be the default answer. But does it still ring true today ? Knightwise takes a look at the history of Apple and its evolution in the power-user landscape over the last decenium.

A life in a software project - garjola | 2013-05-24

A friend of mine wrote a blog post the day of his 40th birthday. The title was "Version 4.0 is out!". I found it very interesting, as he told the history of his life as if it was a software project with a major x.0 release every 10th birthday.

X2go Remote Linux server/client - JWP | 2013-05-23

With x2go you can access your desktop using another computer -- that means both LAN and internet connections. The transmission is done using the ssh protocol, so it is encrypted. By using the free nx libraries from NoMachine, a very acceptable performance in both speed and responsiveness is achieved. Even an ISDN connection runs smoothly.

This makes it is possible to connect your laptop to any computer with the environment, applications, and performance of the remote desktop. It is also possible to have a bunch of computers connected to a single server (terminal-server, thin-client).

Clients are available for Linux (Qt4), Windows, and Mac. The latter two can be downloaded directly as binary from the x2go homepage.

The Long Road To Linux - Beeza | 2013-05-21

Over about 30 years Beeza has been a software developer and tester, a system designer and technical author. In that time he's worked with a wide range of software, hardware and technologies. From DOS and the early days of Windows and the Mac, through to his conversion to Linux, he's seen great changes in the way we develop software and use computers. Not all the changes have necessarily been for the better, though.

For anyone who's been around the IT world for a while, this may be a short trip down memory lane. For relative newcomers, it may come as a surprise to discover just how much was achieved years ago with so few resources.

Software Patents: Who's Behind the Curtain? - Deb Nicholson | 2013-05-16

Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She is the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at GNU MediaGoblin She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools and education. She lives in the United States in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Frank Bell Achieves Enlightenment Adventures with E17 Pt One - Frank Bell | 2013-05-15

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.


David Whitman On Location at LinuxFest Northwest - David Whitman | 2013-05-13

LFNW Garage Sale Booth - old computer stuff sold to support the fest

Bill Wright at the LFNW World Famous Raffle

EFF / TOR Table -

DW does a cheesy Lightening Talk about HPR.

Martin Obando


Larry the Crunchbang guy

OrangeFS Amy Cannon Nathan James

Linux Automation - Beer!

Fedora Project

iSEC Partners




Free Software Foundation

Linux Professional Institute

GSLUG Ubuntu Washington KDE

Wargames Anniversary - AukonDK | 2013-05-08

Wargames is 30 years old, this is my tribute to one of my favourite films.
Some text taken from Wikipedia page for the film CC-BY-SA
Modem sound from Freesound user joedeshon CC-BY

What's Wrong With Free, Anyway? - Ahuka | 2013-05-07

In looking at the distinction between free of charge and free as in freedom, some interesting issues emerge. I argue that free of charge is often not what we should be lookiing for if we want good software options. But because I like going the long way around behind the barn to get anywhere, I start off in the Music business.

Links to things I mentioned

My web site is at

Remember to support free software!

Doomsday Rule - Charles in NJ | 2013-05-03

HPR Episode: Doomsday Perpetual Calendar Method

What is it?  
  (due to John H. Conway, a mathematician born in Liverpool)

  * He's done other research that hackers might like to check out.  
  * Look up the "Game of Life" and "cellular automata".  
  * There may be episodes on these topics, but those should come
      with visualization software.

John H. Conway

Game of Life

Doomsday Rule lets you find the day of the week for any date
  * Dates in history, in immediate past or in future are all good.
  * Works for both the Gregorian and Julian calendar.  
    - I'll only be looking at Gregorian dates for now.
    - Method should work well for dates from 1800 onward.
    - If dates for non-Gregorian calendars are converted to their
        (extrapolated) Gregorian equivalents, this method works.

Wikipedia entry (includes recent optimization):

Why do this?  It came up in Episode Zero of my "N Days" show on 
calendar counting, where I used it without explanation.

Demos: Check these answers at  
  * Some listeners may now adjourn to the latest Linux Outlaws episode.

Method: Get Century Anchor Day, calculate offset for the year to find
   Doomsday's reference location for current year, find closest 
   reference date to target date, and count off to the answer.

a) Isaac Newton's date of birth: 
   - 25 December 1642 - 1600's Tuesday. 
     Year 42 = 3*12 + 6 and (6/4) = 1. 
     Hence 3 + 6 + 1 = 10 for an offset of 3.
     Tuesday + 3 = Friday.  12/12 is Friday, so 12/26 is Friday
     Newton was born 12/25, so that was a Thursday

b) My grandfather's date of birth:
   - 20 January 1898 - 1800's anchor is Friday.  
     Year 98 = 8*12 + 2, (2/4) = 0.  
     So 8 + 2 + 0 = 10 gives an offset of 3.

   - 1898 wasn't a leap year, so 10 January was Monday 
   - That means 17 January was a Monday, too.
   - So 20 January 1898 was a Thursday.

c) A wedding anniversary that I like to remember: 15 May 2000
   - 2000 has anchor day on Tuesday, and no offset.
   - Rule: "I work 9 to 5 at 7-11", so 9 May (16 May) are on Tuesday.
   - 15 May 2000 was a Monday.  True.  'Twas the day after Mother's Day.
d) My parent's wedding day: 19 May 1957
   - 1900 has anchor day Wednesday.  57 = 4*12 + 9 and (9/4) = 2. 
   - So 4 + 9 + 2 = 15 or an offset of 1.
   - 9 May is Thursday, as is 16 May.  The 19th is 3 days later.
   - So 19 May 1957 was a Sunday.

Plan: I'm going to reveal the magic behind this, and introduce some 
mental shortcuts to help you learn to do this in your head.  

If you can master the 12's row in your times tables up to 8 times 12, 
and the 4's row up the 20s or 30s, and you can tell time on a 12-hour 
clock, you should be able to do this.  

We're not in school, so paper and pencil to track the numbers, and 
finger-counting offsets to days of the week are all allowed. 

1. Certain memorable dates fall on the same day of the week as
   "Doomsday" = last day of February, whatever that is.

2. Dates recycle every 400 years, and Doomsday Anchor dates by Century
   are 1600: Tuesday, 1700: Sunday, 1800: Friday, 1900: Wednesday.

3. That's enough, but to simplify mental math notice 12-year cycles.
   - Every completed 12 years pushes the days of the week ahead by +1
   - Each year within the current incomplete cycle adds +1
   - Each leap year in current cycle adds +1 (including current year) 

4. Doomsday dates are:
   a. January 10 and Doomsday (last day of February)
   b. Odd months: Add +4 through July, then subtract 4.
      7 March, 9 May, 11 July
      5 September, 7 November
   c. Even months are reflexive: 4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 12/12

See the attached spreadsheets for examples and annotated calculations.

 - LibreOffice Calc: 229-Charles-in-NJ-Doomsday-Rule-v1.ods
 - Excel 5/95 'xls' for LibreOffice or Gnumeric:
 - Gnumeric: 229-Charles-in-NJ-Doomsday-Rule-v1.gnumeric

Bonus Content:
 - Excel VBA module: 229-Charles-in-NJ-Doomsday-Rule.vbaxl.bas 
     * Import the .bas module
     * Input is an Excel "Date" object
     * Very proprietary formats and code, but some people use it.
 - Python:
     * Contains two functions:  Each returns a string value for the day
          of the week, e.g., "Sunday"
       dayOfWeek(year, month, day): Doomsday is last day of February,
          and the (month, day) are converted to relative ordinal dates.
          For leap years, we have to push both Doomsday and any target
          date after 28 February up by one for the leap day.
       dayOfWeek2(year, month, day): Doomsday date anchors are computed
           for each month, so leap years require adjustments to the
           anchors for January and February to account for the shift
           in the February ending date.  Later months are fine.

 - Script for GNU 'bc': doomsday.bc is a bc 'port' of the Python code
     * Differences: Return value is a number from 0-6 that represents
         the day of the week by its relative position.
       0 = Sunday, 1 = Monday, 2 = Tuesday, 3 = Wednesday, 
       4 = Thursday, 5 = Friday, 6 = Saturday
     * In a shell, run 'bc' with the filename as an argument:
       catintp@Derringer:~$  bc doomsday.bc
       - This loads the two functions in the file.  You can invoke them
           within 'bc' like any other function:
       dayofweek(1981, 5, 15)
       dayofweek2(1642, 12, 25)
       dayofweek(2013, 11, 22)
       dayofweek2(2059, 5, 19)

 - Alternate Script for GNU 'bc': doomsday2.bc 
     * Return value is still a number from 0-6 that represents
         the day of the week by its relative position.
     * Uses a side effect to print a human-friendly answer.   
     * English only, but localisation should be easy.


HPR Saturday Sessions: What is hacking? - Nido Media | 2013-05-02

Nido is joined by dude-man, Epicanis, and artv61 to discuss how one could or should define "Hacker" and "Hacking", particularly in reference to the "Hackers" that Hacker Public Radio episodes are intended to be "of interest to". Unfortunately, all participants seemed to be largely in agreement with each other, so there isn't enough contention to make the discussion dramatic. Listeners may find the discussion insightful anyway, and we do come up with some suggestions and ultimately encourage everyone to be a lot more public about using the words "hacker" and "hacking" as much as possible outside the context of criminal and computer-programming activity until outdated dictionaries finally update their definitions.

Although Nido deserves the credit for Saturday Sessions, recording, cleanup, and editing of today's session was done by Epicanis, so if the sound sucks it's all his fault and not Nido's. Same goes for these show notes.

The XKCD comic that was mentioned may be found here:

Word processors are overrated - johanv | 2013-05-01

Word processors are overrated. Too often they are used instead of better alternatives. For example: to write a report, to describe a workflow or a vision, a lot of people just grab Microsoft Word. Which is a bad idea. Should you use LibreOffice Writer then? OpenOffice? Maybe Google docs? They are not much better.

If the focus of your text is on its content, if the structure of your text is important, if the way the text is laid out is less important than the consistency of the lay-out, or if you want to collaborate with other people, you should not use a typical mainstream word processor.

Read more on my blog

Cory Doctorow tribute to Aaron Swartz - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-04-30

Today is a special show to commemorate the passing of Aaron Swartz. Thanks to Thomas Gideon for publishing and allowing us to retransmit this audio.


Lament For httpd - deepgeek | 2013-04-29

DeepGeek gets all emotional about changing web servers at his web co-op. "Hell, it's just a tool." Not for DeepGeek, who equates moving away from thttpd to the closing of an era! To him, "slick design" can take a backseat to feelings of camaraderie from your fellows on the intwebz any day of the week!

A few well-placed links...

Talk Cyberpunk To Me - sigflup | 2013-04-26

Sigflup talks about her wearable computer constructed from a raspberry pi. She also releases a terminal emulator meant for wearable computers with low-res displays. - Mike Hingley | 2013-04-25

In this episode Mike Hingley highlights a potentially useful website for those learning Javascript - uses github autehtication, and provides an arena where virtual robots can battle for ultimate supremacy.

Mike Hingley's profile:

Playing Ingress - Epicanis | 2013-04-24

This is the first of two or maybe three parts on the subject on Ingress, which was released into invitation-only beta-testing by Google in November of 2012.

Ingress is a world-spanning location-based game set in a world somewhere between the real one and a fictional one that is almost exactly like the real one except with space-alien mind control conspiracies.

This episode is purely about "playing the game". The follow-up episode will be more about the underlying technology and things you (and Google) might be able to do with it besides the core gameplay.

There may be a third part if there is enough interest.

A final note - the app version that I mention in the show was upgraded literally about 5 minutes after I finished editing and started to prepare this show for upload. (And, yes, I'm using "literally" correctly - I mean I finished exporting the file from audacity, went to check Google+, and within 300 seconds someone was mentioning that a new version was out). It does seem to resolve some of the problems I mentioned, just as I speculated that it might. I'll follow up on this and any subsequent updates in the followup episode.

Comments and suggestions and demands for more episodes are welcome, nay, encouraged either on this episode's comments at or on my own blog at . Thanks for listening!

Google How Could You - Neodragon | 2013-04-19

In this episode I talk about Stephanie Chute, an Android developer who's Google Play account was wrongfully pulled recently by Google. I also encourage others to reach out to Google to right this injustice.

Contact info:

   Nick:    neodragon 
   Channel: #oggcastplanet
(Minor correction here, in the audio I said .org instead of .net) 

Google+: Mathew Stahl

Twitter: neodragon34


Chromebook Acer C7 Review - Helvetin | 2013-04-18

I got into Linux after listening to lots of podcasts during my work commute and I am one of those non-technical people listening that after lots of worrying finally installed Ubuntu and found out that it works pretty easily. A few month ago I got a raspberry pi and played with its Arch Linux version and very recently got the Acer C7 Chromebook and immediately put Chrubuntu on it, which is also how I am recording this.

So here is my strange problem. I currently have a Swiss-German keyboard layout at work, at the previous job I had an standard US keyboard and I am pretty sure that this chromebook has a UK keyboard. So I needed to find a really fast way to switch at first the UK keyboard layout to the Swissgerman layout and then also have a change to change to the US keyboard easily, because it happens ... you may believe it or not ... that some things I just know where they are in the US layout better than the Swiss layout and vice versa.

This is not really a problem if you stick with Unity. You go to System Settings, Keyboard Layout and add the relevant. Where are those System settings now?

setxkbmap is the command. In /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules I found all the layouts (ch for Swiss and us for American layout). I added the option to toggle between ch and us by click both shift keys. So the full command as alias is Swiss='setxkbmap -option 'grp:shifts_toggle' 'ch,us''. To not write the entire thing you can add this as a alias in .bashrc or probably put somewhere in a startup file, so you don't have to worry about it.

Further configurations and installations:

  • To enable the 2nd screen use command: xrandr --output HDMI1 --auto --right-of LVDS1
  • Change hostname by editing nano /etc/hostname (by default it is Chrubuntu)
  • Install cmatrix just for fun
  • Installations: Desktop Environment openbox, lxde, i3 just to play around - Terminator as terminal emulation - ranger as file manager - s3cmd for offsite backup, although dropbox and spideroak work too (s3cmd works also on raspberry pi) - encryption with encfs and truecrypt

Utilizing Maximum Space on a Cloned BTRFS Partition - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-04-17

Utilizing Maximum Space on a Cloned BTRFS Partition

by FiftyOneFifty

  1. If you clone a disk to a disk, Clonezilla will increase (decrease) the size of each partition proportional to the relative size of the drives.
    1. I wanted to keep my / the same size and have no swap (new drive was SSD), so I did a partion to partion clone instead
    2. Created partions on the new SSDs with a GParted Live CD, 12Gb root (Ext4) and the remained for /home, (btrfs, because I planned to move to SSD from the start, and last summer only btrfs supported TRIM)
  2. After cloning /dev/sda1 to /dev/sdb1 and /dev/sda2 to /dev/sdb2 using Clonezilla, I inspected the new volumes with the GParted Live CD
    1. /dev/sdb2 had 40% unaccessable space, i.e., the usable space was the same size as the old /home volume
    2. GParted flagged the error and said I could correct it from the menu (Partition->Check) but btrfs doesn't support fsck, so it didn't work
    3. Tried shrinking the volume in GParted and re-expanding it to take up the free space, also didn't work.
  3. Discovered 'btrfs utility' and that it was supported by the GParted Live CD
    1. Make a mount point
      1. sudo mkdir /media/btrfs
    2. Mount the btrfs volume
      1. sudo mount /dev/sdb2 /media/btrfs
    3. Use btrfs utility to expand the btrfs file system to the maximun size of the volume
      1. sudo btrfs filesystem resize max /media/btrfs
    4. Unmount the btrfs volume
      1. sudo umount /dev/sdb2
  4. Rechecked /dev/sdb2 with GParted, I no longer had unaccessible space

Modern Survivalism Part 2 - Tracy Holz_Holzster | 2013-04-12

Today's show we start a new series on Modern Survivalism where you do everything you can to make your life better now by lessening dependency, trying to live debt free and learning basic skills.

Podio Book Report on Jake Bible's "Dead Mech" - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-04-11

In today's show FiftyOneFifty shares his review of the PodioBook by Jake Bible's "Dead Mech" and Reflections Upon Podcasting from the Bottom of a Well

Cinnarch 64 bit, Installation Review - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-04-05

Howdy folks, this is FiftyOneFifty, and today I wanted to talk about my experiences installing the 64 bit version of Cinnarch net edition on a dual core notebook. Cinnarch of course is a relatively new Arch based distro running the Cinnamon fork of Gnome. I had previously installed Arch proper on this notebook, but when I rebooted to the hard drive, I lost the Ethernet connection. This is not uncommon, but there the notebook sat while until I had time to work the problem. I wanted to start using the notebook, and I'd heard good things about Cinnarch, so it seemed like a simple solution. I went into knowing Cinnarch was in alpha, so i shouldn't have been surprised when an update broke the system less then a week after the install, but that comes later in my story.

Complete show notes are available here:

The Care and Feeding of the Flintlock Muzzleloading Rifle - Russ Wenner | 2013-04-04


Pair Programming - Christopher M. Hobbs | 2013-03-29


Modulus7 Pair Programming Interview:

Pair Programming on the Portland Patterns Repository:

Pair Programming at C2 (similar content):

Wikipedia Entry:

XP Pair Programming Resources:

GNU Screen:




My Company:

My Personal Site:

LinuxFest Northwest is April 27, 28,2013 - David Whitman | 2013-03-28

LinuxFest Northwest is April 27, 28, 2013 - an Interview with Jakob Perry

Series/Tags: Show notes, Jakob Perry, LinuxFest Northwest, beer, Linux, Bellingham, Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham Linux Users Group

An interview with Jakob Perry by David Whitman

LinuxFest Nothwest is to be held April 27, 28, 2013

Website is

Plan to attend if you can.

LinuxFest Northwest is an annual event produced by the Bellingham Linux Users Group, and volunteers from other northwest U.S. open source users groups. It is held on the campus of Bellingham Technical College (directions at the BTC website under ABOUT BTC). The Fest features Linux and open source experts and aficionados sharing their experience and enthusiasm with a wide variety of free and open source technologies.

This generally means that there will be a lot of smart people who come with something to share and a desire to learn. This is a low cost/high value event that's held on a weekend, so there are also folks who don't usually go to commercial conferences. All in all, it's a lot of fun with fresh faces on eager people.

NELF Wrapup - Various Hosts | 2013-03-25

In the last of in our series of reports from "The northeast GNU/Linux fest", we have a wrap-up session with Russ.

The northeast GNU/Linux fest is an advocate of Free software. We hope to bring awareness of Free software to college students their schools, programmers and businesses. We welcome everyone from the new user to the people that have been there from the beginning.

Northeast Linux Fest 2013 p3-3 - NYbill | 2013-03-22

In the third in our series of "Live" reports from "The northeast GNU/Linux fest", our roving reporters track down interviewees in the show floor.

The northeast GNU/Linux fest is an advocate of Free software. We hope to bring awareness of Free software to college students their schools, programmers and businesses. We welcome everyone from the new user to the people that have been there from the beginning.

Northeast Linux Fest 2013 p2-3 - NYbill | 2013-03-21

In the second in our series of "Live" reports from "The northeast GNU/Linux fest", our roving reporters track down Jon "maddog" Hall who is the Executive Director of Linux International, a non-profit organization of computer professionals who wish to support and promote Linux-based operating systems.

The northeast GNU/Linux fest is an advocate of Free software. We hope to bring awareness of Free software to college students their schools, programmers and businesses. We welcome everyone from the new user to the people that have been there from the beginning.

Northeast Linux Fest 2013 p1-3 - NYbill | 2013-03-20

In the first in our series of "Live" reports from "The northeast GNU/Linux fest", our roaving reporters track down interviewees in the show floor.

The northeast GNU/Linux fest is an advocate of Free software. We hope to bring awareness of Free software to college students their schools, programmers and businesses. We welcome everyone from the new user to the people that have been there from the beginning.

Icecast 101 - klaatu | 2013-03-19

Klaatu talks about how to set up Icecast, new Ices, old Ices, and a nice little (simple) HTML5 player. This is part one of a two-part series.

Here are the raw commands for Icecast, Ices, and Ices-cc:

#start the streaming server
icecast -c /etc/icecast.xml -B

#start the mp3 stream
ices-cc -c /etc/ices-cc.conf -F /home/dj/playlist.txt -R -b 96 -m mp3 -P radio

# start the ogg stream
ices /etc/ices/ices-playlist.xml

Here is the code for the simple HTML5 player that Klaatu mentions in the episode. It's straight HTML5 but in case you're new to HTML5 then this could be useful:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
    <title>My Great Streaming Server Example dot Com</title>
<div id="player">
<audio width="100px" height="200px" autoplay loop controls autobuffer preload="auto">
      <source src="" type="audio/mp3" />
      <source src="" type="audio/ogg" />

Klaatu is indebted to Kwisher, Delwin, and Ruji for their help on this series.

Resolving Issues (The Vhost Config File) - NYbill and Windigo | 2013-03-18

Windigo helps NYbill as he trys to set up mutiple servers on his VPS by explaining the stucture of the vhost file.

NameVirtualHost *:80

#this first virtualhost enables:, or: http://localhost, 
#to still go to /srv/http/*index.html(otherwise it will 404_error).
#the reason for this: once you tell httpd.conf to include extra/httpd-vhosts.conf, 
#ALL vhosts are handled in httpd-vhosts.conf(including the default one),
# E.G. the default virtualhost in httpd.conf is not used and must be included here, 
#otherwise, only domainname1.dom & domainname2.dom will be accessible
#from your web browser and NOT, or: http://localhost, etc.

<VirtualHost *:80>
    DocumentRoot "/srv/http"
    ServerAdmin root@localhost
    ErrorLog "/var/log/httpd/"
    CustomLog "/var/log/httpd/" common
    <Directory /srv/http/>
      DirectoryIndex index.htm index.html
      AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .pl
      Options ExecCGI Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews +Includes
      AllowOverride None
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin your@domainname1.dom
    DocumentRoot "/home/username/yoursites/domainname1.dom/www"
    ServerName domainname1.dom
    ServerAlias domainname1.dom
    <Directory /home/username/yoursites/domainname1.dom/www/>
      DirectoryIndex index.htm index.html
      AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .pl
      Options ExecCGI Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews +Includes
      AllowOverride None
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerAdmin your@domainname2.dom
    DocumentRoot "/home/username/yoursites/domainname2.dom/www"
    ServerName domainname2.dom
    ServerAlias domainname2.dom
    <Directory /home/username/yoursites/domainname2.dom/www/>
      DirectoryIndex index.htm index.html
      AddHandler cgi-script .cgi .pl
      Options ExecCGI Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews +Includes
      AllowOverride None
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all

templer: a static html generator - Chess Griffin | 2013-03-13

In today's show Chess talks to us about a static html generator written in perl called templer


Templer is yet another static site generator, written in Perl.

It makes use of the HTML::Template module for performing variable expansion within pages and layouts, along with looping and conditional-statement handling.

Templer has evolved over time for my own personal use, but I believe it is sufficiently generic it could be useful to others.

My motivation for putting it together came from the desire to change several hand-made, HTML-coded, sites to something more maintainable such that I could easily change the layout in one place.

The design evolved over time but the key reason for keeping it around is that it differs from many other simple static-generators in several ways:

  • You may define global variables for use in your pages/layouts.
  • A page may define and use page-specific variables.
  • You may change the layout on a per-page basis if you so wish.
    • This was something that is missing from a lot of competing tools.
  • Conditional variable expansion is supported, via HTML::Template.
  • File contents, shell commands, and file-globs may be used in the templates
    • This allows the trivial creation of galleries, for example.
    • These are implemented via plugins.
  • You may also embed perl code in your pages.

Another key point is that the layouts allow for more than a single simple "content" block to be placed into them - you can add arbitrary numbers of optional side-menus, for example.

Although this tool was written and used with the intent you'd write your site-content in HTML you can write your input pages in Textile or Markdown if you prefer (these inputs are supported via plugins).

In My Feed - Episode 01 - Steve Bickle | 2013-03-11

My first show "In My Feed", a title inspired by the HPR Contribute page's list of requested topics.
Web Comics

GNU Command of the Week! is ... 'scp'
Go to $ man scp ;-)

CJE Computer Jargon Explained 01 - b1ackcr0w | 2013-03-08

I had an idea for a website that aims to explain as clearly as possible, computing and internet terms that confuse and frustrate people.

It came about when a Motorsport Forum Website I work with changed their IP address and some DNS issues caused problems. In the discussion amongst the staff of the site, as soon as the technically minded staff talked about DNS and IPs and Caches, some of the staff who aren't as familiar with the terms either dropped out or even got angry because they felt they were being excluded.

That highlighted to me the need for a resource where these terms could be explained in a way that demystifies the jargon for the every man. I am thinking it could be massively useful to have a site where we can use short video files to quickly and effectively explain the who,why,where,when and what of computerspeak, that would otherwise baffle and deter friends, family and colleagues.

This idea is little more than a concept at this time. As I make progress towards getting CJA working, I shall post updates on

If you have any comments, suggestions for topics to explain, or if you want to contribute to the site. Please email me or get in touch through

Old Time Radio on the web - Frank Bell | 2013-03-07

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:

Distractionless Writing - Thistleweb | 2013-03-01

ThistleWeb explains the advantages of a distractionless writing environment for fiction writers or aspiring fiction writers. A physical space of sanctuary is only the first part of the concept, but that's undone if your screen around your text is full of distractions. A distractionless writing application covers the entire screen, separating you from updates, notifications and editing options. ThistleWeb's distractionless environment of choice is Focuswriter, although there's quite a few to choose from.

Copying a Printer Definition File Between Systems - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-02-28

I recently learned where Linux stores the PPD created when you set up a printer and how to copy it between PCs.  I'd like to briefly share that information with you.

This is how to copy a printer definition file (equivalent of a printer driver) from a system where the printer is already configured to another system that you want to be able to access the same printer.  Reasons you might need to do this:

a.  The normal CUPS (Common Unified Printing System) set up doesn't have the right definition file for your printer.  In rare instances, you might have to download a ppd from the manufacturer or another source.  If so, copying the ppd may be easier than downloading it again.

b.  You configure CUPS and find there are no pre-provided printer drivers.  I thought this was the case when I first tried to configure CUPS under Linaro on my ODroidX.   For all intents and purposes, Linaro is an Arm port of mainline Ubuntu (Unity included).  I installed CUPS via Aptitude and tried to configure a printer as I would on any Linux system.  When I got to printer selection, the dropdown to select a manufacturer (the next step would be to choose a model) was greyed out, as was the field to enter a path to a ppd file.  I closed the browser and tried again, and the same thing happened.  This is what prompted me to find out where to find a PPD file on another system and copy it.  I never got to see how it would work, because when I had the ppd file copied over and ready to install, the manufactures and models in CUPS were already populated.  There had bee an update between my first and second attempts to configure CUPS on the ODroidX, but I'd rather say it was a glitch the first time, instead of the ppd's suddenly showing up in the repo.

c.  When I installed Arch on another system, I found there was far less options for choosing models, in my instance, there was only one selection for HP Deskjets.  I suspect borrowing the model specific ppd from another distro will increase the functionality of the printer.

Copying the ppd

1.  On the computer where the printer is already configured, find the .ppd (Postscript Printer Definition) file you generated (filename will be the same as the printer name) in /etc/cups/ppd/model (or possibly just /etc/cups/ppd, neither my ODroidX or my Fedora laptop have the "model" folder).
2. Copy to your home folder on the new system (You can't place the file in it's final destination yet, unless you are remoted in as root)
3. According to the post I found on, CUPS looks for a GZipped file [ gzip -c myprinter.ppd > myprinter.ppd.gz ; the '-c' arguement creates a new file, rather than gzipping the old one, and you use redirection to generate the new file.]  Recall that I never got to try this, because when I re-ran CUPS, the printer selections were already populated. 
4. Copy the archived file to /etc/cups/ppd/model on the machine that needs the printer driver

Configure CUPS (IP Printer)
1. Open localhost:631 in a browser
2. Click Administration tab
3. Click "Add a Printer" button
4. Log in as an account with root priviledges
5. For Ethernet printers, select "AppSocket/HP JetDirect" button and click "Continue"
6. From the examples presented, " socket://PRINT_SERVER_IP_ADDRESS:9100  " works for me, click continue
7. On the next page, fill in a printer name, this will be the file name for the PPD generated as well as how the printer is labled in the printer select dialog.  The other fields are optional.  Click continue.
8. (I am assuming if the LinuxQuestions post was right, CUPS will find the gz file and show the manuafacturer and model as options) From the list, select a manufacturer, or input the path to your PPD file
9. Select the printer model
9a.I think you could copy over the ppd as is and type the path to it in the field where it asks for a ppd file. 
10.Modify or accept the default printer settings

Or just copy the ppd and compare the settings in /etc/cups/printers.conf

Chris Conder Catchup on Broadband for Rural North - Ken Fallon | 2013-02-27

#da12bb #HPR
In todays show Ken catches up with Chris Conder of the Broadband for Rural North ( We interviewed her back in episode 980 (
A big line of people with spades

Located in the very pretty but the rural Forest of Bowland in Lancashire in the UK, and tired of putting up with slow "broadband" they decided to put together their own network. They tried shared wifi, 3 and 4G mobile networks, MMDS and Satellite yet all proved to be unreliable.

So over tea and cake they came up with a plan.

  • A 240 Kilometer (150 mile) plan.
  • A 1 gigabit (1000mb/sec) fiber optic connection plan.
  • A let's give a connection to every one of the 1700 homes, farms, schools, churches and businesses, in the area plan

And while they were at it they designed it to be:

  • redundant with a dual homed backbone direct to the UK's Internet exchange
  • upgradeable with ducts large enough to take multiple fibers
  • laid through some of the most rugged, mountainous area of Lancashire to get to the people that need it most. (And let's be clear here, nothing to do with the fact that they will need to use dynamite to blast their way through the rocks.)

Have a look at the recent videos here

Arch Linux - Dude-man | 2013-02-25

In this episode Dudeman explains to us his experience of running arch linux the last few weeks. The discussion sidetracks a bit towards the difference between rolling releases versus versioned releases and Source vs Binary distributions where Arch and Gentoo play the part of the rolling/source based distros.

Part One: Counting Partridges and Gold Rings - Charles in NJ | 2013-02-21

Edited version - re sent

The Sonar Project has $9,838 raised with 256 people contributing. A big thanks to all the !HPR Listeners who helped out.
It's not too late to contribute to the ACF. See for more information.

Tomorrow The Eleventh Annual Southern California Linux Expo starts. Running from February 22 to the 24, 2013 in the Hilton Los Angeles International Airport. Speakers include Kyle Rankin, Joe Brockmeier and Matthew Garrett.
See for more information.

The N Days of Christmas? Intro to Recreational Math Part One: Counting Partridges and Gold Rings

The complete shownotes can be found here:

Pascal's Triangle:

Background on Pascal's Triangle and the Binomial Theorem, see the excellent videos by Sal Khan at

Contact: Charles in NJ Email:

Charlie + Alpha + Tango + India + November + Tango + Papa.

Rmail in Emacs - klaatu | 2013-02-20

11 hours to go. 235 funders Contributed $8,633 USD of $20,000 43%
Donate here

Klaatu sneaks in an addendum to his Emacs mini-series on howto use Rmail in Emacs. Bonus topics include how to configure fancy Unix mail tools like msmtp, procmail, tmail, and fetchmail.

I live in GNU/Emacs - garjola | 2013-02-19

I live in GNU/Emacs

1 Emacs on HPR 
Klaatu's 3 part series
- ep0852
- ep0856
- ep0861

2 EmacsWiki 
- Ultimate source of information for GNU/Emacs
- []

3 Appearance 
- no menus nor scroll bars
- black background on a tiling window, full screen (no decorations)
  - people often think that I am on the console (no X)

4 Daemon 
- []
- so that clients can connect (org protocol)
- use the same emacs from the consoles
  - if x crashes, for instance

5 Editing code 
- c++
- with repls
  - lisp/scheme/clojure/elisp (slime and geiser)
  - python
  - octave
- compilation
- latex

6 Org 
- []
- Note taking
- GTD, agenda, spreadsheet
- Reports, papers, slides, blog
- export to mobile org

7 Gnus 
- []
- Mails
- RSS and mailing lists via gwene
- store links into and open from org-mode

8 w3m 
- []
- search and more and more navigation

9 Conkeror (in/out) 
- []
- only when javascript is required
- org protocol for vzpturing links
- org open link to open pages

10 ERC for IRC 
- []

11 Small utilities 
- Info reader
  - []
- Calendar
  - []
- Scratch buffer as calculator
  - Evaluating expressions
  - []
- Dired
  - []
- Docview
  - []
- Version control
  - []

A plea and a Follow up - Various Hosts | 2013-02-18

61 hours to go 33% there - donate to the spread the word.

In today's show, we hear a plea from David Whitman about why you should join us all and donate to the sonar project.
Then pokey lets us in on what he did wrong when installing sonar

Shooting the Breeze - Jezra and NYbill | 2013-02-15

6 days to go 25% there - donate to the spread the word.

Jezra and NYbill look back on their last episode ( They review their predictions for 2012. Then go into a bit of what they see happening in the tech world in 2013. Basically, they are just having a geeky conversation. Listen at your own peril!

The Yoda/Red Rider mic stand:

Installing Linux without a monitor - Various Hosts | 2013-02-14

Two weeks ago we aired a show about the Sonar Project which is a specialized GNU/Linux distribution to develop and proof accessibility in a modern distribution. This is a test bed and so every single enhancement and discovery will be sent back upstream so that all distributions will be accessible by default.

The Sonar Project show was downloaded a total of 14,219 times so far and yet only 127 people have donated.

Today it's a case of the blind leading the (simulated) blind as Jonathan Nadeau walks pokey through an install of the Sonar GNU/Linux distribution without a monitor.

So listen along and experience what life is like if you are a blind hacker.
Press PAUSE to hear what it would be like if Jonathan had not done so much work already.


The project is here

The Accessible Computing Foundation can be found at or

The project itself can be found here

Boise Lug meeting Feb 7 2013 - Quvmoh | 2013-02-13

Boise Lug meeting Feb 7 2013, Darin gives a talk on Linux gaming focused on vavoom for Doom wads and the steam client now in open beta, show notes and Lug contacts and

Mumble Audio Issues - Delwin | 2013-02-11

I had a couple of requests for more specific information regarding audio quality in mumble, so here I go through a few of the more common audio issues I've run into with a few tips about what you can try to do about them. These issues are: overdriven audio, quiet audio, distorted audio and choppy audio.

Eve bot ( is also mentioned as an alternative to using the loopback settings within mumble for troubleshooting.

Thanks to Peter64 for his help with generating the choppy audio segment.

Interview with Mark A Davis of TWUUG - Frank Bell | 2013-02-07

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.


Intro to editing the Open Street Map - pokey | 2013-02-04

I'm going to call this an experimental episode. It's a tutorial on eding the Open Street Map at . By all rights, this should have been done as a screen cast, but since I have no interest in doing a screen cast, we're going to try something different. For this episode to work, I'll need your cooperation, and for it to make any sence to you, you'll need to be signed into . So go ahead and create an account over there (or begin the password reset process) while you're downloading this audio file. You're going to need an account if you want to edit anyway, so I'm not asking for anything you wouldn't be doing anyway. You may find it helpful to have a second tab open to . It won't be much help while listening to the episode, but it is very helpful while editing in general.

Some people enjoy finding mistakes. For their enjoyment I have included a few.

how to start irssi in screen after reboot - Lord Drachenblut | 2013-02-01

In this episode Lord Drachenblut shows us how to start irssi in screen after reboot.

crontab -e # opens editor for crontab 
@reboot /usr/bin/screen -dmUS irc /usr/bin/irssi

-d -m Start screen in "detached" mode. This creates a new session but doesn't attach to it. This is useful for system startup scripts.
-U Run screen in UTF-8 mode. This option tells screen that your terminal sends and understands UTF-8 encoded characters. It also sets the default encoding for new windows to `utf8'.
-S sessionname When creating a new session, this option can be used to specify a meaningful name for the session. This name identifies the session for "screen -list" and "screen -r" actions. It substitutes the default [] suffix.

Low Tech Fab (PCB Etching) - NYbill | 2013-01-31

Due to an error in the encoding (ken's fault) the episode is been re-transmitted - sorry all

I this episode NYbill talks about etching copper PCB boards at home..

Photo collection:

Surface mount breakout board layouts:

FTDI FT232RL Data sheet:

Sparkfun FTDI breakout board schematic:

Tinting fluid (I didn't buy it here. This is just a good pic of the product I used):

Anyone driving through the Capital District of New York, this old, locally owned, electronics shop is still kicking:

A few things I forgot to mention in the episode. The muriatic acid/hydrogen peroxide etching solution can be used multiple times. Store it in plastic or glass containers. The tinting fluid can also be reused. But, it will need to be agitated and or slightly heated (place container in a bath of hot water) before reuse as the mix will settle out.

Sonar GNU/linux - Jonathan Nadeau | 2013-01-30

Today's show is about Sonar GNU/linux and the importance of it. I'm also running an indegogo campaign and I mention it at the end the link to the campaign is

The link to Sonar is


Tech and Loathing 13 - Remote Desktop Protocols - KFive | 2013-01-28

Today we are doing the last show that has been in the syndicated Thursday queue for a long time. Now that we are no longer syndicating shows, I wanted to post this today so that we can get the backlog cleared.

The show can be found at

Hey listeners, another episode of Tech & Loathing is now on tap. A couple of IRC friends have joined me tonight to discuss a couple of topics. For Loathing we have Android vs. iOS and all of my frustrations with the world of mobile computing. For Tech we have a look at RDP, VNC and running applications and desktop environments remotely, either securely via SSH or VPN or insecurely using X Forwarding and other techniques. Hope everyone enjoys the show.

Autotools - Nido Media | 2013-01-24

Please note: the time of the hpr saturday sessions has changed to 12:00 midday EST or 6 in the evening Central European Time. Also recording has ended for this year, but you are free to join in again at 12th of January.

This is a recording of the HPR Saturday Sessions - at the Linux Basement mumble server if you have knowledge you wish to share with your fellow listeners but don't know how to say it.

In this episode Nido Media takes us through how to create a './configure' script using one of his own packages as an example. You can find the 'derpy' package at (be aware this version has been packaged purely as example of autotools).

The GNU manuals for autoconf and automake:

How I started my local Linux User Group - Emilien Klein | 2013-01-23


Reaching out

Looking for a meeting place

  • Meet up with Roel to discuss the Hackerspace and LUG
  • Second reunion, with Roel and Vin to find a place

First meetings

The continuation

  • Regular place, recurring date/time
  • Events; FOSDEM


  • Website
  • Mailing list
  • IRC
  • Google Plus / Facebook
  • Meetup


- Recipe for a Successful Linux User Group

Show released under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License. See:

Kernels in the Boot, or What to Do When Your /boot folder Fills Up - FiftyOneFifty | 2013-01-22

Synopsis of the Problem

You may have heard me mention that I purchased a used rack server a couple years ago to help teach myself Linux server administration.  It's an HP DL-380 G3 with dual single core Zeons and 12Gb of RAM.  It came with two 75Gb SCSI drives in RAID1, dedicated to the OS.  Since the seller wanted more for additional internal SCSI drives, and those old server drives are limited to 120Gb anyway, I plugged in a PCI-X SATA adapter and connected  750Gb drive externally and mounted it as /home.  I moved over the 2Gb USB drive I had on my Chumby (as opposed to transferring the files) and it shows up as /media/usb0.  I installed Ubuntu server 10.04 (recently updated to 12.04) because CentOS didn't support the RAID controller out of the box and I had frustrated the lack of support for up to date packages on Debian Lenny on the desktop.

With 75Gb dedicated to the OS and application packages, you can imaging my surprise when after a update and upgrade, I had a report that my /boot was full.  It was until I look at the output from fdisk that I remembered the Ubuntu installer created a separate partition for /boot.  At the risk of oversimplifying the purpose of /boot, it is where your current and past kernel files are stored.  Unless the system removes older kernels (most desktop systems seem to) the storage required for /boot will increase with every kernel upgrade.

This is the output of df before culling the kernels

Filesystem              1K-blocks      Used  Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/oriac-root   66860688   6593460   56870828  11% /
udev                               6072216           4    6072212   1% /dev
tmpfs                              2432376       516    2431860   1% /run
none                               5120                 0       5120       0% /run/lock
none                              6080936            0    6080936    0% /run/shm
cgroup                           6080936            0    6080936   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1          233191    224953          0         100% /boot
/dev/sda1                       721075720 297668900  386778220  44% /home
/dev/sdb1                     1921902868 429219096 1395056772  24% /media/usb0

This directory listing shows I had many old kernels in /boot


The Solution I Found

I ran across some articles that suggested I could use 'uname -r' to identify my current running kernel (3.2.0-31, the -32 apparently kernel ran out of space before it completed installing) and just delete the files with other numbers.  That didn't seem prudent, and fortunately I've found what seems to be a more elegant solution on .

Verify your current running kernel

uname -r

Linux will often keep older kernels so that you can boot into and older version from Grub (at least on a desktop).  Fedora has an environment setting to tell the OS just how many old kernels you want to maintain [installonly_limit in /etc/yum.conf].  Please leave a comment if you know of an analog in Debian/Ubuntu. 

List the kernels currently installed on you system. 

dpkg --list | grep linux-image

Cull all the kernels but the current one

The next line is the key, make sure you copy and paste exactly from the shownotes.  I'm not much good with regular expressions, but I can see it's trying to match all the packages starting with 'linux-image' but containing a number string different from the one returned by 'uname -r', and remove those packages.  Obviously, this specific command will only work with Debian/Ubuntu systems, but you should be able to adapt it to your distro.  The '-P' is my contribution, so you can see what packages you are eliminating before the change becomes final.

sudo aptitude -P purge ~ilinux-image-\[0-9\]\(\!`uname -r`\)

Make sure Grub reflects your changes

Finally, the author recomends running 'sudo update-grub2'  to make sure Grub reflects your current kernel status (the above command sees to do this after every operation anyway, but better safe than sorry.

It's worth noting I still don't have my -32 kernel update, so I'll let you know if the is anything required to get kernel updates get started again.

My df now shows 14%  usage in /boot and a directory listing on /boot only  shows the current kernel files.

Filesystem              1K-blocks      Used  Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/oriac-root   66860688   5405996   58058292   9% /
udev                      6072216        12    6072204   1% /dev
tmpfs                     2432376       516    2431860   1% /run
none                         5120         0       5120   0% /run/lock
none                      6080936         0    6080936   0% /run/shm
cgroup                    6080936         0    6080936   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/cciss/c0d0p1          233191     29321     191429  14% /boot
/dev/sda1               721075720 297668908  386778212  44% /home
/dev/sdb1              1921902868 429219096 1395056772  24% /media/usb0


Airtime Radio Automation - AukonDK | 2013-01-21

In this episode I talk about Airtime radio automation software.

Links: Airtime main site:

Airtime Demo instance to see what it looks and feels like:

Check my previous episodes for other Internet Radio topics.

Contact me at

Installing PYWWS on a Raspberry Pi - Peter64 | 2013-01-16

The USB weather station

Weather Charts


PAM Two Factor Auth SSH - Beto | 2013-01-13

Thank you to Broke For Free and for their Creative Commons album Broke For Free: Slam Funk, which was used during this latest show at

Good sources of information for PAM
Overview of PAM Security
  • Definition: Presenting two or more from something you have, something you know, and something you are.
  • Centos /etc/pam.d/
  • Debian /etc/pam.d/ (common-auth exists in Debian and its a system wide security implementation for all pam.d applications)
Google Two Factor Authentication
General Instructions
  • Install git, gcc, and make on your system
    $ apt-get install git make gcc
    $ yum install git make gcc

  • Execute git command as noted on google's site:
    $ git clone
  • Compile and install the google two factor auth PAM module and application
    $ cd google-authenticator/libpam/
    $ make install

  • Add the following lines to the /etc/pam.d/sshd
    auth required

  • Location of SSH server configurations

  • Add/modify the following stanza to SSH server configuration:
    ChallengeResponseAuthentication yes

  • Create Google two factor profile for SSH user and answer the setup questions based off your preferences
    $ google-authenticator

  • Restart SSH server
    $ service ssh restart (on CENTOS try $ service sshd restart)
Wrap Up
  • In Debian based systems you can comment out the system wide common-auth by simply adding a # to the beginning of the @include common-auth.
  • If you want to use google two auth with other applications simply add it to the appropriate /etc/pam.d/ file
  • Other useful PAM modules include the Barada module: libpam-barada (OTP with Android Client), pam_winbind (Samba Active Directory authentication module), and many more.
  • Make sure you have dual SSH connections and are sudo or su as a privileged user. Also make sure any files you configure today are backed up before you edit them.
  • When setting up Two Factor Auth profiles, go into cleanup mode to ensure you don't use the QR code url where it can be later retrieved from your url history. Also make sure you cleanup your command line and clipboard history so that emergency scratch codes and secret keys can't be found by wondering eyes.
Podcasts worth mentioning.

Food - Health - Nutritionally Dense food - Dude-man | 2013-01-10

Part 1 of ...I Love Food, Good Food

A Contribution for HPR from where he talks about a not so well known, but very well thought out and backed up by scientific research started in the 1930's by Weston A Price, who went on after traveling around the world to find healthy people and study what made them healthy to write a large book describing in a language understandable to the lay person what he discovered along with its significance in our own lives should we wish to maximize our health and that of our children and future generations. Of course the first question we should have is what does a healthy person look like, the shape and size, the condition of the teeth etc.

Dude-man does his best to share a little of what he's learnt over the last 10 years which he's been putting into practice with his wife, son (7), daughter (2) and their small homestead of Jersey dairy cows and other animals which help provide the staff of life to the whole family.

Books mentioned

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

Foundation for Weston A Price

Dude-mans Podcast on technology

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 8 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-09

The eight and final part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes
The song at the end is "Love" by "Epic Soul Factory" a The Daily Exposure Show for 2012-04-04. This track is licensed: cc-by-nc-sa

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 7 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-08

The seventh part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 6 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-06

The sixth part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 5 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-04

The fifth part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 4 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-03

The fourth part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 3 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-02

The Third part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes



Links,d.ZG4 - nifty use of BASH in The Bourne Ultimatum

Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 2 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2013-01-01

The Second part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show. Feel free to listen and send me some show notes




Hacker Public Radio New Year Show Part 1 - Various Creative Commons Works | 2012-12-31

The First part of the epic Hacker Public Radio Show.
Feel free to listen and send me some show notes




Hacking Karma And Reincarnation With The Forgiveness Discipline - deepgeek | 2012-12-28

I recently ran an educational event for a society concerned with Mysticism 
and as such, gave the first speech. I recorded it "on the fly," so there 
are problems with the recording, and I had to cut a few comments that 
were too soft to be picked up at all by my head-mounted microphone. 

What follows is the script I wrote for the first three-quarters of the 


The first thing to understand is that we are not really discussing the 
traditional idea of forgiveness.  We are talking about a whole new 
ballgame. This really is not your parents idea of forgiveness.  Let's 
have an example of old-school forgiveness.

"Well, you really did it. This is a real, and a really bad, situation, 
and it happens to be your fault. But I'm going to forgive you for what 
you did. You don't deserve this, but I'm just so much more perfect than you, 
I'm going to do this anyway. Because I have Jesus. By the way, you don't.
And you will always be screwing up. You could stop screwing up, but 
you wont. Because your not as great a person as I am. You could begin 
to agree with me about everything, but you won't. You could even 
believe every last thing I believe. But you won't. So, unlike me, 
there is no hope of you going to heaven. I will, but you wont. And 
I might not look sad about this, but I really do feel sorry for you."

For the remainder of the presentation please see

Development Discussion - Dave Morriss | 2012-12-26

I am trying to write a script which will implement the scheduling rules for HPR. I spoke to Ken Fallon about this, and where it would fit in the overall design of the HPR system, when we met up at OggCamp 2012 in August, but we didn't manage to resolve very much. So, recently Ken and I began a discussion over Mumble to try and make progress. A few minutes in we decided to record our discussion for posterity, and this is the result.

The notes which I had sent Ken before our Mumble session are available in PDF format.

Eulogy for the Netbook - AukonDK | 2012-12-25

In this episode I talk about my first netbook and the sadness that comes from knowing the tablet has replaced it.

No music for this somber affair. Contact me at

Wireshark-1 - NewAgeTechnoHippie | 2012-12-24

Wireshark Tutorials

The introduction to wireshark is to introduce protocols, and lead people to the existing material and ask for more detailed desires.

Protocols 101 Wikipedia thinks it is long but not as long as college courses but it covers the basic level stuff but the article should open the rabbit hole a bit.

A great Compendium of Protocols is here and very usefull in under standing what wireshark shows you

To downlaod for Windows or MAC use For Linux use a trusted Repository

Documents and training videos

The Wireshark Users Guide

Contact NewAgeTechnoHippie at gmail for question or comments

Who Owns Your Files - Ahuka | 2012-12-20

Indie and Creative Commons

  • Soundcloud - This is a music and audio sharing site, primarily.
  • Free Music Archive - Lots of CC-licensed music.
  • Jamendo - One of the premiere CC music sites.
  • Bandcamp - I just learned about this site from my friend Craig Maloney, who does the Open Metal Cast. This site has Creative Commons music from bands who want to build a relationship