Sunday, April 30, 2017

use real words!

I hate emojis. What, people are too lazy to write with real words anymore? Or do they think emojis are cute?

They aren't cute. They're stupid.

linux setups

"The Linux Setup" feature at My Linux Rig: Nice place to read about what some people are doing with their Linux systems:

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Nice piece written by my friend, Wesley Hazen, for The Albuquerque Journal:

Downtown museum celebrates the telephone

I'm hoping to go over and check out the Telephone Pioneer Museum soon. Thanks, Wes!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

future system

A background I found today. I thought it fit nicely with Openbox, in Arch Linux.

The concept behind this "planetary system" may have roots in the sci-fi classic Ringworld, by Larry Niven (1970); the novel opens in the year 2850 AD.

"Ringworld won the Nebula Award in 1970, as well as both the Hugo Award and Locus Award in 1971."


Monday, April 10, 2017

one step closer

Announcement: Debian Installer Stretch RC 3 release

I don't think I'll be needing to try the RC3 release of the installer. I used debian-stretch-DI-rc2-amd64-netinst.iso for a Stretch network installation -- added Openbox to that -- and I used debian-stretch-DI-rc2-amd64-xfce-CD-1.iso for a Stretch Xfce installation. Both systems have been up and running for about a month now, and both look great. The final release of Debian 9 "Stretch" is just around the corner, looks like...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

plain and simple rules, no problem

I see a lot of shots being fired at the Arch forums for "their antagonistic approach" and "elitism" towards users of Arch derivatives who want to come to the Arch forums for support.

Personally, I have no issues with the Arch forum rules, which begin with:
These boards are for the support of Arch Linux, and Arch ONLY

If you have installed Archbang, Antegros, Chakra, Evo/Lution, Manjaro, Whatever, you are NOT running Arch Linux. Similarly, if you followed some random video on YouTube or used an automated script you found on a blog, you are NOT running Arch Linux, so do not expect any support, sympathy or anything but your thread being closed and told to move along.

Arch is a DIY distro: if someone else has done it for you, then showing up here asking to have your hand held for more help is just help vampirism and is not welcome.

I started out in the Arch world by trying out Arch derivatives Chakra, Bridge Linux, and ArchBang. Those distros convinced me to finally install "straight" Arch. I currently have an Arch installation as well as an Antergos installation.

Arch derivatives have been very important here, but, I'm sorry, they are not Arch. In all this time of running Arch and Arch derivatives, the Arch forum rules have never been a problem for me. These Arch-based distros do have their own forums, and there are also some Linux forums out there where questions about any distro are welcome -- for example, and the Bruno's All Things Linux forums.

Besides all that, users have the excellent Arch Wiki, web searches, and system documentation (man pages, help documents, etc.). With these tools at hand, I haven't found it necessary to post more than a few Arch-related questions at any forum.

If you use an Arch derivative, don't go to the Arch forums asking for help with that distro. Plain and simple. This is not "elitism", as some like to call it, but just a sensible approach that the Arch folks feel is the best one for them to take. Works out fine, seems to me.

d'backs sweep!

The Diamondbacks sweep the series! Not sure how many times I'll get to say that this season! This afternoon in Phoenix, the final score was Arizona 3, Cleveland 2. D'Backs start the (very) young season on fire, with 6 wins and 1 loss.

another amazing finish by westbrook

You can't be serious!

I didn't see the game, but...

Russell Westbrook gets his record-breaking 42nd triple-double of the season, with 50 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists on the road against the Denver Nuggets.

For Westbrook, the coolest part had to be that Oklahoma City trailed for much of the game, trailed by 9 going into the 4th, and trailed by 14 with 5:56 left. Westbrook notched his 10th assist, breaking the triple-double record, with 4:17 remaining; scored the team's last 15 points and 18 of their last 21; and hit a 40-foot game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. Thunder 106, Nuggets 105.


For most users these days, accessing flash drives in Linux is handled nicely by the desktop and file managers. But sometimes it's convenient to be able to mount a flash drive from the command line, as a normal user; for that, try the udisksctl tool.

I tested this in Antergos, in Debian Stable ("Jessie"), and in Debian Testing ("Stretch"). Insert the flash drive and run lsblk to check for the device name:

sdb1 is the device name for my flash drive. To mount it, I used:

$ udisksctl mount -b /dev/sdb1

The -b switch is short for --block-device, according to udisksctl mount --help.

Running lsblk again shows the flash drive mounted:

To unmount the flash drive, I used:

$ udisksctl unmount -b /dev/sdb1

For more info see man udisksctl, udisksctl help, udisksctl mount --help, and these excellent articles:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

moving on

There will be no Unity desktop in Ubuntu 18.04. Mark Shuttleworth announced today that "...we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell. We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS." (See: "Growing Ubuntu for Cloud and IoT, rather than Phone and convergence")

Good decision. I'm not one of those Unity-haters; I came up with a Unity setup that works for me, and I have no problem using it to get things done. That being said, I actually prefer using GNOME Shell instead of Unity, so I always add GNOME to Ubuntu. I'd even been thinking that maybe I'd want to try Ubuntu GNOME next year, instead of going on to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Today's announcement, I'm guessing, spells the end of the Ubuntu GNOME spin...

Anyway, I'll enjoy logging into Unity over the next year or so, then I'll bid it farewell. Unity was never the greatest Linux desktop, but I never thought that it was all that bad.

By the way: Check out the Ubuntu Vibes piece, "Why is Ubuntu Popular? End Users Share their Opinion".