From Pine View Farm

Geek Stuff category archive

A Simple Stand for an E-Box 0

I mentioned earlier that, thanks to a lightning strike, I recently purchased a ThinkPenguin E-Box computer. To free up some desk space, I built a simple little stand for it using bits and pieces of lumber in my scrap this-will-come-in-handy pile.

E-Box on stand

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Facebook Frolics 0

Meta: Up and Running 0

I mentioned earlier that we had a lighting strike that took out a computer, a printer, a KVM switch, a television, and two mini-boxes from the cable company.

I’ve got the replacement computer up and running with Debian 9 running the Plasma desktop. (The new television is up and running also.) As an aside, our cable company replaced the mini-boxes without a question. I must admit that I have some gripes with my cable company, but customer service is not one of them.

Debian with the KDE desktop

I had some truly oddball hardware issues with the computer when I first hooked it up and I have nothing but praise for ThinkPenguin’s support. When you want a new computer, think penguin.

Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting at 7:30 p. m. on the first Thursday of the month (June 6, 2018). Pre-meeting dinner at Chicago Uno, JANAF shopping center, 6:00 p. m. (map)

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

DIY External Hard Drive Rack 2

Earlier this week, a freak lightning incident took out my 23-inch Lenovo graphics tablet, along with my printer, a KVM switch, and two mini-boxes from my cable company. The Lenova was a fine machine and I will miss it, but it was also eight years old; I half-way expected it to die soon of natural causes, but I did not anticipate that it would be assassinated.

Oddly enough, the other computer attached to the KVM switch seems to be fine.

Over the years, a rat’s nest of wires, external drives, and hubs had built up behind the Lenovo and I decided this would be a good time to clean up the mess. Because I’m chea–er–frugal, I did on the chea–er–frugal.

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Facebook Frolics 0

Husband:  As you get older, life has a way of humbling you.  You realize how much nonsense you've wasted time on. . . .  What's that you're doing?

Click for the original image.

Facebook Frolics 0

One more time, the internet is a public place. Comport yourself accordingly.

Not Neutrality 0

Title:  If Water Utilities Ran like Internet Companies.  Image:   Woman to plumber:  So, under your new pricing plan, I'd have enough water pressure for my shower?  Plumber:  Yes, but not enough to flush your toilet.  That's extra.

Click for the original image.

Meta: Sonar Sidebar Widget 0

I have removed the “Support Accessible Computing/Sonar Linux OS” item from the sidebar over there on the right——————->.

I understand that the founder of the project left it some while ago. Also, I recently heard Larry Bushey from the Going Linux podcast, who was involved in the Sonar project in its early days, express concerns that the project may be in limbo.

As an aside, I have listened to every episode of Going Linux and recommend it highly for persons interested in learning about free and open-source Linux-based operating systems and software.

No Place To Hide 0

I normally keep the GPS on my Android phone turned off, unless I have a positive need to use it. For example, I turn it on when I am using Move! Bike Computer to record a bicycle ride. Also, I don’t use the phone for navigation. I use maps.

Remember maps? They are big and colorful and easy to read and don’t talk back.

Yesterday, I turned the GPS on to perform a function and neglected to turn it off when I was done.

After going out for Sunday morning breakfast at our favorite breakfast place (it’s not fancy, but the food is good, the prices reasonable, the people nice, and the country ham to die for), we stopped at a local commercial emporium to purchase some items. Shortly thereafter, I received a message from Google asking me to provide a review of [name of commercial emporium].

I won’t make that mistake again.

It’s not Google’s business, or anyone else’s business, where the hell I choose to shop. Or where you choose to shop.

And people worry about the NSA and surveillance, for Pete’s sake, while they run nekkid through Silicon Valley without consciousness of their nekkidness, as Adam and Eve in Eden before eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

We are doomed.

Furrfu.

Make TWUUG Your LUG 0

Note: This month’s meeting is being held on the first Wednesday instead of the first Thursday because of a scheduling conflict involving the meeting room.

Learn about the wonderful world of free and open source. Use computers to do what you want, not what someone else wants you to do. Learn how to use GNU/Linux and its plethora of free and open source software to get stuff done with computers.

It’s not hard; it’s just different.

Tidewater Unix Users Group

When: Monthly TWUUG meeting at 7:30 p. m. on the first Thursday of the month (June 6, 2018). Pre-meeting dinner at Chicago Uno, JANAF shopping center, 6:00 p. m. (map)

Who: Everyone in TideWater/Hampton Roads with interest in any/all flavors of Unix/Linux. There are no dues or signup requirements. All are welcome.

Where: Lake Taylor Transitional Care Hospital in Norfolk Training Room (map). (Wireless and wired internet connection available.) Turn right upon entering, then left at the last corridor and look for the open meeting room.

Geeking Out 0

Earlier this week, I broke my Debian install. I was running Debian Sid (testing) and ran an update and lost my GUI environments. Sid is a testing version; if you run a testing version, you have to expect stuff to happen. Plus I had been having quirky stuff happen for quite some time, so I suspect the issue was mine and not Debian’s.

I was too lazy to troubleshoot the problem, so last night I reinstalled Debian Stretch. Since I had my home directory on a separate partition, all my personal files and settings were preserved, as I simply reinstalled the OS to the root partition. Consequently, once I reinstalled and started programs, they behaved as previously configured.

Here’s a screenshot of the new install running the Plasma desktop (Debian gives the option of installing one or more desktop environments; I chose Plasma and MATE):

Screenshot

Click for a larger image.

Geeking Out 0

Debian Sid with the Enlightenment Desktop using the R-Steam theme.

Screenshot

Facebook Frolics 0

Carl Hiaasen ghostwrites Mark Zuckerberg. A snippet:

But, folks, let’s be real. All that stolen information that went from Cambridge to the Trump campaign didn’t come from us. It came from you!

Methinks he has a point.

Follow the link for the rest.

Facebook Frolics 0

Oh what a tangled web the Zuckerborg weaves,
as these discovered when they tried to leave.

How Stuff Works, Facebook Frolics Dept. 0

Curtis:  I've had this certain Facebook friend for two years and I've read all his posts.  Yesterday, I told him I disagreed with his latest post . . . then today I went to continue our chat.  I couldn't pull up his profile.  I think he blocked me!  Father:  That's easy to explain.  People don't want to hear your opinion.  They want to hear their opinion coming out of you!

Click for the original image.

Facebook Frolics 0

Immoderate frolics.

Facebook Fakebook Frolics 0

Heh.

Consumer champion Martin Lewis, Britain’s Money Saving Expert, has declared he is suing Facebook for defamation over fake adverts featuring his face that repeatedly appear on the under-fire social network.
(snip)

“Within the last year, the social media site has published over 50 fake Martin Lewis adverts which are regularly seen, likely by millions of people, in the UK,” complained Lewis. “The most prevalent are get-rich-quick schemes currently titled ‘Bitcoin code’ or ‘Cloud Trader’, which are fronts for binary trading firms based outside the EU.”

More at the link.

Facebook Frolics 0

At The Denver Post, Diane Carman explains that the blame doesn’t lie only with Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and their ilk. A snippet (follow the link for the rest):

Which brings us to the real problem.

Us.

Here’s the deal. You know that advertisement for overpriced slippers that keeps coming at you whenever you access your digital newspaper subscription or perform a Google search or check Facebook? At some point you innocently click on the ad to see what it’s all about, and then they’ve got you. The ads keep coming. And pretty soon you think you really need another pair of slippers even if they cost 150 bucks and, after all, they’re still just slippers.

You’ve been played.

A really really good con job is still a con job. Persons who stay aware and do their homework generally do not let themselves get conned.

The same goes for societies.

Facebook Frolics 0

The EFF looks behind the Facebook curtain.