Showing posts with label Linux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Linux. Show all posts

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The machine that started it all...

In December of 2010, I started a website called Pretender to the Power. I was recently back to school and thought I had a little free time on my hands. Not so.

Instead of learning how to blog, I spent much of my time with my Asus PC EEE 700 series machine trying to get a handle on Linux.

Today, I found that little machine shoved in a drawer.

I plugged it in and booted up. It worked. It has 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB on a SSD with an actual 8 GB SD card for supplemental storage space runs at 800 mhz and as a 7" screen.

It's a Kindle Fire without the touchscreen. Or a Fire with a keyboard.

Well, not quite. The Fire is on the left. Both had their uses but I find myself using my Chromebook for most tasks. How things change.

I purchased the EEE PC for $138 back in 2009 on NewEgg. It was an open box return. For less than 200 bucks, I figured I could take a chance. It came with two 8 SD cards, a sleeve and the charger. Out of the box, it ran Xandros. Xandros served for a time but I out grew it.

I ended up running Netbook Remix, Ubuntu 10.10. It was simple, clean and invigorated my curiosity about Linux. I never really looked back. My current Chromebook has a copy of Linux hiding in the Crosh.

I recently updated my C710-2487 Chromebook from 4 to 8 Gb and my first thought was to transfer the old ram to the Asus. No dice. Wrong type.


Of course, I found 3 other 512 mb RAM chips lying around, but with a single slot, that is no help.

I am trying to decide if I will keep my old Asus or let it go. Not sure. In the image above, note the large empty space begging for some new gadget to be installed. Oh... the pain of being a nerd.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stupid Linux Tips - Disable Touchscreen Temporally

I have a touchscreen that needs a good wipe down. Touch screens are annoying when dirty and you only have three options:

1) Wipe it down and hope you don't click something stupid.
2) Turn off the computer.
3) Disable the touchscreen.

I want item three, but there seems to be no Unity control panel for the touchscreen. I couldn't find one so I opened the Swiss army terminal and typed xinput.


Reading down the list is simple enough, id=13 is my touchscreen.

The command is xinput disable 13 or whatever number you need. Turning it back on is just as simple with xinput enable 13.


Obviously, I am not the best Linux user, but I like to share tidbits that make things easier.

Now clean that monitor.

Quickly lookup Ubuntu info

Ubuntu is nicely consistent. So consistent that often you can't tell what version you have just by looking.

Two commands in Terminal can grab that info for you:

lsb_release -a

uname -r


Settings and Details does the exact same thing, in a prettier form.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mint LXDE - What's Missing

I installed Mint LXDE 5 or six days ago. In a weeks time, I thought I would have a laundry list of software I absolutely must install. This is LXDE after all.
Surprisingly, that is not the case. LXDE is lightweight, but that doesn’t mean limited software. Right out the install box, Mint contains all of the software you might need for almost any task. For word processing Abiword is all you need; Spreadsheets are handled very well by Gnumeric; Gimp provides all of the photoediting capabilities one might need for almost any task.  Exaile is excellent for music and video is handled well by both MPlayer and VLC. Firefox is the go to web browser for any system and it did not require any updates with Mint LXDE 11, which was a nice touch. In fact with this version of Mint, I don’t believe I had more than a couple of updates.
So what did I HAVE to install? I selected Libre Office over Gnumeric and Abiword; however these to pieces of software are so handy that I decided to keep them. Considering all of the options in Libre Office, keeping them is high praise. For web browsers I needed something other than Firefox so I selected Opera and Epiphany-Browser. There is no beating Firefox in my book, but sometimes I need to look at websites in something else. Opera was selected because I last used this on my old Mac. Epiphany was snap decision, I wanted to take a drive with something new to me
The only lack I saw by way of software was a plain jane HTML editor and an ebook manager. Abiword could do it and there is nothing wrong with gedit, but Bluefish is my favourite. As for ebooks, I selected Calibre because it works so well and does so much more.
I hope to do a write up of my new software choices soon, so say tuned.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why use Terminal? (GIMP Install)

Linux has come a long way over the years. Nearly every variant has a software manager, a graphical interface for adding software. Why bother with the Terminal any more?
First, the terminal will display everything it does. Second, there are many versions of Linux and all of them have Terminal as an option. No matter what version of Linux, Terminal experience will server you well.
Here is a quick example of how to install GIMP using the Terminal.
Install GIMP:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gimp
The && combos two commands, update and install. The first checks your repositories to make sure they are up to date and the second installs GIMP.
You can follow this with autoclean and clean:
sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get clean
These commands remove .deb files not used by your system. Autoclean removes the cache information. This is good for systems with low disk space, however the penalty is you will need to download these again if you need to update or install software.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eye on the Pi

I have my eye on the Raspberry Pi. This little machine has a vibrant community and help is available all around the web.
This morning, I found The Errant Scientist blog; Matthew takes a walk through the set up process and installation of software via the LXTerminal.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Using Dropbox with external media (Ubuntu)

Dropbox.com is an awesome service. I am using it to sync my homework across four computers.
I ran into a glitch. My Ubuntu Netbook Remix computer would not sync. I could use the website so this problem wasn’t too critical.
The software reported: “Access Denied” which was odd because it was working after I installed it. Then I remember my Asus EEE has hard drive space issues. I moved the Dropbox folder to an external device.
Of course Dropbox didn’t have permission! I never set it up.
Four quick changes for this set up:
sudo chown -R $USER /media/Dropbox
sudo chmod -R u+rw /media/Dropbox
sudo chown -R $USER ~/.dropbox
sudo chmod -R u+rw ~/.dropbox
Now I am back in business.
Thank you, Dropbox.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

LXTerminal Cheatsheet

LXTerminal is daunting for the beginner. It can feel like a big black hole. Using a few basic commands everyday will help you learn the ropes. Lets take a look at the easy ones.
pwd
Displays the current directory path.
ls
Displays the directory and files within the current directory.
cd /home
Changes the directory, but needs a target and at least one /. This is the first time you will note that capitalisation is important in Linux. /home and /Home are two different locations.
help
Some help that was, it blew right by so fast I couldn’t read it. We will fix that shortly.
mkdir exampleMake a directory.
cal
Displays a calendar.
date
Displays the current date and time.
gedit filename.txt
Opens gedit with the file name in question. Be aware that you cannot close the terminal while gedit is open.
command > filename.txt
The > character tells the terminal to send the text that would normally appear on-screen to a file. The file can either be one that exists, in which case the text in it will be replace with the current text. Alternatively, you can make up a new name and write to that new file.
command >> filename.txt
A double > or >> will append information to the end of the file in question. Oddly, if that file does not exist the console will create it for you. Handy, eh?
command | tee example.txt
The pipe, | and the modifier tee will tell the terminal to print the information on-screen and to a file.
There are three more pseudo commands you need to know. The up arrow will display the last command you entered, you can do this to hop backwards through every command you entered. Of course, you will overshoot the one you want. Down arrow goes the other direction. To paste text into the terminal, press shift ctrl+V. Ctrl+V on its own does nothing.
So, let’s make a cheat sheet for this lesson. Open the LXTerminal.
Enter pwd to check that you are in a safe directory. For Mint that is /home/.
Enter ls to view the contents of /home/name.
Type mkdir cheatsheet.
Go to that directory with cd cheatsheet
To rehash:
pwd
ls
mkdir cheatsheet
cd cheatsheet
From here on out, I will not explain in detail. Each command will be entered one after the other. Remember to press enter after each.
cal | tee >> cheatsheet.txt
date | tee >> cheatsheet.txt
pwd | tee >> cheatsheet.txt
ls | tee >> cheatsheet.txt
help | tee >> cheatsheet.txt
gedit cheatsheet.txt
Now you have your own cheatsheet. Go ahead and print it.
Extra credit assignment. You can paste all the above commands into the terminal at a single go. The terminal will execute them as if you did them one by one.
More LXTerminal usage to come. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Terminal Refresh - Chromebook Users and Terminal

Years ago, I wrote a terminal cheat sheet over on pretendertothepower.com I think it is time for an update.
One command that I misunderstood from the beginning was sudo. This concept troubled me as there is a root account, which is sort of analogous to being an admin on Windows. Windows is bad news, because the admin account is so handy, or worse, required to do many standard things. This is not the case in all the various forms of Linux. xPud is a notable exception as you are always logged in as root.
By way of example, in Windows, the Admin account will not allow you to delete critical files from your system. At least, not without a lot of effort. Linux will happily allow the root user to delete ANYTHING!
Linux Rule One: If you don't know what outcome you need, root is NOT the tool for you.
On the other hand, you can gain temporary access to elevated privileges with the sudo command. This is actually the correct method for gaining privileges. Let's say you want to install some software, and you intend for all users to access it. The sudo command allows a user to gain privileges using their own password, not the root account password. The process creates a log of what is done in /var/log/auth.log; if mistakes are made, you can easily figure out what and when it was done.
In this example of sudo, we are going to install gedit. But we need to get ready for it.
sudo apt-get update
This command will tell your system to go and check what versions you have against what versions are available on the servers. It installs nothing. This is very important, because your linux computer has a local list of software available and it could be out of date. Update, update, Update!
The command for installing is:
sudo apt-get install gedit
Linux is made up of packages of software, in discrete chunks to make it more useable. The command apt-get install will put these packages on your system and make them useable.
You can go ahead and try to run both commands without the sudo. It will throw a nasty looking error.
Ok. Now we have gedit installed. We can open gedit without the sudo command. Type
gedit
As you can see, gedit is a very basic editor. We are going to use our elevated privileges and use gedit to do something a normal user cannot do. I am using a Chromebook with Crouton and I would like my Linux system to default to the $HOME/Downloads directory.
Let's fix this. Type sudo gedit .config/user-dirs.dirs to open the protected .config file.
What is not shown is all the activity in the terminal. At this point, since terminal opened gedit with elevated privileges, you should not close the terminal window.
Go ahead and change the text $Home/Desktop to $Home/Downloads.
I changed them all, but obviously you don't need to do that. Click save. You should see some activities in the terminal window.
Tomorrow we will look at using sudo for other purposes.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chromebook and Ubuntu - How do I right click?

If you are using Crouton on a Chromebook, there will come a day where you ask "How do I right click?" With Chrome, you tap with two fingers. In Ubuntu, this does work.
Nothing special is needed. Just hold the ctrl button and click. This also works with any Ubuntu variant and a Mac single button mouse.
Good to know, eh?