Title photo
frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 18 Dec 2013

Don't eat the yellow snow, or upgrade to Fedora 20 with fedup 0.7

You don't want your bike chain to fall off.

It very well might if you use fedup 0.7.x to do your Fedora 19-to-20 upgrade:

Adam Williamson, who calls himself the "Fedora QA Community Monkey," writes:

I just poked it a bit and it sure seems like upgrades with fedup 0.7 to F20 are busted. They definitely worked when we tested shortly before release, though. I can only think that using fedup 0.7 against upgrade kernel/image built with fedup-dracut 0.8 doesn't work.

If you have fedup installed, you can tell your version with this:

$ yum list fedup

Here is my output of that command:

fedup.noarch 0.7.3-4.fc19 installed

According to Fedora devs and other expert types, the thing to do is wait for fedup 0.8, which will be moving onto Fedora 19 systems any day now via the usual update mechanisms.

Adam puts it this way:

So, here's the news: do your upgrades to F20 with fedup 0.8, yo. It's in updates-testing for F18 and F19 at present, but will go to stable for F19 tomorrow. If you're upgrading from F18, you'll need to pass '--nogpgcheck' to fedup, because of <https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1040689>.

Failed fedup upgrades aren't fatal but also aren't fun, so it's worth the wait for a new fedup.

Later: Chris Murphy on the Fedora users mailing list suggests this command to update to fedup 0.8 right now:

$ sudo yum update fedup --enablerepo=updates-testing

Then you could run the full fedup:

$ sudo fedup --network 20
Tue, 17 Dec 2013

Fedora 20 is here, and so are (or will be) new kernels for F19 and F20

The new release of Fedora -- version 20 -- is here. Since I have a USB stick dedicated to such things, I brought down a couple of live desktops (GNOME and Xfce) to try.

All well and good, that is, but the Linux kernel shipping with F20 is the same 3.11.10 that I'm already using in F19.

But a look at the latest kernels in Fedora's Koji build system (which I recommend you visit often) -- shows that the 3.12.5 kernel is being built right now for F19 and has already been built for F20.

In my experience, a kernel shows up in your local yum update within a week after it first appears in Koji. It's not instant but does flow onto your system if you accept the update.

While on the subject of updates, the Yum Extender (aka Yumex) has proven to be a great way to maintain the packages on my Fedora system. It's quicker and better than PackageKit, and fairly equal to the Debian world's Synaptic Package Manager.

Getting back to Fedora 20, I'm not yet ready to run fedup to get the full update on my F19 system. Instead I'm waiting for the 3.13 kernels to start flowing into F19 proper.

What concerns me most is hardware compatibility, specifically display issues that keep my AMD-based laptop from resuming after suspend. I am looking to new kernels and display drivers to fix this problem. Full system upgrades are just window dressing that, in and of themselves, won't really help. That's what I'm thinking, anyway.

Fedora 20 is almost here

This handy counter tells you when It's here:

Mon, 09 Dec 2013

GNOME 3: Adjust 'hot corner' sensitivity with the Activities Configurator extension

It kept nagging at me. Why was the "hot corner" in Debian's version of GNOME 3 so "sensitive," compared to the GNOME 3 desktop's hot corner in Fedora 19?

In Fedora, I'd mouse into the upper left "hot corner," and half the time wouldn't get the app panel or search box to open. I'd have to "aggressively" mouse to get it working.

So I've been using GNOME 3 less and less. Was it just too slow?

Today I did a bit of searching and found out that "hot corner" sensitivity was something that the user can set, not in stock GNOME 3 but with the Activities Configurator extension.

I installed the extension and cranked the sensitivity number way down, from 100 to 43, making it more sensitive. Now my "hot corner" is much more responsive to mouse movement, and GNOME 3 is easier to use.

Once you have the extension installed, you can access its settings via the GNOME Tweak Tool, or by right-clicking on the "Activities" menu or the little smiley face that now appears to its left.

Thu, 05 Dec 2013

Code blocks in Markdown: just tab

I was making things hard on myself. I was trying to do a big code block on this blog in Markdown with backticks all over the place.

But the way it works in Markdown, you just tab or indent four spaces, and it's all wrapped in <pre> and <code> with all the tags rewritten so they'll show up the right way on your live site.

Backticks like `this` (which renders like this on this site) are still good for shorter code blocks on a single line.

But for longer code blocks, it's better to tab 'em.

Social sharing buttons for Ode sites

I decided to add some social-sharing buttons to my Ode site. It's easy to do with code from the sites themselves and tags generated by the Ode script.

I decided to do Twitter and Google Plus share (I could have chosen "+1" but thought "share" was better sine you don't have to "like" it to share it). I could have done Facebook, too, and I might, but for now it's just these two.

I placed the code in the post_footer section of my main Logic (i.e. html) theme's page.html file.

It goes below this part:

<div class="post_footer">
    <p>Posted:  ,  : </p>

And above the permalink/Disqus embed code:

<p><a href="">permalink</a> | <a href="https://stevenrosenberg.nfshost.com/blog/ode/2013_1205_ode_social_buttons#disqus_thread" data-disqus-identifier="/ode/2013_1205_ode_social_buttons">comments</a></p>

Here is the code I'm putting between those two parts of page.html:

    <!-- Google Share button -->
    <script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
    <div class="g-plus" data-action="share" data-annotation="bubble" data-href=""></div>

    <!-- Twitter share button -->
    <a href="https://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="" data-text="" data-lang="en">Tweet</a>
    <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script>

That generates the two social-sharing buttons you see at the bottom of this entry. Can you see how I used Ode-generated tags to specify the permalink for both embeds and the title text for Twitter?

Wed, 04 Dec 2013

I updated the Creative Commons license for this site

Since Creative Commons updated their portfolio of licenses to version 4, I decided to revisit the license for this site and update my own license.

I used this handy "choose a license" page, though I kept the same license I had before -- Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International-- just updating it from version 3 to 4.

As you can see from the image above, generated from my license-choosing preferences, the CC site tells my that the license I chose is not a "free culture license," because I'm not allowing unrestricted use of my work in commercial settings.

I'm not saying I won't revisit the issue in future, and there are plenty of things I am comfortable releasing for unmitigated commercial use by others. But on the whole, I'm sticking with CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Mon, 02 Dec 2013

Disqus in Ode: 'comments' or '0 Comments'

I don't know if that has anything to do with my use of Unison to push and pull content from my server for Ode, but I've been seeing entries labeled comments instead of 0 Comments.

To that end, I'm posting this entry without the use of Unison to see what happens.

A minute later: I'm getting comments without the use of Unison, so it doesn't appear to have anything to do with file timestamps or permissions as affected by the file-synchronization utility I've been using for the past week or so.

A few more minutes later: Now my previous entry is showing as 0 Comments, so I am chalking this up to "stuff happening at Disqus."

Even more minutes later: Now this post carries 0 Comments. Consider this a false-alarm/something I previously did not notice in Disqus' interaction with Ode.

I'm looking at the Fedora Power Management Guide

Fedora has great documentation. It's one of the many reasons that the Red Hat-sponsored community project's operating system is a compelling choice for your desktops, laptops and maybe even servers if you like to tinker.

The Power Management Guide caught my attention, and I used this part of the docs to install Tuned.

I'm not unhappy with the battery life of my HP Pavilion g6-2210us laptop. I get a whole lot more out of it than I did my previous Lenovo G555. But I'm always on the lookout for more optimization, and right now I'm focusing on the hard drive, which throws off more heat than I'd like (but not so much as to be a problem).

I installed tuned and made it run at startup.

There is an error in the F19 Power Management Guide in how to do that.

The correct command (run with rootly privileges) to make tuned start at boot is:

# systemctl enable tuned

The last two words are reversed in the docs. And yes, I did file a bug.