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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.

Tue, 25 Aug 2015

Use Firefox to find the right certificate for Citrix to beat SSL Error 61

I had to set up my laptop to access a new Citrix site, and I got the dreaded SSL Error 61, where the proper certificate could not be found.

It was a Go Daddy certificate, and I knew that I had it. I went to Go Daddy, got another copy and dropped it into /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts/.

The error persisted.

After a few other unsuccessful attempts, I found the answer at Ask Fedora.

Basically you find the right certificate by going through Firefox itself, exporting the certificate and then using rootly privileges to put it in /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts/.

  • In Firefox, go to the web site for your Citrix app. It should be a secure site.

  • Click on the little lock icon to the left of the URL.

  • Click "More Information"

  • Click "View Certificate"

  • Click "Details"

  • You should now see the certificate(s) you need. Click on them to select and then click "Export," and save it/them somewhere in your /home directory

  • Use the terminal and either su or sudo to copy the certificates to /opt/Citrix/ICAClient/keystore/cacerts/.

Everything should work. At least it did for me.

Sun, 23 Aug 2015

Bash script that mounts drive, backs up with rsync

I already use Bash scripts to run my rsync backups automatically, more to avoid mistakes in the rsync syntax (copying the wrong directory) than anything else.

I've been wanting to improve the script both to enhance portability by setting the target and destination directories with variables and to auto-mount the destination drive if it is not mounted already.

I decided to start with a Google search, and this entry from Frustrated Tech does exactly what I need:

Sat, 22 Aug 2015

Learning Java - why and how

Time has been a little tight over the past couple of weeks, but I had an "opening" today that I used to work on Java. Beginning Java. Very beginning Java.

I'm using the Oracle Java tutorials. You can download the whole thing as HTML in a .zip, or as epub and mobi files.

I have both the full HTML and the mobi version, which is made up of 20 separate .mobi files that I emailed to my Amazon Kindle reader because a) I'm too lazy to plug it in to the computer and b) they offer e-mail-to-Kindle, so why not use it.

I'm going through the material slowly, typing in the programs when that seems appropriate and using javac to compile and java to run them.

Read the rest of this post

Thu, 06 Aug 2015

My new coding regimen

I've been coding a little every day.

Way back, say a year ago, I could write code in the course of my job.

Not so much lately. I'm just too busy and focused on news production and other requests.

So I've been taking my "lunch" time (a loose term when you start work at 5 a.m.) to walk a bit, laptop bag in hand, to a coffee shop (Starbucks/Coffee Bean/Western Bagel depending on seating) to do a little coding.

In the past two days I've worked on my Ode Counter addin in Perl (which is live in the upper right side of this blog, and played around with writing files in Node.

It's a little time every day, and so far it's been fun.

Tue, 04 Aug 2015

Running GNOME 3.16 in Fedora 22

Since my home Internet connection has been so bad, I haven't been using my Fedora 22 laptop as my main production machine for Citrix apps, and that means I can run GNOME 3 on it without trouble.

Instead, I use the laptop for writing, web browsing, development and watching media.

And instead of my usual Xfce, I've been using GNOME 3.16 as the desktop environment.

I have few complaints. GNOME 3 is getting better and better with each release, and even between releases there have been little improvements here and there.

Right now my only complaint with GNOME 3 is with file management in Nautilus. When you drag a file into a folder, if you linger too long over the folder, you end up in it. That should be something you can configure not to happen.

To avoid this problem, I've been using Nautilus' move to feature. It's clean.

My problems with the upper panel (I'm using the TopIcons GNOME Extension) are pretty much gone. Everything shows like it's supposed to.

I like the notifications system.

GNOME Software's notion that you want to reboot for every update is absurd. I use the Yum Extender for DNF to update, and that doesn't require any rebooting. The new Yum Extender fails about 25 percent of the time. I'm confident that the Fedora team will continue polishing the application. In the meantime, dnf in the terminal works without fail.

I'm having a PulseAudio issue that presents itself in both GNOME and Xfce: When I switch audio to HDMI via PulseAudio Volume Control (aka pavu), there is no audio over that connection unless I log out and log back in. I can switch back to local audio and hear it on the laptop speakers, but going back to HDMI requires another logout/login. This fairly recent issue is not a deal-breaker but is annoying.

Otherwise, my 2-year-old HP Pavilion g6 laptop is running better than ever under Linux.

Notes:

  • While I said I was going to stop obsessing about Linux, I reserve the right to talk/write about software I'm using. Tools are still interesting. And important. My focus remains on programming. And the rest of life. (Or so I tell myself.)

  • I am getting ready to pull the trigger on 100Mb/s Time Warner Cable broadband to replace my sub-1Mb/s DSL Extreme "broadband." That would mean I could work at home more, and I would probably swing back to Xfce for production because it plays so much better with the unwieldy Citrix apps I must use.