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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.

Fri, 30 Oct 2015

Fix for Firefox dark theme issues in GNOME 3

Hey Linux users, are you using GNOME Tweak Tool to choose the "Dark" theme, making your GTK3 applications dark and causing problems with white-on-white text in the Firefox browser?

I have. Even though I almost never use GNOME 3, I do have it installed, and the GNOME Tweak Tool's "dark theme" switch enables me to turn GTK3 applications like Firefox "dark" in their styling. Except that often you can't read text boxes on web sites because the "dark" theme turns the text white while also leaving the background white.

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Fri, 23 Oct 2015

Ode test of the dollar sign

Can you see this word?

Here it is with backticks:

Here it is on a line with backticks:

Can you see the ?

It begins as a dollar sign: $

Here it is as a code block set off by a tab/indent:


And here it is at the beginning of a line with backticks:

I imagine this is a potential problem because of the way Ode passes data from the script to the HTML.

My question: Is there a way to "escape" the $ so it appears on the live Ode site without resorting to backticks?

It seems that I can get a single $ but not a with backticks.

See the markup: Here is this file as plain text.

Thu, 22 Oct 2015

Geany DOES have themes, and now I do, too

I try to switch to dark themes on as many parts of my computing workflow as possible.

The desktop environment, my applications -- I try to make it all dark.

Why? It's easy on the eyes.

I'll go into my full dark-theme setup later, but for now I'd like to share my discovery of the dark themes in the Geany text editor.

I didn't think Geany had themes, let alone dark themes. Turns out it has both.

And I've been using Geany a whole lot because a) copy/paste of text with Windows-style line endings is broken in Gedit (it comes out Unix style) and b) I'm using Geany to work on my Java code because it will compile and run it right in the editor.

I found a link to the Geany Themes site on GitHub. I downloaded the whole thing as a .zip file (I probably should just use git to fork it onto my local drive), then dropped the colorschemes directory into my own ~/.config/geany directory (making it ~/.config/geany/colorschemes) and then in Geany I could choose a Color Scheme under View - Change Color Scheme in the application's menu.

Right now I using the Monokai color scheme.

All I need to do now is figure out how to execute either a Perl or Go program and get the output into the editor (like I do with Gedit Snippets), and I can use Geany instead of Gedit to write this blog's entries, which include a script-generated timestamp for Ode's Indexette add-in.

Update: It is possible to insert a custom-formatted date into your file in Geany under Edit - Insert Date - Use Custom Date Format, using Edit - Insert Date - Set Custom Date Format to set it. For my Ode datestamp I used tag : Indexette : index-date : %Y %m %d %T. Unfortunately it outputs the date in my local timezone instead of UTC, which is what I use in my Ode site. I don't see any way of making the "Custom Date Format" output UTC, so this makes Geany that much less useful for the purpose of writing for Ode.

I tried the Mini-Script plugin, but that is cumbersome, and I even overwrote one of my scripts on accident because of its less-than-ideal user interface.

In short, there's nothing in Geany like Gedit's Snippets plugin, which is ideal (and makes Gedit itself ideal) for writing Ode entries.

Fri, 16 Oct 2015

Fedora 22 PulseAudio HDMI issue solves itself

I had a problem in Fedora 22 where switching the audio between the laptop's own audio and HDMI audio using the PulseAudio Volume Control (aka pavucontrol) mutes the audio out of HDMI until logging out and back in.

Now that problem has been solved. I don't know how. I don't know which package is responsible. But what was once an annoying bug is a problem no longer. Audio switching via the pavucontrol is perfect.

That's what happens with Fedora 22. Sometimes you have a regression, or something never worked at all. Eventually there are improvements and bug fixes in any number of upstream packages, from the kernel on down, that stand a good chance of making those bugs go away and bringing needed (and wanted) improvements.

Mon, 12 Oct 2015

Virgin Mobile LG Tribute users: Finally get the LS660ZV6_01_update to work

The LS660ZV6_01.zip update has been dogging me for about a month on my Virgin Mobile LG Tribute phone. I couldn't install it. No matter what I did, there was "insufficient space" to do so. I finally got the update installed, and I will share my not-so-secret discovery with you.

tl;dr: You need 550 MB of free space to install the ZV6 update on the LG Tribute. Start deleting app data and full apps until you get there. Then try to install the update that has been dogging you and eating up your data for at least a month if not longer. It should work.

Even though the LS660ZV6_01.zip update is supposed to be "only" 73 MB in size, the most internal memory I've been able to free up by clearing out app data and cache was 300 MB. And the update still won't install. There is still "insufficient space" to cram this supposedly 73 MB update on my LG Tribute's 4 GB of internal memory.

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I removed the social-sharing buttons from this blog

I just removed the social-sharing buttons for Google Plus and Twitter from this site.

Even though almost every http request for content on this Ode-powered blog is done via Perl CGI on shared hosting, the site is extremely quick.

And these two social-sharing buttons, which appear on every entry, were really slowing things down. (Instead of a third-party social-button service, I used embed code provided by Google and Twitter, respectively).

The question/dilemma I face: Is the reduced "performance"/speed of the site a fair tradeoff for what the social buttons have to offer?

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Sat, 10 Oct 2015

Installing Citrix on Linux: Guides for the perplexed

Even though I have a working Citrix installation in Fedora 22, my recent failure to replicate it in Debian Jessie has me worried.

To that end (and so I will have a place to go when I need to do this again and again), here is a list of Citrix-on-Linux how-tos:

Overall Linux

Citrix: Receiver 13.1 for Linux

Fedora

Install Citrix Receiver 13.1 on Fedora 21 x64 by Chris Savage

Installing Citrix on Fedora 21 by Ken Fallon

Citrix Receiver on Fedora 19 64 bits from Ask Fedora

CITRIX ICA (RECEIVER) 13.1 UNTER FEDORA 20 (64BIT) from iSticktoit.net (in German, but understandable from a Linux perspective)

CITRIX RECEIVER 13.2 (ICA) ON FEDORA 22 (KDE) from iSticktoit.net (in English)

Ubuntu

Ubuntu Community Help Wiki: CitrixICAClientHowTo

Installing Citrix Reciver on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) by Ken Fallon

How to install Citrix Receiver icaclient in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 64-bit – tested and working using Mozilla Firefox by Mark911

Quora: How do I run the Citrix ICA Client on Ubuntu? by Cesar Augusto Nogueira

Debian

Superuser.com: How do I install Citrix ICA Client (Receiver) 13 on Debian 64-bit Linux?

Arch Linux

(Often the Arch Linux Wiki can help users of any Linux system, regardless of distribution)

Arch Linux Wiki: Citrix

RHEL (and CentOS)

UC Berkeley Knowledge Base: How to install the Citrix Receiver using Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.5

Wed, 07 Oct 2015

Debian Jessie fails passes Citrix ICA test, which just like Fedora passes easily

Update on Nov. 18, 2015: I finally did succeed in getting Citrix ICA installed and running on Debian Jessie.

I can't find the exact web page I used for help, but the "core" of my successful method was adding the i386 architecture, updating my sources and then installing Citrix from the .deb package:

# dpkg --add-architecture i386
# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# dpkg -i icaclient(bunch of other stuff).deb

So I now have Citrix ICA working in Debian. I use it through Chromium, so I don't have to go through any machinations to get CACerts into Firefox/Iceweasel.

Now that I have Citrix working on Debian, the stable Jessie release is a viable alternative for me. But since I've grown very accustomed to having the much-newer packages of Fedora (and I'm not as willing to run Debian Sid), I am looking at Xubuntu, staying with Fedora, or the Korora spin of Fedora.

The original post:

I've been having networking issues on the Fedora 22 installation I've been using and upgrading since it started out with Fedora 18 in early 2012.

None of my attempts at fixes seem to bring the network (principally the wired network, whether I'm using it or not) back after suspend/resume, though I have a quick-and-dirty script that I can run from my application panel when I need it.

So that means it's time to audition new distros. I love Debian, and I tend to end up with it when my hardware starts to age. And yes, a 3 1/2-year-old laptop is aging as these things go.

So I'm auditioning distros. I continue to like Xubuntu, and reinstalling Fedora is always an option, especially since the networking problem is not present in the live environment.

But I wanted to try Debian Jessie. I'd love to be running Debian Stable.

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Tue, 06 Oct 2015

Solution for update fatigue in Fedora Linux

I'm getting tired of the constancy of keeping a Fedora Linux system up to date.

I've got plenty of bandwidth, and I often do appreciate all the newness that Fedora constantly brings to the table, even within releases.

But while there isn't much breakage, there is breakage. It usually gets fixed within two weeks to a month. And I know that "stable" distros can suffer with breakage for the entire period of the release.

But I'm weary of the sheer number of update in Fedora.

There is a way to make it ... less:

Just update less often. I tend to update daily. I could definitely get away with doing it weekly. And in the absence of major security issues I might even be able do it monthly.

Just not daily.