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BLOGical Thoughts Archive

October 2016

Monday, 31 October, 2016

That Frontera Habanero Salsa has a good taste, but it seems to be practically heatless. Oh, well. I still have my homemade Chipotle Hot Sauce...


I have done a web page-style slideshow on the Phuddy Duddy Cruisers web site. I used a template from the W3Schools to do the animation. I tried to do it myself, but I am not proficient enough in JavaScript. So why re-invent the wheel?


Quote of the day:

Hey! Who took the cork off my lunch?

     W. C. Fields


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Thursday, 27 October, 2016

I ran out of that good habanero salsa I got down in Arizona, so I decided to try some off the shelf from a store up here. I purchased some Frontera Habanero Salsa and it is as good as the one I just finished. Just goes to show you that you should keep your mind open for new experiences.


I broke the carafe for my tea (coffee) maker the other day, so I went shopping for a new carafe. I found another whole coffee maker that was cheaper than the unavailable carafe would have been, so I bought that. That is all in keeping with current business philosophy: "If it breaks, don't fix it. Just buy a new one." Good use of resources, eh?


Quote of the day:

It is necessary for me to establish a winner image. Therefore, I have to beat somebody.

     Richard M. Nixon


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Monday, 24 October, 2016

When my sister's laptop computer became mine in February, I installed Linux Mint 17.3 on it. Usually when I install Linux on a machine, I create a root partition of 20 or 30 GB and a swap partition. I then dedicate the rest of the machine to a home partition. That is what I thought I had done in the case of this laptop.

Last Saturday while I was at the NILUG technical session, I noticed something very disturbing about the machine. It has a 300 GB hard drive, and there was a 260 GB root partition and a 40 GB home partition. Oops.

So I attempted to use gparted to alter the partion sizes and to move them around. The resizing went fine, but the move was a failure. So I had to back up my home partition information and completely install Linux Mint 18 on it - as a 20 GB root partition, 4 GB swap partition and the rest as a home partition. I then reinstalled the software I usually use that is not in the basic installation. It all works fine now and I have plenty of room to store user files.


Our local Hastings Books and Records should be completely closed by the end of this month. At the point, we will have no store in town dedicated to new and used multimedia.

Fortunately, a company called Vintage Stock will take over the space in which Hastings currently resides. Vintage Stock is a buy-sell-rent-trade company with movies, music, video games, comics, toys, sports cards and books. So that means we will still have a bookstore in town, but not necessarily one that sells new books.


Why would anyone vote for either of the two major presidential candidates? Instead of seriously talking about real issues, they insist on attacking one another. Just like grade school kids. Time to vote for Gary Johnson, a reasonable alternative that the media ignores.


Quote of the day:

Too much of a good thing is WONDERFUL.

     Mae West


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Thursday, 20 October, 2016

Today is web site backup for me. I will do all five web sites, so it will take quite a while.


Last week, two of us from the North Idaho Mineral Club went over to a local woman's house and picked up some lapidary equipment her grandfather had left her. The club got a free Covington 8 inch combination unit with silicon carbide wheels, and a free faceting machine. Those are worth about $3,000 if they were new. We hope to auction them off to members.


Quote of the day:

That's the thing about people who think they hate computers. What they really hate is lousy programmers.

     Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle
     Oath of Fealty


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother


Friday, 14 October, 2016

My Raspberry Pi 3B Configuration:

I will be using the RPi3B for a media center. With that in mind, I have done the following O/S evaluations:

O/S Description Problems with O/S
OpenELECT Barebones version of Raspbian
with Kodi media center
  1. Incomplete Bluetooth
  2. Overscan difficult to configure
  3. Can't remove media sources
  4. Some plug-ins don't work
Raspbian Debian Linux compiled for
ARM V7/8
  1. VLC does not show video
  2. VLC substitute (omxplayer) has no controls
  3. HDHomerun GUI does not work
OSMC Barebones version of Raspbian
with Kodi media center
  1. Bluetooth does not work
  2. Missing plug-ins
  3. Overscan difficult to configure
  4. Can't remove media sources
Ubuntu 16.04 Ubuntu Linux compiled for
ARM V7/8
  1. VLC does not show video - must use omxplayer
  2. TV app defaults playing to VLC

I have decided to use Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi as my media center. There are just a few things in it I need to work around.


Quote of the day:

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster?

     Dave Barry
     What is Electricity?


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Monday, 10 October, 2016

When I was at the North Idaho Linux Users Group meeting, I copied the Raspberry Pi NOOBS installer onto an SD card using my laptop. The next day, I installed the SD card into my Raspberry Pi 1B, hooked up a keyboard, mouse and monitor and powered it all on. The installer lets you pick an RPi operating system and install it. I picked Raspbian. It turns out that Raspbian is a network install, and is 3.5GB in size. So I twiddled my thimbs while waiting for a couple of hours for the O/S to download and install. The RPi1B is now configured with the latest version of Raspbian. I just have to figure out what I want to use it as.

The Raspberry Pi 3B I ordered has arrived. I will go down to the post office to pick it up in a couple of hours. This is the RPi that I will use as a media center. It should be an interesting experience setting it up. I will use my television as a monitor, and will use WiFi for an Internet connection. I have ordered a bluetooth keyboard for the computer so I can remotely control the RPi.


I've got to learn to try new things again. I brought home a jar of Habanero salsa from Lake Havasu and was reluctant to try it. The hottest I have ever gone is Serrano peppers, which are about 2-3 times hotter than Jalapeños. Habaneros are about 100 times hotter than Jalapeños, so you can see why I was reluctant. I bit the bullet on Sunday and put some of the salsa on my breakfast burrito. Not only was it not that hot, it also had a really good taste. It won't take me long to finish that jar of salsa. BTW, it was bottled in Eureka, Nevada. One of my brothers lives there, and he and his wife sent the jar to my dad, since he was a big fan of hot. I inherited that jar and a jar of apple butter.

Note: It turns out that Cayenne pepper is about 10 times hotter than Jalapeños. I use that in food all the time, so that was a fairly good start on Habaneros.


Quote of the day:

Goto, n.: A programming tool that exists to allow structured programmers to complain about unstructured programmers.

     Ray Simard


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Saturday, 8 October, 2016

I have pretty much stopped using my Raspberry Pi bit torrent server for downloading torrent files. I have decided to use it for another task. I just haven't decided what the task will be.

My current RPi is a model 1B. That's fine for use as a web server or file and print server, but is marginal for a media center. So I have ordered a Raspberry Pi 3B and will set that up as a media center. If it works well, it may replace my Roku box for serving up content to the television.

As you can see from the table below, RPi 3B is much more capable than RPi 1B.

Model Price CPU RAM USB Ports Storage Other
RPi1B Rev 2 $35 700MhZ ARMv6 512MB 2 SD MMC  
RPi3B $35 1.2GhZ quad-core ARMv8 1GB 4 MicroSD built-in WiFi, Bluetooth

I have finished adding new movies to my Roku collection (for a while, anyway). I have updated the video page here to reflect all 64 new entries.


I first put Panda Express on my MacDonalds list because of the treatment I got in that place. I now have another reason, and I will no longer enter any of their fast food shops.

The food is bad. That sums it up. The fried rice is just like eating soggy cardboard. The broccoli beef had soggy broccoli and tough beef. Enough said. I will stick to our local Pau Pau take-out.


Quote of the day:

When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.

     Calvin Coolidge


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Wednesday, 5 October, 2016

I brought a big box of DVDs home with me from Arizona. I've been ripping those so I can play them through my Roku box. The titles include old John Wayne and Alfred Hitchcock movies and a bunch of mystery movies. I guess my dad was a sucker for mystery movies.

I also brought home an LCD TV I had given Dad for Christmas. Turns out it should just have gone in the trash. It plays okay for about 20 minutes, then it locks up tight. You have to pull the plug and plug it back in to get it to work again. I guess I'll send that to the recycler.

I shot the Bond Arms Texas Defender derringer yesterday, using .410 shotgun shells. It had a bit of a kick and was very noisy, but I can see the attraction of the gun. I will have to put on the .22 barrels and try them.

Today I may try firing the Ruger 1022 match rifle. It is the same model that was used in the Olympics, so that should be interesting. When I got the rifle, I also got 5 high-capacity clips. We are talking 30 to 50 rounds per clip, so I guess they aren't exactly manufactured for use in target practice.


Quote of the day:

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

     Edmund Burke


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother

Sunday, 2 October, 2016

Last Friday through Sunday, I was at Priest Lake with a bunch of high tech freaks like myself. We talked about Linux, ham radio and lots of other stuff. We also helped stow some of the water-based stuff at the cabin to get ready for winter.

On Monday, I drove to Lake Havasu City, Arizona to help my sister and brothers with cleaning up my dad's house and we divided up some of his poessessions. Each of us took back any Christmas gifts we had given him. We also divided up his firearm collection. Each sibling got two guns (10 total), but that left at least 4 or 5. We will have to divide them up in the spring when I go back one final time. The guns I ended up with were a .22 match-style rifle and a Bond Arms Texas Defender derringer.

I left Lake Havasu on Friday and got back here at noon on Saturday. I have already hung two of the limited edition prints I gave Dad. The third one will have to wait until I make room for it.


Ranking the Most Beloved TV Shows That Got Canceled


Quote of the day:

Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.

     Gordon R. Dickson


Silly sign of the day:


Free/Open Source Software


Security Theater/"Intellectual Property"/Big Brother