Chit chat

Need to redo my desktop machine, so I can get off the laptop.


The Rasberry Pi or RPi for short is an amazing little unit. It can be a desktop, thin client, server, or a multitude of other devices. It is a sort of jack of all trades. At  we look at some of the options of what the RPi can do. One such option is to let the Rpi be a private eye or spy device. Compared to some the commercial video units, it is a bargain in price.

Security is an important subject these days. With the RPi you can easily install yourself a spy setup without bringing in an expensive consultant. Check it out.


Not my video, but I thought it was prolific. Know many adults who might have the same reaction.

For reference only:


In the last article, using older computers that does not use the fancy graphics of today. You actually can do quite a bit with text such as movies, radar screens and etc. though the old favorite of using a computer as a clock.

Many command line users really appreciate text graphics to make their terminals more interesting especially at the point of login.

Want to see more?  More at:


Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to see. Not everyone has that gift. If you do not have that gift, does not mean you should be limited in using computers. Traditionally you had to let someone install linux for you, Several Linux distros now allow even the seeing and or hearing impaired to install and use Linux. As a test for myself, I took the Debian linux distro to see if I could install and use it blindfolded. As many times as I have done the text install of Linux, I did not do very well with the audio commanded install of Debian Linux (  I am sure they have improved it. Then again they never advertized it as a distro for the blind. (You use the speech synthesis option).  Later you might need to install Orca if you want to use the gui.

But then you can use the distros meant to be used for the handicapped  such as  Arch ( They even have an audio not video tutorial.  You could also use Vinux  ( or Sonar ( Sonar is recommended by the TLLTS podcast team.

There are some excellent text based utilities to start of with before you venture into the gui.

Some of my favorite programs are:
alsa sound modules – music and to support speech programs (and voice recording)
Twidge – twitter client
links2 – internet browser
ps2ascii – convert postscript files to text files.
bashpodder – audio podcast collector
alpine sendEmail – email client tools
irssi – interrelay chat
centerim – instant messaging client
vim can be used as and editor or word processor, there are many others.
antiword – for dealing with proprietary word procesing formats.
screen – allows you to easily switch remote sessions
ledger – accounting program
curl wget – web page and file extracting tools
bash – the built in programming language that can be used with awk, sed, sort tr figlet (make your own database or game programs as well as other tools).
ImageMagick suite – manipulate graphics
cadubi tetradraw – ascii drawing programs
opensched – schedule formater.
hnb – notetaking and outlining
moc mplayer aplay ffmpeg – audio tools and players.
nget newbueter – newsreader
pal – calendar/planner program
cdrecord – burn cd’s and back up computer.
ssh and other tools. – network administration/file amangement
espeak festival – voice synthesis (great for having your computer read outloud documents) Who needs a Kindle?
wyrd – calendaring program.

The bottom line is that you can do word processing. spreadsheets. database, email, listen to podcasts or even hear documents spoken. Who could ask for more?  Happy computing.


A generic script to show a version of the Linux distro installed. I like to use lsb_release, but that is not always available.

lsb_release >/dev/null 2>/dev/null
if [ $? = 0 ]
lsb_release -ds | sed 's/^\"//g;s/\"$//g'
# a bunch of fallbacks if no lsb_release is available
# first trying /etc/os-release which is provided by systemd
elif [ -f /etc/os-release ]
source /etc/os-release
if [ -n "${PRETTY_NAME}" ]
printf "${PRETTY_NAME}\n"
printf "${NAME}"
[[ -n "${VERSION}" ]] && printf " ${VERSION}"
printf "\n"
# now looking at distro-specific files
elif [ -f /etc/arch-release ]
printf "Arch Linux\n"
elif [ -f /etc/gentoo-release ]
cat /etc/gentoo-release
elif [ -f /etc/fedora-release ]
cat /etc/fedora-release
elif [ -f /etc/redhat-release ]
cat /etc/redhat-release
elif [ -f /etc/debian_version ]
printf "Debian GNU/Linux " ; cat /etc/debian_version
printf "Unknown\n"

 $ chmod +x
  $ ./
Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS
  $ ./
Arch Linux


Old coat hanger vs the newer child safer hdtv antenna.



Arch linux: Remove kde
pacman -Rnsc kde

Add ps2 keyboard:

WARNING: There’s a downside to all this: On some motherboards (mostly ancient ones, but also a few new ones), the i8042 controller cannot be automatically detected. It’s rare, but some people will surely be without keyboard. You can detect this situation in advance:

$ dmesg -t | grep '^i8042'
i8042: PNP: No PS/2 controller found. Probing ports directly.

If you have a PS/2 port and get this message, add atkbd to the MODULES= line in mkinitcpio.conf and run mkinitcpio -P. If you just noticed that you are without keyboard after rebooting, fear not! Simply add

earlymodules=atkbd modules-load=atkbd

to your kernel command line in your bootloader.


Maccheroni and cheese again.


Good day.