The show has been dormant for some time (years) but its back.
May 25, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2039: Blather Configuration Part 0: Initial Setup In this episode I walk you through the process of getting the Blather GNU/Linux speech recognition program running for the first time.
Arch: On Arch Linux this is really easy. Jezra made a package build for the AUR so you can just install it that way.
Debian: I wrote an installation script for Debian-based systems that installs the dependencies to build pocketsphinx, plus a few extra packages that I use continually when I'm running blather (xvkbd, xdotool, espeak, wmctrl, elinks, xclip, curl). It builds/installs the Sphinx stuff, pulls the blather source code, and puts some configuration files and a startup script in place for you. This should take care of pretty much all of the heavy lifting.
I refer frequently to Jezra's usage notes on the Blather source code page at gitlab, so if you're trying to install this as I talk, you might want to follow along over there.
The trickiest bit in the initial run is the creation and placement of the language files. I normally use a bash script for this, but on this first episode of the series I'm going to use the web-based lmtool to create the language files, just the way Jezra says to do on his usage page. He also includes my automated language updater script in the blather source code, though, so going forward I will be talking about how to use that script instead of the web-based tool.
Blather Launch Script
I use a bash script to launch Blather because I want to set several environmental variables: location of the pocketsphinx gstreamer libraries, default browser, default text-to-speech engine, and so forth. Having these environmental variables set means that I can use easy-to-remember shortcuts in my blather commands config file. Here is my launch script:
# tell it where the Gstreamer libraries are
# set some shortcuts to use in the commands file
#export VOICE="/usr/bin/festival --tts"
export KEYPRESS="xvkbd -xsendevent -secure -text"
# add blather script directory to the user's PATH
# start blather in continuous mode with the GTK GUI
# and a history of 20 recent commands
python2 /home/$(whoami)/code/blather/Blather.py -c -i g -H 20
Blather source code
Blather Installation Script for Debian
Sphinx Speech Recognition Library
Sphinx knowledge base tool
Learn about the $2 Microphone that I use for blather: HPR Episode 1812
Music bumpers are from Kimiko Ishizaka's The Open Goldberg Variations: http://www.opengoldbergvariations.org/, used by permission of their CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license.
Phone Losers Bridge Club Shenanigans
Here's a live show, sponsored by Stalin Without The Charm, where we call members of a bridge club in an attempt to pay off our loan shark.
May 23, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2037: Alpha32's Pinhead Oats It's oatmeal, I don't know how much we need in terms of notes.
2 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup steel cut/pinhead oats
1/8 teaspoon total allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon
1/4 cup brown/demerara/whatever sort of sugar
1/2 cup raisins
boil water and salt
heat on medium, add oats, spices, sugar
stirring regularly, cook for 6 minutes, or until you get tired of stirring.
remove from heat, add raisins.
let sit for a few minutes to cool/finish absorbing water.
May 22, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2036: Glasgow Podcrawl 2016 Glasgow Podcrawl 2016
Kevie and Dave Morriss chat about the upcoming Glasgow Podcrawl. This year's event takes place on the 29th of July 2016 and kicks off at 6pm in the State Bar, Holland Street.
The event is open to anybody with an interest in podcasting, open source software or creative commons music. Whether you're an enthusiast or just interested in finding out more, also if you're a member of a band, then we would love to have you along for a yarn over a few pints.
Check out http://kmacphail.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/glasgow-podcrawl-2016.html for more details and a map of how to get to the bar.
Music on this episode is "Beer" from Darkman Sounds https://www.jamendo.com/track/1182203/beer
May 19, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2035: Building Community
This is droops and this is also Hacker Public Radio.
I love HPR and noticing our current need for shows, I put it on my list that I needed to help out. But what to talk about?
Let’s talk about growing HPR. It is a cool show and project, but if the community does not grow the show will end. People run out of shows to host and others have to fill that space.
I think we do a great job doing outreach to the community by going to conventions, getting mentioned in articles and magazines, and being cool with everyone. But as a community we could do a little more to get to the 4000 show mark. Even my lazy butt can help with these things.
First, let’s bring more traffic to the site. To do this we need content, which is really all we have. But we need to be more clever with how we use it.
We need to transcribe all of our shows. This allows search engines to better index our content and bring more people to our site. Maybe they won’t subscribe or even listen to a show with the content being readable, but they were not going to listen anyway by not finding us. This is a big chore and we would need a team with leadership to do it.
We need more popular hosts (this sounds bad taken at face value) to guest host shows and mention HPR on their shows. We used to do this by sending in bumpers like “this is droops from Hacker Public Radio and we live whatever this show is. Hacker Public Radio is a daily show created by the community”. Let’s make a list of podcasters we want to guest host or mention our show and go after them.
Speaking of guest hosts, let’s work on interviewing more people who will put our show on their blog/social media. We did this in the early days of Twatech with Moka5 and we got a lot of traffic from this. I do know that we already do this, but not everyone who listens contributes a show and this is an easy way to do it.
What if we made it easier to record shows? Maybe have an Android/iOS app to record and submit shows from.
We could have a tool to submit show topics or do a survey to find out what people are interested in. This may prompt people to record shows by knowing that someone would be interested in it.
Someone could get some free stock photos (or better yet we could just take our own) and put show titles over the images to share on social media. People click on images. I will do this so that everyone can see my ugly face.
On that note, how about a video that explains what HPR is. This may be a good droops project. That would be something awesome to share on social media.
The website, which is a lot of work, needs to have related shows listed on each individual shows page. This will take a tag system and someone to tag all of the almost uncountable previous episodes.
One of my favorite show formats is reviews of software/media. This is so much in our community to keep up with and HPR is perfect for this. Everyone should do a show about some unique software they use or a cool book they are reading or a cool documentary they watched. Five minutes about something cool would bring me into learning more about it.
Currently my classes are watching a documentary about the Silk Road called Deep Web (http://www.deepwebthemovie.com/). I should do a show on it to talk about privacy, government, all the cool things it brings up. We have not gotten far into the documentary yet as we keep stopping it to have discussions.
Also I love stickers, we should set up a store to sell stickers and t-shirts. Heck this is HPR, we should have tote bags. We can either sell them at cost or make a profit to pay for hosting or swag to give away.
Hacker Public Radio is driven by the community and out community as a whole is much smarter than I am. Let’s put our minds together and grow our show.
May 18, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2034: Frank's Five Seed Bread Frank describes his recipe for Five Seed Bread, inspired by Kerry Greenwood's first Corinna Chapman mystery novel, "Earthly Delights."
List of Ingredients:
1 cp. (237 ml.) warm water
1 packet yeast
1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) white flour, approx.
1 1/2 cps. (213 grams) rye flour, approx.
1 tbs. (14 grams) each dill seed, fennel seed, sesame seed, caraway seed, or to taste
1 tsp. (5 ml.) coriander (the reference in the story referred to coriander seed, but I didn’t have any of that, so I ad libbed)
1/4 (1 ml.) tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. (2 ml.) light brown sugar
Kerry Greenwood: http://phrynefisher.com/Kerrygreenwood.html
The Corrina Chapman Cookbook: http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/2012/03/kerry-greenwood-cookbook.html
US-Metric Equivalents: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/equiv.htm
Phone Losers Dirty Gypsy People
Today's assault on condo owners and ballerinas is sponsored by BoboBob the HoboBob. In today's show we call a few people who've signed a petition to keep out the hobos, and we call mothers of ballerinas until I get busted.
Hacker Public Radio HPR2033: Distro Review: Bodhi Linux
As with my last episode, you may hear some sniffling or pauses as I catch my breath. It is springtime in Kentucky, and my allergies are full force right now.
In this episode, I take Bodhi Linux for a test drive. I'll tell you what I liked, what I didn't like, and how well or bad it performed on my test machine.
Official Website - http://www.bodhilinux.com/
On Distrowatch - http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=bodhi
Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi_Linux
May 16, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2032: How I Came to Linux I tell the story of how I learned about computers and eventually came to be an avid Linux user.
I've been using Linux as my primary operating system for almost 20 years now. My primary distribution of choice has always been Slackware, but I have branched out to some more "modern" distributions as well, particularly for workstation environments.
I have been an HPR listener now for several months and this is my first show. I enjoy the podcast very much and hope to see it continue for many more years. Thank you to the administrators and leaders to make it all possible. And, of course, thank you to everyone that contributes shows.
May 15, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2031: A quick intro to OBD2 with Android
OBD2 on eBay - http://ebay.to/23TXfAa
Carista - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.prizmos.carista
Dash - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dashlabs.dash.android
Torque Lite - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.torquefree
Torque - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.prowl.torque
May 13, 2016
Phone Losers Skooling Some More Teachers
Russian composer Alexander Scriabin decided that it would be hilarious to put the voicemails back into the middle of today's show to fool listeners into thinking the show is over and not hearing the last 30 minutes. Don't fall for his tricks, though. In today's show we call up a bunch of teachers and say weird things that make them hang up.
May 12, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2030: Book Review: The Pocket Ref Recorded this episode while suffering from some severe seasonal allergies, so please disregard any sniffing, wheezing or coughing that may have crept in.
This is a brief introduction to the Pocket Ref by Thomas Glover. In this episode, I don't go into great depth of the books many topics, primarily due to the nature of the book itself. It is meant to be a reference book, and as such it contains a treasure trove of reference material from a very broad range of topics.
Also, I mention a few other titles in this series - links below.
The Pocket Ref-
On Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Ref-4th-Thomas-Glover/dp/1885071620
On Barnes & Noble - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pocket-ref-thomas-j-glover/1102586821
On Think Geek - http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/c289/
The Desk Ref - http://www.amazon.com/Desk-Ref-Thomas-J-Glover/dp/1885071604
The Auto Ref - http://www.amazon.com/AutoRef-Richard-Young/dp/1885071485
The Pocket PCRef - http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-PC-Ref-Thomas-Glover/dp/1885071582
The Pocket Partner - http://www.amazon.com/Pocket-Partner-Dennis-H-Evers/dp/1885071574
Handyman in Your Pocket - http://www.amazon.com/Handyman-In-Your-Pocket-Richard-Allen-Young/dp/1885071299
Phone Losers Civil War 2016
In today's Default Cecil sponsored live show, RBCP schools some teachers and starts a civil war with Laugh Track Matt's show which I guarantee will end with Zax's head on a stick. Not a threat, Zax, just a promise.
May 11, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2029: The DSO138 Oscilloscope Kit In this episode NYbill talks about building a DSO138 Oscilloscope kit.
A note about counterfeits:
The kit with pre-soldered SMD parts:
Without pre-soldered parts:
Pics for the episode:
Hacker Public Radio HPR2027: Old Engineers and New Engineers
This is a short episode about a puzzle that I got for my birthday from my in-laws. I gave the puzzle to two of my children to solve after I'd taken a crack at it. It was amusing to see see how and old engineer thought about the problem compared with young ones. Pictures of the puzzle are attached. The object is to get one ball in each notch at the end of the block at the same time.
Hacker Public Radio HPR2025: Using a Smarphone as a microphone Hello citizen of the Internet, my name is njulian, and in my first Episode for HPR I want to talk about an App called "Microphone". This App is available for Android in the F-Droid repository, link is in the Shownotes.
All it does is sending the audio input from the microphone directly into the audio output. This causes horrible feedback loops, if the output happens to be the Phone's speakers. But if you plug a Male-to-Male 3.5mm cable into your Phone and the other end into your Computer you can use your Smartphone as a Microphone. Actually I am using this right now to record this show with Audacity on my Laptop. The reasons for that are pretty simple: I don't have enough free space on my Phone to record a show with Urecord and the other is that I was curious if this app really works.
Well, actually there is not much more I could tell about the App. It has no menu, no way to customize it, and as you can hear no noise suppression.
That's about it, thanks for listening.
The App: https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdfilter=microphone&fdid=net.bitplane.android.microphone
The Cable: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phone_connector_%28audio%29
Phone Losers Oh Your Grapefruit
Gizmo sponsors today's show, which is the reason I'm posting it a day late. This is mostly a live show where I try to convince people at work that I'm at their house and I've just removed their roof. Nobody I talk to seems to see the humor in this.
May 04, 2016
Hacker Public Radio HPR2024: Remapping Keys with xmodmap In this episode I talk about how I tried to implement an idea that my son had when we were talking one day. I was complaining about file names with spaces in them, and he asked what if the computer automatically changed the spacebar so that it made underscores whenever somebody was trying to save a file? I thought this was a great idea. I even thought of a way implement it, though not quite as magically as he had envisioned. My solution involves the use of the command-line tools xev and xmodmap, and one blather voice prompt to launch the xmodmap command that will remap the spacebar to make underscores instead. Maybe somebody a whole lot smarter than me can figure out how to make this happen automatically whenever a save dialog box is open.
First you need to find the keycode for your spacebar. Run the xev command and then press the spacebar to see which key code it is. Here's the output on my laptop:
KeyPress event, serial 48, synthetic NO, window 0x4e00001,
root 0xc0, subw 0x0, time 116149126, (-739,-226), root:(448,358),
state 0x0, keycode 65 (keysym 0x20, space), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 1 bytes: (20) " "
XmbLookupString gives 1 bytes: (20) " "
XFilterEvent returns: False
As you can see, my spacebar has the keycode of "65." Now we use xmodmap to reassign keycode 65 to make underscores:
xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = underscore"
Now to test it out. While xev is running, press spacebar. Notice that now when the spacebar is pressed it makes an underscore:
KeyPress event, serial 57, synthetic NO, window 0x2600001,
root 0xc0, subw 0x0, time 116190619, (-520,-247), root:(667,337),
state 0x0, keycode 65 (keysym 0x5f, underscore), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 1 bytes: (5f) "_"
XmbLookupString gives 1 bytes: (5f) "_"
XFilterEvent returns: False
And to change it back:
xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = space"
Now whenever I want to change the spacebar to make underscores or switch it back, I speak one of the following commands, which are in my blather configuration file.
MAKE UNDERSCORES: xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = underscore"
MAKE SPACES: xmodmap -e "keycode 65 = space"
xmodmap man page: xmodmap is a utility for modifying keymaps and pointer button mappings in X
xev man page: use xev print contents of X events