Hacker Public Radio HPR1735: Free tutorials for teachers
I have received a very generous offer from Bernard J. Poole, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh. He has a series of LibreOffice Tutorials and has asked me to publicize that they are available free of charge to all of our LibreOffice fans on Hacker Public Radio. You can find his tutorials on his web site at http://www.pitt.edu/~poole/. He is particularly aiming his tutorials at educators who might use LibreOffice in the classroom
March 25, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1734: Vim Hints 003 Moving Around
In this episode I want to look at how you move around the file you are editing in Vim. I also want to add some more elements to the configuration file we started building in the last episode.
Since the notes explaining this subject are long (the size limit is 4000 characters), they have been placed here: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps/hpr1734_full_shownotes.html
I usually create my notes with Markdown and pandoc. As an experiment this time I have used a pandoc template which uses the same CSS that provides the style for the main HPR pages. I hope it makes these notes look better than the very bare HTML I have produced in the past.
Vim Hints Episode 1 http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1714
Vim Hints Episode 2 http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1724
Phone Losers Snow Plow Show – March 25th, 2015 – Closing Prayers
Today's show is sponsored by Jason Bedford and includes Tuesday's phone mob, Gloria's evil call to a Hometown Buffet, a few random numbers left in my notes, and some closing prayers with Radio Shack employees.
Hacker Public Radio HPR1732: Renovating another Public-Domain Counterpoint Textbook
I mistakenly referred to episode 1516 while I was speaking. I meant to say 1512. The two musical bumpers I used in the show are by J.S. Bach, examples 90 and 91 in the textbook "Applied Counterpoint," by Percy Goetschius. These are my own MIDI renditions so they have no copyright burden upon them.
My html-to-epub conversion command (requires calibre):
ebook-convert foobar.html foobar.epub
hpr1512 :: Adopting and Renovating a Public-Domain Counterpoint Textbook: http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1512
The counterpoint page on my website, with links to all versions of the counterpoint textbooks I mentioned: http://jonathankulp.org/gratis.html
My handy E-Reader App Compatibility Chart: http://jonathankulp.org/ereader_compatibility_tables.html
Blog post "Why Renovate an Old Counterpoint Book?": http://jonathankulp.org/goetschius_rationale.html
Manual for Calibre's Command Line Interface: http://manual.calibre-ebook.com/cli/cli-index.html
Monocle embedded eBook reader project: http://monocle.inventivelabs.com.au/
Hacker Public Radio HPR1731: Upgrading an old laptop
In July of 2010 I was given a laptop to repair by one of my friends, I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it despite hours of trial and error so eventually I got so frustrated with it that I just set it aside and forgot about for a while. Meanwhile my friend got another laptop so he told me I could keep it.
For the rest of the post see:
Hacker Public Radio HPR1730: 5150 Shades of Beer 0005 River City Brewing Company Revisited
The great thing about brew pubs is that they always trying new beers so the customer experience doesnt become as stale asa half finished can of Budweiser let out overnight. That means I can return to the same place and experience a whole new vista of flavors. Such was the case last Sunday, when a social affair brought me withing blocks of the River City Brewing Company in Wichita Kansas. I had the forethought to be my three growlers for refilling, and by the time the meeting was of it was time for a burger and a beer anyway. Lets talk about the meal first.
Having already tried their pizza and amazing Cuban sandwich on previous trips, this time a went for a burger. From the River City menu ( http://www.rivercitybrewingco.com/rcbmenu.pdf ) The Memphis Burger is topped with sweet pepper bacon, cheddar cheese, crispy onion strings and chipotle BBQ sauce. On top of all that, the hamburger was grilled to perfection, in my case that being exceedingly rare. (One of my Dads friends, every time he sees me eating a steak or a burger, always comments You know, Ive seen a critter hurt worse that that and live). I was most impressed by the onion strings. These are not the French fried onion rings that you find atop your green beans on Thanksgiving, but rather the most delicate strings of onion imaginable, battered and fried. I found myself wishing Id thought to order extra BBQ sauce for my French fries, which were hearty and sprinkled with fresh ground black pepper. Id never thought of peppering my fries before, but be assured Ill do so in the future.
To accompany my burger, I selected the Breckenridge Bourbon Smoked Imperial Stout. It weighs in at 9.0%abv, so you get a smaller that average portion in an 11oz brandy snifter. While stouts are usually nearly as bitter as IPAs, I dont notice it as much when coupled with the beers bold flavor. Unlike IPAs, stouts tend to have enough malty richness to add balance. In the case of this beer, the barley is smoked over hazelnuts before fermentation, giving this beer its flavor and its name. Ive want to try a smoked stout since I heard Tracy Hotlz speak of them back on the old Podbrewers show. I dont think Id want to be restricted to an exclusive diet of smoked beers, but this was a welcome change from the ordinary, and a great compliment to my beefy repast. Truly an excellent brew.
Now, on to the contents of my three growlers. I wish I could give you first impressions, but come on, I just couldnt wait for you folks. It was hard enough to wait for the containers to chill overnight in the fridge.
The first beer is even more unique than the smoked stout. Donut Whole Love Affair #3 Pineapple Wit is made with actual pineapple donuts (from River Citys Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiverCityBreweryCo/photos/a.555320064516059.1073741826.194563133925089/796375363743860/?type=1 ). The first taste you encounter is tart pineapple on the tip of your tongue joined by powdered sugar as the beer washes towards the back of you mouth. The sugar taste tends to stay with you between sips, but the whole effect is subtle and wonderful, not fruit juicy like a shandy. The wheat beer hovers in the background, not enough to obscure the donut, but blending the pastry taste into the breadyness of the beer. I didnt know what to expect of this beer when I ordered it, but I am most pleased I did. 5.65abv 11 IBUs 16oz Weizen
Next, we have Pryze Fyter Red Rye. By far, this is the smoothest and richest rye beer Ive ever tasted. Im a big fan of rye beers, but they tend to be a little more harsh than wheat beers, and are of course more bitter. Like rye whiskey, rye beer is an acquired taste for many people, and best suited for those with a palette that craves bold flavors. According to the menu, Carmel malts, a copious amount of rye. Spicy, floral, earthy, and ready to smack you in the kisser. 5.6%abv 55 IBUs 16oz Nonic
Finally, we have the Buffeit Bourbon Baltic Porter. Of the two bourbon barrel aged porters on the menu, my barman described this slightly sweeter. While Ive never been a fan of the woody tasting bourbons of Tennessee, barrel aging lends a roundness to beers, and compliments the roasted malts and the hops. This is the strongest of the beers I brought home, at 7.2%abv, 47IBUs, and would be served in a 13z Tulip glass.
I made the mistake of not taking a beer menu home with me for documentation, as a list of currently available beers no longer appears on line. Chris Arnold took the time to scan a copy and send it to my e-mail. Thanks Chris. I dont think River City Brewing Company will mind me attaching the menu to my notes for you listeners to salivate over. There are two in particular Im sorry to have missed, the Stinky Pete Plum Saison (they always seems to be out of the raisin and plum beers) and the Emerald City Stout (a man has only so many growlers).
That brings me to my next topic. Among the many interviews I want to do from Linux Fest next week, Im also going to visit the Free State Brewery, only a couple blocks away. I called ahead, and they wont fill other pubs growlers (thats going to cost you some points Free State). On the upside, Ill have a couple new growlers to add to my collection.
March 18, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1729: Shield's Up - Wood Stove Heat Shield Project
The Problem: Wood stoves get really hot
The solution: metal heat shield and airspace
I describe how I used common materials and self designed a wood stove heat Shield.
Hopefully there are pictures attached to this episode show notes so you can see just how well I described my project
Phone Losers Snow Plow Show – March 18th, 2015 – Supplemental Facebook Photos
Today's show is sponsored by Neonlikebjork and Mistress Morgan. They command me to remind you that Neon's show is called Neon Nights and it's on every Wednesday evening on Prank Call Nation and that you're a stupid hobo if you don't listen to it. In this show we call a couple bank customers and then a bunch of photo customers.
Hacker Public Radio HPR1728: Requested Topic: Favourite Browser Extensions
NoScript also blocks Adobe Flash and Java which can be resource hogs. A simple click will activate them. Scripts can be enabled or disabled by site.
HTTPS Everywhere will automatically direct your browser to a secure https version of sites you visit, if available. Great for security (obviously).
Adblock Edge is a great ad blocker. It blocks all ads no matter how obtrusive they are. Does not contain hidden white-list like more popular ad blocker: Adblock Plus.
Ahuka's show about security certificates http://hackerpublicradio.org/eps.php?id=1720
HTTPS Everywhere https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere/
Adblock Edge http://adstomper.bitbucket.org/
March 16, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1727: Basic Mutt Using a text email client such as Mutt is quite a learning experience. Here is some information to help you get started.
The programs that Frank used to set up Mutt:
Getting and Sorting Mail:
Procmail and Formail http://www.procmail.org/
Reading and Composing Mail: Mutt http://www.mutt.org/
Sending Mail: msmtp http://msmtp.sourceforge.net/
These are the references that Frank found most helpful:
Quickstart Guide to Mutt: http://docs.huihoo.com/gentoo/resources/document-listing/guide-to-mutt.html
Calmar on Mutt: http://www.calmar.ws/mutt/
Feeding the Cloud: Handling multiple identities/accounts in mutt: http://feeding.cloud.geek.nz/posts/handling-multiple-identitiesaccounts-in/
Procmail (the UMBC link is a great introduction to procmail and procmail's regex):
Mail Filtering with Procmail: http://userpages.umbc.edu/~ian/procmail.html#example
Some Text Browsers (for help in parsing HTML emails)
Phone Losers Snow Plow Show – March 16th, 2015 – Hobo Houses
Michael Foster won today's raffle of being a sponsor for the show. Congratulations, Michael! You win nothing! In this show we pit hobo home owners with a beautiful mansion owner and we call a few customers from a hair salon.
March 15, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1726: 15 Excuses not to Record a show for HPR
Inspired by a recent meeting with Ken Fallon at Fossdem, Knightwise presents 15 excuses not to record for Hacker Public Radio.
I don't have the right Gear
It doesn't sound so polished
I don't know how to upload
I don't have a radio voice
I don't have the time
I don't have anything to say
The stuff I know about is realy niche and noone will be interested
What if I get negative comments
Who would listen to my show anyway
I've never done this before
I'll get around to it someday
I recorded a show but I'm too afraid to submit it
It takes me a long time to edit out the "um" and "er"
I don't know enough about audio editing yet
March 12, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1725: 49 - LibreOffice Calc - Creating a Template with Styles
The last few tutorials have looked at the techniques you need to master to use Styles and Templates effectively, but putting these into practice is essential to understanding them, I believe. So it is time for us to actually built a Template that incorporates a few styles and put the whole package together. For my example, I am going to create something useful for a consultant who needs to keep track of time for billing customers.
March 11, 2015
Hacker Public Radio HPR1724: Vim Hints 002 Vim Ate my Homework
In this episode I want to look at how to keep your work secure with Vim. Next episode we will look at how to create and edit files.
Avoiding data loss with a backup
The best place to start is with the configuration file which we met last episode. As we saw, this is usually $HOME/.vimrc. However, it can also be $HOME/.vim/vimrc, which is actually recommended since it keeps all Vim files in the same place. I use the former, since that's the way I have always done it.
Let's add some options to this file. Configuration options consist of command mode commands. Actually, to be precise about it, any Vim Script expression may be written there.
First it's a good idea to ensure that Vim runs with all of its standard features enabled. The option for this is called compatible (meaning compatible with Vi), which we need to turn off. This is done with the option:
Next, it's highly advisable to make Vim generate a backup file whenever it opens a file for editing. The backup file has the same name as the original file with a tilde appended. The configuration command is:
The backup file is a copy of the file which existed before editing started.
By default the backup file is saved in the same directory as the file being edited. If this is a problem (and to me this is not), then it is possible to tell Vim to save backups in a fixed place. This is done with the command set backupdir= followed by a list of directories. For example:
If you were to add this to your configuration file, Vim would save backups in a top-level directory ~/.backup (which must already exist), then if this fails it will save in the current directory, falling back to /tmp if all else fails. Whether you do this is up to you. I would suggest you do not, at least not until you are more experienced with Vim.
Undoing and redoing changes
Vim can undo changes you make to a file. This is useful if a change was the wrong change or in the wrong place. It can also redo the undone change.
The u command in normal mode undoes the last change. The redo function is invoked by pressing the Ctrl key while pressing r. This key sequence is normally represented as CTRL-R.
Vim keeps a record of the changes, so successive u commands undo successive changes back in time. Conversely, CTRL-R redoes the undone changes forward in time.
Normally the change history is lost when Vim exits, but two configuration options can be used to save it. The undofile option ensures change history is written to a file and undodir shows the (pre-existing) directory which is to hold these files.
It can be a little surprising if you press u in a file you have just opened in Vim to find that it undoes something you changed last time you edited it! However, on the whole I think this is a great feature.
The Swap File
By default Vim uses a recovery mechanism where it generates a swap file. Under Unix and Linux this file has a name built from the name of the file being edited with a dot prepended (making it a hidden file) and with the extension ".swp". So, if you were editing the file testfile the swap file would be a file called .testfile.swp in the same directory.
It is possible to make Vim write the swap file elsewhere, such as on another partition. You can also turn this recovery capability off. It is probably advisable to use the default settings while you are learning Vim.
The swap file is updated after typing 200 characters or when you have not typed anything for four seconds. The swap file is deleted as soon as Vim stops editing the file.
Case 1: there are changes in the swap file
If something bad happens during an editing session, such as the loss of power, the swap file will remain after the event. If you know that you need to recover your edit session then you can simply type the following in the directory where the file you were editing exists:
vim -r filename
You will see a message such as the following:
Using swap file ".testfile3.swp"
Original file "~/testfile3"
Recovery completed. You should check if everything is OK.
(You might want to write out this file under another name
and run diff with the original file to check for changes)
You may want to delete the .swp file now.
Press ENTER or type command to continue
See the explanation on the Vim wiki.
Alternatively, when you try to edit a file you were editing at the time of the failure Vim will detect the presence of a swap file and alert you with a message such as:
Found a swap file by the name ".testfile2.swp"
owned by: hprdemo dated: Fri Feb 13 15:33:41 2015
file name: ~hprdemo/testfile2
user name: hprdemo host name: i7-desktop
process ID: 16181
While opening file "testfile2"
dated: Sat Dec 6 18:34:32 2014
(1) Another program may be editing the same file. If this is the case,
be careful not to end up with two different instances of the same
file when making changes. Quit, or continue with caution.
(2) An edit session for this file crashed.
If this is the case, use ":recover" or "vim -r testfile2"
to recover the changes (see ":help recovery").
If you did this already, delete the swap file ".testfile2.swp"
to avoid this message.
Swap file ".testfile2.swp" already exists!
[O]pen Read-Only, (E)dit anyway, (R)ecover, (D)elete it, (Q)uit, (A)bort:
Vim here is indicating that there are unsaved changes that can be recovered. It is also warning that if someone is editing the same file (such as you in another window) this might account for the presence of the swap file.
Assuming it's appropriate, you can recover the changes and continue editing by pressing r at the above prompt. You will see messages such as the ones above relating to the vim -r filename example.
Be aware that if you continue editing the original swap file will continue to exist and you will get the same message again next time you edit the file. Vim will create a new swap file (called /home/hprdemo/.testfile2.swo in this case) to protect the new editing session.
This situation can be a little confusing if you have not encountered it before. There are a number of ways you can resolve this:
You can save the recovered file and exit Vim (type :wq). You can then edit the same file all over again. You will see almost the same message as before, but you can now delete the swap file by pressing d. The message you see the second time round will contain the additional warning that the file you are editing is newer than the swap file - that is because you just saved a new copy of it!
You can save the file and exit Vim as above, but then explicitly delete the swap file. In the example you would do this by typing: rm .testfile2.swp
As before you can save the file but this time without exiting Vim (type :w). Then tell Vim to re-edit the current file with the command :e. You will then see the warning about there being a swap file, and you can type d to delete it.
Case 2: there are no changes in the swap file
If, when you see the message about finding a swap file you see that there are no changes to recover you can just delete the swap file by pressing d. You can then continue with editing the file as normal.
This recovery process is complex because Vim is trying to ensure that you are protected against losing your changes.
As it says in the Vim manual DON'T PANIC!
The configuration file should contain the following:
Use u in normal mode to undo a change
Use CTRL-R in normal mode to redo an undone change
Re-starting Vim after a crash will invoke a recovery dialogue
Vim Script (vimscript or viml) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vim_script
Recovering files (Vim Wiki) http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Recovering_files
Recovery after a crash http://vimdoc.sourceforge.net/htmldoc/recover.html
Vim Community http://www.vim.org/
Vim Tips Wiki http://vim.wikia.com/wiki/Vim_Tips_Wiki