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VAGUE  January 2017

VAGUE January 2017


Linux_adult_swim Meeting today, Monday January 15th, 5 PM at 40 Washington Street...


Paul Flint <[log in to unmask]>


Vermont Area Group of Unix Enthusiasts <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 16 Jan 2017 12:08:16 -0500





TEXT/PLAIN (413 lines)

Greetings List Lurkers,

You know you are in the teeth of a Vermont winter when the cold just 
becomes another feature of your reality.  Today starts below freezing, but 
shows the promise of being a decent day. That said, I still find
myself huddled up to my beloved pellet stove which is operating at max and 
continuing to consume pellets like there is no tomorrow.

The sad thing is that we fell backwards on many fronts this week.
Not only did we manage to burn out the Android based carputer attempting 
to install the backup camera, and to add insult to injury, we managed to 
annoy the air bag system, which was blinking incessantly on the dashboard.

I just went to bed Saturday night after this calamity...

The good news is that Sunday I got up and discovered that you can clear 
the damn air bag alarm system by basically repeatedly turning the car on 
and off in a pattern that finally puts the air bag alarm system in debug 
mode. Thus we are back to square 1 with the stock car radio and one angry 
computer weenie plotting revenge on the entire Far East...

The Intel Compute Stick has been domesticated as the upstairs TV's Chrome 
browser.  We shall say no more of this thing.

We have shipped two broken Kindles to Niagra, when we expect the master 
Kindlenista, Joe Hart, to work magic.  One has been bricked, and the other 
has lost it's touch pad.  As you know the Kindle-master, Joe, has Debian 
booting on the Kindle while here in Barre City, we cannot even get 
cyanogenmod online.  This meeting we are gonna try to concentrate on the 
KLF dream of a Debian Kindle.

Android blues...with the car hack falling to pieces, I have not had the 
time to test out this incredible hack, and it needs to be tested, so I 
have enlisted DTG to help. Joe has this working but we need to go through 
his process.  With testing this method, which shall be translated to a 
more clearly defined wiki should prevail. The unedited process to do the 
hack is available at:

...along with the software merely to set up the google store on the beast.
I am becoming convinced that there could be a commercial opportunity in 
customizing kindles...

Speaking of the Hart, he was right that cheap Kindles are still there!
They are even available in color.  The price went up three bucks to $39.00 and 
if you want you can get one at staples, but it will cost you an extra 10 
bucks... get one now!

I still really want a version of the Universal Insight Virtual Realty 
Glasses for the Kindle.  3d Teleconferencing way cool!  Anybody see such a 

This project is still operating in development at the library and in this 
first month of new year we are about to open it to the world. Again we 
need to thank Chip Bacon, an IT security specialist over at Norwich 
University and a part time consultant at the Kimball library.  Chip has 
given us some excellent guidance as to how to get DII to route inbound 
destinations.  So it appears within a meeting or two we will be online. 
Right now we are as you recall using one of the original Gates Foundation 
grant based Dell machines. Sarah the librarian is actually talking about 
doing a press release...

As mentioned last week we have had great success in figuring out how to 
make this system an Internet destination.  It turns out that Kimball 
Library in Randolph currently maintains a Koha destination server for its 
open source library management system, and has offered us help in getting 
this set up.  Apparently a properly delivered email is all you need to get 
destination routing. This email was composed and shared this week with the 
relevant library staff of both the Kimball and the Aldrich.

So, once we get this working we will then deliver the trantor v 3.0 
machine to the Aldrich, swap it with the existing 0.015 system, set up 
static IP, avahi bonjour and things may actually be accessible via DNS for 
the world. Well a fellow can dream...

Once this is accomplished we will switch to the excellent hardware platform 
that Marius delivered. This production case contains both USB2.0/3.0 and and a 
DVDRW. This will be the production device.

From a software standpoint, the first, second and third passes for 
Trantor are done. The third pass, is in the Aldrich Public library for 
evaluation, and the latest feature is there is a new include that 
actually rebuilds the index.rst from the existing sub-rst files.

So it is time to develop a development cycle... The vision of a 
restful website remains:

- Take the existing code
- edit it with enki, a restful editor almost built for the job.
   (a most difficult to install but rewarding bit of software)
- if necessary propagate the change using a shell script
   (thank god for sed and awk)
- run " mkitso" which builds
-- a new index.rst from the existing stuff, and then
-- builds new web site based upon this index.rst
- check out the result...
- lather, rinse repeat...

Again, sphinx now rocks my world.  I am convinced the trick to sphinx and 
ReST in general is enki, which is a pain to install.  As we said about 
enki.  The ticket at this time appears to be to run under Linux Mint 18 as 
opposed to Ubuntu Trusty. The sad trick here is that enki is oriented 
towards use in a Red Hat environment...

The hard part of this turns out to be getting:
1. enki running with the preview mode working
    (invaluable once running)
2. getting sphinx running or maybe more accurately
3. making the system "sane" - a menu choice.  Design questions include:
- Do individual functions call for particular software packages?
- Should the sanity program try to md5 sum the components.

Configuration Management:
As mentioned above, the trantor project now uses the new visualbash include 
function to load up various scripts full-o-functional goodness. We are 
attempting to maintain the Trantor project on Github:

As discussed, I continue to hack this into some type of organized format 
to put up on git hub, as this is something that will please both Chris 
Yarger and Kevin Cole.  I really am gonna get to this.

The trantor project benefits itself as you can cut DVDs and USBs with great 
ease and facility. ("Rick Roll version")

Restful Web Site: Thanks to sphinx, we actually now have a complete set of 
disks starting from LXFDVD154, we sent Neil at Linux Format, an email in 
an attempt to expanding trantor to include all the Linux Format DVDs since 
they started publication.

The Collection Grows:
Tom Kastner has offered us the DVDs back to LXFDVD105.  This additional 45 
or so disks would go a long way to making the collection complete.  Maybe 
in the new year we will gain a response from London.  As it is installed 
at the Aldrich, next trick is to get trantor on the public web, and that 
looks like it may happen.

I am getting interest from some parties in contributing more stuff to 
trantor.  Do not be bashful (pun?). let me know if you want something 
faithfully curated and The real question here is should I simply rebuild based upon sphinx?  Or, we could do it all in...

Effin and I have been conspiring to set up a docker image containing zope. 
Turns out this has already been done by the European Environment Agency, but 
the way they put it together leaves a bit to be desired.  Fact is we have it 
working and we have a much spiffier name...

Is tiddly-zoker simply too silly?  Watch this site.  It is the latest 
thing...  Next week expect some progress...

...The aftermath
Some simple rules of Raspberryt Pi are in order:
1. Always Use a high current power supply.
2. Be aware of the bios differences.
3. Always shrink before duplication to same size media.
4. Format MS Dos regions on a real Micro$oft machine.

In the new year we want to follow up on the interesting angle to deploy 
TechnoRubble at Libraries.  At the meeting last week, J West came up with 
this angle and I would very much like to set up at Kimball and the Aldrich 
Libraries and see if this would work.  Jessamyn intends to showed up at 
our meeting last week and checked out the whole TechnoRubble Project. 
Hope she remains interested!

- The Website,
The new donation letter has been updated, but not used yet...

Again, we need more TechnoRubble.  The TechnoRubble untangling and packing is 
part of that effort. Part of this effort was the donation letter. The idea is 
to get people to mail their TechnoRubble to us in a USPS Flat Rate Box. I am 
going to complete the donation process page as soon as I can and post it.

The new rebuild index.rst from scratch every time, "birst" was launched in 
the include "testi.shi", and took off like a scalded cat.  The Visual Bash 
framework really works.  We added just under 100 lines of code with no 
ill effect.  This feels good.

I actually got one line of code working in the Menubot function this week, 
and after some playing around with zenity, I am more convinced that the 
use of zenity for a gui interface, (see the Bash Zenity Integration page: :^) is not a bad plan.  Beyond this we really need to 
clean up the VisualBash page.  Now that we have the "include" function 
that is similar to the one in python (C and a lota other languages :^) we 
need to git this.

The "SanityScript" is born but needs love.  The problem is that I cannot resist 
the challenge of the menu generator "" that will allow you to test 
stub your "shi" files with a crude but working "sh".  Who knows where we go 
from there?  Again, the Design questions include:
- Do individual functions call for particular software packages?
- Should the sanity program try to md5 sum the components.

I will likely be needing to reorganize all of the visual bash functions into 
functional includes...  Possible include files are:

- ianda.shi  - Identification and Authorization
- dvdusb.shi - DVD/USB utilities
- sanity.shi - System sanity tests
- maint.shi  - Maintenance includes
- ops.shi    - Operational includes
- dev.shi    - Development includes
- sphinx.shi - Sphinx generator includes
- tiddle.shi - Tiddle includes...

Could 2017 may be the year of VisualBash?

Visualbash is really fun to work on...

I am adding the rebirth of the BOSI web site to this project.  It is not 
technically a good fit but it needs to go somewhere.  Is there someone who can 
help with this project? We really neerd to exploit Audio Video from the meeting 
in a better way.  How can we move BOSI TV towards this goal line? The Adult 
Swim video network, soon to be the "TADA Show" (The Adult Development Actity?) 
was clearly Effin's project.  Is there a recursive acronym in here somewhere?

Hopefully this will be discussed on:

this is really all about external relations...

The PiTchBox and 3Dprint are related because I really need a plastic bezel for 
the front of the box, and I want a 3Dprinter to print it, and the Raspberry Pi 
based octoprint device is central to the operation of the 3Dprinter.

Without a doubt the greatest and most frustrating waste of Flint time and money 
on the planet!

Bad money after good, we have in hand the new model 3D printer.
That said, we had great luck with openscad, brother Kevin's design software. We 
got this damn thing to the point that I can produce the design of bezels I need 
for the PiTchBox. Sadly I cannot print them because the printer we have is 
screwed up. Will the new one work better? Thinking about inviting Toby from 
Filabot over and asking for some help. This machine has only seen maybe 5 hours 
of actual operation is that this lasted about ten days. Why is this so damn 

The 3Decology constructed around the HICTOP Prusa I3 3D Desktop Printer, has 
helped a lot, at least there is a place to store the tools this thing needs. 
The take away here is that 3D infrastructure is important to facilitate 
printing.  But more important is the ability to render designs from the head 
into products.

I am gonna learn this product or perish n the process.  I need Bezels for the 

We actually fulfilled a New Year's resolution by giving Bit Ed one of the 
DC-DC converters, they are nifty.  I actually had one in my pocket today 
for the meeting...  5 amps regulation from up to 36 volts to a regulated 
5 Volts with nary a watt of disipation, sure beats a 7805...

To summarize, the meeting today is again at 40 Washington Street, Barre, VT 

Topics for discussion as usual remain:

- Open Source Educational Human Development
   I am working on an idea... I am changing the priority of our
   eternal needs, and placing education first.

- Maker Movement A Maker Space in Barre?  Why not? Could it be that the
   commercial power centers do not yet appreciate the value?  I need to
   revise my paper on this subject and get it out to Lucas Jensen
   who has good ideas about a Barre Maker Space.  Why not do digital stone?

- Move BOSI to become more git centric... develop gittlywiki... working!
   check out tiddlywiki5 here:
   We still need to convert... Yea buddy...  Shut up Effin.

- Blue Sky R&D, but in Vermont it will be Gun-metal Grey Sky(c) R&D.

- I fought the DREK and the DREK continues to win.  Remember, What
   really is holds us back is DREK!!!  DREK is what happens to your
   workspace (both hardware and  software) when you fail to put stuff
   away, or you let your friends or relatives use it.  This is a cosmic
   law.  I am still fighting the DREK.  How to get over it?  The secret
   may be empty pellet bags.  Is TechnoRubble organized DREK?

These five points are quickly becomming more than our policy, and more 
like a prayer...

Anyway, we have the technology and we will have Pizza tonight 5-7 at Hedding 

This is the official notice of the Barre Open Systems Institute (BOSI) Adult 
Swim. For those coming in via the Google Plus and the Internet, and there are 
folks who are gonna try, the swim stars at 6:00 PM EST.

Our ongoing major objective is to continue to try to figure out how to invest 
the time and resources to turn the Barre Open Systems Institute into more than 
just the Adult Swim technical clinic and more into a real learning facility. 
One direction we have been working on is to begin thinking about classes. The 
curriculum that I am most interested in is teaching documentation.

Once again, the goal of the meeting shall be as usual, to get organized and try 
to get the various projects moving forward, despite DREK. We continue to wonder 
about how to build the BOSI curriculum to this webpage:

*** Note this is broke as of this newsletter ****, Take a look if you dare...

Remember, the BOSI Adult Swim is essentially about helping out fellow users of 
open source products in a clinic environment.  Despite my very best of 
intentions, the Adult Swim is really almost a perpetual Linux install-fest, and 
only secondarily a learning environment,

The ever growing list of projects (now on our web site :^) includes:
- - A Docker copy of VM370
- - The Kindle Liberation Front
- - A pythonic interface to Income Tax?
- - Ok, this is a real project eh?
- - What happens when you combine Bash and Zenity?
- - ok, it is on the list.
- - jesum they love this robot
- - monitor that pellet furnace
- - moving in the arduino groove
- - to get better at Javascript
-  - Temperature Sensors Project
- - The quest for Roberts Rules -
- - Yea, I am not kidding...
- - remedial raw mrtg for the slow...
- - all versions
- - maybe a very cool project.
- - oh please let me be organized!
- - this may be the least organized
    site ever!
- - A big noble idea.
- - A less noble idea to feed the
   big idea...
- - is tiddlywiki5 the answer?

Otherwise, Barre indeed remains a great venue for a Linux and Open Source 
Software discussion and general system rejuvenation. Expect to be remotely 
preached at on the various topics of Open Source and how I am confident it 
shall cure all the evils and ills of this wicked world.  In a perfect meeting, 
people would come in, sit down, see the stuff we have been doing and hopefully 
help us get the DIY stuff we are doing done, or maybe just fix a laptop.

So, do not forget that the Barre library stocks "Linux Format", and the latest 
issue is on the shelf, and it is good.  The DVD's are available to checkout and 
copy, we shall to continue provide copies and isos of each and every one. I am 
continuing to duplicate about a years worth of DVD's which is quite a task. You 
may want to watch this space for developments.

Anyway, come and do open source stuff. For more information about the BOSI 
Adult Swim meeting time and location try this:

*** Note this is broke as of this newsletter ****

Show up at Hedding UMC if you have questions or are interested in Linux or the 
concept of free and open systems.  Again, we are in the basement of the Hedding 
UMC facility which is actually working out pretty well.

Somehow we need to make progress not more projects!!!

If you wish to be included on the "Linux_adult_swim" mailing list, send a
response to this note.

This is Flint signing off... I gotta go and get the heat working here at the 

I will continue to refactor this newsletter at some point in the future (do not 
hold your breath :^)...

Kindest Regards,

Paul Flint
(802) 479-2360
(802) 595-9365 Cell

Based upon email reliability concerns,
please send an acknowledgment in response to this note.

Paul Flint
Barre Open Systems Institute
17 Averill Street
Barre, VT
skype: flintinfotech
Work: (202) 537-0480

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