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VAGUE  January 2017

VAGUE January 2017


Linux_adult_swim Meeting today, Monday January 23rd, 5 PM at 40 Washington Street...


Paul Flint <[log in to unmask]>


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


Mon, 23 Jan 2017 13:08:34 -0500





TEXT/PLAIN (410 lines)

Greetings List Lurkers,

A mild day!  That said there are reports of vicious storms just around the 
corner.  Classic New England...

Progress of a sort.  The Android based carputer backup camera got working 
on the replacement carputer, but the sound went out, but I got it running 
on the bench. The good news is we managed to fix the air bag system, this 
involves sending what for all the world appears to be morse code via 
turning the Xterra on and off as I explained last week.  Thank the gods 
for the web.

Being one angry computer weenie plotting sweet revenge on the entire Far 
East matters little as it is now Chinese New Year, and they will have 
nothing to do with the West for about a week...

The bzinga project:

In utter frustration I thought to immerse myself in software, so I dusted 
off the Bash-Zenity project with the thought of adding this to trantor as 
a GUI based control framework.  So far it is interesting, as GUIs now 
haunt my dreams looking for the best way to configure things...

Very beta...

Last week we got new rebuild index.rst to work 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.  Will this work for bzinga?

The line between bzinga and the Menubot function gets fuzzier all the 
time, 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" remains born but without 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 remain:

- 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?
We have a presentation on the subject due in June...

The two broken Kindles arrived in Niagra, as as we expected the master 
Kindlenista, Joe Hart, agreed with our diagnoses.  One has been bricked, 
and the other has lost it's touch pad.  The Kindle-master, Joe, who has 
Debian booting on his Kindle Fires is preping for surgery.  He intends to 
take to touch pad from one and attach it to the rom of the other.  We wish 
him the best...

...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. I have even attempted to enlist none other than DTG 
to help.  So far no luck.

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 thing?

We have just spent the week waiting for the Aldrich DII POC to come back 
from vacation.  The time was well spent as we were able to burnish the 
control software a bit.  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 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...

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...

With 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.  With the bzinga project there is likely 
to be a fourth (forth? :^) pass...

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

- 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:
Tried to get enki running on trantor.  No luck I think that enki wants the 
hat.  This Red Hat exclusiveness is a very disturbing trend.  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.  Jessamyn went for a Git 
refresher, maybe I should do the same.

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

Restful Web Site:
We 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.  Unfortunately 
we hear nothing from London.

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.

Other Digital Collections?
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...

Not much action on where 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 

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

...The aftermath
Never forget the simple rules of Raspberryt Pi here 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 two weeks ago, 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.

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...

This project is essentially on hold till spring when #1 son returns.  To 
recap, 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 

Without a doubt the greatest and most frustrating waste of Flint time and money 
on the planet!  Even wors than the Android Carputer, though not by much...

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 

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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