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The Free Web

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the free web

A FREE, uncensored, neutral internet is ESSENTIAL to Free Expression and Freedom of Information.

VIVA LA FREE WEB

¡Viva la FREE WEB!

In recent times, we have seen governments restrict access to the internet. We’ve seen the huge, corporate owned social networking and microblogging sites censor content their investors do not like, and even remove accounts belonging to protesting entities, such as Twitter’s recent removal of the account for OccupyWallStreet, and Facebook’s censorship of protest related photos.

But, we need the internet to communicate, not just locally, but nation-wide, and world-wide, to express our views, to make our voices heard, and to share what it is we are doing, and how our oppressors react, EVERYWHERE…

To that end:

The decentralized, federated, FREE (as in freedom, as well as price), social networks on which I currently play are:

Diaspora*

Diaspora* is a software that can be installed on a server by anyone that has the knowledge to do so. They in turn can allow people to register for an account on what is called their “pod”. There are many of these pods already established across the internet (list here podupti.me) with many users. You register for a free account on a pod and you can seamlessly connect with other users on other pods the same as if you were making someone a friend on other social networking sites. No matter which pod you are on, you are all using Diaspora. If you have the technical skills, you can even set up your own pod for your family and or friends. They can in turn connect to family and friends on your pod or even other pods with ease.

Diaspora* has many of the features of other popular social networks, including groupings of friends (like G+ circles, but called “aspects”. Oh, and Diaspora* had this feature over a year before G+ was even launched!), sharing of photos, links, videos, etc. Diaspora will allow you cross-post materials to twitter, facebook, and tumblr, and allow you to connect to friends on Friendika, as well. The aspects give you great control over you can view your content, so you have complete control over your privacy. Also, YOU own all content that you post. Diaspora* has not advertisements, and nobody on Diaspora* is tracking you, either on the site or across the internet. Diaspora* will not censor your communications with others. Also, on Diaspora* you can use any name or pseudonym you like.

There are numerous Diaspora sites, but they are all connected, so contacts on any Diaspora site can be connected to folks on another Diaspora site.

Here is my Diaspora profile:

tonybaldwin@poddery.com

I recommend joining diaspora at poddery.com or diasp.org.

StatusNet

StatusNET is for microblogging (like twitter, and can forward updates to twitter) built on free/open source software. StatusNEt is uncensored, free, and you can roll your own. StatusNet has features that twitter lacks, including posting of longer “blog” entries, sharing of events, uploading photos and music files, creation of polls and questions, and cross-connections with folks on any other StatusNet site. Also, one can make their StatusNet updates forward to Twitter, thus sharing with twitter contacts and StatusNet contacts, simultaneously. One more great feature of StatusNet are groups. By posting updates with a certain tag, the messages are grouped, and one can choose to be a member of that group and follow conversations on that topic. For instance, on the statusnet installation at Free-Haven.org/status/, there is a group for Occupy New Haven, and any update with !occupynewhaven or !onh is posted to that group. So, statusnet is kind of like twitter on steriods. Much more powerful, many more features. It is also more configurable. Our statusnet installation, for instance, is set to accept updates with up to 200 characters, as opposed to twitter’s 140 (one can change this up to 500 characters).

There is a statusnet installation on free-haven.org at http://free-haven.org/status/ Check it out!
My profile is tonybaldwin@free-haven.org
From there, I am following friends from all around the world on http://identi.ca, http://parlementum.net, and a few other smaller, private StatusNet installations, who are also following me from those sites, and I have my updates forwarded to twitter, from whence they forward to Google Buzz, Tumblr, and Facebook. If any of those proprietary networks cut me off or censored me, my friends all around the world on http://identi.ca and http://parlementum.net would still see my updates, as would, of course, anyone on our installation, or any other StatusNet installation who chose to follow me.

One can even export updates from any statusnet site, group, or individual to an rss feed, or, one can follow an rss feed. I have my free-haven updates embedded on my free-haven wiki profile here. Also, I have all public updates to our statusnet installation embedded on the front page of this wiki here.

Friendika

Friendika

Friendika

But, best of all, in my opinion, is Friendika.

Friendika is decentralized and federated, but also allows you to connect to contacts on twitter, identi.ca, diaspora, facebook, and other sites, from friendika. I recommend Friendika most highly of all (although a combination of statusnet for microblogging and friendika is a good idea). Friendika has photo galleries, an event calendar, friend groups, and all the other functions you already use on other social networks.

Learn more about friendika at http://project.friendika.com/

The creator, Mike Macgrivin, is a friend (he was part of the team that developed Netscape Browser for AOL!). I have developed software to interact with the Friendika’s API, and may be developing some plugins.

My current friendika profile is http://frndk.de/profile/tony

Comparison of Social Networks

In Diaspora, StatusNet, and Friendika, unlike FB, G+, and other sites, you own your own data, and completely control your own privacy. The sites are not corporate owned, and, in fact, if you have access to a server and the know-how, you can install and run a site yourself (kind of like you can with wordpress, joomla, etc.), and still connect to all the other friendika and/or diaspora sites. In this way, a truly FREE, open, neutral internet is forming, uncensored and unfettered by corporate interests.

Here is an excellent breakdown of the differences and similarities in social networks.
You will see that Friendika is richer in features than any other.

./tony


Creative Commons License
The Free Web by tony baldwin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.tonybaldwin.info.

xposted with: Xpostulate | original article

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¡Viva la FREE WEB!

leave a comment »

the free web

A FREE, uncensored, neutral internet is ESSENTIAL to Free Expression and Freedom of Information.

VIVA LA FREE WEB

¡Viva la FREE WEB!

In recent times, we have seen governments restrict access to the internet. We’ve seen the huge, corporate owned social networking and microblogging sites censor content their investors do not like, and even remove accounts belonging to protesting entities, such as Twitter’s recent removal of the account for OccupyWallStreet, and Facebook’s censorship of protest related photos.

But, we need the internet to communicate, not just locally, but nation-wide, and world-wide, to express our views, to make our voices heard, and to share what it is we are doing, and how our oppressors react, EVERYWHERE…

To that end:

The decentralized, federated, FREE (as in freedom, as well as price), social networks on which I currently play are:

Diaspora*

Diaspora* is software that can be installed on a server by anyone that has the knowledge to do so. They in turn can allow people to register for an account on what is called their “pod”. There are many of these pods already established across the internet (list here podupti.me) with many users. You register for a free account on a pod and you can seamlessly connect with other users on other pods, the same as if you were making someone a friend on other social networking sites. No matter which pod you are on, you are all using Diaspora. If you have the technical skills, you can even set up your own pod for your family and or friends. They can in turn connect to family and friends on your pod or even other pods with ease.

Diaspora* has many of the features of other popular social networks, including groupings of friends (like G+ circles, but called “aspects”. Oh, and Diaspora* had this feature over a year before G+ was even launched!), sharing of photos, links, videos, etc. Diaspora will allow you cross-post materials to twitter, facebook, and tumblr, and allow you to connect to friends on Friendika, as well. The aspects give you great control over who can view your content, so you have complete control over your privacy. Also, YOU own all content that you post. Diaspora* has no advertisements, and nobody on Diaspora* is tracking you, either on the site or across the internet. Diaspora* will not censor your communications with others. Also, on Diaspora* you can use any name or pseudonym you like.

There are numerous Diaspora sites, but they are all connected, so contacts on any Diaspora site can be connected to folks on another Diaspora site.

Here is my Diaspora profile:

tonybaldwin@poddery.com

I recommend joining diaspora at poddery.com or diasp.org.

StatusNet

StatusNET is for microblogging (like twitter, and can forward updates to twitter) built on free/open source software. StatusNEt is uncensored, free, and you can roll your own. StatusNet has features that twitter lacks, including posting of longer “blog” entries, sharing of events, uploading photos and music files, creation of polls and questions, and cross-connections with folks on any other StatusNet site. Also, one can make their StatusNet updates forward to Twitter, thus sharing with twitter contacts and StatusNet contacts, simultaneously. One more great feature of StatusNet are groups. By posting updates with a certain tag, the messages are grouped, and one can choose to be a member of that group and follow conversations on that topic. For instance, on the statusnet installation at Free-Haven.org/status/, there is a group for Occupy New Haven, and any update with !occupynewhaven or !onh is posted to that group. So, statusnet is kind of like twitter on steriods. Much more powerful, many more features. It is also more configurable. Our statusnet installation, for instance, is set to accept updates with up to 200 characters, as opposed to twitter’s 140 (one can change this up to 500 characters). Like Diaspora*, statusnet does not track you, spam you with advertisements, censor you, or lay claim to your content.

There is a statusnet installation on free-haven.org at http://free-haven.org/status/ Check it out!
My profile is tonybaldwin@free-haven.org
From there, I am following friends from all around the world on http://identi.ca, http://parlementum.net, and a few other smaller, private StatusNet installations, who are also following me from those sites, and I have my updates forwarded to twitter, from whence they forward to Google Buzz, Tumblr, and Facebook. If any of those proprietary networks cut me off or censored me, my friends all around the world on http://identi.ca and http://parlementum.net would still see my updates, as would, of course, anyone on our installation, or any other StatusNet installation who chose to follow me.

One can even export updates from any statusnet site, group, or individual to an rss feed, or, one can follow an rss feed. I have my free-haven updates embedded on my free-haven wiki profile here. Also, I have all public updates to our statusnet installation embedded on the front page of this wiki here.

Friendika

Friendika

Friendika

But, best of all, in my opinion, is Friendika.

Friendika is decentralized and federated, but also allows you to connect to contacts on twitter, identi.ca, diaspora, facebook, and other sites, from friendika. I recommend Friendika most highly of all (although a combination of statusnet for microblogging and friendika is a good idea). Friendika has photo galleries, an event calendar, friend groups, and all the other functions you already use on other social networks. Like Diaspora* and StatusNet, Friendika does not track you, spam you with advertisements, censor you, or lay claim to your content.

Learn more about friendika at http://project.friendika.com/

The creator, Mike Macgrivin, is a friend (he was part of the team that developed Netscape Browser for AOL!). I have developed software to interact with the Friendika’s API, and may be developing some plugins.

My current friendika profile is http://frndk.de/profile/tony

Comparison of Social Networks

In Diaspora, StatusNet, and Friendika, unlike FB, G+, and other sites, you own your own data, and completely control your own privacy. The sites are not corporate owned, and, in fact, if you have access to a server and the know-how, you can install and run a site yourself (kind of like you can with wordpress, joomla, etc.), and still connect to all the other friendika and/or diaspora sites. In this way, a truly FREE, open, neutral internet is forming, uncensored and unfettered by corporate interests.

Here is an excellent breakdown of the differences and similarities in social networks.
You will see that Friendika is richer in features than any other.

./tony


Creative Commons License
The Free Web by tony baldwin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.tonybaldwin.info.

page created with: tclext

Written by tonybaldwin

October 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

New Xpostulate release in the works

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Okay, I just pushed new code for Xpostulate to github with the following changes:

  • removed iziblog, scribbld, inksome (spam SEO havens anyway)
  • removed twitter until I can get oauth working
  • added support for custom wordpress installations
  • added support for posting to friendika with bbcode insertions
  • changed identi.ca feature to support any status.net installation.
  • also, various pertinent alterations to gui, of course

all in ONE DAY! because I F–KING ROCK!

I have NOT updated the win/lin installers on the main Xpostulate page, yet.
I have to play with installjammer and get those worked up again, and will probably give a day or two for this new code to be tested,
since, it seems, I now have a contributor on the project who seems willing to test and prod this code.

WELCOME ABOARD, Charles Roth!

Still to do:

  • I really, really want a button to click to automagically translate bbcode to html or vice-versa. That I can do, but need time.
  • Get oauth working for twitter…maybe
  • add support for blogger
  • change the LJ, IJ, DJ, DW to be simple moveabletype, with multiple options, rather than hardwired for 4 different sites, so, say, if you only use LJ and DW, you don’t have DJ and IJ cluttering your interface, or, even, if you have multiple LJ accts (I do, one for my art, other for hackery), you can do that, etc.

Now, I really must get back to translating these Brazilian pharma regulations.

Written by tonybaldwin

September 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Thou unmuzzled, malmsey-nosed scullian! (randomness in php)

with 6 comments

Some time ago, I wrote fo0l and Shakes, being random Shakespearean insult generators in python, fo0l being a basic script, and Shakes being the same, dressed up with a tkinter gui.

Today, I translated fo0l to php, creating a webinterface for this lovely linguistic tool.

Try it out HERE, if thou hast the heart, thou frothy, shard-borne haggard!

What did I do?
Let’s look at fo0l, first:

#!/usr/bin/python
# Shakespearean insult generator

from random import randint

a = ("artless", "bawdy", "beslubbering", "bootless", "churlish", "cockered", "clouted", "craven", "currish", "dankish", "dissembling", "droning", "errant", "fawning", "fobbing", "froward", "frothy", "gleeking", "goatish", "gorbellied", "impertinent", "infectious", "jarring", "loggerheaded", "lumpish", "mammering", "mangled", "mewling", "paunchy", "pribbling", "puking", "puny", "qualling", "rank", "reeky", "roguish", "ruttish", "saucy", "spleeny", "spongy", "surly", "tottering", "unmuzzled", "vain", "venomed", "villainous", "warped", "wayward", "weedy", "yeasty", "cullionly", "fusty", "caluminous", "wimpled", "burly-boned", "misbegotten", "odiferous", "poisonous", "fishified", "Wart-necked") # 60 items

a1 = randint(0,59)
a2 = a[a1]

b = ("base-court", "bat-fowling", "beef-witted", "beetle-headed", "boil-brained", "clapper-clawed", "clay-brained", "common-kissing", "crook-pated", "dismal-dreaming", "dizzy-eyed", "doghearted", "dread-bolted", "earth-vexing", "elf-skinned", "fat-kidneyed", "fen-sucked", "flap-mouthed", "fly-bitten", "folly-fallen", "fool-born", "full-gorged", "guts-griping", "half-faced", "hasty-witted", "hedge-born", "hell-hated", "idle", "headed", "ill-breeding", "ill-nurtured", "knotty-pated", "milk-livered", "motley-minded", "onion-eyed", "plume-plucked", "pottle-deep", "pox-marked", "reeling-ripe", "rough-hewn", "rude-growing", "rump-fed", "shard-borne", "sheep-biting", "spur-galled", "swag-bellied", "tardy-gaited", "tickle-brained", "toad", "spotted", "unchin-snouted", "weather-bitten", " whoreson", "malmsey-nosed", "rampallian", "lily", "livered", "scurvy-valiant", "brazen-faced", "unwash'd", "bunch-back'd", "leaden-footed", "muddy-mettled", "pigeon-liver'd", "scale-sided") # 62 items

b1 = randint(0,61)
b2 = b[b1]

c = ("apple-john", "baggage", "barnacle", "bladder", "boar-pig", "bugbear", "bum-bailey", "canker-blossom", "clack-dish", "clotpole", "coxcomb", "codpiece", "death-token", "dewberry", "flap-dragon", "flax-wench", "flirt-gill", "foot-licker", "fustilarian", "giglet", "gudgeon", "haggard", "harpy", "hedge-pig", "horn-beast", "hugger-mugger", "joithead", "lewdster", "lout", "maggot-pie", "malt-worm", "mammet", "measle", "minnow", "miscreant", "moldwarp", "mumble-news", "nut-hook", "pigeon-egg", "pignut", "puttock", "pumpion", "ratsbane", "scut", "skainsmate", "strumpet", "varlot", "vassal", "whey-face", "wagtail", "knave", "blind-worm", "popinjay", "scullian", "jolt-head", " malcontent", "devil-monk", "toad", "rascal", "Basket-Cockle") # 60 items

c1 = randint(0,59)
c2 = c[c1]

print("Thou " + a2 + ", " + b2 + " " + c2 + "!")

Now, how did I translate that to php?


Enjoy!

./tony

Written by tonybaldwin

May 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm

search google, wikipedia, reverso from the bash terminal

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searching in bash

searching in bash

 

Okay, so, I like to use my bash terminal. Call me a geek all you like; it matters not to me. I wear that badge with pride.

The bash terminal is quick and efficient for doing a lot of stuff that one might otherwise use some bloated, cpu sucking, eye-candied, gui monstrosity to do. So, when I find ways to use it for more stuff, more stuff I do with it.

Now, for my work (recall, I am professionally a translator) I must often do research, some of which entails heavy lifting, and, otherwise, often simply searching for word definitions and translations. I use TclDict, which I wrote, frequently, but, I also use a lot of online resources that I never programmed TclDict to access, and would generally use a browser for that stuff. Unless, of course, I can do it my terminal!

For precisely such purposes, here are a couple of handy scripts I use while working.

First, let’s look up terms at Dict.org:

#!/bin/bash

if [[ $(echo $*) ]]; then

searchterm="$*"
else

read -p "Enter your search term: " searchterm
fi
read -p "choose database (enter \'list\' to list all): " db

if [ $db = list ] ; then
curl dict://dict.org/show:db

read -p "choose database, again: " db
fi

curl dict://dict.org/d:$searchterm:$db | less

 

 

Now, let’s search google from the command line:

#!/bin/bash
if [[ $(echo $*) ]]; then
searchterm="$*"
else
read -p "Enter your search term: " searchterm
fi
lynx -accept_all_cookies http://www.google.com/search?q=$searchterm
# I accept all cookies to go direct to search results without having to approve each cookie.
# you can disable that, of course.

 

I saved that in ~/bin/goose # for GOOgle SEarch
and just do
goose $searchterm

Or, search the google dictionary to translate a term:

#!/bin/bash
echo -e "Search google dictionary.\n"
read -p "Source language (two letters): " slang
read -p "Target language (two letters): " tlang
read -p "Search term: " sterm
lynx -dump "http://www.google.com/dictionary?langpair=$slang|$tlang&q=$sterm" | less

Note: For a monolingual search, just use the same language for source and target. Don’t leave either blank.

Or:

#!/bin/bash
if [ ! $1 ];
then
echo -e "usage requires 3 parameters: source language, target language, search term. \n
Thus, I have this as ~/bin/googdict, and do \n
googdict en es cows \n
to translate "cows" to Spanish. \n
For monolingual search, enter the language twice. \n
As indicated, use the two letter code: \n
\"en\" for English, \"fr\" for French, etc."
exit
fi

lynx -dump "http://www.google.com/dictionary?langpair=$1|$2&q=$3" | less

For the above, I have it in ~/bin/gd, usage being simply “gd $sourcelanguage $targetlanguage $searchterm”.
Example:
me@machine:~$ gd en es cow
Searches the Englist to Spanish dictionary for “cow”.

We can use similar principles to search reverso:

#!/bin/bash
#search reverso
read -p "Enter the source language: " slang
read -p "Enter target language: " tlang
read -p "Enter your search term: " searchterm
lynx -dump dictionary.reverso.net/$slang-$tlang/$searchterm | less

With the google dictionary, you use the two-letter language code (i.e., “en” for English, “fr” for French, etc.). With reverso, you have to spell out the language (“english” for English, etc.).

With all of the above, I’ve used the program, less, to display the results, rather than spitting it all out to to the terminal at once. Click here to learn how to use less, if needed.

Additionally, most of the above require Lynx Browser, which is generally available for any gnu/linux distribution via your favorite package manager (apt, synaptic, aptitude, yum, portage, pacman, etc.). For the dict.org script, I used cURL (also part of most gnu/linux distributions and installable with your favorite package manager).

Google Translate can also be accessed, but for this, we’ll use a bit of python magic (I know, I pick on google translate, a lot, but it can be useful):

#!/usr/bin/env python
from urllib2 import urlopen
from urllib import urlencode
import sys

# The google translate API can be found here:
# http://code.google.com/apis/ajaxlanguage/documentation/#Examples

 

lang1=sys.argv[1]
lang2=sys.argv[2]
langpair='%s|%s'%(lang1,lang2)
text=' '.join(sys.argv[3:])
base_url='http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/services/language/translate?'
params=urlencode( (('v',1.0),
('q',text),
('langpair',langpair),) )
url=base_url+params
content=urlopen(url).read()
start_idx=content.find('"translatedText":"')+18
translation=content[start_idx:]
end_idx=translation.find('"}, "')
translation=translation[:end_idx]
print translation

Originally found that here, on the ubuntuforums.

And now for Wikipedia we have a couple of options.
First, we have this awesome little handy script, tucked into my $PATH as “define”:

#!/bin/bash
dig +short txt $1.wp.dg.cx
exit

I use it simply with “define $searchterm”, and it gives a short definition from wikipedia.  I originally found it here.

Another extremely handy tool is Wikipedia2Text, which I simply installed from the debian repos via aptitude. When I use this, I also pipe it to less:
#!/bin/bash

if [[ $(echo $*) ]]; then

searchterm="$*"
else

read -p "Enter your search term: " searchterm
fi

 

wikipedia2text $searchterm | less

I have that tucked into ~/bin/wikit, thus, do simply wikit $searchterm to get my results.

Enjoy!

All code here that I have written is free and released according to the GPL v. 3. Check the links for code I borrowed for licensing information (pretty sure it’s all GPL-ed, too).

./tony

Written by tonybaldwin

May 3, 2011 at 12:52 am

Debian 6.0 Breaks Free of Restrictive Licenses – PCWorld Business Center

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Debian 6.0 Breaks Free of Restrictive Licenses – PCWorld Business Center.

debian - the universal operating system

debian - the universal operating system

The new Debian release is notable in many ways, not least of which is that it is the first version ever to incorporate an entirely free Linux kernel, using only software published under the GNU General Public License (GPL) or other free licenses compliant with the official Open Source Definition.

Written by tonybaldwin

February 10, 2011 at 6:04 am

Adventures with Debian Lenny on AMD64

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LibreOffice in AMD64 Debian

LibreOffice in AMD64 Debian/Lenny, in OpenBox

Well, folks, I figured it was time for a computer upgrade, since, I was, until yesterday, still working on a 3.2ghz Celeron CPU with 1.5gm ram that I purchased almost 4 years ago, now, from TigerDirect.com.  Frankly, that machine was still doing a great job on 95% of stuff I do. I can’t lie. But, being the geek that I am, I felt the need for more speed, and whole lot of putrid green envy over newer, shinier things.  So, I went to my favorite source, again, TigerDirect, and ordered a 2.5ghz dual core, AMD64 barebones kit with 4gb of ram.

d00d…I have not been able to ramp up the CPU usage past like 18%, nor use more than about 20% of the ram. I know there are bigger, faster machines out there, but this is clearly plenty of machine for my needs.

Anyway, this machine is an AMD 64 bit CPU.  I won’t pretend, for even a second, to comprehend what the difference is between 64 bit and 32 bit computer, beyond that 64 is twice 32, and, in some cases, it means I need different software.

So, I got the machine in two boxes, with all these separate parts, a motherboard, a cpu, 2 ram sticks, a hard drive, and I had to put them together.  I yanked the video card from my old machine and used it, too, since it has dvi, and this mobo in this kit did not (works best for my monitor).  And, then, being completely ignorant, as I am, I installed from the same Debian/Lenny XFCE installation disk that I had used for every other machine in my office.  It installed okay, but, for the life of me, I could not get DHCP to work so I could connect to the internet.  So I got on #debian at freenode with my old computer (now using an older monitor, and the onboard mobo video) and raised my hand and after several rounds of the real hackers in there massaging me with the Socratic method, it became clear that I had simply installed the wrong system, and that I needed the (duh!) AMD64 version of Lenny.  So, I downloaded that ISO file, burnt up a CDROM, and installed it.  And that worked nicely, and the DHCP works fine, and I’m actually writing to you from this new machine.  I like it.  But I had a few other adventures between then and now, and thought I’d share them.

One of the first things we all do is tweak up our browsers and import our bookmarks and all the good stuff.  Well, I prefer google chrome, which makes a lot of that really, really easy, since you can synch all that stuff right online, so, of course, I installed google-chrome, which I’m using now, and, surprise, I like it.  But, flash was not working…which made me sad.  I did a lot of googling around and digging around and trying to figure out why, and, along the way even tried iceweasel (debian for “firefox”) and found that flash wasn’t working there, either.   Eventually I found Adobe Flash Square, the new 64 bit, beta, prerelease, Flash plugin.  Now, getting that to work with iceweasel/firefox was simple enough; Simply a matter of downloading the tarball, unpacking that, and copying the libflashplayer.so to /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins.  Did that, and I could watch a youtube video in iceweasel, no problem.  But there is no plugins directory for google-chrome.  More googling about revealed that the browser, supposedly, has Flash support built right in.  Sure.  But it wasn’t working… A bit more googling about and I learned that I could see more information about my plugins in google chrome by pointing my browser to about:plugins, and, so, I did, and I learned that flash was, in fact, not really built into chrome, but that chrome was looking in /usr/lib/swfdec-mozilla/ for nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so, which was, indeed, there, but not working.  I learned that this nswrapper nonsense was an older trick, which, apparently, is not compatible with the NEW Flash 10, or something, because, well, I figured that out because it wasn’t working…But the Flash Square libflashplayer.so WAS working…So, this is what I did:  I removed the nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so, just yanked it right out of /usr/lib/swfdec-mozilla/.  Then, I made a link in that directory to the libflashplayer.so in /usr/mozilla/plugins, and renamed it to nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so (since that’s what chrome would be looking for), and restarted chrome, and, guess what.  IT WORKED!

cd /usr/lib/swfdec-mozilla/
su
********
rm -f nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so
ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/swfdec-mozilla/
mv libflashplayer.so nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so

That did it.

Now, that’s not the only issue I’ve had.  I installed LibreOffice, for which there are 64 bit .deb files.  But when I tried to run it, it kept puking and giving up.  I looked at the error it was giving.  I neglected to write it down, but, it comes down to the fact that it could not find libcairo.so.2.  I dug around for that, and found it right in (big surprise) /usr./lib….so, what was the problem?  I looked again at the error.  For some reason unknown to me or anyone with whom I’ve communicated, libreoffice was looking for libcairo.so.2 in /opt/libreoffice/basis3.3/program, rather than in /usr/lib, where any normal program would expect to find such a lib.  That was easy.  I just copied the lib right in there (I don’t know, I probably could have symlinked that, too…didn’t even try that…).

cp ./usr/lib/libcairo.so.2 /opt/libreoffice/basis3.3/program/

And that was that. LibreOffice is now working superbly.

There have been a few other tweaks and adjustments along the way, but, at this juncture, I’ve got a blazing fast system (debian with openbox is light and efficient) on which to work.  Good stuff.  I feel like a got a great deal from TigerDirect, and, as always the best deal ever with Debian gnu/linux.  The guys on #debian at freenode were extremely patient and graciously helpful, and I owe them a great debt of gratitude.  Debian ROCKS! both the software and the community.


On a side note, stealing my old machine’s video card, and the 24 inch 1680×1050 monitor, seemed to have pissed it off, because, with the onboard video and 15 inch 1280×960 monitor (both of which it HAD used before I purchased the big screen) all text in gui windows, menus, panels, etc. was

HUGE

too huge to read, even, where windows were expanded off screen and even alt-click grabbing them and moving them around was useless, and menus were unreadable, and, basically, all graphical elements were rendered useless, regardless of whether I used openbox, lxde, xfce, or wmii…I wrestled with that for hours…running Xorg -configure, dpgk-reconfigure xserver-xorg, xrandr, changing screen resolution, refresh rates…sacrificing chickens, and my best goat…blah blah blah..all to no avail.

Eventually, I figure out that the problem had nothing to do with Xorg, screen resolution, or what type of sacrifice I offered…The culprit was gdm (still don’t know why).  I figured it, because, if I logged into single user as root and started X without the assistance of gdm, everything was perfect. So that seemed, correctly, to identify gdm as the culprit.  Still, I could not figure out how to fix gdm, so, I just yanked gdm right off the machine (aptitude remove gdm).  Using startx from the command line kept starting LXDE on that machine, however, which displeased me since, well, I prefer plain old openbox, without LXDE, and, besides, I also have XFCE and WMII on that machine, and would prefer to have a choice when logging in.  So, for that, I just had to copy a .xinitrc into my /home. I removed the entry for LXDE (never use it), and added entries for openbox, xfce and wmii.  Now, no DM…I log in via the console, then startx, which tosses up a dialog and asks which of the 3 window managers I want to use, and, good to go.  It works nicely.


One more really cool thing. I back up my /home regularly onto an external usb hdd (at least monthly, but I did it before building the new machine and stealing the video card from the old one, I do :~# rsync -rvu /home/tony /media/disk/home), so, I was able to simply copy my whole home directory onto the new machines, and, this being the very same system (well, except being amd64 in stead of 32bitIntel, or whatever), all the programs have the same configs, saved passwords, blah blah blah that they had before. That makes moving to a new computer so much easier. Since I run rsync as root, I do have to chown everything (chown -R tony:tony) again after moving it back, but that’s no big deal.

Written by tonybaldwin

January 9, 2011 at 1:48 am