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A Brief Introduction to the BASH Shell and Linux

CLICK HERE for the full article briefIntro2BashShell:

I love command line interfaces. GUIs are fine, and I use them a lot, but I still love and use the command line power-tools. They just make some tasks much much easier. My background includes command line interfaces on DOS, VAX-VMS, PDP11-RSX, Unix and Linux machines, as well as building and caring for a large Windows/Novell and later Windows/Active Directory network. BASH, cutely named the "Bourne Again Shell" being descended from the earlier Bourne Shell of early Unix, is my preference, purely for historical reasons. My first foray into Linux was because I wanted to use the free "Big Brother" system monitor on my company's expanding network, and it was largely built up of BASH scripts. "Shell" is essentially Unix-speak for a command line interface, where you can type and run commands, or put strings of commands in a script and then run that. MORE...

Android Help for Beginners

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Samsung Galaxy S5 The phone will wake up by itself if a call comes in. MORE...

A Search Button for Tardus.net

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The "Entropy Search" on my web-hoster was never very wonderful, searching only for single words, and needing a manual re-indexing after every change to content. Finally, the option to re-index disappeared from cPanel on their site. Here is the code I had to insert in my pages:- MORE...

Bargain Super-phone - the Motorola Moto G Gen 2

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Editing an MP4 Video in Linux using Avidemux and avconv

CLICK HERE for the full article editMP4:

I needed to edit a short video as it had a incorrect word on some of the frames: "One" when it should have had "Won". Here is how I achieved it. I'm sure there are better ways, and maybe I'll find one another time. For now, mission accomplished. MORE...

Forwarding mail from Google Apps to a private Gmail account

CLICK HERE for the full article gmailForwarding:

Google Apps provides a very useful email service for small businesses and non-profit groups, eg, hobby clubs. You can have your own "domain name" eg, "camdencyclist.org.au" and email addresses such as "bob@camdencyclists.org.au", as well as shared calendars and other goodies. Now, you have a Google Apps email account for a group or business that you belong to, but would rather have the mail forwarded to your everyday, private, Gmail account. "How do I do it?" MORE...

Getting Wifi to work on a Thinkpad T42 under Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

CLICK HERE for the full article thinkpadT42WifiUbuntu:

Installing Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 on my Thinkpad T42 "puffer" was a breeze, with one exception: the wireless network adaptor wouldn't work (and yes, the boot time was very slow too). After much searching I found the following suggestion on a forum:- MORE...

Happy Christmas Cat

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Knowing her love of all things feline, friends gave my wife a Maneki Neko, a Japanese "lucky cat", with a motorised beckoning arm. Here it is dressed up for Christmas with a hat and Noel sign. "Noel" comes from the Latin natalis, celebrating the birth of Jesus the Messiah. Thank God we can trust in Him and not have to depend on "luck". MORE...

Home Temperature Monitoring Using Maxim-Dallas DS18S20 1-Wire Sensors

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Being a retired engineer with a long interest in matters scientific and in low energy housing, I have finally begun what I long wanted to do, to set up a temperature monitoing system in my house. This is a temporary arrangement till I find time for more sensors, and a permanent interface to my server PC. MORE...

How to make an A6 size folded booklet from a single sheet of A4 paper using Linux

CLICK HERE for the full article a6FoldedBooklet:

This week I needed to make a four page A6 (quarter of A4 size) booklet, and wanted it to be a simple folded job, ie, print single sided with the four pages reduced to fit on a single sheet, 2x2, then fold it into A5, then again into A6. It wasn't so hard after all, and for you USA people who use Legal and Letter size paper, the same idea will work fine.

  1. Create your document in your favourite word-processor (mine is Open Office / Libre Office). You will need to use a large font so that the type is readable when reduced to quarter size. MORE...

Linux dial-up with a SecurID one-shot password device - Xubuntu and WVDIAL

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Many companies, including my employer, use one-shot password devices for remote access. You dial-up the RAS number, enter your username and password, then a PPP session is established. The difficult bit is that your password is never the same. The SecurID device is a small keytag that shows a 6 digit number that changes every minute. In my case, a fixed personal PIN plus the number from the SecurID are added together to make the password. Getting that to work from a Linux client is a bit tricky, but here is how I got it working using WVDIAL like KPPP or the Network tool in GNOME. The answer is that they expect a fixed password for each connection, and don't provide a terminal mode access so you can enter the one-shot password. (or if they do, I couldn't work out how 8-<). MORE...

Linux Mint 14, a fix for scanning using an HP All-in-1

CLICK HERE for the full article hplip-3-12-11-LinuxMint14-Mate:

UPDATE I have since upgraded to Linux Mint 17 Mate, and the scanner works out of the box, as does duplex printing on the HP Photosmart 6520. Hurray! I have just updated the family laptops to Linux Mint 14, replacing Ubuntu, which I had used for many years (the new "Unity" interface in Ubuntu 12 is not my cup of tea at all). MORE...

Making an A5 size booklet for a series of images

CLICK HERE for the full article a5booklet:

I needed to make a small booklet containing some illustrations as an addendum to a reprint of an old book (sadly, it did not include the original 19th century author's illustrations). After a lot of messing about, here is what I did. It may be useful to someone else. There is almost certainly a better way (Scribus, Lyx, Latex, .... ???) - if you know and it is not too hard, let me know, please! This method uses Linux. Sorry, can't help you for Windows. MORE...

Making Paper Squircle Fold-ups with ImageMagick

CLICK HERE for the full article squircle:

Years ago I received some advertising from IBM, content now long forgotten. What intrigued me was the unusual, large, glossy, black, glue-less envelope it came in. I kept that envelope for many years. Its shape, when opened out, was a square with a semi-circle on each edge. MORE...

My House Monitor

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The web page auto-refreshes. Below is a non-refreshing reproduction of the summary page, to give the flavour. MORE...

Reading a CurrentCost CC128 ENVI Power Monitor using Debian Linux

CLICK HERE for the full article readCC128:

The CC128 ENVI Power Monitor is cheap and does work pretty well, with its wireless data transmitter connected to the house's main power switchboard. To get data out of it, I use the optional serial cable with its built-in USB convertor, plugged into my Debian Linux server. I adapted the following PERL script from one I found on the Net. MORE...

Reading data from an Arduino's USB/serial port using Debian Linux

CLICK HERE for the full article readNano:

In case you don't know, the Arduino is a family of micro-controllers, of open source design, ideal for interfacing environmental sensors, etc. They are also very cheap, popular, easy to connect to external sensors and easy to program. But how do I connect one to a computer to read the data it gets from sensors? MORE...

Rescuing a Xiaomi MiBand 2 Fitness Tracker that won't sync.

CLICK HERE for the full article miband2:

This is a great budget fitness band and sleep tracker. Even a low budget Smart watch, since it tells the time and alerts you about calls and messages. My wife's has been very reliable, but mine stopped syncing with my Android 7.0 phone after a few months. Nothing I found on the web gave me any help: many reboots of the phone, removing and reinstalling the app, ditto while the band was plugged into my laptop's USB port, etc. MORE...

S---'s PuppyLinux Powered Little Old Laptop

CLICK HERE for the full article SpuppyLaptop:

I used Puppy Linux to turn an old Compaq Armada laptop into a useable word-processor for a student. After many attempts with various lightweight Linuxes Puppy is the thing - version 2.17, not the latest which was just too slow (though whether that was inherent in version 4 or just because I used Xorg I'm not sure. For this install I used Xvesa and ext2 for the file system). This is the instructional doc I did for her. MORE...

Tardus's Linux Hints and Tips

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Things I've discovered that helped me. Hope they help you too


Targus AMP06 Wireless Presenter Mouse

CLICK HERE for the full article targusPresenter:

If you do many computer-based presentations this little gizmo is a real boon.

The 10 Laws of IT

CLICK HERE for the full article 10Laws:

After nearly 20 years working with computers I have finally distilled out the 10 essential Laws of IT. If you work with computers, keep these handy. You will find then useful on a daily basis. They will keep you sane. You will never be stumped for an answer when something goes wrong; a quick scan of the 10 Laws and you can say "Aha, that's Law No. 6!", etc. Never trust a computer! MORE...

The And-Goat

CLICK HERE for the full article andGoat:

For Lucy, who understands such things >8-) Logic gates are the building blocks of microprocessors, of the personal computers we take for granted now. MORE...

Txt2Tags - Write Once, Many Formats, Easy HTML

CLICK HERE for the full article txt2tags:

You do sacrifice some control over format, but the ease of creating and adjusting many pages more than offsets this, in my opinion. Txt2tags is written in Python and can be used on Linux, Mac or Windows. MORE...

Uniden GPS 501 Road Hazard Alerter

CLICK HERE for the full article gps501:

Do you have trouble with School Speed Zones? - Here's an answer


Using GIMP to overlay small images on to a larger image.

CLICK HERE for the full article gimpOverlayingImages:

I've often needed to overlay some small images over a larger one, but couldn't see how to do it, resorting to scissors and glue cut-and-paste instead. Here are some images MORE...

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