Category: Technology

I introduced my 5-year-old and 2-year-old to startx and xmonad. They’re DELIGHTED!

June 20th, 2012, 134 Comments

Two years ago, Jacob (then 3) and I built his first computer together. I installed Debian on it, but never put a GUI on the thing. It’s command-line, and has provided lots of enjoyment off and on over the last couple of years. I’ve written extensively about what our boys like to do, and the […]

Windows & a dying hard disk: Solving with Linux

June 14th, 2012, No Comments

Today, my workstation sent me this email: The following warning/error was logged by the smartd daemon: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], 1 Currently unreadable (pending) sectors and then a little later, this one: The following warning/error was logged by the smartd daemon: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], 1 Offline uncorrectable sectors From the hard disk’s SMART data, this is […]

How to debugging Linux failure to resume from suspend?

June 14th, 2012, 17 Comments

I’m running a computer with a Gigabyte Z68A-D3H-B3 motherboard, and have never been able to get it to properly resume from suspend to RAM in Linux. It has worked fine on the rare occasion I’ve tried it in Windows 7. My somewhat limited usual for debugging aren’t particularly helpful. The system appears to suspend perfectly […]

XMPP for Children

February 11th, 2012, 8 Comments

When Jacob was just born, I wondered how I might introduce them to computing. I thought over various things, but that wasn’t really the most pressing thing right then. I don’t suppose that I could have predicted installing an XMPP IM server (Prosody) for the boys. And I certainly couldn’t have predicted creating accounts named: […]

Shell Scripts For Preschoolers

February 10th, 2012, 5 Comments

It probably comes as no surprise to anybody that Jacob has had a computer since he was 3. Jacob and I built it from spare parts, together. It may come as something of a surprise that it has no graphical interface, and Jacob uses the command line and loves it — and did even before […]

Weather Station Excitement

August 24th, 2011, 4 Comments

I’ve sort of wanted a weather station for a long time. Lately, the ham radio hobby has intensified that, and I finally got one. When I finally got the serial link cable yesterday, well I was perhaps irrationally excited. Terah accused me of running all around the house while gathering up stuff for it. That […]

A 4-year-old, Linux command line, and microphone

July 30th, 2011, 4 Comments

There are certain times when I’m really glad that we have Linux on the house for our boys to play with. I’ve already written how our 4-year-old Jacob has fun with bash and can chain together commands to draw ASCII animated steam locomotives. Today I thought it might be fun to install cw, a program […]

Geeks, Hobbies, and Free/Open Source: Feedback Wanted

July 5th, 2011, 8 Comments

I’ve been thinking lately about ways to improve ways in which I interact with Free Software projects, and ways in which they interact with me. Before I proceed to take steps or make suggestions, I’d like to see if others share my traits and observations. Here are some questions I have been thinking of. If […]

APRS: World’s Best Social Mapping and Wide-Area Ad-Hoc Wireless Mesh Network

June 17th, 2011, 3 Comments

That was quite a headline, and I’m going to try to back it up below. APRS is the Automatic Packet Reporting System. It’s a system for exchanging brief packets of information. It is most frequently used for mapping applications, but it really does a lot more than that. It has its biggest home in the […]

A Proud Dad

March 16th, 2011, 12 Comments

I saw this on my computer screen the other day, and I’ve got to say it really warmed my heart. I’ll explain below if it doesn’t provoke that reaction for you. So here’s why that made me happy. Well for one, it was the first time Jacob had left stuff on my computer that I […]

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