Archive for the ‘ubuntu’ Category

Today’s adventure using Ubuntu One Cloud synchronization and Tom Boy Notes

October 17, 2011

Today’s adventure using Ubuntu One Cloud synchronization and Tom Boy Notes:

William: I have spent countless hours fine tuning my Ubuntu 10.4 LTS (long term support). I know it will have support for another year or two which is obviously why they call it LTS. But I am wondering IF there is any way to back up or extract all the tweaks and installations so that when it becomes unavoidably necessary to upgrade then I will not have to install everything from scratch. I realize that the more I have in “the cloud” in places like Google then such things do not have to be reinstalled but are simply always there and available through a browser.

I suppose if Ubuntu perfects some type of update in place, sort of an upgrade, then re-installation would not be necessary. Someone remarked that upgrades in place are less reliable/advisable than doing a fresh install.

Is there in fact some way to export all the installs and configurations and tweaks and then reapply them to a new Ubuntu install.

I pity the people who do not choose LTS for they must be reinstalling everything every six months. On the other hand power Linux users seem to enjoy installing new things. Thanks for any advice!

Mike: Following the upgrade path inside Ubuntu isn’t so bad. The admonition for fresh install has historical merit, but since 9.x most of the bugs have been worked out.

In fact, I’d suggest staying on the upgrade path only after trying the live CD of the newer version; make sure it looks right for you. 11.04 introduced some video changes, along with Unity, that my older system didn’t like. Off came Unity, back to Gnome.

William: That is great news. I did just search youtube and found a demo of AptToCD which can back up a list of all installed applications. The only weird thing is that when you go to restore/install, the last part is not so automat…ic and you must to into TERMINAL and enter some obscure commands. Doing that sort of thing makes me nervous. Someone on Google Plus could not understand WHY I would want to take a Windows machine and make it all Ubuntu. He thought I should leave a Windows partition. I explained why I loathe and despise Microsoft and would prefer to find a way to live life using only Ubuntu and open source. The main thing is that I dont have the money or the skills to reinstall Windows or have an install disk. Yesterday I was able to install WINE and then install Windows Quicken 2005 and it seems to work fine. I was also able to run a Windows Chinese Pinyin Tone program which is simply an .EXE which is not “installed” but that also worked fine.

That might be APTONCD because that is what I found in the synaptic manager.

Ok, here is the crap you have to type in TERMINAL to finish a restore. I guess it is not TOO bad.

The .deb packages will be copied to /var/cache/apt/archives. Now you can install them running this command in a Terminal:

sudo dpkg -i /var/cache/apt/archives/*.deb

Yes it is fun to learn Ubuntu and see things actually WORK. Yes, I would like to escape from the tyranny of proprietary software and into the world of open source. I breathe a sigh of relief when you give me hope that upgrade in …place is becoming a viable option. I realize that there do exists ways to backup data applications and configurations but I am not a rocket scientist. I need step-by-step instructions with screen shots if there is not an automated process.

Yesterday, I installed WINE because I NEED to get Quicken 2005 running and it DOES run. But then I went to backup my Blackberry on the Windows machine and I thought about installing the Blackberry Desktop on Ubuntu under WINE. Then I found …some articles which hit at all sorts of extra things to add. I said to myself that I can live without Blackberry Desktop in Ubuntu and I dont want to add things that may crash my system. Someone commented that RIM (Research In Motion) Blackberry is not about to develop applications for the Linux community. I wonder if there will ever be a TIPPING POINT were all efforts suddenly converge upon one operating system? I see Ubuntu and all the Linux flavors as “too big to fail”. Some countries (e.g. Switzerland) have mandated that all educational institutions make Linux a standard.

I meant to stress that while I am having FUN, I obviously want to protect my investment of time and effort with some reliable backup. I think it is that is giving my 5 gigs of free cloud storage which I gratefully… use. I just started to experiment with Tom Boy Notes and synced them with a folder I created on my desktop. I looked into syncing them with DropBox which is highly praised. I am hesitant because it looks like I have to add a lot of stuff which might crash my system. My understanding is that if I have synced with a local folder and if I back up that folder to usb flash drive then I may simply restore folder and resync and that should serve my needs, so why risk crashing the system or slowing down with periodic synchronizations with dropbox or one.ubuntu. I suppose I should search in youtube for a how to tutorial on Tom Boy Notes sync (and no wise cracks from the LGBTQ in the Peanut Gallery!)

I made myself curious about one.ubuntu file syncing so I found this tutorial and went to synaptic manager and saw that I needed to install some more tools to access the ability to sync the tomboynotes folder.

I found THIS link explaining how to sync with cloud and I am following the simple instructions but it is taking a LONG time to sync!! at least what seems like a long time

Geeze!!! I enabled this one.ubuntu sync BUT I do hope it does not just go ahead and automatically sync ALL my files… I would hope that it ASKS me which files I want to sync because I have MORE than my 5 gig cloud limit on my drive and I only want to sync tomboy notes and a few other things….!!!

This is annoying as hell. does not make clear whether it will automatically attempt to sync EVERYTHING or whether I have control of which folders will be synced. I have an 8 gig archive on the desktop. If I right click on th…at archive there is an option to SYNC, but there is no option to UNSYNC. So I am moving the damn thing back to my usb flash drive and deleting it so that at least IF I have to suffer with everything on the desktop getting synced, then at least I wont exceed the 5 gig cloud limit!!!

So NOW my big question is: IF I can get one.ubuntu synchronization to work then how do I control WHAT gets synchroniced and what does not and if EVERYTHING on the desktop IS AUTOMATICALLY synchronized, then where in my filing system can I shove an 8 gig folder that I do not want synchronized??!!!

I am finding some information about controlling which files get synced but they make it SO DIFFICULT AND OBSCURE !!!

Meanwhile you can access the functionality via u1sdtool: to list all the folders syncdaemon knows about, enter u1sdtool –list-folders; then you use the folder ids listed there to enter the id in u1sdtool –subscribe-folder=folderid (or –u…nsubscribe).

The default behavior is for syncdaemon to subscribe to folders automatically when they are created; you can change this by editing /etc/xdg/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf (or ~/.config/ubuntuone/syncdaemon.conf to do it per user) and add a line udf_autosubscribe = False to the [__main__] section.

Oh GREAT! Now I learn that there is a folder called Ubuntu.One and in that folder I find that it did begin to sync what I had in their cloud storage. I am almost finished backing up the 8 gig folder that I do NOT want synced. In a desperate…d effort to see if I could OMIT it from syncing I right clicked on it and it had a place to click and say SYNC with one.ubuntu so I DID CLICK ON THAT hoping I could turn it OFF, but then I see that it is a ONE WAY STREET…. there is no toggle for OFF, …. so now that I have backed the damn thing up to the usb… my only option is to delete it from the desktop. MY GOD why cant these propellor head linux people tell a beginner in PLAIN ENGLISH up front what to expect!!!

OK, I deleted the 8 gig folder on the desktop, having backed it up to the 32 gig usb drive. I rebooted my machine, went to system preferences and clicked on ONE UBUNTU. I was taken to a browser screen which prompted me to RE-ADD my desktop …… and synchronization resumed. NOW I think I understand that all it is doing is making a copy of the few files which are ON the cloud account to the folder named one.ubuntu… (damn I cant keep these names straight perhaps it is … and nothing will get synced outside of that folder UNLESS I right click and ADD it to the synchronication process but GOD HELP me if I synchronize a folder and then want it UNSYNCHRONIZED…!!

Ubuntu One resynchronization is in process. I right clicked on my desktop folder TomBoyNotes which is already locally synced with Tom Boy, and I requested that it be synchronized with Ubuntu One Cloud storage and I added the following NOTE – to test whether the sync works. Supposedly I can install tomboy notes on my windows xp and sync it with Ubuntu One Cloud storage:

Ubuntu One Synchronization

Test of One Ubuntu Synchronization. I right clicked on the TomBoyNotes folder on my desktop and requested that it be synchronized with Ubuntu One.

Aha, this is an encouraging sign! I look at the browser where I am logged into cloud storage and it says 107.6 MB used and I look at the Ubuntu One Preferences which shows sync is in progress and it TOO says 107.6 MB used so it is syncing the files on the cloud with that folder in DESKTOP called Ubuntu One. My initial fear was that it was scoop up ALL files on my local machine and would soon gobble up my 5 gig limit and then demand that I pay more for monthly storage.

Addictive Internet Disctractions Lure Students

September 22, 2010

FB Comment: “grinding” is World of Warcraft lingo for “doing something repetitive that has to be done in order to advance”

Aha, so you are playing a game called Warcraft and your current task in the game require lockpicking.

One of my FB friends was asking if there is some notebook for her son which is would be UNABLE to run games (especially Starcraft, I think) because her son is addicted to the game.

This led to research on inexpensive notebooks and software like Net Nanny as well as a version of Ubuntu for education. She prefers NOT to simply lock or block his programs/links with some sort of parental software because she want to achieve her goals with reasoned mutual agreement rather than force (my words.)

The results of my search indicate that any notebook would be capable of playing some sort of game which might prove addictive or time consuming.

Do YOU think there would be any market for inexpensive computers for adolescents which would be academic/email only enabled but which would prevent unproductive or harmful activity? I suppose parental control software and keyboard loggers are the most effective form of monitoring for those parents who do not object to “might makes right.”

One of my college age friends in Indonesia (now quite an Ubuntu expert) says that he was addicted to gaming when he was younger but recovered.

Do many high school or college students suffer seriously from the tempting distractions which the Internet offers? Do faculties have any solutions or programs?

Thanks for your feedback!

Did you try out the latest ver. of Ubuntu?

May 3, 2010

A Facebook Friend just asked me this question:


Noel: I spent literally 100 hours installing and reinstalling Ubuntu 9.1 on an old 280 gig Gateway that my step-daughter was kind enough to donate. I documented blow by blow each and every miserable step of the undocumented way at my blog

When I finally got it working, I foolishly tried to implement a backup procedure which proceeded to trash my entire system making it unbootable. I began the re-install procedure at 12:01am Saturday morning. By 7:30am I had a working install. So, because I documented every miserable step of the way on WordPress, I was able to re-create in 7 hours what originally took me 100 hours. AND, had I been clever enough to do a backup (tarball) of the Ubuntu Evolution email client, then I could simply have restored that in 10 minutes and avoided the hour to muddle through POP3 stuff.

I decided that there is no point to really back things up. If this Ubuntu install becomes unusable then I will simply download and burn the latest stable Ubuntu install.

If more people would donate more machines, then I might experiment with installing more recent versions of Ubuntu. But the one I have (9.10, Karmic-Koala I think) is super fast compared to my Dell Windows XP. It needs no antivirus or firewall as far as I can determine. It regularly updates itself in a way that is less annoying than Microsoft updates. It connected to my Verizon DSL through Belkin Wi-Fi. I was able to install Google Chrome Debian easily, and have it synchronize my bookmarks with my gmail account. My Blackberry is also synchronized with my Gmail account. So I can forget about nasty old Microsoft Outlook desktop.

My latest project is to master Microsoft Office Word 2007 because it seems radically different from what I have which is Word 2003.

The Open Source Movement

January 13, 2010

Giri writes:

We both know that we can call ourself as free software advocate because we both know the role of F/OSS in today’s world and we also understand clearly the importance of F/OSS and Linux for everyone.

I believe F/OSS and Linux will help to change the world to a better place and I imagine where everybody with different circumstances or people with difficulties can share the same knowledge as we do.
Richard Stallman the president of GNU has write a definition about Free Software

from the link above i understand that Free is not always about Money but Free in Free software is like free as in Freedom.
Open Source offering flexibility in design. Eric S Raymond in his essay

said that Open Source development is A’la Bazaar which means that every software has to be like a cathedral, built together with care.

But there’s something bothering me about this F/OSS movement.

In my opinion F/OSS can never fulfill it’s aim if there’s no cooperation between software developers, GNU and international organization. we can look at the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project or the cooperation between UNESCO and GNU to promote F/OSS usage.

From my opinion above, I want to know what you’re thinking. please add some points that I missed. And I want to know if U.S government ever promote the usage of F/OSS and Linux in educational institutions in America? Is there any Linux Adoption

in America? If yes, what’s the result.

Indonesian Questions Obama’s Carrot & Stick tactics

December 26, 2009

I have met a very interesting young man in Indonesia through my on line presence in Ubuntu IRC chat at the server (using the irc client Konversation.)

He has asked me to comment, as an American, regarding how I perceive Obama’s foreign policy. I am starting this thread here, so I may email to him the link. I shall be adding to this thread my thoughts over the next day or so. I clearly have in mind certain opinions, but the mind thinks at lightening speed, in a gestalt fashion (many things at once), and it takes time to project the multidimensional nature of thought into a linear expository expression. So I shall post this for now, and make various social networks such as Facebook and Plurk aware of its presence, and then begin to add my thoughts and impressions in a fashion which I hope will be fair to the European and most especially the far East point of view, and yet accurate with regard to America past and present, and the circumstances which Barack Obama reluctantly has inherited.

It is ironic that I should be approached today by an Indonesian when last night I watched a long documentary, hosted by Daljit Dhaliwal, on the huge health problem caused in Indonesia by the American controlled cigarette industry.

I have always admired Indonesia for being the largest Islamic democracy in the world (if I am not mistaken) and for having a fairly open-minded secular view. I am told that honor killings, so common in Pakistan and even in India among certain Hindus, are unknown in Indonesia. A year ago I read that the mullahs in Indonesia were composing a fatwah against smoking as being haram (forbidden). By the way, I also admire Tunesia (another Islamic nation) which has a zero tolerance policy towards honor killings. Furthermore, I want to mention that Morocco was the very first nation to sign a treaty of friendship with America after the war of independence (a treaty which is still in effect today). Morocco instituted a religious training program for women who work with the mullahs around the country to guard against overly extremist teachings which might lean towards terrorism. I also greatly admire Kemal Attaturk for his efforts to modernize Turkey and wean it from the ways of the Ottoman empire (that sick man of Europe). I am saying all these things to express the many ways in which Islamic societies have succeeded in achieving a secular moderate form which is tolerant of minority diversity. I do realize that Indonesia is not without its problems of friction with its Christian minorities. I think it is very important for non-Muslims to constantly remind themselves of all the moderate and congenial forms which Islam has assumed over the centuries. And conversely, I shall attempt to summarize some of America’s short-comings in order to be fair and honest. And it is important for Europe, the Middle East and the Far East to remind themselves of all the many good points about America. Both sides have made the grave mistake of demonizing each other at points, and stereotyping and profiling, but we must not continue in this path or it will only lead to more violence.

If both sides are to achieve balance and harmony, and the world is very much divided right now into two “camps”, then each side must do its utmost to praise it’s opponent for all the good points and to confess its own shortcomings.

“Carrot and Stick” are the exact words which my Indonesia friend used. My Filipina wife asked me exactly what is mean by “Carrot and Stick.” I explained that there are old jokes and cartoons about people who want to motivate a simple-minded mule or donkey harnessed to a cart, and so they tie a carrot to a stick, and hold it just beyond the animal’s reach, and so the gullible creature struggles forward, hoping to approach the carrot, but of course never makes any progress and most likely never even gets to eat the carrot. Over the years, a different notion of stick has crept in; the notion of “speak softly and carry a big stick.” So, a carrot and stick policy means that if you do what we want we shall reward you, but if you dont cooperate, then we shall hurt you.

Our very next task is to avail ourselves of google search and find out just what the rest of the world is saying about America’s carrot and stick policy, since we are so wrapped up in what our media considers important that we are often unaware of what the rest of the world thinks or feels.

We find references to a carrot and stick policy with regard to many nations:



American Hedge Funds


North Korea

US Health Care



Child Support


Employee Motivation


WELL, I could perhaps go on and on. Google yields a total of 800 results on a search of OBAMA CARROT AND STICK.

I really had no idea what I would find out from this search but it seems that I have stumbled across a veritable forest of carrots and sticks! Poor Barack is beginning to resemble Bugs Bunny, and I suppose all the groups who have a gripe with Obama are beginning to resemble Elmer Fudd.

Now if I make some joke about “slap stick comedy” (carrot stick slap) you will rightly accuse me of being too corny (carrot, corn).

I am not trying to make light of my Indonesian friend’s important question, but there is an amusing side to all this which is quite unexpected.

We all realize that at the heart of all discord lies two sides with conflicting interests. Peaceful solutions always involve negotiations which we hope will ultimately resolve into what is regarded by both sides as a “win-win” situation where each side maximizes its gains and minimizes loss. Of course, the non-peaceful approach is war, where both sides suffer death and destruction, and the winner takes all. So, at the heart of any negotiation is what may be viewed as “carrots and sticks.”

The entire world is driven by media spin and rhetoric of buzz-words
and buzz terms. “Carrots and Sticks” is but one buzz-term. If you will pardon another pun, whenever our knee-jerk reaction leads us to trot out buzz terms, then we are starting out with a tremendous CHIP (get it, stick, wood, chip) on our shoulders.

At first, I did not know which country my IRC friend was from, but I guessed India, because he was very formal and polite. He begged my pardon for sending me a private message, and then he addressed me as “Sir”. Only young people from India, or Malaysia or Indonesia will be this polite to their elders. And everyone in IRC knows my full name, knows that I am age 60, which astounds then, for they do not encounter anyone as ancient as 60 in IRC. My friend was very timid and hesitant to ask me his question, for he feared I might be defensive of America and my President. He does not realize that being a white American, I have a great deal of contempt for the bad things I see in American history, and the evil I see from centuries of white European Christian colonial aggression, slavery, exploitation and genocide.

One college student in India once mentioned Che Guevara to me, and assumed that as an American I must hate Che Guevara. I explained to him that actually Americans admire bandit revolutionary types like Che Guevara. We wear Che Guevara tee-shirts, and see such a persona as similar to our John Wayne types. We also very much admire India’s Pulan Devi (the woman bandito who could never be captured by India’s government). The student in India was shocked that I knew about Pulan Devi, and was not so pleased that I admire her and rubbed his nose in his own nation’s dark side.

When I learned that my new friend is from Indonesia, I mentioned that his language is Bahasa Indonesia, and that Bahasa shares the same root as Bhasa Braj which is the language of Vrindavan in which the Asta Chapp poets of the 13th century composed. He was somewhat surprised and perhaps embarrassed that I knew some things about his culture of which he is unaware.

I did not mention to him Bhoomi Putra (son’s of the soil), also spelled Bhumi. If you google on this term you will mostly find
links about Indonesia’s highest award. But, Bhumi Putra has a different meaning. I met a Chinese minority from Indonesia, and I mentioned Bhumi Putra, and he spat and said “no good.” If someone is born in Indonesia but is not Muslim, their rights are somewhat limited. But, if they CONVERT to Islam, THEN they become Bhumi Putra, and have special rights and perhaps even receive some land. Perhaps I am confusing Bhumi Putra with Malaysia

As I search, I find that only Malaysia is in the news for Bhumi Putra discrimination in their constitution, but certainly such sentiments must be active in Indonesia as well.

Now, I am not trying to make light of the “carrot and stick” question. I am not trying to make Indonesians and Malaysians feel bad. And I am not trying to make Americans look good.

Let us look at Barack Obama for a moment. His mother was Caucasian. His father was African. Genetically, Barack COULD have come out looking white as wonder bread, white as me. If Barack had been born with white skin, Americans would have seen him in a very different light, because Americans are basically stupid. Most of humanity is basically stupid. A white looking Barack would be just as Negro (half Negro to be precise) as a dark skinned Obama. But the American public would have had a harder time seeing his election as a first for Negroes. I only mention this to underscore the low common denominator of mentality which makes this political world of our go ’round.

Sunday afternoon, day 2 of this blog, Dec 27, 2009

I was pleased to find that my new friend, Giri Alam, has added me to Facebook, so now we may get to know one another better and peer through the blog portal into the world of America and the world of Indonesia, through an old man’s eyes, and a young man’s eyes.

And thank you so much for contacting me in Ubuntu IRC and asking me this very interesting question. I am just having my Sunday late morning coffee, and thinking about what I want to add to that post.

Part of my efforts in that post will be to paint a picture of how I imagine Europe, South America and Asia view America and also now America sees itself, its self-interest, and the rest of the world.

When I first searched on “carrot and stick” I did not realize how WIDE SPREAD that phrase is, both abroad and at home. I think this demonstrates a world-wide reluctance to admit that there MUST be compromise on each side of each issue, whether political, economic or religious. We must not resent the very process itself of peaceful negotiation because none of us can have our cake and eat it too (as the old saying goes.) Whenever diplomacy and arbitration fails, the next step is violence whether in a formal declared act of war, or guerrilla tactics, or individual acts of terrorism.

I shall now paste this very post at the bottom of my blog and try to add thoughts throughout the day.

Marshall McLuhan coined the term “global village” sometime in the 1960s long before anyone ever dreamed of things like IRC (the first chat program, developed in Oulu, Finland, or the Internet.

Now we see how easy it is for two people of vastly separated geographically and in age and culture to become friends.

OK…. HERE IS THE BIG QUESTION! IS THERE SOME WAY, ANY WAY FOR ALL THE OPPOSING SIDES, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Communist, Capitalist, Industrialist, Farmer, etc to find compromises which allows us all a measure of freedom to live as we see fit without threatening one another?

I am going to introduce a term which some of you may have seen and for others it will be a new concept. The term is MEME.

Not only do we live in an electronic village where people living at opposite sides of the globe may be friends, but we share a body of knowledge which we may search and link to at will, which some years ago I began to call META-MIND, when I said “Internet is metamind”. All I need to do is throw a handful of links at you like so much pixie dust from Tinkerbell in a fairy tale, and suddenly, your mind has wrapped or grokked around something totally new and different.

Now, why should it be necessary for me to throw the pixie dust of all these links at you (all of you) and hope that you GROK them? What could any of this possibly have to do with the simpler question of what I as an American think of Barack Obama’s “carrot and stick” policies?

Well, it has something to do with a term called “illation” which was coined by Cardinal Newman, who left the Anglican Church of England and became a high ranking Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.

Let us look at a brief excerpt from Cardinal Newman’s writings:

WE are in a world of facts, and we use them; for there is nothing else to use. We do not quarrel with them, but we take them as they are, and avail ourselves of what they can do for us. It would be out of place to demand of fire, water, earth, and air their credentials, so to say, for acting upon us, or ministering to us. We call them elements, and turn them to account, and make the most of them. We speculate on them at our leisure. But what we are still less able to doubt about or annul, at our leisure or not, is that which is at once their counterpart and their witness, I mean, ourselves. We are conscious of the objects of external nature, and we reflect and act upon them, and this consciousness, reflection, and action we call our rationality. And as we use the (so called) elements without first criticizing what we have no command over, so is it much more unmeaning in us to criticize or find fault with our own nature, which is nothing else than we ourselves, instead of using it according to the use of which it ordinarily admits. Our being, with its faculties, mind and body, is a fact not admitting of question, all things being of necessity referred to it, not it to other things.

As I now write about “illation” and “groking” to answer my Indonesian friend’s question about “carrot and stick” policy, and now quote from Newman’s “Grammar of Assent” (with the intention of dragging into all this the Jain concept of Anekantavada), why is it that thoughts of Bonhoeffer’s “Cost of Discipleship” (seemingly so unrelated) suddenly enter my mind?

Sorry for being away from this complex issue for so long, but I had to post many things in a Facebook thread discussion on Aquinas, Iranaeus and Christianity vs. modern humanism, with special reference to Hans Kung’s “On Being Christian”.

If you were to ask me the worst thing that America has done to Indonesia, and the nicest thing they have done FOR Indonesia, I would have to say, off the top of my head, that the worst thing is the Philip Morris Tobacco company using Indonesia to promote smoking especially among teenagers, and the best thing is that America and the WHO (World Health Organization) REALIZES what a terrible thing it has done, and has tried to get Indonesia to sign an agreement that would make life for tobacco companies more difficult.

If you were to ask me regarding the worst things that America has done in its history, I would have to answer the enslavement genocide of native Americans, the enslavement of Africans, and colonial aggression against Hawaii, the Philippines, and various Caribbean Central and South American nations under various guises and euphemisms of liberation and economic aid.

If you were to ask me the best things that America has given to the world, I would have to say the notion of a Constitution and constitutional law (and slowly but surely, International Law) and some genuine concern for human rights even in places that do not contain oil (although the mercy and justice of liberation is far swifter in oil bearing nations).

In order for you to understand MY view of things, you must in some sense BECOME me, and see what I have seen, and know what I know after the fashion that I know it. This is why I mention Cardinal Newman’s Illation in his Grammar of Conviction which is simply to say that we arrive at our convictions and certainties after years and years of very small experiences and observations which add up to the person that we are.

If you happen to be, say Ibn Khaldun of 14th century Tunisia then that constellation of experiences causes you to see the truth of reality in one way.

Anekantavada is an ancient Jain philosophical concept which fits right in with Cardinal Newman’s illation.

It refers to the principles of pluralism and multiplicity of viewpoints, the notion that truth and reality are perceived differently from diverse points of view, and that no single point of view is the complete truth.

So, you see, I am quite un-American to the degree that I see McCain’s brand of patriotism as monstrous. And I am quite Socratic to the degree that I see myself as a “citizen of the world” (and how large was the known world when Socrates allegedly said that, since the total human population in 400 b.c.e. is estimated to be only 6 million, and not todays 6.7 billion.)

One young, enthusiastic, rather ill-educated Republican boasted to me on Facebook that America is the BEST because Canada could not beat up Vermont, and Canada realizes this, and Vermont realizes this. How tragic that one should view the greatness of one’s nation and culture in terms of coercive destructive force!
Yet Putin of Russia glories in the fact that as a former KGB operative he can still beat people up in a martial arts competition.
I understand that Obama’s big sports accomplishment is in basketball, so he might out DUNK you but he would not dream of KERPLUKING you.

You see, the pen is mightier than the sword (and this we all agree) but shall the spoken and written word prove mightier than a marving nuclear warhead? This remains to be seen!

Ubuntu blows me away

December 21, 2009

Ubuntu 9.10 simply blows me away with its speed and elegance (and so reasonably priced). It took me a total of 50 or 60 hours experimenting, first with Wubi installs on top of Windows, and then with a pure Ubuntu install on a 280 gig
Gateway. I took detailed notes at my WordPress blog. Anyone with those notes should be able to install it in 5 hours or less. Firefox is amazing on Ubuntu. There is a multi platform Instant Message program (Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, MSN, etc), an email client, an IRC client (Konverse) which lands you in a Kubuntu channel with dozens of specialty rooms and hundreds of people on line around the world. The only think it cant do yet, which I like, is Paltalk. Ubuntu updates are far smoother, more automated, less in your face, less annoying than Windows updates. I tried out Ubuntu because I finally had a spare machine I could afford to ruin. I felt if I did succeed in installing Ubuntu, that it would be very primitive and user unfriendly. It is very user friendly with lots of GUI interfaces.
You do not have to be some C++ wizard or know shell and bash commands. You CAN do all that if you know how, but you don’t NEED to to use it. And you get Open Office for spreadsheet, word processor and presentation manager. If more apps become CLOUD based, then you will do everything in your browser, and all apps and data will be on some remote server.

2nd Attempt Ubuntu Multiple Local Sites Apache2

December 2, 2009

Note, my user name is always bryan, because he gave me his old machine, with a password on it, so I just keep everything the same, for convenience.

Step 1:
sudo chown bryan /var/www

Step 2: having given myself rights with that above chown command
I should be able to create folders withing /var/www
e.g. /var/www/proj1

and then invoke the 1st pg of the application by typing into the browser


I shall test this, and place the exercises from Head First PHP MySQL into a folder /var/www/proj1 and see if the exercise works

The only question that remains in my mind is whether the exercise pages will work unchanges, honoring /var/www/proj1 as the root, or whether I need to issue some other command to MAKE proj1 the default directory, or whether I have to hard code paths into all the exercise pages, which, if I do, would kind of defeat the purpose of developing a project in a folder, and then transparently moving it to some other location.

What follows is the raw text from the IRC channel where I asked my questions. I sorted through it to come up with the above, step-by-step procedure to achieve my goals.

+++ the steps WORK AND here is my email feedback to the person that gave me the valuable guidance:

You saved me HOURS of grief, and made it possible for me to now make rapid progress with my HEAD FIRST book. And Yes, I want to pay $60 for the paperback, because I want to be able to take it in the bathroom or on the subway. I want to really let all this PHP MySQL stuff sink in, and become second nature, for the simple reason that I am sick and tired of years of bondage to Micr0$oft and products like Access (or worse VISUAL FOXPRO which they finally dropped as a supported product). I figure that php mysql apache is the best choice for me, because I can kind of understand whats going on, and there is tons of documentation to make it work, but forum and IRC support (like YOUR excellent patient help).

You are CORRECT, THAT YOU did tell me what I need to know, but you did not realize that as a beginner, I cannot recognize the right answer UNTIL certain concepts sink in. Once I did the CHOWN trick you showed me, then I could navigate with the GUI, to /var/www and create a folder, proj1. Then I could navigate to my Desktop to a folder where I put two of the Head First exercises, but with the word TEST inserted in each field, so I would KNOW that it was these executing, and that I was not somehow executing the same original pages in /var/www . Now, I could NOT get Desktop/testwww/report.html to run and then correctly post with report.php and see the added record in the MySQL database with phpmyadmin.

BUT, as soon as it dawned upon me the simple steps you were saying, I copied to cloned files to /var/www/proj1 went to my folder and entered localhost/report.html, actually SAW the cloned version come up with TEST prefixed to each field, I entered data prefixed by TEST so I would see it in the mysql table,… pressed submit, and BINGO, when I did localhost/phpmyadmin and signed in, there was the new record in the sql table.

SO, you see, for a beginner, the Head First book leaves out a VERY IMPORTANT CONCEPT, about creating folders for projects in /var/www and doing the CHOWN trick once, up front, to allow access.

THANKS! And, as you will notice from my blog, when I asked the same question in IRC last week, someone thought that I wanted to do that complex business (which was CORRECT, if I wanted to access separate projects from some remote client, BUT unnecessary for my simple desktop purposes).

And here is the RAW irc chat to illustrate what a beginner may have to do to sort out the proper answers from a technically savvy person trying to help.

I am trying to set up several websites on my desktop ubuntu under Apache 2, and I have a detailed tutorial, but it says I need my IP address, but

sudo ipconfig gives me an internal, and gives me an external, any clues as to which is required, thanks

[04:08] WilliamBuell: what IP address? where do you want to reach them from?

(the answer, as it turns out, which I did not make clear to the IRC channel, is that I only want to make this stuff work from my DESKTOP, not from some remote client on the internet, which might require some ip address)

[04:08] thanks I am following this excellent tutorial on apache2 multiple sites

[04:09] I have Ubuntu desktop with LAMP installed, but can only get php pages to work in /var/www

[04:09] I want to be able to have several projects i.e /home/proj1

[04:09] WilliamBuell: that’s where they should go

[04:09] why not put them in /var/www?

(this turns out to be an EXCELLENT QUESTION!)

[04:10] the tutorial mentions IP address but does not indicate whether it is EXTERNAL from or local from

sudo ifconfig

[04:10] BECAUSE I would need a different name for each html and php page

[04:10] WilliamBuell: where are you trying to access them from? you shouldn’t need an ip address at all most likely

[04:11] suppose I am following several tutorials, with several pages with same name, they cannot BOTH be in /var/www

[04:11] why not /var/www/proj1, /var/www/proj2?

[04:11] and i dont know how to access some search path that would support /var/www/proj1

[04:12] or does apache2 lamp automatically honor any folder within www

[04:12] yes, automatically http://localhost/folder

(above is the KEY CONCEPT that I needed)

[04:12] and, if so (i am total beginner) ….

aha…. localhost/folder seems to make sense to me

[04:13] next question in TERMINAL does it matter HOW i create those folders, i mean do i have to be sudo or root

[04:13] do permissions matter?

[04:13] what would the proper command be to create the folder in /var/www would it be mkdir /home/www/
[04:14] with sudo mkdir /home/www/

[04:14] except it would be sudo mkdir /var/www/

[04:14] if i follow along with this one tutorial

[04:15] but that tutorial is talking about MULTIPLENAMEHOST

[04:15] WilliamBuell: you can cheat and do sudo chown USER /var/www

( the above is the OTHER KEY CONCEPT that I require.. and if it works, then I can navigate in a GUI file folder system and create project folders at will, without fussing with sudo permissions)

[04:15] it sounds like you are saying if I simply create a folder in /var/www/proj1 that it will work from localhost/proj1

[04:15] WilliamBuell: only on a desktop though
[04:16] WilliamBuell: correct

[04:16] i am a 60 year old total beginner, so i dont need hints like “you can cheat” I am truly lost

[04:17] so i should say from TERMINAL sudo chown bryan /var/www but… HOW DO I MAKE THE FOLDER PROJ1
[04:17] i mean the chown command is changing rights or something

[04:17] chown changes the ownership of the file
[04:17] nothing else

[04:17] WilliamBuell: oh, one you own the folder, you can go into /var/www and make whatever you want 🙂

[04:18] in other words, from terminal, what is the command to correctly creat /var/www/proj1 with all the proper user rights for apache2 to work

[04:18] BUT, whenever i go into /var/www it doesnt let me do stuff i dont think unless i am root admin

[04:18] WilliamBuell: the support here is not too great… might want to try a support channel

[04:18] WilliamBuell: yeah, that’s why I suggested owning the folder

[04:18] yeah, but you guys know this like the back of your hand

[04:19] once you do that, you can mkdir in /var/www all you wnat

[04:19] and you just cant give a beginner the command to create the folder

[04:19] WilliamBuell: if we did we would have told you straight away

[04:19] so, you say , create the folder, and then use chown to change ownership?
[04:19] and then everything will be honkey dory ok

[04:19] WilliamBuell: no, chown /var/www, then you can create all the folders you want without sudo

[04:21] ok so sudo chown bryan /var/www gives me the rights, then i should be able to navigate with the gui and create proj1

[04:21] WilliamBuell: yep 🙂

[04:21] aha… now that is making sense to this beginner brain
[04:22] and i WONT need to mess with that other tutorial
[04:22] since i only want stuff to work locally…

[04:22] WilliamBuell: right no apache configs 🙂

[04:23] BUT, second question,…. if i make a bunch of php html pages in /var/www/proj1 do I need explicit paths to the other pages, or will they default to that local directory

[04:23] and is there some command i need to issue to make /var/www/proj1 a local directory for that session

[04:23] WilliamBuell: not sure I’m following

[04:23] WilliamBuell: not sure you’re sure what you’re asking
[04:24] http://localhost basically loads what’s in /var/www

[04:24] ok… you are telling me if i do all this then from browser .. i type localhost/proj1/report.html and it comes up

[04:24] yep

[04:24] but INSIDE report.html it is going to POST to report.php

[04:24] if you have /var/www/proj1/report.html

[04:24] yeah, default is current folder

[04:24] but, it will know enough to look in var/www/proj1 without
[04:25] well, it looks in http://localhost/proj1/report.php
[04:25] or rather posts to

[04:25] aha, and the very act of launching the project as localhost/proj1 is sufficient to make that the local directory for the entier project session

[04:25] which should correspond to /var/www/proj1/report.php
[04:25] if so, that makes sense

[04:25] WilliamBuell: not sure you quite get URL vs local path
[04:25] it’s not for the session

[04:25] in other words, i dont have to HARD CODE specific addresses in each html and php…

[04:26] that’s just how it it

[04:26] WilliamBuell: that you have to do
[04:26] i want to develop something in /var/www/proj1 test it , but have it work if i move it somewhere else

[04:26] WilliamBuell: why not just have a .php file?
[04:26] why have anything .html?

[04:26] well, i dont know enough to understand your hint

[04:26] WilliamBuell: a PHP file can have HTML and PHP in it

[04:27] because, the tutorial book i am following starts with report.html posting with report.php… but now i see what you are saying

[04:27] WilliamBuell: what book?

[04:27] but, php or html, is not germain to my path question at hand

[04:27] it is a great book called HEAD FIRST php mysql, which leads you step by step, including cookie sessions

[04:28] i have in my blog links to the book

[04:28] i am buying the book for $60 tomorrow, and i already downloaded a zip file of all the source code exercises from the publisher

[04:29] WilliamBuell: do you have any programming background and are you interested in mysql>??

[04:29] i started programming in 1979, through the 1980s, with stuff like cobol, rpg, then basic, then pick

[04:29] WilliamBuell: BTW, you know you can get it as an ebook for $36

[04:29] i am not a moron

[04:30] i just have some simple questions which in reality have very simple answers, but getting straight answers from techie types is like pulling teeth
[04:31] WilliamBuell: do you like head first series?

WUBI Ubuntu and Cyrillic Russian in Open Office Word

December 1, 2009

Get a load of THIS:

In free Ubuntu, it is a PIECE OF CAKE, to change to ANY LANGUAGE. You just click on SYSTEM, and PREFERENCES, the keyboard will say USA, you click ADD, select RUSSIAN FEDERATION, and click that as default. NOW everything you type in Open Office Document will be as you see above, which is all three qwerty rows, first in lower case, and next in caps lock. And then, I copied it to the paste buffer, and had to go BACK to SYSTEM Preferences, Keyboard and click RESTORE TO DEFAULT to get the damn thing out of Cyrillic. So, IF you want to do a WUBI install of Ubuntu WITHIN your Windows environment, that is the easiest way, it takes less than an hour, automatic, with a DSL connection, and instantly comes up (with dual boot choice Windows or Ubuntu) with Firefox browser, Open office Document, Spreadsheet, and Presentation mgr. And, if you DONT like UBUNTU, you can delete it with PROGRAM ADD/DELETE and poof, its GONE.

Sending Email from PHP in Ubuntu Desktop

November 28, 2009

Re: Path of Sendmail
Open synaptic and search for sendmail. Then install it from there.

Sendmail will then be found in /usr/sbin/sendmail

; For Win32 only.
;sendmail_from =

; For Unix only. You may supply arguments as well (default: “sendmail -t -i”).
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i

or possibly:
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -i -t
sendmail_path = /usr/lib/sendmail -i -t

MY PHP.INI file is located in /etc/php5/apache2

I go into TERMINAL and type

sudo gedit
It prompts me for the root password
and then I am in gedit with superadmin rights and I can navigate to the php.ini file and change it. The very first thing I ever did was to open php.ini and do SAVE AS to original.php.ini so I can always revert back to the default.

NOTE: THE synaptic mgr install of POSTFIX will remove SENDMAIL.
what worked for me was:
apt-get install postfix

and then edit php.ini
Relevant lines in /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini:

[mail function]
; For Win32 only.
SMTP = localhost
smtp_port = 25

; For Win32 only.
;sendmail_from =

; For Unix only. You may supply arguments as well (default: “sendmail -t -i”).
sendmail_path = /usr/sbin/sendmail -t -i

and edited /etc/postfix/ and put my correct external smtp server
relayhost =

restart the services that had configuration changes

During the postfix installation, I chose the Internet Configuration. If you hover the mouse over the choice field, a tool tip will explain all the choices. I noticed that it offered me bryan-desktop as a name for the system, so I stuck with that, since it might be required, and I have no idea how to find the name of my system.

Now all I need to do is TERMINAL sudo gedit

and edited /etc/postfix/ and put my correct external smtp server
example – relayhost =

(but mine will I THINK be

restart the services that had configuration changes

OF COURSE, the first thing I do when I gedit is to
SAVE AS, close, and reopen

When I make the above mentioned chage to the file, I find:

# See /usr/share/doc/postfix/TLS_README.gz in the postfix-doc package for
# information on enabling SSL in the smtp client.


There are some significant differences between the Debian Postfix packages,
and the source from upstream:

1. The Debian install is chrooted by default.
2. Dynamically loadable map support.
3. For policy reasons:
a. SASL configuration goes in /etc/postfix/sasl
b. myhostname=/path/to/file is supported (and used) in
4. smtp_line_length_limit defaults to 0, instead of 990, in absolute
violation of the RFC. Note that mailers in the path will still
potentially split the line, though. This will be removed at some
point in the future.
5. IPV6 support is enabled: postfix listens on ipv6/ipv4 by default,
(see: inet_protocols)
6. TLS/SASL support is enabled.
7. rmail comes from sendmail, not from postfix.
8. The upstream is delivered as /usr/share/postfix/,
rather than cluttering /etc/postfix/ with comments.

Known caveats:
1. The dynamically loadable modules are not found in the chroot.
Therefore, proxy maps may require you to copy the appropriate shared
object into the chroot if you chroot the proxy service in
2. Some map types (and SASL support) require some extra configuration
(beyond what upstream indicates) to run inside the chroot. The simplest
solution for the maps is to use the proxy service, which is not chrooted.
SASL is a bit more complex, and is on the TODO list…
3. Note that the chrooted daemons open /dev/log before chrooting, so if your
syslog daemon is restarted, the daemons will be unable to reconnect to the
syslog socket, and hence being unable to log. The postfix package provides
a config snipped for the rsyslog daemon in /etc/rsyslog.d/postfix.conf to
also open a socket in /var/log/postfix/dev. For other syslog daemons, you
will also have to restart postfix after restarting the syslog daemon, or
configure it to open an additional socket.
a. For sysklogd (the default in Debian versions prior to Lenny), add
SYSLOG=”-a /var/spool/postfix/dev/log” to /etc/default/syslog.
b. For inetutils-syslogd, add SYSLOGD_OPTS=”-a /var/spool/postfix/dev/log” to


Ubuntu Apache Path Question

November 28, 2009

I successfully installed LAMP (see another blog post here for details).

I KNOW that I can place files in /var/www such as .html and .php and .css and those files will be found and executed whenever I launch the browser and type localhost/report.html (i.e. if report.html is in /var/www it will run, and if it calles report.php and that file is in /var/www it will execute.


Suppost I want to have different folders holding different applications. What do I need to do to guarantee that Apache and PhP and MySQL will execute properly when invoked by files in a different folder.

I did find THIS in google:

There’s a ‘doc_root = ‘ in php.ini.
There’s also ‘DocumentRoot “drive:/path/”‘, ‘

and ‘DirectoryIndex index.html index.php otherfile.ext’ in the

Does that mean that I should simply edit php.ini and put a search path?

SOMEONE IN KUBUNTU IRC CHANNEL told me I should google. Then they said they do not know too much but it is probably in php.ini which is a well documented file, so I took a second look and found:

; About php.ini ;
; This file controls many aspects of PHP’s behavior. In order for PHP to
; read it, it must be named ‘php.ini’. PHP looks for it in the current
; working directory, in the path designated by the environment variable
; PHPRC, and in the path that was defined in compile time (in that order).
; Under Windows, the compile-time path is the Windows directory. The
; path in which the php.ini file is looked for can be overridden using
; the -c argument in command line mode.

THIS LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THAT IF IN TERMINAL I issue cd /Desktop/testwww that perhaps that becomes the “current directory” and hence, in the browser, issuing the localhost/report.html would now look in that current directory. I will test out this theory.

I AM MAKING SLIGHT PROGRESS, because I created on Desktop testwww and I discover that the following link in the browser will open a copy of my file


so now all I need to do is copy the php there and see if it executes ok.

So far, it does not seem to work!?

[22:59] WilliamBuell: Aye; you want to go to /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/
[22:59] MenZa: that does sound familiar
[22:59] WilliamBuell: Create a config file, i.e. blah.domain.conf
[23:00] WilliamBuell: I’ll give you one of my config entries so you have something to work with

<VirtualHost *:80>
DocumentRoot "/var/www/projects.lassehavelund"
<Directory "/var/www/projects.lassehavelund">
allow from all
Options +Indexes