Showing posts with label linux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label linux. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Map Doodles

I'm troubleshooting Worldographer tonight. It works on one system but not another. Annoying, because I know it's my machine. 

Anyway, here is a quick map I used for testing. 



As a map, it's pretty plain. I like it as artwork better. 




Friday, January 10, 2020

Stupid Hobby Collision D&D+Linux

I like Linux and D&D. Rarely do these hobbies collide, but sometimes I can force it. Not that I am a great Linux user. I like Linux. I like Ubuntu with XFCE. It's a great environment for my purposes. I am newbie when it comes to terminal skills. This post assumes you have zero skill.

I wanted a simple way to generate 6 D&D Character Abilities scores using Linux. There are the classic methods of using a spreadsheet, but what if I don't want numbers in a spreadsheet? What if I merely need them displayed on the screen or in a text file?

Well... terminal can do that with the shuf command. Open a terminal and try this command:

shuf -i 3-18 -n6 | paste - -s -d ' '


Breaking it down, shuf will select a seemingly random number. -i is the input of an expected range, in this case 3 to 18 or 3-18. The headcount or the number of numbers generated in this fashion is -n6. Everything after the pipe | is formating. Basically, this part will turn the typical column of numbers into a row of numbers. 

If you play D&D like me, you let players re-roll ones. In this case, your command would need to cover a range of 6 to 18. Two times three dice is 6. Try this line: 

shuf -i 6-18 -n6 | paste - -s -d ' '


Ok. That's great. You get six numbers in a row on your screen. What if you want that in a text file? For sanity, use the cd command to move from wherever you are to the Documents folder. (I lose lots of files and time by NOT doing this...)

cd Documents


Now that you are in a safe place, let's add some information to that line of commands:

shuf -i 3-18 -n6 | paste - -s -d ' ' > Stats.txt


The instruction > Stats.txt at the end will create a file called "Stats.txt" in your current directory.

Go open that file:


Great. That is one character's worth of stats. Let's make more: 

shuf -i 3-18 -n6 | paste - -s -d ' ' >> Stats.txt


Note the double >> symbols. All that does is tell terminal to append the current information to the file described. Note: I clipped my screen to show gedit and terminal in one screen shot for the next step.

Repeat the last command with a small modification, change -i 3-18 to -i 6-18. Since you didn't close gedit, you will get a new button which refreshes the file. Before you do, repeat the shuf command again. This is easily done by pressing the up arrow and then return. Do this twice.


Ok, now hit that refresh command. You have 4 sets of stats, where the first two have a range of 3 and 18 and the second is 6 and 18.


Shuf is not exactly a random number generator, but it's good enough for government work* and character stats. I THINK it is using it's the process id time and doing a computation based on that value. That means if you run a bunch of these commands in rapid succession and that interval is less than a second, then the seemingly random numbers will all be the same or very close to it. This is why I didn't make it generate 6 character at a time. You probably can't hit up arrow + return in less than half a second so the effect is not as noticeable.

Lastly, you could always run info shuf to see the full documentation of this command or to read at your convenience, try info shuf > Infoonshuf.txt

*This is joke. DON'T use this to generate random numbers for government work.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Issue with chroot on Chromebook

Ok, I seem to have this random crashing issue with Xenial on my Chromebook. It runs fine for weeks, then decides it will crash every time I switch from ChromeOS to Linux. Usually, I can open a Linux session but when I flip-flop back and forth, the whole machine freezes.

Annoying.

For my own sanity, I've started logging the troubleshooting I have done.

First, I ran an update. Then I decided maybe I wanted to do this in a tab to prevent these problems. So I added xiwi: 

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xiwi -u -n xenial

Something seemed to die when I did that process. My next step was to check the updated install.

sudo enter-chroot

This line is annoying, the first time I replaced "-chroot" with "xenial". That's wrong, actual use the term provided: "-chroot". That went wrong, too. However, this seemed to work: 

sudo enter-chroot -n xenial

Next, I installed the crouton integration extension.  

Next step:

sudo startxfce4

Now, we wait to see what happens. 


Sunday, March 24, 2019

.jar files under XFCE, especially for Chromebooks

Good Evening, I recently purchased some wonderful software from Inkwell Ideas and came across a little hiccup. Under XFCE, for some reason, I cannot use the GUI window to flag my .jar as an executable.


It's not a huge deal, but some versions of Linux simply have a checkbox. I like easy. The "hard way" of opening or running a .jar file is to open the terminal and type:

java -jar filename.jar

Not so hard, I guess. But what if I simply want to double click that .jar file and have it open for me? The command is:

chmod +x filename.jar  

Reading the command makes me chuckle. "put the x in the box" is the command. Why not an easy little box. This is handy terminal usage information for all .jar files from Minecraft to Hexographer. One note on HexOgrapher is don't forget the little "o" between x and g. For whatever reason, I say "Hexgrapher" and then want to type it that way. It does not work, don't bother doing that.

I can't wait to review this software. It looks amazing. If you are wondering how you came to be here from MeWe, I am the author at These Old Games. The Unpwnd website is my tech site, which is not typically useful to RPG and OSR gamers. Not much can go wrong with pen and paper, so I like to keep them separated.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The machine that started it all...

In December of 2010, I started a website called Pretender to the Power. I was recently back to school and thought I had a little free time on my hands. Not so.

Instead of learning how to blog, I spent much of my time with my Asus PC EEE 700 series machine trying to get a handle on Linux.

Today, I found that little machine shoved in a drawer.

I plugged it in and booted up. It worked. It has 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB on a SSD with an actual 8 GB SD card for supplemental storage space runs at 800 mhz and as a 7" screen.

It's a Kindle Fire without the touchscreen. Or a Fire with a keyboard.

Well, not quite. The Fire is on the left. Both had their uses but I find myself using my Chromebook for most tasks. How things change.

I purchased the EEE PC for $138 back in 2009 on NewEgg. It was an open box return. For less than 200 bucks, I figured I could take a chance. It came with two 8 SD cards, a sleeve and the charger. Out of the box, it ran Xandros. Xandros served for a time but I out grew it.

I ended up running Netbook Remix, Ubuntu 10.10. It was simple, clean and invigorated my curiosity about Linux. I never really looked back. My current Chromebook has a copy of Linux hiding in the Crosh.

I recently updated my C710-2487 Chromebook from 4 to 8 Gb and my first thought was to transfer the old ram to the Asus. No dice. Wrong type.


Of course, I found 3 other 512 mb RAM chips lying around, but with a single slot, that is no help.

I am trying to decide if I will keep my old Asus or let it go. Not sure. In the image above, note the large empty space begging for some new gadget to be installed. Oh... the pain of being a nerd.


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Ubuntu Reinstall on Chromebook

There are many guides to installing Linux on a Chromebook. What I don't see are too many guides on what needs to be done afterwards. Using Crouton gives a very basic experience with Ubuntu, so a lot of things need tweaking.

One step that I often forget is switching to Dev Mode on a Chromebook can require a restart. Also, walking through the Ubuntu install also requires a restart. You can combo these together or do them one at a time. It doesn't really matter. What does matter is the restart option in Ubuntu will turn off your Chromebook. Think ahead.

I find the best way to get software easily is the Software Center. I know it can be buggy and odd, but it is a good place to start. Under the standard install of Ubuntu via Crouton, it isn't there and the terminal is the best option. First things first, make sure your install is up to date:

sudo apt-get update

This should only take a few seconds. Now you can get the software center:

sudo apt-get install software-center

The Software Center takes much longer to download and install. For whatever reason, sometimes the Software Center doesn't work. Simply repeat the command:

sudo apt-get update

The next thing I hit is a proper browser. NetSurf is 3 years old and kind of funky. It works fine in a pinch but doesn't offer a lot of features. I like Chromium.

A good word processor is a must and I am a fan of Libre Write. Write isn't the only game in town, you could simply use Google Docs, Abiword or WPS Writer. WPS Writer has the look and feel of MS Word, Abiword is a stripped down word processor which is easy to use and distraction free.

Stay tuned for more ideas of how to extend your Chromebook's usefulness.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Chromebook + Linux + Simutronics Wizard

Using the Simutronics Wizard is preferable to the default web client. On a Chromebook, you must install some form of linux to install the Wizard and then install Wine and WineTricks.

Installing Linux on a Chromebook is easy. How to Geek has a great install guide for linux and crouton. This guide has a couple of options, I suggest xfce as a solid OS for your Chromebook. I mention this because I am using Ubuntu and Unity, which is less optimal. This instructions will work for many types of linux, so use whatever your heart desires.

Once you have linux install go ahead and use chrosh to open it up. Your commands are: "shell" and "sudo startunity", if you have Ubuntu Unity or "sudo startxfce4" for xfce. If you have another flavor, your sudo start command will be different.

If you are using Ubuntu, sometimes the Software Center is broken when first launched. Update it by typing into the terminal: "sudo apt-get update software-center". Once this step is complete, open it and install WineTricks. This will install a basic Internet Explorer. You can reach that directory by going to: home/chrome/.wine/dosdevices/program files (x86)/ or simply searching for iexplore.exe.

For some reason, the iexplorer.exe will not download the file, but keep it open in the background for later. Open your linux web browser and go to www.play.net/software/.


Next download the Game Entry Client. This will get a program called sg32inst.exe.

Back up in the browser and do the same for the Game Launcher. This file is called InchInst.exe.

Once you have these files, open sg32inst.exe and InchInst.exe. They should open directly from your browser and run in Wine. You will end up with the Simutronics Game Entry tool in Program Files under the C:\ drive. Open it and log in.
 Next, select a game.
 Select a character AND choose your client. Your options are Stormfront or Wizard. I picked the Wizard. It will download it for you and install it into your Program Files (x86). The same for Stormfront.
 Hit play and you are in. For whatever reason, there is no sound.
Enjoy!

(If you have any problems, let me know in the comments and I will try to work it out.)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gemstone IV and The Wizard

This week, I will be reviewing the Simutronics Wizard for Mac and PC. The Wizard is the client for most Simutronics' games, I will be focusing on Gemstone IV, but this could apply to any game supported by the Wizard.

My goals are:
Install Wizard on Mac OS 9.
Install Wizard on Chromebook.
Install Wizard on Windows.
Getting the most out of a Mac OS 9 install using other software.

Bonus points if I cover:
Telnetting into the game.
Cover Stormfront for Windows and/or Linux.
Cover other MUD software for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, OS X and Chromebook.

Tall order...

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Stupid Linux Tips - Disable Touchscreen Temporally

I have a touchscreen that needs a good wipe down. Touch screens are annoying when dirty and you only have three options:

1) Wipe it down and hope you don't click something stupid.
2) Turn off the computer.
3) Disable the touchscreen.

I want item three, but there seems to be no Unity control panel for the touchscreen. I couldn't find one so I opened the Swiss army terminal and typed xinput.


Reading down the list is simple enough, id=13 is my touchscreen.

The command is xinput disable 13 or whatever number you need. Turning it back on is just as simple with xinput enable 13.


Obviously, I am not the best Linux user, but I like to share tidbits that make things easier.

Now clean that monitor.

Quickly lookup Ubuntu info

Ubuntu is nicely consistent. So consistent that often you can't tell what version you have just by looking.

Two commands in Terminal can grab that info for you:

lsb_release -a

uname -r


Settings and Details does the exact same thing, in a prettier form.


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Mint LXDE - What's Missing

I installed Mint LXDE 5 or six days ago. In a weeks time, I thought I would have a laundry list of software I absolutely must install. This is LXDE after all.
Surprisingly, that is not the case. LXDE is lightweight, but that doesn’t mean limited software. Right out the install box, Mint contains all of the software you might need for almost any task. For word processing Abiword is all you need; Spreadsheets are handled very well by Gnumeric; Gimp provides all of the photoediting capabilities one might need for almost any task.  Exaile is excellent for music and video is handled well by both MPlayer and VLC. Firefox is the go to web browser for any system and it did not require any updates with Mint LXDE 11, which was a nice touch. In fact with this version of Mint, I don’t believe I had more than a couple of updates.
So what did I HAVE to install? I selected Libre Office over Gnumeric and Abiword; however these to pieces of software are so handy that I decided to keep them. Considering all of the options in Libre Office, keeping them is high praise. For web browsers I needed something other than Firefox so I selected Opera and Epiphany-Browser. There is no beating Firefox in my book, but sometimes I need to look at websites in something else. Opera was selected because I last used this on my old Mac. Epiphany was snap decision, I wanted to take a drive with something new to me
The only lack I saw by way of software was a plain jane HTML editor and an ebook manager. Abiword could do it and there is nothing wrong with gedit, but Bluefish is my favourite. As for ebooks, I selected Calibre because it works so well and does so much more.
I hope to do a write up of my new software choices soon, so say tuned.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Why use Terminal? (GIMP Install)

Linux has come a long way over the years. Nearly every variant has a software manager, a graphical interface for adding software. Why bother with the Terminal any more?
First, the terminal will display everything it does. Second, there are many versions of Linux and all of them have Terminal as an option. No matter what version of Linux, Terminal experience will server you well.
Here is a quick example of how to install GIMP using the Terminal.
Install GIMP:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install gimp
The && combos two commands, update and install. The first checks your repositories to make sure they are up to date and the second installs GIMP.
You can follow this with autoclean and clean:
sudo apt-get autoclean && sudo apt-get clean
These commands remove .deb files not used by your system. Autoclean removes the cache information. This is good for systems with low disk space, however the penalty is you will need to download these again if you need to update or install software.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Eye on the Pi

I have my eye on the Raspberry Pi. This little machine has a vibrant community and help is available all around the web.
This morning, I found The Errant Scientist blog; Matthew takes a walk through the set up process and installation of software via the LXTerminal.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Terminal Refresh - Chromebook Users and Terminal

Years ago, I wrote a terminal cheat sheet over on pretendertothepower.com I think it is time for an update.
One command that I misunderstood from the beginning was sudo. This concept troubled me as there is a root account, which is sort of analogous to being an admin on Windows. Windows is bad news, because the admin account is so handy, or worse, required to do many standard things. This is not the case in all the various forms of Linux. xPud is a notable exception as you are always logged in as root.
By way of example, in Windows, the Admin account will not allow you to delete critical files from your system. At least, not without a lot of effort. Linux will happily allow the root user to delete ANYTHING!
Linux Rule One: If you don't know what outcome you need, root is NOT the tool for you.
On the other hand, you can gain temporary access to elevated privileges with the sudo command. This is actually the correct method for gaining privileges. Let's say you want to install some software, and you intend for all users to access it. The sudo command allows a user to gain privileges using their own password, not the root account password. The process creates a log of what is done in /var/log/auth.log; if mistakes are made, you can easily figure out what and when it was done.
In this example of sudo, we are going to install gedit. But we need to get ready for it.
sudo apt-get update
This command will tell your system to go and check what versions you have against what versions are available on the servers. It installs nothing. This is very important, because your linux computer has a local list of software available and it could be out of date. Update, update, Update!
The command for installing is:
sudo apt-get install gedit
Linux is made up of packages of software, in discrete chunks to make it more useable. The command apt-get install will put these packages on your system and make them useable.
You can go ahead and try to run both commands without the sudo. It will throw a nasty looking error.
Ok. Now we have gedit installed. We can open gedit without the sudo command. Type
gedit
As you can see, gedit is a very basic editor. We are going to use our elevated privileges and use gedit to do something a normal user cannot do. I am using a Chromebook with Crouton and I would like my Linux system to default to the $HOME/Downloads directory.
Let's fix this. Type sudo gedit .config/user-dirs.dirs to open the protected .config file.
What is not shown is all the activity in the terminal. At this point, since terminal opened gedit with elevated privileges, you should not close the terminal window.
Go ahead and change the text $Home/Desktop to $Home/Downloads.
I changed them all, but obviously you don't need to do that. Click save. You should see some activities in the terminal window.
Tomorrow we will look at using sudo for other purposes.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Chromebook and Ubuntu - How do I right click?

If you are using Crouton on a Chromebook, there will come a day where you ask "How do I right click?" With Chrome, you tap with two fingers. In Ubuntu, this does work.
Nothing special is needed. Just hold the ctrl button and click. This also works with any Ubuntu variant and a Mac single button mouse.
Good to know, eh?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mint 13 XFCE - Save HD Space with backdrop file resizing

Mint has always had gorgeous backdrop images for the desktop. The photographs by masterbutler are incredible.
But if you are on a small machine, like my ASUS eee PC, you don't have a lot of hard drive space.
You could just delete a lot of things, such as the backdrop files, but that would be a shame. Instead, I choose to resize them to fit my 800x600 screen. To be honest, I am not missing anything. The images surpass my monitors ability to display them in all their glory.
Since Mint comes with Gimp, this is an easy task. The directory is /usr/share/xfce4/backdrops. I hesitated to "undo the beauty" by reducing the size until I opened the credits file. Masterbutler has thoughtfully provide a link to 80+ pages of wonderful images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alwbutler/.
Go ahead and scale those images. You may find yourself using the space to enjoy more art by masterbutler.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Notes on installing Crouton on a Chromebook

I opted for the Unity interface for Ubuntu. HowToGeek has a great set of instructions.
At the end of the install, you have a very basic Unity interface. Everything useful is missing. The absolute easiest way to fix this is to get the Software Center.
Open Xterm by pressing ctrl-alt-t. Now type in sudo apt-get update. Wait. The next command is sudo apt-get install software-center. Wait again. There is no icon again, so go to lens and search for it.
That is all there is to it. Get installing.
My short list of software is:
Firefox
Chromium (to match Chrome)
Stellarium (to match Chrome's Planetarium software)
Dropbox
VLC Player
Restricted Extras
Inkscape
Libre Office (Search for LibreOffice and scroll down a bit for the suite)
Document Viewer
At the end of the day, you will need to "reboot" Ubuntu to all changes to go into effect. Click the gear and click the restart option. This will eventually return you to Chrome. Go ahead and open the shell and type sudo startunity again.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

xPud – How to Connect to Wifi

xPud is a nice little OS. But it has an issue with hidden ssid’s.
Actually, there is nothing wrong with the OS, it’s all you. No seriously, I mean it. In xPud, you are a super user all the time. That means the normal sudo iwconfig “fails”.
What true linux user runs in super user all the time? Well, you are with xPud.
What linux user radiates their ssid? No one, and with this information you won’t have to either.
So the correct usage of iwconfig for getting connected a hidden ssid is:
iwconfig wlan0 essid “insertnamehere” key “insertpasswordhere”
Easy, eh?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

CentOS and ISO Recorder

Yesterday, I covered creating a USB boot drive for CentOS. Today I will walk through making an .iso disc for CentOS using ISO Recorder.
Working with .iso is both easy and frustrating on Windows. Very often the software that comes with the computer is not up to the task. To solve this basic problem I suggest ISO Recorder. This software does not create a desktop icon or a selectable program in the Start/Windows menu; instead it adds options to the menu.
Time to get started. Download your .iso image and place all files in an easy to find directory. I am using CentOS which requires two DVDs. Insert a blank DVD and cancel out of any pop up box Windows 7 displays. Right click the desired .iso file. Select "Copy image to CD/DVD".
The burning software will open and display ISO Recorder on the left hand side of the screen. The Source should default to "Image File".
Click next.
Wait for the burn...
No seriously, wait and wait and wait. The status bar may hang out on 100% for a very long time. This is proportional to the amount of data on the disc. My first CentOS disc uses the whole DVD and took several minutes to complete. The second disc is relatively tiny and took only a moment.
Don't forget to label the discs. CentOS has a built in disc check in the install process, I would suggest using it on BOTH discs to avoid headaches.
**This post was moved from Pretendertothepower.com to Unpwnd.com.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reblog - Tricky Unetbootin install – CentOS

This post originally appeared on Pretender to the Power on June 5, 2012.
Unetbootin is a wonderful piece of software. It will create a bootable USB drive of your favorite Linux flavor.
Well, most of the time.
CentOS is a special case. The files needed for CentOS* reside on mirrors and not the support website. So, Unetbootin cannot reach them. Obviously there are ways around this. The most obvious is to download the files from the mirror, but let us forget about planning and forethought, shall we?
Step one, download Unetbootin.
Step two, open it.
Select the desired flavor of Linux. Note: If you do not choose CentOS this is the wrong guide for you. Be 100% sure about your drive letter. This step can cause all sorts of file deletion and badness.
Now wait for the OS to download. There are no files on the CentOS website, so this will not take long.
The last step is to reboot. I would recommend against using your one and only computer for this. Take the USB drive to a different computer and boot that one.
The installer is very user friendly, so I will skip everything up to the ftp address. The installer requires two pieces of information: the ftp site name and the Red Hat Directory. The example of this data is from the University of Chicago.**
FTP site name: bay.uchicago.edu/centos/
The Red Hat Directory: /5/os/i386/
Select ok and watch the magic happen!
* CentOS does have the option for a live disc, however I have not found a way to install using those files. To be honest, I didn't try very hard.
**The FTP site listed has CentOS 2-6. Choose wisely.