Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A friend asked me today: what is your star sign? After a moment of thought, I replied: "a radio telescope".

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Done my first function in bash.

Been doing a lot of Linux system's administration studies recently. Finished reading "Linux Pocket Guide (2e)" from cover to cover for the first time ever.

Am returning to "Learning PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS & HTML5".

In the meantime, here is a function newly written for my stufftar backup shell script...

function echo_and_log()
  if [ $STUFFTAR_VERBOSE -gt 0 ]
    echo echo_and_log : parameter count $#, logfile $1, text $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9
  if [ $# -lt 2  ]
    echo "Error echo_and_log insufficient no of parameters";
    return 1;
  if [ ! -f $1 ]
    echo WARNING $1 does not exist. Creating it now.
    touch $1

  echo  `hostname` $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9
  echo  `hostname` $2 $3 $4 $5 $6 $7 $8 $9 >> $1

} # end function echo_and_log

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Improved script file "synclamp"

Initially synclamp (described elsewhere) tried to create its destination directory if it did not exist. I decided to check for its existence and exit synclamp with an error message.

Here is the old code:-
echo Ensuring destination directory $FILES_STICK exists
mkdir -p $FILES_STICK

Here is the updated code:
# August 2014. If memory stick not found then exit with error message
 if [ ! -d $FILES_STICK ] ; then
    echo "Please insert missing memory stick $FILES_STICK";
    exit 1;

Friday, July 25, 2014

Done a little bit of (shell) programming

Here it is...

# Script file to synchronise LAMP files. Ian Bruntlett July 2014
echo Running $0
ls -lh $0
echo Ensuring destination directory $FILES_STICK exists
mkdir -p $FILES_STICK
echo Copy files from live LAMP directory to memory stick
cp $FILES_CP_OPTS $FILES_LAMP/* --target-directory=$FILES_STICK
echo Copy files from memory stick to hard disc
cp $FILES_CP_OPTS $FILES_STICK/* --target-directory=$FILES_LAMP
echo $0 done

Monday, July 07, 2014

Business as usual

Had a routine blood test today - just one bottle.

Am trying to lose weight. I might not be eating properly because if I skip breakfast (porridge, skimmed milk and honey) I get dizzy spells. So instead of eating sandwich, salad and toast all the time, I'll also be eating other things - tinned food - that can go in the microwave.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Operating Systems

As most people know, Windows XP and Office 2003, both produced by Microsoft, both used by many people around the world, are no longer supported. This means bugs won't be fixed, support for new types of hardware won't be provided and security problems will go unaddressed. There are a number of options here. One is to buy a new/replacement PC with a new license of Microsoft Office.  Another is to continue using your old hardware and get either Ubuntu or lubuntu Linux installed on your computer, along with a copy of LibreOffice to replace Microsoft Office. Ubuntu Linux and lubuntu Linux are free - all you need is someone to install them. Ubuntu requires better hardware and is more avant garde. lubuntu runs on very modest systems and is more familiar looking for people used to running Windows XP.

I was helping a friend with her Windows 8 laptop. I had a look at it and tried to help but had to return it to her to take to a Windows 8 specialist to fix things and upgrade to Windows 8.1.

Not many people are aware of a problem with people using old Ubuntu Linux systems. This only applies to people running Ubuntu Linux on computers with less than 700MB of RAM (memory). Earlier versions of Ubuntu Linux ran fine on PCs with 512MB of RAM. However, if your PC has less than 700MB of RAM, Ubuntu will try to struggle through and still work. The result has been described as slow and occasionally prone to crashing. My solution to this is to install lubuntu Linux (essential Ubuntu Light) on said systems as it requires 128MB of RAM. Personally I'd go for systems with at least 256MB RAM.

Contact has leaflets about 1) free software and 2) lubuntu.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Paula's cat, Alice, had to be put down. Rest in peace. She is survived by Geraldine.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014


For the first time in over a decade I've cooked some stir-fry. It was lovely :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Linux Voice

A new Linux magazine has arrived - Linux Voice. Looks very interesting. They are going to re-license their content within 9 months of it being published.

Very nice :)