Trying a mobile broadband usb card with Debian Testing and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

17 Οκτωβρίου, 2014 (02:19) | debian, Οδηγοί-εγχειρίδια, Υλικό | By: chomwitt

The usb modem is part of a prepaid mobile internet package from a major mobile service provider in Hellas.

I wand prepaid (me karta) to control better my expenses wheras in «plans» you have a contract there is
a charging based on info-volume after some initial amount of GB. A situation that could get out
of hand..

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Libre SBC and libre SOC .

7 Οκτωβρίου, 2014 (00:42) | SBC, Υλικό, υλικό | By: chomwitt

Trying to find a Single Board Computer for educational purposes i found that System On Chips used on SBC have blobs for their intergrated GPU’s and in many cases for their WiFi sybsystems.

Single-board computers (SBCs) are computers delivered as one circuit board that are powerful enough to run a real operating system. They generally contain a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) with an ARM processor. SBCs normally run the GNU/Linux system, but that doesn’t mean that all is well for software freedom on these boards. Each existing SBC model has major flaws — hardware that doesn’t work without running a nonfree program. (libreplanet)

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❤ Reportbug — JUST DO IT –

17 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2014 (19:30) | debian | By: chomwitt


Before you start $ nano .reportbugrc
# reportbug preferences file
# character encoding: UTF-8
# default operating mode: one of: novice, standard, advanced, expert
mode advanced
# default user interface
ui gtk2
# offline setting – comment out to be online
# name and email setting (if non-default)
realname «Prekates Alexandros»
email «»
# Send all outgoing mail via the following host
smtphost «»
smtpuser «»
#smtppasswd «my password here»
# Enable TLS for the SMTP host


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A serious of unfortunate events ..

15 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2014 (05:07) | Υλικό | By: chomwitt

Wanting to remap capslock to ctrl initiated a serious  of bugs and problems.


First i could make the /etc/default/keyboard change to persist  in debian+xfce stable.

But i found after some hours that when the screensaver was taking over after some inactivity the changes were revert .

So i try a new window manager , but  SLiM  wont let me see correctly the options. So i change the login manager to lightDM  and i login with fvwm . This time i have no problem with the capslock remap  but if i change to xfce’s windowmanager i loss the window decorations of xfce so i revert to SLiM and xfce’s window manager.

But now i still have not the capslock set up as i want.

In the midst of all that i think to create a live cd with debian testint to see how xfce behavesin a newer verion.

But creating a usb bootable with debian wasnt feasable .

So i try to create one from within ubuntu..

So wanting to test if the error is debian-image related i plan to create in Ubuntu 14.04 a usb bootable stick with ubuntu.

But trying to erase the contents of my stick i hit the error:

Startup Disk Creator fails to clear USB Drive

Checking with Disks utility i see that usb stick has a type : hidden hpfs/ntfs (bootable)

So i try to format it in fat partition with disks utility hitting another issue!:

Error formatting disk using disk utility    (an error lingering for almost 2 years . so it reminds my of an old hellinic proverb “ an advice to the wife’s cleaining chores “ Clean what the motherinlaw will see and no more :-) .  So the ubuntu gets polished and polished as a nice front of a store but the inside is another story! ::-) ).  That error is fixed but for the upcoming 14.10 . So let try gparted which formatted ok the usb disk!  Respect to GPARTED!..

But thanks to a irc friend in #debian freenode i managed to create correctly the usb stick with debian testing!.


Libreoffice notes.

7 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2014 (04:03) | Υλικό | By: chomwitt

In Ubuntu LTS in order to have the latest version we can use the libreoffice  ppa

In Debian Stable we may use backports to install more recent version of LO.


LibreOffice’s default file format is ODF (Open Document Format for Office Applications).

The ODF file format is an international standard created supervised from the OASIS organization and after OASIS sumbitted it to the ISO/IEC JTC 1  technical commity and approved by ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC34   became an ISO standard with the name ISO/IEC 26300:2006 and it costs 165 euro.

OpenDocument OASIS standards are available from OASIS website.   and better from the relative TC of OASIS.

OpenDocument versions history

OpenDocument versions history
OpenDocument version OASIS Standard approved on ISO/IEC Standard published on
OpenDocument 1.0 2005-05-01 2006-11-30
OpenDocument 1.1 2007-02-02 2012-03-08
OpenDocument 1.2 2011-09-29 expected in 2014

With the help of the WebODF library its possilble to edit owncloud odt docs from our browser.

Read the relevant owncloud6  manual’s chapter on document editing. Owncloud’s ODF editing supports among things and collaboritive editing.





Socialweb ala libre!

31 Αυγούστου, 2014 (04:45) | Κοινότητα, Οδηγοί-εγχειρίδια, πολιτισμός | By: chomwitt

The importance of libre Social Web

(quote from the article «Social Networks, from my point of view (as libre software user»

In the non-libre-software world, we have well known social networks. Each one is built on its own privative social network system, let’s call it a software stack. Many of them use libre software in part of that software stack, but not in all of it, so you cannot setup a copy of their complete system in your machines for your personal, family, academic or corporative use.

One example. Twitter is a social network of microblogging. The company that owns the software (and the data) is Twitter Inc. Twitter Inc. releases some libre software pieces such as Bootstrap and others (see But you cannot install your Twitter-clone platform. If you want to use their software, you need to create an account in their servers. If you want to look at their non-free-software code, you have to be a Twitter employee. The same happens with Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn…



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Non-free fonts in Debian/Ubuntu (and the libre road..)

23 Αυγούστου, 2014 (01:35) | debian, ΠνευματικάΔικαιώματα, πολιτισμός | By: chomwitt

Fonts families like Arial, Courier  New, Times New Romanare well known mostly from mswindows . In Debian/Ubuntu there is the option to install some of those font by installing the package  ttf-mscorefonts-installer (deb pts page).

The “corefonts“ part refers to an old microsoft initiative called Core fonts for the web.

Trying to install the package we see the EULA aggreement page below to which you must comply if you want to install TrueType core fonts for the Web ..


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Compiling freeciv trunk in 14.04 Ubuntu

13 Αυγούστου, 2014 (02:51) | Λογισμικό, Οδηγοί-εγχειρίδια, Παιχνίδια, Προγραμματισμός | By: aprekates

I havnt for a while done this but  wanting to test some bugs in latest freeciv code i had to build it again.

Searching for a configure error i found a 3 years old effort in  a  folk “s blog

trying in ubuntu 11.10 (virtual!) . That folk transfered his effort in a opensource educational tutorial .

If we havent done this start by downloading the SOURCE! You’ll need a svn client .
Read «Source Tree Access»

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Η μάχη του copyright

8 Αυγούστου, 2014 (01:42) | Κοινότητα, ΠνευματικάΔικαιώματα, πολιτισμός | By: aprekates



2011 , του Christopher Dombres cc-by-2.0

Freicon , bitcoin με επισταλία

23 Φεβρουαρίου, 2014 (11:21) | Υλικό | By: chomwitt

Στο πλαίσιο των τελευταίων ανησυχητικών νέων των bicoin αγορών  (300% υποτίμηση  στο  mtgox) που αναδεικνύουν την παθολογική ρευστότητα των σχετικών αγορών έχοντας εγκλωβίσει
από την πρώτη στιγμή το bitcoin σε νόμισμα όχι συναλλαγών αλλά πρωτίστως νόμισμα σπέκουλας και εύκολου πλουτισμού (για μια μειοψηφία) δημοσιεύω μια μίκρη συνέντευξη με έναν από τους δημιουργούς του freicoin. Ένα  ηλεκτρονικό νόμισμα που εμπεριέχει από το σχεδιασμό του μηχανισμούς αντίροπης δυναμικής από την κερδοσκοπική λογική. Αυτός ο μηχανισμός λέγεται demurrage.

Ο όρος “Επισταλία“ (demurrage) είναι ναυτικός ,σχετίζεται με τη ναύλωση πλοίου  και σημαίνει πρόστιμο για υπεραναμονή. Ετυμολογικά έχει ρίζες στο λατινικό demoror που σημαίνει καθυστέρηση,αναμονή, περιορίζω(detain). Ο ελληνικός όρος μου θυμίζει και το stall (που σημαίνει μένω στάσιμος) αλλά πιθανώς να έχει και άλλη όχι τόσο μπακάλικη προέλευση :-) . Εναλλακτικά θα μπορούσαμε να χρησιμοποιήσουμε τον όρο απαξίωση-παρακράτησης , αλλά και το επισταλία ακούγεται καλό και ελληνικό ακόμα και αν δεν είναι :-)

Είναι ενδιαφέρον και η χρήση του όρου στην αργκό των χρηστών ναρκωτικών!.

Επιγραμματικά λοιπόν το freicon χρησιμοποιεί το πρωτόκολλο του bitcoin με μερικές τροποποιήσεις με την ποιό σημαντική να είναι αυτή της επισταλίας ( απαξίωση παρακράτησης). Η ρύθμιση αυτή λειτουργεί ως εξής. Αν κάποια χρονική στιγμή λάβεται  Χ frc , τότε όταν πάτε να τα μεταβιβάσετε αλλού η αξία του θα είναι X – X*d .Όπου d ο συντελεστής demurrage. Στο freicon είναι 5% ανά ετος. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι αν κρατήσετε τα frc για ένα χρόνό τότε η αξιά τους θα μειωθεί κατά 5% . Παράλληλα θα δημιουργηθούν σε frc ανάλογη αξία που θα κατανεμηθεί στους miners.

Παραθέτω μερικές ερωτοαποκρίσεις με μέλος της κοινότητας freicon

Ερώτηση:  is the coin base fixed and if yes is that a deflationary risk? (by coin base if i use the term rigth i mean the total coin supply as number)
Απάντηση: 1) short answer: yes (~100,000,000.00000000frc) ; medium answer: well, sortof … long explanation: Τhere will never be more than 100MM coins in existence at any one time, although freicoin has demurrage and so coin value is continuously disappearing therefore freicoin has a perpetual reward equal to the loss due to demurrage, which means the monetary base is
Ερώτηση: ..regarding demurrage:  if i hold 1 frc for one month will lose any of its value?
Απάντηση: the loss due to demurrage is what prevents a deflationary risk – for as long as you hold freicoins you are subject to a 5% annual loss
Ερώτηση: that loss is calculated annualy or every day by day?
Απάντηση:   if you hold 1 freicoin for 1 block, it will lose (1 / 2**20) of it’s value, about (1 / 1000000)
which amounts to ~4.9% per year every single block which is about ~10min on average although the time between blocks is a random process
Ερώτηση: what do you mean by “ if you hold 1 freicoin for 1 block “ ?
Απάντηση:  are you familiar with how bitcoin works, generally?
Ερώτηση: I think so. blocks are generated ,and contain transactions
Απάντηση: okay. when I send you freicoins, that transaction has a block height associated with it
Ερώτηση: you mean block number ? (blocks are in a sequence?
Απάντηση: yes, block number, when you actually spend those coins, their numeric value has decreased exponentially
Ερώτηση:  ok. go on
Απάντηση: genesis block = block 0, so if I send you 100 coins at block #18000, what you actually get is a transaction output signed to your address with nValue=100.00000000
Ερώτηση: ok. i got that. blockchain[#18000].trx[i].outputvalue=100
<Απάντηση: yes and if you then try to spend that transaction on block #18200, then it is only worth 99.98092832frc. If you used a bitcoin client to construct a transaction claiming those 100frc, then another 100frc to another output, it would be rejected – because the freicoin client considers older transactions to be worth less.Whenever a transaction output is spent, the demurrage portion is unclaimable – it goes to noone  and therefore becomes essentually unspent  essentually destroyed and each block a number of coins equal to the number lost is added, and given to the miners .In bitcoin there is worry over a «tragedy of the commons» – the concern that the whole system will fall apart once subsidies reduce to zero we have the opposite problem – there’s concern that 5% of monetary base per year would be *too* much to spend on securing the network, and wasteful


Ερώτηση:  ok. so if demmurage goes to the miner in what case frc(s) are complete erased of the system?
Απάντηση: depends on your frame of reference what actually happens is demurrage is destroyed, and an equal number of new coins are generated for miners if you add up all the coins that have been minted it, it will increase linearlly over time but at no single point will there be >100MM in existence you can destroy coins just like you can in bitcoin (e.g, send them to a unclaimable output) but eventually the monetary base will equal 100MM again, because the perpetual reward remains unchanged

Ερώτηση: after the 3years new frcs will be genarated only from miners and they will own them?
 Απάντηση: yes at least until something like republicoin is implemented through hard-fork change it would be possible to change where those coins go to but it’d have to be something everyone – including  the miners – agreed was worthwhile  for now, miner subsidy is the only fair, p2p distribution method known
Ερώτηση: is the mining dificulty changed like in btc?
Απάντηση: yes, although it’ll change soon to a more adaptive algorithm but right now it is exactly the same as bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment algorithm

Ερώτηση: couldnot  someone argue that since the miner gets the frcs s(he) created the 5% subsidy is superfluous ?
Απάντηση: the economics of mining is a race to the bottom. The miners have marginal return on their subsidy, as most of their costs go into electricity and hardware meaning, that most of the freicoins they earn are exchanged for fiat or otherwise go back into the economy  of course the other aspect is that there’s no correlation between miners and general users of the currency  right now most users are miners, but that will increasingly not be the case a miner will have to receive far more subsidy than they lose to demurrage, in order to be profitable and users who are not miners will not receive any monetary benefit from mining, so that won’t discount their  demurrage