29 January 2009

Debian Project

Yesterday I made a small donation to the Debian Project. I'm not posting it here for mere vanity or whatever you may call it, since the quantity is quite an insignificant one. It's just because I know (or at least I hope) that a little can help. I think that some people do not make donations just because they never heard of anyone doing such things. I hope this post encourages more people to give something.

Why donate? Well there are a million reasons, but most of all is that I spend my whole computing time using and enjoying Debian. And it is not just an OS, it is an entire project with a social contract with the Free Software Community.  Worth learning about that, believe me.

*  *  *

Well and last but not least, I must congratulate myself, yes, myself because this month I have written four blog post, (five counting New Year's)
So far everything is according to plan. I intend to publish a post at least once a week. Keep watch to see if I can do it. I'm sure I will in winter but I'm not so sure in Summer. I can't wait to ride my bicycle again enjoying the countryside.

This week we are uploading new activities and notes to the English section. After that we'll  organize the activities into sections and
link them all together.

23 January 2009


Today I've made a small donation to the Kompozer project. It's a small amount but, it's my grain of sand.

I started building my site back in 2006 using Mozilla composer. Later when the Mozilla project stopped supporting the Mozilla Suite, I switched to Nvu. And when the project stopped being active I started using Kompozer. Well, Nvu/Kompozer is a great piece of software. I use it almost everyday to update my personal page and the more I use it the more new features I discover and find extremely useful. I really like its integrated CSS editor and its site manager.

If I had programming skills I would like to join the project but unfortunatelly I can't so I thought donating would be a good way of contributing. I hesitated though.  But when I discovered that the project is hosted by Sourceforge, then I had no doubt at all. To me Sourceforge is the Great Cathedral of some of the best pieces of software I know. I will always give my support to them. I've been a sourceforge user for years.

18 January 2009

Surprising LXDE

Among all the new software packages that come with Debian  5.0 codenamed "Lenny" I discovered a fantastic desktop environment for my eee pc. It's called LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment). I discovered it as a matter of chance surfing the net. And I must say that it fascinates me. I really love it!!!

It is very easy to install since it comes with the distribution. (apt-get install lxde) It is a download size of  20 MB more or less. Even this is fast!!!. After installation you have to restart the X server or reboot your machine. And simply select lxde at the gdm display.

Saying that it is fast is not enough, it is incredibly fast. Gnome works fine on eee but lxde goes at the speed of light, it can open and close windows in the wink of an eye. My special recommendation: DO TRY IT!!!

Apart from being fast it has many configuration options and it integrates well  typical applications of other desktops.

The default layout reminds me of Windows Vista, start menu down left, black colour... but of course it has nothing to do with it. There is this powerful Debian GNU/Linux behind!!!

I think this new desktop beats XFCE. I must confess that I personally don't like XFCE. Besides I read that LXDE is even faster. I believe it!.

If you are running GNOME or any file manager (
I sometimes use mc; The midnight commander) on your eee pc and you are satisfied with it, that's ok, but if you believe that it is too bloated for your limited disk space then you can give LXDE a try.

There is a special project to install debian with lxde on eee pc and I quote from:

eee PC
dd if=debian-eeepc.img of=/dev/<USB-DEVICE>

Note: <USB-DEVICE> = the device, not a partition. (/dev/sdX NOT /dev/sdX1)

(And then boot the installer from the usb)

* * *

Now I quote from the Debian Project News newsletter:

Bits from the Debian CD team

Frans Pop sent Bits from the Debian CD team, summarizing various
changes affecting the installation media for the upcoming release of
Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 "Lenny".
The most notable change is the replacement of the Xfce installation
disc with a "light desktop" installation disc for installing Xfce or
LXDE. Furthermore, all four major desktop environments (GNOME, KDE,
Xfce and LXDE) are directly installable from the first DVD image; the
desktop environment to be installed can now be chosen via the boot

17 January 2009

Local repository

Sometimes you need to install .deb packages even when you are offline. That is when having a local repository comes in very handy. I searched google for different ways but as usual the simplest, easiest way suited me most.

Here is a summary of the steps I took:

1.- Create a directory. I did it in my home folder.
$ mkdir /home/chals/.local_repository/binary

2.- I copied there all my .deb packages
$ cp *.deb /home/chals/.local_repository/binary

3.- I generated the file Packages.gz
$ cd local_repository
$ dpkg-scanpackages binary /dev/null | gzip -9c > binary/Packages.gz
4.- I added the repository to my sources.list (You know the drill, use vim or tee)
deb file:///home/chals/.local_repository/ ./

5.- I updated and installed
sudo apt-get update && apt-get install packages

11 January 2009

Debian 5.0 Lenny

Last week I installed Debian Lenny in my desktop machine. I had tried Lenny live and had it installed in my netbook, but I hadn't installed it in my network server yet.

I read in the Debian Project News that they are waiting for the debian installer to be ready to finally release Lenny. The installer developers suggest trying the installer which is a RC1 and send a report even if the installation is successful (Which was my case). Here is the installation-report I sent them.
As you can imagine I am writing this post using Lenny. The only regret I have is that I've grown so fond of Etch that I Know for sure I'll miss it. It is so stable and works so fine that I have to come to terms with the idea of letting go. I hope Lenny is the right substitute to take up Etch's place. I'm sure it is!!!

06 January 2009


Summer is a great time to go out and enjoy endless hours of sunlight at the beach or the countryside. So power off your computer, get up of your chair and follow some of my special recommendations:

- Go fishing; great and fascinating sport.

- Ride your bike; Another great sport and pastime.

- Work a bit, just enough not to get rusty, and hard enough just to buy that special thing you dream of.

and swim, dance, sweat, love ... and enjoy yourself.

Have a nice summer holiday!!!!!!!!!!!

01 January 2009


This is the first post of the year. Well, let me start by introducing the new features of the renewed

1st I've changed the background colour from light grey to white. Both are ok for reading but I think white makes a better contrast with dark fonts.
2nd I've included a new section called class Notes. I've eliminated Virtual classes though.
3rd I've rearranged the blog including my personal profile. I intend to write a post once a week (on a wing and a prayer...) and update the site once a month as I usually do.

And now the good news: I've signed up for an OpenID at I was curious to know about it since I saw the option at the login prompt of

An openid is very useful to log into different sites with the same username and password. It's kind of a master key for all your accounts. It's supposed to be secure and spread over the internet in a short period of time.

My OpenID is