28 April 2011

Trying gnome-blog

Today I have upgraded aelita to debian testing.
And using synaptic I have found this very nice application called gnome-blog. It's easy to use and really handy.
I'm giving it a try to see how it works. I suppose it must be something similar to mail2blogger

25 April 2011


This is a shell script I use to backup my home folder to a remote server. It uses lftp and it was written using a here document.

I got the inspiration from an article at and I improved it

I must tell you that this script is used to upload data to a remote directory but it also erases everything contained there. Do not use the -e option if you do not wish to delete anything.

# Script to backup an entire /home/< user > directory with lftp. Neat and clean. No sweat.

# Simply replace < whatever > with your own data. That's it.

###### BE WARNED!!! Option -e erases all the data on the target directory########

######DO NOT USE IT if you want to keep all the data there####################


 lftp << EOF > /dev/null 2>&1

 open -u < username >,< password > -p 21 < serveraddress >

 mirror -c -e -R /home/< user > < /path/to/remotedirectory >



24 April 2011

Invaluable CLI software I just can't do without

When I started using computers at school (a long time ago) there weren't any graphical user interfaces available. Everything was done typing commands at the terminal. When I tell younger people about it they just can't believe it. Sometimes they see me typing strange words in a strange little black window with green letters (yes, I'm a bit nostalgic) and they wonder if I am gone nuts or something. Telling them that that was the usual thing long ago doesn't impress them much. Telling them there weren't mice with pointers to click on icons is something they just can't figure out.

Well, I like using the CLI sometimes but on the average I spend most of my time on the GUI. It's all about getting used to it. And the eye candy counts. But now that I finally own a network server I need to revisit the software of the good old days. (For your information: Some of the software I'm going to describe right now is newer than the software I was refering to above. It's just a rhetorical license)

Although it is attached to a local network, I do not have physical access to my server. I handle it remotely using ssh. I tried telnet at first because there are no security risks here. And telnet works just fine but it does not have scp nor sftp which are great.

Let me first make a list of the software I use; and then little by little I'll try to add more information:

Must-have (on a network server)

-httpd server (namely apache2)

-ftp server (namely proftpd-basic)

-nfs server (nfs-kernel-server)

-Remote control utility (telnetd or ssh)

-top and apachetop (cpu and server monitoring tools)

-wakeonlan (on the local machines) and shutdown (on the remote server) A server is supposed to be up and running 24/7. However a reboot is necessary sometimes. If you halt (-h) it instead of rebooting (-r) you definitely need wakeonlan.

Handy file manager

-mc (the good old midnight commander)

-This-is-not-a-file-manager but I didn't know where to make this absolute gem fit: screen a multiplexing terminal program. A must-have of remote administration. I personally use tmux because it has some features that I prefer like for example: splitting buffers vertically.

Useful utilities (in no particular order)

-aptitude (package manager. You can use apt-get too)

-elinks (full featured web browser)

-mutt (email client) You will definitely need fetchmail as well. In order to learn how to configure fetchmail you can go here

-In order to communicate with the outside world (apart form simple email exchange) I use centerim (im) and irssi (irc)

-calcurse I mainly use it as a todo list utility.

-wget (retrieves any file over the net)

-I like gftp-text but the ftp program is ok.

-nano or vim (text editors) Although you can also use mc's internal editor

-cmatrix (Awesome)

Last but not least just remind you that many of the programs that you use at the GUI either have a CLI counterpart or can be managed from the command line. Some good examples are gftp (gftp-text) or mplayer (mplayer-nogui).

mplayer can also play videos/films in ascii using the libcaca library (In Debian caca-utils comes with cacaview, cacafire and cacademo). Try this:

 $ mplayer -vo caca <file>
Or this:

$ cacaview <file>
Another recent discovery is nvlc a full featured ncurses interface for vlc

23 April 2011

Birthday 2011

Today is my birthday!!!. We celebrated it yesterday because it is my sister-in-law's birthday too (quite a coincidence) and she is going away on holidays.

I'm in a hurry because (among other things) I'm trying my live-server on the target hardware. Bit of a problem. I need to rearrange some network configuration, it's a minor thing.

Let me show you several pictures of some of the presents I got.

One for my car:

And two for my house:

22 April 2011

Trying live-server

This afternoon I have tweaked my configuration of live-server and came up with some nice results. It works great on my eee pc. Tomorrow it's gonna face a trial by fire on the real hardware. I'm still carefully preparing its location, cables and the like.

Here is a snapshot of the boot process with my customized splash screen.

And here is a snapshot after boot. Ready to work.

Services enabled: http, ftp and nfs.

live-server route

After configuring my live-server to use a static ip using live-boot option ip= I had a route problem.

Using traceroute I got the message Connect: Network is unreachable

I tried netstat -nr

And then /sbin/route add -net gw eth0

And now it works!!!

14 April 2011


I have made a special wish for my birthday: A network server. I do not have the shadow of a doubt in respect to the OS I'm going to use. The only choice for me is Debian.

You know that many modern servers have their operating systems on a flash memory saving disk space and also making the substitution of the OS a blast in case something breaks badly.

So an awesome idea has crossed my mind this morning. I'm going to build a customized live-system especially suited for my brand new server. It's gonna be a headless server without x-org but with http, ftp and telnet servers (I always use ssh for remote systems, but this is local. telnet will do). This is just an outline, I'm going to build the image but I won't be able to use it until I have the new machine.

The tools I need are provided by the debian-live team. I've got them all already installed (live-manual as well). Here are the basic steps: (Be warned that this is a custom-made live system but I intend to use persistence to save configurations. I do not want to risk completely losing all data after a power outage or an occasional reboot)

1. $ mkdir live-server && cd live-server
2. $ lb config -b usb-hdd --packages "apache2 proftpd-basic telnetd"
3. # lb build 2>&1 | tee binary.log

Update: This produced a binary.img file of 187MB (Excellent size) I copied it on a USB stick of 1GB. The space left is used for persistence.

I tried it on my eee pc just to see if it worked and it did, just fine. I still need to tweak several things. Most of all configs...

Update 2 The new system works fine, I have added some more packages and improved its configuration.

09 April 2011


UPDATE(10th April,2011): The concert was not bad at all. The band did their best to perform a good show. The only problem was the awful sound quality of the venue. It was hard distinguishing a guitar note from the strangling of a cat. 

This picture was "stolen" from Gun-Official facebook. It is me and my friends in the middle of the crowd!!!

03 April 2011

Got the tickets!!!

After so many years listening to their music, next Saturday (April, 9th) I'll finally have the opportunity to see Gun performing live in a concert. I'm so excited about it that I just can't wait for the moment to arrive.

taking on the world...........

02 April 2011

Awesome discovery!!!

Debian-user mailing list (and irc channel) was often overcrowded. When someone wanted to introduce an "unusual" or "different" topic they sent messages with the header [OT] meaning off-topic. So Debian guys created a new mailing list and also a new irc channel called #debian-offtopic.

Socializing is great, but it is so much the better if people can share experiences or ideas apart from just technical matters. I recently moved to blogger because if you search for information on blog hosts you always hear the same song: Wordpress-Blogger or Blogger-Wordpress. I asked about blog hosting on #debian-offtopic.

One of the guys there wisely advised me to host it myself (the best option, I know) or alternatively give a try. I did. I liked it at first but I was a bit disappointed because it seemed much too simple. The first day (Wednesday) I created a blog. But on the second day I got a bit more into the site and I suddenly realized how wonderful it was. Or I'd rather say out of this world. Then I created a wiki (=homepage) It's is true, it may look simple, but I can assure you it is as complete as you can imagine. Again: It's awesome!!!

Let me tell you what is there behind branchable (it's a combination of):

-First the powerful ikiwiki
-Second the popular version control system git
-Last but not least these two guys behind the invention. They are nice people ;)

My sites are temporarily here: