27 June 2011


Here is a screenshot of my gopher site as seen using 3D client gopherVR. I hope you like it.

25 June 2011


SDF (Super Dimension Fortress) is such an amazing discovery that I just can't seem to put into words how excited I am about it. Is it a bit geekish? Very likely, that's why I love it even more. I became an ARPA member from the very beginning. After a 30 day period I can become a MetaARPA.

I wanted to make a list of the most outstanding things that you can find at sdf. However the list is so huge that I do not think I have the energy to do so. That's why I have taken the easy way out which is linking to sdf's own recommended starter links:

Anyway, let me list some of the features (only a few) that I have tried so far:

shell selection, ssh, telnet, irc, im, mail, games, gopher, web browsing, text editting, file transfer (ftp, scp), compiling...


12 June 2011


Some of you may be wondering (as I did): Gopher? port 70?

Yes, strange as it may seem there is a thing called Gopher. I am no expert so I can only say two things about it based on my own personal experience:

1. Gopher is easy and fun!!!

2. I couldn't help creating a gopher site. You can see a screenshot below. (There are two screenshots in one. I opened two lynx windows)

My gopher site address is gopher://

There are many things that come to my mind right now but I imagine that the best way to learn about something new is by being a bit curious about it and investigating. I'll give you several clues:

a. Gopher is not supported by many modern browsers. Here you have several options:

-Install a browser with gopher support (Such as lynx or iceweasel)

-See a gopher site using a proxy such as

-Learn about the overbite project

b. Hosting

-You can host a gopher site yourself using a gopher server such as pygopherd at gopher://

-You can host your gopher site in a server. I recommend you

c. Contact

-You can find more information searching the web or searching gopherspace using Veronica

-You can find help on #gopherproject on Freenode.


11 June 2011


The first text browser I used with linux was w3m, then I moved to lynx and finally I discovered elinks (enhanced links). All three are great web browsers but elinks surely beats them all because you can do with it almost everything you do with a graphical browser, except obviously watching images or videos.

With elinks you can access your online accounts, you can open and close tabs, bookmark pages, review browsing history and in short you can browse the web as usual but without images which allows you to load pages faster. And after all if you are like me more interested in the matter than in the art you'll definitely give elinks a try. It's great. I have been using it for a while now and I'm still impressed. Besides even though there is a bunch of keystrokes to learn you can do most things using your mouse, so there is no real difference with any other browser. But as all command line programs it's the keyboard that counts.

By the way, you can see an instance of elinks if you click on the screenshots tag cloud on the right. Hope you like it.

10 June 2011

Screenshot of the week 1

This weekend I have written a bunch of blog posts. (5? or more) but I didn't upload any screenshot so here is one. The posts dealt with several utilities I use on a daily basis (bluetile, gnome, irssi, elinks, ssh...) So I have taken a screenshot with several of those programs. There will probably be some more posts next week and I'll try to summarize them all in one or several screenshots. I hope you like them.

In this screenshot you can see three windows tiled using bluetile; there's bluetile's bar on the left. One of the windows shows my homepage as rendered by a command line browser named elinks. Another one my favourite ftp, sftp client filezilla. And last but not least irssi. In fact I've got irssi proxy running on that window. I connect to it using any other client like X-chat. Awesome isn't it?

09 June 2011

Irssi scripts

This is the third installment in a series devoted to irssi. This is going to be quick because it deals with installing scripts to improve irssi's performance and usability.

You can read more about it in the official website

I use irssi inside screen on the command line and I usually connect to it through ssh. Well the paradox here is that I connect to an only text environment from a graphical one. So I would like to have the cake and eat it too. Well, to a certain extent it is possible running scripts. There are hundreds!!! There is even a .deb package for it. Simply:

# apt-get install irssi-scripts

But you do not need to do that if you only want to use several scripts. It is better to download them from the official website and install them by hand.

You can for example use your mouse to swipe from channel to channel just as if you were using your fingers on a touch screen mobile phone (By the way I use irssi-connectbot on my android to do that  )

Then you would download into ~/.irssi/scripts/ and in order to load it type:

/script load

In order to unload it:

/script unload

I use several scripts. I'll name some personal favourites: and They were written by Wouter Coekaerts Now that I see was written by him as well  nice! prints a user list on the right (similar to other GUI/CLI clients) In order to use it inside screen, you have to /script load and then /nicklist screen. Please read more about it on the author's site. sends the backlog to any client connecting to the proxy. It is still in the works but it works great if the client connecting is irssi but not so well with other clients. To get the backlog you have to type:


Another favourite one: is self-expanatory enough. It prints nicks in different colours.

update: If you want your scripts to be run at startup you have to place them in a directory named autorun:


08 June 2011

Irssi proxy: Irssi to the next level.

Irssi is probably the best irc client there is out there. According to their website, irssi is 'The client of the future'. Being a text mode irc client, which does not seem to be very fashionable nowadays when most people use graphical desktops, this is true for several reasons. One of them is because you can run it 24/7 in a server without a graphical environment and secondly because of its proxy module.

It is difficult to explain the huge advantages of this in a short sentence. But let me try: If you use irssi proxy you'll be able to connect to it from any other computer across the internet and using any other client or clients. Let's say for instance: X-chat.

All this keeping your nick because what you are actually doing is sharing one connection using one or several clients at the same time. You can close your clients connected to the proxy but your irc session will continue as long as your first irssi client and proxy are on.

The first thing that may come to your mind may be that you can access your irssi client running on screen and using ssh. Yes, you sure can. But we are dicussing here the advantages of using irssi proxy. You can still have it running with screen as it does not affect how the proxy works.

Let's get down to it. In order to use irssi proxy you have to compile it with the --with-proxy option. You can read the documentation for more details.

In my case I'm using Debian and it already comes with the proxy module. I already had an instance of irssi running connected to my favourite network and channels. So the only thing I had to do was:

1.- /load proxy

2.- /set irssiproxy_password < mypassword >

3.- /set irssiproxy_ports < > It works < network >=< port > I use oftc so I wrote oftc=6667. You can specify as many as you want, or need.

Now the proxy is listening to connections on port 6667.

You are not done yet. But the hardest part is over. You can now go to any computer in your local network or connected to the internet. Open your favourite irc client and configure it to connect to your proxy. Your irssi proxy 'acts' as a new server so add it < your.irssi.proxy.address.or.ip > < port > < your.password > It can be any: irssi, xchat, gnome-xchat, chatzilla, weechat...

Since it is a proxy you can connect as many clients as you want. They will all share the same irc session actually running on your original irssi client with the same nick. You could be on a machine with xchat in another one with gnome-xchat. All your conversations from different clients would be one on the server. And your nick would be the same.

The only problem is that on the clients connected to the proxy you will not be able to read the backlog. You can read it anyway connecting to your original irssi client, the one you have activated the proxy from.

Now you're done. Enjoy your chat, and /part if you want to, but there is not the need to /quit anymore using irssi proxy!!!


Update: If you want your proxy module loaded at startup you have to create a file .irssi/startup with this text: load proxy

07 June 2011

Irssi: Command line irc client

This is the first in a series of posts devoted to irssi, possibly the best irc client there is out there. This series will (at least) include:

Irssi: Command line irc client (An introduction to irssi for new users)

Irssi proxy (Irssi to the next level. For advanced users only)

Irssi scripts (Adding awesome utilities to irssi)

Irssi is possibly the best irc client there is out there. It can be installed and used on a variety of operating systems. Even legacy ones!!! It is a command line irc client, now you're thinking that nowadays it has no future at all. On the contrary!!! That is precisely what makes it outstanding. Let me explain you how I discovered irssi. In order to do that I have to tell you all my irc story. Do not worry it's really short. One or two lines at most. I was not an irc fan untill recently.

-My first irc client was a web-based one. I used it to connect to #kanotix back in ~2006 to ask the team a question and (I imagine) congratulate them.

-My second irc client was X-chat. A great and widely used client (There is no doubt about it) I had used it occasionally before. I first used it seriously in 2011 to connect to #debian-live (You will surely notice the 5 year leap. I told you before, I was not an irc frequent user.

-My third and last one is irssi. I discovered it searching for irc clients apt-cache search irc client

The great thing about command line clients is that you can install them on a web server and keep them connected to your favourite channels 24/7. Does that mean that you chat all day and all night long? No way. It means that by keeping your client up and running you can read the backlog and keep track of what's happening in the channel while you're out there walking the dog or sleeping. On a channel there are people from all time zones. This means that while you sleep other people arrive home from work or when other people wake up you are on your lunch break. Now it's easy to understand this 24/7 thing.

Irssi works very much like any other irc client. Only that whereas on X-chat you click on your mouse to connect to a server on irssi you have to type some commands to do it. It is not my intention to write a list of irssi commands, there's their website for that. I only want to enhance irssi's performance and show it to new users. For example to connect to #debian on oftc you would have to type several commands like for example:

/server add ...

/connect ...

/join #...

... but once you get used to it it's not difficult at all.

I think this is enough for an introduction to irssi. If you want more information you can visit or wait for my next installment in the irssi series.


Script to copy a customized debian-live image to a USB drive with persistence

I assume:

-You like creating customized debian-live images
-You like using them with persistence to store changes
-You copy the image and create the partitions by hand which is great to learn how to do it but you would like to make it all automatically using a script.

Well you're reading the right post then, but be warned that:

-This script is very simple and written and tested for personal use at home.
-No magic regexes used, just a logical sequence of variables and commands.
-You really must know what you're doing if you decide to try this script. Use at your own risk. The commands in the following script are very useful but if misused they can cause a filesystem mayhem and even destroy important data.

Here it is:


 ## Script to automatically copy a customized debian live system image to a usb flash drive and create a partition for persistence

 ############ BE WARNED!!!! ###############

 ## This script assumes you know what you're doing!!! Using dd, parted and mkfs can end up in data loss!!!

 ## X = # Letter of your device /dev/sdX could be /dev/sdb or /dev/sdc ...

 ## In order to know your device name you can run ls -l /dev/disk/by-id

 ## Y/Z = # Numbers of your partitions. /dev/sdXY could be /dev/sdb1 or /dev/sdc2 ...

 X= # For example < c >

 Y= # For example <1>

 Z= # For example <2>

 START= # Number in MB where the partition must start for example <166> or <1024>

 END= # Number in MB where the partition must end for example <4007>

 cd /directory/where/your/image/is

 dd if=binary.img of=/dev/sd$X

 umount /dev/sd$X$Y

 parted /dev/sd$X mkpart primary $START $END && mkfs.ext2 -L live-rw /dev/sd$X$Z

06 June 2011


One of the things that impresses me the most is that after years trying and testing software there is always something that leaves you like: "WOW. How come I had no idea that such things existed?"

Well this time it was bluetile a window tiling utility for the gnome desktop. Yes, I'm a gnome man. I sometimes switch to other desktops for the sake of changing a little bit but I always come back. Lately I had been playing with awesome an awesome window manager. I loved the tiling thing but suddenly I discovered bluetile. I'm still learning some of its keybindings but the basic tiling is very easy to do. You just have to click on some buttons on the bluetile bar and that's it. I can't continue writing this post. I have a lot of tiling to do...

05 June 2011

The writing's on the wall

This painting was done using the original debian logo from and posterized using software (Debian ships several programs to do that: apt-cache search poster ). We created the poster, cut it out and painted it using graffity spray. The size is approximately 2 square meters or 6 feet.

A picture's worth a million words.