08 December 2015

ES file explorer (Android)

My bq Aquaris 4.5 phone included a file manager called ES. At first I didn't pay attention to it because I simply didn't really care about it.

One day, after a system upgrade I was drawn to the renewed interface and icons of the application and started delving into the program's options and menu. It can do tons of things. The list is endless but...

Much to my surprise I discovered that it includes a built-in ftp server with which you can share files with your computer. Oh my!!! What an awesome discovery!!!

When you turn on the ES ftp server (called "Remote manager") you are given an address you can connect to using any ftp client. This way you can move your files, copy or delete them easily without the need of a usb cable or extracting the sd card.

Today I made a backup of all my photos using this feature and I can assure you this is not the only time I am going to use it. Love it!!!

gui vs cli

When I started using linux 10 years ago, I desperately needed graphical programs to configure the system and do most of my daily tasks, no matter how simple they were. Even though I had some basic experience typing commands at the terminal I felt clumsy when it came to surviving at the command line.

However, over the years and very little by little, I discovered that most cli programs are faster, more powerful and strikingly way easier to use than their gui counterparts.

I know this is easier said than done, but in order to prove that, I needed to make an exhaustive list of all the programs I use at the gui and their cli counterparts. Let me insist that this list is exclusively a list of software I use on a daily basis. It is far from being exhaustive in terms of covering all the software I install on my computers.

The first two examples that come to mind are synaptic and d4x. At first I always used synaptic to manage software and d4x to download files. After some time I started using aptitude and wget. I never looked back.

Then the music player. I started using cmus and I never installed rhythmbox again.

As torrent client I used several gui programs. Now I exclusively use rtorrent.

Of course the usual and most basic applications you use on a daily basis are your file manager and your text editor. On the gui I use pcmanfm and medit but on the cli I use the mc and nano.

On a daily basis you also need a window manager. I use i3 on the gui and very rarely dvtm on the cli, I tend to use tmux as a window manager instead of a proper window manager.

Perhaps the toughest program to get rid of is the web browser, we are so used to graphical browsers that it is sometimes hard to browse the web in a text only browser. I mostly use chromium on the gui and a wide variety of text browsers like elinks, which has tab support (with vp for images), lynx and lately, I have started using w3m more and more for its ability to display images inline.

I also ditched gitk in favour of tig, because it is more handy.

There is also a number of applications that I do not use on a daily basis, but almost always on the cli, such as scrot for my screenshots.

16 November 2015

debian live

Someone on irc summarized the story in just one single sentence better than I could even if I tried:

"Just another project the cabal didn't like"

It is a shame on debian

07 October 2015

torrents galore

This very week I switched to a new ISP. Having a connection of your own for the first time in your life makes a huge difference in terms of how you handle your own ports to play nicely with your software.

One of the things that I had always wanted to do was installing a torrent client which could run unattended. I have a lot of experience with mldonkey, which is a client for several networks, bittorrent among them. However, I was looking for a lighter client for my raspberry pi. I tried several clients: rtorrent, ctorrent, and I finally settled for transmission, or more accurately transmission-cli.

Many, or most clients, have both a GUI and a CLI, some of them have a web interface which is great for managing your downloads from a remote location. But I somehow prefer logging into the machine using ssh, opening a multiplexer instance (usually screen) and fire up the bittorrent client. This is damn simple for all of us who spend most of our free time logged into remote machines, for work or play.

Using transmission-cli is easy peasy:

 $ transmission cli *.torrent


Update 11-10-2015: A friend of mine suggested trying transmission-daemon and its web interface. I did. It is great,  even though it needs a little tweaking since it uses a different user by default (debian-transmission) and you have to give that user write permissions to the directory you want to store your files.

Update 24-11-2015:  Even though I use transmission-daemon and transmission-cli on my raspi. I exclusively use rtorrent in my laptops and servers. rtorrent is a really powerful and handy bittorrent client.

03 September 2015


I have tried several methods of storing and making my dotfiles portable across different machines. There are dozens of excellent programs out there but somehow, I didn't really like any of them. Until my friend demure told me about GNU Stow.

Note: In debian, besides stow, there is a package called xstow which stands for (extended stow). They both work in a similar way.

GNU Stow is not meant to manage your dot files. The typical area of action of stow would be /usr/local  Its main usage is creating links to files in differnet parts of your filesystem so that you can try different versions of the same program (or at least this is what I understood from reading this article: Using GNU Stow to manage your dotfiles). 

And reading that article is precisely how I learnt to use it to create symbolic links to all my dot files while they are perfectly stored in my home in a directory named dotfiles.

The main reason why I like it so much is because Stow does something similar to what I used to do manually. The fact of finding a program that does all the hard work for you automatically is really great.

This is what I used to do before:

I had a dotfiles directory inside my Dropbox folder which synchronized across all my computers. Inside that dotfiles directory I had several files, but I'm going to use the typical .bashrc as an example.

In all my machines I made a symbolic link in my home directory named .bashrc to Dropbox/dotfiles/.bashrc This way all my computers read the same file as if the file was a real one. Make no mistake, the file did exist, but it was only a link after all.

In order to achieve this I had to type:

 $ ln -s ~/Dropbox/dotfiles/.bashrc ~/.bashrc

Whenever I made a new installation, I had to do the same for each of my dot files inside my dotfiles directory.

I do not know if you can imagine it, but my dotfiles directory was a little bit chaotic because there are many dot files that have their own dot folder so there were files with a dot, folders with a dot and files inside the dot folders.

What GNU Stow does for you:

With Stow you can keep all your dot files perfectly organized inside their own directory as long as they are inside ~/dotfiles And stow will make a symbolic link to all the right places where the files should go.

For example. You would place your .bashrc inside a directory named bash inside your dotfiles directory. Then you would only have to change to your dotfiles directory and type:

 $ cd ~/dotfiles
 $ stow bash

And be done with it. Isn't this an extraordinary thing?

Note: keep in mind that in debian you can also use xstow instead. It works exactly the same. Thus:

 $ cd ~/dotfiles
 $ xstow bash

Now comes the best part of all. So far my examples have only taken a single file (.bashrc) into account. But sure your dotfiles directory is full of both dot files and dot folders. If you had to go one by one it would be as hard as making the links manually. Well, with stow you can use wildcards to make your life easier.

For example, if you have in your dotfiles directory the following directories:

bash i3 cmus filezilla elinks mr nano gitconfig tmux mc ssh screen supertux

In order to create symbolic links to them all at the same time you can do:

 $ cd ~/dotfiles
 $ stow *

And be happy :)

One important consideration is that in each directory inside your dotfiles directory, you have to keep the skeleton structure of your dotfiles.So that stow knows where to place them. I recommend you take a look at the article I linked to above in order to understand it better.

Another important consideration is that I created a private git repository to use a version control system to keep track of changes to my files.

02 September 2015

pharc v.5.0 released

Today I released pharc v.5.0. You can find it in the usual places:

The downloads page (Includes the raw script and the .deb package):


The git repo, now hosted at gitlab, since gitorious closed down:


deb package 5.0.1

raw script pharc5

And the wiki:

pharc has now all the features and options I envisioned through all these years of development. From now on I only intend to make bug fixes and minor changes.
Thanks for using pharc!
pharc (5.0-1)
  • v.5.0
    • Add '-A|--all' option to archive all years at once.
  • v.4.0
    • Changed shebang to #!/bin/sh to make script more portable.
    • Improved if[...]else statements to make script more robust.
    • Added functionality to choose year of archive.
    • Added functionality to specify several years in one go.
    • Added '-l|--list' option to list unarchived phlog posts.
    • Logging by default to "$HOME/pharc.log"
    • Split code into functions.
    • Added option '-d|--delete to delete the log file.
  • v.3.0
    • Added option -a to specify year of archive (Redundant).
    • Added -v (version information option).
    • Added -h (help menu).
    • Added -y (year of the archive).
    • Help function (usage).
    • Improve coding style.
    • Leave a backup of gophermap -> gophermap~ (in case things break).
    • Test before echoing "You're done now. Thanks for using pharc."
  • v.2.0
    • Updating for mkphlog v.0.2
    • Adding version number 2.0
    • Adding license (2012)
  • Initial release.

05 August 2015

Usuba knife and chopsticks

I got an usuba knfe and some chopsticks. Even before dinner, we couldn't resist start using them :)

29 July 2015

Welding machine

I finally decided, after so many, many years, to buy a new welding machine. I do not use it on a daily basis, only two or three times a year, but using a pro machine makes a huge difference.

27 July 2015

Steca charge controller

I replaced my old solar charge controller. I bought a great Steca Solarix PRS 2020. It can support up to 20 amps.

25 July 2015

birds tv aerial

Aren't you just tired of birds pooping from your tv aerial? These were the exact search terms I typed on the search engine: "birds tv aerial" to discover this extraordinary invention to prevent that. It is just an scarecrow after all, but I love it.

23 July 2015


A couple of weeks ago, my elder nephew and me visited the enchanting village of Montañana. It is almost unbelievable to find a village in the 21st Century which still seems to live in medieval times. The streets, the houses, the bridges, everything, I mean everything, is made of stone.

Make no mistake, this only makes it all more beautiful and out of the ordinary. Many people go visit this lovely village just because of its magic.

There is more info here And a picure here:

20 June 2015

Blade bank

A blade bank is a must-have for any environment conscious wet shaver. There is a wide variety of blade banks. You can buy one or you can make one yourself. Your imagination is the limit.

Yesterday, I was draydreaming about a blade bank while drinking a cold beer and I suddenly got the idea. "Hey man, let's reuse this beer can as a blade bank!" I said to myself "It is slick, nice, handy and cheap. What else do you need?"

And here it is, the perfect blade bank:

15 June 2015

New shaving gear

I recently added some new stuff to my small collection:

- One Merkur 1311 (Excellent razor). It comes in a plastic box which is pretty handy to store it and 100 Astra blades (My favourite ones).

- A new brush (The first one on the right).

New debian polo shirts

Today I got two new debian polo shirts I ordered at hellotux

The quality of the embroidery is not as good as the ones I got from debian UK but it is still good enough. I hope you like them. I am really happy with them.

30 March 2015

Screenshot of the week 12

Screenshots are a great way of showing the world how cool your computer setup is, but at the same time they are also a reminder of what you were doing at a certain moment in time or a way of tracing how your likes and dislikes have changed over the years. I have been taking screenshots for years, but I started publishing them on a regular basis on 10 June 2011 (See screenshots label). That was when I started my "Screenshot of the week" series. And here I am again with its 12th installment.

In the series you were usually presented with the applications I used or the wallpapers I liked for some reason. Only very rarely did I show you any insight of what I was doing on my spare time. This has to change! Last weekend I watched again last year's (2014) Victoria's Secret fashion show. Each year it is getting better and better, more spectacular, entertaining and fun.

I took several screenshots at different intervals of the show. Notice that I use i3 as window manager and SMPlayer to watch these videos. (I normally use vlc but it constantly pixelates .mkv videos, so sad) 

The first one shows gorgeous Behati opening the show. (It was stunning, with a medley of Bob Seger's Hollywood Nights):

The second one is a great picture of Candice and Doutzen (in the line-up), two of the most beautiful girls in the world:

And last but not least, Adriana and Alessandra, the best models in the history of the world, talking about the impressive outfits they were going to wear in the "Exotic traveller" section. The two of them are out of this world, I love them so much...

22 March 2015

A day out

Today I visited the "Fira de Mollerusa" (Mollerusa Trade Fair) with two of my friends. It is one of the most important trade shows that you can see around the area where I live. It is a singular event since most companies show their products out on the streets of the city. On the downside, the sky was full of clouds and it was quite cold. It was bearable during the morning but it has been raining all the afternoon so everything was ruined in the end.

It is mainly an agricultural fair. You can see tractors and other great machinery, it can even be a bit boring after a while but there was also a car exhibition where I could see an impressive sports car I had never seen before. It was an Alfa Romeo 4C. Lovely car!!!