20170710

PlayOnLinux Nextion Guide

    As with most of my blogs this too is a list of steps to get the Nextion Editor to work on Linux Mint. Credit for the initial discovery of the steps goes to Lukonin Kirill for creating the original steps for version 0.38. However as with all software, it seems, there have been several updates to the Nextion editor. To stay up to date when new updates occur I've created a kwasy cheat sheet to install and run the Nextion Editor with PlayOnLinux. Without further adieu, here are the steps;


  1. Install Wine
  2. Install PlayOnLinux
  3. Start PlayOnLinux and click the "install" button.
  4. Select "Install the software, not in the list" and click "Next" .

...I'll finish when I have time. IN the meantime try to follow Lukonin's steps, and be persistent to make them work.

20170328

Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Biscuits Recipe

I once heard someone state "When does a dog not have the munchies?", and I couldn't agree more. Being a health conscious person I like to feed my dog whole nutritious foods also. I needed an inexpensive and quick recipe for some dog treats. That brought me to what others have found to be a sure shot cookie the puppy will love all the time, the peanut butter pumpkin biscuit. Quick, simple and most important a plate cleaner!

This recipe makes 4 dozen biscuits. Oh and I don't like left-over portions of ingredients sitting in the fridge, i.e. the pumpkin, so I've rounded the quantity up to a whole portion. Meaning you can easily half the quantities for a smaller batch.

Ingredients;

  • 5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy works best but some dogs like crunchy)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (iodized is best)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Now to put it all together;
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 
  2. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1-1/2" squares or use your favorite cookie cutter to cut shapes.
  3. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet, in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes.


20161001

Git

A Git IT work in progress....
  1. Installing Git
    1. Install from the CLI
      1. $ sudo apt-get install git-all
    2. First-Time Git Setup
      1. Configure your user info
        1. $ git config --global user.name "John Doe"
        2. $ git config --global user.email johndoe@example.com
      2. Configuring your editor
        1. $ git config --global core.editor gedit
      3. Checking Your Settings
        1. $ git config --list
  2. Getting a Git Repository
    1. Initializing a Repository in an Existing Directory
      If you’re starting to track an existing project in Git, you need to go to the project’s directory and type:
      1. $ git init
      2. $ git add *
      3. $ git add .
      4. $ git commit -m 'initial project version'
    2. Cloning an Existing Repository
      1. $ git clone https://github.com/source/git/dir target/git/dir
      2. Git has a number of different transfer protocols you can use.
    3. Initializing Git repositories in the Cloud
      This was something that I needed to do (for my own personal and private projects). While there are many ways out there to host your private repositories such as the awesome Bitbucket, Github, etc, I was looking at much simpler solution just for myself. All I needed is a versioning system to keep my source codes.

      I'm going to demonstrate how easy it is to host your own Git repositories in any of your preferred cloud providers. I chose Google Drive personally.

      Lets say you have a project named "johndoe":
      1. Initialize an empty Git repository: 
        1. $ cd /path/to/project/johndoe
        2. $ git init
      2. Make and change directory to where your Google Drive is located and initialize a bare repository.
        1. $ mkdir /path/to/GoogleDrive/project/johndoe
        2. $ cd /path/to/GoogleDrive/project/johndoe
        3. $ git remote add origin /path/to/GoogleDrive/project/johndoe
        4. $ git push origin master
    4. Cloning Git Repositories in the Cloud
      1. To clone your Git repository from Google Drive
        1. $ git clone /path/to/GoogleDrive/project/johndoe
    5. Git Version Control
      1. There are some subtleties to this because of the nature of Git. The way I've done this is by copying what the Git developers themselves do. First, you'll want to use annotated tags which is probably a good idea anyway. To review, you can create a new tag like this:
        1. $ git tag -a -m "Version 0.2" v0.2 HEAD
      2. Then you can use git describe for a useful "version" string that will include the number of commits since the tag and the leading digits of the sha1 of the the current commit. Here's an example from one of my projects:
        1. $ git describe
        2. v1.0-3-gee47184
      3. That is, this copy is 3 commits ahead of the "v1.0" tag and the commit sha1 begins with ee47184 (I'm not sure why they include that leading 'g').
      4. The Git developers take it one step further and also include an extra bit if the working copy is modified (uncommitted). This requires a few more steps so it's all wrapped up in a script they name VERSION-GEN. When run, it prints the version string to standard output and also creates a VERSION-FILE file (the script is careful to not re-touch that file if the version hasn't changed -- so it's build-tool friendly). Then, you can include that VERSION-FILE file in your source code, help files, etc.
      5. Using my example VERSION-GEN script, my version string for the above example is:
        1. $ VERSION-GEN
        2. version: 1.0-3-gee47
      6. If I modify any of the tracked files it looks like this:
        1. $ VERSION-GEN
        2. version: 1.0-3-gee47-mod
      7. Note that VERSION-GEN expects that the tags marking versions are of the form v[0-9]* (e.g., v1.0 or v0.2 or v12.3.4 or v12.2-4feb2009 etc.)
  3. Recording Changes to the Repository with RabbitVCS
    1. Installing RabbitVCS for use with Nemo

Seed Harvesting


With the garden off to a successful start, it's time to make some seed harvesting preparations. This year I've got a variety of produce and, to help find the specific species steps when I need them next year, I'm going to breakup this post into "by species" steps. Saving seeds from heirloom or open-pollinated varieties is a wonderful way to ensure that you can keep growing your favorite produce varieties year after year. Even better, you can select seeds from those fruits and vegetables with the best qualities, tailoring over the years, the varieties to conditions in your own garden.

The steps for any seed gathering from harvested fruits and vegetables is basically the same for all, with a twist and turn on a few.

  1. Isolating
  2. Pollinating
  3. Harvesting
  4. Cleaning
  5. Curing
  6. Sorting
  7. Cleaning
  8. Drying
  9. Storing

Cucumbers

Saving cucumber seeds is not as straightforward as saving bean seeds, or even tomato seeds. Unlike beans and tomatoes, cucumber blossoms are not perfect -- they need to be pollinated by insects (or by the gardener) to set fruit. And, to complicate things further, cucumbers cross easily with other cucumber varieties. Professional seed savers recommend isolating cucumber varieties by 1/2 mile to prevent crossing. Since most of us do not have that type of space to work with, we have to handle isolation and pollination another way.

  1. Isolating Plants
    1. The first step to take if you plan on saving seeds from your cucumbers is to isolate the plants you want to save seed from.
    2. You can bag individual female blossoms (these are the ones that look like they have a tiny cucumber at the base) before they open, in spun polyester or cotton bags to prevent insects from pollinating them.
    3. Do the same with a male flower.
    4. Then, tag the branch with that female blossom so you know later that this cucumber should be saved for the seeds.
    5. The other way to isolate your cucumbers is to build a cage that will enclose the entire plant or plants -- wood or PVC with spun polyester or screen over it will work.
  2. Hand-Pollinating Cucumber Flowers; Since we can't allow those haphazard bees to pollinate the cucumbers, we have to take that task on ourselves.
    1. Use a small brush to dab some of the pollen from a male cucumber flower onto the stigma (center) of the female flower.
    2. Then bag the female blossom again, and let the waiting begin.
    3. Once a fruit forms, you'll know that your hand-pollination worked.
    4. You can then remove the bag, but make sure you keep this fruit tagged or otherwise labeled so it doesn't end up in a salad by mistake.
  3. When to Harvest Cucumber Seeds
    1. Cucumbers that you are growing to save seed from must be grown to full maturity, much past the point where they are no longer edible.
    2. The cucumber will be larger than usual harvest size, and will start to soften.
    3. It will also change color from green to whitish.
    4. Harvest the fruits.
  4. Process the Cucumber Seeds
    1. Cut them in half lengthwise.
    2. Over a bowl, scoop out the seeds from the center of each half.
    3. Add about as much water to the bowl as the amount of seeds, and set aside in a warm, sheltered spot to ferment (much as you would if you were saving tomato seeds).
    4. Fermentation of cucumber seeds can occur in as little as one to three days; once most of the seeds have sunk to the bottom of the container, they are finished fermenting.
    5. Add more water to the bowl at this point to clean your seeds. Debris and bad seeds will float to the top, where you can discard them easily. The good seeds will be at the bottom.
    6. Rinse them a few more times, then strain them out and place them on paper towels or uncoated paper plates to dry.
    7. Once they are completely dry, label your seeds and store them in a cool, dry place. Stored properly, cucumber seeds will remain viable for ten years. A refrigerator is the ideal place to store your seeds.

Seed Saving: Quick Tips on Saving Your Garden Favorites

Tomatoes

Selecting a good tomato to save seeds from is the most important step in the process. There's no point in saving tomato seeds if you're not saving them from high quality fruits; the resulting plants (and their fruits) will be of inferior quality.
  1. Here's what you're looking for.
    1. Save seeds from an open-pollinated, rather than hybrid, tomato. Seeds saved from hybrid tomatoes won't come true, and there's no way to tell what you'll end up with. This may take a little research. If you're unsure whether the tomato you're growing is an heirloom or a hybrid, a quick internet search or a glance through a few seed catalogs will tell you what you need to know.
    2. Save seeds from tomatoes that are fully ripe, but not over-ripe. Seeds from over-ripe fruits could already be on their way to germinating or flat-out rotting.
    3. Save seeds from the best-looking, best-tasting fruits on the plant. When you save from the very best, the resulting plants will be predisposed to having those same desirable qualities.
    4. It's fine to save seed from plants that have suffered from blight or one of the many wilts that affect tomato plants.
  2. Slice the Tomato
    1. Once you have your tomato selected, slice it across the equator of the fruit. This will allow you to squeeze out the seeds more easily in the next step.
  3. Squeeze Out the Seeds
    1. Squeeze the seeds and their surrounding gel into a plastic or glass container.
  4. Add Water
    1. Pour two to three inches of water over the seeds you've squeezed into your container.
  5. Label and Set Aside
    1. Label your container so you don't forget which variety of tomato seed you've saved (you think you'll remember -- you won't. Trust me!)
    2. Set the container in a spot where it won't be in your way or be disturbed too much.
    3. Let it sit for two to three days, until you see white mold growing on top of the water. This is a sign that the gel coating that surrounds the seeds has broken down.
  6. Rinse and Dry
    1. Pour off the mold, as much of the water as possible, and any seeds that are floating (these seeds are bad, and would not have germinated, anyway).
    2. Rinse a few times, pouring off the rinse water and any seeds or debris that float.
    3. Dump the seeds into a fine mesh strainer and rinse well, using your fingers to dislodge any gel that is still sticking to the seeds.
    4. Write the name of your tomato variety on a paper plate, and dump your seeds onto it.
    5. Make sure that the seeds are in a single layer so they dry well and don't get moldy.
    6. Set the labeled plate aside for a few days so that the seeds dry completely.
  7. Store Your Seeds
    1. Once your seeds are completely dry, you can put them into an envelope, small baggie, or other container to store.
    2. Be sure to label them properly.
    3. It's best to store them in a cool, dry place (such as a refrigerator).
      When stored properly, tomato seeds will germinate reliably for up to ten years, or more.
How to Save Tomato Seeds - Photo Tutorial

Peppers

These are my favorite! Yes all of them, hot mild or somewhere near medium based on some scoville scale of scalding :) At this point I've got about a dozen different types of peppers. I've cross-pollinated some by accident, that turned out to be the perfect pepper for those how can't stand the heat but like the taste. Of course I've got the standard chili, habanero, jalapeno, bells of all colors, sriracha, pequeno, and the latest addition "observative tiger paws" (those are double hot habaneros).
  1. Separation of species
    1. Like the cucumbers you will need to take some effort to keep your peppers from cross pollinating. Yes the same steps as cucumbers.
  2. Harvesting
    1. As with other fruit, let the pepper stay on the plant as long as possible. Let is over develop and ripen beyond edible but not rotting.
  3. Sorting
    1. My personal preference is to cut around the top of the pepper while trying not to dislodge any of the seeds from around and below the stem. As long as the pepper flesh is firm you can use it to cook with, just bring it to a 165 degrees like meat.
....its late and I think I've got the idea for now...and I'll add the rest when its time...update and completion when the next seeds are ready.

20160915

Slow Cooked Hot Pepper Shredded Meat

I eat a lot of peppers, have a nice garden full of them including Habaneros. Now, I'm in need of a recipe. A new base recipe. One for all those scoville rated peppers, something along with other ingredients that bring the pepper's full flavor to taste, without all the heat is what I seek. Personally I like spicy food. However the point of using hot peppers isn't to burn the tongue, it is to enhance the flavor of the other ingredients. With my motive penciled out I began searching the Internet, only to conclude disappointment in any one recipe in particular. Needless to say it was time for a cooking experiment. With some pepper and spice experience and tips I've picked up along the cooking path, I began the Slow Cooked Hot Pepper experiment.


  • 2lbs Meat your choice (cut, seasoned, and brazed the way you like it)
  • 2 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion dried and ground
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika ground
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro dried and crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Mint dried and crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
  • 1 Garlic clove shelled and smashed
  • 3 Habaneros (or other hot pepper) dried and crushed (remove seeds for even less heat)
  • 4 Cups Water


Put all the ingredients except the meat into the slow cooker and set it to high for 6 hours. After the slow cooker warms up put in the meat. After the 6 hours the meat should be tender shreddable and tasty ready to eat along with the other items that complete your meal.

20160504

Cinnamon Falco

Another quick reference guide and note to help me remember all the install setup stuff to get my PCs running on LinuxMint Cinnamon on my HP 14 Chromebook otherwise known as Falco.

Falco: model# C2B-C3A-P7B
Steps 1-5 are for the HP 14 Falco Chromebook. Steps 6-10 are applicable for all Linux Mint systems.
  1. Activate Dev Mode (Only need to do this once.)
    1. With the Chromebook off, press and hold "ESC + refresh key + Power"
      and follow the onscreen steps to complete Dev Mode activation.
    2. Set up and account for the Chromebook Admin.
    3. Log in.
    4. Synchronize
    5. Open a terminal, "CTRL + ALT + T" and enter the following:
      $ chronos sudo bash
      # chrossystem dev_boot_usb = 1 dev_boot_legacy = 1
      # sudo reboot
  2. Access Dev Mode (Do this every time you want to boot to ChromeOS Dev Mode.)
    1. At the Chromebook Dev Boot Screen press "CTRL + D"
  3. Activate RAM for Live Boot Disk Installation (Only need to do this once. for LM17.x)
    1. @ USB install screen countdown, press "Tab".
    2. @ 1st option press "Tab".
    3. @ end of code press "Space Bar" and add the following: mem-1980M
    4. This should allow a Linux USB Live Installer to work on a Chromebook.
  4. Access Legacy Mode (Do this every time you want to boot from USB.)
    1. At the Chromebook Dev Boot Screen press "CTRL + L"
    2. Press "ESC"
    3. Select the number of your USB drive
    4. If not already installed this is the point at which you would install your Linux flavor. Reboot and follow steps 4.1-4.3 to access the linux install.
    5. After installing Linux, removal of the mem=1980M from the grub boot is required for full RAM use. Open the grub boot file and remove all instances of "mem=1980M", save and close the file.
      $ sudo gedit /boot/grub/grub.cfg
      Reboot for the changes to take effect.
  5. Falco Hardware
    1. MFC-7440N Brother Printer/Fax/Scanner
      1. Install Printer Drivers
        1. Open a terminal and enter the following steps:
        2. $ wget http://www.brother.com/pub/bsc/linux/dlf/brmfc7440nlpr-2.0.2-1.i386.deb
        3. $ sudo dpkg -i --force-all brmfc7440nlpr-2.0.2-1.i386.deb
        4. $ wget http://www.brother.com/pub/bsc/linux/dlf/cupswrapperMFC7440N-2.0.2-1.i386.deb
        5. $ sudo dpkg -i --force-all cupswrapperMFC7440N-2.0.2-1.i386.deb
        6. $ dpkg -l | grep Brother
      2. Configure the Printer by opening your system's Printer manager and select properties for MFC-7440N.
        1. Device: "LPD/LPR Host or Printer" or "AppSocket/HP JetDirect"
        2. Device URI: lpd://(Your printer's IP address)/binary_p1
        3. Manufacturer: Brother
        4. Model: Brother MFC-7440N for CUPS (en) [note that this shows up at the bottom of the list]
      3. Install Scanner Drivers
        1. Open a terminal and enter the following steps:
        2. $ wget http://www.brother.com/pub/bsc/linux/dlf/brscan3-0.2.11-5.amd64.deb
        3. $ sudo dpkg -i --force-all brscan3-0.2.11-5.amd64.deb
        4. $ dpkg -l | grep Brother
      4. Open a terminal and Configure the Scanner (use your IP, this one is mine)
        1. $ brsaneconfig3 -a name=Brother_Scanner model=MFC-7440N ip=192.168.100.112
        2. $ brsaneconfig3 -q | grep 7440N
    2. Falco Touchpad Fix - X11 cmt input driver : Hugh Greenberg
      1. $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:hugegreenbug/cmt 
      2. $ sudo apt-get update 
      3. $ sudo apt-get install xf86-input-cmt
    3. Falco Keyboard Fix - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/HP_Chromebook_14
      1. Open the keyboard.hwdb file for editing
      2. $ sudo gedit /lib/udev/hwdb.d/60-keyboard.hwdb
      3. Replace the "Chromebook 14" section with the following:
        # Chromebook 14
        # Top row keys (between ESC and power button) keyboard:dmi:bvn*:bvr*:bd*:svnHewlett-Packard*:pnFalco:pvr*
        # Chromebook 14 fix
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_3b=back
         KEYBOARD_KEY_3b=f1
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_3c=forward
         KEYBOARD_KEY_3c=f2
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_3d=fullscreen #no defined key sym
         KEYBOARD_KEY_3d=f3
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_3e=refresh
         KEYBOARD_KEY_3e=f4
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_3f=switchvideomode
         KEYBOARD_KEY_3f=f5
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_40=brightnessdown
         KEYBOARD_KEY_40=f6
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_41=brightnessup
         KEYBOARD_KEY_41=f7
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_42=mute
         KEYBOARD_KEY_42=f8
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_43=volumedown
         KEYBOARD_KEY_43=f9
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_44=volumeup
         KEYBOARD_KEY_44=f10
        # KEYBOARD_KEY_db=search #Same position as caps lock key on most keyboards
         KEYBOARD_KEY_db=leftmeta

        Save and close the file.
      4. $ sudo udevadm hwdb --update
      5. Reboot to load the updated hwdb database.
      6. Use the Cinnamon Keyboard Shortcuts manager to configure the backlight and audio keys using the "Search" key and appropriate "F#" key as the combination keys.
    4. Falco Suspend Fix
      1. https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=163544
      2. http://realityequation.net/installing-elementary-os-on-an-hp-chromebook-14
  6. Auto Updates
    1. Open your terminal and run update:
      $ sudo apt-get update
    2. Install the “unattended-upgrades” package; This is the package used to install the updated packages automatically:
      $ sudo apt-get install unattended-upgrades
    3. Next, the configuration file needs to be edited; To configure the unattended-upgrades edit the /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades file and make changes according to your needs:
      $ sudo gedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades
    4. Make the following changes to 50unattended-upgrades:
      // Automatically upgrade packages from these (origin, archive) pairs.
      Unattended-Upgrade::Allowed-Origins {
      "${distro_id} ${distro_codename}-security";
      "${distro_id} ${distro_codename}-updates";
      // "${distro_id} ${distro_codename}-proposed";
      // "${distro_id} ${distro_codename}-backports";
      // You also have to add the following two Rows,
      // otherwise you'll just update the Mint-Packages.

      "Ubuntu trusty-security";
      "Ubuntu trusty-updates";
      };
      // And to minimize the tech support to friends and relatives on how to update :-D
      // Remove the //, so it's not a comment anymore, and the update will be done
      // when the PC is shut down.

      Unattended-Upgrade::InstallOnShutdown "true";
  7. Symbolic Links and File Syncs - This is so you don't store your personal files on the main drive. It helps with backup and expansion of your storage space.
    1. creating-a-symlink-from-one-folder-to-another-with-different-names
    2. how-to-store-pictures-folder-on-another-hard-drive
    3. See grsync for File Sync methods.
  8. Network Shares
    Open a terminal and enter the following steps:
    1. Edit smb.conf as root:
      $ sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf
    2. Add a line right under the workgroup line towards the top of the file that looks like this:
      force user = $USER
      Save and Close the file.
    3. Make sure port 5353 is open. If you are not sure just disable the firewall if you are using one:
      $ sudo ufw disable
    4. Then restart samba:
      $ sudo service smbd restart
    5. Mount Windows Shares Permanently
    6. how-to-easily-access-your-home-network-from-anywhere-with-ddns
  9. Internet Browser Sync
    1. Firefox Sync
    2. Chrome
    3. LastPass
    4. Xmarks
  10. Aptik (Profiles, PPAs and PKGs)
    At this point it is a good idea to make any custom settings changes for example; desktop background, file management, screen savers, and power management behaviors
    1. Install PPAs and PKGs See cinnamon-crouton wiki for a list of recommended installs.
    2. Backup PPAs, PKGs, and User Profile
    3. Restore PPSs, PKGs, and User Profile
If something doesn't make sense in the steps, please click the link nearest the step and read up on it.