Monthly Archives: April 2015

Back When I Can

If you are new here, why not start from the beginning and get some cool tips on how to run Linux on your computer or laptop! Click Here

For those who have been following along, I’m fighting some health problems that have me sidelined for a bit. I’ll be back with Linux tips and tricks as soon as I can. I’ve really enjoyed doing this blog, and hope to be back soon!

 

Open Source Clip Art For Anything!

If you run a web page, do a newsletter for your club, or publish anything else; a source of royalty free clip art can really be handy to have!

Best of all, those open source images are right at your fingertips. Head over to your Package Manager and do a search for: openclipart

Package Manager installing Openclipart 1 and 2

Package Manager installing Openclipart 1 and 2

For the largest variety, install both Openclipart 1 and 2

It’s a big download, but the results are well worth the hard drive space.

Installing Openclipart

Installing Openclipart

Once installed, open LibreOffice from your Menu. Once open, click on the Tools menu and then click on Gallery to open your new clip art.

LIbreOffice, opening the clip art gallery

LIbreOffice, opening the clip art gallery

Browse through the left hand menu, and once you find an image you wish to use, you can click on it to add it to your document, or save it for inclusion on your web page.

If your are disinclined to use LibreOfice, you can also browse  through your new clip art, by simply going directly to it using your file browser. The artwork is stored in your /usr/share/openclipart/ directory!

Caja File Manager

Caja File Manager

You can use the graphics and images for any purpose, without attribution. A quick and easy way to pretty up your publications!

Old Time Synthesiser Simulator

As a musician, my primary instrument is the flute, but I play most of the woodwinds.

One instrument I’ve always enjoyed playing with, just for fun, is the synthesiser keyboard. It’s a love that my autistic adult son also shares. He has a wonderful MIDI keyboard by Roland that he uses to compose classical music on. It’s plugged into his desktop computer, using the JACK Audio Connection Kit software and Ardour and Audacity  for mixing, recording,  etcetera.

Imagine my delight while poking around the Package Manager when I found the Bristol classic synthesiser program. You can use it of course with the JACK Audio Connection Kit, or you can also install the monoBristol package to provide a direct GUI to play with old-time keyboards without it.

Open your Package Manager and search for Bristol, and install Bristol, Bristol Data, as well as the MonoBristol package as shown:

Package Manager installing Bristol

Package Manager installing Bristol

The GUI program won’t show up in your Menu, so open a Terminal window and simply type: monobristol

You can of course, also create a menu item to start it with a click!

After it’s launched, you will be presented with a huge matrix of the available classic synthesisers you can play with:

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

MonoBristol GUI with control panel

I have owned several over the years, but the mini Moog was always my favorite.  Search the list, click on the synth you’d like to play with and simply give it a click!

Moog Mini

Moog Mini

Once open, you can use your mouse, keyboard, or your connected MIDI keyboard to now play the displayed synthesiser. All of the dials, knobs, switches, and other controls on the keyboard are available to change settings. Change the envelope, attack, decay, etcetera of the sound, just like you could on the original!

Yamaha CS-80

Yamaha CS-80

Tired of playing with the Moog, then load a Yamaha, or a Fender Rhodes!

Some great software in the Package Manager, so explore it and enjoy!

 

Tools: Edit, Add, Or Delete Disk Image File Content

The way most of us install the Linux operating system, is to first download the disk image file or .iso, of the desired system and then burn it to a CD, DVD, or thumb drive. We then use the media we’ve created, to install the operating system.

But what if, in that process, you would like to add your own collection of Linux packages to the disk. This is especially useful if you are installing on a system that does not have network access.

If you have this requirement, then head to your Package Manager and do a search for isomaster.

Package Manager, installing isomaster

Package Manager, installing isomaster

Once installed, you can launch the program ISO Master from your Menu.

ISO Master

ISO Master

In the above example, I have opened the disk image for the Tiny Core Linux distribution.  It’s a wonderful, very compact distro that is fun to play with, and I find it useful for some of my home made embedded controllers.

Tiny Core will work great on the machine I plan to put it on, but I wanted to include on the installation disk, the drivers I need for my Cannon laser printer.

Using ISO Master, I can easily add that driver to the .iso image, and once added, I can then burn and have a disk with everything I need in one place. Handy for doing installs when no internet is available.

Adding printer drivers to a previously downloaded disk image file.

Adding printer drivers to a previously downloaded disk image file.

After you have finished adding, deleting, or otherwise customizing your disk image, you can then save it to your hard drive, and use your favorite disk burning tool to create the install disk.

 

Expand Your OwnCloud Server Usefulness

The Following instructions are no longer valid in ownCloud 9+

We love our ownCloud server here on the farm. As we’ve discussed before, it keeps the farm and family well organized and secure.

With ownCloud running on a LAMP stack, let’s take advantage of that server by adding other useful goodies to it!

The root of your www server directory will contain a directory called owncloud, and there is nothing to keep you from adding other handy web-type resources to it. Here on the farm, we  use our server to also store all of our equipment manuals that we may need to view quickly.

In today’s example, I have a rather extensive web page I built up years ago for my antique Wheel Horse tractor. The page contains dozens of charts, manual sheets, parts lists etcetera. Having all that information available anywhere on my network is really handy!

As seen in this example, my www root has an OwnCloud directory, and the index.html file just does a quick redirect to the ownCloud instance. I do it this way so I can easily add new resources, like the tractor directory as shown.

Root www directory

Root www directory

Once you have your new web resource uploaded to your server, you will then go to the ownCloud Admin panel to add the external link to your ownCloud software. Note that you need to link using a secure connection, so don’t forget the https://

OwnCloud Configuration

OwnCloud Configuration

Once you’ve told ownCloud about your new page, you will find that page in the ownCloud main menu! In this example, Tractor.

New Menu Item Called Tractor

New Menu Item Called Tractor

Clicking on my new Tractor menu item, takes me to an embedded page of my tractor information, with the ownCloud menu still handy at the top, so you can check your calendar or start making your parts list for repairs.

Tractor manuals, I've collected for my old Wheel Horse.

Tractor manuals, I’ve collected for my old Wheel Horse.

I’ve got separate web pages on my ownCloud install for most of the equipment I’ve collected manuals for. All equipment manuals we get are scanned, saved as a PDF and then stored as web pages on our ownCloud server.

ownCloud and LAMP, what can’t it do!