Wednesday, February 7, 2018

I have moved to historic West End Dallas, Texas.  I've been through the Tech Wars, VHS vs. BetaMax, Palm Pilot, Apple II computers, Pebble Watch.  Got on the Internet in 1991 on UNIX.  Life has changed.  I will give the blog a rebirth.  I still use no Microsoft or Apple proprietary software or hardware.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Install / upgrade to XFCE 4.10 in Xubuntu 12.04 via PPA

XFCE 4.10 was released about two weeks ago, too late to be included in Xubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin. But you can install the latest XFCE 4.10 in Xubuntu 12.04 using a PPA.

XFCE 4.10 comes with many improvements which include a new application finder, a new vertical display mode for the panel: "deskbar", multiple rows support for the panel, the window manager supports tiling windows when dragging them to the screen edges, thumbnail rendering support for Xfdesktop, the mouse and touchpad dialog is capable of handling basic Synaptics and Wacom properties in the GUI, and more. For more info, check out the XFCE 4.10 tour @

Install / upgrade to XFCE 4.10 in Xubuntu 12.04 via PPA

Lionel Le Folgoc, a Xubuntu contributor, has set up a PPA to make it easy to install the latest XFCE 4.10 in Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin. To add the PPA and upgrade to XFCE 4.10, use the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.10
sudo apt-get updatesudo apt-get dist-upgrade

If after running "dist-upgrade", you get 3 held back packages which can't be upgraded, open Synaptic Package Manager (it's installed by default in Xubuntu), click the "Mark all upgrades" button, then "Apply". Synaptic will ask to remove one package and install a new one - select yes and you're done.

To install XFCE 4.10 in Xubuntu 12.04 (if you're using a different desktop environment such as GNOME for example), instead of the last command above, use the following:

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

Note: in XFCE 4.10, the window buttons plugin no longer expands, so the notification area / indicators will show up next to the window buttons plugin, leaving an empty area to the right of the panel. You can get the old behaviour back by adding a separator plugin to the panel, then right clicking it and enabling the "Expand" option.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ham Updates - 3/14/2012

For Pi Day (3.14), I ordered two Larsen NNO-K antenna mounts for the Honda Element.   Goal is to install two meter VHF and a 220 band amateur radios.  I will run 8 AWG power from the 12V battery to power this equipment.  On the HF scene, I am ready to bolt my Yaesu FT-897D and LDG AT-897+ together.  Looking at a Kent SP-1 single paddle code key for CW "morse code".  This is a side swipper "Cootie" key ;)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 Update to the World's Lamest Blog ;)

It’s about time for a 2012 blog update, still of big fan of Linux and Android. I have been an Ubuntu fan since
around 2005 but bloat and the Unity desktop has got me pretty devoted to Linux Mint. I have Linux Mint Debian
on my Dell OptiPlex and Linux Mint 12 on the Dell 2400.  I usually use an Xfce desktop but Gnome isn’t bad with Mint. I just like Xfce, I know how it works and I just love the little mouse. I was even a KDE fan for years
but I gave up for a while after the KDE 2.4 confusion, I downloaded Linux Mint KDE 12 the other night and might even give it a try again, been hearing KDE is getting more stable lately.

My trusty Dell Mini 9 has run Peppermint Two Linux for some time but instead of the typical OpenBox desktop, I use Xfce 4.8 and I am quite pleased with performance. This is my favorite web surfing, Google+ box. A new Acer Iconia A100 tablet has been in the etech inventory, it’s fun for very mobile web use, gmail and Twitter. I had to root it after about a week with instructions at

Battery life is fairly precious on the A100 but I like Android 3.2 and app selections. My aging T-Mobile Huawei
Comet is still around. It’s quite slow at times but being a pre-paid phone, it was cheap (about $79) and it
runs me about $8 a month with no-contract.

Who needs a Smartbook these days? I don’t plan on supporting Microsoft 8 in anyway in the future and any
new Smartbooks, tablets or cellphones I use must use Linux or Android. Android will be merging back into the
Linux kernels around 3.3 so it’s moving the right way.

In the social media world, I have shut down my Facebook account (Evd Jones), hopefully for the last time. I am
still on Twitter (etech18) and my favorite at present is Google+ for the techi content. I use my real name on G+, Billy Jones.  See me at

I am a fully certified distro hopper but I think Jolicould may be the most interesting cloud based Linux "distro" I've loaded up lately. It's very light, wicked fast and cloud-centric. See my wreched presence at

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Element

Being one of the original nerds, a bit to the right of Attila the Hun. a crazy electronics tech, General Class Radio Op, US Army veteran and an Xfce computer geek. I traded the 2008 Honda Fit and got a 2011 Honda Element EX before Honda stopped production of the Elements.

I love the Element so far, it feels so much more solid than the Fit. I do plan on on drilling a 3/4" home in the center of the roof later for a Larsen NMO antenna mount. Need a new Yaesu dual band FT-7900R (2-meter/70-cm) VHF/UHF radio then add the Larsen NMO2/70B antenna.

Billy, etech18 @ Twitter

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Rapidly deplyable wireless mesh networks using layer-3 OLSR routing

Being a Linux monkey and ham radio operator, I just got my "spare" WRT54GL router setup with as a HSMM-MESH node, N5EVD-1.  I find HSMM-MESH interesting since it combines my loves of ham radio, networking and Linux computing.  Already thinking about a Mini-ITX Ubuntu server in a NEMA box with my node ;)  I would like experiment with fixed and mobile Mesh networking for use in future public service and emergency response events.  

Also looking at Freifunk Firmware used to build citywide wireless intranets by meshing with layer-3  OLSR routing.

Check out

Monday, May 16, 2011

Peppermint Ice

Thinking of moving the Dell Mini 9 back to Peppermint Ice.

Peppermint Ice is a derivative of Peppermint One. It replaces Firefox as the default browser with Chromium, as well as replacing Mozilla Prism in favor of Kendall Tristan's Ice SSB. Ice also drops printer support and other minor features in an attempt to be faster and lighter than Peppermint One.

Default Ice applications include:

Pixlr [Image Editor]
Seesmic Web
The Cloud Player
Google Calendar
Google Docs
Google Mail
Google Reader

Locally installed applications:

Chromium Web Browser
Xnoise [Music Management & Player]
X-Chat [IRC Client]
Transmission [Bit Torrent Client]

Release history
Peppermint OS uses a hybrid release schedule. Updates are rolled out as needed in a rolling release
fashion. Periodically a re-spin is released which incorporates minor bug fixes and recent updates

Initial Release July 20, 2010
Respin 10012010 - Released October 2, 2010
Respin 20110302 - Released March 7th, 2011
The LFFL repository was been added. Some region specific SSBs, such as Hulu and Pandora, were removed from the default installation. Some space saving optimizations were made to the .iso.

I might load the b43 driver from the gma500 ppa to fix up Wifi and Graphics, let you know....

Billy, etech18 @ Twitter

(Latest) - I loaded Xfce under Peppermint Ice re-spin and it is running great.  I am a happy camper now.  Loaded hotot and heybuddy to keep connected and what a cool distro !!!