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 !!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Linux Mint! Xfce RC (201104)

Being a Xfce nut, I got Linux Mint! Xfce RC (201104) running great on the Dell Mini 9, finally got wireless working with "sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-lpphy-installer" for the mini9 B43 driver, loaded HeyBuddy, Viewnior and all my backed up data..

I just love the #Xfce mouse!

You can read more @

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ok, I got to post an update.  I now have a QR code for my blog @ Life in the Sugar Bowl..
You can get these 2-D barcodes from

For more info on QR codes, check out the Wikipedia page at

For other news, the Dell Mini 9 is now back on Xubuntu 10.10.1, I just gotta have my Xfce desktop and it runs good my the Dell with my 32GB SSD and 2 Megs of RAM.  I tried the Xbuntu 11.04 Natty Alpha-2 last night on my trusty Panasonic CF-72 Toughbook and it's not too bad for Alpha and new new Xfce 4.8.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Linux Release Dates for 2011

Mark your calendars with these hot release dates!

Ubuntu 11.04 - 04/28/2011

Fedora 15 - 05/10/2011

OpenSUSE 11.4 - 05/10/2011

Centos 6 - soon !

Debain 6 - 02/06/2011 - I DL this one at it's nice but built from totally free source software, nothing fancy ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Still distro hopping!

I backed up the Panasonic CF-72 running Salix Xfce last night to my 500G portable hard drive, 3 hours of fun. I still like Salix Xfce, it's very stable but since it is based on Slackware, but good luck running things like the Chrome browser or the Amazon MP3 downloader, or other exotic apps ;)

Thinking about moving the CF-72 to BSD "UNIX".  PC-BSD is fairly easy, been running it since 2.1 or so but I would love to try OpenBSD on this machine. It is a bit harder to setup but OpenBSD is very secure.   PC-BSD 9.0 (still in Alpha) till June/July 2011, will offer the ability to select system “meta-pkgs” at install / post-install time.  This is a huge departure from previous PC-BSD releases. Now you will be able to customize your installed desktop easily, with various window managers such as KDE4, Gnome2, XFCE4, and LXDE. After installation, you can easily add / remove components of these meta-pkgs via the System Manager.

On the small front, the Dell Mini 9 is still on Pinguy OS since it looks and runs so well. Its got Docky and Conky running well. I had to work on the Conky a bit. I do miss the Xfce. Got to love the little mouse.

UNIX like distros

Linux Distros

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mini 9 Adventures - #!

It's been awhile so I am moving the Dell Mini 9 back to #! Crunchbang Linux Xfce.    #! Crunchbang is light, dark and excellent under Xfce.  I love the #! Disclamer, "CrunchBang Linux is not recommended for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. CrunchBang Linux could possibly make your computer go CRUNCH! BANG! Therefore CrunchBang Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law." 

So if you can't fix it, find another distro ;)

The DL fun is at :