This Blog Is Not For Reading

A blog, just like any blog, only more so

  • Subscribe

  • Categories

  • RSS Bob Jonkman’s Microblog

    • Favorite 13 March 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: You go to post, you look it over. It looks okay. Hit "Post" and now there are words missing, words spelled incorrectly, punctuation missing.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lnxw48a1 13 March 2019
      RT @lnxw48a1 You go to post, you look it over. It looks okay. Hit "Post" and now there are words missing, words spelled incorrectly, punctuation missing.
    • New note by bobjonkman 7 March 2019
      If you have an external clock that's transmitted exclusively over an analogue channel, then everyone would hear the beats at the same time (barring speed-of-light transmission times, which is really only a factor if the transmission uses geosynchronous satellites). But if there is any digital transmission then you're back to the same problem. Not everyone […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lauraritchie 7 March 2019
      RT @lauraritchie @bobjonkman @strangeattractor what if they instead of playing reactively everyone played to a world clock? - people could always record their contributions and video magic can be done with screens in a room and then the one room is streamed.
    • New note by bobjonkman 4 March 2019
      The solution would be to have an analogue connection from end-to-end. But today, even analogue phones are connected to digital switching networks, so you can't even use ordinary landline phones and expect to get no delay. You can get "leased lines" from the phone companies that are analogue end-to-end, but leasing a tuned circuit that […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 4 March 2019
      Performing music together over an Internet connection is next to impossible if there is *any* lag at all. Typically, the lag is caused by short 10-50 millisecond delays for every router hop, at minimum one hop from you to your ISP, another from ISP to Internet Exchange Point (IXP), IXP to my ISP, and a […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lauraritchie 4 March 2019
      RT @lauraritchie More on the livestreaming dilemma...I need to have the option of multiple participants AT THE SAME TIME - like playing in a band. So maybe the keyboard and drums are in one place (live) and the sax player joins from another country via a link. Does anyone know of a platform that lets […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 3 March 2019
      The duct tape is in very good condition.
    • New note by bobjonkman 3 March 2019
      Test receive, also pls ignore
    • New note by bobjonkman 25 February 2019
      ...and wouldn't you have to include the time to insert 225,000 microSD cards in your laptop, write 256 GBytes to them, and then (after transporting them at about 10 PBytes/second, assuming 6 seconds of flight time), spend more time to insert those 225,000 microSD cards in the other guy's laptop to read those 256 GBytes? […]

Archive for the 'Operating System' Category

How To Create an Encrypted Drive in a File Container

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th October 2017

Inspired by The Linux Experiment, I want to create an encrypted drive in a file container using only the command line.

Creating an encrypted file container

Create the container file. We’ll call it containerfile.img:


laptop:~/temp$ fallocate -l 250MB containerfile.img

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l
total 244148
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman 250000000 Oct  8 22:45 containerfile.img

laptop:~/temp$

Create the encrypted LUKS volume. Note that creating volumes and file systems requires elevated privileges, so we use the sudo command:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo cryptsetup luksFormat containerfile.img 
[sudo] password for bjonkman: 

WARNING!
========
This will overwrite data on containerfile.img irrevocably.

Are you sure? (Type uppercase yes): YES
Enter passphrase: 
Verify passphrase: 
Command successful.

laptop:~/temp$

Of course, the passphrase doesn’t show on the screen, not even as asterisks. That would give a shouldersurfer an idea of how long the passphrase is. It is a long passphrase, right?

Open the encrypted LUKS volume, which we’ll call cryptvolume:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo cryptsetup luksOpen containerfile.img cryptvolume
Enter passphrase for containerfile.img: 

laptop:~/temp$

Let’s see if the encrypted LUKS volume exists:


laptop:~/temp$ lsblk
NAME                                          MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
sda                                             8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk  
├─sda1                                          8:1    0   243M  0 part  
├─sda2                                          8:2    0    14G  0 part  /
└─sda3                                          8:3    0     1K  0 part  
loop4                                           7:4    0 238.4M  0 loop  
└─cryptvolume                                 252:11   0 236.4M  0 crypt 

laptop:~/temp$

Yay!

Now we create a filesystem inside the encrypted LUKS volume. We’ll give it the label cryptdrive:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo mkfs -L cryptdrive -t ext4 /dev/mapper/cryptvolume 
mke2fs 1.42.13 (17-May-2015)
Creating filesystem with 253952 1k blocks and 63488 inodes
Filesystem UUID: 040765be-eddb-4ea6-b8d8-594b81233465
Superblock backups stored on blocks: 
	8193, 24577, 40961, 57345, 73729, 204801, 221185

Allocating group tables: done                            
Writing inode tables: done                            
Creating journal (4096 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done 

laptop:~/temp$

Create a mount point, which we’ll call mountpoint, then mount the encrypted drive:


laptop:~/temp$ mkdir mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$ sudo mount /dev/mapper/cryptvolume mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$ lsblk
NAME                                          MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
sda                                             8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk  
├─sda1                                          8:1    0   243M  0 part  
├─sda2                                          8:2    0    14G  0 part  /
└─sda3                                          8:3    0     1K  0 part  
loop4                                           7:4    0 238.4M  0 loop  
└─cryptvolume                                 252:11   0 236.4M  0 crypt /home/bjonkman/temp/mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l
total 244149
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman 250000000 Oct  8 23:19 containerfile.img
drwxr-xr-x 3 root     root          1024 Oct  8 23:14 mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$

Note that the encrypted file system still belongs to root:root because we used the sudo command.

Change file ownership to bjonkman:bjonkman so I can read/write to it without elevated permissions:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo chown bjonkman: mountpoint/

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l
total 244149
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman 250000000 Oct  8 23:19 containerfile.img
drwxr-xr-x 3 bjonkman bjonkman      1024 Oct  8 23:14 mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$

Since an encrypted container file is probably secret, it shouldn’t be visible to groups or others, so remove those file permissions:


laptop:~/temp$ chmod go-rwx containerfile.img 

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l
total 244149
-rw------- 1 bjonkman bjonkman 250000000 Oct  8 23:34 containerfile.img
drwxr-xr-x 3 bjonkman bjonkman      1024 Oct  8 23:14 mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$

Do some work in the encrypted drive:


laptop:~/temp$ echo "Hello World" > mountpoint/hello.txt

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l mountpoint/
total 13
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman    12 Oct  8 23:53 hello.txt
drwx------ 2 root     root     12288 Oct  8 23:14 lost+found

laptop:~/temp$

And finally, unmount the encrypted filesystem and close the encrypted volume:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo umount mountpoint/

laptop:~/temp$ sudo cryptsetup luksClose cryptvolume 

laptop:~/temp$

Using an encrypted file container

Next time you want to do some work:


laptop:~/temp$ sudo cryptsetup luksOpen containerfile.img cryptvolume
Enter passphrase for containerfile.img: 

laptop:~/temp$ sudo mount /dev/mapper/cryptvolume mountpoint

laptop:~/temp$ echo "Hello again" > mountpoint/again.txt

laptop:~/temp$ ls -l mountpoint/
total 14
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman    12 Oct  9 00:12 again.txt
-rw-rw-r-- 1 bjonkman bjonkman    12 Oct  8 23:53 hello.txt
drwx------ 2 root     root     12288 Oct  8 23:14 lost+found

laptop:~/temp$ sudo umount mountpoint/

laptop:~/temp$ sudo cryptsetup luksClose cryptvolume 

laptop:~/temp$

Using an encrypted file container from the GUI

Once the encrypted file container has been created you can open it from the graphical file manager just by double-clicking:
File manager window

Enter the passphrase to unlock the volume:
A file manager window and a password prompt window

A file manager window for the encrypted volume opens:
Two file manager windows

Note that the mountpoint is /media/bjonkman/cryptdrive/, chosen by the Gnome Disk Mounter application that runs when you doubleclick the container:


laptop:~/temp$ lsblk
NAME                                          MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE  MOUNTPOINT
sda                                             8:0    0 465.8G  0 disk  
├─sda1                                          8:1    0   243M  0 part  
├─sda2                                          8:2    0    14G  0 part  /
└─sda3                                          8:3    0     1K  0 part  
loop5                                           7:5    0 238.4M  1 loop  
└─luks-54f8e41b-73bf-4adf-aa29-a147733c5202   252:11   0 236.4M  1 crypt /media/bjonkman/cryptdrive

laptop:~/temp$

Also, note that the encrypted drive is mounted read-only:


laptop:~/temp$ mount | grep cryptdrive
/dev/mapper/luks-54f8e41b-73bf-4adf-aa29-a147733c5202 on /media/bjonkman/cryptdrive type ext4 (ro,nosuid,nodev,relatime,data=ordered,uhelper=udisks2)

laptop:~/temp$

Gnome Disk Mounter can be launched from the command line with a --writeable or -w parameter:
Command line window and Enter Passphrase window

Happily, this all works without elevated privileges; no sudo required. I don’t know how to open an encrypted file container using only command line tools without using sudo, nor how to launch Gnome Disk Manager in writeable mode just by doubleclicking — if you know, leave a comment or send me e-mail!

TL;DR:


fallocate -l 250MB containerfile.img

sudo cryptsetup luksFormat containerfile.img

sudo cryptsetup luksOpen containerfile.img cryptvolume

sudo mkfs -L cryptdrive -t ext4 /dev/mapper/cryptvolume

mkdir mountpoint

sudo mount /dev/mapper/cryptvolume mountpoint

sudo chown bjonkman: mountpoint/

chmod go-rwx containerfile.img

(do some work)

sudo umount mountpoint/

sudo cryptsetup luksClose cryptvolume

-----

sudo cryptsetup luksOpen containerfile.img cryptvolume
sudo mount /dev/mapper/cryptvolume mountpoint
(do some work)
sudo umount mountpoint/
sudo cryptsetup luksClose cryptvolume

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Crypto, GNU/Linux | 1 Comment »

More GNU/Linux Resources

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 15th May 2014

Drawing of Tux the Penguin, mascot of the Linux kernel

Tux the Penguin

In addition to the GNU/Linux Resources in Kitchener-Waterloo there are several other places to look online if you need support. Here’s a list of the GNU/Linux Resources I use.

Do you have additions? Do I have errors? Leave a comment or send me e-mail.

GNU/Linux Organizations and User Groups
  Website Mailing List Microblog Internet Relay Chat
KWLUG: Kitchener-Waterloo Linux Users Group http://kwlug.org KWLUG-disc @KWLUG and !KWLUG in the !Fediverse #KWLUG on Freenode.net
KWLUG-help
@KWLUG on Twitter
KWLUG Announce
Ubuntu Canada https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CanadianTeam Ubuntu-ca !Ubuntuca in the !Fediverse #ubuntu-ca on Freenode.net
Ubuntu Waterloo Region https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-waterloo-region Ubuntu-Waterloo-Region @UbuntuWaterloo on Twitter #ubuntu-ca-kw on Freenode.net
GNU/Linux Distributions
  Website Mailing List Blog / Microblog Internet Relay Chat Download
Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/ Ubuntu Community Mailing Lists @Ubuntu on Twitter #ubuntu on Freenode.net Download Ubuntu Desktop
Official Ubuntu Documentation !Ubuntu in the !Fediverse
Linux Mint http://linuxmint.com/   @Linux_Mint on Twitter #linuxmint-chat and #linuxmint-help on mibbit.com Download
The Linux Mint Blog
!Mint in the !Fediverse
Debian https://www.debian.org/ About Debian Mailing Lists debian@identi.ca #debian on Freenode.net Getting Debian
@debian on Twitter
Documentation debian-user
@debian and !debian in the !Fediverse
gNewSense http://www.gnewsense.org/ gNewSense-users gNewSense Blog #gnewsense on Freenode.net Download
gNewSense GNU/Linux – News
Documentation
!gNewSense in the !Fediverse
GNU/Linux Web Forums
  Website Microblog Login/Register
Ubuntu http://ubuntuforums.org/ @UbuntuForums on Twitter Login/Register
Canada Team Forum
Ask Ubuntu http://askubuntu.com/ @AskUbuntu on Twitter Signup
Ubuntu Discourse http://discourse.ubuntu.com/    
Linux Questions http://linuxquestions.org/ @LinuxQuestions on Twitter Register
Linux Mint Forums http://forums.linuxmint.com/ @Linux_Mint on Twitter  
openSUSE Forums http://forums.opensuse.org/forum.php    
SUSE Forums https://forums.suse.com/forum.php    
GNU/Linux Magazines
  Website Microblog Subscription
Linux Pro Magazine http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/ @linux_pro on Twitter Subscriptions
Linux Voice http://www.linuxvoice.com/ @LinuxVoice on Twitter Subscriptions
Podcasts
Full Circle Magazine http://fullcirclemagazine.org/ @FullCircleMag on Twitter Back Issues
Podcasts

Posted in GNU/Linux, KWLUG, Operating System | 3 Comments »

Tools to survive with WinXP

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 16th April 2014

WinXP logo

Windows XP

On Wednesday, 16 April 2014 I helped give a presentation to the Bits & Bytes Computer Club, along with Jim Reeves and Brian Bentley.

Microsoft Windows XP finally reached its End Of Life on Tuesday, 8 April 2014. It was a good run, starting in 2001. And, WinXP is still being used by many people who can’t, won’t, or haven’t yet upgraded.

Of course, now that WinXP is EOL there will be no further updates. Any vulnerabilities discovered after 8 April will go unfixed, leaving WinXP computers vulnerable to attack. What can you to do minimize your risk?

First, and most important: If you haven’t already run the Microsoft Update, do so now. Click on Start, All Programs, Microsoft Update.

Screenshot - Microsft Update

Select “Microsoft Upate”

On the Microsoft Update window select Express Update

Screenshot showing Microsoft Update selecting Express Update

Select “Express Update”

After that’s complete you’re on your own. But even if the WinXP operating system will no longer be updated, it’s still good to keep your applications updated. These software utilities will help keep your system up-to-date and tuned-up:

Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft logo

Microsoft Security Essentials

  • Anti-virus and Malware checker
  • Will be updated until April 2015


CCleaner
CCleaner logo

CCleaner

  • Cache cleaner
  • Frequently Used Paths and Files cleaner
  • Registry repair
  • Startup application manager
  • Remove Installed Programs


File Hippo Update Checker
Filehippo logo

File Hippo Update Checker

  • Checks for the most recent version of software hosted on File Hippo Free/Gratis software repository
  • Provides download links
  • Manual installation
  • Stays in Notification Area (System Tray)


Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Secunia PSI logo

Secunia Personal Software Inspector

  • Checks for outdated software
  • Checks for known vulnerabilities
  • Provides link to upgrade solution
  • May fix registry errors
  • Stays in Notification Area (System Tray)


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Microsoft Windows, Operating System, security | Comments Off on Tools to survive with WinXP

Ubuntu Hour Kitchener on Thursday, 13 February 2014

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 11th February 2014

People at Ubuntu Hour at the Egg Roll King

Ubuntu Hour at the Egg Roll King Restaurant in August 2013

Seems this blog is turning into my personal social calendar 🙂

The first Ubuntu Hour of the new year for Waterloo Region will be at the Egg Roll King restaurant this coming Thursday. Here’s the details:

Event: Ubuntu Hour Kitchener
Date: Thursday, 13 February 2014 iCal
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm (yes, I know that’s not an hour)
Location: Egg Roll King Restaurant, 85 Courtland Avenue East, Kitchener, Ontario Map
Organizer: Bob Jonkman
Register: on the Ubuntu Canada LoCo Portal (optional, but appreciated)

Join !Ubuntuca in the Fediverse, or follow @UbuntuWaterloo on Twitter.

Picture of Ubuntu Hour by Darcy Casselman. CC BYCreative Commons — Attribution — CC-BY

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu Hour Kitchener on Thursday, 13 February 2014

Ubuntu Activities during September 2013

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 13th September 2013

It’s shaping up to be a busy few weeks for Ubuntoids in the Kitchener-Waterloo region:

Ubuntu Global Jam

Ubuntu Tri-leaf logo

 

Ubuntu Global Jam Kitchener Pictures!

When: Saturday, 14 September 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm iCal 1
Where: Computer Recycling
Location: 66 Queen St. S., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Map 1
Entrance: Use the door on Charles Street
LoCo Event: Ubuntu Global Jam Kitchener | Ubuntu LoCo Team Portal
Info: UbuntuGlobalJam – Ubuntu Wiki
Blog: Charles’ Tech Talk: Ubuntu Global Jam, Saturday, September 14, 2013

Charles McColm (@chaslinux) has arranged to use the workshop at Computer Recycling on Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm, where he’s got lots of computers of varying specs that we can use to test the installation of Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander. We’ll document any problems with the installation procedure, any hardware incompatibilities we find, and maybe build a system or two in the process.

And for those people who don’t want to get grubby with actual hardware, there’s bugs to be triaged, documentation to be written, and code to be coded.

We’ll set up a couple of computers so we can be online with other Jams (it’s a Global Jam, after all), and Computer Recycling has a pretty good sound system so we can listen to the Hacker Freedom Song for inspiration all day long (OK, maybe not that).

Ubuntu Team Meeting in IRC

Ubuntu Canada logo

 

When: Thursday, 26 September 2013 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm (EDT) iCal 2
IRC: #ubuntu-ca channel on Freenode
Webchat: Freenode Web IRC — #ubuntu-ca
LoCo Event: Ubuntu-ca Team Meeting in IRC | Ubuntu LoCo Team Portal
Agenda: Canadian Team Wiki — Meeting 2013-09-26

Every month members of the Canadian Team meet online in Internet Relay Chat to discuss all things Ubuntu — past events, upcoming events, new releases, Canonical’s future direction…


Ubuntu Hour Guelph

Ubuntu Canada logo with maple leaves and wordmark

 

When: Friday, 27 September 2013 from 7:00pm onwards iCal 3
Where: Pennywhistle Pub
Location: 2 Quebec Street, Guelph, Ontario, Canada Map 3
LoCo Event: Ubuntu Hour Guelph | Ubuntu LoCo Team Portal
IRC: #ubuntu-ca-guelph channel on Freenode
Webchat: Freenode Web IRC — #ubuntu-ca-guelph
Mailing List: Ubuntu CA Guelph Chapter in Launchpad

Verdi R-D writes:

Hellooo!

Just wanted to let you know the Guelph Ubuntu will be held this month on Friday, September 27, 2013 at the Pennywhistle Pub from 7 until 8 or whenever you feel like going.

Also, if you’re in the southern Ontario area, I suggest you check out the Ubuntu Guelph oriented mailing list. It’s available from Launchpad at ubuntu-ca-guelph@lists.launchpad.net . We also have an IRC channel set up at #ubuntu-ca-guelph .

Continuing from last month, I plan on sending out an email with a link to the survey I designed for last meeting so that everyone can fill it out once I figure out how to make a Google Apps for free form publicly accessible.

Thanks,
Verdi


Software Freedom Day Kitchener-Waterloo

I'm speaking at Software Freedom Day, are you?

 

Preliminary pictures and video from Laurel L. Russwurm

Pictures and resources from Bob Jonkman’s ownCloud

When: Saturday, 28 September 2013 from 10:00am to 5:00pm iCal 4
Where: Kwartzlab Makerspace
Location: 33 Kent Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Map 4
LoCo Event: SFD Kwartlab | Ubuntu LoCo Team Portal
SFD Wiki: Kitchener-Waterloo SFD at Kwartzlab – Software Freedom Day Wiki
Sing-a-long: Celebrate Software Freedom Day Song

Presentations

  1. Bob Jonkman: Building Your Own Cloud

  2. Stefan Chirila: to be announced

  3. Rick Jenkins: Blender

  4. James Kelsh: Knoppix

  5. Charles McColm: Instant XBMC

Other Activities

  • Installfest
    • Bring your computer, laptop, tablet(?), phone(!) to get free software installed.
  • Software giveaway
  • Free Culture
    • a playlist of genuinely good CC-licenced music
    • a playlist of genuinely good CC-licenced video/movies
    • a bibliography of genuinely good CC-licenced books

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Software, Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu Activities during September 2013

Debian Wheezy Release Party at KWLUG; Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 4th May 2013

There’s no end to geeky computer operating system release parties, it seems.

Debian Wheezy Logo

Debian Wheezy Logo

Debian Wheezy is being released on the weekend of 4-5 May 2013, and KWLUG will be holding a party after the regular meeting:

What: Kitchener-Waterloo Debian Wheezy Release Party
When: Monday, 6 May 2013 at 9:00pm (after the regular meeting from 7:00pm to 9:00pm) iCal 4
Where: St. John’s Kitchen, 97 Victora Street North, Kitchener, Ontario Map 4
Bring: Party snack or beverage
Info: Follow the mailing list discussion (April, May)
Online: IRC channel #kwlug on Freenode Web Chat


Ubuntu Canada logo

Ubuntu Canada Circle Logo

In Guelph the Diyode makerspace is the venue for another Ubuntu 13.04 release party:

What: Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party
When: Friday, 10 May 2013 7:00pm to 10:00pm iCal 3
Where: Diyode Community Workshop, Unit B, 71 Wyndham St. S, Guelph, Ontario Map 3
Online: #ubuntu-ca on Freenode Web Chat
Registration: Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party on Ubuntu Canada LoCo Events

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Events, GNU/Linux, KWLUG, Operating System, Ubuntu | Comments Off on Debian Wheezy Release Party at KWLUG; Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party

Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail Release Parties on Thursday, 25 April

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 22nd April 2013

Ubuntu Tri-leaf logo

The KW chapter of Ubuntu Canada is having a release party for the latest version of Ubuntu, named “Raring Ringtail” on Thursday, 25 April 2013 at 7:00pm at the Kwartzlab Makerspace.

You’ll meet Ubuntu people from all over Canada during the IRC meeting from 7:00pm to 8:00pm; the Kwartzlab Radio team will be recording a podcast at 8:30pm; and there will be a live installation demonstration on a fancy new Lenovo laptop with UEFI and SecureBoot. And, of course, there will be cake, deviled eggs, and we may order out for pizza…

What: KW Raring Ringtail Release Party
When: Thursday, 25 April 2013 7:00pm – 10:00pm EDT iCal 1
Where: Kwartzlab, 33 Kent Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario Map 1
Online:
#ubuntu-ca on Freenode Web Chat
Registration: KW Release Party on Ubuntu Canada LoCo Events (Registration is optional, but appreciated)


Ubuntu Canada logoThere is also a Toronto Raring Ringtail Release Party. Join Michael Kaulbach for a bottomless cup of coffee and free Ubuntu cupcakes!

What: Toronto Raring Ringtail Release Party
When: Thursday, 25 April 2013 8:00pm – 11:00pm EDT iCal 2
Where: Alio Lounge, 108 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario Map 2
Online: #ubuntu-ca on Freenode Web Chat
Registration: Toronto Release Party on Ubuntu Canada LoCo Events (Registration is optional, but appreciated)


And there are rumours afoot of a Raring Ringtail Release Party in Guelph. More details as I unearth them….

Updated 26 April 2013: It’s here!

What: Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party
When: Friday, 10 May 2013 7:00pm to 10:00pm iCal 3
Where: Diyode Community Workshop, Unit B, 71 Wyndham St. S, Guelph, Ontario Map 3
Online: #ubuntu-ca on Freenode Web Chat
Registration: Guelph Raring Ringtail Release Party on Ubuntu Canada LoCo Events

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail Release Parties on Thursday, 25 April

Windows 8 will be just fine

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 25th October 2012

Windows 8 logo

Microsoft® Windows® 8 logo

In spite of the controversy, the Windows 8 Modern Interface will do just fine. Some people are saying that Microsoft is making a mistake by radically changing the Windows user interface, and that people will not be able to get used to it. I don’t think so.

When I teach Windows to people who have never used a computer, they learn everything from how to hold a mouse, pointing and clicking, dragging and dropping, opening and closing windows, to using applications after about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice. Lots of people are still hesitant, but after a three-hour class they have functional computer skills.

The same is true when I teach Microsoft Word for beginners. After about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice, they can create a letter or write a story, colour the text, change the font, and format paragraphs. They may not be proficient enough to join a secretarial pool, but they have functional word processing skills.

I’ve also taught Microsoft Word to people taking the Microsoft Office Specialist certification. Often these people are familiar with older versions of Microsoft Word (which used toolbars and menus) but now they’re learning the new interface, which uses the Ribbon. After about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice, they can find most of the functions to colour, size and format text. They may need many more hours of instruction and practice to pass the certification exam, but they’ve adapted to the new interface.

So, by analogy, I expect that people first introduced to computers on Windows 8 will take about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice to become competent with the Windows 8 Modern Interface, and people with experience on Windows XP and Windows 7 will take about an hour of instruction and a couple of hours of practice to become competent on the Windows 8 Modern Interface. The difference? People used to previous versions will grumble and complain about it a lot more. I’ve done that myself; after spending well over two decades using toolbars and menus I still occasionally flounder to find the equivalents in the Ribbon. It is frustrating to unlearn old habits, or to learn new things. But Microsoft is not just making changes for the sake of making changes. The Windows 8 Modern Interface works perfectly well on desktop computers, and much better on touchscreen computers, tablets and phones. The old desktop interface that requires scrolling and clicking with a mouse just doesn’t work with a touchscreen. But for people who don’t want to make the switch the old desktop interface is still available.

While it may be funny to see people using Windows 8 for the first time without any instruction, it’s not a very real scenario. Someone who has never used a computer is unlikely to buy one without getting help, either from the retailer, a community course, or helpful friends and relatives. People who have used a computer before may struggle a bit, but if they already know the basics (scrolling, clicking, dragging) they will figure it out after a couple of hours of practice.

–Bob.

Update 27 Oct 2012: At the Windows 8 Launch Party it was made clear that the word “Metro” is no longer to be used; it is now called the “Windows 8 Modern Interface”. So I’ve updated this post.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Microsoft Windows, Operating System, Software | 2 Comments »

Pictures from the KW Ubuntu Release Party

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 21st October 2012

The Kitchener-Waterloo chapter of the Ubuntu Canadian Team had a wonderful Ubuntu Release Party today. Laurel Russwurm baked a cake and I made some devilled eggs:

Quantal Cake and Devilled Eggs
Quantal Cake and Devilled Eggs

If you squint a little you can make out the Ubuntu logos…

Ralph brought the official Ubuntu banner:

People at the Ubuntu Release Party behind an Ubuntu banner
At the Kitchener Quantal Quetzal Ubuntu Release Party

That’s Jeff, Sergiane, Raul, Ralph, Karim, Bob, and Henrique.

Then it was time to cut the cake:

Bob Jonkman cuts the cake
Cutting cake is serious business!

And the second shift finishes it off:

The rest of the partygoers
The rest of the partygoers

That’s David, Gord, Bob, Ralph, and Darcy.

Many thanx to Paul for hosting and The Working Centre for the use of St. John’s Kitchen!

Pictures taken by Laurel L. Russwurm and used under a CC BYCreative Commons — Attribution — CC BY license.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Software, Ubuntu | 2 Comments »

KW Ubuntu Release party, 20 October 2012

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 15th October 2012

Pictures!

Hello Everybodee! I’m happy to announce that we’ll be having the Kitchener-Waterloo Ubuntu Release Party for the version named Quantal Quetzal, v12.10 at St. John’s Kitchen this Saturday.

The best parties always happen in the kitchen. Although we won’t have access to the cooking facilities, bring along some snack food to share, maybe some blank DVDs, and your laptop or netbook.

Map to St. John's Kitchen

St. John’s Kitchen, 97 Victoria St. N.

Here’s the details:

Saturday, 20 October 2012 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm iCal

St. John’s Kitchen Map
97 Victoria Street North
Kitchener, Ontario Canada

Automobile parking is available through Heit Lane in the Worth A Second Look parking lot; bicyles can be locked to railings at the entrance to St. John’s Kitchen.

Event link: http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/ubuntu-ca/2029/detail/
(Registration is optional, but appreciated)

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Events, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Ubuntu | 1 Comment »

 
Better Tag Cloud