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Auto-Type Keywords for KeepassX

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 1st November 2016

KeepassX logo


I use KeePassX to keep track of passwords for web sites, server logins, and encrypted disks. And, at the touch of a keystroke, KeepassX can auto-type login names and passwords to those web sites, servers, and disks.

By default, KeepassX sends the sequence


but if the Username field is blank then KeepassX just sends


or if the Password field is blank then KeepassX only sends


But what other things can KeepassX send? A quick look at the AutoType.cpp source code reveals these additional keystrokes:

  • {tab}
  • {enter}
  • {up}
  • {down}
  • {left}
  • {right}
  • {insert} or {ins}
  • {delete} or {del}
  • {home}
  • {end}
  • {pgup}
  • {pgdown}
  • {backspace} or {bs} or {bksp}
  • {break}
  • {capslock}
  • {esc}
  • {help}
  • {numlock}
  • {ptrsc}
  • {scolllock}
  • {add} or {+}
  • {subtract}
  • {multiply}
  • {divide}
  • {^}
  • {%}
  • {~}
  • {(}
  • {)}
  • {{}
  • {}}
  • {f1}
  • {f2} .. {f16}

KeepassX is written by Felix Geyer and Florian Geyer with reporter Tarquin Winot, and is released under the GNU head logoGNU General Public License.

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Posted in FLOSS, security, Software | No Comments »

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:


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 . 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.


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


  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

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Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Software, Ubuntu | No Comments »

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
#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

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Posted in FLOSS, GNU/Linux, Operating System, Ubuntu | No Comments »

Wanted: Open Data Citizen’s Group in Woolwich Township

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 19th March 2013

Open Data Woolwich Township


Alan Marshall, known online as the Elmira Advocate, recently blogged about the lack of data transparency:

What I do know is this. Environmental data is not shared with the public. What I do know about Waterloo’s water scares me but perhaps not as much as what I don’t know.

The Region of Waterloo is gradually making its collected data available to the public in Open Data sets. This means that citizens can use and re-use the data for mapping, tracking trends, and correlating it with other data sources. The data is licensed specifically to encourage its re-use, not restrict it.

The Region of Waterloo data sets are available at

There is a citizens’ group called OpenDataWR that encourages governments to make their collected data available in standardized, re-usable formats. They meet occasionally to work on new applications utilizing Open Data resources.

OpenDataWR recently held a hackathon, where groups of people worked on new projects that makes uses of Open Data. It was mostly computer programmers at the hackathon, but we need advocates like Alan with deep knowledge of the data, science, and the meaning of the data so that the programmers can write better applications. We also need publicists to make the existence of Open Data more widely known, as well as the applications that make use of it. We need lobbyists to advocate for more Open Data from governments, and from commercial organizations such as Conestoga Rovers. For instance, the University of Waterloo has an Open Data project as well.

As far as I know, Woolwich Township doesn’t have an Open Data project, or even a policy about making its data available in open formats. For example, even something so fundamental as the Woolwich Council meeting calendar is not made available in a standard calendar format, so you can’t easily add Council meetings to your own iPad or Outlook calendar.

It would be nice to have an Open Data advocacy group in Woolwich Township. There’s certainly enough data, just no good way to get at it.

Call to arms!

If anyone is interested in setting up an Open Data Woolwich Township citizens’ group to encourage and guide the Township into opening its data, please leave a comment below or contact me at


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Posted in FLOSS, Open Data | 1 Comment »

OpenDataDay Hackathon at Kwartzlab

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 27th February 2013

Open Data Waterloo Region


On International OpenDataDay four teams of hackers from OpenDataWR gathered at Kwartzlab to work on Food Premise Inspection Data, modelling new transit routes and route changes with GTFS data, improving the server for the Catchr transit app, a proof-of-concept pushbutton app for Android, and creating a Get Map button for OpenStreetMap in the Thunderbird Lightning add-in.

Hackers at Kwartzlab OpenDataDay Hackathon at Kwartzlab. Clockwise: Koo (back to camera), Ralph, Michael, Mike, Brett, Jonathan. Missing: Darcy, William, Katherine, Bob.


William and I worked on the Get Map button. Although we had hoped to create some working code, we got only as far as making a mock-up of Lightning’s Edit Event screen:

Screenshot of Thunderbird Lightning Edit Event screen
Lightning “Edit Event” screen, showing the new “Get Map” button


The first hurdle we ran into is that Lightning source code is kept in a Mercurial repository. Although William was familiar with Perforce (another code revision system), I haven’t used Mercurial until now. And the repository contained all of Thunderbird, Firefox, SeaMonkey, and the Mozilla addins. We certainly didn’t want to clone the entire Mozilla code base! So William found the Lightning tarball, which I unpacked in a new folder. This let us poke around the source files to find where our new code should go.

Then we found that Lightning isn’t straight Javascript, it’s mostly XUL. XUL is close enough to XHTML, CSS and DTD files that we could figure out what needed to be done. But we had a limited amount of time, and I didn’t want to spend it waiting for source code to build. So I created a new profile in Thunderbird, installed a fresh copy of the Lightning add-in, and we hacked at the installed files directly. This gave us instant feedback on the changes we made, just by restarting Thunderbird and running Lightning. Some of the changes were in plain text files, but others needed to be made to files in JAR format. One of those was the localized language file. We weren’t sure which language file we were using, en-GB or en-US. Of course, we picked the wrong one to start with, and spend maybe two hours trying to debug a misleading error message about a missing entity definition while we were working on the wrong file.

But it all turned out OK in the end. Now we need to take the work we did on the installed files and replicate it on the source files from the Mercurial repository, properly build Lightning from source, and offer our changes to the Mozilla Calendar project. And, once we’ve got it working, we’ll make the changes available on this site too.

–Bob and William.

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Posted in code, FLOSS, Open Data, Software | No Comments »

Goodbye Twitter?

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 14th January 2013

No Twitter logoJon Newton writes:

Goodbye Twitter

Twitter […] has become a hard-core marketing vehicle, with all that implies.
With several hicups and false I’ve been posting on for quite a while; but I can’t see any point in continuing with Twitter.

On I can at least be fairly certain people are following because they’re genuinely interested 🙂

That’s a principled, honourable, and brave move.

I’m as strong an advocate of Free, Libre, and Open Source Software as anyone, but I’m still making use of Twitter because of the network effects — there are so many people I find interesting on Twitter that the pain of using it is less than the benefit. On the other hand, the people I find interesting don’t use because there aren’t enough other interesting people there…

Of course, I’m not seeing much of the promotional material on Twitter because I use other software such as Pidgin and Mustard to view the messages. More F/LOSS applications to keep me safe from commercialism.

Another reason I probably won’t abandon Twitter altogether is because I’m also an advocate of keeping a (low) profile on the mainstream services (such as Facebook and Google Plus), simply to prevent others from acquiring my username and hijacking my identity. So I only post to, but sends those messages to Twitter automatically, and again I don’t have to deal with Twitter’s rampant commercialism.

Hopefully your good example will encourage me (and others) to take the next step and reject Twitter completely. You’ve given me something to think about.


No Twitter Logo is based on twitter-logo by The Daring Librarian, modified by Bob Jonkman. Used and re-licensed under CC BY-SACreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Posted in FLOSS, Internet, Microblogging, Social Media | No Comments »

Simon Phipps on Free, Open and Liberty

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 18th November 2012

This is so simply and beautifully stated:

Simon Phipps:

“Free” is the ethical construct; “Open” is the practical method; “liberty” is the shared objective.


18 November 2012 from web at Southampton, England, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in context

Simon Phipps is President of the Open Source Initiative, blogs at Wild Webmink and writes a column at Infoworld.

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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.


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.

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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.

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

How To Use OpenStreetMap with Thunderbird’s “Get Map” button

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 9th October 2012

Thunderbird’s address book has a “Get Map” button to show an address location on a map. By default, Thunderbird uses Google Maps to display a location. Wouldn’t it be nice to use OpenStreetMap in Thunderbird instead? Here’s how!



OpenStreetMap uses Nominatim to search for and display a location. The Wiki tells us the URL query is processed left-to-right, and the example shows the address elements from greatest to least resolution:,+birmingham&format=xml&polygon=1&addressdetails=1



The Thunderbird Knowledgebase for Mail and News settings gives us the following address-related parameters:

Substitution variables:
@A1: address, part 1
@A2: address, part 2
@CI: city
@ST: state
@ZI: zip code
@CO: country

Now we combine the two in Thunderbird’s configuration file prefs.js:

user_pref("mail.addr_book.mapit_url.format", ",@A2,@CI,@ST,@CO");

If you prefer not to edit the pref.js file, here’s a step-by-step procedure to do it with the graphical interface.

If you’re using Linux, select Edit, Preferences from the Thunderbird menu. On Thunderbird for Windows select Tools, Options. Click on the Advanced toolbar button, then the General tab.

Screenshot of the Preferences window, Advanced tab

Click on the Config Editor… button.

Screenshot of advanced configuration warning

Click on the I’ll be careful, I promise! button.

Screenshot of Thunderbird advanced configuration window

Type mapit in the Search field,

Screenshot showing the mail.addr_book.mapit_url.format setting

Double-click on the line for the mail.addr_book.mapit_url.format parameter.

Screenshot of input dialogue

Delete what’s there, and type,@A2,@CI,@ST,@CO

Screenshot of input box with OSM value

Click OK, close the about:config window, and close the Preferences window.

Now we need to find an address book entry with enough data to generate a map.

From the Thunderbird menu, select Tools, Address Book, and double-click on an entry. Click New Contact if there’s nobody in your address book (and you can enter your own address).

Screenshot showing address book general info entry form

Click on the Private or Work tab to show the screen for address entry.

Screenshot showing address book work info entry form

At minimum, fill in the Country field. Adding State/Province, City and Address will improve the resolution of the map. If you do fill in higher resolution fields (Address or City) then you also need to fill in the lower-resolution fields (State/Province and Country), or the Nominatim search won’t work.

Note that the Nominatim URL query doesn’t include the @ZI variable, so the ZIP/Postal Code field isn’t used to create the map.

When all the data is entered, click OK.

Screenshot of Thunderbird Address Book showing Bob Jonkman

With any address field filled in, the address book entry now displays a Get Map button.

Go ahead, click it!

Screenshot of OpenStreetMap

And there we have it! An OpenStreetMap of the address in the Thunderbird address book.

If you’ve done this, or have suggestions for improving these instructions please let me know in the comments or by e-mail at


All screenshots taken by Bob Jonkman, and freely available for re-use (CC0CC0).

The new OpenStreetMap logo by Ken Vermette from, used under a Creative Commons LicenseCC BY-SA license.

The Thunderbird Logo and Wordmark are used according to the Mozilla Foundation Visual Identity Guidelines for Thunderbird.

Maps © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC BY-SA

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Posted in FLOSS, Google Free, How To | No Comments »

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