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Tutanota Desktop

Friday 19th of February 2021 01:04:37 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Tutanota Desktop

What is Tutanota?

Tutanota is the secure email service with built-in end-to-end encryption that enables you to communicate securely with anyone on all your devices.

What is Tutanota Desktop?
The secure desktop clients with built-in encryption is available for Linux, Windows and Mac OS (mobile versions for Android and iOS are also available, as well as a web client). The Tutanota secure email service with automatic encryption has been published in March 2014. The Tutanota desktop clients enable you to use Tutanota directly from your computer without the need of a browser.

Installation (Sparky 5 & 6 amd64):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install tutanota-desktop

or via APTus-> Email tab-> Tutanota Desktop icon.

The first run asks about the app integration with the desktop – you do not need to do that, it is already integrated at the deb package.

Author: Tutao GmbH
License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Sparky APTus 0.4.36

Tuesday 16th of February 2021 03:47:39 PM

Sparky APTus has been upgraded up to 0.4.36 (Sparky 5) & 0.4.38 (Sparky 6).

There are small, but notable changes of APTus, which provide:
– added Debian RealTime Linux kernel installation (Sparky 5 & 6)
– added Debian Backports Linux kernel installation (Sparky 5)
– Added Debian Backports RealTime Linux kernel installation (Sparky 5)
– separated Linux kernel amd64 & i686 installation of Debian and Liquorix kernels (Sparky 5 & 6); it means, the kernel installer shows amd64 kernels only on the list of amd64 machines and shows i686 & i686-pae kernels only on machines i686.

* No need to manually configure the Debian backports repos on Sparky stable 5 – the tool will do that for you.
* If you already configured Debian backports repos – simply disable or remove it.

The new small features will be moved to APTus AppCenter too.



Thursday 11th of February 2021 04:40:10 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Gomuks

What is Gomuks?

A terminal Matrix client written in Go using mautrix and mauview.

Installation (Sparky 6 amd64 & i386):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install gomuks

General usage:
– /help – View command list.
– /quit – Close gomuks.
– /clearcache – Clear room state and close gomuks.
– /logout – Log out, clear caches and go back to the login view.
– /fingerprint – Shows the Device ID and fingerprint, allowing verification of the session.
– /toggle – Toggle user preferences.
— rooms – Room list sidebar.
— users – User list sidebar.
— baremessages – Bare message mode where the sender name is inline with the messages.
— images – Text image rendering.
— typingnotif – Outgoing typing notifications.
— emojis – :emoji: conversion when sending messages.
— html – HTML input.
— markdown – Markdown input.
— downloads – Automatic downloads (this will also prevent images from working).
— notifications – Desktop notifications.
— unverified – Sending (e2ee keys for) messages to unverified devices. You need restart gomuks for this setting to take effect.

More info at the project’s GitHub wiki page.

Author: Tulir Asokan
License: GNU Affero General Public License v3.0


Mirrors in Germany

Saturday 6th of February 2021 11:21:10 AM

There are two, new repo mirrors available for Sparkers, both located in Germany.

Mirror DE1 is provided by JackGrumbler:

Mirror DE2 is provided by MoroS:

Thanks a lot both, JackGrumbler and MoroS.

If you would like to provide a mirror repo server in your location, send a message via contact form, please.

Requirements and settings:

If you’d like, I can set your Sparky mirror for you.

Sparky 5.14

Thursday 4th of February 2021 10:42:14 AM

A next point release of Sparky 5.14 “Nibiru” of the stable line is out. This release is based on Debian stable 10 “Buster”.

Changes between Sparky 5.13 and 5.14:
* system upgraded from Debian stable repos as of February 2, 2020
* Linux kernel 4.19.171 (PC) (5.9.15-1~bpo10+1 in Debian backports repo, if you need a newer one)
* Linux kernel 5.4.83-v7+ (ARMHF)
* Firefox 78.7.0esr
* Thunderbird 78.7.0
* VLC 3.0.12
* LibreOffice 6.1.5-3
* LXQt 0.14.1
* Xfce 4.12.5
* Openbox 3.6.1-8
* xterm replaced by spterm, which is used by Sparky tools now

System reinstallation is not required; if you have Sparky 5.x installed, make full system upgrade:



sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

or via the System Upgrade tool.

Sparky 5 is available in the following flavours:
– amd64 & i686: LXQt, Xfce, MinimalGUI (Openbox) & MinimalCLI (text mode)
– armhf: Openbox & CLI (text mode)

New live/install media of the stable line can be downloaded from the download/stable page.

Sparky news 2021/01

Monday 1st of February 2021 06:42:02 PM

The second monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2021:
– Linux kernel updated up to version 5.10.12 & 5.11-rc5
– added to repos: DeepL-Linux Client, Trible bittorrent client, SteamTinkerLaunch

Do you think about a Sparky repo mirror server in your location?
What you need is:
– a fully managed vps with hard/ssd disk >= 20GB
– RAM >= 512MB
– CPU >= 1
– ssh access
– Debian 9/10 (preferred) or Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 or CentOS 7/8 preinstalled
– monthly bandwidth > 500GB
– one IP4 address
– NS record to redirect a new repo subdomain to
Let me know via the contact form if you could provide a VPS to Sparky repo mirror, please. I could set it up for you.

* Thank all of you very much, but unfortunately we did not found exact amount to the server, as well as to life


Tuesday 26th of January 2021 12:14:04 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: SteamTinkerLaunch

What is SteamTinkerLaunch?

SteamTinkerLaunch (short stl) is a Linux wrapper tool for use with the Steam client which allows to customize and start tools and options for games quickly on the fly.
stl works with linux native games and with games using proton! (Some features (f.e. ReShade) are only available for games using proton) (Non-Steam games added to Steam are supported as well).
There are two ways to use stl with steam. Either as Launch Option or as Steam Compatibility Tool.Installation (Sparky 6 only):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install steamtinkerlaunch
or via APTus-> Game section.

Founder: frostworx
License: GNU GPL 3.0



Thursday 21st of January 2021 04:16:11 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Tribler

What is Tribler?

Tribler is a research project of Delft University of Technology. Tribler was created over nine years ago as a new open source Peer-to-Peer file sharing program. During this time over one million users have installed it successfully and three generations of Ph.D. students tested their algorithms in the real world.
Tribler is the first client which continuously improves upon the aging BitTorrent protocol from 2001 and addresses its flaws. We expanded it with, amongst others, streaming from magnet links, keyword search for content, channels and reputation-management. All these features are implemented in a completely distributed manner, not relying on any centralized component. Still, Tribler manages to remain fully backwards compatible with BitTorrent.Installation:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install tribler

Authors: Delft University of Technology
License: GNU GPL



Sunday 10th of January 2021 02:36:44 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: DeepL-Linux

What is DeepL-Linux?

DeepL integration for Linux. Select text in any application and simply press Ctrl+C and another shortcut to translate it. The client for deepl in Linux uses webview.Installation (Sparky 5 & 6, amd64 & i386):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install deepl-linux

Add system shortcut:
* add this command:
And set this command with a shortcut, for example: Ctrl-Alt-D

Use it:
Select text in any application, press Ctrl+c to copy selected content into clipboard, then press the shortcut you just defined for

Author: kumakichi
License: ?


Sparky news 2020/12

Saturday 2nd of January 2021 04:22:26 PM

The 12th monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2020:
• Linux kernel updated up to version 5.10.4 & 5.11-rc1
• Sparky 2020.12 of the rolling line released
• Sparky 2020.12 Special Editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released
• added to repos: Pogo audio player, Zettlr markdown editor, Rescuezilla, Cozy audiobook player

Many thanks to all of you for supporting our open-source projects, specially in this difficult days. Your donations help keeping them alive.

Don’t forget to send a small tip in January too, please.

Special thanks go to all of you, for sending extra money to the VPS too.

As you known, the January is the second and the last month we try to collect extra donations to pay a bill of our VPS. We alredy recived 55% of our need (PLN 1500) in the December 2020, so we still be trying to collect missing 45% in the January. The deadline is on the end of January 2021, so consider an extra, small donation to the VPS, please.

Happy New 2021 Year!

Country Supporter Amount Andrzej K. PLN 15 Andrzej K. PLN 20 Krzysztof M. PLN 50 Olaf T. € 10 Andrzej T. PLN 100 Wolfgang L. € 24 Krzysztof S. PLN 50 Gernot P. $ 10 Tom C. $ 15 Carlos F. $ 15 Neal B. $ 2 Mitchel V. $ 10 Thomas B. € 15 Paolo R. PLN 446.39 William S. € 60 Peter M. € 25 Simone M. € 10 Andrzej M. PLN 5 Andrzej K. PLN 50 Krzysztof S. PLN 5 Hubert S. PLN 200 Andrzej R. PLN 30 Marek S. PLN 10 Rudolf L. € 10 Alexander F. € 10 Karl A. € 1.66 Bernt A. € 50 Armel R. € 40 Tomasz P. PLN 50 Aymeric L. € 85 Jacek G. PLN 40 Jaime S. € 3 Stanisław G. PLN 20 Andrzej P. PLN 10 Andrzej P. PLN 4.20 Jorg S. € 5 Damian G. PLN 30 Jerzy R. PLN 18 William T. € 20 Bartłomiej P. PLN 35 Dariusz M. € 10 Ralf A. € 15 Władysław K. PLN 20 Jan K. PLN 300 Dariusz T. PLN 30 Wojciech H. PLN 1 Petr U. € 15 Total: 90% (+ 55% to VPS)
€ 408.66
PLN 1539.59
$ 52

* Keep in mind that some amounts coming to us will be reduced by commissions for online payment services. Only direct sending donations to our bank account will be credited in full.

* Miej na uwadze, że kwota, którą przekażesz nam poprzez system płatności on-line zostanie pomniejszona o prowizję dla pośrednika. W całości wpłynie tylko ta, która zostanie przesłana bezpośrednio na nasze konto bankowe.


Wednesday 23rd of December 2020 12:56:49 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Cozy

What is Cozy?

A modern audio book player for Linux using GTK+ 3

– Import your audiobooks into Cozy to browse them comfortably
– Sort your audio books by author, reader & name
– Remembers your playback position
– Sleep timer
– Playback speed control
– Search your library
– Offline Mode! This allows you to keep an audio book on your internal storage if you store your audiobooks on an external or network drive. Perfect for listening on the go.
– Add mulitple storage locations
– Drag & Drop to import new audio books
– Support for DRM free mp3, m4a (aac, ALAC, …), flac, ogg, opus, wav files
– Mpris integration (Media keys & playback info for desktop environment)

Installation (Sparky 6 only):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install cozy

or via APTus AppCenter-> Multimedia-> Audio Players-> Cozy icon.

Author: Julian Geywitz
License: GNU GPL v.3


Sparky 2020.12 Special Editions

Friday 18th of December 2020 03:57:43 PM

Special editions of Sparky 2020.12 GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of December 17, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.9.11 (5.10.1 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Calamares 3.2.34 + kpmcore 4.2.0
• APTus replaced by APTus AppCenter RC1
• added ‘sparky-www’ – it is a small package, which provides a custom Sparky’s start page, powered by DuckDuckGo, to your favorite web browser; the start page is located at /opt/sparky/index.html and has to be loaded manually to a web browser, after installing the package
• Firefox 84.0
• Thunderbird 78.5.1
• LibreOffice 7.0.3
• VLC 3.0.11
• Exaile 4.1.0 beta1
• Python 3.9 is the default one, and libpython3.8 is still installed
• python2.x & libpython2.x removed

GameOver edition:
• removed packages: snowballz, xblast-tnt

Multimedia edition:
• removed packages: jack, jack-mixer, volti, k3d, lilypond

Rescue edition:
• added packages: iotop, rescuezilla
• removed packages: disk-manager, system-config-lvm

According to all the applications which can be installed via the the Sparky APTus AppCenter, the System Kernel section lets you install/reinstall Linux kernels of Debian, Liquorix, XanMod and Sparky. If you looking for a RealTime Linux kernel, simply install XanMod RT Stable or RT Edge (latest) kernel.

System reinstallation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui or a text based tool:

or via apt:
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New iso images of the special editions can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.


Wednesday 16th of December 2020 07:34:40 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Zettlr

What is Zettlr?

A Markdown Editor for the 21st century. With Zettlr, writing professional texts is easy and motivating: Whether you are a college student, a researcher, a journalist, or an author — Zettlr has the right tools for you.

– Available in over a dozen languages
– Tight and ever-growing integration with your favourite reference manager (such as Zotero or JabRef)
– Cite with Zettlr using citeproc and your existing literature database
– Five themes and dark mode support
– File-agnostic writing: Enjoy full control over your own files
– Keep all your notes and texts in one place — searchable and accessible
– Code highlighting for many languages
– Simple and beautiful exports with Pandoc, LaTeX, and Textbundle
– Support for state of the art knowledge management techniques (Zettelkasten)
– A revolutionary search algorithm with integrated heatmap

Installation (Sparky 6 amd64 only):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install zettlr

License: GNU GPL v.3



Wednesday 9th of December 2020 04:56:22 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Pogo

What is Pogo?

Pogo – A fast and minimalist audio player for Linux. It groups tracks by album, which uses less space and simplifies rearranging your playlist. Pogo does not organize your tracks in a music library and does not stream or download tracks. Therefore, it is best suited for people who store their tracks by album and want a simple way of playing them. Pogo allows you to quickly search for music on local drives and in the playlist. It also features an equalizer and displays covers and desktop notifications.
Pogo is a fork of Decibel Audio Player and supports most common audio formats. It is written in Python and uses GTK+ and GStreamer.


sudo apt update
sudo apt install pogo

or via APTus-> Audio Players-> Pogo icon.

Copyright (C) 2007-2010 Ingelrest Francois
Copyright (C) 2010-2017 Jendrik Seipp
License: GNU GPL v.2


Sparky 2020.12

Saturday 5th of December 2020 10:58:23 AM

The December snapshot of Sparky 2020.12 of the (semi-)rolling line is out.
It is based on the Debian testing “Bullseye”.

• packages updated from Debian testing repos as of December 3, 2020
• Linux kernel 5.9.11 (5.9.12 & 5.10-rc6 in Sparky unstable repos)
• Calamares 3.2.34 + kpmcore 4.2.0
• APTus replaced by APTus AppCenter 20201203-RC1; it is still under development but it is enough stable to let you test and work on it
• added ‘sparky-www’ – it is a small package, which provides a custom Sparky’s start page, powered by DuckDuckGo, to your favorite web browser; the start page is located at /opt/sparky/index.html and has to be loaded manually to a web browser, after installing the package
• Firefox 83.0
• Thunderbird 78.5.0
• LibreOffice 7.0.3
• VLC 3.0.11
• Exaile 4.1.0 beta1
• libpython3.9 is installed, but Python 3.8 is still the default one
• python2.x & libpython2.x removed
• GCC 10.2.0 as the default compiler
• added RSS feed clients: QuiteRSS to LXQt and Liferea to MATE and Xfce iso images

System re-installation is not required, make full system upgrade via Sparky Upgrade gui tool or a command:


or via APT:

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

New rolling iso images can be downloaded from the download/rolling page.


2020 annual payment of our server

Thursday 3rd of December 2020 11:35:42 AM

The annual payment day for our server is coming.

We know that the situation is very difficult for all of us, because the virus paralyzes not only our bodies, and businesses too, but if you are in a position to help us, please support us – without your support we will not be able to keep it running, because we only exist thanks to you.

Until January 31, 2021 we have to collect and pay for our server 1500 PLN/360 Euros/430 USD plus min. 2600 PLN/~620 Euros/~ 740 USD for our monthly bills, such as: electricity, gas, water, internet, domains, expenses related to improving the functionality of websites, small computer equipment that wears out constantly (memory, pen drives, mice, batteries, etc. …), fuel, as well as rent, food, drugs and immortal taxes.

This is a bigger amount than usual, so we start collecting today. If we do not pay – we could disappear from the network, but we believe, with your help, we will be able to do it.

There are 2 collection progress bars will appear on the website.
The first bar for monthly support, and the second one for the collection to the server, so add a note: support and/or collection to the server, as a message to your donation, please. The amounts without a note will be transferred equally (in half) to both collections.

Unfortunately, better times we know before the Coronavirus have not returned yet, and there are no signs that they will come back soon, so we would like to collect the minimum national wage every month; from January 2021 it is PLN 2,800/~670 €/~800 USD.

Linuxiarze, SparkyLinux, ArchiveOS and SoftMania is our only job we have and our only source of income. The two of us only live off your monthly support and small advertising incomes. It’s not possible to survive in the Polish capital having small income from the adds, so your support is very important to us.

Anyway, if any of you have something interesting for us to offer – we are open to cooperation.

We wholeheartedly thank you for your support, which is, as always, invaluable.
Thanks to people like you, we have the power to create and continue to operate.

Visit the donation page to find out how to send a donation.

Stay healthy.
Aneta and Paweł

Sparky news 2020/11

Tuesday 1st of December 2020 03:55:58 PM

The 11th monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2020:

• Linux kernel updated up to version 5.9.11 & 5.10-rc6
• Sparky 5.13 “Nibiru” of the stable line released
• VMware Workstation Sparky’s Installer updated up to version VMware 16.x & put some fixes; it it available from APTus & APTus AppCenter; works on Sparky stable and oldstable only
• added to repos: LazPaint graphics editor, Nyxt web browser, Slimjet web browser, Simplest Studio audio editor

Many thanks to all of you for supporting our open-source projects, specially in this difficult days. Your donations help keeping them alive.

Don’t forget to send a small tip in December too, please.

Country Supporter Amount Krzysztof Ś. PLN 200 Olaf T. € 20 Gernot P. $ 10 John C. $ 5 Tom C. $ 15 Carlos F. $ 15 Neal B. $ 2 Andrzej T. PLN 100 Krzysztof M. PLN 50 Krzysztof S. PLN 50 Anthony M. € 12 Władysław K. PLN 10 Karl A. € 1.66 Marek B. PLN 10 Alexander F. € 10 Rudolf L. € 10 Paweł S. PLN 44.44 Jacek G. PLN 40 Stanisław G. PLN 20 Andrzej P. PLN 10 Bartłomiej P. PLN 25 Jorg S. € 5 Aymeric L. € 10 Dariusz M. € 10 Paolo R. PLN 447.82 Ralf A. € 15 Norbert M. PLN 50 Kiss L. € 5 Ryan S. € 20 Rafał L. PLN 100 Wojciech H. PLN 1 Mieczysław K. PLN 10 Ou P. € 100 Total: 85%
€ 218.66
PLN 1168.26
$ 47

* Keep in mind that some amounts coming to us will be reduced by commissions for online payment services. Only direct sending donations to our bank account will be credited in full.

* Miej na uwadze, że kwota, którą przekażesz nam poprzez system płatności on-line zostanie pomniejszona o prowizję dla pośrednika. W całości wpłynie tylko ta, która zostanie przesłana bezpośrednio na nasze konto bankowe.

Simplest Studio

Sunday 29th of November 2020 12:34:57 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Simplest Studio

What is Simplest Studio?

Simplest Studio is an application that allows you optimize and convert audio files. The following encoding modes are implemented: FLAC, WAV, DFF**, MP3.
** for use this format need to installed utility ‘sacd-extract’.

Installation (Sparky 6 amd64 & i386):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install simplest-studio

or via APTus-> Audio Editors-> Simplest Studio icon.

Copyright (C) 2020 Oleg Kozhukharenko
License: GNU GPL v.3



Friday 27th of November 2020 08:48:02 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Slimjet

What is Slimjet?

Slimjet is built on top of the Chromium open-source project on which Google Chrome is also based. It enjoys the same speed and reliablity provided by the underlying blink engine as Google Chrome. However, many additional features and options have been added in Slimjet to make it more powerful, intelligent and customizable than Chrome. In addition to that, Slimjet DOES NOT send any usage statistics back to Google’s server like Google Chrome, which is a growing concern for many Chrome users due to the ubiquitous presence and reach of the advertising empire. Slimjet is compatible with all extensions and plugins designed for Google Chrome available from the Chrome web store.

Main Features:
– QuickFill form filler
– Fully customizable toolbar
– One-click Facebook integration
– Download online streaming videos
– Instant photo upload
– Photo salon
– Flexible web page translation
– Weather condition and forecast
– Integrate with popular web services such as Twitter, Google Plus, Blogger, WordPress, Gmail, Hotmail, StumbleUpon
– Proxy switcher
– URL alias
– Upload clipboard image

Installation (Sparky amd64 & i386):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install slimjet

or via APTus-> Web Browsers-> Slimjet icon.

Copyright (C) 2020 FlashPeak Inc.
License: Freeware



Saturday 14th of November 2020 01:30:16 PM

There is a new application available for Sparkers: Nyxt

What is Nyxt?

Nyxt is a keyboard-oriented, extensible web-browser designed for power users. Conceptually inspired by Emacs and Vim, it has familiar key-bindings (Emacs, vi, CUA), is fully configurable and extensible in Lisp, and has powerful features for productivity.
Nyxt supports GNU/Linux, macOS, and Guix with engine support for WebKit and WebEngine/Blink.
Attention: Nyxt is under active development. Feel free to report bugs, instabilities or feature wishes.

– Fast tab switching – Switch easily between your open tabs via fuzzy search.
– Multiple selection – Commands can accept multiple inputs, allowing you to quickly perform an operation against multiple objects. In the example below we search for penguins, and only open up links that have the text “animal” within them.
– Powerful bookmarks – Bookmark a page with tags. Search bookmarks with compound queries. Capture more data about your bookmarks, and group and wrangle them in any way you like.
– Multi tab search – Search multiple tabs at the same time, and view all the results in a single window. Jump quickly through your open tabs to find what you need.
– History as a tree – History is represented as a tree that you can traverse. Smarter than the “forwards-backwards” abstraction found in other browsers, the tree makes sure you never lose track of where you’ve been.

Installation (Sparky stable & testing amd64 & i386):

sudo apt update
sudo apt install next

or via APTus-> Web Browsers-> Next icon.

Copyright (C) 2017-2020 Atlas Engineer LLC.
License: BSD 3-Clause License & CC BY-SA


More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Derivation: Peppertown video-game by Congusbongus and StarNavigator

    Thanks to the authors because the game is fully open-source and released on Github under the MIT License [2]. It was made with FLOSS tools (GIMP, VS Code, Phaser, Audacity, git, Tiled) for the MiniJam22 contest [3] and congratz to Congusbongus and StarNavigator for reaching the 2nd place with Peppertown!

  • What security does a default OpenBSD installation offer? (by solene@)

    In a recent blog post, OpenBSD developer Solène Rapenne (solene@) offers an over view of the security features offered by a default OpenBSD installation.

  • Jonathan Dieter: WANPIPE and DAHDI COPR for EL8

    At Spearline, we have a number of servers around the world with Sangoma telephony cards, which use the out-of-tree wanpipe and dahdi kernel modules. As we’ve been migrating our servers from CentOS 6 to SpearlineOS, one of the problems we’ve hit has been the out-of-tree modules don’t compile against the EL8 kernels that we use as the base for SpearlineOS. [...] If there’s any interest in using the kmod RPMs without the other packages in the COPR, I could look at splitting them into a separate COPR. Please email me if you would like me to do this.

  • Mousepad 0.5.3 Is Released

    The Xfce team has released another version of the extremely plain and simple Mousepad editor. The latest version has a keybinding for resetting the font size and some small fixes. It still lacks absolutely everything beyond the ability to edit text and load and save files. [...] Mousepad still lacks all the features other simple text-editors like KWrite have beyond the very basic ability to edit text. There is no syntax high-lighting, there is no spell-checker, you can't select text and make it uppercase or lowercase or much else for that matter. It does have a search-and-replace function, and you can load and save files, and you can even have multiple files open in tabs. It does have those things going for it even though it is severely lacking in all other areas.

Free Software and Internet/Standards

  • My Firefox addons as of Firefox 86 (and the current development version)

    I was recently reminded that my most recent entry on what Firefox addons I use is now a bit over a year old. Firefox has had 14 releases since then and it feels the start of January 2020 was an entirely different age, but my Firefox addons have barely changed in the year and a bit since that entry. Since they have updated a very small amount, I'll repeat the whole list just so I have it in one spot for the next time around.

  • Delegation of responsibility for spec finalisation

    Sean is a natural choice for me to delegate this task to. He has been involved in the development of the Gemini specification for longer than anybody other than myself - he was the first person to actually implement the protocol in software, transforming it from the largely academic thought experiment that I had created it as into an actual real world project. He is the developer of a Gemini server (GLV-1.12556) and the admin of a server running it (gemini://, which means the details of the specification are of direct and practical relevance to him. He has a long-standing presence in Gopherspace, where the Gemini project was born, and therefore understands and appreciates the value of simple-by-design systems with limited scope. Finally, he has an excellent track record of constructively engaging with the mailing list even at its busiest and most frantic, which certainly can no longer be said for me. For all these reasons I trust him to make good decisions on the basis of careful consideration.

  • A Saturday waste of CPU cycles: building time_t values

    It was bad enough trying to split up all of those date strings into their constituent parts - year, month, day - all of that stuff. But, then when I tried to consistently turn them back into a time_t, I ran into a bunch of other problems. That lead to the post called time handling is garbage. That then lead into the followup post three months later which talked about making time_t values without using mktime and the TZ variable.

Programming Leftovers

  • Revisiting Html in Java

    Some time ago I wrote a post about creating an embedded dsl for Html in Java. Sadly, it was based on an abuse of lambda name reflection that was later removed from Java. I thought I should do a followup because a lot of people still visit the old article. While it’s no longer possible to use lambda parameter names in this way, we can still get fairly close.

  • Use Dash as /bin/sh

    I want startup scripts and everything that has a #!/bin/sh shebang to use the lightest possible shell by default, but I still want my trusty bash in interactive terminal sessions, and for complex scripts.

  • How to Use Group by in Pandas Python – Linux Hint

    Pandas group by function is used for grouping DataFrames objects or columns based on particular conditions or rules. Using the groupby function, the dataset management is easier. However, all related records can be arranged into groups. Using the Pandas library, you can implement the Pandas group by function to group the data according to different kinds of variables. Most developers used three basic techniques for the group by function. First, splitting in which data divide into groups based on some particular conditions. Then, apply certain functions to these groups. In the end, combine the output in the form of data structure. In this article, we will walk through the basic uses of a group by function in panda’s python. All commands are executed on the Pycharm editor.

  • gfldex: Undocumented escape hatch

    On my quest to a custom when-statement I did quite a bit of reading. The study of roast and Actions.nqp can lead to great gain in knowledge.

  • Knowing when to look past your code

    At some point, though, your journies will take you to places where things aren’t so clear cut, and you’ll start to gain a sixth sense; a kind of visceral experience that things are not as they have been promised to be.

    A few weeks ago, that sixth sense whispered in my ear: “what if, instead of your cruddy bootloader written in a pre-1.0 systems language for a platform you don’t fully understand, it’s the 20 year-old project with 80,000 commits that’s wrong?” And it was right.

  • Cambalache…
  • C++ Friend Function – Linux Hint

    A function is a block of code that performs a certain task and provides the output. It is mainly used to eliminate repetitive code. In this tutorial, we will look into the friend function in C++ and explain its concept with working examples.

  • mrcal: principled camera calibrations

    In my day job I work with images captured by cameras, using those images to infer something about the geometry of the scene being observed. Naturally, to get good results you need to have a good estimate of the behavior of the lens (the "intrinsics"), and of the relative geometry of the cameras (the "extrinsics"; if there's more than one camera). The usual way to do this is to perform a "calibration" procedure to compute the intrinsics and extrinsics, and then to use the resulting "camera model" to process the subsequent images. Wikipedia has an article. And from experience, the most common current toolkit to do this appears to be OpenCV. People have been doing this for a while, but for whatever reason the existing tools all suck. They make basic questions like "how much data should I gather for a calibration?" and "how good is this calibration I just computed?" and "how different are these two models?" unanswerable.

Security Leftovers

  • SolarWind, enough with the password already!

    This is a much delayed discussion on the complexity and nuance of the SolarWind hack. The simplistic and wrong messaging from some quarters of the infosec community has resulted in an atrocious misunderstanding of the hack in the public sphere. This has extended into the policy world as these bad takes are treated as cogent analysis.

  • Microsoft chief's claims on cloud security result in sharp rejoinder

    Comments made by Microsoft president Brad Smith to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which held a hearing on the SolarWinds attacks last week, claiming that there is more security in the cloud than in on-premises servers, have met a tough response from former NSA hacker Jake Williams, who characterised them as having caused more harm to security than the SolarWinds attackers did in the first place. Williams, a well-known figure in the infosec community who runs his own private security outfit, Rendition Infosec, said in a tweet: "I've been thinking a LOT about Brad Smith's testimony this week about #SolariGate. He repeatedly implies that if organisations 'just' adopt a cloud first model, they won't experience these sorts of attacks. I called that reckless then, I'm doubling down now." [...] The SolarWinds attacks were first revealed by the American security firm FireEye on 9 December, when it revealed that its Red Team tools had been stolen. Five days later, FireEye issued a blog post outlining the scale of the attack as known at that stage: a global campaign to compromise public and private sector bodies through corruption of software supply chains, using software that runs on Windows. FireEye chief Kevin Mandia also gave testimony to the same committee hearing. Williams said Smith should have offered more nuance and caveats in his statements. "With his statements that lacked appropriate nuance and caveats, I predict that Smith has caused more harm to security than the Russians did with #SolariGate in the first place," he said. "Yes, I know that's a strong statement. Yes, I mean it." He added: "A lot of leadership who don't know any better heard this testimony and are constructing cloud-first directives as I type this. But they're doing it without understanding the risks and trade-offs. They're doing this without the benefit of creating a strategy first." Microsoft has made a number of statements since the attack first came to light, initially denying its products were part of the problem, but later admitting that the attackers had accessed its source code.

  • The World Economic Forum Warns That 2021 Could Be The Year Of The CyberAttacks

    Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum and author of the book "COVID19: The Great Reset", has repeatedly warned about the possibility of devastating large-scale cyberattacks. One of his firmest warnings was given in a heartwarming speech at the WEF-sponsored Cyber Polygon event on July 24th, 2020. The World Economic Forum Centre for Cybersecurity expects the total cost of cyberattacks this year to be $6 trillion. [...] Running up-to-date free software based solutions such as Linux and *BSD is a good preventative measure against real cyberattacks. It will, sadly, not do much difference if a government decides to cut power or Internet access as part of a global "Great Reset" agenda or because inconvenient mass-demonstrations break out.

  • Switching back to OpenSSL

    For most users, there should be no noticeable change. If you have any packages installed that are no longer provided by Void, or your system has explicit dependencies on LibreSSL, you will of course need to take action to ensure your system continues to function after the switch.

  • Microsoft patches serious NTFS drive corruption flaw in Windows 10... but there's a catch

    Around a month and a half ago we reported about a serious flaw in Windows 10 that could be exploited to corrupt the contents of an NTFS drive. With Microsoft dawdling in its response, it was down to security researchers from OSR to produce a third-party patch. But now Microsoft has stepped up to the plate and, finally, come up with an official fix for the flaw. Sadly, it's not all good news as the fix is not currently available for everyone.