lauantai 30. tammikuuta 2016

Hardinfo tells what your Linux-box has eaten

Hardinfo is a handy tool which inspects your hardware and reports both in graphical and command line mode.

Install Hardinfo in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

  • sudo apt-get install hardinfo

Run Hardinfo:

  • hardinfo &

If no graphical user interface is available you can run Hardinfo from command line:

  • hardinfo -r -f html > report.html

Report can be seen for example via text-only www-browser Lynx which you can install by typing:

  • sudo apt-get install lynx
Open Lynx:
  • lynx
Letter g stands for Go. So choose g, type in report.html and push enter:
  • g
There you have it!

Hardinfo graphical user interface

Hardinfo report opened in Lynx-browser

perjantai 29. tammikuuta 2016

How to install Ino - a command line Linux toolkit for working with Arduino hardware

Ino - an old PC with one USB 1.1 port is enough for your Arduino!
Ino is a command line toolkit for working with Arduino hardware. You can install it on Linux and use CLI (Command Line Interface) to compile and transmit code over to your Arduino hardware. Text editor is up to you. There are many editors to choose from; vi, vim, pico, nano etc.

First off, install python pip package manager. I'm using Ubuntu Linux 14.0.4 LTS:
  • sudo apt-get install python-pip
After that, go on with Ino install:
  • sudo pip install ino
I suggest you install the command tree which is needed later (if you decide to read quickstart):
  • sudo apt-get install tree
Finally, check out if Ino is there:
  • which ino
How to go on? Click the following link: 

tiistai 26. tammikuuta 2016

Old school mounting of a USB stick in Debian

Picture this:
  • an old Pentium PC, strong enough to run the latest Debian 8
  • no GUI (Graphical User Interface)
  • no automount of a USB stick
Let's try the "old school". Use the following commands:
  • grep "SCSI removable disk" /var/log/messages
    • can you find [sda] or [sdb]? I got [sdb].
  • mkdir  ~/myflashdrive
    • i.e. create a folder in your home directory
  • su
  • mount -t vfat -o rw,users /dev/sdb1  ~/myflashdrive
  • exit
Now you can enter ~/myflashdrive. cd to the directory you created earlier.

When not needing the stick anymore move away from the folder ~/myflashdrive
  • cd ~
Unmount your USB stick:
  • su
  • umount ~/myflashdrive

Formatting a floppy (360 KB) in an ancient PC

Watch out! You are about to read how to format an ancient floppy disk. Make a U-turn now or go on reading. You have been warned ;D !

I need an operating system for my old PCs. There are many of them up in my fathers attic waiting for a restart!

First thing to do was to get those floppies. How lucky I was when a gentle person donated me a box with 10 unused BASF floppies inside! Yippee!

Next those floppies needed some formatting. Again, Mr. Fortuna appeared making my task easy. An old 286 PC, which I own, already had MS-DOS 6 inside! All I needed to do was to start formatting. Off I went and typed in the following command: format a: /F:360. That's it!

Now I have the floppies ready for the next round. There is a free version of DOS available. And the name is... FreeDOS! What's best, ready made floppy images can be downloaded here: . I guess an application called rawrite can do the trick and write those images on floppies. Not 100 % sure though.

You do remember those days of DOS, don't you! Hmm, some 30 years ago. I couldn't afford a PC back then, though. However there was Commodore 64 with an external floppy drive which was familiar for me. So stay tuned for more (vintage) information and keep on reading my blog.

PS One of my friends hinted me my 5,25" drive in 286 PC is 1.2 MB compatible. So when formatting floppies in 360 KB size the resulted floppies might be incompatible or at not that good. We'll see...

Place Linux inside Dropbox and run it from there

You can easily run CLI (Command Line) driven (i.e. no graphical Interface) Linux which is placed in Dropbox. No matter whether you are using Windows, OS X or Linux. So, let's get started.

  • First off, get yourself Dropbox account. After that install Dropbox on your Desktop. You can find install packages on Dropbox site.
  • Download a small Linux distribution called Levinux. Zip-package is about 20 MB in size.
  • Extract Levinux and place it in Dropbox.
  • Now, depending on which operating system you are using you can start your Levinux. How?
    • If using Linux like me, open terminal, change to the directory where Levinux is and type in the following command: ./ After that Levinux fires up.
    • In case you have Windows all you nned to do is double-click a file WindowsLevinux.vbs. (I haven't tested that though!)
    • OS X? I suggest you look at the video on YouTube. Running Levinux on OS X should be pretty straight forward. I have no access to that operating system at the moment.
Let Levinux boot. Choose number two (look at the screen capture below).
  • Login: tc
  • Password: foo
From now on you can start to study Linux commands. There are plenty of them. Find your favourite Linux guide on the Internet. It's never too late to migrate to Linux!

But wait! There is more! Levinux is also a small web server. You can place your HTML-pages inside a folder called htdocs and use your favourite web browser to preview them. How? SSH Levinux and transfer desired files to folder htdocs. Yes, i can understand that. But how do I do it? I'll tell you later. Stay tuned for more!

keskiviikko 20. tammikuuta 2016

DVB-T stick on Linux still rocks!

Many national TV stations in Finland are available both via internet and DVB-T networks. Every now and then IP network of my Internet operator is down for, God knows, what reason. In those cases DVB-T stick makes my day.

When choosing a DVB-T stick for Linux, pay attention to the name of the manufacturer and the model of the stick. Google around before you buy anything. Try to find information which hints whether your stick works on Linux "out-of-the-box". What does that mean? Some sticks are so well supported Linux already includes the driver needed. That way the stick is automatically recognized. Attach the stick, open terminal and on command line type in the following command:


In the end of the messages generated by dmesg you'll find if Linux sees your DVB-T stick. If you look at the photos below you see see two very well supported DVB-T sticks. Many Linux distributions support them. There is another useful command:


The command above lists all USB devices of your PC. If lsusb tells you DVB-T stick is there chances are you'll be watching TV in no time!

There are many DVB-T clients to choose from. One of the easiest IMO is Kaffeine which finds the channels and shows subtitles (in Finland). Not all apps do the same! Setup Kaffeine in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:

sudo apt-get install kaffeine

It took some time for me to figure out how to make Kaffeine look for TV channels. Once it was done I had reached my goal. I can enjoy TV series and don't need to worry if internet is down.

What if you are living in an area which has a cable TV connections only? No problem. Find a DVB-C or hybrid stick (DVB-T + DVB-C). They might cost a little more than DVB-T sticks. Try dmesg and lsusb commands the same way as with DVB-T sticks.

Anysee E30 and Cinergy Terratec T2
are supported out-of-the-box on Ubuntu Linux

Indoor antenna

No extra power supply needed - USB2 is enough

Kaffeine finds channels and shows
subtitles in Finnish

perjantai 15. tammikuuta 2016

RemixOSforPC - run windowed Android on an x86 PC

Are you fancing how Android and Chromium OS combined will look like? No need to do that anymore! Download RemixOSforPC, write the ISO-image on at least 8 GB USB 3 stick and boot your PC. As a result a windowed Android will show up on your screen. If nothing happens, don't get bothered, you are using alpha software!

My Dell Latitude E6420 did it's duty quite well. With USB 2 only it took some time before the Desktop was there. After that everything worked nicely. Bear in mind only limited set of software was available. No Play store as default (available via XDA). No download links for extra software. Not all hardware is supported. Besides, no setup on hard disk at the moment, USB stick only.

RemixOSforPC has very little to do with Google. It's a Chinese project as far as I know. If you are feeling brave, give RemixOSforPC a go!


Dell Latitude E6420 running RemixOSforPC Alpha

maanantai 4. tammikuuta 2016

Download your favourite flavour of Ubuntu for Raspberry Pi 2 - torrent only

If you are looking for an operating system for your Raspberry Pi 2 take a look at Ubuntu Pi Flavour Maker. There are five different Ubuntu-based community driven distributions to choose from. Click your favourite flavour of Ubuntu below and save the torrent file on your hard disk:
Next you need to download the install image via torrent network. Install Transmission (on Ubuntu):
sudo apt-get install transmission
Fire up Transmission, click open and choose torrent file. Your xz-compressed image starts to download.

To prepare a bootable USB stick use your favourite graphical app or command line (see those three lines below):
sudo apt-get install gddrescue
unxz ubuntu-minimal-15.10.1-server-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img.xz
sudo ddrescue -d -D --force ubuntu-minimal-15.10.1-server-armhf-raspberry-pi-2.img /dev/sdx
(Do not write sdx but the real address of your SD-card; sda, sdb etc.)

On Windows, use 7-zip and  Win32DiskImager.

perjantai 1. tammikuuta 2016

Year 2016 - when SBCs got tinier and more powerful

Everyone sees the future from one's own angle. For me year 2016 will show how tiny and powerful Single Board Computers can get! There is an example which shows the way to other rivals - Raspberry Pi Zero.

Although not the fastest Zero proved how quickly things are going forward. Only four years ago Raspi was first introduced. Now, Zero is one third of the size of the original Raspi. They both offer the same hardware specs. Looking forward to see some very nice surprises during the year 2016!

Original Raspberry Pi b