Linux Archive

Automating Sample-loading for the Roland SP-404SX

I own a Roland SP-404SX Wave Sampler. It stores audio clips onto an SD card. There are two ways to assign new clips (“samples”) to the device’s buttons (“pads”): Using the Record button on the device to record from the line-in ports or the built-in microphone. Loading WAV files from a computer onto an SD [...]

Sending data via cellular voice connections with Linux

“A5/1 [the encryption scheme used in most cellular voice calls] has operated unchanged for the last 21 years but it has now reached its cryptographic end-of-life, engulfed by the march of Moore’s Law. However, the operational end-of-life of A5/1 may still be decades away as there are approximately 2 billion GSM subscribers, commanding about 80% of [...]

Creating a local mirror of Ubuntu’s most popular packages

The problem You want to create local mirrors of the apt repositories that you use but you don’t have enough hard drive space to mirror every package. Or maybe you have a slow link and you don’t want to spend time downloading packages that you’re unlikely to need. The solution Only mirror packages whose popularity [...]

Downloading photos from Facebook with Linux

Tommy Murphy recently released photograbber, a simple Python/tkinter app that uses the Facebook API to… 1. Find all the photos that you’ve been tagged in and… 2. Download each photo to a chosen directory. It worked fine for me after I fixed a trivial tkinter bug. Right now I’m adapting photograbber to download entire albums [...]

A Bash “edit-in-place” idiom

I use a shell script called `` to launch my music player and open a given internet radio station. I use it like this to tune to a local AM station: $ 1370 I usually edit small scripts like that with `nano(1)`. Rather than type the entire path to the script when I need [...]

Hats off to cdparanoia’s UI

I recently decided to rip all of my music CDs to a more reliable medium: my hard drive. One of the software tools I’m using to do this is called cdparanoia. It’s a solid little app from the venerable multimedia project with an entertaining but informative console interface. An excerpt from `cdparanoia(1)`: OUTPUT SMILIES [...]

Recalling a word from the current command line

I often find myself using a command like this to make a backup of a file: cp /etc/slop/gunk.conf /etc/slop/gunk.conf_before_v2_upgrade Since the first portion of the second argument is always the same as the first argument (the green text), it bugged me to have to do tab completion for it. Luckily, zsh and bash provide an [...]

Intel Motherboarding

If you’re trying to install the Intel(R) Chipset Software Installation Utility (aka drivers) from a CD and you encounter a message like “usbehci.sys on (Unknown) is needed”, you may want to try installing Service Pack 2 if you’re on Windows XP. Worked for me. Speaking of Intel, kudos to them for having the best website [...]

Specifying environment variables in .lesskey

One day while I was fooling with my `less` pager settings, I came across a fancy prompt string posted to the darwinos-users mailing list: re: less modifications. I added it to my `.lesskey` file, yielding: #env LESS = -i –prompt=”%f (%pb%, %lmth line, %L lines)$” After I executed `lesskey` to apply the new settings to [...]