Greetings List Lurkers,
The past week has been productive in the realm of what I will henceforth
refer to as the Software Arts. Several examples of this abound today to
consider below. But a definition for the purposes of discussion might be
Many of us cannot help noticing Software Art in our daily lives.
Monumental Software Art (MSA) abounds; Microsoft Windows (whatever version
you like), Apple iOS (what the hell does iOS stand for?), IBM VM&MVS, and
of course the 'ix's (Unix, Linux, and even Xenix), are all established in
uncounted numbers of instances, and thus depreciated as Software Art, not
because they are not good art but rather because of their generic mass
nature inasmuch as one can consider automobile tires as art, the endless
mindless, repetition of the theme becomes "tiresome"...
So the aficionados among us develop roving eyes... Heresy, perversion,
discord, and deviation seem to be the only things that will hold our
attention. We are overcome by the need for "uniqueness" even though we
are herd creatures and are naturally repelled by that which is not
"normal". This is true in all forms of Art, and Software Art is no
Several humble examples come to mind this morning:
Dr. Mark has fashioned yet another Linux G4. The man is like the
Michaelangelo of old Apple hardware. This one has video driver issues
which the Adult Swim looks to vanquish. The question I have for the
audience is do you think I can sell a "bakedapple" G4 on ebay, and if so
for how much? Is there someone out there who is perverse enough to want
to have such a hybrid? Clearly it has a diminished utility, but clearly it
is an instance of Local Software Art (LSA). This idea may actually turn
out to have a practical side. I know that a lot of our programming
community use MacBooks as personal terminals. I am hoping that Dr. Mark
can help me to understand which models of MacBooks are going to be unable
to upgrade. When we know it will be on the sites:
Our hope is that we can issue a Solid State Drive replacement that already
contains Linux and do the process merely becomes swapping out the hard drive on
legacy Apple hardware. Meh, nothing is that simple...
Seems the Good Doctor's only weakness is boating, but the winter season
may cure him of this malady.
My own small contribution to Local Software Art (LSA) continues apace.
While I write this epistle, I am trying to debug line 394 of catapo.sh
which will soon be known as ctrantor.sh, the control program for
the library equipment I am trying to product on a volunteer basis for the
Aldrich Public Library. For more somewhat disorganized information about
this project see:
As previously mentioned, the good news here is that the first pass on
Trantor is done. The second pass,
where we integrate everything into one package that runs on a non GUI
based linux server, is what we are working on.
Obviously this much stuff in shell script needs some kind of framework,
so we are using the http://visualbash.org framework.
Once this is completed then the whole thing is to be loaded onto Marius's
server,(a form of LSA by itself) and with any luck, moved to the Aldrich
Public Library where it will be able to serve up access to the Linux
Format DVDs, as well as allow the librarians to make duplicate DVDs or
bootable USB sticks from the reference desk. This project, now committed
to the name "Trantor" (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trantor) is
truly I believe an example of Local Software Art. In finality we shall
have the entire Linux Format DVD series available there.
On the inside of the Casa Flint network Trantor is actually running. The next
trick is to get it on the public web. I am working on that hopefully in
conjunction with the Aldrich Public Library. So the test of trantor up and
running. If you want to see a preview try:
As you can see it contains all the scanned in CD covers and backs.
CD cover acquisition was accomplished with the use of gimp, a script-fu and
something called deskew. All the links will likely rick-roll till I get
the actual server online.
All that said sphinx now rocks my world. I am getting interest from some
parties in contributing more stuff to trantor. Do not be bashful (pun?).
let me know if you want something faithfully curated and systematically
reproduced as nice clickable html...
JARVIS ON JENKINS
While languishing in Washington DC, brother Kevin Cole, a supreme Local
Software Artist ported Jarvis, a voice recognition product to run on a
Raspberry PI3. This is exciting and we are attempting to reproduce this
here in the Casa Flint Lab... His current comments is that other projects
are using Google or Amazon voice recognition. His is hard core local, and
thus apropos to this topic.
In continuing travels and travails the local instance of this project is
on a hiatus, but is not out of active development... This week will
hopefully bring some developments... I wonder if Jarvis on Jenkins can be
integrated into the PitchBox Garden?
KINDLE LIBERATION FRONT
I am sorry to report that this fine example of Local Software Art - seeing
the Kindle Fire boot up into Cyanogenmod, has suffered due to the sealing
of the holes in the OS along with the economics of the Kindle Fire which
died with the new version which costs north of $90.00... They are selling
the old Kindle Fires at a deep discount price of $49.00. But they used to
be $35.00! I happen to love my Cyanogenmod Kindle and will cherish it as
a wonderful example of Local Software Art until I accidently drop it in
the toilet, which seems to be the fate of all Kindle Fires.. a real
So much for Software Art, now back to projects:
THE TECHNORUBBLE REPORT TECHNORUBBLE - The Website
There is apparently an ancillary event called the Tech Jam School Maker Faire
(October 21, 10:00am - 2:00pm), at the Champlain Valley Expo. Center. We have
applied for this and I suppose we can see what happens. So far nothing.
Next up after this is another Mini Maker Fair in Chitten County, the Aiken K12
Maker Faire (November 19, 10:00am - 2:00pm, UVM Davis Center.
https://cmfinc.wufoo.com/forms/qrsjtn20qt60ry/). What happened here is
we were not invited this is essentially for a very younger set. Ah
Again, we need more TechnoRubble. We are working out the details for getting
this to us. The idea is to get people to mail their TechnoRubble to us in a
USPS Flat Rate Box.
VINYL CUTTER Wow, a completed project. We have more vinyl and blades coming.
Cannot wait to try cardboard...
I am still seriously considering adding the plotter to octoprint. Basically
this would involve setting up a point where a cron job would take any file in
the que, run it through pstoedit with the appropriate switches and sending it
Basically unless there is a miracle today this is stalled, the good news is
that the pre-ordered extrusion heads which arrived before I began my travels to
Washington DC arrived, and we suddenly had a 3Dprint capability. The bad news
is that this lasted about two days. Why is this so damn hard?
Again the key to this appears to be the 3Decology constructed around the HICTOP
Prusa I3 3D Desktop Printer, whivch seems to help a lot, at least there is a
place to store the tools this thing needs. The take away here is that 3D
infrastructure is important to facilitate printing. But more important is the
ability to render designs from the head into products.
The thing is that there is a new guy in this part of town called Antimony;
This is the spot to watch. I am gonna learn this product or perish n the
process. I need Bezels for the...
You may have heard that the PiTch-Box is an enclosure built out of the shipping
case the Raspberry Pi Touch Display comes in. The power supply design is
actually coming along. The latest incarnation of the PiTchBox is the PiTchBox
LunchBox which should be up on the site.
The wonderful thing about our current society is that there is a great deal of
activity in the area of basement agriculture. In the spirit of this and due to
the fact fall is on the way here in the Frozen North, I have ordered a basement
enclosure for growing plants in. The goal here will be to experiment with the
enhanced phosphor Grow Lights attached to the PiTchBox. This would Flint
Indoor Phosphor Enhanced Indoor Greenhouse to keep me sane this winter.
I got the tent in the mail two weeks ago... More on this project as it unfolds
(forgive the pun :^).
I hope to show Bit Ed one of the DC-DC converters, they are nifty, I will try
desperately to bring one today if I can find one.
The latest is that there is a git hub for this project which we are jointly
developing with the Arlington FOSS mob. Anyway, we need to continue to develop
the software and hardware PiTchBox library such as...
To summarize, the meeting today is again at 40 Washington Street, Barre, VT
Topics for discussion as usual remain:
- Open Source Educational Human Development
I am working on an idea... I am changing the priority of our
eternal needs, and placing education first.
- Maker Movement A Maker Space in Barre? Why not? Could it be that the
commercial power centers do not yet appreciate the value? I need to
revise my paper on this subject and get it out to Lucas Jensen
who has good ideas about a Barre Maker Space.
- Move BOSI to become more git centric... develop gittlywiki... working!
check out tiddlywiki5 here: https://github.com/Jermolene/TiddlyWiki5
We still need to convert... Yea buddy...
- Blue Sky R&D, but in Vermont it will be Gun-metal Grey Sky(c) R&D.
- I fought the DREK and the DREK continues to win. Remember, What
really is holds us back is DREK!!! DREK is what happens to your
workspace (both hardware and software) when you fail to put stuff
away, or you let your friends or relatives use it. This is a cosmic
law. I am still fighting the DREK. How to get over it? Maybe slave
labor and more shelves...
These five points are becomming almost like policy!
Anyway, we have the technology and we will have Pizza tonight 5-7 at Hedding
This is the official notice of the Barre Open Systems Institute (BOSI) Adult
Swim. For those coming in via the Google Plus and the Internet, and there are
folks who are gonna try, the swim stars at 6:00 PM EST.
Our ongoing major objective is to continue to try to figure out how to invest
the time and resources to turn the Barre Open Systems Institute into more than
just the Adult Swim technical clinic and more into a real learning facility.
One direction we have been working on is to begin thinking about classes. The
curriculum that I am most interested in is teaching documentation.
Once again, the goal of the meeting shall be as usual, to get organized and try
to get the various projects moving forward, despite DREK. We continue to wonder
about how to build the BOSI curriculum to this webpage:
http://bosivt.org/classes, Take a look if you dare...
Remember, the BOSI Adult Swim is essentially about helping out fellow users of
open source products in a clinic environment. Despite my very best of
intentions, the Adult Swim is really almost a perpetual Linux install-fest, and
only secondarily a learning environment,
The ever growing list of projects (now on our web site :^) includes:
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/vm - A Docker copy of VM370
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/kindle - The Kindle Liberation Front
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/pyrs - A pythonic interface to Income Tax?
- http://ledroid.org - Ok, this is a real project eh?
- http://bzinga.net - What happens when you combine Bash and Zenity?
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/nodejs - ok, it is on the list.
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/snobot - jesum they love this robot
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/furmon - monitor that pellet furnace
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/arduino - moving in the arduino groove
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/tsp - Temperature Sensors Project
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/robotsrules - The quest for Roberts Rules -
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/visual.bash - Yea, I am not kidding...
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/mrtg - remedial raw mrtg for the slow...
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/raspberry - all versions
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/strembot.org - maybe a very cool project.
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/organized - oh please let me be organized!
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/music - this may be the least organized
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/bb - A big noble idea.
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/grantbot - A less noble idea to feed the
- http://docbox.flint.com:8081/gitlywiki - is tiddlywiki5 the answer?
Otherwise, Barre indeed remains a great venue for a Linux and Open Source
Software discussion and general system rejuvenation. Expect to be remotely
preached at on the various topics of Open Source and how I am confident it
shall cure all the evils and ills of this wicked world. In a perfect meeting,
people would come in, sit down, see the stuff we have been doing and hopefully
help us get the DIY stuff we are doing done, or maybe just fix a laptop.
So, do not forget that the Barre library stocks "Linux Format", and the latest
issue is on the shelf, and it is good. The DVD's are available to checkout and
copy, we shall to continue provide copies and isos of each and every one. I am
continuing to duplicate about a years worth of DVD's which is quite a task. You
may want to watch this space for developments.
Anyway, come and do open source stuff. For more information about the BOSI
Adult Swim meeting time and location try this:
Show up at Hedding UMC if you have questions or are interested in Linux or the
concept of free and open systems. Again, we are in the basement of the Hedding
UMC facility which is actually working out pretty well.
Somehow we need to make progress not more projects!!!
If you wish to be included on the "Linux_adult_swim" mailing list, send a
response to this note.
This is Flint signing off...
I will continue to refactor this newsletter at some point in the future (do not
hold your breath :^)...
(802) 595-9365 Cell
Based upon email reliability concerns,
please send an acknowledgment in response to this note.
Barre Open Systems Institute
17 Averill Street
Work: (202) 537-0480