Jeremy Sands

Res publica non dominetur

How to type special characters easily in KDE

One of the niftier but lesser known features it Windows is the ability to use Alt Code Sequences to type special characters, such as accented letters.   Anybody who has done work in a foreign language on a computer knows the value of having this functionality.   Good news … KDE allows you to do this but even easier and more intuitive than the cumbersome Windows “Alt + 130” style.   Here’s how:

Go into KDE System Settings.   Go to Input Devices.  With Keyboard selected on the left, choose the advanced tab on the right.   Under “Compose key position”, select which key you want to use as the equivalent of the Windows alt key.   I recommend using the Left Win key.   After selecting your desired key, Apply the changes.

Now you can type special characters by holding your Compose Key, then typing the relevant sequence.   Some examples:

?? = ¿
!! = ¡
‘e = é
‘a = á
‘i = í
‘o = ó
‘u = ú
~n = ñ
(c = ©
(r = ®

A full list of these sequences can be found here.

A ham radio operator’s guide to the 2011 SouthEast LinuxFest

Simplex Talk In:  146.520


Major Local Repeaters:

147.315+ (Net every Monday/Friday at 8:30 PM)
Operated by SPARC – Moderate signal, but very close to hotel.

442.075+ (Net every Thursday, 8:30 PM)
Operated by SPARC

147.165+ (Net every Thursday at 9:00 PM)
Operated by GARS – Moderate signal, but far enough away to require an good antenna on HTs

146.610- (Net every night at 9:00 PM)
Operated by BRARS – Superb signal, long distance reach, linked to EchoLink.

Echolink Node 551672 (W4NYK-R)
Operated by BRARS and linked to 146.610- repeater.

145.190- (Net every Saturday at 9 PM)
Operated by WCARS – Superb signal and incredible reach across several states – Located on Mount Mitchell, Highest 2 meter repeater in Eastern America. The net is called the 6600 net, referring to the elevation of Mt. Mitchell.

Club Links, with additional lesser used repeaters:

Dual booting Windows 7 and Linux

Traditionally, if I have the time, I nuke all those little insignificant partitions that come on a HP/Dell/Acer/etc with Windows pre-installed when I partition up the hard drive for installation.

Pro-Tip: Don’t delete the first tiny partition if it’s a Windows 7 machine. It’s important, and stuff.

Luckily, I didn’t delete it … but when I tried to launch Windows 7 by selecting the huge ntfs partition in Grub, I got a Windows boot error about a required partition that was missing. You instead have to boot off the small partition.

LIRC ignores delay, repeat, config file

So, LIRC started acting up on you? You have a problem with buttons being hypersensitive and repeating many times? LIRC ignores you telling it to disable repeat? When you run the command “irw” … nothing happens?

Well, here’s the bizarre and almost undocumented fix. Apparently the kernel has decided it can handle RC-6 (infrared protocol) directly without lirc processing. Woopsie! Run this command as root:

echo none +lirc > /sys/class/rc/rc0/protocols

If that works, have it run on startup via /etc/rc.d/local.start or similar (check your distribution’s documentation).

More than just Washington needs a good cleaning…

So I attended the Spartanburg Tea Party monthly meeting in October, and it was REALLY good. It featured several candidates for state and local office, and not just from the Republican Party, but from the Libertarian and Constitution Parties too. (Extra super bonus points go to Timothy Moultrie who is running for Superintendent of Education, and delivered a superb speech about shaking things up with education in Columbia, returning power to the people, and letting the free market work. And yes, Virginia, property tax means that philosophically the government owns your house, and you lease it…. but I digress…) Talbert Black, the SC Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty and Ashley Landess of the SC Policy Council spoke as well on the need for real reform in how Columbia operates. That means not just throwing out the power brokers who are getting in the way of true reform, but literally changing the process too so that nobody has a huge concentration of power. (Incidentally, if you have a chance to hear Landess speak … do so. That young lady has a fire burning within, and you just don’t see that very often.) It was a terrific meeting start to finish, and I highly recommend anybody out there who cares about free minds and free markets to get involved in the Campaign for Liberty and/or Spartanburg Tea Party, and to follow the good work the SC Policy Council does. Oh … the Spartanburg Herald Journal did a terrific write up, which featured *gasp* quotes from yours truly:

Spartanburg Herald Journal – Tea party targets SC Republican leaders

My incredibly long overdue (nearly A YEAR!) Windows 7 House Party report

In case you didn’t see my prior post New Windows 7 FUD: Faking User Delight, I signed up for a Windows 7 House Party, with the intentions of ALSO showcasing Linux to the curious people who showed up. I put out some flyers at USC Upstate and told the Computer Science faculty. So, what happens when you mix a Windows Party City sampler pack and single copy of Windows 7 Ultimate with Linux? Read the details after the jump.

Continue reading →

A ham radio operator’s guide to the 2010 Ohio Linuxfest

Linux In The Ham Shack – Ohio Linuxfest Booth – Talk-In
Simplex: 146.520 MHz

Ohio State University Amateur Radio Club
Repeater: 442.6 MHz (shift: +5 Mhz, PL/CTCSS: 114.8 Hz)

West Central Ohio Amateur Radio Association
Repeater: 145.110 MHz (Dayton and Columbus), Cross-band link: 224.160

University of Cincinnati Amateur Radio Club
Repeater: 147.060+ MHz – 100Hz PL

Southwest Columbus Amateur Radio Club
Repeater: 145.230, (Cross-band link? 444.100)
Net every Friday, 8PM

OH-KY-IN Amateur Radio Society
146.670- (CTCSS 123 Hz), 146.925- (CTCSS 123 Hz), 146.625- (CTCSS 123 Hz)

Dayton FM Group
Repeater: 224.680 MHz, 443.600 MHz, Echolink Node 298502

Capital City Repeater Association
Repeater: 147.24+ (CTCSS 179.9)
NOTE: Do not use break unless it’s for emergency, give call sign to interject conversation.

How to redirect to and from SSL in Apache

So … you have an e-commerce checkout page or a secure login thusly giving you the need to have an SSL page. But you don’t want people then staying in SSL the whole time, and adding an additional burden to your servers, do you? Here’s the simple solution, using mod_rewrite. The following two code snippets go into your apache virtualhost config files. This varies quite a bit by distro, but in Gentoo they’re in /etc/apache2/vhosts.d/

For the SSL virtualhost, add the following (between its tags obviously…)

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} !^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /(.*)TheEndOfTheURLOfPageToRedirect\.html\ HTTP/ [NC]
RewriteRule ^/(.*) http://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R]

This will redirect down from SSL all pages except those precious SSL needed pages. Just add additional lines like the 3rd if you have multiple pages that need SSL.

Now add the following to the regular non-SSL Virtualhost entry for the same site:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /(.*)TheEndOfTheURLOfPageToRedirect\.html\ HTTP/ [NC]
RewriteRule ^/(.*) https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [R]