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Tux Machines blogs
  • Testers Wanted: Android App for Tux Machines Site

    APK icon

    Diaspora logo Mastodon logo Pleroma logo

    Tux Machines is turning 15 this summer and as we noted over the weekend, many people now access the site using mobile devices, for which the site provides a subpar experience due to legacy. RSS feeds are therefore recommended. There's our RSS feed for news, RSS feed for Tux Machines Blogs and another for Techrights, where I write my original articles.

    Most readers, however, do not use RSS feeds. Consider the 700 followers of our Twitter account, the 2,365 followers of our Diaspora account, 1,080 followers of our Mastodon account, and 63 followers of our Pleroma account (so about 4,000 in total). Those are dependent on third parties (we do not self-host these platforms). Even if "apps" are used for access to these social media platforms/sites, the links would lead to Tux Machines Web pages, which don't render particularly well on small screens (phones). So we've made this simple "app" for the site, but we're still testing it. If anyone out there can try it on an Android device and report back to us, we'll appreciate it greatly and use the feedback to improve it.

    Screenshot Tux Machines app



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  • Mobile Interfaces, Internet, Devices and UX

    A mobile phone

    Summary: Visitors who use mobile phones get a subpar experience, but that's an issue that boils down to preservation versus novelty

    TUX MACHINES is turning 15 later this year. Longtime readers may very well know that the appearance or the layout of this site barely changed over the years. The key components have been in place since the very start. We still use node IDs as URLs (not ideal, but that works), mobile devices are barely supported (they were barely used on the Net at the time the site started), and due to SPAM we can no longer allow new user registrations (they overwhelm the site with a flood of SPAM submissions, i.e. noise such as pornographic comments, abusive blog posts etc.) within hours. We know because we tried opening up these registrations several times in the past. Any loosening of these restriction means a complete and utter mess.

    "Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'."

    So-called 'UX' (buzzword for user interfaces/experience) in Tux Machines is far from ideal, especially for those who use a phone. We are aware of it, but the overhaul required to change that would be truly massive because of the number of pages, images, and the underlying framework, which was heavily modified and tailored for the existing user experience. I spent a lot of time making things work as they do. Susan had also invested a great deal of effort.

    Mobile users who struggle with the site contact me routinely and my best suggestion for them is an RSS reader (many exist for mobile devices), which overcomes these issues and bypasses all the 'cruft'. Taking all the implications into account (endless work associated with a change), we don't plan a site redesign/overhaul. Maybe in the distant future, but not any time soon. The RSS feed is already used by a lot of people, even desktop/laptop users. We have no ads and no surveillance in this site, so RSS feeds don't impact some "business model" or whatever. In fact, it helps lower the strain on the server.



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  • Come and Join Tux Machines in Pleroma, Part of the Fediverse

    Pleroma logo

    Summary: Tux Machines is on Pleroma.site, a lesser-known part of the Fediverse

    Tux Machines has been on the Fediverse for quite some time (our Mastodon account), but months ago we also joined Pleroma, which is an exciting new alternative written in Elixir.

    Just a few weeks ago somebody published this "Guide for GPlus [Google Plus] refugees to choose a new social network in the Fediverse" because "G+ will close on April 2nd. So to help people that haven’t decided yet where to go in the Fediverse I made some pointers. I divided this guide in a number of sections. Each section describes a certain use of social networks and which networks are most suitable for this specific use. Combine this with your preferred use of a social network and you should be able make a decision."

    Pleroma too is part of the Fediverse and Pleroma.site, one large instance of Pleroma, recently completed hardware upgrades. GNU/Linux aficionados can follow us there.



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  • The Bash Fingertips: Making Your Own 'Information Centre'

    Information Centre

    FORGET bloated Web browsers. Forget so-called 'social' media (I call it social control media). They're not efficient, they eat up a lot of memory and CPU cycles, and the interfaces are not consistent (across sites). They're sufficiently distracting and they have ads. They erode privacy. They don't scale well; neither for an aging system (my laptop turns 10 in a few months) nor for users. GUIs are good in particular scenarios, but when the same things are repeated over and over again one might as well set up scripts, automating things and tailoring one's own interfaces, which is easy to achieve (relatively fast and simple) in the command line. It's also more accessible, e.g. over SSH. The pertinent tools are already out there (available for download/installation from repositories), they just need to be put together and programming skills aren't required, just batching in a bash file.

    Some years ago I 'developed' a little script (I've been scripting since I was about 12). I called it getswap-sorted.sh and it just ran another script that helped me see what applications use the swap (and how much of it). For the sake of speed I like to restart applications that heavily use swap (i.e. depend on magnetic disk operations). I don't have much RAM. I never had more than 2 GB. getswap-sorted.sh just called out ./getswap.sh | sort -n -k 5 and getswap.sh comes from Erik Ljungstrom. Here it is:

    #!/bin/bash
    # Get current swap usage for all running processes
    # Erik Ljungstrom 27/05/2011
    SUM=0
    OVERALL=0
    for DIR in `find /proc/ -maxdepth 1 -type d | egrep "^/proc/[0-9]"` ; do
    PID=`echo $DIR | cut -d / -f 3`
    PROGNAME=`ps -p $PID -o comm --no-headers`
    for SWAP in `grep Swap $DIR/smaps 2>/dev/null| awk '{ print $2 }'`
    do
    let SUM=$SUM+$SWAP
    done
    echo "PID=$PID - Swap used: $SUM - ($PROGNAME )"
    let OVERALL=$OVERALL+$SUM
    SUM=0

    done

    The output of getswap-sorted.sh would be something like this:

    PID=1559 - Swap used: 16472 - (x-terminal-emul )
    PID=21980 - Swap used: 16648 - (kwalletd5 )
    PID=25548 - Swap used: 16704 - (konversation )
    PID=631 - Swap used: 19336 - (kded5 )
    PID=23817 - Swap used: 50048 - (pidgin )
    PID=23923 - Swap used: 180312 - (thunderbird )


    This helps me see which application/process number uses swap and to what degree. It's sorted by the amount of swap taken and the PID helps when I just want to kill a process from the command line (some are small and obsolete anyway).

    My script, however, grew bigger over time. I added more things to it, eventually binding it to a special (fifth) mouse key, using xbindkeys -- an immensely valuable and powerful program I've used since around 2004. Extra mouse buttons always seemed worthless (anything more than three), but that's just because there was no program I needed to open or action I needed to invoke often enough. Over time I found that keeping a new terminal one click away (fourth button) and another special terminal also a click away improved my workflow/productivity. I just needed to invest some time in tailoring it. I ended up opening, temporarily, a terminal window with important information displayed, such as weather, disk space (I'm always near the limits), swap usage (I have only 2GB of RAM), uptime, real-time football scores etc. Change of wallpapers was lumped in too, for good measure...

    For football tables/scores use one of the following 1) livescore-cli 2) soccer-cli and 3) football-cli.

    Sadly, the above CLI football scores' tools got 'stolen' by Microsoft and need to isolate themselves GitHub, in due cource/time. I use the first of the three as it suits my needs best and does not require an API key.

    The output looks like this:

     ... Fetching information from www.livescore.com ... 
    Displaying Table for Barclay's Premier League
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Barclay's Premier League TABLE
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    LP Team Name GP W D L GF GA GD Pts
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Liverpool 24 19 4 1 55 14 41 61
    2 Tottenham Hotspur 25 19 0 6 51 24 27 57
    3 Manchester City 24 18 2 4 63 19 44 56
    4 Chelsea 25 15 5 5 45 23 22 50
    5 Arsenal 24 14 5 5 50 33 17 47
    6 Manchester United 24 13 6 5 48 35 13 45
    7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 11 5 9 33 32 1 38
    8 Watford 25 9 7 9 33 34 -1 34
    9 Everton 25 9 6 10 36 36 0 33
    10 AFC Bournemouth 25 10 3 12 37 44 -7 33
    11 Leicester City 24 9 5 10 30 30 0 32
    12 West Ham United 24 9 4 11 30 37 -7 31
    13 Brighton & Hove Albion 25 7 6 12 27 36 -9 27
    14 Crystal Palace 25 7 5 13 26 33 -7 26
    15 Newcastle United 25 6 6 13 21 33 -12 24
    16 Southampton 25 5 9 11 27 42 -15 24
    17 Burnley 25 6 6 13 26 46 -20 24
    18 Cardiff City 25 6 4 15 22 46 -24 22
    19 Fulham 25 4 5 16 25 55 -30 17
    20 Huddersfield Town 25 2 5 18 13 46 -33 11
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    LP = League Position GP = Games Played W = Wins D = Draws L = Lose
    GF = Goals For GA = Goal Against GD = Goal Differences
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Champions League Champions League qualification Europa League
    Europa League qualification Relegation
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Real-time scores (when matches are on):

     ... Fetching information from www.livescore.com ... 
    Displaying Scores for Barclay's Premier League
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Barclay's Premier League SCORES
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    January 29 FT Arsenal 2 - 1 Cardiff City
    January 29 FT Fulham 4 - 2 Brighton & Hove Albion
    January 29 FT Huddersfield Town 0 - 1 Everton
    January 29 FT Wolverhampton Wanderers 3 - 0 West Ham United
    January 29 FT Manchester United 2 - 2 Burnley
    January 29 FT Newcastle United 2 - 1 Manchester City
    January 30 FT AFC Bournemouth 4 - 0 Chelsea
    January 30 FT Southampton 1 - 1 Crystal Palace
    January 30 FT Liverpool 1 - 1 Leicester City
    January 30 FT Tottenham Hotspur 2 - 1 Watford
    February 2 FT Tottenham Hotspur 1 - 0 Newcastle United
    February 2 FT Brighton & Hove Albion 0 - 0 Watford
    February 2 FT Burnley 1 - 1 Southampton
    February 2 FT Chelsea 5 - 0 Huddersfield Town
    February 2 FT Crystal Palace 2 - 0 Fulham
    February 2 FT Everton 1 - 3 Wolverhampton Wanderers
    February 2 FT Cardiff City 2 - 0 AFC Bournemouth
    February 3 15:05 Leicester City ? - ? Manchester United
    February 3 17:30 Manchester City ? - ? Arsenal
    February 4 21:00 West Ham United ? - ? Liverpool
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------------------

    Now putting it all together:

    feh --bg-fill --randomize /media/roy/c3fd5b6e-794f-4f24-b3e7-b4ead3722f11/home/roy/Main/Graphics/Wallpapers/Single\ Head/natgeo/* &

    livescore -t bpl

    ./getswap.sh | sort -n -k 5
    curl -4 http://wttr.in/Manchester
    swapon --summary | grep sda2
    df | grep sda1
    uptime

    sleep 10

    livescore -s bpl

    sleep 40

    The first line is feh choosing a wallpaper at random from a collection of award-winning National Geographic photographs. The options and the underlying parameters are self-explanatory.

    The football league's table is then shown.

    Next, after about 10 seconds of processing, a list of processes will show up based on swap usage (as described above)

    The weather at home (Manchester) will then be shown, with colour. Right now I get:

    Weather report: Manchester

    \ / Sunny
    .-. -5--2 °C
    ― ( ) ― ↑ 9 km/h
    `-’ 10 km
    / \ 0.0 mm
    ┌─────────────┐
    ┌──────────────────────────────┬───────────────────────┤ Sun 03 Feb ├───────────────────────┬──────────────────────────────┐
    │ Morning │ Noon └──────┬──────┘ Evening │ Night │
    ├──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┤
    │ \ / Partly cloudy │ .-. Light drizzle │ _`/"".-. Light rain sho…│ Mist │
    │ _ /"".-. -4-0 °C │ ( ). -2-3 °C │ ,\_( ). 1-3 °C │ _ - _ - _ - 0-3 °C │
    │ \_( ). ↑ 12-20 km/h │ (___(__) ↑ 17-26 km/h │ /(___(__) ↗ 7-14 km/h │ _ - _ - _ ↑ 9-17 km/h │
    │ /(___(__) 20 km │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 20 km │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 16 km │ _ - _ - _ - 13 km │
    │ 0.0 mm | 0% │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 0.4 mm | 83% │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 0.4 mm | 65% │ 0.0 mm | 0% │
    └──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┘
    ┌─────────────┐
    ┌──────────────────────────────┬───────────────────────┤ Mon 04 Feb ├───────────────────────┬──────────────────────────────┐
    │ Morning │ Noon └──────┬──────┘ Evening │ Night │
    ├──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┤
    │ .-. Light drizzle │ _`/"".-. Patchy rain po…│ Cloudy │ Cloudy │
    │ ( ). 2-6 °C │ ,\_( ). 3-7 °C │ .--. 1-4 °C │ .--. -2 °C │
    │ (___(__) → 16-26 km/h │ /(___(__) → 20-27 km/h │ .-( ). → 13-23 km/h │ .-( ). ↗ 9-16 km/h │
    │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 14 km │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 18 km │ (___.__)__) 20 km │ (___.__)__) 20 km │
    │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 0.3 mm | 88% │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 0.3 mm | 88% │ 0.0 mm | 0% │ 0.0 mm | 0% │
    └──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┘
    ┌─────────────┐
    ┌──────────────────────────────┬───────────────────────┤ Tue 05 Feb ├───────────────────────┬──────────────────────────────┐
    │ Morning │ Noon └──────┬──────┘ Evening │ Night │
    ├──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┼──────────────────────────────┤
    │ \ / Partly cloudy │ Overcast │ Overcast │ .-. Light drizzle │
    │ _ /"".-. -1-3 °C │ .--. 2-6 °C │ .--. 6 °C │ ( ). 1 °C │
    │ \_( ). ↖ 19-31 km/h │ .-( ). ↑ 23-33 km/h │ .-( ). ↑ 24-40 km/h │ (___(__) ↑ 24-40 km/h │
    │ /(___(__) 20 km │ (___.__)__) 19 km │ (___.__)__) 8 km │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 9 km │
    │ 0.0 mm | 0% │ 0.0 mm | 0% │ 0.0 mm | 0% │ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ 0.3 mm | 0% │
    └──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┴──────────────────────────────┘


    After this I am shown general memory usage and disk usage (for a particular partition) along with uptime thusly:

    /dev/sda2                               partition       2097148 381128  -1
    /dev/sda1 84035088 77299588 2443660 97% /
    08:03:28 up 116 days, 12:36, 7 users, load average: 1.70, 1.40, 1.26

    It will close on its own after I see what needs seeing, owing to the sleep command. It saves me the clicking (required to then close the window); it just fades away or 'expires', so to speak (until the next time the mouse button gets pressed).



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  • Assess your Linux Knowledge.

    This Linux testmight help to check your personal knowledge of the various topics discussed in the Linux/UNIX fundamentals courses, in order to find out assess your Linux skills.

    read more



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| Dato offentliggjort: ukendt
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