site  contact  subhomenews

Mel hol continues

April 15, 2013 — BarryK
I am enjoying my holiday in Melbourne! Weather has been quite good the last few days, today overcast with a bit of rain:


Systemd debate continues

April 14, 2013 — BarryK
I wrote about 'eudev', a fork of 'udev' recently (udev has been merged into systemd):

The debate about whether systemd is a "good thing" or a "bad thing" continues:

And this:


EOMA68 A10 boards working

April 13, 2013 — BarryK
This is good news. I reported on this earlier:

Now the boards are working:

I was getting a bit disinterested in the project, as the board is based on the Allwinner A10, which is a single-core Cortex-A8 chip. I want more speed!

However, this first board is proof-of-concept, and another with Freescale imx6 SoC is in the pipeline:

Also, boards based on Allwinner A20 and A31 are planned.
There is also a baseboard (with case) for a 7inch tablet being developed.


LiveCode has arrived

April 10, 2013 — BarryK
RunRev is kind of "Hypercard" clone. Many years ago, I owned something similar for Windows, don't recall it's name -- it was very sophisticated, a very easy way to create applications, especially multimedia and educational apps.

I have been on the Runrev mail-list for a couple of years, just keeping a watch on it's progress. They have now created a GPL3 version, named LiveCode, first release today.

For further info and download:

I have downloaded it and managed to hang it after about five minutes, while implementing the "Hello World!" tutorial.

I am noticing some rough edges. For example, at one stage, the mouse-pointer did not correlate with the highlighted entries in a pull-down menu.

The "Hello World" tutorial is poorly written, it seems to me.
One thing about it that confused me is the example script:

put "Hello World" into field 1

Although I inferred that "field 1" is the text-entry box that I had created in the window, there is no specific identification of that text-box as being "field 1".
This also confused others, who have posted comments:

The reply to queries is that "field 1" is not definitely linked to that text-box, and is not something that you would normally do in practice. Instead, you can assign to the text-box by it's (unique) name:

put "Hello World!" into field "My Field"

Or by it's unique ID:

put "Hello World!" into field id 12345

I tested both of those last two, they work.

OK, so it might need a bit of work here and there, but it is looking pretty good.

Youtube have videos, one of which shows how to create a "Hello World" standalone executable.

...there is another video tutorial for "Hello World" that can be run first time that you run LiveCode, and I briefly saw the size of the standalone executable -- 6.6MB I think.

What particularly interests me about LiveCode is the multiple targets. Not just Linux, Windows and Apple desktop OS, but also iPhone and Android. Even web-app in a browser.

That means that it is ready-to-go for a touch screen, for example:


Gold metal detector

March 28, 2013 — BarryK
Ha ha, better late than never! I wrote about wanting to go off and do a spot of prospecting back in 2007 (

Possibly the hectic release schedule will slow down sometime, after all there are other things in life -- I want to go off fossicking soon (gemstones, gold).

Heh, heh, it is finally happening. I have bought myself a cheapie metal detector:

link removed, on request from

...they offered buy all you want for $10 total postage & handling, so I got a few other camping items as well.

The "outback" of Western Australia has a lot of iron in the ground, making gold detecting very difficult. It is possible to spend a lot of money, for example the top-of-the-range gold detector here in Australia is the Minelab GPX 5000, with rrp of AU$6,595 (about the same in US$):

I just enjoy being in nature, finding interesting rocks, plus it is healthy exercise, so I will be quite happy fossicking around with an ultra-cheapie detector. My $79 detector has the controls that I think are needed for detecting in the goldfields -- two discrimination modes, ground balance, plus various other dials, switches and buttons to play with. I have assembled it, and it looks quite well made. Hopefully the internal electronics is "up to it".


I'm just one guy

March 20, 2013 — BarryK
There is a Forum thread where posters have been getting very hot under the collar:

It brings out some issues that I would like to comment on.

There are often complaints about me, like "why have you ignored ****?", "why haven't you fixed/implemented ****?", and so on.

Actually, I read very few Forum posts these days. The volume of posts on the Puppy Forum, and the sub-projects and discussion-threads are many. I usually login once a day, or every second day, sometimes even after a longer interval, and cherry-pick a few threads. Usually, I read the threads relevant to what I am currently working on.

I work on topics that interest me. For example, for sometime I was building Puppy for some ARM boards (which I will get back to soon, most likely). Recently I was fixing the build of "Arch Puppy" in Woof -- as some posters pointed out, I had this working in Woof many years ago, but time marches on and it had become broken.

I don't sit at my computer all day. I do have a life! I usually work at my computer in the morning for 2 - 3 hours, maybe a little bit in the afternoon, and maybe more in the evening. It is very variable.

I get accused of ignoring many things, such as the "Archpup" project. But, really, "ignoring" is the wrong word. I posted in the above thread why I hadn't paid closer attention to Archpup. In the entire lifespan of Archpup, I probably visited the thread once, noticed that it was not a Woof-built puppy, so classified it as not appropriate for my attention, then moved on.

I have to work that way. As I say, I am just one guy, and I just have to prioritize, sometimes quite ruthlessly.

Then there are those who think that I am playing favorites. For example, favoring Fatdog64 over Archpup. Well, Fatdog64 is built from Woof, so has more "right" to be favored. However, it is built from an old version of Woof and no longer tracks latest Woof, so I mentally re-assigned it as more of a fork of Puppy -- consequently, I removed Fatdog64 from the Puppy Release Notes (a page in every Puppy release that has detailed release notes, also some info on other puppies). I also no longer mention Fatdog64 as an "official" Puppy (which has peeved some people).

However, that is not putting those distros down in any way. Archpup looks superb, Fatdog64 is also superb.

Some people are complaining that I should be acknowledging these other distros, forks of Puppy, distros with Puppy-like features, and many other puplets and remasters.
I do understand that if someone has a favorite, they want it to be promoted, but I don't see why I should be expected to promote it.

There are some posts in the Forum where people complain that I don't like them, or express some disgruntlement at not been acknowledged or responded to.

I can only apologise. The Forum is like a river raging past my house. I dip my cup in every day or so and take out some of the water. Well, that analogy has it's limitations, but you get the picture.


Rolling-release model

March 08, 2013 — BarryK
I posted a question about the rolling-release model of Arch Linux:

Distrowatch Weekly has a link to this argument against Ubuntu moving to a rolling-release model:

...yes, I agree, excellent point!

I particularly liked his comment about Ubuntu Phone - desktop convergence.
Yeah, their phone-thingy isn't even Ubuntu, it is something entirely different. Desktop convergence may happen, but for now it is just a dream.
However, the convegence thing does have a roadmap, so we shall remain optimistic for now.


Mir display server

March 05, 2013 — BarryK
I have been following the Ubuntu Mobile OS project with interest, reading bits of technical information as it is revealed.

A key component is the display server, and there was speculation on what Ubuntu are planning. A few days ago I learned that they are using SurfaceFlinger, which is the same as used by Android. But, it seems that is only temporary.

It has now been revealed that Ubuntu are developing their own display server, named Mir. Furthermore, it is not vaporware, it runs, though there is still some way to go.

Anyway, here is Ubuntu's own introduction to Mir:

There is a timeline, and I was wondering if that is overly optimistic. We shall see.