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Precord updated to 9.0.3

December 25, 2017 — BarryK

Precord, an audio recorder and player, has been in all my Easy, Quirky, and earlier pups, for many years.

The author, mcewanw, has a thread on the Puppy Forum:

I have just upgraded from version 8.1.4 to 9.0.3, and fixed a couple of small things, so my PET is 9.0.3-1.

It is not a good practice to have a hidden file in /etc, so I have changed /etc/precord/.precordrc to /etc/precord/precordrc.

Ditto, ~/.precord/.precordrc is now ~/.precord/precordrc

JWM does not display the icon, mini-record.xpm in the menu. It used to, but version 2.3.7 doesn't.

The reason is, it is actually a png file.

I have removed it from the PET, that is, removed /usr/share/mini-icons/mini-record.xpm, as woofQ (used to build Easy and Quirky) now has mini-record.xpm, an actual XPM image.

That's at rootfs-skeleton/usr/local/lib/X11/mini-icons/mini-record.xpm in woofQ

My modified PET:

One thing, the XPM image doesn't look quite as nice as the PNG.

Tags: easy, quirky, linux

gtk stock icons missing

December 17, 2017 — BarryK

Working on 01micko's Simple Samba Management and my QuickSamba scripts, I noticed that gtk stock icons are not displaying.

Then I tried Dropbox GUI file manager, created by mikeb:

...however, none of the icons in the buttons display.

Dropbox GUI is great, it is good to see mikeb active on the Puppy Forum again.

Forum member SFR has created a patch for the gtk+ source, to restore the traditional icons:

...this patch still works on the latest gtk+, 2.24.31, so I plan to recompile it in OpenEmbedded and see if that fixes the problem.


That patch did not fix anything. The solution was elsewhere. Dropbox-GUI is using code for gtkdialog like icon="gtk-network", which triggered a memory. Changing it to stock="gtk-network" fixed it.

However, icon-name="gtk-network" in the window tag is broken. Replacing icon-name with stock, icon, or stock-id does not fix it. It actually has to be an icon in /usr/share/icons/hicolor. So, I created /usr/share/icons/hicolor/16x16/actions/gtk-network.xpm (symlink to /usr/local/lib/X11/mini-icons/pc-2x.xpm, to save space). Now it works.

Note that stock="gtk-network" elsewhere in the gtkdialog xml code uses the gtk inbuilt icon, not the new one that I have created,

Tags: easy, quirky, oe

QuickSamba mounts remote shares

December 16, 2017 — BarryK

I posted yesterday about this new project:

It has progressed well, and I am now able to mount a share from Easy OS running on another computer.

01micko's Simple Samba Management has been modified somewhat. Here is a snapshot:


The default password is "woofwoof" and that displays in the password edit boxes. If the user changes the password, it displays as X's. Samba stores it in an encrypted form and it is not retrievable -- so you have to remember it, or you can change it at any time. The username and password is required when mounting the share from another PC.

QuickSamba uses smbnetfs to scan for remote shares. In my case, there is only one, with hostname EASYPC26578:


Click the "Mount Shares" button, the username and password is asked for, and it is mounted and becomes available:


Click on the folder button, and the remote share is available. Pretty simple.

There are a few more things to tidy up, and I hope to get this out as a Xmas present.

Tags: easy, quirky

Quicksamba one-stop-shop for sharing

December 16, 2017 — BarryK

As I posted about a couple of days ago, I am getting into using Samba for the very first time:

it is good that I am approaching this from a beginners perspective, as I am seeing where there is awkwardness and uncertainty in setup and usage.

Consequently, I am creating QuickSamba, a frontend GUI that takes care of everything. It consists of stages, like a checklist, starting with do you have connection to a local network, is your firewall configured properly, is Samba configured properly, then there is the scanning for and accessing of remote shares.

QuickSamba presents each of these stages and 'ticks off" each one as correct, or won't go any further if not. In this snapshot, everything is ticked-off so that local shares are available, but there are no remote shares:


I will probably put some more of those little help buttons in the window. The one already there explains how the local share can be accessed by other computers on the network.

I have modified 01micko's Simple Samba Management, which is launched from the "Samba Setup" button. One modification is that it has entry boxes for changing the password from "woofwoof".

I have got detection of remote shares working, using smbnetfs. This is a Samba filesystem using fuse. Not sure whether will stick with it, as just learning, but it seems ok.

Note, if a Linux computer only has to communicate with a Windows computer, there is no need for that final "Remote Shares" stage, as the Windows PC will see the shares (and printers) of the Linux PC. So in the above snapshot, /mnt/wkg/home will be available in the Windows PC. That works fine.

As for printing with CUPS, I haven't got a clue. You can see the comment in the snapshot about unblocking the CUPS daemon, however I don't know if that is required. Maybe other computers can access a printer on local computer with that being unblocked.

Anyway, it is a work-in-progress.

Oh, another thing. In Easy, plan to have a new icon on the desktop, named "share", that will launch QuickSamba. As I am embracing Samba, might as well go all the way.

Tags: easy, quirky

Wcpufreq 0.8.4

December 07, 2017 — BarryK

Quirky and Easy builds, indeed most pups I think, have Wcpufreq, CPU frequency scaling tool, created by 'tazoc'.

There is some confusion about which is the latest version. Also, there is a problem with the 4.13 kernel. Also, a problem with the 'intel_pstate' kernel module.

We have been discussing these issues here:

This has resulted in my release of 0.8.4, see forum post:

And here is the PET (39KB):

My kernel is configured with intel_pstate disabled, so don't have to worry about that.

Tags: easy, quirky

Big changes are afoot

August 10, 2017 — BarryK
I have been swapping between using Quirky and Easy, and one thing has become very obvious: Easy is much faster.

No quantitative measurements, just eyeballing, noticing a significant difference in app startup times and general responsiveness. Compiling times are also remarkably faster.

Fundamentally, the reason is that Quirky is a full installation, and in my case on a magnetic platter mechanical hard drive. Whereas, Easy is a layered filesystem, where, if there is enough RAM, 'q.sfs' (which is all of Easy) gets loaded into RAM at bootup.

So, you pay the price of a slightly slower bootup, but faster running.

One extra point: q.sfs is xz-compressed, however, after download and at first bootup, there is the option to recompress it gzip-compressed. This can make a small but noticeable difference to the responsiveness.

Another point: aufs is configured without support for writing directly to the lower layers. This makes aufs faster.

In all, it is a pleasant experience using Easy. So, the title is hinting something!

Tags: easy, quirky

VLC fixed for Easy and Quirky

March 21, 2017 — BarryK
My simpleVP frontend for the commandline vlc and other CLI video players, remains in a primitive state. I haven't had the time to work further on it. So, video playing in the latest Easy and Quirky (versions 0.2 and 8.1.6) is broken.

I have fixed VLC. This is now the GUI version, that uses Qt libs. A lot of extra DEBs were required.

I got it working, but found videos would not play full-screen, and VLC crashed at completion of playing a video.
My laptop has intel graphics. VLC defaults to using libva and intel_vaapi for video output, and this is the cause of the trouble.

I have created a wrapper script, that causes VLC to default to "xcb_x11" or "xcb_xv" video output, unless the user has explicitly chosen something else. For me, "xv" (xvideo), works fine.

I also fixed the File->Open folder path, as appropriate for Easy or Quirky.

Tags: easy, quirky, linux