site  contact  history  index

EasyOS Scarthgap-series version 6.1 released

July 13, 2024 — BarryK

Version 6.0.4 was released only 6 days ago:

Release notes for 6.1:

if you are new to EasyOS, please read the 6.0 announcement, as it has more details:

Download 6.1:

Fast mirror in Europe, courtesy of NLUUG:

Feedback is welcome at the forum:   

Tags: easy

yff audio video image converter

July 13, 2024 — BarryK

Jason (plinej in the forum) has a very long history of creating useful media applications. The latest is 'yff', for converting media formats. Forum thread:

A great tool. I modified the 'yff.desktop' file in the PET with menu translations, and small mods to 'pet.specs'.

yff will be in the next release of EasyOS, builtin.    

Tags: easy

Linux kernel 6.6.39 compiled

July 13, 2024 — BarryK

EasyOS Scarthgap-series version 6.0.4 has kernel 6.6.32. So, have bumped to the latest.

The download file, 'easy-6.0.4-amd64.img', is 905MiB. The file inside it, 'easy.sfs', has a very complete suite of packages, as per the philosophy of satisfying most users "out of the box". I posted yesterday about a couple of dependencies being removed, reducing the size of easy.sfs slightly:

Well no... there was another package added, and the latest Chromium, 126.0.6478.126, that I announced a few days ago, is bigger. End result, easy.sfs has grown in size and no longer fits in the .img file.

So, I have bumped the size of the .img file by 16MiB; it is now 921MiB. That results in about 15MiB free space in the .img file, so hopefully won't need to increase it for the lifetime of the Scarthgap-series.

I am just about ready to release EasyOS 6.1; waiting on youtube-dl to work again. This is a game between youtube-dl and YouTube.

Actually, I believe in supporting YouTube and not bypassing the advertisements -- we can pay YouTube to not see them. The "Internet" menu category has "YouTubeDL YouTube downloader" and I don't see any ethical issue with downloading a video for local archiving. On a daily basis I watch videos at and tolerate the adverts.

That leaves "Global IP TV Panel", in the "Multimedia" menu category, for watching live streaming media. Some of those channels are on YouTube. I'm going to think about that; will report back.    

Tags: easy

gtk4 dependency removed

July 11, 2024 — BarryK

There are two packages in EasyOS 6.0.4 that depend on 'gtk4', but it isn't installed.

Package 'geany-plugins' requires the gtk4 version of vte, the virtual terminal emulator. Easy has the 'vte' package, although gtk4 is missing. However, Easy also has 'vte9', a dependency of 'sakura' and that only requires gtk+2.

I recompiled 'geany-plugins' in OE to use vte9. Great, have now removed the 'vte' package from Easy. Geany itself uses gtk+3, so hope there is no objection to a plugin using gtk+2.

Easy has packages 'gcr' which requires gtk4 and 'gcr3' which requires gtk+3. Package 'networkmanager-applet' requires 'gcr3', nothing requires 'gcr', so I have removed the latter.

Good, no requirements for gtk4. This is good, removing a couple of packages, as the 'easy-6.0.2-amd64.img' file is bursting at the seams. It is 905MiB and I don't want to make the download bigger. Now, there is some free space, could consider adding another app -- maybe not.   

Tags: easy

Foot and leg safety on a recumbent trike

July 10, 2024 — BarryK

Continuing the custom trike project, here is the previous post:

Back in May 2023 I posted about the dreaded "leg suck":

A diagram, from here:

img1 you can imagine, nasty!

In my earlier blog post, proposed using mountain bike shoes, that have clips underneath. It is possible to walk with these, going click-click on a surface. However, I want to wear ordinary shoes, so ended up buying the Rolls Royce of foot support, the Terra Trike "Heel support pedals with straps":

US$145. But I bought them from Trisled in Australia; AU$180 plus AU$64.81 freight plus AU$22.26 GST. Total AU$244.81. That's a lot of money, the freight charge seems excessive. Anyway, wanted them. Here they are mounted on the trike:


Adjusting the boom to suit my leg length, they just clear the front suspension -- but only just.

Note, these safety pedals are very heavy, as they have counter-weight underneath so as to keep the platform upright. Haven't weighed them.

This leads to another safety issue; the length of the crank arms. By "safety" I mean to avoid knee pain. Centre-to-centre they are 170mm, which looks like pretty much the standard for e-bikes. The problem is, I am having knee problems, on and off, and really do want to minimise the amount of bending. Paul explains that 152mm crank arms are better for a recumbent trike:

I have read about this many times, riders of recumbent trikes reporting a shorter crank is easier on the knees. So, have ordered 152mm crank-pair from Aliexpress.

In case you are wondering what that horizontal bar is for at the front of the trike; two purposes. One purpose is to mount headlights and turning indicators. Second purpose is it  is planned to have two poles going up to support an overhead solar panel.

That latter purpose means that I need to get the boom length sorted out exactly beforehand. So need that shorter crank-pair to fine-tune the boom length.   

Tags: light

Ten reasons not to move to China

July 10, 2024 — BarryK

I have posted about foreigners living in China, showing what it is like from the inside.

Lizzie is one of those. She is from South Africa and is teaching English in China. Her posts in channel "Because I'm Lizzie" are very positive about China; except for this one, "10 reasons NOT to move to China!". Ha ha, very frank, and I can relate to some of her posts. This is the link:


It is going back awhile, I visited India many times, the longest stay about 3 months. In regional areas, foreigners always attract attention, you are always the foreigner. I stayed with some Indian people in a regional city, and as my habit back in Australia, I was going for a daily walk -- until my hosts told me not to, as I was attracting attention. Like, people commenting, why is that foreigner snooping around, or words to that effect.

Lizzie has learnt Chinese. Ha ha, easier said than done! Mandarin is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. I'm reminded of an American living in China who posts business-related topics on YouTube. His channel is "Inside China Business". He gave up trying to learn Mandarin; said that no one could understand what he said. Here is his post "Welcome to Inside China Business":


...a short distance in, he explains about the language problem. Very interesting channel.   

Tags: ethos

Claws Mail recompiled with SASL support

July 10, 2024 — BarryK

Forum member LarryDC reported unable to login to Fastmail with Claws Mail:

I have recompiled 'libetpan' in OpenEmbedded with 'cyrus-sasl' dependency.    

Tags: easy

Bash plate for trike

July 09, 2024 — BarryK

Continuing the tadpole recumbent trike customization project, here is the previous blog post:

The front suspension has been re-assembled, hopefully permanently and there can be progress with building the rest of the trike.

Before turning the trike right-side-up, I constructed a "bash plate". Not that I envisage going into rugged terrain that will need underneath bash protection; it is mostly part of mounting for extra storage space. Hence the extra holes:



...those two stand-offs are welded on. The mild steel bar is 48x2mm section. Another piece of scrap found at the workshop.

There are already two holes on the front-suspension frame. These were intended for the sophisticated steering linkage that I had originally envisaged; but then decided it is too complicated so built a simplified and somewhat compromised steering linkage instead. Thus freeing-up those holes for some other purpose. Here is the bash plate mounted:


Before turning it right-side-up, will make an aluminium adapter to anchor the backside end of the bash plate to the steering pivot.  

Tags: light