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Sewing neophyte slowly learning

June 14, 2021 — BarryK

What has plagued my sewing so far, is thread getting caught up in the bobbin area, and a rats nest of threads on the underside of the fabric.

Today I watched a couple of videos that have resulted in significant improvement:

Singer 4411 Heavy Duty 12 Tension Test:

Singer 4411 Heavy Duty 13 Holding Threads When Starting to Sew:

Following the instructions, I found that the tension setting is the culprit. I had it set just above "4". Changing it to just below "4" did the trick.

Incidentally, I am now using Guterman Extra Strong thread from Spotlight:

No particular reason for changing from the lighter thread, except that it looks good.

And as before, a sharp/microtex 80/12 needle:

Another problem occurs when do a back-stitch at end of a line of sewing. The Singer 4411 has a lever, press that and then the foot lever, and sewing will go back. It is normal practice to do this at start and end of a line, however for me it results in messed up threads on the underneath of the fabric.

The hint I got from watching the videos, is, when get to end of a line, wind the wheel at right-side of sewing machine counter-clockwise, until the needle is up and the metal part comes up out of the top of the sewing machine, to it's highest level. That completes a sewing cycle. Then hold down the reverse-lever and sew backwards.

Not quite sure about that last paragraph, have to experiment some more.  

Tags: light

Stealth camping

June 13, 2021 — BarryK

Here in Australia, there is a growing trend of people in campervans "free camping", illegally or otherwise. Many shires on the East Coast are getting quite aggressive about this, imposing large fines. But it still goes on, and there are websites with guidelines on how and where to park. Like, for example, make your van look like a tradesman's van rather than a campervan.

But stealth camping can also apply to those just on their feet. Homeless people of course.

Many years ago, while travelling by car, bus or train in urban areas, I had the habit of spotting places where I thought someone could camp overnight without being seen. Don't do that anymore, but I was surprised to read that others also have that habit:

There are some YouTube videos with guidelines to stealth camping on the foot. I recall, a couple of them advised that you need to look like you are just out for a day walk. A lumbar pack or small shoulder pack, but not a big backpack with tent poles strapped to it!

There are a lot of bush trails east of Perth without designated overnight camping, for example the track from Mundaring to Northam. I am sure that many people just camp discretely, leaving no trace.

There is also an attraction to stealth camping -- security. On a trail, if you find a spot off the trail, you can easily select a place where no one is likely to see you. As opposed to staying at a designated overnight shelter, where everyone on the track will see you.

If you search for "stealth camping" at YouTube, you will find heaps of hits. Here are a couple from Steve:   

Tags: nomad

All yaf-splash replaced with gtkdialog-splash

June 12, 2021 — BarryK

A long long time ago, we had a C utility in Puppy, /usr/X11R7/bin/yaf-splash, which draws splash popups on the screen.
Later on, a script /usr/bin/gtkdialog-splash was written, that is mostly a replacement for yaf-splash, and a symlink /usr/bin/yaf-splash was created to link to it.

The problem is that "mostly".

What I have now done, is gone through all the scripts, in woofQ and in PETs, and replaced calls to 'yaf-splash' with 'gtkdialog-splash'. With the exception of one PET package, 'gpptp', written by jafadmin, which actually needs the real yaf-splash, see here:

I have removed the yaf-splash symlink in woofQ, and intend to compile the original yaf-splash and include it in the next release.

The real yaf-splash, version 1.02, has been compiled in OE, for both PC and Pi4, and will be in the next release.
Here is the yaf-splash homepage:    

Tags: easy

Paragon ntfs3 driver compatibility issues

June 11, 2021 — BarryK

The 5.10.39 kernel used in EasyOS on the PC, now has the Paragon ntfs3 driver, builtin not as a module. Blog report:

There are some issues. In the initrd, the 'blkid' utility reports partitions with ntfs filesystem as TYPE="ntfs", however, to mount it requires -t ntfs3 parameter for the 'mount' utility.

To fix this, the scripts in the initrd now do this:

  if grep -q 'ntfs3' /proc/filesystems;then #20210611 has paragon ntfs3 driver.
mount -t ${WKG_FS/ntfs/ntfs3} /dev/${WKG_DEV} /mnt/${WKG_DEV}
mount -t ${WKG_FS} /dev/${WKG_DEV} /mnt/${WKG_DEV}

After the switch_root, I put in a udev rule, recommended by the Arch Linux guys, /etc/udev/rules.d/10-ntfs3.rules:

#for the paragon ntfs3 driver, which has f.s. type "ntfs3"...
SUBSYSTEM=="block", ENV{ID_FS_TYPE}=="ntfs", ENV{ID_FS_TYPE}="ntfs3"

However, I have still kept the ntfs-3g fuse driver, as it has the user-space utilities, required by gparted. Paragon have not yet provided user-space utilities (they have promised to).

/bin/mount is an ancient script, that explicitly uses ntfs-3g to mount ntfs partitions.

I say "ancient" because that script goes right back to the early days of Puppy, and although I have been meaning to review it, never got around to doing it.

So still using ntfs-3g, even though the kernel now has ntfs3.

A ntfs partition mounted in the initrd, in the case of Easy being installed to an ntfs partition (which is allowed for case of having a save-file rather than a save-folder, discussed in earlier posts), then that partition cannot be modified by gparted. The fact that ntfs3 was used to mount it and not ntfs-3g should not matter.

So, I think that everything will still be sane. In the future, will think about changing to ntfs3 as the default, and finally I might review /bin/mount.

EDIT 2021-06-12:
After reading this comment, my enthusiasm for ntfs3 has been dampened:

This driver damaged two of my NTFS partitions after a power outage. Even windows' chkdsk couldn't fix them. Thankfully I didn't have anything too important on them.

Please don't use this crap if you care about your hard drives.

Regarding the above udev rule, I have removed it, as it doesn't work. Busybox mount still needs an explicit "-t ntfs3".

So, holding back on this one. Will probably leave the ntfs3 patch out of the next kernel compile. Will wait until/if it merges in the kernel.  

Tags: easy

EasyOS Dunfell-series 2.8.1 released

June 10, 2021 — BarryK

This is for PCs with x86_64 (amd64) CPUs. Version 2.7.3 was released on May 5, see blog announcement:

Lots of things have happened since then, see the release notes for 2.8.1:

If you need help how to boot it on a PC:

English, French and German builds may be downloaded from here:

There is also a mirror at NLUUG, at the time of writing not yet synced with 2.8.1:

Feedback is welcome at the forum:

have fun!   

Tags: easy

Conf files for MPV and Celluloid

June 10, 2021 — BarryK

There has been some discussion on the forum about configuring MPV and Celluloid:

Thanks to the Arch Linux guys, who explained how to copy default conf files to ~/.config/mpv:

Have added this to packages-templates/mpv in woofQ.

Celluloid configuration, though, is a mystery. I think that it will automatically use the mpv conf files, though it is confusing as "Preferences..." shows the path to the conf files as "home". They can be changed to the appropriate files in ~/.config/mpv, though whether you really need to do this is not explained.

It could be that the conf files in Celluloid are separate from the MPV ones, to specify extra settings, but that isn't explained anywhere.

Making changes in Celluloid preferences and saving them, they are remembered next time Celluloid is started ...but where on earth are these settings saved???!!! I hunted everywhere. Did google searches, to no avail.

Problem solved, thanks to OscarTalks:       

Tags: easy

SeaMonkey fix to display correctly

June 10, 2021 — BarryK

The guys were discussing this problem on the Puppy Forum, and a fix:

I have downloaded the ".xpi" file and made it into a PET. This will be an extension to SeaMonkey. Tested it, works great.

This will be in the next release of Easy, for both PC and Pi4.  

Tags: easy

Celluloid bumped and new brlaser

June 09, 2021 — BarryK

EasyOS has Celluloid audio/video player version 0.18. I have compiled 0.21 in OE, and it will be in the next release of EasyOS, both x86_64 (pc) and aarch64 (pi4).

Celluloid works for me, but there has been one report of celluloid not working:

Decided probably a good idea to bump to the latest version.

Also compiled 'brlaser' in OE and it will also be in the next release.

brlaser is a generic driver for Brother printers. Although there are already a lot of Brother drivers builtin to EasyOS, courtesy of gutenprint and foomatic, brlaser might work for any printer models not already catered for.

This has been discussed in the forum:   

Tags: easy