Monthly Archives: January 2013


Bodhi Linux Review: The Good, the bad, and the really bad


I am looking for a replacement for Ubuntu 10.04. It reaches end-of-life, in April, 2013. I just could not get used to the Unity Desktop Environment, simply because there is no guide on how to use it. (HINT!)

The Good

A friend suggested Bodhi Linux, which is Ubuntu 12.04 based, with the enlightenment window manager.. Enlightenment is small, compact, and very fast.

Windows 98 Floppy

The installation of 2.1 Bodhi was quick and somewhat painless. But I will admit the grub_divmod64_full grub boot error had me in a tailspin. I had to drop back to Windows 98 Floppy to fix the problem. (fdisk /mbr) After nuking the master boot record, I tried a second time, all was well.

bodhi desktop

The Bad

Creating a desktop icon, is NOT straightforward. For example, if you are used to using the gnome-terminal, it is called “Terminology” in Enlightenment.

If you try to create a symlink to this in the Desktop folder, that won’t work! Instead, you have to copy the .desktop to your home Desktop folder. So:

cp /usr/share/applications/terminology.desktop ~/Desktop

Thanks to conspiritech and deepspeed on the #bodhilinux for solving that mystery, and the file manager mystery (below.)

Trying to put an Enlightenment File Manager (EFM) desktop icon, proved impossible. They suggested using Thunar or Pcmanfm

And the above code snippet (substituting Thunar.desktop or pcmanfm.desktop) works!

When I tried to install boinc, things got ugly quick!

Here is what I did, and the explanation below:

w@H:~$ ssh w@p
w@p's password: 
Welcome to Bodhi Linux 2.0.0

 * Documentation:
Last login: Sat Jan 26 08:02:16 2013 from
w@P:~$ sudo apt-get install boinc
[sudo] password for w: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
You might want to run 'apt-get -f install' to correct these:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 boinc : Depends: boinc-client (>= 7.0.27+dfsg-5ubuntu0.12.04.1) but it is 
not going to be installed
         Depends: boinc-manager (>= 7.0.27+dfsg-5ubuntu0.12.04.1) but it is
 not going to be installed
 libc6-dev : Depends: linux-libc-dev but it is not going to be installed
 nvidia-173 : Depends: linux-libc-dev but it is not going to be installed
              Recommends: nvidia-settings but it is not going to be installed
E: Unmet dependencies. Try 'apt-get -f install' with no packages (or specify a
w@P:~$ sudo apt-get -f install
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Correcting dependencies... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1 9menu gir1.2-json-1.0 gstreamer0.10-x pkg-config
  gir1.2-javascriptcoregtk-3.0 ratpoison libiec61883-0 gir1.2-timezonemap-1.0
  gir1.2-gstreamer-0.10 gir1.2-soup-2.4 libraw1394-11
  gstreamer0.10-plugins-good gir1.2-webkit-3.0 libtag1-vanilla libavc1394-0
  libtimezonemap1 libshout3 libdv4 gir1.2-xkl-1.0 screen-resolution-extra
  libtag1c2a libxklavier16 python-xkit
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following extra packages will be installed:
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
5 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 948 kB of archives.
After this operation, 3,177 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Y
precise/stable linux-libc-dev i386 3.5.0-11.11
  404  Not Found
Failed to fetch
/l/linux/linux-libc-dev_3.5.0-11.11_i386.deb  404  Not Found
E: Unable to fetch some archives, maybe run apt-get update or try with --fix-missing?

The Really Bad

I tried to install boinc, as shown above. But it complained that the libc6-dev was actually a later version than it needed. I tried to “fix” the broken packages, but I got a 404 error. The needed file, was NOT found in the Bodhi 2.1 repository. FAIL.

While I could probably get around this, by adding the correct Ubuntu repository, this is NOT something a n00b (novice/new) user would know how to fix. The combination of the repository failure, and the methodology of adding desktop icons, gives bodhi Linux a grade of: D-. Not ready for primetime.

Another review, called it a square peg in a round hole.

When I tried to install the nvidia-173 legacy mode drivers for my graphics card, it completely broke Bodhi, so much that it would not boot. Went into recovery mode, purged the nvidia driver, and then rebooted back into Bodhi.

Kubuntu is starting to look pretty good.



Comcast live chat fails Turing Test


A Turing Test is used to distinguish whether or not I am you are talking to a machine or a human. If the responses would be generally considered that of what a real life person would give, then it is said, to have passed the Turing Test.

One of the first machine based artificial intelligence programmes was Eliza. It was primitive by today’s standards, but none-the-less was the first machine based AI programme I encountered in college.

This recent chat with Comcast would seem to indicate a Turing Test failure. To wit:

analyst Arthur has entered room

Arthur: Hello Wayno, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Arthur. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Wayno: My Issue: Life Line service

Arthur: I am here to provide you with excellent customer service today. Please be assured I will do my best to help you with your concern.

Arthur: Can you please elaborate your issue?

Wayno: hi arthur. I have a question about life line services.

Wayno: qualifications, cost mostly.

Arthur: I understand your concern is about life line services, am I correct?

Wayno: correct

Arthur: May I have 2 minutes to check on that?

Wayno: absolutely

Arthur: Thank you.

Arthur: Thank you for waiting, Wayno.

Arthur: XFINITY Voice service is compatible with personal emergency alert response systems provided by Philips Lifeline and Linear LLC. XFINITY Voice service doesn’t guarantee compatibility with other systems. To check compatibility, contact the agency that provided you with the personal emergency alert response system.

Wayno: no that does not answer my question. what are the qualifications and cost of life line service?

Arthur: Contact your alarm company before your XFINTITY Voice installation. Provide the date and time of your installation so the alarm company can check the status of your alarm on installation day. If your alarm system needs to be reactivated after XFINITY Voice is installed, you will not be compensated for the cost of reactivation.

Wayno: okay I am not talking to a human being.

Arthur: I am a live agent, Wayno.

Arthur: I just gave you the information about Life Line service. It is for free.

Arthur: You just need to have a Comcast phone service.

Wayno: how does contacting my alarm company have any thing to remotely do with lifeline?

Arthur: I can see here that you don’t have Comcast phone service.

Wayno: okay you failed the Turing Test.


Actually I was able to find the information on-line for lifeline phone eligibility.



What Windows program to use to erase a hard drive before donating the computer?


This was a question I posed to my friend Matt. He suggested:

the best is dban

Darick’s Boot and Nuke

You burn dban to a cd and boot the computer with it. This eliminates EVERYTHING from the hard drive, including the operating system.

If you are more comfortable running a program from Windows itself i recommend eraser.

Both are free. I’m always glad to help a friend.