Posts Tagged ‘fun’

SL Animated console train for your Linux – useless commans to cheer you up when you mistype ls

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014


Some time ago I blogged about how to make your sysadmin more enjoyable with figlet and toilet console ASCII art text generators
Besides toilet and figlet another cool entertainment proggie is cowsay. On my home Linux router I use cowsay together with a tiny shell script to generate me a random Cow Ascii Art fun picture each time I login to my Linux. cowrand is set to run for my user through ~/.bashrc.

cowsay print cheerful pictures on your linux console / terminal login how to

In the spirit of ascii art fun arts today I've stumbled on another cool  and uselesss few kilobytes program called "SL". SL is very simple all it does is it cheers up you by displaying a an animated train going through the screen once you type by mistake "sl" instead of ls (list command).
To enjoy it on debian based distributions install it with apt:

# apt-get install --yes sl

SL 's name is a playful joke itself as well it stands for Steam Locomotive.

To get some more ASCII art fun, try telnetting to – There is a synthesised ASCII Art text version video of Star Wars – Episode IV

# telnet

watch all star_wars episode 1 in ascii art video

If you know other cool ASCII art animation scripts / ASCII art games or anything related to ASCII art for Linux / Windows, please drop me a comment.

The Great Escape video – Why Money-less Visa, Mastercard etc. electronic transfers impose risk for our freedom

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

A friend of mine send me a video in skype. It is a representation of one sad reality. A pigs are living in a farm, being wake up with electronic signal. The pig start eating, playing, f*cking etc. It is a lot of fun happiness and freedom. Some of them which are more initiative possess the typical characteristics of middle age times explorer and the spirit of researchers and scientists who tend to explore the universe, research new things, learn and get to the limit of things. The poor animals comes up to electric fence with VISA Electroin. Though the video is intending to be anti-propaganda of use of VISA debit cards, same is more or like true for travel VISAs. Nowadays within the European Union everyone is free to travel freely, everywhere inside the EU, it seems so fun you can learn new cultures, earn money, enjoy yourself and dissolve yourself in happiness and joys forgetting your own culture language and nationality. You become part of one "happy farm" not knowing your once free land though being stretched is limited by electric powered "no escape" fence.

 The Great Visa Escape – The deception that moneless transfers makes you free – money-less transfers pose future risk to human freedom


How a monastery celebrates a brotherhood monk name day – the feast of (Saint Sergii from Radonezh) in Bulgarian Orthodox Church

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Saint Sergii of Radonezh Orthodox icon

Now it is my 4th day being in Pomorie Monastery with Kimba. The monastic life is not so boring as I thought back in the days 🙂
Yesterday I was drived to the Kamenar pub, by one of the workers here in the monastery (with the monastic car an old Ford);
We went to the restaurant in Kamenar village with the blessing of the abbot has blessed that we go and enjoy ourselves for few hours there with a group of tourists staying for (1 or 2) weeks in the monastery.

The pub was quite a news for me as it was a nice looking place with a lounge and swimming pool, this seemed quite unusual for especially since it was located in a village with 200 or 300 hundred of people living 🙂
The village pub had even a billiard table, the coin price there was on the shocking 25 stotinki (0.13) euro cents! 🙂
In the pub came an orthodox priest dressed like a casual person and started singing some traditional old Bulgarian songs (typical for singing in the different regions in BG). The guy was really talented and his memory seem to be very strong, since he was able to sing by heart about 10 songs in a row !

Besides that the priest voice was very beautiful. When I later had a talk with the guy it appeared, he learned professional singing before he became an Orthodox priest some years ago.
What really shocked me when the priest started singing in Italian Luciano Pavaroti, he sang it so well so you can hardly find out if it is not really the real authentic Luciano voice 🙂

This priest and the overall people in the pub had a great fun, as the place and people in were quite spirited; Actually I felt in a while like being in Emil Kosturica's movie 🙂 🙂 🙂

Being over with yesterday I will say few words on my monastic experience today ….
The Church bell rang early in the morning to summit the monks for the early morning prayer followed by a Holy Liturgy served. The Holy Liturgy today served was a co-memoration of the feast of Saint Sergii of Radonezh.

Cause it is weekly day here there were not too many people in the monastic Church. The monastery monks were there,few other people and some Russian pilgrim woman. By the way I'm more and more being convinced that many of the Russian people are very pious oriented and have strong faith in God than us bulgarians. Sadly it appears (from my observations so far) Russians generally are richer in faith.
It is sad that Russian Orthodox Christianity is stronger than ours in Bulgarian, especially when we take the fact historically Russians have received the Orthodox Chrisitian faith and language from us Bulgarians …

One of the key figure (brothers) monks Father Sergii is having a name day here, so due to that and because it is not a fasting day today (Thursday), the traditional monastic dinner was bigger and more rich than usual. Some youghurt mixed with cucumbers (Tarator) as we call it in Bulgaria was served with a little salad a few pieces of Banica and even little meat balls (for people eating meat).
The Abbot of the monastery was not served meat as I heard from the cook lady he is completely abstaying from meat since about 10 years already; some of the monk brother didn't eat meat as well.
The dinner started about 12:20 in the usual dinner room. For another day the food in the monastery was tasting super-delicious.
It is rather interesting that the food here is more delicious than the food we usually eat at home; Probably the food is so delicious because large portion of the food on the table is monastic-grown and besides that a food blessing prayer is said everytime before eat time. Earlier times I've heard many others who visited and eat food in monasteries that the monastic food is tastier and more delicious than we ordinary people have on our tables, however I was sceptical until I experienced it myself, these days.
Cause the food is so tasteful, I consume here usually twice more food than I usually eat at home 🙂

I recommend anyone who didn't eat a meal in a monastery (yet) to try this at least once in a lifetime ;;;

Life was easier when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Life was much easier when blackberry and Apple were just fruits

Sad but true fact Life was much easier when BlackBerry and Apple were just fruits!.

I don’t know about others but I have difficulties to adjust my body to the fast pace life has taken. Life would was easy and more fun without all this technology. Now even going to a pub you can’t escape the “doom” of technology. If the tech hype continues the way it does or something drastic doesn’t happen I guess all people on earth will get completely crazy …

I thougth about how this techno-mambo jumbo can be stopped on a wide scale and the only idea I have is a weapon that blocks all tech equipment world-wide. I hope someone will develop it soon and press the destory button SOON ! 🙂

HasciiCAM supposed to stream ASCII video over the network on GNU / Linux

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Richard M. Stallman (RMS) Face portrait rendered in ASCII art from a video with hasciicam
To continue with my lately ASCII centered articles I found hasciicam
hasciicam is a program to stream ASCII video over the network on Linux and probably can be easily made working on FreeBSDtoo.

The project concept is interesting in a matter of fun (play) point of view, however not too usable as we all know ASCII character looking faces doesn't look too pretty.

Below is the Debian (Squeeze) package description:

noah:~# apt-cache show hasciicam|grep -i description -A 7
Description: (h)ascii for the masses: live video as text
Hasciicam makes it possible to have live ASCII video on the web. It
captures video from a tv card and renders it into ascii, formatting the
output into an html page with a refresh tag or in a live ASCII window or
in a simple text file as well, giving the possibility to anybody that has a
bttv card, a Linux box and a cheap modem line to show a live ASCII video
feed that can be browsable without any need for plugin, java etc.

On hasciicam Project webpage is it is stated as a hardware you need to have:

"As hardware you need to have a webcam or a videocard supported by "video 4 linux", most of the gear you can buy around should work well."

To install and test it I run:

noah:~# apt-get --yes install hasciicam

Though it is stated on the project website supposed to work display video fine with most 'linux ready' webcams, it didn't with this very standard one.

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

By the way, I use the very same CAM daily on for Skype video calls as well as the Camera is working with no problems to save video or pictures inside Cheese

Here is the exact WebCamera model as identified to the kernel:

noah:~# dmesg|grep -i camera
[ 1.433661] usb 2-2: Product: USB2.0 Camera
[ 10.107840] uvcvideo: Found UVC 1.00 device USB2.0 Camera (1e4e:0102)
[ 10.110660] input: USB2.0 Camera as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.7/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.0/input/input11

The just installed deb has one binary file only /usr/bin/hasciicam. To test it with the camera I issued:

noah:~# hasciicam -d /dev/video0
HasciiCam 1.0 - (h)ascii 4 the masses! -
(c)2000-2006 Denis Roio < jaromil @ >
watch out for the (h)ASCII ROOTS

Device detected is /dev/video0
USB2.0 Camera
1 channels detected
max size w[640] h[480] - min size w[48] h[32]
Video capabilities:
VID_TYPE_CAPTURE can capture to memory
!! error in ioctl VIDIOCGMBUF: : Invalid argument

Unfortunately as you see from the output, it failed to detect the web camera model.
The exact camera besides its kernel detection naminf is a cheap external USB 2.0 (fake brand / nonanem) "universal" Web PC Camera (SUPER .3mega pixel)

For those who have a further interest in building and installing hasciicam on other Linux platforms than Debian and Ubuntu or whoever wants to look in the code check check Project webpage is. For those who are less of programmers (like me) the project is written in C programming language and uses aa-lib in order to render the video to ASCII.

On the site you will notice two totally schizophrenic looking pictures of presumably the project head developer …

hasciiart video streamed ASCII screenshot of some crazy looking guy smoking marijuanna or smth

As I read in man hasciicam manual page it's said to be able to generate ascii plain text and html files as well as directly to write the output to console, which later probably can be streamed via the network.
Pitily as it didn't detect my camera I couldn't make some testing of its network capabilities.

A Streaming of ASCII couuld be done through pushing the .html output to a webserver and setting a php or javascript to loop through and refresh the browser over the uploaded files every sec or so.

Also I assume the ASCII video output saved in plain console could be streamed via netcat or some tiny scripted perl or bash script and directly observed via a telnet or ssh connection.
One playful way I can think of checking a stored video without the use of FTP is to login via ssh and do:

$ ssh someuser@somehost
$ watch -n 1 "cat video-ascii.html"


Well something disturbing about hasciicam from a (purely Christian point of view) is it was developed by some kind of non profit organization called RastaSoft on the project website, some of its authors has written JAH BLESS.

As I didn't succeeded seeing it working, I'll be interested to hear if someone who red this article and give it a try can report the web camera model used.

How to increase brightness on Fujitsu Siemens Amilo PI22515 notebook with Slackware Linux

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Increase LCD screen brightness on Fujitsu Siemens Amilo laptop with Linux Slackware

A friend of mine has Fujitsu Siemens Amilo laptop and is full time using his computer with Slackware Linux.

He is quite happy with Slackware Linux 13.37 on the laptop, but unfortunately sometimes his screen brightness lowers. One example when the screen gets darkened is when he switch the computer on without being plugged in the electricity grid. This lowered brightness makes the screen un-user friendly and is quite tiring for the eye …

By default the laptop has the usual function keys and in theory pressing Function (fn) + F8 / F7 – should increase / decrease the brightness with no problems, however on Slackware Linux (and probably on other Linuxes too?), the function keys are not properly recognized and not responding whilst pressed.
I used to have brigtness issues on my Lenovo notebook too and remember how irritating this was.
After a bit of recalling memories on how I solved this brightness issues I remembered the screen brigthness on Linux is tunable through /proc virtual (memory) filesystem.

The laptop (Amilo) Fujitsu Siemens video card is:

lspci |grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary) (rev 03)

I took a quick look in /proc and found few files called brightness:

  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD01/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD03/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD04/brightness
  • /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD05/brightness

cat-ting /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD01/brightness, /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD03/brightness, /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD04/brightness all shows not supported and therefore, they cannot be used to modify brightness:

bash-4.1# for i in $(/proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD0{1,3,4,5}/brightness); do \
cat $i;
<not supported>
<not supported>
<not supported>
<not supported>

After a bit of testing I finally succeeded in increasing the brightness.
Increasing the brightness on the notebook Intel GM965 video card model is done, through file:


To see all the brightness levels the Fujitsu LCD display supports:

bash-4.1# cat /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness
levels: 13 25 38 50 63 75 88 100
current: 25

As you can see the dark screen was caused cause the current: brightness is set to a low value of 25.
To light up the LCD screen and make the screen display fine again, I increased the brightness to the maximum level 100, e.g.:

bash-4.1# echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness

Just for the fun, I've written also a two lines script which gradually increases LCDs brightness 🙂

bash-4.1# echo '13' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness;
bash-4.1# for i in \
$(cat /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness|grep 'levels'|sed -e 's#levels:##g'); do \
echo $i > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brightness; sleep 1; \done script is fun to observe in changing the LCD screen gradually in one second intervals 🙂

Here is also a tiny program that reduces and increases the notebook laptop brightness written in C. My friend Dido, coded it in just few minutes just for the fun 🙂
To permanently solve the issues with darkened screen on boot time it is a good idea to include echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness in /etc/rc.local:

bash-4.1# echo '100' > /proc/acpi/video/GFX0/DD02/brigthness

I've also written another Universal Linux Increase laptop screen brightness Shell script which should be presumable also working for all Laptop models running Linux 🙂

My "universal increase Linux brightness" script is here
I'll be glad to hear from people who had tested the script on other laptops and can confirm it works fine for them.

Geki2 and Geki3 a Xenon 2 Megablast like games for GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Do you remember the old arcade spaceship shooter Xenon 2 Megablast? I do 😉 For all those who are too young to remember, here are two screenshots:

Xenon2 Main game Screen PC DOS ver

Xenon 2 megablast PC DOS level screenshot

Even though Xenon 2 Megablast original can now be played using dosbox DOS emulator. Its interesting to mention I've found two Linux games that more or less can be qualitified to resemble Xenon 2.
The games are Native Free Software games and existing in package repositories of most Linux distributions and *BSD port trees.

Geki 2 and Geki 3 are of a less quality to Xenon but still, the game experience is nice and is among the Arcade shooter games to bring you fun in the boring days if you're on GNU / Linux or FreeBSD Free OS platforms.

Installing Geki2 and Geki3 on Debian and Ubuntu Linux is standard with apt:

debian:~# apt-get install geki2 geki3

On Debian GNU / Linux , after installed the games would not create GNOME Applications -> Games -> game startup shortcuts, however the game startups will get added in GNOME Applications Menu under:

Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 2
Applications -> Debian -> Games -> Action -> Geki 3

The games can be launched also manually with commands:


Geki 2 Linux Xenon 2 like game Main Menu


Geki3 gameplay screenshot Debian Linux

Geki 2 is a way closer to Xenon 2 as it has similar look and feel and the same vertical direction the spaceship is navigated.
In Geki 3 still the shoot 'em' up spaceship like arcade is present, however instead of penguin you have to fly a flying penguin, as well as the spaceship move direction is horizontal.

 Both the games have the same sound and music effects. The game music and effects are not of top quality but are not bad. In general  the games surely gives some of the arcade atmosphere.

Geki 2 GNU Linux Xenon 2 like vertical shooter arcade
Geki 2 Xenon 2 Megablast like on Debian Linux

In the tradition of the arcade games at the end of each level in both games you face the Level Boss Enemy, you should destroy.

Geki3 Level boss Debian Linux Screenshot
As you can see in below's screenshot the overall graphics of GEKI 3 is poorer while compared to GEKI 2

still GEKI 2 gampley is fun and addictive and I would say not less enjoyable than GEKI 2.
 At times I even think that Geki 3 is more fun because it is more dynamic.

 Maybe other reason, why I enjoyed more Geki 3 is also the fact that Geki 2 is a way harder to play. Dying only 3 times in the game you get  GAME OVER  and the next game you're started from the beginning of the same level you died in …

Geki2 Linux different shooting Screenshot

 Something really annoying that affects both the games; there is no option to play them in Fullscreen mode! ARGH!

Game controls for Geki2 and Geki3 are identical as follows:

Up - Arrow up key
Down - Down arrow key
Right - Right arrow key
left - Left arrow key
Shoot - z or Space
Pause - s

Geki2 and Geki3 are fun and can kill some time, but definitely aren't that (professional) as other spaceship shoot'em'up arcades for Linux and BSD. Games like Starfighter , Critical Mass or  powermanga .
 Lest that they are two worthy to install and play on your Free Software OS.

Abe’s Amazing Adventure, A Dangerous Dave 2 like GNU Linux / FreeBSD Arcade Game substitute

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Abe's Amazing Adventure Game menu screenshot, A Dangerous Dave like Linux arcade game
While looking over the installable packages in System -> Administration -> Software Center on my my Debian powered notebook, I’ve accidently rolled over a game called Abe’s Amazing Adventure , as a big oldschool arcade game fan, I’ve immediately clicked on Install being impatient to see the overall game atmosphere and gameplay as well as storyline.

Abe’s Amazing Adventure is available under the debian package name abe and can be installed by issuing:

debian:~# apt-get install abe I was pleasently surprised to find out the gameplay and the overall game feels like the golden classical arcade game Dangerous Dave

For youngsters who never played the amazing absolute killing arcade ! as well as for people who feel nostalgic about Dangerous Dave 2 here is a nice gameplay screenshot:

Dangerous Dave 2 screenshot

Here is also a screenshot of Abe’s Amazing Adventure gameplay:

Abes Amazing Adventure Dangerous Dave like Linux / BSD Arcade Game like screenshot

You can see the great resemblense between the two games even by the screenshot; In both games you have to collect keys to open doors and diamonds which gives you points. Of course there are some differences as you can see Abe’s Amazing Adventure ‘s graphics has some additional items like Baloons with which your main character can fly over distances (for a limited time). There is also more diversity in the enemy types you face on the road to unlock the different doors. The game has also a red stars which while taken saves the game so if you quit the game on next game load up starting the game automatically starts you from the last save point.

Abes Amazing Adventure Star gameplay Screenshot on Debian

The ( 6 ) baloons seen in the screenshot on the left upper corner can be used occasionally to fly some distance by pressing Enter .
There are health recovery kits one can take to recover, some health damaged by hitting obstacles on the way.
The game story is short but entertaining, just like the general game feel:

Abes amazing adventure game storyThe game music is relaxing and more or less in the spirit of arcade games, the keyboard interactivety is pretty good as well.One thing I see can be improved to make the game better are the graphics, they’re a bit childish and too cubical, where sometimes some more general characters and obstacles animation will give the game a better look. Anyways for the year 2003 and for a free software arcade the game is not bad. For children and growing kids the game is just perfect, even for big kids like me its good to spend an hour of jump and run fun 😉

How to add multi language support to wordpress with qTranslate

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

QTRanslate WordPress Language Translate Screenshot 1

Lately, I have to deal with some wordpress based installs in big part of my working time. One of the wordpress sites needed to have added a multi language support.

My first research in Google pointed me to WPML Multilingual CMS The WordPress Multilingual Plugin
WPML Multilingual CMS looks nice and easy to use but unfortunately its paid, the company couldn’t afford to pay for the plugin so I looked forward online for a free alternative and stumbled upon QTranslate

QTranslate is free and very easy to install. Its installed the wordpress classic way and the installation went smoothly, e.g.:

1. Download and unzip QTranslate

# cd /var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins
/var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins# wget
/var/www/blog/wp-content/plugins# unzip

Just for fun and in case the plugin disappears in future, a mirror of Qtranslate 2.5.24 is found here

2. Enable QTranslate from wordpress admin

Plugins -> Inactive -> qTranslate (Activate)

After activating the plugin, there is a Settings button from which qTranslate‘s various plugin parameteres can be tuned.

qTranslate WordPress translate screenshot 2

In my case my site had to support both English and Arabic, so from the settings I added support for Arabic translation to the wordpress install.

Adding Arabic is done in the following way:

a. From the Language Management (qTranslate Configuration) from the Languages menu and the Languages (Add Languages) I had to choose a language code (in my case a language code of ar – for Arabic). Next I had to choose the Arabic flag from the follow up flag list.

In next text box Name , again I had to fill Arabic, for Locale en_US.UTF-8
The following Date Format and Time Format text boxes are optional so I left them blank.
To complete the process of adding the Arabic as a new language wordpress should support I pressed the Add Language button and the Arabic got added as a second language.

Afterwards the Arabic was added as second language, on the bottom of the left wordpress menu pane a button allowing a switch between English, Arabic appeared (see below screenshot):

MultiLingual WordPress with qTranslate

Finally to make Arabic appear as a second language of choice on the website I added it as a Widget in the Widgets menu from the AWidgets menu:

Appearance -> Widgets

In widgets I added qTranslate Language Chooser to the Sidebar without putting any kind of Title for qtranslate widget .
I found it most helpful to choose the Text and Image as an option on how to display the Language switching in the wp.