Posts Tagged ‘software nature’

Text mode (console) browsing with tabs with Elinks / Text browsers – (lynx, elinks, links and w3m) useful HTTP debugging tools for Linux and FreeBSD servers

Friday, April 27th, 2012

The last days, I'm starting to think the GUI use is making me brainless so I'm getting back to my old habits of using console.
I still remember with a grain of nostalgy how much more efficient I used to be when the way to interact with my computer was primary in text mode console.
Actually, I'm starting to get this idea the more new a software is the more inefficient it makes your use of computer, not to mention the hardware resources required by newer software is constantly increasing.

With this said, I started occasionally browsing again like in the old days by using links text browser.
In the old days I mostly used lynx and its more advanced "brother" text browser links.
The main difference between lynx and links is that lynx does not have any support for the terrible "javascript", whether links supports most of the Javascript ver 2.
Also links and has a midnight commander like pull down menus on the screen top, – handy for people who prefer some more interactivity.

In the past I remember I used also to browse graphically in normal consoles (ttys) with a hacked version of links calledTThere is also a variation of linksxlinks suitable for people who would like to have graphical browser in console (ttys).

I used xlinks quite heavily in the past, when I have slower computer P166Mhz with 64MB of memory 2.5 GB HDD (What a times boy what a times) .
Maybe when I have time I will install it on my PC and start using it again like in the old days to boost my computer use efficiency…
I remember the only major xlinks downside was it doesn't included support for Adobe flash (though this is due to the bad non-free software nature of Adobe lack of proper support for free software and not a failure of xlinks developers. Anyways for me this wasn't a big trouble since, ex Macromedia (Adobe) Flash support is not something essential for most of my work…

links2 is actually the naming of links version 2. elinks emerged later (if I remember correctly, as fork project of links).
elinks difference with links constitutes in this it supports tabbed browsing as well as colors (links browser displays results monochrome).

Having a tabbed browsing support in tty console is a great thing…
I personally belive text browsing if properly used can in many ways outbeat, graphic browsing in terms of performance and time spend to obtain data. I'm convinced text browsing is superior for two reasons:
1. with text there is way less elements to obstruct your attention.
– No graphical annoying flash banners, no annoying taking the attention pictures

2. Navigating in web pages using the keyboard is more efficient than mouse
– Using keyboard shorcuts is always quicker than mouse, generally keboard has always been a quicker way to access computer commands.

Another reason to use text browsing is, it is mostly the text part of a page that matters, most of the pages that provide images to better explain a topic are bloated (this is my personal view though, i'm sure designer guys will argue me :D).
Here is a screenshot of a my links text browser in action, I'm sorry the image is a bit unreadable, but after taking a screenshot of the console and resizing it with GIMP this is what I got …

Links text console browser screenshot with 2 tabs opened Debian GNU / Linux

For all those new to Linux who didn't tried text browsing yet and for those interested in computer history, I suggest you install and give a try to following text browsers:

  • lynx
  • (Supports colorful text console text browsing)
    lynx text console browser Debian Squeeze GNU / Linux Screenshot

  • links
  • Links www text console browser screenshot on Debian Linux

  • elinks
  • (Supports colors filled text browsing and tabs)
    elinks opened google alternative search engine in mlterm terminal Debian Linux

  • w3m
  • w3m one of the oldest text console browsers screenshot Debian Linux Squeeze 6.2

By the way having the 4 text browsers is very useful for debugging purposes for system administrators too, so in any case I think this 4 web browsers are absoutely required software for newly installed GNU / Linux or BSD* based servers.

For Debian and the derivatives Linux distributions, the 4 browsers are available as deb packages, so install them with following apt 1 liner:

debian:~# apt-get –yes install w3m elinks links lynx

FreeBSD users can install the browsers using, cmd:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/www/w3mfreebsd# make install clean
freebsd# cd /usr/ports/www/elinksfreebsd# make install clean
freebsd# cd /usr/ports/www/linksfreebsd# make install clean
freebsd# cd /usr/ports/www/lynxfreebsd# make install clean

In links using the tabs functionality appeared, somewhere near the 2001 or 2000 (at least that was the first time I saw links with tabbed browsing enabled). My first time to saw links support opening multiple pages within the same screen under tabs was on Redhat Linux 9

Opening multiple pages in tabs in the text browser is done by pressing the t key and typing in the desired URL to open isnide.
For more than 2 tabs, again t has to be pressed and same procedure goes on and on.
It was pretty hard for me to figure out how I can do a text browsing with tabs, though I found a way to open new tabs it took me some 10 minutes in pondering how to switch between the new opened links browser tabs.

Hence, I thought it would be helpful to mention here how tabs can be switched in links text browser. Actually it turned it is pretty easy to Switch tabs tabs back and foward.

1 tab to move backwards is done with < (key), wheter switching one tab forward is done with the > key.

On UK and US qwerty keyboards alignment the movement a tab backward and forward is done with holding shift and pressing < onwards holding both keys simultaneously and analogously with pressing shift + >

Develop your children intellect with Gcompris high quality educational software on GNU / Linux, Windows and Mac OS X

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Gcompris Main entry Screen

Gcompris is a great piece of software to educate children in the age interval of 2 to 10 years old.
Gcompris is a tool of educative and funny interactive computer applications many of which has a form of games.

Gcompris strategy games

Gcompris is teaching the children on the following fields of knowledge:

  • understand the computer – keyboard, mouse etc.
  • Algebra – Summing up numbers, enumarations, table memory, mirror image etc.
  • Science – The Canal lock, the water cycle, how a submarine works, elementary electric simulation
  • Geography – Find out about country locations, Place the country on the map
  • Games – Learn how to play chess, improve memory and memorization, sudoku etc.
  • Reading – Learning to read fluent, reading practice
  • Learn to proerply tell time, solve puzzle games and learn famous paintings, basic cartoon making, vector drawing

Gcompris reading activities

All the funny activities Gcompris educative kid tool offers 100+. Gcompris is in active development so with time more and more activities gets added.
Gcompris is a Free Software and among with its native GNU / Linux support it has ports for Windows and Mac OS X

The Free Software nature of Gcompris gives possibility to be easily adapted and further developed! Its really funny not only for kids, but even for adults. If you had a stressy day and you want to relax in a childish way and feel like a kid again, give it a try and you will be amazed how much light and happiness this computer program can bless you with 😉

Many of Gcompris activities has a little cute penguins and in general its capable of introducing the kids to the nice concept of the free software.

As a free software Gcompris is really great as among the rest of the so popular free software freedoms: to distribute and modify the software it comes absolutely free of charge (in money terms). This is great news for parents who are growing their kids in the “developing world”, the so called 2nd and 3rd world as well is a good alternative to the many available paid costly application and games aiming at kids brain development.
Gcompris puzzle games

The name Gcompris is also known in free software realm under the name I GOT IT .Gcompris has currently Sound and text support for 33 Country Languages, here is a completele list of languages currently supported:

Arabic, Asturian, Bulgarian, Breton, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, English, Esperanto, Spanish, Basque, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Indian, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Indian, Norwegian, Dutch, Norwegian, Punjabi, Portuguese, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Serbian, Swedish, Turkish, Urdu, Chinese

Some of the languages supported still does not have a 100% translation but partially translated as its a question of time that enough translators are found to make the translations for all available major languages. The only 100% completed trasnlation as of time of writting is in French, Slovenian and Spanish

Gcompris is already included in almost all available moderm GNU / Linux distributions. A packaged version of it is part of Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu.

Gcompris Mathematics

For all those parents who wish to educate their children on Fedora Linux install it with the GUI installer or yum with cmd:

[root@fedora ~]# yum install gcompris

On Debian and Ubuntu Gcompris is installable via apt from repos:

debian:~# apt-get install gcompris

To add a text and sound translation to Gcompris its also necessery to install the relevant gcompris-sound distribution package, for example to add the sound translations for my native Bulgarian language I had to install the package gcompris-sound-bg, e.g.:

debian:~# apt-get install gcompris-sound-bg

Gcompris is developed to use the Gnome’s GTK and is a perfect match for Linux users who already run a Gnome Desktop on their PCs.

Most of Gcompris versions should run without much hassle on Mac OS X and Windows so all mommies and daddies on Windows or Mac can install it and use it to educate their kids 😉

Here are few more screenshots of Gcompris

Gcompris children intellect develop Experimental activities

Gcompris educational kids develop intellect Discovery activities
Gcompris various games for develop your kid intellect
Gcompris also fits well with  Tux for Kids Linux / Windows ready games also suitable for kids development. Gcompris and Tux for Kids makes Linux and  free software more “children mature” and is a perfect to be used on kids educational computers in kindergartens or any educational institutions aiming at children development. 

To sum it up, if you want to make your children smarter or you’re bored to death and you need to have some rest by going back to your childhood years give gcompris a try 😉