Posts Tagged ‘someone’

Quick shortcut to lock your Linux computer desktop (Few words on Linux screensavers)

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

quick-way-to-lock-desktop-linux-howto-key
Locking the PC while going for a coffee break, Lunch or toilet is longly used to secure physically your PC display from spying eyes or prevent you from  someone to install a spying software or leak private data from PC HDD to an USB drive.
People who are coming from the wonderful MS Windows OS   are certainly used to quick shortcut key combination to lock PC screen with:
 

Windows key + L

 

So how to do Lock Screen on Linux?

On Linux locking your Screen the Quick Shortcut is:
 

CTRL + ALT + L.


Locking the screen is done (depending on the Linux distribution) by using by either using historically famous XScreenSaver if non-gnome / KDE graphical environemnt is used or if in Linux Gnome GUI with  gnome-screensaver and on KDE desktop manager with kscreenlocker.

 

Exact command executed on CTRL + ALT + L keypress on GNOME is:
 

gnome-screensaver-command -l


On KDE to manually lock screen command is:

kscreenlocker

Nomatter whether with GNOME or KDE its worthy mention that xscreensaver is more Screensaver rich than kscreenlocker and gnome-screensaver as it includes about 200 different Screensavers making screen nice to watch when you come back from a lunch.

For people with Windows key keyboard who are too used to using Windows XP / 7 lockreen WIN + L key shortcut to make Windows (key) + L keys combination work on Linux with GNOME desktop:
 

System -> Preferences -> Keyboard Shortcuts

Make Win + L keys combination work on Linux with KDE desktop
 

  1.  "System Settings" (KDE menu).
  2. Choose "Keyboard & mouse" (on "General" tab).
  3. Choose "Global Keyboard Shortcuts" on the left.
  4. Choose "Run Command Interface" from "KDE component" dropdown list.
  5. Choose "Lock session".
  6. Select "Custom".
  7. Click on "None" (button changes to "Input…").
  8. Compose your desired sequence by pressing appropriate buttons on your keyboard.
  9. Click "Apply".

 


For other desktop environments like Window Maker you can use xmodmap command to bind Win + L keys

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I work for money if you want loyalty hire a dog – thinking that can solve your internal workplace (dilemmas) issues :)

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

I-work-for-money-if-you-want-loyalty-hire-a-dog

I WORK FOR MONEY IF YOU WANT LOYALTY – HIRE A DOG!

I was told about those picture few months ago by a friend (Ivan Pushkaroff – Pushi) while we were drinking beer together in  (Delfincheto – a pub more known among people under the name "Ribkata (The Fish)" – A Metal Music pub in Studentski Grad (Sofia's Student City). By the way if you're in Sofia and near "Studentski Grad" be sure to drop by there – they serve great and always fresh fish also for ex-metal heads for me it is always nice to get some memories about  "the good old metal years"

when I tried to complain how difficult it is for me on my job place. I'm a quite sensitive person and a perfectionist and always try to do a great job. Often however there are many obstacles to do your job in right way (as you depend on so many bureaucracy and external people that even if you do your best someone else can mix it up and screw all your effort by not doing his part of the job. The failure of project or Task due to inadeaquacy of someone else involved to do his job right can leave you with a feeling that you have failed even though it is completely not your fault. As these days I'm quite stressed on my job and I have to work on a lot of badly designed projects (and improperly) assigned tasks – yes in big companies it is like these "the right hand doesn't know what the left one is doing". I remembered my dear friend advice to not take it seriously or personally and decided to put these funny picture in hope that these will help me and others to deal with situation of hardships in job in a humorous way After all I'm just a mercenary and I'm doing my best right now in my job at HP … I work for money if they expect higher degree of loyalty let them hire a dog 🙂

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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 ! 🙂

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Three Ways to Reduce Addiction to Mobile Phone ( GSM ) use

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Mobile Phone Caricature Reduce Mobile Addiction / 3 ways to reduce mobile phone addiction / Use your Mobile less

1.: Don't use a ring tone or use a short landline phone ringtone on incoming calls

In the past, we all had a local stand line phones, most of the landline phones rung using a very specific ring sound which was almost identical on all phones around the world. This ringing tone used was following some telephone standards. The result was everyone could distinguish a ringing phone in a room or closed space and tell for sure, this sound is generated by a phone. Nowdays with the boom of cellular phone ringtones, there is almost noone who uses a standard old-fashioned telephone ringtone as a ring melody.

The consequence of this is in our minds we start loosing the boundary between whether communicating on the phone or communicating without it.
In younger people this boundary between phone line and a physical communication is more evident than in adults (as youngsters has grown in society where mobile was used everywhere). The implication of this is more and more people are starting to perceive mobile communication as so natural as the person to person communication. Spending big part of the day talking over the phone mostly senseless things, not being consciously aware that this is done due to a heavy phone addiction and repeating behaviour trait stored sub-consciously.

Today everyone chooses a custom mobile phone ringtone melody (popular or impopular) song and sets it up to be a standard incoming call signal. As you can guess there are consequences on the mind, as the ringtone set is heard ten times or more a day during each and every phone call. The result is just like with alcoholics or drug addicts, the more you take from a certain "good" the more attached you become to it. Hence the more we listen to a certain song chunk daily on incoming calls, the sub-conscious becomes dependent on hearing this sound at least a number of times daily. If a day passes without no-one calling us and we don't hear the ringtone indicating a call the sub-conscious stored dependency starts popping up and we could start feeling lonely and we feel like calling someone (and we often do). Obviously this is dependency and even if someone might argue me this is a severe addiction which as every other addiction could be very dangerous and hard to fight.

As I prior said due to the fact that the phone use dependency is built in our minds starting with the phone ring melody, we can reduce this dependency by switching off the phone ringtone completely or at least changing it to a unique beep which is not likely to be heard or seen somewhere in your surrounding environment.

By setting the ringtone to some popular song we see on (TV, Radio or Internet on daily basis) this might become a trigger for us to associate hearing this sound with talking on the phone and hence make you increase the time you spend on the phone ,,, so be careful ,,,,

2.:: Stop Mobile Beeps and sounds on menu navigation

All new mobiles sold on the market are configured to have buzzling sounds on events and various beeps on keypad lock / unlock and menu navigation.
This sounds are there mostly to make you more alert and concentrated on using your mobile and often as a consequence whether one uses his mobile his awareness is comletely taken by the phone screen (you're totally "absorbed" by the phone use).
Besides designed to alert you the Managers and CEO's who decided to have a heavy beep sounds on mobiles made it having probably something else on mind? The beeps on keypad navigation makes the user emotionally and sub-consciously attached to the Cell Phone. The idea here is like in popular music streamed on radios and TVs and mostly everywhere …. The more you listen to a song, the higher the mind trait it leaves in you, so later when one hears a music pattern or a whole song, which he / she listened already thousands of times this brings back "good" old memories. It is very simple actually our minds are constructed in a way that the mor certain "information" is heard / saw / smell the bigger the mind influence this leaves on us. Back to the mobile sounds, the more you use the mobile phone with turned on sounds, the more addicted and mind stucked the beep and melodies during use of the cell phone becomes in the mind. For example many people take a look at their mobile automatically (without being consciously aware) and do the activity of (unlock) and (lock) the phone screen not knowing they do it automatic. More or less we all do such an auto-mated learned behaviour because of the subconscious dependency that is built in our minds. Whether we lock and unlock the mobile phone almost robotically, we do it because our sub-conscious mind plays a trick on us and "force" us to do a previous learned activity (association in our mind with the unlock / lock beep sound).

3.::: Use your mobile in different ways

Any modern mobile is quite advanced in functionality and there is more than one way to initiate a phone call. E.g. the mobile has a shortcut buttons assigned to do quick phone calls, quickly evoke SMS menu etc.
Learn them and occasionally use the shortcut buttons instead of the menu navigation. Our minds like changing patterns and doing things different.

Even if you have no chance to do a things via a certain menu, you can always change the position of the phone screen to different distance to eyesight 🙂 You can for example type on the keypad following the menu steps by watching from left or right eye periphery or you can use the menus with your phone screen turned backwards 🙂 If you're used to type on the keypad or touch screen with right hand try doing it with the left hand 🙂

This will take time but the fun worths it. Plus the most valuable thing in using the mobile in different ways each time is there is no specific inflicting pattern associated in your mind and hence the depepdency set in your sub-conscious mind on phone use is lesser.
Actually there are too many various "hacks" one could come up with on how to use mobile as differently as possible. It is up to your imagination. Though using the mobile "each-time-different" can be sometimes more time-consuming it surely makes your phone use amusing.

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How to add support for DJVU file format on M$ Windows, Mac, GNU / Linux and FreeBSD

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Windjview Format paper Clipper logo / support DjView on Windows and Linux

By default there is no way to see what is inside a DJVU formatted document on both Windows and Linux OS platforms. It was just a few months ago I saw on one computer I had to fix up the DJVU format. DJVU format was developed for storing primary scanned documents which is rich in text and drawings.
Many old and ancient documents for example Church books in latin and some older stuff is only to be found online in DJVU format.
The main advantage of DJVU over lets say PDF which is also good for storing text and visual data is that DJVU's data encoding makes the files much more smaller in size, while still the quality of the scanned document is well readable for human eye.

DJVU is a file format alternative to PDF which we all know has been set itself to be one of the major standard formats for distributing electronic documents.

Besides old books there are plenty of old magazines, rare reports, tech reports newspapers from 1st and 2nd World War etc in DJVU.
A typical DJVU document takes a size of only lets say 50 to 100 KBytes of size just for comparison most a typical PDF encoded document is approximately sized 500 KiloBytes.

1.% Reading DJVU's on M$ Windoze and Mac-s (WinDjView)

The program reader for DJVU files in Windows is WinDjView WinDjView official download site is here

WinDjView is licensed under GPLv2 is a free software licensed under GPL2.

WinDjView works fine on all popular Windows versions (7, Vista, 2003, XP, 2000, ME, 98, NT4).

WinDjView with opened old document Sol manual ,,,,

I've made a mirror copy of WinDjView for download here (just in case something happens with the present release and someone needs it in future).

For Mac users there is also a port of WinDjView called MacDjView ;;;,

2.% Reading DJVU files on GNU / Linux

The library capable of rendering DJVUs in both Linux and Windows is djviewlibre again free software (A small note to make here is WinDjView also uses djviewlibre to render DJVU file content).

The program that is capable of viewing DJVU files in Linux is called djview4 I have so far tested it only with Debian GNU / Linux.

To add support to a desktop Debian GNU / Linux rel. (6.0.2) Squeeze, had to install following debs ;;;

debian:~# apt-get install --yes djview4 djvulibre-bin djviewlibre-desktop libdjviewlibre-text pdf2djvu
........
...

pdf2djvu is not really necessery to install but I installed it since I think it is a good idea to have a PDF to DJVU converter on the system in case I somedays need it ;;;

djview4 is based on KDE's QT library, so unfortunately users like me who use GNOME for a desktop environment will have the QT library installed as a requirement of above apt-get ;;;

Here is Djview4 screenshot with one opened old times Bulgarian magazine called Computer – for you

DJVU Pravetz Computer for you old school Bulgarian Pravetz magazine

Though the magazine opens fine, every now and then I got some spit errors whether scrolling the pages, but it could be due to improperly encoded DJVU file and not due to the reader. Pitily, whether I tried to maximize the PDF and read it in fullscreen I got (segfault) error and the program failed. Anyways at least I can read the magazine in non-fullscreen mode ;;; ,,,,

3.% Reading DJVU's on FreeBSD and (other BSDs)

Desktop FreeBSD users and other BSD OS enthusiasts could also use djview4 to view DJVUs as there is a BSD port in the ports tree.
To use it on BSD I had to install port /usr/ports/graphics/djview4:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/graphics/djview4
freebsd# make install clean
,,,,...

For G / Linux users who has to do stuff with DJVU files, there are two other programs which might be useful:
 

  • a) djvusmooth – graphical editor for DjVu
  • b) gscan2pdf – A GUI to produce PDFs or DjVus from scanned documents

DJVUSmooth Debian GNU / Linux opened prog

I tried djusmooth to edit the same PDF magazine which I prior opened but I got an Unhandled exception: IOError, as you can in below shot:

DJVUSmooth Unhandled Exception IOError

This is probably normal since djvusmooth is in its very early stage of development – current version is 0.2.7-1

Unfortunately I don't have a scanner at home so I can't test if gscan2pdf produces proper DJVUs from scans, anyways I installed it to at least check the program interface which on a first glimpse looks simplistic:

gscan2pdf 0.9.31 Debian Linux Squeeze screenshot
To sum it up obviously DJVU seems like a great alternative to PDF, however its support for Free Software OSes is still lacking behind.
The Current windows DJVU works way better, though hopefully this will change soon.

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Transactional Analysis Eric Berne – Games people play

Friday, June 8th, 2012

GamesPeoplePlay-eric-bernes-and-the-psychology-without-God-trying-to-explain-us-through-game-raw-models

Dr. Eric Berne is highly regarded as one of the most notable psychology psychiatry scientists of our age.

He developed a theory called Transactional Analysis. That is heavy in use in American companies nowdays.

Berne is also preached by a lot of universities all around the world.
His theory concludes in a claim that each person has three person states embedded and throughout all his life, he jumps to one of these 3 states.

1. Child
2.  Parent
3. Adult

According to berne during daily lives we encounter other people who also have this three "hidden" persons born inside. So if a Child encounters a Parent or Adult encounters a Child a clash often occurs and this results in a lot of misconceptions angry faces, angry talks and hatred.

Therefore Dr. Berne advices, companies and individuals to learn to know in which state they're everytime they speak with someone and to understand in what kind of state the other person is to talk always in between people peers in one and the same state.

Here are few videos of Bernes himself explaining his Theory ,,,

 

Berne Interview on Transactional Analysis chapter I

Berne's Transactional Analysis – Games People Play II

Bernes Transactional Analysis Games People Play III

Bernes Transactional Analysis // Games People Play IV

Now with all my respect to psychology and psychiatry as important science for a functioning society.
I cannot fully accept Berne's idea and it is surely not working full time for the simple reason it is just another theory.
And theory is never fully proven it is a model of how someone sees the world.

From a Christian point of view his theory is rather destructive as it puts everything in a frame of games. If his ideas are continued on this would mean the life is just a game. This is rather untrue if we take all the poor people in Africa all the beggars and everyone who has hardships in life. Berne's theory builds up on the idea of one social benefits backboned society and not on democracy as we know it. The hungry man is hard to play, the people who can't find food and die from hunger don't play either. Another thing I think is very wrong with his theory is teaching people to act like robots and putting everything in some kind of a mathematical like framework.
He says, everyone should think like:

I'M OKAY — YOU'RE OKAY

However it is fact that some people are not OKAY and they just want to use you. Berne's theory obviously is based on imaginative thinking that everyone on society is on the same level and everyone are conditioned in the same way. Is that true?? Will a person raised up in a Christian family told a philosophy to be good with people the same as a people raised up by a kid raised up by parents who has adherence for occult.
Talking about religion, the worst of the guys philosophy is that it rejects faith in God or anything but base the claim on a pure ahteistic world view ,,,

I've been told some of this crazy persons ideas while I was studying in Arnhem Business School. Right then I've rejected the theory told to me in classes exposing Berne's ideas I still reject it and believe Christians should stay away from Berne's psychiatry.

And finally I don't want to be a racist but just like Nitzsche and Freud he is also jew, a strange coincidence

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How to disable PC Spaker on Debian and Ubuntu Linux

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

 

How to disable pc-speaker on Linux / PC-Speaker Old Desktop Computer picture

A PC Speaker is helpful as it could be used as a tool for diagnosing system hardware failures (different systems produce different beep sequences depending on the machine BIOS type).
Using the instructions for the respective BIOS vendor and version one could determine the type of problem experienced by a machine based on the sequence and frequency of sounds produced by the SPEAKER.
Lets say a hardware component on a server is down with no need for a monitor or screen to be attached you can say precisely if it is the hard drive, memory or fan malfunctioning…

Generally speaking historically embedded PC Speaker was inseparatable part of the Personal Computers, preceding the soundblasters, now this is changing but for compitability sake many comp equipment vendors still produce machines with pc-speaker in.
Some newer machines (mostly laptops) are factory produced with no PC-SPEAKER component anymore.
For those who don't know what is PC SPEAKER, it is a hardware device capable of emitting very simple short beep sounds at certain system occasions.

Talking about PC-Speaker, it reminds me of the old computer days, where we used pc-speakers to play music in DOS quite frequently.
It was wide practice across my friends and myself to use the pc-speaker to play Axel Folly and other mod files because we couldn't afford to pay 150$ for a sound cards. Playing a song over pc-speaker is quite a nice thing and it will be a nice thing if someone writes a program to be able to play songs on Linux via the pc-speaker for the sake of experiment.

As of time of writting, I don't know of any application capable of playing music files via the pc-speaker if one knows of something like this please, drop me a comment..

As long as it is used for hardware failure diagnosis the speaker is useful, however there are too many occasions where its just creating useless annoying sounds.
For instance whether one uses a GUI terminal or console typing commands and hits multiple times backspace to delete a mistyped command. The result is just irritating beeps, which could be quite disturbing for other people in the room (for example if you use Linux as Desktop in heterogeneous OS office).
When this "unplanned" glitchering beeps are experienced 100+ times a day you really want to break the computer, as well as your collegues are starting to get mad (if not using their headphones) 🙂

Hence you need sometimes to turn off the pc-speaker to save some nerves.

Here is how this is done on major Linux distros.

On Debian and most other distros, the PC SPEAKER is controlled by a kernel module, so to disable communication with the speaker you have to remove the kernel module.

On Debian and Fedora disabling pcspeaker is done with:

# modprobe -r pcspkr

Then to permanently disable load of the pcspkr module on system boot:

debian:~# echo 'blacklist pcspkr' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf

On Ubuntu to disable load on boot /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist, file should be used:

ubuntu:~# echo 'blacklist pcspkr' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist
Well that's all folks …

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Why I never liked Mandrake Linux / Mankdrake Linux has took its name from an 1930s comics Mandrake the Magician

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

I never liked Mandrake Linux, since day 1 I saw it.
Historically Mandrake Linux was one of the best Linux distributions available for free download in the "Linux scene" some 10 to 12 years ago.

Mandrake was simple gui oriented and trendy. It also one the Linux distribution with the most simplified installer program and generally a lot of GUI software for easy configuration and use by the end user.

Though it's outside nice look, still for me it was like an "intuition" that Mandrake is not so good as it appeared.

Now many years later I found by chance that Mandrake has been sued to change their Operating System name with another, due to a law suit requit by the copyright holders of Mandrake The Magician comics. "Mandrake the Magician" used to be a very popular before the Second World war in the 1930's.

Mandrake the Magician Comics Magazine from 1930's Cover, Mandrake the Black Magic Magician

It obviously not a co-incidence that the Mandrake names was after this comics and not the mandrake herb plants available in Europe, Africa and Asia. This is clear in Mandrake Linux distro earlier mascot, you see below:

Mandrake Linux old distribution logo, magician penguin

Later on they changed Mandrake's logo to loose the connection with Mandrake The Magician and used another new crafted logo:

Mandrake GNU Linux newer logo
Its quite stunning nowdays magician obsession, has so heavily infiltrated our lives that even something like a Free Softwre Linux distribution might have some kind of reference to magician and occult stuff (I saw this from the position of being Christian) …

Later due to the name copyright infringement Mandrake Linux was renamed first to Mandragora Linux.
Instead of putting some nice name non related to occultism or magic stuff the French commercian company behind Mandrake rename it to another non-Christian name Mandragora.
Interestingly the newer name Mandragora as one can read in wikipedia means:
 

Mandragora (demon), in occultism

Well apparently, someone from the head developers of this Linux distribution has a severe obsession with magic and occultism.

Later MandrakeSoft (The French Company behind Mandrake Linux) renamed finally the distribution to Mandriva under the influence of the merger of Mandrake with the Brazillian company Connectiva this put also an over to the legal dispute copyright infringement dispute with Hearst Corporation (owning the rights of Mandrake the Magician).

Having in mind all fact on current Mandriva "dark names history", I think it is better we Christians avoid it …

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Facebook use in organizations harmful for company businesses – How to block facebook access to company or organization network on Linux routers

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Facebook harms company and organization employee efficiency picture, Falling company efficiency diagram due to facebook employee use

I don't know if someone has thought about this topic but in my view Facebook use in organizations has a negative influence on companies overall efficiency!
Think for a while, facebook's website is one of the largest Internet based "people stealing time machine" so to say. I mean most people use facebook for pretty much useless stuff on daily basis (doesn't they ??). The whole original idea of facebook was to be a lay off site for college people with a lot of time to spend on nothing.
Yes it is true some companies use facebook succesfully for their advertising purposes and sperading the awareness of a company brand or product name but it is also true that many companies administration jobs like secretaries, accountants even probably CEOs loose a great time in facebook useless games and picture viewing etcetera.

Even government administration job positioned people who have access to the internet access facebook often from their work place. Not to mention, the mobility of people nowdays doesn't even require facebook to be accessed from a desktop PC. Many people employeed within companies, who does not have to work in front of a computer screen has already modern mobile "smart phones" as the business people incorrectly call this mini computer devices which allows them to browse the NET including facebook.

Sadly Microsoft (.NET) programmers and many of the programmers on various system platforms developers, software beta testers and sys admins are starting to adopt this "facebook loose your time for nothing culture". Many of my friends actively use the Facebook, (probably) because they're feeling lonely in front of the computer screen and they want to have interaction with someone.

Anyways, the effect of this constant fb use and aline social networks is clear. If in the company the employeed personal has to do work on the computer or behind any Internet plugged device, a big time of the use of the device is being 'invested' in facebook to kill some time instead of investing the same time for innovation within the company or doing the assigned tasks in the best possible way

Even those who use facebook occasionally from their work place (by occasionally I mean when they don't have any work to do on the work place), they are constantly distracted (focus on work stealed) by the hanging opened browser window and respectively, when it comes to do some kind of work their work efficiency drops severely.
You might wonder how do I know that facebook opened browser tab would have bad interaction with the rest of the employee work. Well let me explain. Its a well known scientifically proven fact that the human mind is not designed to do simultaneously multiple tasks (we're not computers, though even computers doesn't work perfect when simultaneous tasks are at hand.).
Therefore using facebook in parallel with their daily job most people nowdays try to "multi task" their job and hence this reflects in poor work productivity per employee. The chain result cause of the worsened productivity per employee is therefore seen in the end of the fiscal quarter or fiscal year in bad productivity levels, bad or worsened quality of product and hence to poor financial fiscal results.

I've worked before some time for company whose CEO has realized that the use of certain Internet resources like facebook, gmail and yahoo mail – hurts the employee work productivity and therefore the executive directors asked me to filter out facebook, GMAIL and mail.yahoo as well as few other website which consumed a big portion of the employees time …
Well apparantly this CEO was smart and realized the harm this internet based resources done to his business. Nowdays however many company head executives did not realize the bad effect of the heavy use of public internet services on their work force and never ask the system administrator to filter out this "employees efficiency thefts".

I hope this article, will be eventually red by some middle or small sized company with deteriorating efficiency and this will motivate some companies to introduce an anti-facebook and gmail use policy to boost up the company performance.

As one can imagine, if you sum up all the harm all around the world to companies facebook imposed by simply exposing the employees to do facebooking and not their work, this definitely worsenes the even severe economic crisis raging around …
The topic of how facebook use destroyes many businesses is quite huge and actually probably I'm missing a lot of hardmful aspects to business that can be imposed by just a simple "innocent facebook use", so I will be glad to hear from people in comments, if someone at all benefits of facebook use in an company office (I seriously doubt there is even one).

Suppose you are a company that does big portion of their job behind a computer screen over the internet via a Software as a Service internet based service, suppose you have a project deadline you have to match. The project deadline is way more likely to be matched if you filter out facebook.
Disabling access to facebook of employees and adding company policy to prohibit social network use and rules & regulations prohibiting time consuming internet spaces should produce good productivity results for company lightly.
Though still the employees can find a way to access their out of the job favourite internet services it will be way harder.
If the employee work progress is monitored by installed cameras, there won't be much people to want to cheat and use Facebook, Gmail or any other service prohibited by the company internal codex

Though this are a draconian measures, my personal view is that its better for a company to have such a policy, instead of pay to their emloyees to browser facebook….

I'm not aware what is the situation within many of the companies nowdays and how many of them prohibit the fb, hyves, google plus and the other kind of "anti-social" networks.
But I truly hope more and more organizations chairman / company management will comprehend the damages facebook makes to their business and will issue a new policy to prohibit the use of facebook and the other alike shitty services.

In the mean time for those running an organization routing its traffic through a GNU / Linux powered router and who'd like to prohibit the facebook use to increase the company employees efficiency use this few lines of bash code + iptables:

#!/bin/sh
# Simple iptables firewall rules to filter out www.facebook.com
# Leaving www.facebook.com open from your office will have impact on employees output ;)
# Written by hip0
# 05.03.2012
get_fb_network=$(whois 69.63.190.18|grep CIDR|awk '{ print $2 }');
/sbin/iptables -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d ${get_fb_network} -j DROP

Here is also the same filter out facebook, tiny shell script / blocks access to facebook script

If the script logic is followed I guess facebook can be disabled on other company networks easily if the router is using CISCO, BSD etc.
I will be happy to hear if someone did a research on how much a company efficiency is increased whether in the company office facebook gets filtered out. My guess is that efficiency will increase at least with 30% as a result of prohibition of just facebook.

Please drop me a comment if you have an argument against or for my thesis.

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How to make screenshot in /dev/tty console on GNU / Linux – Taking picture JPEG / PNG snapshot of text console in systems without graphical environment

Monday, April 30th, 2012

I'm used to making picture screenshots in GNOME desktop environment. As I've said in my prior posts, I'm starting to return to my old habits of using console ttys for regular daily jobs in order to increase my work efficiency. In that manner of thoughts sometimes I need to take a screenshot of what I'm seeing in my physical (TTY consoles) to be able to later reuse this. I did some experimenting and this is how this article got born.

In this post, I will shortly explain how a picture of a command running in console or terminal in GNU / Linux can be made

Before proceeding to the core of the article, I will say few words on ttys as I believe they might be helpful someone.
The abbreviation of tty comes after TeleTYpewritter phrase and is dating back somewhere near the 1960s. The TTY was invented to help people with impaired eyesight or hearing to use a telephone like typing interface.

In Unix / Linux / BSD ttys are the physical consoles, where one logs in (typing in his user/password). There are physical ttys and virtual vtys in today *nixes. Today ttys, are used everywhere in a modern Unixes or Unix like operating system with or without graphical environments.
Various Linux distributions have different number of physical consoles (TTYs) (terminals connected to standard output) and this depends mostly on the distro major contributors, developers or surrounding OS community philosophy.
Most modern Linux distributions have at least 5 to 7 physical ttys. Some Linux distributions like Debian for instance as of time of writting this, had 7 active by default physical consoles.
Adding 3 more ttys in Debian / Ubuntu Linux is done by adding the following lines in /etc/inittab:
 

7:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty7
8:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty8
9:23:respawn:/sbin/getty 38400 tty9

On some Linux distributions like Fedora version 9 and newer ones, new ttys can no longer be added via /etc/inittab,as the RedHat guys changed it for some weird reason, but I guess this is too broad issue to discuss ….

In graphical environments ttys are called methaphorically "virtual". For instance in gnome-terminal or while connecting to a remote SSH server, a common tty naming would be /dev/pts/8 etc.

tty command in Linux and BSDs can be used to learn which tty, one is operating in.

Here is output from my tty command, issued on 3rd TTY (ALT+F3) on my notebook:
 

noah:~# tty
/dev/tty3

A tty cmd output from mlterm GUI terminal is like so:
 

hipo@noah:~$ tty/dev/pts/9

Now as mentioned few basic things on ttys I will proceed further to explain how I managed to:

a) Take screenshot of a plain text tty screen into .txt file format
b) take a (picture) JPG / PNG screenshot of my Linux TTY consoles content

1. Take screenshot of plain text tty screen into a plain (ASCII) .txt file:

To take a screenshot of tty1, tty2 and tty3 text consoles in a txt plain text format, cat + a standard UNIX redirect is all necessery:
 

noah:~# cat /dev/vcs1 > /home/hipo/tty1_text_screenshot.txt
noah:~# cat /dev/vcs2 > /home/hipo/tty2_text_screenshot.txt
noah:~# cat /dev/vcs3 > /home/hipo/tty3_text_screenshot.txt

This will dump the text content of the console into the respective files, if however you try to dump an ncurses library like text interactive interfaces you will end up with a bunch of unreadable mess.
In order to read the produced text 'shots' onwards less command can be used …
 

noah:~# less /home/hipo/tty1_text_screenshot.txt
noah:~# less /home/hipo/tty2_text_screenshot.txt
noah:~# less /home/hipo/tty3_text_screenshot.txt

2. Take picture JPG / PNG snapshot of Linux TTY console content

To take a screenshot of my notebook tty consoles I had to first install a "third party program" snapscreenshot . There is no deb / rpm package available as of time of writting this post for the 4 major desktop linux distributions Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and Slackware.
Hence to install snapscreenshot,I had to manually download the latest program tar ball source and compile e.g.:
 

noah:~# cd /usr/local/src
noah:/usr/local/src# wget -q http://bisqwit.iki.fi/src/arch/snapscreenshot-1.0.14.3.tar.bz2
noah:/usr/local/src# tar -jxvvvf snapscreenshot-1.0.14.3.tar.bz2

noah:/usr/local/src# cd snapscreenshot-1.0.14.3
noah:/usr/local/src/snapscreenshot-1.0.14# ./configure && make && make install
Configuring…
Fine. Done. make.
make: Nothing to be done for `all'.
if [ ! "/usr/local/bin" = "" ]; then mkdir –parents /usr/local/bin 2>/dev/null; mkdir /usr/local/bin 2>/dev/null; \
for s in snapscreenshot ""; do if [ ! "$s" = "" ]; then \
install -c -s -o bin -g bin -m 755 "$s" /usr/local/bin/"$s";fi;\
done; \
fi; \
if [ ! "/usr/local/man" = "" ]; then mkdir –parents /usr/local/man 2>/dev/null; mkdir /usr/local/man 2>/dev/null; \
for s in snapscreenshot.1 ""; do if [ ! "$s" = "" ]; then \
install -m 644 "$s" /usr/local/man/man"`echo "$s"|sed 's/.*\.//'`"/"$s";fi;\
done; \
fi

By default snapscreenshot command is made to take screenshot in a tga image format, this format is readable by most picture viewing programs available today, however it is not too common and not so standartized for the web as the JPEG and PNG.
Therefore to make the text console tty snapshot taken in PNG or JPEG one needs to use ImageMagick's convert tool. The convert example is also shown in snapscreenshot manual page Example section.

To take a .png image format screenshot of lets say Midnight Commander interactive console file manager running in console tty1, I used the command:
 

noah:/home/hipo# snapscreenshot -c1 -x1 > ~/console-screenshot.tga && convert ~/console-screenshot.tga console-screenshot.png

Linux text console tty mc screenshot with snapscreenshot terminal / console snapshotting program

Note that you need to have read/write permissions to the /dev/vcs* otherwise the snapscreenshot will be unable to read the tty and produce an error:
 

hipo@noah:~/Desktop$ snapscreenshot -c2 -x1 > snap.tga && convert snap.tga snap.pngGeometry will be: 1x2Reading font…/dev/console: Permission denied

To take simultaneous picture screenshot of everything contained in all text consoles, ranging from tty1 to tty5, issue:
 

noah:/home/hipo# snapscreenshot -c5 -x1 > ~/console-screenshot.tga && convert ~/console-screenshot.tga console-screenshot.png

Here is a resized 480×320 pixels version of the original screenshot the command produces:

All text Consoles tty1 to tty5 merged screenshot png image with snapscreenshot taken on Debian GNU / Linux

Storing a picture shot of the text (console) screen in JPEG (JPG) format is done analogously just the convert command output extension has to be changed to jpeg i.e.:
 

noah:/home/hipo# snapscreenshot -c5 -x1 > ~/console-screenshot.tga && convert ~/console-screenshot.tga console-screenshot.jpeg

I've also written a tiny wrapper shell script, to facilitate myself picture picture taking as I didn't like to type each time I want to take a screenshot of a tty the above long line.

Here is the wrapper script I wrote:
 

#!/bin/sh
### Config
# .tga produced file name
output_f_name='console-screenshot.tga';
# gets current date
cur_date=$(date +%d_%m_%Y|sed -e 's/^ *//');
# png output f name
png_f_name="console-screenshot-$cur_date.png";
### END Config
snapscreenshot -c$arg1 -x1 > $output_f_name && convert $output_f_name $png_f_name;
echo "Output png screenshot from tty1 console produced in";
echo "$PWD/$png_f_name";
/bin/rm -f $output_f_name;

You can also download my console-screenshot.sh snapscreenshot wrapper script here

The script is quite simplistic to use, it takes just one argument which is the number of the tty you would like to screenshot.
To use my script download it in /usr/local/bin and set it executable flag:
 

noah:~# cd /usr/local/bin
noah:/usr/local/bin# wget -q http://www.pc-freak.net/~bshscr/console-screenshot.sh
noah:/usr/local/bin# chmod +x console-screenshot.sh

Onwards to use the script to snapshot console terminal (tty1) type:
 

noan:~# console-screenshot.sh

I've made also mirror of latest version of snapscreenshot-1.0.14.3.tar.bz2 here just in case this nice little program disappears from the net in future times.

 

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