Posts Tagged ‘mouse’

How to turn On or Off Screen Reader ORCA on Linux Desktop enabled by mistype or a kid smash on the keyboard

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023


For those who type quite fast and use Microsoft Windows, its quite common to start the annoying NARRATOR (Windows Speaking Program) by accidently due to mistyping pressing together Windows key + Control + Enter.
This enables Narrator to read stuff on the screen here and there and to turn it off you just have to either Lock the Windows Computer and press again Windows key + Control + Enter to TURN OFF NARRATOR.

Linux does not have a Narrator but have also embedded Eye impairment Assistive Technology called ORCA.

Orca works with applications and toolkits that support the Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface (AT-SPI), which is the primary assistive technology infrastructure for Linux and Solaris. Applications and toolkits supporting the AT-SPI include the GNOME Gtk+ toolkit, the Java platform's Swing toolkit, LibreOffice, Gecko, and WebKitGtk. AT-SPI support for the KDE Qt toolkit is being pursued.

ORCA is nowadays installed and integrated into many if not most Linux distributions out there. Enabling ORCA is not such a common thing on Linux,so today I got quite puzzled once I came back to the computer, leaving the 3.7 months kid near the Keyboard and finding out that I've enabled aloud screen reader that is reading what is every Window / Menu / Program or object I select with the mouse on my Linux MATE Desktop home GUI environment running on top of Debian Linux.

After a quick look up in Google on what exactly is the Linux program that is reading my screen I came across ORCA, which seem to be visible also as running in my process list:

hipo@jeremiah:~/Downloads$ ps -ef|grep -i orca
hipo     1068376    7960 17 18:48 tty2     00:00:01 orca

After a quick check online I found out that,

To start (Turn On ) Orca Screen Reader using the keyboard:

Windows logo button (Super Key) key + Alt + S 

Of course, it is possible to shut off the annoying reader by simply killing it with:

kill -9 orca


Ubuntu users, could start Orca using a mouse and keyboard:

Open the Activities overview and start typing Accessibility.

Click Accessibility to open the panel.

Select thez to open it.

Switch the Screen Reader switch to on.

Problem solved now Screen Reader on Linux is disabled, maybe it is time to disable Orca key press ability to prevent the kid from enabling it again since I don't need it actively thanksfully. with

xmodmap -e 'keycode <value>='

or simply removing the orca package with apt:

# apt remove orca

Install btop on Debian Linux, btop an advanced htop like monitoring for Linux to beautify your console life

Tuesday, May 30th, 2023


I've accidently stubmled on btop a colorful and interactive ncurses like command line utility to provide you a bunch of information about CPU / memory / disks and processes with nice console graphic in the style of Cubic Player 🙂
Those who love htop and like their consoles to be full of shiny colors, will really appreciate those nice Linux monitoring tool.
To install btop on latest current stable Debian bullseyes, you will have to install it via backports, as the regular Debian repositories does not have the tool available out of the box.

To Add backports packages support for your Debian 11:

1. Edit /etc/apt/sources.list and include following repositories


# vim /etc/apt/sources.list

deb bullseye-backports main contrib non-free
deb-src bullseye-backports main contrib non-free

2. Update the known repos list to include it


# apt update

3. Install the btop deb package from backports


# apt-cache show btop|grep -A 20 -i descrip
Description-en: Modern and colorful command line resource monitor that shows usage and stats
 btop is a modern and colorful command line resource monitor that shows
 usage and stats for processor, memory, disks, network and processes.
 btop features:
  – Easy to use, with a game inspired menu system.
  – Full mouse support, all buttons with a highlighted key is clickable
  and mouse scroll works in process list and menu boxes.
  – Fast and responsive UI with UP, DOWN keys process selection.
  – Function for showing detailed stats for selected process.
  – Ability to filter processes.
  – Easy switching between sorting options.
  – Tree view of processes.
  – Send any signal to selected process.
  – UI menu for changing all config file options.
  – Auto scaling graph for network usage.
  – Shows IO activity and speeds for disks
  – Battery meter
  – Selectable symbols for the graphs
  – Custom presets
  – And more…
  btop is written in C++ and is continuation of bashtop and bpytop.
Description-md5: 73df6c70fe01f5bf05cca0e3031c1fe2
Multi-Arch: foreign
Section: utils
Priority: optional
Filename: pool/main/b/btop/btop_1.2.7-1~bpo11+1_amd64.deb
Size: 431500
SHA256: d79e35c420a2ac5dd88ee96305e1ea7997166d365bd2f30e14ef57b556aecb36


# apt install -t bullsye-backports btop –yes

Once I installed it, I can straight use it except on some of my Linux machines, which were having a strange encoding $LANG defined, those ones spitted some errors like:

root@freak:~# btop
ERROR: No UTF-8 locale detected!
Use –utf-force argument to force start if you're sure your terminal can handle it.


To work around it simply redefine LANG variable and rerun it

# export LANG=en_US.UTF8

# btop




How to check Microsoft IIS webserver version

Monday, July 21st, 2014

If you have to tune some weirdly behaviour Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services) webserver, the first thing to do is to collect information about the system you're dealing with – get version of installed Windows and check what kind of IIS version is running on the Windows server?

To get the version of installed Windows on the system you just logged in, the quickest way I use is:

Start -> My Computer (right mouse button) Properties


Run regedit from cmd.exe and go and check value of registry value:




As you can see in screenshot in this particular case it is IIS version 6.0.

An alternative way to check the IIS version in some cases (if IIS version return is not disabled) is to telnet to webserver:

telnet your-webserver 80

Once connected Send:


Also on some Windows versions it is possible to check IIS webserver version from Internet Information Services Management Cosnole:

To check IIS version from IIS Manager:

Start (button) -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> "Internet Information Services" IIS Manager

From IIS Manager go to:

Help -> About Microsoft Management Console

Here is a list with most common IIS version output you will get depending on the version of Windows server:


Windows NT 3.51 1.0
Windows NT 4 2.0-4.0
Windows Server 2000 5.0
Windows XP Professional 5.1
Windows Server 2003 6.0
Windows Vista 7.0
Windows Server 2008 7.0
Windows Server 2008 R2 7.5
Windows 7 7.5
Windows Server 2012 8.0
Windows 8 8.0
Windows Server 2012 R2 8.5
Windows 8.1 8.5

If you have only an upload FTP access to a Folder served by IIS Webserver – i.e. no access to the Win server running IIS, you can also grasp the IIS version with following .ASP code:


Save the file as anyfile.asp somewhere in IIS docroot and invoke it in browser.

How to install and configure torbutton on Debian / Anonymizing Iceweasel, Firefox on Debian GNU/Linux

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Tor Onion Logo

There is a quite a buzz online recently about the implications breach of personal privacy by simple browing online.
A week ago I've blogged On How to improve your web browser security for better personal identity
Though there is probably a plenty of more things to be done on guaranteeing your anonymous identity online, the article lacked to mention one very one vital project related with anonymity – the tor Anonymity online project
The project offer the user the right to be anonymous online through a complex constantly expanding network of volunteers which voluntary install and grant access to the installed tor server to be used as a proxy from their computers.
A very thorough explanation on what is tor can be red here
Enabling tor on your personal computer would at least guarantee you that every now and then your traffic browser network traffic (request) would flow through a random tor servers located on a different worldly geographic locations.
Usually the traffic to a destination host would pass through 5 tor network nodes. Where the traffic is unecrypted between last node and the 4th node, while in the other four ones it's completely crypted.
This makes your tracking almost impossible if it's based on technologies like for instance Maxmind's Geoip or Geonames's geographical data base because every now and then you'll appear to be coming to the end point referrar web server originating from a different tor node ip address

The tor server is a free software licensed under the GPL and this is also a good assurance because everybody is able to have a look on the code and this is a further guarantee that the software doesn't include a malicious ways for a middle users to sniff on your traffic.

The tor project has even built a pre-bundled browser ready to be worn by yourself on a usb stick, so you can quickly start using the tor anonymous network on any random computer anywhere.
The tor browser page is available here also Tor Browser Bundle for Windows is available here
Tor server is available for both Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Linux/BSD Unix
Of course tor is not perfect it opens some other possible doors for attackers which are much less likely to occur if you don't use it, however in general it's better off with tor than without it.

One serious reason for not reason for not using Tor might be that it's usually many times slower than normal browser since, it routes traffic through a different tor network nodes.
So if you decide to go on and use it you better be patient and calm 🙂

Since I'm a Debian user and I really do value my privacy I decided to start using Tor.
In order to start using Tor it's usually necessary to configure your browser to use The TorButoon Firefox browserextension

Nevertheless on Debian GNU/Linux if you try to go the straigh way as explained on Tor's website install the TorButton and configure it to work in cooperation with the polipo caching proxy
You will be not able to browse after enabling straight the tor plugin.
If you try the up-mentioned approach you're probably about to come to errors like:
"the proxy server is refusing connections"
Proxy error: 502 Disconnected operation and object not in cache
504 Connect to failed: SOCKS error: host unreachableThe following error occurred while trying to access Connect to failed: SOCKS error: host unreachable

In order to properly install configure and enable the TorButton on my Debian GNU/Linux I had to get through the following steps:

1. Install the polipo caching proxy

debian:~# apt-get install polipo

2. Download and overwrite default polipo configuration with the one from

This is necessary to configure in order to have polipo adapted to work with tor, so issue the following commands:

debian:~# cd /etc/polipo
debian:~# wget
debian:~# mv config config.bak
debian:~# mv polipo.conf config

3. Restart polipo for the new config settings to take affect

debian:~# /etc/init.d/polipo restart

4. Install the iceweasel-torbutton browser extension

debian:~# apt-get install iceweasel-torbutton

The iceweasel-torbutton will also install you the tor package which is evidently required for the torbutton to operate.
Now you should be ready to go, you can enable the tor use from the tor button which should appear in your browser in the bottom right corner of your browser.
It should look something similar to:

Tor Button screenshot in Iceweasel

Tor Enable/Disable Iceweasel browser Button

To test your Tor Configuration you can use the Test Settings button which is straight available from TorButton's preferences

From here after it might be a good idea to play with the TorButton security settings and configure it according to your liking, bear in mind that you should have a solid knowledge on how browsers work and some basic Internet protocols before you start tampering this options.
If tou don't know what you do you better stop and don't tamper with the torbutton security options.
The only one that you will most probably want to untick is The Disable plugins during Tor usage , stopping this option will allow you to have a flash video streaming display properly, otherwise you won't be able to use , Vbox etc.
Below you see a screenshot of the TorButton Security Settings dialog.

TorButton properties Dialog

To open up this dialog you need to navigate to the TorButto and choose preferences with the right mouse buttons 🙂
Hope this article is informative to somebody out there.
User feedback is mostly welcome! Cheers 🙂

How to fix Thinkpad R61i trackpoint (mouse pointer) hang ups in GNU / Linux

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Earlier I've blogged on How to Work Around periodically occuring TrackPoint Thinkpad R61 issues on GNU / Linux . Actually I thought the fix I suggested there is working but I was wrong as the problems with the trackpoint reappeared at twice or thrice a day.

My suggested fix was the use of one script that does periodically change the trackpoint speed and sensitivity to certain numbers.

The fix script to the trackpoint hanging issue is here

Originally I wrote the script has to be set to execute through crontab on a periods like:

0,30 * * * * /usr/sbin/ >/dev/null 2>&1

Actually the correct values for the crontab if you use my script are:

0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55,58 * * * * /usr/sbin/ >/dev/null 2>&3

ig it has to be set the script is issued every 5 minutes to minimize the possibility for the Thinkpad trackpoint hang up issue.

One other thing that helps if trackpoint stucks is setting in /etc/rc.local is psmouse module to load with resetafter= parameter:

echo '/sbin/rmmod psmouse; /sbin/modprobe psmouse resetafter=30' >> /etc/rc.local


How to Screenshot single Windows on GNU / Linux GNOME Desktop

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Every now and then I have to screenshot particular windows positioned on the screen on my GNOME Desktop envronment
Recently I was happy to find there is a very easy way to do this with the default Screenshotting program that is bundled with gnome gnome-screenshot

To screenshot a particular window using gnome-screenshot , its quite easy all one has to do is point the mouse cursor to the window he wants to snapshot and press:

Alt + PrtScr (Print Screen)

Here is a screenshot, I’ve taken of my gnome-terminal using the above command:

Particular window Screenshot Window screenshotting using GNOME gnome-screenshot

One can do it also via the command line using the /usr/bin/gnome-screenshot , by pressing Alt + F2 to invoke the run application and type in:

/usr/bin/gnome-screenshot -w


I was quite happy to find out that this is possible on Linux inside gnome without bothering to run GIMP or use any external programs for the cause. Hope this helps someone 😉