debian Uncategorized


found a nice screen blurring command that relies on ImageMagick

#!/bin/sh -e

# Take a screenshot
#scrot /tmp/screen_locked.png
import -window root /tmp/screen_locked.png

# Pixellate it 10x
mogrify -scale 10% -scale 1000% /tmp/screen_locked.png

# Lock screen displaying this image.
i3lock -i /tmp/screen_locked.png

# Turn the screen off after a delay.
sleep 60; pgrep i3lock && xset dpms force off

then we need xautolock, but there is no xautolock. so instead we try

which locks only from the command line, not from the .i3/config.  so we compile xautolock from source from

finally we need to add a line to an x startup script like .xsessionrc or .i3/config to add the line

exec xautolock -time 1 -locker '~/.local/bin/' &

debian Uncategorized

volume from mint command line

pactl set-sink-volume 0 +15%

pactl set-sink-volume 0 -5dB

Excel: unmerge when unmerge is greyed 0ut using format paintbrush

one thing that may work is to use the format paintbrush to brush in from an unmerged cell


Outlook locks up, “Research Pane”

Once every couple of weeks, my Outlook 2010 freezes up.  Whatever I click, I get “Research Pane,” and nothing I type shows up.  I wondered if it was a keyboard issue, but other MS applications worked.  So after some Googling I found a solution.  Need to open VB (Alt-F11) and then the immediate window (Ctrl-G), and then type:


Application.Explorers(1).CommandBars("Research").Enabled = false


Originally found this as one of the results here:

debian Uncategorized

PIXMA 100 setup

this is a cheap and apparently old printer.  Important points:

  • It doesn’t connect to my WiFi — it needs a WPS button on the router
  • It doesn’t work with USB3 ports, needs to be connected to an older port
  • It needs to be rebooted prior it each printing session
  • The paper tray needs to be unfolded from the back, and the paper catcher needs to be unfolded from the front.

no sound on ipad games

check rotation lock, it is the same switch for mute, which can stop game sounds


hotas joystick

pressing mapping&preset together, then the home light will flash. then reboot. you can test whether the driver is working from settings

debian Uncategorized

wipe failing drive using systemrescuecd

ddrescue --force /dev/zero /dev/sdb log.txt
debian Uncategorized

fill out and sign a PDF on debian

  1. fill out form with xournal and export pdf.  (oowriter didn’t read xournal’s output even with the libreoffice pdf import extension, but the xournal’d pdf did print, gimp was able to read it, and it was emailable)
  2. edit a photo of signature in gimp (nice video
    1. layer/transparency/add alpha channel.  like writing on an overhead slide, the checkerboard represents the background through the slide
    2. use fuzzy select tool from toolbox to select the background from the photo
    3. delete the background, should see checkerboard.  delete within loops for O, Q, etc.
    4. from brushes, select the largest black brush and set mode to overlay.  brush over the signature to darken it  to a uniform black, otherwise it looks grayish like a photo when printed.
    5. open the pdf from gimp and select the page which needs the signature
    6. use the rectangle select tool to select the area where the signature should go.  note the height and/or width of the field.
    7. go to the signature image and image/scale image.  enter either the height or width to scale to, then`edit/copy visible.
    8. go back to the pdf and right click on the rectangle and paste.
    9. export the page to pdf
  3. use pdfshuffler to replace the unsigned page with the signed page in the PDF in order.  may need pdfshuffler orig sign orig (wasn’t able to move later pages to earlier ones, but was able to delete pages).

LaTeX formulas in xfig

To add LaTeX formulas to xfig

  1. add a text element, and enter LaTeX including $$
  2. edit the text element properties, and mark it special
  3. export as PDF/Latex
  4. in the LaTeX file, include the figure using \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{ \input{thefilename.pdf_t} }