Author Archives: stephenwaite

libre planet 2015

went to beantown for


see some sample videos here:

i will write more on my personal experience but for now see what the fsf has to say here

here’s the video archive

and here’s a session i attended on blender:

thanks for your interest, stephen


the batphone rang and we were there to answer the call…

While Ron and I were describing the tech club at the brainstorm session to the throng that had gathered upstairs in the Fox Room at the Rutland Free Library (okay mostly Ron), my cell phone rang and there was a distressed damsel at the other end of the line.


She described to me how one of the lanes on the Rutland Area Food Co-op’s newly installed, open source Point of Sale system was non-functioning.  I informed the group and headed for the exit.

A couple cups of kombucha, some soup and 3 hours later we had the lane back in action.  The tech who patiently worked with me on the phone was ready to give up and do a clean install but I remembered some tricks from a RedHat certification class I had taken about ten years ago.

It turns out that the filesystem had become corrupted and the brand new little computer with a very nice solid state hard drive wasn’t even able to boot into recovery mode from the GRUB prompt; it’s running Mint, a Debian based Linux variant.  So we booted Ubuntu off a USB and were able to mount the drive after issuing a series of low level disk commands as the super user of course.  The tricky part was finding and activating the logical volume group with a lvscan, pvs, and vgchange -ay “volume name”.  Once it was activated we could run the file system checker “fsck” (without much imagination one can see it’s profane origin) which was able to quickly repair the ext4 type filesystem.  After mounting and upgrading the packages all was well on a reboot.  It was time for a nice cold one.



renowned javascript author yahoo lectures

Javascript really snuck up on programmers.  Once considered a toy from the early days of the web browser wars, it is a fully mature object oriented programming language that must be taken seriously.

This link leads you to the yahoo user interface library’s collection of Douglas Crockford’s lectures on the history and origins of Javascript and it’s features and use.

It’s New Year’s Eve! Cheers!


OpenCourseWare leader passes

“OpenCourseWare — the simple, elegant, unprecedented idea that MIT should make all of its course materials available online to anyone in the world, free.”

I almost went to MIT but changed my mind at the last minute as Duke University and North Carolina seemed much more appealing to my teenage mind.  Amazingly I’ve been offered another shot to experience the MIT classroom virtually free!  So far I’ve watched several “Intro to Computer Science” classes which feature Python aimed to a beginner level audience.  Even though I feel more like an intermediate I’ve gleaned quite a bit from the basics.

Hurry to your class, it’s starting now at  !