Author Archives: cpbl

My feather crock pot (how we will cook in the future)

This is an interlude from my normal blog themes.  Just a little bit of physics tells you, I think, how we will cook in a future in which energy is electric and a bit more precious. It seems in North … Continue reading

Posted in Cooking, crock pot, Energy | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Ubuntu 13.04 and 13.10 (updated for 14.04 and 14.10) on Lenovo X230/X230-Tablet convertible tablet

If you consider yourself a user, not a tinkerer, the number one rule of running GNU/Linux is not even to try it except on hardware that others have already tried with complete success. (Do not buy a laptop, desktop, or server thinking … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, hardware, Lenovo X230 Tablet, McGill University, software, Ubuntu | 16 Comments

Printing (PDF) to uPrint printers at McGill from GNU/Linux

It’s been six months since I notified McGill ICS of an update for their page on using the campus uPrint service from GNU/Linux. They haven’t updated anything, so this is to explain how to do it. This change is relevant … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, McGill University, software, Ubuntu | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Asus Eee PC X101CH review: Very Poor

No matter what positive characteristics this netbook may have, the biggest negatives are sufficient for me to conclude: do not buy this machine. My point of comparison is just one machine, an HP Mini 1116NR from nearly three years ago. … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, hardware, Ubuntu | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

iClicker under GNU/Linux

Electronic “clickers” are personal wireless transceivers carried by every student in a lecture hall and are used for in-class feedback and assessment in teaching. At McGill, we have just switched to a new clicker system that is all about integration with … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, McGill University, Microsoft, software | 2 Comments

How-to: Alpine and maildir (and offlineimap (and GMail)) — no more maildir patches!

Abstract If you think non-graphical email clients are  efficient or otherwise desirable, and want offline access to your email, this post describes a step forward.  In particular, it describes the set-up of offline-accessible mail through the Alpine (formerly Pine, shortly … Continue reading

Posted in Alpine, GNU/linux, software, Ubuntu | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

McGill University firmly embedded with Microsoft

This is the nearly incredible story of how one of Canada’s great universities has become such a buttress of the Microsoft monopoly that it cannot even provide for a new faculty member the normal ability to send and receive email. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, GNU/linux, McGill University, Microsoft, software | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Annotating PDFs in GNU/Linux

After years of waiting for a top-quality open source PDF editor/markup tool, and being baffled why they don’t exist… I’ve given up.  What I’ve settled on for the moment performs rather well: At a command line, I type pdfedit <pdffilename> … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, software | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bounties for Gnome (Compiz?) window behaviour improvements

Back in 1993 on the student computer network at MIT  it seems we had window managers (I used vtwm.gamma) and broadcast instant message systems (zephyr, ridiculously customisable)  running on Unix(es) that still compete  very favourably with features offered today by … Continue reading

Posted in Gnome, GNU/linux, software, Ubuntu | Leave a comment

Tied selling of Windows O/S with computer hardware in Canada: a complaint to the Competition Bureau

To follow up on my recent victimization by the “Microsoft Tax”, I filed a complaint with the Canadian Competition Bureau, the federal agency charged with investigating anti-competitive behaviour. I think I understand their response, which I’m including below, but there … Continue reading

Posted in GNU/linux, Microsoft, software | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments