Month: February 2015

Weird Bug Fix for Crashing Owncloud Client on Ubuntu 14.04:Segmentation Fault (core dumped)

Not that most of you are going to ever see this or care, but as for me, I just spent about 6 hours over the last few weeks trying to resolve it so I hope as a public service this will help someone both fix their client and save some time!


My Ubuntu owncloud client was working just fine on my netbook.  Then I made a change to the server where the URL changed where owncloud was hosted.  On one machine, I simply booted up owncloud, changed the setting and everything worked.  On the other machine, it would not forget the former URL and something went wacky inside.  I hope you like my terminology.  Anyways, I took the time and courage to just start trying to delete everything from my netbook related to owncloud and reinstall but that didn’t work either.  Finally, this is what worked (assuming you have opened a terminal window):

1. sudo apt-get purge owncloud-client

2. sudo apt-get autoremove owncloud-client

3. go to your home folder and totally delete the owncloud folder (make sure you save anything that might be in it and not synced to your server!)


a) cd /tmp

b) ls

You should now see at least one directory that starts with sni-qt_owncloud_3658-HTGzH (or something along those lines).  In my case, I had many of them which I thought to be a problem.  So, I deleted them all and this was the step that fixed everything.  How to delete?

c) rm -rvf sni-qt ….

d) repeat steps  ‘b’ and ‘c’ above until all traces of these sni-qt directories are *totally gone*

5. Reinstall owncloud-client

sudo apt-get install owncloud-client

NOTE: It’s probably better, although I didn’t try, to instead open your software centre and install it from here.  I found my icon didn’t show up using the command line here in the terminal…. sup to you….

6. start owncloud by just typing ‘owncloud’ or by searching for it the normal way you open programs.

7. go into your ‘settings’ and make sure your server settings are correct.

Everything should now be working

Hope that helped and if you have time and energy please file this blog with the owncloud open source team.  I ran out of time….

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Procaffeinating – Definition Corrected and Expounded

You may have seen this most excellent image floating around the webs:


I thought it was pure genius and if I had the energy or time, I’d probably track down the source and give them credits but that kind of work is for previous generations.

Also, I couldn’t find any detailed expounding on this new and most excellent word.

Also, the entry above is incorrect….

So let’s correct it and expound it, shall we?

In this form above, it’s either a verb (v.) or an adjective (adj.), but it’s definitely not a noun (n.).

As an adjective (adj.), it could be used perhaps in the following examples:

  1. Bob is a procaffeinating individual.
  2. This truly was a procaffeinating experience.

As you may have agreed, both of those examples suck like a vacuum.

As a verb (v.), obviously, it works well:

  1. Enough procaffeinating, Bob, and step away from the french press.  We failed to deliver product to this client and we need to call them and apologize.
  2. Jim, you are 15 minutes late to our Monday morning sales meeting.  You can’t procaffeinate this forever.

Now, the original author was partially correct.  It could have been used as a noun (n.) quite well, such as in any of the following scenarios:

  1. Our Vice President of Sales is running 20 minutes behind as a result of a nasty case of procaffeination, but has assured us that he will be here shortly.
  2. Roger is not only a slacker and a slob, but also a full-blown procaffeinator.


alternative spellings:  procaffinating, procaffination, procaffinate, procaffinator,

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Great Article to Quickly Review Our Financial and Investment Literacy

This is a great article to quickly reveal how much we *don’t* know about $$ and what we need to do.  Thanks to my friend Paul who forwarded this article to me.

I think these are most painful to me because I remember sitting there in high school having a classmate explain to me the importance of compound interest and making your money work for you.  I completely agreed with him.  After all, who doesn’t know the penny-a-day story?


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How to Privatize Your Calendar with Owncloud, Thunderbird, and Lightning

Edit 151224: I had accidentally selected ‘ics’ format instead of caldav.  Sorry about that. Now it works!

Getting your calendar off other  people’s servers should be a priority.  It’s bad enough that you’re being tracked unwillingly but throwing your daily calendar out there to be viewed is borderline twisted.

I needed a solution where the sync was happening on a machine in my house, not outside.  This tutorial got it done for me.  I refuse to say anything good about fruit phones or the fruit company, but I will say that if you are temporarily stuck with one that oddly it quite easily syncs with this tutorial as well giving you the very useful access on your mobile complete with alerts.  I have not yet figured out Android and rest assured I’ve spent many, many hours trying.  My main goal is to focus all my attention on Ubuntu for Devices (Ubuntu Touch/Mobile) but sometimes you just have to survive today…

Before beginning, you will need:

1. an Ubuntu server in your house with owncloud installed on it (that’s a separate tutorial)

2. a static IP address for that server, or at least a dyn dns service (some domain hosts offer it for free) so that when you are outside of your house you can tunnel back in.

*note: you only need one person running the items above if you trust them dearly because you could just set your calendar up on their server.  You could put countless thousands on one machine I bet.  I’m going to set up my family on mine, for example

3. A computer (preferably Ubuntu) running Thunderbird as your email client.

4. The plugin Lightning installed into Thunderbird.

5. a valid and functional email working in Thunderbird (you could use a free webmail email here but that kind of defeats our purpose of freeing ourselves from these gaffers)

Assuming all of the above is set up and ready, here is what you do:

In Thunderbird/Lightning

1. create a new calendar in Thunderbird/Lightning by going to file/new/calendar in the menu options at the top.  Don’t worry about too much and at this point we’ll choose ‘on our computer’ when you get to that point.  We will delete this calendar later anyways so don’t get too attached


2. from the left pane, export the calendar as .ics file to somewhere you will remember it.  We will come back to this file in a bit


Inside Owncloud logged in as Admin User

1. Make sure that the calendar app is showing up in the list of icons when you hit the top left part of the screen.  If it’s not, click the plus sign and search for it and ‘enable’ it.


2. Click the home button top left and make sure the calendar icon is showing in the drop down as per the screenshot below


3. Go to ‘user’ under the option list on top right and add a new ‘user’ for yourself.


Note: if you are like me and want a very secure password for the storage of files on your owncloud server, than what I have done is created another user *just* for my calendar.  I won’t be using this ID to sync files or store them. The reason is that I found having a super strong password with lots of randomness is very difficult to deal with on a daily basis as you’ll be using it on a variety of different devices and possibly viewing it on a variety of different computers.  It’s up to you.


4. Log in as your new ‘calendar user’ account and you will see an upload icon at the top.  Upload your .ics file that you made above (the one I said you’d be coming back to in a bit..)


5. You will see your .ics file appear with a nifty little calendar icon as well


6. Click the name part (not icon) of your .ics file as per screenshot above and an import dialogue will start


7. Go ahead and click that bad boy called ‘import’.  Something will start.  Or does it? Or does it not? I keep getting this long pause while it seems like it’s frozen and hooped like this:


8. Joy o’ Rapture!  It eventually ends and things resume normally and give a message of success and victory


9. Close that bad boy.  Now you will be able to go to the top left again to your new calendar.  If it was blank, don’t be surprised it’s blank… duh.



10. Now you will get to see a share link associated with this on the left.  Click that, highlight it, and copy it to your clipboard.


Back in Thunderbird/Lightning

1. Go and create a new calendar yet again.  There may be a way to avoid this but I find it faster just to create a new one and delete the old one.



2. As the dialogue starts, choose ‘on the network’ as the option


3. Next. Now you’ll be given a place to paste in your owncloud shared link that you copied into your clipboard above.  Paste that in there.  Change the radio dial from iCalendar to CalDav


4. Name your precious new calendar.


5. You’re done!



Now you have a calendar based on your owncloud server which syncs up with your Lightning running on Thunderbird.  I’ve found it to work perfectly so far.

I hope this helps you.

Perhaps if someone chides me I’ll write a blog about whether I ever find an Android option.  So far so bad. 🙁

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Stella Young – Inspiration Porn

I have got to say… Watching this presentation by Stella Young completely revolutionized the way I view disabled people.  In a humourous way,  Ms. Young presents a non-humourous subject matter – the way non-disabled people view disabled people.  My spew will follow underneath the embedded TED Talk below:


This speech really challenged me and my position and relationship with God, in fact.  I was indeed one of those people who, whether consciously or unconsciously, expected the disabled person to inspire me –  the non-disabled person –  to reach new heights. After hearing such speeches and seeing such limitations smitten before my eyes, I was left to feel sorry about my current effort in life and, albeit for the blink of an eye, felt like I could move mountains.

But that was all wrong and warped and I bet if you surveyed most people in those audiences that very few went on to excellence as a result of being there.  Why?  Because the people watching were suffering from the same condition that the speaker was: the human condition.

The human condition is one of full weakness, not strength.

Unlike many folks who like to scream out such positive words like ‘I can do all things if I think positively!” and “I’m my own man!” and “I’m creating my future!” and “The future is in my hands!”, the truth is, you are the clay and God is your Potter.  You didn’t make yourself, you didn’t put yourself in your birth family, life, and city, nor do you have the first clue about what tomorrow will bring.

Why does this matter?  Because you are suffering from this weakness. We *all* share this position of weakness.

We *all* share this position of weakness.

This world is in a fallen condition.  Our bodies are frail, our health is constantly challenged, we have sin grinding against our conscience (wanting to do good but never doing it and vice versa) and one day, like every other human who went before us, will die and these bodies will become the dust of the earth.

We are *all* weak.  None of us are strong.

And so after watching Ms. Young speak, I looked down at my right index finger and saw the tip which was cut off in a lawn mower and the other side of the same finger that was cut off in my motorcycle chain.  I, too, have a disability.  It messed up my classical guitar recital and subsequent career as a classical guitar rock star, but guess what? I’m doing just fine and I can still rock out on Bach any time I have time.  I feel totally human and I don’t wake up in the morning thinking too much about that finger tip.

Ms. Young and a few other folks just have some disabilities that are a bigger pain in the hindquarters than index finger.

It also highlights to me how badly we need each other.  I am done with solo projects.  If I can’t work with people and teams, forget it.  Life is too short to hide in my office and put off meeting other people till later.   I want my day job to involve people all the time.  Other people are awesome.  They challenge me and they make life interesting.

I hope this post and Stella Young’s presentation helped you get over yourself and your selfish need to feel better about yourself by watching other people’s weaknesses.  Focus on your own pile of weaknesses (and you have a lot of them, by the way, most of which are not physical) and cry out to God to help you overcome them and be a blessing to others.

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Stuff to Keep in Mind for Realtors, Tenants, and Landlords in BC

Here are some snippets of information that should help both tenants and agents.  When a property is for sale, there are some rules that need to be followed and some in particular are more relevant to common real estate transactions involving tenants.

First here is a link to the BC government tenancy guide page

Next, here is the actual PDF guide for saving in case it changes location above for whatever reason:


Now, here are the snippets that I thought are pretty important to have a firm grasp of.

From Residential Tenancy Act Guide

10.6.3 Selling and Showing a Rental Unit
When a rental unit is for sale or rent, the landlord must have the tenant’s permission or give the tenant proper written notice before showing the rental unit.
The tenant and landlord can agree to a schedule of viewing times included in a single notice. If there is no agreement, the landlord must give proper notice each time before showing the rental unit. The landlord must keep in mind that the tenant is entitled to reasonable
privacy and freedom from unreasonable disturbance. When a rental unit is sold, the tenant does not automatically have to move. If the new landlord or a close family member intends to move in, the original landlord must serve a Two-Month Notice to End Tenancy for Landlord’s Use of Property. For more information, see “Landlord Gives Notice to End the Tenancy” under Section 12.9
12.9 Landlord’s Use of Property
This applies when the landlord moves in or has a close family member live in the rental unit
sells the property and the new owner, or a close family member of the new owner, intends to live in the rental unit. Close family member means the owner’s or spouse’s father, mother or child
12.8 Two-Month Notice
The landlord must serve the tenant with two month’s notice where the landlord plans to use the property, do major construction or when the tenant no longer qualifies for subsidized housing. A Two-Month Notice must cover a full two-month period. For example, a notice given on March 15 would not take effect until the last day of May. When the tenant is for a fixed term, the move-out date cannot be before the final day of the fixed term.  A tenant that receives a two-month notice can move out earlier than the date specified on the notice, unless the tenancy is for a fixed term. The tenant must give the landlord at least 10 days written notice and pay the rent up to the move-out date. Where the tenant has already paid a full
month’s rent, the landlord must refund the rent. When a landlord ends a tenancy for landlord’s use of property, the landlord must give the tenant the equivalent of one month’s rent on or
before the move-out date. If that is not done, the tenant may withhold the last month’s rent. If
the rental unit is not used for the reasons given in the notice within a reasonable period, the tenant may apply for dispute resolution, asking for compensation equivalent to two months’ rent. At the hearing, the landlord should be prepared to demonstrate there was an honest intent to occupy, renovate, convert or demolish at the time the notice was issued.
Ending the Tenancy
A tenancy ends when:
  • The tenancy agreement is a fixed term that specifies the tenant will move out at the end of the term
  • The tenant or landlord gives notice to end the tenancy in accordance with the law
  • The tenancy agreement is frustrated by circumstances beyond the landlord or tenant’s control
  • The tenant move outs or abandons the rental unit
  • The landlord is granted an order by the RTB
  • The tenant and landlord mutually agree in writing to end the tenancy
A landlord and tenant can agree in writing at any time that the tenancy agreement will end on a specified date. The landlord or the tenant can draw up their own agreement or use the form Mutual Agreement to End a Tenancy. The written agreement can be part of a fixed-term tenancy agreement, specifying the tenant will move out of the rental unit at the end of the
fixed term.
11.1 Move-out Timeline
The tenant must move out by 1:00 p.m. on the last day of the tenancy. This means the
unit must be cleaned and all keys given to the landlord by 1:00 p.m. on the last day. A tenant who has not moved by 1:00 p.m. on the last day of the tenancy could be responsible for any costs incurred by the landlord. These costs could include fees the landlord paid to accommodate the incoming tenant and store their belongings until they were able to move in

12.2 Ways for a Landlord to Give Notice to End Tenancy
A landlord must serve notice using the appropriate Notice to End Tenancy form. Each form lists all the valid reasons and the amount of time the landlord must give. Generally, a landlord must give one or two months’ notice to a tenant, depending on the reason. However, a tenant that has not paid the rent on time can be given a 10-day notice. The landlord should keep a copy of the notice.
12.3 How a Landlord Serves the Notice to End Tenancy
  • By leaving a copy with the tenant or at the tenant’s residence with an adult who appar ently resides with the person. The notice is considered served the same day
  • By leaving a copy in a mail box or mail slot for the address at which the tenant resides. The notice is considered served three full days later
  • By attaching a copy to a door or other conspicuous place at the address at which the tenant resides. The notice is considered served three full days later
  • By transmitting a copy to a fax number provided as an address for service by the tenant. The notice is considered served three full days later
  • By sending a copy by ordinary mail or registered mail to the address at which the tenant resides or to a forwarding address provided by the tenant. The notice is considered served five full days after mailing
  • As ordered by the RTB
Sliding the notice under the door or using e-mail is not valid under the Act.

The existing landlord must receive a request in writing from the new owner before the notice can be served. The notice must indicate that the purchaser requires vacant possession in order for the purchaser, or close family member, to move in. When a new owner wants to use the property for any other purpose, the existing landlord cannot serve the Two-Month Notice to End Tenancy.
12.10 Major Construction
Major construction means:
  • Demolishing the rental unit or doing major renovations that require the building or rental unit be empty for the work to be done. When possible, renovations should be done without evicting the tenant. For example, if the renovations require the unit to be vacant for a short period, the tenant could be relocated and later return to the unit
  • Converting the rental unit to a strata property unit, a non-profit co-operative or society, or a not-for-profit housing co-operative under the Cooperative Association Act
  • Converting the rental unit for non-residential use, such as a shop
  • Converting the rental unit into a caretaker’s premises The landlord must have all required government permits and approvals in place before issuing the notice for any of the above reasons.
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A Brief Comparison of Korean Gayageum, Chinese Guzheng and Japanese Koto

Eun Chae, one of my students, submitted this interested topic for her writing.  I thought it was quite intriguing so I thought I would publish it. She didn’t do exceeding amounts of research but enough for all of us to benefit. Enjoy and thanks, Eun Chae.


Why do musical instruments that come from Korea, Japan, and China look similar? All three countries were in the same cultural area, and shared commercial relationships, and musical elements such as instruments, and songs. Just like the evolution and changes that occurred culturally between the regions, music and instrument variations also occurred. People in their respective countries improved the instrument to benefit their unique playing methods. Therefore, the instruments in each country do not look identical. The reason why they updated the instrument was a result of a lack of understanding of those methodologies, and to make clear their own respective and unique national identities. Thus, one cannot state that Korea, China, and Japan have the same instruments. After comparing the three countries’ typical stringed instruments: the Gayageum (Korea), the Guzheng (China) and the Koto (Japan), the differences will become apparent.

Chinese Guzheng

A good starting place to begin to explore the similarities between the Korean Gayageum and the Chinese Guzheng is that both are Asian traditional long zithers, and both are made of paulownia. An Asian traditional long zither is a square, elongated, stringed wooden resonance box that looks like the harp but played lying horizontally on the floor. The paulownia is a tree that produces the best wood for musical instruments because it is not vulnerable to fire and because it resonates well. In addition, both the Gayageum and the Guzheng have bridges and both are played with the fingers, and people usually push the left side of string to produce a vibrato effect on both instruments. There are also differences between these two cousins. While the Gayageum has twelve strings made of silk thread, the Guzheng has twenty-one strings made of metal. The Gayageum player performs a vibrato technique – the gentle bending of the string to create a wavering effect on the sound wave- but the Guzheng creates a celestial sound by doing rapid alternate picking. Lastly, the Gayageum is played with the bare fingers, but the Guzheng requires picks on the player’s right thumb, forefinger, and middle finger.

Korean Gayageum

The Korean Gayageum and the Japanese Koto also have similarities and differences. The Gayageum and the Koto are similar in that they are both made of paulownia, and they are classified as Asian traditional long zithers. Also, both instruments’ bridges can change the pitch of the string by manipulating or moving the bridge. In regards to their strings, they are usually made out of silk. The Gayageum and the Koto are different in that the Gayageum players put the instrument on their knees in a cross-legged position when they play it, where the Koto is placed on the floor in front of the kneeled player. On the top surface of the body of the Koto, there are tuning pins like a piano’s, to facilitate tuning. The Gayageum sounds soft, and lingering, but the Koto has sharp, clear tones and its sound limited sustain. While the Gayageum is played with the bare fingers, the Koto requires the use of picks on player’s right three fingers like the Guzheng. Finally, the Gayageum was invented by Wu Ruk, who was commissioned by Gaya’s king, but the Koto is an ancestor of the Guzheng.

Japanese Koto

Comparing the Japanese Koto and the Chinese Guzheng reveals more similarities than differences. Both have clear, and sharp sound. In addition, unlike the hand controlled tuning pegs of a violin, they have a tuning mechanism for tightening and loosening the strings more like a piano. Both musical instruments usually use rapid alternate picking when the players want to make the sound ornate. Furthermore, their movable bridges along the body look similar, in that they are angular arch-shaped and have two long legs while the Gayageum has round arched bridges with short legs. However they differ in that the Koto has thirteen strings, while the Guzheng has twenty-one strings. It is difficult to find the differences between these two instruments because the Koto originated from the Guzheng.

The Chinese Guzheng, the Korean Gayageum, and the Japanese Koto have individual, indigenous sounds distinguishing one from the other, though they look similar externally. Each respective country’s musicians redesigned the instrument by applying to it their character which contributed to the unique sound of each one. Also, traditional instruments are connected to their own country, so people who might think that those three musical instruments look the same and have almost the same sound could find the differences easily after hearing them individually. One should not be surprised because China, Korea, and Japan share similarities between their cultures, while maintaining their own unique customs.

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Two Classic Highly Intelligent and Humourous Comedic Acts

Sometimes I review these to help me realize that some things old are much better than new. I guess back then people had brains when they used humour?

Johnny Carson as Ronald Reagan

Abbott & Costello Who’s on First

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Ready to Die?

Usually I try to focus on the humourous part of life, but sometimes life is serious.  Sometimes something jumps out at me and ‘puts me in my place’ and helps me refocus.  This quote was just such a quote.  I stopped in my tracks and thought of my family, my friends and even myself.

Take a moment to grade yourself.

Are you ready to die?

It’s not if, it’s when.

And then what?


“Some of you may have seen how short life is in those around you. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? How many friends have you lying in the grave! Some of you have more friends in the grave than in this world. They were carried away as with a flood, and we are fast hastening after them. In a little while the church where you sit will be filled with new worshipers, a new voice will lead the psalm, a new man of God fill the pulpit. It is an absolute certainty that, in a few years, all of you who read this will be lying in the grave. Oh, what need, then, to fly to Christ without delay! How great a work you have to do! How short the time you have to do it in! You have to flee from wrath, to come to Christ, to be born again, to receive the Holy Spirit, to be made meet for glory. It is high time that you seek the Lord. The longest lifetime is short enough. Seek conviction of sin and an interest in Christ. Oh, satisfy me early with thy mercy, that I may rejoice and be glad all my days.” Memoirs of McCheyne

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Why Setup and How to Setup PGP Encryption on Your Email


If you don’t have encryption on at least your email, you might as well send the information on a postcard for the world to see.  If you don’t like the idea of the content of your email being put onto a postcard then you need to set up PGP as today’s best solution.  Is it amazingly easy?  No.  Like anything it takes a little time to get started.  Is it worth it?  How do you feel when you wear a seat belt in a car versus when you don’t?  PGP is a seat belt for your privacy and I love the feeling of knowing that even if I accidentally send the email to the wrong person, only my intended PGP-enabled recipient can read it, not the whole world.  All lawyers, real estate agents, doctors, and such professions should honour their duty of privacy by using it immediately, or at least strongly recommending it to their clients/recipients.  But don’t wait for them to do the right thing when you can start right now for free.

Video how PGP works

Good video showing how PGP encryption works to secure your email data

Tutorial about how to set up your computer:

For more detailed information and original set up tutorial, click original source

Tutorial for desktop (Ubuntu comes with Thunderbird by default):

Tutorial for Webmail

Mobile PGP Solutions

Coming soon!

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