Freedom and Privacy Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to Flash from Cyanogen Mod to Ubuntu on Nexus 4

Normally in the past, it was very easy for me to flash from android to Ubuntu for phone.  I just used the usual ubuntu tutorial and it worked.

Then, somewhere in the middle I switched to Cyanogen mod (android) as the ‘lesser of two evils’ while I was waiting for bluetooth to improve.

I heard today that everything is working so I went back to flash and boom.  Snagged.  It woudn’t recognize adb devices when I was in fastboot mode.

I searched and tried a hundred commands but the answer turned out easy.  I just had to switch to recovery mode, not fastboot mode.

How you do that is on your green robot screen you just push the down arrow (volume) until the screen says ‘recovery mode’ at the top and then press the usual power button at the top right.

Then you go back and follow the install instructions from this command:

ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu

All good in the hood.


EDIT: All was NOT good in the hood.  I got stuck in a perpetual Cyanogen Mod recovery mode loop.  It turns out that nothing else worked for me.  The ubuntu flash process from the above command worked. I could see all the images going to the device. But it would continually reboot back into CM.

The solution?  Oddly, all I had to do was add back in the –bootstrap at the end of the command and everything worked instantly.  So the command looked like this:

ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu --bootstrap

I suspect this is not ideal because the official tutorial shows clearly you should only need the bootstrap option at first install only but mine always needs it.  If anyone knows what’s up it would be cool to know.  Please comment!  Otherwise, we’re back to Ubuntu – hopefully forever.

Life Skills Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to View Multiple Page Fax with Ubuntu

I got a fax recently as a .tif image file and when I went to open it on the world’s best operating system ubuntu, and it wouldn’t view anything except page 1! I thought there was a bug with the operating system but it turned out that they actually had, built right into ubuntu a viewer designed specifically to handle this.  As usual, ubuntu is always steps ahead.

So, if you get a digital fax (who uses paper faxes?) this is what you do:

Find the .tif file


“Open with” document viewer (which is Evince, if you are wondering)


Enjoy your multiple page fax


Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to Make Telegram Desktop Auto Start on Ubuntu 14.04

You want your Telegram app to start when you turn on your computer each time?  Ok, here’s how you do it.

First, review the first three steps on this blog I did here.

Now, simply take note of the location of where I tracked down this Telegram Desktop app.


—then click through some other telegram folder and then do the following:



Go ahead and select that and follow the other instructions from this blog again.

That should get you where you need to go!

Life Skills Tutorial Ubuntu

When does Libre Office Calc decide to overflow text into adjacent cells, or cut them at the boundary?

You are trying to do a spreadsheet and keep it tighter but the vertical  column boundary cuts the text off.  And you want to stop it.  It’s easy.  Check it out..

1. Annoying red arrow cut-offs!


2. Highlight cell or row and then right click on it, and ‘format cells’


3. Click that check box ‘wrap text automatically’ 03-libre-calc-tut

4. Yay! Bob is my uncle again!


This tutorial brought to you by a thankful user of Libre Office, the default office suite on the best ever operating system, ubuntu.

Life Skills Tutorial

How to Find and Edit Kijiji Ad Posting

So you’ve posted an ad on kijiji and now it’s lost?  I hear you.  It’s not really lost it’s just oddly a bit hard to find when you end up on other pages.

Go to (not .com I found out several times


2. Log in with user/password

3. Go to ‘my kijiji’ button on the right and boom.  There it is.  Your ad.  In there you can go in, click the ad, add pictures, etc.


Hope that helps!

Business Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to Rotate Permanently All Pages in PDF Using Ubuntu

If you are too busy to read all my blog articles (say it ain’t so, mama) then you may have missed this nugget of helpfulness.  How often does the realtor or lawyer or such fabulous professional need to slap a confidential stamp on a doc?

However, today I was sent a confidential document that was lying on its side when I opened it.  After about 10 minutes and a screwed up neck I decided that I would not put my potential client through such pain and suffering and would find a way right this wrong.

And I did, praise God.

All you need to do is get setup with the same software PDF Chain (special shout out of thanks to the crew who made it, again) mentioned in the article above.  This time however, the steps are a little different.  Follow along.  It’s pretty easy and works real nice.  Also, if you plan on also stamping a confidential stamp on there, you will have to perform this step *first* anyways or it makes stamping it brutally hard with the wrong orientation.


  1. click ‘burst’
  2. click ‘source file’ and go and find your multi-page document that needs adjust ment





3. Click ‘save as’ and find a place where you wish to save all these individual pages.  I suggest you create a folder for this moment since if you have a lot of pages they are going to end up getting split into individual files as the following shows:


4. Go back to PDF chain and now we are going to reassemble them as one file and rotate them at the same time by clicking ‘concatenate’.  Don’t worry.  Until I found PDF Chain I also had no idea what that word meant.  Looks like a Spanish festival or something..  but I digress.  What you need to do now is add all those files you just created with the + plus sign button as the following shows:


5. Now you will note the ‘rotation’ column.  If you click it will give you 90, 180, or 270 degrees.  go through and change each one to whatever you want.  Honestly, I think there might be a bug here because the one I expected to work didn’t and the only one that didn’t make sense made it work… but I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed so maybe it will make sense to you.  Just be prepared to try a different orientation if it doesn’t work right the first time in the output file.


6. Choose ‘save as’, choose your location where you want the single file to be saved, give it a name and then choose ‘save’.

That’s it.  Now you should have your original file in the orientation you like.

Now, if you would like to go and add ‘confidential’ or other stamps or watermarks to it, go ahead and dive into my original post on the topic and that should work like a dream.  It does for me.

Thanks for showing up.  Here’s a yellow sunshine sticker for you.


Life Skills Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

How to Securely Control a Remote Ubuntu Machine with VNC and SSH

I have been trying to do this for a while because I don’t like using WINE and the only other option that gave me headache free access to another machine was a proprietary one.  I wanted to be able to tunnel into my mom’s computer and offer her full tech support visually, just like any other remote access software. I knew it existed for Ubuntu built in but I couldn’t find time to do it.  Finally I forced myself and you can benefit from the fruits of it.

First, credit where credit is due.  I figured it out using this tutorial as a base, however, it still confused the crap out of me and didn’t work because this tutorial had a few confusing lines.

I will copy and paste the stuff that worked well for me and then tweak a few parts or add notes as I go along.

Before I begin, here are my list of assumptions:

  • you are using Ubuntu on both machines.  If not, you are lost and need not continue until you fix the first problem.  😉
  • You understand that ‘host’ means the computer to which you will tunnel in, and which will receive the incoming tech support and that ‘client’ means you, the tech support giving person, or the person who wishes to reach the remote machine
  • you have full administrative access to the router on the host side, with all passwords if a router in fact exists at all (usually does these days). This can be obtained from side of router or from ISP
  • you understand that the IP address on the host computer’s side may change unless they are paying for a static IP service, or have a service called dynamic dns going and that the settings on the client side will have to adjust accordingly with each change of IP.  I am not covering static ips or dyndns services in this tutorial
  • you have either created a full-powered user account on the host ubuntu machine, or have the password for the main user on the machine.  In the case of my mom, I just user her user/login but this won’t work if it ain’t your mom.
  • you are running a recent version of Ubuntu which comes with Remmina installed.  Just push the super key and start typing ‘remmina’ to be sure.  On the client side, you would need to make sure that ‘Desktop Sharing’ shows up.  I’m running on 14.04 now as I create this so adjust accordingly
  • you have created a static IP address on the host network (not covered in this tutorial)
  • you have opened port 22 (SSH) in the host’s router and pointed it towards the static ip of the host computer
  • you have opened port 5900 (VNC) in the host’s router and pointed it towards the ip address of the host computer


1. open ubuntu software centre and install openssh-server as per screenshot:



2.  Go to Preferences > Remote Desktop and select the following preferences:

  1. Check “Allow other users to view your desktop”;
  2. Check “Allow other users to control your desktop”;
  3. Check the security settings you desire (mine are there as example, you can chage);
  4. NOTE: VNC is very unsecure. You really must at *least* make a password below.  I would make it different from the user login and all the other passwords, but I’ll leave that in your hands.  Some password is better than no password.  By using SSH (that’s what this tutorial is all about) you are MUCH more secure than just using VNC by itself.


3. Find out your current IP address from your ISP by searching ‘what is my IP?” into a search engine, or by looking inside your router settings. You will need it for the client side setup below.  See warnings above again about static versus changing IPs.


1. in the HUD type ‘passwords’ and open up the ‘passwords and keys’ thing:


2. click the green arrow and choose ‘secure shell’ like this:


3. Walk through the setup.  You will need the IP address of the host side now so make sure you have that.

I use a higher encryption strength than the default one but it’s up to you.


4. Click ‘create and setup’ .  Note it takes a few seconds before it prompts you to create a password.  It’s not broken while you are waiting.

5. Choose a password. Don’t lose this password or you won’t get into mom’s computer easily or securely 😉

For me, I chose the exact same password as the user on my mom’s computer so that I could easily remember or log it.  I might even recommend this move to you…


You should now see your new SSH key in the list after pressing ‘setup’


1. Open Remmina (there are two m’s btw)


2. Set up Remmina in the “basic” tab and the “SSH” tab



3. Click ‘connect’ and you should now be prompted for a password from mom’s host computer for the SSH connection like this:


4. A few other prompts happen while logging and then you should now be prompted for the VNC connection (the thing that lets you see your mom’s computer screen)


Done.  You should now be inside mom’s Ubuntu machine and able to do whatever she has permitted you to do in step #2 at the top. In my case, I am able to log in, even when she isn’t around and fix up stuff.

I hope this was helpful and adds yet more value to your Ubuntu life and community.



Tutorial Ubuntu

Clean up Ubuntu with Ubuntu Tweak

I was trying to do an update in Ubuntu and got a message that said I didn’t have enough free space on disk /boot.  I started messing with command line stuff but thankfully I found Ubuntu Tweak which did it all in a few safe-feeling clicks.

Why Ubuntu-Tweak is not in the Ubuntu Software Center is a mystery that I would like solved too. Or why it’s not installed somewhere in the ‘system’ part of the main OS install as a tool…  but that’s for another rainy day.

The exact message I got looked like this:

The upgrade needs a total of ____ M free space on disk `/boot`. Please free at least an additional ____ M of disk space on `/boot`. Empty your trash and remove temporary packages of former installations using `sudo apt-get clean`

Like many others online, I tried the last suggested command line to no avail.

Thankfully I found this tutorial (read it if you want to see lots of options that are harder and some that don’t work) wherein I found this posted solution from a user.  And thanks to you “Kasiya”! Here is a copy and paste of the commands since you need a couple to allow it to install the software on the system:


You can install Ubuntu-Tweak.To install follow the following steps:

Open the terminal. Add the required repository with the command:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa

Update the software list with the command:

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install Ubuntu Teak with the command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

After that, open dash and type “ubuntu tweak”.


And then go to janitor tab and select Apps , Personal and System check boxes and click clean button at bottom right.


Life Skills Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

A Better Brainless Way To Rip CDs with Ubuntu

Want a simple, automated and graphical way to rip cds and create FLAC, Ogg, Mp3s and other formats?  Read on.  Of course, we assume that you are using Ubuntu for this tutorial because heck – is there anything else?

I was reprimanded and dragged through the coals and beaten like a rented mule the other day by a blond Ubuntu fanatic for publishing a post which is essentially a complicated command line way of doing exactly what I was trying to do. I submitted and agreed that this post would probably scare people away from Ubuntu rather than attract them.  It was kind of a eureka moment as well about how it is probably better to keep command lines as a last resort tool for ‘regular people’.  Fair enough. It’s kind of like a scientist who over explains photosynthesis to a child when he could have just said ‘the sun makes it grow’.  If the child wants to know about photosynthesis and the related vocabulary, they’ll probably indicate that.

But I digress.

To rip your old-skool CDs into a format that you can actually use (and I’m not talking cassette tapes, here, kids) just do this (warning – contains one optional command line!):

1. Go to Ubuntu Software Center, search, and install Asunder


2. Type ‘Asunder’ into the dash and open it, or, click it from the launcher




3. Insert CD

chuh-chunk. Boo-yah!

4.  Click ‘preferences’ and then ‘encode’ and choose the formats to which you would like to encode.

Note my screenshot below shows ‘wav’ but I meant to click ‘MP3’ so you don’t likely need two uncompressed formats like FLAC and Wav…. sorry bout that.


5. Optional Step: Install Lame to encode MP3s

If you got a message that you need to install ‘lame’ then read on.  If you didn’t skip this step and move to step 4.

MP3 is a dying format.  It’s restrictive and it’s not the best sound. It will die so it’s best to make sure that you aren’t relying on it.  FLAC is much better.  And Ogg.  But if you have a device that will only play MP3 than you might want to encode BOTH formats.  Asunder can do it automatically.   But to do MP3s, open a terminal window and type ‘sudo apt-get install lame’ as follows, then press enter, your password, and it’s done.




6. Click ‘ok’ and then in the lower right side ‘RIP’


7. Wait and watch exciting progress


Done.  Smiley.

The files will be waiting for you in your Home directory if you didn’t change the defaults.  You can also, somewhere in the settings, click a box that tells it to spit the CD out when it’s done.  You might like to do that.  It also seems like it dumps all formats into the same folder at the end so maybe there is a way to sort that out so that it rips, encodes and dumps into folders separated by format…


Life Skills Technology Tutorial Ubuntu

Brainless CD Ripping With Ubuntu

IMPORTANT: This post has been replaced by this post:

This post now remains just a flicker in the memories of those who read it, a historical treasure of things that were, if you will.   If you like doing things the harder way, please feel free!


Easy audio CD Ripping in Ubuntu? How about: 1) Open CD Tray 2) Type ‘abcde’ in terminal 3) Wait for CD to eject 4) Repeat steps 1-4.  Yes, it’s that easy… once you set it up (which isn’t ultra easy).

I look at this kind of thing like this: Invest 20 minutes in set up and save countless HOURS of monitoring it later.  Sharpen the axe for 20 minutes, cut the tree faster.  If you agree, read on.  If you aren’t willing to take a small risk of time and technological button clicking, read off.

This tutorial here was nearly perfect for me and did everything it talked about except for a few small changes.  Here is my simplified version of the tutorial so you can just ‘do’ instead of reading the comments.

—Please also read ‘FINAL COMMENTS’ at the bottom, as well before starting.

This is all done in the Ubuntu terminal which you can open through the HUD or by pressing control/alt/T.

1. Install the software

*note: I had to add one extra “eyeD3′ to make it work…

sudo apt-get install abcde cd-discid lame cdparanoia id3 id3v2 eyeD3

2. Backup config file?

*Note: I did just cuz…

cp /etc/abcde.conf /home/myusername (change ‘myusername’ to your computer name)

3. Open the Config file for the main software ABCDE to edit it

*note, I used ‘gedit’ editor because it’s way easier..

sudo gedit /etc/abcde.conf

4. Select all the text in this file and delete it.

5. Go to the config code and paste it into this file.

*note: I’m adding the ‘interactive’ part into the code for you so you can just copy and paste


# -----------------$HOME/.abcde.conf----------------- #
# A sample configuration file to convert music cds to 
#       MP3 format using abcde version
# -------------------------------------------------- #

# Specify the encoder to use for MP3. In this case
# the alternatives are gogo, bladeenc, l3enc, xingmp3enc, mp3enc.

# Specify the path to the selected encoder. In most cases the encoder
# should be in your $PATH as I illustrate below, otherwise you will 
# need to specify the full path. For example: /usr/bin/lame

# Specify your required encoding options here. Multiple options can
# be selected as '--preset standard --another-option' etc.
LAMEOPTS='--preset extreme' 

# Output type for MP3.

# The cd ripping program to use. There are a few choices here: cdda2wav,
# dagrab, cddafs (Mac OS X only) and flac.

# Give the location of the ripping program and pass any extra options:

# Give the location of the CD identification program:       

# Give the base location here for the encoded music files.

# Decide here how you want the tracks labelled for a standard 'single-artist',
# multi-track encode and also for a multi-track, 'various-artist' encode:

# Decide here how you want the tracks labelled for a standard 'single-artist',
# single-track encode and also for a single-track 'various-artist' encode.
# (Create a single-track encode with 'abcde -1' from the commandline.)

# Put spaces in the filenames instead of the more correct underscores:
mungefilename ()
  echo "$@" | sed s,:,-,g | tr / _ | tr -d \'\"\?\[:cntrl:\]

# What extra options?
MAXPROCS=2                              # Run a few encoders simultaneously
PADTRACKS=y                             # Makes tracks 01 02 not 1 2
EXTRAVERBOSE=y                          # Useful for debugging
EJECTCD=y                               # Please eject cd when finished :-)

6. Save the file you just changed in gedit



Now all you have to do are the following brainless steps it spits out MP3s into your home directory into a folder called ‘music’ .

1) Open CD Tray

2) Type ‘abcde’ in terminal

3) Wait for CD to eject

4) Repeat steps 1-4.



I would LOVE to know why it does *not* create FLAC files at the same time.  The original tutorial said that it would create *both* MP3s and FLAC files but I only found the MP3 files in.  Also, for some reason it is not creating the tagged data for the trags (meta data?) which I think is pretty important.

It would be awesome if someone who knew what they were doing could adjust the config file and add it in the comments here so that this tutorial would a) add the meta data and b) create FLAC files for people who don’t want to support MP3 (like me).