Category archives: Obvious Answers to Dumb Questions

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Summary: Cron doesn’t run files with dots or underscores in them; remove that .sh!

Did you put your file in /etc/cron.daily or /etc/cron.weekly and it doesn’t run? Does cron just skip right over your file? Check that you don’t have a period or underscore in your filename. I’m talking about the .sh or .py you always ...

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HP has led the printing industry in providing open source software to support its printers. This makes it really easy to access advanced features of an HP printer in Linux. The difficulty for me was with the terminology:

  • CUPS: UNIX printing system. CUPS manages printers and print jobs. Software talks to CUPS, and CUPS ...

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The symptoms here are that the Computer Modern Fonts look bad at most resolutions, though they print fine. The fonts in the DVI or PS files look fine when generated with latex and dvips, but ps2pdf or dvipdf both produce the same poor output that pdfLatex does.

I have only noticed this problem on my Debian ...

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To start Emacs without a GUI window, use the -nw (no window) flag on the command line.

To access the menus without the mouse, use M-`. In non-emacspeak, that means press Esc, let go, then press the backtick. You will get a list of the menu functions in the minibuffer that you can scroll and ...

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Sun does not allow redistribution of their JRE or SDK. The free VM’s for Java are behind by many versions. For that reason, some work has to be put in to get a usable Java development environment on Debian. I am using Debian Testing (Sarge).

There are two methods to get a Java environment ...

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I installed Unison to keep /home on my desktop and laptop synchronized. I am very happy with it, but I had some trouble getting it to work the way I wanted to. I wanted it to preserve permissions and ownership across my two systems, and this is not its default functionality. Here are some tips:

  • Install ...

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Start an XSession on another virtual terminal from within your current XSession.


Start an XSession within the window.

gdmflexiserver -- xnest

The gdm stuff only works if gdm is your login manager. I want to figure out how to do similar things with kdm. Xnest is part of X and lets you run an Xsession nested ...

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I’m not going to explain what all the options are, or tell you what each part of the command means. I’m just going to give you an example so that you can remember it. You can look up the details somewhere else.

This example will replace every instance of <find string> with <replace string> in the ...

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There are two ways. You can edit the ebuild file of each masked package which you wish to emerge, and remove the ~ marker from the KEYWORDS variable field. The ~ marks the package as unstable, so once it is removed portage thinks that the package is stable. You will also need to do this ...

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A couple colors in vim are too dark for me to read on my black background terminal—especially the comments, but the :set bg=dark (or :set background=dark) command doesn’t have an effect. I am thankful to Lee J Carmichael who provided these simple instructions in an archived mailing list post (To: freebsd-questions, Subject: Re: Changing ...