Monday, July 19, 2010

What is with all the comment spam?

I rarely get comments...that doesn't bother me...what does bother me is that daily I get some kind of SPAM comment.

A bunch of Chinese(?) characters, a short english phrase that doesn't match the topic...and a link to some site, porn or warez no doubt.

A shame really.

Move Evolution data to new install...

I am not a Linux GURU, nor am I a noob. However moving the evolution data was an incredibility painful process.

First, Evolution has a built in (well built in if you add it) back up system, that will back up everything into a nice .gz file. That part did work just fine.

ALSO this same app is supposed to be able to install your evolution data from a backup. Let me just say that (depending on how much data you have...and mine is in the Gigs) it takes a while to make this data file, and about twice as long to re-import.

Unfortunately the re-import was not working for me, maybe I had too much data, maybe there had been a large change between my version of Evolution, and the new one...

Suffice to say the recovery of my data into the new Evolution did not work would run for a few hours attacking the .gz file, sifting through the data, then crash. I will just say I ran through many iterations, but got the same result.

So obviously I need to move the data by

I looked at hundreds of links, until I found an easy (ha) answer.

I used the data in these links...mostly the first one...but I manually pasted the files...bad things happen to me whenever I use the CP link. And I needed to run the File Browser in root to do it.

First and simplest link

The first hard part was figuring out where all the files were hidden (and they are hidden files btw).

After I had all the files...I pasted them where they needed to go.

Then because I needed to be in root with the File Browser...I had to change all the permissions back...duh.

Simple walk through of permissions.

That whole process from when I first decided to move the Evolution data, till I got a working version of Evolution was 3 days. And after all the research and trial and error was done, it actually only took a couple of hours...and mostly because my email files are so huge.

I would like to report that it is all good...but for some reason, whenever I open the calendar for the first time, an error message showed up that "Tasks" failed...probably another permissions issue.

Ubuntu 10.4

I had been putting off upgrading my Ubuntu install...because every time there is a major upgrade...I spend weeks fixing things.

But in this case my old Ubuntu install was really old (8.10?), running out of room, and having difficulties.

Mostly I delayed the upgrade because I was using VM and doing my office work on that.

Well my VM was acting poorly...out of disk space (virtual expanding drive?) I moved the applications I was using to a different machine running Win7 (VM was an XP install).

Anywho, I had an extra 500GB sata drive lying around...

Actually installing Ubuntu 10.4 was mostly straight forward, but the disk manager still needed help...I had to boot into the Ubuntu on a disk, run the disk manager to see the new blank drive I installed, then reboot to the installer.

Every time I change or install an OS, I start with a new drive, and keep the old drive plugged into a USB adapter to transfer...or reboot if necessary.

Well once again it was necessary. I use Evolution for email and calendar. I use Firefox for web browsing. I don't like starting from scratch...I just want to move stuff over to the new computer.

Copying all my settings etc into Firefox was easy...there is an Add-on called FEBE that backs up all your Firefox stuff, extensions, themes, bookmarks, etc. Just install it on the old Firefox, run it....then install that extension (FEBE) on the new Firefox, and do the restore.

It isn't quite that simple...but simple enough. The FEBE website, has all the tutorials you need.

Now Evolution was a completely different deal...and I will make it a separate topic.

Back to Ubuntu 10.4

I will say that video card and monitor support is superior to the old Ubuntu I was running. An icon at the top of the screen lets you adjust your settings...including running multiple monitors, choosing if mirrored or expanded view...and resolution.

It also boots much faster than the older version. However the initial install required literally hours of upgrades before it was done...I thought it had crashed it was such a slow process.

But overall, worth the effort to upgrade. Evolution...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kenwood TM-D710A programming info

Anyone who has used this Amateur radio knows that programming it by using the faceplate and microphone is only for the strong willed.

I had used the programming cable and free Kenwood software (MCP-2A) before, but I learned some things this time.

I wanted to program a bunch of repeaters along my drive, complete with CTSSS, naming for location, and organized by I don't have to scan the entire list...just the area I am in.

So some notes:

First a great location for repeaters is at (this link shows the actual repeater search map)

You click on the are you want, show repeaters that cover the area...then at the bottom of the list of repeaters (the column left of the map) you will see a group of links to save your searches at.

I clicked on a town at a regular interval along the drive, and exported each search result as a CSV.

Then I imported each CSV into a spreadsheet program (Comma Separated Values, so during the import, choose comma, not tab), and pasted all the results into one big spreadsheet. For naming the repeaters (how they would show on the radio) I decided to use City and State.

This radio only has 8 characters for names, so I used a spreadsheet function to do the editing for me {CONCATENATE((LEFT(C3);6);C4)} The first function glues text files together, the second imbedded function truncates the name (at C3) to 6 letters. The C4 is the two letter state.

There are some interesting codes the Kenwood software uses to import the the easiest method is to pull the data from your radio first, then EXPORT to HMK using the software. ALSO Save that file (the software will save as .mc2, it is not a text file, and not editable...but has all your important settings)

The HMK file is simply a CSV file renamed. Just change the .HMK to .CSV and import it into your spreadsheet.

From there, just make your repeater list match what the Kenwood software wants, and then paste into that HMK you exported and renamed.

When all done, save your new repeater list as a CSV, close the file (I would make a copy) and change the .CSV to .HMK again, then import it back into the Kenwood software.

Don't be scared, but when you import the HMK all your other settings will disappear (callsign, APRS info etc). The solution is open another copy of the Kenwood software and load that .mc2 file you downloaded from the radio. Now just highlight the list of channel memories you imported from the .HMK file, and paste them onto the memory number on the other copy.

You have to just try will make sense after a couple of tries.

Then save that (both programs) with some names you will remember...and put the version you pulled from the radio back into the radio.

If you paste YOUR list of imported repeaters into the list of memories you downloaded from the radio, then things will work much easier.

There is a help file, and it does show what the program is looking for in the HMK file.