Site Update History

Posts Below
Jul 30 2016 - Updated the blog post about Teeccino
Mar 29 2016 - Navig 2.0, or Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v2.0 for GNU/Linux  (Software Release)       Mar 18 2016 - Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v1.5 for GNU/Linux  (Software Release)
Oct 20 2015 - Updated the "Internet of Things" post a bit       Oct 14 2015 - Astroblahhh Desktop v2.4  (Software Release)
Sep 30 2015 - Warning about character sets and Astroblahhh Desktop; other news on ABDesktop 2.4 & Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0       Sep 20 2015 - Astroblahhh Desktop v2.3  (Software Release)
Feb 11 2015 - Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0  (Software Release)
Sep 12 2014 - Firefox Add-On: Use Page Title as Saved File Name, Change Unusual Chars to Dashes, and Add Current Date and Time v1.4 ApMod v3.0  (Software Release)
Aug 27 2014 - Bash Script: Open Relative Folder on Current Disk (Landmark Template)       Aug 5 2014 - Procrastinating about checking my email
Jul 21 2014 - Python Script: Apollia's Relative Scheduler v1.0  (Software Release)       Jul 21 2014 - Astroblahhh Basic MP3 Player version 1, in JavaScript  (Software Release)
Jun 3 2014 - Official comment threads available for some blog posts
May 3 2014 - Versions of Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK v1.0 and Astroblahhh PH-GTK v1.0 with quieter installers
Apr 29 2014 - Perl Script: Apollia's TrueCrypt Volume Dismounter v1       Apr 29 2014 - Perl Script: Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.1       Apr 15 2014 - Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript  (Software Release)       Apr 1 2014 - Perl Scripts: Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File and Make Contents Note Text File
Mar 13 2014 - Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash

This page lists many of the most recent major and minor additions and changes to Astroblahhh.Com.


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Updated the blog post about Teeccino
Saturday, July 30th, 2016
16:30:44 GMT


I added a lot to my blog post about Teeccino, since I tried all the flavors from this sampler pack, and also discovered that mixing flavors together is fun.

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Navig 2.0, or Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v2.0 for GNU/Linux
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
03:29:15 GMT


Software Release

Here's another new version of my "Navig" Perl script, also known as "Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt for GNU/Linux".

Navig 2.0, or Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v2.0 for GNU/Linux
(Zip File - 46 KB)

Finally, Navig has colorized text as a result of some Bash libraries I wrote while trying to update my Puppy Linux Setup Kit, primarily the library I call the Fashionizer.

The config settings, the shortcuts list, and the fashion settings (which you can customize to use whatever colors and styles you want) are now all in their own separate files.

Navig uses its own copies of my Bash libraries, rather than depending on the ones that my Puppy Linux Setup Kit will someday install for its own use.

If I had the time, I'd probably like to make a native Perl version of the Fashionizer to use with Navig, since it might be a little faster. But, at least it's neat that it's possible to use my Bash libraries with my Perl software.


Navig still doesn't yet interact with my not-yet-done-enough system for splicing together path fragments and making it easy to refer to locations by a simple nickname like "My Music Disk", instead of a specific path which can vary depending on what OS you're using, or even what order you plugged in your disks.

My next goal for Navig is to make it use that system, though I also want Navig to still be able to use old-style shortcuts which refer to an actual path instead of a location's nickname.

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Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v1.5 for GNU/Linux
Friday, March 18th, 2016
00:37:36 GMT


Software Release

I finally updated my "Navig" Perl script - now also known as "Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt for GNU/Linux".

Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v1.5 for GNU/Linux
(Zip File - 13 KB)


Source code files, readable on the web:

Apollia's Navigation Command Prompt v1.5 for GNU/Linux

Navig Shortcuts

The most important change is that it's now possible to store the shortcut list in a separate file.


In the process of updating my Puppy Linux Setup Kit, I ended up building a perhaps overly elaborate system for automatically splicing together various path fragments stored in JSON files.

That system makes it possible to refer to locations by a name like "Disk C" instead of a path like "C:/" (in Windows), "/mnt/sda1" (in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004), or "/media/DiskC" (in Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2).

The current version of my "Navig" script doesn't interact with that new system at all.

But, future versions of my "Navig" script probably will, because I think it will be convenient to not have to maintain separate but largely repetitive Navig shortcut lists for Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004 and Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2.

(Or even Windows or MacOS, if/when I ever get around to making Navig useable in Windows and MacOS. Hopefully it wouldn't be difficult, and it would make those annoying occasions when I have to use Windows or MacOS more pleasant.)


I'm been working on my Puppy Linux Setup Kit for almost 3 months now, and I might still be months away from finishing a releasable update.

But I'm amazed at how un-awful Bash is once you get used to it. I really might be able to get by building the infrastructure of the setup kit out of mostly just Bash scripts and a lot of JSON files, processed by the jq command-line JSON processor.

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Updated the "Internet of Things" post a bit
Tuesday, October 20th, 2015
18:37:29 GMT


I've been updating this old post from July 12, 2015 from time to time:

The "Internet of Things" and "Pervasive Computing": Some of the Worst Ideas Ever


Hopefully someday, when I have the CMS (content management system, for lack of a better term) of my dreams, there will be an automatically-updated list of recent updates, maybe kind of like Wikipedia's Recent changes page.

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Astroblahhh Desktop v2.4
Wednesday, October 14th, 2015
20:15:30 GMT


Software Release

Astroblahhh Desktop 2.4 is another "conventional" release of Astroblahhh Desktop. (Conventional in the context of its own unconventional history.)

Astroblahhh Desktop v2.4 (529 KB Zip File)

That means it's still a horrible mess (though remarkably well-functioning), and it's only runnable as a web app - but since it probably has major security problems, you shouldn't run it while connected to the internet. And it's still nowhere near as polished as I'd like it to be for people other than myself to use.

I haven't tested it extensively in Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 1.0, and I also haven't even tested it at all in XAMPP in Windows XP.

My goal with this version was simply to make it possible (again) for me to use ABDesktop natively in Linux, so I wouldn't have to run ABDesktop inside a Windows-XP-running VirtualBox with no internet connection.


Though I made some decent progress with that goal, it's not perfectly achieved for a number of reasons.

I haven't fully tested Astroblahhh Desktop, but, except for various known problems (and probably some unknown problems), it seems to largely work in both PHP 5.2.17 (using Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 1.0), and PHP 5.6.13 (using my not-yet-released Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0). I haven't tested this version at all in XAMPP in a Windows XP VirtualBox.

Also, I haven't tested the file-moving features at all lately, so I recommend avoiding them.

A pretty annoying problem with Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 1.0 is that it can't create JPG thumbnails, because when I compiled PHP 5.2.17, I didn't realize it was necessary to manually add JPG capabilities to the ./configure command line.

An even worse problem is, I still didn't get around to converting everything to use Unicode UTF-8 encoding. So, the warning I posted on Sept. 29th/30th still applies.


My current workaround is to just use new databases and avoid editing my old databases. Astroblahhh Desktop's "copyrecord" and "exportrecord" commands (even in the released versions of Astroblahhh Desktop) work pretty well - so, in the future, once I have everything converted to UTF-8, merging my newer databases with my old databases shouldn't be too troublesome.

I also hastily added a universal read-only mode, and a non-universal read-only mode - either of which you can turn on by editing the file "lib-abdesk.php" in the "abdesk" folder. The non-universal read-only mode makes all databases read-only by default except the ones that are added to the array $list_of_writable_dbs, stored inside "lists_of_all_your_dbs.php" inside the "custom" folder.

Both read-only modes also block the ConnectAsRoot() MySQL database connection function from connecting at all, even to databases listed as writable.

The read-only restriction is enforced by using a MySQL user which is only allowed to use the SELECT command. That user can be created using the new "Create Read-Only User" script. I think the read-only features probably work, but, please be careful.

Rather than depending on the read-only features, I prefer to just copy my databases into my RAM disk. That keeps the originals safe, and makes the copies very fast to read.


More ways Astroblahhh Desktop isn't totally Linuxified yet include the fact that the file organizer still pays no attention to file permissions, file owners, and file groups. The file organizer also still assumes that your filesystem is case insensitive, as it is in Windows.

And as it should be, in my opinion - because I agree with this article that case sensitivity in software tends to be evil. Nonetheless, I'll someday try to deal with the case sensitivity nuisance eventually - but, I think I'll make Astroblahhh Desktop optionally "enforce" case insensitivity, such as by refusing to move files with exactly the same name except different capitalization into the same directory.

To the file organizer, I added a rather half-assed ability to deal with symlinks. The file organizer recognizes symlinks, but doesn't store their destinations. It's easy for PHP to obtain a symlink's destination, but changing the database's schema to store this new info seemed like too much of a nuisance to undertake for an already nearly obsolete version of Astroblahhh Desktop.


Other than all that, the file organizer (at least when only reading files) seems to work fairly well natively in Linux, instead of running inside a Windows XP VirtualBox.

However, again, I haven't tested the file-moving features at all lately, and I recommend avoiding them.

Also, Linux file permissions often prevent the file organizer from even being able to read files in many locations. That was such a nuisance (particularly when I couldn't figure out how to mount NTFS-formatted TrueCrypt volumes with appropriate permissions), I finally opted for the quite questionable workaround of slightly editing the Hiawatha web server's source code - as described in this Hiawatha Webserver forum post from Sept. 1, 2010, 11:13 - to make it possible to run Hiawatha as root.

One thing that makes this workaround a bit less terrible is the fact that I've returned to my old habit of only using Astroblahhh Desktop (or any web server software, especially the Hiawatha I modified to run as root) while disconnected from the internet.

In fact, I now just use a totally different computer for the internet - and, thanks to my Puppy Linux Setup Kit, doing that is actually pretty comfortable. (Except I have too little RAM, so I have to stay away from sites like Tumblr, and even Google Image Search can crash my entire system.) I don't even need a hard drive, and could even get by without a Flash drive if I didn't usually like to save things, or at least URLs.

Unfortunately, using a different than usual computer for the internet is part of the reason I've lately had even more difficulty than in the past with my email. I have my Thunderbird profiles on a hard drive in an external USB enclosure because they're so bloated they don't fit comfortably on my Flash drives, and I don't want to maybe wear out my Flash drives by downloading mail onto them. And, even though my external hard drive is technically portable, I still don't like moving it, and my internet computer is too far away to plug in my hard drive without moving it.


But, back to Astroblahhh Desktop. It was pleasant to find that the SHA-512 checksum features are much faster when running ABDesktop in Linux rather than having ABDesktop inside a VirtualBox. I don't know why, but accessing files outside of a VirtualBox from within VirtualBox tends to be noticeably slower than accessing files normally. (That's why I used to store my databases inside my VirtualBox. I tried storing them outside, but searches that ordinarily would take a few seconds at most were taking something like 20 seconds. At least with VirtualBox 4.1.8.)

I guess probably using the file (record) adder and making image thumbnails is faster now too, but that was usually tolerably fast even with Astroblahhh Desktop inside VirtualBox.


I love VirtualBox, but having to use VirtualBox always felt like a ball and chain, since VirtualBox is not at all convenient on computers where I don't have a hard drive, and don't feel like moving an external hard drive to it, or where I only have 1 or 2 GB of RAM, or even less.

I also am not eager to possibly wear out a USB Flash drive by storing and running a Windows XP VirtualBox on a Flash drive. Fortunately, larger and larger Flash drives are getting cheaper and cheaper, but, I still don't like to waste things or money if I can avoid it.


Even with the latest versions, Astroblahhh Desktop alone (without VirtualBox) shouldn't actually require a powerful computer. The original versions ran surprisingly nicely even on a quite pathetic 1.10 GHz Windows XP computer with only 256 MB RAM. And, I'm not sure, but I think probably the later versions probably still could as well.

And I'm hoping even the not-yet-finished PHP-GTK version will also be able to run on pathetic computers with only 256 MB RAM. Or even less RAM would be nice.

However, having only 256 MB RAM or less might necessitate using a Puppy Linux full installation instead of a frugal RAM-disk-using installation, since Puppy plus Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK might use up too much RAM, even if you don't install a web browser.

I guess someday if I ever get a Raspberry Pi, it would be fun to make Astroblahhh Desktop work well on that.

I wonder if OrientDB can run on a Raspberry Pi? I guess if Java can, then maybe OrientDB can too?


Happily, very little had to be done to make Astroblahhh Desktop 2.4 work with PHP 5.6.13.

I made a simple custom PHP error handler to make it block the warnings about the deprecated "mysql" PHP functions. Future not-yet-released extensively renovated versions of Astroblahhh Desktop will (or already do) instead use PHP's newer, recommended PDO database-handling features.

The custom error handler also usually changes the background and text colors of pages containing errors, to make it more obvious at a glance (and pretty) when errors happen.


Probably my next top goal (at least with Astroblahhh Desktop) is to figure out how to convert everything to Unicode UTF-8 encoding.

Once I figure that out, it'll be a lot easier to move forward with all the different projects I have in mind.

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Warning about character sets and Astroblahhh Desktop; other news on ABDesktop 2.4 & Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
03:48:10 GMT


I just added this new warning to Astroblahhh Desktop's home page, just in case there actually might be any users of Astroblahhh Desktop in the world besides me:

Warning, Sept. 29/30, 2015: Please be wary of using the same Astroblahhh Desktop databases on two very different computer platforms, such as Windows XP and Linux, or even the same platform but with different web browsers, such as a newer browser which is likely to use Unicode as its default character set, and an older browser which doesn't default to Unicode.

I just recently found out editing a database record while using a different character set than that record was created with can mess up unusual text characters. (I stumbled across this because my Windows XP installation of Astroblahhh Desktop - with web browsers I haven't updated for many years - and my Linux installation of Astroblahhh Desktop - which uses Firefox 32 - happen to use different default character sets.)

So, it looks like I need to upgrade Astroblahhh Desktop to store all database text in Unicode (UTF-8) format. But, if you always use Astroblahhh Desktop on the same computer platform with the same default character set, hopefully that's safe.

Also, not even the latest-released versions are fully compatible with Linux yet, despite some efforts I made in 2011. But, I'm definitely working on that too. I love VirtualBox, but I don't love having to use it (or Windows XP) to use Astroblahhh Desktop.


I've been working on Astroblahhh Desktop v2.4 for several days now. My goal with 2.4 was simply to update as little as possible to get Astroblahhh Desktop working properly in Linux (and PHP 5.6.13). The update was seeming pretty easy overall, until I ran into that Unicode issue.

Luckily, I didn't lose any data because I was still only upgrading and testing Astroblahhh Desktop 2.4, rather than using it on my real databases.

But, even though I might be the only serious user of Astroblahhh Desktop in the world, I thought I should point out that warning just in case.


One surprising problem I ran into was that, according to this page, MySQL databases had rather poor Unicode UTF-8 support until MySQL 5.5.3, which was released in early 2010. (Which is very old, but still newer than the ancient edition of XAMPP I use in my Windows XP VirtualBox for Astroblahhh Desktop.) And, for decent Unicode UTF-8 support in MySQL, you have to use "utf8mb4" encoding rather than just "utf8".

Even the version of MariaDB I used in Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 1.0 - MariaDB 5.3.12 - doesn't have "utf8mb4" encoding. Unless I'm mistaken, judging by this page, only MariaDB 5.5 and up have that.

So, though I was originally actually tempted to just stay with MariaDB 5.3.12 in the not-yet-released Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0, it looks like I need to upgrade.


I managed to figure out how to compile and use Cmake, so I was able to build the latest MariaDB - but then I found out from this page that starting with version 10.0, MariaDB has started to diverge more from MySQL than MariaDB did in the past.

And on Sept. 30, 2015 - my web host, DreamHost, is going to automatically update my sites' databases to MySQL 5.6.

So, to maintain compatibility with MySQL and the web host I use, Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0 is probably going to use MySQL 5.6.26 rather than MariaDB, even though I still like MariaDB.


I couldn't figure out how to install something MySQL supposedly needed called libaio, but I managed to compile MySQL anyway, and it seems so far to work, judging by the fact that I was able to look at MySQL 5.6.26 databases in PhpMyAdmin 4.5.0.2.

I even was able to read my old Astroblahhh Desktop databases without changing them at all for use in MySQL 5.6.26. And, this all still works using the old version of the Hiawatha web server included with Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004.

I think it's neat that things still work so well despite not upgrading Hiawatha - though I probably should add an updated Hiawatha to Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0 nonetheless.


Comments, suggestions, etc. are welcome at the Eryss.Com Forum, either on this thread or elsewhere.

Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

I'm particularly interested in clues on what to do about MySQL's libaio dependency. This hasn't been too easy for me to fix as a Puppy Linux user, because I don't have a package manager like "apt" or "yum", and practically the only "solution" I can find on the web is advice to use your package manager to download libaio.

But even if I had a package manager, I'd still rather find libaio's source code and compile it myself from scratch, because I don't like the idea of being dependent on a package manager, or even on an internet connection.

I'm also interested in clues on whether or not doing without libaio is likely to lead to catastrophe.

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Astroblahhh Desktop v2.3
Sunday, September 20th, 2015
20:36:25 GMT


Software Release

This is a relatively minor update of Astroblahhh Desktop compared to what I'm working on.

Astroblahhh Desktop 2.3 (498 KB zip file)

(Addition, 6:55 PM EDT: Reuploaded because I forgot to include the GNU Affero General Public License.)

And, I should point out that like all the previous releases, I still haven't gone to as much trouble as I should to try to make it easy for people other than myself to install and use. And it still contains a ton of legacy code I wrote years ago, which has many bad design issues you'd expect from a relatively inexperienced programmer, such as using global variables all over the place. (Hopefully most future versions will be better in these regards.)


Despite all the organizer software I write, I'm still a lot more disorganized than I should be, so, I didn't keep very careful track of what I added to Astroblahhh Desktop since the previous release.

But, the most notable thing I recall adding is the ability for the file organizer to calculate SHA-512 checksums (also known as SHA-512 hashes) of files, and store them in file databases. Plus other things related to SHA-512 checksums, to compare checksums in two different databases, search for checksums, etc.

I did this simply so I could be more certain that my backup files in various disks (or discs) are intact. (Also, it's nice to be able to easily locate and group together identical files.)


This was inspired by a scary article I read which mentioned the concept of bitrot. Here is that article, from Ars Technica:

Bitrot and atomic COWs: Inside "next-gen" filesystems
"We look at the amazing features in ZFS and btrfs - and why you need them"


I was quite dismayed by that article, but didn't feel up to figuring out how to implement bitrot countermeasures such as switching to the ZFS or btrfs filesystem, or setting up some kind of automated RAID backups involving multiple hard disks.

But, that article made me realize (or reminded me) that I had hardly any idea how much bitrot my files might already be suffering. So, several months ago, I decided to temporarily set aside my work on Astroblahhh Desktop 3.0 (and other things), and solve this problem first. I think I finished this stuff back in June or July.

That article mentions checksumming a lot, so, that gave me the idea to add the new checksum features to Astroblahhh Desktop. Which aren't the same as the checksum features mentioned in that article - instead of calculating checksums for "blocks", Astroblahhh Desktop calculates checksums for the entire files.

Prior to this, I never did much of anything with checksums until I made the downloader script portion of my Puppy Linux Setup Kit, since I needed a quick and easy way to verify that downloads had been successful.

I wish I had paid attention to the concept of checksums much sooner, since it seems very clever and useful (even though of course I don't fully understand it).


After (and even while) building the SHA-512 checksum features into Astroblahhh Desktop, I went through my old file archives and made SHA-512 checksums for most everything.

A quite slow process, since I have a lot of files - and after a major reorganization of my disks a while back, I hadn't resynced my databases with the new actual locations of all my files yet, so that slowed me down too. (For the resyncing, I had to use Astroblahhh Desktop's "mass locate" and "mirrorer" features a lot, which made it quite a lot easier, but it was still not as convenient and automated as would be ideal.)

Another thing that made calculating checksums slower was, I made a way to make SHA-512 checksums for what I call "paired" folders - which are folders which often get created to hold the images, CSS files, etc. of web page files you save with Firefox and other browsers.

(I save a lot of web page files, so, even from the beginning of the file organizer portion of the Astroblahhh Desktop project, I went out a lot out of my way to build in capabilities specifically to deal with web files and their paired folders, so it wouldn't be as easy to accidentally separate web files from their paired folders.)


If I recall correctly what my paired folder SHA-512 checksum-making code does - all the files contained in the paired folder are checksummed, with each of their checksums added to a single long string, then a single SHA-512 checksum is calculated for that long string of checksums, and that gets used as the paired folder's checksum.

This is quite possibly stupid in some way I haven't yet thought of. (If so, I'd love to hear about it, or any other feedback. Comments are welcome at Eryss.Com Forum or can be sent privately to me.)

But, it seems to achieve the goal of reliably creating the same checksum for different copies of the same paired folder - so, I'm happy enough with it for now, even though calculating the checksums of paired folders is often much slower than calculating checksums for lone files.


So, now, if bitrot ever occurs, at least I'll hopefully be able to detect it at some point in the future. And, amongst all my many redundant backup files, I'll be able to tell which backups are intact and which are corrupted.

One of my new scripts enables me to compare the SHA-512 checksums in two different databases, so, after the slow chore of adding checksums to my databases, I was able to quickly and easily verify that my various redundant backups have all the same checksums in them. Happily, I haven't detected any bitrot so far.

It's so nice to be able to know with far more certainty that my files are intact, rather than just making lots of redundant backups and mostly just hoping they're all truly identical. (I did sometimes use the "diff" command on them, though.)


This might turn out to be one of the last, uh, conventional versions of Astroblahhh Desktop. (Though a web app that isn't intended to run on a web server on the internet isn't all that common/conventional. But, that's what Astroblahhh Desktop always was. So, this version is at least typical/conventional in the context of Astroblahhh Desktop's own history.)

Most future versions will hopefully have the ability to run as either a PHP-GTK true desktop app or a web app, and maybe even also a console/command line app.

Also, since I was able to get PHP-GTK to work with PHP 5.6.13, there's nothing holding me back anymore from starting to use whatever fancy new PHP features I was missing out on as a result of sticking with PHP 5.2.17 for so long.

I hope in the end, Astroblahhh Desktop will be easily installable, useable and useful even in Windows and MacOS, as well as Linux. (Well, it already is mostly tailored to Windows, since it was first written while I was still mostly a Windows user, and, up until now, I usually used it in a Windows XP VirtualBox, even though in 2011 I added some compatibility with Linux.)


Despite my recently-discovered adoration of graph databases, I still want to preserve Astroblahhh Desktop's ability to use MySQL/MariaDB and SQLite databases. (SQLite is currently useable in a not-yet-released version of Astroblahhh Desktop.)

They're still useful, even if they're not as mindblowingly flexible as OrientDB is, and even if I'm itching to build an OrientDB-based possible successor to Astroblahhh Desktop.

Astroblahhh Desktop's existing databases are also a lot less mind-boggling to me than my graph database-related daydreams.

But probably what's making the graph database stuff a lot more mind-boggling than graph databases normally are is my obsessive struggling with trying to design my ideal database software, with temporal-database fanciness, rewindable history, provenance of data instead of just data alone, multiple users, etc., etc. I haven't even started coding it yet, I've just been jotting down tons of notes and ideas in VUE concept maps and NoteCases.

All my lofty ideas seem a lot more feasible with a graph database rather than MySQL/MariaDB or SQLite. But, those ideas might be so difficult I'll have to give up in the end, and do something easier.

Fortunately, even something easier will probably still be quite powerful and useful, and quite possibly better than Astroblahhh Desktop with less effort.

Anyway, I've only struggled with designing my ideal graph database since late August, and only quite recently got PhpOrient to work (because I had to go to the trouble to update Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK to 2.0), so I'm not tired of the struggle yet.


Donations are microdonations are welcome. Meanwhile, goods and services still aren't really available yet. But services might become more available if/when I finally solve the various nuisances with my email.

I'm kind of fed up with the Thunderbird email client's overly bloated profiles and how complicated it is to deal with my email on multiple computers, since I usually prefer downloading my mail with POP3 rather than leaving it on the server using IMAP, and I don't want to have to mess around with figuring out how to merge different Thunderbird profiles from different computers together.

And I also want to escape Gmail, since it's closed source and a Service-as-a-Software-Substitute - SaaSS.


So, I'm seriously thinking about adding an email organizer to Astroblahhh Desktop and writing my own email-downloading software.

I somehow managed to compile PHP's IMAP extension (which, among other things, also can handle POP3 and even NNTP, the Usenet protocol). And then managed to figure out how to access one of my DreamHost email accounts with a PHP console script on my own computer (rather than uploaded to DreamHost).

So, my daydream of writing my own email software is starting to seem truly feasible. It may seem silly to reinvent such a wheel, rather than just look harder for existing email software that I like more than Thunderbird - but for some reason I feel inspired to go to the trouble.


I also managed to compile and use PHP-SWEPH 1.80 with PHP 5.6.13 in Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0. Just thought I'd point out that it's possible.

That also makes possible an up-to-date PHP 5.6.13+PHP-GTK edition of the astrology software Eryss - though I'm probably not very likely to work on that in the very near future, because astrology software is nowhere near as useful on a practical level as my other projects.


I haven't released any compiled Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0 binaries, and maybe won't at all, because I think it might be better to release Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0 as build-from-scratch scripts in another update of my Puppy Linux Setup Kit.

But, I haven't yet written the build-from-scratch scripts. I'll most likely get around to it when I get around to going back to Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2, since I haven't built Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK 2.0 for LH64 yet.


Again, donations and microdonations are welcome.

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Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0
Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
14:22:48 GMT


Software Release

I finally managed to make a pretty much releasable edition of Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0.

Astroblahhh Desktop v2.0 (457 KB Zip File)

The source code is hopeless mess which I can't even hope to perfect in a reasonable amount of time. I also didn't adequately update its documentation. But, it's amazing how well it works, despite such hideously messy source code.

I still use it very frequently because I still haven't completed Astroblahhh Desktop v3.0, which is in progress, but not useable yet.

More info is on Astroblahhh Desktop's home page.


Perhaps someday Astroblahhh Desktop might become a plausible rival to things like Evernote or Trello.

Or, perhaps I'm only daydreaming. On the other hand, maybe the only thing that might make it impossible is the oppression caused by my and my family's financial struggles.

As usual, donations and microdonations and purchases of goods (still none available yet) and services (again, somewhat available, except for the fact that I keep avoiding even checking my email) are welcome.

Edit, 2:38 PM: Had to reupload the zip file several times, because I kept noticing little problems that had to be fixed. The timestamp of the hopefully final zip file is 2:31:20 PM EST, and it was uploaded probably less than 2-3 minutes after that.

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Firefox Add-On: Use Page Title as Saved File Name, Change Unusual Chars to Dashes, and Add Current Date and Time v1.4 ApMod v3.0
Friday, September 12th, 2014
23:25:08 GMT


Software Release

I finally updated the old "Use Page Title As File Name + Change Unusual Chars To Dashes" Firefox add-on, since I found it didn't work in Firefox 32.

The new version is:

Use Page Title as Saved File Name, Change Unusual Chars to Dashes,
and Add Current Date and Time v1.4 ApMod v3.0

Like the previous version, I didn't write it from scratch. Both versions are modified versions of File Title 1.4. The original File Title 1.4 is by Pavel Cvrcek.


I also updated the Firefox Add-Ons page for the first time since December 2011.

I didn't update most of the text on it, nor even add any new add-ons except the above, but, there's a new Tips for Making Firefox Add-Ons section.

Addition, 9:37 PM EDT: Just added a General Tips section too.

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Bash Script: Open Relative Folder on Current Disk (Landmark Template)
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
04:15:04 GMT


A new little Bash script:

Open Relative Folder on Current Disk (Landmark Template)

It works in both Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004, and Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2.


This script makes it so you can easily open a folder on the same disk as the script, even if the disk containing that folder and this script gets mounted at a different than usual mountpoint.

I call these shortcuts "landmarks" (partly inspired by Second Life). I keep most of them in a "Landmarks" folder at the root level of many of my disks.

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Procrastinating about checking my email
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
18:54:06 GMT


To anyone it might concern - I've been avoiding checking a lot of my email, for a variety of reasons. It's partly because it's such a nuisance to check a lot of it. I store my Thunderbird profile on an external hard drive that I usually don't have turned on.

And, I have my Thunderbird email client inside a Windows XP VirtualBox, since I still haven't migrated to a native Linux email client.

And, to my knowledge, I usually get hardly any mail from anyone. And, my email is typically full of spam, and I still don't have adequate spam filters. (Except with my Gmail, but I'm trying to reduce my dependence on Gmail, so, I don't want to share that address publicly.)

So, the bottom line is, checking most of my email addresses is generally a very unrewarding nuisance. On top of that, I'm also shy, as well as quite busy lately, so I'm sure I'm avoiding my email partly for those reasons too.

Sorry if anyone is awaiting replies!


Posts to my forums are actually a much better way to reach me than most of my email addresses, because of the lack of spam. So, things posted there are far more likely to be seen by me sooner than any email. (Even though I don't check the forums every day.)

Eryss.Com Forum

Non24.Com Forum

Another option is my Tumblr - though I haven't been using Tumblr much lately, and that's probably not going to change soon, since I have too much to do.

You can send me public or private messages via my forums or Tumblr. My forums and my Tumblr are moderated (and I'm the only moderator), so, messages won't be posted immediately or automatically, and, if you include a note in your message that says you don't want your message to appear publicly, I won't publish your message.


Happily, on my forums, there are almost never any spambot posts or spambot registrations, ever since 2013 when I changed some settings to make it harder for spambots to register or post.

(Except last month there were some spambot registrations when I made the mistake of replacing the anti-spam verification question with an easy math question. Spambots can do math, it seems.)


Just thought I should post this to explain to anyone why they might not have gotten a reply.

I'm not even aware of anyone who has sent me any non-spam mail (or I probably would have replied by now), but, it's very possible that important things got lost in the floods of spam I get.

I really need to figure out a better way of dealing with my email and filtering out spam. Suggestions and other comments are welcome!


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Python Script: Apollia's Relative Scheduler v1.0
Monday, July 21st, 2014
21:17:57 GMT


Software Release

Here's a Python* script I first wrote back in March or April 2012.

Apollia's Relative Scheduler v1.0

As usual, it's only sure to work in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004.

All it does is, it asks you for the time you woke up, then generates a schedule for you with many events relative to the time you put in (and some fixed-time events, if you like). The schedule is an HTML file viewable in a web browser. The script also sets up cron to display reminders.

(Warning: this script will wipe out any existing cron events you've set up.)

It's definitely not my best work, and Python is definitely not my favorite language, but, it gets the job done.


Why did I write such a thing at all? Because my sleep issues are so severe that ordinary scheduler software (which typically only lets you put in events happening at fixed times) is largely useless to me.

I suspect I probably have Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder, or something similar - a physical problem which messes up my circadian rhythms. I will actually be posting more about that quite soon.


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Astroblahhh Basic MP3 Player version 1, in JavaScript
Monday, July 21st, 2014
07:10:10 GMT


Software Release

OK, I finally made a simple JavaScript music player which seems good enough to release. It doesn't use any streaming music service's API. (I might write more about that in another blog post.)

All it can do is play MP3s hosted on a web server, and it's still rather rough around the edges.

Online demo of Astroblahhh Basic MP3 Player version 1, in JavaScript

Downloadable zip file (828 KB) - Readme

In a couple ways, it's not quite as nice as VGRemix.com's very nice (and similar) web player, because I didn't bother to create a loading progress bar, or show the song duration.

But, you can play/pause, stop, skip to anyplace in the song, and change the volume. And, you can go to the next or previous tracks, since there's a very basic queue.


I'd like to build something more complete, but, that's all I can afford to do for now.

But, thanks to this little project, I'm now convinced that, given time and freedom from having to worry about money, I could probably eventually create something even nicer than MOG's web player.

If you like my web player and would like me to expand it, donations or microdonations and purchases of goods (still none available yet) and services are welcome.


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Official comment threads available for some blog posts
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
04:47:52 GMT


I decided to make it a bit easier for people to post comments on my blog if they like.

My WordsPlatz blog software has no code to handle comments, and it would have probably been a big nuisance to add that.

Besides, a forum is much nicer for comments anyway.

So, I'm using the Eryss.Com Forum to host comment threads, and making them visible here on Astroblahhh.Com by adding an HTML iframe to the bottom of some posts, along with a link which you can click to load the comment thread in the iframe.

Guest posting is enabled in that section of the forum, so, you actually don't need to register to post. However, comments are moderated - and, just as I often have put off checking my email, I often avoid checking on my so far usually inactive forum - so, comments might be very slow to appear.

Even if a blog post doesn't have an official comment thread, you're still welcome to comment on it somewhere in the Eryss.Com Forum.

Here are the forum's rules in case you're curious, though you're welcome to post without reading them.


Click this link to display the blog comment thread hosted at the Eryss.Com Forum:

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Versions of Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK v1.0 and Astroblahhh PH-GTK v1.0 with quieter installers
Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
04:17:50 GMT


I finally got around to releasing versions of Astroblahhh GLMP-GTK and Astroblahhh PH-GTK which install more quietly, without asking tons of annoying questions.

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Perl Script: Apollia's TrueCrypt Volume Dismounter v1
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
08:47:09 GMT


A small but useful new Perl script:

Apollia's TrueCrypt Volume Dismounter v1

This script simply dismounts any TrueCrypt volume which is dragged and dropped onto it, or whose filepath is sent to this script as an argument.

Or, you can optionally put a list of filepaths of TrueCrypt volumes which should be dismounted when the script is run without drag and drop or without arguments.

You can configure the script to ignore dragged and dropped items and arguments. You can also configure this script to be incapable of running unless it is provided either dragged and dropped items, or filepaths as arguments.

This script definitely works with TrueCrypt 7.1 in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004.


I don't know if it will all work properly with other Linuxes or other TrueCrypt versions. And the stuff involving the RXVT terminal program definitely won't, if your Linux doesn't have that.

So, please be very careful.

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Perl Script: Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.1
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
04:04:56 GMT


Definitely works in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004.

This is the newest update, which is now capable of handling files/folders with quotes in their names:

Apollia's Drag and Drop Pondizer v1.1 (zip file, 10 KB)


Web-viewable versions:

The version with a separate config file

The separate config file


See the Linux page for more info about what the pondizer is for.

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Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
21:16:58 GMT


Software Release

Finished today:

Simple Price Per Item Calculator v1, in JavaScript

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Perl Scripts: Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File and Make Contents Note Text File
Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
23:44:44 GMT


A couple small new Perl scripts. They definitely work in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8.

Make "Welcome to Disk!" Text File

Make Contents Note Text File

These two are almost exactly the same script. First, they ask you to type in some text, then they create a text file which contains (and whose file name contains) the text you typed.

I like to put the created files at the root level of my various disks and TrueCrypt* volumes, just to make it easier to tell at a glance where I am and what is in there.

The "Welcome" script creates a text file with a name like "Welcome to Fluffyland!" (or whatever other disk name you typed), and the "Contents" script creates a text file with a name like "~Contents - My entire MIDI collection up to 2014".

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Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash
Thursday, March 13th, 2014
08:30:16 GMT


A few days ago, I ran across a useful Roku* remote controller script written in Bash by someone named "JM", also known as "Fubaya".

Posted July 7, 2011 to the A More Common Hades blog:

Final Roku bash shell script

Thank you very much to "JM"/"Fubaya" for creating such useful scripts and such a useful blog!


I didn't originally intend to put so much effort into it, but, over the past few days, I ended up making a very modified version of that script, plus a few little companion scripts.

It's really neat having so much instantaneous control of my Roku XS via my computer keyboard. Or just by double-clicking scripts on my computer.

Lots more info is in the source code.


Edit, 3/15/2014, 5:39 AM. OK, I finally finished the version 4 update I was unable to finish before due to being too tired, too headachy, and/or too focused on other things.

I added a new F4 hotkey which sends "Enter" to the Roku, to quickly submit text input forms or search forms without you having to do any additional navigation or typing.

And, related to that, a new typeable command, "ss" or "submitstring" or "submitsearch", which not only inserts whatever string of text you want, but also immediately submits the input, so you won't even have to use the F4 hotkey.

Roku Remote Controller Script version 4, written in Bash, with companion scripts (zipped, 13 KB)


Web-viewable copies of all the scripts:

roku-remote-v4.sh

Launch Netflix Channel: Perl Version - Bash Version

Launch Roku Remote Control Script Live Mode in an RXVT Terminal Window - Perl Version - Bash Version


Old version 3:

Roku Remote Controller Script version 3, written in Bash, with companion scripts (zipped, 13 KB)

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