Nov. 9, 2019, 4:00 AM EST: I recently made the mistake of switching Astroblahhh.Com's version of PHP to 7.2 without checking to make sure my blogging software WordsPlatz still works with PHP 7.2!

So, I had to manually edit this page's HTML code to add this update.


I just wanted to post this link:

Qobuz streaming music service now $14.99 per month for 1st 100,000 subscribers, until Jan. 31, 2020



Posts Below
9/16/2019 - Link: "American presidential candidate Andrew Yang's giveaway of 10 Freedom Dividends; universal basic income & human-centered capitalism" (Freedom)
5/26/2019 - Wired magazine's Memorial Day sale - $5 for 1 year of print and digital access (News)
3/4/2019 - Web browser bookmarklets to change Reddit comment sort order with a single click (Web Browsers - Bookmarklets)
2/22/2019 - Amazing randomly-generated fake pictures (Pictures)
7/30/2018 - Steve Pavlina's Deep Abundance Integration live video series (Self-Help)
7/29/2018 - Link: "Bras might reduce melatonin and increase the risk of breast cancer" (Health)
7/6/2018 - LHPup.org is down, but Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 is still available in Archive.org (Puppy Linux)
7/4/2018 - Link: "Failure to Launch" is actually Failure to Lem (Freedom)
6/28/2018 - My modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment (Software)
6/4/2018 - Heard that GitHub will be acquired by Microsoft, so I deleted all my GitHub repos (Software - News)
5/10/2018 - Link: "Tomb Raider Cosplay Is Accurate" (Humor)
4/24/2018 - Windy.com - a lovely and fast weather website (News)
4/9/2018 - Link: "SLIGHTLY AGGRESSIVE AFFIRMATIONS" (Self-Help)
3/21/2018 - Recipe Link: "Amish Tomato Bread" (Food - Untried)
3/21/2018 - Recipe Link: "Chicken & Tomato No-Boil Pasta Bake" (Food - Untried)
3/19/2018 - Link: "Blackstrap Molasses, Iron and Ferritin Deficiency, Menstrual Health, and a Yummy Dessert Recipe" (Health)
3/7/2018 - NOAA National Weather Service, a fast alternative to Weather.com (News)
1/29/2018 - How to make Saxon/C v1.1.0 into a PHP extension for PHP 5.6.13 in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 (Puppy Linux)
1/11/2018 - Video Links: Some nifty makeup tutorials (Entertainment)
11/23/2017 - How I Run VirtualBox 4.3.22 with Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux as Both Host and Guest (Programming)

This section might (or might not) include extra posts that weren't important or interesting enough to have on the front page.


    Hide/Show:


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Link: "American presidential candidate Andrew Yang's giveaway of 10 Freedom Dividends; universal basic income & human-centered capitalism"
Monday, September 16th, 2019
10:55:39 GMT

Freedom

On Non24.com, I recently posted this blog post:

American presidential candidate Andrew Yang's giveaway of 10 Freedom Dividends; universal basic income & human-centered capitalism

Sept. 16, 2019 from Non24.com


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Wired magazine's Memorial Day sale - $5 for 1 year of print and digital access
Sunday, May 26th, 2019
16:54:21 GMT

News

Last modified May 27, 2019 at 7:15 AM EDT.

I recently re-subscribed to the technology magazine Wired because I noticed their excellent Memorial Day sale - $5 for 1 year of print and digital access.

Such a low price even I felt like I could comfortably afford it!

WIRED Magazine Subscription

As I write this, the sale is ongoing, even though Memorial Day is actually tomorrow.

However, if you miss out on this particular sale, I think I remember seeing this sale being offered around other holidays, though I forgot which one(s). So, hopefully there will be future sales like this. (Also, even the normal price of $10 per year is actually quite excellent, I think.)

Happily for anyone boycotting credit cards - you can even pay with PayPal or Amazon Pay instead.


By the way, the first time I visited the subscription page, there was a pop-up which gave me a less excellent offer of 3 months for $1 when I clicked yes on it.

Fortunately, I wasn't stuck with that offer. To get back the superior offer of $5 for 1 year of print and digital access, I simply had to leave the subscription page and return to it several minutes later.


Here's Wired.com's search page, which lets you search the entire Wired magazine archive.

If you'd rather browse the archive instead of searching it, you can go to Wired.com's Site Map page.


This blog post is definitely not affiliate marketing or any other kind of official marketing for Wired. (Though I would probably happily join their affiliate program if I found out they had one, but I wasn't able to find one yet.)

I'm just pointing this out because I think this is a really good deal. Wired has been one of my favorite magazines ever since the 1990's. (Though for lack of enough money or willingness to spend it - the only time in the past I actually had a subscription of my own was way back in 2001-2002 or something.)


I'm so glad there's still a print magazine. Even though Wired is one of my favorite magazines, I wouldn't have been entirely happy to subscribe for digital access alone, because I think selling exclusively digital access to anything is probably a bad, unsustainable business model in the long run (and I could probably write an entire blog post on all the reasons why I think that) - and in general, I much prefer to buy physical objects rather than non-libre, non-open source digital products.

And I just love the idea of having some good old-fashioned print magazines to leaf through, instead of having to read everything on a glowing screen.

I also am pleased with the fact that I'll probably be able to sell my used print magazines on eBay or something when I'm done with them, probably for a profit. Especially since I'll probably hoard them for years before I ever get around to selling them, and they'll probably go up in value because of being so old.

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Web browser bookmarklets to change Reddit comment sort order with a single click
Monday, March 4th, 2019
15:31:26 GMT

Web Browsers
Bookmarklets

I couldn't find a way to permanently set the Reddit comment sort order without logging in.

So, I made some web browser bookmarklets, written in JavaScript, that can change the Reddit comment sort order with a single click.


I made 2 slightly different sets of these bookmarklets, since I also wanted to be able to more easily switch to the faster-loading "np" ("No Participation") version of Reddit pages.

So, the 2nd set is the one I prefer.


This 1st set of bookmarklets changes only the sort order.

Old - New - Controversial - Q&A - Top - Best


This 2nd set of bookmarklets additionally converts the web page's address from "www.reddit.com" to "np.reddit.com", since Reddit's "np" ("No Participation") pages load noticeably faster on my computer:

Old - New - Controversial - Q&A - Top - Best


These bookmarklets might work in various Firefox-like browsers, maybe even Firefox.

But, I've only tested them in my favorite web browser, Pale Moon (version 27.4.1).


To install them, you can just dragdrop the above links into your bookmarks toolbar.

Or, you could right-click on your bookmarks toolbar, choose "New Bookmark", then copy and paste one of the below source code snippets into the "Location" field of the new bookmark, give the bookmark a name, then click Add.


In the Pale Moon web browser, to show or hide your Bookmarks Toolbar, go to the "View" menu, then the "Toolbars" menu item, and choose "Bookmarks Toolbar".


Source code of 1st set of bookmarklets, which only change the Reddit comment sort order:


Sort by Old
(chronological order)


Sort by New
(reverse chronological order)


Sort by Controversial
("posts that have very even amounts of up/downvotes and a lot of activity")


Sort by Q&A
("shows all the comments to which te original poster replied to")


Sort by Top
("the most upvotes regardless of downvotes")


Sort by Best
("highest upvote to downvote ratio")



Source code of 2nd set of bookmarklets, which change the Reddit comment sort order and also convert the web page's address from "www.reddit.com" to "np.reddit.com", since Reddit's "np" ("No Participation") pages load noticeably faster on my computer:


Sort by Old
(chronological order)


Sort by New
(reverse chronological order)


Sort by Controversial
("posts that have very even amounts of up/downvotes and a lot of activity")


Sort by Q&A
("shows all the comments to which te original poster replied to")


Sort by Top
("the most upvotes regardless of downvotes")


Sort by Best
("highest upvote to downvote ratio")

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Amazing randomly-generated fake pictures
Friday, February 22nd, 2019
19:56:40 GMT

Pictures

Yesterday or so, I stumbled across two very entertaining but rather eerie websites.

But before I tell you what they are, I'm going to recommend installing the Greedy Cache add-on in your Pale Moon web browser.

Preferably Pale Moon 27 (I use a version of Pale Moon 27.4.1 which I compiled myself), since it seems version 1.2.0 of the add-on isn't as reliable in Pale Moon 28.3.1, or at least not in the version of New Moon 28.3.1 which I compiled myself.

Sometimes when I tried to save an image while using New Moon 28.3.1 + Greedy Cache 1.2.0, it seemed to download a new image from the internet instead of saving the one already in my browser cache.


Addition, Feb. 22, 2019, 5:04 PM EDT. Actually, perhaps the above problem was simply because I may have accidentally opened the same web page in multiple tabs. If I do that, then, no matter which version of Pale Moon + Greedy Cache 1.2.0 I run, only the most recently-downloaded image gets saved, which can be different from the one on screen.

So, perhaps either Pale Moon 27 + Greedy Cache 1.2.0, or Pale Moon 28 + Greedy Cache 1.2.0, will be fine, as long as you don't load the same web page in multiple tabs.

End of addition.


Once you install the add-on, go to the Tools menu, choose Add-Ons, click the Extensions tab, click the Preferences button under the Greedy Cache add-on, and make sure the "Load resources from cache" and "Enforce caching of images" checkboxes are checked. Then restart your web browser.

With that add-on installed in Pale Moon, hopefully you'll be well-prepared to save any interesting randomly-generated images that come up.

Without the Greedy Cache add-on, you might accidentally end up saving a different image than the one shown in your browser.


Addition, Feb. 22, 2019, 5:28 PM EDT. Also, even with the Greedy Cache add-on, there are a couple things you shouldn't do unless you use Pale Moon's "Work Offline" feature.

To avoid having your browser mistakenly download a new image, go to the File menu and make sure there's a checkmark beside the "Work Offline" menu item before you right-click on the image and choose "View Background Image", or before you go to the "Tools" menu, choose "Page Info", and click on the "Media" tab.

End of addition.


Here are those amazing, amusing, but rather spooky websites:

ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com

Here's a direct link to the image, which makes it easier to save images:

https://thispersondoesnotexist.com/image

ThisCatDoesNotExist.com

In a way, the cat website is even more disturbing, since that one generates scary-looking (though sometimes humorous) glitches much more often.


And here's a media article:

ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com uses AI to generate endless fake faces
Feb 15, 2019 from TheVerge.com


ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com is particularly amazing, though sometimes there are scary-looking glitches with side-people, and backgrounds often look weird, earrings are often mismatched, and sometimes each eye is oddly looking in different directions.

Here are my 2 favorite fictional people so far.

You can click the below images for a larger version.

Princess CatfishThe Frost Wizard


Quite fun and amazingly impressive.

But those websites also make it even more obvious than it already was that stuff on the internet, digital pictures, etc. shouldn't be mindlessly trusted, even if they seem incredibly realistic.

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Steve Pavlina's Deep Abundance Integration live video series
Monday, July 30th, 2018
20:50:27 GMT

Self-Help

I already blogged about this on Non24.com and Eryss.com, so, if you've read either of those blog posts - which actually contain a bit more text than this blog post - you've already read the below, except for the text in this first section.

I'm just posting this here in case there's anyone who only reads Astroblahhh.Com (my main personal website until I figure out what to do with Apollia.org), and not also:




This costs money ($97), but, since it's by the wonderful Steve Pavlina, I'm sure it will be marvelous, and worth far more than $97. I signed up today.

Deep Abundance Integration - August 1-30, 2018

Steve will host a live video call every day from Aug. 1 to 30, which will be influenced by feedback from people who signed up.


Edit, Aug. 1, 2018, 1:12 PM EDT The signup page no longer shows a deadline, and the count of signups keeps growing.

So, if you want to participate, it looks like you can still sign up!

Or, if you'd rather wait, you'll probably be able to buy the completed videos, etc. eventually when they are released as a product.

End of edit.




And if you can't (or would rather not) buy anything - Steve has a wonderful, fascinating website:

StevePavlina.com

And the vast majority of what's there is free - not only free as in price, but also free as in freedom, since much of it is actually uncopyrighted!


I don't always agree with everything Steve says, but I always find his perspectives thought-provoking and well worth reading or hearing. And over the years, I think his writings, podcasts, and videos have definitely influenced me greatly for the better.

So, I highly recommend checking out StevePavlina.com, and signing up for Deep Abundance Integration if it appeals to you.

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Link: "Bras might reduce melatonin and increase the risk of breast cancer"
Sunday, July 29th, 2018
20:14:42 GMT

Health

I finally wrote a short blog post on this important topic:

Bras might reduce melatonin and increase the risk of breast cancer
July 29, 2018 from Non24.com


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LHPup.org is down, but Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 is still available in Archive.org
Friday, July 6th, 2018
03:56:04 GMT

Puppy Linux

The Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux website seems to be down. I first noticed this around perhaps June 22nd:

LHPup.org

I was hoping the website would soon return, but it hasn't so far. And now, that page redirects to a domain name seller's website.


I'm not sure how long LHPup.org has been down, but, here's the most recent version of that page in Archive.org:

https://web.archive.org/web/20180418110240/http://lhpup.org/
From April 18, 2018 - Archive.org


I don't know what happened, and the official forum thread about Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 hasn't been posted to since 2015:

Lighthouse 64 602 Beta2 with GIMP-2.8.4 (6-29-2013)
From Puppy Linux Discussion Forum


I hope the person who owned LHPup.org is OK. Huge thanks to him or her for creating the Lighthouse 64 variant of Puppy Linux - it's still the operating system I use most frequently.




The Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 ISO and DevX SFS file of development tools are both available at Archive.org:

https://archive.org/details/Puppy_Linux_Lighthouse64

In the box at the right side of the page that says "DOWNLOAD OPTIONS", click the "SHOW ALL" link near the bottom to show a list of all available files. The file to download is 257.0 M and is named:

(There's also the larger Mariner edition ISO, but I never tried that, nor probably most of the other files available there.)


The file's SHA-512 checksum:

The file's MD5 checksum exists in Archive.org. (Close the Archive.org toolbar at the top of the page to see it):

https://web.archive.org/web/20130914060703/http://www.lhpup.org:80/beta/L64-602/Lighthouse64-6.02-B2.iso.md5.txt



Here's where you can get Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2's official DevX SFS file of development tools:

https://archive.org/details/Puppy_Linux_Devx

In the box at the right side of the page that says "DOWNLOAD OPTIONS", click the "SHOW ALL" link near the bottom to show a list of all available files. The file to download is 383.3 M and is named:


The file's SHA-512 checksum:




I still haven't finished renovating my (Apollia's) Puppy Linux Setup Kit (APSK).

But, when it is finished, it will be possible to use it to set up Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2.


I have no plans to even trying to switch to a newer Puppy Linux (or any other GNU/Linux) until I make more progress with APSK, which I will probably gradually release here:

https://apollia.org/gitlist


The renovated APSK is still pretty incomplete, and after being preoccupied with other things for about a month (mainly because I mostly quit GitHub and had to figure out how to get by without it), I feel a bit lost and disoriented now that I'm trying to return to working on APSK.

But, fortunately, I can use my modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment to create some documentation, maybe or maybe not similar to this, which will probably help me get (and share) a better idea of what the heck I was doing and what I should do next.


Some of the best currently-existing documentation of important new features in the renovated version of APSK is in this repo:

https://apollia.org/gitlist/Apollia-Jargon.git


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Link: "Failure to Launch" is actually Failure to Lem
Wednesday, July 4th, 2018
15:54:16 GMT

Freedom

Happy Independence Day (July 4th) to all!


Here's something I worked on (off and on) for days, starting around maybe June 29th.

I almost didn't post it at all, but, then I suddenly got inspired to post it today:

"Failure to Launch" is actually Failure to Lem
July 4, 2018 from Non24.com


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My modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment
Thursday, June 28th, 2018
05:05:25 GMT

Software

Last modified June 28, 2018 at 6:27 AM EDT.


Finally, here's an already-compiled copy of my modified version of the wonderful concept mapping software VUE: Visual Understanding Environment, along with some other useful things.

However, it's still nowhere near as easy to install and run as I would like - sorry about that!

Also, I still consider myself mostly a newbie to Java programming. I tried my best, but it's quite possible there might be glitches in it that are my fault.

But, I've been happily using this modified version of VUE almost daily, with no changes to the code since Feb. 22, 2017, and I haven't yet noticed any serious problems:

VUE---Modified-by-Apollia---Feb-23-2017 - 2018_6_27 23,36,57 pm.zip
Around 34 MiB, hosted on Dropbox


The file's SHA-512 checksum:


And here's the source code of my modified version of VUE:

https://apollia.org/gitlist/VUE---Modified-by-Apollia.git


Since VUE is Java software, it should run in just about any operating system you can use Java in - though probably not with all of VUE's features working right.

And I'm not sure how to use the Pro-Grade security manager library in other operating systems besides the two Puppy Linuxes I most often use.

My version of VUE can work without the Pro-Grade security manager library, but I don't trust Java's excessive-seeming permissiveness, so I much prefer using VUE with Pro-Grade.

(I also like using Pro-Grade for debugging, since it can generate log files that provide clues about what VUE is doing, or trying to do.)


I was easily able to run my modified version of VUE in non-virtual Windows XP without the Pro-Grade security manager library. (And I'm guessing it probably works in Windows XP inside a VirtualBox also, since the unmodified VUE definitely did.)

And it definitely works nicely in Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 and Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004, with the Pro-Grade security manager library.


However, even with those (the two Puppy Linuxes I most often use), it's still nowhere near as effortlessly easy to install and try out as I would like it to be.

But, hopefully it will be once I'm done renovating APSK - Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit.

Ideally, I'd like to make it possible to easily compile all this stuff yourself from source code, with APSK walking you through the process, and optionally automating some of the boring parts that it's possible to automate. (But that might take quite a while for me to build.)


Now that I deleted all of my Git repos from GitHub and moved most of them to my own website instead, you can observe a lot of my progress with various projects here:

https://apollia.org/gitlist

You can even download things and try them out, even though a lot of that stuff isn't done yet.

But many (like my modified version of VUE) are quite done enough to be useful, and for me to use them very frequently.

Someday, I'll get around to labeling them all better. (One thing I forgot to save from GitHub was the short descriptions of my repos, so I'm going to have to rewrite a lot of them.)


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Heard that GitHub will be acquired by Microsoft, so I deleted all my GitHub repos
Monday, June 4th, 2018
06:41:59 GMT

Software
News

Last modified July 9, 2018, 10:00 PM EDT.

(June 23, 2018, 7:30 AM EDT: Finally released this: GitList and Gitolite Setup on DreamHost Shared Web Hosting)


I recently heard that Microsoft is going to acquire GitHub, one of my favorite websites:

Microsoft Will Acquire Coding Site GitHub
June 3, 2018, from Bloomberg.com

This worries me, partly because Microsoft is such a titan of closed source software.

And also because I can think of at least 3 websites I also loved which unfortunately were acquired then shut down by a big company - the streaming music service MOG, the language-learning website Livemocha, and the Gaia social networking site (formerly known as Zaadz).


Even before I heard about this, keeping my stuff on GitHub had already been somewhat bothering me for a while.

Especially after mid-April 2018, when very important features of GitHub's website suddenly temporarily stopped working in my favorite web browser, Pale Moon.

I almost gave up on GitHub then. But GitHub went back to normal in Pale Moon so soon that I (probably unwisely) relaxed and just kept using GitHub, even though I really knew better. I just wasn't in the mood to try to figure out how to set up my own hosting for my Git repos.


And I actually still am not really in the mood to do that. But, at least the various things I've been working on, such as the renovated APSK (Apollia's Puppy Linux Setup Kit) - which I made huge progress with in April and May - and my very convenient VirtualBox Guest Setup Scripts - will probably make it much easier for me to figure out how to host my Git repos on my own websites.

I also would like to start publishing things on Apollia.com (where I might try to present myself and my work in a way that seems more appealing to potential employers or clients than Astroblahhh.Com probably does - not that I really want to work on anything except my own projects at the moment) or at least Apollia.org - which might end up being the hopefully improved successor to Astroblahhh.Com.


All that might take a while, though, so, for now, here's a big zip file of nearly all the repos I had on GitHub, downloaded soon before I deleted them from GitHub:

Apollia-GitHub-Repos - 2018_6_4 01,32,47 am.zip
About 32 MiB, hosted on Dropbox


The file's SHA-512 checksum:




And here's the Git repo of my modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment - in a separate zip file, since it's so big:

Apollia-Modified-Version-of-VUE-Visual-Understanding-Environment-2018_6_4 02,01,35 am.zip
About 410 MiB, hosted on Dropbox


The file's SHA-512 checksum:




Addition, June 27, 2018, 9:00 PM EDT. Here's my modified version of VUE: Visual Understanding Environment converted to a bare Git repo to make it smaller:

Apollia-Modified-Version-of-VUE-Visual-Understanding-Environment--Bare-Git-Repo - 2018_6_27 20,15,17 pm.zip
About 344 MiB, hosted on Dropbox

It's exactly the same repo as the previous zip download, but making it into a bare repo shrinks it to around 344 MiB instead of around 410 MiB. However, you'll have to convert it back to a normal Git repo to use it.

I only have 2 GiB of space available in my free Dropbox account, so, I will probably have to delete the 410 MiB zip file at some point to make room for other files.

The file's SHA-512 checksum:

End of addition.




Until Apollia.org is designed and working, Astroblahhh.Com is still my primary personal website.

So far, I have some vague ideas of what to do with Apollia.org and Apollia.com. I definitely don't want to have to use my web browser or FTP software to update my websites anymore.

One of my favorite things about GitHub (even though it has a really excellent web interface) was the fact that all I had to do to upload updates to my repos was type commands into my GNU/Linux system's own console window. And I probably could have automated that if I really wanted to.

So, I think I might end up somehow using Git (which is not the same thing as GitHub) to maintain Apollia.org and Apollia.com.


Additions, June 4, 2018, 7:15(?) AM/7:32 AM EDT. Here's a somewhat comforting article:

Microsoft buying GitHub doesn't scare me
June 4, 2018 from TheNextWeb.com

So, maybe GitHub will be OK? I hope so.

But, I still want to figure out how to host my own Git repos on my own websites. I always thought that's something I ought to learn how to do.


Additions, June 6, 2018, 2:20 AM/11:08 AM EDT. Here's an article that increases my doubts about Microsoft's intentions:

Microsoft are leaving the Minecraft you know behind
June 12, 2017, from PCGamesN.com


Anyway, I'm definitely not going back to hosting my repos on GitHub. I still haven't really tried very hard yet to move to a GitHub replacement, nor even looked very hard yet.

But, I plan to try GitList, which is written in PHP, so I'm hoping it will be easy to set up not only on my own computer, but also on my web host, so I can continue to easily share my programming projects with the world.

I also might try GitPrep, which is written in Perl, a language I still like, even though PHP is still my favorite.


Several years ago, I thought I liked Mercurial more than Git, since the commands in Mercurial overall seemed easier to understand and remember.

But now, I like using both, often in the same repo - Mercurial for private stuff that's too messy and unpolished to consider releasing, and Git for updates I'm OK with publishing (even though many of those updates were rather messy and unpolished too).

I'm so accustomed to this arrangement now, that's the top reason I'm probably not going to switch to using Mercurial for public updates.


Additions, June 9, 2018, 2:15 PM/5:01 PM EDT. Here's a GitHub repo for GitHub evacuees:

upend/IF_MS_BUYS_GITHUB_IMMA_OUT

For a while, it was #1 on GitHub's trending repos list, and it appeared in the GitHub Explore email newsletters I received on June 4, 5, and 6.

Oddly, the repo suddenly vanished from the trending repo list and newsletter, despite the fact that the repo's number of stars still seemed to be growing fast. So, I wonder if GitHub censored it?


The repo used to have an Issues section, but quite understandably, the owner didn't want to have to keep moderating lots of arguments which distracted from the main purpose of the repo.

Another problem was that GitHub doesn't make it easy to export all the posts from a repo's Issues section, so continuing to use the Issues section would have only made it more difficult to quit using GitHub for discussions.


Thanks for all the replies to my issue post, formerly at GitHub alternatives for shared web hosts!

Here's a summary of people's suggestions:


And here are the software links and info I posted:


Posted June 6, 2018, 10:18 AM EDT:

What free (as in freedom), libre, open source GitHub alternatives might work best on shared web hosts, or could most easily be modified to work well on a shared web host?

I haven't tried any yet, so I'm not sure how well these will work, but these 3 seem like possibilities:


* GitList, written in PHP: http://gitlist.org/

https://github.com/klaussilveira/gitlist


* GitPrep, written in Perl: http://gitprep.yukikimoto.com/

https://github.com/yuki-kimoto/gitprep


* Phabricator, written in PHP - https://phacility.com/phabricator/

https://github.com/phacility/phabricator


However, the Phabricator Installation Guide says:

"A Shared Host: This may work, but is not recommended. Many shared hosting environments have restrictions which prevent some of Phabricator's features from working. Consider using a normal computer instead. We do not support shared hosts."

Still, I'm mentioning it because perhaps it might be possible to make a version of Phabricator that would definitely work well on a shared web host.

I'm also interested in anything that could possibly be useful in building a GitHub alternative for shared web hosts. Like this:


* Gitter, written in PHP -
https://github.com/klaussilveira/gitter

Quote:

"Gitter allows you to interact in an object oriented manner with Git repositories via PHP."


Thanks for any ideas!



Posted June 7, 2018, 3:05 PM EDT:

Might be a useful component of a GitHub alternative for a shared web host:


* Gitolite, written in Perl - http://gitolite.com/

https://github.com/sitaramc/gitolite


Quotes from the Gitolite Overview page:

"Gitolite is an access control layer on top of git."

"Can be installed without root access, assuming git and perl are already installed."

"Gitolite is useful in any server that is going to host multiple git repositories, each with many developers, where "anyone can do anything to any repo" is not a good idea."


End of quotes.


I never used the Go language (or "Golang") before. But, I read that Go can be used on DreamHost, my shared web host which I've been happily using since 2006.

Here's a very detailed forum post about that:

How to run Go language programs on DreamHost servers using FastCGI
From Sept. 11, 2017 at Discussion.DreamHost.com

So, maybe there's a chance Gitea or Gogs might work on DreamHost shared hosting?


The Gitea and Gogs home pages each say they have "low minimal requirements and can run on an inexpensive Raspberry Pi."

So, that sounds promising, since on shared hosting, it's important not to use too many resources.


I'm not sure if DreamHost's shared hosting has enough Java features enabled for Gitblit to work.


So far, I've had some good luck getting GitList (written in PHP) working on a test website on DreamHost shared web hosting.

I like the nice, easy interface, and the fact that it's written in my favorite language, PHP, which will probably make it easier for me to modify.

I think Gitea and Gogs have more features, but GitList might be all I need, at least for now. And if I stick with GitList, I won't have to try to make Go work on DreamHost.


Next, I want to see if I can get Gitolite (written in Perl) working, since for extra security, I'd like to limit edit access to my repos to exclusively my own IP address.


Additions, June 10, 2018, 1:00 PM/1:03 PM EDT. Happily, I was able to get Gitolite working on my test website on DreamHost shared web hosting.

I still have much more to learn about how to use and configure Gitolite. But, I'm hoping I'll soon figure things out well enough to publish some new Git repos containing documentation of how I got GitList and Gitolite to work on my websites.

Thanks to the creators of GitList and Gitolite, and all the authors of web pages which helped me figure out how to install and use them!


Additions, June 11, 2018, 10:04/10:06 PM EDT. This is taking longer than I hoped, I guess largely because I'm very stressed out, have once again been getting increasingly fatigued, and I haven't been eating very well lately.

Donations and microdonations are welcome.


Additions, June 11, 2018, 10:58 PM/10:59 PM EDT. Anyway, I think I need to just give up on trying to set everything up perfectly. I can't even figure out how to make my Apache web server .htaccess files work the way I want them to.

I guess I'm also going to give up (for now) on the idea of publishing documentation of how I set this stuff up, since everything just seems too hard at the moment.


Additions, June 12, 2018, 7:55 AM/9:54 AM EDT. Before sleep, I finally got one of the .htaccess files I was struggling with working. Was too tired to announce how much better that suddenly made me feel.

Got some sleep, and am definitely not feeling as fatigued as I used to get. So, hopefully I'll soon get much better as long as I strive to eat well enough, replenish my recently-lost iron, and avoid stress and putting too much pressure on myself to get things done fast and perfectly.

And maybe take more breaks, even though making progress with my projects often relaxes me a lot more than escapism does. Though quite probably my projects are themselves a form of escapism (probably avoidance of taking a more direct, obvious, and relatively more conventional approach to attempting to solve my eternal money problems), since I think I definitely qualify as a structured procrastinator, a concept described in one of the best self-help books I ever read, The Art of Procrastination. I don't know if I ever read another self-help book which described me so well.

So, I should probably just stop ever publicly declaring what my current priorities are, because quite often when I do that, I start to feel burdened by the top priorities and want to escape them and do something else instead.


A TV show I recently watched had some great quotes about how strength is nothing without faith. Basically about how even if you actually have everything you need to overcome whatever problems you're facing, you might still mistakenly think all is lost if you have too little faith. And "You've got strength, all you need is some faith" (paraphrased from memory).

I thought that was really comforting, so, I just thought I'd write it down here, in case it helps anyone else, and also to remind me of it if/when I forget it again.


Additions, June 12, 2018, 12:05 PM/1:24 PM EDT. I just got a promotional email from the Simple Programmer mailing list regarding this $29 course.

Quoted from that email (with bold not added by me):

"Am I hurting my career if I don't have a carefully crafted LinkedIn profile that properly presents my skills, passions and experience?

Then the answer is an unequivocal YES.

LinkedIn is one of the "Big Three" (along with Github and your blog) that every developer must have in their promotional platform."


Even if Microsoft wasn't the owner (or soon becoming the owner) of two of those three things (and besides that, Microsoft could easily afford to tempt possibly most developers to sell their own blogs) - I would still find the above very dismaying.

I think no one's career should be dependent on digital sharecropping on a website controlled by anyone other than yourself - even if that controller isn't Microsoft.


But, fortunately, we software engineers (especially the ones who are much better at programming than I am) are far from helpless to do something about this. We actually can build our own platforms and set ourselves and everyone else free!

Dilberts of the world, it's time to rebel! :-D

Just imagine what Dilbert could achieve if he quit his job and started a free (as in freedom), libre, open source software company along with Alice and maybe even Wally, who I suspect might secretly be very competent, if Wally would use his intelligence for more noble goals than just duping his corporate overlords into paying him for doing hardly anything. :-)


Addition, June 22, 2018, 5:43 PM EDT. I'm finally done setting up GitList and Gitolite on Apollia.org:

Behold!!!!!

https://apollia.org/gitlist


Addition, June 23, 2018, 7:23 AM/7:30 AM EDT. And here are my setup scripts and documentation:

GitList and Gitolite Setup on DreamHost Shared Web Hosting


Making that was a lot of work, but, it made it possible for me to set up all these other GitList/Gitolite installations pretty fast:

https://apollia.com/gitlist Where I someday might put only my favorite or most impressive-seeming work, to try to entice people to hire me, buy products from me, or send donations or microdonations to me.
https://astroblahhh.com/gitlist Perhaps this is where I should put software which actually has Astroblahhh in its name, like Astroblahhh Desktop.
https://eryss.com/gitlist The future home of the Eryss astrology software.
https://non24.com/gitlist A fitting place for things related to sleep issues, like my Primitive Relative Scheduler script.


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Link: "Tomb Raider Cosplay Is Accurate"
Thursday, May 10th, 2018
16:41:36 GMT

Humor

Tomb Raider Cosplay Is Accurate
From Kotaku.com.au


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Windy.com - a lovely and fast weather website
Tuesday, April 24th, 2018
06:23:00 GMT

News

Today, I noticed Weather Underground's hourly forecast won't even display in my web browser anymore.

(Addition, April 24, 2018, 9:53 AM EDT: A fortunately temporary problem, since now the hourly forecast is working again for me. However, it's faster if I use the NoScript web browser add-on to turn off JavaScript.

That trick even works on the typically much slower website Weather.com's hourly forecast. End of addition.)


So, I searched the web for an explanation, and found this helpful forum discussion:

Weather Underground is now useless. | Pilots of America


That's where I learned about Windy.com.

Surprisingly, despite its lovely graphics, it loads very quickly!

Superb!


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Link: "SLIGHTLY AGGRESSIVE AFFIRMATIONS"
Monday, April 9th, 2018
10:51:09 GMT

Self-Help

Here's one of my favorite web pages of affirmations I ever found so far:

SLIGHTLY AGGRESSIVE AFFIRMATIONS


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Recipe Link: "Amish Tomato Bread"
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
18:54:27 GMT

Food
Untried

I found this days ago, but haven't made it yet:

Amish Tomato Bread
From Recipes.SparkPeople.com

I already have almost every ingredient except yeast.

This is another thing I want to try putting a small amount of blackstrap molasses in, since it seems like blackstrap molasses + tomato juice is a surprisingly good combination.

Blackstrap molasses + my usual brand of vegetable juice, which contains primarily tomato juice, is still one of my favorite ways to consume blackstrap molasses. Too bad that brand isn't organic, or I'd mention its name here.

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Recipe Link: "Chicken & Tomato No-Boil Pasta Bake"
Wednesday, March 21st, 2018
18:29:30 GMT

Food
Untried

Here's a recipe I found today which I haven't tried yet. I just thought it was neat (and convenient) that it's actually possible to make real pasta in the oven, without having to boil it on the stovetop, nor settle for substitutes like my microwaved oatmeal "pasta"!

Recipe: Chicken & Tomato No-Boil Pasta Bake
From TheKitchn.com

When I make this, I'm probably going to try adding a small amount of blackstrap molasses to the recipe.

I suspect it might turn out OK, since blackstrap molasses surprisingly (in my opinion) slightly improves the taste of my usual brand of vegetable juice, which contains primarily tomato juice. (I edited out the brand name because I probably ought to switch to something organic.)

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Link: "Blackstrap Molasses, Iron and Ferritin Deficiency, Menstrual Health, and a Yummy Dessert Recipe"
Monday, March 19th, 2018
15:05:13 GMT

Health

I recently posted this to Non24.com:

Blackstrap Molasses, Iron and Ferritin Deficiency, Menstrual Health, and a Yummy Dessert Recipe


This other page says:

"In fact, iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world, according to the WHO, which estimates that some 2 billion people - or 30% of the world's entire population - have anemia, which is caused by lack of iron."

So, I just thought I ought to post about this here, in case it might be helpful to anyone.


I also blogged about two other good blackstrap molasses-containing recipes I recently tried:

My slightly modified version of River Cottage soda bread is good even with blackstrap molasses

My imperfect modified version of a blackstrap molasses gingerbread cake seems to need a lot more spices


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NOAA National Weather Service, a fast alternative to Weather.com
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
21:06:49 GMT

News

Addition, June 2, 2018, 3:54 PM EDT: The page I linked to before stopped working right. Here's one that does work right:

Current conditions at Youngstown, Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (KYNG)




Today, I finally got tired of how sluggish Weather.com is in my web browser.

So, I found this nice, fast alternative:

National Weather Service Forecast for Hubbard, OH

At first, I couldn't figure out how to make it display Fahrenheit instead of Celsius degrees, which was bad, because Celsius sucks for weather.

Fortunately, I was able to make it display Fahrenheit by changing the above page's URL to say "unit=2" instead of "unit=1".

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How to make Saxon/C v1.1.0 into a PHP extension for PHP 5.6.13 in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8
Monday, January 29th, 2018
23:10:10 GMT

Puppy Linux

Today I found out Saxon/C v1.1.0 was released Sept. 27, 2017.

In it, "APIs are available to run XSLT 3.0, XQuery 3.1, XPath 3.1 and Schema Validation from C/C++ or PHP applications."


Here's an article about various exciting new improvements in XSLT 3.0:

Why You Should Be Using XSLT 3.0
(Feb. 14, 2017, from XML.com)


The ability to easily convert between JSON and XML, making it possible to transform JSON using XSLT, is so exciting that even I (who am often reluctant to switch to newer versions of software) was happy to upgrade to Saxon/C v1.1.0.


(Addition, Feb. 17, 2018, 9:32 PM EST. I made some Bash scripts which make it easy to switch between the Saxon/C v1.0.2 PHP module and Saxon/C v1.1.0 PHP module:

Switch Between Versions of Saxon/C

I made those scripts because I found I can't use Schematron unless I use Saxon/C v1.0.2, or one of the commercial editions of Saxon/C v1.1.0.)


Fortunately, the process of making Saxon/C v1.1.0 into a PHP extension was almost the same as it was for Saxon/C v1.0.2.

So, for most of the details, see my previous blog post:

How to make Saxon/C v1.0.2 into a PHP extension for PHP 5.6.13 in Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8


The 2 differences were:

  1. I copied the contents of the PHP5-Build folder (which only contains a file named "config.m4") into the Saxon.C.API folder, overwriting the "config.m4" file that was already there.

  2. Then, after running ./configure --enable-saxon and editing the Makefile the way my previous blog post describes, I edited the Makefile a bit more, just to replace all instances of the text "php7" with "php5".

After that, all I had to do was follow the rest of my previous blog post's instructions!


I should note that I accomplished this while running Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004 in a VirtualBox, and I haven't yet tried it in a non-virtual system. But I'm guessing it will work in a non-virtual system too.

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Video Links: Some nifty makeup tutorials
Thursday, January 11th, 2018
06:32:02 GMT

Entertainment

For lack of money, and due to wariness of the cosmetics industry possibly using very questionable ingredients, I never experimented much with makeup, even when I was younger.

But today, I found some videos which made me realize that makeup is potentially a lot more fun and interesting than I thought:

Trippy Double Vision Makeup Look

Confusing 4 Face Makeup Tutorial !!!

Trippy 'Face in a Face' Halloween Make-up

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How I Run VirtualBox 4.3.22 with Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux as Both Host and Guest
Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
11:52:35 GMT

Programming

Last modified Nov. 26, 2017, 8:28 AM EST.


Recently, I started using VirtualBox 4.3.22 to help me update, refine, and test my Puppy Linux Setup Kit without having to repeatedly reboot a real computer.

I've been using Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 as both my non-virtual host system, and as my virtual guest system.

This blog post contains notes on how I got that working nicely. I did all this stuff mostly manually, but perhaps someday I'll figure out how to automate a lot of the below.


(Additions, Jan. 9, 2018, 10:47 AM/9:03 PM EST. I finally made some scripts which automate some of the below:

https://github.com/Apollia/VirtualBox-Guest-Setup-Scripts

End of additions.)


Thanks to everyone who put up useful info on the web that helped me figure out how to do all this!


Some Computers Work Better Than Others
For Running GNU/Linux Guests in VirtualBox

Unfortunately, certain computers run GNU/Linux guests terribly slowly. One of them is my HP Compaq dc7700 Convertible Minitower desktop. (Surprisingly, Windows XP guests run quite well on it.)

I was never able to figure out how to fix that.


But, luckily, other computers, such as my Toughbook CF-C1 laptops, and my giant cheese grater-like Mac Pro from 2008, run GNU/Linux guests at quite acceptable speeds - though noticeably slower than non-virtual GNU/Linux.

I don't know why they work so much better, but I guess they're probably both newer than my HP Compaq dc7700.


How I Store My VirtualBox Settings

(Addition, Jan. 9, 2018, 10:54 AM EST. This section is now out of date.

Instead of using symlinks to keep some of my VirtualBox settings in the ramdisk and some of them on a physical disk - I now prefer to keep all of my VirtualBox settings in the ramdisk, and I use Ramize-Physave to occasionally save some of them to a physical disk.

End of addition.)


I like to keep some of my VirtualBox settings on a physical disk, and some in the RAM disk. I accomplish this via symlinks.


On my system, VirtualBox creates two different settings folders:

  1. /root/VirtualBox VMs

    Contains stuff related to specific virtual machines.

    You can actually choose whatever other path you want just by going to VirtualBox's File menu, choosing Preferences, and editing the "Default Machine Folder" in the "General" section.

    But rather than change the path via VirtualBox's settings, I preferred to just copy that folder onto a physical disk, and put a symlink at /root/VirtualBox VMs pointing to the new location.

    Then, inside the new location, I made the Snapshots folder into a symlink pointing to a folder somewhere in my RAM disk, to make it so saving and loading system snapshots will be faster. And any particularly useful snapshots I create, I manually save to a physical disk.


  2. /root/.config/VirtualBox

    Contains quite boring-looking stuff, but I guess it's probably useful somehow.

    I didn't do much with this folder - just copied it to a physical disk, and put a symlink at /root/.config/VirtualBox pointing to the new location.


Settings for My Virtual Machine

I started out by making a new virtual machine with no hard disk, and told VirtualBox the machine's "Type" was Linux, and "Version" was "Other Linux (64-bit)".

(I prefer to use VirtualBox shared folders rather than a virtual hard disk, so I won't be stuck having to use VirtualBox or any other fancy tricks to access whatever files I have inside a virtual hard disk file.)


  • In the System settings, I gave the virtual machine 2048 MB of RAM, and 1 of my real computer's 8 processors. (Tried 2, but not sure it makes anything faster.)


  • In the General settings, in the Advanced tab, in the "Mini ToolBar" section, I put a check in the box next to "Show at Top of Screen".

    I set Shared Clipboard to Bidirectional.

    And I set Drag'n'Drop to "Host to Guest", since nothing else works, except disabling drag and drop.


  • I prefer my virtual machine to use only 1 monitor, since that's less confusing, and if I use 2 monitors, seamless mode and mouse integration become kind of glitchy. But they work great with 1 monitor (once those features are enabled by installing VirtualBox Guest Additions inside the guest system).

    But, if I ever do want to use 2 monitors - in the Video settings, I can set "Monitor Count" to 2. (However, multiple monitors is another feature that doesn't start working until you install VirtualBox Guest Additions inside the guest system.) And while running my guest system, I can disable mouse integration via the Machine menu, and avoid seamless mode.

    And here's the command I used to make my virtual right monitor act like it's below my virtual left monitor:


  • In the Display Settings, I set "Video Memory" to the maximum - 128 MB - though I don't know if that was really necessary.

    And I put a check in the box next to "Enable 3D Acceleration".


  • To remove my virtual machine's internet access - in the Network settings, I unchecked the box next to "Enable Network Adapter" in the "Adapter 1" tab.

    (I did that because the only part of my Puppy Linux Setup Kit which requires internet access is the downloader scripts, and I'm not working on those yet.)


  • To remove my virtual machine's ability to access USB devices - in the "USB" settings, I unchecked "Enable USB Controller".


    Virtual Disc Drives and Discs for My Virtual Machine

  • In the Storage settings, I removed the IDE controller which was added by default, and added a SATA controller instead. (I did that because the IDE controller only let me have 4 virtual optical disc drives, but the SATA controller let me have many more.)


  • To create numerous new virtual optical disc drives, I repeatedly clicked the small icon that looks like a CD with a plus sign over it, and clicked the "Leave empty" button when VirtualBox asked me if I wanted to choose a virtual CD/DVD disk to put in the drive.

    I created 8 virtual optical disc drives - probably more than I'll need.


  • In the 1st virtual disc drive, I put the live CD ISO I wanted to boot my system with - a Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 ISO - and put a check in the box next to "Live CD/DVD".

    (Actually, I used an ISO I slightly modified, but I haven't released that, one reason being because I haven't used it enough yet to know if my modifications caused any serious glitches or not.)


    You can get an official Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 ISO from:

    http://lhpup.org/beta/L64-602


  • In the 2nd virtual disc drive, I put the VirtualBox Guest Additions ISO for VirtualBox 4.3.22, which can be downloaded from:

    http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.3.22


  • In the 3rd virtual disc drive, I put a custom ISO file I made which only contained one file - the DevX SFS file of software development tools for Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2.

    (This is necessary because the VirtualBox Guest Additions installer won't work unless the DevX SFS file is mounted inside the guest system. And my guest system can't download the DevX from the internet because I removed my guest system's internet access.)


    The official DevX SFS file for Lighthouse 64 Puppy Linux 6.02 Beta 2 can be downloaded from this page:

    http://lhpup.org/sfs/602-x86_64


    To put the DevX file into my own custom ISO file, I put the DevX file in a folder named "DevX", and ran this command line, with my console's working directory set to the folder containing the "DevX" folder:


    The -V option sets the disc's name (which will be visible on the desktop of the virtual Puppy) to "DevX".

    The -o option specifies the filepath where the ISO file will be output to.

    The "DevX" text at the end of the command line refers to the "DevX" folder which I wanted mkisofs to put into an ISO file.


    Settings for Shared Folders for My Virtual Machine

    Shared folders can't be mounted and accessed until you install VirtualBox Guest Additions inside the virtual system.


  • With each shared folder I made, I put no check in the "Auto-mount" checkbox.


  • I was reluctant to give my virtual Puppy full read/write access to certain external disks, so, instead, I gave my virtual Puppy read-only access.

    In the "Folder Name" field for each shared folder, I put descriptive names like "ReadOnly-LegacySetupKit" and "ReadOnly-RenovSetupKit".


  • I made 1 readable/writable shared folder which immediately saves things to a folder in one of my host system's physical disks.


  • I also made 1 readable/writable shared folder inside my host system's RAM disk, for things I want to share with my host system that aren't important enough to save immediately to a physical disk.


    Making It Possible For the Guest System to Create Symlinks Inside a Shared Folder

    (Warning: Possibly Dangerous)

    I read here that "Symbolic link creation from within a guest has been disabled in VirtualBox 4.1.8 for security reasons."

    However, anytime I've run a Puppy Linux guest system, symlinks located in shared folders and pointing to files in the host system usually appear to be broken. Or, if the guest system actually contains a file or folder at the symlink's destination path, the guest system interprets the symlink to be referring to that guest system file or folder, and it can't access the host system's file or folder through that symlink.

    So, I'm not sure there's a security issue here with Puppy Linux guests, though I easily could be wrong.


    Things are very different with a Puppy Linux host and a Windows XP guest. With VirtualBox 4.1.8, a Lucid Puppy Linux 5.2.8 version 004 host and a Windows XP guest, any symlinks located in a shared folder and pointing to files or folders in the host system make those files and folders totally accessible to the Windows XP guest! Which was actually useful to me back in the days when my primary use for VirtualBox was to use Astroblahhh Desktop in a Windows XP guest.

    But, if my Windows XP guest had been capable of creating its own symlinks in shared folders, I'm guessing it probably would have been able to have access to probably any file at all in my host Puppy Linux system, which could have been quite bad, if my Windows XP guest was infected with malware.


    Anyway, since I usually don't let my Puppy Linux guests have internet access, and I sometimes need to be able to create symlinks in shared folders, and symlinks in shared folders maybe aren't as dangerous with a Puppy Linux guest as they definitely are with a Windows XP guest, I was willing to take the risk that there might actually be major security problems with enabling my Puppy Linux guest to create symlinks in shared folders.

    I learned how to do it from this page's comment #14.

    I wasn't able to enable symlink creation in every shared folder all at once. Instead, I have to enable symlink creation for each individual shared folder I want my guest system to be able to create symlinks in.

    Which wasn't that much of a nuisance, since I only have 2 writable shared folders.


    So, in my host system's console, I ran these two command lines.

    Please only use these commands at your own risk, because maybe there are worse security problems than I think.

    Actually, my shared folders aren't named "Physical_Disk" and "RAM_Disk", but I renamed them here for clarity's sake.

    To use the above command lines, you'll need to change those names to whatever your shared folders' names are - whatever label you put in the "Folder Name" section of their settings.

    Also, you'll need to change "APSK" (the name of my virtual machine) to the name of your virtual machine.

    You don't need to restart the entire VirtualBox program for the new settings to take effect, but if your virtual machine is running, you'll have to turn it off and on again. The new settings should start working right away, even if you restore a system snapshot instead of rebooting without a snapshot.


    How to Install VirtualBox Guest Additions Inside the Guest System

    1. First, you must start up the virtual machine and go through the Puppy Linux startup process.

    2. After Puppy Linux's desktop appears - click the "DevX" CD drive icon near the bottom of the desktop to view the contents of the DevX ISO.

    3. Inside that folder, right-click on "devx-l64.sfs" and choose "sfs-load" from the menu. In the "SFS-Load" dialog box that appears, click the "SFS-Load" button.

    4. In the "sfs-load" dialog box that appears after that, select "NOCOPY" from the dropdown box, then click OK.

    5. When it asks you if you want to add a new mount point for the SFS file, click OK. Eventually, a dialog box will appear and tell you the SFS file is successfully loaded.


    6. Click the "VBOXADDITIO" CD drive icon near the bottom of the desktop to view the contents of the VirtualBox Guest Additions ISO.

    7. While inside the folder that appears (with /media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.3.22_98236 in the title), press the ~ key on your keyboard. (This will open a console with its working directory set to this folder.)


    8. To run the VirtualBox Guest Additions installer - type this command line in the console window you just opened in the previous step:

      ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run


    9. Gradually, the installer will print out the below details about what it's doing.

      I don't know why this happens: "Installing graphics libraries and desktop services components ...fail!"

      But, it seems to work fine for me anyway.


    10. To temporarily enable various VirtualBox Guest Additions features, you can run these command lines:

      Those features will go away the next time you restart the X server.

      If you want to keep those features enabled, you can add the above command lines to the file /root/.xinitrc, so they'll get run automatically every time the X server is restarted.

      (Here's the forum thread where I learned about the above command lines and the idea of adding them to .xinitrc.)


      • The --clipboard option makes it so you can copy and paste between the guest and host.

        To choose how you want the shared clipboard to behave (bidirectional, guest to host, host to guest, or disabled), go to VirtualBox's Devices menu, then its Shared Clipboard submenu.


      • The --draganddrop option gives you an easy way to share files between your host and guest. (Except on my computer, it only works when drag/dropping files from my host to the guest. So, to get files out of the guest system, I have to put them in a shared folder.)

        To choose how you want the drag and drop feature to behave (bidirectional, guest to host, host to guest, or disabled), go to VirtualBox's Devices menu, then its Drag'n'Drop submenu.


      • Seamless mode makes it look like windows from your host and guest are sharing the same desktop, even though they're really not.

        Sometimes you have to fiddle with the guest windows and/or switch out of Seamless mode and get back into it to make everything display properly.


    Mounting Shared Folders

  • To set up shared folders, go to the "Shared Folders" section of the virtual machine's settings.

    To my surprise, it is possible to add new shared folders while the virtual machine is running - either permanent folders (which you can make by putting a check in the box next to "Make Permanent") which will go in the "Machine Folders" list permanently, or "Transient Folders".


  • To make the guest system capable of mounting shared folders, the VirtualBox Guest Additions software must be installed inside the guest system. See above for how to do that.


  • To make the guest system mount a shared folder - inside your guest system, you need to make an empty folder, which will serve as a mountpoint. You can put that folder wherever you want.

    Here's a command line I used to make an empty folder. (But you can create the empty folder any way you want, even using a graphical file manager.)


  • To mount a shared folder, you must know the "Folder Name" you assigned to that shared folder. (The "Folder Name" is an arbitrary label that actually can be totally different from the shared folder path it's associated with.)

    You can find out the "Folder Name" by going to the "Shared Folders" section of the virtual machine's settings, which you can view and edit even while the virtual machine is running.


  • Then, you can mount the shared folder to the empty mountpoint folder with a command line resembling this:

    The name you put after "vboxsf" should be your shared folder's "Folder Name", and the folderpath after that should be the folderpath (located inside your guest system) which you want to use as a mountpoint for that shared folder.


  • If that command line worked, there won't be any confirmation message displayed in response to your command.

    But, when you go to the folder you specified, you'll hopefully see the external files you were expecting to see.

    You can open that folder from a console with command line like this:


    Creating and Restoring a VirtualBox Snapshot

    VirtualBox's Snapshot feature makes it possible for me to easily test my Puppy Linux Setup Kit repeatedly on a fresh, mostly pristine, almost default system, without having to repeatedly reboot a real computer and/or go through the somewhat slow Puppy Linux startup process.

    Instead, I can just shut down my virtual system and restore a snapshot in about 10 seconds. (I assume the fact that I keep snapshots in my RAM disk makes them save and load faster.)


  • After doing the various things I explained above, such as installing VirtualBox Guest Additions, editing the .xinitrc file, mounting shared folders - and also not-yet-mentioned things, such as unmounting the DevX SFS file, unmounting the DevX SFS disc and VBOXADDITIONS disc, etc. - I created a VirtualBox snapshot by going to the Machine menu and choosing "Take Snapshot".

    After about 15 seconds, that resulted in a large snapshot file around 1 GB.


  • To restore that snapshot, I go the Machine menu, choose Close, and put a check in the box next to "Restore current snapshot 'Snapshot 1'", and select "Power off the machine", and click OK.

    Then I relaunch my virtual machine, and after about 10 seconds, my snapshot is restored. (I assume the fact that I keep snapshots in my RAM disk makes them save and load faster.)


  • If I create any particularly useful snapshots, I save them manually to one of my physical disks.




    So far, I've actually spent more time on this blog post than actually working on my Puppy Linux Setup Kit with the help of VirtualBox.

    But, that will probably soon change, and I think this new way of doing things will hopefully enable me to make a lot more progress much faster, assuming my health continues to improve.

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