My Spice Rack

I was bored one day, so I looked around for something to do.

I had some scrap wood lying around, so decided to build a spice rack to fit my kitchen.

I took some measurements and with a pad and pencil I drew a plan:


A few days later, it was finished:

Spice Rack

About as difficult to believe as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly Eh 🙂

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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in Projects



Configuring NFS in Ubuntu

Configuring NFS in Ubuntu


What is NFS?

NFS stands for Network File System.

NFS allows you to share directories from one computer with another. For example:


Here we have a server with a user called user1 and a laptop with a user called user2.

What we want to do is to see all of user1’s files on the laptop.

With /home/user1’s directory NFS mounted onto the directory /home/user2/zoostorm lets user2 see all user1’s files in the zoostorm directory.

You can modify, delete and add files there.

This is so you don’t not have to use Sneakernet which is sharing files between computers by putting your sneakers on and carrying the files between computers on a floppy disk, CD, DVD or memory stick.

Microsoft stole this idea from UNIX and calls it Simple File Sharing.

This can be very useful for backing up files or partitions from the laptop to the server PC, as servers traditionally have lots more drive space than say, a laptop or netbook.

The Nitty Gritty

On the host server – This is an example i/p address

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nfs-kernel-server

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nfs-common

On the client computer – This is an example i/p address

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nfs-common

Configure the NFS Exports on the Host Server

Open the /etc/exports file in your text editor with root privileges:

sudo vi /etc/exports

We want to create a line for each of the directories that we wish to share.

/home/username *(rw,sync,no_root_squash,no_subtree_check)

You can replace * with one of the hostname formats. Make the hostname declaration as specific as possible so unwanted systems cannot access the NFS mount, i.e.

sudo exportfs -a

Create the Mount Points and Mount Remote Shares on the Client Server

In your home directory create a directory for the mount in my case this is called zoostorm

mkdir /home/chris/zoostorm

sudo mount /home/chris/zoostorm

At this point, you probably will find out that the mount will time out, what the Ubuntu documentation fails to tell you is that the Ubuntu built in firewall
will block the mounts.

Allowing the NFS ports through the firewall

On both the client and server do the following:

sudo apt-get install ufw

sudo ufw enable

The ports you need to allow through the firewall are 111 and 2049

Just to be on the safe side to find out which port NFS is using:

cat /etc/services | grep -i nfs

you should get:

nfs 2049/tcp # Network File System
nfs 2049/udp # Network File System

so NFS is using port 2049.

We now do the following:

sudo ufw allow 111

sudo ufw allow 2049

Now on the client,

sudo mount /home/chris/zoostorm

We have opened the required ports, so this should now work.

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Posted by on January 27, 2015 in Linux


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When Dreams Become Nightmares – Dreams Beds PLC

A salutary warning to you all. A faceless PLC who’s name rhymes with Seems, ‘seems’ to be selling dodgy beds.

I can’t tell who they really are for legal reasons, but they sold my fiance a single bed last year. this bed lasted 6 months before all the springs started coming through the mattress.

Get it replaced? What do you think?

Even when it is in breach of the sales of goods act 1979  The company that I cannot mention (rhymes with Seems) when asked for a replacement or a refund of the £79 they said to my fiance that she should not expect a single mattress to last more than 9 months. To get a Dreams, sorry, Seems, mattress to last more than 6 months you have to pay about £400.

They were very kind though, they offered her that if she were to give them £200 they would supply a replacement mattress and deduct from it the £79.

They even had the cheek to say that they were, I and I quote “Dreams are under no legal requirement or obligation to refund on a product that was delivered over 9 months ago” An assertion that my solicitor states that is blatantly untrue, as it in not in align with the sale of goods act 1979

Their representative Ms Donna Reynolds ‘’ might like to look the the legislation.

If you want to make your Christmas dreams turn into nightmares then go no further than to buy a bed from them., only joking, I am sure that this is the only complaint that Dreams has ever had, or failed to deal with.

Dreams make their own beds and recycle beds ( ) she probably got a recycled one. Sic.

I shall be on behalf of my fiance be taking them to court in the small claims court. It will cost me £25, but it is worth it for the satisfaction of seeing a one of the ‘BIG BIG’ boys being prosecuted.

Watch this space, they will try to silence me either with threats or hush money. As my solicitor said, it is worrying that a PLC should find it hard to refund such a small amount as £79, I personally would not buy from a company is such a dire financial state, but that is my choice not yours.

This will also be going to the Daily Mail tomorrow – fact.

Donna, Helen and Nick Worthington, I have copies of all emails and letters regarding this. Have a happy new year. See you in court, Caveat emptor.

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Posted by on December 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Armageddon by Linux

Armageddon by Linux

A different post today from my usual Nexus/Ubuntu posts.

Whenever I talk to ‘normal’ people they look blank when I say I use Ubuntu or Linux. I get “Oh no one uses that, its not mainstream” The likes of Terry Lamb insisted that no one used it. He backed down when I pointed out that his own web site did.

These comments made me think about the ignorance of most people who believe the world according to Bill and the ignorance of people in charge of large organizations, the banks, governments, et al.

I remember an experienced UNIX sysadmin guy telling me one day, how he would deal with any company who had the temerity to sack him. The retribution he proposed was severe and could bring a company to its knees if not destroy it. The modus operandi he would use I am obviously not going to mention here because IT WOULD WORK. One of the major UK banks paid me a while ago to do a security audit on all their UNIX machines and I can tell you that even they would not be immune to such an approach, even AFTER the security was tightened.

Banks, if you want to know where you are vulnerable, you know where I am. Don’t say to your shareholders and customers you were not warned!

People are very blinkered in their thinking, they can not, will not, ‘think outside the box’ For example, imagine this:

If I had a ‘magic wand’ that would stop all Linux boxes working, full stop, what would happen? “Not an awful lot” I here you say.

Well, No more Amazon, Facebook, Youtube, Ebay. The Daily Mail readers in the UK would love to see Amazon die as they don’t pay much in taxes over here. Those Daily Mail readers, however, would come to their senses when Tarquin and Amanda’s Christmas Kindles stopped being any use. They would not even be able to share books with friends because of DRM.

It gets worse. It is estimated that 80 – 90% of the Web runs on Linux. No more email, no more e-commerce, ie no shopping online, no online banking and if that sysamin guy got employed by a bank, no more banking.

Take a look at government users of Linux: US Department of defence, US navy submarine fleet, Federal aviation administration, French parliament, the list is almost endless take a look here.

Governments are spending Billions defending the outsides of their systems and not looking inwards to what might be happening there. They are spending all their time looking to the East and ignoring the West

If you are happy losing all of this, ignore what I am saying. Each to their own. You can always move to Pennsylvania and join the Amish.

If you don’t want to go back to those days then share this post with your friends, family, colleagues and don’t tell any terrorists. They will only get ideas. Unless they are already ‘thinking outside the box’ or have that ‘magic wand’ and are waiting to use it.

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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Linux


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Outline mode in Libreoffice Writer


Words (Photo credit: sirwiseowl)

I spent too much time today trying to find out how to do outlining in Libreoffice Write, the same way that you can in Microsoft Word.

It seems after much looking that all Writer have a a window called Navigator which is a very pale imitation of what Word had even in very early incarnations of Word.

Now Writer has some features that are far superior to Word but this omission make Writer unusable for me. I thought that I would look at what the developers think about this.

Their attitude is that they are not a copy of Microsoft Word even if it has features that the users want. This is what I posted to the developers on one thread: ( I am putting my tin hat on now 🙂

<Flame off>

I can understand both sides of the problem here, I have seen many blogs from journalists who support Linux but say that it will never become mainstream until the developers give the users what the users want regardless whether the developers like what the users want or not.

The current situation is like going to a pub who have a Trad Jazz Band on, playing what they like, not what the customers want to hear and the Jazz Band getting upset when all the customers leave.

We all know that Microsoft’s Operating systems still haven’t attained what Linux had years ago, so why do we (Linux users) have to put up with the reverse situation with applications?

It is like you developers being forced into developing without using snippets or syntax checkers just because Mr Gates has them. Bill uses them so we won’t, just to spite him. Rearrange this to make a meaningful sentence:

Spite cutting off face to nose your your.

The danger here is that I and others would be prepared to pay a reasonable amount for the features in Libreoffice that we want.

We all know that is the start of a slippery slope. So, here is the deal, you give us what we want and we will let you use: vi spell nroff troff LatEx awk sed and the pipe character for your word processing.

Just a thought

<Flame on>

I know it wont make any difference, the developers like mummy, know what’s best 🙂


Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Linux


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Synchronizing RSS feeds from your Desktop to your Nexus 7

Synchronizing RSS feeds from your Desktop to your Nexus 7

Today I found an interesting site about Ubuntu, my preferred desktop operating system:

I noticed that they had an RSS feed button on the top of their page   Screenshot - rss   Just like the one at the top of my blog – hint, hint 🙂

I thought it was about time I set things up for me to read them, so here goes:

For those of you who don’t know what RSS feeds are and how useful they can be, here is brief description culled from the net:

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works…………………

Simple eh? Some people have a way with words, the wrong way !!! – Well that’s the Wikipedia format for you.

It is easier to think of it as a funnel that sites that you like, are asked to pour their latest offerings into. That enables you to read them all in one place. This saves going to your favourite sites on a regular basis to see if there is anything new. When you look for it, there are lots of interesting feeds out there and lots of junk too. You choose. To show how bad it can be, there is even one for Strictly Come Dancing, so you have been warned.

RSS Funnel

RSS Funnel

There are many ways of doing this, but the one I decided to use was Google reader on my PC:

and the Google reader app on my Nexus 7 :

The reason I made these choices was that The Google reader on the PC allows you to create folders to put your RSS feeds into, for example one for Nexus another for Ubuntu etc. Great for organising things.

I tried various apps and widgets on the Nexus, but the official free one from Google was the only one that seemed to recognise folders. I am currently using a few of them at the same time to convince myself that it is the right one. If anything changes I will blog it.

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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Nexus 7


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Sharing Bookmarks between Ubuntu and a Nexus 7

I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t let go when I go to bed. Now, no mucky comments Keith.

I want to carry on browsing and watching my YouTube favourites on my Nexus 7 in bed, where I’m nice and warm and cosy. So I looked for a solution for having the same links on my tablet as my PC. Here is my solution.

I looked at Pocket, which works great on the Nexus but I could not find it for Ubuntu and it didn’t really do what I wanted, namely being able to carry on browsing the same links as I was on my PC.

I also looked at Evernote. No native Evernote program for Ubuntu. You can of course use Everpad, a nice

solution but Evernote is a bit of an overkill for what I wanted.

Up until now I had resorted to emailing myself links and going to bed and reading the emails to pick up the links. Silly I know, use I hear you say. The ‘word on the street’ is that Yahoo are going to stop that, so I took a look at Google Bookmarks instead.

On the Nexus there is an app for this called: Gbookmark. So far so good. I use Firefox on my PC, so I could drag the Google Bookmark button to the toolbar. Getting better.

Even better is the way you can categorize the links on Google Bookmarks.

Google calls these Labels, but you may just think of the as tags. Give each links a number of relevant tags and a list of them is then given on the left hand side of the screen.

When you have built up a large number of links over time, finding the one you want is simplicity itself.

You can either search for the term that you want, for example: Nexus and it will show you all the links that contain the term Nexus, or you can click on Nexus on the left hand side of the screen and you only get the links you have tagged with this. This all assumes of course that you have labelled some links with the word Nexus.

Screenshot - 081212 - 22:00:52











This may not be your cup of tea mug of cocoa, but it gives me exactly what I want.

Off to bed to look for a ‘Mug of Cocoa’ App 🙂


Posted by on December 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Expanding a Windows ex_ file in Ubuntu Linux

Today I was asked to install Windows Solitaire for a friend from her Windows XP CD.

On the cd I found the executable as sol.ex_ a compressed file.

A quick search on Google for how to uncompress or should I say expand it on Ubuntu achieved nothing useful.

The suggestion was to download sol.exe from the Internet. A dodgy thing to do as you did not know if the download file contained any malicious code.

I had to resort to native guile and cunning in which I am sadly lacking so it had to be ‘suck it and see’

The first thing I tried actually worked, so here it is:

  1. Copy expand.exe to a suitable directory on you computer, for example: games
  2. Copy sol.ex_ to the same directory
  3. Open a terminal in the directory
  4. Type: wine expand.exe sol.ex_ sol.exe and hit enter
  5. Type: wine sol.exe &

There you have it.

Now to create an icon on your desktop:

Right click on the desktop and choose: Create Launcher

In the name field type : Solitaire

In the command field click on the browse button and select sol.exe

Now here is the important bit, in the command box prefix the command with: wine followed by a space.

Choose a suitable icon, select: Use Startup Notification and click Create.


Of course you can use this process to expand any ex_ file

If you have any problems just leave a comment and like me 🙂 and I will get back to you.


Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Getting developer mode on a Google Nexus 7 Android 4.2

Getting developer mode on a Google Nexus 7 Android 4.2








I eventually took the plunge and got myself a 32Mb Google Nexus 7

My choice was based upon the following

  1. Google backs it.
  2. Canonical have chosen it to release Ubuntu 12 on it
  3. It is easy to root
  4. It is easy to revert to the shipped O/S
  5. It is cool, and the right price (I.M.H.O.)

I turned it on and found developer mode so that I could root it, and went to bed.

The next day I switched it on and great, it upgraded to the new release of the OS that shipped that day.

Not so great, I went looking for developer mode to do my dirty deeds and lo and behold, it had gone.

I looked everywhere, but could not find it. Stumped!

I even tried R.T.F.M. – Computer support people will know what that means.

After much searching on the Internet I resorted to posting the problem on various BBS’s, sorry, users groups 🙂

Oooh just I hate doing that, it’s so not me. (I sound like a girly there) 😉

This is the solution for anyone lucky enough to be in the same position:

Go to settings -> About Phone, and tap it
Scroll down to build number
Tap it seven times, after the third tap you will see a dialogue that says “You are four steps from being a developer”
Keep tapping and you have got your developer settings back.

It couldn’t have been simpler 🙂

Thanks to for the info.

Now where is that spanner and wire cutters…………….


Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized


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A free money saving tip from me.

Since the EU  has dictated to us that we can no longer buy washing machines with both a hot and cold feed, I thought I would share with you my  Martin Lewis type money saving tip.

The EU says cold fill washing machines are more environmentally friendly than dual feed machines.

Huh, what do they know about washing 🙂

It costs approximately 3 times more money to heat water using electricity than gas so to get around it try the following:

Do you know what the pipe from the Poundshop costs? If so:

Ring 0909 123 456

choose from the following options:

1.    A carrot

2.    A Pound

3:    A teapot

Calls should not last longer than 60 minutes and not cost more the £200

You could win Britney Spears for a night, losers a get a week.

Johnnie foreigner knows nothing about British ingenuity 🙂

Lines close 1st Jan 2022, don’t wait,


1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

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