Documenting Technically

Many times, I find that I need to create a document that includes either code or output from a command-line.  I haven’t found that either LibreOffice or Microsoft Word provide good styling to make that code or output look nice in a technical document.  Below is how I created some Paragraph styles in both programs to display the code.  I would love feed back on how I can improve the look.  Please Comment Below.


VMWare Player 6 on Ubuntu

It’s been a while since I have had VMware Player.  I have been using Virtualbox instead, but I have a client who wants a machine worked on that is already a VMware machine.  It doesn’t make sense to convert it to Virtualbox, do the work, and convert it back afterward.

So, my notes on installing VMware Player…


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Annual Report from WordPress

Recently, I received my annual report from WordPress/Jetpack.  I have always enjoyed these reports, so I thought I would make it public.

For the complete report, view it here: Linux Sagas 2014 Year in Blogging


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Setting up a Sharp MX-2600N Printer on Ubuntu

Our church has a Sharp MX-2600N printer, and I occasionally need to print to it from my laptop.  It isn’t the easiest to setup and configure on my installation of Ubuntu, so here are my notes.


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Setting Up Printer with Cloud Print

I’ve just set up my new server, and I want it to act as a print server.  I want it to accept jobs from both the cloud and from my other Linux machines in my house.  Here’s what I did.

My Printer for Google Cloudprint


Solaar Fixes My Mouse

I have an old wireless Logitech mouse that I haven’t been able to get working.  My batteries were low in my bluetooth, so I thought I would give it a try.  That’s when I ran into Solaar and OMG Ubuntu’s article.  So, I gave it a shot…

My Logitech Wireless Mouse


Programming for Kids

Blockly Games caught my eye the other day and finally got me to pull together my notes on programming teaching tools for kids.  There are some really cool tools out there.  If you have a sphere of influence with kids whether they be your own or just ones who might listen, check out these resources…

Blockly Games

This is the tool that I just recently ran into.  The nice part is that it is web-based so you don’t have to install anything.  Also, it is puzzle based.  Instead of just giving kids something to explore, it gives them a challenge to try to accomplish.

Link: Blockly Games

The tool is made up of multiple games that motivate kids to explore and learn:

Blockly Games Menu

For example, the maze game requires that you write a program to walk the user through a map.

Blockly Games: Street Maze Game

Learn to Code

I found another very similar tool.  The one-up from a kids point of view: angry birds.  It looked very similar to the blocky games (in fact, I think it is the same library), but the character in the puzzle was an angry bird.  There’s also a nice little intro video to explain what is going on.

Link: Hour of Code


I’m not sure where I first heard about Alice, but it sounds like a pretty cool learning tool.  It uses a 3D interface, which makes it a bit heavier.  The download was 1.2G!

Link: Alice Homepage

Getting it working wasn’t hard at all.  I went to the Alice 3.1 Download Page.  After uncompressing the download, I ran:

sh ./

That was for my Linux system.  For Windows, there is an Alice3.exe that you can run.

I think that I may have learned about Alice from this Google Tech Talk:

Wombat Object Basics

Oracle has a little tutorial for using Greenfoot.  It looks a little involved, and I haven’t been through it all yet.


Installing Greenfoot was pretty simple.  The download page has a deb package that I could use.  I simply installed it using the Ubuntu Software Center.

Snake Wrangling for Kids

This is a book that I came across a long time ago.  I haven’t ever delved into it, and now I find that there is a new version out on Amazon.

Link: Google Code Project (Old Version)

Here’s the new version:


Scratch is an online tool.  It seems very similar to Blockly, but instead of puzzles and challenges, it is just a tool that lets kids explore.

Link: Scratch Website

RoboCode / RoboJS

A long time ago, I ran into this cool game.  It makes programming fun.  The idea is that you write a small program to control a virtual robot.  You pit your program / robot against others in a virtual arena.

Link: RoboCode Website

The original RoboCode requires Java and running a program from your PC.  I found another version that was ported to Javascript.  I’m not sure it is as complete as the original, but it allows you to play the same game in Javascript and a browser.

LinkRoboJS – Robocode in Javascript

You can check out the source code:

BBC Schools Computing

BBC has launched a website with various resources.  There’s a bunch to explore here, and I haven’t explored it all.

Link: BBC Schools Computing

PHP For Kids

This is more like a web development course.  You can go through the material and learn HTML, PHP, etc.

Link: PHP For Kids


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Mediatek 7630 on Ubuntu

We are now proud owners of an ASUS TP500LA-AB52T laptop.  It is a new laptop to help my wife with her new teaching job.  I have installed Ubuntu on it so that it matches the rest of the computers in the house.

The first issue is that the wireless doesn’t work on first boot.  This is a major blow because the point of the laptop was so that she could catch up on her teaching plans anywhere.  Being tethered to the router in the back room kind of defeats the purpose.

Here’s the wireless card information:

$ lspci | grep -i wireless
03:00.0 Network controller: MEDIATEK Corp. MT7630e 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter

The fix was to just to manually install the wireless driver.  I found a bug post with fairly good instructions (Thank you keshara Dorakumbura).


Updating Shutter

I use shutter a lot for documentation and taking notes.  Some of that makes it to my blog.  So, I was delighted when I saw that they had a new version available and that it was easy to install.

I am thinking about adding this repository to my regular list of things to install.


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Password Manager

I have finally gotten tired of keeping up with millions of passwords.  I thought I would up the security level by using a password manager to generate secure and unique passwords for each site.  I read Tim’s post about KeePass, and he made it sound so easy that I decided to go for it.

Here are my notes on how I got everything working…