All posts in the "GNU/Linux" category.

Use an old digital camera, gphoto2, and WordPress for automatic photo blogging

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

For the What We’re Eating feature of my blog, I needed a way to quickly take photos of our home-cooked meals. Using a dedicated camera and a simple script I wrote, the system prompts the user for a description of the meal, snaps the photo with the proper zoom and flash settings, rotates and resizes the photo, and uploades the content directly to the WordPress site so it’s immediately visible to the outside world… all with a single command! Read on to learn how to implement the system for your own automatic photo blogging!

Auto photo blogging with WordPress


Sendmail / IMAP email server setup

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Until recently, On Ensemble’s email server lived in my apartment.  By using all Free Software, we have been able to host the website and email for the group on recycled computers, for only the cost of my internet connection.  The software is top-notch… the only limitation is knowing how to set up and administer everything.  I often need some guidance and help understanding the software.

This is where the gnu/linux community comes in, and my friends in the Los Angeles Linux Users Group.  We meet in an IRC chatroom called #lalugs, helping each other out.  You too can hang out here and ask questions: download Xchat or Colloquy, join the server, and join the #lalugs channel.  My nickname there is “xuxa”.

My most recent challenge was to move On Ensemble’s email server services to the new server.  For this, mail master Stu Sheldon helped me out at the SCLUG meeting.


The following step-by-step assumes you have a base installation of debian that is up-to-date (apt-get update, apt-get upgrade). If you need help getting to this stage, please contact me.


Howto: Track your practice with WordPress and gnuplot

Saturday, October 31st, 2009


Here’s how to set up a system with pretty graphs to track your practice time and display it at your WordPress site!  I’m using mine to track the time I spend each day on four different categories of practice, and also show my progress toward the goal of 10,000 hours of total practice.  Every day I add my practice times to a log file and the system generates updated graphs nightly.  When you visit my blog site, the running tally is given in the header (or anywhere else I want it on the website… like here! (5045.95).  And the graphs at my “10,000 hours of taiko” blog post are also automatically updated every night.


Free Software-based calendaring — manage your life and your band’s!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

A number of friends have asked me recently (hi Rachel and Jason!) what I used to manage my and On Ensemble’s calendars.  The following post explains my calendaring system based on Free Software, using easily-portable text files.


What is .ogg?

Monday, December 8th, 2008

The following is a bit of information about the ogg audio format, in preparation for the release of version 2 of the 30 Days to Better Shime program, the companion audio files for which are released in both mp3 and ogg formats.


Debian gnu/linux knowledge-base

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

I use Debian gnu/linux for all my computing needs.  I absolutely love it!  It’s powerful and stable and because it’s Free Software, my only limitation is knowledge.  The more I know, the more I can do!  (To learn more about Free Software, see

However, there is a quite a lot to know.  Using only Free Software has required I learn a lot and get good at using Google.  In these searches, I often stumble upon other people’s tips and tricks, answering just the question I’m facing.

So with the hope that others might stumble upon something useful, here is my “gnu/linux knowledge-base”.  I’m no guru, so your mileage may vary, but please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions (kris at OnEnsemble dot org).


Hosting your own website

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Ever considered running your own web server?  As On Ensemble finishes upgrading our system, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the subject, and a few links to get you started in the world of Free Software!

For about 7 years now, has been hosted on modest computers running in the various apartments I’ve inhabited.  The server hums away 24/7, serving On Ensemble’s website to visitors around the world.  Although it’s required quite a bit of study and a few late nights, I’ve very much enjoyed managing the server.  It feels good to be a part of the internet infrastructure.  I’m a big believer in the power of the internet to distribute control and power from centralized authority, to little musicians like us.  It’s also quite handy to be able to create unlimited email addresses on the fly.  There are no storage limitations, and no expenses above and beyond what I’d already spend for DSL service.

And it’s fun!

But it’s probably not for everyone.  (more…)

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