Saturday, July 19, 2014

gmusicbrowser: An Acrobat Among Music Players

I have got to talk about gmusicbrowser, my current music player.

This is an extensively customizable player. It comes with several layout configuration by default and then there's user created layouts available from third parties.

The 1st screenshot shows the shimmer desktop layout with the song tree pane. The 2nd screenshot has the shimmer desktop with browser configuration. If you're the kind of music player aficionado who likes to change the user interface every time you start a music player then you're in heaven.

And I was just trying to find a player with a decent equalizer!

gmusicbrowser has that and MORE.

I could filter my library based on metadata. Metadata includes artist, album, genre(s), year, label and more. I could customize the filter and save it.

I could control how random play goes in gmusicbrowser. I could play music based on its metadata of course. But when it comes to random play, gmusicbrowser allows me to combine several metadata filters or weights to help it choose what to play next.

I could lock play to artist (to play one particular artist) or to album (to play just the album).

Management of metadata is very easy with gmusicbrowser. It is capable of mass tagging and saving it to file. It is a matter of selecting which tracks or albums to edit. I never have to use Easytag again.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Encrypting Files Via Nautilus File Browser

I wrote a blog post a few days ago about using Evolution Mail client and GPG and I partly talked about how to encrypt files. If say I already opened the compose window and partly proceeded to type off my email and then remember I want to send an attachment with it, that's how I would do it.

It turns out that nautilus, the default file browser in Ubuntu can help me if i want to encrypt a file. Put the focus on the file you want to encrypt.

You can either right-click and choose encrypt from the pull-down menu or hit the pull-down key (right side of the keyboard, next to the control key) in my pc.

I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 lts Unity desktop. If you're using a different desktop environment, you might try exploring your file browser. GPG is standard in any Linux distro. Also, if it's the first time you're doing this, it might prompt you to download needed nautilus add-ons, so just answer yes. In my case, I downloaded seahorse-daemon, libcryptui, and seahorse-nautilus as needed by my system.

When it finishes installing the packages, a much better integration between Seahorse (GPG key manager) and nautilus ( file browser) makes it easier to encrypt files.    

Related Posts
GPG for Windows Users
Evolution And GPG
Say No To Mass Surveillance
E-Mail Self Defense
Mailvelope Encryption for Webmail
We Need To Take Back Our Emails

Protect yourself and your family (and friends). Encrypt the web. Use GnuPG.
My Public Key is
79E0 8EB7 F171 BC7C 436A
4091 C503 2ABC 415E 88DB

If you don't know what I'm talking about. This blog may help you. Try this infographic.

Friday, July 4, 2014

GPG For Windows Users

Most of the people I exchange emails about half use Windows. The other half mostly use their smartphones which means they're using android. This is a rough approximation of my personal communication environment today. I occasionally use Windows 7 in a laptop at work. So for us who wish to keep our emails private, this is important.

Windows users can use GPG by downloading GPG for Windows.
It is called Gpg4win and it is a package that incorporates Gnu Privacy Guard cryptography, extension for Outlook, extension for Explorer and documentation. This enables Windows users to encrypt and sign their emails and files. It is Free Software.

Generate Your Key Pair
For Windows users, it is important to be able to encrypt your files and email messages. The first thing to do is to generate your key pair. This is a very nice wiki for Gpg4win.

Let us start fighting for our privacy and stop mass surveillance.

Evolution And GPG

I sent a GPG encrypted message with attachment (also encrypted beforehand) to myself. This is it using Evolution Mail client. You need to know that Evolution Mail makes encryption in email much less cumbersome.

First Things First
In order to use GPG (the open source implementation of Pretty Good Privacy PGP) generate your key-pair. Your public key is uploaded to a public server accessible to the public and can be downloaded by anyone interested to send you an encrypted message. Your private key is stored locally, encrypted and secured by a passphrase. Your passphrase should be good enough to protect from attackers trying to break the encryption.

I use Seahorse to manage my passwords and keys. It's a GUI for the GPG program. Nevertheless, I still use the Terminal to encrypt files that I wish to attach to the email message.

How To Encrypt Files
There are many programs that you can use to encrypt files or an entire directory (or even an entire partition). I am just documenting how I do it if i want to attach it to an email message. Just open a terminal and change directory to the file to be encrypted.

$ cd /home/name/Document/anyfolder

$ gpg -h                                                                         #if you want help with the text commands
$ gpg --encrypt --recipient          #you must have the recipient's public key to encrypt
                                                                                          #the file

A new file is created in .gpg format. Look for this file when you are ready to attach it in your email message.

In Evolution Mail, to compose a message just type: CNTRL+SHIFT+M. The add attachment button is at the bottom of the compose window. To sign and encrypt the message click on menu options>PGP Sign  and  options>PGP Encrypt. I have mine configured to sign all my outgoing mail. You can edit preferences by going to the menu edit>preferences. Click the General tab and tick on Digitally sign with PGP. Digitally signing your emails means you protect its integrity. If the message is intercepted and modified it will be flagged as such.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Linux Users Aren't Afraid Of Text Commands

I saw the Update Manager icon so it has to be that my computer needed some downloading to do. But as soon as I hit the button for Update, the Updater crashes. I tried to restart the GUI frontend for APT in Ubuntu Unity but again it crashes.

What does a Linux user do if the GUI wont work?

He tries the Terminal, of course.  So type CNTRL+ALT-T to get to the Gnome terminal with the blinking cursor. Then update the system by typing:

$ sudo apt-get update

Afterwards type:

$ sudo apt-get upgrade

If it offers upgrades then hit the enter button. In my case I have a few packages that APT wants to hold back. I noted these packages. Then hit the enter button to proceed with the upgrade.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Two Graphs: Cash Balance and Gross Profit Analysis

These are Cash Balances at the beginning of the month since October 2011 to June 2014. I made this graph using LibreOffice Spreadsheet. The data cash points are in blue dots and the dotted curve line is my model which has an r squared of 0.85. I tried other formulas for the model built in but this one has the highest r2.

Highest r2 means most of the data points fits the model.

The line curves upwards which tells me that cash levels are more likely to increase. Data points appearing above the line means I have underspend and data points under the line means I have overspend.

I have shown a graph like this in this blog here.

The blue data set is revenue. The red data set is expenses.

I have extended the data set to include the latest for June 2014. As you can see there's a bright spot there. Greater separation between the two sets of points. I hope it holds.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

How To De-Stress Your Subscriber

Dear PLDT Home

It has been 24 days since I applied and paid for your ULTERA wireless offering. Since then I have personally gone to your sales office to inquire the status of my application. I have sent tweets to @pldt_cares and to their defense they have replied in two occasions. One of your support people even called to tell me that they have my payment and asked me what particular plan I want. But that was 13 days ago.

Since then I have been trying to justify the long wait for the install crew to show up and start my upgrade to this plan. Could they have gotten my address wrong? What's the hold up here? I mean install crews shouldn't just appear in the right house, the owners, the subscriber has got to be present. Imagine if the tech guys find the house and the only ones answering is bantay and muning.

Then today I received a very thoughtful email from you. The subject of the email is "Health & Fitness Program For Your Computer". How to de-stress your computer by deframentation

I don't defragment my computer because I use the ext file system in linux. Yes I use Ubuntu linux. No need to deframent and no need for anti-virus programs. No stress. Sad to say that the only stress I get is waiting for your install crew.

When can I expect them to turn up by the way?