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Messages - Jeffrey Mark Siskind

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Gemini PDA - Linux / is there a kernel with btrfs?
« on: October 27, 2020, 10:54:27 am »
I installed Debian on my Gemini when I first purchased it several years ago, I now would like to mount a btrfs micro sdxc card. But the kernel lacks the fs. Is there a package I can apt-get with the kernel modules or a new kernel that includes btrfs? I don't want to have to build a kernel.

Gemini PDA - Linux / /etc/connman/main.conf
« on: September 29, 2018, 09:04:19 pm »
After a virgin install of Debian, I do an apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. It asks whether I should replace /etc/connnman/main.conf with the developer version. What is the difference? Which version do I want?

Gemini PDA - Linux / have the repos disappeared?
« on: September 29, 2018, 04:57:17 pm »
I just reflashed. In the past, the first step I do after reflash is apt-get update and apt-get upgrade. Now apt-get update on a virgin reflash
can't find or

Is this transient or permanent? If the latter, where is the repo now?

Gemini PDA - Linux / unable to boot debian after crash
« on: September 23, 2018, 10:29:20 am »
Gemini Debian is not able to reliably poweroff. (I'll explain this more below.) It often crashes when trying to poweroff. When this happens, it often is not able to reboot. It just hangs in the splash screen and doesn't display "Linux".

Through various analyses, I have come to believe that the cause of the problem is that a reboot after a crash runs fsck and that often requires user input. AFAIK, Gemini has no equivalent of the grub and VT screens from Debian on amd64 that allow answering fsck queries or booting into a recovery mode.

In my case this is exacerbated by the fact that I have a 512GB SDXC card formatted as one large ext4 partition that I mount with an entry in /etc/fstab. I have discovered that this is likely the cause of the failure to reboot because when that happens, I reinstall Debian into the main flash device, reboot without the /etc/fstab entry, and manually run fsck on the SDXC card, discovering the errors.

This issue has required me to reinstall Debian from scratch 4 times now.

My two questions:

 1. Is there an analog of grub booting to a recovery mode or booting with a VT so that I can answer fsck queries?
 2. How can I reliably poweroff so this doesn't happen?

I mount the SDXC card as /fs. I have /home/qobi redirected to /fs/home/qobi. And when logged in as qobi, I run twm through .xsession instead of lxqt. I could try to reduce the likelihood of this occurring by eliminating the /etc/fstab entry but this would require me, every time I poweron, to login as gemini to lxqt, mount /fs, logout from gemini, and then login as qobi. And it would require me, every time I poweroff, to logout from qobi, login as gemini to lxqt, umount /fs, then try to poweroff, suspend, or hibernate. This would be tedious.

I poweroff, suspend, and hibernate by running the lxqt variants within my environment. Sometimes some of them work, sometimes not. Even when I use them from within lxqt logged in as gemini, sometimes they work, sometimes not.

It takes me 4 hours to reinstall and reconfigure Debian the way I like it from scratch. I am currently in an unbootable state so an answer to (1) above can help save me 4 hours.

Gemini PDA - Linux / How do you type the "Insert" key?
« on: July 17, 2018, 11:11:11 am »
How do you type the "Insert" key?

Gemini PDA - Linux / apt-get upgrade broke libreoffice
« on: July 14, 2018, 04:24:29 pm »
Is it really true that there are dependency problems in TP2 that are not in TP1?
If so, are these really irrevocable without a reflash?
(I'm not even really sure that I installed TP2. To be precise, I installed what
gave me.)
I ask because I put in a huge amount of work (about a week) installing and customizing.
I prefer not to have to redo all of this. If I do have to reflash, I will put the Gemini aside and
wait for the dust to settle before going through the hassle of a reinstall and reconfigure.

Gemini PDA - Linux / apt-get upgrade broke libreoffice
« on: July 14, 2018, 12:57:36 pm »
I'm running DebianTP2. I did an apt-get upgrade today. It broke with unmet dependencies that centered on libreoffice. I am in a state where I am unable to install/remove/upgrade packages with apt. So I removed libreoffice.

apt remove libreoffice \
libreoffice-avmedia-backend-gstreamer \
libreoffice-base \
libreoffice-base-core \
libreoffice-base-drivers \
libreoffice-calc \
libreoffice-common \
libreoffice-core \
libreoffice-draw \
libreoffice-gtk2 \
libreoffice-impress \
libreoffice-java-common \
libreoffice-librelogo \
libreoffice-math \
libreoffice-report-builder-bin \
libreoffice-script-provider-python \
libreoffice-style-galaxy \
libreoffice-writer \

Now I am in a state where all of libreoffice is removed except libreoffice-base. If I attempt to do

root@njere:~# apt-get remove libreoffice-base
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 52 not upgraded.
20 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 6356 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]
(Reading database ... 242184 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing libreoffice-base (1:5.2.7-1+deb9u3) ...
dpkg-divert: error: mismatch on package
  when removing 'diversion of /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/basic/dialog.xlc to /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/basic/dialog.xlc.noaccess by libreoffice-base'
  found 'diversion of /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/basic/dialog.xlc to /usr/lib/libreoffice/share/basic/dialog.xlc.noaccess by --add'
dpkg: error processing package libreoffice-base (--remove):
 subprocess installed post-removal script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

I am close but still not able to install/remove/upgrade packages with apt.

Any ideas on how to fix? Once I get back to a state where apt works and I have a consistent set of package installations, I'll try to figure out how to get libreoffice installed again.

I am running an unmodified /etc/apt/sources.list* from DebianTP2.


The twm+emacs setup that I have used for four decades on all of my Unix and then later Linux machines (dekstops, laptops, PDAs, ...) relies on left/middle/right mouse clicks and ability to type the F1-F12 and Insert keystrokes. Can I do this in DebianTP2? How?

My standard setup (which at this point is neurally encoded) uses F1-F10 to select different (emacs, xpdf, xcalc, ...) windows.

I tried setting up .twmrc with

"F10"      =  : all          : f.warpto "xcalc"
"F10"      =  s : all          : f.warpto "xcalc"
"F10"      =  m1 : all          : f.warpto "xcalc"
"F10"      =  s | m1 : all          : f.warpto "xcalc"

with m1 varying among m2, m3, m4, and m5 but none of them worked. Any ideas?

Gemini PDA - Linux / SDXC
« on: July 11, 2018, 03:31:02 pm »
Before I go out and buy one, does anybody know if the Gemini running DebianTP2 will work with the new PNY 512GB SDXC card? Can I format and mount the card as ext4 under DebianTP2?

Gemini PDA - Linux / Does DebianTP2 work with 4G with a SIM card?
« on: July 11, 2018, 03:28:38 pm »
I bought the WiFi+4G model. Before I go out and get a SIM card, will 4G (data only) work with DebianTP2? Will cmst allow me to connect to VZW in the US?

Background: I am a new Gemini owner running a dual boot with Android/DebianTP2. I have a lot of experience installing and running Debian on PDAs having previously owned a Nokia N810 (with a Debian chroot), a Nokia N900 (with a Debian chroot), a Viliv N5 (with a single boot Debian install), and a Samsung S6 (with GNURoot Debian).

I run my own setup based on twm. (I have been using Unix/Linux for 4 decades.)

On the Gemini, I have installed pm-utils. But (as root or with sudo) none of poweroff, reboot, pm-suspend, or hibernate appear to have any effect. If I issue any of these commands in a root shell  the machine does not poweroff, reboot, suspend, or hibernate. Sometimes it hangs until I press Fn Off. Sometimes it hangs until I press any key. But the machine never turns off.

Any ideas why and how to fix?

My first goal is to reliably turn the machine off to save battery when not in use. My second goal is to get some more efficient way than requiring a reboot at turn on, either suspend or hibernate. With my current twm setup, if I leave it running and close the lid, the battery only lasts about a day.

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