So a while back, I decided to get a Raspberry Pi to setup as a UPnP media server for my local network (not accessible from outside the network). Of course, the standard procedure is to install Raspbian, which is a customized Debian-based distribution that works well with the Raspberry Pi.
However, this presents an annoyance: the Raspbian repositories contain a very tiny subset of the Debian respositories. This means that your software choice is reduced by a lot and, given that I wanted this to be a “set it and forget it” type of media server, compiling and updating programs from source was mostly out of the question (especially when that software was available in Debian!). I decided to go on an adventure and convert Raspbian to Debian proper.
Note: I did this a while ago, so I may be missing some steps. Please let me know in the comments and I will update it with more details if need be!
Continue reading “Converting Raspbian to Debian sid”
A couple of weeks ago, my laptop’s hard drive died and I ended up purchasing a new one. I hadn’t taken a backup in about 3 weeks, so I lost some progress on my research. This got me thinking about having a backup method with less friction than my current one.
My existing backup routine consists of plugging in my external hard drive, mounting it, running my backup script, taking a full image of my boot drive, and unmounting it. Not entirely awful (most of it is automated and it’s mostly just waiting), but there’s still friction around the initial steps of plugging in the drive and mounting it. Additionally, taking a full system image means having a read/write LVM snapshot (which becomes an issue if it is completely filled), which means I need to sit and wait around for the system image to finish — if I leave it for too long, the writes to the snapshot will accumulate, the snapshot will fill up, and bad things will happen.
Continue reading “Encrypted, incremental backups to the cloud”
Taxes have always been an annoyance, at least here in America where the tax code is as long as your intestine (and just as convoluted!). But taxes are extra annoying on Linux due to the scarce availability of tax prep software on the platform. When I first started doing my taxes, I copped out and used a version of Turbo Tax on a Windows virtual machine I had (my parents had TurboTax already, so it was just a matter of installing it). But that year, I resolved to make taxes work on Linux.
Given that my taxes are generally fairly simple (I’m a graduate student…generally it’s just a W-2 and 1099-INT), the biggest hurdle I faced was finding a way to (easily) fill in the PDF forms. Enter
pdftk is a fantastic piece of software for many reasons. In this case, though, it’s particularly useful because of two commands:
fill_form. You might be able to see where this is going.
Continue reading “Taxes on Linux”