Sluggle IRC Bot

Today I released the first semi-stable version of sluggle, a simple IRC searchbot. The name is a contraction of Google and SLUG (an informal and inaccurate acronym for the Surrey Linux User Group).

Sluggle enables IRC users to search the Internet using Bing, to search Wolfram Alpha, to look up and shorten web addresses and to check the safety of sites.

For more details please visit sluggle.

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A Probably Inaccurate History Of LibVirt, KVM and QEMU

A while ago I was explaining the difference between QEMU, KVM and LibVirt, and I ended up by emailing this nonsense. I don’t claim it’s accurate, it certainly isn’t. It’s probably not even funny. Enjoy :).

In the beginning there was QEMU, but it was slow and the people grieved.

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Sonos Review

I’ve been aware of Sonos as a premium wireless speaker solution for a long time, but the price always seemed excessive for what, on the face of it, offers little more than a simple Bluetooth speaker. But after Subsonic needed its database rebuilding for the third time and I was unable to play music for a dinner party, enough was enough. I was willing at last to pay the premium for something that was purported to work.

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Taxcalc Self Assessment Under Linux

I first wrote about the difficulties of submitting a UK self-assessment tax return back in January 2009, with a follow up in January of 2010. In the subsequent years I have submitted my tax return under Windows with nary a thought about attempting it under Linux.

This year was different, I went to download TaxCalc as usual, only this time there was a Linux option. I barely noticed at first, downloading the Windows version before I thought “Hang on, did that say Linux?”. It did indeed.

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Ubuntu Simple Scan HP All in One

At home we have an HP OfficeJet J6410 printer, which has worked brilliantly for years. Unlike every previous printer we’ve owned, this printer sits happily on our network and seems perfectly content to be used only very occasionally, whereon it willingly responds with decent quality prints and scans.

I have set up the printer with a static IP address and so the scanning is managed via the web interface, whereon the scanned image opens a new tab in the browser, enabling you to save to wherever.

This printing and scanning Nirvana hit a road bump today, when it just instantly went to “Scan done” and failed to actually do anything. Rebooting the laptop, the printer and clearing temporary internet files all failed to resolve the problem, as did changing from Chrome to Firefox.

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Ubuntu Empathy Microsoft Skype For Business Lync 2013 Client

I wrote recently regarding using Microsoft Skype for Business / Lync 2013 in Pidgin, this has worked really well for our Lubuntu 14.04 clients, running Pidgin. Having some time off work I decided to try and get this working also on my Ubuntu 14.04 laptop.

The problem is that Ubuntu uses Empathy by default, rather than Pidgin, but I found that the steps were virtually identical (cut and pasted from my earlier post):

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Discovering Dokuwiki

I was looking for a Wiki for managing the sharing of a boat, including booking usage, task lists and maintenance, as well as acting as a repository for any-and-all information available.

What it looked like was incidental, but it needed to be really simple for users to edit pages quickly. I wanted to squeeze it onto a work server, so it also needed to be really lightweight.

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Intermittent USB3 Drive Mount Continued

Further to my recent post Intermittent USB3 Drive Mount, sadly I have to report that, after ten days of perfect operation, this morning once again the drive mount failed.

# dmesg | tail

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Varidesk Pro Plus 48 Standing Desk

In my recent post on the Bac Posture Stand I mentioned that I had purchased the Varidesk Pro Plus 48. I promised to review this “in due course” and that time has now come!

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Howto | Add ActiveDirectory Addressbook to Sylpheed Email

Where we require a lightweight mail client, we tend to use Sylpheed, a fork of the old Claws Mail.

It seems unlikely that you would be able to add an ActiveDirectory Address Book into such a lightweight email client, and indeed the manual states:

### FIXME: write this part.

But in fact it was trivially easy:

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