Linux: Linking Orage (XFCE4 desktop) to your Google Calendar.

To install Orage without XFCE, or with XFCE4.16 or later, see here.

What I am about to describe is a method that has worked for me on both PCLinuxOS (XFCE4 Community Edition) and MX-Linux (which uses XFCE4 by default). It ought to work on any version of Linux using the XFCE4 desktop (provided the necessary python dependencies are available — always the case as far as I know). Bear in mind, though, that there are no guarantees that it will work for you, or the sky will not fall on your head, or your computer won’t explode. You do this at your own risk.

You need to ensure that the Orage calendar is applet is on your XFCE panel. If you are using a desktop other than XFCE4, you can set Orage to appear as an icon in your system tray instead (Edit>Preferences>Extra Settings). Continue reading →

USB 3.0 7-way Hub — Beware!

I get a lot of stuff on line, and much of it is really cheap. This particular USB Hub seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. So I ordered it. £8? You can’t go wrong.

7-ports-usb3 Continue reading →

HUION 610 Graphics Tablet and Linux

EDIT 27th August 2019: I have found out what caused the problem with the v5 kernels in PCLinuxOS. Having discovered the problem the solution is simple, so on we go!

EDIT: 5th September 2019: This article got unpublished in error. I do intend to rewrite it, but it’s best to have something there in the meantime!

Just over a year ago, I did a piece about using the HUION 610 Graphics Tablet with Linux. It’s time to update what I did last year. But one thing is for certain. The Huion 610 and 610Pro are much cheaper than Wacom tablets, and are said to work on Linux. And it’s not too hard to get them working.

So here’s how to get it set up in two different Linux Operating Systems (you may jump ahead to find out about MX-Linux): Continue reading →

British English on a US Keyboard


I keep reading “reviews” on Ebay and Amazon UK that British people are buying keyboards on line, only to find that they are American. The main problem they have is that the keyboard does not have a Sterling sign (£) on it, the quotedbl (“) and at sign (@) are swapped over. The key that produces hash and tilde has backslash and pipe on it, backslash and pipe are no longer available, as there is one key less on the US keyboard! Everything will appear in the same place on the keyboard as they did before, but the legends on the keys are wrong. Continue reading →

MX Linux — Suitable for Everyone!

First I have to say that I am a PCLinuxOS user, and that has always been great. Every so often, I try out another Linux on a spare partition, and sometimes I can’t even work out how to install it! Other times, I can install it, but something about it turns me off, almost instantly. There are others, where I can play with it, in parallel with my PCLinuxOS partition, and think, I could get used to this, then a month or so down the line, something happens, reality hits home, and it has to go. The last time that happened, was several months back when I tried Debian. Continue reading →

The more I find out, the less I know!

You need to have read the previous two parts of this saga before proceeding.

How (not) to install Windows 7 on a USB3 computer

What could possibly go wrong?


So, there I was, having resolved all the problems, including the one caused by an assumption that, despite an Ethernet cable having worked correctly for a long time, that it still worked! The problem was, that after a day or so, the cable I replaced it with, began to develop the same problems. Too much of a co-incidence? Continue reading →

What could possibly go wrong?

I had just installed Windows 7, and didn’t I do it the hard way!

So there I was, sitting with a computer running Windows 7. It’s all in 100Gb of a 2Tb drive. I’ve got four other operating systems on an external drive which need putting back, along with a large data partition. So I ran a live USB (acutally PCLinuxOS KDE-Darkstar) which has GParted on it, so I can do the rest of the partitioning and get my Linux back. Continue reading →

How (not) to install Windows 7 on a USB3 computer

Yesterday, I finally managed to put Windows 7 on a totally USB3 computer. It’s only occupying a small part of my hard drive and exists for when something just isn’t possible on Linux, like setting the BIOS splash screen.


At least that’s Windows 10 gone. Even if you need to pop into Windows for 15 minutes to do a little task, it finds ways of bothering you, (That’s even after you’ve switched off whatever-her-name-is!) with little jingles, telling you that it’s downloaded something for you (not that you asked it to), and telling you to send all kinds of personal info to Microsoft. Continue reading →

Rebuilding an old bass guitar

Guitars and bass guitars have two parts that are very difficult to make in the home. The neck and the body. With some decent tools, you can work on a body. But once you’ve got them, adding the other bits is relatively simple, although if there’s a hard way to do something, I’ll inevitably find it! Continue reading →

Cambridge Audio One and an old Smartphone

To begin with, there’s nothing wrong with old smartphones. If you want them to make calls, texts, and some browsing, they will continue to serve you for years to come. The biggest problem with smartphones is that they are like little computers in your hands, and the temptation is to fill them with apps. Some apps need RAM to run smoothly (or at all), and older phones have 1GB and often less. They also need internal storage ROM (the SD card storage won’t do for many things, particularly with older versions of Android), and this might be restricted to, say, 8Gb. You end up with a phone that struggles with the basics, and doesn’t even have space to install updates. Continue reading →