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Reference Page

I've created a page of useful reference data. It contains a list of links to other pages on this site which hold data useful to visually-impaired or blind Linux users/hackers.

The first two entries at the time of writing are a page which gives a textual tour of the Raspberry Pi single-board computer and a page showing tables of the pinouts of the GPIO bus on a Raspberry Pi.

I intend to add other stuff like the commands unique to the Emacspeak variant of Emacs.

Base Theme CSS Fix

Finally managed to fix the Social buttons in the bottom of the pages and posts of this site.

Thanks to Phillip of the Surrey Linux User Group for the CSS fix shown below:

div#addthisbox ul {
    list-style: none;
    margin-left: 0;
    padding-left: 0;
div#addthisbox li {
    display: inline;
    padding-right: 1em;

The fix goes in the file:


Where <theme-name> is the name assigned to your base based theme, if that makes sense.

The effect before the fix was the social buttons in the footer were shown, each on a new line but without returning to the left page-edge, like stairs. And I think the bullets were still visible when the buttons were hidden.

This has fixed the problem.

Base is a nice theme for a clean and crisp blog and site for the visually-impaired, like me, but it is also simple and pleasing to sighted surfers. Despite the fact base is really intended as the lowest level of the inheritance tree for Nikola themes.

Raspberry Pi 2 - First Impressions

The release of the new Raspberry Pi version 2 took me totally by surprise.

I had no clue it was in the pipeline.

I woke up on Sunday 1st March to find some emails in the Surrey Linux User Group list about it.
Actually I think I didn't get out of bed til about midday but we won't dwell on that.

I got straight on to Mod My Pi here in the UK and managed to order a couple before they sold out.

Differences from the Original Pi

This is a quad-core ARM v7 processor with 1GB of RAM, whereas the old Model B and B+ was a single core at 512MB of RAM.

Other than that it is the same. But the performance increase is considerable. It is now a serious computer for web browsing and other such tasks.

Now I'm on the task of getting Orca going on it.

Just a few days after the release, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the sale of the five millionth Pi.

Cross-compilers Part 1 podcast

I've just published Part 1 of what I hope will be a short series of podcasts on Hacker Public Radio on cross-compilers.

In this first part I talk about configuring and building a cross-compiler for the Raspberry Pi, or in fact any other ARMv6 or ARMv7 based board.

I actually create two cross-compilers because:

  • The original RPI Models A and B and B+ are ARMv6.
  • The new Version 2 Model B+ is ARMv7.

You can find this podcast here.

Using Nikola

I'm using Nikola to create this site. It's a static site and blog generator written in Python. It separates content from format by using themes which are packed with CSS and Javascript. It allows me to write content in simple markdown and then build and deploy the site in a couple of command-line commands.

  • I can write everything offline.
  • No horrible pseudo-wysiwyg editors with nasty rich-text controls and other crap embedded in Web pages and control panels.
  • Not backed by and rendered from a database, so it's rendered fast.
  • Backup of content is totally under my control
  • Nikola's excellent templating system which makes it very easy for someone who can't see to create a blog and static pages that don't look like a dog's dinner.

Retrospective Blog Posts

The nature of blogging is such that, if you don't start it when you start doing the stuff you eventually decide you want to blog about, things get out of sequence and dates start to bear little relation to when you did stuff.

Relationships between posts break down unless they are blogged as and when things happen.

That will be the nature of, hopefully only the earliest posts, in this blog.

In particular it is now two years since I first started mucking about with a Raspberry Pi, and I have done a mass of stuff since the end of 2012, when my first Pi hit my doormat.

Hopefully that won't matter too much, but where it does I will try to fix things with comments about time-line issues in the text.