Trickle on Linux

Yesterday, I wanted to update my Debian system and because it sometimes can take a while, I wanted to stream a movie alongside while the updates were being applied. Home bandwidth being what it is, I ended up having a stalled streaming connection – moderately annoying.

The fix? Trickle. Trickle’s a neat little app on Linux that allows you to limit the upload and/or download bandwidth available to any app. And it installs pretty fast too.

So from the linux prompt I hit:

$trickle -d 40 sudo apt-get upgrade

And voila, I could stream that movie while the system upgraded itself. And naturally, no reboots required. 🙂

PGP and revoked key

Been playing around with PGP again and stupidly imported my revocation key!

Thankfully, I had not uploaded that revocation to the key server, so using this tip I managed to “undo” the revocation.

And to preserve this knowledge from link rot I’ll paste it here:

It turns out that it is possible (and relatively simple) to delete and re-import the key, provided that it is on a keyserver (and provided that the revocation has not been sent to the keyserver, of course).

This is what I found to work (THEKEYID is the short ID of the key):

Delete the public key as follows (the –expert option allows the public key to be deleted whilst the private key is kept) :
gpg –expert –delete-key THEKEYID

Confirm by pressing:

Fetch the public key again from a keyserver:
gpg –keyserver –recv-keys THEKEYID


Presumably this could also be done from a local (pre-revocation) backup of the public key, using gpg –import public.key instead of the third command.

Simply deleting the entire key (public and private) from the GPG Keychain Access GUI, and then restoring from a backup, did not work – I don’t know why.

Alternately, you can just as easily use a previously sent copy of your public key (in case you have the file/mail) you can just import it after the deletion from file.

gpg –import

Just useful to have! 🙂

Team of Rivals

Currently reading this book by Doris Kearns Goodwin and seriously enjoying it. She knits her story together starting off from the morning when the Republican Party’s Presidential Candidate is to be announced in 1860 and introduces the ‘team’ that Lincoln was to bring together. I’m still in the early stages of the book, but so far it is an excellent read with a good background sketch of the characters and their lives up until the nomination race. I’d highly recommend this book even to those who don’t usually read non-fiction.

Team of Rivals cover

Accounts, Passwords and software keys – keep them safe

And one of the simplest ways is to use Keepassx. It works on both Windows and Linux, is pretty easy to install and has the amazing feature of AutoType, where it can type in your passwords, once you unlock the app. So now, there are fewer excuses for not using stronger and stranger passwords.


“Interesting approach to computer security” by Victor Bayon. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), downloaded from

Here’s a quick how-to on setting it up for use on your Windows machine! For Linux, RTFM 🙂

Rufus Rocks!

[rufus icon]Darn, I haven’t written about rufus yet! When I wanted to get Windows installed on to my PC, UNetbootin and others really didn’t cut it for me. Rufus saved my day. When I wanted to do full reinstall of Windows onto my old laptop, again Rufus saved the day.

Rufus is a nifty little utility, about 800kb in size, that takes your install cd image (ISO) and moves it over to USB, so you can install using that instead. While I haven’t used it to burn Linux ISOs, I can heartily recommend it.

[rufus screenshot]

Debian Jessie, annoyingly, does not come with UNetbootin in the main repository. So, here I am using Rufus to move stuff over to the USBs. A reasonably compromise and benefit of the dual boot system I have!

Experimenting with Workspaces

Screenshot from 2015-05-08 09:42:22

Linux has workspaces, yes. No big news, but then I got to wondering how I could use them. I recalled that when I used to work as a support professional, I used to have a two screen setup. One screen for the support tool we used and the second for all the work we did. So, that still got me wondering if I could be a bit more productive with with workspaces. After some searching, I found this page with a ton of responses. What it came down to was the following:

  • Workspaces are an excellent way to separate different piles of work and manage the pile of open apps on your desktop
  • To use workspaces you need to be able to separate your work into different piles
  • Common piles are, “Communications”, “Browsing”, “Work” – which could include writing a document or coding.

Loving Cinnamon and Debian 8

I hated Kubuntu. I realize that now, because where I used to hate the Kubuntu feel, I now absolutely adore Cinnamon’s desktop. It just looks awesome. The fonts are good. The look feels a lot more relaxed compared to what I had configured for Kubuntu.

Screenshot from 2015-05-08 09:29:03

The visual look and feel defined a large part of the experience of working on the desktop, which is why perhaps I felt so comfortable on Windows 7.

All that I’m missing now is a blogging client. I really should set myself to that task. I think it’d be learning experience.