About Me





I am the documentation lead for the ToriOS operating system.  This is designed for older systems as it supports non PAE hardware.   ToriOS is a GNU / Linux based and is built on Ubuntu 12.04.

For the documentation I am using the LaTeX typesetting system as it just works.

I also run the Torbay Raspberry Pi jams, along with other members of the Devon and Cornwall GNU / Linux user group.

I work as a play worker in an after school club but would like to work as a teaching assistant or similar and support the new computer science curriculum.

I also have some coding skills in python and scratch.  I have my own github repository with projects,  which may be good to use in schools to see what can be developed with some of my mini projects as a starting point.

I use GNU / Linux at home and have done for several years.

I am committed to safeguarding children, young people and 
vulnerable groups and expect any school or establishment I am 
involved with to share this commitment.

Social media and privacy


A report by the bbc today highlights a good reason for people to move away from some of the mainstream social media to a decentralised model not reliant on income from advertisers.

Pinterest to open up more user data for advertisers

if you want to share photos do so via sites such as goblinforge and look into services such as Diaspora as a replacement to facebook  and help make the web a better add free place.

Data Recovery


I spent the last week or so working on Data recovery.   The story started before xmas when I accidentally deleted a partition on my external hard disk.  The first rule of doing this is NEVER write to that device,  as this can hinder any chance of getting the data back.   So as I got a bigger external hard disk for xmas, I set to work using free software to recover the data.   I had deleted the partition so the data was still there,  just that the OS could not see it.  I am not an expert in how file systems.  I know however that with fat,16 when you delete a file it just removes the reference to it from the File Allocation Table, (FAT)  so in dos there was a recovery tool.  Here I am using GNU / Linux to recover data from a FAT32 partition with some sort of hidden NTFS partition.   (well according to the recovery system that is there)

The important thing was that I got the data back and may patiences in doing this paid off.

So this is another skill to add to my list of skills, learnt by being self taught,   Not that I would choose to be doing this on a regular basis and it does take HOURS.


Free Software video DVD


I have decided to put together a collection of videos most of which can be found on the Free Software Foundation Website videos page


The idea behind this is that rather than having a collection of videos on a hard disk,  (which is still handy) this is a dvd collection that can be accessed and played without the need for a computer.  So can hopefully be played anywhere.


Screenshot from 2015-01-05 17:14:13

Most of these videos are creative commons license as set out below

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0

I am using DVD Styler under Linux mint 17.1 which works very very well for creating the iso file so it can be burnt on to a DVD.

Testing base OS


In order to test ToriOS I am now attempting to install the MIni ISO of Ubuntu,  this is available from :-



Download and test in the usual way

the MD5SUM file should look like this

7a2b6316ede26dc0eff89ea80df07049  mini.iso
5a7184d44475a6581a33307b753ca393  mini-nonpae.iso

md5sum -c MD5SUMS



Installation under way:

I am hoping to get this installed, install the ToriOS PPA then install the ToriOS desktop

This is one way to test toriOS (hopefully)

Note : I am installing the xubuntu desktop as this has lower resource requirements,  so useful for visualisation in this context




Booting in to Xubuntu



Xubuntu desktop


And YES all this running in a virtual machine.

Screenshot from 2015-01-05 16:28:57


Mint 17.1 Colour coded folders



Mint 17.1 has a great feature that allows you to colour code folders,  so in theory this will make it easier to identify them and find data.


Any mint hackers out there


Just wondered if there were any mint hackers out there,   been trying to run software manager in mint 17.1 with cinnamon desktop.

For some reason running from the menu ends up with nothing happening,  if I open xterm and run from there the output seems to suggest it starts ok then crashes.  Output is as follows.:-


******@***** ~ $ mintinstall
add_categories took 2.555 ms
build_matched_packages took 0.387 ms
add_packages took 5742.546 ms
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea 2.5.3) (7u71-2.5.3-0ubuntu0.14.04.1)
OpenJDK Client VM (build 24.65-b04, mixed mode)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/mintinstall.py", line 1895, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/mintinstall.py", line 53, in wrapper
    res = func(*arg)
  File "/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/mintinstall.py", line 460, in __init__
  File "/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/mintinstall.py", line 53, in wrapper
    res = func(*arg)
  File "/usr/lib/linuxmint/mintInstall/mintinstall.py", line 1257, in add_reviews
    review = Review(elements[0], float(elements[1]), elements[2], elements[3], elements[4])
ValueError: invalid literal for float(): 13103825�s

If anyone understands this, then hopefully it can help fix the issue.

Video on free software


This video was commissioned by the free software foundation to explain free software.

For more information on this video & to download in different resolutions including 1080p Please click here to visit the free software foundation website

Reset Firefox


I found this tip useful as a way to speed up firefox


Worth following as it seems to do the trick.

Mint 17.1


Finally made the move to Mint 17.1.



So far so good,  Install was pretty straightforward as you would expect from this distribution.

Very polished compared to Xubuntu (no annoying system problem detected messages and broken reporting system)


You can download mint from their website at http://linuxmint.com/ I may also have a few cd / dvds at the next Pi jam on the 10th Jan.  This may be an ideal time to UPGRADE any computers you may have running Windows XP.

If you want a easy to use system mint is idea,  you can get access to e-mail, web browsing, a full office suite is also included, as well as 1000’s of applications etc available for download with the integrated package management system.

I will endeavour to add some info on these.  But will probably add to the DCGLUG website.

So new year and a new OS distribution,  hopefully get some beta testing of ToriOS in, so added to my to-do list is install virtual box,  2nd to that is configure to share files with host system, networking and configure USB.

Nethack Level 8


Ok this is not bad, I have just been killed on level 8 of Nethack-vulture.