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Fortune and Cowsay

Fortune is a pseudo-random quote display, based on formated text file(s) and strfile(s).

The runtime is available via apt install fortune, and then it is a matter of:

  • Deleting current fortune files
  • Creating one or more new fortune files
  • Running strfile FORTUNEFILE to generate the .dat file
  • Invoking fortune perhaps with cowsay in the /.bashrc or other context, such as:
fortune | cowsay

The runtime is /usr/games/fortune and the data files are in /usr/share/games/fortunes

For more detail about fortune, see this discussion.

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Microsoft – What it is Good For

Microsoft has gone through a lot, and I've been with them for quite a long time, on and off. I became a MCSE in 1998, with a focus on Web, SQL and Exchange server. At the time we were in the battle for the backoffice, which was vs. Novell and Oracle, mainly, but also Linux in general. The competition was sanctimonious and off-putting, not to mention insulting. Microsoft for us was a way to get control over powerful computing that gave value to organizations and those of us who needed to get work done.

Continue reading Microsoft – What it is Good For

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APT – Advanced Package Tool

APT -- Advanced Package Tool -- is all that is needed for most application installations when there are repositories which are regularly updated for packages of interest.

Note that apt essentially makes irrelevant apt-get so there is no reason for that redundancy any longer.

Note: Use aptitude when dealing with packages that have upgrade/downgrade issues, as aptitude provides better options for resolving issues. Use the -f flag with aptitude if the downgrading is out of hand.

Additional Note: Use apt or aptitude to install .deb packages including the ./ before packagename, as in:

sudo apt install -y ./packagename

stable, backports, testing, unstable repos

For a stable system, using stable (or oldstable) and backports ensures stability. However, it doesn't deal with new hardware issues, or any kind of additional functionality, such as adding updated applications. For this, it is a matter of tracking down external packages, or using the testing or unstable repositories.

Note that mixing repos is discouraged by debian and may result in breakage. See also choosing a distribution.

Currently, my main desktop is tied to an oldstable release to keep an older printer working properly.

I do expect to be running Debian 9, Debian 10, and Debian 11 more or less parallel (backup desktop, server, primary desktop).

Apt pinning

Upgrading the linux kernel using apt

Update Repositories

sudo apt update -y 
sudo apt update -y -t stretch-backports

Upgrade Applications

sudo apt upgrade -y --fix-missing
sudo apt upgrade -y -t stretch-backports --fix-missing

Brokent Dependencies

sudo apt install -f

Upgrade Distributon (e.g, Debian Stable)

sudo apt dist-upgrade -y --fix-missing

Clean, Autoclean, Check, Autoremove

All these commands can be run from apt. In particular, autoremove is a good option to keep things tidy.

sudo apt autoremove -y

Purge and Remove

To seriously remove things, do:

sudo apt --purge remove package-name


Sources are found in a few places:

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
ls /etc/apt/sources.list.d


Note: mixing repositories is not needed. Oldstable for backup desktop, stable for servers, testing for primary desktop.