Your Email is a Security Swiss Cheese

Friends, neighbors, fellow security-conscious Romans, lend me your ears…

If your privacy and security are important to you, you really need to check out ProtonMail. It’s an encrypted (highly secured) email service that offers you piece of mind when sending your personal messages to friends, family or business contacts across the Internet.

Most other email providers like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. are NOT secure. Your messages are sent “in the open”; meaning just about anyone with the knowhow can read your mail. There’s an old saying on the Internet, if you send unsecured emails, you need to consider that the same as sending those old style 3×5 post cards through the regular mail services (the postman who picks up and delivers to the mailbox outside your home).

If you’re serious about security when you’re on the Internet and during transmissions of personal or business emails, you should check out ProtonMail. It’s free! A little donation from time to time would help them maintain their quality service, though.

No. I’m not getting any favors from ProtonMail for sending you this. The more folks that I deal with via email who start using this secure service, the more secure our correspondence will be.

Something to think about, anyway…



Running Firefox 52.0.2 (64-bit) in Slackware64 14.1 (Amended)

Today I noticed that FF was starting up slowly and loading web pages like walking through liquid tar. I did the usual troubleshooting steps to see if any recently updated addons, extensions, or services were creating this issue. Sadly, nothing was jumping out at me.

I thought, “What the Hell. I’ll install the current release of FF instead of the ESR version in the Slackware repos. Installation was easy-peasy. The new version doesn’t seem to be having any of the issues the ESR version was having; using the exact same profile.


Interested in running the newest FF in your Slackware? Just d-load the tar.bz2 package from Mozilla in your flavor and unpack in /opt. Create a launcher from your panel (Xfce for me), and away you go.

Of course, you’ll have to keep track of new FF updates from Moz and install manually. But what the hey…



Amended 033017-1609hrs

Wow! What a dumbass mistake I made here!

Thanks to a comment by +Jennifer Doering (friend from G+) posted below, I realized that I had made a small boo-boo by installing FF 52.x above on my Slack64 14.1. The mistake was that the newer FF is compiled from the source to be compatible with PulseAudio. I’m NOT using PulseAudio (can’t stand it, actually) in my 14.1. That means… UH-OH! No sound. No YouTube. NO METAL! ARRRRRRRGH! Can’t have that.

But to compound the above error, I did a truly Slacker newbie faux pas. I did not run an update (#slackpkg update) before doing all this crap. It turns out that just the day before Slack had released a patch update for FF taking it to — you guess it — 52.0.02 ESR (64 bit). I’m so embarrassed. The Nocturnal Slacker fscks up and posts all about it to the world. Ain’t the Internet grand?

The lesson here is that before you start installing from sources other than your distribution’s repos, check to make sure that the maintainers (the ones a helluva lot smarter than you) haven’t already solved the problem you’re trying to resolve by installing out-of-repo software.

Thanks again, Jen. 🙂

~Eric, the forgetful and occasionally dimwitted Slacker.

HTML Coding

Last week, while trying to set up my website, I found a nifty tool that some of you might enjoy using.

I had been serving my webpage on Dropbox/Public folder, but due to a change in policies, they’re no longer allowing the serving of static webpages directly from the Public folder. That sucks, but I can understand their reasoning behind this move.

Anyway, I temporarily had the page served on a pal of mine’s server, but it was too inconvenient to nag him every time I wanted to make changes to the page, which I like to do pretty often. As a result of this, I considered paying for a hosting service (HostGator was my favorite option). However, personal finances are a bit strained these days, so I really couldn’t justify the expenditure.

I searched around for some free webpage hosting services, but none really thrilled me. Then, I remembered that offers all the tools and space you need to host a website for personal or business purposes. Pretty COOL! I started a new site on WordPress and began to recreate my original webpage using their templates and tools. In the process, I was having issues with HTML coding of the static main page.

I usually code by hand in Seamonkey/Composer and then save/view the results in the browser portion of that suite. There was a problem, though. I was coding up my main page and then C/P-ing it to the WordPress editor. The results were OK, but with a few bugaboos in the coding, mostly headings and alignment issues. I kept trying to edit/fix this until I realized what the problem was.

WordPress uses HTML5 codes/tags. Seamonkey/Composer uses HTML4. Uh-oh. Well, fine. I could use the WordPress WYSIWYG, but I didn’t really like the way it worked. I like to hand code/edit my HTML. I could have coded in Leafpad (a notepad app I have installed in Slackware), but I can’t preview that way. This is why I like Seamonkey/Composer. With that WYSIWYG, you could hand code and then view the rendered HTML with the click of a button. What I needed was an HTML5 capable WYSIWYG editor.

I searched around, but could not find an app that was totally satisfactory to me. Also, I’ve gotten lazy in my old age and didn’t feel like building an app for Slackware. Then I realized that there were a few really good online (browser implemented) WYSIWYG editors available. I tinkered with two or three and then made my choice. I like the one I picked due to its simplicity and streamlined interface.

I went with HTML5-Editor. Here’s a screenie…

Click on the image to visit the website.

Anyway, it works very well and makes HTML coding chores very simple should you choose to use the WYSIWYG function. And if you like to hand code, the viewer on the right provides real-time rendering. Pretty spiffy.

I know it’s been about 10,000 years since I posted on this blog. Mea culpa. However, I hope that some of my faithful followers (all three of them) will find this post useful.

Have a great day!


2014 In Review – I Was Definitely Slacking This Year

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

BASH – Shellshock

Firefox 32 – a Test in Slackware

Slackware64 14.1 runs the Firefox 24.x ESR (Extended Support Release) out of the box. Over at Scot’s Newsletter Forums, I commented about how I got a chance to see FF 32 in Win 7 on my cousin’s laptop that I was working on earlier this evening. It looked identical to Chromium/Chrome.

Well, I found a SlackBuild script and the source for FF 32 in the Slackware Current repos. COOL! I’m compiling now…

Whew! We’re burning up some CPU cycles in all four cores to compile this baby. It’s been going for over 30 minutes now. It better not error out on me after all this time.

Still building…

Well, that was some compile. On this relatively fast quad core machine it took 1.5 hours to build this app from source. Wow!

Anyway, it’s built and installed in my Slackware now. I’m not so sure I like it. In appearance, it’s a lot like Chromium/Chrome. However, in leanness and efficiency, it’s a totally different beast. Sadly, the old-fashioned extension methods in FF are a bit primitive compared to the slick Chrome Store addon process. Also, the old FF Sync does not work. You have to create a new FF Sync account to use it with FF-32.

I set this new FF up to be quite close to my Chromium/Chrome browsers. I used the very same or similar extensions. I also used my mini-custom dial home page. I have the preferences set up in a similar fashion. There’s still some work to do. I’ll play around with it a bit more tomorrow, maybe. Here’s a look…

Sadly, like I said… it looks like Chromium/Chrome, but it ain’t them. Looks are deceiving.

If you run Slackware and want to try this baby out, a word of advice… you’ll need a good bit of free RAM and a fast processor to compile this from source. The slower your processor, the longer it will take. Be patient.

You can get the FF-32 source tarball and the SlackBuild script in the Current repos on your favorite server. Here’s the server I used…

You’ll find it in: /pub/slackware/slackware64-current/source/xap/mozilla-firefox/ – 64bit or
/pub/slackware/slackware-current/source/xap/mozilla-firefox/ – 32bit

You know the SlackBuild routine by now, but just in case:

  1. add source tarball and the SlackBuild script to a temp build directory
  2. make the script executable – #chmod +x {script name}
  3. run the script – #sh {script name}
  4. once it’s built (it’ll take some time – go have a smoke, eat some dinner, walk the dog), you’ll find the .txz in the /tmp directory.
  5. to install – #installpkg {package name}.txz

That’s it. Have fun! 🙂