A Bit About Stomfi
Tom Russell (aka Stomfi). A Linux trainer/educator in Australia, Stomfi is authoring a series of articles exclusively for Cool Solutions aimed at Linux newbies.
The Complete Works of Stomfi
15 Dec 2005
Howto: Organising Thunderbird to save mail, filter spam and trash junk mail
Stomfi shares some helpful tips on how to use Thunderbird.
01 Dec 2005
Howto: Compile and install GIMPShop on SUSE 9.3
GIMPshop is a hacked version of GIMP 2.2.4 that has been modified to resemble PhotoShop. In this Howto article, Stomfi explains how to install it on SUSE 9.3.
17 Nov 2005
HowTo: Create a Dialog Console-Based Configuration Helper - Part 3
In the last part of this HowTo series, Stomfi shows you how add a Network module to the fixit system.
10 Nov 2005
Basics: Safely upgrading SUSE using YaST
Stomfi walks a user through simply and safely upgrading SUSE Linux from 9.2 to 9.3.
10 Nov 2005
HowTo: Use a Webcam as a Magic Mirror - Part 2
In part 2 of this HowTo article, Stomfi looks at web cameras and their software and explains what requirements must be met to make sure the system is usable.
01 Nov 2005
Send an IP or Domain name from a remote site.
27 Oct 2005
HowTo: Use a Webcam and PC as a Magic Mirror - Part 1
This HowTo describes an "open patent" system which combines SUSE Linux, a webcam, a real mirror, some lighting, and some shell scripts interfaced to the GUI with Runtime Revolution and a couple of Linux apps, into a tool for helping people choose wearable products.
25 Oct 2005
Setting Up Local LAN Email Using XMH
Stomfi helps a newbie discover a relatively easy way to send mail from one user to another on the same machine or over a LAN, which doesn't interfere with Internet email. He also answers how to change the host name.
13 Oct 2005
Basics: Howto Configure an ADSL modem and USB printer
Stomfi walks a reader through the paces of getting well-connected.
13 Oct 2005
HowTo: Create a Dialog Console-Based Configuration Helper - Part 2
In part 1 of this HowTo article, Stomfi showed you how to develop a fixit system, a utility for helping a newbie fix common SUSE configuration problems from the command line. In part 2, you'll learn how to add the help files.
06 Oct 2005
HowTo: Create a Dialog Console-Based Configuration Helper - Part 1
This HowTo article shows you how to use dialog to develop a shell-based utility that will display configuration files, display help, and launch the relevant shell-based configuration tool for SUSE.
04 Oct 2005
Basics: Discover all the software included in a SUSE distro
MR wanted a way to list the good programs included in SUSE. Stomfi demonstrates how to list the name and summary of each, as well as which are not installed.
29 Sep 2005
HowTo: Use Synergy to Control Several Workstations from One Keyboard and Mouse
Synergy lets you share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems. If you have several computers on your desk, you might want to give it a try. Take a look at this new HowTo article for instructions on how to install it.
27 Sep 2005
Basics: Set the Display from the Command Line using SaX2
A reader from Uganda asks how to make KDE fit his monitor just like Windows, and Stomfi resolves this, plus provides interesting feedback for the reader's additional questions and comments.
21 Sep 2005
HowTo: Use tput in a shell data entry system - Part 4
In part 4 of this HowTo series, Stomfi shows you how to create adjustment scripts and add reporting to the system.
20 Sep 2005
Basics: Howto set up a simple Linux and Windows sub-network
Stomfi uncovers the mysteries of setting up a home network with a dual boot SUSE Linux/MS Windows machine and a secondary Windows machine. In the process he shows how Linux can masquerade as another IP address, and how to take advantage of the security features of Linux, and how simple sub network routing works.
15 Sep 2005
HowTo: Use tput in a shell data entry system - Part 3
The first two articles in this series showed you how to use the "tput" command to develop a terminal based data entry system. Part 3 continues with the development by using the "dialog" command as a replacement for "tput" in the same scripts.
13 Sep 2005
Why Linux over NetWare
Stomfi wrote a reply to a reply about NetWare and Linux. He hopes the included spreadsheet is big enough - it's an example of his no longer secret future prediction weapon. Enjoy. Pity it won't predict the lottery!
08 Sep 2005
HowTo: Use tput in a shell data entry system - Part 2
In part 1 of this HowTo article, Stomfi showed you how to create a shell terminal based data entry system using "tput" and other cursor and screen attribute commands. In part 2, you'll learn how to use adjustment scripts to read and select a relevant line from a data file, display the data and allow it to be edited.
07 Sep 2005
Basics: The Terminology and Tools for Installing SUSE Software
An excellent question allows Stomfi to showcase the excellent SUSE documentation to explain differences between updates, patches and packages, and when to use YaST2, YOU or Red Carpet for installation.
31 Aug 2005
HowTo: Use tput in a shell data entry system - Part 1
This HowTo describes a shell terminal based data entry system using "tput" and other cursor and screen attribute commands to create a useful and sophisticated interface without using a GUI. A basic inwards/outwards goods system is used as the platform to show these and other shell features including the use of functions.
30 Aug 2005
Service Command in /etc/init.d/
Give Novell Linux Products the same service functionality at Red Hat or Fedora with this neat little script by Stomfi.
30 Aug 2005
Basics: Howto extract and install a variety of application packages on SUSE Linux
Stomfi helps us get a grip on the different file extensions and how to handle them efficiently, how to use checkinstall, and how to convert programs to a different format.
24 Aug 2005
HowTo: SUSE 9.3 plus sound & wireless on an IBM Thinkpad 600
This article explains how to get sound working on the IBM Thinkpad 600 using SUSE and Alsa and how to set up Ethernet and wireless pcmcia cards. The section on wireless network configuration will be interesting and useful to anyone who wants to set up wireless networking on SUSE Linux, no matter what computer hardware boxes they are using.
24 Aug 2005
Basics: Partitioning Hard Drive for Linux Install
Stomfi covers the basics with how to install Linux on an existing Windows hard drive partition, and how to choose default boot options.
17 Aug 2005
17 Aug 2005
Basics: How to redirect a Telnet session
Stomfi answers how to redirect a Telnet session by using iptables and stresses the importance of using correct filter rules for firewalling.
02 Aug 2005
Basics: WLAN interface as the Default
Basics: Stomfi uses Samba and YAST to help Linux recognize Windows shares while using two Network Interface Cards.
02 Aug 2005
28 Jul 2005
HowTo: Create a simple Document Management Application Part 2
This HowTo shows you how to create a simple Document Management System using the Shell and Runtime Revolution. Stomfi has used some new shell tools RunRev functions this week, to expand your knowledge a bit more.
14 Jul 2005
HowTo: Create a simple Document Management Application Part 1
This is a simple but extensible GUI document details management system which allows you to look up records with search terms, add new records, and edit existing ones. It allows you to have multiple subject databases, and can use networked symbolic links for a corporate wide system. The system can be modified to suit different needs, each user in a network having their own details input window and database file, yet can be accessed by everyone by using the standard set of shell tools. The system uses Runtime Revolution for the GUI windows and the bibliographic shell tools to index and look up the databases.
05 Jul 2005
HowTo: Create a Home Cooks Recipe Book using the Linux Shell and RunRev GUI Part 5
In this fourth part we finish developing the shopping list system. A shopping list is different from an ingredients list, which deals with cups and teaspoons, because its quantities are either in package sizes or piece quantities.
28 Jun 2005
HowTo: Create a Home Cooks Recipe Book using the Linux Shell and RunRev GUI Part 4
In this part we develop the shopping list system. A shopping list is different from an ingredients list, which deals with cups and teaspoons, because its quantities are either in package sizes or piece quantities.
22 Jun 2005
HowTo: Create a Home Cooks Recipe Book using the Linux Shell and RunRev GUI Part 3
In this third part of the series, Stomfi explains how to develop the edit recipe parts of the system.
16 Jun 2005
Basics: How to use SMB without turning off the firewall
Simon submitted this DQ to Stomfi: How do you get SMB to work with the SUSE firewall? I found much cursing on the internet about this and everyone saying the only way to get SMB to work was turn off the firewall.
15 Jun 2005
HowTo: Create a Home Cooks Recipe Book using the Linux Shell and RunRev GUI Part 2
This HowTo continues from Part One the creation of a home cook's recipe system using the shell and Runtime Revolution.
08 Jun 2005
HowTo: Create a Home Cook's Recipe Book using the Linux Shell and RunRev GUI
Here's a fun project to try. This HowTo describes the creation of a home cook's recipe system using the shell and Runtime Revolution.
31 May 2005
Review: A Newbie Book for the MS windows user migrating to Linux
This is a book review on an excellent book Stomfi found that any Linux newbie will love, and some professionals will find a handy quick reference for the basics.
25 May 2005
HowTo: Create an X windows Start up Splash Window
This is a Runtime Revolution and Shell script program which puts a start up splash screen onto your desktop. It lets you start up specific applications and make setting changes. Splash screens are useful when you wish to present users with a large but simple interface for setting up and launching a limited set of applications. The main focus is a replacement splash screen for the 'SCOOL dynebolic Live CD, although applying a start up splash screen for both the KDE and GNOME under SUSE 9.2 is covered in the article.
17 May 2005
HowTo: Install and Use QEMU on SUSE 9.2
This is a how to on installing, running and speeding up the qemu PC emulation program on SUSE 9.2. In the example, the Dyne:Bolic Live CD 'SCOOL distro is running in a window on the SUSE 9.2 desktop. An extra at the end of the article shows the newbie how to launch multiple instances of X Windows, each running a different window manager on the same machine.
16 May 2005
Basics: Adding Chinese or Japanese Characters to an English Open Office document
Stomfi explains how to add a few Chinese/Japan/Korean characters (e.g. names of person) into an OpenOffice document written in English.
10 May 2005
HowTo: Install the squashfs file system on SUSE 9.2
There has been a lot of talk about the squashfs file system in the Linux magazines of late, and how it will probably find a place into the kernel. At the moment it is not there, and to get it you have to install it yourself. The big pleasure of doing this install for the newbie is that adding squashfs lets you to patch, recompile, test and install a new kernel, something usually only done by tech heads and Linux gurus.
04 May 2005
HowTo: Create simple effective web pages for a business
This How To uses Mozilla Composer with a bit of HTML editing to create a set of three simple but effective web pages for promoting a business. If you like NVU you can use that instead. It doesn't publish the site. We might address that in a later How To.
29 Apr 2005
Basics: How to install and connect an External Modem on a Linux PC
Question: Hi Stomfi, I give away Linux refurbished PCs to the digital divide. The cheapest way to get on the Internet in Australia is via 56K dial up Modem. Many of the computers I refurbish do not have USB so cannot take advantage of these modems and I would have to use RS232. Can you do one of your great explanations on installing and connecting an external dial up modem so that I can print it out and include it with my give aways for these very deserving clients?
28 Apr 2005
HowTo: Create a GUI Interface to the Shell
This is a simple RunRev/shell application for newbies that gives them a familiar window where they can use a point and click interface to construct a shell command line. Nifty way to ease users into Linux.
22 Apr 2005
Basics: Making Evolution your Default Email Program
Stomfi explains how to set Evolution as your default Email client without deleting another one that you installed previously.
19 Apr 2005
HowTo: Create and Use Stomfi's Cool School Show Part 5
Cool School Show is a multimedia presentation, editing, and review system for students to include their own school work in any field of endeavour for viewing and rating by other students in friendly competition. In part 5 of this How To series, we shall burn the CD using K3b, test it by rebooting, copy our RunRev IDE over to the Dyne:bolic home folder, use the IDE to recreate the SCOOL standalone, copy this back to our SUSE development hard drive folder, exit Dyne:bolic, reboot to SUSE and remake the CD with the new standalone, and package the CD using Stomfi's official CD artwork. This will complete this innovative series.
15 Apr 2005
Basics: Help me understand why and how to migrate to Linux.
Stomfi answers multiple questions about migration from Windows to Linux.
12 Apr 2005
HowTo: Create and Use Stomfi's Cool School Show Part 4
If you've been following along with this series, by now you should have the Cool School Show up and running. These last two parts of the SCOOL series are how to create a bootable no-install CD with the Cool School Show as a menu selectable application.
01 Apr 2005
Basics: How to download files on a Linux machine
I don't know if you've received this question before, but here goes. How do you download on a Linux machine?
23 Mar 2005
HowTo: Create and Use Stomfi's Cool School Show Part 1
Cool School Show is a multimedia presentation, editing, and review system for students to include their own school work in any field of endeavour for viewing and rating by other students in friendly competition.
16 Mar 2005
HowTo: Create a Factory Rejects Data Recording system Part 4
This HowTo explains the creation of a turn key system for collecting and analysing factory reject data. In this Part 4 we will develop collecting the reject data from key strokes using standard keyboards, screens and computers.
15 Mar 2005
HowTo: Create and Use Stomfi's Cool School Show Part 3
Cool School Show is a multimedia presentation, editing, and review system for students to include their own school work in any field of endeavour for viewing and rating by other students in friendly competition. This third part of this HowTo series shows you the scripts so that the local user can edit and add new shows.
15 Mar 2005
HowTo: Create and Use Stomfi's Cool School Show Part 2
Cool School Show is a multimedia presentation, editing, and review system for students to include their own school work in any field of endeavour for viewing and rating by other students in friendly competition. The first part of this HowTo showed you all the windows used in the system. This second part shows you the objects and scripts that make it all work.
09 Mar 2005
Basics: Checkbook Application for Linux
In this week's Dumb Question, Stomfi helps a Linux newbie find a Quicken-esque program.
01 Mar 2005
HowTo: Create a Factory Rejects Data Recording system Part 3
This HowTo explains the creation of a turn key system for collecting and analysing factory reject data. In this part of this how to we shall build the Operators admin and Charting stacks and the shell scripts that do the processing, and add these to our RejCtl application. This will finish the first aim of this HowTo.
25 Feb 2005
Basics: How do I end the X-server state?
I'm currently using the Novell Linux Desktop at home and I wanted to install the NVIDIA drivers for my graphics card. When attempting to install the drivers I receive a message stating that it can't be done because I'm within an X-server state.
18 Feb 2005
Basics: How to Automatically Back up a Linux file to a Windows Machine on a LAN
Richard wonders how to automatically back up a Linux file to a Windows machine on a LAN? He wants this to happen whenever he exits a shell script. Stomfi lays it all out.
02 Feb 2005
HowTo: Create a Factory Rejects Data Recording system Part 2
This HowTo explains the creation of a turn key system for collecting and analysing factory reject data. The use of Linux has let this system be developed. Any other solution platform would put the cost way out of the reach of the small businesses for whom it was designed.
01 Feb 2005
HowTo: Create a Factory Rejects Data Recording system Part 1
Stomfi explains the creation of a turnkey system for collecting and analysing factory reject data. Great practical application for IT pros who support factory production workers.
01 Feb 2005
HowTo: Using the cron shell tool to automate procedures Part 3 of 3
Is this last part of the series we write the Gnuplot shell script which creates the data files and the plot configuration files for some bar charts which are saved as png pictures. An html file script is used to create a report. Lastly we look at this report and see how to use its methods to create a newsletter.
01 Feb 2005
Basics: Can I use a Linux CD to Recover a Crashed Windows Machine?
Stomfi answers this question from Amit: Hello, I have a laptop whose OS - NT 2000 has crashed. I was wondering if I could use a live CD with Linux OS to run the machine again. My laptop does not have DVD drive, only a CD drive. If it is not possible could you please give me the other best option to make the machine work again.
25 Jan 2005
Basics: Mounting Linux CDs
Stomfi explains to a 67-year old newbie how to mount floppy disks and CDs on a Linux machine.
09 Jan 2005
HowTo: Using the cron shell tool to automate procedures - Part 2 of 3
In the first part of this HowTo we wrote several shell scripts to automate procedures. This is the last script which controls the sending of emails. Scripts like this replicate the checking tasks many administrative workers do. Like checking to see if someone has been sent an invoice and if they have paid or if not, have they been sent a reminder, and if so put them in the bad payers list, and send them a stronger one.
04 Jan 2005
Basics: Restarting KDE from a Command Prompt
Frank C. wrote: " I decided to update my Linux installation with all the patches on Novell's web site. After rebooting, Linux boots to a command prompt. I know just enough basic commands to login in and get around but cannot figure out how to restart the KDE gui." Stomfi spells it out for you.
04 Jan 2005
Basics: How to find Linux Documentation on the World Wide Web
Stomfi explains how to get your hands on Linux documentation, and explains more about basic Ethernet networking using IP addresses.
01 Jan 2005
HowTo: Share Files and Printers Between Linux and MS Windows with Samba
This HowTo explains a foolproof method of sharing files and printers between a Microsoft and a Linux computer. Another good one from Stomfi.
01 Jan 2005
HowTo: Using the Cron Shell Tool to Automate Procedures - Part 1 of 3
This HowTo explains how you can spend more time doing quality pursuits by using a Linux PC to automate general administrative tasks and procedures. There are three parts. The whole scheme is written using the Linux shell, as it is designed to run without any user intervention. This first part covers the strategy and most of the shell scripts.
23 Dec 2004
HowTo: Create Artistic Backgrounds using the Gimp - Part 3
This is last part of the series, "Create Artistic Backgrounds using the Gimp". It shows the basics of creating and using layer channels and masks, and using filters and script-fu scripts in an artistic way. When you have completed these three how tos you will be able to create your own screen wallpaper, as well as birthday and Christmas cards.
10 Dec 2004
HowTo: Organize the Poems Project into a Distributable Package on CD
This HowTo shows organize the Poems Project into a distributable package on CD. This is the final HowTo in the Poems project.
09 Dec 2004
HowTo: Add Sounds To RunRev Poem Project
This HowTo shows how to add a random wave file sound to play while the animation is being displayed in the Poems project. All the tasks and skills you have learned can be applied to real world projects, and as this series progresses, you will see lots of things you can use to make your computing more productive and beneficial, and hopefully lots of fun.
04 Dec 2004
HowTo: Install Webmin - A Web-Based System Admin Tool
This HowTo explains how to set up Webmin on a computer. It also explores using the shell to down load a file from a CD and how to unzip tar.gz files. The use of three handy shell typing shortcuts are described in this HowTo: the TAB key, the history list, and the shriek dollar.
02 Dec 2004
HowTo: Create Artistic Backgrounds using the Gimp -- Part 2
In Part 1 we created a picture and pasted one graphic. We also learned how to select an odd shape. Now we are going to use your selection shape to paste your second graphic in.
24 Nov 2004
HowTo: Create Artistic Backgrounds using the Gimp - Part 1
This HowTo is about using the Gimp to manipulate pictures to create an original that can be used as desktop backgrounds. You will use simple methods for selection tools, layers, copy and paste, changing the size and transparency of floating layers, and anchoring. The Gimp can do a lot more than is described in this simple HowTo, but here you will learn some of the basic and simple ways of doing things.
19 Nov 2004
HowTo: Add Animations to the Poem Project
This HowTo covers basic sound editing using the Audacity program, a Linux and MS windows sound manipulation program.
19 Nov 2004
HowTo: Make Sounds with Audacity
This HowTo covers basic sound editing using the Audacity program, a Linux and MS windows sound manipulation program. The sounds you make in this HowTo will be used in the Poems project and will be added into the animation display.
12 Nov 2004
HowTo: Add Animations to the Poem Project
Stomfi continues in his quest to make Linux lovers out of all the world in this nice piece. This HowTo is going to show you how to add those animations you made with the Gimp to spice up your Poems project. The last HowTos in this series will show how to create sounds and incorporate them with the animation show.
12 Nov 2004
Slipping Linux into a Windows Business
Just thought you might like to see how Stomfi goes about introducing Linux into an MS-windows-centric business. Unlike most of Stomfi's pieces, this is not really a HowTo, but it is a cool solution in the battle between David and Goliath, and helps demonstrate the beneficial difference between GNU/Linux and MS windows to businesses. Enjoy! And if you have anything to add, feel free to chime in.
05 Nov 2004
HowTo: Use the Gimp to make an Animated Gif
This HowTo shows the user how to use the Gimp to create an animated gif graphic. Although the animation can be used anywhere suitable, the next part of the Poems project will insert some into the poetry reader.
29 Oct 2004
HowTo: Add Directory Zipping and Unzip file type checking to the Zip Menu Utility
This HowTo explains a simple way of adding directory zipping functions to the Zip Menu utility and also zip type checking for the Unzip button. The additions explore if then else logic constructs and introduce the RunRev "contains" string comparator.
22 Oct 2004
HowTo: Create a GUI Zipping Utility with the shell and Runtime Revolution
Using the knowledge obtained from the first three Poems project HowTos, this HowTo describes how to use shell scripts and Runtime Revolution to create a windowed menu and utility for zipping, zipping and encrypting, and unzipping files in the users HOME directory tree.
13 Oct 2004
HowTo: Using a Window interface with the Linux Shell -- Part 2
In Part 2 of this Linux Newbie tutorial, Stomfi explains how to put a viewing button on your initial window that will open a viewing selection window. There you will see how shell scripting is used in conjunction with RunRev. Using these simple examples, you'll use this knowledge in more simple HowTos to make the shell do work for you with the sophistication of a windowing interface.
08 Oct 2004
HowTo: Use a Runtime Revolution Window interface with the Linux Shell -- Part 1
In the previous HowTo, you learned how to write two simple shell scripts, one to facilitate the saving of humourous poems into a text file, and one to show a number selected poem on a terminal window. This week Stomfi builds on the previous HowTo and shows you how to create a window interface to let you write and save the poem.
01 Oct 2004
Linux Newbie HowTos: Learning to use Linux at Home and Work
Please welcome our new Cool Solutions columnist, Tom Russell (aka Stomfi). Stomfi will be producing a series of articles exclusively for Cool Solutions aimed at showing Linux newbies how to use the Linux shell tools (sometimes with an easy windowing interface builder) to perform various office, factory and home tasks, and much, much more.
01 Oct 2004
HowTo: A simple Linux shell script database
In this HowTo, Stomfi walks you through the process of building a very simple text database and reporting system using nothing but an editor and simple shell scripts and tools. You will use what you learn here for more sophisticated tasks later so try not to skip anything.
27 Aug 2004
Use Runtime Revolution to Simplify Linux Solutions
Tom Russell vouches for Runtime Revolution as a tool to supply point-and-click windowing for your complex (yet terrifically useful) shell scripts.
13 Aug 2004
Newbie Lesson: Setting up SAMBA File Sharing and Windows Printing
Check out this wonderful Newbie Lesson from Australian Tom Russell. He details the easiest way to get a Linux box sharing files and an MS Windows 98 printer. These instructions were written for newbies who use MS Windows and who come to Computerbank Queensland for Linux lessons. Thanks for sharing, Tom!
05 Jul 2004
Using Old Hardware for Linux Desktop
Turning older hardware into a useful Linux Internet desktop can be quite easy if you take the trouble to upgrade the video card to 4MB and use a small footprint window manager. Tom Russell explains how they do it in Brisbane.
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