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Adventures in Linux Programming

by Rildo Pragana

Lowrent gone away :(  But now I'm back in Xoom, another fine free page service in the net.
Please wait, as I'm reconstructing all my offerings... Many news to arrive!

What's new...

  • 01/08/1999 Updated several chapters of the seminar.
  • 01/06/1999 Chapter 4 (shell) revised in the seminar. Please check it!
  • 01/03/1999 Initial (beta) version of a seminar I will present for Linux beginners. Mostly sys admin stuff. Read this first.
  • 12/18/1998 In "Forms for a database application" we continue our forms interface for PostgreSQL in tcl/tk.
  • 12/13/1998 In "Stealing other's code" we discuss how to do a nice form editor for databases.


These are just a few incursions in software development I have done with Linux.

I like Tcl/tk as a wrapper language, mainly because of it' simplicity. I have not much time to spend learning several hundreds API entries, and I prefer C to C++. I think OO-design is a good thing, but OO-programming not. It's assumptions of code reuse are hard to be met, because each one has a (distinct) way to think in a problem or algorithm. 

Well, let us leave those religious questions to a later time and let's go to...

Linux software


A slide presentation drawing program. Make your presentations shine. In Tcl/tk.

My friend David Suarez de Lis has been kind enough to maintain a web page on this subject. You may find in his Official Slidedraw Homepage many nice things about this program. Anyway, you may pick here my most recent snapshot.


A new widget for tk I am writing to replace canvas in Slidedraw, getting more speed, zoom, backgrounds and other niceties. This is still very alpha, as nobody (except myself) have tried it yet. I would like to have at least some reports on how is it doing, please. Take it here.


This is an old try to make a (user) device driver. I have bought a Genius Scanner Color Page-CS and this is to make it work under Linux. You may find it at Sunsite.

Driver for the KeenView

KeenView (TM) is a piece of hardware I have done with a PIC and a couple of ICs. With a LCD display and interface for a standard PC keyboard, it turns itself a very cheap POS terminal for small stores. The line is multipoint RS-485 and its software is a simple device driver with VT52 emulation. This software serve only as an example of implementation for devices under Linux, unless you have the real hardware. Here is it.

System Administration Course

Before reading this course, please notice this is unfinished, in portuguese, and may be not very advanced for you. Translators are welcome for changing this to english. I have plenty of work to do and can't do it just now, sorry. If it doesn't matter to you (for instance, you're portuguese or brazilian :) , please continue here.

Some hardware projects

If you want to do something with hardware, specially microcontrollers, I would recommand you Microchip's PIC series. They are small things but very powerfull. I have submitted some projects of mine to  Picpoint .


I am discussing here some points that may be of interest to beginners in Tcl/tk. Please check this  guide .
If you have some questions to be answered, send to my  e-mail  address, and I'll answer it here when time allows.
If you are unsecure of how to do some simple commands (well, not so simple sometimes), you can look on  how do I do .  If you write in portuguese (BTW, I'm brazilian), perhaps you find useful my  brazil.tar.gz  file. Put it in your
/usr/lib/kbd/keytables/ directory and change your rc.local to load it with loadkeys.  To key in accented characteres, you may type the accent with AltGr and then the vowel, or use directly AltGR + {a,s,d,f,e,r,u,i,o,p,l, and c} to see the shortcuts I've done. (I only use this last, faster way)

About myself

I'm graduated physicist, but since 1974 I've been working with computers and digital electronics. I decided to change to Linux the first time I hear about it. I used to program in Msdos/Windows before and have spent very much time disassembling msdos code to figure how to program with it.  Never more... 
I'm married and have two boys (now they are somewhat grown) 20 and 14 years old. I live in a country house near Recife, northeast of Brazil.  I have built at a side of my house a small office/lab where I work most of my time, doing consulting in FPGA design,  industrial controllers, and systems programming.


Favorite places

The best site of Linux software is Sunsite.
The best Linux distribution, if you don't fear to wet your feet is Slakware.
If you want news, try Linux  Today, with daily updates. News without noise for serious users.

You may find me at

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