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Adventures in Linux Programming

by Rildo Pragana




KeenView driver
Tiny Cobol




GDI printers
gimp tutorial
hardware projects
short commands
brazilian keyboard
personal info
html editing
favorite places


Chapeuzinho Vermelho
Linux Pernambuco
Why Linux?
Day after

What's new

We've moved to our own server

April 04, 2002 -- Changed home again.

Now I have my own domain and web server. I've got an ADSL connection, so updates are going to be easier. Please bookmark just, as this the authoritative address, on my own server. In a few days, I will setup the TinyCobolWiki here too. Let's see if the hacker that crashed it wants to fight!

February 17, 2002 -- Yet another release of Pentax driver.

Here is yet another release of the Pentax PocketJet II/200 printer driver. This incorporates discoveries made by Rob Roy when debugging my code. Thanks Rob!

January 5, 2002 -- Pentax printer driver.

Here is the latest Pentax PocketJet II/200 printer driver. It is being fully tested by the guys at Pentaxtech, and seems near to completion now.

December 16, 2001 -- Merry Christmas.
Daniel, my noel

Ok, I have not much to say you in this 2001 Christmas, so here is what my son Daniel have to show you.

I have written a short article on my bookbinding technique. (in portuguese only, sorry, but full of pictures) Consider it as my gift, small but given from the bottom of my heart.

I wish you a Merry Christmas!

December 10, 2001 -- New release Pentax PocketJet driver.

I'm still working with the Pentax PocketJet driver/filter, mostly on the GUI for BSD-style lpd configuration. Here is the new release of the driver. The changes are needed because of the Red Hat, which changed the way lpd/lpr works. If you run a decent Linux distro¸ you don't need to upgrade. Anyway, bugs reports are welcome.

December 6, 2001 -- Pentax PocketJet driver/filter.

Pentax Technologies manufacture a nice family of printers, PocketJet II and PocketJet 200. They signed a contract with me for developing a Linux driver for their printers, to be released under GPL. So they are good guys, don't you think so? I do. I'm still working on it, but here is the first public release of the driver, with graphical install and configuration tools. If you have a laptop or notebook computer, those printers are a must to have. They operate on thermal paper, so no ink cartdriges to change. And its size and weight are very convenient. I know because I use mine :^)

October 21, 2001 -- Networked slides presentation.

If you nead to give a presentation but have no laser projector available, or will show it to several networked computers (some even far away), this program will interest you. Tclslides require no other program but a simple web browser at the client side to make your presentation dynamic and full of content. For more information, read the user's manual included in the (tiny, only 67KB) package.

October 10, 2001 -- Tcl/tk slides.

There are new slides (about 50) from my Tcltk training. Please, look at the links at our tcltk course notes page.

September 30, 2001 -- Boycott W3C.

W3C, the web consortium used to be a free standards group. Now they changed their way of thinking and are commited to a handful of software manufacturers, like Micro$oft. What a shame! This is a worse terrorist attack to our freedom than that of WTC. And we know the culprits, even without any FBI or CIA investigation. Mr. Gates told us in advance he were going to "uncommoditize" the standards.
From now on, I don't want to have buttons for w3c valid html, nor follow any standard from them. We at the free software movement are going to have our own standards.

September 06, 2001 -- Upgrade for viscomp.tcl.

After many changes in our TinyCobol parser, including the adoption of Bison as a compiler generator, I found my little visual debugging tool broken. Here is the fixed version that works both for yacc and bison output. This is of interest most for TC developers or anyone that wants to debug a sort of yacc-based compiler, but single stepping its parsing. In other words, this don't debug the cobol code, but the compiler's code...

September 03, 2001 -- Yet another TCGUI release.

I have release another snapshot of TCGUI. This version supports tcl/tk8.0.x, so the guys with an old tcl/tk version may still use our tool.

September 02, 2001 -- New TCGUI release.

I have release another snapshot of TCGUI. It will generate a graphical interface for your TinyCobol programs. Go grab it and send me the bugs you find and suggestions for new features.

September 02, 2001 -- Slides on Linux Programming.

Here are the slides for a presentation on my model for software development under Linux. The slide are in portuguese.

July 19, 2001 -- New TCGUI version.

A brazilian cobol programmer, Luiz Fernando of Belo Horizonte, have asked me for a couple changes in TCGUI. He is writing a POS (PDV in portuguese) with TinyCobol and decided to edit its windows in TCGUI. Here is the newest release of the software. Enjoy!

June 28, 2001 -- Adventures moved!.

Adventures in Linux Programming have a new home in Tripod. The previous site is discontinued, because our former provider don't want to offer free space anymore. Thanks Lycos and Tripod for this nice space! The game will continue. Bookmark it:

If you find any broken links, please report to me at and I will be glad to correct. Thanks.

May 24, 2001 -- TinyCobol presentation slides.

I have presented today a talk on TinyCobol at the "I Forum Pernambucano de Linux", and here are the slides in html format (tar.gzipped) from the presentation. The language is portuguese, but the pictures are in "universal language" :^) Translations are encouraged and those slides are released under a free publishing license (where may I find such license?).

April 10, 2001 -- TCGUI now with menus.

You may find a far better release of my GUI editor for TinyCobol here (.tag gz 70kb). I'm still waiting for bug reports and suggestions. Please, consider contributing at least beta testing and giving me new ideas, as I'm alone in this project. I know you will love to have this nice TinyCobol add on.

April 10, 2001 -- Here is the code.

If you want to create GUI (graphical interfaces) for TinyCobol, our cobol compiler, here (.tag gz 70kb) is a graphical editor and examples. It is very easy to use, and generates a copybook that will be included in your program. Please, report bugs, suggestions and any commets you may have. I plan to add other widgets to the current collection, but I will wait until the cobol programmers send me suggestions. To compile and test the examples, explode this package under TC's test.code directory, and do "make".

April 03, 2001 -- TinyCobol have GUIs!

Now I intend to stop all thief software manufacturers do, specially when talking about Cobol GUI builders. This screenshot show you what I mean. I have written a nice visual editor and cobol generator. The output is a embedded script in tcl/tk, but you don't to know even its existence. Your cobol program receive events from buttons, controls the appearance of all widgets, insert items in lists, changes or receives values from text entries, comboboxes, radiobuttons, checkbuttons, and so on. I need some beta testers. I plan to place this editor under GPL, unless nobody is interested in it. Please write to me. I love to receive e-mails :^)

February 19, 2001 -- A nice report generator

Ok, you want a report generator but don't have the bucks to get a Crystal Reports(TM). You need to put images, generate barcode on the flight, and have precise control of all headers, footer and detail fields. This is the program you were asking for. It is included in my TinyCobol compiler, but can be used without it. It is written in tcl/tk, very small indeed and uses TeX as an intermediate language to achieve its results. But don't worry, as you don't need to know TeX at all. The layout rules are very simple.
Please go to our TinyCobol project homepage, and get the latest cvs snapshot, and look for it in the directory test.code/ReportGen. Then send me comments! Or half the bucks you were almost paying Seagate for their program :^)

February 04, 2001 -- Viscomp, a visual parser tool

Debugging a compiler with gdb is not very easy, even with the nice frontends like ddd or xxgdb, so I decided to make my own tool to make the job easier and more fun :^) My tool, written in tcl/tk may be found here (viscomp.tcl, 10KB) and here is the obligatory screenshot so you may look at it before trying. My main goal with it is to debug our TinyCobol compiler, but with small changes viscomp may be used for debugging any other compiler project. If you need some assistance in porting it, please contact me.

January 06, 2001 -- New Slidedraw homepage

Charles Wyble have setup a new Slidedraw homepage and h is the new maintainer for Slidedraw. Good luck Charles and thanks for taking the job!
As I'm getting short of time, it is nice to pass the flag to the next maintainer. By the way, Slidedraw was my first tcl/tk program and I've learned a lot from it.

January 04, 2001 -- New Slidedraw release

Charles have been working again with Slidedraw and has sent to me another version, claiming it is sufficient stable to be declared version 1.0. Here is it for your tests. Please report if something don't work for you, as I'm not able to fully test it. It seems that it is much more compliant with ppt (*that* commercial program) keystrokes now.

Dec 29, 2000 - Webmail packaged

I have packaged the webmail utility I told some weeks ago. If you found difficult to install it, please grab he complete package. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Dec 26, 2000 - FPGA design

Some years ago, I've designed a microterminal in a hardware programming language (Altera's AHDL) that fits a single 128 macrocell chip. This is only historic now, but as someone asked me for a sample work with FPGAs, here is it. Please notice that AHDL is not very similar to VHDL (a real non-proprietary "very-high-level hardware design language"), so you will need Altera Corporation software to compile this, sorry!

Dec 02, 2000 - Tcl Webmail

I've written this simple web-mail program to serve real needs of a ISP here in Brazil. Its features are not fancy, but it doesn't require javascript (Oh, God, I hate javascript and also java!), nor cookies, can be fully customized, handle mime attachements, have a simple address book, etc, etc. Enjoy it and learn a little tcl web programming :)

Nov 06, 2000 - Real Time presentation

I decided to make available the slides in html (.tar.gz) of a presentation I was preparing to our Atlantic Linux conference. Unfortunatelly, this long planned event didn't occur, as our main sponsor, the Pernambuco state agency Fisepe, didn't keep its promises. Now you can enjoy the slides (portuguese only, sorry), but not the talk, of course.

Oct 26, 2000 - New Slidedraw release

Charles N. Wyble have been cleaning and improving Slidedraw. You can get this package with his contributions. If we found interest, maybe we can restart the development of this useful program.

Sep 05, 2000 - Page with all GDI printer issues

I have collected all work about GDI printers at its own page. A little organization is worth the effort.

Aug 04, 2000 - Reverse engineering a winprinter

I bought recently a winprinter, Samsung ML-85G, related as "paperweight" at the Printing-HOWTO. The device communicates with a non-standard protocol with the M$-Windows driver and Samsung don't seems to want giving me technical details on this monster.
So, I dediced to declare war :-)
First I looked for some useful tools, like RT-Linux for spying the interface in real time with another computer (and a specially designe "T" cable with some electonics), and Bochs (a nice x86 simulator all in software). If you have also a winprinter and would like to discuss with me the details of this reverse engineering project, write to my e-mail address. It would be nice to have other people to share the experiences.
Anyway, when everything is ready and working, I will put my work under GPL and release to everyone, to show Samsung that in our new world order, there is no place for industrial secrets nor dirty contracts with M$.
Viva la revolución.

May 24, 2000 - Print those labels easily

This tiny program, mketiq.tcl (in tcl, of course!), can make numbered labels for you. There is no docs, only some comments at the first linesi of the script, so don't run before reading. You can adjust the starting value, as well as other parameters (number of rows, columns, spacings, etc.) before generating a postscript file ready to print. So, don't bother anymore with a word processor (or worse yet, LaTeX) just to print some labels.

May 17, 2000 - C't Magazine

German C't magazine will be publishing a review of our Slidedraw program and it will be available in the shareware/freeware CD enclosed with the magazine. It will be found in the issues 12/00 and 14/00, so attention german users.

March 31, 2000 - LsBrowse

Do you do backups? Of course you do! What about reading those ls -lR files to find what you're looking for? Not very funny, isn't it?
Well, I have a small utility, LsBrowse, to make your life easier. Go get it just now! It will let you browse those catalogs in a mor natural, structured way. Life is beautiful, enjoy!

March 29, 2000 - Essay: The photocopy law

The great monopolies will try hard to change the laws, so they continue to earn more money from the consumer. What will you do about this? Read this essay (in portuguese, sorry) I have written about this and take your own conclusions.

March 20, 2000 - Article in "The Cobol Report"

Last week I was in a trip to Piraju-SP, about 4000 Km far from home. But there are some news about the Tiny Cobol project, my first article as a newbie columnist at CobolReport. Read it and send me comments, or better yet, suggestions on what you'd like to see in the next edition.

March 20, 2000 - Article in "The Cobol Report"

Last week I was in a trip to Piraju-SP, about 4000 Km far from home. But there are some news about the Tiny Cobol project, my first article as a newbie columnist at CobolReport. Read it and send me comments, or better yet, suggestions on what you'd like to see in the next edition.

February 26, 2000 - My Tix-4.1.0 patched for Tcl8.2

The official Tix site have not been maintained for a while. As I like this widget set, I have made some quick pathces to make it run with Tcl/tk version 8.2.1. Get your copy here, untar it, go to directory Tix4.1.0/unix/tk8.2 and run ./configure; make; make install to compile and install. Please notice that I'm not the maintainer and I have placed it available here just as a service to you.

February 8, 2000 - New tcl-guide article

If you think that cgi programming is only for perl, try this. It is just a simple real time clock under a browser, but it can give you the idea. Later I will show more, I promise :)

December 24, 1999 - Chapeuzinho Vermelho

Chapeuzinho Vermelho (in portuguese) is a story of a little girl with a red hat that walks through the woods to visit her grandmother, but there is a very bad wolf waiting her at the way...
Sorry, but I had no time to translate this to english, but it's an interesting warning to all RedHat(TM) users around.

December 16, 1999 - HandTerm pictures

Tiny Cobol was designed to work with some of my terminals. Here are the photographs of one of them, HandTerm. They are not manufactured anymore, but I have a newer equipment (in the less than US$100 range) similar, running under Linux.
Well, the pictures are from a folder: front, and back. I was the hardware designer, as well as software writer, and responsible for evertyhing technical in this equipment.
Are you asking if I made money with it? Sorry to say, but I almost went bankrupt... We don't live in an easy world, sir.

tcl curso flyer

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Last updated: 2002/04/08 10:54:48