Debian Aptitude Search

The Results

If you've used Debian aptitude to search for packages, you'll have seen the character entries that are returned along with your search results.

Something like:

# aptitude search emacs
p   acl2-emacs  - A Computational Logic
i   emacs       - The GNU Emacs editor (metapackage)
id  emacs-chess - a client for playing Chess
i A emacs23     - The GNU Emacs editor (with GTK+)
p   emacs23-el  - GNU Emacs LISP (.el) files
v A emacs23-gtk -
ppA emacs23-nox - The GNU Emacs editor (without X)
v   emacsen     -

What do the characters mean?

The first character of each line indicates the current state of the package. The most common states are:

p no trace of the package exists on the system
c the package was deleted its config files remain 
i the package is installed
v the package is virtual

The second character indicates the stored action to be performed on the package. The most common actions are:

i  the package will be installed
d the package will be deleted, and 
p the package and config files will be removed
[Blank space] no action to be performed

The third character if shown, indicates:

A the package was automatically installed

Hope this helps interpret your search results.


Timex Watch Rip Off

Lost Time And Money

I had a Timex Ironman watch for around 5 years, till the battery died. I looked at other makes / brands and decided I wanted to go with the same watch. Nothing fancy. A practical and functional watch is all I need.

A watch that's waterproof or at least splashproof. Something with an alarm, timer and most importantly, it must have a countdown timer. I use that function alot.

I check out Argos here in the UK, they stock a limited range of Timex Ironman. I check and find a selection of models similar to my old watch. I dig further and finally locate my old watch on Amazon along with a couple of other sites.

Argos have a Timex Ironman at £35. Amazon have my old watch at £46. Thats a lot of money for a plastic watch with no jewellery, no gold, stainless steel and no moving parts. They churn these out by the million and make big profits.

Out of curiosity, I check Amazon US site to see they have my old watch available. They do and I can have it for the sum of $30.99 includes free shipping.

At the current exchange rate of £1 UK pound = $1.5432 U.S. dollars. The watch in the US costs £20.08 in UK money.

The same watch here in London costs £46.18 + 2.99 shipping = £49.17

That is 2.45 times more expensive. How come the same watch is almost 2.5 times more?

Does shipping costs that much?

The watches are probably made in China, Vietnam, India or some other country with low labour costs. They ship the watch to the US from China. Does shipping them from China to the UK costs so much more?

Either Amazon or Timex or both are ripping off the European consumer.

Someone will probably read this, follow the hyper-links and point out that both watches are not sold directly by Amazon. In the UK instance its a third party using Amazon market.

So here's another example. A Timex Ironman watch for around the same money. And the same watch from Amazon UK. The same thing happens. The Europeans end up paying almost double.

Once again. Here's Timex US site where the watch is $55. And Timex UK site where the watch is £59.99.



A few years back I worked for an IT company here in London, that imported US software. Their pricing policy, along with many others, was to replace the dollar sign with a pound sign for products.

For example if a piece of software cost $500 in the US, the company charged £500 here in the UK.

Now that's inflation.


Finding Duplicate Files With fdupes


Finding duplicate files spread over your hard disk can be a time consuming matter. A quick way of doing it is to use the util 'fdupes'.

fdupes scans your filesystem for duplicates and uses a hash to check for any duplicate files even if they have different filenames.

Its easy to use, and runs on the command line.

fdupes -r /home/dir

You can redirect output to a file, check the file entries before deciding on any action.

Its in the main Debian repository, so go get it and check your files for duplicates.


LXDE Remap Keyboard Shortcuts

Press It

LXDE has no GUI method for changing keyboard settings. You need to do it by editing an XML file located in your home directory.

To find the file:

cd /home/yourname/.config/openbox/

Open the file 'lxde-rc.xml' in a text editor:

emacs lxde-rc.xml

Scroll down to the section for keyboard and find keybind. Then add the following to remap  XTerm, emacs, google-chrome to F9, F10, F12:

 <!-- Remap Key To Launch XTerm -->
    <keybind key="F9">
      <action name="Execute">
    <!-- Remap Key To Launch Emacs -->
    <keybind key="F10">
      <action name="Execute">
   <!-- Remap Key To Launch Chrome -->
    <keybind key="F12">
      <action name="Execute">

Save the file. 

Next time you log your short cut keys will launch your apps.

You can choose any combination or keys. 

Check the file for previous key assignments before finalising your choices. 

You can also check out the Openbox Wiki Page.