Author Archives: markp

MailMerge using LibreOffice for Church Mailing in 2021

Export from the gsheet (prime up to date source) into an odt spreadsheet. Use the mailmerge template letters (in each church pastoral folder). Filter using the ‘mailing ok’ ticklist field, including unticking those from the same household, for which the ‘MailMerge-Sal’ field is inserted in between ‘Forename’ and ‘Surname’ to concatenate ‘him & her’ type naming. Use same on salutation line of letter. ‘Address2’ field line, often blank, can be suppressed with a ‘Hidden Paragraph’ formula field: Condition = ![Docname.Sheetname.Columnname]. Likewise a ‘Hidden text’ formula field can be used to suppress other blank entries, eg lack of ‘Prefix’, lack of ‘MailMerge-Sal’ field. Naming these conditions is simplified by not having ANY spaces in the name of either the doc, the sheet(tab) or the column! Use the ‘View–>’Field Names’ menu option to highlight the full field name when creating the suppressed field; this view also allows the hidden paragraph/text field to be seen. Fiddly, but it does work reliably (I think) and once set up in a doc shouldn’t need redoing.

For reasons I haven’t figured re-opening a document all setup with these mailmerge fields results in the mailmerge buttons greyed out? I’ve been working around this by using ‘Tools –> MailMerge Wizard’ and clicking defaults until ‘Finish’ shows, this makes the mailmerge toolbar buttons ungreyed (?). Click ‘Edit Individual Documents’ button to create a page-per-address single document.

To filter which addresses are approved for a mailing use the ‘OK (e)mail’ ticklist field. Using this to filter it’s possible to also exclude the duplicate address people, who’s names are inserted in both the address & greeting fields, with appropriate editing of the ‘MailMerge-Sal’ column. Note that when updating the data source .odt (eg after making amendments) turning on the ticklist filter does NOT stop unticked lines being exported into a new .odt. Because of this, simply copy/paste from the gsheet and overwrite the previous .odt data. Don’t amend or change the name of the .odt either, as otherwise all the mailmerge field names need dragging in again.

If you find crazy page numbers or loads of blanks in the merged output it’s because lower down rows in the sheet are not totally empty. Delete all rows below the last entry to resolve this (it’s taken me years to notice/figure this!).

Using a shared ‘Brand’ YouTube account belonging to a Google Workspace domain controlled google account

An existing user with access to the shared YouTube channel can allow others to work with the same ‘Brand’ channel, incl at different levels (neat!)

  • Got to your channel: https://www.youtube.com/account
  • This is where all ‘Brand’ channel settings can be tweaked
  • Under ‘Channel managers’ choose ‘Add or remove manager(s)’; then ‘MANAGE PERMISSIONS’
  • Add new person:
  • Select ‘Owner’ (or as you wish); ‘invite’

Using rsync

backup to remote lan directory:

rsync -azp –info=progress2 /media/windows/drive/ user@x.x.x.x:/home/space/backup/dir

restore from a remote location:

12volt DC Connectors on Narrowboat Papillon

What’s the best and most convenient connector for 12v appliances onboard?

The boat has some of these:

12v ‘Clipsal’ socket

They’re often called ‘Clipsal 12v’ sockets, (Clipsal makes a wide range of electrical gear); sometimes called a ‘2 pin parallel’ connector. I suspect they originate from caravanning. Note the neutral blade is wider than the live, for a polarised connection. Not to be confused with what I think is an older caravan 12v connector often called a ‘W4’, where the blades are the same size and angled:

12v ‘W4’ socket

Both of the above can handle 10amps. Other common 12v connectors found are the ubiquitous cigar/cigarette connector:

12v ‘Cigarette’ socket

Many 12v appliances come with a plug to fit they above. They’re not great connectors because they are an adaptation of the cigar lighter, and were not designed to be a DC connector.

I’ve also used a 12v ‘Hella’ plug (a nickname after the German brand that makes them). I first encountered this on our 1975 John Deere 2120. Hardly any tractors at that point had any kind of 12v outlet; it was probably fitted because the tractors were German made (Mannheim), where this connector is popular. It’s quite a good connector, but only 8amp (at 12v; can also be used for 24v)

‘Hella’ – aka Bosch, ‘BMW Accessory’ ‘Powerlet’, but properly ISO 4165

Proxmox VE 5.1 Setup Notes

Remove nag screen re: subscription: https://blog.briantruscott.com/how-to-remove-subscription-notification-from-proxmox-ve-5/

comment out the subscription repository. implement the ‘no-subscription’ repo instead.

guest vlan number works as expected.

To allow vm screen to be any resolution set the display properties in the vm settings to: https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjh5ZL8qJfmAhXLxYUKHcriC0YQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fpve.proxmox.com%2Fpve-docs%2Fpve-admin-guide.html&psig=AOvVaw2KNdlUnJ0XdafS2NLDLr7W&ust=1575388316614606

OpenLP throws error on startup with new installation on Xubuntu 18.04

markp@markp-OptiPlex-5040:~$ openlp
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/openlp", line 27, in
from openlp.core.common import is_win, is_macosx
File "/usr/share/openlp/openlp/init__.py", line 26, in from openlp import core, plugins File "/usr/share/openlp/openlp/core/__init.py", line 43, in
from openlp.core.ui.mainwindow import MainWindow
File "/usr/share/openlp/openlp/core/ui/mainwindow.py", line 29, in
from distutils import dir_util
ImportError: cannot import name 'dir_util'

sudo apt install python3-distutils

system-config-samba

bit outdated in that the gksu command in the shortcut needs amending, but a very simple tool for creating smb shares that other can see. don’t forget to create users as well as define the windows shares. You need to:

sudo touch /etc/libuser.conf

.The gui shortcut can be made to work if you fiddle around and sort out gksu, but hardly worth the bother. Simply:

sudo system-config-samba