Interests Related to Appropedia[edit | edit source]

  • water resources - infrastructure
  • sustainable energy
  • PC reuse

Contact[edit | edit source]

To Do[edit | edit source]

  • Add a section to e-waste/PC refurbish
  • PC for schools and nonprofits
  • Community Service
  • Scrap metal pricing
  • Local artist design cases
  • General Networking
  • Contact HWMA

Discussion[View | Edit]

Welcome![edit source]


Hi Steven M.,

Welcome to the Appropedia wiki. Please make yourself at home! If you need a general wiki-tutorial, see the main help page (or the more in-depth one on WikiEducator).

Check your preferences and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it -- you can find out when your talk page, or any page on your watchlist, is modified. You may want to upload a photo or information about yourself to your userpage (which is at

If you have a particular interest or project in mind, go ahead and start it! If you have questions or suggestions, the best place to leave them is at the Village pump - you should get a fast response. Or, feel free to leave me a note on my talk page if you have further questions, need help finding your way around, have a cool idea for a project, or just want to chat.

Glad to have you here!


Hi Steven,

I've been thinking about the porting issue. I do think it's best to have an original page, in the "Original:" namespace, and protected. At least in most cases it makes sense, where the original carries some authority because of who authored it.

If you make any progress on making the porting process smoother, please be sure an make notes of everything. And any questions, please ask - I'll usually respond more quickly than I did this time. Thanks for your work! --Chriswaterguy 07:02, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Good work![edit source]

Hi Steven,

Just saw Stoves for Institutional Kitchens (original) - looks good.

How are you finding the porting process? Are the instructions clear, or could they do with improvement? Thanks! --Chriswaterguy 19:43, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks[edit source]

I was going to thank you on your work on the internal combustion engine page, but I read your user page and it is creepy how much I identify with your sentiments. If you have time this summer, we would love for you to join us in Nicaragua.

--David.reber 18:32, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

BRIDGE Nicaragua[edit source]

Did you see our Projects Page? --David.reber 17:22, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Notes to self[edit source]

Continue researching GNU agreement and practical ways of getting content under copyright approved. Clean up PATB Pages to port page and create categories. All most done! Find new content...see if there are new briefs to port. Wikipedia has a category: sustainable technologies, although it might be redundant here, maybe the high end tech stuff can have its own category? Ah Green Computing!!!

Still need to clean up some of the porting instructions. There was some confusion for me with the (Practical Action Technical Brief) and the "Original:" namespace. Also, add some apps that you have discovered in the process of looking for a more efficient porting algorithm.

  • macros for Word
  • Web apps koolwire, pdftoword <- which has been the best free web converter yet!
  • OO3 experiences (Draw will open a PDF and export, just wish it would export to odt.)

Greetings started at 12-01-08


Left off at 2009-03-14T15:35:34 RichardSchulte

TTH edit date from 19616 to?

Highlighted projects and welcoming[edit source]

Hi Steven,

Great meeting with you today. Here are the notes:

Highlighted project pages:

Suggested next highlights:

Standard greeting:

or roll your own, like mine:

Open, in new tabs, all talk pages on people that are all red, then paste the subst code and summarize with Welcome! See this welcoming matrix for some guidelines on greeting:

Name Talk Contribs Suggestion for Greeter
red red red Greet!
red red blue Check contribution (block if spam; help if needed), then comment on their talk page. Then add standard greeting.
red blue red Probably already greeted… feel free to check. If not a greeting, add one.
red blue blue Already engaged.
blue red red Check name page, comment on it and greet appropriately.
blue red blue Check name page and contributions, comment on it and greet appropriately.
blue blue red Already engaged.
blue blue blue Already engaged.

Thank you, --Lonny 02:22, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

E-waste Installing Linux on old PCs[edit source]

Great to hear!

My knowledge is limited, but what I've learnt:

  • Join a local LUG - look out for days when they help people install Linux.
  • Vector & other Slackware distros don't seem user friendly - I looked into it, but with only about 2 years experience in Linux, I didn't feel up to it.
  • Openbox (window manager) and LXDE (desktop environment using openbox) are really nice and lean. LXDE is lighter than XFCE, but nicer to use. Expect to see these become more popular. You can add them to any distro, but where they're not one of the standard options, in some cases there can be clashes (probably a bigger problem on a laptop).
  • I like to find a distro where it's set up to be lean, but it's easy to use.
  • I'm not hung up on installing free stuff only - I want Skype and I want video codecs. (I install Linux firstly because I want an operating system that does what I need, not to make a statement.) Ubuntu makes for a little hassle with this - you have to add repositories and certain packages (programs and codecs), and the new user doesn't know this - they just wonder why things don't work. Debian makes it hard work for a newbie, especially if any of your hardware doesn't have a perfectly free (open source) driver.
  • I strongly prefer something that is at least based on a major distro, and uses the package repositories of that distro. There's the potential for better support and in theory for bug fixing (Ubuntu is buggy anyway, in my experience, but it does have good support). It also means far more software choice. Basically, this leaves me with one distro:
  • CrunchBang Linux: is based on Ubuntu, but uses Openbox, but with some very cool usability tweaks, including partial use of LXDE, and comes with Skype and video codecs installed. This is the only distro I know that comes with Openbox by default. (Edit: I'm not a fan of Ubuntu, for reasons of bugginess, but in spite of that, this is the most promising distro I've used.)
  • Well, actually Debian 5.0 comes with with LXDE as one of its standard options, which means it has Openbox - but Debian was unnecessarily difficult for me. When it didn't even recognize the hard disk on my ThinkPad, I thought: if this is a sign of how things work in Debian, I'm trying something else. Edit: I forgot: Knoppix also comes with LXDE standard. (Jon's comment below reminded me.) It's really not designed for installation to hard disk though, unless you really know Linux.
  • I've heard good things about Puppy Linux - it was flaky when I tried it ~2006, but may have improved. It's also kind of a backwater in Linux development - a lot of non-standard stuff, running as root by default (which sounds like a bad idea to me and to many Linux people), with its own kind of installation, and far fewer packages than a major distro. So unless you need to go super-light (even lighter than Crunchbang) I wouldn't recommend it.
  • Edit: I just discovered boxpup - looks like Puppy with Openbox. I'm guessing it's a bit harder than CrunchBang, with less package choices, but probably even lighter than CrunchBang. I would still have some concerns about bugginess and security, as well as usability, but you could try it out with some help from your LUG.
  • Anything I've said related to something being hard to use (e.g. Debian) becomes much less of an issue if you have geeky friends close by and/or belong to a LUG. My preference though: Get something you can mostly handle yourself. You'll still need help, but no need to make it harder than necessary.

Thanks for the question. I've thought of blogging on this, and I think I've just written my blog post :-). --Chriswaterguy 13:22, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

For (much) older PCs (Pentium 2ish, DECTops (AMD's 50x15 boxes, anything that's actually beige) I highly recommend DSL - . It's limited, and a bit hasslesome to actually install and to build out on, but I am never without a DSL-on-a-USB stick. DSL (IIRC) uses an older kernel and supports a lot of older hardware settings that have been dropped in the current kernel. It's also super small (it can fit in 50MB) and can run amazingly fast even on klunky hardware (it will try to run from RAM if possible). The big benefit is that the default DSL version is meant to be booted off a CD or USB stick, so you can quickly see how it would actually work on the hardware without going through the whole install process, and the benefits of having an OS optionally run from a removable (and/or unwritable) flash device or CD ROM are numerous, especially in computer lab settings!

For P3 and better computers, I'd recommend Knoppix, which could probably also run off a USB stick, but is much larger, so I usually boot from CD. Knoppix is a full debian system and autoconfigures a lot for you (imagine my surprise when I booted up a powerful computer at work with Knoppix to try to recover a disk and found that it had auto-configured Compiz Fusion, a 3D desktop environment that took me weeks of painful xorg.conf tweaks to get working!).

Knoppix (circa 2003/4, I imaging it's only gotten easier) was also "re-masterable" - which meant you could add your own configurations, programs, and content and re-burn the CD as a partially-customized distribution. I created on with the Ministry of Jamaica's entire (live, interactive) website on it to distribute to schools without internet access so that they could access the PDF'ed curricula guides and interactive aspects of the website. It also went out with a mini-script that could connect to the Internet via cellphones :D

FWIW; I could have never gotten the Knoppix re-mastering working without the support of the Jamaican LUG,


DSL: definitely one I'd only try with geek support! I'm curious how it compares to Puppy.
Knoppix: It's supposed to be a great recovery CD. I hope to never need it, but I have the LiveCD in case, and to help anyone else who might need it. Not recommended for the average user to install this to hard disk - that's not what it's for.
Compiz Fusion: it's a matter of taste (I found it fun for about 30 min, then wanted to remove it). It adds to the processing needed, so it's less light and less green, but LXDE with Compiz is probably still pretty light and green.
That CD you did for Jamaica sounds very cool! Have you documented somewhere, on an open license, how you did it? (Appropedia is one place you could do so.) --Chriswaterguy 14:49, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Both DSL and Knoppix are best for boot-from-USB/CD, but aren't too horrible for installation. Well, DSL is kinda confusing, but is Really not meant for installation; Knoppix is easy, but at that point, a LiveCD of Ubuntu will leave you with an easier system to manage. Compiz is rarely (never?) appropriate for low-end computers; I was simply amazed that Knoppix had correctly auto-configured it, as it's a difficult beast. DSL has a leg up because of its vastly superior support for aging hardware that's been dropped from the 2.6 kernel; good info about that on the DSL wiki here :

As for the "jCD" , nothing I did for the remastering was different from the various remastering FAQs and guides online, like , the only things I did different were for Jamaica-specific needs, software, etc., and the help I got from JaLUG was mainly because I was a mostly-newbie to Linux at the time.

User Page[edit source]

Hey Steven, Good to hear from you. Feel free to use whatever you like off of my user page, it is CC-BY-SA, after all! Thanks for asking though, it is always cool to know what people use your stuff for.

Haven't yet put 9.04 on my laptop yet. I was about to do it this morning but I need to backup my home folder first. The last time I did an Ubuntu update I ended up doing a complete reinstall. I'm looking forward to playing around with the new version.

-- Joey 20:29, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Changes to the Highlighted Project template[edit source]

Hi Steve, I might have gummed up the "highlighted project" change process. I recently made some minor changes to the template so that it did not consume unnecessary white space on the main page. I did this by moving the "" directive up a line or two, right after the "break all". I've noticed that, since then, changes to the highlighted project have dropped the "" directive, causing stuff which is supposed to be "not included" to be included on the main page!

Can you tweak your process for updating the project so that it's compatible with the modified template?

Thanks! CurtB 01:37, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Hello[edit source]

Thank you for your welcome message.
Best regards
Neja 01:54, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

Welcome message update[edit source]

Hey Steven, here are some suggestions to update the greeter:


Welcome to Appropedia! If you need help, please check out the Help pages (or the more in-depth one on WikiEducator).

Check your preferences and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it -- you can find out when your talk page, or any page on your watchlist, is modified. Please consider putting some information about yourself on your userpage and uploading a photo as well. In addition, please add the relative tags to your user page; for example if you are intrested in working on articles of a particular topic (eg Water), you add {{Approproject Water}}, ... If you are acting as a connection officer for a AT-organisation (eg Engineers Without Borders or EWB, ..), you also need to add the tag {{AT organisation liaison EWB}}. Finally, if you are part of a special group at Appropedia, eg {{Appropedia CAD team}}, also add this tag to the user page.

Also consider adding/checking your contact information at Members.

If you have a particular interest or project in mind, go ahead and start it! If you have questions or suggestions, the best place to leave them is at the Village pump - you should get a fast response. Also, feel free to connect to the Appropedia meeting place if you have further questions, need help finding your way around, have a cool idea for a project, or just want to chat.

Delighted to have you here, --The Appropedia Staff

Some remarks: -->uploading a photo: this is probably only best done if these sections of the site are blocked off (eg regarding identity theft, ...). Blocking off of some site sections is also needed for the Members page. The issue has already been put forward at the village pump; search "anon", "anonymous editing"

-->Village pump: this article name is best switched with "Colloquium"

-->and be sure you verify your email address and turn on email notification if you'd like it

  • this in effect, promotes people on being less active on appropedia; having the notification sent to the mailbox makes it redundant to manually log in/visit appropedia. Probably best not to mention this in this welcome message, also best to have the option switched off by default

-->Also, feel free to leave me a note on my talk page if you have further questions, need help finding your way around, have a cool idea for a project, or just want to chat.

  • I changed me with the appropedia meeting place; this is an idea regarding instant messaging we can work out and it will allow us to help more people with questions (only one person won't be able to do this as the community grows), increase interaction between members, ... (see Site reorganisation at village pump)

-->for extra info on how the tags work, see User_talk:Chriswaterguy#Automatic_welcome_message

KVDP 08:52, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Hey Steven this is Ibrahim[edit source]

I finished porting a page and i think i did everything right but i am not sure. You think you could let me if there is anything wrong with the page? Hope all is well on your side. Peace


Your 2021 impact stats are right here![edit source]

Let's recap.png

Hi Steven! We thought you may want know that your top performing pages so far are:

  1. Sugar Production from Cane Sugar (Practical Action Technical Brief) (111 663 page views) Update!
  2. Tray dryers (Practical Action Technical Brief) (26 566 page views) Update!
  3. Cinnamon processing (26 159 page views) Update!
  4. Toddy and Palm Wine (Practical Action Technical Brief) (21 988 page views) Update!
  5. Spice Processing (Practical Action Technical Brief) (16 547 page views) Update!

Overall, your impact has been of 309,903 page views, woozaa!

Also, your user page has received 876 visits! People are interested in knowing more about you, edit your user page to tell the world what you've been up to.

Thanks for your contributions and for making Appropedia great, have a merry green Christmas!!

The Appropedia Team

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.