Mouse double clicks

I don’t know what happened but…knock on wood, I don’t seem to be having the unexpected mouse double clicks, that I have recently been having a problem with lately. It was especially annoying when using Thunderbird as I mentioned. However it wasn’t a Thunderbird only problem.

Thunderbird RSS reader…annoying behavior!

I use Thunderbird as my RSS reader. I like the fact that it flags with an asterisk, new articles retrieved since the previous time. That way I can just concentrate on new things, and not waste my time re-reading something I already read, at least until I realize I’ve already read this. However it has a very annoying feature of opening messages that you double click on in a tab…but that’s not the problem. The problem is when you return to the article list, the stars next to the new articles are gone! Why is that a thing? Just because someone wishes additional information on an article, why would that imply they were finished reviewing new articles? So don’t double click…right? Except for some reason my single clicks are turning into double clicks recently…apparently. I don’t know why, my mouse is fairly new. And on Cinnamon there’s a mouse click sensitivity slider that doesn’t seem to make any difference slid from one end to the other. Having problems finding this setting in KDE. Many google posts point to a Settings -> System Settings -> Hardware -> Input Devices -> Mouse -> Advanced which I don’t have. Some say it’s in the Workspace section which I haven’t found either. These solutions are often highly version specific.


I should add that using many of the features of gnuCOBOL may also help familiarize me with IBM COBOL advancements because as stated in the FAQ…GnuCOBOL implements a substantial part of the COBOL 85, COBOL 2002, and COBOL 2014 standards, as well as many extensions of the existent COBOL compilers. And the COBOL versions that run in the Hercules OS’s are much older than that. Also gnuCOBOL also has a MVS compatibility switch which I haven’t tried yet. As of this date IBMs current COBOL is called Enterprise COBOL for z/OS (v6.3), and the overview mentions the COBOL 2002 and 2014 programming standards. I downloaded some older IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS manuals (v4.2) and they also referenced COBOL 85.

My take on Manjaro…so far

I’ve basically been fairly happy with Manjaro KDE. The thing that took away the biggest stumbling block in my previous testing is to update using the CLI. Manjaro is a little more aggressive concerning updating programs than I’d prefer. For example I just installed gnuCOBOL using pamac and it installed RC1 (release candidate #1) . I’d rather stick with the latest supported version. Although in all honesty RC1 seems pretty nice…so far.

gnuCOBOL Screen I/O

Did some research and writing some sample programs to do more advanced screen I/O processing. Have done very basic Display/Accept. Need to learn to use the Screen Section for more advanced screen handling. In general my gnuCOBOL programs basically use the old IBM COBOL, I learned many years ago and don’t take advantage of the abilities of modern commercial COBOL compilers. Which according to my research…gnuCOBOL implements a substantial portion of COBOL 85, supports many of the advances and clarifications of COBOL 2002, and includes many extensions in common use from Micro Focus COBOL, ACUCOBOL and other existent compilers.

This is especially true since, IBM COBOL uses CICS (which I haven’t used in many many years) for screen I/O…to the best of my knowledge. Also CICS isn’t available for legal use in MVS COBOL running under Hercules. There is something called KICKS which is an enhancement for CMS & TSO on IBM mainframes (or emulators) that supposedly is CICS like. But I’d rather learn something that perhaps an actual company would use.

Made good progress today. Found useful program after you comb through 380 lines. From this I created more basic 70 line program that is easier to digest and build from. I like to learn the basics with simple examples. You know I don’t wany to start with the Sistine Chapel when learning to paint.

3270 terminal emulation…showstopper?

Hercules mainframe emulation, while not the sole important use of Linux for me, never the less has become an important and enjoyable aspect in the use of my Linux distro of choice. Something that I was hardly aware of a few years ago has been something I frequently…on and off, use.

So I Got Hercules and my programs installed and working on Manjaro…so far so good.

However I started being concerned about getting 3270 terminal emulation working in Manjaro.

After installing x3270…I got the following error
$ x3270
Warning: Cannot convert string “--helvetica-bold-r-normal–14--100-100-p-*-iso8859-1″ to type FontStruct
Warning: Unable to load any usable ISO8859 font
Warning: Unable to load any usable ISO8859 font
Error: Aborting: no font found

I also installed the nostalgic 3270 fonts at the same time.
But removed them to see if that was the problem…it wasn’t.

After googling a few things I installed the following…I think only the 1st 3.. But it still didn’t work. I almost gave up, but after rebooting [not for that purpose]…it worked. I don’t know which, but assume only one was the solution. I Still get the 1st Warning message, but not the last 2. This is the same Warning as my Mint distro.


Greenbar, almost done?

I changed the first print line to start lower on the form for better looking alignment. I also finally figured out how to use the python module PyPDF2 to crop a little off the left side of the form (thanks to a YouTube video) for better symmetry as well as removing the pesky 1st blank page which I had done previously.

At this point I think I’ve achieved, for my purposes, a fairly good representation of the classic Mainframe greenbar listing. I said almost a year ago that I probably wouldn’t do much more. But I chipped away every now and then tweaking it here and there. If the superior commercial HercPrt program was available for Linux I’m sure I would have paid the modest price to acquire it, but it is MS-Windows only. A side benefit for my little program is I can give gnuCOBOL listings that same nostalgic look. And possibly others.

There maybe one more change I may make (isn’t there always?)…allow the option to print on bluebar. I already have a boolean in the program to allow this…but currently I have to manually change the program. See the PL/I program below for an example.

Obviously this is something that adds no real value to emulation or programming. It’s sole purpose is to add a nostalgic feel. However, for me it helps recreate that feel of a much earlier time. At one time, before terminals, when mainframe input was by punch cards, a greenbar listing was the primary way of looking at Mainframe output. Programmers spent a lot of time looking at greenbar listings.

Greenbar Hercules example

gnuCOBOL example

Out of curiosity I downloaded the PL/I compiler from Iron Spring Software that can run on Linux and strangely OS/2 Warp (which was last released 18 years ago in 2001). PL/I is a language that originated on IBM mainframes in the 1960s. I don’t know anything about PL/I. But I attempted to compile a sample program. It apparently created a MS-Windows exe, but no valid Linux program. Anywho it did create a listing file, which I was mostly interested in anyway. Below is the result of processing that file with my greenbar program. I made no changes to the program and this was the result of my 1st test with this output. For fun I changed the green to another apparently popular color…blue!
PL/I example


I have listened to podcasts for many years. Many different types but especially technical and within technical mostly computers and within computers mostly Linux. I just discovered, IMHO a great new (not actually but to me) podcast called Command Line Heroes created by RedHat. Unlike most technical podcasts that become outdated within a few months this deals with the history of computers, so it is relevant anytime you have that interest. Having lived through many of these important times, I am aware of much of this however it is still good to be reminded of things. For example in episode one they discuss the GUI which Xerox created and rarely, once again IMHO, never really gets the credit it deserves for that, which every modern OS uses. People like to say that MS-Windows stole the idea from Apple and the Linux desktop stole the idea from the others. But in actuality Apple stole the idea from Xerox who failed to realize what a goldmine they were sitting on. Anyway a nicely presented podcast.

One thing I would disagree with is the description of Linus Torvalds as talented but lacking in grand visions. Unless you were Nostradamus how could anyone envision what Linux would become? Unless you’re an ego maniac, how could you ever think that I am creating something that will challenge behemoths such as Microsoft, Apple and IBM? That is way beyond any sane grand vision, IMHO.