Goodwill – Bright Yellow Flowers

Bright YellowThis review is of one of my all time favorite shirts. I got it in 1989 at a goodwill shop for $0.25, because it was still in the box it was dropped off in. I’ve worn it so much that the labels have worn away, and I’ve had to stitch it back together several times.

Goodwill – Bright Yellow Flowers – Priceless (on sale for $0.25)

This shirt is clearly from the 1970’s. Not only is the bright yellow flowers straight from the 70’s, but it originally had very large collars. It is made from polyester and doesn’t breath very well. But that same polyester is one of the reasons that it has kept it’s crazy brightness and still looks so well.

Authentic: 4 Flowers – It clearly honors the tropical theme. The buttons are also very unique. The buttons are made to look like brass with some tribal markings on them. The only thing not authentic is the pocket.

Bright Yellow Pocket Bright Yellow Button

Fabric: 2 Flowers – The fabric is 100% polyester. It doesn’t breath and is quite lite and flimsy. Because it is so flimsy it’s been fairly hard to make it keep it’s shape over the years. But, that also means that it is able to keep it’s bright pattern. I’m being kind and giving it 2 stars.

Bright Yellow Fabric

Style: 5 Flowers – Definitely 5 flowers. This is the shirt I judge all other shirts by, at least for style.

Bright Yellow

Final Score: 11 Flowers – They don’t make shirts like this anymore. On the one hand, thank goodness they don’t, because the polyester doesn’t breath well, it doesn’t keep it’s shape, and once a thread gets broken for whatever reason, the whole stitched area falls apart. But on the other hand, I wish they would, because the pattern and brightness are something I really miss.

Yor Linux

I must apologize for the delays in my Hawaiian shirt reviews.  I’ve been working on a project called Yor Linux that has been taking more time than I anticipated.

Yor Linux is another Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) recompiled distribution.  That means that I take the source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and recompile it.  I can then use the resulting binaries any way that I want to. It’s the same thing I was doing (with others) to create Scientific Linux.

Why am I doing it.  For several reasons, but the biggest is that I really enjoy doing it.  It’s fun for me.  I’m also doing things a bit different, because it’s mine and I can.  One thing that will be different with be the 64 bit build (x86_64).  RHEL has always have a combination of 64 and 32 bit binaries in the same distribution, but only a select few 32 bit binaries.  Mine will be just 64 bit by itself, and 32 bit by itself.  If you want 32 bit binaries in your 64 bit installation, you will be able to set that up, but you will get all of the 32 bit binaries, not just a handful.

Anyway, I’m finding Yor Linux taking more of my time than I expected, and my hawaiian shirt reviews were one of the things suffering because of it.

Kokopelli Shirts – Roadrunner Shirt

Green Road Runner ShirtThis review is one of my all time favorite Hawaiian Shirt.  OK, so in reality it is an Arizona Shirt.  But saying it’s an Arizona Shirt hasn’t quite caught on yet.  But I’m sure it will soon.

Kokopelli Shirts – Cotton RoadRunner Shirt – Sold by Kokopelli Shirts – $99 (bought on sale for $69)

Most people who know my taste would be surprised that I love a shirt with no flowers on it.  The combination of the road runner, cactus, along with the dancing kokopelli figure leads to a very subtle, but unique shirt.  I also love the feel of the fabric and the rounded wooden/coconut buttons.

Authentic: 4 Flowers – Great Buttons. Pocket Matches. But I can’t give it 5 flowers, because it’s an Arizona Shirt, not a Hawaiin shirt.

RoadRunner Pockets RoadRunner Buttons

Fabric: 5 Flowers – 100% cotton fabric. This fabric was designed to be worn in Arizona, so it breathes very well. It manages to keep you cool, despite it being a very solid fabric. It has a very high quality feel that was made to last you for years.

RoadRunner Fabric RoadRunner Cotton

Style: 4 Flowers – Not a flowery shirt, and yet very appealing. Kokopelli shirts has managed to pull together the elements of the desert into a very good looking shirt.

RoadRunner Shirt RoadRunner Kokopelli

Final Score: 13 Flowers – A great looking shirt, great fabric, and very nice style. One of my “I love to wear this shirt” shirts. The only reason I’m giving it 13 instead of 15 flowers is because I’m doing Hawaiian shirt reviews. If this was about Arizona shirts, I’ve give it a solid 15 cactus’s.

Havana Jack’s Cafe – Silk Hawaiian Shirt

ShirtOne of the problems with buying Hawaiian shirts in department stores, is that the brand and style might not be there after a season. Such is the case with the first shirt I’d like to review.

Havana Jack’s Cafe – Silk Hawaiian Shirt – Sold by Kohls – $50 – No longer available

This was one of my favorite shirts, while it lasted. I loved the colors. The red contrasted with the black background, yet had the brown leaves so that it wasn’t too overbearing. The feel of the silk was very nice. The fabric was textured, so that it wasn’t the super slick silk feeling.

But that textured silk fabric was it’s undoing. The fabric wasn’t very strong. Although it said machine washable, it couldn’t hold up to more than a few washing’s, even on delicate. I liked it so much I’d wear black t-shirts underneath so you couldn’t tell too much that it was ripped. Eventually I had to retire it before it became a pile of silk thread.

Authentic: 2 Flowers – Although it has a hawaiian floral print, and the buttons look authentic, the pocket does not match, and the buttons are just plastic with a pattern.
pocketbutton and fabric

Fabric: 2 Flowers – The fabric feels great. But it shreds easily.

coller shreddingsides shredding
Style: 4 Flowers – I love the whole style.  Not my very favorite style, but close.

Black with Red Flowers

Final Score: 8 Flowers – A very nice looking shirt.  Not really authentic, and the fabric makes this something you wear to just one nice event.  Not something for everyday wear.


Hawaiian Shirt Reviews

Black with Red Flowers

I’ve been a fan of Hawaiian shirts since I was a teenager. Nowdays there are many people that are shocked when they don’t see me in a Hawaiian shirt. So I figured I’d put up some pages that review different shirts.

I’ve decided to judge the shirts on 3 sections, giving up to 5 flowers to each section, with a total of 15 flowers. Because some parts of my reviews will be very judgmental, I would say that any shirt above a 10 is good.

Authentic – Does it keep to the Hawaiian Shirt style. This includes buttons, pocket, and overall theme.

Fabric – Some fabric is right for Hawaiian shirts, some is not.

Style – This is very judgmental. How do I, Troy Dawson, like the style.

Fedora on pcDuino3 Nano

When I got my pcDuino3 Nano, I found that there were no instructions on how to get it to boot into Fedora. I’m writing this so that not only can others know how to do it, but others can hopefully make it easier.

UPDATE – December 21, 2015

Due to alot of effort of many people, PCDuino3 Nano is now supported in the main uboot and kernel.  Because of that, it is now supported, out of the box on Fedora 23

These new instructions have also been tested on the new PCDuino3 Nano Lite


You can now follow the generic Fedora instructions. If you are doing the installation manually (which I recommend) you should follow the instructions for AllWinner A20.

Because I don’t like just putting links in, here are the instructions.

Choose a disk image.

Write the image to your media

TYPE=  # options include KDE, LXDE, XFCE, SoaS, Mate and Minimal
MEDIA= #/dev/<location-of-your-media>
       # for example /dev/sdc, /dev/sdg, ...
       # read /var/log/messages to learn which device was assigned to your media
xzcat Fedora-$TYPE-armhfp-23-10-sda.raw.xz | sudo dd of=$MEDIA; sync

After writing the image, read the new partition table and mount the root partition

partprobe $MEDIA
PART=  #/dev/<location-of-your-media><partition-number>
       # this needs to be the root partition on the written media
       # for example /dev/sdc3, /dev/sdg3, /dev/mmcblk0p3, ...
mkdir /tmp/root; sudo mount $PART /tmp/root

Follow theses steps to write the appropriate U-Boot for your Hardware.

TARGET= # Linksprite_pcDuino3_Nano
        # Use the same target for normal or lite
MEDIA= #/dev/<location-of-your-media>
       # for example /dev/sdc, /dev/sdg, ...
       # read /var/log/messages to learn which device was assigned to your media
sudo dd if=/tmp/root/usr/share/uboot/$TARGET/u-boot-sunxi-with-spl.bin of=$MEDIA bs=1024 seek=8 conv=fsync,notrunc

Media should now be ready to boot, insert into the device and boot.


Section 1 – Setup to boot off the micro-sd card

The pcDuino3 Nano is very picky about booting off the micro-sd card.


  • 4Gig or more, micro-sd card


  • Boot in factory installed ubuntu, with micro-sd card in micro-sd card slot.
  • Partway through the boot, it will say to hit F8 to go into machine setup.
    • If you miss this, then get a console window and type “” to bring up the menu.
  • Select “make_mmc_boot”
    • This will take everything that is on the inner 4Gig flash drive and move it onto your SD card.  The SD card will be formated with two partitions.  Partition 1 will have critical boot image on it.  Partition 2 will have the operating system on it.
  • After it is done, you can boot off that sd-card.

Section 2 – Setup to run Fedora on pcDuino

These instructions might seem complicated.  But they are really much simpler than the first few times I did this.  All of these instructions will work on Fedora, RHEL6+, or Scientific Linux 6+.


  • 4Gig or more, micro-sd card that pcDuino will boot off.  From Section 1
  • USB micro-sd card converter
  • Linux machine


  1.  Get a VFAT Fedora image from the Fedora 20 or Fedora 21 arm download area.  I suggest the minimal version.
  2. decompress the image
    • unxz Fedora-Minimal-VFAT-armhfp-20-1-sda.raw.xz
  3. Insert micro-sd card into linux machine.
  4. If you have auto-mounting turned on, unmount the partitions, but do not “Safely Remove”
  5. Repartition the micro-sd card, I suggest fdisk.
    • Do not touch partition 1
    • Add swap as partition 3, but the blocks must be right after partition 1.  I suggest a 200M swap partition.
    • / must be on partition 2.  The blocks should start right after the swap partition.  Have it fill the rest of the disk.  (If you want more partitions, go ahead, but these instructions won’t work very well.
    • The partitions should look something like this
      Device Start End Blocks Id System
      /dev/sdc1 33 544 16384 83 Linux
      /dev/sdc2 6946 242560 7539680 83 Linux
      /dev/sdc3 545 6945 204832 82 Linux swap / Solaris
  6. Format the new parititions
    • mkswap /dev/sdc3
    • mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc2
    • (optional) e2label /dev/sdc2 sdroot
  7. mount drives
    • For me, easiest to just remove then put back in sd card, it gets auto-mounted
    • For these instructions, we will say partition 2 is mounted on /media/sdroot
  8. As root, install  libguestfs-tools
    • yum -y install libguestfs-tools
  9. As root, extract the / filesystem from your decompressed download on Step 2, and put it onto partition 2
    • virt-tar-out -a Fedora-Minimal-VFAT-armhfp-20-1-sda.raw / – | (cd
      /media/sdroot/ && tar xvf -)
  10. sync
  11. Fix fstab so that it mounts correctly
    • Hint, find the UUID with “ls -lh /dev/disk/by-uuid/”
    • vi /media/sdroot/etc/fstab
    • Before:
      UUID=cbb10846-9a6d-4fa4-97c0-d313eebe2f8f / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 0
      UUID=DEC2-ACAF /boot/uboot vfat defaults,noatime 0 0
      UUID=194c1589-9624-43e7-8278-41b0d5a9a76e swap swap defaults,noatime 0 0
    • After:
      UUID=600a6d0f-93cb-4a96-b02d-48d36003f0ba / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 0
      UUID=9d676914-2eeb-44da-be8c-3596bcee8fd5 swap swap defaults,noatime 0 0
  12. Setup root account so you can login without a password
    • There is a bug in initial-setup. It crashes when it runs, so you have no way of logging in unless you setup logging in as root with no password.  Just remember to set the root password first thing after logging in.
    • vi /media/sdroot/etc/passwd
      • Remove the ‘x’ from the line beginning with ‘root’
  13. sync
  14. Unmount micro-sd-card partitions again, or select “Safely Remove” and remove from your linux machine.
  15. Put, micro-sd card in your pcDruino, hook up an hdmi monitor to it, and power your pcDruino on.
  16. It should go to the login prompt.
  17. Login as root, with no password, then set the password, first thing.

Section 3 – How to reset to factory settings

I managed to overwrite the build in flash, install fedora onto the built in flash with no way of logging in, and a few other fun things.  Resetting to factory settings isn’t as easy as it sounds, but they do have instructions.  Here is the video that takes you through the steps.

In the future, I hope to be able to do this on a Linux machine.


  • 2Gig or more, micro-sd card
  • USB micro-sd card converter
  • USB flash drive, normal format (msdos or vfat), with at least 2Gig of free space.
  • Windows Machine


  1. Get kernel and ubuntu image from here –
  2. Install PhoenixCardv309 (From image page) or PhoenixCardv310 (From here).  I found that I had to use version 310 on Windows 7.  (Yes, that’s right, you have to run windows to reset your linux machine. Even worse, they recommend windows xp)
  3. Put 2Gig (or larger) micro-sd card in USB converter (not SD card converter), put it into your windows machine, run PhoenixCard, make sure it’s looking at the right drive, select your downloaded kernel, then select “Burn”.  When it’s done, safely remove your micro-sd card from the computer.
  4. Get a normally formatted usb flash drive, with at least 2Gig of free space.  Extract the ubuntu stuff from the zip file you downloaded in step 1, and put it (both the script, directory, and image file) on the bottom directory of the flash drive.
  5. Put the 2Gig micro-sd card in your pcDuino and power cycle it.  Nothing should come on the screen, but the green lights should slowly blink.  After it is done blinking, let it sit for another 10-30 secionds, just to be sure, then power off the pcDuino and take out the micro-sd card.
  6. Power on the pcDuino, with a monitor hooked up it.  It will set things up, then start asking to put in a USB drive with on it.  At that time, put in the USB drive from step 4.  It wil lthen dd the ubuntu image onto the 4th partition of the built in flash drive.  Wait until it is done.
  7. Reboot and enjoy the machine back to the way it was from the factory.

Update 2015-01-12: Added link to Fedora 21 images, update link to pcDuino3 Nano kernel images.

pcDuino3 Nano review

I got a pcDuino3 this past week. After doing some pretty extensive testing over the weekend I feel like I’m up for a review.
I now have 3 small arm devices. I’m pretty limited for space, so these little things are great for me. They take almost no room, and use very little power. I have:

pcDuino3 Nano – vs – Raspberry Pi

Let’s be honest, there is no comparison.  Spend the extra $5 and get the pcDuino3 unless you need something very specific to the Raspberry pi.
Not only are you getting double the memory, 10x the network speed, a SATA port, dual cores that run almost 2 times faster, but you get the ARMv7 based CPU instead of the ARMv6.  I found that the the floating point processing in the ARMv7 made the difference on what I could use the board for.
Also, you can run Fedora, without modification, on ARMv7 boards.

pcDuino3 Nano – vs – BeagleBone Black

This is a much better comparison.  Both boards are running the AllWinner A20.  Both boards can run Fedora, unmodified.  Both boards have 4 Gig of storage onboard, with a micro-sd slot.

pcDuino3 Nano bonus points:

  • 1 GB DRAM (512M on BBB)
  • 1 Gbps ethernet (100M on BBB)
  • SATA port (none on BBB)
  • Full size HDMI video port (micro-hdmi on BBB)

BeagleBone Black bonus points:

  • Boot off micro-sd card with no extra setup (pcDuino takes tweaking to boot off sd-card)
  • Boot into normal kernel (have to use pcDuino kernel for pcDuino)

HARDWARE: pcDuino3 Nano wins.
SOFTWARE: BeagleBone Black wins.

My thoughts on the Red Hat / CentOS partnership

It’s been six months since Red Hat announced they were joining forces with CentOS. I think things have settled down enough for me to make a post without controversy. I’ll use my usual question and answer format to answer the most common questions I’ve gotten.

Q: Did you know about the plans for the merger?
Yes. I was in the loop as a “consultant” for about 8 months.

Q: Why CentOS and not Scientific Linux?
There were pro’s and con’s for each distribution. I personally thought that Scientific Linux’s workflow and desire for others to create “spins” would have fit better with Red Hat’s goals. But the complications associated with working with goverment funded labs far outweighed the work that would have been saved by using Scientific Linux.

Q: What is Red Hat’s real agenda? Are they trying to get rid of RHEL clones?
If you read Red Hat’s press releases about why they wanted to do this, then you know what their real agenda is.
They are not trying to get rid of the RHEL clones.
Red Hat needed a way to be able to let people try their products that layer on top of RHEL. But how can you let people try them without giving away RHEL for free.
My best example is from OpenShift, the product I work on. We had OpenShift Origin that worked on Fedora, and we had OpenShift Enterprise, that works on RHEL6. But we had no official way for users who didn’t already have RHEL subscriptions to try OpenShift on an enterprise OS. After the team up with CentOS we are able to have users try OpenShift Origin on CentOS.

Q: Do I think the whole joining of forces thing will work?
Yes. I think there is still going to be some rough patches. But I think as the months turn into years, those rough patches will be worn smooth.

Q: How does this affect Scientific Linux?
I am unable to comment on this question at the present time. Not because anyone is silencing me. But because currently I don’t know. There are multiple paths that Scientific Linux can take, and they are proceeding with caution and due diligence.

Hepix Dinner


This gallery contains 20 photos.

The Hepix Dinner was help at the Henry Ford Meusium. It was a casual buffet style with different tables having different cultural foods. All of it was very good.