mintCast 338 – Two Oh Snap

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First up, in our Wanderings, Owen refurbishes, Tony prints new stuff, Moss has a panic attack, Joe attends a LUG, Bo games, and Leo upgrades to 20.

Then, in the news, we focus on the new release of Linux Mint 20

In security, Ripple20

BI-WEEKLY WANDERINGS: 

  • Owen
    • Continue to refurbish donated computers with older hardware, add RAM and SSDs, install Mint 19.3, and deliver them to families in need at my school
    • Won an Innovative Teacher award from the Fab Foundation and Chevron for this project which also came with a $1000 cash award, which also allowed me to purchase more/better RAM and SSDs
    • 3d printing PPE like face shields and ear savers
    • Ordered 2 new 3d printers via a Kickstarter campaign, one for me, one for school
    • Test driving Mint 20.04 beta after finally separating my /home directory and OS into different partitions, and a few days of being really lost in the weeds, but I had a backup so I knew it would all be OK
    • Attended a virtual STEM conference in June called Inclusive STEM and CS
    • Been learning how to use Kdenlive by using an action camera on top of my helmet and going on different bike rides each day
    • Slowly working on installing motioneyeOS on a Raspberry Pi with one of the new fancy cameras to setup a security camera due to a recent arson at my condo complex
    • Exploring Ubuntu Studio and am almost certain my main machine at home will to to Ubuntu Studio for 20.10 when it’ll be Plasma by default
    • Setup a Ventoy USB stick and started installing all.the.ISOs.in.the.world.
    • Working my way through a lynda.com course on Bash scripting to get better using the command line
    • Staying sane during shelter in place by taking a bicycle ride everyday, not new since I”m a bike commuter for almost 2 decades now, having a standing Sunday morning Zoom call with friends from around the world, walking my dog further than before and more frequently, using the kids playground at the school next to my home to work out on, and trying to think each day of at least one thing I”m grateful for.
    • Gardening, community garden, gardening on our terrace, and gardening in the front of our building
  • Leo
    • Upgraded to Linux Mint 20 on the laptop I’m recording on!
    • Still need to do the desktop, but have a few things going on this weekend, so I may not make it.
    • I’m on a new show! Linux User Space
  • Tony H
    • Baking and playing with my model cars, I also won a few eBay auctions of some nice models to go straight into the collection. Today I spent the afternoon with my sister and her husband as it was their 1st wedding anniversary and I restored a little matchbox Rolls Royce model and painted it up as a wedding saloon which they missed out on as they got married on a cruise ship last summer. My sister is into bead jewelry making so I thought something a little crafty would be appreciated, and they both loved it, so my model restoration hobby has a new fan. 
    • I’ve recently been recording a series of episodes for HPR about my diecast model restorations and I have been having problems with Firefox not letting me reserve a slot in the HPR schedule to upload the show too. It returns an error message. However If I use Chromium to book the slot, not a problem, I can then go back into Firefox and do the remainder of the process from there. It used to work just fine, I’m wondering if my ad blocking plugins might be the issue?  
    • The big story for me this week is, since the last show I purchased a new colour Laser printer, the HP Color Laser 150nw, so I can produce high quality decals for my models that require them. I bought this printer as I was led to believe that it had Linux support. I set it up, downloaded the HP driver package HPLIP from the Developers page which is a more up to date version than that in Mint 19.3, and I thought great, we are good to go. No this did not recognise that the printer was present even after restarting the printer several times with the USB cable attached to the PC. So I went into CUPS which prior to installation of the HPLIP package had not had any idea what this HP printer was, it now recognised it was there and came up with the model and a recommended driver which I installed. I tried a test print the light on the printer starts to flash but apart from a little noise from it as the paper feed whirls around nothing else happens. Several attempts later I started to suspect I had a faulty printer, but I had one last option before I gave up. Here’s where I have to say the dreaded ‘Windows word’ I got out my Dell 7250 laptop that has W10 installed as a test machine for troubleshooting windows issues for other folk, I plugged in the printer and it picked it up right away and started to install the driver, after installing I printed the test page and it worked. In one way I was relieved as my $160 / £130 I spent for the printer is not wasted but I’m more than a little disgruntled that I have to have a Windows laptop to drive the thing instead of just working on my Mint 19.3 box like it should!!!! I then had an idea and booted into Ubuntu Studio 20.04 and it picked the printer up without the addition of any other software so the moral of the story is run the latest OS you can if you want your printer to be supported in Linux.
  • Moss
    • Distrohoppers’ Digest 014 is out. We’d love to have everyone listen to it. Tony and I have a great time doing this little monthly hop.
    • Sometime after the last show was in the can but before we did Distrohoppers’ Digest, I accessed my two machines and did what can only be called Adventures In GPartEd. My desktop box went from 2 partitions to 3, and my laptop went from 3 to 4, complete with cleaning up unnecessary partitions and moving things around so much that if GPartEd *were* dangerous to use, I would have lost lots of data. It is of interest to note my desktop’s hard drive somehow had both EFI and Grub partitions; I removed and reallocated the latter, and also increased the size of my swap partition. Everything works. I’m waiting for all the distros which have been promised, including a new openSUSE, and Slackware 15.
    • Over the past couple days, I have been trying the new Mint 20 on the laptop. I overwrote the Manjaro partition… I tried Cinnamon, but found something mildly upsetting in yesterday’s show meeting and installed MATE instead, then had a couple minor catastrophes causing me to reinstall MATE… TWICE… so I was up all night again. When I get Mint 20 up to the level I need for working, probably today or tomorrow, I will reinstall Manjaro over the Mint 19.3 partition… and will lose the GRUB niceties of 19.3, which were removed in 20 because they caused some machines to not boot. I guess I can make OpenMandriva the Grubholder then, so I can still have a pretty boot menu.  For the record, my memory use in 20 Cinnamon was 1.7 Gb at rest, where in MATE it’s about 770 Mb. Both of those are high for these desktops, but I assume they will work on getting it down soon.
    • I am making an effort to use Bodhi for more of my daily stuff, rather than treating it like a fun curiosity. It is interesting to learn what stuff goes where in a superlight desktop, very different from what I’ve been used to in heavier desktops like XFCE. For instance, I created Key Bindings to turn my touchpad on and off. What I mean by “superlight”: Stacer reports 324 Mb in use with only Stacer open, and 14 Mb of that is Stacer itself. We usually call a desktop “light” if it has 550-700 Mb in use at rest.
    • I still don’t have a distro to review for next Distrohoppers’, but Mint should be out soon. I already have downloaded what should be the final, but they haven’t announced it yet.
    • I bought a new tablet, a Hyundai Technologies Koral 10×3. I was trying to order a PineTab but my wife blocked the purchase. It turns out she thought I was just trying to order another Raspberry Pi, and then, when she approved me buying it, it was sold out. Then a friend told me about her tablet, and I got excited and bought one… I probably jumped at it too quickly, and I do have a bit of buyers’ remorse, having read a few more reviews, but I’ll wait until it arrives before I bad-mouth it… or talk it up…
    • I’ve been running around with all this extra Covid money from Congress, getting  clothes and bedsheets and all the things we have absolutely needed but couldn’t afford, and spending out of pocket for my wife’s health care, which we previously had no money for and still can’t get insurance for. Also due to the Covid money, we are not currently eligible for the various low-income healthcare programs. I’m  cleaning up debt, most of which was caused by importing my wife from Canada — all the money the government and lawyers need for that to happen. Everything’s done except the debt reduction program I’m in, which will be over in less than a year. But all this good money is scheduled to end July 31, which will mean a $540 per week dropoff, and there are no legal jobs in sight.  I can’t even work in my previous employment, as I’m more of a driver risk, have a still-injured shoulder, and otherwise I’m still 67 years old. This is the first time in my life I haven’t been stuck at around 140% of poverty level, and it’s ending in 33 days.
    • As I haven’t been sleeping in bed since the accident, our Dresden Files reading has dropped off, but we’re pretty deep in the 5th book right now.
    • Enough of this. Let’s get to Joe.
  • Joe
    • Attended a virtual LUG
      • It was interesting
      • It was nice to get to see all the people that I normally hang out with at the LUG even if it was over Zoom
      • Got to help a bunch of people and learn a couple of things about top and htop
    • Jim Butcher Codex Alera
      • Good series.  The last book is the weakest but still a really good conclusion
      • Remember the new book comes out next month for the Dresden Files
        • The first few chapters are available online although i have not read them as i would rather wait for the whole book
    • Larry Correia 
      • Grimnoir
        • Trilogy with some short stories attached.
        • Alternate history book post WW2
      • Monster Hunter
        • Really good series that I keep going back to
      • Saga of the Forgotten Warrior
        • Only two books in the series so far but I am liking it
    • Book 14 of the Nate Temple series.  
      • I thought the series was starting to lag but it seems to be picking up again.  Really good book
    • Decided that if i am going to use the Pi as an sshfs gateway then I should make the internet connection a bit more stable.  The Powerline ethernet adapter that I use doesn’t provide much speed and has many drops.  I could possibly code my way around that being a major issue but I would like more reliability.  I have a few wifi adapters that i could try out but my set top box in the garage has a solid connection and good speeds on 5 GHz so i am going to use internet sharing on that to a network switch.  https://www.tecmint.com/share-internet-in-linux/
      • Also found out that the if up and if down folders do not work so i tried dhclient-enter-hooks.d
      • Which i have not been able to get to work so far
      • Trying out systemctl which i am seeing a response from using the simple statements that i was using before.  I am able to keep that service running +with an extremely simple while loop but it currently lacks flexibility on failures so i will need to write some loops that are dependant on the response from pings
    • I was able to print a mount for my 7130 that allows me to keep it directly under the monitor that I use for work.  This allows me to watch fix it videos during the slow times or when i am doing something routine.  As well as do things like type up my bi-weekly wanderings during my breaks.
  • Bo
    • ESO on stadia
      • PC and Steam accounts
      • Performance

THE NEWS: 

SECURITY UPDATE

  •  Ripple20 Is a Pack of Almost 20 Bugs Affecting Millions of Devices
    • Specifically, it’s pinned to a service called Treck with DNS support
    • The bugs can cause Denial of Service all the way up to Remote Code Execution
    • Affected devices can be just about anything since this is a supply chain flaw.
      • Essentially, a vulnerable piece of software is made available by, in this case Treck, and it is then taken by manufacturers and used in TONS of devices to add additional functionality without having to write code themselves.
      • Printers, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, Smart home thingies like thermostats and light bulbs. This library is truly pervasive.
    • Update your Treck libraries to 6.0.1.67 and all is well for every bug that’s part of Ripple20.
    • Easy right? Well, no, actually. When’s the last time you updated your smart light bulb? Your UPS? This problem will be with us for years. How many people do you think will hear these advisories? It’s been out for almost two weeks at the time of this recording.
    • Folks, it really is time to ask yourself if it’s worth having someone know everything about you, or take control of your network in exchange for being able to shut off a light from two rooms away.
    • NanoLeaf light panels, the app allows you to download other people’s light patterns and put them on

Announcements:

The next show will be Sunday, the 12th of July at 7PM UTC, 2PM US Central Time, 8PM British Summer Time

Wrap-up:

Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible … 

  • Hobstar for his work on the new logo
  • Josh for all his work on the website
  • Hacker Public Radio for the Mumble server we are using to record
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting mintcast.org and our Mumble server
  • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about.

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