mintCast 339 – OLTs? More Like OLGeez

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1:46 Wanderings
40:36 News
54:43 Security
1:04:28 Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, Joshua Hawk is fighting with his mic, I upgrade all the things, Tony Hughes inkscapes and breaks lockdown, Moss gets Full Circle love, and Joe does TV repair

Then, in the news, Linux is more popular than ever, there’s a snake in my boot menu, Firefox fixes the fixes, and more

In security, DuckDuckGo Stops, and hackers are stealing your interwebs.

BI-WEEKLY WANDERINGS: 

  • Joshua Hawk
    •  I have been searching for the perfect linux desktop distro for the past 2 plus years and have been everywhere from Linux Mint to Manjaro. I was on solus for about a year and then found out that it did not have the software I needed. The beginning of this year I settled back on linux mint for my main desktop and have also enjoyed openSUSE especially for servers. 
    • Before the show I had a major issue with my mic on my desktop. The audio sounded like I put the mic out of the window of a moving car. I figured it out and It happened to be the overclock on my desktop, it was really bad.
  • Leo
    • Finally got the desktop upgraded to LM20, but haven’t done anything fancy with it yet. The kernel is 5.4, and I don’t want to wait til November to get a newer one. I’ll probably move to Ukuu soon. Same with Mesa. 20.2 has given me lots of performance improvement
    • Had a couple bugs show up in LM20 on the laptop.
      • Bluetooth stutters a lot
      • cinnamon-screensaver freezes the screen in an unlocked state after waking up from suspend. However, this has been resolved.
    • Warpinator. Fantastic. It may not be better than whatever you have now, but it’s really, really good.
      • It is quite literally AirDrop for Linux.
    • I’ve installed Chromium using the Apt pinning solution provided by Clem. Chromium… is annoying. It will crash every now and then.
    • Excited to see the new episode of Linux User Space hit the internet. Tomorrow if you’re listening live, yesterday if you’re listening on mintCast release day, and a while back if you listen later. Any which way. July 12th.
  • Tony H
    • This last 2 weeks have been a little more relaxed as the lock down here in England has relaxed quite a lot so a friend came up from London and stayed a few days which was great as we had not seen each other for over 4 years. It is one of those friendships that we may not talk for months but when we do it is like it was just a few days ago. I sent him home with a loaf of homemade sourdough bread and one of my Matchbox models from the early 1960’s that he remembered having as a child.
    • The new printer is working well and I have started to use Inkscape more to design decals for the model restorations, as this gives a much better result when printing them out despite the small scale you can tell if they are just scaled photo reproductions of the original decal, although for some of the decals a upscaled picture of an original can work. There was a problem with Inkscape 0.92 not allowing me to flow text to a path, so I installed the Flatpak of 1.0 and this is working well in the new version. I’ve now got some laser decal paper and will try that out soon!!!! 
    • I’ve been using bunsenlabs Linux on the Distrohoppers laptop and it is very lightweight in respect of resources, I’m also getting more use to using keyboard shortcuts to access the web browser and various things, although I’m still using the mouse to access menus although you can use a shortcut to bring up a run menu to start software so it is possible not to use the mouse unless the software needs mouse input. As it is based on Debian 10 (Buster) then the software is a little dated but it is not a major issue as it all works.
    • Joe joined my Zoom LUG meeting last week at 4AM in the morning! ‘His’ time, that is what I call dedication or serious insomnia!!!!  
    • I joined BDLL Europe edition last night and had a good time geeking out with the crew again, I no longer feel able to stay up till 3-4am Sunday Mornings due to the disruption to my sleep pattern so the Monthly Euro edition is my BDLL fix at the moment.
  • Moss
    • I wrote up a bio of my computing life for the Linux Mint telegram group and the members insisted I submit it to Full Circle Magazine. I did so, and it was accepted for a future issue. So then I submitted my little writeup on Ventoy to FCM, and it was accepted for a NEAR future issue: Ronnie not only accepted it for an App Pick but said he was going to rush off and try it himself. Feeling good about this. If you want to read the bio, I posted it as a blog on LinuxQuestions.org. I also posted the Ventoy article as a blog, and you should also see Leo’s video.
    • I had a problem with Manjaro booting when Linux Mint 19.3 controlled Grub. I used my Ventoy stick to boot to Manjaro’s GRUB and ran grub-install there, which worked fine. I tried the OpenMandriva GRUB, and that didn’t want to work quite right (but it worked later when I went back to it). So I let Manjaro control GRUB. The guys in the Telegram group told me to try this and that, but none of it fit into my head at the time.
    • On Saturday night, the 3rd of July, I downloaded three versions of openSUSE Leap 15.2 and copied them to my Ventoy stick. I then got Joshua Hawk talking with me in the Distrohoppers’ Digest Telegram room, and figured out that Leap refuses to load from Ventoy (although Tumbleweed does work in Ventoy). So I burned a stick by itself for the netinstaller… and it could not find the website online. Did I log into my modem correctly? I don’t know. So at 23.30, I started an installation using the DVD installer on a USB stick. There were a couple times when I didn’t know what to do and Joshua helped me out. For some reason, the installer did not see my 2 Gb EFI sector, and reported I didn’t have one which was at least 550 Mb. I went ahead with the installation… and it completed. But  when I attempted to boot, it again said it could not find any boot for itself. I booted to Manjaro and attempted to fix the boot using Grub Customizer, but no. I now have a complete installation of openSUSE Leap 15.2, but no way to boot to it. I have asked for help in the openSUSE forum on LinuxQuestions.org but so far the answers are lacking understanding on one side or the other. 
    • Due to this issue, I still have no distro for the next Distrohoppers’ Digest. I tried going with BionicPup64, but it obviously is not meant to be run as a daily driver and has problems updating to current versions of apps. Still trying to work around this issue.
    • I received a Canakit with a Raspberry Pi 4, 4 Gb model, from my old friend and mintCast listener, Firecat. It’s assembled, and I only plugged it in, without OS, to make sure that it runs and to determine that it did not have a blue LED on the fan like Firecat’s fan did.
    • I received the Hyundai Technology Koral 10×3 tablet I talked about last show. But in the end, it was not even close to the hype: The advertising said it was as powerful as a desktop PC; the reality was that it was not half as powerful as my Moto X4 phone. I could not load GIF images; the camera was poor; motion in videos was blurry. I returned it to Target for full credit, and the return process was sweet as could be.
    • I did buy another tablet, helped by listener cryptodan. This one is unbranded on Amazon but met all the specs and was even cheaper, and came with an included cover, screen protector, and earphones. It is considerably better than the Hyundai was, and you can even avoid going full Android as most Google apps need to be installed. The brand turned out to be DUODUOGO, the price was $84 (although they’re sold out of the black one, and the gold one they have now – also not labeled by the brand, but called “Novel TTT” is $90). Very generic, MediaTek SoC with Mali 400 GPU. I really, really like this tablet, and have been talking about it a lot on our Telegram groups. I’ve posted a review on the new site, and am trying to elicit help in getting it to layout right. I still wish I could have gotten a PineTab, so I could have actual Linux on a tablet.
    • I was goofing around with Leo and the DHD gang on Telegram about my threatened joke site, It’s MOSS. And Cryptodan put up the money for 2 years’ domain registration, and Firecat gave me webspace, so dammit, I had to write the site. I quickly learned how much WordPress has changed, to the point that I had serious trouble even getting stuff to publish to the site and still don’t have the menus and stuff right.
    • On Thursday night the 9th, I attempted to run the Mint 20 Upgrade. I got lots of error messages, several restarts, repeated it to see if I got the same errors, and I did. So I gave up on it, and reported the same to the Linux Mint Telegram group. I booted my machine normally on Friday afternoon, and watched the usual things I watch. About 22.00, I saw an icon I didn’t recognize, telling me I had updates, and then noticed that several other icons were more Dark Mode than I was used to. I went to my computer and opened the Welcome Screen, to see that it reported I was now running Mint 20. So I opened my Terminal and ran sudo apt autoremove to get rid of the old 19.3 files, which went smoothly. I did have to install the flatpak of Mumble, and had to reinstall Kodi as there is no PPA for Focal as yet.
    • My wife has been in increasing amounts of pain, and her doctor does not seem to be willing to do anything and the chiropractor does not seem able to do anything. We are exploring other options. I just started physical therapy for my shoulder; more pain, but some increase in motion as of today. My mother is still alive and about as well as a 91-year-old woman can be expected. And we haven’t read any Dresden since before the last show. Which leads us to Joe.
  • Joe
    • Restarted the Dresden Files books so I can be all caught up when Peace Talks comes out on the 14th
    • Picked up a 60 inch 1080p TV for free with a bad HDMI chip.  HDMI did not work at all.  So I purchased a 16 dollar adapter for HDMI-to-composite and everything on the TV is working great
      • But it is hooked up to my little mini PC in the garage. which does not seem to have the graphical processing power to handle two large TVs at the same time, so I get a bit of screen tearing but I swapped the outputs of the 2 TVs and that helps the tearing a lot.  Lowering the resolution on both screens got rid of it almost entirely
      • Plus it is a plasma which probably won’t do well out in the heat for very long
      • But hey — free
    • Because it is a plasma I really can’t leave it on all the time either so I ordered an IR Blaster hub that works with Alexa since I wont be able to hook the TV up to the smart outlet, which I doubt would be able to provide enough power throughput.  
      • It works very well with both of the TVs that i have out there which are both LG
      • So I have timers setup on the computers to turn it off and the blaster to be able to quickly turn both back on.
      • This seems like a low cost substitute for a harmony remote.  You don’t need to use Alexa, you can use your phone.  Reminds me a lot of the Note 3 and Galaxy Tab 2
    • Also worked with an NFC tag and IFTTT to get some silent actions on some of my smart devices so I don’t wake the wife when I go to bed after her.  It was not too hard to setup but you have to do it from the individual apps instead of directly from Alexa which can get a little annoying 
    • Redoing my work space out in the garage because of the replacement TV.
      • Pulled out every extension cord and plug and got rid of the TV stand and a desk so far.  Reboxing some of the storage, throwing some things away and giving away some other things trying to make room for new projects
    • Priced getting ethernet run out to the garage.  Didn’t like the prices but hey I kinda expected it.  I miss having friends around that have the tools and the skills to do that type of thing.
      • It is now run and I have much more stable speeds and should be able to do several projects.
      • I moved my server out there but I don’t know how it will handle the heat of the garage.
      • I need to check the cable from the router to the wall but I am not seeing speeds as fast I should in the garage
      • Have not used the tower as a PC in a while although I have kept up with updates I may completely reformat and start over 
    • Attended Tony H LUG because I could.  
      • It was fun talking TV shows and books.
      • 4 am is a terrible time for a LUG but I had a lot of fun
      • Thanks for inviting me and I may join again.
    • Sold all of the working f*** Insignia Headphones.
      • Did not make much of a profit doing it and they were not fun to work on.  
      • Will not buy Insignia headphones again.  I have yet to find any that were worth the cost which is saying a lot considering I got this set for a bout a dollar a piece 
    • I only have one of the Skullcandy Crushers left which means I have sold 3 of them not including the ones with the 3D printed hinges.  
      • Have made a decent profit selling these so far
      • Paid less than 90 for the headphones 
      • Sold 3 so far at 60 dollars each so I have doubled my money
      • Seems like this might be a good time of year to sell cans
      • Have given or traded 2 of the ones with 3D printed hinges.
        • One to my daughter which she loves
        • One to a listener in exchange for a broken laptop
        • I am also using one of the ones with 3D printed hinges which leaves one left.  Wonder what I should do with it
    • Put a graphics card into my server and set it up to use as a desktop in my garage
      • I let it sit for a day powered in my garage to make sure that it was stable and had no problems
      • In the wee hours of the morning i could not sleep so i finished hooking it up to my monitors and after some finagling it worked although I had intermittent cut outs on one of the monitors which I was still troubleshooting and thinking that it was an issue with power
      • I did the upgrade path for Linux Mint 20 although I did have to go through 19.3 to get there.  The power cut part-way through the update
      • It was not hard to fix, just restarted and configure all and it was done
      • The upgrade path required removing all the external repos so it removed x2go docker resilio sync and plex
      • Installed a couple of applications since the update required removal of some of the repos
      • It shut down again but I was monitoring temperatures.  While they were higher than I would have liked, they should not have caused the shut off
      • I let the machine sit for about ten minutes and then powered it on again.  It powered back off after the login twice.
      • But the third time it shut off before the login was finished so it was not programmatical 
      • Turns out both of my back up power supplies were also bad.  One provided no power and the other would turn on and then turn off.
      • My assumptions of the possibilities at this point are 
        • The power supply is bad and I need a new one
        • The motherboard is bad and I need a new one
        • There is a problem with the motherboard cpu combo and I need a new motherboard
        • Any way you cut it I need new hardware
        • Haven’t decided if I am going to get the new mobo power supply and reuse the processor and ram or if I am just going to completely upgrade

THE NEWS: 

SECURITY UPDATE

Announcements:

The next show will be Sunday, the 26th 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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