mintCast 346.5 – The Midori Story

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1:30 Linux Innards
24:45 The Feedback
54:09 Check This Out
57:35 Outro

In our Innards section, we talk lesser known browsers

And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

LINUX INNARDS:

Browser Wars: Midori vs. Gnome Web

  • Bad News: Midori implemented the Blink engine in their latest version, and is no longer non-Google
  • Midori
    • Leo
      • From the Linux Mint repo, it works. It’s a solid browser with an ad blocker built in, but can be slow at times, especially when rendering video like webm or mp4.
      • Can be sluggish when rendering lots of javascript like in gmail
      • Javascript in places like Nextcloud, Notes specifically, was odd. The cursor would sometimes be in places I wouldn’t expect. It would clear out after some window resizing, and at that point, would be fantastic.
      • Javascript in places like Reddit was pretty bad. You would really feel it in situations where you were scrolling quickly, but there was lots of dynamic content. Sluggish overall.
      • From the appimage on the site, it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Chromium based browser. Great graphical acceleration, quick rendering, a good overall experience. But of course, it ain’t webkit.
    • Joshua Hawk
      • Midori from the repo (the webkit version) for me was almost totally unusable. I tried for a good 30 minutes to use it but the lagging and stuttering were too much.
      • Midori from the Appimage was great as far as performance goes but the theming for the window borders is from Windows 10. The dev told me I could re-theme is but I could not figure it out. 
  • Web
    • Moss
      • Web installed in Pop!_OS and ran. Installation aborted in Sabayon. Installed correctly in Gecko, but closed immediately upon launch. Installation in OpenMandriva was reported as successful, but I could not find the launcher for it.
      • Themes in Mint and Pop!_OS only included Light and Dark, and Dark did not force darkness on websites. I found several more themes for Web in Bodhi, four light and two dark, including a really nice “Terminal Dark” theme which did a much better job of keeping websites dark.
      • Web claims to be able to import my bookmarks and passwords from Firefox.
        • Bookmarks: Yes, but… It doesn’t import my bookmarks toolbar. Web tries to give me a tiled menu of those most-used, but that’s not the same.
        • Passwords: No. No idea why. That might be actually a protection provided by Firefox. I’m beginning to think it’s time to invest in a password manager.
      • Otherwise, I just can’t find the workflow. Opening and closing tab controls are not obvious. This browser needs a lot of work.
      • Has anyone tried Pale Moon lately? It’s a Firefox fork with a start.me opening page… it is interesting to note that its .deb packages are residing on an openSUSE website…
    • Joe
      • I tested out both of these lightweight browsers and they are lightweight.  
      • This makes them somewhat boring and I can see that they are for specific use cases
      • Either low end machines like the Pi or older hardware
      • Or for people that dont want to use the more mainstream browsers
      • They were both quick and easy to use despite my unfamiliarity but i think that i am just way too far embedded into the chrome echo system
    • Leo
      • The experience was very similar to webkit Midori. Honestly, they didn’t really feel different.
    • Joshua Hawk
      • Gnome Web has been fairly good. Web comes close to midori and firefox on performance but just loses by a hair. The theming is right but the top bar is large. I like a more compact top bar on my windows.
  • Can you use Midori or Gnome Web as your daily driver?

VIBRATIONS FROM THE ETHER:

  • Larry Murphy

106 OSes

https://books.google.com/books?id=lJjuDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA169&lpg=PA169&dq=how+to+multiboot+106+OSes&source=bl&ots=eBCi4OQb7M&sig=ACfU3U1VEENP8H0RHyF5FE_VIGUiTneibw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwilrvvg_Z3sAhVFYTUKHVLcBRc4ChDoATABegQICBAC

  • John Wallis
  • Erik Lietz
  • Hilander

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/creeped-out-schools-turn-to-technology-in-pandemic-to-catch-online-cheaters-1.5141633

https://london.ctvnews.ca/software-used-by-universities-to-prevent-cheating-suffers-security-breach-closes-down-during-exams-1.5148790

  • Brad Alexander

Hey guys,

First, I wanted to circle back around on a couple of things. Joe, my HBS920s gave up the ghost. I woke up this morning and pulled them off the charger, and it had split on one of the joints closest to the back of the neckband (I can send you a picture if you like)…So I have my eye on a set of HBS910s on ebay. There is also a crack running along the top neckband from where it split toward the earpiece. I can send you pics if you are interested…

Second item…Leo, Do you only use your NAS for backups? That is the one thing that I don’t use my NAS for. Currently, I use it for storage, my video and music assets are all on it, all of my movies and TV shows, as well as my mp3 collection. Plus my ebook library, various forms, and other stuff, paperwork, forms, etc.

So what do I do for backups? I have several levels of backups. First, on my FreeBSD boxes, I do ZFS snapshots. I have the following set up:

  • 1 snapshot every 15 minutes
  • 24 hourlies
  • 7 dailies
  • 4 weeklies
  • 12 monthlies

Then I also run a server in the rack in the basement, on which I run backuppc, that backs up all of the systems on my network. If you haven’t played with backuppc, you should. It is perl based, agentless, and backs up using tar, rsync, or smb (on a per-host basis). It is very space efficient and does deduplication:

There are 11 hosts that have been backed up, for a total of:

  • 31 full backups of total size 870.28GB (prior to pooling and compression),
  • 48 incr backups of total size 216.80GB (prior to pooling and compression).

Finally, things which are critical, like backups of tax returns, family pictures and stuff which I need to keep offsite, I use the Tarsnap site for backups. Tarsnap was written by Colin Percival, who was the FreeBSD security officer. I can store what I need to (several gigs) in tarsnap, and $20 will last me for a year or more. Check it out. It is an amazing application. And since it works pretty much like tar, it is pretty straightforward to use.

Now on to new business. My home office. I consider myself lucky, because I think I was prescient wrd the setup of my home office. We built this house 19 years ago, and when we did, I told the builder to take the formal living room, close off the door to the diinig room, and we made this the office. I ran 500′ cat5e (remember, it was 2001) all over the house, including the office. I had him run a separate circuit to this room and the basement, where I have a 42U data center rack so the computers are isolated. I bought a corner desk, and my wife has an L desk. The other thing for me is that we are empty nesters, our kids have all moved out. So when covid hit, and they said work from home, I was like “yes, please!” Instead of a 100 mile round trip commute and 3-4 hours a day in the car, I get up, pull on sweatpants, make the 20′ commute to the office, fire up the VPN, and go into the kitchen looking for coffee. So what does my hardware look like? I have commie-cast for internet. From the cable modem, it goes into my pfSense firewall. From there to a TPLink 24 port GigE switch.

My workstation has my personal laptop (left), a Thinkpad W520 running FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE, my desktop (center) which is a homebuilt box with a Core 17-6850K, 16GB of RAM, and an nVidia GTX780Ti driving a 26″ acer IPS display for video, also running FreeBSD 12.1-RELEASE, My work laptop (right) is a Dell Latitude running Devuan Linux (no systemd!). I inherited a 34″ 21:9 ultrawide monitor from my son-in-law when he decided to get a 55″ 4ktv for his monitor. I used to have a 24′ monitor and the laptop display, which I was having a problem seeing the tiny fonts, but I like my screen real estate.

We use ms teams at work, so for audio, I use my iphone and LG HBS810. For audio on the desktop, I have a set of Sennheiser wireless headphones.

Anyway, that’s how I roll. Hopefully I won’t ever have to go back on a daily basis.

Joe Boylan

Wow that is a lot of computer equipment at the house.  Would love to talk some more about it on the show, if we can convince the rest of the team.

as to the lgs, yeah once they start cracking there isn’t anything that you can do except strip them for parts and move on.

I have the sennheiser Urbanite XL’s, they were originally a fairly expensive headset with decent sound quality and a nice feel.  I hate them.  The touch controls are an interesting idea but it is in a position such that it is very easy to set off accidently with your shoulder or when adjusting the fit.

Brad Alexander

Heck, that is just in the office. Downstairs, I have a data center rack, and it contains

* a Dell PE1950 that runs proxmox-ve, and my openvz containers (an ancient version that I am working on retiring). Eventually it will be a FreeBSD machine for hosting jails.

* a Dell PE1850 on which I run backuppc. This will be retired and donated to my church soon. I will run backuppc in a jail on my FreeNAS eventually.

On the bottom shelf, the small box is my HP T610 that is my pfSense box, and the tower case on the right is my FreeNAS, 6 3TB drives, in a RAID-Z2. The reason for this is that over the years, I have done a lot of training on my home systems. As a sysadmin, setting up and maintaining various boxes and tools, as a security engineer, being able to hack on things, and as a devops guy (which I’m really not), teaching myself stuff like puppet and ansible and satstack.

as to the lgs, yeah once they start cracking there isn’t anything that you can do except strip them for parts and move on.

Anything I can salvage other than the rubber earbuds and the mesh caps for the earpieces? I’m just hoping these HBS910s I bought are worth it. IMHO, that was the pinnacle of the HBS line. I almost bought a set of LG Tone HBS-SL5, but I saw enough 1-, 2-, and 3-star reviews that said the usual about more recent LG headsets (e.g. poor microphone quality, and abyssmal customer service, and poor build quality). So I’ll try the 910s and if they don’t work, I’ll try the SL5s.

I have the sennheiser Urbanite XL’s, they were originally a fairly expensive headset with decent sound quality and a nice feel.  I hate them.  The touch controls are an interesting idea but it is in a position such that it is very easy to set off accidently with your shoulder or when adjusting the fit.

I love Sennheiser earphones in general, but would never have an over-the-ear headset. In fact, I think it is illegal to wear headphones while driving. I have had the HDR130 headphones for many years, and I still love them. They are pure wireless, 900MHz, I believe. Like Bo said, I can walk around the house with them on.

Thanks,

–b

Brad Alexander

Forgot to include the rack picture…

Joe Boylan

Once again I say we should have you on the show to discuss your setup.  Now just gotta convince everyone else.  

the salvageable parts on a pair of lgs with a cracked frame: 

The battery– even if it is not the same size as the next headphones they will be the same voltage so they are reusable so as they are bloated or non recoverable dead

The Buds wire and reel assembly of a retractable if using another of the same model– in most cases it does have to be the same model in order to go into the next model but this is not always the case and when setting up a different retractable if one side goes out it is better to replace the whole assembly if you cant save the whole assembly or dont want to the thin wire is really good for projects

The buttons and sliders– Always good to have extras if you work on a lot of headsets because they are easy to lose and needed for functionality

Same goes for the tiny screws which are useful in many projects 

Yeah I usually only use over ear headsets at the house although I do like to take a pair to work to let people know that I really don’t want to talk to them today.  its also a good way to avoid conversations at the gym but it does somewhat limit the exercises that you can do

Brad Alexander

I’m not sure that Leo is going to want me gushing and squeeing and fanboying over FreeBSD and ZFS on a Linux Mint podcast. 😀

I’ll save the parts you suggested, tough I don’t work on headsets ever. If nothing else, I could send you the parts I recover… I don’t have two of the same set. I have an HBS-700, an HBS-730, the 810 I mentioned, and the now-dead 920s. I ordered a set of 910s, those being sort of the pinnacle of the HBS line.

Having said that, have you heard anything about any of the newer ones like the newer ones like the HBS-SL5s with the “Meridian” audio? I think it is the next in the downhill slide of the LG headsets, judging from the amazon reviews.

I use my HBS phones at work, because I also use them as hearing protection at the range, and I use a set of over-the-ear for exactly the same reason as you do. Those are my do not disturb headphones. 🙂

Thanks,

–b

Joe Boylan

I like the 770s because they are the easiest to work on and have a better mic than the 780s.  The 810s are pretty cool and the retractables are easy to replace but you essentially have to replace it with the same model earbud from the same side on another headset.  It gets worse as you move down the tree to the later ones having to replace the entire lower assembly.  LG has almost always had quality issues(other than a really good mic) in that the cables on the earbuds are really thin and really cheap and prone to breaking either at the earbud or where the bud goes into the casing.  That is why my first fixes were always shortening the cable on one side to get rid of the break.  I was doing it every 6 months or so, which is why even running several of them in rotation I would occasionally have to get a new set because the cables were getting too short.  I think i have 20 working ones right now but i am only using the 5 that i modded with all new cables and connectors, only one of which currently has a side out and needs to be repaired.

I do plan on trying a couple of different variations of the mods in the future but i have kind of dialed back about talking about it on the show because i don’t really think people like hearing about it as much as i like talking about it. 

Brad Alexander

I like the retractibles because I don’t like the loose cable tickling my neck, especially under a collared shirt. So the first retractibles I got were a set of 912s (I believe those were 910s rebranded for Costco).They went out (I don’t even remember why/how), and I was able to return them. Then I picked up the 920s, but people couldn’t hear me on them for phone calls. So I bought the 810s…The audio isn’t as good, but at least people can hear me on calls.

Joe Boylan

i wonder if you can move the mic from the 810 to the 920

Brad Alexander

Nothing I would want to try. Like the respondent in your last mail section, it’s been too long for me with a soldering iron…

CHECK THIS OUT:

  • Moss – We talked about this earlier, but just had to say, if you’re using Gnome 3, you could be using Pop Shell. It’s an easy install and brings some cool features to Gnome including something similar to i3wm usability. 
  • Joe

Announcements:

  • Our next episode will be Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 pm US Central Standard Time, 8 pm UTC. Check when this will be in your local timezone at https://everytimezone.com/s/7d8c1119.
  • Note both the US and UK will have time changes (“fall back” 1 hour) between mintCasts 346 & 347, so those times remain the same, but this makes the UTC time 1 hour later than before.

Wrap-up:

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

  • Josh Lowe for all his work on the website
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting mintcast.org and our Mumble server
  • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
  • HPR for our Mumble backup
  • Hobstar for our logo
  • Londoner for our time zone link
  • Owen Peery for our audio editing
  • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem!>

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