mintCast 315 – Les, Dan and the Banter (mp3)


In the first half, Dan learns Jekyll and Ruby web development, Les teaches kids to code in Manchester, Leo has been testing Ubuntu 19.04 and attending a wedding, Bo is now certified, Tony Hughes has been Volunteering again and running ‘ARCH’, Moss is Distrohopping big time and is getting a new Pi 2B, Josh is publishing another issue of his magazine, and Joe buys new ‘old’ laptops for the kids and plays with Pis.

Then, our news, we discuss new hardware, the death of the floppy drive (or not), Demise of another Linux magazine and some controversy in the OS world.

We save the security section for the second half in the interest of time.


  • Dan
    • I’ve been coming to terms with Jekyll and Ruby web development. I forked the OggCamp website on GitHub into a new branch and hacked a new theme onto it. More work than it sounds. –
    • Liverpool LUG – I talked about video streaming and OBS on Linux. I also now have a new MiraBox HSV321 USB capture card that works well on Linux. It even advertises that it works on Ubuntu and Ubuntu Mate right next to Windows and Mac – on the box.
    • What’s the LUG situation like where you guys are? There’s been a lot of discussion here in the UK about the decline of LUGs.
    • I am currently wrestling with getting my other podcast Tales Of The Unattested into iTunes or Apple podcasts as it’s now called. It looks as though I need an iTunes account where I’ve bought something from them. How do you guys deal with this? Is that true? Am I the only person who has never used iTunes? Hehe 😀 – UPDATE: I just tried this again on the Apple Podcasts Connect website, and I have to sign a legal agreement just to sign in, WTF??!!!
  • Les
  • Leo
    • Spent some time in Austin for a wedding. Had a great time!
      • Fry’s is dying.
    • Playing with the Transparent Panels extension in Mint.
      • Desktop Cube and Wobbly Windows are available!
    • Upgraded to Mint 19.2
      • Weather Applet was out of date, had to uninstall and reinstall – though I think I could have got along fine just updating in the Downloads section. I was too quick to remove to get a good test — This was step two in the Upgrade Instructions!
      • Really enjoying the return of the Ubuntu fonts in Mint 19.2.
    • Been testing how I get along on Ubuntu 19.04. Overall very usable.
  • Bo
  • Tony H
    • We recorded our 4th episode of Distrohoppers Digest which went well, a few glitches with the post production process with feedburner not allowing file sizes greater than 1Mb once I realised this I was able to resolve the issue. (212 downloads as of today!)
    • Ordered a new 4Tb HDD as my second backup drive is only 2TB and Full.
    • I’ve been in Birmingham at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre doing some voluntary work which is why I missed the last show, although fortunately I was free to record DHD so I got one podcast recorded form there.
    • Watching the new episode of Red Dwarf (look up the Automobile Association Advert on YouTube)
    • Finally I can say “I Run Arch” in the guise of Endeavor OS, and surprise, surprise, I quite like it. Then Bo goes and tells me he hasn’t got it running at the moment so archCast is on hold for the moment. :-)) [Moss is also giving strong consideration to Manjaro for September]
  • Moss
    • We had a splendid time recording Episode 004 of Distrohoppers’ Digest, and have had a lot of feedback, mostly positive except for those who don’t like my choice of music. I’ve downloaded a few things to try for the August show. Some of our listeners have derided me gently for refusing to use Arch. I am slipping on that stand, but not this month. And they became even more amused when they found I have been running Sabayon, which is Gentoo at the core. It is sweet, Gentoo or no. I’m fighting with Mageia 7.1, and am ready to give up.
    • The IdeaPad has been completely reworked. Our listener Kat wondered why I set it up with Legacy Boot, so I started over with UEFI. That went so poorly that I went back to Legacy Boot and started over again. I now have a partition table which more resembles that of my ThinkPad, other than being equal sized partitions.  If you want to know what’s on them… hold your breath and wait for Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 005, to be recorded on August 28, 2019.
    • One of the listeners of Distrohoppers’ Digest has taken pity on me and is sending me a Raspberry Pi 2B… paying postage from UK. While I am more than slightly embarrassed, I would love to be even more embarrassed by someone sending me an Entroware or Juno laptop (or a US listener send me a large System76 laptop)… I am poor, I am humble, but I am not too proud to accept silicon charity.
    • History lesson and outcome: We raised $130 back in April and May for me to go to SouthEast LinuxFest if sufficient funds were raised. Many thanks to the users who did donate to this effort, which was started by listener Jackie Moore. We didn’t get close to what was needed. $20 of that was earmarked by the donor to be used for my wife’s immigration case should the fundraiser fail, leaving $110 to be accounted for. I stated that I would donate this money, split between Linux Mint and I donated $55 on June 3 to Linux Mint in the name of the mintCast team; it shows in the July newsletter. The other donation of $55 to was made on August 8. And we also got the immigration case in the mail to USCIS.
  • Josh
    • Been finishing off Issue 5 of micro:mag. We released on Friday and we got a really good response. It’s interesting to see how releasing on a weekday effects downloads. We normally do it at the weekends.
    • Installed Deepin on my laptop but had to uninstall due to them messing up the download repositories.
    • Installing Linux requires a Bitlocker key when you boot into Windows for the first time.
    • I installed Zorin OS and the desktop is lovely, the dark theme is really nice.
    • I managed to install MS Office using Crossover which is a plus. It works well except for the odd glitch but that’s expected.
    • I’ve had troubles with UK based, eBuyer over returning my GPU. It’s going to take 28 days to even get a response. They’re known for misleading customers over return. Even though they’re sorting it for me, they keep claiming the warranty is with the manufacturer and not them. Hopefully it’s sorted soon.
    • In other returns news, Google were really good about my Pixel 3. I sent it to them and in under a week of me posting it, I had a brand new unopened phone sent back. If only eBuyer could be the same 😀
  • Joe
    • Boring again
    • Bought 3 old laptops for a really good price and will be setting them up for my kids
      • However they require Windows for school 🙁
      • Updated one of them to Windows 10.  Not sure if it will be good enough to do the tasks required
      • The HP mini was a bit of a surprise
        • First tried Windows 10 install but it would only bluescreen after the install for some driver reason.  May try while connected to ethernet but i don’t know if that affects the install with Windows.
        • Installed Linux Mint MATE 64 which worked great
        • Did a YouTube test and the pages loaded smooth and video played at lower quality in fullscreen mode with no stuttering or glitching
        • Thinking about using the Mini as a test box or file server since it is too hot for the drives to work well in my garage.  For now i may just put my hdd box inside connected to my actual server.
        • If I don’t use one of the Pi’s for that
        • May set it up as a Batocera box for the kids
      • Reread the Iron Druid series in a couple of weeks
        • Wanted a somewhat familiar series for the long drive to Florida and back so that i had something to keep me occupied but not so much that I became distracted
        • Spent a few days hanging out with my parents and grandparents
        • My kids are home now
      • One of my monitors died out in the garage so a friend was kind enough to give me another.
        • Did have to get another tv mount stand but it worked out well
      • Also getting all of my older pi’s ready for some projects
        • Want to try out Volumio since I was a bit disappointed in the Mopidy builds i have done before
        • Going to setup another pi hole but keep it restricted to the kids router if i can
        • Still have not set up a Steamlink on the Pi and I have wanted to for a while.
      • Took an old clock and removed the mechanical portion, added the echo input and a bluetooth speaker
        • Thinking about redoing the face portion and adding a proper mount instead of two sided tape.


    • Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon, MATE and XFCE Released
    • Note 10 Announced
      • Note 10: 6.3-inch Full HD, HDR10+ display, three rear cameras (16MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto), 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a 3,500mAh battery. $945 – 1299
      • Note 10 Plus: 6.8-inch QHD, HDR10+ display, four rear cameras (16MP ultra-wide, 12MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto, DepthVision camera), 12GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of storage and a 4,300mAh battery. $1099 – 1399
      • NexDock 2
    • Librem 5 Phone Price + Specs Finalised Josh
      • Processor: i.MX8M (Quad Core) max. 1.5GHz
      • Memory: 3GB RAM
      • Storage: 32 GB eMMC internal storageJoshJosh
      • Display : 5.7″ IPS TFT screen @ 720×1440
      • Front Camera: 8 MPixel
      • Back Camera: 13 MPixel w/LED flash
      • Sound: 1 earpiece speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
      • $700!!
    • Pinephone $150, not yet available but then neither is the Librem 5.
      • Allwinner A64 Quad Core SOC with Mali 400 MP2 GPU
      • 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM
      • 5.95″ LCD 1440×720, 18:9 aspect ratio (hardened glass)
      • Bootable Micro SD,
      • 16GB eMMC
      • HD Digital Video Out
      • USB – C (Power, Data and Video Out)
      • Quectel EG-25G with worldwide bands
      • WiFi: 802.11 /b/g/n, single-band, hotspot capable
      • Bluetooth: 4.0, A2DP
      • Vibrator
      • RGB status LED
      • Selfie and Main camera (2/5Mpx respectively)
      • Main Camera: Single OV6540, 5MP, 1/4″, LED Flash
      • Selfie Camera: Single GC2035, 2MP, f/2.8, 1/5″
      • Sensors: accelerator, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, ambient light
      • 3 external switches, up down and power
      • Hardware switches: LTE/GNSS, WiFi, Microphone, Speaker, USB
      • Samsung J7 Form-Factor 3000mAh replacable battery
      • Headphone Jack
    • The Death of the Floppy Drive Report Responsibly! It’s not out of the kernel yet, and no direct plans are in place to do that.
    • The Right To Choose: LibreOffice or SoftMaker FreeOffice… or no office at all. Manjaro offers nonfreedom, draws the wrath of many. SoftMaker has apparently also agreed to modify FreeOffice so that it *can* save to MS formats, a feature previously removed to encourage purchases of SoftMaker Office.
    • LibreOffice 6.3 Released
      • Compatibility with drawingML, SmartArt, and Pivot Tables has been improved
      • Faster loading, lookups and overall performance in Calc and Writer
      • And a quick-launch drop-down in Calc to access frequently used formulas
    • ZFS Coming to Ubuntu 19.10
    • The Linux Journal Ceases Publication


      • Linux Format is still publishing


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

  • Josh for working on redesigning our website, setting up the YouTube stream, and providing lots of technical help.
  • Bytemark hosting for providing the new hosting server for the website.
  • for hosting our audio files.
  • The folks at Hacker Public Radio for the Mumble server we use to communicate
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about. [Thanks Clem!]


One Reply to “mintCast 315 – Les, Dan and the Banter (mp3)”

  1. Henrik Hemrin

    This is more of comments and reflections on this episode, not really that you need to respond.
    – You (Josh) talked about CrossOver from CodeWeavers. I have used CodeWeavers (currently on Mac, but I may use it on Linux instead later) for a while for a certain Windows application. Yes, it has a bit of cost. Not so seldom, they have campaigns (e.g. check their Twitter account). Also good is that they support Wine, so it helps Wine too when purchasing CrossOver.
    – micro:mag; I admit I haven’t actually read the content yet, which is what really matters, but Josh & team, the layout is impressive!
    – About mobiles, I feel as the MintCast team generally prefer Android in favor over iOS. Is it because the variety of phones incl. price levels? Or because it’s Linux-based? My feeling is that iOS is less messy and more secure and private (considering combination of the OS and the respective company behind them. I do follow progress on “real” Linux phones, and other alternatives, will be interesting what happens, and if they really can attract so apps will be available.
    – I can also confirm Linux Mint 19.2 upgrade went very smooth for me, it simply worked! Mint is a good distro…!

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