mintCast 317 – Yak Shaving (mp3)


This week, in our Wanderings, Toyam (Void Linux maintainer) shaves a yak and gets to soldering, I blew up and recovered my Mint install, Tony’s been editing audio and LUGing, Josh has been playing with Windows Subsystem for Linux , and Joe finally gets the Note 10

Then, in our news we cover the Linux Mint Monthly News, exFAT in the kernel, iPhone and Android exploits and the new Pinebook Pro

In security, we talk Firefox and why you should give it another try


  • Toyam
    • Yak shaving: Need a calendar for my household, to share appointments and other plans, and can’t be Google, must work from the CLI…. Oh also should be offline compatible.
      • During a class last year I wrote the frontend for this calendar, but didn’t have a satisfactory backend.
      • So started investigating Wails, which lets you, like Electron, use javascript for your frontend, but Wails lets you build a golang backend.
        • Got Wails to support Void Linux.
        • But still working on linking my frontend with their backend.
    • Soldered parts onto a PCB I previously designed. I now regret choosing small parts (0402).
  • Leo
    • Broke my desktop Mint install by using ppa-purge for the padoka PPA so I can test the oibaf PPA for performance differences on my graphics card. Didn’t pay attention to what it was going to uninstall. It even makes you type in “Yes, do as I say!” Turns out, it uninstalled EVERYTHING. I watched icons disappear from Plank one-by-one. Checked the terminal and my jaw dropped. CTRL+C couldn’t save me here. SSDs are brutal for mistakes like this.
      • Luckily I don’t tinker with Mint on my laptop that way, or it could have been a bigger issue!
      • Timeshift saves the day.
      • Ended up reinstalling anyway since I still wanted to tinker with oibaf and didn’t want to go through recovery again. Backed up home, and started fresh.
    • Got a new mechanical keyboard for $15 after using some amazon credit that I didn’t know what to do with. Ended up buying a Velocifire 78-key keyboard with Outemu brown switches. They’re a little loud for my tastes, but it’s growing on me.
  • Tony H 
    • Editing the Audio for the last show, and was happy to say that it was the best effort I’ve made with the editing since I joined the show. For anyone out there trying to get to grips with audio recording and editing, stick with it as the only way you learn how it works is by doing it, you will find what works for you and your set up. We have a production guide that was written by Rob and Issac, and has been modified by us since, but you sometimes have to go with what works with the audio you have to work on and the setup that you have.
    • So for the next Distrohoppers digest review I’ve installed and been playing with OpenSUSE Tumbleweed, I seem to be developing a liking for rolling distributions. I’m also developing a liking for XFCE and installed this as the DE again as I had been using it in EndeavourOS.
    • We had the last meeting at the current makerspace venue which involved mainly taking away the equipment we wanted to transfer to the new venue (my Garage) over the next few weeks we will be reconnecting with our Linux roots and advertising the Saturday meetings in the local library as our LUG as it was in the old days. There maybe an opportunity to install the 3D printer at the library at a later date but for now we need to work on making my Garage fit to use the printer and Laser cutter at my place.
    • Getting more donations of PC’s, Les gave me a Tower from his uncle who passed away recently, this will be passed on to a charity after having Linux Mint 19.2 XFCE installed as its light on memory at only 2Gb of RAM.
    • Setting up a Dell Optiplex 7010 i5 with 8Gb Ram 240Gb SSD (Mint 19.2 Mate) and a 250Gb HDD (windows 10) For my better Half. Her old Pentium Dual core was well past its sell by date having Mint 17.3 and Windows 7 on a 160Gb HDD in dual boot mode. I set up Libreoffice Writer to ribbon mode as she uses MS Office at work so is more used to that interface. Her first comment once she went on line was that she can play some of the games that stopped working on the old PC due to an outdated Flash codec. One happy Wife, Life is Good 🙂  
    • Broke my phone today 🙁
  • Josh
    • Been playing around with WSL. I did use it back in the BETA stages but it’s much improved now.
    • I’ve found a VSCode plugin that allows you to edit files in folders that are within WSL. This allows me to do EduBlocks development in Windows. 
    • It’s quite obvious that this could now replace Linux for me and I do wonder what we will see in 10 years. Will linux distros be as popular or will Windows WSL get even better and be more popular?
    • Found a new OS called “CloudReady” from Neverware that lets you turn any PC into a Chromebook. It’s super cool!
    • I returned to school this week 🙁
    • The printed magazines are live! We’ve had so many orders, considering we thought we’d get none, we’re really happy. 
    • I got a new GPU. I opted for an Asus OC Nvidia RTX 2060. It’s amazing, the drivers actually work properly *cough AMD* and so far my experience of Nvidia is great. Real Time Ray Tracing is super cool, even though it’s not really implemented in anything. 
  • Joe
    • Have been taking a break from social media 
      • I am even behind on my podcast listening.
    • Have been listening to the wheel of time again
    • Got the Galaxy Note 10 plus
      • Still think it cost way too much but the wife convinced me to get it
      • Will come up with a full review
      • Android Dex is nice, works very well and easy
      • Linux on dex is not yet available for the Note 10+
      • The screen is brilliant. 
      • Transferred a 60 gig of data over wifi to the device very easily
      • Didnt even heat up using resilio sync with 60+ gb of data
      • Usb c dock worked without a hitch as did displaylink
        • Although Dex does not work over display link
      • Also want to test steam link with android on dex
    • Fixed an m.2 adapter with a faulty usb 3.0 b connection
    • Testing anlinux on the note 10+
      • It works very smooth, no hitches or delays that i have seen
      • Using ubuntu but it feels a lot more like trying to setup arch
        • Very minimal install 
        • Installed mate
        • Installed nautilus
        • Created a new user and attempted to install vlc
        • VLC installed but still will not launch
        • Further testing required
    • One of the few issues that i have found with my migration to the new phone is that a lot of my settings in podkicker did not migrate, although all of my subscriptions did so i have ended up with a backlog of pocasts



  • Firefox 69 blocks trackers by default!
    • By using the standard tracking profile built into the browser, Firefox 69 will block mainly 3rd party cookies: this means ads and their trackers.
    • Cryptominers are blocked by default!
    • Autoplay videos will be blocked by default, as well, and you can control how. Nothing at all, no audio only, or allow.
    • Firefox is also blocking Flash from automatically running without your explicit permission. The “Always activate” option has been removed.
    • This is for all platforms you can run Firefox on, not just Linux! That includes Windows, Android, MacOS and iOS.
    • New logo coming in 70!


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 and the livestream (We’ve had over 60 listeners today on the backup mixer platform and brought on some new listeners who’ve never heard of the podcast)
  • Bytemark Hosting for hosting and our Mumble server
  • 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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