mintCast 334 – Natural 20 (mp3)


First up, in our Wanderings, I dive into both Ubuntu and Fedora, Moss hops around as usual, Tony Watts tinkers with new audio gear, and Joe recommends devices to family.

Then, in the news, we’ll hit the Linux Mint Monthly News. And Releases! Ubuntu, Fedora, Manjaro and more increment by 1!

In security, GitLab pays $20,000

Bi-Weekly Wanderings:

  • Leo
    • I’ve secretly been using Fedora 31 for a few months on my desktop. Just testing, trying out stock gnome, and really just getting the feel for how the other side of the Debian/Red Hat divide live. It’s actually quite good.
    • Just yesterday, I upgraded to Fedora 32 and everything went off without a hitch.
    • For the full in-depth review, I’ll be on Distro Hopper’s Digest episode 13!
  • Moss
    • I installed Kubuntu on the partition which had held KDE neon. I had intended to  install it on the partition containing Ubuntu Studio 20.04 Beta, but I missed. No great loss, as they are different sides of the same coin. But that meant I still had to find something to replace Studio with.I asked the opinions of the DHD group and came up with Fedora, but then could not work my way successfully through the installer. 
    • After much thought, I went back to Sabayon. This time I did everything the right way, following the First Time Wiki. Using a USB2 stick, and installing to a bare metal spinning drive, I began at 22:52 and completed the job at 01:15, with no need to update my bootloader. 2 hours 23 minutes. That sure beats the 4+ hours it took the first time, when I did not do things like scan for better mirrors as told to in the wiki.
    • I’ve been having chats with listener Kevan in Ghana who is working on his own derivative of Slackware called Allegiant OS. He is now on his 100th revision. Not easy to do with a young wife and new baby girl.
    • Tony Hughes and I are getting ready for Episode 013 of Distrohoppers’ Digest, with special guest Leo Chavez! We’ll be recording on May 10th. Tony is reviewing Q4OS, an updated version, I’ll be doing Ubuntu Mate 20.04, and Leo is going to look at Fedora. He will probably even talk about gaming on Linux, something Tony and I just don’t do.
    • Last night I tried sudo apt install stacer in Ubuntu MATE. It installed. So Stacer is now in the Ubuntu repos.
    • This morning Mullvad is not creating a tunnel, so all feeds are blocked. This may be a feature of Ubuntu MATE 20.04 but I’ve been using it for weeks now with no issues. I have dropped a support note to Sanny at Mullvad. It could also be a temporary issue with Comcast…
    • Still reading Summer Knight, book 4 of Dresden Files. Watched four episodes of the 2007 TV show, still scratching our heads over why they didn’t actually use any material from the books.
    • I continue to heal from the car accident and look forward to finding employment, a hard thing to do in the days of COVID-19.  I’m finally getting the use of my right shoulder back, it’s about 70% today with some catches and pops. There has been more “real life” than “computer life” this fortnite, although I have of course kept all my distros updated and gotten ready for the next Distrohoppers’ Digest.
  • Tony Watts
    • New audio setup!
      • Presonus 24 C audio interface
      • MKL V57M condenser mic with shock mount
      • Works great on Dell 7130  tablet
      • Sadly, crashed and burned on my podcasting desktop – had not tested until right before the show
    • Redid retropie SD for the arcade cabinet, had become corrupted
      • Started from scratch, used Etcher 
      • Buster Version, upgrade by one version
      • Only bizarre issue, partition was created with almost no free space – had to resize partition using Gparted.  After that, worked fine
      • After configuring controllers, etc, made a backup (like Joe told me to)
    • Repaired/upgraded a laptop
      • Asus X550CA, touch screen 2013 laptop
      • Wouldn’t boot, windows had issues, expired antivirus, slow…
      • Upgraded to SSD and clean win10 install
      • Updated BIOS firmware
      • Much faster, but has a problem with proper wake/shutdown/restart
        • Not a show stopper but can’t use Sleep ahd have to use button to completely power down
  • Joe
    • Finished Nate Temple series
      • Pretty good. I do recommend
      • Decent length books
      • But I didn’t realize that there is a second series that kept getting referenced and had to keep asking myself if I had missed something in the previous books
      • Which I had so now I am listening to the companion series Feathers and Fire 
      • There is also another companion series called “Phantom Queen Diaries”
    • 3D printer has broken down a couple more times and been resurrected. Hopefully after replacing the heating element for a second time it will stick around for a while.  But I did order 5 of them so if it happens again I will have a quick replacement.
      • Not a difficult fix. One screw and solder 2 wires.  Put it back together and run a pid tune so the machine is tuned for the new heater.
      • Do not set the temp before running the tune it needs to be cooler than the target temperature or you will get large variances.
    • Was able to get a set of 10 broken Skullcandy Crushers for a good price
      • I have 4 of them working and looking like new and have put them up on the market for sale. 
      • I have not posted to ebay yet but if someone wants to buy one let me know
      • 4 of them I was able to 3D print new hinges for and while they do look different and less refined but they work and from what others have said it should be fairly sturdy
      • I may sell 3 of those as well and just keep one of them for myself but will sell at a lower price since the printed hinge does not look as refined
      • They do sound really good but they are not comfortable for me because they sit on my ears
    • Printed some headphone earcup adapters for the XB700 and the Skullcandy Crushers 
      • The adapter for the XB700 is awesome.  Changes the size of the earcup from 3 inches to 4 and I barely notice that I am wearing them all day for work.
      • Still tweaking the adapter for the Crushers but I am hopeful for similar results 
        • Update has a higher clamping force then the XB700 but still a vast improvement
      • The XB700 was fairly easy to do because it has a perfectly round cup.  The Crushers are more kind of egg shaped so I am trying out a couple of things.
    • Also printed some adapters for the coasters for my side table.  It has a large groove in the wood that if you don’t get the coaster on there just right it will tip your glass over so I made some inserts that exactly fit the grooves and then glued the coasters onto them so now my water glass is safe.  
    • Also have plans for the last 2 Skullcandy Crushers involving some of the Sony TV headsets that have the same size hooks and a large number of wires going across.  So I will move them over and see if they work.  This will also free up some drivers that should be the correct size of the monoprice DJ headset that Dustin sent me and I should be able to do a swap and see how it sounds.  Need to still find or order a couple of small parts
      • Found one of the sets of buttons I had lost but it is broken
      • Still looking for the other one
      • Or a printable version
      • I may try to design my own in tinkercad
    • Ordered some silicone socks for my hot end.  They showed up today.
      • Hopefully once they are installed it will prevent the filament from sticking to the hotend.
      • The insulating cotton was damaged when I replaced the heating element.
    • Both my cousin and my uncle contacted me over the last two weeks for computer suggestions
      • My cousin made it easy with a set budget and requirements.
        • Found him a pretty good MSI gaming laptop on eBay that met all his requirements 
      • My uncle not so much
        • He had his heart set on a server that he had found locally with a bunch of sas drives that he wanted to use as a desktop.
        • Explained that it could be done but it would not be as simple as the plug and play that he was used to.
        • I think in the end he just wanted to make sure he got to pick it
    • Attempted to replace the power port on a Transformer T100TA tablet.  
      • Failed miserably
      • Could not get the new posts to go through 
      • Got the old one off easy enough but just couldn’t get the rest done
    • So I repaired a cheap pair of ear pollution headphones by replacing the band with one from a Skullcandy Hesh 3 and a pair of 3d printed earhooks that I had to heat and reshape a bit.  Not my best work but I did learn that you need to extend the arms all the way before doing a job like that so you don’t have issues when everything is put back together.  Ended the night on a win.
    • Listener Fuzzyp sent me a robot to work on.  Received it yesterday.  For some reason it is only trying to perform the first command given to it.  Will take it apart, clean it up and put it back together and see if that helps.  

The News: 

Security Update: 

  • Critical GitLab Flaw Earns Bounty Hunter $20k
    • This flaw was initially reported back on March 23rd to GitLab, and subsequently patched in GitLab version 12.9.1.
    • The flaw was path-traversal allowed by a function called UploadsRewriter.
    • Simply put, this type of flaw allows an attacker to gain access to files they may not have been able to see. This includes things like security keys and other sensitive files. There didn’t seem to be any restrictions on what could be seen or copied when moving things to a new project.
    • This flaw scored William Bowling $20,000. Congratulations!
    • And update your GitLab instances!


  • Our next episode will be at 2 pm Central US time, 7 pm UTC, May 17, 2020. That’s 8 pm British Summer Time.


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 and our Mumble server
  • for hosting our audio files
  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about.

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