mintCast 347 – For the Halibut (mp3)


2:53 Wanderings
1:13:18 The News
1:43:29 Security
1:47:39 Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, I pop a kernel, Bo gets refreshed, Josh keeps his chameleon alive, Tony Hughes becomes a hermit, Moss bites into another distro, Joe gets it HANDled, and Tony Watts does the upgrade dance

Then, in our news, Linux Mint gives us an update, Ubuntu and Fedora both get released, XDA has a phone now, and Microsoft Edges into the Linux browser market

In security, Chromium blocks annoyances and fixes a font rendering flaw, and WordPress fixes some bad ones


  • Leo
    • Upgraded to Ubuntu 20.10’s 5.8 kernel in Linux Mint. My 5700XT’s performance has increased! Yay!
    • Playing with Kubuntu 20.10 which also has kernel 5.8.
    • Recording this on an AMD A10-7870K with 16GB RAM and all my other audio gear. If something goes wrong today, I’m gonna blame that…
    • Last episode I mentioned that World of Warcraft was crashing in Wine from Lutris. Fixed this by moving from the Wine 5.7 TkG version that Lutris provides to Wine Staging 5.19. That upgraded to 5.20 recently as well.
    • Chromium got upgrades! It’s now part of the Linux Mint repo.
cd ~/.steam/steam/steamapps/common/Baldurs/Gate/3/Launcher/

mv LariLauncher.exe LariLauncher.exe.old

ln -s ../bin/bg3.exe LariLauncher.exe

cp ./*.dll ../bin/
  • Josh
    • My openSUSE samba server is still alive and kicking!
    • After seeing the error of my ways with btrfs I decided to reinstall Mint on my desktop pc.
    • Linux Mint gaming is broken on my newly installed OS #DualMonitorWoes.
    • Testing out Edge on Linux after hearing a ton of good feedback about it.
  • Tony H
    • So the last few weeks have not been brilliant health wise, I missed the last recording as I was ill with acid reflux, which when it flares up really knocks me for 6. At the moment still not a 100% but getting a little better.
    • As we go on air I am currently in a 3 day of shielding with my wife who has to go into hospital for a small operation on Tuesday, luckily this is a day procedure or the lockdown would have been 2 weeks, so I can not leave the house until Tuesday at 6.40am when I take her into the hospital for the operation and even then I can not be there to support her during the process. Blast Covid. On a positive note her covid test came back negative, so the opp can go ahead as planned.
    • One of the downsides of my health issues is it drains me of energy and I’ve not felt like doing much in the way of modeling or preparing my review of KaOS for Distrohoppers that we are hoping to record this coming week, but I will have something to say but not as comprehensive a review as I would like.
  • Moss
    • I had all my teeth removed and they are currently covered by temporary dentures, which is why I’m talking funny right now. This will be going on for some time, but the show must go on!
    • We’re getting ready to record Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 017, presumably the day after this episode hits your podcatcher. This will be another adventure in diction. On another note, Tony has noticed that some of our download numbers have gone backwards, so we should all donate to Archive and ask for our downloads back.
    • I just installed PCLinuxOS on Friday. I was amazed at how easily it went this time, and I’m still reeling from being able to use APT to install RPM packages. The installer has a little catch: it will not tell you what distros are installed on which partitions. This is why I have not yet installed it on my desktop, I didn’t identify my available partitions prior to attempting the install and was not brave enough to take a guess and soldier on.
    • I also installed Feren OS again, and found that they have yet to update the base to 20.04. I looked it up and it is promised for November. I may not spend much time working with Feren until the upgrade.
    • My work has been sporadic, and no paychecks have been received for months. We’re down to our last $30. But Social Security comes tomorrow, and those missing paychecks should come some day. I have a new job on the side, selling a line of products to raise money to house and employ homeless women across the country. I’ve worked with this promoter before, and while it hasn’t always worked out well, it’s not from lack of trying.
    • We finally finished Dead Beat and are working on the next book, Proven Guilty, more slowly now that I can’t talk well.
  • Joe
    • Got a couple of dirt cheap broken handhelds.  I had a lot of fun with it.  So far I have gotten
      • 2 PSP 1001s that did not power on
      • One 3DS XL old that did not power on
      • One DS Lite
    • The NDS Lite needed the lower display replaced
      • This was not a hard fix but when I was putting it back together I noticed that the ribbon cable for the digitizer was a bit  frayed.  I put it back together as best I could any way
      • It seemed to work.  Both screens came on and displayed the need for touchscreen calibration.  It died as soon as I touched the screen and would not power back on.
      • I took it apart again and I saw that the leads were lifted off the ribbon cable
      • I hope that replacing the touchscreen will fix the problem but I know that the board might also be fried like bacon
      • Only one way to find out.
      • It was also acting like the battery was bad …
      • So I replaced the battery and it would still not turn on
      • I attempted to replace the touchpad but it was a little more delicate than I am and now the thing is good for parts but i am fairly sure that i had already messed up the motherboard anyway
    • The 3DS XL was supposedly broken and would not turn on.  But I replaced the battery and hooked it up to power and it turned right on with no issues. I did have to bypass the parental controls which was super easy and I did notice that the joystick felt a little stiff but that cleared up after some time.
      • I was also able to get a multicart off eBay for pretty cheap and it works like the R4 card is supposed to and allowed me to run all the games that were on the cart.
      • It also allowed me to replace the Micro SD card that was in the cart and after I copied over the control files I was able to double the memory of the SD card and add in some of the other roms that I have sitting around.  I was also able to install one of the Genesis emulators and one of the NES emulators to play some of those roms that I own.  As well as adding many of the DS games.  Although I could not play 3DS games from there.
      • I enjoyed the Genesis emulator from there but it would not allow me to switch to full screen or view the whole image at once.  It was not insurmountable but it did take away from the immersion of the game
      • So I went ahead and set up homebrew on the device (everything was done from Linux). This was a long and tedious process but in the end I was able to set up a second 32 gb micro SD card on it with a different Genesis emulator that did allow me to see the whole image and to stretch it to full screen.
      • This also allowed me to set up and remove 3DS games (all legally obtained) and to add custom theming to the device.  I really like how Shovel Knight looked and played on the device and I love playing old school Shadowrun on it.  The Sega version and I have been playing a lot of it
      • So now I can play 3DS games and Sega games from one card and I can play NES, SNES and DS games from the other card.  I suppose I could also set up some Atari emulation if I wanted and get some Centipede or Space Command or Star Raider going.
      • Plus with the DS card that goes into the top I can set up multiple micro SD cards for different setups and just swap them out as needed with as many games as I want.
    • Also ordered 2 PSP 1001’s for a decent price for parts not working
      • One of them had an issue with the battery not wanting to charge but I was able to get the battery working again with a bit of work
      • Also had an issue with the front buttons where the select key was stuck
      • The other one looked good but had a lot of issues and you could tell that it had been apart several times and had pieces removed. Not sure if the screen is good or not but it was not connected.  The power light does come on and batteries do charge when hooked up to it so some decent parts.
      • But other than the screen being completely disconnected the board on the right hand side was completely loose as the retention pins were broken off.  The UMD door was not seated all the way and the latch for it was missing the spring so had to be removed manually
      • But it did have a good set of buttons on the bottom which I was able to move over to the other device to get it working properly.  However this 8 dollar part does not make up for the cost of the device that I paid so I am a little disappointed and may try to troubleshoot it further anyway or simply test parts from it on other devices.
      • But yeah, one of them is working perfectly which makes me happy.  It is running older software so I am going to do the update today.
      • The device is very old so it will not do WPA2 and I am not going to set up an insecure network device so I have to do the updates and mods from the internal memory
        • Not that big of a deal but it is something that should be noted
      • Have done some gaming with the genesis emulator and while it does not feel as refined as the 3DS emulator it still worked well and looked good
      • I also looked up and found the methods that most people were using to transfer movies onto the psp and most of that was using applications that only ran in windows and were outdated.  But looking at those applications I could see that most of them were front ends for ffmpeg.  So I looked for and found a terminal command that worked.
      • ffmpeg -y -i INPUTFILE -flags +bitexact -vcodec libx264 -profile:v baseline -level 3.0 -s 480×272 -r 29.97 -b:v 384k -acodec aac -b:a 96k -ar 48000 -f psp -strict -2 OUTPUTFILE.MP4
      • I am still looking for an up to date way to play PSX games on the PSP.  The old methods were also program based and many of those programs are not available any more.  Because I have many more PS1 games on file than I do PSP because I actually own a couple of different PS1s
    • My main server/garage computer died.  Trouble shooting the issues for that was not what I would call fun.  I was able to narrow the problem down to one of the big 3 which is never good
      • I would go into detail on all the issues and the ways that I tested but it gets tedious
      • Lets just say when one of the big 3 starts going but doesnt brick hard it can lead to some interesting faults that are hard to track down
      • But since I don’t have any other computers that use that chipset or ddr4 RAM I have no other way to test than to purchase parts and swap.  So I have started with RAM.  At least with RAM if it is bad then I have fixed the issue and if it is good and something else is bad I can still use the RAM
      • After that I have to guess but when I am done I will be one or two parts short of having a second complete computer.
      • Financially this has come at a terrible time but I will get it fixed.  If I had known that it was going to break then I would not have started working on old handhelds
      • But it looks like replacing the RAM has worked for now.  Hopefully that is actually the problem and it is solved now
      • I still need to swing by Micro Center and see if they will replace the bad RAM sticks which would bring me up to 32 gig in my server
  • Tony W
    • Redoing the floor in my basement due to my poor choices in life
    • Did the upgrade to next LTS on my server and it was uneventful
    • Chromecast Audio on PA system = WIN
    • Upgrade to Nest Wifi + add’l network switch
    • Chromecast with Google TV, YouTube TV ($65/mo!!!)
    • Magnetic charging cables are awesome
    • LineageOS updating
    • Have been using my Dell 7130 more
    • Sometimes Linux is just better…
      • My old school audio setup works flawlessly in Linux and is NO FUN in Windows





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 and our Mumble server
  • 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
  • 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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