mintCast 356 – Forced-o-Matic Updates (mp3)


2:05 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
45:33 The News
1:18:37 Check This Out
1:26:12 Announcements & Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, I’ve upgraded my ears, Joe fixes everything, Moss gets ready to attack a monster, Tony Hughes takes a walk with tools, Josh is getting NAS-ty, and Mike weeps over wifi woes.

Then, in the News, SteamLink is on Linux, Mageia 8 is out, and Brave Searches for itself.

In Security, LastPass tracks you.


  • Leo
    • I got some new headphones. ATH-M50Xbt
    • An ssd I thought died didn’t. It’s in an external USB enclosure now, and I used it to do the backup testing for the Innards.
  • Joe
    • Had to go back and re-fix my MMCX connections on the 1mores again.  Which means that I did not do as good of a job as I thought last time.  Kinda wish it had some kind of built in tension reliever which would help a little bit.
    • Had a lot of trouble getting the last Anker Soundcore put together and then once again like the other one it would not charge.  I could go into the whole sordid tale of broken ribbon cables and screws popping out of mountings but it just makes me angry.  So in the end, of the 4 I was only able to get one working properly so the whole product line is going to be a no-go for me.  I took the custom made cables from it and put them onto one of the HBS 770s that I still have in reserve.  I may do a few more 770s just for the fun of it but I am looking for alternatives since I don’t think they are being made anymore
    • Ordered a broken pair of Samsung Level U headphones with ANC.  Requires a solvent to break down the glue in order to take it apart.  Also got a really cheap iHome Medallion headset that my wife was able to get for 5 dollars (got 2 of them).  They are in new condition, fresh out of the box, but I am going to mod them anyway. I don’t think that I will get much battery life out of them and I want to modify the Medallion so that it will sit on the collar without moving and so that it can also use the 1mores which should improve sound quality.  
      1. Also going to look into possibly printing a new case for it and giving it a larger battery.  Or at least a new back case but I will need to check and see where the hole for the mic is.  If it is on the back I will need to be creative with how I situate said battery.
      2. I did get the Level U’s. I was able to get it taken apart with minimal damage to the casing.  I probably would not have taken it apart at all except that instead of a bad side on the headset it had a bad battery.  I was able to use one of the batteries from the Ankers which is a little smaller but the replacement batteries that would fit all cost more than I wanted to pay.  Have not done the mmcx mod to the headset and I won’t because they suck.  I am not impressed with the top end volume on them and call quality is terrible.  Don’t know if I somehow tugged the mic and put it into the wrong location but I won’t be working more on this if that is the call quality
    • Thinking about resituating my tablets and seeing if I can get some more use out of them.  Going to sell the 7140 and use the 7130 as a bedroom computer. 
      1. I did spin both of those back up to make sure that the batteries are still good and both updated easily with no issues.
      2. Even I now think that the 7130 is getting a bit long in the tooth but I have yet to find a proper affordable tablet replacement that can run Linux, has a decent screen and fast processing speed.
      3. The Dell Latitude 7200 shows some promise but the price is still a bit high for about $400 same with the 5290
      4. I was able to order a Dell Latitude 5285 for $120 that should have been an easy fix with a bad display cable.  Turned out it had a lot more wrong with it.  Including the USB ports to the point where one of the times that I hooked it up the magic smoke got out.  So $120 wasted. But I should be able to get some good parts out of it for the next one if I can get another at a good price, when I have money again. I did message the seller and he said that I purchased “as is” but then they refunded me anyway
      5. I do have to say though for the few minutes that it was running it it seemed to run Linux well.  The only issue that I saw was the touch screen rotation was inverted to the screen rotation.  But that would probably not be a difficult fix.
    • BTSync has been acting up again.  Had to delete my shares and recreate them a couple of times to get things working again so I may need to find a different syncing solution.  The application did not crash or anything just silently stopped syncing changes.  Seems like it is starting to have problems with syncing time stamps.
    • Have still not done much 3-D printing lately, but with the warmer temperatures I did print another adapter for the olympic weights to standard bar.  Which allows me to increase the weights for deadlifts and curls.
  • Moss
    • I have installed Mageia 8. I installed Plasma on the Kudu. The installer was more involved than most but was understandable even to me, although it needed to be more graphical and use a larger font. I installed Mageia 8 XFCE on the Inspiron, the same steps but with better graphics and fonts. It doesn’t feel Mandrake-level user-friendly, but it appears to be what I’m reviewing for Episode 021 of Distrohoppers’ Digest. I have also grabbed Emmabunt̎ũs and Robolinux for further evaluation.
    • Speaking of distros, Distrohoppers’ Digest Episode 018 was at 718 downloads today, and Episode 019 leaped ahead of it with 721. We had a lot of fun doing Episode 020, which is already at 424 downloads, and I’m already at work on the script for 021. 
    • Listener and old friend firecat sent me a Series 5 Yubikey, he says it does not have NFC and he apparently got it with a subscription to Wired Magazine. I have had a lot of adventures with this, as it did not work after setting it up as 2FA on Bitwarden. Eventually I somehow tricked Bitwarden into letting me delete that 2FA feature and set up another one. I’m a little concerned that it did not work the first time I tried to use it for 2FA, and a little concerned I managed to defeat the security to fix it. I got all the recovery information saved — I printed it out, and deleted the text file, and hopefully will find a memorable safe place for the printout. I’m still having trouble deciding what to do with it, as most of the uses suggested don’t really tell me what they do, or what they are for, in words I understand. Yet, even if I don’t figure it out, I’m extremely grateful for the gift.
    • We’ve done more work on It’s MOSS, adding articles, graphics, and people, with Dale Miracle being added to the team and one or two others talking to me about future articles. We also have come to an agreement to share articles with Full Circle Magazine, and to publish our articles under the same CC/BY-SA license. Dylan is going back over our site to attach the license info to our articles.
    • Speaking of It’s MOSS, It’s time to get your votes in on Distro Madness, Round 2; voting will close this Friday before moving on to Round 3. We’re getting a lot of participation in this fun little diversion. We would like to encourage you to become a member of the site; we have some plans in the works for making additional features for members only, and membership is free.
    • My wife’s new HP Zia800 came in, and it is a monstrous thing of beauty. The keyboard seller sent the wrong keyboard, but the right one got here Friday. The seller did not ask for the other keyboard to be returned, so if anyone wants a Microsoft Sculpt keyboard, without the mouse and 10-key pad which usually are boxed with it, and is willing to pay the postage, I have one. We have received the wifi card. As soon as I’m feeling up to it, I will install the wifi card and plug things in. It came with Windoze 10 on it, she’ll be dual-booting it to Mint…or rather, dual-booting to Windows with Mint primary.
    • I’ve been having a bit of a rough time, with my mother’s interment, work as a substitute teacher being intermittent at best, and other things. But I’ll be OK. And Dresden is still plugging along in Book 10, Chapter 20.
  • Tony Hughes
    • Recorded the latest episode of Distrohoppers Digest with Dale and Moss. This one was 1 hour long, as having 3 hosts and a new section we have expanded the time taken. It’s a good thing I am not doing a regular review anymore, as due to my health issues I am concentrating on the post production side of the show. I will still be there each episode to keep everyone on track lol. 
    • Aldi here in the UK did a sale of tools last week and I picked up a couple of 10w LED battery portable workshop lights which can also be used as power banks. I also got a digital caliper for £8/$11.20 which is good value as in the local hardware store they were £20 the last time I looked. I also had to buy a new LED bulb for my workshop/office as the old one just stopped working. The replacement seems a lot brighter so maybe the other one had been on the way out for a while.
    • Went on a long walk with my better half last Monday, we walked all the way along the Prom here in Blackpool to the next Town along, Cleveleys, which is about 8 miles away; a few years ago I was not able to walk from the lounge to the kitchen which is about 10 steps, due to arthritis, my final tally for the day was just under 21K. Getting fit is helping keep the arthritis controlled so I have more good days than bad at the moment.
    • I was looking at a Dell 9th gen i7 XPS15 but I missed the boat as they have all gone, so I’m now looking at an Entroware 17” Hybris which for the price with 32Gb of RAM is less than a £1000, I would add my own PCie NVME m.2 card later as I can pick one up for half the quoted upgrade prices on the site and the same with the SSD. There is a link in the show notes to the site if you are interested, and NO we are not sponsored by them. 
  • Josh
    • Crowbar Kernel Panic has a website!
    • Crowbar Kernel Panic is officially on Spotify as well! Just search Crowbar Kernel Panic on Spotify and you will find it.
  • Ryzen 7 5800x totally changed my Linux gaming experience. 
  • TrueNAS is really cool but I have not had success sharing files over the network. I have created a user and a dataset and enabled SMB on the dataset and the sharing settings but I still cannot log into my SMB from another computer.
  • TrueNAS is working now I didn’t do anything and now I can log in to my share with no issues.
  • Mike
    • WiFi woes – 5/30, modem, router, sig strength, packets, net man, kernel, live USB, timeshift…
    • New Dell XPS DE…




Our next episode will be at 2 pm Central US time on March 21, 2021.

Get the show time converted to your time zone!


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

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

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