mintCast 357 – Surfboard Building Lunch


2:19 Bi-Weekly Wanderings
53:33 The News
1:14:50 Security Update
1:27:13 Announcements & Outro

First up, in our Wanderings, I do a little scripting, Joe drops a laptop, Moss is feeling phone-y, Tony walks a thousand miles, Josh visits Piggly Wiggly, Bo battles trolls, Mike gets a new-to-you Q2u

Then, in the News, new LibreOffice and Audacity, 7zip is native, Calamares can use more butter, and a new kernel is coming

In Security, how easy it is to buy up your information


  • Leo
    • I wrote that backup script I promised. It will backup all contents of your home folder, including dot files, into a gz, xz, bz2 or 7z archive.
    • It’s in my personal, local gitea, but I can post it to my public github if there’s interest.
  • Joe
    • One of the 1more headsets the cable has gone bad which is why I have had so many problems with it.  Basically the cable just deteriorated away.  So I took the driver end apart and pulled the cable all the way through and put in another one.  The first one that I tried to replace it with was too thick so I removed some cable from another headset that I had no use for, that was for a side with a mic and used two wires for each connection.  It came out well and I may do it to another of the 1mores where I have had to do a lot of repairs because the wire was falling apart
    • On that 5285 tablet I was not able to get anything working on it despite trying to figure out what needed to be replaced.  I know it is one of the surface mount components but I don’t have the proper tools to remove and replace and while I do know the area I need to start in I don’t have the replacement parts.
      1. So instead I have ordered a replacement motherboard.  It is the i3 version instead of the i5 version but it was 60 dollars and it will still be an improvement over a couple of the other systems that I use
      2. I will eventually get to order another one with the specs I want.  Or maybe a 5290.  My analysis of price to performance leads me to believe that it is the current winner for value when it comes to cpu performance.  The 7000 series does not provide much of a difference in performance for a large price bump and the 5290 has double the performance of the 5285 for a marginal price difference
      3. Also ordered a 2230 ssd for 15 dollars that should add a lot of high performance hard drive space to the tablet for a similar price to the much slower micro sd. I may also throw in whatever micro sd I have sitting around but we shall see, well I will when I get another one anyway
      4. Did get the new motherboard and put it in easy enough but it turns out the creen is bad.  So I have repurposed it along with a usb c adapter to work as a set top box for my living room tv.  The problem is that used screens cost nearly as much as new ones which is in the 150 dollar range
      5. I am thinking about writing a buyer’s guide for Windows tablets that seem to have a good record of running Linux or could be made to work with a little work.  My problem with it is it would not be good for more than a year or two other than the general guidelines because of how technology changes. I would like to know if people would want to read it before I write it though. I suppose that I could write a new guide every year or two.
    • I got wrapped up in the headphone cord that was attached to my laptop.  The laptop ended up on the floor but thankfully I have not been able to find any damage for that.  The cable for my 99 neos however was damaged.  A new cable costs 20 dollars so I am fixing the old one.  I may still buy a new one but I do want to replace the 3.5mm jack anyway.  Cant have too many cables.  It is a 4 pole connector and I have not had much luck getting those to work correctly. But I was able to get some practice recently when I was able to pick up 2 razer kraken pro v2s and an xbox headset for free from FB marketplace.  The last person had tried to do a jack replacement and gotten the cabling wrong.  So far I have been able to get one of the Razers working like new by fixing the work that was already done.
    • I ended up replacing the battery in my bluetooth/wired mechanical keyboard.  The battery that was in it was not holding a charge for very long and that would make the connection very wonky after only a short period of time.  I am hoping that the issue was an aging battery but I did also replace the 750 mAh with 4000 mAh battery. It should not be a problem moving to a larger capacity battery on the lower power charger, it will just take a lot longer to charge.  But slow charging is supposed to be better for batteries anyway.
  • Moss
    • I spent an hour here and an hour there getting the Zia800 up and running. I met with complete success on the 13th, dual-booting Linux Mint 20.1 MATE and Windows 10 Pro. I still need to install and configure Kodi for her, and she still has some configuring to do. She continues to use her T430 exclusively; I have not seen her turn the Zia800 on to this point. She blushes and goes silent when I ask her why not.
    • I have a problem. I have one swap partition on my Kudu, and every time I install a distro, that distro finds it and renames it, so other distros can’t find it anymore. This makes for a really slow boot. With help from Londoner, I tried to delete Mint’s use of the swap partition and install a swapfile. The attempt failed, and I had to do a complete reinstall. Even so, I learned enough to get it right this time. So now I have one fewer distro looking for the swap partition. Seven to go.
    • Here is the info I was using from Londoner:
      • To configure swapfile (as root or using sudo). 2G creates 2 GiB swapfile.
      • sudo swapoff /swapfile
      • sudo fallocate -l 2G /swapfile
      • sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
      • sudo mkswap /swapfile
      • sudo nano /etc/fstab
    • Delete existing entry for swap partition and replace with
      • /swapfile none swap sw 0 0
      • Save & reboot
    • I got a new phone yesterday, a Google Pixel 3a XL. I charged it up and was going to root it and put Lineage OS on it before using it… but… As soon as I turned it on, it started installing Android 11, which I’ve never gotten close to. I caved. I have moved all my files over, which required the use of my Wavlink toaster as the Pixel does not accommodate SD cards. I will, however, go ahead and put Lineage on my old Moto X4, and will make that available as a business phone for AWH…which still hasn’t taken off but we’re being promised a lot of things.
    • I’ve been keeping neofetch data on every installation I do one every machine I own, and updating it as needed. The file is available on our Telegram and Discord groups. The result shows how much memory is used by the system with nothing running, except Terminal and neofetch, and makes a good baseline for deciding which distro to use according to your system’s amount of memory.
    • We’re getting ready for another exciting episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest, scheduled for March 31st. For the first time since Episode 001, our current episode 020 is our most-viewed episode at 781, with Episode 019 next at 745 and Episode 018 in 3rd at 727! 
    • I have managed to successfully install three distros this month, and instead of reviewing more than one, our Telegram group voted on it and picked Mageia 8, which I had hinted earlier I *might* be reviewing. This means I know what I’m reviewing for April as well, also based on the votes and comments.
    • It’s time to get your votes in on Distro Madness, Round 3; voting will close this Friday before moving on to Round 4. There were some interesting upsets in Round 2. 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.
    • Dresden fights on. [Chapter 32 of Small Favors] And we have just been gifted a complete collection of The Expanse novels and shorts, as well as the rest of the Codex Alera collection.
  • Tony Hughes
    • Lots of walking, Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th March, myself and my wife went on 2 long walks. On Monday 8th, we walked 8 Miles and Tuesday 9th, nearly 12 miles. Myself and my Wife also started a virtual walking challenge last Wednesday, “Mizen to Malin Virtual Challenge” which is 360 miles from the North Coast of Ireland to the South coast. My Wife has just completed the Lands End to John O Groats challenge which was 874 miles and now has a T shirt and shiny medal to prove it.   
    • Not talked about it for a while but I have been doing some Diecast restoration work, preparing castings for repaint, it has been quite cold here so painting in my outside workshop was out so I have been busy getting the castings dismantled, paint striped and the posts drilled and tapped out ready for reassembly. I managed to get some prepared castings painted and reassembled this last week as the weather has warmed up enough to make painting possible. 
    • I nearly missed the show this week as I hadn’t been given the heads up about the clocks going forward in the US, ours don’t go forward till next week, so my time is an hour earlier than my usual 8pm. (to echo another podcast) I blame Leo lol. 
  • Josh
    • CKP ep 3 coming to a podcatcher near you soon!
    • Linux Mint is still the champion of Linux gaming!
    • Did some distrohopping going from Mint to openSUSE Tumbleweed to Endeavor back to Mint all in one 3 day period.
    • dd + pigz is going to be my method of backup from now on even though it’s slower.
    • Btrfs send/receive is awesome but I need to learn more about it…
    • Got a new audio interface, the Presonus Audiobox usb96. Also getting a new mic, the Audio Technica AT2020!
  • Bo
    • The 3d printed dice tray heard round the world
    • Valheim server
    • CKP progress
  • Mike
    • I THOUGHT I finally fixed WiFi. New microphone (Samsung Q2u), new headphones (Sony WH1000XM3), work on recording room.
    • Removed my information (People Finder, White Pages, MyLife) [Moss-HOW?]
    • New hardware wallet (Ledger Nano S)




Our next episode will be at 2 pm Central US time on April 4th, 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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