Episode 410 Show Notes

Welcome to mintCast

the Podcast by the Linux Mint Community for All Users of Linux

This is Episode 410!

Recorded on Sunday April 16, 2023

Glad to be back, I’m Bill, Still killing it I’m Joe, whirring along mindlessly, I’m Moss, … I’m Majid and I’m atypical in many different ways, … Chris

— Play Standard Intro —

  • First up in the news: Mint Monthly News – March 2023, Ubuntu 23.04 beta released, updates in Tumbleweed, last 16.04-based Ubuntu Touch rolled out, Linux Lite 6.4 released, COSMIC DE updates, OpenBSD 7.3 & FreeBSD 13.2 announced, big changes in Firefox 113, Mullvad announces their own browser, and Solus sets sail once again;
  • In security and privacy, Kodi leaks;
  • Then in our Wanderings, Bill catches up, Moss has more drive, Joe is such a prints, Majid iPads in and Chris iPads out;
  • In our Innards section, we meet our new co-hosts;
  • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions.

— Play News Transition Bumper —

The News

20 minutes

  • Mint Monthly News – March 2023
    • Just a day too late to be included on our last episode, Clem talks about the upcoming changes to theming and other visual changes planned for Mint 21.2 Victoria, which can be expected around the end of June or beginning of July.
    • Switched to Linux video
  • Ubuntu 23.04 beta released with new features
    • from 9to5Linux
    • Ubuntu 23.04 will be one of the few Ubuntu releases to include some of the latest and greatest GNU/Linux technologies and software. For example, it comes with the recently released GNOME 44 desktop environment for the Ubuntu Desktop edition, which comes with an updated Ubuntu font, and it’s powered by the latest Linux 6.2 kernel series for top-notch hardware support.
    • The Ubuntu Desktop edition also includes a brand-new installer that has been in development for the past year and it’s written entirely in Google’s Flutter UI SDK. The new installer is pretty much identical in functionality to the old installer from previous Ubuntu releases with the exception that it doesn’t yet support ZFS installations.
    • But all is not lost as there will be a Legacy ISO available for download that ships with the old installer, for those of you who want to install Ubuntu 23.04 with ZFS. Talking about extra ISOs, Ubuntu 23.04 will also feature not one, not two, but three new official Ubuntu flavors, namely Ubuntu Unity. Ubuntu Cinnamon, and Edubuntu.
  • Gnome, Curl, LLVM update in Tumbleweed
    • from OpenSuse.org
    • This week in openSUSE Tumbleweed had both enormous and single-package snapshots.
    • A new GNOME, compiler tools and music player updates arrived this week along with a ton of other packages.
    • Snapshot 20230329 provided an update of Mesa 23.0.1, which fixed some bugs from its major release. Sandboxing tool for Flatpak and similar projects had an update; bubblewrap 0.8.0 added a –disable-userns option to prevent the sandbox from creating its own nested user namespace. Fixes for recent GLibs warnings were made in the libostree 2023.2 update. A 1.3 release of fwupd-efi had a few fixes for arm devices and fixed a regression.
    • A few packages arrived in snapshot 20230328. The XFS utilities package xfsprogs was among the updates. The 6.2.0 version now has a command that can now retrieve the UUID of mounted filesystems and has a fix for broken realtime free block unit conversions. A major version of the compiler and toolchain LLVM brought Clang compiler tools. One of those tools is used to detect locally available GPUs by the Clang OpenMP driver. Another standalone tool determines which headers are used by using existing functionality in clangd. File-synchronization tool unison 2.53.2 improves stopping of update propagation, and fuse3 3.14.1, which is the Interface for userspace programs to export a filesystem to the Linux kernel, no longer has flags available that were introduced in 3.14, but will likely be reintroduced in the next release. updated to version. A few other packages were updated in the snapshot.
    • The snapshot from the day prior wasn’t much bigger. Snapshot 20230326 updated two packages. One GNOME package received its second update this week; gnome-music updated from its release candidate, which arrived in snapshot 20230324, to version 44. The music application for GNOME users made a small change with the appdata for the 44.0 release. Another of the project’s packages that was updated was gobject-introspection 1.76.1. This package updated documentation and the handle null default values.
    • A major update of xwayland 23.1.0 took care of some regressions in snapshot 20230325; it also improved rootful mode for using Xwayland as a nested Xserver. An update of php 8.1.17 fixed some incorrect check conditions and a memory leak. The libstorage-ng package had some cleanup and propagated the failure of the snapper installation-helper with the 4.5.87 update. There were a couple time zone packages updated in the snapshot related to changes surrounding daylight savings. Egypt now uses daylight savings again and Morocco will move the clocks forward April 23 rather than April 30. KDE music player amarok fixed a crash and added support for ffmpeg 5.0 with a minor version bump. A 4.18.0 samba update provided Server Message Block performance improvements and a new wbinfo –change-secret-at option. A few other packages updated in the snapshot.
    • Snapshot 20230324 was enormous in size. GNOME 44 was released in this snapshot and the Kuala Lumpur code-name release didn’t disappoint. A new grid view is available with the use of GTK4. However, some appy may still use the previous version. The Device Security that was introduced in the previous version gains a new status view as either “Checks Failed”, “Checks Passed”, or “Protected”. The accessibility setting had a redesign and the sound setting gained a number of polish improvements. Another new major version in the snapshot was curl 8.0.1. It fixed a crash, added Fortran bindings and took care of more than a few Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. One of those was CVE-2023-27538 that reuses a previously created connection even when an ssh related option had been changed, which should have prohibited reuse. Several regressions in the handling of GFileInfo attributes were made with the glib2 2.76.1 update. An update of ImageMagick reverted some changes due to file conflicts and the version build aids with AVX2 and enables the hwcaps library for x86-64-v3 so try a zypper inr if you have v3 hardware. LibreOffice reverted some patches and had a harfbuzz text shaping fix. Several other packages updated in the snapshot including GTK3 3.24.37, gvfs 1.50.4, sqlite 3.41.2, webkit2gtk3 2.40.0 and many more.
  • Ubuntu Touch OTA-25, last version based on 16.04, rolled out
    • from 9to5Linux.com
    • The UBports Foundation released today the Ubuntu Touch OTA-25 update for supported Linux phones and tablets as the last version based on the Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) operating system series.
    • Ubuntu Touch OTA-25 is now rolling out to supported devices as the last software update with an Ubuntu 16.04 base bringing some minor improvements like on-screen keyboard vibration optimization on Volla Phone devices, emblem counters (unread messages) for the Dialer and Messaging apps, as well as Waydroid install/setup improvements.
    • OTA-25 also brings persistent notifications when the urgency status is set to critical and other improvements to notifications like support for more than two lines for the notification text, improves Date/Time pickers visibility when using the Suru Dark theme, and re-enables support for pinning favorites in the Dialer app.
    • On top of that, this release includes a patched QtWebEngine with the latest security updates applied, an updated Channel selector that now offers ordering of update channels from 16.04 to 20.04 and support for displaying version numbers, as well as various minor fixes. Check out the release announcement for more details.
    • Those of you who use Ubuntu Touch on your devices and haven’t yet upgraded to the OTA-1 release based on the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) operating system series, can install the OTA-25 update right now to enjoy the improvements mentioned above. However, it is highly recommended to upgrade to Ubuntu Touch OTA-1 (20.04) as soon as possible.
    • “This is the last OTA for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial)! There will be no further OTAs in this channel, unless a catastrophic event forces us to do so,” said UBports. “Ubuntu 20.04 (focal) is already shipping the first OTA, mainly for testing out how the upgrading works, but this is where the future lies.”
    • Ubuntu Touch OTA-25 is available for Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1, BQ E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, BQ E5 HD Ubuntu Edition, BQ M10 (F)HD Ubuntu Edition, BQ U Plus, Cosmo Communicator, F(x)tec Pro1, Fairphone 2, Fairphone 3, Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL, Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL, Nexus 6P, LG Nexus 4, LG Nexus 5, Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition, Nexus 7 2013 (Wi-Fi and LTE models), OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus 3 and 3T, Oneplus 5 and 5T, and OnePlus 6 and 6T.
    • The list of supported devices for the OTA-25 update continues with Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (910F, 910P, 910T), Samsung Galaxy S3 Neo+ (GT-I9301I), Sony Xperia X, Sony Xperia X Compact, Sony Xperia X Performance, Sony Xperia XZ, Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE or Wi-fi only), Vollaphone and Vollaphone X, Xiaomi Mi A2, Xiaomi Mi A3, Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, Xiaomi Poco F1, Xiaomi Poco M2 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi 3s/3x/3sp (land), Xiaomi Redmi 4X, Xiaomi Redmi 7, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 and 7 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi 9 and 9 Prime, as well as Xiaomi Redmi Note 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro Max and 9S.
  • Linux Lite 6.4 Released
    • from linuxliteos.com
    • Linux Lite 6.4 Final is now available for download and installation.
    • Building upon the release of 6.2, we have added a number if new changes.
    • Changes:
    • Linux Lite Applications
    • Our in-house applications are starting to be repackaged using ZSTD compression for significantly faster decompression speeds and higher compression rates.
    • Example:
      • Lite Themes – old compressed package: 91.2mb
      • Lite Themes – new compressed package: 76.8mb
    • This will benefit machines from a wider range of ages. Great for slower computers when installing updates, lightning fast updates for modern machines.
    • Added SystemD report to Lite System Report
    • This addition will help a wide range of people in regards to diagnosing a variety of booting and general system inquiries. Our amazing support team on the Forums will also find this very helpful.
    • Added webp support in the Thunar file manager for displaying thumbnails correctly
    • Thunderbird gets Redesigned Icons, Spaces Toolbar, New Address Book, Message Header Customization, Import and Export Wizard and Matrix Chat Support.
    • Other Changes:
      • – Latest Papirus Icon Theme
      • – The Hardware Database now has over 80,000 submissions. 100k here we come! https://www.linuxliteos.com/hardware.php
      • – Latest stable versions of Chrome, LibreOffice, Lite applications etc
      • – New wallpapers
    • Plus many other tweaks and changes.
  • COSMIC DE first Spring updates
    • fromsystem76.com
    • It’s not quite ready yet for you or me, but Carl feels it’s close to being ready for the design team to use daily. For now, completed software pieces are being used alongside temporary engineering workarounds. Once those workarounds have been replaced by designed, implemented, and user-tested software, we’ll have an alpha release to play around in.
    • That part is further away…but it’s exciting! Each month, more and more pieces are coming together for Pop!_OS’s new desktop environment. Read on to see what was added in March.
    • The launcher
      • The UX and engineering teams are all working together to bring Launcher to a more finished look and feel. Check out the latest styling for the Launcher in the screenshot below!
    • Maximize and Full Screen
      • In Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS, maximize and full screen are separate functions. The main difference between the two is that maximized windows border the top panel, while a full screen app covers the top panel and hides the title bar. However, in COSMIC DE, the dock or panel can be oriented on any edge of the screen, float or extend to the edges, be large or small, stay hidden, or intelligently hide when a window overlaps the panel.
      • If panels are always hidden or intelligently hide, is there really a difference between maximize and full screen? In COSMIC, maximize will abide by your preference to keep panels always visible, always hidden, or intelligently hide. Each panel can be set separately, so your top panel can be always visible while your bottom panel intelligently hides.
      • While Pop!_OS won’t have a separate full screen mode for application windows, apps that feature their own full screen mode will still be able to use it via their respective controls or shortcuts. So these apps like browsers, presentation software, LibreOffice, and yes, the full screen button in YouTube and other video players will continue to function as expected.
    • Tiling
      • Active hints and configurable window gaps are now working in tiling mode! Tiling features are getting close to parity with Pop!_OS 22.04 LTS with the notable exception of stacking. Additional features and hints to make auto-tiling easier for more users are also in the works.
    • COSMIC Time
      • COSMIC DE’s iced GUI toolkit animation crate is now ready and published! Cosmic-time provides a simple API to build and show complex animations efficiently in applications built with iced. It was created to be easy to use; no math required for any animation, and custom animation support for devs to create their own. Head to the link to see what’s next for cosmic-time!
    • Performance improvements
      • Big performance improvements have been made to cosmic-text and the text editor. For one, RAM usage for the text editor has been cut in half. It also starts up a half second faster; Jeremy (Principal Engineer) says it feels instantaneous now. By applying these improvements to libcosmic, other COSMIC applications will see a boost in speed as well.
      • Xwayland cosmic-comp improvements (these two updates) considerably reduced demand on CPU resources. Carl noticed his desktop running much quieter after this update. Side note: Levi (QA Lead) says COSMIC is working “pretty darn well” on NVIDIA systems, thanks to the work done on the compositor.
    • COSMIC GUI Widgets
      • Substantial progress has been made developing the widget library for creating COSMIC applications. Once the widget library fills out, focus will move to creating panels in COSMIC Settings that introduce functionality to customize the COSMIC desktop experience.
    • Drag and Drop
      • Drag-and-drop functionality has been merged with Smithay-client-toolkit, which opens the door for the team to complete work on workspaces, the application library, and much, much more.
      • Optimizations from community contributors have been added to Smithay that are already being used in cosmic-comp. One such optimization improves NVIDIA support by allowing faster copies between multiple GPUs.
    • Iced animations in the wild
      • A Linux software center project is already using our iced animation crate in their project! It’s cool to see our contributions contributing to other open source projects out there.
  • OpenBSD 7.3 announced
    • from openbsd.org
    • Released Apr 10, 2023. (54th OpenBSD release)
    • Copyright 1997-2023, Theo de Raadt. [discuss copyright]
    • The list of imporovements goes on for days. See the link in the show notes for details.
  • FreeBSD 13.2 announced
    • from freebsd.org
    • Release Date: April 11, 2023
    • The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 13.2-RELEASE. This is the third release of the stable/13 branch.
    • Some of the highlights:
      • OpenSSH has been updated to version 9.2p1.
      • OpenSSL has been updated to version 1.1.1t.
      • The bhyve hypervisor now supports more than 16 vCPUs in a guest.
      • Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) is now enabled for 64-bit executables by default.
      • ZFS has been upgraded to OpenZFS release 2.1.9.
      • It is now possible to take snapshots on UFS filesystems when running with journaled soft updates.
      • The kernel wg(4) WireGuard driver is now available.
      • The kernel netlink(4) network configuration protocol is now available.
      • And much more…​
    • For a complete list of new features and known problems, please see the online release notes and errata list, available at: https://www.FreeBSD.org/releases/13.2R/relnotes/ https://www.FreeBSD.org/releases/13.2R/errata/
    • For more information about FreeBSD release engineering activities, please see: https://www.FreeBSD.org/releng/
    • Availability
      • FreeBSD 13.2-RELEASE is now available for the amd64, i386, powerpc, powerpc64, powerpc64le, powerpcspe, armv6, armv7, aarch64, and riscv64 architectures.
      • FreeBSD 13.2-RELEASE can be installed from bootable ISO images or over the network. Some architectures also support installing from a USB memory stick. The required files can be downloaded as described in the section below.
      • SHA512 and SHA256 hashes for the release ISO, memory stick, and SD card images are included at the bottom of this message.
      • PGP-signed checksums for the release images are also available at: https://www.FreeBSD.org/releases/13.2R/signatures/
      • A PGP-signed version of this announcement is available at: https://www.FreeBSD.org/releases/13.2R/announce.asc
  • Firefox 113 promises big updates
    • from 9to5linux.com
    • The upcoming Firefox release will also bring a more secure password generator that now includes special characters too.
    • With the release of Firefox 112 hitting the stable channel today, Mozilla promoted today the next major release, Firefox 113, to the beta channel for public testing.
    • Firefox 113 looks like an interesting release that will bring support for animated AV1 images (AVIS), a more secure password generator that now includes special characters too, and an enhanced Picture-in-Picture feature that lets you rewind, check the video duration, and more easily enable the full-screen mode.
    • The upcoming Firefox release also appears to introduce a feature that was initially planned for Firefox 112, namely the ability for Linux and macOS users to use FIDO2 / WebAuthn authenticators over USB with support for fully passwordless logins.
    • Another interesting change that it’s not yet mentioned in the release notes is the fact that Mozilla now offers an official DEB binary package for Debian and Ubuntu systems. This should make it a lot easier for these users to update their Firefox installations to the latest version on the day of the release.
    • However, please note the DEB package depends on the libgdk-pixbuf-xlib-2.0-0 and libgdk-pixbuf2.0-0 packages to be installed on your Debian/Ubuntu system. You can download the official Debian package from Mozilla here for 64-bit systems and from here for 32-bit systems.
    • On top of that, the bookmarks importing feature has been updated to also import the favicons for those bookmarks by default to make them easier to identify when importing browsing data from Chrome-based browsers.
    • Firefox 113 also promises some goodies for Android users, such as support for hardware-accelerated AV1 video decoding by default on supported hardware or via software decoding and the ability to print from websites that use window.print().
    • Web developers will be happy to learn that Firefox 113 promises support for the scripting CSS media query, support for several new WebRTC features for improved interoperability, support for the forced-color-adjust property, support for color functions from the color (level 4) specification, as well as the ability for module scripts to import other ES module scripts on worklets.
    • Mozilla plans to release the Firefox 113 web browser for all supported platforms on May 9th, 2023. Until then, if you want to take the new features and improvements mentioned above for a test drive, you can download the latest beta release from the official website.
  • Mullvad Browser is out
    • from mullvad.net
    • The Mullvad Browser is developed – in collaboration between Mullvad VPN and the Tor Project – to minimize tracking and fingerprinting. Features include:
    • Privacy quality of the Tor Browser. To use with a VPN.
      • Using a VPN is not enough to achieve perfect privacy online. There’s simply too much data being extracted through most browsers. The Mullvad Browser is a web browser with the privacy quality of the Tor Browser, to be used with a trustworthy VPN.
    • Strong anti-fingerprinting from the Tor Project
      • The Tor Project has a proven track record of building a privacy-focused browser. The Mullvad Browser has the same fingerprinting protection as the Tor Browser – it just connects to the internet with (or without) a VPN instead of the Tor Network.
    • Similar fingerprint for all users
      • Fingerprinting is an increasing threat against online privacy. The Mullvad Browser is, just like the Tor Browser, developed with the purpose and ambition for all its users to appear as one.
    • No telemetry
      • Telemetry is unique data being collected by the browser to improve its performance. We don’t believe in collecting data about our users. So, with the Mullvad Browser we have removed all telemetry.
    • Private browsing by default
      • The Mullvad Browser has private mode enabled by default. This means no cookies, cache and history are saved between your sessions. The browser also includes a reset button that creates a clean session in one click.
    • Blocking third-party trackers with uBlock Origin
      • Even with strong protection against fingerprinting and cookies, it’s a good idea to block third-party trackers. You don’t want to use ‘too many’ extensions as it could be the one thing that identifies you. That’s why we only use uBlock Origin.
    • Transparent business model.
      • We have no intention in earning money from the Mullvad Browser. Our business model is to earn money from our VPN service. Our only ambition with the Mullvad Browser is to provide the best privacy-focused browser possible to Mullvad’s VPN users – and to everyone else, for that matter.
    • Privacy first
      • Mullvad VPN has a proven record of putting privacy first. With no strange business models or short-term venture capitalist owners. The Tor Project is a non-profit organization fighting for human rights. We will always put privacy first, in everything we do.
  • LXQt 1.3.0 releases
    • from LXQt’s github page
    • LXQt 1.3.0 is still based on Qt 5.15, the last LTS version of Qt5. The Qt6 support was started (and is usable in WIP branches) but could not be released due to the lack of a stable KF6.
    • In LXQt’s file manager and its library, smooth scrolling can be switched for all view modes, minor issues of the Desktop mode are fixed, and handling of zero-sized files is improved.
    • QTerminal has received small bug fixes, especially for use under Wayland.
    • Support for doas has been added to lxqt-sudo.
    • In LXQt Session, the detection of window manager and system tray has been improved.
    • Translations have received many updates.
    • And other changes that can be found in change logs of LXQt components.
  • Solus Attempts To Right Its Course
    • from Solus Reddit
    • Once again, Josh Strobl has taken it upon himself to rescue Solus from the trashheap. In the Solus Reddit, he states that there is a new team, to be announced on Tuesday, and that they are busy recovering the files and directories and making alternate arrangements for access. This is called “Righting the Ship”, and we at mintCast are all for it.

— Play Security Transition Bumper —

Security and Privacy

10 minutes

  • Kodi confirms data breach – 400,000 user records and private messages stolen
    • from TheHackerNews
    • Open source media player software provider Kodi has confirmed a data breach after threat actors stole the company’s MyBB forum database containing user data and private messages.
    • What’s more, the unknown threat actors attempted to sell the data dump comprising 400,635 Kodi users on the now-defunct BreachForums cybercrime marketplace.
    • “MyBB admin logs show the account of a trusted but currently inactive member of the forum admin team was used to access the web-based MyBB admin console twice: on 16 February and again on 21 February,” Kodi said in an advisory.
    • The threat actors then abused the account to create database backups that were then downloaded and deleted. Also downloaded were existing nightly full backups of the database. The account in question has now been disabled.
    • The nightly backups contained all public forum posts, team forum posts, messages sent through the user-to-user messaging system, and user information such as forum username, email address used for notifications, and an encrypted (hashed and salted) password generated by the MyBB software.
    • Kodi said there is no evidence threat actors managed to obtain unauthorized access to the underlying server hosting the MyBB software. It further emphasized that the legitimate account owner did not perform malicious actions on the admin console, suggesting credential theft.
    • Out of an abundance of caution, the maintainers said work is underway to initiate a global password reset. Users are recommended to change their passwords on other sites if the same password has been used.
    • In the interim, the company has taken down the Kodi forum and noted that it’s in the process of commissioning a new server, an activity that’s expected to last “several days.” It’s also planning to redeploy the forum on the latest version of MyBB software.
    • As additional security measures, Kodi is hardening access to the MyBB admin console, revising admin roles to limit privileges, and improving audit logging and backup processes.

— Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —

Bi-Weekly Wanderings

30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)

  • Bill
    • Since it’s been some time since I’ve graced this show with my presence, I’ll describe some of the stuff that’s happened since last I was here.
    • First will be the reason I missed the last show; Every year, the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky hosts the Mid America Trucking Show – a trade show of sorts for the trucking industry. The “MATS” show is by far the largest trucking industry show in the world, so large you couldn’t really manage to get through it in 3 days while experiencing the whole thing in memorable detail. 3 Fat Truckers was there. We had a booth where we set up a broadcast studio and had a great time interviewing interesting people and networking with other content creators within the trucking industry. To say the experience was trans-formative would be to grossly understate it. Since being at the show, our listenership has increased exponentially – so much so, we are now monetized. Some of the people we interviewed included Raman Dhillon, a representative from NAPTA; North American Punjabi Trucking Association, as well as Brandy Belton, a representative of “Truckers Against Trafficing.” you can see all the interviews which total over 30 by following this link.
    • I got a new keyboard for machine I’m on now. I’ve been leaning toward getting a mechanical keyboard for some time. For about two years now I’ve been using the Logitech Wave, which is a nice keyboard to be sure, but I never like the fact that all the macro keys were exclusively for Windows applications. I’m aware of the hacky methods you can use to map inputs to other funcions, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I’ve never really used macro keys before outside of perhaps volume and mute keys so what I wanted was a keyboard with as few of these convoluted keys as possible – enter the “daskeyboard” 4 professional. This is a proper “clicky” keyboard and I love it! When you hit an “F” key you actually get an “F” function. There is absolutely no secondary functions whatsoever. The keyboard does have some simple media volume, play/pause, mute, and system sleep buttons in the upper right corner which Im happy to say work splendidly without any ridiculous hackyness. The most notable feature of this keyboard is the clickyness of it. This thin sounds like the keyboards I remember on the old Commodores and Apple II machines. I never knew how pleasing that sound would be to the touch and ear.
    • Yesterday while in the Saturday mintCast meeting I was finishing the build for a new rig for Steve, who is my co-host on 3 Fat Truckers. Steve has a side hustle where he buys up storage units that had been defaulted on and sells the contents that’s worth selling. In one of the units, he found an HP Pavilion Desktop 550-077cb with a 4th gen i7. I cleaned up the inside, replaced the spinning rust HDD, and switched out the NVIDIA card with an AMD Firepro 5100. I also added a USB 3 pcie card to give him more ports for cameras and microphones. I installed Linux Mint Cinnamon 21.1, and although it’s got some years behind it, this machine is a proper powerhouse. I’m sure he’ll be quite satisfied with the performance.
    • Earlier today I was interviewed on the “Big Gay Trucker” podcast. While at the Truck show, I was greeted by and interviewed the founder of the LGBTQ+ Truck Driver Association. The video is up on the show’s YouTube and available in the link I shared earlier.
      • At the time of writing this, the interview hadn’t started yet so I’ll add content later.
  • Moss
    • More school days off than I want. Sigh. I did work last Friday.
    • I got my new Samsung SSD for the TV machine, and got it installed. Had to do a full installation, the cloning didn’t work and brought me to a initramfs> prompt. It’s working fine. So I was going to order another one for the studio machine, but Dale informed me that there were issues with Samsung SSDs in the kernel, to be solved at a later date. So I bought a Kingston A400, after failing to determine the difference between the cheaper A400 and the more expensive Q500. It’s probably about the same as the Silicon Power drives I’ve been using but at least it’s new. I got it the morning before the streamcast, and no, I did not immediately install it before the show. I also got two new Silicon Power Blaze B02 128 GB USB sticks.
    • I need to reinstall elementary OS 7 on my T540p. I neglected to write down the installation process. Maybe I was worried it wouldn’t install.
    • My TV machine, a ThinkCentre M700 Tiny, seems to be having a weakness in the DisplayPort port. I have ordered another one, this one with 4 Gb RAM and an i5 6th gen chip, for $68, and will harvest the drive and 8 Gb RAM chip from the old one, put it in the new one resulting in 12 Gb, and ship the old one to Joe for potential repair.
    • I acquired a good keyboard brush from TEMU, and, with the aid of some Everclear, have returned my old Fellowes Microban keyboard to working order.
    • My old friend in Detroit, whom I read to almost daily, reported her Roku TV box would work better (stops and restarts) if it had a USB drive of at least 16 Gb attached. So I have ordered an external drive case ($8 these days) and will put one of my unused Lexar NS100 drives in it.
  • Joe
    • Did a little bit of 3D printing. I have a cat problem, they love to jump onto my night stand and knock everything off including my phone and glasses. So I found a tablet wall mount and modified it to work with my phone and case. A little shorter on one side and a bit wider in the middle. It works well. I also 3D-printed a small shelf for my glasses on the side that I am not sure about using as the cats may see it as a springboard more than anything else. So I am looking for a different solution.
    • Also started using PETG again. My filament dryer seems to be doing the job quite well so long as all of the rest of my settings are dialed in. Slower print speed higher temps and turned off the fans. The prints are coming out pretty good. I have not tried anything with high amount of precision yet but it is doing well on simple things. Mostly all I have left is ABS which needs an enclosure to print properly. I am still working on figuring out what and how to modify the enclosure that I have that is too short.
    • I have talked the last couple of shows about low cost USB C hubs that do passthrough PD charging and how the were breaking. Well I found some things out. I did try two different chargers on them, one of them being my pine power charger and one being a cheap charger. Turns out both of those were bad. The pin power was going bad and then died. I grabbed a dell 65w charger and they all work. I am going to have tear apart the base one more time for the one gx so that it can be rebuilt and have HDMI output again.
    • I have setup a TV in another location in my garage that allows me to watch while exercising and because I did not have the other HDMI connector on a hub hooked up at first I used the micro HDMI. But the problem with that got to be that when I turned the resolution up it would cut in and out. I hooked up the hub and it worked just find. Not sure what the issue is there. Power distribution maybe?
    • But I also had fun setting up KDE connect on that device so that I could control it from my phone while on the glider. I also used it for a couple of podcasts as well. But I don’t want to leave it there for a long time because I like using it on the go around the house. So I will be looking for a new charger so that I can have one in that location and one to move around with. I think I may have another of the dell chargers somewhere. I will have to look.
    • I am having fun helping with the local elections. The school board election is getting ugly again and Jacki and I have started being more active in the local Democrats groups. So block walking and attending forums. It is much nicer on this side of the stage . Also a lot of fun talking in the different chats that we have setup while it is going on.
    • I also took apart a off brand roomba that was saying the main drive brush was stuck. I took it apart down to the motor and cleaned everything out and put it back together only to have the same problem. Now I am wondering if the motor is dead but the only way to test is to strip it down again and apply power directly. Always fun.
  • Majid
    • so joined mintcast! well kind of. see later for my history with linux android etc
    • bought a macbook pro. theres a bit of backstory to this purchase. have always been an iRefusenik. never had an iPhone. had the OG ipad mini from 2012 which i bought for my work as a teaching fellow at Newcastle university and james cook university hospital. even bought a bluetooth keyboard. was an absolute failure, and gave it away after a few months (mu kids loved it as a youtube machine and it went on many a family trip to india and saudi arabia). got tempted again by the M1 chip, but didnt want to spend so much on an actual macbook air, so ended up with an ipad air 5 with M1. thought, “lets see if i really can get some work done on iPadOS. by the time id bought the magic keyboard and pencil, i wasnt too far off the money for an m1 macbook air. again a failure, i learnt that if you have an established workflow with computers, whether that be windows or linux or even android, iOS (which is basically what iPadOS still is) is INFURIATING! i perserevered for almost a year, but couldn’t adjust. especially as i didnt have other iDevices. (sidenote, even for tablet-y stuff, found that my samsung tab s8 tablet was much better, android has a bad rep on tablets, but ive owned loads over the last decade, and been happy with them all, only replacing when my inner magpie twitches) In the end sold it on. still wondered about apple though. isnt its trange that so much linux UX seems to ape Apple? look at all the ubuntu themes or gnome extensions or kde skins that ape MacOS. so i thought “whats the fuss about?” having been burnt( in the wallet if nothing else!) by my recent ipad air experiment,i wasnt going to spend even more on an actual m-series device, especially as I know i cant retreat to linux or even windows so easily. Hence i looked at ebay to see if there was a cheaper intel- based macbook i could try out. managed to snag a 2017 Macbook Pro, 8th gen i5 8gb ram 256gb ssd for £190 ($230). battery apparently needs servicing, but still seemed like a good deal. i really dont understand whats the big fuss about MacOS. its decidedly “meh”. not sure what the fuss is about. it wasnt particularly intuitive, nor particularly powerful, updating was slow. Hence after 24hrs, straightaway wanted to install linux. question was which and how. have dual booted with windows for years. not so easy on apple. had to follow quite a few guides online to figure out how. had to do manual partitioning, update firmware, and be careful with the uefi partitions. wanted to try arch, but settled with kde neon (been making a shift towards kde from gnome recently). linux is far more performant on this hardware. had issues with audio and then also learnt that its problematic to move back, or change distro. did manage to do it in the end. still not seeing the appeal!
    • next project im thinking is to turn my raspberry pi 400 into my own personal cloud with nextcloud mintcast is my first “real-life” usage of nextcloud and im very impressed. maybe time to migrate all my cloud storage to nextcloud. using a combination of Mega, Google Drive and OneDrive at present.
    • moving over from gnome to kde on some of my boxes. i always thought of kde as bloaty and laggy,. definitely not any more. the k apps seems really good too. moved from ubuntu 22.10 to kubuntu 23.04. kde connect is just better then the gsconnect fork on gnome.
    • do i have the guts for arch? twitch about using it on my machines… maybe time for another test laptop!
    • really loving Star Trek Picard season 3. TNG fan heaven.
    • the mandalorian season 3 is disappointing
    • loving the (cricket) Indian Premier League.,. apparently coming to america, i actually think the t20 format would work brilliantly with the US.
    • junior doctor strike so been bloody busy in the hospital. i support them, 35% real time cut in pay. i feel for them.
    • Ramadan (the muslim holy month of fasting) going on, being diabetic im not fasting, but rest of the family are. getting good family time and trying to be more spiritual.
  • Chris
    • Got my hands on a Dell Poweredge server and started to work on it.
    • Started some training at work
    • Went from drinks and talked about Linux to some friends who do not know much about it, I think I have them sold
    • Did some 3d printing for my board games, mostly inserts to better organize them, and a figure for Arkham Horror The Card Game
    • Started to mess with my Samsung tab S8+ that I swapped my iPad out for, I am pretty impressed with the tablet, which is good because I have had a hard time liking android tablets to this point.
    • Watched some X-Files

— Play Innards Transition Bumper —

Linux Innards

30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)

  • Introducing Majid and Chris
    • What got you into Linux?
    • Do you use it at work or are you a hobbyist?
    • What distros?
    • What made you decide to do podcasting?

— Play Vibrations Transition Bumper —

Vibrations from the Ether

20 minutes (~5 minutes each)

— Play Check This Transition Bumper —

Check This Out

10 minutes

  • Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength from the Command Line with Wavemon
  • From OMG Linux via londoner
  • wavemon is a wireless device monitoring application that allows you to watch signal and noise levels, packet statistics, device configuration and network parameters of your wireless network hardware. It should work (though with varying features) with all devices supported by the Linux kernel.
  • This free, open source tool has a neat ncurses-based UI that shows a real-time graph of signal strength for the wireless network you’re currently connected to.
  • While this tool won’t make your wi-fi faster or coax signal into network dark spots it will allow you to see a whole host of information at a glance, including:
  • Link quality
  • Signal to noise
  • Packet statistics
  • Device config
  • Network info
  • V
    ersion 0.9.1 is available in the Mint/Ubuntu repos. A later version 0.9.4 is available from the developer on Github.

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— Play Closing Music and Standard Outro —

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