Episode 428 Show Notes

Welcome to mintCast

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

This is Episode 428!

This is Episode 428.5!

Recorded on Sunday, January 7, 2024

290 for sets of two im Joe; slowly recovering, I’m Moss; Christmas is over – time to start shopping for over-priced chocolates, and day-spa gift cards, I’m Bill; wondering what the next tech-fix will be I’m Majid; and not quite ready to go back to normal life, I’m Eric

— Play Standard Intro —

  • First up in the news: Mint Monthly News, Fedora Asahi Remix Officially Released for Apple Silicon Macs
  • In security and privacy:
  • Then in our Wanderings: Bill becomes “unstable”; Majid bricks and un-bricks; Moss is counting pixels; Joe …; and Eric does some Homebrewing
  • In our Innards section: Predictions: 2023 mistakes and 2024 attempts
  • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions

— Play News Transition Bumper —

The News

20 minutes

  • Mint Monthly News
    • From the Linux Mint Blog by Clem (via londoner)
    • Clem started by wishing everyone Happy New Year and thanking them for all the donations. In December, $24,146 was received from 751 people. In addition, Linux Mint is proudly supported by 945 patrons, for a sum of $3,300 per month. To become a Linux Mint patron, please visit https://www.patreon.com/linux_mint
    • The BETA phase for Linux Mint 21.3 has been relatively quiet. 50 bug reports were received and 35 of them are already closed. The remaining 15 are being tackled and preparations made for a stable release and an upgrade path. The ISOs entered QA testing on Friday, so a stable release won’t be long.
    • LMDE 6 will receive all the new updates featured in Linux Mint 21.3. This will happen shortly before the stable release.
    • During BETA testing compatibility issues were identified between Linux Mint and newer hardware devices (recent AMD graphics but also wireless chipsets and SSD controllers used in Acer laptops). These are solved by upgrading the kernel series from 5.15 to 6.5. Therefore a new EDGE ISO for Linux Mint 21.3 shipping with a kernel 6.5 will be forthcoming.
  • Fedora Asahi Remix Officially Released for Apple Silicon Macs – Majid
    • From asahilinux.org & also 9to5linux (via londoner)
    • On Dec 19, Asahi Linux officially introduced what they describe as “The most polished Linux® for Apple Silicon Macs.” Fedora Asahi Remix is the result of a close multi-year collaboration between the Asahi Linux project and the Fedora Project. All of the Asahi platform-specific packages are in upstream Fedora and fully supported in Fedora Linux 39. All M1 and M2 series MacBook, Mac Mini, Mac Studio, and iMac devices are supported.
    • KDE Plasma is offered as the flagship desktop environment, but it is possible to use GNOME 45. Fedora Asahi Remix comes right out of the box with a 100% Wayland environment, with HiDPI support (even across multiple displays with different display scales) and XWayland included. With upcoming improvements, new technologies such as HDR and display notches will be supported.
    • Asahi have also pioneered the world’s first fully integrated DSP solution for the desktop Linux ecosystem, using PipeWire and WirePlumber with their in-house Bankstown bass boost technology
  • GNOME Makes New System Monitor Extension for GNOME Shell – Eric
    • From OMG Ubuntu!
    • Keeping an eye on CPU, memory, and network activity in GNOME Shell is easy thanks to an array of community-built extensions tailored-made for the task. Now a new option is available for GNOME Shell users, one designed, developed, and supported by GNOME itself.
    • Why create its own resource monitor add-on? GNOME developer Florian Müllner explains: “A long time ago, we used to include a system monitor extension, that added CPU/memory graphs to the (long gone) message tray. However demand for this type of extensions hasn’t died down, to the point where RHEL includes a revived version of the old extension.”
    • Ihttps://youtube.com/live/PpBUzCeR7vc?feature=sharen light of the continue need, they’ve built a brand-new system monitor extension. The new iteration is unlikely to suffer from the CPU and memory flaws found in the old version. This extension (like all GNOME-made ones) is entirely optional, and is not part of GNOME Shell itself (so if you have no use for this, you needn’t fret).
  • Fwupd 1.9.11 Released With Support For New Algoltek & Luxshare USB Devices Bill
    • Last month LVFS/Fwupd celebrated serving more than 100 million firmware updates to Linux users while today Fwupd 1.9.11 has shipped as the latest update to this open-source firmware updating solution.
    • Fwupd 1.9.11 adds improved handling for ignoring recovery partitions during ESP selection, checking for CET and SMAP presence on AMD (non-Intel) x86 CPUs, faster Synaptics MST device enumeration, and a variety of other fixes. On the new hardware support front Fwupd 1.9.11 adds support for Algoltek USB devices and the Luxshare Quad USB4 Dock.
    • An engineer from Algoltek contributed the new Algoltek-USB plug-in for Fwupd to handle updating the Algoltek ASIC firmware. Initially this supports firmware updates for Algoltek’s DisplayPort over USB-C to HDMI converter.
    • The Luxshare Quad USB4 Dock support for firmware updating comes via extending the Synaptics MST plug-in for supporting that dock. Fwupd previously was targeting Luxshare Quad support but in v1.9.11 additional changes are needed around the device requiring a manual restart after the firmware update to properly complete.
  • Debian preps ground to drop 32-bit x86 as separate edition Moss
    • After a recent meetup in Cambridge, Debian developers are discussing how to start gradually dropping 32-bit x86 support.
    • At the end of November, some of the Debian development team met at a mini-DebConf in Cambridge, UK.
    • One immediately visible result is a message entitled “Bits from the Release Team” on the debian-devel-announce mailing list, with significant news: The end of the line for Debian as a 32-bit distro is approaching. Note, though, this doesn’t mean that 32-bit support is going away altogether. Not yet anyway.
    • The news is in a section titled “A future for the i386 architecture”:
      • Insofar as they still do, we anticipate that the kernel, d-i and
      • images teams will cease to support i386 in the near future.
    • There is a bit of internal project jargon here which we suspect bears clarifying. First, i386 is the Debian project’s term for what we’ll call x86-32. If x86-64 is 64-bit x86, aka x64, then x86-32 is 32-bit x86. Simple. Also, this i386 doesn’t mean the actual 80386 from the 1980s: the Linux kernel dropped support for that way back in 2012. Most OS projects now talk about i686, which is generally taken to mean 32-bit Intel chips from the original Pentium Pro or Pentium II onward.
    • We suspect that “kernel” is fairly self-explanatory, although you may not know that the Debian project includes a number of kernels of which the Linux kernel is only one. The abbreviation “d-i” means the Debian Installer, and “images” is the project’s term for installable CD and DVD media.
  • Microsoft wants to add a Copilot key to your PC keyboard
    • From TechCrunch
    • Microsoft would like 2024 to be the “year of the AI PC,” and to put a point on that, the company today announced a new key for Copilot — that is, a physical key that will soon make its way to your keyboard and join the Windows key, together with its friends the Control key, Alt and that Insert key you’ve never purposely used. Based on the image Microsoft sent over, it looks like the new Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard, where it will slot in between the Alt key and the left arrow key.
    • “The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president & consumer chief marketing officer, writes in today’s announcement. “We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily. The Copilot key joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard and when pressed, the new key will invoke the Copilot in Windows experience to make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day.”
    • In regions where Copilot is not available, the Copilot key will launch Windows Search. The first keyboards with the new key will launch at this year’s CES in Las Vegas and will likely start shipping in late February.
    • If you needed any more evidence that Microsoft is all in on the AI hype train, the fact that it now, for the first time since the Windows logo key appeared on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994, is adding a new button is all you need to know.
    • Microsoft, together with its chip partners like AMD and Intel, hopes that a lot of the AI inferencing will soon be offloaded onto local silicon, which will then “unlock new AI experiences on the Windows PC.” Never given to hyperbole, Microsoft notes that it sees “this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC.”
    • Thankfully, your old keyboards will continue to function just like before — and if your keyboard allows, you may even be able to remap your right Control key to function like the Copilot key. Or you can ignore the whole thing, of course.

— Play Security Transition Bumper —

Security and Privacy

10 minutes

  • We are officially 100% secure!

— Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —

Bi-Weekly Wanderings

30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)

  • Bill
    • So the holidays are over, and it’s time to get back to the business of everyday life. I didn’t have much time off, but I did have three-day weekends for both Christmas and New Year. With the exception of 3 Fat Truckers, my podcasting responsibilities have been less demanding so I decided to get a couple of things done that have been on the back burner. First, I wanted to master the art of marrying Debian Sid (Unstable) with LMDE 6. I’ve tried this in the past with less than stellar results. This time I was determined to get it to work properly. As a Linux user, I’ve always seemed to fit firmly into the category of a “Rolling Release” user, hence my affinity with distributions like Arch. I see now there’s absolutely no way to avoid telling people when you use Arch, so I’m not even going to try. Arch users are philosophically aside from other types of users so when ever you find yourself explaining your insane methods to people, somehow you always end up just admitting your affiliation. At that point, normal Linux users just say “ah” and then from then out treat you as though you have Tourette syndrome. Anyway, this time I was determined to die on my hill. After some research, I learned one fundamental mistake I was making was that I was using the commands “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt full-upgrade.” the second of those is the modern equivalent to the old “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” command which will not only upgrade packages, but also uninstall and clear from the cache packages apt believes are no longer needed. The Debian documentation suggests not using this command when using Sid, because it can cause instability. They are right. When I tried this back in the LMDE 5 days, I ended up with a broken system with half of Cinnamon gone. This time I avoided the potentially destructive command, and
    • — Play Standard Intro —
    • First up in the news: Mint Monthly News, Fedora Asahi Remix Officially Released for Apple Silicon Macs
    • In security and privacy:
    • Then in our Wanderings: Bill becomes “unstable”; Majid bricks and un-bricks; Moss is counting pixels; Joe …; and Eric does some Homebrewing
    • In our Innards section: Predictions: 2023 mistakes and 2024 attempts
    • And finally, the feedback and a couple of suggestions
    • — Play News Transition Bumper —
    • The News
    • 20 minutes
    • Mint Monthly News
      • From the Linux Mint Blog by Clem (via londoner)
      • Clem started by wishing everyone Happy New Year and thanking them for all the donations. In December, $24,146 was received from 751 people. In addition, Linux Mint is proudly supported by 945 patrons, for a sum of $3,300 per month. To become a Linux Mint patron, please visit https://www.patreon.com/linux_mint
      • The BETA phase for Linux Mint 21.3 has been relatively quiet. 50 bug reports were received and 35 of them are already closed. The remaining 15 are being tackled and preparations made for a stable release and an upgrade path. The ISOs entered QA testing on Friday, so a stable release won’t be long.
      • LMDE 6 will receive all the new updates featured in Linux Mint 21.3. This will happen shortly before the stable release.
      • During BETA testing compatibility issues were identified between Linux Mint and newer hardware devices (recent AMD graphics but also wireless chipsets and SSD controllers used in Acer laptops). These are solved by upgrading the kernel series from 5.15 to 6.5. Therefore a new EDGE ISO for Linux Mint 21.3 shipping with a kernel 6.5 will be forthcoming.
    • Fedora Asahi Remix Officially Released for Apple Silicon Macs – Majid
      • From asahilinux.org & also 9to5linux (via londoner)
      • On Dec 19, Asahi Linux officially introduced what they describe as “The most polished Linux® for Apple Silicon Macs.” Fedora Asahi Remix is the result of a close multi-year collaboration between the Asahi Linux project and the Fedora Project. All of the Asahi platform-specific packages are in upstream Fedora and fully supported in Fedora Linux 39. All M1 and M2 series MacBook, Mac Mini, Mac Studio, and iMac devices are supported.
      • KDE Plasma is offered as the flagship desktop environment, but it is possible to use GNOME 45. Fedora Asahi Remix comes right out of the box with a 100% Wayland environment, with HiDPI support (even across multiple displays with different display scales) and XWayland included. With upcoming improvements, new technologies such as HDR and display notches will be supported.
      • Asahi have also pioneered the world’s first fully integrated DSP solution for the desktop Linux ecosystem, using PipeWire and WirePlumber with their in-house Bankstown bass boost technology
    • GNOME Makes New System Monitor Extension for GNOME Shell – Eric
      • From OMG Ubuntu!
      • Keeping an eye on CPU, memory, and network activity in GNOME Shell is easy thanks to an array of community-built extensions tailored-made for the task. Now a new option is available for GNOME Shell users, one designed, developed, and supported by GNOME itself.
      • Why create its own resource monitor add-on? GNOME developer Florian Müllner explains: “A long time ago, we used to include a system monitor extension, that added CPU/memory graphs to the (long gone) message tray. However demand for this type of extensions hasn’t died down, to the point where RHEL includes a revived version of the old extension.”
      • Ihttps://youtube.com/live/PpBUzCeR7vc?feature=sharen light of the continue need, they’ve built a brand-new system monitor extension. The new iteration is unlikely to suffer from the CPU and memory flaws found in the old version. This extension (like all GNOME-made ones) is entirely optional, and is not part of GNOME Shell itself (so if you have no use for this, you needn’t fret).
    • Fwupd 1.9.11 Released With Support For New Algoltek & Luxshare USB Devices Bill
      • Last month LVFS/Fwupd celebrated serving more than 100 million firmware updates to Linux users while today Fwupd 1.9.11 has shipped as the latest update to this open-source firmware updating solution.
      • Fwupd 1.9.11 adds improved handling for ignoring recovery partitions during ESP selection, checking for CET and SMAP presence on AMD (non-Intel) x86 CPUs, faster Synaptics MST device enumeration, and a variety of other fixes. On the new hardware support front Fwupd 1.9.11 adds support for Algoltek USB devices and the Luxshare Quad USB4 Dock.
      • An engineer from Algoltek contributed the new Algoltek-USB plug-in for Fwupd to handle updating the Algoltek ASIC firmware. Initially this supports firmware updates for Algoltek’s DisplayPort over USB-C to HDMI converter.
      • The Luxshare Quad USB4 Dock support for firmware updating comes via extending the Synaptics MST plug-in for supporting that dock. Fwupd previously was targeting Luxshare Quad support but in v1.9.11 additional changes are needed around the device requiring a manual restart after the firmware update to properly complete.
    • Debian preps ground to drop 32-bit x86 as separate edition Moss
      • After a recent meetup in Cambridge, Debian developers are discussing how to start gradually dropping 32-bit x86 support.
      • At the end of November, some of the Debian development team met at a mini-DebConf in Cambridge, UK.
      • One immediately visible result is a message entitled “Bits from the Release Team” on the debian-devel-announce mailing list, with significant news: The end of the line for Debian as a 32-bit distro is approaching. Note, though, this doesn’t mean that 32-bit support is going away altogether. Not yet anyway.
      • The news is in a section titled “A future for the i386 architecture”:
        • Insofar as they still do, we anticipate that the kernel, d-i and
        • images teams will cease to support i386 in the near future.
      • There is a bit of internal project jargon here which we suspect bears clarifying. First, i386 is the Debian project’s term for what we’ll call x86-32. If x86-64 is 64-bit x86, aka x64, then x86-32 is 32-bit x86. Simple. Also, this i386 doesn’t mean the actual 80386 from the 1980s: the Linux kernel dropped support for that way back in 2012. Most OS projects now talk about i686, which is generally taken to mean 32-bit Intel chips from the original Pentium Pro or Pentium II onward.
      • We suspect that “kernel” is fairly self-explanatory, although you may not know that the Debian project includes a number of kernels of which the Linux kernel is only one. The abbreviation “d-i” means the Debian Installer, and “images” is the project’s term for installable CD and DVD media.
    • Microsoft wants to add a Copilot key to your PC keyboard
      • From TechCrunch
      • Microsoft would like 2024 to be the “year of the AI PC,” and to put a point on that, the company today announced a new key for Copilot — that is, a physical key that will soon make its way to your keyboard and join the Windows key, together with its friends the Control key, Alt and that Insert key you’ve never purposely used. Based on the image Microsoft sent over, it looks like the new Copilot key will replace the right Control key on the standard PC keyboard, where it will slot in between the Alt key and the left arrow key.
      • “The introduction of the Copilot key marks the first significant change to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly three decades,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, executive vice president & consumer chief marketing officer, writes in today’s announcement. “We believe it will empower people to participate in the AI transformation more easily. The Copilot key joins the Windows key as a core part of the PC keyboard and when pressed, the new key will invoke the Copilot in Windows experience to make it seamless to engage Copilot in your day to day.”
      • In regions where Copilot is not available, the Copilot key will launch Windows Search. The first keyboards with the new key will launch at this year’s CES in Las Vegas and will likely start shipping in late February.
      • If you needed any more evidence that Microsoft is all in on the AI hype train, the fact that it now, for the first time since the Windows logo key appeared on a Microsoft Natural Keyboard in 1994, is adding a new button is all you need to know.
      • Microsoft, together with its chip partners like AMD and Intel, hopes that a lot of the AI inferencing will soon be offloaded onto local silicon, which will then “unlock new AI experiences on the Windows PC.” Never given to hyperbole, Microsoft notes that it sees “this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC.”
      • Thankfully, your old keyboards will continue to function just like before — and if your keyboard allows, you may even be able to remap your right Control key to function like the Copilot key. Or you can ignore the whole thing, of course.
    • — Play Security Transition Bumper —
    • Security and Privacy
    • 10 minutes
    • We are officially 100% secure!
    • — Play Wanderings Transition Bumper —
    • Bi-Weekly Wanderings
    • 30 minutes (~5-8 mins each)
    • Bill
      • So the holidays are over, and it’s time to get back to the business of everyday life. I didn’t have much time off, but I did have three-day weekends for both Christmas and New Year. With the exception of 3 Fat Truckers, my podcasting responsibilities have been less demanding so I decided to get a couple of things done that have been on the back burner. First, I wanted to master the art of marrying Debian Sid (Unstable) with LMDE 6. I’ve tried this in the past with less than stellar results. This time I was determined to get it to work properly. As a Linux user, I’ve always seemed to fit firmly into the category of a “Rolling Release” user, hence my affinity with distributions like Arch. I see now there’s absolutely no way to avoid telling people when you use Arch, so I’m not even going to try. Arch users are philosophically aside from other types of users so when ever you find yourself explaining your insane methods to people, somehow you always end up just admitting your affiliation. At that point, normal Linux users just say “ah” and then from then out treat you as though you have Tourette syndrome. Anyway, this time I was determined to die on my hill. After some research, I learned one fundamental mistake I was making was that I was using the commands “sudo apt update” and “sudo apt full-upgrade.” the second of those is the modern equivalent to the old “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade” command which will not only upgrade packages, but also uninstall and clear from the cache packages apt believes are no longer needed. The Debian documentation suggests not using this command when using Sid, because it can cause instability. They are right. When I tried this back in the LMDE 5 days, I ended up with a broken system with half of Cinnamon gone. This time I avoided the potentially destructive command, and everything is brilliant! For all intents and purposes, I’ve re-captured some of what I love about Arch while also keeping the Mint tooling and securing my place as a Mint user. That same lizard brain that likes using Arch, Nextcloud, Jellyfin, and Docker will not allow me to be a host of mintCast without actually running Mint. I’m told it may be an indicator for OCD. I don’t care. It’s my world I’m living in right here! The thing I like best is the access to up-to-date content creation software without the use of any of the containerized, so-called “universal” solutions which with the exception of OBS Studio all seem half baked, and in a lot of ways somewhat broken. These are opinions folks, calm down. One potential pit-fall I am slightly concerned with is the Debian freeze which occurs just before a stable release to keep the package repos steady in line with the image creation schedule. I’m not really aware how long the freeze usually lasts, and I’ve heard some say it can be a potential worst-case scenario situation if a vulnerability materializes. This is because if a problem arises during the freeze, the patch wont get merged until after the end of the freeze. The same is true for the Debian “Testing” branch as well. Time will tell if this is a solution I can commit to for the long term. I will definitely comment more on it in the future.
      • The other thing I wanted to get done was my daughter’s laptop. She has been running Windows 10 on her 15 inch HP Omen with the 6th gen i5. Although this machine has both secure boot, and TPM 2.0, it is still block listed by Windows 11. This is where Ventoy enters the story. With Ventoy, you essentially create a bootable USB thumb drive with their tool. It can be done on Windows as well as Linux. Then you put whatever iso’s you want on the drive. In this case, I put both Windows 10, and 11 on the drive just in case 11 didn’t work, I could at least give her a clean, new install of windows 10. Ventoy has an option made just for 11, where it bypasses the automated check to see if the machine is eligible for the OS, and goes straight to the installation. Everything worked perfectly, and now she is enjoying a much better experience for her gaming. I also replaced the combination 128 GB NvME and 1 TB Spinning rust with a 2 TB NvME and upgraded her RAM from 8 GiB to 32 GiB. She went from having a noticably weaker machine as compared to her brothers, to one slightly superior in terms of storage capacity, and available RAM.
      • Yesterday morning I transplanted the server that runs my Jellyfin instance, three of the websites I administer, my Audiobookshelf server, and the Reverse Proxy that sits between literally everything on my LAN. The reason I did it was because the tower my Dell PowerEdge came with was one of the noisiest boxes I’ve ever ran. I ordered an Antec P101 which is an absolute beast of a tower. This thing is at least a third bigger than the ThinkCentre it sat next to, and that tower was one of the biggest towers I’ve ever owned. This thing is nice because it comes standard with 8 3.5” bays which is great for media servers like min, though admittedly I’m only using 3 of them. Another great feature is that all the walls are lined with sound dampening. Folks watching the show on YouTube would notice this monstrosity behind me. It looks like a small refrigerator. It has 4 fans, which run silently. There’s a switch on the top of the tower that controls the speed of the fans, which is convenient. In the near future I’m going to order another and transplant the ThinkCentre into it as well.
    • Joe
      • I have done some more messing around with Android and have a couple of different things to talk about in that regard.
        • I was having some issues with hooking up a Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad to my phone and I was not sure why. I have hooked them up to it in the past but I have a lot of devices that remembered in my bluetooth list due to the amount of headphhones that I test. I looked up several fixes for the issue but the one that ended up working for me was resetting the network information which did clear all of my bluetooth items(which probably needed to be done) and also all of my wifi networks which was not needed. It is good that I can now use a bluetooth keyboard and touchpad and can hook up the headsets that I use the most. But yeah putting back in all the networks as I come across them has been fun.
        • I have also been still using DEX when I can at work.. But something that I have noticed is that it is very hit or miss if the touch screen will work on the second monitor. A few time sit has worked and a few times I get nothing. I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting. I have tried to restart I have tried different cables and I am not sure what causes it to work or not work. Makes things hard to test.
        • But the seperate screen is helpful. Even though that screen is nearly the same size as myphone. Just a bit bigger, I can adjust the scaling on it to make things a little larger and the dex setup allows me to do a split screen very easily and I can multitask
      • I finally did the work and put the M.2 hard drive into my server to replace the ssd that was there. It went from 500Gb to 1Tb and greatly increased the read write speed. At the same time I also received a very powerful graphics card from Bill. Thank you, Bill.
      • So that also went in since I was doing a nuke and pave anyway. The reason that he sent it to me is because my old card was starting to go out. A lot of graphical issues with chrome and with transcoding with plex.
      • This is an older graphics card that Bill sent me but still very powerful. I was able to get it setup with no real issues at first. The only problem that has come up is that there are not OpenGL 2 drivers available for it and this has meant that I cannot run certain applications. But I will get back to that
      • Before the hard drive replacement I was able to use the built in back up tool from mint to try that out and see how well things worked. I backed up my entire home directory using the tool and also was able to back up my applications.
      • I did this because I wanted to test the restore process.
      • The install went really well with the latest stable version of Mint. The restore went ok. Most of my applications were reinstalled so long as they were in the main repos. This meant that I had to manually install some of my applications but for most of those the restore at least preserved my user data and settings.
      • Of course there were some that did not like Plex and Audiobookshelf. I am still going to try and do a restore of my audiobookshelf since it takes a lot of work to manually fix all the matches and since I have the old hard drive all of the data will be there even if I cant find it in the backup that I did.
      • There was also some resetup required with Nextcloud and all of my file automation but none of that was overly difficult.
      • With the new graphics card I was pleasantly surprised with how good Borderlands 2 looked playing from Linux on the card. Much cleaner than the old one and no where near all the delays with opening that the old one had. The only issue came up when I tried to run the appimage for Cura which threw an error about OpenGL 2. I tried to fix this by manually installing drivers from AMD which did not install the way that they should have and had to purge those changes. Thankfully I still had an older version of the appimage for Cura which did not require the OpenGL 2 drivers.
      • Also with the attempted install my VM quit working. I try to make sure that I have a good backup of my VM at all times and I did a full backup right before the Nuke and pave. I had virtualbox 7 installed and it was working before the drivers gaffe but after it was throwing errors indicating that some of the helper tools were the wrong version. So I purged virtualbox and installed 6.1 which got everything up and running again.
      • Next came an issue with my USB switcher. The device that I use to switch my keyboard and mouse back and forth between my work computer and my home computer. It would start out working just fine and then one of the times that I would switch back suddenly it would not connect and I would not be able to connect ANY new usb devices to my system. I tried switching out the cables switching out the hub that was being used, even found a script to disconnect all usb devices and reconnect them. Swapping sides on the switch. Nothing worked except for restarting the entire system.
      • But everything always worked fine on the work computer
      • I tried going into solaar and disconnecting and reconnecting the mouse and one time when I restarted the system it showed that the Logitech reciever was causing an issue.
      • In the end I think that it was the new version of Solaar or some configuration change that I made in it that caused the issue because purging the program fixed my issues
      • I was on the New Years HPR show but for much less time than I would have liked. My dog’s health took a turn for the worse and she died.
      • I also had my first follow up appointment since I started taking TRT. My testosterone numbers are actually worse. The doctor doesnt know what the heck is going on but we have upped my dosage for now and scheduled another appointment in 3 months. Also need to up the amount of cardio that I do and see if that improves my HDL. My LDL is well within acceptable range.
      • Of course it wouldnt be my bi-weekly wanderings without headphones and 3d printers
      • My 3d printer needed a bit of a tune up so I tightened the belts and then had to tighten the mount for the extruder. I also replaced the nozzle with a new one as the old one seemed to be partially clogged. With the switching to the older version of CURA I also needed to go into the settings again and make sure that the fan speed was set to 50 percent.
      • This has greatly improved my print quality again. I have done a few prints since then including a replacement pc slot cover a buckle and a sliding handle for exacto knife blades. The buckle I am planning to probably reprint after a bit of a redesign. there are some parts of it that I think could use some bulking up in order to make a bit more durable. I may also scale it down for some of the applications that I have in mind for it.
      • A coworker has handed a pair of Sony wh1000xm3 to try and fix and they are a pain to work on. They are not hard to take apart or anything but the fault is intermittent and every time I take it apart and work on it it starts to work again only to stop a short time after I put it back together. Obviously it is a short somewhere but all the wires are well seperated and it is hard to tell where the fault is. I am going to have to start peeling back shielding to find anything and I know it is going to probably cause more problems than it solves. Granted the thing is broken anyway so…
      • I did get an 11 inch portable screen for christmas and I have used a tablet mount to put it onto my chair in the garage. I have used it for my phone since it also has a touchscreen which is the main purpose that I had in mind for it but I also decided to setup one of my Pi Zeros with a USB hat and retro pi.
      • I will say that I am somewhat dissapointed with the USB C video input on the device since it cuts in and out when connected straight to my phone but it works well when hooked up with an adapter and hdmi. My other portable screen does not have the issue with cutting in and out
      • I only put a couple of my favorite games on there and I can play a quick game whenever I am not busy now. I am working on my Super Mario Bros Speed Run
    • Moss
      • I have my new (refurbished) Pixel 7 all up and running. Didn’t take much, just putting the apps on the phone and logging into them, then moving the SIM card. I’m so glad to have that Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) behind me.
      • I had to cancel my annual trip to Atlanta, so that I could take care of my wife, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. If I were in Atlanta, I wouldn’t be here today. I am quite clearly missing being at the convention, as being around so many friends playing so much music sets the tone for my year. Suzanne has the other knee scheduled for early February, so we’ll be at this for a while. I can’t work during this period.
      • The 2016 System76 Kudu 3 that I got from listener Jackie Moore years back has finally had a hinge break, also breaking some of the bezel on the screen. I’m planning on sending it to Joe for rest and recuperation. The good news is that I finally got her to use the Lenovo ThinkPad T590 I bought her almost a year ago, although it does not like her monitor the same way the Kudu did. I’m trying to talk her into getting either a Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny or the equivalent HP machine, both of which continue to be VERY inexpensive.
      • Jackie also offered to sell me a PineTab 2, but my wife put that on hold for now. I hope I can loosen the purse strings up soon.
      • I did spend quite a few hours on the HPR New Years Eve show, although it was much less satisfying than previous years as there were rarely more than 3 people actually talking.
    • Majid
      • Not been here for the last few weeks so I guess I’ve got more wanderings then usual
      • So got the Meta Quest VR 2 in a black friday deal, tbh its good, but superfluous. Everything on it costs money and it isnt an easy pick-up-and-go. Tempted to get rid of it, though my daughter wants me to keep it!
      • Part of the way I had convinced myself that the VR wasnt a waste of money was to say “well at least I can wacth TV on it”. Well our main LG 43in TV started dying and so I looked around to see if there were any good boxing day sales around. Managed to pick up a Hisense 55in for 300 quid! Good screens have become cheap and cheap screens have become good.
      • I have finally given up on Linux on a phone. After bricking a OnePlus 6 and almost bricking a Pixel 3a I’ve decided that ive not got enough any more patience or cognitive bandwith for this. The biggest issue seems tobe the downgrade to Android 9. I was somehow able to un-brick the Pixel 3a with the help of some people on XDA developers. I am now on principle going to leave this for the time being at least.
      • One of the things I bought in the black friday sales was a GameSir x2 controller which makes your phone into a switch like console. Played a few new games with it on my main phone (oneplus 11), However since I now have the unbricked pixel 3a, I thought of using that as a dedicated android games console. Its too underpowered for the games now, but runs emulations well. So been using it as a retro console controller. Streetfighter 2 SNES version works great!
      • So my iPad/Mac experience over 22/23 was an absolute fail as I’ve discussed on here ad nauseum. The tl;dr being that tablets cant do laptop stuff, and laptops dont have the best battery life for tablety stuff. (yes I know the M1 Macbook Air had great battery life, but the OS was too limiting for a FOSS nerd like me). So the idea came to me whether and Android/Samsung eco-system might work. The work phone is a Galaxy S22U and so if I get a Samsung Tab (which supports Dex) maybe this might be a good idea. Got a Samsung Tab s6 lite (2022 version). Got a used one off ebay for about 200 quid. Got a bluetook keyboard from amazon, Had to unlock and reset the machine myself as though it had been factory reset by the sellor, it still wanted the original lock code. Used some software to bypass the FRP lock. Set it up, and tbh its working ok so far, though havent pushed it too much. I think the s6 lite is a bit underpowered though esp in Dex mode. Android as a tablet OS isnt as limiting as iPad OS, and I can use it more like a normal laptop, but still early days
      • I think maybe all of the above is a bit foolish though. I have recently a new islamic organisation, and we needed to make some posters advertising events. The other guys arent so techy so I was asked to make it. I thought this would be something I’d need my laptop for, was thinking of Scribus and other software I’ve used in the past for this kind of thing. However since now I’m doing this new experiment, I’d try this out. Well basically I was able to do it all with an app called Canva on my smartphone (not even the tablet). The S22 Ultra S-pen came really handy and I was able to make something in record time. Made me think whether maybe I need to wake up and smell the coffee and not try to shoehorn my old (antiquated?) workflow paradigms on new hardware.
      • Christmas was quiet for us. We dont really celebrate it, but we do spend some family time, go to my mother etc. Was nice. We had planned a holiday initially, but recent bathroom/other diy mess ups meant we had workmen around (and a much lighter bank account).
      • NHS strikes still going on. The senior doctors have been offered a pay deal, but the juniors havent. Classic British divide-and-rule.
      • Relatively quiet on the distro front. Feren working well on the desktop, and Ubuntu on the laptop. Manjaro is still on my other laptop, but I use that laptop less and less as its battery life is comical (even on windows)
      • Going on a spiritual retreat in Morocco in Jan so wont be on the next episode. Bit apprehensive tbh, but will be an experience! Only for a long weekend, so not for long.
      • I dont want to get too political, but the whole situation in israel & palestine is intolerable. It shows the cold-heartedness of our ruling classes. If you can give charity to support the affected on both sides, please do
    • Eric
      • The holiday season usually means time spent with my family rather than tinkering and this year was no exception. I haven’t done much recently, although there is one thing worth mentioning.
      • I wanted to try a piece of software for web development that is distributed as a binary package via either the Snap store or Homebrew. I had been looking for an excuse to try Homebrew anyway so I used this as my opportunity.Homebrew is mostly seen as a MacOS solution but also works on Liunx. It is another third-party package management solution. It allows you to install software not packaged by your host distribution, install up-to-date versions of software when your host distribution is old, and use the same package manager to manage your macOS, Linux, and Windows systems.According to their website, Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple (or your Linux system) didn’t. It installs packages to their own directory and then symlinks their files into /opt/homebrew. Homebrew won’t install files outside its prefix and you can place a Homebrew installation wherever you like.Installing Homebrew is done easily via one of the dreaded wget commands, although they take care to explain what each step is doing as it is being installed. It provides the brew command which enables installing, uninstalling, and updaing packages. I was able to install what I needed and it worked as expected.I’m not sure that I will use it all that often seeing as I already have most of what I need from Flathub but it’s nice to have the option if something isn’t available in flatpak format.
    • — Play Innards Transition Bumper —
    • Linux Innards
    • 30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)
    • Predictions 2023
    • Moss
    • I predict that there will be at least two new distros appear, one Arch-based and the other Debian-based, which someone somewhere (major podcast or YouTube channel) will proclaim to be the greatest distro ever, and that not everyone will sneer at the thought. One of these will begin to get serious attention.
      • Didn’t see anything like this. I am truly surprised. blendOS has made strides but has not truly been adopted widely.
    • I predict that almost everyone will continue to mostly ignore fascinating distros such as SerpentOS and NixOS, and that SolusOS will fall into that same level of unimportance.
      • Good for Serpent OS, but Nix has gotten a lot of adoption and Solus has made a comeback after nearly fading away.
    • I predict that either ReactOS or HaikuOS will put a version out which is not labeled Beta.
      • Nope.
    • I predict that Distrohoppers’ Digest will exceed 40,000 total downloads. (this will mean an average of over 900 listeners per episode). This could be easier or more difficult to determine, as Google has shut down Feedburner and we have switched to Red Circle, with which I have no experience.
      • This was too easy. We exceeded 42,000 downloads. We have more downloads than Lebron James has total career NBA points.
    • I predict that BigLinux will rise into the Top 20 distros on Distrowatch by the end of the year.
      • I don’t remember making this prediction last year. I might have made it for 2024…
    • Joe
      • Steam Deck v2 will launch to much further success
      • Pi’s will become much more accessible and there will be no new model in the mainline or the zero line
      • we will see more handheld devices that follow along the steam deck pattern. Right now there are some handhelds with windows or android as the primary OS. I am saying we will have more with Linux as the primary OS
    • Londoner
      • Asahi Linux will release a relatively easy install (an ISO or similar image) for Apple Silicon by the end of 2023, at least as a public beta.
    • Bill
      • The Raspberry pi foundation will “announce” the release of the pi 5.
      • Ubuntu will drop ZFS on root support for 23.04 but continue to develop the “in-tree” kernel module.
      • Ubuntu will begin proper support for Btrfs in the installer (meaning creation of sub-volumes and setting up snapshots) by 23.10, having it ready for the LTS in 2024.
      • Google will “announce” a new Pixel device based on the RiscV architecture.
    • PREDICTIONS 2024
    • Moss
      • Distrohoppers’ Digest will get free publicity in Full Circle Magazine.
      • No need to predict when Linux Mint will be ready for Wayland either, the road map is there.
      • Bodhi 8 will rebase on newer Enlightenment, finally bringing Wayland to it. That might not be out before the end of the year. And DeBodhi will become nearly as popular as regular Bodhi.
      • Gentoo will finally come out with a version which does its own compiling based on selections made in the installation process, and all Portage files will be made available in binary.
    • Bill
      • Windows 12 will be announced with a pre-installed Linux micro-kernel to better facilitate WSL
      • Google will definately announce a mobile device running on the RiscV architecture.
      • Mozilla will announce the incorporation of some kind of AI functionality with FireFox, and the world will implode as a result. Meaning the outrage massive will be mobilized and pitch forks will be handed out at sundown.
      • Twitter, or “X” as we’re supposed to call it now will go quietly into the good night.
    • Majid
      • More and more vendors are going to jump on the AI bandwagon. Nearly all of these wont get any traction (outside of Google and Microsoft)
      • Canonical will release an Ubuntu version with SNAP only. (probably 24.10) The LTS 24.04 will still retain deb
      • Ubuntu will get an official immutable flavour
      • Pop OS will finally release their new COSMIC desktop made with Rust
      • we will get a 1.0 release of Asahi
      • a very early alpha linux distro for the qualcomm gen 3
      • new ARM Windows laptops which will actually compete with the M series Macs
    • Eric
      • It feels lazy to predict things that are already happening like Wayland adoption, immutable distros, and increased reliance on third-party package systems like Flatpak. I don’t see much else happening in the Desktop Linux space in terms of transformative changes.
      • As others have mentioned, I also think that AI will be continue to be shoved into any conceivable and probably just as many inconveivable applications, although I think the hype cycle will settle down and then we will really see where AI gains traction and makes long-term meaningful impacts. I assume these will be anything to do with creating content, including writing, graphic design, photography, and audio content. You know, anything generative as in generative AI.
    • Joe
      • We will hear lots more about AI and see more computers come to market that are dedicated to AI and “making our life simpler”
      • Pi Zero 3 W will be released and it will be lower cost but not low cost enough to make it worth getting the way that the original zero and 2 were
      • Wayland will be even more annoying
      • Microsoft will soft launch the OS as a service with monthly fees
    • — Play Vibrations Transition Bumper —
    • Vibrations from the Ether
    • 20 minutes (~5 minutes each)
    • Zen Floater
      • Step 1, install linux mint.
      • Step 2. Go get the libssl deb file off of debian which easytether needs to run with and install it.
      • Step 3. Install the easytether deb
      • Step 4 sign up for the $20 a year google drive option with Googles VPN.
      • Step 5 Go get a new 5G android phone and turn that Google VPN on.
      • Step 6 establish an easytether connection between your laptop and that phone.
      • With 5 G they can’t seem to notice your bandwidth usage anymore and Google VPN protects your easytether traffic from being detected by the cell tower operators so they won’t just shut you off. And it works great! A laptop won’t use anymore bandwidth than your 5G phone would and nobody will notice it.
      • SUCCESS!!!!
      • Charlie case closed!
    • Zen Floater
      • I’ve been a ham since the 1960’s and I enjoyed you and bill talking about SKIP.
      • The process of bounding a radio signal off the IONosphere due to the SUN’s solar sunspot cycle using a CB set.
      • I still have an award for sending a signal at 28.6 mhz on the 10 meter ham band using 68 billionths of a watt of power, so it doesn’t take much power to do that but it really needs a GOOD ANTENNA…
      • The whole electric SEMI VS HYDROGEN powered SEMI was interesting as well. Our whole nation will have to bring three phase power to every residential household for us to all use electric cars efficiently or even charge larger vehicles like a SEMI. But could you imagine the truck stop which allows semi charging? Hundreds of big trucks parked in a truck stop and all this 480Volt three phase power cords stretching around. How many truck drivers legs get blown off when it rains!!! LOL
      • Charlie
    • There were some previous vibrations around tablets and stylus support on Linux. Thanks for that and I’ll take it on board
    • — Play Check This Transition Bumper —
    • Check This Out
    • 10 minutes
    • Ventoy
      • Ventoy is an open source tool to create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files.
        With Ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files to the USB drive and boot them directly.
    • Housekeeping & Announcements
    • Thank you for listening to this episode of mintCast!
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    • Send us email at [email protected]
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    • Or post directly at https://mintcast.org
    • Next Episode – 2 pm US Central time on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
    • Get mintCast converted to your time zone
    • for 428 Next Roundtable Live Stream – 2 pm US Central time on Saturday, January 13, 2024.
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    • Get the Roundtable Live Stream converted to your time zone
    • Livestream information is at mintcast.org/livestream
    • Wrap-up
    • JoeTllts.org,  linuxlugcast.com, [email protected], Buy Joe a coffee
    • Moss Full Circle Weekly News, Distrohoppers’ Digest, [email protected], Mastodon @[email protected], and my other contact information can be found at It’s Moss dot com
    • Bill [email protected], Bill_H on Discord, @[email protected] on Mastodon, also – checkout my other podcasts Linux OTC and 3 Fat Truckers
    • Majid [email protected] @atypicaldr870on twitter, AtypicalDr on instagram and Threads, and The Atypical Doctor Podcast on Spotify
    • Eric – You can also hear and see me on Distrohoppers’ Digest and Linux OTC podcasts as well as the Linux Saloon and LinuxLUGCast streams. If you’d like to get in touch with me I can be reached by email at [email protected]
    • Before we leave, we want to make sure to acknowledge some of the people who make mintCast possible:
    • Someone for our audio editing
    • Archive.org for hosting our audio files
    • Hobstar for our logo, initrd for the animated Discord logo
    • Londoner for our time syncs and various other contributions
    • Bill Houser for hosting the server which runs our website, website maintenance, and the NextCloud server on which we host our show notes and raw audio
    • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem … and co!>
    • — Play Closing Music and Standard Outro —
    • Paragraph
    • Start with the basic building block of all narrative.
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    • everything is brilliant! For all intents and purposes, I’ve re-captured some of what I love about Arch while also keeping the Mint tooling and securing my place as a Mint user. That same lizard brain that likes using Arch, Nextcloud, Jellyfin, and Docker will not allow me to be a host of mintCast without actually running Mint. I’m told it may be an indicator for OCD. I don’t care. It’s my world I’m living in right here! The thing I like best is the access to up-to-date content creation software without the use of any of the containerized, so-called “universal” solutions which with the exception of OBS Studio all seem half baked, and in a lot of ways somewhat broken. These are opinions folks, calm down. One potential pit-fall I am slightly concerned with is the Debian freeze which occurs just before a stable release to keep the package repos steady in line with the image creation schedule. I’m not really aware how long the freeze usually lasts, and I’ve heard some say it can be a potential worst-case scenario situation if a vulnerability materializes. This is because if a problem arises during the freeze, the patch wont get merged until after the end of the freeze. The same is true for the Debian “Testing” branch as well. Time will tell if this is a solution I can commit to for the long term. I will definitely comment more on it in the future.
    • The other thing I wanted to get done was my daughter’s laptop. She has been running Windows 10 on her 15 inch HP Omen with the 6th gen i5. Although this machine has both secure boot, and TPM 2.0, it is still block listed by Windows 11. This is where Ventoy enters the story. With Ventoy, you essentially create a bootable USB thumb drive with their tool. It can be done on Windows as well as Linux. Then you put whatever iso’s you want on the drive. In this case, I put both Windows 10, and 11 on the drive just in case 11 didn’t work, I could at least give her a clean, new install of windows 10. Ventoy has an option made just for 11, where it bypasses the automated check to see if the machine is eligible for the OS, and goes straight to the installation. Everything worked perfectly, and now she is enjoying a much better experience for her gaming. I also replaced the combination 128 GB NvME and 1 TB Spinning rust with a 2 TB NvME and upgraded her RAM from 8 GiB to 32 GiB. She went from having a noticably weaker machine as compared to her brothers, to one slightly superior in terms of storage capacity, and available RAM.
    • Yesterday morning I transplanted the server that runs my Jellyfin instance, three of the websites I administer, my Audiobookshelf server, and the Reverse Proxy that sits between literally everything on my LAN. The reason I did it was because the tower my Dell PowerEdge came with was one of the noisiest boxes I’ve ever ran. I ordered an Antec P101 which is an absolute beast of a tower. This thing is at least a third bigger than the ThinkCentre it sat next to, and that tower was one of the biggest towers I’ve ever owned. This thing is nice because it comes standard with 8 3.5” bays which is great for media servers like min, though admittedly I’m only using 3 of them. Another great feature is that all the walls are lined with sound dampening. Folks watching the show on YouTube would notice this monstrosity behind me. It looks like a small refrigerator. It has 4 fans, which run silently. There’s a switch on the top of the tower that controls the speed of the fans, which is convenient. In the near future I’m going to order another and transplant the ThinkCentre into it as well.
  • Joe
    • I have done some more messing around with Android and have a couple of different things to talk about in that regard.
      • I was having some issues with hooking up a Bluetooth keyboard and touchpad to my phone and I was not sure why. I have hooked them up to it in the past but I have a lot of devices that remembered in my bluetooth list due to the amount of headphhones that I test. I looked up several fixes for the issue but the one that ended up working for me was resetting the network information which did clear all of my bluetooth items(which probably needed to be done) and also all of my wifi networks which was not needed. It is good that I can now use a bluetooth keyboard and touchpad and can hook up the headsets that I use the most. But yeah putting back in all the networks as I come across them has been fun.
      • I have also been still using DEX when I can at work.. But something that I have noticed is that it is very hit or miss if the touch screen will work on the second monitor. A few time sit has worked and a few times I get nothing. I have tried disconnecting and reconnecting. I have tried to restart I have tried different cables and I am not sure what causes it to work or not work. Makes things hard to test.
      • But the seperate screen is helpful. Even though that screen is nearly the same size as myphone. Just a bit bigger, I can adjust the scaling on it to make things a little larger and the dex setup allows me to do a split screen very easily and I can multitask
    • I finally did the work and put the M.2 hard drive into my server to replace the ssd that was there. It went from 500Gb to 1Tb and greatly increased the read write speed. At the same time I also received a very powerful graphics card from Bill. Thank you, Bill.
    • So that also went in since I was doing a nuke and pave anyway. The reason that he sent it to me is because my old card was starting to go out. A lot of graphical issues with chrome and with transcoding with plex.
    • This is an older graphics card that Bill sent me but still very powerful. I was able to get it setup with no real issues at first. The only problem that has come up is that there are not OpenGL 2 drivers available for it and this has meant that I cannot run certain applications. But I will get back to that
    • Before the hard drive replacement I was able to use the built in back up tool from mint to try that out and see how well things worked. I backed up my entire home directory using the tool and also was able to back up my applications.
    • I did this because I wanted to test the restore process.
    • The install went really well with the latest stable version of Mint. The restore went ok. Most of my applications were reinstalled so long as they were in the main repos. This meant that I had to manually install some of my applications but for most of those the restore at least preserved my user data and settings.
    • Of course there were some that did not like Plex and Audiobookshelf. I am still going to try and do a restore of my audiobookshelf since it takes a lot of work to manually fix all the matches and since I have the old hard drive all of the data will be there even if I cant find it in the backup that I did.
    • There was also some resetup required with Nextcloud and all of my file automation but none of that was overly difficult.
    • With the new graphics card I was pleasantly surprised with how good Borderlands 2 looked playing from Linux on the card. Much cleaner than the old one and no where near all the delays with opening that the old one had. The only issue came up when I tried to run the appimage for Cura which threw an error about OpenGL 2. I tried to fix this by manually installing drivers from AMD which did not install the way that they should have and had to purge those changes. Thankfully I still had an older version of the appimage for Cura which did not require the OpenGL 2 drivers.
    • Also with the attempted install my VM quit working. I try to make sure that I have a good backup of my VM at all times and I did a full backup right before the Nuke and pave. I had virtualbox 7 installed and it was working before the drivers gaffe but after it was throwing errors indicating that some of the helper tools were the wrong version. So I purged virtualbox and installed 6.1 which got everything up and running again.
    • Next came an issue with my USB switcher. The device that I use to switch my keyboard and mouse back and forth between my work computer and my home computer. It would start out working just fine and then one of the times that I would switch back suddenly it would not connect and I would not be able to connect ANY new usb devices to my system. I tried switching out the cables switching out the hub that was being used, even found a script to disconnect all usb devices and reconnect them. Swapping sides on the switch. Nothing worked except for restarting the entire system.
    • But everything always worked fine on the work computer
    • I tried going into solaar and disconnecting and reconnecting the mouse and one time when I restarted the system it showed that the Logitech reciever was causing an issue.
    • In the end I think that it was the new version of Solaar or some configuration change that I made in it that caused the issue because purging the program fixed my issues
    • I was on the New Years HPR show but for much less time than I would have liked. My dog’s health took a turn for the worse and she died.
    • I also had my first follow up appointment since I started taking TRT. My testosterone numbers are actually worse. The doctor doesnt know what the heck is going on but we have upped my dosage for now and scheduled another appointment in 3 months. Also need to up the amount of cardio that I do and see if that improves my HDL. My LDL is well within acceptable range.
    • Of course it wouldnt be my bi-weekly wanderings without headphones and 3d printers
    • My 3d printer needed a bit of a tune up so I tightened the belts and then had to tighten the mount for the extruder. I also replaced the nozzle with a new one as the old one seemed to be partially clogged. With the switching to the older version of CURA I also needed to go into the settings again and make sure that the fan speed was set to 50 percent.
    • This has greatly improved my print quality again. I have done a few prints since then including a replacement pc slot cover a buckle and a sliding handle for exacto knife blades. The buckle I am planning to probably reprint after a bit of a redesign. there are some parts of it that I think could use some bulking up in order to make a bit more durable. I may also scale it down for some of the applications that I have in mind for it.
    • A coworker has handed a pair of Sony wh1000xm3 to try and fix and they are a pain to work on. They are not hard to take apart or anything but the fault is intermittent and every time I take it apart and work on it it starts to work again only to stop a short time after I put it back together. Obviously it is a short somewhere but all the wires are well seperated and it is hard to tell where the fault is. I am going to have to start peeling back shielding to find anything and I know it is going to probably cause more problems than it solves. Granted the thing is broken anyway so…
    • I did get an 11 inch portable screen for christmas and I have used a tablet mount to put it onto my chair in the garage. I have used it for my phone since it also has a touchscreen which is the main purpose that I had in mind for it but I also decided to setup one of my Pi Zeros with a USB hat and retro pi.
    • I will say that I am somewhat dissapointed with the USB C video input on the device since it cuts in and out when connected straight to my phone but it works well when hooked up with an adapter and hdmi. My other portable screen does not have the issue with cutting in and out
    • I only put a couple of my favorite games on there and I can play a quick game whenever I am not busy now. I am working on my Super Mario Bros Speed Run
  • Moss
    • I have my new (refurbished) Pixel 7 all up and running. Didn’t take much, just putting the apps on the phone and logging into them, then moving the SIM card. I’m so glad to have that Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) behind me.
    • I had to cancel my annual trip to Atlanta, so that I could take care of my wife, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery. If I were in Atlanta, I wouldn’t be here today. I am quite clearly missing being at the convention, as being around so many friends playing so much music sets the tone for my year. Suzanne has the other knee scheduled for early February, so we’ll be at this for a while. I can’t work during this period.
    • The 2016 System76 Kudu 3 that I got from listener Jackie Moore years back has finally had a hinge break, also breaking some of the bezel on the screen. I’m planning on sending it to Joe for rest and recuperation. The good news is that I finally got her to use the Lenovo ThinkPad T590 I bought her almost a year ago, although it does not like her monitor the same way the Kudu did. I’m trying to talk her into getting either a Lenovo ThinkCentre Tiny or the equivalent HP machine, both of which continue to be VERY inexpensive.
    • Jackie also offered to sell me a PineTab 2, but my wife put that on hold for now. I hope I can loosen the purse strings up soon.
    • I did spend quite a few hours on the HPR New Years Eve show, although it was much less satisfying than previous years as there were rarely more than 3 people actually talking.
  • Majid
    • Not been here for the last few weeks so I guess I’ve got more wanderings then usual
    • So got the Meta Quest VR 2 in a black friday deal, tbh its good, but superfluous. Everything on it costs money and it isnt an easy pick-up-and-go. Tempted to get rid of it, though my daughter wants me to keep it!
    • Part of the way I had convinced myself that the VR wasnt a waste of money was to say “well at least I can wacth TV on it”. Well our main LG 43in TV started dying and so I looked around to see if there were any good boxing day sales around. Managed to pick up a Hisense 55in for 300 quid! Good screens have become cheap and cheap screens have become good.
    • I have finally given up on Linux on a phone. After bricking a OnePlus 6 and almost bricking a Pixel 3a I’ve decided that ive not got enough any more patience or cognitive bandwith for this. The biggest issue seems tobe the downgrade to Android 9. I was somehow able to un-brick the Pixel 3a with the help of some people on XDA developers. I am now on principle going to leave this for the time being at least.
    • One of the things I bought in the black friday sales was a GameSir x2 controller which makes your phone into a switch like console. Played a few new games with it on my main phone (oneplus 11), However since I now have the unbricked pixel 3a, I thought of using that as a dedicated android games console. Its too underpowered for the games now, but runs emulations well. So been using it as a retro console controller. Streetfighter 2 SNES version works great!
    • So my iPad/Mac experience over 22/23 was an absolute fail as I’ve discussed on here ad nauseum. The tl;dr being that tablets cant do laptop stuff, and laptops dont have the best battery life for tablety stuff. (yes I know the M1 Macbook Air had great battery life, but the OS was too limiting for a FOSS nerd like me). So the idea came to me whether and Android/Samsung eco-system might work. The work phone is a Galaxy S22U and so if I get a Samsung Tab (which supports Dex) maybe this might be a good idea. Got a Samsung Tab s6 lite (2022 version). Got a used one off ebay for about 200 quid. Got a bluetook keyboard from amazon, Had to unlock and reset the machine myself as though it had been factory reset by the sellor, it still wanted the original lock code. Used some software to bypass the FRP lock. Set it up, and tbh its working ok so far, though havent pushed it too much. I think the s6 lite is a bit underpowered though esp in Dex mode. Android as a tablet OS isnt as limiting as iPad OS, and I can use it more like a normal laptop, but still early days
    • I think maybe all of the above is a bit foolish though. I have recently a new islamic organisation, and we needed to make some posters advertising events. The other guys arent so techy so I was asked to make it. I thought this would be something I’d need my laptop for, was thinking of Scribus and other software I’ve used in the past for this kind of thing. However since now I’m doing this new experiment, I’d try this out. Well basically I was able to do it all with an app called Canva on my smartphone (not even the tablet). The S22 Ultra S-pen came really handy and I was able to make something in record time. Made me think whether maybe I need to wake up and smell the coffee and not try to shoehorn my old (antiquated?) workflow paradigms on new hardware.
    • Christmas was quiet for us. We dont really celebrate it, but we do spend some family time, go to my mother etc. Was nice. We had planned a holiday initially, but recent bathroom/other diy mess ups meant we had workmen around (and a much lighter bank account).
    • NHS strikes still going on. The senior doctors have been offered a pay deal, but the juniors havent. Classic British divide-and-rule.
    • Relatively quiet on the distro front. Feren working well on the desktop, and Ubuntu on the laptop. Manjaro is still on my other laptop, but I use that laptop less and less as its battery life is comical (even on windows)
    • Going on a spiritual retreat in Morocco in Jan so wont be on the next episode. Bit apprehensive tbh, but will be an experience! Only for a long weekend, so not for long.
    • I dont want to get too political, but the whole situation in israel & palestine is intolerable. It shows the cold-heartedness of our ruling classes. If you can give charity to support the affected on both sides, please do
  • Eric
    • The holiday season usually means time spent with my family rather than tinkering and this year was no exception. I haven’t done much recently, although there is one thing worth mentioning.
    • I wanted to try a piece of software for web development that is distributed as a binary package via either the Snap store or Homebrew. I had been looking for an excuse to try Homebrew anyway so I used this as my opportunity.

      Homebrew is mostly seen as a MacOS solution but also works on Liunx. It is another third-party package management solution. It allows you to install software not packaged by your host distribution, install up-to-date versions of software when your host distribution is old, and use the same package manager to manage your macOS, Linux, and Windows systems.

      According to their website, Homebrew installs the stuff you need that Apple (or your Linux system) didn’t. It installs packages to their own directory and then symlinks their files into /opt/homebrew. Homebrew won’t install files outside its prefix and you can place a Homebrew installation wherever you like.

      Installing Homebrew is done easily via one of the dreaded wget commands, although they take care to explain what each step is doing as it is being installed. It provides the brew command which enables installing, uninstalling, and updaing packages. I was able to install what I needed and it worked as expected.

      I’m not sure that I will use it all that often seeing as I already have most of what I need from Flathub but it’s nice to have the option if something isn’t available in flatpak format.

— Play Innards Transition Bumper —

Linux Innards

30 minutes (~5-8 minutes each)

Predictions 2023

  • Moss
  • I predict that there will be at least two new distros appear, one Arch-based and the other Debian-based, which someone somewhere (major podcast or YouTube channel) will proclaim to be the greatest distro ever, and that not everyone will sneer at the thought. One of these will begin to get serious attention.
    • Didn’t see anything like this. I am truly surprised. blendOS has made strides but has not truly been adopted widely.
  • I predict that almost everyone will continue to mostly ignore fascinating distros such as SerpentOS and NixOS, and that SolusOS will fall into that same level of unimportance.
    • Good for Serpent OS, but Nix has gotten a lot of adoption and Solus has made a comeback after nearly fading away.
  • I predict that either ReactOS or HaikuOS will put a version out which is not labeled Beta.
    • Nope.
  • I predict that Distrohoppers’ Digest will exceed 40,000 total downloads. (this will mean an average of over 900 listeners per episode). This could be easier or more difficult to determine, as Google has shut down Feedburner and we have switched to Red Circle, with which I have no experience.
    • This was too easy. We exceeded 42,000 downloads. We have more downloads than Lebron James has total career NBA points.
  • I predict that BigLinux will rise into the Top 20 distros on Distrowatch by the end of the year.
    • I don’t remember making this prediction last year. I might have made it for 2024…
  • Joe
    • Steam Deck v2 will launch to much further success
    • Pi’s will become much more accessible and there will be no new model in the mainline or the zero line
    • we will see more handheld devices that follow along the steam deck pattern. Right now there are some handhelds with windows or android as the primary OS. I am saying we will have more with Linux as the primary OS
  • Londoner
    • Asahi Linux will release a relatively easy install (an ISO or similar image) for Apple Silicon by the end of 2023, at least as a public beta.
  • Bill
    • The Raspberry pi foundation will “announce” the release of the pi 5.
    • Ubuntu will drop ZFS on root support for 23.04 but continue to develop the “in-tree” kernel module.
    • Ubuntu will begin proper support for Btrfs in the installer (meaning creation of sub-volumes and setting up snapshots) by 23.10, having it ready for the LTS in 2024.
    • Google will “announce” a new Pixel device based on the RiscV architecture.

PREDICTIONS 2024

  • Moss
    • Distrohoppers’ Digest will get free publicity in Full Circle Magazine.
    • No need to predict when Linux Mint will be ready for Wayland either, the road map is there.
    • Bodhi 8 will rebase on newer Enlightenment, finally bringing Wayland to it. That might not be out before the end of the year. And DeBodhi will become nearly as popular as regular Bodhi.
    • Gentoo will finally come out with a version which does its own compiling based on selections made in the installation process, and all Portage files will be made available in binary.
  • Bill
    • Windows 12 will be announced with a pre-installed Linux micro-kernel to better facilitate WSL
    • Google will definately announce a mobile device running on the RiscV architecture.
    • Mozilla will announce the incorporation of some kind of AI functionality with FireFox, and the world will implode as a result. Meaning the outrage massive will be mobilized and pitch forks will be handed out at sundown.
    • Twitter, or “X” as we’re supposed to call it now will go quietly into the good night.
  • Majid
    • More and more vendors are going to jump on the AI bandwagon. Nearly all of these wont get any traction (outside of Google and Microsoft)
    • Canonical will release an Ubuntu version with SNAP only. (probably 24.10) The LTS 24.04 will still retain deb
    • Ubuntu will get an official immutable flavour
    • Pop OS will finally release their new COSMIC desktop made with Rust
    • we will get a 1.0 release of Asahi
    • a very early alpha linux distro for the qualcomm gen 3
    • new ARM Windows laptops which will actually compete with the M series Macs
  • Eric
    • It feels lazy to predict things that are already happening like Wayland adoption, immutable distros, and increased reliance on third-party package systems like Flatpak. I don’t see much else happening in the Desktop Linux space in terms of transformative changes.
    • As others have mentioned, I also think that AI will be continue to be shoved into any conceivable and probably just as many inconveivable applications, although I think the hype cycle will settle down and then we will really see where AI gains traction and makes long-term meaningful impacts. I assume these will be anything to do with creating content, including writing, graphic design, photography, and audio content. You know, anything generative as in generative AI.
  • Joe
    • We will hear lots more about AI and see more computers come to market that are dedicated to AI and “making our life simpler”
    • Pi Zero 3 W will be released and it will be lower cost but not low cost enough to make it worth getting the way that the original zero and 2 were
    • Wayland will be even more annoying
    • Microsoft will soft launch the OS as a service with monthly fees

— Play Vibrations Transition Bumper —

Vibrations from the Ether

20 minutes (~5 minutes each)

  • Zen Floater
    • Step 1, install linux mint.
    • Step 2. Go get the libssl deb file off of debian which easytether needs to run with and install it.
    • Step 3. Install the easytether deb
    • Step 4 sign up for the $20 a year google drive option with Googles VPN.
    • Step 5 Go get a new 5G android phone and turn that Google VPN on.
    • Step 6 establish an easytether connection between your laptop and that phone.
    • With 5 G they can’t seem to notice your bandwidth usage anymore and Google VPN protects your easytether traffic from being detected by the cell tower operators so they won’t just shut you off. And it works great! A laptop won’t use anymore bandwidth than your 5G phone would and nobody will notice it.
    • SUCCESS!!!!
    • Charlie case closed!
  • Zen Floater
    • I’ve been a ham since the 1960’s and I enjoyed you and bill talking about SKIP.
    • The process of bounding a radio signal off the IONosphere due to the SUN’s solar sunspot cycle using a CB set.
    • I still have an award for sending a signal at 28.6 mhz on the 10 meter ham band using 68 billionths of a watt of power, so it doesn’t take much power to do that but it really needs a GOOD ANTENNA…
    • The whole electric SEMI VS HYDROGEN powered SEMI was interesting as well. Our whole nation will have to bring three phase power to every residential household for us to all use electric cars efficiently or even charge larger vehicles like a SEMI. But could you imagine the truck stop which allows semi charging? Hundreds of big trucks parked in a truck stop and all this 480Volt three phase power cords stretching around. How many truck drivers legs get blown off when it rains!!! LOL
    • Charlie
  • There were some previous vibrations around tablets and stylus support on Linux. Thanks for that and I’ll take it on board

— Play Check This Transition Bumper —

Check This Out

10 minutes

  • Ventoy
    • Ventoy is an open source tool to create bootable USB drive for ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files.
      With Ventoy, you don’t need to format the disk over and over, you just need to copy the ISO/WIM/IMG/VHD(x)/EFI files to the USB drive and boot them directly.

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  • The Linux Mint development team for the fine distro we love to talk about <Thanks, Clem … and co!>

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