Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Streaming TV and Movies



Car Crash TV

Idiot TV

Lost in Transmission

Midsomer Murders

Peaky Blinders

Simon's Cat

Superstore

Young Sheldon



BumbleBee TV

CW Seed

IMDb TV

PopCornFlix

Pluto TV

Sony Crackle

Tubi 

Xumo

 - -

Pluto TV

If you've been following my posts here, you know I am less than enthused with Amazon Prime Video

https://www.atnpc.com/2019/08/standard-definition-restriction-for.html )

Their user interface, their Amazon branded devices, their website, their lack of communication, their lack of customer service...


And I'm paying for this?!

Not for much longer...

Another complaint that echoes from my mouth frequently is,

"Where did my show go?!"

One day it's there. The next day it is gone. Then it's back. Then gone again. Then it's back...

Then, there's the other times when the show is just gone. No warning. It's gone for good.

How about a little heads-up?!

How about a "These are on their way out; watch them before their gone" category.

An email? Amazon sends enough useless emails. They certainly could let me know via email what shows were leaving and when.

But, they don't.

You know who does? Pluto TV


See, wasn't that easy?

Oh, and it's free. Yep, it's free.

They do have commercials, but it's not the annoying onslaught like you get with network channels.

Speaking of channels, the "Live TV" interface reminds me of the channel view of a cable box


Some may like it, some may not, but it is familiar. That's not a bad thing in my book.

There is also a "on Demand" view that lets me select what I want to watch when I want to watch it.


Did I mention, it is free?

Oh, bonus - it works with my VPN. Amazon Prime does NOT work when my VPN is on.

Oh, another bonus, some of my favorite shows are available like Midsomer Murders, and Rutledge Wood's Lost in Transmission.

In fact, if you can't find something to watch on Pluto TV, you obviously didn't look.

As far as I know, Pluto TV works on EVERYTHING! Computer, phone, all streaming tv boxes, Apple stuff, tablets, game consoles, and even in a regular internet browser.

Give it a try; you will love it!

 - -

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Linux Kernel Known Bug

"Dell Latitude D630 Laptop and the Known Bug with the Linux Kernel"

There is a known bug in one or some of the Linux kernels that is missing the appropriate drivers for the Intel graphics chips in some older laptops.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1685442

The Dell Latitude D630's are one of the affected models.


 There is no questioning your laptop is affected by this when your fresh install of your favorite distro takes 4-1/2 minutes to boot.

That's right, 4.5 minutes.

For some reason the computer is busy looking for an S video connector, but there isn't one.

The first fix I came across was adding a kernel boot parameter

 GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash video=SVIDEO-1:d"

That may have helped a little bit, but it didn't help me anywhere near as much as other users reported.

The next suggestion was to remove some video drivers with

sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-video-intel

but, since they weren't installed in the first place, that didn't help.

Since the problem is at the kernel level, change the kernel.

There is a very nice tutorial here:

https://phoenixnap.com/kb/how-to-update-kernel-ubuntu

Skip to "Option C: Manually Update the Kernel..."

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:teejee2008/ppa
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install ukuu


Then run

sudo ukuu-gtk


I chose kernel 5.2.

The start from reboot took 1-1/2 minutes (instead of the previous 4-1/2). Start from cold boot 1-1/4 minutes.

Nice.

I used the Ukuu tool on Xubuntu 18.04.3 and Peppermint 10.


I'd imagine this would help with Zorin 15 too.



 - -

Friday, August 23, 2019

[UPDATED] Windows? Really?

Wow...

Has it really come full circle? ALL the way around?

It started maybe a month ago. I was getting less and less enthused with my Amazon Fire Stick trying to watch Movies/TV Shows. The user interface on the Fire Stick leaves a lot to be desired. And, my other apps weren't working as well as they used to.

I remembered when I used to watch Amazon Prime stuff on a computer, it was much better.

But, (read the whole article here http://www.atnpc.com/2019/08/standard-definition-restriction-for.html )

So, I ended up using Windows.

That's fine for Amazon Prime, but what about my other shows I watch using other apps?

It turns out that my VPN may suck (read "COMPLETELY unusable") on a Fire Stick (article here http://www.atnpc.com/2019/08/expressvpn-fire-stick-app-known-issue.html ), but it works like a dream in Windows 10.

So, with a VPN, now, what about my apps?

Oh yes! One of them has an app for Windows! Not Linux, but Windows!

Who'da thunk it!

So, am I really going to have to use Windows 10 on my home theater PC to watch Movies and TV Shows?

Yep. And it works extremely well.

Then, just yesterday, I was working on some 12-year old laptops (Dell Lattitude D630). To my great dismay they were EXTREMELY slow to boot any Linux distribution I tried to install.

I did a Windows 10 install and it ran fine.

WTF?!

Research showed that there is a known bug in the linux kernel iteself that involves the Intel Graphics chips in these older laptops. This bug is maybe 3 years old. 3 YEARS OLD! And nobody has fixed this?!

There are a couple of workarounds, but they didn't seem to completely remedy the issue.

[UPDATE -  https://www.atnpc.com/2019/08/linux-kernel-known-bug.html ]

But Windows 10 works.

Was there a shift in the space/time continuum or something?

Windows 10 Pro version 1903 seems to be meeting my needs better overall than Linux distributions?

Wow...

 - -


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Peppermint 10

Peppermint OS released their version 10 in May of this year https://peppermintos.com/2019/05/peppermint-10-released/

Peppermint OS has always kept my attention, possible because in was born in the back of a bar in North Carolina -

"It is said that the idea of Peppermint OS was initially thought during a drinking night at a pub in NC, USA. Inspiration is to find an alternative to the overpriced and unstable commercial OS (may be referring to MS Windows)."

http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/linuxandubuntu-review-of-peppermint-linux )

The other reason is probably that it looks good.


Oh, and I have full control of the panel. I can add, delete, and manipulate it anyway I choose. This would make me choose it over, say Zorin.


But, does it "just work"?

After installing Peppermint OS 10 on my test machine, I noticed that only 2 out of 3 monitors were working.

Uh-oh...

I ran updates and still, only 2 monitors.

Next I checked the "additional drivers". I was already running the 390 series driver which is the correct one. but, the 430 series was available, so, I thought, let's give 'er a go.

After a restart, no change. Still 2 monitors.

Oh, well.

Much to my surprise, I started Peppermint again (to start this article), and the third monitor came on with the other 2. I quickly went to the Display settings and arranged the monitors as they should be. A restart, and all was well.

What happened? I dont know...

It works.

It works very well...

 - -


Thursday, August 15, 2019

SunsetMicro PC from Amazon... [part 3]

The beginning http://www.atnpc.com/2019/04/my-new-to-me-sunsetmicro-pc-from-amazon.html 


The continuation http://www.atnpc.com/2019/05/sunsetmicro-pc-from-amazon-continued.html

So, it was time to use it. I turned it on and let it sit there thinking there might be an update or two.

I came back later and it didn't want to go anywhere online.

I checked the internet on another device and it was running well.

I checked the computer again. It was connected, but it just wouldn't go anywhere.

I restarted and all was well.

After some experimentation, I discovered that computer would run fine, until I left it unattended for a while. It didn't matter if I was in Windows 10 or Deepin. I checked all settings and power settings, nothing helped.

I was busy with other things so I didn't take it out back and beat it with a hammer.

Later I needed a SSD, so I scuttled the one out of it.

It sat for a few weeks and played the role of dust magnet and kept getting in my way.

Then, Xfinity/Comcast started giving me fits with uptime. Not knowing if I was having equipment or wiring trouble, the testing began.

Part of the test is to monitor "xfinitywifi" for uptime. This means I am connected to somebody else's router. this tells me if the problem is in my area if it goes down the same time my internet does.

To do this, I needed a computer that I wasn't using.

I took the problematic-from-the-start Dell Optiplex 7010, slapped a regular hard drive in it and installed Xubuntu 18.04.2.

I connected to a neighbor's router via xfinitywifi and started to monitor.

It was probably a few weeks later that I realized what I had done -

It was the same computer, using the same TP-Link wifi dongle, endlessly connected to the internet, unattended until my ISP experienced downtime.

It was just working. And, it is still working right now.

WTF?!

The only differences are operating system and hard drive.

I can't imagine that Xubuntu over Windows AND Deepin would make any difference at all; and the other hard drive is in my daughter's computer, being used daily without issue.

I guess it it was on those mysteries of the computer-verse...

 - -






Monday, August 5, 2019

ExpressVPN Fire Stick APP "Known Issue"

ExpressVPN has to be the easiest VPN to set up.

I have it on several computers running Windows
and Linux.

But the real reason I use them is for my Amazon Fire Sticks.

Bad news - the Fire Stick app has a "known issue".

If you have been using the ExpressVPN app, you're fine.

If you are a new Fire Stick owner, or, like me, a person that just did a factory reset and has to re-install all their apps, it will not work.

Their customer service is great in the fact that they tried so hard to help me to get it to work, even though the known issue prevents it.

Truth told, they have my email address. If they would have sent out an email to warn existing customers of the issue, I NEVER would have reset my Fire Stick. Hence, I would not have spent hours of my life to no avail.

Time wasted that can't be reclaimed...

And, bless their hearts, their people are still trying to help me.

I've told them at least three times now,

"You told me this is a 'known issue'. You have my email address. Can you please send me an email when the 'issue' is fixed?"

We'll see how that goes.

my subscription ends September 15th...

 - -


Saturday, August 3, 2019

Standard Definition Restriction for Streaming in Linux [UPDATED]

I've been quite disappointed with my 4k Amazon Firestick since I bought it.

The first problem I noticed was the stick would restart when ever there was an update. No warning. Doesn't matter if you're right in the middle of watching a show. It just restarts.

The other problem is their menus and the way they present all their shows (and apps). It can get really frustrating trying to find something you found a week ago.

And, try using captions when you have the volume turned down so as not to wake sleeping family members; it puts the caption too far up and obscures the part of the show you are trying to watch.

Maybe I'll just go back to using a computer like I used to...

"...If you are running an operating system other than Windows or Mac OS, playback is restricted to standard definition." https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=GUVGB3QMQRYRERYW&linkId=71025432

That's nice.

This is after I installed, re-installed, re-installed again different Linux distributions trying to figure out why I couldn't get my 1080p.

Several conversations with Amazon later, they don't care.

Fine.

I can let my subscription expire.

Amazon doesn't seem to care about that either.

So, if I drop Amazon Prime, I could use Hulu for les than $13 a year more.

https://help.hulu.com/s/article/supported-computers?language=en_US

There is NO mention of Linux, just Mac/Windows/Chrome.

I might still try them since they have a better selection of shows...

I can also hack my browser -

https://www.maketecheasier.com/watch-netflix-hulu-amazon-prime-ubuntu/

That doesn't look like an instruction set for the faint of heart, but it might be doable.

That doesn't work with Amazon Prime. The user agent is showing correctly, but Amazon keeps me restricted to standard def.

I tried another method utilizing a browser extension, but it didn't work either.

I won't be renewing my Amazon Prime subscription...

 - -

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Facebook Groups For Sale

Since we don't have a retail side to our business anymore, we don't need our social media sale groups.

Do you have a retail business?

Do you buy pallets?

Do you have a ton of stuff to sell on a regular basis?

Then YOU NEED your very own group to sell your stuff!

These groups are established!

They haveTHOUSANDS of members! And these are REAL members, not spammers. The members have been carefully screened.

These groups have been carefully built and maintained and are ready for you to take over.

Contact me at Group Owner to purchase

Group #1 "Buy and Sell Greeneville, TN"


https://www.facebook.com/groups/595557340455282/


purchase price $450

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Group #2 "Greeneville Online Yard Sale


https://www.facebook.com/groups/GreenevilleOnlineYardSale/




purchase price $175

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Group #3 "Online Local Yard Sale Johnson City TN"


https://www.facebook.com/groups/johnsoncityyardsale/



purchase price $150

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Group #4 "Greeneville TN For Sale on Facebook"



purchase price $100

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Group #5 "Baileyton TN Buy/Sell/Trade"



purchase price $100

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Saturday, June 15, 2019

DropBox Pulling the Rug Out From Under Me

Since the writing of my article

Making an OS Look Cool with Wallpapers

DropBox has shown me their butt





3 devices? Seriously?!

That should be 3 instances to be accurate. Most all of my devices have more than one operating system. The computer I am on right now has 2 operating systems. Each of those has DropBox installed. That counts a 2. One device...

And why should I pay $120 a year for a forced upgrade?!

First of all, I don't need 2 TB of storage



That's all I'm using now.


Secondly, I have referred people to DropBox. How much money did/do they give to DropBox? I didn't get any of that money...


Another service I use for cloud storage is pCloud. If, IF I wanted to upgrade, it is less expensive, but they are not forcing me to upgrade. Their free version has 5 times the storage space and they aren't giving me a hard time because I have it installed on a quadzillion operating systems.

So now I have to switch all my stuff over to pCloud.

pCloud is Linux friendly too; did I mention that?

 - -

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

SunsetMicro PC from Amazon Continued...

This nightmare started here

My New-To-Me Sunsetmicro PC From Amazon

Since it was ridiculously botched from the start, and I had to redo just about everything now, I went ahead and ordered an SSD and a Graphics Card when I ordered the correct hard drive caddy.


As you can see, it is very different from the one that was hot glued into the computer by Sunsetmicro



One problem though - one of the pins that holds the hard drive in the caddy is missing


That's eBay for you. That is the only place to buy these, unfortunately.

The SSD and cool adapter I found on Amazon (it actually matched the picture in the listing!) fit right into the caddy, and right into the PC.


The graphics card came from eBay too, and it had more than one disappointment. Check out this cool packaging job - some bubble wrap and a padded envelope






That is not nearly enough protection. I inspected it, and all seemed well until I installed it.


Do you see the corner? It appears the graphics card got dropped. I don't know if it was dropped before shipping or during; the packaging didn't show signs of excess abuse...

This is a card I ordered at the same time for another PC' it was ordered from Amazon





See the bubble wrap, foam pads to keep the card away from the box edges, popcorn to keep it all in place, and all this in a box.

So, is this card going to work?

If it does work, will it continue to work or will it eventually fail?

Time to find out.

Windows 10 Pro installed fine. Everything ran fine - drivers installed, updates ran...

... but it wouldn't boot on restart.

I tried a cold boot, but no joy.

After much trial and error, foul language, and head scratching, I went into the bios and shut off all "legacy" options in the boot options. Windows boots and runs.

Next, partition the hard drive and install Pinguy OS.

Pinguy OS wouldn't boot. I don't know what is wrong with it, but I have noticed it is rather common. If there are multiple OS's, it will be picked up in GRUB from another system and become bootable. Since this is supposed to be a backup work machine, it will only have Windows and a single Linux system. I installed Deepin and all is well.

Time to move it from the bench to its new home.

I hooked up the 2 monitors and other peripherals. Right away my Alpha Wifi adapter wasn't working in Windows. I mistakenly thought this was already installed, but I forgot that it was done prior to the new SSD.

I installed drivers, deleted drivers, connected to the internet via another dongle, then installed drivers again. In between attempts, I booted into Deepin, and it seemed to connect fine. It was easy to just blame Windows, and keep plugging away until it was working correctly.

Finally, Wifi working, monitors arranged correctly, everything is fine and working.

Then I booted into Deepin to get it squared away. I arranged the monitors and they went black and the PC was unresponsive. This indicated a hardware problem. Now, the question is - is it drivers or the actual hardware itself?

I restarted and went to the Deepin Graphics Driver tool. There was only the one option and nothing to change. This is an AMD graphics card and that is the way it is supposed to be. That is why AMD is supposed to be the best option, plug N play, eezy peezy with Linux OS's.

So, is the card bad or is there a driver incompatibility?

I'd say the latter because it worked okay in Windows.

Next, pull the card, use the native graphics and install its drivers.

Windows went as expected.

I boot into Deepin and the Wifi is non-existent.

WTF?!

WT sam F?!?!

This PC is going to be a blister on my butt until I bludgeon it with a hammer!

After many attempts, I switched to a TP-Link Wifi dongle and the internet was available again. I booted into Windows and made the necessary adjustments.

All of this headache, time wasted, frustration.... all because Sunsetmicro did a piss-poor job on their so called "refurbishing" of this PC. It should have been as simple as hooking it up, running updates, then done.

But now, I have many questions.

Why all the hardware issues?

Is this one of those PC models that doesn't get along with Linux?

Is the bios got some hidden glitches or switches?

Is there a motherboard issue?

Is the graphics card damaged?

I could install Xubuntu and see how it acts with the Alpha Wifi adapter and the AMD graphics card.

I could install the Graghics Card into another PC.

I didn't buy this thing to experiment on; it was supposed to be a backup for work.

If it gives me any more trouble, I'll post a link on this site to a video of me smashing it with a hammer.

Remember kids, even when the seller has 100% positive feedback, you may still get a piece of junk from eBay.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Making an OS Look Cool with Wallpapers [UPDATED]

[UPDATE] - - When I originally posted this article, I was using DropBox for storage of the wallpaper files. This worked perfectly. but since then, DropBox has severely limited free accounts (see article here - http://www.atnpc.com/2019/06/dropbox-pulling-rug-out-from-under-me.html ).

I have since tested pCloud and, although it is a superior storage option in many ways, it does not work as a storage facility for the mentioned wallpaper apps.

So now, I put a copy of all cool wallpapers I find in pCloud, then download that folder to the hard drive of whatever computer I am setting up.

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 One of the things that I require of my Operating System is that it looks good. One of the ways to do this is with cool wallpaper

cool wallpaper here

One of the things I have always appreciated about Xubuntu and most xfce desktops is the way they help you manage your wallpaper. It's just as simple as right-clicking on the desktop and selecting "desktop settings".

From here it gets fun. You can select what folder you want it to access for wallpapers. For me, I have a master folder with all kinds of wallpapers in my pCloud folder.

get pCloud here

You can set a different wallpaper for each screen if you have more than one monitor, or you can set one wallpaper to span all screens. That is the coolest custom effect to make an OS look great.

And, you can set it to change your wallpaper every so many seconds, minutes, or hours (or at startup, or every day, etc.).

But, as I stray into other Linux distributions that do not use an xfce desktop, like Deepin or Pinguy OS,

get Deepin here

get Pinguy OS here

what do I do for cool wallpaper automatic changes every 5 minutes (or whatever time interval suits my mood)?

There is a cool program called "Variety"

Variety link 1

Variety link 2

Deepin has it available in the Deepin App Store, and Pinguy OS alread has it installed.

Variety has cool wallpapers natively, AND it will go to various websites and download more. You can customize how often it does this, and where it stores them. Of course, I have a special folder in my Wallpaper folder in Dropbox so I can share across all of my machines.

Variety also lets me import my wallpapers from DropBox so my list is huge.
























 - -

Friday, April 19, 2019

My New-to-Me SunsetMicro PC from Amazon

Windows 10 and old computers is about like cheap paint and old houses -

the more coats, the better it looks.

Windows 10 for several cycles has been miserable on old computers. When Windows upgrades to the next version, the old computers get hung up in a loop of can't update, not just to the new version, but at all.

I try to keep "spare" computers for work so I don't experience a paycheck outage, but my spare computers are not at the ready so they defeat the purpose.

Willing to take the blame, I thought I should get some newer computers to use for spares.

And so my adventure begins.

I looked at TigerDirect and Amazon. It needed to be as cheap as possible and Windows 10 Pro (NOT Home). Amazon had a Dell Optiplex 7010 Intel I3 quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, dual monitor outputs, and Windows 10 Pro. I couldn't find these exact specs at TigerDirect, and this cheap. Bonus, this was a USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) so being the size of a small cracker box, it would take a lot of room to store. Awesome!


When my box arrived I knew something was wrong. My wife asked for help with the door because the box was "really heavy". And, that box was way too big to hold a Ultra *Small* PC.

The picture below shows the 4 different sizes of the Dell Optiplex 7010. From left to right

USFF, SFF, DT, and MT









The picture in the ad was a USFF. They sent me a DT.

(actual pictures)






If you zoom in on the first pic, you'll see it has a different model number. Yep, that's right, the picture is NOT what was in the description.

But it gets worse.

3.8GHz *quad*-core processor, 8GB RAM, dual monitor outputs, and Windows 10 *Pro*?

3 out of 4

The processor is a *dual*-core Intel I3 at 3.4GHz. It does hyper-thread, but that makes it a hyper-threading dual-core, not a quad-core.

If you bought a truck, and it was supposed to have a decent V8 in it, but later you discovered a turbocharged 4 cylinder under the hood, you'd be pissed, right? This is how I felt about the processor.

Further investigation into the original ad reveals this: (title, description, more details)


"quad Up to 3.8, Dual-Core 3.2, 3.2 Processor Count 4"

Hmm. Okay, so maybe they need to learn how to properly list items for sale with *accurate* descriptions, and pictures that actually match the description would be great. And, I can't trust Amazon anymore either; I have to pick through listings with fine tooth combs (like eBay). If anything looks amiss, ask questions, and run if things don't smell right.

But, all in all, with what I paid, this was still a good deal.

After letting Windows 10 do its updates, and installing a few pieces of software, it was time to partition the hard drive and make it mine -


Um, what?! No EFI partion? Why did they install Windows 10 in "legacy" mode? Why not utilize the full UEFI? So now I need to wipe the hard drive and reinstall Windows correctly? Really?

Starting to get mad, but, it is still a "fair" deal for what I paid... maybe I'll just leave it as it is and designate it for my wife's spare computer...

The final stroke -

I was taking some pictures to show Amazon what it *really* looks like versus the picture in the ad and I thought, hey, I'll peak inside. My wife says, "what's that wire?".

That wasn't a wire, that was a glue string.

And, the hard drive and its caddy were stuffed in the case at an angle.

The glue strings were from the hot glue that was used to hold the hard drive in place.

Wow, they took the time to put the hard drive IN A hard drive caddy, albeit the wrong one, only to HOT GLUE it in place after stuffing it in there...







This is a company, a REAL company that is pushing this crap


Oh, the Wifi adapter mentioned in the description and eluded to in one of the pictures - didn't get one.

I did get spray paint on the access cover though. I mean, consistent with everything else, they didn't even bother to wipe any dust or debris off of it first; they just shot black spray paint right over it!

There was a bonus boner in the box -



"Anti-splash"?! Water-resistant maybe?

And, what the heck is "thiner"?!

Thiner?

Is this some old English like thee, thou... thiner?

I guess that was my bonus joke box to soothe my pain.

These jokers are not only on Amazon, but they are on eBay too (of course).

SunsetMicro - avoid at all costs.

 - -

Monday, March 18, 2019

Linux Distribution Developers, Communication Is Key

It's becoming quite apparent that computers, for the most part, are not made for Linux, but rather,
Linux is (and has to be) made for computers.

[list of sites offering computers with Linux preinstalled]

I had previously commented on a video by EzeeLinux. It would seem best to buy a computer with Linux preinstalled. The alternative is to see what computers are on the "Linux approved" list although personal experience has shown that this may lead to unsatisfactory (downright frustrating) results.

Other people have shared frustrations about getting Linux to work with their particular computer hardware. I thought maybe communication needs to be increased between Linux developers and end users.

The other day I came across this prominently displayed in the Zorin support forum -

"...have always been keen to ensure that when a major release is made, the best possible experience is more often than not guaranteed (E&OE when it comes to some specific hardware - like I have said elsewhere, IT consumer products were never garnered or engineered to run any version of GNU/Linux but that other Operating System that begins with a W)."

read the whole announcement here

Zorin 12.4, their most current release, is based on Ubuntu 16.04.

Ubuntu is currently at 18.04.2. [18.04 was released April, 2018, almost a year ago!]

From what I'm gathering, Zorin has NOT released their latest version based on Ubuntu 18.04 because they want to get it right. They feel the struggle of getting Linux to work with their hardware.

So, the struggle is real.

But Zorin took the time to make a public announcement to it's end users.

I think that right there is what we need -

more communication!

Not just fanboys that troll the forums looking for victims to inflict textual pain on, but real and useful information from the developers.

Zorin has always been good to me. I started with them several years back with a paid version, Zorin Ultimate. This entitled me to realtime support from the people Zorin. They were always patient, polite, and helpful. And please understand, my "problems" were not Zorin problems; I was new and needed "new guy" help. Zorin and it's people are great!

Deepin also displays good and useful communications with me, an end user. I follow them on social media and have them set as a priority in my feed so they always display first or on top. My morning vigil involves a tablet and scrolling social media as my synapses awake, begin to fire, and synchronize for the day. If team Deepin have released any updates, I know right away, and, what is in the update, and what is being patched or fixed.

Good, useful communication...

...straight from the horse's mouth.

Linux distribution developers,

talk to us; we'll listen.

 - -









Friday, March 15, 2019

Linux Computers

One of the best ways to get a computer that runs Linux perfectly is to buy one that is made for
for/with Linux

https://www.athenacomputer.us/

https://www.currentbuild.com/

https://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/555/campaigns/xps-linux-laptop_us

http://eightvirtues.com/

http://www.emperorlinux.com/ 

https://endlessos.com/

     https://endlessos.com/computers/

     https://endless-global.myshopify.com/

https://www.entroware.com/

     https://www.entroware.com/store/desktops

     https://www.entroware.com/store/laptops

https://eracks.com/

     https://eracks.com/products/desktops/

     https://eracks.com/products/laptops/

https://fit-iot.com/

https://jccss.ca/#/

https://www.jinuxpc.com/

https://secure.jncs.com/php2/main.php

https://shop.lacpdx.com/

     https://shop.lacpdx.com/desktops/

     https://shop.lacpdx.com/laptops/

http://www.linucity.com/ 

https://www.linuxcertified.com/

     https://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_desktops.html

     https://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html

https://thelinuxlaptop.com/

https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=3707

https://www.pugetsystems.com/

https://puri.sm/

https://www.swt.com/

https://system76.com/

     https://system76.com/desktops

     https://system76.com/laptops

https://www.thinkpenguin.com/

     https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/desktop-computers-gnu-linux

     https://www.thinkpenguin.com/catalog/notebook-computers-gnu-linux-2

https://volkspc.org/ 

https://www.mywowcomputer.com/

https://zareason.com/

     https://zareason.com/Desktops/

     https://zareason.com/Laptops/

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Fedora 29 Workspace

The next #OSchallenge from Jason Enangelho from Forbes

Fedora 29 Workstation

Since I'm a multi-booter, I attempted to install using manual options. This failed. For some reason there was an error because it couldn't find the EFI partition, nor would it let me find it manually.

I reached out to Jason and told him it didn't work.

His response was to try the "'Reclaim Space' option? The way that option is worded is not very intuitive."

In order to do this, you proceed as if you are doing the automatic installation option. Fedora informed me how much "free space" it needed, but that I didn't have enough. NOW the option to "Reclaim Space" appears. Upon pressing that button, ALL OF MY PARTITIONS are enumerated. I simply selected the one I wanted to use, then pressed "delete".

From there, everything went as it should.

Upon reboot I was greeted with a welcome menu to set things up.

I was a little irked right away because my common password for testing Linux Distributions "was not strong enough". I resorted to foul language and it accepted that one. Let's see if I can remember it...

I mean, seriously, I don't work for the CIA or for the Dept of Homeland Security. I don't use any of Hilary Clinton's email servers either. Do I really need that level of "security" in my password?

Once in, the big test,

CAN I CONFIGURE MY MONITORS AND THE SETTING BE SAVED?

I didn't immediately see any tools to obtain addition drivers for my Nvidia card. Configuring the monitors was easily accomplished. Upon restart, the settings remained correct.

Then for updates...

Restart to install updates? Really?

Wow! That felt like a Windows 10 update (upgrade). I wish I would have set a timer, but it felt like it took FOREVER.

And, what's up with the boot menu?


Where's sda3 - sda6?

It might be 'buntu's fault. See, those missing partitions are Ubuntu Mate, Ubuntu Budgie, Lubuntu, and Pop! OS, but in GRUB they all look like Ubuntu 18.04...

Does Fedora think it is cleaning up redundancies?

That's funny.

I had to check the partitions to make sure they were still there. They are, with an addition

sda9 is a new "boot" partition and the new sda12 is where Fedora resides. I'm glad to see the boot partition is 1.1GB in size; somebody at Fedora must know about boot partition sizing. But why is it formatted in EXT4? That doesn't make sense...

On to the rest of it - Firefox installed, Libre Office installed, a screenshot tool, a Software installer/handler that resembles the one in all the 'buntus... Looks good...

...but, what's up with the window buttons? As in, there is only ONE button to close the window, nothing else. If you want to maximize the screen, you have to either drag the edges, or right-click, then select maximize.

That indeed sucks.

At almost a half century old, my click-weary  hand doesn't need extra clicks.

I thought I would peruse around the setting to see if there was a way to remedy this, and IT LOCKED UP.

That means that I have to try to figure out how to download and install Nvidia drivers.

We just moved to a whole new level of "sucks".

I did a quick Google ("install nvidia drivers in fedora") and read through the instructions of the first 4 listings. Each one was different. The last one was the shortest and simplest to understand, but its final stroke was something about modifying a config file so everything worked right.

Um, no.

I remember Jason complaining about people getting instructions for terminal window commands for fixing stuff in Linux Distributions.

Not possessing the ability to just "walk away" I booted back into Fedora and went straight to the Software tool. I searched for "nvidia". And, of course, they have the Nvidia X Server program/widget.

NOW I SEE why you have to alter a config file; I have been down this road before.

I also recall telling myself that ALL OF THIS was unnecessary as demonstrated by any/all 'buntus and Deepin (they all have tools that make it easy and they work perfectly).

And, one other complaint, why is Fedora so slow? It feels like it is trying to pull a fat kid in a wagon that has no wheels.

So, I'm out. I have withdrawn from this #OSchallenge.

Now I have to figure out how to repair GRUB and get my other partitions in the menu...

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