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  • Ascaris

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    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,601 total)
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    • Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Man, it just never seems to stop with the bad news about Surface devices.  It would cost Microsoft a lot less to replace the batteries if they hadn’t made the things nearly unserviceable, which is much the same as the problem that Apple had with replacing the butterfly keyboards.  Making the things hard to fix cuts both ways.  IFixit.com reported a terrible repairability score of 1 for these devices, which was the lowest score ever reported until the Surface Laptop came along and got a zero.

      The Acer Swift I am using now to write this is not in the same performance or price class as the Surface, but I could have the battery out in about ten minutes if I had the requisite tool with me (a tiny torx screwdriver) with no substantial risk of damaging anything.  You can always manage to mess something up, but the risk with the Swift is about as low as it gets in a laptop.  If a $350 laptop (which I got on clearance for $100 off!) can manage to be thin (all-aluminum case) and still easy to open, I would certainly expect a much pricier Surface to be the same way, but I’d be disappointed.

      I understand that the things are beyond the warranty period, but yeah, I do expect a laptop to last longer than 3 years, particularly a premium-priced one.  If I were Microsoft, I would offer a low-cost battery replacement for the affected models (regardless of age) if they are out of warranty.  IMO, it doesn’t have to be free (that is, after all, what the warranty is for), but an affordable low price like the $29 Apple charged for the battery replacement on some of their phones would be a nice gesture.

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    • in reply to: About that nonsense FBI warning about TVs stalking you #2014504

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      I wouldn’t even think of connecting a TV to the internet.  I’d prefer to have the dumb variety, all else being the same, but those apparently don’t exist, unless you just buy a computer monitor and use that as your TV.  I haven’t bought a TV in ages… dumb TVs were (as far as I know) all they had when I bought my last one.  It has a CRT and is 4:3 aspect ratio, and I bought it brand new, so that’s how long it’s been.

      The thing that worried me was that I’d read that at least one smart TV would connect to any open wireless network it could find if you didn’t give it one.  I don’t want my TV stealing my neighbor’s bandwidth without my permission just because he’s unaware enough to have set it up that way.  Theoretically speaking, of course; none of the dozens of SSIDs I can detect from my house are actually open right now, but that has not always been the case.

      I don’t know if any of them still do that or if this was ever actually true in the first place, but the prospect of things (cars, for example) phoning home without me explicitly giving them a connection is the thing that bothers me the most.  Not connecting them is one thing, but having to actively block them from doing something is quite another.  I wish the builders of my house had put in a Faraday cage during construction… at this point, there are no radio signals of any kind I want entering the house.  I never use my cellular phone (it basically exists to call a tow truck if my car breaks down), and it is a dumb phone, of course, and I haven’t listened to radio in ages.

      I would be quite happy if the massive amounts of radio interference from the 30 or so wifi networks within range (among any other things on the 2.4 GHz band, which could include as many bluetooth devices as there are wireless networks) wouldn’t prevent successful bluetooth use within my house at some times of the day.  Trying to stream audio from my laptop to my desktop (which has better speakers) is impossible at some times, even though the antennae are no more than two feet from one another, with direct line of sight.  Switching to another source or another sink (the place where the audio is being sent) does not help, and it happens in Windows as well as Linux.

      I’ve never seen any of the “just use bluetooth, it’s 2019!” people defending Apple’s “courageous” decision to remove the headphone jack mention this scenario.

       

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    • in reply to: Copying files to a new Win 10 computer #2014495

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      One way would be to remove the hard drive from the Windows 7 machine and place it into an external USB 3 enclosure intended for drives of that size (usually 3.5″ for a desktop).  These enclosures can be purchased for $20 or so, including the AC adapter needing to power the drive.  The smaller 2.5″ laptop drives can generally be powered by the USB 3 port itself, but it’s doubtful you’d have one in a desktop.

      Otherwise, you could create a LAN and define the folders where the files are stored on the Windows 7 machine to be shared, and simply copy them over the LAN to the Windows 10 machine.

      It would also be possible to back up the drive on the Windows 7 machine to an external drive, then mount the drive on the 10 machine and copy the desired folders over.

       

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    • in reply to: Is this the best science fiction show ever? #2014177

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      The original Twilight Zone is certainly in the upper part of the list. It opened the door for the later series, and a lot of it holds up well even today.

      I liked all of the Star Trek series and movies from the original series to the end of Voyager and Nemesis.  I never really got into Enterprise or any of the newer movies, though.

      I never saw Firefly, having never heard of it until long after it was canceled, and given how everyone says it was such a disappointment that it ended too soon, I don’t plan on seeing it or its movie spinoff, Serenity.  I’ve really come to loathe getting started on a series, finding I really like it, only to find that it was canceled.  Netflix is littered with one-season works in progress that will never be finished, and now I tend to avoid starting any series that hasn’t already run to completion.  The one-season ones don’t stand a chance… when I see they’ve only got one season, I just pass right by.

       

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    • in reply to: My Linux experiences #2013688

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      My biggest issue is with application installation and management. For example, let’s say I want to install FileZilla. I run sudo apt install filezilla and it installs, right? Sure, but it’s quite an old version. If I want the latest one, I have to compile it from source.

      Or see if there is a PPA (on Ubuntu and derivatives) that offers the newer version, which there usually is:

      sudo add-apt-repository ppa:sicklylife/filezilla

      Then you can install the newest version using ‘apt install filezilla’ or the package manager of your choice.  I usually use Muon or Synaptic to install things like that, without having to bother with the command line.

      Once that’s done, Filezilla gets updated just like any system file, where you can lock it to one version if you wish, or let the latest version always install, or just pick and choose which updates you want, without having 20 programs trying to run at boot-up just to check for a later version of the program like in Windows.  It would be like being able to add any program you install to Windows Update, only it would be the Windows update of earlier Windows versions like 7, not the Windows Update of Windows 10, where the user can’t pick and choose what to install.

      With any given Linux distro, you don’t have issues like the one someone mentioned in the thread about Brave (and I’ve read similar things about Firefox) where the Windows version just updates itself whenever it feels like it, regardless of what the user wants.  You also don’t have the problems mentioned in that thread where if you want to uninstall Brave from Windows, it leaves bits of itself behind, like so many other programs do.  This is probably one of the chief causes of Windows rot, the phenomenon where Windows gets slower and slower over time, which leads some people to periodically wipe Windows, reinstall, and start from scratch with reconfiguring everything.

      There is no equivalent Linux rot, but if you wanted to reinstall it for some other reason, you wouldn’t have to recreate everything from scratch, as it doesn’t have a registry that is a binary-coded mix of the settings for programs and for the OS that must be recreated by the Windows installer at the time Windows is installed for it to work.  Many of us have /home on a separate partition, so it is possible to drop in a new Linux installation quite easily.  Most of the important settings (for example, browser configuration… bookmarks, saved passwords, history, extensions, settings, etc.) are stored in the user’s home directory, so if you reinstall the program in the new Linux installation, it will automatically pick up the settings where they were before.

      Whereas on Windows I can just download the latest version, install and I’m done in a minute or less.

      Which you can also do in Linux by making use of the links at the bottom of the Filezilla page, at the bottom:

      https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1

      If the Filezilla devs didn’t have those ready-to-go binaries, though, it wouldn’t be an issue of Linux being for developers… it would be an issue of the Filezilla devs not bothering to release a Linux version that was ready to go.  Having to compile things oneself to get the latest version of something is not common, and in my time with Linux (which is not that long compared to some; I have only used it with the intention of replacing Windows since 2015), I’ve only done it twice, and that’s using distros (Mint, Neon) that are based on LTS versions of Ubuntu, which tend to have older packages than those you would find in the short-term Ubuntu distros.  That’s not a failing of “Linux,” as it were, but a result of the decisions of developers of software choosing not to offer ready-to-go precompiled binaries.

      In that same time frame, I’ve installed hundreds of Linux things as ready-to-go binaries.

      I’m not a software developer, so it’s not second nature to be able to compile and install anything.  In both cases where I did compile something, the developers of said software at least provided simple step-by-step instructions I was able to cut and paste into the terminal.  It just takes a couple of minutes, and is no harder than cutting and pasting anything else.  In both cases, I could have had a newer version if I was using the latest Ubuntu version instead of a derivative of LTS.  We can’t force the devs of these programs to offer precompiled, ready to go binaries if they don’t want to, but they usually do offer them, or someone else in the community does.

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    • Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      The worst case would be that such a defective computer would be checked in baggage.  It’s actually better for things like that to be onboard in the passenger cabin, as the flight attendants have access to fire extinguishers.  For this reason, lithium ion batteries that are not installed in something like a laptop or a phone cannot be placed in checked luggage– they have to be in carry-on luggage.

      Since the Surface’s battery is still installed in the unit when it bulges, it would seem to be allowable to put it in checked luggage, where the danger would be the greatest if a fire were to begin.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).


    • Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      For simplicity and ease of use, since we’re starting from scratch with Mint in both, it makes sense to me to set them both up as nearly identically as possible.

      I do the same thing with my PCs.  My desktop, my G3, and my Swift are all set up as close to the same as possible with their varying hardware.  When I make a change in configuration to one, I do it to all of them, in general.  There are some exceptions, like that I have not installed TLP (which provides power-saving features for laptops) on my desktop, and most of my games are not installed on the Swift, as it is too slow to run them correctly.  Most things, though, are the same.

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).


    • Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      In the future, if you wish, you could also select the open with… option and select USB image writer, or whatever the actual text is.  Mint has its own USB writer, or at least it did when I used Mint, and the ‘disks’ program has that ability too (which is what I use in Neon).

      And one final question- since I will be installing the identical Veeam software in our other computer, as soon as the identical Mint OS is installed, will this recovery media work for that machine as well?

      It almost certainly will.  There are some cases where additional drivers have to be added, but for a simple setup like yours, they should not be necessary.

      Congrats on getting it to work with mn-‘s command line info.  It’s already becoming less intimidating, hopefully!

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    • in reply to: About that nonsense FBI warning about TVs stalking you #2014873

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Not sure my laptop would use the 43″ UHD Samsung smart tv-2017 model- would that damage the graphics card in laptop? Acer E15 w/nvidia gforce mx150 2gb vram.

      It wouldn’t damage it, but it may or may not be able to handle the load with the kinds of framerates that you would want.  My guess would be that it can, but that’s only a guess.  If it is at or beyond the limit of what the laptop can handle, heat will build up and the unit will thermal throttle to protect itself, but it should not be damaged by it.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

    • in reply to: What's wrong with Firefox's development in a nutshell #2014871

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      PaleMoon or Waterfox(IIRC) keeps the faith. Why worry about FF, the Moz Devz are lost in their own (or maybe Googles) world.

      I use Waterfox myself, but there can be no doubt that without Firefox, there is no Waterfox, and while Pale Moon may stick around, I would have doubts about its continued viability also.  Firefox takes a rather large team of people to develop, and while it is possible for a single dev to backport the security fixes Mozilla releases (as with Waterfox), there’s no way he could write them all himself at the pace they come in.  Just keeping up with the security fixes is far more than a one-person job, and there’s more to browser development than that.

      Waterfox Classic is essentially frozen in time, and while that’s good in terms of reverting Mozilla’s biggest dumb decision to date, it does mean that Waterfox Classic will become less and less useful as new web standards are developed and deployed by various sites.  One thing that’s being worked on now for Firefox is multithreaded web assembly (WASM), which Chrome already has.  It’s one reason why Chrome obliterates Firefox in the Jetstream 2 benchmarks.  In this case, where Chrome is objectively superior to Firefox, it makes sense for Firefox to try to reach parity with the competition.  It’s almost a certainty that Firefox will eventually gain this feature, but it will almost certainly never make it to Waterfox, and while right now it’s feasible to skip WASM altogether (I have it turned off now as a test to see how much, if anything, that breaks), it may not always be so.

      I keep hoping that one day, Mozilla will get a little of that old fire back, the fire they had when they were battling IE6, back when they thought the way forward was to unabashedly build a browser better than the competition.  Now they have no ideas other than copying Chrome in every way, especially in areas where Firefox is better.  They’re deliberately getting worse in every area where they have a better product than the other guys!

      Have they already been vanquished by Google, so that now they (Google) only allow Mozilla to exist because it provides “competition” for Chrome, protecting them against antitrust action by various governments, but with the so-called Mozilla “competition” being required to be careful not to do anything that would make Firefox preferable to Chrome in any way, shape, or form?  It seems like Firefox’s role is not as a genuine competitor, but merely a foil, providing token competition to benefit the corporate giant, while actually supporting the Google hegemony.

      I miss the Mozilla that wasn’t afraid to oppose the corporate giant.  The one we have now is the obedient lapdog of this new corporate giant… we get better opposition from developers of browsers based on Google’s own engine (Vivaldi, Brave, Opera) than we do from Mozilla.  They are trying to carve out a niche based on features added to Chromium that Google won’t provide, while Mozilla is dead set on eliminating those features they have that Chrome does not.

      The people worrying that if Firefox dies, we will have a browser monoculture may have missed this bit… we already have a monoculture.  Google calls the shots, and Mozilla obediently does as it is told, every single time, and that’s been the case for the better part of a decade.  There is no competition here.  It’s all a show for the governments of the world to keep them off Google’s back… competition theater, if you will.  It’s a sad state of affairs.

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

    • in reply to: HP all-in-one printer in Mint #2014375

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      The terminal command you will need is probably

      sudo sh ./hplip-3.19.11.run

      from the directory where the file is stored.

      You can just use Windows for printing if you want, but if you want to keep trying, this is solvable… it’s just a pain in the butt.

      I don’t completely grasp the issue you’re having, since I don’t have a HP printer and I can’t replicate the issue on my end… if I could, I could probably give you more information.  I do know I’ve seen people on the web who have had the issue and have said it was resolved, though!

      With Linux, it can be tricky sometimes, as hardware manufacturer support for Linux is not always the greatest. If they packaged the driver in a .deb format, it would be really simple, but .deb only works with Debian and related distros (like Ubuntu and Mint), but not others.  The .run files are cross-distro, but they don’t always handle dependencies as well as the .deb would have.

      Sometimes you get lucky– my Canon printer/scanner (MF3010) works out of the box as far as scanning, with no additional driver required, and the printer driver from Canon installed and worked without any issues at all.  I bought the unit when I was a Windows-only user, so I was lucky when it came to Linux support.

      The VM method MrJimPhelps suggested would be more convenient than using the Windows bit of the dual-boot to print.  With the VM, you can run Windows and do your printing while your Linux session is still active, so you don’t have to reboot twice.  Just an option to keep in mind!

       

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    • in reply to: Chrome OS FAQ, Part I: Is a Chromebook right for you? #2013938

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Ascaris: Besides the one you are giving, another reason could be that macOS (formerly OS X) is based on UNIX with elements of BSD, so if affinity were a reason, it could choose either license (GNU’s or BSD’s), as both these OS are closely in line with each other and with LINUX.

      I think that we both just said the same thing.

      I was referring to the reason that Apple chose to use BSD as the base of MacOS (in which I include OSX right back to the beginning) when it came time to design their next-generation OS, before there was an OSX.

      BSD, unlike Linux, is a true, certified UNIX.

      Apple, I’m guessing, was thinking along the same lines as Steve Ballmer when he famously referred to the GPL (not to Linux itself, as it is often misstated) as being a cancer that attaches itself to everything it touches. Little is more distasteful to a secretive closed-source company like Microsoft than the prospect of having to let the unwashed masses (who have not signed NDAs) see and use their source code.

      Apple is another company that has aggressively used the courts to stifle competition (things like lawsuits over the rounded corner of a phone that will be placed in the pocket… I suppose until Apple “innovated” that, the expectation would have been that the corners would have been sharp and pointy?), so it’s quite easy to believe that the BSD license was the sole reason Apple chose not to use Linux.

      Google’s teaching them all a lesson now… most of Android (as AOSP) and Chrome (as Chromium) is open source, and yet Google continues to dominate both the mobile market and the browser market with its own Google-branded products (that contain a little bit of closed-source on top of the open-source base), and is making a fortune doing so.  Chrome OS hasn’t shown the market share by the usual (flawed) means, like the Netmarketshare.com reports, but they’ve got much of the education market, and they’ve done that too with a combination of Apache/BSD licenses and GPL licenses rather than the traditional proprietary licenses used by MS in their “Windows 10 in S mode” competitor to Chrome OS.  It would appear that making money with operating systems and browsers does not require the kind of secrecy that Microsoft has long exhibited.

      I think Microsoft got the message… the Chromium-based Edge demonstrates this, and while a lot of Microsoft critics see sinister motives (embrace, extend, extinguish)  in Microsoft’s recent forays into Linux, I think it’s more about expanding on the idea they’re now exploring with “Chredge,” as some call it.  I am not ready to predict that MS will make a Linux-based Windows at any point, but in light of what they’ve done with Edge, I do see it as a possibility.  Kudos to them if they do.

      MS could go for the wide-open license of BSD like Apple, but Linux has better hardware support for a variety of hardware, and that makes it a better fit for Windows, which has to run on a ton of different machines, not just a small, controlled group like MacOS.  Even if MS used its muscle to push hardware vendors into releasing drivers for the new Linux-based Windows, they would only do that for current hardware, leaving a lot of people blaming Microsoft for releasing a product that won’t work with their perfectly good equipment that’s only a year or two old.  And since open-sourcing quite evidently doesn’t mean not making money, why not go for the one with the better technical fit for what they want to do with it?

      A lot of my Linux-using compatriots see anything MS does as automatically sinister, and I see their point, and I agree with them on being suspicious.  Where I differ is that on the whole, I think a MS foray into Linux could well be a positive thing.  If MS fixes bugs or adds truly useful features to Linux, those improvements will be subject to the GPL, so all Linux users benefit from them, just as MS would benefit from improvements made to Linux by non-MS contributors.

      The OS market may be following the same transition from mostly closed-source to mostly open-source that browsers have undergone, and that would be a good thing.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

    • in reply to: Chrome OS FAQ, Part I: Is a Chromebook right for you? #2013860

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      On Chromebooks runs Chrome OS that is Googles closed source version of the open source OS Chromium. Chromium OS is basically the same as Google Chrome OS but without access to the Google Play Store.

      This is right, as far as I know, but just to make it clear in case someone gets confused by the similar names, “Chromium” by itself usually refers to the browser, and is the open-source (but still developed by Google) foundation for Chrome (which also means the browser).  Chromium OS is an open-source Linux distribution that Google develops as the basis for Chrome OS, in the same manner as Chromium being the base for Chrome.

      The kernel and the various other packages in Chromium OS are developed independently of Chromium, but are sometimes modified by Google for their own purposes (which other Linux distros, like Ubuntu, also do, and is perfectly acceptable in open-source software).

      Open-source software distributed under the GNU license allows any modifications that a person wants, with the stipulation that these modifications must also be made available to the public under the GNU license.  The Linux kernel and most of the packages that make up a Linux distro are under the GNU license.

      If I remember correctly, Chromium itself is partly under GNU and partly under the BSD license (and maybe some others too), which basically says anyone can use it for anything without the obligation to contribute their code changes back to the public.  Presumably, that is why Apple chose an open kernel under the BSD license as the basis of MacOS rather than Linux.

       

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

      • This reply was modified 3 days, 12 hours ago by  Ascaris.
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    • in reply to: Chrome OS FAQ, Part I: Is a Chromebook right for you? #2013694

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      If we’re pushing Chromebooks as Windows 7 replacements because Windows 7 users can’t handle Windows 10, is it rational to expect those folks to build and maintain a Linux system?

      Not everyone who wants to avoid 10 does it because they can’t handle it (unless you mean they can’t handle the monetization, telemetry, and the way Microsoft commandeers their PCs, which would include me).  Woody certainly can, and has, handled Windows 10 (he wrote the book on it!)  He still likes Chromebooks, though, so while they are not my cup of tea, they’re not just for people who don’t know anything about computers.  If a person just wants to use a Chromebook, he can do that, and not worry about things like installing his own browser or email client. It’s a step ahead of the “just use it” crowd to even realize that alternatives to Google’s offerings even exist.

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    • in reply to: HP all-in-one printer in Mint #2013689

      Ascaris
      AskWoody_MVP

      Eek!  In the first paragraph, I meant “changed the 1 to a 0,” not the other way round.

      Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.17.4).

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