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Kirk M
Disabled vet, old geek, amateur writer, Linux user.
Disabled vet, old geek, amateur writer, Linux user.

Kirk's posts

Although Linux Mint has been my main OS of choice for many years now, I'm getting awful sick and tired of Mint resetting my search engines in Firefox every time Firefox is updated. This time the update even took away my Add-on bar (added via the "Classic Theme Restorer" extension).

Okay, so I understand that Mint will not include Google as one of their search engine choices (defaulting to Yahoo as the default in Firefox in Mint) but once a user adds a search engine (Google was added via the "Add to Search Bar" extension in my case) that's not on Mint's list of "acceptable" search engines, then that personal choice should stay that way during an update. Same for the "Add-on" bar.

Out of curiosity...

Has anyone who uses Firefox on Linux Mint 18 (maybe even 17.1-3, no matter what DE) that has Google set as their default search engine, have Google removed as the default search engine when upgrading from Firefox 49.* to Firefox 50? (understanding that Firefox is provided by the Mint repositories these days and not Ubuntu's).

NOTE: I'm not speaking of having Google set as your Home page, just as your default search engine.

The reason I'm asking is that's what apparently happened to me when I updated from 49 to 50. I know Mint does not support commercial search engines in it's default browser however, once Google has been added (via Firefox extension: "Add to Search Bar"), Mint has no right to remove it IMHO.

So what changed in Firefox 43 (for Linux distros) that would keep Google+ from rendering correctly or initially not at all? Firefox 42 had no problem and I can't find anything about Firefox 43 that would do so.

What I'm seeing is that when first navigating to Google+ in Firefox 43 (which opens to my Home stream) I often just get a Google+ top bar and nothing but a blank page underneath while Firefox 43 shows that it's finished rendering the page. I have to refresh 1 to 2 times before the page fully renders.

Other times my Home stream page renders but all the images are missing and I have to refresh the page again 1 to 2 times.

The last thing that often happens is that the Home stream will only render a few posts and will not continue the stream farther (the Google+ circle of death at the end of the stream that often shows before rendering more [previous] posts, just keeps revolving forever).

I have Google Chrome running at the same time to check for the same problem if Firefox 43 is not rendering Google+ correctly and in every case Chrome has no problems at all. And as I said, Firefox 42 did not experience any problems with Google+ either so the problem definitely lies with 43.

I have very few extensions loaded in Firefox and I know they are not affecting rendering. Firefox 43 only has problems with Google+, no other site. Also, I'm running Firefox in Linux Mint 17.3.

Anyone else experiencing the same thing?

Looks like there's problems with G+ (Classic) again. Failure to load Home stream, pages etc. Little yellow G+ error boxes popping up and the like. And  an this is on Firefox and Chrome. Haven't checked on the "new" G+ yet.

Linux Mint 17.3 has been approved for stable release as of yesterday according to the testers page on the Linux Mint Community site. No official announcement has been made yet (as it always seems to happen right before a new release) due to Linux Mint's web site and forums site suddenly disappearing into thin air.

Heh, every  single single time a new release is ready for the streets, Mint's servers crash. Usually by Mint users flooding the servers trying to download the ISO before it's announced. Kind of a Mint tradition since nearly the beginning.

Must be a popular distro?

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Just to let anyone who does not know that the new Google+ interface is not anywhere complete yet and only a "pilot" release for the purpose (among others) of gathering feedback
Dive into the new Google+

As +Eddie Kessler shared this afternoon, we’ve spent lots of time talking to people who are passionate about Google+. We visited them in their homes, we invited them into early testing communities and we learned more about how and why they use Google+. The predominant answer? Having a great place to keep up with and talk about their interests. From Astrophotography ( to Wild Hummingbirds (, people are not only discovering amazing things, but meeting others who share their passions as well.

Today we’re taking a big step toward making Google+ an even better place for your interests. To do so, we’ve drastically simplified nearly every aspect of the product. You’ll see this clearly in our new navigation centered around Collections and Communities. Collections let you immerse yourself in content about topics like surfing ( or tiny tilt-shift photography scenes ( . Communities enable groups of people with the same interets to join up and geek out on anything from Game of Thrones ( to Painting ( With Collections and Communities, discovering amazing things is simple: just follow or join whatever happens to pique your interests.

But we didn’t stop with Collections and Communities; the new Google+ also makes it easier to post, search, connect, and keep up with great content in a fully redesigned home stream. And we’ve worked hard to make our new web experience load fast and work beautifully on devices of all sizes.

You can preview the new Google+ on the web today by signing in and clicking “Let’s go” when you see the prompt. (And since not every feature of Google+ has made its way into this new design, for now, you can toggle back to the classic Google+ with one click in the bottom left-hand corner.) In the coming days, we’ll roll out updated apps for Android and iOS.

While this is an exciting new beginning for us, we’re definitely not done yet. We got here by listening and learning, and will continue doing so. Please visit our Help Center ( or drop us a line in our support community ( to share your thoughts, questions, and more. 
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Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela, Cinnamon and MATE editions, have been officially released today: (Cinnamon) (MATE)

For those running Linux Mint 17 and 17.1 who wish to upgrade to 17.2, a new Update Manager (MintUpdate) will be released in the next few days that will include the optional upgrade path option.

Haven't been able to successfully update Linux Mint 17.1/Cinnamon 64-bit or Elementary 64-bit (can't update at all) on my desktop PC nor can I update the Linux Mint 17.1/Cinnamon 32-bit install on my laptop, all day now. All because of this:

Failed to fetch  
Failed to fetch  
Failed to fetch  
Failed to fetch  
Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

All day long now. The Elementary Freya install won't update at all since the software updater simply refuses to do so if theres a "Failed to fetch" problem. I could do a partial update in Linux Mint since Mint's update manager (mintupdate) is much more flexible than any other software updater I've ever used.

It's the same with running "sudo apt-get update" in the terminal. It eventually gets stuck and I have to CTRL+C to get out of it.

Changing mirrors does nothing for this since apparently there's no mirrors for "" or "" repos.

So, this is happening with 3 different Ubuntu based distros (I count the 64-bit and the 32-bit version of Mint as 2) all based on Ubuntu 14.04 on 2 different machines.

Anyone else having a problem like this?

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Decided to give my old but but still reliable Lenovo ThinkPad R61 yet another new lease on life (I upgraded the memory and battery previously) by installing a new SSD and installing Linux Mint on it.

A bit of info on the laptop:

Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB DDR2, all Intel chipsets (graphics, audio, ethernet & wireless)

The machine is basically used for the Internet (email and browsing) plus a bit of graphic work for posting images to Google+ and my own WordPress powered websites (I use "Pinta" mostly).

I bought it used (from Play It Again PC-used enterprise computer reseller) a couple of years ago, upgraded the battery and memory (from 2 GB DDR2 to 4 GB) and installed Linux Mint/Cinnamon on it. It ran like a champ. Of course it would, Linux distros love these old ThinkPads especially the ones with all Intel chipsets.

So I removed the old 100 GB/7200 RPM HDD and installed a new Samsung EVO 850 120 GB SSD. Removing the old HDD and installing the new SSD took less than 5 minutes.

I then installed Linux Mint/Cinnamon 17.1 and, once installed, I "tuned" the system for running Linux Mint on an SSD according to the following page:

As the author states at the beginning, the instructions are "best practice" settings rather than an all out overly complicated "tuning" that really isn't needed for a general use machine.

All in all, the installation of the SSD, Linux Mint and the tuning took less than an hour and even though the old R61 hardly has a SATA 3 interface (SATA  2) my trusty old ThinkPad runs like a new machine. Boot time went from 40 seconds (from GRUB) to 9 seconds and login  (from login screen to desktop) went from 15 seconds to less than 5 seconds. And as you would imagine, opening applications is much faster than before.

Understanding that any new drive, HDD or SSD can fail within a short time of installation (an infrequent occurrence but it happens), I should get a good 10 years of life out of this SSD; that is if I actually kept the ThinkPad that long which is doubtful to say the least. Still, for a $70 investment (cost of the SSD), I figure I can keep the ThinkPad for another 2 years or so and still have a nice, fast experience.

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Guess the death of Google+ rumors are nothing but that. Baseless rumors.
The reports of Google+'s death have been greatly exaggerated (again)

Google+ Chief Architect +Yonatan Zunger says there'll be "no big user-facing changes" connected to the reorganization of G+, Photos, and Hangouts that we've been hearing about over the past several days. ¹

His full comment: ²

A lot of misunderstanding and speculation. :) The internal org was renamed "Photos and Streams," because Sundar likes org names that match what the teams do. And since our org includes Photos, Google+, Blogger, and News, there you have photos, plus several streams of content.

No big user-facing changes tied to this at all.

So stand down, gravediggers. This "ghost town" is still alive and kickin', and we ghosts aren't goin' anywhere anytime soon.

¹ Context:

² Via:
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