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Neil Darlow

I'm just reflecting on how much nuisance phone calls have decreased since OFCOM have forced telephony providers in the UK to provide Caller ID service for free and to block calls with invalid or non-answerable numbers.

I'm not at all impressed that without this recent rule change my provider, Virginmedia, would have continued to charge subscribers 4GBP per month to provide Caller ID while still allowing these calls on their network. A case of permitting criminals to finance their profits maybe.

Why was this not done years ago? How many vulnerable people have fallen victim to scams and other unnecessary calls while their providers made capital from it?

Shame on you for waiting until you were forced to take action before you did anything.
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Really liking Tilix (formerly Terminix) as a more flexible alternative to gnome-terminal.

It has a PPA on launchpad which can be added in the software sources application.


I'm a newcomer to Linux Mint (not to GNU/Linux) having recently completed a new desktop PC build to entice a family member away from Windows 10. In the process I was sufficiently impressed by "Tara" Cinnamon edition that I replaced the fedora 28 Workstation install on my laptop with it too.

I am very impressed with the general polish of Cinnamon and the only downside I've found so far was the need to add some PPAs to get decently recent versions of Cura, FreeCAD and usbpicprog for my 3D Printing and PIC programming activities. I also needed to do a local manual install of Arduino IDE and JALv2 but that wasn't unique to Linux Mint.

The release timing of "Tara" was useful to me because most of the applications that I use daily were at the same version as I had on fedora 28. I did make a couple of swaps with Thunderbird being replaced by Evolution and Tomboy by gnome-notes.

My work interests are electronics and programming and I was pleased to see recent versions of KiCAD, GNU GNAT (Ada compiler) and Lazarus (Free Pascal IDE) which are my goto engineering tools.

Bearing in mind that I've been using fedora for the last 8 years, I hope that Linux Mint will perform as an equally reliable and useful daily computing platform for me.

Downsizing on the number of PCs we have in the house. My wife and I will be sharing a new one with a decent specification:

Intel Core i5 8400 2.8GHz on ASUS Prime Z370-P motherboard with 16GB DDR4 3200 RAM.

4TB Western Digital Blue SATA 3 6Gps Hard Drive.

500GB Samsung 970 Evo NVMe M.2 SSD Drive.

ASUS Cerberus NVIDIA GTX1050 Ti OC 4GB DDR5 Graphics Card.

Poineer BDR-902EBK BluRay Burner.

CSL USB 3.0 all-in-one memory card reader.

The OS will be Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon Edition installed onto BTRFS on the HDD and SSD. I'm looking forward to figuring out the volume scheme for the drives so I can implement convenient snapshots.
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Dipped my toes into the world of mains-borne networking. I must say the Devolo products are super easy to install and get working. A truly plug-and-play experience.
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fedora 28 Workstation is settling-down now that GNOME 3.28.2 packages are in the official repositories.

I keep a casual eye on what's happening in the KDE camp but I've actually taken a liking to the GNOME 3 Shell and can't see myself going back to KDE any time soon.
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Spent a little time away from 3D Printing and making a bit of a return.

Over the last couple of days I've been researching the changes in Marlin from my last update at 1.1.0-RC8 and 1.1.8.

I've updated my Mendel90 port to 1.1.8 and testing so far looks good. I'm intrigued by the manual mesh bed levelling feature and will be setting that up.

It's satisfying seeing the latest Marlin code running on a 6 year old design and I'm sure it will give the hardware a bit of a boost.
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A consequence of updating from fedora 26 to fedora 27 was the introduction of Firefox 57 a.k.a Quantum.

This version of Firefox has caused some controversy due to the shift away from NPAPI-based plugins and addons to the newer Web Extension standard.

This has brought about the demise of many Firefox addons and, although I only use a small number of them, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to replicate the functionality I previously had viz:

Bluhell Firewall
Self Destructing Cookies
HTTPS Everywhere
Print/Print Preview

The replacement Web Extensions I managed to locate were:

uBlock Origin
Self Destroying Cookies
HTTPS Everywhere
Print Preview Button

Bluhell Firewall was an incredible feat of software engineering and performed its magic using just seven regular expressions to filter a huge number of bad URIs. In contrast, uBlock Origin uses multiple blocklists which may be selectively enabled or disabled through its settings.

Self Destructing Cookies was a simple but effective per-domain cookie manager. The similarly named replacement, Self Destroying Cookies, performs the same funtion in a familiar manner.

HTTPS Everywhere has been ported to Web Extension format so there was no loss of funtionality there.

The Print/Print Preview addon provided a drop-down menu button which allowed for previewing or printing of a web page from the Firefox main menu. The replacement Print Preview Button provides a simple toolbar button which hides its extensive functionality.

So any concerns I had about migrating to Firefox 57 have been addressed fully. The UI improvements are welcome and the new browser is a pleasure to use being significantly faster than its predecessor.

Congratulations are due to the Mozilla Foundation in bringing Firefox into line with its competitors and shaking off its "stale" mantle.
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Updated my laptop to fedora 27 yesterday and was happy to see that Cura-2.7.0 had made it into the distribution.

A quick update of the OS today installed Cura-3.0.3. This is the Ultimaker edition and I'm looking forward to exploring the new features within it.

Just spent a couple of days reviewing changes and new features in fail2ban-0.10.x.

Turning on aggressive mode for the Postfix mail server configuration certainly deals with repeated brute-force password and DDOS attacks with ease.

If you don't yet have these protections on your mail server I can highly recommend fail2ban.
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