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Episode #351 - Pinguy 18.04 Review
General observation: Ubuntu's recently introduced "minimal install" seems a strange kludge. Download a full install, install the full install, but when during install a user selects minimal, a script removes most of the installed software, post-installation?

Ubuntu does provide a mini.iso which I've not used. Its web page on the Ubuntu site says "current" packages are downloaded during install. So I'm not sure whether the final install contains everything in a "standard" Ubuntu install, or just the necessary underpinnings of Ubuntu?

Back to Pinguy. As I was listening I was theorizing why the .iso would include as much software as safely fits on a DVD - and why it has so many PPAs.

Early on I discovered that the standard Distros I tried (Mints, Ubuntus), applications like LibreOffice just didn't update. And I'd read about an application that wasn't in the Distro's software center, and with trepidation go "copy and paste" additional PPAs into my system. Clearly, NOT Super SECURE for a noob to copy/paste"installer" links from what might be random blogs surfaced by Google.

Pinguy, at least, has included what are surely 100% genuine PPAs?

Does Pinguy include a "Software Center? Based on Ubuntu Gnome, I'd presume so, but . . .

If it's possible to add one on a Chromebook, surely it would be in Pinguy, if it isn't already there? Hopefully the ability to add the software center is now fixed in Ubuntu Mate, which I gave up on when it wouldn't install, and I didn't want to revert to copy/paste of apt-get commands as I had in the past from PPAs.

Adding a software center won't provide curated PPA access to applications not in the center -

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I just noticed that I can open .odt files from dropbox folder on my iphone. This is cool
2 Photos - View album

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Linux Piter #4 / 2-3 November 2018 / Saint Petersburg

Language of the conference and promo materials - English. First track speakers will perform in English with simultaneous translation into Russian, second one vice versa.

Among speakers of #LinuxPiter 2018:
> Lennart Poettering​ / Germany. Berlin / Sr. Software Engineer / Red Hat
> Rafael J. Wysocki / Poland. Warsaw / Software Engineer / Intel
#topic: "Advances in CPU Idle Time Management in Linux"
> Ioannis Glaropoulos / Norway. Oslo / Senior Research & Development Engineer / Nordic Semiconductor
#topic: "Designing a Trusted Execution environment in Zephyr OS​"
> Marian Marinov / Bulgaria. Sofia / Chief System Architect / SiteGround ​
#topic: "High-Availability with Corosync + Pacemaker"
> Johan Hovold / Sweden. Malmö / Kernel developer / Hovold Consulting AB
#topic: "The Serial Device Bus"
> Felipe Franciosi / England. London / Senior Staff Software Engineer / Nutanix
#topic: "SPDK and Nutanix AHV: minimising the virtualisation overhead"

As a benefit all participants of Linux Piter can attend PiterPy conference (, which will be held in the same time at the same venue. #LinuxPiter #PiterPy

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Several weeks ago I posted about the Intel Gemini Lake NUC I'm using (mostly) to test distros and upgrades. Useful as Mint Cinnamon 19 Beta and 19 final as released persuaded me to stay on 18.3. As mentioned before, some of those issues may have been the upstream pre 18.04.1 Ubuntu source. I do now see in the Mint 19 Cinnamon Release Notes a list of issues and fixes.

That's Linux, now the NUC itself. NUCs are very Linux friendly. The only "Linux" problem I had was the first set, purchased in 2015 ahead of the Linux kernel being "ready" for them. Fortunately that didn't take long. But with Meltdown and Spectre and other possible hardware issues, Intel has released several firmware updates for the Gemini Lake models. At the time I bought it v.37 (update) had been released. I didn't even check to see if my new NUC had that version or an older one. Last week I checked and the firmware was up to v.42, and decided to update.

The 2015 NUCs have had only one update. That firmware installed very easily and without incident.

Not so v.42 in the Gemini Lake. Instead of booting it froze with a message that it couldn't find media, the same SSD it had booted from before the update. My F2 entry into the "UEFI BIOS" showed nothing unexpected and the SATA boot drive was recognized. Powered down, tried the F10 boot to select the boot drive, selected the SSD, and descended into chaos.

The little computer didn't boot. It wouldn't recognize a USB Live Installer I double-checked on another NUC and confirmed good. Then it began erratically sometimes responding to F2, sometimes not.

Could I have force-fed it the wrong Firmware and killed it?

Thinking Intel's surely thinking ahead enough to block the wrong Firmware, I shut everything down, disconnected the NUC from power, and went home.

Hours later I returned, powered it up, and was able to F2 boot to BIOS. Began by choosing the option to restore defaults, which revealed what I hadn't seen before. There's an option to choose Operating Systems, and the default, as would be expected, is Windows. But there's an alternative selection, Linux.

Selected Linux, checked other settings, saved changes and booted successfully.

Much of the time thinking I was following First Minion Bill's fall down the Rabbit Hole to Wonderland.

Be really helpful if every BIOS was documented with the consequence of interdependent options explained.

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Re - #350 - Listener Question About Backing Up iOS on Linux
As Bill said, there are Linux music players that can interface with iPods, perhaps even iPhones & iPads. Never done it as I am now using Android phone as my "player," but know it is possible in theory. Over in Mac forums have also read a lot of comments saying it only seems to work with older devices.

REAL backups just aren't going to happen from iOS to Linux.

Apple wants its users to fill their iCloud storage with "stuff," including backups. Apple also wants to push users forward, which is good, for security matters, and not so good when an older device ends up effectively deprecated by an iOS version update, or just sloooooooooowing down because the latest iOS and /or Apps and / or Apple sticking in a slow down command when battery level is low.

I'm putting in a link to Apple info on backing up iOS using iTunes. iTunes is required. Note this, which is much different than the old way when a restoration would move everything, including Apps, back to the iOS device:

An iTunes backup doesn't include:

Content from the iTunes and App Stores, or PDFs downloaded directly to iBooks (You can back up this content using Transfer Purchases in iTunes.)
Content synced from iTunes, like imported MP3s or CDs, videos, books, and photos
Photos already stored in iCloud, like My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Library, iMessages, and text (SMS) and multimedia (MMS) messages
Touch ID settings
Apple Pay information and settings
Activity, Health, and Keychain data (To back up this content, you'll need to use Encrypted Backup in iTunes.)

There is an alternative for Mac users, Apple's free Configurator 2. Again, no personal experience with it. Linked below.

Had an iPad 1 when they first came out and I was deep into the Apple ecosystem. VERY frustrating. iOS devices have a file system Apple denies to users. One of the very first "Apps" was a Windows-like File Manager that exposed the iOS file system for users to manage directly. It was also one of the very first Apps to be banished and banned.

Sending data files from your iOS Device to a Linux system could be as simple as sharing them through DropBox or Google Drive. I still have an iCloud account, but to do much of anything within it, I'm having to log in using a Mac. Couldn't even log in this week to check iCloud mail from my Linux system as a "page element" related to disclosing Apple's tracking practices wouldn't open on Linux, but did on Mac ??? Whatever.

As long as a user has an Apple App Store account that can be accessed, and a working iCloud account, there's no real need to back up Apps since they can always be re-downloaded. Though that won't solve the issue of "new" versions proving incompatible with "old" gear -

My "kids" have iPhones, but theirs are Googliefied. They don't store pics on iCloud, but use Google Photos. Much easier to move those cross-platform, AND funny thing, iPhones stop working right, and their cameras stop working at all, when storage fills. Google Photos offers free unlimited storage, iCloud doesn't. AND with iCloud there's no easy way to clean files from a phone or a Mac as there is with Google Photos that will allow a user to remove photos from a device but not wipe from Google's Cloud or reach into a connected computer and wipe that, too.

Last comment: there's some gadgets that are USB & Lightning port drives. They only work with related Apps, they're not plug and play. San Disk makes the iXpand. Looked into one some time ago as possible gift for daughter, only to learn that the "Lightning Port" was USB 2 speed, not USB 3. Wonder if that's changed? There's also wireless external battery powered devices, including hard drives, for storing stuff and playing media. Again, only through related iOS Apps, no Plug 'n Play.

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I'm getting a error in the feed

For the latest episode, looks like it's pointing to looks like a typo maybe?

+Larry Bushey I recently heard lubuntu is dropping the 'older hardware' (for lack of a better term) support...

Are their any distributions/projects that are firmly committed to keeping the junkyard/recycling center/landfill void of older still useful hardware? I'm the 'family farm' unofficial IT monkey(I do what I can), and many of our endpoints are x86 based or the oldest amd64 on the planet(the best and cheapest I could find at a local pawn shop, at the time I acquired them).

I enjoy the podcast as soon as my gpodder client pulls it.
Keep up the good work.

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Important: re ANY 18.04 Ubuntu Based Distro
Read Clem's July Mint Blog Post
I'd installed both the Mint 19 Cinnamon Beta and Mint 19 Cinnamon. Both had problems I found similar to issues in ALL the 18.04 Ubuntu betas and finals I'd installed on my test system, all direct to the SATA boot SSD.

Read through the linked blog post, and you'll get the picture why I'm not moving any "production" machine to the 18.04 base. Yet.

In #349 Über-Minion Bill reviews Mint 19 Cinnamon and talks speed, suggesting it "feels" slower than his Mate experience. That is possible, but as Bill points to Firefox as an example, I point out that Firefox has become rather "bloaty." When it first sets up, (I suppose may vary depending on source of version), it has some telemetry enabled. It populates the new tab page with "ads." And more. I just set up Firefox on a Mate (Solus) install, and it took awhile for FF to first open, then I had to wait for it to fully open before it was possible to go into settings and shut down "phone home," what looks like a way to place ads on "new Tab," and more.

No complaints from here ABOUT Firefox doing all that stuff as Mozilla provides good, free, software and needs money, and it is possible to disable FF bloat, but it sure slows down "first launch."

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Did you notice? Now available as an e-book as well as in paperback:
Using Ubuntu MATE and Its Applications: Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS Edition

E-book version:
Paperback version:

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*NEW: Second Edition - Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS*
Available on Amazon
Paperback version:
E-book version:

Using Ubuntu MATE and Its Applications: Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS Edition

Updated with the latest features of the Ubuntu MATE 18.04 Long Term Support release, the second edition of this book is written for computer users who want a reference detailed enough to help them to learn about Ubuntu MATE and its applications and to build their confidence and competence in using them to get things done. It is written from the perspective that Ubuntu MATE is a typical modern Linux for the average computer user who needs to do things like browse the Internet, check email, use a text editor or word processor, read and store document files, view and edit photos, watch videos, listen to music, and subscribe to podcasts. Many of the examples in this book are from my own experiences using Linux. The applications discussed work in the same way regardless of the operating system.

While it's is great for users who have migrated from Windows or macOS, Ubuntu MATE is also an excellent choice for any kind of computer user, from casual home user to professional software developer. That's because of its modern, functionally thought-out design. Ubuntu MATE is capable enough for even the most experienced computer user because, well, it's Linux! It has the power of every other Linux built-in. Simply put, it provides a practical alternative to other software that can run on your computer.
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