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2018-11-04Project Zebra: Project Zebra: And this is your brain on Cake

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This entry is part of my Project Zebra series covering migration to Linux for personal computing use.

This is apparently my 400th post (although one got de-listed due to bots repetitively hitting a certain keyword), making for an exciting average of less than 20 posts a year. Continuing as we mean to go on, post-upgrade to Xubuntu 18.10 this is mostly another fixing and upgrading things entry with some welcome tweaks.

But first… https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2018/10/ibm-just-bought-red-hat-for-34-billion

That's not great, particularly if as some other commentators have suggested things might continue in parallel and Microsoft end up with a controlling share of Canonical (packagers of Ubuntu). All of a sudden that Linux Mint Debian Edition distro looks eminently sensible and something to watch a bit closer.

Keeping this mainly a positive entry, though; kicking things off, having done a release upgrade and since it seems stable, I cleared and recreated my Timeshift backups so snapshots are smaller.

Kdocker 5.1 onwards includes saving custom icons per application; https://github.com/user-none/KDocker/blob/master/ChangeLog

So that's well worth grabbing the source and making. And as a random fact, xprop _NET_WM_PID allows you to get the (self-declared) process ID for a targeted window, although I think working with window IDs is easier.

I had a look at Flatpak because someone was having trouble with kdocker and a specific flatpak application, and doing so included adding a flatpak plugin to Gnome Software. Gnome Software offers a terrible user experience at the best of times because the interface gives little feedback; you click on Install or Remove and it does nothing most of the time, or shows a progress bar that doesn't move. I'm also not sure what it means when it says the flatpak version of eg Filezilla has an installed size of 30.7Mb but a download size of 766.2Mb – does all of that stay around?

Wrapped up package formats like Snap or Flatpak have a usage case when builds and dependencies break popular software, but huge filesizes (and the potential for retaining older and insecure versions of components is a risk). In the meantime, the alternative is often things like;

https://trac.filezilla-project.org/ticket/11781

As GnuTLS >= 3.6 drops OpenPGP certificates support, when Filezilla 3.37.4 is compiled with GnuTLS >= 3.6, connection with "FTP over TLS" will fail with "GnuTLS error -50 in gnutls_priority_set_direct: The request is invalid".

FileZilla 3.38 had recently (26th Oct) been released, but given that Ubuntu's repositories are still on 3.33 (released in May) it's unlikely a fix will be distributed before 19.04 in April.

Look down https://pkgs.org/download/filezilla and you'll see the state of potential fix distribution, with only Arch and Suse Leap having a current version at time of writing.

As it happens, FileZilla is an application that if you're running Ubuntu you can download the Debian binaries for, uncompress to a folder, point a .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications towards and keep on trucking with it using existing ~/.config/filezilla files.

Incidentally, the "Internet" category in Whisker Menu is an alias of Network; https://specifications.freedesktop.org/menu-spec/menu-spec-1.0.html#category-registry

Similarly, I've finally updated XnView from the October 2016 version (0.83?) and this time, since I habitually update so infrequently, went for the tarred and gzipped archive (like with the FileZilla3 files), then used Synaptic to clean up the previous version and created a .desktop and then a symlink so my Nemo integration still works;

sudo ln -s /home/admech/.myapps/XnView/xnview.sh /usr/bin/xnview

I had to reinstall streamlink; I'd previously used the pip installer so I'm guessing it's related to https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/5599 and cosmic might have upgraded to pip 10 (I haven't checked that though – in any case, the manual install of 0.14.2 fixed things).

Crossover 18 is out, which means that for once I've gotten two releases out of a year sub; https://www.codeweavers.com/about/blogs/hpagel/2018/10/19/crossover-joins-the-party-with-version-18

I've just downloaded it for now. 2013 works okay as is, I assume 2016 still doesn't, based on the very misleading previous advertising, and generally I use a work laptop for things anyway.

Speaking of Windows, Codeweavers' negging adverts (they're on the front of the site at the moment) including "Sold a kidney to run Windows? How generous" over an organ transport box, and "Enduring reboots? How selfless" over a piece of mental breakdown stock photography (guy in darkened corner of room with head in heads) are pretty tasteless, and that's coming from me.

It turns out you can still revert chrome/chromium's tabs (at the moment, in version 70) – which makes it look like a modern desktop application again, rather than a Win 3.1 throwback, even if square tabs would still look better;

https://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/8jf7vx/square_tabs_like_firefox_in_chrome/ chrome://flags/ + "UI Layout for the browser's top chrome" + normal + restart browser

Chrome also turned out to be not managing HTML5 storage properly, which a quick overview (I used QdirStat) revealed. The solution is to delete the leftover large files in its "File System" part of the user profile hierarchy;

https://www.ghacks.net/2015/06/24/hard-drive-filling-up-check-chromes-file-system-folder/

Peazip no longer launches, so (not having actually used it once) I've removed it rather than update.

In retro-news, some governance issues have been resolved to try to inject some new life into ROS; https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/10/23/risc_os_open_source/

I'm a bit tempted to get RISC OS onto real hardware like a Pi, even if it's still simultaneously a novelty OS and one that in its 32-bit form a lot of classic applications and games won't work on;

https://www.riscosopen.org:8443/wiki/documentation/show/Converting%20older%20software%20to%20run%20on%2032%20bit%20systems

https://www.riscosopen.org/wiki/documentation/show/RPCEmu%20and%20RISC%20OS%205%20on%20Windows

Basically the situation is that version 5 of the OS has been open-sourced, with 4 and 6 (I know) still proprietary and the older versions people are most likely to want to emulate, 3 and 2, are technically off-limits if I recall the acrimony around VirtualAcorn being prevented from selling VirtualA5000, This is a shame for retro computing fans, whose best and simplest option is still probably VA5000 in a virtual machine. Arrr.


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