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2023-02-25 📌 Project Zebra: Eventually it'll overheat and shut down

Tags All Linux Tech Personal

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

Title reference: Strong Female Character by Fern Brady. It isn't a coincidence that so many metaphors about ASD involve computers. The other thing I've read recently is A Life in Footnotes, and in other news I found Garfunkel and Oates about ten years late.

I don't think I mentioned the last Ubuntu six-monthly upgrade. I lost track of Ubuntu release dates until I saw it mentioned on a news site, but what I hadn't realised when I came to do "sudo do-release-upgrade" was that I had prompt=lts set in /etc/update-manager/release-upgrades and I don't remember making that change deliberately.

Since 22.10 VLC has been partially broken, intermittently failing to play videos on a black screen or loading the first frame only and leaving itself in the tray, whereas SMPlayer works. Even appimages of newer or older versions of VLC exhibited the same behaviour after the VLC install was removed, which was a big clue… it seems to be an issue with Qt 5.15.6 according to this forum thread and discussions linked from there.

In general Plasma seemed to be less stable (memo to self, which I'm probably repeating: if you need to restart kwin from another tty then DISPLAY=:0 kwin_x11 --replace is the go-to command) and adding the backports ppa to faster-track updates doesn't seem to have done greater harm;

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade Whilst I remember to make a note, if you happen to screw up your locker qml file (it's /usr/share/plasma/look-and-feel/org.kde.breeze.desktop/contents/components/WallpaperFader.qml in Kubuntu) without a convenient backup, you can test with

/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libexec/kscreenlocker_greet --testing

(this runs it in a window) and if necessary get the stock config files from a livecd session And if you need to unlock sessions manually, Ctrl+Alt+F(1-12) to a new tty and use loginctl unlock-sessions

There seems to be a bug in Thunderbird 102 that affects search results and needs a rebuild of its database:

And 102 also doesn't play nicely with Birdtray 1.9.0 per this issues ticket. Downloading from random sources isn't a great idea in general, but I've just compiled from master under Kubuntu 22.10 if anyone wants it: and you should just need the contents. Can confirm it seems to fix the unread icon issues, at least for me. If you want to compile it yourself (which is a better idea) as well as installing cmake and following the instructions in I also needed some other packages per the instructions linked below;

sudo apt-get install qtbase5-dev qtchooser qt5-qmake qtbase5-dev-tools

sudo apt install libqt5*-dev

The last bit is overkill but I couldn't be bothered to work out exactly what it needed.

Ubuntu flavours (Kubuntu, Xubuntu, etc) have been forced by Canonical to drop Flatpak from default installs or lose official support, as the company continues to push its competing bloated all-in-one packaging format.

I don't use Snaps or Flatpaks, occasionally use AppImages, and generally prefer to self-compile if necessary, so this has limited impact personally. But decisions made throughout the ecosystem have wider ripples; Ubuntu is based on Debian, which accepted systemd and upset a lot of people (few strong feelings there as a desktop user, and a lightly using relatively recent one at that). Some folk involved with projects such as PulseAudio, Wayland, GTK, Gnome, etc, also take somewhat politicised stances on development. It's the blackmail and dictation to other distros that's a warning sign here. I've written about the importance of having Plan Bs previously when it comes to Linux distros.

In other mindlessly stupid decisions from a while ago, YouTube has decided to remove the ability for users to sort videos on channels by oldest first – you know, the sort of thing most people do when discovering a channel for the first time and videos are in any kind of release sequence. As for the alleged problems with restoring it, I'm not sure how developers can screw up reverse sorting a list unless they've done something horrible and non-relational with the data.

I liked the comments on this story pointing out that limited activity on a project such as X11 is often a sign that it's mature, stable, feature-complete and proven.

A couple of ways of creating thumbnails for videos...

for f in *.webm; do ffmpeg -i "$f" -ss 00:00:03 -vframes 1 -s 1280x720 "${f%.webm}.jpg"; done

ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vf "thumbnail,scale=640:360" -frames:v 1 thumb.png

A couple of memos to myself... next time I come to rip DVDs, and I can't remember the last time that was the case, I'll try MakeMKV instead of DVDShrink or Handbrake.

And I previous installed a simple useful command line tool called 'detox' to sanitise filenames from yt-dlp downloads that often include oversized unicode characters that throw off list rendering in Nemo, but keep forgetting I did.

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