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Rianne Schestowitz's blog

Message From the Editors

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Site News

Roy and Rianne

Summary: We're still running the site 24/7 every day/week of the year; we're managing to cope with slower news cycles

WE RECENTLY passed the sixteenth anniversary of this site, which is peaking in terms of traffic (record levels and all-time highs for several consecutive weeks). This weekend is very, very slow for news. Very.

We're typically managing to cope with the decline of journalism by digging deeper, finding lesser known sites such as blogs. We're hoping to reach the twentieth anniversary of the site. That's 2024.

Star Trek Thanksgiving: Did I tell you the joke about the flightless bird? Oh, don't get started, Worf... turned out it was a machine

For those who don't follow over RSS feeds (default and recommended as there are no middlemen; access is direct) there are also Twitter (proprietary) and the following accounts in Free software-based networks. Diaspora:

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Mastodon:

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Pleroma (Fediverse like Mastodon):

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Thanks for choosing Tux Machines for news.

In the face of an Orangutan

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Just talk

Orangutan

Mother of two species.

The camels' outcry

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Just talk

Camel

When a human doesn't know what to do and people don't know how to tackle the real issue, the animals are becoming the sacrifice. Billion of animals were lost to bushfires alone and millions are slaughtered every day, yet the audacity to kill the camels is astonishing. I wonder what would be the humans' reaction if the animals called for human culling. Think about it.

Koalas Need Our Help

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Just talk

Koalas Need Our Help

Watching videos/photos of Koalas being rescued from a charred/burning forests in Australia is heart-breaking and devastating. More than 350 Koalas are reported being dead and these numbers are growing. Those who live far from Australia (just like me) can't help physically rescue them, but a small amount of money/donation to sustain the hospital/facilities, volunteers and rescuers is of great help. Koala is just one of the many species that perish from the bushfire and they need our help, so please donate through the GoFundMe page and through other legitimate websites. Help those who support animal welfare.

130,000!

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Site News

LOC number

YAY! It's Tux Machines' 130 thousandth post! (node)

Twins for Meng Meng and Jiao Qing

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Just talk

Meng Meng

About 8 months ago we had the chance to meet Meng Meng (above) and Jiao Qing, the female and male pandas on loan to Berlin Zoo in Germany. I took lots of photos with them and we stayed in their Pagoda sanctuary a little longer. Seeing them eating, napping and wandering inside their secured place brings joy to my heart. I don't really like seeing animals in the zoo, but if this is the only way to keep and protect them from any harm or from becoming extinct, then so be it. Today, in the news (video) the two adorable pandas became parents as they were having twins; this is good news and I'm so happy for them both. To Meng Meng and Jiao Qing (and also to Berlin Zoo), congratulations!

Microsoft's Deadly Touch

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Linux

Mask of death

Everything Microsoft touched has died. Remember Nokia, Yahoo and Novell? What happened to these companies and where are they now? This is exactly what Microsoft wants to do to Linux because they don't innovate and they can't compete; so they infiltrate. Sooner or later Linux will be part of those latter companies. Something to watch out for.

Photos: 15-Year Anniversary Party

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Site News

Happy 15th Anniversary to Tux Machines

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Site News

Anniversary of Tux Machines

Summary: Anniversary of Tux Machines is today, a special anniversary too

Today Tux Machines is celebrating its 15th year of existing. When we bought the website it was about 10 years old, so kudos to Susan Linton who devoted time to make and keep the site on pace. We promise to keep the website up to date with lots of insightful OSS/FOSS/Linux/Android-related articles. We hope to continue the job well into the distant future.

Unixstickers

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Just talk

Unixstickers

Awesome products, will definitely get another bunch of some more stickers soon Smile

Orangutans are some of the most solitary animals critically endangered as human consumption grows; Ban Palm oil Industry.

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Just talk

Orangutan

Orangutans are some of the most solitary animals critically endangered as human consumption grows.

Orangutans are currently only found in the rainforest of Borneo and Sumatra where both species are endangered. The orangutans' habitat has decreased and is rapidly being devastated by loggers, palm oil plantations, gold miners, and unnatural forest fires.

Watching videos of orangutans over hundreds of times is nerve-wracking, seeing them in distress and in great trauma as babies watch their mothers hacked and killed by poachers. They are using their machete which is so inhumane, as many of these infants die without the help of their mother and some other infants are sold as pets, ending in the hands of their 'owner', maltreated and malnourished, making their situation even worse. This happened because of the humongous demand and consumption of humans. Guilt is creeping on me; while enjoying my food and applying all the cosmetics for vanity it is like slaughtering an innocent and beautiful primate slowly and accurately. I wasn't thinking at all; I'm closely blinded of my needs, having never bothered to think that somewhere out there someone is tormented. I can't let this happen any longer. I must act and make a stand and be the voice of orangutans. I'm calling for everyone to ban and stop buying palm oil products. We must stop deforestation and the palm oil industry, strongly and swiftly before orangutans and all other animals sail into extinction.

Beijing Zoo is No Place for Pandas

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Just talk

Pandas in Beijing Zoo
Photo credit: Nick Hopkins

I am a Panda lover. I work as a support engineer in an I.T company here in the United Kingdom. Most of my spare time is spent watching different Panda videos -- both old and new videos. Basically, it is my therapy; a 'stress release' for me. I find them to be adorable and precious creatures. As a matter of fact, I would like to volunteer to come to Sichuan. I want to experience and feel what it's like to be a Panda keeper, to be able to interact with them for real. The Panda is China's National Treasure, so it's a shame to watch the Panda videos from Beijing zoo, as the place is disgusting and not ideal for Pandas to live in (and for sure for all the rest of the animals who unfortunately got stuck in this prison cell).

The place looks like a ghost town. Lifeless and languished. Knowing that Pandas wear a thick fur on their body, can you imagine what it feels for them in 30C or 35C (summer temperature)? What it probably feels like all the time? Come on, if you really care, you must do something now, otherwise these Pandas will die. Please bring them back to their sanctuary where they really belong.

Winner: Triathlon in The Spa At The Midland

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Just talk

The Spa At The Midland - Rianne SchestowitzI never thought I could win in a challenge of 3 events.

I guess age is not an excuse for giving up... more so in physical fitness; as the saying goes, health is wealth.... consequently, I'll keep doing my routine and even yoga. It is extremely relaxing!

Motivation, hard work, discipline. By-product is triumph... Smile

Acer Chromebook 15 for Linux and Wimbledon

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Reviews

Earlier this month my husband and I needed a replacement for the Chromebook that I had installed Linux on after Christmas because the keyboard developed a fault. This was a good opportunity to get an upgrade and to connect the 28-inch monitor to it, allowing us to watch Wimbledon over the Internet (we don't watch TV).

Unboxing photos:

Setting up the machine:

It comes with Chrome OS, but I don't want that:

Switch to developer mode:

Setting it up to not be so locked down:

With Roy's help, installing Ubuntu LTS:

Nearly done:

Running KDE/Plasma (my favourite):

Running XFCE:

Running Unity (which I still try to use on a daily basis after using KDE for years):

We have since then bought a cabinet for the external screen and Roy finished building it 2 days ago, so now we can watch shows while we work (4 screen combined using Synergy).

Spring in Tux Machines

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Site News

Tux Machines traffic

Tux Machines traffic has been increasing during spring. The DDOS attacks are behind us thankfully, the latest problem is just a lot of spam, which we are deleting as soon as we can.

Happy Easter and Remarkable Spring

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Just talk

Happy Easter

My Chromebook with KDE

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Reviews

I got my new Chromebook... Smile Yes, you've heard me right, but wait before you raise your eyebrows...

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I installed Ubuntu on it as my default OS, though I can go back to Chrome OS any time I want. I don't see any point in doing it.

HP Chromebook 14

Roy helped me do the partitioning, configuration and tweaking. We configure it in a way so that I can use it in my work, not just for Facebooking, tweeting and chatting's sake.

HP Chromebook 14

HP Chromebook 14

I am still exploring the machine, basically familiarising with the keyboard and all the function settings on it. The Kubuntu environment which I chose will need some adjustments; also the applications which I downloaded are a bit different from the other laptop's (which I used to work on).

HP Chromebook 14

Change is good, but it requires a lot of patience and adaptation to the new environment.

HP Chromebook 14

I like my Chromebook very much. It is one of the best gifts I have received from my husband. It is more practical, it gives me more confidence to learn and to develop more of my computer skills. Innovation is fast-moving and technology is progressing, so you definitely need to catch up with it. Unless you want to be left behind by choice...

Vacation Photos

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Just talk

Tux and Rianne

Last week we did not post as much news as usual because we went to the south of England with Roy's sister. We did take some photos.

How my uncle became a Linux user

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Linux

It has been a month since my relatives from Bradford visited us here in Manchester. Our usual routine if they come to spend the holidays with us is to go to the gym to work out, to run on the treadmill and play pingpong. The best part of the workout, which we enjoy the most, is swimming afterwards. We get relaxed at the jacuzzi and then get hot and sweaty inside the sauna. It is a good exercise and offers relaxation after a stressful day of work. We have so much fun in the gym.

We arrived home around 8:00 pm after having a good round of walk in Manchester City Stadium. We were lucky to see the Manchester City football team; they had a match against Roma, so crowds were flooding in the streets. There were about a thousand spectators coming to watch the game who walked past us.
At home I prepared the meal. We had candlelights and red wine to enjoy while having our soup, vegetable salad and chicken for dinner; mango smoothies were the final dessert.

After the meal we chatted about the economy, healthcare, jobs, business, and technology in the U.K. I have learned a lot from Albert, my aunt's husband. He is an economist.

Albert explained to me that he was struggling with his PC. It was a brand new PC. It had a touchscreen and the laptop was thin and powerful. Albert's problem was not the laptop. As it turns out, his problem was Windows. The computer came with Windows 8. He already wasted a lot of money because shops exploited him. He did not even have an office suite installed. The computer was useless. He hardly used it. He hardly even had any files on it.

I then explained to Albert about GNU/Linux. I told him about Stallman and GNU. I also told him about the dirty tricks of Microsoft and about the true Bill Gates, including his involvement in GMO. Albert listened to me and he wanted to know more. I hope he learned something from me, just as I had learned from him.

The following morning I asked my husband for help. He was working all night and in the morning he was available to help Albert. Based on Roy's analysis, the machine was full of malware or some other mess. It was almost impossible to do anything with it. Windows 8 was hard to work with and it was hardly even possible to download and install a program like LibreOffice. The interface was confusing. It took ages to do very simple things.

Albert insisted that we should install GNU/Linux, but we didn't have a recent version of a distro at that time. Either way, Albert was so frustrated with Windows that he was willing to throw it all down the drain, along with his files.

This was my first time seeing Windows 8. I usually use Android or KDE. Microsoft Windows has become full of pop-ups, spam, marketing and other garbage. I am glad to use GNU/Linux and Albert will soon join us. By all means, Albert now wants to use Open Source and he already learns how to use LibreOffice.

Tux Claus

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Just talk

Tux Claus

Summer is finally over, but summertime or the climate hasn't officially changed yet. I wonder if I can still do something out of the ordinary, but the weather is disrupting my planned activities outside. Sometimes there is sunlight, but the next minute the dark clouds covers the beautiful sky and it makes the day dull and cold.

Two days ago my husband and I went to stroll inside the mall and ended up buying some personal stuff in a store. While I was in a queue to pay my husband was in a hurry to add this tiny bit of stuff which I didn't recognise at first. I thought of ignoring and not buying that tiny little thing. Then my husband said "look what I found" and then I asked what is it -- it's tux! Tux Claus. Soon I saw a tiny penguin dressed in Santa clothes; the design was simple ,but it was artistically made. I know it is still early, but we're both excited to add Tux under our Christmas tree and be merry.

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More in Tux Machines

SolydXK 10.4 Distro Released, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4 “Buster”

As its version number suggests, SolydXK 10.4 is based on Debian GNU/Linux 10.4, which was released in early May 2020 with more than 50 security updates and over 100 bug fixes. The SolydXK team has worked hard over the past several months to bring you SolydXK 10.4, which includes the latest Linux 4.19 kernel and up-to-date packages from the Debian Buster repositories. On top of that, the new release comes with some important under-the-hood changes. For example, the /usr directories have been merged and the /bin, /sbin and /lib directories have now become symbolic links to /usr/bin, /usr/sbin and /usr/lib. Read more

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

  • Upcoming SAVVY-V Open Source RISC-V Cluster Board Supports 10GbE via Microsemi PolarFire 64-bit RISC-V SoC

    RISC-V based PolarFire SoC FPGA by Microsemi may be coming up in the third quarter of this year, but Ali Uzel has been sharing a few details about SAVVY-V advanced open-source RISC-V cluster board made by FOSOH-V (Flexible Open SOurce Hardware for RISC-V) community of developers. It’s powered by Microsemi Polarfire RISC-V SoC MPFS250T with four 64-bit RISC-V cores, a smaller RV64IMAC monitor core, and FPGA fabric that allows 10GbE via SFP+ cages, and exposes six USB Type-C ports. The solution is called a cluster board since up to six SAVVY-V boards can be stacked via a PC/104+ connector and interfaced via the USB-C ports.

  • Some PSAs for NUC owners

    I’ve written before, in Contemplating the Cute Brick, that I’m a big fan of Intel’s NUC line of small-form-factor computers. Over the last week I’ve been having some unpleasant learning experiences around them. I’m still a fan, but I’m shipping this post where the search engines can see it in support of future NUC owners in trouble. Two years ago I bought an NUC for my wife Cathy to replace her last tower-case PC – the NUC8i3BEH1. This model was semi-obsolete even then, but I didn’t want one of the newer i5 or i7 NUCs because I didn’t think it would fit my wife’s needs as well. What my wife does with her computer doesn’t tax it much. Web browsing, office work, a bit of gaming that does not extend to recent AAA titles demanding the latest whizzy graphics card. I thought her needs would be best served by a small, quiet, low-power-consumption machine that was cheap enough to be considered readily disposable at the end of its service life. The exact opposite of my Great Beast… The NUC was an experiment that made Cathy and me happy. She especially likes the fact that it’s small and light enough to be mounted on the back of her monitor, so it effectively takes up no desk space or floor area in her rather crowded office. I like the NUC’s industrial design and engineering – lots of nice little details like the four case screws being captive to the baseplate so you cannot lose them during disassembly. Also. Dammit, NUCs are pretty. I say dammit because I feel like this shouldn’t matter to me and am a bit embarrassed to discover that it does. I like the color and shape and feel of these devices. Someone did an amazing job of making them unobtrusively attractive. [...] When I asked if Simply NUC knew of a source for a fan that would fit my 8i3BEH1 – a reasonable question, I think, to ask a company that loudly claims to be a one-stop shop for all NUC needs – the reply email told me I’d have to do “personal research” on that. It turns out that if the useless drone who was Simply NUC “service” had cared about doing his actual job, he could have the read the fan’s model number off the image I had sent him into a search box and found multiple sources within seconds, because that’s what I then did. Of course this would have required caring that a customer was unhappy, which apparently they don’t do at Simply NUC. Third reason I know this: My request for a refund didn’t even get refused; it wasn’t even answered.

  • GNU Binutils 2.35 Preparing For Release

    Binutils 2.35 was branched this weekend as this important component to the open-source Linux ecosystem. Binutils 2.35 has been branched meaning feature development is over for this next version of this collection of GNU tools. GNU Binutils 2.356 drops x86 Native Client (NaCl) support with Google having deprecated it in favor of WebAssembly, new options added for the readelf tool, many bug fixes, and an assortment of other changes albeit mostly on the minor side.

  • Using CPU Subsets for Building Software

    NetBSD has a somewhat obscure tool named psrset that allows creating “sets” of cores and running tasks on one of those sets. Let’s try it: [...]

  • What a TLS self signed certificate is at a mechanical level

    To simplify a lot, a TLS certificate is a bundle of attributes wrapped around a public key. All TLS certificates are signed by someone; we call this the issuer. The issuer for a certificate is identified by their X.509 Subject Name, and also at least implicitly by the keypair used to sign the certificate (since only an issuer TLS certificate with the right public key can validate the signature).

  • Security Researchers Attacked Google’s Mysterious Fuchsia OS: Here’s What They Found

    A couple of things that Computer Business Review has widely covered are important context for the security probe. (These won’t be much surprise to Fuchsia’s followers of the past two years.)

    i.e. Fuschsia OS is based on a tiny custom kernel from Google called Zircon which has some elements written in C++, some in Rust. Device drivers run in what’s called “user mode” or “user land”, meaning they’re not given fully elevated privileges. This means they can be isolated better.

    In user land, everything that a driver does has to go via the kernel first before hitting the actually computer’s resources. As Quark Labs found, this is a tidy way of reducing attack surface. But with some sustained attention, its researchers managed to get what they wanted: “We are able to gain kernel code execution from a regular userland process.”

  • What have you been playing on Linux? Come and have a chat

    Ah Sunday, that special day that's a calm before the storm of another week and a time for a community chat here on GOL. Today, it's our birthday! If you didn't see the post earlier this week, GamingOnLinux as of today has hit the big 11 years old! Oh how time sure flies by. Onto the subject of gaming on Linux: honestly, the majority of my personal game time has been taken up by Into the Breach. It's so gorgeously streamlined, accessible, fun and it's also ridiculously complex at the same time. Tiny maps that require a huge amount of forward thinking, as you weigh up each movement decision against any possible downsides. It's like playing chess, only with big mecha fighting off aliens trying to take down buildings. [...] I've also been quite disappointed in Crayta on Stadia, as it so far hasn't lived up to even my smallest expectations for the game maker. It just seems so half-baked, with poor/stiff animations and a lack of any meaningful content to start with. I'll be checking back on it in a few months but for now it's just not fun.

Programming Leftovers (LLVM Clang, R, Perl and Python)

  • Arm Cortex-A77 Support Upstreamed Finally To LLVM Clang 11

    While the Arm Cortex-A77 was announced last year and already has been succeeded by the Cortex-A78 announcement, support for the A77 has finally been upstreamed to the LLVM Clang compiler. The Cortex-A77 support was added to the GCC compiler last year while seemingly as an oversight the A77 support wasn't added to LLVM/Clang until this week.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: Rcpp now used by 2000 CRAN packages–and one in eight!

    As of yesterday, Rcpp stands at exactly 2000 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time. Rcpp was first released in November 2008. It probably cleared 50 packages around three years later in December 2011, 100 packages in January 2013, 200 packages in April 2014, and 300 packages in November 2014. It passed 400 packages in June 2015 (when I tweeted about it), 500 packages in late October 2015, 600 packages in March 2016, 700 packages last July 2016, 800 packages last October 2016, 900 packages early January 2017, 1000 packages in April 2017, 1250 packages in November 2017, 1500 packages in November 2018 and then 1750 packages last August. The chart extends to the very beginning via manually compiled data from CRANberries and checked with crandb. The next part uses manually saved entries. The core (and by far largest) part of the data set was generated semi-automatically via a short script appending updates to a small file-based backend. A list of packages using Rcpp is available too.

  • YouTube: The [Perl] Weekly Challenge - 067
  • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #067

    This week both tasks had one thing in common i.e. pairing two or more list. In the past, I have taken the help from CPAN module Algorithm::Combinatorics for such tasks.

  • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccxxxiv) stackoverflow python report
  • Flask project setup: TDD, Docker, Postgres and more - Part 1

    There are tons of tutorials on Internet that tech you how to use a web framework and how to create Web applications, and many of these cover Flask, first of all the impressive Flask Mega-Tutorial by Miguel Grinberg (thanks Miguel!). Why another tutorial, then? Recently I started working on a small personal project and decided that it was a good chance to refresh my knowledge of the framework. For this reason I temporarily dropped the clean architecture I often recommend, and started from scratch following some tutorials. My development environment quickly became very messy, and after a while I realised I was very unsatisfied by the global setup. So, I decided to start from scratch again, this time writing down some requirements I want from my development setup. I also know very well how complicated the deploy of an application in production can be, so I want my setup to be "deploy-friendly" as much as possible. Having seen too many project suffer from legacy setups, and knowing that many times such issues can be avoided with a minimum amount of planning, I thought this might be interesting for other developers as well. I consider this setup by no means better than others, it simply addresses different concerns.