Theme Change

Yep. We changed the theme. Turns out that the other theme was “Deprecated” recently. It had problems anyway. The thing I noticed was that the background was not a solid color, but rather it was a pattern.

This theme is not perfect, but it’s better in some ways. I resurrected an old Youtube title image and resized it for the header. Odd that the theme decided to cut the image in half though, don’t you think? Here’s the whole picture that I made for Youtube a while ago:

Do you recognize the place where this was taken? The towers in the background?

Somewhere in Westonia

Anyway. Times change.
:ww

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Bad Audio Recording

A Few Headsets

I have a nice gaming headset. Logitech G430. Works fine with Discord. However, it fails when I use it with Corel Video Studio, or with Windows 10 Gaming Capture for captures in a game. It clips and drops parts of the audio, especially at the beginning of phrases. I’m in a very quiet space, so background noise is not the problem.

I decided to purchase another headset by another manufacturer to see if that fixes the problem. We’ll see. But in the mean time, I already have another device to record audio.

Headsets used to be very expensive. The G430 started out at $99 and is now $39, like the EKSA. Lots of choices on Amazon and elsewhere. Looks like they probably all use the same USB – Audio chip.

Older Headsets Have Their Own Problems

Plantronics USB Headset, circa 2000

This older headset has it’s own problems. Turns out the hard plastic parts rub against each other, causing pops and snaps during recording. I guess the plastic got old and sticky over the years. The pops and snaps are so loud that the headset is unusable for recording.

Also notice that I had to replace the muff with some cloth. The foam had rotted away, as foam of that type does over time.

Enter the Webcam

I’ve had this Logitech C510 webcam for a long time. And it still works fine. But has long since been superseded by newer models. However, the problem with this device is that it hasn’t worked for sometime, for audio. Works fine for video, but Windows 10 has not seen the microphone for some time.

Let’s use google to find out why.

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Cities Skylines – Addictive

I’ve been watching Youtube videos about various simulation games. Factorio, Automation Empire, Satisfactory, and Cities Skylines. Of course, Cities Skylines is very different from the rest of those. But there’s a sale going on Steam for Cities Skylines, so I gave it a shot.

I started with a tutorial file and made a little town and learned how to get it going in about Four Hours. I didn’t get the cheapest package.

There are several bundles to choose from. The one I got is about $20.

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Failing to Serve Customers

To serve customers in these times, most organizations need to make Appointments. Various organizations that I’ve dealt with do this in different ways:

Umpqua bank, for example, has always had a large staff of helpful folks on phone banks, so they make appointments by phone. You call them ONCE and make an appointment at your local bank. However, if you have to change an appointment, then you need to call them back and they need to Skype the local branch to change the appointment. You get email confirmations of all the changes. Ok. Not the best, but Ok. One phone call that you make.

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Adventures in Eorzea

In this midst of this world wide tragedy and horror, I want to share a light spot that my daughter and I are sharing.

I want to share this in a way that is accessible and possibly inspiring for folks that have not played MMO video games before. Not to necessarily encourage you to take them up, but to show you a little of that world.

I have been playing video games for many years in my retirement and have shared these games with my daughter, who lives 500 miles away and who has a busy career. We have been playing various games together for some time – a few hours twice a week. But recently it has become more like 5 or 6 days a week. Our current adventures are in Eorzea playing Final Fantasy XIV. Above, you can see recent mounts we acquired in an event that is going on for the next few weeks.

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More UPS Tracking Nonsense

UPS has done it again. Their shipping will take at least another day.

Tracking of a Small Newegg Package

I ordered a small package from Newegg – Two DRAM Modules. But rather than sending it USPS, Newegg sent it via UPS, which of course uses USPS for the “Last Mile”. Sooooo… UPS, in their infinite logistical wisdom drop the package off 6 hours from my house, by truck, and declares victory and says that the package will arrive today. Sure. Fat chance. You give the USPS 6 hours to get to my house and as the truck drives and don’t allow for any sorting? Have a clue, UPS. No freaking way.

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Ubuntu 20.04 My First Look

Ubuntu Desktop 2020-04-29 22-18-33
Ubuntu 20.04

So, Ubuntu 20.04 just released, and there are a ton of Youtube videos reviewing it. After the debacle of file sharing between Linux Mint 19.3 and Windows, I decided to make a VM [Virtual Machine] with Ubuntu 20.04 to see if it had fixed the problem. The short answer is, alas, no. Guess Ubuntu will get the fix when it’s ready, and I’m sure the fix will be back ported to LM 19 when it releases.
Years ago, I used Ubuntu for a time, before Linux Mint came out. It was pretty clunky, but a lot less clunky than SUSE which is what I started with years ago. Things have come a long way. Of course, Mint is based on Ubuntu, but they are very different experiences. This is a diary of sorts of my experiences while I was testing the file sharing problem and setting up Ubuntu to my liking.

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Linux to Windows File Sharing Issue

So, reaching a Windows File Share on Windows 10 from Linux Mint 19 has yet another problem. But there is a fix. My Post Here drew the attention of someone who had the answer.

The problem is that trying to reach a Windows 10 shared folder from a Linux Mint 19, or Ubuntu 20.04, system, causes an error:

“Failed to retrieve share list from server”

Here’s the workaround.

Samba woes SOLVED Linux Mint Forums.png
The Workaround

It’s pretty easy. And you can do two things.

  1. When it asks for “credentials” mark them “remember forever” and store them in your keyring, so you never have to worry again.
  2. And use “Bookmark” in the file browser to remember the share so you can easily go back there again the next time you need the Windows Share from Linux.

I was able to use the smb://win10-host-name.local/share-name fix.

The bug has been reported here, so we are probably going to get a fix soon.

Update: 30 April 2020

I tried file sharing to Windows from Fedora 32, the latest, and it failed in the same way, and was fixed in the same way. So all the Linux distros apparently share the same samba gvfs code.

May you walk in the light of the Crystal.
:ww

Printing from LinuxVM

How to Share Printers on a Network.png
From 2017 – A long time ago

For a while now I’ve been wondering how to print from Linux running in a VirtualBox virtual machine to my local Windows Printer. Well it just works. Sort of.

I did what it says on this page and it did work. I thought I had tried this a while ago and never got it going. But there has been progress with Ubuntu / Linux Mint over the years and it looks like it works now.

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ImpressShowRunner Resizable

Update: All is working now. Get the latest jar file here. And the sources here.

Well that wasn’t that hard. After looking at this page on Java layout managers [TLDR], and then this page on Group Layout again [TLDR]. I just jumped in and tried it out. And whadda you know. It’s not that bad. It’s a little glitchy. Not as smooth as the Qt Layout manager, but it works. Here’s what is working so far.

So the list and path strings resize. And this uses 14 pt type rather than 16 pt, so it’s a little more compact and probably won’t mess up on some screens like the larger font size did.

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