This is more of a note to myself than anything else, but as always such things can come in handy for anyone trying to figure something out.
With the last Update Pack for LMDE I managed to screw something up and the boot splash (the slick little Linux Mint logo that displays on boot) stopped displaying on boot.
This isn’t a big deal… it’s not like it affects the functionality of the machine. But it was an annoyance, particularly since it was a visible indicator of how I screwed something up, every single time I powered on this laptop. :)
Nothing I did seemed to make any difference — GRUB looked fine, everything was set correctly, but something had obviously broken in the update process.
Here is how I fixed it. I installed the Plymouth boot splash application, the Plymouth Direct Rendering Manager (Plymouth DRM) and the Mint theme pack for it. Then I used the command to set the theme I wanted and updated the initramfs, like so:
sudo apt-get install startupmanager plymouth plymouth-drm plymouth-themes-mint
sudo /usr/sbin/plymouth-set-default-theme mint-logo
sudo update-initramfs -u
Then, after a quick reboot, the Linux Mint boot splash appears!
In the past few weeks, I’ve found myself installing and configuring Pianobar a lot. It’s an open source command line client for the popular Internet music streaming service, Pandora. In rebuilding a couple of machines recently, I have found myself installing and configuring it a few times, and I keep stumbling over it, because it’s broken in the Ubuntu and Debian repositories, so in order to get this really great application to work, it takes a few more steps than a quick
apt-get install command.
This little writeup is at least in part for my own benefit, since I’m sick of the stumbling and trying to remember, wait, what did I do to get this to work again? So if it helps any of my readers out, even better!
I had a discussion today with someone who maintained with confidence that “If Linux were as popular as Windows, we’d be seeing just as many viruses and just as much malware for it as we see now for Windows”.
While that argument might hold true for desktop users, to an extent, the focus of the discussion was essentially (from his point of view) that “Linux is no more secure than Windows”, fundamentally.
Which is false. When I pointed this out, it was dismissed as simply my opinion, but I believe that he’s stuck in a logical fallacy in this assertion.
Just so you know, this isn’t a review. It’s just a discussion on what I did to make some old hardware useful again.
I’ve made mention from time to time the Toshiba Satellite A75 that I have that has been a backup machine for me for years now.
Well, with my 3+ year old System76 laptop on its last legs and suddenly developing a short in its screen connection, I decided to blow the dust off that trusty old Toshiba again and use it as a stopgap until I get something newer.
The problem is, this Toshiba Satellite is from 2005, has a single core 32-bit Pentium 4 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and a 60 GB hard drive. Needless to say, it’s a bit out of place in today’s world, so I had to put some thought into how to best optimize this machine’s return to productivity or it’d be pretty painful to use.
Well, as these things tend to go, having a full time job and hobbies and lots of other things going on means that my Linux blog gets neglected.
I thought I’d post a quick update just as a keepalive and let those of you who still actually pay attention to my little corner of WordPress that I’m still here, I’m still doing stuff with Linux and technology, and I haven’t completely given up on The Linux Critic blog just yet.
Since I’ve been cycling continuously between the three browsers that annoy me the least lately (Opera, Firefox 3.6, and Chromium), I’ve been utilizing each browser’s extensibility to make it a bit more usable.
In a previous post, I discussed the various things I do to recent releases of Firefox to make it behave itself. In this post, I’ll be discussing the process I go through with the Chromium browser, namely with respect to extensions (since there really isn’t much one can configure in Chromium natively).
So I keep ranting about Firefox here, and for good reason: the Mozilla team is going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to driving users to other browsers.
However, try as I might, I simply encounter too many dealbreakers in Chromium.
When I think about it, the last version of Firefox that didn’t drive me crazy with crashing, incompatible add-ons, and stupid UI changes and features removed, it would have to be Firefox 3.6.
I keep forgetting how to do this, so I’m posting this here as much for my own reference as for anyone else’s. This is how to downgrade newer versions of Firefox to 3.6 and keep it that way, at least until things settle down a little, or until another browser comes along that can actually be a viable replacement for it — unlike newer versions of Firefox, sadly. This works with Mint 11, which means it will also work with Ubuntu 11.04.
Back in early June of this year, most likely scrambling to steal some of the thunder from Apple’s musical cloud offering announcement, Google had announced their own cloud-centric approach to music, which they simply called Google Music.
At the time, considering that there was no Linux client, an only barely-functional interface and muddy limitations on the framework they’d hastily set up, it was clear that this was premature. Appropriately, given the look of it, I had dismissed Google Music out of hand as a non-item.
However, in the intervening weeks, something happened. It got better.
Okay, since I’m starting to realize that it’s time to bail on Firefox as my primary browser, the next one down my list in order of browsers which annoy me the least these days is Chromium.
However, it’s still pretty annoying and still lacks a lot of functionality and flexibility. Since The Linux Critic is the best way I know to reach out to the community, I’m counting on you guys to give me some extension suggestions, because on my own so far I’m really not finding anything I need, no matter how hard I look.
So in keeping with the direction the devs at Mozilla have been steering the Firefox browser, plans include more feature assassination (of course), this time in the form of obfuscating useful information — arguably the most important information for users of a web browser — in the address bar.