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Rianne Schestowitz's blog

We've Just Turned 17

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Site News

17Th Year Anniversary Let's celebrate have fun and be merry

Today Tux Machines turns 17. Seventeen years of promoting freedom and privacy in the technical world. Our devotion will carry on along with the community and supporters. Tux Machines is here to stay; today, tomorrow, and in the coming years. Let's celebrate Tux Machines. Cheers!

150,000th Article

150,000 Articles: Yay!! We have reached 150,000 articles. Another milestone, time to celebrate

2021 is no different from 2020, as we are still fighting the pandemic, but this won't stop or prevent us from running the Web site with solid focus on GNU/Linux and Free Software news. Tux Machines is here to stay. Better and Stronger.

Kangaroo on protest

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Humor

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:

Diaspora logo

Mastodon:

Mastodon logo

Pleroma (Fediverse like Mastodon):

Pleroma logo

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...

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More in Tux Machines

Kernel: AMD, Concurrency Cheat Sheet, Habana Labs, and Mesa

  • AMD Secure Memory Encryption Has a Flaw, Now Disabled by Default in Linux Kernel

    According to a report from Phoronix, the Linux 5.15 kernel is receiving a new fix that involves disabling AMD's Secure Memory Encryption, or SME. This feature is normally enabled by default, but due to unexpected boot failures on some AMD machines, SME will now be disabled by default. Devs will update the Linux 5.15 kernel first, but the change will also move to prior kernels. AMD Secure Memory Encryption is a feature exposed to AMD's EPYC and Ryzen Pro processors that allows the CPUs to encrypt the memory at a hardware level. AMD says the feature offers no significant impact on system performance and works with any OS and application because it's hardware-accelerated and doesn't rely upon software.

  • [Older] Linux Kernel Concurrency Cheat Sheet

    Navigating Linux kernel APIs can be very time-consuming, so Linux ksplice guru Vegard Nossum put together a very handy time-saving cheat sheet to help traversing Linux kernel concurrency primitives. As a child, I spent countless hours playing games on my Nintendo Game Boy. As I grew older and started programming in QBasic on MS-DOS, I also got curious about how Game Boy games worked.

  • Habana Labs For Linux 5.16 To Bring Peer-To-Peer Support With DMA-BUF - Phoronix

    The drama around DMA-BUF code for the Habana Labs AI driver appears to be wrapping up with the Linux 5.16 cycle that is coming up. The Habana Labs driver changes were mailed out today for queuing in char/misc ahead of next month's Linux 5.16 merge window. This driver for supporting the AI inference and training accelerators at the Intel-owned company has some exciting updates for this next kernel release.

  • mesa recompiled with gallium drivers

    The guys have been reporting slow Nvidia performance, for example a report from forum member Keef here: https://forum.puppylinux.com/viewtopic.php?p=39261#p39261 I had compiled all of the packages in OpenEmbedded without libllvm, as it is a hug library, about 60MB. However, it meant had to leave out some drivers in the 'mesa' package.

  • Mesa 22.0 Lands Some Patches Toward OpenCL Image Support - Phoronix

    Mesa 22.0-devel is one step closer to having OpenCL image support that is sought after by many individuals for allowing more OpenCL-enabled desktop software to work nicely with this open-source OpenCL component in Mesa. For nearly a year there has been the work-in-progress merge request implementing OpenCL 1.2 image support. That work was started by Red Hat's Karol Herbst.

Games: Valve, Timberborn, and More

  • Valve launches Deck Verified, to show off what games will work well on the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

    We've been wondering what Valve had planned to show off Steam Deck compatibility for games and now they've launched Deck Verified as their answer. Valve say they are reviewing the entire Steam catalogue on the Steam Deck, with each of them gaining a category that it falls under that will show up across Steam from the store to your own Steam Library. The ratings will be split across Verified, Playable, Unsupported and Unknown. This is good because there's a lot of reasons why games will mix between perfect and unplayable on Steam Deck and the Arch Linux-based SteamOS it ships with.

  • Valve Launches "Steam Deck Verified" Program For Games That Run Well On The Steam Deck - Phoronix

    Valve is introducing a Steam Deck Verified system for helping gamers find out what games have been verified to work well on their forthcoming AMD+Linux-powered handheld game console.

  • VKD3D-Proton 2.5 Released With Experimental DXR 1.1, More Games Working - Phoronix

    VKD3D-Proton as Valve's Direct3D 12 over Vulkan implementation for Steam Play's Proton is out with a big feature update. VKD3D-Proton 2.5 brings experimental, opt-in support for DXR 1.1 ray-tracing. DXR 1.1 isn't yet fully implemented but does add inline ray-tracing support and other features. DXR 1.0 ray-tracing meanwhile is now considered effectively feature complete with VKD3D-Proton 2.5.

  • VKD3D-Proton v2.5 is out for Direct3D 12 on top of Vulkan, improving DirectX Raytracing | GamingOnLinux

    VKD3D-Proton is the project that translates Microsoft's Direct3D 12 to Vulkan, another big part of Steam Play Proton and there's a new release out. If you wish to know more about Steam Play and Proton do check out our dedicated section. A continued focus of VKD3D-Proton is bringing up support for DirectX Raytracing (DXR). As of this version 2.5 the developer notes that DXR 1.0 "is more or less feature complete". A few weird issues are left and eventually the config variable to enable it will be removed when it's stable enough. Further work went into improving DXR 1.1 and it's now experimentally exposed, with it being enabled by setting VKD3D_CONFIG=dxr11. They say that DXR 1.1 cannot be "fully implemented" just yet, although the feature support missing doesn't seem to currently be used by games. As of now DXR 1.1 inline raytracing is also fully implemented.

  • Timberborn: a cute beaver colony sim with an unrewarding late game

    The game only supports Windows. However, it runs excellently on Linux in Steam Proton compatibility mode.

  • Swarming RTS Age of Darkness: Final Stand is in Early Access and works great on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    Age of Darkness: Final Stand is like a fantasy version of They Are Billions, and compared with the latter it runs great on Linux thanks to Steam Play Proton. No native Linux version here but honestly it runs so well you can't tell the difference, it's click and play thanks to Proton and as such a massive fan of real-time strategy games I couldn't resist playing this one myself. Note: key provided by Team17. The world in Age of Darkness is one of constant fear. Darkness brings out Nightmares, strange hellish creatures with a taste for flesh and destruction. It's a constant battle of preparation. Right now it only has a survival mode, which sees you build up a village as you attempt to survive each night. All the traditional elements of a base-building RTS are here with population management, resource gathering, army building and more. A game very much for those of you who like "turtling", where you focus on building up a heavy defence.

  • Playing Deltarune: Chapter 2 natively on Linux | GamingOnLinux

    So, some time ago Toby Fox released the second chapter of the Deltarune series. Sadly, as was the case with the previous chapter, this one too comes without official Linux support. However, if the [HeartShapedObject] is willing, there is a way to play the game natively on Linux, albeit without official support. The trick is essentially the same as I described back in 2018 when the first chapter of Deltarune was released. Essentially, Deltarune is made with the GameMaker engine, and you can do a "port" of games like that as long as you can find a compatible GameMaker runner binary to pair up with the game data.

  • War Thunder is getting more terrain deformation in the upcoming 'Ground Breaking' upgrade | GamingOnLinux

    Ground Breaking is the name of the next major update for War Thunder and it sounds quite exciting, with some game engine upgrades to allow for more terrain interactions and deformation. Not only will you see huge craters left over from some of the more explosive ordinance, you will also be able to push around the ground. Soil, sand and snow will be movable with your tanks, allowing you with a little patience to create your own little protective barriers. That's right, self-entrenching is going to be a thing. In the Ground Breaking update the developers will add in a new animation for vehicles digging in.

  • Hugely popular mobile roguelike Shattered Pixel Dungeon is coming to Steam | GamingOnLinux

    For the PC release the developer now has a Steam page live and they've confirmed it will have a native Linux version.

Security Leftovers

Devices: Arduino Nano, HarmonyOS,and Pi

  • Arduino Nano Floppy Emulator For When Your Disk Is Not Accessible | Hackaday

    Among the plethora of obsolete removable media there are some which are lamented, but it can be difficult to find those who regret the passing of the floppy disk. These flexible magnetic disks in hard plastic covers were a staple of computing until some time in the early 2000s, and their drives could be found by the crateload in any spares box. But what about today, when there’s a need for a real floppy drive and none is to be found? Enter [Acemi Elektronikci], with an Arduino Nano based floppy emulator, that plugs into the floppy port of a PC old enough to have one, and allows the easy use of virtual floppy disks.

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  • HarmonyOS development board shows up for $11

    Last year, we noted the Hisilicon Hi3861 based HiSpark WiFi IoT development board with supports LiteOS and HarmonyOS that was available in China for just under $10, or as part of a devkit with baseboard and modules for around $60. Although not very practical, buying from Taobao was possible, but there’s now what appears to be a new revision of the Hi3861V100 based HarmonyOS development board in a wider form factor on Banggood for $10.99.

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  • Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite - CNX Software

    StonedEge and Dmcke5 have come up with an incredibly well-designed Raspberry Pi CM4 handheld console that looks like a Nintendo Switch Lite “clone”, and that can run Dreamcast and PSP emulators at full speed using RetroPie. The RetroLite CM4 The design includes a 5-inch display, speakers, all buttons, joysticks, and D-PAD controlled via a custom Arduino board, a micro HDMI port to connect an external display, and a 4000 mAh LiPo battery charged over the USB Type-C port, and it seems to work, albeit we are told there’s still some more work to do.

  • Lilbits: TCL’s concept smart glasses, PineNote E Ink tablet, and using the Raspberry Pi 400 as a keyboard
  • “Industrial Pi” Use Cases with Ubuntu and AMD

    DFI’s GHF51 mini industrial-grade motherboard, and the EC90A-GH mini fanless industrial computer, are the world’s first industrial computer products that have passed the Ubuntu IoT hardware certification and are equipped with high-performance AMD processors. The 1.8-inch motherboard of the Ryzen R1000 processor has the same small size as the Raspberry Pi but brings unprecedented powerful computing performance, powerful expansion capabilities, and durability tailored for industrial applications. Combining the online update mechanism of the Ubuntu Certified Hardware and the online application store, the breakthrough development of “Industrial Pi” will redefine the future of the Industrial Internet of Things.