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General Discussion / Re: Total solar eclipse, April...
Last post by buster - April 07, 2024, 06:09:28 PM
"watch the eclipse on the Internet" in a search engine should get you many available sites. Just checked.
General Discussion / Re: Total solar eclipse, April...
Last post by William - April 07, 2024, 05:03:59 PM
Here, Monday will be cloudy with 40% shower.  So, I'll watch via online.  Is there live YouTube channel or government site?
General Discussion / Re: The Really Unpleasant Comp...
Last post by buster - April 07, 2024, 11:32:03 AM
If you read this story and enjoyed it, you may wish also to read about another computer, a contemporary of this one, that I almost destroyed with silly choices. However, with brave and heroic efforts, I managed to bring it back to health and it works nicely to this day. The Christmas Computer can be found here:

General Discussion / Re: Total solar eclipse, April...
Last post by ssfc72 - April 07, 2024, 05:54:11 AM
The weather forecast for Cobourg (https://www.wunderground.com/forecast/ca/cobourg) shows about 85% cloud cover around 2 pm.

Probably I will not travel all the way to Cobourg, to try and see the Total eclipse. I will just stay here in Lindsay and see if the partial eclipse is visible.
Security and Privacy / A backdoor discovered into ble...
Last post by ssfc72 - April 07, 2024, 05:45:40 AM

From what I have read so far, this extremely bad vulnerability is only found in the the unstable versions of most Linux Distros and not present in the stable versions.

The  Ars Technica website has more info

General Discussion / Re: Creating a Christmas Linux...
Last post by ssfc72 - April 07, 2024, 05:26:40 AM
A happy ending, story. Thanks Buster. :-)
Desktop Environments / What's new in KDE Plasma 6?
Last post by Jason - April 06, 2024, 07:02:23 PM
I don't think many members use Plasma. For those that do, here's the lowdown of what's new in version 6.

General Discussion / Re: Total solar eclipse, April...
Last post by Jason - April 06, 2024, 06:50:47 PM
It's kind of weird. I haven't seen such excitement about an eclipse before. Maybe it's because it's covering such a huge swath of the US and Canada.
General Discussion / Re: Creating a Christmas Linux...
Last post by buster - April 06, 2024, 09:56:15 AM
Chapter 15: Why Marilyn now has my Christmas Computer.

'A happy wife means a happy life' is a well known truism. It is sometimes misinterpreted. Some people assume it states a husband always has to give in to his wife. No wife would like a feeble husband like that. The trick is simple. Keep your wife happy, and sometimes that means only a very ordinary thing, like giving her a nice looking new computer that works really well, and has the best and newest mouse and keyboard in the house. And that is what happened here.

Marilyn's first computers 20 years ago ran Linux, and I always set them up so they pretty well looked the same as I migrated from distro to a newer, better distro. If possible I even used the same software. She booted always into a lovely picture for wallpaper. And when she used Windows, the desktop again looked pretty much the same. I had the same mail program and browser on Windows, and sometimes even mailed from Linux to Windows the previously used wallpaper.   In this particular case, she didn't mind switching back to Linux because the case, keyboard and mouse looked new, and felt new, so in her mind had to be better. Poor, unfortunate Buster had to put up with her discard which had a fast CPU and much more ram. In fact it had 12 gig of ram. But I suffered in silence.

This Win10 computer I had acquired from Marilyn did require delicate handling however, because it couldn't reboot unless you were crafty. And still within it resided the one eyed Oscar who was not really intentionally evil, no matter what others may think. He simply wanted attention.

So I had no choice except to give Marilyn the Christmas Computer, and take the other computer, home of Oscar, to live in the downstairs computer room with me. As noted in the other story, ultimately Oscar's computer died, but it took quite awhile. In retrospect, the three of us, the injured computer, Buster, and Oscar, spent a few good years together, and she was a great little machine. While not best buddies, the three of us accepted each other's limitations and got along just fine. I miss the computer, and suspect Oscar is comfortably sleeping somewhere in the house, ready to do mischief with another computer when he wakes up. I haven't seen him again since the computer died. I miss him but don't want him back.

This story has a happy computer ending, which is an improvement over some of my other tales. The Christmas Computer has a sunny room to live in. She gets automatic updates so is not much work. All the software functions properly, and the fan is silent. She can see and exchange data with the laptop because of the saved desktop shortcut. Marilyn is generally pleased with her. And I do get to use her Christmas Mint Computer, and I even play Tux Racer on cloudy dull days. If I'm really bored, I can look through the glass side of the Christmas Computer and see all the parts. But I have to be really bored to want to do this. And this doesn't happened very often because I usually don't get bored even doing absolutely nothing. Most of us, I think, get bored when having to do something we don't want to do. That's what bores me. Doing nothing is generally kind of pleasant.

An interesting note arrived a while ago from Cynthia Softbottom, a persistent and affectionate correspondent over the years. (Some may remember her from a previous story.) She wrote this after she read the first five chapters of this particular tale. Her note was definitely was not as welcoming as others had been in the past.

"From earlier stories I did not understand how devoted you are to your wife. I think you should have mentioned this before I embarrassed myself the way I did. That was very ungentlemanly of you."

Marilyn handled the reply: 'Hi Cynthia. He is not so much devoted as indebted. The two of us know there is not another woman in Ontario who would put up with him for more than a week. So I let him stay, and he puts up with my minuscule flaws. It would please me if you would just bugger off. Yours Truly etc.'

And special thanks to my son Eric whose gifts made the Christmas Computer possible, and a thanks to him for all the 'junk' computer parts he started giving me over a quarter century ago. Because of these gifts I have managed to learn how to refurbish computers rather than to buy them. And back in the old days, when some of it truly was junk, I experimentally mixed these discards with other bits of suitable odds and ends,  and sometimes a friendly little computer emerged. Great times.
General Discussion / Re: Creating a Christmas Linux...
Last post by buster - April 05, 2024, 11:02:55 AM
Chapter 14: The Christmas Computer gets attacked again

Humans simplify the complexities of the universe in an attempt to understand it. We see what we want to, and what we are capable of absorbing. It's the same with understanding computers. What happened the following morning is beyond my ken, and I really don't want to investigate it too closely. I do know it involves Cyclops of the staring eye, the orcs hiding behind the boxes in the junk room, and the vulnerability of new computers. The presence of malicious forces is obvious, no matter what the rationalists say.

I reinstalled the Mint SSD into the new computer and, just to make sure it was OK, I pressed the start button.

It was like standing up again under a second open cupboard door in the kitchen.

The new computer started to boot nicely, everything looked normal, when suddenly it shutdown and rebooted. Odd, but not too frightening, because it rebooted smoothly again. The door hit my head when   it interrupted and rebooted again, and again, and again. The bios was corrupted! 'Sadness descended' is the easiest way to describe how I felt, borrowing a phrase Ms Tao might utter.

In the old radio shows and movies, when things looked really bad like this, the Cisco Kid, the Lone Ranger, or Roy Rogers would ride down out of the hills and save the day (with of course Poncho, Tonto, or Dale Evans).  And out of nowhere, at the critical moment, a hero did arrive, and I not only have never seen a hero like this, I've never even heard of her.

So, completely unaware that she was riding bravely to my rescue, I watched dumbfoundedly as my brand new computer build went on and off. I guess I was in mild shock, grieving the loss of my new pride and joy. The orcs behind the dusty boxes were probably celebrating, however orcs might do that.

With swashbuckling panache, the computer screen lit up with a message, as if this is an everyday occurrence for a modern motherboard: 'Would you like Gigabyte to install the backup bios?' It took me a bit of time to react.

I checked this on the laptop upstairs, and found out that yes, a Gigabyte motherboard does this if needed. Back downstairs the message was still on the screen. Keyboard work manoeuvred the cursor to where 'enter' would activate the 'yes' answer. One click returned the computer quickly to normal, almost, and the Mint install could expect, in Operating System terms, a full and healthy life. I didn't feel unbridled joy. Mostly I just felt exhaustion, and relief.

There were scars from this battle that have never fully healed, but nothing serious. Multi deep dives into the bios by me have never resulted in the reinstatement of all the USB ports. But there are so many, the computer and I do manage very well anyway.

The next day the twins came back and found out that the computer was fixed, and were curious to know how I did that. I told them I didn't do anything. The computer just got bored going on and off and decided to behave.

Eddy didn't care one way or another what had happened to repair it, but Emmie got a quiet look on her face, looked at me, and gradually her eye lids started to narrow into a squint. Was Marilyn giving her lessons? Were the two of them maybe secretly related?  What was she planning on saying or doing?

She looked off into the distance and gradually her features relaxed. She was accepting this explanation, thinking maybe that computers have a thinking core in the form of a CPU. Or who can know why she accepted this. But she apparently thought the computer had got bored so changed its behaviour. I don't think her brother even thought about it.

I have always wondered what their mother said when given this explanation by the two of them. I'm sure she enlightened them with unkind words about me and my dishonesty. Maybe she even squinted harshly as she said them.

I knew that some day Emmie would retaliate. And she did. It wasn't very embarrassing when it happened. But it can't be described as enjoyable either. It did seem to be a great deal of fun though for the twins. They laughed a lot.

And that scary moment with the Christmas computer, and its rescue, had taken Marilyn's unpleasant computer problem no closer to resolution. It was still a wreck. But that was described in the other story. And that was not the Christmas Computer. The Christmas Computer was doing well, and would soon get a promotion.

Tomorrow, the final chapter: Chapter 15: Why Marilyn now has my Christmas Computer.