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Topics - Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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If Microsoft are now admitting that even if you disable all spying options in the "privacy" section of Windows 10 it STILL continues to report home .. effectively admitting that the privacy settings are misleading and meaningless, and that tracking CANNOT be disabled:

Does that mean they're in violation of Section 1 and 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990:


General Discussion / Connection issues
« on: November 06, 2015, 05:26:06 pm »
I may not be about much for a little while, my internet keeps dropping out .. I manage about 30 seconds of connectivity at a time, so I'm having to "time" posts ATM and it's a PITA.

If it takes me a while to get round to things like first post approval I apologise in advance for the inconvenience but it's currently beyond my control .. when normal service resumes is down to how many hoops Sky make me jump through before they'll fix what I *KNOW* to be an external line issue.
(currently awaiting them sending out a new router just to prove that's not the issue even though I've already tried another router)

News and Events / How screwed up is this - The Investigatory Powers Bill
« on: November 05, 2015, 09:38:13 pm »

Companies such as Apple, Google and others will no longer be able to offer encryption so advanced that even they cannot decipher it when asked to under the Investigatory Powers Bill .. [snip] .. Measures in the Investigatory Powers Bill will place in law a requirement on tech firms and service providers to be able to provide unencrypted communications to the police or spy agencies if requested through a warrant. 

How the **** are they going to enforce that ? .. if I encrypt something then transmit it, how can my carrier be expected to be able to supply its contents unencrypted if asked ?

anti terrorist measure my ass .. terrorists won't rely on Apple doing their encryption, they'll encrypt themselves .. this is all about being able to access Joe Citizen's data .. simply social spying by our own government.

93% of people who voted on the telegraphs poll suggested they didn't want this .. but you can bet they'll push ahead with it anyway .. I seem to vaguely remember the concept of "our voted representative" .. WTF happened ?

Are they really that scared of a bunch of brain dead facebook cat pic swappers and farmville addicts that they need to spy on them ?

Screw you Cameron, you complete asswipe .. oops, forgot to encrypt that  :o

News and Events / AVG follows Win10 spyware lead
« on: September 24, 2015, 01:15:53 pm »
AVG free antivirus is now going to be following Microsofts lead in "info gathering" .. I personally call it spying.

BE WARNED - This also applies to their Linux AV


And here's something else to consider:

In this tutorial we will wipe the default OS (Linpus Lite) from the internal 8GB SSD (or hard drive in the case of the AOA150) and install Peppermint (Six) Linux is its place.

Why would you want to do this .. Well Linpus Lite, though small and fast is based on Fedora core 8 which is a very old Linux distribution that has been out of active development for quite some time .. so Linpus Lite doesn't receive any updates, and it is nearly impossible to get any new software to install without jumping through hoops, if at all.

Peppermint (Six) on the other hand is based on the MUCH more recent Ubuntu 14.04.2 (Long Term Support release .. supported until 2019), but uses the LXDE desktop (with the Xfce4 window manager/compositor) which is more like a "normal" desktop environment, and is also small, light, and fast .. it also has the added benefit of having access to the Ubuntu software repositories, so it is VERY easy to install the latest software.

If you want a quick look at what the Peppermint Six desktop will look like by default, see here:
(obviously the appearance, wallpaper, themes, icons, etc. can easily be changed, and/or you can add dock bars such as docky/cairo-dock/etc. if you wish)
Or for a more in depth look at what Peppermint is all about, why not take a look through all the Peppermint user guide sections, here:

As you can see it has a single panel at the bottom, an application menu, a system tray, and a workspace that you can put application icons (shortcuts), files, or directories on .. in fact (good or bad) it's very similar to the Windows layout.

I'm going to set out this tutorial in stages .. the first stage will tell you how to download the Peppermint Six ISO image, and how to use a Windows PC to write it to a 1GB or larger USB Stick.

The following stages will deal with installation, then some post-installation tasks to get Peppermint "just right".

These instructions may *look* complex at first glance, but take it from me it is easier than it looks :)

OK, Stage 1 ..

Downloading the Peppermint (Six) ISO image (to a Windows PC) and writing it to the USB stick

The following instructions are for creating a Peppermint Six LiveUSB stick using a Windows PC .. if you need instructions for creating a LiveUSB on an Ubuntu based Linux distro including an earlier version of Peppermint, see the instructions at the end of this posting.

On your Windows PC, download the Peppermint (Six) 32bit ISO image from here:
or see here:

Once you've got the ISO image .. download Universal USB Installer (version or higher) from here:

Start Universal USB Installer, and at ..

Step 1 .. In the drop down list, select PeppermintOS
Step 2  .. point it at the ISO image you downloaded
Step 3 .. Choose your (already plugged in >= 1GB) USB stick .. probably best to let it format it too, so backup its contents first.
Step 4 .. (if available) Set the slider to the largest persistence file it will allow you.. so you can save changes. (if you want to test drive it first)

Heres a pic of the Universal USB Installer interface

Click Create .. and wait till it's done .. it will take a while, and *may* appear to have stopped .. but just wait till it says it's "Done" .. as in the following pic

Pic of Universal USB Installer .. Installing to USB Stick

Once the LiveUSB has been created, click Close, plug it into your AA1, then turn ON your AA1 .. as soon as you see the first screen (Acer Empowering People), hit the F12 key to access the boot device selection screen .. and select the USB HDD as the drive to boot from and hit Enter to boot.

When asked, select "Try Peppermint" not "Install Peppermint"

Be aware .. running from a USB stick will be quite a bit slower that running it from the internal SSD after installation, so don't draw any conclusions about speed at this point ;)

I *can* tell you that once installed, it takes slightly longer to boot than Linpus Lite .. but once booted it loads/runs applications just as quickly .. and has access to all the latest software.

Once you've got to a working desktop, you can either test drive Peppermint from the USB stick .. or you can just click the "Install Peppermint" icon that will be on the desktop .. but we'll get to that in a bit :)

For users creating the LiveUSB stick in another version of Peppermint (or other Ubuntu based distro) -

First you'll need too install usb-creator-gtk, so open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install usb-creator-gtk

Now from your menu's go to menu > System Tools > Startup Disk Creator

Here's what to expect -

I've found it's usually best to let it format the USB stick first, so in the bottom pane select your USB stick, and hit the "Erase Disk" button, and enter your password if prompted.

Once the format is done, in the top pane, select the ISO image you want to create the LiveUSB stick from (if it's not already there, browse to it by clicking the "Other" button)

If you want the LiveUSB to be persistent (ie. able to save changes), make sure "Store in reserved extra space" is selected, and use the slider to adjust the size of the persistence file (the amount of room set aside for saving changes).

Click the "Make Startup Disk" button.

You'll be prompted for your password a couple of times before it tells you the LiveUSB has been created and is ready for use.


News and Events / Peppermint Six goes live a day early
« on: May 31, 2015, 02:01:25 pm »
Team Peppermint are pleased to announce Peppermint Six has been released a day early...

The main Peppermint website is now live, so go get it and let the fun begin :)

There's a list of the major changes here:
and screenshots here:

The torrent links aren't active yet, but will be as soon as we get the torrents from OSST .. the direct download links are active, but please be aware they may slow down considerably under the strain for the next few days.

Anyway .. Hope you like it, and be sure to try out the new Peppermix-Dark theme.

General Discussion / Are HP now pre-installing Ubuntu ?
« on: May 12, 2015, 02:09:56 pm »
I got this from today .. thought it was kinda interesting

Might have been nice if they'd started this before Microsoft started giving away Windows 8.1 with Bing
(or maybe that's not so coincidental)

Just a quick note to let everyone know I may not be around as much for the next couple of weeks .. busy with the upcoming Peppermint 6 release.

I'll pop in when I can, but it may take longer that usual for me to respond to anything.

News and Events / LibreOffice to finally get an online version
« on: March 26, 2015, 03:36:01 pm »
LibreOffice are finally doing the online version they've talked about for a long time
(this will make a nice SSB for Peppermint :) )

The new online LibreOffice will have the following features:

    100% document fidelity between LibreOffice desktop and LibreOffice Online.
    Collaborative editing with multiple simultaneous users and cursors.
    All Writer, Calc, and Impress supported file-types supported.
    Initially will include a basic HTML5 user interface.


News and Events / Crunchbang disappearing ?
« on: February 07, 2015, 02:00:43 am »
Philip Newborough (aka. corenominal) the developer of CrunchBang has decided that it's time to move on and leave it behind .. says:-

Quote from: corenominal
CrunchBang is something that I need to leave behind. Iím leaving it behind because I honestly believe that it no longer holds any value, and whilst I could hold on to it for sentimental reasons, I donít believe that would be in the best interest of its users, who would benefit from using vanilla Debian.

See here:

Sad news indeed :(

General Discussion / New BetFred advert
« on: November 08, 2014, 12:19:19 am »
I was typing away with the TV on, and the new BetFred advert blaring away in the background .. to my surprise I hear "for PC, Mac, and Linux"

I think that's quite possibly the first time I've heard the word "Linux" used on national television .. even though it's yet another gambling advert, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Linux mentioned on an equal footing with PC and Mac :)

Indeed Linux is really the only OS mentioned by name, PC and Mac are hardware :)


Seems Currys/PCWorld are refusing to fix PC's under warranty if Linux has been installed .. even if it's a hardware fault.

$%^&ing ridiculous, and I'd wager illegal ::)  >:(  ::)

General Discussion / Merging folders or rather not
« on: October 14, 2014, 10:41:16 pm »

News and Events / Feeling kinda shell shocked
« on: October 12, 2014, 08:45:45 pm »

General Discussion / Chromebook Vs Peppermint on an SSD boot times
« on: October 12, 2014, 01:39:09 am »
How fast exactly does a chromebook boot ?

I've found the video below that say 8 seconds .. but is it me, or was that more like a resume from suspend as he never hits a power button ?
(and the 8 seconds appears to be to the login screen)

reason I ask...

I just put a 250GB Samsung 840 EVO solid state drive in a customers Dell n5110 (quad core i7-2670QM, 6GB RAM, SATA3 [6Gb]),then bunged Peppermint 5 on it .. boot time from GRUB menu to *fully* loaded desktop (auto-login) including active wireless .. 7 seconds
(11 seconds from power button to desktop)

OK, that's somewhat higher spec than a chromebook, but still.....

If I get the chance, I'll video the Dell .. for now you'll just have to take my word.

Chromebook boot in 8 seconds - Samsung Serie 5
(youtube title)

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