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Messages - Rich J

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General Discussion / Re: Email hacked?
« on: Yesterday at 08:27:35 pm »
Mike, you can check here to see if your email account has been hacked - the site has good reviews and I've had no issue using it but please check it out thoroughly and satisfy yourself first.  ;)

I started to get a lot of spam emails after I'd registered on an American music equipment site - I'm pretty sure they'd been hacked as all my spam originates from the States.  I have a Gmail address and Google are pretty good in weeding out spam messages so it isn't too much of a nuisance but I know it can be a concern when it happens.

They also have a good password checker too - I changed all of mine after I'd used the site - needless to say I don't use any sensitive ones (banking etc) for general use.

Hope this helps


General Discussion / Re: Installing Adobe reader on Linux mint 19.1
« on: February 10, 2019, 09:17:12 am »
Hi Sabinus - and welcome to the forums!

Just a note to the above - you can copy and paste the instructions directly into the terminal - a very useful feature!   ;)

It can be daunting at first but you've already made a great start, (registering on this site for instance!) .  Take your time looking around the distro and I'm sure you'll soon become familiar with it.  Remember to only install software from the official repositories (Synaptic Package Manager, Software Manager) to avoid problems and run Update Manager (the shield in the system tray) regularly to apply any updates available.  Any issues, post back on here and they will soon be resolved.


Peppermint / Re: Peppermint 8/9 live USB not responding [partly solved]
« on: February 02, 2019, 08:37:42 am »
Hi Rich.

Thank you for that.  I once changed the HDD in my Lenovo for an SSD.  Like you, I followed a YouTube demo and it went OK, although I was very careful! 
I could go that route but having two laptops in bits is asking for trouble  - the number posts I've made to this forum is a measure of how easily I screw things up!

I'll try the easy option first (DVD) and do the swap only if that doesn't work.
Can you recommend a DVD writer that will write an image disk?

Many thanks.

You're welcome!  +1 for Brasero - I run Linux Mint and Brasero ships with it and I too have never had an issue with it.  ;)

Peppermint / Re: Peppermint 8/9 live USB not responding [partly solved]
« on: January 29, 2019, 09:12:15 am »
Thank you for your suggestions.

The old laptop is a Dell D505 and must be about 15 years old. 
It has Peppermint 3 that I installed ages ago and works well, if not up-dateable.  Pretty sure I used a USB stick, but I'm not sure after all this time. 

. I've looked at the Plop Boot manager website and it looks all to easy for a novice to screw up his computer - one really needs to understand the words!  Which I don't.
. Swapping HDDs means taking apart two laptops - hmm!
. Creating a live DVD looks like the best option, though it will take a while for me to get some. 
   Which image writer would you recommend for that? 

By the way;  although both the 64-bit and 32-bit Peppermint Live USBs don't display in file manager or Gparted (for the reasons you mention), the Ubuntu 18 LiveUSB does display in file manager, but is "unallocated" in Gparted.

Hi Keith - removing the HDD is pretty simple on a Dell laptop - the Latitude range are all pretty much the same.  Mine is a D520 of similar age to yours and I swapped to a 500GB HDD a while ago.  Take a look here -

The HDD sits behind the 2 sockets for Mic and headphones.  The screw arrangement may be different on yours - mine has 2 screws along the edge, for instance - remove these and the caddy slides out.  There are 2 more screws holding the HDD into the caddy so just remove these and replace with the new unit and you're good to go.  NB - remember to remove the battery first!!   ;)

Hope this helps


Android devices / Huawei Y360-U31
« on: January 21, 2019, 05:02:18 pm »
Hi All - I'm looking for some advice re: the above phone.

This device was purchased originally on a Vodafone deal, now unlocked and on 3 network.  It came with a load of pre-installed apps (bloatware) which I'm trying to get rid of - unsuccessfully so far!  I've added a 16GiB micro SD card which works ok but none of the embedded apps will transfer to it and - surprisingly - very few of the apps I install will transfer either..... I can save photos and other data files however.  This means that whenever I run updates, the phone complains there is little storage left - no wonder as the 'bloatware' takes up most of the space!

Scanning the 'net has brought up tons of how to's and the like, none of which have been any use - usually you end up in a advertising loop or the software doesn't download at all.  Reading up, I realise that any embedded apps are there to stay so, realistically, it means flashing a new ROM is the only way to clean things up.

What I'm looking for is an 'idiot's guide' that can point me in the right direction.  Or, if any of you good folks have experience of flashing ROMs, could you give me some pointers?  There appears to be no official custom ROMs available for this device but there are some unofficial upgrades that are supposed to work.  Also there are official stock ROMS available.  Would a stock ROM do the job?  Insofar as it would be a basic set of apps (before the retailer's developer got hold of it) that I could add to myself?

I really have no experience whatsoever with Android so any advice would be most welcome!  It does seem (to a beginner) that smartphones are a minefield to work with and I don't want to screw things up if I can help it!

Thanks in advance


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Linux newbie, feeling a bit overwhelmed.
« on: November 10, 2018, 10:07:27 am »
Thanks Rich .. personally I'd go with Peppermint, because I agree with their philosophy 100% .. but that may be cheating ;D

 ;D ;D ;D

Hardware Compatibility / Re: Linux newbie, feeling a bit overwhelmed.
« on: November 09, 2018, 10:06:17 am »
Hi David and welcome to the 'Club' - reading your post was like going back in time to when I decided to try the Linux route!

You sound like most of us 'general' users - insofar as your day-to-day computer requirements are concerned? 

FWIW, I would be inclined to stick to one of the more 'mainstream' distros, as these have a greater user base and therefore more people to call on in the event of issues.  Your hardware should run any of them without too much trouble but there are always 'lite' versions available if necessary.  The main versions will have more polish but will be 'heavier' on resources, while the 'lite' versions will have less polish but still retain the functionality necessary for most day-to-day use.  Ultimately, it's for you to decide what is best for your particular requirements.  (Incidentally, 'heavier' is a relative term - I've never found any Linux distro to be as resource-hungry as any MS product.......)  So, where to begin?

Google is your friend!!  Trawl through as many Linux websites as you can stand and have a read about other newbie's experiences.  Loads of information out there. 

Actually, to a beginner, it can be rather overwhelming but think of it like this - MS versus 'any other system' is a bit like the old days of the Soviet Bloc v the West.  If you lived in the east and wanted a car you had one choice - like it or not, you got what you were given.  In the west, you had loads of choice but you needed to shop around a bit until you found what you wanted!  MS provides a product that they feel is right for you but keep control of the product - you never actually own it, just rent it.  And when MS decides to put their hand in your pocket once more they bring out the next version and start dropping support for the last one.  Great business model, eh?  Linux says 'Hey, here you go, what do you think of this?  Cool or what?'  'Have a play, change what you want, add or delete what you want, Linux is 'yours'. 

All of the things associated with MS - security, housekeeping, de-bugging etc,etc, - do not apply in Linux.  Sure, Linux does have updates, but these are more for refinement of the distro than anything else.  Linux is way more secure from the ground up than MS, and Windows viruses do not work in Linux.  (Please don't take my word for this - look online - 'cos I didn't believe either when I first started!!).

If you need assistance, look no further than here.  Mark is too modest to say it himself but there is very rarely a problem or issue that he can't find a solution for - as I, and many others can testify!

So, in the words of the great Del Boy - the world truly is your lobster!  Good hunting!


General Help & Advice / Upgrading to new kit
« on: May 21, 2018, 07:47:50 am »
Hi All - I'm thinking of replacing my aged desktop for something more current and would appreciate advice?

It will be for basic 'home computing' - no gaming or heavy streaming/video editing use etc etc.  Something like a 500GiB SSD, minimum 4GiB Ram, SATA, DVD writer, Wireless and so on.  No O/S required - it will be a pure Linux box. 

I'm ok for the monitor and have a DVD writer in the current rig that I could swap out but writers are cheap these days anyway if needs be.  A new (wired) keyboard and mouse would be handy too.

Any preferences between Intel or AMD processors?  Any preferences regarding makes of motherboard - particularly in terms of Linux installation?

I'm currently drawn towards stuff from Scan and/or Novatech which seem cheap enough but I'm also happy to get the parts and do a self build.

If any of you have already gone down this route, any advice re: building snags or stuff to watch out for or to avoid would be welcome!



General Discussion / Re: No welcome screen
« on: May 04, 2018, 03:16:12 pm »
Hi Rich
Thanks so much for your reply. My laptop is a Dell Inspiron 5759, x64 based PC. Processor - Intel (R) Core (TM) i5-6200u CPU @ 2.30GHz, 2401 MHz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s), SMBIOS version 2.8, Bios mode UEFIYou may have to disable UEFI mode to get Ubuntu to install, I've never needed to but others on here will guide you if necessary.

I copied and pasted the Ubuntu 18.04 file from my hard drive to the DVD Drive (and I'm now beginning to think this was my first mistake)  Yes!! See below
I replaced the disk in the machine and restarted it (no welcome screen, just a Yahoo web page)

I didn't set the laptop to boot from a DVD (not sure how to)  Try Googling it - You will probably need to press an 'F' key immediately on startup to access the BIOS (put in your exact model - there are many variations depending on type) then use the arrow keys to select DVD as 1st boot.  NB - if 'DVD' isn't shown, select 'USB' instead and post back on here for info on how to burn a DVD and/or a USB stick.   ;)

Thanks for your support  No worries!  - I think the best thing I can do is to go back to the Ubuntu tutorials on burning a DVD.   See above!

As you have no doubt discovered, there are many 'flavours' of Linux about!  FWIW, as a newbie, I would stick to the more mainstream distros - I use Mint (based on Ubuntu and with access to all of it's repositories).  Mark is a developer for Peppermint - another good one.  There's plenty of choice about but you can get confused easily - I did!  I depends on what you want personally.  The great thing about Linux is it is entirely 'yours' - you can add or subtract elements as you wish and tailor it exactly to your own requirements - a great bonus when you get more into it.  Come back here when you need more advice and you'll soon be on the right track!  Oh, and welcome to the 'club'!


General Discussion / Re: No welcome screen
« on: May 02, 2018, 09:47:25 pm »
Hello Mark Greaves
I'm sorry that the topic makes no sense and that my explanations are not clear.
I attempted to put Linux on my laptop by following the on screen instructions on the Linux website - unsuccessfully.
I thought that Linux was a user friendly alternative to Microsoft et al. - clearly I was mistaken.  You're not mistaken - it is very user friendly, as is this (and most other) Linux forums   ;)
I am sorry to have troubled you.  It's no trouble but in order to help, responders need to know a little bit more about the problems you face.

Can you post the specs of your laptop - how you created the Ubuntu install disk - how you attempted to boot the laptop from said disk?  Did you set the laptop BIOS to boot from a DVD?

This information will greatly help you getting a meaningful response!  Hope this helps,


General Help & Advice / Re: can i run my email system through Linux?
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:00:14 am »
In Linux, set up Thunderbird to handle your mail, making sure to use Imap (not POP).  This way, your mail is available from the main server to any device - computer, tablet, smartphone etc. 

I've never used BT mail so can't comment on what it does but years ago I switched away from ISP mail to Gmail and have never had an issue since.  Gmail has good security and filters and works across any platform - and, once you have switched to a Gmail address, if you change your service provider, you don't have to change your email address again.  ;)



Sharing a home folder between 2 users is a really bad idea

a) when a user saves a file it'll have their permissions
b) when they change any config files, such as (but not limited to) setting bookmarks in the web browser, they'll change for both users.

It would be much better to mount the old home folder as a shared directory that's in both of your home folders .. but this is going to require the PC it's on to be permanently switched on or it'll not be available on the second PC and may (if not set up correctly) slow the boot of that second PC.

My advice would be to get a NAS

Sorry, I don't understand this - perhaps I didn't explain very well?

When I first set up (the problematical) Mint 18.3, I partitioned the drive to have a boot, / and /home partition.  This had 2 users on one machine - self and wife.  Whichever user logged in went directly to their set up and had no direct access to the other's.  When I removed M18.3 and installed M18.1 (to the / partition) the original /home partition was left alone and survived intact.  The fresh install boots and works.  All as it should be so far....

Now, however the original /home partition (containing both users files under separate names) is 'seen' by the OS - in 'Computer' - as a separate device, (just the same as if I'd plugged in a usb drive) and those containers can be opened by either user on either login.

Is there a way to modify this so that each user just gets access to their own files and settings on log in?

If the answer is no, could I make the 'new' /home directory (currently empty and on /) move to it's own partition on the drive and simply transfer each user's files over to that? Then it would be back as it was before on the original set up.

It seems like a right rigmarole but I specifically set things up this way so my data would remain intact on fresh install and to save the constant shifting of files off and on to the HDD.  The method works great in that regard - I just expected that Mint would continue to use the original /home partition as it did before.

Hope this clarifies things.


Hi - After the kernel panic problems I had with Mint 18.3, I've done a fresh OS install of Mint 18.1 in the hope it will be more stable. 

Originally (M18.3 install), I made a separate /home partition in order to protect my data and decided to keep the same configuration for the re-install.  M18.1 installed no problem to it's dedicated partition and my original /home partition remains intact and accessible.  However, the new install has it's own /home directory, which is of course, empty.  The original /home partition is now seen as a separate device and to work with it, I have to mount it manually.  I've searched the 'net and found several ways to auto mount a partition but the instructions aren't clear and are way above my skill-set!

There are 2 users on this machine - self and wife.  What I need is to be able to log in directly to 'my' part of 'original /home/username' and to replicate that on my wife's log in.

Is there a straightforward way to do this?  (Hand-holding a necessity, I'm afraid!)

This is the partition set up -

Code: [Select]
Disk /dev/sda: 149.1 GiB, 160041885696 bytes, 312581808 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x0001ba51

Device     Boot     Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1  *         2048   3905535   3903488   1.9G 83 Linux
/dev/sda2         3907582 312580095 308672514 147.2G  5 Extended
/dev/sda5         3907584  42966177  39058594  18.6G 83 Linux
/dev/sda6       304769024 312580095   7811072   3.7G 82 Linux swap / Solaris
/dev/sda7        42969088 304752639 261783552 124.8G 83 Linux

- where /dev/sda5 is the 18.1 system files
and       /devsda7 is the dedicated /home partition

thanks in advance


General Help & Advice / Re: Kernel Panic - Part 2
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:07:45 am »
Hi - I've bitten the bullet and re-installed the OS (downgraded to Mint 18.1) as I was just going round in circles with Mint 18.3.  :(

I'll mark this thread as abandoned and start a new thread regarding M18.1 configuration.

Thanks for your help so far.

General Help & Advice / Re: Kernel Panic - Part 2
« on: April 07, 2018, 12:15:26 pm »
No boot again with these commands.   :(

I get an error.....   something/something about hd0, press any key to continue ....... then after a few seconds it changes to an output, ending - not syncing: VFS unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,0)

I had this the last time I posted (Meltdown and Spectre post) and you altered the last command from 'update-grub' to ..... 'update-initramfs -uk all...... and I've tried this again but, unfortunately, with the same result.

As I said, this has happened a couple of times since my original post and either/or of your previous instructions worked fine - but not this time.  The OS performs beautifully ordinarily, it's just the updating that screws things up.  From memory, I may have ticked the middle (let me choose?) option at install but I never let the level 5 updates install.  When up and running, can I change that option to 'just keep my computer safe' or can it only be done at the installation stage? 

I am willing to re-install from fresh if necessary but there's no guarantee that this fault won't re-occur - plus the added hassle of getting everything off and on to the drive every time.  Is there a utility or terminal script I could run that would indicate where the fault lies?  Researching 'kernel panic' throws up many causes, one of the most prevalent seems to be about 'ram timeout' or some such which stalls the boot process.  Can this be increased in any way?

Thanks again for your time.


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