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Topics - Mark Greaves (PCNetSpec)

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General Discussion / Ebuyer or HP now doing Ubuntu laptops
« on: June 16, 2014, 02:09:25 pm »
Either HP or Ebuyer are now bunging Ubuntu on laptops
(12.04, but hey ho)

Kinda surprised me .. pleasantly :)

General Discussion / 0019792309479 scam
« on: May 07, 2014, 12:45:26 pm »
I just had a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft support telling me my computer had viruses and if I let them remote in, they fix it for me :)

Damn I wish I had RDP set up .. would have been amusing to let them into an isolated Linux box, and confuse the hell out of them :)

Obviously I told them to sod off  ::)

I really only posted this so Google finds the phone number, and the word SCAM.

If any unsuspecting Windows users see this .. do NOT let them remote into your PC, Microsoft would NEVER directly phone you .. this is a scam pure and simple.

New zero day vulnerability found in every version of Internet Explorer

Apparently confirmed by Microsoft (at least in >= IE6):

XP users will not receive patches for this, so take note and get off Internet Explorer .. in fact get off the internet before your PC is used to attack others.


General Discussion / Mint with Unity
« on: April 03, 2014, 01:47:20 pm »
There should be a version of Mint with the Unity desktop .. Mint/Unity .. they could call it "Mutiny" :)

Or Peppermint could do a trimmed down version .. Punity

This info applies ONLY to the Acer Aspire One AOA110L (a.k.a zg5) that come with the 8Gb SSD
(it does NOT apply the Acer Aspire One that comes with a hard drive .. they use a standard 2.5" SATA hard drive, the motherboard is different, and the plastic case is slightly larger on the bottom)

I had another SSD failure on one of my AA1's the other day, and had run out of replacements .. the 16Gb Super Talent replacement SSD's I've used previously were all sold out, and the 32Gb version was over £90 which is ridiculous.

Hmm, what to do ? ..  I had no intention of spending over £90 on an old netbook, that's more than the damn thing's worth......

I'd previously seen this tutorial for replacing the SSD with a 1.8" HDD:
but had been seriously put off by the comments where everyone seems to have problems fitting the ZIF ribbon cable into the HDD

I can report the replacement went well, and I now have a 60Gb HDD in one of my AA1's .. it's faster than the stock SSD, and those annoying I/O pauses are a thing of the past :)

The HDD I bought (Samsung HS06THB) from here:
£26 including postage .. came 2 days later.

The stock ZIF ribbon cable from the SSD fitted straight in (after some initial effort).

Bit of further info on fitting the ZIF cable -

The ribbon cable goes in with the blue side UP (ie. blue side opposite the HDD's circuit board)

And here's where I think most people had problems

a) there's a black clip that rotates upwards to allow insertion of the ribbon .. but unlike the one on the SSD, it's NOT at the front of the socket (slot side), it's at the BACK of the socket, as pictured here:


b) the ribbon cable only goes in about 1.5 millimetres

Further pics of ZIF Vs LIF sockets here:

Clement Lefebvre (Linux Mint Project Leader), hints in a blog response that Mint 17, 18, 19, and 20 may all stick with the Ubuntu LTS as a common base.

Quote from: Clement Lefebvre
we’d still release every 6 months, it would mean 1 new base every 2 years.

Quote from: Clement Lefebvre
(speaking about Linux Mint 17 Qiana) "Yes, it’s an LTS release (we’re also considering basing the 3 releases after than on the very same LTS base)".

Quote from: Clement Lefebvre
"The decision wasn’t made yet, and after/if it is made we can always adapt it based on how things go. The length of the support is an element but it’s not the most important one at play. There’s also an element of quality and a wish to run mature and proven software rather than to jump on brand new frameworks, techs and toolkits every 6 months. And then there’s the fact that we want to develop more. We want to push innovation on Cinnamon, be more active in the development of MATE, better support Mint tools and engage in projects we’ve postponed for years. So the idea is to boost all that by only adapting to new bases once every 2 years, to better commit to that one base shared by all releases and to better support it, and to have our hands freed to do exciting stuff. Note that all will become important post-Qiana though, around November 2014".


General Discussion / Ubuntu package depndency map - Pretty Pics
« on: March 18, 2014, 08:18:39 pm »
There's a high resolution desktop wallpaper here:

Another with an Ubuntu logo added:
and with a space background:

Various versions in one place:

And a 16MB XCF that you can edit in the GIMP yourself :

(Click image for 2560x1440)

Linux Tips & Tricks / Can't download ATI drivers with wget
« on: March 09, 2014, 02:40:55 pm »
This has bugged me for some time .. I've seen plenty of tutorials that include a command similar to:-
Code: [Select]
That command always fails to download the drivers, instead just downloading the first few bytes.

Yet if you click that same link from the "" website, your browser can download them without issue.

Turns out the server that the files are sat on refuses to allow downloads unless the request was referred from the "" website.

So use the wget "--referer=" option to specify the referring website .. as in:
Code: [Select]
wget --referer=

First let me say I haven't tried this .. I just thought it was interesting, so figured I'd mention it.....

Dukto LAN File Transfer Tool .. run it on any machine on your local network (Linux/Windows/OS X) and any other machine running it will immediately be visible allowing you to transfer files between them (no network configuration necessary).
Transferred files will automatically be saved in your home folder, but that location can be changed in the Dukto settings.

It also allows easy transfer of text snippets .. so its easy to send someone say a URL.

More info (including links to .deb / .rpm packages) here:

Homepage (including Linux, Windows, Windows portable, and OS X installers) here:


Linux Support / Microsoft reportedly toying with a free version of Win8.1
« on: February 28, 2014, 06:32:18 pm »
According to the 2 articles below, Microsoft are apparently toying with the idea of creating a free version of "Windows 8.1 with Bing" pre-populated with their apps and services.

Copying Google much .. IMHO it won't work, Google can give their OS away because they make a sh*tload from their search engine, people will no doubt gladly take this freebie, then switch to using Google.

That said, it could certainly prove disruptive....

General Discussion / 11% of Windows XP users will switch to Linux
« on: February 21, 2014, 07:21:59 pm »
According to a survey, 11% of Windows XP users will switch to Linux

If that, and their claim that a third of PC users are still on XP are true, the so called "1% - 2%" Linux market penetration figure is about to see a marked jump :)

The thing I find funny is that XP users are under the impression that they're still safe to use it because the AV industry will have their backs .. they obviously don't understand what security patching is all about  ::)

The real problem is that sticking with XP puts everyone else at risk too .. not just them .. I'd be happy for Microsoft to not only terminate support, but to put out a final update that terminates XP full stop, or at least cripples its ability to network and write to removable media.

News and Events / Humble Indie Bundle 11 (Games Bundle) now out
« on: February 19, 2014, 01:51:52 am »

Humble Indie bundle 11 (Games Bundle) is now out:

Pay what you want, and help charity .. but be quick, the bundle is only available for another 13 days.

The bundle includes 5 Linux games:-
  •   Antichamber
  •   Dust: An Elysian Tail
  •   Guacamelee! Gold Edition
  •   Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine
  •   The Swapper
There's also a 6th game "Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams" which is currently Windows only .. Linux and Mac versions won't be available till later this year.


News and Events / Nokia to release Android phone
« on: February 12, 2014, 11:52:35 am »
I don't care what they say about this being planned before Microsoft bought Nokia's phone division .. this is Microsoft releasing a Linux device :)

WTF.....  :o

Scary sh*t - your NHS details given to the yanks (and sold to pretty much eveeyone else).

The data is "anonymised" but includes your postcode and date fo birth .. how hard do you think it would be to figure out who's records they are, armed with DOB and Post Code  ::)

Why the yanks ? .. the minute it goes outside this country there is ZERO control over it

I'll believe it when I see it (I expect Microsoft will fight this tooth and nail), but ...

Quote from: theguardian
UK government plans switch from Microsoft Office to open source

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude plans to standardise on open formats to cut costs on Office suite and break 'oligopoly' of IT suppliers

Ministers are looking at saving tens of millions of pounds a year by abandoning expensive software produced by firms such as Microsoft.

Some £200m has been spent by the public sector on the computer giant's Office suite alone since 2010.

But the Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude believes a significant proportion of that outlay could be cut by switching to software which can produce open-source files in the "open document format" (ODF), such as OpenOffice and Google Docs.


Question - Does that mean an open source office suite will become what's taught/used at schools and colleges etc. ?
(think what that would mean)

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