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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 6

Timeline companion

Mark hasnt prepared anything this week!!

00:24 A very festive Irish greeting introduces the show this week, with suitable translations for our non-Gael-goer listeners by Wayne. It's cold in Bristol and it's cold in Kilkishen, the beast from the east is flexing its muscles once more it seems and snow is on the way.

02:00 Mark tells us he's been busy at work! What a suprise! He also tells us that a new radio they have at work is basically a linux box with a software defined radio, but that's all the details he has. And there's nothing in the shownotes explaining it further! :-)

03:56 At least Wayne's been busy in the open source world so he'll be able to carry the show! First bit of news by him is that there's a new Raspberry Pi out, this time the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Updated features include a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, dual-band wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2/BLE, faster Ethernet, and Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT). All for the same price as before! More information can be found on youtube here and here.

10:34 Wayne has more newsworthy-ish news in that the humble bundle has a diy electronics books bundle and it's available for the next 11 days, so check it out!

12:31 Wayne wants to talk a little bit about people and change. The moral of the story is don't move the shutdown button!

21:22 Mark brings it back to news with two interesting articles on Your first robot and MAAS for the home around which the guys have a discussion.

28:03 Wayne did something really cool that he's really chuffed about! This is how he did it:

He copied all his media files, music, training videos onto a 160G drive, plugged the drive into his server, made an image of the drive with the following commands:

lsblk - list all block devices

dd if=/dev/sdc of=~/nextcloud-media.img bs=4M

This made an image of the drive. He also attached the img file / drive to that same vm. He then attached gparted to a cdrom in one of his vms. He set the image size using this command:

sudo qemu-img resize nextcloud-media.img 100G

He then went into his Nextcloud VM and attached the img file to the VM. He went to Nextcloud and added a local mounted location as an External Storage device in NC.


34:17 Wayne has been doing some remote support for a small business. He's using the Libre Office suite in this support and is developing a SQL database using Base and relying on the Frugal Computer Guy's tutorials and Codecademy's SQL course for help in this. Mark mentions gnucash as a possible alternative for accounting software and Wayne wonders if he should go down that road instead of reinventing the wheel.

41:41 Under the Hood - Wayne talks about a video detailing vi mode in bash.

Mark tells us about an interesting blog post that he read that is no longer available online! Always good to do your research and verify your links before committing them to a podcast! :-)

45:29 Irish saying of the podcast: T&aacute s&eacute an-fhuar, ach t&aacute s&eacute tirim


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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 5

Timeline companion

Snow snow snow.

00:24 Wayne introduces Series 3 Episode 5 of the ice cold binary times. Don't worry listeners if you're having trouble understanding Mark due to his poor audio, he's also speaking Irish!

01:42 Mark tells us about his trials and tribulations with recent nvidia updates on his Kubuntu 18.04 set up. Mark also mentions that Ubuntu 18.04 went into feature freeze on 1st March, and the first betas should be released on the 8th March.

07:12 Mark's dying to hear what Wayne has been at since he's been keeping it top secret. Wayne's back on the Raspberry Pi train! Wayne tells us about ways to manage the manage the memory split between CPU and GPU, and he does this by running the raspi-config utility (you do this by entering sudo raspi-config at the command line), choosing option "7. Advanced Options", then choosing "A3 Memory Split" and then slide the amount of memory in MBs you wish to allocate to the GPU, in Wayne's case he uses 16. More information on the raspi-config utility can be found here.

You can also update the firmware on your Raspberry Pi to keep your Raspberry Pi up to date. You can also choose not to, Wayne's gut is telling him that he should. You do this by typing the following: sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y and sudo apt install -y rpi-update and sudo rpi-update.

11:47 Wayne tells us he vehemently dislikes ads and tells us about Pi-Hole, a "black hole for internet advertisements". He goes on to tell us about PiVPN, a project to provide a simple openvpn setup for the Raspberry Pi. Mark goes on to mention the host file available from Dan Pollack's website and the guys expand on their attitudes around advertising. Wayne also mentions dnscrypt, which he wasn't able to get working.

23:37 Mark mentions the Dublin Linux User Group's new telegram group and their existing social media presence in Meetup and Facebook (as well as discord and refers back to their interview with Squid and how he is using proprietary platforms to promote open source software and culture. The guys then talk about their take on social media.

27:16 Wayne brings it back to Linux with some chat on Ubuntu MATE and the renaming ability in Caja leaves Wayne desiring simple file renaming as found in Windows. Mark decides to ramble on about the differences between MATE and Cinnamon and wonders whether the two projects would be better off merging development resources though he's not so sure how practical that would be. This leads to a discussion on MATE panels and changing them via the MATE tweak tool.

35:08 Mark moves the conversation on with a question put to Wayne, asking him about his opinions on KDE Neon. Wayne has only installed it on a VM, he quite likes it, but thinks there are too many options and is not sure if he would change it to be his daily desktop. Time will tell as Wayne is a slow burn.

38:37 Mark contemplates installing Chakra Linux OS on his laptop rather than Kubuntu 18.04, and tells us of some of the recent changes Chakra have made in their distribution.

41:26 Wayne introduces Under the Hood, and Mark kicks it off with two, the first being:

ubuntu-drivers -devices, a command to see what devices on your machine may benefit from proprietary drivers.

Mark feels like Linus Torvalds in his attitude to NVidia and wishes they could be more open in their attitude to open source software. He's hoping to go with AMD more in the coming years as they are turning towards open source tools.

Mark's second Under the Hood tip is ubuntu-bug [package] and he mentions an Ubuntu Community website as a good place to start to report bugs.

45:20 Wayne's under the hood is a command line tool to read metadata from image files. Install using sudo apt install libimage-exiftool-perl and in use type exiftool [name_of_image]

46:22 Irish saying of the podcast - Mark goes off on a mad one with loadsa Gaeilge! Any way you want to describe the weather:

Tá sé fuar - it is cold

Tá sé an-fhuar - it is very cold

Tá sé te - it is hot or warm (we don't really do hot in Ireland!)

Tá sé fliuch - it is wet

Tá sé tirim - it is dry

Tá sé dorcha - it is dark

Tá sé geal - it is bright

We hoped you enjoyed the podcast!


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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 4

Timeline companion

Big Slurppp!

00:24 The guys are so happy to be welcoming you to Series 3 Episode 4 they can hardly contain their joy! The weather is great too! Woohoo! Wayne has loads of Linuxy stuff to talk about and Mark thinks it's nice to have things to talk about in a podcast. Wayne informs us of some of the limitations of self hosting and Mark informs us all that they are where they want to be in terms of podcasting.

03:51 In Mark's news, he tells us that he wrote a game using Javascript and the "CoderDojo Nano Create with Code Make your Own Game" book. He changed it so that an image of his son has to jump over birthday cakes until he reaches the end and it says "Happy Birthday".

07:56 Mark tells us he's been playing with the ubports-installer without much success and has Ubuntu Touch on a BQ Aquaris 4.5 and BQ M10 FHD. Mark and Wayne talk about the pros and cons of Ubuntu Touch. At the end of the conversation Mark suggests trying the installer first, otherwise use the instructions found on the devices page over on

16:23 Wayne tells us that he has installed version 13 of Nextcloud. Wayne and Mark have a conversation about Nextcloud and all the new features in Nextcloud 13. Mark is truly impressed with how good it is and is excited enough to want to set it all up, when time allows...

26:27 Wayne moves the conversation onto hardware issues and a handy tip for finding memory hogs in Firefox: open a new tab and type in about:performance into the address bar. This will show you your open tabs and any tabs that may be causing issues. Using this tip keeps Wayne calm. Mark mentions that one of his open tabs is regarding the one million downloads of Libre Office 6.0 in fourteen days and thinks we're living in a golden age of free and open source software.

30:18 Wayne tells us his last little story with a tale regarding him upgrading all his work machines to Ubuntu MATE 17.10. He noticed a little bit of extra strain on his machine. Mark tells us he still uses Ubuntu MATE 17.10 and Kubuntu 18.04 on his laptops, and Wayne mentions the recent upsurge in KDE Neon podcast chat. Mark says Plasma 5.12 is great but also says unfortunately he wouldn't recommend it to new users due to Discover. He also tells us he is planning on putting Kubuntu 18.04 on his Alienware and thinks that could be interesting due to the Nvidia graphics.

39:21 Wayne thinks they're probably at the Under the Hood Section and Mark agrees. Wayne has two good things to talk about which is great because Mark has nothing to talk about!

Wayne's first under the hood is all about file access, modify and change times, as well as a new birth time. stat and find -cmin -5.

46:09 Irish saying of the podcast is "gabh mo leithsceal" or excuse me


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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 3

Timeline companion

Here we go again, its Mark and Wayne.

00:24 Wayne welcomes us to the third episode of Season Three! Bristol is crowdy and cloudy and a little bit cold, while Kilkishen is nice and Springy!

01:51 Mark tells us that he's been busy commissioning new voice systems and decommissioning old pabxs. It's a bit sad but not so bad. He wonders why his comm rooms are so tidy and he can't manage the same with the office! All the same, Mark tells us he's making progress on his office tidy up and ponders what books the library decided to take. With all this going on he's not had much time for linuxy stuff.

06:03 Wayne feels the same way and is slightly irked by this. He's been looking to get into freeipa but hit some problems so he's backing away from this at the moment. Meanwhile work is looking for him to get on top of his Windows Server knowledge so he's knee deep in Windows Server stuff at the moment. Wayne seems to admire the ease of use of Windows Server...

09:19 Wayne gets onto his linux talk! He experienced a pretty drastic bug using Virtual Box that he resolved by uninstaling and reinstalling Virtual Box. He also updated Ubuntu 16.04 to 17.10 using the following technique:

Open 'Software & Updates' using the Unity Dash

Select the 'Updates' tab

Find the section titled 'Notify me of a new Ubuntu version'

Change this from 'For long-term support versions' to 'For any new version'

Click 'Close'

You will then be prompted to upgrade to a new version

Mark queries Wayne as to whether either Xorg or Wayland is used by default in an upgraded 17.10 and goes on to say that Xorg will be the default for 18.04. Mark goes on to ask Wayne the benfits of using Virtual Box over Virtual Machine Manager. Wayne's answers prompt Mark to reminisce once more about the PABXs he's been retiring, this time saying how long he was able to get out of learning a set of commands. Wayne applauds this.

24:30 News for us (which is actually pretty recent news for once)! Wayne tells us of the announcment of the release of Libre Office 6. Mark hadn't heard this news and notes from the Libre Office website that it was announced on the 31st January. Wayne also gives us a tip on how to remove links from web addresses in Libre Office documents and that is as follows:

go to Tools - Autocorrect Options then 'Options' taband uncheck 'URL recognition'. Mark and Wayne agree that they prefer to use Libre Office over Microsoft Office.

30:40 Wayne prompts Mark to thank one of our listeners for his generous gift of memory for a laptop that Mark has. Mark duly goes on to thank Paul while also noting that since he installed the RAM his boot time has come way down. He also notes that his Linux Mint desktop starts the fastest of all his machines which is suprising as it should not be the quickest so he's putting it down to Linux Mint. Wayne mentions Joe Collins is an advocate for Linux Mint while Mark mentions Steven Vaughan Nichols as a fan of Linux Mint and also mentions that he is a guest speaker in a new podcast called command line heroes.

34:54 Mark mentions that FOSDEM is now on. Wayne goes on to say that OggCamp is scheduled for August in Sheffield. Wayne says he'd love to go so Mark says he'll go too. Mark also mentions the Freenode conference as one to go to.

36:50 Under the Hood! Wayne talks about removing old kernels in CentOS. You can do this as follows (run as root)

rpm -q kernel (lists installed kernels)

yum install yum-utils

package-cleanup --oldkernels --count=2

Mark looks up how to do this in Ubuntu and came up with this:

Run command to check out current kernel and DON'T REMOVE it:

uname -r

List all kernels excluding the current booted:

dpkg -l | tail -n +6 | grep -E 'linux-image-[0-9]+' | grep -Fv $(uname -r)

There will be three possible status types in the listed kernel images:

rc: means it has already been removed.

ii: means installed, eligible for removal.

iU: DON'T REMOVE. It means not installed, but queued for install in apt.

To remove old kernel images with "ii" status, type:

sudo dpkg --purge linux-image-4.4.0-18-generic

Riveting listening!!!

44:17 Irish saying of the podcast: Más é do thoil é


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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 2

Timeline companion

Its the start of the new season

00:24 Wayne welcomes us to the second episode of Season Three! It's dark coz the guys are recording early so there's not much of a weather report I'm afraid. Dark is about as good as it gets!

01:11 Despite Mark being busy with work he's responded to Kubuntu's call for testing by installing Plasma 5.12 LTS beta on his Kubuntu Bionic Beaver LTS Beta test machine. All good so far, not a single bug to report, all looking really good for a solid release! Mark also tells us that he's been playing with chakra linux, Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu MATE 16.04 (to test the redmond panel) on virtual machines using virtual machine manager.

04:14 Wayne tells us that he's installed Ubuntu MATE 17.10 on one of the work machines in the second site. He was prompted to do this through frustrations with Windows. Mark prompts Wayne to swap out his Windows servers with Linux.

10:00 Wayne tells us how he solved a network problem by disconnecting a rogue access point.

14:04 Wayne tells us how he changed the greeter screen on Ubuntu MATE 17.10 using these instructions.

16:35 The guys have a conversation around using free and open source software and the sacrifices that might entail and using proprietary software and the sacrifices that might entail.

22:30 Wayne tells us that he has purchased Mike Saunder's Haynes Coding Manual. He's quite enjoying it so far and recommends anyone interested in learning Python to give it a go.

25:36 Wayne talks about options for using DNS. Wayne recommends DNS-Watch while Mark mentions unblock-us and streamjack. Mark asks Wayne about any hints and tips he might have for using Startpage and bemoans the results he's getting with it.

35:50 Mark tells us that the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is looking for contributors.

37:47 Under the Hood: Wayne has purchased yet another Raspberry Pi zero. He updates the firmware on his Raspberry pis using the following command:

sudo rpi-update

If it comes up with command not found, run sudo apt install rpi-update, then run sudo rpi-update

Mark mentions that hackspace is now available from the Raspberry Pi foundation

Marks Under the Hood is a quick one to find out what kind display server you're using. Do the following:

type loginctl. This will tell you your session number.

then type loginctl show -session [insert session number] -p -Type. This will tell you whether you are using Wayland or X.

43:18 Irish saying of the podcast: Ní dhéanfadh an saol capall rása d'asal


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The Binary Times - Series 3 Episode 1

Timeline companion

Its the start of the new season

00:24 Wayne welcomes us to the first episode of Season Three! Yes indeed, Season 3 kicks off on a cold and brisk Sunday morning in Bristol and Kilkishen. The guys tell us about their Christmas revels.

03:46 Mark tells us that he's installed and loving Kubuntu 18.04 before the conversation moves on to the dreaded Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

12.01 Wayne tells us of some interesting ways he's been trying to interest his son in Linux. Wayne sneaks in an early Under the Hood with sl (Steam Locomotive) while telling us of his son's deviousness on the command line.

19:28 Mark tells us that he's going to try and minimalize his life...

25:30 Waybe brings it back to Linux talk with some chat about his tablets, flight mode and enabling wireless. This brings some suprise and confusion to Mark, who checks and confirms the premise on his ubuntu touch tablet and yes, you can enable flight mode and wireless at the same time.

32:27 Wayne tells us he's set up two factor authentication on his next cloud box in conjunction with andOTP as his android client.

37:41 Mark mentions eelo in relation to Wayne's quest to rid himself of google services on android. Mark goes on to regail the efforts of the ubports team and Librem phone for providing free and open source alternatives repecting your privacy in the mobile space.

42:20 The guys give us their New Year's predictions: Wayne can't predict his next hot drink while Mark knows it will be a nice hot cuppa tea.

43:08 Wayne kicks off Under the Hood with this beauty:

tail -f [filename] provides live monitoring of the last ten lines of the specified file.

44:11 Mark's under the hood is for mounting ISO files. First you need to create the directory where the ISO file structure will reside:

sudo mkdir /media/iso

Then you mount the ISO in the target directory as a file system (the -o loop part):

sudo mount -o loop path/to/iso/file/YOUR_ISO_FILE.ISO /media/iso

Irish saying of the podcast: since Mark wants to thank all the listeners for their feedback, he suggests using gur raibh míle maith agat or thanks a million (translated loosely, more correctly "may you have a thousand good things"). Thanks for listening, we hope you enjoyed the show.


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Series 3 Episodes
Episode 6, Episode 5, Episode 4, Episode 3, Episode 2, Episode 1

Series 2 Episodes
Episode 12, Episode 12a, Episode 11, Episode 10, Episode 9, Episode 8, Episode 7, Episode 6, Episode 5a, Episode 5, Episode 4, Episode 3, Episode 2, Episode 1

Series 1 Episodes
Episode 12, Episode 11, Episode 10, Episode 9, Episode 8, Episode 7, Episode 6, Episode 5, Episode 4, Episode 3, Episode 2, Episode 1


About The Binary Times

The Binary Times podcast is created by Mark and Wayne, who just like using linux and open source software and want to spread the word.

Linux is free and open source and it is an excellent choice of operating system for our ever changing times.

This podcast is released fortnightly.

A picture of the Raspberry Pi with breadboard

Electronic fun with the Raspberry Pi

This show aspires to touch on various aspects of Linux, with chat, musings, information, commands to help you get started or to advance within the Linux environment.