Series 7 - listen to the show
The Binary Times - Series 7 Episode 4
Sun 16 Feb, 2020
00:27 Wayne welcomes us to Season 7 Episode 4 from a windy and wet Bristol. Mark reports that Kilkishen is much the same, and our special guest Ben Klaasen tells us that Dublin suffers from the same affliction, that being Storm Dennis.
02:38 Mark tells us he's been continuing to test Kubuntu 20.04, and all is going well, he's looking forward to the release. Mark also noticed that LibreOffice 6.4 is now available as a snap, and recommends that people start using it, as it is an "essential release" as noted in the release video. Mark also notes that the Document Foundation released LibreOffice 6.4 on the 29th January, while the snap was released on the 11th and has been available since February 3rd on OpenSuse Tumbleweed's repositories , so Mark suggests that if the Document Foundation are encouraging people to use a Linux distribution that has the latest releases of LibreOffice then they should suggest OpenSuse Tumbleweed. Apart from that Mark has been watching videos of FOSDEM, at which point he suggests who better to talk about FOSDEM than Ben.
04:33 Ben tells us about FOSDEM. He decided on a whim to go and he's really delighted that he went. He notes that it's free to attend and run by volunteers. He describes that FOSDEM stands for the "Free and Open Source Developer's European Meetup", and that it has taken place on the Université Libre de Bruxelles du Solbosch Campus for the last twenty years. First impressions were a bit chaotic. He relates that the scale is hard to comprehend, but he gives us some statistics saying that there are 841 speakers, 873 events and 71 parallel tracks, all taking place more or less simultaneously across 35 rooms. Wow!
Ben goes on to tell us that FOSDEM is organized into a number of keynotes, with maintracks of Community and Ethics, Containers and Security, Databases, Freedom, History, the Internet and Miscellaneous! There are Developer Rooms helping developers to get together and solve problems, Lightning Talks on many subjects, and a part that he really loved, the stands. It stood out to him because while Corporates like RedHat and Suse were there, they weren't there in their glossy booths; it was more like a school fair, with representatives of the companies and projects standing behind school desks ready to answer whatever questions were thrown at them.
There was so much going on Ben found it frustrating at the start, just because there was so much going on, but once he made the realisation that that was the whole point of the conference and just to go with it, he found it amazing and would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in Free and Open Source software to go there.
The topic changes to the male to female ratio that was quite apparently skewed. Ben describes a book by Marie Hicks, a University Professor of History who wrote a book called Programmed Inequality, which describes how Britain discarded their technological lead in computing when they discarded their women technologists. Mark tells us that there is a documentary about Kay McNulty (one of the original Eniac Programmers), available to view on the RTE player (which Mark isn't so sure is available outside of Ireland).
Wayne asks Ben what talks did he get to see and what tweaked his interest. Ben tells us he got to meet Mike Saunders, who's a proper gent by all accounts. He also got to see the State of OpenJDK, a review of the past year in the life of the OpenJDK Community given by Mark Reinhold. Another talk that caught his eye was The Hidden Early History of Unix by Warner Losh, describing the early history of Unix, funnily enough. He also talks about Generation Gaps by Liam Proven. This leads to a general discussion around programming. Ben goes on to tell us about What's up at Haiku, a talk given by Francois Revol, one of the developers of Haiku, on its current state. The guys have a general discussion around Haiku. Ben rattles off a few more talks to give us a feel for the scale of the event, namely BASICODE: the 8-bit programming API that crossed the Berlin Wall, Infrastructure testing, it's a real thing!, Correlation analysis in automated testing, Thunderbird in 2020 and Beyond, dqlite: High-availability SQLite, and Reinventing Home Directories. This leads to a more general discussion on having to relearn everything and building in complexity to solve problems for some but having the effect of pushing others out. Ben recommends another book by Cal Newport called Deep Work.
55:33 Under the Hood - Mark's Under the Hood is to listen to the latest series of Command Line Heroes, as the first two episodes of season 4 have been about the history of computers, with the first episode about Minicomputers, followed by Mainframes and soon to be followed by more interesting talks on hardware.
Ben's under the Hood is to recommend legacy code rocks. He also tells us that Firefox's Multi-Account Containers will now sync your container configuration and site assignments.
Irish saying of the show is "Tá grá mór agam ar an Binary Times" or I love the Binary Times!
We hope you enjoy this show as much as we did making it!
The Binary Times - Series 7 Episode 3
Sun 02 Feb, 2020
00:27 Wayne welcomes us to Season 7 Episode 3 from a wet and windy Bristol. It's wet and windy in Kilkishen too, as Mark relates that the wttr app is reporting much the same weather as he can see outside. It's a momentous day on the day they're recording, with many new beginnings happening, like it being the first day of spring and the first day of FOSDEM 2020. The guys plan a short show so they can watch the live streams.
03:11 Mark tells us what he's been up to. He tells us that his parents' PC was displaying a "system problem detected" error message that turned out to be nothing more than a prompt to upgrade from Linux Mint 19.2 to Linux Mint 19.3. Mark did the upgrade and it went very well, everything was plain sailing, but he voices his concerns regarding the fact that error messages like this are unnecessarily worrying for new or inexperienced users.
Mark goes on to talk about the upgrade of his parents' laptop from Linux Mint 18.3 to Linux Mint 19.3. This was a more involved process which first involved changing the display manager from mdm to lightdm, as Linux Mint changed display managers . He did this with these commands:
sudo apt install lightdm lightdm-settings slick-greeter
sudo apt remove --purge mdm mint-mdm-themes*
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
Reboot your machine, and once back at a terminal, input:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y
Once fully updated, install Linux Mint's upgrade tool to upgrade from the older LTS to the newer LTS. You can do this as follows:
sudo apt install mintupgrade - to install the tool
mintupgrade check - to simulate an upgrade and check for any possible breakages.
mintupgrade download - to download the upgrade
mintupgrade upgrade - to do the upgrade
The guys discuss the number of steps involved in upgrading between LTSs.
Mark goes on to discuss how he put Zorin OS on a SSD for a colleague's parents' PC.
Wayne goes on to tell us how he's been upgrading all of his work's PCs to Windows 10 while also installing Ubuntu MATE on a few laptops.
15:53 Wayne goes on to thank Paul for a Vostro 3550 Laptop. In the spirit of paying it forward, which is Paul want, Wayne decided to try out some new distributions on the laptop to report back to everyone how it went. The first distro he tried was Pop!_OS (which he didn't really get on with) at which point Mark suggests Wayne should try Kubuntu 2020 next, which is Mark's re branding of Kubuntu 20.04.
Wayne goes on to tell us he also tried Regolith, a Free and Open Source Distribution based on Ubuntu 18.04 with the i3 Window Manager. He really likes it. He'll play around with it some more and recommends it if you want to give i3 a go.
23:59 The guys go on talk about the concept of "Pay it forward".
26:27 Wayne tells us about his MikroTik adventures. The guys talk about Network Security, and quickly lose their "pay it forward" feelings towards their fellows, not wanting to be the slowest in the hurd.
Wayne provides some of the links to the topics he's been covering with MikroTik, and these are as follows:
38:30 Wayne talks about Shotcut, a free and open source, cross-platform video editor.
40:37 Under the Hood - Mark tells us about Gardiner Bryan's attempt to create a Free and Open Source Game based on his frustration of Rocket League being discontinued for Linux. Mark plans to become a first rate games developer over the next couple of days and help create the best Open Source game EVA!!! There's no lack of ambition on this show!
44:21 Wayne's more understated Under the Hoods are as follows:
Wayne's second under the hood is
CTRL-L to clear the screen in a terminal
Wayne's gem of an under the hood is
ip -c a which colourizes the command's output. He's even aliased ip to ip -c
49:48 Irish Saying of the Show is "Is maith liom ag caint le mo chairde" or I like to talk with my friends!
We hope you enjoy the show as much as we did making it!
The Binary Times - Series 7 Episode 2
Mon 20 Jan, 2020
00:35 Wayne welcomes us to the second episode of Season 7 from a cool crisp Bristol. Mark regales us from a cool and crisp Kilkishen, perfect weather for some Hillwalking. We are joined today by Alex and William from Steam's very own Open Source Community.
01:53 Alex tells us what he's been at since he's last been on the show. While struggling through 2019, he got a new microphone and a new job. The Open Source Community has been on a bit of a hiatus, but now that Alex is settling into his new job he's hoping to start doing some events and the like. William tells us that something is on the cards but due to time constraints doesn't want to tell us just yet, expect to see an exciting announcement on the Open Source Community's announcement page soon! Alex promises it'll be something that the Steam Community will really like.
Alex goes on to tell us about what he's been doing with the Open Source Community of late.He's been republishing the Binary Times on Youtube, and announcing other news of interest, giving an example of the latest Vulkan 1.2 release. William is hoping that he will be able to be a lot more active in the Open Source Community in 2020. He also tells us that he's currently running a couple of Linux Desktops and servers and hopes to become more involved in the future too. The guys discuss the pros and cons of moving to Linux from Windows. Distros mentioned are Ubuntu, Sabayon, Zorin and Manjaro. Mark mentions Zorin Grid which is a new application from Zorin helping to bring advanced technology into companies, schools and organizations.
13:35 The conversation changes to what has Mark been at for the last while. Mark's been trying a brand new distro invented in his brain, Kubuntu 2020! He's actually been testing Kubuntu 20.04, which he thinks is turning out really nice so far. He's found a major problem with his Sony Vaio laptop and that is that it won't fit into the pouch of his laptop back!
Mark goes on to tell us that he thinks E support is really good.This brings the conversation around to Mobile computing, and the guys discuss their views on it. The Pinephone is something the guys are looking forward to. Various open stores like f-droid and yalp are mentioned also. Mark also mentions the E App store having a really nice way to rate the privacy and so forth of applications.
Alex goes on to tell us a bit about what Mike's up to. Unfortunately Mike was meant to be on the show, but he wasn't able to make it.
Alex also tells us about the Open Source Community's curator, a place where the Open Source Community promotes Open Source Games like Warfork and the like. Mark mentions Smokin Guns as a fun game based on the Quake 3 engine that's entirely open source.
43:40 Under the Hood! Mark kicks off Under the Hood with a nod to Wireframe Magazine since this is the gaming special of the season. He mentions the fantastic article they did reviewing the decade. He also mentions they have a new book out, called Code the Classics Volume 1. He finally mentions that a number of Ukie hub crawls are taking place throughout the UK during January to March.
Alex has a tip on ReactOS and faking it to look like Windows - the first is a registry tweak - just change the registry entry to Windows 10. There's also a compatibility setting where you choose the properties of the OS you wish to choose.
Wayne has a few Under the Hoods. He's been doing a lot of networking lately, and he has this little hack to clean up the output from
ip address show and that is
ip a | grep inet. Noice!
William's Under the Hood is to use Windows Virtual Machines on top of Linux.
Wayne goes on to recommend phonograph as a really good open source music player.
54:00 Irish Saying of the Show is "Ca bhfuil do bosca lon" or where is your lunch box!
The Binary Times - Series 7 Episode 1
Sun 4 Jan, 2020
00:29 Wayne welcomes us to Series 7 Episode 1 by wondering what on Earth happened in the last decade. It's cloudy in Bristol, and cloudy and cold with rain in Kilkishen. Mark apologises for any background snoring noises as his dog blissfully sleeps on his lap.
02:40 Wayne asks Mark what he's been at, and Mark tells us he's been making the most of Christmas festivities. He tells us he received a present of a G213 logitech gaming keyboard and a G203 gaming mouse. Unfortunately changing the key colours aren't natively supported in Linux, but he found a python script by Sebi Time Waster on Github to help with the keyboard config and derEisele's addition of G203 mouse support and GUI using his script.
04:13 Mark asks Wayne what he's been at, after a little prompting. Wayne got the Automate the Boring Stuff 2nd Edition book for Christmas. With some fanfare, Wayne goes on to tell us he also got a Pinebook Pro and goes on to describe his experiences with it. Overall, he loves his new quiet robust device and looks forward to using it as a mobile computing device. Wayne provides a link to the fix for the trackpad issue he found.
24:39 The guys get onto their topic of conversation for the show, which is what the Binary Times is all about! Mark kicks it off by saying why he does the show is to talk about free software, free hardware and free culture because these things are important in modern life to retain control and bring power back to the people and away from other vested interests. Wayne agrees and goes on to say that the show encourages the use of free software, and he personally would be prepared to take the time to learn and maintain free software solutions so as not to be tied into proprietary services. Mark points out that privacy respecting services using free software like Kolab Now and ProtonMail do exist to replace these proprietary services. The guys discuss the dilemma of convenience versus freedoms.
Wayne's second point is to point out that there will never be advertisements on the Binary Times. Mark agrees. The guys discuss then the fact that they do this in their spare time and that the Patreon account is there to help them fund the whole enterprise.
Wayne's third point goes on to say that we don't track our listenership. While frustrating, this ties in with our own wish not to be tracked. Mark makes the point that this is why they value feedback so much.
Wayne's final point is that the show just represents two enthusiasts views on free software, hardware and culture of which neither two are experts and both are still learning. Mark agrees and thinks it mirrors life in that no matter how much you know, every one is still learning and the fact that two "normal" people can do a show like this should encourage others to get more involved in all this stuff too.
Wayne provides a couple of links to important information that can be found on the web, the first being Protect your Freedom from the Free Software Foundation. Mark plauds the fact that the Free Software Foundation has been mentioned as he sees it as the foundation of the free software that makes all this possible through the GPL. He goes on to say that free software is an enabler for creative people to be creative as it makes it possible to produce content for a cost that wouldn't have been possible in the past. Wayne tells us his current setup for the show consists of a Focusrite Sapphire 6 and an Audio Technica 2020 microphone for audio and a Lenovo T430 as his general purpose computer. Wayne does a quick search of ebay and finds a T430 available for under £80.
48:30 Under the Hood - Mark kicks off Under the Hood by describing the Four Essential Freedoms as defined by the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Definition as defined by the Open Source Institute. Mark mentions VM Brasseur's talk at Freenode Live, Four Ways to spread the Four freedoms, as a good one to watch.
Wayne's under the Hood starts with a mention of the latest Humble Bundles, like the New Year, New You 2020 bundle. He goes on to talk about the latest prototyping board from the Pi-Hut. He finally mentions hacksplaining, a series of lessons on vulnerabilities explained well.
56:51 - Irish saying of the show is Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit or Happy New Year!
We hope you enjoy the show as much as we did making it!
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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.
GNU/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.
Electronic fun with the Raspberry Pi
This show aspires to touch on various aspects of GNU/Linux, with chat, musings, information, commands to help you get started or to advance within the GNU/Linux environment.
Many thanks to all recent supporters and contributors to The Binary Times Audiocast.
Thanks to Squid/Alex at the Steam Open Source Community for his support and donation.