**** Cyborg Central ****

Old Androids Never Die, They Just Have A Few Screws Loose


September 17, 2021

Oh Firefox. Oh, my sweet summer child, this will probably kill you.

My anger is palpable and my disappointment immeasurable.

Snaps suck. They are slow to load, hard to manage, have exactly zero GUI apps for handling them, and to top it off, the second keystroke in every snap I've ever tried to use gets delayed 10-15 seconds. They're useless and nobody needed yet-another-package-type.

On the bright side, Chrome installs a .deb and doesn't require any snaps at all, so I have somewhere to switch to that doesn't suck.

Ubuntu 21.10 is making the Firefox Snap app its default browser. A feature-freeze exception requests the Firefox Snap be seeded in the Ubuntu ISO image.

Source: Ubuntu to Make Firefox Snap Default in 21.10 - OMG! Ubuntu!

Dumb Evolution Tricks: GPG mail to someone with problematic keys

August 13, 2021

If you've tried to send out encrypted email in Evolution, you might've run into trouble getting it to use the right GPG key, or had problems where GPG can't find or rejects the trust on the key. There's an easy but not obvious way to get around these problems!

Evolution will use the GPG certificate associated with a contact to encrypt mail to that contact first, so if you add the key under the "Certificates" tab on that person's contact, it'll just use it, and you can avoid any lookup difficulties caused by GPG.

Introducing Steam Deck

July 16, 2021

Steam Deck is a powerful handheld gaming PC that delivers the Steam games and features you love.

Source: Introducing Steam Deck

It's pretty, isn't it? Valve's newly-announced handheld is a slick little system that will hopefully spur lots of interest in Linux gaming and light a fire in the mini-gaming laptop market where before your only choices were GPD, GPD, and GPD.

I'm slightly (um VERY) annoyed that it's running Arch instead of Ubuntu - it BETTER not be because someone was being a dick about snaps and wanted Valve to promote them by demanding they use them - but I'll definitely be getting one ASAP.

If you've never used Valve's touchpads before, they are wonderfully accurate and easy to pick up. It's basically the same as playing a game on your phone. Having two of them, and a second physical stick, and a physical D-Pad, is pretty sweet.

Anyway, we'll see what happens with it - I'm quite hopeful that it will kick off interest in native versions of Linux games, and will clearly push Proton to new levels of compatibility, but I don't know if Valve has the same amount of power that Nintendo does to really compel devs to do the work to support the console properly.

Let's hope they do.

NPR: Neo-Puritan Revival in the #MeToo Age - Tablet Magazine

March 22, 2021

I remain unconvinced that there isn't a concerted effort to take down streamers and gamers in the last week, but I think this article has new relevance.

In the bad old days of abstinence education, purity pledges, and 7th Heaven on The WB television network, the common wisdom about sex went something like this: guys want to have sex for fun, and girls want to have sex for ... well, virtually any other reason but fun. Daddy issues, a desperate need for ...

Source: NPR: Neo-Puritan Revival in the #MeToo Age - Tablet Magazine

Being A Linux Gamer Is The Best

March 22, 2021

Sitting here this morning sipping my coffee, I decided to have a look at ProtonDB, the best source for game compatibility information for Linux users. It's really great to see how many games just work now, thanks to the collective effort of WINE developers, DXVK's developers, Valve, and Proton's developers.

Long story short: on Steam, you've got a 70% chance of any game being playable on Linux, with the great likelyhood that being that it will just work.

A fair number of hardcore Linux users want games to be native, and I understand that and agree with it; we do need good native ports. However, many game developers don't know Linux well, so given a choice between

  • A native but poorly done port, or
  • A Windows game running on code Linux devs can maintain

I'm going with #2. To me, the Windows API is just another runtime, no different from Java, glibc, or Python, and as long as we have a well-maintained, working runtime for it, what's the difference? I'll happily give up a couple of FPS for the massively better privacy and security playing on Linux gives me.

In Proton, each Windows game gets its own, completely containerized Windows virtual system without any access to any personal information stored by the other games, so there is little chance that the launchers and phone-home scripts are stealing your information. You can also easily switch between Windows versions, unlike an actual Windows system, and even control which graphics API individual games use.

Of course, some games will require some tweaking to run. This is no different than on Windows, it's just a different set of tweaks. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and scripts available to make tweaking these games as simple as possible. My favorite is Protontricks, a Steam-aware front-end for the wonderful Winetricks tool that makes setting up libraries and work-arounds a matter of a few clicks.

Open Source vs Proprietary - From a Retired Microsoft Dev - YouTube

March 14, 2021

TL;DR version of my thoughts: With open source, you own the means of production, which may entail more work but you are NEVER left out in the cold when the company decides you're not profitable anymore.

So I got super annoyed by this dude when he started comparing MSDN to the supposedly nonexistent documentation for Linux distros.

Maybe in retirement he's forgotten that monopolist Microsoft owns all of the development tools and APIs, and since they don't share source code with their users, they have to document the hell out of everything, and having a single format for documents is exactly how corporations operate.

Does documentation have to be written by a pro to be good? In my experience, 90% of "professional documentation" is formatting and boilerplate text with little meat. "This page left intentionally blank" still makes me roll my eyes every time I see it. It gets old, and is irritating when you just want to know the parameters a function takes.

As for Linux content, no, there is not one top-level documentation site for Linux, because we're not a global mega-corporation that wants to lock you into their products. There is, however, official documentation for Ubuntu itself, and the GNOME desktop API documentation, the Linux kernel user and developer documentation... and many, many other sources of good information. Each of these are separate projects run by different groups - in some cases companies, in others, groups of developers with common interests and even single developers.

The biggest advantage though is that when an open source project ends, if an interested developer doesn't want it to end, they can pick right up where the previous developers left off. For instance, if you really liked MS Comic Chat, or Outlook Express, or Windows Media Center, or Visual J#, you're out of luck permanently, but if these had been open source, it would simply be a matter of making a fork and maintaining it yourself.

Ultimately, open source is always better because the product and the means to create that product are really yours.

A Short Note To Australian News Sites

February 17, 2021

To whom it may concern:

I will link to whatever website I want, quote your pages, and I will not pay you a red cent for doing so. URLs are facts, not creative works, and cannot be copyrighted. Quoting someone else's creative work is Fair Use. But this is all beside the point; if you think you can demand money when someone links to your site, you're wrong, and you can go fuck yourselves.