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Updated: January 14, 2022 | Category: Linux

KDE Connect review

If you use the Plasma desktop on your Linux, as you should, and you also happen to have an Android phone, then the most convenient way to pair the two and share data and whatnot is through the use of KDE Connect. This is a built-in application available in all the modern releases of the Plasma desktop, and it lets you easily pair and control your phones.

I've tested the solution several times in the past, including an early release for Windows, and overall, the results were quite decent. Now, recently, I encountered a real usability problem as part of my Slimbook Pro adventures. For some odd reason, the computer wouldn't mount the Nokia 5.3 phone using the MTP protocol, which corresponds to the "File Transfer" option when you connect an Android device via USB. No such problem with any other Android device, including an almost identical Nokia 5.4. So I decided to power on KDE Connect, and thus, this little review was born.

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Updated: January 12, 2022 | Category: Game reviews

Red Alert Remastered 4K review

The 1990s saw the emergence of the quintessential Real Time Strategy (RTS) game. Starting with Dune II, and finishing with Age of Empires II, the genre was born, defined, sculpted. Indeed, the RTS titles of the era, Warcraft, Command & Conquer and a few others became the gold standard of the build-research-destroy computerized fun, never eclipsed despite advancement in software, graphics and availability. Needless to say, I've played them all.

The aforementioned gold standard is so high that it seems impossible to beat. In fact, many a game company has simply stopped trying, and instead decided to play the game of nostalgia instead. Release these supreme classics as modern titles, complete with all the tech bits that have changed in the past 20 years. Mostly extra power and high-def graphics. Age of Empires II and its Definitive Edition are a great example of a timeless success. Now, we also have Red Alert Remastered, the oldie goldie in 4K. Follow me.

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Updated: January 10, 2022 | Category: Linux

Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Plasma review

Alternative spelling: veri najs, high fiive! Anyway, 'twas a wintry afternoon just a few short [sic] days back when I set about testing Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Gnome, a worthy mental exercise before setting down to watch the best Christmas movie of all time, Die Hard. Overall, I was happy-ish. It wasn't the most polished distro edition I've sampled in my life, but it was okay enough to make me want to try the Plasma version, too.

Today, I will try to accomplish that. Bear in mind, I'm going to do pretty much the exact same thing as with the Gnome flavor, so this will give us a good reference point of how stable and consistent Qonos truly is. In general, Linux distros struggle with consistency, length and breadth wise, and it's not uncommon for different desktops of the exact same thing to behave like total strangers. So here we are, my IdeaPad 3, triple boot, AMD processor and graphics, and off we go.

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Updated: January 7, 2022 | Category: Linux

Plasma desktop, Wireless auto-reconnect

Here's an interesting, annoying little problem for you. Say you run a Linux machine, with the Plasma desktop as your UI of choice. You connect to a Wireless network, no sweat. But then, on reboot you discover that your system will not reconnect. The password is fine, and if you manually initiate the connection, everything works. Similarly, when you wake your machine (laptop) from sleep, there is no automatic reconnection to the access point. Manually, no problem.

I discovered this issue in MX Linux MX-21 KDE recently. This is not something I've faced before, and I found this to be an unnecessary hurdle in an otherwise truly fine testing session. So I started looking through the system menus, and I soon found a rather simple, almost innocent and thus infuriating fix to this problem. Let's see what gives.

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Updated: January 5, 2022 | Category: Linux

Linux Mint Cinnamon & HD scaling

A couple of weeks back, I tried Linux Mint 20.2 Uma on my IdeaPad 3 laptop; 'tis a typical modern device, with a full HD resolution display stretched over a rather modest equity of about 14 inches. The test and the review were not that successful, mostly for various hardware-related reasons, but also partly because I struggled getting Mint to render correctly (ergonomically) on my FHD screen.

I tried using the built-in Display setting option, I tried font scaling, I manually made changes to the panel, but in the end, I wasn't that happy. Too many actions, not enough cohesion. There was no one-button solution for me. As it happens, in 2021, the only desktop environment that does scaling well is Plasma, and I'm including Windows into this equation. But that's not why we're here. I actually want to show you what you can do when it comes to HD scaling in Mint's Cinnamon desktop. Let's do it.

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Updated: January 4, 2022 | Category: Hardware

Nokia 5.4 review

You have to admit, for a person who doesn't really like or care that much about smartphones (that person would be me, if you're wondering), I tend to do a fair deal of mobile device reviews. But hey, I must. When someone calls me a grumpy dinosaur, I need to have evidence that proves I'm still hip and leet and can dance the meanest of discos. Ergo, technology.

In the past few months, there have been some interesting developments in my touch adventures. My Moto G6 phone had died, and I replaced it with a Nokia X10. Then, I thought, what about the even older G4? Could it also meet the same fate? Well, as a precaution, I decided to buy a replacement device, so that I wouldn't end up in the same situation as with the G6. The chosen successor is a Nokia 5.4 budget phone. My reasoning for going this way was primarily experimentation, but I was also familiar and fairly pleased with the Nokia 5.3, which led me to this purchase. On paper, the new model isn't as good as the old one, but hey, let's be optimistic and see what gives. Thus beginneth the review.

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Updated: December 31, 2021 | Category: Office

Convert PDF documents

Say you have a PDF document in your hands. Say this documents needs editing and redacting. You may want to add some bits of information and obscure some other bits of information. Various PDF programs can do this job for you. However, quite often, the new changes are added as layers on top of the original, so people with the right kind of expertise can glean the data from under the redaction markers.

Some time ago, I published a tutorial showing how to flatten PDF files, which basically means putting all of the changes into a single layer. Now, I want to show you another trick, and this is how to convert PDF files into images. This will create a similar effect - flattening, plus the ability to use (only) parts of information contained in the PDF documents. Our tool of the trade will be pdftocairo. In Linux. Let's commence.

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Updated: December 29, 2021 | Category: Greatest sites

Greatest sites

The Internet has changed a lot in the past three decades. It's now a morass of stupidity and shock value. But that does not mean you can't (still) find some really high-quality websites here and there. To help you, I keep scouring the Web, searching for awesomeness. To wit, my two candidates today. The First: Computer games, believe it not, are a thing. People play them in the 2020s, they played them in the 1980s. Would you like to know what it was like in the olden era? Ask a dinosaur in the cubicle next to you, and they'll go on a rant about floppy disks and 4-color monitors. Or you could grab a PDF copy of an old issue of Computer Gaming World, the first magazine specifically dedicated to computer games. Where? The CGW Museum, of course.

And the second: When it comes to online catalogs, there is an odd inverse correlation between how they look and the service they offer. The more 1993 the UI is, the more likely you are to find exceptional content yonder. As the popular meme sayeth: I came looking for copper, but I found gold. Mobygames is a great example.

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Updated: December 27, 2021 | Category: Linux

Manjaro 21.2 Qonos Gnome review

On my quest to eternal happiness, I occasionally stumble past Manjaro, an Arch-based distro with a holy mission. Making the nerdy less nerdy, making the tedious accessible. This has proven to be an almost impossible task in the world of Linux, because so far, we've not dented the 1% barrier by much, and Windows remains the operating system de jour (or is it de jure) for the plebes. But attempt we must, because life is defined by endless if irrational hope.

All right. Manjaro. I've had all sorts of manners of luck with it. But overall, it's a decent distro with an upward trend. Nibla was fairly good. So test again we ought. But in order not to be too boring or repetitive or both, I've decided not to do the Plasma edition (just yet), and went for the Gnome experiment today. My newish IdeaPad, triple boot, AMD processor and graphics, NVMe storage, and such. Should be interesting. Avanti.

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Updated: December 24, 2021 | Category: Books

The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich

Now that my most fabulously named gunpowder-and-humor trilogy Woes & Hose is complete, it is, it is, a time of moderate gift bestowement is upon us. With the holidays round the corner and such, I thought it would be prudent to temporarily offer the first book in the trilogy, The Amazing Adventures of Dashing Prince Dietrich, for free.

How free, and when free? Well, you can get the Kindle edition for no cost from Amazon starting December 29 and ending December 31, midnight to midnight PST. Quite often, people wait for a book series to be complete before they commit to buying. Now that this is no longer an obstacle with Woes & Hose, the only other thing left is the actual quality of writing. This is your chance to try the first volume, and see if you like the series, and then perhaps, let nature take its course. Enjoy. And hopefully, you will also be scribbling a nice review or two once you're finished reading.

Read more ... (Amazon link)

Updated: December 23, 2021 | Category: Linux

Linux, AMD GPU, black screen on boot

Recently, I encountered a brand new hardware-related problem with a Linux distro. In Linux Mint 20.2, while booting under battery power, i.e., no wall socket juice, the boot process would stop at some point, with an unresponsive black screen shown. The only resolution is to reboot, or power the host on with the charger plugged in.

What is interesting is that this happened on a relatively new IdeaPad 3 laptop with AMD Vega 8 graphics. And it annoyed me a lot, because there always seems to be some problem with hardware. Wireless on this machine, graphics on this one, I/O control here, camera there, and so on. Always problems, always excuses. Well, let's see what we can do here, and how to fix this.

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Updated: December 20, 2021 | Category: Other software

WhatsApp, restore local database

A few days ago, I encountered a weird set of problems in WhatsApp on one of me Android phones. I was suddenly unable to either download documents or images sent to me by my contacts, or upload and send documents and images to my contacts. WhatsApp would complain with a message that reads along the lines: "Sorry, this media file doesn't exist on your internal storage."

I realized that WhatsApp had probably broken, or more specifically, the database. So I decided to perform a local database restore. I've done this a few times in the past. You uninstall WhatsApp and delete data. You connect your phone via USB, you navigate to the WhatsApp folder, and you copy the (backed up) contents in. Then, you reinstall WhatsApp, go through the setup process, and job done. Alas, this wasn't working.

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Updated: December 17, 2021 | Category: Books

Decay, Darkness

For those among you who like to read, or rather listen to books, I have a little pre-holiday holiday season gift up my proverbial sleeve. I've got a bunch of Audible coupons for Decay and Darkness, the first and the second book in my first-person, Dystopian, zombie-themed novella series Humanz. The coupons are available for both Audible US and UK markets.

If you're interested, then the only thing you need to do is email me, and I'll send you a code or two. No strings attached. Of course, it'd be very nice if you listened to the books and reviewed them thereafter, but if not, no biggie, as long as you have fun. The books come with a splendid, pleasant narration, and I think you will find them rather enjoyable.

Anyway, there you go, for now. And stay tuned for more books-related stuff coming very soon, me hearties!

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Updated: December 17, 2021 | Category: Game reviews

Banished

Ever since Warcraft and Civilization II, I've been hooked onto strategy games. The whole optimization chaos that comes with them makes these titles compelling and utterly replayable. In a way, you play against yourself, trying to figure out how to make your own concepts of efficiency better.

But then, recently, I encountered a dearth of excellence in the strategy genre. Part my own boredom curve, part the reality of the world that produces games. After all, how many city-building titles can a person play before they decide it's all too repetitive? Well, sometimes you get pleasantly surprised. Total bliss. Which is why there are always half a dozen strategy games on my wishlist on Steam, and whenever one goes on sale, I ponder what button I ought to click. With Banished, I decided to go forth. Hence, this review.

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Updated: December 15, 2021 | Category: Linux

Linux Mint 20.2 Uma review

Long time ago, Mint was one of my best-liked distributions. Over time, I found my enthusiasm wearing off. One, 'tis a generic thing that goes beyond Mint, I felt my overall passion for Linux slowly drifting away, as the desktop has been mired in apathy for quite some time. Two, Mint used to offer a great deal of extra features over the Ubuntu family, like say media support, which it has drastically scaled down, reducing its value proposition. Three, Plasma really took off and eclipsed all other desktop environments.

Still, now and then, I like testing Linux Mint, to see how well the distro fares. After all, even though I had trouble with it recently, mostly on the aesthetic and ergonomic fronts, you can't ignore its consistency and general approach to computing. Well now, it's time to put the latest Cinnamon release, Mint 20.2 Uma, onto my Lenovo IdeaPad 3, an AMD-powered, AMD-gpued machine. Let us explore.

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Updated: December 13, 2021 | Category: Other software

Ksnip

Photo editing comes in many shapes and forms. Shapes and forms, geddit? Now, sometimes, you need a full-blown suite to get things done, and sometimes, you just need a few tiny annotations and markings on an image. Believe or not, doing the latter isn't as trivial as one would expect.

For heavy tasks, one can rely on the likes of GIMP or Krita (if we're talking about freeware), perhaps IrfanView. If you struggle with these, you could load LibreOffice Impress and use text boxes and arrows and shapes to get the desired effect. Dedicated programs intended for lightweight image styling are far and few in between. But I've found a nice little tool, and it's called Ksnip. Follow me.

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Updated: December 10, 2021 | Category: Internet

Firefox UI customization tutorial

Over the years, lately more often than before, I was forced to make changes to how Firefox looks and behaves on my machines. Previously sane defaults were changed, almost arbitrarily, bringing about functional and aesthetic inefficiencies to my workflow. Australis and Proton are good examples of the said phenomenon.

Recently, I published two fairly detailed guides explaining how to undo the gray-on-gray looks in Firefox 91 onwards. In both cases, I relied on my prior knowledge of the Firefox UI. I realized that for many people, the instructions may be too cryptic. So I decided to make a generic guide on how to customize the Firefox UI, so that if you want to do the same exercise, it won't be too hard to follow.

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Updated: December 8, 2021 | Category: Hardware

Nokia X10 review

As you may know, my Moto G6 phone has died. It's no more. On its own, this isn't a big deal, because the G6 served mostly as a secondary device, primarily used for testing and exploration and such. However, I still felt I should replace the dead phone, and went on a relatively short search for a worthy successor.

Indeed, within less than an hour of reading, I decided to go for a Nokia X10 device. It fits within the modest low-mid-range budget requirements for secondary use, it seems to have a decent spec, it has a 3.5mm audio jack, which is a must for me, and having been pleased with Nokia 5.3, I felt there shouldn't be any nasty twists in this unorthodox, quick selection process. A couple of days later, the X10 arrived, and thus this review was born.

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Updated: December 6, 2021 | Category: Internet

Microsoft Edge annoyances

Human psychology is a fascinating domain. Take me, for example. I don't like stupid things. And I don't like being told what to do. When you combine the two, I really get angry when I'm being told to do stupid things. Case in point, browser nudges, popups, reminders, or pointless features. Case in point, a bunch of stuff happening recently with Microsoft Edge.

To give you a bit more context, by and large, this browser is not allowed to run on my Windows productivity hosts. The in-yer-face marketing approach (use, use, use, do it, do it, do it) employed by Microsoft persuaded me to implement a policy whereby Edge can't even start. Push, shove, action, reaction. However, that said, I am using Edge as my secondary browser on my Linux machines, and there, it works pretty well. I also kept it on the rather pointless Windows 11 test box. But now, I feel some extra purging is required. Why? Well, anguish not, I shall tell you all about this very shortly.

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Updated: December 1, 2021 | Category: Linux

MX Linux MX-21 Wildflower Xfce

Just recently, I tested MX-21 Wildflower KDE edition on my IdeaPad 3 machine. It was a blast. Among the best operating systems I've sampled in many an autumn. This great success buoyed my hope, and so I decided to expand my testing to the Xfce edition of this distro. To wit, the topic of today's experiment.

I will do the same here, again. Same hardware, same conditions. I believe it ought to be an interesting endeavor, because it lets us see how similar (or different) these two flavors are. If anything, my bittersweet Linux experience has taught me that variations among almost identical distro versions, e.g.: Kubuntu and Xubuntu or alike, can be vast. So I don't know what to expect here. Let's begin.

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Updated: November 29, 2021 | Category: Game reviews

ArmA 3 Terrorist Hunt mission

For the most part, ArmA 3 is an open-terrain game. It is built and designed for the combined arms doctrine, with infantry and armor fighting side by side. When combat takes you into an urban setting, things can become pretty hairy. Low visibility, difficulty in pinpointing the source of gunfire, and the fact there ain't no bunnyhoppin' means city fighting is tough business in ArmA 3.

Which, of course, makes close-quarters combat (CQC or CQB) all the more compelling. Alas, there aren't too many ArmA 3 scenarios specially designed for this type of fighting. But that does not mean there aren't any, or some pretty good ones, either. Indeed, Terrorist Hunt is an amazing example of a well-designed and balanced CQC mission. Based on Rainbow Six, it pits up to four human players against 28 entrenched enemy soldiers in a warehouse compound.

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Updated: November 26, 2021 | Category: Internet

Thunderbird email association error

A new weird little problem has landed into my lap. On one of me Windows boxes, I upgraded Thunderbird, the mail client program, to the new release. I went from 78.x to 91.x, and in the process, I also received a gratis error message.

It would pop up on every program startup, and it reads: There is no email program associated to perform the requested action. Please install an email program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the Default Programs control panel. Clunky language aside, Control Panel is sadly no longer the goto place for default apps in Windows 10/11. Plus, the error shows up during Thunderbird startup. Every time. Let's fix this.

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Updated: November 24, 2021 | Category: Linux

Plasma digital clock

A bunch of months back down the trouser leg of time, I published my Plasma is awesome article. Indeed, it's the most cohesive, consistent and convenient desktop environment in the Linux world, and beyond. You get a great experience, with big things as well as small ones. A good example is the Digital Clock widget, the topic of today's piece.

You may think, digital clock, who cares? Well, if you've used other operating systems and/or desktop environments, you would. Quite often, the clock tool is merely a simple placeholder for time and date, perhaps calendar, and ... that's about it. Also, you may say: wait, didn't we talk about this already? Yes, we did talk about the Digital Clock in 2018, so it would be nice to see how things have changed and improved three years later. Now, let's see how Plasma handles it, and why it does a better job than its rivals. After me.

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Updated: November 22, 2021 | Category: Hardware

Moto G6 long-term review

I pride myself on the thoroughness of my work. A part of that self-delusion is a series of long-term hardware reviews. Namely, I get a piece of kit, I start using it, and then, occasionally, I write about the ongoing experience, two, three or seven years later. It makes for a rather interesting experiment, although you do need a bit of patience. Also, you can't have any foregone conclusions.

Typically, this type of writing is focused on laptops, but more recently, I've also started doing that with smartphones. I'm not too keen on the mobile world, but hey. Chimps gotta chimp. As it happens, in early 2019, I got myself a Moto G6 device. It's a budget phone, and its purpose was secondary usage and exploration of the Android ecosystem, so I can tell the world how a dinosaur perceives perceived progress, and feels all smug and superior about it. Now, we've covered this phone before, but now we must do an almost three-year anniversary scoop. After me.

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Updated: November 21, 2021 | Category: Books

Prince Dietrich III

Dear readers, it is with great relish that I'm writing today's post. There's a new book out there, and 'tis fantastic! I have published the third and the last volume in my gunpowder-and-humor-drenched trilogy, Woes & Hose. To wit, The Daring Adventures of Amorous Prince Dietrich brings to conclusion the merry and wicked escapades of our beloved and deeply misunderstood anti-hero, the dashing, the glamorous and the amorous Prince Dietrich. As it happens, this book is also my twentieth publication, in the span of just ten short years.

The big question is: will Prince Dietrich finally become the king of Monrich? To that end, you will need to read the book, ha! I hope you will find it just as funny and as lovable as the first two installments. I am also extra-happy to have concluded another book series. It is an important milestone, and the worst thing an author can do is leave their readers hanging. Anyway, head over to Amazon, there's paperback or Kindle for you to choose.

Read more ... (Amazon link)

Updated: November 19, 2021 | Category: Game reviews

ArmA 3 Holdout Vanilla mission

For how long could an infantry squad hold, if an infantry squad was told to hold? This is a question best answered through some rigorous combat simulation. If you're in need of chakra cleansing, say after a whole day of IT meetings where people regurgitate buzzwords like majestic pelicans spitting out broken bits of turtle shell, then [CO16] Holdout Vanilla (nothing to do with taste or icecream) is the scenario you want.

The premise is very simple - you hold, for as long as you can, against ever-growing numbers of enemy soldiers. They come in wave after relentless wave, until your CPU crawls to a halt, your GPU surrenders, and you are totally overwhelmed by the foe. A mission with no happy ending - no ending at all. Sounds defeatist and possibly frustrating, but it's in fact a superb cure to IT malaises. After me.

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Updated: November 17, 2021 | Category: Linux

MX Linux MX-21 Wildflower KDE

Luck is a combination of two factors: probability and time. Case in point, my foray with MX Linux MX-21 KDE. As you well know, I'm a great fan of this small yet feisty distro. So far, I've mostly tested (and liked) the Xfce flavors. My one quick brush with its KDE build was largely unsuccessful. In fact, with the release of MX-21 Wildflower, I wasn't even thinking of testing the KDE version.

But then, as luck would have it, the official download page didn't have the Xfce release available for my Lenovo IdeaPad box. To be able to run on modern systems with UEFI, AMD Ryzen processors and NVMe, you need the AHS release - I discovered this with MX-19.3. However, at the time of writing, or rather testing, there was only the regular Xfce edition sans modern stuff, the Xfce AHS in almost-but-not-quite Release Candidate (4), and the KDE version, with all the right bits in place! So I thought, let's go for it.

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Updated: November 15, 2021 | Category: Linux

Plasma menu height change

By and large, in the Plasma desktop environment, you will rarely need to resort to command line tricks to make your system look and behave how you like. Unfortunately, sometimes, issues do occur, and you need to dabble in behind-the-scenes configuration files. Like say pinning WINE app icons or system area icon spacing. Today, we're facing another problem that shall takes us into the nerdy world of terminal windows and changes not visible through the lovely System Settings utility.

The issue is with the standard Plasma menu (application launcher). Normally, it shows a list of categories on the left, in a sidebar, and the applications on the right, in the big pane section. With most distros, the list of categories seldom exceeds the vertical dimension of the menu, so there is never an ugly scrollbar there. But sometimes, there might be one, and it could feel out of place. If you want to stretch the menu vertically, well, there isn't a configuration option anywhere. Hence, this tutorial.

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Updated: November 12, 2021 | Category: Linux

Devuan 4.0 Chimaera review

Over the years, I've never had much luck with pure Debian. While I did manage to use, even rather quite successfully, a whole range of Debian-derived distros, the vanilla origin always felt weird and awkward to me. This is why, years back, I decided not to test it anymore, because it would only lead to a pointless rant on my side. But then, I read a bit more about Devuan. And here we are.

Devuan is Debian sans systemd. Now, as you are probably aware, systemd is this thing that manages the Linux system startup, and it comes with lots of parts and components, and it's complex and ... mostly unnecessary. But how can one demonstrate that? One tries a distro that uses init, the old boot and startup tooling! I figured it could be a nice little exercise to put my hands on Devuan, and see if and how this distro can prove its simple value in the world of overcomplicated technology. After me.

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Updated: November 10, 2021 | Category: Linux

KDE neon & active titlebar color

Alternatively, the title of this article is: how to change the color of active titlebars in Plasma. So what is this all about? In the Plasma desktop, the default theme is called Breeze. Until about Plasma 5.18, Breeze shipped with a light application theme, plus dark window borders. Excellent ergonomic choice, easy separation between foreground and background windows. None of the flat, modern nonsense.

Recently, Plasma offers distinct all-light or all-dark themes, plus a mixed theme called Twilight, which gives you the old light-dark combo. Except ... it no longer works correctly. The window borders for active windows are light-themed. This is an under-reported, not-well-understood issue. I even had people emailing me telling me how to change the colors. Which I did, and the change does nothing, as there seems to be an unresolved bug in Plasma. I've been talking about this for more than a year. It's time for a dedicated article.

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Updated: November 8, 2021 | Category: Linux

KDE neon & Steam setup

Installing Steam in a Linux distro should be easy, right? Well. Even though, technically, it ought to be a simple one mouse click or one-liner in a terminal window, things aren't always quite as trivial. A while back, I had issues with missing 32-bit libraries for Steam (and some other programs) in Linux Mint. The likes of Fedora or AlmaLinux need third-party repositories. I had issues with Steam not running under Nouveau. Manjaro had different versions of Steam available, and they didn't always work perfectly.

With KDE neon, just recently, I encountered a new problem. When I search for Steam on the command line, I get no results. It would appear that Steam isn't there. Which is strange, because neon is based on Ubuntu, and Steam has been in the repos since day one. All right, let's analyze and fix this issue.

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Updated: November 5, 2021 | Category: Internet

Firefox 91-94 & disable Proton

Every morning, I wake up, look in the mirror, and ask myself: Am I a hipster? And since the answer is always categorically no, I know that my choices in life will be superior, aesthetically and functionally. Which meant that when I saw my Firefox 78 ESR transform into Firefox 91 ESR with its pointless Proton interface, I knew it was going to be a bad day.

Now, Firefox is my default browser of choice on any platform, has always been and hopefully will always be, but I refuse to succumb to hipsterology trends. I'm neither a child nor do I live near the Pacific Ocean coast. Hence, clarity, contrast, good clear colors. I've already shown you how to undo most of Proton nonsense in a dedicated tutorial, now I'd like to give you a few more tips. Follow me.

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Updated: November 3, 2021 | Category: Game reviews

ArmA 3 DRO mission: beach storming

Let's start with facts. ArmA 3 is the best first person shooter out there. Fact. I like playing it. Fact. The most replayable way to enjoy multiplayer sessions with friends and family is via Dynamic Recon Ops (DRO) missions. Fact. Each time you get a random new set of objectives, and every game feels totally different. Also, I got friends, believe it or not. All facts, right there.

Sometimes, these DRO missions turn out to be so good that I feel compelled to write about them in great detail, replete with screenshots and full of Leeroy Jenkinsness. You've seen my Chernarus Winter and Alamo escapades, I wrote a super-long faux war diary about one of the DRO adventures a while back, and now, I'd like to share yet another story. A DRO mission that went bad in the very first minute, and only got worse by the end of it. So, good! Locked 'n' loaded.

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Updated: November 1, 2021 | Category: Windows

Windows disk cleanup

Sometimes, you may run out of space in your Windows box. With correct planning, this should never happen. For instance, the operating system (C:) resides on its own partition, you don't constantly install new software, and all of your data and games are kept on separate partitions and drives. This way, apart from an occasional windows update, your disk usage on the C: drive should remain constant.

Assuming you don't do any of these things, disk space usage constraints may come to haunt you. At that point, you need to do some cleanup. Windows has its own share of built-in tools, some better known, some less known. Then, there are various third-party tools. All right. In this article, I want to cover only the official utilities that already exist in Windows, and nothing else. Let's see what they do, and how efficient they are.

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Updated: October 15, 2021 | Category: Software

Software testing, old message

Normally, I am not too nostalgic. I don't pine for the "good ole days". Yes, some things were better in the past. And some were worse. For instance, today, cars are far more reliable - and overall better - than back then, in the days of lead and velor. Healthcare, another positive example. Software? Ah, no, not that one.

While my inner demons clamor for yet another outburst the likes of what I wrote in my modern software development piece, I'm not going to. Instead, I want to do something rather different and unusual for Dedoimedo. I want to take you back to 1989. And from a perspective made over thirty years back, I'd like to talk to you about software testing, which directly impacts software quality, y'know, that thing that has been steadily declining in the past decade.

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Updated: October 13, 2021 | Category: Game reviews

ArmA 3 Under Siege mission

Now and then, I hop into the ArmA 3 workshop on Steam, and go about hunting for new fun content. The search is harder than it looks. Finding missions is easy, but finding superb, bug-free ones is hard. On top of that, over the years, I've kind of zeroed in on my collection of extras, including some 25 GB worth of mods, and some 50-odd multiplayer missions. With DRO thrown in the lot, you have infinite replayability.

Now and then, I do discover cool stuff. Most recently, a hostage rescue mission called USS Liberty that feels very much like Steven Seagal's Under Siege, except you're Rybacking into action from a beach half a kilometer away from the ship. The premise is quite simple: a ship has been taken over by terrorists, some 35 or so, and there is about a dozen hostages on board, waiting for the cavalry to swoop in and save them. Commence to fun.

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Updated: October 11, 2021 | Category: Greatest sites

Greatest sites

Good Internet is hard to come by. So let me a-help you. Two fresh entries in me Hall of Fame. First: You go out, you see a modern car, you shrug and move on. You go out, you see an old car, you stop and marvel. Something about them 60s and 70s lines simply draws the eye, doesn't it? Believe it or not, you're not alone. Classics World is a site dedicated to the good ole days of car manufacturing, bringing retro to your metro.

Second: The world of smartphones is a big, messy jungle. If you need to buy yourself a new device, your first task of the day is macheting your way through a week's worth of snarling undergrowth AKA useless reviews and ads before you can get to the useful bits and pieces. Luckily, in amongst all this choking weed, there are some useful, reliable sources of information. GSMArena be one of them.

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Updated: October 8, 2021 | Category: Linux

KDE neon 5.22.5 review

Hot off the heels of my Fedora 34 KDE testing, I downloaded a new ISO of neon and promptly booted it on my IdeaPad 3. There were several reasons why I wanted this done. Primarily, I wanted to compare it to my KDE experience in Fedora, including verifying the presence of a bunch of annoying bugs in the desktop. Then, I also wanted to see how neon handles my new hardware on its own and all that.

I've done a whole bunch of neon testing and installations recently. In fact, I installed it on no less than three old laptops, and the results were all excellent. A mix of ancient processors, Nvidia graphics, and full-disk encryption. No worries, no troubles. Well then, let's have another go, shall we.

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Updated: October 5, 2021 | Category: Windows

Windows & turn unnecessary services

In general, I am opposed to system tweaking. I believe the operating systems ought to be left alone, because any divergence from the baseline can lead to unpredictable, untraceable issues much later on in the system's life. Tweak a service today, you experience an issue nine months later, and you have no idea why.

Alas, sometimes, tweaking is necessary, because many operating systems have horrible defaults. And in Windows, especially 10/11, things have become all too annoying. This means I need to disable various options, which previously never bothered me. On top of that, because Microsoft removed simple toggles for many of these annoying things, the only real solution is to disable these things completely, i.e. turn their services off. Let me show you how you should do this, in a persistent, correct manner. After me.

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Updated: October 1, 2021 | Category: Windows

Windows 11 performance tweaks

By and large, I've never really had any problems with Windows performance. I never experienced any issues with operating systems getting slower over time, either. And if you don't load your machine with junk, things can run nice and sprightly all the time. That said, I also don't subscribe to the whole "newer is better" school of thought. Yes, with time, things got faster, but that's because of the underlying hardware, not software. Overall, my speed satisfaction with Windows has been consistent for the past twenty years. Until now.

This could all be Windows 11 Dev Build jitters, or it could be something else. But Windows 11 is decidedly less sprightly than it should be. Actions take (too much) time, or rather, there's a noticeable initial lag when launching programs, opening Windows Explorer, and such. Things are a bit more syrupy than Windows 10. And so, I decided to compile a little guide on how to make things faster in this operating system. Let's see what gives.

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