TdF 2020, Ubuntu Studio 20.04 and COVID-19 in Luxembourg

TdF 2020

ASO set the deadline for the decision as May 15, 2020, which happens to be Friday. They will decide and announce whether the Tour de France takes place in 2020 or not. I don't know the whole statement so I don't know if the decision may include postponing (for a couple of months).

Even if they give it a go, it may be held behind a closed wall, in other words, no spectators. We can only watch the race on TV (or hear on the radio).

Let's see.

Ubuntu Studio 20.04

I know the argument surrounding this distribution.

I decided to use it because I thought it would fit my need, namely editing videos. I also want to use it to learn some programming, namely Python.

Ubuntu Studio is a member of Ubuntu family. I can choose it or I can use one of other members and install "Studio" features over it. This fact made me take a short tour visiting other members. The main difference among them is the desktop environment.

Ubuntu Studio distribution is based on Xubuntu, which uses Xfce desktop. I am familier with Lubuntu with LXDE desktop. I used to use it.

I first thought about opting for Lubuntu with LXQT desktop and installing "Studio" features over it.

I checked other desktop family members. Budgie looked impressively attractive.

In the end I decided to choose stock Ubuntu Studio 20.04 when it comes out.

COVID-19 in Luxembourg

Basic situation: Only supermarkets, pharmacies, and other basic supply stores are allowed to stay open. Other businesses stay closed. We are allowed to go outside to do necessary business like acquiring food and other supplies. We are not required to keep some kind of document describing the nature of our outing like French people are required to do.

Today, I went to work just to get some items (Apple Airport Express and some cables) by train and came back. All the public transportation means were almost empty. All the waiting chairs on the platforms were forbidden to the public. A red and white zebra tape plastic tape strips were present.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [TdF 2020, Ubuntu Studio 20.04 and COVID-19 in Luxembourg]の続きを読む

テーマ:自転車ロードレース - ジャンル:スポーツ

  1. 2020/03/30(月) 19:12:25|
  2. Tour de France
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COVID-19 in Luxembourg and others

1. COVID-19 in Luxembourg

It is very quiet out there. Non-essential businesses are requested to close due to what you have already know. Supermarkets, pharmacies and other essential businesses are still open. I don't know why.

I am Japanese (by birth) and I know that in Japan almost all businesses are open. Some tourism related businesses are getting very few customers and those companies are suffering, of course.

Here in Europe, we are shutting down almost everything. What's the difference betweenn Japan and other European countries? Are Japanese more immune to COVID-19? I don't think so.

Why so many people are dying in Italy? Of course, the number that Ch*n*s* government is telling us must be taken with a barrel of salt and the unconfirmed numbers found on YouTube are staggering and at the same time convincing (or compelling).

2. Apple Airport Express and Extreme

A while ago I wrote about using macOS's sharing function to let my latest Linux PC access Internet via Ethernet through my MacBook Pro 2010. I was thinking of using one of USB Wi-fi adapters that were supported by Linux. Unfortunately, there are stored somewhere in a box stored at a friend's place. For the moment visiting this friend's house and procuring the devices is not a good idea. At the same time my PC is at my work place and I am not working for the moment as Luxembourg government recommends all non-essential businesses to stay closed for the tme being.

It works (access to the Net via MacBook Pro) but I sought a better solution.

I bought these devices (shown as the subtitle) a while ago. One year ago or more? I bought used Apple's network devices just out of curiosity as they were really cheap on ebay (People were selling these devices as they were approching the end of their useful life). They have been neglected until now. Now it is time to dust them and mak use of them.

Q: What are Apple Airport Express and Extreme?
A: Apple tried to sell some network devices and these two are the lower end of their lineups. (The upper end of the lineups are Time Capsule lines which are equipped with a HDD (or HDDs?) to back up the data effortlessly)

I have two of Apple Airport Express (A1264), which looks just like its predecessor (A1088) but has internal hardware upgrades.

Side note:The "original" Airport Express (A1084, A1088) sold between 2004 and 2008 is dubbed as Airport Express 802.11g and this model is not able to pass Wi-fi connection to its Ethernet port. In other words, it can not assume the client mode (or Wi-fi extender mode). It is clearly stated in this FAQ titled:

(AirPort Express: How to join an existing Wi-Fi network in client mode
Learn how to join an existing Wi-Fi network in client mode.)

I found this (after searching for "client mode" on Apple's Support pages) and saved the ages as PDF files.

So my Airport Expresses (I got a pair of them from a UK ebay seller) can be used with my HP Pro 3120 (Linux machine) to give it Wi-fi access through its Ethernet port (just as my MacBook Pro 2010 does through "sharing Internt" function).

I am thinking of using two of them in near future, one for the Linux PC and the other for the Apple TV first generation after installing a video decoder board in its mini PCI-E slut thus depriving it of its Wi-fi capability.

3. Apple Aiport Extreme (A1***)

As a Network-Attached Storage (so-called NAS).

I don't know when I get to it.

4. Making use out of Apple TV first generation

How to make use out of my Apple TVs (first generation)? I own two of them!

Done: a. Installing Kodi (OSMC) and using it as a media player (at the same time additionally installing a desktop environment to have some fun).

Half way: b. Installing a modified version of macOS (10.4.8) Tiger and having fun.

c. Additionally installing a video decoder board (mini PCI-E) and make the OSMC machine work even better.

I have installed chromium (or chrome?) on it but the netsurfing experience was far less than "comfortable" or even "tolerable" due to a fact that netsurfing in modern ear demands a huge amount of resources (RAM, CPU power and etc.).

I think I can forget about using it as a desktop PC. This means that I should use it as a dedicated media player. I have installed OSMC on its HDD (40 GB IDE interface). I have purchased mSATA to IDE 2.5-inch HDD adapters for these beasts. I sould like to install a modest (32 or 64 GB) SSD in them in the future.

When (and if) I get the Broadcom video decoder in it,

I used a web browser on it but the experience was disappointing (as I have written above).

This experience reminded me of the fact that Tiger (10.4.8) on it would be more than a decent performance even with its scanty RAM amount (258 MB).

I was trying to have a HDD (or SDD) with Tiger 10.4.8 installed before customizing it further to make it capable of booting the Apple TV first generation (A1218). First I need to make a bootable medium that can successfully boot my Mac mini Early 2006 (A1176) with an Intel Core Solo.

I have a 10.4.6 DVD with me. This DVD is sold as part of accessory of MacBook1,1 (the original Intel MacBook).

It can indeed boot Mac mini Early 2016 but installation process can not proceed as the DVD has MacBook1,1 hardcoded but not Macmini2,1. I have to modify the DVD contents. I am working on it.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [COVID-19 in Luxembourg and others]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/03/24(火) 16:44:17|
  2. Linux
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AMD R7 240 2 GB graphics card and COVID-19

AMD R7 240 2 GB graphics card

I am typing this on my MacBook Pro 2010 sitting on the edge of my lap as my Hannah (my dear cat) is also lying on my lap relaxed. Anyway, Hannah is doing very well after the surgery. She is jumping around and eating well so I see no signs of her conditions infection or any other symptoms of illness. I am happy.

In fact I took her out for a walk this morning for over two hours in the woods. The weather is nice here in Luxembourg.

A notification of the shipment of the graphics card that I purchased from Poland came. I guess the Polish Post started to accept packages. It will soon arrive.

The card I got is this. It is a new one but it has been lying somewhere unused for 5 years. The price is not too bad but it is a very cheap card anyway.

On Amazon Germany, I could easily find a new one made by MSI for about twice (a bit less) as expensive as mine.

Mine (shown below) seems to be a non-brand product and I don't expect a pretty box with it. I don't know the origin of it but it will work. Or the brand name can be "Don't Touch" as most of the time the brand name is shown on the sticker on the center of the cooling fan??

(picture that the ebay seller put up)

(made in 2015)

I don't intend to do any of those 3D games so I will never know how it performs with 3D games.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [AMD R7 240 2 GB graphics card and COVID-19]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/03/20(金) 15:49:50|
  2. Linux
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COVID and Japanese Input on Ubuntu Studio

COVID-19 in Luxembourg

The situation is very serious. Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Bettel, has declaired the state of emergency. It can be extended up to three months but at this moment the period has not been specified.

The situation in France is more grave than that in Luxembourg. In France you have to have a reason (or reasons) to be outside. You have to fill in the form prepared by the state and have it on you when you stay outside.

We, here in luxembourg, don't have to have a reason to leave home but it is strongly recommended to stay home as much as possible and leave home only when it is necessary, going to buy some food, going to work or going to pharmacies or hospitals.

I don't have much provisions myself. I have at least three weeks of provision for my Hannah (cat). So I am fine. For myself, I have almost nothing but I can go on a water-only fasting for a while. i won't die from fasting (or not eating any food) for a week or so unless I have other medical conditions.

For the moment all supermarkets are open and some restaurants are open and they deliver. I am not too worried about the food. It is said that moderate fasting can fortify your immune system unless you have preexisting medical conditions.

COVID-19 is a nasty (strain of virus) one but what makes it so special? Don't more people die from other diseases (some of which are caused by some strains of also nasty virus)? What other infomation do they (authorities informed by scientists who had examined the virus and its effects on people) and what information is kept from us (general public)?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [COVID and Japanese Input on Ubuntu Studio]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/03/18(水) 18:35:19|
  2. Bike Races
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Video Editing Hardware and COVID-19

COVID-19 in Luxembourg

Now (as of Tuesday, March 16, 2020) here in Luxembourg, we live as we were before except that all the bars and restaurants are ordered to close (still restaurants can deliver to customers). Supermarkets and pharmacies stay open and other businesses are also open. Our public transport means stay operational and they are also free (no charges).

I went to my car dealer and they were open but there were lines (yellow and black strips) in front of the every counter to keep customers away about 1 meter.

I went to a local supermarket and did a small shopping and found people shopping calmly and orderly. For some reason, self-checkout section was closed. There were extra small papers carrying messages like "Touch only what you buy" "Our preferred method of payment is the electric one" "Please keep discretional distance" and so on.

All the schools are closed, of course. Kids stay home but they are out to take the advantage of the good weather.

Me, too. I took the advantage of it and took my very precious cat for a walk.

Hardware fit for editing video

YouTube provides a lot but they are not necessarily correct. I know that but I rely heavily on the information available there.

Roughly what I understood from there was that I need the following the hardware equipment meeting the specifications below.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad (Q9500) that I have at hand barely meets the requirements.
Memory: 8 GB or more but my PC's motherboard is only capable of handling 8 GB.
HDD: I want to add an SSD (240 GB or so) as a system disk containing Ubuntu Studio later.
GPU: I was going to buy a card called R5 240 with VRAM 1 GB but realized that 1 GB of VRAM was not enough. Now I look for a graphics card with 2 GB of VRAM on board.

AMD R5 430 2 GB or something similar might be my choice as it is not too expensive. I wanted one and tried to win one on ebay but I lost it.

Instead, I purchased one on ebay from Poland. It was AMD R7 240 2 GB card with no branding. I just looked for one with 2 GB of VRAM onboard. It was described as New. The picture shows that this card was built in 2015. The chip itself was released in 2013. I don't know how it stayed unused after all these years but it will be used soon. Wait a minute!

Soon after I paid for the merchandise, I got a message from the seller telling that he (I assumed) could not send it to me as planned (Polish Post) because the Polish Post had stopped the service and would remain so for a while. He also wrote that he could send it by UPS at a reasonably low cost, instead of Polish Post.

I wrote back that I would wait patiently because with the seller's original sending method was by the Polish Post with no charges.

The price that I paid was not so bad.

I don't know when I would receive it. Thanks COVID-19!

Mac OS X's Sharing feature revisited

I was dumb and I will be so.

My new USED PC (HP Pro 3120 SFF) does not have a Wireless LAN card installed inside. It has, instead, a tiny USB dongle that works as a Wireless LAN adapter (chip: RTL8188FTV). It does not work on Linux (Ubuntu Studio 19.10) out of the box. The driver is not in the distribution. The driver itself exists and can be installed.

So I had not updated the Ubuntu Studio 19.10 environment until recently. I did so just a few hours ago. I realized that I can connect the Ethernet ports on both Pro 3120 and my MacBook Pro 2010 and share the Wireless LAN reception on the MacBook Pro via a LAN cable.

I could do it by enabling the "Wifi to Ethernet port" on macOS's "sharing" feature. It worked very well. How could I have not thought of that earlier?

I updated the software on it and also installed some additional software.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Video Editing Hardware and COVID-19]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/03/17(火) 17:48:07|
  2. Linux
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Hannah has an appointment with a vet

Hannah is a teenager now
if I calculate her age by human standard.

Her official (on her passport) but unconfirmed birthday is April 26, 2019. As of now (March 6), she is 10 months and a week old.

There are (maybe more than one) some formulas to convert the animal age comparable to human age. According to a way of calculation method, she is around 14 years old. She started to howl (not an exact verb, maybe) and be extra affectionate sometimes.

I knew that I had to take her to a vet and have her operated on before this happened. She is maturing.

Yesterday, one day after I had noticed her symptoms, I went to a local vet office (near my work) and made an appointment. That would be Friday, 13 March 2020.

I am not a believer of this Friday 13th thing so I did not object to the date. She will be fine. I was told at the office that I had to bring her "paper." In other words, her European passport, which provides her vaccination status, implanted ID chip information among others.

I am very happy the way she has grown up. She is a bit headstrong but she is also sweet and wise.

HP Pro 3120 SFF
These are on my wish list.

1. RAM modules: 2 x 2 GB DDR3 DIMMs
2. Graphics card: AMD R5 240 1 GB (made by Dell)

It would be nice if I could buy a nice fast Wireless LAN card that would fit in one of the PCI-E x 1 slots. It would be also nice if I had an SSD drive (240 GB) that I could use to host Ubuntu Studio system.

It is done. Installation is finished (on the old 320 GB 3.5-inch HDD). The minor problem that I am having is that I can not connect this beast to the Internet. I need a Wireless LAN card of some kind. I have at least two USB Wireless LAN adapters somewhere that are supported by Linux out of the box. Where are they?

When I connect it to the Internet, the system would get a huge amount of update files. I am very sure. In a month Ubuntu would be updated to 20.04 version. Ubuntu Studio 19.10 will be also updated.

I will be ready by then.

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Hannah has an appointment with a vet]の続きを読む

テーマ:犬猫のいる生活 - ジャンル:ペット

  1. 2020/03/08(日) 00:37:17|
  2. Cats
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Ubuntu Studio / Windows 7 on HP Pro 3120 SFF

Ubuntu Studio 19.10

Installed from a 16 GB USB storage stick that I burned on Windows 7 using Etcher.

The installation went smoothly. I believe I created a bootable USB drive by Etcher on Windows 7. The only problem is that the HP Pro 3120 came with a tiny USB dongle (WLAN adapter) but it does not work out of the box.

It has been a while since I last performed a Linux installation. The partition scheme for Ubuntu Studio is simple. A 12 GB of "/" partition, a big "/home" partion and then 5 GB of "swap" area were created. So I have a bit more than 200 GB of "/home" partition.

200 GB is not enough for video editing so I will have to use external storage eventually.

Windows 7

Installed for the thrid time because the partition I created and allocated for Windows 7 was not big enough for the first second time! It now sits on a partition around 53 GB. After a while, it seems that all the updates have been applied. So this is the ultimate form of Windows 7.

Windows 7 has been out of support since last January. No more updates! I need this Windows 7 environment only to manipulate some firmwares on some gadgets. So I will leave it like that.

Originally the HP Pro 3120 SFF (used) came with Windows 10 on it. I had to erase it because I wanted to create extra partitions to accommodate Linux. I created a USB media that is capable of booting the PC and installing Windows 10. I don't think I will do this in near future. Windows 10 is too loud (in its visual effects and so).

HP Pro 3120 SFF and Realtek RTL8188FTV (USB dongle)

A tiny USB dongle which works as a Wireless LAN adapter. It is not powerful and here the size does matter. It does not have any antennae sticking out of the dongle. Its effective range seems smaller and it is not fast. It worked with Windows 10 (I don't know it required an additional driver or Windows 10 already had it) when it arrived but it did not work with Windows 7 right after the installation. I searched and downloaded the proper drive for it on my MacBook and transferred it to HP Pro 3120.

I expected (had hoped) it would work with Linux but it did not. A quick search told me that I had to install a driver from a site. I could be done but considering the flimsy performance of this tiny device, I think I am better off with something different.

I think I had at least three USB Wireless LAN adapters somewhere. They are old but bigger. They can perform better even though on the paper they can be slower (old standards). Two of them have a antenna.

At least one of them used to work with older versions of Linux without any problems. Where are they now?

In Japanese: 続きをどうぞ [Ubuntu Studio / Windows 7 on HP Pro 3120 SFF]の続きを読む

テーマ:Linux - ジャンル:コンピュータ

  1. 2020/03/04(水) 17:29:46|
  2. Linux
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