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Cake day: June 16th, 2023

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  • I think a lot of it comes from schools, and in particular physical education and competitive sports. There is nothing wrong with competitive sports but the attitudes around it in schools can be so toxic, and in particular it can be used to create hierarchies. The idea of being good at sports and that being masculine was something I certainly experienced a lot at school. Also people who weren’t as academic but thrived in sports were lauded.

    My school had various sports teams and clubs, and fuck all academic activities. Sports aren’t toxic but the attitudes around them can be, and particularly adults who feed in toxic attitudes and values around it.


  • All browser companies monetise you to some extent. Even Firefox does this a bit (Paid deals make Google is the default search, and Amazon search is also paid to be included as a link for example).

    However the big difference is the private companies like Vivaldi, Brave etc monetise your data more and less transparently, plus the entire Chromium ecosystem is basically under Google’s control. Manifest 3 will not be restricted to Chrome, it is being built into the Chromium project and will end up in Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave etc. Chromium is a trojan horse project, used to push Google’s priorities and objectives across the web, not end users.

    The only viable alternative is Firefox based browsers. I use Firefox itself (aware of it’s compromises and using a whole host of extensions), but there are also forks and projects that strip even Firefox’s compromises back - LibreWolf in particular. For all the flaws of the Mozilla foundation, it is transparent on what it does to keep the project going, and the independence of the project compared to chromium is hugely important. Note Firefox is also going to support Manifest V3 (so that extensions can continue to be cross-browser) BUT it is also keeping support for the key APIs that Google is removing (i.e. the ability for extensions to use the block webRequest API which is foundational to current Ad and privacy protection extensions).

    Vivaldi is no different to other Chromium based broswers; it uses the exact same Google controlled code base, plus it is doing everything it can to monetise you. You are the product; all these companies are stealing and financially exploiting your data and we’re all just handing it to them on a platter for free and thanking them for fucking us over.





  • Yeah not sure I agree with all of this.

    When it comes to KDE this feels out of date. The GTK issues are not what they once were; KDE Plasma has good GTK themes that match the KDE ones. Nowadays I find the main issues are with Flatpak software not matching DE themes because they’re in a sandbox. I’ve had that issue on both KDE and gnome 2 derived environments (I’ve never really gotten into Gnome 3). KDE also used to have a reputation for being slow and a resource hog; that’s inverted now - KDE has a good reputation including for scaling down to lower powered machines, while Gnome 3 seems to have a reputation as a resource hog?

    I have a KDE desktop environment and it’s very attractive, and I haven’t had any glitches beyond issues with Flatpak (VLC being a recent one that I managed to fix). I would say the mainstream themes for DE work in the same way as a windows theme works. The problems are when you go to super niche attempts to pretty up the desktop - but you’d get similar issues if you tried that in windows.

    I agree regarding the professional apps. If you are tied into specific proprietary Windows software then Linux is difficult. The exception is Office 365 which is now both Windows and Web App based, and the web apps are close to feature parity with the desktop clients. The open source alternatives to windows proprietary software can be very good, but there are often compromises (particularly collaboration as that is generally within specific softwares walled gardens). Like Libre Office; it’s very good and handles Office documents near seamlessly, but if your work uses Office then it you lose the integration with One Drive and Teams.

    In terms of Linux not supporting old software, I would caveat that that is supporting old linux software. It is very good at supporting other systems software through the various open source emulators etc. Also Flatpak has changed things somewhat; software can come with it’s own set of libraries although it does mean bloat in terms of space taken (and security issues & bugs albeit it limited to the app’s sandbox). And while Wine can be painful for some desktop apps it is also very robust with a lot of software; it can either be a doddle or a nightmare. Meanwhile Proton has rapidly become very powerful when it comes to gaming.

    I disagree that it takes a lot of time to make basic things work. Generally Linux supports modern hardware well and I’ve had no issues myself with fresh installs across multiple different pieces of hardware (my custom desktop, raspberry Pi, and a living room PC). Printing/Scanning remains probably the biggest issue but I’ve not had to deal with that in a long time. But problem solving bigger issues can be hard.


  • To answer your questions:

    When it comes to other distros; I currently use Linux Mint with KDE Plasma desktop. The debian/ubuntu ecosystem is pretty easy to use and there are lots of guides out there for fixing/tinkering with Linux Mint (or Ubuntu which largely also works) because of their popularity. Lots of software is available as “.deb” packages which can be installed easily on Linux Mint and other Debian based systems including Ubuntu.

    I’ve also been trying Nobara on a living room PC; that is Fedora based. I like that too, although it has a very different package manager set up.

    Whatever distro you choose, Flatpak is an increasingly popular way of installing software outside the traditional package managers. A flatpak should just work on any distro. I would not personally recommend Snap which is a similar method from Cannonical (the people behind Ubuntu) but not as good in my opinion.

    In terms of desktop environments, I like Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop, but have moved over to KDE having decided I prefer it after getting used to it with the Steam Deck. KDE has a windows feel to it (although it’s very customisable and can be made to look like any interface). I’ve also used some of the lightweight environments like LXDE, XFCE etc - they’re nice and also customisable but not as slick. You can get a nice look on a desktop with a good graphics card with KDE. The only desktop environment I personally don’t like is Gnome 3 (and the Unity shell from Ubuntu); that may just be personal preference but if you’re coming from Windows I wouldn’t start with that desktop environment - it’s too much of a paradigm shift in my opinion. However it is a popular desktop environment.


  • BananaTrifleViolin@kbin.socialtoLinuxLooking to make the switch
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    5 months ago

    I’ve been dual booting between Linux and Windows for maybe 10 years or so (and tinkered with linux growing up before that). I think maybe similar to you, I’m technically apt when it comes to computers but not a programmer; I’m good at problem solving issues with my computer and am not afraid to “break” it.

    A few key things:

    • Make sure your important personal data, files etc are kept secure and always backed up. This is probably obvious, but it does lower the threshold for tinkering and messing with the computer. I’ve reinstalled Windows and Linux multiple times; whether that’s getting round broken Windows updates, or Linux issues or just switching up which Linux distro I use. If you are confident you have your data backed up, then reinstalling an OS is not a big deal
    • Use multiple drives; don’t just partition one drive. Ideally each OS gets it’s own SSD; this will make dual booting much easier and also allows complete separation of issues. I have 4 hard drives in my PC currently - A 1TB C Drive SSD for Windows, a 500 GB Linux SSD drive, and two 4TB data drives (one is SSD one is just a standard HD). SSD is faster but you can of course use a mechnical drive if you want.
    • When it comes to dual booting, if you have a separate linux hard drive, then linux will only mess around with it’s own boot sectors. It will just point at the Windows boot sector on the windows hard drive and not touch it but add it as an option to it’s boot menu. Then all you have to do is go into your Bios and tell it to boot the Linux drive first, which will get you a boot menu to chose between Linux and Windows. Tinker with that boot menu (Grub2 usually) - I set mine to always boot the last OS selected, so I only have to think about the boot menu when I’m wanting to switch. Separate drives saves you having to mess around with Windows recovery disks if things go wrong with the boot sector. One drive with a shared or multiple boot sectors can be messy.
    • Try a few Distros using their live images. Most Linux distros you flash onto a USB stick, boot onto that (OR use VirtualBox in Windows to try Linux in an emulated environment) and it takes you into the full desktop environment running from the stick. You can then install from that. But you can also use linux that way. You can even run linux entirely from those USB sticks (or an external drive) and get a feel for it, including installing more apps, upgrading etc all using the USB stick as storage.
    • Also try a few different different desktop environments and get a feel for which one you like. Most distros default to a desktop environment (Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, etc). You only really need to test the desktop environments with one distro as they’ll feel mostly the same in each distro.

    If you know you want to use Pop_OS, then follow their guide on how to install. It’s generally very similar for all linux OSs (there are other methods but this is the simplest and most common):

    1. Download a disk image (ISO)
    2. Flash the disk image onto a spare USB stick. Balena Etcher is a very commonly used tool for this.
    3. Restart your computer and go into your bios (usually the Del key just after reboot, sometimes Escape or F2) and change the boot order to that USB is 1st, above your hard drives
    4. Insert the USB stick and restart the computer
    5. You should load into the Linux live environment set up by that distro. Pop_OS loads you directly into the installer; you can go to the desktop by clicking “Try Demo Mode” after setting up langauge and keyboard. You can just continue installing.
    6. Select the hard drive you want to install onto. BE CAREFUL at this step; most installers are good at making clear which drives are which. The last thing you want to do is wipe a data drive or your main OS. Know your computer’s drives well, and if in doubt the safest thing is to unplug all the hard drives except the one you’re going to install Linux onto.
    7. Follow the installer set up (to create the main user account, etc) and install.
    8. After installing reboot the system and go back into the bios. This time put your linux drive at the top of the boot order (or below USB if you still want to boot other live images - remember to take out the stick! But generally more secure to boot to a hard drive and password protect your bios so people can only boot to USB when you decide). That’s it! Reboot, and select linux from the new boot menu.

    Linux has come a very long when it comes to installing and setting up; installers are generally easy to use, work well and generally hardware is recognised and set up for you. The exception will be the Nvidia graphics card - you will need to set up the Nvidia drivers. Pop_OS’s install guide shows how to do it.

    Hope that helps! Run out of characters!


  • Self Driving Cars - were getting used to the idea because of the half baked stuff that’s already here but it’s realistic this will make it mainstream in the coming years

    “Cure” for cancer - the rapid progress in immunotherapy drugs is making more and more cancers realistically treatable. Cancers.are still terrible conditions but it does feel realistic that we are moving towards a “cure”. After that it’ll be a focus on preventing and reducing the horrible side effects of treating cancers.

    Regrowing organs - this also seems increasingly realistic. We’re already routinely regrowing people’s immune systems for some conditions (autologus ransplants - where the donor is also the recipient). We’re also increasingly growing different types of tissues and organs in lab experoments. It’s looking plausible although hard to say when it’ll become mainstream.

    AI - I’m not convinced this one is on its way. What I mean is true General AI. What is labelled AI now is nowhere near General AI; it’s sophisticated and impressive but also limited and deeply flawed. We’re in an era of hype to drive up share prices but the actual technology is error strewn and is essentially a remix engine for human generated creativity. I’m not convinced true General AI is on its way because at the moment they don’t understand how the current AI systems work. It’s unlikely you can proceed from what we have to full general AI stumbling around in the dark or by shear luck. Not impossible, but unlikely. I think the current methods will more likely hit a brick wall in prpgress - they are useful tools but may be an illusion when it comes to full AI.



  • You may have the GPU drivers installed but are they active? Look in “Software & Updates” on the Additional Drivers tab and see which drivers are active.

    Installing the drivers is not enough, you have to select them to use them too.

    If the latest drivers are active then you may need to think about switching to a legacy version (you have a pretty old CPU and GPU by current standards; newest drivers are not always best). You may also want to look at using older versions of Proton than the latest for similar reasons - there may be features and changes in newer versions that are just not going to work with your set up or your set up just isn’t tested to work with.


  • That’s a Linux (and similar) issue. When Linux updates via it’s package managers it will update Firefox in the background even though it’s open. Firefox then forces you to close it rather than open other tabs to prevent problems.

    But you don’t have to install Firefox via the package managers or flathub. You can build it yourself or install a binary manually and I believe it well self update as it does on other platforms. I haven’t done it for a while though.

    Otherwise manually control Linux updates so it doesn’t mess with Firefox when you’re in the middle of something important.

    Edit: the exception on Windows would be if some other software is handling firefox’s updates or there is a group policy / system management of Firefox. I’ve never had this issue on windows on my own PCs

    Edit: btw I have had worse happen on windows with chrome on a work pc. An update was forced on my and chrome close itself without warning and reopened with the update. Pissed me off no end.





  • In fairness to Apple that is good design. Computers including phones should be intuitive and easy to use, but also accessible to more experienced users.

    The keeping up with Jones stuff with apple though is really bad. Like kids going off the university getting premium Mac books when they could save money and get a generic windows lap top. Or the seemingly ubiquitous purchase of earpods - an expensive way to purchase earphones when there are so many cheaper alternatives, not least the dirt cheap 3.5mm wired earphones that phone manufacturers are trying to obliterate.




  • This is an interesting concept but doesn’t seem like it has long term legs.

    It depends on what you mean by open source and also even eBook reader (I’m assuming eInk), but if people want open source e-readers I would say flashing existing reader hardware with open source operating systems would be the way to go. However I’m not sure if there is much motivation to do that.

    There are Android based eink ereaders available with more freedom than Kindle devices (Boox is an example) and you can side load free or open source reader software onto Kobo (maybe not Android Kindles though?), and you can load free books onto e-readers via software like Calibre. So you can read books in privacy outside the vendors ecosystem - it kinda reduces the imputus to build an open source ereader (hardware or OS).

    I’d love to see a truly open source Eink device - particularly software wise. But I doubt the demand is enough. And this Open Source hardware solution seems a bit too cut back to fit the bill.