martes, 1 de mayo de 2018

The 8th Anniversary

Today is this blog's 8th anniversary.
I still remember the first day I touched a Linux computer (my Asus Eee PC 900 with Xandros!) and, from that point, my journey of learning that was recorded in the entries of this blog.
The world has changed a lot since then:
Megatotoro and I are not the only Linux users in the university where we work any longer. 
LibreOffice is the official productivity software there. 
We have met other Linux users in public events. 
Android is a huge thing.  Windows phone is gone...
And there are many games to play on Linux!
My perception has changed, too.  I used to wait anxiously for each of the two Mandriva yearly releases because they would fix problems and, in so doing, my computer became more stable and reliable. Then I tested more distros, liked some, started waiting for Elive 3.0.   Mepis, Pardus, and even Mandriva disappeared from my HDs, replaced by Mageia, Openmandriva, PCLinuxOS, PicarOS, Elive (a beta!), Pisi, and Fedora.  The distros are so good that even betas outperform the final releases of the old times.
And the release cycles of the non-rolling distros have become more distant from each other.  Only Fedora keeps the pattern and I find that the new releases are coming too soon.  For example, Fedora 28 was just released today and I was not even ready!
Sometimes, I feel I do not have much to record here anymore. Oh, but I am still waiting for Elive 3.0!
I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who takes a moment from his or her busy life to read my entries.  Really, thank you very much!

sábado, 28 de abril de 2018

Bendy and the Ink Machine, [Fixed] (Thanks to the Ninja Pizza Girl)

The game Bendy and the Ink Machine (BATIM) has been a headache for players who use Linux and Steam.


Following the release of chapter 3, an update broke the game.  However, there was a fix on the Steam forum.  One had to add this line to the properties of the game for it to run again:

-screen-fullscreen 0

But then, for Halloween 2017, the developers released a patch for a fun crossover with Hello Neighbor and, when they released the rollback to normal, the game was broken again and, this time, the trick to fix it was useless.

So, BATIM remained unplayable unless you installed the Windows Steam client and ran it with Wine.  Then, the game was playable, but the performance was not the same and there were some other problems, too.

I visited today the BATIM forum on Steam and discovered that the community is anxious because the release of chapter 4 was delayed to April 30.

Of course, I was not really excited, but I read a forum post with a new fix:  one has to copy four files from another game made with the Unity engine.

 libCSteamworks.so and "libsteam_api.so"--->/BATIM_Data/plugins/X86 and
libCSteamworks.so and "libsteam_api.so"--->/BATIM_Data/plugins/X86_64

I remembered that I had a game called Ninja Pizza Girl, so I looked for the files and copied them to the corresponding folders.  Sure enough, that fixed BATIM at last!

After playing for a while, I played the Ninja Pizza Girl... I didn't know that the game was about bullying among teenagers, inspired on the life of the daughter of the developers, who has Asperger's syndrome.  Wow!

In this game, Gemma, a 16 year old girl, must deliver pizza orders in a dystopian city.  As she jumps, climbs, runs, ducks, and slides to get to the client's house on time, she has to face the most nightmarish adversaries that a teenage girl can have: other teenagers!

I personally loved the fatherly advice given after each delivery.

miércoles, 18 de abril de 2018

Elive 3.0 is ALMOST here!

Elive's latest beta, 2.9.90, was released a couple of weeks ago. 
According to the description, this is the last beta before the official release of version 3.0.

I have been waiting for Elive for quite a long time.
My first contact with it was through a live CD of version 2.0 Topaz in 2010, when I had recently migrated to Linux.  I was truly impressed by the beauty and polish of the distro.  I never installed it, though.  I was put off by the fact that it was the only distro that could not be installed unless one paid for an installing module.  Back then, I assumed that free software had to be "gratis".

After paying for several Mandriva Powerpacks, I decided that I wanted to give Elive a chance.  The project, however, had entered a slow-development phase. 

Years went by and by before I installed Elive for the first time, which finally happened in 2014, with beta 2.3.9.

It was great until I installed beta 2.7.6 in 2016.  Then, I got an Enlightenment problem that prevented me from having a functional desktop, so I stopped using Elive until version 2.9.20 came along and fixed the problem.

Then, in 2018, I installed beta 2.9.26.

Later, I downloaded beta 2.9.42 and stored it but, when I finally decided it was time to install it, I visited the Elive page and discovered that 2.9.90 was here already.

So, I guess I will save my money to support the release of version 3.0.  It has been a 4-year wait, but I think it will be worth it.



miércoles, 14 de marzo de 2018

Still no luck

They were supposed to come fix the internet problem today.
Of course, that did not happen.

In the meantime, Elive has reaches beta 2.9.40 (I'm using 2.9.26), I need to upload material for online classes and I have to help my daughter with her own online platform at schoool.

This does not look good...

lunes, 12 de marzo de 2018

Third Week without an Internet Connection

They are repairing all the structural problems in the roof and walls of the building where I live.  That is certainly great, but they had to remove all cables up there, which means I have been without a connection for more than 18 days.

Of course, hot-spot from the phone helps to check one thing or the other, but I need to start working...

Still, I could be far worse.

Bear and grin, bear and grin.

sábado, 10 de febrero de 2018

Seven Days with Elive 2.9.26 (Beta)

If there is a distro release that I have been waiting for, that is surely Elive 3.0.


I had Elive 2.9.8 Beta installed, so I used the same partition for this upgrade.  After downloading the image of this new beta (2.9.26) and copying it to a USB drive with ROSA image writer, I was ready to test it.  I wanted to see if this distro is OK for a rather non-technical Linux user like me, who has not used the Enlightenment DE regularly.  I also wanted to see its Japanese IME capabilities.

When I installed version 2.9.8, I encountered a frustrating problem: There is an issue with my graphic card. The distro booted correctly, but, when I installed it, the DE froze and complained about Enlightenment crashing because of a module problem.  However, one can circumvent this by booting the distro using the "graphics problems" option, so, after it is installed, Elive works perfectly.  Although the Elive installer bypassed that situation this time because it remembered my settings (awesome!), Megatotoro, who performed a clean install, was not that lucky and stumbled with the issue. 

This is Elive 2.9.8, a previous release
Once in the DE, one can see the beauty of this distro.  It is fast and very stable and the live wallpaper and menu both look classy.

I added iBus IME with Synaptic to try the Japanese capabilities of this beautiful distro.  The results are more than satisfying!

iBus Japanese IME with Anthy

As promised, the clock is sitting on the desktop and one can re-position and re-size it. Clicking on it displays the calendar, as usual.  I resized the clock and moved it to a different position.  Then , I resized the pager (yes, Elive gives you 12 virtual desktops by default) and changed some of the wallpapers.  Contrary to KDE's Plasma, which ditched multiple wallpapers to favor Activities, Enlightenment lets you have independent wallpapers.

A significant detail is that, in Elive, you will not find a launcher button on the lower left corner.  As a matter of fact, you will not find it anywhere: it simply pops up wherever you click on the screen.



I could add the Insync application to sync files with Google Drive in a snap.  Adding the printer, however, was a different story.

Even when I got the drivers for the Epson XP-231, getting the multifunction printer to work was not easy.  Elive has a graphical printer administrator, but, after dectecting the USB printer and selecting the driver, the tool does not continue when you press "next."  To solve this, I added the printer using CUPS (with Firefox).


So, the printer worked, but, as in Fedora 26, I haven't been able to get the scanner to work yet. That and the fact that the GRUB fails to see some of my distros: Mageia, OpenMandriva, and Fedora.  It sees PCLinuxOS, PiSi, and PicarOS Diego. I suppose that is a problem derived from having a hepta-boot laptop.  Still, I recovered my other distros with Super GRUB, a nice piece of advice that Thanatermesis, the developer of Elive, gave me.  (Yes, the support of this distro is immediate with a chat room where the developer himself kindly helps you).  Aside from those two problems, the distro is working as a final release, not a beta.

I guess that one can also speak about the installer and how helpful it is.  I mean, while it basically does everything and tells you about the process in great detail, a window with a Mario game for you to play for a while opens... That is something I have not seen in any other installer.  You cannot play for a long time, though, because the installation is quite fast. 

One has to learn certain tricks, like adding users to a group with Terminology, the colorful terminal, or where files are stored.  Understanding what .edj files are will surely be useful, too.  But that comes later... First, one needs to play with this distro to see and enjoy all the possibilities.
This string of buttons is hidden in the border. I am still learning what the buttons do.


All in all, this distro is a keeper.  I will keep supporting it to see the final release.

viernes, 2 de febrero de 2018

January 2018 is gone

January 2018 is gone.
It was a pretty hectic month for me... so much, in fact, that the 31 days passed and I could not post a single entry on this blog.

It is not that there were not interesting topics to write about.  I could have posted, for example, about the release of the Elive beta 2.9.22, which promised Korean and Japanese support. However, I could not even get the release.

Or I could have posted about LibreOffice, or Firefox Quantum, or the Microsoft-wants-Valve horror...

To be honest, January flew.  I was busy with a writing project on the first two weeks of the month.  Almost simultaneously, my daughter started her summer courses in preparation for her new school.

The weather got crazy and temperature dropped.  I got sick.

Then, during the third week, more courses.  And another writing project with a very close deadline popped up. I had a relapse on the last week.

Now, I am getting better and January is gone, so this is my first post of the year:

The beta 2.9. 26 of Elive is now available!


According to the release announcement, this new version includes:
  • Greatly improved designs for clock and battery, clock is shown by default, the battery includes intuitive colors useful for show the status
  • Improved initial configurations for hardware accelerated features with optimal autodetections and skipping in not supported ones like virtualmachines
  • Lock screen: greatly improved design and a small fix included for wrong passwords attempts
  • Massive rewrite of keyboard bindings greatly improved for a stable and productive system, all the media keys from special keyboards are assigned to the best launchers and features
  • Desktop application launchers improvements, fixes and new includes, a new application is included to restart to a new clean desktop configuration, improved ebook support
  • Persistence: improved speed disabling some disk usage
  • Public folder sharing fixed
 I am presently downloading it.

(Interesting... My last post of 2017 and the first post of 2018 are on Elive...)