LWDW 181: Playing With Floppies

Blender 2.80 is out! Linus buries the save icon, Mozilla gets into routers, and VR Linux desktops? All this, plus your emails.

VR Linux Desktop
06:56 KDE 5.17
09:58 Jade desktop environment
12:44 Manjaro Testing update
16:32 Open snitch EOL
20:52 Github blockade
24:09 Mozilla Webthings
26:44 RIP Floppy
30:02 Blender 2.8
32:28 Blender RTX
34:12 Pinebook Pro shipping
37:40 OBS-NDI Linux setup
43:20 Overclocking Pi
47:05 Emails


Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
Linux Weekly Daily Wednesday
LinuxGameCast LLP

A weekly dose of all thing Linux and open source with a slice of Pi for good measure.



Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

VR Desktops

  • VR support comes to GNOME and KDE.
  • xrdesktop makes window managers aware of VR and is able to use VR runtimes to render desktop windows in 3D space, with the ability of manipulating them with VR controllers and generating mouse and keyboard input from VR.
  • Obligatory Minority Report reference. 
  • Give me an 8K headset and the ability to run 10 or so virtual monitors and you have my interest. 
  • You can skip the motion controllers. 
  • Sponsored by Valve so it works well with their VR headsets, the HTC Vive and Valve Index.
  • Xrdesktop uses OpenVR overlays to display desktop windows over VR applications as well as using Vulkan for a full 3D desktop experience!
  • That could be very interesting!
  • I’ve had little to no interest in VR up to this point, but that could make me a bit more welcoming towards it.


KDE 5.17

  • Them’s some nice bits of quality of life stuff… that’ll come with KDE 5.17
  • There are some fixes for 5.16, but the one I noticed is that the alt+f2 launcher no longer switches things around just before you hit enter.
  • Widget positioning code has been rewritten, which will help in remembering Widget location on the desktop.
  • Widget resize handles and icons now increase in size when interacting with them on a touch screen.
  • Image slideshow wallpapers used to be random, but now you can set the sort order.
  • The Night Color feature has a new “Manual” mode and can be turned on and off at will.


Jade desktop environment 

  • Jade, or Just Another Desktop Environment is a Linux desktop shell made with web technologies, a mix of Webkit2, GTK, HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Python.
  • We talked about this innovative desktop April of last year and I was curious about its progress and ran the live USB of Manjaro WebDad which features the Jade shell to test it out.
  • Jade is very unique, elegant, very responsive, visually appealing and simple at the same time.
    • Has a dock at the bottom with a terminal launcher in the center.
    • Has a dashboard with shortcuts in the center of the desktop, with search, web browser, files, an area to take notes, settings etc.
    • The application bar at the top is in the form of an artistically red streaked curve.
    • You can zoom in and out on the desktop like you would a web page.
    • I love the voice notifications when you perform a search and launch apps in the background.
  • I love trying out new DEs, and will be installing Manjaro WebDad with Jade on one of my computers to live and play with it for a while.


Manjaro Testing update

  • Flatpaksnapappimage support is now preactivated. 
  • So remember to disable all of that nonsense. 
  • XFCE is now at 4.14-pre3
  • FreeOffice ships as default.
  • FreeOffice is closed source and Manjaro is included it as a way to earn revenue to support the distro. 


Open snitch EOL

  • Might want to put that in the readme, Brad. 
  • This can (and has) happen to one person projects. 
  • Being open source allows someone else to stick a fork in it. 
  • That right there is someone who burned the effe out!
  • Though the “don’t tell me what to do with my stuff” comment is bound to rub some people the wrong way.


Github blockade

  • Ah, there’s the first big gotcha of Microsoft’s ownership.
  • It was taking a while and to be fair this isn’t necessarily Microsoft’s fault, however when you’re owned by the big boys you gotta play by their rules.
  • Hmmm . . .  I wonder if the sanctions have been lifted for Anatoliy Kashkin GitHub account because of all the press?  The links to his website on GitHub are working for me here, but maybe he just can’t access them on his end?  That’s odd.  


Mozilla Webthings

  • Mozilla’s own spin of OpenWRT can now power the Turris Omnia routers.
  • There’s also a build for the RasPi 4.
  • Webthings Gateway is a web-based user interface to monitor and control smart home devices from your router or other gateway device.
  • This new version has the ability to use push notifications and triggers from your IoT devices to alert you about everything from motion detection from cameras to detecting smoke from your fire alarm.  


Orphan Floppy

  • Linux developer Denis Efremov can’t maintain the floppy driver in the Linux kernel anymore because he says it’s difficult to find working floppy hardware on which to test the software so Linus recently marked the floppy driver in Linux as “orphaned”.
  • Ahh, end of an era, and I still treasure my floppy disks, of which I have several hundred of . . .
  • But I can install a new version of Debian Linux on one of my early 90’s computers that has a SCSI Floppy Drive and it will still work!
  • External USB Floppy drives will still work and, if we’re being honest, that’s what people are using nowadays if they have to/want to play with floppies.
  • Floppies will still work, people. 
  • That’s right, all seven of you can calm down. 
  • The kernel tree has all sorts of unmaintained drivers.


Blender 2.8! (Mfoxdogg)

  • After 4 long years, Blender 2.8 is now available!!!!
  • Two weeks ago we talked about the Blender 2.8 Release Candidate, and now the official release of Blender 2.8 is upon us.
  • Foxxy says “after 4 years it better be good!”
  • It was timed perfectly with the start of the SIGGRAPH 2019 annual visual effects and animation convention.


RTX Blender

  • Might as well put those tenser and RTX cores to use since they won’t be doing much of anything until 2023, supposedly.


Pinebook Pro is now available to purchase

  • The highly anticipated 14″ Pinebook Pro Linux laptop we have been talking about is now available to purchase for just $199.99.
  • Pine64 is making no profit from selling the Pinebook Pro, but is being offered as a community service to the PINE64, Linux and BSD communities.
  • So if you don’t mind seeing a dead pixel or two, go ahead and order one, but if this bothers you, please don’t order one!
  • I most certainly want one, but I can’t justify $200 for something which will have a similar treatment to the old laptops I get off eBay.
  • The bright red NOTE that has not one, but two mentions about dead pixels. 
  • Just keep in mind it’s probably going to have a few. 


OBS-NDI Linux setup

  • Video over ethernet, like a boss. 
  • If you need to get multiple video inputs routed to OBS without the encoder expense & hassle, this is for you. 
  • Or, if you want to have a dedicated streaming rig. 
  • I’m still saving for that UHDK x 4 Black Magic card but it’s nice having this as a backup. 

Slice of Pi

Overclocking Pi



Teleport ep179


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