LWDW 199: Old MacTorvalds Had A Farm

A real-world review of the Librem 5! Kali gets a Windows button, rampant penguin-fueled consumerism, open-source farming, and automated Linux deployment.



03:57 Slimbook Pro X15
07:27 Glimpse 0.1.0
10:02 Audacity 2.3.3
12:57 Flan scan
15:32 Linux 5.4
21:12 Wayland yet?
25:12 ManGL
27:47 Penguin subtitles
30:42 Left handed Ploopy
33:37 Blender RTX
38:57 Shameless self promotion
41:02 Pi recovery kit
44:12 Emails

Colour key – Venn Jill Pedro

Real world review of Librem 5

  • The Librem 5 first impressions seem to be very positive about the initial “Birch” batch.
  • Or at least from several other articles I read, that Librem delivered exactly what they stated.
  • Wow, it is thick!  Expected though, because beta.
  • That is a chonky boy!
  • You’re not going to be able to replace your current smartphone with a Librem 5 as it exists today. 
  • It’s solidly built, minimum wiggle. 
  • Software is serviceable with the input lag and frame rate seem to be on par with my Nexus 5X running Lineage.
  • Power management is nonexistent. 
  • You can’t use it to make calls. 
  • Cameras are not working. 
  • At 15.6 mm thick, 150.2 mm tall, and 75.2 mm wide it is, in fact, thicker than a bowl of oatmeal. 
  • It comes with a screen protector. 
  • If you need a mental image of the thickness, it looks like a modern foldable. 


Kali Windows button 

  • Nothing identifies you as a non-threat like Kali Linux. 
  • Tails looks like WinXP, so why shouldn’t the other penetration testing and security focused OS Kali Linux look like a Windows variant to?  And a more modern one at that!
  • Something tells me that package will be available outside of Kali very soon.
  • If for nothing else than just to help those people who want to put their family members on Linux and don’t want to hear the “This looks different” line.
  • The best feature of Kali Linux 2019.4? XFCE is the default DM. 
  • And it ships with kernel 5.3.9.
  • Also, Microsoft gonna sue somebody. 


Firefox 71.0

  • Firefox 71.0 has been released with some important new features.
  • One of the biggest updates in Firefox is that there is now native MP3 decoding on Linux, Windows and macOS systems.
  • The patents on existing MP3 technology have expired!
  • It has a new kiosk mode aimed at Enterprise users which can be launched with –kiosk flag at the command line.
  • This will open Firefox in an immersive full screen mode suitable for customer-facing displays.
  • On behalf of everyone doing video conferencing, can we please have an option to disable that annoy-o-tron? 
  • Also, want me to become a FoxFire zelout? 
  • Add support for Jack audio in the builds, something that the Googs has flat refused to do.  


Farmer OS

  • This is just what the Agricultural Tech sector needs to get away from big farming monopolies and expensive proprietary software and hardware.
  • I have been noticing all the wonderful farming innovations created because of the Raspberry Pi, and creating FarmOS and unifying them in one place just makes sense.
  • Farming requires a lot of tools and having access to the schematics and 3D print files for those can help a lot
  • Not to mention allowing people to develop or even fix their existing tools, is much easier and much cheaper if that information is free and open sauce.
  • Also, management software can be very expensive so open sauce is great for that too.


Automated Linux deployment 

  • When you need to install 7 Linux. 
  • A sort of Clonezilla without needing to boot from it.
  • I still prefer Clonezilla’s network boot capabilities for this but if you don’t have or don’t want a dedicated laptop with almost 2 TB worth of HDDs filled with images for your home systems, this is a valid alternative.
  • If it works as advertised.


Mouse inspection 

  • Do you need a handy tool for in-depth analysis of USB HID devices communication?
  • Welp, you are in luck! 
  • Allow me to present Hidviz, a GUI application for in-depth analysis of USB HID class devices. 
  • Would be nice if it also allowed flipping of firmware switches that it finds but I suppose the viz bit in the name stands for visibility.
  • Not only mice, keyboards, joysticks and gamepads can be analyzed, but all USB devices, like more unusual HID devices such as thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and weather stations.
  • And remember that reverse engineered USB driver for the VGA to USB device we talked about two weeks ago?  HidViz is made for that!


Replacing Window 7

  • Great article Vivaldi from one of my favorite web browsers that I am using for my show notes right now!
  • This is going on my list of articles to have my students read who are moving over to Linux :-D
  • Learn how to use Linux, not a distro. 
  • Honestly, this is a good suggestion.
  • Most people will end up either going with W10 or just move to working on other devices.
  • But this specific suggestion from Vivaldi is not bad at all!
  • Let’s be honest, the type of person still running Windows 7 is not the type who would be able to install any OS. 


Remember Darwin?

  • PureDarwin is a community project to make Darwin, the open source operating system developed by Apple Inc. that macOS is built upon, more usable by providing bootable ISOs and documentation.
  • The closed source elements of macOS, including the Cocoa framework and Aqua GUI are not included.
  • So the classic Window Maker user interface is included instead, which is based off the NeXTSTEP window manager after Apple purchased NeXT in 1998.
  • I still have PureDarwin Xmas running in a virtual machine on one of my machines when I played with it in 2008.
  • Since Window Maker is still my all time favorite X window manager and I live the NeXTSTEP, OpenStep and GNUstep lifestyle, it’s a thing!


Rampant consumerism

  • Here is a nice list of the best Linux gifts to buy in 2019 from Steven Vaughan-Nichols.
  • A few of these we talked about last year here on LWDW.
  • The link for my Linux stuffed Tux from ZaReason has moved:
  • You can gift your friend or family member a pass to one of the many upcoming Linux conferences, like SCaLE or LFNW :-D
  • And there, they can get tons of free Linux swag, including t-shirts, stickers, hats, flash drives, mugs, speakers, Tux plushies and other goodies.  There is a ton of SCaLE swag behind me!
  • Speaking of gifts! 

Slice of Pi

Jukeberry Pi (Gronkdalonka)

  • Dedicated sound card and everything.
  • The community around the Phoniebox is so active and fun!
  • I love the yearly calendar they produce and the fun creative builds people have done to create their own Phonieboxs.




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