LWDW 210: Unsolicited Pi NAS

Thunderbird is hiring! Lenovo expands their Linux lineup, Blender simulates balloons, and ClearOS goes fast.



06:50 Thinkstation P520
10:30 Thunderbird is hiring
12:45 System1 buys Waterfox
18:00 MyPaint v2.0.0
21:50 Clear Linux OS review
27:00 KDE bug fixes
30:40 Blender 2.82
36:05 Shameless self promotion
39:55 3D Clock Pi
43:08 Pi NAS

Colour key – Venn Jordan Pedro

Thinkstation P520

  • It’s so nice to see Lenovo follow suit with the likes of Dell.
  • This makes sense, because It turns out that Linux is now a first class citizen, not just in development, but in content creation, whether it be in AI, cloud infrastructure or visual effects.
  • Apparently you can only get Linux with the $4K version and up.
  • Why?
  • The best you can do is an 8-core Xeon, in 2020?


Thunderbird is hiring! (RTheren)

  • Like we talked about in January, Thunderbird has moved to its own subsidiary of Mozilla, MZLA Technologies Corporation, and this allows them to hire and innovate more easily.
  • Thunderbird is now hiring for several Engineering positions.
  • Including:  A Release Engineer, Senior Software Engineers and Software Engineers, an Add-on Support Engineer, all full time and remote.
  • Finally, an actual development structure for the Thunderchicken!
  • Could we get someone to update the speel check?
  • That and the ability to use a dark theme that, ya know, is all dark. 


RIP Waterfox

  • Waterfox became very popular 8 years ago, and was a very fast alternative to Firefox.
    • Did it?
    • I don’t think I’d ever heard of it, or if I did I completely forgot.
  • Waterfox still uses XUL, or the XML User Interface Language which is a user interface markup language developed by Mozilla, and used extensively to create add-ons.
  • Firefox dropped XUL with version 57, and replaced it with the more restrictive WebExtensions API.
  • I hadn’t used the privacy focused search engine Startpage.com in a while, but have used it exclusively since Monday when covering this story. 
  • You can spin this however you want but at the end of the day System1 is an advertising company. 
  • That said, Waterfox now has funding and a development team, so Waterfox can finally start to grow.


Mypaint 2.0

  • There is a major new release of MyPaint, MyPaint 2.0, with a lot of new features and improvements.
  • It has out-of-the-box support for linear compositing and spectral blending of pigments, which means it better emulates the use of traditional media when creating artwork.
  • And yes, this feature is still a work in progress, and I did notice a much slower speed when drawing and that the mouse was delayed when drawing.
  • MyPaint 2.0 has a backward compatibility mode to MyPaint 1.2, which was released in 2017, and currently, you have to use this mode to export to Krita because 2.0 files are not compatible.
  • I have always enjoyed using MyPaint to paint, and love that it autostarts with a textured canvas to start on.
  • For Linux users, the appimage files should work fine on both fairly old (~6 years) and new distros alike.
  • Works on Debian Buster. 
  • Full Python3 support (Python2 still supported)
  • Lots of bugs, crashers and other annoyances fixed.
  • There are still plenty of input issues on Windows, ranging from offset bugs when using multiple monitors, to pressure not working with certain devices and generally worse support for some of the more advanced features, like external editing :( 


ClearOS review

  • I had discovered when I installed Clear Linux last May for our LWDW review, that it screams on AMD hardware, even on my old 2013 Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E545 laptop with a Quad-Core AMD A6-5350m APU.
  • And the older Radeon HD 8450G Graphics performs nicely playing games in Steam.  60fps average on medium settings playing Distance, The Talos Principle etc. compared to the 30-50fps I was getting from Ubuntu on the same machine.
  • So these numbers don’t surprise me!
  • Well, the GIMP would run faster on a native install on Ubuntu rather than a Flatpak version on Clear LInux.
  • Great article Jim, and I fully agree that the swupd package management tool in Clear Linux is clunky.
  • On modern hardware Linux is Linux, simple as that. 
  • If you want maximum compatibility, Ubuntu, 
  • New hotness, Arch.
  • Stability, Debian / Cent. 
  • You wanna run benchmarks? Well here you go!
  • Clear is pretty fast. 
  • They’ve changed a number of defaults in the kernel, and a bunch of other tweaks.
  • I’m a big fan of the irony, here.


KDE stuff

  • 5.18 was a bit buggy, shocker!
  • I saw lots of complaints about Wayland!:
    • Plasma no longer crashes when you switch virtual desktops after changing the layout on Wayland.
    • Mouse input in GTK apps using XWayland now works properly.
    • With this bug, when you clicked the mouse on the close/min/max button nothing would happen because the clicks would land somewhere else.
  • Ahh, and missed this last time I was using Plasma:  Dolphin has the “create new” folder, text file etc. back at the top in the context menu.


Blender 2.82 (Mfoxdogg)

  • Blender 2.82 has a lot of new updates and features!
  • Including a new Mantaflow system for creating fire and smoke effects.
  • Improved cloth simulations, sculpting and grease pencil tools.
  • And this release features the new AI accelerated Denoiser from Optix for Nvidia RTX GPUs, which features faster renders with multiple CPUs and corrects texture and light issues in renders using the Cycles renderer.
  • And, yes, now that Disney is using Blender in their workflow, Blender now supports Pixar’s very own open source Universal Scene Description configuration files.

Slice of Pi

3D Pi

  • 3D printed flip clock driven by a Pi
  • That’s pretty hipster!
  • If you sand the case down and make it look pretty, it might even pass the TSA AF
  • It even includes the FM radio functionality on top of Spotify, nice job!



  • Alright, that looks kinda slick.
  • Yeh, the 3D printed case is sleek, easy to open, and only needs 4 bolts and 4 parts.

Leave Your Reply