LWDW 226: Meat Thing

Blender 2.83 LTS is out! Mozilla funds a Meething, ungoogled Chrome for the desktop, and a Vulkan powered Raspberry Pi 4.

Special tanks to:
Iris121 (new patreon)



05:36 KDE Plasma 5.19
10:31 Ubuntu Snap talks
16:41 Ungoogled Chrome
19:26 Blender 2.83
23:39 Mozilla funds Meething
27:34 Compiling Ardour 6
31:33 NexDock Touch
37:43 Shameless self promotion
40:44 Cyberdeck
44:38 Vulkan Pi
47:46 Emails

Colour key: Venn Pedro Jill

KDE 5.19

  • There are lots of little touches that make the desktop more visually appealing:
    • There is a completely new collection of photographic avatars to choose from when setting up your user.
    • The panel spacer, the invisible element that helps place components on the panel, can now automatically center widgets.
    • Plasma 5.19 also incorporates a consistent design and header area for system tray applets as well as notifications.
    • GTK3 apps immediately apply a newly selected color scheme.
    • GTK2 apps no longer have broken colors.
    • And thank you for this, increased the default fixed-width font size from 9 to 10, making all the text easier to read.
  • Those font rendering changes made my desktop icon labels look like complete butt.
  • A very blurry butt!
  • I had to change the font completely for them to be properly rendered.
  • I suppose I had been meaning to change the font back to Droid Sans at some point… there’s my impetus.


Please Snap

  • That’s not opening the door. 
  • As we have talked about before here on LWDW, we understand why there is a Chromium Snap.
  • That it makes it easier to support Chromium updates across the Ubuntu LTSs and all the releases in between.
  • It is just using a deb file to install a snap is not cool.
  • When one of the longest running Ubuntu-based distributions goes: “Nope! We’re not using that” – it has to sting a little.
  • Then again, it was GNOME 3 which made Ubuntu move to Unity and forced Mint’s hand to give birth to Cinnamon.
  • If a product is good, people will use it. 


Ungoogle the Chrome

  • This has been around a while but I thought I would give it some love for those of you looking for a Snap-free Chromium. 
  • Maybe I can use a deb of this in the future instead of installing the snap one.
  • The OBS Repo for Ubuntu also includes the 32bit deb for 18.04, for those of you who are keeping an old system around for raisins.
  • Ah, this critter conflicts with chromium, shame that. 
  • We still have a Chromium package over here in Debian land BTW. 


Blender 2.83 LTS

  • Blender 2.83 LTS has been released, with major new features, faster performance and 1250 bug fixes!
  • And yes, it is the first official long-term support release, for two years of support for Blender projects.
  • Powered by OpenXR, Blender now ships with the first milestone in VR support: scene inspection.
  • You can now walk around and inspect your scenes in VR!
  • Cycles now supports denoising inside the Blender viewport with NVIDIA OptiX AI-Accelerated Denoiser, as well as in final renders.
  • Other new features include Improvements to Grease Pencil 2D animation, OpenVDB import, and a powerful new physics-enabled Cloth Brush to name a few!


Mozilla funds Meething 

  • More WebRTC the better. 
  • Mozilla Funds Meething which is a new video conferencing and collaboration platform from the innovation lab ERA.
  • Meething’s goal is to be more secure than existing video conferencing tools, run on a decentralized database engine and leverage peer-to-peer networking.
  • Awesome Mozilla, this is a great way to gain name recognition and to bring zoomers along.
  • Mozilla introduced and spearheaded WebRTC in Firefox 22 back in 2013.
  • And Firefox has had various WebRTC projects they have tested, but not quite caught on.
  • Now Meething, and a global pandemic, might just be what Mozilla needed to fix Web Real Time Communication in it’s browser!
  • Mozilla needs something since Jitsi has a gang of issues with it. 
  • The total addressable market for video conferencing is large and can support multiple players.
  • Zoom is a technical shiteshow and Microsoft has all but managed to kill Skype. 


Compiling Ardour 6

  • Sine the official documentation attempts to scare you while not providing any real information. 
  • This is the way I build it on Debian 10 and I’m not claiming it’s the best way, but it works. 
  • Based on the original deps needed for Ardour 5 plus some updates. 
  • Yes, I’ve already been contacted by one Arch user informing me that it was already in the repos. 
  • I informed him that this was aimed at more advanced users. 


Nextdock touch 

  • I’d like one of them, unfortunately my main gripe is still very much there.
  • It’s $250 for what amounts to a battery bank with a screen built-in.
  • I do like the idea of using this as a second monitor, and one that doesn’t have to be plugged in, but is battery powered instead.
  • I love this project, but at that price you can buy a Pinebook around $100 with a webcam, and just hook up a cheap 7″ or bigger touchscreen to it.
  • 14-inch Touch Screen
  • Super narrow bezels
  • 60Wh battery (instead of 51Wh on NexDock2)
  • Improved speakers
  • Bigger and improved touchpad
  • I have something like this around the house minus the tele attached to it. 
  • It’s called a tablet and it even has a nifty keyboard cover. 
  • Sadly it does lack clips and cables that at some point, will be pulled out. 

Slice of Pi

Cyber Pi

  • Every now and then a cyberdeck build pops up.
  • This one uses a Pi 0, though if you used a Pi4, you could drive a better screen and still have the CPU overhead to do more things
  • Is cyberdeck a thing?


Vulkan Pi 

  • If we can have better Vulkan performance and better support for vk-based hardware acceleration, that’d make me all the happies.
  • As it stands by default, even on the Pi4, it’s not very friendly.





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