LWDW 263: Linus Torvalds Of Mars

NASA sends Linux to Mars! Gnome software 40 makes with the pretty, open-source Pi powered Stream Decks, and a Rusty replacement for Electron.



00:00 Intro
07:42 Linux on Mars
12:52 Tauri a rust electron replacement
16:37 Ploopy Nano
19:57 System76 open-source keyboard
24:42 Gnome Software 40
29:12 youtube-DL GUI
31:57 Ardour 6.6
41:22 Pie powered Stream Deck

Linux on Mars

  • During the Nasa Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Press Conference at JPL Monday the imaging engineer said there is a compact Intel based Linux box on the rover as well that uses ffmpeg to compress the video.
  • And he stated “Thank you to the open source community for allowing us to use your amazing software!”
  • Linux has been used for Mars Rover development since the very first one was launched.
  • And Nasa has been using Linux for years here on Earth and on the space station, but it is nice to see our favorite OS and its penguins marching on Mars!
  • Does NASA have any plans to, ya know, retrieve some of the junk we smash into Mars?
  • This is the first rover not powered by VxWorks or whatever they named the cyclic executive running on Pathfinder. 
  • Allowing the common folk who will die on this planet to play with the tech is a very nice gesture.
  • I would say the sanctimony is not lost on me, but is a genuinely nice bit of code of have.
  • I look forward to the creative minds out there making something awesome out of it.


Rusty Electron

  • It relies on webview, that could be problematic.
  • Building desktop applications with a web frontend is a lot simpler and less time consuming then backend ground floor development.
  • I look forward to chat software not taking 2GB of storage before you’ve even downloaded any dank memes.


Ploopy nano

  • This may be the ultimate trackball gerbil for Venn.
    • It’s a Uniball. 
  • How I enjoy projects of questionable use. 
  • You want a trackball and nothing else, done! 
  • $39.99 for the kit. 
  • Ploopy nano has roller bearings, it’s noticeably louder than other trackballs.
  • Pairs well with clicky keyboards. 
  • I’d never realized how edgy ploopy was.
  • I’m also not paying $140 canadian for that “Mouse”
  • It makes my left hand hurt just looking at it.


Open-source keyboard

  • I love and use 75% keyboards, and having a customizable one to fit my typing style would be immensely helpful.
  • Also, having small hands and button reach is an issue for me with larger keyboards, and I am sure it is a problem for Pedro.
    • Less of an issue for me because the mouse is on the other side of the keyboard. 
    • And I kinda like the numpad.
  • I will be buying one of these!
  • Mechanical, electrical, and firmware / software designs are available to anyone that wants them.
  • The Launch chassis is licensed CC-BY-SA-4.0.
  • The Launch PCB is licensed GPLv3.
  • Each switch has an RGB LED.
  • Blinks, makes noise, hurts your wrists, and requires a wire. 
  • Good on System76 for making everything open. 
  • Shoutout to Keebio for my brothers and sisters looking for something in kit form. 
  • I played with the layout editor and caught myself halfway from getting the Portuguese layout finished and the arrow keys scooched over to the right a few slots.


Gnome software 40

  • OMG!  It is time for a GNOME Software overhaul!
  • This looks clean and well organized!
  • And I love the vertical left panel because it fits in with the design of GNOME.
  • My biggest problem with the GNOME Software Center was always how slow it was at doing anything.
  • Or that some distros make it the default package installer and if you double clicked an RPM or a Deb it would have a little panic and forget what it was doing.
  • So step one was always uninstall it and get gdebi and synaptic or yumex(-dnf)
  • I was actually surprised when Discover from KDE actually became usable as a software centre/package installer.


youtube-dl GUI

  • Youtubedl-gui is an easy to use graphical frontend for Youtube-dl.
  • You can download a YouTube or Twitch video using different codecs and resolutions, without having to use the command line.
  • I test downloaded a YouTube video in multiple formats from one of our LinuxGameCast crew at SCaLE videos, and it worked great!
  • You can also download just the audio, in FLAC, MP3, WAV etc.
  • And you click the Defaults button to download in MKV.
  • It’s not just a GUI, it does have youtube-dl built in.


Ardour 6.6

  • New release of Ardour is ready. 
  • As always, give it a month to settle down and get the bugs ironed out. 
  • Official builds for Apple M1, improved xrun tracking, improvements for VST3 and more.
  • Added the ability to crash netjack1 for no clear reason. 

Slice of Pi

Deck Pi

  • Right now it’s a 3D printed numpad with LEDs. 
  • It’s using CircuitPython. 
  • Future plans include WebSockets and that’s where things get interesting. 
  • OLED keycaps are still wicked expensive. 
  • So that’s the bit of software that’ll let me turn this calculator into a keypad.

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