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  1. #31
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    I am very encouraged to see more folks using Linux than before. My own journey into Ubuntu came with the Windows 8.0 interface changes. I could not stomach these, and have little interest in the modified Windows 10 versions. So I learned enough about Ubuntu Linux to get it up and running and keep things reasonably well-functioning.

    Now on my second dual-booting PC (Intel NUC Swift Canyon) I can apply what I and others have learned to a whole new world of wireless connections and peripherals, and fast SSD with UEFI Fast Boot environments.

    Two things which do not work well in my Linux. It won't do Miracast at all, and this is known not to be supported in Ubuntu. Second, support in BlueZ 5.4 for Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Connect keyboards is really poor. I usually give up and use Wireless HDMI and a wired keyboard and mouse.

    But for basic productivity and media watching, I say Linux is nearly on a par with Windows. Nearly, but not quite.

    Good luck to all, and I hope to read more of our adventures as we progress.
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  2. #32
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Making Wndows and Linux Play Nice With Regard to Time Reckoning

    Make Windows use UTC

    Note: This method was not initially supported on Windows Vista and Server 2008, but came back with Vista SP2, Windows 7, Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8/8.1.

    To make MS Windows calculate the time from the hardware clock as UTC.


    Create a file named WindowsTimeFixUTC.reg with the following contents and then double click on it to merge the contents with the registry:


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\TimeZoneInformation]
    "RealTimeIsUniversal"=dword:00000001
    Note: Windows Time service will still write local time to the RTC regardless of the registry setting above on shutdown, so it is handy to disable Windows Time service with this command (if time sync is still required while in Windows use any third-party time sync solution):


    sc config w32time start= disabled

    Reversing the change

    You can create a file with the following contents and then double-click it to merge in the original changes, as above:


    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\TimeZoneInformation]
    "RealTimeIsUniversal"=-
    If Windows Time service was disabled, enable it again with the command:


    sc config w32time start= demand

    Make Linux use 'Local' time


    To tell your Ubuntu system that the hardware clock is set to 'local' time:


    Pre-Ubuntu 15.04 systems (e.g. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS):
    edit /etc/default/rcS
    add or change the following section
    # Set UTC=yes if your hardware clock is set to UTC (GMT)
    UTC=no
    Ubuntu 15.04 systems and above (e.g. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS):
    open a terminal and execute the following command

    (original: timedatectl set-local-rtc 1 )

    EDIT: sudo timedatectl set-local-rtc 1 --adjust-system-clock


    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuTime

    ==============================================

    Thanks to all in this thread for prompting me to finally look up the official Ubuntu documentation of this vexing issue. To be safe, Linux commands should be run as Root (sudo). (That is timedatectl as in control.)

    FWIW, I opted to make Ubuntu use Local Time, as this does not disrupt any possible future Windows updates regarding TZD patching. Which happens a lot more frequently in Windows than in Linux.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-10-07 at 09:33. Reason: missing parameter and run as Root
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  4. #33
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I had my first real problem with Linux this morning. I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the lock prompt. Normally this would instantly offer me the chance to lock the screen; but for some reason it took a long time to finally lock. (I quit waiting on it after about two minutes; when I came back 10 minutes later, the screen was locked.)

    I guess it's time for a Linux reboot. At least that is what my guess is as to what will clear up this issue.

  5. #34
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I had my first real problem with Linux this morning. I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the lock prompt. Normally this would instantly offer me the chance to lock the screen; but for some reason it took a long time to finally lock. (I quit waiting on it after about two minutes; when I came back 10 minutes later, the screen was locked.)

    I guess it's time for a Linux reboot. At least that is what my guess is as to what will clear up this issue.
    Ubuntu does like to be restarted after a lot of changes or updates have happened. As Linux distros go, Ubuntu isn't the most stable in operation. I recommend shutting Ubuntu down at night and firing it up the next day. That's what I do. I also have to shut down weekly for runs of CloneZilla Live, if I'm building/rebuilding an installation.

    On modern hardware, Ubuntu starts up so fast, it's rarely a problem shutting it down.

    Also in a dual boot environment, both sides need periodic resrarts to keep everything in sync. See the Time Issue above in this thread, which I am amending to include a missing Ubuntu Command Line parameter and to make the whole command sudo.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-10-07 at 09:34.
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  7. #35
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Scanners under Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Update: Try as I might, I have not been able to get my scanner working. Canon has no Linux driver on their website, so I had to hunt around for a driver. Fortunately, there is tons of information out there, easy to find, for Linux. I found excellent information about getting my specific scanner up and running (in network mode, not plugged directly into the computer) in Ubuntu Linux. But after about an hour of trying, I gave up on it for now.

    Another thing: I needed a Youtube video downloader. I found some add-ins for Firefox (one of them had very specific info about how to get the add in working for Ubuntu Linux), but I couldn't get any of them to work. But then I switched over to Windows and got two of them working immediately. Apparently there is a Windows component which won't install successfully in Linux.

    So I have discovered that there are tons of stuff out there for Windows, easy to install in Windows; but with Linux, you can't always find what you need; or, if you find it, in some cases you need to really know what you are doing to get it to work in Linux.

    On the positive side, the things which do work in Ubuntu Linux work very well. Everything is fast and very stable. For example, Libre Office, Firefox, Thunderbird, and various text editors come pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux, and they all work very well.
    This is another area where Ubuntu is much harder to configure than it needs to be. Gone are the old days of manually setting up CUPS for printers, although wireless printers like my Epson all in one are a real trip to set up.

    Scanners use the outdated XSane back-end. That back-end is very obtuse and nearly opaque to the user. It must be set up in the Command Line for most scanners, and a list maintained by Canonical and their developer partners is frequently not very useful due to newer models coming on the market.

    Epson and Brother are well supported. Canon is iffy, and HP scanners are a bear, to clean up my language quite a bit.

    My Epson all in one has epson, epson2 and epkowa modules to choose from. Had to uncomment lines for each in turn, then recomment the ones which went nowhere. Then there were four configuration files to mess with, one line at a time. Until one evening, voila! it was just there when XSane fired up (or Simple Scan -- still haven't figured out the new scanner program which Ubuntu uses by default in v.16.04 LTS). No rhyme or reason about it. Lots of dead-ends in countless online forum posts, some dating back to 2009.

    For the NUC, I eventually threw in the towel and wholesale copied and pasted the main configuration folder for XSane from the old (working) laptop configuration. Its exact name and location don't usually vary, so I can post where the folder is in my two working Ubuntu installations. Just a moment...

    /etc/sane.d I copied the entire folder, and it worked in the NUC for the exact same scanner.

    So you are not alone in finding scanner configuration in Ubuntu Linux very arcane and more trouble than it needs to be. Ideally, auto-detect will find a wireless scanner (especially a multifunction device where the printer is already up and running), but as Rocky Squirrel said to Bullwinkle Moose in the cartoons: "But that trick never works!" ("Hmmm... I wear a seven and a half!")
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-10-07 at 10:00.
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  9. #36
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Video in Ubuntu Linux

    Video is an area where Linux actually has some powerful tools, but most Windows and Apple users have never heard of any of them. gStreamer is a great gtk-based player and screen recorder, with lots of add-ins and plugins. It does have a screen capture utility which alongside of Transmageddon, will take care of any format YouTube can throw at me. Good old VLC Player also can record a screen in stills or video, to capture the steps of a disaster or a solution to a problem for sharing with others. I have sound players and recorders as well, but these three are one powerful trio.

    And there is Wireless HDMI for screen mirroring, which on suitable hardware works straight out of the box, no configuration required. Actiontec makes a reasonably priced transmitter and receiver if your TV is not a Smart TV. End point is one single HDMI In port on the HDTV or a switch. Again, unlike Miracast, there's no peering (and possibly no WiFi security) and no configuration in most cases. The devices automatically scan the WiFi channels and select a little-used or unused 2.4 GHz channel. Direct device to device, unlike Chromecast which uses a router and must be configured.

    Paid big professional level video editing programs like Handbrake and Lightroom are also represented in Linux. AVIDemux has failed yet to be ported to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, but it was also a good, simple video editing program for some systems with the right graphics hardware. There are many, many others out there. Just search and you will find them!

    So video, coming and going, active and passive, is definitely supported in Linux.

    PS -- the YouTube downloaders and capture plugins in Linux operate with gStreamer or VLC Player, not with the web browsers. Firefox has a very outdated Flash Player module, but full-service Google Chrome or Chrome Beta has plugins which may work on some systems with YouTube.

    One great thing about Linux is that it does not respect restrictive DRM copy protections. And Windows security and Ownership are generally transparent to Linux. This opens up whole new worlds of possibilities, some bright and some very, very dark.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-10-07 at 10:25.
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  11. #37
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Ideally, auto-detect will find a wireless scanner (especially a multifunction device where the printer is already up and running)
    Auto-detect instantly found my wireless printer, and it works perfectly. But even though it is a multifunction device, it didn't find the scanner part. At least I have the IP address that the device is using; I'm sure that will help solve the puzzle, once I dive back in there and try again.

  12. #38
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Also in a dual boot environment, both sides need periodic resrarts to keep everything in sync. See the Time Issue above in this thread, which I am amending to include a missing Ubuntu Command Line parameter and to make the whole command sudo.
    My dual-boot is different; I have two separate hard drives, one for Linux and the other for Windows. Only one is on at a time; I power the other one off when I'm not in that OS. So since the two OSs have no way of seeing each other or interacting in any way (except for BIOS issues?), I don't believe there is a need to keep anything in sync between the two sides (except for the time issue discussed previously).

  13. #39
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    My dual-boot is different; I have two separate hard drives, one for Linux and the other for Windows. Only one is on at a time; I power the other one off when I'm not in that OS. So since the two OSs have no way of seeing each other or interacting in any way (except for BIOS issues?), I don't believe there is a need to keep anything in sync between the two sides (except for the time issue discussed previously).
    Key phrase -- "except for BIOS issues ?" -- Yes! This is exactly what happens if you don't power down Linux once in awhile on multi-drive multi-boot systems. EFI needs to update. EFI Boot Lists get longer and longer, and may need editing eventually (Yes, there is at least one tool to do this!).

    It is in the pre-boot operations, as GRUB or the Windows Boot Manager or FreeBSD comes up, that the BIOS may need a totally quiescent system to get itself started correctly. Especially in a Fast-Boot/ Windows Fast Startup system, without the traditional BIOS Post routines. This is not your grandfather's BIOS -- it's actually firmware in both Linux and Windows, and it needs from time to time to do some housekeeping, even on separate disks.

    The two disks never see each other, but the EFI Boot firmware must see all, and get it right.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2016-10-07 at 10:55.
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  15. #40
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    That's very helpful information. It seems like I should have realized something like that, but in many ways I am stuck in the past when it comes to the computer's BIOS, because there haven't been many real changes until just a few years ago.

    In fact, the only real change I can think of in the past few decades was when you no longer had to manually input your hard drive settings (and make sure you wrote them down in case of a battery failure!).

  16. #41
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Yesterday I was under a deadline to get something out. I was in Linux, and I needed to print out a directory listing. The way I would do that in Windows would be to open a command prompt, go to the folder in question, then enter the command dir > dirlist.txt. I would then print out dirlist.txt.

    I tried to do the same thing in Linux -- I opened a Terminal session, and then tried to change to the folder with the documents. But I couldn't find the folder, no matter what I did.

    My point: If you decide to go to Linux, keep Windows handy, because you might need to get something done fast, but you can't figure out how to do it in Linux.

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  18. #42
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    It's been very interesting and educational reading this thread mrjimphelps. I especially like the using of a hard drive switch. I will probably get one myself. I have in just the past few weeks been getting into Linux Mint 17.3 Cinnamon which I like so far. I put it on an older laptop and it works great. Although I'm pretty good with DOS, I haven't gotten into the terminal as yet, but I will. I'm having fun again!

    One thing I was wondering about is what is the best file compression software to use that would be equal to WinZip. It sounds like P7zip is pretty good but I thought I'd check here to see if there are any others that might be better for me. Many things are similar but I promise not to go any further into the Mint version on this thread.

  19. #43
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEScott
    One thing I was wondering about is what is the best file compression software to use that would be equal to WinZip.
    That's a difficult question to answer as it depends on what's most important to you, e.g. speed vs compression size, GUI- or command-line based and also what type of files you want to compress.

    Have a look at this recent Which Is The Best Compression Tool For Linux? article for comparisons and tests of 3 standard compression tools.

    Another recent comparison article is Gzip vs Bzip2 vs XZ Performance Comparison. Although the target audience is Linux system admins, I thought this one was well-written and the images and graphs were very useful in showing clearly the differences between the 3 tools being compared, especially the difference in speeds as compression ratios increased.

    Another recent article which discusses 7 different tools is 7 of the Best Free Linux Compression Tools.

    Hope this helps...

  20. #44
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I recently installed Wine in Linux. In this way, I should be able to run some Windows programs in Linux.

    I will soon install Oracle Virtual Box in Linux, and put Windows 8 (with Classic Shell) in the virtual box. I will keep the virtual box isolated from the internet. My reason for doing this is because (1) I have a retail copy of Windows 8 available, and (2) In case I can't do something in Linux, I can instantly click over to the virtual box and run Windows-based software.

    Actually, I have mixed emotions about keeping the virtual box isolated from the internet. On the one hand, it would be handy to be able to access the internet from Windows 8, so that I can download and save YouTube videos (I haven't yet got that working in Linux); on the other hand, it will be a major hassle to keep up with security patches, with Microsoft being so intrusive these days. On the other hand, it is really easy to back up and restore a virtual box session; therefore, if I leave automatic updates on, and do regular backups of the virtual box, I can easily go to a previous session if an update hoses my virtual machine.

  21. #45
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I have installed Sophos antivirus for Linux. The other day I inadvertently tried to open an email attachment (from "FEDEX", and I was expecting a package, so I thought it was legitimate), and Sophos popped up a message telling me that the attachment was infected! In other words, my A/V product is working in Linux!

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