Happy New Year & New Mozilla IoT Toys

Happy New Year! In 2019 I’m looking to bring lots of new content for you to fill your brains with. One of the projects I’m most excited about continuing is the Mozilla IoT home automation setup. I’ve recently ordered a new toy to integrate which is a Trane Thermostat that runs on ZWave technology. In addition, home security (cameras and locks) will be added in the future as funds are available. Thank you to the Patrons for supporting the channel and helping me to show off this tech.

You can also expect more Linux, more open source, and more tech reviews. We will also be diving into some of the controversies surrounding certain platforms that are attempting to censor the public and creating content on privacy and security.

I look forward to hearing your comments and getting your feedback. Here is to another year of brain filling fun.

Albion Online Updates

  • While Blizzard continues to snub Linux with their MMO WoW, we have a newer MMO available to us called Albion Online
  • Albion Online is about to receive a major update this November and adds the following functionality:
    • Change your guilds logo
    • Mark a player or NPC as a target during battles
    • See party combat roles
    • New daily combat arena for Guilds and PVP battles
    • Party finder is a huge addition that allows new players or players without a guild to find random strangers to go on quests with.
    • New random dungeons (random in location and what’s inside)
  • So if you want a decent MMO with native Linux support. Check out Albion Online. 

To get it working in Arch:

– Download Albion from website
– Make app executable and open it to start install
– After install the game won’t launch until you put in this command:

1, Install this package: $ sudo pacman -S sndio

2,Create sym link: $ sudo ln -s /usr/lib/libsndio.so /usr/lib/libsndio.so.6.1

Steam Play Compatibility Tool

Check out the Steam Play compatibility tool found here: https://spcr.netlify.com/

This tool utilizes the community to rank the games that are working with Steam Proton currently. The games are ranked with the following parameters:

  • Platinum (runs perfectly out of the box)
  • Gold (runs perfectly after tweaks)
  • Silver (runs with minor issues, but generally is playable)
  • Bronze (runs, but often crashes or has issues preventing from playing comfortably)
  • Borked (either won’t start or is crucially unplayable)

Dell XPS – A Tale Of The Perfect Laptop

I’ve had many laptops from Alienware, Dell, HP, ASUS, Lenovo, Apple, Acer, and just about everything in between. Generally you have to make sacrifices when buying a laptop whether build quality, lack of ports, screen resolution, etc. Some laptops game well but are incredibly heavy. Laptops that are portable generally are under-powered.  The 2016 Dell XPS is an exception to the rule. It’s ultra portable, beautifully constructed and has all the features I look for when considering the perfect laptop. Here is what I personally think makes an incredible laptop solution:

The Perfect Laptop
– Durable material like aluminum frame
– Lightweight
– Beautiful screen
– Backlit keyboard
– Firm responsive keyboard w/ no weird configurations
– Large trackpad
– minimum 8GB ram minimum
– SSD or NVme drive
– Long battery life
– Doesn’t overheat when gaming

The 2016 Dell XPS has all these features and more. If Dell can continue to make laptops of this quality then I will keep buying them. Dude I’ve got a Dell.

Western Digital Black High-Performance NVMe PCIe Gen3 – Not So Great

So I recently found a deal on a Western Digital Black NVMe PCIe Gen3. I was excited to see what this card could do as the current NVMe I have is a Plextor and while it’s been an amazing drive – newer is always better right?

Well, I’m sad to report. The WD NVMe is a poor performer. Below are screenshots from both Windows and Fedora 28 speed tests. I tried the card in both PCIe 3.0 and 2.0 slots. I set the bios to x4 x4 x4 x4. I tried every setting I could find to improve the performance but the write speeds never got better. The read speeds are ok but ultimately slower than the Plextor.

However, interestingly the Samsung NVMe from a friends machine also shows poor write speeds in comparison. Now these speeds are obviously better than most spinning drives and the read times are better than most SSD’s but I expected more.

It is interesting to see such a vast difference between Windows and Linux with NVMe. Perhaps it is Gnome benchmarks tool that is running different tests or perhaps isn’t geared towards NVMe drives. As stated the Plextor seems to run with expected results.

Troubleshooting Steps:

– Updated PCIe x4 x4 x4 x4
– Tried both 2.0 and 3.0 M.2 slots on MB
– Updated BIOS on motherboard MSI x470 Pro Carbon Gaming
– Added heat sinks to WD card to see if throttling was an issue

Samsung Speed Results:

Windows speed test PCIe 2.0

Fedora speed test PCIe 2.0

Xonotic First Person Shooter – In A Snap

Recently, there has been some work from individuals like Martin Wimpress and Alan Pope to bring games to Linux via snap packages. We’ve seen some really great classics make their way into this package format recently but one I’m really enjoying is Xonotic.

This reminds me of the game Unreal which I played a lot of back in the day. It’s very fast paced and runs on minimal requirements. You can also install it via a snap which is equally as awesome.

$ snap install xonotic

Fedora 28 On Macbook Pro 2012

I admit, I love the old Macbook Pro’s design. I have an old 2012 Macbook with the Retina screen and back lit keyboard and beautifully thin aluminum frame and glass track-pad. What is not to love when you can pick them up used for $3-400 on EBAY. There are few options in this price range with this quality of screen and features.

The one thing I don’t absolutely love is MacOS. It is just too limiting in my opinion with customization and feels locked down. It’s not Windows 10 bad but it isn’t my favorite either. So what to do…how about install Fedora 28. The good news is you don’t really have to do anything special. Simply burn an ISO of Fedora 28 and hold alt while booting your Macbook to boot into the ISO. Delete the partitions off your Macbook drive and install. Everything will work out of the box ‘except’ for your WiFi. So you will need an ability to either tether your phone, or a WiFi dongle, or have an adapter to connect an ethernet cord until you download and install the Broadcom driver.

Installing the broadcom driver is quite simple. Enable RPM repositories (sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm -y)

and type this command ‘sudo dnf install broadcom-wl.noarch’ and reboot. You will now be able to connect to WiFi and have all the power of Fedora on your Macbook hardware. It’s a beautiful thing.




New Simple Weather Bash Script

A new weather bash script is up on my github page for those who want to play. It utilizes the awesome work of wttr.in and just simply forces a terminal open to run this along with Bitcoin prices all within the terminal. The result looks like the below picture.

There really is no goal to this other than fun and having this kick off when your system boots so you get weather info and some Bitcoin prices so you can determine whether GPU prices will continue to go down =)

Check it out here: Github