Thursday, July 22, 2021

Debating whether to completely switch to Linux

 Heya everyone,

As the title says, I'm considering whether I want to go ahead and switch back to Linux on a more permanent basis. I've been testing windows 11, and it's fine, for a Microsoft operating system. But I really don't like the compromises and security issues that come along with it, especially from a personal data usage and privacy standpoint. I've been going back and forth between Linux and Windows for decades and know them both quite well by this point. So, that said, there's not a lot that I can't do on Linux that I can do on Windows, with the exception of certain kinds of gaming. Games that use certain types of anti-cheat software, and games that are insanely complex or tied deeply into underlying Windows systems tend not to be easy to run under Linux, but those are slowly dwindling in number as Steam's Proton Wine variant gets better over time.

I play Star Citizen, and can get it to run under Linux, and CIG has promised in the past to make a Linux native version (eventually), but I won't be holding my breath in the hopes of that happening any time soon, as the game is far, far, far, from being released (it's eternally in 'alpha' at the time this was posted, and for the last 9 years). Also, games like Empyrion: Galactic Survival use Easy Anti Cheat, as their cheat protection of choice, and they don't currently have Linux Support, but I have heard that Steam is working with them and other anti cheat software authors to correct that, so perhaps there's some hope on the horizon on that front. If so, I'll be happy to see it.

Anyhoo, if I do choose to switch over, I can still choose to run Windows in a virtual machine of some kind. Perhaps I'll finally buckle down and start teaching myself how to run with a hypervisor, and run Windows with a virtualized hardware video card, that way I can still game, but have the overall system under the control of a more secure and stable OS.

Any thoughts and input are welcome. If you have anything constructive or insightful to add, please let me know. I'd also welcome any ideas or suggestions on how to get all this working properly, and with minimal cost.

Thanks for reading :)

Brian

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Getting Discord connected to the Blogger account...

 It's proving to be an interesting problem, but I'm working on it. This post is mostly to help me test to see if integrating Orbot worked or not. I suppose we shall see.

Anyhoo, if there's something you guys would be interested in hearing about, let me know.

Have fun all :)

Brian

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Regarding Techarcana.net: part deux.

 Well, it took a lot of struggling with DNS related settings and more patience than I thought I had, but we're back up and running. I've decided to stick with a blogger back-end, and moved my hosting to Google Domains. The integration works better, and there's less pain involved with getting the DNS related items working properly, especially after a week of trying to get DNS hosting to work via my previous hosting provider and the blogger back-end. Suffice to say it wasn't worth the trouble. As a bonus, they also provided an SSL certificate as part of the deal, and it doesn't cost extra. Given that I'm pinching the pennies these days, it helps a lot. I do suspect that if I were to want to setup some sort of online shopping thing down the road sometime, I might want a better SSL certificate, then I might have to pony up for an upgraded cert. But I won't worry about that for now. The site is up and running again, and I'm pleased with that for now. 

Anyhoo, I hope you're all doing well, and if you're running a web server for whatever reason, that it runs smoothly, and with minimal headaches.

Thanks,

Brian

Friday, July 09, 2021

Regarding Techarcana.net and other fun stuff ;)

 I've had to fallback to this old thing of a blog, because I'm strapped financially and blogger, at least for now, is still free. I do still own the domain, and once I figure out how to do it, maybe I'll see about redirecting my domain to this, rather than a WordPress site. Admittedly Blogger is a lot less of a pain to manage, although, on the flipside, WP tends to be more flexible, and I can, if I'm desperate edit the backend code where needed to implement additional functionality.

Unfortunately, I have added ads to the site, but if you want to use an ad blocker I won't be offended, but that said, if you're willing to create an exception for this site, I'd appreciate it. This is far from being a profitable venture for me, but I'm hoping that I can make it something that I can do as a 'job' at some point, so that I can stop having to work for others, and start working for myself. Perhaps I'll even add my other half, so that she can share her interests and such (we have very different hobbies, so perhaps her posts will appeal to those who are geeky in other ways than technology, etc. She's an arts & crafts type of person, along with other interests that I'll let her describe.)

Anyhoo, in other news, I got my second Pfizer shot, so I am officially 'inoculated' against Covid-19, yay me. I guess we'll see what, if anything, it does to me over the next couple of weeks. The first shot really didn't do much more than cause a bit of fatigue, and soreness in the joints. Other than that I was fine, and it passed within a few days. (Thankfully, I seem to resist most side effects of medications, not sure why, but I'm glad that it's the case.)

Anyway, in conclusion, for now, I hope you're all doing well, especially given the world we've all been living in over the last 1-2 years as of this post. Let me know if there's something that you would like to talk about here, or if you want to share how you're doing. I'd be very interested to hear it.

Thanks for reading :)

Brian

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Playing with CyanogenMod on my Samsung Galaxy S3

Those of you who know me on Google+ probably know that I've recently gotten a smartphone (mentioned above) and have been trying to root and install a custom rom onto it. Well, now that I've managed that, I think I'll go into some detail about how I did it, why I had trouble initially figuring it all out, and what I've learned in the process, so far. Yes, I'm still learning, and probably will be for some time, but this is here as part 1 of 'n'. So, that said, I hope you enjoy the read, and that with this I can help others to avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls that I have run across.

Why do it?
Most people's first question to someone who does something along the lines of rooting a phone is generally "Why choose to root the phone?" Before I actually got the phone, I asked the same question, but also as a Linux user I think I had a head start on why: because we'll gain more control over the phone and the OS itself. Plus, having root can be very helpful (and it rocks). Also, there's the stance that Sir Edmund Hillary took "because it's there" or to put that another way "because I can".

Mistakes will happen.
When I first got the phone, my first concern was security. As a matter of fact, for a while, when I was researching which phone I would get, it was a toss-up between the Galaxy S3 and the Blackberry Q10. It was a close battle between the two, but once I got a chance to actually try the phones, the larger screen and nicer interface of the Android won me over, there was also the fact that I could choose to encrypt the phone. I really enjoyed the Q10's physical keyboard, and the fact that it was encrypted from the outset, but to me the interface was less polished and intuitive than the Android, but that's just my own assessment. So I got the Android, and one of the first things I did was to turn on full-phone encryption. Admittedly, this was before I had decided to try to root the phone, so don't think too badly of me for being security conscious. Also, my living situation at the time predicated that I keep the phone as locked-down as I could, but that's a story for another time...

Time Passes...
So, quite a while has passed since I started writing this. To the point that I had forgotten that I was writing it, if that tells you anything.

In the time that has passed, I've learned a lot about rooting not only my phone (the same SGS3 that I had when I first started writing this), but also about rooting my Nexus 7 v2 (2013). The big thing that I learned is never to try to upgrade the rom without wiping the cache and Dalvik on the device. To upgrade without doing wiping is asking for all kinds of soft-bricking trouble (potentially, upgrades within a rom family/version chain are generally safe to do without wiping the two. Do your research to be sure, though. Don't take my word as 'gospel'.)

Another thing that I learned is that not all roms are created equal, nor are they all equally compatible with certain devices. Some might run flawlessly on a given device, while others barely boot, or even refuse to install even though they're supposed to have been for that device. My advice? Be careful what you choose, and always make a backup on an SD card within the device if you have that option, and revert to it if something goes awry. I won't provide instructions here, as that is not the purpose of this post, and there are far better sources for that elsewhere.

One example of a rom that runs really nicely on one of my devices, and causes random reboots on the other. Cyanogenmod 11.x runs sweetly on my phone, but the Nexus, for whatever reason, has a bug that causes it to randomly reboot. Not helpful when playing a game, writing something up, or watching a video (or whatever). Suffice to say that I stopped trying to use CM11 on my Nexus. Currently, I actually have a dev version of Android L on the N7 (I like the interface, but I wish there were a PAC-ROM version, with all the CM11 tweaks, and other niceties. But, wishes are about as useful as religion in politics... ;)

Anyhoo, there may be more in this vein at a later date, as I'm sure that there's a lot more to cover here. Questions or thoughts? Feel free to ask, or drop ideas. ;)