Where's my hard drive?

This is the fourth in a series of Friday Tales From Tech Support. Some stories from the past featuring broken computers and even more broken tech support operatives - mostly me. Scene setting Today’s story is another belter from my stint on the helpdesk for a large accounting & consulting organisation in central London. It’s around 1995 and I’m a happy-go-lucky, young, free and single tech support operative. Always happy to help, and generally enjoying the work. [Read More]

There is still no Linux app store

Lies Neither of these are “App Stores” in the way average people know them. You can neither buy or sell products in these so-called ‘stores’… …yet. The wording on those two screenshots above is both hilarious and sad. It’s very reminiscent of People’s Front of Judea or Slim Shady. Anyway, here follows a bit of a moan about all this (the app stores, not Monty Python or Eminem). Background I have previously lamented on the following subject as a stream of tweets. [Read More]

Publishing Hugo site via GitHub Actions

My blog at popey.com/blog is hosted on a Bitfolk VPS, built from the Hugo source code in a public GitHub repo. My workflow for publishing a post goes like this: 💻 Use whatever machine I’m sat at 🔽 Clone the repo 🗒 Add a new page, edit until ready 🤠 Push directly to the main branch Early on in my use of Hugo, I was manually using hugo and rsync over SSH directly on the VPS. [Read More]

CAPS LOCK BEHAVIOUR DISABLED IN GNOME

SOMETIMES I PRESS THE CAPS LOCK KEY BY ACCIDENT, USUALLY WHILE PLAYING A VIDEO GAME. I THEN FIND MYSELF UNABLE TO TYPE A PASSWORD OR I AM ACCUSED OF SHOUTING ONLINE. OVER COFFEE, MY FRIEND MARTIN EXPLAINED THAT IT’S POSSIBLE TO DISABLE THE CAPS LOCK KEY COMPLETELY IN LINUX. I’D NEVER CONSIDERED DOING THIS, MISTAKENLY THINKING THE ONLY OPTIONS WERE TO REMAP IT TO SOMETHING ELSE. IT TURNS OUT GNOME TWEAKS HAS AN OPTION. [Read More]

AMD GPU blob crashing

My work computer is a ThinkPad Z13. It’s on most of the time, including overnight and during the weekend. I’m one of those horrible people who like to just wiggle their mouse, unlock, and get working. I often leave a ton of windows open, so I quite like to sit down and start working without having to wait for boot up, and subsequent app launch. So when I arrive at my desk on a Monday and discover my GPU has crashed, that’s a poor start to the week. [Read More]

Waking up a sleeping Minecraft server

Today I dusted off a Minecraft server backup to see if it would still work, to explore and remind myself what was there. tl;dr The world still works in Minecraft, and I can even generate a nicely rendered map from it. There’s not a tremendous amount to actually see on the map. A lot of work went on underground. There’s also little nostalgia value other than for the sixty people who played on it back then. [Read More]

Touching joysticks

I’ve just returned from an excellent day visting The Cave and the Arcade Archive with friends. I’ve visited the cave before, and wrote up my experience in Visiting The Cave last year. I decided since (nearly) a year had passed, it was time to visit again. When I mentioned online to some friends, that I was planning on going, they all booked tickets for the same day. We arrived just before 11am, met the greeters who checked our tickets, showed us up the stairs, and introduced the venue. [Read More]

You did something!

This is the third in a series of Tales From Tech Support. Some stories from the past featuring broken computers and even more broken tech support operatives - mostly me. In the early 1990s, I worked as a contractor for a large, well-established accounting firm. In It’s MY monitor, I told the story of dealing with an angry Partner. Today’s story is worse, as I’m dealing with the Personal Assistant of a Partner. [Read More]

Thanks, Mastodon contributors

I run a small Mastodon instance for Ubuntu Members and related projects. If you’re a contributing Ubuntu Member, then you can have a free account on the site. It’s been running without tremendous issues for nearly a year now. Each time a new release of Mastodon appears, I dutifully follow the guides to upgrade it. Each upgrade requires me to ensure the backups are functioning then follow the precise steps in the release notes. [Read More]

Monitor bandwidth usage with bandwhich

Back in 2020 I stumbled on Bandwhich, a “Terminal bandwidth utilization tool”, written in Rust. More recently, I was looking for a tool to identify which processes on a box were using bandwidth, and how much. I remembered Bandwhich and took another look. I wanted an easy way to install Bandwhich on a variety of machines, running a variety of Linux distributions across different architectures. So I built a snap of bandwhich. [Read More]

The 90mph office

Lightbulb moment On Thursday, October 13th 2016, while on a train, slowly recovering from a pub-based night out, I had an idea! The idea is to take a train somewhere (unspecified) for four hours, have lunch, then take another train home. The train would be my 90mph office with scenery for those four hours in each direction, and I’d get to enjoy lunch somewhere new. I’d do a full days work with the view out the window constantly changing. [Read More]

Go manic for mantic

Earlier today I posted a poll on Mastodon. As I write this, there are fifteen hours left on the poll, and it looks like this with around a hundred votes: Most people seems to think I should wait for a month. That result may change overnight, of course, but I can’t wait! I’ve got a blog post to write, and time on my hands! So let’s upgrade now! Also, nobody seemed to spot that I got the releases round the wrong way. [Read More]

Ringtones on iOS

In a change from our regularly scheduled blogging, I present a short how-to. This is mostly for my own memory, because I’ve had to search online how to do this multiple times, and I can never remember it. Writing it down for you might aide my memory. I found myself playing some retro games on my SteamDeck today, while the tyres were being replaced on my car. After a bit of time playing Golf in a virtual GameCube, I rolled the clock back further, and played a bit of OG Tetris on a virtual GameBoy. [Read More]

Outdated snap packages

Canonical is planning an ‘All Snap’ desktop next year. It will likely be available side-by-side with the traditional deb-based installation we’ve been used to since 2004. If the “All Snap” or “immutable” platform is to be a success, Canonical needs to get a grip on the broken, uninstallable, insecure, and outdated snaps provided in the snap store. This is a long post, so feel free to skip to the ‘Solutions’ section for my positive thoughts. [Read More]

Backup the caravan

Second in my series of Tales From Tech Support. Some stories from the past featuring broken computers and even more broken tech support operatives - mostly me. In the early 1990s I worked as a Technician at a local college. I would set-up and tear down experiments for students. I’d also have to look for ‘booby-traps’ they’d set for us. But that’s another story. I would sometimes get called upon to perform technical support for external organisations. [Read More]

95 bits per second

Feel free to skip this blog if you’re triggered by “Old man yells at cloud” or “Grandpa tells us about his childhood” style posts. This is the second in a row after a moan about my cellphone. A more lighthearted story will follow tomorrow, I promise. I grew up (and still live near) a small village in the UK called Mytchett. It’s not famous for much other than “housing” Rudolf Hess, who was held there for a while during the Second World War. [Read More]

Small phone is best phone

I’ve owned plenty of mobile phones over the years. My current daily driver is iPhone 13 Mini, sporting a bright, funky, and cheap OIIAEE Silicone Case. Look at it. It’s gorgeous (ignore the notification badge count, please). Picture taken with the potato camera on my old OnePlus 5. As I mentioned in a previous post, my favourite phones include the flyweight Nokia 6600 (2.1"), bantamweight N82 (2.4") and featherweight iPhone 4s (3. [Read More]

Happy Birthday Steam

Steam - the video game distribution and launching platform from Valve, is twenty years old today. Steam has become quite a fixture of PC gaming life in those two decades. I didn’t really pay any attention to Steam initially. I wasn’t really into PC gaming in 2003. At least partly because, coincidentally, my daughter also turns twenty today. She was born just hours ahead of Steam. A short while later, here we are, probably not thinking about video games. [Read More]

My 2023 podcast listening list

Podcast consumption At the start of 2021, I wrote up my 2021 podcast listening list. In it, I categorised podcasts I listen to broadly as ‘Must listen’, ‘Regular listens’ and ‘Once in a while’. Back then I was using PocketCasts on Android. The full list of subscriptions can be found here. Android ➡️ iOS In June 2022, I switched from Android to iOS as I moved from OnePlus 5 to iPhone 13 Mini as my primary device. [Read More]

A virus for the BBC Micro

About a year ago, I left a comment on a Nostalgia Nerd video about Viruses. It’s a good video, worth a watch, like most of their content. Here’s my silly comment. At 1.7K 👍, it’s my most upvoted comment on YouTube, ever. I do enjoy free Internet points. Some of the replies to me on YouTube were quite 🌟fun🌟. “Any chance you made a back up? I’d love to look at the source code” [Read More]