Embarrassing Bugs

Well, this is embarrassing! I recently filed a bug against an open source project because I genuinely thought it was broken. It was (almost, probably, entirely) my fault. I thought I’d fess up and explain what happened. It might be useful for others. As I mentioned yesterday, I recently upgraded my Ubuntu machines, including my main desktop. It’s a funky Skull Canyon NUC with a weird hybrid Intel / AMD GPU setup and an external nVidia card in an enclosure. [Read More]

Upgrading Ubuntu

I tend to run Ubuntu on my computers as the primary operating system. Given I work for Canonical, this isn’t especially surprising. However I have run Ubuntu on pretty much everything since 2005 or so - long before I started working at Canonical (in 2011). Mostly I will upgrade as each new release comes out, only doing a clean install once in a while. I ran GNOME 2 for all the years from 2004 through to Unity being released, then switched to that. [Read More]

Digital Hoarding: Ubuntu Mirror

I have a bunch of Ubuntu machines on my local network at home. They all periodically need to check for updates then download & install them. Rather than have them all reach out to the official mirrors externally to my network, I decided to run my own mirror internally. This post is just a set of notes for anyone else who might be looking to do something similar. I also do a lot of software building, and re-building, which pulls all kinds of random libraries, compilers and other packages from the archive. [Read More]

Two Displays & Two Computers

In my messy office I have a main desk I work at. I have two portait displays on a hefty, but inexpensive BONTEC Dual Monitor Stand (affiliate link), clamped to the back, to lift the monitors up off the desk. The monitors are 3-year-old, low-end 24" ASUS VS248HR (affiliate link) “Gaming Monitor’s” 🤣. I recently bought a Raspberry Pi 400 which also sits on my desk for quick-release arm64-action! The problem I have had with other Pi’s is the spiders web of cables needed, and additional keyboard. [Read More]

Hush Keyboards with Hushboard

Yesterday while surfing the ASCII highways of IRC (yes, IRC) a URL linking to a MacOS application scrolled by my screen. Unclack is a small MacOS utility which silences the microphone of the user when they’re typing. The purpose is to prevent the noise of typing being passed through to other participants when on a Zoom / Skype / Jitsi call. Neat. They don’t make a Linux version, and I couldn’t see anything similar, so I did what I usually do in this instance, throw the idea towards my friendly local coder, Stuart Langridge. [Read More]

My GNOME Tweaks

One of the neat things about GNOME Shell is that it’s pretty tweakable - to some degree - to customise it to a user’s preferences. I know some people use GNOME Shell stock experience. I don’t. I have previously written about some of my must-have extensions and add-ons. This supplements that with what I do to further tweak my (currently) Ubuntu 20.10 system to my liking. Note: These are the settings I configure on my computer that I use all day every day. [Read More]

Contributing without Code

In the mid-90s I was an avid user of online conferencing system called CIX (Compulink Information eXchange). CIX was built using the CoSy Conferencing system from the University of Guelph, which has since been open sourced. Think of it like a dial-up or telnet-accessed forum or message board with a nerd-heavy userbase. Each day I’d dial-up to download messages, then read & respond offline. Later in the day I’d re-connect to send my responses and download more messages. [Read More]

Notifications on Task Completion

Like many in development-oriented roles, I’m frequently running long-executing tasks on my workstation, while I get on with a sword fight, or making a cup of coffee. More seriously, I do often leave a software build, or packaging script running, while I context-switch to answer support requests, proof-read a blog post, or prepare for a meeting. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded when that long-runner finishes, otherwise I might forget it’s sat there, all lonely in another workspace somewhere on my computer. [Read More]

My 'Must-Have' GNOME Extensions

I currently run Ubuntu 20.10 on my main desktop PC. GNOME Shell is the default desktop, and while it’s great, one very useful feature is the ability to supplement or alter the default behaviour with extensions and other add-ons. Ubuntu ships with a couple of extensions by default, but I’ve added a few on top, and this blog post details what they are and how to get them, in no particular order… [Read More]

Snap Tips

As you may or may not be aware, I work for Canonical on Snapcraft and Ubuntu. I use Ubuntu as my daily driver, and spend a lot of time maintaining snap packages, and listening to developers and users talk about software packaging, publishing, delivery and use. Over time I’ve collected a bunch of virtual notes in my head. Much of it has been turned into documentation, but often the information is rather spread out. [Read More]