Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Look at Evolution Mail In

United GNOME GTK theme and Flat-remix icons.


New Display Monitor

I just got a new AOC Display Monitor. It's a 22 inch 1080p LED IPS monitor from AOC. I saw it online only for 5,101 cash.


United Gnome Theme Installed

United Gnome theme downloaded here. I'm using Arch linux and wanted a fresh look. I looked at this theme and the download includes themes specific to other distros such as Fedora, Ubuntu and Opensuse. After installing this with gnome tweak tool I got a pleasant surprise. I have an Arch linux icon in place of the applications icon overview. Yay!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Trump's Foreign Policy Failures

When President Donald Trump met with NATO leaders, he reminded them they have to shoulder their share of defence costs for Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel after a couple of days later made a speech of realization. Merkel now knew that Europe cannot anymore completely depend on the United States for its defence.

This is not just about Trump's foreign policy. Americans are increasingly pressured to look inward now that their economy isn't exactly in the pink of health. Employment is getting back what it lost in 2008-2012 depression but a key factor here, that of wages isn't following expectations. In other words jobs are coming back but businesses aren't paying workers enough or aren't that confident yet of its future. It seems like America is just a shell of its former self.

Meanwhile, China is rising confidently as the second biggest economy in the world. Flexing its muscle in South America and Africa with economic aid packages for countries in trouble. China wants the world to remember the Silk Road in Asia and longs for better relationships with countries like Pakistan and India.

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin holds on to power in Russia. Its military action in Crimea speaks loudly about its new found strength in Europe. The annexation of Crimea by Russia is a dangerous threat to security in Europe. Crimea is to the Russian navy, what the South China Sea artificial islands are to the Chinese navy. Both are big logistic bases which can be used to launch a naval operation.

Listening to President Donald Trump, I don't hear any good answer to these threats to American foreign interests. I see the start of the crumbling of the American prestige.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

GNOME Is Crashing All Day Long

I have been monitoring systemd with journalctl and gnome-shell has been
crashing 3 times a day (somedays more) all day long. The good news is it
automatically restarts and goes to the login screen. And that is where I
find my computer more often than I want. At least the login screen is
dependable.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Email Form Letters, Libreoffice Draw And PDF

I previously wrote about the emz file format and Xnviewmp here. But that solution didn't work out. I had to copy and paste the form image to Libreoffice Draw. I then filled the necessary information asked by the sender. I then converted / exported as pdf. I composed my email reply and attached the file pdf. Neat and straight.

emz File Type And Xnviewmp

Meralco, my utilities company emailed a form attachment in a format I've not encountered before. It's in emz file format. emz is a compressed image file. It's a proprietary format from Microsoft. I had to look for an appropriate application to open this file. Happily I found Xnviewmp. It's available in the Arch User Repository here. So Installing Xnviewmp is just:

[donato@archdesktop builds]$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/xnviewmp-system-libs.git
Cloning into 'xnviewmp-system-libs'...
remote: Counting objects: 26, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (21/21), done.
remote: Total 26 (delta 10), reused 16 (delta 4)
Unpacking objects: 100% (26/26), done.
[donato@archdesktop xnviewmp]$ makepkg -sic
==> Making package: xnviewmp 0.86-1 (Fri May 26 20:28:46 +08 2017)
==> Checking runtime dependencies...
==> Checking buildtime dependencies...
==> Retrieving sources...
  -> Found xnviewmp.desktop
  -> Downloading XnViewMP-linux-x64_0.86-rel1.tgz...
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 50.4M  100 50.4M    0     0   113k      0  0:07:33  0:07:33 --:--:--  112k
==> Validating source files with md5sums...
    xnviewmp.desktop ... Passed
==> Validating source_x86_64 files with md5sums...
    XnViewMP-linux-x64_0.86-rel1.tgz ... Passed
==> Extracting sources...
  -> Extracting XnViewMP-linux-x64_0.86-rel1.tgz with bsdtar
==> Entering fakeroot environment...
==> Starting package()...
==> Tidying install...
  -> Removing libtool files...
  -> Purging unwanted files...
  -> Removing static library files...
  -> Stripping unneeded symbols from binaries and libraries...
  -> Compressing man and info pages...
==> Checking for packaging issue...
==> Creating package "xnviewmp"...
  -> Generating .PKGINFO file...
  -> Generating .BUILDINFO file...
  -> Generating .MTREE file...
  -> Compressing package...
==> Leaving fakeroot environment.
==> Finished making: xnviewmp 0.86-1 (Fri May 26 20:37:09 +08 2017)
==> Installing package xnviewmp with pacman -U...
[sudo] password for donato:
loading packages...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (1) xnviewmp-0.86-1

Total Installed Size:  133.19 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
(1/1) checking keys in keyring                                                               [######################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking package integrity                                                             [######################################################] 100%
(1/1) loading package files                                                                  [######################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking for file conflicts                                                            [######################################################] 100%
(1/1) checking available disk space                                                          [######################################################] 100%
:: Processing package changes...
(1/1) installing xnviewmp                                                                    [######################################################] 100%
Optional dependencies for xnviewmp
    gvfs: support for moving files to trash [installed]
:: Running post-transaction hooks...
(1/2) Arming ConditionNeedsUpdate...
(2/2) Updating the desktop file MIME type cache...
==> Cleaning up...
[donato@archdesktop xnviewmp]$



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Why Evolution Mail in GNOME Is Unusable

It is slow.
It is prone to crashing.
It is frozen like this,



and you can't exit. I use the killall command in the Terminal. 

Playgrounds: Repost Article

Playgrounds is a repost from the article at Early Childhood Education Zone website. A community's health is mirrorred in how beautiful their playgrounds and parks are.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Linux - 4.11.2 Released

I updated my computer to the linux-4.11.2 as it becomes available in the
repositories. In my opinion it is a good idea to always update to the
latest available stable kernel. Along with the kernel, linux-firmware
updates were also available. Again, any new updates to hardware drivers
are welcome.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How To Downgrade The linux-kernel In Arch linux

What do you do if your linux kernel upgrade did not go well? What if after an upgrade which includes the kernel, you can't boot your system?

You should downgrade to an older, working linux kernel still in the cache. Using a fairly recent Arch linux install medium, you can mount the root partition to /mnt. Then chroot into the system.

$ arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash

It is assumed you keep at least one other version of the linux kernel in the cache. You can check in /var/cache/pacman/pkg. At least downgrade linux, linux-header and any kernel module you have. To downgrade:

$ pacman -U linux-x.xx.xx-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz  linux-headers-x.xx.xx-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz

Exit by typing exit. Reboot. You should be able to boot now.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Cure's Pornography: Song Review

    Pornography is the last track in The Cure's Pornography album. The album itself was released May 1982. It featured electronic sounds and a claustrophobic mood throughout. It's the fourth album of the group and the most potent song in their body of work.

Pornography,n. obscene pictures, writings, drawings, motion pictures,
 videos, or the like intended primarily to cause sexual
 arousal and having little or no artistic merit.
From the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
A hand in my mouth
A life spills into the flowers
We all look so perfect
As we all fall down

"What the world around us thought of as pornographic, we didn't. People's bodies aren't pornographic. What was pornographic, to us, was the way that people treated each other and how political systems destroyed people and that kind of intolerance. That's what we were trying to get across."  - Lol Tolhurst, drummer

In an electric glare
The old man cracks with age
She found his last picture
In the ashes of the fire
An image of the queen
Echoes round the sweating bed
Sour yellow sounds inside my head
In books
And films
And in life
And in heaven
The sound of slaughter
As your body turns

But it's too late
But it's too late

One more day like today and I'll kill you
A desire for flesh
And real blood
I'll watch you drown in the shower
Pushing my life through your open eyes

Perhaps the band wants to leave a note of hope here.

I must fight this sickness
Find a cure
I must fight this sickness

In a world where they are killing drug users, this song throws its accusation of hypocrisy at those who satisfy their bloodlust at the expense of people who have real problems.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How To Update Your Intel Drivers [Arch linux]

If you are using Intel chipsets and processors, you have to update your drivers. This is how to set that up easily in Arch linux.

Use the package manager to download intel-ucode.

$ pacman -S intel-ucode                         ## this will be downloaded from community repositories and get updates automatically if there's a new version

To set this up automatically and you don't have a custom kernel (if you have one, then YOU should know how to set this up) run grub-mkconfig.

$ grub-mkconfig

This will edit your grub.cfg file and add a line for the intel-ucode.img file.

After running it you can check the grub config file with:

$ sudo less /boot/grub/grub.cfg                 ## you should scroll down and look for instances of this line up to the end of the file.

           echo    'Loading Linux linux ...'
        linux   /boot/vmlinuz-linux root=/dev/mapper/vol1-root rw 
        echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
        initrd  /boot/intel-ucode.img /boot/initramfs-linux.img
P.S. Unless you know what you're doing, you should not edit the grub file manually.

Is This The Beginning Of The End For President Donald Trump?

Hearing the word impeachment seriously in an entertainment show will
perk up concerned people anytime. Impeachment calls somebody to account
and when addressed to the most powerful man in the world, everybody
wants to listen.

Last week, beginning with the testimony of Sally Yates, the former
assistant attorney general, and definitely not ending with the firing of
FBI director James Comey, Donald Trump's days took a decidedly downward
turn. James Comey had been investigating Trump since the US elections of
2016 for his campaign staffs' connection to the Russians. Sally Yates
was apparently fired because she was looking into Trump's National
Security Adviser's connection to foreign influences. Both were just
doing their jobs.

Today, the assistant attorney general appointed Robert Mueller as
special prosecutor to investigate the Trump-Russian scandal. President
Trump has a formidable challenge in the person of Robert Mueller, a
former FBI director and a highly respected member of the president's own
political party. Mueller served as FBI director for as long as J Edgar
Hoover.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WCry Ransomware In The Hands of Criminals and Thieves

Wcry Ransomware infected around 300,000 computers all over the
world. Blame is going round and around. The vulnerability or bug taken
advantage of by the hackers of this malware has a patch. Microsoft
provided the patch last March to users. Not all Windows machines updated
and those that forego the update got screwed. Some compared them to the
anti-vaccines people. Microsoft pointed its fingers to countrys who are
stockpiling bugs like this in order to weaponize them. Much like the
dreaded viral diseases and keeping the weak samples in a vault just in
case they need to produce vaccines for them. The NSA is preparing for
that scenario when nation-states would use them to wage war.

Wcry was stolen. It was stolen by criminals. Now criminals have a
weapon of mass destruction. When everything our civilization does
depends on computers, this situation sucks. Aaand it's just starting.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Is The Intel Chip In Your Motherboard a backdoor?

Ever since Damien Zammit revealed Intel's Active Management Engine, a self-contained microcontroller, there have been calls for declaring this for what it is - a backdoor to your computer.

AME or ME (Management Engine) is a microcontroller, a fully independent CPU apart from the main CPU you know and control. It cannot be disabled. It is active even if your computer is in hibernation or turned off (as long as it's connected to the main outlet). It is placed there to help IT enterprise to manage computers remotely. This is a problem with the enterprise and this is Intel's solution.

Some points to remember about Intel's Management Engine:
  • It has full access to your computer's memory and everything it is connected to by TCP/IP; it can control memory and all peripherals.
  • It can send and receive network signals even if the computer is turned off or through a firewall.
  • It can't be disabled in new Intel chips. In Intel Core2 and newer processors.

I have a problem with the last point. If this is not a malicious feature (the intention is to help in management) the feature should be optional. If Management Engine is a security feature and should therefore be default and persistent then I object to it. In any case, the firmware to Management Engine is proprietary. Nobody but Intel can see and modify it. With the recent WNCry ransomware attack, I will hate to see Management Engine turned over to malicious parties.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wcry Ransomware Spread Across the Internet

The first worrying thing about Wcry worm is when it attacked health care
facilities in the U.K. They had to wave off patients and direct them to
another hospital. Then an ISP in Spain was attacked too. It encrypts and
locks your data and demands payment before it decrypts it.

Wcry attacks a vulnerability in Windows known to the NSA who
deliberately kept it a secret. Wcry was stopped dead by a happy
accident. A malware researcher who was analysing the attack found a
subroutine that HTTP's to an unregistered domain. He registered that
domain to a prepared sinkhole. So the researcher already has prepared
infrastructure to trap malware like this. The subroutine exits once it
gets a registered domain, basically a killswitch.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Security Breach at Opensuse

If you are using any Opensuse services, it's time to change passwords and head to their website to get some clarification. If you are a member of Opensuse forums and or wiki, it is wise to change your password and check the safety of your account with opensuse.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Linux Plays In Windows Now (in VM)

When I started using linux or GNU/Linux, and coming from Windows XP, I encountered challenges including websites that don't support free-software browsers. I struggled at finding ways to enjoy media contents using free open software. As Mahatma Gandhi said: First they laugh at you, then they ignore you. Then finally they fight you, and then you win.

Today, Microsoft's Windows 10 opens its Windows Store to three Linux distros namely, Ubuntu, Opensuse and Fedora. Last year the bash shell made its appearance in Windows. Now, these three linux distros could be used by Windows users in VM. Windows 10 users could play with them, download apps with them, use free software with them inside the Windows operating system.

This is not just for software developers. System administrators can check their servers while still in their Windows laptops.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Father's 13th 1927-2004

Early morning visit at Paraiso

Donato Roque@Asus_Z00AD
SMS:639185721710

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Random Post For May Clouds

I'm using my tablet to compose my post. The keyboard is the default in android 6. I have Google chrome open to the new post page of WordPress. I'm using two thumbs and making sure that I click not press otherwise I'm typing upper case.

Summer has peaked here in the Philippines. Or maybe I wish it has peaked. It was 35 C last week. Yesterday it was 34 C. In some places it's already raining cats and dogs with flash flooding. I purchased a brand new air conditioner the other day for Mina's place. I had one installed at mom's room this year.

I am now in my smartphone. I opened the WordPress app and seamlessly continue to edit this post. How cool is it to be in the cloud? And jumping from one device to another working on a single document.

 If it's raining under your cloud would you consider hanging under mine?

Evolution Vs. Thunderbird

I keep two email applications - Evolution and Thunderbird. I use GNOME
so Evolution comes as default email application. I want to use it but in
practice this software is just too slow and simply freezes / crashes
when Internet connection is off even temporarily. When it does freeze
it's not easy to close or shut down. There's just so many user issues
with it. So I install Thunderbird. It comes with all the features that
equal Evolution and it's fast. Fast enough. Plus it integrates
encryption and signing with gpg.

Friday, May 5, 2017

My Computer

I've been asked for the specs on the machine I use.

I've been using my computer since 2014. It's a relatively old machine. I have a 4th generation Intel i5 processor. I have 16 GB of DDR3 RAM. I use an ASUS Z97 motherboard. I use a 240 GB SSD for storage. But I also have a 3 2TB Seagate hard disk set up for a RAID 5 to house my data. It's old but performance is fast and storage is big. It's a very nice machine for media, media storage and if I decide to replace this, it will be a very good server for the home.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Zoho Email and Outlook / Live Email In Evolution Mail

Hi Reese

I am including my zoho email and Outlook / MS live email account in Evolution Mail. I don't want to neglect checking my secondary email accounts. I want to put them in one basket so I don't miss the outliers.

So far the download of my emails are proceeding but in a very slow manner.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Get Debian

If you're trying to build a home server like I was, consider installing Debian in your machine.

The current release is Jessie 8.7. I linked the image above to the download page. This linux distribution supports the widest range of processor architecture out there. Since most servers I know use older hardware, this distro is very much in the list for me. I highly recommend it in the server. I hesitate to recommend it in desktops because of its free (libre) software policy. This and package versions could become quite dated. But for system administrators its stability and slow paced development lends itself to a server.

Monday, May 1, 2017

BDO Mobile App Fixed Sort of [reese]

Hi Reese

I updated my password for BDO Online Banking a couple of days ago. But it didn't go well. I left it at that. But today I pushed on. 

I updated the password using the desktop browser in the secure website. It went well. Then I tried using the mobile app. It wont let me log in with a funny error message. So I decided I should reinstall the app. Using the Play Store app I learned that there's a new version so I updated the app first. The app is working afterwards. The old app should have been more helpful here. You know, just tell me to update my app.

Update For Libreoffice 5.3 --> 5.4

The Libreoffice blog says there's an update available today for Libreoffice suite. The productivity suite is now ready with version 5.4...