Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can't reply to comments in Blogger?

You'll need to enable third party cookies.


In Google Chrome, you can add an exception for third party cookies in Privacy > Content settings, rather than allowing all.
In Firefox I found that it was Privacy Badger causing the problem by blocking the cookies. Moving the slider to Allow fixed the problem.
I had already allowed third party cookies in Firefox, because blocking them caused a problem on a particular website (can't remember where), but it is also possible to block them and add exceptions in Preferences >Privacy > History > Use custom settings for history.

Update 2:

If you have blocked third party cookies in Firefox, add an exception for
Note: https

Stop code: NTFS file system

"Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart."

Over and over again- the dreaded boot loop.

Here's how to fix it*. (The bad news is you'll need access to another Windows 10 computer, assuming you haven't already created a Windows 10 installation DVD or USB drive.)
  • Set the computer to boot from USB or DVD, depending on the media you created, either from the BIOS, or by tapping F8 while booting, which on this computer gave me boot medium options.
  • Boot from the Windows Media DVD or USB drive you created. 
  • Click on Repair your computer at the bottom left of the window. 
  • Click on Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command prompt
  • Type in "diskpart" and wait a few seconds. 
  • In Diskpart, enter "list vol". 
  • Look for the volume label of the main partition on the HD- it will be NTFS and many GB. On this computer it was E.
  • Type "exit" to get out of Diskpart. Run Chkdsk on the main partition. In this case it was "chkdsk e: /f"
Thanks to td512 at superuser for the info which helped me identify the correct drive letter to use.

* The root cause may be an interrupted power supply or a failing hard drive. In this case I suspect a faulty power cable. If disk errors are the result of a failing hard drive, the fix may be temporary.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Low volume on YouTube in Firefox on Debian Stretch

I was watching a couple of videos on YouTube today, and noticed that the volume was very low, even with the volume controls in YouTube and Gnome turned up to full.

I found the solution was to go to Sound settings and click on the Application tab. Firefox output is via CubebUtils, the level of which was set much lower than the main output volume.
Raising the output level of CubebUtils until it matched the main output volume resulted in a much louder volume, with CubebUtils output rising and falling in sync with the main volume control up to 100%.
I don't know whether the low output setting for CubebUtils was the result of one of the less technically minded users of this computer meddling with the settings (one of the main users is only three!), or the result of an update to Firefox or Debian, but if you too are suffering from the same issue, maybe this post will help.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Battery critical settings in Gnome

There used to be a setting in Gnome Power Management Preferences which would change the action when the battery was critically low: suspend, hibernate, shutdown.

If you have looked for such a setting today in Gnome 3, because, for example, your laptop doesn't come out of suspend, you won't have found one.

You might have looked on the internet for how to change the setting, and found advice to use dconf-editor and browse to org > gnome > settings-daemon > plugins > power, only to find that there is no setting for critical battery action any more.

If you are lucky, you might have put the right search terms into the search engine of your choice and found that you now have to edit /etc/UPower/UPower.conf.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bluetooth in Debian Testing (Stretch)

I wrote previously about how Bluetooth file transfer from an Android mobile phone doesn't work in Debian Testing (Stretch), and gave a workaround I'd found.

The issue is a release critical bug, still open at the time of writing. However, there is a permanent fix available.

Obviously if you are installing Debian Stretch after this date, the bug may have been fixed, but here is the fix for anybody who needs it:

# systemctl --global enable obex

 Arch Linux forum was where I found it- thanks go to them.

For me, file transfer does not work unless I have the Bluetooth settings dialogue window open.
As the Gnome help for Bluetooth doesn't seem to have been updated since Gnome 2 (!), I have no idea whether this is a bug or a feature.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Debian stickers

I bought some Debian stickers a few years ago for my laptops, and wanted to get one for my new computer, but the company I purchased them from doesn't seem to exist any more.

I found another company selling them, but the minimum order was just under $10- too much to pay.

Then I found what I wanted on Ebay for just over a quid, including postage.

Lenovo C20 running Linux- A quick review

All-in-one computers don't need space for a tower (I don't have space for a tower), but the ones I've seen before have been quite expensive. Now there are all-in-one PCs available at the sub-£300 price. I bought a Lenovo C20 for £290 and installed Linux on it.

I installed Debian Stretch alpha because Debian Stable is getting a bit long in the tooth, this is not going to be a work machine and I much prefer Gnome 3.22 over 3.14. The usual warning applies: Stretch is still in Testing, so there may be bugs.

All I had to do to install was to disable Secure Boot after tapping F1: the computer was set to boot in EFI mode, and the Debian installer identified and used the EFI partition.

During installation I was warned about missing firmware, but enabling non-free repositories and installing the iwlwifi and realtek firmware got my hardware working.

I also installed firmware-linux and firmware-linux-nonfree, the latter giving me the microcode for my processor.

The only errors so far are these warnings, which seem to be a mismatch between kernel and firmware, and don't actually mean that Wifi dosn't work.
firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-7265D-24.ucode (-2)
Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-7265D-24.ucode failed with error -2
firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-7265D-23.ucode (-2)
Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-7265D-23.ucode failed with error -2
General comments: the screen on this version of the computer is excellent- full HD- but other versions with the same model number have a lower resolution screen. the processor used also seems to vary. Performance as a family computer- web browsing, word processing, watching videos- is fine. I haven't tried it with anything taxing. The onboard speakers are good too, so I could do away with the external speakers I had on the shelf above my old laptop. Printer/scanner setup was very easy. Even Suspend works.

All in all, an excellent all-in-one, if you are looking for a Linux friendly family computer.

I shall now abandon it to Peppa Pig, Horrid Henry and Barbie movies, for intensive testing by small children. At least I have my laptop to myself now.