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Weebly WeEbly WEeBly
March 2023: Square Space has bought up the once beautiful Weebly editor and is now attempting to make everyone previously on the free Weebly plans now purchase a paid plan just to use the previously free custom domain routing function. So sad (for me). In plainer language: we used to be able to point a domain like ssdirect.com directly to the weebly page in the free offering. From here on out the only free option is to redirect my ssdirect.com domain to their generic weebly page name i.e. ssdirect.weebly.com .. not pretty but it works. Here is the email they sent ..
I do not understand. Firstly, I feel it is unfair to change the rules on me, but hey, that's your business. Secondly, the email is vague and incomplete. It makes no mention of the specific site affected (I have several with Weebly for many of my clients in addition to my own websites). It also provides inaccurate information on how to switch to the new free version (ie there is no 'edit' nor domain settings page in Weebly as implied in the email. It provides no way to contact anyone for clarification .. unless firstname.lastname@example.org gets back to me soon. And that will be that.
MX Linux for all in 2022
MX Linux has been my distribution of choice for the past couple of years now. I happened upon it after noticing it was listed as it's #1 downloaded distro on distrowatch.com and I now use it on most of my home/work machines and it has been a dream to work with. As MX Linux on mxlinux.org itself describes on it's main page: "It is a midweight desktop environment that aims to be fast and low-resource, while still being attractive and user-friendly." The Open Source Post website fosspost.org has now named it "The Best Linux Distribution Of 2021" in summary: "Combining hardware support, low resources consumption and huge number of utility apps and deep functionality options… It all creates a wonderful Linux distribution for the average user. MX Linux 21 is one of the best Linux distributions out there to try, and we recommend any new user thinking of switching to Linux from Windows to test it out."
I like MX Linux because it is so easy to install and use on even somewhat older hardware (like that I tend to have floating around my office these days), looks and works great and fulfills 99.9% of my computing needs [once had to open an proprietary fillable PDF on an old Windows 10 laptop before saving it as a "real" opensource PDF document - curses to those inflexible Alberta Government vogons who foist these silly unreadable files upon us]. I have MX Linux installed here it on laptops, desktops, servers, and stand alone media devices and it is a joy to work with.
IF you are wondering what to do with your aging Windows 7-10 systems as Microsoft moves to stop supporting you, I recommend you consider trying it out. The MX Live USB installs temporarily for you to test out and when you are ready use that to install itself for you.
The latest version is available at https://mxlinux.org/download-links/
A little humor to start 2022
So .. just don't do facebook anymore, myself, but this was funny. My daughter is working in the library here. She would like this. source: https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=428336232410252&set=pcb.428336835743525
Magrath, AB Steps to keep your Windows 10 computer safe and free from crud.
Magrath, AB Recommended steps to keep your Windows 10 computer safe and free from crud.
I have been upgrading many client computers lately by replacing their old virus prone Win7 operating systems with a shiny new Linux one. I have been impressed with MX Linux lately, although I have also tested Ubuntu and Mint and Lubuntu in past year on my own assortment of computers.
For me, MX Linux is a great alternative to Windows. It is faster, more reliable, secure, virus resistant and readily installable on your well loved but now aging Win7+ laptop or desktop computers. It runs all the apps I need or provides a workable equivalent: Firefox or Chrome vs Edge, Libreoffice or MS Office (online) or Google Docs (online) vs MS Office, plus provides access to all the social and online media I need. It does all this for free via open source community maintained source code. Once installed, it works and feels much like the old Windows .. just faster and nicer. I now recommend it to all my clients.
"But it's not windows! " you might exclaim. Nope .. but then neither is the operating system in your phone nor ipad nor in your car, webserver, tv box or smart fridge. It don't matter, as long as it truly and easily gets the job done and the interface is easy to learn, eh. I have Window 10 on a few devices but dual boot those computers with Linux as well. Most any thing I own with an operating system before Win10 has now been upgraded to Linux and I am well pleased with the results.
Is it easy to install? I would say it requires an intermediate level of experience to create the bootable USB drive and to perform the actual install, but no more than Windows itself would require of you. To blast everything away and do a complete computer brain transplant is dead simple. Just run the install and use all the default settings. But for instance, to dual boot side by side keeping all your old photos and documents in place and accessible to both systems, you first need to make room on the hard drive to allow somewhere to install the new MX Linux system. A very useful hard disk partition program (GPARTED) is provided, but you must be careful not to delete the existing windows partition and only resize it. You must also then be able to create the new partition, select the correct linux EXT4 format and set the label to '/'. About then you will realize that it would have been a great idea to have backed up all that precious data somewhere safe in the first place, but that is sound advice for any system upgrade. Bottom line, my mom would need some hand holding to get the install done. Once installed, however, I am confident she will run the system with ease. Everything just works.
My Cordcutting Tips 2019
We 'cut the cord' a few years back. First we lost our analog TV over the air (OTA) reception a few years back (about 2011?). For a while thereafter, we had cable bundled with our internet, but more recently we are on a fibre optic service (Axia). Kodi worked for a while, but now all the fun-ctionality has been lost there. We have tried a variety of Android, Android TV, laptops and other boxes, which work somewhat but always seem much more finicky. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just sit down in front of a big black box with a monster remote and never have to move all night .. like in the old days?
Of course there is still Netflix, Amazon Primevideo, Disney+ and others that you can pay to replace that cable bill, but in my way of thinking that isn't really a 'cord cutting' benefit. It always irks me that just because we are 30 miles north of a border, we get zero or limited access to content available to our US counterparts. Bah!
Below is a list of Canadian and other networks that stream some shows for free online AND that that work for me here on my phones and/or Linux laptops:
Maybe one day I will find the ultimate old-school tv remote experience. It was just not today - yet.
Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine
It is new release time again! I have several laptops and older desktop computers I like to run Lubuntu Linux on. The new distribution was not available as an upgrade quite yet, so I downloaded the image file, 'burned' it to a usb stick and installed it on my various machines - after a quick backup of user files an data using LuckyBackup. I installed it to replace the old 19.04 partition. Of course on one computer the usb wifi adaptor continued to need a manual driver update.. If you remember, it is a Startech Mini-Wireless N I had floating around, small and wonderful, but based on a Realtek RTL8811au chip with no built in drivers. To install it, I just had to first plug the wired network cable back in and run these commands in terminal:
sudo apt install git dkms build-essential
Other than that, everything installs and works pretty much as before - but newer and shinier,
Ubuntu 19.04 Disco Dingo Upgrade
Got a 'new distribution available' upgrade message today on my Ubuntu Linux family/work computer (it was 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish and wants to go to 19.04 Disco Dingo), so of I course decided to update right away. Clicked OK and let it do it's thing .. it did take some time to download (presume everyone is updating today as well), but after a Sat afternoon nap and responding to a few config questions and a longer nap came back and found it all updated for me. The only thing not working right off was my usb wifi adaptor. It is a Startech Mini-Wireless N I had floating around. It is based on a Realtek RTL8811au chip. Google tells me that particular chip has no drivers online but that the RTL8812au does and should be compatible. To install it, had to first plug the wired network cable back in and run these commands in terminal:
sudo apt install git dkms build-essential
which worked fine .. the make script installed the newest version available and compiled it for the new 19.04 (Apr 2019 Disco Dingo) distribution. Apparently the command below would have worked also:
sudo apt install rtl8812au-dkms
Everything else seems to be where it should be .. it even retained my desktop configuration settings. Nice!
Lubuntu Success Story
Recently installed Lubuntu 18.04 LTS on an old eMachine Windows Vista computer. It works great (now)!
Yes there was a bit of a learning curve for me, but here's what worked .. and yes, it sounds a bit technical and skips some of the incremental step by step install notes .. but this is mostly for me to remind me just what ending up working ..
Addendum: Pleased to report that the install of printer drivers for the Epson Stylus ink jet NX420 was pretty much automatic. Printing and scanning worked as soon as it was plugged in and configured. Also needed to install a wireless wifi USB dongle - a DLink DWA-182. Just a little more involved install with first having to download the linux drivers from online site at https://support.dlink.com/ProductInfo.aspx?m=dwa-182 .. and then after downloading and extracting the driver files to a folder, I had to compile and install. Not too hard: First ran 'sudo apt install build-essentials' to install the necessary compiler program and then 'sudo sh ./install.sh' to run the provided script to do the compile and install .. and again, yay! Removed the wired cable and rebooted. The new wifi network card is also detected and usable.