FreeOTP…Wow! (NOT a good Wow)

Wrote about FreeOTP reinstalling itself here. So I haven’t been using 2FA since. Since it was asking for a password and I didn’t have one. Today I thought I better find another 2FA app. Thinking I don’t want to use FreeOTP just incase I read about some fix. Anyway I looked at Authy and another one. There were things I didn’t like so I finally thought the heck with it I’ll just use FreeOTP and face the consequences. So I started it and it wanted a setup password. I created one like I always do in my password app then reentered it thinking here we go anew. But it brought up my old 2FA accounts. Wow!

So evidently the new install was to add features/functionality. Would have really been nice to know that before deactivating 2FA on 4 old accounts. When that happened the first thing I did was google FreeOTP news and…NOTHING!!!! So experience taught me when asking for a password that you don’t know and is not in your password app. You’re screwed. Now the new the features are nice…in hindsight!

A interface refresh
A password
Backup and restore.

So since I deactivated 2FA on Amazon for example…y sending them my DL. I wanted to add that back. Well that worked.

However I now have 2 Amazon entries (and others too). I can’t figure out how to delete the old one I deactivated. I tried looking in the menu…nothing. Maybe something will show up with a long press…Nope! I could rename the old one. So it’s better than nothing. But cluttered. I googled and read something about swiping right or left…but that didn’t work.

For this type of update we should have been forewarned. Something like “Hey our next update is not asking for an existing password but will require you to create a new password. Your entries will appear after creating the new password!!!”

This is Redhat not some dinky little unsavvy computer company!

Couldn’t start sound settings from sound icon in bottom panel

Also couldn’t start settings in menu. Also no error message. So try to invoke from CLI gave…
bill@bill-MS-7B79:~$ cinnamon-settings
No module named ‘PIL’

A little strange because if I start python I can import PIL

Sounds related to yesterday’s configure menu problem, no response and no error.

Which I no doubt caused recently with this PIL issue/fix.

The following solution fixed both today’s sound and yesterday’s menu configure problem…

apt-get install –reinstall python3-pil

pip list still shows
Pillow 9.4.0

Flatpak’s been on a diet

This was supposed to be a Flatpak rant. I know that the downloads use to be huge. But I just checked a few apps that I downloaded the appimage and somewhere along the way the flatpak has become much smaller than in the past. I checked Krita and Kdenlive and the file size reduction is dramatic.

I’ve uninstalled Flatpak completely at one point regaining 10GB. When I had a slower connection I’d wonder why a Flatbak download took so long. Here I wrote about the Bitwarden Flatpack that was a 1 GB download. And the Appimage was 90.3MB. That’s over 10 times bigger. The Flatpak download today is a much more reasonable 124.8MB. The Flatpak is version 1.32.1 the Appimage is version 1.33. At least that’s what the appstore says. Perhaps it actually downloads the current flathub version which is listed as 2023.1.1 released on 1/13/2023.

My Krita Appimage is 348.4MB the Flatpak today is listed as 178.9MB. However the Krita Appimage is version 5.1.1 and the Flatpak is version is 5.0.6.

I think the diet is relatively recent, because I’m pretty sure I checked some Flatpak program within the last few…maybe 6 months, and they were still huge. Because of their excessive size, I wouldn’t use them. Now I certainly will consider them.

Perhaps the large size was a Flatpak Linux Mint issue. All I know is I’m very happy that they are much smaller now.

Add appimage to user menu

I was tired of always going to my appimage folder and double-clicking the appimage to run it. I looked at so many write ups on this with no success. This didn’t seem like rocket surgery. TBH many of them didn’t even seem logical. For example just create this text file and the app will show-up in your menu. I even logged out then back in. One of them seemed like it should have worked, at least go further than it did (right click on start menu then click configure) on Cinnamon but didn’t. Nothing popped up when I clicked configure. That seems like a Cinnamon problem. A write up should be clear enough that I can follow it. This isn’t like compiling the kernel.

I finally found a YouTube video that followed a Arch Wiki so I was a little skeptical…but it worked. I already felt better when he showed the “update-desktop-database” command and it was available on my system. In my case “update-desktop-database ~/.local/share/applications/”. I mean really just create a textfile and it should work? Seems logical to me that you need to tell the system that there has been an addition you should be aware of.

Here’s the entry for for Bitwarden…/home/bill/.local/share/applications/Bitwarden.desktop

[Desktop Entry]


Yes Name is there twice I entered the 1st one. Which apparently it ignored and added it’s own Name= at the end along with the MimeType=. However it’s name appended .desktop which looked tacky in the menu so I removed it. For Icon= I usually looked for .ico but this was a svg, which also worked.

Here’s the video…

Data General and new channel

I had this video suggested to me a week ago or so…

I was interested because a company I worked for had a DG Nova 3…I believe. His Data General is not the same but the colors and console are familiar. My first thought when seeing this is Where’s Garth? I immediately thought of Wayne’s World. If he saw me he’d probably think where’s the other Bozo. Anyway he seems like a nice guy with a passion for computers. He also has 141k subscribers so with my interest in retro computing supported by the videos I watch why am I just seeing his channel? So I subscribed to his channel. He has many other very interesting videos on retro computing, such as the IMSAI 8080 and others.

Derek Banas’s Go course

At this point, I think I’ve got as much as I’m going to get out of his course. I like him and have learned a few things. However he’s at a point where he’s building a hypothetical app…in this case a web app. Which seems like a popular thing to do in tutorial videos. But creating hypothetical programs doesn’t work for me. I much rather apply what I’ve learned to my own programs. For me usually the 1st thing I do after getting familiar with a language…is learn how to do I/O on files, then learn string handling routines to work with those files. I usually have some type of file I want to work with. In today’s world the web has become central to many things, so I understand the importance.

Perhaps I’ll try another Udemy Go teacher… Todd McLeod. I heard him say in a preview of “Web Development w/ Google’s Go (golang) Programming Language” something that I truly relate to. He said Go encourages you to think like a programmer. He mentioned other languages and mentioned Django and said programmers use code that is abstracted away and you use some method and that’s the way they get stuff done. Wow..this is the exact reason I stopped taking a Udemy Django course when they showed how to set up a database, it seemed very convoluted and honestly seemed to me easier to set up the databases directly in SQL myself than to use the Django method. But somewhere some programmer thought that was a good way. I’m not even saying I’d take that specific course, but perhaps another Go course he offers. Perhaps his, Learn How To Code: Google’s Go (golang) Programming Language“. I looked at the description and didn’t see any “Let’s build this app that you may have no interest in building “. I know a lot of it will be review. But, If you get the courses on sale it’s hard to go wrong. If I can learn only a few new things it could be worth it.

This takes nothing away from Derek. He’s very likeable and prolific when it comes to computer languages and picks them up with ease. And I’ve followed his YouTube channel for years.

One last thing…Derek’s Go course includes a section on PostgreSQL which I do intend to check out. I used it many years ago and only concentrated on MySQL because it was the only choice in my Web-hosting package at the time. I’ve always assumed PostgreSQL was superior to MySQL based on everything I’ve read.

Network Chuck

I’ve run across him through the years, but never really checked him out. His free CCNA YouTube course is cool for two reasons…so far.

  1. This Cisco Packet Tracer that he introduced me to is awesome. Because it takes the OSI layers which to me has been abstract, and makes it clear as you can watch the packets or frames travel to a destination and you can see the layers at the next stop.
  2. His seemingly genuine excitement in explaining things.

I took a Cisco router configuration class probably 25 years ago. But I didn’t understand things the way I should. Because it was abstract to me. I wasn’t the network guy but I was helping out the network guy. Probably because they could see I had an enthusiasm for almost anything related to a computer. They sent me to Cisco school and I understood it good enough to configure, and assign IP address to the routers for 50 branch routers. But I didn’t understand it like I wanted to. And just when I though I was understanding things better a Cisco engineer would come in and start talking about things that made me feel like a network amateur. So all this Wireshark, GNS3 and Cisco Packet Tracer stuff is pretty cool.

CCNA course

Attempted to take and/or start NetworkChucks free CCNA course on YouTube. However he needs you to install Cisco Packet Tracer. So after registering with my email and agreeing to all kind of terms, I downloaded the 64bit deb installer for Ubuntu. But the installing like I usually do by double clicking…failed. My sinuses are particularly aggravating today, and I don’t have the desire to track down the problem, especially when a deb install rarely fails on my system and it’s proprietary. I might try and proceed with the course and see how valuable it is without Cisco’s packet tracer. Perhaps I can use Wireshark in place of Cisco’s packet tracer. No after looking at the video further, this Packet Tracer has a cool simulation feature.

OK after watching the cool simulation I thought let me try the install again…even though I’m not feeling much better. However I remembered seeing a command line install which worked better because it asked questions I could reply to. But it failed with some type of permission problem so I thought I’d rerun with sudo. But when I used command recall I could see it already used sudo…sudo apt-get install ./Cisco_Packet_Tracer_820_Ubuntu_64bit_696ae64b25.deb. So I hit enter again and this time it said it was already installed, and surprise…it was! And it looks like this (with Chuck’s test file)…

A still picture doens’t do it justice. As you can watch the packets moving on the line. Check it out on YouTube.