Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Geeky downtime

A lie-in followed by an idle day was just what I needed. I frittered time away attempting to convert an old Memory Stick Duo into a bootable Fedora Linux live medium in a USB card reader. A couple of days ago, I downloaded the latest Fedora ISO, both 32 and 64 bit versions to start with, aiming to try out on live the five year old Acer Core i3 laptop bequeathed me by Kath, currently running Linux Mint rather sweetly. 

I reformatted the Memory Stick and used a Mint utility to install the ISO on it. Neither 32 nor 64 bit versions worked. With trial and error, I realised Fedora's ISO wasn't happy loaded on a FAT16 or FAT32 filesystem. I reformatted to EXT4 filesystem, and the 32 bit ISO proved bootable. I must have a go at the 64 bit version eventually, to see if it will work on this old Core i3 machine. Being able to run any live version this way proved satisfying. I like the way Fedora's Gnome user interface works, and its reasonable performance under the circumstances. So then, I attempted a full installation of Fedora, not on the Acer's hard drive, as I didn't want to mess up Mint, but on the spare hard drive I've had sitting in a USB dock, since I retrieved it from the deceased Dell XPS.

Everything worked fairly well eventually, although Fedora's Anaconda installer bewildered me when it came to assigning full disk space, as I didn't really understand what it was asking me to do, as the drive in question was already partitioned ready for a Linux install, though not in a way Fedora was prepared to make sense of. Deleting the drive partitions and leaving Anaconda to do the rest worked, however, and in the end I was in possession of a bootable USB hard drive. It seems a little slow running to me, but maybe if physically installed in the machine, it would perform better. On the other hand, Gnome is not a lightweight user interface, compared to Mate on Linux Mint. Well, we'll see, when I next have an opportunity to tinker.

At teatime, I went out to Chapter to return two weeks worth of canvas carry bags for our organic veggie order, due tomorrow, then walked to the NatWest ATM on Cowbridge Road, to draw some money out. Since the start of the Triduum, I've had neither time nor opportunity for litter picking. On this journey of just over a mile, I picked up forty four pieces of litter. The forecourt area in front of the bank boasts a generous wheelchair ramp. There was an amazing amount of litter, paper cups, fag packets, a few cans and bottles, paper and plastic in this area, I admit that I wondered when it was last cleaned. But, as this is private property, not public realm, I made no effort to pick anything up. I tweeted about the mess instead, in the hope someone will notice.

After supper, a telly free evening, for a change. Plenty to read and think about, with Teresa May calling a General Election in the hope of increasing support for her brexit intransigence. I keep wondering what the possibility is of the electorate expressing concern and displeasure at the entirely foreseeable consequences of the referendum, and a government unable to agree, announce and implement a coherent strategy, by voting them out of office. A rainbow coalition of opposition parties might succeed in bringing Britain back from the brink, but that would be a miracle of co-operation beyond belief as the campaigning begins. But in these days of social media, six weeks is a very long time in politics, and many things can can, both for better and for worse.

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