Sunday, 28 June 2015

A few small updates...

I just realised that I hadn't updated a couiple of posts on here, so now's a good a time as any to do so.

Following on from Thursday, 7 May 2015 ("Oh, pooh. On two counts :-(")...

You already know how the installation of Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS went, but the other issue raised, that of an inability to get the computer and Baofeng UV-5R radio to talk to each other was NOT hardware related: It was software related.

CHIRP, the software I was using to try to talk to the radio from the computer, has two main version: 'Stable', and 'Daily Build'. It turns out that the daily build version is able to talk to the radio, but not the stable build. Go figure.

Anyhow, that's been rectified, and I've been able to successfully get the radio programmed how I want it, which was the aim of the game in the first place. So, job done.

And Chirp is still an excellent bit of kit ;)

Another problem I recently had was with viewing DRM material that I'd bought from Amazon Prime and Google Play (in YouTube) (streaming movies and television shows). They just would not play under Linux.

In order to watch these movies and shows, on Amazon, you have to have Silverlight installed in your browser. Problem the first: It's made by Microsoft, and they don't give a tinker's cuss about support to Linux users, the intransigent wossits.

While Silverlight and Flash are not supported under Linux, there are third party  applications, the first being Moonlight, which is sadly no longer available, the second being Pipelight, which is. Problem the Second: Making it work.

The ironic thing here is that I DID manage to get it to work briefly, then suffered a system lock-up in Firefox, had to perform a cold reboot, and then suffered login lock-up, resulting in my having to reinstall Unity. And after that, Pipelight failed to play, despite retracing the exact same steps to get it playing as before. The various help forums were of no help at all in this regard, and that's not a very good advert for Linux, sadly.

I did however, find a work-around.

Using Wine, I installed the windows version of firefox, then the windows version of Flash. Now successfully watching Amazon instant material. It'll do until Amazon bins Flash, by which time, hopefully more effective HTML5 support will have been generated within Firefox et al.

I really wish it hadn't had to be done this way, as there's absolutely no elegance to it: It's a brute-force sidestep but, on the other hand, it got the job done, so I guess I shouldn't whinge too much.

Oh, and it took a Linux Mint (NOT an Ubuntu one, to my utter disbelief) tutorial to give me this solution. Here's the link, in case you're curious:

Make of that what you might!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

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