January 16th Meeting Notes

We started off the meeting with 8 present and late arrival took the count to 9.  We started off the meeting with just open conversation and first up was a conversation on cell phone battery life as one of our members had a new Pixel Phone. We also discussed some of the limitations of the new Android 9 operating system in connecting to PC and support for ext4 file systems that was missing.  He was going to try some other approaches to transferring files from ext4 linux formatted media.
Next up, we talked about Chrome extensions and were introduced to Chrome’s own Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller which offers a lot of settings for speed, smoothness, and acceleration and is free from the Chrome Web Store.  What led us to that was Clint was using the Logitech “Smooth Scrolling” extension which didn’t offer any of the settings that the Chromium Wheel Smooth Scroller.  Clint quickly added the “Wheel Smooth Scroller” and deleted the Logitech version.  Another feature of Chromium is that if you are “syncing” between different computers, the new extension will follow you without having to be installed or configured.

Then we were introduced to Flutter, a new IDE for developing mobile applications for iOS and Android from a common code base which is the Dart language.  It that has the backing of Google. (https://flutter.io/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flutter_(software)).

Mark Y. then gave us an really interesting update on the Monster Piano Project that he has been involved in full time for the past 3 years.  He just spent some time in New York City where he “supervised” the installation of a new Monster Piano in the newly opened FAO Schwartz.  We were introduced to the Monster Piano about 3 years ago when its developer came to use for help with the version of Linux (Ubuntu 10) that was running an ATX system board.  Mark joined the project and has moved the project to the RasberryPi and running Mark’s own compiled version of Gentoo. The Monster “Toy Piano” in FAO Schwartz is pretty awesome completed with a lighted mirrored keyboard in the ceiling and a window on to New York’s Rockefeller Center looking out on to the skating rink there.

Clint then showed the new Zorin 12.4 that he had installed on his laptop.  https://zorinos.com/about/ Zorin is getting high marks for being a Linux operating system you can move “Grandma” to in terms of friendliness and Windows like behavior such as the start button and applications menu.  Clint did find some shortcomings in the available applications such VLC and multi-media support and showed what he did to bring the installation up to “Clint Spec” which was quite a bit.  He would not recommend it not only for the shortcomings but for stability issues as he had installed on two different systems where he experienced “hangs” and other issues.

Then we turned to the business of the evening, the continuation of the Boise Linux User Group and sagging attendance. Clint was the founder of the group and has kept it going since 2003, and high percentage of the time has been also the “presenter” at the meetings.  Clint stated he simply cannot continue to invest the time it takes to prepare presentations when only or two or three show up or in the case of the November meeting, nobody came. Some of those present offered to help with presentations which we will be following up on but the issue still remains of low attendance.  We decided that we would send out an email to the Group list asking the question “What would take for you to attend the meetings”.  Several questions will be asked, specifically changing meeting time and date that maybe more convenient as well what topics would bring them to the meeting.

The meeting went right up to closing time at 9 AM as we had to exit the Library.


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