Category Archives: Uncategorized

PCLinuxOS 2020.01 and XFCE

My favourite Linux distribution is PCLinuxOS, and I have been using it for years. My favourite Desktop is XFCE. More recently, I discovered another Linux Distro, MX Linux, which specialises in the XFCE desktop. So, the aim of this article is to get XFCE working in PCLinuxOS, as well as, or better, than it does in MX Linux, so I can return home. I shall be listing, in this article, a number of tips to do this. Some will be straightforward and others might need some digging into the system. I hope you can make use of them!

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HUION 610 Graphics Tablet and Linux

EDIT 27th August 2019: I have found out what caused the problem with the v5 kernels in PCLinuxOS. Having discovered the problem the solution is simple, so on we go!

EDIT: 5th September 2019: This article got unpublished in error. I do intend to rewrite it, but it’s best to have something there in the meantime!

Just over a year ago, I did a piece about using the HUION 610 Graphics Tablet with Linux. It’s time to update what I did last year. But one thing is for certain. The Huion 610 and 610Pro are much cheaper than Wacom tablets, and are said to work on Linux. And it’s not too hard to get them working.

So here’s how to get it set up in two different Linux Operating Systems (you may jump ahead to find out about MX-Linux): Continue reading →

British English on a US Keyboard


I keep reading “reviews” on Ebay and Amazon UK that British people are buying keyboards on line, only to find that they are American. The main problem they have is that the keyboard does not have a Sterling sign (£) on it, the quotedbl (“) and at sign (@) are swapped over. The key that produces hash and tilde has backslash and pipe on it, backslash and pipe are no longer available, as there is one key less on the US keyboard! Everything will appear in the same place on the keyboard as they did before, but the legends on the keys are wrong. Continue reading →

MX Linux — Suitable for Everyone!

First I have to say that I am a PCLinuxOS user, and that has always been great. Every so often, I try out another Linux on a spare partition, and sometimes I can’t even work out how to install it! Other times, I can install it, but something about it turns me off, almost instantly. There are others, where I can play with it, in parallel with my PCLinuxOS partition, and think, I could get used to this, then a month or so down the line, something happens, reality hits home, and it has to go. The last time that happened, was several months back when I tried Debian. Continue reading →

The more I find out, the less I know!

You need to have read the previous two parts of this saga before proceeding.

How (not) to install Windows 7 on a USB3 computer

What could possibly go wrong?


So, there I was, having resolved all the problems, including the one caused by an assumption that, despite an Ethernet cable having worked correctly for a long time, that it still worked! The problem was, that after a day or so, the cable I replaced it with, began to develop the same problems. Too much of a co-incidence? Continue reading →

What could possibly go wrong?

I had just installed Windows 7, and didn’t I do it the hard way!

So there I was, sitting with a computer running Windows 7. It’s all in 100Gb of a 2Tb drive. I’ve got four other operating systems on an external drive which need putting back, along with a large data partition. So I ran a live USB (acutally PCLinuxOS KDE-Darkstar) which has GParted on it, so I can do the rest of the partitioning and get my Linux back. Continue reading →

How (not) to install Windows 7 on a USB3 computer

Yesterday, I finally managed to put Windows 7 on a totally USB3 computer. It’s only occupying a small part of my hard drive and exists for when something just isn’t possible on Linux, like setting the BIOS splash screen.


At least that’s Windows 10 gone. Even if you need to pop into Windows for 15 minutes to do a little task, it finds ways of bothering you, (That’s even after you’ve switched off whatever-her-name-is!) with little jingles, telling you that it’s downloaded something for you (not that you asked it to), and telling you to send all kinds of personal info to Microsoft. Continue reading →

Cambridge Audio One and an old Smartphone

To begin with, there’s nothing wrong with old smartphones. If you want them to make calls, texts, and some browsing, they will continue to serve you for years to come. The biggest problem with smartphones is that they are like little computers in your hands, and the temptation is to fill them with apps. Some apps need RAM to run smoothly (or at all), and older phones have 1GB and often less. They also need internal storage ROM (the SD card storage won’t do for many things, particularly with older versions of Android), and this might be restricted to, say, 8Gb. You end up with a phone that struggles with the basics, and doesn’t even have space to install updates. Continue reading →

Cambridge Audio One — I got lucky!

When I changed address, of course I brought my stereo system with me. The problem I had was that when I reconnected it all up was that the amplifier developed a hum. Maybe it got knocked on the way. A short while later, the old DVD player I had, gave up the ghost. I replaced it with a DVD/Bluray player which, as it turned out, only had a single output, HDMI. So I couldn’t play CDs direct into the amplifier without putting the TV on! Continue reading →

A bit of IKEA hacking — slide out shelf for record deck

I recently built an IKEA “Bestå” unit as an entertainment centre in the living room. A source of frustration was that IKEA UK do not make a slide-out shelf for their Bestå systems, and I wanted to put a record deck on one, so I had to improvise.

The standard shelf that fits into the unit is 56cm wide and 36cm deep. I needed something a little smaller. I got lucky, I had a table that was going to be scrapped, about 8 years old, and when I dismantled it, I found the width of the table top was about 2mm short of 56cm! I’d planned on maybe 55cm, but figured that if I could get it into the unit, and it could move easily, it would do. I cut it to about 34cm deep. If you are attempting this on a different cabinet, you would need a similar or greater depth than the Bestå in order to accommodate the drawer runner.


Bestå drawer runner pair.

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