I’m now a Debian user

I’ve been a Linux user since 2001. From 2011 (or maybe 2010) Linux has been my primary operating system using first Ubuntu and later, from 2013, Xubuntu. I’ve always used the long-term support versions as I prefer a very stable system.

Early 2020 I found out that the snap packaging system is mandatory and being an old and grumpy man I prefer the old-school repository way to install software packages.

In May 2020 I ordered a new laptop, a Lenovo Thinkpad T495. I decided to change Linux distribution from Xubuntu to Debian. I started to install Debian Buster, the stable version of Debian together with Debian Buster-Backports to get the latest kernel to gain advantage of the processor in my T495 (AMD Ryzen 7 Pro 3700U).

Quite soon I found out that several software packages I use as radio amateur are out-dated in Debian Buster. I tried to mix Buster (stable) with Debian Bullseye, the testing version of Debian. The mix of Buster and Bullseye was very problematic already after a day or two and I reinstalled my laptop, now using Debian Bullseye.

After a day or two of configuring my laptop it is now up and running pretty much as I like to have it configured.

From now on I promise to be Debian loyal, at least as long as Debian does not force me to use snap or flatpack packaging software!

Global COVID-19 Radio Event Set for June 6–7

ARRL

Stations bearing call signs that promote the “stay-at-home” message and the value of social distancing and isolation have sprung up during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some 150,000 messages of support shared around the world. An on-air gathering over the June 6 – 7 weekend will offer a further opportunity for stay-at-home stations and radio amateurs to share greetings in a contest-like framework, looking toward the day that restrictions will ease, eventually making the stay-at-home injunction obsolete. The patron of the STAYHOME radio campaign is Finland’s Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto, and the worldwide activity has the endorsement of International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) President Tim Ellam, VE6SH/G4HUA, and the United Nations Amateur Radio Club.

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Venerable AO-7 Satellite Continues to Deliver

ARRL

The nearly 46-year-old AO-7 amateur satellite made a remarkable contact possible on May 4 between Diego Feil, LW2DAF, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (GF05rk), and Tom Ambrose, ZS1TA, in Cape Town, South Africa (JF95fx). The contact spanned 4,329 miles across the South Atlantic, with both stations aiming at only 2 or 3 degrees above the horizon.

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YOTA Online programme launched

RSGB

As all planned YOTA 2020 events have been cancelled until September, a new programme called YOTA Online has been developed.

This will be a monthly livestream gathering, free to all participants and available afterwards as a recorded version.

In each meeting, the YOTA team will present different topics and answer questions from the YOTA community.

There will also be opportunities to share stories of recent YOTA events.

The first meeting will be on 28 May 2020.

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Two New Chinese Ham Satellites Expected to Launch in September

ARRL

Two new Chinese amateur radio satellites are expected to launch on September 15. CAS-7A and CAS-7C follow in the wake of numerous amateur radio satellites put into space by CAMSAT. CAS-7A, a 27 kilogram microsat, will carry several transponders, including a 15-meter-to-10-meter (H/T) linear transponder, and a 2-meter-to-70-centimeter (H/U) linear transponder. CAS-7A also will include a V/U (2 meters to 70 centimetres) FM voice transponder. According to the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) satellite coordination site, CAS-7A is planned to have CW beacons on both 10 meters and 70 centimetres, 4.8k or 9.6k GMSK telemetry on 70 centimetres, and a 1 Mbps GMSK image data downlink on 3 centimetres for an onboard camera.

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Facebook vs Covid-19

It is estimated that each person infected with Covid-19 transmits the virus to 2.5 other people (I have seen numbers from 2.2 to just under 3 people). We can all see what Covid-19 is all about, right?

How many see your posts on Facebook and how many share them? Do you share posts yourself? I suspect that a post on Facebook is viewed, liked and shared by more than 2.5 people. In other words, the spread rate of crap in social media is even higher than Corona’s spread.

One problem with lies online is that there will never be any vaccine against news that sounds credible but contains factual errors.

If we now have to wash our hands frequently with soap and water and isolate ourselves if we have symptoms of Corona, then the authorities should be equally encouraged to not share posts where we have not checked the source. To be a bit more source-critical, simply.

If you think Covid-19 is spreading fast, fake news is spreading even faster and you never know who is the sender or what is the sender’s purpose with a post.

The latest iteration of the user-friendly Linux desktop distribution is now available.

Linux Magazine

Right on schedule, Canonical has released the latest version of the Ubuntu desktop. Focal Fossa includes plenty of new features that should excite any and all Linux and Ubuntu fans. This latest iteration of the Ubuntu desktop is an LTS (Long Term Support) release, which means it will be supported until 2025.

Focal Fossa is built upon the Linux 5.4 kernel (which is also an LTS release).

One of the most anticipated features included with 20.04 is the Wireguard VPN service, which is built-in at the kernel level and is significantly easier to setup than a traditional VPN. Wireguard is also more secure than other solutions, partially because it is implemented within the kernel and is limited to using only new and more secure cryptographic protocols.

Another big addition to Ubuntu 20.04 is GNOME 3.36, which includes a long-overdue revamping of the login screen. GNOME 3.36 enjoys a boost in performance, a new Do Not Disturb button, fractional scaling, the ability to remove the dock, even more snap support in GNOME Software, more default theme variants (which can now be selected from within Settings, instead of having to install the GNOME Tweaks tool), faster boot times, and improved ZFS support.

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