March 16, 2017


New Virtual Worlds


My hard disk crashed. Over the years, I've said a few things repeatedly when it comes to hard drives. One of them is that it's not a question of "if" your hard drive will crash, but "when". The second, more recently, is just how rarely this seems to happen lately. Hard disks never seem to crash any more. Maybe it's because we rotate our PCs so often. I remember keeping a PC for 10 years in the Before Time.

Anyhow, my hard drive crashed on my relatively new laptop. This computer is new enough and fast enough and powerful enough with enough memory that I did not want to replace it quite yet. So I bought a new SSD drive.

That's the good news. Let me tell you about how amazingly fast everything is now.

Before we get started . . .

You should really follow my Flipboard and YouTube channels and personal Websites.

"Cooking With Linux" on Flipboard 

Subscribe to Marcel's YouTube channel where you can view the latest editions of the Cooking With Linux show. 

My own site is where I talk about whatever comes into my head, including Linux and Open Source software. If you just want the Linux and Open Source stuff, head over to .

Today's Wine

Today's wine is from South Eastern Australia. It's a Riesling and Gewürztraminer blend from Hardy's; the 2016 Stamp. This has been one of my favorite wines, of late. It's light, quite floral, with a lime tones. It's a dry wine, but it does taste a hint on the sweet side. Honestly, I love this stuff, and the price is right.

All Those DVDs Gathering Dust

Over on yon Facebook, I was taking part in a discussion about ripping DVDs to video files on your computer using Linux. My friend, being a command line guy, explained how he did it. I countered that, while I was also a command line guy, I do my DVD ripping with HandBrake. He then accused me of really being a desktop guy. Well . . . maybe I am. I will let you, my viewers, readers, and listeners, decide on that one. In the meantime, here's a little video to show you just how easy it is to rip a DVD using HandBrake. Best of all, you might learn about an awesome TV series that I used to watch in the before time.


You can watch that episode of Cooking With Linux here : 

The software that does this magic is called HandBrake. On the last show, I also mentioned K3B, the Swiss Army Knife of ripping software, able to create CDs and DVDs, make backups, rip audio and video. K3B is still awesome, but if you just want something that rips DVDs into convenient digital files for your computer or tablets, then HandBrake is what you want.

Android On Linux

Admit it. You've wanted to be able to run Android apps on your desktop. There's a game you like, maybe, that you'd like to check in on while you do your real work. Or maybe it's more

That's where Shashlik comes into play. It's available from here. 

This is a two step process. To install your APK, use this command.

/opt/shashlik/bin/shashlik-install path_to_apk_file.apk

Once that's done, there should be an icon in your launcher for the Android app. If not, you'll find the apps in your home directory under .local/

If you need a way to download an APK from the Play store directly, check out Evozi's APK downloader.  That's a good place to go if you want to get your APK directly from Google, but there are plenty of other places.

Distribution Focus, Windows 10

Okay, I'm kidding. Sort of.

Here on the show, I've covered the process of installing various distributions using virt-manager. I usually suggest that because modern computers often have virtualization built right in to the processor meaning you don't need software like VirtualBox. It's nice, but not necessary. I've also shown that you can run a distribution right from the command line if you like using qemu/kvm.

Recently, I discovered a package that crosses the line between the somewhat friendlier front end of VirtualBox and the 'already there' convenience of qemu/kvm.

That package is AQEMU and it's available at as well as through your favorite distribution's software repositories

You can download a copy of Windows 10 from and includes Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 ISO downloads.

The real distribution focus is on Porteus Linux ( ). This is a distribution whose entire purpose in life is to provide a kiosk with a running browser (Firefox or Google Chrome) in a protected environment. What that means is that you can't get out of it, specify another address, or anything else for that matter. No history is kept and the user session is cleared out each time.


It's Story Time!

Got a story you want to tell? A novel waiting to get out? I'm here to help.

First . . . writing is a really bad idea. It's this dark rabbit hole from which you never escape. Worse, you'll never be satisfied with anything you do. You'll probably wind up drinking too much, whether it's coffee or something else, and you may even skip taking a shower every day or two. But, if you're still here, I'm here to help.

Bibisco is open source software designed to help you tell your story.


You can get it at .

Skype Revisited

On the last show, I covered an alternative to Skype's long in the tooth Alpha product for Linux, something called Ghetto Linux. The video for that one is here : 

As though they were listening (and I'm sure they weren't), Microsoft has released Skype For Linux Beta!

Until next time . . . A votre santé! Bon appétit!

-- Marcel Gagné