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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Wed, 20 Mar 2019

Another way to solve the problem with Windows 10, the Conexant audio driver, Firefox and Flow

When a device driver kills your computer's performance, but only when run in conjunction with a certain web browser, and that certain web browser is not Google Chrome, good luck with getting your problem fixed.

That's what's happening to my HP Envy 15 as133cl laptop. Running Google Chrome poses no problems.

But when I run Mozilla Firefox, the laptop's Conexant audio driver has a program called Flow that does something related to figuring out what kind of audio your PC might want to play. And when Firefox is running, Flow can't seem to figure out what is going on and runs all the time, taking a large percentage of available CPU along with it.

I solved this problem with an Internet search. It was easy and painless.

After I installed the new driver, the problem returned. I'm lazy enough that all I did was bring up the Windows Task Manager (ctrl-alt-delete, then select it) and kill Flow from there. I haven't rebooted since, Flow hasn't returned, and I'm having zero issues with audio on the computer.

Update: It's annoying that killing those two processes doesn't stop Flow from killing laptop performance. There is a third Conexant process that I should kill to see if it takes care of the Flow problem. Why it's STILL a problem, I don't know. If it affected Chrome, it would cause a major uproar and be fixed in a week or less.

Fri, 15 Mar 2019

How to watch video with the Chromium browser in Fedora 29

When my Fedora 28 upgrade blew up, I didn't turn to Google's repository for Chrome when I reinstalled F28, sticking with Firefox only for as long as I could.

Eventually I needed a Chrome-equivalent browser, and I turned to the Fedora-packaged Chromium. It runs great, and I like that it's packaged by Fedora developers.

But it ships without the codecs required to watch video from places like YouTube.

It didn't bother me for awhile, but situations do come up where I need to see a video, and it's a little interruptive to start Firefox if I'm not using that browser already.

So I did a little web search and learned that there is a package from RPM Fusion that will take care of this issue.

If you already have the RPM Fusion repositories set up on your Fedora computer (and I recommend that you do it if you haven't already), just open a terminal and run this:

$ sudo dnf install h264enc

That will get you video in the Fedora-packaged Chromium browser. That's it. Easy, right?