One of the few reasons to start Windows…

… are updates when I read about them in online media. And today I’ve got their 23H2 version of Windows 11 (because I selected to not download and install as soon as possible):

As you can see, I’m using a local account, and that’s also the reason that their news aren’t personalised (and even if, they’re not that interesting anyway):

In fact, I mostly start Windows for these updates, and from time to time because I want to convert a raw photo from my camera with the OM System Workspace – and I probably should try that under Wine on Linux again. But OTOH, I also added another local account on my machine for our daughter, so she could try Genshin Impact on it. And although we only have the integrated graphics from our AMD Ryzen 7 5700G processors, seeing that on my Eizo Monitor with its 1920×1200 resolution is beautiful, and a much more immersive experience than having it on a phone, according to Zuleikha. So for the moment, Windows stays on my SSD, together with Debian (my main OS) and Arch Linux (for experiments).

Like always, thanks for reading.

P.S.: why I don’t download and install software as soon as it’s available? Because I like software when it’s ready, like the Debian Release team says: quando paratus est. For a rolling release and the latest and greatest, I have Arch, which I like a lot more than Fedora. (This article was written on it.)

Strategic (and thus, management) errors

I really like Asus, the Taiwanese manufacturer of fine mainboards. Although they’re too much intended for gamers in my humble opinion, and what I don’t like so much are the boot screens of my wife’s (µATX) mainboard with the “Tough Gaming” or mine with the “Republic of Gamers” hints – we’re not gamers at all, and using AMDs Ryzen 5700G processors, we instead built energy-efficient “work” machines.

But this is about phones, and the Asus Zenfone line could be the optimal Android phones – they’re small, very capable with their latest Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, and they even still have 3,5mm headset jacks, so bravo to all of that. Okay, starting at around the 800€ mark here in Europe, they’re a bit expensive, so they have to compete to Google’s newest Pixel 8 – and that fight, they lose on several points:

First, the Asus phones only have support for two years and Android version upgrades, while Google’s newest offer 7 years. Second, they lack the Titan M security chip of Google’s devices which even allow alternate boot ROMs to be re-locked and verified with cryptographic keys, and third, the latest Zenfone 9 and 10 (and now also 7) lines don’t even offer to unlock their bootloaders anymore, which means that after those meager two years of support, you’re left in the cold and rain – and those phones will go to landfills much too early.

Read this report at Android Authority, or the XDA Developers’ forae about this if you wish, or write to Asus if you really care (I did). But as a recommendation for good phones, read this one from Privacy Guides.

Also, in case you’re from Germany and read “best buy” lists like this one, please reconsider: I’ve got a Google Pixel 6a beginning of this year, when they were at 319€, and everything on Privacy Guides still applies for it. So I wrote to that author as well, mentioning that we still get monthly updates (from DivestOS) for ten year old Google Nexus tablets or their Pixel 3a. No e-waste, no landfills, still (with some restrictions) usable.

And like always, thanks for reading.

Happy birthday Bella

Today is Bella’s second birthday. We took a few photos, and Zuleikha made a collage of some of them:

Bella on her second birthday, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

I took the first one using my compact flash bounced over the ceiling, two of the collage were made with a studio strobe, and one with Zuleikha’s mobile phone with the normal room light on.

And like always, thanks for viewing.

Another Caturday, after ~ 6.5 weeks

We’re letting Bella out since 10 days, and she is making good use of it, going up to 5.5 hours exploring her new home, garden, and surroundings. And then she normally comes home to rest. I take pictures when I see something, like this one for instance which I took using my phone:


Or this one with my camera:


It’s a joy having her with us, and I’m always glad when she comes back.

Two good articles

Bobby Borisov wrote a nice article called “Debian Unveiled: The Gold Standard of Linux Stability” on his linuxiac web site, and Ankush Das summarized in his “Focusrite Extends Help to Linux Developer to Enable Driver Support” article on It’s FOSS News how Geoffrey Bennett and Focusrite are getting together since he started writing driver and GUI software for their audio interfaces (and reported about that on LinuxMusicians).

So both articles are good and recommended reading.


Here are some more photos of Bella since last Purrsday:

Bella – a cat that fits into a phone case, Mörfelden-Walldorf 2023

Like always, thanks for viewing.

Five weeks – and freedom, finally ;)

Today it has been 35 days or 5 weeks since we’ve brought Bella to our home. And according to the suggestions, if you move a cat, keep her in for 4-6 weeks to get accomodated to the new home, or else she could head out just to search for the old one. So we agreed on 5 weeks, meaning: today.

Here are some photos since last week, and from today:


Zuleikha also made a nice collage with her phone, which she sent me with Signal lately:

Here’s one from this morning, looking out at the dimly lit dining area/window:


Later, Bella slept a bit (or recharged, like babies do?):


And finally, while us humans were hanging the laundry: freedom! Yay!


She hasn’t been out for too long this first time, so let’s see how she’ll do during the next days. So much to explore…

… and like always, thanks for viewing.

Thanks to Gnome, computing became a lot less fun again

Got Gnome 45 on Arch today, and – as expected and even announced – none of the former extensions kept working. Looked like this:

Gnome 45 desktop on Arch Linux, with Conky and my own wallpaper photo

The workspace switcher still worked, but is redundant now because they made another pill-shaped one on the top left (not movable). Freon and Openweather extensions don’t have version 45 yet, and even Vitals – at least the one packaged in Arch’s User Repository (AUR) was too old. And GSConnect, the most important one for integrating your phone(s), is gone as well.

My solution, for the moment? Go to XFCE. I’ve tried Budgie but didn’t like it, and I never became friends with KDE again since leaving it 20+ years ago. So for now my Arch desktop looks like this:

XFCE4 desktop on Arch Linux, with default background and with added weather and sensor applets (built in, eat that, Gnome!)

So still no GSConnect (or KDE Connect), but still better than this forced-into-your face behaviour of Gnome. Seems like Linus was right, that is cancerous behaviour, thanks but no thanks.


I gave KDE another try. No love yet, but it’s growing on me. And KDE Connect works as well (that small phone icon in the lower right):

KDE Plasma desktop on Arch Linux, with Conky and some additional widgets

So let’s see…

Edit/Update from later the same day:

Back to Gnome by now. Like I said, I tried to love KDE or XFCE or other desktop environments, but just can’t. So for the moment I installed the latest nightly build of GSConnect from Github, and for a bit of weather info, I used another extension from AUR’s git. That relies on the installed weather app from Gnome which isn’t as good as OpenWeather, but it works (showing Frankfurt, not the place we live but close enough). For the moment, I can do without Vitals or Freon, I know that my CPU temp and fans speeds are good no matter what I’ll do. So back to minmalistic Gnome:

Gnome 45 desktop on Arch Linux, with GSConnect and a bit of weather info

Like always, thanks for viewing.