Fedora, Manjaro, WordPress & Twitter

So, quite a few things have been happening recently.

I tried to go the next step on Manjaro and copy my home directory across ready for me to run the Ansible playbook to do the setups (I’ve been testing it would work via VirtualBox on my Windows laptop)

After waiting ages for the file copy, when I went to do the backup, there was a btrfs checksum error so I’ll have to try again some other time.

Separately, I got a message on an issue I raised at Fedora’s bugzilla the Fedora 36 (the version of Fedora I raised the bug on), was coming up to EOL so I should look to move away from it or upgrade. So I decided to try doing the upgrade.

The upgrade completed without error, but first boot after the upgrade hung with a weird Kernel Panic error (I have posted this on the Fedora Forums)

So I rolled my laptop back to preupgrade state for now.

I suspect I may need to end up doing a clean install, so I’ve prepared a btrfs and a ext4 lvm installation and have imaged those in preparation.

Finally, WordPress posted that they’re stopping Autosharing to Twitter because of Twitter’s Idiot-in-Chief screwing up the API usage.

Still, they have mentioned they will be adding autosharing to Instagram and Mastodon instead, and that helps me, since I’m slowly moving what little Twitter presence I had onto Mastodon anyway.

My Twitter has been disconnected from my WordPress and I’ve revoked its access from Twitter’s side anyway.

Twitter, TFL and Dilbert

It’s been a while so here’s a few updates in the meantime

It’s coming up to a year since I moved house and only now have the pile of construction rubbish been moved from outside my old flat. Dumping of rubbish by the neighbours in the adjoining block of flats into the garage is still happening.

Conservatives lost control of the area to Labour but I’m seeing absolutely no change

We went through a period of very cold weather (-6degC) and this was costing us £10-£15 per day in gas usage.

Moving onto other updates. As posted previously, I went into hospital to remove a lump from my mouth. I’ll soon get a follow up call from the doctor to check how I’m doing. Stitches took about 10 days to dissolve. I just have a small white patch there now where the lump was removed and the doctor cauterised the wound.

Twitter has descended into a real s**thole since Elon took over. First killing all third-party clients and then indicating it may start charging for API usage.

The third-party client purge I can tolerate — it was originally started during the Jack era, but charging for API usage, or even limiting tweets per day is not something many people will accept.

I started working on stripping out twitter functionality from my TFL updates bot and that’s near enough done now. It now tweets (or should that be toots) into a Mastodon account at https://mastodon.xyz/users/updatesbf

RSS feed functionality should still work, but it is not enabled yet, until I can get Keda to work.

New Year’s Eve Update

Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I haven’t posted any proper blog posts since April. So here’s a bit of an update.

We completed the purchase on our house and moved in around April.

We had a period of 40degC+ temperatures soon afterwards and it was _really_ uncomfortable to even exist during that time. I couldn’t even work in my bedroom during that time, and had all the windows open overnight.

And recently, we had a complete reversal, with temperatures hitting -6degC, and a thick layer of snow. Since the house is not on the main road, we no longer have priority with the gritters, which lead to some nerve-wracking drives on the Saturday when I headed up to morning shopping.

I later found out my former neighbour in the flat where I used to live (still find it strange to say that) actually lost functionality to their boiler during this cold snap (the pump to their boiler broke), so they had to wear like 5 layers of clothes and sit around a portable heater in order to keep warm — travelling to a relative’s house to get showered and stuff.

I also found out that two Muslim families have moved into the two vacant flats since we moved out. This now leaves only 4 flats out of the 12 available that are inhabited by non-Muslims. I am, sadly, not surprised by this turn of events, the local council have been aggressively buying up all the council properties they can, and then throwing probably the worst people into them — heck they even bought and sold one of the flats across to a neighbouring council — so essentially we have a flat in one council that is being used to house people from another council. 1 of the remaining residents is only there because they have a vulnerable relative nearby and will move out when she passes. Another is already looking for a new property, and the other two families haven’t made their plans known yet.

We’ve now gone through over 6 months in the new house and have been getting and going through the new bills. Trying to keep the house warm during the cold spell has been costing me over £15 per day in Gas alone. Thankfully, the cold spell only lasted around a week, and the government’s energy assistance did help with the Electricity side — giving £66 extra per month. That doesn’t help with the Gas costs, but it does mean I can use the space heater (which runs off electricity)

My Yaris seems to be having trouble with acceleration even without ECO mode on, so I’m going to start putting money aside to buy a full EV — maybe a Tesla, Hyundai, or Toyota EV (even if Musk has been an AH with the Twitter purchase, I’m still liking the Tesla interface — I even got to sit behind one this year, even if only briefly)

As with most people, I grew concerned with Musk’s handling of the Twitter purchase, so I picked up a side project a year or so ago: Mastodon.

Back when Twitter had issues with privacy, several projects spawned up: Ello, Diaspora* and Mastodon to name a few.

Ello basically failed and has now turned more into a portfolio site. Diaspora is sort of like a decentralized Tumblr and Mastodon was the Twitter equivalent, so much so that there’s more than one auto-crossposter now that allows you to Tweet to Twitter, and it will automatically crosspost it to Mastodon, and vice versa,

I decided to update my TfL Travel Updates project and allow it to post to Mastodon instead. I have it now posting to https://mastodon.xyz/@updatesbf but I am also looking at setting up my own Mastodon instance so I can experiment and break things on my own setup without messing up or flooding someone else’s instance


It’s been a long time since I posted on here — my last post (before today’s posts) was July 17 when I had to self isolate. A lot has happened since then, so this post will be a bit of an update list

I had to take my dad into hospital for a prostrate operation (this was planned before I had to self-isolate) — he already had a PCR test and was cleared. My LFT was also clear, but I still had to self isolate. This was before the self-isolation changes happened. The operation was successful, but he needed to be held a few more days to see an ENT specialist due to them finding lumps in his throat. The concern was that they might be cancerous, but turns out it was just irritation so they gave him some Gaviscon to take after means and soothe the throat. Both my dad and I are prone to post-meal throat irritation so it might mean I might be subject to the same thing later in life.

I got a ticket after driving my dad to the hospital for taking a left turn when I was not supposed do, due to badly signposted roads. My appeal was rejected on the grounds I had paid the ticket. This is how the council screws you over — if you pay the fine to avoid the 100% charge, they will claim that admits guilt. If you don’t, they delay the response until after the 2-week window so you then have to pay the 100% charge.

I finally decided to upgrade my phone and went for a OnePlus 9 Pro. The phone is classed as a “Phablet” and much bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S5 I have been using for years:

The case on the left is for the OnePlus, the case on the right for my S5

I had problems activating the new SIM and eventually Three had to send me a new one, and soon after I got that new one, I got a message saying Three were going to be doing works on the mast in my area and ever since then I have had horrendously bad speeds at home. By bad, I mean speeds of < 1Mbps and even down to 0.2Mbps. Using 3G band sometimes helps, but only marginally.

I’ve taken my complaint up to the Ombudsman but Three are still refusing to do anything about it — even charging me to leave contract early.

I’ve been with Three many years but I will not be recommending them going forward. I will be checking other providers when my contract expires.

We’ve started to go back to the office. My team is doing three days a week in the office, and you pick which three days as long as there are a max of 8 people in the office (due to some office reorganisation, we only have 8 seats for the entire team).

Surprisingly many people have left jobs during and post lockdown (some might have been nudged due to the lockdown, and not just in my office, but generally.)

I won a Twitter completion by Curve for a swag bag. Just had to tweet them three images of their different adverts — all of which showed up on the same station, so that wasn’t too difficult.

Then we had the annoying as heck “Panic at the Pumps” causing shortages.

Driving past Alperton Sainsbury’s

This video from my dashcam shows the queue of traffic. This is the queue leading into the Alperton Sainsbury’s. I was there at around 5am and it took me 30 minutes to clear the queue even with less people in the queue. This queue will probably take 90 minutes to clear, assuming the fuel was not gone by the time they got to the front of the queue

Driving past Whetstone Esso

This video, also from my dashcam shows the queues that built up outside the petrol stations — this Esso I actually went into at 4:30am that morning and they were not open, even though there were staff in the shop (so maybe they were waiting for delivery?)

You’ll get people tooting impatiently and even people cutting the queue and then blocking the lane for the people behind (they must be luxury car drivers)

My house purchase has progressed and we have moved on and are now ready to exchange. However, one of the two sellers is unable to complete his purchase (he’s part of a chain and needs to complete his purchase before he can complete the sale on the current house).

Finally, I got a letter from Principia Law who are the ones trying to claim money back from the drunk driver who wrecked my previous car.

They want me to release my bank records for the period of time I had the hire car. But everyone I have discussed this with seems confused as to why this is required since the accident is a “no-fault” claim on my part, so they should not even need my bank details.

I asked them to call me today to discuss this. I may also speak to the office legal team for their thoughts.

Downgrading LineageOS to Android 10

LineageOS has now gone to Android 11, and like most users, I went ahead and upgraded to it. But then I started hitting lots of problems. Predominantly on location.

Android 11 changed the way location is requested and this breaks functionality in multiple apps. Ones I have noticed this issue with:

  • Just Eat
  • CityMapper
  • Google Maps (yes, surprisingly Google’s own app had trouble with locking on)

Other location apps may have also had the same issue, but I didn’t check those.

Waze did not have any issues locking on to location or tracking movement

Some non-location apps also broke. Fenix 2 (a Twitter client) and WeChat both stopped working and would not install off the Play Store, presumeably because of API differences.

I installed Plume instead (which I had previously purchased) and that installed and functioned happily.

WeChat I sideloaded by getting the apk from a mirror. That functioned okay, but could not log into Web WeChat

I decided to clean wipe and downgrade back to Android 10 (Lineage OS 17) to at least get things working again.

I formatted my SD card for Portable Storage, then took it to my laptop and saved the LOS flash zip, Open Gapps zip, and the latest Magisk.

I booted into TWRP Recovery and wiped, data, cache, system, ART and internal storage.

Switching to external storage, I then flashed LOS, OpenGapps, then Magisk.

I rebooted and let the OS do its thing until I got the welcome screen — that’s a good sign. I went through the setup but opted not to setup my Google Account yet.

Once through to the home page, I went and unlocked Developer options and enabled ADB, Local Terminal, Force Allow External Storage, and Force Close on Hold Back.

Then I plugged my phone into my pixelbook, allowed the debug connection and started up scrcpy which allows me to copy-paste text to and from the device.

I installed TitaniumBackup and the pro key so I can batch move apps to/from the storage.

The SD Card is still setup as Portable. So I formatted it as Internal. This took a few attempts as it kept erroring.

I went into Play Store and installed a few apps. A couple installed file, but the other errorred with a message:

"App requires external storage"

This was weird, I never saw that before, but checking around, I found this: https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/app-requires-external-storage.4098673/ which describes fixing the storage permissions. I ran this:

adb shell
restorecon -FR /data/media/0

I reinstalled the apps again, and there were no errors. Fenix 2 installed happily this time, enhancing my suspicion of some API change breaking it on Android 11.

Also found out that Strava required Google Maps so I also had to install Google Maps.

WeChat finally did install, but was then told by the app that my account cannot use Web WeChat, and I should use WeChat for Windows or Mac….. and I’m running Linux, so both of those options are not feasible.

However, I did find this: https://github.com/qo6xup6/ubuntu-deepin-wechat which is a Wine wrapper around the Windows WeChat app. This seems to work well, although I did have to update the client using the instructions on the README.md

FitBit refused to pair with my Ionic (again — it always seems to have this trouble whenever I have to reinstall the app). I eventually resorted to factory resetting my Ionic, and re-setting it up again. It worked this time, although the pairing took a few attempts.

Surprisingly, I was then able to add my Curve card to FitBit Pay, and the SMS verification worked.

All in all, it took me from around 7am to 12:30 pm to reflash, reinstall, and setup all the apps again, and reboot to make sure the apps still worked. So around 5 hours.

Training in Quarantine – Day 306

Today’s been raining, windy, sunny, rainy again and repeat all day.

Managed to get a walk in between the rain and wind phases

Finished reinstalling my apps and had a few issues with location. Waze and Google Maps had trouble locking onto GPS and found out that even though the option to allow location “only while app is running” was available, I needed to set the permission to “at any time” otherwise they would lock on.

Citymapper had no issue

Just Eat still has issues and does not have a “at any” level for location permission, so I just use the postcode for that.

Most of the apps are now working. A few will not install from Play Store, presumably they’re not built to support Android 11 yet:

  • WeChat
  • Fenix 2

For Fenix, I went back to Plume (I had previously paid for the Premium version and that works fine). I installed GBoard so I can put gifs into my tweets again (one feature I really liked from Fenix)

WeChat, I ended up sideloading from apkmirror and it worked fine.


I came across this article on FailBlog, but it was actually something that hit home quite hard. It’s a thread that talks about grief.

In case you didn’t know, I lost my uncle to cancer in 2017 and sat on a blog entry talking about dealing with loss for months, not wanting to publish it (it wasn’t this entry, mind you) — but I knew that writing about it helps deal with it.

The article on FailBlog links to an old thread by Lauren Herschel, an unrolled version is here:


It talks about grief as a “Ball in a box with a pain button” and the ball fills the box, hitting the button near-constantly right after the incident or loss.

The ball deflates over time, meaning it doesn’t hit the button as much, but when it does, it hurts just as bad, and damn, this is right on the button.

WordPress and Twitter

I wondered why I didn’t enable auto-sharing to Twitter from WordPress,

Then I remembered, that method only puts the title of your blog entry, plus an embedded link. Unless you have a really informative blog title, I don’t think it works.

Instead, I use IFTTT, but have to remember to either add a picture somewhere in the post or manually shre it through force checking the IFTTT applets.

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