Asus T100 Transformer – Back in (the Linux) Business!

It’s been more than six years since I gave up trying to run Linux on the T100 after bricking the computer (see Asus T100 Transformer – A Cautionary Tale). Since then the T100 has been using Windows, updated to Windows 10, exclusively. However, the recent announcement that most older computers will not be able to be upgraded to Windows 11 has me thinking of going completely Windows free. And, since the T100 is the only one of my machines that isn’t currently dual booted, I thought I would check the current state of the Linux nation for this device. Dual-booting the T100 would be the final, interim step in potentially moving my operations completely to Linux.

It turns out that a lot of work must have gone into the Linux kernel in the past few years since it appears that installing Linux on Bay Trail hardware is now pretty straightforward. In particular, my preferred distro is Linux Mint and a posting in Linux Mint Forums shows how to install the 64-bit distro using a 32-bit bootloader. In fact the process for my T100 was even simpler than that indicated as the Wi-Fi system was functional as soon as the live-USB loaded Mint.

Secure Boot was already turned off in the BIOS of my T100 and so the steps required were as follows:

(1) Create a live-USB of Linux Mint Version 20.2 (Uma)

(2) Download bootia32.efi from https://github.com/hirotakaster/baytail-bootia32.efi and copy this file to the EFI/BOOT folder on the USB drive

(3) Boot the live-USB drive and install Linux

The usual installation process ran flawlessly, including the option to install alongside Windows, and rebooting brought up the grub menu allowing me to boot into either OS with, thankfully, Linux being once again the default!

References:

Asus T100 Transformer – A Cautionary Tale
https://linuxnorth.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/asus-t100-transformer-a-cautionary-tale/

Asus T100TA – Linux Mint 20 – Almost flawless OOTB!!!
https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=336841

hirotakaster/baytail-bootia32.efi
https://github.com/hirotakaster/baytail-bootia32.efi

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Happy 30th Birthday!

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of Linux by Linus Torvalds.

References:

Happy 30th Birthday, Linux!
https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2021/08/happy-30th-birthday-linux

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Rooting LineageOS 17.1 with Magisk

One of the side effects of switching to LineageOS 17.1 is that a different method for rooting the phone is required. The OS stores its updates at \data\lineageos_updates in the root directory. Since each update is of the order of 0.5 GB, these will eventually take up all of the available free space on the internal storage of the Moto G3. However, the amount of free space can be managed by deleting old updates or moving these onto the micro-SDcard. But, the file cleanup can only take place if the user has root access. Continue reading

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Tracking down more Android storage space hogs

Even after cleaning out the app_webview/BrowserMetrics’ folder in my K-9 E-mail client (see: Tracking down Android storage space hogs), I found that the free space on my phone once again dropped precipitously to about 300 MB. Consequently, I decided to dig a little deeper into just what BrowserMetrics was all about.
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Tracking down Android storage space hogs

When you (try to) download an app from Google’s Play Store and nothing seems to happen, there is probably a notification on the lock screen indicating that there is insufficient space to perform the operation. This can also be a problem when trying to update apps. On my phone, even quite small updates, say 20 MB, can fail if there is less than 500 MB of free space available! But, then the trick is to find what is hogging all the available storage.
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Google phone app not displaying incoming calls

I had a very frustrating experience when waiting for an important phone call. The phone rang, but there was no pop-up to enable me to accept (or decline) the call. Having “missed” the call, I had to dial-out to return the call and make the required connection.
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User Manual/Tutorial for LibreOffice Basic Macros

In an earlier post (Save the Current Workbook using a LibreOffice Calc Macro), I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t seem to locate a really useful user manual or tutorial for macro programming using LibreOffice Basic. In particular, I noted that the keywords I was using for a Google search were not productive. Both aspects of this issue were resolved when I recalled that LibreOffice is actually a fork of OpenOffice. The trick is to search on Google for something like: OpenOffice basic macro user manual.

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Identifying the OS (Linux or Windows) in a LibreOffice Basic Macro

In the last post I described how to save the open Calc workbook from a macro. One of the parameters used was file:///media/DataDisk/agl.ods which clearly indicates that Calc was being run under Linux. But, those of us with dual-boot systems can also run LibreOffice Calc under Windows in which case we would want to save the file as something like D:/agl.ods. It would be useful if we could use the same Calc workbook, and the same macro, with both operating systems. So, how are we going to code the macro to use the correct disk folder designation?
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Save the Current Workbook using a LibreOffice Calc Macro

I often find it difficult to track down how to develop macro code in LibreOffice Basic to do what I consider to be routine tasks. Perhaps I haven’t found the requisite beginner’s guide, or don’t use the right search strings in Google. For Microsoft’s Excel, the latter technique using “VBA” usually does the trick; however, including “LibreOffice”, “Basic” and “macro” doesn’t necessarily find the answer for Calc.
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Testing Development Versions of LibreOffice

If you are not a computer programmer, graphics designer, technical writer, or a web developer, one way to assist in the development of open-source software, such as the LibreOffice suite, is to test pre-release versions of the software as these are developed. If any bugs are identified these can be reported to the development team so that they can be fixed in future builds. A really neat feature of LibreOffice is that a development version can be installed in parallel with a stable release that is being used as a “daily driver”.
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