The Linux kernel is 30 years old today. I used a Linux distribution for my desktop for a good 10 years or so starting in the late nineties. Oh, how we laughed when people said, “this would be the year of the Linux desktop”!
Linux was always strong on the server but it still struggles as a desktop OS. Steamdeck will help in a small way with that, but it really won on mobile phones as the kernel of all Android phones.
Here’s to the next 30 years. I wonder what changes those years will bring.
Demos come in all shapes and sizes, 4k, 64k, intros, demos and more, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a demo running on a Commodore 64 disc drive, or 1541 drive. You can read more about it on the Freespin homepage.
The 1541 family of drives have the same CPU as the Commodore 64 so adapting code to run on it will be easy for anyone familiar with the machine but what’s different here is that the drive is hooked up directly to the monitor to display the demo.
Sound is supplied by the drive, and as expected is the usual buzzing sounds until the end when it changes and becomes slightly more musical.
Worth a watch, even if you have no interest in demos. The idea of running software on a disc drive like this blows my mind!
If you live in the EU and bought cheap goods from China or anywhere outside the EU you may have been surprised when you didn’t have to pay customs duties or VAT on the product.
To be honest, the extra payment required by An Post/a third party carrier to pay for more expensive goods is probably what surprised most people buying from outside the European Union. That can be €10 to €15 or more.
Well, from July 1st you may have to pay that fee regardless of how much the goods you bought are. If you’re looking for a cheap phone case, or book or whatever from the UK you better do it ASAP because if it’s delivered here (Ireland or elsewhere in the EU) after July 1st you’ll end up paying extra.
The Irish Revenue website has a page explaining how it works and it’s not pretty.
From 1 July 2021, import VAT will be payable on all goods entering the EU, irrespective of their value. VAT will always be collected, irrespective of the amount due. If you order goods valued at €22 or less before 1 July 2021, that arrive after that date, you may have to pay VAT.
The revenue.ie page does not mention that non-EU sellers can charge VAT at point-of-sale. A paragraph on this page explains how this works:
The EU has therefore agreed to scrap the import VAT exempt threshold. Instead, it will require EU and non-EU sellers to charge VAT at the point of sale for consignments of €150 or below. This will create a more efficient ‘Green Channel’, with quick and easy customs clearance. Note – the delivery agent may still act as the import VAT collector (see below).
Sellers will charge VAT at the rate of their customer’s EU country of residence at the point-of-sale on the website. Sellers can use the delivery address of the customer to determine the country VAT rate. No VAT is due at the point of import in this case.
This already happens for digital sales, such as those for games and software.
I suspect this change to the VAT rate will also apply to UK magazine subscriptions since periodicals are charged(PDF) 9% VAT in Ireland while they are 0% in the UK. If that’s the case it’s not worth it (An Post will charge €10 to deliver a magazine worth let’s say €6.) unless the seller is registered in the EU and charges VAT on the subscription.
Google Photos will start counting your uploads against a storage limit from tomorrow. Make sure you upload anything you’ve been meaning to upload in the next few hours!
Also go into your shared albums and click the “Save photos” button if you want “local” copies of any photos shared with you.
I’m sticking with Google Photos. The ease of sharing photos and AI search make it worth while, but I will be disabling automatic upload off my phone. I take too many snapshots that I don’t care enough about to pay for them.
Browser tabs. We all love them, and then we hate them when there are too many. Sprinkled among the litter of blog and Facebook posts, Twitter and Reddit threads, are the nuggets you want to keep.
You could just close them, you probably won’t miss them but my brain rebels against the thought. Instead I’d like to bookmark them somewhere so at least in some distant future I can review them at my leisure. Thankfully it’s easy, in Firefox at least. It looks like it’s even easier in Chrome!
First of all, right click on a tab and click on “Select all tabs”.
All your tabs will be highlighted and “Bookmark Tab” helpfully changes to “Bookmark Tabs”.
Clicking that will bring up a familiar bookmark window. I opted to put the my browser windows into different folders. I had a lot of tabs open..
But now I’m back to one window and a handful of tabs related to my current project. Out of sight, out of mind! 🙂
Libraries Ireland recently switched from the RBDigital app that my wife loved to an app called Libby. She reads magazines on a very old iPad so she made the reluctant switch to Libby.
It was a nightmare. By accident she selected the county library rather than the city library and we couldn’t see where to change library. I reinstalled it as that seemed to be the easiest way of fixing that issue.
Once into the app she entered her details and attempted to read a magazine. Unfortunately it was so slow it was frustrating. I realise this iPad is old, but the RBDigital app was quick and responsive on the device. The Libby app is not. Pages load slowly, the whole device lags when Libby is running. Downloading magazines is very slow.
We had the same experience on a Kindle Fire Android tablet, but it was marginally faster. From snail’s pace to sloth’s pace. What the hell is the app written in? Some high level framework that needs the latest hardware to run it?
Then I saw you can use their website, libbyapp.com instead. Firefox on the Android tablet, and Chrome on the iPad were a lot more responsive. While it was still slow to load magazines it was usable. Libby even makes it easy to add a new device.
Their website works just fine in Chrome on my ageing iPad, and the immersive view of Firefox on the Android tablet looks even better so I must see about putting Firefox on the iPad too.
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