VLC missing title bar and window decorations on Fedora 27

Recently, VLC Media Player on my Fedora 27 installation running the Cinnamon desktop has been missing the title bar and window decorations, resulting in VLC not being a proper window and only a full-screen application. For me, this behavior is undesirable.

VLC without title bar

To restore normal functionality it’s easiest to simply delete the VLC configuration:

rm -r ~/.config/vlc

Now, VLC will function normally. Preferences will have to be recreated, but if you’re like me, you don’t need much more than the ability to play media.

x11vnc – stack smashing detected

My x11vnc on Fedora has recently started crashing with the following error:

*** stack smashing detected ***: terminated

This issue seems to come and go for a lot of people with x11vnc. Bugs have been reported, but nobody seems to be able to pin it down. One workaround is to recompile it from source with some memory protections disabled, but that is a lot of work .

This workaround takes care of it: launch x11vnc with  -noxrecord on the end. That’s it!

Windows Environment Variables from Command Prompt

If you’re supporting an end user on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 10, and don’t want to completely log them out, you can use Run As on a Command Prompt as an administrator and then run the following:

rundll32 sysdm.cpl,EditEnvironmentVariables

Now edit your variables and relaunch your application. This is very useful if you find yourself needing to correct the PATH, let’s say, for Java.

Project Fi recommendation

I’ve been a Project Fi customer for over 2 years. We went from a Verizon bill of $140+ per month for 2 phones with 800 minutes, 100 texts, and unlimited data to Project Fi with unlimited talk and text and $10/GB on data, with an average bill of $50-55/mo. There’s bill protection, too, so if you go above 10GB (with 2 lines), they won’t charge you any more than $135. If you’re always on Wi-Fi, it’s a no-brainer.

Project Fi uses towers from Sprint, TMobile, and US Cellular, switching when the signal from the current carrier gets low. Also, Wi-Fi calling and texting works flawlessly – I’ve even taken calls over satellite Internet.

The only caveat with Project Fi is that you pay for your phone up front (which is becoming more common, anyway), and it has to be a phone that gets its updates directly from Google: the Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Moto X4 Android One edition, Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, and Nexus 5X. That’s because traditional carriers do not include the network-switching software piece in the handsets they sell.

Here’s a referral code to get a $20 credit when you join Project Fi! Redeem it at https://g.co/fi/r/JFD22V

Android cannot delete emails from IMAP server

I’ve been having an odd problem with being unable to delete emails from the Inbox of my self-hosted email account from my Android phone, using the Gmail app, using IMAP. When I would delete a message, a copy would be created in the Trash folder, but the original would remain in the inbox – when viewed from webmail. When I refreshed the inbox, the original would reappear on my phone.

At first, I thought the problem was permissions on /var/mail – so I did various changes such as chmod 1775, but to no avail.

I then remembered that I had recently re-setup my mail account on my phone, and realized that maybe it wasn’t using IMAP previously. So, I deleted the account, set it up again as POP3, and enabled server-side deletion. It worked!

It turns out that most mobile IMAP clients do not support the ability to achieve true server-side deletion. Using POP3 is an easy alternative and there is no harm. Yes, POP3 is an outdated and cruddy protocol, but in the end, it works.

Cannot run xiwi applications in Crouton

Recently on my Chromebook running Crouton, I’ve had trouble running applications using xiwi after entering my chroot. I would receive the following error repeatedly:

write_image: Cannot find shm, moving on…
find_shm: Cannot connect to findnacl daemon. (Connection refused)

I tried re-updating my chroot, checking drivers, reinstalling the crouton integration extension, and none of those worked, but this did:

  1. Enter the chroot
  2. Run the following command: chown -R 1000:1000 “$HOME”

Apparently, permissions can get messed up and stop xiwi from functioning properly.

Android Pay not working on Nexus 6P with Android Oreo

After sideloading Android 8.0 Oreo on my Nexus 6P, I found that Android Pay no longer considered my device secure. There’s apparently a bug in the OTA version Google posted publicly on their website, OPR6.170623.017. Luckily, the OTA that went out to most people, OPR6.170623.019, does not have this bug. You can wait for an OTA notice from Google, which might take a couple of weeks, or you can sideload OPR6.170623.019.

Here’s the download link: https://android.googleapis.com/packages/ota-api/google_angler_angler/fa6c32666b341b882089fc8e1207f435921723f9.zip

How to Solve: Enrolled Chromebooks losing Enrollment

Lately, I’ve had a rash of Lenovo N22 Chromebooks that would lose their G Suite Admin Console enrollment. Re-enrollment wasn’t sticking and the next update would make them lose their enrollment.

To solve this, a full device factory reset is needed.  Follow this process:

  1. Turn off the Chromebook. Shutdown or long holding Power are both fine.
  2. Press and hold Escape, Refresh, and Power for 3 seconds. Let go.
  3. It will come up to a screen with a yellow exclamation. Press CTRL + D.
  4. It will tell you to press Enter to turn OS verification off. Press Enter.
  5. It will restart with a red exclamation. Press CTRL + D again.
  6. It will transition to Developer Mode. This can take 5-10 minutes.
  7. At the next bootup, it will tell you that it is going to start in Developer Mode and to press Space to turn OS verification back on. Press Space then Enter.
  8. It will transition back to Verified mode, this will take a minute or two.
  9. It will boot to the Welcome screen. Connect it to the wireless and enroll it with CTRL E. 

You’re done! Now your Chromebooks shouldn’t ask for Wi-Fi credentials on bootup as if they weren’t enrolled.