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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gartner: PC Industry Suffering '5-Year Slump' | News & Opinion |

Gartner: PC Industry Suffering '5-Year Slump' | News & Opinion | ""



Well, PC sales are down for Desktops and Laptops, but UP for Chromebooks. 

I’m curious to see what happens when Microsoft’s Windows 10 S seriously hits the market. Will it affect Chromebooks?


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Forked-daapd rides again! Installing Forked-Daapd (at last!) and some ancillary software to make life easier

Hello again! At this point you should have read my previous articles.

I hope you installed Linux Mint or another Ubuntu-derived Linux distro, on your external USB hard drive connected to your Windows 10 computer. You have it up and running.

Now for installing the forked-daapd iTunes music server and other software. Installing forked-daapd itself is easy, but you have to take some time editing the configuration file. I’ll walk you through that process.


Installing Forked-Daapd: Two different ways

You can install forked-daapd in two different ways. The first way is through a graphical Software Manager, the equivalent of the Windows 10 Store or the Mac/iOS App Store. 

54 the GUI software manager

If you don’t see it when you click on the Start Menu, click on the System Menu (the one with the Mac System Preferences icon!) and look for it there. 

In any case, double click on the Software Manager icon. First, though, you have to enter your Linux password. It’s the equivalent of your Mac’s administrative password. So remember it!


55 the GUI Software Manager screen


You will see twelve categories of apps to choose from. 

Enter forked-daapd into the search box with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner. Press the ENTER key.


58 forked daapd found


You will see it appear. Now double-click on it.


59 the forked daapd page ready to install


You will see a description of the forked-daapd app. Now click on the Install button to start.


60 installing forked daapd


Now forked-daapd is installed. This was the easiest part. 


66 editing the name to use with forked daapd


You need to open the Terminal in a moment to edit the forked-daapd configuration file to give it a name to display on iTunes and to point to the directory (folder) in which you keep the music files.

Linux Mint has a keyboard shortcut for opening the Terminal. It’s Control+Alt+T

When you get to the prompt, enter this command sudo nano /etc/forked-daapd.conf

Let me explain the parts of this command!

“Sudo” is a UNIX command found also in macOS that gives you 15 minutes of super powers over Linux. You are a temporary root user.

“Nano” is the name of a terminal based text editor. It’s very simple, a lot simpler to use than the big text editors VIM and Emacs.

“/etc/forked-daapd.conf” is the path to the configuration file, which is forked-daapd, as you probably guessed.

So here are the two parts you need to edit. Read this first before editing!!!

Under “#Library configuration, you can edit the name you give to your server when it shows up on iTunes. I called mine “My Hot Music on %h” 

Just pick a short name you can remember.


Now the tougher part, indicating the path to the music directory (folder).


69 name for proper direcotry edited


This is the section you will need to edit. Don’t start editing until I give you a tip on how to do it right the first time.

You don’t need to edit the # Directories to index line, as it’s just a comment.

You do need to edit the directories = { “home/thomas/Music” } line. Here’s how to do it.


Before!-before you start editing this line at all, go to the Terminal prompt:


72 list of commands use this


This screenshot shows you what you need to do. As you probably think it’s Sanskrit at this point, I’ll explain it to you.

The first line shows the command ls This is short for “list directories” Press the Enter key to execute it.

The second line shows the subdirectories ls found within the Home Directory of this Linux Mint installation. The Home Directory, like the macOS User folder, is indicated with a ~

One of those subdirectories is called Music. Note that it is spelled with a capital M at the start. Remember, Linux, unlike macOS, is case-sensitive.

To change directories and get into the Music directory, you enter the command cd Music Press the Enter key to execute the command.

Now that you have entered the Music directory, the Terminal prompt changes from just ~ to ~/Music

Now for the million dollar command that will solve your problems! Enter pwd (print working directory path) and press the Enter key

The line in white shows the path that you need to enter into the # Directories to index. Copy and paste it if necessary. I spent several months bungling around trying to enter the right path before I found the pwd command. Use it.

Now, and only now, can you open the forked-daapd.conf file to edit it with nano. 

To exit nano and save the file, press Control + O (the letter O, not a zero) and then press the Enter key. To exit nano, press Control + X and the Enter key.


Terminal commands for forked-daapd

Let me emphasize that forked-daapd runs from the Terminal and not from a nice GUI. 

Here are three commands to operate it from the Terminal

Sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd stop

You need this command to halt forked-daapd. 

Sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd start

You need this command to start forked-daapd

Sudo /etc/init.d/forked-daapd restart

This command restarts forked-daapd. You need to run this command if you add more music to it while it is running. It does not automatically update its music database.

How to control your Linux machine from your Mac via SSH

You can use your Mac’s Terminal to run Linux Terminal commands via the SSH (Secure Shell) protocol. Here’s how to set it up between the two machine.

First you need to install SSH on your Linux machine. It will act as a client, but lacks a server by default. 

So go to the Terminal with Control+Alt+T. Now enter this command sudo apt-get install ssh Now press the Enter key to execute the command.

74 install ssh all of it

When you return to the Terminal prompt, run this command ifconfig

75 finding the IP4 address with ifconfig


You want to find this line in all that ifconfig spat out: init addr 


After that, you will see your IPv4 address looking something like You’re looking for four groups of numbers separated by periods. 

Now go over to your Mac, which you should have connected to the Linux machine via a router at some point. 


89 Terminal SSH login to Linux


Now open your Mac’s Terminal app. 

Enter this command ssh (your linux user name)@(your Linux iPv4 address) and press the ENTER key. Follow the steps outlined above. 


Type “yes” to tell your Linux machine you trust it. 

Now type in your Linux administrative password. 

When you succeed, you’ll get a message Welcoming you to the Linux machine. You can put the Linux machine off your main desk for now. 


Now for some graphic interface elements between you and your Linux machine!

You need to add music from your Mac or CD collection to your /home/(your user name)/Music folder on your Linux machine. How to do that?

First, you need netatalk. Netatalk sets up an Apple File Protocol server on your Linux machine that your Mac can easily log into. 


On your Linux machine, you can install Netatalk through the software manager as I showed you for forked-daapd.

Now you need to edit its configuration file, atalkd.conf

Go to the Terminal and enter sudo nano /etc/netatalk/atalkd.conf 

Now press the ENTER key to execute.


65 Terminal for editing netatalk correctly


Press the down arrow key to move your cursor all the way to the very bottom. You only have to enter one phrase.



That’s letter e, letter t, letter h, and the number zero and not the letter o

Press Control + O (the letter O in this case) to save your file and then press the ENTER key to execute

Press Control + X to exit nano. Press the Enter key if necessary to execute.


That is it on the Linux side.


On the Mac side, do this:


80 On Mac connect to Server


 Go to your Finder and its Go menu. 

Scroll all the way to the bottom for the Connect to Server… command or just hit Command + K


81 the Server connect window

This is the window you see on your Mac. Click on the Browse button for the AFP server Netatalk.



82 found the right AFP server


There you see the AFP server with the Linux machine’s name. Double-click on it to start connecting.


83 logging into AFP server for the first time


You’re not connected yet. Look for the Connect As… button in the upper right-hand corner. It’s below the Search box. Now click on Connect As...

84 oops can t use Mac login credentials


Now when you get the verification box, it will have your Mac’s user name (this is a fake).

You need to delete that name and replace it with your Linux user name and your Linux administrative password. Then click on Connect.


86 properly logged in using Linux credentials

When you see the Home Directory displayed, you’re in like Flynn. Treat the Home Directory as you would an external hard drive plugged into your Mac.


87 Directories within the home directory

Double-click on the Home Directory to display the various subdirectories within it. One of them is Music!


88 how it should look when it all works


This is how your Finder’s Sidebar should look with the AFP Netatalk server connected to it. 


91 Music I placed in Music directory


Now I copied some music from my iTunes directory into the Music directory on the Linux machine. Will it play back to me over forked-daapd?


93 the albums show up in iTunes


Yes, it does! Notice that the source of the music is My Hot Music not the iTunes directory itself and iTunes displays the albums. I can tell you they sound fine.


How to install the Asunder CD ripper

To install the Asunder CD ripper, go back to the Software Manager and follow the instructions I showed you for forked-daapd. You just have to substitute asunder in the search box.

I laid out instructions in an earlier blog post here. 


I’ll give you some more tips here, then I’ve got to go to bed.


83 Asunder preferences


These are the Asunder general preferences. Note that the destination folder is the /home/thomas folder. You want to drop down the menu on the right-hand side to show the Music folder. Click on that to route ripper music into that folder. Otherwise, forked-daapd can’t find it!

And you probably want to eject the CD when you’re done ripping it. Just click on the box for Eject disk when finished

Asunder doesn’t need any Terminal work for its preferences. 


So have fun, send me e-mail if you need questions answered, and now you can put all your music on an iTunes server instead of trying to shoehorn it into just 256 GB on a MacBook!


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog






Forked-Daapd rides again! How to install Linux Mint on a prepared USB external hard drive

I hope you’ve read all the previous articles in this series before reading this one. Your success here depends on knowing and using all that came before.

At this point, you should have these four items in your possession:


1. A Windows 10 Recovery Drive that you will faithfully update every month.

2. The knowledge and ability to restore your Windows 10 machine to only Windows 10 if you so desire in the future.

3. A Linux Mint installer on a USB flash drive.

4. A prepared USB External hard drive, ready for installation. 


With those items within reach, you can proceed to installing Linux Mint and later installing the iTunes music server and ancillary software.


Step #1-Make Sure the Windows 10 machine is turned off.

Step #2-Plug the Linux Mint installer into a USB port. Do not plug in the external USB drive yet.

Step #3-Turn on the Windows 10 machine and wait for the brief message about which key to press to enter the Boot Menu screen.

Step #4-Press and hold that key! Don’t mash it down, it’s not “Whack a Mole!” We’re playing. Just light pressure.

Step  #5-When you get to the Boot Menu screen, select USB device. If you get a second screen asking which USB device to choose, pick your USB Linux installer.

Note: At this point, you may have selected the USB installer and pressed the ENTER key, yet still booted up in Windows 10! At this point, try a different USB port, they can be picky.

Step #6-Having successfully booted into the Linux Mint live environment, now plug in the USB External Hard Drive that you prepared. 

19 Install Linux Mint icon on the desktop


Step #7-double-click on the round icon resembling a DVD for Installation. 

20 choose a language and read the release notes for Linux Mint

Step #8-Pick a language, Then click on Continue


21 install 3rd party software or not

Step #9-Install third party software and upgrades? Click on the box for that in the upper left-hand corner if you so desire.



22 install that 3rd party software


Step #10-Go ahead and install them, then click on Continue in the lower right-hand corner


23 your Linux Mint installation choices

Step #11-What type of installation do you want? Linux Mint assumes you want to install alongside Windows 10, but you don’t want this option!


24 I m going with something else

Step #12-No, you want the Something else option in this case.


25 the something else window at first look



Step #13-First, a look at sda, which is where Windows 10 is. 

Now click on /dev/sdc which is where the Linux Mint installation goes

26 the SDC drive already partitioned


Step #14-You can see the tiny Linux Swap space in purple at the left hand side, and the main Linux Mint portion in yellow.

27 highlighting the main partition in SDC



Step #15-Now click on the main Linux Mint partition. Mine has the name of sdc2, but yours might differ. In any case, you want to click on the big Linux Mint partition!

Note that the three buttons below the partition list (“+”, “-“ and “Change…”) have lit up. They are active now and you will use them in the next few steps.


28 Edit the main partition

Step #16-Click on the Change… button and you will see this window appear. You will make some changes


29 use as EXT4 file system


Step #17-You will want to click on the “do not use the partition” box. In particular, click on the downward arrow at the right-hand side of this button. You will see a menu drop down. One of the choices is “Ext4 journaling file system” Choose that one!


30 format that main partition as EXT4



Step #18. Click on the “format the partition” box. Yes, you will format the partition again, because you want to make it the boot partition.

31 make the mount point the root of the system


Step #19-This is very important! You want to specify a mount point for this partition and you want it to be the root of the file system. 

So click on the downward arrow at the right of the mount point box and select / 

Yes, that’s it, the forward slash signifies the root of the file system in Linux and UNIX and macOS.


32 all ready to install

Step #20

You’re ready to start the installation. So click on Install Now.

33 your final warning before proceeding you ll wipe out your data




Step #21-A final warning before you proceed. If you feel satisfied, click on the Continue box.


34 set the time zone


Step #22-Pick your time zone. It may come up automatically.


35 choose your keyboard layout

Step #23-Choose your keyboard layout. 


36 setting your user name and password


Step #24-Choose your user name, what you want to name the computer as, and a suitable password. Note: If you decide to encrypt your home folder, you’ll have a password for it, too.



37 start of the actual installation and the slideshow


Step #25-The start of the installation process. Linux Mint shows you highlights of what Linux Mint can do.


38 Installation has finished



Step #26-Installation is complete. You can continue in live mode or restart to finish the installation to the hard drive. 

During the restart process to finish the installation, you will be asked to remove the USB installer and then press the ENTER key.

You should come to the GRUB (Grand Unified Bootmanager) screen, a text-mode screen for picking between Linux Mint and Windows 10. Use your arrow keys to highlight your choice, then press the ENTER key.


That’s the installation of Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya. In the next blog post, I’ll go over installing forked-daapd and the ancillary software that make it work better.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog






Forked-Daapd rides again! Preparing the USB External hard drive for installation of Linux Mint

Now that you’ve read the three previous blog posts in this series, you should have a USB installer in hand with Linux Mint on it. 

But which version of Linux Mint do you use? Linux Mint has 4 different user interfaces:


1. XFCE, which I will use to demonstrate. The XFCE desktop is a low impact desktop, placing the lightest burden on your computer’s resources.

2. Cinnamon, which Linux Mint developed.

3. MATE, which continues the classic GNOME 2 interface.

4. KDE, which places the heaviest burden of these 4 on your computer’s resources. It is definitely a deluxe interface.


Which should you use? You can try each of them in a live environment from the USB installers you create. Just try them out. You’ll need to remember to save any documents you create to an external hard drive or flash drive before you turn off the live environment.

Apart from that, have at it. I will go into how convenient a live Linux environment can be for troubleshooting purposes at a later time.

Now to the installation of Linux Mint XFCE 18.2 “Sonya” on your external hard drive that you purchased for the occasion.

Step #4: Installation of Linux Mint on an external hard drive!

Start from a Windows 10 computer that you have turned off.

Plug in the Linux Mint installer. But DO NOT plug in the external USB hard drive yet.



Turn on the Windows 10 computer.

As you see the message briefly appear on your screen which key is the Boot Menu key, press that key.

You will enter the Boot Menu screen. Use the arrow keys to select between:

1. CD/DVD drive

2. USB drive

3. The internal hard drive that Windows 10 boots from. 


Now press the ENTER key to make your selection. You should see your Linux Mint desktop appear shortly.

NOTE: If you do not boot up to Linux Mint after going through the Boot Menu screen and just go back to Windows 10, you should move the USB drive to another USB port.

USB ports can be picky at times and you have to switch USB devices between different ports for the desired results. 


Now that you have reached the Linux Mint desktop, take a look around. Yes, it has a Start Menu, but the selections are different. 

In particular, look under the System category for an app called GParted. You will need that in a moment. 

Now you can plug in the external USB hard drive. It will take a moment for Linux Mint to recognize it and mount it. 

Step #5: Partitioning and Formatting the External USB drive for Linux Mint

Now a few words of caution here. The Installation app in the live environment is designed to take care of partitioning and formatting the hard drive you will use. 

It works great if you just have one hard drive and already have Windows on that hard drive. Then it will partition the disk into a Windows part and a Linux part, reformat the Linux part and go ahead to install Linux. 

What I found to my dismay is that the Installation app falls short when you try to install Linux on a second hard drive separate from the Windows hard drive. I got all sorts of errors and started getting irritated. This isn’t supposed to happen!

Then I I checked to see if the stand-alone partitioning and formatting app GParted (GNOME Partition Editor) came with the live environment. To my delight, it did. 

So I will walk you through using it for part of the installation.

Using GParted to partition and format the external USB hard drive.

Now that you have an live environment desktop, plug in the USB External drive. For the purposes of this exercise, I will presume that you just unwrapped a brand new USB external drive formatted as NTFS, which is the Windows 10 disk file system. 

Go down to the Start menu and click on it. You want to enter the System category, filled with system utilities such as GParted. Note that the System category on the Start Menu has icon that looks just like the macOS System Preferences icon.


Screenshot 2017 07 08 04 37 43


Double-click on GParted to start it up. I’ll guide you through the screens.

1 NTFS partition ready for Linux


I want you to look at the area the arrow points to first. That area shows you which hard drive you are working on. In this case, I have selected the Seagate NTFS, the brand-new external hard drive that you just purchased. Linux refers to it as “sdc” That means it is the third device Linux is working with. The Windows 10 hard drive is sda and the USB flash drive installer is sdb. 

A,B,C. 1,2,3. Take some time to wrap your head about the Linux system of referring to hard drives if you need to.

Now to GParted. It sets up a series of operations to perform. When you feel satisfied about the sequence, you will click on the Apply icon, which is a an arrow bending down and to the left. 

Back to work. First off, you will remove the Windows 10 NTFS partitioning from the hard drive.

2 NTFS partition selected Delete is aactive


First, you must select the partition you want to work on. Single-click on the partition you want to work, which looks like a rectangle. When you click on it, you will see a dotted green line surrounding it. The text line below describing it will become highlighted. Most important, the Red X icon for Delete will turn on. You’re ready to do your first operation.


3 NTFS partition deleted


You’ve clicked on the Red X icon, which deleted the NTFS partition. Note that the Apply and Undo arrows at the far right of the menu bar have turned on, indicating you could use them. But not just yet! You’ve got two more partitions to go.


4 Linux swap partition created


You will now create what is called the Linux Swap partition at the beginning of the hard drive, on the far left hand side. So type the following the boxes


Free space preceding (MiB) Leave that alone, GParted will fill that in for you.

New Size (Mib)                       Type in 10000 You want to enter 10,000 without the comma separator.

Free space following (Mib). Leave that alone, GParated will fill that in for you.

Align to:                                  Leave that alone, GParted will fill that in for you.

Create as:                               Leave that as Primary Partition. Do not change.

Partition name                       I entered SWAP, this is optional

File System:                           Click on the downward facing arrow at the right of the box and select linux-swap

Label                                       I entered Linux Swap, but this is optional.



Now click on the Add button. This adds the creation of this partition to the list of operations GParted will perform at the end.


5 Create new partion windows


Now it is time to create the main Linux partition Click on the large empty area to the right of the Linux Swap partition you created. Now click on New, the icon at the far left hand of the menu bar. 

You will see this window appear. You only need to make sure its file system is the Linux ext4 file system, not the Windows ntfs file system!

Click on the Add button in the lower right-hand corner of the window.


6 ready to start partitioning

 You want to make sure your GParted window resembles this window. 

A new partition for the Swap partition, which is used in case you run out of RAM memory. It only needs to be twice the size of your RAM memory. 10 GB is fine

A new partition for the Main partition, which is where all the action takes place. 


Now make sure the Operations window, the list of things to do with the external hard drive, does what you want it to do. 

You’re ready? Now hit the Apply icon above.


7 Your final warning before hand

A final warning from GParted before you commit to the changes. Check everything one more time. If satisfied, click on the Apply button in the Warning box.


8 carrying out the operations

You’ll see this window appear as GParted prepares your hard drive. Just watch it until it finishes.


9 success

All operations successfully completed! Your external hard drive is ready for installation. Go to the next article for the details on how to install Linux Mint XFCE on an external hard drive.


Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog



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