Lynne Teaches Tech: Why does Windows need to restart to install updates so often?

There are many different system files that Windows needs in order to function. These files are often updated using Windows Update to add new features, fix bugs, patch security issues, and more.

Windows is unable to replace these files while they’re in use. This is for numerous reasons, both technical and practical.

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Lynne Teaches Tech: What are all the different types and versions of USB about?

Describing something like an Ethernet port is easy. You have one number to worry about: the speed rating. 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps… It’s very simple.

USB, on the other hand, has two defining attributes: the type, and the version. Calling a USB port “USB 3.1” or “USB-C” doesn’t tell you the whole story.

Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: What are all the different types and versions of USB about?

Lynne Teaches Tech: Why did everyone’s Firefox add-ons get disabled around May 4th?

Mozilla, the company behind Firefox, have implemented a number of security checks in their browser related to extensions. One such check is a digital certificate that all add-ons must be signed with. This certificate is like a HTTPS certificate – the thing that gives you a green padlock in your browser’s URL bar.

You’ve probably seen a HTTPS error before. This happens when a site’s certificate is invalid for one reason or another. One such reason is that the certificate has expired.

Read More »Lynne Teaches Tech: Why did everyone’s Firefox add-ons get disabled around May 4th?

Discord and Spotify for Linux and xdg-mime

The bug

I’ve noticed that Discord for Linux takes a very, very long time to start up – sometimes in the order of hours. During this time, my laptop gets very hot. I eventually decided to look into this and found that several instances of xdg-mime were taking up 100% CPU. Killing them caused Discord to open instantly.

Apparently this issue is present with Spotify too. This fix will work for both of them.

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The failure of OCRbot

Update: A lot of people have left me comments telling me that OCRbot really has helped them, and that they wouldn’t have posted or boosted certain content without it. I didn’t realise that when I wrote this, and I’m really happy to hear that OCRbot does actually have a purpose.… Read More »The failure of OCRbot

Configuring Searx

Searx is a free and open source metasearch engine. It can be self-hosted (like I do!) or accessed at searx.me. Metasearch engine? A metasearch engine is a search engines that uses other search engines to get its results. For example, when you search metasearch engine A for “cat”, it would… Read More »Configuring Searx