Is Upgrading A Linux System To An SSD Worthwhile?

Samsung 860 Series SSD

I’ve seen a number of reviews of solid state drives (SSD) versus hard disk drives (HDD) that show substantial benefits with SSDs for boot time, program startup time, and file transfer time, but almost all of them were done on that “other” operating system. Recently, I had the opportunity to experience the benefits of upgrading to an SSD on two Linux systems.

Both systems began with clean installs of Ubuntu MATE 17.10 with full-disk encryption. The first system had an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a Western Digital Black 7200 RPM 500 GB SATA II HDD. The second system was running an Intel i7 4770K processor with a Western Digital Black 7200 RPM 500 GB SATA III HDD. It also had 8 GB of RAM.

The Benchmark

For a benchmark, I used systemd-analyze’s “time” function to measure the boot time for each configuration.

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Fix Ogg Files Corrupted By Easytag

Last week, I noticed that some of my music files would no longer play in Clementine or Rhythmbox (both of which use Gstreamer). I got the error below when I attempted to play the files:

Internal data stream error.

When I checked the affected files, all of which were Oggs, with oggz-validate (part of the package oggz-tools), I saw errors like this:

-00:00:00.002: serialno 1824847231: Packet out of order (previous 00:00:00.564)
-00:00:00.002: serialno 1824847231: Granulepos decreasing within track

Ogginfo (in the package vorbis-tools) reported the error as follows:

Negative or zero granulepos (-104) on Vorbis stream outside of headers. This file was created by a buggy encoder

I knew I had played the affected files successfully before, so it was clear something I had done recently caused the problem. Easytag was the answer.

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Firefox Screenshots: It Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This

Firefox Screenshots Toolbar Icon

I’ve been a Firefox fan for years. In my experience, Firefox just keeps getting better. I used to use the Firebug extension for developer tools, then Mozilla included native developer tools in Firefox 27, allowing me to run one less extension. The Eyedropper was added to Developer Tools in Firefox 31, which makes grabbing color codes from a site I’m developing a snap. Now, Mozilla has added Firefox Screenshots, which gave me another one of those “Oh, cool!” software-feature moments.

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Social Media Icons For Mobile Devices On Woocommerce’s Storefront Theme

Social Media Icons For Mobile Devices On Woocommerce Storefront

Woocommerce has kindly provided a Codex snippet to add social media icons to the Storefront theme. Their approach creates a very nice-looking social media icon menu; however, on displays less than 768 pixels in width, the Storefront theme hides the secondary navigation menu location used. Mobile devices using smaller displays end up with no social media icons.

The Storefront theme is a responsive theme, so it really should have the capability to display social media icons at all resolutions. I didn’t even notice there weren’t any until a client pointed it out to me.

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Send a Notification Email When a Woocommerce Customer Changes Their Address


Note: There is a newer version of the code in this post tested with WordPress 5.2.4 and WooCommerce 3.8 in the post WooCommerce 3.8: Send a Notification Email When a Customer Changes Their Address.

I have a client who runs a subscription-based business on a WordPress site using WooCommerce. Since some of his subscriptions last a year or more, increasing the likelihood that a customer’s address might change, he wanted to be notified by email if the customer used the WooCommerce change-of-address form.

While it’s possible to add a custom email notification class so that the email notification will show up in WooCommerce -> Settings -> Emails, I really just needed something simple, and didn’t mind that the recipient email address would be hard-coded. I came up with the following code snippet, which does the trick in WordPress 4.6 and WooCommerce 2.6.4.

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