I was sorry to see that online Linux custom-built computer store, zareason, went out of business on 24 November, 2020.
Their e-mail newsletters were fun. The products and prices were good.
I e-mailed them one time during the first Covid summer when we had a computer giving trouble to see if they had a certain model in stock and ready to ship. In classic good spirits, I got a reply that said, “we have multiples ready to ship, overnight if desired, and how many do you want?”
I thought that was sweet to ask how many. Oh, just a dozen, lol.
Fortunately Greensboro has a store called Intrex that custom builds computers, so I’ve gotten several there, but it could have boiled down to who could get me one first, so I always kept zareason in mind.
Dear people we have loved, supplied, supported, and possibly disappointed over the years, ie, our customers,
As many have noticed, our product line has been getting smaller and our tech support has been slowing down to a crawl. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the final KO blow. It has hit our little town hard and we have not been able to recover from it. As of Tuesday, 11/24/20 17:00 EST ZaReason is no longer in business. If you have a computer from us, we hope that it gives you a long and solid lifespan. If it does not and you would like warranty work done, we regret there are no employees who can answer those questions or do service repair. Employees usually want to be paid and without sales there is no income to pay them.
Thankfully, there are a few places you can turn to for possible support:
Forums online — there are so many based on different distros. We hesitate to recommend one over another but there are many. Linux support groups — if you haven’t accessed these yet, you may be surprised at the generosity and depth of knowledge. Just keep in mind that whoever you are reaching out to is not being paid to answer your questions. Generosity is a wonderful thing; don’t take it for granted Manfactuer’s warranty — while we cannot advise you whether or not this will work or if Sager, Nvidia, or others will honor manfactuer’s warranties, sometimes this is an option. Tell them that the company you purchased the computer from is closed, out of business, and they should be able to provide clear information on whether or not they honor manfactuer’s warranties. Note that when a business dies, the warranty dies with it. We know this part is hard to accept — it is sad, disappointing, and unsurprising that ZaReason is shutting down. There are many, many reasons but sickness and parts shortages are the top two. At this point, there is no other option. We wish you the best and we hope both you and your computers are healthy and thriving.
A browser I used to like to use was GNOME Web, AKA Epiphany. It is now available as flatpack only, which ruined it, I guess. It went from fast and sleek to a hard drive churning dog with horrible UI (user interface) and features missing. I’m thinking these alternative packaging systems are not good, but what do I know.
Same for Chromium browser. Installing from snap makes the UI bad. I’d rather have the full Chrome browser directly from Google than the current Chromium installed as snap.
It will have to be quite compelling before I install from flatpack or snap going forward.
The Help/About images for our favorite file manager and image viewer are quite beautiful. Caja is the file manager. Eye of MATE is the image viewer. We have so many gigs of photos that it’s important that these work well.
There are many other good ones out there. #caja #eyeofmate #ubuntu #ubuntumate #linux
A nice ‘n cheap webcam for videoconferencing is a Wyze Cam, and it works with Linux, too.
With so much videoconferencing going on, I was looking for a way to use the big desktop computer rather then having to huddle up with a Chromebook.
Wyze has these little WiFi surveillance cameras that are about $20. The firmware can be flashed to make them into a USB webcam for videoconferencing, or you know. If you don’t like the results, you can flash them back to factory state. I’ve done both just to test.
$20 is pretty good for a webcam, and the good thing is that the Wyze is available, in stock at several places. Many other brands of true streaming cameras are sold out, or the price has galloped.
You might need some parts if you don’t have them already:
— USB cable A-male to A-male — microSD card — headset for good audio
I tested mine with Zoom and Jitsi Meet. Great performance on both. The instructions say that these also work: GoToMeeting, Blue Jeans, Google Hangouts, Skype, and Cisco.
I like it. Totally plug and play on a Linux box.
I did the color effects on two of the attached still pics. There is less distortion on streaming than you see in these stills.