Ulyana

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yogi
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Ulyana

Post by yogi »

As promised, I downloaded the latest and greatest from Linux Mint. The version number is 20 and named Ulyana. I don't know why they have to name an operating system after a human being, nor why it's always a female name, but they do. It's cute and I bet the guy in charge of coming up with code names is making six figures a year. :rolleyes:

Linux Mint comes in several popular flavors, or desktop environments. My original experience with it was the Cinnamon desktop version but I became disenchanted with it when I uncovered boot problems related to it. I switched to Xfce and some of the problems went away. I am older and wiser now, and thus decided to give Cinnamon one more shot. It downloaded without incident.

I use Virtual Box (VB) to create an installed Linux operating system on a USB memory stick. One of the nice things about doing it that way is that I don't have to make a separate .iso stick or CD or DVD or whatever. VB uses the raw download to create a live session. All I need to do is attach it to the virtual machine along with the target USB stick and Voila! As I am wont to do, I set up the VB environment to create a EFI bootloader. It defaults to MBR but I've abandoned that method in favor of an ESP partition. Amazingly enough, VB creates it all flawlessly. And, as I've mentioned no less than 100 times previously, I do all this in VB so that the boot partition on the memory stick does not have any connection to the boot partition on whatever computer I plug it into. This is a problem because Linux Mint identifies itself as Ubuntu and will crash any system that already has Ubuntu installed. That particular problem STILL exists due to the crappy installer built into Linux Mint; an installer they stole from Ubuntu because they refuse to make their own. But, I do digress.

After the installation completed without error, I removed the memory stick from the tower where VB is running and plugged it into the laptop. It all powered up flawlessly with only a minor hesitation. That delay was due to the environment of the laptop being different than the environment of the tower. I was pleased as punch to see Mint figure that all out and boot right into the login screen - no Grub was in sight. The desktop looked familiar at first glance and I was immediately presented with a "Welcome" screen. This is where you set up the system to your personal taste and preferences. The screen has been much improved over the years and to be honest this version reminded me a lot of what I see in Linux Magia but with less detail. Changing the appearance was simple and I didn't expect anything less. However, the next stop was to check for updates. There were 55 updates waiting to be installed. 55? WTF is that? This download was made only a few hours after the release of this software and already it needs 55 updates; one of them being the kernel.

OK, so updating required a reboot. I was thinking these guys are going out of their way to mimic Windows, but a reboot is always needed when the kernel is updated. This time the boot process stopped at the Grub interface. A few quick warning messages came up first and I didn't get to read the full text of them, but apparently Mint reconfigured the ESP partition to suit it's new environment on the laptop. All the things I have installed on the laptop now appear in the Grub menu. This was not a big surprise because they rebuild Grub every time the kernel is modified. The surprise was what they did to the ESP partition.

As you know, Mint uses the alias of Ubuntu. The ESP partition on the memory stick listed Ubuntu as one of the possibilities for booting which is not what it is called in the Grub menu - it's called Mint there. Inside that Ubuntu directory is two versions of Grub - not a surprise because that is what Ubuntu has been doing since forever. Why two? One is actually called Grub but the other is called Shimx. The Shimx bootloader does exactly what Grub does but is only used when installed onto a removable device. That is the whole purpose of Shimx, to allow for booting from a removable device that contains it's own ESP partition. Mint, for the first time in history, configured all this correctly. I did not have to reinstall Grub manually as I have been forced to do in the past. Kudos to you, over there at Linux Mint-land.

With all the updates installed and the bootloader configured properly, the next step on that Welcome page was to allow me to install or remove whatever software I can find in the Ubuntu repositories. Everything I consider to be a necessity was in the repository and installed from the software app in quick order. A quick reboot after cleaning up the residuals from all that updating and installation of new software went flawlessly. But wait ... why did that happen? In the past I could not get this far due to an infinite number of problems with Debian-Ubuntu-Mint vs my nVidia GPU. A quick look at the driver management screen nearly floored me. The nVidia drivers were installed and being used. They weren't the current version, but I was allowed to choose a more current version and did so. That change over took more time than I expected, but I was VERY impressed to see nVidia represented at all in the driver management screen.

And that's not all ... it gets better. My MSI laptop is the bane of all Linux distributions because it has two GPU's installed. One card is on the mobo and of the Intel variety while the added card is from nVidia. Which card does the system use? That is determined by a third party software package called Optimus. Nobody in the world of Debian recognizes, acknowledges, or has any idea about Optimus. Thus in just about every Debian derivation I ever tested the boot process stalls because the Linux kernel has no idea how to deal with Optimus. So, it just pukes and does nothing but loop. Linux Mint 20 solved that problem. They specifically put in patches to deal with Optimus, which is in fact a proprietary package just like the nVidia video drivers are proprietary. To say I was shocked and awed would be an understatement. LOL The actual nVidia server doesn't work as it is described in the Linux Mint blurb about it, but it is functional and seems to be working well. This development is a MAJOR concession on the part of Linux Mint given their penchant for FOSS and their disliking of anything nVIdia. Maybe they finally woke up to the fact that there are a lot of nVidia users out in the real world. :clap:

One other feature with this version of Linux Mint deserves mention, mostly because they claim it is the hallmark of this release. A utility called Warpinator has been added to the main menu. This replaces an abandoned project of a similar ilk known by the name of "Giver." The utility allows for peer-to-peer file transfer which precludes the need for Samba, FTP, NFS, or any number of detachable storage devices you might use to get data from one computer on your network to another. As I read the brag about this fantastic utility that has been resurrected, Windows Vista came to my mind. They introduced Homegroups at that time and it has been doing exactly what the new and improved Warpinator is supposed to do. Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, however, abandoned Homegroups just recently. I never used them and I'm not sure they ever worked as intended, but it lasted for nearly twenty years. Now, Linux Mint is picking up the ball that Microsoft dropped. Or, so it seems. This could be a good deal for somebody with a few dozen computers on their home network. No connectivity setup is required. Just install Warpinator on all the peer computers and you are transferring data as easy as it is to drag and drop. That might be useful to me if they had a version for Windows, or for my NAS. But they don't.

So, anyway, Linux Mint has come up a notch in my ratings. This Ulyana version has fixed a few problems that nobody in the Linux world cared to address in the past, or more than likely don't know how. I doubt that Debian will make the compromises that Mint has in their current release, and that's a shame. There are a lot of sub-sets of Debian that I'd like to use if they would only recognize my video card. But they don't. I think this is the best yet that I've seen from the Linux Mint developers. If it keeps working as well as it is on the stick, I might even replace Ubuntu as the default Linux on my SSD's.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

WOW Yogi, I never expected a Rave Review of Linux from the Microsoft King, hi hi.

I don't do anything on the Linux Mint 19.3 machine other than run a timer clock right now.
I may do an install of the new one you just installed and see if I'm as lucky to get a clean install.
Need to find the time to do that first though, hi hi.

I read something a few months ago but never saw anything else about it afterward.
Someone is supposed to have come up with an OS that allows you to run both Linux and Windows at the same time, not dual boot. It does require a partition named Drive C to make it compatible with Windows Software, plus the partition where you have your Linux Distro installed.
The article said it is NOT like WINE or Play on Linux, it is an OS that recognizes EXE files for Windows computers from XP upward, and in some cases older EXE files for Win 3.0 to 3.11 but not all of them.
But the thing that caught my eye most was, you do not install any version of Windows, Windows capabilities are in the OS.

I wrote down the name on a notepad when I found it, but never found it doing a web search for that name, and never landed back on the article again.
The more I thought about it at the time, the more I thought it might a troll spoofing folks, perhaps to get money out of them. Seems like the OS would have a cost of around 150 bucks associated with getting it.
It was about this same time I saw something else about Windows running Linux and got sidetracked.

Now there are websites, I guess you would call them cloud servers, where you can run either Windows or Linux and your programs, for a monthly fee of course.

I'm afraid the world of computing is changing faster than I can keep up with it Yogi, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

Rave review? Nahhh. LOL I will give credit where credit is due, however.

I do believe this is the best version of Linux Mint I've ever run across. My interest in Linux has grown from an intellectual curiosity to investigating its potential to become my default operating system and thus replace Windows. The search was prompted by the End Of Life deadline for Windows 7, which to this day I consider the best Microsoft ever offered. There are many topics in these forums documenting my research, evaluation, and testing of Linux, but none of what I learned provided a compelling reason to switch. And, that takes into consideration the notoriously flawed Windows 10 May 2020 release. I'll be looking into Ulyana in more detail as time moves on, but my confidence in it as a replacement for Windows is still lacking. Mint still can't dual boot with Ubuntu, for example.

I don't know what you read about an OS that runs both Linux and Windows, but I do know both of those OS's can run each other's software in situ. WINE uses the Linux kernel to run Windows exe files and the necessary .dll files that go with them. There is in fact a \c: directory created to allow it all to happen. Linux calls this a subsystem and not an emulator or a virtual machine. Interestingly, Windows did the same thing in its latest brainchild. The WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) feature uses the Windows kernel to run Linux packages. That is exactly what Linux is doing with WINE. The end result is that both Linux and Windows are running simultaneously. The latest from Microsoft even allows for transferring files between the two - could be wrong about that but I read something to that effect a few months ago. An ambitious developer could write an operating system to do such things, but why bother? The ability already exists.

I don't need no stinking cloud to run any OS I choose, that is, assuming it can be made into a virtual machine. LOL I run various distros of Linux concurrently with Windows 7. The idea there is anything I want sandboxed I do in the Linux virtual machine.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

Now I don't know a lot about the inner workings of a computer, especially those with multiple CPUs in them.
But the way the article read, rather than emulating existing OSs, it was building a dual OS.
I didn't understand a lot of what was said, but there was mention of Forks several times in the article.
Wish I could find it again.

Perhaps they could divide the CPUs up somehow and run one kernel on a couple, and another kernel on a couple, and whichever kernel you needed it could use that particular CPU grouping?

I've used WINE in the past, but it seems I no longer know how to use it properly. Somehow it got too confusing, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

I believe that in theory one processor can run two operating systems simultaneously. If you think of the kernel of each as a separate process (fork) or as separate apps, then it's not such a fancy trick. The article you read probably suggests using a third operating system, the one the author invented, to run the other two kernels simultaneously. That's not exactly how WINE or WSL does it. I suppose you could have a split cinema size monitor with one OS on the left and the other on the right side. There is a version of Linux (Regolith) that does exactly that but only in the Linux mode. The part that seems insurmountable to me is with peripherals. Getting drivers to run both OS's sounds like a nightmare of great proportions. LOL

The latest CPU's from Intel and AMD are stacked 24 high, i.e., 24 cores. That seems like the ideal hardware on which to run two OS's side by side.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

I've seen many amazing home office and home gaming computer systems.
But honestly, despite all the hi-tech stuff out there.
I don't think I've seen a single one as comfortable to work at than how I have my own set up.
I can sit at my desk 12 or more hours per day without fatigue.
Can't say that about any other set-up I've ever seen.
Mine could be better if I had my two upper monitors down lower, but I have other stuff there I need to see and use more than looking up at the top monitors.

Although I no longer have the need to do so. I did have a couple of projects I did that HAD to use separate computers, because they could not be done on the same computer at the same time. Probably because of the shared resources in a single computer preventing it from working.

Some hardware is now including its own drivers and only requires a simple input or output format.
Take for example the printers with a built-in scanner. You don't need scanner software to make it work, the scanning is built-in, and the output, in my case is to a USB port. It can also output via the LAN to Windows based computers and some Linux programs designed to read the output data. Or you can read the output file on the USB port to any computer OS, even to Schmartz-Fonz because it only outputting the file type you select. JPG, TIF, BMP, etc.
To me, that is the sensible way of doing it, rather than requiring a driver file on the computer, which then means the driver must be compatible with the OS first, and then with the hardware.

Years ago, text printers included their own fonts, which made them print light lightning.
All other computer generated fonts were actually done in graphics mode, which is why they were slower.
I have a Swintec Daisy Wheel Typewriter I could feed from my PC using only three wires on the serial port.
I could send a pause command to give me a chance to change daisy wheels too.
A lot of my work I did on that Typewriter was from my little Apple II computer, and later a 286 machine.
This was how I got professional output from a computer, back when tractor drive 9 pin dot matrix was the norm.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

I've seen some highly customized personal computer arrangements that can only be described as amazing. Those gamer people are insane. LOL It's often said that computers are the extension of our minds, and thus there should be no two identical configurations. We all think differently and have different interests. I must sit at my command and control center for twelve hours a day most of the time. It's pretty comfortable, although I can think of some improvements. It's also very sparse. The desktop keyboard and monitor are in front of me, the laptop off to the left, and the clever phone off to the right. There are two studio speakers on either end of the table and the tower is more or less out of sight underneath it all. Aside from the multi-colors on the keyboard and mouse, it's very unimpressive.

Yeah. I guess that describes me well. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

Although I have the same custom made desks here I had back home in St. Loo, and I attempted to set up the way I was in St. Loo with my ham shack behind me. I never did put the ham shack together. Too many other things in the works at the time. Mostly work work until Debi's dad died, then I became nursemaid.
I like being able to look out the windows and my first arrangement here allowed me to look out all four windows.
But then the sun messed me up, so I moved the desk 90 degrees and more or less blocked the windows the sun came in and hit my desk from, no matter how I moved it around.
It has been sitting in the same arrangement now for over 15 years and I like it this way. I just don't like the upper monitors so high and off to the right so they don't block my view out the window.
I can't see the ground since the windows are high, due to the garage being partly earth sheltered. Seated at my desk, the dirt outside my right shoulder is about the height of my right shoulder and the bottom of the window starts about 18 inches above that.
Before the sun messed me, this gave me the perfect view of the hillside into the forest. When I put in the two storage sheds I made sure I still had plenty of view and landscaped the area with a view from my desk in mind. But this now the window I have blocked with shades, blinds, and cardboard with pictures hi hi.
Out the other window I can see from about 6 feet above the ground to the sky. I also have my bird feeders hanging outside this window, and a large pecan tree trunk is on the right 1/6th of the window view. The squirrels are always running up and down, and along with the birds, that is my daily entertainment, hi hi.
Although my office looked great when I built it, now it is a dingy dungeon, and grossly overloaded with storage. hi hi

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

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The only window in my Command and Control Center faces north. It has to be six feet tall and is less that a foot off the carpeted floor. I view the outside world through 18 panes of glass. Not really. It's just two panes, upper and lower, with a tic-tak-toe template sealed between two sheets of glass. In any case, I see the world as broken into 18 squares. At this time of the year the sun setting shines its light on my laptop, off to my left. It's odd to see the sun so high in the sky. It's only 23 degrees above the equator but seems as if it could be closer to 60. In any case, for about a month that is the only sunlight entering this room directly.

Outside my window is the front lawn of my house and across the street is a cul-de-sac of which I can easily see two of the three houses therein. We planted some shrubs a couple years ago and some hosta plants. The rose bush isn't like the roses I grew up north, but is in fact more like a bush than anything else. It has zillions of red roses by the end of spring and at least three Japanese Beetles in each bloom. The only down side to the bugs is that they eat the leaves of the plant. Then they must die because a new crop of leaves minus the bugs form with more roses. That's about it for one growing season. The center of my window has a small conifer. Or, at least that's what I think it is. It too is a bush more than a tree, but it seems to be growing like an evergreen. It never dies off. This year, for reasons unknown to me, a group of birds, small ones, decided they like the rose bush. They perch there looking for food in the grass below. Quite often they will sit on the brick sill of the window and look out toward the lawn. I'm certain they can't see me inside gawking at them. In fact this is the same window that crazed cardinal keeps crashing into. Birds can't see me, apparently, but I can see them. The only point of interest outside my window is the people walking, jogging, or bike riding past to locations unknown. There isn't much car traffic so that most of the travelers walk down the middle of the street. Once in a while some kids will be shooting baskets mounted at the far side of the cul-de-sac. The young girl is about a 40% shooter. LOL She isn't fully grown yet and shoots like a girl, but she is out there with her brother and father who aren't that much better. And, that's about all I know of the folks in O'Fallon.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

You have a much better view than I do in my cell, hi hi.
The hedge I planted across the front yard was only supposed to get 3-1/2 feet high tops.
It is now more like 10 to 12 feet high. I cut it down to 4 feet when it was at 6 feet, didn't help.
Now it has spread out much wider than it ever should have too.
Backman's Golden Arbor Vitae. So is beautiful, just way to big now, hi hi.

I thought about building a 16 inch high platform for my desk area, which would then require a single step to get up to my desk. I was glad I didn't build it after I had to rearrange the furniture. But now that I know where things are permanently, I've actually considered it again. But now I'm no longer able to do that kind of work.

I set a mirror up on the windowsill last year, tilted in such a way I could see the ground in the mirror, mainly so I could see the little chipmunks and the birds who eat the seed they knock to the ground. It worked okay for about 3 months, then as the sun changed the back side of the mirror also reflected it off the window pane and picture on the wall straight into my eyes.

Wish I was about 30 years younger, I had some great opportunities come up, none of which I can do at all now.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

I have some mixed feelings about being 75 years old. About 60 or 65 years ago I would ponder how life might be when I got to be as old as I am now. I could imagine a wife, a car, a home, and 2.6 children; the American Dream. But, nowhere in my wildest thoughts did I even suspect I might live in Missouri as a final resting place. LOL After I passed through that dream stage of life, I had to get down to the business of living the reality of it all. It didn't seem so at the time, but looking back on it all now there was a lot of stress associated with simply raising a family. Everything we did seemed to be a struggle for survival. My life as a contributing member of society didn't end well, but fortunately there was a cushion for me to land on when I had to take early retirement. Between then and now I've been through some life threatening illnesses. Probably the most difficult one of all was helping mom get through her final days on earth. Then my wife was viciously attacked by a malignancy and I could have lost everything I value in life. We made it though all that, and finally had an opportunity to take a deep breath and relax. Then we moved and disposed of all those 72 previous years.

So, now, as I look out my 18 panel portal to the world I'm feeling lucky just to be here. There too is this pandemic and an assault upon the country I've known and loved all my life. Yes, I'm comfortable and relieved of much stress. I don't want to go back 30 years, or longer. Life never was as good to me as it is today. I'm not the healthy invincible young man I used to be, and my future is headed for termination. I'm certain this will all change, but for the time being I'll be an existentialist. The past is unchangeable and the future never comes. All the realities in my life are what is happening in the present.

I'll let you know if I conclude that is a good thing, or not.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

Very well stated Yogi!

I spent 20 years getting my house set-up the exact way I wanted it for my retirement years.
Having an ill wife dictated many of the amenities I added, like wheelchair ramps, and piped in liquid oxygen to key rooms in the house. It was in the perfect location too. A block of the main drag, two blocks from an interstate highway, and three miles to four major hospitals. I couldn't have asked for a better location. I never planned on moving!

However, even the best made plans of mice and men often go astray!

I've had my share of caring for the terminally ill.
But I honestly have no idea who on earth will take care of me, if my wife can't or I survive her.
Sorta scary in a way! But I hang in there, take each day one day at a time.
I figure if I woke up, it is already a good day!

I've also learned to like it here, as long as I don't have to leave my house for anything, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

I like your observation. If you wake up, it's already a good day. LOL I can expand upon that and say that I've read were most people die before 10AM. Those first couple hours in the morning are the most stressful on the system, so they say, and if you make it to lunch time you will likely be around the rest of the day. No doubt people our age are all thinking the same thing. What happens when we are left alone due to the passing of our spouses or mates? Trying to contemplate that scenario are the most distressing thoughts I have. Anything can happen but only one thing is assured; life goes on. As long as we are alive, we have no other choice but to live. As my sports hero Yogi Berra put it, "It ain't over til it's over." You don't impress me as the kind of individual who gives up easily. Yes, I think you know your limits, but that isn't going to stop you from testing them when you must.


Last night, particularly from 9:00 to 9:30, was the most amazing 4th of July I can recall ever witnessing. As is the case with many places, most of the municipalities around here called off their annual pyrotechnic display activities. That didn't stop the natives from stocking up on what the pros didn't have to buy. I probably am the only guy in St Charles County who didn't have fireworks to shoot off, or a gun. I swear some of those explosions were from a .44 magnum. The noise and ground shaking thunder caused me to go out to my deck and take a gander at what was going on. Everybody was engaged in celebrations. The entire horizon was glowing like a convention of lightning bugs. People nearby had rockets and Roman Candles galore. I live at the northwest corner of the city atop a rise in the land, and the view of O'Fallon from there was absolutely breathtaking. Add the nearby bursting of bombs and the trembling of the earth - non stop - and it was the experience of a lifetime.

The local ordinance said it all had to end by 11PM. At 10:45 it did not look like anybody was going to pay attention to some silly ordinance. But, by 11:15 all was silent and the skies were dark ... except for the lone light of the full moon. This is one more incident in high contrast to the environment from which I came to this town. Fireworks are illegal in Illinois, but you would never know it was so on the night of the 4th. And, they don't stop at 11PM. The people here are amazing. Truly amazing.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

Yes, morning are very hard for me too. After laying down all night, my lungs are full of gunk.
Then once I'm up and hacking that up, the water on my brain starts draining out through my nose for about 15 minutes, hi hi. I line up my row of AM pills I have to take, along with a half sandwich I eat before the pills, saving one bite for after the pills are down, then my inhaler, and last my ten minute session on the nebulizer.
Grab my oxygen tank to get the O2 I need to walk up to my office.
Set the tank down, turn it off, plop down at my desk and take another pill I save for up here, then a pecan roll to flush it down. Then I start my work, catch drips from my nose every so often up to about lunchtime, by then I'm finally dried out.

Yeppers, same with the fireworks here. The city closed down our 4th about 3 years ago, since we used to have what they called booms day. Once booms day was permanently cancelled, the fireworks on the fourth quadrupled. But never was the sky lit up anywhere you looked like it was this year. It was almost like colorful daylight outside from about 9pm until close to midnight. The bulk died down around 11pm, and the scragglers kept going until midnight.
Last night too it was like a war zone out there.
Good thing I LOVE Fireworks, hi hi.

After I first moved down here, I had access to commercial grade fireworks. Bought them my first 3 or 4 years, but then as money got tighter I dropped down to the smaller commercial grade also sold for home use. But still had a few of the super magnesium pistels from previous years.
When you shoot one of those it often draws the cops, hi hi.
Two cops came by around my 6th year here and I was using all fireworks for home use, but only those you shoot from a cannon. However, I still had one magnesium pistel left I shot off, which is what drew them in the first place. Fortunately I had a couple of legal mini-mags and told them it must have just looked brighter based on where they were parked. They actually hung around to watch the fireworks until they got a call to go somewhere else. I set off a mini-mag pistel while they were here, and they agreed it must have been where they were parked, hi hi.

Oh, they had never seen 6 and 8 break home use fireworks before either. About the biggest you could get from fireworks stands were 4 break and those were rare to find. Unless you buy the big box of a 100 shots, then they might have one or two in them. Technically they are no bigger or taller than a 4 break, because they use smaller size breaks, so the total weight is still the same as a 4 break shot.

My uncle and I used to make a lot of our own fireworks when I was in my late teens early twenties.
He always picked up all the ingredients we needed to come up with some amazing shots.
In the flower business we had these thick metal rods called Rose Wires. They were around 6 feet tall with a paperclip type loop at each end. We normally cut these in half to make two 3 foot tall rose wires. I don't recall ever using them with roses, hi hi.
Anyhow, my uncle used them at six foot length, setting one end in a coffee can filled with concrete so they wouldn't tip over. He mixed up something similar to the stuff used on sparklers, but applied it until it was like a half inch thick, the entire length of the rod. He added iron powder, copper powder (which was actually Zunz Stop Leak hi hi) and a few other things to the mix, but sparsely on the other things. He never told me his formula for these. On the fourth he would set like six of them around the yard and those things would burn for at least two hours or longer. Instead of being silvery colored like normal sparklers, these were more orangeish when they burned, probably because of the iron powder, but then you would get a flash of green sparks from the copper, red from something else, and green from something else. But if you were not looking at them, you might miss the little color bursts of sparks from them.
It always helps to have a crazy uncle in the family, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

Can't say how true it is, but I heard that each one of those commercial rockets go for around $50 a pop. And, that was many years ago. My only concern with home pyrotechnics is the possibility of a stray rocket starting my house on fire. Amazingly I have not heard of that happening as often as I've heard of people losing a finger or two. Given all the fire and brimstone I've seen this year, it's a small miracle that much of the town is still left standing.

We had a crazy uncle in my dad's family. He did some pretty creative things but never made a six foot tall sparkler. LOL I guess it wasn't as easy to get the chemicals up in Chicago as it was were you live, or he probably would have tried doing something like that. However, he did ave a tap into the natural gas line inside his house. On a couple occasions he filled a plastic garment bag with the natural gas. It was all taped closed to form a balloon. Natural gas is lighter than air, but not much. Not at all like helium, for example. Thus this bag of gas would ascend slowly and was prone to blow about in the slightest of breezes. His big trick was to tie a firecracker to the balloon and then use a cigarette as a delayed timer fuse. He would then let the balloon go around sunset and wait for the firecracker to set off the bag of gas. That only worked about half the time, and it was spectacular to see it explode. It was also insane. Putting a flame near a bag of natural gas was an invitation to disaster. Plus, we lived in a high density neighborhood where the home lots were only 30 - 40 feet wide. He never got caught and as far as we knew he never set off a house on fire. Crazy people are very lucky in spite of themselves.
Last edited by yogi on 07 Jul 2020, 20:16, edited 1 time in total.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

I don't like the rockets on a stick too much. Too much debris, and as you said, what goes up, must come down.
This is why I normally only use the kind that require a launch tube. The aerial display is only wrapped in thin tissue paper so completely burns up in the air. Other than pollution, nothing is left to fall to the ground.
There are a couple of exceptions to that though. Pistels that have whistles without a final report have the whistling tube that can drop back to the ground. But even these often have a spark shower at the end which is the tube itself burning up. One PVC launch tube is used for about 100 aerial shots before it should be discarded. I have a couple of taller launch tubes made from several layers of fiberglass, so are not considered disposable. Used them many years in a row. But for safety reason, I always have them inside of a concrete block and the block itself is inside a cut in half 30 gallon drum. I've never had a launch tube break yet, just being extra safe is all.
Now the big commercial stuff is shot from steel pipes buried in the ground. Or a sling which is rarely used by anyone anymore.
My uncle was not the greatest with physics. A few times he made mortar pipes that were too tall for the charge he used in them. Instead of cutting them down as he should have, he thought he solved the problem by using a larger charge. Unfortunately the charge was too much for the pipe, hi hi. Although it sent the aerial up super high, it also cracked the pipe underground. Had he tried to shoot another one from that pipe, it probably would have killed us all, hi hi.

What was interesting the day after the fourth is everyone's trash cans were filled to the brim with all the waste from the home use fireworks they bought. And I had nothing but one small box to throw away that held all the shots I bought during those years I was hot and heavy on blowing up the sky, hi hi.
I probably had a bigger display than most folks, yet nothing to clean up afterward.
Well, except for all the neighbors stuff that landed in my yard, hi hi.

About three years ago, two of my down the street neighbors got together and bought FIVE of those 30 foot long rolls of firecrackers with the double wick system. This was to ensure the roll did not go out from the firecrackers blowing some of them off the braided string. Basically it was just a Green Wick as the core with the firecracker tails braided around it.
They stretched a rope diagonally across the street between the tops of two light standards, and all five strings of firecrackers hung down from this rope, lined up side by side. They added a flash fuse from the top of one string down to the ignite point of the next string in the row rather than set them all off at once. Those things lasted for more than an hour and a half and had everybody standing out in the street watching, hi hi.

When I was younger, my dad bought a huge american flag fireworks that he mounted between the two light standards that was our tennis or badminton play area. I have no idea what he paid for it, but it lasted about 5 minutes before burning all the way out. We also had a utility pole we owned in our back yard, which I've mentioned before when we talked about antenna's. Dad had pinwheels nailed to this pole in a spiral fashion all up and down the pole. All he had to do was light the bottom one, and the fire from it would set off the next and the next and the next. Sometimes faster than he hoped, hi hi.

We had Lot's of phun back then!

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

Somewhere before I reached the age of 10, fireworks were made illegal in the city of Chicago. Eventually they became illegal throughout the entire state. But, anybody who wanted them would only have to drive over to Gary, Indiana, and get them. There was a fireworks stand about 500 feet across the border. LOL Folks also went to Missouri and Wisconsin to buy their explosives, but the police only monitored the rout to Indiana. They loved it when fireworks were made illegal because it brought in so much extra cash in the form of fines. Also, after a few years, only the police and their families had the good stuff. But, firecrackers and M80's and cherry bombs were freely available through the Black Market. Bottle rockets seemed to be easily accessible too. It was nothing like the stories you tell, but there seemed to be an added pleasure doing something illegal and getting away with it. If you didn't get caught bringing them in, the cops rarely invaded a private residence to get the goods.

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

They were illegal in St. Louis City also, but you sure couldn't tell it on the 4th, hi hi.

After our little town of Des Peres made them illegal after starting their own fireworks display.
The year they chose not to do the display anymore, I think everyone bought tons extra.
Any direction you looked it was like daylight in the sky.
And the few who the cops did try to stop, caused more than 800 people to appear at city hall to block the courts.
I think that was the first time I ever saw a minor protest, and so many people all for the same issue.
The only person to ever be fined was Mr. Luttrell, the owner of an upholstery shop.
However, he was arrested for providing fireworks to the community. Something he did for over 50 years. He didn't close up shop because they became illegal, he just sold them out of his basement instead of out the front door, hi hi.
The year after he had to pay the silly fine. He leased a vacant store just outside the city limits, in the county where fireworks were still legal. Sold something like 4 or 5 tractor trailer loads of fireworks that year.

We have some really huge fireworks sales companies here with building bigger than a super Walmart store.
I think the college football stadiums are their biggest year round clients.
And when the 4th gets close, they set up tents in every county just outside of banned fireworks city limits.

Another smaller store named Flloyds has fireworks year round to, and some pretty fancy stuff at that.
They own many companies around the area. Some of the bigger ones are the country wrecker service, several pharmacies, a cement company, and I think two quarries as well. Hard to keep track they own so much stuff.

We used to make something similar to M-80s using the cardboard tubes from adding machine rolls or cash register rolls. Once they changed to plastic it blew that, hi hi.
I tried making cherry bombs the way my uncle did, but they didn't work, just made a bunch of smoke is all.
I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to how he made them, and long forgot by the time he moved and left us all on our own, hi hi. The ones I made were just sawdust, Elmer's glue, and some were black powder and some were silver powder.
I guess the water in the glue ruined the gunpowder. The ones with the black powder did nothing at all, and the ones with the silver powder are the ones that just burned up with a lot of smoke. They all did burn super fast though.
I remembered to ask him once many years later, and he told me how he made them and it was simple.
Bread was in waxed paper in those days. He would put 1/2 teaspoon of silver powder on the waxed paper and tie it up tight with a thread with the wick sticking out where he tied it. Then he would dip the bundle in hot wax holding the wick, on the third time of dipping he would roll it in sawdust. But he wasn't done yet. In order to get the BANG, it needed a hard shell, and it was this step where he used sawdust and glue until it was at least an eighth inch thick.

I sorta understood this, because when I was making my own M-80s, I learned the thicker the adding machine roll tube, the louder the bang, and the higher the can would fly if we put it under a big can, but usually the cans just ripped apart.
The thinner paper tubes from some cash register rolls actually worked better, but were not as loud. They could send a can 50 feet in the air with ease, hi hi.
One could make a bunch of really good firecrackers using copy paper too. Use the entire 11 inch length for the biggest bang. A tad over 2 inches wide worked really great. You could roll the 8-1/2 inch width also, but they were not as loud.
If you roll black powder tight enough, with enough layers of paper around it, they work great too, loud. But more often than not you will end up with something like a bottle rocket without a stick, hi hi.

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yogi
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Re: Ulyana

Post by yogi »

You know more about fireworks than the average bear. LOL Part of the problem in my youth was that the family was very poor. I could not buy any black powder even if I knew where to get it. Also living in the city made anything like an 11" homebrew firecracker very obvious. If the cops didn't nail you the neighbors would. LOL On rare occasion I'd visit my cousin at the other end of the city, closer to Indiana, and get a brick of firecrackers from him. That happened only a few times and is about the entire extent of my personal experience with fireworks. I only know about M80's and Cherry Bombs because my uncle, the crazy one, was able to get them. I don't know what the attraction is to putting a tin can over an M80 and then exploding it. He did that too. LOL

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Kellemora
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Re: Ulyana

Post by Kellemora »

Although I never destroyed other peoples property, especially mailboxes which are under the Federal Governments control. II have seen a few spread eagle from an M-80 someone put inside a mailbox.

I lived in the county where nearly everyone had a fantastic fireworks display. They only simmered down for a short time when the city decided to hold their own display. But some folks, like my dad, could still get the necessary permits to hold his own gathering and fireworks. What we did in the ball field was actually open to the public, as were many of our events.

Sadly, a lawsuit from a drunk doctor caused us to end every public event we held each year.
Although we took out special even insurance each year, the insurance company had so many loopholes they never paid up either. They didn't cover the very thing that was stipulated in the contract they were supposed to cover.
When I was younger, we had about 8 different events each year, then as the town grew larger, they dropped to 6 for a few years, and then only 4. Then after the lawsuit, ZERO that were open to the public.
We still held several of our private events, open to family and a very few personal guests.

Because we were a huge farm, migrating to horticulture, we did have need to use dynamite on rare occasion in later years. But when I was really young, the sound of dynamite blowing out tree stumps was actually a common sound when they took out the orchards to make way to build more greenhouses.
Heck, even later when they started building Interstate 244, the contractors used tons of dynamite to take down the rock mountains for the highway to pass through. Spent many a day sitting on an overlook area to watch them blast away the mountain and make a pass through it.
What made it even neater is the bored holes to put the charges in, and many of them would cause a massive smoke-ring to grow as the smoke rolled skyward. It only made the smoke-rings if they were not doing the entire wall at once, just doing jagged edge clearing I suppose. Still it was neat to see.

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