LightDM background image


Recently my old laptop, due to some unknown configuration, it shows a background image in the LightDM login. It is annoying, and it is user specific. Meaning, if I choose another user, the background image will be changed to black background.

Searched for the solution on Internet, most of links are about gsettings, or edit the image in /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf. But none of the related to my issue.

Finally, I found the solution. The problem is not LightDM itself, but related to AccountsService.

To solve the issue, edit the /var/lib/AccountsService/users/[username], there is a line

[org.freedesktop.DisplayManager.AccountsService]
BackgroundFile='/path/to/custom/image.jpg'

That’s the culprit. Remove or comment out the BackgroundFile, then the problem solved.

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Vivo Y17 and Wunderlist


Recently changed to new phone Vivo Y17. Installed all the apps needed. Then I discovered an issue with Wunderlist.

Wunderlist widget keep showing “loading”, and I cannot change the list to be viewed.

The reminder doesn’t show notification in time.

Then I tried to migrate Wunderlist to Microsoft To-Do, and it has same issue as well.

Searching the solution and I finally get this page.

To summarise the solution, go to Settings > Permission Management > Autostart, then enable Wunderlist or Microsoft To-Do.

AAC file re-visit


In my previous post, I mentioned about AAC and the ID3 tag. And I mentoined that

I have an AAC audio file (technically M4A) […]

I used Audacious previously, then change to DeadBeef. The main reason I changed was because I kept failing to play AAC audio file. What’s wrong? FFplay can play it, SMPlayer can play it, DeadBeef can play it, Clementine can play it, but Audacious cannot. Audacious has a AAC plugin, it should support AAC format.

But if I play the AAC file with Audacious, I will get this error,

Unknown playback error (check the console for detailed error information)
ERROR aac.cc:373 [play]: No valid frame header found.

Seach online and found that, it is the file extension issue. So, what is it?

Using the “exiftool”, I found that the MIME Type is video/mp4. That is the fix!!

I renamed the AAC file to Mp4. Now Audacious can play the file well.

Now, when it was in the AAC extension, in order to view the audio metadata such as author, title, ablum, I used Kid3 to edit the APE instead of ID3v2, so that FFplay can play it. ID3v2 is actually for the MP3 format. If use ID3v2 on the AAC extension audio file, FFmpeg cannot convert it and FFplay and SMPlayer both failed to play the audio file properly.

But after I rename the file into MP4, there is an issue. MP4 metadata (I think it is also ID3v2) cannot be written using Kid3, due to the existence of APE tag. (Kid3 doesn’t mention anything about this, I solve this heuristically.)

  1. So, I need to remove the APE tag using Kid3 by naming the file as AAC first.
  2. Then, I rename it to MP4 and use Kid3 to edit the ID3v2

As a conclusion, I use back Audacious as my primary audio player. It is the best!

(Why not DeadBeef? DeadBeef lack of the feature to copy-paste the songs from one playlist to another.)

AAC audio file and ID3 tag


I just found that, if I have an AAC audio file (technically M4A), and if I added the ID3 tag 2 (aka ID3v2), then the audio file will failed to be converted by ffmpeg.

It can be either converted to mp3

  • using DeadBeef audio player, or
  • remove the ID3v2 tag then convert

So, how to add the metadata like ID3 tag? Use the Kid3 and add the Tag 3 (aka APE tag). This will not affect how ffmpeg to read the file.

Bye-bye Xiaomi Mi 3


Prelude

Last weekend was a long story, that I my Xiaomi Mi 3 is screwed! It happened like this.

I was in the car, using the phone to surf net and go through the social networks. Then suddenly, it popped up a notification saying that my phone is too hot, asked me to cool down, with a system button “Cool Down”. I cannot guarantee that this is not a virus, but I believe that my phone doesn’t have virus. (I can hardly find the Cool Down feature online, this is the only one.) So, I pressed the Cool Down button. With this press, sorry my phone. You got a stroke, and never overcome. Bye-bye!

Recovering

Because of that one press, my phone fell into the bootloop. When I went home, I searched for some possible solutions online. And found that, the possible solution is to flash the stock ROM. I downloaded everything I needed. Moreover, the most important thing is to get all my data especially photos, which I didn’t make any backup recently.

So, I followed the steps in this wonderful page for how to perform a flash. WARNING: This will flash everything, meaning, you will loss your data, including everything in the internal storage, such as photos. So, before I flash the stock ROM, I followed this forum to learn how to restore the data.

Summary:

  1. Get all the necessary drivers and software. Actually can be found in the official site. Important software are: MiFlash. It also requires drivers which can be found here. So that you can use “fastboot” command (and also “adb” command) and detect the phone when USB connected.
  2. Get the stock ROM and recovery ROM. I used TWRP.
  3. Boot into fastboot mode (read the instruction from the “wonderful page” mentioned above).
  4. Use command-line “fastboot” to flash the recovery ROM TWRP. And boot into the recovery mode.
  5. Once successfully boot, your computer can detect the phone (as MTP), then you can access the internal storage and copy all the files.

The luckiness within the unluckiness (不幸中的大幸), I managed to boot into recovery mode. Immediately copied everything from the phone to the computer. After this, I tried to flash the stock ROM. But failed. Tried various times, but none of them work. Even wanted to boot into the TWRP recovery mode was very difficult. But luckily, I got all the photos from the phone before these.

Searched for the solution again, I found this forum. Probably my battery got serious problem.

Yet, because my phone was bought through the mobile phone shop, not from Xiaomi official website. The phone is actually from Taiwan. And there is no nearest Xiaomi service centre at my area (and never will be). So, I can only say “bye-bye” to my phone. It is the time to “let it go”.

Epilogue

Most important thing is data. As long as you have the data, put it in any phone, then that is your phone. Just like your soul and spirit resides in any body, make it you yourself!

Linux no sound after boot into Windows


Just now was trying to boot into Windows, by plugged in the HDMI cable, which supports for video only. But then, I rebooted into Linux without plugged out the HDMI cable. Then, it caused no sound in Linux.

Try 1: I killed the pulseaudio, then delete the ~/.config/pulse, and rebooted Linux. Failed.

Try 2: Run alsamixer, turned on everything, and do Try 1 again. Failed.

Then I guessed it was caused by the HDMI cable, which the Windows may assume there is audio, then caused my computer somehow ouptut the audio through the HDMI, even I rebooted into Linux.

Try 3: Plugged out the HDMI, booted into Windows. I checked the audio in Windows. It plays well. Then rebooted into Linux without plugged in HDMI. Yeah! It works. Passed.

Next level

Then I found that, though the sound works fine, my headphones doesn’t work. Tried out many methods as I asked in forum.

At the end, it is solved by shutdown, and boot again.

MIUI 7 Google Calendar sync problem


Recently, I found that, the calendar item (agenda) created in MIUI 7 Calendar does not sync to my Google Calendar. Then I ignore it.

And until today, I found that, the agenda from Google Calendar does not sync to MIUI7 Calendar too. Then this will be serious. So, I search around the forum, and finally get this solution.

Install Google Calendar! This will solve the calendar syncing problem. Enjoy!