Suddenly I find myself trapped in my own home due to COVID-19. It’s not really a big deal because I work from home normally. But it has changed my weekend plans drastically. So it’s time to start tackling one of my 2020 goals:

Organizing all of our digital files and having a consistent back-up strategy.

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Here are the other miscellaneous settings I’ve done with my new XPS13 Developer Edition. It doesn’t cover all the settings I like, just the ones that seem to be particular to this laptop.

My favorite feature by far is the built-in firmware update functionality:

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I’ve seen the future of mobile computing and it (unfortunately) is dongles

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The last time I’m going to refer to it as the Windows key is in the title and in this sentence. We’ll go by it’s rightful name, the Super key. To make mine extra super, I cover the Windows logo with a Linux Penguin logo. I got this one from ThinkPenguin.com:

After using a Mac for about a year, I started to really like the approach of using the Command key for clipboard operations. Mostly because I still use the command line very often and I want to continue using Control+C for cancel. It’s like having your cake and eating it too. Why not put the Super key to use on my Ubuntu system for the same purpose?

We’ll cover the setup on several different applications. I like to add Cut, Copy, Paste at a minimum as well as Select All and Undo (since the A and Z keys are also in the vicinity). In cases where it’s possible, I’ve also mapped Redo as Shift+Super+Z since some programs would use Shift+Control+Z for Redo.
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I had a weird problem recently that I solved, and it was mostly due to my mis-configuring of my Ubuntu laptop. I finally figured it out when setting up my new Dell XPS Developer Edition laptop, so I wanted to share.

The situation: I would go to my local library and couldn’t connect to their wireless internet. But if I disabled dnsmasq and restarted the network-manager service, it would work fine.

What I didn’t realize was happening is dnsmasq was taking over local DNS control from the systemd-resolved service. What is systemd-resolved and why is it important? The man page reads:

systemd-resolved is a system service that provides network name resolution to local applications. It implements a caching and validating DNS/DNSSEC stub resolver, as well as an LLMNR and MulticastDNS resolver and responder.

My library uses a captive portal. When you connect to their network it brings up a page that makes you agree before actually being able to use the network. systemd-resolved has all the know-how to handle that – dnsmasq doesn’t.

I love dnsmasq and don’t want to loose it’s functionality. I want to use both the system resolved (pronounced resolve-D) and dnsmasq. Here’s how to have your cake and eat it too.

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