Animated Wallpaper on Linux Mint 21.1

The one thing Monkey, my youngest son, wanted from his move from Windows to Linux was animated wallpaper. I’m not quite sure how that idea came about, but I told him that I’d try.

The thing is, he knows what kind of time scale I work on. So, armed with a fresh Linux install, he decided to try and add this functionality himself. He successfully installed Komorebi from the command line (hell yes!), but it ended up being buggy and not playing well with Cinnamon. I was able to manually uninstall it, and went back to searching.

After a while of coming up with nothing, I tried Komorebi again, this time from a .deb package. Unfortunately, though I was able to get a little bit farther in configuring it this time around, it still had the same problems as before. Back to the drawing board.

I stumbled across a notice that the newest version of KDE supported animated backgrounds. I did a little research and discovered that this would work on the newest version of Ubuntu, which Linux Mint is based on. Great, let’s do this! There were a few hoops to jump through, but I got KDE installed and running. I’d have to re-work a bunch of the WINE stuff that let him play games, but that was doable. Right-click in the desktop, select change desktop background and… no support for gifs or movs or anything else?

I checked the KDE version, and it was one behind. That didn’t make sense, unless… yup, Linux Mint 21.1 is based on one Ubuntu version back, which does not support the newest version of KDE.

There was some head-desking here. Just some. And then back, once again, to the drawing board.

Eventually, EVENTUALLY, I came upon wallset. It’s command-line only, and it’s all manually configured. Not a problem. Monkey can handle the CLI, especially once I show him how. (Wallset’s github page has very straightforward instructions on usage.) The only drawback is that it doesn’t start on boot. I was using a guide at, which said to do this:

Remember that when you boot into your desktop next time, the live wallpaper will get replaced with your old one. To fix this, you need to configure wallset to run automatically at boot. You can use crontab to do so.

Open the crontab file by typing:

crontab -e

Add the following line at the end of the file, then save and exit:

@reboot env DISPLAY=:0 DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=unix:path=/run/user/1000/bus /usr/local/bin/wallset -V /complete/path/to/video.mp4

While this does work, unfortunately it also re-adds the specific video to Wallset’s queue list. So, rather than just starting it on boot, you’re starting it on boot AND adding to a movie playlist every single time you boot. Instead, I changed the crontab line to this:

@reboot env DISPLAY=:0 DBUS_SESSION_BUS_ADDRESS=unix:path=/run/user/1000/bus /usr/local/bin/wallset -I 1

This will load the first video already in the list. Of course, you can change the 1 to whichever video in the list that you’d like to load. This worked flawlessly. My only caution is that this will tax your video card, so make sure that you have a decent one, and have the proper drivers loaded for it.

I hope this post has been useful!

Myst Online on Linux Mint 21.1

I’ve now installed Myst Online: URU Live on a couple of machines running Linux Mint 21.1. It wasn’t as straightforward as I would have hoped. The below steps worked for me, and I hope they’ll work for you!

Relto Island
  • Open Software Manager, and install Lutris
    • Install the Flatpack version, rather than the Linux Mint package. The latter halts when it tries to run Wine.
  • Confirm via the Software Manager that Wine is installed.
  • Open Lutris
    • Here you will be tempted to use Lutris’ config/installer for the game. Don’t do that. It’ll install, and even launch the game, but the installer hangs before completing, so it never adds the game to the list.
  • Download the game installer from Myst Online’s site.
  • Click on the + button in Lutris to add a game.
    • Select “Install a Windows game from media”
    • Enter the game’s name and click Continue
    • Click Install
    • Make with the clicky on the options you want, then click Install
    • Click the Browse button and navigate to the installation file that you downloaded.
    • Click Continue
  • You will now be kicked into the Windows installer for Myst Online: URU Live. Do the same things you’d do in Windows.
  • When the installation finishes, it will ask you if you want to launch the game. Tell it the same thing you tell those phone calls asking about your car’s extended warranty. Just say no.
  • The installation should complete, and you should now have the game listed in Lutris.
  • Launch the game from Lutris. It will go through all of the updating that is normal during a first launch.
  • Enjoy the 20-year-old MMO!

No Man’s Sky Wish List

Keep in mind, No Man’s Sky is one of my favorite games of all time. I have sung its praises at length, and enough to irritate many. That being said, I have some things that I’d love to see implemented…

  • Focus on bug fixes
    • Multiplayer animations: Solar Sail ships, door triggering, capes
    • Snapping when building
    • Ship clipping
    • Animals glitching over terrain
  • Ship customization
    • Let us paint our ships, for the love of all that’s holy
  • More impact on the multi-verse, like space station repair and claiming
  • More merch
    • Please re-stock fat person sizes for the hoodies, and add ALL THE PATCHES

Let’s talk about ship clipping.

Look, I get that ship generation is entirely procedural. As random as they can make it. I understand that. HOWEVER. The max width of a ship is known. The max height of a ship is known. The max length of a ship is known. Why aren’t those sizes used when determining the size of landing bays? Even the small ships clip entering my freighter. Even mid-size Explorers clip through the space station railings. When you have a honkin’ chonkin’ Hauler? You might as well name it All The Clips.

So, there you go. There’s my wish list. If you don’t see something here that you want in the game, feel free to leave a comment!


Skippy smiling

Mark your calendars! This Saturday, the 25th of March, I will be beginning an uncapped sub-a-thon on my Glimesh channel!

The rules are pretty straightforward. I will be starting with the normal stream length, which is two hours. Every sub to the channel will add a half hour to the stream. If I start to feel my Old(TM) and need to end stream, any leftover time will be carried over to stream the next day. I will be streaming every day that I am able until the clock runs out.

Obviously, kid time, work, and sleep are not streamable time for me, no matter what Mosier says.

So, this Saturday, as soon as I’m able to get my butt in the chair, the stream-a-thon will begin! I hope to see you there!

Google Nest Battery Doorbell screws

Nest Doorbell box

I had a really hard time finding a replacement doorbell wire screw for my new Nest Battery doorbell (Pro edition?) that was installed by ADT. In attempting to get my ancient mechanical doorbell to function with it, I ended up dropping the screw into the landscaping. And since the screw wasn’t magnetic, I knew it was gone forever.

Internet searches led me in a bunch of different directions, because the screws have changed since Google/Alphabet purchased Nest. None of what I found worked. In the end, my leftover computer screws saved the day.

Close-up of back of Nest Doorbell

M.2/NVME stand-offs have a very small screw that goes inside, to lock the M.2 card into place. That screw (NOT the stand-off screw) fit perfectly, and held the wire adapters in place snugly, as shown in the photo.

I hope that someone can use this information, and doesn’t have to go searching and scrounging like I did! Good luck!


Perceptor toy in microscope mode

I’m not sure if you all know this, but I’ve always been a big nerd. Always. School was pretty easy for me, I was always in advanced or accelerated classes, and teachers constantly chose me for leadership positions amongst my peers. Surprisingly, I didn’t really want for friends growing up, either.

In any case, when my favorite cartoon introduced a character who was smart, analytical, and mostly pacifist, I felt seen, as they say. I felt like Perceptor GOT me… despite being a fictional transforming and mass-shifting robot from outer space. You know, the usual.

Perceptor toy in robot mode

When the Studio Series ’86 toy line came out with a Perceptor toy, and it went on sale, I jumped on it. After transforming it a few times, and playing with it a little, I have NOT been disappointed. The only joints that are a little loose are the mid-thigh joints for the microscope mode, and it’s nothing that a little pose adjustment can’t fix.

The toy comes with a pretty generic blaster, but one that can peg into his microscope mode for storage. There’s nearly no kibble, just like the original toy. The microscope’s light/mirror doesn’t move separately from the tray any more, but I remember that being – at least on my toy – a serious loose joint.

So, let’s sum up. Scientist character that I can relate to? Check. Nostalgia button? Pressed. Increased overall pose-ability and detail from the original toy? Definitely. Still true to the original? Without a doubt.

Old enough for a phone!

MonkeyLinkMega has entered his teenage years, my friends. Skippy, you may protest, didn’t he do that back in March? Yes, that is correct. Also get off my back.


His mother and I had agreed a while back that he had proven himself responsible enough to have his own cell phone. On top of that, he’s in enough after-school activities that a phone would be useful for him to call for rides, and for us to call him in the case of “Where in the crap are you?!”

My intent was to fix my Dad’s old Samsung Galaxy S6. Its battery would swell every time it was charged, and so I ordered the iFixit kit to replace the battery. As most are, this cell phone was NOT designed to be serviced easily.

I was able to replace the battery, but when I put everything back together, the screen just flashed at me. So, either the battery swell had caused damage to other parts of the phone, or I had damaged the screen somehow as I’d taken the phone apart. In all honesty, I think the latter is more likely. Into the electronics recycling it went!

Four iPhones on a desk

That still left me with the need to get Monkey a phone. My recent trip out to North Carolina solved that problem for me (thanks Zeb!). Among the electronics Zeb was giving me to find a new home for was a bunch of old iPhones, ranging from a 5 to an 8. The 8 needed a screen replacement, so I set the 7 up for him. Little bit of Mint, little bit of OS updating, some Apple ID password shenanigans, and it was good to go.

So, my youngest son has his very first phone, and it’s giving old hardware new life!

Stop crying, Shinji.

EVA-01 model mostly assembled

Back near the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided that I would place an order from Big Bad Toy Store for models. One for me, and one for each of the kids, and we’d assemble them together.

MonkeyLinkMega’s Dragonball Z model came together very quickly, and is still doing the model thing. It doesn’t stand up to heavy play, but it poses well.

Ace of Hearts’ Sakura model was an absolute disaster. I abandoned my own model to help with hers, and it was a complete wreck. In the end, we returned it as defective (with photographic evidence) in return for some wonderfully nerdy blankets that are still in use today.

My model was EVA-01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion. I got most of the torso assembled on that first day, but then it sat collecting dust for around a year. Off and on, I’d pay it some attention, and I got the head assembled and attached to the torso. But once again, into the dust-collecting box it went. Then came my current push to tackle unfinished projects!

EVA-01 model

I got the arms and the legs done rather quickly, but paused again – life tends to happen despite best intentions – before I finished the gun, knives, hands, etc. If I remember correctly, the kids were here when I got everything put together, raised my arms in the air, and yelled, “IT’S DONE!”

And then I turned the last page of the manual, and on the back cover was the guide to placing the rest of the incredibly small stickers. Oh, no.

I had raised false hopes in both myself and MonkeyLinkMega (because he is waiting with varying levels of patience for me to begin my next project), and then dashed them. A couple weeks later, I knew I wasn’t going to put these tiny little jerkfaces on the model all on my own, so I used my writing/crafting setup to stream it.

Now, it’s finally finished, and I think it looks great! I’ve learned that this is not my kind of thing, and that I should buy my toys pre-assembled (Lego being the exception that proves the rule). Not only do I now have a story tell, but a model to show off.

Well worth the struggle, I think.