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Linux Newbie - since 1996

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!

TidBits ‘n Gadgets


10/26/2021: Yep, the Linux Newbie – since 1996 blog is always under construction. Just changed the name of this page, for example. 😉 Recently did a couple of posts on a Computer Cases & another one ’bout building a Windows 11 PC wid junk. Was preparing another post when I remembered having the page, started wid the Gutenberg block editor, but doing this update wid Classic Editor…anyway, Will start adding “TidBits ‘n Gadgets” post to this old page. Some ‘Tids & Gads‘ will get repeats here, but they will be fresh on the actual post! I come across lots of interesting stuff when building and/or upgrading computers, and this will help me remember them better.

6/08/2021: Have upgraded to Business plan for several reasons…one is that the Gutenberg block editor is too much of a pain to work with. I was writing my posts with MS Word ‘n then copying it to gutty editor, but there is more to blogging than just posting, and Gutenberg block editor just can’t handle it.    ** OLD intro: Deleted the former page at this spot, and will try something else. I am currently using 171.2 MB out of 3.0 GB of the WordPress allotted Media Library space (deleted almost 200 MB of old pics recently!), but try to plan ahead in order to not run out of the free space WordPress graciously gives. Have wanted to find a way to use some of the old pics in order not to be wasteful of Media Library space. Will also be testing their new block editor here…have set up a temporary Test Blog to help me learn this new ‘tHiNgIe‘ (if WordPress doesn’t like it the can shut it down or tell me to – its private and will be deleted/removed after my tests), and after testing there I will move to this page to try it out. They call it –  Gutenberg block editor. Oh, almost forgot – will be using that pain-n-neck Vivaldi browser for that private test blog – they all belong together there!  😉


New Section – ‘Tids & Gads‘:

8/24/2022: USB 3.2 Type-C Enclosure for M.2 PCIe NVMe and SATA SSDs.



SD Card Reader, 3-in-1 USB 2.0 Memory Card Reader OTG Adapter for PC/Laptop

Several versions of it, but I have found it handy with laptops.

USB C to USB Adapter Pack of 2 USB C Male to USB3 Female Adapter

Have a new laptop? New PC with more USB-C ports than USB-A ports? I have a bunch of the A type of USB’s and will see how these work instead of buying new C type of USB’s.


 Have a laptop w/ just 1 USB-A 2.0? - try a Sabrent HB-UMN4 Sabrent Mini 4-Port USB 2.0 Rotating Hub since it rotates and no cable if you have limited space.  


USB Attached SCSI Protocol (UASP). One of the most useful Gadgets I use. It only works with SSD or 2.5″ HDD (never hook to 3.5″ drives!). I use it for all kinds of things, and it is especially useful for laptops ‘n other portability needs!


SATA to USB Cable with UASP

This SATA to USB cable is an external drive adapter that gives you quick and easy access to a SATA drive through the USB-A port on a laptop.


(I wanted to ‘squeeze stuff‘ in – to compact it in what the Block Editor calls “Media & Text” (I think) which is in a dropdown menu that shows various blocks. Another was where two pictures could be placed next to each other. Anyway, this area is what I was looking for). Faster Transfer Speeds with UASP


The cable supports USB 3.0 data transfer speeds of 5Gbps. But, you can experience transfer speeds up to 70% faster than conventional USB 3.0, when connected to a computer that also supports UASP. With UASP you can utilize the full potential of a SATA III SSD or HDD. UASP is supported in Windows® 8, Mac OS X (10.8 or above), and Linux®.




Yeah, it’s called “Media & Text” but I wanted this text part higher up than way down here. That text in the above block started higher. Well, I delete this part and test it at the test site tomorrow…




I had problems trying to get two images next to each other … they didn’t come out right and there was something in the middle for switching from image to image…will just go back to “Media & Image” for now.


Neil’s Thoughts ‘Ole Pirate‘ was talking about what a pain the USB ports on the rear of his ‘189‘ computers were to reach…


Sabrent 4-Port USB 3.0 Hub with Individual LED Power Switches – I have several of these > turn 1 rear port into 4 ports > cable is 11″ but may need extension:


1′ USB 3.0 extension cable will bring that 4-port hub all the way out front for easy access. Other sizes are available…




I never learned Word or any other processor beyond basic text typing. Could insert images, but I’ve seen people do what I thought was amazing stuff, so I don’t really know how this ‘tHiNgIe’ compares to the others. HTML was what I mainly used when I started my political blog back in 2004, and still use HTML a lot…especially to correct mistakes I make in the Visual part of that Classic editor. Gotta update things quickly with guten (that’s what I’ll call it from now on) or you have to start over…


OK…made a mess, but have it corrected now…copy & paste didn’t work since I’m still learning. Next ‘Gadget‘ is a must own if you don’t have a SATA Hot Swap Bay/s handy, i.e. a USB 3.0 to SATA Hard Drive Docking Station, and they come in all sizes:


The actual Windows OSes don’t work w/ these (data & backups do great) since their OSes need a direct connection to the MoBo, but many Linux OSes do…installing Arch & Arch-based OSes usually doesn’t work w/ it; however, all OSes seem to recognize it for backup options and data stuff. Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, Puppy, Mint & many more Linux OSes can be installed to one of these, and used after installation. I use it less since switching Linux installations to a USB drive, but I’m still using them for any tests with SSDs.


Those single drive Docking Stations go for less than $20…




SATA Hot Swap Bays come in all sizes shapes ‘n forms … I look for the ones below $30 *AND* don’t have fans in them – those can sound like airboats (maybe the expensive ones are quieter??)!


These run less than $26 and are for HDD’s; however, I’ll show an SSD adapter tray next that can can allow SSD’s to be used also.

Very handy … Windows works great in these bay, just pull the Windows drive out and put in a Linux drive for testing and/or use. Since they never see each other, no damage can be done to either.






ORICO 2.5 to 3.5 inch Hard Drive Adapter caddy

There are probably or other brands, but I found this work great & have stuck with them. Caddy is same size as HDD, you just snap a SSD into it and slide that into the SATA Hot Bay.







Kingwin SSD/HDD Internal SATA Tray-Less Hot Swap Mobile Rack for Dual 2.5” SSD/HDD.

I have one of the doubles in two of my computers…great if you have moved away from HDDs. Mine ran @ almost $30.




Since moving Linux to USB installations, the USB collection became cluttered. Built this for less that $3 … wood was laying around, so only needed 12 small hooks from the HW store.






3-Port HDMI Splitter Switch Cable is very handy if you have more computers than monitors *OR* limited space on your computer desk, etc. Up to 3 computers can share the same monitor (no, not at the same time – wink).








USB 2.0 4 Port Share Sharing Switch Switcher Selector Box Hub For PC Computer Manual Scanner Printer

One of the drawbacks with using Linux as your main desktop OS is the lack of printer drivers for most Distros. Ubuntu LTS and Ubuntu LTS-based are the safest Distros if you want a printer and/or scanner. I use WIN10 as my primary OS ‘n Ubuntu LTS for my secondary. However, my next printer will also need to be compatible with CentOS (maybe Fedora also?)…years away tho…anyway, plug 4 computers into this hub ‘n just push button for the one you want. My printer is also Wi-Fi, which I have used with WIN10, but don’t recall if I ever got Ubuntu LTS to work w/ Wi-Fi (??). Bounce between so many OS tests that trying to include Wi-Fi with Linux can be a pain – hard wired is just easier sometimes.



7/16/2020: Incredibly slow to load…slow slow ‘n slower! Also, once you use ‘Gertie‘ the Block Editor it attaches to everything in ‘n on ‘n around your blog trying to force its usage everywhere. I have to go to the old Dashboard to get to the real Classic Editor…the classic version that shares with ‘Gertie‘ edit link is terrible.

Test …………….. test …………………………………test …………………………..test ………. yes, lots of options with this ‘tHiNgIe‘ but slow as the dickens (new term for Okra to use) …. test … an added tool if nothing else.

Anyway, I will be adding useful gadgets ‘n tidbits here….