TIL: “Skype For Business” is not really possible on Linux PC in 2023. There is no native built. It’s “Web App” requires a plugin that comes with an MSI installer. Not that it really matters, since it’s superseded by “Teams”. In theory.

So if you need it anyway you’re not really looking for “Skype”, that may sound similar but has nothing to do with “Skype For Business”, but for “Lync”. Did I say “Lync”? I meant “Office Communicator”. And if you do you’re in luck. There is a Pidgin plugin called “Sipe” which does that. In theory. I couldn’t get it to sign in because my “Office 365” account, that supersedes the BPOS (Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite), has no more “Office Communicator” or “Lync” or “Skype for Business”. It does have “Teams” and to add insult to injury also “Skype”.

There is however an Android app “Skype for Business” and lo and behold it’s on API Level 30 from 2020 so chances are good that it works on most recent devices (it will request all permissions though and refuse to start without). And while I still have no account for this, or the possibility to create one, since Microsoft simply redirects me to “Teams”, I can now open an invitation link in a browser which in turn opens the app again where I now get the previous unavailable option to _join as guest_.

Stay tuned if it picks up the microphone too as there is no speech indicator and no echo chamber to test this. At least video seemed to work fine.

(And hell no I will not even try that with a Google Chrome Brower EXE in Wine)

Originally I was going to replace a disk on my hardware controlled RAID 5. That didn’t work out well. The controller supports hot-plugging but the LED indicator stayed on faulty. To debug this I had to boot into the controller to check for the error message and lo and behold it appears my spare has an invalid block size and the controller is too dumb to format it with another, unlike e.g. sg_format.

And this should have been the end of the story until I can reformat this on another SAS capable PC. Alas grub rescue greeted me on reboot with “error: disk `lvmid/foo/bar` not found.

and I could not persuade it to boot the LVM member. The thing is that this disk is NOT under control of the hardware RAID controller. It’s plain SATA and it’s boot order is before the RAID controller so I really did not expect any trouble here.

Turns out I was running into this rare bug https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=987008 where the words “time-bomb” and “critical” are dropped. The gist is that grub has a bug that prevents it from reading LVM meta data sometimes and this results in a broken bootloader.

This is not fixed with the usual reinstall dance from another boot-able medium. The trick is to manipulate the LVM meta data in some way, e.g. by adding another volume temporary.

This means running a vgscan after booting from another medium and *in my case executing* e.g. lvcreate -L 4M pve -n foo

The name doesn’t matter as it can be removed afterwards. Updating the initramfs should run without errors now and is a good indicator if this worked. Now it’s possible to reboot again.

The two problems have basically nothing to do with each other. It was just my lucky day to run into this sequence of chained issues during my free Saturday night 😩

Oh yeah, meanwhile the RAID recovered also. Another spare was added until I have time to take a closer look at the block size issue.