I finally have a stable system and am ready to get back to work on a few projects. For this I installed Kid3 for editing metadata on media files, Krename for batch renaming files, and ConvertAll which I use for figuring out unit conversions without having to wait for the browser to load or needing internet. I try to do as much offline and local as possible. I don't always have internet access. I used to use Metamorphose2 for batch file renaming, but I haven't been able to install it for quite sometime. I wonder if it's been discontinued or something. Kid3 is what I normally use, so no learning curve there. I still need a backup solution since my usual TimeShift won't get through a restore operation without crashing. I've been cloning the boot drive to an SD card. Just finished doing so a few minutes ago before installing any new software. Just never know when something will ruin the OS like the audio fiasco after system updates.
Boot Drive Considerations
I really need to settle on a boot drive. I've found that my Samsung Bar 32GB flash drive is decent, but it gets incredibly hot and slows way down. I really want a 1TB super tiny portable SSD but they're about $160USD and I don't want to spend that on just a single drive right now. For the same price I can get 5 good SD cards, a SATA to USB 3.0 adapter to use with my 256GB Samsung flash drive, a cooling fan for the Pidock 400, 512GB SD card, and a 256GB Samsung Bar Plus flash drive. I'd just use the 512GB SD card as a boot drive, but I have had countless SD cards corrupted by the Raspberry Pi. A single system crash can be all it takes to ruin them. My 256GB SD card for 4K video recording was permanently ruined by this very Pi 400. That was fun AND expensive. I won't run from SD anymore. My recovery system is Raspberry Pi OS with a write protected OS so it's less likely to die when I trp a breaker and shut everything off by accident. For now, I will just use the SATA SSD I have as a boot drive. It will be tucked neatly under the Pi, and not attached directly to the super hot USB ports. It's older, but far faster than the flash drives and SD cards, and will be thermally insulated. I will also have the option to upgrade the SSD in the future. Ultimately I want an NVME SSD to boot from, but I may ot have enough physical space inside the Pidock. I don't want things dangling all over the place off my Pi. It's annoying and how things get broken or left behind. I'll be opening up the Pidock 400 soon to see what kind of space I have to work with. I'm not above drilling holes, cutting notches, adding fans and power supplies and batteries, and just generally hacking it up a bit. It's very close to a perfect Pi laptop already, might as well finish the job and share the results.