From Windows to Linux, Part 2: Multimedia applications

Welcome to the second article in the series, one which teaches the wonders of migration from Windows to Linux in small, easily digestible chunks, with step by step instructions and a plenty of great tips to get you cozily underway. In the first piece, we discussed office programs, how they can be installed and used, both from official application stores as well as manual downloads and setups. We learned how to use the Software Center in Linux Mint, and we repeated all our actions from the command line, too. Today, we will focus on multimedia programs. Namely, how to get… Continue Reading

Crowdfunding free software

Small companies or individuals often have problems raising capital or getting loans and crowdfunding has emerged as the new way for them to get funded. All kind of projects and products from music to smartwatches have gotten the funds they need to make their ideas a reality. Other have failed and yet still managed to raise incredible amounts of money, the biggest example of this being the Ubuntu Edge. It’s fitting that the project that has raised the most money of all crowdfunding campaigns was a project related to free software that also failed.  Despite the hope of some, including… Continue Reading

The myth of Linux tweaking

If you have been a Linux user for some time now, then you must have come across more than one article telling you how to improve the speed and responsiveness and whatnot of your Linux distribution at home. In fact, the Web is awash with guides and tips on tuning your system to the max, offering the promise of greatness to those bold enough to redirect values into /proc. The reason why we are here, today, we few, we happy few, we band of geeks, is to discuss this delicate topic, or rather, to debunk it. Because Linux desktop tweaking… Continue Reading

Windows user, wanna try Linux? Checklist.

Are you a Windows user who has heard of Linux and is considering trying this new operating system? Very good. You have made a very wise decision. Not the test itself, although it may be a pleasant experience, but the very fact that you have opened up your mind to new possibilities. That in itself is worth its weight in gold. But before you do anything, let me dampen your mojo a little. Your Linux experience will be inversely proportional to your expectations, as well as your level of preparedness. So, if you want to test Linux, maybe even move… Continue Reading

Editorial: The problem with more and more choices

Every time someone dares to mention Linux suffers from some unnecessary fragmentation, someone eventually appears claiming Linux is all about choice. “Choice is what makes Linux better” or any number of equivalent statements. We could even dare to formulate Godwin’s law open source analogue: As an online discussion involving Linux grows longer, the probability of someone stating Linux is all about choice approaches 1. Let’s start by dissipating a common misconception. Freedom and choice are not synonyms A slave given two choices for who will become his master isn’t more free than a slave with a single choice. When the FOSS… Continue Reading

Linux inside: Basic chroot

In the tutorials to install Kubuntu on a Macbook Air we created what are known as chroot environments. As you will soon discover chroot environments can be used for more than fixing the grub. What is a chroot environment? The root directory of your system is the top directory. On Linux the directory is self-explanatorily set to / creating a chroot environment is merely the act of changing the apparent root directory of a process, hence Change root. This creates a sandboxed environment, your chroot session can’t access your regular root directory and therefore it can’t access your home folder either. To… Continue Reading

The hunt for the perfect distro

Do you know what this article has in common with the fairly popular book and film called The Hunt for the Red October? Well, nothing really. Except the word hunt. Now, let’s clarify a few things up front. First, there is such a thing as a perfect distro. You’ve seen me declare one or two before. However, that’s given our reality as it is, with limitations and whatnot. But what if there were none? Second, as we explore this pseudo-virtual reality where anything is possible, I’d like to give you my take on what the perfect distro truly is. Not… Continue Reading

Seven more things that Linux could do better

A few weeks back, we talked about a bunch of things that Linux could do better. A total of eight sore points. Does not sound like a lot, really, and surely, it does not cover everything that might need fixing in Linux. Some of you also remarked that most of the items also apply to other operating systems. Sure thing, but it’s our favorite bunny we’re discussing here. Anyhow, since there’s still more wrong to be fixed and good to be bettered, let’s follow up with a sequel. To wit, this article, and we’ll have a go at a few… Continue Reading