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Raspberry Pi 4: Chronicling the Desktop Experience – Week 1

This is a weekly blog about the Raspberry Pi 4 (“RPI4”), the latest product in the popular Raspberry Pi range of computers. The purpose of the blog is two-fold. Primarily, it’s to share my experiences using the RPI4 purely as a desktop replacement machine, to see what works well, and what doesn’t. It’s also to act as an aide-mémoire for myself. Along the way, I’ll be exploring what I’m looking for from a desktop machine. Smooth running multimedia, office based software, email, networking, and productivity apps are all high on my list of priorities. Rest assured, even though I am a huge advocate of the Pi range of computers, I’ll be brutally honest in my critique of RPI4. For example, the RPI4 is marketed as an energy efficient computer. In a way that’s very true. The Pi consumes a mere 2.8 watts when idle and about 5w when maxing out all 4 cores. But the firmware doesn’t automatically switch off the monitors’ backlight. Instead, it only blanks the screen. While there are plans to fix this issue (part fix with a working vcgencmd), it’s a startling omission. With inadequate power management of the monitors, it’s hard to consider the Pi 4 as an energy efficient desktop solution. Read more

Open Source CMS Ghost 3.0 Released with New features for Publishers

Ghost is a free and open source content management system (CMS). If you are not aware of the term, a CMS is a software that allows you to build a website that is primarily focused on creating content without knowledge of HTML and other web-related technologies. Ghost is in fact one of the best open source CMS out there. It’s main focus is on creating lightweight, fast loading and good looking blogs. It has a modern intuitive editor with built-in SEO features. You also have native desktop (Linux including) and mobile apps. If you like terminal, you can also use the CLI tools it provides. Read more

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MX Linux 19 'Patito Feo' is here!

In the classic story The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen, a bird is bullied and tormented by a bunch of mean ducks -- simply because his appearance is different, and he is perceived as ugly. Spoiler alert: he grows up to be a beautiful swan and has the last laugh. Take that, mean ducks! In many ways, Linux users have been like that bullied bird -- made fun of for being different, but as time marches on, it is clear that they are the true swans of the computing world. And so, how appropriate that MX Linux 19, which is released today, is code-named "Patito Feo," which is Spanish for ugly duckling. Yes, following some beta releases, the increasingly popular Debian 10 Buster-based distribution is finally here. The operating system features kernel 4.19 and uses the lightweight Xfce 4.14 desktop environment. It even features a patched sudo, so you don't need to worry about that nasty security vulnerability that had some folks worried. Of course, there is a bunch of great software installed, such as Firefox 69, Thunderbird 60.9, LibreOffice 6.1.5, VLC 3.0.8, GIMP 2.10.12, and more! Read more