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Reviews

The Linux desktop-a-week review: ratpoison

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Normally, I would feel a little bad giving such a scathing review of a piece of software that someone, clearly, poured a great deal of time and dedication into, especially when that software is completely free and Open Source. But not for ratpoison. If it is possible for a small piece of software to be one man's nemesis…I have found mine.

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Android-x86 4.4 review – technically a distro?

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Android
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We’ve been keeping an eye on the development of Android-x86 for a little while now, with the release of 4.4 seemingly imminent for some months now. In the past we’ve managed to use dodgy hacks of Android on proper computers or an emulated version via the ADK, but this promises to be one of the first complete ports of the mobile operating system to x86.

Android-x86 is straight-up Android. There are no extra Linux repositories or a custom desktop to accommodate a mouse and keyboard on a standard computer or laptop. What you get is the standard Android 4.4 interface that can be used by touchscreens along with mouse and keyboards. Android actually has some level of mouse support already included in its code anyway, so the main changes revolve around the actual porting of the kernel and components, along with support for the kind of hardware you only get on PC such as wired networks.

The live disc is handled quite differently from a usual Linux distro. Starting it live will get you into an instance of Android that you can easily play around with: it acts exactly like any Android device would if you’d turned it on for the first time, asking for settings and login details. All of this will not be saved so it serves well as a test of the system more than anything else.

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Ultimate Linux Mint 1.4 Looks Much Better than Its Linux Mint Cinnamon Base – Gallery

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Ultimate Linux Mint 1.4, a Linux distribution based on Linux Mint 17 Qiana Cinnamon Edition 64-bit, has been released and is available for download.

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Quod Libet 3.2.1 Review – An Almost Perfect Music Player

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Software
Reviews

It's a mystery why Quod Libet is not a more popular media player. It's been around for years and the developers have constantly worked on it. The last major update was done back in May 2014, and the software is stable and full of goodies.

Quodlibet is a Latin phrase that means "what pleases" and it's used in music to describe a piece that's a combination of multiple melodies. The name seems to relate very well to the media player and it's actually quite catchy.

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Peach OSI Is Fresh and Juicy

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What impresses me considerably about XFCE in Peach OSI is its fresh appeal. Its integration leaves nothing of standard XFCE out, but it rolls in a list of design features. The result is a user experience that is very pleasing. Much of Peach's appeal to more seasoned Linux users comes from its preconfigured layout. Newcomers to Linux will like its desktop appearance and intuitive operation.

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Scrivener Writing Software has a Linux Version

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In some ways, Scrivener is the very embodiment of anti-Linux, philosophically. Scrivener is a writing program, used by authors. In Linux, one strings together well developed and intensely tested tools on data streams to produce a result. So, to author a complex project, create files and edit them in a simple text editor, using some markdown. Keep the files organized in the file system and use file names carefully chosen to keep them in order in their respective directories. when it comes time to make project-wide modifications, use grep and sed to process all of the files at once or selected files. Eventually, run the files through LaTeX to produce beautiful output. Then, put the final product in a directory where people can find it on Gopher.

Gopher? Anyway …

Ubuntu Next with Unity 8 and Mir on the Desktop – Screen Tour

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Ubuntu

Canonical is planning to bring the Unity 8 to the desktop, but it will take a while until this task is accomplished. Until then, users can test the new Ubuntu Next images, which incorporate Unity 8 and the Mir display server.

Ubuntu developers have been working very hard on the new Unity 8 desktop environment, but their progress has been limited so far on the mobile phones. With the work that’s being done for Ubuntu Touch RTM and Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), the implementation of the new desktop is now on a back burner.

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Zorin OS 9 Core Review: As good as Linux Mint 17!

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Though personally I don’t like Linux operating system resembling Windows (I had really bad experiences with Windows and lost a lot of data in the past at a critical phase in my student life and OS resembling Windows reminds me of the same), but I have seen Zorin OS to be quite popular among the new users, specially those who are converting from Windows to Linux. Even I used Zorin OS for sometime in the past, but once I upgraded Zorin to the next release, it became Ubuntu and all Zorin specific customization are lost. However, the recent Zorin OS release is supported for 5 years (till April 2019) and possibly you don’t need to upgrade it for quite sometime, given the customization I am recommending in this article.

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Zotac Nvidia Jetson TK1 review

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The Jetson TK1, Nvidia’s first development board to be marketed at the general public, has taken a circuitous route to our shores. Unveiled at the company’s Graphics Technology Conference earlier this year, the board launched in the US at a headline-grabbing price of $192 but its international release was hampered by export regulations. Zotac, already an Nvidia partner for its graphics hardware, volunteered to sort things out and has partnered with Maplin to bring the board to the UK.

In doing so, however, the price has become a little muddled. $192 – a clever dollar per GPU core – has become £199.99. Compared to Maplin’s other single-board computer, the sub-£30 Raspberry Pi, it’s a high-end item that could find itself priced out of the reach of the company’s usual customers.

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Operating System U

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OS
Linux
Reviews

Are you tired of being forced to upgrade your Operating System regularly? What about the unnecessary changes that end up being made, changes that you don’t even want, much less need? How would you like to pick and choose what aspects of your operating system you want upgraded, and leave the ones you know, love, and are accustomed to how they are?

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today's howtos

ACPI, kernels and contracts with firmware

This ends up being a pain in the neck in the x86 world, but it could be much worse. Way back in 2008 I wrote something about why the Linux kernel reports itself to firmware as "Windows" but refuses to identify itself as Linux. The short version is that "Linux" doesn't actually identify the behaviour of the kernel in a meaningful way. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the kernel can deal with buffers being passed when the spec says it should be a package. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS knows how to deal with an HPET. "Linux" doesn't tell you whether the OS can reinitialise graphics hardware. Read more