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Reviews

Satechi Smart TV Box review: Android-based set-top box does a lot, but doesn't make it easy

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Android
Reviews

Every streaming device, from your aging Blu-ray player to your Roku, has limitations. At some point, you’re going to want to stream a service that your device doesn’t support. When that happens, your only big-screen option is to plug a laptop, tablet, or smartphone into your HDTV. That way, you get a real operating system with complete flexibility.

But that’s a hassle. These devices aren’t designed to be controlled from across a room. And even when they have remote controls, they’re usually not that good.

The Satechi Smart TV Box offers a way around this. It’s a streaming device, designed specifically for plugging into your TV and controlling from across the room. But it runs Android. If your Android phone or tablet can do it, the Smart TV Box can probably do it, too.

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Deepin Linux: A Polished Distro That's Easy to Install and Use

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I usually don't dig into new distros, unless they have something new to offer. The reason is because there are so many distros that are released everyday that it's challenging, and to some extent, pointless to track them all.

I was not very excited when I decided to download Deepin as I assumed it to be yet another distro. I was wrong. It turned out to be an extremely polished, robust and easy-to-use distribution targeted at traditional Windows or Mac users. So what makes this OS so special? Almost everything.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Reviews

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca review - Oops. Nope.

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Reviews

What happened? I do not know. Maybe I was just being unlucky. Maybe my HP desktop sucks, and you should avoid Broadcom in Linux. But that's really a lame excuse, if you think about it, because both Qiana and Windows 7, resident on the internal hard disk, behave quite well. Which makes Rebecca a big disappointment.

I don't have a good way of glossing over the issues I've encountered during the preparation of this review. Mint 17.1 did not perform well in my tests. For a range of reasons, package management and desktop customizations were quite horrible, with crashes and hangs. Not acceptable. Then, there are a few other smaller issues that can and should be easily fixed. Overall, though, I can't recommend Rebecca. You'd better stay with Qiana. I will be doing some more testing in the future, for sure, but at the time being, you might skip this. Grade, 6/10.

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Also: First Impressions of Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon Edition

Soylent 1.3 Review

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Reviews

For some, food and the act of eating are merely about sustenance. That mindset is antithetical to the way I approach gastronomy. That said, when Soylent hit the crowd funding scene, I was intrigued. And I wasn’t the only one. They had over $2M in pre-orders using Tilt and have since raised roughly 1.5M from venture capitalists.

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Manjaro Linux: A few of my favorite things

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Reviews

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... oh, no, sorry, that's the wrong list. Ah, ok, here is the correct one: not six, or ten, or some other arbitrary number, just a list of some of my favorite things in Manjaro Linux.

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Review: Kyocera DuraForce is the Android phone designed for The Hulk

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Android
Reviews

In a world of me-too Android smartphones, the Kyocera DuraForce stands out. Way out. It's heavy, bulky, and not exactly pretty. Something The Hulk would carry around.

But as the name suggests, the DuraForce is not meant to be stylish. Instead, it's designed to be abused yet continue working. This ruggedized Android smartphone is meant for construction workers, utility linemen, oil riggers, security guards, coaches, park rangers, and other folks whose work environments are rough and tumble.

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An Everyday Linux User Review Of Peppermint Linux 5

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Before I start I wanted to give you a bit of background information about Peppermint OS 5 (all of this information can be found in the release notes)

Peppermint 5 is a bit of an eclectic mix of Ubuntu, LXDE, XFCE and Mint. The main Peppermint distribution is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is the long term support release.

The desktop is LXDE but the window manager is XFWM4 which is part of the XFCE desktop. The graphical package manager MintInstall is part of the Linux Mint distribution.

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KDE Frameworks 5.1 & Plasma 2.1 – First Impressions

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KDE
Reviews

Today I took the plunge into the next-generation KDE desktop, performing a dirty upgrade from Kubuntu 14.04 to 14.10 before installing the plasma-5-desktop package; and this is my first impression of KF5.x and Plasma 5. This is also a bit of a primer, because when Plasma 5.2 enters the stage I’m interested to see the comparison and do a second write-up, using my experience in both 5.1 and 4.x as points-of-reference.

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Zorin OS 9 review - Looking good

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Well, here we are. Zorin OS 9 is a nice distribution. It's visually pleasing, it comes with lots of goodies out of the box, and it is newb friendly. Perhaps some people dislike its image, or the fact it's trying a little too hard, or that you can choose between free and premium option, like Mandriva used to do, and this has never sat well with the community.

But if we ignore the gimmicks and marketing, as a product, Zorin OS is a balanced, aesthetic distribution that caters to a wide range of users. Old bugs have been fixed, there are no new outstanding problems, and you have the needed functionality and software to enjoy yourself from the start. I'd try to downplay the focus on mobile a bit further, but overall, it's looking good. I like this one. 9.41/10. Not bad at all.

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