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Reviews

Min Browser Muffles the Web's Noise

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Reviews
Web

Min is not a full-featured Web browser with bells and whistles galore. It is not designed for add-ons and many other features you typically use in well-established Web browsers. However, Min serves an important niche purpose by offering speed and distraction-free browsing.

The more I use the Min browser, the more productive it is for me -- but be wary when you first start to use it.

Min is not complicated or confusing -- it is just quirky. You have to play around with it to discover how it works.

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Blu Vivo 6 review: Affordable Android in a pretty shell

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Android
Reviews

Phone-maker Blu started making a name for itself in the States for being an affordable Android brand, but it's taken some time for the company to bring its wares to the UK.

In fact, the Vivo 6 is the company's first Blighty-bound device. Having launched in time for a crazy opening-day Amazon discount during Black Friday weekend in 2016, the phone is now back to its full price of £239. So is it worth the cash?

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Raspberry Pi: Hands on with SuSE and openSuSE Linux

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SUSE

At the end of November, the Raspberry Pi Blog announced the availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) for the Raspberry Pi 3. As Eben Upton said at that time, this was a big deal for two reasons -- it was the first official 64-bit operating system for the Pi 3 (Raspbian and other currently available versions are 32-bit), and it was an official release from a major vendor.

The announcement in theSuSE Blog gives a lot more information about the what/why/how of the SLES port, and makes for an interesting read. From what I gather, SuSE and/or ARM gave out some spiffy packages (shown at right) which contained a Raspberry Pi 3 preloaded with SLES 12 SP2: I would have loved to have been there and been blessed with one...

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Carey Head: Ubuntu for Everyday Use, How It Worked For Me

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Before diving into the Ubuntu review, here’s a bit of backdrop — and a bonus review. I downloaded and installed Windows 8 Preview several weeks ago. It took me about two days to realize that Microsoft’s desktop OS had jumped the great white for me. I can see how the Metro UI would be really nice on a tablet, but the concept on a desktop screen baffles me. Coincidentally, my 8 year-old’s installation of Windows 7 got corrupted and he needed a reinstall.

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Maui Linux 2.1 Blue Tang - Aloha!

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Maui Linux 2.1 Blue Tang is a surprisingly and yet expectedly good Plasma system, using some of that Mint-like approach to home computing. It's what Kubuntu should have been or should be, and it delivers a practical, out-of-the-box experience with a fine blend of software, fun and stability. That's a very sensible approach.

Not everything was perfect. Plasma has its bugs, the printer and the web cam issues need to be looked into, and on the aesthetics side, a few things can be polished and improved. The installer can benefit from having some extra safety mechanisms. But I guess that is the sum of my complaints. On the happy side, you get all the goodies from the start, the application collection is rich, the distro did not crash, and the performance is really decent for a Plasma beastling. A fine formula, and probably the best one we've seen in the last eighteen months or so. Good news if you like KDE. And indeed, this is definitely one of the distros you should try. 9/10. I'm quite pleased. Have a maui day.

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What's New in BlankOn X Tambora

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BlankOn X operating system finally launched at January 1st 2017 as the 10th release codenamed "Tambora". BlankOn is a GNU/Linux distribution from Indonesia, a low-resource operating system with ultimate aim for desktop end-users. In this Tambora release, BlankOn brings the latest Manokwari desktop with improvements, along with its own BlankOn system installer, and some other stuffs. This Tambora release is a continuation of the BlankOn 9 release in 2014 named Suroboyo. This article sums up what's new for BlankOn in this Tambora version.

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Absolute Linux Caters to the Slackware Crowd

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Slack

Absolute Linux is a distro that raises the question: Is it really worth the bother?

Any version of this Slackware-based Linux OS is just that -- a really big bother -- unless you love Unix-like systems that give you total control. It likely would be especially bothersome for less experienced users and for folks comfortable with Debian distros such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and such.

Some Slackware-based distros are easier than others to use -- but the text-based installation and mostly manual operating routine makes using Absolute Linux a challenge. Once you get beyond the configuration steps, you still face a considerable learning curve to keep it running smoothly.

Clearly, I am not overly impressed with the Absolute flavor of Slackware Linux. I see it as the equivalent of driving a stick shift automobile with a crank-to-start mechanism instead of an automatic model with keyless ignition. That said, once you have the engine purring, it drives fast and furious along the highway.

I like to offer unique computing options in these weekly Linux Picks and Pans reviews, so I set my comfort zone aside and rolled up my sleeves to get my hands a little scraped reaching under Absolute Linux's hood.

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OpenMandriva Lx 3.0: a faint shadow of name

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MDV
Reviews

The general feel of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0 was fast and solid.

However, that was only on the surface. As soon as you start to look just a little bit deeper, issues go out here and there. High memory usage, keyboard layout glitch, inadequate size of notification area icons, problems with updates - all of that leave a bad taste after the Live Run of OpenMandriva Lx 3.0.

Will it ever gain the popularity its parent had just few years ago? I have a very big doubt.

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Arch-based Bluestar Linux Makes Plasma 5 Usable

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Last week I mentioned that I liked Bluestar Linux very much and was probably going to go ahead and take the leap to it and Plasma 5. I had been testing Plasma 5 on various distributions in 2016 with poor results until I tested Arch-based Bluestar 4.8.13. Preliminary tests indicated it might be possible to migrate. So, I learned a bit more about Bluestar this passed weekend and thought I'd share. I've also rounded up the best Linux tidbits from today's headlines as well.

First up, yes there is a graphical package manager. PacmanXG to be exact. I'd run into PacmanXG a few times over the years, but it appears it too has matured and seems to work rather well. The sort by groups could be better, but otherwise it's quite capable complete with history, log, and the command-line outputs. Updates come fairly routinely in Bluestar, although most are from Arch. I've been applying the recommended updates without any negative side-effects as of yet.

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OpenMandriva Lx 3.01 review

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Reviews

OpenMandriva is a Linux distribution whose roots and traditions date back to the Mandrake/Mandriva Linux era, what it has in common with with ROSA Linux and Mageia. The latest edition of the desktop distribution – OpenMandriva Lx 3.01, was released on December 25 2016, so it was a nice Christmas present to OpenMandriva fans.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Why You Should Consider Open Sourcing Your Software
    Free & Open source software have grown so rapidly in the last few years. Just compare the situation of being ignored and considered like a nerds-movement in the early 2000’s to the situation today in 2017. We surly made a huge advancement so far. Thanks to the amazing ecosystem of open source which links both communities and enterprises together. However, when it comes to individuals, a lot of people are hesitant when it comes to open-sourcing their software. They think that the “secret” behind it will be stolen. They think that they will be releasing their work “for nothing in return” when they do so. That’s definitely false.
  • Caspia Projects and Thunderbird – Open Source In Absentia
    What does this have to do with Thunderbird? I sat in a room a few weeks ago with 10 guys at Clallam Bay, all who have been in a full-time, intensive software training program for about a year, who are really interested in trying to do real-world projects rather than simply hidden internal projects that are classroom assignments, or personal projects with no public outlet. I start in April spending two days per week with these guys. Then there are another 10 or so guys at WSR in Monroe that started last month, though the situation there is more complex. The situation is similar to other groups of students that might be able to work on Thunderbird or Mozilla projects, with these differences:1) Student or GSOC projects tend to have a duration of a few months, while the expected commitment time for this group is much longer.
  • Make Dragonfly BSD great again!
    Recently I spent some time reading Dragonfly BSD code. While doing so I spotted a vulnerability in the sysvsem subsystem that let user to point to any piece of memory and write data through it (including the kernel space). This can be turned into execution of arbitrary code in the kernel context and by exploiting this, we're gonna make Dragonfly BSD great again!

Desktop GNU/Linux

  • [Video] Litebook Alpha Review! | Unboxing, Apps, and Gaming!
  • Beginners Guide To Linux
    Curious about getting into Raspberry Pi or just Linux in general but you're not sure where to start? This post is for you. It's not intended to be a comprehensive guide, rather a gentle intro into the Linux world. I'm not a Linux expert, but I know from experience that it can be an intimidating platform to get started in. I want this post to show you what you need to know to get started with Linux.
  • [Video] 5 Reasons To Switch To Linux
  • System76 Provides Wireless Fixes for Ubiquity
    We are proud to have contributed to Ubiquity in such a way that we feel improves all users’ lives when using Ubuntu. We will continue improving the platform and hope that our users will see value in what we do.
  • GNOME 3.24 Released, See What`s New
    After being in development for six months, GNOME 3.24 was released today, bringing improvements such as Night Light, weather information in the date / time indicator, along with updates to its applications, and more.

Late Night Linux, Bad Voltage, and Effective Communication in Podcasting

  • Late Night Linux – Episode 06
    Jesse is back but this time Félim is in his sick bed so it’s a 3 man show yet again. Some heated debates about Nextcloud’s actions, Ubuntu extended support and PowerPC distros, followed by a deep dive into the world of HiDPI 4k support in Linux.
  • Bad Voltage Live at SCaLE 15x
    The Bad Voltage live stage show, from SCaLE 15x in Pasadena, March 2017!
  • Effective Communication in Podcasting
    When I got serious about doing Linux videos on YouTube, I drew on all of that Old Media experience plus I took a few classes to make sure I knew what I was talking about before handing out advice to others. That has led to the EzeeLinux project. The goal of EzeeLinux is to educate folks about Linux and get them started on the right path to success… I have been truly humbled by the response it has gotten. That said, I don’t feel like I’m competing with anyone – the more, the merrier! I honestly feel that Linux and Open Source Software are arguably one of the few truly good things happening in the world today. It brings people from all over the world together and provides a means to get cutting edge technology into the hands of anyone, anywhere who wants to take the time to learn how to use it regardless of their financial situation. That is the kind of power that can quite literally change the world, folks. No one should be left behind in this Information Age. Come to think of it, Ed Murrow would probably do a documentary about Linux if he was still around today… It would be right up his street, I think. It’s the kind of thing he liked to talk about.

Leftovers: Software

  • [Video] Linux Audio Programs Compared 2017
    I made this video for those that are new to, or just interested in making music on the Linux OS. I go over the features, goods and bads of Rosegarden, LMMS, Ardour, Mixbus, and EnergyXT, as well as touch on Qtractor. I don't don't go much into details of the particular versions I am using, but the video was made in the early part of 2017 and I'm running Ubuntu 16.04LTS.
  • Green Recorder: A Simple Desktop/Screen Recorder for Linux
    Green Recorder is a simple, open source desktop recorder developed for Linux systems built using Python, GTK and FFmpeg. It supports most of the Linux desktop environments such as Unity, Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce and so on. Recently it has been updated to work with Wayland too in Gnome session.
  • Komorebi: A New Way To Enhance Your Desktop Using Animated/Parallax Wallpapers
    In past there were applications that allowed us to run videos/Gif as wallpaper on the desktop and make desktop look much cooler but than all of sudden the development of such Apps stopped and I can't name any App that exist for this purpose. Komorebi is fairly new application designed to make your desktop experience much better and make desktop cool as well, we can say it is kind of 'live wallpaper' situation here or 3D wallpaper. It is developed by Abe Masri and available under GPL license for free.
  • Stacer Sytem Optimizer: A Must Have Application For Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    There are multiple ways to optimize your Linux, the most geeky way is using Terminal, there are also applications available that performs such actions like Bleachbit, Ubuntu cleaner and so on. Stacer is simple, open-source, quick and new application designed to offer you all-in-one optimizer for your Ubuntu/Linux Mint (It's alternative to CCleaner but only for Linux).
  • Qtox: Open Source and Fully Secure Skype Replacement for Linux
    Long years ago, we've talked about a Skype alternative called Tox which was still in its early developmental stages. Tox was supposed to become the anti-thesis of Skype by being a fully open-source video and voice chat client that placed user privacy and security at its center. Well, guess what, there are now fully active and well-maintained chat clients that are built on top of Tox protocol. qTox is one of them.
  • Rclone 1.36 Released With SFTP And Local Symlinks Support, More
    Rclone 1.36 was released recently, bringing support for SFTP, local symbolic links support, mount improvements, along with many other new features and bug fixes. For those not familiar with Rclone, this is a cross-platform command line tool for synchronizing files and folders to multiple cloud storages, which supports Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon S3, Amazon Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Yandex Disk, and more. It can be used to sync files either from your machine or from one cloud storage to another.
  • Streamlink Twitch GUI 1.2.0 Adds Support For Communities And Team Pages, Basic Hotkeys
    Streamlink Twitch GUI (previously Livestreamer Twitch GUI) is a multi-platform Twitch.tv browser. The application is powered by Node.js, Chromium and Streamlink, though it can still use Livestreamer (which is no longer maintained) too.
  • Code Editor `Brackets` 1.9 Released, Available In PPA
    Brackets is a free, open source code editor focused on front-end web development (HTML, CSS and JavaScript).
  • Terminix Terminal Emulator Renamed To Tilix, Sees New Bugfix Release
    [Quick update] Terminix, a GTK3 tiling terminal emulator, has been renamed to Tilix due to some trademark issues.