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Reviews

Ubuntu 14.10 MATE edition - Almost fabulous

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Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn with the MATE desktop environment is a very cool distro. It suffers from two big problems, one of which has been inherited from its Unity parent, and that would be the inability to format old partitions, created by previous versions of Ubuntu. This is somewhat worrying. Samba printing is another disappointment. There was no screenshot problem like with some other distros, though.

Besides these issues, everything else was perfect. Familiar, friendly, extremely productive. Super fast and super stable, too. There was nothing out of ordinary, no problems. Suspend and resume worked without any issues, the system blazed at the speed of light, and with maybe ten minutes of work, you can transform it into anything you want. Docks, menus, new fonts, new themes, all there, just waiting for you. Total freedom and fun.

There can't be a perfect score, because the associated problems do not allow it. But assuming you had this distro given to you, and someone bothered to install the needed Samba package that normal people require, it would be an excellent alternative to many other mainstream releases. Highly polished, slick, and almost overwhelmingly simple and easy to use. The grade is something like 9.0/10, but it can do better. I demand it. For you, this is an excellent test bed. Go for it.

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Hands-on with the Raspberry Pi Model B+

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Development
Linux
Reviews

There have been a several interesting new hardware announcements from the Raspberry Pi Foundation this year. Sometimes I wonder how they do it all - with so much involvement in education, development of new hardware and software, and the many Pi user groups and events. It really is quite impressive.

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ClassicMenu Indicator Review – A Blast from the Past for Unity and GNOME 2 Fans

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ClassicMenu Indicator is an applet designed for Ubuntu systems that brings back a small part of the old GNOME 2 desktop’s functionality. It's a simple solution that is really helping a lot of people to cope with Unity.

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XnConvert Review – An Image Batch Processor like No Other

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Reviews

XnConvert is batch image processor that has been designed to work on multiple operating systems. It comes with a Linux client and it's one of the few tools of its kind on this platform. Let us now take a closer look at the application to see why it's incredibly useful.

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Where is M13? Review – A Simple and Powerful Galactic Atlas

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Reviews

Where is M13? is a planetarium application that allows users to view details about distant objects in the sky, covering a very large number of items ranging from stars to other galaxies. There are not many apps that can do this, so most of the shortcomings could be forgotten.

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Leftovers: Screenshots

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Fedora 21 review

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Red Hat
Reviews

It's been a while since my last upgrade and there has also been a gap to the latest Fedora 21 release, so now seemed like a good time. I upgraded my laptop by installing over the existing root partition but leaving the /home partition in place to maintain all my settings and files. I wasn't able to even attempt this in the Fedora 16 installer, but it was easy enough in the Fedora 21 installer and it worked surprisingly well. Downtime was only 20 minutes or so for the installation, though a couple of hours was needed to investigate various new settings etc.

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Ubuntu Mate 14.10 Review: For GNOME 2 lovers and offers awesome performance

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Reviews
Ubuntu

I am not sure if Ubuntu Mate 14.10 is an official release from Canonical yet. It is still to be listed in distrowatch. But, never-the-less I came across this distro as a reference from a couple of readers from my blog. I used the distro for a week and I am writing down my experience with the distro. It has the same specifics as Ubuntu 14.10 - the desktop environment is different here: Mate 1.8.1, with it's typical GNOME 2 looks.

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Netrunner Rolling 2014.04 - This time, we need the goats

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Reviews

Netrunner Rolling distro release is a very interesting concepts, on many level. It's a KDE desktop, based on Arch and Manjaro, the latter also being partially based on Arch itself, plus it comes with a rolling update model. A far cry from the typical asterisk-buntu philosophy that pervades most of the market.

In the canonical notation, Netrunner Rolling is actually an Arch-Arch-Manjaro distro, and this actually sounds like Ice Ice Baby, only geekier. Arch, Arch, Manjaro. Tam dam dam da da dam dam. Sort of. Anyhow, we have a new edition out there. 2014.09. So let's see if it's any good. The previous one surprised, immensely.

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Observing Scientific Linux 7.0

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Red Hat
Reviews

Scientific Linux is an operating system sponsored by Fermilab and built using the source code from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The distribution is lightly customized, making it similar to RHEL in most respects, but with different artwork. The current release of Scientific is available for the 64-bit x86 CPU architecture only. There are several editions to choose from, including a regular installation DVD (3.9 GB), an "Everything" double-sided installation DVD (6.2 GB), a net-install minimal CD (394 MB), a live CD (690 MB), a GNOME-flavoured live DVD (1.1 GB) and a KDE-flavoured live DVD (1.2 GB). I opted to download the live KDE disc.

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Android/Google Leftovers

3 open source alternatives to Office 365

It can be hard to get away from working and collaborating on the web. Doing that is incredibly convenient: as long as you have an internet connection, you can easily work and share from just about anywhere, on just about any device. The main problem with most web-based office suites—like Google Drive, Zoho Office, and Office365—is that they're closed source. Your data also exists at the whim of large corporations. I'm sure you've heard numerous stories of, say, Google locking or removing accounts without warning. If that happens to you, you lose what's yours. So what's an open source advocate who wants to work with web applications to do? You turn to an open source alternative, of course. Let's take a look at three of them. Read more

Hackable voice-controlled speaker and IoT controller hits KS

SeedStudio’s hackable, $49 and up “ReSpeaker” speaker system runs OpenWrt on a Mediatek MT7688 and offers voice control over home appliances. The ReSpeaker went live on Kickstarter today and has already reached 95 percent of its $40,000 funding goal with 29 days remaining. The device is billed by SeedStudio as an “open source, modular voice interface that allows us to hack things around us, just using our voices.” While it can be used as an Internet media player or a voice-activated IoT hub — especially when integrated with Seeed’s Wio Link IoT board — it’s designed to be paired with individual devices. For example, the campaign’s video shows the ReSpeaker being tucked inside a teddy bear or toy robot, or attached to plant, enabling voice control and voice synthesis. Yes, the plant actually asks to be watered. Read more

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