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Reviews

pfSense is the alternative to the Linux Small Business Server you've been looking for..

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Take a look out at the Linux Distro landscape and there are no end of small business server distributions, these are the distros which provide you with a cheap alternative to create a small business server which in turn provides eMail, DNS, DHCP, Web Servers and many other services you'd need on a server when running a small business.

Usually the scenario would be that you use Microsoft's server products to provide your staff with a reliable back end server system, however over the last few years some of the Linux alternatives have risen like cream does to the top. Everything you could do with a Microsoft server can now be done for free on a Linux Small business distro. Zentayal is an example of this type of Distro. Its polished, there are support options, its well documented, it runs on Ubuntu as a core OS.

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A Year Into Linux Mint Debian Edition

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LMDE is a mixed bag. On one hand, you get a Debian install with the Mint specific user software that makes the end user a very nice experience. On the other hand, it's still being tweaked and played with. This can lead to some frustration with apps that haven't had all the kinks worked out yet.

Kobo Tablet

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While Amazon do whatever they need to do with UK Publishing companies before they release the Kindle fire over here in Blighty, there is of course the normal Kindle touch, however having had a play with it I wasn't that impresses with the Interface or the lack of cheap books. I decided to have a scout round for alternative eInk/eBook readers.

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Subsonic Media Streamer 4.6: The Proper Review

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I've done a few write up's on my blog about Subsonic however none of them were a proper review. So i've put one up. Covering What this is, stup, media, codecs and performance. this is great software especially if you're and Android user. However it's not limited to Android as the Web Interface is special too..

This is a followup to a couple of article's i've written about Subsonic, the first was a comparison with AudioGalaxy the other a bit of a puff piece really. This software however deserves a complete review as it's only having been using it for a week and a recent update i've really found out just how powerful it is.

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Subsonic

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A really good system for streaming your media, audio and video over the internet to your remote mobile and desktop devices. Works on any *nix system with a LAMPP stack.. and a uPNP router..

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Spideroak. Doing Dropbox better than Dropbox..

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Let's face it dropbox dropped its guard and proved it's not as secure as it needs to be. Opening the door for a service which is doing Dropbox better and more secure than Dropbox..

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Lastpass.

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Ensuring your security on any system is essential, while Linux offers many security enhancements over other OS's when it comes to the Internet you can never be too safe. Lastpass offers an incredible solution on a cross platform level for securing your Website access and making sure you only ever have to remember one password, but use as many as you like.

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Google Currents for Android..

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Google have just released Google Currents and although its US only there are AFK files for the rest of us on Android devices outside of the US.. I have to say, its aimed fair and square at Flipboard and does what it does VERY Well.

This is the sort of thing we need on the Linux Platform, a Gnome interface for this would work wonders...

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VyprVPN a great way to protect your public internet surfing.

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The hatches are coming down slowly on the underground downloading of media, its just starting now, the various lobbies are chipping away at the BitTorrent sites and the various Indexing services such as Google are self governing themselves to slowly stop providing links to other locations hosting shared media.

There are options however and this time they are Linux compatible and require very little fiddleing.

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Parted Magic - The Ultimate Linux Tool

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A sysadmin's toolbox doesn't contain physical spanners or screwdrivers, it does however contain tools. We pick them up over the years. Open source software which provides servers, tools, scripts they all end up in the metaphorical toolbox.

One such tool in my toolbox is a Linux distro i found a few years ago and has become invaluable. So much so that slowly but surely converts to the Microsoft cause i work with who felt that Linux offered them nothing are now using this as well.

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Ubuntu and elementary

  • System76 wants to build its own hardware for its Linux-based computers
    System76 is building up quite a name for itself, being one of a very limited number of companies selling only computers running Linux-based operating systems. Now the aim is to branch out; System76 wants to design and build its own hardware, while representing the open source community as it does so. At the moment, the hardware used in System76 systems is outsourced, but in the future this will change. The company says that it is moving into phase three of its development cycle, and this "moves product design and manufacturing in house." And you should set your expectations high: "We're about to build the Model S of computers. Something so brilliant and beautiful that reviewers will have to add an 11 to their scores."
  • AppCenter Spotlight: Beta Testers
    Over the past month we’ve been beta testing the new AppCenter with a number of developers, from elementary OS contributors to backers of our Indiegogo campaign. After testing out the submission process and getting some apps into the store (and seeing rapid updates!), I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the first apps.
  • elementary OS to get improved AppCenter, showing off a few new applications
    I have to hand it to the elementary OS guys, they have a massive focus on design and it does look quite incredible. It is easily one of the best looking Linux distributions, which I do admire. Their new AppCenter, for example, looks extremely clean and clear.

Beijing Zoo is No Place for Pandas

Pandas in Beijing Zoo
Photo credit: Nick Hopkins

I am a Panda lover. I work as a support engineer in an I.T company here in the United Kingdom. Most of my spare time is spent watching different Panda videos -- both old and new videos. Basically, it is my therapy; a 'stress release' for me. I find them to be adorable and precious creatures. As a matter of fact, I would like to volunteer to come to Sichuan. I want to experience and feel what it's like to be a Panda keeper, to be able to interact with them for real. The Panda is China's National Treasure, so it's a shame to watch the Panda videos from Beijing zoo, as the place is disgusting and not ideal for Pandas to live in (and for sure for all the rest of the animals who unfortunately got stuck in this prison cell).

The place looks like a ghost town. Lifeless and languished. Knowing that Pandas wear a thick fur on their body, can you imagine what it feels for them in 30C or 35C (summer temperature)? What it probably feels like all the time? Come on, if you really care, you must do something now, otherwise these Pandas will die. Please bring them back to their sanctuary where they really belong.

Linux 4.11 File-System Tests: EXT4, F2FS, XFS & Btrfs

With the Linux 4.11 kernel potentially being released as soon as today, here are some fresh benchmarks of Btrfs / EXT4 / F2FS / XFS on a solid-state drive and comparing the performance of 4.11 Git back to Linux 4.9 and 4.10. For those wondering if the block/file-system changes of Linux 4.11 have any impact on EXT4/F2FS/XFS/Btrfs for common I/O workloads or how these file-systems are comparing on this latest kernel, here are some benchmarks. Read more

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