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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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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • MKVToolNix 9.4 Open-Source MKV Manipulation App Polishes Existing Functionality
    MKVToolNix creator Moritz Bunkus proudly announced the release of MKVToolNix 9.4.0, the latest stable and most advanced build of the open-source and free MKV (Matroska) manipulation software for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows OSes. Dubbed Knurl, MKVToolNix 9.4.0 is not a major release, and there aren't many improvements added to its core components. Instead, this maintenance update tries to polish existing functionality and address a few of the issues reported by users since last month's MKVToolNix 9.3.1. Also, it comes with a warning for package maintainers who reported issues when compiling the app against libEBML 1.3.4 and libMatroska 1.4.5.
  • 4 Cloud-based Applications that Work Perfectly on Linux
    As far as cloud-based applications go, the market seems to be very competitive. With the recent OneDrive controversy, users are becoming much more conscious about how and where they invest their valuable data. Pricing changes or changes in business models have started to backfire against companies pretty quickly. In other words, cloud-based applications are no longer second-class citizens on the desktop. In fact, they have become a solid business model that big companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple heavily rely on. Now that the cloud has become an end-user commodity rather than a product that was meant for data giants, companies are trying hard to increase the outreach of their cloud services to clients across all platforms. One such attempt is to bring more Linux users to the party by treating Linux-based desktops at the same level as their Windows and Mac counterparts. Many cloud-focused companies have already made available well-supported Linux clients for their services. This, in turn, has made Linux as a lucrative platform for people who dual boot or switch their computers a lot. That way, they can enjoy all their important files on Windows at work and Linux at home. It's a win-win situation for both parties. Today, we will be focusing on a few such cloud-based applications that work natively on Linux without any major glitches or bugs.
  • The Forecast Isn’t Looking Bright For GNOME Weather
    GNOME Weather is no longer able to display weather forecasts.
  • This App Lets You Set-Up And Configure Razer Keyboards on Linux

today's howtos

Linux on Servers

  • Kontena Launches Container Platform, Banks Seed Funding
    Startup Kontena has launched a container and microservices platform that, it claims, is designed to be developer friendly, easy to install and able to run at any scale -- attributes that, Kontena says, differentiate it from the current crop of container platforms. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company, founded in March 2015, has also raised $2 million seed funding from Helsinki-based Lifeline Ventures. It also has a clever name: Say it out loud -- cute, huh? According to the team at Kontena Inc. , the startup's container and microservices platform requires zero maintenance, is designed for automatic updates, and runs on any infrastructure, including on-premises, cloud and hybrid. Combined, those attributes make it an easy-to-use alternative to platforms such as Docker, Kubernetes, Heroku and Mesosphere, the company says.
  • Stabilizing the world of hot and fast containers
    Containers are moving targets in multiple ways. With multiple tools, frameworks, implementations, and use cases to accomplish any task, it can be a fast-moving chaotic container world, which is a natural consequence of being young and popular. The good news is that all of this creative incubation is hugely productive, and because it's all open source everyone gets to share the benefits of all of this fabulous creativity. The bad news is that it's a giant energized cat herd. How do we know what direction to take? Must we plan for the work we do today to be obsolete in a few months? And, what about portability? I'd like to provide a few insights into the future of containers, and the direction we can expect the state of the art technology to take.
  • How DIGIT Created High Availability on the Public Cloud to Keep Its Games Running
    Emmanuel & Ross: HA is achievable on the public cloud. In our case, we couple redundancy across Availability Zone (AZ) with monitoring and autonomous systems to ensure our games can keep running. Using only one AZ will not ensure HA, as that entire zone could fail for a short time. Each of our applications runs in multiple containers at the same time. They're are all being monitored to handle current load. When one container is down, another takes its place. The same applies for all parts of our infrastructure. All services are autoscaling and behind a service discovery system. On top of this, nodes in our cluster are deployed across multiple AZs, each of which being an isolated network with its own NAT gateway. This way we can survive a whole zone going down.
  • Citrix Gives Away Netscaler Containers for Free
    Netscaler CPX Express, a developer version of the CPX container, is available for free downloading, the company announced yesterday at LinuxCon North America in Toronto. There’s even a catchy URL for it: microloadbalancer.com
  • LinuxCon: How Facebook Monitors Hundreds of Thousands of Servers with Netconsole
    The original kernel documentation for the feature explains that the netconsole module logs kernel printk messages over UDP, allowing debugging of problems where disk logging fails and serial consoles are impractical. Many organizations will choose to use syslog as a way to track potential server errors, but Owens said kernel bugs can crash a machine, so it doesn't help nearly as much as netconsole. He added that Facebook had a system in the past for monitoring that used syslog-ng, but it was less than 60 percent reliable. In contrast, Owens stated netconsole is highly scalable and can handle enormous log volume with greater than 99.99 percent reliability. "Netconsole is fanatically easy to deploy," Owens said. "Configuration is independent of the hardware and by definition you already have a network."

Android 7.0 Nougat

  • Android 7.0 Nougat review—Do more on your gigantic smartphone
    After a lengthy Developer Preview program starting in March, the final version of Android 7.0 (codenamed "Nougat") is finally launching today. The OS update will slowly begin to rollout to devices over the next few weeks. This year, Google is adding even more form factors to the world's most popular operating system. After tackling watches, phones, tablets, TVs, and cars, Nougat brings platform improvements aimed at virtual reality headsets and—with some help from Chrome OS—also targets laptops and desktops.
  • Google Android 7.0 Nougat Review – Surprisingly Uninspiring
    Since the past couple of years, Android updates have hit a concrete wall. Feature additions have gotten pretty mundane while focus on under the hood changes have become key for Google. Obviously, that’s a good thing, for some folks out there, but it’s a approach that doesn’t stand the test of time really very well. Users get frustrated after seeing the same thing over and over again. Same is absolutely true when you compare Android 7.0 Nougat directly with its predecessor, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
  • Android 7.0 Nougat review: longer battery life and faster operation
    Android 7.0 Nougat is the new version of Google’s mobile operating system, used by billions of devices around the world. It features longer battery life, improved multitasking and smarter notifications in a slimmed down and refined Android experience – following on the work done in last year’s version 6 Marshmallow It is faster, more polished and a subtly-better experience all-round. Apps install more quickly, the OS can be smaller in size and updates to Android can be installed on the fly, without having to wait for 10 minutes while it reboots, if you have a new device. The new Vulcan API graphics system is also baked in for better gaming performance and Nougat will support Google’s Daydream virtual reality system, eventually. Nougat is not, however, a major visual overhaul of Android. Those that have used Marshmallow on any of Google’s Nexus smartphones or devices with little in the way of modification to Android, such as the OnePlus 3, will instantly recognise it.
  • The Best New Features In Android 7 Nougat
    The OS formerly known as Android N is officially out today for a range of Nexus phones. Now dubbed “Android Nougat”, the new mobile operating system ushers in some noteworthy improvements and new productivity tools which we’ve outlined below. But first, here are the Nexus models that are currently supported by the update:
  • Android 7.0 Nougat: a more powerful OS, made for you
  • Android 7.0 Nougat reviews: Should you upgrade your device?