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Latest articles & site news

HERE offline navigation application for Android

updated October 11, 2014, category: Software & security

HERE for Android
One of the many advantages that Nokia phones have over their competitors is the presence of free, offline navigation software, in the form of Ovi and HERE Maps, the latter installed and configured on the Lumia line of products. Indeed, this has always been one of the critical arguments I used against Android and the likes. No more.

Recently, HERE maps have also become available for Android. True, we're talking beta software, and at the moment, it's available from the Samsung store, which means you will need a Samsung device to test and play. In my case, an S4 bricklet. Later, this should become available for all Android platforms. But let's see what gives.

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Marble is not just a rock, it's software, too

updated October 10, 2014, category: Software & security

Marble, the one we are referring to here, is a free, open-source world atlas and virtual globe software somewhat akin to Google Earth and friends. It is also a part of the KDE software suite, which makes it even more interesting. Now, it's no stranger, either, and we have seen this little tool in action a few years back.

I decided to re-explore [sic] Marble once again and see what it can offer, especially now that version 1.9 has been released. Sadly, the new build is only available for Windows at the moment. Ironic, is it not. The version present in most distro repos is still held back at 1.8, but that ought to be enough. I did run the new edition in Windows 7, for comparison's sake, and I could not see any huge changes, so we will have to do with a slightly older version. Follow me.

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Mandelbulber - 3D fractal explorer

updated October 9, 2014, category: Software & security

If you are even remotely interested in science, then you have heard about the fascinating concept of fractals, a mathematical set that displays self-similar patterns. You'd assume this is a strictly theoretical domain, but it turns out, our nature is teeming with fractal phenomena, anywhere you look.

Lots of image manipulation programs offer 2D fractal renders, but how about 3D? This is where Mandelbulber comes into play, a cool, obscure piece of software that lets you render mind-boggling art worth of any sci-fi convention using a bit of imagination and a lot of CPU power. So let us explore.

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Steam & Skype segfaults all of a sudden - read here

updated October 6, 2014, category: Software & security

Skype & Steam segfaults
The situation you are facing is as follows. You are a Linux user, you are running a distro of your choosing, and you are using Steam and/or Skype, and have used them successfully and without any problems for a while. Only suddenly, they no longer load, and they seem to die. You are skilled enough to run them from the command line to see what the problem might be, and you discover that they both die with a segmentation fault.

Normally, segmentation faults indicate a problem in code somewhere, but you're not really sure how, where and why. In this tutorial, we will explore the problem, learn how to analyze these kind of issues, and eventually solve them. Follow me.

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Windows 10 review - A good Start

updated October 4, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 10 Preview
Good day, ladies and gentlemen! Exactly approximately two and a half years after the ultra-controversial Windows 8 Consumer Preview was unleashed unto the Internet masses, we now have the latest and possibly greatest Microsoft operating system release available for early exploration. Released at the beginning of October, Windows 10 is a hallmark version for several reasons. One, Redmond guys have skipped a number, golly. Two, it might redeem the company from the two and a half years of failure inflicted by the previous release.

Since my techno barometer is absolutely accurate, which you can now totally relate to after reading my Consumer Preview and Enterprise RTM review, my verdict today shall signify the market success of Windows 10 in the coming years. So it is quite crucial that you read on and see what I have to say. Right now.

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I tried DD-WRT for the first time ever!

updated October 3, 2014, category: Software & security

Normally, I am against custom modifications. On anything. Cars, software, you name it. For some reason, I believe the folks who created the hardware probably know the best what the optimal mix of features is, offering the widest range of stability, flexibility, predictability, and cost.

However, since I have recently upgraded parts of my extensive home network with a bunch of new appliances, including 1Gbps LAN and whatnot, I have three spare WRT54GL routers available for games. Never one to introduce unknown, untested changes into a production setup, I now have the luxury for custom firmware tweaks. So let's see if the famous DD-WRT can justify its reputation.

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KIA Cee'd versus KIA Forte - A family duel!

updated October 1, 2014, category: Car reviews

KIA Cee'd vs Forte
Writing this dual, head-on review was not a simple thing. I had to find the right owners, with the right cars, and convince them, i.e. threaten them, to relinquish them for a few moments so that I could review them and tell about my experience. Luckily, I happened to stumble upon two hi-tech workers, both married men with offspring, poor sods, both with a dire necessity for a family car as familiar as they get. One happened to choose Cee'd Station as his baby troops carrier, while the other went for the more traditional Kia Forte saloon.

And so here we are, in a first Dedoimedo same-company rivalry match, to try to estimate which of the two offers better bang for buck for the archetypical middle-class guy, whose first priority is some comfort and a bunch of boot space, with performance and alike taking a distant second place. All right, let us proceed.

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Bash shellshock, bending phones, celeb nudes, and more

updated September 29, 2014, category: Software & security

First world problems
Welcome to Dedoimedo's pit of despair. Today, we will discuss everything in one article. All of the problems that plague us. All of them. Physics tells us there are eight laws of conservation, covering energy, momentum, weak isospin, and a few other geeky terms. However, what physics fails to account for is the ninth law. The law of human bitching.

For any given situation, humans will complain at a constant rate, regardless of what the problem is. Therefore, if you are not facing starvation problems, flooding, earthquakes, war, crime, and other human trifles, you will elevate other problems to the top of the list in order to preserve your perception of wrongness being done unto you. To wit, security vulnerabilities in software, phones that bend and nude celebrity leaks. Let's discuss.

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Linux: Where is my memory?!

updated September 27, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux memory management
Here's a scenario. A Linux system is reported for being slow and not quite working as you would expect. A preliminary examination shows nothing out of ordinary. You do your due diligence, and run the routine bunch of commands, which only leads to a gentle shrug of gentle frustration. Nothing wrong seems to be afoot. Hmm, perhaps the memory usage seems to be a little high. But why? The plot thickens.

Today, you are going to learn how to cope with seemingly crazy problems that defy the simple mathematics and your logic as the system administrator, or perhaps, a highly enthusiastic user, keen on fixing a wonky box. After me.

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Slow system? Perf to the rescue!

updated September 26, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux perf
In the last several years, we have had a whole bunch of system administration, troubleshooting and hacking articles here on Dedoimedo. Mostly related to Linux, and we learned how to fix system issues by combining the power of methodical investigation and analysis with nifty tools and utilities. Among the many, we used strace, lsof, oprofile, and others. Links below.

We even had a through so-called super-duper debugging guide, which combined the power of several programs all at once in order to resolve very complex performance related problems. However, we have mostly dwelled in the domain of userspace, less so in the kernel. In my OProfile article, someone even asked me for a practical example where a kernel profiler could actually yield useful results. Well, now the time as come, oh-oh, to demonstrate just that. Let us learn how to fix a seemingly unsolvable system performance issue using perf.

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How to setup Samba printing in CentOS 7 - Tutorial

updated September 24, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 Samba printing
After reading my Nvidia howto and the perfect desktop guide for CentOS, you sure crave for more. And the problem you are facing is as follows: You want to print to Samba printers, located on Windows machines. Only the Browse button is grayed out. You want to resolve this issue, but you are not quite sure how.

Let me show you the ultimate guide to fixing CentOS 7 printing, and possibly all and any Samba related printing in Linux. This very closely relates to the issue we saw in the fourth part on Windows to Linux migration and an outstanding bug that requires the use of a different printing utility to get things done. Follow me, and read carefully.

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Nokia E6 versus Samsung S5 quick camera test

updated September 22, 2014, category: Software & security

Nokia vs Samsung camera
Several days back, one of my work colleagues bought himself a brand new S5 device. He came around to show it off, and then, he referred to my fine stainless steel clad E6 as an ancient piece of human excrement. Then, I told him, this old brick has far better camera quality than any contemporary smartphone. He loled. We did a test.

Anyhow, let me show you how the ancient, 2011-era phone created by Nokia, the company that has always led, still leads, and will always lead in the field of ergonomics and user experience by nine parsecs above everyone else, totally pwns a brand new, top of the line smartphone in a camera test. Pointless but utterly fun. Follow me.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 4: Devices & Drivers

updated September 20, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows to Linux: Devices & drivers
Our tutorials on Windows to Linux migrations are slowly getting progressively more complex. We started with the office applications, a well familiar field, continued with media codecs and software, and finished with the third article, which covered the gaming side. Now, we will jump into the realm of drivers and devices.

But there's more. Unlike the previous three guides, in this one, I am going to show you not just how easy the transition is, and how successful you can be when you follow all the steps, I am also going to demonstrate failure. Not always is the migration simple or worth your time. And sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might fail. The important lesson is not to despair when this occurs, as we shall soon see. Once again, we will be using a different distribution for our testing. Today, openSUSE.

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Linux on the down low

updated September 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux on the down low
Is it just me, or has the Linux arena recently gone rather quiet, unspectacular, boring? I am asking this question, because I have noticed that many of the sites I often visit for a glimpse of their latest news and posts have simply reduced their overall online visibility to the point of extinction.

Moreover, there's more and more focus on the mobile and such, which is kind of understandable, but I am seeing a loss of identity, a mutation of a once recognizable profile of many of the leading Linux sites into a template-like three or four-column news reel kind of thing, with the mandatory dynamic device viewing optimization, of course. Worst of all, the passion sees to be completely gone. So let's elaborate some more.

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Unusual uses for Samsung Galaxy S4

updated September 17, 2014, category: Software & security

Samsung Galaxy S4 uses
Some time back, not that long ago, an eternity by Internet standards, I reviewed Samsung Galaxy S4, and found it to be an adequate piece of hardware, designed for people who are totally not me. I am more sort of a Nokia Lumia fan. But never mind that.

There was one big problem with this smartphone. Yes, big. The thing is just too damn big. Huge in fact. Ungainly, colossal, the modern equivalent of the totally tubular 80s boombox. Therefore, I spent a whole day thinking what S4 could be used for, in addition to the standard share of talk, chat, IM, music, and the usual pointless eking of the modern populace. To wit, we have this article.

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Turbo car = Turbo music!

updated September 15, 2014, category: Cars

Turbo car & driving
How does one introduce an article slash video that does not need any words introducing? The answer is, with some difficulty. Because now I need to wing it and write sort of two short paragraphs, so this little update ends up nice and tiny like the rest of them.

Anyhow, here be my latest art piece. Great footage plus music. Great mental fun. You ought to like it, provided you subscribe to my style of humor. If not, there's a special spot for you in the forever alone corner of the Internet. Now, enjoy.

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Microsoft Office Online - on Linux!

updated September 8, 2014, category: Software & security

Office Online & Linux
Are you one of those hardcore critics who had never had any faith, or had lost their faith in the dream that one day, they would be able to migrate to Linux fully and completely, without having to worry about Microsoft Office compatibility ever again? Well, faith no more! Eh, or something.

We had talked about this one hundred billion times. We discussed the Microsoft Office versus LibreOffice usability in real life, not once, but twice. We also talked about how to make the transition easier, for new converts. But we never presented a 100% viable solution for all those who must have Office for critical work. Now, we do that.

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How to install Nvidia drivers in CentOS 7 - Tutorial

updated September 6, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 & Nvidia
All right, let's do it. A few weeks back, I tested CentOS 7, and it did not really impress me. It had simply been rolled out too early, and there were no third-party packages available to make it more desktop-oriented and fun. Then, some time later, magic happened, Nux gave us the needed repositories, and CentOS became perfect once more.

In the desktop guide that explains how to beef up CentOS to be modern, beautiful and ultra-functional, I omitted a bunch of tips and tricks. On purpose. One of these is the installation of Nvidia graphics drivers on the selected machine, which turned out to be a handy but interesting exercise in the previous, CentOS 6 version. We will do this again, and there are some differences, so you ought to pay attention. Follow me.

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Plasma 5 - Ano'er opinion

updated September 5, 2014, category: Software & security

Plasma Next
Several days back, when I saw an article covering Plasma 5, written by my colleague Luis, I immediately stopped reading. The reason was, I intended to write a piece of my own, and I did not want to taint my subjectivity with someone else's. I promised myself I would read it, just a few moments before I conclude this review.

Anyhow, I tested the new KDE release while still in an early stage several months back, and it showed great beauty and decent promise, despite being rather devoid of any real functionality. Since, dozens of releases have been baked, each one introducing fresh new incremental changes, making Plasma that much better and ready for the grand Mk.V release. Maybe. Let's see. This time around, we also have a Neon 5 live edition, built on top of Kubuntu. Follow me.

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MakuluLinux 6.0 KDE - Super messy

updated September 3, 2014, category: Software & security

MakuluLinux 6.0 KDE
Several months back, I reviewed a relatively new Debian-based distribution named MakuluLinux, and while it did have lots of cool stuff, it was tailored with too much kitsch, some bugs, and a complicated installer. The developers read my review, responded with a nice friendly email, and took some of my commentary to heart.

Now, approximately half a year later, I am going to test Makulu again, this time the KDE flavor. And while the lack of a 64-bit version is still very much evident, perhaps there are other redeeming features that may delight us. The test box is my usual T61 laptop with its four distros spread on two SSD. Let's see.

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Graphviz is the graph wiz

updated September 1, 2014, category: Software & security

Creating beautiful, compelling and all-telling graphs is not a simple thing. If you think you can just punch in a few numbers and expect charts to become a Kubrick kind of work all on their own, well they ain't. And to say nothing of more complex shapes and forms, or dependency graphs.

Graphviz is one of those tools that can help you bridge the artistic and talent gap present in your soul and fingers, maybe. Quoting the official page, Graphviz is open-source graph visualization software. Graph visualization is a way of representing structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. It has important applications in networking, bioinformatics, software engineering, database and web design, machine learning, and in visual interfaces for other technical domains. Jolly. Exactly what we need.

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Gnuplot - Not for herding cows, great for graphs

updated August 30, 2014, category: Software & security

A great way to impress people is to show them a nice graph. Very few individuals are blessed with the ability to interpret numbers in a meaningful way, a-la Rain Man style. While they may see hidden patterns in a table of integers, most people struggle making those kind of connections, which is why they resort to images.

But there are images, and then, there are images. Nothing invokes disdain better than a default coloring scheme used in Excel generated graphs. On the other hand, the tight Matlab plots always cause a nice stir of professionalism, even when there's none to be found. So let me teach you about a program that will up your salary: gnuplot.

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I drove Renault Clio Cup at the Grobnik racetrack!

updated August 29, 2014, category: Cars

Grobnik & Renault clio Cup
Driving a real sports car on a real race track is always a special kind of experience and a unique adventure. This year, I was lucky enough to find myself at Grobnik, a car-and-bike racetrack in northwestern Croatia. The car? A beautifully decalled Renault Clio Cup 2013, a one-make racing car with a 1.6-liter 210 HP turbo-charged engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox. Neat, if you consider the fact you get no driving assistance whatsoever, no power steering, no ABS, no ESP, no exhaust filtering, bare interior. However, you do get buckets, rollcage, a helmet with a built-in headset for communication, and yes, tons of unbridled 120dB engine noise.

Being an enthusiast and no stranger to cars with a significant scoop of muscle, I knew the track day would be different from a drive in a typical hot hatch, it's just that I underestimated how much different. Fun ensues, as you will soon discover. Anyhow, this article is not just a boring report, or a quick video clip. It's a whole story, and I suggest you stick and read all the little bits, and then watch the driving action. Let's roll. Cage. Joke. Hihi.

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Top ten alternative software

updated August 27, 2014, category: Computer software

Top ten alternative software
Let's have a short break from the more tutorialesque side of articles on Windows to Linux migration. Only not quite. We will remain in the realm of this delicate subject, but rather than discussing specific topics, like mail, office and others, we will generalize. In other words, should a friend ask you, what software they can run in Linux, you will point them here.

The idea is not just to list software they can have when moving to a new operating system. It's about providing the exact same functionality that they used to have. Satisfying their needs so they will want to test Linux and then keep on using Linux. Now, we must be brutally honest and impartial, so there's a chance we might not have all the answers. All right, after me.

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CentOS 7 - The perfect desktop guide

updated August 25, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 perfect desktop
My original review of CentOS 7 was less enthusiastic than I hoped for. That is because CentOS 7 did not quite deliver the punch that I expected. Truth to be told, this is the one operating system I am most excited about. Mint and Ubuntu are friendlier, but CentOS carries with it the solid confidence of old royalty.

Another glitch that came to bear in my review was that extra repositories with all that golden content you want were not ready. And so, I could not test most of the juicy stuff that we all need, like music, games and the rest. Now though, we can finally do that. This is the one guide that will transform CentOS into a truly remarkable desktop lean mean killing machine.

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Windows 8.1 Wireless networking 101

updated August 23, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 8 networking
Writing about an operating system that I seriously do not like is called philanthropy. I want to help stranded, clueless, unhappy people who are forced to live with Windows 8.1 on a daily basis, to make their experience that much less sucky. And one of the suckiest aspects of Windows 8.1 is networking, Wireless in particular.

User's ability to make changes have gone from geeky but intuitive to moderately stupid in Windows 7 to plain insane in Windows 8, as I will soon demonstrate. Once, you could just make your own rules and whatnot, but then Homegroups were invented and they introduced mandatory IPv6 connectivity, and now something even worse. Welcome to Dedoimedo's Wireless networking 101 crash course for Windows 8.1, which will hopefully make your pain go away.

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Dedoimedo contest 2014

updated August 22, 2014, category: Software & security

Dedoimedo contest
Hello, folks! I am officially commencing to start a new Dedoimedo contest. To wit, if you choose to participate, at the end of it, you will be eligible for a lottery draw, in which you might win a handsome electronic device, a smartphone, a tablet or some kind of a laptop. The prize has yet to be decided, and at this point, you might be more interested in the little details behind this event.

Last year, we had the Ubuntu smartphone contest. Alas, Canonical did not manage to release a device with Ubuntu on it, however, true to my word, one of the contestants, an American lad named Christopher Ledbetter did win himself a Nexus 5 device, roughly worth 350 dollars. What did he do to get that? He read my books, wrote a bunch of reviews and got lucky.

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The Forgotten is published!

updated August 22, 2014, category: Books

The Forgotten
Dear fellas, I am most pleased to announce The Forgotten, the third and penultimate volume in The Lost Words epic, and some would say grimdark, fantasy series has been released. The paperback version is available on Amazon, with the Kindle edition coming shortly.

Anyhow, The Forgotten continues the tale of the Realms and gods and whatnot. Some new characters are added, others are given focus, a whole lot of them get killed. Unlike The Broken, which jumps in time quite a bit after The Betrayed, this one picks up right after the last page of the second book. And it's a little shorter, by a whole 100 pages!

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Mini review of Opel Corsa OPC - What a car!

updated August 22, 2014, category: Cars

Opel Corsa OPC
The free translation from Latin reads PC-BSD has a new desktop environment, it is called Lumina, and it is now being reviewed by Dedoimedo. Tricky language, Latin, right? Anyhow, we are here to taste a new, lightweight desktop, created by the PC-BSD team.

It's licensed under BSD, based on Qt and Fluxbox, the second default offering in the PC-BSD 10 Joule release, which we have tested some time back, and it is still alpha quality, so everything you see here today may or may not be true. We shall commence.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 3: Games

updated August 20, 2014, category: Computer games

Windows to Linux: Games
The third part of our migration slash conversion adventure takes us into the realm of gaming. Alongside Office really, this is the big reason why so many people still keep Windows around, myself included. There are still a huge number of games available only for Windows, and we want to be able to play them. True, the Steam revolution happening on Linux is sending shockwaves of changes throughout the community, but we are still a couple of years away from total, seamless indifference.

In order to help the bi-boot-curious people bridge the gap more easily, today, we will dabble in gaming. As you can imagine, we will see how easy it is to obtain games and play them on Linux, the best methods to achieve the desired results, and how to cope with various snags and issues that may arise. We will do everything twice, from the GUI and then the command line, and we will be using Fedora for that. Let us.

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Docker for your containers

updated August 18, 2014, category: Software & security

Punnily puns the punster makes. Now, you might be wondering, what's he on about, and can I have some of the same stuff. Sure you can. Today, I want to talk to you about a fairly new, fairly not yet ready for production technology called Linux Containers (LXC), and more specifically Docker, a frontend for enabling them with ease.

All right, so we have a bunch of things to cover, namely learn a bit more about containers, how they are supported in recent Linux kernel versions, what they can do, and what they are good for, and finally, why you might need a docker for these containers, or rather Docker, with a capital D. To wit, you keep reading.

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Android offline navigation

updated August 16, 2014, category: Software & security

Android offline navigation
After I wrote my review of Lumia 520 and Galaxy S4, I got a bunch of emails from users telling me that you can have offline GPS-assisted navigation in Android. This, in response to my claim that Nokia offers their free and awesome maps, whereas Google's software is network sensitive and demands connectivity, which can be costly abroad.

As it turns out, I am absolutely correct. Indeed, there is NO default offline navigation available in Android. It can be achieved through third-party software only. So Nokia leads with its beautiful software, and the only question is, with some extra hard work, can you have the same level of convenience, quality and no-cost navigation on Android? This article will give an answer to that.

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Lumina, Luminum, Luminae

updated August 15, 2014, category: Software & security

The free translation from Latin reads PC-BSD has a new desktop environment, it is called Lumina, and it is now being reviewed by Dedoimedo. Tricky language, Latin, right? Anyhow, we are here to taste a new, lightweight desktop, created by the PC-BSD team.

It's licensed under BSD, based on Qt and Fluxbox, the second default offering in the PC-BSD 10 Joule release, which we have tested some time back, and it is still alpha quality, so everything you see here today may or may not be true. We shall commence.

Read more ...

YafaRay raytracing - Not bad, but needs more love

updated August 3, 2014, category: Software & security

You know I am a 3D aficionado. And for the past several years, I have been dabbling in all kinds of 3D software, including rendering engines and programs. At the top of my list is Kerkythea, which lets me make some really nice magic from my 3D models. But I am always searching for new candidates.

So I stumbled across YafaRay, an open-source raytracing engine. Sounds interesting, and the official gallery images show quality that is equal to that of other engines out there. Which is why I set about exploring.

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CentOS 7 review - It's finally here!

updated July 23, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7
You all know that I'm totally psyched to be testing the latest CentOS release. This is the ultimate desktop operating system in disguise. Version 5 was a bit resistant when it came to pimping it up for home use. Version 6 far less so. Tons of links coming up later. And so, the big question is, what will happen with this last, Fedora-19-based CentOS?

Sure, it starts with RHEL 7, which we have seen a while back. Not a bad start. Now, we have the free derivative available, with its promise of one full decade of support. And it comes with a modern kernel and whatnot, so Steam and Chrome and other jolly beasts that gave us the gyp in the past won't pose any trouble. But let us begin most humbly with a clever review. Pimping comes later. Follow me.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 2: Multimedia applications

updated July 21, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows to Linux: Media
Welcome to the second article in the series, one which teaches the wonders of migration from Windows to Linux in small, easily digestible chunks, with step by step instructions and a plenty of great tips to get you cozily underway. In the first piece, we discussed office programs, how they can be installed and used, both from official application stores as well as manual downloads and setups. We learned how to use the Software Center in Linux Mint, and we repeated all our actions from the command line, too.

Today, we will focus on multimedia programs. Namely, how to get Flash, MP3 codecs and other associated bits configured properly, as well as review a short list of popular, recommended media players that should help you enjoy music and videos on your new Linux box. In this guide, we will use Ubuntu as the target platform, in order to demonstrate yet another distribution and its peculiarities. We will also briefly mention Fedora and openSUSE, as a sort of bonus.

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Make your Android Virtual Devices (AVD) run fast

updated July 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Android AVD & HAXM
If you are developing applications for Android, this tutorial may interest you. Notably, this article will show you how to configure your Android SDK and the underlying operating system for best performance, so that your Android Virtual Devices, acronymed AVD, run fast and respond quickly. This can be crucial during development, as you want to save time on AVD restarts, debugging and suchlike.

I do have one reservation, and that is, the contents of this guide have been tested and written for Windows, with Intel architecture. If you happen to use Linux or AMD processors, you will have to wait a little until I bake successor articles. With that in mind, do follow me please.

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Google algorithms - We shall never surrender

updated July 18, 2014, category: Software & security

Google algorithm
Normally, I do not pay any great deal of attention to the assortment of Google's search algorithm changes, called Panda, Penguin and alike. After discovering my own truth, fighting the policies of a profit-oriented corporation is pointless.

However, I did read some on the recent update in May 2014, and came across a number of articles that mentioned a few things that piqued my interest. Then, I browsed through my Webmaster Tools account, and saw something even more intriguing. Hence, this article. Prepare your expletives shields.

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Toyota RAV4 LE AWD review

updated July 16, 2014, category: Cars

Toyota RAV4 LE AWD
Some people like to have kids. Go figure. Anyhow, if you happen to be a parent, then one of your considerations for the purchase of a new car might be sufficient car interior space, in order to accommodate all the stuff that said kids require, like booster chairs, restraints and whatnot. A friend of mine, who happens to live across the pond and has managed to replicate some of his DNA, did indeed consider his children for his new ride. End result, Toyota RAV4, our review scapegoat for today.

I am not entirely privy into all the little details of why and how this car was chosen to be the primary family transporter, but I was happy enough to test the vehicle for a couple days, since his wife was away on holiday with their little replicant, hence freedom for him, hence the second household car, hence Dedoimedo gets to review this one. Yes, he might be reading this, entirely happy. Anyhow, this article is not about some guy, it's about Toyota RAV4, a Japanese medium-sized SUV. Well, Americans might call it small or compact. Follow me.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 1: Office applications

updated July 14, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows to Linux: Office
After reading my Ultimate guide to Linux for Windows users, a handful of people emailed me their suggestions on how the guide can be extended and improved. They offered some ideas that might work in a comprehensive book, and others that fit much better as standalone articles. And that's why we are here, to start a series of tutorials on making the Windows to Linux conversions less painful.

I deliberated quite a lot on how to make this happen. Naturally, I ought to choose a single distribution, and stick with it, so that users can sort of relate to my actions. But that makes for a very corny and fairly boring read. If I say Ubuntu, then it's been done before, a hundred million times. If I say something less popular, more esoteric, then what's the point the really? This is a rather tricky point, because we can't have a baby step howto for every single distribution and its desktop environment. So what I've decided was to stick to the top five distributions, more or less, and then highlight a different migration effort on a different desktop flavor each time. Best of both worlds. Today, we do office and Mint.

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VLC does not support error - Howto & fix

updated July 12, 2014, category: Software & security

VLC codec errors
The situation you are facing is as follows. You are a Linux user, and VLC is your media player of choice. Most of the time, you install software from official repositories without any problems. But sometimes, you use distributions that do not ship with VLC, and you must use additional third-party sources. Then, you install VLC from yonder, and try to play your content.

You get the following error: 'No suitable decoder module: VLC does not support the audio or video format "VP80". Unfortunately there is no way for you to fix this.' Oh-oh, sounds ominous, what now? Let me show you.

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Virtual machines in your browser

updated July 11, 2014, category: Software & security

Virtualization inside browsers
I must apologize upfront if the title of this article is not the most accurate one. But it will serve its purpose, as you will soon find out. Anyhow, I want to talk to you about running operating systems, other than your operating system, on top of your operating system. Normally, we call this virtualization.

But that's a broad term that covers all sorts of things. We have thin-app virtualization, we have bare-metal provisioning, we have dandy software like VirtualBox and VMware Player, and some hardcore candidates in the Linux space. Then, there's simulation, which is something else entirely. Emulators also deserve their honorable mention, and the typical examples would include DOSBox and PCSX2. Now, how about running operating systems in your browser?

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The most annoying apps in the world

updated July 9, 2014, category: Software & security

Most annoying apps
Welcome. This article is like the mega-ultra-summary of all the software, programs, applications, and operating systems that are so bloody annoying you could chainsaw dolphins from the sheer anger of using them.

Indeed, I want to talk you about some of the most cardinally stupid creations of binary code, which you happen to have to use. In other words, you don't have a choice, and you are kind of forced to suffer these programs, and with each new iteration, they only get worse and more intrusive and less productive and more cartoonish and even more idiotic and you feel your intelligence melting, your life draining away, and your happy mojo slowly fading in their presence. Shall we explore?

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Civilization V review - On Linux, looking good

updated July 7, 2014, category: Computer games

Civilization V
A few days ago, a lad or a lass named Floris emailed me, telling me that Civilization V was available for Linux, as a native game, and at a lovely jubbly 75% discount on Steam. Sounds great. But I already had the game installed way back since 2011 or so when I first bought it, ha ha. Which meant just powering a Linux box and redownloading the content for this review.

The test box that I chose is no other than my Asus VivoBook, which recently got upgraded into a splendid dual-boot setup with Ubuntu Trusty, despite its complex UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT thingie. With the HD 4000 graphics inside the third-generation i5 processor, it ought to be good enough for the exercise. Plus, there's all the buzz of getting the dual-boot system set up and working and all that. But here, let's focus on the game, right.

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The manliest scene in the history of cinema

updated July 5, 2014, category: Life topics

Manliest scene
For today, I have something so stupid and silly, you will probably hate me. But then, better posted and hated than not. I read that somewhere. I think. Anyhow, a short video message conveying roughly a thousand words worth of nonsense.

It's all about being manly. Forget Lieutenant Martin Castillo from Miami Vice, forget Charles Bronson. This is the real deal. I should shut up now. My words will just etch the rugged perfection.

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How to Replace Windows XP with Linux for Free

updated July 4, 2014, category: Software & security

Dual boot: Windows XP & Linux Mint
XP user, I am talking to you. In April 2014, your favorite operating system stopped being officially supported by Microsoft. Now, there's no reason for panic, but this is a good opportunity to start considering alternatives. Without going into too many details, the free and exciting option is to try Linux.

Indeed, today, we will demonstrate how to dual-boot an existing Windows XP installation with the latest edition of Linux Mint, a highly popular Linux distribution, while retaining all the important user data you have. Naturally, this is somewhat of an advanced topic, so you might need to invest a little time reading, but overall, the exercise should be worth the effort. In the end, you will have a fully functional dual-boot setup for all your needs, with XP on one end and a modern, stylish Linux Mint 17 Qiana on the other. Let's rock.

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Linux Mint 17 Qiana MATE review - Uh, well

updated July 2, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17 Qiana MATE
If you've tried one edition of Linux Mint, you've tried them all, someone said once. Maybe. Maybe I'm just making things up so I can have a meaningful intro to my review. The thing is, people do treat Mint as a single entity, which is not quite true. Cinnamon, MATE, KDE, they are more like the Ubuntu family, with its different prefix letters.

But a good product does have brand recognition, and there's an expected look and feel. Which makes the MATE edition review today, of the latest Mint release, Qiana 17 AKA Mint LTS, all the more interesting. I will be testing on the T61 laptop, and I do not foresee any problems in that regard. But will the user experience be like the Cinnamon trial? Let's find out.

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One week with Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI

updated June 30, 2014, category: Cars

VW Jetta 2.0 TDI
Driving a turbo-diesel Jetta in America, sounds like a beginning of a crude joke. But let me assure you, it is not. In the land of large V8 engines, where cars are judged by the number of cupholders and technology is mostly secondary to the consumer experience, you may occasionally, seldom, rarely stumble upon a lovely, unexpected surprise, in the shape of a Volkswagen Jetta, powered by, no less, a turbo-diesel unit. Which brings us here.

So let us. I will give you an overview of what an American Jetta can do, because it is ever so slightly different from European models. Then, we will do all the usual fun details, discuss the interior and exterior aesthetics, and then heavily touch upon the most important aspect of all, the driving experience. As for the transmission box, let us not push it. DSG, six speed. You thought manual, well not just yet. As promised, follow me.

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Put your virtual machines in Boxes

updated June 28, 2014, category: Software & security

There are a lot of virtualization solutions. We even discussed a whole bunch here, some time back. A handful of these technologies are oriented at more advanced users, while others are suitable for newbies, too. If you ask a typical user, they will probably tell you they are using either VirtualBox or VMware, and possibly considering giving KVM or Xen a spin. How about bridging the gap? How about using an advanced tool with a simple interface?

That's what Boxes, or rather Gnome Boxes, aims to do. It's a virtualization frontend for the KVM/libvirt combo, designed to take away some of the complexity of the raw solution and provide you with a very easy GUI for handling your virtual machines. Sounds like a good plan, so we shall explore.

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Netrunner 14 Frontier review - Quite all right

updated June 27, 2014, category: Software & security

Netrunner 14 Frontier
Netrunner is mostly a Kubuntu-based distribution, with the KDE desktop, intended to plug in all the holes and boredom pits left over by its parent, to make it more immediately appealing and fun for the general populace. A new version has been released last week.

We shall be testing now Netrunner 14 Frontier, a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, on top of the usual quad-boot T61 laptop, which comes with a pair of SSD. About a month back, we also looked at the rolling Arch-based version of Netrunner, so the comparison shall be most interesting.

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The Greatest sites page updated!

updated June 25, 2014, category: Greatest sites

Greatest sites
We have two new candidates. The first. Up until now, the Greatest sites section has been reserved to English-language pages only. Not any more. I have decided to expand and include a variety of international cuisine, because a) success is not limited to the Commonwealth and former rebel colonies, and b) we will be having more such candidates soon. Our first one is Linux Za Sve, a Croatian domain dedicated to Linux.

The second. If you have labored, no, slaved as a white-collar little borg in a large company, preferrably in the hi-tech sector, you will have sworn that the Dilbert comic is the product of one of your colleagues, because it rings oh so damn accurate and true. And this is because Scott Adams, the man behind this creation, is a genius, and has successfully managed to capture the life-withering spirit of large corporations in his work.

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Dual boot: Windows 7 + Xubuntu 14.04

updated June 24, 2014, category: Software & security

Dual boot: Windows 7 & Xubuntu
Today, we are going to have another dual-boot tutorial, which will teach you how to install the latest version of Xubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr alongside Windows 7 in a happy tandem configuration. I have already shown you how to achieve this kind of setup with both Windows 7 and Windows 8, using mainstream releases of Ubuntu. Now, we will diverge and test with Xubuntu, the Xfce-powered edition, which definitely merits use and fun.

Most of the stuff will be very similar to what you have seen before. Still, for the sake of completeness of this exercise, I will go through all the necessary steps, slowly and carefully, so that you have additional confidence in trying to do the same thing yourself. Please, follow me.

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Flying aircraft carrier model - Jolly awesome

updated June 21, 2014, category: 3D art

Flying aircraft carrier
Remember my awesome flying aircraft carrier? Well, how about we make it even more awesome? To wit, we go back to our familiar tools of the trade, the splendid Kerkythea, a fantastic 3D rendering software that lets you infuse magic into your 3D models. Indeed, this is what we're going to do today. If you like art, then stick around please. If not, wait for another update.

Kerkythea is no stranger to Dedoimedo, and I've used it to great success, reviving older renders that look simple and cartoonish, and making them realistic. Probably the best examples are my recent attempts with the large assault hovercraft and the urban warfare scene. Now, we will attempt to make the somewhat sci-fi concept of a flying aircraft carrier look the part. Follow me please.

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Linux Mint versus Ubuntu security

updated June 20, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux Mint vs Ubuntu security
Controversy, here we go. If you have followed the Linux world news in the past months, you will surely have come across a number of clickbaitful articles claiming that Linux Mint comes with a degraded security level compared to Ubuntu, and then the official rebuttal and all that. What you did not see was the chief arbiter give his own opinion, i.e. me.

All right, I am going to do that right away. I will give you MY perspective on the whole security thingie, what it is and what it is not, and then how you should handle these two distros on the security front. It will also tell you whether you should heed the fear and drama in the headlines. Follow me.

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Linux Mint 17 Qiana - Take 2: Cinnamon + SSD

updated June 18, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17 Qiana
If you've read my first review of Qiana, just a couple of days back, then you already know where you stand with the latest Mint LTS, more or less. But to reinforce that feeling, we should probably test on yet another laptop, to be on the safe side. My second review, shorter, less exciting and less detailed than the first one, is going to take place on an older T61 machine, with its two SSD and Intel graphics.

So far, Linux Mint 17 has delivered a very decent, very complete desktop experience, almost boringly so. The excitement of having to tweak the system is really not there. Now, we did encounter a few small problems plus a major one with suspend & resume, so let's see how the distro behaved on this new hardware. After me.

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Linux Mint 17 Qiana - Take 1: Cinnamon + Nvidia

updated June 16, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17 Qiana
After Ubuntu, Linux Mint is the most anticipated spring release for 2014. The reasons are many, but the chief one is that the LTS-ness of the former directly impacts the latter, so if Ubuntu is bad, we're in for a five-year hiatus. And Mint has always been the counterweight to Ubuntu, when it comes to how the desktop is perceived and used.

While there ought to be more friendliness, there's a fair dose of rivalry and mistrust, and this is what makes the Qiana review all the more interesting. We all heard rumors about Debian taking over, LTS only derivatives and such, and today, it all comes unveiled. We will be having a whole bunch of Mint reviews, with at least two Cinnamons and one MATE. Let's start with an Nvidia-powered laptop, dual-boot config, lots of fun.

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Ah, you got this far, looking for older articles perhaps?

They are all nicely tucked away in their respective categories. Perhaps you might fancy starting a search with whatever strikes your mind? For example, type Linux to find all Linux-related items on Dedoimedo. Good luck!

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