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Need OCR? How about YAGF?

updated May 18, 2015, category: Software & security

YAGF & Tesseract OCR
If you think this is some fresh new street lingo, and you feel outdated and outclassed, don't. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, and YAGF stands for, uh, something. But it is a neat graphical interface for cuineform and tesseract tools, the latter of which we've tested in decent depth on Dedoimedo some time ago.

One of the big hurdles with tesseract was that it is a command-line only tool, and it comes with some rather strict requirements on the type of images it can use. Most people probably just want a simple utility that can scan and convert their documents and extract text. Cue in YAGF, and this little review. Let's see what gives.

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Camera + monitor video feedback loop awesomeness

updated May 16, 2015, category: Hillbilly physics

Camera video feedback loop
Today, I would like to run a very neat physics experiment with you, and it also comes with some lovely footage. Let's begin with a sort of troll physics question. If you connect a video camera to a monitor and then point the camera at the monitor, what will happen? Since you will effectively be projecting your own video onto the monitor, the process will repeat itself infinitely, and you will win infinite photons.

On a more serious level, this cool phenomenon is our topic today, and we will discuss the why and how behind it. How does this nice thing work, and why you should care? Anyhow, we will touch upon the topic of strange loops, recursion, fractals, all sorts of physical effects, and more. Follow me.

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Windows 10, alt OS lockout? Doomsday?

updated May 15, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & alt OS lockout
Recently, I've come across a somewhat sensational article by Arstechnica, telling us how Windows 10 will make mandatory Secure Boot thingie a thing of reality, and in future, we may end up with devices that do not allow any custom OS installs. Normally, I tend to steer away from this kind of news, and definitely not link to them, but this one is written with reasonable enough clarity to warrant a hyperlink. However, the essence of the story definitely needs some debating.

Since I'm aways 100% right, you surely want to know what I think. I've given you some rather accurate predictions in the past, on all sorts of things, technologies and devices, and I'm going to do it again. This will let you know what you need to do and how to prepare for the future. Let us.

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Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet - Loading ... 99%

updated May 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet
After we've seen Ubuntu 15.04 in action a fistful of days ago, the second distro I'm going to review this spring season is Kubuntu Vervet, and it comes with the lovely, awesome Plasma desktop, again, a second showing after Netrunner. Indeed, we want to enjoy the latest Plasma offering, but first and foremost, we want to explore what Kubuntu can do for us.

I will be testing on my G50 machine, and if you've read through my Plasma 5.3 article, then you know there might be some rough patches ahead. But that was beta, and now we have a proper, official release. Follow me, ladies and gents of the Web.

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Feeling nostalgic? DOS on Windows Phone

updated May 11, 2015, category: Software & security

MS-DOS Mobile
First, remember DOS? Yes, good stuff, good stuff. I've talked about DOS in the past, in how to set the operating system running in a virtual machine, and then how to play games using the excellent emulator called DOSBox. And then some. All in all, we've reviewed them fine 80s and 90s. Brings back the memories.

Second, I am going to do something I've never quite imagined. Review a mobile phone application with something almost approaching gusto. The thing is, apart from some extremely useful navigation software by Nokia, I've never seen any great need in special phone apps. This one stands out in the crowd, and so I'm going to trample my own morals into the dust, and give you five minutes of nostalgic spiel.

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A thorough introduction guide to Docker containers

updated May 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker guide
Let me start with a big promise. You will absolutely LOVE this article today. It's going to be long, detailed and highly useful. Think GRUB, GRUB2. The same thing here. Only we will tackle Docker, a nice distribution platform that wraps the Linux Containers (LXC) technology in a simple, convenient way.

I will show you how to get started, and then we will create our own containers with SSH and Apache, learn how to use Dockerfiles, expose service ports, and solve an immense number of little bugs and problems that normally never get addressed in public forums. Please, without further ado, follow me.

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Let's talk about Spa babe, let's talk about cars and me

updated May 9, 2015, category: Car reviews

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
That was a rad song. But what is even radder is the fact I got the chance slash privilege to drive a car round one of the world's most famous race tracks, Circuits de Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, seated behind the perfectly round and not very hot-hatch-like wheel of a very hot-hatch-like Renault Megane RS 265. That you saw and read about in my related racing article some time back.

We did not talk about the whole event. The drama, the charm and the multi-million-dollar experience that happened on that day, properly dubbed Munich Gentleman Drivers Day. Indeed, this follow up article is less about my noob skills on the race track, and so much more about the cars, the legends and the aura that surrounded the place and the event. As a humble visitor, I'm reporting my childlike-in-heaven impressions. Follow me.

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This is Internet Explorer! Explorer? This is Spartan!

updated May 6, 2015, category: Software & security

Project Spartan - Microsoft Edge
I know, I know, everyone and their mother has already made this joke seven times over, giffed it, memed it, and packaged it any cheesy which way possible. But I cannot let other people's art (or lack thereof) impede on mine, and so we're having a first review of Project Spartan, AKA Microsoft Edge, the new browser for Windows 10, starting with some cliches.

Windows 10 is an important operating system, because it will decide how much the desktop user is going to enjoy or suffer the next few years. For Microsoft, it's a chance to redeem the earlier failure with Windows 8. One of the ways it might do this is by offering a brand new browser, which could help us forget the forever-decline of Internet Explorer. Let's see what gives.

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BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone review

updated May 4, 2015, category: Software & security

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone
If you're even remotely interested in Linux, you will probably find this article intriguing. You may not be a great fan of smartphones or touch, I know I'm not, but having Ubuntu on your phone has a more profound meaning than just using any which smart device in your hands. It's about having an operating system that does not restrict what you may or may not do, for better or worse.

All that said, Ubuntu has made Linux that much more successful and popular than it ever was, and now, there's a proper device out there, running a "real" Linux distro out of the box, Touch edition. Any good? We shall see. I sure know this is definitely something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. Follow me please.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet review - Pretty tight

updated May 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet
Let me begin by saying, what the hell is a vervet? Now, imagine the priest from The Princess Bride narrating the name of the latest Ubuntu release. Wiwid Welwet. Yes, and so we begin the spring season, and it's business time, and we've got Ubuntu 15.04 as the first contestant.

My test platform will be Lenovo G50, which already hosts Windows 8 & 10, plus Trusty, plus Netrunner Prometheus, and Linux Mint Rebecca KDE, at the moment. All done in a setup that includes UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and such. We've seen some hardware related issues, especially with the Wireless connectivity, so it shall definitely be interesting. Follow me.

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Right-click problem on Lenovo touchpads - How to fix

updated April 30, 2015, category: Software & security

Lenovo touchpad issues
First, let me begin by saying this is only part one in a series of articles on how to combat the touchpad menace in Windows 8 and above. So if you don't find everything to your liking, don't worry, we will get there. Anyhow, several months ago, I bought myself a mighty Lenovo Y50-70 notebook, and I really like it. As with all things, once the initial glamor fades away, you start noticing some small problems here and there. The big one affecting some of the IdeaPad models is the touchpad control, offered by a rather sophisticated Synaptics Pointing Device Driver. Namely, if you want to right click like a normal human being, you can't.

Instead, you get a bunch of multi-finger click features, including a two-finger one, which activates the context menu. Sounds retarded, does it not. So let's fix this two-finger salute problem, and move on with our lives. Follow me.

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Plasma 5.3 Beta - Shaping up but the trek is long

updated April 29, 2015, category: Software & security

Plasma 5.3 Beta
Nary a week past, I download the latest Vivid dev build running Plasma 5.3 Beta, moments before the official release. We shall indeed talk about Kubuntu 15.04 at length, but at the moment, let's focus on the brand new KDE desktop. I'm liking it a lot, and I've already expressed my reserved feelings on this topic in the past.

Anyhow, it's time for another spin. What does Plasma 5.3 offer to the happy and optimistic Linux user? What should you expect in the coming days, once you grab the Kubuntu ISO and spin up your own image for testing and fun? To wit, let's explore some more.

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More awesome websites inducted into the Hall of Fame

updated April 27, 2015, category: Da best of da best

Greatest sites
Goodness, gracious, great sites of the Web. More awesome stuff, and Dedoimedo acknowledges it by formally adding a couple o' fresh new candidates into the most hallowed of lists. The first one is, AbcLinuxu, a Czech site dedicated to all things Linux. News, games, robotics, consumer hardware, software reviews. If you find the online translation services inadequate, too bad, as you'll be missing a lot here. Jozin z Bazin!

The second hero of the day is HeavenGames, where old games spread majestic wings like pegai, prance like unicorns through the mists of Avalon, and live on basking in the light of dewy rainbows. Truly a heaven. But it's also a portal to over two dozen well-groomed sites covering mainly RTS and City-Building genres, the good ole stuff before DLC and whatnot. Proper hardcore, Age of Empires, Medieval War, Caesar III, that kind of mustard. Enjoy.

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My Ubuntu Phone is here!

updated April 25, 2015, category: Software & security

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone
It is a rare, weird thing to see someone rather opposed to the idea of palm-sized computing, using touch and a somewhat chimp-like expression of concentration, get excited about a product that is essentially exactly that. But I am very pleased to say that I'm feeling a fanboy right now. It's not the smartphone, nor Ubuntu per se. Not even the combination thereof. It's Linux.

Anyhow, the two phones arrived yesterday, and I spent some time taking photos and brushing them up, the photos I mean. This isn't a proper review yet, just a teaser. You sure are welcome to take a look, and there will be a real, in-depth article coming very soon. For now, we have this little gallery. After me.

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PCLinuxOS 2014.12 KDE Full Monty - Time to say goodbye

updated April 25, 2015, category: Software & security

PCLinuxOS 2014.12 KDE Full Monty
I've sort of done what I promised myself I would not do again. I've taken PCLinuxOS for another spin, despite my rather sad conclusion back in 2012 regarding this distro and its future viability. But I thought it might be cool to test it, and see if it could rekindle the awesome glory that it once had.

To get underway, I chose the KDE version, Full Monty edition, which means a whole DVD of goodies. In other words, pretty much anything that can be crammed onto the media, you ought to find it. Test box? My latest Lenovo G50 machine, with its daunting array of buzzwords, including UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and friends. We commence.

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Windows 10 on Lenovo G50

updated April 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & Lenovo G50
I have complained somewhat about Linux not doing its best to support my latest test machine, a UEFI-powered, Secure Boot-enabled Lenovo G50, which I'm using mostly for a variety of distro abuse. It comes with GPT, lots of partitions, a handsome and extended multi-boot array, and a bucket of problems that I've already told you about.

If you recall the original review of the laptop, or you've just read it briefly, you know I've left some 150GB free space just after the shrunken Windows 8.1 partition for a future installation of Windows 10, which is happening more or less right now, well with some necessary updates here and there. And now, let's see how well this operating system behaves on a modern machine. Follow me.

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Real pirates say Xargs

updated April 20, 2015, category: Software & security

Xargs tutorial
Xargs is a very fancy Linux commands. On paper, it is designed to build and execute commands from standard input. In reality, it is one of those highly useful utilities that let you do real one-liners rather than having to write a script and introduce some kind of a loop inside. But just as Xargs is practical and popular, so it is obscure, and it comes with a few almost hidden features that really make it into a killer tool.

System administration is important, but so it time. Today, hopefully, I will be able to show you a bunch of neat Xargs tricks, some of these inspired by a friend's advice, Mr. Avi. You have no idea who this might be, but they deserve a big thank you. What you get is a guide that should make your Linux pirateering experience more ahoy-matey.

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Kawabanga! Ubuntu Phone is on its way!

updated April 19, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu Phone
Not just one! But two phones. BQ Aquaris 4.5. One for me, and one for you. Or rather, the lucky winner of the Dedoimedo contest for this year. So it's official. We have the gift, and it's on its way. In roughly three or four days, it should arrive at my home, and we'll be having fun, reviews and whatnot. And still more fun. Finally.

Now, your task. As noted in the previous update, the contest will run till June 1. Don't forget to buy my books and write your honest reviews. You can crucify me all you want, it's perfectly fine. Last but not the least, it also gives you the opportunity to support your most beloved git on the Internet.

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Fix for the Realtek RTL7823BE driver in Ubuntu Trusty

updated April 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 14.04 & Realtek
All right. This is going to be a pretty quick and simple tutorial. The problem you're facing is as follows. You are running Ubuntu Trusty or a derivative thereof on a laptop that comes with a Realtek RTL7823BE Wireless network card. After a few seconds, minutes or hours, the quality and speed of the Wireless connection degrades until it becomes unusable.

In this short guide, we will work through one very quick and elegant workaround for the problem, and then also suggest a longer, more complex fix. Either way, some advanced technical knowledge is needed. Let's begin.

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How to install Oracle Java in Ubuntu

updated April 17, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu & Oracle Java
As you may or may not know, in the last couple of years, the Linux community has largely switched from Oracle Java to OpenJDK. This means you can still run and execute Java applets on your system and in your browsers, but not using Oracle's plugins.

However, some sites, especially game portals, require the use of Oracle Java, which presents you, as the Linux user, with a problem. Indeed, I faced this little hurdle a while back, and I decided to write a tutorial, explaining how you can install Oracle Java on modern versions of Linux, in this case Xubuntu, side by side with the default offering. Follow me.

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GRUB2 & EFI recovery - Tutorial

updated April 15, 2015, category: Software & security

GRUB2 & EFI recovery
This guide will mostly be useful to people well familiar with the GRUB/GRUB bootloader, and Linux in general. If you're a newbie, you're better off reading my original tutorials on this topic first, before trying anything written here. That said, you've probably reached this page because you have trouble recovering your GRUB bootloader on a UEFI system.

This can happen if you've had a Linux distro, e.g. Ubuntu or Mint happily installed on a machine, and then you added Windows, which ruined the bootloader. Now, you're trying to recover/restore GRUB, but the standard procedure that I've outlined in my GRUB2 guide is not working. Which is why we are here.

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Windows 10 privacy settings - Important guide

updated April 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & privacy
Windows 10 has been making a lot of headlines recently, and it's even made me write some half a dozen articles, discussing all sorts of features, options, problems, and such. One of the notable topics is privacy, and with Cortana in your desktop, it becomes sort of a hot cake. So how do you handle all the fuzz?

In this article, I will outline some basic tips to how you can manage your privacy in a pretty sane manner. You won't solve worldwide intelligence crisis, or the fact some if not most products are designed to milk money out of morons, but you might just make your desktop experience bearable. We talked about the keylogging nonsense, and now we tackle the security of your shit. Your privacy, I mean. Follow me, most dear readers.

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Free software is the Devil, not

updated April 11, 2015, category: Software & security

Free software & spyware
Let me begin with an analogy, sort of. The fact Leonardo painted Mona Lisa with her mouth closed indicates she had bad teeth. This would be a very wrong summary to a nice work of art. Similarly, if we look at the relatively recent Howtogeek article of the dangers of free software, most notably the top ten downloads found on one of the popular software centrals, the same thing can be said about its ending. Not in line with an otherwise fairly good essay.

The conclusion is, paraphrasing, free software is dangerous, especially when the end product is you, ergo free. In other words, you get free goods, but the loaded malware, spyware, adware, and other crap that comes with the free stuff actually uses you to benefit advertisers and other companies. Ergo, not free. But this is not quite accurate, which is why I decided to write this response.

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I went to Spa!

updated April 10, 2015, category: Car reviews

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps & Renault Megane RS 265
Not a spa, THE Spa, the racing track. Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. Yup. One of the most popular racing tracks in the world, and I was there, for a brief stint in Renault Megane RS 265, an awesome and highly kickassful front-wheel-drive hot hatch. Remember my Grobnik race track escapade? The same.

A good friend of mine and I decided to upgrade our combined manliness by trying our luck alongside Ferraris and Porsches that normally bless this famous Formula One venue. With a humble yet expensive intention to improve our driving skills, we drove from Germany to Belgium, first on unlimited autobahns and then on highly restricted and radar-enforced Belgium highways. The story of how we did the third part in our Eurotrip saga shall await another article, but here, we are going to talk about the racing experience itself. Follow me.

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Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca KDE review

updated April 8, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
My first encounter with Rebecca wasn't that successful. I tried running it from an external USB device attached to my HP laptop, with its Nvidia graphics and Broadcom Wireless, and throughout the test, the network flaked, causing much grief and annoyance.

With Lenovo G50 in my hands as the brand new test machine, it's time to embark on a minty journey once more. 'Tis important, as the box comes with UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and some other fancy stuff, and we've already seen that Linux support for it isn't quite as you'd want or expect. So let's see what gives here.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown review - A very decent remake

updated April 6, 2015, category: Computer games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
When you try to revive a game the likes of UFO: Enemy Unknown, you are facing a very tough challenge. Basically, you need to create a title that will be just as compelling and interesting as the original, which is kind of hard, given the fact the original 1994 MicroProse strategy is one of the finest games ever made.

But Firaxis set about doing this in 2012, and they released a game with the simple yet almost impossible mission of bringing back the good ole terror and awesomeness of Enemy Unknown into the modern era. Back then, I got the game during one of Steam sales, and then let it sit on the digital shelf for several months before deciding to pick it up and start playing. I have to admit, my new laptop had something to do with it. Now, let's see whether this remake is worth its name. Oh, for those wondering, it's also available for Linux.

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How to compliment people and not get sued

updated April 4, 2015, category: Life topics

How to pay compliments
What partially inspired me to write this article is the awesome SNL clip, titled Sexual Harassment and You, which explains all the little ins and outs of having relations with co-workers without getting sued. I will not spoil it for you, please take a look. Anyhow, how about we extend the message some? Of course, this is all fun and humor, so if you intend to get offended by the time you're done reading, go away, right now.

Once again, talking to my handful of friends who manage to balance their personal life with flair, I learnt there is a common theme to their escapades. Namely, they rather successfully navigate the perilous waters of political correctness while still being able to enjoy a nice dose of flirt. Hence, this guide. Let me teach you how you can be nice and courteous and still pay compliments to people around you without dreading the hovering blade of an imminent harassment complaint against you.

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Krunner - The birth of a cyborg

updated April 3, 2015, category: Software & security

Krunner
Krunner is exactly like that lovely, lovely 80s futuristic Dystopian sci-fi movie with Arnold and Jesse, except that is different in every single way. Now, for those of you who've fiddled with KDE before, possibly on a roof, hihi, then Krunner is not a stranger. It's a familiar and useful application available in the desktop framework set of default tools. Only now we have Plasma at our disposal, and we need to give it a fresh new try.

This is also a good opportunity to expose any problems and bugs that may exist, as Plasma is still being shaped and molded, developed and tweaked, improved and bettered. With some tough love from readers and reviewers, it will only get more successful. Today, we will play with Krunner, and see its awesome powers. Indeed, Plasma is becoming my favorite desktop, and this is another great opportunity to gloat and fanboyize.

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Windows 10 Preview Build 10041 - Take a look

updated April 1, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 Build 10041
Several days ago, Microsoft unleashed the last version of their Windows 10 Tech Preview unto the masses, and I happen to be one of the bosons forming that fine mass. Which means it's time for another review, similar to what I've done with the original release and the newer build 9926. So we will do the same, and then not quite.

I will also be testing Build 10041 on my brand new laptop, Lenovo G50, so this is also going to be interesting from the hardware perspective. However, in this review, I will deliberately omit the hardware part and discuss it separately. Now, we commence.

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First distro tests on Lenovo G50 - Ubuntu and Netrunner

updated March 31, 2015, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50-70 & first distros
As you already know, I have bought a new laptop for the sole purpose of testing operating systems, mostly Linux. This is big step, as I have retired my older, simple BIOS-only machines and replaced them with a notebook replete with complications. UEFI, Secure Boot, etc.

Today's review is less of a proper distro test, more sort of an initial check how well Linux works in this magical world of restrictions and brand new technologies. We will see two examples, Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty and the latest Netrunner 15 Prometheus. Just to get started. Follow me.

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Introducing my new Linux test laptop: Lenovo G50

updated March 28, 2015, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50-70
This be a major event. Recently, I have retired a total of four laptops used for testing and reviews, including the well-known T61 and T400 machines. This means I needed a new computer to do all my Linux installs and such. Ergo, Lenovo G50.

We will continue using the older LG hardware, as it comes with the Nvidia card, so it's still useful in that regard, despite its age and weak specs. But most of my distro testing will now focus on this brand new beastling, and there's cardinal importance here, because we're talking UEFI, Secure Boot and whatnot. If you thought my reviews were complicated and brutal, wait till we get started with these new so-called evil technologies. Anyhow, let's begin. First things first. An overview of what Lenovo G50 can do.

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Eurotrip continues - Ford C-Max in Italy

updated March 27, 2015, category: Car reviews

Ford C-Max 1.6 Duratorq TDCi
It's time to continue our Eurotrip thingie. The last time, we did a solid 2,000-km trip in eight days round Croatia in Opel Insignia estate. Now, we will pick up the baton with Ford C-Max, a compact five-door, five-seat family MPV, powered by a 1.6-liter Duratorq TDCi engine. Location? South of Italy, from Rome to Salerno and back, in six days, with a total of 1,164 km of roads covered. Oh naturally, we drove down the famous Amalfi coast road.

So let's take a look at what Italy has to offer, with its average-speed camera-clocked three-lane highways, narrow-shoulder 80 km/h motorways and B roads, ultra-tight and curvy coastline tarmac looking down at some rather scenic little towns where no parlo Inglese, and finally, some proper and totally insane town driving. As bas as rumored? We will see.

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Windows 10 & Classic Shell

updated March 25, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & Classic Shell
If you've followed my Windows 10 Preview articles, including the almost latest Build 9926 edition, then you know there's a bit of a problem. It has to do with the system search functionality. It does not show in the menu anymore. Instead, it's integrated into the taskbar, and you get forced advertising and suggestions there, at least at the moment. This may yet change in the official version.

If you turn Cortana on, you can get away from that, but you need an online account. Then, you can disable the new search, and you will have a popdown search field in the menu, and this is both ugly and inefficient. You want to solve this by using Classic Shell, a super cool menu program for Windows 8 and friends. In fact, it's the program that makes Windows 8 usable. Only in some situations, it may not be installable on Windows 10. If you have been affected, please glimpse here. P.S. Build 10041 review coming soon.

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Netrunner 15 Prometheus - I'll take you to burn

updated March 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Netrunner 15 Prometheus
Netrunner 15 Prometheus is the last edition of the Ubuntu-based branch of the Netrunner family, as opposed to the rolling siblings that come with more Archy and Manjaroy DNA. While the release itself definitely begs attention and review, what makes it special is the fact it's the first distro, that I know of, to officially feature Plasma 5 as its desktop.

So we will be testing, not only the desktop itself, but also the new environment. We will be doing that on my older LG laptop. But the beauty there is that it comes with the Nvidia graphics card, so it should be extra interesting. Please follow me.

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Dedoimedo contest, update

updated March 21, 2015, category: Software & security

Dedoimedo contest
All right. As you can see, we are past the official end date for the competition, and yet, it is still running. There are two good reasons for this. One, I have tardied a bit sending the physical copies to readers, because I have myself received them late. Therefore, I want to give people more time to finish the books.

Two, so far, eleven people have pledged their hearts and minds to the competition, but only two have writ their reviews online. Hurry up folks. This is a gentle reminder to get underway with my prose. Three, most importantly, Ubuntu phone is a reality now. Which means one thing.

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Some cool Plasma tips and tricks

updated March 21, 2015, category: Software & security

Plasma tips and tricks
Several days ago, we talked about how Plasma 5 is awesome, and how it's the cure to all worries in this world, particularly those related to aesthetics, functionality and desktops. All fanboyism aside, Plasma shapes up to become the most modern and relevant Linux desktop environment, with a very intelligent sense of order and efficiency not seen elsewhere.

So I've shown you a whole bunch of cool things, but how some more cool things? In this guide, I will reveal a few hacks that can make you happier and more productive with Plasma. Sure, you can explore on your own, and experienced users probably won't find this piece remarkable, but for new users and fresh Windows converts, this article is like someone holding your hand during your first trip to Tijuana, Mexico.

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Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn - No, not really

updated March 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Lubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
It has been a long while since I've last played with Lubuntu. My Ocelot review was not very favorable. While LXDE did kind of work, it failed to impress me. It also failed to cause the disruptive change, either by dislodging the big, supposedly heavy desktop environments like Unity and Gnome 3, or by stopping the development of rebellious successors.

Naturally, it comes down to the desktop setup, because Ubuntu is Ubuntu. As we've seen not that long back, LXQt came to replace it, but then it did not. LXDE lives on, and it graces a bunch of desktops. Then again, Lubuntu does not seem to work as expected, because there's LXLE Linux building upon its flaws, making them less. Indeed, today, we shall see how well Lubuntu Utopic stacks against the original version, as well as LXLE. And in general, we must not forget the crucial existential question of necessity for lightweight desktops, given the presence of the likes of Xfce and MATE, both adorning Ubuntu. Follow me please.

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Virtualbox CERT_E_REVOCATION_FAILURE - How to fix

updated March 17, 2015, category: Software & security

Virtualbox & certificates
This is going to be a very weird tutorial, today. Namely, we will fix a problem with the Virtualbox startup by using something approaching magic. Indeed, the issue you are facing reads as follows. Recently, you've upgraded your Virtualbox installation to version 4.X or something. Then, all of a sudden, it no longer starts. Instead, it throws an error.

The error message reads something like CERT_E_REVOCATION_FAILURE, and you feel like slitting your wrists. But don't. Let me show you how this kind of problem is debugged properly and smartly, and it will also give you insight into a hundred other, similar phenomena you may encounter. It's also a good lesson in Windows command line.

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Apple TV quick review

updated March 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Apple TV
Brace yourselves. This is the very first time ever that Dedoimedo reviews an Apple product. Now, I am familiar with Apple hardware, and my various family members have been using tons of them over the years. However, I have never really spent any serious time fiddling with any of these. Now that my friend has loaned me his Apple TV appliance, I must.

Anyhow, my quest for the ultimate home media player continues. So far, nothing really fits the bill. On the software side, XBMC might be the desired software component, but neither the RaspBMC nor openELEC really wowed me, especially when paired with the Raspberry Pi board, price and functionality wise. The same goes for Rikomagic and Chromecast. When it comes to watching TV, I just use whatever smartness my LG box has to offer, out of the box [sic]. Maybe Apple TV could make it happen? Let's see.

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Plasma is my new favorite desktop

updated March 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Plasma 5
Being a fanboy always helps when you want to draw attention to your articles, and in this, it's my turn to sound all gooey, agog and completely enamored by Plasma 5, the next generation of the KDE desktop framework. But the thing is, the more I'm using it, the more I'm loving it. Which is why I couldn't leave you with just the overview from several weeks back.

I spent several more days playing with Kubuntu Vivid dev branch, testing Plasma, to see what more it can do. Sure, there are bugs and niggles, the repositories are sometimes quite slow and bits and pieces go missing, so you have to wait a few hours or days before you can have a successful update cycle. Some of the functions still do not work, some work inadequately, there are visual inconsistencies and other problems. But all in all, Plasma is progressing nicely, and it's about to kick some major ass very soon. Let me show you. A sample of what I had the pleasure of doing one Saturday evening.

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LXLE Linux 14.04.1 review - Champagne without bubbles

updated March 11, 2015, category: Software & security

LXLE 14.04.1
Ubuntu derivatives are many and varied. Most build on the same base, and then add a new work environment in order to infuse the distro with a unique spin. LXLE 14.04.1 does this by applying an almost namesake desktop environment on the latest LTS Ubuntu release, and so a new fork is born.

Is this any good, you may ask? Well, that's a good question. We shall soon find out. My test will take place on a T61 machine, with its two SSD and Intel graphics. Rejoice, for the laptop is soon going to be retired, and we will have a brand new machine take its place. Let us begin.

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MiniTool Partition Wizard review

updated February 23, 2015, category: Software & security

MiniTool Partition Wizard
Several weeks back, I reviewed AOMEI Partition Assistant, a pretty decent disk and partition management software. Now, I am going to do it again, test and review another program designed to make the disk handling tasks easier for Windows folks. This one is called MiniTool Partition Wizard.

Much like before, I was contacted by the vendor and asked to check their product. And so here we are. I will try to avoid too many comparisons to AOMEI or GParted, but it is inevitable. Tested, version 8.1.1, professional edition. Let's go.

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The ultimate guide to ArmA

updated March 7, 2015, category: Computer games

ArmA guide
You all know I simply love the ArmA franchise. It all started with Operation Flashpoint, the most legendary first person shooter ever conceived by human race. By a twist of ultra-uber-super serious Soviet-inspired Czech no-Hollywood-nonsense magic, Bohemia Interactive makes computer games that are simply nine orders of magnitude above all and everything else. Beware, though. Once you've played one of Bohemia's splendid titles, you will never, ever be able to even remotely enjoy silly arcades, for as long as you're alive.

I've written many articles and reviews of the ArmA family games, and you are most welcome to take a look at all of them. But that's not the reason why we are here. The reason is, Andrew Gluck, also known as Dslyecxi, a former US marine who has compiled the most thorough tactical guides on ArmA. He may yet discover that I have decided to dedicate an entire article to his work, and indeed, let's explore the finest piece of the ArmA bible out there.

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Deepin 2014.2 - Mindbogglingly unique

updated February 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Deepin 2014.2
Linux Deepin is a Chinese penguin product, built on top of Ubuntu and using its own desktop environment, which, well, no matter what you say or think, is based on Gnome 3. My previous experience with the distribution was extremely positive, and I really liked the art work, the special touch and approach to old, proven ideas. While such attempts are usually doomed to fail, Deepin rallied and delivered.

Now, it's time for another round of testing, with the latest edition 2014.2. We will be doing the standard quad-boot game, with an aging but raging T61 plus Intel graphics and SSD. Indeed, let's see.

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Budgie Desktop - A new kid on the block

updated February 21, 2015, category: Software & security

Budgie desktop environment
Every few months or years, a new desktop environment is born in the Linux world, sometimes as an act of rebellion, also known as cutlery (forking), sometimes in order to replace an outgoing technology, and sometimes because. Several days ago, I came across Budgie, a new project and the flagship desktop for the Evolve OS Linux distribution. In general, Evolve OS is a brand new operating system. Rumors tell it has some roots in Gentoo, Pardus and friends.

We are going to discuss the latter at a later time, but for now, it is time to explore Budgie. It is based on Gnome, so it should not be a complete stranger. Anyhow, baby steps, beta, so everything you see and hear today must be taken with a big, fat disclaimer. Tested from a Ubuntu PPA on an existing, running instance of Utopic.

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More awesome sites added to the Hall of Fame

updated February 18, 2015, category: Greatest sites

Windows 10 network access
That time again. We're adding excellent new content to the slowly but surely growing list of the greatest sites on the Internet, as judged by your significant brother, me. And like the last time, we are verging into the realm of foreign languages, so you might have to exercise your translator skills. To wit, Heise Online, a site dedicated to popular technology, operating systems, three-letter agency news, and such.

The second one is LWN.net, a geeky yet visually unassuming portal of Linux stuff. Written in English, it will trouble you less vis-a-vis translations, but it should provide you with a decent, balanced dose of highly in-depth articles on kernel internals, software reviews, free software discussion, security updates, and such. Quite useful. Enjoy.

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Windows 10 & network share access denied - Solution

updated February 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 network access
Your problem might be as follows. You have recently upgraded your Windows 10 Preview to the new Build 9926, and all of a sudden, network shares, like other Windows machines you may have in your environment, are no longer accessible. Best of all, they worked fine right up until the upgrade.

I have outlined this issue in my review, and now, I'm sharing the promised tutorial that solves the problem. Get it? Sharing. I'm sharing a solution to a sharing problem. That's so damn witty. Now, follow me.

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LibreOffice 4.4 review - Finally, it rocks

updated February 16, 2015, category: Software & security

LibreOffice 4.4
LibreOffice is the flagship office suite for Linux. It's also quite popular with Windows users. As a free, open-source and cross-platform solution, LibreOffice allows people to enjoy the world of writing, spreadsheets, presentations and alike without having to spend hefty sums of money. The only problem till now was that it didn't quite work as advertised. Microsoft Office support was, for the lack of a better word, lacking.

Version 4.4 is out, and it promises a great deal. A simplified interface, new looks, much improved proprietary file format support. Sounds exciting, and as someone who has lambasted LibreOffice for this very reason in the past, I felt compelled to give this new edition its due rightful try. On top of Plasma 5 no less. So let's see.

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Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX review

updated February 14, 2015, category: Car reviews

Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX
Several days ago, we had the extra long and beautiful Eurotrip article. And while we did review Opel Insignia, that's Vauxhall for you Brits and colonists, we did not really review the car. We focused on the road and driving conditions and how well the car blended into the environment. Now, we shall rectify this.

To wit, here's a proper car review, which mostly ignores how red sunsets are in certain parts of the world, the speed limits on highways, but in a safe way, and other conditions that bring out the inner child in you. We will do the interior and exterior expose, then delve deeper into problems, comfort, price, options, and such. Then, finally, we will revisit the driving part, but without repeating ourselves or being boring. Follow me.

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On the topic of global warming

updated February 13, 2015, category: Hillbilly physics

Global warming scandal
Back in 2011, I wrote my global warming article, calling it what it is. Bollocks. I received a fair dose of flak for my insight, as some of my readers found my skepticism regarding the human-inflicted increase in temperature on a global scale too much to handle.

In early February 2015, articles started floating around the Web, talking about the greatest scientific scandal of all time. The topic? Global warming. Or rather, artificial tampering with data points collected by numerous weather stations round the world, in order to create the necessary trends that prove the planet is heating up as a result of human-generated carbon emissions. Oops. I wrote back then that it isn't all scientific. Indeed, when people make changes to numbers, it isn't science. And yes, as always, I'm 100% right.

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Google Chromecast quick review

updated February 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Chromecast
Remember my XMBC tests on top of a Raspberry Pi board? Good. Last year, after purchasing my LG smart TV, I started playing with various low-cost appliances, trying to find the optimal hardware and software set for a home media center. In the end, I chose nothing, because the television itself is good enough for all my daily needs. Now, though, a couple of my friends have loaned me their stuff, including Apple TV, Chromecast and Odroid. Yay, I have friends! Just kidding. Imaginary friends.

We will begin with Chromecast. This is a tiny, low-cost HDMI dongle, designed to transform your regular TV into a smart, network-capable device. For only USD35, you get a media player that can stream all sorts of contents from your mobile devices and computers directly onto the large screen. Sounds cool, so let's see what gives.

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LibreOffice Viewer for Android

updated February 11, 2015, category: Software & security

LibreOffice Viewer for Android
An interesting moment, don't you think, the official announcement by the Document Foundation about the availability of LibreOffice for Android. Now, this is only a beta, and this is only a viewer, allowing you to read but not yet create office documents on an Android device. Like they say in The Wheel of Time series, it was a beginning.

A full suite is planned much later down the road. But for now, you can test the Viewer. The application is available in the Play Store, and side by side with the remote control Android utility for LibreOffice Impress, it gives you an early set of official tools for the most popular open-source and free office suite out there. I did my share of testing and screenshots. Just a sampling, but let's see.

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Windows 10 & Cortana - In-depth tour and message

updated February 9, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & Cortana
So far, I've interested you with a very long review of Windows 10 Preview Build 9926, which brings Halo-game Cortana nerdonics to your desktop. Imagine that, geeks getting all shivery by listening to a slightly robotic female voice. Oh, the subtle pointlessness of human existence.

I want to explore this technology some more, because it's not just about AI and voice search and other buzzwords like cloud. It's also about the future direction of operating systems and somewhat forced integration of moronity and remote computation into your everyday devices. Internet of Things (IoT) becoming Idiots of Tomorrow (IoT). Let's see if there's any merit to a digital woman bossing you around.

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Plasma 5.2 review - Fire all weapons!

updated February 7, 2015, category: Software & security

Plasma 5 review
Today is going to be an exciting day. We will be testing the official release of Plasma, on top of an early version of Kubuntu. This shall be a teaser of what we might expect to see in April. Given my excellent experience with a beta release on top of Utopic last year, my hopes and expectations are very high.

Plasma 5 has the potential to revitalize the Linux world, it's that important and meaningful. Of course, we must not forget that applications play their critical role, but if you need to sell your product, the first look, the very first impression is important. And in that regard, Plasma has everything to gain and lose. After what happened with Gnome, it's the one remaining bastion of sanity in the Linux desktop world. And so we begin.

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Eurotrip in Opel Insignia

updated February 6, 2015, category: Car reviews

Eurotrip in Opel Insignia
The phrase Eurotrip hints heavily at some kind of a trip across Europe. Which is exactly what we are going to do, only on a smaller scale. We won't roam across the whole continent surely. We will do less. A single country. In Opel Insignia 2.0 CDTI ecoFlex estate edition.

The country of choice is Croatia, with eight days and 1,977 km traveled on pay-to-use highways, B roads, C roads, macadams, country lanes, twisty serpentines, seaside magistrales, coastal cities with the unblemished charm of Austro-Hungarian rule and Italian terracota rooftops. In later articles, we will follow up with some German and Italian experience. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's see what gives here.

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Far Cry 4 review - Meh. Overrated. Arcade.

updated February 4, 2015, category: Computer games

Far Cry 4
Today, I am going to write this fine, negative review of the latest Far Cry release, because I have paid USD59.99 for the title, just a day before the big Christmas sale and thus missed the 20% off promo, and because it's not worth its price tag, as you shall soon discover.

Anyhow, I did pretty much the same mistake as with Call of Duty, another super overrated shooter. Just like back then, after purchasing my latest high-end laptop, I kind of got enthusiastic about playing several fresh games, and against my better judgment and experience, I actually read some of those rave reviews praising Far Cry 4 and its open-ended nature and elephants and such, and decided to give it a try. End result, this article.

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Windows 10 Preview Build 9926 - Awesome and horrible

updated February 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 Preview
As you know, I have already reviewed Windows 10 a while back, and I liked it. Which meant I wasn't expecting to spend too much time fiddling with the latest release of the preview build, numbered 9926, when it came out in late January. And yet, I found myself hands deep in testing and troubleshooting, and this is the first of many articles on the topic.

This new edition brings us that much closer to what the official product ought to look like. On paper, it sounds glamorous. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and above, you get Cortana integrated in your desktop, and other cool tricks. Enough to convince people that Microsoft is back on its feet. Truth to be told, I did purchase some of its shares, but if you expect bias in this article, you're wrong. I'm going to praise and then lambaste Windows 10. While the reaction is not going to be as cheerful as my Windows 8 reviews, it gets close enough. A doomsday warning. Now read.

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