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Windows XP is dead, long live Windows XP

updated April 16, 2014, category: Software & security

Long live Windows XP
First, let me begin with a disclaimer. I am not a shill trying to convince you to keep using Windows XP past its expiration date. There are some benefits to using newer, more modern editions of Windows. No, it's not security. It's not performance. It's actually official vendor support, hardware support, and improved 64-bit support. That's all really. The rest is just perks.

So now that Windows XP is no more, there's a big question. What do you do? You are most welcome to read my article suggesting alternatives, and we will discuss a few more options in the future, but for now, should you decide to STAY with Windows XP, then this article is for you. Today, we will talk about my plan to keep running a test box, and check how well it is going to cope with modern threats and challenges.

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AntiX MX-14 review - Antics and tantrums

updated April 14, 2014, category: Software & security

AntiX MX-14
Codename MX-14 sounds awfully like a US ICBM program from the 70s. But it is in truth the name of the latest version of antiX, based on Debian Wheezy and co-developed with the Mepis community. Hence the name Symbiosis.

Xfce desktop, mixed heritage, my past experience with Mepis, one laptop with two SSD and Intel graphics, already booting four operating systems. That's what's on our agenda for today, and you should take a look. The distro slayer hits the road again.

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Submarine + aircraft carrier - Wicked!

updated April 12, 2014, category: 3D art

Submarine + aircraft carrier
Here's a brand new 3D gallery from me. Not an old one redone using realistic materials and such, but a complete new and unique design. It's a submarine, but it's also an aircraft carrier. You get it? I cannot take credit for this invention, because the Imperial Japanese Navy had sort of a thing just like this, launching seaplanes off the bow with a catapult when surfaced. All right, so I took the idea and developed it further.

My own submarine somewhat resembles the Russian Typhoon class, only it's even bigger. Like the real-life counterpart, it has twin hulls and a massive tower, with lots of weapons, dive planes on the forward bow, and a complement of ICMB aft of the tower, somewhat like the older Russian missile-carrying models. Last but not the least, let's not forget the flight deck. Wut! Take a look.

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GIMP Paint Studio for the inner artist in you

updated April 11, 2014, category: Software & security

GIMP Paint Studio
GIMP is a pretty nifty image manipulation program, available for people who do not feel like spending tons of money on proprietary solutions, as well as Linux users, for whom some of the payware options are not really an option. All that said, GIMP is not an easy program to use.

However, it can be made easier. In my 2.8 review and the subsequent plugins guide, I did show you how you can improve the basic feel of the software with additional scripts and filters and whatnot, using the GIMP Plugin Registry. But there's more you can do. Enter GIMP Paint Studio, or GPS. Follow me.

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Cameyo - Application virtualization for Windows

updated April 9, 2014, category: Software & security

Cameyo
The word virtualization has many connotations for end users. As we have discussed some time ago right here on Gizmo's Freeware, light virtualization and sandboxing seem to be the most popular concepts with casual geeks, as opposed to hardcore nerds, who prefer the full, complete stack.

In the Windows world, the focus is often on security. To wit, sandboxing tools, shadow software and other forms of thin-app provisioning designed to help contain user programs from doing unwarranted harm, spoiling the pristine look and feel of their operating system. How about flexibility and portability, though? We sure do have portable apps, a very hot item. But maybe a third kind of solution might work the best? Ladies and gentlefolk, say hello to Cameyo, an application virtualization software.

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Listen to the caveman

updated April 7, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows Me perspective
Several months back, while busy ranting about Windows 8, I came across a delightfully fresh post on Wilders Security Forums, pointing back all the way to September 2000, to an article discussing and mostly praising the release of Windows Me.

Now, fast forward a lot, you all know that Windows Me was a failure, the same thing sort of happening to Windows 8 and its glorified service pack, Windows 8.1, except the world is taking its time coming to the same conclusion I did almost two years back. So let us briefly discuss this, shall we.

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Tommy Seebach featuring Casey Ryback

updated April 5, 2014, category: Stupidity

Casey Ryback remix
More ultra-stupid and funny coming your way. Remember my Casey Ryback Under Siege remix? Well, this is an improved version, with a trippy clip and more effects. So much better in every aspect than it is the bestest. I know I'm hyping the expectations, but I actually gave myself a financial bonus for creating this fine, fine thing.

Well, in what sense is it better, you may be asking. Indeed. Imagine legendary Tommy Seebach, featuring Casey Ryback. Now that's one serious lollercoaster. I sincerely hope you will enjoy this little piece of pseudo-musical flair. Oh, if you are impatient, the good stuff starts at 1:15. Have fun.

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PC-BSD 10.0 Joule review - Troublesome

updated April 3, 2014, category: Software & security

PC-BSD 10.0 Joule
Turn around bright geeks, every now and then I get a little bit curious and take a UNIX system for a spin. Without trying too many unfunny Bonnie Tyler would-be quotes, the scapegoat for today's test is PC-BSD 10.0 Joule, the latest of its kind.

The last time I fiddled with PC-BSD, despite my rather nostalgic like toward it, the experience ended in a total fiasco. The live DVD booted fine, but then the network was borked, and I stopped right there. Hardly a fitting outing for 2012, and now two years forward, perhaps things will be a little better. I hope. Let's see.

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openELEC (XBMC) review - Now you're talking!

updated April 2, 2014, category: Software & security

openELEC
All right, a few days back, we talked about my first experience with Raspberry Pi, a cigarette-pack-sized micro-computer, designed primarily for education, but also quite suitable for other uses, like becoming a media center, which is what I did. Well, you know all about Raspberry Pi, you really do not need me to verbalize on its revolutionary use and public acceptance.

Anyhow, on top of this tiny board and its associated branded SD card, I decided to install RaspBMC, a flavor of XBMC, a highly popular cross-platform media center software. In the previous review, we only briefly touched this topic, so it's time to elaborate. Henceforth, a review of RaspBMC, version 12.2 Frodo, installed and running on a Raspberry Pi Model B computer. Here we go.

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RaspBMC (XBMC) review - Not what you think

updated March 31, 2014, category: Software & security

RaspBMC
All right, a few days back, we talked about my first experience with Raspberry Pi, a cigarette-pack-sized micro-computer, designed primarily for education, but also quite suitable for other uses, like becoming a media center, which is what I did. Well, you know all about Raspberry Pi, you really do not need me to verbalize on its revolutionary use and public acceptance.

Anyhow, on top of this tiny board and its associated branded SD card, I decided to install RaspBMC, a flavor of XBMC, a highly popular cross-platform media center software. In the previous review, we only briefly touched this topic, so it's time to elaborate. Henceforth, a review of RaspBMC, version 12.2 Frodo, installed and running on a Raspberry Pi Model B computer. Here we go.

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How to change the new Firefox Australis looks

updated March 29, 2014, category: Software & security

Firefox disable Australis
You have reached this article because you are displeased with the moronic new look featured in Firefox 29 and above, or even earlier versions of the Aurora pre-beta channel. You are not pleased with the pseudo-Chrome layout, and you want to restore the saner classic looks that existed in Firefox so far. Worry not. You've come to the right place.

In this article, I will show you, step by step, all the tools, add-ons and settings needed to obtain the standard behavior, within 99% of what it used to be. This will allow you to continue using Firefox without the Australis interface. Follow me.

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Manage my package

updated March 28, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux package managers
Yo dawg, I herd u like Linux, so I put APT in yo Linux so u can manage while u package. That's the gist of it. And now in human-readable text. Yes. Today, we will talk about Linux package managers, the neat software that lets you search, install and remove programs, tools, utilities, fonts, and whatnot in your Linux distribution. Now, we will not be talking about the low-level stuff, like DEB and RPM. We will focus higher up.

First, I am going to present a handful of command line tools, with a bunch of pros and cons and options that each have, and then, we will talk about frontends for said software. We will not be reviewing all of them, so you might want to ready your rage torpedoes right away. Here we go.

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Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI review - Extremely refined

updated March 26, 2014, category: Car reviews

Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI
The difference between Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) and Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) can be a little difficult to distinguish, especially when you compare a typical member of each family, Nissan Qashqai, which I have so inconspicuously tested not that long ago, and Skoda Yeti, our latter-category candidate for today.

My feelings toward the Skoda mark have always been positive, especially in the recent years. The ArmA computer games franchise notwithstanding in boosting the Czech reputation, Skoda has spent an awful lot of time making their cars affordable, restrained and conservative yet not boring, and of good build quality that does not lag behind the more expensive Volkswagen and Audi. To wit, with high expectations, we test a Yeti today.

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A very quick update

updated March 25, 2014, category: News

Updates
Sorry to bother you. Two things, dear fellas. One, it occurred to me that I should remind you, my two books, The Betrayed and The Broken, are free for download from Amazon, as we speak. The Betrayed, on Tuesday and Wednesday, and The Broken, for two days after that. So why not grab yourself a copy?

Second thingie, a few people emailed me that the BennyZ video posted just a couple of hours back does not play, due to a Youtube video error thingie. EDIT: Reuploaded new clip, see below, fixed links.

You are here ...

ArmA 2 + DayZ + Benny Hill = BennyZ

updated March 25, 2014, category: Games & humor

ArmA 2 + DayZ + Benny Hill
As stupid as stupid gets: Listen carefully. Anything, I repeat anything becomes funny once you speed up the playback 2x and add Benny Hill music in the background. To wit, I proudly present the best of stupid ArmA 2 and DayZ gaming moments, twined to some splendid musical notes.

Plus, there's a special surprise. The silliest part begins at 0:49, so skip yonder if you are impatient. That's what I call supreme art. If that ain't hilarious, nothing will ever be. There you go.

Watch more ... (Youtube link)

How to slipstream Windows 7 Service Pack - Tutorial

updated March 22, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 7 service pack slipstream
Hey, Dedoimedo, you missed the boat, some of you may say when reading the title of this article. The Internet was awash with these kind of articles years and years back. Why have you suddenly decided to write this one? Well, my PE Builder article for Windows XP came out quite a few years after the said operating system was launched, and it was still immensely useful for many people half a decade later. Likewise, this one ought to do it.

The thing is, if you do not plan on using Windows 8 and family, then you have till faraway 2020 to cram fresh new updates onto your hard disk. There's a good chance you might buy new hardware till then, and reinstall your Windows 7 copy, and that means lots of updates. So why not facilitate the process? Today, you will learn how to slipstream the Windows 7 Service Pack 1 onto the base image so that you save yourselves a lot of time during future upgrades and such. Follow me.

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So I bought and tested a Raspberry Pi

updated March 21, 2014, category: Software & security

Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi needs no introduction, but since I can't start an article without its mandatory paragraph or two of small talk, I will introduce it. Yes, indeed. Raspberry Pi is basically a micro-computer, a single board the size of an enlarged credit card with a whole bunch of peripherals, allowing you to customize and create your own little computer. Selling points, ability to play HD video, you get my drift. Plug it in to a monitor, add a keyboard, and Bob's your uncle. Since Raspberry Pi is British, the phrase is doubly worth its place here.

Now take someone like me, a person who likes things big and sturdy, and I never custom build my own machines, but now, there's a precedent. Cheap, affordable, made for games and education, Raspberry Pi seems like an ideal opportunity to step away from the desktop and fiddle with the unknown. To wit, Dedoimedo tests the Pi. Yippie.

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Linux Mint Debian 201403 - Excellent with a disclaimer

updated March 19, 2014, category: Software & security

LMDE 201403
Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) is an important sub-project of the Linux Mint domain for two big reasons. One, it is sort of a de-duplication of effort. Using quantum notation, Linux Mint proper is based on Debian and Ubuntu, which itself is based on Debian, therefore its quantum charm is (De)(Ub)(De). On the other than, LMDE has just (De).

Two, given the growing rift between Mint and Ubuntu, there might come a moment where Mint proper shall be no more - and you should utter this last bit in the style of Del Boy Trotter, when Rodney stumbles drunk into their old Peckham apartment, in the last episode of the sixth series: "How can I put it, you don't live here no more." Like that. And then, your one and only Mint will be the Debian edition. Future doom here we go, a review.

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Windirstat - Disk usage & cleanup tool for Windowsers

updated March 17, 2014, category: Software & security

Windirstat
If you want to know what files or folders take the most space on your local disk, what do you do? Easy. In Linux, you use df and du, and William is thy uncle. On Windows, you scratch your head and wonder. But worry not, there's a nifty tool for you. It's called Windirstat, and it does just that.

This software is the Windows implementation of Kdirstat, a Linux utility that can examine your storage devices and display useful statistics, including largest directories and files, sort usage by file types, show you a topography map, and more. Anyhow, this same behavior and fun is also available for Windows people. Let's tour, shall we.

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Free books!

updated March 17, 2014, category: Books

Free books
My benevolence knows no bounds. Next week, both the first and the second book in my epic fantasy series, The Lost Words, will be free for download from Amazon, for two days each. Respectively, the Kindle edition of The Betrayed will be available on Mar 25-26, from midnight, Pacific Time, and The Broken will be available on Mar 27-28. In layman's terms, free grub Tuesday to Friday.

Hop yonder, spread the word, do your thing. And I most kindly request, read and write a review, no matter how wonderful or scathing. Soon, book three will be out in print, and we will have another contest thingie. Last year, it was a smartphone, this one, who knows, but it will be a nifty one. Take care.

The Lost Words The Betrayed The Broken

Rsync-based backup tools worth considering

updated March 15, 2014, category: Software & security

Rsync tools
One of the most overlooked aspects of computing is the sore, critical issue of keeping backups of personal data. Too many people ignore this, until it's too late, and then, all there's left to do is weep silently in front of a blank monitor. Whether it's negligence, innocent mistake, or a disk failure, the data is gone, forever.

Linux people have it somewhat easier. The separation of root and home helps, but there's also a plentitude of solid, robust backup tools available, most of them lurking in the official repositories, waiting for the bold and curious user to download and test them. To wit, we will be fiddling with a handful of Rsync-based frontends, all of which promise to take gentle care of your data. If you will, after me.

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LibreOffice vs. Microsoft Office, Part Deux

updated March 14, 2014, category: Software & security

LibreOffice vs Microsoft Office
I would like to apologize in advance. This article is going to feature screenshots taken on a Windows 7 machine only, which might strike you as odd, given the fact this is a Linux-related topic we are discussing here. But it is exactly why we will use Windows. Nothing like pitch black to demonstrate pure white. Or the other way around.

Indeed, LibreOffice 4.2 has been officially released, and it's a major one. This latest edition of the most popular free, open-source office suite comes with a range of new options, tons of speed improvements, a variety of fixes, and more. And there's a promise of better support for Microsoft DOC/DOCX formats, which is the Achilles' Heel of the whole typing world. Can you afford to ditch the expensive payware software and go Libre only? We talked about this in the past, and we will talk about this now.

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Dumb user, Smart TV - LG 42LN570 review

updated March 12, 2014, category: Software & security

LG 42LN570 Smart TV
This is going to be an ultra-long review, so brace yourselves. Anyhow, I have never been a great telephiliac. My interest usually lean elsewhere, but I do occasionally like to sit down and watch a nice film. Which probably means that a smart TV is about as far on the spectrum of my fun list as you can imagine. Pretty much like smartphones and tablets.

However, I did decide to buy one, in order to enhance my entertainment portal so to speak, as well as explore the technological aspects of smart television, being open-minded and all that. To wit, you get this super-long, super-thorough review, in the best manner of Dedoimedo, of this brave new stuff sweeping the world. My test unit, LG 42LN570. Let's go, fellas!

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MakuluLinux 5.0 review - Super busy

updated March 10, 2014, category: Software & security

MakuluLinux
A few weeks ago, the forum moderator of the MakuluLinux distro contacted me and politely asked me for a review. An unbiased one, mind. Which means letting Dedoimedo go wild with art and fun. Indeed.

Anyhow, I decided to comply with the request. MakuluLinux 5 is a Debian-based distro, offering KDE, Xfce and Enlightenment desktop environments to its users. It is designed to be stable, sleek, elegant and fully usable out of the box, which means tons of programs, drivers and codecs. Let's see if it's any good in real life.

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Reflections

updated March 8, 2014, category: 3D art

Glass reflections
Note to all those wondering - this be article was written by my wife, so we do not end up with another piece of funny hate mail questioning my sexuality. Anyhow, she also happens to pimp Kerkythea like a champ. And now, the article begins in earnest. Right here: This project was inspired by something I saw online. It was a tutorial on reflectives surfaces drawing in Kekythea. So I thought I'd give it a go.

Drawing the table, glass and spheres was quite simple in Google SketchUp. The tricky bit was the rendering. Hours upon hours of adjusting the materials settings, fine-tuning the lighting angles and strength, rotating the camera this way and that to get the perfect shot. Well ... here it is.

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Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) 3.0 review

updated March 7, 2014, category: Software & security

Secunia PSI
When you install Windows for the first time, all is dandy, and all your software is fully up to date. After a while, a gap starts to open in your software arsenal and some of the programs end up being outdated. Indeed, this is the biggest problem and major weakness in the Windows family of operating systems. Manual updates. If it's manual, it does not get done, and you're sort of worried about your security.

There are several applications out there, designed to help you fix, or at least, narrow down this gap. One of them is the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI). Indeed, now and then, I come back to this program. Not because it's the best, but because it caters to people with OCD, like me. So let's see what it can do for us.

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PDF Studio Pro review

updated March 5, 2014, category: Software & security

PDF Studio Pro
I was contacted by the PR person of the company behind PDF Studio, asking me to test and review their PDF software product. The notable selling points mentioned were advanced featured compared to Okular, which I played with in my Linux software comparison article, ability to edit content, and even OCR, which is always a hot topic. Available for all major platforms, which makes it quite interesting.

After confirming the team was willing for me to go ahead in the case the review turned out to be negative, I got a serial key for the Pro version of their software. As it happens, if you do own a key for PDF Studio Pro 8, you are eligible for a free upgrade to version 9, which includes form creation. But more about that, and the price, a while later. Now, let's focus on the technical bits and pieces.

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Scientific Linux 6.5 Carbon - Fast and dubious

updated March 3, 2014, category: Software & security

Scientific Linux 6.5 Carbon
The one operating system that will outlast the galaxy is RedHat Enterprise Linux. But so will CentOS, which is based on it with an almost religious fervor. And so will Scientific Linux, our test darling for today, which is also based on the said platform.

The thing is, Scientific Linux is a solution for those who seek absolutely stability and reliability plus long-term support and care less about the bling-bling, if to a point, because this distro does bring some joy to the masses. So somewhere in between Fedora and RHEL slash CentOS. I've played with Scientific quite a lot in the past, and it has always struck me as a decent kind of system, even for home use. Let's see what version 6.5 can do.

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1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + ... = -1/12? Bollocks!

updated February 21, 2014, category: Hillbilly physics

Infinite sum of natural numbers
Recently, I've come across a Youtube video proving that the sum of all natural numbers is -1/12. Now, your first reaction to this kind of claim is a mild WTF, which is exactly the intention. But if you're an educated person, you will spend a few moments watching, figuring out the fallacy in the claim, and move on. If you're an impressionable little git, you will spam everyone and their sister with the link to zomg! amazing! video.

Since I was forced to endure more than one reference to this Youtube clip, I decided to write about it and shed my own pure rainbow sunshine onto the world. And so, this article joins a very long series of other bollocks articles, each and every one shattering a popular myth, misconception or other silly claim. Here we are.

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Firefox, Directory Tiles, Advertisements, and Honesty

updated February 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Firefox & Directory Tiles
No, I am not going to do what everyone else has been doing. And that is quoting the original announcement by some Mozilla hobnob, telling us how they intend to use the tiles page, which shows nine thumbnails for most frequently used sites, to display ads to first-time users. Anyhow, that is the background story.

And this is my story, or rather, my interpretation of what is happening here, and how the world should react to this latest move by Mozilla. Not that long ago, I entertained you by my Firefox suckfest article, which tells about how Mozilla is becoming Chrome and their latest wannabe user interface called Australis, or rather Ausfailis. Now, we will talk about integrity and honesty.

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War! Best text editor of them all.

updated February 17, 2014, category: Software & security

Text editors war
Text is the bread and bacon of pretty much every digital creation. Games, software or just pure prose, they all start as innocent words, text, written onto a blank canvas of pixels. Whether you're talking about your website, your summer project or maybe notes, you should keep a text editor handy. Which one? Well, let's have a little competition. Or at least, an all-out melee.

The only war more fierce, more longer lasting than the famous Thirty Years' War is the war of the Linux text editor, famously started back in the golden days of vi and emacs. But it continues to this day, and I am going to pour some fresh gasoline onto the fire. Remember, I will not review them all, nor all of their capabilities, so if you have complaints, scroll all the way to the bottom and hammer down your comments of wrath and displeasure.

Read more ... (external link)

ArmA 2 Sabre Dance

updated February 15, 2014, category: Computer games

ArmA 2 & Sambre Dance
Silly. Not the word you would associate with either ArmA 2, a badass war simulator, or any classical music composition, right? Indeed, but we must disgress from the usually somber and strict tone at Dedoimedo to something more sinister, and by sinister, I mean funny, not.

So what happens when you combine the action in ArmA 2 first person shooter and the awesome music of Aram Khachaturian's Sabre Dance from the Gayaneh ballet, final act? Well, this video explains it really. No further explanations necessary.

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The essential Fedora pimping guide

updated February 14, 2014, category: Software & security

Fedora pimping guide
The word pimp might be tricky here, especially if you've come across this article via a typical Web search, but the idea is to transform the stock look & feel & behave of the Fedora distribution into a bling-bling version. Hence the name. We did it for SUSE, we did it for Ubuntu and CentOS, no less than three times, and it worked great.

So we should also do the same for Fedora, especially since it kind of scored well in my bi-annual review, and thus it merits its own pimp guide. I present this essential howto for improving and customizing Fedora into a well-oiled, well-behaved fully functional and fun desktop. If you're wondering about all those other distros, you can find the links further below.

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Zombies are bollocks!

updated February 13, 2014, category: Hillbilly physics

Zombies
Several weeks back, I had the distinct double misfortune of watching some moronic TV show aired on the History Channel under the guise of would-be science, talking about how a zombie apocalypse might erupt in our modern world, and watching World War Z, which showed me how it erupts. Now I enjoyed NOT the latter free of charge, because I watched it during a flight, on a plane, so I didn't actually waste money, apart from the air fare, but then, the cost was there, with or without the movie, ergo free. At least that, because the movie was rather bollocky.

Although I have told you what you could do in the case of a zombie apocalypse, it was done in a humoristic fashion, assuming the unrealistic conditions under which the blockbuster bullshit action happens. However, after having suffered diarrhea pretending to be science, it is time to discuss the zombie phenomenon from a genuine scientific perspective, which will prove why the living dead are, indeed, bollocks.

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Korora 20 Peach review - Fuzzy

updated February 10, 2014, category: Software & security

Korora 20 Peach
Korora is a Linux distro with all the drama of EastEnders, sans the accent. Although its Aussie heritage does give it a bit of a funk when speaking. Now, the distro used to live, then die, then it was resurrected, and finally got its name changed. We did fiddle with Kororaa, its past extra-A incarnation, and it was a decent sort. Now.

All right. Korora 20 bases itself off Fedora 20. Except that I took a Cinnamon edition for a review, and tested it on my Intel-powered T61 laptop, which also happens to house a couple of SSD. To wit, please continue reading.

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How to install Focus Blur plugin in GIMP - tutorial

updated February 8, 2014, category: Software & security

GIMP plugin install
A few days back, we talked about the Depth of Field (DOF) effect in GIMP, and how it can be used to compensate for flatness in images, especially digital renders. To that end, we used a very nifty plugin called Focus Blur. It worked fine, but there was one unresolved problem in the tutorial. I assumed the plugin was already installed and working, and we didn't need to fiddle with its setup. As it turns out, the plugin comes as a tarball, containing the sources. What now?

Let me show you how you can configure your GIMP plugins, even if they come as source files, a mythical concept for most people. While this tutorial is limited to the installation of a single plugin, its general spirit will serve you well in the configuration of all your plugins that come as sources. Of course, this tutorial applies for Linux, if you had any doubts. Now follow me.

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Razor-qt review

updated February 7, 2014, category: Software & security

Razor-qt
A few days back, we reminisced on how KDE changed from version 3.5 into version 4.0, and, in that a great social split was created in the Linux community. The Trinity Desktop Environment project was created to address the gap, and a new desktop was born. Sort of like MATE.

Today, we will talk about Razor-qt, a desktop born with a different mission statement. It does not come to satisfy our emotional needs; instead, it is supposed to be fast and light, while being based on the Qt technologies. In a sense, this makes Razor-qt somewhat similar to LXDE. Once again, it's no stranger, because we had a brief encounter sometime in 2012, when it was still awfully young. Which makes this article a mirror of the TDE attempt. Let's see what gives.

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APTonCD lets you save bandwidth, speed up installations

updated February 6, 2014, category: Software & security

APTonCD
Most Linux distributions pack a decent load of programs and tools, so when you install one, you do not really have to spend too much time tweaking and polishing and adding new stuff. The multi-hour ordeal of fixing the base operating system, the kind of thing that is rather popular with Windows users, is not a must with most Linux distributions. However, sometimes, no matter how well packaged the base image is, some customization might be necessary now and then.

If you happen to live in a part of the world where Internet is paid by the byte, or gigabyte, you might be very conscious about how freely you utilize your connection after installing a new Linux distribution. For you, the trivial but costly task of downloading several hundred MB worth of new applications might be too much, especially if you like to test software a lot. So let's try to make it less expensive, shall we?

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The future of Bitcoin

updated February 3, 2014, category: Software & security

Bitcoin
Ah, the hottest topic EVAR. Now, I'm discussing it. If you're even remotely savvy about technology, you must have heard about the digital currency, or digital crypto-currency, the Bitcoin. It's all the rage nowadays. If you don't know what I'm talking about, skip it.

Now, there's an even bigger question. Is it worth your money, or anyone's money? Is this the new commodity that will make you rich, fast? Is this something you should think about investing in, or just yet another fad of the digital era? Well, worry not, I will try to answer all these, without choking your brains with technobabble and political controversy. Just pure and totally accurate speculation by Dedoimedo.

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What to do after Windows XP dies in April 2014?

updated February 1, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows XP end of life
Come April 2014, Windows XP will end its long, respectable tenure as the most successful Windows operating system version ever. For hundreds of millions of people worldwide, this end of life presents with a big dilemma. What to do now?

While I did address the obvious fear mongering associated with the nearing Windows XP death, we sure did not discuss the possible mitigations and options available to the users. To wit, in this article, we will elaborate most handsomely on what you should do once Microsoft pulls the cord.

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ArmA 3 super-realistic combat action

updated January 31, 2014, category: Computer games

ArmA 3 realism
Do you think combat is fun and exciting? Bunnyhopping, headshots, lots of cool and quick action and such? Then do not watch this video, because it is truly boring and uneventful. But if you like genuine war simulations, this is what you want. ArmA 3, the most realistic first person shooter ever made.

The video demoes about six and a half minutes of combined arms symmetric warfare engagement between two forces, with the use of infantry, air and light armor elements, played at ultra settings. ArmA 3, totally fun, only if you have enough courage to embrace its unforgiving nature.

Watch more ... (Youtube link)

DVR-027 dashboard camera review

updated January 29, 2014, category: Software & security

DVR-027 dash camera
In some parts of the world, dashboard cameras are extremely popular, and have become a viable substitute to pricey car insurances as well as bogus damage claims, law suits and harassment by the officers of the said law. Elsewhere, not so.

Another reason why you might want to consider a dash camera is simply to capture video of your own driving, especially if you're an enthusiast. Then, you can compile all kinds of nice footage and share with the friends you don't have. All this means that some really nice driving compilations produced in the secret labs of Dedoimedo are coming your way, but for now, let's focus on the technological piece, the camera.

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Why NSA surveillance is good for you!

updated January 26, 2014, category: Software & security

NSA surveillance
As a good citizen that you are, you are worried about the security of your stuff. Good. Which means you have reacted with utmost outrage at the news of a mass surveillance allegedly conducted by the NSA organization, on American soil no less!

While I'm not going to discuss the politics and whatnot of this lovely, juicy affair, nor give any great thought to the behavior and practice of would-be trusted companies that gave over your pr0n data without consulting you first, I sure want to talk to you about why this whole thing is actually really good for you, and why you should not be afraid at all. To wit, the most enlightening article of the century. I'm not trolling, mind.

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They called it Trinity

updated January 25, 2014, category: Software & security

Trinity desktop
As a kid, I loved Bud Spencer and Terence Hill movies, especially the Trinity series. Still, even then, the speech always felt stilted and weird. It was only years later that I discovered that it was all in Italian and dubbed in English. Like learning Santa ain't real.

So what has this got to do with the Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE)? Well, everything. The sense of disillusionment that happened when KDE 4.X came out, the attempt to revive a classic in an age that prefers a different kind of experience. Yup, it's a remake of the old and trusted KDE 3.X framework, and it fits into this world like the separate audio track in aforementioned movies. Which does not mean it's bad. So we are continuing the tradition of testing various desktop environments, and today, our candidate is TDE.

Read more ... (external link)

Weird BitLocker error - Volume info cannot be read

updated January 24, 2014, category: Software & security

BitLocker error
The problem you're facing is as follows. You're using Windows, mostly likely 7 or 8, and you are fairly satisfied with the experience. You also happen to be slightly more techy, so you check the Event Viewer for errors now and then. Then, you spot a new entry you've never seen before, one mentioning BitLocker.

All of a sudden, you are worried, and you want to know what's happening. The biggest problem is that you're quite certain you're not using BitLocker, so you are not sure why you see any messages about it. This article will hopefully provide you with some insight why this could be happening.

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Fake Depth of Field (DOF) in GIMP

updated January 22, 2014, category: Software & security

GIMP & DOF
If you want to change your flat images to appear as if they have some field of depth, or focus blur, then you might want to read this tutorial. It will teach you, briefly, about the needed plugins for GIMP, which should let you achieve the desirable results.

My interest in DOF spiked while playing with my 3D models, including the Urban Warfare project lately. I wanted to create an illusion of focus blur and mist, and quickly learned that very decent results can be achieved by using the Depth Render option in Kerkythea. But this only applies to 3D models, and not necessarily your images or photos. So let's see how you can remedy through art what was made wanting through action in the first place.

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Netrunner 13.12 Enigma-II review

updated January 20, 2014, category: Software & security

Netrunner 13.12 Enigma-II
Let us take a look at Netrunner, shall we. It is a Kubuntu-based distribution, with more or less the same mission statement like Mint. In other words, it is unto Kubuntu, what Mint is unto Ubuntu. A system that is designed to be simple and fully usable out of the box.

The newest version is out there. So we are going to test it. I will be using my Nvidia-powered laptop for this exercise, coming with an olden processor with two cores, a standard disk, and most importantly, a G96M family card, which still gets a bit of street credit around here, despite its age. Follow me.

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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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