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Latest articles & site news

Windows 10 & Control Panel - Going away?

updated November 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & Control Panel
Controversy is the bread and butter of modern journalism. So when a company like Microsoft announces or alleges to announce or rumors to announce or hints that it may consider announcing that it plans to retire the 20-year-old Control Panel from its flagship product, controversy hits like an elevator fart.

Today, I'd like to discuss just that. Much the same way I gave you my reasonable and absolutely accurate dissertation on why touch can never conceivably and effectively replace the keyboard and mouse on large devices, ergo the return of the Start Menu in Windows 10, we will take a stab at the Control Panel vs Settings menu. Follow me, please.

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Xubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf - Not a silver bullet

updated November 21, 2015, category: Software & security

Xubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf
Xubuntu is our third test bunny for the season. We've tried Ubuntu, and it was okay. Too many regressions to make it a palatable choice. Then, Kubuntu was a total disaster, and an emotional disappointment. Both exhibited a strong degree of inconsistency compared to previous versions, which annoys me more than you can imagine.

Now, Xubuntu has been steadily improving for the past 2-3 years, and it's almost become my favorite distro. It's raked the best-of Xfce title last year, and came second in the annual distro competition. 15.04 was also quite good, and I use it pretty much daily. Which means that today's test will be of cardinal importance. Shall we proceed?

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Dedoimedo is nominated for the best software blog!

updated November 20, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu Phone, six months later
Some great news. Rocky Bytes, an independent offering downloads and reviews on free Windows software, is running its annual Bytes that Rock! Software Awards 2015. Lo and behold, in the software blogs category, your humble collocutor is a nominee among twelve shortlisted domains!

I am pleased and honored to see Dedoimedo featured in the competition. If you recall, we had a similar thing with the FOSS Force and Linux Journal nominations of 2013. Always a happy occasion. Indeed, if you truly believe that I have entertained you enough with my technical and non-technical topics in the past year, as well as hopefully given you some actual useful advice, then I would kindly ask you to vote for me. And if you can, spread the word, too. Thanks for participating.

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Ubuntu Phone is getting better

updated November 20, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu Phone, six months later
Several months ago, after years of waiting and missed deadlines, I had finally managed to lay my hands on an Ubuntu-powered phone, a BQ Aquaris E4.5. I was so jubilant, and my expectations were so very high that when I finally got to test the device, the end result wasn't so spectacular. For near six months, the little phone was relegated to collecting dust.

Then, in October, there was this big, cumulative update available, and I decided to upgrade, to see whether the new version of the Ubuntu Phone operating system could change my earlier impression. This time around, the end result was much more refreshing. Hence, this article.

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Cities: Skylines - It's all in the roundabout, stoopid

updated November 18, 2015, category: Computer games

Cities: Skylines traffic guide
Several months ago, I discovered Cities: Skylines and fell in love with it. After so many years, SimCity 4 had a worthy successor, one that is colorful and realistic and fun and big. Really big. Not as big as it can be, but still quite awesome. Immediately, I started building some cities, failed a bit, and then hit it off with a solid, well balanced 125K urbanville.

One of the things that really came to bear during my grid-like explorations was that the square-corner, perfectly lined street design wasn't really working. All my attempts to create vivid cities with large population always ended up with massive traffic jams. I would then spend a lot of time adding more and more streets, sort of trying to fix the problem. To little avail. Then, I remembered, roundabouts.

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Kubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf - Pretty useless

updated November 16, 2015, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf
Now that we have slain Ubuntu, it is time to go a-huntin' after another magical beast. Today, yes, you guessed it right, it's Kubuntu. Looking back a few releases, this particular member of the Canonical family has not really shown any great innovation, passion or quality. Perchance the autumn rain shall wash away the filth and expose a beautiful creature of code and elegance?

Lenovo G50 shalt be my test system, and my test system shall be Lenovo G50, which currently hosts about seven or eight different operating systems in one big happy family, Windows and Linux included. And to make it all the more interesting, all the world's digital conspiracies come together in a bundle aptly defined with UEFI, Secure Boot, and other technologies. It will definitely be a worthwhile hunt. I hope. After me.

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Do you feel brave enough to try OpenStack? OSAD!

updated November 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Openstack - OSAD
This is a very good question. For many reasons. One, OpenStack is a sort of a big, fancy buzzword nowadays, and anyone who thinks they are someone will tell you that you should be using this thing. Like the word cloud, the resistance is futile. Two, it's got something to do with virtualization after all, so maybe you should learn more about it.

Three and four and so on, the reasons shall become apparent later on this article. But the basic premise is, can you - and should you - dabble in OpenStack? Now, I am asking this question from the perspective of a person with natural technical intuition and significant experience dabbling in the likes of OpenStack. Today's article slash guide will show you how to get underway with this technology.

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Linux per-application firewalls - Doable? Douane.

updated November 7, 2015, category: Software & security

In general, I am not too worried about privacy or security. I find these topics to be hugely blown out of proportions by the mass media, as a means of generating fear, controversy and clicks. However, recently, after the GWX thingie, even I started thinking a bit more about Windows updates and patches.

Once trust is broken, it is very hard to heal. And so now I am carefully screening through each and every patch in the Windows Update screen. Which made me think, and finally, compile this article. If you want to know what you should do to minimize your exposure to operating system upgrades, i.e. Windows 10, telemetry tracking, and other bits and pieces, please read on.

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Audi S3 versus Volkswagen Golf R

updated November 6, 2015, category: Car reviews

Audi S3 vs VW Golf R
I distinctly remember the date. May 1990. It was my first encounter with BMW 850i, which looked like a spaceship blessed with wheels. Powered by a 5.0-liter V12, it developed a most mighty 300 PS, had a six-speed manual gearbox, and could accelerate 0-100 km/h in about five seconds and limited top speed of 250 km/h. That was a glorious moment.

Fast forward to 2015, and today, you have hot hatches with 2.0-liter fourpot engines, coupled to some serious turbo and superchargers, and they develop a similar rating, with similar acceleration and performance figures to the BMW of yore. Two of these lovely specimen are Audi S3 and VW Golf R, both with Haldex 4MOTION four-wheel drive system and 6-speed DSG gearbox, which I had the pleasure of driving around for a brief while. Better yet, brace yourselves gents and ladies, ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD! Yup, I get to play with these awesome machines in the UK, and this is where have a full head-on test, side by side. The two cars share their DNA, they are practically identical, but really, are they? Let's see.

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All you need to know about Windows telemetry, upgrades

updated November 4, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows telemetry & upgrades
In general, I am not too worried about privacy or security. I find these topics to be hugely blown out of proportions by the mass media, as a means of generating fear, controversy and clicks. However, recently, after the GWX thingie, even I started thinking a bit more about Windows updates and patches.

Once trust is broken, it is very hard to heal. And so now I am carefully screening through each and every patch in the Windows Update screen. Which made me think, and finally, compile this article. If you want to know what you should do to minimize your exposure to operating system upgrades, i.e. Windows 10, telemetry tracking, and other bits and pieces, please read on.

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What About My Humanity? published in Allegory ezine

updated November 2, 2015, category: Books & stories

Allegory ezine
More awesome news! A short story of mine, titled What About My Humanity has been published in Allegory ezine, a tri-annual online magazine of science fiction, fantasy & horror, Volume 28/55, Fall/Winter 2015. Yippie.

What About My Humanity? tells a story of one's man coping with the terrible legacy of his life in a post-apocalyptic, Dystopian world, where big corporations preside over mankind, and where people are valued only by their usefulness as cheap labor. Kind of like today, is it not? Anyhow, worth checking out, I think. Especially since it's free to read or download. Plus, there's a lot more great stuff there, too, so you should clear your schedule, lean back and enjoy!

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Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf review - Fast and spurious

updated November 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf
Distro time! After a quiet distro slayin' period here in Dedowood, we embark on the great hunt once more, and we pay an excessive amount of time to Ubuntu and its derivatives, starting with the original beast. If you've followed my reviews lately, you know that I found Trusty to be excellent, and Vivid was also rather cool.

Let's see what the latest in the series can do. Our test machine will be Lenovo G50, which comes with the modern obstacles of multi-boot, Windows 10, UEFI, Secure Boot, and other things that make Linux folks raise a skeptical brow. Let us. Let us!

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Minime? No. Minitube? Yes.

updated October 28, 2015, category: Software & security

Several days ago, while testing SMPlayer and its Youtube-specific add-on, SMTube, I started thinking about some other cool, useful software that can stream second-person-metro content. Minitube has been on my list on and off, and it's featured in various distros across the years. I have never given it a proper standalone review. Till now.

If you feel enthused, you might power on your distro's software manager and try to install Minitube. Don't. The chances are, most distros won't have the latest version, and you might end up with an older edition that does not have all the good stuff, and worse, might come with a broken API. This is what happened to me in Linux Mint. All of the Ubuntu-based distributions ship with an outdated version.

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Cities: Skylines - Finally, a worthy successor to SimCity 4

updated October 26, 2015, category: Computer games

Cities: Skylines
Until not that long ago, for me, SimCity 4 was, and largely, still is the ultimate city-building game simulator. In a twist of magic and style, it set the standard for urban building, offering huge areas with interconnected regions and limitless god-like fun ability to terraform and architect the perfect city. You also had mods, which made the awesomeness even more so. Then, in 2015, I purchased Cities: Skylines.

After almost a decade searching for a game that could match SimCity, there finally seemed to be one that might deliver the promise. The challenge was immense. I had spent 3.5 intense years creating my San Francisco region in SimCity 4, with its 60+ districts and 4.5 million people. And with the new HD version on Steam, which fixes a ton of CPU and graphics related problems, the challenge became almost impossible. But I gave Cities: Skylines a chance.

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Vagrant & CoreOS clusters and networking

updated October 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Vagrant & CoreOS
Getting warmer. A bunch of days down the time slider, I showcased Vagrant, a virtualization solution that aims big by being a nice, tidy wrapper to other, supposedly more complicated software like VirtualBox, KVM and friends. Moreover, it plays in the senior league by offering Docker container support, and cloud server environments.

Expanding on this model, we will discuss a slightly different usecase, very much cloudy. CoreOS, which we have used in the previous exercise, is another player that tries to cash in on the cloud mania, and it offers some very neat cluster features and automation. Today, we will learn how to bring up a cluster and discuss the networking piece, which is somewhat neglected, and not very well explained even in the original documentation. So please follow me.

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HP Stream 7 - To Windows 10 and back

updated October 21, 2015, category: Software & security

HP Stream 7 & Windows 10
This is almost like our favorite journey from The Hobbit. Except the topic is completely different and less enjoyable. Namely, I have purchased HP Stream 7 on impulse, because it was darn cheap, and I did not need it whatsoever, but I thought it would be a good example to see how Windows 8 behaves on a touch-enabled tablet.

Now, it turns out the little device might be useful after all. I am going to try to upgrade it to Windows 10. After my laptop test, where Windows 10 proved to be average, slightly intrusive and completely unnecessary, the upgrade on a seven-inch tablet with a 32-bit version and limited space ought to be quite interesting. Moreover, the touch aspect. Does Windows 10 rectify the Metro moronity that Windows 8 brought us? Follow me.

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Free books for grabs from Amazon

updated October 19, 2015, category: Books

Free books
My benevolence knows no bounds. Sort of. For real. Well, now that the Goodreads giveaway is over, I thought you might appreciate some free book deals on Amazon. Oct 20-21, Pacific Time, The Forgotten, the third book in The Lost Words series, will be free for download. But wait, there's more.

On Oct 22-23, The Broken, the second book, will also be free for grabs from Amazon domains. If you haven't purchased or downloaded the book(s) yet, this is a great opportunity to stash on your lost words count, hi hi. Then, remember there used to be nice gadget contests for those who read and review, so keep that in mind, too. Stay tuned, and mark the dates.

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The Black Knight satellite - Nope, not aliens

updated October 19, 2015, category: Hillbilly physics

Black Knight satellite
If you are comically savvy, then the term Black Knight invokes some happy memories in your mind. Monty Python's King Arthur and the Holy Grail movie kind of happy to be more precise. However, you may also be thinking of the Black Knight satellite, an alleged UFO object placed in an orbit around Earth by some alien race sometime or such.

Since I'm always delighted in debunking silly claims, especially those related to extra-terrestrial visits and visitations, we shall now embark on another journey of hillbilly physics. As we've done several times in the past, including proving Drake's equation [1] by accident, showing you how to GIMP your images with mad skillz and such, we will now rip this nonsense apart using the magic of mathematics and logic. Follow me.

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Using iPhone 6, six months down the road

updated October 17, 2015, category: Software & security

iPhone 6, second review
If you recall, several months ago, someone gave me an iPhone, for free. Never having owned an Apple device before, I thought it would be a good exercise slash social experiment to continue using the phone for a while, to see what gives.

Now, my initial response wasn't too favorable. The hardware is really good, the camera is quite all right, but the ecosystem is way too shiny, too restrictive for my taste. Sure, some people may find joy and bliss in this closely tailored world. Not me. And so, let's see if and how my impression has changed after about six months of using the device as my secondary brick of metal and plastic. Life in plastik, das fantastik. Ahem.

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The future of ads - and the Internet

updated October 16, 2015, category: Software & security

Future of ads
Several days ago, I read an interesting story on, about adblocking being introduced into iOS 9, the operating system de jure on iPhone 6, and how this new default configuration is going to affect the mobile world, and on a wider scale, longer term, the world of advertisement. Not sure if they backtracked on that decision, or if this is ever going to happen, but if it does, then see below.

In turn, the story made me thinking, how the Internet is going to change if and when the big players out there decide to adjust their strategy and start changing the way content and marketing are presented to the end user. So let's take a look what we ought to expect in the future. My view on things, and you should heed it. This is going to be an extremely long and convoluted article. Not joking. Let's speculate.

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SMPlayer - What is love?

updated October 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Baby don't MP3 me, MP3 me, no more. Lame jokes aside, SMPlayer is a cross-platform, free media player, or rather, a frontend for MPlayer, a highly versatile and capable media software, which promises to play all your files and codecs. Cool, no?

Indeed, it's always been lurking in and around my multimedia arsenal, never quite the best, but far, far from being at the bottom of the pile. With the release of a new version, 15.9, which comes with improved MKV support, 3D stuff, and subtitles, I decided to give it a longer, deeper review.

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Dedoimedo at LinuxCon & CloudOpen 2015!

updated October 12, 2015, category: Software & security

LinuxCon 2015
Once again, you may have noticed a certain dose of quietness on Dedoimedo in the last week. For a good reason, because I was away in Dublin, Ireland, attending LinuxCon and its co-located sister events. Presenting. On OpenStack. Yay.

So let me tell you a few more details on how it all went. Should be interesting, I guess, especially some of the camera footage. Anyhow, if you care for one-man's retelling of the Three Days of the Condor, I mean Mordor, I mean Dublin, oh so witty I am, then please, keep on reading this lovely article. Right on.

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Windows 10 complete privacy guide

updated October 3, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade & review
Let me begin by saying this: if you do not trust Microsoft, don't use its products. Simple. This is the basic premise of this guide. We're not here to discuss politics, NSA and such. If you think Windows is evil, this article isn't about how you can screw the system. That's not what I'm aiming for. Instead, if you want to be aware of the privacy tweaks and options and some extra security features, and you wish to change them to your liking, then this tutorial could help you get the right results.

So remember, we're not trying to double-cross a double agent, we're not working under the premise there's a rogue operating system under the hood. I leave this to the rest of the Web and its drama moments. We're here to learn about Windows 10 privacy and adjust it to our needs. You will get my personal perspective as a baseline. Now, read on.

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CentOS 7 & Audio CD strikes back

updated October 2, 2015, category: Software & security

CentOS, K3b & audio CD
Remember how I gave up on you, even though I promised I'd never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down? Well, I did. Once upon a time, I was falling in love, now I'm only Linuxing apart, not so long ago in fact, one of you asked me how to create audio CDs from MP3 files using K3b on CentOS 7. I set about doing this and failed miserably. You, my nation, the universe, everyone.

Then, the merry fellow Nux, who runs the namesake third-party repo for CentOS full of good stuff and pimpage, contacted me, and informed me that he's compiled a whole bunch of new packages into his repo, and that I should give this a second shot. So I did, and this is the result.

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Liferea - If you don't go to the Internet, the Internet will come to you

updated September 30, 2015, category: Software & security

A popular saying, right. But it boils down to the fact you can use the Web in three distinct ways. Either you search for something, or you directly access websites you know and like, or, finally, you use a program that can display all that fine remote content on your computer without wandering around. That's what RSS is all about. Enter Liferea.

True, I'm cheating. Pulling RSS feeds and web pages from the Internet is no different than using a browser, but if a program does that in an integral way, allowing you to preview content but also enjoy the full plethora of text, images, audio, and video for a given subset of domains, then it is doing something else. It's bringing you the closely guarded corner of the Web you consider yours. One of the programs that promises this functionality is Liferea, a news aggregator for Linux.

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Able2Extract PDF Converter 9 review

updated September 28, 2015, category: Software & security

Several months ago, I was contacted by Investintech to review their PDF conversion software. It took me a long while to bump the request up in my writing queue, but we're finally there. Or rather, here. Today, I will take a look at the licensed version of PDF Converter 9, and see what it can do.

The program comes with a non-trivial price of USD99.95, and there's a pro version, which costs another 30 dollars, but it also offers OCR. The software is available for all platforms, but I tested on Windows 8.1. Anyhow, behold the results.

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Vagrant virtualization - introduction guide

updated September 26, 2015, category: Software & security

Vagrant intro guide
If you thought your life was boring and you did not have enough virtualization software to play and tinker with, then you will be most pleased with today's content. A whole article dedicated to Vagrant, a wrapper software for virtualization deployment and testing.

The idea is as follows: you hide away the nitty gritty commands and present a unified interface, and then tie in some buzzwords like cloud and whatnot, and it becomes a hot new technology that everyone talks about. Pretty much like OpenStack, OpenShift, OpenCloud, and other fancy names. In fact, if you also manage to toss in more name droppers like PostgreSQL, Jenkins and Node.js, you win extra points for being modern and hip and cool. But all sarcasm aside, let's see what this tool can do, and if it's of any use, value and fun.

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Docker & data volumes - Tutorial

updated September 25, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker & data
For a change, today, we will have a relatively short and uncomplicated article on Docker containers automation framework. We will learn how to mount data inside containers, how to share data, and all the needed bits and pieces to make our instances into useful systems.

So far, you've enjoyed - and that's a liberal term - a very detailed intro guide, then we dabbled in services, networking, and solved some tough errors. This tutorial continues the tradition, step by step, so it should be simple and crystal clear. Let us begin.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 review - I wanna hate, but I cannot

updated September 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Samsung Galaxy S5
There's a popular saying, when life gives you lemons, find a nice recipe, bake a pie, invite some friends, and organize a lemon party. Right. Which is why I did not object to testing Samsung Galaxy S5. Normally, this would not be a smartphone of choice for me, but then, as far as hardware goes, I don't mind testing and trying anything as long as it's given for free. In this case, yes. Much like iPhone really. So good.

If you recall, I did not like S4 that much. It was decent but nothing spectacular, and my taste leans more toward minimalistic style and functionality like Windows Phone. But then, in their recent Android releases, Google has come up with their own answer to that, called Material Design, and it's meant to be flat and cuddly and good. Enough talking, let's do this little review.

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Ford Mondeo review - More than a feeling

updated September 21, 2015, category: Car reviews

Ford Mondeo review
I must admit I have never considered Ford Mondeo as something I'd want to own, but the same way you don't say no to free food and goats, you don't turn away a free review, even if it's not your typical demographic. After all, I managed just fine with family transporters and their associated vomit before, so why not a mid-range executive vehicle?

The car at my disposal was an outgoing third-generation five-door hatchback version, powered by a 2.0-liter 203HP TNBA EcoBoost engine, mated to a six-speed semi-automatic dual-clutch PowerShift gearbox, plus a basic but adequate Style level of equipment. Sounds reasonably interesting, especially if we consider a rival like Skoda Superb, which has featured quite favorably on Dedoimedo. Anyhow, let us commence please.

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Asus eeePC still boldly marches on - with Xubuntu 14.04

updated September 19, 2015, category: Software & security

eeePC & Xubuntu 14.04
Back in 2012-13, I pimped up my little eeePC netbook with Xubuntu 12.04 Pangolin, and thus gave it a fresh breath of new sprightliness and life. This little machine has been loyally plodding along since my very smart and cheap and ultra-valuable purchase back in 2010, and while the underlying metal pieces were somewhat struggling with new software, it was now as if the clock has been reset.

Now, let's do the time warp again. Oh, the wittiness. Yes. Xubuntu Pangolin stopped being supported sometime in April 2015. Which means I had to install something more modern on my netbook. I decided to go for Xubuntu 14.04, and better yet, try an in-vivo upgrade of the distro, in order to preserve all my fun stuff, as well as my custom applications. Please follow me.

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Windows 10 upgrade & review: You don't need it

updated September 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade & review
All right, today, we WILL discuss the upgrade itself. In my last article on this topic, I only showed you all the preparatory steps before the upgrade itself, but not the results. As it turns out, I decided to volunteer my test laptop for the process, and then report back my success, or lack thereof.

So we will see how the upgrade thingie went. Furthermore, even though you've had more than enough reading material to decide for yourself, this article should help you determine if and when you ought to upgrade to Windows 10. Well, within the coming ten months or so, that is. Proceed, we shall.

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Fonts, don't come easy to me

updated September 16, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux & fonts
If there's one aspect of Linux that has more Wild West in it than a typical Charles Bronson movie, it's fonts. Linux fonts. This is something that we all take for granted, in fact so much granted, it's almost Cary Granted, see what I did there, and yet, the reality isn't all Rosie O'Donnell.

Today, I would like to discuss the management and beautification of font rendering in Linux. On one hand, we want to have pretty fonts, and make sure our eyes do not tire even after a long day staring at a screen. On the other, we want Linux fonts to be better as a strategy.

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Fedora and iPhone 6? Challenge accepted.

updated September 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora 22 & iPhone
More Fedora. Yes. Just a couple of days after showing you that Fedora 22 actually works, now that it's been fixed and polished and such, I am going to revisit an older topic, and that is one of the iPhone 6 support in Linux. If you recall my original article slash guide, in which I demonstrated how to connect your iPhone, should you have one, in Linux, I said it works in any and every distro. And while tutorial used Kubuntu as its baseline, it was pretty much universal.

One of my readers decided to disagree and berated me for doing a Ubuntu-only article. As the French say, challengeux accepteur. Well, today, I am going to show you that the exact same steps taken in the previous guide also work for Fedora. Let there be no doubt. Like the music band. Sort of. After me.

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The Humbled has been published!

updated September 12, 2015, category: Books

The Humbled
There, done! The fourth and final volume in The Lost Words epic saga is finally available, both paperback and Kindle editions. The Humbled brings the interwoven stories of your favorite characters to a conclusion. There will be no more books in this series. It's done. Whatever you read on the last page will not be resolved, and questions left unanswered shall forever remain a mystery.

If you're wavering, try the sample chapters. And think about giveaways and contests. We had some in the past few years, and they all turned out nicely. Well, I honestly hope you will find the series' ending enjoyable. It could be a little grim and bloody, but then, what's the fun in knowing all will be well. Quite the contrary. Anyhow, off you go reading and me writing future works, series and brand new heroes! See ya.

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So, Fedora 22 finally decided to behave

updated September 12, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora 22
Troublemaker is my middle name, right. But I don't give up easily, and even after a distro pulls one on me, I am like Rick Astley, I am never going to give up, which is why I gave Fedora 22 a second chance. And this time, it did better than the initial fiasco.

Sorry for repeating myself, but in a way, I will be doing an exercise somewhat similar to my Fedora pimping guide. Not quite as detailed, but it does show that most distros are released way too early, with too many bugs and problems, and insufficient QA. Let us demonstrate.

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BitTorrent backups - BTsync and Syncthing

updated September 11, 2015, category: Software & security

P2P backups
Backups are one of the most overlooked pieces of modern computing, both at home and in the work environment. And they usually come down to neglect or overload, with little to no restore ability, regardless of the method and technology chosen for the task. The chief reason is that they are a pain to administer. They can be quite slow.

An alternative is to send your files into the cloud and let them be. But that's risky, right. What about your privacy? What about how slow this can be? Could there be a third option? Indeed, there is one. Backing up your data using P2P networks.

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How to upgrade to Windows 10

updated September 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade guide
Let me start by disclaiming a few things. One, I am not advocating you upgrade. Two, this article is meant to help make your upgrade easier and safer should you decide to do it one day. Three, I happen to have spare boxes used for testing, so I can sacrifice them should there be a need. Four, this article isn't the upgrade process itself, which we will have separately very shortly, this one is all and only about the preparation steps for the upgrade. Sounds complicated? It is.

Anyhow, if you've followed the news lately, then you know Microsoft has created a tool called GWX designed to allow you to request a free upgrade to Windows 10. They did it in a very silly manner, hence my awesome guide on how to get rid of the nonsense. Finally, there are superior ways to upgrade, and we will discuss them here.

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Chocolatey - Apt-get for Windows

updated September 7, 2015, category: Software & security

This was the most apt [sic] title I could find for this tool. Apt. Get it? Hihi. Anyhow, one of the major disadvantages of Windows is that there is no centralized package management tool the likes of which exist in Linux distributions and/or in the mobile world. For licensing reasons and whatnot, Windows Update only offers Microsoft software, forcing you to handle the rest more of less manually.

Several programs have come to life, trying to address this gap. We've seen Ninite and Npackd in action, but they did not quite manage to replicate the simplicity and ease of use that exists in Linux. Now, there's a new product, and it's called Chocolatey. Perhaps it can deliver where the rest have failed.

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VirtualBox Guest Additions compilation errors - How to fix

updated September 5, 2015, category: Software & security

Virtualbox compilation errors
First of all, the title of this article promises a lot. So let's narrow it down and align expectations. The starting point is you've used VirtualBox before, and had Guest Additions installed in your Linux virtual machines. Now, for some reason, the VirtualBox service no longer runs in your guest operating systems. If you try to install the modules again, you get a weird failure, which points to either a bad kernel configuration, missing sources and headers, and similar problems. The things, none of these make sense.

You have the right kernel sources and headers, but for some reason, VirtualBox is not seeing them, and therefore, the compilation of the main kernel module is failing, which in turn is affecting the way your virtual machines are working. Moreover, this seems to happen almost randomly, and it sometimes comes to bear after kernel updates. With all this in mind and more, we will now attempt to solve the problem using some neat and simple tricks.

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Problems starting/deleting Docker containers - How to fix

updated September 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker container errors
Recently, I've written a few interesting tutorials on the use of Docker, a neat technology that wraps LXC in a furry bundle of joy, and lets, how shall I put, less autistically inclined developers, engineers and system administrators, not so keen on Python vomit, enjoy the wonders of OS-level virtualization. But there are problems.

The two issues we will discuss today occur when you start a named container, or try to delete one. Namely, the fancy letters on the screen will read something like: "Conflict. The name W is already in use by container XYZ. You have to delete..." And the second piece of trouble reads: "Conflict, cannot remove the default name of the container..." Apart from the blatant misuse of punctuation, we now need to figure out how to sort this out.

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