Linux Blog

I got a Mac

Filed under: Linux Hardware,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 2:05 am on Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I’m not really a huge consumer of hardware, but I today I got a Mac, more specifically a MacBook Air. It is my first brand new computer since I built my desktop which I probably never wrote about. I didn’t pay for it, as it was promotional item from training I signed up for. I had a choice of a Toshiba Ultrabook that never really closes, or the MacBook Air. After I thought about it, the choice was not too hard, I choose the one that would have the higher re-sale value, the better of the two OS’s, and probably better Linux support.

So far I’m impressed, it is a very elegant design, the internal hardware is meh but it does have a SSD which is the first I’ve owned. It would be nice to try and hook up an external monitor, but I’m not sinking any money into it, because I don’t really want to pay the standard $79 apple accessory fee, and am not sure if the thunderbolt port even converts to HDMI, and I’m sure as hell not going to buy a thunderbolt display. There is only two USB ports, which is rather pathetic, even my Netbook manages to squeeze 3, a VGA port and a media card reader in. As far as OSX, I’m not so happy with, it has a few nuances that will take some getting used to, such as the command key which changes the way I use the keyboard (command+t, command+w, etc.) There is probably a fix for that and I’ve already changed some settings to make it more familiar.

My DNS-323 NAS had to have some changes to the Samba config using funplug as it doesn’t connect with SECURITY=SHARE, it has to be SECURITY=USER, not sure why that is. I’m happy to report that my SDR experiments were just as hard with OSX as they were with Linux, I blame that to not really knowing much about radio theory. Other than that, installing XCode, Macports and writing this post I haven’t really had much time to play with it. I’ll stick out using OSX until the training is over, then I’ll look at another OS. Until then, it’ll be VM’s and SSH connections into the desktop PC, which while aging still has more horse power than the Air.

image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dansapples/7157645924/

It is almost July!

Filed under: General Linux,The Linux Blog News — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:54 pm on Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Since I haven’t posted in a while I figured I would, and hopefully start a new trend of writing again. I started a new job last year and had my wife gave birth to our first born in November 2012, since then my time has been somewhat limited, balancing work, life and play. If you take a look at the archives, it is not the first time I’ve taken a multiple break from this Blog.

Well, it’s almost July and you know what that means right? Yep, Google will be shutting down Reader. Their decision never made sense to me since my Feedburner, another Google product statistics show that 90% of my subscriptions are through the Reader service, there are alternatives.

While most people have migrated to other services, those that haven’t should consider doing so, or at least export their feeds to subscribe at a later time.

There are great desktop applications available for most platforms, but I wanted an online reader to sync feeds across multiple machines and read from different locations without having to mark content as read multiple times. The most viable online alternatives to me were Feedly, and TheOldReader.com. The Old Reader won in the end after adding standalone authentication. The interface is familiar as it is pretty much a clone of Google Reader, even the same keyboard shortcuts work.

I hope that when you do find the new feed reader of your choice, you continue to subscribe to TheLinuxBlog, and although it may have been stagnant for a while, I have not abandoned it.

The First Unreal Engine 3 Game Ships for Linux

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:23 pm on Friday, January 25, 2013

Guest Post From Davis Miller

Score! a HUGE victory for Linux gaming in 2013! Ryan Gordon confirmed via Twitter that “Dungeon Defenders is an Unreal Engine 3 game on Linux, and it’s the first thing I’ve shipped with SDL 2.0!” The launch of Humble Indie Bundle 7 is a tower defense and action oriented role playing game that was originally designed and released for the standard PC in 2011. Though it began as a development for Unreal Engine 3, it now has a native Linux port.

unreal-engine

The reality of Linux gaming has been in question for years. Interested parties jump in, and then jump out. Plagued by technical and developmental problems, Linux gaming technology has taken nothing more than baby steps over the years. The recent strides leading up to the shipment of a Linux ported games have happened incredibly fast, with no signs of slowing in the near future. (Read on …)

Buy Vs. Build Vs. Cloud

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 12:31 am on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

When a company needs a piece of software there is lots of open source software available that may suit their needs. But what happens when there isn’t?
Lets take a look employee performance evaluation software (like this) for example. To build a full featured business supporting application like this is no easy task. Lets weigh in the options:

Build It
There is always the option to build software, depending on the complexity this option can cost a lot of money. You need to either build from scratch, use a framework or modify an existing open source project. Some corporations have the funds for hardware, a development team, system administrators and support team. Those that dont are pretty much left with the buy or cloud solutions.

Buy it
If building isn’t an option due to cost another is to buy. Software support and hardware are sometimes additional costs buying is a viable option depending on the application. What is often the case for small to medium sized companies, a piece software will not feature what they need, while having 90% of everything else. This can lead to leaving critical business functions out, or even a hodgepodge of multiple versions of software that do the same thing.

Cloud / hosted solitions.
For certain applications “heading to the cloud” can be a smart way to go. Not having in house hardware to inventory and maintain is one benefit, and access from multiple locations is another. With the vendors providing support. One concern is security, although this is the same with tbe build/buy options that is often overlooked.

While off the shelf products may exist there are still expenses where choosing the hosted solution may turn out more cost effective.

The top 3 widely used open source accounting applications

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 6:30 am on Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is a guest post from Brianne

There many excellent options for open source accounting software which cover basically anything from ledger bookkeeping to report and forecasting. However, you must know that having an accounting software does not turn you into an accountant and you still need a basic grounding of the fundamentals of accounting and bookkeeping. However, these accounting software applications are a decent mix of old school accounting merged with ERP that helps you to understand where your business is going and what needs to be improved or fixed. Hit the jump for the top three picks for open source accounting software (Read on …)

10 Amazing Productivity Tools You Can’t Live Without

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is a guest post from Ella.

As a small business owner, the Internet has changed the way I collaborate and work with my colleagues, contractors and clients. The business world is becoming more global all the time, and collaboration and communication are more important than ever.

Check out these slick little tools (some familiar, some new) that can help you stay on top of things and make working together across the Web a breeze.

(Read on …)

AutoSSH

Filed under: Linux Software,Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 9:15 am on Friday, December 14, 2012

I’ve written in the past about automatically performing an action when a host comes back online. However, this post is geared towards a more permanent solution than the one time usage connection.

Introducing autossh:

Description-en: Automatically restart SSH sessions and tunnels
autossh is a program to start an instance of ssh and monitor it, restarting it
as necessary should it die or stop passing traffic. The idea is from rstunnel
(Reliable SSH Tunnel), but implemented in C. Connection monitoring is done
using a loop of port forwardings. It backs off on the rate of connection
attempts when experiencing rapid failures such as connection refused.

It is available on most distributions, and even jailbroken iPhones. Its a great utility.

If you want to use it here’s howto:

Install it:

:~$ sudo apt-get install autossh

Run it:

:~$ autossh [host]

That’s pretty much all there is to running it, although if you want to check out all of its features you should read the help file and man pages. If you want you can resume your SSH sessions without using a password, by using the no password SSH login technique.

Top 10 Android Applications for 2012

Filed under: General Linux — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:00 pm on Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Here is another post from Brianne on her top 10 Android application picks for 2012. Being an Android user myself these aren’t my top 10. Mine, without descriptions are: ConnectBot, androidVNC, Sipdroid, AndSMB, ColorNote, PocketCloud, FreeMP3Droid, ViewRangerGPS, VirtualRecorder and TeslaLED. Feel free to list your top 10 or suggestions in the comments! So without further ado, here’s her take:

Stay organized on the top of your busy lifestyle with these productive Android apps. The apps on this list tend to make your life simple, easy and eliminate time-consuming procedures. Make sure to install them to increase your productivity.

  1. Xbox SmartGlass

Xbox SmartGlass from Microsoft turns your android into an ideal second screen to navigate around the Xbox 360 dashboard and makes your entertainment experience more amazing. You can easily control what you’re watching with simple swipe and tap gestures. Xbox allows you to access the relevant details about a movie, game or TV show. It also lets you to easily move your purchased movies and TV shows between your PC and your Xbox 360. Xbox through its intelligently connected devices make things easier for you.

2. Soundcloud- Version 2.3.0

Soundcloud is the best app for recording interviews or your favorite music on-the-go. It lets you sync all your recordings to the Cloud so that you can share them publicly on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare or keep them as private. The latest version makes it easy to explore and post likes and comments on sounds right from your smart phone. It helps you to access user profiles and keep track of your followers and followings.

3. Opera Mini – Version 7.5

Opera mini offers the most refined browsing experience for your android phone. It’s rendering speed and efficient controls put it on the top of other browsers. Its streamlined rendering engine helps you load Webpage’s quicker than any other browser. Just as you do with your PC, you can open several pages at a time and switch between them using tabs. Opera Mini helps you save money on your phone bills by compressing data by up to 80%.

4. Cloudon

Cloudon brings Microsoft Office to your Android phone. It allows you to easily format text, change fonts, insert formulas in Excel and present your Power Point slides. It enables you to view and fill out PDFs from your workspace. With a simple tap you can have your files appear in your workplace. Cloudon lets you create copy or move files between folders. All your documents are saved automatically.

5. CamScanner

This app is a must have for android phones. If you’re on the go and need to capture documents such as interesting newspaper articles, whiteboard sketches, tickets, coupons and so on, consider using CamScanner app. This app turns your Android phone into a portable document scanner. It uses the camera at the back of your android to take the snapshots of the documents. The images scanned by CamScanner are already edited. Its in-built tools enhance the appearance of the scanned image. What’s more, you can easily convert the scanned documents to PDFs, especially when you want to share it. You are allowed to tag the scanned documents so that they are easy to locate and manage.

6. TeamViewer- Version 7.0.632

Teamviewer lets you remote control your computer while you are on the go. You can participate in meetings from your android phone, no matter where you are. Thus it helps you from missing out an important discussion. It also offers you the benefit of accessing your home PC to edit or use particular documents while you are away from home. The app helps you provide remote technical support to friends and family when they have problems with their device.

7. TRUECALLER – VERSION 2.92

Truecaller app functions as a global phone directory helping you to locate people worldwide by just entering a name or phone number. It quickly notifies you who the caller is and blocks unwanted calls. The app manages your phone book and keeps you informed of your friend’s latest Facebook pictures.

8. Fandango Movies – Version 4.1.1

This app allows you to easily browse the movies or theaters by selecting them. On selecting a movie, you can access its information like the rating, length, fan reviews, trailers and so on. If you select a theater, you will be informed of its address and phone number. You can book your seat directly from this app and step into the theater just before Showtime.

9. Zillow Real Estate

This is the best app that provides you with a better idea of current values and trends in housing. Zillow’s database helps you browse apartments and homes that are for sale or rent. The new version lets you take snapshots of your favorite homes and sync them to your online account. It keeps you updated when new homes with your criteria hit the market. Enjoy home shopping on the big screen.

10. SwiftKey 3

SwiftKey app makes typing easy and accurate over time. It saves your time and effort by magically predicting the next word before you’ve started to type. You can also personalize this app with your Gmail or Facebook accounts.

About the author: Brianne is a blogger by profession. She loves writing, reading and traveling. She contributes to Raul Antonio Gorrin

 

No Password SSH Login

Filed under: Quick Linux Tutorials — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:28 am on Monday, November 26, 2012

I SSH a lot. In the past I’ve pretty much always typed passwords to log on, but when trying to SSH in using my phone, with a good password it’s a pain to say the least. I had SSH Keys setup with password-less login before but usually ended up losing the thumb drive the key was on or updating my system and forgetting to update the key. We won’t discuss the security or best practice here, that’s for another post.

Anyhow I assume you’re reading this post because you want to set up a no password SSH logon by using keys for whatever reason, this post outlines how to do it. (You can also use a pass phrase if you feel so inclined.)

(Read on …)

Better System Information with inxi

Filed under: Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 1:23 am on Saturday, November 17, 2012

Better System Information with inxi
Getting system information can be a tricky task, having to gather bits a bobs of information from various places. A Friend recently sent me a link to a little script called inxi. It comes pre-installed with SolusOS, Crunchbang, Epidemic, Mint, AntiX and Arch Linux but as it is a bash script it works on a lot of other distributions. Although it is intended for use with chat applications like IRC it also works from a shell and provides an abundance of information. Installation is as easy as downloading and chmoding a file so next time you find you need some information about your hardware, rather than poking around in /proc, just fire up ./inxi -F

LINUTOP 2 Review

Filed under: General Linux,Linux Hardware,Linux Software — TheLinuxBlog.com at 11:08 pm on Friday, November 9, 2012

Linutop is a company based out of Paris that specializes in small form factor energy efficient embedded type PC’s. They have  a variety of devices with no moving parts and utilize open source software based on Ubuntu for the platform. They were kind enough to send me a Linutop 2 to review.Linutop 2


(Read on …)

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