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A demon dreaming, by Igor Ljubuncic

updated April 20, 2014, category: Life topics

A demon dreaming
This is a short story, written as a part of the 'Fun Writing Exercise I do Everyday' on the SFFworld.com forums, completed in only twelve minutes of time and no editing whatsoever. Fifteen minutes little man, put that prose in my hand.

"What is your name?" the man behind the desk asked. "Dave," the contestant replied. The man leaned forward, his glasses dropping halfway down his nose. "And what are you?" Dave squirmed, the bony plates on his chest grating. "I... I'm a demon. From the Third Circle." The man grunted and leaned back, then tipped the glasses all the way up his nose. "All right, Dave, show us."

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Goofing around in ArmA 2

updated April 18, 2014, category: Computer games

ArmA 2 goofing
I did a similar thing several years back. I wrote an article summarizing all the funny and glitchy moments that I have encountered playing, over the years, the most awesome Operation Flashpoint, the finest first person shooter and war simulator ever made, the game that started it all, the game that gives you that beautiful nostalgic Cold War era feeling. So let's do the same in ArmA 2, shall we.

As you know, ArmA 2 is the spiritual and material successor to the legendary title, and I've spent a holy handful of hours playing it, mostly on privately hosted servers against friends and family, which means a lot of oligophrenia and fun. There's also ArmA 3, and we shall most definitely goof there, but not today. Right now, it's all about ArmA 2 and the splendid kickassery that it offers.

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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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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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