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HTML, the plot thickens

updated December 30, 2014, category: Software & security

HTML editors, part 2
After I wrote my review on several WYSIWYG editors that Linux folks might want to use to hone their HTML and CSS skills, I got several aggressive suggestions for additional products and tools. It was an offer I could not refuse, and you might want to narrate this in a slightly asthmatic voice of Marlon Brando, plus the accent.

Today, we shall expand. And the interesting part it, we're going deep space, into the Nerdon Nebula, where you get to meet LaTeX-like syntax and similar cool stuff. But the idea is, you will gain a big, fat notch on your proverbial Linux and HTML belts, and this knowledge ought to come useful one day. Let's continue then, mastering HTML the fun way.

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Mercedes 280 SL - A forty-six-year love story

updated January 28, 2015, category: Car reviews

Mercedes 280 SL
Which is more exciting? Lamborghini Aventador, or a Mercedes 280 SL cabriolet from 1968? That sure is a tough question, and based on the crowds gathered round each, it's the new supercar that wins. But the smile on my face was sure bigger and brighter when I glimpsed the old timer on the roads of Opatija, Croatia's Saint-Tropez.

In this coastal city in Istria, where, back in its day, the Hapsburg Empire built its resorts like crazy, the oldtimers club gathers every Tuesday evening during the holiday season, and lets the interested enthusiasts enjoy a free ride, as passengers of course, in their meticulously preserved classics. The ensemble includes many a great example: Fiat 500 Cabriolet, Fiat 124, an original Beetle, a right-hand side JBA Falcon Roadster from its first production run in 1982, and others. But what drew me more than others was the 46-year-old Mercedes 280 SL.

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Make Windows look like Mac OS X tutorial

updated January 26, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows like Mac OS X
Here's another visual transformation guide. We saw quite a few of those on Dedoimedo, including how to make Windows XP look like Windows 7, then how to make the latter look like Windows 8, and we also dabbled in Android, changing its appearance to be like Windows Phone and Ubuntu Phone. Yup.

Now, we will make Windows, specifically the latest Windows 10 Technical Preview, look somewhat like Mac OS X Yosemite, so that you can feel posh and special and stylish. Not that the stocks looks are bad, mind, but we wanna have some fun, and this tutorial will show you how to do that. After me.

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Rhythmbox & smartphone sync - Just don't

updated January 24, 2015, category: Software & security

Rhythmbox & smartphone sync
Several weeks ago, while doing a review of Fedora 21, during the installation process, one of the little flying banners that happened to make the experience less boring told me that Rhythmbox supports easy peasy sync with smartphones. I said, strewth, let's check this.

As you know, Rhythmbox is one of the more popular Linux media players, and it's included as the default application in many a distro out there. The list of options and capabilities is fairly impressive, but I wanted to check this one claim. Can Rhythmbox really interface with your smartphone with ease and elegance and make it a pleasant media experience? Let's see what gives.

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Chakra 2014.11 Euler review - My tantra be failing

updated January 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Chakra 2014.11 Euler
Chakra Linux is an interesting offering. It aims to deliver the purest of KDE experiences to its users, plus it is based on goat sacrifice, which means Arch Linux. And that's mental, if you expect meek results, which I obviously do.

Intrigued, I set about trying this latest of releases. My previous experiences, with the 2011 and 2012 releases, respectively, were mixed. More accurately, the older version was pretty good, while two years ago, it was merely average. So let's try one more time, shall we.

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Making contact with Lamborghini Aventador

updated January 21, 2015, category: Car reviews

Lamborghini Aventador
Finding yourself in the vicinity of a hypercar is always a special moment. If you get to sit inside one, and then maybe, turn the ignition on, fighter jet style, even better. But I am getting carried away. No, I am not going to drive a Lambo. Not today. However, art must be appreciated. Hence, article.

As I was strolling the Croatian Riviera, my eyes fell upon a glorious visage. Some lucky guy had just bought himself a barely second-hand black Lamborghini Aventador, definitely the best looking hypercar on the market, with its space-age lines dating all the way back to Countach. They ferried his car in by a truck and gently unloaded it in front of his cafe. Masses flocked to watch. Me too.

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SAR to the rescue

updated January 19, 2015, category: Software & security

If the first thing that comes to mind when you see the letters SAR is Search & Rescue, helicopters, whatnot, then you are militarily inclined, may have been a member of armed forces, and/or played too many PC flight simulators, which is all good and fine. But it stands to logic, does it not, that a Linux system profiling designed to shed insight into system performance issues would be named the same way. SAR.

SAR actually stands for System Activity Report, but the basic premise is the same. You search for problems, and you fix (rescue) your box. Today, we will learn how to use SAR to make our Linux life easier. If you've read my Linux cool hacks compilations and closely followed the troubleshooting super tutorial, then you're already familiar with the ins and outs of Linux system debugging. Let's notch it up.

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Manjaro 0.8.11 - The lonely goatherd

updated January 17, 2015, category: Software & security

Manjaro 0.8.11
When you wake up in the morning, strut about your apartment listening to Zamfir and wonder about the world, one of the things that itches your brain ganglia is the fact there is a distro there, called Manjaro, which claims to be friendly version of Arch, which is like saying a healthy isotope of Plutonium. Can't be done.

Or maybe? Well, as the explorer of the final frontier called Linux, I set about to do just that, bolstered by love and care and fine, cultured praise from the community. But all seriousness aside, I did play with Manjaro, Xfce version, and it was decent. Not amazing, somewhat confusing and rather buggy, but an excellent starter for the newb-slayer distro called Arch. And so we're back at it again, with KDE this time. Follow me.

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Antix MX-14.3 review

updated January 16, 2015, category: Software & security

Antix MX-14.3
One of the things you can count on in the Linux community is love and understanding from the wider audience, especially if you write a less favorable review of a distribution favored by a particular segment of the community. The smaller they get the fiercer the response. Most people would decide the flak was not worth their time, file relevant distributions under the ignore label, and move on to friendlier crowds.

But I'm a better person than that, which is why I'm testing Antix MX-14 once again, this time a dot three flavor, once again adorned with the Xfce desktop. The previous version did not impress me, for which I got love, then having included this operating system in the best Xfce of 2014 competition also got me some more love. Never mind that, let's focus on the technical bits, not the drama. After me.

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Make Android look like Ubuntu Phone

updated January 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Android look like Ubuntu
Just a couple of days ago, I showed you how to transform the stock Android to look & feel like Windows Phone, which is aesthetically superior, although I would also argue in its favor a technological superiority, as well, but then you'd accuse me of fanboyism.

Anyhow, the second transformation we're about to undertake is making Android look somewhat like Ubuntu Phone, a concept that has not yet been fully realized or released into the public. Rather than jeopardizing your phone with a beta, we will settle for a cosmetic change only. To wit, this article. Follow me.

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Make Android look like Windows Phone

updated January 12, 2015, category: Software & security

Android look like Windows Phone
We all know that the Windows Phone design is the most sensible smartphone interface around. This is from a Linux user, and someone who hates Windows 8.X on the desktop. Therefore, if you disagree, go away now. If you are here to learn how to make Android prettier, please continue reading.

So yes, I own a Nokia Lumia 520, and I like it a lot. I also happen to own a Samsung S4, and I think its user interface is too cluttered. Now, Google's come up with something called Material Design, and Lollipop is supposed to be all flat and pretty, but it's just a minor alignment toward what Apple has done recently, and what Microsoft has been doing for a long while with their phones. And so, I'd like to help Android users enjoy a higher form of aesthetics. Ergo, this article.

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Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca review - Oops. Nope.

updated January 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
Linux Mint is the most popular distribution out there. For many good reasons. Overall, it's exercised a healthy record of stability, consistency and quality. Now and then, it may seesaw up and down on the success ladder, but it's always in the top five category, which means the users can expect and rely on decent results for their Mint desktop experience.

The latest edition is called Rebecca, but it's still based on Trusty LTS, like the previous version. This is a smart choice, and it reflects the dev team's desire not to dabble in unstable middle-of-the-road ideas and concepts that interim Ubuntu releases bring. To wit, it probably does not justify a new name, or conversely, the numbering convention should have been kept. But instead of being Mint 18, Rebecca is a 17.1 release. Slightly quirky. Let's see what it can do.

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Zorin OS 9 review - Looking good

updated January 9, 2015, category: Software & security

Zorin OS 9
It is time to give Zorin OS another look. For some random reason, I skipped the eighth edition, but the ninth will do just fine. Anyhow, officially, it is one of the top ten distros on Distrowatch, even though it does not fare highly on my annual vote poll. Why, me wonders ever so often. But then, looking at my previous experiences, you win some, you lose some.

Now, I must think of a nice cliche that goes well with this distro's name. Ah yes. Zorin, the villain from A View to a Kill, a very nice James Bond movie, and probably the best villain to date. So there. Follow me, please.

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Cometdocs - Let the converted files rain down on me

updated January 7, 2015, category: Software & security

We have seen cometdocs in action many many years back, in my compilation on free online conversion tools and sites. Alongside several other rivals, cometdocs offered users a service of transforming their office files to PDF and vice versa. After the article came up, several years later actually, the cometdocs folks contacted me and asked me to give their software another try. I obliged, with the usual many-months long delay due to my ultra busy writing pipeline. A similar story to the AOMEI Partition Assistant testing.

Now, we shall revisit cometdocs and see how well the programs works, and whether it can be really useful to ordinary people. We will try it both in Windows and Linux, and the simple question of practical day to day use comes to mind. Let's see.

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AOMEI Partition Assistant review

updated January 5, 2015, category: Software & security

AOMEI Partition Assistant
Some time back, one of the AOMEI marketing folks contacted me and asked that I review the free edition of their disk partition management software, available for Windows users. At first I was a little skeptical. Why would anyone need a tool other than GParted to manage their disks? But then, not everyone is a Linux user.

With the global audience in mind, I decided to try this tool and see whether it can fill the gap between the somewhat rudimentary utility natively available in Windows and other, more nerdy methods of booting into a live Linux session and slicing and dicing the disks from yonder. Here be a review of AOMEI PA Standard Edition 5.5. After me.

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Steampunk crossbow and pistol design

updated January 3, 2015, category: 3D art

Steampunk & crossbow
One day, I just woke up and decided to try to sketch a crossbow. And a pistol. And make them into one wicked device. Victorian Age style thingie. Van Helsing, too. So, I ended up with the 3D model and gallery that you're just about to check. My latest invention is a combined crossbow and revolver pistol inspired by the repeating weapon used by the legendary monster hunter in the name sake movie, as well as genuine 15th century German matchlock revolvers. Should be interested.

As always, I did the early design in SketchUp, then exported the model to Kerkythea, applied some texture, and made it all very realistic. I tried my best, and I honestly believe this is my most complete and handsome model yet, especially because it has a lot of curves and bulges and non-linear shapes. Then, it's also resting on the ground, and it comes with its crossbow bolts. Really dramatic. Follow me.

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Opel Corsa OPC long-term review - Raw and fun

updated January 2, 2015, category: Car reviews

Opel Corsa OPC
You probably remember my first review of Opel Corsa OPC - Vauxhall Corsa VXR for the colonial readers, in which I highlighted just how impressed I was with the acceleration, handling and the grip of this little hot hatch, especially when compared and pitted against the likes of Peugeot 208 GTi and Skoda Octavia vRS.

Anyhow, my impression translated into a click, which means a buy, and so here we are, with Opel Corsa OPC for a long-term drive, and that means all kinds of feedback and whatnot. We will revisit all those fine and less fine things that we saw in the initial test, and follow up with some more prose and fine imagery. Yes.

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elementary OS 0.3 Freya beta review

updated December 31, 2014, category: Software & security

Elementary OS 0.3 Freya
This happens to be one of them distros what mystifies me, good and bad. On one hand, it seems to be very popular, if you look at the Distrowatch rank listing, or consult my best distro of the year vote readers' choice section, where a rather handsome portion of the audience chose elementary as their favorite spin. It's only officially at version 0.2, the last stable release was unleashed unto the nerdy crowds some 16 months back, and the latest beta is still only at version 0.3, and taking its time.

Neither the first nor the second dot oh something release managed to impress me. The desktop environment was pretty and cool, but the overall composition was quite buggy. And this brings me to the other hand of the argument. I kind of want to review it again, despite all of the above. Testing 0.3 Freya, beta. Here we go. Happy New Year!

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And so Mozilla gave us tiles

updated December 29, 2014, category: Software & security

Firefox tiles
In mid-November, sponsored tiles were finally unleashed unto the world, and first-time Firefox users got a unique and exciting new experience with the new tab page. Just kidding. But words like unique and exciting are the bee's knees nowadays.

Anyhow, I told you what I think of Firefox 29 and the Directory Tiles scheme. For the latter, I focused on the honesty part of this whole deal, but now that the actual content has been realized into a product, i.e. ads, let's have a lovely, factual discussion. Let's see how this sponsored stuff really works, and whether it bring any value to the user. A fair test.

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HTML? What is this wondrous technology?

updated December 27, 2014, category: Software & security

HTML editors
In this modern, decadent age of Drupal, WordPress and friends, it is all too easy to create a Web site and get underway. Throw in rich, powerful Web-based publishing services like Blogspot and, and there's little to no incentive for a young, entrepreneuring blogger to invest a large amount of time in understanding and learning the underlying fundamentals of site creation. And yet, there is.

Recently, I've worked on redesigning a basic WordPress template into a flexible, dynamic design for one of my hobby-on-the-site websites, and while doing that, I realized how much core knowledge is really needed to get your site to a professional level. Anyone can publish stuff, but the moment you want to edit some of the styling, dig deep into CSS, and really make changes, you must have at least some familiarity with the Web and its language. Which brings me to our topic. Does anyone still do pure HTML?

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Macbuntu strikes again, and we likes it!

updated December 26, 2014, category: Software & security

Remember Macbuntu? It's a MAC OS X transformation pack for Ubuntu, which lets you tweak your Ubuntu desktop into looking like an Apple's offering. I have tried it about four years ago, on Lucid, but haven't played with the software since Unity replaced Gnome 2 as the desktop environment. I decided it was time for another attempt.

If you read online, you will find multiple references to Macbuntu, so it can be a little confusing. There's the SourceForge hosted project, and there's the initiative by Noobslab, who have packaged together a handful of PPA and scripts to help you refashion your Unity desktop in a modular and easily reversible way. We checked.

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Fedora 21 review - Uh, not again

updated December 24, 2014, category: Software & security

Fedora 21 KDE
The latest release of Fedora bears the most imaginative name evar. Fedora Twenty-One. Shiver me timbers. But never mind. I liked Fedora 20 a lot. I actually let it join the hallowed list of best distros for 2014. Now, we test the successor release.

So let us test. As always, I will go with the KDE edition, because I can't stand the Gnome one, and it's pointless anyway. We will be running our little experiment, ja, on my quad-boot test laptop, with SSD and Intel graphics. Let's go.

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BMW X3 xDrive30d review - Pimp it up!

updated December 22, 2014, category: Car reviews

BMW X3 xDrive30d
A friend of mine is a gangsta. No, not really, but he likes his cars. Which is why he bought an X3, and let me slobber over his expensive seats. Well, he actually let me drive this thing. Now, as you might imagine, with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter diesel, 8-speed ZF automatic and on-demand all-wheel drive known as xDrive, this ought to be interesting. Kind of Audi A6 interesting.

So, today, we're gonna do another fancy test. A car for not-quite mortals. But if you're an executive, a diplomat, or just have enough spare cash, then you might want to consider BMW X3. To help you with your decision, I'm gonna do my usual share of road fun. Follow me.

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Why aren't we using ekranoplans?

updated December 20, 2014, category: Hillbilly physics

If you're wondering what ekranoplans are, they are also known as Wing-in-Ground (WIG) effect vehicles and Ground Effect Vehicles (GEV). In other words, ekranoplans are a bastard concept that does not fit any one conventional category easily. Not a plane, not a ship, not a hydrofoil, not a hovercraft, not anything. But the closest analogy would be: big, heavy low-flying aircraft.

Yes, ekranoplans are fascinating because of the whole range of physics and technology concepts that they so deceptively cover, as well as the practical usage they could have. Imagine a transportation vehicle that lands on the sea, just like a conventional seaplane. But it is not a seaplane, because its flight range is mostly restricted to very low altitudes above the sea, in fair weather conditions. Then, size-wise they are like ships, only much faster. Finally, they might also be used over the ground, making them just like ordinary aircraft. Confused? Good.

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And the best distro of 2014 is ...

updated December 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Best distro of 2014
Let's vote. Put on your red shoes and ... let's focus on Linux. End of the year, many a review, much experience, such wow, and similar. But it's been an interesting year indeed, with lots of great and not so great distros coming and going. However, what I find really spectacular is that nothing major happened. Ubuntu's latest LTS is probably the biggest news, and we missed such milestones as Steam Box, Mir, Wayland, Ubuntu phone, and many other cool concepts that got delayed or canceled altogether.

Still, we must select the best performer of 2014, and there's a handsome pool to choose from. Recently, we voted on the best KDE and Xfce flavors, and now we will do a more generic contest, which spans the chasm of ideology and desktop environments. Now, please, follow me.

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Ribbons of steel

updated December 17, 2014, category: 3D art

Interior design, metal & wood
Just to be on the safe side, I want to emphasize that this interior design article, like all other interior design articles featured on Dedoimedo, was written by my wife. I mentioned this in her glass piece, too. This way we can avoid, although not necessarily so, funny hate mail and whatnot. The point is, SketchUp, Kerkythea, 3D renders, and such. Now, her words, below.

This one was inspired during a dinner with friends. They have the most amazing dining set of table and chairs, all natural, hand carved pine. The chairs, in particular, were extremely comfortable for, let's face it, a block of wood. And even though the chairs were modern in style, the table itself looked very traditional. It was then I had the idea of combining warped metal with the natural wood for a more modern effect.

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Kali Linux review

updated December 15, 2014, category: Software & security

Kali Linux
A friend of mine suggested I try this distro. Now, I often use phrases like 'a friend of mine' or 'a colleague of mine' to create a feeling that I have a rich social life and that people actually care about what I write and such. But I do. I really do. Anyhow, let's try Kali.

The real reason for testing this forensics and pentesting distro is my T400 laptop. To this day, there's not a single distro out there that has successfully managed to use its Wireless card without subsequent network crashes. This friend mentioned how Kali comes with a completely reworked network stack, and that it might actually fix the problem. And no, I do not have cliche slogans or catchy titles revolving around the use of the word Kali. Follow me.

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Holiday season = free book gifts!

updated December 13, 2014, category: Books

Free books
As simple as that. The holiday season is upon us, and as my loyal readers, you get a whole bunch of gifts. Mostly books. In the coming weeks, the three volumes in The Lost Words series will be free for download for an amazing total of ten days. You read it right. Ten days!

The Forgotten will be available for free on December 17-19, followed by The Broken, available between December 22-24. Lastly, The Betrayed will be up for grabs for four days, December 26-29. All of the free deals start from midnight on specified dates, Pacific Standard Time. Amazon Kindle edition, of course. You really ought to make sure your e-book readers and browsers are oiled and ready for action. And don't forget the gadget contest!

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Best Xfce distro of 2014

updated December 13, 2014, category: Software & security

Best Xfce distro of 2014
You know the drill. 'Tis a fun drill. We vote for the best distribution plus its associated desktop environment, of the year. Several days back, we discussed KDE, and today, we will talk about Xfce, the desktop that broke through the thick sheet of irrelevance like a nuclear submarine surfacing from underneath the arctic ice caps, and became one of the leading choices for Linux users out there.

Sure, we cannot disregard Unity, or Cinnamon, but those are singular choices for particular distributions, whereas Xfce happily abides in many a developer house. What's more, it's grown and matured and become pretty and more than just useful, while still being perfectly capable of reviving old machines as well as being posh and modern on the latest hardware. And that's why we are doing this little contest here. Our players for this round are, in no particular order.

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Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 UHD 4K review - Amazing

updated December 12, 2014, category: Software & security

Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70 UHD 4K laptop
A friend of mine emailed me several days ago, with a link to my favorite PC store, pointing to a 15.6-inch Lenovo laptop, with a UHD 4K display, a serious graphics card, 16GB RAM, and a few other goodies, all for a bargain price of USD1,540. So I bought it.

And thus, we have a review here, of my latest toy. A serious one, mind. Unlike most my other laptops, which were always low-mid to middling range in terms of raw performance, this one promises to be a real contender, and even become my main gaming rig. But before we do all that, let me tell you about this machine.

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Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn - Quite brilliant

updated December 10, 2014, category: Software & security

Xubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn
Time to try another Ubuntu derivative. Xubuntu has been kind of a second league player for many years, but then it suddenly got awesome, and it grew on me like fungus only in a good way, and it's been getting better and better and slicker all the time. For real.

Trusty was truly excellent. But now we need to make sure there's no regression, the kind of like what happened with Unicorn in its official flavor. Remember, Xfce has become a beautiful and highly viable alternative to most other desktops out there. So let's commence the testing, shall we.

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How to handle SD cards formatted as exFAT in Linux

updated December 8, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux & exFAT
If you're a Linux user, you may encounter this issue should you put your hands on an SD card with a capacity exceeding 32GB. In that case, most likely, the little piece of Flash memory will have been formatted with exFAT instead of plain FAT32, and the moment you insert the card into a laptop slot, the system will complain. No way to handle and mount this thingie, what now?

In this ultra-simple and short tutorial, I will show you how you can breeze your way through the problem. Really, it's almost too trivial to write about, but then big problems are just clusters of tiny problems, waiting to be resolved one at a time. Please follow me.

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Best KDE distro of 2014

updated December 6, 2014, category: Software & security

Best KDE distro of 2014
The end is nigh. The end is upon us. We are, of course, talking about the end of the calendar year, and this means voting for the best of the best. In a few days, we will have the grand Dedoimedo best distro contest, but before we do that, let's do a more specific vote. Namely, let's elect the finest KDE distro of the current year.

We did this last year, and the winner was Kubuntu Ringtail. It proved out to be a very solid, polished distribution, with good stability and good looks. Now, why would you care? Well, because Linux is in a state of vacuum, and KDE is one of the last remaining veterans of the old guard. However, that should not worry you. In fact, you should be glad, because not only do we have KDE4, there's also Plasma 5, and that makes this vote as well as the future all the more intriguing. Let us begin then, and yes, for those asking, we will have a similar round of votes for Xfce very soon. Now, to business.

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Windows 10 Tech Preview keylogging - Cry me a river

updated December 5, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 10 keylogging
The reasons why I haven't ranted and whined and spread fear about the alleged story of a keylogger in Windows 10 Technical Preview are many. One, instead of writing populistic articles designed to spread panic and garner clicks, I focused on actually studying the problem and deciding whether it is a problem. Two, I wanted to let everyone else write whatever they want, and then give you a calm and calculated outlook on the issue at hand.

We had the same thing with the NSA surveillance, and let's not forget the rumors about the Secure Boot thingie, which turned out to be not as biggie as everyone made it. Then, Heartbleed was another hot topic. Now, Microsoft is once again in the crosshairs, and that's because they want to collect data during a beta program. Let's elaborate.

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CentOS 7 - The perfect desktop, second guide!

updated December 3, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 perfect desktop, second guide
If you have been following Dedoimedo recently, as you should, then you have read a whole bunch of CentOS 7 related articles, which show how this standard enterprise distribution can be tamed for home use with great success.

I won't claim that CentOS 7 is divine. The fact you need to use external channels to supplement your binary vitamins is a little troubling, especially since those sources can change, break and whatnot. But for geeks seeking long-term peace of mind, stability and quality, it's a reasonable compromise. We had one comprehensive guide showing us how to make a CentOS 7 desktop perfect. Now, here's another.

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Best distro of 2014 poll

updated December 1, 2014, category: Software & security

Best distro vote
Normally, I don't do this kind of thing. But this year, I decided to be benevolent and ask you what you think the best Linux distribution of 2014 might be. And so we will be doing this poll here, for about two weeks. After that I'm going to publish my annual nominations, and include your own popular vote in the article.

Anyhow, the poll comes with ten available choices, for the top ten distributions as seen on Distrowatch. But there's also a free field plus comments, so you can add your own votes, in case they are not featured in the predefined options. I hope you will exercise your right, and if not, well this is going to an embarrassing experiment in how to be forever alone. So let's see.

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No sound in Skype 4.3 on Linux - Solution

updated December 1, 2014, category: Software & security

Skype 4.3 & sound
The problem you are facing is as follows. You are using Skype on Linux. Until recently, everything has been working fine, and you had audio and video, without any problems. Then, suddenly, following an upgrade to Skype 4.3, you no longer get any sound.

This little tutorial will help you understand the scope of the problem and how to fix it. Of course, your issue might be completely unrelated, but I believe this guide will give you some really decent pointers and lead you toward a resolution. Please follow me.

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GoPro HERO3+ Silver Edition review

updated November 29, 2014, category: Software & security

GoPro HERO3+ Silver
Hello, guys. Yes, GoPro HERO4 is out, which means reviewing the older version of this highly versatile high-performance life capture [sic] camera might sound like a wrong idea. On the contrary, it's a great way to sample the technology before you decide committing to a new model, plus the prices are bound to go down.

The reason why I bought a GoPro are many. One, I will be using this camera for my car reviews and on-track sessions. Two, why not. Three, you will be enjoying another kickass article, laced with humor and suchlike. So let us begin then.

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Ubuntu 14.10 MATE edition - Almost fabulous

updated November 28, 2014, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 14.10 + MATE
As you all know, MATE is a desktop environment. Contrary to popular belief, it's not named after a South American beverage, but rather after the Croatian singer Mate Bulic. Just kidding. It's actually named after the Croatian football player Mate Bilic. Booyakasha.

Anyhow, Utopic Unicorn in its original Unity flavor disappointed me sorely, I actually had to exercise violence within my domicile. But then I decided to try Ubuntu MATE, which is a modern version of Ubuntu with the reincarnated old Gnome 2. Plus a dozen emails from you may have also affected my decision. But I must appear tough, so I won't admit being nice.

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Firefox alternatives

updated November 26, 2014, category: Software & security

Firefox alternatives
For many people, the release of Firefox 29 unto the market signified a symbolic death of Mozilla's flagship product, the Firefox browser. The specific edition came out with looks barely indistinguishable from Chrome, and with a big drop in UI productivity. As a result, a large number of Firefox users started prowling the Web, searching for alternatives.

In this article, I'll try to provide some, without linking to my rather R-rated review of Firefox 29 and the tutorial on how to transform it into a usable application. You can search for those, if you like. We will be focusing entirely on Gecko-based browsers, because moving to Chrome or Internet Explorer or any other software has never been an issue. Nor the big emotional dilemma we're facing here. The question is, can Firefox lovers continue enjoying Firefox, or better, something that resembles Firefox in spirit if not in name? Plus, we will examine this from the perspective of Linux users, because they have it much harder than Windows folks.

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Netrunner Rolling 2014.04 - This time, we need the goats

updated November 24, 2014, category: Software & security

Netrunner Rolling 2014.09
Netrunner Rolling distro release is a very interesting concepts, on many level. It's a KDE desktop, based on Arch and Manjaro, the latter also being partially based on Arch itself, plus it comes with a rolling update model. A far cry from the typical asterisk-buntu philosophy that pervades most of the market.

In the canonical notation, Netrunner Rolling is actually an Arch-Arch-Manjaro distro, and this actually sounds like Ice Ice Baby, only geekier. Arch, Arch, Manjaro. Tam dam dam da da dam dam. Sort of. Anyhow, we have a new edition out there. 2014.09. So let's see if it's any good. The previous one surprised, immensely. Follow me.

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Stupid stuff what I encountered

updated November 22, 2014, category: Stupid stuff

Stupid & funny
After reading my Funny stuff what I encountered article, you must probably be craving NOT for more stuff of the same high caliber. Indeed, it is time for something resembling a sequel. Less software more interesting things from all aspects of life, hence this section.

Let us then take a look at some of the randomly silly and yet curiously humorous and ever so gently cretinous ideas and concepts that came about in the past few years. Not quite the stellar candidates for my Greatest sites section, but good enough to merit a handful of paragraphs here. To wit.

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OpenSUSE 13.2 review - Back in the game!

updated November 21, 2014, category: Software & security

openSUSE 13.2
For me, openSUSE has always been a special distro. THE first distro. I've kept on using loyally it for many years, even as Ubuntu started making huge progress and stealing major portions of the Linux market share. But then, with the release of the 12th edition, something big changed. The magic evaporated.

Since, my heart has not really been captivated by SUSE. Not like it used to be. It works fine, but never perfectly, never up to its full potential. Similarly, the last version, with so much beauty and style, it could have been the lead distro of the year, and yet it failed to do that. So maybe openSUSE 13.2 will spark the green chameleon renaissance. Let's see.

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Scientific Linux 7 - Poorly executed

updated November 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Scientific Linux 7
Apart from CentOS, another distro I have really been waiting to explore is Scientific Linux. With its solid RedHat base plus extra software, it could be an excellent contender for the ultimate desktop distro. And so our quest continues.

What will amaze you even more is my decision to try the Gnome edition. Yup, after some three years of ignoring Gnome due to its stupidity, I decided to give it another try, just for fun, to see what gives. Maybe it can redeem itself, or be redeemed by Scientific Linux. Either way, it's an interesting test.

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Opel Astra triple review!

updated November 17, 2014, category: Car reviews

Opel Astra triple review
One of the perks of working in a hi-tech company is that most people around you have predictable patterns. We won't really call them borgs, zombies, code monkeys, or anything untoward like that. Simply homogenous in every sense, including their taste in cars. Thus, when you have three chums, one who drives an Astra five-door hatch, another who drives an Astra Sports Tourer station, and the third bloke who transports himself in an Astra Berlina sedan, you have a triple review. W00t!

Anyhow, three generous people let me monkey about around their Astras, for the sake of this review. Plus, I ended up driving one for a whole week, which adds to what I can write in this little article. Anyhow, all of the tested vehicles had the standard trim level, a 1.4-liter turbo-charged engine, and a six-speed auto gearbox. Concordingly, this review. Ergo.

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Microsoft EMET 5 review - Familiar goodness

updated November 15, 2014, category: Software & security

Microsoft EMET 5.0
If you've come around here before, you will have noticed a bunch of interesting things: Fascination with goats and minefields, humor de la extreme and yes, talk about EMET, which happens to stand for Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit, a software created by Microsoft and designed to stop all kinds of exploits from pwning your boxen. In reality, it's more than that. It's a good coding ninja. Fail your OOP and the program goes down.

I really love the concept. Add your program into the EMET list, and from that moment on, it is monitored for violations in the memory space. It might be totally legit, but if it decides to misbehave, it will be stopped. That's what EMET does, and that's what makes it totally superior to all those would-be anti-malware nonsense programs. And now, we are going to take a look at the latest version five dot oh or one, whichever you prefer, and see what's new on the block. Follow me.

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Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn with Plasma guns!

updated November 14, 2014, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 14.10 + Plasma 5 review
Ubuntu family experience, take three. We had two reviews so far - like duh! - the first being all about Ubuntu. It was a massive failure, because screenshots did not work and the installer would not format partitions. Then, I tested Kubuntu 14.10, and it worked rather well, albeit with some restraint and boredom ingrained in its DNA.

Now, we will try to make the Kubuntu experience more magnificent. We will be riding majestic fiery steeds, flying through coruscating clouds and rainbows, firing Plasma cannon at the unsuspecting Linux crowds. In other words, we will attempt our luck at the technical preview of Plasma 5, which aims to replace the classic KDE4 framework. Let's go.

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Foldit - In the name of science, solve thy puzzles!

updated November 12, 2014, category: Software & security

Protein folding is one of the big challenges in modern science. In a nutshell, the fine arrangement of molecules into protein shapes determines their functionality. It may work, work badly, or not at all, and it comes down to angstrom-alignment between different bits and pieces, caused by the forces of physics. If you know the exact folding pattern, then you can essentially control the protein as you see fit.

Sounds easier than it is. Indeed, millions of computers worldwide are busy trying to fold proteins 24/7, testing a virtually endless number of folding options. It's done scientifically, without direct human input. However, a bunch of scientists is testing a possibility of using humans as a far more efficient alternative. In other words, we could use our spatial awareness to figure out geometric alignments in seconds, which could take a typical computer years to solve. Which is where Foldit comes in.

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Opel Adam review - A feisty little car

updated November 10, 2014, category: Car reviews

Opel Adam
The story behind how I got to test Opel Adam is quite interesting, and maybe even sad. Having found myself owning an Opel Corsa OPC after an amazing initial experience during the test drive, the car ended up in the service shop less than 24 hours after the delivery, due to a faulty A/C unit. Which meant the Opel folk were quite embarrassed and they handed me over their Adam demo unit without argument, while my hot hatch was being mended and taken apart, losing its pristine virginity.

But the upside of this story is that I had an Adam in my hands, with nary 1,800 km on its clock, and a whole week to play with it, driving around, cruisin', doing all the pimpy stuff that posh neo-urbanite pimps like me do, especially when they find themselves seated in a posh little car like Opel Adam. We review.

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Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn - That's better

updated November 8, 2014, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review
You must remember my Ubuntu 14.10 review from just a few days back. You must. It was a monumental, unexpected failure that soured my weekend and made me feel like a fool. Which is why I hurried with the Kubuntu testing, to try to restore my sanity.

In fact, we will be having two reviews. A standard one, featuring the KDE4 desktop framework, and then one with the brand new Plasma 5 tech preview, which should be a total blast, given my previous experience. Our test box is an old T61 machine, with aging Intel graphics, but decent performance due to a couple of cores, 2GB RAM and two SSD. It did not cooperate well with Ubuntu, after a hundred splendid distro reviews in the past years, so let's see how it fared with Kubuntu.

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The Forgotten is free for download!

updated November 7, 2014, category: Books

The Forgotten, free books
Hear, hear. This very moment, Friday through Saturday, November 7-8, The Forgotten, the third and penultimate volume in my The Lost Words allegedly grimdark series, is free for download on Amazon Kindle! This means, you ought to exercise your mouse clicks. Right now.

I would also like to remind you that by writing honest reviews and posting them on Amazon and Goodreads, plus informing me about that beforehand, of course, allows you to enter the Dedoimedo 2014 contest and maybe win some fancy electronics. All this by reading and nothing more. Do it.

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Linux on the down low - Your responses

updated November 7, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux on the down low - responses
Several weeks back, I wrote a possibly worrying article about the lack of enthusiasm and activity in the Linux community in the past few months, reflected in reduced chatter and passion in the forums, fewer news, Linux-oriented sites closing down, and a general attitude of meh. The responses were many and varied.

I was surprised by the number of people who mailed in their opinion, showing that not all is lost, and that there is still hope. More importantly, the range of ideas and theories you offered is quite astonishing. It's always interesting to learn how people think, and delightful to be amazed by someone's thoughts. Ergo, this article.

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Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review - No rainbows

updated November 5, 2014, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn review
Autumn season, rain and distros, both hailing down on us, like the proverbial, eh, rain. Yes, twice a year, developers pump out fresh releases from their digital forges, and our never ending hunt for the perfect distro begins anew. With Trusty having set the bar so high, the challenge is ever more so exhilarating.

As always, I will begin with Ubuntu, then slowly branch onto the multi-lettered siblings of the family, and then test other distributions. The latest Canonical release is named Utopic Unicorn, and it's a somewhat silly name. But then, what does it matter. Follow me.

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Dual boot: Windows 7 and CentOS 7 - Tutorial

updated November 3, 2014, category: Software & security

Dual boot: Windows 7 & CentOS 7
Here's another very important article. You know I love CentOS, and with the latest version out there, plus some honest desktop pimping, the emotion is even more powerful. So let's notch it up. How about dual-booting, Windows and CentOS, both versions 7?

Indeed, today, I will expand on my recent exploration of CentOS and show you how to install this operating system in a side-by-side configuration with Windows. The nice part is, the basic concept remains true for all versions of Windows, so if you're running later editions, then this tutorial is also good for you. Follow me.

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Hyundai Elantra review

updated November 1, 2014, category: Cars

Hyundai Elantra 1.8
We are back in the United States, for another review of a car with automatic transmission. This time, it's Hyundai Elantra, driven and tested for a period of about a week across California and Nevada. It's a medium-sized family car, designed to lug honest tax payers and their children about. Well, in the USA, it's labeled a compact car, but size isn't everything, right.

I will try to spill as much experience as possible onto the proverbial paper, but with just a handful of days of driving about, you won't get any long-term impressions, any big faults or issues. Still, it's a worthy experiment, and with a recent Jetta review, you will get a nice comparison into how each drives and what it offers to the prospective buyer. Follow me.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 5: Mail clients

updated October 31, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows to Linux - Mail
October 31 is supposedly supposed to be a frightening date, especially when it falls on Friday. Go figure. But no need for that. In fact, it's a happy date, because we are going to continue our Windows to Linux migration saga with a brand new chapter, and this one discusses the delicate topic of mail clients. I have never given a proper overview of this subject before, like ever, so this is a fantastic debut.

More specifically, we will discuss a handful of mail client software offerings available on a typical Linux distribution, talk briefly about how to set them up, and finally learn about the little tweaks and tricks needed to get everything working smoothly. We shall use Linux Mint as the test bed. Now, I did promise we would be trying different distros for different parts of our migration journey, but just to be random and unpredictable, I went for Mint once again. No beef. Follow me.

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I'm green, if I were blue I would die

updated October 29, 2014, category: Hillbilly physics

Not everything is green. There are so many beautiful colors in the visible spectrum, and yet, nowadays, the only color that counts seems to be green. Everything and anything we do gets a green hype. Which is the reason why I'm writing this article, to discuss the unnecessary overload and focus on going would-be ecological at all costs, regardless of the topic.

Cars, personal hygiene, industry, even your diet, everything gets automatically associated with the so-called healthy lifestyles. Only there's a whole bunch of problems with the concept, and we will discuss them all today, from the physical perspective of things. Let us.

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Dedoimedo at LinuxCon Europe!

updated October 27, 2014, category: Software & security

LinuxCon Europe 2014 & Dedoimedo
Some of you may have noticed that I have been silent for about a week and a half in the middle of October, and the simple reason for that was, I was away, attending, and more importantly, presenting at LinuxCon in Dusseldorf, Germany. Yay.

Anyhow, I thought it would be a nice opportunity to give you a little spiel on how it all went and what happened there. After all, it's one of the more important if not the most important conference related to Linux, so this is a good opportunity to retell the event, first hand experience. Please follow me.

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How to download Youtube video thumbnails

updated October 25, 2014, category: Software & security

Youtube thumbnails
I hate it when people use a suggestive thumbnail for their videos, only to discover that the mediocre content has nothing to do with the little image, or with the title, or anything. Don't you? Now, I do understand the world revolves around utilitarian smut, and videos that mislead in their promise thereof should be penalized. But that's not why we are here.

I want to teach you a somewhat convoluted but effective way of getting video thumbnails downloaded. In the past, you could pause the playback and download the image easily. Recently, it's become a little trickier. We will do this without PHP, API and other geeky tricks. Just you and your browser.

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How to fix in Windows 8.1 boot errors in VirtualBox

updated October 24, 2014, category: Software & security

VirtualBox & Windows 8
Windows 8 might soon be going away, which is why the notion of using it as a guest operating system in a virtual machine is more appealing than ever before. Hence, this article. Hence, this situation you are facing. You are trying to boot one of the 64-bit Windows 8.X family operating systems as a guest in VirtualBox. This may be Windows 8 or higher. Either way, the initial boot fails within seconds, and the virtual machine must be closed. The Error Code you get is: 0x000000C4.

This article will show you how to work around this small but cool issue so that you can install Windows 8.1 as a guest operating system inside VirtualBox. You will also learn a little about the nerdy things that happen in the background. Follow me.

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HERE offline navigation application for Android

updated October 11, 2014, category: Software & security

HERE for Android
One of the many advantages that Nokia phones have over their competitors is the presence of free, offline navigation software, in the form of Ovi and HERE Maps, the latter installed and configured on the Lumia line of products. Indeed, this has always been one of the critical arguments I used against Android and the likes. No more.

Recently, HERE maps have also become available for Android. True, we're talking beta software, and at the moment, it's available from the Samsung store, which means you will need a Samsung device to test and play. In my case, an S4 bricklet. Later, this should become available for all Android platforms. But let's see what gives.

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Marble is not just a rock, it's software, too

updated October 10, 2014, category: Software & security

Marble, the one we are referring to here, is a free, open-source world atlas and virtual globe software somewhat akin to Google Earth and friends. It is also a part of the KDE software suite, which makes it even more interesting. Now, it's no stranger, either, and we have seen this little tool in action a few years back.

I decided to re-explore [sic] Marble once again and see what it can offer, especially now that version 1.9 has been released. Sadly, the new build is only available for Windows at the moment. Ironic, is it not. The version present in most distro repos is still held back at 1.8, but that ought to be enough. I did run the new edition in Windows 7, for comparison's sake, and I could not see any huge changes, so we will have to do with a slightly older version. Follow me.

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Mandelbulber - 3D fractal explorer

updated October 9, 2014, category: Software & security

If you are even remotely interested in science, then you have heard about the fascinating concept of fractals, a mathematical set that displays self-similar patterns. You'd assume this is a strictly theoretical domain, but it turns out, our nature is teeming with fractal phenomena, anywhere you look.

Lots of image manipulation programs offer 2D fractal renders, but how about 3D? This is where Mandelbulber comes into play, a cool, obscure piece of software that lets you render mind-boggling art worth of any sci-fi convention using a bit of imagination and a lot of CPU power. So let us explore.

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Steam & Skype segfaults all of a sudden - read here

updated October 6, 2014, category: Software & security

Skype & Steam segfaults
The situation you are facing is as follows. You are a Linux user, you are running a distro of your choosing, and you are using Steam and/or Skype, and have used them successfully and without any problems for a while. Only suddenly, they no longer load, and they seem to die. You are skilled enough to run them from the command line to see what the problem might be, and you discover that they both die with a segmentation fault.

Normally, segmentation faults indicate a problem in code somewhere, but you're not really sure how, where and why. In this tutorial, we will explore the problem, learn how to analyze these kind of issues, and eventually solve them. Follow me.

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Windows 10 review - A good Start

updated October 4, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 10 Preview
Good day, ladies and gentlemen! Exactly approximately two and a half years after the ultra-controversial Windows 8 Consumer Preview was unleashed unto the Internet masses, we now have the latest and possibly greatest Microsoft operating system release available for early exploration. Released at the beginning of October, Windows 10 is a hallmark version for several reasons. One, Redmond guys have skipped a number, golly. Two, it might redeem the company from the two and a half years of failure inflicted by the previous release.

Since my techno barometer is absolutely accurate, which you can now totally relate to after reading my Consumer Preview and Enterprise RTM review, my verdict today shall signify the market success of Windows 10 in the coming years. So it is quite crucial that you read on and see what I have to say. Right now.

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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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