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Voyager X8 Debian review

updated July 29, 2015, category: Software & security

Voyager X8
It survived. It survived! Back in 2012, I tested this little distro and wasn't too impressed with the result. I also thought it might come and go as some other brave players. But it marched on, and now, it's a whole family of Ubuntu and Debian derivatives.

I would like to take Voyager for another spin. Choosing the right version wasn't too easy, so I decided to go with the Xfce-flavored X8, a Jessie-based edition, with some extra modifications designed to make it simple, elegant and accessible. We will be testing on my EFI-powered G50 laptop, and use a lot of pseudo-French words in the process. Follow me.

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Steam in SteamOS 2.0 Beta hangs? Solution.

updated July 18, 2015, category: Software & security

SteamOS 2.0 Beta & OpenGL errors
All right. So the situation is as follows. You have just installed SteamOS 2.0 Beta, after having read about it and gotten all excited. You have followed my guide on how to get the system running in VirtualBox. You even have the Guest Additions piece figured out. However, when you try to launch Steam it hangs.

The errors you see, when you attempt to launch the program from the command line, reads something like Installing breakpad exception handler and libGL error: failed to get magic and along those lines. You want to fix this, don't you. Let's do it.

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SteamOS 2.0 Beta review - Commencing countdown

updated July 17, 2015, category: Software & security

SteamOS 2.0 Beta
It's been seven hours and fifteen months since my last SteamOS review. Now, there's a new beta version out there, labeled 2.0 Brewmaster, and it brings a fresh bunch of improvements and fixes on top of a solid base, plus Debian 8.1 internals.

The official statement says this image could ruin your computer, and concordingly, ipso facto, ergo, your mood, so you are most warmly advised not to test on any production machines. For me, this meant no games on me G50 laptop. Instead, I would have to slake my thirst in the world of virtualization, using VirtualBox. The same rules and limitations from the last attempt fully apply, and then some. Let's take a look, shall we.

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Gmusicbrowser - Forget the name, enjoy the songs

updated July 15, 2015, category: Software & security

t is pronounced with a hard g, methinks. If you think about it, a better name would have been gnusicbrowser. That could have been hilarious! Either way, gmusicbrowser is an open-source media player for Gnome and Xfce desktops, designed to be lightweight, fast, elegant and highly skinnable, in complete contrast to its multi-syllable label.

I have come across this jukebox many times before, and often, it'd impress me with how much it offers. True, sometimes it'd be a little stubborn or buggy, but overall, it did its job well, and so it warranted a whole review to itself. So let's explore some more, shall we.

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Google Chrome hotword privacy concerns - What and how

updated July 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Chrome & voicesearch hotword
If there's one thing the would-be tech media does well, it is to jump onto the hype wagon, monger fear, and blast off unverified, incomplete stories related to privacy and security. One such story relates to the capability present in Google Chrome and Chromium, which allows you to use the 'OK, Google' hotword in new tabs and Google search pages.

This is nothing new, but the story exploded when a Debian user reported a new, closed-source blob in his download of Chromium 43. This caused the wider community to go crazy, accuse Google of working hand in hand with spy agencies, a variety of orifices were violated, and people moved on to other browsers. Now, one thing that the tech media does not do well is actually HELP people fix the problem. So maybe Chrome or Chromium are spying on you. Is there a way to mitigate this? Let me show you.

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Virtualbox 5.0 - One step closer to the Matrix

updated July 11, 2015, category: Software & security

VirtualBox 5.0
Nary a day ago, VirtualBox 5.0 was released, the latest edition in what is now an Oracle virtualization product. Reading through the official press release, some big words are used, including Docker and OpenStack, which help emphasize how important the cloud has become, and how all big players are trying to establish their dominance in this double-digit-growing field.

Oracle is no exception, and VirtualBox 5.0 brings in a range of useful changes and improvements that truly justify a whole integer increment. On paper, the list is impressive and useful. Some of it is geared toward home users, some toward server deployments, and all of it toward having a good and powerful virtualization product. Let's take a closer look.

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Docker containers networking - Tutorial

updated July 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker networking
Time to explore the wonders of Docker some more. We've had two tutorials so far, one focused on a very thorough introduction, where we learned all about the technology, how to run services and expose ports, how to commit and build images with Dockerfiles, and a few other tricks. Then we used supervisord as a substitute to init scripts and systemd.

Today, we will learn about networking. How we can connect to our containers, how we can access the host from within spawned instances, and most importantly, how to connect from one container to another, without knowing anything about the topology in advance. This ought to be interesting. Much like the previous two guides, we'll go step by step, and explain everything in detail. After me.

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CubieBoard review - A six-sided nope

updated July 9, 2015, category: Software & security

When my friend, who gave me his ODROID box for review heard about my unsuccessful attempt of his latest purchase, he got kind of mad, and then, he handed me a CubieBoard instead, asked me to test this other gadget.

So today, I will attempt to test a cubieboard2 unit, and see whether this little device can satisfy my need for the ultimate home media center, which I have been trying to build, without much success, ever since I got my hands on a Raspberry Pi board. Till now, none of the little gadgets is as complete and friendly as the default hardware and software set of my smart TV. Let's see.

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SuperX 3.0 Grace review - Saving, ahem, grace

updated July 6, 2015, category: Software & security

SuperX 3.0 Grace
More distro slaying. Our latest candidate is SuperX 3.0 Grace. This distro is no stranger to Dedoimedo, and I've tested it before, with mediocre results. It did offer a unique streak, and it came with some lovely results that you don't get anywhere else. However, it was nowhere near good as its claimed business-like mission statement.

It is time for a second chance, with the latest edition, which claims Debian and Ubuntu LTS roots, or rather Kubuntu. We will be doing all of that with my newest laptop, which has no less than seven or eight other distros and Windows flavors installed at any given time, so it's going to be a good, raw, challenging experiment. After me.

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X-Plane flight simulator review - Are you committed?

updated July 4, 2015, category: Computer games

Most people think they have serious hobbies, that they invest time and money perfecting these hobbies. But then you come across a would-be innocent flight simulator software like X-Plane, and you realize how wrong you are. The full game weighs some 85GB, and it costs a non-meager USD59.99. But that's just the game. Let's not forget the fact you can accessorize your flight experience with thousands of dollars worth of flight equipment, including seats, pedals, controls, and such. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing X-Plane, the will sapper.

All I wanted to do was sample a game, similar to the FlightGear, which offers you a stunning range of authentic scenery, realistically modeled aircraft, and non-compromising approach to physics. And this is why I grabbed the very modest, very unassuming demo, to see what this piece of code can do. In no way can I claim anything but a trivial one-hour experience, but it should suffice to deliver the message. This review.

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ChaletOS 14.04.2 review - Digital white chocolate

updated July 3, 2015, category: Software & security

ChaletOS is a Xubuntu-derived distribution, with very little to no publicity surrounding it. Even its official domain, a humble, unassuming Google sites page, does not offer too much information. I came across ChaletOS while reading Gizmo's Freeware forums, and I was hooked by its rather stylish, colorful looks.

Since I really liked the last few incarnations of Xubuntu, I thought it could be a cool idea to try this little derivative. The motivation is similar to what Fuduntu did with Fedora; take a solid baseline and perfect it. Maybe. My test box will be the new G50 machine with its plethora of obstacles, including UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and such. Follow me.

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Scientific Linux 7.1 review - More fiasco

updated July 1, 2015, category: Software & security

Scientific Linux 7.1
I decided to be brave. I decided to give Gnome 3 another chance. And this time, on top of Scientific Linux 7.1, which was released last month or so. A decent operating system, based on RedHat, it's somewhat like CentOS, but supposedly more geared toward a scientific community. In the past, my experience has gone from solid to quite bad. But maybe this time?

Well, let's see what gives. I also have new hardware, so it's going to be interesting, especially as there's a fair amount of dread in the community regarding UEFI. Then, I will try to get a perfect kind of desktop running, if possible. Well, guessing from the title, it prolly won't happen, but you might as well lean back and enjoy the rant.

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Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Estate review - Very nice

updated June 29, 2015, category: Car reviews

Skoda Superb 2.0 TDI Estate
You know the drill. First, we do a bit of serious Euro tripping, a handful of days and a bucketload of kilometers, we show you some nice pictures and videos, and we focus on some of the core points related to our test car. Then, we do a whole separate car review. We did it with Opel Insignia, following the Croatia tour, and we are going to do the same thing with Skoda Superb, after we drove it around Germany and Belgium.

All right. So let's see what gives. The test vehicle is one Skoda Superb, a Czech large family car with German underpinnings, equipped with tons of high-quality German engineering at an affordable price, and with top of the class credentials when it comes to equipment, comfort and space. It also brings along a nice four-cylinder two-liter turbo-diesel, rated at 140 HP and 350 Nm of torque. Enough for fun on autobahn. A rhyme. Let's take a closer look, shall we.

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KDE Connect - Insieme, unite unite smartphone

updated June 27, 2015, category: Software & security

KDE Connect
When I wrote my Kubuntu Vivid review, I mentioned a tool called KDE Connect, which I wasn't quite sure what it was supposed to be doing. A bunch of you emailed me, telling me it's a nice little applet that can keep your smartphone notifications in sync with the desktop, as well as allow you to remotely control certain parts of your KDE-flavored desktop from the smartphone.

This sounds quite interesting, so I decided to give it a try. The word smartphone in the prior paragraph should not be synonymous with just any mobile operating system. At this point, it's Android, so it's pure luck that I have a spare Samsung S5 lurking about, which we will test and discuss separately. At the moment, let's focus on what KDE Connect can do.

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How to access and mount iPhone 6 in Linux - Tutorial

updated June 26, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux & iPhone mounts
Believe it or not, Dedoimedo Ripley style, I actually wrote this article twice. The first time, with an intention to rant, the second time to show you that I'm never gonna give you up, and that difficult problems can be overcome. To wit, how to use iPhone 6 like any other smartphone in your preferable Linux distribution.

If you search online, many an article promises wonders. You will be able to sync your music and videos, you will be able to download your photos and such. Sounds cool, except things aren't sometimes in sync with hopes. This article is useful in that regard, as it shatters a whole bunch of them. We commence.

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ArmA 3 DLC suckfest

updated June 24, 2015, category: Computer games

ArmA 3 DLC nonsense
There is nothing sadder than seeing your hero turn to the dark side. As it happens, Bohemia Interactive, the maker of the finest FPS franchise in the history of mankind, has decided to abandon its loyal userbase of serious, adult players and start catering to the pseudo-hipster generation of idiots by offering micro transaction services in their ArmA 3 game. Also known as downloadable content, DLC, this acronym stands for Destroy Loving Customers.

So what is this all about? Recently, I had a hefty 1.9 GB update available in ArmA 3, which I grabbed and installed, then went about playing and whatnot. In one of the missions, while trying to use some of the available vehicles, I was told that this was a locked item, and that I could purchase it if I wanted. The first thing I did was check the name of the game, and yes it was ArmA 3. Then, I took a couple of screenshots and started writing this article.

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You can leave your Fedora on

updated June 22, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora utilities
I just realized there are no fun puns involving the word Fedora, and I had to think hard before I came up with a somewhat (un)witty title. But what I really wanted to do is, talk about the Linux distribution carrying this name, and how it can be made friendlier for home users.

Why? Because Fedora ships with free software only, by default, which means that some of the common, popular stuff many people use will not be available by default. Proprietary solutions like Adobe Flash, MP3 codecs, Steam, Skype, and whole bunch of other programs will not be in the repos, and you will need to take some extra steps to get them. This little guide should make your life easier in that regard.

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Dedoimedo celebrates 9th birthday = free books

updated June 20, 2015, category: Good stuff

Dedoimedo birthday
Nine years of Dedoimedo means nine days of free books. I am delighted to announce the ninth birthday of my main website, to wit, we are going to have nine days of literary partying. The three books, The Betrayed, The Broken, and the Forgotten will each be available for three days on Amazon, free of charge and in reverse order.

This lavish and benevolent offer starts with the third volume, June 23 through June 25, followed by the second volume June 27 till June 29, and finally, the first one, July 1-3. The free stuff will become available at midnight PST each time, and you will have ample opportunity to download some new Kindle reading material. Since the summer holidays are just around the corner, this is a great opportunity to load your e-readers with fresh stuff. As a bonus, you might even like my books.

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How to fix touchpad problems in Windows 8/10

updated June 20, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 8/10 & touchpad fix
If you thought Linux was bad when it comes to touchpad, then you need to read this. Now, it all begins with Lenovo Y50, which has a special Apple-wannabe trackpad, touchpad, whatever you wanna call it, supporting some serious fingering. One finger, two fingers, a whole fist, you name it. But sensible people just want a plain mouse control and no shitty tapping.

This is where the problem escalated so quickly. One, removing the Synaptics driver is the best kneejerk option, but then you're left with no control over a still crappy touchpad. And two, the issue also affects my G50 box, which is used for testing, including Linux distros but also Windows 10 Build 10041. And guess, it suffers from the same woes, because the default build comes with no special drivers for Lenovo hardware. Let me show you how you can try to fix this nonsense.

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Touchpad & Synaptics issues in Linux Mint - Solution

updated June 19, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Mint & touchpad fix
Buying new hardware is always a delightful occasion. One, you're getting new stuff, and two, you can debug all sorts of curious and weird problems, and then share them with the world. For me, this happened with the G50 machine and a recent review attempt of Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca KDE. In my case, the touchpad was working, but it could not be configured. You might be facing the same problem.

The touchpad settings menu is grayed out, the GUI says Synaptics driver is not loaded (or is not used), and if you try a few fancy tricks from the command line, then you will get the following complaint: Couldn't find synaptics properties. No synaptics driver loaded? All of these point to a silly problem with the touchpad configuration, and it can really get annoying. So let's fix it, shall we.

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Fedora 22 review - Fiascoed

updated June 15, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora 22
The new Fedora is like the Spaghetti western arch-hero. It has no name. Well, Twenty-Two. To make things even more complicated, the new release no longer brands itself the old, classic way. The modern new Web demands that the flavors be workstation, which replaces the desktop idea, the server, which is sort of like alpha testing for future Red Hat releases, and Cloud, which is so hot right now, like Hansel in Zoolander.

So I am going to be testing it. The workstation release, with KDE. The previous one was only average, and it shattered my hopes and expectations from this operating system, as I find the Red Hat base more appealing than a Debian one. But it almost never seems to catch on. Maybe now. After me.

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Is there spyware in Ubuntu? Answered.

updated June 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu spyware
A few weeks back, this very title was used by some fella out there, and then linked by Softpedia, creating a bit of an emotional and technological senstorm, designed probably to grab a bunch of clicks but also hopefully discuss a genuine concern that some people might have.

After having told you all you need to know about security, talked about NSA, the recent slew of software vulnerabilities promising bubonic plague in digital form, and some other topics that make us nerds sweat, it's time for another dose of Dedoimedo-laced xanaxing for you. In other words, let me help you calm down. Please, follow me.

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Docker & supervisord tutorial

updated June 12, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker & supervisord
Several days ago, I published my long, thorough guide on Docker, an operating system level virtualization technology based on LXC, which offers a fast, lightweight and secure method of provisioning containerized applications. Lovely.

Now, one of the problems we faced when testing our first services, SSH and Apache, was the control of these services. We did not have init scripts or systemd available inside the containers, and frankly, we might not want them. But we do want some kind of mechanism to start, stop and whatnot our services. Introducing supervisord, hence this tutorial. Follow me please.

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Revo Uninstaller Review - Contest winners announced

updated June 9, 2015, category: Software & security

Revo Uninstaller
And so here we are. The funny part. This was a rather popular little contest, because quite a few readers chimed in with their Revo replacement Monty Python quotes. Of course, inevitably, we had TWO Spanish inquisition references, but I'm going to award only the first one, plus a bunch of other cool ones.

In no particular order, the winners are: Emir, Barrow, Ivan, chachazz1, Steve, Patrick, Ted, Doral, Jose, and Mads, and these are their little jokes. Enjoy most profoundly.

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Eurotrip strikes back - Germany and Belgium

updated June 9, 2015, category: Car reviews

Eurotrip in Skoda Superb: Germany and Belgium
Well, well, time for more automotive action. So far, we partied in Croatia with Opel Insignia, driving heavy mileage in all kinds of road conditions. Then, we went to Italy, cruising in Ford C-Max down the autostradas and narrow coastal roads. This third part in our journey takes us to the famous, unlimited German autobahns and significantly restricted Belgian roads, with a visit to Spa, at the famous racing track. Test vehicle, Skoda Superb.

For seven days, we drove roughly 830 km in a 2.0-liter turbo-charged diesel version of the premium Skoda model, not counting the circuit laps or the time the car was merrily towed away by the Dusseldorf police. Our Superb was equipped with the six-speed DSG transmission, and it was actually an estate, which makes it both prettier as well as more voluminous than the already massive faux-saloon hatchback. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us take it slowly. I mean, fast. After me.

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Netrunner 16 Ozymandias review

updated June 8, 2015, category: Software & security

Netrunner 16 Ozymandias
A trippy name notwithstanding, Ozymandias is the 16th edition of Netrunner, a Kubuntu-based distro with all the trimmings needed to make the latter better. But noble mission aside, there's the execution we need to think about, hence we are gathered here for this be review, and may the spring season continue.

I will test Ozymandias on my G50 laptop, and 'tis interesting, 'cause UEFI. Then, since I've already tried Prometheus on this box, plus the recent bevy of freshly releases Ubuntu siblings, it ought to be even moar fun. So please, after me.

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HP Stream 7 Signature Edition Tablet review

updated June 6, 2015, category: Software & security

HP Stream 7
After iPhone, this is another device that I got only because there was little to no monetary penalty involved. While the phone was free, the HP Steam 7 tablet came at a very discounted price of just USD75, which makes it an insta-buy.

And so, here we are, testing another product that I'd never thought of using, this time a tablet with Windows 8.1, which means plenty o' touch. Curiously, and let's be picky, it's Stream 7 running Windows 8, but never mind that. The important thing is, I really love Windows Phone, but I'm not certain if and how this thing compares. Nothing compares, to you. Let's check.

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A close encounter of the iPhone 6 kind

updated June 5, 2015, category: Software & security

iPhone 6
Holy Moly, Gosh O'Blimey, hold the line, rein in the horses, sacrifice a goat or three! Dedoimedo has put his filthy geeky hands on an iPhone 6. Now, wait a moment. I got it free of charge. I'd never buy an expensive smartphone, no matter what the brand. So this is more sort of a posh gift adventure rather than anything prompted by a purchase as well as the very human need to justify it. Thus, it's a golden opportunity for a unique review, and a unique perspective. Plus, I got to test it while traveling, so it's combat trial.

Before we move on, do take into account that I own smartphones across the entire spectrum, Windows, Android, Ubuntu Phone, and now iOS. Please note that I also own a few Microsoft as well as Apple stocks, so if you see me ranting, and there's a pretty high probability that I shall, it's all good natured nerdy zest and wrath and none of the usual associated kissassery you see around the Web. Let's begin then.

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Dedoimedo contest 2014-2015 winner announced

updated June 3, 2015, category: Software & security

Dedoimedo contest
Let us announce the happy winner of this contest. Much like the previous time, the numbers of pledges was higher than the number of people who eventually posted their reviews before the deadline. Out of a total of 25 participants, 14 submitted their reviews in time.

This time, the winner is John Page, who boosted his chances by reviewing all three books. Congratulations! I will now contact John regarding the shipment of his fine little prize, which is the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone.

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How to remove the Windows 10 GWX upgrade nonsense

updated June 3, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows GWX nonsense
The story goes as follows. Several days ago, on one of my Windows 7 boxes, I did some updates. Cool beans, Then, a couple of days later, I suddenly noticed a Windows 10 like icon in my system tray. Turns out, this one belongs to a process called GWX.exe, and it is a part of Windows update KB3035583, which is deceptively labeled as an important one and preselected, intended to give Windows 7 and 8.X users an option to freely upgrade to Windows 10. Well, so far so good.

But then, I decided I was not interested. However, removing this thing off proved to be a very difficult task. I could not disable the scheduled tasks that reactivates the process every few hours, and you need special permissions to edit the folder containing the gwx.exe binary. In other words, all of a sudden, my perfectly reasonable Windows 7 has been altered without my consent, and now I did not have freedom to do what I want. This annoyed me so much that I started writing a tutorial on how to get rid of this piece of shit. Follow me.

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ODROID-XU3 review, sort of

updated June 1, 2015, category: Software & security

Several weeks ago, a friend of mine bought himself an ODROID-XU3 unit, and then he promptly loaned it to me for a review. I was excited, I had to admit, because this is a very powerful little thing, with eight cores, mighty graphics and 2 GB RAM, so it sounds like an ideal piece of hardware for a media center. Indeed, remember my Raspberry Pi games, and somewhat lukewarm results with RaspBMC and openELEC? Well, the saga continues.

Anyhow, this review is actually NOT a review. It's more sort of my attempt to get ODROID running, and the story of how I failed. A full experience article should follow in a few weeks, and it will - hopefully - include more stuff. But more about that later. Intrigued? Take a look.

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Can Gnumeric excel over Calc?

updated May 30, 2015, category: Software & security

See what I did there? I dropped a name bomb on you. But what I'm trying to say is, there's this niche little spreadsheet program called Gnumeric, which usually gets bundled into Xfce-flavored desktops as a lightweight alternative to a full-blown office suite. In general, it's Abiword Gnumeric against the world. Another witty reference.

I have always wondered if perhaps the guys behind Gnumeric had always had it right, and most people truly do not need big programs, and they can get along just fine with simpler, less glamorous options. Today, we shall put this wonder to a test, and see what Gnumeric can do.

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Microsoft Lumia 535 review - Once again, nice

updated May 29, 2015, category: Software & security

Microsoft Lumia 535
I am not a big fan of smartphones. I like my stuff big and accessible, and playing with my thumbs is usually reserved for the bedroom. But then, I do love the Lumia line so very much that I decided to buy another, just for fun.

However, there's a big, important question here. Now that Lumia is no longer branded as Nokia but rather Microsoft, should we expect the same kind of no-nonsense simplicity and high quality? Well, let's take a look, shall we.

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15 years later, Age of Empires still rocks

updated May 28, 2015, category: Computer games

Age of Empires
I distinctly remember the moment. Buying a new PC with 64MB of RAM, a GeForce 2 card, Windows 98, and a free copy of Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. For many years, I've played RTS titles like a champ, Dune, Warcraft, Command & Conquer, and others. But then, I had a bunch of villagers, and I sent them hunting and collecting berries and mining stone, and I was hooked.

Next, I purchased Age of Mythology, and it carried an astronomical price of USD75.99, which was a lot for a university student back then. An awesome game, but with maps and population cap much smaller than those in Age of Empires. The third version of the series brought more modern, colonial-age technologies and campaigns, but nothing could compare to the purity of the medieval contest of the 1999 title. And in 2014, during the holiday sale on Steam, I grabbed the new, polished HD version of the game for a puny USD2.99. I started playing again, and it was as if nothing had changed.

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Revo Uninstaller Review

updated May 25, 2015, category: Software & security

Revo Uninstaller
Operating systems are like humans. They start pristine and then slowly, inevitable wear and lint creep up. While it is impossible to click the undo button in real life, at least for most people, software comes with this lovely deterministic privilege. Except, by design, Windows is not the friendliest operating system when it comes to cleanup, removal of software and uninstallation of programs. Over time, your disk usage grows up, your registry bloats up.

This is a gross over-generalization, but for most people, this holds true. Which is why a program like Revo Uninstaller has its appeal, as it promises to help keep your system in a tiptop shape across numerous software installs and uninstalls. How? It traces everything programs do during the setup, and then rolls back when you want them purged. Simple. And now, let's see if the village gossip holds true.

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They call me Kodi

updated May 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Kodi 14.2 Helix
One bright morning, XBMC suddenly decided to change name, and so it became Kodi, a brand new old project designed to bring you the ultimate home cinema media center experience, with Linux in the backend.

I am no stranger to XBMC, and I've tried using it many times before, in different shapes, forms and flavors, in an attempt to create what I perceive to be the best replacement to the classic TV/cable and nonsense combo. Sounds like a simple task, but a bunch of years later, I'm still searching. Maybe Kodi can save me. Version 14.2 Helix, tested. Come.

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Xubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet - Fabulous

updated May 22, 2015, category: Software & security

Xubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet
Going through the alphabetical jungle, we've reached letter X, so it's time to give Xubuntu, an Xfce-flavored version of Ubuntu, its due attention. We've seen the original distro in action, as well as the Plasma-armed Kubuntu, and so far the results are rather mixed.

Now, expectations are high, at least for me. Xubuntu has been an excellent performer in the last few years, climbing to the top of my charts time and again. It won the best Xfce award for 2014, and it came second in the annual contest, including a fair amount of your votes. So, it'd better not disappoint.

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Need OCR? How about YAGF?

updated May 18, 2015, category: Software & security

YAGF & Tesseract OCR
If you think this is some fresh new street lingo, and you feel outdated and outclassed, don't. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, and YAGF stands for, uh, something. But it is a neat graphical interface for cuineform and tesseract tools, the latter of which we've tested in decent depth on Dedoimedo some time ago.

One of the big hurdles with tesseract was that it is a command-line only tool, and it comes with some rather strict requirements on the type of images it can use. Most people probably just want a simple utility that can scan and convert their documents and extract text. Cue in YAGF, and this little review. Let's see what gives.

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Camera + monitor video feedback loop awesomeness

updated May 16, 2015, category: Hillbilly physics

Camera video feedback loop
Today, I would like to run a very neat physics experiment with you, and it also comes with some lovely footage. Let's begin with a sort of troll physics question. If you connect a video camera to a monitor and then point the camera at the monitor, what will happen? Since you will effectively be projecting your own video onto the monitor, the process will repeat itself infinitely, and you will win infinite photons.

On a more serious level, this cool phenomenon is our topic today, and we will discuss the why and how behind it. How does this nice thing work, and why you should care? Anyhow, we will touch upon the topic of strange loops, recursion, fractals, all sorts of physical effects, and more. Follow me.

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Windows 10, alt OS lockout? Doomsday?

updated May 15, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & alt OS lockout
Recently, I've come across a somewhat sensational article by Arstechnica, telling us how Windows 10 will make mandatory Secure Boot thingie a thing of reality, and in future, we may end up with devices that do not allow any custom OS installs. Normally, I tend to steer away from this kind of news, and definitely not link to them, but this one is written with reasonable enough clarity to warrant a hyperlink. However, the essence of the story definitely needs some debating.

Since I'm aways 100% right, you surely want to know what I think. I've given you some rather accurate predictions in the past, on all sorts of things, technologies and devices, and I'm going to do it again. This will let you know what you need to do and how to prepare for the future. Let us.

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Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet - Loading ... 99%

updated May 13, 2015, category: Software & security

Kubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet
After we've seen Ubuntu 15.04 in action a fistful of days ago, the second distro I'm going to review this spring season is Kubuntu Vervet, and it comes with the lovely, awesome Plasma desktop, again, a second showing after Netrunner. Indeed, we want to enjoy the latest Plasma offering, but first and foremost, we want to explore what Kubuntu can do for us.

I will be testing on my G50 machine, and if you've read through my Plasma 5.3 article, then you know there might be some rough patches ahead. But that was beta, and now we have a proper, official release. Follow me, ladies and gents of the Web.

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Feeling nostalgic? DOS on Windows Phone

updated May 11, 2015, category: Software & security

MS-DOS Mobile
First, remember DOS? Yes, good stuff, good stuff. I've talked about DOS in the past, in how to set the operating system running in a virtual machine, and then how to play games using the excellent emulator called DOSBox. And then some. All in all, we've reviewed them fine 80s and 90s. Brings back the memories.

Second, I am going to do something I've never quite imagined. Review a mobile phone application with something almost approaching gusto. The thing is, apart from some extremely useful navigation software by Nokia, I've never seen any great need in special phone apps. This one stands out in the crowd, and so I'm going to trample my own morals into the dust, and give you five minutes of nostalgic spiel.

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A thorough introduction guide to Docker containers

updated May 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker guide
Let me start with a big promise. You will absolutely LOVE this article today. It's going to be long, detailed and highly useful. Think GRUB, GRUB2. The same thing here. Only we will tackle Docker, a nice distribution platform that wraps the Linux Containers (LXC) technology in a simple, convenient way.

I will show you how to get started, and then we will create our own containers with SSH and Apache, learn how to use Dockerfiles, expose service ports, and solve an immense number of little bugs and problems that normally never get addressed in public forums. Please, without further ado, follow me.

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Let's talk about Spa babe, let's talk about cars and me

updated May 9, 2015, category: Car reviews

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
That was a rad song. But what is even radder is the fact I got the chance slash privilege to drive a car round one of the world's most famous race tracks, Circuits de Spa-Francorchamps, in Belgium, seated behind the perfectly round and not very hot-hatch-like wheel of a very hot-hatch-like Renault Megane RS 265. That you saw and read about in my related racing article some time back.

We did not talk about the whole event. The drama, the charm and the multi-million-dollar experience that happened on that day, properly dubbed Munich Gentleman Drivers Day. Indeed, this follow up article is less about my noob skills on the race track, and so much more about the cars, the legends and the aura that surrounded the place and the event. As a humble visitor, I'm reporting my childlike-in-heaven impressions. Follow me.

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This is Internet Explorer! Explorer? This is Spartan!

updated May 6, 2015, category: Software & security

Project Spartan - Microsoft Edge
I know, I know, everyone and their mother has already made this joke seven times over, giffed it, memed it, and packaged it any cheesy which way possible. But I cannot let other people's art (or lack thereof) impede on mine, and so we're having a first review of Project Spartan, AKA Microsoft Edge, the new browser for Windows 10, starting with some cliches.

Windows 10 is an important operating system, because it will decide how much the desktop user is going to enjoy or suffer the next few years. For Microsoft, it's a chance to redeem the earlier failure with Windows 8. One of the ways it might do this is by offering a brand new browser, which could help us forget the forever-decline of Internet Explorer. Let's see what gives.

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BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone review

updated May 4, 2015, category: Software & security

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone
If you're even remotely interested in Linux, you will probably find this article intriguing. You may not be a great fan of smartphones or touch, I know I'm not, but having Ubuntu on your phone has a more profound meaning than just using any which smart device in your hands. It's about having an operating system that does not restrict what you may or may not do, for better or worse.

All that said, Ubuntu has made Linux that much more successful and popular than it ever was, and now, there's a proper device out there, running a "real" Linux distro out of the box, Touch edition. Any good? We shall see. I sure know this is definitely something I've been wanting to do for a very long time. Follow me please.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet review - Pretty tight

updated May 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet
Let me begin by saying, what the hell is a vervet? Now, imagine the priest from The Princess Bride narrating the name of the latest Ubuntu release. Wiwid Welwet. Yes, and so we begin the spring season, and it's business time, and we've got Ubuntu 15.04 as the first contestant.

My test platform will be Lenovo G50, which already hosts Windows 8 & 10, plus Trusty, plus Netrunner Prometheus, and Linux Mint Rebecca KDE, at the moment. All done in a setup that includes UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and such. We've seen some hardware related issues, especially with the Wireless connectivity, so it shall definitely be interesting. Follow me.

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Right-click problem on Lenovo touchpads - How to fix

updated April 30, 2015, category: Software & security

Lenovo touchpad issues
First, let me begin by saying this is only part one in a series of articles on how to combat the touchpad menace in Windows 8 and above. So if you don't find everything to your liking, don't worry, we will get there. Anyhow, several months ago, I bought myself a mighty Lenovo Y50-70 notebook, and I really like it. As with all things, once the initial glamor fades away, you start noticing some small problems here and there. The big one affecting some of the IdeaPad models is the touchpad control, offered by a rather sophisticated Synaptics Pointing Device Driver. Namely, if you want to right click like a normal human being, you can't.

Instead, you get a bunch of multi-finger click features, including a two-finger one, which activates the context menu. Sounds retarded, does it not. So let's fix this two-finger salute problem, and move on with our lives. Follow me.

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Plasma 5.3 Beta - Shaping up but the trek is long

updated April 29, 2015, category: Software & security

Plasma 5.3 Beta
Nary a week past, I download the latest Vivid dev build running Plasma 5.3 Beta, moments before the official release. We shall indeed talk about Kubuntu 15.04 at length, but at the moment, let's focus on the brand new KDE desktop. I'm liking it a lot, and I've already expressed my reserved feelings on this topic in the past.

Anyhow, it's time for another spin. What does Plasma 5.3 offer to the happy and optimistic Linux user? What should you expect in the coming days, once you grab the Kubuntu ISO and spin up your own image for testing and fun? To wit, let's explore some more.

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More awesome websites inducted into the Hall of Fame

updated April 27, 2015, category: Da best of da best

Greatest sites
Goodness, gracious, great sites of the Web. More awesome stuff, and Dedoimedo acknowledges it by formally adding a couple o' fresh new candidates into the most hallowed of lists. The first one is, AbcLinuxu, a Czech site dedicated to all things Linux. News, games, robotics, consumer hardware, software reviews. If you find the online translation services inadequate, too bad, as you'll be missing a lot here. Jozin z Bazin!

The second hero of the day is HeavenGames, where old games spread majestic wings like pegai, prance like unicorns through the mists of Avalon, and live on basking in the light of dewy rainbows. Truly a heaven. But it's also a portal to over two dozen well-groomed sites covering mainly RTS and City-Building genres, the good ole stuff before DLC and whatnot. Proper hardcore, Age of Empires, Medieval War, Caesar III, that kind of mustard. Enjoy.

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My Ubuntu Phone is here!

updated April 25, 2015, category: Software & security

BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Phone
It is a rare, weird thing to see someone rather opposed to the idea of palm-sized computing, using touch and a somewhat chimp-like expression of concentration, get excited about a product that is essentially exactly that. But I am very pleased to say that I'm feeling a fanboy right now. It's not the smartphone, nor Ubuntu per se. Not even the combination thereof. It's Linux.

Anyhow, the two phones arrived yesterday, and I spent some time taking photos and brushing them up, the photos I mean. This isn't a proper review yet, just a teaser. You sure are welcome to take a look, and there will be a real, in-depth article coming very soon. For now, we have this little gallery. After me.

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PCLinuxOS 2014.12 KDE Full Monty - Time to say goodbye

updated April 25, 2015, category: Software & security

PCLinuxOS 2014.12 KDE Full Monty
I've sort of done what I promised myself I would not do again. I've taken PCLinuxOS for another spin, despite my rather sad conclusion back in 2012 regarding this distro and its future viability. But I thought it might be cool to test it, and see if it could rekindle the awesome glory that it once had.

To get underway, I chose the KDE version, Full Monty edition, which means a whole DVD of goodies. In other words, pretty much anything that can be crammed onto the media, you ought to find it. Test box? My latest Lenovo G50 machine, with its daunting array of buzzwords, including UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and friends. We commence.

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Windows 10 on Lenovo G50

updated April 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & Lenovo G50
I have complained somewhat about Linux not doing its best to support my latest test machine, a UEFI-powered, Secure Boot-enabled Lenovo G50, which I'm using mostly for a variety of distro abuse. It comes with GPT, lots of partitions, a handsome and extended multi-boot array, and a bucket of problems that I've already told you about.

If you recall the original review of the laptop, or you've just read it briefly, you know I've left some 150GB free space just after the shrunken Windows 8.1 partition for a future installation of Windows 10, which is happening more or less right now, well with some necessary updates here and there. And now, let's see how well this operating system behaves on a modern machine. Follow me.

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Real pirates say Xargs

updated April 20, 2015, category: Software & security

Xargs tutorial
Xargs is a very fancy Linux commands. On paper, it is designed to build and execute commands from standard input. In reality, it is one of those highly useful utilities that let you do real one-liners rather than having to write a script and introduce some kind of a loop inside. But just as Xargs is practical and popular, so it is obscure, and it comes with a few almost hidden features that really make it into a killer tool.

System administration is important, but so it time. Today, hopefully, I will be able to show you a bunch of neat Xargs tricks, some of these inspired by a friend's advice, Mr. Avi. You have no idea who this might be, but they deserve a big thank you. What you get is a guide that should make your Linux pirateering experience more ahoy-matey.

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Kawabanga! Ubuntu Phone is on its way!

updated April 19, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu Phone
Not just one! But two phones. BQ Aquaris 4.5. One for me, and one for you. Or rather, the lucky winner of the Dedoimedo contest for this year. So it's official. We have the gift, and it's on its way. In roughly three or four days, it should arrive at my home, and we'll be having fun, reviews and whatnot. And still more fun. Finally.

Now, your task. As noted in the previous update, the contest will run till June 1. Don't forget to buy my books and write your honest reviews. You can crucify me all you want, it's perfectly fine. Last but not the least, it also gives you the opportunity to support your most beloved git on the Internet.

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Fix for the Realtek RTL7823BE driver in Ubuntu Trusty

updated April 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu 14.04 & Realtek
All right. This is going to be a pretty quick and simple tutorial. The problem you're facing is as follows. You are running Ubuntu Trusty or a derivative thereof on a laptop that comes with a Realtek RTL7823BE Wireless network card. After a few seconds, minutes or hours, the quality and speed of the Wireless connection degrades until it becomes unusable.

In this short guide, we will work through one very quick and elegant workaround for the problem, and then also suggest a longer, more complex fix. Either way, some advanced technical knowledge is needed. Let's begin.

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How to install Oracle Java in Ubuntu

updated April 17, 2015, category: Software & security

Ubuntu & Oracle Java
As you may or may not know, in the last couple of years, the Linux community has largely switched from Oracle Java to OpenJDK. This means you can still run and execute Java applets on your system and in your browsers, but not using Oracle's plugins.

However, some sites, especially game portals, require the use of Oracle Java, which presents you, as the Linux user, with a problem. Indeed, I faced this little hurdle a while back, and I decided to write a tutorial, explaining how you can install Oracle Java on modern versions of Linux, in this case Xubuntu, side by side with the default offering. Follow me.

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GRUB2 & EFI recovery - Tutorial

updated April 15, 2015, category: Software & security

GRUB2 & EFI recovery
This guide will mostly be useful to people well familiar with the GRUB/GRUB bootloader, and Linux in general. If you're a newbie, you're better off reading my original tutorials on this topic first, before trying anything written here. That said, you've probably reached this page because you have trouble recovering your GRUB bootloader on a UEFI system.

This can happen if you've had a Linux distro, e.g. Ubuntu or Mint happily installed on a machine, and then you added Windows, which ruined the bootloader. Now, you're trying to recover/restore GRUB, but the standard procedure that I've outlined in my GRUB2 guide is not working. Which is why we are here.

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Windows 10 privacy settings - Important guide

updated April 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 & privacy
Windows 10 has been making a lot of headlines recently, and it's even made me write some half a dozen articles, discussing all sorts of features, options, problems, and such. One of the notable topics is privacy, and with Cortana in your desktop, it becomes sort of a hot cake. So how do you handle all the fuzz?

In this article, I will outline some basic tips to how you can manage your privacy in a pretty sane manner. You won't solve worldwide intelligence crisis, or the fact some if not most products are designed to milk money out of morons, but you might just make your desktop experience bearable. We talked about the keylogging nonsense, and now we tackle the security of your shit. Your privacy, I mean. Follow me, most dear readers.

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Free software is the Devil, not

updated April 11, 2015, category: Software & security

Free software & spyware
Let me begin with an analogy, sort of. The fact Leonardo painted Mona Lisa with her mouth closed indicates she had bad teeth. This would be a very wrong summary to a nice work of art. Similarly, if we look at the relatively recent Howtogeek article of the dangers of free software, most notably the top ten downloads found on one of the popular software centrals, the same thing can be said about its ending. Not in line with an otherwise fairly good essay.

The conclusion is, paraphrasing, free software is dangerous, especially when the end product is you, ergo free. In other words, you get free goods, but the loaded malware, spyware, adware, and other crap that comes with the free stuff actually uses you to benefit advertisers and other companies. Ergo, not free. But this is not quite accurate, which is why I decided to write this response.

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I went to Spa!

updated April 10, 2015, category: Car reviews

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps & Renault Megane RS 265
Not a spa, THE Spa, the racing track. Circuit de Spa Francorchamps. Yup. One of the most popular racing tracks in the world, and I was there, for a brief stint in Renault Megane RS 265, an awesome and highly kickassful front-wheel-drive hot hatch. Remember my Grobnik race track escapade? The same.

A good friend of mine and I decided to upgrade our combined manliness by trying our luck alongside Ferraris and Porsches that normally bless this famous Formula One venue. With a humble yet expensive intention to improve our driving skills, we drove from Germany to Belgium, first on unlimited autobahns and then on highly restricted and radar-enforced Belgium highways. The story of how we did the third part in our Eurotrip saga shall await another article, but here, we are going to talk about the racing experience itself. Follow me.

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Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca KDE review

updated April 8, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17.1 Rebecca
My first encounter with Rebecca wasn't that successful. I tried running it from an external USB device attached to my HP laptop, with its Nvidia graphics and Broadcom Wireless, and throughout the test, the network flaked, causing much grief and annoyance.

With Lenovo G50 in my hands as the brand new test machine, it's time to embark on a minty journey once more. 'Tis important, as the box comes with UEFI, Secure Boot, GPT, and some other fancy stuff, and we've already seen that Linux support for it isn't quite as you'd want or expect. So let's see what gives here.

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown review - A very decent remake

updated April 6, 2015, category: Computer games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
When you try to revive a game the likes of UFO: Enemy Unknown, you are facing a very tough challenge. Basically, you need to create a title that will be just as compelling and interesting as the original, which is kind of hard, given the fact the original 1994 MicroProse strategy is one of the finest games ever made.

But Firaxis set about doing this in 2012, and they released a game with the simple yet almost impossible mission of bringing back the good ole terror and awesomeness of Enemy Unknown into the modern era. Back then, I got the game during one of Steam sales, and then let it sit on the digital shelf for several months before deciding to pick it up and start playing. I have to admit, my new laptop had something to do with it. Now, let's see whether this remake is worth its name. Oh, for those wondering, it's also available for Linux.

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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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