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Latest articles & site news

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

updated October 29, 2014, category: Hillbilly physics

Green
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
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

Mandelbulber
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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I tried DD-WRT for the first time ever!

updated October 3, 2014, category: Software & security

DD-WRT
Normally, I am against custom modifications. On anything. Cars, software, you name it. For some reason, I believe the folks who created the hardware probably know the best what the optimal mix of features is, offering the widest range of stability, flexibility, predictability, and cost.

However, since I have recently upgraded parts of my extensive home network with a bunch of new appliances, including 1Gbps LAN and whatnot, I have three spare WRT54GL routers available for games. Never one to introduce unknown, untested changes into a production setup, I now have the luxury for custom firmware tweaks. So let's see if the famous DD-WRT can justify its reputation.

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KIA Cee'd versus KIA Forte - A family duel!

updated October 1, 2014, category: Car reviews

KIA Cee'd vs Forte
Writing this dual, head-on review was not a simple thing. I had to find the right owners, with the right cars, and convince them, i.e. threaten them, to relinquish them for a few moments so that I could review them and tell about my experience. Luckily, I happened to stumble upon two hi-tech workers, both married men with offspring, poor sods, both with a dire necessity for a family car as familiar as they get. One happened to choose Cee'd Station as his baby troops carrier, while the other went for the more traditional Kia Forte saloon.

And so here we are, in a first Dedoimedo same-company rivalry match, to try to estimate which of the two offers better bang for buck for the archetypical middle-class guy, whose first priority is some comfort and a bunch of boot space, with performance and alike taking a distant second place. All right, let us proceed.

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Bash shellshock, bending phones, celeb nudes, and more

updated September 29, 2014, category: Software & security

First world problems
Welcome to Dedoimedo's pit of despair. Today, we will discuss everything in one article. All of the problems that plague us. All of them. Physics tells us there are eight laws of conservation, covering energy, momentum, weak isospin, and a few other geeky terms. However, what physics fails to account for is the ninth law. The law of human bitching.

For any given situation, humans will complain at a constant rate, regardless of what the problem is. Therefore, if you are not facing starvation problems, flooding, earthquakes, war, crime, and other human trifles, you will elevate other problems to the top of the list in order to preserve your perception of wrongness being done unto you. To wit, security vulnerabilities in software, phones that bend and nude celebrity leaks. Let's discuss.

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Linux: Where is my memory?!

updated September 27, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux memory management
Here's a scenario. A Linux system is reported for being slow and not quite working as you would expect. A preliminary examination shows nothing out of ordinary. You do your due diligence, and run the routine bunch of commands, which only leads to a gentle shrug of gentle frustration. Nothing wrong seems to be afoot. Hmm, perhaps the memory usage seems to be a little high. But why? The plot thickens.

Today, you are going to learn how to cope with seemingly crazy problems that defy the simple mathematics and your logic as the system administrator, or perhaps, a highly enthusiastic user, keen on fixing a wonky box. After me.

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Slow system? Perf to the rescue!

updated September 26, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux perf
In the last several years, we have had a whole bunch of system administration, troubleshooting and hacking articles here on Dedoimedo. Mostly related to Linux, and we learned how to fix system issues by combining the power of methodical investigation and analysis with nifty tools and utilities. Among the many, we used strace, lsof, oprofile, and others. Links below.

We even had a through so-called super-duper debugging guide, which combined the power of several programs all at once in order to resolve very complex performance related problems. However, we have mostly dwelled in the domain of userspace, less so in the kernel. In my OProfile article, someone even asked me for a practical example where a kernel profiler could actually yield useful results. Well, now the time as come, oh-oh, to demonstrate just that. Let us learn how to fix a seemingly unsolvable system performance issue using perf.

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How to setup Samba printing in CentOS 7 - Tutorial

updated September 24, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 Samba printing
After reading my Nvidia howto and the perfect desktop guide for CentOS, you sure crave for more. And the problem you are facing is as follows: You want to print to Samba printers, located on Windows machines. Only the Browse button is grayed out. You want to resolve this issue, but you are not quite sure how.

Let me show you the ultimate guide to fixing CentOS 7 printing, and possibly all and any Samba related printing in Linux. This very closely relates to the issue we saw in the fourth part on Windows to Linux migration and an outstanding bug that requires the use of a different printing utility to get things done. Follow me, and read carefully.

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Nokia E6 versus Samsung S5 quick camera test

updated September 22, 2014, category: Software & security

Nokia vs Samsung camera
Several days back, one of my work colleagues bought himself a brand new S5 device. He came around to show it off, and then, he referred to my fine stainless steel clad E6 as an ancient piece of human excrement. Then, I told him, this old brick has far better camera quality than any contemporary smartphone. He loled. We did a test.

Anyhow, let me show you how the ancient, 2011-era phone created by Nokia, the company that has always led, still leads, and will always lead in the field of ergonomics and user experience by nine parsecs above everyone else, totally pwns a brand new, top of the line smartphone in a camera test. Pointless but utterly fun. Follow me.

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From Windows to Linux, Part 4: Devices & Drivers

updated September 20, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows to Linux: Devices & drivers
Our tutorials on Windows to Linux migrations are slowly getting progressively more complex. We started with the office applications, a well familiar field, continued with media codecs and software, and finished with the third article, which covered the gaming side. Now, we will jump into the realm of drivers and devices.

But there's more. Unlike the previous three guides, in this one, I am going to show you not just how easy the transition is, and how successful you can be when you follow all the steps, I am also going to demonstrate failure. Not always is the migration simple or worth your time. And sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might fail. The important lesson is not to despair when this occurs, as we shall soon see. Once again, we will be using a different distribution for our testing. Today, openSUSE.

Read more ... (external link)

Linux on the down low

updated September 19, 2014, category: Software & security

Linux on the down low
Is it just me, or has the Linux arena recently gone rather quiet, unspectacular, boring? I am asking this question, because I have noticed that many of the sites I often visit for a glimpse of their latest news and posts have simply reduced their overall online visibility to the point of extinction.

Moreover, there's more and more focus on the mobile and such, which is kind of understandable, but I am seeing a loss of identity, a mutation of a once recognizable profile of many of the leading Linux sites into a template-like three or four-column news reel kind of thing, with the mandatory dynamic device viewing optimization, of course. Worst of all, the passion sees to be completely gone. So let's elaborate some more.

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Unusual uses for Samsung Galaxy S4

updated September 17, 2014, category: Software & security

Samsung Galaxy S4 uses
Some time back, not that long ago, an eternity by Internet standards, I reviewed Samsung Galaxy S4, and found it to be an adequate piece of hardware, designed for people who are totally not me. I am more sort of a Nokia Lumia fan. But never mind that.

There was one big problem with this smartphone. Yes, big. The thing is just too damn big. Huge in fact. Ungainly, colossal, the modern equivalent of the totally tubular 80s boombox. Therefore, I spent a whole day thinking what S4 could be used for, in addition to the standard share of talk, chat, IM, music, and the usual pointless eking of the modern populace. To wit, we have this article.

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Turbo car = Turbo music!

updated September 15, 2014, category: Cars

Turbo car & driving
How does one introduce an article slash video that does not need any words introducing? The answer is, with some difficulty. Because now I need to wing it and write sort of two short paragraphs, so this little update ends up nice and tiny like the rest of them.

Anyhow, here be my latest art piece. Great footage plus music. Great mental fun. You ought to like it, provided you subscribe to my style of humor. If not, there's a special spot for you in the forever alone corner of the Internet. Now, enjoy.

Watch more ... (Youtube link)

Microsoft Office Online - on Linux!

updated September 8, 2014, category: Software & security

Office Online & Linux
Are you one of those hardcore critics who had never had any faith, or had lost their faith in the dream that one day, they would be able to migrate to Linux fully and completely, without having to worry about Microsoft Office compatibility ever again? Well, faith no more! Eh, or something.

We had talked about this one hundred billion times. We discussed the Microsoft Office versus LibreOffice usability in real life, not once, but twice. We also talked about how to make the transition easier, for new converts. But we never presented a 100% viable solution for all those who must have Office for critical work. Now, we do that.

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How to install Nvidia drivers in CentOS 7 - Tutorial

updated September 6, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 & Nvidia
All right, let's do it. A few weeks back, I tested CentOS 7, and it did not really impress me. It had simply been rolled out too early, and there were no third-party packages available to make it more desktop-oriented and fun. Then, some time later, magic happened, Nux gave us the needed repositories, and CentOS became perfect once more.

In the desktop guide that explains how to beef up CentOS to be modern, beautiful and ultra-functional, I omitted a bunch of tips and tricks. On purpose. One of these is the installation of Nvidia graphics drivers on the selected machine, which turned out to be a handy but interesting exercise in the previous, CentOS 6 version. We will do this again, and there are some differences, so you ought to pay attention. Follow me.

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Plasma 5 - Ano'er opinion

updated September 5, 2014, category: Software & security

Plasma Next
Several days back, when I saw an article covering Plasma 5, written by my colleague Luis, I immediately stopped reading. The reason was, I intended to write a piece of my own, and I did not want to taint my subjectivity with someone else's. I promised myself I would read it, just a few moments before I conclude this review.

Anyhow, I tested the new KDE release while still in an early stage several months back, and it showed great beauty and decent promise, despite being rather devoid of any real functionality. Since, dozens of releases have been baked, each one introducing fresh new incremental changes, making Plasma that much better and ready for the grand Mk.V release. Maybe. Let's see. This time around, we also have a Neon 5 live edition, built on top of Kubuntu. Follow me.

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MakuluLinux 6.0 KDE - Super messy

updated September 3, 2014, category: Software & security

MakuluLinux 6.0 KDE
Several months back, I reviewed a relatively new Debian-based distribution named MakuluLinux, and while it did have lots of cool stuff, it was tailored with too much kitsch, some bugs, and a complicated installer. The developers read my review, responded with a nice friendly email, and took some of my commentary to heart.

Now, approximately half a year later, I am going to test Makulu again, this time the KDE flavor. And while the lack of a 64-bit version is still very much evident, perhaps there are other redeeming features that may delight us. The test box is my usual T61 laptop with its four distros spread on two SSD. Let's see.

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Graphviz is the graph wiz

updated September 1, 2014, category: Software & security

Graphviz
Creating beautiful, compelling and all-telling graphs is not a simple thing. If you think you can just punch in a few numbers and expect charts to become a Kubrick kind of work all on their own, well they ain't. And to say nothing of more complex shapes and forms, or dependency graphs.

Graphviz is one of those tools that can help you bridge the artistic and talent gap present in your soul and fingers, maybe. Quoting the official page, Graphviz is open-source graph visualization software. Graph visualization is a way of representing structural information as diagrams of abstract graphs and networks. It has important applications in networking, bioinformatics, software engineering, database and web design, machine learning, and in visual interfaces for other technical domains. Jolly. Exactly what we need.

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Gnuplot - Not for herding cows, great for graphs

updated August 30, 2014, category: Software & security

Gnuplot
A great way to impress people is to show them a nice graph. Very few individuals are blessed with the ability to interpret numbers in a meaningful way, a-la Rain Man style. While they may see hidden patterns in a table of integers, most people struggle making those kind of connections, which is why they resort to images.

But there are images, and then, there are images. Nothing invokes disdain better than a default coloring scheme used in Excel generated graphs. On the other hand, the tight Matlab plots always cause a nice stir of professionalism, even when there's none to be found. So let me teach you about a program that will up your salary: gnuplot.

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I drove Renault Clio Cup at the Grobnik racetrack!

updated August 29, 2014, category: Cars

Grobnik & Renault clio Cup
Driving a real sports car on a real race track is always a special kind of experience and a unique adventure. This year, I was lucky enough to find myself at Grobnik, a car-and-bike racetrack in northwestern Croatia. The car? A beautifully decalled Renault Clio Cup 2013, a one-make racing car with a 1.6-liter 210 HP turbo-charged engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox. Neat, if you consider the fact you get no driving assistance whatsoever, no power steering, no ABS, no ESP, no exhaust filtering, bare interior. However, you do get buckets, rollcage, a helmet with a built-in headset for communication, and yes, tons of unbridled 120dB engine noise.

Being an enthusiast and no stranger to cars with a significant scoop of muscle, I knew the track day would be different from a drive in a typical hot hatch, it's just that I underestimated how much different. Fun ensues, as you will soon discover. Anyhow, this article is not just a boring report, or a quick video clip. It's a whole story, and I suggest you stick and read all the little bits, and then watch the driving action. Let's roll. Cage. Joke. Hihi.

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Top ten alternative software

updated August 27, 2014, category: Computer software

Top ten alternative software
Let's have a short break from the more tutorialesque side of articles on Windows to Linux migration. Only not quite. We will remain in the realm of this delicate subject, but rather than discussing specific topics, like mail, office and others, we will generalize. In other words, should a friend ask you, what software they can run in Linux, you will point them here.

The idea is not just to list software they can have when moving to a new operating system. It's about providing the exact same functionality that they used to have. Satisfying their needs so they will want to test Linux and then keep on using Linux. Now, we must be brutally honest and impartial, so there's a chance we might not have all the answers. All right, after me.

Read more ... (external link)

CentOS 7 - The perfect desktop guide

updated August 25, 2014, category: Software & security

CentOS 7 perfect desktop
My original review of CentOS 7 was less enthusiastic than I hoped for. That is because CentOS 7 did not quite deliver the punch that I expected. Truth to be told, this is the one operating system I am most excited about. Mint and Ubuntu are friendlier, but CentOS carries with it the solid confidence of old royalty.

Another glitch that came to bear in my review was that extra repositories with all that golden content you want were not ready. And so, I could not test most of the juicy stuff that we all need, like music, games and the rest. Now though, we can finally do that. This is the one guide that will transform CentOS into a truly remarkable desktop lean mean killing machine.

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Windows 8.1 Wireless networking 101

updated August 23, 2014, category: Software & security

Windows 8 networking
Writing about an operating system that I seriously do not like is called philanthropy. I want to help stranded, clueless, unhappy people who are forced to live with Windows 8.1 on a daily basis, to make their experience that much less sucky. And one of the suckiest aspects of Windows 8.1 is networking, Wireless in particular.

User's ability to make changes have gone from geeky but intuitive to moderately stupid in Windows 7 to plain insane in Windows 8, as I will soon demonstrate. Once, you could just make your own rules and whatnot, but then Homegroups were invented and they introduced mandatory IPv6 connectivity, and now something even worse. Welcome to Dedoimedo's Wireless networking 101 crash course for Windows 8.1, which will hopefully make your pain go away.

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Dedoimedo contest 2014

updated August 22, 2014, category: Software & security

Dedoimedo contest
Hello, folks! I am officially commencing to start a new Dedoimedo contest. To wit, if you choose to participate, at the end of it, you will be eligible for a lottery draw, in which you might win a handsome electronic device, a smartphone, a tablet or some kind of a laptop. The prize has yet to be decided, and at this point, you might be more interested in the little details behind this event.

Last year, we had the Ubuntu smartphone contest. Alas, Canonical did not manage to release a device with Ubuntu on it, however, true to my word, one of the contestants, an American lad named Christopher Ledbetter did win himself a Nexus 5 device, roughly worth 350 dollars. What did he do to get that? He read my books, wrote a bunch of reviews and got lucky.

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The Forgotten is published!

updated August 22, 2014, category: Books

The Forgotten
Dear fellas, I am most pleased to announce The Forgotten, the third and penultimate volume in The Lost Words epic, and some would say grimdark, fantasy series has been released. The paperback version is available on Amazon, with the Kindle edition coming shortly.

Anyhow, The Forgotten continues the tale of the Realms and gods and whatnot. Some new characters are added, others are given focus, a whole lot of them get killed. Unlike The Broken, which jumps in time quite a bit after The Betrayed, this one picks up right after the last page of the second book. And it's a little shorter, by a whole 100 pages!

Read more ... (external link)

Mini review of Opel Corsa OPC - What a car!

updated August 22, 2014, category: Cars

Opel Corsa OPC
The free translation from Latin reads PC-BSD has a new desktop environment, it is called Lumina, and it is now being reviewed by Dedoimedo. Tricky language, Latin, right? Anyhow, we are here to taste a new, lightweight desktop, created by the PC-BSD team.

It's licensed under BSD, based on Qt and Fluxbox, the second default offering in the PC-BSD 10 Joule release, which we have tested some time back, and it is still alpha quality, so everything you see here today may or may not be true. We shall commence.

Read more ...

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!

Commence search



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