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Latest articles & site news

Windows 10 complete privacy guide

updated September 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade & review
Let me begin by saying this: if you do not trust Microsoft, don't use its products. Simple. This is the basic premise of this guide. We're not here to discuss politics, NSA and such. If you think Windows is evil, this article isn't about how you can screw the system. That's not what I'm aiming for. Instead, if you want to be aware of the privacy tweaks and options and some extra security features, and you wish to change them to your liking, then this tutorial could help you get the right results.

So remember, we're not trying to double-cross a double agent, we're not working under the premise there's a rogue operating system under the hood. I leave this to the rest of the Web and its drama moments. We're here to learn about Windows 10 privacy and adjust it to our needs. You will get my personal perspective as a baseline. Now, read on.

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CentOS 7 & Audio CD strikes back

updated October 2, 2015, category: Software & security

CentOS, K3b & audio CD
Remember how I gave up on you, even though I promised I'd never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down? Well, I did. Once upon a time, I was falling in love, now I'm only Linuxing apart, not so long ago in fact, one of you asked me how to create audio CDs from MP3 files using K3b on CentOS 7. I set about doing this and failed miserably. You, my nation, the universe, everyone.

Then, the merry fellow Nux, who runs the namesake third-party repo for CentOS full of good stuff and pimpage, contacted me, and informed me that he's compiled a whole bunch of new packages into his repo, and that I should give this a second shot. So I did, and this is the result.

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Liferea - If you don't go to the Internet, the Internet will come to you

updated September 30, 2015, category: Software & security

A popular saying, right. But it boils down to the fact you can use the Web in three distinct ways. Either you search for something, or you directly access websites you know and like, or, finally, you use a program that can display all that fine remote content on your computer without wandering around. That's what RSS is all about. Enter Liferea.

True, I'm cheating. Pulling RSS feeds and web pages from the Internet is no different than using a browser, but if a program does that in an integral way, allowing you to preview content but also enjoy the full plethora of text, images, audio, and video for a given subset of domains, then it is doing something else. It's bringing you the closely guarded corner of the Web you consider yours. One of the programs that promises this functionality is Liferea, a news aggregator for Linux.

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Able2Extract PDF Converter 9 review

updated September 28, 2015, category: Software & security

Several months ago, I was contacted by Investintech to review their PDF conversion software. It took me a long while to bump the request up in my writing queue, but we're finally there. Or rather, here. Today, I will take a look at the licensed version of PDF Converter 9, and see what it can do.

The program comes with a non-trivial price of USD99.95, and there's a pro version, which costs another 30 dollars, but it also offers OCR. The software is available for all platforms, but I tested on Windows 8.1. Anyhow, behold the results.

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Vagrant virtualization - introduction guide

updated September 26, 2015, category: Software & security

Vagrant intro guide
If you thought your life was boring and you did not have enough virtualization software to play and tinker with, then you will be most pleased with today's content. A whole article dedicated to Vagrant, a wrapper software for virtualization deployment and testing.

The idea is as follows: you hide away the nitty gritty commands and present a unified interface, and then tie in some buzzwords like cloud and whatnot, and it becomes a hot new technology that everyone talks about. Pretty much like OpenStack, OpenShift, OpenCloud, and other fancy names. In fact, if you also manage to toss in more name droppers like PostgreSQL, Jenkins and Node.js, you win extra points for being modern and hip and cool. But all sarcasm aside, let's see what this tool can do, and if it's of any use, value and fun.

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Docker & data volumes - Tutorial

updated September 25, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker & data
For a change, today, we will have a relatively short and uncomplicated article on Docker containers automation framework. We will learn how to mount data inside containers, how to share data, and all the needed bits and pieces to make our instances into useful systems.

So far, you've enjoyed - and that's a liberal term - a very detailed intro guide, then we dabbled in services, networking, and solved some tough errors. This tutorial continues the tradition, step by step, so it should be simple and crystal clear. Let us begin.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 review - I wanna hate, but I cannot

updated September 23, 2015, category: Software & security

Samsung Galaxy S5
There's a popular saying, when life gives you lemons, find a nice recipe, bake a pie, invite some friends, and organize a lemon party. Right. Which is why I did not object to testing Samsung Galaxy S5. Normally, this would not be a smartphone of choice for me, but then, as far as hardware goes, I don't mind testing and trying anything as long as it's given for free. In this case, yes. Much like iPhone really. So good.

If you recall, I did not like S4 that much. It was decent but nothing spectacular, and my taste leans more toward minimalistic style and functionality like Windows Phone. But then, in their recent Android releases, Google has come up with their own answer to that, called Material Design, and it's meant to be flat and cuddly and good. Enough talking, let's do this little review.

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Ford Mondeo review - More than a feeling

updated September 21, 2015, category: Car reviews

Ford Mondeo review
I must admit I have never considered Ford Mondeo as something I'd want to own, but the same way you don't say no to free food and goats, you don't turn away a free review, even if it's not your typical demographic. After all, I managed just fine with family transporters and their associated vomit before, so why not a mid-range executive vehicle?

The car at my disposal was an outgoing third-generation five-door hatchback version, powered by a 2.0-liter 203HP TNBA EcoBoost engine, mated to a six-speed semi-automatic dual-clutch PowerShift gearbox, plus a basic but adequate Style level of equipment. Sounds reasonably interesting, especially if we consider a rival like Skoda Superb, which has featured quite favorably on Dedoimedo. Anyhow, let us commence please.

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Asus eeePC still boldly marches on - with Xubuntu 14.04

updated September 19, 2015, category: Software & security

eeePC & Xubuntu 14.04
Back in 2012-13, I pimped up my little eeePC netbook with Xubuntu 12.04 Pangolin, and thus gave it a fresh breath of new sprightliness and life. This little machine has been loyally plodding along since my very smart and cheap and ultra-valuable purchase back in 2010, and while the underlying metal pieces were somewhat struggling with new software, it was now as if the clock has been reset.

Now, let's do the time warp again. Oh, the wittiness. Yes. Xubuntu Pangolin stopped being supported sometime in April 2015. Which means I had to install something more modern on my netbook. I decided to go for Xubuntu 14.04, and better yet, try an in-vivo upgrade of the distro, in order to preserve all my fun stuff, as well as my custom applications. Please follow me.

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Windows 10 upgrade & review: You don't need it

updated September 18, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade & review
All right, today, we WILL discuss the upgrade itself. In my last article on this topic, I only showed you all the preparatory steps before the upgrade itself, but not the results. As it turns out, I decided to volunteer my test laptop for the process, and then report back my success, or lack thereof.

So we will see how the upgrade thingie went. Furthermore, even though you've had more than enough reading material to decide for yourself, this article should help you determine if and when you ought to upgrade to Windows 10. Well, within the coming ten months or so, that is. Proceed, we shall.

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Fonts, don't come easy to me

updated September 16, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux & fonts
If there's one aspect of Linux that has more Wild West in it than a typical Charles Bronson movie, it's fonts. Linux fonts. This is something that we all take for granted, in fact so much granted, it's almost Cary Granted, see what I did there, and yet, the reality isn't all Rosie O'Donnell.

Today, I would like to discuss the management and beautification of font rendering in Linux. On one hand, we want to have pretty fonts, and make sure our eyes do not tire even after a long day staring at a screen. On the other, we want Linux fonts to be better as a strategy.

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Fedora and iPhone 6? Challenge accepted.

updated September 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora 22 & iPhone
More Fedora. Yes. Just a couple of days after showing you that Fedora 22 actually works, now that it's been fixed and polished and such, I am going to revisit an older topic, and that is one of the iPhone 6 support in Linux. If you recall my original article slash guide, in which I demonstrated how to connect your iPhone, should you have one, in Linux, I said it works in any and every distro. And while tutorial used Kubuntu as its baseline, it was pretty much universal.

One of my readers decided to disagree and berated me for doing a Ubuntu-only article. As the French say, challengeux accepteur. Well, today, I am going to show you that the exact same steps taken in the previous guide also work for Fedora. Let there be no doubt. Like the music band. Sort of. After me.

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The Humbled has been published!

updated September 12, 2015, category: Books

The Humbled
There, done! The fourth and final volume in The Lost Words epic saga is finally available, both paperback and Kindle editions. The Humbled brings the interwoven stories of your favorite characters to a conclusion. There will be no more books in this series. It's done. Whatever you read on the last page will not be resolved, and questions left unanswered shall forever remain a mystery.

If you're wavering, try the sample chapters. And think about giveaways and contests. We had some in the past few years, and they all turned out nicely. Well, I honestly hope you will find the series' ending enjoyable. It could be a little grim and bloody, but then, what's the fun in knowing all will be well. Quite the contrary. Anyhow, off you go reading and me writing future works, series and brand new heroes! See ya.

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So, Fedora 22 finally decided to behave

updated September 12, 2015, category: Software & security

Fedora 22
Troublemaker is my middle name, right. But I don't give up easily, and even after a distro pulls one on me, I am like Rick Astley, I am never going to give up, which is why I gave Fedora 22 a second chance. And this time, it did better than the initial fiasco.

Sorry for repeating myself, but in a way, I will be doing an exercise somewhat similar to my Fedora pimping guide. Not quite as detailed, but it does show that most distros are released way too early, with too many bugs and problems, and insufficient QA. Let us demonstrate.

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BitTorrent backups - BTsync and Syncthing

updated September 11, 2015, category: Software & security

P2P backups
Backups are one of the most overlooked pieces of modern computing, both at home and in the work environment. And they usually come down to neglect or overload, with little to no restore ability, regardless of the method and technology chosen for the task. The chief reason is that they are a pain to administer. They can be quite slow.

An alternative is to send your files into the cloud and let them be. But that's risky, right. What about your privacy? What about how slow this can be? Could there be a third option? Indeed, there is one. Backing up your data using P2P networks.

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How to upgrade to Windows 10

updated September 10, 2015, category: Software & security

Windows 10 upgrade guide
Let me start by disclaiming a few things. One, I am not advocating you upgrade. Two, this article is meant to help make your upgrade easier and safer should you decide to do it one day. Three, I happen to have spare boxes used for testing, so I can sacrifice them should there be a need. Four, this article isn't the upgrade process itself, which we will have separately very shortly, this one is all and only about the preparation steps for the upgrade. Sounds complicated? It is.

Anyhow, if you've followed the news lately, then you know Microsoft has created a tool called GWX designed to allow you to request a free upgrade to Windows 10. They did it in a very silly manner, hence my awesome guide on how to get rid of the nonsense. Finally, there are superior ways to upgrade, and we will discuss them here.

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Chocolatey - Apt-get for Windows

updated September 7, 2015, category: Software & security

This was the most apt [sic] title I could find for this tool. Apt. Get it? Hihi. Anyhow, one of the major disadvantages of Windows is that there is no centralized package management tool the likes of which exist in Linux distributions and/or in the mobile world. For licensing reasons and whatnot, Windows Update only offers Microsoft software, forcing you to handle the rest more of less manually.

Several programs have come to life, trying to address this gap. We've seen Ninite and Npackd in action, but they did not quite manage to replicate the simplicity and ease of use that exists in Linux. Now, there's a new product, and it's called Chocolatey. Perhaps it can deliver where the rest have failed.

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VirtualBox Guest Additions compilation errors - How to fix

updated September 5, 2015, category: Software & security

Virtualbox compilation errors
First of all, the title of this article promises a lot. So let's narrow it down and align expectations. The starting point is you've used VirtualBox before, and had Guest Additions installed in your Linux virtual machines. Now, for some reason, the VirtualBox service no longer runs in your guest operating systems. If you try to install the modules again, you get a weird failure, which points to either a bad kernel configuration, missing sources and headers, and similar problems. The things, none of these make sense.

You have the right kernel sources and headers, but for some reason, VirtualBox is not seeing them, and therefore, the compilation of the main kernel module is failing, which in turn is affecting the way your virtual machines are working. Moreover, this seems to happen almost randomly, and it sometimes comes to bear after kernel updates. With all this in mind and more, we will now attempt to solve the problem using some neat and simple tricks.

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Problems starting/deleting Docker containers - How to fix

updated September 2, 2015, category: Software & security

Docker container errors
Recently, I've written a few interesting tutorials on the use of Docker, a neat technology that wraps LXC in a furry bundle of joy, and lets, how shall I put, less autistically inclined developers, engineers and system administrators, not so keen on Python vomit, enjoy the wonders of OS-level virtualization. But there are problems.

The two issues we will discuss today occur when you start a named container, or try to delete one. Namely, the fancy letters on the screen will read something like: "Conflict. The name W is already in use by container XYZ. You have to delete..." And the second piece of trouble reads: "Conflict, cannot remove the default name of the container..." Apart from the blatant misuse of punctuation, we now need to figure out how to sort this out.

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LibreOffice extensions - Leclerc, we have a problem

updated August 31, 2015, category: Software & security

LibreOffice extensions
Why Leclerc? Because Houston sounds American, and Leclerc sounds more French, and Libre is sort of French, ergo title. The reason why we've gathered here today is to talk about a very crucial and yet very tricky part of the LibreOffice suite, and that's its extensions.

Modular, community provided code is every company's slash organization's dream. To have a sustained flux of good ideas and high-quality input from its users and fans, to use the collective intelligence and ultimately free pool of resources to better their products. But that's on paper. In reality, we paint a grim picture.

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LibreOffice 5.0 review - Good stuff

updated August 29, 2015, category: Software & security

LibreOffice 5.0
I woke up this morning babe, and the Internet was storming, inside of me. And when I get that feeling I know I need some LibreOffice testing. Yes. What happened was, I opened the browser, like, and I was, like, there's a new, like, LibreOffice, like, and it's a whole-number version. Yay.

In all seriousness, LibreOffice 5.0 got me really excited. Yes, I know, it was an almost arbitrary increment of a minor version to a major one, much like Mozilla did with Firefox a few years back. Still, I totally liked the previous version, and for the first time in many years, it showed real, actual potential of being a viable alternative to payware solutions. Let's see in which direction this latest edition carries the good news and all that hope.

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The future of Firefox Add-ons - Nope

updated August 28, 2015, category: Software & security

Firefox addons future
Just a few days ago, I read a Mozilla blog entry on what the company has in store for its most popular and strategically important feature: the extensions. While the lingo was technical without the use of marketing slogans and the word exciting, it still paints a grim picture for Firefox users. Not because the change is bad. Because it is wrong.

Once in a while, I must give my sermons, to help you figure out how things work. Why this is not going to be good for us, the users, and why we must duly prepare, in advance. As it happens, Mozilla does not fully understand the market. It truly does not. When you make decisions based on incorrect data, you are bound to make a disastrous choice. Let's try to amend this, if possible.

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How to backup and restore the partition table

updated August 26, 2015, category: Software & security

Partition table backup & restore
For those of you new to Dedoimedo articles, you have a serious backlog of reading ahead of you, before you can confidently navigate the perilous waters of the Nerdy Bay, where words like partition and table are used with wild abandon.

But if you are in the groove, then you shall like this article. Today, we will talk about partition table backup and restore, why and when you should undertake this seemingly dubious step, and why it's useful. After me.

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Announcing: Linux Problem Solving Book!

updated August 24, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Problem Solving Book
Ladies and gentlemen, I am most proud to announce the imminent publication of my latest and greatest tech book, Problem-solving in High Performance Computing: A Situational Awareness Approach with Linux. Published by Morgan Kaufmann, Elsevier, it will hit the markets in roughly mid-late September 2015.

For the past 17 months, I have worked hard behind the scenes compiling this book, and putting in pretty much everything I know about large-scale computing and problem solving. The end result is about 320 pages of deep Linux troubleshooting, statistical engineering, and best practices. For anyone who even remotely considers using Linux for work, this should definitely intrigue you.

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OpenSUSE 13.2 on Lenovo G50 - Bald and beautiful

updated August 22, 2015, category: Software & security

Lenovo G50 & OpenSUSE 13.2
Many a month ago, when I purchased my new test system, a Lenovo G50 laptop, I promised I would start installing and running all sorts of distros, to check how well they cope with the new hardware, the challenges of UEFI, Secure Boot, and GPT, and other lovely details.

So far, we've mostly had brand new distros, with an odd exception here and there. Now, we will test yet another distro from the past, openSUSE 13.2 Harlequin, which we have already seen in action last November. Let's see what it does here.

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Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela - Tight as a tiger

updated August 21, 2015, category: Software & security

Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela
I am officially confused. I thought that Mint release names ought to progress through the alphabet, and after Rebecca, we were supposed to have something like Stephanie or such. Instead, we get Rafaela. But no matter, it will still be an interesting review.

Now, I wasn't too pleased with Rebecca in my original test, as the system struggled with some of the hardware of my older HP laptop, and consequently, there were a bunch of networking problems. The KDE experience on the G50 machine was much better, including all the elegance of Plasma 5. Now, we will commence to start another test on the same laptop. Let's see.

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Cinnamon: Not all Sugar and Spice

updated August 19, 2015, category: Software & security

Cinnamon extensions
Recently, I have installed and tested Linux Mint 17.2, and found it quite adorable. One of the major improvements the distribution brings to the proverbial Penguin table is a set of stylistic and functional changes to its settings menu, including the way you manage themes, icons, extensions, and the rest of the desktop bits and pieces. All of that, in a review, coming soon. But that's only one side of the story.

An essential piece of the desktop environment, the extensions provide both a wider array of features beyond the default set as well as provide a way for the community to become and remain engagement with the distribution. Mods, in their various shapes and forms, have often helped products become more successful, through a myriad user contributions. Look at Firefox, look at digital games. But then, how good and useful are Cinnamon's extensions really?

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CentOS K3b + MP3 + Audio CD defeated me

updated August 17, 2015, category: Software & security

CentOS, K3b & audio CD
Bear with me. There's a chance this article's problem has a trivial solution, and I'm just being severely challenged. But the story goes as follows, several months ago, one of my readers contacted me, asking how one would go about creating audio CD in CentOS. I agreed to help, and promised a full tutorial for the wider audience. Which is what prompted this article.

However, it is not often that I utterly fail in my mission. But writing about my Linux failures is just as important as any other successful tutorial. One, I have recommended CentOS plenty in the past, and so it wouldn't be fair to you if I were to hide away the distro's ugly points and problems. Two, this is an important message to the community, and hopefully, this little article will prompt the right kind of reaction. Now, let's proceed.

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Toyota Prius review - Oh, this is intriguing

updated August 15, 2015, category: Car reviews

Toyota Prius
Yes, as you know, I really HATE hybrid cars. Imagine that. Which means this is probably the most important car review I will have ever written. Oh, I will try to put aside my anger and disdain, and try to be impartial and honest and all that. Honesty, the very reason why my articles kick ass, including this one, and you haven't even read it. As it happens, my family conscious friend decided to upgrade his transportation experience to a mixed petrol and battery formula, and he asked me to give his set of wheels my blessing.

What makes this review even more intriguing than its title and the initial statement is that I have driven the previous generation of Prius in the US, and I absolutely didn't like it one bit. True, it was a rental, it smelled of smoking, and the rainy conditions in Portland, Oregon did not agree with its eco-molded tires. I have also driven the likes of Honda Insight and other hybrids, and none of these were even remotely fun to play with. So now, let's see what gives with a brand new Prius. After me.

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Android, iOS, Windows Phone - Which one is the best?

updated August 14, 2015, category: Software & security

Smartphone comparison
The moment hath cometh. Dedoimedo is going to give you the ultimate verdict on smartphone usage. Indeed, now that I've finally had the opportunity to try all three major operating systems used on smartphones, I think I'm entitled to give you a short guide on which one of these you should use, when and why and how.

Remember, I am not a great fan of smartphones, I'm pragmatic, I'm cynical, and I treat these little devices as yet another - fairly overrated - piece of the computing spectrum. There's nothing special or magical about them, but you can still make your life slightly more meaningful by making the right selection for your next handheld set. To wit, this short comparison article, which tells you the strong and weak aspects of each, so you can avoiding coming across as too much of an idiot. Please follow me.

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Amazon Fire TV - They promised me milk and honey

updated August 11, 2015, category: Software & security

Amazon Fire TV
My quest for the ultimate home media streaming center continues. I've had a whole bunch of semi-successes, lukewarm and short-lasting, and a bunch of failures, some of which you have yet to read about. All in all, I have not found THE one appliance that would wow my socks and make me feel like I've nailed it. Or replace my smart TV.

Next in line is Amazon Fire TV, a USD99.99 appliance. On its own, it might not be that great, but if you couple it with Amazon Prime, which you can get for one month free trial pretty much anywhere in the world, with the caveat of not being able to ship most of Prime's prime [sic] products, well, it just might be worth testing. Indeed, the combined offering of means lots of cheap or even free streaming, and this little gadget might just be the right thing for me. We shall see. Follow me.

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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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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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