My new epic biblical mythology novel I Shall Slay the Dragon! has been published. Go get it.

Updated: November 14, 2018 | Category: Linux

Linux Mint Cinnamon theme edit

I came across an interesting, frustrating problem while testing Linux Mint 19 Tara. Namely, the Cinnamon edition of this distro uses the new flat Mint-Y theme. While pretty, it's also ergonomically bad. It comes with a low font contrast (pale gray on white), making it very hard to distinguish elements or spend any spell of time reading. I wanted to fix this right away, and I realized the solution wasn't trivial.

Similar to what I've shown you in my Gnome theme editing tutorial, I'd like to give you a very similar take on Cinnamon. This will not be a very long guide, but it should save you a lot of trouble. If you want to use this desktop environment, and you find the existing theme/font color choices are inadequate, follow me.

Read more ...

Updated: November 12, 2018 | Category: Windows

Windows 10 admin tools

Working with Windows 10 is an interesting phenomenon. Often, functionality is hidden or purposefully obfuscated, making administration work that much harder compared to earlier editions of Windows. Then, because this operating system is so popular, there are always many clever ways and workarounds for pretty much every problem.

Finding the right tools is almost as important as knowing what the issue is. But assuming you're following sound principles of problem solving, then having the adequate toolbox will help resolve problems quickly and efficiently. In this article, I'd like to present some of the most handy programs an advanced Windows user should always have in their proverbial IT drawer. Follow me.

Read more ...

Updated: November 10, 2018 | Category: Internet

Ghostery

Here's a mind-blowing but obvious realization: the Internet is one giant shopping litmus test lab, with billions of voluntary participants helping big corporations fine-tune their products and marketing strategies. This is done without the use of elaborate, interruptive questionnaires. All it takes is some Javascript running behind every visible Web page, and Bob's your uncle.

The most pervasive form of marketing is, you guessed right, online ads. Shown to you in all sorts of shapes and colors, they not only peddle wondrous solutions, they also directly and indirectly measure (i.e. track) the human response to the shown content, and this wealth of statistical data is used to make future products and future ads work even better for the selling party. On its own, this might not be bad, except people are greedy. What might have been just innocent marketing has become one giant data harvesting industry, going way beyond simple browsing habits. If you are not so keen on participating mind and soul, you are probably using an ad blocker tool of some sort. We talked about Noscript, we talked about UMatrix, we talked about Adblock Plus. Today, we will talk about Ghostery.

Read more ...

Updated: November 3, 2018 | Category: Linux games

TrackMania Nations Forever

Arcade is not really my thing. But sometimes, when you're really tired and your brain is buzzing by on fumes of intelligence and borderline paranoia that comes from extreme exhaustion, arcade can be a lifesaver. Sometimes, you just want something simple, raw and straightforward.

TrackMania Nations Forever is exactly that - a simple, no-nonsense - actually yes-nonsense - arcade racer, which lets you compete solo (Han Solo) against the computer or play against other humans, on your local network or online. Strap into a sled on wheels and start racing. Don't worry about physics. Worry about besting your foe as you hockey-puck through, around and over mad, delirium-architected tracks. Let's do a review, shall we?

Read more ...

Updated: November 2, 2018 | Category: Linux

Ubuntu & Deja Dup backups

What has more umlauts than lebkuchen? Deja Dup. Properly spelled with a whole bunch of accents, this is a simple but versatile backup tool, included in Ubuntu by default. Normally, I have my own backup methods, but while playing with Ubuntu 18.04 Unity, I had the tool pop up and prompt me to configure some redundancy for me files and folders. And I thought, all right, this is a fairly non-aggressive offer - it does not pop up right away, it lets you use your system for a few days before gently raising its head.

And so I am going to show you how to use Deja Dup, as well as outline the various interesting feature it has. I was not expecting much, but then, as I clicked through the GUI, I realized there's more to this than just a seemingly bland interface. Follow me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 31, 2018 | Category: Linux

Xubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish

Let the distro testing season begin! It's that time of the year again, and me first volunteer is Xubuntu 18.10, the Xfce flavor of the family. My journey with Xubuntu has been a colorful one. I wasn't pleased with it for a long time, but then it suddenly soared, becoming really good around 2014-2017. This past year though, there's been less enthusiasm and innovation in the distro. I don't know why.

The previous edition, Bionic Beaver, was sort of average, which isn't a good result for an LTS, offering the familiar, understated Xfce look and feel but without the extra zest and fun that we had only a year prior. So it shall be most interesting to see how Cosmic behaveth today. The test box will be the eight-boot UEFI/GPT Lenovo G50, with Intel graphics. Let us merrily proceed.

Read more ...

Updated: October 29, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma apps

What is the one big advantage that Linux distributions have over Windows? If you ask me, that would be the fact that distributions come as complete bundles containing the kernel (i.e. operating system), the drivers, the desktop environment, and on top of that, a stack of applications that allow users to be productive from the first moment they power on the system.

The thing is, in Linux, the software bundles are aligned to desktop environments and NOT to the operating system. For instance, there’s more similarity between Kubuntu, Fedora KDE or openSUSE KDE than there is between Kubuntu and Ubuntu. And that is because the app stack differs so much between the two. As it happens, I’ve been having a lot of fun with Plasma lately – Slimbook Pro2 and Plasma 5.14 being some of the many examples. But the software I use isn’t necessarily pure KDE. Hence this article. I’d like to take a deeper look at the default and/or official Plasma applications and see how good and useful they are if you were to commit yourself to a 100% Plasma experience.

Read more ... (external link)

Updated: October 27, 2018 | Category: Various

VeraCrypt

For many years, TrueCrypt was one of the most popular cross-platform encryption tools. Simple, flexible, powerful. Then, suddenly, the project team decided to EOL their work in a rather abrupt manner, releasing decrypt-only version 7.2. This left version 7.1x and earlier in a predicament. Well, the thing is, TrueCrypt is still a safe and practical product, and you can use version 7.1a. But if this whole affair makes you somewhat uneasy, you may want to try a different solution.

Rising from the ashes of TrueCrypt is VeraCrypt, a program designed to continue the legacy of TrueCrypt while also adding new functionality, address existing problems, and allowing users the same flexibility and peace of mind that TrueCrypt gave them so far. Let's see what gives.

Read more ...

Updated: October 24, 2018 | Category: Linux

Slimbook Pro2 & Kubuntu 18.04, report 1

It has been a few weeks since I purchased my lovely Slimbook Pro2 and installed Kubuntu 18.04 on it. A few weeks during which I put the laptop and its operating system through a series of real-life usage tests, just as I've promised. I do use Linux in my production setup, but only sparingly, mostly because the domains of gaming and writing are not as good as on the Windows side of things.

This attempt is a no-nonsense approach to using Linux fully and completely for serious tasks, without any glamor and fanboyism. While Linux has always served me superbly in the data center space, on the desktop and in the office, it's always taken a second place to Windows. Well, Slimbook + Kubuntu might shatter my preconceptions and exceed my expectations. Might. Also, henceforth, I shall call my machine Slimbuntu. Or not. Anyway, after me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 22, 2018 | Category: Various

Old man

I often wonder what is the definition of an old person. Is it their age? Their mental age? Their attitude to life? Their ability to perform physical work? Their willingness to tolerate bullshit? Their willingness and capacity to learn new things - or even try new things? A combination of all these factors?

Well, I guess I'm one of the few people who thinks about this, it seems, because if you look around, the world of modern technology is all about fashion and youthful fads, from a new streaming platform to a new chat service to a new this or that. Everything's peachy, and the concepts of age and aging are a far and distant, maybe even nonexistent worry. But this is probably the greatest economic threat to modern, developed societies. They are getting older, and there's nothing to stop that.

Read more ...

Updated: October 20, 2018 | Category: Windows

Policy Plus

If you wish to enable, restrict or control certain administrative functionality in Windows, there are multiple ways you can implement tweaks. But in the end, it all comes down to registry changes. You can make these manually, with a registry editor (regedit.exe) or you can make them using Group Policies. The latter is a set of administrative templates that allow system functionality to be shaped and then replicated across multiple nodes, simplifying management. Although changes still happen in the registry under the hood, Group Policies are exposed to users via a friendly human-readable UI editor, and they are safer than manual registry work. The only problem is, you don't get Group Policies in Windows Home.

Indeed, I've noticed a lot of people clamoring over the fact that Windows 10 Home does not have this magical group policy editor, which comes with a handy name of gpedit.msc. This is nothing new. Going as far back as Windows XP at the very least, Home editions of the Windows operating system did not have the group policy editor, and people who wanted to make changes had to make registry tweaks. Which is where the utility named Policy Plus comes in. After me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 17, 2018 | Category: Internet

Google Chrome update error

Over the years, for me, Google Chrome has worked, largely, without major problems. There were some snags here and there, including a few Aw swap issues and a rare incompatibility with EMET. Other than that, it's always worked fairly reliably, and I had no reasons to complain. Especially not regarding its self-update functionality.

That changed while I was testing Windows 10 update 1804. Not having powered on the box for a few weeks, Chrome was lagging behind a couple of version, so I thought, let's fire up the browser and make it update. The attempt failed with the following text: An error occurred while checking for updates: Update check failed to start (error code 3: 0x80080005 -- system level). What now?

Read more ...

Updated: October 15, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma 5.14

Linux is much like the stock market. Moments of happiness broken by crises. Or is the other way around? Never mind. Today shall hopefully be a day of joy, for I am about to test Plasma 5.14, the latest version of this neat desktop environment. Recently, I’ve had a nice streak of good energy with Linux, mostly thanks to my experience with Slimbook Pro2, which I configured with Kubuntu Beaver. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum.

Now, before we begin, there are more good news woven into this announcement. As you can imagine, you do need some kind of demonstrator to test the new desktop. Usually, it’s KDE neon, which offers a clean, lean, mean KDE-focused testing environment. You can boot into the live session, try the desktop, and if you like it, you can even install it. Indeed, neon is an integral part of my eight-boot setup on the Lenovo G50 machine. But what makes things really interesting is that neon has also switched to the latest Ubuntu LTS base. It now comes aligned to the 18.04 family, adorned with this brand new Plasma. Proceed.

Read more ... (external link)

Updated: October 13, 2018 | Category: Linux

OpenSUSE, mount busy error

The issue you facing is as follows: you are trying to mount a partition on the command line. You've done this a thousand times before. Only now, for some odd reason, the system informs you that the particular partition you're trying to use is already mounted or mount point busy. This is an annoying and unexpected error.

I've encountered this issue while merrily testing OpenSUSE Leap 15. I wanted to check the contents of two specific partitions, in order to figure out which one was which - two different distros, and one had to be sacrificed for the upcoming openSUSE installation. But the installation wizard didn't have any labels, so I had to manually mount. Except I could not do this. I decided to explore the issue in more detail, and so this tutorial was born. After me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 12, 2018 | Category: Various

GIMP & BIMP

I was thinking, BIMP My GIMP, but then, the article title would have been too much like my PIMP My GIMP review, and we don't want that. All right, so GIMP is a very neat, powerful image processing program, with tons of options, filters and plugins. But there's one thing it does not do well - and that's automated operations. You can't really record a set of image processing actions and then repeat them at will.

Or rather, this is doable, but it takes expertise, command line and tears. Instead, in this little guide, I'm going to show you a superior way of performing repetitive bulk actions on your images, which should help shave off a fair amount of time, reduce errors and eliminate tears. The name of the game: BIMP, and so we commence.

Read more ...

Updated: October 10, 2018 | Category: Game reviews

Cities Skylines - best traffic guide

Here we go again. Third time lucky. I've already gently bored you with half a dozen articles on Cities Skylines traffic management, offering ideas and solutions to make the game's engine and somewhat incomplete pathfinding algorithms work with you, rather than against you. After all, urban simulation is meant to be fun!

All my previous guides so far had one problem - they were expensive. The recent ones focused more on making the monetary side of things tick, too, but proposed infrastructure still came with a hefty bill, making my cities less profitable. So I got me thinking. Can I be cheap - but also make kickass 100K+ cities with high demand, stunning layout and efficient roads? The answer is, yes.

Read more ...

Updated: October 8, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma desktop window position

The Plasma desktop has many virtues. It's elegant, stylish, and you can customize the living daylights out of it, if such a need grabbeth thy heart. But then, side by side with this modern, sleek look, you get some rather odd ergonomic choices. Like the fact that Plasma does not have a simple toggle to allow you to save window positions for your applications. Start a program, and it's always placed in the top left corner.

In this tutorial, I will show you how you can work around this issue. And that way, you will achieve the expected functionality, which exists elsewhere, of being able to have your programs start with the size and position that you want, every time, whether you choose to save the desktop session or not. After me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 6, 2018 | Category: Windows

Windows 10 updates

The Windows Update functionality has changed a lot over the years. I remember you needed the Internet Explorer and ActiveX to download stuff in XP. Then, come Windows 7 and 8.1, we got a dedicated browser-less utility that would - will - do this for you, relatively quickly and elegantly. Windows 10 introduced yet another change - the updates are nestled inside the immersive control panel (the new settings), and you get them in a cumulative fashion, and with less tweaking than before. Oh, they also got much, much longer. And also far less stable than they used to be.

In this article, I want to talk about these changes - and what they are harmful to the user. And then, talk about what Microsoft plans to do to address user complaints (partially). And then, there's the overarching story, and this is one of the regressive nature of agile development that has taken the Internet by storm, and not in a good way. Follow me.

Read more ...

Updated: October 5, 2018 | Category: Office

AbiWord

Nine years ago, I reviewed Abiword and loved it. Small, fierce, full of goodies. This frugal, elegant and powerful word processor offered a staggering range of tools and options from a very modest footprint of only about 25 MB, with things like cross-platform support, portable version, Computer Modern fonts, and many other highlights. I've kept using it ever since, especially on my less-capable devices like the Asus eeePC netbook.

It is time for another review. A lot of summers have passed since, LibreOffice was born and became the de-facto workhorse of the open-source office world, with significant improvements in performance and memory footprint, especially in version 5.x onwards. Now, AbiWord had the last stable release two years ago, and it might actually be on its way to retirement, but I still felt I ought to write a fresh review. Let's see what gives.

Read more ...

Updated: October 3, 2018 | Category: Internet

URL proposal change

Recently, Google started enforcing its new looks onto Gmail users, without the ability to switch back to old (classic) Gmail. Until a few days ago, you could go back to the older version. Not anymore. The problem is, the new interface is designed primarily for mobile use. It is aesthetically pleasing but ergonomically inferior.

Like any mobile product, everywhere, throughout the galaxy, once it's applied to the desktop, it does not work or look as well as it should. Here, the main reason is - the use of the Roboto fonts. In this guide, I will show you several tricks you can use to recreate the classic looks and enjoy improved visual clarity on the desktop.

Read more ...

Updated: October 1, 2018 | Category: Internet

URL proposal change

You may have heard about this. Google is considering an idea of changing how people interact with websites. More specifically, how people interact with URLs, the human-readable Web addresses by which we largely identify and remember websites we go to. The ripple effect around this proposal has been quite interesting, to say the least. And it got me thinking.

One, the actual backlash against the change is more revealing than the change itself. Two, is there really any real merit in trying to make URLs somehow more meaningful and/or useful than their current form? To that end, you are reading this article.

Read more ...

Updated: September 29, 2018 | Category: Internet

WYSIWYG editors, 2018

Once upon a time, visual HTML editors were all the rage. You would open a browser-like program and just type your pages, without thinking too much about the source code, the scripts, or even the looks. The magic happened somewhere behind the scenes. Then, slowly but surely, online CMS started showing up, and eventually became the modern norm. But what if you still want to write Web stuff offline?

It does sound a bit like a paradox - after all, you WILL be uploading your material one day. Still, being able to write in an offline manner has its perks and convenience. Moreover, if you do not use any CMS, writing pure HTML can be tedious. Having a nice frontend helps you focus on what you want people to read, not necessarily what machines ought to be interpretting and displaying. The question is, how difficult is this to achieve in the year 2018?

Read more ...

Updated: September 28, 2018 | Category: Greatest sites

Greatest sites on the Internet

More awesome coming your way. In the age of the bland and the superficial, Dedoimedo provideth thee with the bestest of the best, the pure and true that the Internet has to offer. One, Atomic Rockets, a website dedicated to Robert A. Heinlein and Sir Arthur C. Clarke. What that means, in tech parlance, is that aims to be scientifically accurate. If you've never read these two authors, then you should be made aware of the fact they always tried to make their sci-fi plausible, i.e. more science less technobabble.

Two, Sergio Bonelli Editore. If you do not speak Italian, now is a good time to learn, because some of the finest comic strips ever to grace the paper are of the Italian persuasion. No rush, as the publishing house has been around since 1940, and its colorful characters have stirred many a heart over the decades. Zagor, Martin Mystere, Dylan Dog, Tex Willer, Commandante Mark, you name it.

Read more ...

Updated: September 26, 2018 | Category: Windows

Show and hide Windows 10 updates

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has introduced a number of changes into the Windows Update functionality. Mandatory updates for home users plus reboots (which you can work around), cumulative updates that should save space over time, while also reducing management flexibility, and also, no visible way to hide specific updates.

Such a move makes (some) sense for "ordinary" users, but it does not make any sense for advanced users who want to control what they install, specifically drivers but also certain other components. Well, in this guide, I will show you a simple, non-intrusive and official way of handling updates, so you can hide them just like in earlier releases of Windows.

Read more ...

Updated: September 22, 2018 | Category: Linux

GTK+ Font Manager

You like fonts, don’t you? Well, we all do. So what happens if you want to install a fresh new font in your Linux distribution, and that distribution happens to be running, say, a Gnome desktop environment? You will have probably noticed that the font management facility available in the system settings tool is rather limited.

First, there’s the actual issue of how to handle fonts in the first place – Gnome Tweak Tool – and then, you only have the ability to select from the existing range of fonts, but not really install any new ones. At the moment, it would seem, your one option is to manually copy font files into either the system or home directory fonts folder. Well, there’s a better way. Meet GTK+ Font Manager. Manager, meet your new user.

Read more ... (external link)

Updated: September 22, 2018 | Category: Linux

Carrots & dev letter

Dear Developer,

I'm writing to you because I need you help.

No, this is not one of those ex-general's ex-wife offshore fund letters. I am not asking for any money.

Just recently, I have learned a very interesting, very unusual piece of trivia. It has come to my attention that while growing up, most developers have had a rather unusual diet. Unlike the rest of the population, they were quite vigorously fed carrots by their parents, which would explain excellent eyesight. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain what I am about to write next.

Read more ...

Updated: September 21, 2018 | Category: Linux

Linux, begining of the end

From what I've been able to discern these past few weeks, there's been a big drama over at the Linux Kernel mailing list. Long story short, following a series of expletive-drenched outbursts, bickering and other misunderstanding, Linus Torvalds has come forward with an apology, and has decided to temporarily step away from the leadership position as the benevolent dictator for life, to rest, reflect on his (rude) behavior, and seek help. In other words, this is a monumental moment in history.

Most people (will) focus on the expletives part of this incident and the subsequent apology, but they are actually missing the bigger picture. It's not about the use of the English language, it is what will happen because of the use of that language. It's about the future of the Linux kernel. Hear me out.

Read more ...

Updated: September 19, 2018 | Category: Linux

Fedora, customization guide

Over the years, my experience with Fedora has been an unpredictable rollercoaster. Some of the releases were really splendid, some rather bad. The thing is, you can't really know until you try. The one thing that can be established with a moderate level of certainty is that Fedora's overall quality has gone up. It's transformed from a purely beta-quality tester thing into an almost reasonable home usage distro, although short-lived and with a heavy dev focus.

As such, it does need changes to make accessible to the ordinary users. Since I do derive joy from writing guides and tutorials that help people use their systems more effectively, I've written numerous tweaking articles for Fedora (and other distros), which show how to obtain codecs, extra software, and such. Today, we shall take this up another notch. Follow me.

Read more ...

Updated: September 17, 2018 | Category: Linux

Ubuntu, no reboot

This sounds like a rather obscure title, don't you think? Well, picture this. You have an Ubuntu distro flavor installed, in my case Kubuntu 18.04 Beaver or KDE neon, and you want to reboot. For some odd reason, clicking the right button through the system menu does not do anything. There's no restart happening. OK, so you go for a command line trick.

You open a console window and you type sudo reboot. Only you receive the following error message: Failed to start reboot.target: Transaction is destructive. See system logs and 'systemctl status reboot.target' for details. What. At this point, it seems like a hard boot is the only option. But then, that's not really a solution. Let's investigate.

Read more ...

Updated: September 15, 2018 | Category: Linux

Plasma & HD scaling

Say you have a small form-factor device with a high-resolution display. Case in point, my Slimbook Pro2 laptop, which comes with fourteen inches of equity and 1920x1080 pixel grid. This means things are rendered rather small, and if you wish to read or interact with the desktop environment and the applications in a meaningful way, you will strain your eyes - unless you're twenty and a developer, in which case you have bionic eyes.

Prompted by this serious ergonomic need, I started fiddling with different options and settings, to see if I could adjust the viewability in KDE, and make the small screen shows things in a slightly enlarged manner. This turned out to be a rather long and non-trivial exercise. In this guide, I will show you how to properly and elegantly scale the KDE desktop, GTK applications (both 2.0 and 3.0 editions), Firefox and Chrome browsers with tips that also apply to all operating systems and use cases, and then some. After me.

Read more ...

Updated: September 14, 2018 | Category: Internet

Google Chrome 69 theme change

Say what you will about Chrome, but over the years, it has maintained a rather consistent look & feel. The changes are mostly done under the hood and they do not interfere with how the user interacts with the browser. But occasionally, mostly guided by their wider influence in the OS space, especially the mobile world, Google has made some stylistic changes. Most notably, they introduced Material Design to the Chrome UI, and now, there's another facelift.

I noticed the new looks in the freshly updated Chrome 69 in Kubuntu Beaver, and I wasn't too happy. The font is gray and pale, ergo contrast isn't as good as it should be, and the new round design feels odd. So I decided to change this back to the older style. Let me show you how you can do this.

Read more ...

Updated: September 12, 2018 | Category: Linux

Fstransform

File system conversion is not an everyday thing. For that matter, it’s not even an every year thing. But when you do need to convert from one format to another, the operation is usually long, tedious and sometimes destructive. Most often, you would copy files to a backup location, re-format the partition, then copy the data back. The notion of being able to do a seamless, live conversion sounds like a cool thing.

Fstranform is a tool designed to offer in-place file system conversions without a need for a backup. This program does its magic by mounting several loopback devices and uses them to shuffle bytes to and fro while it restructures the file system layout. The advantages – if proven successful, of course – are in that you do not need to worry about backup devices (could be many terabytes), and you could potentially save time. Sold! Let’s see how it works.

Read more ... (external link)

Updated: September 10, 2018 | Category: Linux

Slimbook Pro2 + Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

Several days ago, I happily posted an article showcasing my first impressions with a recently purchased Slimbook Pro2 laptop. I was extremely pleased with how the experience went. The laptop looks the part, behaves the part. I installed Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver LTS on it, and things only got better from there.

I didn't elaborate much on the actual operating system experience. But this is why we're here. I want to give a detailed overview - and yet another Kubuntu 18.04 review - of the actual setup, the hardware part, speed, performance, battery, all the important bits and pieces. After all, I intend to use this machine for serious work, and everything has to be super green. So let's see.

Read more ...

Updated: September 8, 2018 | Category: Internet

WordPress Gutenberg

WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) and blogging platform in the world. There are a lot of good reasons for that. It is accessible, simple and intuitive to use, and highly flexible, with a bewildering range of professional plugins and themes. Over the years, it has asserted itself as the dominant choice for those looking to create dynamic, responsive websites. I am a happy user, too. I've been using it myself since 2012, on my book writing blog. Unfortunately, all this goodness is poised to go down the drain.

WordPress 5.0, the next major release, is going to feature a revised UI (the backend) using a framework called Gutenberg. This new UI looks like it's going to take away all the good things that made WordPress so cool, and destroy the beautiful elegance, efficiency and simplicity with something that feels like an abstract, touch-optimized experiment. Let's discuss.

Read more ...

Updated: September 7, 2018 | Category: Hardware

Slimbook Pro2 is here

Here we go. My Slimbook Pro2 has arrived! About two weeks ago, I decided to try something new: see if I can use Linux - Kubuntu in particular - for serious desktop work. While I've used Linux professionally for more than a decade, on the desktop side, Windows remains the favorite son. But we might have a credence revival here, so to speak, proverbially. Thus, it beginneth. Forgive the pun, if you can.

Strangely, most of the feedback from readers was negative, pessimistic or both. People shared their experiences with Linux-carrying hardware vendors, and the impressions were not good. Some people warned me that my Wireless was going to suck. Others expressed dismay or dismissal for the Slimbook website. Now that the laptop has arrived, it is time to put the rumors, gossip, expectations, and desires to a test.

Read more ...

Updated: September 5, 2018 | Category: Office

Microsoft Word & numbered lists

Sometimes, seemingly trivial things can be daunting. Say you're writing a document in Microsoft Word. Say you're using headings (title, headings 1, headings 2, etc.), and then you want to create a table of contents, too. But then you realize you haven't really numbered your headings. You want to do this retrospectively, and you realize it's not an easy task.

In this guide, I'd like to show you how you can create smart, flexible multilevel lists with numbering and bullets, so that you can style your document headings with precision. This will also help you create more professional papers and your tables of contents will be better looking, too. Let's do it.

Read more ...

Updated: September 3, 2018 | Category: Virtualization

VMware Workstation 14

Several weeks ago, we tested VMware Player 14. It was simple, versatile, robust - and not quite as rich in features as I had expected. Which is why I'm going to test the Workstation today. Indeed, the free Player is a tech demonstrator for the much more powerful and ultimately more expensive VMware Workstation Pro.

If you're on a hunt for a useful, Jack-o'-all-Trades virtualization product, you will normally be told about two principal products: Oracle VirtualBox and VMware Workstation. Years back, I bought the Workstation on several occasions, and it proved to be a valuable piece of software: Unity mode, reasonable 3D support, and it worked seamlessly both in Windows and Linux. But then, upgrades to new versions were quite expensive, and in the end, I opted for freeware solutions. Maybe this one will rekindle my shopping spree mood. Let's see what version 14 can offer us.

Read more ...

Updated: September 1, 2018 | Category: Linux

Gnome 3 customization

As time goes by, the Gnome 3 desktop is becoming more and more restrictive in what it allows its users to do, fundamentally mistaking visual and functional minimalism, further complicating things by using a pseudo-touch interface that makes little sense on the desktop. Shame, because it doesn't make much to have Gnome look and behave the part. I've written a whole bunch of guides explaining how you can regain some of the functionality (and sanity) back, and it's time for another such article.

First, please read the basics as I've outlined many months ago. Now, we will explore additional themes and options, additional extensions, and some other settings. Not all of this will bear fruit, but it's an exercise that should ultimately give you the right pointers to using Gnome 3 effectively. Let's roll.

Read more ...