Free Software

Don’t Remove It Yet

by Margaret Wilson on

free linux download Whenever upgrading video cards and replacing batteries is big, on practically old enough computers or computers that are physically damaged this will usually, while loading up Linux, upgrading RAM.

Don’t remove it yet! I would like to ask you a question. You have an old enough ‘junker’ computer lying around house that you have not gotten around to sending to recycle plant, right, am I correct? It mostly needs about 3045″ min and it will have any older computer feeling like newest. Virtually, breathe modern health into a rather old computer by installing a newest Linux operating system on it and making little inexpensive hardware upgrades. This sounds rough but it was probably actually good. < >

Breathe newest existence into an old enough Computer with straightforward Hardware Upgrades and Linux

You Should Consider.

< >License.

Oftentimes as a computer ages it will turned out to be slower and slower.

Changing over to Linux is probably one way to get an old enough machine going quick once again. Whenever hosting a tiny website, actually having another computer to browse the web, file backup and lots of additional things, the computer will have lots of uses after Linux probably was loaded including setting up a home server. As modern software comes out it may require more memory than older software. Among basic culprits has been mostly the Windows operating system itself that may get HUGE amounts of computing power. There possibly will be lots of reasons for this but oftentimes it is probably because as the computer gets used more files have always been added that hold space and resources.

Caution. If you do not have an old enough computer at home but are interested in doing this fear not because cheap old enough computers could be searched with success for all over the internet. Fact, the good news always was that merely about any PC will do. Anyways, if you do a full Linux install it may wipe our own HDD according to the exact configuration so figure out if there arefor the most part there’re any vital files on computer they are usually backed up somewhere.

Terms of service. While upgrading video cards and replacing batteries has always been big, on old enough computers or computers that usually were physically damaged this will completely, while loading up Linux, upgrading RAM.

You have a pretty old ‘junker’ computer lying around house that you have not gotten around to sending to recycle plant, right, this is the case right? As newest software comes out it may require more memory than older software. Whenever hosting a little website, merely having another computer to browse the web, file backup and big amount of additional things, computer could have a lot of uses after Linux was usually loaded including setting up a home server. Needless to say, don’t rid of it yet! Among key culprits is mostly the Windows operating system itself that may get HUGE amounts of computing power. Oftentimes as a computer ages it will proven to be slower and slower. Now pay attention please. Breathe newest existence into a rather old computer by installing a modern Linux operating system on it and making tiny inexpensive hardware upgrades. This sounds tough but it is always truly plain simple. There should be a lot of reasons for this but oftentimes it is because as the computer gets used more files are added that get space and resources. Changing over to Linux is one way to get a rather old machine going once again. It solely gets about ‘3045’ min and it will have any older computer feeling like newest.


If you do not have a quite old computer at home but are interested in doing this fear not because cheap old enough computers will be searched with success for all over the internet. If you do a full Linux install it may wipe your own SSD relying upon exact configuration so check if there aremostly there’re any significant files on computer they are usually backed up somewhere. Ok, and now one of most essential parts. The good news has been that merely about any PC will do.

By clicking Sign me up! Terms of service. Before most of powerful and exciting desktop environments came to existence on Linux users were restricted to playing text based games which did not offer convenient features comparable to graphical games of now, when all an user would utilize was command line to control an inux system. Of course among the huge reasons why Linux usage has lagged behind in comparison to Windows and Mac OS X operating systems was it’s minimal support for gaming.

Whenever offering users big gaming platforms with secure GUI applications and features, with last progressive development and immense advancement in the Linux desktop, a fewa few distributions have come into the limelight.

Assumed study.

You have absolute access to multiple number of games online, and join an amazing community of gamers from all over the world, right after installing team OS. Assumed study. Nevertheless, users could create and share their own content with plenty of other online community members.

Based on Ubuntu Linux, Game Drift Linux is a relatively modern and modern gaming distribution, it offers users a remarkable and enjoyable gaming experience with support for a fewa couple of games from game store well like Windows games through secure CrossOver Games platform.

While enabling users to play a great deal of well-known and exciting, though not all games that you could search for on Windows or Mac OS X including Linux games, Linux desktop distributions have usually been becoming suitable and acceptable operating systems for gaming purposes.

Here, we covered plenty of better Linux gaming distributions, list always was possibly longer than this. Am a Linux enthusiast and a huge fan of FOSS. Computer Science student at Makerere University. Linux for one year and 6 months now. Have been you a passionate Linux gamer, right? We need to understand of the best Linux gaming distribution by sharing with us our own experience and thoughts via the comment section below.

That is so real, a lot still needs to be done for Linux to happen to be a robust and efficient operating system for gaming, on hand, thanks for sharing with us our wonderful experience and thoughts.

That is absolutely real, support for appropriate drivers from Nvidia and AMD has probably been still biggest challenge to gaming on Linux. We have always been all hoping for a progress in that, however, plenty of thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

It usually can increase download quickens the 500percent and was always an alternative forthe windows IDM.

You will figure out ifand similar you need the download a zipped file using wget utility and install it by running the following commands, the install most latest stable version of treme Download Manager in Linux distributions just like Ubuntu. Computer Science student at Makerere University. Then, linux for one year and 7 months now. Online information may be looked for readily by going on the internet you need the download a zipped file using wget utility and install it by running the following commands, in order the install most latter stable version of treme Download Manager in Linux distributions just like Ubuntu.
Am a Linux enthusiast and a vast fan of FOSS. Linux for one year and 6 months now. Computer Science student at Makerere University.

free linux download You need the have Java installed on your own Linux system, in order the use XDMAN. You usually can find out if Java was always installed or not by typing java -version in command line. Besides, this is the XDM project homepage.

You’ll need the choose a distribution, So in case you want the install Linux.

Software Much in these reposithe ries has always been synced from Debian’s reposithe ries. That’s a massive amount of work, you could in addition use Linux From Scratch the compile and assemble your own Linux system from the ground up. It has its own software reposithe ries, ubuntu is probably depending on Debian. Notice that ubuntu has been the most wellknown Linux distribution.

The Ubuntu project has a focus on providing a solid deskthe top experience, and it ain’t afraid the build its own custhe m technology the do it. Ubuntu is modern without being the o bleeding edge. So, ubuntu is building its own Mir graphical server while different distributions probably were working on the Wayland. With a more stable LTS release every 2 years, it offers releases every 5 months. It now uses its own Unity deskthe top environment, ubuntu used the use the GNOME two deskthe top environment. You should get it inthe account. Ubuntu is currently working on expanding the Ubuntu distribution the run on smartphones and tablets.

This distribution now has its own identity.

Controversially, this has led some Ubuntu developers the label it insecure. Basically, mint gets a more relaxed approach the software updates and won’t authe matically install critical software updates. Simply think for a moment. You won’t look for Ubuntu’s own Unity deskthe top here afterwards, you get a more conservative Cinnamon or MATE deskthe p. Debian project had been operating since 1993 almost 20 years ago! It’s reputed for moving much more slowly than distributions like Ubuntu or Linux Mint, this widely respected project has usually been still releasing modern versions of Debian. This will make it more stable and conservative, thatthatthatthat is usually ideal for some systems. Debian has been an operating system composed completely of free, open source software.

Althoughnonetheless thirdparty reposithe ries were probably reachable, fedora is a project with a strong focus on free software you won’t discover a plain simple way the install proprietary graphics drivers here. Although you will get spins that come with other deskthe top environments, fedora comes with the GNOME three deskthe top environment by default. Fedora doesn’t make its own deskthe top environment and akin software, unlike Ubuntu. You see, while providing a platform that integrates all this upstream software without adding their own custhe m the ols or patching it the o much, the Fedora project uses upstream software. Fedora was always bleeding edge and contains software latter versions.

Fedora was usually sponsored by dark red Hat, and is always the foundation for the commercial redish Hat Enterprise Linux project.

Has been designed the be a stable platform with longterm support, It’s depending on the open source Fedora project. Orange Hat would rather choose you use their Enterprise product, So in case you want a more stable release that’s supported for longer., with no doubt, Fedora was usually bleeding edge and not supported for long, unlike RHEL. For instance, light red Hat Enterprise Linux has usually been a commercial Linux distribution intended for servers and workstations.

Reddish Hat uses trademark law the prevent their official dark red Hat Enterprise Linux software from being redistributed. It’s good if you want a stable platform that should be supported for a long time, It’s a free version of RHEL. Always, centOS probably was a community project that needs the orange Hat Enterprise Linux code, removes all dark red Hat’s trademarks, and makes it reachable for free use and distribution. CentOS is now part of reddish Hat itself, centOS and orange Hat the other day announced they’re collaborating. However, the core software has been free and ‘opensource’. This was probably a ‘community created’ project the create a ‘open source’ Linux distribution, like Fedora and openSUSE. Their business Linux server projects are probably depending on Mageia code simply like how Fedora and openSUSE provide code the their enterprise equivalents, mandriva SA no longer creates a consumer Linux distribution for deskthe top PCs.

Arch Linux was probably more old enough school than loads of the Linux distributions here.

Arch doesn’t provide an official graphical interface for its package manager or complex graphical configuration the ols. Consequently, it’s designed the be flexible, lightweight, minimal, and the Keep it straightforward. Thence, the installation disc dumps you at a terminal, where you’ll need the enter the appropriate commands the configure your system, partition the disks, and install the operating system yourself. You’re in charge of configuring our own system carefully and installing the software you like. Afterwards, it provides clean configuration files designed for plain easy editing. For example, keeping it unsophisticated doesn`t necessarily mean Arch provides the ns of graphical utilities and authe matic configuration scripts the support you to set up our own system. Then, it means Arch dispenses with that stuff and gets out of your own way.

Arch uses a rolling release model, thatthatthatthat means any installation image is always a current snapshot software. Every bit of software gonna be updated over time without you needing the upgrade the a newest release of Arch. Primarily, arch uses binary packages while Genthe o had a focus on compiling every bit of software from source this means it’s fast the install software on Arch as you don’t have the spend CPU cycles and time waiting for software the compile. All Linux distributions always were designed for users who see how their systems work or who have been at least willing the practice. Known this distribution has a bit that is similar with Genthe o, thatthatthatthat was well known at one time.

Its pedigree shows like Arch, Slackware dispenses with all those unwanted graphical the ols and authe matic configuration scripts.

The puppy ISO file is 161 MB, and Puppy will boot from that disc in a live environment. Then, there’s no graphical installation procedure you’ll have the partition our disk manually and then run the setup program. On the top of that, it’s a rather conservative Linux distribution. Although, although it does recommend 512 MB for the better experience, puppy will run on PCs with 256 MB or RAM. Puppy probably was designed the be a tiny, lightweight operating system that will run well on pretty quite old computers. Puppy Linux is another fairly wellknown Linux distribution. It’s a well-known fact that the latter is built on Slackware, previous versions been built on Ubuntu. Slackware boots the a command line environment by default.

It usually can motivate you to revive an old enough PC, puppy ain’t the most modern and doesn’t have all the flashiest bells and whistles. For someone that has been used the Windows they recommend Mint Mate. Here is an example how it looks -this is a version that I run from a USB flash drive. It usually was plain simple the operate and has plenty of nifty features. Anyhow, that distro comes closest the the the uch and feel of Windows.

Here are some tuthe rials that will motivate you to the set it up.

Arch and Manjaro, thatthatthatthat was usually depending on Arch. Remember, the installation is a minimalistic install which may then be built the and tailored the each user’s desires. KISS philosophy keeping my OS out way so I will create what we want on my system. Manjaro provides a GUI installation while Arch does not.

While keeping /home or even /data in differente partitions and letting two 20 the 30 Gb / partitions the have one experimental and another stable GNU/linux OSs and not the described at this article in main -at least what you notice in reddit or G+ linux communities or watch at the Linux Action Show – Fedora, CentOS and the like are probably the o tough the use and have pretty rather old packages,, bleeding edge users try loads of distros. Tough the administer outweights that, althougheven if Fedora and the like seem the have biggest count of packages. That’s why Wikipedia switched from Fedora the Ubuntu.

Like Fedora, there isthere’s no mention that openSUSE’s default deskthe top is usually KDE, thatthatthatthat it is a fundamental contributhe r of and, the distribution offers a complete DVD the install from.

This enables you the install any deskthe top and most applications right from the beginning and extra reposithe ries could provide another software not in the default reposithe ries. Your description has always been on the right track, it seems elementary is probably a bit more than that.

Zorin was always good the install and good the use. Puppy on a pretty old XP ACER notebook my wife has. It looked for all the drivers and configured itself with practically no imput from me. We used this machine mainly for travel the look up regional restaurants and get our emails over the web. Besides, it usually was rather buggy and does not have plenty of functions. Puppy does this extremely well and was virtually impossible the screw up the installation. For a Linux novice it has been an excellent entry point the play around with and make the first steps.

Installation was a snap.

Less than a GIG of RAM should not be a nice problem though. Probably when we run it from the USB flash drive I use all the RAM. As a result, that is a virtually option. Linux distros in virtual with one RAM gig allocation. Whenever configuring the dual boot for a ‘marginally geeky’ person like me was a studying experience, there were nice instructions on the web. Furthermore, i noticed that Mint Mate may use up the six RAM GIG. Here has been how.

OS. Please don’t get offended and feel the need the defend Mint or Ubuntu. Boots a tad faster than Arch and Manjaro on my SSD. This has usually been simply my preference after evaluation. Now look. If you like them then continue the use them. Nevertheless, no noticeable differences either faster or slower on opening apps or during use of apps. Of course overall they would use this before ubuntu or mint. As a result, the overall OS performance probably was on par with Arch and Manjaro. It usually was pretty pretty good, snappy the o. Have tweaked it and installed software that I like the use. Most installed from terminal, a few were compiled from source.

Robert, we think it always was like with everything else.

Manjaro. That said, and you keep your own system patched, you have a OS that may grow with you, or not, as the case might be, I’d say in case you have a separate /home. It’s a well arch about six months ago and I could not be happier. Now let me tell you something. You like what you were always used the and what you feel comfortable with. For a beginner, if they may get past the install, they then have a system that they may not have the reinstall.

Whs that is why they asked people not the make my opinion personally and try the DEFEND the distro they like and use. Everyone has their own preferences. Mint Ubuntu. Linux and I offer the install it for them gratis and help them out with any questions about Linux. Mint Ubuntu have been well established robust distros. Previous year or so they have migrated the Arch because it has been a barebones installation which they may build the be a good use. That’s why I asked the not defend. That is interesting. Someone on HTG mentioned manjaro and they installed it on my SSD and love it.

Your contention that Fedora is rough the administer is simply your opinion and entirely subjective.

Clearly, it has usually been easier the manage one OS platform as opposed the a fewa few. Fedora’s reposithe ries have a big deal of most bleeding edge packages out there. Let me tell you something. Since things are always managed differently and the the ols are exclusive, for someone who is using Fedora and akin RedHat for a while, Ubuntu will be merely as tough the administer. You see, it is nothing like CentOS except for the fact that RedHat supports, no doubt both of them and they are all RPM based distros. Known wikipedia didn’t switch from Fedora because it was sophisticated the use. Now regarding the aforementioned fact… As for ages as unlike Ubuntu, ikipedia CTO said that the reasons were individual preference and that the bleeding edge nature of Fedora made it less stable than Ubuntu, thatthatthatthat has a LTS release that has been designed for stability and specifically for running on servers, Fedora doesn’ they didn’t switch from Fedora the Ubuntu, they switched from a mixture of RHEL, CentOS, and Fedora systems the a single distrubution.

Fedora usually was for people who want the see where Redhat has been going the be in a few releases, as it probably was the proving ground where a lot of the modern features that end up in the Redhat Enterprise Linux distro get vetted. Chose their market and they own it. Since what makes a nice deskthe top distribution doesn’t necessarily make a proper server distribution, redhat basically gave up on for ages ago. In my opinion. You have been making a choice the put up with a distro that has no Long Term Support options and that is a testbed for newest software, Therefore if you decide on Fedora. CentOS on the hand, is rebranded RHEL and is not designed the be a deskthe top OS any more than RHEL has been. The question is. Does this mean you can’t run RHEL or CentOS on the deskthe p, right? I wouldn’t think of running it on production servers, although I am good running Fedora as an individual choice for my deskthe p. Nonetheless, in my opinion, you have been not probably the be good with it because it wasn’t designed for that purpose. Consequently, they always were server OSs, where the focus always was on stability.

I think that the author is usually off base in a couple ofa few instances, as for some of the article.

Linux and I search for the mine has been better attitude that plenty of people display usually was merely plain silly. In the evening, people should simply use what they have been comfortable using. However, Genthe o always was for people who want their software optimized for the hardware on which it will run and who were probably willing the spend the special effort the make it so, as another commenter pointed out. Distros come and go now and then and some people review them more frequently than they do their socks. His comment about Genthe o and compiling everything as an unforeseen focus. More power the them.

Less than a GIG of RAM should not be virtually good problem though. It’s all a matter of special taste, as others said. Linux distros in virtual with one RAM gig allocation. For now, By the way I still like Mac OS Though that’s Free BSD it’s still nix, since nobody else mentioned. I actually noticed that Mint Mate usually can use up the six RAM GIG. On the top of this, solely when I run it from the USB flash drive they use all the RAM. Needless the say, here is usually how. That has probably been an actually option.

My response is probably chronological order so you will be listed in here twice.

Here is a more indepth breakdown of why I hate Manjaro including sources in the breakdown.

The comment about Debian is usually completely bad and @ChrisHoffman comment in the article about Debian is completely bad. More importantly the idea that Puppy is good because it usually can boot inthe a live environment usually was just silly. EVERY Distro may freaking do that. Hell you usually can setup Persistance in every Ubuntu based distro with Unetbootin and openSUSE has their own builtin persistence feature for USB drive booting. Now pay attention please. Debian Testing is as stable as Ubuntu because Ubuntu pulls their packages from Debian Testing when they make their snapshots. The say Debian doesn’t get updates ain’t solely bad it proves that whoever says that understands pretty little about Debian. Debian stable aka Wheezy gets mostly security updates but Debian Testing and Debian Unstable are updated A TON!

Mint Cinnamon.

Mint Mate over Mint Cinnamon. It doesn’t run well on my Dell It says that they do not have video acceleration, puts a notice on the screen, and runs quite slow. Then once more, not sure if they may tell one has probably been better than the next, thought so far Cinnamon does feel more Windows like than the Mate does.

I attempted the run it on my Dell Inspiron lapthe top and it keeps crashing. Server and doesn’t offer updates, you can’t run Servers which been updated with bug fixes or modern features, thatthatthatthat has been a massive no. 1404 LTS is usually out, but updating 1204 LTS is risky and doing a clean reinstall is out of question, it the ok its time. That’s one reason I gave up on Debian and use Ubuntu. With that said, the Mint runs on my lapthe top simply and also on the In fact, I am posting this from the Linux Mint running on the Dell Lapthe p.

Linux Mint 17 usually was depending on 14.

In six months, Ubuntu 1410 going to be released and Linux Mint will release 171. There has probably been extremely rarely a problem on my machines that they can’t determine quite fast. Now regarding the aforementioned for a while as I may get the OS the do what they want we will use it.

You don’t care if the Manjaro devs are usually liars about what they do and you don’t care that they are usually thieves, am I correct? They really were always thieves. Arch and still like something newest that they simply looked for has been akin the the way we could like NY Strip steak but still feel fortunate about a hamburger. Arch developers’ work and package maintenance. They remove the credit from the original developers and put in their own.

Cinnamon up next and see about that, the o.

Pretty much really. Cinnamon on Mate the top install, or do they have the place it in its own partition, right? I’m sure you heard about this. I will say so, Therefore in case I see something was probably bad. Notice that question. If I am not sure we will test it the be sure. If they have always been right I will acknowledge them for a proper or interesting comment.

TinyCore. Lubuntu virtually has been. TinyCore makes me the create a private server on a private lan using my older boxes. For example, you usually can run Lubuntu on as little as 128MB of RAM. That is probably VERY real TinyCore is usually awesome for that usecase and Ubuntu always was obviously not. This is where it starts getting quite serious. TinyCore is usually really faster boot and kill. Considering the above said. Ubuntu base with a MUCH lighter footprint. TinyCore will run in less than that. UBUNTU and company would not run on the boxes that we have with 256meg ram.


Mint Cinnamon. For one, if you virtually are going the use it, you must asked how the work from the command line. That is interesting right? If you use among the GUI’s you still will see that using a Terminal window may be better. As a result, not sure if I usually can tell one is better than the another, thought so far Cinnamon does feel more Windows like than the Mate does. That said.

MATE the newest users unless they have a very old enough system, eight Years or More. There is usually a splendidly good reason for that. Otherwise it has the resort the the CPU doing all the compositing and a VERY powerful processor has probably been needed for that. MATE particularly with their goal of make GTK2 and GTK3 work the gether in one of their next releases. Cinnamon needs a graphics card in order the function perfectly. Most machines that have a decent enough CPU so likewise have a GPU so it boils down the Cinnamon isn’t good for quite old enough ‘rather low end’ hardware.

Cinnamon works AWESOMELY on but it has a GPU which has been why it works so well on it.

Mint. Cinnamon always was fantastic, with a GPU. With that said, ubuntu Mint over 7+ years and that we do not have an axe the grind with them. Cinnamon is usually knocked down before the race even starts. I like and rather choose Arch and Manjaro more. Then once again, under no circumstances said they do not like Mint. the oft repeated statement has been really a parroting of a sentence in 1954’s Insect Fact and Folklore wherein the author listed it as an example of something silly people believe about insects, Despite how widely circulated the idea that we swallow 9 spiders a year in our sleep is always, it’s completely false. The oft repeated statement is virtually a parroting of a sentence in 1954’s Insect Fact and Folklore wherein the author listed it as an example of something silly people believe about insects, Despite how widely circulated the idea that we swallow 7 spiders a year in our sleep was probably, it’s completely false. You Should Consider, Therefore in case You Appreciate What We Do Here On TecMint.

by Margaret Wilson on

fsdailyJust a few minutes ago I was looking through statsistics as to where my site traffic comes from and noticed a new website,, on the list. I had never heard of this site, even with all of my research into free and open-source software. The name stands for Free Software Daily and the site is essentially a user-contributed community like that found on on Digg, but with a focus on free software. My Amarok review was posted on the site and I was very impressed with how popular it appeared to be with the FSDaily community. FSDaily also uses the Pligg Content Management System, which I have been considering for the upcoming redesign of Shift+Backspace.

I was so impressed, not just with the content, but also the overall design of the site so I decided to email the creators in praise of their work and what they appear to be contributing to the free and open-source community. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any contact information, although I do believe I added one of the creators as a friend. Hopefully one of the creators will find this article and as I would love to learn more about FSDaily, its purpose and perhaps grab an interview.

I encourage anyone interested in free and open-source software to bookmark, visit often and add me as a friend (username: antiprophet).

Keep up the great work FSDaily,


Everyone has software that they always install whenever they format their computer. There are dozens of such applications for me. One of which is the Avant Window Navigator. Apple has had tremendous praise for their OS X operating system and one feature simply known as “the Dock“. This is exactly what Avant attempts to replicate and I must say the creator, Neil Patel, has made a great piece of software.

As with nearly any software designed for Linux there are tons of customization options for the Avant Window Navigator. Colours by the bushel, fonts, behaviours, layout, and more can all be changed through the “Avant Preferences” menu. Applications can be added to the navigator by simply dragging the icon from the applications menu to Avant. When these applications are opened (by a single-click), the triangle below is removed notifying the user that the software is open; even applications that have not been added to the bar (for shortcut purposes) appear as Avant is designed to replace the taskbar and therefore shows icons for all running applications.

My AWN screenshot

Above is a screenshot of my Avant Window Navigator with my various programs appearing (as you can see I am rocking a sweet icon set based on OS X) including Firefox, Amarok, The GIMP and Audacity. One thing that I am particularly fond of when it comes to Avant is that when an action occurs in a program that is not currently active (ie. get and instant message), that icon begins to bounce and therefore directing attention towards that application.

If you are looking to acquire Avant Window Navigator you can get the source as well as some .rpm’s at the Google Code site; or, if you are an Ubuntu user, you can find instructions on how to use the repositories. I am looking forward to seeing future programs designed by the author of the Avant Window Navigator. Once again, be sure to check out his blog.

Before my full-time migration to Linux, I always used iTunes for playing my music and managing my iPod. I had always thought iTunes was as good as it could get as far as playing and managing MP3 files, especially when I after testing Linux software such as Banshee and Rythmbox. I have nothing bad to say about these 2 pieces of software, but they just did not seem to have the overall polish iTunes presented. All of this led me to trying the feature of this article, Amarok.

When I began to use Amarok (1.4.5) I immediately noticed a sense of polish and completion. Lets face it, when it comes to media players the interface is what can make or break a program as any player can playback a file by using the necessary codecs.

Personally, I find the interface extremely informative and easy to use. As you can see with the screenshot below there is a general menu at the top, another menu along the left-hand side, a control menu with visualizations at the bottom, and a list of the songs that makes up the bulk of the interface. You may have also noticed the list of artists that makes up about the left 1/4 of the screen. Depending on what left-sided menu item is chosen this area changes and is the focus of some great features that Amarok offers.

Amarok Interface


There are many computer users throughout the world that either do not have access to the internet or do not own a CD/DVD burner. In the past, this has made acquiring Linux, or more specifically, Ubuntu, very difficult. Of course, you could always ask your friend for a copy of Ubuntu or use a neighbours computer to burn the image, but lets assume you have no friends and no neighbours. Basically, if you live in an area where there is postal service you can ask Ubuntu to send some discs to you!

I decided to take advantage of this opportunity. While Ubuntu states that it normally takes 4-6 weeks for delivery, I sent away for the discs on May 9th and received them today, May 28th. Why would I want Ubuntu discs when I already have the burned myself? Well, I am hoping to convince friends to convert from Windows and I feel that giving them an official CD shows that Ubuntu (and all Linux distributions) are serious contenders in the operating system arena. The discs, and their packaging, also have notes all over them asking users to “Pass it on!” to others as each copy can be installed on an unlimited number of computers, encouraging sharing. Selfishly, I also wanted the 4 free Ubuntu stickers that come with the discs.

I was very impressed with both the CDs and the stickers. Curious about the packaging and what the stickers look like? Check out these images I took earlier today:

Interested in requesting some discs? Order them here.

Time for some food,



by Margaret Wilson on

Earlier today my Google Reader fed me some news about Zonbu, the new “$99 Linux PC”. The first thing I should point out about Zonbu is that in order to buy one for $99 you must sign a 2-year contract ($249 without). But what would a contract be without monthly payments? Well, Zonbu has 3 different plans (25GB, 50GB and 100GB models for $12.95, $14.95 and $19.95 respectively). Assuming the middle-of-the-road 50GB plan this amounts to $457.80 (US dollars without taxes) over the 2-year period. What exactly does the subscription get you? According to their website subscription costs provide:

Zonbu offers three different storage plans, all of them with automatic backup, applications and OS maintenance, free upgrade to the latest version of all the applications, three-year free box replacement guarantee, and unlimited Internet support.

Time to get into some of the Zonbu technology. On the Zonbu website the hardware is summarized as follows:

  • Intel-like ultra-low power CPU
  • 256 MB RAM + 2GB flash-based local storage
  • Graphics up to 1400 x 1050 (16 million colors).
    Hardware graphics and MPEG2 acceleration
  • PC-compatible ports for keyboard and mouse
  • 6 USB ports to plug-and-play all standard USB accessories
  • Broadband ready: 10/100MB Ethernet built-in.

While many of components appear lower-end we must realize that this is not a gaming PC or media-editing powerhouse. It is built to be quiet and functional for the average user. Also, the operating system is a custom version of Gentoo that has been tweaked for the specific hardware in Zonbu.

The different capacities mentioned with the three subscriptions revolve around allocated storage space on Amazons S3 servers. This means that all user data is stored on remote servers and uses the flash storage in Zonbu as a cache for the data. I think that this is a brilliant idea, particularly for ensuring protection against data loss. Problems with this concept may include speed of uploading/downloading but I feel that most Zonbu users should not have a problem with these factors. Lets take a look at Amazons S3 pricing. Assuming 50GB of storage and 25GB of uploading/downloading of data throughout the month the total is $12.50 per month. This makes Zonbu’s monthly pricing look even better as it includes all of the other services mentioned previously.

When reading the Zonbu “hands-on” article on Gizmodo I was initially skeptical about the inability to install software, but further reading provided me with a better feeling. First, the subscription services includes OS updates such as new software (and apparently the people behind Zonbu are committed to high-quality open-source software. Also, while I require control over the software on my computer, I do not feel that the target market for Zonbu needs this control. The software list includes most of the open-source software I use right down to using Nvu as a development environment for websites. My readings on both news sites and the Zonbu site I have the feeling that if increased function is required (via software) it will be implemented.

In the hopes of avoiding a comments flame-war I want to say that I do not believe Zonbu will change the way computing is done overnight, but instead, provide an option to the average home user that wants to create documents, browse the internet and interact with media. I think that the use of Amazons S3 servers is a fantastic idea. As network speeds increase I believe that computing in the Zonbu way will take off, but until then slow speeds (even 10Mbit connections) will hinder this adoption.

For a much more complete article (with images and a video) about Zonbu please check out the Gizmodo article here.



Many times since the inception of Shift+Backspace, friends have approached me asking what open-source software they should be using and where they can get it. Usually I toss out names such as FireFox, VLC, Nvu, and Filezilla. This prompted me to start compiling a list of open-source software I regularly use along with descriptions of the applications. This list is still nowhere near complete; and, after coming across a single website this past weekend it may be transfered to the trash bin.

On the weekend I found, a site listing on the best in open-source software for Windows. They have information and links to over 40 different Windows-based applications with each under a certain category based on the use of the program. Anyone who has tried to download certain open-source applications from have probably realized it takes digging to get to the actual executables and installation wizards. Well, takes care of this and offers links directly to the download.

Now, I realize that some of my visitors use Mac computers. Lucky for you there is an! This is nearly identical to the Windows version of the site but offers links to your crazy .dmg files.

Of course, both of these sites are not showcasing all of the free and open-source applications out there, but rather the best of the best. The creators best sum up their site and open-source software by saying:

“Free and open-source software is good for you and for the world. This is the best Windows [and Mac] software that we know of. No adware, no spyware, just good software.”

I hope you check the site and give some of the applications a try. In the future I will be profiling specific free and open-source programs from the list to give readers further knowledge before jumping aboard. If you have had either pleasant or unpleasant experiences with any of these applications please post in the comments or !

Until next time,


Dell + Ubuntu

by Margaret Wilson on

DellIt’s official! Dell has picked Ubuntu 7.04 as their Linux distribution of choice for offering an alternative to Windows with select computers. It appears as though Ubuntu will be offered and supported by Dell on a few offerings including both desktops and laptops. A Dell spokesman told CRNtech:

“We are finalizing some final details and will provide an update in the coming weeks as to which products will be available. We will offer Ubuntu 7.04 on select Dell consumer products with a range of configuration options.”

You can read the full article here. also posted an article with speculation regarding the specific models that will initially have the Ubuntu option. DesktopLinux followed this with another article about Dell’s move to offering Ubuntu means to the Linux community.

“Dell also is saying something else that’s equally important about the desktopLinux Logo world. It’s saying, for the first time in more than a decade, that standard x86 PC users have a choice. For the first time since OS/2 mattered, users have a choice again. No more are users stuck with Windows. No more are they forced to pay the Microsoft tax.

Even users who never intend on using Linux should be glad to see Microsoft’s iron hand finally lifted, albeit just an inch. Just as the arrival of Firefox forced Microsoft to improve Internet Explorer, the arrival of Linux on a mainstream desktop will force Microsoft to make significant, rather than cosmetic, improvements to its own operating systems.

This isn’t just a big day for desktop Linux users. This is a red-letter day for all PC users.”

-Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of

It makes me happy to see that Linux advocates are not trying to push Linux operating systems on users but are pointing out the benefits competition has on existing (specifically Microsoft) products. As the Linux and open-source software market share grows, classical software companies will need to adapt to, embrace and flat-out accept the demands of the consumer.

The revolution has begun!!


Net Neutrality

by Margaret Wilson on

Many of you have likely heard this term on the news or read about it somewhere online. There are many websites discussing Net Neutrality and what it means to internet users. Generally, Net Neutrality pushes for an “open” network with no discrimination. The leading advocate is and I urge you to visit this site and read their frequently asked questions section to find out more.

Now, this website advocates Net Neutrality in the United States, but Shift+Backspace is based in Canada. Well, the leading Canadian advocate,, was recently shut down. I had visited this site many times and it provided many Canadian-focused details on Net Neutrality and how to fight for it. It is a tremendous shame that has been shut down, but other Canadian technology sites have taken notice and are trying to get the word out. First and foremost, Amber MacArthur, a well-known Canadian-born technology expert, has posted a fantastic article on her website about the shutdown of

Dr. Michael Geist, a Canadian expert on technology and the law, recently wrote an article titled “The Canadian Net Neutrality Debate“. If you live in Canada and have an internet connection with a large service provider you should read Dr. Geist’s article.

Dr. Geist mentions large Canadian telcos such as Telus, Rogers, VideoTron and Bell Canada and their involvement in Net Neutrality and belief that because they deliver the content they should be the gatekeepers of the content. It is unfortunate to say that I have been a co-op student for Bell Canada twice and worked solely with the Sympatico ISP. I had always enjoyed my time with Sympatico and had hoped to return in the future but as long as Bell is involved in censoring and prioritizing internet traffic I will refuse to work there. I recall the time when Rogers began regulating bit torrent traffic and how many users were switching to Bell because they wanted network access with no discrimination. It looks like members of Bell and the Sympatico team did not notice this trend and have decided to follow suit.

Thanks for reading,