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[6 Sep 2013 | 2 Comments | 10,698 views]
Hot rodding that netbook (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, we mentioned a free, simple tip that should make that aging netbook infinitely more useful (in a nutshell, install a lightweight Linux distribution).
Now, Linux is a free operating system and most of the applications for it — including a full-featured, Microsoft Office-compatible office suite — are also free. While some folks may believe Linux is difficult to use, that’s simply not the case these days as the most popular distros work well right out of the box and feature interfaces that are as easy to navigate …

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[29 Jul 2013 | 2 Comments | 9,839 views]
Yes, there is still life in that old netbook

Just a few years ago, netbooks were very common, largely because they are dirt cheap. A netbook, of course, is simply a scaled down laptop and the most common configuration appears to be a 10.1″ screen, a 1.6 GHz, single core Intel Atom processor, 1 gigabyte of RAM and a 160-gigabyte hard drive. Most netbooks came bundled with Microsoft Windows XP (not bad in terms of performance) or Windows 7 Starter.
While new netbooks are still available, they’ve been largely replaced by more powerful ultrabooks and tablets like the Apple iPad …

Columns and other comments, Features and such, Technology »

[18 May 2013 | One Comment | 3,172 views]
A simple cure for the Windows 8 blues

Whether you love or hate Microsoft Windows 8, it’s hard to deny that it’s a radical departure from what we’ve come to expect from the most popular desktop operating system on the planet.
Oh, and there’s been a lot of criticism — click here to read some of the harsher comments made by industry insiders about Windows 8 and Microsoft’s response to them just a few days ago. Microsoft has called a lot of criticism extreme and the company may have a point, but a lot of complaints seem to boil …

Columns and other comments, Features and such, Technology »

[26 Apr 2013 | One Comment | 5,349 views]
Netbook too slow? Xubuntu may speed it up

Remember a few years ago when netbooks were all the rage? Well, they may not have been all the rage, but they were certainly highly visible starting around 2008 and that’s no surprise — an incredibly portable computer that could be had for around $300 was certainly worth looking at twice.
Ah, but the netbook has steadily declined in popularity over the past couple of year. In 2011, Dell announced it was pulling out of the network market and Toshiba followed suit in 2012. It seems the netbook is in the …

Technology »

[24 Apr 2013 | One Comment | 2,735 views]
Ubuntu 13.04 due out Thursday

Get ready, Linux fans — Ubuntu 13.04 is due to out tomorrow (April 25).
What’s new in Raring Ringtail, the latest version of Ubuntu? It appears that Canonical is out for refinement in the newest version of its Linux distribution — we’re talking about making the ever-evolving Unity user interface look slicker and streamlining code so the operating system runs faster than it has in the past.
While such enhancements may seem minor on paper, keep this in mind — squeezing more efficiency out of an operating system is actually a pretty …

Columns and other comments, Features and such, Technology »

[15 Apr 2013 | One Comment | 6,566 views]
Worried about losing Windows XP? Give Xubuntu a try.

Just a couple of days ago, we discussed Microsoft’s decision to pull the plug on support for Windows XP and suggested that concerned fans of the aging operating system might want to take a look at Windows 7 if they can’t stomach the thought of using Windows 8.
For those wanting to get out of the Windows camp completely but haven’t felt the urge to rush out and buy an Apple Macintosh, there is good alternative in the form of Linux. Yes, the Linux operating system has been around for awhile …

Technology »

[13 Jan 2012 | 2 Comments | 2,761 views]
3 free programs that deserve your attention

Not so very long ago, free programs came in roughly two varieties — buggy garbage and crippled applications that “teased” users by showing them what they could do if they purchased full versions.
Things have changed for the better over the years and it’s very possible to grab a full-featured office suite, an image editor, an audio editor and a PDF writer that can hold their own against commercial products out there. We’ll take a look at those programs in this article and point out up front that they all have …

Columns and other comments, Features and such, Technology »

[19 Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | 9,610 views]
Xubuntu — putting the zip back in Ubuntu

My, but the people over at Canonical — the group responsible for the Ubuntu Linux distribution — don’t mind a bit of controversy, do they?
For those who are late to the party, Ubuntu’s decision to promote and solely support the Unity desktop has been met with everything from joy to hostility among users. In Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), people who upgraded to that distro were met with the Unity desktop by default but could go back to the more familiar Gnome desktop by selecting “Ubuntu Classic” at the login screen. …

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[7 Nov 2011 | 2 Comments | 7,816 views]
System 76 – Ubuntu Linux desktops made to order

How do most Linux users wind up with the operating system?
For a lot of us, the process is pretty straightforward — take a Microsoft Windows-powered system, do some research, download a Linux distribution and install it. If all goes well, you’ll have a new OS that is configured well and ready to roll. There are times, of course, when all does not go smoothly, leaving the operator to figure out how to configure hardware, why graphical glitches are present, etc. Bear in mind that communities spring up around Linux distros …

Technology »

[16 Oct 2011 | 37 Comments | 34,757 views]
Unity much improved in Ubuntu 11.10

It’s October and that means it’s time for the latest distribution of Ubuntu Linux.
This one — 11.10, dubbed Oneiric Ocelot — is a regular, incremental update of 11.04 (Natty Narwhal, which came out in April). The changes are minor for the most part, but the Unity desktop is much improved.While Unity has been around for some time, Canonical made it quite clear with 11.04 that it was going to be phased in while the older, tried and true Gnome 2 shell that had anchored Ubuntu for years was going to …