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Exploring the KDE Plasma Netbook interface

Exploring the KDE Plasma Netbook interface

The latest K Desktop Environment, KDE, features two modes of interacting with the desktop – the classic Desktop interface and the Netbook interface. On recent KDE-based distributions that I have reviewed for this website, the default is the classic Desktop, but switching to the Netbook interface is an easy, few seconds process. I posted a few screenshots of the Netbook […]

How to install and configure a graphical firewall client in Ubuntu 10.10

How to install and configure a graphical firewall client in Ubuntu 10.10

Like all Linux distributions, Ubuntu 10.10, aka, Maverick Meerkat, the latest version of the popular Linux distribution, ships with a firewall installed. The firewall is actually embedded in the kernel. In Ubuntu, the firewall’s original command line interface has been replaced by ufw, a more user-friendly command line script. Ufw, the Uncomplicated FireWall, has a graphical interface that is also […]

Guest session and guest user accounts in Ubuntu

Guest session and guest user accounts in Ubuntu

If you are reading this article on a Ubuntu-powered computer, odds are that it is your computer. Whether it is a notebook, netbook, or a standard desktop, it is your computer. Ok, it could be owned by another entity, but for simplicity’s sake, let us just say it is your computer. You log in with a username and password, and […]

Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

Ubuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to […]

Ubuntu 10.10 manual disk partitioning guide

Ubuntu 10.10 manual disk partitioning guide

The installation program on Ubuntu desktop is pretty basic. It lacks the other features, like support for LVM, RAID, and full disk encryption, that the Ubuntu text installer edition has. By default, it creates just one partition onto which it installs everything. If you want to install Ubuntu on a disk with separate partitions for the major file systems, you […]

Voice Phishing: System to Trace Telephone Call Paths Across Multiple Networks Developed

Phishing scams are making the leap from email to the world’s voice systems, and a team of researchers in the Georgia Tech College of Computing has found a way to tag fraudulent calls with a digital “fingerprint” that will help separate legitimate calls from phone scams. Voice phishing (or “vishing”) has become much more prevalent with the advent of cellular […]

Blind Inventors Develop Free Software to Enable the Blind to Use Computers

For many blind people, computers are inaccessible. It can cost upwards of $1000 to purchase “screen reader” software, but two blind computer programmers have solved this problem. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) graduate James Teh and business partner Michael Curran developed a free, open-source program, called NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access), which provides a synthetic voice to read the words on […]

How to manage disk encryption passphrases and key slots

How to manage disk encryption passphrases and key slots

Disk encryption is one method you may use to enhance the physical security rating of your computer. From my experience, it is rarely used, which is a shame because it is one of the most effective safeguards against unauthorized physical access to data stored on a computer. Disk encryption, which can be full disk, or per partition, may be configured […]

How to password-protect GRUB

How to password-protect GRUB

Password-protecting the bootloader is one method you may employ to enhance the physical security profile of your computer. GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader, is the default bootloader on virtually all Linux distributions, but on a significant number, the installer does not have support for setting a GRUB password. This article presents the step involved in password-enabling GRUB – on a […]

Security features of Linpus Lite 1.4

Security features of Linpus Lite 1.4

Linpus Lite 1.4 is the latest update to the Linux distribution published by Linpus Technologies, Inc. of Taipei, Taiwan. Though designed for use on netbooks and low-power computers, it is one of the best distributions that I have reviewed for publication on this website. It boots up real fast and shuts down even faster. It features a slick installation program […]

LibreOffice: A fork of OpenOffice.org

Exactly ten days after Mandriva was forked, another major Free Software has also been forked. And this time, it is OpenOffice.org, the free suite of office applications similar to Microsoft Office. The fork, or the new office suite, will be temporarily known as LibreOffice. It has the backing of community heavyweights, and its development will be overseen by a newly […]

Best of Proposed Mageia Logo

Best of Proposed Mageia Logo

The Mageia project is a fork of Mandriva Linux. It is a brand new project, announced on September 18, 2010. There is an ongoing discussion about different aspects of the project, and one of those discussion revolves around the project’s logo. There have been some very good and some not so good logos proposed by community members, and what is […]

Forking Mandriva Linux: The birth of Mageia

Mandriva, one of my favorite Linux distributions, has been forked, and the new distribution is named Mageia. With the well publicized mass exodus of developers and contributors, this does not come as shock. I usually view these developments with caution, but this one I am actually happy about. Here are my reasons: Mandriva’s management has done a very lousy job […]

Disk partitioning guide for Linux Mint Debian

Disk partitioning guide for Linux Mint Debian

Linux Mint Debian is the latest version of Linux Mint. Unlike other versions of Mint, it is not based on Ubuntu, but rather on Debian Testing, and comes with a brand new installer. Also, unlike the Ubuntu-based versions, the installer does not have an automatic disk partitioning feature – it requires manual disk partitioning with GParted. This tutorial provides a […]

Linpus Lite 1.4 screenshots

Linpus Lite 1.4 screenshots

Linpus Lite 1.4 is the latest distribution that I am currently reviewing. While the review is in progress, I thought posting a few screenshots is in order. If you are not familiar with Linpus Lite, it is developed by Linpus Technologies, Inc. of Taipei, Taiwan. The company’s main distribution was Linpus Desktop, which was based on the old Mandrake Linux […]

How to install Ubuntu on a btrfs file system

How to install Ubuntu on a btrfs file system

Ubuntu 10.10 beta is the latest Linux distribution release to have support for the btrfs file system. Btrfs (B-tree File System) is a copy-on-write file system for Linux. As far as I am aware of, Fedora and Sabayon are the other (Linux) distributions with support for it during installation. While btrfs changes how we manage disks on Linux, you should […]

Zentyal installation guide

Zentyal installation guide

Zentyal, the Linux distribution formerly known as eBox Platform, is a server distribution which can be used as a network gateway, unified threat manager, office server, infrastructure manager, and a unified communications server. The latest release, the first under the Zentyal name, is based on Ubuntu server 10.04. For installing the base system, it uses the same installation program as […]

Zentyal

Zentyal

Zentyal, formerly known as eBox Platform, is a multi-purpose Linux distribution based on Ubuntu server. It can function as a network gateway, unified threat manager, office server, infrastructure manager, and a unified communications server. It is developed and maintained by Zentyal, a software solutions provider based in Spain. Though it is free to download, some of its features and functionalities […]

How to install PC-BSD on an encrypted ZFS file system

How to install PC-BSD on an encrypted ZFS file system

As a desktop distribution built atop FreeBSD, PC-BSD makes available to the desktop user all the cool technologies inside FreeBSD. One of those cool technologies is ZFS, the Zettabyte File System, a file system developed by Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle Corporation) for the Solaris operating system. ZFS has no parallel in the Linux/BSD world. It packs features that no […]

Upgrading Mandriva Linux 2010 to Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring

Upgrading Mandriva Linux 2010 to Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring

Performing a distribution upgrade is one task I have never attempted on Mandriva Linux. And that is because Mandriva Linux 2010 is the first Mandriva version that I have used on any of my personal computer until the next update was released. So here was an opportunity to test how well the upgrade feature worked. For this article, I show […]