Recent Comments Posted

toggle-button

This is a list of the most recently posted comments on the site sorted so that the most recent comments appear first. 

You can however sort the list on Article title by clicking on the column heading. To see actual comments click the + sign.

 

Article title Time posted Postersort ascending Comment Link
Best Free Income Tax Filing Software and Service 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

If you need to file a state tax e.g., New York, TaxAct's "free" suddenly jumps to $18 because you need the "Ultimate" bundle, fees, addons, yadda yadda.

view
A Reminder: If You Use Windows, Just Get Flux 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

If you use Linux, use Redshift. I use it to color-correct my monitor, which is too blue for me. Redshift is in the Mint repository. Two clicks, done.

If you use Windows, just get Linux.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

We all know people who haven't changed the wallpaper on their XP system because they're afraid to "blow it up". In fact, for some of these people, that is a valid concern.

I pull out my Mint USB stick and tell them that in 15 minutes they can have a new operating system, complete with apps like an office suite, video/audio players, and image editors.
With another 30 seconds, we can find a nice wallpaper, I can show how the menu works and where the files go, and we're good to go.

view
Want A Constant Readout Of Who's Connected To Your LAN? 2 years 5 months ago vandamme

Just installed Wi Fi Guard on my Linux Mint 17.1 PC and it works great.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 2 years 4 months ago vandamme

pulseaudio-equalizer is a multiband audio frequency equalizer; a super tone control. It needs to be on your multimedia page because it took me 2 hours to find it. You can install it in Debian variants (I have Mint 17.1) by cuttin' and pastin' this into a terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

The whole sad story of why it's missing from distros is here:
http://www.webupd8.org/2013/03/install-pulseaudio-with-built-in-system.html

view
Best Free Software for Linux 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

i-nex gives an impressive amount of hardware information displayed in an easy to read format.
I couldn't install the stable version on Mint 17.1 because of dependencies, but the daily version installed and ran well.

view
Best Free File-Based Backup Program 1 year 11 months ago vandamme

No. While every other machine in our house is running Linux, including the TV and the router, my wife persists in using Windows because she has one program that still uses it. So I need something to sync & backup both Linux and Windows. I'm going to try grsync and/or luckybackup, both highly rated by Linux Mint users in the repository. I don't like the idea of FreeFileSync's adware.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 10 months ago vandamme

Flowblade video editor deserves a look. An updated version came out recently. It looks slicker than OpenShot but easier than AviDemux.

http://code.google.com/p/flowblade/

view
Edit Your MP3 Files On Your PC 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

Well, it uses 48 MB on Linux Mint 64 bit. If I open up a 45 minute, 495 MB wav file, it takes 331 MB and goes to anywhere instantly.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

LIOS (Linux Intelligent OCR Solution) is a one-stop OCR solution. It interfaces with a scanner, camera, PDF or image file, runs an OCR using the Tesseract or Cuneiform OCR engines, and saves the text in multiple formats, including reading it aloud in a robot voice. It sounded good, and there's a .deb package (there's also rpm packages), so I installed easily it in my Mint 17.1 by clicking on the downloaded package.

The OCR engine worked fine on whatever I threw at it with few errors, except for a 30 year old dot matrix print. Unfortunately, the program itself tends to be a "work in progress"; I haven't been able to export to PDF or text, except by highlighting text and cut-and-paste. Some of the other buttons will simply crash it.

The version I tried, 1.9.2, was released December 8, 2014, and version 2 will be releaased "soon", so this bears watching because it shows promise.

https://code.google.com/p/linux-intelligent-ocr-solution/

view
What Your PC Will Need if You Want to Upgrade to Windows 10 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

Looks like when Windows 7 reaches end of life, I won't dual boot Windows any more, and my switch to Linux will be permanent.

Hasta la Vista, Microsoft.

view
A must-have instant messaging app to everyone for its popularity and ease of use 1 year 2 months ago vandamme

Proprietary, and Facebook. Two strikes.

view
Disposing Of A PC? Nuke The Drive First. 10 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

Get a set of torx bits from Harbor Freight for a couple bucks. Take the lid off the HDD and get the magnets out. I reuse the cases for different things, and pull parts off the boards.

PCs that are less than 10 years old and working can be repurposed by installing Linux on them, wiping all the data off. Give it to a kid, Freecycle, school, Salvation Army.

view
Improve Clarity And Focus Of Your Digital Photos 11 months 4 days ago vandamme

Maybe one of G'Mic's eight sharpening filters can do this job. It has 300 filters and I haven't tried them all. Maybe you could do a review if you can find a category to put it in. There's a plugin for Gimp, a standalone program, and an online version.

view
Your PC May Have Been Uploading Windows 10 to Others without You Knowing It 2 years 2 weeks ago vandamme

That's funny. Microsoft already got you as a beta tester for 10, now they have you as a distributor. I only think it's funny because I don't use it.
I torrent Linux distros, but I have to opt in, of course. It's the least I can do to help spread Linux. The problem is that I have cable internet, and the upload is a tenth the speed of the download.

view
Keep This Free Bootable Rescue CD To Hand 10 months 1 week ago vandamme

Several times I've used Rescatux (Tux is the Linux mascot). It's a smaller download and doesn't have an antivirus that I know of, but has hard disk utilities, some of the usual fixes like a Windows password remover, and a rudimentary Linux operating system. It includes SuperGrub2 which fixes dual boots that Windows has screwed up so you can't boot Linux.

On UBCD, GParted is just a partition editor; the virus scanner and file manager are separate programs.

view
Introducing Fiddler 4 2 years 3 weeks ago vandamme

Supposedly it works on Linux, using Mono instead of Net. Haven't tried.

view
It Rhymes With Oink And Could Just Make You Famous 1 year 11 months ago vandamme

".... there are lots more that are actually useful." And that's why SETI is a waste of time. However, if it gets people interested in science, gets them to install BOINC, then that's good.

Most people have no idea how lonely and empty the universe is. They've seen too many star trek/star wars movies. What have we done to broadcast ourselves? We've only spent 100 years transmitting at higher power levels and now we're starting to tone it down and transmit information to where it needs to go. That is a very small part of the history of the universe; we may have missed other civilizations by a million years or a billion. Another problem is that unless we figure out "warp drive", there's no way to get there or even converse unless they're very close.

So why try? Perhaps some people think that finding extraterrestrial life will prove the Judaeo-Christian bible is erroneous somehow. It wouldn't, but would invalidate some fundamentalist interpretations.

view
Are Recent Patches to Windows 7/8 Letting Microsoft Spy on You? 1 year 11 months ago vandamme

You forgot the NSA back doors. I'm an American, and have nothing to hide. But I still run an open source operating system, not Windows or Apple. Bonus: it's better.

view
Photo Stitching Software Is Completely Free 11 months 1 week ago vandamme

I've used Hugin and it's got a lot of tweaks and adjustments (corrects for lens distortion, color balance, vignetting, HDR mismatch). It's the only open source free-standing stitching app, and is cross-platform (Linux, FreeBSD, Mac, Windows).

I also used the Pandora plugin for Gimp. But it doesn't do vertical stitching, so for a vertical pan of a cathedral in France I turned the pictures 90 degrees then stitched them. I've had to do some manual matching as it's tough to see where lines match up on ornate architecture.

view
Just Get Flux. Your Eyes Will Thank You. 1 year 3 days ago vandamme

I've used both f.lux and redshift on my Linux PCs and laptop to adjust the color temperature in the daytime, which I find too bluish usually.

view
Best Free Online Applications 10 months 3 weeks ago vandamme

Maybe I missed it, but how about listing some good WebRTC sites for video chat? Maybe a whole article on replacing Skype or other video teleconferencing software? The only ones I know off the top of my head are appear.in and sylaps, but there are scads of others.

view
Keep All Your Notes, With All My Notes 6 months 3 weeks ago vandamme

Tomboy does it for me. It came with my Ubuntu, works on Windows too they say.

view
Security Software That Will Wow You. I Guarantee. 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

"Nobody is listening to your phone conversations" says President Hopey-Changey. True, but they have computers that can recognize your words and sort them into key phrases for further analysis.

view
A Free Screen Recorder That's Unbelievably Small 3 years 5 months ago vandamme

Simple Screen Recorder works pretty well. http://www.maartenbaert.be/simplescreenrecorder/
You can record the whole screen, a window, or an openGL object, plus audio.
It's in most Linux distro repositories, so it's clean.

view
Finds of the Week: Instant Logo Search / Exporting Evernote data / 8 built-in Windows tools / Download free topographical maps 9 months 6 days ago vandamme

Those topo maps are about 50 years old. Don't use them for navigating roads. But they are interesting to see what was around mid last century. The topography hasn't changed so much.

view
The Word Processor With No Distractions 7 months 4 weeks ago vandamme

Runs natively and installs easily on Linux.

I tried this years ago and now I see it's become more polished. It's more bloated than gedit or any other simple test editor, but has more capabilities, and simpler than LibreOffice ... but a few less capabilities. And some extras that might be a good fit for the journal writer. So, take your pick.

I haven't figured out how to zoom in, though, and on most themes I can't read the text. So I stick with the plain color.

It installs in a minute on Linux; I have Mint and just used the Ubuntu directions. Add the repository by opening a terminal and pasting this in:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gottcode/gcppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install focuswriter

view
Five Things that Every Windows PC Owner Must Do 3 years 7 months ago vandamme

You have the original Linux OS on a CD, DVD or flash drive, right? Slap that sucker in, hit "Install on the entire disk", and you'll format the whole disk to (probably) Ext4 format and install Linux. Your data, your malware, your Windows, and your worries will be toast.

If you don't have experience loading Linux or don't have the original disks, download Ubuntu, Mint, or Zorin and follow the instructions for burning to a disk.

Then, load your backups and get back to work. But scan files before you email or transfer anything to a Windows PC, because it might have malware on it, even though it won't run on Linux.

If you install Windows after Linux, your Linux OS won't work anymore, because Windows is too stupid to recognize it.

view
Five Things that Every Windows PC Owner Must Do 3 years 7 months ago vandamme

Most of the big antivirus companies have an online scan that Linux users can use to scan a file before we send it to a windows user (one we haven't converted yet). I guess it would be improbable unless you copied a whole directory or one file you got off an email from a Nigerian prince or Russian p0rn site.

view
Fully Playable Demo Of An Amazing Flight Simulator 5 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

And it works on Linux!

Flight Gear is the open source alternative.

view
What Else Have You Just Downloaded? 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

The best solution is an operating system that maintains a repository of clean software, and is itself malware resistant. Microsoft Windows is not it.

Try Ubuntu MATE. You get an "app store" with descriptions and ratings, one click install, and regular updating (when and how you want it). Not to say the other 200 Linux distributions are not good, but Ubuntu MATE is probably the best place to start for a new user, right now.

view
If You're Using Windows XP You Need To Read This 3 years 5 months ago vandamme

I've successfully converted machines to Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Bodhi, openSuSE, and Puppy. At work I collaborate with guys still stuck on Windows 7 or XP, no problems. My 7 year old machine with Mint Cinnamon does all I need to do (presentations, movie editing, Gimp).

So don't complain about buying new PCs or how terrible Windows 8 is. Pay up or convert to Linux. You have a choice.

Hasta la Vista, Microsoft!

view
Get This $30 Music Making Suite For Free 4 months 3 weeks ago vandamme

It would be great to see this on your DAW page, and compare them. /best-free-music-software.htm
I got a bad taste of Magix software (nag/crippleware) from my Windows days so I prefer truly free stuff. But it does look interesting.

view
Mix Your Own Soundtrack To Work To 2 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

For a real trippy online sound generator, try mynoise (dot) net. Lots of things to try, most free (if he has the bandwidth). The Tibetan Choir is the coolest.
Thanks to Jupiter Broadcasting showing this, on this week's Linux Unplugged podcast.

view
Changing from Windows XP? Free Help with Migrating Files and Settings 3 years 5 months ago vandamme

Plan B (not mentioned by Microsoft):

Copy your data files onto a flash drive or portable hard drive (which you should do anyway).

Install Linux.

Copy files back to your /home directory.

Get back to work. Elapsed time: half an hour or so, plus backup time. Cost: whatever the backup cost you.

view
Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint after Installation [Mint 17 to 17.2 - Cinnamon Edition] 1 year 10 months ago vandamme

That's too many versions to upgrade. Better off saving all your data (you do that anyhow, right?) and nuke it. I just keep a list of apps and install new versions after upgrading. Download the latest Mint, install in the partition that had the old Mint. If you have a separate /home partition you won't even have to reload your data. This avoids a lot of problems, in fact Mint used to insist on reloading for every new version, but now you can upgrade one level at a time.

view
Another Program To Check For Software That Needs Updating 3 years 2 months ago vandamme

Thanks for reminding me why I use Linux. It updates all my apps safely and easily.

view
Control Two PCs From One Mouse With This Freebie From Microsoft 3 years 1 month ago vandamme

What's the latest Linux equivalent? x2x was first developed in 1996. I wonder what happened to it.

view
The Best Photo Viewer I've Seen In Years. And It's Free. 3 years 2 months ago vandamme

I like digiKam and showFoto, which does about the same thing. They came with my openSUSE but there are versions for those who haven't converted to Linux yet.

view
Is Your PC Updating Correctly? Are You Sure? 3 years 1 month ago vandamme

My operating system updates itself PLUS all my installed apps, does it on my schedule, asks politely, and tells me what each one does (if I really want to know). And that's why I switched from Windows to Linux.

view
Are Ads Coming to the Windows 10 Start Menu? 1 year 10 months ago vandamme

Wifi dongles are a big sticking point for Linux. Most just plug in and work (check mfrs. website for compatibility). The driver is part of the Linux kernel.
The others, sometimes you can install Windows XP drivers using a package called ndiswrapper. Best to search forums at your Linux distro or your dongle maker.

All my PCs were Windows machines and now dual boot. Over the years I've reduced the Windows partitions to the bare minimum... just in case I need it or sell it. Hey, I paid for it. Mostly I run Mint because it looks like a clean version of XP.

view
Are Ads Coming to the Windows 10 Start Menu? 1 year 10 months ago vandamme

I also have CRS Syndrome, which means Can't Remember Stuff. I don't do well remembering long commands and their switches and syntax.
Linux has a GUI for just about anything you want to do, but it also has terminal commands to do the same thing, but usually more powerful and faster. I can type "sudo apt-get install" faster than I can open up a software chooser program and find the app I want, but if I don't remember the name I have to use that app store. I can click the "windows" button and type in a program name and it loads right up, but if I forget the name I have to rummage through the menus to find it. That's why I like Mint; it has a menu tree like XP or Windows 7, but is much better organized without all the useless extra stuff.

view
Forgot Your WiFi Password? How to Find It in Windows 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

On Ubuntu, it's in the System Settings --> Connectivity.
On Linux Mint, System Settings --> Networking.

No extra software required.

view
Wallpaper of the Week: Colorful Autumn Leaves 1 year 10 months ago vandamme

I have a lawn full of those, and they're maple leaves, not oak. That's what is on the Canadian flag.

view
Four Ways to Make Windows XP Systems More Secure 3 years 3 weeks ago vandamme

5. Unplug from the internet. Use XP for the rest of your or your PC's lives, whichever comes first. Good alternative for stand-alone machines; let's face it, you're not getting any more updates.

6. Run XP in a virtual machine with a safe OS such as Linux as host. Bonus: start using more and more cross-platform apps, and soon you will not need XP. If you install Zorin, Mint, LinuxLite, or ElementaryOS, you will soon wonder why you loved XP so much.

7. Use another PC to log into the XP machine over a secure net, using a remote desktop app like Remmina or Teamviewer.

view
Coming Soon To Windows 10: Find My Device 1 year 8 months ago vandamme

And anybody who steals your laptop would not think of turning this feature off.

view
Are Ads Coming to the Windows 10 Start Menu? 1 year 10 months ago vandamme

There's a new version of Lite out, and the long review at Distrowatch is required reading:
http://distrowatch.com/weekly.php?issue=20151019#lite
Lite is underappreciated, probably because it uses an older version of Ubuntu as a base (because it Just Works). And the help system is great.

If you like a bit more cutting edge and visually appealing, try Elementary.

view
A Brilliant New Way to Create and Share Your Presentations, Fast and Easy 1 year 8 months ago vandamme

I wonder how much it cost them to come up with the name. First thought I had was "swayback nag". I uploaded a 5 MB powerpoint, but then it hung halfway through Swaying (Swayifying?). A different PDF worked but looked pretty nasty. But thanks for trying, Microsoft.

Funny thing, they have a nicely done tutorial; they put it on Google's YouTube.

I might try again, using the web to Sway(tm) a presentation written in LibreOffice. Topic: "Why Linux is better than Windows."

view
Try This Alternative File Manager And Explorer For Windows. It's Free. 2 years 11 months ago vandamme

Multiple panes is a feature that, after you get to use it, you wonder how you got along without it. I used XYPlorer in my Windows days and it's great. (Now I use Nemo on Linux Mint, or Dolphin on openSuSE.)

view
187,000 Free Hi-Res Images To Use As You Wish 1 year 7 months ago vandamme

OK, you go to "visualize the public collection" (http://publicdomain.nypl.org/pd-visualization/) and it should load (finally) a huge thumbnail of all the thousands of scans. You can sort by genre, collection, or color. Pick one and you get a bigger thumbnail, all the info on it, and several resolution download selections. The "all download options" might have 6 different sizes. "Larger" is 2560 pixels, plenty big for me even after zooming in, and it's 6 or 8 megabytes.

view
Forget Windows 10. Try Out Windows 1.01 Instead! 2 years 10 months ago vandamme

No caps lock, so you can't get the : to work. That's OK, I've seen enough! (shudder)

Your first advice is good though: "Forget Windows Ten"! I'm on Linux and I'm not looking back.

view
Make 2016 The Year You Start Doing Cloud Backups 1 year 7 months ago vandamme

Copy is another Dropbox clone. I have almost a terabyte there, free due to referrals. Both have Linux file manager integration, very nice.

My big problem is uploading speed on my cable internet. Keeping backups on an internal HDD is a lot easier and faster.

view
12 of the Best Places on the Internet to Get Free Help with Computer Problems 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

Make Use Of is a great site with lots of articles on...everything, but heavy on the computer help. You have to search for the Linux stuff, but there's plenty of it.

http://www.makeuseof.com/

view
An End-of-year Thank-you from Gizmo 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

This is the first place I go to for Linux apps. As for the decline of Windows, good that you see the handwriting on the wall and are going with the times.

view
A Complete Music Scoring And Notation App For Free 2 years 8 months ago vandamme

The "New comment" box is at the bottom of all the comments.

You can go to the Wine app data base and give a (thumbs down) report on Forte. It might help out other folks. https://appdb.winehq.org/

Another thing thant helps Linux is to contact Forte and explain you'd love to be a customer but can't get their trial to run on Ubuntu.

view
How to Get a Free Installation Disk for Windows 8.1 2 years 9 months ago vandamme

The way I partition my machines is by using one partition just for my data. I keep each operating system and its programs (and its potential troubles) in its own partition. when upgrade time comes along (or I just want to try something new), I put the new OS in its own partition. 60-80 GB is plenty, leaving me 300 or more for data. I have 4 OS's on my laptop and choose between them at bootup, and access my data from any. (Well, except windows, which I rarely use; the data is formatted ext4 which Windows can't read, but I could have formatted it so it could.) If I have a problem or want to upgrade, I just write over that OS with a new live disk. Almost all Linux OS disks are free to download, so there's no reason not to burn one and try it out. Zorin, Mint, or Ubuntu are great for beginners.

view
Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software 2 years 8 months ago vandamme

Gramps is up to version 4.1.1. I found some bugs in ver.3 and I see they've been fixed.It's in the repositories of openSUSE and Ubuntu so install is quick & EZ in Linux.

view
Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software 2 years 5 months ago vandamme

Every genealogy propgram will import and export to a GEDCOM file. I imported my dad's Roots Magic GEDCOM file into Gramps and it worked great.

You will run into trouble if you start saving data that isn't included in the GEDCOM scheme. Proprietary formats could include sources, images, recordings. Those are fine as long as the company stays in business and you want to pay what they ask, but if you share the data with someone else they probably won't have the same program. If you use Excel (or the open source LibreOffice Calc) you will have your own format to sort out.

Gramps seems to be the only real open source genealogy program. It is better than the old PAF from the Mormons, and has a ton of capabilities. I back it up in their format, but also back up occasionally in GEDCOM.

view
Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software 2 years 4 months ago vandamme

I sent in a minor bug report to Gramps and they came right back replying that they fixed that bug in the latest version. So they are moving quick and actively developing and polishing.

And it runs natively on Linux for when you outgrow Windows... ;-)

view
Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software 2 years 4 months ago vandamme

I went to the Orba Design site and opened up their template with LibreOffice Calc, and it worked fine. But I didn't try their converter.

I found out that GEDCOM was started by the LDS and just kind of grew from there, with some companies making extensions to it for various things.GEDCOM is text based, but others like Excel and LO spreadsheets and Gramps's are XML. There's no standard, or official sanctioning entity to evaluate new formats or features and make them standard. Us engineers have the IEEE, which is why your wireless card works with your router.

view
How to Join the Microsoft Insider Program and Get a Trial Copy of Windows 10 Preview 2 years 10 months ago vandamme

Why be an unpaid beta tester for Microsoft? I'm open source now.

view
This Superb Online Photo Editor Is Free To Use 2 years 9 months ago vandamme

It has some interesting tweaks, but they don't explain what some of them do so you just have to play with them. The integration with Dropbox and other cloud services is interesting. It would be handy if I used a Chromebook but I'll stick with DigiKam and Gimp.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

"Misery loves company."

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

And the #1 reason people stay with Windows: Laziness! They don't want to fool with their PC or learn something new. Still, they put up with upgrades, not realizing that there are modern Linux distros that are more like XP or 7 than Windows 8 is.

The last reason to switch to Linux: a lot of "old" hardware will run on it, like scanners and printers. And it's 2 clicks to install, no hunting for the driver disks like in Windows.

view
Develop Web Sites On Your Own PC Easily And Safely 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

Does anybody know a similar program for Linux?

view
Listen To Music Online For Free At These 20 Websites 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

Yeah, I don't like da funk either.

view
Get $149 Of Photoshop/Lightroom Add-ins Free 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

Photoshop and Nik are way overkill for us weekend shutterbugs. Plus, Adobe refuses to port Photoshop to Linux.
Digikam is the free alternative. You can also do a lot of stuff in Gimp.

view
CCleaner Is Updated, Free And Portable 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

I've used CCleaner for years and never had a problem. Just remember that when you get rid of all your cookies and thumbnails that you'll slow your system down as it rebuilds all that stuff. It's like throwing out the contents of your refrigerator - sometimes it's so bad it all has to go, but then you have to replenish it.

I see that there's a Mac version. Same idea, but no registry to worry about. No Linux version, but Bleachbit works great for that. I just ran it, and deleted a GB on my Kubuntu system, of older system files, logs, language packs. It didn't run any faster, but without a registry to get mucked up, Linux and Mac don't bog down unless you fill up the hard drive.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

I've put Lubuntu on 10-12 year old machines with less than that. It will run off the CD, but not install with the "new" installer. Use the alternate download with the old installer, and it loads fine. I've run SuperGrub (a Debian spin) on a PC with 256MB, then run Firefox on it (one tab at a time, and slowly). Puppy is another good OS choice, and runs well off a CD if you have no hard drive. Midori is a better browser if you have tired hardware.

At some point you just need to throw out your antique machine, if it's worth less than a month's internet service.

view
Fancy A New Windows Start Menu For Free? 1 year 5 months ago vandamme

I'm currently running the KDE desktop, and kinda like it. It's also available on Windows.

Some other Linux desktops also have versions for Windows, I'm told.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 4 years 4 months ago vandamme

XnView is a great photo editor. Fast, easy, yet powerful.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 3 weeks 1 day ago vandamme

My "new" PC is an eMachine that I got when a buddy of mine died. It's 6+ years old and I edit photos, audio, web pages, and even videos; design 3D architecture, and electronic circuit simulation and schematics. It has 3 GB ram but it never bumps up against the limit. I run 2 or 3 Linux distros just for fun. (It also boots Windows 7, although I haven't updated it or used it in ... maybe 2 years, I don't know.)

The only thing you have to be careful about is the video. I have a 1920x1080 screen and an NVidia video in the computer, and the proprietary NVidia driver gives me fits when it gets updated. If you have a smaller screen it will probably work fine. Best way to find out is try it, you can't lose. Load a couple distros on a flash drive and boot 'em up. Check out how all your hardware works; sound, video, wifi, etc..

I've put a stripped down Debian on a 256 MB laptop that had Windows 2000. PCs that ran XP, I usually try Lubuntu 32 bit. (Note that you have to use the legacy installer, because the "new" installer takes too much memory). Puppy is another good one. There's a bunch listed in Distrowatch on their "search" page, just type in "old computer" in the search.

If you've got a 64 bit PC with a mammoth 2 GB of memory, anything should work. Mint is my usual favorite, Ubuntu MATE second.

view
Favourite Windows Remote Desktop Manager Gets A Refresh 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

TeamViewer is cross-platform and works on Linux. I've also used Remmina. It doesn't have as many features but it's open source.

view
Got a Spare PC? Why Not Launch Your Own Radio Station For Free? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

Sorry, I'm not AirTime tech support. Also, I was just curious and don't need it.

Reading the "automated" instructions, it looks pretty complicated and lengthy but doable. It requires setting up a webserver and feeding your stream into it, so good luck. The forum tells of successful installs in Ubuntu 14.04, a long term release (probably a good idea, since you won't want to fool with it after you get it going).

And yes, I can install my favorite distro, Mint, from a USB stick under fifteen minutes or so, but that doesn't include downloading updates to freshen it up. Nor the weeks of playing with the settings to please my eye; that is never finished.

view
Best Free Audio Editing Software 3 years 8 months ago vandamme

I still think OcenAudio beats Audacity, most of the time. Better set of tools, and smaller download. I just installed the latest version on LinuxMint, piece of cake.

view
Best Free Audio Editing Software 3 years 1 month ago vandamme

I just did this with a cassette tape of our choir. I connected my cassette player into the line in of my pc, and recorded it to one file (didn't need to babysit it, just let it run). I opened the file and by zooming in I can see where songs begin and end. I highlight what looks to be one song with the mouse and copy and paste that one song (and a little extra) to a new file. I trim it to just the right length, apply any filters etc. then save as a mp3 and wav file (for CD).

I used OcenAudio on LinuxMint, but Audacity should work the same way.

view
Free Ransomware Protection Utility 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

A close second is NOT running Windows.

view
Best Free Antivirus Software 1 year 4 months ago vandamme

Your "download" button for Comodo is actually the link to Avira.
Also, there's a separate page for Linux antivirus. https://www.comodo.com/home/internet-security/antivirus-for-linux.php
I'm not so sure there's really any point because Linux is so virus-resistant anyhow. But it's good to see Tux getting some love.

view
Best Free Audio Editing Software 2 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

I have a bunch of old PZM mics, and they pick up everything. Their main claim is they don't pick up reflections from nearby floors or table tops, so there is no strange comb-filtering effect that puts nulls in your frequency response. (That Media College blurb misstates this effect as "reverberation", which is way different.)

What you want to reduce extraneous sound is a directional mic. Cardioid is usually the best you can get in a cheap mic, but unidirectional ones have tighter patterns. A paraboloid reflector is better yet, for faraway sounds (think bird calls). But usually you will get the best sound by putting your mic as close to the source as possible. Use a clip-on mic or headset-mounted.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

I'm a retired vacuum tube engineer, and I've used PCs since the 8086 days. I like the menu systems in Cinnamon, MATE and KDE, where the first menu is categories (sound & video, graphics, preferences, office) and the next level is applications (GIMP, Image Viewer, Scan). If I can remember what the name is, I just type it in the search (GIMP) and there it is; otherwise I run through the menus.

When you install a Windows app, it gets put where the autor wants it, plus a bunch of other cruft. So you get menu items for "Funkysoft --> FunkySoft on the Web Link, Uninstall FunkySoft, FunkySoft" etc. So, after trying to sort them into logical submenus, you just give up and put a shortcut to FunkySoft on your desktop. When the desktop gets full, you buy another monitor.

ZorinOS is specifically designed to not shock Windows users when they see the desktop, and there's a "look changer" that goes from Windows 2000 to XP to 7. Mint Cinnamon looks like Win7 to me. There are distros for Mac switchers, too: they have nice docks on the bottom, where they "should" be. Elementary is another gateway distro. Of course you can change a lot of things to suit your fancy, but it's better to start with something close to what you like.

So, go to distrowatch.com. Go to the Search at the top and click on "beginners" in the search box. There's links on each distro page to reviews and screenshots. Download a couple and give them a spin as a live disk, to see how your hardware works and how you like it.

view
Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 6 months ago vandamme

I run mainly Linux Mint Cinnamon on machines all older/slower than yours. I do genealogy with the Gramps program. Edit videos with KDenLive, AviDemux, or OpenShot, view with VLC, edit photos with DigiKam, Gimp; edit audio with OcenAudio or Audacity. Mint or Zorin are best for beginners.

You can install any of these apps that aren't included by going to the distro's "app store" and searching, reading the review, and click once to install. None of this going to dodgy shareware sites and getting adware included with your download. Or worse.

Speaking of which: if your Windows machine was hit with a Cryptolocker virus, all your files would be toast. If you keep backups in a Linux format (ext4, btrfs) there's no way they can get infected, even if the virus gets stored with your files. Just sayin'.

I'd stick with Debian based distros; if you want to install stuff, most apps are packaged for Debian first. You'll find a .deb extension on the downloads. Half the distros are Debian based. The biggies are Ubuntu, Zorin, Bodhi, Mint, Lite, Elementary, Deepin; and they're all good for beginners. Go to the distro web site for instructions and introductions, then the forums for more info & resolve problems. If you install Mint or Zorin, look at the Ubuntu info too.

view
Turn Your PC Into A Music Studio, Complete With Instruments 1 year 3 months ago vandamme

You can thank Linux for this software. LMMS started as Linux MultiMedia Studio.

Don't be amazed that it's open source, powerful, free, and malware-free; Linux software is like that.

view
Best Free Video Editing Program 7 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

The free version of DaVinci doesn't run on Linux.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 4 weeks ago vandamme

Haroopad, an interesting HTML editor. It was reviewed favorably on last Sunday's Linux Action Show from Jupiter Broadcasting. I haven't tried because I usually use a WYSIWYG editor, but it looks useful.

"... Haroopad is a markdown enabled document processor for creating
web-friendly documents. You can author professional-looking documents of various formats: blog posts,
slides, presentations, reports, email and more ...":

http://pad.haroopress.com/user.html

view
Finds of the Week: 100+ Alternative Search Engines, Disable Animated GIFs in Chrome, Firefox and Opera, Windows 10 Rollback Utility, 5 Free Route Planning Sites 1 year 6 days ago vandamme

I like that none are Google, because they know too much about me already.

On my phone, I use Here maps because I can use it offline. I downloaded maps for Europe and used them without using expensive wireless data.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 4 weeks ago vandamme

Ooops. One of these days I'll figure out how to find stuff here.

view
How To Choose A Strong Password 4 years 3 months ago vandamme

I wonder how a dictionary attack would work against a password that's a combination of Flemish, Malagasy, Latin and Hawaiian words?

view
The Return Of Simple Instant Messenger 2 years 3 months ago vandamme

It works on Linux; there's deb and rpm packages. And of course Pidgin does also.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 2 weeks ago vandamme

Variety is a newer wallpaper changer that I like better than Wally, Wallch and others. It also can show quotes, clock, and is highly configurable and tweakable. It wasn't in the Mint repository (the non-functioning Wallch was, though); you have to search for it, add the ppa, then install. Three lines in the terminal, but worth it. Runs on all Linuxes. Written by Peter Levi, so find his page.

view
Free Windows 10 for Mac and Linux Users? 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

When I compare free Windows to free Linux....Linux wins. (Mint is my current favorite.)

view
Edit Your MP3 Files On Your PC 2 years 3 months ago vandamme

I like OcenAudio, which is easy to use yet has a lot of toys and tools. I use it on Linux Mint.

view
All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

What happens when you upgrade to Windows 10? Will it wipe out your whole hard drive, or the Windows 7 or 8 partition with all your data, or just upgrade the operating system?

I have several PCs, all of which dual (or triple) boot Linux, along with (usually seldom used) Windows 7 . Would the upgrade wipe out my Linux partitions, along with my data? If that happened, it would take me an hour or two to reinstall Linux and my data, and get it back to the way I like it. And it sounds like the best action would be to keep 7 until it dies in 2020 (or the PC dies).

view
Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 5 months ago vandamme

Video editors: PiTiVi is improving quickly and deserves a look. KDenLive has always been reliable for me. OpenShot is easy and quick, kind of like Windows Movie Maker (except it works).

view
All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

Thanks. I'll probably just reach for my SuperGrubDisk if the time comes to restore grub; it's pulled my dupa out of the fire a few times already.

No DVD playback on Win 10? Yet another reason to run Linux.

view
Easily Send Files From Your Dropbox Via Gmail 2 years 3 months ago vandamme

You need to run Chrome also.

view
Best Free Software for Linux 9 months 1 week ago vandamme

Unfortunately FileZilla Secure is "under development" for Linux. The question I have is, is the original FileZilla in Linux susceptible to hacking?

view
Create Amazing Effects By Removing Colours From Your Images 1 year 1 month ago vandamme

Photo B&C is 30 day shareware.

I'm thinking there must be a way of doing the same thing in Gimp. The G'Mic filter set has a selective desaturation that I think does it.

view
All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

That's a subset of the "Linux includes a whole lot of applications that you don't have to install or update separately" reason to install Linux, at http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/.

view
Watch The World Get DDoSed In Real Time 2 years 2 months ago vandamme

Try again. I had no problem on FF 38.0.5, Windows7

view
Best Free Software for Linux 2 years 7 months ago vandamme

Variety wallpaper changer has been updated to 0.5.0 beta (works pretty good though). It has a ton of features, but the new version features collaboration between users at https://vrty.org/ . I haven't figured out how that's supposed to work, though. There doesn't seem to be a lot of "variety" among the wallpapers so far. I guess I'm a different kind of geek.

view

Pages