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Article title Time posted Postersort descending Comment Link
Best Free Genealogy or Family Tree Software 3 years 7 months ago vandamme

You can change the chart to vertical, different direction, fan chart, etc. by going to View-->Configure. The fan chart is pretty cool, you can see hundreds of people at once.

The Reports menu has lots of different things that are produced with a Graphwiz plugin. It should be installed, so you just hit a button and it makes a chart in SVG format that you can manipulate using a vector graphics program.

You can install plugins pretty easily, and there's a bunch of them at https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=4.2_Addons . Maybe some of them will do what you want. Like this? https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=File:RelationshipChartDescendants.png

The wiki has support for new users. https://gramps-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_page Probably the place to go for help.

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Best Free CAD Computer Aided Design Program 4 years 3 months ago vandamme

How about FreeCAD? http://www.freecadweb.org/

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Best Free Software for Linux 6 years 7 months ago vandamme

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

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Best Free Software for Linux 6 years 1 month 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/

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Best Free Software for Linux 5 years 8 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).

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Best Free Software for Linux 5 years 3 months 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

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Best Free Software for Linux 5 years 3 months ago vandamme

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

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Best Free Software for Linux 5 years 3 months 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.

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Best Free Software for Linux 4 years 10 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/

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Best Free Software for Linux 4 years 10 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.

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Best Free Software for Linux 4 years 9 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.

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Best Free Software for Linux 4 years 7 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

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Best Free Software for Linux 3 years 5 days ago vandamme

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

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Best Free Online Applications 3 years 1 month 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.

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Best Free Media Center Software 4 years 2 weeks ago vandamme

I don't see any discussion of Universal Media Server.

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Security Software That Will Wow You. I Guarantee. 6 years 5 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.

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What Else Have You Just Downloaded? 3 years 6 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.

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Best Free Specialised Web Browser 5 years 1 month ago vandamme

Kidzui looks like a plugin for Firefox; at least that's what it tells me (I'm running FF on LinuxMint).

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Want 100GB Of Free Cloud-Based Storage? 6 years 7 months ago vandamme

Their "Sign Up" button has no link...?

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Want 100GB Of Free Cloud-Based Storage? 6 years 7 months ago vandamme

Copy.com is a new Dropbox-like cloud that gives away 5 GB. You can also get an additional 5 GB per friend who signs up. Or enemy, doesn't matter; they get the 5 GB too.

I'm up to 25 GB. Here's my link, so you can get your extra 5 GB:
[edited out. referral links not allowed]

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Want 100GB Of Free Cloud-Based Storage? 6 years 6 months ago vandamme

I went to Zoolz and tried to sign up, and these are the lies Zoolz told me:

"Linux Soon

Oops! We've noticed that you are on a Mac, we are working 24/7 to release it. It will be out April 30, 2013"

...along with a frowning "Mac" icon. I question if they are truly working 24/7.

Well, I went to a SugarSync features request forum where crowds of Linux users gather to complain fruitlessly about no support, and posted my referral link to Copy.com (where I get 5 GB for each referral). So, I'm up to 125 GB on Copy.com. I uploaded two hours of home movies and due to the slow upload speeds of our cable, it took all night. But at least it works great on Linux, like UbuntuOne and Dropbox.

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Want 100GB Of Free Cloud-Based Storage? 6 years 5 months ago vandamme

Zoolz must have gotten their million free users, because now they're pay-only, and aimed at business users. And no mention of Linux client. Maybe they're still "working on it 24/7".

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How To Choose A Strong Password 6 years 6 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?

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Eight PDF Files You Don’t Want to Open 6 years 5 months ago vandamme

Moral of the story: don't run Windows.

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How to Keep Google from Putting Your Name and Picture in Their Ads 6 years 1 month ago vandamme

This is why I use DuckDuckGo for search.

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Five Things that Every Windows PC Owner Must Do 5 years 10 months ago vandamme

If you get hit with the CryptoLocker trojan, all your attached storage (network, extra HDD or flash drive) will be locked. But you can backup to an ext4 formatted drive which Windows can't see, and so it will be safe. Any Linux OS can read or write it it.

So why not just use Linux instead of Windows? You don't have to do any of the things in the list above, except backup your data. You keep your OS backup on the disk you loaded it from, and you can reinstall it in 15 minutes with no keys or licenses needed.

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Five Things that Every Windows PC Owner Must Do 5 years 10 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.

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Five Things that Every Windows PC Owner Must Do 5 years 10 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.

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Keep This Bootable CD Handy For Troubleshooting 5 years 9 months ago vandamme

I like Rescatux because it's a small download, yet contains a complete operating system. I use it to restore bootloaders and erase windows passwords.

http://www.supergrubdisk.org/rescatux/

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A Free Screen Recorder That's Unbelievably Small 5 years 8 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.

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Changing from Windows XP? Free Help with Migrating Files and Settings 5 years 8 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.

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If You're Using Windows XP You Need To Read This 5 years 8 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!

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Still Got An XP Machine? Turn It On Now. 5 years 6 months ago vandamme

"Buy Windows 7 or buy a new PC" is what Microsoft wants you to do. Well, I took off their handcuffs a couple years ago and haven't looked back. Zorin, Linux Lite, or Mint will look most familiar to XP users and are easy to install.

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Compose Music Directly On Your PC. No Paper Required 5 years 7 months ago vandamme

MuseScore is a blast. I used Finale for many years, but I finally converted to Linux.

In other news, LMMS has finally reached version 1.0.0. So I can write scores, and render them.

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Create Reminders On Your Desktop. No Software Required. 5 years 6 months ago vandamme

Clever (works in Linux too, of course). But I'm addicted to Tomboy Notes.

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The Best Photo Viewer I've Seen In Years. And It's Free. 5 years 5 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.

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Another Program To Check For Software That Needs Updating 5 years 5 months ago vandamme

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

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Control Two PCs From One Mouse With This Freebie From Microsoft 5 years 4 months ago vandamme

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

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Is Your PC Updating Correctly? Are You Sure? 5 years 4 months 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.

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If You're Using Windows Remote Desktop You Need To Read This 5 years 4 months ago vandamme

I use Remmina on Linux to RDP into Windows or Linux PCs.

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How to Replace Windows XP with Linux for Free 5 years 4 months ago vandamme

Does clonezilla do what you want to do? I just used it for my dad to copy a failing hard drive contents to a new HDD, Windows 7 and all. And I put Zorin on the extra space hoping he'd try it out!

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How to Replace Windows XP with Linux for Free 2 years 11 months ago vandamme

If they're 32 bit machines, I usually put Lubuntu on them. Some had 256MB RAM, and those need to have the "alternate" installer, because the fancy "new" installer of Ubuntu won't run in that, even though Lubuntu will. Xubuntu is another good choice.

I find that using Windows is painful, because of all the menus full of useless garbage. That's why people ended up putting lots of shortcuts all over their desktop, so they can find them! I use Mint mostly, and the menus are a couple nested steps to get the app you want, or just type in the name if you know it. Ubuntu MATE is another easy to use one.

CDRoms are getting rare, so I usually put ISOs on a flash drive (1-2 GB if you can find them forgotten in a drawer). Bodhi and Puppy should fit on a CD. If you go to Distrowatch's Search page and search on "old computer" you'll find a few choices. Flash drives are easily reused when a new version comes out.

Everybody has their favorite distro, or several. I usually suggest a Debian variant to the noobs. Elementary, Zorin, Mint, Lite. Put it on a stick, have your victim boot off it and try it. Money back guarantee. Make SURE their favorite card game is on it, and their favorite wallpaper, and they'll be happy.

Don't throw away all those peripherals that won't run on newer Windows. They'll probably run on Linux!

I looked at React, but it's so last century. Ugh. I occasionally run Wine but almost everything I need is already in most distros, or easily installed from their repos.

My first PC at work was a 8086. Leading Edge D, with a full 640K RAM and a COLOR screen, I was hot stuff.

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Tips and Tricks for Linux Mint after Installation [Mint 17 to 17.2 - Cinnamon Edition] 4 years 1 month 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.

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Deeper into the Windows Registry 5 years 4 months ago vandamme

Great article. I wish you had written this ten years ago. The registry is one of the reasons I converted to Linux.

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Deeper into the Windows Registry 5 years 3 months ago vandamme

That would really be painful.

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Four Ways to Make Windows XP Systems More Secure 5 years 3 months 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.

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Try This Alternative File Manager And Explorer For Windows. It's Free. 5 years 1 month 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.)

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How to Join the Microsoft Insider Program and Get a Trial Copy of Windows 10 Preview 5 years 1 month ago vandamme

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

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Forget Windows 10. Try Out Windows 1.01 Instead! 5 years 1 month 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.

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Two Amazing, Yet Different, Examples Of Computer Graphics 5 years 1 month ago vandamme

Don't miss the "making of" Animator IV, link at the end of it.

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...And Relax 5 years 2 weeks ago vandamme

I need uplifting, not calming. Our local radio station (wcny.org) is presently playing Mozart's Coronation Mass ....

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Revisit all those Games of the Past at the Internet Arcade 5 years 1 week ago vandamme

My wife just found a Simon game in the cellar, and now the grandkids want to play with it! You get to move your hands instead of just your thumbs. And the colors on the top look like the new Microsoft logo, isn't that a throwback?

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How to Get a Free Installation Disk for Windows 8.1 5 years 4 days 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.

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This Superb Online Photo Editor Is Free To Use 5 years 1 day 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.

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How to Get Rid of the Ads on the Firefox New Tab Page 4 years 12 months ago vandamme

If it helps Mozilla, I'll keep the ads. Might be something interesting, but most likely I won't notice them.

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A Complete Music Scoring And Notation App For Free 4 years 11 months ago vandamme

MuseScore is open source, runs native on Linux, and...well, I think it's better.

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A Complete Music Scoring And Notation App For Free 4 years 11 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.

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An End-of-year Thank-you from Gizmo 4 years 10 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.

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12 of the Best Places on the Internet to Get Free Help with Computer Problems 4 years 10 months ago vandamme

All the sites listed above are for Windows, so are mostly useless for me.

I first go to the forum maintained by the Linux distro I'm using, or its derivative (e.g., Mint, Ubuntu). If I have a problem, a thousand others have had it too and a hundred have figured out the answer.

If I can't, there's a lot of small Linux forums but I find the best way of finding the topic is searching for it, making sure I use "linux" as one of the search terms.

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12 of the Best Places on the Internet to Get Free Help with Computer Problems 4 years 10 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/

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A Reminder: If You Use Windows, Just Get Flux 4 years 10 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.

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Develop Web Sites On Your Own PC Easily And Safely 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

Does anybody know a similar program for Linux?

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

OpenSUSE was the easiest install I've seen, Zorin was pretty good too. Deepin is reported to be simple too (looks pretty also). I always dual boot, even though I'll probably never use Windows again.

On many distros there are beginner forums that you can ask really basic questions and get a kind (if slightly condescending perhaps) answer. We were all noobs once.

You need to be specific, though, about your problem, what the result was, what you tried, and what hardware you are using. If you have a 32 bit system with a weird video card, 512MB memory, and a non-supported wifi card, you will be frustrated trying to install Ubuntu 64 bit.

On an old machine, you might find that Lubuntu 32 bit will run off the CD, but it won't install because the nice pretty installer won't run on low memory. But you can use the "altenate installer" (old one) for that.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

"Misery loves company."

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

Try Hylafax: http://www.hylafax.org/content/Main_Page

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 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.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 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.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

A good video on switching to Linux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gVZxQWlLOk
Jupiter Broadcasting is going to continue this show this year, so subscribe and learn. Their regular weekly "Linux Action Show" can get a bit...involved.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 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.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 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.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 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.

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

My point just went woosh over your head. I can install Mint quickly and a user can have a complete operating system with all the apps they're apt to need, and won't have to fool with. They can use the stock wallpaper forever. They don't have to customize anything.

Why would they do that, when XP will run forever? Well, I have a ten year old car, and it does what I need it to do, but doesn't have antilock brakes, a backup camera, tire pressure monitoring, LED running lights, GPS, or mp3 player input. At some point it will be uneconomical, impractical and/or unsafe to drive long distances, so I'm shopping for a new(er) one. I'll probably get one off the lot that has the best mix of features I want, although I could order exactly the features I want and wait for delivery.

XP is fine if you never want new features and never go on the internet, and never buy new hardware. Same with Windows 2000, or 98, or 95. If they serve your needs, fine. I've moved on, and I surf the web (with no antivirus).

If you want a new operating system or PC, you will have to learn it and set it up. If you buy Microsoft, you are stuck with whatever they want you to have. If you are overjoyed with Windows 8 or 10, good for you. But if you try Linux, you have a choice of many different distros, with different desktop "looks" and different purposes. You may want a multimedia server, an educational suite, some odd language, or just something that runs on an old machine. You might like Gnome's icons, KDE's menus, or a tiled window manager. Whatever, just download it, install and go. If you don't want to change the wallpaper, fine. If you want to add more desktops or apps, change themes or colors, have wobbly windows, etc. just do it.

The big difference between Windows and FOSS is important to some people. It's not just "free, as in free beer", it's "free, as in freedom". What's the big deal if the NSA has a back door into your operating system? Well, I have nothing to hide and probably you don't either, but there's a principle involved. Also, I don't like the idea of a proprietary "standard".

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Is Moving From Windows to Linux The Right Choice For You? 2 years 3 months 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.

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Got a Spare PC? Why Not Launch Your Own Radio Station For Free? 4 years 9 months ago vandamme

Yes: first take 15 minutes to install ZorinOS, Mint, Deepin, or Ubuntu; then install Airtime. Be free of Microsoft.

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Got a Spare PC? Why Not Launch Your Own Radio Station For Free? 4 years 9 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.

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Favourite Windows Remote Desktop Manager Gets A Refresh 4 years 9 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.

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Want A Constant Readout Of Who's Connected To Your LAN? 4 years 8 months ago vandamme

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

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Pixar Renderman. Was $1300. Now Free. 4 years 7 months ago vandamme

The Linux version is free, too.

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The Return Of Simple Instant Messenger 4 years 6 months ago vandamme

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

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Easily Send Files From Your Dropbox Via Gmail 4 years 6 months ago vandamme

You need to run Chrome also.

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Edit Your MP3 Files On Your PC 4 years 5 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.

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Edit Your MP3 Files On Your PC 4 years 5 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.

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What Your PC Will Need if You Want to Upgrade to Windows 10 4 years 5 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.

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All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 4 years 5 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).

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All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 4 years 5 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.

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All About the Windows 10 Upgrade App Including How to Get Rid of it 4 years 5 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/.

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Watch The World Get DDoSed In Real Time 4 years 4 months ago vandamme

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

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Free Windows 10 for Mac and Linux Users? 4 years 4 months ago vandamme

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

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Introducing Fiddler 4 4 years 3 months ago vandamme

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

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Free Program To Create Bootable USB Pen Drive 4 years 3 months ago vandamme

"...or whatever"?? You can use this to download Linux! This might be a better alternative to UNetbootin.

Have a look at the bottom of their page for the ISOs it works on.

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Your PC May Have Been Uploading Windows 10 to Others without You Knowing It 4 years 3 months 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.

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Understanding and Dealing with the Windows 10 Privacy Issue 3 years 6 months ago vandamme

"One Weird trick" to solve all Windows problems: don't use it!

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This Online Web Page Creator Is Looking Promising 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

One "project" is free forever. The upgrade subscriptions seem reasonably priced for a business.

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This Online Web Page Creator Is Looking Promising 10 months 2 weeks ago vandamme

UPDATE 1/2/2019: Sketchbuilder.com is now a parked domain, and sketchbuilder is nowhere to be found.

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Grab This $24 Music Software Package For Free 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

Couldn't get it to run under Wine/Mint. Thanks anyway; it looks very similar to MuseScore, which is free and open source, and was recently updated.

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Are Recent Patches to Windows 7/8 Letting Microsoft Spy on You? 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

Hasta la Vista, Microsoft! Gizmo has the answer right here:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/moving-windows-linux-right-choice-you.htm

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Are Recent Patches to Windows 7/8 Letting Microsoft Spy on You? 4 years 2 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.

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It Rhymes With Oink And Could Just Make You Famous 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

Runs on Linux, and it is in many distro repositories.

SETI is a waste of time, but there are lots more that are actually useful.

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It Rhymes With Oink And Could Just Make You Famous 4 years 2 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.

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It Rhymes With Oink And Could Just Make You Famous 4 years 2 months ago vandamme

Well, on Earth we are special. We belong in Heaven. Whether we'll find other creatures there, we don't know.
"In my Father’s house are many dwelling-places” John 14:2.

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