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Showing posts from November, 2012

Online Learning: IBM Developerworks

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Online Learning: IBM DeveloperworksCategory: TechtodayLike most people, I love Wikipedia. I think it's the greatest reference and entertainment site on the Internet. However, I'm appalled that two of the most popular search engines, Bing and Google, always list Wikipedia entries so high in their results. This is especially disconcerting when searching for developer topics such as XML and HTML5. As well-written as Wikipedia entries are about Internet standards and current technology, referring to Wikipedia as your primary resource for those fields crushes whatever legitimacy you have. Most people forget that search engines are driven by unholy forces that are not as accurate as you may like. A whole course on researching on the Internet should be developed for the general public. This is the reason why it's always recommended to bookmark exceptional and well-written online resources a…

Windows 8 Hybrid Review from a Linux User's Perspective Part 2

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The Tiles and Charms BarOnce you get used to snapping a tile down to get the options, rearranging and working with the Start tiles is actually fun. I tried to envision the KDE Netbook interface on a tablet in my mind and realized that although Linux fans like myself would love it, a casual Mac or Windows user would hate it. The Windows 8 tiles were colorful and seemed much more engaging than the iOS home screen. Moreover, there are more configuration options. It is, however, an unfair comparison since the iOS layout has been around for years while Windows 8 is only getting started.When I was working on the preview build of Windows 8 released to developers, I never saw the point of the Charms Bar. However, I began to realize just how useful the Search option is on the Charms Bar when I began to work regularly with a touch screen tablet. It's a surprisingly clever but subtle innovation. I …

Windows 8 Hybrid Review from a Linux User's Perspective Part 1

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Windows 8 Hybrid Review from a Linux User's PerspectiveCategory: TechTodayHaving enjoyed Windows 8 for months now and learned just how important the shortcut keys are in using the desktop, it was time to get my hands on a Windows 8 hybrid. So, I took it upon myself to try out the ASUS Vivo Tab - a Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock. Unencumbered by reviews from Windows haters, I unseated the tablet and tried all the tasks I would normally be doing on my iPad and ran it through a normal day similar to what I what do with my Windows 7/openSUSE/Lubuntu machines
To fully enjoy a Windows 8 tablet, there is one thing every user should keep in mind. And it's an important point that most "experts" missed when they wrote their close-minded articles about the "dual" OS: When you're using Windows 8 as a tablet, think "tablet." When you're using Windows 8 with a keyb…

Why is installing openSUSE software using Yast slow?

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Category : openSUSEWhen usingopenSUSE's exceptionalYastto install software, users may feel like the software package manager takes too long to load. Moreover, clicking onAbortorCancelreally doesn't work as Yast will still attempt to connect to the software repositories (and can be very stubborn about it). Once a user runs the software manager, it can be pretty difficult to disconnect from the process even if you click theSkip Autorefreshbutton. Slow or a blocked Internet connection often result in annoying messages regarding your network connection.

As bad as it sounds, the Yast software manager is still much better thanApper, which is much slower and can cause havok on the KDE desktop.
One workaround is to disable the autorefresh settings of all or specific repositories. Better yet, remove repositories you don't need any longer (like that one time install of a game o…

The Keyboard Experience: Laptops, netbooks, tablets, and QWERTY

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There was a time when people ranted about keyboards.IBM Thinkpadswere once lauded for their exceptionally tactile and responsive keyboards. Gamers shelled out good, cold cash for expensive desktop gamingLogitechkeyboards just to strafe opponents properly and with gusto inDoom,Duke Nukem,Descent, or evenWolfenstein. WhenBluetoothcame around, mobility was more of a priority than keyboard comfort. Keyboards were a secondary concern just six or seven years ago when laptops became affordable and people shopped for portables based on the processor (this was the time ofIntel Pentium M), battery, and overall performance. Laptop shopping advice columns were written urging shoppers to try-before-you-buy the laptop keyboard before investing in anAcer,Dell, or HPportable, but casual users were more concerned about the price to performance ratio than anything else. A full-size…

Lubuntu Basics: Setting up Bluetooth Part 2

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To send files using Bluetooth in Lubuntu:
1. Click the Bluetooth icon on the panel and clickSend files to device. You can also click on the paired Bluetooth device listed (e.g. MAC-Brian in the screenshot below) and clickSend files.


2. Select a file to send. 
3. Select the device to receive the file. ClickSend. ClickAcceptfrom the recipient device.



By default, the Bluetooth applet should load on boot though this really depends if Lubuntu detected a Bluetooth device during Lubuntu's installation. If you want the Bluetooth applet to load on boot, open the LXPanel and click Preferences then Desktop Session Settings.



In the Desktop Session Settings window, select Bluetooth Manager and click OK.

Lubuntu Basics: Setting up Bluetooth Part 1

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Category: Linux

Running a cursory examination of the defaultLubuntumenu will merit no entry for any Bluetooth utilities. However, Lubuntu supports Bluetooth-equipped hardware out-of-the-box. This overview will make use of anASUS EEEPC 1000H.
For the ASUS EEEPC 1000H, pressingFN+F2will switch on only the Wi-Fi card in Lubuntu and not the Bluetooth module. Other laptops will more likely function in the same way.
To pair Bluetooth devices using Lubuntu:
1. PressALT+F2. In theRunwindow, typebluetoothand selectbluetooth-appletfrom the suggested search results.


2. The Bluetooth logo will appear on your Panel items. Right-click the logo and selectTurn on Bluetooth.


3. For the ASUS 1000H, the Wi-Fi LED will light up indicating the Bluetooth module is on.
4. Click the Bluetooth logo and selectVisibleto allow other devices to detect the device.


5. On the Bluetooth menu, select

Video podcast iO9's "We Come From the Future" ends

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Video Podcast iO9 We Come From the Future podcast endsSurprisingly enough, there are very few really good video podcasts out there. New York Times, Minute Physics (my personal favorite), Dilbert, and io9 We Come From the Future, which sadly aired their last episode recently, are some of the video podcasts that are definitely worth a look.

Unlike most video podcasts I follow, iO9, which was hosted by the bespectacled Esther Inglis-Arkell and adorable AnnaleeNewitz, is less of an educational podcast and more of a short entertainment clip. Still available through YouTube, iTunes, and Revision3, the videos are high-resolution and of exceptional quality. Production values and the editing were also very good. The download sizes for each episode is a little bit bigger than normal if you're using iTunes, but I always felt it was worth the wait. The series discussed comic books, games, TV shows, pop…

Goodbye Asiator.net!

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During the Internet bubble, the death of so many web sites and services was largely ignored. Communities and dedicated users weren't quite devoted to any web site quite yet in those days. Although apathy and detachment still reign on the Internet (except when it comes to fan sites about vampires and wizards), users today are more aware of their loss when a website closes down. It's the niche websites that don't get much attention in the Internet primarily because they're users are fewer and extremely consistent.

Asiator.net specialized in torrents for Asian movies, Asian movie subtitles, and Asian music videos (including K-Pop and J-Pop). The concept was unique and the content was broad. At a time when Japanese anime has become extremely long in the tooth (it was already an underground sensation in the late 80s and early 90s), fans of Asian celluloid were provided access to Japanese Pinku films, exce…

Internet Explorer 10 Preview: Nothing to be Embarrassed About

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Internet Explorer 10 Preview - nothing to be embarrassed aboutIn my predominantly Linux network, Google Chrome and his neat and less colorful brother, Chromium, can do no wrong. Mozilla Firefox, on the other hand, is still the default browser included with most Linux distributions so it's always around on my PCs as back-up on the rare occasion Google Chrome crashes due to an Adobe Flash foul-up.When I boot into Windows 7, however, to update my iPod using iTunes or work on Windows-only software such as CorelDraw, I find myself clicking on that all-too familiar blue E. Even with Opera and Firefox pinned to my taskbar, I always launch Internet Explorer, the most lampooned and derided browser in all of Internet-dom.It is not without embarrassment that I admit that it's a great browser and my browser of choice when I'm using Windows.Now, discussing and reviewing browsers isn't the mos…

Reboot Mania: James Bond, Spider-Man, and Windows 8

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I recently played around with a hybrid tablet/laptop with Windows 8 and a sluggish Intel Atom processor. Although I'm a proud iPad owner, I found myself wondering what I would do with the machine as a tablet, preferring instead to use it in its netbook form. In short, Windows 8 is a great desktop OS, but like iOS when I first started using it years ago, I'm not sure what to make of Windows 8 as a tablet OS. It's a totally different paradigm from how I normally look at Microsoft's venerable operating system.Windows 8 is a . . . it's a . . . reboot. Just like Casino Royale in 2006 and The Amazing Spider-Man this year.While I was studying in the university many, many, many years ago, I was more obsessed with Indiana Jones, MacGyver, and your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man than James Bond. A coed who I shared Philosophy classes with dismissed my manhood when she found out I…

Lubuntu Basics: Language Support and Input

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Category: LinuxLanguage input and support is installed based on your selections during your initial installation of Lubuntu. You can also install additional language support and configure language input after installation.

To install and setup additional languages in Lubuntu: 1. Click the LXDE menu. Select Preferences then Language Support.

2. In the Language Support window, a set of desktop languages are listed under Language for menus and windows:. In the screenshot below, my system only has English (United States) and English. This setting applies to all my Lubuntu applications.



3. Click Install/Remove Languages....

4. In the Installed Languages window, double-click on the languages you want to install. A checkmark will appear on the Installed column as you select languages. For this example, I'll be adding Japanese, French, Filipino, and Castellano (Spanish). Once you've selected your …

Linux on Film: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Part 2

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Continued from Linux on Film: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Part 1

Piezoelectric technology and microcontroller

From a plot perspective, Peter probably made use of existing equipment like the video card and Osborn supplies (more likely provided by Curt Connors) to create a piezoelectric-based shooter.  Piezoelectric actuators and sensors used in conjunction would take care of precision and the web-shooter's trigger. However, he would need a microcontroller, say one from a Raspberry Pi, to make sure that everything works with the motor to shoot the webbing and manage flow properly (say, when creating web balls and nets). The web pellets, due to their shape and composition, would reload based on basic fluid mechanics and gravity, unlike the old mechanical web-shooters in the 60s where Peter had to keep switching cartridges to keep up with usage.


The new web-shooters are now equipped with a power meter/web gauge and are moun…

Linux on Film: The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Part 1

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Ok, for dedicated fans of the latest Spider-Man movie (me included), Sony made use of this brilliant flick to advertise their Sony Vaio Desktop and support Microsoft Bing. Our hero, Peter Parker (played by the exceptional Andrew Garfield), uses his Vaio and Bing to search for clues about Richard Parker, Oscorp, and the spider-bite. So where's Linux?


To be fair, Sony provided Peter with an old-school Sony desktop and not one of those slick touch-screen Vaios.

Well, this blog entry is somewhat like the old Marvel comic book series, "What if. . .­". If Sony wasn't a major player for The Amazing Spider-Man (hereon referred to as TASM), Peter would have used a Raspberry Pi (a complete portable Linux platform) or Arduino microprocessor when he was designing his web-shooters. As it was, Peter used a video card's GPU processor to power/design/test the trigger control and reloading system of his…