Popular Open Source 3D Printers

Popular Open Source 3D Printers

Just a decade ago, 3D printers were a novelty. Costing upwards of US$5,000 for a desktop edition that could convert some powder into plasticky objects. But not only have the prices fallen, More »

Open Source Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

Open Source Gift Ideas for the Holiday Season

It is the holiday season and a time to share and exchange presents. And what better way to share some love this holiday season than by giving your loved ones an open More »

Wekan – Open Source Alternative to Trello

Wekan – Open Source Alternative to Trello

Wekan is an open source collaborative project management tool similar to Trello like boards. It offers some of the Kanban functionalities and features as well. On Wekan one can easily create boards, More »

The Zero Terminal – Pocket Computer that works!

The Zero Terminal – Pocket Computer that works!

The real joy of tinkering with Raspberry Pi is to build something nifty and fun. To hack a really whacky and crazy idea into a working prototype. That we all love and More »

OpenAg – Open Source Food Computer

OpenAg – Open Source Food Computer

MIT Open Agriculture (OpenAg) is a wonderful execution of an open source initiative for controlled-environment agriculture platform referred to as “Food Computer”. All hardware, software and even data is open sourced so More »

 

Category Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu for Tablets – Let the Freedom Rule

Today, in a grand unveiling, Ubuntu founder, Mark Shuttleworth announced the arrival of Ubuntu for Tablets. Well, the news itself is no news until you realize the potential of what Ubuntu is offering. One user experience across all interfaces i.e. desktop, smartphone, tablets and TV.

That seems quite a bold move by an open source driven company. Especially considering Apple, Microsoft and Google are still struggling to get their OSes to work seamlessly across all sets of devices. So far with mixed results at best.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Install Ubuntu on Windows Surface Pro

Microsoft’s Windows Surface Pro has been recently released and already Linux pros are booting Ubuntu and other Linux distributions on to it. After all, why not? It would be fun to carry my Ubuntu in a tablet form rather than on an old PC.

Surface Pro comes with really powerful processor. Unlike other tablets, it actually boasts an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM. Pretty powerful for a little machine. The display is 11″ inches with a sweet 1080p HD graphics. Not really Retina quality as on Apple’s iOS devices but pretty good anyways.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Ubuntu vs Fedora

Two of the biggest names in desktop Linux are Ubuntu and Fedora. Both have a huge and sometimes emotionally charged following and will defend one against the other vehemently.

Ubuntu and Fedora currently support almost the same set of software without much difference. Be it desktop applications like LibreOffice, Skype, VLC or Server software like Apache, MySQL, PHP etc. The only difference could be how to install or provide support. In short, there is no difference for an average user.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Your Media in Plex Heaven

Living in the digital & information age also means its an age of “Information Glut”. Our brain at times is overwhelmed by the amount of information it encounters in a day. We struggle to remember it, retrieve it and even share it with our family and friends. And it is even worse on a computer. Some of the videos we shot ages ago are collecting dust in some old hard drive that wont even connect to modern computers. All this data and digital information needs to be rescued and viewed as it was originally destined.

Well, if that media is videos, music or photos you are in luck. Plex not only indexes that information for you but serves it up in a nice VIP Deluxe package that you can access on the go from any device that you may own. Welcome to Plex Media Server.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Installing Ubuntu within MacOS X

Many of us have wanted to try and install Linux but cannot part ways with our Windows or Mac OSX. Sometimes, we are not sure if it is worth the switch or if we will ever be comfortable in the new alien environment. But, there are alternatives to this. We can still run Ubuntu and other Linux within our Windows or Mac without needing to uninstall either. Yes, we can actually run Windows and Linux simultaneously using a simple and small software application called Virtualbox.

Of Course, such a solution works great on a fast computer with lots of memory and hard disk space. We recommend at least an Intel’s Core2Duo computer running 4GB of RAM. If you do it in anything less, you might run into performance issues.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

How to Install Ubuntu Linux

A lot of my friends have asked me to install Ubuntu Linux on their computers as an alternate to Microsoft Windows. And many more have asked for a suitable and easy to follow guide for doing just that. So here it is. A simple and easy visual guide that I have put together for everyone, even non-techies to use. I have deliberately tried to keep it simple, easy and visual so that anyone can use it to install the operating system. Ubuntu installation is anyways a breeze and this guide will only make it more so.

Do not worry about the version of Ubuntu that you are installing. All versions are similar when it comes to installation. Hence, Ubuntu 11.04, 12.04, 12.10 etc will all install in a similar fashion.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Use Tor to unblock Youtube

If you want privacy and anonymity on the web from over hyper big brothers. If you want to unblock Youtube or other similar sites blocked by your government. If you want to see unfiltered and unaltered results from Google and other search engines that might be censored, then TOR is a great solution for your needs.

In their own words:

Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.

Techie by day, blogger by night. Love the outdoors, enjoy traveling and building new and interesting things. Follow me if you want to know something.

Ubuntu Manual – A Great Addition and Must for Beginners

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I must say, we have been pleasantly surprised at the content and quality of the manual developed by the community for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. These past few days, we have had the opportunity to share it with non-techies and people new to Linux. To our great satisfaction and delight, they not only found the manual extremely easy to follow but were able to do most of the tasks (including installation) without anyone’s help.Ubuntu itself is probably the most intuitive Linux distribution out there. But the manual is a great addition, making adoption of Linux even more easy. The document is divided into 9 distinct chapters that deal with its installation, the desktop environment, security, hardware and software management.  There are even some advanced topics on how to use command line interface to accomplish tasks the traditional way, among others. It even has a chapter on how to use Word, Spreadsheets, web browser, Instant Messaging, including Twitter making it easy for people to migrate to Ubuntu without any glitch.

The documentation is well supported by clear and extremely helpful screen shots of various Ubuntu features, that visually guide the user through many cumbersome tasks. This makes life easy for someone who has never used Ubuntu or Linux before. Considering that it is a community driven project, it is a remarkable achievement and will go a long way in making Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular get mainstream acceptance. We for one are recommending it to anyone who wants to migrate/move to Linux and is unsure of where to begin.

If you prefer to get a printed version of the manual, you can get it through Lulu otherwise, the electronic version in PDF can be downloaded free of cost from Ubuntu Manual Website.

Ubuntu 10.04 is Awesome!

Whenever Apple releases a new gadget, there are scores of people lined up in front of their stores, sometimes for days, just to be the first ones to get their hands onto the next cool gadget. On April 29, thousands of Linux aficionados were glued to their computer screens patiently waiting for Ubuntu to release their latest Linux. And the new 10.04 aptly named Lucid Lynx, was released with much fanfare on schedule with blogosphere covering its launch like traditional media covered the iPad release. We too were among the millions downloading it the moment it was available and giving it a try on our PCs. After tinkering with it for an hour, we were convinced, it is now the most superb OS available in the market.
Over the past two years, since the release of Ubuntu 8.04, the Operating system has matured at a very high pace. Today, it is no longer a hobbiest tool nor just a tool for geeks to tinker with in their basements, it is now a mainstream player which can hold its own in front of Apple’s MacOS X and Microsoft’s Windows.Times have changed as well. Today, Dell, Toshiba, Intel, HP and other major hardware vendors are supporting Linux for their devices. If you buy a computer be it a laptop, netbook or a desktop, it will run Linux perfectly well out of the box. To give you an example, I hooked up an HP P1005 laser printer to my 10.04. It not only recognised it immediately, without me needing to install any additional drivers, but also got me the official HP software to manage the printer.

There are many advantages of moving to Ubuntu over other operating Systems. Here are some of my favourite reasons:

  1. It is totally free: No cost for life including upgrades. Every six months, Ubuntu comes out with a major upgrade and all of them are totally free.
  2. Runs on any hardware: Unlike Microsoft and Apple machines, it does not require any specific highend hardware requirements. Even a computer with 256MB of RAM and 5GB of free disk space can easily run Linux. Try doing that with any other OS and you will see your hardware stall.
  3. Free Software Catalog: There is a built in catalog of over 25,000 free softwares to install. No CD/DVD needed. Just choose what you want and get it installed over the Internet. For example, a music player, a mail reader, or chatting software. It not only lets you choose the software, but also automatically installs if for you. And if any software requires certain other software then it will get it automatically for you. Hence, it does not crash like other OS when it does not find what it wants.
  4. Automatic Updates: On a regular basis, Ubuntu will prompt you to update the Operating System with new updates. All one has to do is click a few buttons and it will happen automatically. In fact, Ubuntu will also support all future upgrades totally free through this interface. So no need to reinstall the OS as it will happen automatically.
  5. Office suite: Openoffice is really popular openoffice application developed by Sun Microsystems now Oracle. But it is not the only one. There are similar office applications from IBM (Lotus Symphony) among others to choose from. And all of them are backward compatible with Microsoft Office. No one will ever feel the difference between the documents created using OpenOffice or Microsoft. I personally have been using it as defacto software for over five years. Not once has someone ever complained that they could not read any document that I have created or shared with them. Sun/Oracle and IBM are companies that are as big as Microsoft. The office suite that they produce are well supported and work wonderfully well. Therefore, qualms that it is not as good as Microsoft Office are but a Myth.
  6. Web Browsers: You get Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox working fine on Ubuntu. These are currently two of the most popular browsers available and are easily available here. So surfing the web and doing chores online will always be a breeze.
  7. Messengers: I installed Skype without any issues and Pidgin messenger software. Using Pidgin I can use all major messengers including MSN, YahooIM, GoogleTalk among others. In fact, now I am easily able to manage all my chats through one software.
  8. Mail Client: You can use Mozilla Thunderbird or Novell’s Evolution. Both do a perfect job. However, if you are like me and use webmail, then Mozilla Prism is perfect. It turns my webmail into deskmail. Try it and you will not regret it.
  9. File sharing: You can seamlessly share files between Windows and Linux machines using Samba and other available tools. This makes Linux machine part of the network that you have at home or in offices.
  10. Side by Side Installation: Yes, you can run it with ease with your Windows Operating Systems. Simply follow the instructions and it will make your machine dual boot. Linux and Windows. This will give you the best of both worlds.
In the coming years, Linux will no longer be a novelty used by the few. It will gain immence momentum and the mainstream will embrace it. Many hardware vendors will pre-install it with their systems for users to use right out of the box. Linux is already prevalent on the mobile platform and is making good inroads onto netbooks. Android and WebOS are just two popular examples of Linux customized to run on your Google and Palm phones. Even Google’s much anticipated ChromeOS is based on Linux for the netbooks.

My advice is to give it a try and install it on your system. Once you go Linux, you will not go back to Windows.

Turn your Linux machine into a PDF printer

Do you want to have a PDF print driver on your Linux machine? Then follow the instructions listed below.

Usually more popular open source applications, for example, OpenOffice, have a built in feature to print directly to PDF. However, some applications like web browser (Firefox etc) may not be able to do it by default and need a pdf printer utility. Here is how one can get it installed.

  • Fire up a Terminal (command line prompt) or SSH for remote access onto your linux system
  • From your linux archive, install the CUPS for PDF from the archive. CUPS, as you all are familiar with, is the most user friendly open source printing system developed by Apple for MacOS X and Unix/Linux operating systems.
  • sudo apt-get install cups-pdf
  • Next go to your home directory (/home/your_username/) and create a folder called “PDF”
  • cd /home/your_username
  • mkdir PDF
  • Now restart your cups service
  • sudo /etc/init.d/cupsys restart

You are done! Whatever you print will by default be sent to the PDF folder on your home directory.