2 Aug 2018

Best Health And Fitness Tools For Linux

No matter which type of profession you are in, a busy schedule might interfere with your fitness goal. Some professionals have to work beyond the scheduled time than 8AM to 5PM job. Moreover, some might have regular weekend and home assignments. This ever-growing group of workers today and their commitments and timetables made it difficult to maintain a proper schedule for dieting and focusing on some physical fitness exercises.

So living inside a busy schedule it has become a challenge to keep track of what we do, what we eat and how our heart works.

Thanks to technology for the beautiful gift of fitness tracker that have come a long way for which now Linux professionals or home-users can keep track of what portion of their daily workouts have been completed and what needs to be done, any time, right on our reach.

As an avid Linux user, I've personally used few tools that have been proved helpful to stay healthy by getting me used to ergonomic habits. Let me name some of the best native Linux apps for fitness.

12 Jul 2018

Top 5 MMORPGs for Linux

If you think Linux is only for servers and people who don't like watching YouTube videos or playing games, you're wrong! Linux is one of the most versatile operating systems in the world and is quickly developing into a beautiful environment where cool games can run natively.

For instance, Steam is now native to Linux! Not to mention, there are plenty of Linux-compatible games to try and most of them feature commercial quality. Sadly, MMORPGs are still a bit behind when it comes to Linux, but not for long! Still, there is a way around this as there are several cool games to try even when all you have is the dear old Linux. Below we'll list five of the most fun and entertaining MMORPGs that run natively on Linux.

28 Jun 2018

Linux on a 20th century laptop

Starting with a 20th century computer that struggled to run Windows95.

Figure 1. Compaq Armada 4131T
I didn't want to let such a neat little piece of tech go to waste, but in order to make it usable radical changes were needed.

17 May 2018

Using GnuCash as a Freelancer to Track Finances and Prepare Taxes

GnuCash makes it easy to keep track of your money and it creates reports that will make your accountant happy.


I don't own a credit card (by choice), so keeping a close eye on my finances is really important, but I think whether or not you have a credit card, it’s a good idea to track all of your financial transactions.
It’s really the only way you’ll know what’s coming in and what’s going out. This is a great habit to do even if you don’t have any problems keeping a positive balance – and I would say it's essential to do if you struggle with debt.
Luckily I have no debt but I've seen a number of people turn around their whole financial situations just by starting to keep a ledger of all of their transactions.

1 May 2018

Linux Mistakes Newbies Make

If you are new to the world of Linux, it is important to learn from the mistakes that others have made before you so that you can avoid making them yourself. After all, while some mistakes can simply be annoying, others can be costly. So, with that in mind, let's take a look at the common Linux newbie mistakes to avoid.

31 Mar 2018

Pre-order your own disk with (K-, L-, X-) Ubuntu 18.04

Ladies and gentlemen, it is the same time of the year again. It is end of March, and it means that the release of the next generation of your favourite operating system will be released less than in a month's time! And this will be a Long-term support (LTS) version this time!

Yes, Ubuntu 18.04 is less than a month away. Many of you already looking for downloading of your own ISO image of the system. Yes, that's the next version, codenamed Bionic Beaver.

But many of you are not so lucky, and will need to wait longer, because you can not or do not want to create their own DVDs with operating system images.
We can help!

You can pre-order your own copy of Ubuntu 18.04 (or Xubuntu, or Lubuntu, or Kubuntu), including Ubuntu 18.04 MATE right now. It means that a DVD with your favourite OS will be burnt to you as early as possible, and dispatched on the 26th of April 2018, or soon after. Dispatched to anywhere in the world.

How you can get the DVD? Go to http://buylinuxcds.co.uk site, purchase the Ubuntu DVD from there, and in the PayPal comments state that you want version 18.04. K-, L- or Xubuntu editions are also available there. That's easy.

To help you even further, here is a mini-shop which you can use straight away. It supports PayPal checkout. And you even don't need a PayPal account to pay - you can do this with your credit a debit card!

UK (2.20 GBP):
Ubuntu 18.04 pre-order (UK)
Variation

USA (3.50 USD):
Ubuntu 18.04 pre-order (USA)
Variation


Other countries (3.50 GBP):
Ubuntu 18.04 pre-order (Other countries)
Variation


And yet another alternative: you can purchase the same disks via eBay.


22 Mar 2018

Is the lack of video games on Linux still true in 2018?

For years Linux has faced a lot of bad press about the lack of good gaming capabilities. While many hard-core Linux enthusiasts have stuck by their beloved system, the reality is that the gaming options in Linux just haven't kept up with the rest of the gaming world. Could that finally be about to change? Is 2018 the year that Linux begins to compete in the games market?

13 Mar 2018

FOR SALE!

You may have read an article on Linux notes from DarkDuck that was published a week ago. If not, I'll remind you in short. Due to some side-effects of Linux operating systems' testing and reviews I decided to put that part of my life aside for the timebeing. There are some other personal reasons for doing that too.

I am not sure how long the pause will continue.

But Linux notes from DarkDuck blog has a very good number of readers, followers and I believe lovers. It would be unfair to leave all of them without a good source of Linux-related information.

That's why I offer anyone of you a full ownership of this blog. You can become a contributor, an editor or even an owner. On top of Linux notes from DarkDuck blog comes the BuyLinuxCDs.co.uk site. I am selling these two resources either separately or jointly.

You may have noticed that I used two verbs with different meanings in the previous paragraph: offer and sell. One of them imply a free transfer, the second one requires some financial reward. Me using these two words mean that you can pay for these resources, or you can get them for free. That depends on our arrangements, and on how much you are ready to pay for the popular resource that exists for more than 7 years now. The price is up to you to decide.

Are you ready for the challenge of being the Linux notes from DarkDuck's owner, editor, contributor? Email me, and we'll agree the terms! Don't be shy, the resource can be yours for free... or not. :)

6 Mar 2018

Data Destroyer, Testdisk, Boot-repair and Windows7

My dear readers know that Linux notes from DarkDuck is a blog mostly for reviewing Live versions Linux operating systems. Running these versions Live means I need to create Live DVD or Live USB with the disk image to boot from.

What is the most popular tool for creation of Live USB? Many of you would name Unetbootin, Pendrivelinux and some more. There was even an article on this blog with a comparative list of these tools. However, the most common tool is still a command dd.

usb key linux 1
Image of Dariolynx
In common life dd stands for Data Definition. In a less practical sense dd stands for Data Destroyer. It means that dd command rewrites all the data on the target device without any compassion.

That was the case for myself. I typed the usual command sudo dd if=... of=/dev/sdb, remembering that sdb had always been my USB drive. But not at that time. For whatever reason sdb was my primary HDD, where Windows 7 and Kubuntu 16.04 were installed.

Only after few seconds I noticed that USB stick is not blinking, which was an indicator that dd command did not use the USB stick. Where did it write to? Of course, to my hard drive! And these seconds were enough to overwrite the partition table, master boot record and a part of the Windows partition. Luckily, there were separate partitions for Kubuntu and for user data, and they were much farther in the HDD structure. Command dd did not get there before I stopped it.

Nevertheless, the laptop became unusable. I could not boot it from HDD. I had to save it. I managed to create a Live USB with Kubuntu 16.04 image using another laptop I had. But even then, HDD partition table was destroyed. Linux operating system could not read anything from the disk.

Here comes Testdisk. This is a small CLI utility to help in these situations. I installed it in the Live Kubuntu 16.04 and let it run. It took some time for Testdisk to scan my 1TB drive. I must admit that the interface of Testdisk is far from perfect, and you can easily null the scan results by pressing just one button. That made my work iterative before I finally managed to rescue my drive.

Testdisk found partitions on my HDD, and even helped me to copy files from the data partition to an external HDD. At least, I saved my data.

The next step was to recreate partition table. There were certain partitions for Linux, Linux Swap, OS restore and data. But the main Windows partition was lost, and instead I saw couple dozen broken bit-size partitions. Using Testdisk, I managed to recreate the partition table. Live Kubuntu could mount these partitions normally, which was already a big achievement. Few more files were copied from the Linux partition to the external drive, just in case.

However, the HDD still could not boot. Here came the Boot-repair utility, designed for recovery of lost GRUB installations after unlucky Windows install. It was good enough for me too, and after few minutes with it I could boot into my old installation of Kubuntu 16.04 Linux operating system.

Phew, I was at home after loosing the key! You can imagine my happiness at that time.

But not all things were smiling and dancing at that time. I had another big step: to recover Windows operating system. I already had Windows Recovery Disks that I created when the laptop was new, fresh and shiny. Unfortunately, the Recovery Disks were not able to re-install Microsoft Windows using only the empty partition I left for Windows while playing with partition table. The only way was to make a full factory reset, including deletion of all existing partitions. Of course, that meant I lost my Kubuntu 16.04 installation.

And you know what? After much thoughts and couple of days of attempts to recover the data loss after my silly mistake, I decided to abandon Linux. I am writing this post from Windows, that works well on my relatively powerful laptop. I'll let it running for me for time being. How long that will be? I don't know.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS family will be released in just few more weeks. Maybe that will be the time to come back to the Linux world, but I cannot predict. Let's see.

In the meantime, you will not see Linux reviews on this blog for some time. Of course, there will be some other Linux-related articles, so I ask you to still stay tuned and watch this space!

1 Mar 2018

Top 7 Photo Editing Software programs for Linux

Although Microsoft Windows is a hugely popular computer OS, many people still do use Linux systems and devices. If you love photography, and own a Linux device, fear not - there is a myriad of photo editing programs available that can transform your snaps from "ok" to "outstanding" in a matter of seconds!

Photo editing software is a must for those who are serious about creating true works of art. It is possible to take some astounding photos straight out of the camera, but if you shoot in RAW mode, you can import your photos onto a computer and turn them into something magnificent.

Photo editing software allows you to alter the parameters of a photo such as white balance, saturation and exposure. Furthermore, you can remove impurities and crop the photo or even alter its horizontal and vertical alignment. In short, you can change a quality photo into something awe-inspiring. To help in your quest for photographic perfection, we have created a list of 7 top photo editing programs for Linux devices.

6 Feb 2018

Top 5 posts from 2017 (version 3)

My dear readers!

Let's conclude our retrospective into 2017 before we jump into new Linux reviews in 2018.

We have already checked the most popular posts in 2017 by Blogger statistics and the articles that readers voted for. Today we'll check the results of Google Analytics.

5. Solus - how far will it go?
4. Linux Mint 18.2 KDE - what else can you desire?
3. Fedora 25 KDE: disappointing experience
2. The Linux Virus: how it can be
1. MX-16 Xfce: very close to the ideal

I hope you will enjoy re-reading these articles again and again!

30 Jan 2018

Users voted for the best article 2017

Linux notes from DarkDuck ran a poll recently, where users could name the best article of this blog in 2017. It is time now to announce the results.

There were only votes for 2 articles, that's why I will not name any "best" of "runner up". Both of them deserve your attention, and I hope you will enjoy re-reading them both.




Enjoy your reading and stay tuned for more interesting articles in 2018!

23 Jan 2018

More Security with DarkDuck Projects

You know that Linux Notes from DarkDuck is not the only project by DarkDuck. To name just two, buylinuxcds.co.uk and ml.darkduck.com are stores were you can purchase Linux disks, art objects and various merchandise.

These projects have recently migrated to a new hosting, which allowed them to switch from non-secure HTTP to secure HTTPS protocols. All your browsing and transactions on those sites are now encrypted and protected by a SSL certificate.

You are more than welcome to visit these sites, Buy Linux CDs and DarkDuckByML, choose your favourite items and buy them!

In the meantime, the Linux Notes from DarkDuck blog still remains on HTTP protocol, and I am working on securing it as we speak!

Sincerely yours,
DarkDuck

18 Jan 2018

Amazing Facts about Linux Operating System You Probably Don't Know

Introduction

It was almost 30 years ago when the first version of Linux came into the market and since then, this operating system has made its important stature beside Microsoft Windows. Linux has turned out to be one of the most acknowledged and extensively used operating system. Enthused by UNIX, Linux has smartly managed to attract a lot of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Amazon, and much more. However, when it comes to assessing the exact rate of adoption of Linux in the market, the task is a bit tough since the sources to get copies are wide in number. Appreciating workers' and developers' hard-work, Linux has been designed in such a way that exploring and learning things on this operating system has become quite captivating and enthralling.

In this post, let's know more about amazing features and facts of this operating system.

9 Jan 2018

Top 5 posts from 2017 (version 1)

The year 2017 is in the past now.

There were many articles and reviews published by Linux notes from DarkDuck blog during the year. Let's look back and see which ones were the most popular. There are different ways to look at the popularity of the page. That is why I will publish 3 different "Top 5"s in the coming weeks.

Today we will look at the most popular page by Blogger Statistics of pageviews.

Here is the list of Top 5 posts. Feel free to re-read them if you missed any so far.


I hope you have enjoyed the reading!

4 Jan 2018

Pros and cons of Linux

Windows today beats almost all the markets thanks to its simplicity and large number of programs and games in a free access. We are used to Windows since there are no compatible systems like Windows. However, it is not true. Only a small number of people might have heard about Linux. This operating system started at the beginning of 90th and quickly gained popularity for supercomputers and huge server rooms. Today, you will actually be able to compare all the advantages and disadvantages of Linux operating system to understand whether it is worth your attention or not. Maybe, you will be even convinced of switching over to Linux after all. So let's start with advantages and disadvantages and then a small summary that I hope will help you to process all the newly acquainted information.