25 Aug 2015

Knoppix 7.4: whom is it for?

I have already tried to write about this distribution couple of times. The last time that happened more than 4 years ago, when I reviewed Knoppix 6.4.

4 years passed by, and now I had an order from buylinuxcds.co.uk site to dispatch an USB stick with Knoppix.

The most recent version of this distribution is Knoppix 7.4.2. It has been released in September 2014. The ISO image size is just under 4Gb. I downloaded it via torrent.

Unfortunately, Knoppix is not the distribution you can write to a USB stick using the dd command or Ubuntu's built-in tool. You basically have three choices:

  1. use Unetbootin,
  2. use the long and windy way described on official site, or
  3. write a DVD.

I tried option 2, but gave up after approximately 10 minutes of going round. Option 1 simply worked.

So, USB stick is in the port of my laptop Toshiba Satellite L500-19X. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

18 Aug 2015

Linux Mint 17.2 KDE: do you have the hardware?

August 2015 is only half-through, but it has already seen releases of two popular Linux distributions.

DarkDuck has already reviewed Zorin OS 10 Core.

Today is the turn of Linux Mint 17.2. Yes, you are right. Linux Mint released the version 17.2 in August 2015. Of course, they are not their "major" Cinnamon and MATE editions, but rather slightly less popular flavours: KDE and Xfce.

Image size of Linux Mint 17.2 KDE is about 1.6 Gb, which is 0.2 Gb more than the Cinnamon edition. I downloaded it using the torrent link available on the web site and "burnt" onto the USB stick using the built-in tool of Ubuntu 14.04.

So, the USB stick is in the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

11 Aug 2015

Zorin OS 10 Core: install and forget

You may have noticed that DarkDuck publishes articles about certain operating systems more often than others. They are LinuxMint, Emmabuntus and Zorin OS. The reasons are different, though I can tell you that I keep good relationships with both Emmabuntus and Zorin teams. That's why I cannot miss a chance...

And there is a chance this time!

It has been more than a year since Zorin OS 9 was released. And the 1st of August 2015 saw the release of the brand new distribution from the Zorin team: Zorin OS 10.

I downloaded the image of Zorin OS 10 Core 64-bit from the official site. It is easy to navigate, though a torrent option is definitely missing for downloaders. ISO image size is just below 1.5 Gb in size.

Then I faced the same issues with Zorin OS 10 that I previously had with Emmabuntus 3.1.01. Neither Ubuntu's built-in image writer tool, nor the dd command worked for me. Unetbootin helped me to deal with Zorin OS image this time.

So, USB-stick is ready and plugged into the port of my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let's go!

4 Aug 2015

Working with Pivot Tables in LibreOffice Calc

Pivot tables is a very powerful tool in spreadsheets that allow you to analyse big massive of data in flexible dimensions.

LibreOffice Calc gives you an option to build your own Pivot tables using the built-in tools.

Please watch a how-to video showing you details of working with Pivot tables in LibreOffice Calc.


You can also follow this link to watch directly on YouTube.

By the way, if you use OpenOffice Calc, this tutorial may help you too.

30 Jul 2015

Zorin OS, consider me a Linux fan for life

After what now seems forever on a Windows based OS (most recently, XP and 7 for desktops, Vista for laptop), I decided to move away from XP and install Zorin OS 8 core. Although I am still on a learning curve, I cannot stress enough how much I love the OS and have not had a moment of wanting to go back to any Windows version.

Other than some challenges with game installs (not a major issue for me), I am a huge fan of the look, feel, and scale of Zorin. So many headaches from XP have been alleviated and as well as endless hard drive clutter.

I find the office applications to be very much like Windows Office (sans $$$ to keep up to date) and the email and messenger clients are very user friendly. In the case of Thunderbird, setup from my existing email was a breeze and it even eliminates redundant messages. When I check email on my iPhone, I used to have to go to the webmail site and clean up on a regular basis as the messages would show in both locations.

While I come across the "old guard" wanting to cling to XP for dear life as it drifts into the sunset and becomes even more prone to virus, malware and spyware attacks, consider me a Linux fan for life.

I look forward to learning and growing as part of the user community.

All the best!

This is a guest post by Jim Stanley, which took part in the joint Zorin OS contest.

21 Jul 2015

Emmabuntus 3: take it all

This is not the first time I have reviewed the distribution I'm going to talk about now. Moreover, I interviewed one of the team leaders and we ran a joint contest with this France-based team.

The distribution continues to develop. Their latest release is number 3, and it is based on Ubuntu 14.04.2.

Let's talk about Emmabuntus 3 today.

The only option to download the ISO with this distribution is through the Sourceforge's network of mirrors. They don't provide a torrent file for the downloading. Although it is not a big problem anyway.

The ISO image size of Emmabuntus 3.1.01 is 3.8Gb. This is more than Emmabuntus 2 used to have. I downloaded the ISO image and tried to "burn" to a USB stick using Ubuntu's built-in image writer. Unfortunately, this did not produce a bootable USB stick. Then I had to revert to a "classic" option using the dd command. It took about 30 minutes to complete. But again, Emmabuntus 3 refused to boot from USB. As the last resort, I burned the ISO image to a DVD-RW drive. It worked.

So, fasten your seatbelts! Let's go!

14 Jul 2015

DarkDuck is back on the front



I mentioned this in a quick Post Scriptum-style note to one of my recent articles, but let me talk about it once again.
There have not been many updates on Linux notes from DarkDuck recently.

For some time, I mostly published a number of guest posts about various operating systems, as well as some how-tos and interviews. I hope you have enjoyed that nevertheless.