Reviews

Purism Librem 15

I've been a fan of Free Software for quite some time, but for the most part I've found my opinions lean in the more pragmatic Bruce Perens Open Source camp. I value free software ideals but also accept other Open Source licenses that may not meet the strict definition of Free Software. I also don't refer to it as GNU/Linux. more>>

The Awesome Program You Never Should Use

I've been hesitating for a couple months about whether to mention sshpass. Conceptually, it's a horrible, horrible program. It basically allows you to enter an SSH user name and password on the command line, so you can create a connection without any interaction. A far better way to accomplish that is with public/private keypairs. more>>

A GUI for Your CLI?

For new Linux users, the command line is arguably the most intimidating thing. For crusty veterans like me, green text on a black background is as cozy as fuzzy slippers by a fireplace, but I still see CLI Companion as a pretty cool application. more>>

Tomahawk, the World Is Your Music Collection

I don't listen to music very often, but when I do, my tastes tend to be across the board. That's one of the reasons I really like Pandora, because the music selection is incredible (in fact, I can't recommend the Pithos client for Pandora enough—I've written about it in past issues). Unfortunately, with Pandora, you don't get to pick specific songs. more>>

Discourse

Back when I started to use the Internet in 1988, there was a simple way to get answers to your technical questions. You would go onto "Netnews", also known as Usenet, and you would post your question to one of the forums. There were forums, or "newsgroups", on nearly every possible topic, from programming languages to religions to humor. more>>

EdgeRouter Lite

In the September 2014 issue, I mentioned my new router, and I got a lot of e-mail messages asking about how well it works. I can say without hesitation it's the nicest router I've ever owned. And, it was less than $100! more>>

Open Axiom

Several computer algebra systems are available to Linux users. I even have looked at a few of them in this column, but for this issue, I discuss OpenAxiom. OpenAxiom actually is a fork of Axiom. Axiom originally was developed at IBM under the name ScratchPad. Development started in 1971, so Axiom is as old as I am, and almost as smart. more>>

Lucidchart

I am a visual learner. When I try to teach something, I naturally like to use visual examples. That usually involves me working for hours to create flowcharts in Google Docs using the drawing program. Yes, it works, but it's a very cumbersome way to create a flowchart. Thankfully, I recently discovered Lucidchart. more>>

One Charger to Rule Them All

If you're anything like me, your nightstand is full of electronic devices that need to be charged regularly. Every night I have:

Nexus 7 tablet.

Cell phone.

Kindle Paperwhite.

iPad Air.

Fitbit. more>>

Exploring the Samsung ARM Chromebook 3G

Back in late 2010, Google announced a "Chromebook"—a low-cost, entry-level netbook that would run Google's own operating system, ChromeOS. Google's vision of ChromeOS, although based on Linux, basically would be a giant Web browser, with all the apps on the machine running in the browser. more>>

Android Candy: MightyText, Mighty Awesome

I'll admit, I've always been impressed with Apple's iMessage program. With its integration into texting, it seamlessly combines instant messaging and SMS into a single communication stream. Whether on an iPhone, iPod, iPad or Macintosh, the messages can be seen and sent to other Apple devices. more>>

Future Techies

“Knowledge is Power,” said James Broughton. more>>

Getting the Most from the Nexus 7

The ASUS/Google Nexus 7 arrived at my door on August 1, 2012 with a lot of anticipation from both me and the rest of the consumer electronics world. A quad-core Tegra 3 processor from NVIDIA, a 1200x800 HD IPS display covered with the latest scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass and a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera were among its most notable cool features. more>>

Switching to Chrom(ium)

For someone who works with, writes about and teaches cutting-edge technologies, I tend to be a bit of a laggard when adopting new ones. I upgrade my laptop and servers very conservatively. more>>

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