Tech Tips

Non-Linux FOSS: AutoCAD Alternatives

Although AutoCAD is the champion of the computer-aided design world, some alternatives are worth looking into. In fact, even a few open-source options manage to pack some decent features into an infinitely affordable solution. more>>

Stop Waiting For DNS!

I am an impulse domain buyer. I tend to purchase silly names for simple sites that only serve the purpose of an inside joke. The thing about impulse-buying a domain is that DNS propagation generally takes a day or so, and setting up a Web site with a virtual hostname can be delayed while you wait for your Web site address to go "live". more>>

Audiobooks as Easy as ABC

Whether you love Apple products or think they are abominations, it's hard to beat iPods when it comes to audiobooks. They remember your place, support chapters and even offer speed variations on playback. Thanks to programs like Banshee and Amarok, syncing most iPod devices (especially the older iPod Nanos, which are perfect audiobook players) is simple and works out of the box. more>>

Trine 2 from Frozenbyte

One of the great things about independent game companies is that they realize Linux gamers exist—and we're willing to spend money. Frozenbyte is the indie game developer that brought us Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds Survivor and Trine. Frozenbyte was kind enough to send me a review copy of its newest release, Trine 2. more>>

Build Your Own Flickr with Piwigo

In 2006, the family computer on which our digital photographs were stored had a hard drive failure. Because I'm obsessed with backups, it shouldn't have been a big deal, except that my backups had been silently failing for months. Although I certainly learned a lesson about verifying my backups, I also realized it would be nice to have an off-site storage location for our photos. more>>

Plex Media Server + Roku = Awesome

Plex always has been the Mac-friendly offshoot of XBMC. I've never considered using an Apple product for my home media center, so I've never really put much thought into it. Things have changed recently, however, and now the folks behind Plex have given the Linux community an awesome media server. more>>

Tikl Me, Elmo

Somewhere between the world of SMS messages and voice calling is the land of two-way push-to-talk technology. Some cell-phone providers have this feature as an option for select phones, which makes your 2012-era cell phone act like a CB radio from the 1970s. more>>

Getting Steamy with Desura

I remember the first time I tried to install Quake on Linux. I was so excited to have a native "real" game to play, that I couldn't grab my installation CD fast enough. Unfortunately, I didn't really take good care of my media, and the CD was too scratched to read. more>>

Open Formats, Open Editors

E-books are currently quite a hot topic in the publishing world. Heck, for the past few months, it's been quite a hot topic here as well! Thankfully, digital publication doesn't have to mean proprietary formats and DRM-laden files. more>>

Kill A Watt: Now with Less Math!

If you're interested in how much energy your electronics use, it's hard to find a device better than a Kill A Watt—except maybe the Kill A Watt EZ! P3 International now offers model P4600, which provides the same features as its predecessor, but it also automatically calculates device cost per day, week, month or year. more>>

Nuvola: the Linux Choice for Cloud-y Music

Nuvola Player (formerly known as google-music-frame) is a Linux application that integrates cloud-based music services into your Linux desktop. I've tested it only with Google Music, but Nuvola now supports Google Music, Grooveshark, Hype Machine and 8tracks. It also supports Last.FM scrobbling. more>>

Spice Up Your Desktop with Cinnamon!

If you are disgruntled by the new interfaces provided by recent distribution releases, namely GNOME 3 and Unity, you might want to take a look at Cinnamon. With its traditional feel and extreme theme-ability, Cinnamon is a desktop interface bound to spice up anyone's computer. more>>

Calibre screenshot

Calibre in the Cloud

I've mentioned before that I keep my entire e-book collection in my Dropbox folder, and I can access it anywhere I have a Web connection. I didn't come up with the idea myself; instead, I shamelessly stole the idea from Bill Childers. I suspect he stole it from someone else, so feel free to steal the idea from me. more>>

TV

Make TV Awesome with Bluecop

A few weeks back, I was whining that although Doctor Who was available on Amazon Prime streaming, I didn't have any way to watch it on my television. Thankfully, my friend Richard Servello pointed me to the bluecop repo for XBMC. Not only does bluecop support Amazon Prime streaming, but it also has add-ons for Hulu and countless other network-video-streaming collections. more>>

Cryptocurrency: Your Total Cost Is 01001010010

Most people have heard of gold. Most people are familiar with dollars. For a handful of geeky folks, however, the currency they hope will become a global standard is digital. Whether it's a problem or not, the currency you use on a day-to-day basis is tied to the government. more>>

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