Free of charge for any use and free of any kind of advertising bundle, PeaZip is an open-source (LGPL) file archiver, a free alternative to software like WinRar and WinZip, for Li

Simple Photo Editing, Linux Edition!

A while back I wrote about the awesome open-source image editing program Paint.NET, which is available only for Windows. Although I'm thrilled there is an open-source option for Windows users, Paint.NET is one of those apps that is so cool, I wish it worked in Linux! Thankfully, there's another app in town with similar features, and it's cross-platform!

The Usability of GNOME

I work at a university, and one of our faculty members often repeats to me, "Software needs to be like a rock; it needs to be that easy to use." And, she's right. Because if software is too hard to use, no one will want to use it.

Non-Linux FOSS: Chrome Desktop Applications

Hopefully by the time you're reading this, Chrome Desktop Applications will be available for Linux. In the meantime, this is a Windows treat. The ability to make a "single-purpose" browser has been around Chrome/Chromium for a long time, but with the new breed of Chrome Applications, the browser is a base for a standalone, off-line application.

Switching Monitor Profiles

It's funny, when your home office is your couch, you tend to forget how nice it can be when you dock a laptop and have all the extra screen real estate a monitor brings. For many years, I left my work laptop docked at work, and when I worked from home, I just VPNed in with a personal laptop.

Non-Linux FOSS: Launchy!

With Unity's method for launching and finding programs and applications, and OS X's spotlight tool becoming the new way to launch programs, the entire way we think about launching programs is changing. Although I still like to have a few icon shortcuts on my task bar, many folks prefer a quick keystroke to bring up Gnome-Do, or Unity's launcher, or even OS X's spotlight.

Google Drive for Linux?

For some reason, Google seems to dislike Google Drive users who prefer Linux. I find this particularly strange, since Google's Chrome OS is based on Linux. Thankfully, the folks over at Insync not only provide Linux support for Google Drive syncing, they do it with style.

Window Maker, the Unity for Old Guys?

As I was diving back into Window Maker for this article, it occurred to me that the desktop manager I used for years with Debian is disturbingly similar to the Unity Desktop. It's been clear since its inception that I am not a fan of Ubuntu's new Unity interface, yet it's odd that for years I loved Window Maker, which seems fairly similar, at least visually.

Songbird Becomes...Nightingale!

Several years back, Songbird was going to be the newest, coolest, most-awesome music player ever to grace the Linux desktop. Then things happened, as they often do, and Linux support for Songbird was discontinued.

Non-Linux FOSS: Classic Shell

Even those of us on the Linux side of the fence have been watching Microsoft's Windows 8 roll-out—albeit for us, it has been with morbid fascination. Granted, we're not without our drastic changes (ahem, Unity), but the new interface Microsoft has chosen for version 8 is seemingly unusable for most people. The iconic Start menu has been taken away without a clear replacement.


I'm often compared to the Absent-Minded Professor. I take it as a great compliment, because in the movie, he's brilliant. Unfortunately, when people refer to me as him, it's the "absent-minded" part they're stressing—not the "professor" part.

Space Is Big-See It All!

I have a huge collection of NASA photos taken from the Astronomy Pic of the Day Web site ( stored in a folder in my Dropbox. No matter what computer system I'm using, I rotate those images on my background, getting a virtual tour of the universe on every screen.

Feynman Figures for Fun

In quantum physics, one of the calculations you might want to do is figure out how two or more particles may interact. This can become rather complicated and confusing once you get to more than two particles interacting, however. Also, depending on the interaction, there may be the creation and annihilation of virtual particles as part of the interaction.

Linux-Native Task Management? Check.

Task management programs are commonplace in our busy lives, but it seems that every system lacks something. Google Tasks is nice, but it lacks the features of a more robust task management system. Remember the Milk is nice, but it charges for some of its features. Many standalone task management programs are great, but they don't sync between devices.

Making Lists in Scribus

You might as well know from the start: Making bulleted or numbered lists in Scribus isn't as easy as in the average word processor. In fact, compared to LibreOffice, Scribus as installed is downright primitive in the way it handles lists. You can pull a script off the Internet to automate to an extent, but chances are you'll have to tweak it before it does exactly what you want.

That's a Beautiful $DOCUMENT_TYPE You've Got There

One of the biggest frustrations most new LibreOffice (or users have is the lack of templates and clip art. We've addressed this problem before, but with the recent surge of LibreOffice, it's important to know how to improve your powerful office suite!


For the minimalist programmer, there's vim. For everybody else, there's SlickEdit.