Monday, January 19, 2015

More Linux - Zorin OS

I think I found it...

This might be "THE" Linux distro.

It's called Zorin OS.

They are boasting "the gateway to Linux..." and that claim is not unfounded. One of the main features is the "Look Changer" that allows you to change the interface to act like either Windows 7, Windows XP, or a Gnome 2 (Linux). And to customize it further, you can use the "Theme Changer" and make it light, blue, or dark.

As a Linux user, that has been my biggest complaint with different distros-
trying to figure out where everything is, and how to make it look and feel right.

Zorin has all the bases covered.

Zorin has it's "Web Browser Manager" to help you install your choice of browsers. Note, the Midori installer gives you version 4.3. Go here to get the latest version (5.9 at the time of this article).

Wine is already installed with many amenities to help you convert to Linux and leave Windows behind.

Ubuntu Software Center is utilized with this distro. From all my experimentation, this is the easiest way to add programs to your favorite distro. Synaptic, Software Manager, and others just don't compare.

Everything about Zorin seems ready to go with little to no adjusting necessary, with the exception of the creature comforts mentioned above.

The version I used for this review was called "Core". Core is the basic FREE version.

There are PAID versions too. They have an "Ultimate" and a "Business" version. The Ultimate is listed as 9.99 Euros which PayPal said was about $11.83 American. I am going to have to try this.

I'm going to keep using Zorin and it appears this may be the distro to help me convert Windows users over.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Uh, oh! Going Deeper With Deepin

Well, here I go again!

I saw an article click here

This distro is called Deepin. What catches my eye is that they say it is "targeted at traditional Windows users"; okay. The screenshots make it look like a modified Windows 8/ cool version of Ubuntu. It has a USB creator (I've only found this in Mint Cinnamon; all other you have to use "dd"). And, it claims to have CrossOver built in to run Windows programs...

CrossOver "built in"?! Really?!

Time to try it out!

Deepin download

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This looks promising.

When you download it, under "mirrors" select SourceForge if you are stateside.  That’s the fastest of the slow download options. They sure could use some torrent action...
Also, the third screen is supposed to show a partitioning option; I never saw one. It's best to do your partitioning BEFORE the install.

First impressions:
it looks like someone took Windows 8 and Ubuntu and put them in a blender together (imitating Mac?); the result is a smoothie. I don't like Ubuntu at all, and I like Windows 8 (& 8.1) even less, but this distro is surprisingly easy to use, manipulate and customize.
It has Google Chrome, not Chromium. Surprising.
It has a USB image burner; Mint is the only other one to do that.
You can customize the boot menu.
Oh, did you notice in the article that Deepin has CrossOver BUILT IN?!?!
Yes, it is BUILT IN!

I installed eSword via CrossOver (eSword is a Windows program that I use; it loses functionality in Linux). I downloaded some extras via eSword's built-in downloader. Everything works. I did get the page scrolling to malfunction once, but no where near as bad as eSword Wined for other distros. Everything works.

I'm still in shock. Really...

I did discover a/the glitch- Google Chrome browser. If you leave it alone, all is well. But, if you try to install extensions or add-ons your screen goes black. That’s a little unnerving.
I was able to install AdBlock Plus via their website. Webmail Adblocker was a bust. You can adjust your setting, like fix the start page, but leave extensions alone. Oh, and don’t try “apps”; that will render a black screen too.

I'm going to keep playing with Deepin. I have wanted a single distro to point people towards to steer them away from Windows and Mac. This is close. In the troubleshooting, I found a distro that may be “the one”...

Mint Cinnamon was my "go to" with Xubuntu as my backup, but then that switched recently. Mint was what I recommended because I feared Xubuntu would be too hard to explain. Then, I always have that minimum 50GB partition for Windows for all the programs that refuse to work in anything else, or at least aren't covered by my internship at NASA.

Deepin Linux... worth trying.

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Through some research and experimentation I discovered the black screen in Google Chrome is caused by graphics card incompatibility and possibly by older machines. So, if you have an older machine, just use FireFox.

Newer machines run Google Chrome fine.

to be continued...

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Google Chrome OS

In search of the operating system on chromebooks in an iso form to install on PC's for experimentation

Oh, let the fun begin

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Well, that turned out to be a waste of time!
If I wanted to run openSUSE, I would; I wouldn't download the older version though...
This was NOT as advertised; it sucked.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pirate Bay

The Pirate Bay is back! Good!!!

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Well, PirateBay went down. That's a shame. But, there are alternatives-

OpenBay article

the OpenBay site

download/torrent sharing sites (use at your own risk)
     Read this first - they don't like the use of adblocking software? Really?!

The piratesnoop browser is being reported to help you with isp blocked sites. My advice is to be VERY VERY CAREFUL what you download and install on your computer... Just because torrentFREAKs or some other supposed "tech news" reports something, does NOT mean they have checked and verified it.

Be careful kids...

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Firefox and Adblock Plus

Wow! What happened to Firefox?

Windows 7 is using Firefox 34.0.5
Linux Mint Cinnamon 17 & 17.1 and Xubuntu are all using Firefox 34.0.

In Windows 7 it crashes when you try to stream video, and it feels clunky and slow.

In the Linux distributions it is not displaying web pages correctly or consistently.

They've also screwed up the search feature/function. It was in the tech news that Firefox had dumped Google search for Yahoo. I understand wanting to dump the big money, corporate monster, but, quite frankly, Yahoo isn't a force to be reckoned with because their stuff sucks not because they are opensource philanthropists. Their email used to be great, but I only use it now because it would be too much of a pain to switch over. Yahoo Groups is about dead. Yahoo News only informs of Hollywood's misbehaved icons whether they be adulterers or quite literally showing their behinds to the world. Now, Yahoo Maps is by far the best internet map I have ever used. I need to say that quietly I guess; if they find out that people still like/use it they'll screw it up too...

With Windows 7 I am using Chrome now. It works. It's always worked. It streams, it searches... it works.

Linux? I'm still using Firefox. Why? Plug-ins. I just can't get the same results with Opera or Chromium.

Oh, and speaking of add-ons and extensions, Adblock Plus has risen to the top again. Make sure you get Adblock Plus associated with

There is a copy, but it is not the same. It has this website You will see this one in the lineup at Google Chrome.

Make sure your Adblock Plus is up-to-date. And make sure you uncheck the "allow some non-intrusive advertising" box under Filter Preferences.

The advertisers are getting more aggressive scripts. Adblock Plus is doing the best job, but there are still a few pages I can't use while streaming video.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Linux Distros Revisited

Well, I got to playing again...

I was switching computers around and ended up with something else for the bedroom HTPC. The one I was using was getting a little sluggish on the video streaming due to it's lack of hardware. It's replacement was a laptop with and Intel Core 2 Duo, and, it showed some signs of hardware impairment while streaming video in Linux Mint Cinnamon...

That's why I quit using the single core...

So, time to play with different Linux distros... again.

I went through all the Mint products again. Cinnamon and Mate are now at version 17.1. I'm giving Mate a serious look; it's just clean and bright- and works well. Looking to adjust the battery information, I found that there is only just an icon, but, I could add a weather icon to the panel. That's cool. Desktop wallpapers are easily changed and the usual USB stick Formatter and Image Writer are available. Video seamed to stream just fine too.

Mint also has Xfce which I use on old and/or low end machines. I like it for it's crazy and captivating screen savers. Video streams fine, particularly on machines where other distros fail. USB stick Formatter/Writer, easy to change wallpaper, but still no customizable battery icon.

The one that I never quite understood was KDE.  I'm giving it a REAL look this time. The "wallet" thing is a little weird at first, but the look and feel of everything else looks good. It has a USB Formatter and Image Writer which is good, but how the heck do you change the Background Wallpaper?! The battery meter is just an icon. It's silly little quirks like that that make a distro fall from favor.

4 operating systems installed and running by 10AM is a testament to the magnitude of awesome to be had with Linux over other commercially offered ones.

So, with all this going on, I thought I needed to check out some other Ubuntu spin-offs... again.

I regularly use Xubuntu; it just rocks. It is simple to change wallpapers for a custom look, and the
battery icon can be easily customized to show the percentage of power left and the estimated runtime. No USB tools, but it streams video like a boss, but I should add that it differs from the Mint distros in that you can't just run videos right out of the box- a little tweaking is involved;

Open up the "Ubuntu Software Center" and search for "restricted extras". Download/install the one for Xubuntu. For java, click here and scroll down.

Oh, one of the best things about Xubuntu is you have full access to ALL the features of Grub Customizer (click, then scroll down). Grub Customizer works in Mint, but in Xubuntu you can change the Grub background image and the font color. This takes your geekiness to new uber levels when you're showing off your laptop.

I thought I'd try Lubuntu again... I think it is broken. They even have a new version, but it is broken too. It failed to have a driver for a very common wifi card so I couldn't get on the internet to update. I even tried a USB wifi adapter, but it didn't work either. Did they outsource to China or something?

Then there's Kubuntu. At first glance it looks good, very easy on the eyes. Now, try streaming video... Ya, there is no Ubuntu Software Center; you have to install it first, then follow the instructions above for Xubuntu.

How to get Flashplayer on Kubuntu

No customizable battery thingy, no direct access to be found for custom wallpapers, no usb tools... but when you get everything installed, it does seem to stream video well.


Didn't I try this before with about the same results?

Oh well... Mint Cinnamon and Xubuntu it is then.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Computer Restoration

All Things New Computer Restoration & Repair

-Our ideology-

Some people need the latest 5th generation Intel Core i7 Quad Core processor, 16GB RAM, 4GB graphics card, and a 17.3" monitor...
And they have $2500 lying around to pay for it.

Most people don't fit in that category.

Most want a computer that works, plain and simple. Whether it's checking your email, posting on Facebook, or doing your homework for classes you're taking at Walter State, you just need it to work.

Processor, RAM, Graphics... it just needs to work.

I understand. I'm here to help.

I deal in previously owned computers. With a previously owned computer you don't have to sweat about scratches, bumps and dings; somebody else may have beat you to it.

If you are environmentally conscious, you understand how bad it is to buy something new every couple of years, just because it's new, and fill the waste dumps with your discarded treasures. So, you recycle... but how about "re-purposing"?

That's what we do here at All Things New Computer Restoration & Repair, we take computers that were previously owned by big companies and major corporations and restore them. These machines were designed for serious use, and originally carried a price tag of $1k - $2k or more... but since they were shipped off to be replaced by the latest and greatest, you can now own them for a tenth of their original price.

-our methodology-

Do you like Windows? Do you need Windows? Maybe, and probably not.

Microsoft, the makers of Windows have a purpose... it's not to keep you satisfied, to help you, or even make your life easier; their purpose is to make money for their shareholders.

Don't feel bad; most companies are that way.

But what if there was another way?

Your Windows computer shows you all kinds of advertisements when you cruise the internet. Some of those ads contain malicious scripts. When you play "games" online and on Facebook, you are actually installing "malware" onto your pc. This malware installs other programs, and next thing you know you're telling all your friends "you've been 'hacked'". You weren't hacked, you clicked on something and it installed something else...

There is not just another way, but there is a better way.

-What We Do-

Do you need a computer? We have them.

Do you already have a computer but it's running slow, have constant pop ups, or worse?

Does it not work at all?

I can help.

How about a fresh install of Windows with all Microsoft updates installed, power management tweaked with Battery Bar & Battery Care, latest Internet Explorer w/ adblocking, Google Chrome w/ adblocking, Antivirus, AntiMalware, Foxit pdf reader, WPS Office Suite, PhotoScape Photo Editor, eSword Bible Study?

Or, how about something other than Windows that is easier to maintain, doesn't get viruses, doesn't support the capitalist democracy regime, and costs less?

Or, how about you buy me a cup of coffee and I look at your hardware problem and give you a quote on the repair costs?

Click HERE to contact me

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Fee for minor diagnostics and repair quotes is One Cup of Coffee

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3 Dell Laptops 4 Sale!

More laptops on the way for restoration and resale

back to All Things New Computer Restoration & Repair

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