Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gutenberg Free E-books for everyone

Project Gutenberg is a great site to download electronic e-books for your computer, iPhone, Kindle, Sony reader and other devices. They have over 30, 000 free e-books to choose from so you will have plenty of great material to read. Also, there is no fee or registration required. Find the e-book you would like to read and download. The copyright on these e-books has expired so you don't have to worry that you are downloading something illegal. The Gutenberg site is a great project that tries to digitize many great works and makes them available to all. Check out their website here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Replay Great Old Games on Dos-Box

Dosbox is an MS-DOS emulator that allows you to play old DOS games on new computers. It is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License and works on Linux, Mac OS and Windows. There are tons of great games that will make you feel nostalgic. Some of the most popular games are Doom, Warcraft, Mortal Kombat, Worms, Cannon Fodder, Winter challenge and many others. To download dos box go to their site at Dosbox.com.

To download Dos Box games check out these sites:

Best Old Games

Free Game Empire

Dos Games Archive

Friday, October 14, 2011

Assault Cube: Cool first person shooter.

Assault Cube is a first person shooter based on the Cube engine. It has a single player mode and multiplayer. This FPS is realistic and team oriented. The graphics are nice and the weapons are decent. It is a fast paced game but very enjoyable. There are two teams. One is the Cubers Liberations Army (CLA) and the other is the Rabid Viper Special Forces (RVSF). This game is free and works well on Linux.

Here is the link to Assault Cube website.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HD Wallpaper site.

It seems that HD pictures are popping up all over the Internet. There is nothing better than having a great screen and a gorgeous wallpaper on your computer. Check out this site to download yourself some great HD wallpapers to decorate your computer screen. HD Wallpaper site.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

A long time ago when I was using Windows I realized that many applications were trying to constrain me from doing certain tasks. I was unable to play a certain format or had to install applications that I did not want on my system. I started to think critically as to why I am using Windows and if there is some kind of alternative that I could use instead. Prior to this, I used Mac OS but I knew that both operating systems are proprietary and want to limit the end user. I got tired of being manipulated to use a particular application and having bloatware already pre-installed on my computer. After searching the Internet for alternatives to Mac OS and Windows I found this really cool operating system that is called GNU/Linux. I didn't know much about the OS but I gave it a shot. I played around with several distributions till I found one that fit my needs. When I started using Linux, which was more than a decade ago it was still relatively hard to use and it was mostly for hobbyists. However, it was the concept of open source that kept me intrigued. I loved the fact that no single company such as Microsoft or Apple had any of their applications installed on my computer. I had the power for the first time to modify my system as thoroughly as I wanted, from little tweaks to major changes that required know-how. Today, I am happy that I switched to Linux full time. My system is fast, reliable and very stable. Linux enables the end user to finally have a lot of power. Over the years I have seen Linux mature and evolve. It has developed from something basic and geeky to a full featured operating system that anyone can use. Today, the Linux operating system is ready for anyone who is searching for an alternative to expensive and proprietary software.

Everyone has a different story why they switched to Linux. I would like to hear your story and why you made the switch. Was it financial, political, technical or other? Are you using Linux on a Server, Desktop, Laptop, Netbook, Tablet or another device? Please leave your comments below and tell us why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Students! Don't get scammed for back to school computer shopping.

There are only a few more weeks left before students go back to school and technology companies are gearing up for one of the most busiest seasons of the year.

Even though having a laptop is not mandatory for college or university studies, students often justify the purchase by saying that they need it desperately for school. I have worked in several large computer stores that have back to school specials for students and let me tell you that its all about revenue and scamming the customers. These large computer stores want to extract as much money as possible from customers and are willing to go the distance in confusing students and their parents in order to make that extra profit. For example, I was told shamelessly straight to my face when buying a netbook that the company does not make a lot of money from the sale of a laptop and that I should purchase something else on top.

This is why all associates are forced to upsell and skew the truth. These people tell you that you need a CD created in order for your computer to have a backup. This extra service is only $60. For extra $100 they will setup your computer to be "ready to use". This is a major scam because anyone can do this setup by themselves with only a few clicks of the mouse when they boot up their system for the first time. My wife was once told that she can get a recovery disc created by them for only $100, as the laptop she was purchasing did not come with one. When she asked if she could do it herself, she was told that it wasn't possible, but that she can bring the laptop back later on and it can still be done. When she got home and booted the computer for the first time, it gave her an option to burn a recovery CD which was a breeze to make.

However, even if you do not buy into the "setup your computer" argument the associate will tell you that there are tons of viruses out there that will destroy your precious data and you will have to buy antivirus. But don't worry because its on special for just $80. Another tactic they like to use is to sell you extended warranty that is about $120 to $250. This enables you to bring the computer back to the place you bought it instead of shipping it to the manufacturer. Just a side note: Manufacturers have a great service and will replace your computer for free if its still in warranty and shipping is paid by them. I shipped several laptops back to various manufacturers and the service is very fast, professional and efficient.

After pressuring you to hand over hundreds of dollars for a laptop or a netbook, they try to sell you optical drives, mice, cases and many other peripherals. Many times I have overheard associates lying to customers about what they need just to sell the extra package so that they can get a bonus/commission or just to get their manager of their backs. Even though associates in these large stores try to be polite and smile to your face, they are scamming you for hundreds of dollars out of your hard earned money just because you are unaware about what you really need. And if that fails, many stores increase the price of the product and try to sell you the whole "better value" package, without having the option to buy the computer without those unnecessary "upgrades".

Another money waster is when students drag their parents to an Apple store and demand the latest computer hardware for their University studies. Apple computers are very expensive but all that students see is the nice shiny box and the cool factor. Being like everyone else is not cool and PCs are hundreds of dollars cheaper and do the same thing that most Apple laptops do. Save yourself or your parents some cash and get a PC laptop instead. Apple products will not increase your grades and will not make you any cooler either.

Therefore, this back to school season do some serious research about what you need and don't need and do not be pressured into buying additional things that you might regret later or realize that it was a waste of your money. Majority of these businesses are making huge profits on the ignorance of many individuals about technology and computers.

A few good examples that you should think about might include: Do students really need the latest MacBook Pro for $2000 to type essays that can be done on a Netbook or a regular laptop? Do you need to pay additional $130 for Microsoft Office if LibreOffice is free to download and use? Do you need a firewall and Antivirus if you are smart about what files to open and follow some simple security rules? Or you can download AVG Free Anti-virus or Avast and many universities provide you with anti-virus for free while you are their student. Do you need additional warranty for $200 if shipping to a manufacturer is free and can be easily set up online? How long do you expect your laptop to last you? Do you really need to pay hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty if your netbook costs $350 and it is cheaper to buy a new one than keep fixing an old one in 3 years? Try to see through manipulative associates in big computer stores that try to scam you for hundreds of dollars and make you think that you need every one of the things they offer or your computer will blow up. Play it smart and use the money you save for your books or tuition instead because those things are not getting any cheaper....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

XBMC: free media center for your computer

XBMC is a great media center application for your computer. It is free and open source software and licensed under GNU GPL. If you have a lot of pictures, videos, music you can all have easy access to them through XBMC media center. This application works for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. There are plenty of skins to choose from and the default one looks pretty amazing. You can add additional functionality through add ons and scripts. XBMC looks great on your computer or your living room TV and is a nice way to access your digital files. If you want additional information check out their website at XBMC. Definitely great software that people should have.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Top Documentary Films Online

Top Documentary Films is a great website that lets you browse through hundreds of videos and watch them online for free. The website has a great layout which is easy to navigate. There are many categories to choose from which range by subjects such as religion to environmentalism. The documentaries are very informative and thought provoking. If you are on the net and want to watch some educational videos then check out Top Documentary Films online.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Linux, Linux, everywhere!

Every year there are articles published about this being the "Year of Linux". I read many of them and I realized that there is no specific "Year of Linux". I also wrote my own article arguing that every year is the year of Linux and as the Linux market share grows, one day we will realize that Linux is everywhere.

Not long ago, I started to realize that Linux is already creeping up on me from all sides. People who have never heard of Linux were raving about it. They were showing me their latest gadgets and telling me how cool they were. After several months of random people going on about their gadgets I did realize that Linux is everywhere and it came upon us from an unusual source. If you haven't figured it out yet, I am talking about Android which is based on the Linux kernel. A lot of people purchasing their latest phones do not know what Linux is or that Android is based on the Linux kernel. However, they are definitely happy with their latest hardware and the many features Android has. Moreover, Android phones are selling in large quantities and are surpassing Blackberry and iPhone sales. This is amazing and the trend seems to be continuing with excellent and solid phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S2. The Galaxy S2 is a gorgeous phone and it is even better than the iPhone 4. Apple will definitely have to come up with many cool new features for the iPhone 5 to be able to compete with the Android Smartphones.

One great thing about Android is that it is not limited to cellphones only. Android is being used on netbooks and tablets which have become very popular in the last few years. Because many users who use Android on their cellphones are familiar with the operating system, they have no problems buying netbooks and tablets which run Android as well. The cellphone industry was a great way to introduce people to the Android OS and then place the software on other gadgets as well.

Walking through a Big Box computer store today you will notice how many devices are running Android as well as the massive push in advertising. This is really neat to see and I am surprised that Android is so popular among everyday users who are not tech savvy. These people are the majority of consumers and are snapping up cellphones, netbooks and tablets running Android in large numbers.

Linux is definitely everywhere and continues to grow into markets that were dominated by other operating systems before. The server market is already being dominated by Linux. Cell phones, netbooks and tablets are starting to be dominated by Android and the last frontier is the desktop in which it has limited reach so far. However, one day we might just see Linux slowly creep up on us on the desktop as well.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Penguspy: Just the best Linux games

Penguspy is a nice site that features lots of great Linux games. Their site is easy to navigate and features star reviews of the games as well as peoples comments. You can find a short description on each game and a nice video so that you can preview the game before downloading. The site also features categories where you can browse through your favourite genre. There is a category that divides games into Close Source and Open Source as well. Currently the site is still in beta but it works great and new content is being added daily. Go to Penguspy and start gaming on Linux. There are many great games for you to discover.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S2 review

The Samsung Galaxy S2 is definitely one of the best smartphones available on the market today. It has a gorgeous 4.3 inch Super AMOLED screen which is very crisp and vibrant. The back of the phone has a 8 megapixel camera with an LED flash. The phone takes great looking pictures and can also record HD 1080p video. There is an additional front facing camera that is great for video calling. The Samsung Galaxy S2 is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a 1.2 GHz dual core processor. This phone is fast, ultra slim and a great media device to have on you all the time. The Samsung Galaxy S2 gets 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Usage based billing is a joke and a major scam.

It always amazes me how large corporations can never get enough money and constantly surpass the line between good business sense to complete corporate greed. For over a decade, Internet Service Providers have been providing unlimited Internet usage at a relatively reasonable price. Today, these same corporations no longer provide unlimited Internet usage and have imposed draconian data caps. They have moved from unlimited data transfer to a mere 80 gigabyte limit for $65 per month and an additional 1 gigabyte will cost you $1.50, even though it only costs $0.03 for the ISP to transfer it over their networks. This new policy that the ISPs are trying to implement is called Usage Based Billing (UBB) and it is becoming common in North America and is slowly being adopted world wide. These companies have realized that they can charge for each additional gigabyte a person uses instead of giving away unlimited data transfer. They want to convert Internet packages to the same model as we see with cellphones today. With your cellphone you only get a few text messages in your monthly plan and if you go over they will charge you an arm and a leg for additional texts that cost them virtually nothing. In today's day and age with people watching TV over the Internet, playing games, downloading pictures, videos, files and making long distance calls we as users need more bandwidth instead of less. However, the ISPs want to stop us from using the Internet to do these things so that they can charge us individually for them. These corporations realize that if we are doing so many wonderful things on the Internet for free they are unable to sell us their home phone service, cable T.V., long distance plan etc. That is why they are trying to limit your Internet usage through UBB to a ridiculously small amount so that you will not be able to do these free things over the Internet anymore. They will become too costly for you as you surpass your meager monthly cap. For example, to use Netflix which only costs you about $8 a month, you need to be able to use a significant amount of Internet bandwidth. If the provider caps you, they are trying to force you to go back to their Cable TV for $60 a month for a rather basic package and box rental.

There is plenty of bandwith on the provider's networks but that is not as profitable as giving you very little bandwith each month and then charging you extra for additional use. I find it hilarious when I call my ISP and they say I don't need additional bandwith because I never go over my monthly usage. I try really hard not to yell at them and tell them that they are morons. If they cap you at 80 gigs and tell you that they will charge you for each additional gig, I make sure that I stay within the small limit alloted to me. I do need more bandwidth and I don't go over my monthly cap so that I don't give these greedy corporations even a penny more. They have upset millions of people in North America and world wide and continue to harm the relationship between them and their customers. In the future they should not be surprised when their own customers lash back at them by moving to smaller ISP's who are less greedy and offer a reasonable amount of data for a reasonable amount of money.

Internet usage is becoming more expensive not because it really is but because the large corporations are trying to inflate the price so that they can make huge profits and gouge their customers as much as they can. The Internet has become an integral part in our homes and people have to realize what is happening with Usage Based Billing and fight back against this new policy that the large ISPs are trying to force on us. So far, many people are not very knowledgeable about this subject and I hope that they take it upon themselves to research it and get to know the facts. The large Corporations do not care about their customers and they will continue these business practices until we stop them by demanding something fair. If we do nothing, the large corporations will definitely charge us a lot more for a lot less. We would love to hear your own opinion on Usage Based Billing so please leave your opinions in the comment section below.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Megaglest: 3D real time strategy game

Megaglest is an open source 3D real time strategy game. When you start the game you can choose from seven different factions Tech, Magic, Egyptian, Indian, Norsemen, Persian or Roman. There are many maps to choose from and gorgeous looking environments. The point of the game is to collect gold, stone and wood so that you can expand your base and build up a strong army. Glest has nice graphics and is very enjoyable to play even for long hours. It might take a while to figure out all the commands to control your units but that is part of the learning curve for real time strategy games. Once you learn how everything works the game play is exciting and the battles are fun. You can also play with people over LAN or the Internet. Megaglest is cross platform and works on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X. To download the game or to learn more about it visit the Megaglest website below.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yauba - Privacy safe search engine

Yauba is a search engine that focuses on users security and privacy. Launched in 2009, Yauba is a real time search engine from India. According to their site the search engine does not keep any records of your search terms, browsing history or any personal identifiable information. They periodically erase private information from their servers so you can stay anonymous. Currently Yauba is in Beta and is available in several different languages. Give Yauba a try and let us know what you think.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Microsoft buying Skype is a bad day for Linux.

Microsoft announced that it is buying Skype for $8.5 billion dollars. That is a lot of money for a VOIP service that is not very profitable. Skype has 663 million registered users and around 100 million use it on a regular basis. However, most people use only the free skype to skype calling and very few pay for calling landlines and cellphones. The thing that worries me the most is that Microsoft will not want to continue Skype development for Linux or even Mac OS. They will try to use Skype's popularity to boost their Windows mobile platform. The future of Skype on Linux looks very bleak when you take into consideration that Microsoft will take control of its development. The company might still keep some development for Mac OS and Linux but definitely not make it their priority. The purchase of Skype by Microsoft is a bad day for Linux users. It is definitely time to look for alternatives to Skype and its services.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dropbox, a nice way to store files online.

Dropbox is a great service for online file backup. It integrates well with your desktop. All you have to do is drag and drop your files into a folder and automatically it will sync and store your files online. This is a great way to keep your files accessible from anywhere and you can even use your browser to upload files. Other great features are collaborating on a file between several users and syncing a file on multiple computers. Dropbox gives you 2 GB of space for free and you can upgrade if you need additional space. Dropbox works on Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and iPhone. Visit the dropbox site to learn more.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Torrent Freak

If you like to know the latest news on torrents and other related news about P2P technology then you got to keep up with the news on Torrent Freak. This is a great site that brings the latest news and fresh articles to its readers. Also, every few months they post the top torrent site list which has become very popular. The posting shows which sites are stagnating and which sites are upcoming as new and innovative.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Replay Great Old Games on Dosbox

Dosbox is an MS-DOS emulator that allows you to play old DOS games on new computers. It is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License and works on Linux, Mac OS and Windows. There are tons of great games that will make you feel nostalgic. Some of the most popular games are Doom, Warcraft, Mortal Kombat, Worms, Cannon Fodder, Winter challenge and many others. To download dos box go to their site at Dosbox.com.

To download Dos Box games check out these sites:

Best Old Games

Free Game Empire

Dos Games Archive

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Great wallpaper site.

Wallbase has a huge selection of desktop wallpapers. The good thing is that almost all of them are high definition. The site is easy to navigate and very intuitive. You can enter a keyword into the search bar and find thousands of wallpapers in your resolution. The best is to search through the global toplist to find some very nice wallpapers. If you are looking for original and cool wallpapers for your computer this site should be in your bookmarks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keep up with the many distros.

Distrowatch is a great site to keep up with the many distributions of Linux that are available. They are nicely organized and you can see which ones are becoming popular. Each Linux distro has different strengths and it is important to choose the one that suits your needs the most. It is nice to have a website that keeps track of various distributions that you can install and learn more about. Check out Distrowatch.com and put the fun back into computing.

Distrowatch website.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A tip for software companies.

It amazes me that so many times people who are in charge of large and small software companies make dumb decisions. They get nice salaries but often make decisions that come back and bite them later on. One good strategy for any large or small company that is lagging behind on the Windows or Mac OS market is to create software for GNU/Linux. Linux is growing as a platform and has millions of users worldwide. This is an emerging market with great potential for growth. Linux still lacks certain software, especially professional applications such as video editing and many others. There are several projects that found a huge following under the GNU/Linux platform but were not as popular under Windows or Mac OS. It is a great strategy to start creating software for GNU/Linux to gain an advantage over your competition and to gain market share overall. Also, to be the first in an emerging market such as Linux can prove to be very advantageous and beneficial in the long run. Software companies should get their foot into the door of the Linux world before other large companies come along and reap a lot of benefits.

There are many arguments that might be limiting software companies to get into Linux. One is that the GNU/Linux platform market share is too small and not worth getting into. However, because Linux is growing and gaining momentum, in the future you could find yourself left behind while other great software projects will take over your market. It is essential to be there before your competition and get your product out before everyone else. Currently, the Linux market is around 2% on the desktop but that is definitely increasing. Linux is not only growing on the desktop but on netbooks, tablets and hand held devices. The first company into an emerging market usually has the upper hand.

Another argument is that GNU/Linux is open source and there is not much money in software development. It is true that Linux is open source and majority of the applications are free as well. However, Linux runs proprietary software and there are many that are popular. Certain professional applications will probably never be open source but the need is still there and people are willing to pay. Users of Linux have money and are willing to buy software that is of excellent quality and will enable them to create professional projects, because they are still saving money in the long run.

Distributions such as Ubuntu already have a paid section for software in their Ubuntu Software Centre. This allows Ubuntu users to quickly buy software for the Linux platform. Some individuals would rather pay for applications than spend their time looking for free software on the Internet. Plus, with paid software you usually get support and warranty. Creating a place where Linux developers can sell their applications is a great boost for the Linux platform.

In conclusion, the GNU/Linux platform is growing and it is beneficial for large and small software creators to get into the market before their competition does. This will give them an upper hand and a new market to flourish in. Many people who use Linux are willing to purchase proprietary and open source software, especially if it is of good quality and for professional use. Just because the Linux market is only 2%, it should not be overlooked, as it is an emerging market with great growth potential. Many applications have found popularity under GNU/Linux while not being so successful on Windows or the Mac OS platform.

What software companies do you think could get an upper hand or a business advantage if they started creating their software for GNU/Linux? What applications would you want to see and are willing to pay for on Linux?