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Wallapatta – A Beautiful Markdown Editor with Layout Support

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If you have been following our posts then it must be clear to you by now that there is no shortage of note-taking apps in the open-source community and the note-taking app category includes Markdown editors.

We have written about a couple already and today, it is with pleasure that we introduce to you such an app with a layout inspired by the design handouts of Edward R. Tufte Wallapatta.

Wallapatta is a modern open-source and cross-platform Markdown editor with an emphasis on design and clear writing.

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Software: Cool-Retro-Term, USB Stick Formatter, Fstransform, digest and Copyu

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  • Cool-Retro-Term is a great Mimic of old Command Lines, Install in Ubuntu/Linux Mint

    Cool-retro-term is a free terminal emulator developed by Filippo Scognamiglio, it mimics the look and feel of the old cathode tube screens. If you are tired of your current terminal than it comes in hand as eye-candy, it is customizable and reasonably lightweight terminal emulator. It uses the Konsole engine which is powerful and mature, it requires Qt 5.2 or higher to run terminal emulator.
    It has pre-configured templates so you can use them with just one click, profiles includes: Amber, Green, Scanlines, Pixelated, Apple ][, Vintage, IBM Dos, IBM 3287, and Transparent Green. Further more you can create your own profile and use it.
    It's preferences offers a lot of customization: you can adjust brightness, contrast, and opacity; font; font scaling and width; cool effects for terminal; and you can control FPS, texture quality, scanlines quality, and bloom quality. Further more you can dive into settings to change colors, shadows etc.

  • Easily Format A USB Flash Drive On Ubuntu 18.04 Using USB Stick Formatter

    If you're looking for an easy, straightforward way of formatting an USB flash drive in Ubuntu or Debian, similar to the one available in Microsoft Windows, you can use the USB Stick Formatter utility.

  • Fstransform – Optimus Tux

    File system conversion is not an everyday thing. For that matter, it’s not even an every year thing. But when you do need to convert from one format to another, the operation is usually long, tedious and sometimes destructive. Most often, you would copy files to a backup location, re-format the partition, then copy the data back. The notion of being able to do a seamless, live conversion sounds like a cool thing.

    Fstranform is a tool designed to offer in-place file system conversions without a need for a backup. This program does its magic by mounting several loopback devices and uses them to shuffle bytes to and fro while it restructures the file system layout. The advantages – if proven successful, of course – are in that you do not need to worry about backup devices (could be many terabytes), and you could potentially save time. Sold! Let’s see how it works.

  • digest 0.6.17

    digest version 0.6.17 arrived on CRAN earlier today after a day of gestation in the bowels of CRAN, and should get uploaded to Debian in due course.

  • Copyu – A Text Editor-Like Weekly Planner

    Copyu is a free, cross-platform, and open-source productivity app for planning all your weekly tasks using a sizeable app window.

    Copyu is as simple as a To-Do app can be and it is easy to set up and get straight to using. It combines your calendar app with a todo list and you are to make entries based on your weekly plans.

    Its modern, distraction-free main screen allows you to see the whole week’s agenda and to-do’s as it displays a single week per page.

    Tasks are in the form of bullet lists that have strike-through lines when completed. You can write notes next to tasks and you can interact with your lists using drag and drop.

Software: TLPUI, Filelight, WPS Office

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  • TLPUI Is A Graphical User Interface For TLP Power Management Tool (Ubuntu Installation Instructions)

    TLP is an advanced power management tool for optimizing battery life on laptops running Linux. Its default configuration is usually enough to see an improvement in battery life, however, TLP offers a wide range of configuration options which can be changed by editing its configuration file.

  • Filelight – Visualize Disk Usage On Your Linux System

    Finding disk space usage is no big deal in Unix-like operating systems. We have a built-in command named du that can be used to calculate and summarize the disk space usage in minutes. And, we have some third-party tools like Ncdu and Agedu which can also be used to track down the disk usage. As you already know, these are all command line utilities and you will see the disk usage results in plain-text format. However, some of you’d like to view the results in visual or kind of image format. No worries! I know one such GUI tool to find out the disk usage details. Say hello to “Filelight”, a graphical utility to visualize disk usage on your Linux system and displays the disk usage results in a colored radial layout. Filelight is one of the oldest project and it has been around for a long time. It is completely free to use and open source.

  • WPS Office Update Now Available to Download for Ubuntu

    An updated version of WPS Office for Linux is available to download for Ubuntu and other Linux distributions.

    The popular China-based office suite (formerly known as Kingsoft Office) is not open source but it is free to download and to use.

    A handful of features (including cloud backup) are only available to users with a premium or professional subscription/serial key, while other features (like a PDF reader) are exclusive to the iOS and Android apps.

Software: Chronobreak, ClipGrab, and Tracealyzer

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  • Chronobreak – An Open-Source Pomodoro Timer Alternative

    Fitting in too many tasks within a short space of time could be daunting, but productivity timers make things a lot easier. These timers ensure users are focused by breaking up their tasks into scalable bits and fitting in resting periods at pre-determined intervals.

    We have written on such apps before including Gnome Pomodoro and Take a Break. So today, we bring you yet another and it goes by the name of Chronobreak.

    Chronobreak is new and is geared towards making timing tasks easier and more productive for its users. It is an open-source productivity timer created using Electron, and it uses the Pomodoro technique – a technique that allows users break down their tasks into time intervals so that they can take breaks in-between.

  • ClipGrab: Video Downloader and Converter Updated for Ubuntu/Linux Mint (PPA)

    ClipGrab is a free software to download and convert videos from different famous sites of Internet. You can easily save your favorite videos from sites like Dailymotion or Vimeo. And you can convert these videos into "usable" formats like WMV, MPEG or MP3. You can check here which sites are supported by this software.
    It can convert videos to WMV, MPEG4, OGG Theora, MP3 (audio only), OGG Vorbis (audio only) or simply download videos in their original format. However, downloading from some sites doesn't allow you to select other format from drop-down menu, it could be issue with site videos.

  • Tracealyzer 4.2 With New Trace View, Support for Linux

    Percepio, the leader in software trace visualization for embedded systems and IoT, today announced Tracealyzer version 4.2. The new release features a completely rewritten main trace view, and adds support for, among other things, Wittenstein SafeRTOS and tracing via STLINK debug probes. It also brings official support for running on Linux, so developers using Linux hosts are now able to upgrade to the new generation of Tracealyzer.

Nextcloud 14 and Video Verification

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Today the Nextcloud community released Nextcloud 14. This release comes with a ton of improvements in the areas of User Experience, Accessibility, Speed, GDPR compliance, 2 Factor Authentication, Collaboration, Security and many other things. You can find an overview here

But there is one feature I want to highlight because I find it especially noteworthy and interesting. Some people ask us why we are doing more than the classic file sync and share. Why do we care about Calendar, Contacts, Email, Notes, RSS Reader, Deck, Chat, Video and audio calls and so on.

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Official press release: Nextcloud 14 now available with Video Verification, Signal/Telegram 2FA support, Improved Collaboration and GDPR compliance

Nano 3.0 Released! Reads Files 70% Faster

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A new major release of open source text editor GNU nano is here. GNU nano 3.0 reads files 70% faster and brings several other features.s

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Open Hardware/Modding/Hacking

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  • Libre Computer's Tritium Is A Line Of Low-Cost Allwinner ARM Boards

    In addition to Le Potato and Renegade, another line-up of ARM boards being offered by Libre Computer is Tritium. The Libre Computer Tritium boards are Allwinner-based boards with options from the H2+ for IoT use-cases, the H3 as a mid-range offering, or H5 for a better-performing ARM board that is well supported by the open-source Linux community.

  • See Binary On Your Breadboard

    When you’re debugging a board which has an ESP32, Raspberry Pi, or Arduino, it’s easy to slap on a small LCD display or connect via WiFi to see what’s wrong. At least, that’s what the kids are doing. But what if you’re old-school or you don’t have one of those pimped-out, steroid-filled boards? A resistor and an LED will often suffice. Powering the LED means one thing and not powering it means another. And with seven more LEDs you can even display 0-256 in binary.

    [Miguel] is clearly in the latter camp. To make debugging-with-LEDs easy, he’s come up with an 8-LED board complete with resistors. He’s even included the Gerber files needed for you to make your own. One row of pins are all connected together and the other row are not. So whether you’re using common cathode or common anode depends on how you orient the LEDs when you solder them in place. You might perhaps have one board of each type at the ready.

  • Ancient Hardware I Have Hacked: Back to Basics!

    My return to the IBM mainframe was delayed by my high school's acquisition of a a teletype connected via a 110-baud serial line to a timesharing system featuring the BASIC language. I was quite impressed with this teletype because it could type quite a bit faster than I could. But this is not as good as it might sound, given that I came in dead last in every test of manual dexterity that the school ever ran us through. In fact, on a good day, I might have been able to type 20 words a minute, and it took decades of constant practice to eventually get above 70 words a minute. In contrast, one of the teachers could type 160 words a minute, more than half again faster than the teletype could!

    Aside from output speed, I remained unimpressed with computers compared to paper and pencil, let alone compared to my pocket calculator. And given that this was old-school BASIC, there was much to be unimpressed about. You could name your arrays anything you wanted, as long as that name was a single upper-case character. Similarly, you could name your scalar variables anything you wanted, as long as that name was either a single upper-case character or a single upper-case character followed by a single digit. This allowed you to use up to 286 variables, up to 26 of which could be arrays. If you felt that GOTO was harmful, too bad. If you wanted a while loop, you could make one out of IF statements. Not only did IF statements have no else clause, the only thing that could be in the THEN clause was the number of the line to which control would transfer when the IF condition evaluated to true. And each line had to be numbered, and the numbers had to be monotonically increasing, that is, in the absence of control-flow statements, the program would execute the lines of code in numerical order, regardless of the order in which you typed those lines of code. Definitely a step down, even from FORTRAN.

  • Guile-CV version 0.2.0

    This is a 'milestone' release, which introduces image texture measures. In addition (a) the default installation locations have changed; (Cool there is a new configure option; (c) some new interfaces; (d) matrix multiplication performances have been greatly improved; (d) a few interface (name) have changed.

    For a list of changes since the previous version, visit the NEWS file. For a complete description, consult the git summary and git log

Software: Xournal, Dat, and Google Chrome 69

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  • Edit PDFs with Xournal

    Somehow, despite all the issues with proprietary clients and the history of security issues with Acrobat, PDFs have become the de facto standard for your average print-ready document shared around the office. Sure, people might use some kind of open document format or a cloud editor if they intend to edit a document, but if the goal is to print the document or lock its contents in place, most people these days will export it to a PDF.

    Reading PDFs is typically fine on Linux, because Linux has plenty of applications that can open PDFs for viewing, and you easily can print PDFs under Linux as well. Even Adobe supplied a proprietary (and somewhat outdated) port of its Acrobat Reader for Linux. Some distributions also offer the ability to create a special software printer that converts any print job sent to it into a local PDF file.

  • Sharing and archiving data sets with Dat

    Dat 2.0 was released in June 2017 with performance improvements and protocol changes. Dat Enhancement Proposals (DEPs) guide the project's future development; most work is currently geared toward implementing the draft "multi-writer proposal" in HyperDB. Without multi-writer support, only the original publisher of a Dat can modify it. According to Joe Hand, co-executive-director of Code for Science & Society (CSS) and Dat core developer, in an IRC chat, "supporting multiwriter is a big requirement for lots of folks". For example, while Dat might allow Alice to share her research results with Bob, he cannot modify or contribute back to those results. The multi-writer extension allows for Alice to assign trust to Bob so he can have write access to the data.

    Unfortunately, the current proposal doesn't solve the "hard problems" of "conflict merges and secure key distribution". The former will be worked out through user interface tweaks, but the latter is a classic problem that security projects have typically trouble finding solutions for—Dat is no exception. How will Alice securely trust Bob? The OpenPGP web of trust? Hexadecimal fingerprints read over the phone? Dat doesn't provide a magic solution to this problem.

    Another thing limiting adoption is that Dat is not packaged in any distribution that I could find (although I requested it in Debian) and, considering the speed of change of the JavaScript ecosystem, this is unlikely to change any time soon. A Rust implementation of the Dat protocol has started, however, which might be easier to package than the multitude of Node.js modules. In terms of mobile device support, there is an experimental Android web browser with Dat support called Bunsen, which somehow doesn't run on my phone. Some adventurous users have successfully run Dat in Termux. I haven't found an app running on iOS at this point.

  • Here’s What’s New in Google Chrome 69

    Chrome 69, which marks the browser’s 10-year anniversary, is a huge release. The slick new theme is the most visible change, but there are more new features. For example, you can now personalize Chrome’s New Tab page with background images and custom shortcuts.


    While Chrome 69 offers a significant visual change, Google updates Chrome every six weeks with new features, security updates, and bug fixes. Previous versions of Chrome have had some big changes, too.

    The most important one you should know about is Chrome’s built-in adblocker. Chrome now automatically blocks ads on websites that use obnoxious ads like auto-playing videos with audio and huge banners that block your screen.

  • Chrome 70 Retrying For AV1 Decoding, Full Support For TLS 1.3 & Priority Hints

    With Chrome 69 out the door and that having marked Chrome's 10th birthday, Google developers have Chrome 70 in their dev channel fresh out of the oven.

    Google has promoted the latest Chrome 70 build to their dev channel. There are new features, security updates, and the never ending stream of bug fixes.

Desktop/Server Software: ANGRYsearch, Cockpit, SoftMaker and Mesa

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  • ANGRYsearch – A Fast File Search Tool for Linux Desktops

    ANGRYsearch was created to fill the space that the famous Everything Search Engine did not fill in the Linux community. It functions as a system-wide search tool that instantly populates its results fields as you type. It is written in python 3 with its GUI created with PyQt5.

    ANGRYsearch can be configured to use either a Lite or Full mode. The lite mode displays only file names and paths while the full mode includes the size and modification date.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 177

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 177.

  • SoftMaker Premium Office Suite is Now Free for Educational Institutes and Teachers [Ed: Proprietary is bad. Proprietary is to be avoided. When they try to get students 'addicted' to it (like Adobe and Microsoft do) they show just how malicious they are.]

    There are many great FOSS and even proprietary office suites available for the Linux desktop. Whether you use LibreOffice, WPS, OpenOffice, Calligra, or ONLYOFFICE, you can always find something that suits your needs.

    In fact, as Linux users, we are spoiled. Apart from native Microsoft Office support, we pretty much have access to all of the best office suites there are. We can even stick to Microsoft’s ecosystem via Microsoft Online if we so choose, and on top of that, we obviously have access to Google’s office suite.


    Since SoftMaker is not FOSS, I prefer to use LibreOffice. 


    The only issue I have come across in my time using SoftMaker is the fact that it is proprietary.

  • mesa 18.2.0-rc6

    Hello list,

    The sixth release candidate for the Mesa 18.2.0 is now available. This is the final planned RC.

  • Mesa 18.2-RC6 Released, Final Expected On Friday

    Mesa 18.2 as the third-quarter feature update for this collection of primarily Vulkan/OpenGL drivers is expected to make its official debut on Friday.

    After being delayed by a short time due to open blocker bugs, those bugs were addressed. A sixth and final release candidate is now out there for those wishing to engage in last minute testing of the driver stack.

Essential LaTeX Tools – typeset beautifully (Updated 2018)

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LaTeX is a document preparation system and document markup language for high-quality typesetting. The system was originally developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth’s TeX typesetting language. Lamport says that LaTeX “represents a balance between functionality and ease of use”.

LaTeX is often used for technical or scientific documentation, particularly because it generates well formatted papers with beautifully crafted formulae, but the system can be used for any form of publishing. It employs beautifully crafted typesetting algorithms. Academic journals will often accept submission in this format.

Using the LaTeX system leads the author to concentrate on the structure of the document rather than its appearance. The author therefore focuses on what he/she wants to say, instead of fretting over page borders, font attributes, or formatting. Moreover, the author will be guided in the organisation, structure, and flow within the document.

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Also: curl 7.61.1 comes with only bug-fixes

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More in Tux Machines

Andrew Crouthamel: How I Got Involved in KDE

Since this blog is starting after the beginning of my contributions to KDE, the first few regular posts will be explaining my prior contributions, before moving into the present. Read more

Security: Debian LTS, Linux Potential Local Privilege Escalation Bug, Australia Wants to Mandate Back Doors, Equifax Breach the Fault of Equifax

Graphics: NVIDIA and Gallium3D

  • NVIDIA Vulkan Beta Adds New KHR_driver_properties & KHR_shader_atomic_int64
    Not to be confused with the new NVIDIA Linux/Windows drivers that should be out today for RTX 2070/2080 "Turing" support and also initial RTX ray-tracing support, there is also out a new Vulkan beta driver this morning. The NVIDIA 396.54.06 driver is this new Vulkan beta and as implied by the version number is still on the current stable branch and not in the Turing era. But this driver release is quite exciting as it does bring support for two new extensions... These extensions are very fresh and not yet in the official Vulkan specification: VK_KHR_driver_properties and VK_KHR_shader_atomic_int64.
  • GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Linux Benchmarks Coming Today, NVIDIA Driver Bringing Vulkan RTX
    NVIDIA's review/performance embargo has now lifted on the GeForce RTX 2080 series ahead of the cards shipping tomorrow. I should have out initial Linux benchmarks later today, assuming Linux driver availability. As wrote about yesterday, just yesterday I ended up receiving the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti for Linux benchmarking. But, unfortunately, no Linux driver yet... But I am told it will be posted publicly soon with the Windows driver. Assuming that happens within the hours ahead, I'll still have initial RTX 2080 Ti benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux out by today's end -- thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite and recently wrapping up other NVIDIA/AMD GPU comparison tests on the current drivers.
  • Intel's New Iris Gallium3D Driver Picks Up Experimental Icelake Bits, GL Features
    One of the talks we are most interested in at XDC2018 is on the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver we discovered last month was in development. We stumbled across the Iris Gallium3D driver that's been in development for months as a potential replacement to their "i965" classic Mesa driver. But they haven't really detailed their intentions in full, but we should learn more next week. This is particularly exciting the prospects of an official Intel Gallium3D driver as the company is also expected to introduce their discrete GPUs beginning in 2020 and this new driver could be part of that plan.

Survey: Console Based Linux File Managers

The term ‘file management functions’ refers to the functions used to manage files, such as creating, deleting, opening, closing, reading from, and writing to files. In the field of system administration, Linux has bags of graphical file managers. However, some users prefer managing files from the shell, finding it the quickest way to navigate the file system and perform file operations. This is, in part, because console based file managers are more keyboard friendly, enabling users to perform file operations without using a mouse, and make it quicker to navigate the filesystem and issue commands in the console at the same time. A console application is computer software which can be used with a text-only computer interface, the command line interface, or a text-based interface included within a graphical user interface operating system, such as a terminal emulator. Whereas a graphical user interface application generally involves using the mouse and keyboard (or touch control), with a console application the primary (and often only) input method is the keyboard. Many console applications are command line tools, but there is a wealth of software that has a text-based user interface making use of ncurses, a library which allow programmers to write text-based user interfaces. Read more