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Software

Software: Cozy, Editors, and pyRenamer

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Software
  • Cozy is a Cozy Little Audiobook Player for Linux

    Audiobooks are a great way to consume literature. Many people who don’t have time to read, choose to listen. Most people, myself included, just use a regular media player like VLC or MPV for listening to audiobooks on Linux.

    Today, we will look at a Linux application built solely for listening to audiobooks.

  • Offline WYSIWYG in 2018 - A dying breed

    Once upon a time, visual HTML editors were all the rage. You would open a browser-like program and just type your pages, without thinking too much about the source code, the scripts, or even the looks. The magic happened somewhere behind the scenes. Then, slowly but surely, online CMS started showing up, and eventually became the modern norm. But what if you still want to write Web stuff offline?

    It does sound a bit like a paradox - after all, you WILL be uploading your material one day. Still, being able to write in an offline manner has its perks and convenience. Moreover, if you do not use any CMS, writing pure HTML can be tedious. Having a nice frontend helps you focus on what you want people to read, not necessarily what machines ought to be interpretting and displaying. The question is, how difficult is this to achieve in the year 2018?

  • pyRenamer: Bulk Renaming Made Easy

    Renaming files in batches is a rare task. Probably, that is why, with the exception of Xfce’s Thunar, desktop file managers can only rename files one at a time. However, when I digitize music, I am dealing with ten or more files per albums, and I need a bulk renamer. Of course, I could use the rename command, and, using it four or fives a week, I would soon get to know the options I wanted. However, for such a repetitive task, a desktop tool is more convenient. It was with this need that I rediscovered pyRenamer for the second or third time. As I quickly remembered, it is by far the most versatile of all the alternatives.

    As the name suggests, pyRenamer is written in Python, and offers most of the options of the rename command. It comes with only brief online help embeeded in the interface, but, aside from a few obscure features, is easy enough to figure out by trial and error. By default, the interface consists of a directory manager on the top left, and a pane on the top right for the files in the currently selected directory. On the bottom left are the options for renaming, and on the bottom right the controls. Users can also choose to select View | Show Options to add an option pane on the top right. The options include such useful functions, as automatically preserving file name extensions and showing a preview of the selected renaming options. The Options pane can also be used to enter regular expressions to limit the file names that are bout to be renamed.

Open source tools I used to write my latest book

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Software

I first used and contributed to Free software and open source software in 1993, and since then I've been an open source software developer and evangelist. I've written or contributed to dozens of open source software projects, although the one that I'll be remembered for is the FreeDOS Project, an open source implementation of the DOS operating system.

I recently wrote a book about FreeDOS. Using FreeDOS is my celebration of the 24th anniversary of FreeDOS. This is a collection of how-tos about installing and using FreeDOS, essays about my favorite DOS applications, and quick-reference guides to the DOS command line and DOS batch programming. I've been working on this book for the last few months, with the help of a great professional editor.

Using FreeDOS is available under the Creative Commons Attribution (cc-by) International Public License. You can download the EPUB and PDF versions at no charge from the FreeDOS e-books website. (There's also a print version, for those who prefer a bound copy.)

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Tomb – A File Encryption and Personal Backup Tool for Linux

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Software
Security

Tomb is a free open source, small, powerful and simple tool for encrypting files on GNU/Linux. At the time of this writing, it comprises of a shell script (zsh) using generic filesystem GNU tools and the Linux kernel crypto API (cryptsetup and LUKS).

It also employs various GNU/Linux tools such as steghide, lsof, mlocate, resizefs, dcfld and many more, to extend its functionality.

Tomb is used to create secure backups of secret or personal files in encrypted, password-protected directories called tombs. These directories can only be opened using their associated keyfiles and passwords.

After creating a tomb, you can store its key files separately, for example your tomb file can exist on a remote server while the key file is on your laptop or desktop at home or in office. If the tomb file is on your laptop or desktop, you can hide it within the filesystem or as a more secure option, store the key in a USB drive.

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Wine: Wine 3.17 and Steam Play/Proton Update

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Software
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 3.17 is now available.

  • Wine 3.17 Brings Better Shell Auto-Completion Support, Bug Fixes

    Wine 3.17 is out today as the latest bi-weekly development update to this increasingly popular way of running Windows games and applications on Linux.

    Wine 3.17 isn't the most exciting update of recent releases, but does bring better auto-completion support to its shell, more of the OPC Services have been implemented, improvements to the Pager common control, and a total of 36 known bug fixes.

  • There's another Wine development release out today with version 3.17

    Wine development continues the rapid advancements with another biweekly release giving us Wine 3.17 today.

  • Valve have pushed out a new Steam Play beta with DXVK 0.80 and more

    As expected, Valve have pushed out an update to Proton for their Steam Play system with a new beta version.

    [...]

    The upgrade to DXVK alone should bring much better game compatibility, considering the amount of improvements that has gone into it since Steam Play only had DXVK 0.70 before.

    I'm hoping the fullscreen improvements will stop the issue I had with DOOM from happening again, where on a two monitor setup it gave me a tiny screen on the wrong monitor.

10 Best Linux Educational Software for Your Kids

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Software

The apps that we cover are usually ones for professionals, hobbyists, students, etc – mostly adults. But children use computers too, in fact, now more than ever, and the awesome Linux platform has a variety of software to keep them engaged and learning things.

Today, we bring you the 15 best Linux educational software for kids.

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Taskbook – Command Line-Based Tasks, Boards, and Notes

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Software

Taskbook is a simple, free, open-source, command line-based utility app for creating and managing notes and tasks across multiple boards.

It uses a minimal syntax and being security conscious, automically saves all your data to the storage to avoid corruption or sharing with unpermitted parties. By default, the data is stored in JSON file at ~/.taskbook/storage.

When items are deleted, they are automatically archived so that you can peruse them or restore them anytime you want.

Taskbook keeps track of your completed tasks and indicates it in the form of percentage at the bottom of the terminal. It further breaks down the information to indicate how many tasks are done, pending, and your notes count.

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Software and Games: Hegemon, Gift of Parthax, Lutris

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Software
Gaming
  • Hegemon – A Modular System Monitor Application Written In Rust

    When it comes to monitor running processes in Unix-like systems, the most commonly used applications are top and htop, which is an enhanced version of top. My personal favorite is htop. However, the developers are releasing few alternatives to these applications every now and then. One such alternative to top and htop utilities is Hegemon. It is a modular system monitor application written using Rust programming language.

  • Wizard arena-fighter 'Gift of Parthax' is now officially out on Linux

    Announced yesterday after a pretty short beta period, the magical arena fighting game Gift of Parthax is now officially available for Linux. Along with putting the Linux build out in public, their latest release also fixes a few bugs.

    The developer sent over a key and I've been testing it, the Linux version seems to be working really quite nicely. If you liked the idea of Wizard of Legend, but found it a little too fast for your tastes then Gift of Parthax might be a better fit although it's single-player only.

  • Lutris 0.4.20 is now out, to help you manage all your games plus some Overwatch testing

    I have to admit, the game manager Lutris [Official Site] has come along quite a bit since I last used it. Today, version 0.4.20 was made available.

    For those not aware of it, Lutris is an application that aims to give you a single place to manage all your games on Linux. It supports native games, Wine, various emulators and so on. The application itself is available under the GPL and the helper scripts to install games can be viewed before using them so it's quite nice.

CPod – A Simple, Beautiful And Cross-platform Podcast App

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Software

Podcasts have become very popular in the last few years. Podcasts are what’s called “infotainment”, they are generally light-hearted, but they generally give you valuable information. Podcasts have blown up in the last few years, and if you like something, chances are there is a podcast about it. There are a lot of podcast players out there for the Linux desktop, but if you want something that is visually beautiful, has slick animations, and works on every platform, there aren’t a lot of alternatives to CPod. CPod (formerly known as Cumulonimbus) is an open source and slickest podcast app that works on Linux, MacOS and Windows.

CPod runs on something called Electron – a tool that allows developers to build cross-platform (E.g Windows, MacOs and Linux) desktop GUI applications. In this brief guide, we will be discussing – how to install and use CPod podcast app in Linux.

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Qmmp – Qt-based Multimedia Player – the sound with no limits

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Software

Do you remember Winamp? In the late nineties, Winamp version 2 was one of the most downloaded Windows applications. The software’s later releases witnessed a terminal decline in its popularity.

If you hanker for the good ol’ days, Qmmp might be of interest.

Qmmp is a cross-platform, open source, Qt-based multimedia player. The default user interface is similar to Winamp or xmms. But there’s also an alternative user interface.

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DXVK 0.80 Released

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Software
  • DXVK 0.80 Released With Initial State Cache, Direct3D 11.1 Feature Level

    Development on DXVK for mapping Direct3D (primarily D3D11) atop Vulkan continues speeding along for boosting Windows gaming on Wine / Steam Play (Proton). Ending out the weekend is the release of DXVK 0.80.

    The DXVK 0.80 features the initial pipeline state cache, which can help reduce stuttering within games on subsequent runs (once the pipeline state has been cached) and all around improve the experience. DXVK also now supports Direct3D Feature Level 11_1, has minor reductions in CPU usage overhead, and has some fixes affecting APU systems, Assetto Corsa, and Project Cars 2.

  • DXVK 0.80 is out with a new cache to reduce stutter and further CPU overhead improvements

    DXVK [GitHub], which provides a Vulkan-based D3D11 and D3D10 implementation for use in Wine has a new build out. The pace of development on this continues to absolutely mesmerise me, with each release bringing something really interesting. Reminder: See my interview with the creator of DXVK here.

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More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

Ubuntu Mir's EGMDE Desktop Getting Experimental XWayland

Ubuntu's little known EGMDE example Mir desktop that is mostly a proving grounds for Mir development is now receiving support for XWayland for being able to run X11 applications within this example environment. Lead Mir developer Alan Griffiths posted about initial XWayland support for EGMDE but that it is "highly experimental, and can crash the desktop." This support is available via the "edge" EGMDE Snap. Read more

Devices: Coreboot, Toradex and Digi, Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

  • Another Micro-ATX Haswell Era Motherboard Working With Coreboot But Needs Tiny Blob
    There are many Sandy Bridge era motherboards that have been freed by Coreboot while if you are looking for more options on something (slightly) newer, a micro-ATX Haswell-era motherboard from ASRock now works under this open-source BIOS implementation. The ASRock H81M-HDS is the latest motherboard port now mainline in Coreboot. The ASRock H81M-HDS supports Haswell Core and Xeon CPUs, supports two DDR3/DDR3L DIMMs, one PCI Express x16 slot, onboard display outputs, four SATA ports, and multiple USB3/USB2 ports. This motherboard can be found refurbished still from some Internet shops for about $70 USD.
  • Toradex and Digi launch i.MX8X-based Colibri and ConnectCore COMs
    Toradex and Digi have released Linux-friendly i.MX8X-based modules via early access programs. The Colibri iMX8X and Digi ConnectCore 8X each provide WiFi-ac and Bluetooth 4.2. NXP’s i.MX8X SoC has made quite a splash this week. Eight months after Phytec announced an i.MX8X-based phyCORE-i.MX 8X module, Variscite unveiled a VAR-SOM-MX8X module and then Congatec followed up with the Qseven form-factor Conga-QMX8X and SMARC 2.0 Conga-SMX8X. Now Toradex and Digi are beginning shipments of i.MX8X based modules for early access customers.
  • New Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ launched for only $25

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome: Net Neutrality Stance, Mozilla, a VR Work, Firefox Monitor and 5 Best Chrome Extensions For Productivity

  • Mozilla Fights On For Net Neutrality
    Mozilla took the next step today in the fight to defend the web and consumers from the FCC’s attack on an open internet. Together with other petitioners, Mozilla filed our reply brief in our case challenging the FCC’s elimination of critical net neutrality protections that require internet providers to treat all online traffic equally. The fight for net neutrality, while not a new one, is an important one. We filed this case because we believe that the internet works best when people control for themselves what they see and do online. The FCC’s removal of net neutrality rules is not only bad for consumers, it is also unlawful. The protections in place were the product of years of deliberation and careful fact-finding that proved the need to protect consumers, who often have little or no choice of internet provider. The FCC is simply not permitted to arbitrarily change its mind about those protections based on little or no evidence. It is also not permitted to ignore its duty to promote competition and protect the public interest. And yet, the FCC’s dismantling of the net neutrality rules unlawfully removes long standing rules that have ensured the internet provides a voice for everyone. Meanwhile, the FCC’s defenses of its actions and the supporting arguments of large cable and telco company ISPs, who have come to the FCC’s aid, are misguided at best. They mischaracterize the internet’s technical structure as well as the FCC’s mandate to advance internet access, and they ignore clear evidence that there is little competition among ISPs. They repeatedly contradict themselves and have even introduced new justifications not outlined in the FCC’s original decision to repeal net neutrality protections.
  • Virtual meeting rooms don’t have to be boring. We challenge you to design better ones!
    Mozilla’s mission is to make the Internet a global public resource, open and accessible to all, including innovators, content creators, and builders on the web. VR is changing the very future of web interaction, so advancing it is crucial to Mozilla’s mission. That was the initial idea behind Hubs by Mozilla, a VR interaction platform launched in April 2018 that lets you meet and talk to your friends, colleagues, partners, and customers in a shared 360-environment using just a browser, on any device from head-mounted displays like HTC Vive to 2D devices like laptops and mobile phones. Since then, the Mozilla VR team has kept integrating new and exciting features to the Hubs experience: the ability bring videos, images, documents, and even 3D models into Hubs by simply pasting a link. In early October, two more useful features were added: drawing and photo uploads.
  • New Raspbian Update, Qt Creator 4.8 Beta2 Released, Firefox Monitor Now Available in More Than 26 Languages, Chrome OS Linux Soon Will Have Access to Downloads Folder and Canonical Extends Ubuntu 18.04 Long-Term Support
    Firefox Monitor, the free services that tells you whether your email has been part of a security breach, is now available in more than 26 languages: "Albanian, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English (Canadian), French, Frisian, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Argentina, Mexico, and Spain), Swedish, Turkish, Ukranian and Welsh." Along with this, Mozilla also announced that it has added "a notification to our Firefox Quantum browser that alerts desktop users when they visit a site that has had a recently reported data breach". See the Mozilla blog for details.
  • 5 Best Chrome Extensions For Productivity That You Should Use In 2019
    Google is the most popular browser around and supports a vast number of extensions as well. Since there are a lot of Chrome addons available in the Chrome Web Store, picking the best Google Chrome extension can be quite a task. Also, it is quite easy to get distracted on the web and lose track of time. Thankfully, several good extensions for productivity are available that can help you focus on your tasks, save time by prioritizing them and skillfully manage your to-do list. So here is a list of excellent Google Chrome extensions for productivity for the year 2019 that will assist you in your work in.