5 Alternatives to Unity in Ubuntu Oneiric

5 Alternatives to Unity in Ubuntu Oneiric

With the past few releases, Ubuntu has been focusing more and more on their homegrown desktop Unity. Some people love it, but a lot of us don’t. Fortunately, as with all things Linux, there are many alternative options. For those of us who just can’t find a way to unite with Unity, here are 5 […]

By Joshua Price -
Getting Started with Amazon EC2

Getting Started with Amazon EC2

When Amazon first launched their Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) in 2006, many people were a bit surprised. Those of us who’d always just thought of Amazon as a retailer were skeptical that they’d have much to offer. In the 5 years since then, Amazon has proven that they’re serious about this business and in making […]

By Joshua Price -
More Useful and Interesting Bash Prompts

More Useful and Interesting Bash Prompts

A while back, we listed 8 Useful and Interesting Bash Prompts. That turned out to be one of our most popular articles, and still generates user response and feedback. This time we’ve found a few more gems, as well as some handy tips and tricks for having the coolest shell prompt on the proverbial block.

By Joshua Price -
4 More Things You Didn’t Know VLC Could Do

4 More Things You Didn’t Know VLC Could Do

VLC is great – it’s as simple as that. It’s so full of useful features that we’re already on our second article about some of the lesser known (but still really great) things it can do. Last time, we covered some gems such as the ability to normalize the audio tracks or transcode videos. This […]

By Joshua Price -
Crave Invoice Review + Free Giveaway [Update: Contest Closed]

Crave Invoice Review + Free Giveaway [Update: Contest Closed]

As I recently learned while trying to start up my own business, finances are hard. REALLY hard. I mean, I’ve written software and compiled custom kernels and built unique Linux systems for years, but trying to track assets and liabilities and equity and invoices and balance sheets… it’s just beyond me, and I need software […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Build a Lightweight Linux for your Low-End Laptop

How to Build a Lightweight Linux for your Low-End Laptop

Like many of you, I occasionally come into possession of an older laptop. Usually, it’s something that used to run Windows XP, sometimes even older. You always hear that Linux is supposed to be so great for resurrecting old hardware, but many modern desktop distributions with all their bells and whistles end up chugging along […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Integrate Google Reader and Google+

How to Integrate Google Reader and Google+

Like many of you, I use a lot of Google products. It’s hard not to – they’re usually useful and free. To date, nearly everything Google has released has been a game-changer in its field. Earth, Maps, Gmail, Android, and countless other tools have each raised the bar for what we expect out of software, […]

By Joshua Price -
6 More of the Coolest Chrome Web Apps

6 More of the Coolest Chrome Web Apps

Almost a year ago, we shared a few of the more fun and useful web applications for Google Chrome. Since then, several great new apps have been added to the Web Store, and a few of them really stand out. Sure, many of them are little more than links to a existing web app, and […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Play MP3s From The Linux Command Line

How to Play MP3s From The Linux Command Line

At first, this may sound pointless. After all, aren’t there dozens of perfectly good GUI music apps out there? Haven’t we all found something we like, or at least don’t hate? Perhaps that’s true, but how much happier would you be if your music app of choice used a whole lot less resources? Or what […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Check for Rootkits on Linux, BSD, and OSX

How to Check for Rootkits on Linux, BSD, and OSX

Those of us in UNIX-land (and yes, Mac people, that includes you) don’t often have to deal with malware. There is room for debate about the exact reasons for that, but few would argue that Linux, BSD and OSX get hit as hard or as often as Windows. This does not, however, make us immune […]

By Joshua Price -
Living with Fedora – A Debian/Ubuntu User’s Take on Fedora 15

Living with Fedora – A Debian/Ubuntu User’s Take on Fedora 15

I’ve been a die-hard Debian fan for about 10 years, and I’ve written several articles on the subject. That said, most of our Linux-savvy readers are Ubuntu users, so that’s been my main desktop OS for as long as I’ve been a MakeTechEasier writer. Ubuntu has always been fine, and generally got the job done […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Disable Automatic Workspaces in Gnome 3 (And Other Shell Tweaks)

How to Disable Automatic Workspaces in Gnome 3 (And Other Shell Tweaks)

As we’ve mentioned several times before, a few of us here at MakeTechEasier are big fans of Gnome 3. Sadly, since the project is still fairly young, it’s not nearly as configurable or feature-rich as its 2.x cousins. At the moment, the standard install provides no quick and obvious way to change many of the […]

By Joshua Price -
The 7 Best Minecraft Editors and Utilities for Linux

The 7 Best Minecraft Editors and Utilities for Linux

For an independent game with no storyline, no tutorial, and graphics that make Windows 95 look slick, Minecraft has developed an amazing following. Who could have ever predicted that shuffling virtual cubes around could be so fun and so full of possibilities? And if, somehow, you find yourself running out of ideas for your virtual […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Tilt Shift Effect in Gimp

How to Create Tilt Shift Effect in Gimp

This isn’t something you’ll often do for work or a real project, but it’s fun and it can look cool. Tilt shifting a photo is something that can be done by expensive fancy camera equipment or, fortunately for us, free software. The idea is that when you take a photo of small scale objects like […]

By Joshua Price -
7 Linux Shell Tips For Increased Productivity

7 Linux Shell Tips For Increased Productivity

Love it or hate it, the command line is here to stay. Sure, there are new options emerging like TermKit but it’s unlikely that the command line will ever really go away. Those who take the time to master it can run productivity circles around their peers, but with the astonishing assortment of CLI tools […]

By Joshua Price -
7 Beautiful Conky Configurations for Your Linux Desktop

7 Beautiful Conky Configurations for Your Linux Desktop

By now, most heavy Linux users are pretty familiar with Conky – the incredibly useful and versatile tool for displaying pretty much anything on your desktop. That includes “geeky” things like CPU usage, network activity, and hostname as well as more “casual” info like time, weather, and even Twitter updates. What many don’t know, however, […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Basic CSS-Powered Web Sites

How to Create Basic CSS-Powered Web Sites

Whether you know it or not, you’re taking advantage of CSS just about any time you open a web browser. It’s the template system used by nearly every modern website to give pages their layout and appearance. Some of you may be thinking “I’ve made websites before and it was easy, I never needed any […]

By Joshua Price -
The New MakeTechEasier Job Board!

The New MakeTechEasier Job Board!

Most of you who read this site have plenty of technical skill, but it might not be put to good use. Perhaps you’re one of many victims of the current economy, or maybe you’re just stuck working for an MBA who can’t tell a website from a wristwatch. If you’re jobless, or just looking for […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Recover Data and Partitions for Free with TestDisk

How to Recover Data and Partitions for Free with TestDisk

Sometimes in the world of free software, you have to make the best of what’s available. Sometimes what’s available isn’t all that great. When I suddenly lost some critical data as a result of a corrupted drive, I thought I’d have to shell out some potentially serious cash for a high-quality recovery utility. In my […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Gather Hardware Information in Linux

How to Gather Hardware Information in Linux

Can you name your motherboard’s chipset off the top of your head? What about NIC type? If not, how would you go about finding it? Could you do it from the command line? As with a lot of Linux software, there are many ways to go about this. Some tools are built right into any […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Get Those Hard-to-Reach RSS Feeds

How to Get Those Hard-to-Reach RSS Feeds

Has there ever been a site you really liked, and you really wanted to subscribe, but there’s no sign of a feed anywhere? Or maybe an old favorite reorganized their site layout, and now that you want to subscribe, you can’t find the button. Perhaps you just want more sources of news for a particular […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Multitask at the Linux Command Line with Screen

How to Multitask at the Linux Command Line with Screen

I’ll admit up front – it’s embarrassingly late for me to have discovered screen. Friends and coworkers have been suggesting it to me for years, but it wasn’t until recently that I had a concrete need for it. Now I wish I’d had it all along. In short, screen gives you the equivalent of the […]

By Joshua Price -
8 Of The Coolest Brushes For The Gimp

8 Of The Coolest Brushes For The Gimp

Like almost any piece of software with rudimentary drawing capability, Gimp includes simple brushes like squares, circles, and fuzzy circles. While they get you by for many basic needs, there’s a lot more you can do. Everything from flowers and vines to flames and bubbles can be created by brushes, and today we’re going to […]

By Joshua Price -
Perform A Reverse Image Search With TinEye

Perform A Reverse Image Search With TinEye

When I first heard of TinEye, my first thought was “What exactly is a REVERSE image search?” Well it turns out it’s quite clever and useful. If you’ve got an image, TinEye will examine the actual image contents (not just keywords, tags, and such) to find the source (or any other instances) of that image. Of […]

By Joshua Price -
Play Your Music Anywhere with Amazon’s Brand New Cloud Player

Play Your Music Anywhere with Amazon’s Brand New Cloud Player

Amazon just released their new Cloud Player service to go alongside their Cloud Drive and MP3 Store. What this means is that we’ve all now got access to a free 5GB of space to not only hold our music but stream it anywhere, with iTunes integration, playlists, album art and all. Word on the net […]

By Joshua Price -
DexOS – The Tiny Toy OS That Runs Like a Game Console

DexOS – The Tiny Toy OS That Runs Like a Game Console

Most of the time at MTE, we focus on tutorials, reviews, and other practical applications of modern technology. Occasionally, however, some neat new toy pops up that we’ve just got to share. Such is DexOS, and if you’ve got an affinity for custom operating systems or new ways of computing, you might enjoy tinkering with […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Colorize Black And White Photos with Gimp

How to Colorize Black And White Photos with Gimp

Ever come across an old family photo that would really look great if it had some color? Or perhaps you found a gorgeous wallpaper online but the monochromatic color scheme just doesn’t fit with the desktop of your dreams. Thanks to modern photo editing programs like the Gimp, this process is a lot easier than […]

By Joshua Price -
Linux Startup Taking Too Long?  Chart It!

Linux Startup Taking Too Long? Chart It!

Hardware keeps getting faster and faster, and most of us are running machines that would have been unthinkably speedy a decade ago, yet somehow it never seems to feel that way. As the hardware gets faster, the software seems to get bigger and slower and we always seem to end up with something that dances […]

By Joshua Price -
Googsystray: Keep Track Of Your Google Apps Activities In The System Tray

Googsystray: Keep Track Of Your Google Apps Activities In The System Tray

While it may not have the world’s catchiest name, Googsystray is a heck of a useful app. That is, if you use a lot of Google apps like GMail, Reader, and especially Voice. It doesn’t just show you unread counts like so many other utilities, Googsystray integrates tightly with the Google services to give you […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Manage Ruby Installations Easily with RVM

How to Manage Ruby Installations Easily with RVM

Those unfamiliar with software development may be surprised at how many so-called grey areas there can be. Even if you know you want to write, say, a Rails app, you’ve got several more specific decisions to make. What database should you use? Which version of Ruby? Which gems should be installed? Will it conflict with […]

By Joshua Price -
Gnome Shell is Almost Ready to Rock Your Desktop

Gnome Shell is Almost Ready to Rock Your Desktop

When Gnome Shell was first becoming available over a year ago, we took a look at it to see what the foundation was like, and to see what direction the Gnome desktop was likely to go. At the time, we liked it, though it was clearly a “rough draft” of what it could eventually become. […]

By Joshua Price -
A Week with Pinguy – The Slick Ubuntu Remix

A Week with Pinguy – The Slick Ubuntu Remix

These days, Linux distros are a dime a dozen, especially in the field of the Ubuntu remix. Just about anyone thinks they can create a usable spinoff (they’re probably right) and that it’ll be wildly successful (they’re probably wrong). For this reason, we don’t often give a full writeup to an Ubuntu remix on MTE […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Supercharge Your Shell with Bashish [Linux]

How to Supercharge Your Shell with Bashish [Linux]

If you’re a Linux (or even Mac) user, and you’ve never toyed with your shell prompt, you might not realize just how useful a good prompt can be. Sure, it can show your user and host names, and perhaps the current directory, but a really good prompt can do a whole lot more. Those who […]

By Joshua Price -
Getting Enlightened with Bodhi Linux

Getting Enlightened with Bodhi Linux

In our recent discussion about Ubuntu Remixes, there were a few names that kept popping up in the comments. One of them was a distro mostly unknown to MTE but immediately of interest, and that’s Bodhi Linux. With an Ubuntu base it’s got a solid core behind it, but the real kicker is the Enlightenment […]

By Joshua Price -
A First Look At Diaspora – The Open Social Network

A First Look At Diaspora – The Open Social Network

Some people love Facebook, others hate it, and many have a little of both. It can be a great way to keep in contact with old friends and relatives, but it’s also a great way for third parties to harvest loads of free data that may not be used the way you want. Plenty of […]

By Joshua Price -
Ubuntu Remixes: 4 Of The Best Alternatives to Ubuntu

Ubuntu Remixes: 4 Of The Best Alternatives to Ubuntu

Our recent article entitled Ubuntu As Intended drew in a fair amount of discussion about the base software and configuration in the default Ubuntu install. Some readers pointed out a few alternatives that aim to take the standard Ubuntu desktop and give it more polish than the original. Some of these projects just include a […]

By Joshua Price -
Ubuntu as Intended. My Experience Of Using the ‘Default’ Ubuntu

Ubuntu as Intended. My Experience Of Using the ‘Default’ Ubuntu

Like many so-called “power users”, the first thing I do after installing Linux is customize it. I set it to my preferred desktop settings, applications and configuration because I know what I like, and I normally go to great lengths to get it just right. Recently, after setting up a new Ubuntu Maverick install for […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Play The Sims 3 in Linux

How to Play The Sims 3 in Linux

Wine has come a long way in the last few years, making it fairly simple to install many popular Windows games on Linux. Cedega and PlayOnLinux have made it even easier by providing GUI assistance and management of your games. One game series, however, has proven to be consistently difficult to get working, and that’s […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Flames in Gimp

How to Create Flames in Gimp

For whatever reason, flames are neat looking. I’ll leave it to psychologists to explain exactly why that is. All I know is that things on fire usually look cooler than things not on fire. To me, that also includes my wallpaper. As regular readers may know, I like to create my own abstract wallpapers and […]

By Joshua Price -
From Noob to Ninja – Your Guide to Mastering Linux

From Noob to Ninja – Your Guide to Mastering Linux

Every Linux user has been new at some point, and unless you’ve got a history of UNIX administration, the transition was likely a bit daunting. Many people began learning Linux before sites like Google and StackExchange made it easy to find answers, and ended up having to figure everything out in their own. While inconvenient, […]

By Joshua Price -
No Video Editor?  No Problem – Try JayCut Online

No Video Editor? No Problem – Try JayCut Online

At first, it seems so simple. If you want to record a video, just flip on your webcam, record, and upload to something like YouTube. But when you go to do it, you might run into some of the same problems I did. What’s the best software for recording? How does it handle audio? What’s […]

By Joshua Price -
Midori – The Little Browser that Just Might Surprise You

Midori – The Little Browser that Just Might Surprise You

You know all the web browsers, right? At least, all the REAL browsers. There’s Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome, and of course Internet Explorer. It’s not likely any more little guys could join a game with players like that, right? If you were to try Midori, the WebKit-based GTK web browser for Linux and Windows, you […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Install and Run Silverlight in Linux

How to Install and Run Silverlight in Linux

Love it or hate it, we all know Flash, but Microsoft’s equivalent, Silverlight, is a bit less well known. With Silverlight you can stream video and create animations, in fact you can even use it to create Windows sidebar widgets. However, in what may come as a bit of a shock, Microsoft Silverlight doesn’t play […]

By Joshua Price -
Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review

Internet Explorer 9 Beta Review

I might as well admit right up front – personally I’ve considered Internet Explorer to be somewhat of a joke for the past few years. A slow, incomplete, non-standards-compliant joke. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh, perhaps not. Opinions aside, it’s hard to argue against the fact that it’s been playing technological catchup for the […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create a Custom Debian Live CD through the Web

How to Create a Custom Debian Live CD through the Web

If Debian means one thing, it’s functionality. You typically don’t go to Debian for cutting-edge features or fancy bells and whistles, but if you’re after an extremely versatile, stable, and dependable Linux, it can’t be beat. One of Debian’s newer offerings is the ability to create a custom Live CD directly from their website. You […]

By Joshua Price -
Agile: Create Web Apps the Amazingly Simple Way

Agile: Create Web Apps the Amazingly Simple Way

There are some people who insist that the only real way to code is in a text-based editor like vi or emacs. Others would sooner chop off a limb than depart with the comforts of Visual Studio. While the first group will happily code away at their consoles from now until Y2K38, the second group […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Manage Fonts in Linux with FontMatrix

How to Manage Fonts in Linux with FontMatrix

I’ve written software on Linux, compiled kernels, set up servers, and a whole host of other pretty technical feats. Having been a die-hard Linux user for 10 years, I thought I had handled just about every situation a desktop user is likely to encounter. That is, until I installed Linux for a friend, who then […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Add Physics to Google Sketchup

How to Add Physics to Google Sketchup

Have you ever wanted to design your own catapult? How about a toy robot, or maybe a more complex machine you’ve been layout out in your head? If so, you might already be familiar with Google Sketchup. It’s a simple to use 3D modeling program for Windows and Mac that has been popular for years, […]

By Joshua Price -