Review of Qimo: Linux for Kids

Review of Qimo: Linux for Kids

We’ve talked about Linux software for kids a few times here at MakeTechEasier, but so far we’ve never actually sat down to take a closer look at whole distributions intended for children. Many people are familiar with Edubuntu, the Ubuntu spinoff intended for school and other educational institutions, but you may not know much about […]

By Joshua Price -
Configuring Conky The (Very) Easy Way

Configuring Conky The (Very) Easy Way

Conky, the amazingly versatile and useful Linux desktop application, has a bit of a reputation. It’s clearly a great app, but getting it configured can be a serious pain. Changing anything about it has always required digging through a long text file and editing cryptic lines like ${offset 240}${time %a, } ${color }${time %e %B […]

By Joshua Price -
Using the /proc Filesystem to Examine Your Linux Inner Working

Using the /proc Filesystem to Examine Your Linux Inner Working

Quick – answer me this: How much swap space is in use on your system right now? How big is the cache on your CPU? What kernel modules are currently loaded? How many total drives and partitions are you running? If you’re running Linux, all these questions (and a whole lot more) can be answered […]

By Joshua Price -
OpenOffice Base – A Simple And Useful Database Management Tool

OpenOffice Base – A Simple And Useful Database Management Tool

When most people think OpenOffice, they think of word processing or spreadsheets. What many people do not realize is that OpenOffice also includes Base, a database system roughly equivalent to MS Access. Many businesses and individuals use these systems to allow even non-technical people to enter, store, retrieve and organize their data. Using Base, you […]

By Joshua Price -
Comparing Three Linux RSS Feed Readers

Comparing Three Linux RSS Feed Readers

If you a web user and don’t already love RSS/Atom type feeds, you’re missing out. Not only can you have all your favorite news sites and blogs pipe into one location for easy browsing, you can even get updates on discounted shopping, or be notified when a new Simpsons episode lands on Hulu. Feeds are […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Easily Create a Custom Lightweight Desktop Environment

How to Easily Create a Custom Lightweight Desktop Environment

Gnome and KDE are great – they give you a beautiful desktop with all the tools and utilities you need. On either system, you’ll find a solid window manager, desktop icons, a panel full of applets, the works. That’s all well and good for your average desktop PC, but what if you need something lighter, […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create High Quality Drum Beats with Hydrogen

How to Create High Quality Drum Beats with Hydrogen

Linux is known for a lot of great things, but you rarely see it listed as a platform of choice for multimedia production. Some of that poor reputation for multimedia has long been deserved, but in recent years the quality of Linux’s audio and video applications has been steadily increasing. One of the best loved […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Juice Up Your Podcasts on Windows or Mac

How to Juice Up Your Podcasts on Windows or Mac

We wrote recently on gPodder, an excellent podcast receiver for Linux. Not to leave Windows and Mac out of the equation, we’ll be covering Juice, an extremely useful and versatile program for managing multiple podcast downloads. Juice will make it simple to find, monitor, download, sync, and manage all the audio files for your favorite […]

By Joshua Price -
The Battle For Your Browser’s Homepage: iGoogle vs. Netvibes vs. Pageflakes

The Battle For Your Browser’s Homepage: iGoogle vs. Netvibes vs. Pageflakes

Many people fall into one of two categories when talking about their browser homepage. One side wants it minimal, something that loads fast and gives them only what they need, like a blank page or the Google search. Others like their homepage to pack a punch, and include utilities to monitor and manage their web […]

By Joshua Price -
Using Compiz As A Window Management Tool

Using Compiz As A Window Management Tool

You’ve seen the wobbly windows, you’ve seen the cube, you’ve seen the raindrops. Compiz is just a bunch of useless eye candy right? Wrong. While the flashy effects get most of the attention, Compiz is a top-notch window manager in its own right. In fact, it’s got so many workspace and window management tools that […]

By Joshua Price -
Getting to Know Your fstab

Getting to Know Your fstab

Most modern Linux distros are pretty good about automatically mounting your drives and partitions when you need them, but as with most things automatic, it doesn’t always work quite the way you want. On Ubuntu, for instance, secondary drives and partitions are not mounted until you attempt to access them by the file manager or […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Automate Your Podcast Downloads with gPodder

How to Automate Your Podcast Downloads with gPodder

If you’re a fan of podcasts, you’ve probably at some point become fed up with manually finding and downloading your favorites. This can be a real pain for people who count on fresh daily podcasts to make it through the work day, so multiple solutions have been attempted to make this process simpler. One such […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Run Chrome OS the Easy Way

How to Run Chrome OS the Easy Way

A few of us here at MTE have a bit of a crush on Chrome OS. It’s not just the system itself, it’s the fact that someone is finally taking the concept of an operating system in a new direction. We wrote a brief synopsis of Chrome OS shortly after the first announcement that showed […]

By Joshua Price -
Performing Image Magic with ImageMagick

Performing Image Magic with ImageMagick

Whether you know it or not, there’s a good chance you’ve already used ImageMagick, at least if you’re a Linux user. It’s the image processor behind many graphics-related applications, and for good reason. With this one tool, you can perform dozens of common image manipulations and conversions from the command line or within a script/application. […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Build Chrome OS For Your Netbook or VM

How to Build Chrome OS For Your Netbook or VM

A few weeks ago, Google announced that Chrome OS will be ready for release this fall. Like many Google products, Chrome OS is designed to be a game changer. There are no desktop applications, as we typically think of them. Instead, the entire user experience happens within the browser. Naturally, some people think this is […]

By Joshua Price -
Comparing Linux Photo Managers…Which Is The Best For Your Everyday Use?

Comparing Linux Photo Managers…Which Is The Best For Your Everyday Use?

When you work with large amounts of photos, it can get tiresome to have to manually manage the file and directory structures. To help resolve this, many people use photo managers such as Picasa, DigiKam, and iPhoto. There are several options for Linux, so we’ve decided to check out each of the major photo management […]

By Joshua Price -
6 More Greasemonkey Scripts for Your Browsing Enjoyment

6 More Greasemonkey Scripts for Your Browsing Enjoyment

We’ve previously covered Greasemonkey, an unbelievably useful Firefox extension that allows you to run user-created scripts that enhance what Firefox can do. Now, these scripts are no longer confined to Firefox. Chrome, Opera, and Safari also have support for user scripts, although sometimes with limitations. These scripts provide a huge range of capabilities, like revising […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Easily Fix Window and Linux Boot Problems with the Super Grub Disk

How to Easily Fix Window and Linux Boot Problems with the Super Grub Disk

Just about anyone who’s attempted dual booting or another non-standard boot setup has, at some point, made their own system unbootable. If the words “GRUB Error 2” or “No Valid System Disk Found” make you break into a cold sweat, then fear no more. Now you can include the Super Grub Disk in your geek […]

By Joshua Price -
Peppermint OS – A New Take on the Web-Centric Desktop

Peppermint OS – A New Take on the Web-Centric Desktop

There are a LOT of Linux distros out there, so when it comes to distro reviews, we here at MakeTechEasier usually only go in for the ones offering something unique. Nearly all operating systems these days seem to be transitioning toward a faster and more web-centric experience. Some have embraced it more than others, and […]

By Joshua Price -
6 Ways to Reclaim Your Privacy When Using Google Products

6 Ways to Reclaim Your Privacy When Using Google Products

Google knows a lot about you. To date, they’ve been pretty good about handling that information responsibly, but many people are still concerned over the quality and quantity of information held by the search giant. Additionally, other websites have learned to expect that we all use Google and have created tools to harvest as much […]

By Joshua Price -
Launchy vs. GNOME Do vs. Kupfer

Launchy vs. GNOME Do vs. Kupfer

To many people, application launchers are not really worth much attention. After all, it’s just a box to type in a command, right? Perhaps that used to be it, but these days there are some tiny programs that can make a huge difference in productivity. Not only can you run a command, but you can […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Manage Your Online Identity with Specto

How to Manage Your Online Identity with Specto

Every once in a while, a piece of software comes along that really makes you stop and think “That’s so simple, why haven’t we been doing it this way all along?” One such program is Specto, an extraordinarily simple yet amazingly useful desktop utility. As many of you have likely noticed, most modern operating systems […]

By Joshua Price -
Reviews Of The Linux Torrent Clients

Reviews Of The Linux Torrent Clients

Bittorrent is the clear leader when it comes to efficiently distributing large files online. Just about any media site or Linux distribution offers files as torrents, and there are several options when it comes to the client you use to download those files. So many, in fact, that it can quickly become overwhelming when you […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Easily Create Abstract Wallpaper In Gimp

How to Easily Create Abstract Wallpaper In Gimp

Just about everyone loves a good looking abstract desktop background, but not everyone agrees on exactly what defines “good looking”. There are dozens of websites that specialize in these types of images, but you have to sift through hundreds, sometimes thousands, to find one you really like. Sometimes, after all the searching, the one you […]

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

5 Things You Didn’t Know VLC Could Do

There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this, you’re familiar with VLC, the high quality audio and video player for Linux, Mac, and Windows. Its speed, portability, and built-in support for most common codecs make VLC an extremely popular choice for playing video. While that’s all well and good, VLC can do a lot […]

By Joshua Price -
Exaile – The First Linux Media Player I Don’t Hate

Exaile – The First Linux Media Player I Don’t Hate

Anyone who knows me will have heard me rant about the poor state of music software, particularly for Linux. There seem to be two types of music players out there: the tiny ones that don’t get in your way but often lack important playlist features or format support, and the monstrous software beasts that drag […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Set Up “Legend of the Green Dragon” Server

How to Set Up “Legend of the Green Dragon” Server

Those who weren’t fortunate enough to have been a nerd in the 80s or early 90s likely missed out on one of the precursors to today’s Word Wide Web, the Bulletin Board System. Many BBS users will remember Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD), an extremely popular text based RPG game. It was the “killer […]

By Joshua Price -
Extreme Desktop Makeover: Josh Edition

Extreme Desktop Makeover: Josh Edition

Many people don’t really care about how their desktop is set up. Those people tend to leave things pretty much at the defaults, or maybe just change the wallpaper or color scheme. Some of us, however, consider desktop layout to be vitally important to productivity. Personally, I like to keep maximum information available at all […]

By Joshua Price -
Linux Dock Roundup

Linux Dock Roundup

Maybe you like OSX, maybe you want a quick place to launch and manage applications, maybe you just want a little eye candy. Whatever the reason, many of us like to use a dock on our desktop. As with most Linux software, there’s no shortage of options and not a lot of clear information on […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Install Google Go in Ubuntu

How to Install Google Go in Ubuntu

What do you get when you mix Python and C? According to Google, it’s Go – a new programming language developed in-house and later open sourced. Go was created by a small team inside Google, including the well known Ken Thompson, co-inventor of Unix and major influence on C. It was created out of a […]

By Joshua Price -
Getting Started with Inkscape

Getting Started with Inkscape

Most images on the web such as JPG, PNG, and GIF are raster images – grids of pixels that each hold a color value. Raster images are great for photos of real people and events, but they have drawbacks. When you scale a raster image up or down in size, you’re losing data and/or clarity […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Screencasts in Linux

How to Create Screencasts in Linux

MakeTechEasier.com is exploring the possibility of creating screencasts for our users, so that we can quickly visualize some of the tutorials that might make more sense in a video format. In researching this, we found an awful lot of software for desktop recording. These programs can differ widely in features like video quality, performance, and […]

By Joshua Price -
Beginner’s Guide to Grep

Beginner’s Guide to Grep

There is a classic bit of computer wisdom that states “If you’ve got a problem, and decide to solve it with regular expressions, now you’ve got two problems.” This of course stems from the perception that regular expressions are a complicated mix of magic characters and Voodoo. Regular expressions can allow you to achieve elegant […]

By Joshua Price -
Quick Review: What You Should Expect For Ubuntu 10.04

Quick Review: What You Should Expect For Ubuntu 10.04

Ubuntu is set to release their next Long Term Support version at the end of April, and we now have a beta version to look at and see what we can expect. There are some pretty big changes coming in Lucid Lynx, many of which are partly or fully implemented in the current beta. There […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Selectively Color Images in 5 Minutes

How to Selectively Color Images in 5 Minutes

Using color to highlight a particular portion of your image can have drastic effects on the end result. Using photo editors like Photoshop and Gimp you can emphasize whatever colors you choose in an image. Music videos and films like Sin City used this extensively, and the resulting look can be replicated in Gimp in […]

By Joshua Price -
Google Reader Play – The New Web Discovery Portal

Google Reader Play – The New Web Discovery Portal

Like many of you, I use Google Reader to keep track of new content from my favorite news sites and blogs. As a feed reader, it does a great job of storing and organizing information from countless sources. My friends can share their favorite Reader items with me, and I can with them. One thing […]

By Joshua Price -
A Brief History of Brown: Ubuntu Feature Timeline

A Brief History of Brown: Ubuntu Feature Timeline

Love it or hate it, Ubuntu has changed the way Linux is perceived by many. What was once a mysterious hacker OS is now on the desktop of many technophobic grandmothers, and part of that success in recent years is due to Ubuntu. Next month, we’ll have the newest long-term release, 10.04 Lucid Lynx. A […]

By Joshua Price -
Beginner’s Guide to Git

Beginner’s Guide to Git

If you’re a Linux user, you’ve likely come across Git at some point, perhaps while trying to download a new program or looking into version control systems like CVS or Subversion. Git is the revision control system created by the Linux kernel’s famous Linus Torvalds due to a lack of satisfaction with existing solutions. The […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Space Scenes Quickly and Easily in Gimp

How to Create Space Scenes Quickly and Easily in Gimp

I’m a sucker for a cool space wallpaper, and judging by the images I find online, so are many of you. Creating a cool space scene can be done in a few minutes once you’ve got the basic method down, and Gimp provides several ways to go about adding random elements to keep things interesting. […]

By Joshua Price -
Smarter P2P with FrostWire

Smarter P2P with FrostWire

FrostWire is a free, open source multiplatform Gnutella and Bittorrent P2P client. It’s based on LimeWire, and includes many features from LimeWire’s Pro version. It includes such features as live chat, encrypted transfers, iTunes compatibility, and even built-in content through FrostWire’s 100% legal content site – FrostClick.com.

By Joshua Price -
How to Create Your Own Torrent Tracker with RivetTracker

How to Create Your Own Torrent Tracker with RivetTracker

There are some things that are less about usefulness, and more about the cool factor. One such thing is setting up your own torrent tracker. There are plenty of legitimate use cases, but for most people, a personal tracker would be overkill. If, however, you need to distribute large files without wasting bandwidth, or just […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Turn Your Linux Box into a Home Theater with Boxee

How to Turn Your Linux Box into a Home Theater with Boxee

Boxee is a home theater PC software program that runs on Linux and has been designed to be used like an interactive TV, somewhat like the Xbox 360 interface. In fact it’s based on another program called XBMC which was originally created to run on the first Xbox consoles. These days, you can use Boxee […]

By Joshua Price -
Better Linux Package Management with Checkinstall

Better Linux Package Management with Checkinstall

If you use Linux in any depth, you’re eventually have to install a program from source code. Normally the process is pretty quick and painless, but it still has some drawbacks, especially when it comes to upgrading or uninstalling that program. To help resolve this, we’ve got checkinstall, a useful tool that adds some cleverness […]

By Joshua Price -
Linux Gaming With Sabayon Gaming Edition DVD

Linux Gaming With Sabayon Gaming Edition DVD

One of the most common complaints I hear about Linux is that it’s just no good for gaming. Some complain about hardware support, others the lack of titles, others that it’s just too complicated. It’s true that Linux probably isn’t the first platform that comes to mind when I think about PC gaming, but some […]

By Joshua Price -
8 Of The Best Linux Dockapps

8 Of The Best Linux Dockapps

How much functionality can you pack into a 64×64 square? That’s the basic question behind many dockapps – utilities that can be run on the “dock” of many popular desktop environments. While most of them are designed for Step-type window managers such as Windowmaker, these dockapps can also run in things like XFCE, Fluxbox and […]

By Joshua Price -
Is Google Buzz a Facebook Killer?

Is Google Buzz a Facebook Killer?

While the dust is still settling from Chrome OS, Wave, Android, and the Nexus One, Google drops another big announcement with Google Buzz, a new social networking platform. Some of you may be thinking “they’ve already tried that“. That’s true, but there are a few things that make Buzz particularly interesting. Namely, it’s integrated with […]

By Joshua Price -
7 Places to Find Free Web Templates

7 Places to Find Free Web Templates

Perhaps you want to dabble in web design. Perhaps you want a place to sell your crafts online. Perhaps the lady in the house next door really wants to post pictures of her cat. There are a lot of reasons to want a website, but not everyone is willing or able to design something nice […]

By Joshua Price -
How to Remove Windows Viruses with Linux

How to Remove Windows Viruses with Linux

Viruses. They happen to almost everyone. If they don’t happen to you, it’ll be your cousin Stan who get joins the malware-of-the-month club, and you’re the only person he knows who can fix a computer. The problem is, things are so screwed up that Windows won’t even start properly. And if it does, the virus […]

By Joshua Price -