How to Check Your Gmail Account with Kmail

How to Check Your Gmail Account with Kmail

Email has changed dramatically over the years. What was once a single program on your computer that occasionally shouted “You’ve got mail” is now on the web, on your smartphone, and probably with you wherever you go. As easy as it is to dismiss the past necessity for having a standalone email client, there are […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
2012 Linux Computer Buyer’s Guide

2012 Linux Computer Buyer’s Guide

With the coming of a new year, it is time to take a look at the Linux computer offerings and see which distributions you can get shipped to your doorstep. I just recently ordered a new desktop from one of these vendors, and I will publish a review as soon as I have thoroughly tested […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Install a Preview of Ubuntu TV

How to Install a Preview of Ubuntu TV

At CES, Canonical announced its latest major project that it is calling Ubuntu TV “TV for human beings”. Much of the Ubuntu TV interface will be based on the groundwork that has already been established with the development of Unity, Canonical’s revolutionary, and sometimes polarizing, desktop environment. In keeping with tradition, Ubuntu TV is free […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Install and Configure ownCloud Server

How to Install and Configure ownCloud Server

This article was updated in Feb 2016 to reflect the changes in ownCloud installation. It is difficult to read any tech news and not see something about “the cloud”, cloud computing, cloud hosting, or at least something that mentions the word “cloud”. Many businesses have moved their entire software operations into the cloud, and many […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Make GTK3 Apps Look Presentable in KDE4

How to Make GTK3 Apps Look Presentable in KDE4

With the release of Gnome 3, many developers of GTK apps have begun to port their programs from GTK2 to GTK3. If you have used Ubuntu 11.04, you will notice that many of the popular GTK2 themes did not yet have GTK3 equivalents, which left the few GTK3 applications looking awful.

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Get a Dock-Like Taskbar in KDE with Icon Tasks

How to Get a Dock-Like Taskbar in KDE with Icon Tasks

KDE has always given users the ability to add launchers to its panel, and it has always had a very usable task manager. Until recently, however, there has not been a comprehensive and well-designed merging of the two. The Icon Tasks widget has changed all of that. It is a robust plasma widget that includes […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Run Startup Scripts in KDM before KDE Starts

How to Run Startup Scripts in KDM before KDE Starts

KDE has an easy-to-use system for configuring programs or scripts to run at startup. Linux distributions also have methods of starting programs at boot, but there are some unique instances when it would be ideal to start a script at the moment KDM starts, in between the start of X and the start of your […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Make KDE 4 Look Like KDE 3

How to Make KDE 4 Look Like KDE 3

When KDE 4 was first released, it was met with both hope and dismay, depending on the person you asked. Some loved everything from the new interface to the improved functionality. Others called it a significant step, but one in the wrong direction. Those purists still love KDE 3.5, and many of them continue to […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Use Custom Tray Icons in KDE

How to Use Custom Tray Icons in KDE

KDE icons are generally very easy to customize, and there is a complete graphical interface in System Settings for choosing an icon theme or installing a new one. One thing you might notice, however, is that the standard KDE tray icons are all monochrome. When you start using non-KDE apps or lesser-known KDE apps that […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Give Any KDE Desktop An Ubuntu Makeover

How to Give Any KDE Desktop An Ubuntu Makeover

Although some might consider it blasphemous, the default KDE desktop is not a style everyone automatically likes. If it were, KDE-Look.org would not be filled with desktop themes, window manager themes, and more. KDE is all about customization, and the ability to make it look however you want is part of that. I have spoken […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
A Guide to the KDE Notification System

A Guide to the KDE Notification System

KDE offers one of the most comprehensive and flexible notification systems (KNotify). In addition to system notifications, nearly every program has notification settings that are integrated into the larger desktop environment. Moreover, KDE’s notification system is configurable for just about any type of user, including those who need specific accessibility features.

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Secure Your Torrent Downloads

How to Secure Your Torrent Downloads

Internet security and privacy are two topics that are frequently in the news. Those Internet users who use the BitTorrent protocol to share files are perhaps more aware of these security and privacy issues than others. Many government agencies, special interest groups, corporations, and hackers with malicious intentions monitor torrent downloads and look for people […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Get Great Looking Fonts in KDE

How to Get Great Looking Fonts in KDE

Text appearance is probably one of the most underrated features of any computing experience. It is easy to overlook fonts because words are all around us, and we expect them to be pleasing to the eyes and easy to read, but probably only notice when they are not. In reality, a font can make or […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Optimize KDE Desktop Effects

How to Optimize KDE Desktop Effects

Since its official inclusion in KDE, the Desktop Effects component of KWin has received mixed reviews. Many of the negative reviews point to performance problems, some of which are the result of the dramatically diverse offering of Linux drivers available for graphics cards. Not all graphics cards are equal, but one would expect them to […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Stream Media to Your Xbox 360 or PS3

How to Stream Media to Your Xbox 360 or PS3

Video game consoles, particularly the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, are increasingly becoming more than just gaming devices. They have become complete entertainment systems. You can now watch Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and other streaming video content. You can purchase and listen to music, and with the new Xbox 360 dashboard update coming this fall, you […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Steel Storm: Burning Retribution Review

Steel Storm: Burning Retribution Review

Once in a while, an indie game comes out that reminds us that great games need not come from huge companies with large development budgets. Steel Storm was one such game, as my previous review of Steel Storm: Episode I highlighted. The developers of Steel Storm, Kot-in-Action Creative Artel are back again with the next installment, […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Batch Convert and Resize Images with Converseen

How to Batch Convert and Resize Images with Converseen

Converseen is a free and open source batch image converter and resizer. With it, you can quickly and easily convert your images to and from over 100 formats. It is based on Qt4, making it cross-platform, and it uses ImageMagick to handle the heavy lifting. Supported image formats include JPEG, PNG, EXR, SVG, Postscript, TIFF, […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
A Review of Red Eclipse, Free and Open Source FPS

A Review of Red Eclipse, Free and Open Source FPS

The number of truly free and open source games available for download is small in general, but in terms of genre, first-person shooters (FPS) have plenty of representation. This is largely due to the 3D engines that have been released into the free software community, which lend themselves well to FPS games. The Cube Engine 2 is […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Open Source File Syncing And Collaboration With Sparkleshare

Open Source File Syncing And Collaboration With Sparkleshare

Whenever software development or any other type of project requires collaboration, the process of exchanging files, saving them, revising, and re-uploading can be tedious. Because of this, developers have created revisioning control systems. These systems have even been used for documentation in collaborative tools like wikis. Sparkleshare is an extension of these collaboration tools that provides a […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
5 More Intriguing KDE Apps

5 More Intriguing KDE Apps

Ever so often, I take a stroll over to KDE-Apps.org and look at some of the fantastic creations people from the KDE community develop. There are a wide range of apps in nearly every category, but I have selected 5 that stand out and would be very useful additions to my desktop and hopefully yours […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
M.A.R.S. – A Ridiculous Shooter, Indie Game Showcase

M.A.R.S. – A Ridiculous Shooter, Indie Game Showcase

At MakeTechEasier, we  have reviewed quite a handful of cross-platform indie games. The latest to catch our attention is M.A.R.S. – a ridiculous shooter (their words, not mine). Like some of the other favorites we have highlighted, M.A.R.S. is a 2D retro-style arcade game with some modern features like online multiplayer matches. The weird thing about […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Create To-do Lists and Organize Notes With myTinyTodo

Create To-do Lists and Organize Notes With myTinyTodo

As a freelancer, I have tried all types of to-do lists and electronic notepads to help me be more efficient and keep track of all of my work and clients. There are many good desktop solutions and also many good online cloud-based solutions. But if you want something simple that you can install on your own […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Sprinkle Some Eye Candy on your KDE Desktop

Sprinkle Some Eye Candy on your KDE Desktop

KDE is beautiful, even if you never change a thing on your desktop. What makes it even more appealing is all of the customizable visual features. Three areas you should consider spicing up a little are your KDE style/theme, your Plasma Workspace theme, and your icons. The following are just a few of the most popular […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Back to Basics with KDE 4

Back to Basics with KDE 4

After our review of KDE 4.6, we received a great deal of positive comments, but not all of them were sparkling assessments of KDE’s functionality. For that reason, I have decided to get back to the basics this week with a little how-to guide for KDE 3 users who may be reluctant to switch to […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Remotely Control KTorrent

How to Remotely Control KTorrent

KTorrent is KDE’s BitTorrent client that has a uniquely useful plugin allowing users to connect and add torrents remotely using a web browser. In a previous post, we gave you a taste of what Ktorrent can do. Today, you will learn how to start Ktorrent remotely, add torrents from URLs or file uploads, and make […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Format Your Book for the Kindle

How to Format Your Book for the Kindle

Some time ago, MakeTechEasier gave you an extensive 3-part guide to formatting a book using OpenOffice.org. That guide was specifically oriented toward print publications, and while it may be sufficient for PDF ebooks, formatting a book for Amazon’s Kindle e-reader takes a little more attention and care. Generally speaking, a Kindle book is just HTML and […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Use CSS3 Pie to Modernize Internet Explorer

How to Use CSS3 Pie to Modernize Internet Explorer

One of the biggest dilemmas facing web developers is the incompatibility of various Internet Explorer versions with current web standards. Although Microsoft has promised CSS3 and even HTML5 support for IE9, Windows users, especially businesses, may continue to use IE8, IE7, or even the dreaded IE6 for years to come. As a result, coding a […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
KDE 4.6 Review: It’s Full Of Awesomeness

KDE 4.6 Review: It’s Full Of Awesomeness

On January 26th of this year, KDE released version 4.6.0 of its Plasma Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. While many major versions of KDE have focused on features, 4.5 was mostly a stabilizing release, fixing thousands of bugs. The 4.6 release is all about polish. It is the icing on the cake for KDE 4, adding speed, visual […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Encode WebM Videos for YouTube in Linux

How to Encode WebM Videos for YouTube in Linux

WebM is the new open video file format that Google created for HTML5 video. It is a combination of the VP8 video codec and Ogg Vorbis audio codec, wrapped in a Matroska container. It is free and open source, giving anyone the ability to encode videos without restrictions, and play them in supported browsers (Mozilla […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Steel Storm Indie Game Review

Steel Storm Indie Game Review

As the indie game market continues to grow, we thought it would be timely to kick off 2011 with another game review. Steel Storm, a game produced by a small company called Kot in Action Creative Artel, is a top-down arcade shooter that puts you in control of a small futuristic aircraft. Like the addictive space […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
A Review Of KidZui: The Internet For Kids

A Review Of KidZui: The Internet For Kids

The Internet is a scary virtual world for parents. Letting your children loose on the Internet is like sending them out on the street without a chaperone. Internet filters may protect them from stumbling upon the most offensive websites, but they do nothing to guide them to educational or kid-safe fun sites. That is up […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Setup HDMI Digital Playback in Linux

How to Setup HDMI Digital Playback in Linux

Like many people, I have an HDTV in my house that supports HDMI input devices, such as Blu-ray players. I also like to watch streaming content over the Internet, downloaded videos, and listen to music all from my TV and home theater system. Unfortunately, I do not have a Boxee box or a Roku box. […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
The Kno Textbook Tablet Preview

The Kno Textbook Tablet Preview

Almost every new tablet that has emerged in the iPad-dominated market has essentially been a direct competitor to the iPad, offering little, if any, basic usability advantages. It is for that reason that the Kno tablet stands out from the crowd. This tablet is being marketed to schools that are tired of dealing with the […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Install and Use Dropbox in Kubuntu

How to Install and Use Dropbox in Kubuntu

We have gone through how you can upgrade your Dropbox to version 1.0 in Ubuntu, but that method won’t work for Kubuntu (which is running KDE). The frontend for Ubuntu included with Dropbox currently has Gnome dependencies, namely Nautilus. If you are using Kubuntu or any other KDE-based distribution, you probably do not want Nautilus […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Change Linux Displays on the Fly with Disper

How to Change Linux Displays on the Fly with Disper

Using Linux on a laptop has always been a hit and miss affair. With sometimes obscure proprietary hardware, many laptop manufacturers have showed no interest in supporting the free operating system. Nevertheless, through hard work by developers and support from some hardware manufacturers, Linux now supports a wide variety of laptops and netbooks. Many laptop […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Configuring Places, Bookmarks, and Locations in KDE

Configuring Places, Bookmarks, and Locations in KDE

Part of the free software experience is having the freedom to setup your workspace the way you want it. KDE, the popular free software compilation for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems, offers a plethora of configuration and customization options. Among those options are a number of methods for accessing files quickly and easily.

By Tavis J. Hampton -
7 Ways to Beautify Your KDE 4 Desktop

7 Ways to Beautify Your KDE 4 Desktop

Part of the big hype over the release of KDE 4 was its new and improved eye candy, mostly due to the Plasma workspace. Those who liked the changes, loved the new KDE from the beginning. Those who did not are still complaining about it. But like any good desktop environment, you are by no […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Easy Samba Sharing Setup with KDE

Easy Samba Sharing Setup with KDE

Recently, I decided that instead of copying video files from one computer to another when I wanted to watch something on my TV, I would setup my network to stream the videos. I had previously tried NFS and UPnP, both without very impressive results. Therefore, I decided to try Samba, even though my perception of […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Easy Organization with KDE’s Plasma Shelf Widget

Easy Organization with KDE’s Plasma Shelf Widget

Balancing work, home, school, or any other component of your life can be hectic. Many people use computers with the intention to simplify their lives, but that does not always happen. One of the biggest obstacles to effective use of computers is file and application organization. File managers, docks, panels, task bars, and other similar […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Linux Game Review: Sun Blast

Linux Game Review: Sun Blast

Remember those insane arcade games that kept you up all night, blasting away at ship after ship, leading up to a showdown with a massive star destroyer that relentlessly hurled various dangerous objects at you? More than likely, the game you remember offered a 2D top-down or side-scrolling view of space. But now take a […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Review

Kubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Review

On October 10, Canonical released its latest installment of Ubuntu, codenamed “Maverick Meerkat”. Like previous iterations, Maverick also includes variations from the standard Ubuntu Gnome interface. Kubuntu is the KDE variation of Ubuntu, and last week, I decided to upgrade from 10.04 and give 10.10 a try. Eye Candy is Yummy Maverick ships with KDE […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Advanced KDE Administration

Advanced KDE Administration

For general use, it is sufficient to configure KDE using the options provided in System Settings and in individual application settings. Nevertheless, to unlock the full power of KDE, you should learn some of the system administration tools that it provides. Command Line Options Every KDE applications has its own unique command line options. Additionally, […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Configure Language Settings in KDE

How to Configure Language Settings in KDE

KDE Software Compilation is managed and developed by people who live all over the world, and users from all over the world contribute by providing translations, regional settings, and keyboard layouts for various languages. Because of this, there is a good chance that you can configure KDE to work with your language. All of the […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
5 Intriguing KDE Apps

5 Intriguing KDE Apps

The beauty of an open development platform is that anyone can take a stab at creating an application. KDE, which is built upon the Qt application and UI framework, is a shining example of this. A quick look at KDE-Apps.org reveals that new apps are added daily. I periodically browse through the latest KDE apps […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Spiritual And Religious Software For Linux

Spiritual And Religious Software For Linux

While some might assert that Linux itself is a religion, there are plenty of religious and spiritual people who use and love Linux. Therefore, there are naturally a number of software packages for various religions. In my search for such software, I have undoubtedly left some out, so feel free to suggest any I have […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Okular: Universal Document Viewer For KDE 4

Okular: Universal Document Viewer For KDE 4

One of the new applications introduced with KDE 4 was Okular. KDE 3 had a PDF viewer named KPDF, but Okular aims to be a complete document viewing solution, supporting many different file types. Okular is fast-loading and works in any operating system and desktop environment that can run KDE applications.

By Tavis J. Hampton -
A Look at KDE Desktop Effects

A Look at KDE Desktop Effects

KDE’s visual effects for windows and menus technically dates back to KDE 3. Experimental programs like kompmgr provided drop shadows and transparency for windows, and the KDE desktop itself had built-in support for basic menu transparency, shadows, and other effects. With the coming of KDE 4, the number of effects has multiplied, and KWin (KDE’s […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Use KDE Plasma Activities

How to Use KDE Plasma Activities

The concept of activities is a new feature introduced with KDE 4. In the old desktop model of KDE 3, the desktop was a program called “kdesktop”, which gave users the ability to have a number of virtual desktops. Although other tools like Superkaramba could be used to add more features, the essential KDE desktop […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
How to Install KDE 4.5

How to Install KDE 4.5

KDE 4.5 is a milestone release that took several months to complete, fixing over 16,000 bugs. While it also added new features, the selling point of this release is the stability that typically comes with a x.5 version of KDE. The desktop, applications, and development platforms have matured, and many of the outstanding bugs have […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -
Preview of KDE 4.5

Preview of KDE 4.5

When KDE 4.0 was released, it was clear that it was not finished and not ready for production. By version 4.2, the completely redesigned and recoded desktop environment was starting to regain the stability and depth that many loved about KDE 3, while also adding new features that make KDE a unique and rewarding desktop […]

By Tavis J. Hampton -