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Enso OS Makes Xfce Elementary
June 14, 2019
Sometimes new Linux distros still in beta can offer pleasant surprises with a key feature not available elsewhere. Check out Enso OS for a prime example. Enso OS is a relatively new Linux distribution that debuted a couple of years ago. It is a custom build of Xubuntu 18.04 and features the Xfce desktop combined with Gala, a Mutter-based window/compositing manager.
MX Linux Reinvents Computer Use
June 6, 2019
MX Linux is a blend of mostly old and some new things, resulting in an appealing midweight Linux OS. The midweight category is a bit unusual. Desktop environments that run well on minimal hardware typically fall into the lightweight category. Lightweight environments like Xfce, LXDE/LXQt, Enlightenment and iceWM often are paired with software applications that do not tax system resources.
Deepin Linux: Security Threat or Safe to Use?
May 31, 2019
Open source operating systems in general are less worrisome because their code is open to inspection by anyone with the skills to understand it. Does that mean Linux computing platforms from nongovernmental sources in politically tense countries are equally worry-free? At least one situation has brought FOSS' safe-to-use reputation into question, and it involved the Deepin Linux distribution.
Linux Mint Turns Cinnamon Experience Bittersweet
May 24, 2019
Linux Mint no longer may be an ideal choice for above-par performance out of the box, but it still can serve diehard users well with the right amount of post-installation tinkering. The Linux Mint distro clearly is the gold standard for measuring Cinnamon desktop integration. Linux Mint's developers turned the GNOME desktop alternative into one of the best Linux desktop choices.
Budgeting Software Options to Keep Linux Users From Seeing Red
May 17, 2019
Budget apps for Linux are part of a software category that has been all but abandoned. But take heart. A number of Web-based solutions will more than meet your budget-tracking needs. However, do not mix the concept of open source with free. If you want an actual free budget program that works well with your flavor of Linux OS, a Web-based offering may your only option.
Elive Elevates Linux With Enlightenment
May 10, 2019
The Elive distro's integration of the Debian Linux base and the Enlightenment desktop is a powerful combination. Together, they offer a unique computing platform that is powerful and flexible. Elive is not like most Linux distributions. It does not have a team of workers supporting multiple desktop offerings cranking out frequent upgrades each year. It also does not have a thriving community.
POP!_OS Makes Classic GNOME Simpler to Use
May 3, 2019
Are you Looking for a hassle-free Linux OS that is very user-friendly and extremely stable? Pop!_OS from System76 is a prime candidate to fit that order. Pop!_OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distro featuring a custom GNOME desktop. Custom is *the* essential part of that description. The developers have done an impressive job of tailoring the classic GNOME environment into a unique desktop flavor.
Feren OS: An Almost Flawless Linux Computing Platform
April 26, 2019
Feren OS might well be the Linux computing game-changer that lures you away from your current operating system. Feren OS is based on Linux Mint 19 and the Cinnamon desktop -- it currently does not give you any other desktop options. However, it comes with a wide assortment of configuration choices that let you tweak the look and feel into almost any customized appearance you could want.
Condres OS Conjures Up Pleasing Arch Linux Transition
April 18, 2019
Condres OS, a distro much like the defunct Apricity OS, could be a speedier replacement for Linux OSes that have turned slow to no-go in recent new releases. Condres OS is an Arch-based distro that offers many pleasing usability traits similar to three popular Debian-based distros: Linux Mint; Peppermint; and Zorin, which bundles ICE and Wine accouterments. Condres OS, as is typical of Arch distributions, comes with a rolling release upgrade model.
Q4OS and TDE: A Juicy Little Linux Secret
April 12, 2019
Q4OS and the little-known Trinity Desktop Environment are an unbeatable combination that provides a powerful and flexible computing platform. I periodically revisit releases of interesting Linux distros and developing new desktops in my weekly quest for exciting and innovative choices. I am always looking to tweak my Linux OS productivity. Some of these weekly forays turn up unexpected delights.
Best Open Source Tools for Staying on Top of Projects
April 3, 2019
The type of organizing tools you use to plan your projects can make your work routine more efficient and improve your productivity. A project management application is an essential tool in some business environments. This week's Linux Picks and Pans takes a deep dive into some of the best project management software solutions available for the Linux desktop.
New Zorin OS 15 Beta Is Worth the Wait
March 28, 2019
The Zorin OS 15 series, released last week in beta, introduces many changes to its desktop interface and utilities. It keeps Zorin on track with its goal of maintaining a Linux OS for everyone, not just advanced Linux users. Zorin OS 15 beta is the first major release since Zorin OS 12 in late 2016. This edition is well worth the wait. Major releases of Zorin OS come only once every two years.
SparkyLinux Incinerates the Hassle Factor
March 21, 2019
SparkyLinux is a Linux distro that can ignite your daily computing experience. Its spark is pushing me to rethink my computing priorities. Regularly reviewing so many Linux operating systems for Linux Picks and Pans has a serious consequence for my computing sanity. Normally, I have a flirtatious episode with a new release each week. I'm always on the lookout for something new and shiny.
8 Great Linux Time-Tracker Apps to Keep You on Task
March 14, 2019
Time-tracking software records the time you spend on tasks. The time-tracking helps you create billing reports, prepare invoices, and analyze your workflow for better efficiency. This week's Linux Picks and Pans product review highlights some of the best free time-tracking applications for Linux. The apps included in this roundup are not rated or presented in any quality order.
Parrot Home: Enjoy the Privacy Extras
March 8, 2019
Parrot offers several options for running a Linux OS that pays much closer attention to security. If you already are handy with digital forensic tasks and want a state-of-the-art system to handle pentesting and privacy issues, check out Parrot Security, which offers a complete all-in-one environment for pentesting, privacy, digital forensics, reverse-engineering and software development.
EasyOS Teaches an Old Dog New Tricks
March 5, 2019
EasyOS is an experimental Linux distribution that either will renew your passion for using something different or leave you disappointed in its oddball approach to computing. EasyOS is a blend of the best ideas from Puppy Linux and the now discontinued Quirky Linux. I have used several of the popular Puppy Linux variants over the years. I adopted Quirky Linux a few years ago as my go-to Linux distro on a USB stick.
GhostBSD: A Solid Linux-Like Open Source Alternative
February 21, 2019
The subject of this week's Linux Picks and Pans is a representative of a less well-known computing platform that coexists with Linux as an open source operating system. If you thought that the Linux kernel was the only open source engine for a free OS, think again. BSD shares many of the same features that make Linux OSes viable alternatives to proprietary computing platforms.
Redcore Linux Gives Gentoo a Nice Facelift
February 15, 2019
Working with the Linux operating system offers a never-ending series of alternatives. One of the greatest benefits of using the Linux desktop is that you are never at risk of vendor lock-in or of being stranded if your chosen distro flavor suddenly sours. Take Redcore Linux, for example. Redcore is not a household name among typical Linux users. Neither was its predecessor, Kogaion Linux.
Linux Task Apps: Plenty of Goodies in These Oldies
February 7, 2019
If you need a task manager application to run on your Linux operating system, tap into a software category filled with options that go far beyond the to-do list app you have stuffed into your smartphone. Keeping up to date with multiple daily activity calendars, tons of information, and never-ending must-do lists can become a never-ending challenge.
Endless OS Functionality Controls Simplify Computing
February 1, 2019
Endless OS is an unusual Linux distro in that its user interface is more like an Android smartphone or tablet than a Linux desktop computer platform. Version 3.5.4, released on Jan. 17, brings parental controls and other refinements that make this distro a cool alternative to the Chromebook for home, educational and community use. Endless OS goes a long way to eliminating the Linux learning curve.
MakuluLinux Core OS Debuts With Impressive Desktop Design
January 28, 2019
A new Linux OS gets to the core of Linux computing with a revamped desktop environment and a new way to have fun with your daily computing tasks. Developer Jacque Montague Raymer has debuted the MakuluLinux Core OS, and hopes it becomes the crown jewel of the Series 15 release family. MakuluLinux released the latest versions of family members LinDoz and Flash several months ago.
Netrunner's Unique Blackbird Soars to New Heights
January 23, 2019
Blackbird, Netrunner's version 19.01 release, hit the download servers on Jan. 14, and this distro deserves to be considered bleeding-edge. Netrunner is a step ahead of other KDE distros, thanks to its solid integration of classic KDE desktop performance with Web-based applications and cloud services. That said, if you aren't fondness of the K Desktop, Netrunner may leave you wanting more desktop simplicity.
Blue Collar Linux: Something Borrowed, Something New
January 15, 2019
Sometimes it takes more than a few tweaks to turn an old-style desktop design into a fresh new Linux distribution. That is the case with the public release of Blue Collar Linux. Blue Collar Linux has been under development for the last four years. Until its public release this week, it has circulated only through an invitation for private use by the developer's family, friends and associates looking for an alternative to the Windows nightmare.
Top Open Source Tools for Staying on Time and on Task
January 11, 2019
Keeping up to date with multiple daily activity calendars, tons of information, and long must-do lists can be a never-ending challenge. This week's Linux Picks and Pans reviews the best open source Personal Information Managers that will serve you well on whatever Linux distribution you run. In theory, computer tools should make managing a flood of personal and business information child's play.
Kodachi Builds Privacy Tunnel for Linux
January 3, 2019
Online and Internet security are not topics that typical computer users easily comprehend. All too often, Linux users put their blind trust in a particular distribution and assume that all Linux OSes are equally secure. However, not all Linux distros are created with the same degree of attention to security and privacy control. Kodachi Linux offers an alternative to leaving them to chance.
Q4OS: A Diamond in the Rough Gets Some Polish
December 20, 2018
Sometimes working with Linux distros is much like rustling through an old jewelry drawer. Every now and then, you find a diamond hidden among the rhinestones. That is the case with Q4OS. I took a detailed first look at this new distro in February 2015, primarily to assess the Trinity desktop. That was a version 1 beta release. Still, Trinity showed some potential. I have used it on numerous old and new computers.
Pantheon Desktop Makes Linux Elementary
December 12, 2018
Developers of U.S.-based Elementary OS recently released the community's annual major update, Juno 5. What makes this distro so nontraditional is its own desktop interface, called "Pantheon." This desktop interface is somewhat of a hybrid, inspired by Apple's Debian Ubuntu-based OS X. It combines some similarities of the GNOME 3 Shell with the visual finesse of the OS X dock.
Deepin Builds a Better Linux Desktop
December 5, 2018
Deepin 15.8, released last month, is loaded with more efficient layout tweaks that give the distribution greater functionality and maturity. Deepin, based in China, shed its Ubuntu base when with the 2015 release of version 15, which favored Debian Linux. That brought numerous subtle changes in the code base and software roots. Ubuntu Linux itself is based on Debian.
Void Linux: Built From Scratch for Full Independence
November 29, 2018
Void Linux is a bit out of the ordinary. It offers an unusually interesting alternative to many of the traditional Linux distros affiliated with a larger Linux family such as Debian or Ubuntu or Arch. Void Linux is an independently developed, rolling-release, general-purpose operating system. That means that its software is either homegrown or plain-vanilla compiled.
Free Personal Finance Apps You Can Take to the Bank
November 21, 2018
Today's Linux platform accommodates a number of really good financial applications that are more than capable of handling both personal and small-business accounting operations. That was not always the case, however. Not quite 10 years ago, I scoured Linux repositories in a quest for replacement applications for popular Microsoft Windows tools. Back then, the pickings were mighty slim.
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How do you feel about government regulation of the U.S. tech industry?
Big tech companies are abusing their monopoly power and must be reined in.
Stronger regulations to protect consumer data definitely are needed.
Regulations stifle innovation and should be kept to the barest minimum.
Over-regulation could give China and other nations an unfair advantage.
Outdated antitrust laws should be updated prior to serious regulatory efforts.
Tech companies should regulate themselves to avoid government intervention.
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