Monthly Archives: April 2013

Open Source software

At some point in learning about Linux, every new user asks the obvious question: “If this stuff is so good, how come they give it away?” It’s a big compliment, because it recognises that Linux distros and their accompanying software are often first-rate, world-class programs, as good as or better than their commercial counterparts. And it’s not that easy to answer. But we can start to make sense of the idea by setting out two alternate approaches to the idea of history and culture. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in LINUX, Mint OS, Operating systems, Other distros


The Road to Linux


UNIX was developed in 1969 in the computer labs of the US phone company AT&T, by a group of employees including Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie. The philosophy of UNIX was to roll all the basic low-level functions of the OS into a single bundle called a ‘kernel’, and to supplement this with many relatively small and simple add-on programs for carrying out specific operations. Another feature of UNIX is its heavy reliance on the C programming language, developed by Kernighan and Ritchie, which also became immensely popular and widely used. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in DOS, Gnome, KDE, Mint OS, UNIX


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Mint XFCE Applications

Mint XFCE has a reputation for speed, particularly on older PCs. Its software is selected and designed to balance efficiency against ease of use. It’s not a radically scaled-down distro like Damn Small Linux ( or even Knoppix (, but it’s appealingly straightforward for people who just want to get down to business. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in GUIs



LibreOffice Math

LibreOffice Math is a simple but comprehensive module that allows you to produce high-quality vector images representing mathematical equations. From being a stand-alone application up to LibreOffice 3, it has now been absorbed into the other applications as a module, accessible through Insert/Object/Formula. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 22, 2013 in LibreOffice


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Amarok is the default media player supplied with KDE, though it will also work under GNOME. Like most KDE applications, it aims at extreme configurability. Amarok suffered from a loss of popularity recently when it was perceived as having become overly complex. The developers have worked on the interface to try and make it friendlier, and the application has been restored to grace. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in KDE, Music players


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GThumb is an image collection manager. It shows a directory structure in a panel at the left of the screen, and when you select a folder from that panel which contains bitmapped graphics, these are displayed in the main panel. Right-clicking or double-clicking will open a full screen view of an image similar to that in the Image Viewer, while thumbnails for the remaining images are displayed along the bottom of the screen. You can return to the Browser view through pressing Escape, using the View menu, or clicking the first button on the toolbar at the top of the display. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Graphics software, Mint OS


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The History of Linux Mint

Linux Mint was developed in France, and released in 2006, by Clement Lefebvre. Lefebvre is notoriously reclusive and reluctant to give interviews – his online biography, in total, is ‘Nothing much to say… ;)’ – but he has repeatedly stressed that his aim in modifying Ubuntu was to achieve ‘elegance’. In practice this meant focusing on ease of use, incorporating user feedback, and choosing pleasant colour schemes and layouts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Mint OS, Ubuntu