Category Archives: Hardware

Tomahawk, or why Clementine got the axe

Each new music playing program that I try brings me a little closer to perfection. From Banshee I moved to Clementine, because Clementine can link to my online Spotify account and play my Spotify playlists. But it was a problem for Clementine when a playlist contained both online tracks and tracks from my own PC — when it got to a local track in the playlist it would just stop and refuse to play further. So Clementine is no longer my darling, now I’ve tried Tomahawk. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Audio, Audio, Music players


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Linux Mint XFCE saves ageing laptop

Acer Aspire 5315 ZNWXMi Laptop Specs and ReviewOur first venture into laptop purchasing took place about six years ago when we bought an Acer Aspire 5315,  closely followed by an Acer Aspire 5920 — or perhaps the other way around. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Hardware, VirtualBox


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The Buddy System

I have — I blush to admit it — peculiar ears. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Audio


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Linux has a bad reputation where local area networking is concerned, and up until a few years ago it was well-deserved. Since then Linux distros have become a lot better at finding and connecting to other PCs, whether these are running Linux or Windows. Unfortunately there’s still nothing in Mint as simple and elegant as the Windows networking wizards, but the basics have become a lot simpler. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Networks


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Burning and ripping CDs and DVDs

Burning DVDs

Note: In many jurisdictions it is illegal to copy music CDs and video DVDs or to reproduce their contents. Generally speaking, the only works you are allowed to reproduce are those over which you hold a legal copyright. The instructions that follow are intended to cover that situation only. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in Audio, Backup software, Multimedia


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Banshee – which doubles as a video player – opens in a window with the familiar panel layout. The left panel shows the location of several types of media files, plus some online sources of music. A central panel shows a list of artists and some album cover images – these are downloaded from the web when new tracks are added. A track list is at the bottom of the screen and a Find box at the upper right. Clicking on a file type, artist, album cover or location will filter the track list to display matching files. Select ‘Library’ at the left and ‘All Artists’ and ‘All Albums’ at the top of their respective lists to display all tracks. An optional panel at the bottom of the screen can find and display Wikipedia entries or YouTube videos for selected artists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 12, 2013 in Audio, Audio



What an Operating System does

In the very earliest days of computing, the only way to get information into a computer – including the instructions to tell it what to do – was via a row of switches across the front of the machine. The operator would approach the computer with a written list of what switches to press and in what order, and by the end of the switch-pressing session – provided the operator had got it right – the computer would have possession of both the data and the program it was supposed to run. Naturally enough, computer programmers soon got tired of switch-flipping, and better ways were devised to store and enter information. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Hardware, Mint OS


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