On Learning Java

Perhaps I should entitle this ‘On trying to learn Java’, because although I have persevered through over sixty YouTube lessons, I still don’t feel confident in the language. I understand in a broad way the approach that it takes — the strategy, if you like — but the choices made in putting the language together don’t seem intuitive to me. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Java


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IRC – ‘Internet Relay Chat’ – is one of the oldest forms of communication on the Internet, predating the World Wide Web by several years. In its simplest form it allows two or more users to see the same scrolling ‘window’ with a prompt box into which they can simultaneously type text messages. Pressing Enter sends the latest message to the bottom of the window. Computers which host these chats are called ‘IRC servers’, and where a choice of different forums are offered to participate in, these are called ‘channels’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 10, 2013 in IRC software


The recent history of Mint

The Age of Distros

By the mid-2000s, with the arrival of reliable, attractive GUIs and an increasing supply of new applications software, Linux was not just for geeks any more. An enthusiastic worldwide network of users and developers began packaging and distributing their own favourite ‘flavours’ of Linux. These ‘distros’ usually consist of a Linux kernel, a bundle of essential and useful applications, and a GUI – GNOME, KDE or XFCE – customised with icons, colours and pictures. They were sent out on CD, or later made available on the Web, in easy-to-install packages. Some came with the backing and support of large corporations; others were produced by a small team or a single developer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 21, 2013 in LINUX, Linux Applications, Other distros


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Backing up

Although Linux systems are very reliable, they’re still prone to the usual hardware breakdowns, not to mention fire, flood and theft. You will need a reliable backup system in place – and there are quite a few to choose from. In this section I describe some of the more popular approaches to backing up your data and settings, and how they apply to your own system. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Backup software



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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LibreOffice Writer

Entering text

LibreOffice Writer is modelled on Microsoft Word, but with some omissions and a few useful additions. You will find the default menus and toolbars very similar to those in Word, although a Navigator window is used in place of the ‘Go To’ options in the Edit menu. The main menu is exactly the same and the Standard and Formatting toolbars contain most of the same buttons as their Word equivalents. The first important differences appear in the View toolbar, where the Normal and Outline views are both missing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in LibreOffice



Linux Games — new entrants


The Steam interface, developed by Valve Corporation, provides its subscribers with access to thousands of games. Users are given a Steam username and password which allows them to purchase the games to play on their own PCs. Steam collects payment and operates the copy-protection system that prevents copying of the games. Since its foundation in 2002, Steam has grown rapidly. It now handles some 2,000 games, and recently announced a move into non-gaming software. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Games