Here’s an app that should bring peace of mind to any late-night solo worker, exerciser or neighborhood watch patroller. It’s an ingenious combination of personal alarm, tracker and alert creator that uses sensor and other components included in the average smartphone, such as the speaker, to sound an alarm. The GPS and other location services are used for tracking.
The Cr OS Linux distribution is an interesting blend of the Cinnamon desktop with a special edition of the Chromium Web browser. The approach Cr OS Linux takes gives you a taste of Linux Mint with a chaser of a not-quick pure Google Chrome OS. Cr OS is a fully functional Linux distro. It has its own repository and package manager to provide software updates.
Having recently had my bicycle stolen — after having a set of wheels pilfered in a previous year — I was getting mad and, to quote the 1976 movie Network, I was not going to be taking it anymore. I decided to beef up my security both in general and on the replacement bike in particular. I was going to invest in some security tech.
Keeping track of my bits and pieces of information across several computers running Linux and Microsoft Windows has long been a problem. CherryTree is a sweet solution that keeps my information local and cloud-free. CherryTree is an outliner-style hierarchical note-taking application that features rich text and syntax highlighting. It stores data in a single XML or SQLite file.
For years, manners have been defined and documented in easy-to-learn rules classed by geography and culture. For example, in some countries it’s acceptable to make abundant noises when eating, whereas in others, eating is a matter to be taken with the utmost seriousness and is performed in stony silence. Then along came the jangling cellphone.
With countless high school and college students heading back to school at roughly this time of year, now is a good time to get acquainted with Zotero, a great cross-platform tool for collecting, organizing, citing and sharing research sources. I have spent considerable time working in academic settings helping students manage their research assignments.
A few weeks ago I looked at Burner, an Android app that creates anonymous, disposable phone numbers for your smartphone. Android app Snapchat is in the same arena in that it, too, provides privacy for smartphone users. The difference, however is that this app uniquely deletes MMS-like multimedia messages once they’ve been viewed.
ExtFS is a cross-platform application that can make using Linux much easier in multiple-OS platforms. As much as I try to stay exclusively in the Linux OS world, every so often a work situation arises that puts the comfort zone of staying with Linux to the test. When I absolutely must cross the Great Divide, Paragon’s Universal File System Driver in ExtFS comes to my rescue.
Voxer Pro Business turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie. Smartphone walkie-talkies are not new, of course — Nextel, which got swallowed by Sprint, used to offer a unique push-to-talk, or PTT, walkie-talkie cellphone feature called "Direct Connect." Nextel’s simulated half-duplexing service mimicked walkie-talkies but ran over spectrum similar to that used by cell networks.
"Enigma" may be the nickname of the latest release of the Netrunner Linux distro, but there’s actually nothing enigmatic about it. In fact, Netrunner 13.06 — also known as "Netrunner 5" — delivers one of the most satisfying out-of-the-box desktop experiences I have had in quite some time. I spend an inordinate amount of time testing and using different Linux distributions.
If you find yourself bashing away on your Android device and maxing it to the hilt with numerous background-running apps, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered freezes and slowdowns. As PC makers can attest, we’re using our Android and other newer devices as laptop substitutes these days, and thrashing phones and tablets in the process. However, there are tools to help manage the maxing-out.
Looking for an everything-included Linux distro designed for people who are just transitioning to Linux? Need an OS specifically tailored for students? Then look no further than UberStudent. I have used countless Linux distros, many with features for specialty users such as writers, artists and musicians. None of them had the user experience you get from UberStudent.
If you read my columns regularly, you’ll know that I’m a second-screen proponent. For those unfamiliar with the dual-screen concept, it suggests that tablet or phone often accompanies big-screen television watching, resting on the viewer’s knee and acting as a two-way, interactive, Internet-connected screen. Where the concept breaks down, however, is that no one really knows how second screens are used.
Korora Linux has the potential to grow in popularity among users looking for a better, more user-friendly Linux distro that reaches beyond Fedora’s enterprise appeal. Korora 19, released on July 2, is an interesting Linux OS based on Fedora, the community version of parent company Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux. Korora is packed with lots of additional packages, however.
Here’s another app that takes personal analytics to the maximum. I’ve already looked at Android workout app Runtastic Pro, which allows for elaborate analytics to be run on exercise routines, conceivably enabling a honed fitness regimen. Well, here’s an app that lets you do the same kind of in-depth data-crunching on another element of life: sleep patterns.
Don’t think that a live version of a Linux desktop with the ability to save configuration changes is better than an operating system fully installed to a hard drive? Think again. Its persistent memory feature, unlike regular live distro sessions, lets you carry a complete Linux desktop with all of your files and special application settings in your pocket to run on any computer.
Google Reader was popular for a reason: It was fast, and it allowed news fans to rapidly assimilate news, synced cross-device, using a super-efficient visual RSS headline-only scan. The lack of lofty white space in the Google product and the crammed-in text housed in tightly packed headers are unusual among newer magazine-style and visually rich apps.
Joe’s Own Editor is an endearing text editor that brings old-school charm to any Linux distro. Do not mistake being old-school for being outdated: JOE has been in use on the Linux desktop since 1988. It is a standard item in most repositories and is readily available in the Synaptic Package Manager as well. Unless you know about JOE, however, you will not be drawn to it, because it has no fancy GUI.
Since time immemorial, the Windows computer has been subject to RAM issues — in particular, the issue that there’s generally never enough. RAM is the fast-accessible headspace, or breathing room, in a personal computer that’s used by programs to do their thing, as opposed to hard drive storage that’s usually used for slower, mechanical file storage.
The latest release of Linux Mint 15, nicknamed "Olivia," tries really hard to reach new design goals but is marred by a series of petty flaws. The latest rendition of Linux Mint’s flagship desktop environment, Cinnamon 1.8, is ambitious but immature in its execution. If you choose the new MATE 1.6 desktop instead, you get a very workable GNOME 2 fork that may not be worth wallowing in yesteryear.