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Reviews

The Best Linux Gaming Laptop? Juno Neptune 15 Review

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Linux
Reviews
Gaming

If I had to pinpoint something to criticize, it's not something related to the actual hardware, but rather the operating system.

Offering Ubuntu 20.04 pre-installed is certainly a safe and sane choice, but other Linux PC companies like Star Labs, Slimbook and TUXEDO Computers offer a handful of distro options.

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Excellent Utilities: Deskreen – live streaming desktop to a web browser

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OSS
Reviews

This is a series highlighting best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

When people talk about screen sharing they typically refer to desktop sharing applications (remote display). Good examples of open source software include TigerVNC, Remmina, X2Go and Veyon. But this review looks at a different approach with live streaming your desktop or a specific application to a web browser.

Deskreen is free and open source software that lets you use any device with a web browser as a secondary screen. This device can be a wide range of hardware such as a smartphone, tablet, smart TV, or a notebook. And you can connect as many devices as required.

If you have a multi-monitor setup, you already appreciate the virtues of multiple screens. But Deskreen offers many of these advantages without additional outlay.

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Primed for PineTime

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Reviews
Gadgets

There’s something about having a watch that’s special. For me, not only is it a good way to tell the time without looking at my phone, it’s also a way to “accessorize” myself (not into piercings or tattoos, gugh…). I’ve owned watches in the past, but I either lost them or they broke after just a few months of having them (the result of buying cheap watches).

These are just standard watches that I’m talking about; smartwatches have the burden of being tied down to a proprietary app on your smartphone in order to get any good use out of them, and what’s more, not only are they generally more expensive than a “dumb” watch, but they also need to be unstrapped from your wrist every week (or maybe every day, depending on what watch you have) and charged so that it can keep telling you the time.

Something about the PineTime struck me though. Not just it’s inexpensive price point ($27 at the time of writing this); but also the fact that this is the first smartwatch I’ve ever seen that’s not powered by Google, Samsung, Apple, or the likes of some other wallet-draining corporation. It’s powered by the community, through open-source software. I can rely on the fact that, as long as the developers stay active, I can keep getting updates to my watch indefinitely, and not have to buy a “second-generation” watch just because the guys at the big corps say, “Well, this watch is two years old now; we have a better model that increases the screen size by about 10 pixels, increases the battery by about 2%, and the vibration is just a hair stronger. You have to buy the new model now because we’re not supporting the older model anymore.”

None of that BS. The beauty the PineTime also has is that it’s not tied down to one specific type of operating system or firmware. I can use different types of firmware depending on my tastes; by default the PineTime ships with InfiniTime (more on that later), but if I want to change to say, WASP OS, that’s possible. Or any other type of firmware/operating system available.

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Review: Archcraft 2021.06.06

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Reviews

I feel that I don't have a lot to say about Archcraft and I feel this is because the distribution doesn't, for better or worse, attempt to do much. The project's website is understated, claiming to offer a minimal distribution based on Arch Linux with a lightweight window manager and yay for acquiring software from the AUR. This is what we get, along with the friendly Calamares system installer. There isn't much else to look at, out of the box.

This seems to be the point, really, of Archcraft - it delivers a fairly minimum base, low RAM consumption, and offers better than average performance. It isn't particularly flashy, convenient, or full of features. The idea appears to be that users can build their system from a small foundation and add the pieces they need. There isn't a lot of documentation and I suspect we are expected to seek out the Arch Linux wiki if we need help.

Most of the time Archcraft takes on this role fairly well. I did have a few complaints though. Personally, I'm not a fan of system monitors built into the panel or desktop. I find them distracting and the ones used by default don't provide information I find all that useful. There are a lot of little configuration tools and, oddly enough, some duplication in functionality in the application menu. I'm not sure why we need three application menus, two file managers, and a couple of text editors in what is otherwise a very minimal platform.

In short, Archcraft does what it sets out to do. It's basically Arch Linux with a window manager and yay pre-installed for us. This works and yet I don't feel the distribution distinguishes itself from the many other minimal Arch-installed-via-Calamares distributions currently available.

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Elecrow CrowPi 2 electronics learning laptop hands-on: Raspberry Pi 4 laptop for students

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Hardware
Reviews
Debian

Since Raspbian is based on Debian Linux, it's a fairly robust and capable OS. If it runs on ARM Linux, it runs on the CrowPi 2. This includes mainstays like GIMP for image editing, LibreOffice for office work, Chromium and Firefox for web browsing, and (of course) Minecraft Pi Edition for gaming. There are also a handful of Python games, but these are good for only a few minutes of fun and are truly intended to teach Python coding.

Thankfully, the larger 11.6-inch 1920x1080 screen makes retro gaming viable. Elecrow includes instructions for installing RetroPie to a microSD card and booting it on the CrowPi 2. The company also includes two USB controllers styled after the SNES gamepads for gaming. This is how my kids prefer to use the CrowPi 2, and it makes for a good portable retro gaming machine.

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Also: Repair, Repurpose, Upgrade With the Raspberry Pi Or Pico

KDE Slimbook: the best way to run KDE

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KDE
Hardware
Reviews

How do you write a review of a laptop when you’re struggling to find truly negative things to say? This is rarely an issue – every laptop is a compromise – but with the KDE Slimbook, I feel like I’ve hit this particular problem for the first time. A luxury, for sure, but it makes writing this review a lot harder than it’s supposed to be.

First, let’s talk about Slimbook itself. Slimbook is a Linux OEM from Spain, founded in 2015, which sells various laptops and desktops with a variety of preinstalled Linux distributions to choose from (including options for no operating system, or Windows). A few years ago, Slimbook partnered with KDE to sell the KDE Slimbook – a Slimbook laptop with KDE Neon preinstalled, and the KDE logo engraved on the laptop’s lid. The current KDE Slimbook is – I think – the third generation, and the first to make the switch from Intel to AMD.

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Atari VCS review: Costly nostalgia & DIY potential

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Hardware
Reviews
Gaming

Beyond the Atari VCS mode’s custom Linux Debian-based OS, you can also use external SSDs, HDDs, and thumb drives to load up further operating systems like a non-custom Linux Debian or Windows 10 in the system’s built-in PC Mode. During my time experimenting with the VCS, I was able to load up Windows 10, fiddle around, and log into my Steam account. However, without substantial upgrades, you shouldn’t expect to access your full Steam Library. The Atari VCS’s base specs just aren’t up to the task of running much. The most technically advanced game I was able to download and run out of my Steam library on an external HDD was top-down Guantlet Legends-like Battle Axe, which is kind of in line with the quality of games I saw in the VCS store anyways.

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Cozy – modern audio book player

Filed under
Software
OSS
Reviews

Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks.

Cozy is different to the music players we’ve covered. While it plays music the software is geared to playing audio books. Cozy is free and open source software. It’s written in Python.

Let’s see how it fares.

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Review of ElementaryOS 6 (Odin)

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Reviews

ElementaryOS is a linux distribution based on Ubuntu that also ship with a in-house developed desktop environment Pantheon and ecosystem apps. Since their 6th release named Odin, the development team made a bold choice of proposing software through the Flatpak package manager.

I've been using this linux distribution on my powerful netbook (4 cores atom, 4 GB of memory) for some weeks, trying not to use the terminal and now this is my review.

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Review: elementary OS 6.0 "Odin"

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OS
Reviews

Think of elementary OS as the distro that - in a perfect world - would carry Linux to desktop domination. It's slick, it looks good, it's surprisingly nimble, and its developers have only the best of intentions.

So why doesn't it come with a word processor?

One would think, in the second decade of the 21st century, that a word processor would be standard equipment, showing up next to the email, calendar, and other apps after installation. But not in the new elementary OS 6, code named Odin. Yes, with a little bit of command line keystroking, you can add LibreOffice or Calligra or even AbiWord.

But an office suite, just because almost everyone uses a word processor or a spreadsheet or a presentation app these days?

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More in Tux Machines

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 22,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, as well as the ubiquitous the Portable Document Format (PDF). Their products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more. We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the fundamental issue regarding Adobe Creative Cloud is that Linux isn’t a supported platform. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming. Read more

6 Best Command Line Music Players for Linux in 2021

Linux terminal is used for performing administrative tasks without having any issues. However, many people don't know that we can play music through the command line. Linux provides different CLI music players by which users can play the audio files from the terminal. CLI music players are simple to use and consume lesser memory. This article briefs about the 6 best command line Music players for Linux in 2021. Read more

Stable Kernels: 5.14.13, 5.10.74, 5.4.154, 4.19.212, 4.14.251, 4.9.287, and 4.4.289

I'm announcing the release of the 5.14.13 kernel.

All users of the 5.14 kernel series must upgrade.

The updated 5.14.y git tree can be found at:
	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.14.y
and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
	https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...

thanks,

greg k-h
Read more Also: Linux 5.10.74 Linux 5.4.154 Linux 4.19.212 Linux 4.14.251 Linux 4.9.287 Linux 4.4.289

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