Computers and College Part II: Saving Money

August 15, 2011 by nhinkle. 3 comments
Now that you’ve decided what computer you want to take with you to college, how can you save some money? Here are some tricks for getting the best hardware and software for your money. more »

Linux Has an App for That

July 27, 2011 by George Edison. 4 comments

There are a wealth of programs available for Linux that do pretty much everything imaginable. In this article, I’m going to take a look at some common applications as well as some that are perhaps not so well known. I’ll provide a brief description of the application as well as basic usage instructions.

Just as in the last article, I will be using Ubuntu for the instructions below. Since each distribution has its own package management system, it would be impossible to cover all of them here.

more »

How can data be recovered from your hard drive after it’s been deleted?

July 14, 2011 by James Faile. 3 comments

A person buys a stolen prototype gadget that was found in a bar and takes pictures and video of it.  After publishing them on the Internet their house is raided and their computer equipment is confiscated.

Luckily for them, they erased all of the data regarding the gadget so they’re safe, right?


Not necessarily.

Today’s Question of the Week appeared on courtesy of Jerry when he asked how detectives in the Casey Anthony trial had recovered keyword searches for evidence that had been manually deleted from a computer.

more »

Visualising Superuser

July 6, 2011 by slotishtype. 1 comments

What does look like? Beyond the questions, the answers, the votes, the comments, the edits, are there clear patterns of community activity? Do trends emerge? Are social norms evident? Is visualising this sort of information useful? Can visualisation support existing community processes? These are the sorts of questions we pursued with Explore.SU – a visualisation environment developed on the public API. In this blog post, we will take a look at the development of Explore.SU, briefly explore how online communities have been visualised to date and examine the rationale for our design decisions. We also discuss findings from a small study and draw some initial conclusions based on our experiences.

more »

Battle of the Package Managers!

June 10, 2011 by markszymanski. 0 comments

What is a package manager?

A package manager is a software tool that is used to install other software. This software is often referred to as “packages,” hence the name. Package managers exist on many Linux or UNIX-like operating systems. Before package managers existed, people were stuck with installing software from source. This presented two main problems:

  1. In order to update the software, you had to download the source for every program that was out of date, and then compile and install it again.
  2. If a program had any dependencies, you’d have to hunt down that dependency, and then that dependency’s dependencies, and so on, eventually creating something called “dependency hell.”

Package managers were created to solve these problems. With them, you can run a command to install, uninstall, search for, or update packages. Many Linux and UNIX-like operating systems have package managers built in. For instance, Ubuntu has aptitude and FreeBSD has the ports system. Mac OS X, however, does not have any built in package manager. This lack of a built in package manager has prompted people to create their own. There are two popular package mangers for OS X, Homebrew and MacPorts, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. In this post, I will put each of those package mangers to the test, and let you decide which you think is better.

more »

Living on the Bleeding Edge of Firefox

June 7, 2011 by Simon Sheehan. 3 comments

As an avid Firefox user since it began, I’ve developed a great liking towards the browser and its consistent updates. As version 3.6 phased into a 4.0 Beta, I just had to try it out. But then I thought to myself: If i like to try out the new beta’s, why not just go to the bleeding edge? And with that, my journey began – Welcome to Nightly. Welcome to Nightly

more »

Digging Deeper: Mastering Spotlight in OS X

June 3, 2011 by slhck. 1 comments

Spotlight is a great feature of OS X that many of its users love for being simple and fast. With a single click or keystroke you can search for files and applications on your Mac. Results are displayed instantaneously and often very useful.

Most of the users click the Spotlight button on the top right of your OS X menu bar or press CmdSpace to open the Spotlight window. While this comes in handy for simple application launching or finding files you use on a daily basis, there is much more to Spotlight than this.

When our user @kjo asked how to find old unused files in OS X, he wanted to find files that had not been opened in a long time. Let’s see what Spotlight can do to help us here.

more »

A second look at Soluto: Add-ons and Crashes.

May 26, 2011 by Tom Wijsman. 1 comments

Remember our first review of Soluto where we took you through the installation procedure, improving your boot time and what PC Genome might be? Soluto has released two new features this week, we are going to check them out and tell you what PC Genome really is about!

Never heard of Soluto before or are you new to it? Let me give you a summary:

Soluto’s goal is to bring an end to the frustrations PC users encounter, with transparency, killer technology, and the wisdom of the crowd. Soluto’s software combines low-level technology with collective wisdom to detect PC users’ frustrations, reveal their causes, and learn which actions really eliminate them to improve user experience.

You should already know the boot feature from last review and there were only some minor changes there so in fact it means that you can now “chop” it, let’s instead see how we can “lighten” your web browser and “heal” those annoying crashes.

more »

Gnome 3.0 is here!

May 20, 2011 by Simon Sheehan. 1 comments

Assuming everyone has already heard of Canonical’s Unity Desktop environment, which for the latest version of Ubuntu (11.04), is pushing Gnome off to the side. But fear not! Gnome is still alive and kicking!

Since last October was saw the release of Gnome 2.32.1, a stable and relatively nice desktop environment for the casual user. As of April, we saw the first release of 3.0, and at first sight all I could say was “Wow.”


more »

A first look at Soluto: Elegant anti-frustration software.

May 12, 2011 by mokubai. 5 comments

Soluto bills itself as “anti-frustration software.” At the moment it is simply a rather elegant Windows start-up program manager, but what sets it apart is that simple elegance and the wealth of information and options that it gives to the user.  There is also an intriguing peek at the future of Soluto in their PC Genome Project.

The Soluto website itself is pretty minimalistic, giving you only as much information as you need; a “download” link, an quick video description, and a couple of recommendations from users are all that grace the page past the obligatory logo and title bar style navigation buttons.


more »