Category Archives: Linux

Kano Kit – An idea worth betting the future of your kids education

Kano Kit

It was not long ago, when Kano announced their intentions through a Kickstarter campaign to build a “computer and coding kit for all ages” powered by a Raspberry Pi. They asked for a meager US$100,000 to achieve their ambitious goal. The idea was an instant hit with backers. Within a short time, Kano amassed over 13,000 backers which ultimately resulted in 1.5million dollars successfully raised for the project!

The kit consists of a Raspberry Pi computer, hooked with a speaker, a wireless keyboard and connected to the internet through Wifi. The computer can be connected to any monitor/LCD screen through the provided HDMI cable.

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Three open source apps that can replace everyday software

Calligra Stage

Google Chrome, iTunes, and Microsoft Word are only some of the most popular programs that people use every day on their computer. But did you know that there are alternatives to the aforesaid programs that provide fantastic features?

Thanks to the accessibility of tutorials in the Internet age, hundreds of non-commercial programs have been developed to suit the needs of different end users. Indie game developers, for instance, have long jumped in on the bandwagon of using HMTL5 for the creation of games. Gaming Realms, one of the oldest software developers of casino games and operator of entertainment site Pocket Fruity, now uses the more modern HTML5 in the development of its titles to deliver high-definition gaming to its clients. HTML5 is widely used for its ability to port games to different platforms.

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Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn Beta Released

ubuntu

In little over three weeks time Ubuntu 14.10 will be officially released to the general public. But, if you cannot wait that long, you can download the pre-release beta here.

The new upcoming release, code named, Utopic Unicorn, is an incremental improvement over 14.04 LTS released earlier this year. Packages like LibreOffice, Firefox, Thunderbird mail client are upgraded to the latest as well as the internals like the newer version of Linux Kernel and Unity interface were upgraded as well.

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Building a Baby Monitor on Raspberry Pi – Part 1

raspberry pi with camera

In order for us to build a successful baby monitor, we need our Raspberry Pi to perform the following tasks:

  • Capture live video feed of the baby
  • Stream live video feed to browser to be viewable by any device (Phone, Tablet, PC etc)
  • Capture live video feed and save it onto a hard drive for later viewing (Nanny Cam)
  • Capture audio (optional) of the baby and stream it. For me, this is not a high priority.

We need the following hardware tools to build our baby monitor:

  • Raspberry Pi + Casing + Power supply (or battery pack)
  • Pi Camera + Casing (Some people have converted their USB webcams to do this, but I prefer the Pi Camera for this tutorial
  • SD Card preferably 8GB with Raspbian installed on it.
  • Wifi USB dongle (incase if you do not want to use the ethernet port for LAN connectivity)
  • A micro hard drive or a USB flash drive for video recording (optional)

The above items can be easily purchased from dozens of vendors across the globe and information can be sourced from Raspberry Pi website.


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How to configure Raspberry Pi Ethernet with Static IP Address

Raspberry Pi

In case if you plan to set your Raspberry Pi with a static IP address, then follow the steps listed below:

Kindly make sure that you are logged into Raspberry Pi on command line (console or SSH) before proceeding.

Configuring a Static IP Address on Ethernet Port:

The file along with path where network information is stored on a Pi running Debian (Raspbian) is:

/etc/network/interfaces

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Raspberry Pi – Computer for the Internet of Things Age

Raspberry Pi

In an era of mobile computing, Internet of things and collapsing PC sales, one computer keeps surprising its competitors by outselling many established brands. Raspberry Pi, is a credit card sized single board minuscule computer which has sold well over 2 million in its first 20 months of launch and still going strong.

The devices are loved by not only computer geeks who are building amazing products out of it, but are also found on college campuses, school labs, home automation and even powering websites and supercomputers of sort out there. It seems only our imagination is the limit.

Google itself donated over 15,000 of these devices to UK schools for kids to play and learn computing. And has also open source developed software development kit for children to learn programming.

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Linux Mint 17 Released

cinnnamon desktop in mint

The new Linux Mint 17, Qiana, was finally released on Friday May 16. It offers many improvements over its predecessor, Mint 16. The good thing about the latest version is that it is based on Ubuntu 14.04 which is Long Term Release (LTS) version, hence, updates and patches will be supported up till 2019. Which is probably longer than the life of your computer on which you install it.

Linux Mint 17 features MATE 1.8, MDM 1.6, a Linux kernel 3.13 and an Ubuntu 14.04 package base.

Linux Mint Logo
Some of the improvements included in the new release are:

  • Offline Driver Installation Support: Drivers Installation does not always need internet. As at times we do not have internet or the drivers for wifi are not natively supported. We can always update the drivers offline through CD/DVD or USB stick.
  • LTS Support: Support Drivers and updates till 2019.
  • Update Manager: Improved UI including updated icons and information displayed. It loads faster as it no longer checks for internet, or locks up because of APT cache session. The update manager, also logs all types of updates (even system) which is great.
  • Login / MDM Improvements: Multi-monitor support is improved. Support now available to Log into the system using a username not listed on Login Screen.
  • Language Settings: Vast improvement over the previous Language Support menu. Easy to add new languages and apply them system wide.
  • Linux Mate 1.8: This is the newer version of Mate that is supported in Mint 17. It is lighter and faster than the previous version and has many minor iterative improvements making the overall experience better.

It is available in both 64bit and 32bit versions for all major hardware. It can be downloaded from their website here.


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Watch Star Wars – A New Hope, like never before

star wars

Ever wondered what Star Wars fans are upto while supposedly spending time programming on awesome projects? Ever wonder, how Star Wars would look and feel like if the computers were berift of Windows and DOS/shell driven?

Well, folks/true geniuses in Netherlands have found a way to keep themselves entertained even on an old Terminal

They have spectacularly encoded the full Star Wars Movie (A New Hope) like never before. You will forget about THX Sound and 3D when you watch it in monochrome green. A throw back to a time when the world was simpler and Internet was a geekdom passion.

Fire up your old Terminal (cmd in Windows) and type the following command

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl 23

If Telnet is not installed on your Windows system, you can download Putty

On Mac and linux, just use Terminal application that comes pre-installed on your system.

And then enjoy the epic movie

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Can Intel’s Edison Minuscle Computer to jumpstart Wearable Computing?

intel-edison-computer

Edison Micro (SD Sized) Computer is different. Significantly different from its predecessors. And not just in size but in how it is being packaged together.

For one, it supports Linux out of the box and not Windows. It subtly points to the direction Intel is progressing towards slowly. A world without Windows.

It is powered by the next generation of Atom processors, called Quark. Which Intel boasts consumes a tenth the power of Atom processor and is only one-fifth the size of its predecessor.

The computer is not much bigger than a typical SD card, which means, the next generations of this minute machine would be even smaller. Possibly MicroSD Card sized. Making them not only ubiquitous but completely new category of computing.

It comes with its own AppStore. Ubuntu had an Appstore long before Apple, Android or Nokia had one. Now Intel wants in as well. It is a clear sign that Intel is no longer interested to be the hardware manufacturer but would now be a systems integrator like Apple, like HP and like Dell (or what’s left of it).

Intel is also launching a software development competition worth US$1 Million in prizes. That is definitely a clear signal to competitors that it seriously wants to push the platform out into the wild and is not just a one off device.

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Reviewed: Linux Mint 16

linuxMint-Desktop

Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux distributions currently out there. Distrowatch website ranks them as #1 and Mint’s own webpage gives itself a rank of 4. There are hardware vendors providing specialized boxes running it like our previously reviewed Mintbox. So what makes it so wonderful and popular? We decided to review the latest available edition 16.

Linux Mint is yet another derivative of Ubuntu Linux, which means, all Ubuntu (and Debian) software technically should work without modifications on Mint, including system updates. Which is great.

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