Do comparisons have to be fair?

If you’ve spent any time on a Linux forum, you know people there love to debate about Linux v. Windows v. Mac OS X. Throw in the term user-friendly or easier, and you’ll likely fan the flames so they can be put out only by a discussion thread closure. One type of objection Linux defenders […]

Recovering deleted files with a Ubuntu CD

Continued from Recovering Windows files with a Ubuntu CD II: getting your files Introduction Usually when you delete a file from your computer, the file is still there—its space, however, is marked as available for use. Even if you reformat your hard drive and reinstall Windows (I had a friend who did this by accident, […]

Recovering Windows files with a Ubuntu CD II: getting your files

Continued from Recovering Windows files with a Ubuntu CD I: the backstory Booting up the live CD Once you have your Ubuntu CD (or DVD), place it in your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive and boot your computer (yes, even if Windows won’t boot—Ubuntu’s functionality doesn’t depend on Windows, so don’t worry). If the CD doesn’t […]

Recovering Windows files with a Ubuntu CD I: the backstory

The problem What if your Windows installation is suddenly unbootable, you accidentally delete all your files, or the Geek Squad “accidentally” formats your hard drive without asking your permission or backing up your files first? Well, people who have learned from these kinds of experiences will tell you to learn to back up everything. Invest […]

The effectiveness of “security through obscurity”

I don’t believe that security through obscurity is ideal or ultimately effective. I don’t believe it’s a generally good security approach. Nevertheless, it is not often the same as no security at all. Security through obscurity can have its place. A few years ago, when it was brought to light that the newest (at the […]

How to reset a Windows password with Ubuntu

If you ever have forgotten your password for the only administrative account on Windows or know someone who has, you know the experience can be infuriating. All is not lost, though, if you have a live CD handy. This page is an adaption of Reset a Windows password with Knoppix for Ubuntu. It has also […]

The Linux community’s mixed messages

I’m a long-term (three-year) forum member at the Ubuntu Forums. I’m also a moderator there. I realize that in any online community, even one built around a common interest, there will be a diversity of members and a diversity of opinions. Nevertheless, there is a problem with mixed messages in the Linux community. I’ve seen […]

Why I finally embraced computer literacy

Computer illiteracy It’s very likely that you know someone who self-identifies as “computer illiterate.” That person may even be proud of being so. I was once one of these people. I was one of these people for a long time. In fact, I was quite offended when my Latin teacher in high school thought I […]

The futile search for global hotkeys on iTunes for Windows

In the over three decades I’ve spent on this planet, relatively few of those years have I spent listening to music on a computer (desktop/laptop). Yes, in the old days, I listened to records. I think the first one was Def Leppard’s Pyromania. I spent a long time loving tapes, though, and making mix tapes […]

Fanboy isn’t just a generic insult. It means something.

Warning, for those who know me in person: This is an extremely geeky post. Proceed with caution. Just as forum users will sometimes fling the label troll against anyone who argues with them, many forum users (particularly in computer-related discussions) will throw around the term fanboy without making the term meaningful. Most of the time, […]