The Songbird has hatched

When Songbird first appeared on the scene (I think it was version 0.1 or something), I remember the Ubuntu Forums community getting really excited about it. It was supposed to be like the Firefox of music players, the iTunes-“killer.” It seems as if it’s been years, and people have been hyping it up all along […]

Please stop pretending Windows “just works”

As a follow-up to Macs are just computers, not magic and Macs are computers, not magic (part 2), I have to say based on recent events that people who say “There’s a reason 90% of home users use Windows” (and mean to imply it’s the quality of Windows instead of consumer inertia) or “Linux is […]

What to do after a failed Windows-to-Linux migration

Did you read an article or blog post hyping up Linux as a cure for all computer problems? Did it give you the impression that Linux is for smart users and Windows is for suckers? Did you think Linux would do everything Windows did… but better? More importantly, after being misled by pro-Linux propaganda, were […]

Dell Inspiron Mini Pricing “Scandal”

Linux users love to be outraged. Ever since Dell started selling certain models with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled, Linux users on forums and blogs have been complaining that Dell hasn’t been doing Linux justice. Why did they pick Ubuntu instead of another distro? Why is Ubuntu available in that country and not my country? Why is […]

Using the Windows key as a modifier key in Ubuntu

In my experience, by default Ubuntu seems to make the Windows key on keyboards a single key for the purposes of keyboard shortcuts. In other words, if you want to set a keyboard shortcut for an action to be Windows+D (for example, to have the desktop shown and all windows minimized when you hold down […]

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 […]