Monday, November 26, 2012

Zombie Dell Mini

This Dell Mini 10 is proving to be one tough cookie to crack. I read up on some techniques on USB installs and it turns out they aren't as reliable as I had thought. Being faster and less wasteful that CDs does have its drawbacks. On the one hand, the Dell is the only laptop that has given me problems with live installs from the USB drive. On the other hand, I do jump into these things headfirst with internet notes close by. Its pretty easy to get it right, but road bumps like these for the unprepared could potentially get really hairy really quick.

Saturday, November 24, 2012


I've been working on some blog upgrades and tweaks. I added an "about" page and tweaked the feed a bit to give it a better look and flow. Aside from that I have been working on a new Google Currents page for this site and for the new and improved Geeks Gone Raw website. When they go live links and QR codes will be hitting those internet streets for sure... get your tablets and phones ready.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Building a new pc

I can stop blogging about my terribly outdated PC components! Hooray! With lots of research and questions I finally nailed down the parts I needed and took the plunge on buying a new PC. My goal was to get the most out of necessary components for under $200. I do have a couple zombie systems already so it wasn't going to be a full build. I have 2GB of DDR3 ram, a bunch of hard drives at my disposal, and a DVD/CD-RW combo drive already so I only really needed the main parts. Finding a decent but easily upgrade-able set consisting of a motherboard, CPU, power supply and a mid sized case to fit it all in was the mission. To sum it up, its a success, but the full pricing with shipping included came in at just under $250. For what I got I think I did ok.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Windows 8 ...on a netbook!

Ok, I've pretty much given up on this Dell Mini 10. It was great for what it was but the tiny form factor has proven to be just too restrictive. Now that its be assigned to "test-bed duty" I have been attempting to install new and different operating systems on it.

The before...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A terrible blogger.

My most humble apologies go out to my most dedicated of readers. (And to people who just happen to stumble upon this.) I am a terrible blogger. The number one rule of blogging is stay regular. (It should obviously be "Don't talk about blogging club", but its not.)  I promised that I would blog more and I have, but I feel as if I haven't kept up as good as I should or could be, and for that I apologize.  I do have my hands in many digital pots, but I feel like I have been neglecting own personal web space.

So, I will list all of the fun places you can find me at in addition to my rants as the OpenSourceNoob.
Self promotion will always make you feel better.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Humble Bundle 2 comes back with 5 new games – “Pay what you want”

Humble Bundle 2 comes back with 5 new games – “Pay what you want”: humble bundle 2
Humble Bundle made its jump to the Android platform last January, offering 4 games at the price of your choice. The team has decided to bring back the deal; there are 5 new games offered on the same business strategy. You can still pick your price, and the money will be divided among the Humble Bundle team, the developers and the Child’s Play Charity. You pick who gets the money and how much.
This time around, Humble Bundle is offering 5 games. More importantly, these are games that have not been released in the Google Play Store. Humble Bundle is bringing them exclusively. The games include the titles Zen Bound 2, Canabalt, Cogs, and Avadon: The Black Fortress.
Just like last time, there’s a trick to get the last title. If you pay more than the “average” you get the 5th game – Swords & Soldiers. The average now sits at $5.80, but it will continue to increase. Make sure you get your games soon if you want the 5th title!
It is also important to note that these games are multi-platform. They can be played on Linux, Windows, Mac and Android, making this a much more enticing offer. Just head over to the Humble Bundle site if interested.
But tell us, guys. Are you enjoying these Humble Bundle deals? Would you like to see more versions coming out continuously?

Via androidandme

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Portable VS. Mobile: The Battle for Handheld King

Portable VS. Mobile: The Battle for Handheld King:
The Stakes:
The battle wages on as games on portable consoles square off against games on mobile devices. With the Nintendo 3DS already on the market and the PlayStation Vita hitting retailers in the U.S. the internets are once again asking which platform is king for handheld gaming.

While the handheld market used to be dominated by the biggest names in gaming, the mobile space has found new life with the onset of casual and social gaming. With cutting edge hardware that can do a lot more than make calls, mobile phones and even tablets have proven themselves to be worthy adversaries in gaming. These new contenders in the mobile space have opened up various app and game marketplaces and thus thrown their hats into the ring in hopes of gaining market share and snaring gamers of all types.

Mobile Contenders:

Apple- with iOS brings iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch to the mobile gaming space. Their hardware is designed for the user and is all built to cover just about every part of mobile entertainment. With a huge ecosystem of all-around entertainment and functionality, Apple brings not just gaming but the whole package to the table.

Android- with an “open” platform and rolling release schedule, hardware manufactures from all around the world have poked and prodded at Android to fit it on all types of hardware of varying specs, sizes, and intended uses. Being a modular system has its advantages, but Android must overcome the trend of being saddled upon sub par devices that don’t do the platform justice.  The most popular of designs are seen in the mobile phone and tablet space from manufacturers like Motorola,Toshiba, Asus, HTC, and Samsung; it is on these flagship devices that we see the best that Android has to offer for the gaming world.

Windows Phone (7/7.5 Mango)- having years of experience in the mobile space as an ideal platform for business, Microsoft is attempting to change the public perception with sleek new devices focused on an intuitive touch friendly interface and a unified experience between phones, computers and the Xbox brand.

Console Contenders:

Nintendo- the decorated veteran in portable gaming. With few missteps in their history Nintendo sets the bar on how to make, market and sell gaming consoles. Their newest iteration, the 3DS, is one of the first 3D gaming units and one of few glasses-free portable designs. With backwards compatibility to the previous generations, Nintendo brings an extensive library of classic, downloadable, and new 3D games for players on the go.

Sony PlayStation- with a well deserved reputation for designing top notch gaming console, PlayStation attempts to take the home experience on the go with their PlayStation Vita. With a set of cross-console games, 3G functionality, and a brand focused on quality, PlayStation has their sights on the hardcore gamers.

Mobile Pros:

Mobile devices; how we love you, let us count the ways…

You are cheap- pledging two years of service to the all mighty carriers opens the floodgates on various new mobile phones at that magic $99 price, or better yet, free! (Also, instant market saturation.)

You are quick – with bleeding edge technology, games exist at the touch of a button, and with short to no loading times games can start and stop in seconds. (Great for bus rides and dentist visits.)

Your games run on most of the devices out there- they can be cross-hardware and even cross-platform. Multiplayer mobile games know very little boundaries when bound to an operating system independent of hardware differences.

You allow us to be social- playing multiplayer games and following leaderboards is more fun when facebook is involved. Ok, maybe not. But it does give you bragging rights on the go.

You are diverse- there are thousands of games of to provide variety, everyone can find a few games to love.

You are always there for us. Even when we are roaming and the signal is bad, we feel empty when you’re not attached to our hips. Thank you phone, you bring us as much entertainment as your cell reception and battery can handle. You can even call and text.

Mobile Cons:

Unfortunately, a mobile lifestyle is not a perfect one.

Android and Apple have divided the mobile gaming space. When both platforms offer great experiences and great games consumers must take sides or buy into both. Windows Phone muscles in on the competition with their own set of high end games as the underdog, and with Xbox Live integration they tap into an existing user base the competition cant offer.

With all these new devices running high end games on bright vibrant screens AND maintaining a wifi or 3/4G connection they are all at the mercy of how long their batteries can hold out. Batteries get better every year, but it seems like as the tech gets faster and more powerful they can drain them just as quick. Making or receiving an important call will trump a session of angry birds when there is nearly no juice left.
Portable Console Pros:

Your home console on the go, Mr. Portable Console. From the biggest names in home console gaming we give you gaming on the go in a nice neat handheld form factor. Yay!
Built with hardware specifically designed to tackle games, the portable console brings you a dedicated quality experience. The 3DS and PSP/Vita both have backwards compatibility and can access a huge back catalog of older games as well as downloadable and classic titles. The 3DS comes from a long line of portable handhelds and has proven themselves with repeat success. Compared to Nintendo’ Gameboys, the PSP is relatively new to the market but has held down their place with more immersive games that tend to cater to more hardcore gamers. Both units allow for online play similar to their big screen-hogging home console counterparts, but can also offer a more personal face to face wireless play experience. Titles like Mario Kart and Wipeout offer a great competitive experience when you have a few friends together with their own units.
Console Cons:

Portable consoles provide tons of fun on the small screen wherever you want to take it, but it comes at a price. While the portable console provides fun at a fraction of the size of the traditional home console they tend to cost just as much. Not only does the hardware come at a cost close to that of their big screen counterparts, they require the same investment in additional games and accessories. They do suffer from the same battery limitations as mobile phones, but as a dedicated device you aren’t going to rely on it to make an emergency call. Over time good games and bad games come out, and it seems harder these days not to create a “pile of shame.” On the portable side there seems to be a lot more shovelware to avoid amongst the good titles.

So…. Who Wins?

So where does that leave us? Are you a die hard fanboy for Sony? Or maybe a hardcore Android enthusiast? I myself am more of the latter but for most it comes down to personal preference or having a previous investment to one particular set of brands. Sometimes its just a need for “New Shinys” and having a love for all things gaming. And some of use just have to have a little bit from each camp.

If you think I got it all wrong and would like to sound-off: tell us in the comments section, email the show or call in and leave a voice mail.

What your affection, alliance, or opinion?
Follow (or hate) me here: twitter, facebook, and google plus.

Check these out too:



the labs of crash


our google currents magazine

music share link archive

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Precise Pangolin Preview- Ubuntu 12.04 Alpha

Ok, well that didn't take too long. I dug out my old hard drive, cleared everything off, and then went whole hog and installed the alpha version of Ubuntu 12.04. 
Ubuntu 12.04 Beta 1 is out so I needed to post this asap.

Right now the alpha will not fit on a regular cd rom for live cd usage. My Toshiba Satellite is old and does not recognize a usb stick on startup consistently so running a live usb stick was not an option. I found that there was a live-dvd option available and since I had a stack of dvds not burning themselves I figured I should take this opportunity to test my burner out. I also learned that my dvd burner only maxes out at 2x.

Here you can find the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin (Daily Build Images):

Preliminary installation:

The Ubuntu installer looks and acts just as the most recent versions have, it prompts you to either try or install Ubuntu, and offers a few other maintenance items. Upon running the dvd the Ubuntu installer found that i had a my drive partitioned for Windows 7 and Linux Mint. It offered to install itself next to the systems or to wipe the drive and freshly install itself on the whole drive.

The installer comes with a few new features (not brand new, but still cool) like allowing you to connect to your network to download and install updates. This feature is a nice touch that allows you to skip the step of having to run a ton of updates right after you set the system up. Unfortunately, this feature didn't work out quite so nicely on my first run. I was prompted to set the computer name and password along with the timezone and keyboard setup, the installer basically took it from there. After a few loading screens the system installed about 70% before kicking out to a timeout failure. It was the simultaneous system updater that was causing the issues. I chalked this one up to “Its an Alpha”, as most of the updates I ran after getting completely up and running were quite hefty and prompted a lot of random bug errors (nothing serious, but frequent enough to be annoying).

Ok, so after that whole ordeal of figuring out why the install crawled to a halt I ran the installer again. This time I opted to skip the internet connected options and planned to install them after the system was up and running. The installer was still running pretty slow, but it was definitely faster than before and this time it didn't hitch up or error out. Welcome to Ubuntu 12.04.

Upgrade process:

Once you get into the system you are faced with many different opportunities to get connected, firstly- connecting to the internet. Once i got my wifi set up the updater started to do its thing. Its no wonder the installer crashed, there was about 300MB worth of update items for me to run. I let that run and tried to get setup as best I could amongst the random bug errors the updater was bringing up. Being an alpha, its expected that there will be bugs and errors and overall weirdness with the software. Most errors that the updater brought up for me were pretty random and didnt seem to hinder any processes for me anyway. Everyday I updated there were less and less errors brought to my attention.

Installing Key Programs:

As a podcaster and “chromepuff” I needed to install some software off the bat so that I could use Ubuntu 12.04 in my most natural setting. I wanted to install chrome and Skype, and to my surprise they were not in the software center. I was also surprised that the software center crashed on me quite a bit early on. I can’t blame the software center completely, Skype and Chrome were not in the software center!  Now, I can’t say those pieces of software won’t make it into the store but their absence seems due to a certain Linux library, libxxs, being dropped from this edition. After a little bit of searching, I found out how to reinstall libxxs and was able to install and run Skype and Chrome with ease. Yay forums!
After getting my major programs out of the way I did have some issues with Libre Office, but I can say it was a rare case and after a few bug reports the issues were fixed. I run an external monitor to a laptop (with a failing screen), and it was this particular setup that caused Libre Office to crash on startup. Also, I learned how to properly run an external monitor to a laptop, it helps if you turn the laptop screen off in the settings. Protip: Older machines will have to run Ubuntu 2D mode when running a dual screen setup.

There isn't much really to say about 12.04 that is radically different as far as usage, its solid Ubuntu as usual. I skipped 11.04 and 11.10 because I didn't really like how Unity worked, it was a new concept and was better suited on a faster machine. It seems like they have pretty much ironed out all the kinks and have trimmed it down to run better on older machines (like mine). They did slash the settings page down to about four sections, making it a lot easier to find and tweak different hardware and software features. My only real gripe is that there’s no screensaver option now. I’m not sure why, but there isn't one in there and there doesn't seem to be a clear reason why. Maybe its a power consumption feature or something, I guess that's a good thing, but it is pretty weird.

Aside from those issues, most things installed fine from the software center- vlc and audacity downloaded, installed and ran smoothly. The basic desktop has definitely changed with Unity for the better; it seems like all of the ideas they came up with and started building on in 10.04 and refining in 11.04 are approaching perfection. It appears all the groundwork is there, and all that's left is polish for all of the possible PC configurations out there so everyone can experience the joys of Ubuntu. 

Maybe next time:
Thoughts on the Windows 8 consumer preview.
Ubuntu 12.04 Beta.
Still living with the Cr-48.
I want an Android tablet. 

music share link archive
download. upload. enjoy.

As Usual:

Follow me here: twitter, facebook, and google plus.
Check these out too:
the labs of crash
our google currents magazine

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Linux Mint Migration

It's been nearly a year since Linux Mint 11 Katya was released and it is now time to upgrade and move on. I moved to Linux Mint for an easier more stable Linux desktop experience. What I found in Katya was a beautiful system that was fun to use and easy to maintain. Maybe, a little too easy to maintain. Linux Mint is a great example of what the Linux desktop should be for the average user- stable and reliable functionality combined with the high speed and low maintenance of Linux. Ubuntu, even with its rough edges implements the newest features and functionality Linux has to offer and is the shining example of what Linux could be.

I find myself at a point where I'm behind on operating systems and would like to upgrade to the newest build of Linux Mint 12 Lisa. This is where I am running into problems with Linux Mint. The creators were smart enough to know a great experience requires a fresh install, and thus recommend backing up the old version and freshly installing the newest system. Now, you could change the repositories and force an upgrade but it requires a few hurdles and can seriously break your system. If Linux Mint is designed to be easy for users why force a complicated upgrade path? I went to Linux Mint specifically because I broke many systems testing various customizations and didn't want to deal with that kind of uncertainty and time wasted reinstalling.

This is where Ubuntu shines. Ubuntu's upgrade cycle is played a bit more fast and loose but moving from one iteration to another is a very easy process. I certainly cant complain about a free full featured operating system that updates constantly and upgrades to a new version every six month. Ubuntu has also been around for years and manages to improve with every release. They have pretty much got the process whittled down to a few button clicks. I am hesitant to go back to Ubuntu and risk breaking systems again and losing precious data but it has been nearly a year since I've used Ubuntu at all and with two iterations nearly passed I am excited to see how the newest features have been implemented in Ubuntu 11.10.

Looking Ahead:
With Ubuntu 12.04 Pangolin set to release in April, I may attempt to install the pre-release Alpha version and get ahead of the curve for the year. Running does have its disadvantages, but with a more stringent quality control system in place it seems like this could be a fairly pain free few months until official release day.

As usual:

Maybe Next time:
A retrospective look - a year with the Cr-48

Check out The Music Share Link Archive- I have started a compilation of mostly free random indie music albums and mixtapes from around the web. Feel free to add to the list if you have found something worth sharing.
The Music Share Link Archive