Resurrecting an old laptop

Just so you know, this isn’t a review. It’s just a discussion on what I did to make some old hardware useful again.

I’ve made mention from time to time the Toshiba Satellite A75 that I have that has been a backup machine for me for years now.

Well, with my 3+ year old System76 laptop on its last legs and suddenly developing a short in its screen connection, I decided to blow the dust off that trusty old Toshiba again and use it as a stopgap until I get something newer.

The problem is, this Toshiba Satellite is from 2005, has a single core 32-bit Pentium 4 processor, 1.5 GB of RAM, and a 60 GB hard drive. Needless to say, it’s a bit out of place in today’s world, so I had to put some thought into how to best optimize this machine’s return to productivity or it’d be pretty painful to use.

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A Linux Critic keepalive: The state of my tech

Well, as these things tend to go, having a full time job and hobbies and lots of other things going on means that my Linux blog gets neglected.

I thought I’d post a quick update just as a keepalive and let those of you who still actually pay attention to my little corner of WordPress that I’m still here, I’m still doing stuff with Linux and technology, and I haven’t completely given up on The Linux Critic blog just yet.

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My Chromium Extensions

Since I’ve been cycling continuously between the three browsers that annoy me the least lately (Opera, Firefox 3.6, and Chromium), I’ve been utilizing each browser’s extensibility to make it a bit more usable.

In a previous post, I discussed the various things I do to recent releases of Firefox to make it behave itself. In this post, I’ll be discussing the process I go through with the Chromium browser, namely with respect to extensions (since there really isn’t much one can configure in Chromium natively).

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Chromium extension suggestions?

Okay, since I’m starting to realize that it’s time to bail on Firefox as my primary browser, the next one down my list in order of browsers which annoy me the least these days is Chromium.

However, it’s still pretty annoying and still lacks a lot of functionality and flexibility. Since The Linux Critic is the best way I know to reach out to the community, I’m counting on you guys to give me some extension suggestions, because on my own so far I’m really not finding anything I need, no matter how hard I look.

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MP3 player success with Rockbox

Some of you who have been following this blog for a while may remember my post from 2009 where I was lamenting my lack of decent Linux-friendly MP3 player options out there to replace my aging Archos device.

Well, I still haven’t found one. However, thanks to Rockbox and a used device I bought from a friend, I have a stopgap that will hopefully last me until the portable music player electronics market sorts itself out.

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The 5 Browsers That Annoy Me The Least

Let’s face it. Browsers suck. In my ongoing search for a browser that meets all my needs, I’ve frequently found myself compromising in one way or another, and while I have good things to say about almost any browser, I can’t say that I “love” any of them.

So this is less of a list of “my favorite browsers”… I don’t have one of those. Instead, I present you with my list of The 5 Browsers That Annoy Me The Least.

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Rethinking my next desktop computer

A few weeks ago, I made a post here talking about what I’m doing lately in technology (cleverly labeled “What I’m doing lately in technology” ;)) and some of the comments on it really got me thinking about the approach that I have been taking on the specs for my next desktop computer will/should be. What am I going to use it for? Do I really NEED as much modularity as I’ve always insisted upon in the past? Should I be thinking “sleek, powerful, and small”, rather than “big, modular, and does everything”?

So I thought I’d sort some of this out here, by doing some thinking out loud, and hopefully getting some feedback from the rest of you.

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What I’m doing lately in technology

Real life gets crazy sometimes, and blogging outside of the quick and sometimes poorly-thought-out rant takes time, so I haven’t been updating here anywhere near as often as I’d prefer.

So I thought I’d pound out a few quick paragraphs on what I have going on lately in terms of technology… what I’m running where and why.

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OpenOffice.org is dead to me

With Oracle demonstrating yet again that they just don’t get it, and with The Document Foundation now truly forking OpenOffice.org into the new “LibreOffice“, we’re beginning to see where the lay of the land lies for the future of open source where documents, presentations and spreadsheets are concerned.

I think it’s a good idea for those of us in the open source community to make sure our voices are heard on this pivotal point in this project.

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How do you cloud?

“Cloud Computing” is one of those buzzword terms that’s been driving everybody nuts for a while now, at least from what I’ve seen. But what does it really mean to people? Often when a term gets thrown around enough to become a “buzzword”, it starts losing its meaning because people grow numb to it. Once that happens, you get pushback from people, even people to whom the buzzword applies.

Computing in “the Cloud” is one of those terms. Like the term or not, Cloud Computing is here, and has been here for a while now, and if you’re like most people on the Internet, it applies to you in at least some way, whether you admit it or not.

Here’s how it applies to you, and how it applies to me.

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