People hate using strong passwords. I know plenty of professionals who use their children’s names to secure computers containing valuable client data. Nobody likes dealing with passwords, but you have a responsibility to take “digital hygiene” seriously. Personally, I use a simple tool called pwgen whenever I need to create a new password. Pwgen is a command-line utility that basically spits out a list of “human readable” passwords. That is to say, they are easy to memorize relative to a truly random string of characters.
Solus has a number of very simple tools that enhance your desktop computing experience. One of the best is Neofetch, a program written in Bash, the basic command language interpreter used by all Linux-based operating systems. When you run Neofetch from inside a terminal, it displays two things: a list of basic information about your system, and a rendering of your operating system’s logo in ASCII art, i.e. text characters.
Leading up to (and after) the release of the new Solus snapshots last week, there were complaints from some quarters of the Linux media that Solus was still “not ready” because it lacked sufficient software packages to satisfy user demand. According to this worldview, if even one user might find a program useful, Solus has an obligation to include it in its repositories. To these folks, a good Linux operating system is like a 24-hour diner where you have to keep hundreds of dishes on the menu at all times, regardless of quality or the amount of kitchen staff.
Today the Solus Project released new installation snapshots for its Budgie and MATE editions, as well as its first GNOME-based version. Solus concurrently released Budgie Desktop 10.3, the last major update before the developers begin work on Budgie 11. Obviously, free software is not free to produce or maintain. Ikey Doherty and the Solus team have put hundreds of hours into this latest update. To help out with the costs of getting today’s snapshots to the public, I’ve set up a separate download mirror for all three versions.
If you’ve read other posts on this blog–or visited any social media feed where someone is talking about desktop Linux–you recognize the importance of the screenshot. In addition to showing off your customized desktops–aka UnixPorn, screenshots are useful when trying to explain how to execute a particular task or diagnose a problem. Full Control Over Your Screenshots Budgie, the principal Solus desktop environment, has its own native screenshot tool called, appropriately enough, Budgie Screenshot Applet.
The Solus Project confirmed that it is adding a third edition based on the GNOME 3 desktop, according to a report published today by Softpedia. Ikey Doherty, the creator and lead developer of Solus, told Softpedia’s Marius Nestor the new GNOME edition “will be using a mostly vanilla shell with some extensions enabled.” Solus plans to release its new GNOME version together with updated “snapshot” releases of its existing Budgie and MATE desktop editions “in the coming weeks,” according to Softpedia.
I was implementing a new template for my professional website last week and needed to crop some images. I’ve never been terribly good with image software, but fortunately I found a fairly straightforward program called Fotoxx in the Solus Software Center. Fotoxx is really geared towards photo management, but it works well as a basic image editor. Simple Interface, Complex Tools Fotoxx has a very simple interface. An icon bar on the left side of the screen functions as the menu.
Before social media made everyone’s friends, interests, and “likes” a matter of public record, RSS enabled individuals to gather content from around the web in a simple (and private) manner. Although RSS is not as visible as it once was–consider Google’s decision to kill Google Reader in 2013–there are still many actively developed applications that gather and organize RSS feeds. My personal favorite is a console-based utility called Newsbeuter.
These days, astrology is associated with badly written newspaper columns. But humans have studied the movement of planets and other celestial objects for thousands of years. Indeed, the development of the modern calendar is partly rooted in astrology. OpenAstro.org is a Python-based program for creating actual horoscopes, i.e. astrological charts. OpenAstro won’t predict your future. But it’s a surprisingly complex tool for learning more about contemporary western astrology. Charting the “Birth” of Linux When you launch OpenAstro.
The first time I created a website, back in the mid-1990s, it required manually coding HTML. This later gave way to specialized HTML editors such as the now-defunct Microsoft FrontPage. By the mid-2000s, I used WordPress to create blogs. Indeed, just about every blog that I ghostwrite for professionally uses WordPress. WordPress is a dynamic content generator. This means it accesses a database to create a page every time a user visits the website.