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Upgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron)

After waiting for just over a week to allow others to discover if there were any major issues upgrading from 7.10 to 8.04, I finally bit the bullet Tuesday afternoon and decided to upgrade my system to Hardy Heron. This was my first distribution upgrade since moving to Ubuntu last fall, so I will admit that I was a bit nervous as to how it would go.

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Brief -- Fantastic RSS Feed Reader for Firefox

Ever since I moved to Linux, I've been looking for a RSS reader that I like as much as Great News. I have finally found one that comes very close in Brief. Brief is a Firefox extension that adds a very simple, Great news-like feed reader to Firefox. It even stores the feeds locally for as long as you like, and just like Great News "as long as you like" can differ with each feed. It does not have some of the whiz-bang features of Great News, but if has most of the ones I regularly used.

Truecrypt 5.0 -- Better than Ever

I posted about Truecrypt back in 2006 on the old version of this blog. A few days ago, Truecrypt version 5.0 was released with a number of nice improvements, including the ability to encrypt the boot drive. From the announcement:

GNOME Menu File Browser Applet

Sometimes you just want to open or execute a file in a directory you use a lot. Opening a file manager, browsing to and opening the file and then closing the file manager is a lot of work if you have to do it often enough. The Menu File Browser Applet is an applet for the GNOME Panel. It lets put one or more directories of your choice on the GNOME Panel as menus. You can browse and open files in these directories (and their subdirectories) directly from the panel, without having to open a file manager.

PlayOnLinux -- Automated WINE Installations

PlayOnLinux is a frontend that helps to install a number of population Windows games and applications on Linux using WINE. It connects to an online PlayOnLinux script repository for the latest script to automate the installation of a given program. You still have to own a copy of the Windows program you want to install, of course.

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PDFedit -- PDF Editor for Linux

The PDF document format has become an industry standard and many Linux office programs can produce a document in PDF format without any additional software or special printer drivers needed. Editing a PDF document directly, however, has been hard in Linux due to a lack of a well-designed PDF editor (commercial or open source).

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KDE 4.0 Released -- Not Really Ready for Everyday Use

KDE 4.0 has been released, with a large number of improvements to the KDE desktop. I tried it. Unfortunately, I don't think it is really ready for everyday use yet as there are lots of (mainly minor, at least from my brief trial) problems and issues. I'm going to stay with Gnome for the time being, but I will probably need to re-evaluate this decision in six to nine months as KDE 4 is very nice -- or looks like it will be very nice once more of its problems are worked out.

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Make Applications Running in WINE Look Better

The Tombuntu blog has posted an interesting method for improving the really ugly "early Win95" look of Windows programs running under WINE. Unfortunately, it slows some Windows apps running under some versions of WINE to a crawl on some systems -- mine included. The ability to "theme" WINE applications is a new feature in recent builds of WINE and should improve in the future.

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HFS -- HTTP File Server allows easy file serving via the Web

Have you ever wanted to set up a web server just so you can easily provide a few files to friends and family (or to yourself when you are at another computer) via a program they understand - their web browser? If you've looked into this, you've probably discovered that setting up a full web server is a lot of work. HFS (HTTP File Server) makes it easy. Install the program, add the files you want to make available to a list, create user accounts for those you want to have access to the files, and you are set.

Incursion D20 Based Roguelike Game (Discovery)

Roguelike games are not for everyone as they lack all the pretty graphics that many people think are absolutely necessary for a good game. However, roguelike games have very deep gameplay hidden behind their text "graphics." Incursion is a new roguelike game of the standard fantasy dungeon hack-and-slash fest variety.


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by Dr. Radut