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gTodo: A Simple, Easy-to-Use Task Manager for Linux

gTodo: A Simple, Easy-to-Use Task Manager for Linux


For many of us, crossing an item off our to-do lists evokes a certain satisfaction that really makes the tasks feel complete. There’s just something about keeping that list and getting stuff done that makes feel me on top of things, less stressed and even a little warm and fuzzy inside. But even those that aren’t personal productivity obsessives like me can benefit from recording their tasks in a list, even if just as an occasional reminder of what needs to get done.

There are many, many tools to manage your to-do lists out there, but for the average person most are, frankly, overkill. Not everyone needs the massive capabilities of Outlook clone Evolution or it’s KDE kounterpart (sorry, couldn’t resist the “k!”) Korganizer, but they don’t just want to record their tasks on a post-it note, either. No, most people need simple, graphical way to track their tasks on their computer. Enter gTodo, a simple but effective task manager for the GNOME desktop.

The first thing you’ll notice is the very simple and easy to use interface…just a single pane with your tasks and related information, add and remove buttons, and category filter drop down box. It’s simple to get started: just click on “Add” and the task entry dialog pops up.

You’ll find several useful features here, including the ability to add a due date and time to your task, assign it a priority and even attach explanatory notes. Entering tasks couldn’t be easier. Once your to-do list starts to grow, you’ll likely want to be able to sort and search through all your tasks. Luckily, gTodo provides pretty good sorting options for such a simple application, including the ability to sort by multiple criteria ascending or descending. In addition, you hide completed items, items without a due date, or past due items from your list, giving you the ability to zero in on what you need to get done in multiple ways. While there’s no search function, the advanced sorting capabilities should allow you to find what you need fairly quickly.

gTodo will also automatically purge old tasks for you, and as well as highlight past due items and tasks that are due in the next few days. It also has a useful tray icon that displays your due tasks on mouse hover, and allows you to quickly update your list.

I like the fact that gTodo allows you to save and open multiple task list files, so even though you can have several different categories within your each list, you can also keep completely separate files if you’d like. Work tasks and personal tasks, for instance. Or, you can save your list and take it to another computer with gTodo installed. The HTML export function is also a handy way to create a nicely formatted version of your list for printing, however I would have liked it if the HTML file included notes. As it stands, the …

How Mobile Android Development Works

How Mobile Android Development Works


Android applications are widely available, but finding the ones that you need can be a challenge. There are simply too many to choose from. When you have a guide for that, it can help. Here is s bit of that and some information on how mobile Android development works.

Android applications are Java based. Written through SDK in the Linux operating system, Android app development is very open to those who wish to use this platform to display their application. The best feature in the Android app development is the ability to use other applications with a new creation. It means that developers do not have to “re-invent the wheel” to get an application out. It saves time and money. The applications are really useful too. Here are some of the best ones to date.

“Google Talk” is the first application that is a must. If you do not have it already, then you need to get it installed. You can text for free through gmail. The best feature is the fact that it is free. Just go to the Android Marketplace and hit “download.” In fact, while you are there, get Google everything. They have a mobile Android application for nearly anything that you would do on your desktop.

Then download “Advanced Task Killer” for your phone. It allows you to use your phone with far less memory. It allows you to kill any applications that you do not need. In fact, it helps you prevent the pesky applications that you end up deleting. You know, the ones that say they do this and you discover that they really do “that.” Those applications can be easily put in check with this application.

“Shop Savvy” is next on the list. This application is really fun. You use your camera to snap a picture of a product that you wish to buy. It then shows you the competitions price. The prices are listed starting with the cheapest price available. You can even get local listings. That way, you save money.

“Scan Doc” is another useful mobile Android application. You can scan documents through a picture. Then you can save or send any document that you have on the road. This one is very useful if you are self-employed. Snap a picture to scan any document that you need to file away.

“Drop Box” is another of the Android applications that you really need to have. It is perfect for travel between home and work. Anything that you have on your computer at work or home can be accessed through this application. That way you can always stay connected to your life at work or at home.

“VRecorder” is perfect for taking voice notes or recording anything. It allows you unlimited vocal recording time. Then you can email or text the voice notes to anyone. It is really handy to have on your phone. This saves your voice notes to your memory card. That means that you …

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows


Some people have taken the Linux ‘Text Drive’ using a Linux Live media. Now they want to go the next step further but are not comfortable with swapping out Windows completely yet. Well these people have the choose of keep using the Live media and or they can install Linux as a virtual machine under Microsoft Windows. That is to say, Linux will run as a Microsoft Windows’ application, an application that Windows gives complete control to. Linux, the Windows application, at install time, will create a file of a length set at install tie. This file will contain the Linux file system. A smaller file will be created to to be used as a swap file. With the Linux Windows application having complete control of the Windows system Linux runs effectively under Windows.

Some things should be note such as the Linux virtual machine runs a bit slower especially when accessing the hard disk drive. Note that this virtual machine then can run in the same partition as Windows.

For those who would like to install Linux as a virtual machine under Windows should follow the steps listed below.

1.Obtain a copy of the Linux Live media.

2.Burn that copy, usually in an ‘iso’ file onto the appropriate media (CD/DVD/USB Flashdrive).

3.On the Live media there will be a file that runs under Microsoft Windows. Execute this file while in Windows. This file will give you the option to install Linux under Windows. Choose that option.

4.Follow the prompts during the setup process.

5.Once the setup process has been completed and system has been restarted you will be present with a Boot Menu that allows you to choose the Windows or Linux.

At the time of this writing only the only Windows version tested was Microsoft Windows 7 and only Ubuntu and Linux Mint were the only Linux distribution tested.…

Personal Favorite Linux Applications

Personal Favorite Linux Applications


I decided that I should probably list some of my favorite Linux applications. I will try and include ones that you don’t by default, but some of them will be in many Linux distributions no matter what.

Internet

Web Browser – Firefox

I love Firefox. As soon as I found it I immediately switched from Internet Explorer, but those were back when I used Windows. I love how it has themes and many of the plug-ins are very useful. The newer Firefox Personas feature is very nice. It may not always be the fastest browser, but it renders things nicely and has many usable features. You can also find plenty of help for it when you need it. It is cross-platform and runs most operating systems.

IM Client – Pidgin

Pidgin is the client I switched to after using Trillian in Windows. It serves me well most of the time, though it can throw fits every now and again. Again it has plug-ins, which is nice though I don’t use them as much. It supports more IM services than I know to use. Some of them I have never heard of. If you have aspell installed then it will also let you correct your spelling. It is cross-platform and will run on most operating systems.

Multimedia

Music & Video – VLC

I love VLC, and I don’t plan to use anything else for a very long time. It plays tons of formats, it is light-weight, and doesn’t have much extra junk to hold you down. VLC also runs on most operating systems. Oh and apparently VLC is also skinnable, but I don’t bother with that.

Music Editing – Audacity

I don’t do a lot of music editing, but when I do it I love audacity. I still don’t have a handle on the whole thing but I know it well enough to cut and splice clips together. It is fairly simple and again, available for many operating systems, though I don’t think this one has themes or skins.

Images

Image Editing – GIMP

GIMP takes a little getting used to when you come from Photoshop or Painshop Pro, but once you get used to it you don’t mind so much. And I don’t suggest complaining that it isn’t like Photoshop to the people that make it. They know it isn’t and that is on purpose. To be honest it is nice to see something that isn’t a Photoshop clone. There are a few things that are done differently, but you can do just about anything you can in Photoshop with GIMP. GIMP will open just about any image type you find, so it is very useful for converting. And again, it runs on multiple operating systems.

Office Software

Office Suite – OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a very nice set of programs. It runs well, especially once you get to OpenOffice 3. It is basically a Microsoft Office clone, with enough changed to avoid copyright problems. Oh and …

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows

How to Install Linux as a Virtual Machine Under Microsoft Windows


Some people have taken the Linux ‘Text Drive’ using a Linux Live media. Now they want to go the next step further but are not comfortable with swapping out Windows completely yet. Well these people have the choose of keep using the Live media and or they can install Linux as a virtual machine under Microsoft Windows. That is to say, Linux will run as a Microsoft Windows’ application, an application that Windows gives complete control to. Linux, the Windows application, at install time, will create a file of a length set at install tie. This file will contain the Linux file system. A smaller file will be created to to be used as a swap file. With the Linux Windows application having complete control of the Windows system Linux runs effectively under Windows.

Some things should be note such as the Linux virtual machine runs a bit slower especially when accessing the hard disk drive. Note that this virtual machine then can run in the same partition as Windows.

For those who would like to install Linux as a virtual machine under Windows should follow the steps listed below.

1.Obtain a copy of the Linux Live media.

2.Burn that copy, usually in an ‘iso’ file onto the appropriate media (CD/DVD/USB Flashdrive).

3.On the Live media there will be a file that runs under Microsoft Windows. Execute this file while in Windows. This file will give you the option to install Linux under Windows. Choose that option.

4.Follow the prompts during the setup process.

5.Once the setup process has been completed and system has been restarted you will be present with a Boot Menu that allows you to choose the Windows or Linux.

At the time of this writing only the only Windows version tested was Microsoft Windows 7 and only Ubuntu and Linux Mint were the only Linux distribution tested.…

Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows

Sharing Files Between Linux and Windows


Most Linux users did not abandon Microsoft Windows immediately. They instead evolved gradually while alternating between the two operating systems. While learning to use Linux, you can share many of its files with Windows. For example, while running Linux, you can use LIbreOffice Writer to edit files that you had created through Microsoft Word running under Windows.

You can either install LInux and Windows on separate PCs, or dual-boot them on a single PC.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files on Separate PCs – You can share files either through your home network or through the cloud (Internet). Sharing files through your home network requires setting up Samba shares, which can be tricky. Sharing files through the cloud requires only an online-storage service, such as Google Drive or Ubuntu One.

Sharing Linux and Windows Files in a Dual-Boot PC – In a dual-boot LInux and Windows PC, Linux lets you access the files and folders in the Windows partition. Therefore, while running Linux, you can:

  • Copy files and folders in the Windows partition, and then paste them into the LInux partion. 
  • Copy files and folders in the Linux partition, and then paste them into the Windows partition. 

Notes:

  • Although Windows does not let you access files and folders in the Linux partition, Linux lets you share files and folders to and from both partitions. 
  • This document applies to dual-booting Linux only with Windows 7 (or earlier) because Windows 8 Will Block Dual-Booting Linux. 
  • The examples below specifically apply to the Ubuntu distribution of the Linux operating system, and generally apply to all distributions of the Linux operating system. 

Setting Up Sample Folders and Files – To experiment with sharing files and folders between Ubuntu and Windows in a dual boot PC, you can set up sample folders and files. For example, you might do the following:

  1. Boot Windows, and then create a Windows_Humor folder on your Windows desktop. 
  2. Create a Stooges folder within your Windows_Humor folder. 
  3. Use Microsoft word to create a file for each of the Three Stooges, and then place those files in your Stooges folder. 
  4. Boot Ubuntu, and then create an Ubuntu_Humor folder on your Ubuntu desktop. 
  5. Create a Brothers folder within your Ubuntu_Humor folder. 
  6. Use LibreOffice Writer to create a file for each of the Marx Brothers, and then place those files in your Brothers folder. 

Dual-Boot File Sharing Example – To experiment with sharing files between Linux and Windows in a dual-boot PC, do the following:

  1. Create sample folders and files similar to those in the section above. 
  2. As shown in the first image above, boot Ubuntu, open your Home folder, find the Filesystem partition that contains your windows operating system, and then double-click “Documents and Settings.” 
  3. Double click the folder with your name, such as “dave,” double-click “Desktop,” double-click “Windows_Humor” and then double-click “Stooges” to display its contents as shown in the second image above. 
  4. Select all three Word files, press “Ctrl + C” to copy them, select your

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft

Linux Declares Victory Over Microsoft


Linux has been battling against Microsoft for almost two decades now. When Linux made its debut in 1991, very few thought it would ever be more than a vain attempt at a free operating system. Most computer users were dedicated Microsoft users. As Linux developed and popularity grew, Microsoft began to sit up and take notice.

Linux has declared victory over Microsoft after their long battle. In fact, with the exception of the desktop, Linux sees itself as beating everything Microsoft has to offer in other categories. Many of the servers throughout the world are Linux based. A decade ago, many businesses chose to use Microsoft servers, but the cost and maintenance was more than businesses wanted to handle if they could avoid it. Linux provided a more stable, extremely cheaper alternative.

Though “geeks” were the first to dive on board the Linux wagon, many home users decided to give Linux a try. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen by installing a free operating system and free software? Taking a chance on Linux just involved a learning curve and a little time to install. When Live CDs made their appearance, there was no reason not to try Linux. No installation required. You could boot straight from a CD without modifying your hard drive or losing your Windows operating system.

Unlike Microsoft, Linux is open source, meaning the source code is freely available to build upon. This has resulted in custom Linux operating systems geared towards specific groups of users. Microsoft works to appeal to the masses. Linux works to appeal to everyone, from the home user to the most advanced users. How many users can say they were able to tweak any Microsoft source code to better fit their needs?

If users didn’t want to give up Windows, Linux was absolutely fine with this. Unlike many Microsoft and even Apple applications, Linux gave users software that was compatible on almost any platform. Not only is the software compatible, but it’s free. With software costs seeming to skyrocket everytime something new is released, free alternatives are going to make a huge dent competitors’ profits.

Linux now powers many of the most popular consumer electronics as well, such as the Amazon Kindle. Though experts don’t exactly believe Linux has completely beaten Microsoft, there is no denying that some version of the Linux operating system or software is almost everywhere now. Linux is a force to be reckoned with as they believe in customization, full user control and compatibility. Microsoft has never been able to compete with those ideas. In the end, Linux and Microsoft both have their place. For most users, a combination of the two works best, making both successful in their own way.…

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux

Drivel – A Multi-system Blog Client for Linux


Today I’ll review a neat piece of software called Drivel. Drivel, which to be honest is a bit intentionally demeaning, is a desktop client for Linux to allow users to post their thoughts and feelings (drivel?), to any number of different blogs. Designed for the Gnome Linux desktop environment, I’ve found Drivel to be a simple, easy-to-use client that has a lot of features that I would want in a blog application, plus some I’d never use but other people definitely would.

First of all, is Drivel for you? If you post to an Advogato, Atom (Blogger 2.0), Blogger 1.0, LiveJournal or Movable Type blog, then the answer is ‘yes!’ Drivel supports all those blog types out of the box. In addition, any blog systems based on one of these will work as well, such as WordPress and Drupal, although they may need a bit of tweaking to work correctly.

If you have a couple different blogs, or are sharing your computer with someone who has a blog as well, you can both use Drivel. Just set up both accounts, then when one of you wants to post, log into the correct one. Or, if you’re the only person who’ll be using Drivel, and you only have one blog, you can set it up to remember your password and automatically log in whenever you start up the program.

Once you’ve logged in, Drivel presents you with a completely empty blog window, with the name of your blog at the top. By default, you will be able to write the post, edit the subject line, and determine whether or not the post is public, private, or friends-only. If you click the little triangle at the bottom of the window, you’ll reveal even more options, such as spots where you can input your mood, the music you’re listening to, and more. You can turn off commenting for a particular post, tell Drivel NOT to auto-format your text, and select a different picture. You can also back-date a post.

Like any good 21st century client, Drivel allows for certain html formatting, such as bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, superscript and subscript, and also can create lists. You can indent text to set off a quote, and can also insert a link, picture and (assuming your account permits it), a poll as well.

When you’re ready to post, simply hit the Post button at the bottom of the window, and your post will be sent off and within seconds, your thoughts will be posted for all to see. Or, if you don’t think the world is quite ready for your latest tome on Britney’s underwear, or lack of, or the latest gossip about Hollywood celebrities, athletes in trouble with the law or the big movie busts of the summer, Drivel can simply save your post as a draft until you’re ready to unleash your thoughts on an unsuspecting public.

Drivel does more than just post to your …