I’m Officially On Feedly

Since Google decided to shutdown Reader the other day, I decided to migrate over to Feedly. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. Feedly announced today that there over 500,000 users that have migrated over from Reader. Not a bad pickup for a week.

The main reason I went with Feedly was the interface looks modern and clean. I also like the section “You Might Also Like.” It give users access to feeds similar in content. As long as Feedly keeps their end of the bargain by making the pages snappy, I think most Google Reader users will be happy.

OS X Update 10.8.3

I’m currently updating OS X Mountain Lion on my Mac. The update is 567MB and takes about 15 minutes based on my connection. The OS update includes features and fixes such as:

  • Redeem iTunes gift cards in the Mac App Store using your Mac’s built-in camera
  • Boot Camp support for installing Windows 8
  • Boot Camp support for Macs with a 3TB hard drive
  • A fix for an issue that could case a file URL to quit apps unexpectedly

And a few more….

Here’s a snapshot of the update.

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 1.32.50 PM

For detailed info about the update, visit the following links:

Google Reader Shutting Down

In a move that surprised no one, Google announced today that they are taking down Google Reader on July 1, 2013. Google Reader is a RSS (Really Simple Syndication) reader used for subscribing to news, magazines, blogs and websites. Since Google Reader is shutting down in a couple of months, here are some alternatives to Google Reader that you might want to try.

Checking MD5 Hash on a Mac

When you download a file from a website, they usually come with a 128 bit hash the called MD5 hash. The 32 digit hash is used to check for the integrity of the file to make sure the file hasn’t been altered in any way. So, how do you check MD5 hash on the Mac OS? Open up your Terminal and type the following:

md5 linux.iso

The MD5 command will spit out a 12b bit hash that you can compare it with on a website’s download page. If the hash match, then the file’s integrity is intact. If it doesn’t match, then the file has been altered and compromised. Get rid of it. You never know what’s in it.

Owncloud 4.5

OwnCloud is an open-source file sharing and file storage cloud platform that’s similar to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, and other cloud sharing services. The difference is, OwnCloud allows you to install your own cloud storage on your own server. You manage the server software yourself making your data your own. OwnCloud has vastly improved the past year. OwnCloud has added a desktop client for Windows, MacOS and Linux, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android.

Much has changed since the last time I played around with OwnCloud. Instead of performing an upgrade of my previous installation, I’ve decided to just reinstall everything from scratch. OwnCloud now gives your three options to install the server software. You can install it from a tar archive, a Linux package, or you can use the Web Installer. I chose the latter. It turned out to be the simplest option.

You simply download the small installation file called “setup-owncloud.php.” You then upload the it to your web server and run the install script. You will be asked to supply a username and password. The installation file will then download the rest of the program and complete the installation for you. It takes less than a minute to complete the install.

Just a couple of things worth sharing. I opted for SQLite install. So, there is no MySQL database needed. There’s only one thing I want to modify. I want increase the default allocated space to something bigger. Other than that, it’s a functional file sharing service. It’s not as polished as Dropbox and Google Drive, but it’s not too shabby either. At least, you can sleep well knowing your data is your own.

350 Square Foot Apartment

I once lived on 440 square foot studio. It was small. I can’t imagine living in a 350 square foot apartment, but this is pretty cool. It has 8 functional rooms. The pull down bed, movable divider and guest room are its best features. The solar charger is a great idea. This bit was featured in Gizmodo a couple months back, but it’s still worth a watch.

$2.45 Settlement

You know what makes my day? Receiving a $2.45 settlement check from the mail. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do with my new found wealth. I have to really think about this one for a little while. Maybe contact my money manager. The funny thing is, I have no idea what the settlement is all about. It’s probably a credit card company overcharging its customers.

Are class actions suits even worth the trouble since all I got was a measly $2.45. It’s a boon for lawyers though. They probably raked in $2.45 million in fees, while single individuals like me get a measly $2.45. It’s not even equal to the lost fees I overpaid the credit card company. The credit card company could have just avoided litigation and sent everyone a $40 check. Cut out those lawyers acting as middlemen.

Well, I don’t want to sound ungrateful. So, here it is. Thanks for the tall Starbucks coffee.

Linux Steam Gaining Momentum

Valve released Steam For Linux several weeks ago making it possible for Linux gamers to play games on the Linux platform. Initially 57 games were available on Linux steam. To entice gamers to play on the Linux platform, Valve offered steep discounts ranging from 50-75% off the normal price. Counter Strike is available for $4.99 and Half-Life for just $2.49. It gets better. Team Fortress is totally free.

Interestingly enough, Linux Today reported today that Linux Steam accounts to about 2 percent of the users at Steam. Not bad considering that Mac users are at 3 percent, and Mac Steam has been around since 2010. If you want to give Linux Steam a try, just download and install Linux. Choose any of these popular distributions: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or everyone’s favorite distro at this moment, Linux Mint.

Choosing a Desktop Environment on Linux Mint

Linux Mint has four desktop environments that you can choose from. There is KDE, Xfce, Cinnamon and Mate. The two most common choices by users are Cinnamon and Mate. Technically, you can download any of the desktop environments and change them later. If you decide to go with Mate and later on want to install Cinnamon, the change is going to be easy.

You just need 400MB of extra disk space, which is practically nothing judging on the size of hard drives nowadays. The only other decision to make is to whether include multimedia effects or leave them out. My preference is to include them.

Let’s say you’ve decided to go with Mate and want to install Cinnamon later on. Changing from Mate to Cinnamon is quite easy. All you have to do is install Cinnamon via the Terminal which is my preference. You can easily do the same using a GUI package manager.

From Mate to Cinnamon

$ sudo apt-get install mint-meta-cinnamon

From Cinnamon to Mate

$ sudo apt-get install mint-meta-mate

Once you’ve made the change. You need to log out of the current desktop environment and log in again and making sure you select the environment you would like to use. You can switch back and forth desktop environments to your hearts delight. As you can see, changing desktop environments in Linux Mint is quite easy.