Saturday, May 2, 2015

Site will be moving to

Dear Readers,

After much deliberation, I've decided to move this site to You will no longer need to store this as an App on your Android device. Blogger will be able to adjust to whatever device you're using. This transition will be occurring within the next 2 weeks.

Thank you!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Updating Site

Hi Readers,

I apologize for being so lax with this site. Lots of things were going on in my life and had zero time for this site. I am currently upgrading it to make it more responsive to mobile users. Content-wise, there are a lot of articles I've posted to help you with the basics of Linux. It's just using newer stuff that I haven't had time to post on. My Mom is still happily using the Chromebook I got for her since her iPad is now running slower. Since purchasing my new HP Cloud printer, I also have been able to print documents successfully using the following devices: Toshiba Linux Mint 14 PC, Samsung Chromebook, and my Moto X Smartphone.

Bear with me and ignore some of the coding tech jargon like [mc4wp_form] that are appearing currently on the site. I need to do some additional configuration and installation. The jargon isn't affecting the content on this site.

Will keep you posted...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Upcoming Articles

Dear Readers,

No.  I didn't desert you.  I just got busy with my day job for a few months.  So now that I have some spare time, I will tell you what I'm covering next.  I will be expanding on the topic of Linux Created Documents from my last post in August.  I covered how you could edit or create Linux Documents on Android using some apps that I found on GooglePlay.  This time around I will be demonstrating how you can use LibreOffice Calc and LibreOffice Writer on Android using rollApp, a cloud based application.  Today,  I was lucky enough to catch a sale expiring today for a Samsung Chromebook for $199 when it normally retails for $299.  I bought it for my Mom and, of course, for myself so I could experiment with all the cool things I know I can do with it.  Along with that chromebook, I purchased a HP 4630 OfficeJet Printer, which allows WI-FI printing from any device (tablet, smartphone, PC).  UPDATE: I got the new printer to work with Ubuntu 13.10. WooHoo! People, stick with me and you'll find out all these useful things you can do with Linux!





Friday, August 22, 2014

Using Linux Created Documents in Android

We are now living in a digital age where more people are consuming content on mobile devices because it's convenient, for one. I remember the days when I worked as a Field Engineer traveling all over the U.S. I had to carry a heavy laptop and printer to major airports and get through the hassle of security before the days of 9-11. Being petite, it was a struggle to have to deal with carrying those two heavy items, my suitcase and purse. Then once I got to a company office, I had to hook up my laptop and printer with cables to crunch numbers on an Excel spreadsheet with massive amounts of data.  These Excel spreadsheets were used to determine staffing levels or how to rearrange freight at specific doors at a break-bulk dock.

Due to huge improvements in technology, my job executing those studies would be so much easier today. If I were using Canonical's Android phone concept, I could just plug in my phone to the hotel television and use LibreOffice's Calc to change formulas on spreadsheets equivalent to Excel. I could even view these spreadsheets on an airplane, whether I was using Canonical's phone or an Android tablet downloading them from either Dropbox or Google Drive.

Today, I'm going to show you that you can take documents created in LibreOffice on a Linux desktop, store them on a cloud drive, retrieve and edit them using apps on my Android phone, upload them to the cloud drive and review the Android edited documents on a Linux desktop again. What you will be witnessing is the magic of inter-Linux collaboration. Now, it is possible to collaborate with a MAC or a Windows device using the documents stored in the cloud, assuming they share the same common format like .doc, .ppt, pdf, .xls, etc. Remember, LibreOffice is capable of opening, editing and saving Windows documents. Yes, there are some exceptional cases where complex formatting may experience issues in LibreOffice. However, there should be no problem, whatsoever, viewing in PDF format. That's about as universal as the language of "English" spoken to conduct business all over the world.

Here is a summary of the collaboration scenario I executed:

Devices used for collaboration - Ubuntu 12.04 Toshiba laptop, Moto X smartphone with Android KitKat and Linux Mint 17 HP Pavilion laptop.

Cloud Storage Provider - Dropbox


Wordprocessor - LibreOffice Writer on Linux: OpenDocument Reader on Android


Presentations - LibreOffice Impress on Linux: QuickOffice and Impress Remote on Android


Spreadsheets - LibreOffice Calc on Linux: QuickOffice on Android


What I was able to do successfully is take each type of document above, whether it was a wordprocessor, presentation or spreadsheet, create it on Ubuntu 12.04 and upload it to Dropbox. Then I was able to retrieve the document on my Moto X, edit the document on Moto X and save the revised document to Dropbox. Finally, I downloaded the document from Dropbox to Linux Mint 17 and viewed or edited it.

Please note that the Android app "OpenDocument Reader" can read and edit .odt and .ods format pretty easily. However, the .odp format does not completely work. I get the headings of each slide but not the details on each slide. A potential workaround is to save the presentation in .pptx format and use the Android App "QuickOffice" to modify the presentation file. Then save the presentation file onto your smartphone and upload it to Dropbox. Once in Dropbox, you can rename the presentation file to the original filename.

If you plan to review a presentation on your Android device, you can use the Android App "Impress Remote". You have to be using LibreOffice Impress 4.3 on a Linux desktop with the presentation file opened. The app "Impress Remote" will display the name of the PC on the same WiFi network as your Android device. Before you click on the name of the PC, it will prompt you to enter the PIN number displayed within LibreOffice Impress on your Linux desktop. Then it will display the presentation file slide by slide on your Android device. You will be able to swipe through each slide on Android, which will be "mirrored" on the Linux desktop, you're viewing it from. That's a pretty cool way to train an employee or present to a customer while you're doing the controlling from your Android device.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

More Linux Helpful Hints to Come

Dear Readers,

I apologize for not having new posts in 2 months. My summer on a personal level has been a busy one so I was unable to write more posts on Linux. There are other areas I want to cover in more detail such as: backup and recovery processes within Linux, accessing Linux desktop data using mobile devices and reviewing the newest versions of desktop Linux distributions. If there are areas, you would like me to cover, feel free to comment on this site or on my Youtube channel. I've been successfully using desktop Linux since 2011 and I'm not about to give up on it easily like a few bureaucrats in Munich. After have so much more free time not having to frequently administer and wait on MS Windows desktop processes to complete, I feel liberated. Defragging?? No problemo. Boot time? Check. I also no longer worry about whether web-surfing or opening email attachments will wreak havoc on my desktop if it contracts a virus. Again, it's my choice. So, keep checking back on this site for any new posts. If you have the app on your Android device, you'll be notified. Take care and enjoy the rest of the summer!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Impressions of My New Moto X Phone

Last Friday I received my new smartphone from Verizon just one day after I ordered it.  It's the new Moto X with KitKat Android version.  After only a few days of using it, I'm very impressed with the lightening quick speed of this phone as well as the Touchless Control function that integrates with Google Now.  "What's so special about that?"  You're probably wondering.  Without touching or unlocking the phone, I can make calls, check my next appointment on my calendar, execute a Google Search or open any app on the phone.  What's really got me sold on this phone is the resolution quality of pictures and video.  It's crystal clear.  The screen size is slightly larger than my previous phone, an entry level Samsung Stellar.  It's just enough size for enjoying videos or games for me although some of you may prefer the larger size of a Samsung Galaxy.

If you want to see it in action, take a look at my video below:


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Transitioning from Windows Vista/XP/7 to Ubuntu

Here's a list of common tasks you routinely perform in Windows, followed by a detailed description of the how to perform each task in Linux, if applicable.  (This is based on Ubuntu 12.04.)

  1. How do I log off/shut down?  You will find the last selection "Log Out" within the Menu on the lower left hand corner of your desktop.LinuxMintLogOff

  2. Where is the Start menu?  In Linux Mint, the Start menu is simply called "Menu" on the lower left hand corner of the desktop.LinuxMIntMenu

  3. Where is My Computer?  In Windows, you normally go to My Computer to view your different directories like A:/ or C:/ drive.  In Linux Mint, the equivalent is called File System.  LinuxMintFileSystemIn Linux, there is no drive A:/ to view CD's, DVD's or attachable hard drives.  Instead you will see the icon with the name of the CD, DVD or attachable hard drive.  There is a folder called "media" at the top (or root) level of the Linux filesystem where you will find the removable media mounted.  There is no C:/ drive in Linux either.  The root level of the Linux filesystem is almost equivalent to the C:/ drive in Windows but not the same because the "media" file is a subset file of the root level and not a separate root file system.  For example, in Windows media is viewed in the A:/ drive which is completely separate from the C:/ drive where all the main program files are stored.LinuxMintFileSystem2

  4. Where is the Control Panel?  In Linux Mint, think of the Control Panel as 2 categories.  There's "System" to perform typical System Administration tasks.  Then there's "Settings" to configure the appearance of the desktop.  Both of these categories can be found in the "Menu" at the lower left hand corner of the desktop.

  5. Where is All Programs?  By going into the "Menu" you have the ability to view all loaded programs by category except if you executed a custom install of special programs in your /home directory.

  6. Where is Device and Printers?  To configure Devices, click on "Menu".  Then click on "Settings" and select "Removable Drives and Media".  To configure Printers, click on "Menu".  Then click on "System" and select "Printers".

  7. Where is My Documents?  The Linux equivalent is called "Documents" and can usually be found by clicking on the File System icon, which will bring you to the top level directory of the Linux file system, which is also called the root.  You will find folders which store program files and configuration data similar to Windows program files or system folders.  However, to find the location of the "Documents" folder, you would have to find the Home folder.  The Home folder stores all the data and programs related to particular user accounts.  In it, you will find folders for each username.  Within each username are standard folders Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos.  Depending on your distro, you can click on shortcut icons on the desktop to get to the "Documents" folder.  To find "Documents" in Linux Mint, click on File System/home/(your username)/Documents OR Home/(your username)/Documents OR at the bottom left icon called "Places" in the picture below.  Hovering over the grey square icon will display the name of the icon "Places".LinuxMintDocuments

  8. Where is Pictures?  See explanation in #7.  Usually, you can find this folder as an icon on the desktop.  If it's not on the desktop, you easily create a shortcut icon for it on the desktop.

  9. Where is Music?  See explanation in #7.  Usually, you can find this folder as an icon on the desktop.  If it's not on the desktop, you easily create a shortcut icon for it on the desktop.

  10. Where is Games?  "Games" will be a folder located as a category for programs within your Linux distro menu.LinuxMintGames

  11. How do I Add/Remove Programs?  There are 3 methods to adding and removing programs within Linux. Chances are if you have a distro which is tailored for non-geeks, there will be an easy-to-use tool where you just use your mouse to point and click.  In Linux Mint, the name of this tool is Software Manager, which can be found as the fifth item from the top in the Menu.LinuxMintSoftwareMgrThe second method is to use Synaptic Package Manager, which allows you to use your mouse to point and click your selections.  However, the programs are at a package level which can be too technical for a non-geek to deal with.  LinuxMintSynPkgMgrThe third way is like executing DOS commands to run programs in Windows without the GUI.  It's called Command Line Interface (CLI) or Terminal Emulator prompt.  You simply type commands specific to your distro.  If your distro is Debian based, you will be using apt-get commands.  Since Linux Mint is a derivative of the Ubuntu distro, which is based on Debian, you will be using apt-get commands to install packages from the Terminal Emulator prompt.LinuxMintTerminal

  12. How do I add Shortcut Icons?  Depending on the distro, you can usually right click your mouse and find the menu item that allows you to add a shortcut icon to the desktop.  In Linux Mint, right click your mouse on the desktop and select Create Launcher.  LinuxMintCreateLauncherYou can then select which program to launch in the drop-down menu displayed after you type into the "Name" field.LinuxMintCreateLauncher2

  13. How do I check disk usage?  To find out where in Linux Mint, click Menu|System|Disk Usage Analyzer.

  14. Do I need to install an Anti-Virus program?  You don't really need one because there aren't that many viruses that execute on Linux and in order for a downloaded program to execute on Linux, you would have to specifically grant it permission as the Systems Administrator of your Linux OS.  However, if it makes you feel more secure having one, install Clam AV.

  15. Do I need to defrag Linux?  No.  The Linux filesystem does not store data non-sequentially like Windows does, which causes fragmentation.

  16. What if my screen is frozen?  You will need to execute commands to close the Windows manager specific to your Linux distro.  To find out where in Linux Mint, click here.

  17. How do I install operating system updates?  Click on Menu|System|Update Manager.  Or click the Blue Badge icon at the bottom right hand corner of your desktop.LinuxMintUpdateMgr

  18. Where is Outlook?  Mozilla's Thunderbird comes pre-installed on some popular distros while Novell's Evolution is a worthy equivalent.LinuxMintThunderbird

  19. Where is MS Office?  You can pay for Cross-over or use Wine emulator for free to run MS Office programs.LinuxMintWine  Or you can use LibreOffice, which I found very capable of doing a lot things I used to use MS Office for.  LibreOffice comes pre-installed with Linux Mint.LinuxMintLO

  20. Where is MS Word?  LibreOffice Writer is what I use in place of MS Word.  You can find it by clicking Menu|Office|LibreOffice Writer.LinuxMintLOW

  21. Where is MS Excel?  LibreOffice Calc is what I use in place of MS Excel.  You can find it by clicking Menu|Office|LibreOffice Calc.

  22. Where is MS PowerPoint?  LibreOffice Impress is what I use in place of MS PowerPoint.  You can find it by clicking Menu|Office|LibreOffice Impress.

  23. Where is MS Access?  LibreOffice Base is a bit too basic to fully replace MS Access.  (You can find it by clicking Menu|Office|LibreOffice Base.)  However, since most businesses are becoming more web-based, your best bet is to use a database built for the web like PostgresSQL, MariaDb or MySQL.  If you plan on using any of the web-based databases, you can develop custom front-ends based on Python, PHP and RubyonRails languages.

  24. Where is Paint?  LibreOffice Draw can perform functions similar to Paint.  (You can find it by clicking Menu|Office|LibreOffice Draw.)  It can also be supplemented by Gimp and Inkscape for more advanced functions.  Gimp is like Adobe Photoshop while Inkscape is like Adobe Illustrator, handling 2 dimensional drawings.

  25. Where is Accessories?  Linux does have an Accessories category for programs.  You can find it by clicking Menu and then Accessories.

  26. Where is NotePad?  I've been successfully using Gedit in place of NotePad for several years now and I haven't missed a beat as far as functionality.  You can find it by clicking on Menu|Accessories|gedit.

  27. Where is the Command Prompt?  To find it in Linux Mint, click on Menu and Terminal Emulator at the top of the menu.

  28. Where is the Calculator?  It will be located in the Accessories folder of your Linux distro like Windows.

  29. Where is the WebCam?  For the most part, Cheese has been able to do the job adequately.  If it's not installed on your PC, find it in the Software Manager and install it.  Once it's installed, click on Menu|Multimedia|Cheese.

  30. Where is Windows Media Player?  Banshee Media Player or Rhythmbox can be used as a replacement for Windows Media Player.  To find it, click on Menu|Multimedia|Banshee.

  31. Where is Windows DVD Maker?  Brasero can be used to make DVD's.  To find it, click on Menu|Multimedia|Brasero.

  32. Where is Windows Fax and Scan?  Linux Mint comes pre-installed with Simple Scan for scanning capabilities.  You may need to download drivers and execute some commands using the Terminal prompt to configure your Scanner, depending upon the Manufacturer.  To find it, click on Menu|Graphics|Simple Scan.

  33. Where is Windows Live Movie Maker?  I've been using OpenShot Video Editor for creating and editing simple personal videos.  OpenShot is not pre-installed with Linux Mint.  Therefore, you must find it from the Software Manager and install it.  Once it's installed, you can find it by clicking on Menu|Multimedia|OpenShot Video Editor.

  34. Where is Windows Live Photo Gallery?  In Linux Mint, Ristretto Image Viewer displays images stored on your PC.  Shotwell can be used manage your photos.  You can download it from the Software Manager and install it.

  35. How do I transfer Android files to my desktop?  If you're lucky, some distros enable you to do this with their File Manager without installing extra software and performing additional configuration.  Some distros, especially older versions of their OS, will require additional software and configuration.  See ADB File Manager.

  36. How do I backup my data or entire OS?  Linux Mint has APTonCD to backup just the packages installed on your OS.  Click on Menu|System|APTonCD to find it.  For data, click on click on Menu|System|Backup Tool.  If you want to reliably back up the entire OS, including the data, I recommend downloading and installing Clonezilla on a USB stick.  To use Clonezilla, you would insert the Clonezilla USB stick into your PC and insert a hard drive that's large enough to store the backup into your PC as well.