Korora has updated to a final version of 18. The details are here Korora Project | Korora 18 (Flo) released.
Posted by Jim on 3 May 2013
Posted by Jim on 1 April 2013
Fedup is a useful tool which updates Korora (and Fedora) systems to a new version. Chris did a good guide on the Korora Project site here. After trying it on a couple of systems I can add a couple of suggestions to improve your update experience. If you can add any others please do.
Non Standard Repos
If you use some non standard repos that don’t exist for the new version disable them before running Fedup. E.g. I was using the xfce 4.10 repo in 17 but as it 4.10 is standard in 18 it wasn’t needed. Leaving it enabled gave errors and slowed the update as fedup searched for it.
The Google repo is enabled by default in Korora and can be added to Fedora but for some unknown reason Fedup fails to update it correctly. If you have installed Chrome remove it before updating and reinstall it after. Your configuration & extensions etc. will still exist and Chrome will work correctly after re-installing.
Actually I also cleaned up my system first by removing some applications I had installed to try but don’t use now. This was a good time to remove them before they got updated.
Posted by Jim on 26 March 2013
When Google announced the end of Reader I was surprised. It has been my feed reader for as long as I care to remember. But the end of Reader meant finding a replacement. There have been many suggestions on various sites and I started looking around. The replacements can be divided into a couple of groups.
First group is online Reader replacements, the second group is a local application. Which to choose? I prefer online reader as I can then use them on a number of machines. While a local option means I’m not at the mercy of some site that may disappear, possibly without the warning given by Google, the convenience provided by being able to access it from a number of devices outweighs the risk.
I looked at a few options including WordPress’s own Reader. I guess I was comparing them to Google Reader as that is what I’m used to. I found Wp’s site chaotic it didn’t always show all feeds and there was little organisation. It was gone after one session.
Next I looked at Feedly. It came well recommended. In fact it was the winner of a poll on Lifehacker. It imported my feeds quickly. However I found the interface poor. I gave it a couple of sessions but wasn’t happy.
Another recommendation was the Old Reader. As the name suggests it is a clone of Google Reader as Reader used to be. It is still in beta and currently overwhelmed with the interest Google’s decision has sent its way. It took several days to import my feeds, fortunately I haven’t made any changes since I started the import. When I received the email that the import had finished I went to the site and immediately felt at home. Even though it is in beta it works well. The interface is similar enough to Reader to feel comfortable. It is better than the current reader site. I’ve been using ReaderPlus to improve the default interface on Reader but Old Reader doesn’t need that.
So if you are looking for a Google Reader alternative check out the Old Reader. You will need to be patient while it catches up with the number of imports it is doing but it is worht the wait.
Posted by Jim on 23 March 2013
Fedora (and therefore Korora) has just received the update to KDE 4.10.1. THere are a number of improvements claimed for the new version including better stability.
This has been the improvement that I have noticed the most. I had been having issues with KDE locking up after a short time. THere was no discernible pattern to the lock ups so I had found a solution. To be honest I hadn’t tried too hard. I simply switched back to Xfce which was rock solid as always.
One change I’ve made to KDE is that I added the Daisy plasmoid as a Launcher panel. It is now included with Korora 18 and makes a nice addition. It still needs some development as it is missing some features such as the ability to re-arrange icons but it is a nice addition.
KDE 4.10.1 is a recommended update for KDE users and if my experience is a guide it is worth the update.
Posted by Jim on 21 February 2013
The Korora Project announced today the first beta release of version 18 (codename “Flo”) which is now available for download.
Derived from Fedora 18 stable, this release comes with the usual Korora extras out of the box, but now also includes:
- Adobe Flash plugin
- Experimental support for Valve’s Steam client
- unburden-home-dir, which moves cache files (like in Firefox profiles) onto RAMFS at login
- undistract-me, which pops up a GUI notification when a terminal command has completed
It is now possible to upgrade from Kororaa 17 to Korora 18, thanks to Fedora’s FedUp tool.
Posted by Jim on 21 December 2012
I’ve mentioned before that I use an Android phone, currently a HTC One X, and thought I’d share my favourite apps. Note that I said favourite. I can’t guarantee that they are the best out there but are the ones I use and like.
Paying For Apps
I’m a bit slow to buy an app without trying it first so rarely buy an app when there isn’t a trial or free version available. I know this is strange given that most apps cost less than that universal item of economic comparison, a cup of coffee. Having said that I should add that when I use and like an app I invariably buy the paid version.
(Clicking on the name will take you to Google Play)
Chrome – there simply isn’t a better browser particularly if you use it on your computer as well.
Security is something everyone thinks about and locking your phone is a simple security measure but it can be fustrating when you use it a lot. Delayed Lock turns off the lock when you are in an environment that you feel secure such as when connected to your home wifi. It has other features too such as the ability to wipe your phone after several failed attempts to unlock.
Your phone is useful for some rather mundane things too, like doing the grocery shopping. I’ve used Hungry Shoplist for while. It is a bit basic, there are others with more features but it works for me. Some custom roms have an option to turn off the 3 dot menus, I found Hungry will crash with this option selected. I don’t think this is a bug as it isn’t a feature of standard Android.
I bought my phone in Australia but it was an International European model and so came with few locales installed but not Australia. More Locales2 does what its name says, allows you to add any locale you want.
If you have a data limit on your phone you’ll find Netcounter useful to keep an eye on how much you use.
Sometimes you need to quickly turn features like Wifi, mobile data and GPS on or off. Having Power Toggles on your home screen can do that and much more.
One app I use but never touch on my phone is Mighty Text. It uses your phone to send SMSs from your computer. It also shows incoming SMSs and other alerts on the computer screen. Follow the instructions to set it up, the installation order is important but easy to do and use.
One problem with phones is the difficulty typing on them, a good keyboard is essential and there isn’t any better than SwiftKey. It has a wide range of languages packs including Australian English which makes it even better.
For drivers who want or need to keep a record of vehicle expenses aCar is very powerful. It tracks all types of expenses and can handle multiple vehicles.
Android probably has more weather apps than any other type but to track current weather and forecasts in Australia only Au Weather is worth considering. It uses data from the BOM and nothing is as accurate or reliable as the official data.
Lastly HTC Sense is a bit controversial, many hate it and some love it. Personally I don’t dislike it and stuck with it for a while but once you try other launchers you find there is better options out there. I tried several but currently use Apex. It isn’t the fastest but has some nice features and good support.
So there are many apps I like and use regularly. I have others installed on my phone, e.g. I mentioned Open GPS Tracker in an previous post, but these are the ones I use most. E.g I don’t use a custom camera app as the standard HTC one on the One X is as good as any I’ve tried.
If you can suggest any others please do so.
Posted by Jim on 4 November 2012
I posted recently about geotagging photos in Linux. There is a post on the digiKam blog about the same subject with a good idea I hadn’t thought off, using your Android (or any other one that can tag photos) phone to take a reference shot. Read the whole post here, it’s worth a look.
Posted by Jim on 7 October 2012
Goggle has announced that it intends to close its iGoogle service. iGoogle is simply the best start page out there particularly for those who use other Google services. There is a site that is trying to get Google to reconsider. So help save iGoogle by going to “Don’t Kill iGoogle“.
Posted by Jim on 6 October 2012
You may ask why geotag images? I have some images I took on film 20 years ago and would love to know where they were taken. Often I have a rough idea but I couldn’t find my way back there if I wanted too. One image is marked ‘beside the Croydon to Georgetown Road, Queensland’. Not very helpful when you think those 2 towns are nearly 150k apart, that’s almost 95 miles for those from non metric places.
Recently I’ve been experimenting with automatically geotagging my photos, also known as GPS Co-relating. This requires having a gps track of where I have been and an application that can match that track with the appropriate photos.
First thing is to create a gps track. This can be done with a dedicated gps unit or with some other device. I chose to use my android phone because I always have it with me. To record the track requires an app. There are many available but I use ‘Open GPS Tracker‘ because it is open source, it’s free and it works. It has many options that I don’t use including real time streaming. It has the option to output .gpx files which is what the co-relating applications require.
After you have the track you need an application to read it and match it to your photos. As always there are a number of options in Linux. Digikam has this option but I couldn’t get it to work reliably so I use ‘GPS Correlator’. It is available in the repos of many Linux distros, just needs a ‘yum install gpscorrelator’ in Kororaa (and Fedora). It has more options than Digikam which is how I got it working.
One thing I should mention is that your camera and gps unit (phone in my case) must have the time settings synchronised as accurately as possible. Doesn’t need to be to the second but as close as you can get it. As most phones handle their time settings automatically this means changing the setting on your camera. Check it before each use particularly if you live in an area with daylight saving.
In the gpscorrelator screen you can select photos to process then the gpx file you got from your gps unit. You should set the time zone your camera is set to as gps data is always in UTC. You can also set the time difference and offset. Fortunately gpscorrelator has tool tips which describe how to use these options. If you still get no match on some images try selecting the ‘Between Segments’, it compensates for any gaps in your track. Particularly useful for areas with poor gps reception like cities and wooded areas.
Gpscorrelator also has an option to remove gps data from images if you want your location to remain private. This is handy for phones and other cameras that automatically record your location. For images taken at home and at friends’ places you might prefer to keep the location private when you post them on photo sharing sites.
There are a couple of things I’ve learnt so far. First is allow some time between starting the tracker and taking your first image. Also between taking the last image and stopping the tracker. First time I tried it I stopped the tracker when I got back in the car after taking the last images. None of the images taken there would match as the last point in the track was some time before the images were taken. Today when I got it working I started the tracker when I left home and stopped it when I get back.
Second is if you are constantly moving you might need to adjust the ‘Logging Precision’ in ‘Open GPS Tracker’s settings. It defaults to normal but if you find this doesn’t give enough points try a more precise setting or set you own custom interval. Experimenting is the only way to know what works for you. Explore the settings for other options that may improve your accuracy or that you might find useful too.
If you are using the tracker for a long period, e.g. most of the day, you might need to consider battery life. So far I’ve been in the car and I can plug the phone into a charger so that isn’t a problem. But without the external power recording a track for several hours may result in a dead phone battery. This maybe a good use for an old android phone if you have one laying around, maybe you know someone who has recently updated?
Adding location tags to your images is useful now and so easy to do why not try it.
Posted by Jim on 17 August 2012
Below is a list of the applications I use regularly. I don’t claim they are the best but they are the ones I prefer. Many are KDE based but there are fewer of them than previously. I use both KDE and Xfce as my desktop environments. The apps that come with Xfce are pretty basic so I prefer alternatives.
One of the complaints I have about many of KDE’s apps it that they have been combined with KDEpim which means you can’t install single apps. If you don’t use Kmail and its brethren then I would avoid Blogilo and Kjots, both of which I have previously used.
Chrome / Chromium is my browser of choice. Not perfect, it doesn’t integrate into the desktop too well. But it is fast and has the main extensions I like.
Conky – just calling Conky a system monitor really understates what it can do. Conky can do so much that it requires its own post. Since it introduced real transparency it greatly reduced the problems running it under KDE. One of the first things I set up on a new installation.
Krusader – twin pane file manager. Dolphin is good especially with the split feature but I like the power and retro style of Krusader. I’ve tried others like Midnight Commander which is quite good but nothing comes close to Krusader.
Gimp – it is all you need to edit images. To work with raw files just add ufraw and ufraw-gimp.
Digikam – adds digital asset management aka photo organiser. Has editor which works better for raw images than ufraw but I prefer Gimp. Has export to almost anything you can think of.
Cups-pdf – while Koffice and LibreOffice can create PDFs adding cups-pdf allows you to create them from anything that can print.
Kdenlive – the most stable video editor under Linux. A good balance between power and ease of use. Not perfect but there is nothing better at the moment.
Tilda – a drop down terminal emulator. Makes accessing the terminal so easy and you can hide it and let it get on with what is doing. KDE provides Yakuake which has many options and is a great application.
LibreOffice – the most polished FOSS office suite there is. If only Base was up to the standard of the rest of the suite.
Clementine – what can I say, can’t work without some music. A good mix of features and performance.
Zim – note taker / desktop wiki. I used Kjots for a while but it was integrated into KDEPim which meant it was near impossible to sync it between 2 systems so I switched to Zim. Just as good maybe better but I don’t use all its features and it has fewer dependencies.
So that is it. There are other applications that I use from time to time which work well too, things like Yumex and VLC but the ones above are those I like and use nearly every day. They are all available in Kororaa, a couple require extra repos to be installed in Fedora though.