Tech, Autos, & Gear in Layman's Terms Since 2006

Open Source Tag Archive

May 8, 2014 • News

Firefox OS Smartphone, ZTE Open C, Is Now Available on eBay

If you have been holding out for an inexpensive smartphone running the latest version of Firefox OS, then today is your lucky day. You’ll find the ZTE Open C on eBay, and you’ll likely be pleased to hear that the price is a jaw-droppingly reasonable $99. With its 4″ screen and dual-core Qualcomm processor, this phone …

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May 1, 2014 • News

Laptop Shopping with Linux in Mind

For the first time in many years, I was in the market for a new personal laptop You would think that buying a laptop to run Linux on would be easy, but with recent changes it’s more difficult than it has to be. With some research, and a few preparation steps done ahead of time, it won’t be a …

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October 3, 2013 • Gear Bits

TiVo Is the Hidden Linux of the Week

The internet and Linux were both relatively new things in 1999 for much of the world outside of academia. It was at that time that a new device came out that has since been eclipsed by other services. What am I talking about? What many consider the first DVR, the humble TiVo. And yes, TiVo …

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September 25, 2013 • Gear Bits

The Hidden Linux of the Week is Your TV

Valve’s announcement of SteamOS it reminded me of another hidden Linux system. It is the GPL software license that has allowed many devices to adopt Linux.  Android and kiosks are just two of them. This also can include devices you wouldn’t think would need an operating system like your TV. Your TV probably runs Linux. …

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June 29, 2013 • Reviews

Serenity Plex Media Server Client for Android and GoogleTV Review

Since getting the Roku box, one thing I have loved about it was that I could use the Plex Media Server to stream my personal content at home to my TV.  Plex Media Server is a media streaming server available for Linux, Windows, and Mac; it is also supported on select Network Attached Storage(NAS) boxes like …

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April 11, 2013 • How to Do It Yourself!

Tiny Tiny RSS: DIY Android Google Reader Replacement

I am still lamenting the decision Google made to kill off Google Reader.  While I am generally ok with Feedly, I am actually in the same boat I was with Google Reader when I use another service like Feedly.  If Feedly goes away, then I am stuck yet again.  So I began searching for other …

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January 22, 2013 • News

Geeksphone to Ship FirefoxOS on Developer Hardware Next Month

  The biggest criticism I have of Android and iOS challenger UbuntuOS is that they made an announcement with no hardware that was even close to shipping.  Well, the Mozilla project has gone a step further and announced that they will have not one, but two developer phones to ship next month with the new …

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January 20, 2013 • Crowdfunding, News

GCW Zero – Open Source Gaming Handheld

Have you ever looked at the Playstation Vita or Nintendo 3DS and thought that they look great, but you would rather have a handheld gaming system that ran inexpensive open-source games but had physical control buttons? That is the concept behind the GCW-Zero: Open Source Gaming Handheld. Project Title: GCW-Zero: Open Source Gaming Handheld Status: …

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June 8, 2012 • News

LinuxMint Project Releases the mintBox, a PC the Size of a Router

I have long been a fan of Clement “Clem” Lefebvre’s distribution of Linux that goes by the name LinuxMint.  LinuxMint is based on the popular Ubuntu distribution of Linux and also has a version that is based on the Debian distribution of Linux.  LinuxMint is sleek and sticks to a traditional desktop style interface unlike Ubuntu’s Unity …

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May 29, 2012 • News

ZaReason’s ZaTab: A Tablet That Honors Your Freedom

Many tablet makers ship their Android tablets with locked bootloaders, and some don’t even provide an unlock utility for allowing the hacker types, like myself, to load custom ROMs like CyanogenMod.  Well, my friends at ZaReason are now shipping the ZaTab, which not only has an unlocked bootloader, but will eventually ship with CyanogenMod 9 …

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January 3, 2012 • News

10 Important Desktop Open Source Projects for 2012

In the spirit of Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier’s post over on, I thought I would craft my list of 10 important open source desktop applications of the last year.  Now I know that not every Gear Diary reader is a huge Open Source fan or follower, but these are projects to watch in the coming …

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February 14, 2011 • Events, News

MWC: AppUp, MeeGo, Open Source, and Tablets

The partnership between Nokia and Microsoft that was announced the other day has caused some speculation that the Intel powered AppUp store in general, and the MeeGo in particular might be the losers in this story. Helena and I spoke with Peter Biddle, General Manager to AppUp Products and Services, and he said that despite …

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January 10, 2011 • Reviews

Review: The Wikireader

A while back the OpenMoko project created the goal of bringing out a Linux based smartphone called the Freerunner.  Then Google brought out what became the most successful Linux based operating system of all time, Android.  Well, needless to say, the writing was on the wall.  The clunky OpenMoko OS, with the behind the times …

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October 26, 2010 • Reviews

Linux Netbook Review: ZaReason Terra HD Netbook

It’s been a couple of years since I reviewed a laptop from ZaReason, the UltraLap SR.  Now I’m reviewing something a bit smaller — the ZaReason Terra HD. ZaReason is a different type computer company; every single computer they sell runs Linux, and they only ship Linux (or no operating system at all) on all …

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July 16, 2010 • Editorials

Droid X Gets the Lockdown: Does it Matter?

There’s been a bunch of stuff going around the web about the Droid X and the fact that it likely will not be able to run custom ROMS and may even be hard to root. I’ll try to describe, in layman’s terms, what this may mean to a prospective Droid X buyer. What is this …

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June 8, 2010 • Events

Preview: Southeast LinuxFest 2010

Up until this year, I had only attended the Ohio LinuxFest being lucky enough to live in its host city of Columbus, Ohio.  The Ohio LinuxFest is an awesome community driven event that amazes me every year it’s run.  However, in 2010, I will be attending both the Ohio LinuxFest and the second year of …

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