All Posts by Nancy Perraeault


Open-source Hardware Facts That You Did Not Know

The world of technology is constantly growing and changing. So much so, that it is difficult for people to keep track with all the innovations and changes. But, you should not fear of falling behind as long as you have us to help you! Read these facts about open-source hardware and discover new things you did not know before.


Open-source hardware, often abbreviated as OSH allows you to get that kick out of making something on your own. Namely, this movement encourages open design and free and open-source software.


This means that you can make your own hardware designs and add software to it, in order to create a device which you need, with the precise specifications that you are looking for in a device.

Sharing Is Caring

It is practically impossible not to share an achievement with the OSH community, so the open-source hardware building techniques, schematics and codes are more often than not shared. IT will also allow you to use all the systems and circuits in a better way.

When Did It All Begin?

Well, the open source reaches back just a decade, since it began in 1997. However, it took a couple of years for the open source to become recognized by major companies, such as OpenCores, Adafruit nad RepRap. However, these years made sure that open-source is solidified and today we have free hardware revolution in every sense of the word!

Yeah, But What About Licenses?

Even though open-source projects use open-source licenses, they do not always go hand in hand with patent law. Most hardware licenses actually should rely on patent law and copyright law, but that is seldom the case. So far we have had the OSS license, but also GPL, LGPL and BSD license.

But you should not forget that your patent is your intellectual property – so, you should do your best to protect it.

Why Not Buy?

Patenting open-source hardware is a lot more fun than buying a product. Sometimes it is cheaper as well. It will allow you to get a custom-made product, designed for what you intend to do with it, there is absolutely no denying that it is the only way to guarantee quality of a product.

Tablet PC

What To Look Out For When Choosing A Tablet PC

Tablet devices are still not as cheap as we would like them to be, which is why we tend to spend a lot of time choosing the right one. Read on if you are curious about tablet PCs and if you would like to buy one soon.

1. The feel and grip of the device

This is the first thing we test out when we have to buy a new tablet PC. After all, it is a device that we will be using for a long time, which is why we need to feel comfortable while using it.


You should try holding a tablet before buying it. Try to figure out whether the weight of the device feels OK. The reason why you shouldn’t trust reviews when it comes to the feel of the device is that we all have different-sized hands. Try the device before you buy it, and make sure that your fingers and wrists aren’t getting tired during use.

2. The size of the screen

You need to know whether the size of the screen is very important to you. A big screen size means that you wouldn’t be able to carry your tablet device as easy as you would be if the screen were small. On the other hand, you need to know whether a small screen will hinder your use of a tablet PC.


Think about what you will be using the device for and about the fact that you have to carry it around, and you will know which screen size fits your needs.

3. The battery life

Ideally, you should go for a device that gives you the most battery life but you should also keep in mind that the battery contributes a lot to the size and weight of your device.

Manufacturers sometimes make compromises – they lower the battery life to make a smaller device. If you notice a thin lightweight tablet with a low price, the chances are high that the battery life is short.

4. The processing power

The processing power contributes to the usability and the entertainment value of the device. The more processing power the device has, the better it will behave during usage. The less processing power, the higher the chances of the device not performing as you expect it to perform. If you want to avoid problems, you should go for a device with lots of processing power.


5 Reasons Why Open Source Is Good For Business

Many businesses and government organizations are using open source software. Nowadays, it is obvious that the price is not the only advantage of open source. Wanna know why free and open source software holds advantages? Continue reading, and you will know.

1. Security

The fact that more people can see and test code is a testament to the superior security of open source software. As the “Linus’ Law” suggests: “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” This means that the more people have access to the code, the more likely it is that flaws will be caught and fixed.


Essentially, it is the opposite of the “security through obscurity” argument. Bugs in open source software usually get fixed in no time. On the other hand, Microsoft takes weeks, sometimes months, to patch vulnerabilities.

2. Customizability

When the code is open, businesses can tweak the software to suit their needs. If the code is open, nothing is stopping businesses from adding new functionalities if they think it’s necessary. On the other hand, you can’t do that with proprietary software.

3. Cost

opensourceThink about how much money you have to spend on proprietary software. Support charges, virus protection, upgrade expenses, etc. Proprietary software is a drain on your business in many ways, and you probably don’t even realize it. You can get better quality at a smaller price if you go for open source software.

4. Quality

Ask yourself whether a handful of developers can create better software than thousands of developers? The best thing about open source software is that users work on it, and the software is closest to what the users want it to be.

A recent study has shown that the primary reason why businesses choose open source software is technical superiority.

5. Freedom

Proprietary packages put customers at the mercy of the vendors. When you choose a proprietary software, you are at the mercy of prices, priorities, requirements, timetables, and more, and that limits what you can do with the software you are paying for.


The free open source software lets you control the decisions and what you want to do with the software. The best part is that you always have a worldwide community of developers and users who are willing to help.

We are not saying that open source software is necessary for your business, but there are many benefits – it is up to you to decide what you want to use.

4 Useful Programs You Should Use

4 Useful Programs You Should Use

1. Open Office

Managing a business can be hard without the Office package, but if you don’t have enough money to purchase a license for MS Office, you can always download Open Office for free.

It has everything the MS Office has, and more. Whenever we install a fresh OS, the first program we install is the Open Office package – give it a try, you won’t regret it!


Whenever people talk about image-editing software, the first program they mention is the Adobe Photoshop. Yes, Adobe Photoshop is useful, but the problem is that not everyone can afford it.

gimp-logo 1

If you need to edit photos, but can’t spend any money on software – you can use GIMP. Gimps is free, and it is very similar to Adobe Photoshop. You should give it a try if you’re looking for a powerful image-editing program.

3. 7ZIP

7-zip-logo-256x2567ZIP is a file manager which is used to compress and uncompress files. Whenever you download a file from the Internet, the chances are high that the file is compressed. If you want to access the file without any hiccups, you should use 7ZIP. 7ZIP is another one of those programs which always find a place on our hard drive, and it is completely free!

4. Malwarebytes Anti-malware

Everyone hates nasty files which wreak havoc on our PCs, but, fortunately, there is an answer. If you are interested in keeping your PC safe, and you should be, you can try out the Malwarebytes Anti-malware program. The free version is good, but you can always purchase the full version if you require better options than the free version provides.

The four programs that we mentioned are the ones we always install after reinstalling our OS. Which programs do you install first and why?


How to Start Shell Scripting

You should think of POSIX (UNIX or Linux) system programs as building blocks which help you create bigger things. You can take a bunch of programs and put them together so that the data flows from one to another and the system takes care of the connections. The programs don’t know that they are connected – they are talking to the terminal.


Shell scripting gives everyday users the ability to program and to automate certain tasks. Shell scripts are made with common, everyday commands. If you want to get started with shell scripting, you should first familiarize yourself with a Linux or UNIX shell. The more you learn about the shell, the better your scripts will be.

There are a few shells out there, but if you are new to shell scripting, you should use bash. Bash is a good shell with plenty of features, and it is a default shell on Linux.

If you want to get good at shell scripting, you should first familiarize yourself with your text editor. The good news is that your Linux distribution comes with the grandfather of Unix text editors – vi. Vi is infamous for its non-intuitive command structure, but most of the Linux distributions come with an enhanced version of vi called vim.

When you get good at using vi or vim, you can start writing your first bash shell script. If you want to create your first script, follow the instructions:
– Open the terminal
– Use the ‘cd’ command to navigate to where you want to create the script
– Write ‘touch’ (touch command creates a new empty file)
– vi (opens the newly-created file in vi text editor)

Now that the file is open in vi, write the following:

# My first script
echo “Hello World!”

– Save the file, and make the script executable by writing ‘chmod 744’.
– Run the script by writing ‘./’

You should see the output “Hello World!” on your screen. If you have taken a class of programming, the result shouldn’t surprise you, but if you haven’t – here’s the explanation:

#!/bin/bash – this is the shebang (it tells the OS which program to use to run the script), you shouldn’t concern yourself too much with it now.
# My first script – anything following a hash (#) is a comment
echo “Hello World!” – the ‘echo’ command displays a line of text (in this case – Hello World!)

This is just a tiny sample of what shell scripting can do. We hope that we have sparked your interest and that you will continue to explore the world of shell scripting. Try learning on your own, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and you will be on your way to becoming a hacker. Good luck!


3 Hacks To Make Your Google Chrome Work Better

We all know that Chrome is the most-used browser in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it is perfect. Google Chrome is updated many times throughout a year, but it still manages to come to our computers requiring further optimization.

Chrome background

Read on and learn how you can make Google Chrome work better, and how to make its minor flaws less annoying.

1. Block annoying data requests

It is a good thing that Chrome asks for your permission before it allows a website to access your location, but it can get annoying. There is a way to make the browser automatically decline the request!

– Click the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner
– Click on ‘Settings’
– Click ‘Show Advanced Settings’ at the bottom
– Find the ‘Privacy’ section and click on the ‘Content Settings’ button
– Find the ‘Location’ and ‘Notifications’ options and select ‘Do not allow any site to show notifications’

2. Stop auto-play videos

Even tho Chrome doesn’t have an option that allows you to disable auto-playing videos; there is a workaround.

– Click the three vertical dots in the upper right-hand corner
– Click on ‘Settings’
– Click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’
– Find the ‘Privacy’ section and click on the ‘Content Settings’ button
– Find the ‘Flash’ portion of the options and select ‘Block sites from running flash’

This way, whenever there is a Flash element on a page, it won’t start playing unless you right-click on it.

3. Easy mute tabs

There is nothing more annoying than a page which blares noise out of nowhere. Yes, Chrome does show a volume indicator in the tabs that are playing audio, but we will show you how to enable the option to mute those tabs.

– Copy and paste the following text into the URL bar: chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting
– Press Enter and you will be in Chrome’s experimental options
– The ‘Tab audio muting UI control’ option will be highlighted – enable it
– Relaunch Chrome

Now you can click on the volume indicator icon to mute a noisy tab. There you have it, three simple hacks to make your Google Chrome experience much better. Which one do you think is the most useful? Which one will you be using? Let us know!


Gmail Will Start Blocking JavaScript Attachments

We have learned that starting Feb. 13; Google will forbid JavaScript attachment on the Gmail service. This move should stop one of the main methods the malware has been distributed during the past two years.


Users who want to attach .JS files to emails in Gmail will no longer be able to do it. Even if a user compresses the file into an archive like .zip or .gz, the user won’t be able to attach it to emails in Gmail.

JavaScript files need to be shared

Yes, there will be rare cases when JavaScript files need to be shared, but that can be done using storage services like Google Drive.

The .JS file extension will be added soon to an existing list of banned file attachments that includes: .ADE, .ADP, .BAT, .CHM, .CMD, .COM, .CPL, .EXE, .HTA, .INS, .ISP, .JAR, .JSE, .LIB, .LNK, .MDE, .MSC, .MSP, .MST, .PIF, .SCR, .SCT, .SHB, .SYS, .VB, .VBE, .VBS, .VXD, .WSC, .WSF and .WSH.

Most of the mentioned file types have been abused by criminals for a long time, which is why they are on the list of banned file attachments.

JavaScript files are executed directly on Windows thanks to Windows Script Host (WSH), and that is why cyber criminals have been abusing it during the past two years. JavaScript files can be used as downloaders for other malware, but the biggest problem is that JavaScript can be used for the distribution of ransomware. There is even a ransomware program which was completely written in JavaScript.


As you already know, the number one rule is that if you don’t recognize a file type and you are not sure what it does, you should not open it. If you are expecting files in formats to which you aren’t accustomed to, you should always check with the sender whether you have received what you are supposed to receive, but it would be better not to share such files via email.

We are glad to see that Google is working on security, and we are especially glad to see that they are doing something to combat the spread of ransomware by blocking JavaScript attachments. We have to wait and see the results of their new action against cyber crime.


New Minecraft Launcher Will Soon Come To Linux

We love to relax after a hard day of work, and one of the ways we relax is by playing Minecraft. Last year we heard that Mojang is working on a new launcher that doesn’t use Java, but at the same time, we learned that it might not run on Linux.


Luckily, we noticed a light at the end of a dark tunnel – a tweet from one of the Minecraft developers, Nathan Adams: “No official plans for linux, old launcher will continue to be updated for them. I’m gonna try anyway though, but no promises!”

Good people at Mojang

Fast-forward to the present time, we learned that the shiny new Minecraft launcher is coming to Linux! It seems that Mojang hired people with Linux knowledge because they are working on the new launcher to which the Windows users have grown accustomed to.

photoIt is not fully finished yet, but the new launcher should soon replace the dated old Java launcher. If you can’t wait and you want to test the new launcher, you will be glad to know that .tar.gz files have been made available for everyone. You can even find .deb files, and most surprisingly, Arch AUR files – looks like someone working at Mojang enjoys using Arch Linux.

We have tested the launcher, and we haven’t managed to find something to criticize. We can finally say that the new launcher does everything a launcher is supposed to do. But, if you notice any missing dependencies – be sure to let the good people at Mojang know.

Why are we so happy about the new launcher? The answer is easy – it no longer depends on Java. This means that the launcher can now load dependencies through a proper installer.

It is awesome to notice Microsoft working hard to support their game running on Linux, and it is even more awesome to see that some of the developers take the extra mile to support the fans.

The next time you want to have some fun after a day of work. Give the new Minecraft Linux launcher a go – you will notice that it looks much prettier than before and that it finally does what a good launcher is supposed to do.


Best Free PC Software In 2017

You should know that excellent software doesn’t have to cost a lot, thanks to open source, your PC can be equipped with top-notch programs for free. We have tested plenty of different programs before finally deciding which ones will make it on our list. Read on and learn which of the free programs we recommend you to use in 2017.

1. Free office software – WPS Office Free

WPS Office free comes with tons of powerful tools for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations. If you are worried about compatibility issues- you shouldn’t, because this program is fully compatible with Microsoft Office file formats.

2. Free browser – Google Chrome

Google’s browser is our pick because it is fast, flexible, and has great cross-platform support. We love the fact that it is integrated with our Google account, which means that we can carry our bookmarks and favorites between our devices.

3. Free photo editor – GIMP

the-gimp-logo-iconGIMP is the best free alternative to Adobe Photoshop. This program comes packed with various tools you might have seen in Adobe Photoshop – healing brush, plenty of filters, transformations, clone stamp, and more. You can also find many user-created plugins which add tons of new features.

4. Free anti-spyware and anti-malware – BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition

Having an antivirus is a must, but the problem is that most of them aren’t cheap. If you don’t want to become a victim of malicious software, you need a security program. BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition offers good protection against the latest harmful software, including ransomware. Be sure to check it out.

5. Free VPN – TunnelBear

If you want to protect your identity or access region-blocked content – you need to use a VPN. TunnelBear gives you a user-friendly interface and a decent choice of proxy servers. If you require a free VPN, try out TunnelBear, and all of your online activity will easily be re-routed.

6. Free music player – MusicBee

If you have a large music collection, you need a tool to manage it all. MusicBee helps you organize your collection, and it offers smart tagging.

It provides an excellent quality of playback, and it is a good choice for listening to podcasts or streaming Internet radio stations.


Top 3 VPN For Windows

If you are a Windows user, then you have plenty of options when choosing a VPN service or software. All of the VPN services cater to the Windows users, which is why there are so many of them out there.

However, the fact that there are many different VPS services out there means that choosing one can be difficult. Luckily, we are here to test them out and choose the best ones. Read on and learn which VPN we think could be the best one for you.

1. NordVPN

NordVPN can be found on a large number of ‘best of’ lists, but not without a good reason. This service lets you pass data through two separate VPN servers to make everything more secure, and you can even route the encrypted traffic over the Tor network.


This program is easy to use, and it has a sleek interface. The only problem we have with NordVPN is that you can only use four devices per server. We like the fact that this program is very secure and affordable.

2. IPVanish

If you require a well-designed client that is easy to use yet gives you plenty of advanced settings to tinker with, you might enjoy using IPVanish.


This program has a no logs policy, which we appreciate, and it gives you a very good protection. We didn’t like the fact that the price is a bit steep, but we did like the 7-day money-back guarantee. If you need an excellent all-around VPN client with over 700 servers – try IPVanish.

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield doesn’t come with some of the advanced options we have gotten used to, but its performance is excellent. This program comes with standard security protocols, but it has an extra feature of cloud-based malware protection.

We like the fact that Hotspot Shield has a low price, fast download speeds, and an excellent privacy policy. If you are looking for a good VPN, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money – give Hotspot Shield a try.

We hope that we have managed to make your search for a good VPN service easier. We have tested the VPN services we have mentioned, the only thing you have to do now is to make a decision, and you will be on your way to enjoying the privacy you deserve.