Category Archives: Free Software Magazine

Get power on pdf files and modify them on the fly with pdfmod (PDF Mod) and PDF Editor on Ubuntu

Since its invention, the pdf format has been the most versatile standard to share documents with a fixed layout. Everyday we share, read and create a lot of pdf files but sometimes we would like to modify them to create “new” personalized version more suitable to our needs.

For example, sometimes you need to extrapolate just a page from a pdf files or you want just to create different versions of the same file with few variations for your colleagues. For all these purpose pdfmod is the right solution for you.

Pdfmod has not been developed for some years because the versions we were able to find for Linux were the 2011 ones but, for what we know and tested, it still runs on all main platforms as Linux, Windows and OSX. Pdfmod is  a little bit different from other similar programs because it allows you just to modify the pdf file changing pages order, deleting pages or adding new pages from other pdf files. It also allows you to change some main metadata (title, author, keywords and subjest) of your pdf file in just few clicks and, of course, you can save the modified copy of the original pdf file.

These features could be basic for more sophisticated people but I can assure you that, if you have the need to do this kind of work different times in a week, pdfmod is the software you will use more often. Installation on Ubuntu is very simple, you just have to open a terminal and type:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pdfmod-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pdfmod

and you will find a new PDF Mod launcher into the Accessories menu.

To get complete power on your pdf files we suggest pdfedit (PDF Editor) which allows you to “break” protected pdf files and modify them. To install pdfedit, use Synaptics Package Manager or the Ubuntu Software Center.

Don’t forget, when you use pdfedit you just have to open the “target” pdf file, save it using the Flatten feature you find into the Tool menu and open again the “new” file to modify it without any restriction.

Easy to install and simple to use, in few words the above described programs worth a try!  AddThis

WordPress as search engine

WP logoAre you starving for information or “really new news”? Why don’t you try to use wordpress.com as search engine? This feature, normally not well-known by many people, let you to dig deep into all the blogs hosted on wordpress.com. Just type a keyword and you will be able to find related news into all the posts or comments in just few seconds. Easy to use and reliable for all that people (like me) who still believe in blogs as ideas incubators.  AddThis

 

A list of the best free online University courses in USA and UK. Some tips to choose between them, successfully attend only the best ones and create your aside University career without spending a cent!

Today opportunities

During the last two years the number of free online University courses exploded on the web. Today it is possible to attend prestigious courses by important USA and UK Universities and receive a final certification without spending a cent.

The good news are that these courses are interesting, well structured and you have a real possibility to increase your knowledge if  approach them in the right way.

The first time you look for the free online University courses you are disoriented by the number and the many different topics they cover. The problem is to make the right selection in order not to waste time and energies for something you (and you career) don’t actually need.

How to select the right courses

1- Make a first selection between courses choosing only that are really interesting for you
2 – Check if you will receive a participation certificate if you complete the course
3 – Honestly evaluate your real, deep, interest for the courses that will not provide any written certification. I mean: “Do you really think that they will increase your knowledge and will be determinant for your career or life?”
4 – Don’t overestimate your capacities. Read very carefully the required background to attend the courses
5 – Don’t underestimate the time you need to attend the courses and do all the “homework” and the suggested readings
6 – Finally, select two (or more) courses and “Create” your free aside University career. Try to choose courses that have logical and “career path” connections between them. The important thing is what you are really learning on particular related topics you consider important for your career, not the number of disordered certification you can write on your resume.

A list of free online University courses in USA and UK

1- https://www.coursera.org/

2 – https://www.udacity.com/

3 – http://gtmooc.com/how-it-works/

4 – http://www.udemy.com/

5 – https://www.edx.org/

6 – https://6002x.mitx.mit.edu/

7 – http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course

8 – https://code.google.com/edu/security/index.html

Please, add a comment to this post to inform or recommend other courses we have not mentioned here!! Thank you! AddThis

Video – Install Macbuntu on Ubuntu 11.04 by seaner992

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How to Make Your Ubuntu Desktop Look Like the One of Mac OS

If you are a fan of the design proposed by Apple for most of its operating systems, particularly Mac OS X, then there are a couple of things that you should take into consideration and some simple steps to follow. Therefore, you are advised to read the following information carefully in order to achieve the expected outcome in the shortest time.

There are two free pieces of software that can transform your Ubuntu desktop into one that looks identical to the one of Mac OS in no time. The Ubuntu version is called Macbuntu. First of all, you will need to install this program onto your local hard drive. Here is what you need to do for this step:

– If you are using Ubuntu 10.4 Lucid Lynx, you will need to open a new terminal and type the following lines into it:

$wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.04/v2.2/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz -O /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz
$tar xzvf /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04.tar.gz -C /tmp
$cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.04/
$./install.sh

– On the other hand, if Ubuntu 10.10 Maverik Meerkat or a similar version is installed in your system, you will need to use a different version of Macbuntu, which can be accessed by typing the following:

$wget https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/macbuntu/macbuntu-10.10/v2.3/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -O /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz
$tar xzvf /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10.tar.gz -C /tmp
$cd /tmp/Macbuntu-10.10/
$./install.sh

During the install process, you will be provided with the chance of choosing between different options. These are usually dependent on the different ways you wish your desktop to look like. Most of the choices will be based on your visual tastes, so make sure you choose according to them.

Finally, whenever you need to uninstall this special package for some reason you can follow the same procedure described above, with just an exception. Instead ./install.sh you will need to use the ./uninstall.sh command. AddThis

Install Conky system monitor for Linux and configure it in few basic steps

Conky is one of the most powerful and versatile system monitors for Linux desktops. It allows you to monitor and display all the information about your hardware, top processes, network, emails and more. At the moment more than 300 different feature has been built for Conky and searching on the web you always find the perfect feature already developed by someone.

– Installation on Ubuntu:

in Terminal run: sudo apt-get install conky

– Configuration:

In Terminal run: sudo nautilus

Go to File System: /etc/conky/conky.conf

Save a copy of the original conky.conf in another location and open the original file with Gedit Text Editor

First of all change: own_window yes to own_window no

Choose your preferred alignment (some samples below…):
alignment top_right
or
alignment middle_right
or
alignment bottom_right

Play with: update_interval 1.0
and change the interval value till you find the right ratio to obtain the best speed for you (in my case it was 0.80).

Add this line to eliminate any flickering:
double_buffer yes
but, on some computers, all the icon on your desktop will be hidden and you need to use (move) the mouse to discover them if you will not add this parameter: own_window_type normal

Add, as last line (or in other position if you prefer):
${color red} ${cpugraph} to have a clear graph about cpu (obviously you can choose the color you prefer)

For automatic start of Conky at startup, please follow the following instructions:
Run Startup Applications in System –> Preferences
Click on Add and save after updating the following instructions
Name: Conky
Command: /usr/bin/conky

Restart Ubuntu to check your new Conky “applet”

Link to Conky: http://conky.sourceforge.net/

For more info about Conky’s variables: http://conky.sourceforge.net/variables.html

Find online some pre-compiled Conky configuration files, searching, for example, on: http://gnome-look.org
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How to Install Sopcast for free live TV in Ubuntu

Sopcast represents one of the most popular technologies for live TV streaming, being based on the famous p2p system. However, until recently, there was no version of this software for Ubuntu and Linux in general. But now every single user can enjoy live TV right on their desktop or laptop computer with this absolutely amazing program.

In order to install Sopcast on your machine, here is what you need to do:

1. Open a new terminal. This is a classic step and is used in most of the installation processes you will encounter in Ubuntu.

2. In order to add Sopcast to Synaptic (the package administrator software integrated into Ubuntu) you will need to type the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jason-scheunemann/ppa

3. The next step is related to the update of the sources list. This can be done with the following command, which needs to be typed into the same terminal in order to achieve the right effects:
sudo apt-get update

4. Now you will need to run Synaptic in order to finalize the process. This is usually done through the System menu (System -> Administration -> Synaptic). Alternatively, you can use the following simple command:
sudo synaptic

5.  Look for the Sopcast package and install it. A very important step at this point is to not forget about all its dependencies. If you do not install everything, then Sopcast will not run correctly or not at all.

This is basically all you need to know if you want to install Sopcast on your machine. Whenever you need to run the player you can find it in the Application menu -> Multimedia -> Sopcast. You will surely enjoy the great variety of the channels available for every user through this system.

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