Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Linux?

That is a question many of my non-Linux using friends often ask me.  Why waste your time learning about an OS that takes so much extra effort? I mean if it was that good EVERYONE would use it right???

Linux is specialized tool. It is not a swiss army knife like windows. It is not as easy to use, but limited in scope like the spork that is Mac OSX.  It is more like a tool chest full of specialty tools...think torx head screwdrivers and tricorders. With these tools you can do nearly anything you can imagine!  Let us look at all of the ways Linux just plain does it better.

Linux Is Everywhere

Do you use any of the following? An Android smartphone, a wifi router, DVR, DVD player, or the internet? Of course you do!  Guess what? You use Linux!  Linux can be found in each one of these devices in much the same way DNA can be found in nearly all life on Earth.  It is pervasive yet hidden.  This is the main obstacle to the OS's mainstream desktop use.  It can be tailored to many different applications from the Mars rovers to the computer I am typing this on.  This wide array of options often overwhelms users new to the OS.  Do they use Ubuntu, Arch, Gentoo, Debian, Puppy Linux, Slackware...well you get the picture.

So WHY Linux?? 

For all the reason listed above; that is why!  Got a spare computer, router, tablet, or Martian rover lying around gathering dust?  Put some Linux on it!  Where do I start??  Below you will find some helpful links to get you started on your Linux journey.  I would encourage you to browse my blog, but it is more focused on someone that has already started on their journey.  Here are some links to get you started...

Lifehacker's Guide to Linux - This is a great jumping off point and it brings you to one of the most helpful sites on the internet...not just Linux!

Distro Watch - When you are ready to pick a "flavor" of Linux this is the place to start.  Great info on all variations.

Linux Questions - You WILL have questions, and this site has nearly ALL the answers.  For users of all skill levels by users of all skill types.  Bookmark this site like yesterday.

Ubuntu - Quickly becoming the "Face" of Linux, this site has a wealth of information for users that have decided to use the novice (and expert) friendly flavor of Linux.

I hope this post helps you on your journey.  If you ever have any questions feel free to comment on this blog or send me a shout out on twitter ( @assi9 ).

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Acer Iconia a200: THE REVIEW!!

Well it has been a few months and I have really come to enjoy my Acer Iconia a200 tablet.  The picture quality is fantastic and the performance is great. Graphics intensive games run quickly and look great.  A perfect example of this is the massive new A Bards Tale (which btw way is a great game for all you RPG fans out there).  The game textures look about on par with a high end computer circa 2004.  So I like to get right to the point with my reviews.  So lets get to it.  First lets start off with what is wrong with this tablet.

The Bad

The volume controls are shit.  The rocker button is small and hard to operate.  It feels solid and quality, but just a little too solid.  If it was a wee bit bigger it would be much better.

Power save mode is a blessing and a curse.  When your tablet is idle the WiFi will shut off.  This is a good measure to save battery life and I am all for that, but when downloading very large files it is nice to be able to do so with the screen off.  This "feature" can also be annoying when bringing the tablet out of sleep mode as it will often resume the app you were in and then interrupt said app with a flood of new email alerts and whatnot.

The Good

FULL SIZE USB.  Yea.  That's right I said full size USB.  You can plug all sorts of goodies into this.  USB hub, keyboard/mouse combo, even an external hard drive!  This tablet pushes the boundaries from standard android tablet to decent netbook replacement with the proper case and keyboard mouse combo.

Micro-SD Card Slot.  Use this to expand the 16GB of hard drive space to whatever you darn well please.

Easy root*!  I used THIS method to root the tablet.  Follow the steps to the letter and you will be just fine!  Took me about an hour to get this all set. Many thanks to the great folks over at  *FYI - After rooting my tablet the newest version of Hulu stopped working.  It seems to be the only application affected by the root process.  I was able to find a version of Hulu (read hacked) that worked, but it doesn't seem to be very high quality.  But hey it works.

Couple final thoughts.  Tablet cases are shit and so are the styluses.  Both are very expensive and in the case of the styluses...garbage.  I did manage to find a decent case for it. The Case Logic iPad/ 10" Tablet case works great as it can hold the tablet in an upright position.  Only one caveat...the little bungee cord in the upper left hand corner will occasionally press the power button and shut off the screen or sometimes even the tablet.  I opt to just unhook it.

See below for links to this tablet and case!  Thanks for stopping by! :D