Useful computer tip of the week

For a good office suite, try out Libre Office.

LibreOffice is the free power-packed Open Source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, that gives you 6 feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is free from our large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. You, too, can also get involved!

via Home » LibreOffice.

Libre Office is based off of the code, but unlike, it isn’t controlled by Oracle, which has not made people like it well in the Open Source world.  I don’t care which program I use, they’re both the same price (free) and have the same features, in my opinion either of them is better than Microsoft Office, which is very overpriced, at least for the home user.


Useful software tip of the week

Use your Wacom tablets on Ubuntu Linux.

This will let people with a wacom tablet to use it on their Ubuntu Linux machine.  some of them may work out of the box, but the newer models require a newer driver to be installed.

To install the updated driver, you copy and paste these lines into a terminal window. on Ubuntu the terminal is at Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:doctormo/wacom-plus
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wacom-dkms

After you’ve installed the driver, your tablet should work.

for more information go to


Useful Computer Tip of the Week

Use BleachBit to remove your files.

Bleachbit is much like CCleaner, which I recommended for Windows users a while ago.  I still recommend CCleaner for Windows Users, but since it’s Windows only, it isn’t useful for Linux users.  You can remove files, shred files (Completly wipe them) and wipe the free space on the disk drive.

The reason that you would want to shred a file is to make it impossible to recover later.  There are programs that can recover files that have been deleted, which is why you would want to ‘shred’ your sensitive documents.


Useful computer tip of the week

Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD
Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD

Use Linux Live CDs to try Linux out before you think of installing, it will be a little bit slow, CD Drives are slower than Harddrives, but you can get a taste of what it would be like to use Linux.  This post was made from the Ubuntu 10.10 Live CD, which was released yesterday, I’ll be making a short review of this new version later.

For those that want to try Ubuntu 10.10, the CD has a program called Wubi on it, if you use that in Windows, it’ll install Ubuntu as a Windows application, so you can try it at full speed, without fear of breaking your Windows installation.

Until then, have fun 🙂


Useful computer tip of the Week

Many Linux users may notice that there is no audio in Java applications.  I recently found an fairly easy way to fix this.

This should work for Ubuntu users, I cannot vouch for other versions of Linux.

  1. Press ALT+F2
  2. type in ‘gksudo nautilus’ (Without the quotes)
  3. enter your password
  4. go to /usr/bin
  5. search for ‘java’
  6. rename the file named ‘java’ to ‘java.bin’
  7. make an empty document, rename it to ‘java’
  8. copy the content of the box below into the text file
  9. #!/bin/bash
    padsp /usr/bin/java.bin “$@”

  10. save the file
  11. right-click on the file
  12. go to the permissions tab
  13. click on the allow executing as a program checkbox
  14. Now you should have audio in your Java Applications!

I will post a file that will do all of this for you later, which will make the process much easier.


Useful Computer tip of the Week

Screenshot of Openshot

This one is for People that are using Linux.

I know that some people like to edit video files on their computer, such as trim them for Youtube, or other video sites, but if they’re using Linux, there aren’t many good applications.  PiTiVi, the new default in Ubuntu 10.04 seems to be missing a number of basic features, which makes using a different program to make title screens, and transitions, a requirement.  Now a few days ago, I discovered OpenShot, a free and open video editing program.  it has all of the features that I need to make videos, and it is free! So if you’re a person that needs a good video editing tool, Openshot is the tool for you.

According to their site, they may make a Windows version soon, if they do, I’ll be installing it on my Windows laptop.

Have a good day!


Useful computer tip of the week
Screenshot of

Avoid vendor lock-in by using open programs and formats.

If it is possible for you to use instead of Microsoft Office, you can save a lot of money, and be assured that if anything goes wrong with your ability to use the program, there will be another program that can read it’s formats.

Many programs can read the Open Document Format used by Open Office., Google Docs, Abiword, KOffice, and recently Microsoft Office gained the ability to read and save in the Open Document Format. (Although it shows a warning screen telling you to save in Microsoft’s .docx format instead)

In the end, most of these programs can also open the Microsoft formats as well, but since they had to add that support by reverse-engeneering microsoft’s firmats, they can glitch, and formatting may be missing.

Look for open equivelants for your favorite programs, doing that can make your life easier!

That’s all for now

–Peder Erickson


Useful computer tip of the week

Sorry about my silence last week, things got a little bit busy.

Now onto my useful computer tip of the week…

Backup your computer on a regular basis.  Regular backups can save you from data loss, by accidental deletion, or harddrive failures.

Yes Harddrives fail, I have two dead ones in my house… which I’m saving for a project later…

That is all 🙂

Edit: Wow, the first post on this blog was on Sept 12 2009!  one year! … I hope that this next year sees many more posts.  Have a good day!


Useful computer tip of the week

Clean your computer on a regular basis.  This means keep the harddrive defragmented, remove old software, temporary files, and clean your registry.

CCleaner is a good program for removing the old software, temporary files, and the registry.

Also you should clean your computer’s interior as well.  Dust buildup can clog the fans, short out the electronics, and it has a chance of causing a fire. (Just know that for it to get to this point, your computer will have to have gone a number of years without cleaning.)