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Linode now offering 10 bucks per month plan

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  • Friday, February 06 2015 @ 12:14 AM UTC
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Linode is an outstanding VPS provider.

I have been a happy Linode customer since 2010 (over five years). During that time, Linode has provided many free upgrades (more memory, more disk space, ...).

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For their birthday last year, Linode announced a $10 per month VPS plan. This lower-cost plan is still hosted on Linode's ultra-reliable Linux servers with all-SSD storage and tons of performance. For more details, read their blog post:

https://blog.linode.com/2014/06/16/11th-linode-birthday-10-linode-plan/

GoPiGo - Raspberry Pi Robot

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  • Friday, October 24 2014 @ 12:01 PM UTC
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I recently received a package from another successfully funded Kickstarter project, the GoPiGo, a Raspberry Pi robot.The Kickstarter campaign raised $56k compared to their $7,600 goal.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...y-pi-robot

My package included the robot kit, a bunch of accessories, and an actual Raspberry Pi Model B+. The SD card comes loaded with the Raspbian for Robots Operating System.




Now there are two Raspberry Pis in our house. Time for some fun!

For more info visit GoPiGo by Dexter Industries.

Kano Computer Kit - Great for Kids

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  • Friday, October 03 2014 @ 11:55 PM UTC
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Last week I received our Kano Computer Kit, the "computer anyone can make". I have not backed very many Kickstarter projects and I am just so happy that this one made it. The result is a fully-polished, professional quality computer kit... for kids.



My daughter (10 years old, 5th grade) said over and over again "this is so much fun!" On the first day she spent about 4 hours playing around with the various coding environments. In particular, she liked the "Make Pong" environment where she worked through the exercises and made all kinds of interesting variations on the game (changing the ball size and color and the actions that happened when the ball hit the paddles).

The initial unboxing, assembling, and software setup of the Kano was straightforward and I only had to give my daughter a tiny bit of guidance here and there. For example, it took some care to get the Raspberry Pi board out of its safe and secure packaging. But for the most part, she read the guide and read the screen and followed the instructions and enjoyed the whole experience.

Follow the white rabbit...

(The setup includes a cute sequence of an animated ASCII art rabbit.)

The process was kind of nostalgic for me. The pong game reminded me of the Pong console game we received one Christmas when I was a kid. I remember the few times in my childhood when my dad brought home a new computer and unboxed it and hooked it up to the TV and we all spent hours fooling around with it. In fact, I almost think my dad (now a grandpa who pretends not to know anything about computers) would enjoy having a Kano to play with.

Team Kano received $1.5 million in their Kickstarter campaign, compared to their original goal of $100,000. One of the backer perks is that my name is included in the Credits file that is shipped out to the world on each little Kano computer.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...e-can-make

For more info or to order a Kano Computer Kit for yourself, visit the Kano Computer Kit web site.

Planet Explorers Game on Linux

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  • Wednesday, July 23 2014 @ 10:47 PM UTC
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A game called Planet Explorers just became available in Early Access style on Steam. It is available for PC Windows, Mac, and Linux. I am writing this as of version Alpha 0.82.

This week, save 40% off Planet Explorers on Steam. http://store.steampowered.com/app/237870/



The graphics are beautiful:



I had no stutter or performance issues at all on my Ubuntu 14.04 system. From Additional Drivers, I am using the NVIDIA binary driver - version 331.38 from package nvidia-331.

For reference, my hardware includes...

Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2400 CPU @ 3.10GHz
NVIDIA Corporation GK106 [GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost]

Gameplay seems to have some features of Minecraft... within a few minutes I was able to dig for stone and metals, harvest plant life, hunt animals for meat, and get attacked by some kind of predator. The online videos I have seen show people building defenses and other structures.

Here are additional screenshots from my Linux system:

Upgrade Home Desktop Computer, Still Running Linux

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  • Monday, July 01 2013 @ 11:02 PM UTC
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I've been musing about getting a faster computer ever since Steam for Linux was released. As mentioned previously, TF2 (Team Fortress 2) was playable on my old computer... but I had to run at a reduced resolution. At about the same time, I was doing some intensive graphics editing in GIMP and Inkscape and for the first time in a while (ever?) I had a productivity (rather than gaming) need for a faster processor. I also edit video from time to time which always wants more compute power.

I last blogged about my desktop computer in 2010. Some of that has not changed (mouse, keyboard, computer case, ...), but I finished upgrading motherboard, CPU, memory, hard drive, and graphics card and WOW this machine is BLAZING FAST! The SATA3 SSD helps my system boot to the login screen in under 10 seconds! I'm pleased that I got so much use out of those old components but now I will hand them down to another Linux user.

The nVidia GTX650 Ti BOOST graphics card that I bought from NewEgg was new enough that the standard drivers available for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS did not support it. After some struggle, the driver package nvidia-319 from "Edgers" PPA did the trick and I have amazing graphics for gaming. Here are some screenshots of Linux gaming, all running natively...

Portal:



Dungeon Defenders:



Serious Sam 3 BFE:




These screenshots of the nVidia control panel (nvidia-settings) show some details of the graphics card and drivers:

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thatlinuxbox.com is the home of Dan Stoner's Personal Blog, Photos, and More (opinions, rants, techno-babble, and possibly a few useful tidbits of knowledge).

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