Tidbit: Discovering Xubuntu Distribution from PHP

📅 September 24, 2016
In PHP, we can use php_uname to grab information about the operating system that the server is running on.

echo php_uname(‘s’) will give the name of the OS, but this is a general name. When executed from a server running Xubuntu, it returns the string “Linux.” Is this Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, or…what?

What if we want to get the specific Linux distribution? Is this possible from PHP without performing host OS system calls or executing Bash scripts? Yes.

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Playing DSD Audio Files in Linux

📅 September 6, 2016
dsd“Can I play DSD files in Linux?”

Yes. However, the process is not exactly user-friendly due to DSD being a rather obscure audio format compared to FLAC and MP3. If you want to play .dsf or .dff files in Linux, you must first install players that will support DSD or convert DSD into PCM.

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Reduce a Computer’s Audio Output Line Hum

📅 August 30, 2016
isolator“Why do I hear a faint hum from my computer’s audio output?”

Computers are electrically noisy environments, and all of those wires and fans and whatnot operating at various frequencies can have unpleasant side-effects on a computer’s audio output.

If you enjoy listening to music played from your computer and if you use the computer’s analog stereo outputs (the 3.5mm line out jack) to connect to an external amplifier or receiver, then you have no doubt encountered the low-frequency hum effect.

Not a mere hiss due to a noisy sound card, but a low hummmmmmmmm that is heard consistently whether or not audio is playing and regardless of the volume level.

This can happen with any home audio equipment, not just computers. Often, it is caused by a ground loop, and the best way to reduce or nearly eliminate this hum is to electrically isolate the audio output (from the computer) from the audio input of the receiver/amplifier.

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Fixing Archive Manager’s Parsing Filters is Unsupported Message

📅 August 23, 2016
Have you seen this error message before?

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“Parsing filters is unsupported.” Appears while using Archive Manager to extract RAR files.

When installing a fresh Linux distribution on a new system, it is sometimes easy to assume that some software has been installed by default after becoming accustomed to using Linux on a reliable system that has had the software present for a long time.

One such example is Archive Manager. It will not extract all file formats by default until you install extra packages that give it that ability. RAR is one case. By default, Archive Manager will extract a few basic formats, such as ZIP, but not RAR.

We need to install additional software so other file formats can be extracted.

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Customize Theme Colors with Oomox

📅 August 22, 2016
lanceloth2aInterested in customizing your Linux desktop theme colors to a fine degree? Try Oomox!

Oomox is a program that lets you adjust and create your GTK theme colors for your Linux desktop and save the result as a brand new theme set.

Light themes. Dark themes. Classic themes. Wild themes. Your imagination is the limit!

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Samsung EVO 128GB MicroSD and Linux

📅 July 29, 2016
evo128_frontWhat? Is a 200GB MicroSD card too much storage space?

The 128GB capacity cards are plentiful, and one good card worth considering is the Samsung EVO 128GB microsd. It is compatible with Linux, it offers decent read and write speeds, and it features the quality we expect from Samsung.

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SanDisk 200GB MicroSD, Linux, and the PSP

📅 July 20, 2016
200g1What? 128GB is not enough space for your camera? How about something larger…

The ubiquitous, tiny memory card format is becoming available in increasing capacities. While 256G versions are available, they are expensive due to their recent entry onto the market.

What to do? Why, use a 200G capacity card, of course! Its much lower price point (compared to a 256GB card) and larger capacity over a 128G card offers plenty of space for digital goodies.

The SanDisk Ultra 200GB MicroSD card is a class 10, UHS-1 card that has received much favorable praise for its fast read speeds and reasonable price per gigabyte, but is it compatible with Linux? If so, what are benchmarks like?

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