Posts Tagged linux

Typing Practice with speedpad

๐Ÿ“… March 10, 2017
Can you type faster than a robot?

The Ubuntu Linux repository is filled with lesser-known gems that are surprisingly useful and fun. Speedpad is one of them.

This a typing practice program that displays a random quote from fortune, butย you compete againstย a typing robot.

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Kernel 4.10.0 and VirtualBox 5.1.14 Released

๐Ÿ“… February 24, 2017
coverLinux kernel 4.10.0 (stable version) was released a few days ago while VirtualBox 5.1.14 was released about a month ago. I have been using both, and they have been performing well.

Kernel 4.10.0 touts improved NVIDIA graphics support, but my experience was lackluster with SLI. On the other hand, 4.10.0 runs great with existing Linux systems using non-SLI graphics.

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Using RapidDisk with VeraCrypt

๐Ÿ“… February 17, 2017
cover“Can I use RapidDisk with VeraCrypt?”

Absolutely. If you have an encrypted volume with VeraCrypt, you can easily add a RAM cache to improve read performance.

The setup is the same as with a regular RapidDisk cache but with an added extra step to map the VeraCrypt volume.

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RapidDisk – Improved Hard Drive Caching

๐Ÿ“… February 14, 2017
coverDo you have some extra RAM in your system?

Want better read speeds from slower mechanical hard drives?

How about adding a RAM drive to your system?

 

RapidDisk is an open source tool for Linux that enables you to create RAM disks for general purpose usage or use them as caching systems for existing hard drives.

I have been using RapidDisk myself on desktop systems, and I can say that it greatly improves the read performance of slow hard drives whether they be single drives or RAID arrays. You can even set up a RapidDisk RAM cache for a USB device. RAM disks are surpringly useful despite being volatile. Best of all, RapidDisk is free to obtain and simple to use after a little reading.

Here is how to use RapidDisk in Linux Mint 18.1 in a simple configuration so you can experience faster read speeds from your hard drives.

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Asus Xonar DSX and Linux

๐Ÿ“… January 23, 2017
coverBuzzzzz. Whiiiiiine. Zzzzzzzzpt. Beep. Beep. Bi-bi-bi-bi-biiiiiip.

On an inexpensive, low-end motherboard utilizing an ALC892 audio system, these are the analog sounds heard through headphones when moving the mouse.

Dragging windows. Selecting portions of an image in GIMP. Moving the mouse cursor. Every time the wired USB mouse moves, electronic interference is heard in the form of annoying beeps and buzzes.

Would a dedicated sound card improve the existing motherboard audio? I was immensely impressed with the superior audio quality of the Asus Xonar DX sound card, so I thought I would try a lower-priced version: the Asus Xonar DSX sound card.

Here are my results with Linux Mint 18.

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Experience Better Sound in Linux with the Asus Xonar DX Sound Card

๐Ÿ“… January 13, 2017
coverSo, you have finally constructed your ultimate tower of silicon greatness featuring quad SLI, NVMe storage, 4TB SSD data, 4K monitors, the latest multi-core CPU, maxed out RAM, and…what? You’re still using motherboard audio? You poor thing. Let’s fix that.

This article looks at the Asus Xonar DX PCIe sound card running in Linux and compares it with existing motherboard audio featuring the ALC1150, which is found on most higher-end motherboards these days.

Is there a difference in sound quality between a dedicated sound card and motherboard audio? Here are my tests and opinions from using the two myself.

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Adding USB 3.1 to Linux

๐Ÿ“… January 10, 2017
coverLinux supports USB 3.1 in the kernel. Why not show Linux some love and give it the hardware to use?

‘Tis a pity, but USB 3.0 is slow. Well, slow compared to SATA 6Gbps and the blazing fast M.2 NVMe. USB 3.0 tops out at ~440 MBps for external SSDs while SATA maxes out at ~540 MBps…depending upon the quality of the SSD.

Let’s go faster!

That is what USB 3.1 is for. The best part is that the prices have fallen, and you do not have to wait for future USB 3.1 motherboards. If you are running Linux, then you can add USB 3.1 to your existing system now. Even if your motherboard is an older model that only supports USB 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0, you can install inexpensive PCIe USB 3.1 cards to provide the faster ports and reap the benefits.

This article looks at the QICENT Dual-port USB 3.1 PCIe card and tests its performance on two different motherboards with PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 2.0.

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