Geek Software of the Week – Linux Edition: Q4OS

Q4OSQ4OS is a Linux distro designed to be a Windows user’s intro to Linux. Free, fast and cool looking, it is awesome!

“(A) fast and powerful operating system based on the latest technologies while offering highly productive desktop environment. We focus on security, reliability, long-term stability and conservative integration of verified new features. System is distinguished by speed and very low hardware requirements, runs great on brand new machines as well as legacy computers. It is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.

Get professional support for your business. The team behind Q4OS is ready to provide any kind of system customization, including core level API programming as well as user interface modifications. For any form of commercial support ask at

We are currently seeking business partners to accelerate development, in order to build the perfect operating system for professional use. If you would like to participate, fund or make an investment in Q4OS, please contact us at”

Geek Software of the Week (Linux Edition): rEFIt!

Yes, it is no longer under development, but it still works on old Macs!

You can use rEFIt to manage partitions on your old Mac to convert it to boot Ubuntu Linux! I did on my Mac Pro 1,1 2006 system!

Burning a CD

If you just want to try out rEFIt without affecting your computer, you can burn rEFIt to a CD-R (or CD-RW) and boot from that. The distributed .dmg and .cdr disk images are ready to burn. See the burning instructions for details.

Automatic Installation with the Installer Package

Both disk image distributions (.dmg and .cdr) also contain the new installer package. It will install rEFIt on your Mac OS X installation volume and make sure it is active. This is now the recommended way to install and use rEFIt.

The steps to install rEFIt this way are as follows:

Download and mount the rEFIt-0.14.dmg disk image.
Double-click on the “rEFIt.mpkg” package.
Follow the instructions and select your Mac OS X installation volume as the destination volume for the install.
If everything went well, you’ll see the rEFIt boot menu on the next restart.

Manual Installation on the Mac OS X volume

If you don’t want to use the installer package, you can do a manual install instead. This section explains how to do a manual install to your Mac OS X installation volume, which requires no additional volumes or disks. It is possible to install rEFIt elsewhere; see the following sections for that.

Here are the steps for a manual install:

Download the ‘Mac disk image or any of the other two binary distributions from the home page. Double-click to mount or unpack them.

Copy the ‘efi’ folder from the rEFIt distribution to the root level of your Mac OS X volume.
Open Terminal and enter the following commands:

cd /efi/refit

When prompted, enter the password for your user account.

If everything went well, you’ll see the rEFIt boot menu on the next restart.

Note: If you get a message saying ‘No such file or directory’ in the last step, then you didn’t put the ‘efi’ folder in the right place in step 2.

This manual installation method has a drawback that you should be aware of. Since you’re not using rEFItBlesser, Mac OS X updates will disable rEFIt, and the rEFIt menu will show up even when waking from Safe Sleep.

Installing on a separate volume or external disk

If you’re uncomfortable with having rEFIt on your Mac OS X volume, you can install it on any other volume, as long as it is formatted in the HFS+ (“Mac OS Extended”) format. For example, you can install rEFIt on a USB flash drive.

The installation procedure is basically the same as explained above — copy the ‘efi’ folder to the root of the volume, and run ‘’ inside the ‘efi/refit’ directory. The path in Terminal will be different, for example ‘/Volumes/MyStick/efi/refit’ if the volume is named ‘MyStick’.

If you want, you can use the provided ‘rEFIt.icns’ icon as a volume icon.

Installing on the EFI System Partition

It is also possible to install rEFIt on the hidden ‘EFI System Partition’ on your internal disk. This is recommended for advanced users only, and will not be detailed here. You will need to use bless with the –mount and –file options. Consult the man page for bless for more information.”

Geek Software of the Week for Linux: Guake – Drop-Down Terminal

Guake is a drop-down terminal (hit F12, and “BAM!” there it is!) for Linux! It is designed to look and act like the messaging widget in the game “Quake” thus the odd spelling on the name. It is pretty cool, and very handy!

Guake – Drop-Down Terminal

“Guake is a dropdown terminal made for the GNOME desktop environment. Its style of window is based on an fps games, and one of its goals is be easy to reach.

Guake is written mostly in python and has a little piece in C (global hotkeys stuff). The code is placed in the src directory. Files and images are in the data directory. Translation stuff is in the po directory.

Features? Bugs? Information? Visit:

Geek Software of the Week for Linux: phpMyAdmin

This is a super useful utility!


phpMyAdmin is a free software tool written in PHP, intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. phpMyAdmin supports a wide range of operations on MySQL, MariaDB and Drizzle. Frequently used operations (managing databases, tables, columns, relations, indexes, users, permissions, etc) can be performed via the user interface, while you still have the ability to directly execute any SQL statement.

phpMyAdmin comes with a wide range of documentation and users are welcome to update our wiki pages to share ideas and howtos for various operations. The phpMyAdmin team will try to help you if you face any problem; you can use a variety of support channels to get help.

phpMyAdmin is also very deeply documented in a book written by one of the developers – Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management, which is available in English and Spanish.

To ease usage to a wide range of people, phpMyAdmin is being translated into 72 languages and supports both LTR and RTL languages.

phpMyAdmin has won several awards. Among others, it was chosen as the best PHP application in various awards and has won every year the Community Choice Awards as “Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins”.

phpMyAdmin is a sixteen-year-old project with a stable and flexible code base; you can find out more about the project and its history. When the project turned 15, we published a celebration page.


  • Intuitive web interface
  • Support for most MySQL features:
  • – browse and drop databases, tables, views, fields and indexes
    – create, copy, drop, rename and alter databases, tables, fields and indexes
    – maintenance server, databases and tables, with proposals on server configuration
    – execute, edit and bookmark any SQL-statement, even batch-queries
    – manage MySQL users and privileges
    – manage stored procedures and triggers

  • Import data from CSV and SQL
  • Export data to various formats: CSV, SQL, XML, PDF, ISO/IEC 26300 – OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet, Word, LATEX and others
  • Administering multiple servers
  • Creating PDF graphics of your database layout
  • Creating complex queries using Query-by-example (QBE)
  • Searching globally in a database or a subset of it
  • Transforming stored data into any format using a set of predefined functions, like displaying BLOB-data as image or download-link
  • And much more…

Geek Software of the Week: Synergy!

Synergy FOSS IP-based KVM!Awesome, awesome, awesome! Yep, that’s what I think of this GSotW! It is the perfect fit for my situation at work! I plan to show you via video just what I mean on this Saturday’s Dr. Bill.TV show! This is just “TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL!” A friend of mine at work showed me this, and it totally rocks! IP-based, yet fully encrypted, so no one can snoop on your keystrokes… nice!

Synergy – Free and Open Source IP-based KVM!

“As a platform for software based input sharing, Synergy currently requires the use of locally connected displays. This means that each physical (not locally virtualized) member of the Synergy network requires the desk space of at least one monitor. This limitation can be overcome by some method of switching the input being given to a display. In general, this would be done manually, with either a physical input switcher or the monitor’s built in controls. However, hardware switches can be clunky and expensive, and reaching out to navigate your monitor’s menus every minute can be frustrating.

  • Supported on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
  • Simply move your mouse to any computer and start typing.
  • Copy and paste between all of your computers.
  • Encryption keeps sensitive data safe on public networks.
  • Save space on your desktop by using one keyboard and mouse.
  • All you need is a network connection (no extra cables).
  • Synergy is free and open source, and always will be!”

(Guess what? I found out that this has already been a GSotW long (09/18/2008) ago, but it has improved so much, it is almost a new app anyway… so there you go!)

Geek Software of the Week: Ghostery!

GhosteryThis Geek Software of the Week is SUPER IMPORTANT! This is one you absolutely need! Here are my recommendations, use Google Chrome at all times, and use this GSotW! And it is: Ghostery! Strange name, but awesome software! Protect yourself from the evil malware on the World Wide Web! And, yes, it works on both Windows and Linux (under Chrome.) I have it on my systems! Use this! Also, share this article link with your friends that have malware issues (you know who they are!)

Ghostery – Malware Protection


Ghostery™ sees the invisible web – tags, web bugs, pixels and beacons. Ghostery tracks the trackers and gives you a roll-call of the ad networks, behavioral data providers, web publishers, and other companies interested in your activity.


After showing you who’s tracking you, Ghostery™ also gives you a chance to learn more about each company it identifies. How they describe themselves, a link to their privacy policies, and a sampling of pages where we’ve found them are just a click away.


Ghostery™ allows you to block scripts from companies that you don’t trust, delete local shared objects, and even block images and iframes. Ghostery puts your web privacy back in your hands.

Build an information foundation!

Each of the over 1,000 companies has a profile that will help you learn more about their technology, their business, and their privacy policies.

At Ghostery, we believe in enabling informed decisions about your control over your online privacy. The more you learn about the companies trading your online behavioral data, the better you can make decisions about how to control your exposure to those companies.

Ghostery allows zero-tolerance blocking of anything ad related, complete (visible) open communication with ad companies, or countless measures in between – determined by you, the informed web user.

Our Promise

Ghostery is free to download and use – plus you have our promise that Ghostery will never be used for advertising. In fact, Ghostery is now part of Evidon, whose mission is to enable a more transparent, trusted environment for consumers and advertisers online.”

Geek Software of the Week: Free File Sync!

What if there was an Open Source project that provided a file synchronization tool for both Windows OR Linux? What if it was free, and allowed tweaking and updates to make your file directories, whether on USB sticks, the network, or local disk drives match each other?

Well, here you go! Free File Sync!

Free File Sync

“What is FreeFileSync?

FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool providing highly optimized performance and usability without needless user interface complexity.

Key Features

Detect moved and renamed files and folders
Copy locked files (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
Detect conflicts and propagate deletions
Binary comparison
Full support for Symbolic Links
Automate sync as a batch job
Multiple folder pairs
Copy NTFS extended attributes (compressed, encrypted, sparse)
Copy NTFS security permissions
Support long path names > 260 characters
Fail-safe file copy
Cross-platform: Windows/Linux
Expand environment variables like %USERPROFILE%
Access variable drive letters by volume name (USB sticks)
Native 32 and 64-bit builds
Keep versions of deleted/updated files
Optimal sync sequence prevents disc space bottlenecks
Full unicode support
Highly optimized performance
Include/exclude files via filter
Local and portable installation

Geek Software of the Week: Linux: Zorin OS

Looking for a Linux distro that is very “Windows User Friendly?” Try Zorin! No, it is not a Star Trek villian this time (see Star Trek: Generations, the movie!) This is a very nice distro, and worth a look!

The Zorin OS Linux Distro

“The Zorin OS operating system gives you the ultimate desktop experience. Some of the advantages of Zorin OS:

  • No risk of getting viruses
  • Much faster than Windows 7
  • An easy to use and familiar desktop
  • Customizable user interface thanks to our Look Changer
  • Stable as it is based on the robust Linux operating system
  • All the software you’ll ever need out of the box
  • Extremely versatile and customizable Open Source software
  • Available in over 55 languages

Top-notch security

People are in constant fear of viruses and malware in this digital world. Thanks to Zorin OS’s immunity to Windows viruses you will never have to worry about them. Zorin OS also comes with integrated firewall software to keep your system extra safe. When a potential security threat arises, software updates usually come within a matter of hours through the Update Manager. With Zorin OS you are sure to have peace of mind.

Easy to use, familiar desktop

The main goal of Zorin OS is to give Windows users easy access to Linux. That is why Zorin OS incorporates the familiar Windows 7-like interface by default to dramatically reduce the learning curve of this system while still experiencing the main advantages of Linux. You can also utilise the desktop with other interfaces. This is thanks to the exclusive Zorin Look Changer which lets you change your desktop to look and act like either Windows 7, Windows XP or GNOME 2 in the free versions of Zorin OS. The Premium versions also include the Windows 2000, Unity and Mac OS X looks.

Out-of-the-box software solution

Zorin OS is packed with software, ready for you to take advantage of. From the versatile LibreOffice suite to the feature-packed OpenShot video editor, it’s got it all. Zorin OS is sure to facilitate all of your everyday tasks such as web browsing, document creation, social networking, making videos, chatting with your friends and beyond, all without having to install anything.
We have even split up Zorin OS into seven different versions to facilitate the requirements of various user groups with additional software. Those versions include the free Core version for general use, Lite for use on old and low-spec computers, Educational Lite for use in schools and universities and the premium Business, Multimedia, Gaming and Ultimate versions.

Software Galore

If the pre-installed software isn’t enough for your requirements, there is no need to worry about it. Zorin OS comes with the Software Center which allows you to download and install tens of thousands of free and paid-for programs. All you have to do is open the Software Center from the start menu, find a program which you want and click Install. You can even install Windows programs on Zorin OS in a similar way with PlayOnLinux. You are also able to download installable packages (.deb and .exe) like in your current operating system.


Nearly every file that you use with your current operating system will work perfectly in Zorin OS with no need for additional setup. All your office documents, music, videos, pictures etc. will work out of the box in Zorin OS. Zorin OS also supports a large library of devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, keyboards. These devices will work as soon as you plug them in without the need for installing additional drivers.


Zorin OS gives you more flexibility. It allows you to use Zorin OS alongside your current operating system. While you install Zorin OS to your computer you have the option to keep your current operating system alongside Zorin OS and choose which one to load on start-up.


We want to make computers usable by everyone including disabled people so we have included tools in Zorin OS which make it one of the most accessible operating systems around. It includes such helpful tools as a text to speech program, Orca screen narrator, a screen magnifier for the visually impaired and a dwell click feature for pressing a mouse button automatically.”

Geek Software of the Week: Pinta!

PintaOpen Source. Simple. Cross-platform. Free. Ya gotta love it! This is a great, simple image package, especially for web graphics, if you don’t need the power of The GIMP, and want something light and easy!

Pinta: Painting Made Simple.

“Pinta is a free, open source drawing/editing program modeled after Paint.NET. Its goal is to provide users with a simple yet powerful way to draw and manipulate images on Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Drawing Tools
Use easy drawing tools to draw freehand, lines, rectangles, ellipses, and more.

Full History
Don’t be afraid to experiment, Pinta tracks your full history so you can always undo.

Unlimited Layers
Use layers to help separate and group elements of your image for easy editing.

Adjustments and Effects
Pinta includes over 35 adjustments and effects for tweaking your images.

Use Pinta in your language. Pinta is at least partially translated into over 55 languages.

Your Workspace
Like docked windows? No problem. Floating windows? No problem. Pinta will even let you mix and match.”

Geek Software of the Week: Linux Edition: Bleachbit!

BleachbitOK, so I wanted a “CCleaner” for Linux! I love CCleaner! I can use it to keep my PC clean and tight! So, I “Googled” and viola! Turns out there is a similiar Open Source (FREE!) program that is similiar for Linux! Rock on!


“BleachBit quickly frees disk space and tirelessly guards your privacy. Free cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, shred temporary files, delete logs, and discard junk you didn’t know was there. Designed for Linux and Windows systems, it wipes clean 90 applications including Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe Flash, Google Chrome, Opera, Safari,and more. Beyond simply deleting files, BleachBit includes advanced features such as shredding files to prevent recovery, wiping free disk space to hide traces of files deleted by other applications, and vacuuming Firefox to make it faster. Better than free, BleachBit is Open Source.”

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