[sticky] Tired of paying for Windows? Linux is your answer!

Welcome to PrescottLinux.com, we are a local team dedicated to informing dispirited computer users of the tri-city area that there is an alternative to Microsoft Windows. You may very well have a Dell PC right now, did you know you paid Microsoft a percentage of the cost of that PC? With Microsoft’s versions of Windows, you are paying them for the privilege of providing you with an operating system that will open you up viruses, spyware, and all types of malware. Windows by far is the biggest platform for attracting all the unwanted nuisances floating around on the Internet.

If you have kids in the house going online, then you probably have had problems with your Windows computer catching a virus, and all the popups, hijacking of your computer, etc. It is an expensive nightmare to try to get that computer cleaned out. That’s where Linux has a huge advantage over Windows- It is designed from the ground-up with security in mind.

Linux is Free and Open Source Software, a concept known by the acronym, FOSS. As such, you don’t have to pay for Linux, most of the software that runs on Linux is also free and open source. All your favorite applications, such as Mozilla Firefox, web browser, Mozilla Thunderbird E-mail client, Sun’s Open Office, their office suite that is compatible with Microsoft’s Office, as well as many other programs you are probably using already.

Linux also gives you freedom from knowing that there isn’t a big, centralized corporation controlling what do you with your computer, with just its shareholders in mind.

We will add more posts here to explain the virtues of Linux periodically and hope to inform the public.

The Connected Car, Part 3: No Shortcuts to Security


The connected car is becoming a reality, but the gadget-filled roadways it travels will be paved with several options for in-car technologies. These choices pose challenges for carmakers. Whichever technology wins the race, one of the biggest concerns for OEMs is their electronic security. The Linux Foundation wants an open source platform in the pole position. The nonprofit consortium already has a fully functional Linux distribution. Automotive Grade Linux is a customizable, open source automotive software stack with Linux at its core.

Loving Linux: Ain’t Nothin’ Like the 1st Time


You never forget your first love, as the old saying goes, and that appears to apply just as well to Linux as to relationships in real life. To wit: “What was your first Linux distro?” is the title of a recent “Voice of the Masses” poll, and throughout the blogosphere the nostalgic reminiscences have been pouring forth ever since. Some 100 bloggers used poll’s comments section to proclaim their first Linuxy loves for all the world to hear. Others got teary-eyed recounting their first tender distro moments down at the Punchy Penguin Cafe.

Watch Ranadheeran: India’s first 3D animated video made almost entirely using open source software

It is a pretty well know fact that open source 3D graphics tools like Blender is not just a hobbyist software anymore. The fifth official open movie from Blender Foundation “Gooseberry” is already under active development. In that respect, Ranadheeran is one of its kind. It’s probably the first “open” movie to come out of India, created with the sole purpose of showcasing the capabilities of open source 3D graphics tools such as Blender, GIMP etc.

Watch Ranadheeran: India’s first fully “open” animation movie

At a time when filmmakers and producers doling out huge money for animation work in movies, a group of techies from this small South-Indian city of Coimbatore have proved that quality is achievable using low-cost open source software and local talent.

A three-minute-and-52-second-long video trailer, titled ‘Ranadheeran’, made by Realworks Studios was released on YouTube few weeks ago and has been quite an internet sensation since. Only hand-made animation is used for the movie and no motion capture, the creators claim. The primary tools used were Bender, Audacity, and GIMP. Apart from that, the Realworks team have also developed their own Render farm scheduler software, which is not open source. [Watch it on YouTube, read more about it on The Hindu]

Scott Sanchez on OpenStack: Shifting a Mindset


OpenStack, which turned 4 years old this summer, began as a twinkle in Scott Sanchez’s eyes. He was determined to turn the fledgling Infrastructure as a Service platform he helped create into a thriving resource for public and private clouds. OpenStack is an open source project. Its technology consists of a series of interrelated projects that provide users with the ability to create and manage both public and private cloud operations. Partnering with NASA, Rackspace Hosting launched the project in 2010.

OpenMandriva Lx: Not the KDE You Knew


OpenMandriva Lx 2014 is a KDE-only Linux distribution that has some rough edges but is otherwise a solid and reliable choice for user-friendly computing. This latest version, dubbed “Phosphorus,” is based on the Mandriva Linux project and ROSA, a Russian Linux distribution. ROSA forked from Mandriva Linux in 2012. It integrated many of Mandriva’s original tools and utilities with its own enhancements. Developed by the OpenMandriva Association, OpenMandriva Lx 2014 caters to experienced KDE users, as well as first-time Linux converts.

Galaxy Alpha: Samsung Puts Pedal to Metal


Samsung has unveiled its long-awaited Galaxy Alpha smartphone featuring a metal frame and a 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display. “We have taken a new approach to smartphone design with the Galaxy Alpha, focusing on sophisticated design techniques and compact construction, while building upon the Galaxy experience,” said Samsung spokesperson Ashley Gregory. Despite the device’s new metal frame, solid finish and lightweight design, however, the Galaxy Alpha “still provides users with the same powerful hardware and features,” he added.

The Connected Car, Part 2: Wired For Wireless – It’s All Business


The connected car is a battlefield among technology purveyors fighting to get their hardware plugged into the vehicle’s network bus. Open source technology is becoming a key contender. OEMs are sorting through a garage full of options from versions of embedded Linux to the Automotive Grade Linux distro and the Android car platform. The connected car concept is picking up speed as a vehicle intelligence system in its own right. It is turning the common car into a fully functional communications center on wheels.

FOSS’ Documentation Dilemma


Hang around for any length of time in the seedy bars and watering holes of the Linux blogosphere, and you’ll soon realize that certain topics tend to recur with surprising frequency. The most obvious example, of course, is the Year of Linux on the Desktop — a topic scientists have determined will surely outlive us all. Then, too, there’s the Sexism in FOSS topic, which one can only hope will become moot in not too very long. The latest example to rear its less-than-entirely-attractive head? That would be the FOSS Documentation Dilemma.

Finally! Get Netflix to work in Ubuntu 14.04 (and Linux) the super easy way!

how to get netflix to work in ubuntu 14.04

This is a dream come true. Though there are ways to make Netflix work in Ubuntu 14.04, this must be the easiest. All you need is the latest Google Chrome from dev channel and an extension called User Agent Switcher. That’s it! Let’s get started.


[How to] Get Netflix to work in Ubuntu 14.04 using Google Chrome!

Thanks to Nathan VanCamp and his “prying” eyes, it is now possible to watch Netflix movies in Linux using Google Chrome and a simple User Agent Switcher extension. Here’s how it works.
  • Download following dependencies first (not needed if you’re on Ubuntu 14.10 Alpha and other Linux distros like Fedora 20 or Manjaro Linux, just skip to Step 6 instead).
  • Doing this will also result in “broken-packages” error (nothing serious as far as I’m concerned). If you don’t want that error appearing, skip the installation completely. 
  • The packages to download are libnss3 & libnss3-1d (choose btw 32 and 64 bit versions)
  • Install the packages using the following commands*. 
sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/libnss3_3.16.3-1ubuntu1_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i ~/Downloads/libnss3-1d_3.16.3-1ubuntu1_amd64.deb
  • *Change the paths depending on your download destination. Done.
Download and install Google Chrome from developer channel
netflix in ubuntu 14.04
  • Right Click on the extension – go to “Options” page. Fill in the following details. 
New User-agent name: Netflix
New User-Agent String: (Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Win 64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/38.0.2114.2 Safari/537.36)
Replace or Append: Append

Indicator Flag: NFX

Note:  ”New User-Agent String” is the most important part here. Rest of the text can be anything. Use them for your own ease of use. Resulting screen will look like this.

how to get netflix to work in ubuntu 14.04

  • Done. Now switch to this new user-agent in your Chrome browser: Click on the User Agent Switcher extension icon on top and goto Chrome – Netflix. (see image below)
netlfix linux
  • Done. Now login to Netflix and you’ll see the change. I have been watching movies non-stop since. Here’s another screenshot. 
netflix on ubuntu
Note: I have used Nathan VanCamp’s instructions with some modifications to make Netflix work in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. For example, he was using Chrome v37 from beta channel while I was using Chrome v38 from dev channel. See Nathan’s instructions and comments for further clarifications. I give no guarantee that this will work for everyone (though I hope it does!).

Borderlands: The Pre Sequel is coming to Linux!

Borderlands The Pre Sequel coming to Linux
The small trickle that started with the introduction Steam for Linux is a full on waterfall now. So many big game titles have already reached our shores, and more are on their way. After many high profile releases such as Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Linux, 2K Games is at it again. The Borderlands franchise is zeroing in on Linux!

Borderlands: The Pre Sequel is coming to Linux
Borderlands: The Pre-sequel will be the first Borderlands IP to release on Linux, according to 2K. There were rumors circling around already about the imminent announcement of next Borderlands for Linux which was later confirmed by 2K Games themselves to IGN.

Set between Borderlands 1 and 2, the ‘Pre-Sequel’ starts when Handsome Jack crashing the Hyperion space station into the moon. Players work for Handsome Jack, getting the chance to watch his fall from grace. It will be released out October 14 in the US.

While Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is headed to Linux, it seems unlikely we will see Linux ports for Borderlands 1 and 2, according to IGN. [Watch the game's review at IGN]