Zhixian's Tech Blog


Trusty Tahr

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , — Zhixian @ 22:16:11 pm

I just installed Ubuntu 14.04, Trusty Tahr onto my laptop.

The following is a list of must install software for me:

  1. Shutter
    For taking and managing screen dumps.

    1. Install from Ubuntu Software Center (search term: shutter)
  2. Google Chrome
    An alternate browser to FireFox.

    1. Download from https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/
    2. Double-click the .deb file to install.
  3. Pidgin Internet Messenger
    I find this to be better than Empathy Internet Messaging that is bundled in Trusty Tahr.

    1. Install from Ubuntu Software Center (search term: pidgin)
  4. VLC media player
    I find this to be better than the video player that is bundled in Trusty Tahr.

    1. Install from Ubuntu Software Center (search term: vlc)
  5. VirtualBox
    For my OS virtualization needs.

    1. Download from https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
    2. Double-click the .deb file to install
  6. DOSBox Emulator
    A DOS emulator that I use to play some of my favourite DOS games.

    1. Install from Ubuntu Software Center (search term: dosbox)


Virtual Box

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , , , — Zhixian @ 09:05:06 am

These days my PC virtualization software of choice these days is Virtual Box (or as VB for short). This is due to 4 key reasons.

  1. My current workplace current supports its usage.
  2. Its cross-platform (runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh, and Solaris).
  3. It supports 64-bit operating systems (OSes)
  4. Its free

Having to use it on a daily basis in workplace means I would (or should) be quite familiar with most of its quirks (read limitations) after a few months of usage. But reasons 2 and 3 are the real key reasons Virtual Box is my choice over say, Microsoft’s PC virtualization software Virtual PC (or VPC for short).

Strictly speaking I don’t find anything seriously wrong with Virtual PC. I think it’s a fairly good product and it does offer better integration between the operating Windows host and the guest os in comparison to Virtual Box. Having said that, its not cross-platform (does not run on Linux) and as of this time of writing does not support 64-bit OSes.



Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , , — Zhixian @ 21:26:06 pm

If you are looking for a file-archiver that is open-source, supports a wide variety of archiving formats and has a graphical interface in both Linux and Windows, look no further than PeaZip.


PeaZip is currently a free product. However, do take note that it does advertise other third party products during the installation process. A sample of this would be the below screen. The product mentioned PC Speed Up is a commercial product. The only redemption is that you can opt not to install the product.

There are no advertisements after the product is installed (the installation prompt for installing the third party product only appears during the installation process). But if you are the paranoid type, stay away from this product and stay with 7-Zip.



Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , , — Zhixian @ 20:57:06 pm

The file archiver that I use most these days would be 7-zip.

This is a free and open-source product that is able to handle most of common file archiving formats.

The sad thing about this product is it supports mostly Windows and only has a command-line interface for Linux. It would be better if it had a Linux interface so as to allow users to streamline their working experience with file archiver regardless of operation system platforms.

FastStone Capture

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , , , , — Zhixian @ 20:50:06 pm

If you are looking a good and free screen capturing application on Windows, I would recommend you try FastStone Capture version 5.3 

Version 5.3 is not the latest version but it is the last freeware version of FastStone Capture. It is currently distributed over at The Portable Freeware Collection (a good site to look for freeware that are both free and portable).

Despite not being the latest this remains one of the best screen capture application I used on Windows.

The latest version of this product (version 6.9) cost $19.95 currently at this time of writing and you get a lifetime license. So its quite a good deal too.

Another comparable commercial product would be Techsmith’s SnagIt


Ubuntu Software Center

Filed under: computing — Tags: , , — Zhixian @ 12:05:07 pm

If you already have an idea of the what is the name of the software that you want to install, you could try using Ubuntu Software Center to install the software instead of using Synaptic Package Manager. It really is a much more user-friendly interface to install software packages.

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