The BlackBerry PlayBook in 2015

The BlackBerry PlayBook in 2015

Posted by bhall

More than four years on, the BlackBerry PlayBook remains my favourite tablet. It is the most comfortable tablet to hold for an extended period of time, the screen is great (particularly outdoors) and has the best speakers on any tablet.

Read More

The glory of GNU: The GNU Manifesto at 30

The glory of GNU: The GNU Manifesto at 30

Posted by bhall

“So that I can continue to use computers without dishonor, I have decided to put together a sufficient body of free software so that I will be able to get along without any software that is not free.” – Richard Stallman, GNU Manifesto

Read More

BlackBerry Passport: making good on Palm’s productivity promise

BlackBerry Passport: making good on Palm’s productivity promise

Posted by bhall

I first started using PDAs back in the 90s. Starting with a Palm III, I continued with PalmOS up to the Tungsten C. From there, I moved to my first smartphone, a BlackBerry 8300, happily replaced by an iPhone, and then back to Palm with WebOS. From that point, I switched between Palm and BlackBerry […]

A few handy Linux commands

A few handy Linux commands

Posted by bhall

Here are a few handy commands: Grab the first 200 characters of each line of a log file:  cat access.log |  cut -c 1-200 Limit Apache to 40 connections to any IP address: iptables -I INPUT -p tcp –syn –dport 80 -m connlimit –connlimit-above 40 -j REJECT –reject-with tcp-reset Trace a process to see what […]

The unlikely BlackBerry Passport review

The unlikely BlackBerry Passport review

Posted by bhall

Through an odd sequence of events I’m now the owner of a BlackBerry Passport. I chose this device despite deep reservations of owning such an odd beast. What follows is a mostly unedited day-by-day log of the first week of my getting used to the Passport. The short version: it’s odd but awesome.

Read More

Computing Simplicity with CrunchBang Linux

Computing Simplicity with CrunchBang Linux

Posted by bhall

I started writing this review in late January. Since then, the main developer of this one-man Linux distribution has announced that he will be shuttering the project. Of course, being Open Source, it will never really go away. I wish him all the best. For the record, here are my thoughts on CrunchBang Linux.

Read More

Fun with Red Hat: Disabling SELinux temporarily

Fun with Red Hat: Disabling SELinux temporarily

Posted by bhall

I’ll admit it freely: I’m a Debian guy. That said, I recognize that Red Hat Enterprise Linux has it’s place. I run it on a few servers here and there and it is a rock. One frequent sore point for me, however, is SELinux.

Read More

Olyphant Upgrade: Seagate 2TB SSHD

Olyphant Upgrade: Seagate 2TB SSHD

Posted by bhall

I recently upgraded the internal drive of our 27″ mid-2010 iMac from the original 1TB Seagate to a 2TB Seagate SSHD. At under $150, it’s the perfect balance of speed, price, and capacity. I highly recommend the drive. Read on for details….

Read More

Freya quick tip: Odd shadows? Update your Intel drivers

Freya quick tip: Odd shadows? Update your Intel drivers

Posted by bhall

I’ve been happily running elementary OS’s Freya beta for months now. It has a few rough edges, but it still the most polished and usable Linux distribution I’ve had the pleasure of using. However, for the last week or so I’ve been experiencing an odd bug with the window drop shadows.

Read More

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Review

Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Review

Posted by bhall

Today I review the best ThinkPad to date: The X220. Released in 2011, it represents the pinnacle of ThinkPad design. In my opinion, it’s been downhill ever since.

Read More

Shell tricks: batch converting NEF files

Shell tricks: batch converting NEF files

Posted by bhall

Someone at work recently asked about batch conversion of NEF (Nikon RAW files) to JPG. Here are a few approaches:

Read More

Shell tricks: extract audio from mp4 in Ubuntu

Shell tricks: extract audio from mp4 in Ubuntu

Posted by bhall

I was out at a fantastic show yesterday and recorded video with my phone. The audio was great, the video not so much. So, how to extract the audio from the MP4?

Read More

PSB M4U1 Headphone Review

PSB M4U1 Headphone Review

Posted by bhall

After quite a bit of research, I think I’ve found my perfect pair of headphones, designed right here in Ontario. The PSB M4U1 offers a fantastic listening experience.

Read More

Toshiba R600 Review

Toshiba R600 Review

Posted by bhall

Step in the way-back machine while I review a remarkable laptop from 2009 that in many ways can go toe-to-toe with the latest Ultrabook.

Read More

BlackBerry Z30 Review

BlackBerry Z30 Review

Posted by bhall

Exquisite. That is undeniably the best word to describe the BlackBerry Z30. It’s been my daily phone since I bought it.

Read More