Top 50 Software Easter Eggs of All Time

A few days from now, it will be Easter Sunday. So after showing you some cool Easter eggs, I've decided to go all out by sharing with you some of the most popular software Easter eggs ever. Take note that some of the virtual Easter eggs listed here don't exist anymore on newer versions of the software. However, it would still be interesting to know that they were once hidden inside our favorite programs particularly desktop applications and video games.

Without any more delay, here are the top 50 software Easter eggs of all time:

50. IRIX: Hidden Recipes in Release Notes: Open a shell and type “relnotes dmedia_eoe 29.” You’ll recieve recipes for Kung Pao chicken and tiramisu.

49. Flash (Macromedia version): Flash MX Pro 2004: Go to Help > About Flash Professional. Click the small “™” near the number 2004 and the About screen will offer six different games.

48. iPod: Breakout Game: Select About from the main menu, then hold the center button for a couple of seconds. A miniature Breakout game, created by the founders of Apple Inc. when they worked for Atari, appears on the screen.

47. Debian GNU/Linux: Got Apt-Get?: Log in to a shell as root, type "apt-get moo" and press Enter. An ASCII-based drawing of a cow saying, "Have you mooed today?" will appear. If you type "apt-get," a help file with the various switches appears. At the very end, it says, "This APT has Super Cow Powers".

46. Red Alert: Cryptic Messages Hidden by Psx Manual Designers: Open up the case, extract the manual and look at the dot-dash code at the bottom of most of the pages. This is Morse code, which may have to do with the alternate game play based around the ants missions in some versions.

45. Sim City 4: Tax Twenty Trick: A little dirty government work will help you out in this egg. Load any incorporated city with a reasonable population, raise all the taxes to 20, and leave them at that for a game year or two. Then, drop all taxes to zero. As a result, your city should thrive for a while.

44. BeOS: Change Your Windows Decor: Hold Ctrl+Alt+Shift and clic the Be button on the desk bar. A previously hidden menu item called Window Décor will appear, giving you options for changing the look of windows.

43. Skype: A Few Hidden Emoticons in Skype: Enter a chat session and type words like “drunk” and “ninja” with the brackets to view amusing emoticons.

42. Image Ready 7.0: Ducks: Click Help > About. You should see a picture of a globe in water. Hold down the Ctrl key, and the mouse cursor will turn into a stamp tool-icon. While still holding Ctrl, click somewhere on the image of the globe and a small yellow duck will appear. Do this 10 times and hold down Ctrl+Alt to bring up a miniscope to shoot the ducks.

41. SMS (Microsoft version): Picture of All Team Members: Run “admin console” (MMC) with the “/SMS:EE=238” switch, then right-click the root node and click Credits. Pictures of all team members and their names will appear.

40. Pokémon Emerald Version: Pokémon Cloning Glitch: Go talk to the LINK MULTI BATTLE ROOM lady and select two Pokémon. The woman will now say "Before entering BATTLE ROOM, your progress must be saved. Is that OK?". Say yes. Now you will notice a small time gap. Your Pokémon has been cloned successfully!

39. Kyte Aura: Frappilino!: Go to the desktop and click the Kyte menu button. Continue to Computing Properties > Help > Credit and watch until Lead Designer: Frappilino07 pops up. Click that name, and you’ll see a 3D- rendered spinning cup with the words, "It’s a Frappilino NOT a Frappacino" inscribed on it.

38. Guitar Hero 3: Judy Nails — Judy Is a Punk: Judy Nails is a character in this game. Her attire shows that she’s a punk, but did you know that This is a reference to the popular song by The Ramones called "Judy Is a Punk"?

37. Prince of Persia: Fun Stuff for Prince of Persia: If you type "prince megahit" at the start of the game, you can change features like filtering out nonanimated objects and increasing or decreasing your time.

36. Windows CE: The Perfect Hand in Solitaire: Press Ctrl+Shift, then tap Dea” at the top of the software keyboard. You'll get a perfect solitaire hand.

35. ICQ: ICQ Devils: Click the Main button and select Preferences and Security. Go to Status Mode, hit the Tab key and put the mouse cursor in the middle of the empty space. Press Ctrl+Shift while clicking the left and right mouse buttons together, hitting the left button first. You should see the ICQ Devils, the creators of the ICQ products.

34. Winamp: Spinning Fish: Bring up the Preferences box and go to Plug-ins > Input. Click the Nullsoft Vorbis Decoder, then click About. Click the fish to make it spin.

33. HP 100LX: Hidden Limerick: Turn Palmtop off and press and hold the key. Turn it back on and release the key. Scroll down to Display and press 14 times to see a limerick.

32. uTorrent: Tetris in uTorrent: Select About in the Help menu and press "T" on the keyboard.

31. 3D Pinball for Windows: Control the Pinball with Your Mouse: When game starts, type in "hidden test" without the quotes. Letters show various things: “H” shows the high-score table, with an entry of 1 billion for you to put your name next to; “M” shows the amount of system memory; ”R” increases your rank in the game; and “Y” shows the game frame rate in the title. You can also click and drag the ball around, and if you manage to keep the ball in the hyperspace bonus, you can score major points.

30. Palm OS: Easter Egg and Taxi: Go to General > Preferences and draw a small circle, counterclockwise, on the screen right above the calculator silk-screen button.

29. Spybot "Search and Destroy": Click the little icon that appears in every window you open by selecting an option on the left-hand panel. You will get access to a game where you have to fill in as may squares as possible.

28. Tomb Raider: Hidden Sound Bites: Use a PlayStation CD player to access songs from the game. Go to tracks 99 through 130, and there will be some seriously silly sound bytes from the game’s creators.

27. Cool Edit Pro: Game in Cool Edit Pro 2.1: Go to Help, then click About CoolEdit Pro. Click over the two silver balls to have some fun.

26. SureDocs: Aladillo: Go to Help > About and press Ctrl+Shift. Double-click the wordl "mode" in "a la mode" under the word “SureDocs” to crack this egg.

25. Doom 3: Hunter Magazines: Every so often during Doom 3, you will see magazines. On some of these magazines is a picture of a character from Quake III Arena.

24. The Sims 2: "Boolprop, the Ultimate Cheat": Type Ctrl+Shift+C, then type "boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true" in the box that comes up and you’ll be able to do lots of interesting things.

23. Ducks: Hidden Photo: Type "ASKYAFFLE" on the main menu to turn on the level-skip key. In level 29, blow up the underside of the overhanging earth on the right of the level. Walk the green ducky under to the right, and he should go through a door that was previously hidden in the earth, revealing a quote and a photo of some people from the credits.

22. KPT Vector Effects Plug-in: KPT Arachnoid: Draw a shape and choose KPT Vector effects/3D Transform from the Filters menu. Once the menu opens, hold down Ctrl+Option+Command, then click the blue-and-red logo in the upper-left corner of the interface to play Arachnoid-style game.

21. AutoCAD: AutoCAD 2005 Development Team: In AutoCAD 2005, open the Layer Properties Manager dialog box. Hold down Shift+Ctrl and select the Invert Filter button to see the egg.

20. GameCube: Different Jingle: Plug in four controllers, hold down all four “Z” buttons and turn on the GameCube. A different jingle will play when the logo appears.

19. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Trash Maps: Travel to Angel Pine in the Badlands to crack open this egg. Across the street from the Clucken Bell stands three trash cans, two of which have their lids off. Knock either one of those two cans over and peek inside with a weapon that zooms, like a sniper rifle. Several maps of Vice City will appear before your eyes.

18. Super DX Ball Deluxe: Super DX Ball Egg: Double-click the ball rolling around at the start of the game, and you will unlock the classic DX Ball boards. Then, go to Power-Ups and search where it says Mega Mall. Double- click the image, and you will unlock the Mega Ball Boards.

17. Fatal Frame 3: The Tormented "Flowers for Algernon" Reference: When the dream starts during the first night playing as Miku, the Tattoo Priestess appears behind you and says: "I don't want to see, anymore." This is a reference to a poem from the book, "Flowers for Algernon," which is about a mentally challenged janitor who volunteers to take part in an experimental intelligence-enhancing treatment.

16. Frontlines: Fuel of War: Tanks: In the level where you first get to drive the tanks, you hear a marine yell, "We can pick up chicks in it." In "Red Vss Blue," a machinima based on Halo, Tucker comments about picking up chicks in a tank.

15. Mozilla: When "about:mozilla" (minus the quotes) is typed into the location bar, various versions of these browsers display a cryptic message in white text on a maroon background in the browser window.

14. Mechwarrior 2: Enzo: Choose Trails of Grievance in the opening screen and go to the Star Formation Edit screen. Change your name to Enzo, then go back and choose the "mech" that you want to use. In addition to the normal choices, you will also be able to use the Elemental, Tarantula and BattleMaster.

13. Quake 4: In the first mission, the first rooms you enter show a human launch pod that looks like the one in the beginning of Quake 2.

12. Atari Portfolio OS: Creators Names and Credits: Open the text editor, then open the Help area using the F2 button. Open the help file for the keyboard, then press ALT+[. You’ll see a few names and credits for the system.

11. Max Payne 2: "Late Goodbye" References: Here the song "Late Goodbye" in Part 1, Chapter 4. Track down Ed the janitor for a certain pass code, and hang around to hear him sing along to the music in his headphones. In Part 1, Chapter 7, you come across bands of killers masquerading as cleaners in the high-rise apartment building. In the fourth apartment you enter, descend the stairs to the first level. As you descend the stairs, one of the cleaners starts to bang away on the piano to the song. In the same part of the game at Mona's Place in the Fun House, she is in the shower singing "Late Goodbye.”

10. Halo 3: Da Vinci Structure: You’ll find this egg on the Covenant level. Float to the ledge near the invisible barrier, then walk up it. Jump off the edge of the cliff, and the sky will turn orange. You will then be at the part where you have to fight the two scarabs, except that there won’t be any. You should be just outside of the map. Continue on until a mysterious structure appears. Look at the back of it, and you’lI see that it’s covered in blue letters on a grid-like, multicolored background.

9. GNOME: Wanda a Fish: Go to the Run dialog in Gnome and type "free the fish.” Click the Run button and a fish called Wanda should pop up and wander around the desktop.

8. Mac OS X: The Lord of the Rings: In the Applications folder, open the Utilities folder. Open the terminal and paste type “grep LOTR /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history” to enjoy some laughs with The Lord of the Rings.

7. Microsoft Paint: Hidden Drawing Tool Options: Use the Ctrl key to stamp, scuff and use brush pressure, as well as to draw straight or diagonal lines with the pencil.

6. Bloodshed Dev-C++: Fish: Click About Dev-C++ in the Help menu, then click and drag the Really Flash Dev-C++ logo onto the authors button. A fish should appear, and if you click it, it will change direction.

5. Photoshop CS2: Merlin Li: Hold down both the Alt key and the left mouse button, then move your mouse over Palate Options in the Layers window. Let go of the mouse, and Merlin appears.

4. Halo 2: Bloody Dog Head: To find this egg, go to the multiplayer map Zanzibar. Go to the beach and look at the signs on the edge of the water, which should say "No Swimming." Then, turn off your Xbox, take out Halo 2 and change your clock where everything is 7. Restart the game and go to Zanzibar. Look at the "No Swimming" sign, and there will be a missing picture with a bloody dog's head on it. It says "Are you finding Ling Ling's head?"

3. NEXTSTEP: Jack-in-the-Box: Run Configure, call up the Info panel, and hit Command and Alt+click on the application icon to get your yolk.

2. Commodore PET: Microsoft Joke: In PET Microsoft Basic, type the command “WAIT 6502.” The screen will fill with the text "MICROSOFT."

1. Linux: Printer on Fire!: Print from the network and force a printer jam. Issue a print command and watch the output of the console read, “lp0 printer on fire!”

Do you have other software Easter eggs to share? Please do so via comment.

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Fix Blue and Green Tinted Video Problem in Ubuntu Linux

Fix Blue and Green Tinted Video Problem in Ubuntu: I was having this video problem in Ubuntu that happened after an update. The video images became tinted with blue and green colors, or were having some kind of distorted video hues when played on Totem Movie Player as well as other media players. Check out the screenshot below to know what I mean:

That was pretty annoying isn't it?

I also installed other video players like VLC, Miro, Mplayer and others but the same thing happened.

The cause of this issue could be the use of Nvidia closed source driver, and since this bug hasn't been addressed yet, here's a quick fix for now when using Totem:

1. Press Alt + F2, and then run this command: gstreamer-properties

That should open up the "Multimedia System Selector" window.

2. Click on the "Video" tab and select "Custom" from the "Plugin" dropdown menu.

3. Add the following line inside the "Pipeline" text box and just close it after:

videobalance hue=-1 ! autovideosink

4. Make sure to quit Totem and reopen it for the changes to take effect.

No more blue and green tinted video problem after applying the fix.

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Linux users? Who are these people?

Among the three major operating systems, you may know that Linux has the lowest market share on the desktop but is leading the server market. However, Linux on the desktop is slowly but surely going mainstream that's enough to scare the crap out of Microsoft. People who have been using Windows or Mac all their life maybe curious to know who are the minority (Linux users) and why are they still using this unpopular OS. Well, allow me introduce them to you:

* Practical people
Since Linux is free, easy-to-use, secure, and has almost the same features as Windows or Mac, people with no-nonsense attitude are using it. They have recognized the value of Linux and appreciated the fact they will never have to empty their wallets whenever it's time to upgrade or get a new version of their favorite distro.

* Programmers
Linux is a programmer's heaven. It has tons of pre-installed or compatible tools and utilities that make them productive such as text editors and IDE software among others. Popular programming languages like Python and Perl are also often included in almost all Linux distributions. Not to mention the power of the Linux/UNIX command line at their disposal.

* Casual to Hardcore Gamers
Who says only Windows has great games? With Linux, gamers can still enjoy some of the many quality free and open source games such as first-person shooters, puzzle/arcade games, 3D racing games, and more. They can also install and play Windows-compatible games on Linux using Wine.

* Business Owners
With lots of free and open source finance and accounting software that can be installed on Linux, there's no doubt that a lot of business owners are using it. It's also a good way of cutting expenses so it's a real blessing to have Linux around during these tough financial situations.

* Netbook Users
We all know that several distributions are pre-installed in some of the most popular netbooks on the market so I'm pretty sure that there are a lot of netbook-with-Linux users out there. Linux runs smooth on most netbooks these days so why don't you try something like this: Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook.

* Artists
Professional graphic designers, photographers, animators, and other artists are known to use Linux since there are a lot of available software that they can use free of charge. So if you are an artist yourself, perhaps you should check these out:
- 2D Animation Software
- 3D Graphics Software
- CAD Software
- Vector Graphics Editors
- Digital Audio Editors
- Video Editing Software

* Geeks
I shouldn't fail to mention the friendly neighborhood geeks who aren't afraid to mess up with their computers. These people will be more than happy to share with you all the joys of using Linux and they will even give you a Linux LiveCD for free.

I could go on and on but in general, almost all kinds of people are using Linux nowadays. So if you are part of this minority, stand up and be proud that you are part of something good.

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The Slick Samsung i9000 Galaxy S Android Smartphone

Samsung i9000 Galaxy S Android Smartphone: Samsung just announced its top-of-the-line Android handset, the Galaxy S i9000. This smartphone features a powerful 1GHz Snapdragon processor just like the Google Nexus One and HTC Desire. The Samsung i9000 Galaxy S has a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display (800 x 480 pixels), which they say is brighter and more power efficient than conventional AMOLED displays.

One of the key features of i9000 Galaxy S is its video recording capability. It can record 720p HD video through its 5-megapixel autofocus camera. It also has 2nd front-facing VGA camera for 3G calls.

Though its front design has a little similarity to the iPhone, the Samsung i9000 Galaxy S looks really slim since it’s only about 9.9mm thick. It's also very light weighing just 118g.

Samsung i9000 Galaxy S Technical Specifications:

8GB or 16GB internal storage
Up to 32GB via microSD
HSDPA 7.2 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS w/ A-GPS support
Android OS 2.1
1500mAh Li-Ion battery

The Samsung i9000 Galaxy S will be preloaded with applications such as Swype virtual keyboard, Layar augmented reality browser, advanced LBS (Location Based Services, a DLNA (Digtal Living Network Alliance) streaming app and the ThinkFree Office viewer. has been lucky enough to test the device and captured the experience on video:

The Samsung i9000 Galaxy S will be available to consumers this June or by second quarter of 2010. However, there is no information yet with regards to its price tag.

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Installing and Running Linux on Nintendo Wii

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Installing and Running Linux on Nintendo Wii: We've shown you that installing and running Linux on Sony PS3 is possible and is not that difficult to accomplish. This time, we will share to you an overview of installing and running Linux on another popular game console, the Nintendo Wii.

The Linux kernel has been ported to the older Nintendo GameCube console, but the features were very limited due to hardware constraints. On Wii, Linux can be a quite usable and has a lot of room to grow since it has a powerful processor, USB ports, SD card slot, and Bluetooth among others.

Wii-Linux is a port of the Linux kernel and related GNU userspace utilities that can be loaded to the Nintendo Wii via the Twilight Hack, bootmii, or the Homebrew Channel. The kernel can communicate and supports nearly all the Wii peripherals including the Remote, Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth, and the DVD drive.

To install Linux on Wii, these are the hardware prerequisites:

*Nintendo Wii Console (Homebrew Channel/alternate loader installed. bootmii installed in boot2 and/or ios for Wi-Fi)
* SD Card or USB Storage Device
* USB Keyboard

There are quite a few Linux distributions available for the Nintendo Wii. Among others, there's the Gentoo-based WiiToo!, Archi-based Archii, and Debian-based Whiite.

WiiToo! Features:

* Ready to use, uncompress, copy, configure and run
* Highly configurable, like Gentoo
* USB keyboard isn't a requirement; simply configure your network and use SSH
* Can use all the hardware that Wii-Linux is able to use

Archii Features:

* Is designed for more advanced users to create from scratch but minimal and X11 file-system tars are available
* The X11 tar has X.Org installed along with the OpenBox3 WM and Cwiid for Wiimote input
* It also includes the Opera Browser, X-Chat IRC client and Pidgin IM client
* The Minimal image is just enough to get you booted and the end user can install any packages they wish using pacman

Whiite Features:

* Based on Debian Lenny 5.0
* Major update with many new apps and features
* Wifi Support when running with MikeP4
* DVD Support when running with MikeP5
* Easy wifi config tool (in /home/wii/)

Perhaps the most popular among the three is Whiite-linux because of its easy-to-use GUI installer. The Whiite-linux installer is a special gc-linux kernel image that can be used to prepare and install a Whiite-linux system into a compatible SD card using the Nintendo Wii video console. The full instructions of installing Whiite on the Nintendo Wii can be found HERE.

After installation, you can go HERE for instructions on using Linux on the Nintendo Wii.

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Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook: Do you want to install Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution on your netbook? If yes, then allow me to show you the necessary steps needed in order to do so.

Installing Ubuntu on a netbook is pretty easy but before taking the plunge, it's important to do a little more research on whether your netbook's hardware such as webcam, Wi-Fi, and trackpad among others are well supported. But if you are ready, then let's get down to business:

1. First, you will need to download an Ubuntu ISO installer from HERE. If you want, you can also check out some other Linux distributions for netbooks. Also, make sure you have an empty USB thumbdrive that we will use later on.

2. Next up, download and install UNetbootin. It's available for Windows and Linux systems, and you can get it from HERE.

3. After installing Unetbootin, let's use it to create a bootable Ubuntu Live USB installer. The Unetbootin GUI has a very simple GUI.

Just select or specify a distribution (in this case Ubuntu), disk image, and target drive, and then press "OK".

4. Now relax and let Unetbootin extract and copy the files and install bootloader. After that, you will be asked to reboot.

5. While your netbook is starting, press the necessary button (usually F1, F2, F12, ESC, or backspace) to get to the BIOS boot menu, and then select USB drive as the boot target. After that, Ubuntu should load and you can either test Ubuntu or install it right away.

During installation particularly while partitioning, you will be given an option to dual boot Ubuntu together with Windows (or whatever OS your netbook has) or to completely replace that OS.

Ubuntu is really easy to install (easier than installing Windows) so you should have no problem whatsoever. But still, it's essential to back-up all your important files. You may want to use any of the backup software for Linux.

Are you still thinking or apprehensive about installing Ubuntu Linux on your netbook? -Just do it!

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CrunchBang Linux 10 "Alpha 1" Released, Ditches Ubuntu

Philip Newborough has announced the development release (Alpha 1) version of CrunchBang Linux 10 code-named "Statler" just moments after the release of Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" Beta 1. For the first time ever, the distro is being built using Debian sources, instead of Ubuntu.

As some of you may know, CrunchBang Linux has become one of the most popular flavors of Ubuntu by featuring out of the box light-weight Openbox window manager and GTK+ applications on top of a minimal Ubuntu system. It is also considered as one of the simplest and refined Ubuntu-based distributions out there.

CrunchBang Linux 10 "Alpha 1" is now available in two main versions: Openbox and Xfce. Both editions have the same line-up of applications, and the recently added Xfce edition has had its session set-up similar to that of previous CrunchBang Openbox sessions. From the release notes, here are some of the other changes:

* Now uses a customised Debian text installer, available from the LiveCD boot menu.
* Now available with either a default Openbox or Xfce4 session. The new Xfce offering has been designed to mimic the original CrunchBang Openbox experience, i.e. a minimal desktop with right-click system menu and predefined shortcut keys for popular applications and commands.
* Available for 32 bit and 64 bit architectures, with the 32 bit offering available in i486 and i686 optimised kernel flavours.
* Now includes a minimal set of pre-installed applications. The application line-up will be revised over future releases.

If you want to test drive CrunchBang Linux 10 "Alpha 1", you can download it from HERE.

So how did the fans and users of CrunchBang react to this Ubuntu-to-Debian switch? Did it make them feel grouchy like Statler perhaps? I visited the #! Forum and noticed that most community members didn’t seem to mind the change. After all, Ubuntu is based on Debian GNU/Linux hence no big deal I guess.

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Cool Easter Eggs

Since it's almost Easter Sunday, I will be sharing with you several cool virtual Easter eggs hidden inside some of our favorite software applications. Today, we will take a look at some Easter eggs inside so get ready to have fun or be amused. Calc has a few hidden games inside. You can try them by opening a new Calc spreadsheet, and then entering some characters into a cell.

To play Space Invaders, enter =GAME("StarWars") into any cell and press the ENTER key. It you have closed the game and you try to play it again, the message "oh no, not again" will appear. You can play again by restarting Calc.

The instructions are in German but you don’t have to understand them to start playing Space Invaders. Use the Spacebar key to shoot and the left-right arrow keys to move.

The graphics is not pretty but the game can still be fun to play and can be a nice break after long hours of staring at numbers.

To play Tic-Tac-Toe, enter =GAME(A2:C4;"TicTacToe") formula into A1 and press the ENTER key.

There are also other interesting Calc Easter eggs, like when you put =ANTWORT("Das Leben, das Universum und der ganze Rest") into any cell and pressed the ENTER key, the result is the famous number 42 from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

You can also check out a photo of StarCalc developer team getting drunk by entering =STARCALCTEAM() into any cell, and then pressing ENTER. Writer has also a few Easter eggs:

To view a photo of the StarWriter developer team, enter the word StarWriterTeam into a Writer document, and then press F3.

To view a picture of the GoOOTeam developer team, enter the word GoOOTeam into a Writer document, and then press F3.

You can check out the full list of Easter eggs HERE.

I will be posting more virtual Easter eggs in the following days so watch out for it.

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7 (More) Free and Open Source Finance/Accounting Software for Linux

Since our collection of Free and Open Source finance/accounting software for Linux has been quite popular, I would like to add 7 more to that list. As I've said before, finance or accounting software will prove valuable for those who have small or medium-sized business as it will allow users to do important tasks like recording and processing accounting transactions within functional modules such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, and trial balance.

So here is another list of Free and Open Source finance/accounting software that is available for Linux:

Grisbi is a personal finance system that can manage multiple accounts, currencies and users. It handles third party, expenditure and receipt categories, as well as budgetary lines, financial years, and other information that makes it suitable for associations. Some of its other features are:
* Totally customizable financial printable reports
* Scheduled Transactions
* OFX, QIF, GnuCash, CSV Import
* QIF, CSV Export
* Multi-Currency Transaction Handling

Openbravo is a web-based, open source ERP business solution for small and medium sized businesses or companies that was originally based on the Compiere ERP program. It features a web-based interface, where the user can view the entire status of a company, including production information, inventory, customer information, order tracking, and workflow information. It is possible to synchronize this information with other applications through the Java-based Openbravo API. Openbravo can also create and export reports and data to several formats, such as PDF and Microsoft Excel.

jGnash is a free personal finance management application for the Java runtime environment. It is a double entry system with support for multiple currencies. jGnash can import OFX, QIF and GnuCash files. It can also automatically update stock prices and currency exchange rates. Here are some of its features:

* Report Generation in PDF Format
* Double-Entry Based Transactions
* Account Reconciliation
* Fast Auto-Completion of Form Fields
* Schedule Recurring Payment Reminders
* Track Investment Accounts and Transactions
* Secure File Encryption
* Scriptable through BeanShell
* Advanced Server/Client Networking Architecture

KMyMoney is a simple and user-friendly personal finance manager for the KDE desktop environment. The project aims for accuracy, ease-of-use, and familiar features. KMyMoney has functionality similar to that of Microsoft Money. It supports different account types, categorisation of expenses and incomes, reconciliation of bank accounts and import/export to the “QIF” file format.

LedgerSMB is a double entry accounting system where data is stored in an SQL Database Server and a standard web browser can be used as its user interface. The system uses the Perl language and a Perl database interface module for processing, and PostgreSQL for data storage.

HomeBank is a personal accounting software package that can be used to manage personal accounts. With it, you can create dynamic, easy, and powerful reports with graphical charts using Cairo. Some of its unique features are:

* Transaction import in CSV format (homebank specific format)
* Direct add of payee and categories from the register dialog
* Tag feature for transactions
* Pre-defined transactions, which can be automated
* Pre-filling of transactions from a bookmark
* Dual pad of cheque and automated cheque number increment
* add transactions by inherit from existing ones
* Multiple transactions edit for each columns at once
* Easy transfer between accounts, which can be automated

JQuantLib is a comprehensive framework for quantitative finance that offers several mathematical and statistical tools needed for financial instrument valuation, calculation of VaR, portfolio valuation, etc. It is based on QuantLib and is written in Java. JQuantLib does its best efforts to mimic as close as possible the API exposed by QuantLib, offering a smooth transition path for developers and organizations willing to employ financial applications written in Java while keeping commitment to high performance and low latency. Features include:

* Support for generic pricing engines;
* Support for generic financial instruments;
* Date, Calendar and IMM support;
* Trading calendars for the most important markets;
* Support for generic term structures;
* Support for generic 1D and 2D interpolations;

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Hugin Panorama Creator Software for Linux

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Hugin Panorama Creator Software for Linux: I've been looking for a Panorama creator application for my Linux box and bumped into Hugin. It's a free and open-source graphical user interface (GUI) for Panorama tools that's simple, easy-to-use, and gets the job done. Using Hugin, you can put together mosaic of photographs and turn them into a complete immersive panorama. You can also stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more.

With Hugin's GUI, panorama stitching can be conveniently achieved by utilizing several overlapping photos taken from the same place or location, and then using control points to align and transform the images in order for them to be blended together to create a larger image. It also allows for the painless creation of control points between two images, optimization of the image transforms, and a whole lot more.

Hugin is equipped with a user-friendly unified point-and-click interface to a whole range of other command-line tools that includes:

* autopano-sift, autopano-sift-C, panomatic or autopano for automatic creation of control points.
* nona for remapping input images and rendering output images.
* enblend and enfuse for seamless blending of output images.

I have here a couple of stunning panoramas created using Hugin (click to enlarge):

Service At Other Side @ Brighton by Pepeketua

Water World (360 degree panorama) by fpsurgeon

More excellent Hugin-created panoramas HERE

If you want to try Hugin, you can download and install it via Synaptic Package Manager or Software Center if using Ubuntu. It's also available on other popular distribution repositories as well, so use your distro's official package manager to get it.

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Awesome Linux T-Shirts and More Available Now at the Linux Store

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Awesome Linux T-Shirts and More Available Now at the Linux Store: Upon visiting the Linux Store at, I was thinking of updating our list of cool and funny Linux t-shirts. That’s because the collection of Linux-inspired shirts that I saw there are way too awesome. But the Linux Store doesn't only sell t-shirts; they also have mugs, hats, stickers, and more.

According to the public announcement made by the Linux Foundation, merchandise available in the store is “designed to reflect the unique and varied culture associated with Linux” and will support the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds. For example, t-shirts contain phrases like “Free The Code,” “FSCK the Establishment,” and “Fork You.” All revenue generated from the store will go directly towards Linux Foundation activities, initiatives and events.

Here is a sample t-shirt that you will find at the Linux Store:

Visit the Linux Store now to purchase some geeky merchandise.

For those of you who are good at graphics design, the Linux Foundation is holding a t-shirt design contest so this is your chance to shine. The top 5 submissions will be selected and community members can cast their votes and comments through to select the one lucky entry. The top designer will win a trip to Boston to attend LinuxCon in August and the winning t-shirt will be displayed for sale at the Linux Store. You can submit your T-shirt design HERE until April 11, 2010.

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Text-to-Speech Software for Linux

Text-to-Speech Software for Linux: If you've been using Mac OS X or Windows Vista before, you may be a bit disappointed to learn that there's no speech synthesizer or text-to-speech (TTS) application that is installed by default on your Linux distribution. For those of you who don't know what a speech synthesizer is, it's simply a computer program that converts normal language text into speech. Text-to-speech software can be of great help particularly for people who are visually impaired and those who are mute.

If you've been looking for a free speech synthesizer for Linux, the one that I can highly recommend is a program called Festival. As described from its project website: Festival offers a general framework for building speech synthesis systems as well as including examples of various modules. As a whole, it offers full text to speech through a number APIs: from shell level, though a Scheme command interpreter, as a C++ library, from Java, and an Emacs interface. Festival is multi-lingual (currently English (British and American), and Spanish) though English is the most advanced.

Festival is probably available in most distro repositories so just search for it and install it via the package manager. Once installed, you can immediately set it to work. Here are some basic uses of Festival:

It can read whatever you type on the command line. Open a terminal and start festival with this command:

$ festival

A prompt will appear. Make it speak by typing this from the command line:

(SayText "festival will read this line")

Festival can also be very useful if you want it to read a whole text file. From the terminal, simply navigate to where your text file is located, and use this command:

$ festival --tts your_text_file.txt

For more information and other options on using Festival, you can read the complete manual from HERE.

In KDE desktop, there's already a text-to-speech software installed by default called KTTS, but it is currently under development. Try to make it speak “Hello World” by typing these commands from the Linux terminal:

$ kttsd
$ dcop kttsd KSpeech setText "Hello World" "en"
$ dcop kttsd KSpeech startText 0

KTTS has a GUI front-end called KMouth.

A user can type a word, phrase, or sentences that he/she wants to hear through its input field. KMouth also contains a history of spoken phrases so the users can easily select phrases from the history which he/she wants to be re-spoken using a few mouse clicks. It also has a phrase book and word completion options.

For GNOME users, you can use Orca’s speech synthesizer. I haven't tried it yet so for those of you who have, please share with us your experiences of using Orca.

I’ve used the text-to-speech software of Mac OS X before and I must say that it’s more functional than those we currently have for Linux. But, that’s just my opinion.

How about you? How do you compare Linux speech synthesizers to those available for Windows or Mac?

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Best Linux Distro for Web Server

Best Linux Distro for Web Server: If you are planning to build a web hosting company, small business servers, or simply host your own website at home, then it is best to use Linux as your operating system. Linux servers have been known to be extremely reliable and rarely crashes so there's less downtime. Linus Torvalds has once been quoted as saying "How do you power off this machine?" when upgrading the site "", and after using the machine for several months.

Around 60% of all web servers ran Linux, but we don't have any data that could tell which among the Linux distributions are widely used or preferred. If you ask me, here are some of the best and perhaps popular distro for web servers:

Slackware is the oldest surviving Linux distribution so there are no doubts about its reliability. It aspires for design stability and simplicity, using plain text files for configuration and making as few modifications to software packages as possible from upstream. As they say, there is no better, more customizable, standard distro than Slackware.

Gentoo is a highly flexible and fast distro that is built on top of the Linux kernel and based on the Portage package management system. It describes itself as a metadistribution, "because of its near-unlimited adaptability". Unlike a standard software distribution, the user compiles the source code locally according to their chosen configuration in Gentoo. Its package management is designed to be versatile, modular, portable, easy to maintain, and optimized for the user's machine.

Debian is a strict advocate of the free and open source philosophies. It is known for amplitude of options like its support for a wide range of computer architectures that ranges from the Intel/AMD 32-bit/64-bit to the ARM architecture. Some of the others notable features of Debian are the APT package management system, repositories with large numbers of packages, and the high quality of releases.

RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux)
When we talk about Linux web servers, we shouldn't fail to include RHEL. It is released in server versions for x86, x86-64, Itanium, PowerPC and IBM System z. Though it's proprietary, it costs less than Microsoft's web server software. RHEL is also known for its excellent technical support and service.

If you want to get all the goodness of Red Hat Enterprise Linux but don't want to spend a dime, then CentOS is for you. CentOS is based on RHEL and aims to provide a free enterprise class computing platform and strives to maintain 100% binary compatibility with its upstream distribution. Technical support is mainly provided by the community through its official mailing lists, web forums, and chat rooms.

But don't just limit your choices from my list, as there are other distros that are as capable as the above mentioned.

How about you? What do you think is the best Linux distro for web server?

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Red Star OS, a Linux Distro Made in North Korea

North Korea has been discovered developing its own Linux distro named Red Star OS. To make it even more interesting, it is said to be commissioned by the infamous Kim Jong-il.

A Russian student of Kim Il-sung University at Pyongyang bought the distro for $5 USD at an information centre, and then shared his discovery through his blog.

Based on looking at the screenshot above, Red Star OS is clearly using the K Desktop Environment (KDE) with a theme that is quite similar to that of Windows XP. It is pre-loaded with useful free and open source applications like a word processor (looks like Writer), web browser (based on Firefox), e-mail client, and even a few games. Red Star OS is pretty much a standard Linux distro except that it supports only one language, which is Korean.

More screenshots HERE

A few fascinating features of Red Star OS include a system clock with a date based on North Korean calendar that considers 2010 to be year 99 of its Juche ideology, and a readme file that contains words from Kim Jong Il, who says that it’s important that the DPRK have an operating system that gels with its values.

Perhaps Red Star OS will be listed at Distrowatch soon and they could give us a download link or two. However, do you trust Kim Jong Il enough for you to download and install his endorsed distro?

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Ubuntu's New Look, a Pale Imitation of Mac OS X?

The moment Ubuntu enthusiasts have been waiting for has arrived. Canonical has announced the rebranding of Ubuntu and showed us the new logo, color schemes, desktop themes, and more. According to them, the new style of Ubuntu is driven by the theme called "Light", which will be used in version 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" and will define the look and feel of Ubuntu for several years. But are there really a lot to be excited about with this redesign?

First of all, I would like to give credit to the Ubuntu team for all their efforts in trying to give this already excellent Linux distro a more polish and simple appeal. Personally, I love the new set of logos (see below):

...except for this one:

Now let's take a deep look at the brand new "Light" theme (click to enlarge):

Compare it to the Mac OS X desktop:

Can you see the similarity? I guess I was right in saying that Ubuntu is trying to imitate the Mac OS X look (read Ubuntu Goin' Gray...) .

First, look at the top menu. Does it not closely resemble that of Mac OS X? --The light-gray menu bar (although the Ubuntu menu has a little shades of brown), the all black menu items, and the WiFi signal strength meter among others are telling us that they are Mac-inspired.

The new Ubuntu window area (Gtk theme) is also quite similar to that of Mac OS X. It looks like they slightly copied the circle buttons and even place them on the left side like that of (you guessed it) the Mac OS X.

The wallpaper completes the pale imitation. As most of you may know, the purple aurora wallpaper is the default wallpaper of OS X "Leopard" and "Snow Leopard".

I think Ubuntu is having an identity crisis right now and should seriously consider changing several things in terms of look and feel to avoid being branded as a Mac OS X rip-off, or worse, get sued by Apple.

I believe the fans are divided right now. Some have learned to love the brown color scheme since it uniquely represents Ubuntu, while others wanted change. Now that the change has come, are you willing to accept it? What are your thoughts regarding the new design?

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The Most Expensive Netbook Ever is Running Linux

The Most Expensive Netbook Ever is Running Linux: Who says Linux netbooks are cheap? At Dell's website, they have posted perhaps the most expensive netbook ever. Its cost? A staggering $100,278 USD. What's more surprising is that the said netbook is powered by Ubuntu Linux. Some of its technical specifications are as follows:

Intel Atom N270 Processor
160G, 2.5inch, 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive

For the price, I know the specs sound pretty basic and it's not even gold-plated or diamond-encrusted. If you think that I'm kidding, see this photo:

It's undeniably a pricing error on Dell's part, which has been fixed as of the moment. The real price of Dell Mini 10n running Ubuntu Linux is only $279 :-)

The price oversight was posted first at Ubergizmo.

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