Month: June 2016

Improve YouTube Video Playback on Low Power Intel mini PCs by Disabling VP9 Support in Chrome or Firefox

I’ve been reviewing several Intel Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, and Braswell mini PCs in the last year or so, and I always end up recommending Microsoft Edge browser over Firefox or Chrome for people wanting to watch YouTube videos, as the last two browsers always drop many frames with the video stuttering regularly. However I noticed that while Edge is playing MP4/AVC (H.264) video, the other two browser would normally stream WebM/VP9 videos, and it could be the cause of the problem as H.264 can be hardware accelerated, but VP9 not, and the low power processor might not quite powerful enough to handle 1080p VP9 video decoding smoothly.

Source: Improve YouTube Video Playback on Low Power Intel mini PCs by Disabling VP9 Support in Chrome or Firefox (CNXSoft – Embedded Systems News)

How to Keep Getting Windows XP Updates for Years to Come

Windows XP has been dead and gone for over two years now, but it sadly won’t be completely gone for a long time. Many businesses are stuck using XP due to laziness or forced compatibility with some ancient website or software.

Most home users should upgrade to a modern version of Windows (like Windows 10) or switch to Mac OS, Linux, or even a Chromebook. However, if you’re bent on using XP until it collapses, here’s how to tweak the OS to get even more life out of it.

Source: How to Keep Getting Windows XP Updates for Years to Come (MakeUseOf)

Microsoft’s Refresh Windows Tool — A New Tool To Clean-Install Windows 10

On its website, last month, Microsoft mentioned a new tool that would allow Windows 10 users to refresh their Windows installation and perform a clean installation. This tool has now leaked and you can download it here to give it a try.

Source: Microsoft’s Refresh Windows Tool — A New Tool To Clean-Install Windows 10 (fossBytes)

How to Handle App/OS Freezes in Linux

Linux-based operating systems are deemed to be more stable than other operating systems. Testimony to this is the fact that Linux powers over 95% of supercomputers in the world. However, stability and performance doesn’t mean that Linux systems don’t experience app or OS freezes.

There could be many different types of freezes such as situations where one or more applications freeze, the mouse stops responding along with applications, and finally, where everything (including the keyboard) freezes. In this article we will discuss in detail the various solutions available for each case and in what order you should apply them.

Source: How to Handle App/OS Freezes in Linux (Make Tech Easier)

5 Best Antivirus Apps for Android

Some people do not believe anti-virus apps are necessary, but if you want an extra layer of security on your Android device, having a decent anti-malware app won’t do any harm and will likely eliminate the most common threats to your system. With the multitude of anti-virus apps available on Google Play, it can be hard to pick a good one, so we’ve put together a list of five great apps that can guarantee a malware-free device if used properly.

Source: 5 Best Antivirus Apps for Android (Make Tech Easier)

Make live bootable flash drive or SD card disks easily with Etcher

NOTE: The article referenced below is about the Linux version, but the program itself is cross-platform, with Linux, Mac, and Windows versions available.

Making live USB disks on Linux has always been hit or miss. You could use dd and the command line, and it’s mostly a good tool, but a lot of times the dd tool can destroy a drive. Other GUI tools like Unetbootin or Gnome disks are good too, but they’re mostly hit or miss, and sometimes the flashing gets messed up.

This is why Etcher is such a great tool. It’s elegant, so anyone can use it easily, and it doesn’t mess up when you flash an image. There is no more making a bootable flash drive with Unetbootin only to find out that a .c32 menu file is missing or some other error.

Source: Make Linux Live Disks Easily with Etcher (Make Tech Easier)
Software web site:

The thing we like most about this software, besides the fact that it’s free, is that it is smart enough to try to prevent you from accidentally overwriting one of your hard drives by mistake! And also, we like the fact that the Linux version is packaged as an AppImage, which means it should just run on whatever Linux distribution you use, once you have set permissions. At the worst you may need to install FUSE, if it’s not already installed in your distribution. That only applies to the Linux version; the OS X and Windows versions are installed just like any normal software package for those platforms.

We can think of several other Linux applications that we wish were packaged like this, particularly ones that have a higher than usual risk of breakage any time you apply an update. But, that’s a whole other article for another time.

How to use systemd timers

I was setting up some scripts to run backups recently, and decided I would try to set them up to use systemd timers rather than the more familiar to me cron jobs.

As I went about trying to set them up, I had the hardest time, since it seems like the required information is spread around in various places. I wanted to record what I did so firstly, I can remember, but also so that others don’t have to go searching as far and wide as I did.

Source: How to use systemd timers – Jason’s Blog

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