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Track your family calendar with a Raspberry Pi and a low-power display

Sun, 03/07/2021 - 16:00

Some families have a complex schedule: the kids have school and afterschool activities, you have important events you want to remember, everyone has multiple appointments, and so forth. While you can keep track of everything using your cellphone and an app, wouldn't it be better to have a large, low-power display at home to show your family's calendar? Meet the E Ink calendar!


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Manage containers on Raspberry Pi with this open source tool

Sat, 03/06/2021 - 16:00

Containers became widely popular because of Docker on Linux, but there are much earlier implementations, including the jail system on FreeBSD. A container is called a "jail" in FreeBSD terminology. The jail system was first released in FreeBSD 4.0 way back in 2000, and it has continuously improved since. While 20 years ago it was used mostly on large servers, now you can run it on your Raspberry Pi.


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5 surprising things you can do with LibreOffice from the command line

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:02

LibreOffice has all the productivity features you'd want from an office software suite, making it a popular open source alternative to Microsoft Office or Google Suite. One of LibreOffice's powers is the ability to operate from the command line. For example, Seth Kenlon recently explained how he uses a global command-line option to convert multiple files from DOCX to EPUB with LibreOffice. His article inspired me to share some other LibreOffice command-line tips and tricks.


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5 useful Moodle plugins to engage students

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:01

A good e-learning platform is important for education all over the world. Teachers need a way to hold classes, students need a friendly user interface to facilitate learning, and administrators need a way to monitor the educational system's effectiveness.

Moodle is an open source software package that allows you to create a private website with interactive online courses. It's helping people gather virtually, teach and learn from one another, and stay organized while doing it.


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Build a printer UI for Raspberry Pi with XML and Java

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 16:00

Creating a GUI from scratch is a very time consuming process, dealing with all the positions and alignments in hard code can be really tough for some programmers. In this article, I demonstrate how to speed up this process using XML.


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Measure your Internet of Things with Raspberry Pi and open source tools

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 16:02

If you are interested in measuring and interacting with the world around you through the Internet of Things (IoT), there are a variety of inexpensive microcontrollers and microcomputers you can use. There are also many sensors available that connect to these devices to measure many aspects of the physical world.


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Learn to debug code with the GNU Debugger

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 16:01

The GNU Debugger, more commonly known by its command, gdb, is an interactive console to help you step through source code, analyze what gets executed, and essentially reverse-engineer what's going wrong in a buggy application.


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Manage your personal budget with this open source application

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 16:00

Terminal Finances is a free and open source application that helps you control your personal accounts easily and simply. It's available for Linux and Windows.


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Host your website with dynamic content and a database on a Raspberry Pi

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 16:02

Raspberry Pi's single-board machines have set the mark for cheap, real-world computing. With its model 4, the Raspberry Pi can host web applications with a production-grade web server, a transactional database system, and dynamic content through scripting. This article explains the installation and configuration details with a full code example. Welcome to web applications hosted on a very lightweight computer.


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5 signs you might be a Rust programmer

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 16:01

I'm a fairly recent convert to Rust, which I started to learn around the end of April 2020. But, like many converts, I'm an enthusiastic evangelist. I'm also not a very good Rustacean, truth be told, in that my coding style isn't great, and I don't write particularly idiomatic Rust. I suspect this is partly because I never really finished learning Rust before diving in and writing quite a lot of code (some of which is coming back to haunt me) and partly because I'm just not that good a programmer.


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Open source drone makes it to Mars, System76 unveils its new keyboard, and more

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 16:00

In this edition of our open source news roundup, learn about open source on Mars, System76's new keyboard, a 5G open source stack, and more.

Open source goes to Mars

When NASA's latest Mars rover hit the Red Planet in February, it was partially powered by open source software.


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Monitor your Raspberry Pi with Grafana Cloud

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 16:02

You may have heard of Grafana, a time-series dashboarding tool that helps you discover what's going on in your environment. People from hobbyists to enterprise professionals like to use it for visualizations because it is open source and can accept data from myriad sources. This article describes how to use it to monitor your Raspberry Pi as an example of Internet of Things (IoT) monitoring.


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Learn Java with object orientation by building a classic Breakout game

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 16:01

As a second-semester student in systems and digital media at the Federal University of Ceará in Brazil, I was given the assignment to remake the classic Atari 2600 Breakout game from 1978. I am still in my infancy in learning software development, and this was a challenging experience. It was also a gainful one because I learned a lot, especially about applying object-oriented concepts.


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3 features that debuted in Python 3.0 you should use now

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 16:00

This is the first in a series of articles about features that first appeared in a version of Python 3.x. Python 3.0 was first released in 2008, and even though it has been out for a while, many of the features it introduced are underused and pretty cool. Here are three you should know about.


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Build a home thermostat with a Raspberry Pi

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 16:03

My wife and I moved into a new home in October 2020. As soon as it started getting cold, we realized some shortcomings of the home's older heating system (including one heating zone that was always on). We had Nest thermostats in our previous home, and the current setup was not nearly as convenient. There are multiple thermostats in our house, and some had programmed heating schedules, others had different schedules, some had none at all.


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4 open source tools for running a Linux server

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 16:02

In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Here are four open source tools for turning any device into a Linux server. 

Sometimes I detect a certain mystique around the idea of a server. Many people, should they have an image in their mind at all, think servers must be big, heavy, rack-mounted machines, carefully maintained by an overly deliberate sysadmin and a group of magical tinker gnomes. Other people envision servers as vaporous clouds that somehow power the internet.


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5 tips for choosing an Ansible collection that's right for you

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 16:00

In August 2020, Ansible issued its first release since the developers split the core functionality from the vast majority of its modules and plugins. A few basic Ansible modules remain part of core Ansible—modules for templating configuration files, managing services, and installing packages. All the other modules and plugins found their homes in dedicated Ansible collections.


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Edit video on Linux with this Python app

Sun, 02/28/2021 - 16:00

In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Here's how I use Linux to edit videos.


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Build your own technology on Linux

Sat, 02/27/2021 - 16:01

In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. Linux empowers its users to build their own tools.


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3 Linux terminals you need to try

Fri, 02/26/2021 - 16:02

In 2021, there are more reasons why people love Linux than ever before. In this series, I'll share 21 different reasons to use Linux. The ability to choose your own terminal is a big reason to use Linux.

Many people think once you've used one terminal interface, you've used them all. But users who love the terminal know there are minor but important differences between them. This article looks at three of my favorites.


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