Categories
Web

Mobile First Design

Let’s face it, our readers prefer purchasing a new iPhone every other year than buying a computer. Computers are for nerds. There I said it.

In 2015, designing a website for desktops and laptops when our readers will only view it on their iPhone is embarrassing to say the least. So, when are we going to start designing with the predominate mobile audience in mind?

It’s the dominating statistic: 61% of my website viewers are on mobile. The majority of these views come from iPhone’s Safari browser. This is a trend that I’m seeing everywhere including with older demographics; even 65+ (I work closely with the oldest operating HOA in San Antonio and eight public golf courses).

Using a computer just as much as your iPhone makes you elite. Unfortunately, not everyone is elite. That’s why we cannot design for ourselves anymore (not that we ever should have). Some leave their laptops off most of the time. I guess laptops remind people of work and school.

So moving forward, we need to ask our friends to check out our websites as we are developing them. If they grow impatient with how slowly it loads or how many finger flicks it takes to scroll down the pages – redesign it. The desktop versions of our websites are the best around, scoring a 77 easily in Google’s PageSpeed Insights, but if the mobile site makes our audience put down their phone in boredom, that’s a clear sign of failure.

Categories
Computers

Rethinking Security on Mac

I haven’t used antivirus software since 2007 when I switched from Windows to Mac. Like many Mac users, I believed that OS X is impervious to viruses and other security threats. But, I have come to the conclusion that this is a flawed belief.

Security threats are not limited to viruses and spyware, there are phishing and JavaScript threats too. These threats affect all operating systems connected to the web, because these attacks take place online, not on your machine. As we use more online services, such as online banking, electronic communications and cloud services we re-open ourselves up to cyber threats.

Mac users culturally take a lazy approach to security. We’re never so safe that we can let our guard down. Even with antivirus software installed, we’re never impervious to cyber threats. It is wise to use password managers, ad blockers, script blockers, encryption software and VPNs too.

Part of me wonders if it were possible for Apple and Microsoft to build these security functions to a point where third-party services like Bitdefender and Norton were no longer necessary. With the deep pockets that these two companies have, why aren’t our computers more secure? Is this a conspiracy to keep the cybersecurity industry alive, eating $99 a year from our wallets? And how is it that a small third-party firm is able to fend off all these cyber threats that Apple, Microsoft, and Google cannot?

These are questions that I do not have the answers to, if you have some insight on this topic please feel free to share in the comment section below.

I am definitely stepping up my approach to cybersecurity. Who knows what scripts have been doing in our browsers.

Categories
Linux

How to Convert a dmg to an iso file in Linux

Press Ctrl + Alt + T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the commands below:

sudo apt-get install dmg2img

Once installed, change the directory to where the .dmg file is located and run the following command:

dmg2img <file_name>.dmg

This will convert the .dmg to an .img file. Run the following command to convert the .img to an .iso file.

mv <file_name>.img <file_name>.iso

Categories
Linux

How to Download YouTube Videos in Ubuntu via Command Line

Downloading a YouTube video in Ubuntu is easier via command line than installing an application or using a website like clipconverter.cc. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Run the following command to install YouTube Downloader:
    • sudo apt-get install youtube-dl
  3. Run the following command in Terminal for each video you wish to download:
    • youtube-dl paste URL here

Your videos will be saved to your home folder in mp4 format.

Categories
Linux

How to Install Geekbench 3 on Linux Mint 17

Geekbench 3 is Primate Labs’ cross-platform processor benchmark, with a new scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance, and new workloads that simulate real-world scenarios. Geekbench 3 makes it easier than ever to find out if your computer is up to speed. To install Geekbench 3 on Linux Mint 17 follow the instructions below:

  1. Click here to download Geekbench 3
  1. Open Terminal app on your machine
  1. Type the following commands and pressing enter after each line

cd /home/yourusername/Downloads

tar -zxvf Geekbench-3.3.0-Linux.tar.gz

cd dist/Geekbench-3.3.0-Linux/

./geekbench

Geekbench will now run in trial mode. At the end it will provide a web link that show your results.

If you purchase a license key for Geekbench you may enter it by typing the following command instead of ./geekbench

./geekbench <email address> <license key>

Categories
Linux

How to Read/Write HFS+ (Mac OS X Journaled) on Linux

If you’re a heavy Mac user, chances are you have lots of Mac OS X Journaled external hard drives. Use the following instructions to enable read/write ability on Linux Mint, Ubuntu and Lubuntu.

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type the following command: sudo apt-get install hfsprogs
  3. Press Enter

You should now be able to read and write Mac formatted drives on Linux.

Categories
Web

Use Google Public DNS to Unblock Websites Blocked by OpenDNS

Use the following instructions to improve your browser speed and circumvent blocks by OpenDNS. Enjoy!

Microsoft Windows

DNS settings are specified in the TCP/IP Properties window for the selected network connection.

Example: Changing DNS server settings on Microsoft Windows 7

  1. Go the Control Panel.
  • Click Network and Internet, then Network and Sharing Center, and click Change adapter settings.
  • Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example: To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, right-click Local Area Connection, and click Properties.
  • To change the settings for a wireless connection, right-click Wireless Network Connection, and click Properties.
  •  If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • Select the Networking tab. Under This connection uses the following items, select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) orInternet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) and then click Properties.
  • Click Advanced and select the DNS tab. If there are any DNS server IP addresses listed there, write them down for future reference, and remove them from this window.
  • Click OK.
  • Select Use the following DNS server addresses. If there are any IP addresses listed in the Preferred DNS server or Alternate DNS server, write them down for future reference.
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.Replace those addresses with the IP addresses of the Google DNS servers.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
  • Restart the connection you selected in step 3.
  • Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
  • Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

Mac OS X

DNS settings are specified in the Network window.

Example: Changing DNS server settings on Mac OS 10.5

  1. From the Apple menu, click System Preferences, then click Network.
  • If the lock icon in the lower left-hand corner of the window is locked, click the icon to make changes, and when prompted to authenticate, enter your password.
  • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select Built-In Ethernet, and click Advanced.Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example: To change the settings for a wireless connection, select Airport, and click Advanced.
  • Select the DNS tab.
  • Click + to replace any listed addresses with, or add, the Google IP addresses at the top of the list:
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
  • Click Apply and OK.
  • Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
  • Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.

Linux

In most modern Linux distributions, DNS settings are configured through Network Manager.

Example: Changing DNS server settings on Ubuntu

  1. In the System menu, click Preferences, then click Network Connections.
  • To change the settings for an Ethernet connection, select the Wired tab, then select your network interface from the list. It is usually called eth0. Select the connection for which you want to configure Google Public DNS. For example:
    • To change the settings for a wireless connection, select the Wireless tab, then select the appropriate wireless network.
  • Click Edit, and in the window that appears, select the IPv4 Settings or IPv6 Settings tab.
  • If the selected method is Automatic (DHCP), open the drop-down and select Automatic (DHCP) addresses only instead. If the method is set to something else, do not change it.
    • For IPv4: 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.4.4.In the DNS servers field, enter the Google Public DNS IP addresses, separated by a space.
    • For IPv6: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and/or 2001:4860:4860::8844
  • Click Apply to save the change. If you are prompted for a password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • Test that your setup is working correctly; see Testing your new settings below.
  • Repeat the procedure for additional network connections you want to change.
Categories
Linux

How to Install Ubuntu 12.04 on PowerPC G4 or G5 Mac

Do you have an old PowerPC (PPC) G4 or G5 Mac collecting dust in your house? Breathe life back into your old Mac by installing Ubuntu, a popular distro of Linux, for free! Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Click here to download Ubuntu 12.04 for PPC
  1. Burn the .iso to a CD
  1. Insert CD into the PPC Mac
  1. Reboot and follow onscreen instructions

After you’ve installed Ubuntu, your PPC Mac will run like a modern computer.

Categories
Linux

How to Enable exFAT Read/Write on Linux

Installing exFAT read and write abilities on Linux is easy! This works on Ubuntu 14.04, Lubuntu 14.10 and Linux Mint 17.1.

To begin you’ll need to open Terminal and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install exfat-fuse exfat-utils

Then press enter.

The terminal will then scroll through a lot of text and will ask if you want to install this package. Type y and press enter.

You should now be able to read and write on exFAT formatted drives.

Categories
Apps

Shuttle Tracker for iOS

I am currently developing an app called Shuttle Tracker for iOS. I have taken on the project as part of an elective course; formally known as MIS 4399 iOS App Development.

I first came up with the idea during my sophomore year at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) while a friend and I were waiting for the campus shuttle. Since the shuttle doesn’t run on a set schedule – it’s hard to know when it will arrive. A decision had to be made: would it be faster to walk or wait for the shuttle?

There’s nothing worse than waiting 15-25 minutes for a shuttle; deciding to walk, a half-mile, only to get passed up by the shuttle and arrive extremely late to class.

With the app I am developing – there will no longer be a need to make such an uninformed decision again! The app will determine where the shuttles are located on campus, which shuttle is the closest to the student, how long it will take for the closest shuttle to reach the student’s current location and then how long it will take to reach the student’s final destination. The app will also compare how long it would take to walk to the student’s final destination vs taking the shuttle. Then the app will either suggest to walk or wait for the shuttle

Generally, it isn’t recommended to share your app ideas with the public before the app is available in the App Store, but for the class, I needed to run through the whole process of creating an app and marketing it.

Since publishing our apps to the App Store isn’t a requirement – the only way to simulate the demand for our app would be to measure the number of likes it receives on Facebook.

So far, Shuttle Tracker has received 60 likes organically. That means, even after I was awarded $50 from Facebook for receiving 50 likes for my app – I did not utilize their targeted advertising tools. I didn’t want my app to go UIW viral until after I finished it and had it up in the App Store.

Shuttle-Tracker-Aaron-Garcia

Even while trying to keep mum about the app I managed to have a feature article written about it in the LOGOSUIW’s student newspaper. Perhaps at this point, it wouldn’t matter if I used the targeted advertising tools or not – it already has the potential of attracting a lot of attention! I have been told that the article should be coming out in their next issue.

Shuttle Tracker was never intended as just a class project – it has always been something more. And since it’s designed specifically for the students at UIW, it’s only right that they get to witness it develop. I hope to continue working on the app long after I graduate in May. But, until the app is complete, I’ll try to keep the megaphone’s volume on 1.

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