Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Video: Installing Linux Mint 15

In our latest video we step through how to install Linux Mint 15 'Olivia' on a clean hard drive.  In our example, I am using a new VirtualBox machine and Linux Mint 15 'MATE' edition with No Codecs.  If you have ever installed Ubuntu, then you will have no problem stepping through the installation wizard and successfully installing Mint on a system.

However, if you have not installed Ubuntu, and Mint is your first experience with Linux.  Do not fear.  As the wizard is rather simple and straight forward.  Check out our video, and as always make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date with all of our videos as they are released.

Thanks for watching!

Checkout our YouTube channel for more videos on Linux Mint, Ubuntu, and Windows!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Remove Ubuntu from a Dual Boot Computer

In our most recent video, we are going to learn how to remove Ubuntu from a Windows 7/Ubuntu dual boot setup.  You may be asking yourself: "Wait a minute, Techie always does his best to promote Linux in general.  Why is he telling people how to remove it?".  And if that is your question, I'd say it is a very valid question.

But simply put, there are a plethora of reasons why someone would want to remove Linux from a dual-boot machine.  See below for a short list of just a few reasons:

1- They may be low on total Hard Drive space and may need to reclaim that space for Windows.
2- Maybe Ubuntu just isn't the Operating System for you.  There are thousands of Linux distros to try.
3- Maybe you want to revert back to Windows for everyday use, and run virtual machines of Ubuntu from within Windows.

There are many, many other reasons.  But whatever they may be, removing one of the Operating Systems from a dual-booting PC may sound like a daunting task.  However, I am here to report that it isn't as daunting as it may seem.  And in most cases should take less than half and hour.

Disclaimer: Anytime you start monkeying around with Operating Systems, Boot Records, Partitions, etc.  Please be sure to backup any data that is important to you.  There is always the off-chance that something could go wrong.

Be sure to check the video out below, as always I will list the steps as a sort of cheat sheet below as well.

Difficulty: Moderate Skills Are Required (Basic Understanding of Boot Records, Paritions, Partition Wizards)

Step 1

Be sure both Ubuntu and Windows are accessible and bootable.

Step 2

We need to remove the Grub Bootloader that was installed when we installed Ubuntu.  DO NOT attempt removing Grub manually.  As you will render both operating systems unbootable.  To remove Grub, we need to use a tool called: EasyBCD.

Visit the following website to download EasyBCD (there is a free community edition):

Note: If you are using EasyBCD within a commercial setting, you need to honor the developers wishes and purchase a copy of it.

Step 3

Once EasyBCD has been installed, run it.  Click on 'BCD Backup/Repair' button.  On the right, select 'Re-create/Repair Boot Files'.  Our goal is to rewrite the MBR and restore the Windows bootloader.  Don't worry, this process takes a couple minutes.  

Once this completes, the status box will disappear.  You can then exit EasyBCD.

Step 4

Reboot the PC and make sure Grub does not appear.  If Grub is now gone, we can proceed to removing the Ubuntu Parition and the Linux Swap Partition.

Step 5

Once Windows 7 has finished rebooting and we have verified Grub is gone, click on:
-Right click on 'Computer'
-Left click on 'Manage'

This will open the computer management console.  Locate 'Disk Management' on the left side of the screen.  This will allow us to manipulate the Hard Drive's Partitions.

Step 6

Once inside the 'Disk Management' tool, locate your Ubuntu and Linux Swap Partitions.  Note: These partitions will not have a file system assigned to them.  Be sure to pick the correct partition as you don't want to delete the wrong ones.

Step 7

With the first partition identified, move the mouse of that partition in the graph towards the bottom of the screen and right click on it.  Choose 'Delete Volume'.  This should convert that partition to 'Unallocated Space'.  If it changes it to 'Free Space', right click on it again and select 'Delete Partition'.  This should convert it to unallocated space.

Repeat this step for the Swap Partition.

Step 8

You should now have a portion of the hard drive labeled as 'Unallocated Space'.  Locate the Windows 7 partition and right click on it in the graph.  Select 'Extend' from the context menu.

Step 9

The 'Partition Extension' wizard will appear.  By default it will detect the amount of 'Unallocated Space' and give you the option to use all of it.  Take the defaults and click 'Next' until you get to the confirmation screen.  Once here, simply click on 'Finish'.  It may take a few moments depending on hard drive and partition size.

Step 10

One the unallocated space has been taken up by the Windows 7 partition, simply close the 'Computer Management' console and verify the changes took effect by going into Windows Explorer and verifying your C: drive size.  Now reboot just to make sure everything looks good.

That's it, your now back at a "single" boot machine.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Videos Coming Soon!

We've been working very hard to bring some new videos to our YouTube Channel!  The first couple of videos are almost out of production and should be hitting our channel within in the next days.  We will initially be covering Linux Mint (from installation to optimization post-install).  And will bloom out into other topics as they occur, or as watchers request more info on other topics.

As always, I want to know what you would like to see covered in future videos.  Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at: and I will be more than happy to try and oblige!

Be sure to swing by and checkout the channel and look for more video fun coming real soon!

Nerd On Friends!,


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Players Will Be Required to Pay for Xbox One Features

Xbox One
Xbox One console
Was there ever any doubt that Microsoft would go this route?  Not in my mind.  Why?  Simple, because they already do this.  A story reported on today from BBC News mentions that the Xbox One will require the user/player to subscribe to a Live Gold account in order to utilize some functions of the new Xbox One.  Is this really that much of a change?  Nope.

Long story short, here is the deal.  In order to use the following functions, players must be an Xbox Live Gold account subscriber.  Items marked *Currently Required indicates Xbox 360 features that currenly requires a Gold subscriptions well.

-Multiplayer Gaming *Currently Required
-Netflix (or other video streaming services) *Currently Required
-Matchmaking for Online Games (considered a function of online play) *Currently Required
-OneGuide (think of a recommendation service for online media content)
-Access to communicate via Skype.

I don't particularly see anything worthy of arguing about int his list.  As it stands, it doesn't appear that all that much will change between current Live Gold accounts and current-gen Live Gold accounts.  This doesn't mean that changes will not pop up elsewhere, it just means there isn't a whole lot that us current-gen gamers can argue about.

And with Sony also starting to charge for online access and similar features on the PS4, there goes the excuse that paying for online on an Xbox console is more expensive.  Looks like we're all on a level playing field now.  Like it or not.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chromium Browser Issue under Ubuntu

Chromium Web Browser
Chromium Web Browser
This evening while I was web surfing, I decided to make a couple of changes to my Ubuntu desktop and thought I'd simply sign out and back in to see if the changes would stay upon a reboot/log off.  My changes worked fine.  However, I didn't exit the Chromium Web Browser properly when logging off.  In short, I logged off while I had the browser minimized to the Unity dock.  I honestly didn't think anything else about it.

Upon signing back in, and launching the Chromium Web browser again I was greeted with an error I hadn't previously seen. (See pic below)

Your profile could not be opened.
Bad Profile??

"Your profile could not be opened correctly.  Some features may be unavailable.  Please check that the profile exists and you have permission to read and write its contents." This is the error message I got, and was unable to proceed past the error.

Upon further inspection, by right clicking the Chromium launcher in the Unity dock, I was able to select 'Open a New Window with a Temporary Profile' to do some research on the issue.  In short, I found a bunch of links with very similar information.  There are two ways to go about fixing this issue.

The first, basically make a backup of the Chromium Configuration File and then launch Chromium to let the profile rebuild itself.  Or just launch Chromium and let it build a new profile configuration anyways (this option will cause you to loose all of your browsing history, bookmarks, cookies, etc.

*Hit enter after each command entered into Terminal.

Step 1: Close Chromium.
Step 2: Launch the Terminal (Alt + Ctrl + T)
Step 3: Type the following:    mv ~/.config/chromium/Default ~/.config/chromium/Backup
Step 4: Launch the Chromium again.  This time is should open without an error.
Step 5: Once you have verified it works, close Chromium again.  We will restore your data.
Step 6: Go back into Terminal and type:  rm -rf ~/.config/chromium/Default
Step 7: Still in Terminal, type:   cp -R ~/.config/chromium/Backup ~/.config/chromium/Default
Step 8: Exit Terminal and open Chromium and verify your data has returned (bookmarks, etc.)

If you aren't particularly picky, and don't mind loosing things like your bookmarks, cookies, and browsing history.  Then you can simply just launch Terminal and type the following command and hit enter:   rm -rf ~/.config/chromium/Default

This will remove the existing Chromium configuration file.  By removing the configuration file, Chromium will be force to create a new profile configuration the next time it is run.  Essentially starting with a blank slate as if it were just installed.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The 12th Doctor Revealed!

Doctor Who
For Whovians worldwide, today was a HUGE day for all of us.  It was announced just a few months ago that Matt Smith would not be reprising his role of the legendary Time Lord: The Doctor.  This created a sort of outrage from the fans of Doctor Who worldwide.  As Matt has garnered the adoration of Doctor Who fans new and old.  Matt Smith portrayed the 11th incarnation of the Doctor, following David Tennant's infamous role of the 10th Doctor.  I had just started watching Doctor Who just a few months before Tennant's Doctor regenerated.  The regeneration episode was one of the hardest episodes of any television show I had ever watched.  It felt as if your favorite character was in the process of dying.  And sure, I was a little unsure how Matt Smith would do as the new version of the Doctor.  But am incredibly happy to say that just mere moments into Smith's first episode named 'The Eleventh Hour', I was sold on the change.  Smith had capture the essence of all that made Tennant's Doctor fun, but also he brought a sort of wonder.  The wonder that Smith radiated through every episode gave the viewer the eye sight of a child.  Seeing things that we see everyday and making them fresh and new and alien all over again.  Seriously, who else could make Bow Ties, Tweed Jackets, Stetsons, and the Fez cool again?

Matt Smith
Matt Smith as The 11th Doctor

But alas, it's that time again.  As we have been blessed with the stage presence of Matt Smith as our favorite time-traveling alien, it is time for a change.  For Mr. Smith, I wish you all the best sir.  Even though you were not my "first" Doctor, your Doctor will always hold a place in this Whovian's heart.  And I wish you nothing but success moving forward.  You have made a lifetime fan out of me and my wife.

Now, on the the big announcement.  Today (Sunday, August 4th, 2013) the announcement was simulcast from the BBC One and BBC America,  Here in America the timeslot was 2:00p to 2:30p EST.  The special was pretty cool.  We saw some interviews from Matt Smith, wishing his successor all the best and got some insight from previous Doctor Who actors and fans.  Toward the end of the special, we found out who will follow Matt Smith as the "Mad Man in the Little Blue Box"...

Congratulations to Mr. Peter Capaldi!

The 12th Doctor
Peter Capaldi- The 12th Doctor

For those who aren't familiar with Mr. Capaldi, he is no stranger to the world of Doctor Who.  First staring in an episode entitled 'The Fires of Pompeii' and also staring in Torchwood (a spin-off of Doctor Who).  For those who may be stunned by a previous Doctor Who actor showing up again... Remember, this is not the first time.  Also in the 'Fires of Pompeii' we first met Karen Gillian who later moved on to star as a separate role opposite Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor's Companion, Amy Pond.

It has been stated by Steven Moffat and other show runners that the coming season of Doctor Who will bring us a much darker Doctor.  And with the teaser of Jon Hurt at the finale of this past season, and how he ties into the whole Doctor Who numbering scheme without messing up what we all know of Doctor Who is going to be a huge story arc as well.  And with this being the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, Steven Moffat has gone on record stating that the decision on the next Doctor has to be right.  And I believe the decision made to bring Mr. Capaldi to lead role was taken into heavy consideration and we as fans have to respect both Moffat's decision and Matt Smith's desire to move on to bigger projects.

And as Doctor Who fans, please wish Peter the best.  I'm sure he will do everything in his power to be the Doctor that we not only want... But the Doctor that we need at this point in the story.  Remember, the story of the Doctor is much larger than just the past 4 years of Matt Smith.  And as always, keep the fan-boy/girlism to a minimum.  We haven't seen the last of Matt Smith.  And remember, change is constant and not everyone will like change.  Doctor Who is very much a story about change and progression.  And don't forget, Matt will be back as the Doctor before Capaldi takes the role.  But one thing is for sure, Matt's regeneration into Capaldi's Doctor will more than likely pull so many tears world wide as we see the bittersweet regeneration glow. Who knows?  Will it be similar to Tennant's heartfelt comment "I don't want to go..."?  Or will it be Matt's iconic: "Geronimo!".  Time will tell.

So as loyal Whovians, embrace the change and welcome the Doctor back at the end of the year.  Much as the Ood told the 10th Doctor "This song is ending, but the story never ends...".

Until then, we will not know how the story of the Doctor will progress nor how Peter Capaldi will do in the roll.  All we can do is embrace the way of the Doctor: "GERONIMO!"

Friday, August 2, 2013

App of the Week: RipTide GP2 for Android

It's been a while, but in attempt to get the ball rolling again; we are back with a new 'App of the Week' and this week that app is 'RipTide GP2' for Android mobile devices.  First off, let me say that this game is simply amazing.  It is more of the same but with new tracks, a much larger career mode, upgradable 'Hydro Jets'; if you played it's predecessor you will have a general idea about what the sequel will have in store for you.  However, this time around VectorUnit has given us Online Multiplayer.  Let's cover what this game is all about.

The Deal:

As this game is about pure speed and thrilling tricks, there is no story.  The premise is you are a Hydro Jet racer in futuristic Hydro Jet Races.  Think of a Hydro Jet as a futuristic Jet Ski.  As you progress through the race circuits you will encounter not just standard 8 man races, but you will be faced with 'Hot Lap' and 'FreeStyle' races as well.  More on those below.  Regardless what mode or race type you play, I promise you it will become addictive fun that will be hard to put down.

Ready... Set... Go!

Race Types You Will Encounter:

You will of course play through the standard race that includes 8 NPC's all racing each other to the finish line.  The amount of laps and duration of the race will depend on what circuit you are playing.  The end goal is of course to be the first to cross the finish line.

Elimination mode will pit you against 8 NPC's and every few seconds (determined by the circuit you are playing) a player will be eliminated without prejudice.  The goal is to stay ahead of the pack and let everyone else get eliminated.  The only way to ensure victory is to be the race leader and outlast everyone else.

Hot Lap is basically a time-trial race.  Each time trial has set times that you need to complete the lap under in order to win.  Some tracks it's 1:07, some tracks it's 00:59 or a little less.  You will need to upgrade your Hydro Jet and make sure you have a speed demon to ensure victory in these races.
The level's are absolutely stunning!

Finally, you will bump into 'Free Style' races.  These races feature only your racer on a track filled with Ramps to trick off of.  Each 'Free Style' race will have a set score you have to hit to place in the top 3.  Earn points by popping tricks off of large waves of water and ramps.  You will have to unlock higher tier tricks to place high in the more advanced circuits.  More on that below.


Controlling your Hydro Jet is as simple as tilting your mobile device in the direction you'd like to navigate.  Popping tricks is handled by swiping your thumbs in a particular order on the screen while your racer is airborne.  Each trick has a unique swipe, with the more advanced tricks requiring a slightly more difficult swipe pattern.  Sounds a little strange, but trust me... It works great.

Skills and Upgrades:

There are several different Hydro Jets that you can unlock with cash earned from your races.  Along with purchasing new Hydro Jets, you can also purchase upgrades to your Hydro Jet's abilities.  These abilities are split into several categories: 
- Acceleration
- Top Speed
- Handling
- Boost
Busting a Move!

Each category does exactly what it's name applies.  As you upgrade, the next upgrade level becomes more expensive requiring you to play more to earn more in-game cash to upgrade your ride.  You can also change the color-scheme (or 'paint job') of your Hydro Jet and your racer's uniform.

It doesn't stop there either.  As you play and race you will earn XP that will help you level up.  As you level up you get extra in-game cash and SP points that you will redeem for things like new tricks and increased agility and increased boost time.  Later in the game you will discover some future tricks are compounding.  So they require a trick from a lower skill level before they can be unlocked.  All in all the leveling system is pretty deep for a mobile racing game.


The soundtrack is pretty similar to the first RipTide GP.  Mixing techno beats with what sounds like spots of dub-step in spots.  All in all, it's pretty catchy and helps keep the energy moving during gameplay.

Online Mulitplayer

The online multiplayer is what I like to play.  I have ran several online matches against others and I have had a lot of fun.  Basically you pick 'Quick Match' and let the game match you up.  If you have signed in with your Google+ account, you can send invites and play with your friends as well.

Circuit Listing

Final Comments:

All in all, RipTide GP2 is an amazing game.  We are finally at the point where the division between mobile games and console quality games is started to fade.  The effects and overall experience are simply amazing.  In my opinion this game is well worth the $2.99 price tag.  Per their website, the game is also on it's way to the Apple iTunes App Store as well.

To Checkout RipTide GP2 visit the Google Play Store
App Cost: $2.99
Rating: 5/5 Stars