Schmatic diagram showing two phones, linked by a magic cloud, calling from the UK to Canada - via the cloud - for free.

In an ideal world, I’d like something like this - and vice versa, please.

My wife and I currently live in Canada, and our families are back in the UK. We’d been using Skype to chat with people in the UK, but I was getting frustrated with Skype’s limitations: it either ties you to a computer and WiFi, or running a battery hungry app which slows down your phone. It doesn’t work very well over the 3G ...


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Ever tried to copy something onto a USB flash drive, only to discover that the file was to big to copy?

This is because most USB Flash drives are formatted using the FAT32 [1] filesystem - which only supports individual files up to 4GB in size, no matter how much free space you’ve got. It also only supports drives up to 2TB, can’t store symbolic links, can’t store files with these characters in the name: "*/:<>?\| — and is generally ...


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I recently needed to convert some Apple Lossless music files to FLAC. Here’s how to do it:

If you don’t already have ffmpeg or libav-tools installed, do this:

$ sudo apt-get install libav-tools

Then run this to do the conversion, in the folder with music in:

$ for f in *.m4a; do avconv -i "$f" "${f%.m4a}.flac"; done

And that’s it - it will convert all the .m4a files in that folder to .flac files, preserving the metadata. You ...


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Blueprint style diagram showing the compose key sequence for the Euro currency symbol.

Just hold down your chosen compose key, then press the other keys in turn: [compose key] + e + = gets you a Euro symbol.

The compose key on Linux is incredibly useful, but not configured by default - and on XFCE there’s currently no graphical UI to change it. However, it’s pretty simple to change… here’s how to make the Caps Lock key your compose key:

In the file /etc/default/keyboard, change XKBOPTIONS to look like this:

XKBOPTIONS="compose ...

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