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FocusWriter for Linux

FocusWriter is a easy to use, lightweight, and reliable writing program which works with Linux based operating systems like Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Fedora. It can be a better alternative than using a more basic text editing program like Leafpad because FocusWriter has spell check, and other important features like a writing goal counter.

FocusWriter is designed to keep writers focus on writing, and not distracted by other programs, and settings and features on FocusWriter. FocusWriter is a fullscreen program which covers the whole screen like a fullscreen video or presentation file being displayed on your monitor or TV.

I used FocusWriter on the Raspberry Pi 2 running Raspbian Linux, and found it to be very reliable, and fast even on more limited hardware like the Raspberry Pi 2 with a mobile CPU, 1GB of RAM, and less storage space like 4GB. FocusWriter rarely crashes, or freezes when I use it in Linux. FocusWriter also uses very little storage space on Linux, so it is great for computers with low storage space. FocusWriter only takes a few seconds to startup and run faster than most full-sized word processors with more features.

I like FocusWriter’s fullscreen and simple user interface which is not distracting to look at because the buttons are hidden until I need to use them. It is possible to change the margin sizes, and typing space sizes. The background image/color, background color for the typing area, text color, text size, font style, and other on-screen features can be changed easily in FocusWriter. [click to continue…]


Light Firefox web browser for Linux

Light is a web browser which is based on Mozilla Firefox’s source code. But, it is a slimmed down version of Firefox with many of the components of Firefox slimmed down. Light can open its web browser faster and use less memory/RAM because its components are slimmed down.

Some features found in the regular version of Firefox like crashreporter, skia, webm, opus, ogg, wave, webrtc, jsd, gamepad intl-api, accessibility, webapp, sync, healthreport, safebrowsing, pdfjs, identity, spellcheck, tabview, social, devtools, printing, webspeech, webgl, directshow, Pocket, Hello messaging, Share This Page, Web Developer tools, etc are not included in Light like the regular version of Firefox.

But, Light still has support for most Firefox themes, HTML5, JavaScript, Plug-ins like Adobe Flash, Java, and add-ons like NoScript, and Flash Block because Light is based on the latest version of Firefox. Light also has bookmarks, password save, history, tabs, private web browsing, text and page zooming, and other important features found in most web browsers.

In my experience, Light has been very reliable, and fast when I use it on Lubuntu 14 which is a Ubuntu Linux based operating system which uses LXDE as the desktop environment. My Linux based desktop computer has a Intel Core2Dou 1.86 GHz CPU, 1GB of RAM, 320 GB hard drive, and Nvidia GT 620 video card, and uses Lubuntu Linux 14.10 as its operating system.

Light uses under 200MB of RAM when 1 tab with the default homepage is open after I launch Light. Light also runs smoothly when a few tabs are open at once. It rarely crashes in Lubuntu in my experience.

If you notice there is a slowdown problem when typing text on website in Light, you can turn off “Check my spelling as I type” in the Advanced section of the Preferences of Light.

Light uses the same user interface as Firefox, so Light should be easy to learn how to use if you use Firefox before. A lot of the plug-ins like Flash, add-ons, and themes for Firefox work on Light. Light has private incognito web browsing, tab web browsing, History, History Delete options, full screen mode, add-ons, plug-ins, history, and many of the same features available on Firefox. The main user interface differences in Light’s user interface is its logo is a U instead of the Firefox Fox logo, and it has fewer buttons in its menus.

The latest version of Light supports multi-process browser, so it can be faster. But, if you need these features, you can use the regular version of Firefox, or another web browser like Chrome which has features which Light does not support. Some websites like YouTube may work better on other web browsers because other web browser has support for WebM HTML5 video while Light does not support WebM video, and other multimedia features. [click to continue…]


SMPlayer Linux Media Player

SMPlayer is one of my favorite free media players for Linux based operating systems because it can play a lot of different video, and music file formats. It has a lot of nice features like built-in codecs for playing back different file types, downloading subtitles for video from opensubtitles.org, YouTube video playback, custom themes, etc. SMPlayer is also based on the popular award winning MPlayer media player engine.

I think SMPlayer is one of the best lesser known alternative media players for playing back video, and audio files in Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

SMPlayer is my main video player which I use most of the time on Linux based operating systems like Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Mint, and Debian. SMPlayer has a easy to use user interface, it is fast and lightweight, and is very reliable when I use it on Ubuntu Linux, and other Linux Operating Systems for Desktop computers. It also has a lot of useful features like Resume playback when opening previously closed video, and Deinterlacing videos to get rid of white clear horizontal lines from interlaced video from interlaced video files.

SMPlayer also does not require any third-party codecs to play video and audio files. Users just need to install SMplayer, and it can play many video and audio files without the need to install other codecs in Linux. Avi, mp4, mkv, mpeg, mov, divx, mpv and h.264 are some of the video and audio file formats which SMPlayer can play. you can also play YouTube videos directly in SMPlayer, and search for YouTube videos with an optional YouTube Video Search plug-in for SMPlayer.

SMPlayer has a file resume feature which remembers the settings of all files which users previously played with SMPlayer. For example, when you re-open a closed video file like a MP4 movie file, SMPlayer will resume play the video at the same point in time which you closed the file at, and with the same settings: audio track, subtitles, volume, de-interlace settings, etc.

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