LINUX IS CONFUSING. THESE ARTICLES SHOULD HELP.

Windows/Mac/Linux: Wildly popular open-source media player VLC has updated to version 2.0 and brought a mountain of new and upgraded features with it–including enhanced codec support, hardware decoding, and experimental Blu-ray support.

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By default, Ubuntu 11.10 uses the Unity desktop. If you don’t like Unity, you can go back to the Classic Gnome Desktop from previous versions of Ubuntu, but it’s not included by default and has to be installed.

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The Nautilus file manager in Linux Mint allows you to browse all the files on your system, but it only allows you to write files in your home directory (e.g., /home/lori) and its subfolders, such as Documents and Desktop.

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The main menu in Linux Mint 12 contains a lot of items, but what if you wanted to add custom items, remove items, or rearrange items? To edit the main menu, you must use a menu editor program called Alacarte.

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Once a week we round up some reader questions from the Ask How-To Geek inbox and share the answers with everyone. This week we’re looking at using multiple Wi-Fi nodes at once, changing the GRUB boot order, and speeding up the slow Silk browser on the Kindle Fire.

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As of Ubuntu 10.04, the minimize, maximize, and close buttons on all windows were moved to the left side and the system menu was removed. Prior to version 11.10, you could use several methods to restore the original button arrangement.

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Ubuntu and other Linux distributions have extensive package repositories to save you the trouble of compiling anything yourself. Still, sometimes you’ll find an obscure application or a new version of a program that you’ll have to compile from source.

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If you have a lot of windows open on your Linux Mint desktop, wouldn’t it be nice to “roll up” windows to get them out of the way, but still see what you have open?

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Linux is a great operating system, but its software catalog can be lacking. If there’s a Windows game or other app you just can’t do without, you can use Wine to run it right on your Ubuntu desktop.

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Screenlets are small applications that are similar to Gadgets in Windows 7, that allow you to place things like sticky notes, clocks, calendars on your Linux Mint desktop. Screenlets represent items you might keep on a physical desktop, plus more.

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Ubuntu displays an informative message, known as the message of the day, when a user logs in at the terminal. The MOTD is fully customizable — you can add your own text and other dynamic data.

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Our first edition of WIG for February is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Google’s $660,000 French fine for offering Google Maps for free, the EFF’s plans to help users retrieve their MegaUpload data, Firefox 11 Beta gets add-on sync, and more.

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Tired of Ubuntu’s Unity desktop environment? Try Cinnamon, the latest desktop environment from Linux Mint. Cinnamon offers a more traditional, GNOME 2-like layout, but it’s based on the modern GNOME Shell — and you can install it on Ubuntu.

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In Windows we have the Startup folder where we can easily place a shortcut to a program that we want to launch automatically. In Linux Mint there is a way easier way to manage startup applications–here’s how to do it.

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Mark Shuttleworth has made an announcement introducing a new UI enhancment in the upcoming 12.04 LTS release. Application menus will be replaced by a new Heads-Up Display (HUD) that utilizes an intelligent search-based approa...

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W3M is a terminal web browser for Linux. It’s got a few tricks up its sleeve, including support for images, tabs, tables, frames and other features not usually included with terminal web browsers.

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Our latest edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as the password hack of web-hosting service DreamHost, the attempted blackmailing of Facebook users by a bot (trojan), the $9.5 million worth of source code stolen from the NY Federal Reserve Bank, and more.

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With all of the online accounts we all have, it’s easy to get lazy and start using the same password for multiple websites, services, and accounts, for fear of forgetting an important password. However, this can compromise your private information.

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LastPass is an online password manager that allows you to securely store all your passwords and access them from anywhere. As the developers of LastPass say, it is the last password you’ll have to remember.

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If you’ve spent any amount of time playing multiplayer PC games online, you’ve probably encountered Ventrilo. It’s one of the most popular VoIP apps among PC gamers, but its user interface is hostile to newbies.

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This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Microsoft’s collecting of royalties on 70% of US Android smartphones now, Google’s uncloaking of Chrome’s top security goals, Microsoft’s possible prevention against letting Linux boot on ARM hardware, and more.

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Vi is a powerful text editor included with most Linux systems, even embedded ones. Sometimes you’ll have to edit a text file on a system that doesn’t include a friendlier text editor, so knowing Vi is essential.

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Our latest edition of WIG has lots of news link goodness covering topics such as Google’s demotion of Chrome in search results, Ramnit malware’s theft of over 45,000 Facebook logins, WebOS’s second chance in Healthcare, and more.

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If you like to use multiple operating systems but don’t have extra computers to spare, we at How-To Geek have can help you set up your computer or tablet to run more than one operating system.

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Ubuntu’s Grub boot loader lets anyone edit boot entries or use its command-line mode by default. Secure Grub with a password and no one can edit them — you can even require a password before booting operating systems.

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