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How to Set Up a Firewall in Linux

disable-enable-manage-ubuntu-firewall-fe To keep your computer safe, it is advisable to set up a firewall to prevent others from accessing your computer and protect you from network attacks. However, if you are a new Linux user, you might not know how to configure the firewall in your system. You’ll learn here how to set up a firewall in Linux and how to easily add rules to allow access for other devices in your local network or specific ports. UFW = Uncomplicated Firewall We’ll use UFW to manage your Linux firewall since it is easy to use and comes installed by… Read more13556740.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

Windows 10 Is Getting Graphical Linux Apps With GPU Support

Windows 10’s Windows Subsystem for Linux is already extremely powerful, even including a built-in Linux kernel with WSL 2.0. Now, Microsoft is making it even more powerful, enabling graphical Linux desktop applications and GPU hardware acceleration support.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Hoffman

How to Edit Your Videos Using the YouTube Video Editor

YouTube-Studio-Featured.jpg There are plenty of video editors out there, and we already have a big list for Windows, macOS and Linux. However, if you want to do a simple edit, they can be overkill. If you’re uploading your video to YouTube, why not use YouTube’s own video editor? It’s sparse on features, but it’s a good option if you want to do bare-bones editing. Let’s explore what the YouTube video editor can and can’t do and how to use it. What the YouTube Video Editor Can and Can’t Do The editor can: Trim… Read more13547941.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Simon Batt

Freeplane: A Useful Cross-Platform Mind-Mapping Software

organize-projects-and-thoughts-with-free Mind-mapping is a useful way to organize your thoughts and process flow with visual diagrams. When done properly, it can make massive projects easily manageable and allow you to better allocate tasks between the members of your team, while always keeping tags on everything. Freeplane is one of the best free open-source mind-mapping software. It is also cross-platform compatible, so you can use it in Windows, macOS or Linux. Let’s see how you can use Freeplane to create mind maps. Installation To get started, download Freeplane from its official page at SourceForge. Extract it and find the installer… Read more13546469.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

The Best Free Microsoft Excel Alternatives

Microsoft Excel Alternatives

Spreadsheets are ubiquitous: people use them every day for tracking inventory, budgeting, data tracking, and a million other things. And, while Microsoft Excel has been the go-to spreadsheet for years, there are other (free) alternatives you might like more.

Whatever your reason is for using a spreadsheet, odds are you’ve used Microsoft Excel at some point. And, while the software is more than capable of handling anything you throw at it (even Grandma’s knitting patterns and your little brother’s Minecraft building plans), Excel is expensive and even lacks a few features that would make it more usable. Thankfully, there are plenty of free alternatives available, many of which are just as powerful and easy to use.

What to Look for in a Microsoft Excel Alternative

Free spreadsheet software should be just as powerful as paid options and come stocked with all the tools you need to spreadsheet your heart out. Here are the most important features good spreadsheet software should offer, and why they’re important:

  • An Intuitive Interface: Spreadsheets are designed to handle complex tasks, but that doesn’t mean that the software itself should be clunky or difficult to use. The best Excel alternatives have a clean modern look and smart tool organization, and are stocked with a ready artillery of built-in formulas, functions, and templates. The software should also have cross-platform support, so you can access them anywhere.
  • Live Collaboration Support: If your team needs to work together through a spreadsheet, it’s imperative that the software supports simultaneous collaboration. Likewise, the program should also be able to track who makes what change when, and to allow you to lock down individual cells (or the whole document) so no unwanted changes can be made. It should also let you set the spreadsheet as read-only and enable other permissions for users.
  • Powerful Functions and Formulas: Whether you’re tracking warehouse inventory, handling accounting for your department, or creating charts from data for an upcoming presentation, your spreadsheet software has to have a wide variety of formulas at the ready. Basic options for simple math are a given, but if you need something more advanced like statistical or logical functions, or the ability to create a custom function, the software should be able to handle those as well.
  • Dynamic Visuals: Not that looking at thousands of cells of text and numbers isn’t a ton of fun, but charts and graphs are a little easier on the eyes. Visuals let you see data at a glance and are a must-have item for presentations. Good Microsoft Excel alternatives support dynamic charts and graphs that update in real time as your data does, and should allow for extensive customization so you can make your visuals look and work exactly how you need them to.
  • Advanced Features: Most people probably won’t ever bother with the advanced features found in most spreadsheet software like custom macros, filters, pivot tables, conditional formatting, or the ability to compute and analyze large data sets. However, it’s nice to know that those features are there when and if you need them.

Best Cloud-Based Excel Alternative: Google Sheets

Google Sheets websiteGoogle

Google Sheets (Free) has become as well-known as Microsoft Excel. Google users already have access to this app, plus its ability to integrate with other Google products (like Google Forms and Google Data Studio) makes it easier for you to stay on track while working on your projects. Sheets also saves everything you create to the Cloud, so you’ll have access to your spreadsheets from any desktop, iOS, or Android device.

The software is easy to navigate and use with its clean and minimal appearance. Support for simultaneous collaboration is great for teams, and it even has a built-in group chat area wherein everyone on your team can talk about the document as they work. You can comment on cells and set specific user permissions for individual cells or the entire document. A robust Sheets Help section is also ready to help in case you have questions.

Sheets has tons of built-in formulas, as well as plenty of pivot tables, conditional formatting options, and templates that can save you time and effort. It contains robust customizable charts and graphs for visualizing your data, which update dynamically as your data does. Google Sheets also stores granular documentation of changes and supports versioning.

Best for Apple Users: Apple iWork Numbers

Apple iWork Numbers websiteApple

Apple’s version of Excel, iWork Numbers (Free), is available to anyone with an iCloud account (which includes PC users), but the mobile app is only available for iOS users (sorry, Android). Numbers, of course, supports the Apple pencil, so if you’re working from your iPad, you can make notes and draw diagrams manually. The app also supports real-time collaboration, showing you real-time edits, and lets you save and export documents as Excel files if you need to work with anyone using Excel. If you need to keep an important document secure in Numbers, you can lock it down with a password, Touch ID, or Face ID.

In Apple’s true minimalistic form, Numbers’ default is a blank sheet instead of a grid (like Excel and its alternatives provide), and its features are sparse and minimally represented. You can easily add charts, tables, and other content as needed, or choose a template with which to get started. Numbers has over 700 customizable shapes you can fashion for data visualization, as well as plenty of options for adjusting the way fonts, tables, and cell borders look. The app’s tools can handle complex functions and formulas, and its Smart Categories feature provides table organization and summaries for deeper insight into your data.

Best Open-Source Excel Alternative: LibreOffice Calc

LibreOffice Calc spreadsheetLibreOffice

Calc (Free), part of LibreOffice, is a robust spreadsheet program for Windows, macOS, and Linux users. Though the software doesn’t have the beauty and flash of the other alternatives, it’s open-sourced, meaning you have access to much more functionality and the freedom to customize pretty much anything. If you don’t want to start with a blank document, choose a free template to work off of.

LibreOffice Calc has native support for Excel files. You can also customize its appearance so it only shows you the tools and features you want to work with, and its handy keyboard shortcuts make it easy to quickly navigate its interface. The software’s built-in wizard helps you create visualizations from your data and use other advanced features, making it easy to use for new and veteran users alike.

Calc has a neat tool called DataPilot that lets you import raw data from external databases and manipulate it in your own spreadsheet. You can also create dynamic charts and graphs that display updated data in real time. The software offers flexible cell formatting and robust customization options for text, cells, and charts. In addition, multiuser collaboration in Calc is also possible, but this feature isn’t as robust as it is in pretty much any other alternative.

Closest to Microsoft Excel: WPS Office Spreadsheets

WPS Office Spreadsheets websiteWPS Office

If you’re looking for an Excel alternative that still looks and functions largely like Excel, WPS Office Spreadsheets (Free) is the one to choose. In addition to having a similar layout to Excel, WPS is also compatible with XLS, XLSX, and CSV files, so you can import files from (or export to) Microsoft Excel without issue. WPS Office is available on Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and on the web as well (but only as the entire suite); if you want access to just Spreadsheets, you’re still stuck with the entire suite, including the word processor.

WPS has a beautiful modern interface that’s easy to use. It supports track changes and comments, as well as multiuser collaboration with WPS and Microsoft Office users, and it has over 50 keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation. The software supports advanced pivot tables, contains over 100 formulas you can use with your data, and has a what-if analysis feature you can use for finding solutions for data-heavy complex problems. Paying to upgrade to the Premium plan ($29.99/year) eliminates ads, gets you cloud storage, and lets you access the program on up to nine devices (instead of three on the free plan).

Best for Serious Data Analysis: Zoho Office Sheet

Zoho Office Sheet spreadsheetZoho

Zoho Office Sheet (Free) is great spreadsheet software for many reasons, the first of which is its AI-powered data analysis tool, Zia, which analyzes your data and provides insights to help you better understand it. Zia gets rid of inconsistencies and duplicate values, and automates pivot tables and charts that you can then add to your spreadsheet. You can also “ask” the tool questions about your data, or to analyze said data with certain filters in place, and it will help you find an answer.

Zoho doesn’t lack for other features, either, like real-time collaboration for up to 25 users or a chat panel where users can discuss a documents. The audit trail tool lets you see who made a particular change to the document, and Zoho backs up every document with default version backups so you won’t have to worry about data loss. You can lock down the entire document, or just certain cells, with a password, set read and edit permissions, and publish part or all of your spreadsheet on the web.

The app supports over 350 functions, in addition to advanced functions like pivot tables and conditional formatting. It can automate certain tasks, create validations for data entry, collect data with forms, and import data from external sources like a web page, an RSS feed, or an external file. The app also lets you create custom functions and record macros. Zoho is cloud based and can be accessed anywhere.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

How to Compress Your Files Faster with pigz

Ultrafast-Compression-With-Pigz-featured Even if it’s one of the faster archiving/compression solutions available, gzip has a tiny problem: it doesn’t support multiple processors/cores. Thus, if you have a relatively new PC, it doesn’t take advantage of its capabilities. Pigz is a multi-threaded implementation of gzip that allows you to compress files to the GNU zip format at a fraction of the time. Here is how to compress your files faster with pigz. Installation To install pigz on Ubuntu, Mint, and other Debian-compatible distributions, use: sudo apt install pigz On Arch and… Read more13540854.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

How to Search the Web from Linux Terminal

web-search-terminal-featured-1.jpg Have you ever wanted to search the Web while typing away on the command line? It can be kind of annoying when you need to search for something and have to open another app to do so. Luckily, there are a few Linux apps that let you search the Web from Terminal. Let’s take a look. Related: How to Do Spelling Checks in the Linux Terminal ddgr – Search the Web with DuckDuckGo This command-line tool works with DuckDuckGo over the Tor network. It’s the perfect choice if you want to maintain your privacy while browsing… Read more13531090.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: William Elcock

How to Install DOSBox For Linux to Play Old DOS Games

dosbox-feature-shot.jpg If you own a copy of old DOS games like DOOM, you can still play them on your PC with the help of emulator. DOSBox is the best DOS emulator around. Most guides for DOSBox focus simply on installing the application and providing a couple of commands to get you going. However, this is likely to scare off new users, and there’s a nasty surprise awaiting DOS veterans as well. This guide will not only cover how to install DOSBox for Linux, but also how to automatically mount your C: drive. And for the newbies out there scared of DOS commands, we’ll also recommend… Read more13527558.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: John Knight