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How to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Ubuntu

ubuntu-desktop-shortcuts-featured.jpg If you came to Ubuntu from Windows, you may be wondering why it’s impossible to create desktop shortcuts in Linux. The truth is that it’s not impossible, but it is somewhat more complicated. Read on to learn how to do it. Desktop Files In Linux, every application that you can launch from the desktop comes with an extra file that defines how that should happen. It’s a simple text file with a range of parameters, like the application’s name, file location, icon, and the name presented on the desktop. Those files are crucial to creating… Read more13774722.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

The Best Authenticator Apps for Linux Desktop

linux-authenticator-apps-featured-image. If you have ever used two-factor authentication before, then you have probably heard of tools like Google Authenticator. To make use of many of these services, you’ll have to have your phone near you. Luckily, there are desktop authenticator apps that can provide you with the secret key you need to log in to your account. Below are the best authenticator apps for the Linux desktop. 1. Yubico Yubico provides tokens for multi-factor authentication. It supports all services which are currently compatible with other authenticator apps, including Google Authenticator. Yubico works… Read more13770163.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: William Elcock

How to Play Android Games on Linux

android-games-linux-featured.jpg Fancy playing Android games on your desktop? We have shown you how to do so in Windows, but what about Linux? If you want to play Android games on Linux, we have the solution. Play Android Games With Anbox Anbox is essentially a version of Android running in a container. When set up, it allows you to run Android applications in an integrated manner with your operating system just like a native Linux application. This platform can be used to run Android games on Linux. Installing Anbox on Linux Currently, the… Read more13767885.gif

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How to Empty Your Trash Automatically in Ubuntu with AutoTrash

keep-ubuntu-clean-with-autotrash-feature Are you losing GBs of storage space because you forget to clear your trash? With AutoTrash, you can get Ubuntu to empty trash automatically on its own, based on the conditions you specify. Installation of AutoTrash You won’t find AutoTrash in many distributions’ repositories anymore. For most users, the easiest way to install it is through an unofficial snap version, available at the snap store. If using Ubuntu, which in its latest versions already supports snaps by default, you can find the program in the software center by searching for “autotrash.” … Read more13753786.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

How to Hide Desktop Icons in Ubuntu 20.04

hide-icons-in-Ubuntu-featured-e159437979 If hiding the top bar and side panel isn’t enough, and you want everything gone from your Ubuntu desktop, then you’d probably also like to get rid of those pesky icons on its surface. Read on to learn how you can hide desktop icons in Ubuntu 20.04. The extensions prefs app The latest versions of Ubuntu include by default an “Extensions” app, allowing you to modify and expand how your desktop works. You can find it among your existing apps. If it is not installed for some reason, open the terminal… Read more13747275.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

How to Change Chrome’s Default Text Size

If you often have trouble comfortably reading websites in Google Chrome due to text that is too large or too small, it’s easy to change the default font size (and font face) for every page on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebooks. Here’s how.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Benj Edwards

6 Excellent USB Microphones Small Enough to Toss in Your Laptop Bag

Razer Seiren X on deskRazer

A lackluster microphone can be frustrating to say the least—both for the person using it and the people who have the displeasure of listening to it. You might want to upgrade to a dedicated microphone for clearer audio, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with a complicated bulky setup. Here are the best small USB mics you can buy today.

USB microphones are ready to use out of the box, sound great, and can come in surprisingly small packages. Whether you just want to step up your game for your next video call or you finally want to start that podcast you’ve been planning, there are plenty of mics that deliver on quality sound while keeping a compact form factor.

What to Look for in a Microphone

Most of the microphones on this list are condenser mics. This is the most common type of USB microphone, and there’s a lot to consider when choosing out which one to buy.

  • Audio Quality: This is the most important part of any microphone, but it’s hard to gather how good or bad a microphone sounds just from its spec sheet. If you want to hear how a microphone sounds for yourself, your best bet is looking the microphone up on YouTube and watching a couple of sound tests.
  • Software: There’s a lot you can fine-tune about a microphone to make it sound just right. This is typically done through software provided by the manufacturer. The more options the better, but the program needs to remain easy to navigate as well.
  • On-Device Controls: Just because a mic comes with software doesn’t mean having on-device controls is useless. Being able to adjust your volume (or gain as it’s technically called) or mute yourself all together with a dial or button is extremely useful in a pinch.
  • Headphone Jack: Many microphones feature zero-latency headphone jacks. These allow you to monitor the input that’s going from your microphone to the computer, which is useful if you’re recording your voice and want to ensure everything sounds right. Usually, microphones that include this jack will also have a dial for adjusting how loud the headphone output is on the microphone itself.
  • Polar Pattern: Simply put, polar patterns are the area around a microphone where it picks up sound. There are quite a few patterns, but the most common ones are cardioid, which mainly picks up sound directly in front of the mic; super-cardioid, which is similar to cardioid but it has a narrower area; and omnidirectional, which picks up noise from all angles.
  • Sampling Rate and Bit Depth: These both have to do with how much data the microphone is recording. The sampling rate and bit depth standard (commonly called “CD-quality” audio) is 44.1 kHz and 16-bit, respectively. Anything above that is considered “high-definition audio.” This isn’t something you need to be too concerned with if you’re just joining voice calls, but if you’re recording your voice or streaming, it’s worth noting. All the microphones on this list record at the standard CD-quality at the very least.

Best Overall: Blue Yeti Nano

Blue Yeti NanoBlue

The original Blue Yeti is one of, if not the most popular USB microphones around. It’s the microphone of choice for many YouTubers, podcasters, and streamers, and pretty recently Blue compacted that great tech into the adorable Nano. It’s even still capable of the 48 kHz high-definition sound that the original Yeti accomplished, with a higher bit depth of 24-bit compared to the original Yeti’s 16-bit.

Considering the size difference between the Nano and the original Yeti (the Yeti Nano is about three inches shorter than the original), it’s remarkable how great the Nano sounds. Like the Yeti, you can install Blue’s Sherpa software to adjust the gain and sampling rate to your liking. The Nano can also switch between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns with the button on the back of the mic or by using Sherpa. Also on the back of the microphone, you’ll find a zero-latency headphone jack for monitoring—there’s also a headphone-output volume dial on the front.

The Blue Yeti Nano is available in four colors: Shadow Grey, Vivid Blue, Red Onyx, and Cubano Gold.

Best Overall

Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic for Recording and Streaming – Vivid Blue

A compacted version of one of the best USB mics around.

Best Budget Option: FIFINE K669B


Just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t get great audio. The FIFINE K669B delivers on some great audio quality for the price and is more than enough than for voice or video calls. Most reviewers cite this microphone as being pretty sensitive though, so if you want to use it for recordings, you’ll likely have to edit out some background noise.

There’s no software for the K669B, but the stock settings should be fine for most situations (16-bit, 48 kHz with the cardioid polar pattern). There is a dial on the front of the mic to adjust the gain, which is always useful to have.

The K669B comes in Black and Rose Red.

Built for Streamers: Elgato Wave 1 and Wave 3

Elgato Wave 1 and Wave 3Elgato

The Wave 1 and Wave 3 microphones are mics from Elgato that are tailored for streaming. They are extremely similar to each other—in fact, specs-wise, they are effectively identical. The only difference of note is that the Wave 3 offers an impressively high sampling rate of 96 kHz, while the Wave 1 goes with the more standard 48 kHz (they both have a bit depth of 24-bit). Both record using the cardioid polar pattern and have zero-latency headphone jacks for monitoring.

Looking at the outside, the microphones look extremely similar, but the Wave 3 is slightly taller than the Wave 1 (0.4 inches taller to be exact). The main physical difference between the Wave 1 and Wave 3 are the dials on the front of the microphones. The dial on the Wave 1 only adjusts the headphone-output volume and can mute the mic if you push it in. The Wave 3’s dial can switch between multiple modes (gain adjustment, headphone-output volume, and mixing the PC and microphone audio) by pushing the dial. There’s also a dedicated mute button on the top of the Wave 3.

Another big draw to either of these mics is Elgato Wave Link. This is Elgato’s audio-mixing software specifically created with streamers and the Wave microphones in mind (although it also works with non-Elgato microphones). You can use it to balance the audio of up to nine sources, whether that’s the Wave 1 or Wave 3, your game volume, or other programs like Discord. There’s also the “Clipguard” setting in Wave Link, which automatically balances your audio to avoid peaking. Because of all this and its simple design, Wave Link is extremely useful to streamers looking to improve their overall audio setup. Wave Link is also where you can tweak the settings on the Wave 1 and 3, such as the gain and sampling rate.

The Wave 3 costs a bit more than the Wave 1, with the main advantage being the fancier dial. But at the end of the day, these microphones are going to sound extremely similar to each other, and because Wave Link was designed with both in mind, streamers can’t go wrong with either.

Razer’s Trio of Mics: Razer Seiren X, Seiren Emote, and Seiren Elite

Razer Seiren XRazer

While Razer is mostly known for its gaming peripherals, it does branch out into other fields regularly. The Seiren X is Razer’s attempt to break into the world of microphones, and it’s a pretty successful attempt at that. It’s marketed as a “gaming microphone” (whatever that means), but it’s still a great-sounding and compact (7.24 inches tall with stand) mic that can be used by anyone.

There’s nothing too special about the Seiren X itself. It has a zero-latency headphone jack on the bottom of the mic, with a dial on the front for adjusting the headphone-output volume—there’s also a mute button directly under that dial. It records in the super-cardioid polar pattern with a sampling rate of 48 kHz, 16-bit.

Overall, it’s just a solid microphone with a sleek chassis. While it doesn’t boast any unique features, there’s nothing to turn you away either. You can use Razer’s Synapse 3 software to fine-tune the microphone’s settings to your liking.

The Seiren X comes in Black, Quartz Pink, and Mercury White.

Razer Seiren EmoteRazer

The Seiren Emote is the same microphone as the Seiren X, except that it uses the somewhat rare hyper-cardioid polar pattern (similar to super-cardioid, except it has an even narrower area where it’ll pick up sound). However, that’s just talking specs, more notably, the Emote has a pixelated LED display on the back of the microphone. This display can show-off little animations and pictures, either built-in by default or ones you make in Razer’s streamer companion app. (You still use Synapse 3 to adjust the audio settings.)

This software also allows you to integrate the mic with your stream, so you can have certain emoticons show up on the mic depending on what your chat says, for example. Of course, that doesn’t improve the microphone functionally speaking, which can make the significant price  increase from the Seiren X hard to swallow. But if you want a unique microphone that can be fun to mess around with or you’re a streamer who wants to trick out their set up, the Emote may be for you.

Razer Seiren EliteRazer

The final microphone in the Seiren line is the Seiren Elite, which unlike the rest of the mics on this list, is a dynamic microphone instead of a condenser microphone. Dynamic mics, generally speaking, are better at capturing loud sounds and rejecting background noise than condenser mics, so they’re more suited for professional recordings. Aside from that, the Elite is extremely similar to the Seiren X, though it uses the cardioid polar pattern instead of super-cardioid. The Elite is also taller at 8.84 inches and includes a gain dial on the front of the microphone, along with a headphone-output dial for the zero-latency headphone jack.

And, like the Seiren X and Emote, you can use Razer Synapse 3 to adjust any settings.

Ultra-Compact: Samson Go Mic

Samson Go MicSamson Technologies

If you want the smallest microphone possible, then the Samson Go Mic is for you. While it’s been around for about a decade now, it still sounds fantastic for the size. It can record in both cardioid and omnidirectional patterns (using a switch on the side of the mic), and records at the standard CD-quality sampling rate (16-bit, 44.1 kHz). It also features a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring. (Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust the headphone-output volume though.)

It’s only six inches tall and comes with a travel case perfect for storing the microphone when not in use. The included stand can sit on your desk or rest on your laptop or monitor (much like a webcam). Overall, the Go Mic is extremely versatile, and it’s great to see that in such a small microphone.

There is no software available for the Samson Go Mic, unfortunately, but the stock settings will be fine for the majority of situations.


Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

The smallest mic out the list, and it still sounds pretty great.

Headphones to Headset: Antlion Audio ModMic

Antlion Audio ModMicAntlion Audio

The ModMic is a bit different from the rest of the microphones here. It’s a small microphone that can be attached to any pair of headphones via the included magnetic clasp (note: only over-ear headphones, not earbuds). The clasp is attached with an adhesive strip, but don’t worry, it won’t leave any residue behind if you decide to take it off. There are also three additional strips included in the box if you want to switch the headphones you’re using. (You can also buy more of these strips if you need to.)

Because of the size and build, the ModMic is more comparable to headset mics than desk mics. It may not sound as good as the mics we’ve already covered, but the ModMic still sounds great for a headset and is more than enough for voice calls.

There are two versions of the ModMic: wired and wireless, the latter of which uses its own USB-A adapter.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

Ubuntu vs. Linux Mint: Which One Should You Use?

ubuntu-vs-mint-mint-featured.jpg Linux Mint, while based on Ubuntu, has a different approach than Ubuntu for creating a Linux distribution. Ubuntu makes use of Gnome 3 and tries to keep everything vanilla, while Linux Mint’s developers take all things they don’t like about Ubuntu and simplify it to make it easier for end users. If you are wondering which one is better, read on to find out how they differ and which one’s best for you. Note: whenever “Linux Mint” is mentioned in this article, it is referring to its Cinnamon edition. For Ubuntu, it’s referring to the vanilla 20.04 version. … Read more13735009.gif

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Odysseas Kourafalos

ArcoLinux Review – A Bloated Arch Linux-Based Distribution

ArcoLinux-Review-Featured-Image.jpg ArcoLinux is a distribution based on Arch Linux that was created with the aim of educating people on how to use Linux. It is also a functional distribution that you can install on your machine and use for daily work. This ArcoLinux review talks about how it works, who it is for, and whether it is recommended. Confusing ArcoLinux Many distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora have different flavors (mainly different desktop environments) of the same Linux core. ArcoLinux, on the other hand, has three different versions – ArcoLinux, ArcoLinuxB and ArcoLinuxD – which serve different needs. The… Read more13726988.gif

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How to Improve Your Linux PC Audio with PulseEffects

free-audio-upgrade-with-pulseeffects-fea Is it possible to improve your Linux PC’s audio without having to buy an expensive dedicated sound card? Say hello to PulseEffects. With PulseEffects, you can make the sound louder or apply auto-gain that “normalizes” frequencies automatically so that you can hear whispers in movies and explosions that don’t destroy your speakers. You can enhance your music’s bass levels or apply the equivalent of Creative’s “Crystalizer” effects, which can make your MP3s sound like a live concert. Related: How to Record System Sound with Pulse Audio and Audacity in Linux Install PulseEffects To… Read more13731566.gif

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