Linux

How can I learn programming?

Episode 1351

Brennon from Dallas, TX
Learn to Program with Minecraft book

Brennon wants to learn how to program. Leo says learning how to write computer code will give him a deeper understanding on how computers work. This will take him from being merely a consumer, to being a maker. Minecraft can be a fun way to learn programming. He can even do it with a Raspberry Pi for $35. It comes with the software used to write programs and he can do it inside of Minecraft.

A great book is Learn to Program with Minecraft by Craig Richardson.

What's the best way to share photos on Google?

Episode 1348

John from Los Angeles, CA
Google Photos

John has all his family on Google Fi and he has created a special email address for everyone to use to send images. Leo says he can do that, but Google Photos has a shared album feature, and that would be far easier. So how does he download the images to his desktop? Leo says he could use Google Drive, which has a setting to backup photos automatically. He can then sync it back to his computer with the Google Drive app. It's for Windows and Mac, but they are working on a Linux version as well. But he should look around, because there's probably one on sourceforge or something.

Is Linux safe for banking?

Tom from Tehachapi, CA

Episode 1347

Tom has an old Windows computer and he does online banking and shopping. Would it be safer to install Linux on his PC? Leo says that as long as "https" can be seen, he's secure. Leo also recommends using either Android Pay or Apple Pay for an additional layer of security. That doesn't send his credit card number at all. Linux is far less hackable. Using a Chromebook would also be an affordable option, and it's very secure as well. It's the easiest solution, and they're very cheap.

How can I test my Linux network speed?

Jeff from Idaho Falls, ID

Episode 1346

Jeff is having speed issues on the internet with his Linux machine. How can he check for speed? Leo says that Linux has built in utilities just for this purpose. How about something that's cross platform with Windows? Leo says that is a different issue. He can run SpeedTest.net but that will only give him the speed of his internet connection, not his computer.

How can I stream with my Raspberry Pi?

Episode 1342

Don from Fullerton, CA
Raspberry Pi

Bret bought his first Raspberry Pi in a kit and it comes with Linux. Leo says yes, it's called Despian. He can't get his Chrome browser to stream certain websites because they are missing plugins, though. Leo says that's because there is an open system like Linux, some sites refuse to use it due to copyright and piracy worries. He should try using Plex or XBMC as a media server. It could do a better job of handshaking. NOOBS would allow him to choose a different OS like RaspBMC.

Why can't I buy stuff online with Internet Explorer?

Episode 1340

Russ from High Desert, CA
Mozilla Firefox

Russ is having trouble buying things online. The site he's using won't take his payments. Leo says that's likely due to the browser Russ is using that doesn't support the current SSL encryption standards. Leo recommends using another browser like Chrome. Since Russ is using Vista, Chrome doesn't support it either. It may be time to get a new computer if he wants to shop online.

How can I bypass a Linux password on a laptop?

Freddie from Yonkers, NY

Episode 1335

Freddie's brother in law died and he's trying to get into his Linux laptop to settle his estate, but he doesn't have password. Leo says that if he can get into recovery and read the hard drive, then he's OK. He could have also encrypted the hard drive to make it impossible to get into it. Since he didn't do that, though, it may be possible to bypass it with single user mode and run with root access by pressing CTRL + S on startup. Or, Freddie can get third party software that can find the password and crack it. Google "Linux Unlock Disc." There's also an option for emergency access.