It's all about Linux distros.

As we, all know that Windows is not the only OS that is into the mainstream. Yet it’s a fact that Windows powers 93% of the total pc market, it’s not always your OS of choice, considering you have to do more sophisticated and not so common tasks like kernel level programming, editing your OS to its core and all other things that follow. And this is where comes Linux to rescue you from all that sort of limitations and bounding. Linux is an open source Unix-like Operating System, actually “The Linux Kernel” to be specific, which drives your system. Since it’s licensed under GNU licence, Linux has been ported to a variety of different systems and architectures.

Linux Distributions

linux-distro

As already mentioned, Linux has an open source model. This means one is free to use Linux on his/her system in any way he wants. Whether he wants a particular component to be removed or needs some additional features to be built right into the core of OS, he/she can do so by building his/her own custom OS. Now here comes the interesting part. Not everyone bothers to make changes manually to the Linux source code. Rather he/she can select among a variety of custom Linux builds that are already available to the General Public. These custom OS builds are called Linux distributions or simply distros. Since these distros are merely derivatives of the original Linux Kernel, they also need to be open source in nature. Users, rather than modifying the actual Linux Source, simply make few changes to his/her distro and use it. Some of the most popular Linux Distributions are: -Ubuntu, Kali Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat Linux and a whole bunch of other options available. Let’s have a quick look about what these distros are, and for whom are they targeted.

Ubuntu

If you are new to Linux, chances are that you might have shifted just now from Windows. In that case your best bet is to pick Ubuntu. Ubuntu is based on Fedora, another famous old-school Linux Distro, which focuses mainly on ease of use. Initially, Ubuntu used the GNOME 2 desktop engine, but now uses its own Unity Desktop Environment (which is again based on GNOME). Ubuntu is maintained by Canonical, which provides you a very good customer support. At the time of this writing, the latest version is 16.04(LTS) or 16.10(non-LTS). You can grab Ubuntu from here.

Kali Linux

Kali Linux is a Linux distro, targeting Users who are more into network and security of systems (a.k.a Hackers). Kali Linux provides a bunch of important network and security tools related to proxy, network shielding, penetration and all that stuff under one hood, built right into its system. Kali Linux is developed under the guidance of Offensive Security, an organisation which supports the belief that the only real way to be digitally secure is through offensive mind-set and approach. You can download Kali Linux from its official site here.

Linux Mint

Linux Mint is yet another popular Linux distribution available, which claims to be both user friendly and powerful enough to create a robust system. Linux Mint is derived from the sources of Ubuntu and Debian OS, making it a great combination for both robust users and new users. One of the best things about Linux Mint is that it provides full out-of-box multimedia support, including some proprietary software/extensions as well as open source applications. You can download the latest version of Linux Mint from here.

Debian

Debian is one of the most aged Linux distro out there, tracing its history as back as 1993. As compared to recent Distros like Ubuntu and Linux Mint, the updates are released less frequently and at much slower. This ideology actually makes Debian much more stable and robust, which is a necessity in some systems. Ubuntu itself was derived from Debian to overcome the problems of slower an lesser update frequencies. You can read more Debian and download the latest version from here.


There are many other popular Linux disros out there. I know that I have missed out many popular distros like RHEL, Cent OS etc. I will try to make this post in two parts. The other part (may be next one) will discuss other distros. Do mention your opinions and suggestions by your valuable comments down below.

Google's Hidden Easter Eggs

For what stuffs do you use Google? You might say for searching the internet, or using its email services. But what I say? I say that I use Google for showing me a full fledged barrel roll, or to flip me a coin. Really.. If you don't believe me then Google for "do a barrel roll". See? It works like charm. If you want to know some more funny tricks then continue reading.

1.Do A Barrel Roll

Okay, so this one's a common one. But I'm still sure that many people don't know that your Google homepage can do a barrel roll. To watch this in action, simply go to Google homepage and type in "Do a Barrel Roll" and hell yeah! The search result page will do a barrel roll for you. You can even ask Google to repeat this action an n number of times. Simply specify the 'number of times' you want Google to do the Barrel Roll and it'll repeat it for you.
barrel

2.Askew

Askew means "not in a straight position" or "tilted". So when you search for "Askew" in Google, it'll provide you the search results page in an Askew form. Cool! Right? The search results page would be tilted some degrees to the right. And this thing gives a darn good effect to your results page. You can also see this effect whenever you search for the keyword "tilt".
askew

3.Recursion

If you are a programmer, you probably know what "recursion" means. Recursion simply means recalling the same function within itself. In programming, a function would call itself every time it's invoked until and unless an exit condition is justified. The similar effect/approach can be seen when ever you search for "recursion" in Google. As a part of next logical step, Google will ask : "Did you mean: recursion?" every time you search for recursion.
recursion

4.Zerg Rush

What happens if you type "Zerg Rush" in the Google search bar and hit Enter? the answer's simple, your search result page is attacked by 'o' shaped zergs, trying to eat up your results page.  Zerg Rush was actually originated as a tactics in strategic video game Starcraft, which meant to clean sweep a whole lot of low level group using surrounded attacks from the attacker. So "Zerg Rush" is actually a mini game within the result page, in which your goal is to survive the attack by destroying the incoming "o" shaped zergs. You can do that by clicking the "O'' three times.
zerg

5.Google Gravity

Remember Physics classes? Everything that goes up comes down. Looks like that's the case with Google too. Type "Google Gravity" and hit "I'm feeling lucky". This will take you to a page looking similar to Google homepage. But wait! Looks like everything is falling down. See Gravity is everwhere, even on Google's homepage.
gravity

And A lot more..

pacman
So this was a list of few popular easter eggs by Google. There's a whole bunch of other eye candy easter eggs provided by Google (actually others). One such page is Google Mirror. Every time you find some new easter eggs surprise keyword and hit "I'm feeling lucky", Google forwards you to one of the sites like Google Mirror. If you feel any other such feature to be mentioned on the list, do drop your comments below.

Understanding Programming Environments [Command Based Programming, non IDE based]

Many times I come across to a situation when a friend of mine would ask me for helping him/her to set up the programming environment. The real trouble that we all generally face is the ability to correlate the programming environment in different operating system. I mean, when someone is told in college/workplace to code a C program in "gedit" and compile it using "gcc" in Ubuntu (or any other Linux distro), he might have have a hard time doing the same on his own laptop or system at home, because he has Windows for gaming, off course.We all know that every Linux distro out there sucks for gaming. Well, gaming apart, this article will help those who have a hard time setting up the identical programming environment on Windows as is on Linux.

Compiler

First things first. It is the compiler that will turn your code into something which is executable on the system. By executable, I mean "a.out" on Ubuntu, "a.exe" on Windows, "a.ipa" on an iPhone & "a.apk" on Android. The same C code will be compiled in a different "executable format" on different operating systems. That means a compiler is to support a variety of operating systems. For example, "GNU Compiler Collection" or simply "GCC" is available for both Ubuntu and Windows. GCC on both Ubuntu and Windows will have same "behind the scene" mechanism for code translation but will produce "a.out" for Ubuntu and "a.exe" for Windows. GCC comes pre-installed with Ubuntu, not with Windows (Windows and Apple both kind of hate open source software). You need to manually install "GCC" on Windows. The most common available one is "TDM GCC". You can grab it here.

Console

Every operating system has a command based operating method which is hidden under its GUI. Earlier, when Graphical User Interfaces were not in the mainstream, one would have to manually type in each command to perform operations on a computer. To move any "abc" file you would have to type the command "MOVE C:/abc.txt C:/my/abc.txt". Thanks to modern day GUI that "drag and drop" exists. Despite being a pain in the ass, Command line interface boast much more power than the GUI (you can hide a file with password protection and encryption using commands in Windows ). And that's why every operating system provides a command based mechanism to operate the system. For Ubuntu (and other Linux distro) it's called "Terminal" while in Windows it's called "Command Prompt". Whenever we install a new program, other than its regular GUI-based operation, it may also offer some "command based" action. For example, the "GCC" will be added to your Command Prompt only after you install GCC. If you are a computer science fellow, you should have a good hold over the command-based operation of at least any one OS.

Text Editor

You need something to code right? For coding, the default basic Text Editor will work, i.e Gedit for Ubuntu and Notepad for Windows. But I'll suggest you having a more powerful text editor for coding. For Ubuntu, you can pick up different plugins available for Gedit, which will eventually make it more powerful or you can go for Vim Text Editor. For Windows, I'll suggest Notepad++ or Atom. These text editors will provide features like auto-indentation, brace matching, color tags etc, making your code more readable and easy to understand.

IDE

As a beginner, it is highly recommended to use the above tools separately, so as to completely understand the process of program formation and compilation. That was how the programming took place earlier. But since we are at present, there's some automation for that too. When the Compiler, Console & Text Editor are integrated into a single entity or software, we get an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). Here all the process becomes automatic. You don't need to manually save 1.c file, then open Terminal to type "gcc 1.c" for compilation and finally run a.out program by typing "./a.out". This 3 step process is completed by a single F9 button on the IDE. In addition to these 3 basic automation process, IDE also provides other tools like debugger etc. Just like compilers, there are different IDEs for different languages. Like Codeblocks, Turbo C++ for C or C++, inTellj for Java etc. And there are some really big and popular IDEs like Eclipse and Netbeans which support multiple languages like Java, C, php, Python etc.

Let's Code Then

So, I think this is more than adequate information to properly understand the process of program compilation and formation on different platforms. So let's now see how to compile and run the hello world program on Windows the way we would have done it on Ubuntu, that is through command based mode (No IDE used)

 1.  Make sure that you have installed "TDM GCC" installed on your Windows system.
 2. In Ubuntu, we open Terminal and change our path to a desired folder using "cd" command. Command Prompt in Windows also has same "cd" command to change directory.
 3. So create any new folder and get it's path from its directory and copy it.
Copy the path

 4.  Open command prompt(cmd) and type cd "<path>" and hit Enter. You can also type "cmd" in the search bar in File Explorer to automatically launch cmd in that path.
Use of CD command
 5. The cmd will change its path to your described one.
 6. Type "notepad 1.c" in cmd to open Notepad.
 7. Type in hello world program.
 8. Save the file as "1.c"
Hello World Program
 9. Now in cmd type "gcc 1.c" to compile 1.c file
10. As told here gcc is a command that will translate or "compile" the c file to give an executable file, "a.out" on Ubuntu and "a.exe" on Windows.
11. Now run the executable using command "./a.out" on Ubuntu (Terminal) , "a" or "a.exe" on Windows (cmd).
Compiling and executing the program


See how easy was that. I hope that this article has given you enough understanding of program compilation in different platforms using command based mode. Do drop your comments for suggestions and queries.

5 Best Free VPN For Android

With the advent of growing internet user base on mobile platform, there comes the issues of growing online privacy. The availability of open and public WiFi networks may ensure that you have a happy stay being online anytime, yet relying on these networks for having something on your social accounts or making  transactions online can be dangerous. There are many methods which you can adopt to ensure your online privacy, while using public networks. VPN ( Virtual Private Network) is one such kind of technology which can help you to have an additional level of security over your connection to have a secure stay being online.

While there are many VPN available for Android, choosing the best free one among them can be confusing and tedious. Thus I have cultivated a list of best free VPNs available out there for Android. Please note that theses app are free to use and may have adds. I have not included the apps which offer a limited time free service.

Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy

Hotspot Shield is one of the most popular VPN out there for Android. With over 400 million+ customers across all the major platforms, it proves itself worthy as a major VPN provider across the globe. Hotspot Shield software uses advanced encryption technology to secure your browsing sessions, it also detects and blocks malwares while enabling you to access your favorite content from anywhere in the world, no matter where you are. You can install the app from Here.


Lantern

Lantern is a relatively new in the VPN market, but has lot of potential to get the most out of its services.Lantern was built to give users fast access to the blocked Internet. Lantern automatically detects whether or not a site is blocked and then accesses the blocked site either through our own servers or through Lantern users running as access points in the uncensored world. One of the best part about Lantern is that it is actually open source, so there's always a chance for better user experience and improvement within the app. You can install the Lantern app for free from the google Play Store Here.


Hola Free VPN

If you want an awesome VPN having some of the most striking features, then look for none other than Hola Free VPN. Unlike other VPN providers, which restrict you from choosing your specific VPN server location, Hola ensures you that you have a complete control over the network, making connection with the server of your choice. You can choose over 190 different countries and let the app do it's work assuring you full online privacy. The number of users using Hola for their VPN is increasing drastically. That's only because of its support of so many free servers. To install the Hola free VPN app, click here.


CyberGhost - Free VPN & Proxy

CyberGhost is one of the most popular and trusted VPN available for Android. Having more than 3.5 million user base, it is indeed one of the first choice of many VPN users. What's good about CyberGhost is that it offers about 23 free servers at 15 different locations for you to choose from. And guess the best part -  It gives you unlimited traffic volume. Apart from the free version, CyberGhost also has a premium model which will allow to choose almost 300 servers. Pretty Large. Isn't It? You can download it from Google Play here.



BetterNet

BetterNet is a new and truly free VPN for Android. Unlike other free VPN for Android, BetterNet doesn't contain any adds or requires any registration process. It automatically connects you to nearest server available. Well it doesn't allow you select a server of your choice, until you use the premium version. But it truly sticks to free software concept, having no adds. It also offers unlimited bandwidth to its free users. Overall, its a decent pack of good VPN features for free. You can install BetterNet from here.

Top 10 Android Launchers of 2016

Hello Guys! In one of the previous posts, I wrote about some the best custom designed UI (on ROMs)  available for Android. Well for all that you need to root your phone and rooting phones can sometime become really painful, especially if you own a smartphone which is not officially supported by the ROM developer. So now what? If you want to customise the UI of your Android phone without going through all those complicated and time consuming methods of rooting your phone, what'd you do? The best solution is probably to install a custom third-party launcher.

What's an Android launcher?

In layman's terms, Android launcher is the end-user app to interact with all the other apps installed on the phone. A typical Android launcher comes with a means (such as an app drawer) to launch the apps along with other features such as homescreen, wallpapers, theming, fonts, transitions and other long bunch of customisation. It's basically a homescreen replacement. When you have a new Android phone, chances are that your manufacturer has shipped your phone with a custom Android launcher on top of a custom Android ROM.

Are these Launchers Free to Download?

Yes and No. Yes because most of the launcher are available on Google Play free of cost. You don't need to spend a single penny to download these Launchers from there. Yet many of these so called free Launchers have limited capabilities regarding customisation and performance. Then there are several Launchers which support freemium model which are available at free of cost but requires a pro/plus version for full functionality.

 Top 10 Android Launchers

So here I have assembled a list of top 10 Android Launchers, which are free to download on Google Play.

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is the king when it comes to Android Launchers. It may resemble the stock Android Launcher, but actually boasts a plenty of customisation options. When used with a third party icon pack, you will see completely different version if your phone. It's full version aka Nova Launcher Prime is all you need to rock up your phone.

Apex Launcher

Apex Launcher is mere competitor of Nova Launcher. It is very much similar to Nova Launcher, but with some limited functionality. It supports icon packs, simple transitions, fewer homescreens etc. Apex Launcher also has a pro version, which indeed has some more unlocked features. If having Nova Launcher on your phone seems incompatible, Apex Launcher is your choice.

Go Launcher

Go Launcher is one of the most popular Android Launcher out there. With over 100 million downloads, it has seriously formed a very good user base. It is one of the oldest Launcher dating back to days when Android Gingerbread was the OS standard. Go Launcher has some pretty good features and is available for free download on Google Play. But it is heavily ad based, which may bother few of you.

Google Now Launcher

Google Now Launcher is the default Launcher on Google flagship phone Nexus, and the Moto series. If you want your Android device to have a stock Android like feeling, then there's no better choice than having Google Now Launcher as your primary option. Google Now Launcher comes with the Google's voice assistant - Google Now integrated into the launcher itself, allowing easy access to Google voice search and other services.

Hola Launcher

Hola Launcher is relatively a new player in the Launcher market, but has indeed made a very good impression on the Android users with over 100 million downloads. It is light weight, fast and focuses more on visual effects and ease of use. Hola Launcher is integrated with some very cool features like Hola swipe (Ripped Down version of Omni Swipe, by the same company), inbuilt RAM booster etc. Overall it's a quite efficient Launcher in such a small package.

Apus Launcher

Apus Launcher is a slim and lightweight Launcher, drawing inspiration from the iOS. It thus lacks the app drawer and just adds every app into the homescreen, arranged beautifully in different folders. Apus Launcher comes with variety of online downloadable themes, which would pimp up your phone suiting your style. It does supports variety of transitions and animations.

Yahoo Aviate Launcher 

Yahoo also jumped into the Android Launcher scenario by launching a very unique and lucid launcher named Aviate. Unlike most of the launchers, which would sort apps on your either alphabetically or chronologically, Aviate sorts these apps on the basis of frequency of user's interaction with the app. For example, if you like to read news in the morning time, Aviate would simply feed this information into it's user data and would automatically recommend you news apps in the morning. The same goes for whatever you do on your phone at different times of the day.

Themer

Themer is for all those, who just want to customise their phone visually in a very drastic way. Themer comes with a variety of user shared themes, which would completely change the look of your homescreen. Rather it be lockscreen, clock, wallpapers, widgets etc. In terms of visual customisation, Themer is one of the best Android Launchers out there.

Microsoft Arrow Launcher 

It seems like every other tech company is in the Android Launcher game. The introduction of Arrow Launcher from Microsoft is a proof of this. Arrow is a simple and efficient launcher. It doesn't consumes your device's valuable RAM and battery to slow down your device. As the official description says "Unlike other launchers, Arrow not only gives you a beautiful experience, but also keeps your work and life organized by integrating with Bing daily wallpaper, Wunderlist, and Microsoft Office", it sticks true to that. Overall it's a quite decent launcher.

Nokia Z Launcher

Nokia Z Launcher changes your perspective of using an Android phone. It uses gestures and drawn scribbles to launch apps. You just need to simply scribble the letter on the screen and it will launch apps, sites and other things in no time. Like Aviate Launcher, Z Launcher also automatically suggests the right app at the right time. Indeed, Z Launcher is very cool and innovative launcher from Nokia.

Mi Band 2 Released, has now OLED display.

After a quite successful penetration of Xiaomi's fitness bands in Indian and other Asian market, the company has now recently launched the second generation of Mi Band, the Mi Band 2.

Mi Drone : A 4K UHD Drone at $456

Chinese Tech Gaint Xiaomi's latest gadget is not a new smartphone or accessory, rather the company has come up with an all new Mi Drone. This is not the first time the company is experimenting with these crazy (rather awesome) gadgets. Remember Mi USB Fans and Lights?

Here's an introductory video on Mi Drone:


Battery 

The drone is provided with a 17.4 Volts, 5,100 mAh battery, which will ensure that it is continuously in air for upto 27 minutes, which is pretty good as compared to other drones available in the market.

Source: en.miui.com

Camera

Mi Drone comes with a 4K Ultra HD camera having 104° wide angle lens, which supports recording of stills in RAW format at a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The Mi Drone can record 720p live videos in low latency from up to 2km distance.

Source: en.miui.com

Source: en.miui.com

Navigation 

For navigation and positioning, it depends on both GPS as well GLONASS technology. The Drone comes with advanced autopilot functions such as automatic landing and takeoff, autopilot through the waypoint on the map, circle any object on ground and all. Whenever the Drone detects a no flying zone, it'll automatically hover over the edge of that zone. It also intelligently detects low battery and automatically flies round back to home, thus avoiding any sort of accidental crash that may occur after it's battery runs out.

Source: en.miui.com

Source: en.miui.com

Design

The Drone is actually a quadcopter, that means it has a 4-propeller flying system. The Drone has a very light weight and modular design, and as told before is detachable and can be easily transported when not in use.

Source: en.miui.com

Price

The Drone comes in two different variants, one with a 1080p Camera costing about $380, and the other one with 4K UHD Camera with a price tag of $456.
Source: en.miui.com