The latest Samsung Galaxy Note III Android upgrade is from 4.3.0 (Jellybean) to 4.4.2 (KitKat) and mostly offers some performance boosts with a few cosmetic upgrades.  Rooting is a bit difficult, unfortunately, thanks to most manufacturers + carriers striving to lock users out of their own devices – something that has few benefits to the user, but is enormously to the manufacturers + carriers’ advantage.  However, there are always people and groups that are able to get around the policy to unlock the full hardware and software potentials of Android mobile devices so that users may be in complete control of their devices.  This article roots a model SM-N900W8 (see the N9000 specs) from  the Canadian carrier WIND Mobile (almost identical to the T-Mobile model) via a Windows 7 PC with the Odin firmware flashing software installed. Continue reading “How to Root Samsung Note 3 with Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)” »

Samsung’s Galaxy Note III has a truly gorgeous screen, boasting one of the brightest screens available at 660 cd/m2 with extremely high contrast to match.  Strangely, Samsung has opted to set the default DPI to a screen space wasting 480 (388 PPI) – wasting the huge amount of available screen space (though still an impressive HD 1920×1080 – the same pixel resolution as a 50 inch living room HDTV!).  With a rooted Android device though, nearly anything can be customized and the screen DPI / resolution is no exception. Continue reading “Samsung Note 3 Optimization: Higher Screen Resolution (DPI)” »

The Note III is Samsung’s latest offering in the oversized phone market (or for those of us with larger hands, the “finally a phone that doesn’t feel like a toy!” market).  This amazing powerhouse of a machine could easily double as a laptop replacement if coupled with a dock.  That being said, it also comes preloaded with an amazing outhouse’s worth of bloatware.  While Samsung’s S Pen apps are great apps, there are definite advantages in being able to pick and choose exactly what apps and Samsung ecosystem infrastructure are on a device as opposed to running the entire stack – which is waste of CPU cycles, RAM, bandwidth, and most important of all battery life.

Google’s apps on the phone suffer from the same issue, and of course there is a healthy dose of carrier bloatware to boot (how much there is depending on your carrier).  Thankfully Samsung’s phones are still based on Android (until Samsung brings Tizen onto the market later in 2014, at least), and with root there is complete control over a device’s software.  As such, the Note 3 can easily be optimized via bloatware removal. Continue reading “Samsung Note 3 Optimization: Getting Rid of the Bloatware” »

Some manufacturers or carriers may hide some settings from the end users, making life difficult if you want to do something simple like enable MTP when you connect your Android phone to your computer.  However many of these settings can still be accessed via dial codes – and the USB to PC connection mode is one of those. Continue reading “Getting an Android Phone to Connect to a Computer using USB” »

Many Canon printers make use of a specialized interface called UFR II.  However, Linux doesn’t support the (highly proprietary) UFR II interface out of the box, and Canon’s website often doesn’t list the driver download as an option for some printers such as the imageCLASS MF6590.  However, you can still download and install the drivers… if you know where to find them! Continue reading “Tutorial: Linux Driver for Canon UFR II & UFR II LT Printers” »

RAID is a wonderful way to achieve faster disk access speeds, data security or both.  Here’s some ways to get the most bang for your buck out of setting up a RAID: Continue reading “Tips for RAID Setup” »

Setting up a software RAID on Linux Debian based distros such as Ubuntu is surprisingly easy.  And these days, software RAID arrays are nearly as efficient as hardware raids without the drawback of having your data inaccessible if the hardware RAID controller goes haywire.  This tutorial outlines the basics for setting up a software RAID array using mdadm on an existing previously installed Ubuntu system. Continue reading “Tutorial: mdadm Software RAID on Ubuntu / Debian Systems” »

While malware and viruses on Linux machines are quite rare, on Windows dual boot machines it can be useful to have a scanner that can evaluate the Windows installations while booted into Linux. In this article, the installation and usage for several workstation product are detailed, using the free-for-personal-use or trial editions on Linux Mint 15 + MATE on a 64 bit Intel machine. Continue reading “Review: Anti-virus Scanners for Linux Workstations (Part 1)” »

Video card set up on Linux can be extremely daunting if the automatic process or graphical tools don’t deliver.  Worse, there are numerous incorrect, incomplete or contradictory sources on the web on how to accomplish this.  In this article we hope to make it clear how to set up multiple Nvidia chipset based video cards and monitors on a single computer using X. Continue reading “Multiple Nvidia Video Cards & Monitors on Linux Mint 15 MATE” »


Google has a history of launching products and services, only to abandon them and their users a short while later (the “Google Graveyard”).  In that vein, Google has just pulled the plug on Google Checkout (a payment processing platform that a lot of online retailers use, from small businesses to huge online retailers like NewEgg).  Google offers a solemn marketing speak apology and mentions that if you sell digital goods (i.e., Android apps) you can switch to Google Wallet instead.  However this can’t hide the fact that they’re leaving a large number of businesses that don’t have their own payment processors already in the lurch with just six months notice … not a classy move.  While retiring something like Google Reader only affected consumers’ convenience, retiring Google Checkout impacts a lot of businesses’ day to day operations.  It’s this policy of simply leaving users in the lurch that has now spurred me from being a Google ecosystem booster to now warning businesses to rely on Google business services only when absolutely necessary, and never for mission critical services. Continue reading “Google: Don’t Rely on their Business Services” »