KWrite vs Kate

The default editor in KDE Neon is KWrite. After having used Kate in Kubuntu for more than 5 years, KWrite simply seems primitive. Kwrite uses like 12MB of RAM.

Let’s uninstall it KWrite and install Kate on my KDE Neon

# apt purge kwrite

# apt install kate

Opening the same document in Kate now uses 16.7 MB of RAM. 

Comparing these 2 editors side-by-side, i think KWrite is somewhat cleaner to look at. But I miss the terminal plugin of Kate too much.

 

After loading that plugin, the memory usage of Kate jumped to 80MB. But I don’t think I’m much concerned about RAM on my ASUS ZenBook right now.

I think Kate should be the default text editor for KDE Neon to showcase the power of the KDE Desktop to people who want to try the bleeding edge technologies. On the other hand, Kate’s GUI can be further fine-tuned to be more minimal.

[Review] My New Laptop: ASUS ZenBook UX310UQ

The Looks

It’s a really beautiful laptop; prettier than a MacBook Air and Pro IMO. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

My sister says it has a pinkish tint. I say it’s a purple tint. Unfortunately this tint was not visible in the shop while I was purchasing it. But it’s the inner  beauty that counts the most right?

Image result for faded salmon color

The Inner Beauty

The specs-to-weight ratio of the ZenBook is unbeatable. ASUS managed to include a Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GEFORCE 940MX graphics card, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD into something slightly heavier than a MacBook Air.

It’s only a dual core CPU though. The laptop has no problem with me working on 2D graphics applications such as GIMP and 3D applications such Blender and Home Sweet3D. The UIs are really fast and responsive. However it would be best to do the final rendering for 3D applications a real 8 core desktop CPU if you have access to one. I think such renderings are done on render farms by professionals.

Windows Bloatware

Unfortunately the laptop wasn’t available without Windows pre-installed. There are not many bloatware on the pre-installed Windows 10 but some more cleaning is required.

I have no idea what this process is doing but it’s using my precious power from my battery.

Linux Support

Dual booting KDE Neon was very straightforward. Got it right the first time. I split the 128GB SSD drive into 2 partitions of 64GB giving Linux and Windows 10 equal space. Both Windows and Linux boot under 10 seconds. I feel that Windows boots significantly faster though like under 6 seconds.

The battery life on windows is quite satisfactory for such a power house; it averaged 5 to 6 hours of normal web browsing. I don’t know whether the LG Gram actually delivers 15 hours of usage. On Linux, the battery life is around 3.5 – 5 hours on average. Yep, Windows is going to be slightly more efficient due to having official NVIDIA and other drivers installed. Linux drivers do not benefit from the same manufacturer tuning. Linux efficiency is improving day by day.

Things I don’t like about the laptop

Call is Rich People Problems (first world problems) but these are some annoying things about it:

  1. Screen opening angle a bit limited. A little inconvenient when using on the bed or on a standing desk
  2. The speakers’ sound is really poor especially as compared to a MacBook Air. I’d be embarrassed to put my brand Harman/Kardon if I were the owner of that brand on this particular laptop. You need external headsets to enjoy your musics.
  3. The fn key cannot be made default. To change the brightness of the keyboard or screen backlight or change the volume, you have to press the fn + F[0-12] buttons. e.g. To change the volume, I have to use both my hands to press fn and f11. Life can be hard.
  4. No Play/Next Music button on the keyboard. Sucks right?
  5. I don’t think it has an Ambient Light Sensor to automatically adjust my display brightness. I miss how my MacBook Air did it perfectly.

Conclusion

Excellent performance. Excellent portability. Ok battery. BFF <3

How to buy a budget mobile phone in 2018

If you’re planning to buy a budget phone in this year, you must make sure your phone phone should be able to accomplish the basic tasks for this era.

The requirements of a phone

  • Make phone calls
  • Make and receive SMS
  • Handle WhatsApp application
  • Have a decent web browser
  • Have a flash or torch light

Facebook app is not a necessity as m.faceboook.com is very useable in the mobile web browser. You’ll have no problem connecting with your a Facebook “friends”.

The technical specifications

RAM: 2GB

RAM is the most important element to consider while buying a new phone. Anything less than 2GB will make the phone unusable: you might not be able to even answer calls. Your phone might freeze and that would be very embarrassing.

Network and LAN: 3.5G and WiFi

3.5G (also known as HSDPA) is what I would recommend as minimum standard. It has ample speed for WhatsApp and Facebook’s messenger. It’s fast enough to browse through Facebook picture posts. Moreover, 4G is not yet available everywhere on the Island so no need to have it now if you’re on a budget.

Internal Storage: 16GB with MicroSD slot or 32GB without MicroSD

Do not go any less than 16GB for internal storage. Android stubbornly installs some apps on the internal memory only despite having an external storage. Insufficient internal storage would mean that some apps might not be able to update after some times and you will not be able to install new apps from Play Store.

Camera: 5MP Rear Camera

5MP I would say is the minimum for acceptable pictures to be posted on Facebook. If you like to take selfies, your front camera will have to be at least 4MP.

CPU: Quad core

If it has a quad core or better processor, It should be fine for daily usage.

Display: 5 inch 720p

As per experience, a screen smaller than 5 inches might be a bit too squeezy. The screen resolution needs to be atleast 720p for adequate web browsing and for viewing pictures and videos.

GPS

Most modern phone come with GPS inbuilt already but it’s always a good idea to confirm that it has one.

Operating System: Android 6

Do not buy a phone that has an android version that’s too old. For the year 2018, I think Android 6 would be sufficiently supported for the next 2 or 3 years for atleast the basic apps such as GMail and WhatsApp.

If you have any more recommendation, feel free to share in the comment section and share with your friends 🙂

Windows 10 ‘Task Manager’ is Awesome. Someone please port it to Linux

“Give credit to whom credit due.” – Samuel Adams

I must say the Task Manager on Windows 10 is amazing.

All the classic information I want to know is there: how much CPU, RAM, Disk, Network (WiFI and Bluetooth).  Recently they added tabs about GPUs usage. I got an Intel HD Graphics 620 and NVIDIA GEFORCE 940MX on my ASUS ZenBook.

You even get details on each program and which GPUs they are using

Additionally we get information about Disk and Network usage per process which is very helpful.

Last but not least, the Task Manager is very powerful but by default opens with a very minimal UI.

 

This approach is very in line with KDE Plasma’s moto:

Simple by Default Powerful When Needed

 

Mobile Phone as a Hotspot for Windows 10 in Mauritius

Yes you can. But in reality, you shouldn’t unless you have unlimited mobile data.

Since Microsoft can decide when to send updates to your laptop and update it whenever they want, you won’t have an idea whether you 100MB mobile data will be sufficient to write that that job application email or browse Facebook for 10 minutes.

A linux operating system on the other hand allows you to have control on when you want it to be upgraded. I highly recommend Ubuntu LTS or KDE Neon (also based on Ubuntu LTS). I also recommend Chilli’s Zeness Pack which give you 750MB of mobile data for Rs 75 per month. I think it’s a really good deal. The Chilli network is not always available in some remote areas though.