How to use an Android device to back up Linux files

Got some important files on your Linux desktop or laptop you need to back up? Don’t have a flash drive or external hard drive but do have an Android phone? As it turns out, it is possible to use your Android device to back up Linux files. Here’s how it works!

Method 1 – Deja Dup

An incredibly easy way that you can back up any file or folder from a Linux desktop or laptop to an Android phone is by using Deja Dup, the backup utility for Ubuntu (as well as many other prominent distributions).

To start the backup process, connect your Android device over USB to your Linux PC. After that, you must put it into Camera mode. Go to the notification center on your device, look for the notification that says Android is connected over USB, and tap it to reveal options. Then, select the “Camera” option.

Note: if you cannot place your Android device into Camera mode, consider using Method 2 instead, as Deja Dup will only work with this type of connection.

Once your Android device is connected over USB in Camera mode, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to back up your data.

Step 1: Open up the Linux file manager and look for your Android device on the side. Double-click on it to mount it to the system.

Step 2:  Next, use the Linux file manager to create a folder in your home directory called “Backup files.” This folder is necessary, as Android device memory is small compared to a USB hard drive. It will help you control the size of the data being backed up.

Step 3: Using the Linux file manager, copy all data you wish to back up to your Android device to the “Backup files” folder. Keep in mind that the data in this directory must be smaller than the size of the device, or the backup will fail. For best results, try making your backup around 2-5 GBs in size.

Step 4: Close any open Linux file manager windows, but do not unmount the Android device.

Step 5: Open up the Deja Dup app on your Linux PC by pressing Win on the keyboard, typing “Deja Dup” and launching the app that says “Backups.”

Don’t have the app on your system? Install the Deja Dup application on your Linux PC by following this guide.

Step 6: Inside the Deja Dup app, locate the “Folders to save” option in the sidebar on the left, and click on it with the mouse. From there, click on the plus sign to bring up the open-file browser.

In the open-file browser, locate the “Backup files” folder you created to hold the data to back up to the Android device and click the “Add” button to tell Deja Dup to use it.

Step 7: Find the “Storage location” button on the sidebar on the left, and click on it with the mouse. Then, find the “Storage location” drop-down menu and change it from the default option to “Local Folder.” Then, click on “Choose Folder..” to launch the open-file browser.

In the open-file browser, look for a Camera icon in the sidebar. Click on it with the mouse to access your Android device’s file system via Camera mode.

Step 8: While browsing the Android device’s file system via Camera mode, locate the folder “DCIM” and click on it with the mouse.

Step 9: Inside of the “DCIM” directory, click the “new folder” button at the top right to create a new folder. Name it “linux-backups.”

Step 10: Select the newly-created “linux-backups” directory in the open-file browser, and click the “OK” button to use it to store your backups with Deja Dup.

Step 11: Find the “Overview” section in the sidebar in Deja Dup, and click on it. Then, select the “Back Up Now” button to begin the backup process.

When the backup is complete, you will see a message appear on the screen.

Restoring the backup

Connect your Android device over USB to the Linux PC, put it into Camera mode. Then, open up Deja Dup, and click the “Restore” button to restore your backup.

If the restoration does not work, you may need to re-add your Android device as a storage location. To do that, follow steps 7-10 in the Deja Dup backup guide above.

Method 2 – the Linux file manager

The Deja Dup method is quite useful; however, it does not work for everyone, especially if your Android device cannot go into “Camera mode.” For this reason, we’ll show you how to back up files using just the Linux file manager.

To start the backup process, plug in your Android device over USB. Then, access the device and tap on the “USB connected” notification to access the USB options. Set your device to MTP mode. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

 

Step 1: Open up the Linux file manager and mount your Android device by double-clicking on it under devices.

Step 2: When the Linux file manager mounts your Android device, look for “Internal Storage” and double-click on it.

Note: If you prefer to store files on an SD card, click on “SD Card.”

Step 3: Inside of “Internal Storage,” you will see the contents of your Android device. From here, right-click and select “create a new folder.” Name this folder, “linux-backups.”

Step 4: Double-click on the “linux-backups” folder with the mouse to access it in the file manager. Then, drag all of the files from your Linux PC into the “linux-backups” folder to back up the data.

When you’ve finished backing up the files on your Linux PC, unplug the Android device.

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OTT Explains: What Is Reddit & Tips To Get Started

What is Reddit? At first glance, Reddit can seem intimidating to the uninitiated observer. Self-proclaimed as the “front page of the Internet,” Reddit is a massive and diverse community, and anyone who knows anything about the internet can tell you that that can be both a blessing and a curse. 

Similar to a bustling city, there is a nice side of Reddit and a not so nice side. You can’t simply write off the entire website based on one trip into the wrong neighborhood. At least not without visiting the nicer parts first.

To put your mind at ease, we’re going to divulge a bit of knowledge on what Reddit is and how you can get started using it.

What Is Reddit?

Reddit is essentially a platform that relies on an online community to decide what is and isn’t newsworthy by allowing them to post their own links and information. The users of the site would then be responsible for voting on these posts, either up or down, to determine which information is the best.

The site is split up into different subject sections called subreddits. Navigating these subreddits in order to find the information that matters most to you is often responsible for the intimidation most have with Reddit. The amount of information is massive and can hit you pretty hard if you’re unfamiliar with the infrastructure.

Links with the most upvotes will gain more visibility and make it easier to find on the main Reddit page. Links with more downvotes may find themselves lost and buried, never again to see the light of day.

Registering An Account

  • From the Reddit main page, look for the SIGN UP button located in the upper right-hand corner beside the LOG IN button.
  • The following window will require the email address you wish to assign to your Reddit account. Enter the text into the box and click NEXT.
  • The last window will have you choose a username and password. The username will be how others know you on Reddit and the password will be required to log into your account.
  • Once all information has been filled out, complete the process and register your new Reddit account by clicking the SIGN UP button.

Subreddits

Reddit is the ideal environment to meet like-minded people socializing and obsessing over similar interests. Whether you’re a writer, a lover of adorable pets, or a major sports fan, you can find a subreddit full of discussions and topics related to the subject.

Type anything you might be interested in into the search bar at the top of the page to get started. Reddit has a few advanced options and filters available to you if you choose to use them.

You can then check out a subreddit by clicking on one of the options that pop-up related to your query.

If there isn’t a subreddit related to the subject you’re searching for, then you can always create your own.

However, I would practice caution when it comes to the running of your own subreddit. Being a subreddit moderator is very demanding work especially if your subreddit has become extremely popular. You’ll be forced to lay down the law by kicking out the baddies, removing spam from conversations, and monitoring everything going on within the subreddit.

Some folks enjoy the dedication to a community effort so if you happen to be one of them, then feel free to give it a try. First, I think it might be better to join a few already created subreddits to at least get the lay of the land when it comes to what to expect.

Subscribing To Subreddits

While not logged into Reddit, the front page will be filled with default subreddits that everyone sees. Once logged in after registering an account, you’re able to customize your Reddit feed with the subreddits that you want to follow. After subscribing to a subreddit you’ll see your feed populated with the newest posts from that subreddit. 

You can choose to join a community or follow a user directly from the search results by clicking the appropriate button to the right of them. For those who prefer to check things out before subscribing, you can click on the page directly, peruse the topics enjoyed by the user or community, and decide to subscribe using the JOIN button found at the top or FOLLOW button in the right sidebar.

Creating Your Own Subreddit

Creating a subreddit is easy, running it is where the difficulty presents itself. Getting other people to visit it is also an uphill battle most of the time. It takes a lot of work to maintain a community so be sure you’re committed before proceeding. 

Your account will also need to be at least 30 days old and hold a quantity of Karma that only the site moderators are privy to. More on Karma later.

  • From the feed page, scroll until you see this image in the right sidebar.
  • Fill out all of the information required in the following window.
  • Click CREATE COMMUNITY to have the subreddit created.

Reddiquette

There are particular guidelines Reddit requires you to follow when using their platform. A few of the things that are considered prohibited is using the platform for self-promotion, link spamming, and post spamming. Performing any of these things could land you a swift ban.

Following the guidelines and being respectful will go a long way on Reddit.

Upvotes, Downvotes, Posts, Comments, and Karma

Once you’ve subscribed to a subreddit, you can begin upvoting and downvoting posts and comments found there. The up and down arrows to the left of a post or comment indicate the up and down voting respectively.

The number indicates the popularity. A positive number means it has received more upvotes than down whereas a negative number displayed means the opposite.

The comment box should be just below the initial post. You can add your two cents to the discussion and click the COMMENT button to send it.

To create your own post in the subreddit will require you to click the CREATE POST button found in the right sidebar.

Active participation in different subreddits while practicing good reddiquette will earn you Karma. The total can be found just below your username at the top-right of the page.

Karma can affect how others view you on Reddit even though it has very little impact on how the site is used outside of the desire to run your own subreddit. Think of it more as Reddit “street cred”.

Additional Tips & Tricks

Multiredditing

To combine a bunch of your favorite subreddits into one stream of posts, Reddit created a built-in system called multiredditing. You can combine any subreddits into a singular feed for maximum viewing but most combine subreddits of similar topics.

It’s preferred to access the multireddit option through the old Reddit front page. The new setup isn’t as user-friendly for this sort of thing. 

  • You can visit the old site by clicking your username in the top-right and selecting it from the drop-down menu.
  • From here, you’ll need to click on the very edge of the left side of the screen.
  • This will open up a side menu with the option to create your multireddit.
  • Name your multireddit and hit Create to your multireddit feed.
  • You can begin adding the subreddits you want featured in the feed from the right sidebar.

View Subreddits As Images Only

There are plenty of subreddits that consist of nothing but images. To bypass the need to click on every submission to view the images, you can add a ‘p’ to the URL. Stick a ‘p’ at the end of reddit in the URL like so

redditp.com/r/nameofsubreddit

This will create a slideshow of all the posts within the subreddit.

Streamline Comments

Turn a subreddit post into a pseudo chat room by adding -stream in the URL when in the comments section.

So,

https://www.reddit.com/r/eagles/comments/eoly47/conference_championship_round_playoffs_discussion/

becomes

https://www.reddit-stream.com/r/eagles/comments/eoly47/conference_championship_round_playoffs_discussion/

Reddit Enhancement Suite

To get the best out of your Redditing experience, installing Reddit’s Enhancement Suite is the best way to go. Enjoy an endlessly scrollable homepage, easy username swapping (for multi-account users), and a user highlighting feature.

This only just scratches the surface. A lot of the features that you can enjoy on Reddit today are likely in part due to RES. One of which is the Night Mode option, which is particularly useful for reducing the strain on your eyes that white computer light contributes.

Free to Use and Reuse Sets from the Library of Congress

LOCFreeToUse

The Library of Congress has sets drawn from its vast collection of items.

While just a small part of the Library of Congress millions of digital collections, these nicely curated sets that span a wide range of topics. Some of the sets are maps and exploration, cars, travel, architecture, Japanese fine prints, Holidays, public domain films from the National Film Registry, and children’s books

Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library’s home page .

The digital collections are a fantastic resource and comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more that are believed to be in the public domain. Focused mainly on the USA, there’s still plenty of material to enjoy for anyone outside the US that includes or focuses on other areas. Read More

The Best Places To Find Audiobooks For Free

These days, audiobooks are on the rise, as more and more people look to find ways to spice up an hour-long commute into work or school. It’s also how you can liven up and add some entertainment to mundane boring tasks such as washing the dishes or rearranging your clothes shelves. 

If you’d rather not pay for your audiobooks though, and you don’t mind not having the latest bestsellers, here are some sources where you can get audiobooks for free.

LibriVox

Librivox is an example of crowdsourcing on the internet, where volunteers read chapters of an audiobook with the aim of getting it online. These generous people take the initiative of reading chapters from short stories, fairy tales, and other kinds of books. 

Anyone can download these thousands of audiobooks for free, and anyone can volunteer their time to read another one for the site.

Due to the fact that many people are reading these novels, be aware that quality can vary from one person to the next. But for visually impaired people or disabled people, a service like this can be a lifesaver. You never know who is going to be reading the next chapter.

Google Play Books

No list would be complete without the inclusion of Google Play Books, but saying that, there is no dedicated “free” section on the site. In fact, being a business, Google puts more emphasis on the paid offerings.

There is however an audiobook section, and Google often gives away free books now and then as a special offer. It’s worth keeping the site bookmarked and check it on a regular basis to see if Google are running any special promotions.

DigitalBook

DigitalBook claims to have over 100,000 titles in their collection, but an initial inspection seems to suggest that they are merely indexing Librivox’s collection. 

You can listen to audiobooks without a membership. But a free membership will enable you to save all the audiobooks you want, place them on a bookshelf, and return to read them again in the future.

Libby

Did you know that you can borrow audiobooks for free from your local library? Not many people do, and Libby wants to make it easier to find and check out those audiobooks.

Operated by the library distribution service, Overdrive, Libby serves as your manager of audiobooks and with it, you can borrow audiobooks from all the libraries you are subscribed to.

After downloading its app to your phone, you can then listen to any audiobook available in your local library. This includes classics, bestsellers, and new releases.

Internet Archive

Best known for the Wayback machine, the Internet Archive serves as a repository for everything online. It is also trying to save and preserve our culture. Part of that are audiobooks.

By searching in the archive’s search engine, you can find all kinds of audiobooks (likely millions of them). But be careful because some of them may still be in copyright in your country. Download with extreme caution. For example, I found an Orson Scott Card book which is most likely still in copyright.

The Internet Archive is updated on a regular basis, so this is another one to bookmark and check back on often.

Project Gutenberg

Like LibriVox, this is a volunteer-run repository. Project Gutenberg came to life in 1971 and has been in existence ever since. It aims to digitize cultural works to fuel the distribution of e-books.

If you think Project Gutenberg is all about e-books, you’ve got another thing coming. The repository also features a large collection of human-read audiobooks for free, taken from the public domain (such as Librivox). 

Audible

Since you get a 30-day free trial, you can find plenty of audiobooks without paying a dime on Audible. With a reputation as one of the big guns in supplying new audiobooks on the internet, you’ll be in a good spot.

The monthly fee for an eventual subscription is $14.95. Compared to a free pass, that seems a lot. But if you consider the unlimited power you have to access all the audiobooks you want, you might think otherwise.

Audiobooks.com

More than 100,000 audiobooks for free are yours for the taking at Audiobooks. The catch is that you can take home only some of them for free. 

Like Audible, it charges you $14.95 per month if you sign up for its service. If you want to test the waters first before diving in, then its one-month free trial is perfect for you to get some audiobooks for free.

What sets this apart are the voices of trained actors who narrate the original stories in the items you can find here. When you check out what’s in store for you on the site, it’s as if you’re tuning in to more than just an audiobook. Instead, it’s like you’re in the middle of a radio drama.

Spotify

Do you have Spotify installed on your iPad, iPhone, or Android gadget? If so, you have a ticket to easily check out audiobooks. Just search for a title you like, or an author or genre.

Spotify is mostly around to provide music, so you can’t rely on it having as many titles as the rest of the entries in this list. But if you’re already an existing Spotify user, finding and downloading audiobooks for free is made easy for you.

How to fix Night Shift not working on external monitors on macOS

Macs, whether they’re Macbooks or iMacs, or a Mac Mini are used with external monitors. The features on macOS tend to work almost flawlessly if you’re using Apple manufactured hardware but anything that hasn’t been manufactured by Apple, or that doesn’t carry its stamp of approval may, or may not work with all of macOS’ features. Night Shift is a feature that was added a while ago to reduce blue/white light on the screen by tinting it a warm color. It’s a great feature but it seems that it doesn’t always work with external monitors. Here’s how you can fix Night Shift not working on external monitors.

Fix Night Shift for external monitors

There are three different ways you can fix this problem. It is highly unlikely that it is a hardware related problem so unless you have an exceptionally old, square monitor, Night Shift should work on your external monitors.

Connect/disconnect monitor

The first fix you should try, and this tends to have a high success rate, is to disconnect the monitor from your Mac, and then connect it again. Make sure Night Shift is turned on when you do this. When you connect the external monitor again, it should be tinted a warmer color. To that end, you should also examine the cable and any connectors you’re using to connect the monitor to the Mac. If they’re damaged, they may be interfering with the feature.

Clamshell mode

This fix is solely for MacBooks. Run the MacBook in clamshell or closed-display mode. This often leads to Night Shift being triggered on the external monitor. Once Night Shift starts working with the external monitor, you can run your MacBook with the lid open if you want.

Nocturnal

Nocturnal is a free, open-source app that allows you to control Night Shift from the menu bar. It can basically turn on Night Shift without you having to go through the System Preferences app and it works great with external monitors. Download Nocturnal and run it. Allow it to tint your external monitor and let it run for a while. Disable it, and then enable Night Shift. This will likely fix Night Shift not working with the external monitor. You can remove the app if you want but it does give you a great, quick way to manage the tint of the screen directly from the menu bar so there’s no harm keeping it around.

One of the three fixes here should force enable Night Shift on your external monitor. If the first trick is what did the job but you have to keep repeating the step each time you boot to your desktop, you should try getting new cables/connectors.

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