LinuxLinks: Our most-read stories of 2021

It’s common knowledge that Christmas is a time for merriment, goodwill to everyone, and above all a time for lists. So there’s no better time to compile a list for the year. Once you’ve digested everything below, you can plan your New Year resolutions!

We’ve run through our statistics, and found our ten most well received posts/series that saw the highest page views this year. Only stories published this year are included.

There’s lots of crackerjack stories that missed out from this countdown. This is therefore only a taster of our endeavors.

10. Getting Started with Docker

DockerDocker is a set of platform as a service (PaaS) products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers.

Docker is extremely powerful software but often perceived as difficult to master.

In an attempt to demystify the subject, we crafted a simple guide which takes you through the basics such as installing Docker Engine, learning the Docker commands, as well as exploring interfaces that make Docker easier to use.

9. Best Free and Open Source OCR Tools

OCR-SystemsWe published many new and updated round ups through the year.

Our feature on the best free and open source OCR Tools was hugely popular.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the conversion of scanned images of handwritten, typewritten or printed text into searchable, editable documents. OCR software is able to recognise the difference between characters and images, and between characters themselves.

8. Emulate Home Computers

BBC MicroEmulation is the practice of using a program (called an emulator) on a PC to mimic the behaviour of a home computer or a video game console, in order to play (usually retro) games on a computer.

Home computers were a class of microcomputers that entered the market in 1977 and became common during the 1980s. They were marketed to consumers as affordable and accessible computers that, for the first time, were intended for the use of a single non-technical user.

John O’Donnell has written a range of articles covering emulating popular home computers including the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST, BBC Micro, and others. Start with the ZX81 and explore the others.

Unfortunately John has been suffering from poor health, but has recently made a full recovery. He’ll be ploughing on with the series in the New Year.

7. 11 Best Free Linux Webcam Tools

Webcam2021 continued to be dominated by COVID-19 and variants.

Given the continued popularity from working at home and using a webcam to keep in touch with co-workers, webcam software has been a hugely popular search term.

We published updates to our webcam tools showcasing our recommended webcam software. Free and open source software only of course.

6. Refurbished inexpensive Mini PCs

HP EliteDesk 800 G2

While the vast majority of our most popular articles focused on software, we also write about interesting hardware. One area often overlooked is refurbished IT hardware. There are big discounts available.

Our series on a refurbished HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Mini Desktop PC was warmly received. We also wrote a series on a refurbished Lenovo M93 Ultra Small PC.

We’re interested in writing more hardware related articles. Get in touch if you have spare hardware available.

5. Alternatives to Microsoft’s Products and Services

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to MicrosoftMicrosoft’s stance for decades was that community creation and sharing of communal code (later to be known as free and open source software) represented a direct attack on their business. While Microsoft has made a partial shift to embrace open source, many of its products are proprietary.

This series looks at the best free and open source alternatives to products and services offered by Microsoft. The series was received very well from computer users migrating away from the Microsoft platform. There’s no better time to embrace open source software.

4. Best Free Android Apps

AndroidThis series proved somewhat controversial yet it’s hugely popular with our readership.

Many thanks to Eilidih Parris who has worked tirelessly to compile high quality free Android apps that meet our agreed strict eligibility criteria.

We extend a huge thanks to Eilidih and our other contributors who support us through articles and donations.

3. Alternatives to Google’s Products and Services

Google AlternativesGoogle has a firm grip on the desktop. Their products and services are ubiquitous. Don’t get us wrong, we’re long-standing admirers of many of Google’s products and services. They are often high quality, easy to use, and ‘free’, but there can be downsides of over-reliance on a specific company. For example, there are concerns about their privacy policies, business practices, and an almost insatiable desire to control all of our data, all of the time.

What if you are looking to move away from Google and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not constantly tracked, monetised and attached to Google’s ecosystem.

In our Google series we explore how you can migrate from Google without missing out on anything. We recommend open source solutions only.

2. Best Free and Open Source Software

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareWe’ve been extremely busy adding new articles in this series covering the whole gamut of free and open source software that runs under Linux.

We’ve also updated countless articles, but there’s still a lot more to come in the new year.

Recommended Open Source Software

1. Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux

Linux for Starters Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux is a series that offers a gentle introduction to Linux for newcomers.

We’ve written 21 articles covering everything from your very first steps with Linux, before moving on to explore what you can do with your system.

Areas covered include mastering the command line, having fun, system administration, and protecting your privacy.

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