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What defines an operating system isn’t a geeky label or a collection of ramblings from the mouths of its community members. Nor is it some empty and pointless certification offered up by an obscure group of malcontented purveyors of “standards.”

An operating system is a kernel, a supporting cast of programs, and a concept. For certain commercial entities, it’s also a marketing campaign, hype and profit. But, is the Linux operating system just another flavor of the Unix operating system? Yes. But, it’s also much more.

What you, as a business owner, want to know is if Linux is enough like Unix that you can transition from a commercial Unix flavor to Linux with minimum hassle and expense. The answer is yes.

You might also ask, “With how much certainty can you guarantee that my applications will make that same transition?” Red Hat, Novell and Canonical can give the best answers, but their consultants will tell you that only in rare cases will your applications have trouble making the trip from your Unix environment to a Linux-hosted one. Rest assured that your issues aren’t so unique that their highly skilled Linux engineers can’t tackle them.

A Unix flavor might differ from others in its administration tools, its filesystem types, its process handling, and its device names, but each is undeniably Unix. But, why? What makes any one of those systems Unix yet so different?

The saying, “If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it must be a duck,” is usually quoted to make a point about some issue during a political debate. Similarly, if Linux looks like Unix, behaves like Unix, and handles security and processes like Unix, then it must be Unix–albeit a new and improved Unix flavor, but Unix nonetheless.

Do you recognize Unix when you see it? If you looked at a filesystem layout containing the following directory (folder) names, which operating system would you say that you’re looking at?

I386, Program Files, Temp, Users, Windows

You’d likely respond, “Windows.” You’d be correct. What if you saw the following filesystem layout?

bin, etc, dev, usr, opt, home, root, sbin, proc, var, mnt

You’d call it Unix. You’d be correct; it is Unix. Yet, you might call it Linux. How would you know the difference? There are ways, once you’re logged into a system but not from simply seeing a list of directories. From the filesystem layout alone, you’d conclude that Linux is a Unix flavor. And, you already know that Unix has different flavors so that subtle differences of directory names, file locations, administrative tools or filesystem types have little bearing on whether the system is actually Unix.

Now that you’re convinced that Linux is a Unix flavor, have a look at a fine argument to the contrary. Linux, as an operating system, isn’t very exciting. But, what makes it an absolute obsession for so many is the Linux concept, which drives its worldwide group of communities wild with passion. The Linux concept derives its passion from the original sources for all things related to computing freedom: the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the GNU Project, both begun by Richard Stallman.

To Stallman and the Free Software Foundation, “Linux” and “open source” are terms that exist only in the minds of the uninformed. They call our special operating system GNU/Linux or GNU+Linux, and to them there’s no such term as open-source software. For the FSF, the terms “free software” and “open source” have nothing to do with each other. Open source only means that you have access to a program’s source code but not necessarily any associated freedom to study it, alter it, or redistribute that source code. And, to them, free software has nothing to do with cost but everything to do with freedom.

So, why this tangent about free software? It has to do with the related Linux bloodline question, “Is it just another Unix flavor?” The recursive acronym, GNU, stands for “GNU’s Not Unix”, which means that Stallman and the FSF answer “no” to the question of the relation of the GNU/Linux operating system to Unix.

Shown below is an excerpt from the Linux kernel source README file that explains the relationship between Linux and UNIX. Though there’s no author attribution for this file, it’s obvious that the definition it carries has the blessing of those who create the Linux kernel, including Linus himself:


Linux is a clone of the operating system Unix, written from scratch by Linus Torvalds with assistance from a loosely-knit team of hackers across the Net. It aims towards POSIX and Single Unix Specification compliance.

It has all the features you would expect in a modern fully-fledged Unix, including true multitasking, virtual memory, shared libraries, demand loading, shared copy-on-write executables, proper memory management, and multistack networking including IPv4 and IPv6.

It’s interesting to note that Linus Torvalds licensed the Linux kernel under the GNU Public License (GPLv2) so maybe he’s confused as well as to how to classify the GNU operating system (a.k.a. GNU/Linux, a.k.a Linux). For avid users, business adopters, the worldwide communities, the companies that produce various distributions, scores of developers, and the big businesses that create Linux-based products, it’s Linux–a free and tasty Unix flavor–perhaps the tastiest one of all.

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Try Any Linux Flavor From A Usb Stick With Linux Aio

If you’re an owner of multiple computers, or at the very least the user of multiple Linux distributions, you’ll no doubt be aware of how annoying it can be to have to make live USB sticks over and over. There has to be a better way, right? There is!

Introducing Linux AIO: it’s a tool that takes all current spins of popular Linux distributions (think Ubuntu and Fedora) and compiles them into one flashable ISO file. It’s not a new idea, but it’s a fascinating take on the concept none-the-less.

So, how does it work?

Downloading Linux AIO

Linux AIO has many, many editions. Sad to say, there isn’t just one ISO image you can place on your drive and select from the most popular Linux flavors out of the gate. Instead, you’ll need to sift through the available editions and determine which one you want the most.

Here’s a complete list of every edition available for download: Ubuntu, Linux Mint, LMDE, Debian Live, Fedora, Zorin OS, Trisquel, SolydXK, ROSA, Tanglu, ALT Linux, Point Linux, Porteus, PCLinuxOS, and Korora.

1. Try to avoid using the torrent links when downloading, as it appears to have very little seeds and is overall very slow.

Finding p7zip is different depending on what you’re using, but it shouldn’t be too hard to find. Just open your package manager, either with terminal or a graphical tool, and search for something similar to “7zip.” After that, just install it and try extracting again.

Making the live disc

Once you’ve chosen your Linux AIO ISO file and downloaded it, it’s time to make a Linux live disk. Making a Linux live disk with an ISO file can be done in several ways, but few are as easy as using Etcher. Follow our Etcher guide here to make the Linux AIO live disk and then return when everything is completed.

Note: Be sure that your USB flash drive is at least 8 GB in size, as Linux AIO takes up a lot of space.


Linux AIO is largely a collection of live disks. That’s the extent of the software. When you boot your live USB disk, you’ll be prompted with a selection menu. This selection menu will show every single official flavor of whichever Linux distribution you choose.

From here it is possible to use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to select whichever spin you’d like. Once selected, the regular live disk boots as if you’d downloaded an official spin from the Linux distro’s website.

Inside the live disk you’re able to do everything you’d do in any other Linux live disk, including install it.

What makes Linux AIO special?

This software makes installing Linux distributions much easier. For example: you own many computers, and each one runs a different version of Ubuntu. Your laptop runs Ubuntu Mate, your gaming PC runs traditional Ubuntu, and other family members run other various flavors of Ubuntu.

With this tool all you need is one USB stick loaded with the latest Linux AIO Ubuntu ISO. It’ll be incredibly easy to put any of the necessary versions of Ubuntu Linux on all the computers you own without the need to remake a USB stick over and over or to buy multiples.


Making live Linux USB sticks are a pain. You have to re-format, re-download and it just gets tiring. That’s why I really am impressed with Linux AIO. It’s not perfect, and certainly has some work ahead of it, but overall it’s a refreshing tool for those who have the unlucky task of installing multiple spins of a Linux distribution.

Would you use Linux AIO in place of your current method for installing Linux? Let us know below!

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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Which Ubuntu Flavor Should You Choose

If you are a fan of Ubuntu but not a fan of Gnome, what can you do? You should know that you are not stuck using the Gnome version of Ubuntu. You can install another desktop environment or simply use another “flavor” of Ubuntu that can be another desktop manager by default. Let’s see how they differ and which Ubuntu flavor would be better for you.

What Is Ubuntu Flavor?

Ubuntu flavors are generally Ubuntu running with a different desktop environment. The default desktop environment used in Ubuntu is Gnome, but not everyone is a fan of Gnome. Some may be a fan of KDE, while others are more used to the older Mate desktop. The purpose of the various Ubuntu flavors is to cater to these groups of people. There are several official Ubuntu flavors that are recognized and supported by Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. The different flavors are:



Ubuntu Budgie

Ubuntu Kylin


Ubuntu Mate

Ubuntu Studio


Ubuntu Cinnamon

Ubuntu Unity

Good to know: learn more about Linux by checking out some of the best Arch-based distros available today.


Kubuntu 23.04 comes with the KDE Plasma desktop environment. KDE is much more customizable than Gnome, making Kubuntu the perfect choice for those who demand a modern, ultra-customizable desktop and aren’t afraid they’ll get lost among the dozens of options.


Kubuntu swaps all gnome-related applications for KDE alternatives. KDE, though, also has a broader variety of applications tied to it.

If you were using previous versions of KDE, you may also notice that the default music player has switched from Cantata to Elisa.

Plasma 5.27

Plasma 5.27 has a Global Edit mode that replaces the customization menu on the top right of the screen with a bar at the top center of the screen. From there, you can add widgets to the desktop, create extra workspaces, or access the desktop configuration options.

KDE supports a “Do Not Disturb” mode that suppresses notifications. It goes excellent with KDE’s support for Night Color, which tweaks the screen’s color temperature.

Like Gnome, KDE comes with three versions of its Breeze theme: light, dark, and Kubuntu’s default, that looks like a hybrid of the other two.

To assist in its customization when tweaking its settings, KDE now presents a preview of the results arranged in a grid view. This grid view is also used when downloading new themes, helping to appreciate the differences more.


LXQt 1.2.0 is front and center in Lubuntu 23.04. If you need a lightweight but functional Ubuntu flavor, you should give Lubuntu a try.

Quick but Basic Desktop

LXQt works like KDE, presenting a default taskbar with a primary menu, a task-juggling section, and an additional tray. Unlike KDE, though, LXQt trades vast configurability and visual effects for a more lightweight and straightforward desktop experience.

A Ton of Themes

Lubuntu comes with many different LXQt and OpenBox themes that you can mix and match.


Since it’s based on Qt, Lubuntu uses KDE’s Discover application instead of Ubuntu’s default store for finding and installing new software.

As far as daily use, Lubuntu feels like a “Kubuntu Lite” and is an excellent option for everyone seeking a less resource-heavy alternative to both Ubuntu and Kubuntu.


Unlike the Gnome and KDE flavors, Lubuntu 23.04 uses the Calamares installer. That means no support for installing the OS itself in a ZFS partition through the default initial setup.

Ubuntu Budgie

Ubuntu Budgie uses the Budgie desktop environment that was initially found in the Solus project. Budgie is based on GTK+ and, in many ways, feels like Gnome 3 from an alternative planet. It seems Gnome’s developers decided to stick with the way Gnome 2 worked.

Ubuntu Budgie is made for everyone who seeks a beautiful but straightforward desktop, which will work as expected but isn’t lacking in modern features and aesthetics.

Great Welcome Window

The Budgie flavor comes with a stellar Welcome Window that links to all the options anyone may need to tweak after installing a new operating system.

Friendly, Modern Desktop

By default, it presents a bar at the top of the screen where you can access the primary menu, see the time and jump to related settings (and the calendar) as well as a group of icons on the right side. From there, you can access QuickNote that runs by default, jump to folders in your home directory or check the contents of removable devices, check out and control the network and audio, and access the usual logout/shutdown menu.

Instead of including a task panel in its main bar, Ubuntu Budgie relies on the Plank launcher for access to favorite apps and the juggling of active ones.

Budgie desktop offers nine different themes that you can either apply instantly or install. What’s even better is that it also offers different Desktop Layout themes, with two that will probably look more friendly to people coming from Windows or Mac.

Budgie desktop bundles together its notifications with a group of applets. They are accessible from individual icons displayed in the tray we described above and presented as two tabs in the same panel on the right side of the screen. Those applets consist of a mini-calendar and audio controls – global, application, and device-based.

Ubuntu Kylin

Unlike the other flavors of Ubuntu that target the whole world, Ubuntu Kylin is made for the Chinese audience. Although its beautiful UKUI desktop environment might render it enticing to everyone outside China, it ends up feeling restrictive, like you have to jump through hoops to use it.

Original Desktop

Ubuntu Kylin’s UKUI desktop doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It presents the classic taskbar on the bottom of the screen with a primary menu button on the left, followed by links to favorite apps, a list of active windows, and finally, a tray with icons on the right side of the screen.


Ubuntu Kylin offers its own software center, and this is where people outside China may start looking for a different distribution.

Unfortunately, everything in Kylin Software Center is in Chinese, with the occasional English program name. That includes its interface, all category names, buttons, and menu entries. And there doesn’t seem to be an option to change the language.

Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE is closer to Kubuntu in that, based on the MATE desktop environment, it presents a modern take on classic desktop tropes. As a true evolution of the Gnome 2 desktop environment, MATE is familiar and easy to use but doesn’t lack polish and shine.

Like Ubuntu Budgie, this is as close to a stable but modern Gnome 2 distribution as anyone can get. In direct comparison, MATE leans more toward classic Gnome 2 compared to the more modern Budgie.

Friendly and Useful Welcome Window

On the first bootup, Ubuntu MATE shows a Welcome window that contains useful options.

A “Getting Started” section presents links to all the options that are useful after a new installation. These allow you to:

Download updates and drivers

Change the language and input

Set up backups

Configure network shares

Configure the firewall

Set up users

Install new software

Install new color themes and swap between their “default,” light, and dark variants

Change the Desktop Layout between four choices: the default MATE setup with two bars at the top and bottom of the screen, one that mimics Unity with a bar on top of the screen and a launcher on the left side, and the two expected options that work like Windows or Mac OS X.

Install more browsers and choose which one you want as the default.

You can configure the most critical aspects of your desktop from this window, then start using your computer without having to hunt down more settings.

A Desktop for Everyone

Ubuntu MATE offers eight layout styles, and you’ll find at least one that feels familiar and friendly.

There is also an updated notification center that allows the user to define the number of visible notifications, automatically discard notifications by specific applications, and toggle a “Do Not Disturb” mode.


The installation of new software is done through MATE’s Software Boutique, which feels more polished than the default Ubuntu store and KDE’s Discover app. There doesn’t seem to be a preference to snap versions of applications, but at the same time, it looks like the Software Boutique gives access to a somewhat limited selection of software.


Xubuntu comes with the XFCE desktop environment that skips glossy graphics and useless fluff to offer a light and breezy desktop experience. Although it’s fully featured as a desktop, it’s also resource-friendly enough to use on older or lower-end PCs.

Xubuntu is probably the only relatively “resource-lite” version of Ubuntu that’s best suited for old and underpowered PCs.

Straightforward Desktop Experience

XFCE comes with a “dark” spin on its default “Greybird” theme, and four other styles that change how the visual elements look (toolbars, buttons, menus, windows, etc.). Unfortunately, for optimal results, you have to tweak the visual settings at two different spots.


Xubuntu uses the same software store as Ubuntu. If you need to install more applications, they’re only a snap away.

Ubuntu Studio

The new version of this media-centric flavor gets all the benefits of the new kernel but is more of an evolution from the previous releases. It comes bundled with multimedia applications for every need, from audio to DTP. Theoretically, after its installation, you already have everything you need to make your own movie from scratch, from writing the first draft of its scenario to color-correcting and compressing the final cut.

It’s worth noting that its maintainers decided to jump ship from XFCE to KDE since version 20.10 due to its “better tools for graphic artists and photographers.” Thus, if you are upgrading from an older version of Ubuntu Studio, you may experience software breakage.


Unlike the previous entries, Edubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor that does not stray away from the default Ubuntu look. Instead, it aims to provide a complete and comprehensive collection of educational software. This makes Edubuntu the perfect Ubuntu flavor if you are looking for an all-in-one kid-friendly Linux distribution.

For Learning and Play

While Edubuntu is primarily focused on providing a learning environment for students, it also comes with a bunch of high quality and informative games. For example, the default install comes with both the GCompris and gbrainy out of the box.

Good to know: education-focused programs come in all shapes and sizes. Learn more about some of the best kid-friendly software in Linux today.


Similar to a regular Ubuntu desktop, Edubuntu also comes with the Ubuntu Software Center. This means that you can install almost any type of software on top of the flavor’s carefully curated selection.

Aside from that, another key feature of Edubuntu is its ability to quickly customize and manage the software available in the system. It does this through the “Edubuntu Installer” and “Edubuntu Menu Administration” utilities.

Ubuntu Cinnamon

Ubuntu Cinnamon is a relatively new flavor that aims to provide an official, Canonical-endorsed Ubuntu variant that uses Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop environment. It works by pulling the sources for Cinnamon straight from Linux Mint and only including the most essential packages.

Desktop Flexibility with Spices

For example, you can install the QRedshift applet that provides an easy-to-use interface for controlling your screen’s color temperature. Meanwhile, you can also install larger extensions, such as gTile, that can convert your desktop into a tiling window manager.

FYI: learn how to take your Linux desktop to the next level by installing bspwm and sxhkd.


Ubuntu Cinnamon also comes with the default Ubuntu Software Center. It is possible to install both traditional software packages and modern web apps without any additional configurations.

Ubuntu Unity

Ubuntu Unity is an elegant flavor that aims to provide an accessible yet powerful distribution centered around the classic Unity desktop. It does this by using the original Unity7 environment and modifying it to use the latest MATE software suite.

Spearheading Unity Development

The developers of Ubuntu Unity also took the mantle and started to maintain the legacy Unity7 environment. This includes updating dependency requirements as well as fixing outstanding bugs in the desktop code. As a result of that, the Unity desktop is now faster and works on other Linux distributions, such as Manjaro and Gentoo.

Aside from maintenance, Ubuntu Unity also pushes the boundaries of the Unity7 desktop. For example, a recent update introduced a new menu interface as well as a built-in notification applet that allowed you to see new system events.


One of the biggest downsides of using Ubuntu Unity is that it does not have a graphical software store. You need to be familiar with basic APT and Snap commands to install, modify and remove programs.

Tip: Learn how to use your distro’s package manager effectively through our cheatsheet.

Frequently Asked Questions Is it possible to switch to a different Ubuntu flavor?

Yes and no. It is possible to install the desktop environment and software packages that come with an Ubuntu flavor. However, an Ubuntu flavor often comes with specific package versions and configurations that a software package might not cover.

Can you use snap packages on Kubuntu?

Yes. You can do this by running the snap command from your command line. For example, running sudo snap install firefox will bypass the Firefox APT package and install its Snap version.

Is it possible to upgrade from Ubuntu 17.04 to Ubuntu Unity?

No. While Ubuntu Unity uses a slightly modified version of the Unity7 desktop, it does not support any direct upgrades from either Ubuntu 16.04 or 17.04.

Image credit: Unsplash (Background), Wikimedia Commons (Logo). All alterations and screenshots by Ramces Red.

Ramces Red

Ramces is a technology writer that lived with computers all his life. A prolific reader and a student of Anthropology, he is an eccentric character that writes articles about Linux and anything *nix.

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Linux In Manufacturing: Building Linux Up

Kaiser Aluminum’s fabrication plant in Spokane, Wash., is 58-years old. But that doesn’t mean the plant, which is owned by the $3 billion manufacturing giant, is relying on outdated information technology. Kaiser’s plant is running a good portion of its manufacturing functions on Linux, using the open source operating system to roll 43,000-pound aluminum ingots into sheets of metal that will ultimately be turned into things like airplane wings or soda cans.

While Linux has become commonplace for Web servers, it’s still a rare sight in the manufacturing world. But with Kaiser and a few other companies leading the way, vendors and software makers that support the manufacturing industry are slowly porting their applications to the open source operating system.

Tom Cook, manager of manufacturing systems at the Kaiser plant, said he decided to use Linux in the manufacturing process when Kaiser reengineered its computing architecture several years ago. He and the programmers and engineers who work with him first designed their requirements. Then they found the solutions to meet those requirements. Linux was one. Kaiser is also running Unix, Windows NT, and specialized real-time control systems in various parts of the rolling mill operation.

There are more than 20 Linux systems in the plant’s production environment, Cook said. They track quality control, manage machines, monitor the production process, and produce quality reports.

Kaiser is also using Linux to run Oracle database software that tracks chemistry at the mill. In addition, many of Kaiser’s manufacturing systems engineers are running Linux on their workstations and Kaiser uses Linux servers for sharing files. The company is using Linux boxes from Interlogic Industries Inc., and VA Linux Systems Inc.

It is not easy to find manufacturers that are using Linux on the manufacturing floor — or at least those that are willing to talk about it. But more and more software vendors that serve the manufacturing industry are porting their products to Linux. Integrated Business Systems & Services Inc. (IBSS), for example, this year certified its Synapse Manufacturing system for Linux. IBSS offers a fully configurable manufacturing system that includes full plant automation, production control, tracking, and order fulfillment.

“We’re seeing an increased interest from our customers in Linux,” said chief executive Harry Langley. “Linux is growing in market share. It is an excellent platform choice for midsize and large manufacturing companies because of its reliability enhanced performance, remote administration functionality, and cost effectiveness.”

The small Columbia, S.C., company currently has three customers using its software. So far, none of them have requested the Linux version. But Don Futch, vice president of business development, said he thinks that will change once hardware manufacturers offer increased Linux support. Linux may also gain ground if Microsoft fails to deliver its Windows 2000 enterprise version on time, he added.

MSC.Software Corp., whose customers include the world’s largest aerospace and car manufacturers, is another vendor that has ported its software to Linux. The Los Angeles company currently offers a software package for Linux on Hewlett-Packard hardware, and soon will offer one with NEC. Clark would not disclose which customers were using MSC’s Linux version, but said it was fewer than a dozen.

Like IBSS, MSC.Software introduced its Linux version because it is cheaper for companies than comparable Unix versions, said Jay Clark, director of business development. “Any extreme performance simulation will require substantial horsepower, where the price-performance benefits of Linux will be huge,” Clark said. “A lot of those companies are still in the Unix realm and Linux is a great cost of ownership choice for those companies.”

Some companies are so convinced that Linux can be used successfully in the manufacturing space that their entire business model is focused on that area. One of them is Lineo Inc., a Lindon, Utah, company that develops embedded Linux and real-time Linux software.

Dave Beal, product marketing manager for real-time solutions at Lineo, said the company’s Real-Time Linux software is being used in small milling machines and computer numeric control machines.

Beal said companies will begin moving away from proprietary software now as product cycles end. “The timing is very good now. Proprietary systems on hardware have a 10 to 15 year lifespan and there are a lot of vendors coming to the end of that lifespan. The timing is good for (customers) to be looking around for alternative solutions.”

While few manufacturing firms have yet to embrace Linux, those that have say the choice is a good one. “Having done it, we’re quite pleased,” said Kaiser’s Cook.

Just How Fat Are We?

After a quarter-century rise, obesity prevalence has not increased since 2004. Still, 72 million adults (34%) are obese. Efforts are under way to reduce this to 15%, a level not seen since 1980.


** State Lines**

Obesity, defined as a body-mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, is not equally distributed across the U.S. Check out this map to find out which state is the fattest (hint: it’s the namesake of mud pie), which is the thinnest (think Coors Light), and which spends the most money on obesity-related health care (its governor pumps iron).

Read on, after the break, for more of America’s (and the world’s) fat facts.

Hit the Ceiling?

After a quarter-century rise, obesity prevalence has not increased since 2004. Still, 72 million adults (34%) are obese. Efforts are under way to reduce this to 15%, a level not seen since 1980.

Big Little Kids

Obesity rates in Americans ages 12 to 19 have more than tripled since 1980.


Fat Happy Meals

Children should consume only around 1,300 calories a day, or about 430 calories per meal. But kiddie combos at most top fast-food chains far exceed that recommended limit. One meal- chicken fingers, cinnamon apples and chocolate milk from Chili’s- delivers 1,020 calories. Here, the percentage of meals on kids’ menus that exceeds the 430-calorie limit.

How Many Calories Does the Average American Consume Each Day?

We eat more than we need. Although the average person requires 2,000 calories a day, by one estimate Americans consume 3,766.


Obese and Overweight Adults by Country

Believe it or not, the U.S. isn’t the most obese country on the planet (we’re sixth). We’re not even the most overweight (defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.9). Here, the top eight countries in each category: obese or overweight.


Trouble at Work

Obese workers cost employees more in medical, disability, and workers’-compensation claims.

The Bill

What an average firm with 1,000 employees faces per year in extra costs associated with obesity


Percent of American adults who have reported weight discrimination

The Hidden Toll

Inkcase I7 Review : Iphone Gets Another Face

InkCase i7 Review : iPhone gets another face

The case itself checks off my list for needs in a smartphone case – it’s protective, it’s sufficiently grippy, and it doesn’t make the phone too big to fit in my pocket. I’m fairly forgiving when it comes to big cases, but there is a limit – and this InkCase i7 model is well within my bounds for size. The protective elements are here, which means I can move on to the more unique features.

NOTE: This case adds 4.5mm / 0.18in to the back of the iPhone – which means it is not relegated to the protective layer. If you’re all about that protection without anything special added on, I recommend the Silicone Case straight from Apple. At this moment there’s simply nothing better when it comes to basic protection, grip, and style.

The E Ink display on this device is a Carta 1.2 E Ink panel. It’s 540 x 960 in its “Plus” iteration – which means its around 217PPI. The smaller case is 4.3-inches while the larger “Plus” screen is 5.2-inches. It’s sharp enough to display some rather sharp images and well above and beyond sharp enough to read text with.

The app that pairs with the case connects with Bluetooth, and the Bluetooth connection is swift. The only time the phone will really need to connect to the case – or the only times I’ve needed to so far – are in sending images and PDF files for reading. There’s also a “realtime selfie” mode which displays what the device sees from its back-facing camera in a very strange vision – which allows the back-facing camera to be used as a “selfie” camera.

Much like the iPhone itself, the case is resistant to water, and dust ingress. The case is certified IP67 – which is the same as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus itself. IP means International Protection (from the IEC) while 6 means “no ingress of dust, complete protection against contact (dust tight)” for 8 hour periods. Don’t leave your case or your iPhone out in the desert longer than that. The 7 in the rating means it can be underwater for up to 30 minutes up to 1-meter deep.

This device needs to be charged on its own – and it does include its own unique charging cable, which is generally a bummer. I’ve got so many different cables I’m surprised I don’t lose contact with the vast majority of them on a regular basis – I’m not a fan of needing more. On the other hand, this cable connects with magnets, which makes it intuitive enough to not be a deal-breaker.

This device allows the user to sync with the iPhone to attain to-do lists as well as the current time, date, and a basic look at the weather forecast. These elements shown on the case instead of the main display of my iPhone should be saving me some battery time. I’ve not noticed a MAJOR change in my daily phone-checking experience though – on the contrary – I’ve been using my phone MORE now that I have this case.

Because I can use the case to read a book, and because I can change the picture on the case whenever I like, I can’t stop using it. It’s too entertaining. Thus far I’ve found the whole setup to be more of a fun experience than a battery-saver.

This case can be attained through the Oaxis homepage which will likely lead to the Kickstarter for the newest version of the device for around $89 USD. That’s for the “Plus” version of the case, while there’s also a standard version for the smaller iPhone. This is just the newest version of the E Ink case collection for the iPhone as made by Oaxis – they’ve been doing this for a while!

NOTE: This case should not be mistaken for the Popslate E Ink case we looked at back in 2024. That wasn’t quite the end product we’d hoped for. This new Oaxis-made case is far more of a real deal than that other piece of equipment ended up being.

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