Apps We Use: James’ Essentials [osx & Ios]

As the lead developer and head of everything tech here at MakeUseOf, most of my time is spent coding things and emailing people. My requirements aren’t hugely complicated, and I don’t use any “getting things done” systems, nor am I am productivity hound. I find simple works best and don’t enjoy life in the fast lane.

Read on to find out the tools and apps I consider essential – on both OSX, and iOS.

Evernote (Free)

For a long time, I ignored the legions of Evernote fans, confident that I didn’t need something that collates random notes – I had folders already, for God’s sake! But after just a week of having a central place to store all my writing and actually committing to use it, I am now proud to say I’m an Evernote convert. Being able to access my notes from anywhere – mobile, desktop or even web client – regardless of the OS, is just fantastic.

I’ve created notebooks for article drafts (I’m writing this directly into Evernote), topics to discuss on Technophila, a visual To-Do list of things around the home, garden or allotment, a shopping list, and finally a collection of clipped tutorials from the web in a “read me later” notebook; and even af home inventory with pictures and receipts.

In short, Evernote is an incredibly versatile app that can easily replace many smaller, specialized apps or services. If you’re new to Evernote, our free Evernote guide is one click away. That said, I haven’t yet converted to Evernote Premium – so if you can think of a good reason why I should, tell me in the comments.

essential os x apps

Reeder ($4.99)

Reeder is a simple RSS client for both iOS and OSX that’s fast to navigate – and it integrates nicely into Evernote so I can fling articles around like a ninja. Despite Google killing off their Reader API and web client, RSS is very much not dead and Twitter will never be a suitable replacement.

Reeder does currently use Google Reader API to sync, but the developer has hinted that there’ll be a suitable replacement in time for the shutdown, so I’m not really worried – unlike some people who are scrabbling about for Google Reader replacements.

essential os x software


The standard OSX desktop mail client. Boring? Perhaps – most of my fellow writers swear by Gmail (here’s our free Gmail guide if you’re that way inclined) – but I prefer to have my email on the desktop rather than sitting in a web browser – with over 50 browser tabs constantly open, locating the email one would be a nightmare.

I don’t fiddle around with labels, I don’t file things efficiently, I have 850 messages in my inbox that really ought to be either responded to or actioned, and I even email myself occasionally as a reminder to do something important. I’m pretty much the worst kind of email user ever – I don’t even use a signature.

That said, I’m still awaiting the native version of Mail Pilot, which should allow me to treat my inbox like a to-do list, which is basically how I use it anyway. So I’ll use that as a more exciting screenshot instead!

essential os x software


For winding down, my Network Attached Storage device is full of movies and runs a native Plex server; a Plex client on both Mac and PC ensures I can watch them anywhere. If you have no idea what Plex is – we have a free guide for that too (yes, we have a lot of free guides – you should probably go check them all out actually, before you forget).

Plex is a fork of XBMC that I’ve written about before – it’s simply a beautiful media centre designed to be used with a 10-foot interface. Plex’ meta handling is perhaps the strongest of all media centres, with movies automatically categorized, DVD covers and features shots all downloaded for you.

essential os x software

Alien Blue ($3.99)

Finally, I couldn’t finish without mentioning my ultimate in-bed time waster app – Alien Blue for the iPad. It is, quite simply, the only way I will consider browsing Reddit – though I have dabbled with OSX Reddit clients in the past.

essential os x apps

As you can see, I like to keep it fairly simple – there’s aren’t many apps that make it onto my real daily essentials. I do use Chrome, but I also use Safari, so I felt favoring one over the other here might make them jealous. Most of these apps are of course featured on the Best Mac Apps, Best iPad Apps, and Best iPhone Apps pages too, so be sure to check those out if you haven’t already got a million tabs open.

Do you think there’s another essential OS X apps that I could really MakeUseOf?

The Best Graphic Tablets And Programs To Use If You Want To Break Into Digital Cartoon Design

Cartoonists and comic creators are moving away from traditional pen and paper. Today, artists can use graphic tablets which allow them to achieve the same results on their computers.

If you’re just starting out on your digital art journey, you’ll need to buy a graphic tablet and download an appropriate editing app. It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning to draw manga comics or you dream of becoming the next Joseph Barbera, having the correct tools is half the battle.

But which tablets and apps are right for you? In this article, we’re going to introduce you to the five of the best graphic tablets for beginners, then recommend some software for you to use.

Graphic Tablets

In recent years, there’s been an explosion in the number of graphic tablets on the market. Top-end models—such as the Wacom Cintiq 22HD—now retail for more than $1,750. If you’re already an established artist, it’s money well spent. But if you’re a beginner who’s looking for your first big break, spending so much money on your first device would be foolish.

Instead, you should set your sights a bit lower. Here are some tools for you to consider, each of which is aimed at different subsets of users and has different price points.

1. Wacom Intuos Pro

“For the wannabe professional.”

If you’re confident in your abilities and happy to spend the money on a quality tablet, you can’t go far wrong with the Wacom Intuos Pro. At $479, it’s considerably cheaper than the market-leading Cintiq, but it still packs a powerful punch.

The tablet comes in three different sizes, but you shouldn’t consider purchasing anything other than the 16.8″ x 11.2″ (42.6cm x 28.4cm) large edition. For $100 more, you can upgrade to the Paper version. It lets you export your pen-on-paper doodles directly to your computer.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Pen tilt recognition
  • 5080 LPI
  • 200 points per second
  • Support for multi-touch gestures
  • Eight customizable express keys
  • Wacom Grip Pen included

What Are People Saying?

CNET—“It’s an essential buy for creatives who do a lot of digital freehand sketching.”
Fstoppers—“The Intuos Pro is an absolute joy to use . . . It’ll pay for itself in the time you save.”

2. Huion H610PRO

“The best entry-level model for hobbyists.”

If digital cartoon design is a hobby rather than a career, you should consider the Huion H610PRO. It costs $72.99 but consistently scores highly among users. It boasts an average of four stars from more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon.

Measuring 10″ x 6.25″ (25.4cm x 15.875cm), it’s significantly smaller than the Wacom Intuos Pro. As such, it’s unsuitable for professionals or people who like to work on large projects across several monitors. However, for beginners, its “bang for your buck” is unrivaled.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Eight customizable express keys
  • 16 mappable hotkeys
  • 200 report rate
  • Weighs 635 grams
  • Left-handed driver for southpaws
  • Compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook, Manga Studio, Clip Studio, and Zbrush
  • Battery-free P80 Huion stylus included

What Are People Saying?

Fstoppers—“If you don’t own a tablet yet, don’t have the budget for a Wacom, or you’re looking for a smaller and cheaper digital art board to travel with, do not look further, this is most likely the solution for you.”
Tablets for Artists—“If you’re looking for a professional-quality drawing tablet that’s great value, the Huion 610 Pro is worthy of consideration.”

3. Ugee 1910B

“Simulates a traditional pen-and-paper experience”

Unlike the Wacom Intuos Pro and the Huion H610PRO, the Ugee 1910B shows your artwork in real-time on its screen. Accordingly, many users will find that the tablet provides a more natural usage experience; it feels like you’re working on a piece of paper rather than a computer.

It costs $409. That’s not much cheaper than the Intuos, but significantly less expensive than the similarly-equipped Cintiq. Much of your purchase decision will boil down to whether you would enjoy using the 19-inch 5080 LPI screen.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 1440 x 900 screen resolution
  • 800:1 contrast ratio
  • 16.7 million display colors
  • 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity
  • Multi-angle adjustable stand
  • P50S Graphic Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Tablets for Artists—“The Ugee is a fine choice for artists on a budget, for students, or beginners wanting to try a tablet monitor without a big investment.”
Art’s Art Reviews—“The Ugee 1910B is a tablet display that may serve as a good alternative to the more expensive displays such as Wacom’s Cintiq line.”

4. Wacom CTL-471 ONE

“The cheapest graphic tablet worth buying.”

The Wacom CTL-471 ONE ONE is in direct competition with the Huion H610PRO. If you’ve used Wacom tablets before, or you trust the Wacom brand name more than Huion, the $39 CTL-471 ONE represents a sensible purchase.

Wacom primarily aims the product at people who’ve never owned a graphic tablet before. In addition to painting, drawing, and sketching capabilities, it’s also ideal for editing photos and using on-the-go. Ultimately, with 4.5 stars on Amazon, you know you’re going to get a quality product.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 1024 pressure levels of sensitivity
  • 2540 LPI
  • Weighs 240 grams
  • 152 x 95 mm active area
  • No multi-touch support
  • Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Art’s Art Reviews—“If you are a beginner looking for your first tablet, the Wacom CTL471 will serve you well. Just make sure you’re comfortable with the area of drawing space that this tablet provides.”
Sweet Monia—“It can be an excellent choice for first graphics tablets owners, it can also be a great option for those looking for a second tablet to carry on-the-go.”

5. XP-Pen Artist 16

“A slightly cheaper alternative to the Ugee 1910B.”

At $490, the XP-Pen Artist 16 is more expensive than the Ugee 1910B. Apart from the price, there is little difference between them. Both let you design directly on the monitor’s surface.

The tablet’s biggest selling point is the quality of its screen; the 1080p 15.6″ FHD IPS display looks stunning. Size-wise, it measures 15.9″ x 8.6″ (40.5cm x 25.5 cm), making it slightly smaller than the Ugee.

best graphic design tablets

Quick Specs

  • 16.7 million display colors
  • 1,000:1 contrast ratio
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2048 pressure sensitivity levels
  • 5080 LPI
  • 200 reports per second
  • Pen included

What Are People Saying?

Parkablogs—“Drawing performance is good. The pressure sensitivity works very well. The display is responsive, and lines appear instantly as they are drawn. There’s no lag.”
Surface Pro Artist—“The Artist 16’s FHD (1920 x 1080) display and 2048 pressure levels should be sufficient to satisfy most entry- and mid-level users.”

Graphics Editing Programs

The graphics editing program is the software the cartoonist uses with a graphic tablet in order to draw on the computer. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll focus on software that specializes in producing 2D raster art.

Photoshop and Corel Painter

“The professional options.”

Photoshop and Corel Painter are two of the most powerful tools used by professionals in the comic industry. They come with a wide array of brushes, effects, and plug-ins that provide digital cartoonists with all the versatility they need to produce beautiful art.

Additional features include support for layered editing and masks, professional text editing for typographers, and more.

best graphic design tablets

Photoshop Elements

“The perfect balance of price and functionality.”

Photoshop Elements is targeted at hobbyist cartoonists and the occasional user. It’s sold at a fraction of what Photoshop sells at, and may be given as a freebie when purchasing certain graphic tablets.

It doesn’t include many of the advanced features that Photoshop has, including advanced selection and editing tools, advanced text editing, and support for CMYK coloring.


“A free option for beginners.”

GIMP is a free, open-source alternative to Photoshop. It runs on all major operating systems and is designed to work smoothly with Wacom tablets.

The app provides most of the same core functionality as Photoshop offers (for 2D image editing) and is a true lifesaver for anyone who needs basic features while saving money.

Which Graphics Tablet Will You Buy?

In this piece, we’ve introduced you to five of the best graphic tablets for anyone who wants to break into digital cartoon design.

Now it’s your turn to contribute. Which graphic tablet would you recommend to a beginner? What makes it so unique? Or perhaps you’ve already used one of the five devices we covered? If so, let us know what you thought of it.

As always, you can leave all your opinions and input in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Sergey Nivens via

The Easiest Way To Receive Files Directly In Dropbox

Ever wish you could receive photos, documents, and other files from people straight into your Dropbox? Well, you can do just that with Dropbox’s file requests.

This new feature allows you to get files from people — even from those who don’t have Dropbox accounts themselves. These files are delivered directly to any Dropbox folder of your choice. It really is that simple.

To start requesting files, visit the Dropbox requests page or open Dropbox’s Web interface and click on File requests in the sidebar. On the next screen, click the Create a file request button.

You can then specify a title for the files you’re requesting and the folder in which you want them to go. Fill in those details and click on Next.


You should now get a unique file request link. Share it with the people you want to collect files from. Dropbox will even email them the link for you if you just type in their email addresses.

Complete the file request process by clicking on Done. Rest assured that the files you receive will be private. Only you can see them.


It’s a convenient way to receive files, wouldn’t you say?

Were you aware of Dropbox’s file request feature and do you use it? Or do you use a third-party service to receive files instead? Tell us your preference!

Image Credit: tanuha2001 /

Pinside: Easily Create Shareable Sticky Notes Online

Most of us forget the little tasks we need to do daily. What can remind us of these tasks are sticky notes. Here to help you create online sticky notes that can also be shared with others is a web service called Pinside.

shareable sticky notes

Pinside is a free to use web service that helps you easily create online sticky notes. You start by creating an account on the website and then naming a canvas for your sticky notes. Your canvas has a unique URL that can be shared with others by setting the canvas’s privacy as public or by inviting others to the canvas through their email address.

You can add as many sticky notes as you like and with each note you can add an image URL as well, for your reference. The site lets you email all canvas viewers about individual new notes you make.


  • A user-friendly web service.
  • Lets you create sticky notes online.
  • Notes are shareable with others.
  • Lets you create separate walls of notes with unique URLs.
  • Similar tools: Corkboard, Pindax and WallWisher.

Check out Pinside @

Android Only: 10 Apps That Aren’t Available On Iphone Or Ipad

Do Android phones finally have better apps than the iPhone? The iTunes App Store has historically been the first choice for developers, but things are changing. There is now a large number of Android-exclusive apps that will make any iPhone owner jealous.

The Google Play Store and the Android developer community is growing faster than Apple’s ecosystem now, ending 2014 with 1.43 million apps compared to iOS’s 1.21 million, according to a recent report. And these aren’t just fluffy numbers full of unwanted apps. Android increasingly has quality software you won’t find on iOS.

AirDroid (Free)

If we had to nominate one app that makes Android superior to iOS, it would be AirDroid. The recent AirDroid 3 update made it easier than ever to manage your Android from your PC.

It’s a web-based client for your phone, so anywhere you are, you can fire up AirDroid in a browser and access your phone’s contents, copy-paste files, reply to texts, and do almost everything you’d want to do. If you have a rooted phone (how to root any phone), you can even mirror your Android’s screen to your Windows or Mac. It’s just brilliant.

Closest iOS Equivalent: Honestly, there’s nothing. Continuity, a set of features introduced in the most recent Mac OS X update, is somewhat comparable, but it’s not really in the same league.

Google Keep (Free)

To-do lists are a dime a dozen, but Google Keep sets itself apart by how smart it is and how easy it is to add items. Keep works with Google Now to let you add notes on the go by talking, and couples it with reminders based on time or location. Plus, you can colour-code these notes and lists to make them easy to identify.

Closest iOS Equivalent: TurboNote is an unofficial iOS client for Google Keep, but it’s still not as good as the real thing.

Unclouded (Free | $1.99 for Premium)


In the simplest terms, Unclouded is a disk space analyzer for your cloud storage. Sign in with your Google Drive or Dropbox and it will figure out how much space you have used, whether you have duplicate files, where the space is getting filled (like Google Photos or Gmail), and so on.

It’s a dashboard of how you are using your cloud storage, so that you can finally start cleaning it up.

Closest iOS Equivalent: We didn’t find anything like this app on iOS, but if you know of any, drop a line in the comments!

DashClock Widget (Free)


There are some things Android users take for granted that iPhone users just can’t do. Customization is at the top of that list, especially in how your homescreen and your lock screen looks. More than just a lockscreen replacement for Android, DashClock is the best app for any lockscreen.

It’s a widget that works with most lockscreens, serving up notifications from your phone in a beautiful, yet functional way. DashClock extensions let it hook up with most of the popular apps out there, letting you interact with them in meaningful ways without ever unlocking your phone.

Closest iOS Equivalent: Nothing. You can’t customize the lockscreen in iOS.

SwipePad (Free)

SwipePad is probably the longest-lasting app on my phones. It’s the fastest way to multi-task and launch apps on Android. Mark any side of your phone as a trigger point, and when you swipe inwards from there, you’ll see a grid of your favourite apps.

All of this is done without removing your thumb from the screen, which makes it quick and convenient. There are other such quick launchers, but nothing like SwipePad.

Closest iOS Equivalent: You can only multitask in the default manner on iOS, i.e., by double-tapping the Home button.

Yahoo Aviate Launcher (Free)

Changing your home screen is one of the best Android tweaks without rooting, and Aviate Launcher is one of the best home screen replacements out there. Aviate intelligently recommends apps depending on your needs, and lets you categorize them for easy access. It takes a little getting used to, but about a week into it, you’ll fall in love.

While Aviate is great, it might not be for everyone. The Google Play Store has such a wide variety of options, you should figure out which Android launcher is best for you.

Closest iOS Equivalent: Nothing. You can’t customize the home screen in iOS

ES File Explorer (Free)


Yet another thing the iPhone can’t do, unless it is jailbroken, is let you browse around its file system. No such problems on Google’s OS, and ES File Explorer is the best file manager for Android.

You can do almost anything that any file manager on Windows or other operating systems will let you. In fact, you can also link cloud-based drives like Dropbox, letting you run multiple Dropbox accounts on the same phone.

Closest iOS Equivalent: There are plenty of apps for jailbroken iPhones, but there are compelling security reasons not to jailbreak in the first place.

Zikk (Free)

You probably know someone who needs help with their phone. Zikk makes remote assistance easy. Just install the app on both phones and the expert can access the novice’s essential settings.

You can control the other’s WiFi settings, display settings, location services, contacts, and even remotely remove or install apps. It’s a game-changer for those who are used to getting a tech-help call from family or friends.

Closest iOS Equivalent: There is nothing like Zikk on iOS.

Link Bubble (Free | $3.99 for Pro)

When you are scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, you probably see a lot of interesting links. But tapping usually means being taken away from your timeline to a browser. It’s a silly system, but Link Bubble makes it better. Tap a link and it will open in a floating browser, collapsed into a floating icon.

This icon has a loading bar to let you know when you the page is done loading. This way, you can return to your timeline, keep scrolling, and go back to links when you’re done or when the pages are done loading.

Closest iOS Equivalent: We couldn’t find any similar app on iOS, but if you know of any, drop a line in the comments!

Press ($2.99)

Anyone who thinks the most beautiful apps are always on iOS needs to take a look at Press. This Android-exclusive app is the most beautiful RSS reader we have seen, and it has gotten better since we last reviewed it. It imports data from Feedly, Feedbin, Feed Wrangler and Fever, and puts it all in an interface that is easy on the eyes. The focus here is minimalism and readability, along with gestures for easy actions.

There are plenty of other cool RSS readers on Android too, several of them also on iOS.

Closest iOS Equivalent: There are some beautiful RSS readers on iOS too, like Unread. But Press still tops it.

Bonus: Tasker ($2.99) [Root Required]



Root access lets users do things on Android that are impossible on iOS. The best app to explore all the possibilities is Tasker, which lets you set up if-this-then-that rules for almost anything on your phone

For example, triple-clicking your power button can activate Silent mode, or you can set your phone to start your calendar app as soon as it connects to your office WiFi. The possibilities are endless. In fact, you can pair it with IFTTT for the perfect automation duo.

If Tasker isn’t your scene, there are other automation apps like Llama. The Play Store is full of such options.

Closest iOS Equivalent: Workflow is a similar app for iOS, but it still doesn’t do half the things Tasker will let you.

What’s Your Android-Exclusive Favourite?

This is not a comprehensive list by any yardstick. So tell us, if there is one app that makes you choose Android over iPhone, which one is it?

How To Increase Storage On Your Raspberry Pi

Most people run a Raspberry Pi with just an 8GB SD card. But is this really enough? What if you needed more space? Here’s how to make more space on Raspbian by removing unwanted packages, or simply adding storage.

Use a Bigger microSD Card

The first option you should consider for extra space on your Raspberry Pi is a bigger SD card.

While 8GB is currently the most common size of microSD card for Pi operating systems, larger options are available. You’ll even find a few Pi-compatible distros that can fit on smaller-capacity SD cards.

Once you have your operating system installed, however, all you have left to play with is the rest of the card. This might be okay if you have a 64GB card, but it’s bordeline useless if you’ve squeezed your Raspberry Pi’s OS onto a 4GB card.

But even if you are using a larger card, space may prove to be an issue. This is because writing the disk image to your microSD card creates a partition. The result is that the rest of the disk is unusable unless you expand the file system. Fortunately, this is simple to do if you’re using a Raspbian (or Raspbian-based) OS.

Raspberry Pi, storage, flash memory

In the Raspbian desktop, open the menu and find Preferences > Raspberry Pi Configuration. The first option on the System tab is Expand Filesystem. Click this, then wait a moment. You should soon see a confirmation box, so click OK. Note the warning: “The new space will not be available until you reboot your Raspberry Pi.” To take advantage of the full storage of your SD card, reboot.

If you prefer to use the command line, meanwhile, enter:

sudo raspi-config

In the resulting menu, select Expand Filesystem.

Raspberry Pi, storage, flash memory

Confirm the choice, then wait. You’ll soon see a message informing you that the “Root partition has been resized.” After rebooting, the filesystem will be expanded to fill the partition, giving you the full benefit of the SD card’s storage.

Connect USB Storage to Your Raspberry Pi

Another option to make more space on your Raspberry Pi is to add USB storage. This is particularly useful if you’re running a Raspberry Pi 3, as it’s also possible to install the operating system to USB.

Raspberry Pi, storage, flash memory

While expanding the filesystem is recommended regardless of your microSD card’s capacity, embracing the possibilities of USB storage will ensure you never run out of space for your projects. USB ports on the Raspberry Pi are limited to USB 2.0 (even on the Raspberry Pi 3B+), but USB 3.0 devices can still be used—they’ll just be limited to USB 2.0 speeds.

Raspberry Pi, storage, flash memory

USB storage options for the Raspberry Pi are straightforward. It might be a compact thumb drive with flash memory, or an external hard disk drive. You might, however, prefer to connect something faster like a solid state drive, although these are less durable. You might even fancy connecting a USB DVD drive to your Raspberry Pi!

Whatever you decide, just make sure the external device is receiving its own power supply. The limits of the Raspberry Pi mean that while it might be powerful enough for a USB thumb drive, it won’t be able to independently handle a DVD drive or HDD, so they’ll need their own power.

Switch to a Lightweight Linux Distro

The smaller the operating system, the more space you’ll have on your Raspberry Pi. So it makes sense to opt for a distro (or some other Raspberry Pi-friendly OS) that is designed to take up as little space as possible.

How to Increase Storage on Your Raspberry Pi muo linux raspberrypi lightweight distro

While several compact Linux distributions are available for desktops, things are a bit different for the Raspberry Pi. The choice is smaller, and probably starts with Raspbian Lite. This is a smaller version of the main Raspbian OS, with much of the software removed. While the main Raspbian Stretch distro is over 4GB to download, Raspbian Stretch Lite is just 1.2GB.

Other options are available, such as DietPi, which is based on Debian Jessie, and piCore, a Pi-centric version of the popular Tiny Core Linux distro. Our full list of lightweight distros for the Raspberry Pi will give you more information here. You might also consider non-Linux operating systems if space is a particular worry. RISC OS is an older operating system that is particularly apt for installation on the Raspberry Pi.

Remove Packages to Make Space in Raspbian

If you don’t want to switch distros, have a good Raspberry Pi system up and running, and don’t have any USB storage, you have another option. It’s a little more involved, however, and means uninstalling software that you don’t plan to use.

To check how much space if being used on your SD card, use the df command:

df -h

The output will display how much is used and available, with the heading /dev/root. You can probably make more space, so find out what you can remove with:

dpkg --get-selections


dpkg --get-selections > packages.txt

This second option will send the results of –get-selections to a text file that you can easily browse. Open packages.txt to see what is currently installed. Next, find out what packages are taking up the most space:

dpkg-query -Wf '${Installed-Size}\t${Package}\n' | sort -n

The aim now is to cross reference this list with the one you already made. Where the large items cross-match with those that you don’t use, you’ve found data you can remove. Do this with the purge command.

sudo apt purge -y [packagename]

Repeat this for everything you don’t need, replacing [packagename] with the name of the package you’re removing. Once you’ve deleted everything you don’t want, use the autoremove command to discard of any unused prerequisites. Follow this with the clean command to tidy any locally-stored packages.

sudo apt autoremove  sudo apt clean

No Need to Ever Run Out of Storage on Raspberry Pi

As you can see, there’s no need to be limited by space on your Raspberry Pi. You have four ways to make additional storage space:

  • Expand the filesystem.
  • Connect USB storage (hard disk drive, SSD, etc).
  • Switch to a lightweight distro like Raspbian Lite or PiCore.
  • Remove packages to make space on an existing Raspbian install.

With so many ways to make the most of your existing and additional storage, there’s no way you’ll ever run out of space on your Raspberry Pi again! Now you can go ahead with your Raspberry Pi projects, like turning your Raspberry Pi into a home media center.

Are Probiotics Safe For Kids?

Probiotics are so common in yogurt these days, you might not think twice about giving foods laced with "good" bacteria to your youngsters. But do probiotics provide any benefits for children?

In general, giving probiotics to your kids is not harmful, but there's not a lot of proof it does much good, either. Some studies show probiotics might be beneficial in treating and preventing diarrhea, but the effects are modest, experts say.

So far, studies looking at the effects of probiotics on other gut disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome, have not consistently shown a benefit. And a study published last week in the journal Pediatrics found no evidence that probiotics provide any relief for kids with constipation.

In the end, attempts to change the community of bacteria in kids' tummies, and, consequently, their health, with probiotics may prove futile.

"Given the level of evidence, I can categorically say that I would not recommend parents going out of their way to give probiotics to children," said Dr. Frank Greer, a professor of pediatrics at Meriter Hospital in Madison, Wis. Greer was the lead researcher for the American Academy of Pediatrics that addressed the issue. "Even if they eat the yogurt with five different probiotics in it, as soon as they stop taking the yogurt," the bacteria in their bodies will revert back to its normal state, Greer said.

Do probiotics work?

Probiotics are food products that contain enough live bacteria to change the composition of the consumer's gut bacteria, and have the potential for health benefits, the AAP says.

There's some evidence probiotics may stave off infections of pathogens that cause diarrhea. In a 2005 study of about 200 infants between the ages of 4 months and 10 months, researchers gave probiotics to babies over a 12-week period. On average, those given probiotics had 0.37 days of diarrhea compared with 0.59 days for those given a placebo.

And a study of the use of probiotics in day cares found about seven children, statistically, would have to take probiotics to prevent one case of rotavirus, a virus that causes diarrhea and vomiting.

Other studies suggest taking probiotics may help the immune system of young kids develop in a healthy way, and prevent certain allergies, eczema or asthma. A 2003 study examined the effect of probiotics in about 130 infants at risk for allergies. The infants were given the bacteria, in addition to breast-feeding, for six months.

By the time the kids were 2 years old, 23 percent of those treated with probiotics had developed eczema, while 46 percent of those given a placebo had. The benefit of probiotics could still be seen when the kids were 4 years old. However, these promising results have yet to be validated in further studies, according to the AAP report, which came out in December.

Probiotics have also not proved to be beneficial in treating irritable bowel syndrome, chronic ulcerative colitis, infantile colic or Crohn's disease, or preventing human cancers, the AAP says.

However, "the current lack of evidence of efficacy does not mean that future clinical research will not establish significant health benefits for probiotics," the AAP statement says.

Are they safe?

In healthy, full-term babies, high doses of probiotics don't appear to cause any ill effects, the AAP says.

However, probiotics may pose risks to some children, including preterm babies, children with weakened immune systems and those with catheters or other medical devices inside them. Cases of sepsis have been reported in children and adults who took probiotics.

More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of probiotics on children, the AAP says. And if probiotics are, in fact, beneficial for kids, researchers will need to establish how much kids should take and how long they should take it in order to reap the most benefit.

Pass it on: Probiotics don't pose much of a risk to kids, but they don't benefit them much, either.

This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience. Follow MyHealthNewsDaily staff writer Rachael Rettner on Twitter @RachaelRettner. Find us on Facebook.