The Perfect Distribution

Distros

Jon says:

Today, I've sat down to begin work on the newbie guide for issue 155. The first part of my day was great fun. I read through everyone's suggestions (60+!) and made a note of everything that I should include. There were so many helpful suggestions, it really was interesting :-)

The second part of my day has involved trying to decide which distribution to base the guide on - this has proved to be frustrating.

LXF 153 On Sale Today!

LXF
Linux 2013

We just wanted to let you know that the latest issue of Linux Format goes on sale today.

On our disc double-pack you`ll find full versions of Fedora 16 and OpenSUSE 12.1. That`s 6330 packages alongside all our other great content.

Take advantage of our Christmas subscription campaign, saving up to 50%, by following this link: http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/content/lp/linuxformat

extensions.gnome.org FTW

Gnome

Jon says:

Graham just showed me this cool alpha project from the Gnome team. As you can probably guess, it's a web portal for Gnome Shell extensions. This makes it easy to see which extensions exist, what people thought of them (there's support for comments and ratings), but it also lets you install them straight from the browser!

Podcast Season 3 Episode 23

Podcast

Title: Extra Strong Mint

In this episode: Linux Mint 12 has been released and it includes an innovative new take on Gnome Shell. Also, lots of smartphones could be running a rootkit-like piece of software and we discover things, read your views and discuss whether a Computer Science degree is worth the investment.

Issue 153: Wallpaper

LXF

Issue 153 of Linux Format is due out next Thursday, the 8th December. It has a great cover illustration, and as a little preview of what's coming in that issue, we thought we'd share it on TuxRadar as a wallpaper for your desktops.

We'll be adding it to the pool of Linux Format cover wallpapers, where you can download this cover and loads of others.

Open Ballot: How valuable is a Computer Science degree?

TuxRadar

Out of the staff here at Linux Format, only one of us actually has a Computer Science degree. The rest of us ended up in the job as a result of our hobbies, random hacking and volunteering in various open source communities.

This got us thinking, how worthwhile are Computer Science degrees? Many technology companies complain that graduates, even of Computer Science, arrive with little understanding of how to work in industry - knowledge of version control and the like - and often lack knowledge of basic coding paradigms.

Mike and Jon's Bet

LXF

Jon had never had a Pot Noodle. Mike was shocked.

Mike had never tried Arch Linux. Jon was shocked.

A bet followed...

Free Software in the Social Era

GNU

Jon says:

After arriving at work this morning, I came across Bradley Kuhn's 'No, You Won't See Me on Facebook, Google Plus nor Skype' post, thought it was excellent and wanted to share it.

Podcast Season 3 Episode 22

Podcast

Title: Live from Mission Burrito

In this episode: Fedora 16 has been released, Ubuntu may not include Banshee next time, and Mint may have found a way to upgrade to Gnome 3.2. Hear our discoveries and your opinions, and enjoy the lunchtime ambiance of an authentic Mexican restaurant.

Plus, a bonus video!.

Newbie Guide: Your Thoughts Wanted

LXF

Here at LXF towers, we're working hard to get ahead of ourselves so we can enjoy a well earned break over Christmas. As such, we've planned the content for Issue 155, to be published in January (keeping three issues in mind at once is very confusing!) and decided that for the cover story, we'd create the ultimate newbie guide to Linux - and your insights are the key to us really making this the 'ultimate' newbie guide.

The plan is to explain what Linux is, what free and open source software is, how to get started with it, all the cool things it lets you do, and so much more.

But, we were wondering, when you first started using Linux, is there anything you know now that you wish you knew then?

Please, let us know in the comments, and help us to make this the ultimate newbie guide.

Open Ballot: Who should buy WebOS?

TuxRadar

Ahhh, lovely WebOS. It's Linux powered, it looks great, and it boasted fluid multitasking capabilities back when iOS users were still struggling with push notifications. Unfortunately, it hasn't managed to make a big impact in the mobile market, with Palm's smartphone devices and the HP TouchPad failing to get much traction. But it's sad when such great software dies, so many pundits around the net are speculating that a company such as Oracle will buy it up.

We'll be recording our next podcast on Monday, so we want to hear from you: who should buy WebOS? Which company could make the best use of this shiny mobile platform? Would it be safe in Oracle's hands? Or should we forget about it and focus on Tizen instead? Let us know in the comments below, and we'll read out the most intriguing musings in our upcoming episode.

LXF stickers and fridge magnets up for grabs

LXF


We're having a bit of a clear-out here at LXF Towers, and we've come across some goodies to give away. We have three sheets of stickers (readers loved these) and six boxes of fridge magnets. If you fancy some of these goodies, simply leave your best Linux joke in the comments below (tasteful, please!) and we'll choose the best in a week or so. Please also leave your email address in ROT13 format (to avoid spambots) so that we can contact winners for their addresses.

Go on -- make us laugh!

Work for Linux Format!

LXF

If you've read Mike's farewell blog post on the LXF site, you'll know that he's heading off to Weißbier-land. Well, this opens up a new position at Linux Format Towers -- we're looking for a Digital Media Editor. In a nutshell, you'll be the next Mike, creating the multi-booting DVD, writing articles for the magazine, helping out with the websites and buying the odd round at the pub.

Catnip Kernel Panic

Kernel

Jon says:

Thanks to BoingBoing, I now have a new all time favourite bug report (although, in all honesty, I didn't have a favourite bug report before this one).

From the report:

Podcast Season 3 Episode 21

Podcast

Title: Vienna Calling

In this episode: Mark Shuttleworth wants Ubuntu to be everywhere within the next couple of years, and we cover Nokia's developers' conference from last week. Listen to our awesome discoveries, share our joy and mirth in the new section and hear your own opinions in the wonderful Open Ballot.

Dev Days 2011 - Qt 4.8, Qt 5.0 and Raspberry Pi

Events

Graham writes:

I spent the first half of last week in a hotel in the outskirts of Munich for Nokia’s Qt Developer Days 2011. This is an annual gathering of the Qt-enlightened, designed to help attendees refresh their skills, upgrade to new ones and hear the gospel from the people who actually write the toolkit. But it’s also a chance to catchup on all the latest Qt gossip.

Open Ballot: Is Android fragmentation a problem?

TuxRadar

This revealing chart is causing a bit of a stir around the internet. Basically, it points out one thing: that Android phones aren't guaranteed to get timely updates, or even any updates at all. Many devices are released with previous versions of the operating system, and fall rapidly behind, never getting to sample the latest Android goodness. Compare this to Apple, where the situation is somewhat rosier (although iOS has its own limitations as we all know).

So as we stoke the boiler for our next podcast recording, we want to hear your opinion: is this a problem? Have you bought an Android phone, and dismayed when you can't get the latest Android releases? Perhaps you've very carefully chosen a phone with a guaranteed update lifespan, or you simply don't care, and just want the beeping gizmo thing to work well. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we'll read out the best in the podcast.

Issue 2 of Tap! now available

Apple

OK, we know that many readers of this site aren't massive Apple fans, but we just wanted to give a quick mention of some work by our sister magazine, Tap!. And especially because the former Linux Format editor, Paul Hudson, helped to create it. Take it away, Team Tap:

"The first issue of the Tap! interactive app hit the streets last month to the resounding sound of applause from iPad pundits across the globe. Featuring the 100 Greatest apps of all time the Tap! app used video, 360 degree photography and iPad compatible features to receive such reviews as 'Interaction as it's meant to be', 'Perfect iPad app', 'The way to the future', 'Best magazine by far!', 'Ace app!'.

Peg Solitaire

Code

Jon says:

This is the latest in my project to re-implement many of Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection in Javascript.

I've hopefully taken on board some of the comments made previously, particularly about not polluting the global namespace. I don't think it's particularly elegant code - far too many nested ifs - but it works.

Bizarre pink MIPS mini-netbook up for grabs

Hardware


See that? It's an Elonex ONEt, and it's a pretty unusual bit of kit. For starters, it's powered by a MIPS-like chip, so it's not x86, PowerPC, 68K or any other architecture you're likely to have used on the desktop. It's also very, very small. The Elonex ONEt arrived in early 2009 when the netbook market was booming, and sports these specs:

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