2008 was a good year for Linux, and a good year for Linux Format. In a market where lots of magazines are reporting sales declines, I'm pleased to say that Linux Format's sales are rising steadily - we think that's partly because our tried and tested formula seems to work, but mainly because the Linux community is growing as more people discover the benefits of Free Software.
We're planning A New Thing here at LXF Towers, and as part of that we need to know what you think. Not just random thoughts mind; we want to know what you think about Mono.
Is it bloated junk, or does it point the way to a brave new cross-platform world? Does not-invented-here syndrome mean you'll not touch it with a barge pole, or do wonder how you ever got by without the likes of Banshee, Beagle and F-Spot?
Whatever your thoughts, we'd like to stimulate what might in recent years have been called a Big Conversation, so post below and watch this space for news on Newness.
I have a stack of spare LXF DVDs here which I'd love to get into the hands of potential Linux convertees. If anyone works in a college, school or university and would like to hand out Linux to students, get in touch! I have:
There has been some discussion on our forums about learning to program. More specifically, some readers have found it relatively easy to pick up the basics, but are struggling to advance beyond that into the world of Real Projects.
...to Mike Heyman for sending me this T-shirt:
Thanks Mike! And on a completely unrelated note:
Microsoft spent $8 billion on research and development last year, and this is what it has to show for it. If you can make it to the end of the video without cringing your face into a cramp, you probably have your speakers muted.
We produced an LXF special just over a year ago that focused on learning all about OpenOffice.org. Sadly, back then the distribution of our special magazines was fairly small, so we got a lot of emails from people months later saying "if I had known it was on sale, I would have bought it!"
Well, that special is back, fully updated for OOo 3.0, and it goes on sale from today. As per usual, it will take a few weeks to get to all our worldwide readers, but we are working to get the thing onto My Favourite Magazines for online purchasing ASAP - we'll post here when it's available.
Folks who have already received their copy of Linux Format 115 may already have noticed that it is a different size to their previous issues. This is, of course, deeply annoying for OCD people like me who like to arrange their magazines perfectly on the shelf. Of course, my magazine shelf became overloaded with issues a few months ago, collapsing under the weight of it all and tossing my careful efforts over the floor. I think it made me develop a nervous twitch.
I wasn't quite as productive as Mike over the holiday period. I had great plans for all that spare time, but I don't seem to have done anything with it. My Monome step-sequencer project is still on hold, and I barely touched a computer. However, I did build a theremin!
A slightly belated Happy New Year from everyone at LXF Towers!
So, 2009 eh? What can we expect to see in the Linux community -- and the wider computing world -- over the next 12 months? Without a doubt, 2008 was the Year of the Netbook. Initially dismissed as a fad by tech pundits around the intertubes, netbooks have been a storming success with almost every laptop manufacturer releasing some form of itty-bitty machine. Best of all, a good deal of them are being shipped with some form of Linux variant, guiding new users onto the path of Free Software.