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Our books section

I'm thinking of revamping our books section. Usually we only get three books in there, and sometimes only two. I'm thinking of moving the free FSF advert we run somewhere else in the magazine, freeing up both pages, then changing the format so that the pictures are smaller and we have slightly fewer words per book. The end result would be, rather than three books an issue, we have six.

Coding for Maemo

I released Brain Party for Linux last week, and so far it's had a great reception - I've had several patches from users, and someone even ported it to Windows for me.

But what has impressed me most has been the Maemo community, which presumably will eventually become the MeeGo community. The day after Brain Party was released, this thread was posted on talk.maemo.org, and, after a few questions and answers, a few days later a full port of Brain Party was made available on the N900, all packaged up nicely as a .deb for device owners to download and install. People are already playing it and, although it seems there are a few small bugs, it already seems popular with N900 owners.

Linux on your iPhone

So, it's April Fool's day again, and this time I came up with quite a nice joke. Sadly, things haven't worked out, so I figured I'd tell you what I had planned so at least you know that I tried!

As an April Fool's joke, I created a fake Linux app for the iPhone that made it look like Linux was running on your phone. It doesn't actually do anything - when you type text, it just spits out one of several pre-determined responses, but there are various geeky in-jokes for people in the know. The idea was that you'd buy it knowing it was fake (it was made very clear in the app description), then show it to your Linuxy friends, say "hey, I installed Linux on my iPhone!" and see how long it took for them to figure out it was a joke.

Beta testers wanted

Thanks to everyone who got in touch - the beta test is now closed.

I've ported my iPhone game, Brain Party, to Linux. It's now stable enough that I'm looking for a handful of testers able to give it a whirl and help find bugs. So, if you a) know what SDL/OpenGL are, b) are happy compiling stuff from source, and c) have 30 minutes to spare, please drop me a line at paul.hudson@futurenet.com and I'll set you up.

Coding Academy update

If you've been trying to find a copy of Paul Hudson's Coding Academy for sale in your local store, here's what you need to know:

  • WHSmith in the UK still have 600 copies nationwide. If your local store doesn't carry a copy, ask someone to order it in from you - they can try to transfer a copy from another store.
  • Tesco still have 900 copies for sale nationwide. Again, try your local large Tesco, and, if they have sold out, ask to order one in.
  • We also provided copies to various other shops, supermarkets and newsagents in the UK; try Asda; try Sainsbury's.

Copies are also on sale around the world, although they are selling out very quickly. Again, ask at your local book store and see if they can get one in.

Caption competition

Here at LXF Towers we don't just pull out all the stops to give you the world's finest Linux publication. We send the stops to an industrial furnace and bury the ashes under the sea bed. As proof of our commitment to the world of free software, here's Art Editor Effy doing...

Wait, what is he doing? If you can figure out what's going on here with Mexico's finest export, or you have a cracking caption to go with the pic, post below. All will be revealed (probably) in Linux Format 130.

Free books for kernel patchers

This offer has now closed, and everyone's books have been sent out. Well done, everyone!

Paul Hudson's Coding Academy

If you've received your copy of LXF128, you should by now have spotted that our new special edition magazine, Paul Hudson's Coding Academy, is now on sale - you can read more about it at www.linuxformat.com/codingacademy.

The problem is, it's selling a bit better than we had expected - we had 200 copies ready for sale online alongside the thousands destined for newsstands around the world, but all the online copies have already sold out. We're trying to get more for online sale by pulling copies back from newsstands, but it's not easy.

So, there are some things you need to know:

Bored of this decade

I've just spent the last few hours putting up a beginners Emacs tutorial on TuxRadar. Long-time LXF readers will recognise it from way back in the dark mists of LXF - from the early 60s to the mid-70s to be precise - and I figured it was time to set the content free for everyone to enjoy. It's hardly as if Emacs has changed all that much, after all, and even the most hardened of LXF subscribers are unlikely to dig that deep into our subscriber-only area to find the PDFs. If you find yourself bored over the holiday break and you're interested in trying something different, give it a read.

So, I'm done now. I'm free to enjoy my last Christmas without kids, which means tomorrow morning I'll sleep in, then hopefully have a very relaxed day indeed. We're all out of the office now until January 4th, so I wish you all a very merry Christmas and an awesome 2010!

LXF127: awesome to the max

Subscribers will be receiving LXF127 right now, and you'll notice a) we provided a double-sided DVD with Ubuntu LXF remix, OpenSUSE 11.2 and Mandriva 2010 for you to enjoy, plus b) it should come with a free wallchart: helpful commands on one side, and a super-size reproduction of the LXF120 cover on the other (NB: you can download a variety of cover art as desktop wallpapers from our collection of free Linux wallpapers)

It's Christmas, so we hope you enjoy the little extra - do let us know if we're wasting our time popping extras into an issue, or whether it's the kind of thing you'd like to see more of!

(PS: the issue goes on general sale tomorrow morning, and, yes, all newsstand copies also come with the wallchart + 8GB DVD, but we expect them to disappear pretty quickly!)



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