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The Convert Corner

A few weeks ago we ran an Open Ballot on our sister site, TuxRadar, asking to hear your success stories in converting people to Linux. We planned to read out some of the best stories on our podcast (and we did), but there were so many awesome responses - so much positive news - that we've made it a permanent feature on the site, linked in the top bar.

Click here to view the messages, and please add your own success stories!

New tips forum

Hello! We've had thousands of threads on our Help forum with so many different solutions to common problems, and we're really grateful to our forum regulars for the help they provide. Well, Khakilang just came up with an awesome idea: a hints and tips forum. We've created a new place where you can share Linux knowledge you've gained - how to get a certain piece of hardware working, for instance, or how to install a particular program.

Click here to access the new forum and share your Linux wisdom with the world. Thanks!

Linux on your iPhone - now available!

Almost a year ago I wrote a blog post about an iPhone app I made called Fake Linux - it's a hoax app that makes it look like you've installed Linux on your iPhone, and so spits out boot messages, lets you run commands, and has various in-jokes for Linux users. It's just a bit of fun, but when I tested it on Team LXF everyone thought it was real, so it can't be bad ;)

Anyway, after me making another set of changes - mainly adding a new user interface for when the app starts - Apple has finally approved the app for sale worldwide. So, if you're an iPhone/iPod Touch owner and want to prank your friends, check it out: here's the link to the App Store.

The Linux Contradictionary

I have just over a month left here at LXF Towers, so I'm busy clearing up my inbox, answering reader requests. One such request came in to put online the Linux Contradictionary, a side bar from the administeria section of LXF run by Dr Chris Brown, so here it is, in full:

Gifts are coming...

Welcome to 2011! Here at LXF Towers we're putting the final touches to Linux Format issue 142, which will be in a bag and include something cool. We're not saying what this object of coolness is just yet, because life is all about surprises, but we know you'll find it useful.

Join us!

It's Christmas, so we're enjoying the last few days in our snow-surrounded office before heading away to enjoy the break. (Or get trapped in public transport for six days.) Happy Christmas to all, and here's to a great 2011 for Linux.

But! There is one more thing...

Off into the sunset

I've had an awesome time working on Linux Format these last years, but it's time for me to move on. I started back on LXF30 - 110 issues ago! - and have appeared in some form or another in every subsequent issue - whether that's writing PHP tutorials, C# coding academies, features, reviews or, well, just about every part of the magazine. It's been a huge privilege working in a job where all I have to do is sit and play around with Linux, and you all have been very supportive during my tenure.

First impressions

Every month, in preparing the LXF coverdisc, I search the net for hot new (and updated) Linux software. Freshmeat, HappyPenguin, KDE-Apps and other websites help greatly in this endeavour. However, I come across many individual project websites with problems - and fair enough, the developers are busy focusing on the code itself. But just a few tweaks can make all the difference to the immediate perception of a project, so here are my recommendations...

Qt Developer Days 2010

I’ve just got back from Nokia’s Qt Developer Days in Munich, and the first thing to note is that this year’s event was a lot larger than last year's, pulling in around 20% more developers with a total that must have been close to one thousand attendees. To accommodate this influx, the venue has changed, leaving behind the Hilton Munich Park that’s relatively close to the historic centre of the city to decamp in a brand new hotel, called Dolce Munich Unterschleissheim, about 17km away from the old town. The medieval grandeur of Munich wasn’t a walk away, but then I didn’t have enough time for a walk.

Dare ye click it?

For many years, Linux's user account system has worked marvellously well for maintaining security. In the older days of Windows, users would run with administrator privileges all the time, never being aware when a program decided to trample all over critical system files. In contrast, pretty much every desktop Linux distro pops up a big password dialog box, saying that it needs special privileges to do a certain task - and making the user think for a moment.

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