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.
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:
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.
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
Update 1 Oct: this competition has now closed. We'll be in touch with the winner in a couple of days!
We've teamed up with the folks at Synology to give one lucky reader a DS110+ network attached storage device, worth £264. This mini box scored 9/10 in LXF136's review, so for a chance to get your mitts on one, head over to the competition page.
Oh, and if you're fully social-networked up, you can become a fan of Synology on Facebook.
Meanwhile, Synology are looking for feedback on the release of their DSM 3.0 software, so take a look at this thread on our forums for more info.
U^3 (U-Cubed), a self-described "Ubuntu and Upstream UnWorkshop day" in collaboration with HacMan, ManLUG and Manchester Free Software, is taking place in just a few days, and still have over 20 tickets available for free. If you use Ubuntu or one of its many upstream projects (Debian, Gnome, etc) and want to learn how you can get involved, this is the perfect event for you.
One of the organisers wrote in with a general invite: "we're hoping to find support on the day from people experienced in Ubuntu, but also people that are involved in more than just Ubuntu, so we're reaching out to anyone in the North West UK region to see if people are prepared to help out - even if Ubuntu isn't the Linux distribution you normally would use, so, if you're interested and available between 11am and 9pm and can get to Manchester, or even if you can just be around for part of the day, go to http://u-cubed.eventbrite.com to reserve a ticket."
So, there you have it: it sounds like it'll be a great day, it won't cost you anything, and you'll get to mingle with all sorts of other interesting geeks. Hurry - sign up ends soon!