That week went quickly! Must be the sunshine currently covering the UK, which meant I nearly forgot about my promise for a multi-touch trackpad on the Samsung NC10, enabling two-finger scrolling. This is also late, as I should have posted this yesterday. But we ended up having a lovely team lunch in Bath followed by a busy couple of hours late yesterday afternoon. Sorry about that.
Well, after far too long, I'm going to try and get back into this blogging lark. I used to like they way our blog was a tiny portal into our world, and I'm going to try and make more of a commitment to it. I'm going to attempt a post every Monday morning, because I think I need that kind of stimulus. And this way, I can write something while I quickly drink a few cups of terrible coffee from the terrible coffee machine in our office (but yes, at least we don't have to pay for it).
500 students have just started the Open University's first Linux course, and now have 70 days to master the basic skills of installation, configuration and software management. This is a real chance for a lot of people to get a solid qualification in Linux, and also to participate in a (relatively) small, helpful community that is all learning Linux at the same time. But what surprises me most is the fact that the course cost just £180, which pays for all the materials, plus tutor contact time and marking of your final assignment.
Freelance writers often
submit work as .txt files
that are broken up in the
middle of lines like this. It’s
never less than annoying,
but sometimes (for example
when writers use lots of
very short sentences or)
fragments it makes work
unintelligible, and generates
work for whoever puts the
text into Indesign.
A long time ago, we sent subscribers some free stickers. We had a few left over, so a few months later we gave away the remainder to a few lucky purchasers. But now, everyone gets some: LXF 132 comes with some awesome Linuxy stickers for everyone to enjoy, complete with logos from various distros, plus KDE, Gnome, GNU, Tux and more.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll set you up.
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:
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.