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Carpete dies!

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.

It's only words

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.

Free stickers for everyone!

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.

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, 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 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!

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