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2012 was ace!

Last year was awesome for Linux and free software. Android grew much stronger, more people than ever understood the ideas behind open source and the Raspberry Pi helped to erase any last vestige of ‘hacker-elite’ from preconceptions of Linux.

Future desktops

After reading Andrew’s excellent Roundup on alternative desktops (p30), I’m not sure how I feel about the way desktops are going. I’m still surprised, for example, that both Gnome and KDE developers made such massive changes to their desktops, when for many years the old versions had worked brilliantly. KDE 4.9 is stable, but it still takes a lot of effort to make the environment your own. And despite Microsoft staking some of its future on it, I don’t like Gnome’s homogenous touch interface. I accept that tablets and

La Plagne

I’ve just come back from a week’s snowboarding in the French Alps. I used to mess around in the snow a fair bit (I lived near a resort for a while), but it had been 8 years since I’d last bolted my feet to a 163cm long piece of board.

Thanks for a great year!

I just wanted to thank everyone - our readers, subscribers and contributors - for a great year at Linux Format and TuxRadar, and hope you all have a brilliant Christmas break.

Also, I had a request to post the intro comment from the current issue so that people could link to it, and it seems like a fitting message to end 2011 with, so here it is:

Work for Linux Format!

If you've read the blog post below, you'll know that I'm heading off to Weißbier-land. Well, this opens up a new position at Linux Format Towers -- we're looking for a Digital Media Editor. In a nutshell, you'll be the next Me, creating the multi-booting DVD, writing articles for the magazine, helping out with the websites and buying the odd round at the pub.

And it's goodbye from him

We're just about to get started on issue 153 of Linux Format, and it'll be my last working full-time on the magazine. It's been an amazing journey since I joined back in 2005, when we were working on issue 70 (with Debian 3.1 on the cover!). So much has changed in the world of Linux, and the sheer amount of talent in the free software community continues to astound me. Great days lie ahead.


We've had many wild and wondrous things posted to us here at Linux Format Towers. One chap sent an unlabelled SD card in an envelope, which contained pictures of viking battle clothing. Then some random department of government pen-pushers inadvertently sent us a warning that our office was violating RoHS directives. (Or perhaps they were just referring to Effy's lunch.) But today we received the coolest thing of all from Paul Williams (aka Heiowge), and here it is...

The biggest version number?

There's a lot of talk about Firefox's ever-increasing version number, and it made me wonder: what piece of software has the biggest version number of all? A brief scan of my Xubuntu 11.04 box suggests than XTerm, at version 268, has the lead, although I'm sure there's something bigger out there. And in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter - how good the software is, and for how long it is supported, is a bigger issue.

Dear Flash

We've had a complicated relationship. In the early days it was great - you made the web better, and you brought about games and videos that couldn't be done in any other way. Well, I spent some time hanging out with RealPlayer, which was pretty good when I had dialup and I could listen to foreign radio stations. Those were good days. But RealPlayer gained weight and became annoying.

Sauntering through Slovakia

Remember the days when Paul used to post reports here of his holidays? Yes, I miss them too. So much, in fact, that I've decided to have a natter about my escapades in central/eastern Europe (depending on your definition). So, pull up a chair, grab yourself a nice warm bowl of Halušky and enjoy.