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Nostalgia is a powerful drug. It’s easy to get caught up in whimsical silver-lined memories of the past, forgetting all the advances and advantages the present holds – but when did that ever stop us before? For one issue only, we’re going to bask in nostalgia and go full retro – looking at how open source with the Linux kernel can help us not just relive computing systems of old, but enjoy classic games, learn about historical architectures, revive old languages and run unsupported software.

While it’s often retro gaming that springs to mind, retro computing is far more than that and we felt it was essential that we covered the whole, er, spectrum of computing history, including systems that helped establish computing in the home – from the Apple II, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga and onwards through to the PC era. So grab the issue, follow our guides and hopefully you’ll not only have some nostalgic fun but learn something along the way too.

For those wanting to live for today, we have plenty of current FOSS to feast upon – from our Roundup of vector drawing packages to a guide on making better scans under Ubuntu. We also have an interview on how copying nature helps us all, and a project on how to check your Git repositories. Our disc this month is the well-regarded and the “reasonably secure” privacy package Qubes OS. It’s unusual that we allocate the entire 4.7GB DVD to a single distro, but it feels like Qubes OS is worth it – and we have a get-started guide, written by Mr Privacy himself.

From the terribly insecure retro era to the cutting-edge containerised privacy system of Qubes, we have it all for you to try out from the reasonable safety of LXF, so enjoy!

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