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Forget the credit crunch, the environment, corruption in the House of Lords and badly punctuated protesters outside oil refineries: IT'S SNOWING!

Yes, it's snowing, which means that all national news broadcasts are dominated by pictures of children having snowball fights and crazy estimates from GCSE-level economists about how the weather has cost Xmillion pounds in lost production. Unless the snow falls outside London, in which case we just wear an extra pair of socks and get on with it.

Is this thing on?

Today we're launching something new at LXF Towers. That something is called TuxRadar, and is a free software news website where we'll also be posting content from Linux Format as and when we can. As an added bonus, we'll also be recording a podcast every two weeks, with the first episode already available.

Our goals for the website are pretty simple:

  • Get some LXF content out there, for free, for everyone to read and learn from.
  • Post frequent news stories about free software matters.

There’s something on the Radar

2008 was a good year for Linux, and a good year for Linux Format. In a market where lots of magazines are reporting sales declines, I'm pleased to say that Linux Format's sales are rising steadily - we think that's partly because our tried and tested formula seems to work, but mainly because the Linux community is growing as more people discover the benefits of Free Software.

Speak your brains

Hello there,

We're planning A New Thing here at LXF Towers, and as part of that we need to know what you think. Not just random thoughts mind; we want to know what you think about Mono.
Is it bloated junk, or does it point the way to a brave new cross-platform world? Does not-invented-here syndrome mean you'll not touch it with a barge pole, or do wonder how you ever got by without the likes of Banshee, Beagle and F-Spot?
Whatever your thoughts, we'd like to stimulate what might in recent years have been called a Big Conversation, so post below and watch this space for news on Newness.

Calling colleges and unis!

I have a stack of spare LXF DVDs here which I'd love to get into the hands of potential Linux convertees. If anyone works in a college, school or university and would like to hand out Linux to students, get in touch! I have:

  • LXF112 - CentOS 5.2 - Ultra-solid enterprise distro (ideal for those studying coding and sysadmin stuff)

Learning to code

UPDATE: No more entries are being accepted for the Coding Academy - we're full! If you've already emailed me to sign up, you should hear from me soon.

There has been some discussion on our forums about learning to program. More specifically, some readers have found it relatively easy to pick up the basics, but are struggling to advance beyond that into the world of Real Projects.

A big shout out… Mike Heyman for sending me this T-shirt:

Thanks Mike! And on a completely unrelated note:

Friday time wasting

Microsoft spent $8 billion on research and development last year, and this is what it has to show for it. If you can make it to the end of the video without cringing your face into a cramp, you probably have your speakers muted.

In other news, I think Mike Saunders is looking remarkably like Magibon as of late. And of course Magibon and Mike have never been seen together - co-incidence? I think not.

New special on-sale now: Master

We produced an LXF special just over a year ago that focused on learning all about Sadly, back then the distribution of our special magazines was fairly small, so we got a lot of emails from people months later saying "if I had known it was on sale, I would have bought it!"

Well, that special is back, fully updated for OOo 3.0, and it goes on sale from today. As per usual, it will take a few weeks to get to all our worldwide readers, but we are working to get the thing onto My Favourite Magazines for online purchasing ASAP - we'll post here when it's available.

Introducing LXF115

Folks who have already received their copy of Linux Format 115 may already have noticed that it is a different size to their previous issues. This is, of course, deeply annoying for OCD people like me who like to arrange their magazines perfectly on the shelf. Of course, my magazine shelf became overloaded with issues a few months ago, collapsing under the weight of it all and tossing my careful efforts over the floor. I think it made me develop a nervous twitch.

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