Linux Format logo

Linux Format Blog

Winning the lottery

The EuroMillions lottery draw for this week now has a jackpot of £120,000,000 (over $200,000,000). No one has won it for the last eleven weeks, which is why it's rolled over so much. Now, the chances of winning that jackpot are 76,000,000-1, and tickets cost £1.50 each, which means it costs £114,000,000 to be guaranteed to win the jackpot. The basic result is that you win £6,000,000.

Useless whimsy

We are right at our deadline at LXF Towers, with only a little bit of fiddling remaining before we can all gather for a constructive retrospective debrief of the magazine production process (in the pub). So I thought I would use my time productively by pondering why life hasn't turned out as frequent reading of the collected works of Astrid Lindgren when I was a child promised it would. Specifically, if life was how it is portrayed in children’s books…

Every fifth person would be a fireman.
Most meals would involve jam.
On any given evening, you could find schoolboys outside on go carts.

Back to school

I've decided to study a course at the Open University. Not because I'm looking to change jobs (sorry, Nick!), but just to broaden my horizons a bit. My first degree was in computer science, and I've kinda focused really heavily on that for... well, forever basically. And I still find it interesting, challenging and about as exciting as a mathematics field can get. But I'm looking for something completely different, so I've chosen to do a literature course.

MikeOS 0.30

Is here! New features include a command-line interface, more string handling system calls (os_string_compare, os_string_strip and os_string_chomp), better build scripts, and a multiple-choice dialog box. I've also split up the kernel source code for easier editing -- initialisation, system calls, DOS compatibility and the CLI. Oh, and there've been heaps of small fixes and cleanups too. Check out the glory of the brand new CLI in action:

Japan + Firefox advocacy = ?

For many other brilliant (and occasionally disturbing) images, visit

Totemo ii desu ne!

An IT director responds to Oracle Linux

Some 19,000 of you have read our first look at Oracle's Unbreakable Linux, and you may remember we were rather negative about its chances. However, we run a lot of Oracle internally here at LXF Towers, and our IT Director - Avi Abadi - disagrees with much of what we said in that article. So, in an effort to make it look like know what the word "unbiased" means, here's his response to Oracle Linux:

Linus and loo roll

Talking of detox, I am feeling rather cleansed myself after a goodly weekend. I tidied my room, did my washing, went to a climate rally, and bought spare toilet roll for my housemates when it wasn't even my turn. Unprecedented. Then I went to the library. Did you know, Bath Central Library's copy of Just For Fun: The Story Of An Accidental Revolutionary by Linus Torvalds and David Diamond has been taken out 34 times? Make that 35 – reader, I borrowed it. Yes, I completed my honourable weekend by reading a book about Linux. At home! Voluntarily!

Bring me the head of Carol Vorderman!

My wife and I are trying out Carol Vorderman's Detox Diet. Unlike most other shabby diets around, this one isn't about losing weight: it's about making you eat the most boring food around. Meat? No. Cheese? No. Milk and butter? Out. Pasta? None of it. Potatos? Hardly. Pizza? Hah! What does that leave? Fruit and nuts. Well, fruit, nuts and vegetables, although you're not even supposed to cook the vegetables.

Why I’m backing Red Hat

So, Novell has crossed over to Microsoft's side of the fence, but what has it actually achieved? Let me summarise...

i) It shows that executives at Novell have a very short memory. Who else here remembers the Microsoft Server Crunch cereal box?

ii) It shows that Microsoft is now having its patent warchest part-funded by Novell in exchange for a promise that Microsoft won't sue Novell customers until 2012. Forget the rest of us, and forget what happens after 2012. Forget the fact that anyone with sense regards software patents as unthinkably stupid.

Hell freezing over…?

I've just spent the last hour watching the press conference in which Microsoft and Novell have committed to be really nice to each other and work together to crush Red Hat once and for all. Or, you know, um, make things easy for customers who want to run Linux and Windows.
I couldn't see whether Steve Ballmer had his fingers crossed. He certainly scowled a bit and got excited when talking about "Windows, Windows, Windows." He just comes across as so angry. You could easily see him chucking chairs at minions who accidentally wore a t-shirt with a penguin on it.

Web hosting by UKFast