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Bored of this decade

I've just spent the last few hours putting up a beginners Emacs tutorial on TuxRadar. Long-time LXF readers will recognise it from way back in the dark mists of LXF - from the early 60s to the mid-70s to be precise - and I figured it was time to set the content free for everyone to enjoy. It's hardly as if Emacs has changed all that much, after all, and even the most hardened of LXF subscribers are unlikely to dig that deep into our subscriber-only area to find the PDFs. If you find yourself bored over the holiday break and you're interested in trying something different, give it a read.

So, I'm done now. I'm free to enjoy my last Christmas without kids, which means tomorrow morning I'll sleep in, then hopefully have a very relaxed day indeed. We're all out of the office now until January 4th, so I wish you all a very merry Christmas and an awesome 2010!

LXF127: awesome to the max

Subscribers will be receiving LXF127 right now, and you'll notice a) we provided a double-sided DVD with Ubuntu LXF remix, OpenSUSE 11.2 and Mandriva 2010 for you to enjoy, plus b) it should come with a free wallchart: helpful commands on one side, and a super-size reproduction of the LXF120 cover on the other (NB: you can download a variety of cover art as desktop wallpapers from our collection of free Linux wallpapers)

It's Christmas, so we hope you enjoy the little extra - do let us know if we're wasting our time popping extras into an issue, or whether it's the kind of thing you'd like to see more of!

(PS: the issue goes on general sale tomorrow morning, and, yes, all newsstand copies also come with the wallchart + 8GB DVD, but we expect them to disappear pretty quickly!)

Calling all BASIC coders!

Do you long for the days of 8-bit BASIC? When GOTO wasn't considered evil, REM wasn't just an American alternative rock band, and PEEKing and POKEing didn't get you into trouble with the police? Well, those days are back with the release of MikeOS 4.0.

Hacking on the iPhone

Many moons ago I blogged about a game idea Graham had called Brain Party. That was some time ago, and since then I ported the code both to Windows Mobile devices and Xbox 360, and managed to sell quite a few copies of it.

But here's what's new: you probably know by now that I'm obsessed with coding, so I took it on myself to port Brain Party from C# to plain old C++, and as of today Brain Party is available for iPhone/iPod Touch users. Now, it's a long way from the old SDL game I made a few years ago - it has 30+ minigames, it's OpenGL-accelerated (shinier graphics - oooh!), and it's actually finished as opposed to kind of hanging around waiting for something to happen - but the core concept is the same: family-friendly brain games that everyone can enjoy.

Announcing the Answers Archive

Got a problem with Linux? Looking for a quick fix? On our sister site TuxRadar we've created a searchable database of over 700 Linux problems and solutions. These have been taken from the Answers section of Linux Format magazine, and stretch back over five years - so some of the information may be a bit dated. Nonetheless, there's lots of valuable information inside, so we hope it comes in useful!

Many thanks to LXF readers Towy and Guy for their help in converting LXF Answers to XML. Oh, and if you're looking for a complete list of the questions (it's a big page!), click here.


I want to run a big feature on Moblin and on netbook software; something that will complement all the hardware hard work that MikeS put in for our cover feature a couple of months ago. But I'm a bit worried: I'm not sure how many of you are interested in such a beast. Are you closet netbook fanboys? Do you want to be closet netbook fanboys? Do you see netbook distros as a great way to breathe new life into ageing computers?

I'm also thinking of running a coding series on Clutter, because it's a lot of fun. The question is, would you prefer we write that tutorial using Clutter's native C, or using Python and the PyClutter binding? Or are we just crazy and should leave Clutter well alone?

Win 7 Sins FTL

In Linux Format issue 124, page 77, I wrote about the Free Software Foundation's Windows 7 Sins page. Specifically, I gave my opinion that the page is too zealous and hyperbolic; that it makes the free software community look like irrational mouth-foaming Microsoft haters. I said that we should focus more on publicising GNU/Linux rather than bashing Microsoft.

A reader emailed me asking for more elaboration on what I dislike about the page - so here are some of the quotes on the page and why I think they don't work.

Making with the funnies

Fresh from recording another TuxRadar podcast ready for tomorrow (yes, it really does go through extensive sound editing before being released to the world), we had a discussion here at LXF Towers about whether we use up too much space with our dazzling wit.

Whether it's SPython, chimps delivering subscriptions, flippant welcome page answers, SI Gonzales ratings or LeeNukes and his legion of page-checking ninjas (he probably hasn't spotted that one yet), we rarely shy away from filling in captions or other little spaces with seemingly random comments that frequently only long-term subscribers will get.

Does this irritate you? Would you rather we cut the fluff and focused on more, more, more Linux goodness? Answers on a postcard, or alternatively leave a comment below.

I don't know if this is real...

But if it is, I want to stay here:

Any more transportation machines converted into accomodation?

It's magazine deadline day...

...and, like usual, rather than do Real Work I'm trying to distract myself with BBC News articles. But this time my plan has backfired, as in one of them I just discovered that I'm the same age as Macaulay Culkin, which is, frankly, terrifying.

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