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Zuruck an der Ranch

Paul seems to be having much too much fun out in America, with visits to the zoo and midnight cheesecake and what not (er, no time to write your PHP tutorial, Paul?), so I thought I should bring things back to the source: namely, the production desk at LXF Towers in Bath, England (where they don't ask you for ID in bars once you're over 18) (and rarely do it when you're under 18 either). This is where the copy is edited, the headlines are tweaked, the pictures are checked and, with shameful regularity, the typos are added.

It's Wednesday, and Grand Master Chief Nick is back in the office after having had time off on paternity duty. I hoped his two-week immersion in bubble bath and talcum powder would have softened him up but was feeling a little nervous this morning just the same. Hopefully the huge pile of mail on his desk and emails on his PC will keep him busy until I figure out a way to tell him about the spelling mistake on the cover of LXF71 (only joking).

We're about halfway through preparing the LXF72 issue and Andrew and I are getting on with editing the different reviews, tutorials and articles that go into the magazine. Andrew has just got back from a spell in Cologne, so I'm on the lookout for German influences (intentional or otherwise) creeping into captions and headlines. Considering that one of the things we're editing is a review of Klaus Knopper's Knoppix 4.0, that seems inevitable… Me, I've just discovered Typing Of The Dead, so expect my typing to be zombie-hot pretty soon. Several pieces of copy are as yet unaccounted for (journalists, tsk!), but other than that we're on schedule. Mike S filed his cover feature on tips for speeding up your Linux box yesterday. It looks great to me (though I can't claim to understand the more technical parts, ie the bits between the headline and the conclusion) – I hope our readers will find plenty of speedups to try. Looking forward to see how our designer Effy will treat it – no doubt plenty of speed motifs will figure in the final layout. My suggestion of Tux on rollerskates has been rejected out of hand. Probably for the best.

Pretty pleased to have made contact with the people at the Portland LUG to feature them on our User Groups pages – Paul has been mixing with its members while at OSCon, so it's cool to have them in the magazine. On that subject, we've had a flurry of emails from readers in Zambia objecting to a reader letter we published recently about the emergence of a LUG in Lusaka. Apparently a 'ZLUG' has been going strong for some time. I feel worried we might have misrepresented the situation, but really pleased to have so many Zambian readers. This afternoon we're working on Marco's roundup and if we have time finishing typing up Graham's taped interview with Michael Meeks – now that will look cool in print.

Now, just need to ask Andrew to give this blog a title…

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