Linux Format Newsletter -- #69, December 2010

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Linux Format Newsletter -- #69, December 2010

Postby M-Saunders » Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:41 am





1. Welcome

2. LXF 140 on sale

3. Special subscription offer

4. In the news...

5. This month on the forum

6. Do the LXF Christmas Quiz!

7. Coming up next issue

8. Receiving this Newsletter

9. Contact details

1. Welcome

Hello! And happy Christmas in advance, because this is the last
Newsletter of the year. And what a year it has been. Moblin and
Maemo merged to become MeeGo, every mobile phone company in the
world is suing one another, Oracle bought Sun, Mandriva forked and
Novell got snapped up too. It's all going on. Next year we're going
to see Ubuntu push ahead with Unity and Wayland, and there are bound
to be some major surprises too. Here's to a good 2011...

But there's still some time left this year to check out our look at
the new issue of Linux Format, roundups of the big news stories and
forum posts, plus our special (and really, honestly, totally
unmissable) LXF Christmas Quiz. Oh, and if you're still on the
lookout for a geek gift, we have great offers on Linux Format
subscriptions with savings galore: ... nuxformat/

Mike Saunders
Newsletter Editor

2. LXF 140 on sale

We love distros, big or small. But while the major distros such as
Ubuntu, Fedora and OpenSUSE get all of the attention, there's plenty
of innovation going on inside smaller projects too. In this issue's
cover feature we look at a new breed of distros emerging for 2011,
including Pardus, Sabayon, Zenwalk, Yoper, and Crux. Some of these
distros have been around for a while - but now they're really
starting to shine and their great features are becoming more

Meanwhile, we talk to Ruben Vermeersch of the F-Spot project, list
the 20 things we'd change about the software installation process on
Linux, and show you how to get involved in free software development
and really make a change to the future of our favourite OS. In the
reviews section we examine Fedora 14, Komodo 6 and Minecraft, while
our tutorials show you how to master Calc, build a
router from scratch and speed up your workflow with tiling window

Here's a taster of LXF140 from the HotPicks section:

# Choqok 1.0 beta 4 -

If Stephen Fry is outraged by something but it doesn't appear on
Twitter, did it really happen? This could be the existential
benchmark of the new age where nearly everybody likes to pollute
the internet with inanities and oversharing of their dull,
pointless and unintentionally risible lives. And that's just the
celebrities. Still, there probably is a point to services such as
Identica and Twitter, and should you want to swing the balance of
the sum total of human knowledge somewhat towards the positive,
you have ample choices of how to do it. Consider for a while,
though, this very special dedicated client.

Choqok, named after a form of sparrow, is dead set on becoming the
application that everyone uses to tap their 140-character deep
thoughts into, at least on Linux. The pace of development on
Choqok is quite impressive - things are being ticked off on the
to-do list almost as soon as they're added. As well as supporting
a wide range of APIs for microblogging services, the plugin
architecture makes it easy to extend the range of the software's
services. For example, there are plugins for just about every
URL-shortening service you can think of, and the same goes for
support of Twitter image services.

New KWallet integration and support for multiple accounts have
been added recently. This series of development releases has by
default become the release series, because earlier versions of the
software didn't support the OAuth method of authentication that is
required by Twitter.

Because this is a KDE app, you'll need to have the KDE libraries
installed. This version won't run on anything less than 4.4, so if
you've put off upgrading, now might be the time to try it.
Although we've been looking at the beta release here, at the rate
testing is going, it's pretty likely to be the official stable
release soon, so check your package manager to see if it has
arrived before you try to install from source.

Head over to the LXF website and click on the issue cover picture
for more information on Linux Format 140.

3. Special subscription offer

Subscribing to Linux Format not only has the benefit of fantastic
savings. Subscribers will also get exclusive, unlimited access to
the Linux Format subscriber-only area, featuring magazine PDFs,
complete issues and coverdisc downloads! That's access to over 60
issues of Linux learning, free to subscribers to download! See our
latest offers at: ... nuxformat/

4. In the news

The biggest developments from around the net...

# Attachmate Corporation buys Novell ... orporation

The maker of the world's fourth most popular distro (and a big
player in the enterprise space) has been snapped up by another
company - and not a name well known in the Linux world - in a deal
worth $2.2 billion. In addition, Novell has sold a bunch of
"intellectual property assets" to a consortium of technology
companies organised by Microsoft. Interesting...

# KOffice to become Calligra ... igra-suite

A fork? A name change? It's not exactly clear at present, but
Calligra is a "continuation" of KDE's office suite. There's plenty
of renaming going on: KWord becomes Words, KSpread becomes Tables,
and KPresenter becomes Stage. These names "reflect the wider value
of the KOffice technology beyond just desktop applications".

# Tiny kernel patch boosts desktop performance ... ideo&num=1

What a difference 200 lines of code can make. Mike Galbraith has
written a kernel patch that radically improves the performance of
the Linux desktop - so much so, in fact, that it got the thumbs-up
from the normally-quite-critical Linus Torvalds! Here's hoping that
this "group scheduling" patch makes it into our favourite distros.

5. This month on the forum

We tend to think of servers as big, noisy, grinding boxes that live
in racks or cupboards. But personal, home servers are becoming every
more popular, and AndyBaxman described how he'd set up a LAMP
(Linux, Apache, MySQL, Perl) server based on a PogoPlug and USB
drive, all for under 100 quid. Its power consumption is so low that
AndyBaxman can leave it running all the time without having to worry
about the electricity bill. [1]

Snow! Snow snow snow. It has dominated the news here in the UK for
the last couple of weeks (well, that and WikiLeaks - I wonder if
WikiLeaks has anything juicy to reveal about snow?). Our forum
regulars posted a few pictures of their snowy experiences around the
country. Of course Leke, our resident Finn, was distinctly
unimpressed by all of the British fuss, noting that there's quite a
lot of snow up by the Arctic Circle too! [2]



6. Special Newsletter feature


Think you know your Linux stuff? Can you remember everything
that happened this year? Try our quiz - but no internet research
is allowed! Check your answers at the end.

1) What's the name of the Mandriva fork?

A - Magiea
B - Mageia
C - Fandriva

2) What did Linus Torvalds call Mike Galbraith's kernel patch?

A - A killer feature
B - Insanely great
C - Woefully poor

3) Sun was bought out by Oracle. What is Larry Ellison, the boss
of Oracle, known for?

A - Inventing the relational database
B - Throwing a pie at Bill Gates
C - Owning a fighter jet

4) What is the next Ubuntu release (11.04) codenamed?

A - Naughty Nautilus
B - Natty Narwhal
C - Naked Nandoo

5) How did Mark Shuttleworth refer to "tribalism" in Linux?

A) The enemy within
B) Nothing to fear
C) The final hurdle

6) What's the name of the recently announced fork?

A) FreeOffice
C) LibreOffice

7) Who does Mike Saunders sound like, according to a listener
who posted a comment on the podcast?

A) Tony Blair
B) John Lennon
C) Wayne Rooney

8) What's the codename for Linux Mint 10?

A) Julia
B) Sharon
C) Tracey

9) And what's the codename for Android 2.3?

A) Donut
B) Gingerbread
C) Big Mac

10) And lastly: how did the Calligra (formerly KOffice) team describe
the new project?

A) "easy for developers to create new user experiences"
B) "a dynamic re-evaluation of our end-user focus"
C) "a pro-active synergised data silo Web 3.0 e-platform"


And a short interval so that you don't accidentally see the answers...


Now discover just how much Linux knowledge you really do have in
your noggin!

1 - B
2 - A
3 - C
4 - B
5 - A
6 - C
7 - B
8 - A
9 - B
10 - A

7. Coming up next issue

Linux Format 141, on sale Thursday 6 January (next year)...

# Work with Mac and Windows -- Share files, filesystems
and apps across any variety of desktop OSes

# Blog editors roundup -- Keep the world up to date with your
musings, all with free software!

# Drupal 7 test drive -- The most powerful CMS gets a major
new release, so get ahead of the game with our guide

Contents are subject to change - the mysteries of life, eh!

8. Receiving this Newsletter

If you've been forwarded this Newsletter from someone else, and want
to sign up for future issues, just follow the steps below. Each
month you'll receive a sparkling new LXF Newsletter straight in your
Inbox, and the 30-second sign-up process is even easier than writing
Hello World in BASIC:

1. Go to the website forums and log in (or sign up first):
2. At the top of the main forum page, click on 'Usergroups'
3. Join the 'Newsletter' group, and you're done!

If for some reason you no longer wish to receive this newsletter
(which'll make the internet cry) you can opt-out like this:

1. Log into the LXF site and go to the forums
2. Click Usergroups at the top of the page
3. Select Newsletter and then View information
4. Click Unsubscribe next to 'You are a member...'

9. Contact details

If you have any questions or suggestions, please send them to the
Newsletter Editor at the address below:

Newsletter Editor: Mike Saunders --

Letters for the magazine:

LXF website:

Subscriptions: 0870 837 4722 (overseas +44 1858 438794)
Website subscription page:

(C) 2010 Future Publishing Limited
LXF regular
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:14 pm

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