Linux Format Newsletter -- #33, February 2008

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Linux Format Newsletter -- #33, February 2008

Postby M-Saunders » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:12 pm





1. Welcome!

2. LXF 103 on sale

3. In the news...

4. This month on the forum

5. Code it on sale!

6. Coming up next issue

7. Receiving this Newsletter

8. Contact details

1. Welcome!

As I write this, news is coming through from the event
in Melbourne, Australia. Once again, Linus Torvalds has been
silver-tongued with his views on other operating systems: the Mac OS
X filesystem is "utter crap", apparently. To be honest, I actually
like Torvalds's frank no-nonsense approach to computing -- if he
thinks something is bad, he doesn't mince his words. Here's to many
more years of Linusian plain speaking.

Meanwhile, here's February's Newsletter for your perusing pleasure.
We've got a quick run-through of the latest issue, summaries of the
most interesting news stories and forum posts, plus a look at our
new Special Edition of the magazine: Code it! If you enjoy dabbling
in programming or you're looking for an easy way to get started,
read on...

Mike Saunders
Newsletter Editor

2. LXF 103 on sale...

The latest issue of Linux Format has just hit UK newsstands, and
it's probably the most distro-tastic magazine we've ever made. In
our main feature, we gather together the 14 hottest Linux flavours
and find the best one for you. Ever wondered why Arch Linux exists?
Heard the name Sabayon but know nothing about it? Our exhaustive
guide explains all.

And it gets even better: we've crammed 10 of the best distros onto
our special double-sided DVD, including Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, Fedora and
PCLinuxOS. If you'd like to try them but don't want to repartition
your hard drive, you can use the included VirtualBox application to
set up an emulated PC!

Also in this issue: Arduino hacking is back, with Graham's guide to
making a Simon-like game on the dinky little board. We've got a
special report of the Linux going-ons at CES in Las Vegas, plus a
roundup of lightweight window managers and tutorials on sound
production, game programming, mail servers and more.

For a full low-down on the delights in LXF 103, hop over to and click the cover pic on the right.

3. In the news...

It's buyout season, and things aren't looking good for SCO...

# Nokia buys Trolltech ... le&sid=654

Nokia "will make a public voluntary tender offer" for Qt-maker
Trolltech according to the press release, in order to "accelerate
software strategy" and the usual PRspeak. Both companies have
reassured Qt users and customers that "We will continue to actively
develop Qt and Qtopia. We also want to underline that we will
continue to support the open source community by continuing to
release these technologies under the GPL."

# Sun buys MySQL ... le&sid=649

Sun Microsystems has announced that it will buy MySQL AB, developers
of the most popular open source database. The move is poised to give
Sun a "new position in the $15 billion database market". MySQL's
CEO, Marten Mickos, will join Sun in a senior executive role.

# SCO's court woes to wrap up ... le&sid=652

A date has been set for SCO's big day in the courtroom: April 29.
Linux-Watch reports that Novell could be awarded up to $37 million
in licence payments -- a bit pricey given that SCO supposedly has
only $13 million in assets. Will this finally be the end of the
whole saga? What will happen to SCO? And how much has this whole
affair hindered the adoption of Linux?

4. This month on the forum

Having trouble getting 3D accelerated graphics on Mandriva 2008?
Forum regular Marrea kicked off a discussion on the subject, which
soon broadened to cover VMware, Java, and other issues. There's a
bonanza of useful information in this thread if you're struggling
with Mandriva 2008 or plan to install it in the near future! [1]

External_Floppy discovered an intriguing new beverage: Ubuntu Cola!
"Refreshes the geeks other colas can't reach" was his catchy
suggestion for a slogan. We're hoping to get a few cans in the
office here at LXF Towers, and rest assured, we'll give the drink an
exhaustive 16-page review. Well, probably not. [2]

[1] ... pic&t=7268

[2] ... pic&t=7413

5. Code it on sale


If you've ever wanted to try your hand at programming – or know a
budding young student looking to cut their teeth on some cool
computer projects – we've got just the magazine for you: Code it!

Code it! is a special one-off magazine with 25 unique and fun
programming projects for Windows and Linux designed to get everyone
programming. We've taken out nearly all the theory so you can focus
on getting stuff done, and the magazine is pitched at the beginner
level so that even people who have never programmed before can get
started. And if you have programmed before, all you need to do is
skip past the first few projects until you get up to the right
difficulty level for you.

The magazine is split into three primary sections: Desktop, Internet
and Games. Each contains several projects that are completely
independent of the projects, which means you can dip into them
freely depending on what you're most interested in. We've also
worked hard to minimise the amount of code required to get results,
then scribbled notes onto the pages to explain precisely how things
work. Our goal was to make coding as much fun as possible, and we
think you'll agree that Code it! is the easiest place to get

The magazine comes with a bonus DVD containing the source code of
all the projects, as well as a programming toolkit containing tons
of software, documentation and some special extra PDFs from previous
programming tutorials in Linux Format. Code it! is on sale now, and
is exclusive to WHSmith in the UK. A limited number of copies are
also being sent worldwide, so if you'd like to buy a copy for
yourself or as a gift for a budding programmer you know, you had
best place an order soon!

To give you a better idea of how the new magazine looks, we've put
three example projects onto the Linux Format website: visit for more information.

-- Team LXF

6. Coming up next issue

Linux Format 104, on sale Thursday 6 March

# KDE vs Gnome -- With KDE 4 finally here, we put the two top
desktops head-to-head to see which is better

# Don't switch to Vista -- Why businesses have more to gain
from migrating to Linux than Microsoft's latest 'upgrade'

# Rsync patches -- Got more than one Linux box? Halve your
patching bandwidth

# Audio codecs group test -- Ogg Vorbis vs MP3 vs all comers

(Exact contents of future issues are subject to change.)

7. 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 10

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 sorrowful) you can opt-out by removing
yourself from the Newsletter group as above.

8. Contact details

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 subs page:

(C) 2008 Future Publishing Limited
LXF regular
Posts: 2893
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 12:14 pm

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