Podcast Season 2 Episode 16


Title: Mike May Vary

In this episode: Sony was legally allowed to remove the 'Other OS' feature from the Playstation 3, according to Australian lawmakers. Glibc is now really free and KSplice gets into Fedora. We report back from the mid-point of our games development challenge, and ask, what's your favourite Linux improvement?

What's in the show:

  • News:
  • You Dare Us:
      At the mid-point in our four week development cycle, we report on how things are going with our games creation challenge.
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike:
      • The Gimp's user-interface isn't quite as good as it should be.
    • Graham:
      • PiratePad.net is excellent, and better than Google Wave for online collaboration.
    • Paul:
      • Paul has discovered that he really does hate Python.
    • Andrew:
      • He nearly bought a Stylophone in a shop in Bristol.
      • Burgers at Start the Bus in Bristol are really nice.
      • And there's no logic in train ticket prices.
  • In the Hot Seat:
    • Mike's first Hot Seat challenge since returning from Germany.
  • Open Ballot: what's your favourite Linux improvement?
    • All your thoughts, and ours, on what Linux has achieved over the last 12 months.

  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to 40%

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders.

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Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

Linux Mint Love

Yes, more Linux mint love!

Gimp Love

I'm not a great fan of the Gimp but the single window mode is really good and a step in the right direction.
It makes this old Photoshop stalwart happy anyway. Now all I need to done is upgrade up use it :-(

my unpronouncable name

That's OK, it's how everyone else shortens in. I replied twice because I misread the question the first time round.

Also, Microsoft might pretend to love opensource as much as they like but you give the impression you're not up to date with Paul Allen's latest patent trolling.

Good luck with your games. I've been working flat out on mine for the last 2 months and my back hurts.

A couple of gripes

It seems strange that a relatively professional organisation like yours can't cut off the 3 seconds or so of silence at the start of your podcasts. As an audio geek this really annoys me.

Also the letter H is pronounced "aitch" and most certainly not "haitch".

open ballot

The greatest innovation this year has to be in the new version of Ubuntu. Kudos to Mark Shuttleworth for revolutionising the desktop paradigm once again. My productivity has improved no end since the window buttons moved to the left.

KDEasily the best thing this year

Can't agree enough with Graham Morrison. KDE 4 has really come on this year and with more to come I would wager that even Paul Hudson will be a KDE convert by this time next year. Now all we need is for KAlbum to be ported to KDE 4 and world domination is assured.

from small things mama big things one day come

The best thing to happen this year was the announcement that Gnome 3 has been delayed until 2011. I am happy with gnome 2 and don't want to be forced to use gnome shell thanks.

Give us love!

Linux Mint is just so smooth and properly working, it definitely needs more love!

last 12 months

I was very disillusioned this year.

I was convinced that Mike Saunders was the Stig, but alas no!

GetGNU for windows - hmmmm.

Admittedly, I /should/ have read the documentation, but, I was impatient. Serves me right, perhaps.

It took 2 days, repeat 2 ****ing days to obtain gnu4win.

I thought graham said it was a 10Mb download!!!

Alright, alright, it /should/ have worked from the get-go, I just accidentally hit "update" instead of "install", but I imagine several others have made a similar mistake, so can I just humbly suggest that you add some information about this?

Look, I really don't mind ultimately, since I now have a useful collection of utilities. But I have to tell you that it took 2 days on a dial-up connection. Someone somewhere ought to supply some sort of mention of this kind of thing.
It will undermine an honest attempt to obtain Gnu4Win.

And I also still think that MSYS is a far better - at least easier download, even if it is slightly more complicated because - well - it /is/ complicated installing a gnu system on a windows box.

Nevertheless, I believe some sort of direction to the documentation (in the form of a webpage outlining exactly what to do) is in order here.

If only there were more games and proper support for dial-up modems on laptops, I'd be using my (ahem) Mandriva desktop almost exclusively. :)

Maybe it /is/ time I switched to Ubuntu!!!

On that topic, it really doesn't bother me that it's your favoured distro, I don't have any favorite myself, I've used many over the years (although not as many that fall below the top 100 list .... errr.... )

I'd like to think I'm open minded enough to appreciate the various pros and cons of each. Lately I installed PClinuxOS, that was rather nifty, and have used OpenSUSE.

Personally, I would rather stick with RH simply because that's what I'm familiar with. But I won't berate or remonstrate you over distro choice. It is about freedom to choose, and I don't envy you for the difficulty of providing information or softare relating to "Linux" with the additional difficulty of having to provide specifics about how it can be used on "your linux system".

Anyway, thanks once again for your work and mock me mercilessly if you so desire. I can take a joke.

Michael (Mihaly)

Re: A couple of gripes

Thanks for the feedback Joe.

The delay at the beginning of the audio was originally intentional. When we started, either Amarok or Rhythmbox (I can't remember which), would truncate the beginning of the audio when it was downloaded through an RSS subscription. It might be time to look at whether this is still necessary.

As for haitch versus aitch, I used to feel the same.

@Mihaly Sorry you had so much trouble with Gnu On Windows


How come the gimp interface looks so bad but the website has nice fade in effects?

Which Mint

The little old lady I've got using Mint 9 is using the Gnome version. I modified the desktop a bit, to brighten it up and she is really happy with it. (Especially not waiting for things to happen, like in the bad old days of Windows.)

I use Fedora, but won't be using KSplice.

Sounds a bit bleeding edge for me - rebooting really isn't much hassle.

From the linked article:

"Using Ksplice is like replacing your car’s engine while speeding down the highway"

I rest my case.

Arch linux love

Could we have some arch Linux love. If we get Lubuntu love and Linux Mint love... Oh wait yeah, mike Saunders is actually Mike Shuttleworth ;)

Just a note on pirate pad

Pirate pad is just a vanilla install of etherpad, which was opensourced by google. If you do a plain setup, you get something identical to pirate pad.

Its awesome, we actually use it at my company for internal collaboration.

Theme music

If you're going to change the theme music could you make sure that there's a mention of pink ponies in there somewhere?

Linux Mint Love

Linux Mint certainly deserves some love, Fedora too.

@Paul S

<< Did you get a right kicking from Caitlyn. Mr Morrison. Ha! Made my day >>

FWIW, I think Graham is a little off base in what he wrote. But I think Caitlyn is a *lot* off base, which is made apparent by her need to argue by analogy straight off the bat. I think we ought to discuss this in the podcast-after-next, because I think both people raised a number of interesting talking points. Actually, that'd make a great open ballot! "Is Graham Morrison wrong?" :D (podcast-after-next because I'm away on holiday right now; what am I even doing posting this? I wish I knew...)

<< one of you in the podcast claimed that LyX is pronounced like LaTeX with a 'K'. Where did you get that rubbish idea from? >>

You're mistaking me for someone who gives a toss. Neener!

Hudzilla PownZ with skillZor!

Ooo Hudzilla is on a rampage! :)

Interesting word Neener... never heard of it before so I had to look it up! :D

Re: moral high ground

I think my use of the word "neener" made it clear I was abandoning any claim of moral high ground to the kind of person who thinks there can even be such a thing as moral high ground when discussing the correct pronunciation of a free software typesetting front-end ;)

neener? was that like the

neener? was that like the playground neenaw, a proscribed thing in my house and deserves a clip round the ear :P

Is it possible that you could use a decent microphone each for I feared I was going deaf trying to hear some of the banter


We already have four microphones, all recorded on four different channels before being mixed down into the stereo Ogg/MP3. If there's a particular example where it's hard to hear, let us know and we'll see what we can do in the future.

Is Graham wrong?

I think Hudzilla's suggestion for an open ballot is a fine one! My humble take on the subject is to be found in the blogs at Linuxquestions.org. Not full coverage of the subject but I think it begins to illustrate why choice is a good thing!


Just heard your podcast - hearing about Rocketz was a real flash-back - I loved that game! I seem to remember thinking the music was also great on it.

Don't ever change

Thank goodness no one responded when you solicited suggestions for new theme music. I was worried. I am emalfing (the opposite of flaming) your decision to stick with Brad Sucks. I will cry if you change the music -- so there.

give love

@Mike, Graham , Paul and Andrew
I've just braised through the comments from this pod-cast and I realized that several listeners asked for more love to some distro.
After listening to many of your pod-cast's I found myself wondering why are your thoughts, opinions and challenges so distro based? when you say that coherence is the future, wouldn't it be wise to promote projects that have the same goals that you all state to be beneficial to linux and the community in general? I don't think that opposing 'A' and 'B' distro's accomplishes your claims.
So my suggestion is simple...
Promote projects that unite all distros in the linux baner and let all the novels and ranting to the community.

More Minty Love please

Such a great distro, and now with a Debian based version!

So what is a good programming language

You say you hate python (I guess slightly tongue in cheek)
If you wanted to pick a widely available programming language, which would you pick? Likewise you say you don't like ogre. What is better? Is Ogre the best open source games engine, but you have used closed source ones that are better, or is the nature of the beast such that any such library will be horrendous to use.

I guess I am saying I would like a little more depth as to why you say things are crap (Insert crap alert sound fom linux outlaws)

Thanks for the podcast.

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