Podcast Season 5 Episode 1


Title: Megaconz

In this episode: Canonical is to launch a phone. Fedora 18 has been released. Friends of Gnome are looking for money and Valve is to make a Linux-powered games console. Hear our first discoveries of 2013 and how you'd like the podcast to improve in season 5.

Alert! Check out Linux Format on Google Play.

DoubleAlert! We're looking for a staff writer: apply today!

What's in the show:

  • Linked list of news:
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Andrew:
      • Windows 8 is really hard to use.
      • Music for the Masses by Depeche Mode and Come on Pilgrim by the Pixies were released on the same day 25 years ago.
    • Ben:
      • One of our servers was hacked (not this one).
      • Use the '\' character before wildcards for use with 'scp'.
    • Graham:
      • A Mars MS111 coin-mech works with Mame.
      • Wah!cade is now the best Mame/emulator frontend for an arcade machine.
      • There's an OpenGL shader for rendering all the inaccuracies of an old CRT display.
  • Open Ballot: Podcast changes

  • Our scripts are updating Facebook again.
  • Special offer: A subscription to Linux Format magazine is the perfect Christmas gift, and only £12.69 per quarter.

Presenters: Ben Everard, Andrew Gregory and Graham Morrison

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Theme Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

coin mech

have they been able to get sentinel coin mech to work too?


Are there any public information about the virus?


I've submitted a simple review on google play as requested. I did, however, use my real name...

Andrew Penguin.

Sounds like Andrew is up for it :)


I would've happily given Graham that chip (I got that C64 in much the same way as he did - parents who couldn't really afford it treating me at xmas. Selling it wouldn't seem right somehow, whereas giving it to someone who'd bring it to life again would be very apt).

However, it seems it's been thrown out, sorry :(

Great podcast! You seemed genuinely buoyed by the comments and that was lovely.

Re: coin mech

Sorry, I've only got experience with the Mars MS-111 - it's the one that came with my cabinet. But my original unit refused all coins (despite being powered by 12v from the PC), so I guessed it was broken. I got another second-hand unit from eBay, and this worked without any further configuration.

The clever part is done with the 'credit board'. The credit board connects to the coin mech with a ribbon cable, and it's this that generates a 5v pulse for each recognised coin (higher valued coins generate additional credits). The JPAC interface simply recognises this pulse as a button press, so all you need to do is wire the earth and signal pins correctly. This could be tested on my unit with a 'test' button, regardless of whether the coin mech was working or not.

Re: SIDn't

Thanks for the thought, Spangwiches, and no worries about the SID chip. I was able to get a couple in the end, but as you know, they all have their own personality :)


It was the RST.b virus ( symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2004-052312-2729-99&tabid=2 ).

It sits in the murky world between virus and trojan -- it self replicates so it is technically a virus, but doesn't spread very well so the only way you're likely to get it on your computer is if someone puts it there. It's main purpose is to install a backdoor.

You should've known better :-)

Please install fail2ban.

If .co.nz is pronounced

If .co.nz is pronounced 'cons', then .co.uk must be pronounced 'coke'. So, the BBC have a special affinity with a particular white powder.

Please, God no

Please do not begin to sound like the Linux Action Show. That is just terrible. I try listening again once every year, but it just IS horrible and stays horrible. Not the kind of people you want to take clues from.

Virus II

Thank you , Ben



co.uk wouldn't be pronounced "coke". The ou could be pronounced one of 4 ways.

1. /ow/ as in found
about, house, shout, mouse, count, loud, sound, hound
2. long o as in four
pour, course, court, gourd, mourn, fourth
3. /oo/ as in you
your, tour, crouton, group, coup
4. /uh/ as in country
cousin, double

But not a short "o" as in coke. But if it was, it would be cock.

Google Play

Google play now requires you to sign up for a Google+ account to rate magazines; I'm liking them less and less :\

RE: Suggestions for the new year

Im not sure I would go as far to say that the crew sound like tears are dripping into their pints. However I do think that the atmosphere of the podcast can be a bit dreary at times.

I feel maybe its just the atmosphere of the office taking its toll on the mood. Any podcast recorded outside of the office was alot more upbeat and cheerful. (even the time at Andrew's house)

So maybe an idea for the future is to record the podcast anywhere other than the office room. :)

RE: Suggestions for the new year

Sorry I missed commenting on the open ballot proper.

One more vote against taking tips from LAS. Their Stallman episode made me cringe, and not because of Stallman. The folks at LAS seem rather pompous and full of themselves, while all of you over at TuxRadar seem to be sufficiently self-deprecating to retain at least one person's listenership. Perhaps it's the difference created by the pond, but I wouldn't bet on it. You're just cooler.

Things Linux Does Badly

DVD ripping.
I have two machines, one with Debian Wheezy, the other is Fedora 18.
I was trying to rip two DVDs a friend had sent me (see? Not even libdvdcss!) with DVD:Rip and the Fedora machine couldn't finish the job due to transcode errors.
I then tried the Debian machine, and the first DVD went fine - I was thinking 'aha! Conclusive proof that Debian > Fedora' - but then I got transcode errors whilst trying to encode the second disc, even though it was identical to the first disc.
In the end I used mencoder - which took me about an hour to try to find the correct command:
'mencoder dvd://1 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vpass=1 -oac copy -o /dev/null && mencoder dvd://1 -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:mbd=2:trell:vpass=2 -oac copy -o output.avi'
Sorry, just had to vent.

Hmm maybe something you can explain in your podcast?!

Orignal message from google play (from within Germany):

"Sorry! Magazines on Google Play is not available in your country yet.
We're working to bring the content you love to more countries as quickly as possible.
Please check back again soon."

Where are Effies Photos?

During the podcast, I think while Ben was reading the lightning news, Effie took some photos? I'm now realising that I am stupid, that was last years wrap up, and I haven't checked, but anyway, just in case I don't find them there, did anyone post them up somewhere so we can get a look at you guys doing the podcast?

It's is way overdue, but anyway guys have a happy New Year and Merry Christmas, and just in time, Happy LUNAR new year, and look forward to this seasons' podcasts. I KNOW it's sounds like a long time if you say half a decade, but technically you started only 4.3 years ago ... doing the podcast that is.

One other question, is anybody going to cover the various linux conferences? There is one in Canberra this year, I think. It would be a great excuse to visit our sunny shores.
as far as challenges for the fortnightly podcast, I always felt it was a good idea to have on hand a technical or codemonkey sort of aspect that revolved around doing some sort of technical thing either easy or hard, just like a discovery or revelation with respect to something that they would use or do, but because it doesn't come up in daily usage, many newbs and even seasoned users might find helpful. (Bring back Mike, anybody?)
Hoping that this year everybody can remain "positive" :)
Then again, NO. Bring back the confrontational, abrasive style the Paul emulatd so well. (listening to Ep8 season 1!)

There is no such thing as a problem
without a gift for you in its hands
Michael K

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