Podcast Season 5 Episode 3


Title: Burgess Meredith

In this episode: Canonical launches Ubuntu Touch for tablets. Steam has been officially released for Linux. LG has bought WebOS for its televisions. Tizen SDK 2.0 has been released and Mozilla says there's plenty of interest in its Firefox OS. Hear our discoveries and the interim results of our challenge, plus your own opinions in our internet famous Open Ballot.

Alert! Buy Linux Format on Google Play.

What's in the show:

  • News:
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Efrain:
    • Graham:
      • Tablets are mostly unproductive and soul destroying.
      • Send ping to more than one IP address with 'fping'.
    • Andrew:
      • VNC is awesome for connecting to your Raspberry Pi.
      • Mary Shelley was only 18 when she wrote Frankenstein.
  • Challenge Us!
    • Hear the exciting mid-term results from our distro-swap challenge.
  • Open Ballot: Are you excited by the Ubuntu tablet?

  • Our scripts are updating Facebook again.
  • Special offer: A subscription to Linux Format magazine is the perfect February gift and is cheaper than many, many things.

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Efrain Hernandez-Mendoza and Graham Morrison

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Theme Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

Mary Shelly

18 you say.... that's one sick mind for an 18 year old.

Haven't listened to it yet, but I'll will tomorrow on my way to Kidwelly.... woohooo... #overexcited #kidwellyhasabypass

Burgess Meredith

Burgess Meredith also was The Penguin in the Batman TV (Adam West) series, he used to waddle around saying whack-whack-whack, more like a goose really. Tuxedo and top hat, he had a devious umbrella and a cigarette in a holder or maybe it was a cigar? A monocle?

The brain cells aren't what they were, I remember watching it when it was new, I refuse to Google this, my memory does still work. Probably.


I think he was also in a Ray Harryhausen film (Clash of the Titans maybe?). Real men don't use Google.


Syb=Speak Your Brain :-)

Just like to say...

Thank you for making me aware of Manjaro. I love Arch but reinstalling it (as is necessary sometimes) is daunting. Just downloaded Manjaro and about to give it a pop.

Manjaro vs Arch

Ben steered me towards Manjaro after I commented on Arch's installation difficulty following last fortnights podcast. So my question for Ben or Graham is - what would be the advantage of an Arch-based distro if it is not being custom installed for a particular PC set up in the manner of Arch proper? There are other rolling release distros to choose from. Do you get the quick boot time and low resource usage of Arch with a universal install? Educate me, please.

Thanks Sr

Yes, PENGUIN is what I was going for. I'm pretty sure that "crusty boxing trainer" is the mascot for BeOS. Or maybe GNU/HURD. I could be wrong.

Re: Manjaro vs Arch

Ben says:

I will preface this by saying that I'm not a regular Arch or Manjaro user but ...

Just because Manjaro (or, for that matter, any of the other Arch-based distros such as Cinn Arch or Chakra) comes pre-setup, that doesn't mean you don't still have the ability to customise it. You just have a working system to adjust rather than a blank slate to build on. Yes, you can do this with most distros, but Arch is built with this in mind, so the customisation aspects are easier to access as better documented than on others.

Using one of the Arch-based distros, you get access to the Arch repositories which are among the broadest, and most up-to-date.

Those, to me, are the big two reasons, but perhaps someone who uses Manjaro more regularly would like to weigh in.

Rolling releases are something of a double-edged sword. Personally, I like starting from a clean install once a year or so. It gives me a chance to clear out all the crud that's amassed on my system, and I take the chance to go back to just the software that I find useful.


Arch vs. Manjaro

I love Arch but I'm not committed enough to the Arch philosophy of doing _everything_ oneself. I want Arch with sensible defaults and a little tiny bit of automated config.

Manjaro does, so far, seem to be that. It's essentially, when it's done installing, Arch as I would have installed it by hand, only with less reading beforehand.

Also they seem to have someone on their team with a bit of design sense, which is too rare in the Linux world. As does Arch, actually. They're two rare examples of good taste.


I'd like to say a big fuck you to AMD/ATI.

I have a HD4890, which is a 4 year old card, but a pretty powerful one. It'll run game I care to throw at it (in windows).

But it's covered by AMD's 'legacy' drivers. These legacy drivers are very seldom updated, if at al, and every time a new Xorg is released, there are incompatibilities (AMD's fault, not Xorg's).

I need the proprietary drivers as I am a gamer. The open source drivers are superb in terms of 2D performance, those people have achieved a stunning amount in difficult circumstances. But they're no use for 3D games (whether native or via Wine).

The current legacy drivers only work with Xorg <= 1.12. Which makes installing them on any recent Linux distro an absolute pain in the arse. this gave me many hours of fun on Manjaro last night.

Worth it in the end when I played a bit of CKII as a reward.

Yes I could spend £200 on a new card but why would I when this card can run Skyrim on max settings? Definitely the last ATI card I buy though, despite preferring them. I can't support this level of disdain for their Linux users.

AMD are really going to have to get their act together if Linux Steam takes off. There are plenty of people on <5000 ATI cards, especially on laptops, who _should_ be able to run games but won't be able to unless they know what's going on under the hood. I realise the desktop isn't the main focus of Linux Steam but it's part of it, possibly a big part if things go well.


By far the highlight of the episode was hearing Graham wax poetic about about his Proustian sense of regret with tablets. <3 I love you guys. Way to make my coworkers stare at me on my lunch break because I'm laughing so hard.

re: spangwiches

Well I have a similar Nvidia card and I'd like to say the same to them 'cos I got an updated Nvidia driver and GL has just gone down the shitter....

hate to say it but Intel cards are the only ones which don't seem to muck up.... unfortunately their cards are a pile of muck!



Graham's comments in the pod cast about tablets, was like he read my mind. I've been using one for about a year and completely agree "unproductive and soul destroying".
Great pod cast and love the magazine.

ardour 3.0

Would like to see Tuxradar review Ardour 3.0, which, after years of development, has finally been released. Ardour is a fantastic piece of software that deserves more recognition.

I see so much coverage of different desktops and interfaces, but ultimately people use computers for the applications. Now that Ardour has midi support it can compare favourably with commercial DAWs, such as Pro Tools and Logic. Now all Linux needs I believe is a reliable, user friendly video editor - an iMovie equivalent if you will. All the ones I've used on Linux have been very crash prone and/or had rendering problems etc. I have high hopes for Openshot, as the developer has written his own library from scratch and is working towards releasing a new version which uses the new library to address stability problems and other shortcomings of previous versions.

I only wish Canonical would invest in supporting developers of these important applications instead of concentrating on eye candy and yet another interface.

I thin it's crazy - developers of major applications which such as Ardour and Openshot have to struggle on without any commercial support, whilst Canonical are obsessed with superficial stuff like eye candy and pay devs for nonsense like moving the window buttons to the wrong side and baking Amazon Adware into the OS - I'd prefer it if they spent their time, money and resources on funding development of really top notch applications. When I started using Linux 6 years ago the lack of a really dependable yet easy to use Video editor was recognised even then as something that was holding Linux back. It still is, I believe. Canonical should not hire as many interface theorists or desktop wallpaper designers and instead should get together with Red Hat and Novell to provide joint funding, so that a big team of developers with expertise in the audio visual field can be assembled. This could greatly accelerate development of the GIMP, make Ardour even better (develop plugins to rival the proprietary ones), and have a rock solid video editing solution - or two (a simple frontend for the layperson and a more complex frontend with advanced options for the professional?).

Such a situation would make Linux a much more appealing desktop platform.

A lot of people use Mac OS X just so they can use Logic or Final Cut or the iLife suite. Linux could have a similar appeal if the commercial Linux vendors invested more in hiring developers to fasttrack the improvements in the applications.

To be fair, from what I understand Red Hat do invest quite a bit in development. eg. KVM and Spice. Also Monty (creator of Ogg Vorbis) is paid by Red Hat to do audio development. This kind of stuff helps the wider Linux community. Ubuntu's Unity only benefits Ubuntu (no other major distro ships it as far as I know).

Perhaps I'm being unfair but looks like Canonical could be doing more.

Arch installer

I'm a professional open source software developer and I use Arch exclusively both at home and at work.

Arch is all about being as transparent as possible and as simple as possible from a technological point of view. That's why they don't include an installer that hides the config files from the user. That is the Arch way.

Personally, I don't give a crap about any of that and do all the installation myself because it gives me geeky pleasure that I get to talk to women about at the bar. :)

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