My main publishing announcements for this month are Linux User Developer 117 and Micro Mart 1125. Expect to see quite a lot from me in Linux User and Developer over the next couple of months. For now, issue 117 contains another four page step-by-step tutorial on the subject of self publishing a book using an excellent piece of software called LyX. LyX is the main “word processor” that I use for all my writing, and I seem to end up doing a feature on it every 18 months or so.
I also managed to get in a review of Oracle Linux 6.3. That was a tough one to rate as it’s practically a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and it’s difficult to know how to rate it.
I also did a review of the Nikon L310 bridge camera for Micro Mart. I hadn’t done much work for them of late, and it was nice to get back in touch.
As for moving house… It is proceeding, but rather slowly. Being in limbo in this respect is impacting my ability to work, but I’ve still got some stuff in the pipeline. I’m still not sure if I’m going to Replay in Manchester this year. I’d like to, but it’s beginning to look like it could coincide with the moving date.
Check out issue #116 of Linux User & Developer (August 2012) to see two of my tutorials. Both are step by step features, a format that I’m starting to get the hang of now.
The first four page tutorial deals with with customising the GNOME Shell. Personally, I haven’t been won over by the GNOME 3.0 interface, but to be fair to the developers, they have inserted a considerable framework for customisation by end users.
The second tutorial has a selection of tips for system rescue. Many of these tips can be carried out from standard Linux distributions, and others rely on SystemRescueCD, a live distro with an emphasis on system repair and maintenance.
Both tutorials were tough to write, but enjoyable, and I even learnt the odd new trick as I went along. I’ve got some more stuff coming up in later issues of the mag. In addition, I did a post for the website about the open sourcing of CDE. I got the inside scoop from a guy I met in RISC OS IRC channel. It’s a seedy world that I inhabit.
Anyway, back to the grindstone and another step-by-step.
Issue 111 of Linux User & Developer (March 2012) contains my four page tutorial on LTSP, a system to distribute Linux desktops to clients. Basically, a server runs LTSP and the clients (which could be old PCs, for example) boot over the network. Subsequently, a small version of Linux runs on the client, from a RAM disk. Like a lot of the LU&D content, it’s one for the techies.
I’ve had a fair bit of stuff in the mag of late and some of it ends up on the website (such as these reviews of EyeOS and Gentoo). Other than that, I’ve got another mag related announcement in the next few days.
I had a nice surprise, a few weeks ago, when I noticed an article that I did for Den of Geek last year (one of the best SciFi sites on the net, IMO) at the top of my Facebook newsfeed. The article was about the Kevin Costner movie The Postman (which rules), and at first I couldn’t work out why it was at the top of the page after so long. Then I noticed it had been linked to by David Brin, the author of the source novel (which also rules). It was quite an honour as his remarks were mostly complimentary and he’s a very well known SciFi author and a fascinating essayist.
Take care, all. Another magazine article in the next few days and I’ve got a couple of other irons in the fire in terms of article ideas.
Issue 98 of Linux User and Developer (March 2011) features my four page article on productivity applications for Linux. It’s basically a collection of tips and application recommendations. There are more details about the issue as a whole on the LU&D website. There should be a distro review from me in next month’s issue, and hopefully, you’ll see more from in the mag in the future. [Update: Actually, Russel has posted up the review, of Tiny Core Linux, in advance. Update #2: The mag, issue 99 has now been released.]
Recently, I did another guest post on my other main writing interest, gender politics. This article appears on A Voice For Men, the website of Paul Elam. The article is called OMG – Our Gender Is Being Oppressed By Language!, and it’s an attack on a technique that is commonly used in text books. It’s a good one for people interested in language, gender politics and/or men’s rights. Read more…
My first post for the website of Linux Journal magazine is an op-ed about the initially rocky history of KDE4.
[update: It’s been posted around a bit on Redit, LXer, Raiden and Linux Today amongst others.]
[update #2: I’m not going to blog about every post that I make on the site now as it would quickly fill up the site and push other stories off the bottom. There is now a sidebar about my LJ posts. I’m my third month of working for them, and so far, everything’s going great.] Read more…
This week’s Micro Mart (issue #1079) features my latest op-ed article that asks if the UK needs its own official Linux distribution. It’s another six pager and fairly off the wall, but hopefully it will get people thinking.
The core idea behind having a national Linux distribution is that it would form part of a simultaneous push towards open source software in education, government offices and businesses. In my opinion, open source initiatives are bound to struggle unless they are carried out on every level of education and industry at the same time, and “UK Linux” would be a way of doing this. I also take a look at other national Linux distributions such as the Russian and Chinese ones. Available for the rest of the week.
[update: there’s a bit of chat about the article on the forum]
This week’s Micro Mart (Issue #1075, two pounds as usual) features my 6 page overview of Ubuntu Studio. Hats off to the layout guy as it’s another great looking article. Along with my assessment of the distribution itself and the included software, I get into some details about MIDI and Audio in general. Just in case you’ve not come across it before, Ubuntu Studio is a Linux distribution optimised for audio work. Can a simple free download, when burnt to a blank disk, turn your computer into a fully fledged home studio? Find out by reading the article.
The next article to appear in MM will feature one of Mike’s Brilliant Ideas!, much like the stuff that I got started with, back in the OS News days. It’s another six pager and full of radical and strange thoughts about a scheme that might just save the world.
Stay tuned for details.
Linux.com have published my current article. I hope the community find it an enjoyable read. I never know how people are going to take articles like this one. I said in my RISC OS article, “I hold the opinion that if you are truly a fan of something, you can accept criticism of it. You don’t have to be loyal to something that is genuinely good.” I wonder where platforms like Amiga and OS/2 would be now if a few more people had complained?
From the article:
These problems span the entire Ubuntu experience but they all have two things in common: they are all solvable and they are all serious enough to evoke the dreaded, “I tried Linux but it didn’t work”.
I’ve finished an article for Linux.com called “Moving my mother over to Linux“. This is the first article that I have had professionally edited, and it’s a weird experience, having someone alter my words. Not to worry, the editor, Lee Schlesinger, seems to know what he’s doing
It’s a bit brief at 1,700 words but better concise than flabby.