Tag Archives: Linux User And Developer

New book and other writing updates

LUADHaven’t posted for a quite a while. I need to update the site itself with a new theme when I have time. I’ve moved house and changed towns, and I’m gradually making a new life for myself here. Work-wise, I’ve been doing the usual stuff for the past year or more.

Month in, month out, I’ve been contributing to Linux User and Developer, a British computer magazine. They have serialised the last feature I did for the mag and put it on the website for free (part 1 and part 2). All in all, I must have done about 40 articles for that magazine, ranging from single page reviews up to 8 page features. I enjoyed my time with them, but I’m taking a break from that at the moment. I look forward to working with the editor, Russell Barnes, again in the future, and I may even return to the mag, one day.


The other big writing news from me at the moment is the novella (short novel) I’ve been working on called The Sexual Compass.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA At time of writing, I have finished the first draft. I was determined not to let the project drag on and on, so I took some time off and worked on it for 21 days, producing 32,000 words. It is written in the first person with one head jump at the half way point. The premise is that a discovery is made by some scientists that sexual orientation is controlled by chemicals in the body. Most of the story focusses on a guy who takes some chemicals and goes from being straight to being gay. Sexuality is the main focus of the story, but as you can imagine, as it’s me, issues of gender make their way into it too. I’ve been working on some other writing while I let the first draft sit for a while, but later this week, I’ll get back to it for the rewrite and edit. I’ll probably be self publishing it, and I hope to have it finished in the next month or two, paid work and life permitting.


UK Feminists: Let’s Keep Women out of Prison - Mozilla Firefox_030

I need to get some more stuff onto A Voice For Men, the top (IMHO) men’s rights site on the Internet. The last two things I did for them were back in 2013, but I may have forgotten to mention them on the site. One is about a government backed scheme that would see women being spared prison. The other was a look at the gender politics of breast fetishism. Obviously, I’m still working on the gender politics book. It’ll be finished one day!

Den of Geek is a great website, but I’ve only got one thing onto that site recently. It’s a James Bond article about some of the turning points of the franchise. Funnily enough, Simon Brew used to be the editor of Micro Mart the first print publication I ever worked for. I badly need to get something else onto Den of Geek sometime soon, and I’ve got a few ideas stored up. My older articles for that site where Top 10 Screen Computer Geeks and a retrospective of The Postman (1997) (that even got a mention by the author of the source novel on Facebook).

Somewhere in there, I managed to fit in ten or so pages for an Imagine Publishing bookazine called Raspberry Pi For Beginners, which you can find in WH Smiths. I even built some hardware for it (sort of). I’ve been doing a bit of Java programming of late, just to refresh my skills. Perhaps you’ll see something from me on the Android platform in the future? I’m trying to improve my photography, so go to my Flikr page (see sidebar) and see what you think.
Big turning points in the James Bond movie franchise | Den of Geek - Mozilla Firefox_031OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P1050423_v1_1Java - cardprime-src-cardprime-cardprime.java - ADT _025

Linux User and Developer 117 and Micro Mart 1125

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.

Linux User and Developer 166 System Rescue and GNOME Shell

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.

Linux User & Developer: How to distribute Linux desktops to thin clients

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.

Linux User and Developer 98: Productivity On Linux and other news

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. Continue reading