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.
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.
This week’s Micro Mart (issue 1074) features my review of the Canon PIXMA iP2600 printer. It’s just a quicky, but I’ll have some more writing orientated announcements in the next couple of weeks.
In other news, I was sad to see the end of Drobe as a news source. I submitted the news to OS News. Thanks are due to Chris for all of his hard work over the years. In its day, Drobe was one of the best niche platform news sites around. Chris was also one of the first editors to link to one of my web articles on OS News, which really boosted by confidence when I first started. However, it must have been a huge amount of work, and like most people, I fully understand why he had to give it up now that the scene has started to slow down. I just hope that we can keep the old community together to some extent.
I was sorry not to be able to go to the Retro Reunited show. Unfortunately, time and money issues got in the way. Next time, I’ll try to move hell and high water to get there as it looked absolutely excellent.
Take care all.
This week, Micro Mart is carrying my feature about four brands that lived on beyond the demise of the companies that established them. The article is entitled “And the Brand Played On: Four brands that died… and then lived again.” I delve into the history and subsequent resurection of the Acorn Computers, Apricot, Atari and Commodore brands. Naturally, due to the subject matter it’s an article with a bit of a retro flavour. It’s in issue 1050, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it.
Checkout this week’s Micro Mart (issue 1048, bought today) for my review of the Iomega Prestige external Hard Drive. This is a drive that I actually bought for myself when I spotted it in Tesco!
MM have some more of my stuff in the pipeline and I’ll announce it here when I can.
I’m a bit late with the announcement, but this week’s Micro Mart contains my six page feature on the Arc. It’s in issue 1043. If you want a copy, you’ll have to hurry as it will be replaced by the latest issue on Thursday the 26th of Feb.
The article details the history of the machine with a buyers’ guide, a guide to emulators, and some other details about the platform. In addition, it’s accompanied by some near pornographic pictures of my beloved old Archimedes A310, inside and out. The focus of the article on the Arc as a retro platform rather than the current RISC OS scene.
British weekly print magazine Micro Mart has accepted one of my operating system themed articles. The article is entitled “2009, Year of the independent OS?” and it should appear in the Thursday 15th of January issue. As the title suggests, the premise is that some of the less-known freely available OSes might achieve sufficient maturity to enter into relatively widespread use over the course of 2009. The operating systems that I evaluate are AROS, Syllable, Haiku, and ReactOS. It’s a three thousand word article, so I’ve been able to go into a quite a bit of detail on the relative approach and progress of each OS project.
If it sounds like your kind of thing, look out for it in the newsagents on Thursday 15th.