TuxJam episode 34

After a summer break, TuxJam is back with its mix of creative commons music and reviews of lesser known free and open source (FOSS) projects brought to you by Kevie and Andrew (aka McNalu). We do our round of recent releases documented on distrowatch.com. Then we review Slackware-based live distro Austrumi, which Kevie has used for a while, but which is new to long-time Slackware afficiando Andrew.  Next, Kevie reviews a *gasp* non-FOSS game called FarSky in which you have to recover from a submarine disaster whilst stopping to gaze up in wonder at the fauna of the oceans.Then Andrew talks about Voxelands which is a fork of Minetest, the FOSS game inspired by Minecraft. Voxelands drops Minetest’s modding capabilities but aims to deliver a more playable game. We then go through our usual feedback section, noting some positive comments made about our Hacker Public Radio special TuxJam 33 1/3. And, have you ever wondered what two hungover Scotsmen sound like the morning after a podcrawl around the pubs of Glasgow? Wonder no more!

Creative commons tunes played in this episode were:

In the Rain – Joseph Connelly
The White Lady – Dead White Man
I Breathe – SAKTO
Hand Me the Crown – Julia Haltigan
For Life – Trundicho
These Nights – Modern Pitch

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TuxJam episode 33

TuxJam 33 starts off with its usual round-up of less well known Linux distro releases on distrowatch. You can hear Andrew eating humble pie because he’s completely forgotten to do a previously agreed review of the distribution SolydXK. Kevie on the other hand has bravely moved outside is comfort zone to try out the KDE version, SolydK, and Andrew slightly redeems himself by offering a commentary on KDE. Andrew reviews a lightweight alternative to the audio application Audacity called mhWaveEdit- which he discovered thanks to Beeza in HPR1514, Kevie recounts his experience with FireFox OS on the Geeksphone Revolution and we move on to discuss prior experiences on the ZTE Open and can’t help but discuss other unsettling  news from Mozilla, in particular its recent, reluctant stance on DRM support. The feedback section is larger than normal due to the favourable comments arising from our HPR special TuxJam 31, and the raging controversy over the spelling of whisky arises again.

Creative commons tunes played in this episode were:

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TuxJam Episode 32

In TuxJam episode 32 Kevie is joined by Stuart Langridge from the podcast Bad Voltage, Stuart talks about his journey in podcasting from being a founder member of LugRadio, Shot of Jaq to the present day. Following this Kevie and Stuart lose track of any structure and go into a discussion about various things including: Stuart’s bluetooth shower speaker, XBMC, the Raspberry Pi and computer tinkering.  In keeping with true TuxJam form Stuart talks about the latest open source project he has been testing out:  Syncthing.  Following the demise of Ubuntu One, Stuart is actively seeking for a replacement, could this be the answer?  Plus the usual mix of creative commons music:

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TuxJam episode 31

This episode is a TuxJam special to go out on Hacker Public Radio, which means it’s slightly more geeky than normal. We start with our usual obscure distrowatch roundup, then Kevie talks about his experience with recording and editing a tutorial on using the GIMP image editing software. If you’re curious to know who Benny Hill is, or would like a reminder, have a look at this video (warning: this is no longer politically correct, but still funny though!). Andrew then talks about his recent experiences using Python’s excellent Numpy and Scipy modules in working with astronomical data. Particularly impressive is that the team who announced an important discovery concerning the origins of our Universe (BICEP2) this week have released not only their data, but also their source code in a tar ball on an elegantly simple website. Kevie then returns us to Earth with a review of the appealing status.net/GNU Social microblogging client called Crow, developed by Bijan. We round off with feedback on the show and by wishing everyone, especially HPR listeners, a happy No Ruz (Persian New Year).

Please do let us have feedback, either by commenting on this post, or to any of the following: andrew on status.net; kevie on statust.net; andrew on friendi.ca; kevie on diaspora. And you can also find us as mcnalu and kevie on twitter (but we’re not very active there).

Tracks played on this show:

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TuxJam Episode 30

TuxJam enters its fourth decade with episode 30 and is hosted as usual by Kevie and Andrew (aka mcnalu). We discuss the recent releases of more obscure but interesting distros on distrowatch. Andrew does a mini-review of Zenwalk 7.4. First impressions are good – it’s fast, elegant with a good choice of applications – but the package manager doesn’t seem to work as expected. Kevie then reviews the SpringSeed note-taking app and although it shows some promise, it’s an app in its early stages and integration with the desktop leaves something to be desired. Andrew then discusses his first play with pygame – a library for python that helps you make games, especially 2D ones. It’s very useful, but making a good game still requires a lot of work. We revisit the feedback from TuxJam 27 on Telepathy and KDE’s implementation of it, but unfortunately the dependencies made it too tricky for Andrew to try out just yet.

Please do let us have feedback, either by commenting on this post, or to any of the following: andrew on status.net; kevie on statust.net; andrew on friendi.ca; kevie on diaspora. And you can also find us as mcnalu and kevie on twitter (but we’re not very active there).

Apologies for Andrew’s poor nasal sound quality, this was diagnosed shortly after the show as sinusitis and has responded well to doses of amoxycillin, rest and Star Trek Continues :)

CC tracks played on this show:

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TuxJam Episode 29

In Tuxjam Epsiode 29 we do our usual round-up of lesser-known distros, briefly discussing the recent release of the Musix distro. Kevie talks about his experiences with using stuff from xbmchub.com and also a new android app for jamendo called jamstreamer, which has a seen some very rapid and attentive development in recent months. Andrew discusses his experiences with Simon Tatham’s puzzles, found on F-Droid but available on a bewildering array of platforms because of its cunning design. Simon’s other projects, including the well-known PuTTY are well worth a look. Finally, in feedback, we celebrate Linux Voice’s success (and their kind acknowledgement of our tiny part in that!) and mention the document sharing Telepathy project in a belated response to Stefan Kallweit’s feedback to epsiode 27.

Other links mentioned:
http://blog.mcnalu.net/robot-arm.html – re @r7′s feedback on #29
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/01/rewinding-to-betamax-the-path-to-consumers-right-to-record/

CC tracks played in this episode:

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TuxJam Episode 28

Episode 28 of TuxJam takes the theme of ‘gifts for geeks’ just in time for Christmas.  These have been split into 3 price ranges.

High price (£100+)
3D printer http://makezine.com/2013/08/01/3d-printing-an-aston-martin/
Ouya https://www.ouya.tv/
Jambox https://jawbone.com/speakers/jambox
Geeksphone Peak http://shop.geeksphone.com/en/phones/5-peak.html
Beer club subscription http://beerclubofbritain.co.uk/
Linux Voice subscription http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/linux-voice/
Arcade style joystick http://www.xgaming.com/store/arcade-joysticks-and-game-controllers/product/x-arcade-dual-joystick/
JBL Pulse http://uk.jbl.com/jbl_product_detail_uk/pulse.html

Mid Range (£15-99.99)
Bluetooth Jukebox Speaker http://www.firebox.com/product/5227/Jukebox-Dock-Bluetooth
Minecraft tee-shirt/merchandise http://www.jinx.com/shop/coll/minecraft/
Open source energy monitor hardware http://openenergymonitor.org/emon/
Raspberry Pi http://www.raspberrypi.org/
Magic wand TV remote http://www.iwantoneofthose.com/gift-gadgets/the-magic-wand-tv-remote-control/30000744.html
Sony Android watch http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sony-Generation-SmartWatch-Smartphone-Accessory/dp/B006RJR62I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386016631&sr=8-1&keywords=sony+android+watch

Stocking fillers (free-£14.99)
Piglow http://shop.pimoroni.com/products/piglow
Grumpy old git mints http://www.menkind.co.uk/grumpy-old-git-mints
Self stirring mug http://www.firebox.com/product/4789/Self-Stirring-Mug
Joypad soap http://www.firebox.com/product/5413/Gamer-Soaps
Space Invader Multitool http://www.firebox.com/product/4395/Alien-Invader-Multi-tool
Contact bands directly and get them to write the Christmas message inside a CD
A Kickstarter http://www.kickstarter.com/ or IndieGoGo http://www.indiegogo.com/ donation to a startup project
A Kiva loan http://www.kiva.org/

Put a creative commons released show onto a CD

Andrew takes a more in depth look at a robotic arm which was controlled using a Raspberry Pi.  A great modern day parent-child project.  Along with the usual mix of Christmas Creative Commons music:

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TuxJam Episode 27

In episode 27 of TuxJam, the usual suspects are joined by Andrew Gregory, formerly of Linux Format magazine and Tuxradar podcast.  In our continued attempt to break free of Google, Mcnalu takes a look at switching his personal blog from Blogger to Pelican.  Kevie shares his thoughts on the Rii i10 USB mini keyboard and trackpad.  We also pause for a moment to talk about the success of the RaspberryPi taking into account that the device has now shipped over 2 million. Andrew Gregory talks about the new project he is working on: Linux Voice.  They currently have a crowd funding program running on IndieGoGo to get the Linux Voice magazine up and running, you can check out the progress and contribute here.  This along with the usual mix of CCmusic:

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Jezra’s email to the show:

Ah, the Zee Tee Eee Open.

What I like most about the ZTE Open, is that with internet sharing
turned on, the device acts as a wifi hotspot and I can use my laptop or
Nokia N900 to access the internet… and the phone makes phone calls.

While this device is a great replacement for the digital camera I had 3
years ago, and the music player I had 3 years ago, and the phone that I
had … um… 3 weeks ago, I happen to be the owner of a Nokia N900 ( a
similarly spec’d device from 4 years ago running a GNU Linux
distribution and with a gecko based default browser), and unfortunately
I tend to judge Firefox OS by the features of Maemo on the N900; what a
bummer for Firefox OS.

For the most part, the biggest problems I’ve had with the ZTE Open tend
to be with the lousy web browser that comes bundled with the device.
Currently, I’m running Firefox OS version 1.3.0.0-prelease and the
browser seems to be slower than the browser on version 1.0, and the
browser still doesn’t handle file uploading properly. It is nice and
dandy that the browser has support for most of HTML5, but when I take a
picture, I’d like to be able to post the picture to a website (Maemo
can do this just fine).

When I am entering data into a web form, pressing the enter key on my
keyboard submits the data. Since Firefox OS is supposed to be web
based, I would expect that when filling in a text field in a
native app that pressing ‘enter’ on the onscreen keyboard would submit
the data.

The open has been declared a “developer” device. More than likely, this
means that owners of the device are expected to compile and flash new
images to their device, and Zee Tee Eee will not be providing Over The
Air updates. Mozilla really dropped the ball by partnering with a
company that seems to have no regard whatsoever for their customers.

Enjoy 1.0, it is doubtful that you will get a timely update to anything
more recent unless you compile it yourself. However, Geeksphone seems
to be providing hella sweet support for owners of the Keon or Peak, and
has a page dedicated to providing the latest images for their devices.
Check out http://downloads.geeksphone.com/ to see what I mean.

Jezra

Web: http://www.jezra.net
Status: http://status.jezra.net
Coffee: http://coffee.jezra.net

P.S. Some things you can expect in 1.3 :
1. The Marketplace is an app as is no longer “swipe left to right”
2. you can finally put app launchers on the “home screen”
3. the homescreen has a “i’m thinking of..” search bar, and there
doesn’t seem to be a way to get rid of it
(image attached )

P.S.S. using the browser to add a bookmarked website to the homescreen
still doesn’t use the website’s favicon as the launcher icon (image
attached)

TuxJam Episode 26

As TuxJam continues to look at alternatives to the large corporations, Kevie and Andrew review the ZTE Open smartphone which comes with FireFoxOS installed rather than the usual Android. There is an update on the Lightning Browser and Pusteblume Diaspora client following their reviews in episode 25. We actually received some feedback this episode (Yipee!!!) so that fills in another section that is usually rather empty. Along with the usual selection of creative commons tracks:

Jezra’s ‘unicorning’ feedback can be downloaded here

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TuxJam Episode 25

In the 25th episode of TuxJam Kevie and Andrew take a look at Tails, a Debian-based live distro with an emphasis on security. As well as a look at the game Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead, the Lightning Browser and Pusteblume Diaspora client for Android. Along with the usual selection of creative commons tracks:

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