TuxJam 37 – Gifts for Geeks 2014

Andrew (aka mcnalu) and Kevie continue the TuxJam tradition of a special festive episode that brings you suggestions of gifts for geeks, or indeed gifts that might help bring out the inner-geek in a friend or family-member. Before we get to those, Kevie talks on his positive experience of self-proclaimed “lovely” linux distribution LXLE.

Gifts  for Geeks

Stocking fillers (£0 to £20)

Mid-range (£20 to £150)

Top-end (£150 or more)

Festive Creative Commons tracks played

*If you liked this track, you can download it along with the Magnatune Christmas album for free.

Wishing you a Merry Christrmas and a Happy New Year from Kevie and Andrew!

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TuxJam 36 – Three Scottish Stooges Script Screenplays

Cover2Kevie and Andrew (aka mcnalu) start off with a round up of recent releases of lesser-known distros on distrowatch.com. They review Neptune OS 4.2 which was released just after 4.1 was reviewed in TuxJam 35, and find only slight improvements on what was already a well-crafted linux distro. They’re then joined by Gordon aka ThistleWeb from our sibling podcast Crivins to talk about Trelby, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) package for writing scripts and screenplays. If you’d like to know a bit more, give Gordon’s Hacker Public Radio (HPR) show on this topic a listen. Andrew (the complete graphics amateur) then reviews the vector graphics software Karbon and is quizzed  by Kevie, who makes a living from teaching young folk to use graphics software. How Karbon compares to Inkspace, it’s main FOSS rival, is left for a future episode. Kevie then reviews streamripper, which, as the name suggests, is a tool for recording audio streams. We then review our feedback and pass on the invite to the HPR new year special show.

Creative commons tunes played in this episode were:

Rise by Rob Warren  – suggested by Pete Daniels https://loadaverage.org/pete
David & Golliath by Wooden Legs – suggested by Tim Dobson https://twitter.com/tdobson
I’m Down, Down, Down by Yuvalain
Don’t Stop by Tradmark
Answer My Call by The Way I Am
All I Wanna Be Is Happy by A Beautiful Tomorrow

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TuxJam episode 35

Cover2We start, as always, with a review of recent but less well-known releases on distrowatch.com. We then review Neptune OS 4.1 – a KDE GNU/Linux distribution with Debian underpinnings and a pleasing array of multimedia applications, particularly for audio. (By sheer bad lack, it turns out that Neptune OS 4.2 was released just after we recorded the podcast on 24 Oct 2014.) We then discuss a lighter-weight alternative to Audacity called MHWaveEdit that both Kevie and Andrew (aka McNalu) have used to edit other podcasts they’ve recorded. We finish up by discussing feedback we’ve received since the last show.

We are delighted that all the music used on this show came from listeners’ suggestions, and bemused that one suggestion has come from a bot. We’ve still got more to use, so be patient if your suggestion hasn’t been included yet.

Creative commons tunes played in this episode were:

Sweet Machine by Eyedrop  – Question http://oracle.skilledtests.com/question
Lemmings in Love by Pornophonic – Eric Duhamel https://loadaverage.org/ericxdu23
Ophelia’s Song by Musetta – Laurel Russwurm http://s.russwurm.org/laurelrusswurm
Discount Store by Dan Bryk – Alister Christman https://twitter.com/mralc

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TuxJam episode 34

Cover2After 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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