Podcast Season 1 Episode 25

Podcast

Title: Dreaming Androids

In this episode: Google releases the Nexus One and Mark Shuttleworth has announced he's going to relinquish control of Canonical. Freescale unveils a Linux touch tablet and we ask whether 2010 could really, honestly, be the year of Linux on the desktop.

What's in the show

  • News: Google releases a new Android 2.1-based smartphone called the Nexus One. Freescale reveals a Linux touch tablet and Mark Shuttleworth announces his intention to step-down as Canonical's CEO.
  • Closed Ballot: Is this the year of Linux on the desktop?
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike: Google Chrome can count the number of goats teleported during any browsing session.
    • Graham: Get out on your bike with OpenCycleMap.org
    • Paul:
    • Andrew: Some article about sex and music in the aforementioned Spectator
  • Hot Topic: We need your help for Season Two! Let us know your section ideas and links to any music you'd like us to use.

  • Here's a link to our new Coding Academy Special: http://www.linuxformat.com/codingacademy
  • ...and the link to the Free Software Song lyrics.
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders

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Your comments

Season 2 ...

Dear Santa, I would like to see the following for season 2 of the TuxRadar podcast.

1) A discussion about porting Google Chrome (browser) to MikeOS.
2) Some more interviews
3) The same music (I love that some people don't like it)
4) And of course, more one last thing

Love the show guys, looking forward to season 2 :)

Podcast Ideas

Some ideas for the podcast:
○ Yes to the interviews (where possible)
○ Some Sort of competition every podcast (like the music last podcast or a coding comp etc.)
○ Live Sound Effects & edited in ones (best of both worlds)
○ Each theme should have its own musical intro.
○ a one off live broadcast podcast.
○ keep discovery of the podcast
○ keep one last thing... more tips rather than questions

Just my opinion.

but great podcast... keep it up.

Podcast Idea

I don't know, if this was covered in previous podcasts, but I'd like to know, which distribution are you running, and why that one was your choice.

Thank you for your work, and wish you many great podcasts for a long time.

HandyGandy

Haven't had a chance to listen to the podcast yet, but I'm struck by the lack of an open ballot.

What happened? no longer trust our opinions.

The commercials.

Mark Shuttleworth and John Cleese.
Oh and that hot babe in the Novell PC vs Mac vs Linux
( don't know them? Youtube is your friend. )

Season 2 blockbusting topic!

Happy New Year and welcome back. I love the show, and the magazine - nice job. There's so much free and non-free content out there but I'm still getting value for my few euro when I do buy your mag and that's a major credit to your creativity and talents.

For season two, theres a topic I'd love you to cover. Early in season one it was mentioned that Mike suffers from the occasional RSI trouble (Episode 9?). Anyway, the conversation moved on almost immediately. Is RSI a tolerated inconvenience of computing these days? I know people who struggle to use door handles when their RSI acts up, so it's more than just a frag-impeding irritant. It interferes with daily life, not to mention your ability to use the most common work-tool in the western world; the PC.

I've just begun trying the DVORAK keyboard layout and I know you guys sometimes put a two week challenge to yourselves at times. Why not try this out in the name of all the Mikes out there? Seriously, you are the best people to do this. If after two weeks you cannot see the peak of the learning curve, then we can safely say that DVORAK will never have a notable presence in the industry as it's just not viable. But from what I've been reading online, it's actually quite hard to get any hard facts. Even the experiments are disputed because of rivalry between Dvorak and Earle Strong (who was against DVORAK implementation, even before he ran experiments), who are disputed to be involved in all of the tests.

I hope you'll give it a try also and I hope your listeners will join in. Your insights would be valuable to everyone.

Kind regards,
Jarlath

Year of Linux on the desktop?

Is this the year of Linux on the desktop? Does using an old Ubuntu CD as a drinks coaster count? If so, then the answer is definitely "Yes"!

The Year of Linux on the desktop? Not yet...

The Year of Linux on the desktop? Well, it could be. With distributions like Mint 8 (Helena), which even the most lowly of ex-Windows users could just sit down and use, (or even install), all there is stopping it is publicity.

The only real hang up is with the manufacturers of equipment, (we like to connect to our computers), not supporting GNU Linux. Can I save my contacts from my mobile phone to the computer? Will my PDA sync okay, will it have cut down facilities and over simple UI? And, as for my music player and camera...

On my Sony VAIO laptop with 120GB, Vista's OS footprint was 30GB whereas Mint takes only just over 3GB. So running Mint means I can carry my music library with me but, can I link my Samsung mobile phone; not yet.

Once equipment manufactures automatically support Linux, just like they do with Microsoft and Apple products, only then will it be the year of Linux. Hell, even embedded Linux products like TomTom don't support Linux “out of the box”. (If they do, I haven't found it yet!)

For us, if you like to connect all your electronic products to your box it will need a Windows partition as, after all, we're not all Hackers but just simple computer users; the majority of computer users.

Linux Desktop vs. Idea for Open Ballot all in one

There is one way to ensure the speed of Linux Desktop development increases and that some usability actually comes in. Also vote on this to annoy people!

New rule, in all help on forums(unless it's really intricate) and for all new distro 'features'. If it cannot be done without the command line it cannot be fixed and/or it is not a feature.

I know this basically breaks multiple layers of functionality that exist however the GUI tools to accomplish these things would soon sprout up. It would be an effective catalyst for change and enable noobs to actually learn rather than copy and pasting solutions.

season 2

Hi

Please leave same music :) as dazfuller said: "I love that some people don't like it".

Kill pulse and again start from beginning... I think it's better stuck to pulse and make it work. Am I wrong?

Good luck with second season.

blah

I'm having trouble downloading the podcast. It slows down to speeds that are microscopic. Maybe you guys are getting too popular?

What I'd like to see in the next Season: Less structure. The best podcasts I've heard had no structure, just a loose list of things to talk about. The more you section off the podcast, the more controlled and boring it sounds. Conversation is nothing like text; don't treat it the same way! Let the conversation flow wherever it goes. You guys are talented and opinionated individuals, and I have no doubt that you could make a much more interesting podcast without cutting up the podcast into sections.

@conor.smurf: I strongly disagree with your assertion that the command line programs should not be considered features or used to help newbies solve problems. Just because some new users have an irrational fear of text prompts doesn't mean we should discard the concept entirely!

How much easier is it to give them a command line prompt instead? My mom wants to have a program on her Ubuntu box that works with images, right? So I say,

"Hey, mom, just type this in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install gimp

Put in your password and then let it run."

Or, if I had to do it the GUI way,

"Okay, open up Synaptic in the System menu, find a package called The GIMP in this big list (you can search for it in the top box or with the search button), click on it, press the Apply changes button near the top but below the menu bar, press okay, press okay, enter your password, and let it run."

The former is far easier than the latter - no contest! And if my mother is like any other user, she doesn't care how or what she has to do - she just wants it fixed. If some alien language in a terminal makes it work, so be it. As it happens, it's little more than a copy and paste job with an e-mail. She's not going to learn how to use Synaptic anyway.

I don't see why former Windows power users dread the sight of a terminal so much to the point that they build it up to be such an evil, nasty thing that's hampering the use of Linux on the desktop. It's a tool like any other. I use it by choice - I haven't had a distro force me to use it in a year at the very least, but I find it very handy and faster than GUI apps.

@Ray Woods: If you like Linux, buy devices that sync up to it. Maybe you bought your device before you got Linux, but then you should be contacting and complaining to the manufacturer about that so that they hear another voice. Hopefully demand becomes great enough for support.

When I bought an MP3 player, I bought a Sandisk Sansa Clip, not an iPod, so that I'd have Linux compatibility. It took me five minutes of online browsing to find a good MP3 player that supported Linux that flawlessly. Until manufacturers start seeing profits from Linux users, they won't be supporting the platform, so vote with your wallet and make your voice heard in the customer feedback section.

Nevermind

Never mind about the downloading issue - I blame that on Chrome. Firefox is as quick as a whistle.

Hopefully nobody got too excited about their popularity. If they did then I'm sorry.

Interviews

Interviews are a good idea although you may struggle getting people of note and that are interesting. You dont really just want some random guy who created a small project which does something trivial.

To record a interview you have 3 options, record it with the person using mics, pass audio from a seperate machine running skype to a mixer and then to the recording box, or buy dedicated hardware to do a interview over the phone.

p.s. I would be willing to be hired as consultant or producer.

The year of Linux on the desktop

The year of Linux on the desktop will be when KDE 5 is released.

re. interviews

"Interviews are a good idea although you may struggle getting people of note and that are interesting."

Why do you say this? I bet Barack Obama would be honoured to be interviewed on the Tuxradar podcast.

Andrew! Stop breathing in

Andrew! Stop breathing in the mic!

@blah

@blah exactly why I posted, not trolling but I don't hear this discussed.

I'd love to use the command line and I'm a quick learner but i have a god awful memory. I will never learn anything by copying and pasting sudo apt get blahblah when there is a perfectly usable GUI program that is genuinely new and interesting in for example mint-stall. Why do that? I'm considered a power user and general fixer upper in windows but the problem in linux command is either I find the exact problem I was looking for or I need tailored solutions and it is not easy getting that for any distro. People get bored or whatever. If there was a GUI tool I could actually learn how-to apply a solution in varied circumstances.

Interview

How about an interview with Jordan?

Ouch

Wow, you guys really harshed on the Nexus One! The points you mentioned were:
1. No multitouch - this is only an issue with the US version of the ROM (presumably because google don't think they can win a patent war against Apple, whereas Palm and Microsoft think they can). Anyway, not an issue in the UK.
2. Price. Well, it's better than the iPhone's (think this was actually mentioned).
3. Storage - This is a good point, and needs to be sorted in the future. Programs generally put any large amount of data on the SD card, so it's unlikely you'd hit this limit. I certainly haven't on my G1, which has less memory than the Nexus One.
4. Life expectancy. Oh come on! Harshing on Android because 3-4 major phones have come out in the last 14 months is daft! Having so many phones to choose from is awesome and means you can always get a phone which is cutting edge, rather than having to wait until June!
5. App issues with devices having different resolutions. Android apps *should* be designed to scale to differing resolutions nicely. I have no doubt many don't, and will have to be tweaked, but from now on it will be in the developers' heads to ensure it works across multiple resolutions. I can only assume the iPhone and Pre will encounter the same issues soon as they can't stick to their current resolutions forever.

If I didn't know better I'd guess that you were all iPhone owning, freedom haters!

Re: Ouch

<< 1. No multitouch - this is only an issue with the US version of the ROM (presumably because google don't think they can win a patent war against Apple, whereas Palm and Microsoft think they can). Anyway, not an issue in the UK. >>

Non-US versions *might* have multi-touch, that's true, but it doesn't matter: if the US phones don't have it, app developers would be crazy to use it because they are cutting off a lot of people. At the most, developers would put multi-touch support it, then add UI to do the same stuff, which just adds clutter.

<< 3. Storage - This is a good point, and needs to be sorted in the future. Programs generally put any large amount of data on the SD card, so it's unlikely you'd hit this limit. I certainly haven't on my G1, which has less memory than the Nexus One. >>

Regardless of where programs put their data, it's a clumsy solution to force developers to download extra bits for their apps inside the app itself. My wife has an iPhone, and her favourite game is called Everest - and it's 117MB. She doesn't need to worry about SD cards or the like; it just works.

<< 4. Life expectancy. Oh come on! Harshing on Android because 3-4 major phones have come out in the last 14 months is daft! Having so many phones to choose from is awesome and means you can always get a phone which is cutting edge, rather than having to wait until June! >>

a) That was a joke. "Android" and "Nexus" are allusions to Blade Runner. The Nexus Six replicant model had a built-in life span of four years, which prompted Graham to ask the question "what's the life expectancy of a Nexus One?"

b) Jokes aside, three major phone releases within 13 months is lame primarily because Google is moving so fast with Android and its hardware. If the G1, the Droid and the Nexus One used the same software and hardware, then you've got choice - which model do you want? But as they all use different stuff, instead you simply have fragmentation. Plus there's the Osborne Effect.

<< 5. App issues with devices having different resolutions. Android apps *should* be designed to scale to differing resolutions nicely. I have no doubt many don't, and will have to be tweaked, but from now on it will be in the developers' heads to ensure it works across multiple resolutions. I can only assume the iPhone and Pre will encounter the same issues soon as they can't stick to their current resolutions forever. >>

I would be surprised if Apple changed its resolution to anything other than the same ratio to what it is right now, simply *because* so many apps are designed to work at the 320x480 size. So, 640x960 using pixel doubling + smoothing is possible.

I know it makes sense to have apps that scale nicely, but that's not how it works in the real world. A web browser? A mail client? A contacts list? Sure, these all scale for free - they are just UI elements after all. But many apps are coded to make maximum use of the exact space available and so look perfect.

A great example of this is the Bookworm game from Popcap - they basically designed the entire thing in Photoshop then sliced it up and added game logic. As a result, it looks slick. If they had to say, "well, the Nexus One is 480x800, but the Droid is 480x854, and the G1 is 320x480, so we need to design three different GUIs" do you really think it would be that easy? Do you really think it'd look as polished? Do you really think they'd actually *bother*?

I don't, but clearly it's a matter of horses for courses!

Phone sync

@ Ray Woods

Have a look in the Mint Repos for Wammu, hopefully it's in there. It works a treat Ubuntu.

I Do!!

First of all, Thanks @Ram, I'll try that.

As for @Nobody Important, I do badger the Manufacturers as most of my devices were bought before I went solo on Linux. (I just hope you do likewise.) I'm just trying to point out what it will need to make Linux much more popular with the common man.

So everyone, start badgering!

Season 2 suggestions

I agree with keeping the Discovery of the Week, though they are usually better when they relate to linux or technology.

I am a little reluctant about the interviews, there are plenty of podcasts already with interviews, and not enough with witty banter amongst the hosts. I have FLOSS weekly if I want interviews.

I think good additions might be, in the vein of Discovery of the Week, would be stupid unix tricks like using the write command, or maybe a linux recipe of the fortnight like a helpful bash script, or Directory Tree Item of the fortnight where a host explores his filesystem and talks about a file they found in /etc or /proc for example and what it does :). Something useful for people wanting to study for LPIC.

Or . . . maybe a short segment where the team has to try to convince a random woman to switch to linux . . . because I think there are a disproportional amount of guys to women using it. If they can't convince her to use it by the end of the segment, they need to come up with ideas for improvement for the future of Linux.

There should be more contests too!!! Like a prize of a linux laptop or netbook installed by one of team (and if Mike does the install he can make it dual boot into MikeOS).

BTW - did anyone guess the ringtone from the last episode? Not one of the better competitions so I doubt if anyone did ;).

@Anonymous Penguin

KDE 5... bring it on!

Let The Golden Age commence!

no interviews

+1 for no interviews (or if you do, make em interesting and pretty short).
I'd like more challenges - not just 'do without xyz for a week', but be set a task to complete, something creative (video making, arduino creations, etc).
Other than that keep it the same, but with more MikeOS coverage.

Prediction for 2010

The Hurd will rise again!

Stop me if you think that you've hurd this one before

@anon penguin

2010 will see the final hurd-le to world domination overcome!

FLOSS Weekly

"I am a little reluctant about the interviews, there are plenty of podcasts already with interviews, and not enough with witty banter amongst the hosts. I have FLOSS weekly if I want interviews."

Yeah, FLOSS Weekly has plenty of interviews, and a little host banter, but we try to keep that down to ten minutes total or you'd know how stupid we *really* are. :)

Season 2 suggestions

Here are some more suggestions for season 2:

- As some people said before: Keep the same music and the transitions between the section (Paul is a really good presenter) although some people don't like it.
- Merging the hot topic and the open ballot would probably be a good idea.
- Leave the website filling out the name field in the form automatically so that you can complain about people sending comments as "Anonymous Penguin" in every single episode.

Oh, there's one more thing I wanted to say: Freedom Haters! (Stay as you are, don't take yourself too serious and don't try to please everyone!)

Interviewing a country

"Interview
Anonymous Penguin (not verified) - January 8, 2010 @ 2:42pm
How about an interview with Jordan?"

Now who would suggest doing an interview with a whole country? Or there is a currently a massive increase of Linux usage in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan?

Open Ballot

Put the Open Ballot question on the website more in advance of recording the podcast.
Mostly keep the format the same. A popular podcast like yours must be doing things right to get so many listeners every fortnight. I really like the music.
If you do have more interviews, try to interview people who are interesting to listen to. I liked the Mark Shuttleworth interview, so have him on again. But also interview other Linux people who make things happen. And maybe interview an average computer user who uses Linux and ask that user what he/she likes/dislikes about Linux and what they would want to see more of added to Linux distros.

Canonical IS now profit positive (profitable)

So you guys know, Canonical is not profitable. I have confirmed this from Jono Bacon's own mouth on the podcast (FLOSS WEEKLY at twit.tv) as well as from an article.

30 million grossed in 2009, obviously the global recession is having positive outcomes for redhat and ubuntu/canonical.

hell...

that is Canonical is NOW profitable. ( not, not profitable as I posted above, a typo)

My 0.2p

No interviews! (If you do have interviews, make them on interesting topics and try to pick speakers who don't have dull voices that make me want to turn the podcast off. Oh and please please make sure they have decent Audio at their end. I can't stand mobile phone interviews etc)

Also, on a side note... I visited TuxRadar in Epiphany before I activated AdBlock and to my horror there was a Windows 7 ad banner right at the top of the page. FAIL!

Anyway, great show guys, keep it up :D

sigh

My Wednesdays are empty without TuxRadar.

Song info?

Was wondering what the name of the song at the end of the show was. I like it a lot. Thanks.

Reg expression editor - not Command Line

Hi Guys,
Just been catching up on the podcasts, (Great!) and caught the one about not using the command line. You all seemed to think that there wasn't an app for building complicated regular expressions. Well, (who's the KDE fan? Shame on you!) Try Kregexpeditor. I've used it and it seems to work OK, when you get your head round it!.
Keep up the good work and thanks for the magazine content. Its amazing how often you have covered a topic just when I have a need for info on it.

How about an article on the ins and outs of compiling.
my previous experience was C64 assembler and had a brief go at CP/M!! on a C128.
Best Regards
Ernie

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