Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

April 13, 2014

Episode #13

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Q4OS – AntiX MX-14 – what happened to the vision in Open Source?


Ubuntu To Make Amazon Product Results ‘Opt-In’

Shutting down Ubuntu One file services

Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd

Market Research Shows Chromebooks Doing Very Well Indeed

London borough to roll out Google Chromebooks to escape Microsoft’s licensing costs

Google adds more Android features to Chrome OS

Indian state dumps Microsoft for Bharat Operating System Solutions Linux

apt 1.0

The Heartbleed Bug (Paddy mentioned that PHK’s presentation at FOSDEM has suddenly become very popular viewing…)

First Impressions

Last podcast, Paddy asked Joe to report back on the promising Q4OS beta. Joe was not impressed; which just goes to show that your two hosts don’t always agree! Next time, Paddy will be looking at NuTyX.


Thanks to Rob Landley, our new Twitter followers, and to Tony for mentioning the show on the Full Circle Podcast.

Also, a huge thank you to Jason Connerley and Kirk Holz for their PayPal donations, and to our usual anonymous Flattrers.

Steven Rosenberg corrected an error Paddy made last show – thanks, Steven. He also wondered if there are any decent cloud-focused sysadmin books out there. Listeners?

Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér commented on the increasing size of Slax, something the developer also appears to be thinking about. Morten also thanked us for dusting off ‘The Unix-Haters Handbook‘.

Hugh Fisher told us that he has long owned a printed copy of the UHH (but not whether he still has the included UNIX barf bag), and that much of it – sadly – still holds true. He also pointed us towards a post he wrote on the desirability of a Linux UI monoculture back in 2003, which also seems very relevant today.

SonOfNed told us that revisiting the UHH was giving him some laughs. It is a humorous read, so why not download a copy, put your feet up, and then let us have your thoughts on how well it has stood the test of time? We’ll be devoting part of a show towards the end of next month to looking at the book, and would love to include your feedback in that piece.

Julian Overall sang the praises of AntiX, although he did point out a few gotchas. He also told us about the recently launched MX-14, which we talked about later in the show.

Along with Julian, Jason offered some thoughts about XP-replacement distros. During our comments around this, Paddy mentioned the Microsoft game that labels XP a “pestilence”. Interesting company marketing technique, guys!

Danyl Strype suggested Trisquel as another possible XP replacement, and also offered up some thoughts on the licensing debate. Ian Barton and Joe exchanged mails about Nexus 5 audio issues, Andy Jesse and Paddy did likewise about having to use sudo to run shutdown, and Jezra dropped us a line about Chromebooks.

Larry Bain noted our intention to look at GoboLinux in a future show, and remarked that the usual rationalisations for the development of the *nix filesystem hierarchy are not necessarily accurate.

We had a fair bit of feedback on Joe’s question about our audio encoding and quality. Thanks to Stephen Martinez, Charles Griffey, Andy Jesse, Richard, and Rob Mackenzie for their thoughts. And a special thank you to Nigel Verity, who took the time to do a whole bunch of encoding and listening experiments on our behalf.

A couple of you offered thoughts on Linux Mint’s move to an LTS base. Paddy (no relation) suggested Mint’s motivation was to avoid the inevitable breakages that Ubuntu’s move to Mir will bring, whilst Jason thought that it is the inherent stability of an LTS that’s most attractive, and may well help lure XP refugees over to Mint.

Jason also asked for Linux magazine recommendations. Whilst Joe and Paddy know the UK market, we’re not too up on what is available in the USA, which is where Jason lives. Any suggestions from stateside listeners?

Jason Lewis, from completely the other side of the world, wrote to ask why we don’t run vanilla Debian if we like it so much. One of us does ;)

Finally, Richard pointed out that du -h | sort -h wouldn’t have run on the old, 2004 vintage, distros we talked about last show. No it wouldn’t, and why that is the case caused Paddy to air one of his pet peeves.

AntiX MX-14 “Symbiosis”

Prompted by both dogbert0360 and Julian Overall, we took a look at the recently released MX-14. Whilst we didn’t find anything particularly wrong with it, nor did anything really leap out at us to make this a compelling distro.

It’s unlikely such ambivalence will be on display next show, when we hope to be taking a thorough look at the Ubuntu Unity 14.04 LTS, providing that it is released on schedule.

Over a Pint

An article posted by Bruce Byfield on Datamation entitled ‘What Happened to the Vision in Open Source?‘ about a month ago elicited little response on that site. We thought it worthwhile to pick over the post, as it raised some interesting questions.


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