Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

June 9, 2014

Episode #17

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

openmamba GNU/Linux – UNIX-Haters Handbook, 20 years on – NixOS, GoboLinux


Is Apple aping Open Source with search and client-side decorations?

Steam Machines Update
Survey: Video gamers more social and more socially conscious

Ubuntu MATE Flavor Could Arrive Soon, Prototype Looks Great Already

True Goodbye: ‘Using TrueCrypt Is Not Secure’
Exclusive: Security enthusiasts may revive encryption tool after mystery shutdown
Weighing up the impact of Edward Snowden
The Post-Snowden Surveillance World: Network Effects, Low Marginal Costs, And Technical Lock-in
China state media calls for ‘severe punishment’ for US tech firms
Demand real surveillance reform
Reset the Net

Google announces alpha of End-to-End

Samsung Launches First Tizen Phone And It Is A Beast

GnuTLS Patches Critical Remote Code Execution Bug
Patch NOW: Six new bugs found in OpenSSL – including spying hole
The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative Announces New Backers, First Projects to Receive Support and Advisory Board Members
Thanks for nothing, OpenSSL, grumbles stonewalled De Raadt

First Impressions

Paddy took a look at openmamba GNU/Linux, and Joe will be reporting back on Puppy Linux next time.


A huge thank you to Mohan Paul for the PayPal donation, and to johanv and several anonymous Flattrers.

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We kicked off the feedback proper with Joe reporting back that sadly, no, VLC isn’t the cause of his screen blanking issues with the most recent version of Xubuntu.

Marek Miczyk had some kind words for us, ed asked us to stay away from neologisms, and Brian36 was pleased to hear that it’s not just him having issues with Skype and PulseAudio.

Rich B has been having difficulties with MTP and a Samsung Galaxy 5. We talked a little about AirDroid and SuperBeam, but other suggestions from listeners would be welcome.

Spacebat inadvertently trailed our look at NixOS and GoboLinux by writing us about transactional package management.

Nathan D. Smith gently took us to task over our use of the term ‘Luddite’, whilst Charlie Ogier continued trying to help Joe in his quest for a decent wireless and trackpadded keyboard.

Cathryne attempted to garner more feedback on her previous question about funding and influencing development, to which Campbell Barton responded. But if there are other developers listening, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic too.

Andy Jesse had a close shave on the disaster recovery front, which prompted a question about what good disk/file recovery tools exist for Linux systems. Do let us know what your favourites are, and we’ll provide a review and round-up on a future show.

Thinking about LXQt and Android ‘intents’, Félim Whiteley pointed out that KDE already supports custom Service Menus. We’ll have to see how LXQt takes this forward, but Paddy’s initial impressions are that what they’re looking at is something rather more powerful than what KDE offers.

Jezra and SonOfNed both offered thoughts on the Mozilla DRM kerfuffle, and Shay the Daft Punk, Mark and Mikael had things to say either directly about Canonical/Ubuntu, or our attempts to provide an opinionated, but fair, coverage of the Orange Beast.

The UNIX-Haters Handbook, 20 Years On

With the help of some thoughts from FriedEggs and SonOfNed – thanks, guys – we chewed the fat for a little while, reflecting on how much has really changed in the Unix/Linux world over the last 20 years.

This was a really awkward segment to record, as there’s so much in the book to talk about that we could easily have given over an entire episode to it. So we were left with a tough choice: devote a whole show to this topic alone, or take a fairly superficial look at just a few different areas. Since the former risked appealing to only a small section of our audience, we opted for the latter. As ever, though, we’d strongly recommend listeners read the book (3.5MB PDF) themselves; for the humour, the history, and to help put where we are today into some context.

NixOS and GoboLinux

If the UHH were written today, it’s likely that it would have a chapter dedicated to the state of Unix/Linux package management. We decided to have a look at NixOS and GoboLinux, both of which hold out the promise of a different, and potentially more effective, approach to this thorny topic. But do they deliver…?


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