Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

July 21, 2014

Episode #20

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

StartOS – Google Glass hands-on – IceWM, JWM, EDE – Sanel Zukan interview


New Plasma brings a cleaner interface on top of a new graphics stack
Release for CentOS-7 on x86_64
Mailnag Email Notifier Sees New Major Release, Is No Longer Just For Gnome Shell
New Product Launch! Introducing Raspberry Pi Model B+

Odds ‘n’ Sods
​Android’s phone wiping fails to delete personal data
Spotify migrate 5000 servers from Debian to Ubuntu
First Tizen phone postponed indefinitely
Microsoft’s Bing follows Google in offering Europeans the ‘right to be forgotten’

For UK Listeners
Commons passes emergency data laws despite criticism
Amazon Prime video coming for Android

Chromebooks etc.
Dell’s Chromebook sales go crazy, so company halts sales
Microsoft launches a price assault on Chromebooks
Lenovo stops selling small-screen Windows tablets in the US (since denied by Lenovo)
Google launches Chrome Remote Desktop for Linux (beta)
Handwriting recognition coming to ChromeOS

The Fortnight’s Big News
Apple Teams Up With IBM For Huge, Expansive Enterprise Push

Seen Elsewhere

eBay’s Q2 earnings beat estimates despite analyst fears over security breach …what huge data breach?

Speeding up data storage by a thousand times with ‘spin current’

Desktop Containers – The Way Forward

Xubuntu: How To Put Maximized Windows Buttons And Title On The Panel
Xfdashboard: Gnome Shell Like Dashboard For Xfce

First Impressions

Joe gave us his First Impressions of StartOS, and next show Jesse will be looking at RISC OS on the Raspberry Pi.

Google Glass Hands-on

Joe and Jesse recently attended a Google Glass sales/evangelist event in London, and recorded their thoughts whilst they were still fresh in their minds.


A huge thank you to Maxim Kovgan and Nicholas Betson for their PayPal donations, to three anonymous Flattrers, and to Jeroen van Rijn, Brendan MacWade and Isaac Carter for becoming Monthly Supporters.

SonOfNed dropped us a line regarding the scope of systemd, pointing towards a talk Lennart gave at FUDCon Beijing earlier this year. In the absence of video, it’s well worth checking out Lennart’s slides (~200KB PDF) to get a feel for where we stand (and to see how not to make a PDF from slides). In the ensuing comments about systemd, Paddy mentioned a blog post by Rob Landley, and Lennart’s attitude to the increasing difficulty in compiling udev separately from systemd.

Campbell Barton and Rob Landley both left comments BTL at show #19 about why they think that the Go programming language might struggle to gain traction, and those are well worth reading.

Mark, Rob Mackenzie, Nigel Verity, and Dave Allan all got in touch following Joe’s comments about Google last time. Nigel cautioned that there might come a point at which our technology corporate behemoths start to operate outside of national governmental control [start? ed.], whilst Dave Allan took Joe to task for his “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” attitude. Paddy promised to link to a short Techdirt piece that makes the case against that argument more eloquently than we managed on the show.

Thanks to Martin Wimpress for clarifying that MATE will continue to support GTK2 as well as GTK3, to Jeroen van Rijn for some suggestions of topics that we might want to take a look at on future shows, and to Kristian for pointing us towards a kernel patch from Ted Ts’o prompted by work by the OpenBSD guys.

Will asked us about how we go about customising Xfce to our liking, and Joe has added writing a personal blog post on this topic to his to-do list.

Richard Marsh and Muldwych both pointed out that the show can be difficult to find, and Paddy explained what the position was regarding iTunes. And if you are an iTunes user and enjoy the show, why not rate and review it there to make it easier for others to find?

Steven Rosenberg thought that it would be a good idea for us to discuss the pros and cons of the commonly used scripting languages, but your hosts demurred on the grounds of lack of specific domain expertise. It would be a good idea for an expert listener round-table, though, so if any folks out there would be willing to participate in such a group discussion, drop us a line to show@ and we’ll organise the conversation.

Finally, both Rob Landley and SonOfNed pointed us towards Patreon as another potential means for the audience to give the show a little support. We’d be happy to go down that road if it appeals to other listeners, so let us know your thoughts.

Familiar, But Lighter Than LXDE

Prompted by a question from the audience for recommendations on what might provide a suitably light and familiar desktop environment for a typical WinXP refugee and their older hardware, we took a look at IceWM, Joe’s Window Manager (JWM) and the Equinox Desktop Environment (EDE). Though to pitch either IceWM or JWM in those terms really doesn’t do them justice, and nor does how either typically looks and behaves out of the box. To get the most out of either, you’ll need to do some reading and put a bit of work into configuring them, but the results can be be very pleasing indeed.

Sanel Zukan Interview

We spoke to Sanel Zukan, lead developer of the Equinox Desktop Environment, to find out a little more about the history and direction of that project, and the FLTK toolkit which it is based upon. Thanks to Sanel for taking the time to talk with us.


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