Linux Luddites

not all change is progress

January 30, 2014

Episode #4

Direct download links: MP3 & Ogg

Swift Linux – USB stick distros – get_iplayer, youtube-dl


Linux Voice near their target, and Joe has now contributed. Have you, listeners?

Linux Mint 16 ‘Petra’ MATE and Cinnamon released. Also, following the recent release of RHEL 6.5, CentOS and Oracle have brought out their derivative versions.

Apparently, you’ll be able to install Jolla Sailfish on Android devices at some future date.

Keith Packard appointed to Debian Technical Committee.

First Steam Machine Priced At $499; Xbox One Is In Trouble. It’s also been announced that Valve has joined the Linux Foundation.

Something that may be of interest to those who like overpaying for their hardware – Linux hot plugging for Thunderbolt devices is getting kernel support. But let’s give Apple credit where it’s due: following their lead with the Lightning cable, it’s been announced that the next generation USB Type-C standard will sport a reversible plug.

Google Compute now competing with Amazon’s EC2. And in other Google news, soon you’ll finally be able to easily export your Gmail and Google Calendar entries.

Linux Journal’s annual readers’ choice awards: among the categories, Best “Worst” Linux/Open-Source Idea. Can you guess the winners?

First Impressions

Joe cast an eye over Swift Linux, and chose Toorox for Paddy to look at next time.

USB Stick Distros

We’re having a gander at distros designed to run from USB drives over the coming couple of shows. Next time, we’ll be looking at distros designed for specialist purposes – things like data recovery, security and anonymity, and so on.

This week, we focused on general purpose distros; ones that you should be able to use for your day-to-day computing.

Joe looked at alphaOS, Tiny Core, and Knoppix; Paddy talked about CDLinux, SliTaz and Slax.


A bumper bag of feedback this show – thanks to all who took the time to write in.

Ray Woods took Joe to task over his negative attitude towards the Linux Voice campaign, asked if we intended widening the team presenting and/or planned to have guests, and also told us about an issue he was having mounting MTP devices under gvfs in Mint 16.

Danny Knestaut told us about how he’d built up his own server stack in order to escape the grip of Google; he also expressed an interest in some tutorial-style blog posts, and told us about another Markdown distraction-free writing tool.

Mick said that after being a Windows user for 20 years he had moved to Debian: “I love that everything works, and I’m a bit startled.  What’s the catch and when does it come?” he asks. Good man.

Rufus mailed us about how to subscribe to the show in iTunes, and had some comments about our presentation of the news.

Andy Jesse suggested that we need to get the show listed in more podcast directories, and wondered if we were planning on having a Google+ page up at some stage. He also had a gentle pop at Joe over his constant Ubuntu bashing. Andy also expressed a desire to hear more about how we setup our new server.

Mark Walton asked why Paddy had moved to Debian rather than Linux Mint XFCE.

Steve Newton told us how to add feeds to iTunes manually.

Ian Barton explained how he uses Emacs for distraction-free writing. He also told us about his history with Linux, and suggested some coverage of Chromebooks and Linux running on top of Android within the show.

Rob McKenzie asked “could you recommend some parental lock programs?” and also linked to a couple of articles.

Morten Juhl-Johansen Zölde-Fejér got in touch to tell us that he had created the Danish translation of FocusWriter, and pointed out another nice feature it has that Paddy had failed to mention.

At the end of the feedback section, Paddy tossed a question out to the audience: any suggestions for fun or useful things to do with old router hardware? He has a BT HomeHub 3 rev. A and a Netgear DG834GSP v3 gathering dust. Any interesting firmware projects for these? Possible uses as wireless repeaters?

Over a Pint

Last episode we talked about free software projects that we are thankful for. Danny Knestaut got in touch to say “aside from the kernel and Linux Mint, I’m most thankful to Firefox for introducing me to FOSS, and for DigiKam and GIMP, which I use to make my paychecks with”, whilst Jack Dennahower commented that “I also am very thankful for VLC. It does all my A/V consumption needs without a lot of fuss. I am also very thankful for the internet in general as it allows me to converse with folks all over the world without having to learn Morse code.”

This week we talked about some comments made by Jesse Smith at the end of his review of GhostBSD 3.5 over at DistroWatch, where he suggested that maybe BSD was where the action is, and that Linux was getting a bit, well, boring.

Off the Beaten Path

Joe previously wrote a quick-start guide to using get_iplayer; here’s a more comprehensive one that covers additional features like streaming and use as a PVR. For those not inclined towards the command line, there are a number of GUI frontends available for get_iplayer.

If you are outside of the UK, you’ll probably need to pretend otherwise to access BBC content; you can do this using a proxy server, a VPN or via a tricksy DNS service.

youtube-dl is a similar concept, only for YouTube. The command line flags are different but it is broadly similar and very useful. That said, there are plenty of browser extensions that make the process of downloading YouTube videos very straightforward; Joe uses Download Helper.

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