Thursday, 30 September 2010

Ubuntu Gamer Goes Live

After a low-key start, the boys have publicly declared the new Ubuntu Gamer site open for business.

You will know Ed Hewitt's work from Full Circle Magazine's Gaming column and Full Circle Podcast, whilst Tommy Brun is himself a game developer.

I knew they were up to something and pleased to say there's now a gaming site that fills a niche and defies the critics who say Linux is a gaming desert. RC

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The truth About Proprietary Software Licensing

Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to present the original text of Alan Lord's speech to the recent Westminster Eforum.

Alan is co-owner of the Open Learning Centre, open-source advocate and author of the Open Sourcerer blog.

In an excellent, concise speech, Alan presents the truth about proprietary software licensing, or as I like to say, why you are paying for pratically nothing, and why Free Open Source Software is so much better...

Monday, 27 September 2010

Intel-Macafee Proofing Chips Against Crackers

"Intel to Charge $50 USD for Unlocking CPU Features"
This is why Intel paid a ridiculous amount for Macafee Security. It needs some hack-proofing expertise in order to defend it's next generation of protected microprocessors.
"Intel is currently testing the water with processors that have certain features disables or limited, so that users can buy upgrade cards later on and improve the performance of their processors. This allows resellers and system builders to increase their margins - says Intel."

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Essential Link Shortening

Owing to the weird and slightly random #### the current version of Wordpress throws into the Full Circle Podcast posts, I've had to resort to some link shortening in order not to mess up the Atom feed for the show.

Why Link Shortening?
  • Easier to sms-txt or IM web-links
  • Keep within character-count limits of Twitter and other social media
  • Prevent conventional web addresses contaminating your content management system or breaking your web pages
Thanks to Rob K our sysadmin, I introduce to you a free and open source link-shortening script, powered by Phurl...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Testing the Maverick Meerkat

Mark Shuttleworth pinned his colours to the mast and declared the aim of a "perfect 10" with the delivery of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat.

Having just upgraded the Alpha-3 release to the Beta, we're struggling to get the numbers that high, not because it's broken or wrong... it's just not very exciting for a "10"...

Friday, 24 September 2010

Full Circle Podcast #11: A Painful Washing Experience

Full Circle Podcast #11: A Painful Washing Experience is available now from the main site.
In this episode, testing the Meerkat; also Android 2.2, Nexus One and Spotify. Our opinion on neck-beards and imitation as a form of flattery. On gaming, it’s Sauerbraten Justice, Quake Live, Rage and the Steam pantomime.

Podcast [67:41m]:
Download MP3 file
Download OGG file

RSS feed, MP3:
RSS feed, OGG:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

When Memory Goes Bad

My test box has a Pentium-4 motherboard with 1Gb of memory in 133MHz PC2100 DIMMS. I know: antique. In dog years this main-board is about 70 years old. In tech years that's about 140. Only slightly younger than me.

It worked perfectly for the g/f to check her email. Later I come back to install Maverick from the CD. I start it up and... the machine hangs at X, before the GDM login. I think I have a hardware bug which is stopping the Maverick boot or more likely the X-server.

Now I'm in fault-finding mode...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Full Circle Magazine issue 40 is out

How remiss of me not to mention Issue 40 which has been out a few days!  Including a new logo redesign by Thorsten Wilmsand the new (official) Ubuntu font.

This month:
  • Command and Conquer.
  • How-To : Program in Python – Part 14, Virtualize Part 3 – OpenSolaris, and ADSL Modem As A Switch.
  • Review – SOFA Statistics.
  • Top 5 – Favourite Apps.
  • plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and now with all new LoCo and Translation Team interviews!
Download Full Circle issue 40 here at the main site.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Maverick Upgrade Manager in Deadly Embrace

Having installed Maverick Alpha-3 from the ISO image, you'll naturally want to run Update Manager.

UM ticks through the package list and offers a Partial Upgrade; if you take it, Upgrade Manager gets itself in a twist and the operation won't complete. If you do get it to complete, you will find it's removed a bunch of packages it shouldn't and introduced version conflicts in a host of others.

If you close it and try to run an normal update, UM goes through the process and declares all 551 packages to be unauthenticated and refuses to run. It then offers a Partial Upgrade!

Remember, we are still in Testing. Don't mess with it if you're not into the mystery, intrigue and pain of trying an Alpha release. However, if you are...

Monday, 13 September 2010

Mobile On-chip DRM via Intel-MacAfee Deal

Intel acquires MacAfee in a move which nobody seems to have understood.

The single most ridiculous deal this year concluded at almost $7.6bn, at $48 per share, a premium over $18 over McAfee's closing price. McAfee is valued at 45 times earnings. Even Apple trades at only 20 times earnings.

However, if you take the biggest PC chip maker and add a big dose of so-called security expertise, I can only surmise more on-chip DRM is on the way...

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Everybody sues everybody

It seems nobody wants to develop software or manufactures hardware any more. Everybody just sues everybody else. And here's two more examples:
  • Lexmark sues third party component maker for cartridges
  • Interval Research lays claim to web 2.0

Friday, 10 September 2010

Opinion: Taxation in the New Economy

What the Phily $300 blog tax means for the rest of us
It's only a matter of time before every tax department in the world believes it's got a right to a share of anything you make on the web. I don't have a problem with web income being taxable. I don't have any. Government services have to be paid for by taxation, as true in the new economy as in the old. What I don't know is how this is going to work for the Average Joe on the Internet...

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Code-names: Wheres the Neurotic Numbat

If you missed it, Mr Shuttleworth has announced the codename for Ubuntu 11.04, the one with the double-n mnemonic. I must say I'm disappointed. Again. Come on, where's the Neurotic Numbat?

The Numbat is a real, and endangered marsupial. Myrmecobius Fasciatus. Check the wildlife sites. Don't say we're not educational.  RC
(Image courtesy of

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Editing the Full Circle Podcast #3: The Edit Environment

I have a confession: this may NOT be the best tool for this job. It is certainly not fool-proof or bomb-proof. It can occasionally crash but it has the best crash-recovery routines of any software I know (except in the extreme circumstances where it has deleted or orphaned segments of a recording. See filenaming, versioning and backing up.)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Full Circle Side-Pod #3: Where’s the Neurotic Numbat?

Full Circle Side-Pod #3: Where’s the Neurotic Numbat?

In this episode; with great power, comes a big utility bill.

It’s been a while. We’re maybe half way through our summer recess from the Full Circle podcast, so this is either goodbye to season one or hello and welcome to season two.

News: Products die, divorce by Facebook, yet more lawsuits…
Interview: Matt Grove from Miserware describes Granola’s energy-saving ability
Expert Spot: Editing the Full Circle Podcast pt. 3: The Edit Environment

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Gnu is an Endangered Species?

After the Opinion column in Full Circle Magazine #39 drew a letter of criticism, my response in the letters page of Full Circle Magazine #40 got curtailed just as it got to the interesting part!

Herewith the full text which gets to the real point after the *