Sunday, 30 December 2012

Full Circle Magazine Issue 68 Out Now

Full Circle Magazine Issue 68 Out NowHappy Holidays to everyone!

In this month's Full Circle Magazine, issue 68 is available from the main site:
  • Ubuntu News.
  • How-To : Programming in Python, LibreOffice, and Install 12.10 on an EEE PC.
  • Graphics : NEW! Blender, and Inkscape.
  • Web Dev : CRUD Part 4. * Book Review – Super Scratch Programming.
  • Review: Linux Mint Debian Edition KDE.
  • Closing Windows – Run An App On Startup.
  • What Is – Raspberry Pi.
  • SPECIAL Q&A with Didier Roche – How Ubuntu Is Made.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Shuttleworth's State of the Unity Post


Canonical CTO Mark Shuttleworth doesn't post so often on his official blog 'Here Be Dragons', but a new posting on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 outlined his plans for 2013.

In a rejoinder to the massed criticism of Ubuntu, Unity and himself personally, the 'where we are' opener stated "it matters that we not exclude people from our audience."

Apparently stung by the barrage of hate directed at the Unity desktop, he also declared "even in the rare case where the gift is received ungraciously, the joy is in the giving, and it matters that our efforts paid dividends for others." Which would indicate he's a little peeved by the criticism of Ubuntu's distinctive alternate desktop.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

How-to: Delete Autocomplete Entries in Firefox


Delete Autocomplete Entries in FirefoxFirefox does an excellent job of storing the contents of data entry fields on web pages and the Location Bar and the Search Bar. Autocomplete drop down lists that appear so that it can prompt you with suggestions the next time you want, say, an address line, telephone number, post code or other common entries.

It is a great timesaver. Sometimes, though, you need to remove an entry that is incorrect, old, private or just embarassing.

To delete individual entries:

Monday, 17 December 2012

On Ubuntu's Shopping Lens [Guest Post]


There's been a storm of criticism of Canonical's Unity Shopping Lens, amid concerns about security, privacy and the inevitable cries of "sell out" from the Open Source community.
Canonical's Engineering Manager, Product Strategy, posted a response to the Hampshire Linux User Group:


Yes, Canonical is a company which has outgoings including developer payroll and infrastructure costs used by Ubuntu, flavours and many derivatives (hello Mint users!).

A significant chunk of the many millions of pounds spent on developing Ubuntu (and keeping Canonical afloat) comes from the deep pockets of one guy, Mark Shuttleworth. This is flat out not a sustainable approach and never has been seen as one. We've always been looking for ways to generate revenue, and already have many in place.

Mister Night Sky [Guest Post]


Mister Night Sky
Mister Night Sky (for Sir Patrick Moore) December 2012


This began as a simple ‘Man in the Moon’ picture, then I added a satellite. A thought struck me that it would be nice if I included some Patrick Moore icons, so the realistic satellite was gradually replaced with one made from cricket stumps, a xylophone and a monocle.

Patrick Moore encouraged me with an astronomy examination, when (for some unknown reason) most of my teachers opposed me taking it.

He entertained me and my family at his home and paid my first subscription for the British Astronomical Association.

He gave me his own copy of ‘The Amateur Astronomer’ from his book shelf, and signed it to me.

Nice man.

A gentleman.

I will miss him every time I look into space. TCHE

Thomas Everchild ( on Twitter, also ) runs Studio1919 and Afterthought Productions.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Linux Format mag's low confidence in 12.10


Looking at this month's Linux Format magazine's software DVD, they don't appear to have a lot of confidence in Ubuntu 12.10...

"Ubuntu 12.10 plus! LXF Disaster Recovery Kit"

It's the exclamation mark that gives it away. RC

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Full Circle Magazine Issue 67 Out Now


Full Circle Magazine Issue 67Full Circle Issue 67: English can be downloaded from the main site. This month:
  • NEW! Ubuntu News.
  • How-To : Programming in Python, LibreOffice, and Create a Thief-proof PC.
  • Graphics : Kdenlive, and Inkscape.
  • Web Dev : CRUD Part 3.
  • Book Review – Think Like a Programmer.
  • Review: OS4 OpenWorkStation.
  • Closing Windows – Installing Fonts.
  • What Is – PGP Encryption.

Friday, 30 November 2012

How-to: Choose Encryption or Remote Wipe


Image credit: Password by Salvatore VuonoThe ubiquity of mobile devices is accompanied by the ubiquity of loss and deliberate theft. Most people are unsure how to deal with this and don't realise the damage data loss can cause until it happens.

Which prompted 'friend of the show' Tony Whitmore to ask our Local User Group (LUG):

Are there any options for remote wiping Linux systems, in the case of them being lost or stolen? I'm sure that some funky trigger mechanism could be set up using dyndns and SSH, but I was looking for something that would scale to a larger number of devices.

Monday, 12 November 2012

How-to: Change Sound Juicer and Rhythmbox Audio Preferences


How-to: Change Sound Juicer and Rhythmbox Audio PreferencesAnother fill-in required to address the audio output presets in Ubuntu. If you use Sound Juicer (aka CD Extractor) or Rhythmbox music player to output audio in various formats, you may be wondering where the options have gone.

In Edit - Preferences, the Settings button is either greyed out or missing completely. So there is no user control to adjust encoding for ogg, mp3, mp4. If you're lucky, the output list will have a couple of standard options - but for most of us, .mp3 output at a preset 32kbps is not much use!

Everyone involved in Ubuntu development is aware of this known bug.This has been going on since 11.10, and is only now being addressed. In the meantime, what about a work-round? What we're looking for are working GEP's and PRS' - Gstreamer Encoder Profiles and PRe-Sets.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Opinion: Eleven Things I Hate About Ubuntu


Ubuntu Linus by CanonicalMuch as I evangelise about Ubuntu, Linux and the Open Source ethos, help out with testing on Ubuntu Quality team from time to time and report bugs whenever I can, a 'bad Ubuntu day' only serves to remind me that as a product, it is simply not ready for mass-market, main-stream adoption.

It needs a baby-sitter with expert knowledge in order to keep it running 24/7 across whatever hardware you want to run. Change something and there is absolutely no guarantee it will keep running. You have to be an enthusiast with time on your hands and a good number of working braincells.

So, with two weeks in which to reflect after the latest 12.10 release, here are the pet hates in no particular order.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

How-to: Watch Digital TV in VLC Player - Ubuntu


Freecom DVB-T digital TV on VLC Media playerNow that we've proved that the Freecom still works, but Xine and Gxine don't, we need a more modern media player on which to watch TV.

Kaffeine is always a top recommendation, but I don't want a stack of KDE software libraries cluttering up the machine.

VLC is my favourite player because it does so much more.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

How-to: When the TV Tuner Firmware is Wrong


At risk of going up a particularly geeky, Open Source software blind alley, I'm going to prove why certain technology isn't exactly consumer-friendly. You may have seen our previous articles on using the Freecom DVB-T (freeview) USB2 stick on Linux. I was going to try some different media players on my newly resurrected TV tuner on Ubuntu 12.10 when something strange happened.

Within 24 hours, I updated Ubuntu and the TV stick stopped working. Not just the Xine and Gxine players, which both crash with segmentation faults; they're old software. Worse than that, the TV tuner itself stopped working. Trying to tune anything from the command line resulted in:

FATAL: failed to open '/dev/dvb/adapter0/frontend0': 2 No such file or directory

The device is still listed when you run lsusb to probe for hardware. The firmware wasn't creating a hardware interface to the operating system, hence no adapter folder for the device. So the firmware version which had worked, must be incompatible, my dear Watson.

Monday, 5 November 2012

How-to: Fix VirtualBox 4.2 Proxy Error


There is a slight kink in VirtualBox 4.2.2, namely in the default settings. Initially I got this error in alarming red text:

Invalid settings detected : the value of the Host field on the Proxy page is not complete.
Which is quite right; I don't use a proxy, and I suspect 95%-plus of VirtualBox users don't either.

Going to File, Preferences, I find the Enable proxy box isn't ticked. I'm not using it. So the proxy address and port number is empty. Why that is now a mandatory error condition I have no idea.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Full Circle Side-Pod Episode 12: We're Like the Sugarbabes

Full Circle Podcast LogoFull Circle Side-Pod Episode Twelve: We're Like the Sugarbabes is available from the main site.

In this episode, the old crew re-unite: Wilkins, Catling and Hewitt! With our most packed set of show notes ever!  

File Sizes: OGG 29.6Mb
mp3 21.0Mb

Running Time: 1 hour 35 second

Feeds for both MP3 and OGG:
RSS feed MP3RSS feed, MP3: http://fullcirclemagazine.org/category/podcast/feed
RSS feed OGG audio   file
RSS feed, OGG: http://fullcirclemagazine.org/category/podcast/feed/atom

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Review: Lenovo G580 Laptop

Lenovo G580 Core i5 laptopThe old Dell 6400 finally showed its age when I tried to play a full HD, .mp4 movie; 29 minutes in, my five year old workhorse gave up. Time for a desktop replacement. I ruled out another Dell, Toshiba and Compaq/HP. Having been recommended Lenovo as solidly built workhorse machines earlier in the year I decided to go that route.

With a fixed budget in place, I scoured for a decent Quad-core i5 with 6GB or more ram, and as much disk as I could get - 750GB being the best.

I settled on the Lenovo G580 on a promotional offer - £429 with delivery and yes, even with a discount, UK prices are still eye-watering. The "Essentials" G-series has no frills, is available in a wide range of specifications with USB 3.0 and Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. Prices vary wildly. Be extremely careful to ensure you compare like with like.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How-To: Resolve Attached Media Conflicts in VirtualBox

Here's another corker of an error in Oracle VirtualBox. First, you think your virtual machine is broken. Second you wonder how your storage tree got messed up.

When you move Virtual machine files around, revert machine Snapshots and update attached strage, you can get something like this:

Failed to open virtual machine located in /vm_data/machines/Quetzal-VM/Quetzal-VM.vbox.

Cannot register the DVD image '/usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso' {20f4b244-eb29-4082-ac34-4acf6ccb4904} because a CD/DVD image '/usr/share/virtualbox/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso' with UUID {62ebaac7-ba6d-4d7d-876b-362642de4c1b} already exists.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Full Circle Magazine Issue 66 Available Now

Full Circle Magazine issue 66Full Circle Magazine Issue 66 is available from the main site

This month:

* How-To : Use LaTeX, LibreOffice Part 18, and Do Quick Reinstalls.
* Graphics : Kdenlive Part 3, and Inkscape Part 6.
* Web Dev : CRUD Part 2
* Reviews – Nexus 7 tablet & Peppermint Three OS.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

News: No Ubuntu 12.10 Guests in VirtualBox 4.2.2

Ubuntu 12.10 desktop in VirtualBox 4.2.2
I know; too many version numbers in that post title. But that's the story.

An interesting development; I had Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal working quite happily all the way through the Alpha and Beta releases in Oracle VirtualBox 4.1 and 4.2.

I use the Oracle version rather than the one in the Ubuntu repos not because I love Oracle (I don't) but because it is updated more frequently and has USB support built in (the repo version lacks this).

However with the official release of 12.10, I get an interesting result. My 12.10 guest boots into LightDM, I can log in, then I get a lovely blank desktop. No Unity -no top panel, no launcher. No alt-f2, no terminals. Nada.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

How-to: Disable Guest Account on Ubuntu 12.10

Guest account login in LightDM, Ubuntu 12.10
A guest account allows anyone to use the computer without login credentials - no username or default password.

 Ubuntu has a guest account enabled by default right through to the current release, 12.10. It has always struck me as a fundamentally insecure thing.

Anyone I let on my machine as 'guest' usually has me standing at their shoulder or gets their own user account. Otherwise the guest account is available right there at the login menu screen, and despite it's reduced level of permissions, I think of it as an open book for crackers and browser-based exploits.

Friday, 19 October 2012

News: Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal 12.10 is Avaliable

Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal was released on October the 18th and is now available for download. It is completely free to download and install and offers a fast, free, and secure alternative to Windows or OS X.

If you are on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (which still has support for 5 years) you can upgrade to the new version.

From the Unity Dash, fire up the Software Updater - or from a terminal, it's:
update-manager -d

To run the upgrade process, again, in the Terminal:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
It should display the following message: “New distribution release ’12.10′ is available”.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How-to: Record Sound card Output in Ubuntu


The Linux sound stack is a mind-bogglingly complex layering of ALSA and Pluse Audio and bits of legacy code all mangled by whatever combination of hardware you happen to have in your machine. We used to rant about it on the podcast all the time. But it's getting better.

Capturing the output of your soundcard used to be a hit and miss affair, but I think I've got it down...

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Opinion: The Ownership Switch from User to Manufacturer

Kindle Fire HDI took away an interesting snippet from a story on the OS News site last week, in which editor Thom Holwerda discussed the Kindle tablets. The Kindle Fire HD is ad-supported, but now Amazon allows you to permanently remove the advertisements from your Fire HD for a $15 fee. Amazon was clear at the launch that the Fire was not a profit centre of itself and was designed is to get you to buy stuff at Amazon. Not unlike the Apple store, iTunes and Google's Android Marketplace - now replicated by HTC, Samsung and Microsoft and, it seems, every other device maker.

 Holwerda's complaint is that the iPad comes loaded with apps like News Stand, which can't be removed or even placed in a folder, and, "on top of that, makes it very annoying and cumbersome to buy content from other vendors than Apple." Amazon's persistent ads on the lock screen are much more intrusive. Microsoft's Xbox 360 has ads all over it, even for paid Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Why We Should All Learn a Little Code [Guest Post]

Programming Infographic at OnlineCollege.orgAllison Morris from OnlineCollege.org put together a graphic which takes a closer look at the importance and popularity of coding: http://www.onlinecollege.org/Program-or-Be-Programmed, supporting the case for all of us to learn a little code.  

Rise of Coding: Why We Should All Learn a Little Code

Enthusiasm for learning programming languages is on the rise. And coding is no longer the domain of self-taught savants or formal C.S. students. Students of all ages and disciplines are recognizing the benefits of being more code fluent. Plenty of free, in-browser online tutorials have risen to meet this need. One site, Codecademy, had over 1 million users pledge 2012 as their “code year” and sign up for their free tutorials on Java, HTML and CSS for beginners.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

How-to: Customise Grub2 Menu

I've rebuild the Dell laptop for my young lady to use as a desktop replacement; it is dual-booting Windows Vista and Ubuntu 12.10. Guess which one she wants?

Unfortunately, installing Ubuntu second means it is the default choice at the top of the Grub2 boot menu.

If you've tried to edit that Grub2 menu, you'll know what a tricky job it can be. If you haven't - don't. Unless you're a die-hard code-monkey and enjoy the challenge, there is an easier way to alter the order and content of that boo menu. Enter Grub Customizer - A graphical Grub2/BURG configuration application for Linux by Daniel Richter.

Monday, 1 October 2012

News: Full Circle Magazine 65 Released Early

Fu6ll Circle Magazine issue 65Surprise! Full Circle Magazine 65 get’s released early.

It’s here, Full Circle Magazine #65

This month:
  • Command and Conquer.
  • How-To : Python – Part 37, LibreOffice Part 18, and Use Encryption.
  • Graphics : Kdenlive Part 2, and Inkscape Part 5.
  • Web Dev : CRUD
  • Linux Lab
  • Book Review – Ubuntu Made Easy.
  • Closing Windows – Mapping A Network Drive.
plus: Ask The New Guy, Ubuntu Games, My Desktop, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!

http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-65

now with ‘Send to Ubuntu One’ delivery!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 - Migrating Early

Good riddance to bad rubbish - 12.04 Precise Pangolin has been nothing short of a disaster on my Dell laptop. Buggy, unstable; you would think an LTS (Long Term Support Release) would be more stable not less. But no. Over the lifecycle, it has gained new and different bugs, odd behaviours and the frustration factor has grown worse, not abated.

12.04 works okay -ish on the old hardware of the Compaq laptop (although some of the bugs have begun to appear on that lately). 12.04 works mostly fine on the Mini-10 Netbook (occassionally Nautilus falls over). It just doesn't work on the Dell.

Last evening Firefox and Truecrypt, previously unshakeable in the same version I am running now, randomly stopped. Mid-write. I am sure Nautilus isn't helping - that's randomly but frequently crashed since Day One (along with GIMP, colord, Compiz and a string of other programs since, including Samba's smbd).

Friday, 28 September 2012

How-to: Rotate Windows Screen Display

Windows display settings - orientationI don't go looking for trouble to shoot; it seems to find me. I certainly don't go looking for Microsoft Windows trouble to shoot. In this case, it's my neighbour across the street ambushed me with this little problem - a randomly rotated display, unbidden. We worked it out between us.

Question is, why the heck did his Windows 7 display suddenly kick into rotated view after exiting the screen saver?!?!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Book Review: Solaris Rising

Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback]Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction [Paperback]

I have fond memories of sci-fi shorts. Not the ones sported by Zapp Brannigan in Futurama. I mean short stories. I used to read a lot of sci-fi as a kid, it was one thing our local library was good for. So visiting my current haven of dead trees, I came away with... an anthology of sci-fi.

The classic format of the sci-fi anthology washes around in peaks and troughs, according to fashion and the availability of writing talent. Solaris is in again, with three editions (1.0, 1.5 and 2.0).

1.0, I'm tempted to say, is familiar territory from many an anthology since the sixties onward; a huge dollop of Apocalypse Past, Present and Future, frequently wrapped in the memes of Tales of the (Totally) Expected. Anthologies can be a bit hit-or-miss, but the joy of them is that another author will be along in a few pages with something different. And there is plenty of variety in this Solaris volume.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Review: Know How 9 - How to Build a Virtual Machine

Know How episode 9 Virtualisation on Twit.tvGet the know how to make technology work for you. Iyaz Akhtar and Leo Laporte show you tech projects that you can do yourself and explain everything from tech basics to advanced techniques.

Records live every Thursday at 3:00pm PT/6:00pm ET.

Taking a different topic every week, Leo and Iyaz produce this weekly tech-tutorial show on Leo's Internet-only Twit Network, streaming live and with on-demand audio and video available shortly after.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: Why Linux Is Better

http://whylinuxisbetter.net/

I may be preaching to the converted here, but care of Full Circle Magazine Issue-62 (June 2012), I alighted upon the site Why Linux is Better (whylinuxisbetter.net), created by Manu Cornet (profile on Google+).

Now you can just point people to the website instead of having to explain, for the hundredth time, why Linux is better (for most things).

A very simple flat HTML site, this is one of the best ways I know to spread the word on free software, and could be a masterpiece in Open Source literature.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Opinion: Going on Too Long

McCartney at the OlympicsIn conversation with a fellow fan this week, we touched on the fact that rock-stars these days are more like the crooners of the previous generation. They no longer retire, they just keep on rocking when they ought to be in rocking chairs. They don't seem to know when to stop; which would be acceptable in any other profession but pop music, where we demand the fresh and the new, with at least some reinvention or evolution.

Cranking out the same old same-old consigns our one-time heroes to a corner of self-parody kitsch.

If you think about it, all the true rock'n'roll heroes are dead; Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jim Morrison, Hendrix, Lennon. Who's left? Status Quo, Floyd, and the man who triggered this debate, Paul McCartney, who played the Olympic opening ceremony and by a majority vote was judged 'past it.'

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

News: Full Circle Magazine no64 has escaped from the Lab

The latest issue of Full Circle Magazine, #64 is available from the Full Circle site

This month:

* Linux News – Security Alert!
* Command and Conquer.
* How-To : Beginning Python – Part 36, LibreOffice Part 17, and DavMail.
* Graphics : Kdenlive Part 1, and Inkscape Part 4. * Web Dev : LAMP
* Linux Lab – Tweet Screen The Finale.
* Review – Flirc.
* Closing Windows – Wallpaper and Themes.

plus: Ask The New Guy, Ubuntu Games, My Desktop, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!  

Get it while it’s hot!

http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-64/

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Opinion: Welcome to Mozilla Firefox-OS (Guest Post)

"Welcome to a new, open and powerful mobile world!

We launched the Boot to Gecko project to enable the Open Web as a platform for mobile devices. We’re making innovation possible by driving the development of new Web standards."


In Full Circle Podcast 30, [the team] briefly mention the new Firefox OS and questioned why we needed another mobile operating system. Market "fragmentation" appeared to be an issue for you?

Personally, I think it is great that Mozilla have taken this project as far as they have and I think it is absolutely a necessary project. I think the floss community should be well and truly behind it - here's why...

Saturday, 1 September 2012

How-to: Fallback to Gnome Panels on Ubuntu 12.04 UPDATED

Fallback to Gnome Panels on Ubuntu 12.04 UPDATEDThe controversy remains around Ubuntu's Unity, with it's Launcher, Dashboard and Hub. As Gnome Shell appears to be fading as the successor to the classic Gnome 2 desktop, other Linux distributions are going glossy with KDE (Red Hat) or Gnome 2 retro-style with Cinnamon and MATE (Linux Mint)

Meanwhile I still prefer the look and feel of Gnome 2 panels and menus; fast and lightweight and do just what I need to do. They are also easy to achieve thanks to a couple of small package installs, which gives me the desktop shown.

Firstly, install the package gnome-fallback-session from the Ubuntu Software Centre. This one package does the heavy lifting.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

How-to: Persistence in Ubuntu Live Sessions

No, that doesn't mean keep trying to get Ubiquity to load; it's actually quite good these days, even if the 12.10 testing images are a bit, ahem, broken...

Rather, if you boot from a USB drive into Ubuntu as a Live Session (that is, not installed to the hard disk of a machine), you can opt to create a local storage area on that USB drive on which to store session information, additional applications, your profile and some data files.

Persistence is just a feature that the live session gives you when enabled during the creation of a bootable USB key using Startup Disk Creator or another tool such as Unetbootin. It creates a file which stores all the settings throughout the live session; files created, system log files and everything that will be normally remembered by a PC from session to session. Otherwise, at the next reboot, your live session everything will be lost.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Opinion: GNOME is not Doomed

I found a story on my regular news roundup: GNOME’s Future: Open Source Desktop Interface In Doubt? by  which stated "the project responsible for what has been one of the open-source world’s most popular desktop interfaces for well over a decade, is teetering on the edge of crisis mode."

Which would be worrying, until you read on: "...at least, that’s what one developer suggests in a recent personal blog post ominously titled “starting into the abyss.”

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Review: UbuntuOne Cloud Storage Referrals

UbuntuOne Cloud storage banner pageUbuntu One: Enjoy your content, your way, wherever you are. Free.

You may not have heard of UbuntuOne, Canonical's entry into the Cloud Storage market. As a Linux distributor and software services company it is a bit of a niche player, but a good one; offering a solid storage service with a free entry level:
  • Multi-platform, Windows, IOS and Linux
  • File-sync across platforms
  • 5GB of free sStorage as standard
  • Share folders and files
  • Access on your mobile

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review: I am Not Lefthanded – The Fire and The Sigh

The Fire & The Sigh by I Am Not Lefthanded album coverFiercely independent, female-fronted Irish indie trio I Am Not Lefthanded are known for their lyrical, evocative songs and quirky home made videos. Playing sparse but uplifting post-grunge music, they've been described as sounding like ‘Natalie Merchant fronting Death Cab for Cutie’.

Well, that's their version. A discovery I made via Dan Lynch's eclectic music podcast Rathole Radio (ratholeradio.org), the band consists of Kathryn Williams from the far west of Ireland, Belfast-born Daniel Frazer and Benji Savigear, a Cornish drummer.

The Celtic connection gives them a sound close to Amy MacDonald, with a nod to The Cranberries, without taking anything away from Williams characterful vocals and emotive songs. If they sound familiar it may be you heard the band’s music in a number of TV shows and indie films - including a global ad campaign for P&G. With this, their first full album, I Am Not Lefthanded have a fully formed commercial pop-rock sound and I have no problem with any of it.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Full Circle Podcast Episode 30 Better Late Than Never

Full Circle Podcast Episode 30 Better Late Than Never
Your new hosts, Les, Tony, Olly and Jon take over the helm, and hope to provide the same level of quality that you expect:
  • What we’ve been doing: Stats, Skype, RaspberryPi, Raspberry Jam and - gasp! - Fedora
  • News: Google IO - Nexus 7 tablet launch info
  • Interview with Freaky Clown - Surrey Hackspace
  • Raspberry Jam Preston - UCLAN/@teknoteacher
  • Cambridge Raspberry Jam - recorded mini podcast in car
  • Upcoming Events

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Review: Triangulation 63 - Jeffrey Zeldman

Jeffrey Zeldman on Triangulation #63, TWiT networkOne of the first web designers and pioneer of web standard design, structure and behaviour, Jeffrey Zeldman guested on Triangulation, onLeo Laporte's TWiT network a couple of weeks ago.

I don't usually listen to the Triangulation show, but Zeldman is such a legend in the design field, I couldn't miss this one. The show is an odd episode Triangulation in that it's usually Leo, Tom Merritt and guest, but Tom's missing from this one.

Zeldman stepped through his career lows; former journalist fired from the Washington Post, touring musician with an inept communist manager, advertising exec in copyrighting and art direction; winding up in 1995 in advertising at an entertainment agency, where he began his web career with a website for the Batman movie.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Review: Ubuntu Manual Project: Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.04

Getting Started with Ubuntu 12.04 is a comprehensive beginners guide for the Ubuntu operating system. It is written under an open source license and is free for you to download, read, modify and share.

The manual will help you become familiar with everyday tasks such as surfing the web, listening to music and scanning documents. With an emphasis on easy to follow instructions, it is suitable for all levels of experience.

The project homepage actually does a good job of describing and reviewing the manaul for me:

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Review: Makeuseof presents: Ubuntu An Absolute Beginners Guide

Ubuntu An Absolute Beginners Guide by Courtney Loo, edited by Justin Pot

Ubuntu is a free/libre, open-source computer operating system with 20 million users worldwide. But it’s also so much more than that: it is an ethos, a collaborative project and, first and foremost, Ubuntu is a community of people.
If you’re reading this guide, you’re probably interested in moving away from proprietary operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X; perhaps you’ve already installed Ubuntu on your computer but are not sure where to start.


Honestly, these manuals are starting to drive me crazy. How can so many people get this so wrong? Take a tip from marketing. Grab the viewer from the get go; show, tell, sell. Pictures. Colour. Give them the highlights.

They don't want a history lesson. They don't need Sociology-101. They need answers. What is it, why do I need it, why is it so much better than what I'm using now?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Review: Muktware's Ubuntu Manual

A comprehensive guide to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS - First Edition -Free

This manual is intended for users new to Ubuntu coming from from other operating systems and also user who are upgrading from Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. It is a manual produced by the community for the community. Due to this it available free of charge and is distributed under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.  

It covers all elements of the Ubuntu world starting from preparing your computer for installation, using Ubuntu to advanced topics. It guides a new user into the world of Ubuntu. An entire chapter devoted to working with Ubuntu effectively covers some of the key features of Ubuntu 12.04 like Virtual Workspaces, Unity Desktop, Spread View and Switching between applications.

You can get it directly from the Ubuntu Software Centre!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

News: Full Circle Magazine Issue 63 is available in Aisle Four

Full Circle Magazine Issue 63 is available in aisle fourFull Circle – the independent magazine for the Ubuntu Linux community are proud to announce the release of our sixty-third issue.

This month:
* Command and Conquer.
* How-To : Beginning Python – Part 35, LibreOffice Part 16, and Linux Astronomy Part 2.
* Graphics : GIMP Retro Photo, and Inkscape Part 3.
* NEW! Web Dev series
* Linux Lab – Making *buntu 12.04 Boot Faster.
* Review – gPodder.
* Closing Windows – Share Files/Folders.
* Audio Flux – some CC music tracks.
* NEW! Ask The New Guy.

plus: Ubuntu Games, Ubuntu Women, My Desktop, My Opinion, My Story, and much much more!  

Get it while it’s hot! http://fullcirclemagazine.org/issue-63/  

Google Currents Edition: http://www.google.com/producer/editions/CAow4cXNAg/full_circle_magazine_63_lite

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 New Software updater

It sounds wrong, looks grammatically dubious, but is a change of name that makes sense.

Ubuntu’s Software Updater application features a  streamlined interface, a de-cluttering along the lines of Nautilus Elementary; less visual clutter and a focus on just the core message.

It is included in various builds of Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 3 can be downloaded from the Ubuntu development site.

Friday, 3 August 2012

New Session Menu in Ubuntu 12.10

Amongst the changes for 12.10 showing in the Alpha-3 release, the Ubuntu "Me" and "System" menus have been combined to create a new Session Menu.

Your name display is gone as a space-saving improvement (Ubuntu assumes you know who you are and as whom you have signed in. This is all part of the de-cluttering of the user experience and for most people (the 200 million targeted new users) this should be fine.

For the rest of us, you just have to drop into the System Settings pane to see just how many settings are no longer available.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

New Look Nautilus Divides Opinion

new-nautilus in Ubuntu 12.10The latest version of the Nautilus file manager has been released by the GNOME developers for the Gnome-3 desktop.

If you thought Elementary was sparse, this one has even less window clutter – and less features, leading GNOME co-founder Federico Mena-Quintero to describe it ‘vandalism.’

Further theme integration for Ubuntu has yet to arrive, so it looks a bit bland and out of place under mbiance and Radiance. I'm not a fan of it under Adwaita either (Adwaita is an overhyped bastard child of Max-OS circa 2001 anyway).

Monday, 30 July 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 New Driver Installer UI

Jockey Driver replacement in Ubuntu 12.10
Thankfully the old "third party driver" installation window has been replaced with a sleeker entry into the ‘Software Sources‘ dialog and not before time.

The new interface for handling Third-Party drivers has landed in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal (original story on WebUpd8) 

The old and frankly comically unstable Jockey-GTK interface used for handling third-party drivers, has been replaced with a new "Additional Drivers" tab in software-properties and "ubuntu-drivers-common", which is, quote, "simpler and more robust than Jockey".