Update: So Long Lugradio, hello Freerunner

Hey folks, thought it was about time I updated you on what I’ve been up to lately with regard to open source. I’ve been running Linux as always and generally pottering about while trying not to melt in the summer heat. I am in the UK so my definition of heat my differ from yours.

Firstly I wanted to mention some big news I heard yesterday regarding the popular Linux podcast LugRadio. It’s one of the podcasts that really got me into podcasting and inspired me to try and make a show that could reach that level myself. The lads have announced that they’re calling it a day after 4 years and over 100 episodes, they will record the last ever LugRadio at this years LugRadio Live event in a couple of weeks. Jono Bacon announced the news on his blog yesterday and fellow presenter Stuart Langridge also had some thoughts. I just wanted to say thanks for the laughs over the years and they even speculated that perhaps Linux Outlaws can take up the mantle in future, we can only hope 😉 Both I and Fab (my co-host) will be at LRL to celebrate with the lads and I’m sure many pints will be drunk on the Saturday night. Can’t wait. If you’re gonna be there then I hope to meet you too and have a chat, give me a shout. We’ll be recording a special episode of Linux Outlaws at the show and generally hijacking anyone we can find.

Now, I’d like to talk to you about Freerunning, no not the sport don’t talk crazy. Do I look like I’ve done any running to you… well… ever? Last week the Neo Freerunner was launched to the world. This is a completely open source phone with the OpenMoko Linux OS. I wrote about the developer release last year and finally the consumer version is available. It’s got a nice touch screen interface and some neat features. The offical OpenMoko store hasn’t opened yet but if you’re in Europe or Asia you can find information on resellers in your area on the website. This new revision of the handset has wi-fi, GPS, bluetooth and much more. It does lack a couple of things though that for me might hold it back, no camera and no 3G connectivity specifically. I haven’t had a chance to try one of the handsets yet though so I should reserve judgement. Why should you care about this phone? There are other phones that run Linux right? Yes there are but this is the only truely open device right down to the hardware layer, you can get full information on every single transistor and chip in this thing from the wiki, that’s pretty special I think and makes it a hackers dream, whether it will lead to mass adoption remains to be seen. The device is quite expensive at around £280 in the UK but it is in line with other similar touch screen smart phones. I hope it’ll do well, get freeruning!

What else did I have to say? Damn I can’t remember. Anyway, I’ll be back soon with a Linux Mint 5 review and then onto pastures new. Hope to see some of you at LRL in Wolverhampton for a drink and a laugh 🙂



  1. I’ve been using Linux Mint 5 on my work PC for about a week now. I have to say, following installation there were some points that made me laugh out loud in joy and amazement. Despite a couple of years of using Linux on this box (with the worst ATI card Dell could possibly give us and all kinds of driver issues), openSUSE 11 just couldn’t do it. No dual screens despite the fact that dual screen worked fine (if not great) under openSUSE 10.3.

    I installed Linux Mint after about 2 hours with openSUSE 11, then used Envy to install the video drivers using only the GUI, point & click, no terminal. It’s perfect out of the box. All graphical management was done through the GUI, even flipping the dual screens because they started off being backwards. Full 3d effects and everything. It was simply amazing.

    Mint is pretty much my favourite distro ever.

  2. I’m glad something like the freerunner is out there and it’s gonna be really cool to see what people can do with them.

    Can’t see myself getting one though.

    1, It doesn’t have 3G
    2, I’m old fashioned and I need real keys
    3, I’d never make use of it’s openness
    4, It’s ugly as sin

  3. Yeah I doubt the design is gonna win over the iPhone crowd but they’re all religious about that bloody thing anyway. Like you said it will be good to see if it can survive, I hope it does and it’s more than just an experiment. With the big boys trying to crush it though we’ll have to see what happens, a lot of people are waiting for Google Android but I doubt it will be so open.

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