It’s Been a Long Time

I haven’t kept you up to date very well. It’s been 4 months since I last said anything of any note here. 4 months. Some might argue that I’ve not said anything of note here ever, but I’d like to think otherwise and in any case, that’s not the point.

Where on earth have I been for the last 4 months? I’ll try to blast it out in some kind of chronological order.


  • Had a new BT Business telephone line installed which resolved the problems experienced here at the cost of around 100 GBP. My ISP waived the migration fees and put me on a new, cheaper tariff, which was nice.
  • Felt proud as my team, Wolverhampton Wanderers, return to the Premier League as champions.
  • Left my previous job and took 2 very much needed weeks off before starting my new job. It was good to decompress for the first time in over a year.
  • Been to V Festival 2009 at Weston Park, Staffordshire and the most fun I’ve had in years. Really, I had a blast.
  • Earned the nickname of ‘Inappropriate Boy’ for many of the reasons I enjoyed myself at V so much, mostly to do with lacking any kind of social acceptability filter between the things which pop into my head and them pouring out of my mouth to enormous personal comedic satisfaction. Nobody was offended thankfully and it was taken mostly as intended – a bit of maladjusted cheekiness.
  • Moved house, down to Rugby in Warwickshire. BT Business contracts are 1 or 2 years. Umm. Not sure how to solve that problem without paying an enormous settlement fee. Apart from the people I work with, I know one guy in the area. Not sure how I’m going to avoid being single for the rest of my life in a strange town where I don’t know anybody.
  • Started a new job as an Open Source Consultant.
  • Been to Mรถnchengladbach. Met some dazzlingly intelligent, friendly people. Very impressed.
  • Organised LugRadio Live 2009, the last ever one. An awful, arduous process beset by impending disaster at every turn. As if every other year is any different. We seem to have the hang of this now, which is a bit late ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Been ill, just a cold.
  • Moved back to Wolverhampton to bridge a gap between houses. My house is currently being renovated so it wasn’t comfortable, but I was only there for a couple of days at a time.
  • Been to Yorkshire for a week.
  • Been ill again, unknown cause. Suspected stomach bug, felt like death for 4 days then miraculously started to feel better. Relieved.
  • Ran and attended LugRadio Live 2009, which despite all my complaining about the planning and organisation, actually turned out very well. It was great to see everyone there again. Unfortunately, I still haven’t worked out how not to get completely destroyed beyond all reasonable recognition on Friday night and then spend the rest of the weekend feeling so ill as to be barely human and even less functional as one. Bruno Bord is one of the funniest, most intelligent human beings alive.
  • Watched the finished version of Ubuntu UK Podcast presenter Tony Whitmore‘s LugRadio documentary – Donโ€™t Listen Alone: A documentary about LugRadio, for the first time. Utter, utter brilliance. I’d seen a few draft versions before and they were fantastic, but the finished version was incredible and was liked universally. It took a total of 2 years to complete end to end. I can’t think of any other superlatives to heap on him, so, Tony, thank you. It’s fantastic. You’re a legend.
  • Accepted that there may well be another LugRadio Live show, not an event, just a live show, provided somebody else, such as you, organises the event.
  • Went to OggCamp. An excellent event and great fun. The combined Linux Outlaws and Ubuntu UK Podcast live recording was really good fun, very engaging. It was strange being in the audience watching other people do what I’d been doing the day before. I look forward to it next year ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Turned 33 ๐Ÿ™
  • Went to Dublin for a week and got very little sleep, not as a result of having fun.
  • Moved to a new house in Rugby. Nice place, shame about the heating.

So, you see, it’s not that I don’t love you or anything. I’ve just been a little pre-occupied with changing jobs, moving house repeatedly, travelling and organising the best Open Source conference which will never happen again. Things are about to get back to normal though, but not until after I:

  • Go to Devon for the weekend for my best friend’s birthday celebrations and probably make a fool of myself again.
  • Go back to Dublin for another week.
  • Go to Mรถnchengladbach for a long weekend to celebrate my company’s 10th anniversary.
  • Move house again probably.

Once all of those things are done, I will probably start to pay you the attention you deserve. In all seriousness though, the last 3 months have been absolutely crazy. I’ve never been so consistently occupied by real life stuff going on and changing under my feet than the last few months, so bear with me. Thankfully, I don’t feel unduly unsettled, I’ve just rolled with it and got on with it to be honest. Maybe the maturity which is lacking in my sense of humour is there in other areas.

Maybe catch up again soon?

Own a LugRadio T-Shirt

In the last season of LugRadio, we produced a limited edition of 50 LugRadio ‘Don’t Listen Alone’ t-shirts which we gave out as a prize to the person who sent us the coolest email in each show.

As we announced the end of the show a few weeks ago, we were left with some of the t-shirts and we gave away a few as prizes at LugRadio Live UK 2008 and a few to people who had gone beyond the call of duty to help with LugRadio.

Being the legend that he is and us being not quite on the ball as we so often were, Roger ‘Oojah’ Light received more than one and you can’t turn a prize down in public, so Oojah has opted to sell the spare shirt on Ebay and give the proceeds to the Open Rights Group, which is mighty nice of him. Sadly I’ve been away since Oojah let us know about it, so there are now only 2 days left to bid, but do so all the same.

So, if you want to own a limited edition LugRadio t-shirt, then you can go make a bid here and support your digital rights in the process. It’s win-win.

LugRadio Live UK 2008 LAN Gaming Rig

Wooo, look at this. Bytemark have finished setting up the LAN gaming rig for LugRadio Live UK 2008. They are running twice daily fragging competitions with the winning teams getting prizes.

Come shoot other geeks in a team related frag-fest at LugRadio Live 2008. I will be joining you. Don’t forget that if you’ve never been to LugRadio Live before but you always meant to, then this is you last chance as there won’t be another one.

Many thanks to Matt Bloch of Bytemark Hosting.

LugRadio Live UK 2008 Schedule Announced

In typical fashion I am clinging to others’ coat tails by not ever being first to announce something to do with LugRadio, however I am proud to announce that the LugRadio Live UK 2008 schedule has been published.

The event planning is almost complete, which is fortunate given that it’s about 11 days away. Certainly the speakers list is complete as is the exhibitor list, pending any late additions.

Go take a look at the schedule now.

Obviously I’m lacking in the boombasticity of others when it comes to announcing things, sadly today I’m a little deflated as my car was broken into, but one thing we haven’t mentioned a great deal so far is that we will be having LAN gaming tournaments at this years event, with a serious gaming rig supplied by Bytemark Hosting, one of our event sponsors. So, thanks to Matt Bloch of Bytemark, for sponsoring the event and also for putting the rig together. Not only will there be around 12 PCs clustered around the central gaming rig for attendees to walk up and frag each other on, but you will also be able to just rock up, plug in your laptop and join in at any time you choose.

There is no need to buy a ticket up front this year, the whole event is pay on the door, so show up with your 5 GBP and your laptop for some serious fragging, geeking, speaking, listening and drinking on the 19th and 20th July 2008 at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton.

This show, as announced elsewhere, will be the last ever LugRadio episode and will include a pre-event pub meet-up on Friday 18th at around 8pm in the Hog’s Head pub in Wolverhampton city centre and a party at the LRL venue itself on the Saturday night. It’s the last ever LugRadio Live, so bring your drinking boots and your sense of humour. Sadly I don’t drink any more, so I’ll probably either be anxiously looking like I wished I still drank or will be so drunk I can only open one eye AGAIN. But come say hello in either case ๐Ÿ™‚

See you there.

The End of LugRadio

Well I guess the cat has been out of the bag for over a week now but due to being to busy type that I am, I haven’t yet mentioned the fact that LugRadio will end after LugRadio Live UK 2008. It’s was a sad day when we took that decision but was one which we all agreed was the right choice. I always considered when I joined the show that at some point it would have to end and that I hoped it wouldn’t be on my watch, but unfortunately it is.

There were various factors which led us to this decision. Amongst them were the fact that it was getting pretty hard to sustain the show when we were all tied to being in Wolverhampton every 2 weeks and I personally found it hard to find the prep time in the days leading up to the recording. It was always a rush for me to get from work, then to the studio, record the show, get home late afterwards, then get up early for work the next day. I found myself struggling to get myself together for a day or so afterwards and I had been wondering how I was going to sustain that through another season or three. I had also been struggling to find the time to do anything other than my day job, LugRadio and real life, frequently one of those 3 suffered at any one time. I don’t know how Aq and Jono had managed to keep it up over the last 4 years.

Also in there was the fact that all of our jobs and private lives were becoming more demanding of our time and I think we all started to feel that we weren’t able to give LugRadio the amount of time it required to keep it fresh so we decided to call it a day at the end of the season rather than start another season and finish half way through, or string it out for another two or three seasons and have people notice the quality drop. I think a few people noticed that this last season contained more episodes released late than any other. I think one reference that has been made elsewhere was about Red Dwarf and how they should have quit after season V, because VI, VII and VIII were awful and the memory of an excellent show was tainted by the recollection of a decline in quality after they should have called it a day.

To quell some of the rumours, I will re-state what has been said elsewhere:

  • It is sadly not a hoax
  • We have not fallen out and in fact remain good friends
  • My business plans are not the reason for the show ending, in whole or in part. Frankly, as the show existed before I joined, I think it could probably survive my departure ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Jono’s Severed Fifth project is not part of the reason for the show ending

Jono’s announcement is here and Aq’s is here. Theirs are both better written than mine.

Although I don’t personally pay for any of the hosting services used by LugRadio, I believe the website, forums, audio archive, IRC channel and so on will all remain up and running and I think a great deal of the forums and #lugradio IRC community are planning on staying around, as will I. While I don’t believe that I am the great draw that pehaps Aq and Jono might be, I plan on hanging around. As many have said, LugRadio was their LUG and my LUG, especially those who don’t have a local Linux User Group and so I hope to stay in touch with as many people as possible. The Linux community, in the UK, the USA, Australia and Serbia to name but a few I have been in contact with personally and through LugRadio and many other places around the world have some of the most friendly, intelligent and funny individuals I’ve come across in any field of endeavour. So, in the least condescending way I can muster, pat yourselves on the back, you’ve made every second worth it for all of us.

So that’s it really, bar the sweeping out of the room, which won’t actually ever happen in Jono’s house. All that remains is one further studio show, due out on 14th July 2008 and then on to LugRadio Live UK 2008 as the last ever show.

LugRadio Live is Gonna Rock

UPDATE: Go and Digg this story!

So, we’re starting to beat the drums about LugRadio Live UK 2008 and I thought I would do my bit by telling you all about the event banner images for your website:

There are others images which may suit your tastes better, there are one specifically for exhibitors, crew, speaker and kind of one for O’Reilly ๐Ÿ™‚ You can get them from Jono’s blog here, so go get one if you’re attending and if you’re not going to be there, then you can still do your bit to spread the word by putting one on your site to let everyone know.

You can also make you’re own banner image or name badge here thanks to Oojah.

The speaker list is about to be confirmed and the exhibition is filling up fast, though if you want to take part in the exhibition there are still some spaces left so send us an email to show at lugradio dot org. Putting the word exhibitor or exhibition in the subject lines makes it easier to pick out of the thousands of emails that pour in. We’re also still looking for prizes and cool things we can put in our attendees’ goody bags so let is know if you can send us something.

I’m started to get excited about the event and we’re working on some quite cool things, like a large LAN gaming rig and a collaborative art project along with the talks, the exhibition, the BOFs, the nutsacks, the prizes, the rock music, the people in thongs, the Mass Debate and all of the other cool stuff you won’t find at any other conference.

I’m sure most people get it by now, but LugRadio Live really is a ‘rock conference’, where having a great time and meeting people are the highest priorities. It’s also a great place to tell people about your project, find intelligent people to work on your code and let people play with what you’re working on.

If you want to take part, then email us on the address above, or otherwise just get yourself to the event and take it all in, the enthusiastic atmosphere is incredible. If you’re not coming, maybe you should think about what you’re going to miss out on and re-evaluate your decision because we’re going to miss you ๐Ÿ™‚

LugRadio Live UK 2008 – Call For Exhibitors Open

The build up to LRL UK 2008 has been a bit quiet so far, partly due to feeling burnt out after the US event and partly due to Jono’s insane travel schedule since LRL USA but now we’re cooking on full heat and the build up starts here.

This means that the call for exhibitors is open and I’m looking for people to represent their projects and organisations. If you are part of a cool project, you just have something cool that you’re working on and you’d like to get the word out there or if you’re part of one of the staples of the Linux, Free Software and Open Source world like Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Novell/OpenSUSE, Gnome, KDE, and so on, then the LugRadio Live UK 2008 exhibition is just what you need.

There is no fee to exhibit and corporate exhibitors are welcome provided they are relevant to Linux, Free Software, Open Source, digital rights, hardware hacking and so on. We’d like you to bring something cool to show off, which will dazzle and amaze our attendees, but frankly if you’re interesting that’s enough ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re always on the look out for prizes we can give away or stuff you can give us in quantities of 500 or so which we can put in our attendees’ goody bags – the LugRadio Nutsacks.

Of course the call for papers is also open so you should get in touch if you’d like to speak at the event. You could even be the thong wearer in host of this year’s Gong-a-Thong-Lightbulb-Talk-Extravaganza, following in the sweaty underclackers of myself and the fantastic Aaron Bockover of Banshee fame. Of course you may choose your own thong.

If you’d like to exhibit, even if you don’t think you probably ought to, drop us an email at show at lugradio dot org and tell us what you’d like to exhibit. For me personally, it would help if you could put the word ‘exhibitor’ or ‘exhibition’ in the subject line as the show address gets a lot of mail ๐Ÿ™‚

See you there you crazy monkeys.

Videoed for Your Viewing Pleasure

I’m a little late with this as I’ve been pre-occupied with real-life and a number of side-projects, but I am proud to be second or third to announce the release of the videos of the LugRadio Live USA 2008 talks, including the recording of LugRadradio Live and Unleashed, The Mass Debate and Aaron Bockover‘s Gong-a-Thong Lightbulb Talk Extravaganza.

Never one to suffer sleep pattern disturbance well, yes I’m feeble, I was falling asleep by 4pm most days and I never really pulled myself together until the last day and so I feel bad that nobody met me at my best, but I had a great time and I hope to meet everybody again to show them my better side.

Hopefully we’ll see you in the US again next year.

Not Well but Grateful

While I feel slightly guilty for not saying anything here for quite a few weeks now, it’s not the first time this has happened and well, I’ve spent all of my time working on preparations for LRL USA for probably the last 3 months, so, y’know, not much time to spare.

Well I guess I ought to be telling everyone how great the event was, how all the hard work was worth it and so on, but sadly I started to come down with a nasty cold during the flight home and it really hit on the evening I got home, so I’ve barely done anything since getting back except sleep and lie in bed reading a book. Seriously, I slept for 19 hours when I first got home.

So, yeah, LRL USA 2008 was great fun, very exhausting with the jet lag and so on, I’ve never been the best at handling sleep related issues so I began crashing by 3pm and was humourless by 6pm most days, however it was great fun either side. I met some truly fascinating, inspiring and welcoming people. I met some nut cases too, but I genuinely didn’t meet a single person I didn’t like and that’s pretty rare anywhere, so thank you to all the people who made it, particularly the exhibitors as I had most dealings with them, I wish I could have met you when I was a little more together ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to my pit of sickness and despair ๐Ÿ™

Support the Libre Graphics Meeting

Every year, the Libre Graphics Meeting get together to discuss cool new stuff in the Free/Open Source graphics and image editing world and make plans to make them even better. One example of the outcome of this is that you can drag and drop between applications like The Gimp and Inkscape. I didn’t know this kind of thing was going on and that’s great.

This year the Libre Graphics Meeting have a shortfall in sponsorship due to the withdrawal of a major sponsor who wasn’t able to secure the funding approval. Apart from paying for the facilities, much of the sponsorship money is used to pay for the flights and accommodation of important developers from the Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, Blender, Krita and Open Clip Art projects amongst a number of others to ensure that the right people are at the event for it to be able to meets it’s goals. Most of these developers are unpaid and work on these projects in their spare time and so can’t afford to meet the travel costs themselves or take the time off work to attend.

Sadly, due to the withdrawal of one of the main sponsors, it now doesn’t look likely to be the case that many of these developers will be able to attend as a result and so the LGM have setup an appeal for donations in a bid to secure the funding required to get the right people to the event.

As a backdrop against this, I’ve been thinking recently that for the first time I can probably afford to put a bit of money where my mouth is regarding the software I use and so I decided to donate.

Click here to lend your support to: Support the Libre Graphics Meeting and make a donation at !

I think ideally, they need another big sponsor to reach the target by the end date of April 18th 2008 but if you’re a Free Software graphics software user then there is something you can do to help too.

We talk about this in LugRadio Season 5, Episode 15 which is released on Monday April 7th 2008 so don’t expect the link to the episode to work until after then.

You can also Digg the story to bring more attention to it.

Microsoft Interoperability debated in LugRadio S5E13

Been a while since I did one of these…

In Season 5 Episode 13 of LugRadio, ‘Embracing (and Extending) Change’, a hungover Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, Chris Proctor, Adam Sweet and International VoIP Hero/former presenter Adrian Bradshaw discuss Aq’s modified views on Mono, why Blu-Ray beat HD-DVD and whether Sony pwnz uz 4ll, muse over Microsoft’s interoperability announcements, announce the exhibitors confirmed for LugRadio Live USA 2008 and read out your emails.

You can get this alcohol soaked morning after feeling, along with the chance to the LugRadio Finger of God at

Registration for LugRadio Live USA 2008 is now open at

If you feel like you’ve been missing the LugRadio love since the last time I linked to an episode, you can get the last 2 from:

In what appears to be an oversight on my part, LugRadio Live USA 2008 is now less than a month away and we’re still looking for exhibitors so if you’d like to exhibit your project or organisation at LRL USA 2008 or even at LRL UK 2008 which takes place in July, please drop us an email to show at lugradio dot org and include the word ‘exhibit’ in the subject line to make it easy to filter out ๐Ÿ™‚

LugRadio Live USA 2008 Video Trailer

I’ve had this sitting on my laptop for a week or two now and now it has been released, I present the LugRadio Live USA 2008 video trailer.

Can’t see the vid? Click here.

It really is worth downloading one of the video files and watching it full-screen if you can, it brought a lump to my throat. Serious thanks to Tony Whitmore for his hard work producing it.

Go to LugRadio Live USA 2008, 12-13 April, San Francisco! Watch this, then spread the word!

Call for Exhibitors for LugRadio Live USA 2008

The speakers schedule for LRL USA 2008 is really starting to shape up now and so we turn our attention to the exhibition area. We’re looking for people, companies, projects, distributions and organisations who are doing cool things with Linux, Free Software, Open Source, hardware and digital freedom issues that are willing to rock up to the Metreon Theater, San Francisco on the 12th and13th April 2008.

We’d like to hear from you if you have cool stuff to show off, shiny gadgets, interactive demos, hardware, games and so on are always winners but a stand with some literature and people who are willing to take the time to get chatting are also important if that suits your project better. We’re interested in cool people, diversity and fun stuff. It’s about the people not the megabucks, so you don’t need a marketing budget to be a valuable exhibitor at LugRadio Live. If you’re project is interesting, that’s all that is required, though if you need to blow a marketing budget, you could always become an event sponsor and help us provide extra facilities or gifts for our attendees, which means they will like you more ๐Ÿ™‚

We’re also interested in hearing from people willing to host a BOF session, talks or suggest cool ideas for stuff we can at LRL USA 2008, which is out of the ordinary, as LRL is an extraordinary event.

Send in your suggestions for BOFs and talks or put yourself or your organisation forward as an exhibitor by emailing show at lugradio dot org and we’ll see you at the Metreon for the coolest geek out of the year.

LugRadio Live USA 2008 Speakers

Below is a list of speakers confirmed for LugRadio Live USA 2008, stolen shamelessly from Jono:

  • Miguel de Icaza (Mono / Novell)
  • Aaron Bockover (Banshee / Novell)
  • Allison Randal (Perl / Parrot)
  • Danese Cooper (Intel / OSI)
  • Belinda Lopez (Ubuntu)
  • Ian McKellar (Songbird)
  • Eddy Mulyono (Packaging RPM/Debs)

This is in addition to our already announced speakers:

  • Jeremy Allison (Samba / Google)
  • Ian Murdock (OpenSolaris / Sun)
  • Robert Love (Kernel / GNOME / Google)
  • Dan Kegel (Wine)
  • Val Henson (Kernel / Intel)
  • John Buckman (Magnatune)
  • Ben Collins (Ubuntu / Former Debian Project Leader)
  • Aza Raskin (Mozilla / Humanized)

There will be many more, and you could be one of them! The Call For Papers Is Open!

LugRadio Live USA 2008 takes place on the 12th and 13th April at The Metreon in San Francisco and it’s not too late for you to submit your talk for addition to the list. While big names are important to headline any event, we’re also interested in hearing from anyone doing anything cool with Linux, Open Source or Free Software, digital rights, hardware hacking and so on. If it’s fun or interesting then you could be speaking at LugRadio Live USA 2008 about it. So email show at lugradio dot org to submit your talk.

Just in case you didn’t already know, you might be interested in finding out what LugRadio Live is all about. I was amused by “โ€ฆit’s about nipples”.

KDE 4 Review and Interview in LugRadio S5E10

In Season 5 Episode 10 of LugRadio, ‘One Foot In The Grave’, Jono Bacon, Stuart “Aq” Langridge, Chris Proctor and back-from-the-dead Matthew Revell review the newly released KDE 4 and then speak to Aaron Seigo and Will Stephenson of the KDE project to discuss it, Jono tells us why it’s all about the community in the final LugRadio Top Trumps and the presenters discuss the Fish shell, K3B, everybody’s laptop working apart from Aq’s and a listener review of the Nokia N810. Also in this episode, a call for papers and exhibitors for LugRadio Live USA 2008 and don’t forget that you can win an Asus Eee PC in the Pimp My LugRadio competition, details in the show.

You can get all this lunacy, along with the chance to win an Asus Eee PC at

Digg it.

Slashdot it.

Dates for LugRadio Live USA 2008 Announced

Yes. I am going to San Francisco with my 3 fat LugRadio friends to spread to good word. That’s right, LugRadio Live is happening in the USA this year and nobody is going to be able to understand my accent or any of my jokes.

This season of joy will take place on the 12th and 13th April 2008 at the Metreon in SF. This means all you Americans should be thinking of pre-registering as there are limited tickets, see here for details as they emerge. We’re lining up some fantastic big-name speakers but we also want to hear from the little guys on the street doing cool stuff for BOFs, the exhibition and the 3 minute lightbulb talks. If you want to lead a BOF, promote your cool (ideally interactive) project or do a quick lightbulb talk, let us know by emailing show at lugradio dot org.

I look forward to seeing you there.

LugRadio Season 5, Episode 9: Time Gentlemen Please

In Season 5 Episode 9 of LugRadio, ‘Time Gentlemen Please’, the first episode of 2008, Jono Bacon, Stuart Langridge, Chris Proctor and Adam Sweet speak to Sacha Goedegebure of the Peach Project to discuss the latest open movie to come out of the Blender Project, Aq tells us why software Freedom is important in LugRadio Top Trumps, the presenters talk about whether Linux distributors tie their server and desktop products together to make them work better and more easily at the possible expense of other distributions. Also in this episode, the dates for LugRadio Live USA 2008 are announced, Chris gets wound up about the RMS v OpenBSD argument and your emails are once again read out and then roundly insulted. Don’t forget that you can win an Asus Eee PC in the Pimp My LugRadio competition, details in the show.

You can get all this rubbish, along with the chance to win an Asus Eee PC at

You can also Digg it here and Slashdot it here.

LugRadio Season 5 Episode 5 – "A Quality Production"

In LugRadio Season 5 Episode 5, Jono Bacon, Stuart Largefridge, Chris Proctor and Adam Sweet interview Havoc Pennington and Colin Walters from Red Hat about the Gnome Online Desktop project, discuss whether we need rockstar programmers when there is hard, unglamorous work to do, consider whether the weirder side of Second Life is inhabited by freaks, electrocute themselves again in another quick distro round-up, behave smugly because LugRadio was chosen as the best Linux podcast in the Linux Format magazine Christmas issue and read out a dazzling array of emails to the show, with the best winning a limited edition LugRadio T-shirt, at last.

You, my friend, can avail yourself of too much excitement to handle by downloading it from

You can also Digg it here and Slashdot it here.