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Raspberry Pi: Hands-on with the updated Raspbian Linux

wrote last week about the new Raspbian Linux release, but in that post I was mostly concerned with the disappearance of the Wolfram (and Mathematica) packages, and I didn't really do justice to the release itself. So now I have continued with installing or upgrading it on all of my Raspberry Pi systems, and this post will concentrate on the process and results from that. First, the new ISO images are available from the Raspberry Pi Downloads page (as always), and the Release Notes have been added to the usual text document. I have only downloaded the plain Raspbian images, I don't bother with the NOOBS images much any more - but the new ISO is included in those as well of course. Please note that the SHA-256 checksum for the images is given on the web page, so be sure to verify that before you continue with the file that you downloaded. If you prefer stronger (or weaker) verification, you can find a PGP signature (and an SHA-1 checksum) on the Raspbian images download page. Read more

Ubuntu: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Release, Official Ubuntu 18.10 T-Shirt and Pop!_OS 18.10 Release

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 550
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 550
    Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 550 for the week of October 14 – 20, 2018.
  • Ubuntu 18.10 is a Cosmic Cuttlefish of new Linux loveliness
    CANONICAL HAS announced the release of its bi-annual update to the Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu 18.10, aka Cosmic Cuttlefish, is out now. It's not a long-term version so this is more aimed at individual users, as companies prefer to wait for an LTS to commit. So what's new in this build? Well, one of the biggest bugbears - graphics driver updating - has been addressed, so there'll be no more of all that sideloading the updates nonsense. Canonical has confirmed that this simpler process will get a graphical clicky interface, but not until (probably) version 19.x. But in the meantime, the way Ubuntu uses RAM for graphics has been given a kicking and should be a lot more efficient for migrating gamers.
  • Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish is now ready to download
    It’s October which means that we were due an Ubuntu release and Canonical hasn’t failed us this time around. Starting now, users who want to download Ubuntu 18.10 Cosmic Cuttlefish can do so. The latest version of the popular Linux distribution is only supported for nine months, until July 2019, with it being an inter-LTS release, therefore, you may want to consider sticking with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on your mission-critical systems. Ubuntu 18.10 is no small release; out-of-the-box users will be greeted with a new theme dubbed Yaru and a new icon theme called Suru. It marks the first time that the distribution has received a significant overhaul since Ubuntu 10.10 when Canonical, the firm that makes Ubuntu, decided to throw out the brown colour scheme in favour of the purple, orange, and black theme we’re all now so used to.
  • You Can Now Buy an Official Ubuntu 18.10 T-Shirt
    The reverse of each 100% cotton tee bears the Ubuntu brand mark and text that reads “Cosmic Cuttlefish 18.10”. The shirt is both unisex and available in sizes small through quad XL. This should ensure there’s a comfy fit for virtually everyone (though, alas, not me – I’m an XS, and “small” is just too dang big). As well as making a great xmas gift idea an Ubuntu-loving loved one, the shirt is also a novel way to communicate your computing preferences to the wider world as you go about your shopping in Walmart, or as a certified conversation starter at tech conferences.
  • System76 releases Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS 18.10 Linux distribution
    System76 is making huge moves lately. The company used to just sell re-branded computers running Ubuntu, and while there was nothing wrong with that, it has much more lofty goals. You see, it released its own Ubuntu-based operating system called "Pop!_OS," and now, it is preparing to release its own self-designed and built open source computers. In other words, much like Apple, System76 is maintaining both the software and hardware aspects of the customer experience. While its new hardware is not yet available, the latest version of its operating system is. Following the release of Ubuntu 18.10, Pop!_OS 18.10 is now available for download. While it is based on Ubuntu, it is not merely Canonical's operating system with System76 branding and artwork. Actually, there are some significant customizations that make Pop!_OS its own.

Programming: Bugs, Mistakes, and Python

  • Living on the command line: Why mistakes are a good thing
  • Getting started with functional programming in Python using the toolz library
    In the second of a two-part series, we continue to explore how we can import ideas from functional programming methodology into Python to have the best of both worlds. In the previous post, we covered immutable data structures. Those allow us to write "pure" functions, or functions that have no side effects, merely accepting some arguments and returning a result while maintaining decent performance.
  • The code's crashed again, but why? Tell us your war stories of bugs found – and bugs fixed
    Even the best software goes wrong from time to time. So, what exactly happens when it throws a wobbly, especially when it's a key component in a production environment? Whether it's a total crash, a transaction failure, or the mangling of important data, there's going to be some kind of business impact. And the more the problem persists, the greater the level of pain, loss, and disruption. Everyone wants faults identified, diagnosed, and fixed ASAP. Identification is not normally a challenge – user complaints, curses, screams, and threats usually provide a pretty good clue. But before anyone can prioritize and schedule a fix, someone needs to diagnose the problem.

Lakka – Transform Your Old PC into a Retrogaming Console

Lakka is a free, lightweight, and open-source Linux distro that turns a small PC into a full-blown game console. It features a beautiful and user-friendly UI with eye candy colours and a PS4-like User Experience. You can install it on your SD card and easily set it up or run it LIVE. Its wide range of joypad support allows you to use PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo game controllers. If you don’t have a PC to use Lakka on you can dedicated hardware at a cost as low as $30 thanks to its support for a variety of computers not excluding Raspberry Pi, Raspberry 2, HummingBoard, Banana Po, Odroid, CuBox-i, Cubietruck, and Cubieboard 2. Lakka is the official OS of RetroArch which takes care of its inputs and display, and it implements all game systems as a libretro core. This separation ensures that users are able to configure their setup once and have their changes effected across all game systems. Read more