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Linux FormatLinux Format

Linux Format April 2019

Linux Format is your complete guide to the world of Linux. Whether you've just discovered Linux, or you're a full-time guru, Linux Format has everything you need to make the most of your OS. The editorial formula is a mix of features, reviews and practical tutorials that tackle topics as far ranging as installing software to socket programming and network management. Thought-provoking features and interviews also provide a focus on key technologies, trends and issues in the fast-paced world of Free and Open Source software.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Future Publishing Ltd
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13 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time1 min.
who we are

Christian Cawley Saving up my pocket money (usually reserved for a Mastertronic budget game) for an Action Replay cartridge and ordering it from the pages of Zzap!64 magazine. A month later it was waiting when I came home from school, ready to plug into my C64 and, um, help me cheat at games. Happy times. Nick Peers I remember the joy of finally knowing I was to get a ZX Spectrum+ for a combined 13th birthday/Christmas present. Sadly I found the present hidden under my grandparents’ bed, and was caught with my legs sticking out as I gazed on it lovingly for the umpteenth time. Les Pounder In the 1980s and 1990s I had an Amiga 500. It’s on the Amiga where I cut my teeth, learning the command line and making my own coverdisks…

access_time1 min.
we’re so retro

Nostalgia is a powerful drug. It’s easy to get caught up in whimsical silver-lined memories of the past, forgetting all the advances and advantages the present holds – but when did that ever stop us before? For one issue only, we’re going to bask in nostalgia and go full retro – looking at how open source with the Linux kernel can help us not just relive computing systems of old, but enjoy classic games, learn about historical architectures, revive old languages and run unsupported software. While it’s often retro gaming that springs to mind, retro computing is far more than that and we felt it was essential that we covered the whole, er, spectrum of computing history, including systems that helped establish computing in the home – from the Apple II,…

access_time2 min.
chrome extension changes could threaten ad blockers

Proposed changes to Google’s Chromium browser could spell trouble for ad blockers and other content-filtering plugins. The changes, first tabled in October 2018, centre on the Manifest v3 proposal for Chromium’s Extension platform – and thus by (arrg!–Ed) extension, Chrome and soon Microsoft Edge. Manifest files specify the permissions and resources associated with a given browser extension. The salient change is to the webRequest API, which hitherto has allowed extensions to intercept and modify, or block entirely, network requests. Should Manifest v3 in its current form go ahead, webRequest – the modus operandi for some ad blockers on Chromium – will become a read-only API. declarativeNetRequest, a new API, has been proposed; this does allow network requests to be modified, but the key difference is that the modifications are done at…

access_time1 min.
intel preps new graphics drivers

Released in February, a sizeable series of patches for Intel’s i915 kernel driver paves the way for new graphics hardware, the hardware giant has confirmed. The code enables support for memory regions and local memory, which aren’t relevant to current Intel hardware. Intel’s graphics offerings have hitherto been strictly integrated affairs, with some last year even featuring Radeon RX graphics from rivals AMD. Intel’s ill-fated Larrabee, an ambitious initiative to develop a GPU with an x86 instruction set, never fructified. But that was a decade ago, so you might wonder what is different now. The answer, or an answer, is machine learning and the wider area of general-purpose GPU computing. Intel’s current graphics performance is poor compared to even entry-level offerings from AMD and Nvidia. This, it hopes, will change in future,…

access_time1 min.
western digital’s risc-v designs

Western Digital announced it would be building its own processor, based on the open source RISC-V architecture, back in December 2018. Designs for the SweRV cores are now available on the company’s GitHub at https://github.com/westerndigitalcorporation/swerv_eh1 , under an Apache 2.0 licence. These Register-Transfer Level (RTL) abstractions enable advanced users to model the CPU using the System on a Chip (SoC) modelling tool Verilator. WD stated that its rather ambitious goal is to ship one billion RISC-V cores per year through its comprehensive array of storage products. It also plans to release a FOSS RISC-V instruction set simulator, which will undoubtedly be of benefit to the wider community in the long run. Specs-wise, the SweRV core is a 32-bit in-order affair which can be clocked up to 1.8GHz and is built on a…

access_time1 min.
xdc in montreal

“Following a great show in 2018 in A Coruña, Spain, the annual X.Org Developer’s Conference (XDC) travels across the Atlantic. Taking place at Concordia University (alma mater of yours truly) from 2-4 October 2019, this will be the first XDC to be held in Montreal, Canada. Initially conceived in 2004 at the Cambridge Research Laboratory, Massachusetts, as a meeting for people working on X Window System technologies, it has evolved over the years to become a fully fledged conference, covering all elements of the Freedesktop family, including the Mesa 3D library, X11 and Wayland protocols, as well as the Linux kernel and its DRM. The event is entirely free to attend (although registration is required), and is a great opportunity to learn about the latest developments in open source graphics. If you…

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